Friday, March 07, 2008

Totally Tubular TV

Fridays are notoriously slow blog days, and yet lo! and behold!, our new Friday feature last week raked in a whopping 42 comments in a single day. Apparently where your treasure is, there your blogging will be also.

That said, I give you, in no specific order, the ten most tubular TV shows of the Eighties:

1. The A-Team: Imprisoned by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit, they promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground where they survive as soldiers of fortune. How they do it is anyone’s guess since they have never succeeded in actually shooting anyone with those guns they carry around.

2. Family Ties: Before they brought in Andy (who grew like four years over the course of a single summer), and before Tina Yothers’s head got really massive, this show was top-notch. Remember A.P.K.’s framed photo of Nixon by his bedside? And the bleeding heart of Steven Keaton cannot but shine as a beacon even still. And Scott Valentine’s Nick will live on for years to come, whispering in our hour of distress, “Hey. Al-lex.”

3. Manimal: Some guy turns into a panther for some reason. ‘Nuff said....

4. Mr. Belvedere: No more drips on the china or drop-kicking your jacket when you come through the door (who does that?), not on Lynn Belvedere’s watch. Brice Beckham really lit up the small screen as Wesley, whose perpetual battle with Mr. Belvedere should forever retain its rightful place in television history.

5. Diff’rent Strokes: Started out great, until Mr. Drummond changed his name to “George,” married some woman named “Ma’am,” and started calling his oddly small adopted black kid “Webster.”

6. Life Goes On: The Cork abides. I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that—knowing Corky’s out there, takin’ her easy for all us sinners.

7. The Master: Lee Van Cleef as John Peter McCallister was just brilliant, with Timothy Van Patton as Max, the apprentice with the shady van complete with hamster and wheel. What is it about Dutch guys and Kung-Fu fighting?

8. The Facts of Life: When the boys you used to hate, you date, I guess you’d best investigate the facts of life (been sayin’ it for years). Remember the pre-Jo Polniaczek days when Tootie wore skates and Molly Ringwald was in the cast? And did you know that Nancy McKeon’s brother played Tommy on Alice?

9. It’s Your Move: Jason Bateman at his finest. A career like his is sort of above scrutiny, but I’m sure we’d all agree that he really hit his stride in those post-Silver Spoons, pre-Valerie days. Gotta love the Dregs of Humanity.

10. Knight Rider: Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless (too bad Zrim couldn't convince him that only Kuyperians believe in helping people and improving society). By the way, anyone remember the pilot where Michael and K.I.T.T. looked different?

Enjoy the nostalgia....