Category Archives: TGIF

Nostalgia Corner: ‘Valerie/Valerie’s Family/The Hogan Family’

Every era has its own specific genre of TV show, and within that genre there’s a hierarchy: the forerunners, the second-rate but solid middle class and the imitators.  For example, in the late ’90s you had shows like Friends and Seinfeld at the forefront of the “good-looking single young people in NY” genre, and then a second tier, with shows like Mad About You, that were good, not great, but still run for over 100 episodes, and then you had outright copycats like The Single Guy and It’s Like…You Know that burn out after one or two seasons.  Or in the 1970s (as you can read much more about in the AV Club’s70s Sitcom Primer), you had the top dogs like All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore, then a second level with series like Maude and Rhoda, and then the bottom rung with shows we’ve never heard of because we’re too young (but possibly including Bridget Loves Birney).  Likewise, the late ’80s/early ’90s was the golden age for saccharine, safe, wholesome family sitcoms, a genre which basically dominated the airwaves from about 1986 until Seinfeld and Friends changed the game in the mid-’90s.  Your preeminent shows in this era included The Cosby Show, Growing Pains and Full House, who were a cut above other successful shows like Who’s The Boss?, Family Matters and Major Dad; and then you had the bottom layer, cheap xeroxes and flashes in the pan like Baby Talk, Getting By, and Day By Day.  Right there, in that second tier – the shows that never set the ratings world on fire, programs that are not looked back on as innovators in the genre, and yet ran for many seasons in first run broadcast and in syndication – you can find The Hogan Family.  Premiering in 1986 as Valerie, starring Valerie Harper (of MTM and Rhoda, mentioned above), and morphing into Valerie’s Family and ultimately the Hogan Family after Harper left the show due to creative differences following the second season (killed off via car accident on the show), the show ran for 6 seasons with 110 ten episodes across two networks.  It never won any major awards, was never critically acclaimed, and was never atop the Nielsens.  And yet it was a staple on NBC for many seasons (paired with ALF, natch), and could be seen for years in reruns on local channels and basic cable networks.  Buoyed by Sandy Duncan, who stepped in for Harper as Aunt Sandy (creative!), it was a workhorse; a dependable, middle of the road sitcom that perhaps defines the era.  Also, no other show featured Edie McClurg and Willard Scott.

Before he was Michael Bluth, Jason Bateman was David Hogan, and if not for the brilliance of Arrested Development (which couldn’t be further from The Hogan Family on the sitcom scale) that could have been his most memorable role (besides Teen Wolf TooAnd this).   But The Hogan Family is where he cut his chops (and for which his work as director qualified him as the youngest ever member of the DGA), and you can see a little bit of oldest brother David Hogan in most responsible brother Michael Bluth, both of whom often had to play the father figure in their respective TV families.

Indeed, one could argue that Bateman’s finest work can be found in the Hogan Family episode “Burned Out, as the Hogan clan, still reeling from the loss of their matriarch, must watch helplessly as their house burns down, the result of a rogue lamp in the attic (because that sort of thing happened in those days).  Scroll to approximately 6:00 to see Bateman work his magic.

Interesting bit of trivia about this episode, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The episode had a commercial tie-in with the McDonald’s Corporation, who financed the expenses accrued in damaging the set for the fire. As a sponsor that evening, McDonald’s commercials aired promoting fire safety.

Because that makes sense.

McDonald’s, we know we speak for Jason Bateman  when we say thank you.  Thank you.

And, because it’s somewhat relevant, let us again remind you about Justine Bateman.

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Filed under Bob Loblaw, Good Humor, Growing Pains, Lists, Nostalgia Corner, Seinlanguage, TGIF, Wake Up, SF!, Who's the Boss?

Jimmy Fallon Friday Nostalgia Corner: TGIF Medley!

TGIF is pretty much my go-to subject for the Nostalgia Corner, but I’m not sure anything will ever top this TGIF theme song medley courtesy of tonight’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and a capella group Straight No ChaserLate Night, you honor TGIF, and by doing so you honor us.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Filed under Freak Out Control, Nostalgia Corner, Talkies, TGIF, Wake Up, SF!

One Year Anniversary!! We Did It!!

Some people said it couldn’t be done.  Others asked specifically that it not be done.  Most have no idea this even exists.  But, despite all the doubters and naysayers and initiated, we’ve defied expectations and reached our one year anniversary.  It was just a year ago today (or “was it only a year ago?”) that Jumped The Snark launched with the unveiling of the Judd Apatow Effect.  Full disclosure: we felt pretty confident that our thoroughly researched and elaborately detailed chart was going to rocket us into the blogosphere, but the truth is that it’s a year later and readership hasn’t grown since that first week and we’ve still yet to be linked to on Pop Candy.  But, despite Whitney’s constant rejection and a plateau in daily views, we’re committed delivering unneeded thoughts on SNL and unsolicited commentary on The Office and irrelevant Growing Pains videos and cheap shots at Guy Fieri and news on the Muppets that’s of no interest to anyone but me.  That’s a Jumped The Snark guarantee.

If you’ve joined us thus far, we do humbly thank you for spending a few minutes patronizing this little site.  If, for some odd reason, you googled “Jumped The Snark one year anniversary” and ended up on this blog for the first time, welcome.  We’re happy to have you, even if we question the logic of your search terms.

It’s been a great first year.  But we’re looking forward to bigger and better things in year two and beyond.  As long as there are videos of TGIF sitcoms on YouTube we’ll be around.  Now, let’s have some cake!

See you in the future!

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Filed under Count Bleh, Interweb, Judd Apatow, Muppets, Saturday Night Live, Tex Wasabi's, TGIF, Virulent, Yvonne Hudson

Where’s Uncle Joey When You Need Him?

CoulierSpeaking of impressions (and other past their prime comedians with the initials “DC”), Dave Coulier totally should have been on hand last night to save the day when the final dress rehearsal of Bye Bye Birdie experienced some technical difficulties and both Bob Saget and Don Rickles stepped into to lighten/worsen the mood (see: Disaster at Bye Bye Birdie’s Final Preview Inspires Stamos, Saget, and Rickles Comedy Routine).  Coulier could have wowed audiences with Mr. Woodchuck for hours, or perhaps tried out his new stand-up bit about farting.

(Coincidentally, a very similar thing happened during my high school’s Student-Faculty production of Bye Bye Birdie, in which I had a memorable role as the Train Conductor.  Well, we didn’t have any comedy legends attend the show, but one of the sets did fall down.  See?  Very similar.)

More: Coulier and the Muppets!

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Filed under Broadway!, Muppets, TGIF

Bravo Plays Me For a Fool Yet Again

Well, I guess you can ignore that last post, as when we loaded up the DVR to watch Top Chef we found that there was, in fact, no new episode last night. Bravo has a tendency to do this, both with Top Chef and Project Runway (when it aired on the net), showing you scenes from the next episode, but failing to inform you that said episode will not air the following week. Building me up and breaking me down (perhaps the blame is really on me for letting Top Chef become the highlight of my week, but I refuse to become Bravo’s scapegoat).

On the bright side this means that Ron gets to stay in the spotlight for one more week, and it’s an excuse for another Ron Duprat/Carl Winslow comparison.

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Filed under Impatience, TGIF, Top Scallop

Farewell to My Favorite Top Chef

Spoiler ahead if you didn’t yet watch last week’s Top Chef!!!

As we count down the hours until episode 7 of Top Chef: Las Vegas let us take a moment to look back and honor its most recent exile, Chef Ron Duprat.  His childlike wonder delighted us through half a dozen episodes, and although at times it seemed he didn’t know how to make most dishes, and often appeared completely lost, you have to tip your cap to a man who walked around the Vegas desert asking the other contestants for a sword.  Why he needed a sword to make a coconut lime tuna ceviche we’ll never know (we’ll also never really grasp what a coconut lime tuna ceviche is), but you have to appreciate his thinking outside the box (or maybe the sword was intended for his universally reviled Haitian Mojito.  Again, why he’d need a sword for that…oh, maybe he meant like those little plastic swords for cherries that are sometimes used instead of toothpicks).  But, despite Ron’s innovation, he was unable to survive a disappointing deconstructed paella (or as judge Toby Young calls it, pa-ella, like the Rhianna jam. Pa-ella, ella, ella) even though paella is a dish Ron claims he makes everyday in his restaurant.  As his self-proclaimed vice was coming to the US from Hati in a small boat, methinks Ron was a little confused during some of the challenges, and this was pretty obvious when Eli and Kevin tried to explain what deconstruction means.  I think it broke Ron’s brain.

Huh?

Ron, your limitations be damned!  We toast to you with a disgusting Mojito.  Without you the incidence of red Crocs has been reduced by a stunning 100%.

Ron Red Crocs

Luckily, the saturation of tattoos remains at record levels.

Neck Tatoo

Nice.

No word yet it Reginald VelJohnson will play Ron in the Top Chef Vegas movie, but I hear they are in talks.

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Filed under Must See TV, TGIF, Top Scallop