Sunday, August 1, 2021

Flopcast 482: The Backs of Life 5 - The Big Fight

We're up to 1982 in our series of 80s-themed episodes, and it's time to review another Facts of Life backdoor pilot! This one looks eerily similar to a previous backdoor pilot, as the boys of Stone Academy get another shot at a spinoff series! But this time instead of a school dance, the plot involves a school boxing tournament. (Back in 1982, viewers probably thought they were watching Rocky III.) And the cast has been expanded to include a pretty nurse, a scary kid named Mongo (probably working for Ming the Merciless), a cameo by (then unknown) Crispin Glover, and 80s supernerd Eddie Deezen! (You know Eddie from Grease, Wargames, and a billion other things. He out-nerds us all.) Did it all work? Of course not. But it's magnificent. Also: 80s trivia with the ESO Network Board of Directors, and Happy Birthday to Tootie's real life mom. Next week: 1983. Of course.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Flopcast 481: Look at What's Happened to 1981

Our ten-part series about the 1980s continues with a look at all the TV shows that debuted in 1981! Prime time soaps were on the rise (Dynasty, Falcon Crest), the Six Million Dollar Man became the Fall Guy, and Hill Street Blues premiered alongside 600 other (instantly forgotten) detective shows. We had a Brady Bunch spin-off (with Marcia, Jan, and their goofy husbands), a Jeffersons spin-off (Florence gets her own show... for a month), and an almost-but-not-quite Little House on the Prairie spin-off (the even-weirder-in-retrospect Father Murphy). Only one long-running sitcom started in 1981, and it was... Gimme a Break! (Congratulations to Ms. Carter and Mr. Sweet.) Love, Sidney and Private Benjamin lasted a couple of years, which isn't bad compared to the stuff only Kevin remembers, like Best of the West and Open All Night. Then there were some truly obscure short-lived oddities starring Gabe Kaplan, Sam Jones, and the Smothers Brothers. It was a weird year, but that's how we like it. And we give special attention to our favorite 1981 series, The Greatest American Hero. Kornflake saw the extra-long pilot episode for the first time just this week. Believe it or not.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Flopcast 480: Yacht Rock and Yoda

We're kicking off ten weeks of 80s-themed shows... because when do we ever get to talk about the 80s around here? And this week we're looking at the year 1980. It was the year that brought us Flash Gordon, Caddyshack, Pac-Man, the Rubik's Cube, and a cheater in the Boston Marathon. (Some of us also cheated at the Rubik's Cube...) We also review the Billboard pop chart for this week in 1980, and find Billy Joel's first number one song, a couple of Xanadu favorites from Olivia and ELO, country rock from Eddie Rabbitt, early new wave from Gary Numan, and just a massive heap of yacht rock. (So... much... Ambrosia.) Also this week: Taskmaster is a Black Widow villain AND Kornflake's favorite game show; Baby Yoda is a Chia Pet; and Happy Birthday to our favorite Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter. All the world is waiting for you.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Flopcast 479: Movies of 1986 - My Eyeball Tutor

With the long-delayed release of Black Widow this week, many humans finally returned to actual movie theaters, where the $14 boxes of Raisinets had been waiting patiently since last year. Meanwhile Kevin and Kornflake are flopping back to 35 years ago, when the only Marvel movie in theaters was... Howard the Duck. We run through a big crazy list of movies from 1986, including some all-time favorites (Stand by Me, Karate Kid Part II), science fiction classics (Aliens, Star Trek IV), fantasy classics (Big Trouble in Little China, Labyrinth), and random oddities (Maximum Overdrive, My Chauffeur). The Brat Pack was out of control, Molly was pretty in pink, Kevin Bacon was a bike messenger, Jeff Goldblum was a fly, Johnny 5 was alive, Rodney went back to school, Ferris did not, Peggy Sue got married, and Audrey II just wanted to be fed. Yikes. In 1986, the only time we left the theater was when the government forced us to participate in Hands Across America. Also this week: Kornflake brings you... the Weird Eyeball Game. Talk to your favorite optician before playing.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Flopcast 478: We Are Boomer

Just some miscellaneous silly talk this week, including: Kickball with Kornflake; cursing your enemies with R2D2 ceramics; TV talk (we recommend Girls5eva, Rutherford Falls, We Are Lady Parts, and This Way Up); punk rock with The Linda Lindas; crazy screaming peacocks; fun with a giant book of 80s pop chart stats; fun with Wallace and Gromit on Earth Station One; Happy Birthday to the kid from One Day at a Time and Jennifer Slept Here; and after an entire year (!), as demanded by absolutely no one... the return of Chickens in the News.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Flopcast 477: Gruff You Up

Kevin and Kornflake are enjoying the new comic book-based Netflix show Sweet Tooth (we like hybrids), and we have an entire "sweet"-themed Top 4 ½ List just for you. Our list includes cheap Halloween candy (of course), as well as a Sweet sitcom star, a cartoon dog, 90s music, a giant Muppet, and lots more silly sweet stuff. Your dentist will hate this episode. (Except for the part about Air Supply, based on the music they play in their waiting room.) Also: We have a major correction from last week (sorry, Family Ties star Michael Gross), we've seen a combined total of two Mel Brooks movies (are you impressed?), and we've been hanging around the DragonCon American Sci-Fi Classics Track again.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Flopcast 476: Yoink!

For the first time in a billion years, we have actual live human guests at Chickentown Studios! (Remember talking to people not on Zoom? Yeah, it's weird.) Brittany and Martha are here, from our sister podcast But First, Let's Talk Nerdy! We're celebrating their first year of podcasting by recalling some of the silliest moments in But First, Let's Talk Nerdy history. Including: The Coast Guard vs. the Sea Police, Archie vs. Gumby, eating your twin, fake movie blood recipes, squished pennies, Luna the Dragon, Rudolph bleeps, disturbing kangaroo videos, the man in your ceiling, and an impromptu Britney Spears parody about an evil wrinkly purple guy. So crack open a hard seltzer (we sure did) and hop aboard this train to Memory City (what?) before our favorite nerdy girls head back to Vegas. (Hey, Kevin is a guest on their show this week too! And before you ask: Yes, of course we talk about sentient pants.) Also: Kornflake is here with National Whatever Day, and she has some startling Family Ties trivia. Sha la la la.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Flopcast 475: The Backs of Life 4 - Jo's Cousin

Yes, we're still examining every "backdoor pilot" episode of The Facts of Life, and we've arrived at "Jo's Cousin," which features, you know, Jo's cousin. She's 14-year-old aspiring mechanic Terry, played by the star of Kornflake's beloved Anne of Green Gables! We also meet Terry's angry father (you know him from Soap and Battlestar Galactica), her goofy brothers (including the star of Meatballs Part II), and their creepy friend (from the creepy classic Hardbodies). Armed with a Laura Ingalls dress and makeup advice from Blair, Terry arrives at her birthday dinner, everybody freaks out, and hilarity sort of ensues. Did this episode launch a successful spin-off series? Of course not. But do we love it anyway? You bet. Also discussed along the way: Jo vs. Amtrak, short-lived Italian family sitcoms (Mama Malone, The Tortellis, The Fanelli Boys), Birdie the Early Bird, mailing your children, and the horrors of early 80s frozen pizza.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Flopcast 474: The Two Words Are... Naked Skating

We'd been meaning to do a roller-skating-themed show for years, and it's finally here, in convenient Top 4 ½ List format! We're listing our favorite roller-skating scenes and characters from movies and TV of the last half century. Plenty of skating humans, of course, but also some goofy Hanna Barbera skating birds, and one big weird wildebeest who is absolutely a zoo animal on wheels. And if you think there's a chance we forgot to include a certain Facts of Life girl, this must be your very first Flopcast. Welcome. Time to lace up those stupid skates, hit your favorite rink, and wander in circles all night like it's 1983. Birthday girl Bonnie Tyler will supply an appropriate soundtrack, and Dazzler (the roller-disco queen of Marvel Comics) has a mutant-powered light show just for you.