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EW's ranking of best TV show finales includes these ‘80s gems

Entertainment Weekly bravely has waded again into the dangerous waters of Top 20 articles. This time, they attempt to rank the top 20 TV show finales of all time. And honestly, they hit a home run with their picks, especially their list-topper.

I won’t bore you with the non-‘80s ones, so let’s get down to business. You can see the full ranking here. Here are the ‘80s series that made EW’s list, along with their overall ranking and a quick quote from their writers: 

15. SEINFELD (1989-1998): “Here's to you, Soup Nazi, Virgin, and Sidra Holland.”

13. STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (1987-1994): “Capt. Picard found himself skipping through time, visiting his loyal Enterprise crew at the beginning of their voyages together and, poignantly, joining them for one last old-age adventure.”

11. THE COSBY SHOW (1984-1992): “Literally. Cliff Huxtable took his wife, Claire, in his arms and began to dance...and they waltzed right off the set, through the crew, and off into history.”

6. M*A*S*H (1972-1983): “As Hawkeye takes off in a chopper, he spies a message from his old pal B.J.: ‘Goodbye’ spelled out in stones on the launch pad.“ …

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See first pic of cast from 'Predator' reboot

Twitter

Hollywood is busy messing with our precious '80s memories again. This time it's another reboot of Predator, the 1987 flick that still has us all saying "Get to da chopper!"

Shane Black is directing this reboot, which should have us a little intrigued since Black played "Rick Hawkins" in the original flick. (As Terrortime.com reminds us, "Rick" did NOT get to the chopper in time.)

Anyway, Black tweeted a partial cast photo this week, so that's cool, right? 

"The Predator" - they added a "the" for some reason - includes Olivia Munn, Boyd Holbrook and Sterling K. Brown in the cast and is scheduled for a Feb. 9, 2018 release. 

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10 ways to recover from The 80s Cruise

Photo by Steve Spears

The 2017 voyage of The 80s Cruise ended Saturday morning, and 2,000-plus weary but smiling nostalgia fanatics filed dutifully off the Celebrity Summit with a week's worth of memories that will last a lifetime. 

As we wipe the sleep from our eyes this morning - still struggling with getting our "land legs" back - this thought is probably swirling around in our heads: What now? 

Don't worry. Your old pal Spearsy has some answers to the question you thought you couldn't answer. (Just like the trivia sessions, am I right?) 

Here are ways to recover the 2017 voyage of The 80s Cruise.

1. POST AND SHARE YOUR PICS: In a few weeks, ECP will post their professional photos for us to download (for free!), but now's the time to empty your cell phones of all the amazing memories you captured. Facebook seems to be the medium of choice for 80s cruisers, so drop them there - either on your own FB page or one of the two private FB groups.  …

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How did we miss this Sinead O'Connor gem from 1987?

Finally, Wuench Beat Me to It Week comes to an end with this bonus entry - six this week instead of the customary five. Today's artist might be argued to have been found in the 80s, because her 1987 debut album reached number 36 on the US Album chart and was certified gold. However, none of the singles released from ‘The Lion and the Cobra' made the American Pop chart.

I'm talking about the Irish singer/songerwriter Sinead O'Connor. And, like The The and Aztec Camera whom I covered earlier this week, O'Connor has had two songs included in Kevin Wuench's terrific Lost & Found series here on the Stuck in the 80s blog.

But, he didn't feature this one. It's ‘Mandinka' from her debut release and it clearly demonstrates the power of her voice.  

I may list her as a Never Found in the 80s, but she was certainly found in 1990 with her cover of the Prince-penned, now classic, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U,' which was a worldwide number one. Not too shabby.

- Jim ‘Dr. Dim' Fitzsimons

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Definitely too many The's in this band's song

The The is the second of my entries in Wuench Beat Me to It Week to have had two songs previously featured in the Lost & Found series. ‘This is the Day' and ‘Heartland' were grabbed up before I could get to them, but that just gives me the chance to shine more light on this excellent band from the UK.

Much like World Party, The The was essentially just one artist: Matt Johnson. However, with the 1989 album ‘Mind Bomb,' Johnson assembled a band of talented musicians to work on the album and to go on tour. Most notable among these musicians was guitarist Johnny Marr formerly of the iconic 80s alternative heroes, The Smiths.

Today's entry is the musically up, but lyrically down single: ‘The Beat(en) Generation.'

‘Mind Bomb' is a brilliant record; you should check it out.

- Jim ‘Dr. Dim' Fitzsimons

 

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All I need is Aztec Camera (and this song)

As Wuench Beat Me to It Week continues, let's take another look at Aztec Camera. This band out of Scotland has had two songs previously profiled by Mr Wuench: ‘Oblivious' and ‘Walk Out To Winter.' Both songs are fine examples of the light and breezy guitar playing of the band's only mainstay member, Roddy Frame.

And today's song, ‘All I Need Is Everything,' is another excellent example of Aztec Camera's lilting and danceable pop.

Aztec Camera also produced a handful of unusual cover songs. Perhaps Stuck in the 80s' resident finder of lost songs might jump on featuring one of them. Hint, hint, Kevin.

- Jim ‘Dr. Dim' Fitzsimons

 

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'80s music and rollerskating? This video is the perfect Valentine's Day gift

Wuench Beat Me to It Week continues with us revisiting the Paisley Underground and the band that led the way in that LA music scene: The Three O'Clock. The Paisley Underground was mainly influenced by the Psychedelic bands of the '60s, both in their look and sound. Tight, swirling, slightly trippy tunes were the hallmark of the scene.

Today's song is the opening track of their 1985 album ‘Arrive Without Traveling.' The video for ‘Her Head's Revolving' is set in a skating rink with The Three O'Clock providing music for the skaters. And, although I'm sure he heard this a lot in those days, lead singer Michael Quercio looks and sounds much, much younger than any 22-year-old should look and sound.  

You might notice that this song sounds very much as though it could have been produced by The Bangles. That's not surprising as The Bangles also came from that same Paisley Underground.

Jim ‘Dr. Dim' Fitzsimons

 

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In the '80s, this band kept their revolution quiet and private

With The '80s Cruise finally upon us, I've asked our good friend Dr. Dim to contribute a few extra guest blog items this week. Hope you enjoy. 

It was nearly four years ago, inspired by the yeoman work of Kevin Wuench and his Lost & Found series, that I started a series focusing on the musical output of lesser known artists during our favorite decade. I dubbed these artists Never Founds. They may have produced great music in the 80s, but none of it found its way onto the American Top 40 Pop chart.

It was inevitable that Mr Wuench's prodigious output would have him getting to some of my Never Founds before I could. But, I still want to give these artists a little more love, so I have declared this to be Wuench Beat Me to It Week. …

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We could be wrong or we could be right on how to pronounce this band's name

It's either Public Image Ltd. or P-I-L, only poseurs call them "Pill." That was my attitude back in my "If it's popular it sucks" days. Days I thought I had left behind, but Brad Williams has reminded me that old habits do indeed die hard.

Be that as it may, Wuench Beat Me to It Week continues with a song from John Lydon's band after the demise of the short-lived iconic UK punkers, the Sex Pistols. Actually, to call Public Image Ltd. a band would be wrong. They weren't a band, they were a company. Well, that's what a snotty Lydon insisted when he appeared on the ‘Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder' two years after the band...er...company had launched in 1978. The interview is on YouTube and you can see that, although his name may have changed, the punk rocker is still Johnny Rotten to the core.

Today's song is ‘Rise' from their 1986 release: ‘Album.' The song reached #30 on the US Dance chart, but pop radio play? Not for this company. And listen closely to the guitar break. I swear part of that riff sounds an awful lot like Jimmy Page.

 …

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Podcast: Our favorite couples of the '80s

Normally I dread the idea of doing the annual Valentine's Day episode of our podcast. But this year, our newest co-host Jen with One N had an idea: Let's talk about our favorite couples of the '80s - real ones, fake ones and the crushes we had on people we personally knew. 

I don't want to give too much away, but I'll admit the photo above shows my favorite "real" couple of the '80s. Or were they fake? Listen and decide. 

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Spinal Tap lawsuit now seeks $400 million

Publicity photo

This lawsuit goes far beyond 11. This is Spinal Tap co-creators Christopher Guest and Michael McKean along with director Rob Reiner have decided to join co-star Harry Shearer’s suit against Vivendi and StudioCanal and now are demanding $400 million in damages. 

The Hollywood Reporter says the complaint remains the same as Shearer’s original claim filed last October: The actors and director say they’ve been given less than $200 in merchandising and music sales income over the last several decade. The original agreement over the movie, released in 1984, was for the foursome to get 40 percent of net receipts.

Shearer’s original complaint asked for $125 million.

Though Spinal Tap is considered one of 1984’s best movies and one of the best satires of the last 40 years, it wasn’t a big success at the box office. But rentals, movie sales and soundtrack sales are surely worth more than $200, right? I guess that’s up for the courts to decide on the fine line between clever and stupid.

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Battlestar Galactica’s Richard Hatch dies at 71

When you’re a young boy growing up in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, the world was not short on TV heroes. You had the guys from CHiPs. Gil Gerald in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. The Fonz from Happy Days for crying out loud. But did any really compare to Apollo from Battlestar Galactica

Richard Hatch, who died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer, was the picture of cool, calm and responsible … oh, and he basically helped humankind survive the Cylon menace on their search “for a place called … Earth.”

Imagine how cool it was to see Hatch appear again — after years of lobbying for a remake - on the SyFy reboot of the Galactica series, only this time playing the rebel leader Tom Zarek - an enemy of sorts to the character he originally played. Goosebumps, I tell you.

In a 2008, Hatch gave an interview to Galactica.tv where he walked about the nature of the characters in the SyFy reboot.   …

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No ‘Friday the 13th’ reboot, studio decides

Sorry, Jason, you might have finally run out of lives. It seems that Paramount Studios has decided against rebooting the Friday the 13th movie series. It’s about time!

Variety.com reports that Paramount decided Monday to pull Friday the 13th from its Oct. 13 release date. The movie was scheduled to begin production soon. A script, director and producers were all on board.

The Friday the 13th franchise began back in 1980 with the original film starring Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Kevin Bacon and more. The movie made a killing (sorry) at the box office prompting a long series of sequels. 

So why the axe (again, sorry) on the reboot? Variety’s theory is that the studio was already burned enough by its recent reboot of the Rings movies. 

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Did you miss the 'Baywatch' trailer? Here it is

Apparently, those of us who were trying to pretend Tom Brady and the Patriots didn't exist might have missed the new trailer for the Baywatch big-screen remake, which apparently aired Sunday night. I'd love to say it's funny, clever and original, but this is Hollywood we're talking about - the one empire possibly more annoying than the New England Patriots. (And if Zac Efron isn't the next Brady, then I don't know who is.) Baywatch - the movie - is due out May 26. (Baywatch - the TV series - will live on in our hearts forever.)

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‘The Money Pit’ was a remake? Yep, from 1948

The Money Pit is one of THOSE ‘80s flicks. You know the kind. The 1986 movie had good bones - Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as starts. It had Richard Benjamin as director. But it just fell a tiny bit short of its potential. It also appears to be a remake of movie most of us have never heard of: 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

The 1948 film starred Cary Grant and Myrna Loy as the young couple in search of a larger home only to be conned into buying a 200-year-old farmhouse that is falling apart. 

There are some differences between the two flicks. In Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Grant and Myrna have two daughters. (Hanks and Long were empty-nesters.) In the 1948 film, the family buys the money pit to escape their cramped New York apartment. In the actual Money Pit, Hanks and Long are fleeing the apartment of Long’s ex-husband (an egotistic orchestra conductor played with zest by Alexander Godunov), who is returning to the country early. …

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