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Author Topic: AV Club article- an oral history of Remote Control...  (Read 480 times)


BrandonFG

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Re: AV Club article- an oral history of Remote Control...
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 02:47:09 PM »
I loved Remote Control as a kid. The contestants going behind the wall always scared the crap outta me though.

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It was very controversial, too. To this day I run into people who go, “MTV doesn’t play any music,” but I go, “MTV hasn’t played music for 30 years. You’re not even old enough to remember when MTV played music.” They still complain about that.
Yeah, but at least 20 years ago, they still had TRL and an overnight block. I found a lot of new music in college that way. Nowadays, it's 60% Ridiculousness reruns, 25% movies, and 15% reality. :P

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Sue Flinker, MTV News and member of the brainstorming group: One great thing about the brainstorming session is that no one had game show experience. If you think about what TV is today, if you go for a job interview, if you don’t have Bravo experience, you’re not getting on a Bravo show. The problem with that is that it makes all those shows the same because they all bring the same experience that they’ve brought from show to show.
I think that sums up my issue with today's TV. Everything looks the same for the reasons Sue described. I'd love to have been 10-20 years older in 1987.

/Remembers when MTV2 was all music videos for about six weeks
//Last time I checked it was just That 70s Show and Wayans Bros. reruns
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 07:38:30 PM by BrandonFG »
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colonial

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Re: AV Club article- an oral history of Remote Control...
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 06:43:44 PM »
That was a fun read. Possibly not as strong as the AV Club's trip down Davidson HS lane, but it was enjoyable. Especially liked the focus on the creation of the show and this staff of "newbies" learning how to run a show and what viewers like as they were taping. And as Brandon noted, Remote Control was a completely fresh concept based on the old standby of Q&A.

Remote Control and PYL were probably the two game shows that my non-game show fan friends watched religiously -- the former because it was MTV and the latter due to the Whammy.

Obviously, the article could not talk about everything, but a few things I was hoping it would hit on but didn't ...

-- The odd episode we discussed in the past where a group of contestants were all eliminated in the first round for being terrible, then replaced with a fresh set of contestants for Round 2 (there was also an episode where the entire first round was a Three Wise Men sketch, followed by regular contestants were round 2). Given what appeared to be a lack of S&P on this show, I'm curious what the internal reaction was to this.

-- Someone in the comments mentioned the celebrity episode where Sidney Green and Phil McConkey played with a fake "Steve Sax." IIRC, the real Sax walked out of the studio when the show rebuffed his request that Ober and company not make fun of the "yips" he was dealing with while playing 2B for the Yankees. Surprised we didn't hear an anecdote about that.

-- Didn't really read much about Ken Ober outside of how he won over the producers and Colin Quinn seemingly having a love-hate relationship with him. Not sure if they stayed away from discussing Ober in depth due to his passing, but I would have liked to have read more about Ober as a host and behind the scenes.


One off-the-wall afterthought -- a bit disappointed that John Ten Eyck apparently did not participate in this history. I always saw him as the ultimate utility player on this show -- the one guy who did everything RC asked him to do, no matter how ridiculous it was. Then while Sandler and Leary became stars, Ten Eyck faded away into obscurity (LinkedIn mentioned he worked in the promotions department at Nick for over a decade, but nothing in terms of a full-time gig in over a decade). Honestly wanted to hear a memory from him, as he was the one notable absentee I thought would have participated (can't see Sandler or Kari Wuhrer agreeing to chat for this.), and especially with several people in the article praising his work.


JD

clemon79

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Re: AV Club article- an oral history of Remote Control...
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 07:34:57 PM »

Nowadays, it's 60% Ridiculousness reruns

Honestly, I have spent more than one Saturday night comfortfooding the Ridiculousness marathon during this damn pandemic. There's something soothing about watching other people getting hit in the ballsack.
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BrandonFG

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Re: AV Club article- an oral history of Remote Control...
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 07:39:25 PM »

Nowadays, it's 60% Ridiculousness reruns

Honestly, I have spent more than one Saturday night comfortfooding the Ridiculousness marathon during this damn pandemic. There's something soothing about watching other people getting hit in the ballsack.
I admit it serves its purpose as a show. I just found the overwhelming amount of orange amusing. :P

/Saves MTV money tho
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JasonA1

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Re: AV Club article- an oral history of Remote Control...
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2021, 08:10:20 PM »
I loved the part where Howard Blumenthal and Dana Calderwood came in to be the proverbial wet blankets, turning the free associations into a producible format. The fact they were listened to is a testament to the process Then -  a nice harmony between new ideas and doing what works for the genre.

re: Brandon, yes it can be nice to get an outsider's perspective when developing a format, but I think the difference with Remote Control's development is that those people were subverting a genre they knew vis a vis the long-running daytime shows. Too often now, when fresh-out-of-college types contribute to classic or classic-adjacent shows, they're doing so with zero foundation whatsoever, and the results are nearly unusable. (First thing to wit, the people who jump from pure reality to game have to contend with the structure provided by the show's rules and format.)

And I know it was sort of the point of how Michael Dugan said it, but I wish the article writers made more of a meal out of how Remote Control blossomed into a home game, Nintendo game and syndicated series. The show hit a LOT of milestones for something one might consider a cult classic.

The part about MTV thinking they could always rebuild from scratch again was fascinating too. I think Ridiculousness finally did something for the network that they apparently wanted back in the mid-'80s - keep people from changing the channel hour over hour.

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Jeremy Nelson

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Re: AV Club article- an oral history of Remote Control...
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2021, 09:44:56 PM »
-- The odd episode we discussed in the past where a group of contestants were all eliminated in the first round for being terrible, then replaced with a fresh set of contestants for Round 2 (there was also an episode where the entire first round was a Three Wise Men sketch, followed by regular contestants were round 2). Given what appeared to be a lack of S&P on this show, I'm curious what the internal reaction was to this.
I think this was linked on the article.