Thor2000

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Reviews

Wizards of Waverly Place
(2007)

Too Much Disney, Not Enough Logic
Since Disney unjustly canceled Phil of the Future, it's been digging its own grave canceling its hit shows and creating really bad ones, like "Cory in the House," "Shake It Up," "Austin And Ally" and others. I just want to wince when I see this one. I remember the TV show "Bewitched," and it was mostly about the husband and wife. I recall "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," and it was mostly a satire on teenagers. "Wizards of Waverly Place" has its origins as a pilot around Aly and AJ MiChalka as sisters, but since they're doing better at concerts than acting, the series has been retooled around several supporting Disney actors like David Henrie from "That's So Raven" and Selena Gomez from "Hannah Montana." What bothers me about this show is that it's not creative and it doesn't make sense. I've studied magic and the paranormal, and this series is just not getting one thing correct. It's making things up as to what people think magic is about, and sticking "Wiz-" in front of everything. "Wiz-this" and "Wiz-that." Now, Selena Gomez is cute and attractive, and I hear she has a singing voice as well, but her character is annoyingly grating, an obvious holdover from her character on "Hannah Montana." The effects are cheap and often not very convincing. I get the feeling Disney doesn't care much on creating decent family TV shows anymore, just churning out star vehicles as promotional spectacles to create pop stars. Has anyone noticed that each of their shows has turned out at least one insanely successful pop star? "Wizards of Waverly Place" doesn't need to be good or successful as long as Selena becomes a singing star off it. However, the show is kind of addictive. After one episode, I'm checking it out more and more and trying to catch it where I can, but the show is infantile and ludicrous in its execution, but it is harmless Disney fare. From the start, it lacks any true creativity and imagination, trying to making it up in spirit and fun, but toward the end, the writers and creators became especially lazy. Bad episodes, illogical plot points, ridiculous scenarios, idiot characters and the main leads became even more and more exaggerated. What's worse, the characters of Justin and Alex fail to stay consistent. The only one who stays remotely consistent is Max, and he's just the comic relief. Over all, I recall the potential this series had from the start, and it's a major shame it degraded so far without reaching it.

The Sketch Show
(2001)

Potential Out of Reach
I liked this show, but even I admit it had more bad moments than good ones. The only really good TV sketch comedies that worked were "The Benny Hill Show," "Dave Allen at Large" and by the broadest scope, both the American and British versions of "Whose Line" and they all worked because they had the courage to push bad taste. "The Sketch Show" didn't even try; it relied on bad puns and confusing scenes that got even more bizarre as scenes unfolded. There was no foundation to the series either. On his series, Dave Allen told hysterical stories and shared whimsical looks of life while Benny often told dirty limericks that slipped past American censors. Nothing was wrong with the "Sketch Show" ensemble of actors; each of them could easily have created an enduring character to go down in TV history with Flip Wilson's Geraldine or Eddie Murphy's Buckwheat. Kelsey Grammar obviously had a lot of faith in this series to show just how much comedy he could do when he wasn't limited to the restraints of Dr. Frasier Craine, but the series was inflicted with not enough creativity or courage to do anything daring. Drew Carey and Dave Allen both proved that comedy could not be defined and it did not have to be forced, but The Sketch Show was about as painful as watching your relatives trying to make your baby girl smile.

LazyTown
(2002)

Excellent Kids Show For Adults
There has not been a show like this since "Beakman's World." In a time where cartoons have become condescending to kids and idiot purple dinosaurs won't get canceled, it's finally time to see a series that adults won't want to leave the room as their kids watch. Filmed in green screen with backdrops added digitally, Lazytown is a place of indefinable location populated by only six puppets and two adults. One of which is Sportacus, the wonder athlete without super powers whose mystic gem warns him of trouble. Trouble usually mastermind by the other human, Robbie Rotten, a local ne'er-do-well who lives in a bunker concealed behind a billboard. It is to this town where the human pink-haired girl Stephanie comes. Somehow related to the puppet mayor, she tries to teach the kids of Lazytown the wonders of playing, using their imagination and having fun as Sportacus helps her. She is played by Julianna Mauriello, a spirited and wonderful girl about 11-13 years of age with excellent acting skills and an excellent voice. If she leaves the series because of puberty (I frankly don't see her wearing that costume at 18), she could go straight to an excellent singing career. Magnús Scheving plays Sportacus, the ever out-going hero with gusto and good cheer Stefán Karl Stefánsson over-acts and hams up his comedic talent as Robbie Rotten, who's actually less a villain and more a hapless demented loner searching for peace and quiet. The overall style of the show is part magic and part entertainment as it tries teaching the lessons that adults can't teach. I highly recommend the series to all parents with kids under ten.

MythBusters
(2003)

Best Discovery Channel Series
I'm a big fan of urban myths, and while The Learning Channel floats its urban myth series around looking for a place in its schedule, I still at least have Mythbusters! The show stars Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman as sort of the intellectual version of Abott and Costello, two obviously gifted guys who expose crazy urban myths born out of society and make it funny while trying to tick each off. Deep down, these guys really are buddies, but the humor mixed in with the science actually makes the show work. Adam sometimes gets too cartoony and Jamie a bit stodgy, but when they bounce off each other and an experiment goes right, or even funnier goes wrong, it's interesting as they scratch their heads and try to figure out why gasoline won't erupt into flames or their washing machine won't explode. Rounding out the cast is folklorist Heather Joseph-Witman giving the facts or history of the myths, Tory the builder and comic straight man and Kari the redheaded sexpot, a very talented artist in her own right. Of course, the true star is Buster the resident victim. A sort of human-sized articulated mannequin dummy, he's been blown up, set on fire, dropped from the sky and in an elevator and the mute witness to things blowing up in his face. I imagine this series will stay available as long as they can find myths that can be tested scientifically, or at least be able to blow up. This show has to have created the biggest explosion short of a nuclear blast - a concrete truck filled with dynamite. I hear Adam is still looking for where he parked it!

Grounded for Life
(2001)

TV's Little Show That Could
Started out on FOX, became a hit, canceled by FOX, rescued by WB, dropped by the WB, syndicated by FOX Family.... this wonderful, funny show has been struggling for a long time for the respect it deserves. It's not a bad show; it's actually quite under-appreciated, but then, only the fans seem to love it. It had a revolutionary style that started with the end and then flashed back on the events that got them there. The back story was that Donal Logue, the happy go-lucky husband, and Megyn Price, the hot-looking wife, were teenage parents trying to get by with their demurely sexy daughter Lynsey Bartilson and feuding sons, Griffin Frazen and Jake Burbage (who mysteriously vanished but still spoken of just before the last season). Their lives were tested by the idiot brother, a possible shady character who didn't understand why he was always in trouble, played by Kevin Corrigan; Richard Reihle, the widowed father with out-dated parenting tips and Bret Harrison, the kind of nerdy and socially-inept neighbor kid with the hots for the daughter. The show had a surprisingly winning formula and the stars all had excellent chemistry, but very little faith by the networks. Riehle, the consummate character actor, even left to co-star in ABC's short-lived hit, "Married to the Kellys," and even faithfully returned for the last episode while the youngest son remained inexplicably and noticeably missing, something that was never explained (did Burbage's parents ask for more money? we may never know). Several things occurred in the series that took the characters away from their original roles: the dad quit his job to save his favorite bar and fight to keep it open, the mom quit his job to go to college, the uncle tried going legit but still remained basically demented and the daughter took the next door boy as her boyfriend after realizing he was the kind of guy she wanted. Oddly, of all the strange incidents that happened in the series, the one incident that stands out in my mind never occurred in the series. For a promo, Frankie Munez of "Malcolm in the Middle" once described the daughter growing to a hundred feet tall and turning her parents into finger puppets then confessed he was lying. Still, that's an image that has never left my mind and as Fox Family brings the series back, that image will remain my picture of the style and crazy wit of this series.

Arrested Development
(2003)

Future Classic TV Series
I love this show. Very few shows make me break out laughing these days anymore. Arrested Development is finally what all comedies should be, thick characters, rich plots, excellent talent and intelligent humor mixed with momentary nods to other shows by the cast. Henry Winkler as lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn periodically has little "Fonzie" moments. Jason Bateman has been waiting for a great show like this. He's starred in shows like "It's Your Move" and "George and Leo" that were great, but they never bordered on excellent like this show. Portia De Rossi makes me forget she once did "Ally McBeal." She just never reached her full potential there. I can say the same thing for David Cross (The Drew Carey Show) and Jeffrey Tambor (The Ropers, Mr. Sunshine,); both of them reach to greater comedic heights here. I've never seen Jessica Walter do comedy before, but it's amazing the depth of antagonism she brings out as the family matriarch. Also part of the cast are Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat; four unknowns I've never heard of but who ought to go far with this series in their resumes. It's just uncanny as to how the plots this repertoire of actors create constantly overlap; they do the show so effortlessly. Ron Howard coming out of his busy schedule to do narration also adds to this successful formula as he reveals past events and tidbits that may or may not have repercussions later. It's through his words we really enter this world and even thank the heavens we are not members of this crazy family, but to tell the truth, I kind of wish I was. I only wish the series was back on Sundays with "The Simpsons" and after "The War at Home." FOX sticking the series on Mondays seems to reveal they have contempt with the show the same way NBC had with "Star Trek" and CBS with "Gilligan's Island," and look where they are now: two TV legacies that never reached their full potential because some freaks with low intelligence pulled them off the air against the wishes of their fans.

Family Guy
(1999)

Why bring this back??
With all the excellent series FOX has unjustly *canceled* (Ally McBeal, Titus, Lone Gunmen, Quintuplets, Grounded For Life...), why bring back this one? It's not as good as the Simpsons, nor does it have the creative or the intellectual humor of Bart or Homer Simpson. Why does it insult and the viewer with inane plot points (in one episode, the father departs the plot to engage in violent attacks with a giant chicken for half the episode; the fight has nothing to do with the rest of the episode), but it also shows no respect for the persons or icons it is attacking. Example, this conversation between father and son: "Dad, what's a library?" "It's a place where the homeless go to wash and clean up." Stupidity isn't funny; it never has been. On the Simpsons, you can tell the writers respect and pay homage to what they are parodying (Marge's sister standing before a tank in Tienamen Square), but not on Family Guy. When Mel Gibson did the Simpsons, he was allowed to lampoon his Mad Max character and showcase his fondness for the Three Stooges. When Mel was featured on Family Guy, he was insultingly turned into a Biblical terrorist who hunts down the father and mother for stealing a celluloid movie. In another episode, the teenage daughter is forced to lose her virginity in front of a studio audience on Network TV. The football-headed infant on the show constantly conspires to kill his mother and take over the world, his older brother doesn't think and doesn't want to and the daughter seems normal till you realize how neurotic she is. The supporting characters are paper-thin entities without the depth of say Moe Syzlak, Ned Flanders, Clancy Wiggum or Seymour Skinner. The whole series occurs in a world devoid of logic or common sense and borders on a surreal insanity where no matter how stupid the father is, everything he says is somehow true. At least on The Simpsons, there is a rational pattern to the madness. But why does this idiotic series have a cult status? Despite being shallow and asinine, it is top notch animation and it doesn't make you think. It's irrelevant, it's insulting, it's nonsensical and it's only as funny as a fart joke. Why do people watch it? Probably out of morbid curiosity to find out how far down low it can sink trying to be funny or just because the remote control is on the television. It's still better than any episode of King of the Hill (a show that has been dragged WAY past its expiration date), but it will never reach the iconic status of The Simpsons.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
(2000)

Worthy TV Greatness
This is a perfect show for fans of criminal mysteries. Emotionally powerful, it actually takes a look within the forensic system and features two to three story lines at a time and shows criminals for what they are (IDIOTS!) and as well as insight into what deterrents officers go in taking off crooks off the street. In two separate episodes, a female psychopath has admitted that she'll be lying on the witness stand when she goes to court and the CSI team are limited in their scope to stop her. That's possibly what makes this show for great: it's delving into the human condition (in one episode, on-lookers cheered as a fake body was tossed off a roof measuring descent). The show has a top-notch cast where no one really stands out; they're all great in my mind in portraying these extremely intellectual people straight and serious in their work and yet tongue-in-cheek in their friendships. They give their characters fully developed and layered persona's. The show also uses mind-boggling effects and realistic cadavers in a way that the science is never over one's head. Often times, other great actors have appeared in roles on the series such as Dale Midkiff, Danielle Nicolet, John Kapelos, Bridget Brannagh and Susan Gibney. Because of this show, a new series of slang terms such as "floaters" (dead body in a lake) have entered modern language. My only fear in having a series like this is that criminals will figure out how to break the law and not get caught by knowing how not to leave evidence.

That '70s Show
(1998)

Excellent Series
It's not very often a series comes around that everyone likes. On the surface, "That '70s Show" was pretty much a one joke vehicle, but after living my teenage years through the Seventies, I really wished these people were my friends. Granted, I never wasted my life drinking beer and antagonizing my parents, but these young actors under the surface really cared about each other when they weren't busy trying to screw and steal each other over 24/7. Topher Grace plays Eric Forman; the same kind of likable loser I was and Mila Kunis was the for whom I would have secretly had an infatuation. Masterson and Valderama had all the best lines as Forman's best friends. Only things I didn't like was that Ashton "Dude, Where's My Car" Kutcher as Michael Kelso was irritatingly annoying! (I did like him in DUDE) He was just too stupid and unbelievable and Laurie Prepon is just too ove - . Who are these people who think she's a bigger over Kunis? I don't see it! Kurtwood Smith was funny as a hesitant father and Debra Jo Rupp was just WAY over the top as the mother. She plays the role as if she were possessed by a psychotic Doris Day. Don Stark was father to Prepon's character and served as a focus of abuse by Eric's dad and amusement from Topher and his friends. Former Angel Tanya Roberts kept her head above water as the boys obsessed on her, but it was not enough and she departed. Sadly, the series' top two stars, Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher have left before the last season. It's a beginning to the end; the show just can't be expected to survive with just Kunis, Valderama and Masterson. A sad end to a once great series....

Scare Tactics
(2003)

No Shannen, no show
I really liked this show to start out; having someone as sexy as Shannen Doherty to host a horror series like this sure made me want to watch it, but my understanding of the show and what it was going to be about was completely off. This wasn't a horror series. I was expecting a series that staged paranormal incidents in public, not vicious "practical jokes." Did I say practical jokes? These weren't jokes; these are sadistic stunts. Part Twilight Zone and mostly stupid, the series lost me after a while. With Shannen on the series, I could at least change channels during the sadism, but when she left, so did I. (The worst thing was that she had been booted from her other series, well, no harm no foul; when was the last time a TV executive knew what he was doing.)

Animal Precinct
(2001)

Good Show
I've become especially fond of this show not just as a pet lover but as a person who once worked in a humane society. Sort of a cross of "Cops" and "Animal Kingdom," this show is one of THE shows to watch on Animal Planet along with "Animal Precinct" and "Croc Hunter." Much like the previous commenter, I too have become quite a fan of Anne Marie Lucas among the other officers on the show. This is an interesting show that reveals the true side of man's inhumane treatment of animals and for me, it's a very sobering reality.

Amazing Stories
(1985)

Worthy Twilight Zone Successor
I'm a big fan of the "Twilight Zone," but I never thought its returns on CBS and on the UPN were worthy of its memory. "Amazing Stories," however, picked up the torch with its more family-oriented stories of which even a few were meant for a laugh. Episodes like "Gather Ye Acorns" might suggest bad life decisions, but others like "Miscalculations" where a guy brings his poster girls to life are just fun with a bit of terror. That one in particular is my favorite as he uses too much and gets a giant and then uses too little and gets a living skeleton. This is one series with a big fan base that deserves to be returned to prime time.

Tabitha
(1976)

It Was Worth A Shot
I can't understand why shows like "Sabrina" and "Out of This World" can be hits with huge fan bases while "Tabitha" just seems to sit barely noticed in the corner. Lisa Hartman, later of "Knot's Landing," was a cute and sexy Tabitha even if the real Tabitha Erin Murphy was still a kid when this show was on. As Hartman once said, "if it hadn't been continually bumped for tv specials, it might have lasted." The problem was the rest of the cast was not very good; Robert Urich just couldn't do comedy very well and another thing is that there was not enough to connect it to "Bewitched." Every fan on that show can name all the characters, so just where did "Aunt Minerva" come from (the actress that played her even played a witch on "Sabrina." Maybe if the show was tried again today with Tabitha married and Sabrina working with her husband at a tv network, maybe ?

I Dream of Jeannie
(1965)

Samantha In A D-Cup
I'm not going to get into the who is better debate because both this show and "Bewitched" have their merits and faults. To start with, the shows stars Barbera Eden who spends almost every episode in that skimpy costume bouncing all over the place as Larry Hangman bounces himself off the walls and furniture and screams his head off. An interesting start for a guy who brought J.R. Ewing to life. It's not a bad comedy, but it basicly gets stuck on parody while "Bewitched" broke ground doing sensitive issues and topics of the Sixties. Bill Daily is the funny sidekick whose life we are never seen much of and then there is the late Hayden Rourke who looks a bit out of place as the straight man when the craziness erupts. Sometimes it seems his line for every episode is the same: "What is going on around here ? Oh, I'm sure you have an explanation." While it may not be Classic TV, it does qualify for Popular TV.

The Beverly Hillbillies
(1962)

Classic TV
Several series have tried to be funny based on the "misunderstanding" principal, but "The Beverly Hillbillies" did it first and funniest. The characters included Jed, a poor but wise mountain man who used his good old country wisdom and saying to rationalize everything, Granny, the world's oldest Confederate widow with moonshine in one hand and a shotgun in the other, Jethro, the idiot savante who thought he was a genius and then Elly Mae, the demurely sexy tom boy who could fight like a wild cat. Add to this the cheap and opportunistic banker Milburne Drysdale and his voice of reason, Jane Hathaway, who starts out as the only normal person in the series but who later turns out to be as crazy as the rest because of her Birdwatchers Club, and you have a recipe for disaster. This show had a great cast and numerous wonderful episodes and storylines that continued sometimes for eight to ten episodes, a thing unusual for a Sixties series. My favorite character is and always be Shorty Kellums, the short innkeeper from back home who was quite the ladies man up until the next storyline.

The Pitts
(2003)

Could Be Better
I like this show. The humor is funny, both the mom and the daughter are babes and script obviously has some good lines. The bad news is that the show is quickly wearing thin on the cartoon antics and the far-fetched situations. If the show is supposed to be a live-action cartoon, it really hit the mark, but to survive on Fox, the show needs to turn straight and maybe go into another direction. The son on the show is a funny holy terror, but the dad is just played way too dumb. Let's face it, at it's core, "The Pitts" may actually just be time filler may be cancelled with just one season under its belt. I mean, anyone remember an obscure FOX series called "Whoops!" which also was based on a one joke device. The series might have been a lot better as a cartoon, but I'm still catching every episode while I can and maybe taping a few before it's gone.

World's Scariest Ghosts: Caught on Tape
(2000)

Chilling Series
I liked this pilot. A lot of series have tried to copy the success of Sightings, Scariest Places On Earth and Haunted Lives, but this one comes actually close to the combination of serious research and chills. It was a bit boring and tedious in some parts, but there were some parts that were especially covered well. Top most was the photo of the female phantom that was computer-inhanced and the segment with actress Monique Parent. She was filming a movie in a ghost town and her film footage caught a spirit and EVP (electronic voice phenomenon). A rock video filmed in Australia (or somewheres) caught an extra figure not on the crew. James Coburn is not quite Rod Serling, but he does sound if he believes this stuff. Overall, it's not not a bad Halloween special if if it's not up to stuff to be a regular series. Hopefully, it will be worth a watch on video.

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
(1995)

Close But Far From Accurate
I sort of have a love-hate thing for this show.First off, it's great ! It had great stories mixed with action and comedy, and it introduced a lot more people to the mytholgy of the Greeks, and later on the Norse and Mesopotamian. On the other hand, it's far from accurate. There is very little space in the history of the historical Hercules for him to do any of this stuff. Another thing, he lived around 1200 BC, and much of this series is set around the reign of Julius Caesar, around 60 BC. However, if Hercules became a god as he did, then maybe he did do this stuff as Caesar was conquering the world. The visual depictions of the gods are great. The late Kevin Smith as Ares, great ! Roy Dotrice as Zeus, excellant ! Meg Tilly as Hera, interesting (Linda Gray of Dallas fame would have been my choice). Alexandra Tydings as Aphrodite, way over the the top. Donna Dixon would have been better. Tydings may be funny, but she gets irritating after a few episodes. Meighan Desmond as Eris (Discord), wonderful. On the other hand, Kevin Sorbo's portrayal of Hercules as a boy scout is far from accurate. Mythologically, Hercules WAS an obnoxious and over-bearing lout and it's doubtful that godhood tempered his ego. I can't forget Michael Hurst either; he was the anchor that made this show work. The New Zealand settings look a lot like Ancient Greece must have been, but no one on the staff ever did their myth research. Most of the series is made up with a fair knowledge of the Olympian Gods; the inconsistencies will make most myth buffs cringe !

Bionic Six
(1987)

One of the Best
I loved this cartoon. It had the best animation and some great stories. The series had a sort of animated take off the "Six Million Dollar Man" in which Jack Bennett, a bionic secret agent in the future helps fight the criminal mastermind known as Dr. Scarab. To defeat his enemy, Scarab endows five lackeys with bionic/mutant powers, but then Bennett's family with two children and two adopted sons is nearly killed in his absence in an avalanche while on a skiing trip. They are also given bionic powers and secret identities to help him against his increased gallery of rogues. My favorite character was Rock-One; a sort of adolescent Madonna with an exuberant and vivacious personality who acted as if she had seen too many "Jem" cartoons. The animation was top of the art with computerized special effects - almost a predecessor of the style seen today. This would be great done live action with Kevin Costner and Markie Post as the parents !

The Bionic Woman
(1976)

Worth A Memory
I had such a big crush for Jaime when I first saw this show as a kid, but my memories of her changed with adulthood. Watching it now, I never realized how thin she was (well, not Portia thin), or how campy it really was. Jaime was a tennis pro and a school mate friend of Steve Austin as kids. Everyone thought they'd marry, but their lives went in different directions. He became an astronaut and was rebuilt with cybernetic parts after an accident. She had the same thing done after another accident (like i said, campy) as if the government throws these operations around like water. To pay for the expense, Jaime must work for the government directly as Steve now does in order to get into places he can't. The premise starts out fine, but later on she gets into ghosts, ufos, aliens and Indian Spirits and every so often wearing outfits out of Charlie's Angels. This show spawned some fairly decent toys now worth half a million dollars today to collectors; the Jaime doll was even interchangeable with Barbie and her paraphernalia. The series, however, ran out of steam after jumping networks and a few crossovers with its predecessor. Had it gone on, I have a scary thought that Jaime's sidekick Peggy (played by Jen Darling) would have been next to go bionic !

The Monkees
(1966)

My Favorite Memory
To be honest, I was never a big Beatle fan, but if they were more like Mikey, Davy, Peter and Michael, I could have tolerated them. First off, I loved the Monkees more for their slipshod, improvisational, Benny Hill comedy than their music. They seemed to barely stick to a script as they just had fun, and a lot of their guest stars seemed to share the fun. Some of whom were John Hoyt and the timeless Marla Martel. Most of the music was great, but I loved their comedy routines best. Mickey was the funniest with Michael as his straight man. Peter, the shy one, was funny when he did the dumb guy thing who got his buddies in trouble, but Davy also did the same thing as the cute one with girls chasing him down. My favorite episodes are the ones with the reading of the will, the mad scientist and the fairy tell. I didn't mind much that they weren't allowed to play their instruments, but I was shocked to hear in recent years they smoked pott. I thought they would have known better, but then looking at ""Head," I guess they know now.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch
(1996)

Magically Entertaining
I loved Sabrina from the get-go for one reason, Melissa Joan Hart. She is cute and lovely and there is a lot of potential to be made from a gorgeous teenager with supernatural powers. Its predecessor, "Out Of This World," was a huge hit except that it stereotyped Maureen Flannigan from the roles she wanted. One thing wrong with Sabrina though is that it sometimes tries to be a physical comedy, which is obviously something Melissa can't pull off. Another thing wrong, like Bewitched, is that it is really nothing but creativity unleashed. No one bothered to do any research on witchcraft or decided to try to explain anything. "Well, you see, the Other Realm is really just another plane of existence where we go to escape mortals." If anything, I guess Sabrina, Samantha, Tabitha and Jeannie could be an evolutionary off-shoot of humanity who were responsible for showing real people how to tap into witchcraft and sorcery. The series did copy Bewitched with its rotating door of characters; if someone didn't work, they were replaced. The show though was at its height of popularity while Nate Richert, Lindsay Sloane and Jenna L. Green were available, but it quickly went down hill as it introduced the illogical Willard Kraft as a faulty nemesis. The show has really hit the skids now that Sabrina has left the networks behind to be overshadowed by its own replacement. The aunts aren't even funny anymore and the cat Salem has gone from funny to irritating as the scripts repeat the same material ad infinitum. It was funnier the first time around.

Late Show with David Letterman
(1993)

Hilarious
I was never a big Letterman fan in the beginning, but when Johnny Carson retired, I was left looking for more Late Night entertainment. This was it. The things I love about Dave are his Top Ten lists, Record albums, phony labels and jabs at famous celebrities; Madonna and Richard Simmons his top targets. I do have to sort of feel for the people on his street for everytime he closes it off to throw things off the roof. I miss Paul Shaffer having hair, and Alan Kalter seems to be needlessly embarrassing himself for comedy bits, but at least Rupert Gee is no longer available to be Dave's stool pigeon. I think Dave works fine when he's not embarrassing others, but when he does, I have to groan and leave the room.

Shazam!
(1974)

Campy Childish Entertainment
I think I loved this show when it first aired, but now years later after studying mythology from the Greeks to the Native Americans and seeing the television show "Hercules:The Legendary Journeys," I can see what tripe this show really was. For a hero with the powers of the mightiest immortals (and one ancient king of Canaan), Captain Marvel was really sort of a one dimensional character wasted in so-so adventures (a school catches fire with little or no damage, a bird escapes the zoo,,,,). He never did anything great except spout "pearls of wisdom," which by some miracle the kids actually took. Neither of the two guys looked right in that cartoonish costume right out cartoon land, and the actor playing Billy Batson was old enough he didn't need to change to pull some of the overstaged good deeds he does. Why the gods of old were interested in trivial matters when Ares by himself was far more dangerous was never explained. This show is proof that when kiddie shows are made, logic and common sense are the first thing to go!

Ghost Story
(1972)

Well Done, Badly Missed
I barely if any remember this series, but there are two episodes I will never forget. A boy who accidentally created a doppleganger that was always getting him into trouble with his teacher, only to be surprised when a doppleganger appeared of his teacher. A little girl who could control everyone in her house through her dollhouse and then become left to rescue everyone when the dollhouse as well as the real one starts to burn down. This was the Twilight Zone up one on the horror scale as the series tried to legitimately scare you rather than teach us about human behavior. Sebastian Cabot sure made us forget his sappy "Family Affair" role as he lead us into the dark corners of the human mind. This is one show that needs to come back.

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