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Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1987)
What the hell?
As a kid born in 1985, I became of a learning age around 1990. At that time, SAVED BY THE BELL was just starting off. Zack, Slater, Kelly, Screech, Lisa, Jessie, Mr. Belding... they were all there. Reruns started about two years after that.
And the reruns messed with my head.
You see, I had no prior knowledge that this Bayside-based high school sitcom actually had roots in a former show entitled GOOD MORNING, MISS BLISS. But apparently everyone else had, so there were no explanations when these episodes were aired under the SAVED BY THE BELL moniker and threw my entire viewing experience off its axis.
It was ve-e-e-ery '80s. Zack was pretty young (around 14 or 15?) and he was aside a prepubescent Screech and two new kids that seemed to be 1989 in the raw. Miss Bliss was weird; and the episode where they invest in potatoes is just damn bizarre.
Like the entire show.
Two Reviews for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (*** out of **** for Kevin Smith Junkies)
You'll wet your pants at the return of Dante and Randal. Brodie will hit you like a lightning bolt, and you'll go into an overload as Holden flashes onto the screen with a hilarious send-up of Jay's entrance in CHASING AMY.
For those of you who adored MALLRATS and hailed it Smith's best work, this is the movie you've waited for since '95. JAY AND SILENT BOB is the second View Askew movie to not contain a trace of dramatic content, and to those who looked down on 'RATS, well, this one will simply please you because A, it's the Askewniverse, and B, it's got *everyone* you've missed during the years.
A nice end to the series, but one can wish for something more... along the lines of the CLERKS: SELLIN' OUT coming out next year. But until then, this will hold our cravings down.
JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (** out of **** for View Askew virgins)
It's very simplistic, with no real character development save the two title stars. They live in a world we apparently should know, but any lack of knowledge on Smith's previous works will drop you from this loop in an instant. It's enjoyable from start to finish, but you can tell it's nothing special.
JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (My final thoughts)
I enjoyed it. Very much so, in fact. But I can see why it got so many mixed reviews, and why many have complained that it honors Kevin Smith's fictional universe so much. However, it should be noted that although this is not considered a sequel, it is the final chapter in a series, and should be viewed in succession to get the full effect.
The Daily Show (1996)
Dubya: "I was not elected to one party--"; John Stewart: "You were not elected."
When the show premiered in 1996, it was good. Craig Kilborn and his staff of oddball reporters showed signs of comedic genius. Five questions were always a pleasure, and the highlight for me had to be the scene from LEGEND OF RICKY in that segment's video opening.
But when John Stewart came, so did the greatness. Mo Rocca, Vance DeGeneres, Stephen Colbert, Nancy Walls, and Steve Corral, as well as the always funny Lewis Black and hilarious Frank DeCaro replaced the correspondence team--and have done very, very well. THE DAILY SHOW has grown from the small, mock news program/night show it once was into something completely new and fun. During the conventions last year, THE DAILY SHOW broke coverage of our current president with an erection while hearing his name nominated. Now this is crude, but in the context of the event, and the fact that it is pretty hard to doctor something like that, this six minute segment was perhaps the funniest in the show's history.
And it just keeps getting better. Its correspondents are better than ever (Colbert especially), and it is gradually gaining respect as a real news program. A reward for anyone interested in news and comedy--I wholeheartedly recommend you check this gem out if you haven't already!
The Hook-Armed Man (2000)
An awesome short film.
I had the pleasure of viewing this film, along with Greg's other work, today at the Myhalen Film Festival in Hackettstown, New Jersey. This, along with "Light in the Fridge" and "Gameday" had me laughing out loud. The story of Lou -- the Hook-Armed Man -- and his quest to break free of his tedious maim-kill-maim-kill job begins funny then gets surprisingly gory. But the added animation is great, and detracts from what could've been disturbing, making the whole film seem more light-hearted. I asked a lot of questions of the director after the film was shown; he was a really nice guy. If you see the film in your area, GO WATCH IT. And also look for "The Quarry".
Runs circles around 'Scary Movie'.
This film, like 'Cherry Falls,' was scheduled for wide-screen release but due to some other films - other horrible films - they were not. Instead, the USA Network, which is widely known for its pornography that consists of the Pizza Guy entering, then a cut, then the Pizza Guy leaving, aired these two films and others.
I believe this was the jewel of the bunch. Unlike 'Scary Movie,' it provided humor via dialogue - and not a penis impaling. The movie kept throwing joke after joke at you, at times making it hard to breathe. From the cheerleader lapping Scotch in a water fountain in school to the surprise 'dastardly' ending, the film did what many thought impossible: parody a parody.
And yes, even before (and after) 'Scary Movie' left its path of destruction throughout audiences all over the world.
Family Guy (1999)
The Most Underrated Show on Television.
I wouldn't be the first to admit that the Season One of 'Family Guy' was pretty lackluster - they were going for average jokes that were fillers in FOX's hit 'The Simpsons'. I sorta forgot about the show until my friend's brought it back up in mid-2000, when FOX was airing it as summer replacement for 'That '70s Show' or something. And sweet mother of God, I was in heaven. 'Family Guy' meshed very funny one-liners with drop dead jump-cuts, which was their main appeal when first premiered. The show was done without a moral lesson at the end which, noticeable or not, is a part of most 'Simpsons' episodes.
Stewie was a gold mine of a character. There was no explanation for his character, nor Brian's, and that made everything that much odder. He was the exact parallel of Maggie Simpson - a loudmouth baby that steals the show. But it's the other characters, like Quagmire and the news anchors, that give the show its bold flavor. Their completely out there. Quagmire is a one-liner-per-second, constantly flaunting his 'sexual prowess' and just raising the notch in the show's comedy bar. And then there are the guest stars and/or rips on celebrities and popular figures from any time. What happens when God invents Tiny Poppers? Einstein brings the oven door over his head and steals the idea. A seemingly empty space is Kate Moss turned to the side. Norm McDonald as Death has sex with his girlfriend in his car (another fantastic flashback) to only cause her death. and continue the act nonetheless.
It isn't 'South Park'. It isn't 'The Simpsons'. It's something in the middle, a clever mixture of wit and shock that can - and most likely will - take the animated sitcom crown once it returns for its third season in the spring of 2001.