If I could resurrect one TV series,…

Thanks to Netflix Canada for posting this tweet a few months ago:

I had a discussion a few weeks ago while sitting around the boob tube and posed this very question since it has vexed me for so long.  I wanted to make this into a blog post, but couldn’t nail it down to a single show. Trust me, this was no easy decision.

Then it came to me: Fantasy Island. And before you say anything, no, I am not talking about the one with Ricardo Montalban. I’m talking about the remake done in 1998. This is one of the very few shows that not only did a good job of making a remake, but it surpassed the predecessor, in my humble opinion.

Cast of Fantasy Island (Remake)

What made this one different? The biggest plus? I’ll tell you: Malcolm McDowell as Mr. Rourke. This version on the 1970’s/80’s classic show gave it an edge that I think the show needed. In this version, the wishes have consequences. Not simply that your life would change thusly, but that someone else might lose out because of your actions/inactions. And some of those consequences were pretty dark. It really made you think about the consequences.

The other really cool thing: Malcolm McDowell wears all black, versus Ricardo Montalban’s all-white suit. Simple, but it does set a certain tone.

Unfortunately, this series only lasted 13 episodes. It was even nominated for a Prime-Time Emmy but ABC cancelled it just the same. I even tried to locate a short video to show his version, but I couldn’t find one.

So, in answer to the original question: Bring back the remake of Fantasy Island with the “Dark” Mr. Rourke. But in so stating this answer, it poses more questions:

1. If you were to do this series again, who would you have play Mr. Rourke?

2. If there was a series you’d want to resurrect, what would it be?


Jeremy Piven as Cupid

Jeremy Piven as Cupid

PS: I must give an honorary mention to “Cupid”, a show that was released around the same time as “Fantasy Island” starring Jeremy Piven. That was a great role for him. Big fan of both of these actors so I needed to give props to both of them. Again, tried to find a good video of him delivering my favourite line from the show, but no dice. Will let you know if I find one.


Butlers of the Movies and Television

This is a topic I thought up a few months ago while watching the series “Soap” on Netflix. I asked myself, “Self, who are the best butlers of the screens?” Here’s my list but in no particular order. It was hard to pick just one, so here’s my top 10 butlers:

Top 10 Butlers of the movies and TV

  1. Wadsworth in “Clue” played by Tim Curry – Tim’s portrayal as Wadsworth in this movie adaptation of the board game is very well executed. Quite different from his role as Dr. Frankenfurter in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”!
  2. Alfred in “Batman” (1989) played by Michael Gough, who unfortunately passed away almost one year ago. He plays the role better than any of them I’ve seen, including Michael Caine, who is a great actor, but I just can’t believe him playing a butler.
  3. Benson in “Soap” is the antithesis of the perfect butler. Robert Guillaume coined the phrase: “You want me to get that?” whenever the doorbell rang in the house, as if to imply that it was not part of his duties. The character leaves a few seasons in to accept another position which in actuality is a spinoff series called “Benson”. Benson does return at one point or another to the original series just for continuity. His replacement just didn’t cut it.
  4. Jeeves in “Jeeves and Wooster” played by Stephen Fry. The series is based on a book series of the same name and co-stars Hugh Laurie. Jeeves is the intelligent butler that keeps his charge out of trouble and offers wonderful advice. You must watch this series to truly appreciate it. Fry and Laurie have appeared in numerous movies and series together and their chemistry cannot be duplicated. Absolutely hilarious.
  5. “Mr. Belvedere” stars Christopher Hewett as the main character, an English butler working in an American family home. This sitcom usually found Mr. Belvedere supporting the whole family while being part of it. I wasn’t a really big fan of the show, but this particular character was a great butler.
  6. Arthur Treacher played numerous roles as a butler, including a couple of movies based on the same Jeeves character as in the “Jeeves and Wooster” series noted above. I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen these, but when my mother and I discussed this topic, she gave me this one right away.
  7. Hobson in “Arthur” by Sir John Gielgud was not one of the actor’s typical roles. It was in fact the only role in which he played a butler. This role earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and is really the type of butler I think we’d all like to have. One that does not do just out of duty, but because he cares.
  8. Coleman in “Trading Places” is played by Denholm Elliott alongside Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd in this comedic classic. Poor Coleman is put in a tight spot when his employer, Louis Winthorpe (Ackroyd) is ousted and has to serve his successor, Billy Ray Valentine. He is torn by duty to his employer or the company that pays his cheque. Loveable all the same. Also starring in the movie is Jamie Lee Curtis
  9. Lurch in the “The Addams Family” whether it be the original series starring John Astin as Gomez, or Raul Julia in the newer movies, Lurch is a great butler. Ted Cassidy played Lurch in the TV series and did voices for a number of cartoons after finishing “The Addams Family”.
  10. Richard O’Brien as Riff-Raff in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is… Well, hard to say. But hey, he’s an alien, so… yeah. I had to add him to this list.

Butlers in many cases are the unsung heroes, whether called butlers or man servants. They really do make the movies and TV shows more enjoyable. Tip of the hat to them all.

Rogers Cable Volume Too Low

I have one of those really simple digital boxes from Rogers Cable. (Model: Explorer E940). When I play a DVD through my TV, the volume doesn’t need to be much higher than about 14 out of a range of 0-63 (I don’t know either…just go with it). When I watch anything through Rogers, I almost always have to have it up to the max. So, I decided to do what any technically minded person would do…I Googled it.

I should note that I have already programmed my remote to control my TV’s volume control.

I found a great discussion here: http://forums.redflagdeals.com/archive/index.php/t-752470.html One of the first things it suggests is under the Audio Range in Settings, change it to “Narrow”. Turns out, mine is already there. Still not very good. Further down, it talks about Audio Control = “Fixed”. Turns out mine was set to “Variable” and as soon as I changed it, I had to turn down the volume! Not much mind you, but I noticed a difference right away. It’s not as good as when I watch the DVD, it’s still better than having it all the way up and not being able to hear anything.

So even though the post was almost 2 years old, it was still relevant. Thought this might help some of you out there without Netflix. 😉