mellicious: pink manicure (Buffy quote: humorous conclusion)
[personal profile] mellicious
Somebody just posted a bit on efw about the 80s show where the guy lived with his long-lost Mediterranean cousin, and y'know, I can see the faces of both lead actors in my head and I think I even remember the cousin's name (Balki, or something to that effect) but I can't remember the name of the show or the actors or, thank god, the theme song, nor am I sure I really want to remember any of these things - particularly the theme song - although I'm sure it will all come to me sooner or later whether I want it to or not, anyway. All I can think of is The Facts of Life, which of course is an entirely different obnoxious 80s show, although I know a lot of people remember it, or maybe both of them, amazingly fondly. Part of the problem, I think, is that many of the TV comedies of that period had totally unmemorable and conceivably interchangeable names - Family Ties? Different Strokes? Good Times? And it probably makes a difference that I was not a kid of the 80s, either. Alex P. Keaton was not one of my cultural touchstones, y'know? Anyway, I feel like the answers to this are right on the tip of my tongue, but I suspect I'd be happier in the end if I failed to remember. Not a chance of that happening, I know.

Date: 2009-09-21 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ursulahitler.livejournal.com
"Staaaanding taaallll... on the wiiiings of my dreeeeaam... Riiiiise and faaaalll... on the wiiings of my dreeeeam..."

How could you ever forget musical magic like THAT?

The '80s were a pretty goofy time, but it must have been pretty horrifying to be an intelligent adult in the late '70s. Their camp appeal aside, I can't imagine what it must have been like to flip around the TV dial and find Three's Company, Donny and Marie, Solid Gold, BJ and the Bear, Dukes of Hazzard...

Date: 2009-09-21 11:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
See, late 70s primarily went right over my head at the time, because I was in college and had to go hang out in the group TV room to see any TV. Three's Company had been on for several years before that, though, I think. I remember watching it a good bit off & on. I remember watching Battlestar Galactica pretty religiously when it was on (even though we mocked it relentlessly) and we geek types always made sure we got back to the dorm by 4:00 every afternoon so we could watch Star Trek repeats. That was the basis of my college TV-viewing. (Although there was also some General-Hospital watching, I am ashamed to say.)

Date: 2009-09-22 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profrobert.livejournal.com
You're cherry picking the worst. What about M*A*S*H, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, all of which were running in the late 70s and early 80s? Cheers and Newhart came along in 1982, and Night Court in 1984. There was lots of dreck, but there were some terrific comedies, too.

Date: 2009-09-22 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ursulahitler.livejournal.com
No, I did think of MASH when I wrote that comment, I know there were some excellent things on TV in that era. But looking back, it seems like the mainstream was in many ways pitched at a lower level then. For every Rockford Files, you had a BJ and the Bear, a Buck Rogers, a What's Happening, a Happy Days. I say that with real affection for a lot of those silly old shows, they were fun for what they were. But as a little kid in the late '70s I thought primetime TV was awesome, and looking back now, it strikes me that if I'd been an adult then, I probably would've been horrified to see so much of TV pitched at that little kid level. A show like "The Odd Couple" holds up, you can see why it was popular. But you watch a rerun of Welcome Back Kotter or Diff'rent Strokes, with the predictable plots, really broad acting and the constant catch-phrases, and it's a marvel that adults watched it then.

Date: 2009-09-23 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
There were some terrific shows in there, yes, but I think I'm with Ursula on this - the good shows were the exceptions and the bad shows were more the rule. Much as we complain about all the bad TV nowadays, I think the general quality level is much higher than it used to be. Watched an original Battlestar Galactica episode lately? I have, and it was baaaaaad. It had the novelty factor of being set in space, which was unusual at the time, but otherwise I think the quality level there was just about average for its day.

Date: 2009-09-21 01:18 pm (UTC)
nonelvis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nonelvis
In case you'd rather remember the name of the sitcom on your own, I'll spoiler-code it here: Perfect Strangers.

Date: 2009-09-23 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
I'm just happy that so far even the partial lyrics to the theme song have failed to trigger anything in my brain. I'm sure it's in there somewhere but it seems to be buried very, very deeply.

Date: 2009-09-21 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sanders268.livejournal.com
The actors were Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker.

(Apologies for not tagging the names, I am not sure how to do that in LJ.)

Date: 2009-09-22 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] profrobert.livejournal.com
That was my guess for the name of the series, but I couldn't remember the actors (I was thinking "Mark David Chapman," but no, he was the star of '80s tragedy).

I pretty much ruined Bronson Pinchot's career. He turns up once in a while as a guest start on something, but whenever you see him, you go, "It's Balki!!!" which really sucks if it's a drama.

Date: 2009-09-22 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ursulahitler.livejournal.com
I watched some "Perfect Strangers" a while ago (don't ask me why), and it really wasn't bad. It was silly, but it had a certain Laurel and Hardy charm, those guys had good chemistry and they did some good physical comedy. It was DRIPPING with '80s cheese, but it's kind of underrated.

But oh sweet Christ, that song. "Riiiise and faaaaaalll... On the wiiiings of my dreeeam!"

Date: 2009-09-23 08:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mellificent.livejournal.com
No, I agree that it really wasn't bad, as sit-coms go. You could do much worse.

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