Christmas Challenge: Full House

FULL HOUSE
Our Very First Christmas Show

In the words of Stephanie Tanner: Christmas in an airport…hot dog.

I’m lucky I tracked this episode down. It’s not on Netflix, and I don’t plan far enough ahead to turn my Netflix disc in and request Full House next. That’s fine, though. If Yo Gabba Gabba destroyed my Netflix cred, I’m not sure Full House would have done much better.

But let’s get to the show, shall we? The Tanners are headed out of town for the holidays, all headed toward the Tanner family reunion (we won’t go into too much detail as to why Jesse and his parents are going along…yes, they’re the girls’ mother’s family, but they’re not exactly Tanners). Stephanie’s not happy, worried that Santa won’t find her. What makes matters worse is that her maps aren’t even all that helpful: The plane takes a detour because of weather, leaving the whole Tanner clan in an airport over Christmas Eve night.

It’s actually a cute little premise. Everyone’s grumpy, everyone’s upset. Ok, that’s not all that cute. But we have Jesse bringing the group together with a great speech, turning the airport baggage claim into a Christmas wonderland. The coat rack’s a tree. The vending machine’s the Christmas feast. And the conveyor belt is…a conveyor belt.

But despite all that, the presents are lost and Stephanie’s still upset. But miracle of miracles, Santa shows up to deliver the gifts and bring Christmas cheer. Everyone thinks it’s just another guy in a suite…until he disappears, leaving only a message on the computer for everyone else.

Oh, and a thanks for the maps, Stephanie.

Recommendation: Very cute. Definitely recommended.

Thursday Open Thread: Famous TV Moves

We’re still here! Ok, I know the posts have been slow, but that’s only because it’s entirely my fault! Between gallivanting around the globe and now moving, I’ve been rather busy. So instead of writing, my time has been sucked into packing. I’m still watching my same TV repertoire, but the blogging has hit some roadblocks. I’ll do what I can to fix that.

But in the spirit of a big move, how about an open thread?

What are some famous TV moving episodes?

Yes, that’s right. By TV moves, I don’t mean TV show scheduling changes from Thursday to Tuesday to Wednesday to Monday to Friday and so on a la Scrubs. Nor do I mean kickass dance moves a la Marshall (though those will be two fantastic open threads one day). No, I literally mean people moving houses, apartments, cities, and so on.

Of course, the one that comes to mind first is Annie’s move in Community, which even had its own hashtag. But I think the one that stays with me even more hits the nostalgia point of my childhood, when Uncle Jesse moved out of the Full House house (or tried to) when he married Becky. Michelle was oh so sad, and even gave him her pink pig. I think it even had flashbacks.

Maybe not the best episode, but definitely famous. Can you name some others?

Oh my god, the single tears. Hahaha. Am I heartless? (I’m pretty sure Michelle’s was courtesy of Visine.)

Thursday Open Thread: Most Memorable TV Wedding Episodes

Welcome! It’s a new year with new Thursday Open Threads. Or at least it better be. I’m going to do my best to keep up with them this year, especially given the lack of threads in December. Whoops.

Anyway, this week, I decided to choose something that feels odd to talk about in the first week of January, but I’m going to do it anyway. Earlier this week, E! released an early look at Blair’s wedding dress from Gossip Girl. Now, I don’t watch Gossip Girl. I didn’t even know Blair was getting married. But I do like weddings, and it naturally reminded me of Brooke’s wedding dress in One Tree Hill, and I just started thinking about TV weddings. Which makes me ask…

What are some of the most memorable TV wedding episode?

This could be weddings that happened — or almost happened. After all, TV is most painful when the wedding is called off, right? And that certainly makes something memorable.

Now, this may be a test of the demographic of my readership, as I’m sure that some people would just have to say Bo and Hope from Days of Our Lives. Of course, I don’t remember this. This was in 1985. Any TV I was watching then was more what was happening on Sesame Street than Salem.

And, of course, the One Tree Hill  brides come to mind, mainly because with the exception of Brooke and Julian, they all seem to end in some horrible way – the bride collapses in a bloody mess or a kid gets kidnapped by a psycho nanny. Oh, and let’s not forget the limo being driven off a bridge, and the groom jumps off after it, leaving a crying bride screaming after it.

Ok, so that might be the most memorable.

But here’s another alternative. How about we go back to the old family sitcom? How about Jesse and Becky from Full House? Jesse goes skydiving the day of his wedding (naturally) and then gets stuck in a tree, falls in a tomato truck, and gets put in jail. Of course! Oh, in the end it’s all happy. In fact, you can watch Jesse’s song here (man, how could I forget the impromptu gospel choir at my own wedding?).

Oh, who am I kidding? One Tree Hill wins. What do you think is most memorable?

Thursday Open Thread: Favorite TGIF Show

Let’s take a step back and forget about the new TV that’s on. Let’s think of when we used to settle down and watch bad sitcoms on a Friday night.

What was your favorite TGIF show?

For those of you two don’t remember TGIF, it was ABC’s Friday comedy lineup. For those of you who remember it but don’t remember any shows except Family Matters and Step by Step, here’s a refresher.

For me, I was obsessed growing up with Full House–it was my favorite show–but I don’t remember watching it Friday nights. Same with Boy Meets World. I really caught up with that on syndication. I’m sure both were aired on Fridays, but I just don’t remember them as TGIF shows.

I do remember watching Perfect Strangers. I think that’s one of those shows that take me back in time. Now that was a fun show that would never see the light of day today. And, of course, I watched the typical Family Matters and Step by Step, but if I had to choose a favorite show that I associate with TGIF, it’d be Perfect Strangers.

What about you?

image from examiner.com

They’re smiling at YOU.

Thursday Open Thread: Television Cliches

I was going to use a different Thursday Open Thread today, but you know what? This one’s better. It was actually suggested by one of our regular commenters, CS. Here’s what he’s got to ask:

What is the worst TV cliche out there?

We’re talking terrible cliches. For example: The whole I-hit-my-head-and-got-amnesia thing. I mean, sure, we might have believed it in cartoons, but on Full House? You know, that terrible series finale when Michelle falls off her horse and suddenly she doesn’t know who she is? (By the way, bad acting on their part.)

Or maybe even the he’s-not-really-dead scenario. Or evil twins. Or the I-just-found-out-you’re-my-father-because-we’re-a-match-for-kidneys plot.

Think of any soap opera, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. There are tons out there–and nowadays, they even invade primetime (I bet that kidney thing was in House)!

Let me know, in the comments.

image from amazon.com

Labor Day Giveaway!

I’m combining forces here. Check out the newest Recap Review–with a Labor Day giveaway attached!

RECAP REVIEW: Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Shows: The Performances

I don’t know if you’ve quite noticed yet, but I’m a TV fan. So much so that when I see shows from way back when (no offense intended), I’m naturally curious to see what they were like.

For example, The Ed Sullivan Show. It was 50 years ago. I certainly haven’t seen it! So I got my hands on this new DVD, which shows off three of Elvis’ famous performances on the show.

Now, you can shame me as necessary, but I’m not actually too familiar with Elvis’ music. Of course, I know the famous ones. Who doesn’t? But to be honest, I have to admit that I learned the most about Elvis by watching Jesse on Full House. Shame.

So I enjoyed this. Not only was the fantastically old 1950s Ed Sullivan intro entertaining to watch (very I Dream of Jeannie somehow). But wow, just hearing the screams of all the girls as Elvis was even just mentioned. He didn’t even have to be on stage. And while I realize the JoBros get tears and swoons, I still think they’ve got something to learn from this man.

Now, being 1950s television, of course, the risque dancing of the time is not exactly shown to the television audience (pretty much everything is from the chest up), but when you hear the screams arise, you know there’s something causing it. Back when these were aired in ’55, ’56, and ’57, TV had standards (now we have reality TV).

It’s pretty entertaining. It’s straight clips of all Elvis’ performances and Ed’s intros (well, plus an intro from Ed Sullivan’s fill-in for the first performance; I haven’t watched the special feature yet to find out why Ed wasn’t there that day, but I’m sure it’s a good story). It’s a good watch.

If you’re looking for variety in his music, well, that’s where it’s lacking a little. You didn’t expect Elvis not to play his top hits at every performance, right? So there are some repeated songs, but just enjoy the backup singers and the different outfits. And hearing him sing them should be gift enough. But I did notice at least one song that I know I never heard Jesse Katsopolis play in the Tanner house, so that was refreshing.

And you know, he just seemed like a nice guy. You gotta give him props for that. Plus, give it up for the 284 teddy bears he received at Christmastime, if I recall his story correctly. That comment was cute.

So I’m glad I checked it out. And now it’s your turn! I’m giving away one copy of this DVD to one of my lucky readers!

The Giveaway

How to Enter:

It’s pretty simple. To enter, put a comment below telling me your favorite Ed Sullivan Show moment or your favorite Elvis song. See? Easy as pie–or a banana and peanut butter sandwich. This is a required first entry.

One thing to remember: Make sure you leave a legitimate email address. I can’t contact you as a winner if I don’t have that.

Want extra entries?

  • Tweet about this contest, and mention @RakedReviews.
  • Blog about this contest, and link back here.
  • Share this contest on Facebook.

For any of these extra entries, you MUST come back and put in an extra entry in the comments. For example, if you comment, then tweet, you need to leave two comments in order to get counted twice.

The Deadline:

You have all the way through Labor Day to enter. Comments will close at midnight Monday night, and I’ll choose the winner randomly right after that. So check your email on Tuesday, the 8th. That’s when I’ll be contacting the winner.

Good luck! And hey, don’t be cruel…

Ruby and the Rockits: Done but fun

RUBY AND THE ROCKITS: 1.06 “Hot for Spanish Teacher”

It occurred to me last night at the Red Sox game, as I was watching David Cassidy sing the national anthem (what?!), that I didn’t post my thoughts on Ruby and the Rockits this week.

And I wanted to. Because I feel like this was the best episode yet.

Now, let me explain. The premise? It’s been done before. I mean, let’s name some various shows that had a parent dating a teacher: Full House (and that was actually a Spanish teacher), Gilmore Girls, Hannah Montana, Good Morning Miss Bliss. Those are just four off the top of my head.

But to supplement the “done” status, the show had a great amount of one-liners that seemed to impress me. I mean, every time the uncle spoke about the teacher (yes, he thinks she’s hot, we got it–oh, and his wife is standing right there), he actually said clever things. I mean, having Jordan ask about what the teacher was wearing and having his father use the word “slingbacks”–it was pretty funny!

And the dinner conversation, when Ruby’s asking her father if it’s ok to meet someone online, that was just hilarious. We knew that her father was a bad influence, but just hearing him recommend that she see the online acquaintance–number one on the “do not do in high school” list–was just great. Especially when Ruby immediately responds with, “The answer to that is ‘no,’” and David returns to the table and brags to her teacher that she met someone new. How horrifying! And hilarious!

And actually having David come into the classroom to serenade the teacher. Well, it was a little lame, but at least it was original after the cliche heartfelt talk between him and Ruby. (By the way, the teacher loses points for breaking up with David on a voicemail.)

So I’ve got to give mad props to the show for improvement. I’m not saying this show is suddenly number one on the sitcom list. It’s not original. It’s not new. But it is cute, and it’s making progress.

Of course, I wasn’t too thrilled with the subplot. I mean, the kids giving tours of the house for Rockits fans? Eh. It could use some work.

I did look up to see if there are more new episodes, since IMDB didn’t exactly list any other episodes after this one. It looks like there’s at least one more, when looking at the upcoming TV Guide listings. I’m curious to see if the original one-liners (man, I’m a sucker for one-liners) continue.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts–about this episode and about whether you’re still watching (and why). This show is certainly not getting the hype that 10 Things I Hate About You is getting (which upsets me since I hate that show), but it is cute.

I’m wondering if it will get renewed. I mean, I can never really tell with ABC Family shows. The ones I like get canceled. The ones I don’t live on forever. I blame Secret Life. It sets the standards all wonky.

Army Wives: The Emily Gilmore we wanted to know

ARMY WIVES: 3.11 “Operation: Tango”

I am a terrible person. I just saw the previews for next week and thought, “Pregnant. Pregnant or cancer. It’s pregnant or cancer.”

This is what television has trained me to do. Find what the worst possible things could be for someone to find out when they’re in the hospital. My thoughts were immediately that she’s pregnant and lost the baby or that they discovered some form of cancer. I shouldn’t think this about people, even if they’re fictional and on television.

But if I’m right, you owe me.

Anyway, I’d heard that there was going to be a car accident, and I heard that it would involve the Holden family. Of course, I thought it was going to be Emmalin while she was in the argument with her father. Either way, doesn’t seem a little rough to be tormenting this family after Amanda’s death? I mean, they finally got some closure over that (well, probably until next week, when all those memories flood again), and now here we go all over again.

Then there’s the question of Denise. I thought Denise would be the victim in all this, what with her finally reaching happiness with Frank. But now… Will she and Michael get closer? Or will he somehow blame her? I’m sure of all people, she’s not the one he wanted in the car with Claudia Joy when she was in the accident. I think there’s an easy blame game here–but for what reason? It certainly wasn’t her fault.

But let’s backtrack. Let’s get back to the senator’s widow, who was played by the fantastic Kelly Bishop. Now there’s the Emily Gilmore we always wanted to see. The fun-loving party girl? The drunken dancer? Yet still the sight of perfection when it’s all said and done. Really, I don’t think that Kelly can ever escape Emily’s name, but I think that might not be a bad thing. She played the socialite so well, and overall, she had a deeper meaning that was supposedly supposed to help the army wives (car wreck aside).

I’m not sure what to think about Pamela’s storyline. I didn’t quite see how Chase being there would teach her daughter how to appreciate her own inner beauty, and honestly, it started feeling a little too much like a recent episode of Desperate Housewives. And in the end, I’m not sure if anything was really accomplished.

On the other side of the spectrum was Roxy’s storyline, which felt very much like the episode of Full House where Jesse and Rebecca are trying to get the twins into preschool and they don’t feel good about themselves and think that will hold them back. It just seemed…predictable. I’m glad he got a full ride, but the interview itself seemed annoying.

But what do we think about the husbands? Frank’s now G3. Trevor’s a recruiter. Are we keeping them all at home now? Except Chase (whose portraying actor has a new series). I’m not sure what I think. I kinda like the distance. Makes the army wives more real–or at least the conflicts and stress they go through more tangible.

But Joan. Oh, Joan. You know, when she eventually leaves, it’s really going to be sad. What do we think, season finale? I can see myself getting misty already.

Let’s Hear It for Ruby (and the Rockits)

RUBY AND THE ROCKITS: 1.01 “The Pilot”

I’m not going to say it was bad. It wasn’t.

But I’m not going to say it’s good. Unfortunately, somehow Ruby and the Rockits has missed a few decades. Somehow, and I can’t quite distinguish how, this show seems to echo the 1980s or 1990s sitcom style as opposed to today’s style. Maybe late 1990s sitcom–think Olsen twins post Full House.

I don’t necessarily think about the styles of today’s sitcoms. Maybe more laughter. Maybe more reality. It seemed…staged. I’m not quite sure how else to say it. The jokes seemed forced. Or predictable. Or at least something you’d expect, like you heard it before. A few years ago.

Maybe 20 years ago. 10…15 or so.

Anyway, I’m not saying the show was bad. There’s promise. I still have hope. Yes, I watched it because of David Cassidy (who looks horrible, by the way, despite how he’s trying to hide it). But the fact that David “Gallagher” is the self-absorbed star-gone-bad is not exactly surprising. His brother, on the other hand, seems a little more original, though still, there’s something about it…

Let’s look at the living arrangement. Uncle happily takes in newly discovered niece? Too easy. And the apartment. For a second there, I thought they just took the entire set from Two and a Half Men. It is different, but barely. Anyway…

Back to Ruby. There’s not much to her…at least right now. She goes to find him to prove to her friend that David is her father, and then decides to move in? The most realistic part about her was her story just telling her how she came about David himself.

And another thing, that David–such a pompous star–would list his address on Facebook? Not likely to happen. (Though the Facebook joke was funny.)

Right now, the standout star of the show seems to be Kurt Doss, who plays Ben. He’s handed the most effective one-liners. Very Jake Harper of Two and a Half Men (at least the early years). Which is unfortunate. I’ve been very impressed with Alexa Vega. I mean, she has a voice, which was not as impressive as it could have been in this episode. This episode screams Hannah Montana, even though there are some clear differences. For one, Vega doesn’t sound nearly as great as Miley Cyrus–at least with the material in this episode. Again, unfortunate. I mean, I saw her in Repo!. The girl can sing.

Plus, the moral? Appreciate your family? Seems a little too forced. Sitcoms these days don’t really have morals. They’re just for entertainment.

I don’t know. I feel like I’ve babbled my way through various issues with the show. But I’m still willing to give it a chance. I don’t know why. ABC Family doesn’t seem to impress me anymore, but I’m willing to try with this one. Perhaps it’s because all of the jokes were in the promos, so I think there might be freshness left? Perhaps it’s my hope for Alexa Vega?

I don’t know. But I’ll keep going for now. It wasn’t terrible, just something unoriginal, considering the premise.

One thing, though, is that they have to stop the fact that Jordan seems to be attracted to Ruby. They’re cousins. They’ve said it. They’ve established it. There’s a blurred line between funny and just weird/incestuous. Please keep that in mind, ABC Family. I’d suggest stopping it sooner than later.

Either way, we’ll look at next week to make the hard decisions. Let’s see how it goes. I mean, the ending was cute afterall. We’ll see what happens.

Decisions, dilemmas, and Ally McBeal

I’ve been waiting a while for this.

Finally. FINALLY. They are releasing Ally McBeal on DVD–in the the U.S. region. England has been taunting me from across the great blue for years, as they had the entire series out and available for purchase when I was there in 2002. When would the U.S. catch up already?

Well, they finally are. Amazon has officially posted pre-orders for two Ally McBeal box sets. Two, you ask? Yes. You can either buy the season 1 box set, or you can just jump in feet first and get the entire series.

I liked this show at its conception. It was cute and inventive. Of course, it did premiere in the ’90s, at the same time when it was “sex sells” more than the usual amount, so when it became all about the escapades in the bedroom (or say, the car wash?), I was turned off a little. But then Billy died and Robert Downey, Jr. came on the scene. And then there was Bon Jovi…

You have to admit, season 6 was good. And really, every season had its standout episode. It was great. Plus, even Hayden Panettiere made an appearance on the show. Before she was a cheerleader.

So I’ll reiterate. I’ve been wanting this for a while now. But to have to decide now whether I’ll go all the way with the series…

Here’s the issue: I’m going to want to get the entire series. But I’m one of these people that tends to need to watch the entire series in the time period allotted before returns, just in case there’s a flawed disk. And that’s a lot to watch. So maybe individual sets would work. And it wouldn’t be that much saved money.

But I know I’m going to want to get the entire series, and who knows how long it will take for them to release all six seasons individually? Granted, I don’t actually know the release dates for those sets on pre-order, so the complete series could still be a bit off.

Sigh. It’s a hard decision. I might just have to wait to see how this might recession is going–or more likely, see how these things are packaged. As I learned from my NewsRadio complete series, sometimes the packing sucks. I mean, that’s a spindle with ten disks on it. It sucks. What if Ally did that?

I’d hope they wouldn’t. There’s been such neat packaging as of late–like Gilmore Girls. That was cute. Full House looked like it might be cute, too. Perhaps that really will be a deciding factor.

Anyway, if you have suggestions, please do let me know. I’m really excited about the release, and if anything, I’ll post the dates on Twitter if I don’t do a post here. And you know, I just heard that Barry White song on the radio the other day.

You’re my first, my last, my everything.