3rd Rock From the Sun

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Trekker4747, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I don't know what short-circuit in my brain caused it (there's been a lot of them emotionally and logically lately) but last night I started thinking about scenes from the sit-com "3rd Rock From the Sun" a show I've probably not watched, well, at-all this century.

    So, I found it available to watch on Amazon Prime and apparently I get to watch it "Free with ads" due to some IMDB thing I have that... Amazon knows about?

    Anyway, it's a show that's generating some actual laughs in me and just general fond memories of the '90s.

    But... "with ads" ugh, I forgot how much it sucks to watch TV this way. The ad breaks are short and there's only a couple of them but can I just buy my way out of this?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  2. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm not sure if you get ads or not, but it's also on Tubi TV.

    I haven't thought about this show in a long time but my brother has been watching it. Some of the time it really was kinda nuts.
     
  3. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season 1 was hilarious and I recall some names of staff who had also worked on "Night Court" and even the ill-fated "Red Dwarf" USA pilots (which weren't bad, but just didn't get picked up. The second one had more laughs, due in part to Terry Ferrell as Cat... though Hinton Battle had his moments... The Captain Tau scenes were done right and were hilarious, but other scenes felt too forced with copying the British comedy... Had RDUSA taken off, and how the UK original brought back the captain, it would have been fun to have had Tau back later on. )

    The sad part is that I recited all that from memory.

    Later seasons of 3rd Rock did go downhill. Season 3 or 4 is when the plummet in script quality really took place.

    I remember "TV with ads" with Gilligan's Island (in HD, of which there is no blu-ray edition and blu-ray still has a much higher bitrate than even 4K streaming but videophiles are more likely going to notice the truer HD aspects. But that's why people buy HD TVs and not 480i TV sets. :biggrin:)
     
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    The Amazon version of 3RftS is cropped for 16x9. Mostly from the bottom its obvious in scenes where people are sitting, crouching or Dick is talking to Tommy.

    What's odd to me is a)the brain fires that caused me to think of this show at all, seriously, I've probably not thought about or seen it in 20 years, or whenever it ended and even then I didn't see much of the last couple seasons. (As noted, I think it lost some of it's traction in those later years.)

    But there's just a lot of scenes that popped in my mind and I started thinking about the show. It was a decent, fun, enough show largely thanks to John Lithgow and Jane Curtin but it wasn't one of those shows that defined the '90s like Seinfeld and Friends.

    Okay, I apologize for this but it's a moment that genuinely made me laugh. I intend no political slant on it.

    But, Harry and Sally are at the license bureau to get their driver's licenses and they're complaining about the experience, the lines, the waiting, and then Sally brings up that cars must have some power they're unfamiliar with because of all of the testing and exams involved.

    Harry, "Yeah, can you imagine what you have to go through to get a gun?"

    Sorry, it just gave me a genuine laugh that I've really been needing. Gave the audience a good laugh and applause too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  5. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    It's a great show. I haven't really watched it much in the last several years. I feel like it would be really weird now that I'm so used to seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an adult actor in stuff like The Dark Knight Rises, 500 Days of Summer, 50/50, and Inception.

    The thing that always struck me about the show was that it always seemed like the cast was having so much fun. I don't know if that's really true or not but they always gave me that impression.

    My favorite episode is the one from Season 6 where they decide that they need to try to be more "American." But then, when they read the part in the Declaration of Independence about all men being equal, they misinterpret it and it takes nearly no time at all for Sally, Harry, & Tommy to form a Soviet style dystopia with Harry as their absolute ruler.

    My favorite in-joke is when William Shatner first appeared as the Big Giant Head. When he first gets off the airplane, he mentions that he saw some THING on the wing of the plane. Dick replies, "The same thing happened to me!" Both Shatner & Lithgow starred in the Twilight Zone story "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"-- Shatner in the original TV version and Lithgow in the 1983 movie version.

    I never really noticed any particular dip in the writing quality. I thought that the show maintained pretty good consistency over its 6 seasons. (In that respect, I'd actually put it above some of its Must See TV contemporaries, although that's not entirely fair since some of the other shows lasted quite a bit longer. Still, I noticed much bigger drops in quality during the last couple seasons of Seinfeld after Larry David left the writing staff and during the 2nd half of Frasier when the show started repeating itself a lot. NewsRadio stumbled quite badly during its final season but that couldn't be helped given Phil Hartman's death.)

    Since this thread was sparked by a random memory, I'd point out that my brain keeps making all of these connections between 3rd Rock from the Sun and the Stargate franchise. French Stewart played Lt. Ferretti in the original Stargate movie and also played a scientist in an episode of Stargate Universe. I think that one of Dick's students was also that fireman that Samantha Carter was dating during the 7th & 8th seasons of SG-1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in The Dark Knight Rises, which I believe takes place in the Stargate universe, what with William Devane being the President in both of them (although that doesn't explain why Teal'c seems to be working for Bane:confused:).

    Also, if you need something to put you in a good mood...
     
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  6. Mysterion

    Mysterion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This bit of visual humor by Lithgow has never failed to get me to laugh out loud:
     
  7. JohnChod

    JohnChod Captain Captain

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    I would agree that the first few seasons were funnier than the later ones, but it was definitely amusing throughout its run. I believe it was the first TV series I purchased on DVD - even before I picked up any Trek!

    One of my favorites was when Dick and Strudwick thought that Tommy and Alyssa had run away together and would get married. They started talking about being grandparents and Strudwick claimed he picked the name Pop-Pop first and that Dick would have to be Geegaw. Despite its actual, somewhat negative definition, I thought that was a hilarious and unique word for Grandpa and decided to use it myself when grandkids entered the picture in my family.
     
  8. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    :guffaw::guffaw::guffaw:

    His facial expressions are some of the best in sitcom history!
     
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  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    As I'm rewatching, about done with Season 3, I've really enjoyed it. There's aspects of the show that are... "awkward" aspects of it's time, mostly whenever it decides to touch on the "gay issue" it sort of veers towards awkward stereotypes that were just common to many sitcoms of the late-90s. Not really "anti-gay" but just... Yeah.

    But, still the IMDB/Amazon Prime experience is a miserable ones. Again, I can deal with the commercials for the most part but they're just not placed well in the episodes and it's like the same 4 commercials so it's sort of tiresome when watching several episodes in a row.
     
  10. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I watch a lot of online stuff with commercials, and the repetitive commercials do get really annoying. There are some websites that just show the same commercials every single time, and they start getting really old when you're on the third or fourth commercial break on the third show I've watched that week.
    As for 3rd Rock, I've seen a quite a few episodes here and there, and I really enjoyed them. I've just never taken the time to watch it from start to finish.
     
  11. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    I remember in the early days of the COMET TV network, it seemed that they only had the same 2 or 3 commercials all the time and were just repeated incessantly. Although, my favorite instance of repetitive commercials was when I used to watch QUBO After Dark and the shows didn't have any sponsors, so they just kept advertising the same 6 QUBO shows over & over again. I'll always take ads for a show over ads for a product.
     
  12. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I can mostly deal with the the commercials, it's... "part of TV" I guess and there's probably less commercial time in it than there was when the show originally ran in a time before common DVRs and time shifting. The problem is that there's like 4 or 5 commercials so I see each one 2 or 3 times in each episode which makes a marathon watching annoying.

    Two or three of the commercials are just annoying, particular when getting them repeatedly, and the placement of them isn't with the bumpers built into to show itself. There's a commercial placed about a second away from the end of the opening credits, so when you get back from the commercial you get the final note of the opening theme and it's immediately followed by the opening notes of the opening bumper/earth "establishing shot" of the first act.

    And there's commercials placed in the middle of sentences in the middle of scenes. I mean, what is that all about. Near as I can tell I can't just "buy" the streaming of this series on Amazon Prime.

    I wonder if I cancel the IMDB subscription I didn't know I had if I can then buy my way out of this?

    Footnote:

    Annoying commercials:

    1. A Popeye's Chicken commercial featuring.... Sort of offensive/stereotypical behavior from the African American "characters" in it. They're eating fried chicken (or is the chicken sandwich?) in a car which is kind of an ugly stereotype in of itself but then they make "stereotypical" sounds of excitement over it. "Oooooo!!!! WWeeeeee!!!!"

    2. Some car commercial where a son is talking to his parents and talking about texting them the key to the smart-car's ignition or something.

    3. Then some travel agency with some guy in some kind of Captain's commercial that stars off "Remember... places?" and then it shows a series of shots of beaches and locales with the guy talking about it just going "Ahhh." and "Ahh, so placey..." etc. I dunno, there's just something annoying about it.

    Again, most of these are just out of seeing them repeatedly over and over in a sitting. Though except that Popeye's one, it's kind of offensive.

    On the show:

    Why did Dr. Solomon have the same group of students in his class over the course of several years?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020 at 12:45 AM
  13. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Because he's a terrible teacher and they never did learn anything.

    Or else time operates in the 3rd Rock from the Sun universe similar to how it does in the M*A*S*H universe.
     
  14. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Best moment of the series