Today I was SO worn out, I did something I can hardly believe...  With very few exceptions, I have not watched STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION since it was first-run (24 YEARS ago).  So far today, I have just watched the first 14 episodes in a row!!!
 
    You know what's funny?  The show is actually fun to watch in a sort-of tacky way.  Some of the character quirks are amusing, before they became really annoying.  And I'm reminded of some of the early relationship dynamics, which, it seems to me, got totally screwed over the longer the show was on the air.
 
    Like-- it's obvious Picard & Beverly are attracted to each other.  WHY did they spend most of the run not having this go anywhere?  Then there's Will Riker & Deanna Troi, who the moment they meet are like a really bad, awkward retread of Will Decker & Ilia.  They're so stiff at first it's unbelieveable.  I think all the acting got 10 times better after the 2-hour pilot.  Anyway, the story that introduces Lwaxana was a hoot, and also showed that, despite whatever the hell the problem is, Will & Deanna do somehow care for each other deeply.  So... WHY didn't it EVER go anywhere (until the 2nd feature film?).  Both Wesley & Data are far less annoying here than they later became.
 
    Strange but true:  while I saw the show from the first episode (and taped every single one of them), my Mom never saw it until somewhere in the 3rd or 4th season.  And when she did, she got HOOKED, big-time.  She started watching it every time it was on.  Since they got to running the stories twice a week, that means, while I saw each story ONCE, she saw each one FOUR TIMES!!!
 
    At some point, she got around to seeing reruns of the 1st season.  I always remember walking thru the dining room, where she spent most of her time sitting watching the small tv on the table, and noting she was watching the 2-hour pilot.  And she looked at me and says, "This is the DUMBEST story I've ever seen!"  That's after having seen dozens (maybe a hundred or more) later ones.
 
    I've noted I have a lot more tolerance for "bad" films when I can't sleep, and that may account for my being able to sit thru so much of this today.
 
    It's a shame that my favorite woman on the show's 1st season, Tasha, got killed off suddenly when Denise Crosby announced she wanted to quit the show.  She may not have been my favorite kind of woman as far as face or personality, but I have a feeling I might have gotten along with her.  By the episode "Angel One", she seemed to be loosening up a lot.  I can't understand the complaint about her "not having enough to do".  Her movie career sure didn't take off...  (Doesn't that seem to be a running thing in the 80's and beyond?  People quitting successful shows and then regretting it?)
 
    A few times early-on, I found myself thinking how this might have gone if Paramount hadn't been so cheap.  After the tremendous success of STAR TREK IV, the push was on to finally do a new tv series.  But because the actors' salaries kept getting bigger and bigger by then, the decision was made, purely monetary, to do an entirely new series, with CHEAPER actors.
 
    What stands out is the thought that the "cruise ship" version of the Enterprise was said to be a brand-new ship fresh out of dry dock (just like at the end of ST4).  And the "battle bridge" seen in Ep.1 was clearly the bridge from the movies.
 
    I liked how about 10 episodes in, you finally saw a rectangular hallway (like on the old show).  Those octogonal vertical halls from the movies get on my nerves.

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LOST had amazing episode titles that you never knew unless you went on line.
Henry R. Kujawa said:

The Baron wrote:

"You make me think of the gag on Police Squad, where the title on-screen would be different from the title the voice-over man would announce."

 

You know what's crazy about that?  The narrator on POLICE SQUAD! was Marvin Miller... the voice of Robby The Robot!

 

I liked the bit where the voice-over man would announce the episode's guest star ... over a scene where said guest star is killed off, never to be seen again in the episode! Two favorites: William Shatner, seated at a restaurant table getting shot at and returning fire, only to then drink from a poisoned glass of water ... and William Conrad, who gets unceremoniously dumped from a moving car, which speeds off! 


Henry R. Kujawa said:

It was pointed out online (and I really noticed it this last time I watched) that several episodes were run out of sequence.  Peter Lupus' introductory story was either the 2nd or 3rd one of his they aired-- and you could tell. (I think it's bizarre when they did the movies they replaced 2 of the regulars.  Lupus was replaced by O.J. Simpson, while Alan Gifford was replaced by George Kennedy.)

 

Well, yeah -- TV is TV, but for movies, you want stars! While Peter Lupus was tall, dark, handsome and muscular, O.J. Simpson is a bigger "name." And George Kennedy has an Oscar. 

Henry R. Kujawa said:
NAKED CITY preceded POLICE SQUAD.  But then, so did M SQUAD.  The POLICE SQUAD theme song is a parody of the M SQUAD theme, they're very similar.  And someone online pointed out that most of the characters from POLICE SQUAD were also based very closely on an old show from the late 50's-early 60's, but I'm not sure if it was M SQUAD or something else.


Give a listen for yourselves: M Squad theme; Police Squad theme.

 

The other show you're thinking of is Felony Squad. However, the Police Squad opening credits are a copy of the M Squad credits, particularly the bit where Detective Frank Drebin emerges from an unmarked police car, reaches into his suit jacket, pulls out a pistol and fires at something off-screen, a near-duplicate of the way Lee Marvin did it on M Squad.


Henry R. Kujawa said:


I watched KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, AIRPLANE! and all 6 POLICE SQUAD! episodes back-to-back recently, and I was surprised to find that POLICE SQUAD! was by a wide margin the LEAST funny.  Oh well.

Can you imagine if they'd gotten Robert Stack to star as Frank Drebin instead of Leslie Nielsen?  I bet it would have been SO much funnier.  (But then, I'd been writing a "crime comedy" series with a hero based on Robert Stack back in high school in the 70's!  Those early-70's syndicated reruns of THE UNTOUCHABLES really got to me.)

It might have been funnier ... but probably not as funny (unintentionally funny) as Robert Stack's actual cop shows like Strike Force!
I remember when Robert Stack starred in Quinn Martin's show MOST WANTED.  It was on during the most-censored period of the late 70's, and had no violence or gunfire except in the opening credits.  Aaron Spelling's STRIKE FORCE was a virtual remake, except, with ACTION, VIOLENCE, and humor. At times the writing made me think I was watching a comic-book... but I really liked it.
CLEARLY, you guys know more about these comedy cop shows than I do. I must have been in college or something....
Henry R. Kujawa said:
 Aaron Spelling's STRIKE FORCE was a virtual remake, except, with ACTION, VIOLENCE, and humor. At times the writing made me think I was watching a comic-book... but I really liked it.

 

I liked Trisha Noble.  I could watch her in Strike Force's opening credits all day.

OH yeah.  I never knew until someone pointed it out to me that outside of acting, she had a career as a singer!

 

I actually liked ALL of the regulars on that show.  Bob Stack, of course, had been my hero for a decade by then (I wrote 50 comic-book stories in high school starring a hero based on him!!). Richard Romanus later turned up on a lot of shows playing mobsters, and was also the voice of "Harry Canyon" the cab driver in the cartoon feature HEAVY METAL.  I've seen Dorian Haywood ("the black guy") in a number of things which aren't coming to mind, while "the young guy" (I'm drawing a blank!) turned up in a rather funny role in THE DEAD POOL, the 5th Dirty Harry movie.  Herb Edelman, who played Frank Murphy's boss, has been in just about "everything", playing good guys and lowlifes. His character almost seemed a bit wimpy, yet you got to like him anyway. Likeable characters, I came to realize over the years, can overcome a lot of bad writing.  STRIKE FORCE wasn't a comedy... but it was sometimes very funny (sometimes unintentionally).  Frank Murphy's "trademark" was this look that come across his face as you realized, HE had figured out something the rest of his team hadn't yet.

 

The theme song was by Dominic Frontiere, who may be most famous for THE OUTER LIMITS' 1st season music.  He also did the score to John Wayne's BRANNIGAN, my favorite film of his.  (Yeah-- a COP movie!)  I recently put together a custom music comp focusing on "ACTION HEROES", and the BRANNIGAN theme was included.

 

Robert Stack also turns up on The Galacton... (and here too)

 

 

Saw a very interesting "True Hollywood Story: William Shattner" episode last night.

In fact, I learned a few things that I hadn't heard before.  For example, his father wanted him to go into the furnature biz. And he tried it for 3 years.

Bill went broke about three times before he hit it big.

Bill and Leonard Nemoy clashed badly during the second season of Star Trek classic. (This is borne out by the Star Trek blooper reel, which chatches Nimoy making a comment about that "egotistical..." before the director yells "cut".

Gene Rodenbury quit the series in protest over being moved to Friday nights!

The final episode was aired Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. (No wonder I didn't see it!)

Shatner had the flu when he got the word that the series was sacked.

Shatner was devestated when his third wife was found dead in the pool.  I didn't know that he had briefly been under suspicion.

He was raising/racing show horses for many many years due to the popularity of TJ Hooker, Boston Law, and the Star Trek movies.

It wasn't so much that he was under suspicion.  From what I remember of the incident, Shatner wasn't even home when it happened.  But he was held by the police until his alibi could be verified.  I do remember him saying in interviews that he would frequently ask his wife not to go swimming when she had been drinking.  Advice which she ignored with tragic results.

"The final episode was aired Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. (No wonder I didn't see it!)"

 

If memory serves, NBC yanked the show off the air one episode before the last.  Then, a few months later, they brought it back for summer reruns, but in a DIFFERENT time slot-- and began the rerun season with the final first-run episode.  I think having to wait months to see "Turnabout Intruder" made it stand out more, and not in a good way.  I may be mistaken, but I always had the impression that STAR TREK's final rerun season took the place of JERRY LEWIS' variety show.  (I may be wrong... but that's how I remember it.)

 

When STAR TREK debuted, I had a 9 PM bedtime. I didn't see the first 3 weeks (was probably watching something else), but switched channels and tuned in the first time to see "The Naked Time".  As a kid, it was very rare for me to see every episode of anything, and I recalled recently that this especially went for hour-long shows.  I preferred half-hour shows, the rare exception being LOST IN SPACE, which somehow did manage to hold my attention.  I'd never seen anything like STAR TREK before.  It was so... "serious", and "intelligent".  Half the time I had trouble understanding what was going on, but I loved it from the first.  I missed a lot of episodes, and the ones I did see, I usually had to sneak it by my parents or beg them to let me stay up a half-hour later than usual.  Then, my DAD started watching... and suddenly, it was "okay" to stay up late... for STAR TREK.

 

I was allowed to stay up late on Fridays & Saturdays (no school the next day). So ST's 2nd season, I managed to do something I'd never accomplished before-- I saw EVERY episode that year, first-run!!  I also watched TARZAN that year (that show's 2nd season), so every Friday for a year, it was TARZAN and STAR TREK.  What a Friday!

 

The year before I used to watch TV all Friday night from 7:30-11 PM, from THE GREEN HORNET and THE TIME TUNNEL to THE AVENGERS (and a couple of sitcoms in between).  But for ST's 3rd season, every show I liked or might have been interested in VANISHED, leaving ST as an "orphan", the only thing of interest on a Friday night.  So when they moved it to 10 PM... I had a hard time remembering it was on some weeks!!  No kidding, I missed at least a 3rd of the episodes, or turned some on in progress, because I'd be busy doing something, and turn to look at the clock and say "OH HELL!!!!" realizing I'd missed the beginning of the show AGAIN.

 

So NBC really pissed me off that year.  If they'd moved ST to Tuesday at 7:30, I probably would have seen every episode with no problem, and it probably would have gotten higher ratings and gone on to a 4th season.

 

I always recall that, at least in my area, ST did not turn up in syndicated reruns until a full YEAR after it left NBC.  While LOST IN SPACE began syndicated reruns one week after its final CBS rerun, I had to wait a year to see ST again.  And when it finally came on, the idiot local station, Channel 48, started out by running the show in EXACT REVERSE ORDER.  I'm not making this up.  I had gotten ahold of a complete episode list in network order, which came in handy helping me find out which ones I had never seen before.  They started with "Turnabout Intruder" and worked their way backwards with precision.  HOW can programmers be that stupid???  Once they got to "The Man Trap"... well, apparently, they started back the other way.  Or something...

 

I always thought "Day of theDove" would have made a better final episode than "Turnabout Intruder" did. In fact, "DotD" was the last episode... on Earth-J. ;)

Michael Ansara has long been my favorite Klingon. He was just so bad-ass! For a few years, I had a poster on my wall of him and his squad of Klingons when they beamed down to that planet. And in my parody-tribute comic "GALACTON 2230", I had Ansara & his men invade the bridge of the Battlestar, where he took a shine to Maren Jansen...

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