Class of March 2011:
HBO's Original Series'
When it comes to TV Shows, HBO brings it. They brought it years ago, they still bring it today. TV has changed significantly over the last 15 years or so, and a lot of that can be attributed to something that isn't TV, something that's HBO. When I think about shows that revolutionized how TV was used as a storytelling medium, most of the major ones come from HBO and none of them have anything to do with Jim Belushi.
(Arrested Development barely got 3 seasons. This got 8. Feel free to puke)
I remember the first HBO show I regularly watched when I was a kid was "Oz". More often than not it's referred to by the less than awesome as "that show with all the prison rape". I want to use this opportunity to point out that while yes, there was prison rape, the show was about so much more than that. How many shows can say that they are able to rise above the label of being "all about prison rape"? Very few.
(Ryan O'Reily: More compelling than prison rape)
I mainly discovered it because it was the lead in to "Red Shoe Diaries" here in Canada, which in the days before high speed internet was the best porn we could get. HBO is in the "I.I.H.O.F." because it did something no other network had been able to do: it made TV shows that felt like 10 hour long movies. I love movies, so how could I not get behind 10 hour long ones? After Oz, the next show on HBO I would fall in love with featured someone who I identified a lot with, which I'm still trying to figure out if it's a good thing or a bad thing.
(It's half empty, Larry)
The list of awesome shows HBO has consistenly put out over the years doesn't stop at two (it would be a pretty shitty entry if it did). The following list are HBO shows that played a part in this being deemed a worthy induction:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Sopranos (haven't even seen it, but I know it's great)
Eastbound & Down
The Ricky Gervais Show
The Life and Times of Tim
Bored to Death
Flight of the Conchords
Six Feet Under
Band of Brothers
Mr. Show with Bob & David
The Larry Sanders Show
(So good it deserved a picture. If you don't like The Wire, I don't like you)
It's not TV. It's Hall of Fame. Welcome to the Hall.
Saved by the Bell hangout "The Max"
If shit went down for the kids at fictional Bayside High School, it went down at "The Max". I am now and have always been a huge fan of "The Bell". I will battle anyone on earth at Saved by the Bell Trivia and come out on top (yes, that is an open challenge). Without a doubt the most important location on that show was the local 'straunt which was first run by a weird magician who sporadically gave out life advice:
....then an actor who didn't so much own the place as he did work there. Which was kinda pathetic as he spent the majority of his time getting involved in the kids crazy schemes:
(I actually could not find a pictured of the dude who played James on Saved by the Bell. I now find myself wondering if he even exists)
The above picture of The Max was not taken from the TV show. Nope, it was taken from the XXX parody "This Ain't Saved by the Bell". In all their attention to detail, they just knew they shouldn't even bother to make the movie if they didn't have The Max prominently featured.
One of the main reasons The Max is getting this induction is the fact that it succeeds despite a truly awful business model. There are many small details about The Max that are overlooked by people who are smart enough to realize it doesn't matter. 1. The food must be ridiculously cheap. None of these assholes have jobs, yet they are there, every day rocking chow. Burgers, big basket of fries, sodas ect. You name it, they could somehow afford it. B. The jukebox featured nothing but shitty instrumental music. How did they expect to make money from that? Are they cutting corners so they don't have to pay for lyrics? Why not get some Bach or some Beethoven in that jukebox. Kids love it. I'm sure they could've at least gotten some music from the "Zack Attack". They have an in with the band. 3. The Max would not cater to anyone who didn't go to that school. Whenever anything went down in that town, the event was held there at the behest of 6 kids. You need to have a Dance contest? Boom! Go to The Max. Pep Rallies? The Max. Need to hold a Telethon? The Max. Need to apologize to your girlfriends for being dicks? The Max. Fashion show? The Max. Literally EVERYTHING that was important on that show went down there. I'm shocked they didn't hold their fucking graduation ceremony at The Max. They even held a sockhop there, which was used to showcase the gangs incredible doo wop talents for...an episode.
But without a doubt the best thing to go down at The Max was this classic moment where Zack brought some trollop there while ex gf Kelly was working (and of course everyone else was there) and danced to their sacred Jukebox song to incite jealousy. If you need to shove something in your ex's face, there is only one place to go:
If I lived in Bayside, I would never go to class. I would just hang out at The Max all day and watch shit go down. Welcome to the hall, fictional TV restuarant.
Canter's Deli Turkey Downtowner Sandwich on Rye
(Couldn't find a picture of the Turkey Downtowner, but you get the idea)
If it is indeed possible for true love to exist between a man and a sandwich, then me and the Turkey Downtowner from Canter's Deli are going to have a long, happy life together. The thing is massive. Every year when I'm in Las Vegas, one of the first things I do is head on over to the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, bypass everything else they have to offer and head straight to Canter's to reunite with my good friend. It never judges me, or nags me. It's almost too much sandwich for one man to handle. Almost. I don't go back to Vegas until next March, but you can bet big on where I'm heading the second I drop off my stuff in the hotel room. For being delicious, supportive and big enough that it hurts my face to eat you, welcome to the hall.
The Werewolves of London scene in "The Color of Money"
Love Pool. Love this movie. Love this scene. NBC's best comedy series "Community" did an incredible homage to this. If you don't watch that show, you should. So to Vince, his pool cue of doom and his giant fucking teeth I say: Welcome to the hall.
The Lollipop Guild Member on the Far Right
He was never given a name in "The Wizard of Oz", but for the longest time while watching it I thought he would turn out to be the Wizard. That is how awesome this little fucker is. He looks like the goddamn devil, but still manages to totally upstage the other two idiots that for some reason decided to stay in the same scene as the fellow on the far right. I don't know what the actor's name is, or whether or not he got work after this movie came out (I'm pretty sure he played 12 Ewoks in "Return of the Jedi") but I would be remiss if I didn't induct the cornerstone of this creepy little welcoming party into the I.I.H.O.F. Let's take a look at his shining moment of excellence:
I represent j.Bowman Can't Sleep,
j.Bowman Can't Sleep,
j.Bowman Can't Sleep,
And in the name of, j.Bowman Can't Sleeeeep
I'd like to welcome you to the Hall of Fame.
The Long Block in Tetris
Anyone who ever got down with old school videogame "Tetris" at one point or another knows the incredible joy that comes when one of these fuckers comes lumbering down the screen. You spend your entire level building up around an empty space, about as wide as that piece up there. You grow increasingly panicked and frustrated as more and more of these assholes decide to show up and ruin your life.
(I hate, so much about the things you choose to be)
It gets to the point where you are sooooo desperate for one of those long pieces that you start mentally going through a checklist of things you would trade for one. Right around the time you get to "personal happiness" BAM! One appears majestically on screen and tells you everything is going to be alright.
(However botching the placement is one of the leading causes of suicide)
Ladies & Gentlemen, the Inanimate, Intangible Hall of Fame Class of March 2011.
Thanks for Reading