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Parker Lewis Can't Lose Parker Lewis Can't Lose

TV

Parker Lewis Can’t Lose (Fox 1990-1993, Corin Nemec, Billy Jayne)

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When John Hughes began cranking out literate, witty teen comedies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, the entertainment industry realized there was a market for teen entertainment that could be funny and intelligent all at once. This trend soon filtered down to television, inspiring a modern classic with the early Fox network program Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. This nifty, teen-oriented sitcom captured the style and magic of hip films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and made it work in a television format. The result was a hit that tickled the brain and the funny bone all at once.

Parker Lewis Can’t Lose took place at scenic Santo Domingo High School and focused on the exploits of its title character, a clever teen who used his devious smarts and his connections to tweak the system at every opportunity. His mantra was “not a problem,” and he never met a situation he couldn’t handle. Parker’s partners in crime included his best friend, the super-cool Mikey Randall, and Jerry Steiner, a nerdy but good-hearted kid who idolized our hero.

Parker’s arch-nemesis in his quest to bend the rules was Principal Grace Musso, a cold-hearted authority figure who wanted nothing more than to make an example of him. Assisting Musso in this quest was Frank Lemmer, a student who acted as her “special obedience officer.” Frank also had a not-so-secret crush on his benefactor, which led to plenty of cringe-inducing flirtation. Another obstacle was provided by Parker’s younger sister Shelly, who took sadistic delight in trying to trip Parker up. Other characters included Martin Lewis, Parker’s video store-owning dad, and Nick, a slick counterman at the Atlas Diner who could be relied upon to dispense level-headed advice during a crisis.

Parker Lewis Can’t Lose debuted the same season that NBC introduced its small-screen sitcom version of Ferris Bueller. As a result, some critics dismissed the Fox sitcom as a Bueller clone, but Parker Lewis quickly transcended this label with its exuberant mixture of style of energy. The show wowed viewers with its dazzling look, which combined slick computerized opticals with complex, cinematic camerawork. The humor was also quite sophisticated, often incorporating parodies of films like Casablanca and The Godfather. The bundle of charm was sealed by the snappy performances of its cast, all of whom had the sharp comic timing to keep the jokes rolling at a fast clip.

The end result of all this stylistic innovation was a show that became a hit for the young Fox network. It surprised television pundits everywhere by outlasting Ferris Bueller to enjoy a run of nearly three seasons. By the time the ride ended in August of 1993, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose had won a cult following that continues to this day. The show periodically pops up in reruns and continues to win new fans, outliving its early status as a so-called clone to become one of the more memorable sitcoms of early 90’s vintage.

production details
USA / Fox – Clyde Phillips Productions / x25 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 September 1990 – 22 August 1993

cast
Corin Nemec as Parker Lloyd Lewis
Billy Jayne as Mikey Randall
Troy W. Slaten as Jerry Steiner
Melanie Chartoff as Principal Grace Musso
Maia Brewton as Shelly Lewis
Abraham Benrubi as Francis Lawrence “Larry” Kubiac
Taj Johnson as Frank Lemmer (1990-92)
Timothy Stack as Mr. Martin Lewis
Anne Bloom as Mrs. Lewis (1990-91)
Mary Ellen Trainor as Mrs. Lewis (1991-93)
Gerrit Graham as Dr. Norman Pankow
Jennifer Guthrie as Annie Sloan (1992-93)
Paul Johansson as Nick Comstock (1991-93)
John Pinette as Coach Hank Kohler (1992-93)
Harold Pruett as Brad Penny (1992-93)

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TV

Perfect Christmas List, A (Lifetime 2017, Ellen Hollman, Beth Broderick)

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A Perfect Christmas List Lifetime 2017

In A Perfect Christmas Gift, as a last wish, a recently hospitalized grandmother, Evie, tasks her daughter and granddaughter, Sara, with a list of festive accomplishments to do together before Christmas hoping that the adventure of the experience will repair their relationship. Along the way, Sara discovers an unlisted Christmas adventure of her own.

cast
Ellen Hollman as Sara
Beth Broderick as Michelle
Aaron Hill as Dr. Brandon Reed
Richard Karn as Tim
Marion Ross as Evie
Nicole I. Butler as Ms. Carrier
Lauren Nash as Ashley
Scott Thomas Reynolds as Photographer
John Burke as Dr. Taylor
Michael Gaglio as Santa
Ajgie Kirkland as Sam
Lyn Alicia Henderson as Fran
Yanellie Ireland as Katie
Tiffany Paige as Shopper
Rusty E. Frank as Dancer Brown Jacket

crew details
Director: Fred Olen Ray
Writers: Peter Sullivan, Fred Olen Ray,

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday December 17, 2017 at 8.00pm

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TV

Copper’s End (ITV 1971, Bill Owen, Josephine Tewson)

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ATV Logo

Sitcom Coppers End was very much from the Will Hay  (and Ask A Policeman in particular) school of comedy; When the series began the boys at the station led by Sergeant Stan Short, had the art of doing nothing down to a tee, so much so that they were even able to hire out their squad car for all manner of weddings, driving lessons and even stock car racing. All until the arrival of the super efficient W.P.S. Penny Pringle that is.

cast
BILL OWEN as Sgt Sam Short
RICHARD WATTIS as PC Eddie Edwards
GEORGE MOON as PC Chipper Collins
JOSEPHINE TEWSON as WPS Penny Pringle
ROYCE MILLS as PC Dinkworth
GEORGE MOON as Ch Supt Ripper

crew details
Creator: Ted Willis
Producer: Shaun O’Riordan
Director: John Sichel

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – ATV
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 19 February – 14 May 1971

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TV

Conjugal Rights (ITV 1993-1994, Gwen Taylor, Michael Williams)

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Conjugal Rights

Sitcom Conjugal Rights detailed the ups and downs of middle-class, middle-aged married couple Gen and Barry.

cast
GWEN TAYLOR as Gen
MICHAEL WILLIAMS as Barry
STEPHEN MOORE as Philip
CORDELIA BUGEJA as Gillian
MAGGIE HENDERSON as Pam
WARREN MITCHELL as Voice of Toby the Dog (Season 1)
CHRIS ELLISON as Voice of Toby (Season 2)

crew details
Writer: Roger Hall
Producers: Humphrey Barclay, Justin Greene

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: ITV – Granada – Humphrey Barclay
Duration: 13×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 16 April 1993 – 17 June 1994

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