The Couch Potato Report – June 8th, 2004
This week in The Couch Potato Report SCTV is on the air…well, it’s now on DVD anyway. So is a two time Oscar winner and two Emmy winners.
When it comes to the entertainment industry, Canadians are the best in the world!
Granted, Canadians are the best in the world at many things, but since my specialty is the entertainment industry, so Iím just going to stay within my field of expertise.
In the silent film era no woman experienced the popularity or power of Mary Pickford. She was known as ìAmericaís Sweetheart.î Guess what, Mary Pickford was a Canadian!
In the mid-1960ís the show BONANZA was the number one program on television. Lorne Greene, a Canadian, was the head of the Cartwright clan on that seminal show.
Another 1960ís show that would eventually become even more popular than BONANZA was STAR TREK. Both Captain Kirk and Mr. Scott, the head engineer on that show are from The Great White North!
So is Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Raymond Burr, Jim Carrey, Phil Hartman, Alex Trebeck, Monty Hall, Tommy Chong, Bryan Adams, Rush, Robert Goulet, Matthew Perry, Donald Sutherland and all of The Kids In The Hall, just name a few.
But the definitive example that Canadians are the best in the world can be summed up in four letters: S. C. T. V!
And now, finally, SCTV, the greatest comedy show of all time, is debuting on DVD!
The Canadian cast of SCTV reads like comedic royalty: John Candy, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin, Martin Short, Rick Moranis, Catherine OíHara, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy and Harold Ramis.
Speak any of those names to people who know comedy and you are sure to get a laugh.
SCTV was produced right here in Western Canada and TV Guide recently named SCTV ìOne of the 50 best television shows of all time.”
Iíll do them one better. Plain and simple, SCTV is the best TV Show of all time!
SEINFELD, I LOVE LUCY, THE SIMPSONS, MONTY PYTHONíS FLYING CIRCUS, MAGNUM, P.I., or any other show you could name might deserve honourable mentions, but SCTV was, and is the best TV show ever!
The recently released five-disc box set includes such SCTV benchmarks as “The Great White North” segments; “Play It Again, Bob,” starring Rick Moranis as Woody Allen and Dave Thomas as Bob Hope; the ill-fated made-for-SCTV “Polynesiantown” starring Johnny LaRue, who also turns up in ìStreet Beef.î There is also “The Sammy Maudlin Show”, ìMoney Talks with Brian Johnsî, ìMelís Rock Pile,î with Rockin Mel Slurrip, and many, many more!
Also included are new interviews with the cast, a tribute to the late John Candy, the 1999 SCTV reunion event at the Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, plus commentaries and a 24-page photo booklet.
And Iím happy to report that this is only the first of four planned box sets of SCTV material. The next one is due in September.
Even 18 years after SCTV last aired these episodes continue to prove that Canadians are the best in the world.
This set is the comedy release of the year. Period, end of story!
But maybe youíre not in the mood to laugh. Maybe youíd like to see a serious drama, an Oscar winning serious drama at that.
Well youíre in luck as Clint Eastwoodís MYSTIC RIVER is a very serious drama and it features the Academy Award winning performances of Sean Penn and Tim Robbins.
MYSTIC RIVER is a mystery that revolves around three boyhood friends in working-class Boston. The friends are played as adults by Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon, and they are drawn together by a crime from the past and a murder in the present.
It is a great premise, based on a wonderful book by Dennis Lehane, but sorry, MYSTIC RIVER is another one of those films I just didnít get.
Not at all!
Yet when it was over, I told my friend Chris that critics were going to love it and it would do very well at the Oscars.
They did, and it did.
For the record, Chris didnít like it either.
MYSTIC RIVER was praised for itís superior acting, writing, and direction and it was called ìÖone of the finest films of 2003.î
Sorry, I just didnít get it.
My advice is to watch it for yourself, then make up your own mind.
The final new release to tell you about this week is ALONG CAME POLLY.
Ben Stiller from ZOOLANDER stars with TV FRIEND Jennifer Aniston.
Stiller basically plays the exact same hapless schmuck romantic types that heís played in MEET THE PARENTS and several other films. In ALONG CAME POLLY he has to start over when his wife has an affair on their honeymoon.
Then Aniston comes along and comedic situations occur.
If I had been expecting more from ALONG CAME POLLY I probably would of found it to be horrible, predictable and not funny.
But, because my expectations were low, I actually found it very funny.
The laughs come often, there was enough toilet humour to appeal to my immature side, and Stiller and Aniston make a cute couple.
ALONG CAME POLLY isnít the comedy release of the year, but if you have very low expectations I think youíll enjoy it.
SCTV, MYSTIC RIVER and ALONG CAME POLLY are available now at your favourite local video store.
COMING UP IN THE NEXT COUCH POTATO REPORT
Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were so great in THE WEDDING SINGER that they teamed up again for 50 FIRST DATES. Sandler is a man falls in love with a woman with no short-term memory. The second time wasnít the charm with this otherwise engaging duo.
THE SIMPSONS ñ THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON is also coming out next week. Season 4 is when the show really began to take off. Some of the episodes on this 4-disc set are ìMr. Plowî, ìMarge Vs. The Monorailî, ìKamp Krustyî ìBrother from the Same Planetî, ìLast Exit to Springfieldî and ìItchy and Scratchy: The Movie.î This box set is great from start to finish.
In THE STATION AGENT three unlikely people forge a friendship in their despair.
And two mountain climbing friends face tragedy in the reportedly superb TOUCHING THE VOID.
Iíll have more on those releases, in seven days.
For now, that’s this week’s COUCH POTATO REPORT.
Enjoy the movies and I’ll see you back here next week on The Couch!
The Couch Potato Report – June 8th, 2004