Friday, April 26, 2019

CHiPs

CHiPs is an American crime drama television series that originally aired on NBC from September 15, 1977 to May 1, 1983. It followed the lives of two motorcycle officers of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The series ran for 139 episodes over six seasons, plus one reunion TV movie in October 1998.

CHiPs is an action crime drama in a standard hour-long time slot, which at the time required 48 minutes of actual programming. Over-the-top freeway pileups, which occurred frequently, especially in the later seasons, were a signature of the show. For filming, traffic on Los Angeles freeways was non-existent and most chase scenes were done on back roads.

The show was created by Rick Rosner, and starred Erik Estrada as macho, rambunctious Officer Francis ("Frank") Llewellyn "Ponch" Poncherello and Larry Wilcox as his straitlaced partner, Officer Jonathan ("Jon") Andrew Baker. With Ponch the more trouble-prone of the pair, and Jon generally the more level-headed one trying to keep him out of trouble with the duo's gruff yet fatherly immediate supervisor Sergeant Joseph Getraer (Robert Pine), the two were Highway Patrolmen of the Central Los Angeles office of the California Highway Patrol (CHP, hence the name CHiPs).

As real-life CHP motor officers rarely ride in pairs, in early episodes this was explained away by placing the trouble-prone Ponch on probationary status, with Jon assigned as his field training officer. Eventually, by the end of the first season, this subplot faded away (Ponch completed his probation) as audiences were used to seeing the two working as a team.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Happy Days

Set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the series revolves around teenager Richie Cunningham and his family: his father, Howard, who owns a hardware store; traditional homemaker and mother, Marion; younger sister Joanie; Richie's older brother Chuck seasons 1 & 2 only and high school dropout, biker and suave ladies' man Arthur "Fonzie"/"The Fonz" Fonzarelli, who would eventually become Richie's best friend and the Cunninghams' upstairs tenant. The earlier episodes revolve around Richie and his friends, Potsie Weber and Ralph Malph, with Fonzie as a secondary character. However, as the series progressed, Fonzie proved to be a favorite with viewers and soon more story lines were written to reflect his growing popularity, and Winkler was eventually credited with top billing in the opening credits alongside Howard as a result. Fonzie befriended Richie and the Cunningham family, and when Richie left the series for military service, Fonzie became the central figure of the show, with Winkler receiving sole top billing in the opening credits. In later seasons, other characters were introduced including Fonzie's young cousin, Charles "Chachi" Arcola, who became a love interest for Joanie Cunningham. Each of the eleven seasons of the series roughly tracks the eleven years from 1955 to 1965, inclusive, in which the show was set.

The series' pilot was originally shown as Love and the Television Set, later retitled Love and the Happy Days for syndication, a one-episode teleplay on the anthology series Love, American Style, aired on February 25, 1972. Happy Days spawned the hit television shows Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy as well as three failures, Joanie Loves Chachi, Blansky's Beauties featuring Nancy Walker as Howard's cousin,[3] and Out of the Blue. The show is the basis for the Happy Days musical touring the United States since 2008. The leather jacket worn by Winkler during the series was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution for the permanent collection at the National Museum of American History

The Dukes of Hazzard

The Dukes of Hazzard follows the adventures of "The Duke Boys," cousins Bo Duke (John Schneider) and Luke Duke (Tom Wopat) (including Coy and Vance Duke for most of season 5), who live on a family farm in fictional Hazzard County, Georgia, with their attractive female cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach) and their wise old Uncle Jesse (Denver Pyle). The Duke boys race around in their customized 1969 Dodge Charger stock car, dubbed (The) General Lee, evading crooked and corrupt county commissioner Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) and his bumbling and corrupt Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane (James Best) along with his deputy(s), and always managing to get caught in the middle of the various escapades and incidents that often occur in the area. Bo and Luke had previously been sentenced to probation for illegal transportation of moonshine; their Uncle Jesse made a plea bargain with the U.S. Government to refrain from distilling moonshine in exchange. As a result, Bo and Luke are on probation and not allowed to carry firearms — instead, they often use compound bows, sometimes with arrows tipped with dynamite — or to leave Hazzard County unless they get probation permission from their probation officer which is Boss Hogg, although the exact details of their probation terms vary from episode to episode.

Sometimes it is implied that they would be jailed for merely crossing the county line; on other occasions, it is shown that they may leave Hazzard, as long as they are back within a certain time limit. Several other technicalities of their probation also came into play at various times.


Corrupt county commissioner Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg, who either runs or has fingers in virtually everything in Hazzard County, is forever angry with the Dukes, especially Bo and Luke for always foiling his crooked schemes. He is always looking for ways to get them out of the picture so that his plots have a chance of succeeding. Many episodes revolve around Hogg trying to engage in an illegal scheme, sometimes with aid of hired criminal help. Some of these are get-rich-quick schemes, though many others affect the financial security of the Duke farm, which Hogg has long wanted to acquire for various reasons. Other times, Hogg hires criminals from out of town to do his dirty work for him, and often tries to frame Bo and Luke for various crimes as part of these plots. Bo and Luke always seem to stumble over Hogg's latest scheme, sometimes by curiosity, and often by sheer luck, and put it out of business. Despite the Dukes often coming to his rescue.

Hogg forever seems to have an irrational dislike of the clan, particularly Bo and Luke, often accusing them of spying on him, robbing or planning to rob him, and other supposedly nefarious actions, as he believes they are generally out to get him.


The other main characters of the show include local mechanic Cooter Davenport (Ben Jones), who in early episodes was portrayed as a wild, unshaven rebel, often breaking or treading on the edge of the law, before settling down to become the Duke family's best friend (he is often referred to as an "honorary Duke") and owns the local garage; and Enos Strate (Sonny Shroyer), an honest but naive young deputy who, despite his friendship with the Dukes (and his crush on Daisy), is reluctantly forced to take part in Hogg and Rosco's crooked schemes. In the third and fourth seasons, when Enos leaves for his own show, he is replaced by Boss' cousin Deputy Cletus Hogg (Rick Hurst), Boss's cousin, who is slightly more wily than Enos but still a somewhat reluctant player in Hogg's plots.
Owing to their fundamentally good natures, the Dukes often wind up helping Boss Hogg out of trouble, albeit grudgingly. More than once Hogg is targeted by former associates who are either seeking revenge or have double crossed him after a scheme has unraveled in one way or another. Sheriff Coltrane also finds himself in some instances. On such occasions, Bo and Luke usually have to rescue their adversaries as an inevitable precursor to defeating the bad guys; in other instances, the Dukes join forces with Hogg and Coltrane to tackle bigger threats to Hazzard or one of their respective parties. These instances became more frequent as the show progressed, and later seasons saw a number of stories where the Dukes and Hogg (and Coltrane) temporarily work together.

Fraggle Rock

There are four main intelligent anthropomorphic species in the Fraggle Rock environment: Fraggles, Doozers, Gorgs and Silly Creatures. The Fraggles and Doozers live in a system of natural caves called Fraggle Rock that are filled with all manner of creatures and features, and which connect to at least two different areas (the land of the Gorgs and the land of the "silly creatures", or humans). One of the main themes of the series is that, although the three species depend on the other for their survival, they usually fail to communicate due to vast differences in their biology and culture. The series mainly follows the adventures of five Fraggles with five personalities: pragmatic Gobo, idealistic Mokey, impetuous Red, indecisive Wembley and pessimistic Boober.

Fraggles

Fraggles are small anthropomorphic creatures, typically 18 inches (46 cm) tall,[5] that come in a variety of colors and have fur tuft tipped tails. Fraggles live a generally carefree life, spending most of their time (they have a thirty-minute work week) playing, exploring, and generally enjoying themselves. They live on mainly radishes and Doozer sticks, made of ground-up radishes and the material with which the Doozers build their constructions.

Doozers

Within Fraggle Rock lives a second species of small humanoid creatures, the pudgy, green, ant-like Doozers. Standing about 4 inches (10 cm) tall ("knee-high to a Fraggle").[5] Doozers are in a sense anti-Fraggles; their lives are dedicated to work and industry. Doozers spend much of their time busily constructing all manner of scaffolding throughout Fraggle Rock, using miniature construction equipment and wearing hardhats and work boots. To ensure they always have a steady stream of work, Doozers build their constructions out of an edible candy-like substance (manufactured from radishes) which is greatly enjoyed by Fraggles. This is essentially the only interaction between Doozers and Fraggles; Doozers spend most of their time building, and Fraggles spend much of their time eating tasty Doozer buildings. This pleases the Doozers, because not only is their work being enjoyed by someone, but if the Fraggles stop eating them, the Doozers will eventually run out of building space. Creativity is one of the few traits Fraggles and Doozers have in common.

Gorgs

Outside another exit from Fraggle Rock live a small family of Gorgs, fat furry humanoids standing about 180 inches (460 cm). The husband and wife of the family, Ma and Pa, consider themselves the King and Queen of the Universe, with their son Junior Gorg as its prince and heir, but to all appearances they are simple farmers with a rustic house and garden patch. In "The Gorg Who Would be King", Pa says he has ruled for 742 years.

Fraggles are considered pests by the Gorgs, as they often steal radishes from the garden. The Fraggles don't consider it stealing. The Gorgs use the radishes to make anti-vanishing cream, without which they disappear headfirst.

The Silly Creatures of Outer Space

In the North American, Spanish, French and German versions of Fraggle Rock, the connection between Fraggle Rock and Outer Space is a small hole in the wall of the workshop of an eccentric inventor named Doc and his (puppet) dog Sprocket. In the British version the situation is much the same, except that the hole leads into the living quarters of a lighthouse where the keeper ("The Captain") lives with his dog (also called Sprocket).

Gobo must go out into Doc's workshop to retrieve the postcards from his uncle Matt from the wastebasket where Doc throws them, assuming they are misdelivered. Traveling Matt (a pun on travelling matte, the technique used in his segments) is exploring the wider world, observing humans and reporting humorously false conclusions about their everyday behaviour.

Sprocket often sees and chases Gobo, but can't convince Doc anything lives beyond the wall. Sprocket and Doc have many similar miscommunications throughout the series, given the language barrier, but overall, they understand each other quite well.

In the final episode, Gobo tells Doc that Fraggles refer to humans as "silly creatures", and apologizes. Doc smiles and tells him that he thinks that it's a very good name for humans.









Doogie Howser, M.D.

Doogie Howser, M.D. is an American comedy-drama television series that ran for four seasons on ABC from September 19, 1989, to March 24, 1993, totaling 97 episodes. Created by Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, it stars Neil Patrick Harris in the title role as a teenage physician who also faces the problems of being a normal teenager.

Dr. Douglas "Doogie" Howser (Harris) is the son of David (James B. Sikking) and Katherine Howser (Belinda Montgomery). As a child, he twice survived early-stage pediatric leukemia after his father—a family physician—discovered suspicious bruising. The experience contributed to the younger Howser's desire to enter medicine.

Possessing a genius intellect and an eidetic memory, Howser participates in a longitudinal study of child prodigies until his 18th birthday. He earned a perfect score on the SAT at the age of six, completed high school in nine weeks at the age of nine, graduated from Princeton University in 1983 at age 10, and finished medical school four years later. At age 14, Howser was the youngest licensed doctor in the country. As a newspaper article (one of several noting some of Doogie's aforementioned accomplishments that are shown in the series' opening title sequence) stated, he "can't buy beer... [but] can prescribe drugs".

The series begins on Howser's 16th birthday; the cold open of the pilot episode shows him stopping his field test for his driver's license to help an injured person at the scene of a traffic accident. Howser is a second year resident surgeon at Eastman Medical Center in Los Angeles, and still lives at home with his parents. His best friend and neighbor, Vinnie Delpino (Max Casella), is a more typical teenager – climbing through Howser's bedroom window to visit – and connects him to life outside of medicine. Howser has kept a diary on his computer since 1979; episodes typically end with him making an entry in it, making observations about the situations he had experienced or learned in the episode.

Howser seeks acceptance by both others his age and his professional colleagues. Many episodes also deal with wider social problems: AIDS awareness, racism, homophobia, sexism, gang violence, access to quality medical care, and losing one's virginity are topics, along with aging, body issues, and friendship.

Howser initially has a girlfriend, Wanda Plenn (Lisa Dean Ryan), but they break up after she leaves for college; he also begins a trauma surgery fellowship and moves into his own apartment. Bochco intended to end the show with a "season-long story arc for Doogie where he becomes disaffected with the practice of medicine and quits medicine to become a writer". ABC abruptly canceled the show due to low ratings, preventing Bochco and the show's writers from implementing the storyline other than Howser's resignation from Eastman and departure for Europe in the final episode.



Star Trek: The Next Generation

The series follows the adventures of a space-faring crew on board the starship USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), the fifth Federation vessel to bear the name and registry and the seventh starship by that name. (See Starship Enterprise for other ships with the name and/or registry). The series is set about 70 years after the final mission of the original Enterprise crew under the command of James T. Kirk. The Federation has undergone massive internal changes in its quest to explore and seek out new life, adding new degrees of complexity and controversy to its methods, especially those focused on the Prime Directive. The Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets have ceased wartime hostilities and become galactic allies, while more sinister foes such as the Romulans and the Borg take precedence on the series.

The Enterprise is commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and is staffed by first officer Commander William Riker, second officer/operations manager Data, security chief Tasha Yar, ship's counselor Deanna Troi, chief medical officer Dr. Beverly Crusher, conn officer Lieutenant Geordi La Forge, and junior officer Lieutenant Worf. The death of Lieutenant Yar in the series' first season prompts an internal shuffle of personnel, making Worf official chief of security. Geordi La Forge is promoted to chief engineer at the beginning of season 2.

The series begins with the crew of the Enterprise-D put on trial by a nefarious, omnipotent being known as Q. The god-like entity threatens the extinction of mankind for being a race of savages, forcing them to solve a mystery at nearby Farpoint Station to prove their worthiness to be spared. After successfully solving the mystery and avoiding disaster, the crew officially departs on its mission to explore strange new worlds.

Subsequent stories focus on the discovery of new life and sociological and political relationships with alien cultures, as well as exploring the human condition. Several new species are introduced as recurring antagonists, including the Ferengi, the Cardassian, and the Borg. Throughout their adventures, Picard and his crew are often forced to face and live with the consequences of difficult choices.

The series ended in its seventh season with a two-part episode "All Good Things...", which brought the events of the series full circle to the original confrontation with Q. An interstellar anomaly that threatens all life in the universe forces Picard to leap from his present, past, and future to combat the threat. Picard was successfully able to show to Q that humanity could think outside of the confines of perception and theorize on new possibilities while still being prepared to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the greater good. The series ended with the crew of the Enterprise portrayed as feeling more like a family and paved the way for four consecutive motion pictures that continued the theme and mission of the series.


Mr. Belvedere

The series follows posh butler Lynn Belvedere, as he struggles to adapt to the Owens household. The breadwinner, George (Bob Uecker), is a sportswriter (however, in the pilot, he worked in construction). His wife Marsha (Ilene Graff) is attending law school. At the show's start, older son Kevin (Rob Stone) is a senior in high school, daughter Heather (Tracy Wells) is a freshman, and Wesley (Brice Beckham) is in elementary school. Over the course of the series, George becomes a sportscaster (a career shared with Uecker, who balanced his role as the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers while starring in the series), Marsha graduates from law school and starts a career as a lawyer, Kevin leaves for college and gets his own apartment, and Heather moves up in high school.

Several episodes deal with the relationship between Wesley and Mr. Belvedere, who are always at odds with one another, with Wesley constantly antagonizing Belvedere. It is shown that deep down, however, they really love each other. In season two's "Wesley's Friend" – one of the series' many very special episodes – Danny, one of Wesley's classmates, contracts HIV via Factor VIII (the same type of the disease contracted by Ryan White). Danny is taken out of school due to the ignorance and uncertainty that shared by the parents of many of the other children at Wesley's school. After hearing rumors from his friends about how HIV can be spread, leading them to shun him if he keeps spending time with Danny. Wesley begins to avoid Danny in fear of getting the disease himself. Mr. Belvedere is there for him and the child, and he helps Wesley to shed his fear of the boy and publicly accept him as his friend.

Throughout the series, Mr. Belvedere serves as a mentor of sorts to Wesley as well as to the other children. Being a cultured man with many skills and achievements (having even once worked for Winston Churchill), he also comes to serve as some sort of a "counselor" to the Owens clan, helping them solve their dilemmas and stay out of mischief.

Each episode ends with Mr. Belvedere writing in his journal, recounting the events of the day (which is heard by the audience via his narration) with the Owens family and what he got out of it in terms of a lesson.

A frequent gag on the show involves Heather's air-headed best friend Angela (Michele Matheson), who always (except for in one episode) mispronounces Mr. Belvedere's name (such as calling him "Mr. Bumpersticker", "Mr. Bellpepper", "Mr. Butterfinger" or "Mr. Velveeta"). Another frequent gag involves George and Mr. Belvedere butting heads, with George being annoyed with his "nosy English housekeeper" always interfering. Yet another recurring gag features George always trying to be initiated into a local charity club, the "Happy Guys of Pittsburgh". Wesley's highly acrimonious relationship with the never-seen next door neighbors, the Hufnagels, and the shenanigans he pulls on them was another recurring plot element.