View Full Version : Free "Weird Science" (TV), "The Tick" on Hulu - mini reviews

02-12-2009, 10:12 PM
(Anyone else make personal episode guides of their favorite series? When watching a show like The West Wing or Scrubs on dvd, I write 2-3 sentences on it, lest I forget a few years down the road which are the good ones. I offer the following not only as a possibly amusing piece in its own right, but as a possible conversation-starter re:guides. And if anyone'd be interested in my modest guides on West Wing 1-4, Scrubs 1-4ish and Smallville 1-3, I'd be happy to share them.)

Weird Science
I've got a huge soft spot for Weird Science (the movie), so when I saw that the first two seasons (minus an ep or two) of the '90s show are available for free and legal viewing on Hulu (http://www.hulu.com/weird-science), I thought I'd give it a shot.

The boys' actors are strong in playing modified and simplified versions of the movie Gary and Wyatt, though they haven't the authenticity of actually being sixteen or so. And while she lacks a British accent and has none of LeBrock's naughty side, Angel does a fine job of Lisa.

It seems that, in order to accommodate the stand-alone nature of the eps, the show soon began not only to use but to center upon supernatural gimmickry. (To be fair, the movie has the same problem.) Amusing though stories of being sucked into video games or becoming pro wrestlers may be, I've got little interest in WS eps that don't focus on the boys' attempt to get (and "get") girls; I therefore ran through those I thought I'd be interested in pretty quickly.

With this approach in mind, here are my findings (plot outlines available on the Hulu site):

1.2 Universal Remote: ending has a few plot holes, Lisa's scarce; still very funny.
1.3 Cyrano DeBrainiac: quite droll.
1.5 The Feminine Mistake: hilarious and moving, with the slow kid from CarnivĂ*le!
1.12 Killer Party: completely goofy, but rooted in behavior, and genuinely entertaining.
1.13 Sex Ed: Pretty darn funny. The-third act sex instructor gag is terrific.
1.18 A Tale of Two Lisas: decently amusing. Gary as a troll is a fun twist.
1.26 Unplugged: A mostly entertaining rock-star spoof.
2.19 Searching for Boris Karloff: Substance-free fun, with some great WS in-jokes.

No Thanks
1.1 She's Alive: unremarkable, awkward and ultimately unsuccessful retread of the film.
1.6 Airball Kings: Lame script, little Lisa, not nearly enough character beats.
1.7 Party High, USA: Lame concept, fitting execution.
1.8 One Size Fits All: Decent concept, but the execution is too fantastical.
1.9 Keeps on Tickin': Fantasy-heavy from start to finish; close but not quite a cigar.
1.10 Mr. President: all cheap jokes, no good brains or laughs.
1.11 Fatal Lisa: some good bits throughout, and a fun ending, but not too involving.
1.14 Lisa's Virus: Not enough mayhem; the Seth Green cameo can't save it.
1.15 The Bazooka Boys: Definitely fun in parts; almost a keeper... but not quite.
1.17 Wyatt Erectus: Another glimpse of BttF's courthouse can't save this gimmicky dud.
1.21 Copper Top Girl: A bust.
2.3 Horseradish: a strong first half falters with the obnoxious boyfriend plot.
2.14 Fly Boy: A wan X-Files parody I didn't bother finishing.
2.15 Teen Lisa: Making Lisa an ignoramus was not a good move.

On their own merits, I'd say there's a tie for best ep. "Feminine Mistake", in which the guys are turned into girls, takes these two seasons' most promising set-up (imo) and does a very strong job of it. "Sex Ed", however, is the only of the above eps to do justice to the risque nature of the whole WS setup, arguably even better than the movie itself, and is hilarious besides.

The Tick

1. Pilot: very funny, and a Christopher Lloyd cameo to boot.
2. The Terror: wonderful follow-up to the pilot; inventive and laugh-out-loud funny.
7. The Funeral: Risque and engaging, though the b-plot isn't quite as strong as the a-.

No, Thanks
6. Couples: That was Ron Perlman? Snore.

Which only leaves...
3. Arthur, Interrupted
4. The License
5. Arthur Needs Space
8. The Tick Vs. Justice
9. The Big Leagues

Hope all this has been of some interest! Anyone else have thoughts on these shows or eps?