Month: December 2017

Cybill – Friends – Frasier – tape 2188

Starting on this tape, another Cybill. Featuring an appearance by Nancy Travis as a casting agent.

Cybill’s ex husband Ira has written a book about their life, and when the film gets made, rather than Cybill getting cast, Paula Abdul gets the part.

Next, more Friends, and The One with Phoebe’s Husband. Phoebe had married a gay ice skater so he could get a green card. She’s shocked later to find out he’s been living a lie all these years, and he’s secretly straight.

Next, Frasier, and Niles suggests Frasier joins him in private practice, but they can’t work together, so they have to get couples therapy from Milo O’Shea.

Then, recording switches to another programme, not on my database. It’s Friends with Gaby, am interview with the three male castmembers of Friends by Gaby Roslin.

This is a far too chummy interview. Really quite bad.

After this, an episode of Frasier. The new station owner has a younger mistress, but she smokes, and he asks Frasier to stop her smoking. It turns out his mistress is Frasier’s agent.

Following this, recording continues with Rory Bremner… Who Else? So what do we think about Rory blacking up to play Trevor McDonald? Not really acceptable.

But at least we get Alison Steadman.

Also appearing, Sheila Hancock

After this, there’s the start of a typically self-satisfied TFI Friday. This one features Samuel L Jackson, but he’s listed as the Big Hollywood Star they Don’t Have Time For. I wonder if it was this episode where he mentions he wanted to be in the new Star Wars film, or whether it was a subsequent appearance.

Also interviewed, Richard Branson, who’s an annoying interviewee, and I’d take issue with his characterisation as a philanthropist.

The tape ends during this interview.

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Caroline in the City – Friends – Frasier – tape 2198

Another day, another set of Friday Nights on Channel 4. These are from bit later, though.

First, Caroline in the City. Caroline strains her back playing racquetball, but she has a deadline. Her friend gives her some strong painkillers that knock her out so the two men in her life decide to write the strip for her, and end up doing a terrible thing about shoes.

There’s a crossover appearance at the end from Daphne Moon and Niles Crane. She can’t understand the strip, but he thinks it’s funny.

Next, Friends, and (spoiler) The One Where Dr Ramoray Dies. Joey gives an interview in which he says that he makes up a lot of his dialogue. “Aren’t you afraid that the writers are gonna be kind of mad when they read this?” asks Phoebe. “I never really thought about the writers. The scripts just kind of come to my house.”

Monica is going out with Richard. They discuss numbers of previous partners.

And Ross and Rachel have the same discussion, leading to Ross once again being a whiny little shit. Ross is the worst.

And as revenge for his interview, the Days of our Lives writers drop Dr Ramoray down an elevator shaft, in what has to be a callback to the classic LA Law scene with Rosalind Shays.

Chandler is also having trouble with his new roommate Eddie, who turns out to be just a little strange.

Next, Frasier, and Diane is back in town.

She’s not having the best of times, having lost her job writing for Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, and her backers have pulled out of the play she wrote in Seattle, so she turns to Frasier for help. He even backs her play, which he might regret when he sees it for the first time.

It’s a nice reunion episode.

Next, after another snatch of the Brookside theme tune, another Caroline in the City. Caroline doesn’t get the money out of an ATM, so the bank tell her they will review the tape they make of people using the ATM. Trouble is, she picked her nose while waiting and she’s embarrassed. Also, there’s some frankly awful advice about relationships from some of the men (whose names I still don’t remember. Sorry.)

Next, Friends and The One Where Eddie Won’t Leave. Chandler’s creepy roommate gets even creepier, sitting and watching him sleep.

Then, another Frasier, with an episode where Niles asks a very shady man to help when Maris is arrested over unpaid parking tickets, and as a result, he and Frasier are in the man’s pocket for a favour.

After this, recording continues with an episode of Rory Bremner… Who Else? There’s a joke about the Referendum Party, which I seem to remember as the precursor to UKIP, but UKIP also get a small mention, so I guess they were different.

There’s a nice appearance by Kathy Burke.

They do a thing where they superimpose Bremner’s mouth on footage of celebs, and it makes them look like Henry Cavill in Justice League.

After this, an episode of Eurotrash which leads with a profile of a pre-Eurovision Dana International, and the frankly ridiculous tone of the voiceover when it mentions her trans status is just about typical for this show, which really only existed to catch a few drunk blokes after a night in the pub.

The tape ends during this episode.

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Cybill – Friends – Frasier – tape 2196

Another day, another set of Friday Night Channel 4 imports.

First, the end of Brookside again.

Then, Cybill, wherein Cybill’s son in law hosts a party at Cybill’s house to impress his bosses, so he might get tenure, and Cybill goes for a ride-along with a policeman, and ends up with the police car when his wife goes into labour.

After this, Friends and The One with the List. Ross kissed Rachel, and is conflicted about Julie, so he makes a list of their pros and cons. Naturally, Rachel finds the list. Ross is the worst.

Michael McKean guests as a man running a food science company, makers of Mockolate and Fishtacios.

After this, Frasier gets involved with a labour dispute at the radio station, facing off against station boss Mercedes Ruehl.

There’s another snatch of Brookside before the next batch of episodes.

Then, More Cybill. There’s some Disco. And this is the episode where Zoe’s wastrel boyfriend cheats on her.

Next, Friends and The One with Phoebe’s Dad. Phoebe learns that her dad lives quite nearby.

Then, the second of the Frasier two-parter in which Frasier is caught live on air having sex with station boss Mercedes Ruehl.

After this, recording continues with an episode of Whose Line is it Anyway. Tonight’s performers are Greg Proops

Caroline Quentin

Colin Mochrie

and Ryan Stiles

After this, recording continues with most of an episode of Takeover TV, presented by a young Adam Buxton.

And Joe Cornish (doing a Prince Charles impression.

Ken Korda makes an appearance

The tape ends just before the end of this episode.

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Muppets Tonight – Cybill – Friends – Secrets of the X Files – tape 2194

First of all, I want to apologise in advance for the rather samey nature of the next few tapes. We’ve hit a rather deep vein of Friday Night Channel Four recordings, so there’s going to be a similar flavour through the next bunch of tapes. It happens sometimes.

But first, something that’s different, and the first episode of Muppets Tonight, the unsuccessful attempt to recapture the magic of the Muppet Show.

Before the show, there’s a trail for Saturday Night on BBC1, leading with Jim Davidson’s Generation Game. 1996, and Jim Davidson was considered suitable Saturday Night family material.

Then a trailer for Top of the Pops. I don’t really recognise any of the acts involved (bar the Spice Girls). The 90s are like a blank space for me when it comes to pop music as I mostly listened to classical music and movie soundtracks.

Then, the first episode of Muppets Tonight. Michelle Pfeiffer is the guest star, and they get her, for some reason, to sing songs from The Sound of Music.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 6th September 1996 – 19:00

After this there’s a trailer for Telly Addicts. Then a trailer for Dangerfield, a programme I don’t think I’ve ever watched even a second of.

Then, the start of Top of the Pops, introduced by a band who I think are called Rocket from the Crypt. They look really cool.

It’s actually presented by Julia Carling. Was she a Radio One DJ? I genuinely have no idea. The surname suggests she might have been married to rugby bore Will Carling, but I’m far too uninterested to look it up.

The first band are Space. Now, I know singers in pop groups don’t have to be particularly good, but this one is almost comically bad.

But the recording stops, and switches to Channel 4 later in the evening with the end of an episode of Brookside.

Then, an episode of Cybill. It has something to do with dating. At one point, Cybill’s daughter’s ex boyfriend tries to talk to her to ‘explain why he cheated on her’. Yuck.

Weirdly (although not for this blog) there’s a guest appearance from pianist and singer Michael Feinstein, who we saw in an entire concert a few tapes ago. There’s about six years between those two tapes, but they just happened to be within a few days of each other. Yet more synchronicity.

After this, an episode of Friends with The One after the Superbowl Part 1. It’s a star studded affair. Chris Isaak hires Phoebe to play songs for his kindergarten class.

Brooke Shields plays a woman obsessed with Joey’s character on Days of our Lives.

After seeing a monkey like Marcel in an advert, Ross decides to visit him in the zoo he was donated to. Fred Willard plays the boss of the zoo, who tells him Marcel died.

But Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson himself) plays a caretaker who knows the truth.

Marcel was stolen, and now he’s performing, and was actually the monkey in the advert at the start of the show. Not only that, but he’s in Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan being filmed in New York right now.

In part 2, the guest stars keep on coming. Julia Roberts plays a makeup artist on the film who also turns out to know Chandler from school.

And I’ve just realised that I’ve already look at this episode a while ago, so I can probably stop capturing new screenshots.

Jean Claude Van Damme is in the movie.

For a lot of series, blowing the budget on stars might have meant sacrificing the material, but these two episodes are full of great gags and moments. I love the part where the kids Phoebe has been singing to seek her out. “Is this where the singing lady is who tells the truth?”

After this episode, recording switches to the end of a compilation of Parkinson, featuring Les Dawson.

There’s a trailer for Everyman: Science Friction, and for some football.

Then, Secrets of the X Files. I had hoped this would be a behind the scenes look, but it is actually a ‘previously on the X Files’ extended into a whole programme, designed to lead viewers into the forthcoming new series. Not very interesting, or interestingly done.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 6th September 1996 – 23:00

Then, recording switches again. We’re on the Sci-Fi Channel, which is interesting because that’s not listed on my database.

Hey look, it’s something called Comicana, another programme about comics. This one comes quite a long time after the ones we saw recently, so yet another strange confluence of programming.

It’s introduced by Yvonne Marvellous. Well that’s what I think she said. But she also says “You can now get High-tech, interactive CD-ROMics” so I’m not sure how much we can trust what she says.

In the news section, there’s a mention of Marvel writer Mark Gruenwald who died very young.

There’s an interview with Dave Gibbons.

There’s also the occasional vox pop, including this chap who knows the name of several superheroes and publishers. “I’m fairly knowledgeable

After this, there’s most of an episode of Friday the 13th The Series, which revolves around a cursed pair of boxing gloves. The tape ends just before this episode ends.

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The Nanny – tape 1038

Here’s a very strange film. It’s a Hammer film, but rather than a Gothic horror, it’s a black and white psychological thriller starring Bette Davis as the Nanny to a young family.

Wendy Craig plays the mother, a bit flaky and nervous.

Their little boy is causing all sorts of problems at school. He’s clearly quite disturbed. He pretends to hang himself in his room at school.

Nanny has been with the family for years, and the little boy doesn’t trust her at all. or is it that the little boy is a murderous psychopath, and Nanny is the only one keeping him under control? The film is very cleverly presented, and it’s not clear until fairly late in the story what the truth is. A very creep thriller.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 26th October 1989 – 00:00

After this, BBC 2 closes down, and there’s half an hour of the testcard, but then, there’s an encrypted broadcast. I think this was TV aimed at doctors, who would purchase a decoder and record the broadcasts. There’s about half an hour of wobbly looking pictures until the recording ends.

Twin Peaks – Alexei Sayle’s Stuff – tape 1006

First on this tape, episode 6 of the first series of Twin Peaks. There’s lots of scandinavians around. The Log Lady talks about Owls. And Laura’s cousin has turned up, giving Sheryl Lee something more to do than just appear in flashback.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 20th November 1990 – 21:00

After this, recording switches to the end of Food and Drink with Anthony Worrall Thompson showing some students how to cook on a budget. He’s a bit leery, and I don’t like the way his chef’s shirt is open halfway down his chest. Yuck.

There’s a trailer for Nicholas Craig – The Naked Actor and one for Ski Sunday.

Then, another Twin Peaks. Audrey Horne has got into Cooper’s hotel room and got into bed, much to his dismay when he returns from the investigation. I’m quite impressed with the way he manages to let her down gently, and also get her onside and prepared to confide in him, without making her feel small, or foolish, or rejected. It’s a subtly written and performed scene.

One of the clues to Laura’s last night alive appears to be a talking bird which has stopped talking.

Cooper, along with Ed and Sheriff Truman, decide to go undercover at One Eyed Jack’s, over the border.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th November 1990 – 21:00

Next, the final episode of the first season. In a plan to entrap Jacques Renaud on the US side of the border, Deputy Andy has his own Sgt Al Powell moment.

Leland Palmer finds out a suspect in Laura’s murder has been arrested, and takes the opportunity to smother Renaud.

And the series ends on a cliffhanger as Agent Cooper is shot in his hotel room.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 4th December 1990 – 21:00

After this, recording switches, and we get the very end of Top Gear.

Then a trailer for Friday evening.

Then, an episode of The Alexei Sayle Show. Very confusingly (for me, when trying to find it in Genome) it starts with a BBC1 fake announcement despite being on BBC2. It’s as surreal as ever, opening with The Two Lone Rangers and the Two Tontos.

There’s a look behind the scenes at the new series.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th November 1991 – 21:00

Following this, there’s a trailer for Murder Most Horrid.

Then, there’s the start of 40 Minutes – Anyone for Tennis.

There’s about ten minutes of this before the tape ends.