Classic TV Coming To AOL in Brand New Format (Free Internet TV - In2TV)


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Sweathogs Back In Power

John Travolta will once again banter with the Sweathogs in the TV comedy "Welcome Back Kotter". You know, they're high school wise guys who would rather be funny than learn, but they've got good hearts and great Jersey accents. Mr. Kaaat-tare. . . patiently endures their pranks and tries to guide them with parental fondness.

Travolta went on to greatness and scientology and I think he's nocturnal. He even made his whole family nocturnal too. He was on Leno telling Jay how he and his kids stay up all night and sleep all day. Jay was all, “really, oh wow, sounds great. " I think he was thinking something else though.

I saw the show filmed live once. Afterwards three of us broke from the tourist line when the security guard was zoning about “another day, another dollar, another bunch of star struck losers. " We youngsters bolted for the ABC commissary to mingle and have a tuna sandwich. The commissary was like a school cafeteria complete with lunch ladies and so-so food. There were TV actors around, but no stars, just people you thought you recognized. They probably thought they recognized us, but they didn't. Nobody threw us out, and that's the important thing.

Caine To Kick Butt Again

More to the point, would you like to vicariously vent some rage through the misunderstood immigrant and martial arts expert Kwai Chang Caine? Every “Kung Fu" show had the same formula. In the old west Caine was looking for work but always found prejudice. First of all, I never understood how David Carradine played a Chinese guy. He's not Chinese! (Someone had to say it. ) Anyways he always runs into some nasty drunk cowboys. They call to him with a derogatory drunk attitude, “hey Chinaman! Come over here. What are you doing Chinaman?" He would bow humbly in a Zen like way, “I live. I work. " Well, you knew that was going to set those guys off who naturally had to lay a beating on him, which Caine would humbly accept.

Later though, Caine would find work at some widow woman's ranch fixing fences, and those same cowboys would mess around with the widow woman's daughter. You waited the whole show for this. Finally Caine threw these slobs into the walls and trees and even the fence he just built. The slow motion round house kick always lands before they can get their guns out. - Thank you for reflective measured justice Caine!

300 Shows in Hidden Vaults

You know, there are 300 shows just a good as these two, hiding in the vaults of Warner Brothers Studios. I don't know what a vault is, but it sounds dark and secure and I'm glad I'm not in one. It's probably more of a storage room off to the side. People who work there walked by it once in a while and thought, “we should do something with those old shows one day. " Well, I'm here to announce that those people who thought that are going to get their way! Although probably not any credit. There were supervisors who finally acted and passed the idea up the chain to their supervisors, and so it's the bosses of those people who will actually get the credit. Now take a lesson from that. Don't give your best idea to someone who is going to give it to someone who's going to give it to someone else who will take all the credit. Write a note to the CEO directly. Just make sure it's a really good idea and don't do this too often, so that when you finally do have a great idea, he or she won't start thinking, “Oh, great, another “great idea" from so an so, I'll just put this with the others in the vault. "

A Revolutionary Step Forward in Online Videos

Time/Warner has paired it's two kids together, AOL, and Warner Brothers to broadcast some 300 former shows with thousands of episodes on AOL's Streaming Video On-Demand Internet service whether they want to or not. It's going to be called, "In2TV" and it will begin in early 2006. Everything else in this article is fluff, albeit somewhat entertaining funny fluff.

The streaming video's will be offered free in a DVD quality video format called AOL Hi-Q which purports to be full-screen and high-resolution. A few patch cords from your PC to a TV, and a pair of bell bottoms and you'll feel like you're back in the 1970's.

Billions Able To Catch Up

Ok, you may not be getting hot flashes over this but many Americans have never seen these shows. And there are also 6.4 billion people in the world and you're not an adequate statistical sample of them all. Granted, only 1 out 4 knows English. But that's still 1.6 billion people who could come on AOL and start catching up with what they've missed so far.

The new shows will add to the large amount of free video content already available on AOL including news, comedy, music, and educational programming. Truthfully, I didn't even know AOL had video footage. I just thought they were going to continue losing a couple million customers per year until they didn't have any more left. But then came the video idea! They're hoping that lots of money will be generated by selling 2 minutes of commercial time for each half hour show, rather than the usual 8 minutes of commercials we now get on our real shows. My only hope is that they get a lot of advertisers who have cool commercials, because right now you have to watch Crest Whitestrip Ads over and over and there's not a lot of interesting drama you can add to that. Unless they hired me. I would have two al-Queda detainees with yellow teeth escape from Gitmo. The CIA puts out photos of them with the yellow teeth, which I would make extra yellow for effect. One terrorist uses Crest Whitestrips and fools the border guards while the other gets caught and is sent right back to Gitmo, with garlic chicken, safron rice and veggies. What happened to the escaped terrorist? I don't know, I haven't thought it out that far. Perhaps he drives a truck bomb into Walmart and destroys the Crest Whitestrip display. Anyways, you would not soon forget Crest Whitestrips after that commercial.

Le Femme Nikita Proves Torture Works

You've also got the very addictive counter terrorism thriller, Le Femme Nikita, which used to be on USA in the late 90's. Beautiful Nikita was in the wrong place, wrong time, with the wrong drug habit and wound up on death-row where the government recruited her into their top secret Section 1 Counter Terrorism unit. These agents are not afraid to go ‘off road’ if you catch my meaning. Nikita was half innocent, half she-killer and we all learn with her that torture definitely works, every time. Because if you lie they will find out and torture you worse, and it already was pretty bad. Two “torture specialists" come into the cell with lab coats, a briefcase and no discernable emotions. When the prisoner is seen later, they had little slits under their eyes, not much life force, and had told them everything. This show had an extremely loyal fan base. By the way, they have all gone over to watch Kiefer Sutherland in the extra addictive"24" on Fox who also proves each week that torture works. Interestingly, Alberta Watson who was a spy supervisor in Nikita, was also a spy supervisor in the first season of "24". I guess she was helping the new show get going with torturing genocidal maniacs until they could do it on their own. Peta Wilson is on to other things with thousands of websites drooling over her every move

Growing Pains. . . So Cute

Also there is a whole pre-teen generation around the English speaking world who have never seen "Growing Pains" with former teen idol Kirk Cameron and a very young Leonardo DiCaprio who arrived near the end of the series in 1991. Cute show. Many parents will allow some of this kinder and gentler fare into the home who won't give the kids the keys to the MTV. Even though we're too hip now and might see it as corny, there are millions of young teen girls who find a show like this a safe harbor from the sex and cynicism served up raw on TV today. But be warned, there are no drunk naked kids cursing and crying over other drunk naked kids who cheated on them with a third group of drunk naked kids, jumping into swimming pools living the “real life". Just funny laughs and life lessons.

AOL Might Survive Afterall

AOL is taking another giant step in normalizing the vast potential of the Internet as a family television delivery vehicle. “Visitors will be able to program their own personal network, making it a TV lover’s dream come true. ” said Eric Frankel, President of Warner Bros Domestic Cable Distribution.

Who knows, maybe the latest bet-the-company-strategy might just save America Online.

Rick David writes a humor column complete with called “Don't Laugh It Could Happen To You" for Merchant

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