Friday, February 26, 2016

Is it Time to Bring Back 'Saved by the Bell'?

With the debut of "Fuller House" on Netflix, 90s nostalgia is in full swing. The next candidate for a series revival could easily be the classic sitcom "Savedby the Bell," which ran from 1989-1993, spawned two spin-off series and two TV movies. There's no doubt that audiences love Zack, Kelly, Screech, Lisa, Slater, Jesse, and all their misadventures at Bayside High. But what would it take to update this series to the modern day? NBC would have a lot of variables to consider.

A New Format?
"Saved by the Bell," "Saved by the Bell: The New Class," and "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" were all 30-minute sitcoms. It makes sense to imagine that a new "Saved by the Bell" show would follow this same format. But does it have to? In their college years and in the TV movies, "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style" and "Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas," Zack and the gang began to tackle serious issues. If the show revisited these characters in their adult years, it might be suited to an hour-long drama instead. Supposedly, the original actors in the series always had a strong interest in more adult themes. This new format could entice them to return. 

Making a New Class
NBC attempted to recreate the original Bayside gang with "Saved by the Bell: The New Class," and that show was largely unsuccessful. If the network decided to make a new "Saved by the Bell" with new young stars, they would have to make sure they landed the right types of characters. There's the Zack-style lead - the charismatic troublemaker who is likable despite his unwise decisions. There's Kelly, the popular and genuinely kind girl, Slater, the jock with a heart of gold, Jesse, the lovable and brainy feminist, Lisa, the fun shopaholic, and Screech, the comic relief nerd. These characters have become tropes in many shows and movies, and NBC would need a new variation. Why not make Zack a girl? Why not make the Lisa of the group a young gay man? The characters, as well as the issues, should be updated for a new generation.

Deciding the Plot
So what would the issues be, exactly? High school has changed a lot since the days of gigantic cell phones and VHS in the classroom. A new "Saved by the Bell" would be handling the digital world, where teenagers often define themselves by the number of likes on a photo or by who responds to their Facebook post. This generation is also more socially and culturally progressive than the old days. Jesse's feminist views used to seem extreme, but now they are the norm. Schools are less homogeneous and life isn't as simple, and a new show would have to reflect young people in a changing world. But that could be good. Just as with "Fuller House," audiences are ripe for old-fashioned, heartfelt entertainment. If NBC can successfully update the types of shows that people feel nostalgic for, they're guaranteed success.

NBC struck a goldmine in 1987 when they produced a light-hearted teen sitcom that spoke to a generation. Today, "Saved by the Bell" remains an iconic show in television history. If the network brought back Bayside High, they would have to consider how to format the show, whether to ask back the original actors or rely solely on a crop of new ones, and how to make the spirit of the show translate to the modern world. But in an age where everything old is new again, it could be worth it to explore the world that Zack and the gang brought to life.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Gohan Needs To Get Serious

When the Buu Saga began, Gohan had taken seven years off from training and it showed, as he was significantly weaker than before. So far in Dragon Ball Super, Gohan has suffered a similar fate, as a lack of training has led to multiple characters surpassing him in strength. As one of the principle Dragon Ball characters since his introduction in Dragon Ball Z, Gohan needs to reclaim his former glory and become a valuable member of the team again.

As a half Saiyan with more potential than perhaps any other character, Gohan has always been an important part of the series' major battles. His rage helped in the fights against Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta. Against Frieza, Gohan was one of the main reasons the Z Fighters were able to hang on until Goku arrived, as his rage again gave him enough of a boost to take on second and later third form Frieza.

Gohan went from one of the heroes to the primary hero at the end of the Cell Saga. He was the only one strong enough to handle Cell. After years of waiting, he finally fulfilled his enormous potential, which made what came next so disappointing.
Gohan stopped training to focus on his studies. This led to him getting outclassed in the Buu Saga, until the Supreme Kai helped him unlock his potential and become Mystic Gohan. As Mystic Gohan, he was easily the strongest Z Fighter.

In Dragon Ball Super, Gohan has once again slacked off from his training. He went from being the most powerful Z Fighter by a wide margin, to being significantly weaker than Goku and Vegeta. He wasn't even able to slow down first form Frieza.
For the sake of the series, Gohan needs to start training again. With Vegeta and Goku frequently taking off for their own adventures, the planet needs a protector, and Gohan is the only one capable of reaching that level of power.

He also brings a valuable perspective to battles, but he can't contribute if he isn't powerful enough. Vegeta is arrogant and allows himself to get frustrated easily, whereas Goku is so relaxed that he can be caught off guard. Gohan, although far from the perfect fighter, doesn't have those same issues. He has a wealth of martial arts experience from his training with Piccolo and Goku. If he reaches Goku and Vegeta's level of power, he could help them in fights with more powerful foes.

Gohan was once seen as the fighter who would take over for Goku as Earth's protector. He was one of the most powerful characters for a large part of Dragon Ball Z. Seeing him become almost useless in Dragon Ball Super is a shame, as he still has the potential to be so much more. He may prefer studying, but as one of the most powerful fighters in the universe, Gohan has a duty to himself and to his planet. He needs to start training again so Dragon Ball Super doesn't revolve around only Goku and Vegeta.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Top 5 Baseball Movies

Top 5 Baseball Movies

What is it about baseball that affords us the option to label the game as "America's Great Pastime?"   There's something uniquely American about the game of baseball, and as it most often the case, many equate the game to feelings of nostalgia.   There's something ancient about the game, something pure, something noble, something stoic.    Which is why there is often times a nostalgic element to the movies that have been made about or around the game since the 1950s--and we're, for sure, stuck on that facet of movies about the game ourselves here at TVSO.

Which is why we've put together a quick list of our favorite baseball movies (in no particular order):

Thursday, February 18, 2016

3 Cool & Funny Old TV Shows You Need To Watch on YouTube Now

Today's TV Landscape, post prime-time, is a vicious cycle of syndicated re-runs and infomercials.  It kind of sucks.   Back in the 1980s and 1990's there was less of this, of course.   And what you missed back then was incredible, in fact, so much so, that most of what once aired on pay cable or via regional networks, at least in part, is currently in heavy rotation viewing on YouTube all of these years later.     Today, there's nothing edgy on TV has there once was--and it's too a fault.   While the internet, in some ways, killed the television of the 80s and 90s, it also affords us a unlimited viewing ability that allows for us to experience things that couldn't even air back on television back then!    But, the fact that some of the these shows once aired on television, and not just past prime-time hours, but sometimes, even, in the middle of the day speaks volumes to the morals and ethical acceptation of those decades versus the very politically-correct nature of today.

What follows are our favorite cool, funny, and weird TV shows of the 1980s and 1990s that you've never seen (but should).  In no particular order....

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bring Back Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a great show and should be brought back to life now that there are several different takes of vampire shows going on like the Shadow hunters, Twilight movies along with other SyFy shows.

However, using the original cast may not be the best idea because they’ve gotten older and aren’t able to portrait to the right demographics (specifically the younger demographic). They should pick it up with Buffy as the mom and trying to prepare her teenage daughter for what she’ll eventually go through. Just like her mom, the new Buffy will have help along the way, she’ll also have her mom by her side as well. 

Sarah Hyland should be playing the role of Buffy (daughter of the original Buffy and Angel). Zoey Deutch should play Buffy’s best female friend (like Willow), while Dominic Scott Kay or Jimmy Bennett can play a male best friend (like Xander) or an enemy (like Spike). The other characters should get to relive their character roles because the show was started with them. I believe that by adding a new generation to Buffy the Vampire Slayer will allow the show to create a new generation of fans. Of course, the names of the characters can’t be the same, so you’d have to come up with new names, but that’s a good thing. You have to be creative and start somewhere.

The new version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer should be very similar to the original, but with new characters there are new problems and challenges they face. There is more drama between friends and enemies as well as with finding the vampires that keep the new “Buffy” character on her toes. There are more enemies then there were when her mom was the slayer and yet she’s still coming to terms to who she is. The new “Buffy” isn’t sure if she wants to be the Vampire Slayer. She eventually figures out that she doesn’t have a choice as she is the “Chosen One”. Some of the enemies are teachers, a principal, a governor and others who’re involved in politics, book store owners, and so many others. 

The original show was an amazing one with drama and action all over the place. It’s definitely a show that should get remade and retold for the new generation to see. This show started the love of vampires, werewolves, and hunting them down and killing them as well as saving all of mankind. I believe that if it wasn’t for the original show that a lot of the shows that involve vampires or werewolves wouldn’t be as popular as they are. 

I believe that the ratings for the show would be around 8 or 9 stars. The younger generation is really getting back into the shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer was back in my generation. There are so many different shows that are similar and yet they are being watch all the time. Newer generations need more Buffy and the Scooby gang. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Top 5 Deadpool Comics You Need To Read Before Tomorrow

deadpool comics
Are you counting down the minutes before you can see Deadpool tomorrow?   We haven't seen this much marketing in connection to the release of a comic book-based superhero movie in quite some time, so it stands to reason Ryan Reynold's Deadpool is going to appeal not just to comic book lovers but also to kids as well who might not be familiar with the comic.   So with that in mind, we thought we'd assemble a list of the Top 5 Deadpool comic books that need to read tonight in order to go into the new Deadpool movie well-versed in the mythology and origin of the much-beloved dark horse comic book hero.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top 5 Greatest Episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series

Star Trek original series top 5 episodes
Are you a "Trekkie?"  Do you live for all things Star Trek?  Back in the 1980s Star Trek, at least in the early 1980s was considered by many to "cheesy"--that is, the show did not hold up culturally in terms of the ever-changing pop culture climate of the day.    Mostly, those that watched the show, always in re-runs on some local affiliate network, did so because of a certain nostalgic aura that it afforded.    However, with the rise of VHS, the video store, and the listing of Star Trek: The Original Series being made available in that time, the show went from being cheesy to being some cool, geeky--fun to watch.  And in some way it managed to get tied into the upbringing of a generation that were most focused on education, academics and not on sports.  Out of all of comes the term: Trekkie.   

Coined to represent a person who loves Star Trek over anything else.    In fact, there have been documentaries about Trekkies in the last 20 years, hell, even William Shatner aka Captain James T. Kirk from the show went on an episode of Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s and lampooned Trekkies.  Still the show lives on, and with each passing year, it gains new fans and loyal devotees.   

The original 1966 Star Trek show has spawned several movies in additional to a handful of post-run TV series continuations with other characters in the Star Trek universe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top 10 Television Theme Songs of All-Time

TV theme songs are sometimes the most important parts of every show. The theme is kind of pervasive because it finds its way into the music that’s in the show, and that’s going to make the show more interesting. You’re going to feel so ready to watch it, and then you’re going to keep hearing the music once it on. With that said, these are the 10 best themes, and some of them are going to hit you harder than others.

TV Theme Song #10: Saved By The Bell
Saved By The Bell's theme song is a sign of the times. You are a 90s kid if you remember this theme, and it never changed. The kids started out in middle school, but they ended up finishing off in college with a slightly altered song. Still, the song is the perfect one for the times, and the it’s going to remind you what it was like when you were in school, or just waking up and getting there on time. 

TV Theme Song #9: The A-Team
The A-Team theme is iconic, and it has been copied so many times. Anyone who wants to make a reference to the A-Team is going to copy the theme, and you’re going to recognize it after two notes. It’s that cool, and it makes you want to watch them build out a car to complete their next mission while BA complains about flying and threatens to choke out Murdock.

TV Theme Song #8: The Flintstones
The Flintstones are a modern Stone Age family, and they’re in the town of Bedrock. It’s a theme that anyone will remember, and it’s still a cartoon that’s popular today. There are a lot of kids who’re watching this show because their parents introduced them to it, and you as well will remember it exactly word for word as soon as it starts playing.

TV Theme Song #7: The Brady Bunch
This is the story of a lovely lady and her new husband. It was a show that was iconic for the times, and people are still referencing it to this day. The music turns up in all their movies and specials, and the song is one that anyone will learn when they listen to it with friends. We keeping talking about Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, but the theme song is still the most important part of this show.

TV Theme Song #6: Family Guy
There is no other show where the family dog is a struggling writer, and it points right back to the theme. You are totally ready for this show when you hear the theme, and you are going to get into it so much that you might actually have to rewind it to listen to it again because you were not enjoying it enough the first time.

TV Theme Song #5: The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory theme song is a great song that’s going to be the favored song of little kids who got to sit up and watch it with their parents, or it’s going to be the theme song of the couples that grew up watching this show together because they got married. They wanted to be like Penny and Leonard, and now they might be. This song will always be their favorite because it talks about how we got through world history in 30 seconds.

TV Theme Song #4: The Simpsons
The Simpsons theme song has been covered by everyone on the planet. A drum corps does the Simpsons theme song for fun, or you can hear it at your kid's band concert. It’s everywhere, and everyone knows it. The Simpsons are a firm part of our culture, and their theme song just reminds you of the time you started watching their show.

TV Theme Song #3: SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants has a theme that everyone knows. Parents are going to learn it when they watch the show with their kids, and it’s going to be one of the first songs that kids learn while they are watching the show. It’s still going strong, and it still has all the nautical nonsense you wish. You get to sing it with your kids, and you get to laugh because it is preparing you for what’s still a perfect cartoon.

TV Show Theme Song #2: Cheers
Some people will say that Cheers has the best theme song because it welcomes you to the bar. It tells you that everyone knows your name, and it reminds you that you’re valued when you go into the bar. This is a big deal for bar patrons, and it reminds that home is not always a house.

TV Show Theme Song #1: The Office
The theme song to the Office is a reminder that this show is unlike any other. you can feel yourself peering into their office when the song plays, but you are more than ready to see all of them get on each other's nerves. It is that much fun to listen to. Though it’s just a melody, it’s become so catchy and fits in so well with the theme of the show, it’s no wonder it’s #1 on our list.

You'll enjoy all ten of these songs, even if you don’t watch all of them. In fact, the song might be the reason that you start watching. So go listen to them all today!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Top 5 Best Sega Genesis Video Games

Top 5 Sega Genesi Video Games
God bless the 16-bit video game system!  Sega Genesis, known in Japan as the Mega Drive hit the stores in 1990.  It went up against the ever-popular Nintendo Game system as well as the early arrival of the home PC gaming movement.     While Nintendo was an 8-bit system, the Sega Genesis was the first video gaming system on the market, console-based wise.   
In its time, the Sega Genesis sold over 30 million units around the world.   The system, failing by the wayside to the stability of the Nintendo sales, and then eventually, the introduction of the Nintendo 16-bit system, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Genesis fell off the market in popularity. In the end, Sega tried to re-coop interest via the public in their brand via the introduction of the ahead-of-its-time CD-Rom console system Sega Saturn, but that too, didn't make the cut up against the Nintendo juggernaut.    But, the Sega Genesis was not without its fans, or without its run of wonderfully under-rated games that were exclusive to the system.    What follows is our list of our favorite Sega Genesis video games.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

What Can We Expect From Hail! Caesar When It Hits Theaters Tomorrow?

Hail! Casesr Coen Brothers

Hail! Caesar, the new comedy by directors Joel and Ethan Coen hits theaters tomorrow across the United States, and while the Coens have earned themselves high-status in Hollywood, even earning Academy Award nominations for such heavier fair as Fargo, True Grit, and Inside Llewyn Davis, their comedic work often times has left American audiences polarized. 

Certainly, they've hit the mark several times when it has come to pure comedy, an example of such would be 1987's Raising Arizona, and more recently The Big Lebowski and O Brother, Where Are Thou?--the previous, Lebowski, earning major cult status in the wake of its release.  There is even a yearly gathering of fans of the movie who dress up like characters, quote lines, drink and bowl at a bowling alley in the Midwest.  

And while these movies have maintained their fan bases for many years, it's the Coens' foray into genre-bending; the point where they mix-genres like comedy with who-dun-it, or remade slapstick films of the Hollywood 40s, with movies like Burn After Reading, Intolerable Cruelty, and Hudsucker Proxy that have caused audiences to leave the theater scratching their heads.

Which it why it's fascinating to consider the premise of Hail! Caesar, the Coen's 17th feature film, and it's premise:   "Eddie Mannix"-- a Hollywood "fixer" is tasked with getting a movie production back on track after its star, "Baird Whitlock," played by George Clooney is kidnapped by a grouped called "The Future."     Whereas, Hail! Caaser is being marketing across American TV as being a goofy comedy of sorts, its central premise of a kidnapping in 1920's Hollywood is a notion that is anything but humorous.     And yet, its likely that the story line of Hail! Casear will more likely be the same spirit of those previous Coen Brothers' films that left audiences completely polarized.      It's altogether possible that we may have another Hudsucker Proxy on our hands when this is released tomorrow.  

The ultimate question in mind is:  What can we expect from Hail! Caesar tomorrow?   Will it be just a comedy or will it be a slapstick comedy in the spirit of the classic movies of the 1920s, 1930s, or 1940s that came out of Hollywood like Bringing Up Baby, Ball of Fire, or any other from slapstick era.    There is a part of all this, that hopes that Hail! Caesar exudes some of the aesthetic and comedic ideal that the Coens' really hit a home run with in The Big Lebowski.  Certainly, based on the preview for the movie that has been in heavy rotation the last couple weeks on American TV, we'll be treated to something that seems like it could be very unique in terms of Hollywood releases, as we know them today, but really, not so unique, in the world of the Coen Brothers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What's Considered a Successful Sitcom Run?

What makes a television sitcom truly successful you may wonder? Well, within the television industry there are many different factors believed necessary for a sitcom to be a victory, one of the biggest being luck.

By industry standards, a television sitcom isn’t considered successful until after it has run over 100 episodes. Considering that there are on average 22 episodes per season for a show, the show needs to run for four and a half seasons before it’s a success story.

Aside from luck, one of the most important factors that must be present to have a successful television sitcom is a strong, solid director. The director is responsible for the way that the program’s made. They hire the cast and crew, and make sure that filming is running on schedule. Without a strong director to keep everyone on track and ensure the quality of the show, it’s very hard to have a successful sitcom that’ll last the ages.

Additionally, a good story line is a must have for any show to become successful. There must be a story line that can hold the attention of the audience. There needs to be a back story that also runs through different episodes that keeps the audience engaged, and wondering what’ll happen on the next episode.

Along with the story-line there needs to be characters that the audience can relate and connect with. If the audience cannot connect with the characters on some level, then they’re less likely to watch the show. Throughout the series there needs to be continuous character growth and development that also enhances the show, as well as the character. How will a character handle things both on a physical level and on a mental level?

Having great characters is important, but having the right cast to portray those characters is just as important. If the wrong actor or actress is cast for the part, it can throw off the dynamics of the show and the chemistry between the characters. Chemistry occurs when you bring two characters together and they change in some fundamental way as a result of their relationship. Just as in real life, chemistry is vital between your characters.

As you can see, luck will only get you so far, and with the right combination of story-line, cast, characters, and a director to hold it all together, you can have a successful sitcom program that the viewers will love for many years to come.