Parody of television soap-operas--the show's humor relies on exaggerating soap-operas' characteristic plot implausibility and melodrama to ridiculous extremes, then adds a fair bit of the truly bizarre, including some remarkable characters.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
[about the alien who will be impersonating him]
Is he - is he gonna sleep with my wife?
Chief Alien Creature:
Why do you think he's jumping up and down? He has not had sex for two thousand years!
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Original network broadcasts opened with an on-screen content warning. This was one of the first TV programs to include such a warning, though such disclaimers are now commonplace. See more »
One of the later episodes mentions Cosmopolitan magazine. On the videotape collection from Columbia House, the name of the magazine is overdubbed with "Cosmopolitan" in reverse audio. See more »
These questions, and many more, will be answered...
I began watching this show when I was rather young - elementary-school aged, really, & because of its episodic nature (for I read comic books voraciously, & loved "to be continued" storylines) - well, probably because I liked the guy with the puppet - I was hooked. I watched it weekly & remember praying to God that it wouldn't be cancelled. The magic of the show was that it taught me so much. I knew little or nothing about homosexuality, infidelity, racism, hell, even the Mafia or Central American revolutions, until I watched this show. It was genuinely funny - Bert thinking he could turn invisible, Benson's "I ain't getting that," everyone talking to Bob when they knew damn well Chuck was throwing his voice - I laughed & laughed.
As I watch TV now, I really miss the topicality of this show - the fact that, with a simple parody of soap operas, they managed to bring important issues of the day to the forefront. No one was safe - even alien abductions were lampooned, years before there was an X-Files that could stand a bit of ribbing.
Yeah, it's dated, & when I saw a few episodes in repeats a while back, I was more moved by my old feelings - these were friends I hadn't seen in ages! - than by the story & the jokes. But the point was, it was brave - like "All In The Family," like "Good Times" - though not a Norman Lear creation - braver than anything on right now. Someone else suggested you watch from day one - that's not all that important, because you'll catch on soon enough (it's a soap opera, after all), but I do believe you'll come to care for the characters & their ridiculous predicaments soon enough. & you'll be amazed at how utterly clever it is.
Be warned, though - like "Twin Peaks" it doesn't really end, & if you're coming at it for the first time, you'll be sad when you get to season four's end & there's nothing following. I was.
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