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Topic: Primetime’s Most Ridiculous Premise? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 02 November 2018 at 11:56pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

People also have to realize that LITTLE HOUSE was the first representation on television of "my neck of the woods", that being Minnesota. When they talked about going to Mankato, I knew where that was.  When they visited Minneapolis, that's where I lived.  The Laura Ingalls Wilder story is a Minnesota story, so I keyed into that hardcore. Minnesotans love their LITTLE HOUSE.
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 05 November 2018 at 3:07pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

FIRST, Matt? First? 

"Mary Tyler Moore" is so offended right now. They even show those opening credits in downtown Minneapolis,  "LIttle House" never even went on location - except in that wonderful pilot movie which is just stellar.
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 05 November 2018 at 3:17pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

My hatred of "Full House" is legendary amongst my friends but cannot say it was a ridiculous premise.  I am wracking my brain trying to think of some that were bad but a lot have been covered here.  A lot of it has to do with acting.  If they can sell it, I can buy it.  Elizabeth Montgomery as a witch? Sold.  A daily soap opera about a vampire? Sold.  Something like "Cop Rock" though- how long could they keep that up until they ran out of songs to write?  (Didn't have to worry, they lost viewers.)
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 05 November 2018 at 3:31pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Ah, yes.  Of course!  MTM was a staple in my house.  Chalk up my forgetfulness to posting late night or old age.  Take your pick!
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John Popa
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Posted: 05 November 2018 at 4:51pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I had no idea 'Little House' took place in Minnesota. I guess I wasn't playing very close attention!
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Joseph Greathouse
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Posted: 05 November 2018 at 5:46pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I am wondering how "ridiculous premise" is being defined for this conversation. In my mind, The Good Place has simply been one ridiculous premise after another. Yet I love it! I'd say more, but I hate the thought of spoiling it for anyone.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 05 November 2018 at 6:30pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I've always wondered who this kind of twaddle is aimed at.  I can tell you that actual religious people think its dreck and scoff at stuff like God Friended Me and Touched by an Angel.  So somewhere between atheists and serious religious believers there must be some vaguely religiously sentimental mushy middle that watches this stuff.

But this is far from the most ridiculous premise.  Whoever had the gonads to pitch a slapstick comedy set in a Nazi prison camp will forever take home that prize for Hogan's Heroes.
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 6:52am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

John Popa. it could have been the very non-Minnesota mountains in the background that threw you off.  
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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 8:13am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

John Popa. it could have been the very non-Minnesota mountains in the background that threw you off.

••

Clearly it was just down the way from the Brooklyn seen in WISEGUY.

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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Funny thing about LITTLE HOUSE is that in real life the Ingalls family didnt live in Walnut Grove (not sure about Minnesota) for long.
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 1:48pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Yeah, the real Pa Ingalls was not much of a provider.  If you read the books, they never stayed anywhere too long until they got to DeSmet, South Dakota and even then it was a tough life.  The TV show stalled in Walnut Grove (never even named in the books).
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 1:51pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Ok, "Small Wonder" was a ridiculous premise as the cast couldn't sell it nor could the "special effects."

Conversely, I was able to buy "ALF,"   which debuted within a year or so, as the actors (at least the adults) played it totally straight and made it seem plausible.
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John Popa
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 2:44pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I guess when I think of 'prairie' I think more midwest/great plains.

I've always assumed Minnesota is covered in glaciers and darkness.

Edited by John Popa on 06 November 2018 at 2:49pm
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Ed Aycock
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

"Prairie" was actually referring to Kansas, the setting of the book by that name.  The TV pilot adapted that book and just went with the title from there.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 4:47pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I had never heard of this show before, but yeah...

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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 06 November 2018 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Man, I haven't thought about that show in years. Used to watch the reruns on a now long defunct cable channel when I was younger.


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John Byrne
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Posted: 07 November 2018 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

If we want to get mean about this, we can start shooting down whole genres.

Sci-Fi? Pretty much all representations are wishful thinking at best.

Police procedurals? No, at least, not as shown.

Medical shows? More wishful thinking.

Westerns? Accuracy out the saloon door (which didn't look like that, either!)

Etc.

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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 07 November 2018 at 11:13am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Cover Up from 1984.

A fashion photographer's life gets turned upside down when she finds out two things:

1) that her undercover CIA agent husband was killed on a secret mission, and

2) that her husband was an undercover CIA agent.

The CIA-evidently being short-staffed that day-decide to offer her husband's old job to her. So she hires a former green beret (now male model) to travel around the world and help her while they fight international crime.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 07 November 2018 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

At least Stephen J. Cannell's shows knowingly exploited ridiculous premises with a very tongue-in-cheek approach.
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 07 November 2018 at 4:36pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply


I guess LITTLE HOUSE would be too offensive for some viewers nowadays.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 07 November 2018 at 11:33pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Greg, similar to your premise of COVER-UP, I offer 1983's MASQUERADE, starring Rod Taylor, Greg Evigan, and Kirstie Alley as spies who recruit a different set of untrained civilians each week for excitement and adventure across the globe. On-line sources describe it as a mix between MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and THE LOVE BOAT. 

To me, it sounds like a good way to get the target civilians killed and posthumously charged with espionage each week. Possibly what the C.I.A. was up to all along, eh...? 


Edited by Brian Hague on 07 November 2018 at 11:33pm
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Joe S. Walker
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Posted: 08 November 2018 at 5:14am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

This surely didn't make it to a series, or possibly even a pilot, but I've heard there was a Seventies US sitcom where the characters were all dogs played by people in dog costumes.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 08 November 2018 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 23 post reply


Greg, similar to your premise of COVER-UP, I offer 1983's MASQUERADE, starring Rod Taylor, Greg Evigan, and Kirstie Alley as spies who recruit a different set of untrained civilians each week for excitement and adventure across the globe. On-line sources describe it as a mix between MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and THE LOVE BOAT. 

To me, it sounds like a good way to get the target civilians killed and posthumously charged with espionage each week. Possibly what the C.I.A. was up to all along, eh...? 

=====================================================

Brian, both were produced / created by Glen A. Larson.So it seems as well as ripping off other people, he ripped himself off between 1983 and 1984.

SCARECROW AND MRS KING had a similar premise: ordinary divorced Washington DC mother finds herself caught up every week with a CIA Agent.
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vishard chandool
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Posted: 08 November 2018 at 9:37am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

BLIND JUSTICE- Blind police detective who still carries a gun!
HAT SQUAD -3 adopted brothers, all detectives and all wearing hats.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 08 November 2018 at 10:12am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

BLIND JUSTICE- Blind police detective who still carries a gun!

====================================================

I had to Google this one as I'd never heard of it. This has car crash written all over it. 

Even worse, it came from Steven Bochco. For every good show he produced he did send out a few tankers.
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