Tag Archives: nostalgia

top ten tv opening themes

You can probably finish the lyric “In west Philadelphia born and raised” and if you can’t (for shame!), you know at least 20 people that can. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song is one of the most memorable themes…ever.

The shows that get it right have themes that span generations and achieve pop culture relevance even to those who have never seen the show. For me, that would be The Love Boat…I can sing the whole song but I’ve never once seen a full episode.

Recently George, author of The Movie Blog8, shared with us his top ten favorite TV theme songs. If you know the words, sing-a-long!

My name is George, I’m a 15-year-old blog artist (is that what they’re calling them now?), and here are my: Top 10 TV Opening Themes

10. 30 Rock – Jazzy, upbeat, really fun to hum along with

9. The Jeffersons – I especially enjoy the way George Jefferson walks. “Well we’re movin’ on up.”

8. Keeping Up Appearances – When most people find a caterpillar in a bouquet (see what I did there?) of flowers, they either squeal or ruthlessly squash it. Hyacinth makes sure no one saw it.

7. The Simpsons – It’s different each time, but it’s always the same.

6. Cheers – I used to know how to play this on the piano. It really is a lovely tune.

5. SportsCenterYes, that’s right, SportsCenter. It’s iconic.

4. All in the Family – I can’t imagine having to fake that voice for so long. “Songs that made the hit parade!”

3. Beverly Hillbillies – It’s efficient! It tells their entire story in only a few seconds! “Oil, that is.”

2. M*A*S*H – The song’s title is “Suicide is Painless.”

1. Golden Girls – For this one, I think I’ll just share the lyrics:

“Thank you for being a friend,

Traveled down the road and back again,
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant.

And if you threw a party,
And invited everyone you ever knew,
You would see the biggest gift would be from me,
And the card attached would say ‘thank you for being a friend.”

 

George can be found discussing Pulp Fiction, Citizen Kane and tons of other movies over at The MovieBlog8.

 

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why ‘ferris bueller’s day off’ is, was and always will be a must-see movie

I don’t often write guest blogs (I have enough trouble keeping up with my own website) but when the lovely Nicole decided to massage my ego with flattering emails it provided some good motivation to get my lazy fingers typing again.  She’s asked me to write about one of my “Movies to See” that hasn’t yet been given a dedicated post on my own site, and seeing as we’re all heading back to school this month, I figured that there was really only one film I could write about.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off can be a bit of a marmite film.  It has a huge cult following, but there are also those grumpy few who just don’t get it.  I very much do get it. Ferris, in a similar way to Grease, captures everything about the school years you never had. We all wish we’d been as fearless as Ferris, able to talk our way out of any situation, never getting caught, indiscriminately popular and able to turn our hand to anything. Of course, the reality is that if we’re honest, we’re all far more like Cameron, keeping our heads down and just trying to get by.

That’s why Ferris works.  He takes Cameron (and by association all of us) out of his comfort zone and shows him that there’s a big wide world out there if you just get out of bed and go and find it.  Now, we shouldn’t all be skipping school and pretending to have life threatening diseases, but there’s no point in letting life pass you by either.  There are some great quotes in the movie, and one of my favourites is: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it,” which I think sums the movie up pretty succinctly.  Although the whole Carpe diem message is hardly new, it’s a strong backbone that provides support to what could otherwise be a pretty fluffy movie.

For me, Cameron makes the movie.  We’re not worried about Ferris. He’s obviously going to be fine; coasting through life as one of those insanely irritating people who never really have to try but somehow manages to fall on his feet. Cameron on the other hand is unsure.  He might not be the eponymous hero, but he’s the character who goes through the major development and whom in my opinion, the film is really about.  As I’ve mentioned, he’s far more relatable than Ferris, and so we’re immediately captured by this character who is about to go off in to the big wide world, but is too scared to actually take that step.

The light heart of the movie kind of drops out for the final infamous car scene, leaving us a sense of dread of what will happen to Cameron after the credits roll, but at the same time we get the feeling that the inevitable confrontation with his father will be the beginning of Cameron finally taking control of his life.  It’s not really the ending you expect from the film, but it is a healthy dose of reality at just the right time.

Ferris is a coming of age movie.  Again, not exactly original, but it captures that awkward moment at the end of school before university (or college for our Yankee cousins) where everyone is promising to be friends forever but there’s a little part of you that wonders if that’s true.  There’s a really nice moment (I think by the pool, but correct me if I’m wrong) where Ferris is mulling over that precise idea, with a great honesty that cuts through any possibly candy coating.  It’s moments like that which I think make Ferris such a good movie and so different from others of its kind, backed up by the great “to-camera” pieces by a wiser than his years Ferris: “Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism’s in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself.”

While there are times when the plot is pretty unbelievable (pretty much everything the Principal does is far fetched) it’s balanced with nuggets of realism that come in at just the right intervals to strike a chord with the audience.  It leaves the film with a feeling of nostalgia, as if it’s being told years later and certain facts have been embellished. You can almost imagine a prologue/epilogue scenario with a grown up Cameron telling the story.

All these clever plot points and punchy quotable lines would be no good without decent performances, and luckily Ferris has them.  Matthew Broderick has probably never done anything as good again, but he is perfect as Ferris, making a character who could come across as smug warm and likeable. Alan Ruck is also wonderfully understated as Cameron, capturing “awkward teenager” all the more impressively when you bear in mind that he was 30 at the time.  Jennifer Grey and Jeffrey Jones give more larger than life performances, mainly sidelined as supporting characters to add some depth to the plot, but Garner’s frustrated sibling is all too familiar to any of us who have ever known a “Ferris” and the cameo moment with actor-turned-prophet Charlie Sheen gives a little bit more dimension as well as being one of my favourite scenes.

I could talk about why Ferris works for ages (you can probably tell) but as this isn’t my blog I’ll keep my superlatives to a minimum.  Ferris Bueller captures that invincible end of school feeling when you know you have your whole life ahead of you and then gives you that little nudge to go out there and get it.

 

Katie Ferin is a medical students and blogger (quite the combo!). She owns more DVDs than any one person can watch in a lifetime and can be found discussing the ones that really matters on her blog, storiesthatreallymattered.wordpress.com.

 
 
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music to my eyes

[Editor’s Note: You may think to your self, this post is more ‘music’ than ‘movie’. You’re correct. We here at TVDM appreciate the interconnectedness of entertainment and subsequently appreciate this post. We won’t often veer to far away from our TV/movie focus, so when we do make expectations your job is to read and critique, but NOT to judge us….although we understand if you do. And by ‘we’ I just mean me…Will & Marcus promise to be thoroughly pissed at any and all judging. -Nicole ]

I would like to pose a question to you. What ever happened to (memorable) soundtracks accompanying popular Black movies? Do The Right Thing, Boomerang, Deep Cover, Love Jones, Soul Food…all popular Black movies that had critically acclaimed soundtracks. In my opinion, the disappearance of Black movie soundtracks can be credited to:

Lack of quality Black artists that can carry the weight of a critically acclaimed film

+

Rapidly decreasing rate of Black movie releases.

Black movie soundtracks have been around since the 1960s. Legendary soul singers like Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Willie Hutch and The Staples Singers provided timeless anthems to accompany legendary Blaxploitation films (Superfly, Shaft, Foxy Brown and Let’s Do It Again).  Anytime “Pusherman” or “Let’s Do It Again” is played in a room full of 40+ year old Black people, you can count down the seconds until all hands are in the air, lyrics are belted out in unison and all feet (and usually hips) are moving from side-to-side.

I wasn’t born in the 1970s.  I am an 80’s baby and grew up/adopted the hip-hop culture as my way of life.  Even still, I can tell you where I was when I saw Deep Cover and heard the title theme or how the Crooklyn soundtrack stayed in my cassette player everyday during my walk to school. I miss that. Unfortunately, I believe Black music has come to a point of no return.  During my adolescence, I had the luxury of seeing an ENTERTAINING Black film and have LEGENDARY music from the likes of Public Enemy, OutKast, Dr. Dre, Boyz II Men, Refugee All-Stars, Toni Braxton and countless other artists.

To be fair, Jay-Z released a full-length album in commemoration of “The Frank Lucas Story”, aka “American Gangster”.  However, I still have trouble giving that album full “soundtrack” credit because, as Mr. Watch The Throne stated himself, it’s a concept album.  Nice try, Jay-Hova.

I won’t end on a Tyler Perry bashing note, but I will offer some constructive criticism. Mr. Perry has (unfortunately) had the Black movie game on lock for some years now. Millions of Black Americans rush to the theaters and pay to see his “blockbusters”.  He could use his movies as a platform to bring strong, memorable Black soundtracks to the forefront. Had a “Why Did I Get Married (The Soundtrack)” come to fruition, it could have been one of the best R&B collaborative studio albums of all time. Although a scary thought, the next Perry film could be a catalyst for finally getting Jodeci back in the studio. Imagine the possibilities….

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hairology + ‘boy meets world’

I’ve seen every episode of Boy Meets World….several times. Is that something to be proud of? Nah. Has the knowledge that contrary to what they said, Cory and Topanga were NOT childhood sweethearts been relevant for me outside of conversations directly related to Boy Meets World? Of course not. Realizing Shawn Hunter (bad boy turned alcoholic turned poet) and Cory Matthews (regular kid turned regular teenager turned boring, married college student) had the kind of friendship I someday wanted (and finally found my freshmen year of college), was probably the only life lesson the show ever gave me.

But.

Apparently hair was an important factor for Boy Meets World. I missed that mostly because I was too busy obsessing over the lesser known, but equally hot Lawrence brother and how dumb Eric got every season. The author of “When Boy Met Curl: The mane lessons of ‘Boy Meets World‘” clearly saw what I glossed over. Outside of the author neglecting to mention Angela’s ‘do and its transitions through the series, its a good read, especially if you have a soft spot for Boy Meets World the way I do.

“I watched Boy Meets World  for two reasons.

First, it was a show that made me feel like I wasn’t alone in life. Like Cory Matthews (Ben Savage), the show’s protagonist, I didn’t have the answers growing up. He muddled his way through high school, puberty, friendships and sex, just like me. Amidst a sea of sitcom Smart-Alecks and Sassers, he was an Everyman, instantly relatable to me on every level.” (Read the full story here).

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teen nick’s ‘the 90s are all that’….the buzz that came and went

Just like all the other twentysomethings who properly appreciate nostalgia, I was SUPER pumped for the return of my favorite Nick shows. Were Clarissa’s outfits as fashionably 90s as I’d recalled? Would I still be afraid of the dark? Was Doug still as awkward as Judy was a pretentious hipster?

So I programmed my DVR  and waited patiently until the next day when I would watch while working. And it was fun. I realized Keenan and Kel wasn’t as funny the second time around, and All That didn’t really do it for me anymore. Fortunately, Clarissa and Doug held up to my prepubescent standards.

But still, I need more. I think my current lukewarm reaction mirrors those of my peers. Sure, we like the shows they have on now, but of all the old Nick programming these are not the ones we REALLY want to see. They need to throw Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Hey Dude, the Secret World of Alex Mack and Salute Your Shorts in the mix, now. Those are the shows that people sit and “hey remember that episode when…” about obsessively with their friends. Those are the ones that separate the cool kids who watched them, from those that didn’t.

Another show I’d like to see back is Hey Arnold!, which didn’t really hit me until reading Hey Arnold!: Five Reasons It’s Worthy of a Nick Comeback. My favorite part from this article: “As my brother so plainly put it, Arnold was such a great character because “he had swag.” I’d try to put it more… poetically, but it’s just the truth. After so many neurotic, loud, crazy cartoon characters on TV — SpongeBob, I’m looking at you — Arnold was a breath of fresh air. He was always unruffled.” I was so busy remembering the interracial love affair that was Gerald and Phoebe, and Arnold’s little hat that I forgot all the other quirky things about this show.

Aside from a name change (‘the 90s are All That‘ grates me and I wish it was a less obvious ploy for our collective attention), hopefully the programming team at Teen Nick, or whoever is in charge of such decisions, starts adding different shows. Until then, I will make due with fond memories and repeats of repeats of Clarissa Explains it All.

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