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David Poland

By David Poland

Right Back Where We Started From

So, The Family Stone ad campaign has made this Maxine Nightengale classic into Sarah Jessica Parker’s theme song of the moment.
So is ABC using the hearing-it-all-the-time-on-TV-lately song in the promo for Emily’s Reasons Why Not to associate their TV show with Sex & The City in a rather bizzare chain of promotion?

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65 Responses to “Right Back Where We Started From”

  1. Wrecktum says:

    I thought Emily’s Reasons Why Not was using a Diddy Bops song in its promos. Maybe I misheard.
    Heather Graham continues to be hot, BTW.

  2. Joe Leydon says:

    Oddly enough, the same song also was used way back in…. “Slap Shot.”

  3. Josh says:

    Heather Graham is smoking. But ABC has no track record with sitcoms.

  4. Wrecktum says:

    You mean like Roseanne, Happy Days, Three’s Company, Laverne & Shirley, Perfect Strangers, Full House and Home Improvement?

  5. Josh says:

    Oh yeah. That’s a great track record.
    If it was 1984.

  6. LesterFreed says:

    No one thinks “Freddy” or “George Lopez” or “Jake in Progress” or “Hope & Faith” are good???
    Me either. I didn’t even want to list Damon Wayans crapcom.

  7. Wrecktum says:

    How about:
    The Addams Family
    The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet
    Barney Miller
    The Brady Bunch
    Diff’rent Strokes
    The Donna Reed Show
    The Drew Carey Show
    The Flintstones
    Growing Pains
    Leave It to Beaver
    Make Room for Daddy
    McHale’s Navy
    The Monkees
    Mork & Mindy
    Mr. Belvedere
    My Three Sons
    The Odd Couple
    The Partridge Family
    The Patty Duke Show
    Police Squad!
    Welcome Back, Kotter
    What’s Happening!!
    Who’s the Boss?
    The Wonder Years
    In other words, ABC has almost always been about the sitcom. That’s pretty much what’s sustained it over the past 50 years. When interest in sitcoms goes south (like it has in the past few years), so, traditionally, has the fortunes of ABC.
    The fact that the network is thriving at a time when the sitcom has fallen out of favor is actually pretty cool.

  8. Melquiades says:

    Speaking of The Family Stone, I have to register a complaint with Mr. Poland. I went it with very high expectations (based on his unqualified rave, including comparisons to Say Anything and The Big Chill) and was very disappointed. It’s funny, touching in parts and has some great performances from a top-notch cast, but the script…

  9. Josh says:

    Like I said.
    A good track record. In 1984.
    The last sitcom success they’ve had was Home Improvement and that went on the air in 1991.
    So, I really don’t see your point. If you’re going to argue about ABC’s place in history, you have a good argument. That’s acceptable. But you can’t argue track record when they haven’t had ONE success in 15 years. Not one. This is a network that put “Who wants to be a millionaire?” on 6 nights a week because they didn’t have any sitcoms.

  10. Rufus Masters says:

    ABC thriving?
    If you count having two successful shows as thriving. Lost and Desperate Housewives. Basically carrying a whole network on it’s back.

  11. James Leer says:

    To be fair, networks switch out executives as frequently as a normal person changes his underwear. So it’s hard to hold them to the sins their predecessors committed.
    And ABC does have “Grey’s Anatomy,” too, which is a big hit.

  12. Wrecktum says:

    “But you can’t argue track record when they haven’t had ONE success in 15 years.”
    That takes us back to 1990. The network hasn’t had one hit since 1990? Don’t tell that to Tim Allen or Roseanne. Or to Regis, whose show led ABC to #1 in 1999.
    Hey, I’m not an ABC shill. I’m just pointing out that the original statement “ABC has no track record with sitcoms” which is a lie.

  13. Melquiades says:

    Commander in Chief has been a success as well. But no sitcoms.

  14. Mark Ziegler says:

    It seems you are doing some shilling for ABC. Roseanne came out in 1988 by the way. How are they relevant to today?
    It’s like someone defending NBC’s sitcoms and pulling out Cosby and Cheers.

  15. Josh says:

    You’re defintion of track record is all time apparently. Mine is say the last 15 years. Huge difference there. And considering they’ve probably had 5 different regimes in the past 20 years, I’ll go with the 15 years.
    I can’t believe someone pulled out The Monkees and My Three Sons when defending the new sitcoms being put out by ABC. You got to be shitting me.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    …and you guys say I have a problem with arguing and not sticking to movies?

  17. PandaBear says:

    The only problem people seem to have with you, jeffmcm, is that you’re annoying.
    Other than that I think you made a lot of Christmas lists this year.
    Perfect Strangers as one of the great sitcoms of ABC? Now that’s exhibit A. Balki!

  18. jeffmcm says:

    Panda, I think that was a nice thing you said (line 2)…what gives?

  19. joefitz84 says:

    ABC is doing well with the one hour drama’s. Sitcoms? Not exactly it’s cup of tea right now. But in fairness to them, no network is.

  20. Wrecktum says:

    “I can’t believe someone pulled out The Monkees and My Three Sons when defending the new sitcoms being put out by ABC.”
    No one said anything about *new* sitcoms. The original statement was “ABC has no track record with sitcoms.” Not “ABC has no recent track record with sitcoms.” If that had been the original comment, the logical response to that would have been, “True. But CBS and NBC haven’t had a lot of luck either.” It’s not my fault that the original comment was unclear. I was just responding to what was written.
    But I guess none of this has much to do with The Family Stone, does it?

  21. Angelus21 says:

    I, for one, didn’t think track record meant “My Three Sons”. You might be the only one who even knew it was on ABC. They make crappy sitcoms. Everyone knows it. They’re biggest hit in the past few years has been “According to Jim”. And if you can find me one person who can tell me the lead characters complete name, I got a shiny prize waiting for you.
    On the bright side they are having a nice few years of quality dramas.

  22. jeffmcm says:

    Wrecktum, don’t get too upset when your logic and coherence gets ignored so that people can make rambling, pointless statements. It’s part of the territory.
    Emily’s Reasons Why Not to do what, anyway? Heather Graham is attractive, but not a very good actress.

  23. Josh says:

    I guess Jeff agrees that ABC is the King of the sitcom. Run now, Wrecktum, now that Jeff is on your side. It can’t end good for you. His incoherence and arguing over nothing will be the end of you.

  24. Rufus Masters says:

    When someone says “track record” to you, do you go back 60 years? If you do I can see why you are vigorously defending that stance of yours.
    But you do seem to know what it means which is why I can’t understand why you are being the way you are.
    It’s like someone saying the Orioles haven’t had a good track record of developing their own ballplayers. And Wrecktum shooting back at you “Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson”

  25. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t give a shit about ABC. All I know is, if you’re going to argue, argue about specifics and not vague generalizations.

  26. joefitz84 says:

    I know you can’t let a good argument go without getting involved Jeffrey but what is your point?

  27. jeffmcm says:

    My point is, you/Josh are as guilty of constantly arguing as anyone. If your point is that Wrecktum knew what ‘track record’ means, than say that and walk away.

  28. Wrecktum says:

    “When someone says ‘track record’ to you, do you go back 60 years? If you do I can see why you are vigorously defending that stance of yours.”
    Let’s just say, yes, that’s how I define track record. And, barring any evidence otherwise, I’m sticking to that.
    Anyway, back to The Family Stone….

  29. jeffmcm says:

    The entire cast looks good except that I don’t like Sarah Jessica Parker. Also the director and DP seem to have made extra effort to make her look bad in the trailers.

  30. Sanchez says:

    It’s getting middling reviews. The type that’s all over a map which means you have to see it for yourself.
    Damn critics.

  31. Josh says:

    To each his own. But I don’t think you can look back 50 so years talking about the medium of television and using that in your argument. Even still I’ll venture to say that there last 25 years has been terrible for ABC. Except “Who’s the Boss”.
    On the Family Stone: I got a feeling that SJP is a small screen star and not a big screen star. Which isn’t a bad thing. But I think she can dominate on tv.

  32. Wrecktum says:

    Got it. We just see things from different angles.
    ABC in the past 25 years has given us Moonlighting, Twin Peaks and Lost, three of my top, top favorite shows, so I don’t think I’d call it “terrible” myself. But to each his own.

  33. martin says:

    heather graham is doable, but in a “i’d have to be a little drunk” kind of way.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    I wouldn’t need to be drunk for that, but definitely in order to have a conversation with her.

  35. Angelus21 says:

    You would have to be drunk to sleep with Heather Graham? Are you a woman or are you homosexual?

  36. martin says:


  37. David Poland says:

    Martin wins!!!
    P.S. You guys really can fight about anything, can’t you?
    P.S.S. Please stop baiting J-Mac. He can get ornery when he chooses to without any extra help, thanks.

  38. David Poland says:

    Sorry you were dissapointed, Mel. That is a problem with getting hyped-up about something and I would love to figure out how to avoid it and still push something I really like.
    I do hate the ads, but they did open the movie pretty successfully. Fox is now hoping for more than $50 million after strong exit polling.

  39. Crow T Robot says:

    “Drunk.” LOL.
    I’d like to be gay (or female) for an hour. Just to know what it feels like to NOT want to do bad things to women like Miss Roller Girl.
    To see a perfect specimen like her walk down the street and think with all honesty, “Man, those are some nice shoes. I wonder how much they cost?”
    (Not, uh, that there’s anything wrong with that)

  40. Melquiades says:

    I understand, Dave. I have the same problem when trumpeting movies I love.
    Did you ever write a proper review of the movie? I poked around but couldn’t find one. Specifically, I’d like to know what you think of the Claire Danes character and plot developments involving her (trying not to give too much away here, though the trailer does a pretty good job on that front.)
    Also, did you have a problem with the brother who was gay… and part of an interracial couple… and deaf… and an Eskimo…? OK, maybe he wasn’t an Eskimno.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    Hey Dave, has your horrible movie come out yet? I just want to keep it alive so nobody forgets about it. Still pulling for your bile-filled review to come out on Dec. 23 when a certain Rob Reiner movie comes out…

  42. Melquiades says:

    I’m guessing it’s Fun with Dick and Jane.

  43. Goulet says:

    I recently had a conversation with Miss Graham, and I didn’t need to be drunk. Didn’t do her, alas…

  44. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw Rumor Has It tonight. It is a train wreck. Really awful movie. But, good ol’ Shirley has a few great lines, and I can still imagine Fun With Dick & Jane being worse.

  45. Stella's Boy says:

    Oh, I also hated The Family Stone. Really, really hated it. Some of the least believable romantic pairings I have ever seen in a movie, and not all that funny. Pretty damn predictable as well. A big letdown.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    I just saw The Family Stone tonight. I really liked it. Yeah, maybe a couple of romantic pairings were weird, but as a whole a very funny movie and to me, genuinely heartwarming.

  47. James Leer says:

    It might have sat better with me if they didn’t push the Dermot/Claire thing so hard. It just made Dermot’s character seem sleazy. Though I did like the film for the most part.

  48. bicycle bob says:

    rumor has it looks really bad. the commercials might be worse than the dick and jane ones. u can just tell that the studio has no clue on how to sell that movie by the way. from action to comedy to family. they’re all over the map on how to market it.

  49. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Don’t forget that ABC also has that new “Commander In Chief” or whatever. I think IMDb news (lol@them) says that show’s a hit.
    It’s NBC thats the dogs breakfast right now.

  50. Terence D says:

    NBC hasn’t been the same since Seinfeld left.

  51. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: “The Monkees” aired on NBC, not ABC. On Monday nights. For two seasons. And yes, I was a faithful viewer.

  52. Wrecktum says:

    I confuse my A’s with my N’s.

  53. Joe Leydon says:

    Also:”Diff’rent Strokes” was on NBC.
    On the other hand: ABC had “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster.”

  54. Cadavra says:

    It’s a terrible show, but ACCORDING TO JIM has been a Top 20 hit for several years now.

  55. Josh says:

    And do you know of anyone who has actually SEEN it???

  56. LesterFreed says:

    10 years ago Courtney Thorne Smith was on Melrose Place and on top of the world. Did she ever think she’d be doing a family sitcom with Jim Belushi 10 years later?

  57. Joe Leydon says:

    Actually, you have to wonder if, 15 years ago, Belushi thought HE would ever be doing a sitcom.
    Of course: If JOHN Belsuhi had lived — maybe he would have wound up doing a sitcom, too. Sometimes death is a good career move. Otherwise, James Dean might have wound up as the second lead in a TV cop show. And Marilyn Monroe would have been the resident aging vixen on some ’80s prime-time opera.

  58. Wrecktum says:

    Diff’rent Strokes moved to ABC in its last few years. Like when Taxi moved from ABC to NBC, but opposite.

  59. joefitz84 says:

    It is interesting to think about what stars who died young would have done later in their careers. Or might they have been better off, well their legacy’s, by dying young. Like Dean. Like Monroe. Belushi. Much easier for the man, like Dean, to age graceful. And with all his talent he would have been fine. Even Brando turned out alright. But Monroe went out on top. She is the sex symbol of the 20th century. But at the time she died she was behind Liz Taylor. Now that we get to see someone like Taylor as an old drunkard it takes away from her beauty and her great talent. Monroe might have turned out like that and dimmed in the publics eye.

  60. Richard Nash says:

    They could have also turned out great work and added to their legacy. I never want to see people die young to preserve something that marketers deem essential. Dean is immortalized but he could have been even greater. Think of what we missed from his dying young. Maybe he had 10 more great performances left. I’d rather take that chance than see his picture walking down a street with a cigarette in his mouth.

  61. Josh says:

    James Dean as Vito Corleone???

  62. Joe Leydon says:

    But, on the other hand: Dean in the next Uwe Boll production?

  63. Lota says:

    just saw Family Stone.
    largely agree with Stella’s girl on it. I think however the implausible/poorly fit and UnHot pairings in FS are unfortunately true to life–too many people together for utilitarian reasons or just boredom.
    and as far as sitcoms go, I thought CBS did it best in the 70s-early 80s. Would really love to see more shows in the All in the Family/Jeffersons vein or a Dave Chapelle for prime time (he’d have to clean up a little). He could do a Wayne Brady Presents show or something.

  64. Joe Leydon says:

    Lota: The older I get, the more I am convinced that many people stay together only because, deep down, they fear no one else would ever have them, so they stay in a bad (or at least unfulfilling) relationship. Never mind that these may be very attractive people: Self-esteem (or the lack thereof) has everything to do with it. And that, unfortunately, is an aspect of human nature that is hard to persuasively dramatize in a movie.

  65. Chucky in Jersey says:

    With a movie called “The Family Stone” I half-expected to hear “Dance to the Music” in the trailer.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

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