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Underrated TV

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Drtooth, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Egads... I have to do everything around here, don't I? :cry:

    I'll try not to mention foreign shows this time... there will be one exception, as you'll see.

    Toonsylvania: The forgotten Steven Spielberg Presents cartoon of the 90's, mainly because it was the first cartoon Dreamworks and not a Warner Bros./Amblin cartoon. Absolutely one of my favorite Monster shows (right up there with Duckula), featuring a vain and vindictive Dr. Vic Frankenstine, his disgruntled assistant that's always vying for his position, Igor and the idiot monster Vic created, Phil. The show basically took swipes at different horror movie aspects, even mocking various Twilight Zone episodes (when Igor buys a cursed doll for Phil's Birthday)... once they even made satirized James Cameron's Titanic ego. Also featured, a sitcom about zombies designed by Mike Peters (the guy who gave us Mother Goose and Grimmy), Mellisa's Morbid Morals (where Igor tries to scare Phil out of various bad behaviors) and the very rare recurring segment that parodies B movies that was only used a couple times in the show's run. Unfortunately, this was one of the shows Fox set its sights on for cancellation for more Power Ranger time slots , and Dreamworks has been sitting it's big ol' butt over the dang thing, so it will probably never get a DVD release, much less a rerun somewhere.

    Gadget and the Gadgetinis: A show so underrated, it was never shown in the US. While I do overall enjoy the classic Inspector Gadget series better, the story lines actually got a bit deeper. In one episode, Dr. Claw sends a Mad agent back in time to prevent Gadget's parents from ever meeting to effectively erase him from existence, while Gadget accidentally meanders through the past, almost erasing Dr. Claw instead. The only things I dislike about the series are the Gadgetinis themselves (two small robots that look like Gadget, but arguably smarter... one having to remind the other constantly that they're robots) and what happened to Brain (apparently, it's revealed he became so stressed out after the adventures of the first series, he retired and ran away, leaving him a nervous wreck that can't even hear Gadget's name without freaking out). Chief Quimby has also been replaced (promoted, but he appears in one episode... he's actually aged), and we get the (almost funnier) Colonel Nozzaire, who HATES Gadget with every fiber of his being, and wants to send him on dangerous missions in the event he won't come back.

    Better off Ted: CURSE YOU ABC! Curse you for canceling this series and not putting it on Wednesdays in the time slot of that horrid Kelsey Grammer project that was rightfully canned after a couple episodes. If there's one thing I like, it's the manic satire of the business world this show painted, even making fun of companies that have PR advertisements every time they screw up.

    Reaper:siggghhhhhh.... I hate the CW! Really. This demanded a third season, and it never got one because not enough older teenagers were watching because it wasn't about rich bimbos whining about how hard they have it for being rich and having multiple romantic partners. The series never got the ending it deserved, and I think it's too good to wind up like Pushing Daisies and Arrested Development and wind up having a movie that never comes out, or a comic book that never happens...

    Oh yeah, on that note Pushing Daisies and Arrested Development
     
    roygerdodger likes this.
  2. Sgt Floyd

    Sgt Floyd Well-Known Member

    Im gonna say FreakyLinks. It was a bit creepy but funny. its a shame it only lasted one season.

    But then again, I have a very twisted sense of humor which matched the show so...
     
  3. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    Angry Beavers and AHHHH! Real Monsters- Two VERY good Nick "Nicktoons" that didn't and still doesn't get the praise it deserves. I'm not excatly saying it should be on "Spongebob's level" but it deserves more than it's gotten over the years.
    Muppets Tonight-Well at least the second season when the show was getting better. Still not NEARLY as good as the Muppet Show, but still, it seemed like it was really starting to cook.
    Futurama- As much as I love the Simpsons, in some cases during the early 2000s, Futurama would prove to be an EVEN better show from Matt Geoening. Too bad it had to live in the Simpsons BIG shadow.
    American Dad- Perhaps not "overall underratted" but when compare to Family Guy and the Cleveland Show, yeah it's pretty underratted in the Seth McFarlane cartoon world.

    I'm sure I'll think of more later.
     
    roygerdodger likes this.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Absolutely agreed on both counts of Futurama and American Dad. They are the BEST shows from both creators, and they're both a LOT more imaginative that the shows they live in the shadows of. American Dad is always the first show to have to go on Seasonal replacement, and I wouldn't be surprised if it gets canceled soon. Meanwhile The Simpsons turned into "How many stupid and fat jokes can we make about Homer" and "let's make this a Lisa episode so we can use her as a soapbox to whine about how much better we are than everyone else." Meanwhile, Family Guy is basically "Let's just keep the stoners and gamers that watch adult swim happy!" American Dad actually has crazy PLOTS and not gag after gag after gag shove together. Plus, the James Bond parody was the finest I've seen considering that's a well that too many have gone to too many times.

    But I can do you one better:

    The Critic: This wasn't just "Oh look, Movie parody!" It was a series about this little guy who no one understood trying to make it in his business and trying in vain to find someone to share that with. And when they did movie parodies, it wasn't "look what's popular now!" They even went as far as satirizing the fact that Hollywood completely abandoned Orson Welles and he was forced to do really bad commercials at times. If anyone has ever heard of the "Frozen Peas" fiasco (also parodied word for word in the Animaniacs episode "Yes, Always!") and his drunken wine commercial, they took brutal swipes at them. The show oozed clever, and even though they decided to give him a girlfriend in the second season (which I wasn't a fan of) it really deserved a longer stay on TV. Furturama at least got a big comeback with movies and a new season. The Critic only got a long forgotten web series that ONLY parodied movies and had a thin attempt at plot if you watch them all together.
     
    roygerdodger likes this.
  5. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    Geez, why didn't mention that one in my first post, :smirk:. I love the Critic, I even own the complete series DVD set. That is a hugely underratted show.

    In fact the season six episode of the Simpsons entitled "A Star is Burns" had the Critic himself: Jay Shermen as a guest character, which made creator Matt Geoening VERY upset. Which is too bad really as he felt it made the Simpsons look "second rate" and a "commerical for the Critic." So even right there the show was being treated almost like an "unwanted step brother" for the Simpsons that Fox took in. That is a shame really.
     
    roygerdodger likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I pretty much have to say this.

    Batman: The Brave and the Bold
    Now this show IS popular with the kids, but I don't know how it resinated with older fans... and I feel that it's highly rated when it's compared with the biggie, Batman The Animated Series.

    Now, Batman TAS is not only a great show, but a very important show. It stretched the limit of what you could do on an action cartoon. If anyone remembers Super Friends, they couldn't even hit the villains at one point, they had to trap them with lasers or something. Even TMNT's 80's series had them fight robots most of all, capturing everyone else in traps. There were a lot of themes that pushed boundaries as well. Of course, now every single Batman cartoon from now till the end of eternity will be compared, unfairly I might add, to that series.

    Then of course there's The Batman. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but it really went through one heck of an identity crisis. First it wanted to be the Chris Nolan movies (a year before the first one premiered, mind you), then it wanted to be Batman TAS... and in between that it accidentally turned into Jackie Chan Adventures (especially when they add Batgirl, who was basically turned into Jade). While it had a lot of great moments, it also felt uneven in certain seasons. Especially the dreaded third season.

    This new one KNOWS what it wanted to be right out of the gate. This is based on a long forgotten series of Batman comics where he DID indeed team up with a different hero every single issue. Something done in this series. And because there's always a new hero, there's also different villains. And this way we get to see a lot of long lost faces that were considered too weird for any of the more serious Batman or Justice League shows. And Plastic Man finally has a new gig since his 1980's series. And the show can either be very wacky or darkly serious depending on who's in it. Aspects of Batman's history are embraced and or throttled, even cracking jokes at the adult Batman cartoon fan base at one point.

    Oh, and it made Aquaman INTERESTING. no one has EVER done that.
     
  7. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Arrested Development and NewsRadio are two of my very favorite shows, but they were completely overlooked while they were on. NewsRadio has a manic, fat-paced, silly brand of humor comparable to the Muppet Show's antics. Arrested Development was just far too brilliant for television, and probably too brilliant for the movies as well.
     
    roygerdodger likes this.
  8. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    You Can't Do That on Television. Yes, it was a bit of a hit when it was on (but still a bit underground because not everyone had cable/Nickelodeon at the time.) It never seems to be brought up when people talk about classic Nick anymore (even though the green slime originated from the show and remained a major part of Nick's identity for very long after). Many people dismissed it as either gross-out humor or a "can't-live-up-to "Laugh-In" copy that it was clearly influenced by) but here was a kids show that not only didn't talk down to kids but really got and identified with them - and adults could also really love it as well. The fact that it originated and had its roots in a Canadian station kept the show from having that Hollywood feel or tone of "what big stars we are". It always felt humble. And although the TONS of kids that would populate it over the years had its stars and duds, overall many of them felt like people you knew or could easily know. "Moose" and Lisa were actually a comedy team on par with many of the classic duos.

    Definately missed. I can't quite name its direct influence Laugh-In as underrated because i think critics and general public alike rightfully respect and credit its place in television history, but man oh man the boob tube needs a current version of this show - whether its a kids show, all ages or what have you?
     
    roygerdodger likes this.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Considering I recently bought the DVD box set for a steal (in the figurative sense of the word), I' going to add...

    The OTHER Ghost Busters.

    Never has there been a more unfortunate co-incidence in entertainment history. Now, you really need to get the history of BOTH GB's in question... the movie was this close to having a different name (Ghostsmashers) and due to them not being familiar an obscure (but brilliant) live action Saturday morning kid's show from 10 years earlier there was some legal trauma, and so Filmation (who actually owned the name) didn't get the rights to animation and they purposely decided to make their OWN Ghost Busters cartoon because of the popularity of the movie (Columbia went to DIC instead for theirs). So basically we got one amazing Real Ghostbusters cartoon series (Real was part of the settlement) and a pretty decent OTHER series with a more. Dr. Claw/Skeletor/Cobra Commander type villain, giving them both a distinct feel.

    Now, while we all can agree The Real Ghostbusters is one of the greatest cartoons of the 80's and the BEST cartoon based off of a film, the other Ghost Busters gets left in the cold (though, due to idiotic management decisions from the owners of the Real one, the Filmation series got released first). And even though it does have the air of preachiness in most episodes, it does manage to be a fun little show all it's own. Especially the episode "Outlaws in Laws." I'm still laughing from that one.
     
    roygerdodger likes this.
  10. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    The only way I've heard about Filmation's Ghost Busters is because it's loved by a certain autistic manchild whom the Internet hates with a passion.
     
  11. Frogpuppeteer

    Frogpuppeteer Well-Known Member

    i actually saw the DVD for the series very recently
     
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Mmm... I have no clue what that even means.

    But it's a decent little show... It just has some very unfortunateness behind it. I don't really truly trust Wikipedia on most subjects, but there is a tale that because Columbia (as part of the settlement) almost went to Filmation for their cartoon, going as far as having them design characters (I don't believe it went that far... but it sounds interesting) but they backed out and went with DIC. Now, I'm glad that happened because the Real Ghostbusters would have been like that show. Not that there's anything wrong with the Filmation version... just, the fact that Egon and the rest fight different ghosts under different circumstances without a mastermind dispatching them to take over the world (I don't count Boogaloo from the Halloween special) works better for them.

    Of course, to me, the Filmation show would have been funnier if they took one other thing from the live action series (I'm gonna track that one down ASA-I-have-money), and had them get their orders via different exploding messages. Unlike Inspector Gadget, they communicated with things like pies. Now that's wacky.

    Make no mistake, though... I still love Real and even Extreme the most. Actually... Extreme is another series that's woefully underrated no thanks to a lame 90's buzz word in the title.
     
  13. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    Better off Ted died ;.;? But..but..I loved it :(!
     
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I have very disparaging thoughts about the ABC exec that killed that show, yet put on the atrocious, straight out of the 90's Better with You show. Not only is it pretty much a knockoff of Rules of Engagement, but you have to be desperate to knock off a show like Rules of Engagement.

    Here's a couple more...

    Extreme Ghostbusters: WHY OH WHY did you have to shove that lameazoid buzzword in the title? it turned off SO many viewers of the original Real Ghostbusters series. And while a lot of other relaunch shows went with a total reboot (He-Man or TMNT), this was an outright continuation of the original series. And it really does hold up to the original quite well, especially since they had an episode directly sequel an episode of the original (the one about the Grundel). I could go on and on about how amazing the show was (even refusing to let Slimer talk in full sentences... say what you will about Filmation's Ghostbusters... Tracy didn't steal the show at the end of the series with terrible rubbery cartoons). Though, their design for Jenine wasn't hot at all. And that one would scare kids a LOT more than the one from the original series.

    Funky Cops: French show, dubbed by 4Kids... and quite honestly, the BEST dub they ever did (the other being Ultimate Muscle). Too bad kids didn't get the 70's references and the show didn't even last the season. But they let so many innuendos slip by the censors.. including my favorite line "rhymes with witch." I wish there was at least somewhere online to watch it... there is on Youtube, but it's in raw French. I really wish this one caught on.
     
  15. Redsonga

    Redsonga Active Member

    Maybe Better Off Ted was too true to life about how big companies think and they got it taken off *lol*:coy:
     
  16. GonzoLeaper

    GonzoLeaper Well-Known Member

    The main one I can think of in this category is "Early Edition"- that was honestly the last show on network TV that I actually followed regularly- it was really somewhere right around there at the turn of the century that I pretty much quit keeping up with current television because there wasn't much of anything grabbing my interest.
    But I really wish "Early Edition" had gone on for another season- that was such a great show! I'd still love Kyle Chandler to come back and at least do a TV-movie for it someday.:)
     
  17. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Daria - It's one of my favorite shows. It certainly has a relatively decent following, but you don't hear about it all that much. Sure the characters voices can get a little annoying at times but, I think it's a very funny and clever look at teenage life. It's one of the few shows, especially one of the only ones in the 90s that actually understood what being a kid in high school/college can be like. Despite certain things being dated, the messages are timeless, and the characters' struggles are very relatable. Daria isn't just a sarcastic know it all that she's made out to be. She has a lot of genuinely heartfelt moments when she really shows her human side; and she has dreams and insecurities. And sometimes she can be a jerk, but usually she's called out for it and she grows as a person. Even her selfish, superficial, shallow sister, and her popular, dumb blonde cheerleader stereotype classmate has depth to her. They all have reasons for being the way they are, they seem one note at first, but they're not.
    You'd also think you would hear more about it with it being a spin off of Beavis and Butthead and all.

    Clone High - It was certainly an interesting concept. I think this was another MTV cartoon. It was about a high school where all of the students were clones of historical figures. I also like that it made fun of overly dramatic teen dramas from the early 2000s like Dawson Creek. The main characters were clones of Abe Lincoln, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, JFK, and Ghandi. Unfortunately, it was cancelled after just one season.
     
  18. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Clone High did air on MTV in America, but it was created for Canada. It's pretty funny; haven't really watched it in a long while.
     
  19. 1000 Eyes

    1000 Eyes Well-Known Member

    TUGS - If I wasn't nostalgic for Thomas, TUGS would be my favorite show. After Season 2 of Thomas & Friends was released, director David Mitton decided to do a similar show, only with tugboats. Together with Robert Cordona, they created some of the best sets and models in children's live action animation in history. The stories were more mature than Thomas - explosions, dangers with logs and the like made them entertaining for children to watch and for the older sibling and mom and dad as well. Unfortunately, Clearwater Features (which created the series) went way over budget due to it, thus making them go bankrupt and cancelling the series after just thirteen episodes. Today, TUGS is mainly thought of as 'that failed sister series of Thomas', but it was so much more than that - die-hard fans of it are still around, waiting for a DVD release or a continuation of the series. It was a grand show.
     
    mr3urious likes this.
  20. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    And the producer would go on to create a spiritual successor in Theodore Tugboat, which lasted much longer.
     
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