Monday, May 15, 2006


My friend John B over at Beggar's Choice recalls an Australian TV show called 'Sex/Life', which was a strange, early 90s union twixt very boring information and advice panel show, and dirty dirty late night porn-fest. It was popular for about as long as it was daring, which, given our human ability to adapt to change and our short modern attention spans, was about twenty minutes. It also had the misfortune of arriving just as the internet, replete with far dirtier and more varied porn, was taking off, which rather swiftly made it redundant.

Still, John makes the point that sometimes a TV show can be huge for a moment, but then utterly vanish off the cultural radar, as if its very existence was just some sort of fever dream. References to certain shows, like 'The A-Team' for instance, are still popping up on 'The Simpsons' or 'The Family Guy'. And yet others have simply gone.

I struggled to think of some examples, and the best I could come up with was 'Beauty & The Beast', a late-80s rose-tinted phenomenon created specifically for middle-aged housewives who weren't getting any. It rode high on its baroque, romantic concept for about half a season... before the atrociously stilted dialogue, complete absence of humour and aimless plot caused it to jump the shark and drain into a high-speed deathspiral.

A bit of googling also reminded me of 'The Scarecrow & Mrs King', which was sort of like 'Desperate Housewives' with spies, only nowhere near as interesting as that concept sounds. It revived, and then promptly killed, the career of Bruce Boxleitner, until it was reincarnated by that bastion of televisual last chances, 'Babylon 5'.

Can anyone suggest any other once-popular 80s or 90s TV shows which have vanished without a cultural trace?


Anonymous Sarah said...

Well, there was "Models Inc". That was a spin-off from "Melrose Place", the spin-off of "Beverly Hills 90210".

It was about the trashy lives of models in LA, notable for one ex-Dallas star and the exceedingly thin Matrix chick Carrie-Anne Moss.

The finale ended with her being sold into white slavery. I guess that's an occupational hazard. I think it even had a "to be continued..." but it never was.

Oo and IMDB reminded me that it had Cameron Daddo in it!

And that search reminded me of another show called "Earth 2". It had Tim Curry - that's why I remember it because I adore him, even though he hasn't done anything decent since that classic, "Muppet Treasure Island".

It was about a group of space people looking for, you'll never guess, another Earth.

Both shows were 1994.

12:34 PM  

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