Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Becomes an Icon Most?

OK, so this is one story that you really can't blame the media for going gaga over -- who doesn't like to think of Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf fucking on the set of those god-awful movies they made together? -- but I do take exception with The New York Post's characterization of Fox's cheated-on partner, Brian Austin Green.

Brandon is a "Beverly Hills, 90210" icon. Dylan is a "Beverly Hills, 90210" icon. (Well, their sideburns are, anyway.) But David Silver -- who was damn lucky his estranged best friend Scott didn't pull a MURDER-suicide at his birthday party in season 2 -- is NOT a "Beverly Hills, 90210" icon! (This is more upsetting than the time Donna Martin wasn't allowed to graduate.) I'd have thought better of a newspaper that has an editor on staff named Brenda Walsh.

Sex tape, please.

Under the Moon (and the Spoon)


 This is for any of you who are like me and can't get enough Studio 54 nostalgia. Michael Jackson is as adorable as his judge of character is deplorable -- listen to him gush about what an honest and genuine person Steve Rubell is! -- but stick around for the busboy who says he had sex with Freddie Mercury, Brad Davis and Rock Hudson. Sounds like money was exchanged with some -- 300 bucks! -- and "around the world" service was provided with others ... or all.

Howard the ... What the F**K?

I don't have a problem with "Howard" wearing lingerie. I do have a problem with him wearing it on airplanes when he flies -- especially now that I know he's from Phoenix! (I'd have a problem with a woman dressed like this too.) Is is possibly true, as a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport said, that there is "no dress code that would prevent Howard or anyone else" from flying in lingerie, "as long as it does not compromise the safety of the flight or fellow passengers"? Aren't there law laws? Decency laws? I guess the (not) Naked Cowboy stands in the middle of Times Square in nothing but briefs with cops all around, so maybe I'm wrong. If it makes you feel any better, though, apparently Howard will cover up if the crew asks him to. (Where's that flight attendant bell?) Good to see that he's more eager to please than he is pleasing to the eye. Full story HERE.

No Friends Attached

You really didn't need this video mashup to know that "No Strings Attached" and "Friends With Benefits" are the same movie, but it's still fun to watch. (Via BoingBoing)

Life's a 'Pitch,' Then You Die

So I finally made it to the Lower East Side last night to see my pal Mark Allen's "Pitch!," a monthly show he hosts with Greg Walloch where an eclectic group of artists/comedians/storytellers of all types get up on stage and compete to pitch their idea to an appointed editor. Last night's line-up included comedian Mike Lawrence ("Nerd of Mouth"), Mother Flawless Sabrina (living legend), Billy Eichner ("Creation Nation") and Glenn Marla ("Pussy Faggot") and featured a twist in that they were selling their story to Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, so gossip was highly encouraged. Like anything comedic, you need to experience it firsthand to fully appreciate it. But here are a quick thoughts from last night's most enjoyable evening:

Greg and Mark are great hosts -- Greg working his disabled comedian routine (Geri WHO?) while Mark -- adorable as ever-- pokes fun at his youthful go-go boy days.

This included reminiscing about the first time he was mentioned in La Dolce Musto (that's the boys after Mark blew the dust off that Village Voice from 1984).

For his part, Musto arrived (on bike, no doubt) and was his usual self before the show started, which is to say on the low end of functioning on the Aspberger's scale. (Mark and I were chatting when Musto walked in and when Mark tried to introduce him to everyone in the area, Musto stared down at the floor and muttered something inaudible.) My guest -- birthday boy and book reviewer extraordinaire Christopher -- was shocked as he watched Musto quickly retreat, walking away and staring at the walls after Mark bought him a drink, but I cautioned Chris to just wait and see. Like clockwork, the minute he was put in the hot seat to play judge for the evening, Musto was quick, witty and ready to go. He feedback to the pitches seemed as genuine as it was useful. (Girl's either painfully shy or just a total bitch!)

One of the storytellers happened to be my pal Billy Eichner, whose work (Jen's Vlog) I was already a fan of when I was introduced to him by our mutual friend Scott. (It was funny, because not only is this event completely improvisational, from what I could hear before the show, it pretty much seemed like no one even really had a strong idea of what the concept was, yet everything seemed to fall into place from the second it began.) Billy went first and was pitching a memoir called "Clean Up In Aisle Me"(!). The gist of it was how he had turned seemingly negative events in his life into positives, like the time New York Times food critic Frank Bruni ate his ass after they met at a party where Billy got, um, shitfaced. When the story got picked up by PageSix -- and Billy's father saw it -- everyone thought he should be ashamed or embarrassed by it. After much soul-searching, however, Billy has since come to realize that having your ass eaten by the top-draw mouth of the most influential food critic in the world is, indeed, a compliment. (Musto approved.)

Sabrina went next, and offered a letter written to her by President Obama, who became aware of her from her work on the Hillary Clinton campaign. This political moment was a big shift in gears from Billy's bunch-munching banter, and ultimately it seemed to be a pitch about Obama's attempt to reach out to the "T" in our little LGBTQ world.

Mike Lawrence followed. I'm pretty sure Mark handpicked him for the show because he and I seem to share a similar sensibility and -- for better or worse -- we seemed to be the only ones laughing at most of the routine. (Christopher said he thought "the straight guy bombed" on the subway ride home.) He told one story about shitting his pants on the subway en route to a job interview, eventually having to use his only resume as toilet paper when the Starbucks didn't have any -- and how he tried to explain to his prospective employer that admitting that this was the reason he was 20 minutes late and resumeless was the kind of honesty and character they would be getting if they hired him. (He said he'd worked seven years at McDonald's, so the resume was already soiled.) The set culminated in a story about him getting punched in the face by a "hippie douche" audience member, an option he wanted us to know was available(!). (For the record, Musto liked him and thought he had CABLE television potential.)

Last came Glenn Marla, who was pitching two articles for the Voice about fat acceptance. The stories stemmed from Glenn's utter glee at discovering that Carnie Wilson -- in her big Wilson Phillips cameo at the end of "Bridesmaids" -- was, despite gastric bypass surgery -- fat again! She noted that every celebrity who has had weight-loss surgery has slowly started to gain weight again, and Glenn's theory is that some people are just meant to be fat and society should embrace it, because little fat kids need fat celebrity roles models. Her follow-up article would be about how now that all these performers who have had weight-loss-surgery are getting fat again, they want their parts back from every person who's ever donned a fat suit for a job. (We're looking at you, Gwyneth and Tyra!) Glenn's storytelling and delivery were pretty damn hilarious -- trust me, my recap is doing it little justice -- and I'd say for the purposes of the show, Glenn probably won.

Before the show -- and a little afterward -- we got to hang out with Mark a bit. (If you're not familiar with his work, go HERE.) Our friendship dates back to the dial-up America Online days, so it was great to finally spend some time together in the flesh. (He's a sweetie.)

The show's a lot of fun -- I'll definitely be back!

"Pitch!" takes place the fourth Wednesday of the month in the Lounge at Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street, 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $7. Showtime: about 90 minutes. For more information, go HERE.

Gray Matter

Patrick Dempsey is getting a little Dermot Mulroney these days -- and I like it.

A Year in the What?

My post about favorite short-lived television series has garnered a bunch of great feedback -- I love it when my endless nostalgia pays dividends. Several people suggested "Jennifer Slept Here" (yay!), "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" (my brother Bill's fave), later to lose its "Can't Lose" and "Better Off Ted" got A LOT of votes -- all of which I'm very familiar with -- but the show that completely threw me off was "A Year in the Life," something I've never even heard of in passing. Reader Shae tells me it was like "Thirtysomething" with a "great cast" including Sarah Jessica Parker. (Huh?) Wikipedia says it was a 1986 Emmy Award–winning miniseries and (later) a one-hour dramatic series that ran on NBC during the 1987–88 TV season, created by Joshua Brand and John Falsey (whose partnership also produced the television shows "St. Elsewhere," "Northern Exposure" and "I'll Fly Away"). Having never heard of a show probably isn't that unusual, but that Sarah Jessica Parker was on it -- post-"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" -- is what shocked me as I thought I'd followed her career pretty closely since "Square Pegs." (Did I mention that I saw "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" in the theater and had the poster?) Equally surprising is that at a cursory glance, SJP is the only actor (in a rather large cast) that I've even heard of, although David Oliver (hubba hubba) -- who played the conservative youngest son Sam, who was married to SJP's "free-spirited Kay" -- definitely seems like someone I'd have stalked loved. (I'd fly off the handle that someone as hot as him would NEVER date, let alone marry, someone like Sarah Jessica Parker -- Maxim's Unsexiest Woman Alive for 2007 -- but then I remind myself that she dated John F. Kennedy Jr., and I file it away with other great unsolved mysteries.) Sad to read that Oliver died of AIDS complications on Nov. 12, 1992. (Did I mention this is the first time I'm hearing about any of this?!) I don't see "A Year in the Life" on Netflix, but I'm guessing it's out there on just waiting for my bid!


Morning Wood

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To Catch a Predator Catcher

Although I watched "To Catch a Predator" on "Dateline NBC" with the same fascination that most people did -- "I'll be right out, I spilled some milk on my sweater; have a cookie while I change!" -- I've long had a fundamental problem with the show, which I always felt lured (often weak) people into doing something they likely would not have otherwise, but then didn't even lure them into committing an actual crime -- which is what entrapment really means. There is NO VICTIM when a so-called pervert chats about sex with a 51-year-old undercover cop. There isn't even a victim when a so-called pervert drives to the (fake) house of a 51-year-old undercover cop. The truth is, at this point, who hasn't said or done things online that took on an element of fantasy? Do we even REALLY think the hot OF-AGE guy we're chatting with online -- who always happens to be a closeted fireman -- is real much less the hot-to-trot high school sophomore who is dying to have sex with an older guy who says he's got wine coolers? EVERYTHING online is fake until proven otherwise. I understand that legislators thought they were doing something good by passing tough laws against online predators -- parents understandably freaked out when they realized the scary Internet allowed strangers, including sickos who look at child pornography, to "come into" their homes and mess with their children -- but did you know that these reactionary laws create penalties for crimes like this that are often, pardon the pun, far stiffer than those for people who ACTUALLY MOLEST CHILDREN? (It's really messed up.) I'd suggest we spend more time prosecuting people who are actually harming people -- and keeping tabs on high-risk offenders once they're out of jail -- instead of engaging in questionably legal stunts like this.

So it gives me a schadenfreude stiffy to see that smug host Chris Hansen -- you know, the married one with two sons -- was caught in a hidden-camera sting by the National Enquirer doing something (probably) illegal -- having an adulterous affair with a woman 20 years his junior! (I hope someone walked up to him with a piece of paper folded in their hand as the cameras rolled and said, "Sit down. So what did you think was going to happen here today?")

Read all the humiliating details HERE. I sure hope Chris doesn't take his life now that his misdeeds have been exposed for all to see. I wouldn't wish this on anyone -- except someone who makes a living doing it to others.

Hansen, 51, has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old Florida TV reporter, for the last four months

The Gay Times (06/29)

All the LGBT New York Times news that's fit to aggregate:

  • Awkward: Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes that, even as he hosts a Gay Pride reception at the White House, President Obama does not endorse same-sex marriage. Read HERE.

  • Homos Heart Cuomo: Just as his father seized a social issue and established himself in opposition to the church with his Notre Dame speech on abortion, now Andrew Cuomo has seized a social issue and established himself in opposition to the church with gay marriage. Read Maureen Dowd’s column, “Utopia on the Hudson." Read HERE.

  • Civil Shepherd: Timothy Williams reports that vote is scheduled for this afternoon on a bill granting gay couples in Rhode Island most of the rights of marriage without recognizing their relationships as marriage. Read HERE.
  • Beyond 'Powertool'

    Thanks, New York Post. Because wouldn't want a same-sex conjugal visit without amazing hed!

    Federer's Ass Is Grass

    Spectacular afternoon at Wimbledon today, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga coming from two sets down to defeat six-time champ Roger Federer, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. (I believe this was Fed's first time ever losing a Grand Slam match from two sets up.) At the same time, Novak Djokovic won a close four-set battle with Aussie Bernard Tomic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. I haven't been able to watch a lot, but from what I've seen I've been so impressed with the level of play, including the Serena Williams-Marion Bartoli match yesterday. What a slug fest!

    Rib Pain

    Oh, my. Will a suicide-prevention specialist be available onsite?

    Give an Inch, Take a Foot

    I don't like the subject of this magazine one bit -- I have an anti-foot fetish -- but I'd be totally willing to play footsie with this guy.

    Wednesday Ad Watch: Wrangler

    Anatomically Incorrect

    If, as many contend, the show "All in the Family" could never get on network television today, can you imagine what would happen if IDEAL tried to market a doll of the grandson of a bigot TV character?!!!! (The fact that the baby had a wiener would be the least of its problems.) The year was 1976 when the "Archie Bunker's Grandson, Joey Stivic" doll hit the shelves. (I remember checking it out at Korvettes in Madison Heights.) File this under "can't believe this happened in my lifetime."

    Cabaret Heaven (Is a Place on Earth)

     In this clip, singer Katie Thompson gives Belinda Carlisle's mega hit "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" the full cabaret treatment -- and I approve. (Via TheBroadwayBlog, with thanks to Nathaniel!)

    Even better, though, is this clip of Joyce DeWitt covering "Different Drummer" (Stone Poneys/Linda Ronstadt) at the now-defunct Spotlight Club in New York City. Oddly, this was not taken moments before her 2009 arrest for DUI. (With thanks to Rio!)

    White Christmas

    Two more sizzling shots of David Grandy from the new Dolce & Gabbana photo book devoted to the British model. (Via DNA)

    Sip & Twirl


     I always felt Meryl Streep was miscast in "Postcards From the Edge," but this is arguably the greatest 30 seconds in the history of motion pictures. (FYI: Shirley MacLaine was not miscast.)

    Morning Wood

    'Pitch' In! (TONIGHT)

    Don't miss Pitch! - Michael Musto ("La Dolce Musto," The Village Voice) tonight at 9;30 p.m. in The Lounge at Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie St. Featuring Billy Eichner, Michael Lawrence, Mother Flawless Sabrina, Glenn Marla, and, of course, Michael Musto!

    What is "Pitch!"?
    "Pitch!" is a live storytelling event with a twist. Four storytellers or performers do their thing for the audience, while simultaneously pitching their ideas to editors from the world of publishing (who change month-by-month). The editors will give their input, and a possible yes or no... live, on stage! The audience will be encouraged to voice opinions! Will the performers have what it takes? Will you have what it takes? Between storytellers, willing audience members will be invited to give pitches to the editor, who'll give a thumbs-up or down on the spot, and comments! Hosts Greg Walloch and Mark Allen will MC, keeping things moving at an irreverent, funny pace. Come witness some great stories, some great editorial feedback... and the intense process of being a writer more closely than you could have ever imagined. Don't just sit there waiting for your first big break ... come witness "Pitch!"

    More info HERE.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    The Gay Times (06/28)

    All the LGBT New York Times news that's fit to aggregate:

  • No Love From Gov: It appears as if the votes are there in the State Legislature to pass a marriage-equality bill in New Jersey. The obstacle is the Republican governor. Read today’s editorial, “Gov. Chris Christie, Champion of Inequality” HERE.

  • Defense-less: John Schwarz reports on the renewed focus on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which says that other states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in New York. Read his report HERE.

  • Backlash Against Ruben Diaz: In Metro, Sam Dolnick writes that for many immigrants, the same-sex marriage vote has special resonance. Read HERE.

  • Money Talks: In a DealBook video, Michael Barbaro discusses how hedge fund managers on Wall Street provided crucial support for same-sex marriage. Watch HERE.
  • Quote of the Day: NY Senator James Alesi

    "I understand that constitutionally the president is right, because it's a states' rights issue, otherwise New York wouldn't have been able to pass this. But there's nothing wrong with the most powerful person in the world espousing a viewpoint." -- New York State Senator James Alesi, the first Republican to announce his support of New York's same-sex bill, talking to Chris Matthews about President Obama's lack of conviction on the issue.

    Every Day Is Hump Day

    See anything you like?

    You do know that Kris Humphries -- seen here at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J. -- is a power forward, don't you?

    Here's Brooke Shields as Morticia Addams

    She doesn't look very spooky let alone all together ooky, but I will give Brooke Shields a little kooky (have you SEEN her Botox lately?). I think filling Bebe Neuwirth's other shoes is going to be the biggest hurdle for this pretty baby on June 28 when she takes over "The Addams Family" on Broadway. (Via Playbill)

    About That Speech Lincoln Gave in 1964

    30 Forgotten Boob-Tube Favorites

    Shortly after my pal Matt at BoyCulture had a fun post about favorite short-lived television series -- a subject I can talk about forever -- I came across a couple photos I had gotten in a press kit for "Everything's Relative," a doomed 1987 sitcom I was highly attached to because of one of its leading men. (And no, I'm not talking about Jason Alexander, who would strike sitcom gold a couple years later.)

    I was over the moon that John Bolger -- who played hunky Michael in the seminal gay film "Parting Glances" -- was now going to be part of my weekly TV regimen, but alas it was not meant to be. As I recall, Bolger and Alexander played brothers who were -- surprise! -- opposite in every way. Julian was booksmart, nebbish and not exactly a hit with the ladies, while brother Scott (even his name is hotter!) was a sexy construction-worker type, whose dashing good looks no woman could resist. (Or no gay college guy, as the case may be.) Anne Jackson (Mrs. Eli Wallach in real life) played their mom. Besides Peggy Cass making a guest appearance on one episode, the main thing I remember most about "Everything's Relative" is the way John Bolger looked in a tight T-shirt and jeans. (You're welcome.)

    Here are some of my other "forgotten" favorites -- please tell me about yours!

  • "Get Christie Love" (1974): Best remembered for Teresa Graves' catchphrase -- "You're under arrest, sugar!" -- I still have vivid memories of watching this tough-as-nails undercover cop in the L.A.P.D/'s Special Investigations Division running around with big hair in glamorous outfits catching the bad guy. Haven't seen it since -- should my parents have been allowing me to watch this at age 7?
  • "Another April" (1974): My brother Bill reminded me of this one, about a liberal, recently divorced mother, who returns with her son to Seattle to live with her conservative parents. Leslie Charleson -- aka Dr. Monica Quartermaine on "General Hospital" -- played the month in character, April Weston Moss. Given the political climate these days, I'll bet this one holds up well.

  • "All's Fair" (1976): My parents DID let me stay up for this sitcom about a middle-aged man (Richard Crenna) and a young woman (Bernadette Peters) who fall in love amidst the political backdrop of Washington, D.C. (I've mentioned this one before!)
  • "Mr. T and Tina" (1976): The show -- East meets West when a widowed Japanese inventor moves his extended family from Tokyo to Chicago and hires a young American governess to keep domestic order -- was ripe with racial stereotypes, but I just remember loving Pat Morita (Arnold from "Happy Days") and that the place they lived in reminded me of my Tuesday Taylor penthouse apartment.

  • "Holmes and Yoyo" (1976): I can't say for sure that this show was any good -- Richard B. Shull played accident-prone Det. Alexander Holmes who was partnered with a new robotic police officer in the guise of Det. Gregory "Yoyo" Yonovich (John Shuck) -- but I remember my brothers and I LOVED watching it.

  • "James at 15" (1977): The greatest show ever, and a big part of the reason I wanted to live in a city. Need I say more?

  • "Angie" (1979): I've written about this one before -- loved Donna Pescow and loved Robert Hays even more!

  • "Breaking Away" (1980): It only lasted a season, but I loved the TV version of the classic bike-racing film. Shaun Cassidy, who had just gotten a lot of praise for his role as a mentally challenged young man in a TV film called "Like Normal People" (great title!), was adorable.

  • "Love, Sidney" (1981): IMDB describes the premise of this cult classic as "A middle-aged gay artist shares his New York apartment with a single mother and her little girl," but I'm pretty sure Sidney wasn't "openly" gay on the show. It was a revelation, though, even if it didn't translate to Tony Randall's real life.

  • "The Brady Brides" (1981): This goes without saying -- who DIDN'T want more Bradys at that point -- but it is most notable because with all the Brady reunions that would happen over the next 10-plus years, this wound up being the ONLY one to feature the entire original cast. (And they said Jan was trouble -- it was ALL those Brady girls!)

  • "Harper Valley PTA" (1981): I honestly don't remember too much about this show, I just remember it aired on Friday nights with "The Brady Brides" and that Barbara Eden made a tease of a troublemaker!

  • "Square Pegs" (1982): For a forgotten show, this one's pretty well-remembered. But you couldn't make a list without it.

  • "Gloria" (1982): Sally Struthers' now-divorced character from "All in the Family" got a spinoff, playing an assistant to a couple of rural veterinarians, the crusty Dr. Adams (Burgess Meredith) and the liberated Dr. Lawrence (Jo de Winter). (Christian Jacobs starred Joey Stivic, now 8 years old -- I suppose he was anatomically correct, too!) I don't remember too much about the show -- the la-la-la theme song will never go out of my mind and I recall Carroll O'Connor making a guest appearance -- but I just loved the idea of seeing Gloria later in life. She and Mike had left "All in the Family" way back in '78. (I had a thing for spinoffs, too, like "Rhoda," "Phyllis" and even "Checking In," Marla Gibbs' short-lived show as Florence before "227" came along!)
  • "The Best of Times" (1983): Three pals at U.S. Grant high school -- Robert Romanus (Damone from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"), Leif Green and Chris Nash -- got into all sorts of trouble with bullying jocks, girls and the school's sadistic security chief. Thanks to my brother Bill for reminding me of this brilliant show, which helped soften the blow when 1982's "Square Pegs" got canceled.

  • "Oh Madeline" (1983): Madeline played a bored housewife who was always jumping on the latest bandwagon -- health food, aerobics, male strip clubs(!) -- in an attempt to spice up her middle-class existence. Madeline Kahn did slapstick really well -- and with a buxom blonde as romance-novelist husband Charlie's amorous editor, there was plenty of opportunity for misunderstandings and marital drama. Jesse Welles played Ethel to Madeline's Lucy, a timid divorcee formerly married to Charlie's best friend, a middle-aged swinger named Bob.

  • "Amanda's" (1983): Beatrice Arthur starred in this post-"Maude"/pre-"Golden Girls" sitcom inspired by the British classic "Fawlty Towers." I don't remember if it was very good or not, but I always loved watching Bea.

  • "Goodnight, Beantown" (1983): Two of my faves -- Bill Bixby ("The Courtship of Eddie's Father") and Mariette Hartley (the Polaroid lady!) -- starred as rivals and occasional lovers in this smart sitcom set in a local TV newsroom in Boston. (It was like my first "job" after WGM laid me off!)

  • "It's Your Move" (1984): Jason Bateman's ahead-of-its-time sitcom I wrote about HERE.

  • "Spencer" (1984): Even more than "It's Your Move," this Chad Lowe vehicle was a HUGE favorite in my house. My brother Terence and I used to watch it together, although my crush on Chad probably had more to do with my interest in the show that its (actually) clever writing. (In a contract dispute, Lowe left the show after only six episodes, as did I. He was replaced by Rossie Harris and the show was renamed "Under One Roof.")

  • "Double Trouble" (1984): Sitcom about the antics between two twins, Kate and Allison (played by real life twins Liz and Jean Segal) was great until they retooled it too much.

  • "All Is Forgiven" (1986): Paula Russell (Bess Armstrong) accomplishes two feats in one day. First she marries Matt Russell, a doughnut executive (Terence Knox), who has a teenage daughter, Sonia. She also starts a new job as a producer of a TV soap opera. The other characters (including Carol Kane) on the show are all associated with the TV soap opera. I remember liking this one because it depicted a relationship between a child and a stepparent.

  • "Day by Day" (1988): This half-hour sitcom was about a yuppie couple named Brian and Kate Harper -- he was a stockbroker, she a lawyer -- who quit the rat race and opened a day care in their home so that they could spend more time with their own kids. I was originally drawn to the show by its leading man, Doug Sheehan, who had played Joe Kelly on "General Hospital" back when I watched it with my mom and brother in the early '80s -- but it also starred a post "Summer School" Courtney Thorne-Smith as a sexy teenager hired to help out in the day care and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Brian's brash former business associate. Linda Kelsey played the wife.

  • "Class of '96" (1993): Should have known this Fox show was doomed when it was about four years in the life of a group of college kids -- at Havenhurst College, a fictitious Ivy League school located in New England -- yet it didn't get off the ground until 1993. Jason Gedrick was the lead, and the lead reason I kept coming back for more -- well, until it got canceled after four months.

  • "My So-Called Life" (1994): OK, so this isn't little-known anymore. But is it widely known that I used to see Angela's adorable dad Graham Chase at JR's in Washington back in the day? (Jordan who?!)

  • "Party Girl" (1996): Christine Taylor (Marcia Brady) starred as Mary in the spinoff of the cult Parker Posey film, a girl whose mother had died leaving her to find herself in the clubs and parties of New York City. She is finally given a chance to prove herself thanks to godmother Swoozie Kurtz who hires her to work in a library.

  • "Jack & Jill" (1999): This glossy WB show about a group of 20-somethings living in Manhattan was "my" "Sex and the City" before I got cable and discovered the real one. Several of the cast members became quite successful afterward -- Amanda Peete, Jaime Pressley and Justin Kirk -- but I'd trade in all their happiness for one more season with my old gang.
  • "Freaks and Geeks" (1999): I only discovered this one on cable recently -- a New Year's Day marathon. Wow!
  • "Miss Match" (2003): Alicia Silverstone was robbed when her "comeback" series -- in which she played a Los Angeles divorce lawyer who doubles as a high-end matchmaker even though her own love life is less than perfect -- bombed. Ryan O'Neal was perfect as her immature father (go figure!).

  • "Sons & Daughters" (2006): I blame this HILARIOUS show -- about "zany and slightly troubled members of a family trying to make it through life as comedy ensues" -- for my not watching "Modern Family" as it was canceled the second I got hooked -- immediately. (It was even on ABC!)
  • "Love Monkey" (2006): Another heartbreak from ABC, with Tom Cavanagh as a New York City music scout who gets fired from his corporate job and gets a job at a smaller indie label.

  • "Swingtown" (2008): A brilliant slice of American history that should have NEVER been on network television. (What a lost opportunity this was -- and I'm not just lamenting Grant Show's sexy pornstache!)

  • UPDATE: I realize I did one of these lists a couple years ago -- after 10,000 posts, who can keep track? -- and I forgot to mention a few from then, including "Dog Bites Man" and "Central Park West."