on November 20, 2014 | |
There are few TV shows that have actually changed the English language, but ABC’s MacGyver gave us not only a new verb, but inspired virtually an entire generation of viewers to start carrying around Swiss Army Knives.
Starring Richard Dean Anderson as the eponymous Angus MacGyver, the show was created by three men: Lee David Zlotoff, one of the producers of Remington Steele; Emmy-award winning director John Rich; and Henry Winkler - the Fonz on Happy Days. It saw Anderson's former Vietnam bomb disposal expert turned secret agent working first for the US government’s Department of External Services and then for the private sector Phoenix Foundation, investigating all manner of dangerous subjects both professionally and personally.
So far, so ordinary. What then set MacGyver apart from other action heroes?
- His mullet.
- The intensely catchy theme tune.
- But most importantly, in contrast to the usual US action hero stereotype, MacGyver not only refused to use a gun, he used his mind instead. Give MacGyver a dilemma to solve or sticky situation to get out of, not only would he likely remember a related situation from his childhood, he’d use his vast knowledge of science and technology to improvise a solution, whether it was something basic like putting an egg into a perforated radiator to temporarily plug the holes or something more advanced like building a laser.
Here, let the title sequence give you all three of these things in a concentrated burst:
Continue reading "Nostalgia Corner: MacGyver (1985-92)"
on November 10, 2014 | |
There's a long tradition of parodies of title sequences, particularly those from US shows of the 80s and 90s. They are, after all, relatively easy, cheesy targets. And at least they had title sequences in those days, unlike a lot of network shows, which would rather save their ad-glutted hour-long time slots for the show itself.
However, I don't think there's quite been a title sequence parody the likes of Too Many Cooks. Adult Swim aired this at 4am early morning for a week last month, meshed in between infomercials, before anyone noticed it. The creation of writer Chris Kelly (Squidbillies and Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell), it starts off as just a regular parody of the likes of Full House and Growing Pains, before becoming something altogether very different, alternately disturbing and comical.
I'm not sure how funny it is, but you won't have seen anything quite like it before, I guarantee.
on October 13, 2014 | |
Trevor Eve is a serious actor. Very serious. Although best known for being only slightly grumpy in Shoestring, he's gone on to some pretty dour roles in the likes of Waking The Dead, Kidnap and Ransom and the miserable Channel 5 'updating' of Doomwatch. Even in interviews, he can be very serious.
But Trevor Eve has a sense of humour. Or at least he used to. He might not want anyone to remember that these days, but he did.
How else can you explain his decision to appear in the 1985 mystery series Shadow Chasers, in which he played an anthropologist blackmailed into working with tabloid journalist Dennis Dugan to investigate the paranormal? Created by Kenneth Johnson (The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation, V, The Incredible Hulk) and the Oscar-winning Brian Grazer (Splash, A Beautiful Mind), it was nevertheless the lowest rated of the 106 shows in the 1985-1986 season, with only the first nine of its episodes airing on ABC in the US, leaving the Armed Forces Network to air the remaining four.
Maybe the opening credits had something to do with that.
Poor old Eve - he never stood a chance. Maybe that's why he lost his sense of humour?
Still, if that's only whet your appetite for more, here's the whole of the first episode.