Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Case for Underappreciated TV

In today's post I will make a case for 10 shows that in my opinion have gone underappreciated in the sands of time. I have developed 3 basic categories for underappreciated shows. 1: Almost nobody has heard of them (Complete Cultural Unknowns)...2: Most people have heard of them but ignore or actively dislike them ...3. Most people have heard of them, and they are even somewhat appreciated, but not nearly enough. I will not discuss shows like Freaks and Geeks or Home Movies which most people haven't heard of, but have a strong cult following and are critically acclaimed. Not even shows like Rocko's Modern Life which most people loved as kids but now they've forgotten how sweet they really are. No, for various reasons all these shows have gone underappreciated. They have a small fanbase and were not particularly acclaimed. Also, I've seen way too many episodes of all of these shows.

Special Note: Three of my favorite shows of all time are, I think, underappreciated. Those are The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Boy Meets World, and Pinky & the Brain. I will cover those in a follow-up post because they are on a different plane entirely from these 10.

The 10 shows are, in alphabetical order: Big Wolf on Campus, Cram, Digimon, Earthworm Jim, The Mole, Monster Rancher, Road Rovers, Seriously Weird, Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, and Weird Science

I also considered Freakazoid!, which I love but decided that the cult fanbase for this show was too strong.

Plot summaries are copied and pasted from the internet...grammar/spelling mistakes and all

Category 1: Complete Cultural Unknowns


This show aired on: Fox Family, midday
Percentage of episodes seen: Probably about 50%
Last time I saw an episode of this show: About 4 years ago or so.
Plot summary of this show: The week before he returns to school for his senior year, popular High School jock Tommy Dawkins is bitten and turned into a werewolf. The only person Tommy Dawkins can turn to for help is the school nerd and Goth Fantasy Guild President Merton J Dingle. Now Tommy & Merton while still looking for a cure for Tommy's condition fight a whole slew of baddies in Pleasantville including Mummies, Vampires, 50's Bullies, Witches. In the Second Season they are joined by kickboxer Lori Baxter who had just transfered from Pleasantville Catholic.
How it slipped through the cracks: Only aired in the US on ABC Family which is a tough set for any show, especially a weird one like this.

The case for Big Wolf on Campus: BWOC was always a TV show that deserved better than it got. A lot of the episodes were done cleverly, and the acting was never too bad...The characters were mostly interesting, and the situations were fun. Merton Dingle was a funny, somewhat annoying's tough to say about Merton, he's either an awesome character or one of the worst characters ever, I'm not sure. There's some weirdo Merton fanbase that just loves the guy...he's a teen icon in the bizarro internet world.
The best part of BWOC is the two episode set featuring Corey Haim & Feldman. Corey Haim comes to the school and it turns out that (gasp!) Lost Boys was a true story and Corey Haim really is a vampire, so Tommy has to kill him. Then, in a later episode Corey Feldman comes to the town to check up on his buddy Corey Haim and he freaks so they have to kill him too.
Don't take the fact that this writeup is so short to mean that this show is not as good as the later ones. This show was quite entertaining.

This show aired on: Game Show Network
Percentage of episodes seen: Probably no more than 50% or so
Last time I saw an episode: I'd guess about a year or a year and a half ago
Plot summary of this show: Four brave souls were locked up in our Hollywood and Highland Cramatoriums. Deprived of sleep, the two teams were each given a huge pile of ridiculous information to study. Trapped in a Hollywood storefront all night, they had to resist the urge to sleep and cram as many facts as possible into their exhausted brains. No sleep. No privacy. No mercy. Now it's time to find out what they've learned: there's ten grand on the line!
How it slipped through the cracks: Only aired for about a season and a half and only aired on Game Show Network which most people don't get. Also a lot of people found the premise cruel, which honestly I guess it is.

The case for Cram: Cram was a show with an awesome premise, a funny host (Graham Ellwood), an extremely attractive cohost (Icey), and very nice execution. The plot summary I posted doesnt' really do justice to the premise so let me put it in my own words. They take these two teams of two people each. Put em both in rooms with a huge amount of books and info to study. Give them 24 hours to study it, and they are notallowed to sleep at all. Then at the end of the 24 hours, they get the two teams together and quiz them using questions based on the info they just studied. Now I'll describe the rounds. For round one, they are given a large number of articles to study from various magazines. Of those 3 are chosen. Each team picks one of the 3 chosen articles. Then they have to "rant" about the article. Each person has to speak continually for 30 seconds about teh article. If they pause, hesitate or go off topic, they get dinged 5 points. 8 key words are chosen from the article and for each one they say they get 10 points. Also for this whole round they are in oversized hamster wheels that they must keep moving. Brilliant.
For round 2 they are given various reference books to study and they have to do a matching game based on those. For example, matching the name of a bird to a picture, Identifying pressure points on the body by name, etc...At the same time, there is a book of lists they gotta study and they are quizzed on that too. The funny part about this round is they gotta do 2 things at once and since they are real tired they usually screw up. Round 3 they are given a bunch of riddles to study (over 500)...then they have to answer about 15 riddles when given them. There's more to it than that, and there's also a bonus round, but as I'm writing this I realize how hard it is to describe this show in print.
Cram is an awesome game that deserves a lot more recognition than it got; Probably one of my top 5 favorite game shows of all time, and I love game shows. I mean, it's always fun to see people answer ridiculous's fun to see people try to reach back in their memory banks for something they know they've seen but can't quite recall...but the most fun thing about this show is taking advantage of sleep deprived idiots by making them do multiple things at once, and forcing them to recall insane bits of trivia. It's funny to see how they react, some people overcompensate by getting super cheery and energetic, some people just kind of stand there half asleep...I like those second people the best.


This show aired on: Family Channel
Percentage of episodes seen: Around 75%
Last time I saw an episode: About 4 to 5 years ago
Plot summary of this show: Monster Rancher is about a kid named Genki who gets sucked into his favorite videogame. There he meets Moochi, Holly, Suezo, Tiger, Golem and Hare, together they go on a journey find the Phoenix and stop Moo's diabolical plan.
How it slipped through the cracks: Like BWOC...everybody assumes the Family Channel is crappy b/c of its name, but a lot of the shows on it rock. Also, most people assumed it was a third rate ripoff of Pokemon/Digimon

The case for Monster Rancher: As lame as it sounds, I do truly love this show. The point is, the characters in this show rock. Suezo is the yellow eyeball in the picture up there. He's really sarcastic and always complaining. He rocks. Tiger of the Wind is another fine character. The first bit of this show was really good, it just had them wandering around meeting various monsters and then they would come and go throughout the episodes. Mocchi is a little penguin guy who is kind of pointless, but looks cute so the ladies love him. Holly is the requisite human female on the show. Golem is a huge rock dude; he talks in the stereotypical DEEP ROCK MAN VOICE and in broken English. Perhaps a bit stereotypical, but damnit, he gets the job done. Hare is, oddly enough, just a hare...he doesn't really have any special fighting powers. But he's a real jerk, he doesn't really like the people in the party and tries to steal from them. I forget why he joined in with the party at all. Eventually though, he warms up to them, but he and Tiger of the Wind always hate each other, for the whole time of the show. It was fun because it was just some quirky little show about random monsters, but it was really a character based show more than anything else. It did go a bit downhill once they started going on large quests (destroying Moo and Pixie?), but it was still fun.
Funny fact about this show...this show was based on a video game for the playstation, also called "Monster Rancher". Like the plot summary says, the main character is playing this video game when he gets sucked into the screen...only in the show, the game is "Monster Rancher" for the Tony StayPlation, I guess they couldn't get the rights or something.
The awesome part about this show is the character development. All of the characters were fleshed out pretty fully, even the most ridiculous ones like Suezo or Golem. Also, Geinke used to always ride around on skates with Mocchi on his head, and that looked funny. The real star of the show, all things considered was Tiger of the Wind. He had these horns that he shot lightning from, which was pretty sweet. He ran straight up sheer cliffs...he could pretty much do anything. He was the de facto leader of the group...but he had an attitude too, and he could get pissed off pretty easily.
Everybody compares this show and Digimon to Pokemon, so I'd like to deflate those references right now. Pokemon is a dumbass show about weird creatures who say cute crap and get captured in balls. It is a boring show. Digimon and Monster Rancher, man, the monsters on those shows have REAL personalities. That's the primary difference to me. Digimon and Monster Rancher are at their heart character based, Pokemon is a weird action show. As for them being ripoffs, I don't know. I heard that Monster Rancher and Digimon were both originally released before Pokemon in Japan, but I have no idea if that is true or not.

Andrew remembers this show a lot better than I do.


This show aired on: The WB
Percentage of episodes seen: Probably 100%...there were only 13 episodes
Last time I saw an episode: 8 years ago
Plot summary of this show: Road Rovers are an elite team of crime fighting dogs chosen from around the world. When the call goes out, they rush from their homes, (they live with heads of state around the world) and return to the Master who turns them into Cano-Sapiens (super charged dogs).
How it slipped through the cracks: Weird premise, bad time slot...never caught on and was cancelled after 13 episodes.

The case for Road Rovers: This show was very very very weird; perhaps the weirdest show on the entire list except for Earthworm Jim and possibly Big Wolf on Campus. This is also the shortest running show on the list. I'd say the two are probably related. This is another show that I don't remember very well at all. I'm gonna be honest, this show was pretty bad and made the list for only 3 reasons. One awesome quote, one sweet character, and one catchphrase that is annoying but fun to randomly quote.
The Awesome Quote: The character Exile is the Siberian Husky you see in the picture up there. He speaks with a traditional Russian accent. The doberman character up there, I'm too lazy to go look up his name but he talks just like Governor Arnold. Every episode the doberman character would do or suggest something completely ridiculous, and Exile would say the phrase "Don't be a weird boy". Difficult to describe why it's funny in print, but the way he says it is funny. For example, in one episode Dobey tries to get Exile to try out a Peppermint Milkshake, Exile informs him not to be a weird boy.
Awesome Character: Muzzle. He's in a straight jacket tied up to a kind of metallic board, which he bounces around on. He says and does nothing and has no point to being on the show, nor explanation as to why he's there.
Annoying Catch-Phrase: Hunter is the leader of the gang. When he gets everyone together he says "Let's hit the road, rovers"...stupid ass line, but again, it's funny to quote in inappropriate situations especially since you can be 99.9% sure nobody will get it.
Road Rovers is probably one of the worst overall shows I've seen 10 or more episodes of. Well, Out of the Box is the worst but this one would probably be top 10. I think it does deserve some recognition though. This makes me think of the show Out of the Box. I promised myself I would only do topical commentary for these shows so I'll just note that show had an awesome end theme song and maybe save further comments about that show for a later post (probably not).

This show aired on: Don't know where it aired originally, but I watch it on WAM!
Percentage of episodes seen: About 25-50%
Last time I saw an episode of this show: About a week or two airs during the middle of the day so I usually don't get a chance to catch it.
Plot summary for this show: When Harris Pembleton is transported to The Weird Dimention through completing an ancient puzzle, he angers Steve ( ruler of The Weird ) and is cursed for life to be targeted by all that is Weird. Along with his good friends Fenella and Hugo, Harris must deal with his curse and try to find the best possIble solutions to all of his new problems. But just because he's cursed with The Weird, doesn't mean it won't come in useful...
How it slipped through the cracks: In this case, it's probably because it was never aired on a regular network or standard cable channel in the US which makes it tough to gain many fans.

The case for Seriously Weird: Seriously Weird really is an awesome TV show. The main character on the show is British, but none of the other characters are, I don't know where this show was made or takes place, but for some reason, I've always assumed it was made in Canada. As I think on that now, I see no reason why I would think that.
The main character on this show, Harris Pembleton is an awesome character. He's a real smartass, and he really does take all the bizarre goings on in stride. Much more composed about it than you would expect. I'm pretty sure that's because he's British. Finella is kind of like the "normal" one, not too much weird going on with her, pretty much the stabilizing presence on the show to keep it from going totally over the top. Also, she's a token black character. She's pretty pointless. The last character, Hugo, is a goofy sidekick kind of character. Mostly pointless, but they bring him in when they need something goofy to happen. I hate him. I really don't know why Harris would be friends with two boring people like this, but they all work out okay together. Harris also has a love interest on this show, a popular girl named Claudia who won't give him the time of day. The character is stupid, but I bring her up because she was the actress who played Nikki on The 4400 for those who like me had the misfortune of watching that miniseries.
Harris is the best part of the show, though, by far. The other characters are just there to give Harris some context for the show to take place in. I know nothing about the guys who plays Harris (except that the credits give his name as Ryan Cartwright) and I've never seen him in anything else, but he is good in this show, and I hope he does go on to some better known works. A lot of "The Weird" things that happen to him are pretty interesting (aka ridiculous), like when THE WEIRD gives him dancing lessons in the form of some incredibly bizarre over the top latino dude, and then said latino dude challenges him to a dance off. That episode rocks. Or the episode where Harris becomes a motivational speaker for a group of ghosts. The possibilities for a show like this are endless, and that's what makes them pretty sweet.
I guess a lot of people might say this show is unoriginal/derivative. Actually, that's probably true, but the fact is that this is a show which is extremely entertaining to watch, even if it doesn't offer any deep entertainment, or true insight. Highly recommended if you ever get the chance to watch it.

This show aired on: Currently airs on Discovery Kids on weeknights and NBC morning lineup on Sundays.
Percentage of episodes seen: About 50-75%
Last time I saw an episode of this show: Last night
Plot summary of this show: There is something weird going on at Blake Holsey High something paranormal. When Josie Trent is sent to a private prep school she must come face to face with things that cannot be explained easily but with the help of friends and one science teacher maybe surviving school won't be that hard.
How it slipped through the cracks: Have YOU ever heard of the Discovery Kids channel?

The Case for Strange Days at Blake Holsey High: Is this show a true classic? No, not really. But it is quite entertaining with good characters and probably the best "kid's" show out there today. I strongly suspect that one of my friends is attracted to Emma Taylor Isherwood, who is the primary actress on this show. To protect him, I will not say his name. I really really like the way they try to use pseudo science to explain the weird happenings at the school. You see, it's educational AND it's fun! For example, one time Josie leaves gum in a Petri dish, it becomes electrified and BOOM a clone of Josie is created. Complete nonsense, of course, but a great time to teach kids the facts about DNA, such as, people can be cloned by leaving gum in a Petri dish. This show and Seriously Weird are very similar shows. Seriously Weird is a better show, but this one is good too. To compare and contrast the shows, Seriously Weird has better characters and funnier actors. Strange Days does have the added dimension of hilarious pseudo-science explanations for all its happenings, but it bogs down more, because it has big storylines with people figuring out important things. Seriously Weird is better because it's just a group of 3 kids that weird crap happens to which are always resolved in a half-hour segment of show.
This is the kind of show that you could watch just once and dismiss it as utter crap, but once you start watching a few episodes you realize that it really is done pretty well, and the long story arcs can drag the show down a bit but they are fairly interesting. The fake science educational value only adds to the charm in my book, but I could see how to some people it can mess with the flow.
As I look on a Strange Days at Blake Holsey High website now, I see it was nominated for a Gemini award, whatever that means.

Category 2: Known, but Ignored/Disliked

This show aired on: Originally on the WB, now airs on Family Channel...linking two common channel themes for these shows
Percentage of episodes seen: 100% of the first two seasons, <10% of the next 2
Last time I saw an episode of this show: A few months ago
Plot summary: 7 kids are mysteriously transported to Digi-World and are befriended by strange talking creatures called Digimon. The Digimon prove to be more than company when they digivolve into bigger Digimon and defeat Kuwaggomon. Agumon changes into Greymon to defeat Shellmon and save Tai's life. Now it's up to them to save the Digi-World. But can they? And will they ever get back? We'll have to watch the future episodes and find out! Why it is ignored/disliked: Most dismiss it as a cheap ripoff of Pokemon, and a stupid kids show and leave it at that.

The case for Digimon: This show really deserves its own column. In order to fit this blurb to this column, I'm only gonna talk about season one. Okay, Digimon. People invariably laugh at me when I say I like this show, but I'm gonna take a crack at explaining what I find so appealing about it. To say the obvious right off the bat, a lot of people dismiss digimon outright from the start because it is VERY confusing until you see a few episodes. The terminology and character names are insane. Okay, once you get past that you get a show with excellent, well-defined characters and well-animated battle sequences.
The first season of Digimon was awesome. 8 characters, all very different, perfectly matched to their digimon. A few examples. Joe was a weird, frightened nerdy guy. His digimon Gomamon is really sarcastic and makes fun of him all the time. They have a really sweet dynamic because all of the other digimon are really supportive and Gomamon just sits there and laughs at Joe for being a goofy idiot. Sora and Biyomon were my two personal faves. Sora was just like some cheery upbeat lady who always said and did "cute" things, and Biyomon was exactly the same. I liked Sora, because secretly I wish I was a girl. Matt and Gabumon were the two most popular characters. Matt was a moody little teenage rebel type character and Gabumon was a wacky jokester. They match together really well because Matt is always real serious and Gabumon is kind of goofy. I'm not gonna get into all 8 pairs of humans/digimon, but take my word for it that they all rock.
In this paragraph I will discuss my five favorite Digimon from season one. In no order they are Togemon, Monzaemon, Etemon, Angemon, and Pumpkinmon. Togemon is a huge cactus with boxing gloves. You can see the humor in this guy already. He has no personality, he's just hilarious to look at. Monzaemon is a giant teddy bear. In one episode Togemon and Monzaemon fight. The visual image of a giant boxing cactus punching a greatly oversized teddy bear is permanently seared in my brain. Angemon is a great character. He is the digimon for TK who is the youngest of the crew of humans (called the digi-destined)...TK is really young and unsure of himself, and Angemon is just a straight up badass. He talks in a deep voice and takes charge of the situation friends, believe you me. Pumpkinmon I don't really remember that well, except his head was a jack-o-lantern, he was incredibly wacky, and he somehow died to save the digidestined. Those 3 things alone though are enough to push him into top 5. Etemon might deserve a whole entry unto himself. He is a metallic, Elvis-impersonating monkey who traps the digi-destined in ridiculous ways and tries to stop them from getting their tags and crests. Eventually he must fight against the main characters in a huge soccer stadium, and when he gets defeated he rockets up into outer space.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention Gennai, who is a very stereotypical old mentor type character to the digi-destined. He appears to the characters by hologram and tells them cryptic but sage advice. Gennai rules.
I gotta stop talking about Digimon now for space issues, but consider I wrote this much, and I didn't even get into the Dark Masters saga which was the best part of the first season, and I didn't talk about season 2 at all which was probably better than season 1, all around. This is DEFINITELY a show you have to watch a few episodes of before you "get" it, but once you do, it's so awesome.

This show aired on: ABC
Percentage of episodes seen: 100%
Last time I saw an episode of this show: half a year, or a full year ago
Plot summary: A group of strangers, working together to earn up to $1 million, that in the end only one of them will win. One of these players is the mole, a double agent we hired, working for us against the other 13. At the end of each episode, the players take the quiz, ten questions about the mole. The quiz determines who stays and who goes because the player who scores the lowest on the quiz is executed and sent home immediately. Up to $1 million hinges on discovering who is the mole. Why is it ignored/disliked: Dismissed in association with the reality craze at the time it was released. Often unfairly considered a ripoff of Survivor and other reality shows.

The case for The Mole: This show was hosted by Anderson Cooper of CNN fame. The best part about The Mole is the strategy, which is so insanely complicated and involves so many trade-offs if you actually take time to go over and think it through. For example, imagine you are the mole. You need to sabatoge games, because that is your job. At the same time, you gotta do it really subtly so that people don't find you out; after all, your real job is to sabatoge as many games as possible without people figuring out who the mole really is. At the same time, you can't be too discreet, because if you are too sneaky people will know you are the mole. So you have to be right in between. But then, how do you play it when speculating? Do you actively try to divert attention to other players? etc. Participants in the UR Prole game know about this, except there wasn't a million bux on the line on that one. Actually because of all the complex strategic elements to this show MENSA called it "The Smartest Show on Television". The first season had the best example of strategy yet. If you haven't seen the first season yet and don't wanna know who the mole is or who the winner is, then discontinue reading. In the first season, these two guys Jim and Steve made a coalition. The purpose of the coalition was that each one was to try to convince as many people as possible that the other one was the mole. Now that is a sweet strategy. Not coincidentally, they were the last two players left, other than the mole. Also in the first season, this old guy got caught sneaking into a production tent in the middle of the night to steal their notes about who the mole was. I can't really suggest that as a good strategy, but it was hialrious when it happened. Of course with this show you get all the "real" emotional extremes that come with any other reality show. Fights. Bickering. Hysterical Crying. Hurt Feelings. Joyous surprises, and bad surprises. Games specifically designed to make people hate each other. Etc. Obviously it's funny to laugh at idiots who get put through hard games and start yelling at each other and crying. That's not in question. Example: in season 2, Anderson made all the people who hate cooking raise their hands. Then he made fun of them and made them cook. That was really sweet. Speaking of Anderson Cooper, he really was an excellent host. He brought the right amount of faux-serious grave reality show host nonsense that is required out of a host, but he was really snarky and insulting. Another example from season 2. This group had to ride a bike up a huge mountain road in the middle of summer in Italy, on crappy bikes. While they did this, Anderson rode right beside them on a truck, fans blowing in his face, drinking tasty drinks, etc, and the whole time Anderson kept insulting them. I mean, I assume they only did this for a little bit so they could tape it, but still, that rocked. Of course the best part of the show is the viewer speculation on who the mole might be. That's the most fun part, taking the little clips they give you and trying to get from that who the mole is.

Category 3: Known and Appreciated, but not Enough

This show aired on: The WB sunday mornings
Percentage of episodes seen: It's very difficult to say since it's been so long, but probably about 75%
Last time I saw an episode of this show: 8-9 years ago
Plot summary of this show: As in the video game, our main character is Earthworm Jim, an annelid with a power suit. His best friend is Peter Puppy, a scared doggy, but when Peter gets mad... Let's say you do NOT wanna be in the vicinity. His love interest is the "beautiful" (whether she really is or not depends on whether you're a pro or anti) Princess Whats-Her-Name. The villians are the evil Psycrow (an evil, well, crow.), Evil The Cat (a cat who lives in Heck), Bob & #4 (a goldfish and his very big friend), Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-Filled, Malformed, Slug-For-A-Butt and others. Our hero must do battle with these creatures, and while he does, he's a master of hilarious quotes.
(This plot summary leaves out Professor Monkey-for-a-Head, the best villian of them all).
Why isn't it appreciated more: Didn't air for very long, and aired right next to Freakazoid, which is a similar but obviously better show.

The case for Earthworm Jim: Actually that plot summary does a pretty good job summarizing what is so awesome about this show. It's kind of hard to describe why I like this show because it's good for a lot of little and random reasons.
Case in point: Haggis. Every episode of this show made reference to haggis, or at least almost every show did. My favorite one, Peter and EWJ are eating at IHOH (International house of haggis) and EWJ goes "Man this haggis is great, why don't more people eat it?" Peter: "probably because haggis is the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep boiled in its own stomach"...hehe comedy gold.
Case in point: Professor Monkey-for-a-Head. Looked like a normal guy, except on top of his head, upside down was a monkey. To help you picture it, if he flipped over it would look like a monkey standing right side up with a professor upside down on his head. Also the monkey talks. Also, the monkey was named Monkey Professor-for-a-Head. He talked like a weird mad scientiest, his personality was pretty much like The Lobe from Freakazoid. The Episode which was lifestyles of the rich and famous: Prof Monkey-for-a-Head was truly awesome.
Case in point: Random, often ridiculous plots. In one episode Psycrow has a devious scheme to destroy the universe. He will get all the screaming beasts of (some planet) to scream at the same time by showing them a holographic image of a fondu fork. Fondu forks make them scream. It doesn't work because one of the beasts is nearsighted and does not think it is a fondu fork and therefore does not scream. Foiled again.
Case in point: This show, truly, had an amazing theme song. I really truly think the theme song to this show is a great pop song. There are more hooks and melodies packed into this theme song than most full songs. Whistle breakdown = genius. I highly recommend you download this particular tune.
Lots of other great stuff about this show, but I'm gonna move on.

This show aired on: Originally on USA, now repeats air on WAM!
Percentage of episodes seen: Maybe about 50%
Last time I saw an episode of this show: A few days ago
Plot summary of this show: Weird Science is a show based on the 1985 John Hughes movie of the same name. High school geeks Wyatt Donnelly and Gary Wallace create their dream girl, a magical genie named Lisa, on Wyatt's computer. Having a genie leads up to five seasons of unique adventures for the guys.
Why isn't it appreciated more: Does Weird Science REALLY need a TV show? Most people would see this show as unnecessary and ignore it. Those who did watch it mostly vaguely remember it as OK, just like I used to before repeats started airing again on WAM! Just never really made an impression for some reason, although at 5 seasons it stands as the longest running show on this list.

The Case for Weird Science: I'll keep this one short to counterbalance the rest of this insane post. Extremely hot female lead, funny male characters. This show shares a common feature with many other shows on this list: Ridiculous plotlines, insane, self-contained episodes. I think those shows tend to go a bit underrated because most people don't know what to do with em, but I really love shows like that. The episode where Gary and Wyatt give Lisa a family by programming in one rocks. Her dad is a secret agent, her mom is a barbarian queen, her brother is a talking chimp detective, and her boyfriend is an American Gladiator. Also their palace is a putt-putt course. And in order to win the heart of Lisa, Wyatt challenges the Gladiator to a game of "Centurion Golf" which is minigolf, except you tackle each other. It's hard for me to discuss why this show rocks. The chemistry between the 3 main characters is very good...the situations the characters get in are interesting and funny...I feel like I'm just saying "this show is good because it's good" but there's nothing to say about it. It is just a good show.
This show also has a parody of the 80's group fundraising songs called "Do they know it's groundhog day at all". This song is amazing. It features aliens, and the ghost of the principal and a guy in a huge groundhog suit. I never saw the rest of the episode that features this song, so it has NO context for me, and I think that only makes it rock all the more.

Top 5 shows on this list in terms of absolute quality of show:
5. Earthworm Jim
4. The Mole -- my commentary on this show really didn't do it justice.
3. Seriously Weird
2. Monster Rancher
1. Digimon

Top 5 best theme songs for listed shows:
5. Digimon
4. Big Wolf on Campus
3. Road Rovers
2. Seriously Weird
1. Earthworm Jim
I don't remember the theme song to Monster Rancher at all.
Also I don't count Weird Science b/c it wasn't composed for the show itself.

Number 1 most underappreciated TV Theme song of all time: The Aladdin animated series.



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