Posts tagged Thirtysomething
Podcast 84: Top 15 TV Writers

84 Podcast_edited-1 We count down the Top TV Writers on our literary episode. We discuss Mark Frost's New Twin Peaks Novel, as well as announce the new Scott Luck Stories Book. We discuss writers like Ronald D Moore, David Chase, Larry David, Susan Harris, Vince Gilligan, Darin Morgan, Aaron Sorkin and more.  Television is a writer's medium and we discuss why and who is the cream of the crop.

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Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

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30Something - Machete Episode Guide

Josh asks very little of me.  That is why our partnership works.   Another famous TV partnership was Michael and Elliot from 30something.  Their story is one of the best in this 80's television show.  As followers will know, 30something is one of my top shows of all time.  I love it like I love Picket Fences, Moonlighting, Soap and Twin Peaks.  I love the show so much that I started a podcast about it and I have a book coming out in 2017. Josh has asked me for a while to create what is now called a Machete version of watching this show.  The thing about 30something is that there are some bad episodes, but since it is a drama you do tend to miss something if you just skip around.

I have decided to rate the episodes as A, B or C.  A's are episodes that you must watch.  I rank 45 out of the 85 episodes as A. These are the heart and soul of 30something. These episodes are crucial to the overall story lines and cannot be missed to understand the show.  I rank 30 episodes as B. These could be missed but probably have some plot point that will be carried on. I added some B+’s. This means that while the episode may not be great, there is a plot point that will be continued or this episode is the genesis for a major character change. The thing about 30something is sometimes you need to sit through something that might not be totally engaging to get a pay off later. 10 episodes are rated as C.  These are the worst of the show. Yes, if this is your first time through the show you might want to check these out but they are pretty weak and could be skipped.

This show is the single best journey of any series ever.  The characters become so real to you that you will believe they actually exist.  But if you want to take a quick pass through the DVDs then only watch the 45 great ones.  Or watch it as a 75 episode great and fine episode.  Or just take the full 85 episode journey, just like life, take the good with the bad.

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Season 1

1              "Pilot" - A

2              "The Parents Are Coming, the Parents Are Coming" – A

3              "Housewarming" - B

4              "Couples" - A

5              "But Not for Me" C

6              "We Gather Together" B

7              "Nice Work If You Can Get It" A

8              "Weaning" B

9              "I'll Be Home for Christmas" A

10           "South by Southeast" B+

11           "Therapy" A

12           "Competition" A

13           "Separation" A

14           "I'm in Love, I'm in Love, I'm in Love with a Wonderful Gynecologist C

15           "Business as Usual" A

16           "Accounts Receivable" B+

17           "Whose Forest is This?" A

18           "Nancy's First Date" B

19           "Undone" C

20           "Tenure" B+

21           "Born to Be Mild" B

Season 2

1              "We'll Meet Again" B

2              "In Re: The Marriage of Weston" A

3              "The Mike Van Dyke Show" A

4              "Trust Me" B+

5              "No Promises" B+

6              "Politics" A

7              "Success"A

8              "First Day/Last Day" A

9              "About Last Night"B+

10           "Elliot's Dad" B+

11           "Payment Due" C

12           "Deliverance" B

13           "Michael Writes a Story" A

14           "New Job" A

15           "Be a Good Girl" C

16           "Courting Nancy"A

17           "Best of Enemies" B+

Season 3

1              "Nancy's Mom" A

2              "Love and Sex" B

3              "Mr. Right" A

4              "New Baby" A

5              "Legacy" A

6              "Strangers" B

7              "Pilgrims" B

8              "The Burning Bush" C

9              "New Parents" B

10           "Michael's Campaign" A

11           "Pulling Away" A

12           "Another Country" A

13           "Post-Op" A

14           "Once a Mermaid" B

15           "Fathers and Lovers" B

16           "Her Cup Runneth Over" C

17           "Good Sex, Some Sex, What Sex, No Sex" A

18           "The Other Shoe" B

19           "Three Year Itch" B

20           "I'm Nobody, Who Are You?" A

21           "Arizona" A

22           "Going Limp" A

23           "The Go Between" A

24           "Samurai Ad Man" A

Season 4

1              "Prelude to a Bris" B

2              "Life Class" A

3              "Control" B

4              "The Distance" A

5              "The Haunting of DAA" C

6              "The Guilty Party" B

7              "Photo Opportunity" C

8              "Never Better" A

9              "Guns and Roses" A

10           "Happy New Year" A

11           "Melissa and Men" A

12           "Advanced Beginners" B+

13           "Sifting the Ashes" B+

14           "Second Look" A

15           "Fighting the Cold" A

16           "The Difference Between Men and Women B+

17           "Our Wedding" A

18           "Closing the Circle" A

19           "Out the Door" A

20           "Hopeless" C

21           "A Stop at Willoughby" A

22           "Melissa in Wonderland"C

23           "California" A

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Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

My So-Called Life 20 years later

I decided that my teenage daughter was just the right age to be introduced to the ultimate teenager of the 90’s, Angela Chase.  As a family we watched the first two episodes of My So-Called Life.  I have not watched this show since it aired in the 90’s.  I was and am a huge Thirtysomething fan so this show never lived up to that bar for me.  I was always surprised that the show became such a huge hit once it aired on MTV a few years after it later.  Watching it again I was blown away by Claire Danes performance.  It has to be the single best teenage acting job, sorry Sarah Michelle Gellar, I think Claire might have edged you out.  What struck me most about this pilot was the directing.  Scott Winant was always my favorite director on Thirtysomething.  I am sure that Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick didn’t ponder for very long about whom to give the pilot episode to.  The way he sets up scene transitions are amazing.  I think the idea of trying to do stylized directing has totally vanished from television.  Breaking Bad did a lot with color but I am talking about transitions and camera movement.  Scott must have spent hours with the script figuring how to fade from one scene to the other.  At one point, in the second episode, they fade from a poster of apples and oranges to a vending machine containing apples and oranges.  This was a shot that pasted over the heads of my children but it impressed me.   I realized how rare it is for a show to be viewed on two levels anymore.  A program that parents and kids can watch and enjoy at the exact same time. My youngest daughter liked how everyone ignored the youngest daughter.  My older daughter liked that it showed how people are left out when one person changes in a group.  My wife enjoyed how the mom tried to get the husband to play the bad guy at least once in awhile and I loved the directing and writing.  Winnie Holzman (writer of Wicked) focuses in so perfectly on the teenage experience.  The monologue about how everyone chews their food is such a small piece of personal writing.  This show truly has everything for a family show.  I will admit that when they started to deal with the affair and lack of sexual intrigue for the parents, I wondered if maybe the 11 year old was a bit too young for this show.  But I think she mostly focused on how cute Jordan Catalano was.

I was amazed at how well the characters were defined.  I rarely hear about the social impact of the Rickie Vasquez character played by Wilson Cruz.  This character is so nonchalantly introduced in the show that it feels like a modern program.  I wonder if all those teenagers back in the 90’s who just accepted Rickie were the same adults who easily accepted gay marriage this year with no issues.  Maybe that is putting too much importance on a show, but I like to think that it might be.

I will be interested to see how I feel about the 17 episodes of this series and if this show will rise in my memory of great shows. I know at the time, I wanted something as great as Thirtysomething, which I guess I have wanted for the past 20 years.  It has never happened and most likely never will.  You can never achieve that excitement of your first love again, which I guess, is exactly what the show is all about.

Check out our podcast where a moment from the show makes our feel good list.

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Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.


Paley Center's David Bushman Interview

Palecy Center Icon 56This is the conversation about television that we have been waiting to have.  Turn off the computer, the Wii, the television set and listen to 3 lovers of television go at it.  David Bushman a Curator from the Museum of Television at the Paley Center in NYC takes on the Red Room.  We hit all the great topics and all the great shows.  Unfortunately we forgot to discuss sitcoms or the world of Joss Whedon, so I smell a sequel.  Both Josh and I believe this is the podcast we have been waiting to have.  We hope you love it as much as we do. Press play here to listen:

Buy or Rent A Voyage To Twin Peaks at Amazon. It is the documentary Scott directed about the 25th Twin Peaks Festival. See the actors, the set locations and interviews with the fans.

Download on iTunes

Order this Essay Book that David Bushman and The Red Room write essay's about Twin Peaks

Here is our discussion with David about the series of Breaking Bad.