Moonlighting Creator Glenn Gordon Caron Interview

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Somehow the creator of Moonlighting & Medium Glenn Gordon Caron agreed to be interviewed by me, Scott Ryan. This was a dream come true for me as Glenn inspired me to start making movies when I was 17 years old. To get to talk to him was an honor and a remarkable highlight for me. So enjoy a 50 minute conversation with Glenn as we discuss his new FX Show, Tyrant as well as Medium with Boyhood’s Patricia Arquette.

The focus though is on the Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd 1985 Moonlighting series. He also answers a Billy Joel question that I have wondered my entire life: How did Billy Joel’s Big Man On Mulberry Street end up on the show? You will love the story and answer to that one.  I thank Glenn so much for taking the time to speak with me and I hope we can get a few more Moonlighting producers to help turn the Red Room to a Blue Moon.  Enjoy.

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The End of Dave: part 1

91169_00001We are down to the count of when Letterman will leave television. May 20th is approaching like a freight train to the fans of Dave. I am one of those fans. I am old enough to have watched all of his CBS reign and a good portion of his NBC reign. In fact, I am old enough to remember the retirement of Johnny Carson. The last month of the Carson era was something that television does best. A long, slow tribute to a great career. The guest list during that final month of Carson was unbelievable. Huge stars would line up night after night to pay tribute to the King of Late Night. The culmination was the second to last Tonight Show when Robin Williams made us laugh and Bette Midler made us cry.

Letterman is not big on sentiment. He is stoically slipping away from us. But the producers are doing what they can to match the final run on Carson. This was the first week that they stacked the guest list.  Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Sedaris, Michael J. Fox, Alec Baldwin.  All guests that have killed over the Letterman years.  Some have risen to the occasion.  Sarah Jessica’s heart felt tribute was honest and real. Amy Sedaris’ mix of zany and honest love is just what we have come to expect from her over 30 appearances. Other’s have not really known what to do. Somehow Kevin James slipped in this week to promote his stupid Mall movie. Lets leave the promo appearances for one of the Jimmy’s. The truth is that we really don’t have the stable of truly talented people in show business like we did in 1992.  They don’t understand the idea of the talk show performance. That is quite different than the talk show appearance. Twenty years of Leno on top has taken its toll on what people think they are on a talk show to do.  And what was left Fallon (who I like) has totally removed the idea of talking at all.

Where The Late Show is topping the final month of Carson is with the music performances. Dave loves music in a way that only true music fans can understand.  This week you can tell he is picking the acts. They aren’t showing up to sing their latest God awful single, they are singing songs Dave likes. Tracey Chapman’s Stand By Me was so moving.  Mostly because before she sang it, Dave let us know this was the song he sang to his son when he was a toddler.  Dave doesn’t share those stories, he is not Kathy Lee.  But you could tell the song moved him. John Mayer did a FULL version of American Pie with the band. When is the last time someone got to sing a 5-6 minute song on Late Night television, when it wasn’t a lip synch game. The director kept cutting to the audience during the chorus (bye, bye Miss American…) and not once did anyone stand up and sing.  They were hoping for a rock concert, but today’s audiences are just as trained to mediocrity as today’s producers are. Billy Chrystal performed one of his Marc Shaiman written comic songs that was funny and a fitting tribute. The music part of Dave has always been great. Paul Shaffer is a musical genius and the best band leader television has ever seen.

I believe that David Letterman’s retirement marks the end of television. What we will be left with is a streaming industry not a television industry. Dave will be the last television star that there ever was. You do not have to be a broadcaster to fill a 6 second Vine, a 140 character tweet or a 2 minute You Tube Video. I knew that watching Dave leave would be tough for me. He is my TV friend. His intelligence and respect for the audience will never  be replaced. You can’t trend respect. Respect doesn’t go viral. Having John Mayer sing “this is the day the music died” is appropriate. What Dave, Paul and the producers have done for music can never be over stated. What Dave has done for television will slip away and most likely forgotten and replaced by a clip of Jimmy Fallon playing Blind Folded Sudoko with Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. But what Dave has done for me will stay with me forever. I hope over the next four weeks more celebrities take the time to express that. Not just for themselves but for those of us who can’t. Pay respect to the final King.

Scott Ryan is the co-host of The Red Room Podcast and the author of the comedy book: Scott Luck Stories

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91 Better Call Saul Season 1 Review

91We discuss The entire Season 1 of Better Call Saul in episode 91 of The Red Room Podcast. We talk about our initial expectations of Vince Gilligan’s new show staring Bob Odenkirk. We ask Where are the Female characters, compare it to Breaking Bad, and talk about the directing. This covers the entire first season of the AMC show, Better Call Saul.

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Happy 25th Anniversary: Lynch quits is your present?

What a year it has been for Twin Peaks fans.  When Laura Palmer told us that she would see us again in 25 years, we didn’t know how true she was.  We freaking got the deleted scenes!  We got the series on Blu-Ray!  We got all the Palmer’s being interviewed by David Lynch.  We got the news that the music would be released on vinyl records.  We got the shocking news that the show was returning to television.  Then we got BOBBED.  David Lynch packed up his toys and went home.

On Easter Sunday as we were all holding our year’s worth of chocolate bunnies in our hand, David Lynch came along and took them away from us.  Yes, you got it.  I am about to be critical of our hero, David Lynch.  I know right now it is popular to pile on Showtime, but I am not sure that is where the blame should be.  Let’s go through how the story unfolded.

I found out the news from Kimmy (Lucy) Roberts’ Facebook page.  She posted: Dear Showtime….I hope you’re happy. P.S. you really really suck.  At first I also thought Showtime sucked.  Give Lynch what he wants.  The reason we were all happy about the return of Twin Peaks was because it had the support of Lynch and Mark Frost.  Not just their support, but they were writing it and Lynch was directing it. On Easter Sunday Lynch let us know that the second coming was not going to happen.  On his Facebook page he posted: Dear Facebook Friends, Showtime did not pull the plug on Twin Peaks. After 1 year and 4 months of negotiations, I left because not enough money was offered to do the script the way I felt it needed to be done. This weekend I started to call actors to let them know I would not be directing. Twin Peaks may still be very much alive at Showtime. I love the world of Twin Peaks and wish things could have worked out differently.

Immediately everyone wanted to boycott Showtime.  They wanted to force them to give in to Lynch’s demands.  Slowly news leaked out that he was trying to get a bigger budget to film the show as he felt it needed to be done.  That is fair.  But I am not sure that using our hearts to get it is the right way to go.  We have stuck with Twin Peaks for 25 years now.  We have bought the series in at least 5 different formats.  We bought every piece of music composed for the show.  We bought posters, went to conventions and supported every book and movie Lynch ever put out.  I bet even some of you sat through Inland Empire.  Lynch owes us.  And remember, it was him who told us it was coming back.  It is not like we as fans did a letter writing campaign to Showtime and now Lynch won’t join.  Lynch said, it is coming back and I am directing it.

From the get go when this story mildly broke a month ago, I thought Lynch was using social media to increase his budget.  I think that is a fine thing to do.  Why not give a little teaser to get fans to tweet for him.  This is more than that, this is quitting.  I can’t get behind that.  He is a leader of a company.  The actors need to work.  This is going to be huge for some actors who haven’t been in the forefront of the entrainment industry in 25 years.  I think it is time for Lynch to compromise.  Not his integrity, he made Eraserhead on a budget of three dollars and forty-five cents and we all own it and love it and study it.  Money does not make a great movie.  The major comic book movies prove that every summer.  Story does.  Compromise does.  Art does.  Mark Frost does.

Along time ago I said that I felt Mark Frost was just as important to Twin Peaks as Lynch.  His silence is once again the loudest scream of the last 25 years.  Frost has not tweeted a tweet.  It makes me  hope that this is all a ploy that Lynch has designed to use our love for their creation to get more money.  That is a harsh thought, but I think it might be true.  The Twin Peaks revival will be better if Lynch directs every episode.  But I don’t think the Twin Peaks revival will be better just because it has double the money to spend on each episode.  I am pretty sure the budget that created Homeland and Dexter can tell the story of a missing FBI agent.

My sincere hope is that in a week this BOB nightmare will end.  Lynch will say Showtime caved and he will bring all his lighting and equipment back to the play ground.  If not, I will happily go on loving the show that I have loved for 25 years.  I love episode 16 directed by Tim Hunter.  Leland’s death scene is one of the best scenes in the series.  I love episode 7 directed by Mark Frost.  Jacoby’s heart attack is filmed with grace and style.  Another director can film Twin Peaks.  Let us not forget the scripts co-written  by Lynch have been turned in.  It is not like this won’t be Lynch’s Twin Peaks.  I think Lynch might have seen the amount of work in front of him and got queazy.  It would be the most work he has ever taken on in a career where he has not directed that many hours of anything, comparatively.

So if you are still with me, I want to wish you a happy 25.  Its the fans that have kept Twin Peaks alive for 25 years.  My love for it is still strong.  My love for Mark Frost is higher than ever, as I await his novel about Twin Peaks.  My love for Lynch is still there.  But if he allows Twin Peaks to come back without him at the helm of AT LEAST the first episode, it will not be a corporation that I blame for that decision.  It will be Lynch.  This decision he is about to make will be his legacy.  Of course, I will always respect and admire the man that filmed the best pilot ever placed on television 25 years ago today.  It is just when I think of Lynch he will just be a little bit more Windom Earle to me and a little less Agent Cooper.

Scott Ryan is the co-host of The Red Room Podcast and the author of the comedy book: Scott Luck Stories

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90 David Lynch: No Time For Showtime

90 podcast_edited-1Brad Dukes of Reflections, Matt Humphrey of Twin Peaks Podcast discuss the news that David Lynch walks away from Showtime and says he will not direct the series. We do a short talk about the latest trouble caused by BOB?  You can also read Scott’s Blog on the topic.

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Here is a blog from Scott on this topic

Podcast 89: X-Files returns! Kimmy Schmidt, Better Call Saul

89 Podcast_edited-1Episode 89 is posted. We discuss the big new of The X Files returning, We take on NBC for the decision to NOT air Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Netflix’s decision to air it.  We touch on Better Call Saul’s season so far. Discuss Hannibal, Bloodline and How To Get Away With murder and how each show use’s Flash backs.  And we discuss the end of Downton Abbey.  Listen to it all with no spoilers.

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Moonlighting Monday: Episode Countdown

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As March comes to a close, so does our tribute to the best show from the 80’s: Moonlighting.  I asked all the Moonies out in internet land to send me their top 10 list of episodes.  They responded faster than Herbert Viola heading for a fresh cup of coffee.  I complied the list and count them down below.  I discuss the top 10 episodes and list the remaining 5 episodes just for your information.  Over 30 different episodes were voted for.  That means that everyone loves almost half of the episodes. The votes were really spread around all but the top 2 episodes.  They not only had the highest vote total, but also made the most lists being voted on by over half of the entries.  I agree with most of the list, even if it isn’t quite what I would have picked for me.  That is what made the list so much fun for me, to see what you guys think.  Here is your top list of Moonlighting episodes.

1. Maddie’s Turn To Cry

The episode that fans like the best is the one where Maddie finally admits her feelings.  The triangle of Dave, Maddie and Sam is one for the ages.  Here is a lesson to TV producers of today, don’t let a triangle last for a season, this happens in 4 episodes and moves are characters in a major way.  This episode has it all: Emotion, a kiss and a great chase scene.  No use crying over split milk…

2. The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice

moonThe second best episode, according to the Red Room Followers, has two sides.  Maddie’s version and Dave’s version.  If that doesn’t sum up the show, nothing can.  This black and white episode was an amazing idea back in the 80’s.  It has more jokes in it than an episode of The Simpsons, but it is remembered as being the first time we see the character’s kiss, even if it is just a dream.

3. Witness for the Execution

This is the first time they REALLY kiss.  A good bye kiss for the ages.  Here we take a great case and the sparks fly as Dave is framed for murder.  I am not surprised by this entry.  I remember being so excited the first time I watched this back when it aired.  Great pick.

4. The Son Also Rises

The writers always knew how to end and open a season on Moonlighting.  It is fun to see the characters come back from “summer vacation.”  But the fun doesn’t last long when Dave’s father comes to town with a new love interest.  This episode gave Bruce Willis a chance to show off his acting chops.  If you forget the twist at the end of the episode, I won’t spoil it here.  But its the kind of choice the writers made that is the exact reason we still love this episode.

5. I am Curious…Maddie

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You may remember Be My Baby as the song from Dirty Dancing.  But Moonlighting fans remember it from this episode.  They finally consummate their relationship.  There are no rose’s here.  There are no happy words of love.  That is for other couples.  Dave and Maddie finally do it in the only way they could…with lots of broken objects and a classic 60’s pop song playing.

6. Atomic Shakespeare

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Creativity on this show was a norm; the Shakespeare episode takes it to a new height.  At the time it was a the most expensive hour of TV ever produced.  It was worth it.  Whenever they could put the characters we love in an outside situation the show soared.  I have seen this episode a million times and I still pick up on subtle jokes that are in here.

7. A Womb With A View

sunny

My favorite episode came in kinda low, but that is OK.  It at least made the list.  The music, the acting, the story.  This is not a normal episode, but the sentiment in it is beautiful…and sad.  Isn’t that the show?  You may disagree with the way the episode ends but it was truly best for the show.

8. Atlas Belched

Would anyone understand what a rolodex is anymore?  I suppose they should play this episode with a disclaimer that losing your boss’s rolodex is like losing his iPhone.  This episode has a great Dave and Maddie fight and the best line ever:  To the dump.  To the Dump, To the Dump, Dump, Dump.

9. My Fair David

Limbo

I have to say, I am surprised this episode doesn’t rank a bit higher.  The Limbo scene is one of the show’s most memorable scenes.  The idea that Maddie would want Dave to change and then be sad when he does is a great story.  Part of what makes them work as a couple is the fact that they want each other to change but wouldn’t love each other if they did.  Bonus points for the line: “You De-Daved Him.”  We love you, Ms. Dipesto.

10. Symphony In Knocked Flat

Dave and Maddie go on a date.  Why would they think this would go well?  There is nothing more fun and heart breaking than watching Dave try to give Maddie what she wants.  What I remember the most about this episode is that it annoyed my father when this episode ends with a super silly scene.  It was exactly what I loved about the show.  There was enough serious detective shows on, let’s have a little fun and who cares how the case turns out?

That is the top 10.  I like the list (would have liked to see Big Man make the list but it is on the remaining 5)  Here is the rest of the top 15, all great episodes:

11. The Pilot

12. Maddie Hayes Got Married

13. Big Man On Mulberry St

14. To Heiress Human

15. Blond On Blonde

Thanks for another Moonlighting Monday.  Listen to my interview with the creator of Moonlighting, Glenn Gordon Caron.

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