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Author Topic: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally  (Read 1704 times)

Throckmorton

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #100 on: February 10, 2019, 06:46:03 AM »

   
I recently watched the inaugural episode of SNL and it pretty much sucked.   
   
George Carlin was the host and it's not that he wasn't funny that night but they just had him do some of his regular material (that which was safe for television) at three points during the show and then he would introduce the musical act.    
   
Carlin wasn't in any of the sketches, most of which were pretty lame anyway.      
   
It took them a few episodes to hit their stride.   
   
Pretty early on they changed the set and started including the guest host in the sketches. The Muppets Land of Gorch segment was dropped after the first season. Too bad. It was usually the best part of the show.   
   
   
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abefroman329

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #101 on: February 10, 2019, 07:07:52 AM »

Yeah, the pilot is as representative an ep as Dr. No is a representative James Bond film.

The Muppets sketches really dragged down the pacing of the show.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #102 on: February 10, 2019, 07:25:28 AM »

For example, there are episodes of The Price is Right that Bob Barker has blocked from being rerun, because they gave away fur clothing, which runs counter to his reputation as an animal-rights advocate (he hadn't yet adopted the issue, and probably didn't have so much clout, in the early years of the show).
And yet he has no trouble at all with them rerunning the eps where he would make female contestants reach into his trousers pocket for the $50 they won for making a perfect bid.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #103 on: February 10, 2019, 10:14:37 AM »

Whenever I've seen old SNL footage from the early years that people say was so funny, I always question their sense of humor because most of it never seems all that hilarious. Worthy of a mild chuckle, maybe, but certainly not side-splittingly funny. I've come to suspect it's one of those things where you had to be there because the material was a product of its time. That is, SNL tries to be funny by either skewering current events or pushing the boundaries of what's allowed on TV so as to be edgy. Thing is, what's "edgy" in 1977 is bound to be totally different from what's "edgy" in 2019. I remember sometime back in the late 1980s or early 1990s when the FCC decided it was OK for them to say the word "penis" on the air, so of course SNL immediately tried to work it in wherever possible that week. At the time that sort of thing was shocking or surprising, but nowadays its no big deal. Stuff that depends on being edgy in order to be funny isn't likely to seem as funny when it's no longer edgy.

I suppose a similar analogy might be the Supreme Court case from 1971 or so where a guy had been prosecuted for obscenity for wearing a jacket that said "Fuck the draft." The Supreme Court overturned the conviction on First Amendment grounds. When my constitutional law class discussed that case in 1996, the professor noted how to people of my and my classmates' age that word probably seems "ordinary" and a "standard part of everyday conversation," such that the prosecution would seem bizarre, whereas in 1971 it was scandalous and "THE vilest curse word" such that a lot of people were upset at the Supreme Court's ruling.
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #104 on: February 10, 2019, 12:14:37 PM »

Whenever I've seen old SNL footage from the early years that people say was so funny, I always question their sense of humor because most of it never seems all that hilarious. Worthy of a mild chuckle, maybe, but certainly not side-splittingly funny. I've come to suspect it's one of those things where you had to be there because the material was a product of its time. That is, SNL tries to be funny by either skewering current events or pushing the boundaries of what's allowed on TV so as to be edgy. Thing is, what's "edgy" in 1977 is bound to be totally different from what's "edgy" in 2019. I remember sometime back in the late 1980s or early 1990s when the FCC decided it was OK for them to say the word "penis" on the air, so of course SNL immediately tried to work it in wherever possible that week. At the time that sort of thing was shocking or surprising, but nowadays its no big deal. Stuff that depends on being edgy in order to be funny isn't likely to seem as funny when it's no longer edgy.


I guess it'll be a while before they do a skit similar to the one featuring Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #105 on: February 10, 2019, 12:21:57 PM »

^^^^

You sure that's Chevy Chase and not a Virginia politician? :bigass:
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #106 on: February 10, 2019, 03:48:36 PM »

You sure that's Chevy Chase and not a Virginia politician? :bigass:
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #107 on: February 11, 2019, 11:03:14 PM »

Hazel, starring Shirley Booth, was great until it moved from ABC to NBC. Apparently NBC did not like Don Defore and Whitney Blake so they had the producers fire them and brought in replacements.   The show got its attraction from the way Hazel and Mr. B got along as they had a love hate relationship (mainly with Mr. B as Hazel was easy going) as Hazel would always do something that at first Mr. Baxter disliked, but then Mr. Baxter would then see that it was all for the good.  Without the Baxters the show lost its appeal.

Welcome Back Kotter in the last season was not the same without Mr. Kotter. In real life Gabe Kaplan had issues with the producers and that is why the Sweathogs were solo a lot and became self contained as in the first two seasons Kotter always solved the issues that were created.  Also to note John Travolta became a recurring star in the last season due to him making it big on screen particularly with Saturday Night Fever at the time.  So the show lost two of its leads, but I must say even with the other Sweathogs they did pull it off.

The only reason why Welcome Back Kotter got cancelled was because the actors in real life were going into their 30's and all thought they were too old.  However, James Komack did get Horshack married in the penultimate episode to Mary Johnson so that the series finale could be a back door pilot for a spin off of the show featuring the lives of Horshack and Mary working in her uncle's business. Apparently, ABC did not pick it up so it ended with them just married and the two working together and nothing about the lives of the rest of the gang.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #108 on: February 11, 2019, 11:28:18 PM »

Whenever I've seen old SNL footage from the early years that people say was so funny, I always question their sense of humor because most of it never seems all that hilarious. Worthy of a mild chuckle, maybe, but certainly not side-splittingly funny. I've come to suspect it's one of those things where you had to be there because the material was a product of its time. That is, SNL tries to be funny by either skewering current events or pushing the boundaries of what's allowed on TV so as to be edgy. Thing is, what's "edgy" in 1977 is bound to be totally different from what's "edgy" in 2019. I remember sometime back in the late 1980s or early 1990s when the FCC decided it was OK for them to say the word "penis" on the air, so of course SNL immediately tried to work it in wherever possible that week. At the time that sort of thing was shocking or surprising, but nowadays its no big deal. Stuff that depends on being edgy in order to be funny isn't likely to seem as funny when it's no longer edgy.

I suppose a similar analogy might be the Supreme Court case from 1971 or so where a guy had been prosecuted for obscenity for wearing a jacket that said "Fuck the draft." The Supreme Court overturned the conviction on First Amendment grounds. When my constitutional law class discussed that case in 1996, the professor noted how to people of my and my classmates' age that word probably seems "ordinary" and a "standard part of everyday conversation," such that the prosecution would seem bizarre, whereas in 1971 it was scandalous and "THE vilest curse word" such that a lot of people were upset at the Supreme Court's ruling.

agreed, which the early cast was funny at the time it was pretty dated.  I much prefer the early 90s cast, so talented, and everything pretty much has sucked since then.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #109 on: February 11, 2019, 11:33:19 PM »

M*A*S*H went downhill after about Season 6, when it became The Alan Alda Show for all intents and purposes.  Were it not for Harry Morgan's great performance as Col. Potter, I really don't think it would have lasted more than another year or two.  He was the somewhat poltiically-incorrect anchor that held it together.

The first 3 with McLean were pretty good.
And then his plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spiraled in. There were no survivors.

Including his career
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #110 on: February 12, 2019, 06:18:38 AM »

- Roseanne.  Originally a part of that era's trend of making a show out of a stand up comic's act (Drew Carey, Tim Allen, etc) it devolved into a strident outlet for political invective.
The show was always "Roseanne demolishes poorly-constructed strawmen."  Go back and watch the pilot if you don't believe me.
That said, the show did decline as years went on. And then fell off a cliff with the final season (pre-reboot, and with the exception of maybe the first 2 episodes, and the last 4, where they did ground stuff in what came before) as they do random unwatchable "Roseanne and Jackie play dress-up" idea of the week - sort of like when a band becomes experimental, but seeing the experiments that didn't work as well - which was all of them in this case!

It was saying 'please stop us making this show'* - I think they wanted to give up, but then had to do one more year for contractual reasons, so they decided to simply have fun on set, and not care about whether it made good TV.

*Like Family Guy for about 7 or 8 years now...
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Stephane Dumas

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #111 on: February 12, 2019, 09:04:22 AM »


It was saying 'please stop us making this show'* - I think they wanted to give up, but then had to do one more year for contractual reasons, so they decided to simply have fun on set, and not care about whether it made good TV.

*Like Family Guy for about 7 or 8 years now...

Add the Simpsons to the list who have overstayed their journey.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #112 on: February 12, 2019, 09:18:25 AM »

- Roseanne.  Originally a part of that era's trend of making a show out of a stand up comic's act (Drew Carey, Tim Allen, etc) it devolved into a strident outlet for political invective.
The show was always "Roseanne demolishes poorly-constructed strawmen."  Go back and watch the pilot if you don't believe me.
That said, the show did decline as years went on. And then fell off a cliff with the final season (pre-reboot, and with the exception of maybe the first 2 episodes, and the last 4, where they did ground stuff in what came before) as they do random unwatchable "Roseanne and Jackie play dress-up" idea of the week - sort of like when a band becomes experimental, but seeing the experiments that didn't work as well - which was all of them in this case!

It was saying 'please stop us making this show'* - I think they wanted to give up, but then had to do one more year for contractual reasons, so they decided to simply have fun on set, and not care about whether it made good TV.

*Like Family Guy for about 7 or 8 years now...
Oh yes, the last season was awful.  TV Land was running some eps from the "Roseanne, Jackie, Leon, and Sandra Bernhard own and run the Lunch Box/Jackie is pregnant with Fred's baby" season, and that one was pretty bad too.  I bet the show started declining around the time Dan's bike shop went bankrupt.

I'm really enjoying The Connors, never bothered to watch the first season of the reboot and never will.  They stopped discussing Trump openly pretty early, since Jackie doesn't have an obvious foil without Roseanne.  I like that they found a way to cast both actors that played Becky (Sarah Chalke plays a different character).
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #113 on: February 12, 2019, 09:37:45 PM »

M*A*S*H went downhill after about Season 6, when it became The Alan Alda Show for all intents and purposes.  Were it not for Harry Morgan's great performance as Col. Potter, I really don't think it would have lasted more than another year or two.  He was the somewhat poltiically-incorrect anchor that held it together.

The first 3 with McLean were pretty good.
And then his plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spiraled in. There were no survivors.

Including his career
No McClean Stevenson made a comeback on a sitcom called Hello Larry where he co starred with Kim Richards and Donna Wilkes and Monte Hall's daughter Joanna Gleason.  It lasted 3 seasons and aired on NBC Friday's following Diffrent Strokes in the early 80's.

He played a radio talk show host (before they got political and when Rush Limbaugh was an unknown local host I believe in Sacramento) in a radio station in Portland.  He was a divorced dad who got custody of his two teenage daughters and the show focused on a single dad working and raising his two teenage daughters.  It had scenes in both his radio station and at home.
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #114 on: February 13, 2019, 09:35:23 AM »

M*A*S*H went downhill after about Season 6, when it became The Alan Alda Show for all intents and purposes.  Were it not for Harry Morgan's great performance as Col. Potter, I really don't think it would have lasted more than another year or two.  He was the somewhat poltiically-incorrect anchor that held it together.

The first 3 with McLean were pretty good.
And then his plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spiraled in. There were no survivors.

Including his career
No McClean Stevenson made a comeback on a sitcom called Hello Larry where he co starred with Kim Richards and Donna Wilkes and Monte Hall's daughter Joanna Gleason.  It lasted 3 seasons and aired on NBC Friday's following Diffrent Strokes in the early 80's.
Nope!  Hello Larry lasted only one season, 1979-1980.  And it's McLean BTW, not McClean.

To my knowledge, the only ex-M*A*S*H actor (one that left the series years prior to its ending) that went on to a later sitcom that lasted close to/almost as long as their stint on M*A*S*H was Wayne Rogers; who played Dr. Charley Michaels on the sitcom House Calls.  It aired in-between M*A*S*H & Lou Grant on CBS.  That show ran for three seasons (1979-1982) but went downhill mid-way through the third season when co-star Lynn Redgrave (Ann Anderson) was fired from the show & was replaced by Sharon Gless (Jane Jeffries).  The character chemistry between Michaels & Jeffries wasn't the same as it was with Michaels & Anderson in the earlier episodes & seasons.  CBS ultimately cancelled the show.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 09:39:43 AM by PHLBOS »
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #115 on: February 13, 2019, 10:45:59 AM »

I believe McLean Stevenson was also in the TV adaptation of Dirty Dancing, which was even more short-lived than Hello, Larry!  He was no Jerry Orbach.

Were there any members of the cast of M*A*S*H* that had successful careers after the show, besides Alan Alda?
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #116 on: February 13, 2019, 11:01:00 AM »

IMO, Bonanza all but died with the passing of Dan Blocker.  It survived losing Pernell Roberts, it survived Guy Williams, but losing Hoss was pretty much the end, though looking at the ratings, maybe it was already suffering.



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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #117 on: February 13, 2019, 11:05:20 AM »

I burst out laughing when I read the Jump the Shark page for '60 Minutes'! Someone said '60 Minutes' jumped the shark when Steve Kroft blew a bubble with bubble gum, and I remember him doing this! He was interviewing someone (I think it was Jon Stewart), and he bubbled a big green bubble!
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #118 on: February 13, 2019, 11:23:46 AM »

M*A*S*H went downhill after about Season 6, when it became The Alan Alda Show for all intents and purposes.  Were it not for Harry Morgan's great performance as Col. Potter, I really don't think it would have lasted more than another year or two.  He was the somewhat poltiically-incorrect anchor that held it together.

The first 3 with McLean were pretty good.
And then his plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan. It spiraled in. There were no survivors.

Including his career
No McClean Stevenson made a comeback on a sitcom called Hello Larry where he co starred with Kim Richards and Donna Wilkes and Monte Hall's daughter Joanna Gleason.  It lasted 3 seasons and aired on NBC Friday's following Diffrent Strokes in the early 80's.

He played a radio talk show host (before they got political and when Rush Limbaugh was an unknown local host I believe in Sacramento) in a radio station in Portland.  He was a divorced dad who got custody of his two teenage daughters and the show focused on a single dad working and raising his two teenage daughters.  It had scenes in both his radio station and at home.

I loved that show but it was a long time joke about how he gave up Mash for Hello Larry.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #119 on: February 13, 2019, 11:25:07 AM »

I burst out laughing when I read the Jump the Shark page for '60 Minutes'! Someone said '60 Minutes' jumped the shark when Steve Kroft blew a bubble with bubble gum, and I remember him doing this! He was interviewing someone (I think it was Jon Stewart), and he bubbled a big green bubble!

That site was so great. Then TV guide bought it and folded it.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #120 on: February 13, 2019, 12:47:25 PM »

Were there any members of the cast of M*A*S*H* that had successful careers after the show, besides Alan Alda?
Wayne Rogers made a lot of investments and appeared on some stock analysis shows, but that’s about it. Jamie Farr also sponsored a women’s golf tournament for awhile.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #121 on: February 13, 2019, 05:29:04 PM »

Batman got pretty lame, and it really didn't take all that long.  In the second season, Batman ran for city mayor and encouraged people to vote.  Not exactly superhero escapades.

What I hear is notable is how the show went from #1 to cancelled in about two years.

What I heard was NBC wanted to pick up Batman  for a 4th season, but 20th Century Fox had already destroyed much of the Batman sets after hearing of the ABC cancellation.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #122 on: February 14, 2019, 07:36:57 AM »

I burst out laughing when I read the Jump the Shark page for '60 Minutes'! Someone said '60 Minutes' jumped the shark when Steve Kroft blew a bubble with bubble gum, and I remember him doing this! He was interviewing someone (I think it was Jon Stewart), and he bubbled a big green bubble!

That site was so great. Then TV guide bought it and folded it.

Some folks had attempted to recreate the concept of Jumptheshark.com with "Bone the fish". http://bonethefish.com. And the movie counterpart of "Jump the shark" is "Nuke the fridge" thanks to Indiana Jones using a flying fridge to escape a nuclear test site. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nuke%20the%20fridge
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #123 on: February 14, 2019, 08:41:56 AM »

Batman got pretty lame, and it really didn't take all that long.  In the second season, Batman ran for city mayor and encouraged people to vote.  Not exactly superhero escapades.

What I hear is notable is how the show went from #1 to cancelled in about two years.

What I heard was NBC wanted to pick up Batman  for a 4th season, but 20th Century Fox had already destroyed much of the Batman sets after hearing of the ABC cancellation.

That's my understanding, as well.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #124 on: February 14, 2019, 09:01:34 AM »

I burst out laughing when I read the Jump the Shark page for '60 Minutes'! Someone said '60 Minutes' jumped the shark when Steve Kroft blew a bubble with bubble gum, and I remember him doing this! He was interviewing someone (I think it was Jon Stewart), and he bubbled a big green bubble!

That site was so great. Then TV guide bought it and folded it.
Television without Pity was a good site too, but it disappeared for reasons that are unclear.

Batman got pretty lame, and it really didn't take all that long.  In the second season, Batman ran for city mayor and encouraged people to vote.  Not exactly superhero escapades.

What I hear is notable is how the show went from #1 to cancelled in about two years.

What I heard was NBC wanted to pick up Batman  for a 4th season, but 20th Century Fox had already destroyed much of the Batman sets after hearing of the ABC cancellation.

That's my understanding, as well.
Mine too.
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