RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

FOX 25th Anniversary Special

I watched this because nothing seemed more wonderful to me, in this day and age of idiots praising horrible cable shows nonstop and constantly citing or calling for the death of networks, than a celebration of network television in all its glory. And since I was born and raised on FOX as my primary introduction to prime time for several years before CBS emerged as champion, it should probably surprise no one that I got kind of overwhelmed just thinking about how proud I am of it and all of its accomplishments. It deserves its own post.

I mean, sure, this network is responsible for several of my all time most hated series -- Family Guy, anything else Seth McFarlane produces, anything Gordon Ramsey is involved in, MadTV -- but it is also the home of X-Files. That 70s Show. Macolm in the Middle (oh, perfect modern family comedy). Tru Calling. The O.C. My fond, if vague and possibly misguided, memories of Dark Angel, Boston Public, the end of Ally McBeal. Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction (what are "shows not getting a mention in this special"?) The ghosts of American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance and Bones. And of course, its current crop of beauties: Glee and the recently evicted from my heart Raising Hope and fast fading House. it's just that and The Simpsons next year, apparently, unless they come up with a good pilot. Ouch. Anyway!

The following bullet points have been compiled mostly in order.

* I'm glad they addressed the discrepancy in liberalism between the network and the news channel -- for the longest time, I was always utterly baffled and thought people were confused when they called Fox News super conservative, because FOX was clearly the trashiest and most low brow of all the networks, even when the UPN was around.

(pause to light a candle for the poor WB, which did not have the same survival strength in the face of dim reception that this network gets to boast about now)

* "Disgusting, with absolutely no redeeming value" -- sounds like an accurate description of Married With Children, even if comes across as less harmless by today's standards. I think I've watched it a few times, but I will never understand why it lasted eleven freaking years.

* On Family Guy: "Critics thought it pushed the envelope way beyond good taste." Also true. Family Guy is the worst scripted show across the entirety of broadcast television, past or present.

* Watching the group from New Girl was torture -- I can't believe I hate these people even more than I thought I would -- but they had a fun script about all the terrible, terrible reality shows/special in network history. Although I'm pretty sure I watched the ones featuring attacking animals. And those Temptation Island clips definitely looked familiar.

* Hahaha, I never made the connection that My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancee featured the guy later known as Joe from Grey's Anatomy! See, this at least is a terrible reality show I resisted. Somehow. Compelling as it looked.

* I did not resist Joe Millionaire. I watched that sucker from start to end, still think he was attractive, and Zora is beautiful. Mr. Joe is not quite so hot now, but I suspect he would still have something to work with if he lost that hideous tuft of hair on his chin.

* Turns out I never knew what Melrose Place was about until tonight. I always thought it was a carbon copy of 90210, and it was really confusing when the characters did not appear to be teenagers. 

* I had read about (and found appealing) but never seen any video footage of Party of Five before. Based on this, it seems like something I need to watch ASAP, because it appears to be everything I have ever wanted from a television show and full of wonderful actors to boot.

* 90210 was just described as "a show the whole family could sit down and watch together." Um...really? Like, a family with children under 15? Because that is not so much the impression I have gotten from everything I've ever read. I thought it was super trashy, possibly with raunchy scenes. Am I wrong? Was it sufficiently censored by the time period enough that I could handle it? (It does look fantastically 90s in a way I've never realized before) I have no real interest in handling it, I'm just curious. I've always felt good about missing out on that particular phenomenon.

* Sometimes I feel like I watched The O.C. in a twilight zone. It was huge senior year when it premiered, but my friend didn't watch prime time, so there was no one to talk to about it. The fact that it sucked me in despite no media influence (since I didn't use the internet for TV then) is impressive. It was even bigger in college, but by that point I hated it, stopped watching for a while, and generally saw it as a trainwreck. Season 3 brought me roaring back, especially as I had started wading back into online fandom in general that year, and then season 4 was the year I actually kept a TV blog, though by the time I got it moved over to LJ the show was ending.

tl;dr: it bridged the FOX/CBS transition, the gap between the years I got heavy into prime time and heavy into fandom, yet because its teen soap genre stuck out like a sore thumb on my Mostly All Crime Drama All The Time lineup, I never had anyone to talk to about it. And I hated a lot of parts, but I will always be fond and protective of Ryan and Seth and Summer and season 1 Marissa. And Johnny.

That wasn't really much shorter, was it?

* The X-Files clips will be the death of me. "You and me. That's what I'm fighting for, Mulder, you and me." = oh lord, that night was full of so many emotions. I can whip out a handwritten journal entry right now. But I won't. (aw, and look at the season 8 finale kiss. These are things I lived through! It's like being a part of history)

* They got David Duchovny and Gillian on camera for this. Not together, but at least they got them to say a few words. And so glad they talked about The Post Modern Prometheus -- that episode is not only wonderful, it immediately cemented "Walking in Memphis" in my heart; I have never associated the song with anything else.

* Every time they bring up The Simpsons, it makes me happy, even if I haven't watched it new in years.** Unlike all the other comments made about crass shows, I will never feel this one really earned its wrath. (maybe because I started watching when I was 12. Who knows.)

**Which reminds me, I still need to track down that episode with the Glee kids. And that, in turn, reminds me that sometime soon next Sunday, I apparently have to brave The Cleveland Show for Darren Criss.

* I didn't expect any Glee focus in this, which is fine, but I still got choked up at every fleeting clip they played and re-realized how much of a wreck I'm going to be in about a month come finale/graduation time. This show and I...well, it's in the big leagues. X-Files, Doctor Who, The Office, Glee. It's probably surpassed CSI and Numb3rs at this point.

* I mostly tuned out the sports segment, but Terry Bradshaw riding in on a horse? Fabulous.

* Lord, 24 was a boring show.

* Aw, Hugh Laurie filmed a bit. Lovely old clips of, no, don't activate my Huddy trigger; I just got a handle on that pain and NOW YOU HAVE LET IT LOOSE.

* I didn't even realize X Factor had crowned a winner. I forgot it ever aired in an American version -- it was literally an invisible show to me. Do you know how often this happens? Almost never. I have a finger on the pulse of every show that airs on every network in the fall (by late spring I have usually stopped caring about the limited-run fledglings, but in fall, I am ON IT).

* All the clips from American Idol were pretty. This show and I took two pretty good runs at a relationship, and I'm happy with those memories. Still, favorite part was a clip of Jennifer Hudson singing "I Have Nothing," which sounded vaguely familiar in an oddly positive way until I sat bolt upright and realized how insane my anticipation levels are for its appearance on Glee 48 hours from now. (hint, THEY ARE INSANE)

* Second favorite clip was "A Moment Like This." I still have that moment on a tape somewhere. And I still have the (properly recorded) version in my music library, as it remains the only decent finale song ever written for this show. Oh, Idol. When you hit it was lovely.

* Also a jarring realization that I'm so used to Katherine McPhee owning Smash now, the idea of her having actually done a whole season of American Idol is if the next season of AI were stocked with an established celebrity, pretty much. Now I suddenly want to go back and watch random episodes of season 6.

* That 70s Show is one of the most perfect comedies of all time. (except for that last year, which few people acknowledge) I can't think of anything better to say about it besides "infinity replay value." Loved the partial cast reunion, because 75% of the people they got to show up are wonderful.

And now to do what I always do when I mention this show: go watch all the numbers from the musical episode. Good times.

Oh, and Struck By Lightning premiered at Tribeca -- it is obnoxious how closely I am tracking this movie -- and I am spending the remainder of my night finding every Chris Colfer interview that exists and managing to be more enchanted with every one. INFINITY CHARISMA. Rare ability to answer questions/comments on the spot and never sound awkward or make me feel embarrassed for him. Also this:
"I feel like whenever kids see a movie with a message, if they see the character's gay, straight kids stop listening," he said. "And if the gay kids see a character's straight, they stop listening. It's like, 'Oh, that's not me, I can't relate to him.' So I purposely make him a universal character to both sides."
One, he is absolutely correct in his assessment about kids; two, I like realizing that based on the trailer I could see it either way, and three, I remain blown away by the fact that I've had to eat my own words about never believing him playing straight, because there it is. Right there. Applause.
Tags: american idol, chris colfer, glee, movies, o.c., that 70s show, x-files

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