Blog Archives

The Big Man Under Fire

  • Frannie’s Turn
  • Grace Under Fire
  • Cybill
  • Dharma & Greg
  • Two and a Half Men
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Mike & Molly
  • Mom
  • And Future #1 Comedies To-Be-Created

The man behind-the-curtain of all these sitcom hits is Chuck Lorre.

Clearly, he is the sitcom king of network television. When I’ve been in the audience for live tapings of The Big Bang Theory (including its pilot) and Two and a Half Men (including the series finale), I’ve always looked for Chuck Lorre on the floor. He’s a bonafide TV star. However, the ride hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the mega producer.

(Charlie Sheen and Angus T. Jones, cough-cough)

And as the interview below reveals, Mr. Lorre has faced adversity in many forms, from crazy outbursts from his actors to uptight studio executives.

Speaking of uptight…

That vanity card was probably one of the censored ones.

Save Nostalgia with a Twist & Shout

Spoiler Alert: This blog post contains details from the February 25, 2015 episode of The Goldbergs 

(EW's Community)

(EW’s Community)

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
-Ferris Bueller

In a single word: Epic!

Adam F. Goldberg, sitcom’s connoisseur of the 1980s and leader of The Goldbergs, revived a treasured classic and booked the cameo of the year (plus Ben Stein…Ben Stein in the promo) in last night’s episode, “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off.” Expected a week earlier in the Two and a Half Men series finale, Charlie Sheen continued to fuel his feud with that show’s leader Chuck Lorre with tiger’s blood. Charlie declined a highly-anticipated return to his old show. Instead, Goldberg had the perfect timing and script for Sheen to make his prime time television return as the drug-addled addict character he played in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (you almost can’t write this) and it was great. As a matter of fact, Goldberg revealed that Sheen pitched his final line and, for those who saw it, it was hilarious.

“It’s about time, I feel like I’ve been sittin’ here for 30 f”in years!”

This episode was a perfect homage to the ’80s masterpiece with countless shot-for-shot remakes, the iconic wardrobe, unforgettable quotes and original twists (and shouting) custom-fit for The Goldbergs. Every single character nailed their part. They were all so choice. The story was ultimately about Barry discovering his inner-Ferris Bueller, despite the reality of being a Cameron Frye. Truthfully, it’s the dilemma most of us face, especially in high school. This tribute episode was special because of the movie, its place in our hearts and minds and it was a nostalgic time travel (without a Ferrari, flying car or phone booth) back to a time when John Hughes was king.

Some would argue he still is.

Hughes’ storytelling and all too-real portrayals of teen life was impeccable. His films and characters continue to stand the test of time. Sitting on the edge of my seat with a smile a mile wide during the entire show, Goldberg wonderfully reminded us that the past is never too far away and that it really feels good to win (had to) with a rockin’ song in front of a raucous crowd.

Life, in so many ways, is about moments. And each of us should have our own Ferris-inspired day off.  

Adam F. Goldberg revealed at the end of the episode that he wanted to be the next John Hughes as a kid (note his childhood obsession with filming his uncensored family). In the modern television world, he’s as close as anybody. It’s always amazing to learn who or what motivates us at our most impressionable ages.

It’s clear that we will never forget the brilliant mind and vision of John Hughes.

P.S. I sent a tweet last night that read:

@TheGoldbergsABC is literally Epic!!! To quote myself, “I just believe in The Goldbergs” #FerrisBuellersDayOff

The second part of the message was an homage to a quote from the movie. It was commented on and re-tweeted. It even got “favorited” by a few people…including Adam F. Goldberg!

That’s epic!

Oh yeah (chicka chicka) 

Living in an Odd Van Down by the Comic Book Store in Malibu

Spoiler Alert: Information from last night’s CBS lineup (The Big Bang Theory, The Odd Couple & Two and a Half Men) and The Goldbergs are revealed below

From sunrise to sunset, yesterday was crazy.

First, battling a cold completely confused my mind, which resulted in a non-Goldbergs blog post. Have no fear though, that’s partly what today is for.

Erica wanted vehicular freedom from gas tank-obsessed Murray, so she manipulated Barry’s A-Team singing sweet spot that results in the best/worst van purchase of all-time. Meanwhile, Adam sought to rid himself of being known as “the nice guy.” This brought out Adam’s inner Don Rickles and Andrew Dice Clay, to the obvious anger from his family/comedic targets, to amplify his rep as the class clown. Adam’s journey to discovering his identity in middle school was an all too real portrayal. We try so hard to fit in and to be the person everybody else wants us to be. It’s a terribly awkward, embarrassing and frustrating moment in our lives.

In middle school, all we wanted and needed was for someone to be nice…

As for Erica and Barry becoming known as “van people” in their neighborhood (including their principal), all it took was delicious secret corn, the B-Team (for Barry) gas tank emptying and two genetically stubborn people conversing (Erica and Murray) to realize living in a van was not an ideal situation. Plus, the ’80s classic, “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby & The Range helped significantly.

It’s a wonderful thing to have such a nice, funny family on television.

————————————————————————————–

Second, CBS owned last night’s sitcom battle. As in completely and entirely. The evening began with an emotional Big Bang Theory that finally dealt with the real life death of the wildly funny Carol Ann Susi/Mrs. Wolowitz. It coincided with the re-opening of Stuart’s comic book store with a sharper look, including some familiar furniture as pointed out by Howard. Plus, the phrase “let it go” got a genuinely welcomed resurgence back into our psyches thanks to Penny (inside joke for viewers of the episode).

Following the #1 sitcom on television was the premiere of CBS’s next great sitcom, The Odd Couple. Written as a modern revival to the ’70s comedy, it stars Matthew Perry (Oscar Madison) and Thomas Lennon (Felix Unger) as, well, an odd couple of roommates. For a pilot, it was fantastic! The writing and on-screen chemistry started slowly, as expected. But, by the end, the characters and writers revealed a promising (and hilarious) spark that will build into a roaring good fire of laughs. Like most great sitcoms, it will take a season or two to find its rhythm and pulse of its characters and story. Recall the necessary patience and development it took Seinfeld, Frasier, That ’70s Show and Friends to find its genius a few seasons in. The Odd Couple has an awesome cast and as they continue to fall into their respective roles more naturally as time goes on, this show will prove to be really special. Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon have finally found their successful follow-up roles to their iconic television characters of yesteryear.

And then there were these, “men, men, men, manly men, who hoo who would show up?”

Following an unlikely 12-year run on CBS, Chuck Lorre’s raunchy, addictive and tumultuous sitcom came to an end last night. Having been at the taping for a couple scenes in the series finale two weeks ago today, which included Rose revealing Charlie was alive in the Malibu living room with Alan, Evelyn and Walden and Jake’s surprise return, it was still a tightly-held secret if Charlie Sheen would actually return. As curious viewers discovered, Charlie made a cameo as a Warner Bros. cartoon and, courtesy of a convincing stand-in from behind, in the must-see final scene. The finale had plenty of laughs, especially with funny pans and one-liners to studio cameras about the show and a series recap with guest officer Arnold  Schwarzenegger interviewing Alan and Walden as part of their pursuit to find the raging and “Silence of the Lambs-escapee” Charlie from Rose’s Sherman Oaks dungeon.

It was sad to see the show give its final curtain call, but it was time. Given the circumstances with Charlie Sheen and Angus T. Jones, Two and a Half Men could only continue for so long. One of the cool things about seeing a show taping live is learning inside information. In honor of the show’s success, and the fact it managed to be the longest running sitcom in television history, we learned that night that Warner Bros. would be renaming Stage 26, “The Two and a Half Men Stage.”

That’s winning.

As is this:

(CBS)

(CBS)

That Special Couple

Tonight’s episode of Two and a Half Men will be a good one.

Actress Mila Kunis (Jackie) will stop by Malibu’s most famous beach house for a television reunion with her former That ’70s Show co-star and love interest Ashton Kutcher (Kelso). Although, since the two are engaged in real life (99.99% sure), her appearance will only constitute a small reunion of sorts. But, for the millions of fans watching at home, it’s very much a big deal.

Below is a clip from That ’70s Show to set-up her guest role on the hit CBS sitcom at 9:00 p.m. ET because of how perfectly it mirrors her real life engagement and pregnancy rumors with Kelso Ashton more than a decade later.

It really will be a “special Men” episode.