Song Stuck In My Head: Beginning of the End by Nine Inch Nails. Having a small NIN renaissance.
So…Fox’s 25th Anniversary Special aired last Sunday. Yep. I watched on it.
Based on how it was advertised, it was a little unclear what to expect. The event was preluded by the nostalgia-heavy first episodes of Married…With Children and the Simpsons, before going into two hours of clips, montages, interviews, and Ryan Seacrest (who’s apparently our only go-to host nowadays).
All considering, the special wasn’t too shabby. It traveled to 1987 and back, brushing over some, spotlighting some. Every type of show was featured, comedies and sports to teen soaps and dating shows. Being part of Generation Syndication, as in the generation that relies on the CW or Netflix to see classic TV shows, I was almost shocked on how many shows originated on everyone’s favorite self-deprecating network. The show was both an educational and entertaining experience for me.
The special had one clear from the start - honoring Fox as the underdog; the weird and risky network with ten failures for every hit; the obnoxious and outrageous little kid in TV who was still fun and heartfelt when it counted.
This was shown at the end of the Simpson's pilot. :)
And believe it not, the angle was well-executed. Hugh Laurie talked about how the unconventional character of Dr. House lasted eight seasons on Fox, but would have only lasted eight weeks elsewhere, or at least been asked to shave or change his profession to cop or something. Or Married’s cast talking about how they prided on being different from every other family sitcom until then, how people connected with the flaws and not the fake perfection.
Fox also showcased its redeeming qualities. For instance, how much of an impact In Living Color had on black comedy, but comedy in general, helping along the careers of the Wayans Brothers and Jim Carrey and so on. Or how cartoons had been kids-only territory, certainly not a night of “Animation Domination” or its own universe on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim”. Even how American Idol’s losers were winners, remembering Chris Daughtry’s elimination, Jennifer Hudson’s final song, and Adam Lambert hugging the winner, Kris Allen.
And the best part of the show, by far? You know those montages at the Oscars that highlight moments that tell you what the movie is all about, then take a moment and focus on a single scene, that stand-out scene, etc? Well, take that, now times it by about hundred or so.
Between scenes, they'd go to the "banquet tables" where the Simpson's, Bob's Burgers, American Dad,
Family Guy, and Cleveland Show cast all hang out and discuss the show so far.
Zoeey Deschanel even guested as a cartoon character.
Even someone who didn’t grow up with the shows could bask in the awesomeness. The Family Guy FCC episode. Jack Bauer’s trial. That 70’s show pot smoking friends in the basement. Joe Millionare’s big reveal. Kurt Hummel coming out on on Glee. NASCAR’s many, many crashes. Skully and Mulder finally admitting their feelings for each other amid all the alien hunting. Malcolm in the Middle’s Dewey caught smoking, or just older brother Reese discovering a new color when he mixed blue and yellow: Blellow!
It was a very neat two hours. Here is a link to watch it if you haven't yet or are interested. You might need Flash Player or something, but don't ask me, I'm on a public computer. http://www.fox.com/25th-anniversary/full-episodes/14930310/fox-s-25th-anniversary-special
Okay, to survive the rest of Wednesday....