I would like to take this opportunity to shoulder a bit of the blame hurled around in the current Battle of the Generations. Whatever my assigned generational designation might be (“X”), I know for certain one egregious sin that we all committed willfully, en masse.
Do you know what a “cold open” is? Sure you do. Every current sitcom you watch uses it. It’s when the show just begins, no fanfare, no opening titles. Right into the action, because the producers know you’ll change the channel if you have to sit through 30 seconds of the same music every week.
Congrats! You’ve done exactly what was expected of you, and nothing more.
“Cold opens” are like “cold sores”. They spread easily. Saturday Night Live has done cold opens since before you were born. You’re used to it in sitcoms. Hell, you were getting tired of the “typical sitcom theme”, anyway.
In the latter half of the 1980s, just about every teenage guy wanted to be Michael J. Fox.
Kari Michaelson AND Nancy McKeon- ROWR!
He had indomitable charisma. He had charm. He even made voice-cracking kind of cool. He was likable yuppie Alex P. Keaton on NBC’s sitcom Family Ties, and spastic teen time-traveler Marty McFly in the Back To The Future trilogy of movies.
Then in 1991, after Brian DePalma’s Casualties Of War, Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s Disease. Continue reading →