The Light from the TV Shows: “We’re Back, Baby” – Attempts at Reviving Old TV Series

Tonight marks the return of “Dallas” to the airwaves, with TNT offering viewers a look at the latest generation of Ewings while also giving original cast members Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, and Linda Gray an opportunity to get in on the fun. For what it’s worth, I quite enjoyed the pilot, but I’ll freely admit that the only reason that I was interested in revisiting Southfork Ranch in 2012 was because of those original cast members.

No matter how brilliantly or badly they turn out, I’ve always been a sucker for TV series revivals, be it as a “next generation” sort of series like this one or as a reunion movie, so I thought I’d throw together a list of some of my favorites for your reading enjoyment. The only caveats: I’m not counting occasions when a series jumped to the big screen, i.e. the not-very-good theatrical “Get Smart” movie, “The Nude Bomb,” nor am I including animated series in the mix…although if I did, you can bet the animated “Star Trek” series would be at the top of my list.

Okay, let’s roll…

90210 (2008-present)

When The CW first kicked off its return to West Beverly High School, the burning questions from virtually every TV critic who covered the series involved which of the original cast members would be returning. In the end, Jennie Garth (Kelly), Shannen Doherty (Brenda), Tori Spelling (Donna), Ann Gillespie (Jackie Taylor, Kelly’s mom), and Joe E. Tata (Nat, the proprietor of the Peach Pit) all ended up making it back to the familiar zip code for an episode or two, generally proving to be the most entertaining parts of those particular episodes. Since the show’s gone all new-school, though, I can’t be bothered to keep up with it.

Homicide: The Movie (2000)

This feels like a bit of a cheat, since it wasn’t so much a revival of an old series as it was an attempt to wrap up plot threads that had been left dangling when “Homicide: Life on the Street” departed the airwaves the year before. With that said, however, it still technically falls within the realm of a reunion film, and it’s one of the best ones you’re likely to find, so that’s why it’s here.

Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees (1997)

I always thought that the concept of this film, which posited that the Monkees continued to live together even after their series was cancelled, was an extremely clever one. I just wish the band’s reunion album, Justus, had been even half as enjoyable.

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The ultimate tailgating party for the biggest game of the year

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Our overall experience at the Big Game was one we'll cherish for a long time, from the pre-game tailgating, the facilities in North Texas and one of the best championship games we can remember. From the time we left our hotel to our smartly placed pre-game tailgating location we knew it was going to be one memorable day in North Texas. The weather broke with the sun shining on football fans by the tens of thousands and our Chrysler 200 Game On team was right in the middle of the action. We were literally a few football passes away from Cowboys Stadium, and we watched the Green Bay and Pittsburgh fans walk by right from our patio area with a clear site of the stadium. Yes, the Chrysler 200 bloggers were right in the middle of the action!

The food at the tailgating event was about as good as it gets and we are always down for some great food and friends. The Chrysler team hooked us up with a great chef who prepared an amazing spread that included grilled duck tacos and Kobe beef sliders!

When it came time to enter Cowboys Stadium for the game the checkpoints were pushed so far out it took extra time to maneuver through the crowds. We were able to sneak in through one of the clearer entrances and it was Game On! The outside of Cowboys Stadium is a site to see in itself and with it dressed up in championship garb it was heaven for any football fan. The energy from all of the Green Bay and Pittsburgh fans was contagious and we can truly say it was everything we expected and more. Once you enter Cowboy Stadium the pure size of the building is jaw-dropping and when you add in the crazy huge indoor screens it sets the stage for probably the top football venue in the world. Some of the concourses could have been designed a little better for foot traffic, but Cowboys Stadium is the real deal and proved to be the ultimate venue for a championship game.

We soaked it all in, as Christina Aguilera flubbed the National Anthem to the visual spectacle of the Black Eyed Peas during the halftime show. But the best part was the game itself which will be remembered for years as we joined the 100,000 plus who saw the game live and the over 1 billion around the world who watched on TV as Green Bay took home the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy back to its namesake's pro football home. Both teams battled throughout but only one could wear the belt of a champion and in the end it was Green Bay. When we regrouped back at home base the Chrysler 200 team showed us the halftime commercial for the 2011 Chrysler 200 starring Detroiter Eminem. In the end, it was a thrill to be a part of introduction of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 200 and a game that brings the nation and the world together for one Sunday every year.

  

Starting the road trip to Dallas with the Chrysler 200

After a fun night hitting some of the legendary establishments in New Orleans, Bullz-Eye hit the road Thursday morning as part of the Game On Drive to Dallas for the Big Game. The morning started with some filming and logistical set up and we were ready to go. We left New Orleans around 9am for Houston in our 2011 Chrysler 200 with another media team in tow with Brad from SportsGrid.com and Heather from ILoveSportsGirl.com in the second car and we were rollin’ down Interstate 10 our new friends! The weather was of course cold and wet but that didn’t damper the excitement of driving the new Chrysler 200 en route to Dallas.

We were very impressed with the vehicle. The interior of the new 200 was very comfortable and stylish with plush leather seats with exposed stitching and an elegant but practical dashboard. All of the controls were easy to use as we enjoyed the satellite radio while using the GPS. The V6 had some kick to it and that made the ride fun, and the car handled great on the wet roads.

After about 2 1/2 hours on the road we stopped for lunch at Fezzo’s outside of Lafayette and guess what – more oysters! The food and service was excellent and it gave us a chance to take a break before we hit the road again. After playing some football catch with Phil and the production team we jumped back in the Chrysler 200 and cranked up some Springsteen. The weather wasn’t much better when we crossed state lines into Texas and our side view mirrors had chunks of ice on them. This stuff isn’t supposed to happen in Texas! We made it to the Magnolia Hotel in Houston around 5pm and were met by strong winds and freezing rain. After more filming we chilled out for awhile and actually tried to get some work done as that stuff piles up when you’re on the road.

Now that we were in Texas, we naturally had to find some serious barbeque for dinner. We hit the jackpot at Beaver’s BBQ in Houston and the Bar Bar and smoked beef ribs were excellent and went down nicely with some beers. We’re looking forward to more delicious Texas cuisine as we roll into Dallas.

So far the Drive to Dallas is going great despite the chilly weather. The roads between Houston and Dallas are frozen but it’s supposed to warm up a little for the weekend so hopefully we’ll be back on the road soon. We have a huge party planned for the day of the Big Game so the buzz is building for the biggest spectacle on earth!

  

Unnecessary Liaisons: 15 TV Couplings That Never Should Have Happened

The “will they or won’t they?” dynamic has been a staple of television since the very beginning of the medium, but just because two people can get together doesn’t mean that they should get together. Bullz-Eye decided to take a look back through our favorite TV series and consider some of the more ill-begotten romances that have taken place over the years. Have we missed any? Or do you disagree with some of our selections? Let us know in the comments!

1. Rachel & Joey, “Friends”

Given that just about everyone has had a crush on a friend at some point in their lives, it made sense that a show called “Friends” would make use of that concept, and in addition to the long-running “will they or won’t they” of the Ross and Rachel relationship, Monica and Chandler proved to be a surprisingly effective combination as well. But Rachel and Joey…? That’s just taking things a step too far.

Actually, the two never took their relationship to the toppermost of the poppermost, if you will, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The storyline began with Joey (Matt LeBlanc) suffering through a major crush on Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), one which she ultimately decided was worth risking their friendship to expand into something more. When they tried to get down and dirty, however, Rachel kept finding herself instinctually slapping Joey’s hands back, and Joey found that he’d lost his gift for unstrapping bras. Attempts to loosen each other up with champagne failed just as miserably, and in the end, the two decided that the problem was that they’d become better friends over the years than Monica and Chandler were when they became a couple.

Some have questioned whether the awkwardness between Aniston and LeBlanc during their romantic scenes was behind the decision to stop the Rachel / Joey relationship dead in its tracks, but let’s chalk that up to acting, as it seems far more likely that the writers just wanted to have a bit of fun with the characters. But thank God the fun ended when it did. – Will Harris

2. Ray & Jenna, “Dallas”

“Dallas” is a series overflowing with mismatched couples and people who are just altogether wrong for each other. As it’s a soap opera, that sort of stuff goes with the territory. So it of course stands to reason that the “Dallas” coupling ending up on this list is actually rather harmonious, all things considered, anyway. Farm hand and rancher Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly) hooking up with and marrying little miss screw loose Jenna Wade (Priscilla Presley)? Gimme a break.

Jenna had a nearly lifelong attachment to Ray’s brother, Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy), which mercifully crumbled – mercifully, I say, because this woman was batshit crazy. Given the sheer hell Bobby went through with her – nearly all of which Ray was witness to – it made no sense after his marriage to the rock that was Donna (Susan Howard) ended, that he would fall into the arms of this emotional basket case. Worst of all though is how the couple was eventually written off the series: They moved to Europe. Ray Krebbs leaving Texas to move to Europe is a piece of off-screen character development that has to boggle the mind of even the most forgiving “Dallas” aficionado. Ray Krebbs was Texas.

Man, I hope he at least found a flock of sheep to keep him busy on those cold European winter nights, because one thing’s for certain, that nutty woman had to have had another breakdown, probably near the border of France and Germany. – Ross Ruediger

3. Sayid & Shannon, “Lost”

For a show that prided itself on great characters and the various relationships they forged during their time on the island, “Lost” still had its share of questionable partnerships, especially of the romantic variety. But while we were never big fans of the ongoing love triangle between Jack, Kate and Sawyer, the relationship that rang the most untrue was undoubtedly Sayid and Shannon.

Though it might have made sense on paper – Shannon needed someone to fill the protector role after Boone was killed, and there wasn’t a better candidate (no pun intended) around than Sayid – the whole romance came out of left field, forcing the audience to blindly accept that they had fallen in love within a matter of days. Thankfully, it didn’t last long, as Shannon was the next major castaway to bite the dust when Ana Lucia accidentally shot her. But it wasn’t the last we saw of the couple, as they were reunited in the season finale to spend eternity together in the afterlife.

It was a revelation that threw most viewers for a loop. After all, wasn’t Sayid’s one true love supposed to be Nadia? Then why did he end up with the blonde bimbo? It certainly left a sour taste in our mouths – one that not even a cold Dharma beer could cure. – Jason Zingale

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