A brief note: You may have seen this article up here before, but it was an error on my part. I must have pressed the wrong button, which is why you only see two topics instead of the promised 10. I'm hoping the other one has been deleted, but if not, here's the real deal.
Back when I wrote under the name of Captain Caps, I did an article on 5 topics that they could've covered on the 1987 episode of "I Love The 80s 3-D". I've decided to do a different version of that, and double up the topic list.
My reason for doing so was because one of the topics they talked about about in the 1988 episode of "I Love The 80s 3-D" was tanning beds. This topic doesn't strike me as a uniquely 80s thing. When I view these shows, I want to see them talk about the stuff that really made the decade...The movies, the TV, the music, and maybe some of the advertising and world events.
With that, here are 10 topics that they could have talked about instead of tanning beds.
1.) "Die Hard". It's a stunning action movie, often declared one of the best films of the decade. The tagline for this movie was "30 stories of sheer adventure", and they weren't lying. From shootings and bodies flying out the window to helicopters blasting off the top of Nakatomi Plaza, the whole thing gets you psyched, and maybe even jumping up and down...This movie has that kind of force. Of course, at the top of it all is Bruce Willis tangling with Alan Rickman. Their interplay is great, especially those 5 words we all love.
Say it with me now: "YIPPIE-KI-YAY, MOTHERFUCKER!"
2.) "Working Girl". On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have this movie, which is easily one of the most inspiring of the decade. Melanie Griffith plays Tess McGill, a young secretary who dreams of going places in the business world. When she gets the opportunity, she runs with it, but how long can the charade go on? I feel that this movie has a great perkiness to it...especially in the scenes where Melanie Griffith is scantily clad. This was one of the last movies she did before getting all that plastic surgery. She looks pretty bad now, so this movie is like the last opportunity to see her as an all-natural 80s babe. It's just too bad that the scene where she vacuum-cleans in the nude wasn't done closer to the camera. I would like to have seen if the curtains matched the drapes.
3.) "N.A.R.C". This topic has a cheese factor so high that it could cover 100 pizzas. As we all came to discover, Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign was a bigger joke than "The Aristocrats". Probably one of the biggest things to be inspired by that campaign is this arcade game. The awfulness is so much that I can't even think of how to describe it. Suffice to say, I think that the commentators could savage it more than I ever could.
4.) "Michael Jackson: Moonwalker". This movie was the bridge between the old Michael Jackson and the new one. His skin color was still somewhat dark, but it was starting to lighten up. The kids were starting to become more prevalent, as seen in the "Smooth Criminal" segment. Jackson's "I'm bigger than Jesus" imagery was starting to take shape, especially in the opening sequence set to his song "Man In The Mirror". Still, there was some good music in there. I'm not a Michael Jackson apologist. I think he's a sick fuck and needs some help. Despite that, I still think that this movie was good, and I know that they could rip this thing to shreds.
5.) Amaretto Di...Advertisements. I was only 5 years old when these ads were going on, but from what I've read, it seems that every 80s celebrity wanted in on this action. I haven't seen any of the ads myself, but I have read that Kelly LeBrock, Victoria Jackson and David "Buster Poindexter" Johansen all did these ads. I don't know how well print ads could go along with music and motion, but I'm sure they could figure something out.
6.) Jane Wiedlin's video for "Rush Hour". Wiedlin's music was very upbeat and the good feelings were reflected in her videos. In this video, Jane swims with dolphins while singing the song. It's a video that makes you feel good...I don't know how they could make fun of it. I think that there might be some seafood jokes you could get from it, but other than that, I think I included it on this list simply because I enjoy the video.
7.) Ministry's album "The Land Of Rape And Honey". Okay, now this is prime material for discussion. First off, you have one of the sickest album titles of the late 80s. I don't know how rape jokes would fly on VH1, but then again, I like stuff like Gilbert Gottfried and Pretty Paul Parsons. Anyway, the big track off of this one was "Stigmata". The song is like a train flying down the tracks and ready to run to run you over. Al Jourgenson's voice sounds like his vocal cords were cut with razor-wire and doused in whiskey, and the lyrics are so twisted that you have to listen to them multiple times in order to get the meaning. While I don't own the album, I do know that with an album title like that and a song with that much gruesomeness that you could have plenty to talk about.
8.) Jim Varney's character Ernest. One of the most remembered characters of my generation, Ernest was a bumbling but good-hearted redneck. This was a big year for the late Varney's creation. Firstly there was the show "Hey, Vern! It's Ernest!" and then there was the movie "Ernest Saves Christmas". Everybody loves rednecks, if only for their intrinsic humor value, so I think that Ernest deserves to be talked about, know what I mean?
9.) "Tanner '88". I was too young to view this when it aired, but this is the plot: A man named Jack Tanner (played by Michael Murphy) campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination. This mini-series, created by director Robert Altman and "Doonesbury"'s Garry Trudeau, weaved fiction (the story) with reality (filmed on the "campaign trail" were people like Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson, Kitty Dukakis and Gary Hart*). The opportunity is there to talk about topics like media twisting and whether anybody would vote for him. I really think that this would've been good to talk about.
10.) Was (Not Was)' "Walk The Dinosaur". To cap off my list, we have this funky little number about life in the Stone Age, which seems vaguely akin to ours, with lyrics about "Miami Vice" and Elvis impersonators. The song was weird and the video was weirder, complete with clips from "Looney Tunes" cartoon set in the prehistoric era and hot chicks in skimpy cave-woman clothing. Whether anybody actually followed the dance steps in the song is up for discussion, as well as the aforementioned babes.
I'm really surprised that none of this has been discussed yet. These 10 items are further proof that VH1 needs people like the readers and writers of RetroJunk to set them on the right course. If anybody at VH1 is reading this, dump your researchers (and maybe a few writers and commentators) and come to us. We know a Hell of a lot about the decade of neon and glitz...Maybe even more than some of the people who experienced it first-hand.
Well, that's it for now.
Funk power! Over and out!**
*Information on "Tanner '88" appearances comes from Wikipedia.
**Lyric from "Overpowered By Funk" by The Clash