Friday, April 11

The Trivial Eye: Mad Boys & Girls

by Jason Toon

The period costumes and hairstyles of Mad Men are so perfectly done, and the '60s production design so pervasive, that it's startling to be reminded that the cast members have lives outside the show. And that some of them have the same history of ludicrous hairstyles and inadvisable outfits that the rest of us do. As Mad Men begins its final season (or next-to-final half-season? or whatever) this weekend, can you recognize these eight cast members in their pre-Sterling-Cooper days?

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Thursday, February 13

The Trivial Eye: Hair of the Doctor

by Jason Toon

Different actors, different personas, but most significantly, different hair: so goes the evolution of the character we insist on calling Doctor Who. (We're masochists for outraged, pedantic lectures from geeks.) For a time-traveler, the Doctor sure has followed the hairstyle trends of his time, hasn't he? Keep that in mind as you try to match the hair with the Doctor.

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Wednesday, October 16

The Trivial Eye: Exotic TV Pets

by Jason Toon

On this third day of our Heavy Petting pet week over on Sellout.Woot, let's remember that TV pets aren't all like Lassie, Eddie, or Toonces. Recognize any of these weirder companions that TV characters have cuddled up with?

Answers are here. Please post your guesses, speculations, or arguments below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia.

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Monday, October 07

Watch This First: Skippy Snack Bars commercial, c. 2000

by Jason Toon

I have a confession to make. For roughly the past thirteen years, through all the major moments of my life - my wedding, the birth of my two daughters, that time I saw Hulk Hogan in Las Vegas - my brain has been playing a continuous loop of Rasta elephants toasting and crooning about a mass-market peanut-butter dessert ingot. Now it's your turn.
 

Watch Watch This First first, every weekday morning. Because the best way to start the day is to start it a few minutes later.

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Friday, September 27

Watch This First: CBS's Night Games, 1991

by Jason Toon

What happened when the network of Murder, She Wrote and Jake and the Fatman tried to get sexy? Night Games, that's what, CBS's attempt at a smuttier Love Connection. You don't have to watch all seven minutes of this clip to feel the painful impact of its unbearable smirky humor and deeply regrettable early '90s fashions.

 


Watch Watch This First first, every weekday morning. Because the best way to start the day is to start it a few minutes later.

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Thursday, September 26

Watch This First: Trapper Keeper commercial, 1981

by Jason Toon

There's a lot to love in Mental Floss's excellent history of the Trapper Keeper, but nothing more than the 1981 mini-rom-com that introduced it to prime-time audiences. This Jeffrey kid knows how to make his voice crack to maximum comic effect. He should've been a star.
 


Watch Watch This First first, every weekday morning. Because the best way to start the day is to start it a few minutes later.

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Tuesday, September 24

Watch This First: Walter White on Chemistry

by Jason Toon

As Breaking Bad money-barrels toward its heartbreakingly good conclusion, a lot of us are reflecting on Walter White's long, sad descent. This kinetic typography video (remember those?) does so through Walt's brief monologue about chemistry from the show's very first episode. Change indeed.
 


Watch Watch This First first, every weekday morning. Because the best way to start the day is to start it a few minutes later.

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Tuesday, September 10

 

Monday, September 09

Watch This First: NBC Fall Previews, 1983

by Jason Toon

Most people have always thought most TV was garbage. And they've been mostly right. But if you're under any delusion that TV used to be better, take a look at this promo for some of NBC's fall lineup 30 years ago. It starts with Real People (kind of the Tosh 2.0 of its day); follows the Facts of Life girls to college; and touts the "hit show everybody's talking about" - yes, the immortal We Got It Made. And that's before we even get to the orangutan scientist, the cut-rate An Officer and a Gentleman knockoff, and the sleazy TV movie about a woman who "gives her body to any man who'll pay the price." If you think TV is any better or worse now than in 1983, take note of the last face you see in this video and ask yourself what that guy's been up to lately.
 

 

Watch Watch This First first, every weekday morning. Because the best way to start the day is to start it a few minutes later.

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Friday, August 23

Watch This First: Julia Louis-Dreyfus with The Practical Theater Company, 1982

by Jason Toon

As a former cast member of Saturday Night Live, Julia Louis-Dreyfus should be the Seinfeld star whose skeletons are easiest to pull out of the closet. But NBC is ruthlessly about 86ing SNL clips from YouTube (with one odd mildly NSFW exception), so here's this instead: a TV report from Chicago about three local comic actors who had just hit the big time. The fresh-faced Louis-Dreyfus, her husband Brad Hall, and fellow SNL rookie Gary Kroeger reminded me of the excessively buoyant theater students from my college dorm - so, frankly, it's not the easiest six minutes for me to sit through.
 


That does it for our week-long excursion into Seinfeld prehistory. See the rest of it - and more video coffee beans plucked from the pile of civet droppings that is the Internet - in the Watch This First archive.

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