Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks #164: High School (TV edition)

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of "Thursday Movie Picks", the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This is the last Thursday of the month so we get another TV edition, this time focusing on high school. This was a tougher one for me, but I really wanted to participate because of my final selection:

Welcome Back, Kotter (1976-1979). John Travolta became a star thanks to this TV series about a group of New York high school students and their teacher Mr. Kotter (Gabe Kaplan). The theme song became a #1 hit in the US.

Saved by the Bell (1983-1993). Not a show I cared for, this one is about a bunch of Southern California high school students and their antics. A few years back I was flipping through the channels one Sunday morning and found this on one of the digital sub-channels with the "E/I" bug which is supposed to denote education children's programming (here in the US) that stations are required to show. I don't know how they get away with it and frankly don't care since I think the E/I rules are idiotic anyway. Oh, and Screech (Dustin Diamond) was arrested for knifing somebody in a bar brawl a few years back.

Answers Please (1963-1989). Two teams of high school students take part in a quiz bowl competition; lots of US TV stations have had similar programs under different names. I picked this one because I was on it in the final season (1989) and because I could find a full episode on Youtube. I was on another show, but that one I couldn't find any video for that. I'm not in this episode, and don't know where the tape of my episodes is. Not that I'd be able to play it and put it on Youtube anyway. But we were good, winning the final. We got an overnight bag that I still have, a T-shirt, and a book on the 60th anniversary of Guiding Light. Clearly, they had extra copies of that and were trying to dump it off on us students. Also, the set was in the same studio used for the original (well, 1980s vintage) Art Ginsburg. One team was on one long side of the studio, the host was in the corner, the other team was on the short side, and the Mr. Food set was on the other long side opposite one of the teams. The audience were in bleacher seating along the other short side.


Brittani Burnham said...

When I saw "Saved By The Bell" I immediately kicked myself for not picking "Welcome Freshman" I always preferred that to Saved by the Bell. The only one of these I didn't watch was Answers Please.

Birgit said...

We match with Welcome Back Kotter! I only saw snippets of Saved By The Bell and thought it was too silly. The last one is inspired and...I wonder if i came across it a few times. Was it aired through Buffalo? We got all the Buffalo stations and news etc.. so I wonder if I saw this or something similar

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

Lots of local stations (and PBS in some areas) had similar programs. Answers Please was based out of Albany. You probably saw something similar, but with a different name. I'm not surprised nobody else would remember Answers Please, it's more that I have very fond memories of the show.

And then there were the local TV bowling shows.

Dell said...

Wow! I love that you were on a high school quiz show. I wish you could've found and made available the tape of your episode.

I was really close to picking Welcome Back, Kotter myself. Used to love that show.

Can't stand Saved by the Bell. And Screech was a mess for years before getting arrested.

Katie Hogan said...

Guessing Saved by the Bell is going to be popular. Interesting choice going for a quiz show :)