May 25, 2022
This week Val and Rachel welcome special guest Nita Pom-Pom discuss Parker Lewis Can't Lose, an American teen sitcom that originally aired on Fox from September 1990 to June 1993. It was produced by Clyde Phillips Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television. During the last season, the series rebranded to Parker Lewis. The series depicts the tribulations of the title character Parker Lewis (played by Corin Nemec), a Santo Domingo High School student, for whom nothing is impossible. It was strongly influenced by the feature film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Hot Topics include:
1.) Immediate Flowers for Algernon digression 2.) Parker Lewis' Max Headroom/Memphis design/ "living-cartoon-like" aesthetic 3.) Memories of Parker Lewis and defying gender stereotypes 4.) Corky, Corin and Joseph Charles 5.) Nita's college journal and connection to Parker Lewis star
Maia Brewton 6.) What IS a laserdisc? 7.) Unnecessary vests 8.) Parker's unique fashion style: Early John Fetterman? 9.) Quiz! 10.) What Ya Watchin': Berry, Better Call Saul, Outer Range, Killing It, Peggy Sue Got Married, Time After Time, Girls5Eva, Kids in the Hall
May 11, 2022
This week Val and Rachel discuss The Outer Limits, a television series that originally aired on Showtime, Syfy and in syndication between 1995 and 2002. The series is a revival of the original The Outer Limits series that aired from 1963 to 1965.
The Outer Limits is an science fiction anthology of distinct story episodes, sometimes with a plot twist at the end. The revival series maintained an anthology format, but occasionally featured recurring story arcs that were then tied together during season-finale clip shows.
Hot Topics include:
1.) Rachel's soft core sci-fi shock! 2.) Episode reviews: "Valerie," "Lithia," "Family Values," "A Stitch in Time" 3.) Remembering our first experiences with science fiction 4.) Background on the 1990s revival 5.) What Sci-Fi Ya Reading? 6.) Adjacent TV: Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, Black Mirror 7.) Rachel's Alexa achieves the singularity 8.) The State of Sci-Fi 9.) What Ya Watchin': The World, The Flesh, and The Devil (1959, Harry Belafonte, Criterion Channel), All My Friends Hate Me (Rent on Prime), horror movie Mikey
April 27, 2022
This week Val and Rachel discuss Grace Under Fire, an American sitcom that aired on ABC from September 29, 1993, to February 17, 1998. The show starred Brett Butler as a single mother learning how to cope with raising her three children alone after finally divorcing her abusive husband. The series was created by Chuck Lorre and produced by Carsey-Werner Productions.
Hot Topics include:
1.) Feeling stupid is the worst 2.) Val gets involved in local politics 3.) Bret Butler's substance issues, cast changes, and drama on set 4.) This is a dark show! (Even darker than Roseanne) Many sensitive issues are explored. (Many such cases) 5.) Supporting characters and cameos: Vietnam vets, John Goodman, & Dave Thomas 6.) Rookie of the Year sidebar 7.) Hela Under Fire.. Grace takes Eastern Europe 8.) Rachel administers the Comedian Sitcom Quiz to Val 9.) Val's Fun Facts about Chuck Lorre 10.) What Ya Watchin': Death on the Nile, The Girl Before (Both on HBO Max), Old Enough and Dave Foley on the Joe Rogan Experience (Aliens, Phil Hartman and Dave's sad custody story) 11.) Early Edition reboot!
April 13, 2022
This week Val and Rachel and Special Guests Aaron and Greg (their respective spouses) discuss Get a Life, a television sitcom that was broadcast in the United States on the Fox Network from September 23, 1990, to March 8, 1992. The show stars Chris Elliott as a 30-year-old paperboy named Chris Peterson. Peterson lived in an apartment above his parents' garage (Elliott's parents are played by Elinor Donahue and his real-life father, comedian Bob Elliott). The opening credits depict Chris Peterson delivering newspapers on his bike to the show's theme song, "Stand" by R.E.M.
Hot Topics include:
1.) Early FOX programming "The lunatics were running the asylum" 2.) How does Cabin Boy hold up? 3.) Adult Swim prototyping 4.) Chris Elliott's leading man appeal 5.) Greg and Aaron's celebrity lookalikes 6.) S.P.E.W.E.Y. 7.) Elliott's other projects: FDR biopic and Action Family 8.) Greg's superpower to annihilate conversations 9.) Rachel's obsolete Get a Life quiz
March 30, 2022
This week Val and Rachel discuss two radio workplace sitcoms from different eras: Newsradio and WKRP in Cincinnati.
NewsRadio is an American sitcom television series that aired on NBC from March 21, 1995 to May 4, 1999, focusing on the work lives of the staff of a New York City AM news radio station. It had an ensemble cast featuring Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Maura Tierney, Vicki Lewis, Joe Rogan, Khandi Alexander, Jon Lovitz, and Phil Hartman in his final regular role before his death in 1998.
WKRP in Cincinnati is an American sitcom television series that features the misadventures of the staff of a struggling fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show was created by Hugh Wilson and was based upon his experiences working in advertising sales at Top 40 radio station WQXI in Atlanta. Many of the characters and even some of the stories (including that of the Season 1 episode "Turkeys Away") are based on people and events at WQXI. Wilson once told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he selected WKRP as the call sign to stand for C-R-A-P.
Hot Topics include:
1.) Gardening & landscaping updates 2.) Time slot shenanigans 3.) Contemporary criticism of Newsradio 4.) The final haunted season after Phil Hartman's death 5.) The kookiest co-workers we've ever had 6.) Bailey and Jennifer: The Ginger and Mary Ann of the 70s 7.) The WKRP very special concert episode 8.) Adjacent TV, MAD Magazine, The Most 90s 9.) Cute v. pretty, Katherine with a K 10.) Radio DJ Quiz!!! 11.) What Ya Watchin'
March 16, 2022
This week Val and Rachel sit down with our friend Nicole Restaino for an innovative new format: we'll be contrasting and comparing 90s TV show My So-Called Life with current HBO show Euphoria. Both shows depict teenagers with complexity and have passionate fan bases.
We also finally break the one-hour mark, so hold onto your hats, dear listeners!
My So-Called Life is an American teen drama television series created by Winnie Holzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It originally aired on ABC from August 25, 1994, to January 26, 1995. Set at the fictional Liberty High School in a fictional suburb near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania called Three Rivers, it follows the emotional travails of several teenagers in the social circle of main character Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes. The show was officially canceled on May 15, 1995, despite being critically praised for its portrayal of adolescence and the commentary of its central character, Angela, and for receiving several major awards nominations, including Danes winning the Golden Globe for her acting work on the series. Besides Danes, the show also launched the careers of several other major actors of her generation, including Jared Leto and Wilson Cruz.
Euphoria is an American teen drama television series created and written by Sam Levinson for HBO. It is based on the Israeli television miniseries of the same name created by Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin. The series follows a group of high school students through their experiences of identity, trauma, drugs, family, friendships, love, and sex. The show is the second most watched show in HBO history, behind Game of Thrones, and it was just renewed for a 3rd season.
My So-Called Life is available on Hulu, Euphoria is on HBO Max.
1.) What is "America Online"? 2.) The Alicia Silverstone connection 3.) Unfair comparisons: prestige TV vs. network television, style vs. realism, dyeing your hair vs. doing fentanyl 4.) Overuse of music and the ensuing emotional manipulation 5.) Antiheros, moral ambiguity, and unreliable narrators 6.) Voiceovers and getting teenage dialogue right 7.) Focusing on the MSCL episode "Other People's Mothers": drugs, teenagers, and traditional vs. permissive parenting styles 8.) Very Special Episodes(TM) 9.) The crazy Rainbow-style fashion aesthetic of Euphoria 10.) Friend crushes and moral stances
March 2, 2022
This week Val and Rachel chat with special guest Bennett Madison about Sisters, an American family drama television series that aired on NBC for six seasons from May 11, 1991 to May 4, 1996. Sisters focused on four very different sisters living in Winnetka, Illinois. Their recently deceased father, Thomas Reed, a doctor, had been absent and a workaholic, while their long-suffering mother, Beatrice, turned to alcoholism to cope with his neglect and affairs. Having always wanted sons, their father had called the girls by male versions of their full names: Alexandra was called Alex; Theodora, Teddy; Georgiana, Georgie; and Francesca, Frankie.
Most episodes of the show featured a number of flashbacks, in which the characters would interact with or simply observe their younger selves (played by younger actresses). Although the show was a drama with soap opera–style storylines, the show was also quirky and offbeat in the style of other shows at the time like CBS's Northern Exposure.
Hot Topics Include:
1.) Bennett argues that the four Sisters all have the same personality: "Crazy" 2.) The cross-dressing storyline 3.) The yucky psuedo-incestuous Mitch storyline 4.) The steam room scenes 5.) Kontemporary Kriticism Korner 6.) More crazy plotlines: talk shows, car bombs, Japanese cartoons, George Clooney, Judd & Rudd 7.) New fancy segments My Opinionation, Adjacent TV 8.) Iconic Imagery from Alex's house 9.) How bitchy is the mom, 0 being nice 5 being Mega Bitch 10.) Bennett's history as a phone psychic 11.) 10-way tie for Most 90s 12.) What Ya Watchin': Australian Survivor, Gilded Age, Raised by Wolves, Station Eleven, The Flight Attendant, Miracle Workers
February 16, 2022
This week Val and Rachel discuss Diagnosis: Murder, an American action-comedy-mystery-medical crime drama television series starring Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan, a medical doctor who solves crimes with the help of his son Steve, a homicide detective played by Van Dyke's real-life son Barry. The series began as a spin-off of Jake and the Fatman, became a series of three television films, and then a weekly television series that debuted on CBS on October 29, 1993.
Hot Topics Include:
1.) Snow, sledding, and the Cleveland "Lake Effect" 2.) Listen to the Diagnosis: Murder spooky theme song! 3.) Does Betty White speak Finnish or any other "orphan languages"? 4.) How D:M gets realty and rock n' roll so very, very wrong. 5.) Fun facts about the show, including its connection to Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy. 6.) Check out the alien abduction episode starring multiple stars from Star Trek 7.) Jennicam: Ripped from the headlines! 8.) Dumb and Dumber digression 9.) Dick Van Dyke's impressive computer skills 10.) Gal Gadot and superhero fight rants 11.) What Ya Watchin': Lusty Men and M. Night's The Village, a great movie for kids
February 2, 2022
This week Val and Rachel discuss Men Behaving Badly, an American sitcom television series that ran on NBC from September 18, 1996, to December 17, 1997. It is based on the earlier British sitcom of the same name. Set in Indianapolis, Indiana, the show starred Rob Schneider, Ron Eldard, and Justine Bateman. Kevin (Eldard) and Jamie (Schneider) were college buddies sharing an apartment and living out a second childhood, much to the chagrin of Kevin's girlfriend Sarah (Bateman). Brenda (Dina Spybey) was an upstairs neighbor that Jamie flirted with. Eldard and Bateman left after the first season amid rumors that they clashed with Schneider and the show's producers. They were replaced by Ken Marino and Jenica Bergere, and Spybey was promoted from recurring to series regular.
Hot Topics Include:
1.) Adult birthday parties and the deadly diversions of childhood 2.) What happened to this show in season 2 3.) British vs. American TV 4.) Trippiest MAD Magazine, ever! 5.) Epic Premier Event: The MAD Magazine game 6.) What Ya Watchin': More Olympics Documentaries, Gilded Age 7.) This show is FUNNY! [ED: Comment applies to Season 1 ONLY.]
January 20, 2022
This week Val and Rachel and Special Guest (and Val's very own "pool boy") Aaron Lange discuss Red Shoe Diaries, "an American anthology erotic drama series that aired on Showtime cable network from 1992 to 1997 and distributed by Playboy Entertainment overseas. It is a spinoff of an earlier film by the same name, also directed by Zalman King. Most episodes were directed by either Zalman King, Rafael Eisenman or both.
The story-lines usually have a thin plot revolving around some intrigue and the sexual awakening of a girl or woman who often also narrates. Sensuous love scenes with nudity as well as sultry, moody music are characteristic for most episodes. There is no story arc or characters connecting the different stories other than Jake Winters introducing each episode."
Hot Topics Include:
1.) The history and meaning of soft core porn and how it embodies the 90s zeitgeist 2.) Is erotica dead? 5.) Debate over David Duchovny's acting ability 6.) Val and Aaron regale us with their favorite episodes 7.) Aaron talks 90s lamps 8.) The grossest MAD magazine ever! 9.) What Ya Watchin': Search Party, Santa Clause TV series buzz, 70s sci-fi film Demon Seed, Species, Raised by Wolves, Sapporo 10.) AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) is coming! Get ready.