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Get A Life (Fox 1990-1992, Chris Elliott, Brian Doyle-Murray)

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The sitcom world has had more than its share of decade legends: The 50’s had I Love Lucy, the 60’s had The Andy Griffith Show, the 70’s had Happy Days, the 80’s had The Cosby Show, and the 90’s had Seinfeld. But what about that in-between time? Lodged somewhere between the last two, lost in that forgotten chunk of time known as the “early 90’s,” came a show that changed millions of lives. A show so ahead of its time that reviewers and audiences alike were scared by its genius, reviled by its audacity and nauseated by a humor they couldn’t yet understand. Or maybe they just didn’t like it. Either way, the callous masses deemed the series “stupid and juvenile.” The year was 1990. The network was Fox. The show was Get A Life.

The concept was simple, unfolding the lack-of-life story of Chris Peterson, played by cult fave comic Chris Elliott. Not the most original premise for a sitcom, except that Chris was a thirty-year-old paperboy who lived over his parent’s garage. His best friend was Larry Potter, an executive married to a successful woman named Sharon, who despised Chris and his negative influence on her whipped husband. Chris’ perennially bathrobed parents, Gladys and Fred (the latter played by Chris’ real-life father, Bob Elliott, one half of the veteran comedy team Bob and Ray) were supportive, if not always understanding of their son’s unwillingness to accept adulthood.

After the first season, Chris moved up in the world, out of his parents’ garage and into the garage of a retired cop named Gus. The always bitter Gus, played by Brian Doyle-Murray (Bill Murray’s brother), was like a father figure to Chris, even though he was usually just as dumbfounded by Chris’ simplicity and childishness as Fred was. However, their contrasting personalities worked to the show’s advantage, turning Chris and Gus into a veritable comic tag team.

Although the show’s material was cleverly written, most of the series’ humor came from the absurd plotlines. Some of the more memorable episodes found Chris stuck upside down on the Hell Loop Roller Coaster, starring in a local theater group’s rendition of “Zoo Animals on Wheels,” accepting a whopping $5 bribe to not rat out the corrupt FDA, working as a male escort, and developing a close bond with an extra-terrestrial named S.P.E.W.E.Y (Special Person Entering the World, Egg Yolks). In a rare move on network TV, Chris died at the end of almost one-third of the show’s 35 episodes. Some of the more interesting ways in which Chris met his maker were by getting blown up, having a giant boulder crush him, being ripped apart by Paperboy 2000, and having his head ripped off and used as a soccer ball by Gus and Sharon.

Despite the show’s poor reviews (and even poorer ratings), Get A Life garnered a huge cult following. It’s easy to see why a majority of people were unable to find humor in Chris’ singing “Mr. Bojangles” in a falsetto voice with a cat on his head (this was how he summoned his mailman), or why Chris thought Emma Samms was “the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, with the possible exception of Charles Durning.” The show was cancelled after only two seasons, but continues to live on in the hearts and minds of Elliott-philes the land over.

production details
USA / Fox – Elliottland Productions – Mirkinvision / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 23 September 1990 – 14 June 1992

cast
Chris Elliott as Chris Peterson
Brian Doyle-Murray as Gus
Sam Robards as Larry Potter
Robin Riker as Sharon Potter
Zachary Benjamin as Bobby Potter
Taylor Fry as Amy Potter
Elinor Donahue as Gladys Peterson
Bob Elliott as Fred Peterson

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TV

Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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