Amoeblog

Get a Life - The Complete Series is coming!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2012 03:40pm | Post a Comment


Get a Life
is finally coming to DVD (and Blu-Ray?). For those that don't know, Get a Life was a sitcom that aired on FOX between 23 September, 1990 and 8 March, 1992. It also may very well be the best thing that ever aired. 



The show starred the comedic visionary Chris Elliott as a 30-year-old man-child paperboy named Chris Peterson who initially lived about his parents' garage. His father was unmistakably played by his real-life father, Bob Elliot of radio's Matinee with Bob and Ray and TV's The Bob & Ray Show. Peterson later moved in with a cranky misanthrope named Gus (played by Brian Doyle Murray) after his parents filled his bedroom with cement to prevent his living there further. 




The show was created by Elliott, fellow Late Night with David Letterman writer, Adam Resnick; and writer/director David Mirkin. Its writers included, among others, Charlie Kaufman and Bob Odenkirk. After the phenomenon of Twin Peaks had occurred, networks seemed to be willing to allow for a greater degree of quirkiness in shows (e.g. Northern Exposure, Eerie, Indiana, Picket Fences, David Lynch's On the Air, &c) but Get a Life was (with the possible exception of On the Air) the most bizarre of the bunch. For a protagonist, Peterson was extremely irritating, stupid  and there was very little continuity from episode to episode -- Peterson died in twelve of them.




Most of the suits at FOX hated it -- describing the show as "disturbing" and Chris Elliot's character as "insane." The first time I saw it was when it premiered -- with the episode "Terror on the Hell Loop 2000." I hated it. The second time I saw it was a re-run of the same episode but something about it made me want to watch it again. I loved it. It quickly became the ONLY show I got excited about airing and, working at the time at Blimpie (and later, Hardee's), I always tried to make sure I had the night off. It was cancelled in 1992 (even as Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Herman's Head survived the axe). I used to look at the Nielsen listings and it was almost always near or on the bottom.




Despite it's unpopularity, I long suspected there was a dedicated cult following for the show and that seemed to be verified in 1999, when Dan "Dan the Automator" Nakamura (Gorillaz, Dr. Octagon, Deltron 3030) and Prince Paul (Stetsasonic, De La Soul, Gravediggaz) teamed up as Handsome Boy Modeling School, a reference to the series' second episode, "The Prettiest Week of My Life." Their debut album, So... How's Your Girl?, was filled with samples and references to Get a Life.

 
A year later, in 2000, Rhino Home Video stingily released a DVDs with a mere four episodes on it. I bought it. One of the nice special features, however, was the option of watching the show without a laugh track -- which added a whole, new dimension. In 2002 they released another DVD with just four episodes. I didn't buy it. Since there were only 35 half hour episodes, I figured that someday a proper "complete series" release would happen. In the mean time I watched Cabin Boy, Get a Life on Youtube and read and re-read his tell-all autobiography, Daddy's Boy -- A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father. I pretty much watched anything Elliott appeared in (thankfully, most of it was good). In 2007, I went to a taping of his series, Chrissy Plain & Simple, which didn't get picked up.


Get a Life - Complete Series - Shout Factory


Ten years of waiting are about to pay off. On 18 September, 2012, Shout Factory is releasing the entire thing in a 5-disc set. Break out your copy of Bent Fabric's Alley Cat and scream like you did when they cancelled Manimal!


*****


SOUNDTRACK SERIES #4

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2010 04:44pm | Post a Comment
Directions: Imagine Mr. Brother living another day, as always, with music playing. Whether it’s one of his trusty iPods, or his home stereo, or working the soundtracks section of Amoeba Music Hollywood, Mr. Brother is eating, sonically, with the mouths of his ears.

To simulate this experience, as you read the below story of a day lived, you will be given certain music clips to play. These are inserted to provide you with the same tunes Job was hearing as he was doing what you’ll be reading.

For example, while he was writing the above directions, he was listening to this:


The other day… no, not that day – the other day… yeah, that one… I was painting my collection of pigments, when a car drove past, blaring its music so loud that it felt like an earthquake. But, y’know, an earthquake that could keep a beat.


I’m all for losing one’s self in music, but I do think it’s tacky to blast your car stereo so loud that anyone within an area code can hear it. I’m not talking about regular loud – I’m talking about these people who have pimped out their auto’s sound system specifically so that they can impose their roving, one-man rave on a neighborhood at a time. What if someone’s trying to sleep? What if someone’s trying to record music? What if someone’s being held hostage by a crazy person who’s got a sword pressed to their throat and is screaming:

Medusa Dare To Be Truthful

Posted by phil blankenship, November 10, 2008 02:53pm | Post a Comment
 




Columbia TriStar Home Video 93683

Chrissy Plain & Simple

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 18, 2007 10:40pm | Post a Comment

The other night I went (blessed with the company of the amazing Ngoc em and her cousin, Bao -- and my co-worker Hiland) to see the filming of the pilot for a Chris Elliott vehicle called Chrissy Plain & Simple. I like the name and concept. Just pure, unadulterated Chris Elliot, without any bells and whistles and jangles and bangles and be-bops and re-rops and flee-flops... or something to that effect. If you're a fan, you know how he just stupidly starts rambling to that effect.

On the downside-- it's sketch comedy with pre-filmed satirical segments that we had to watch a couple of times and force some laughter for the second time around. At one point I looked up at a monitor and the entire frame was filled with my chin and some teeth laughing at nothing but the instructions of the episode's director, Bobcat Goldthwait.

The show takes place on a stage cluttered with Chris Elliot cut-outs of Chris in different poses, always wearing socks regardless of the character being portrayed and, I have to say, his stupid expressions forced me to smile over and over before filming whilst Jimmy Kimmel cracked jokes-- and talked about the fact that he, I and some other guys were all coincidentally wearing maroon shirts.

The show started with an introduction and the first skit was a parody of My Super Sweet 16, which gave Chris a chance to do his annoying, entitled brat shtick, which is one of my favorites but, of the MTVs, I only have MTV Trés, which seems to be mostly videos and not reality programming so some of it might've gone over my head.

The second skit was a parody of Deadliest Catch. Do I need cable? I don't think so. This time Chris and crew fished for eels in a la s behest, to love himself resulting in him having an affair with himself and subsequently shooting himself in jealousy that I found extremely funny.

So, there's pretty much no chance that the show's getting picked up, which is a shame, but I really would rather see Chris in a sitcom than sketch comedy anyway and I'm glad I saw a vastly under-appreciated comedic genius perform live.

Although one of my favorite characters of his is the Canadian hitchhiker on Letterman who foretold bad things happening before passing on; I've never been able to find any of those clips so I leave you with other highlights.












*****

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