Thursday, November 15, 2007

Burning TV Questions

* Is the Goodyear guy the greatest TV pitchman since the glory days of the Maytag repairman? This man has been the face of Goodyear for close to 20 years now. He's moved through dozens of ad campaigns -- answering phone calls, asking rental car companies if he could use his own tires, and now riding shotgun in a blimp. He's done it all. His longevity has to be, in part, caused by the fact that he's now terribly typecast. As least Gordon Jump (the old Maytag repairman) could also hang his hat on being on WKRP In Cincinnati, and playing the child molester in that one really weird episode of Diff'rent Strokes. Wouldn't it blow everyone's minds if the Goodyear guy played, say, a pedophile on The Shield or something?

* Curb Your Enthusiasm: does it count as a spinoff of Seinfeld? On the one hand, it obviously doesn't take place in the same universe as George, Elaine, Kramer and fake Jerry. Then again, Curb's version of Larry David is essentially George if Seinfeld's "Jerry" sitcom had taken off and been successful and George had moved to L.A. and gotten married. It's a tough call. I ask since, in the 'best spinoff ever' debate, if Curb counts, then it's between just it and Frasier in TV history.

* Am I the only one who finds the girl in the Tic Tac ads really good-looking? It seems like she should be British, though. That's what's holding her back.

* Can anyone who watches that TVTropolis trivia show 'Inside The Box' tell me if they have returning champions, a la Jeopardy? Since if they do, I'm the next Ken Jennings. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. I would roll through that show like the Kansas City Chiefs through a high school team. TVTropolis would have to put me on the payroll.


RT Murphy said...

My vote is that Curb isn't a spinoff. It doesn't separate from Seinfeld in any meaningful way, it just makes reference to it having happened in the show's universe. Larry David's character is impacted by Seinfeld but also everything else that Larry has ever done (such as SNL).

I would also say that 'best spinoff' is a wider contest than you're making it out to be. On the actually likeable scale, we have the Star Trek TV series (any of them, really, not my thing though), The Colbert Report (from Daily Show), Angel (from Buffy), The Jeffersons (from All In The Family), and perhaps the top contender, Happy Days (from Love American Style, and you get Laverne and Shirley from Happy Days even).

On the less likable, subjectively, you have stuff like CSI: Miami, and Xena (from Hercules).

Out of all of those maybe only Star Trek and Happy Days are actual contenders, but you get the point.

Also, on the tic tac girl, it is only important for her to have a British accent. This is of utmost importance. Although Billie Piper is changing my mind...

Mark P said...

RT, I agree that there have been several quality spinoffs. For example, I'll argue with anyone my controversial stance that seasons 4-5 of Angel were as good as Buffy seasons 2-3. But it's just that Frasier was a better show than all of them. In fact, I'd even argue Frasier has held up better than Cheers.

Also, I've never been a fan of the term spinoff being applied to shows like Happy Days, where one episode of another show served as a de facto pilot but the new program really had little to do with the old one.

Emmett Macfarlane said...

Your Buffy/Angel contention intrigues me. I too enjoyed much of both of those Angel seasons, but the end of season 4 with Jasmine was stupid, and there were a good handful of very weak episodes in season 5.

The more I've watched Buffy, I more I like the later seasons (5-7).

Chad Nevett said...

Got to say that Curb isn't a spin-off, mostly because, while related, none of the characters in that show ever appeared on Seinfeld. As well, spin-offs by design are spun OUT of a show--which Curb wasn't. It came about unrelated to Seinfeld through the HBO special Larry David did.

No returning champs on Inside the Box. But, goddamn is that show ever so easy. My favourite had to be a week or two ago where they had various TV "authorities" on (newspaper and website critics) and these people SUCKED. They were horrible. They missed the easiest, most obvious answers. It's rare that someone on that show actually seems to know anything, though.

And, finally, yes, the Tic-Tac girl is very attractive. My favourite TV spokeswoman by far.