Extending our run through of complete programmes that can be found on YouTube for an extra day, we’re going to take a quick dash through American programmes available on the streaming service. To mark the occasion, here’s a photo of Tiffany.
Just in case you weren’t getting depressed how old you are today, we’d just like to point out that Tiffany is now 40 years old. No need to thank us, gramps.
A great show to start off with. Duckman was USA’s (that’s the American TV network USA) answer to the post-Simpsons craze for grown-up animation. See also: The Critic, Beavis & Butthead, Aeon Flux, The Maxx. Don’t also see: Stressed Eric, King of the Hill (yeah, take that, internet!), and God, The Devil and Bob.
Voiced by Jason “The Human Foundation” Alexander, Duckman ran from 1994 until 1997, and kept up a tremendously high good/bad episode ratio throughout its four seasons. Best of all, they mostly seem to be online in full, albeit in slightly grainy VHS-o-vision. Linked up there is the pilot episode “I, Duckman”, but we’ll also recommend the episodes American Dicks, About Face (first aired on Sky One on Christmas Day in, ooh, 1996, we think), Duckman and Cornfed in Haunted Society Plumbers, Noir Gang and a brilliant combination of satire and feelgood comedy called America The Beautiful.
Also known as The Reason Matt Groening Took His Name Off The Credits For An Episode Of The Simpsons, for the most part The Critic was a splendid little show. Aired over here on Bravo (when that channel reinvented itself to appeal to FHM readers), the show was pretty much an opportunity for Al Jean and Mike Reiss to lampoon Hollywood without having to resort to non-sequitors, by seeing the action take place around embittered film critic Jay Sherman.
The first season of the show, aired on ABC in the ‘States, was very entertaining indeed, with writing so tight you didn’t even mind that the endless whine of Jon Lovitz’s voice was assaulting your ears for 22 minutes at a time. For season two, the show was picked up by Fox, where quality subsequently… well, let’s just say you’re best sticking with season one.
Okay, this is a slight cheat on our part, but this is too interesting a video not to include somewhere. In March 1997, Noel relocated the antics of the Crinkley Bottom crew to Manhattan for a week. Why? Because it’s was big bollocks Saturday evening TV, that’s why! Actually, we’d always assumed the point of this was Noel trying to flog the format to American networks, with it acting as a backdoor pilot for an American version, but we can’t find any actual evidence to back that up. It certainly seems that Noel found this episode – along with a subsequent show beamed live from Florida – to the a “daft and embarrassing” waste of time and money.
Was he right? You be the judge. SPOILER: Yes. Yes, he was right. Worth watching now, if only as a fun trip back to how naff telly could be in the mid 1990s. And yes, that is Shatner in that screencap.
David Puddy. Brock Samson. Joe Swanson. The only person to come out of Men In Black 2 with a shred of integrity intact. Whichever role you know him best from, Patrick Warburton is also worth watching here, in cruelly mistreated live action superhero comedy The Tick. The full series is online via Crackle (whatever that is), all nine episodes of it. It’s way better than you’re probably expecting it is.
Hey, speaking of cruelly cancelled American series that are now available to watch in full using Crackle, here’s unconventionally dark and funny NYPD cop show The Unusuals. Including at least four actors who’ll have you muttering “ohhhhh… what else do I know them from?” – GUARANTEED.
Trust him. He knows what he’s doing. We loved this show when we were small, despite having to stay up until Granada Night Time to watch it, and it’s nice to know that it’s still entertaining now we’re old and cynical. David Rasche (latterly seen on In The Loop and Bored To Death) plays the titular Sledge, a sociopathic detective who cares more about his gun than anything else. Here’s the pilot in full. Enjoy.