Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by PaulKTF, Jan 27, 2016.
Yeah, a lot of shows take a few years for the cast to gel and the scripts to get halfway decent.
I loved Sandy Duncan on The Hogan Family. She was in an extremely difficult position but she blended in seamlessly. It became more of an ensemble once she joined though she and Bateman were the main stars. But the scripts were balanced in favour of all the characters including Mrs. Poole.
Vidiot is right - there are many '80s shows that have simply disappeared because people don't care about them. But maybe someone who has access to releasing this show on DVD might read this thread.
I can think of plenty of 80's sitcoms that are a billion times worse. I mean you could make the argument that The Hogan Family is kind of forgettable but I also think it's better than a sizable chunk of sitcoms from the era.
I'd buy the complete series if Shout Factory put it out (hint hint, Shout Factory...).
Webster would be one - anyone remember that? At the time the main character was seen as a copy of Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes
People compared it to Diff'rent Strokes but it really didn't have much in common with it- the premises really weren't all that similar except on the surface.
I never watched Webster but it's likely the only similarity was a young African American boy was the star of the show.
Pretty much. I mean, Arnold and his brother were adopted by a rich white guy and Webster was adopted by a rich white couple but beyond that the tones of the shows were pretty different. I watched a few episodes of Webster a couple days ago and it's a little better than I remembered it being.
I don't think they know. Judging by what little I know, Valerie Harper doesn't have a reputation of being difficult. Mary Tyler Moore (on the other hand) was extremely difficult on her 1980s sitcom Mary, and drove the producers and writers crazy on that one. I know of a special she did about 10 years ago where I was told by one of the producers that she was very difficult and a bit combative. I have no idea what's true, but this is what I was told, directly from the executive producer. I think her personality changed quite a bit from the time she was on Dick Van Dyke to her own CBS show and then for all the not-too-successful shows that followed.
Sandy was beloved by the crew and did her best. She's got an odd look with the bad eye, but I don't dispute she was a good actress and had good comic timing.
I generally take stories like this with a grain of salt - unless it's universal. Unless you hear it over and over again - as is the case with Chevy Chase.
Re. The MTM Show - the opening sequence is my all time favorite. I remember when Oprah did an homage to it when she interviewed Mary
Heck, Bateman doesn't have enough star power to get It's Your Move released, a show he was at the centre of, and which would be a much cheaper proposition.
I rewatched a few episodes of IYM a while back and it is a better show than Valerie. Bateman played a little **** when he was on Silver Spoons and it carried over into It's Your Move. He was pretty restrained on Valerie, which was a pretty bland show.
I liked the show quite a bit in my teens, and was surprised when it got canned as it seemed fairly popular, if word at mouth at school is any indication. I also re-watched it a couple of years back, and while it could get pretty '80s-sitcom most of it holds up fairly well, especially when the focus in on Bateman's schemes and his conflicts with the neighbour across the hall.
The Hogan Family was a pleasant, sweet show.
Some of "Webster" is out on DVD. Looks like the first three seasons made it out to retail, with a fourth season "Shout Factory Select" set also released, out of apparently six total seasons.
People probably vaguely remember "Webster" more than "The Hogan Family", so I don't think six seasons of "Hogan" would make it on DVD.
I've re-tried many old 80s shows, with mixed results. Some are immensely enjoyable when watching years later (see my avatar!), some are nostalgic but just "so so", and some are just tedioius.
I actually re-tried "Webster" a few years back, and while the pilot episode probably isn't the best one to judge a show by, the pilot was *extremely* slow and tedious.
I think "Hogan" would probably fare better than that with me, but I can't fathom buying six seasons on DVD. I only recall one specific episode from the show having not seen it in years, and it was one I remember liking: one of the smaller kids has a bully continually pestering him, and his older brother (Bateman) confronts the bully somewhere (school bathroom or something) and tells him to back off, not telling the bully who he is. As he leaves, the bully asks Bateman "who are you?", and Bateman just says "I'm Batman." Can't remember if this was before or after Burton's "Batman" was out.
I imagine it has to have aired after the 1989 Batman movie because it seem too obvious of a reference to the line from the movie.
I think that goes for damn near all of them. Very, very dated.
What I might be able to see would be if they released (say) a 2- or 3-hour "Best of" compilation that just gathered together the best 5 or 6 episodes in one package, as chosen by the producers and the star. I think that's a reasonable idea, it wouldn't cost too much, and it would at least give the fans a taste of the show without forcing them to commit to buying 110 episodes. To me, there are only a handful of series that actually warrant buying all of them on DVD or Blu-ray, because they generally just don't hold up very well.
I hate when they release a compilation DVD and not an entire season! It's annoying.
A pleasant for its time but not essential to revisit show - I can see why the interest has been low in getting this released. I remember this show for one key episode. The house fire very special episode. The house burns then the next week the show comes back with every element of the house back to its original condition! Heck, even Webster got a new house out of the fire he started in his closet!
I always found Miller-Boyet's claim that Harper was upset that the show was being taken away from her a stretch. Her last show, Rhoda, at certain points could have been called Brenda since Julie Kavner got at times more focal point storylines than Val. She also came out of the MTM universe before that so she knew the value of being in a strong ensemble where everyone shines.
She did mention in her memoir that she found it difficult to adjust to a production and writing staff that resisted collaborating to make the show better unlike what she had experienced on her prior two shows. Once, after taping a scene for a mediocre episode that got no laughs from the studio audience, Val pointed that fact out and was told not to worry, the laughs would be added in post. This acceptance of mediocrity probably is a good reason why it hasn't translated into being rerun or released on disc today.....
I think Valerie had a handshake agreement that she would have some input on scripts and story arcs, and I think she was taken aback when Miller-Broyett -- who did a ton of sitcoms over the previous 15 years where the actors were basically puppets who did what they were told to do -- refused to listen to her. It's for reasons like this that nowadays, the stars of many series are given the title of "producer" or "executive producer," mainly to justify an additional paycheck but also to facilitate their involvement and approval with scripts. I think sometimes this works, but sometimes the actor is not able to objectively know if a script is good or bad. I also know of occasions where both the actor and the producers have to come to an understanding where they both have to compromise a little bit. Once egos and success enter the equation, things can go south very quickly.
But if the line ain't gettin' a laugh, then I'd say the script is not good. Adding laughs to a line doesn't make it funny. There were a ton of "family" comedies during the 1980s -- I think due mainly to everybody trying to imitate the Cosby formula -- and a lot of them lacked really big boffo laughs. I think the success of Seinfeld and Friends drove home the importance of gags and real laughs, and not just the warm atmosphere of a happy family.
"Remastering" is kind of a bogus phrase that doesn't really mean anything. Nowadays, it would simply be making it available for streaming and download; the chances of a show like this getting released on physical media is slim. However, making people look at 1986 video today is pretty unpleasant. Everybody is so accustomed to decent image quality with contemporary shows -- meaning anything made over the last 15 years -- it'd be a huge step down to just reissue a standard-def show like this as-is and not bother to rescan the negatives and make it look better.
It can be done: the studios did it for Cheers, Seinfeld, That '70s Show, and many others. A lot of other shows that were actually cut on film are easily rescanned for HD (even an ancient show like I Love Lucy and later classics like Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore). Many of these shows wind up looking better on HD than they ever did in their original broadcasts. I think audiences deserve to be respected enough that the studios and distributors have to pay attention to things like mastering quality, because it's all part of preserving TV history and respecting the creative people that made these shows part of pop culture.
I would bet that Shout Factory would not spend dime one at remastering it, and it'd wind up looking very soft and junky because of the limitations of 1980s standard-def 1" videotape (which is what the show was edited and mastered on).
Same could be said for Full House and that show has tons of nostalgia. Hell, I bought the complete series DVD of The Facts Of Life for the nostalgia. Don't underestimate the childhood nostalgia of 30-somethings.
Personally, I only thought the show was okay growing up when it followed ALF. But I am surprised they never released it on DVD in light of Jason Bateman's success as an adult
Detailed story here:
That 70's Show was very clear Vidiot , it wasn't made in 1977.. I watched the whole series..
It's don't need to be much clearer and sharper of course there obsession factor
which plays into Blu ray too.. so you have that.
Yes, that's one advantage of shooting a show on film -- it's "resolution independent," so they can generally dig in and get more detail out of the show. That '70s Show was also shot 3-perf 35mm, so it was technically 16x9 ("HD ready"), but we still wound up having to reframe quite a few of the wide shots when they shot off the set. The great late Ron Browne lit the entire series and did a good job on it.
Doh, Facts of Life. I knew people who worked on that show who were ready to hang themselves.
Oh man tell us more!
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