The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

15 Jan
Eric Greenberg

Surviving the Strike

written by Eric Greenberg in Blog | 2 comments

WGA Strike

OK. Nobody panic, but in case you didn’t notice, there were no previews for upcoming shows at the end of last Wednesday’s episode of “Gossip Girl.” This leads to two questions. 1.) Are we finally at the point where the WGA strike has turned from a news headline into something that actually affects us as viewers? 2) Do I really want to admit in writing that I’m hooked on the aforementioned CW series like a teenage girl?

We all hoped there’d be a resolution before the well ran dry, but here we are at the end of the line. “30 Rock”: Done. “The Office”: Done. “How I Met Your Mother”: Done. Now I’m clinging to the last few episodes of “Friday Night Lights” for dear life. You can check out this TV Guide Link to determine the severity of your personal viewing situation, but there’s no doubt the outlook is bleak. At this point, the only thing left to do is figure out how to pass the time until next season.

Let me remind you friends, that before television, there was another medium called literature. The original art of storytelling. The medium that requires a little effort and your endless imagination. Why not take this opportunity to go to your local library and re-discover the wonders of reading a good book? OK. Enough horsing around. Here’s the real plan…

Take this opportunity to catch up on some of the great TV shows you’ve never seen before. I watch a lot of television and there are still plenty of classics I’ve missed. Right now I have “St. Elsewhere” sitting in my DVD player. Heck of a cast. Now it’s your turn to start playing catch up. Dig up some old favorites, or better yet, put that Netflix account to work and discover some “should have been” classics that you’ve never even heard of. Then share them with the rest of us. Yes, together we can help each other through these trying times.

Now let me help you get started with five personal recommendations that you may have missed:

“Freaks and Geeks”: With surprise hits like “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Superbad,” writer/director Judd Apatow is box office gold these days. Back in 1999 though, he produced quite possibly the best high school series of all time-and it didn’t even last a full season.

“Undeclared”: Judd Apatow’s follow up series did for college what “Freaks and Geeks” did for high school. “Undeclared” is a realistic look at the best four years of your life with lots of laughs and lots of heart. I wish I could call it a one season wonder, but again, it didn’t even make it that long. Like “Freaks and Geeks,” the DVD set has enough bonus features to get you through the strike.

“Extras”: This one didn’t get the axe, but still went out after only two seasons because that’s how Ricky Gervais rolls. With both seasons on DVD, you don’t need HBO to catch this 2008 Golden Globe winner. It’s full of great guest stars who aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves and great writing from the guys who brought you the original BBC version of “The Office.” If you missed that one too, consider it a bonus pick.

“Arrested Development”: You’ve probably heard of this one, but judging by its premature cancellation, most of you didn’t watch it. Breakout movie star Michael Cera (“Superbad”, “Juno”) shares the box with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, David Cross and “Hey Now!” Jeffrey Tambor. If you didn’t get that last reference, consider “The Larry Sanders Show” your second bonus pick. Judd Apatow was a writer on the series. See how it’s all coming together?

“Sledge Hammer”: It’s not PC, but it’s hilarious. Both seasons of this 1986 series about a trigger happy detective are available on DVD the way creator Alan Spencer originally wanted you to see it-with no laugh track.

There you have it. Check ‘em out. Then find your own hidden gems. In the words of Inspector Sledge Hammer, who you’ll soon be quoting to your friends, “Trust me. I know what I’m doing.”

 

2 Comments

    Barry Williams
    on Jan. 15th, 2008

    Eric, nice post. You are a good and entertaining writer. BTW great photo of the Growing Up 70′s Marquee. I am glad you are part of this team. – BWilliams

    Sharon
    on Jan. 15th, 2008

    I agree 100% that now is the season to discover all the TV shows from the past that we didn’t have the inclination (or perhaps interest) to watch the first time around. While we may have been dedicated to Survivor, Hero’s, The Amazing Race, CSI and LOST there had to be several shows in those very same time slots that are now out on DVD! I have already started watching BATTLESTAR GALACTICA season one….I can’t believe I missed this the first time around!

    Sharon

    The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it!

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