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A Mighty Wind (2003)
spot-on spoof of folkies
26 December 2007
I was working the children's stage at Musikfest in Bethlehem PA a few years ago, and the local folk music society was getting ready to go. They seemed a self-important, pompous group. I kiddingly asked them if they'd seen "A Mighty Wind" and got looks of stony silence from every single performer in the group. That's all I needed to know. Their instrumentals were ragged, they didn't sing that well, Why am I telling you this? For the simple reason that "A Mighty Wind" spoofs these goofuses perfectly, poetically, practically every way they can be. As in "This is Spinal Tap" and (the even funnier IMHO)"Best in Show", they capture the quirks of the offbeat characters who take themselves and their avocation a little TOO seriously.
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Lou Grant (1977–1982)
shoehorned dialogue
2 December 2007
What do I mean, shoehorned dialogue? What I mean is this: it seems as though every issue-oriented episode (and there were a LOT of them) had someone spouting some obscure statistic as casually as they would say, "I'll take cream and two sugars in my coffee". The overly earnest dialogue was a harbinger of things to come--Quincy, ER, Designing Women all used the same technique to advance a largely left-wing agenda.

That being said, I really enjoyed Rossi and Billie's constant bickering. He never gave up (or had a clue). Ed Asner's portrayal was REALLY better in the MTM Show. The crustiness was just endearing, when he'd threaten to rearrange Ted Baxter's face. Here it was just pontificating. Sorry guys, just can't give the thumbs up to this one.
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Tyra Banks...who died and made her a deity?
30 September 2007
This is by far the most vapid, idiotic, insanely stupid show that has EVER been on the air, and this is coming from someone who remembers "San Pedro Beach Bums".

My wife loves watching reality shows--and there was one episode of this drivel where the wannabes had to develop a "walk". The end result was straight out of Monty Python's "Ministry of Silly Walks" sketch. I couldn't laugh hard enough.

And then there's the ubiquitous Ms. Banks (as in laughing all the way to the...). She has to be the most annoying self-important woman on TV since Rosie O'Donnell left "The View". As if modeling was doing great things for mankind. Please. I've never found her attractive, and I don't find her intelligent now that she has the temerity to open her mouth.

Someone needs to tell these human clothes hangers to eat a healthy diet and actually look like real women.
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High School Musical 2 (2007 TV Movie)
the Mystery Science Theater folks would have a field day with this!
17 August 2007
Well, they managed to steal from "Dirty Dancing", "Grease", "HSM", several Elvis movies, "Beach Blanket Bingo", "Love American Style", and the Fairly Oddparents movie, "School's Out", for starters. They even managed the 1920's technique of wedging songs into the plot without setting them up properly. They're digging even more deeply into character (I mean caricature) development, especially with the adults in this travesty. Even worse, the self-congratulatory spots during commercial breaks made me long for Clara Peller shouting, "Where's the beef?". Did they really need to remind us to like them and that show?

Did anyone notice how much Sharpay (still can't believe parents would name their daughter after a excessively wrinkled Chinese dog) looked like Paris Hilton? Scary...

The technical aspects were really too awful to watch. The lip-syncing was so bad, I half-expected a Jackie Chan and Jet Li cameo. The songs were worse than last time, and they were vomit-inducing last time. My wife, who normally rolls her eyes when I get ranting like this, was agreeing with me most of the time this time around. Ol' papa Walt is TRULY spinning in his grave. Just remember, this is also the parent company of the network that brought you "Giapetto, the Musical".
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The Music Man (1962)
where's "My White Knight"?
11 August 2007
I did a summer stock performance of this play about 7 years ago. It featured a song which was, unhappily, omitted from the movie, namely, "My White Knight". Our Marian was a former Miss South Carolina (who I would have gladly had stamp my book anytime) and sang that stunning showstopper to glorious perfection every night. I would have loved to have heard Shirley Jones sing that song in the movie and wonder why she didn't.

That being said, I LOVE this movie, as do my wife and kids. Even my 12-year-old son who professes to hate performing anything (but does well with comedy and saxophone) loves this movie (and having seen his dad in the stage play). They sure don't make them like this anymore.
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ER (1994–2009)
I don't know what all the fuss is about...
6 June 2006
Just some general observations: 1)The men are mostly spineless, flawed, and one-dimensional. It reminds me of Dennis Miller's story about the Lifetime channel production of "Guys and Dolls", renamed "Oppressors and Women of Vision and Strength".

2) This show was obviously written with its PC liberal feminist heart on its sleeve. The Indian woman who can't decide whether she wants to be a doctor stayed around way too long, and spouts her disgust with American culture at every turn. Corday is a slut, and Kovach (sp?) is a womanizer. Weaver is just not believable as a lesbian; her naming the trans-gender studies unit after Romano smacked of childish revenge.

3)I miss George Clooney and Anthony Edwards and Julianne Margulies (what a babe). I always felt that their performances (esp. Edwards') were classy and understated.

4) It gets worse and worse. Where is "The Day After" when you really need it? This show needs to be put out of its (and our)misery, and soon. I put it in the same category of mindless drivel like Seventh Heaven and Touched by a Whiny Irish Angel.
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Grease (1978)
what can I say about Grease?
27 November 2005
Olivia Newton-John--Gorgeous! John Travolta--Vinnie Barbarino II. The pink ladies--suitably trashy. The T-Birds--cool. The songs--who had heard of disco in the 1950's? Yet that is what we're to believe in the "hand jive" dance sequence, cause that's what we're hearing! Patty Simcox--what a babe! (don't laugh) Ditto Marti Maraschino! Smutty? At times, yeah, but you should hear my current students...

Do I like Grease? Well, if you judge it by the fact that I can recite most of the dialogue from memory, then yes, I like it, but it bears repeated watching--like Monty Python, Zucker Brothers (Airplane, Naked Gun), and James Bond, The Untouchables, Sneakers, the list goes on. Well, that's all, folks.
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Godawful mess, and the scouts should distance themselves from this turkey
24 November 2005
Well, let's see. Men are stupid, living vicariously thru their sons and would rather pursue their hobby than enrich their marriage and family life; all married women have large breasts and shallow minds, Japanese men are even more stupid and shallow than their American counterparts.

yup, these are ideas that we want in the heads of America's boys and young men...It's appropriate that I write this review on Thanksgiving...what a turkey this movie is! It was and should be an embarrassment to the American Film industry. The Boy Scouts of America should put as much distance as possible between themselves and this sinfully bad movie.

As far as the "satire" and "parody" comments, those remind me of the tired old line "I don't know what you're talking about" when the murderer is uncovered (It's obvious he does). In other words, they call it a satire because deep down they know how BAD their work is. (See "Charlie's Angels", Eddie Murphy in "Harlem Nights", etc.)
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