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Thread: Not so vintage TV

  1. #1

    Not so vintage TV

    So, soemthing I kinda forgot about was The Grand Tour. This is the Amazon Prime show that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, and producer Andy Welman started doing in 2016, after they all collectively left the services of the BBC.

    If you ever watched Top Gear circa 2001-2015, this is essentially the exact same show, minus the Stig and the Reasonably Priced Car business. It's still pretty funny, and stupid and everything Top Gear was during that period. They're still doing smart alecky reviews of cars none of us will ever be able to afford. They're still doing all their stupid "cheap car" challenges, as well as their ridiculous races (one episode pitted...I don't know remember what it was Jezza was driving, a Ford GT or whatever, against May and Hamster on public transportation, racing from Central Park to Niagara Falls), as well as other car related silliness.

    I didn't even realize they continued doing the show after the first season, as I only remember a bit publicity when it started. Unfortunately, at the time, because I was running an outdated OS on my computer, I couldn't watch the show at the time, even though I have Amazon Prime. But now, things are different. I've already watched the first season, I'm about half way through the second, and I'm just glad to have these three knuckleheads back in my life!

  2. #2
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Pawn Stars on History Channel has always been fun for me to watch. In one episode, a woman came into the shop with 2 or 3 guitars she claimed were painted by Phil Collen. Rick said he needed to call in an expert, so he called in Phil Collen himself. In another episode, someone came in with John Popper's harmonica vest. The expert Rick called in was John Popper.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Pawn Stars on History Channel has always been fun for me to watch. In one episode, a woman came into the shop with 2 or 3 guitars she claimed were painted by Phil Collen. Rick said he needed to call in an expert, so he called in Phil Collen himself. In another episode, someone came in with John Popper's harmonica vest. The expert Rick called in was John Popper.
    Yeah, there's a few music oriented ones. I remember John Entwistle's widow or one of his ex-wives, whichever, coming in with, I think i twas an early I-pod that had been personally engraved for him, but Rick didn't go for it. Another one Mary Ford's son or nephew, something like that, coming with one of her guitars.

    Another one was a guy who had a copy of Led Zeppelin I, signed by all four band members, but for whatever reason, Page's autograph was on the front cover, whereas the other three were on the back cover. Their expert reckoned all four autographs were legit, but he was saying it was worth half what the seller wanted for it (which was something like 20 grand), because you can't display because one autograph is on the front cover, and the three are on the back cover, you have to have all four autographs on the same side so that it can be displayed or whatever.

    Then there was the one where someone brought in what he claimed a vintage Gibson mandolin, and Chumlee went for it without having it checked out. Turned out, he got scammed. I mean, I could have told there was something wonky because it had a Gibson decal on the headstock, not an inlay. I've heard much of the stuff on that show is a put on, but if that one wasn't, Chumlee got taken for something like 5 grand or whatever it was.

    For me, though, that, and most other "reality" shows, got old fast. I used to watch Storage Wars too, but I eventually lost interest, especially after Barry dropped out.

  4. #4
    Member Yodelgoat's Avatar
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    Curious...Is Seinfeld now considered vintage? - Crap, I am old. I was thinking of revisiting all the "my name is Earl" DVD's I have, that is probably considered vintage now too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Yeah, there's a few music oriented ones.....Another one Mary Ford's son or nephew, something like that, coming with one of her guitars.
    Yes, it was her early 60s SG-Les Paul. Jesse from Cowtown guitars appraised it at around $150K.

    The one which made me drool the most was the '53 Black Guard Tele, which sat in the guy's uncle or grandfather's (forget which) closet, and was in near perfect condition.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    Curious...Is Seinfeld now considered vintage? - Crap, I am old. I was thinking of revisiting all the "my name is Earl" DVD's I have, that is probably considered vintage now too.
    American Movie Classics (AMC) airs movies at least as recent as Seinfeld.

    I loved the episode of My Name Is Earl which used Focus' Hocus Pocus as background music for an action sequence.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Yes, it was her early 60s SG-Les Paul. Jesse from Cowtown guitars appraised it at around $150K.

    The one which made me drool the most was the '53 Black Guard Tele, which sat in the guy's uncle or grandfather's (forget which) closet, and was in near perfect condition.
    I don't know which one it was, but I read that on at least one occasion, the guitar was brought in by an employee of the music store that they get their expert from, and yes, the guitar was on sale at said store. So at least some of those things are setup.

    American Movie Classics (AMC) airs movies at least as recent as Seinfeld
    I remember about 20 or so years ago, someone commenting on whichever mailing list I was on that, having come back to watching cable TV for the first time in a decade, he was surprised to find AMC was no longer a premium service. Someone else responded that they were showing a lot of movies that weren't really "classics", unless 9 To 5 was now considered a classic.

    It's been ages since I've watched anything on AMC, probably not since Nick Clooney was hosting the movies.

  8. #8
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    A couple of my favorite TV series, My Name is Earl and Last Man on Earth were very quirky and funny but perhaps an acquired taste. IMO both should have been granted a final season. I think both were on for 4 seasons, both of which ended their last seasons on a cliffhanger when they were cancelled.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I don't know which one it was, but I read that on at least one occasion, the guitar was brought in by an employee of the music store that they get their expert from, and yes, the guitar was on sale at said store. So at least some of those things are setup.
    Even the show hoarders has some setup. On one episode, items stacked on top of the stove starting catching on fire. I'm sorry, but electric stoves don't just spontaneously turn themselves on.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I remember about 20 or so years ago, someone commenting on whichever mailing list I was on that, having come back to watching cable TV for the first time in a decade, he was surprised to find AMC was no longer a premium service. Someone else responded that they were showing a lot of movies that weren't really "classics", unless 9 To 5 was now considered a classic.

    It's been ages since I've watched anything on AMC, probably not since Nick Clooney was hosting the movies.
    AMC has been a basic cable channel since I moved into an apartment with free basic cable in 1989. A year or 2 later, the Disney channel went from premium to basic. That would definitely vary from one company to another. And since one company typically dominates a city, it varies from city to city.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    A couple of my favorite TV series, My Name is Earl and Last Man on Earth were very quirky and funny but perhaps an acquired taste. IMO both should have been granted a final season. I think both were on for 4 seasons, both of which ended their last seasons on a cliffhanger when they were cancelled.
    I hate when that happens. If I had a nickel for every great show cancelled after a cliffhanger, I could afford to buy an 85" Ultra-Hi Def TV.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    Even the show hoarders has some setup. On one episode, items stacked on top of the stove starting catching on fire. I'm sorry, but electric stoves don't just spontaneously turn themselves on.
    Yeah, being a Kiss fan, I watched the first couple seasons of the Gene Simmons show. It was actually really funny, I thought a lot better than the Ozzy show, but after awhile, you just knew this stuff was all staged. Yeha, Gene's car legitimately broke down during his trip to Las Vegas (why not fly, Gene?), and he really got picked by random chance by a lady trucker whose husband is a Kiss fanatic, and he really had to call Carrot Top, of all people, to come pick him up. I mean, it was entertaining to watch, but the thing I couldn't figure out is why he couldnt' just hop in the camera van and they could have driven him to wherever.

    Same thing on Storage Wars. After awhile, you had to figure the producers had to be planting stuff in the storage lockers. They just happened to find a couple thousand dollars worth of vintage concert posters while the cameras are there? And there was one where the one guy manages to drop this porcelain box that he found in locker and it shatters, as he's getting out of his car at the place where he's planning to get it appraised. And how was it that Barry knew all those rock stars? What was he, their drug dealer or something?
    AMC has been a basic cable channel since I moved into an apartment with free basic cable in 1989.
    I don't know the chronology or how that sort of stuff works, but if I recall correctly, originally both AMC and TCM were premium services, at least where I lived they were. And then at some point, they both became "basic" cable.
    A year or 2 later, the Disney channel went from premium to basic. That would definitely vary from one company to another. And since one company typically dominates a city, it varies from city to city.
    Yeah, you're probably right about that. I remember we had the Disney channel for awhile back in the 80's, when it was still a premium service. Went through a phase of watching vintage Mickey Mouse Club reruns, even though I was probably "too old" for the show. I also remember the DTV show, where they took songs and set them to clips from their cartoons. I believe Little Richard sent them a cease and desist order, because they apparently hadn't gotten his permission to use Tutti Frutti that way.


    I hate when that happens. If I had a nickel for every great show cancelled after a cliffhanger, I could afford to buy an 85" Ultra-Hi Def TV.
    There's a Big Bang Theory episode where Sheldon throws a fit because the SyFY channel cancels a TV show that he had been watching, with the last season ending on a cliffhanger. He takes to trying to wage a one man war to get the show reinstated.

    But yeah, they did that to a lot of shows. I think a lot of times, the producers either expected to get renewed, or at least figured the network would "have to renew" if the last episode of the season was a cliffhanger.

    But my favorite of such things was actually Sledge Hammer!. The producers pretty much figured out they didn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of getting renewed. So they deliberately ended the show on a cliffhanger, that hinged on a nuclear bomb detonating at the end of the episode, ya know, as a joke. THen almost as if to say, "We'd like to see you write your way out of this one", the network called their bluff and renewed the show. As I recall, they repeat the final scene from the previous episode, complete with mushroom cloud, then a card comes up saying "The following takes place six years prior to the last scene", and they go to the credits, where the show is identified as "Sledge Hammer! The Early Years".

    Oh, and I take back what I said about how I haven't watched anything on AMC in ages. I think I saw the first couple episodes of Breaking Bad. Which ended with him killing the drug cartel guys by throwing whatever chemicals together in the Winnebago, leaping out the door, then held the door shut until the other scumbags aphyxiated? I saw that one. I don't know if that was the first episode or what. But after while I reckoned the show "wasn't for me", so I never really followed up on anything else. But I've literally never watched Walking Dead or any of their other shows.

  11. #11
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    I think it's a strategy for shows to end a season on a cliffhanger when they know they're on the bubble. Magnum P.I. is reputed to have done this at the end of the 7th season when its ratings had dropped and it was rumored to be on the chopping block.

  12. #12
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    There was one instance in which a cliffhanger went horribly awry. In a 3rd Rock From the Sun season finale, French Stewart's character was kidnapped by a character played by Phil Hartman. During the summer break, Phil was murdered by his wife. The writers no doubt had an entertaining plot for how the other 3 aliens would recover French's character. Instead in the first couple of minutes of the season premier, they just happened upon him in a traveling carnival, in which he was the main freak show attraction.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    There was one instance in which a cliffhanger went horribly awry. In a 3rd Rock From the Sun season finale, French Stewart's character was kidnapped by a character played by Phil Hartman. During the summer break, Phil was murdered by his wife. The writers no doubt had an entertaining plot for how the other 3 aliens would recover French's character. Instead in the first couple of minutes of the season premier, they just happened upon him in a traveling carnival, in which he was the main freak show attraction.
    Yeah, there probably wasn't much they could do under that circumstance. I've seen a lot of shows where they kill off the character when the actor who played the role passes.

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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Married With Children had a season long plot surrounding Peggy Bundy's pregnancy because the actress who played her, Katey Sagal, was actually preggers. However, when during a hiatus Sagal had an emergency c-section at 7 months (resulting in a still birth), the show's writers "pulled a Dallas" and turned into a "nightmare that Al had".

    Awkward.

    The show really was a one-joke affair anyway. I stopped watching after one season.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Married With Children had a season long plot surrounding Peggy Bundy's pregnancy because the actress who played her, Katey Sagal, was actually preggers. However, when during a hiatus Sagal had an emergency c-section at 7 months (resulting in a still birth), the show's writers "pulled a Dallas" and turned into a "nightmare that Al had".

    Awkward.

    The show really was a one-joke affair anyway. I stopped watching after one season.
    Yeah, I wasn't that crazy about Married With Children either.

    But you remind that during Star Trek: TNG, there was one season where Gates McFadden was pregnant in real life, but for whatever reason, they decided to not write into the show. As I recall, they just kept making her smocks larger and I gahter they also used camera angles that didn't highlight her changing physique. I believe I read they did the same thing on Voyager, when Roxanne Dawson was pregnant.

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    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    But you remind that during Star Trek: TNG, there was one season where Gates McFadden was pregnant in real life, but for whatever reason, they decided to not write into the show. As I recall, they just kept making her smocks larger and I gahter they also used camera angles that didn't highlight her changing physique. I believe I read they did the same thing on Voyager, when Roxanne Dawson was pregnant.
    It would have been tricky for female characters on TV shows who do not have established 'mates' or spouses to explain a pregnancy within the context of the character or the show, especially during times when single mom characters were rare and if they existed it was because they were widowed or divorced.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    It would have been tricky for female characters on TV shows who do not have established 'mates' or spouses to explain a pregnancy within the context of the character or the show, especially during times when single mom characters were rare and if they existed it was because they were widowed or divorced.
    Well, we're talking the 80's and 90's, post Murphy Brown. But I suppose it is a reasonable point. You'd have to contrive a story where Dr. Crusher has chosen to have another child. Then you have to figure out, is she getting married, or are we going to kill off the mate right away, or create some other situation where he's not going to be present, etc. You'd have to change the whole point of the character's existence on the show. Unless of course, let's say the child ends up dying (and if you wanted that, you'd be watching Ryan's Hope or something), or you "pull a Dallas".

    And quite frankly, "pulling a Dallas" got to be a cliche, as everyone rushed to parody it in various forms. I seem to recall there was even a point on Saturday Night Live, where they fired the entire cast from the previous season, and I think it's Madonna who tells the one person who didn't get fired "It was all a dream. A terrible, terrible dream".

    And of course, the now legendary last episode of Newhart kinda sealed the deal on that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I seem to recall there was even a point on Saturday Night Live, where they fired the entire cast from the previous season, and I think it's Madonna who tells the one person who didn't get fired "It was all a dream. A terrible, terrible dream".
    That mass firing was because the cast simply wasn't funny. Lorne knew it, and the cast on some level knew they weren't funny. David Spade and Adam Sandler recently spoke of the firing on David's new Comedy Central Show. There was one member who survived the firing: Tim Meadows.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    That mass firing was because the cast simply wasn't funny. Lorne knew it, and the cast on some level knew they weren't funny. David Spade and Adam Sandler recently spoke of the firing on David's new Comedy Central Show. There was one member who survived the firing: Tim Meadows.
    Well, yeah, I knew that. But the next season, the first episode, they did this whole thing where they acknowledged the mass firing, with Madonna telling someone (maybe speaking to the camera) that the last season was "just a terrible dream".

    Although, if you ask me, the subsequent seasons haven't been much better. I mean, I don't really watch the show anymore, I've seen a few funny skits over the years here and there, but by and large, most of what I've seen pales in comparison to the classic 70's era stuff.

    I remember the first time I finally saw the BOC "I need more cowbell" skit, after hearing people make allusions to it for a several months or longer online, and thinking "WTF?! This isn't funny! It's just stupid!". And that's pretty much how I feel about most of the stuff I've seen from the show since the mid 80's. (shrug)

  20. #20
    This is one SNL gag from the early 90's I liked:


  21. #21
    cunning linguist 3LockBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Well, yeah, I knew that. But the next season, the first episode, they did this whole thing where they acknowledged the mass firing, with Madonna telling someone (maybe speaking to the camera) that the last season was "just a terrible dream".

    Although, if you ask me, the subsequent seasons haven't been much better. I mean, I don't really watch the show anymore, I've seen a few funny skits over the years here and there, but by and large, most of what I've seen pales in comparison to the classic 70's era stuff.

    I remember the first time I finally saw the BOC "I need more cowbell" skit, after hearing people make allusions to it for a several months or longer online, and thinking "WTF?! This isn't funny! It's just stupid!". And that's pretty much how I feel about most of the stuff I've seen from the show since the mid 80's. (shrug)
    The Cowbell skits was hilarious when I first saw it but increasingly less so when I realize it wasn't as organic as it seemed, since it seemed to be a recurring shtick twix Horacio Sanz and Jimmy Fallon to 'break up' during skits ala Harvey Korman and Tim Conway. In fact, Fallon quickly became my least favorite cast member of all time because of the long leash afforded him by Lorne Micheals, who had once himself expressed disdain for Caroll Burnett allowing it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Well, yeah, I knew that. But the next season, the first episode, they did this whole thing where they acknowledged the mass firing, with Madonna telling someone (maybe speaking to the camera) that the last season was "just a terrible dream".

    Although, if you ask me, the subsequent seasons haven't been much better. I mean, I don't really watch the show anymore, I've seen a few funny skits over the years here and there, but by and large, most of what I've seen pales in comparison to the classic 70's era stuff.

    I remember the first time I finally saw the BOC "I need more cowbell" skit, after hearing people make allusions to it for a several months or longer online, and thinking "WTF?! This isn't funny! It's just stupid!". And that's pretty much how I feel about most of the stuff I've seen from the show since the mid 80's. (shrug)
    The current cast isn't too shabby. That is, since Fallon left for Late Night, then the Tonight show. That BOC skit seemed to rear its ugly head every time Christopher Walken hosted. The last time ever Walken hosted, he was terrible. In every sketch, his eyes were glued to the cue cards.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  23. #23
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    The cast on SNL is quite good but the writing is poor. I read somewhere that the hot comedy writers went to the talk shows (Colbert, Fallon, Daily Show, Oliver, etc) in NYC and SNL was no longer a top draw for the best writers.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    The current cast isn't too shabby. That is, since Fallon left for Late Night, then the Tonight show. That BOC skit seemed to rear its ugly head every time Christopher Walken hosted. The last time ever Walken hosted, he was terrible. In every sketch, his eyes were glued to the cue cards.
    DeNiro has never been able to make it through a single cue card without stumbling on the way, much like Fallon. They have to position him so he can kind of make it seem like he's looking at the other actors, but his eyes are always on the cards.


    Okay, I admit it. We watched Tiger King on Netflix. They're all gross, greasy assholes doing terrible things. But it was pretty damned interesting.

  25. #25
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    ^^ In my aforementioned SNL Walken episode, there was a camera shot of a mirror on the wall, showing a reflection of a cue card. I don't know if that was accidental or on purpose.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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