For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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The Simpsons have Halloween, The Office claimed Christmas, and for ten wonderful seasons, Friends had the market cornered on classic Thanksgiving episodes. While the last Thanksgiving-themed episode of Friends aired exactly nine years ago, watching the reruns in syndication has become just as much a Turkey Day tradition as making the canned cranberry sauce jiggle and killing a perfect stranger for a Blu-ray player.
The Thanksgiving episodes of the hit comedy are as comforting as a leftover turkey sandwich with a moist-maker in the middle, and just as funny now as they were when they originally aired. (Mid to late '90s fashion aside, Friends is one of the rare syndication sitcoms that has aged well.) Everyone has their favorite Thanksgiving episode of Friends, but, there's no need to argue (save that for the dinner table), we've ranked the best episodes for you! Because while we'll all gather with our loved ones this Thursday, is there anyone better to spend your Thanksgiving with than Courteney Cox's Monica, Matthew Perry's Chandler, Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe, Matt LeBlanc's Joey, Jennifer Aniston's Rachel, and David Schwimmer's Ross? Could we be any more nostalgic? So slap on a pair of Phoebe's pregnancy pants, avoid the Mocklate, and enjoy.
The Best Friends Thanksgiving Episodes In Order:
1. "The One Where Ross Got High" (Season 6, originally aired on November 25, 1999)
It's no coincidence that the best Thanksgiving episode of Friends aired during one of the show's strongest seasons. (Season 6 was the year of Unagi, Chandler's proposal, and "the routine", among other gems.) When Monica and Ross' parents Jack and Judy (the great Elliot Gould and Christina Pickles) come to have Thanksgiving at their little Harmonica's, everything falls spectacularly apart for everyone. Monica tries to conceal her relationship with her live-in boyfriend Chandler from her parents, who have lived under the false pretense that he's a stoner. It turns out that in college, Ross lied to his parents about his own pot use and blamed it on his then-roommate Chandler when that distinct smell was not concealable. The whole thing escalates into the Geller siblings hilariously ratting each other out about a series of incidents ("Hurricane Gloria didn't break the porch swing, Monica did!"..."Ross married Rachel in Vegas, and got divorced, AGAIN!"), culminating in the revelation that Monica is living with Chandler. Meanwhile, Phoebe was having sex dreams about Jack Geller/Jacques Costeau, while Joey was desperate to leave and spend Thanksgiving with his hot dancer roommate Janine. Of course, the real pièce de résistance of Rachel's horrendously failed attempt at making a trifle when she mistakenly adds a layer of beef to her dessert. In the words of Joey, "I mean, what's not to like? Custard, good. Jam, good. Meat, good!"
2. "The One With the Football" (Season 3, originally aired on November 21, 1996)
This is the episode in which fans realized that Friends Thanksgiving episodes were going to be just as an important holiday tradition as the coveted Geller Cup during a rousing game of football. When the gang goes outside to play a "friendly" game of football, things get competitive on and off the field as Joey and Chandler compete for the affections of the same Dutch girl, while Rachel tries to prove her worth after being the last picked for teams. Maybe it's because it's so great to see the cast still dressed like regular people, or the fact that any time Ross and Monica have intense sibling rivalry is always a victory (see: "The One Where Ross Got High"), but whatever it is, this Thanksgiving episode had a winning recipe.
3. "The One With Chandler in a Box" (Season 4, originally aired on November 20, 1997)
The original d**k in a box, Chandler was forced to face the consequences of his actions after it was revealed that he kissed Joey's girlfriend Kathy. As punishment, Joey makes Chandler spend Thanksgiving in a big wooden box. Why exactly? Well, let's let Chandler explain: "The meaning of the box is threefold. One, it gives me the time to think about what I did. Two, it proves how much I care about my friendship with Joey. And three... it hurts!" While Joey and Chandler eventually patched things up, Monica (eyepatch and all) had to come to terms with her own romantic grey areas when she realized that kissing her ex-boyfriend's son is plain wrong.
4. "The One With All the Thanksgivings" (Season 5, originally aired on November 19, 1998)
Flashback episodes are tricky business, but Friends always pulled them off with flying colors. Season 5's "The One With All The Thanksgivings" was as memorable as the Season 2 game changer "The One With the Prom Video," but relied less on sentimentality and more on sight gags. Once again we're reunited with Fat Monica and Pre-Nose Job Rachel, but this time around we also meet Newly Skinny Monica, plus Flock of Seagulls and Miami Vice-inspired Ross and Chandler. Over the course of two Thanksgiving tales we learn that Monica shed all those pounds after Chandler called her fat and, perhaps in unconscious retaliation, she accidentally cut off the nub of Chandler's baby toe. But, really, who cares about character development? This is the one where Joey gets a turkey stuck on his head!
5. "The One With the Rumor" (Season 8, originally aired on November 22, 2001)
This one should really be called "The One With Brad Pitt," because let's be honest, that's what everybody calls it. Before Team Jennifer Aniston madness took over our lives, the then-married couple had one of the best cameos on television. Pitt played Will, an old friend of Monica and Ross', who spends Thanksgiving with the gang. Will, like Ross and Monica, spent high school nerdy and fat, respectively, and was tortured back in the day by the very popular Rachel. In fact, Will hated Rachel so much that he started the "I Hate Rachel Club," spawning a school-spanning rumor that she was a hermaphrodite. While at the time it was much funnier to watch Pitt mouth "I hate you" to his then-wife Aniston (it's a little sadder now) the episode still holds up, if only to watch Phoebe throw herself at Will, and Joey's (wearing Phoebe's maternity pants, no less) declaration, "You can't have Thanksgiving without turkey. That's like 4th of July without apple pie, or Friday with no two pizzas."
6. "The One Where Chandler Doesn't Like Dogs" (Season 7, originally aired on November 23, 2000)
Oh man, Tag was dreamy, wasn't he? No wonder why Rachel invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner. Not only did Tag find out that Rachel had a crush on him (the two eventually kissed by the end of the episode and started their relatively short-lived relationship), but we found out that Chandler hates dogs (even Phoebe's adorable borrowed pup Clunkers) and that Ross hates ice cream ("It hurts my teeth!") and can't name all 50 states. Plus, it had one of the greatest Joey-isms of all-time: his definition of a "moo point."
7. "The One Where Underdog Gets Away" (Season 1, originally aired on November 14, 1994)
The one that started them all, "The One Where Underdog Gets Away" was the original Friends Thanksgiving episode and it set the scene for the others to come. Not only do we learn about Chandler's anti-Thanksgiving affliction (it reminds him of his parents' divorce), but that Monica will always be the cook, sometimes with disastrous results. (This time the gang accidentally gets locked out of the apartment while the food, which Monica has prepared to their exact specifications, is cooking.) Of course, the only funnier sight than an Underdog float flying away from the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, or Ugly Naked Guy sharing a Thanksgiving feast with Ugly Naked Girl, is poor Joey's face plastered all over VD posters throughout Manhattan. We'll always cheer to this episode's toast: "Here's a lousy Christmas... and a crappy New Year!"
8. "The One With Rachel's Other Sister" (Season 9, originally aired on November 21, 2002)
While Brad Pitt's cameo was a ratings grabber, it didn't get quite the same critical love as Christina Applegate did with her Emmy-winning role as Rachel's conceited sister Amy. Applegate made her first appearance in this episode, crashing the gang's Thanksgiving without an invite. While the Greens' sibling rivalries are more mean-spirited than the Gellers', the episode doesn't have the same lasting effect as Monica vs. Ross Thanksgiving eps. Still, there were a few things to be thankful for here, including Chandler accidentally breaking all of Monica's fancy dishes, and Joey's wide-eyed freakout realization that he was supposed to be on the Days of Our Lives float in the parade.
9. "The One With the Late Thanksgiving" (Season 10, originally aired on November 20, 2003)
Much like "The One Where Underdog Gets Away," this episode was about a comedy of Thanksgiving preparation errors. When Monica reluctantly agreed to make dinner for everyone after they all pleaded with her (or, in the case of Phoebe, challenged her)to do so, she became understandably peeved when everyone shows up late. The only thing lamer than their excuses (Rachel entering daughter Emma in a beauty pageant was about as unappealing as a plate of Brussels sprouts) was the very schlocky moment at the end when Monica and Chandler find out they are getting a baby through the adoption agency. Still, the whole thing was redeemed by Joey's floating head stuck in the doorway and his addition of fire to Rock, Paper, Scissors.
10. "The One With the List" (Season 2, originally aired on November 16, 1995)
This wasn't a bad episode of Friends by any means, but as far as Thanksgiving episodes of the series go, this one was a bust. Maybe that's because instead of Monica making turkey she was making Mocklate, and Ross and Rachel — sorry, Rachem — were having their first of many fights instead of engaging in wacky Thanksgiving misadventures. I hate to complain ("Oh, I know, this must be so hard. 'Oh no, two women love me. They're both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet's too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!'"), but this one's the rare missed opportunity.
How would you rank the Friends Thanksgiving episodes?
[Photo credit: NBC]
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Plenty of solid shows will be competing for top honors at this year's Emmy awards, but (as is always the case), there will also be plenty of solid shows that won't be competing.
That's how the cookie crumbles: with countless channels airing countless programs, there will always be quality television that slips under the Academy's radar. But over the course of TV history, there have been a few actors and shows that haven't been simply fallen to the wayside of the Emmys, they've been straight up glossed over. Snubbed.
As we approach this Sunday's ceremony, we took a look back at some of the bigger disappointments in Emmy history, the highlights of sitcoms and dramas that, for whatever reason, never earned their deserved statues.
Homicide Life on the Street/The Wire
Writer/Producer David Simon must have done something horrible in a past life. That seems like the only explanation for a man who's contributed to the world some of the best television of the past twenty years and has rarely seen love from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Simon's 1993 show Homicide: Life on the Street set a new tone for crime procedurals and only acquired a few supporting cast nods in its six year run. His HBO show The Wire is often referred to as the greatest TV show of all time and not once did it garner a nomination for Best Drama. His latest Treme is only in its second season, but from the get-go had critics raving.
So far, no love. Will Simon's series forever feel the cold backhand of Emmy snubs?
Sarah Michelle Gellar for Buffy
Trumpets are sounding for the return of Sarah Michelle Gellar to primetime television (her new show Ringer debuted last night), but it's not because of her starring roles in The Grudge or Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. When Joss Whedon decided to to turn his mildly successful horror movie Buffy into a weekly TV show, he found the perfect hero in Geller, equal parts teen drama beauty and rough, vampire butt-kicker. Geller's performance combined with Whedon's snappy dialogue and imaginative plots helped Buffy transcend its home at the WB. Unfortunately, to Emmy voters, it would always be a "show for teenagers"—Whedon picked up nod once in seven season, while Geller never managed a nomination.
Former Letterman and Larry Sanders Show writer Paul Sims assembled a dream cast for his broadcast-centric office sitcom, but few would have known that at the time: Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall), Maura Tierney, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Joe Rogen, Phil Hartman—the talent was in its infancy, but it was there. NewsRadio took a classic format and gave it a youthful edge. The result was five seasons of evolving characters, shorelines and humor, put to an untimely end by the death of Phil Hartman. Sadly, the show only earned one comedy nomination in its five season run: a posthumous, supporting nod for Hartman.
An American Family
The Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Program was only adopted by the Academy in 2001 and has since honored shows like The Osbournes, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. But without 1971's An American Family, the idea of docudramas television—or even guilty pleasure trashy reality TV—may never have come to fruition. The show's premise was simple: document a family's life for six months. The show was cut into 12 revolutionary episodes, spawning spin-off series and the cinematic adaptation Cinema Verite, which aired on HBO this past year.
How many Emmys was it nominated for? Zip.
Desi Arnaz for I Love Lucy
Lucille Ball dominated the '50s sitcom scene with her tour-de-force performance of physical comedy, nabbing five Emmy nominations over the six year run of I Love Lucy. But while Ball's Chaplin-esque antics stand-out decades later, would she really be the legendary star she was without her co-star and then-husband Desi Arnaz?
Arnaz was the Michael Bluth of his time, the straight man counterpart to Ball's whacked out troublemaker. He's best known for throwing his hands in the air, crying "Luuuuccyyyyy!" and stirring up the occasional "Babalu" musical number, but even Arnaz was prone to jumping into Ball's crazy plots. He was a rock of the sitcom block, yet not once in his lengthy career did Arnaz find himself on the Emmy's list of contenders.
Josh Holloway for LOST
Until the final season, it was looking like none of LOST's "lead" actors would see love from the Emmys. That is, until star Matthew Fox squeezed one out as the mind-bending drama crossed the finish line.
LOST has been the object of The Emmys' affection in all categories, but with talent, it's been severely unappreciative. Case in point: Josh Holloway, James "Sawyer" Ford, never picking up a nod. While Fox's nomination was deserved, Holloway was the show's perfect foil and his work in Season Three, when his relationships with Jack and Kate really evolve, helped turn Sawyer into a three-dimensional character that mostly actors can rarely achieve.
Any chance we can go back and just throw him an Emmy after the fact?
Ed O'Neill and Katey Segal for Married with Children
On the opposite end of the brilliant performance spectrum lies Ed O'Neill and Katey Segal as the crass (but lovable) couple Al and Peggy from Married with Children. The show was the debut sitcom when Fox launched in 1987 and helped define the network as a…a youth-centric alternative to the stuffy mainstream channels. That probably didn't help Married with Children round up award nominations (after 11 seasons, it only gained technical noms), but history will forever have a place for Al and Peggy. At that point, audiences hadn't seen anything that filthy, that wrong—which makes O'Neill and Segal selling it one of the bigger snubs in Emmy history.
Lauren Graham for Gilmore Girls
Another case where the Academy can't look past the marketing of a show. Gilmore Girls was another WB/CW comedy pegged by most as a small screen interpretation of the "chick flick," light, fluffy and stale. Quite unfortunate, as Gilmore Girls had one of the sharpest wits on TV thanks to the lightning-fast writing of creator Amy Sherman and a charming lead performance by Lauren Graham. The actress' character Lorelai could have been another comedy mom, but Graham elevated her above Reba-style, surface level caricature to dimensional (but funny!) human being. In an era where Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City were dominating the lead actress category year after year, Graham remains one of the hardest working and underappreciated performers of the 2000s.
Taking genre television seriously has never been the Emmys' strong suit, but when a sci-fi show takes itself seriously enough, people start listening…and watching. Syfy's Battlestar Galactica felt like a breath of fresh air amidst a sea of cornball, syndicated genre crap, diving head first into heady character drama and political intrigue with a few robots thrown in for good measure. The talent gained plenty of critical response—most notably the stand out performance by Katee Sackoff as the tough, female pilot Starbuck—but, alas, Battlestar was confined (like its sci-fi drama predecessors) to a lifetime of technical awards. Yes, the special effects were dazzling—but so was the riveting drama. The show (and the genre as a whole) could have used the Emmy love.
Nick Offerman for Parks & Recreation
As the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation prepares for its fourth season (with destiny unknown), we have an important message for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences: don't you dare let Nick Offerman be a permanent staple on this list.
Offerman's Ron Swanson is P&R's head grump, the yin to Amy Poehler's hyper-enthusiastic Leslie Knope yang. While they can often be found butting heads, their continued friendship is the glue that keeps Pawnee, Indiana's Parks Department (and the show) together. Offerman paints Ron with a perpetual frown, usually clouded by his sizable mustache. But once in awhile Ron slips a smile (or, even rarer, a drunken tiny hat dance) and in those few seconds Offerman pulls off a complete 180 and warms audiences' hearts. Parks and Recreation began in the shadow of The Office, but thanks to guys like Ron Swanson, has become the more fulfilling of the two shows.