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"The Rerun Show" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 08/02/2002

Finally! Someone comes up with an idea to actually make reruns fresh!

What am I talking about? It’s NBC’s new show, "The Rerun Show." Inspired by the off-Broadway hit stage show, The Real Life Brady Bunch Show (where a troupe of improvisational actors reenacts entire episodes of "The Brady Bunch" with a slightly bent slant, which also inspired the two feature films), the show reenacts whole episodes of classic TV shows. I really have to take their word for it, because even though I have seen episodes of both the shows they reenact in the pilot, "Diff’rent Strokes" and "The Partridge Family," I haven’t exactly memorized every episode. I do know the tone of both shows, and the cast in this show does a great job of reaching it.

Both shows were originally cheesy, and "The Rerun Show" just brings it up a notch. Not only do they exaggerate the cheesiness, they also do the thing that I love about the Brady Bunch movies: they throw in a little bit of naughtiness that wasn’t originally there. I must warn parents, that because of this element, "The Rerun Show" ain’t exactly Nick-At-Nite or TV Land (as a matter of fact, I believe all of the episodes will probably warrant a TV-14 rating, like the pilot did.) What am I talking about if they are supposedly reenacting the same script? Well, you can tell that they didn’t deviate from the script dialogue-wise, but their actions and interpretations of the dialogue are different from the original shows. In the "Diff’rent Strokes" segment, Willis dirty-dances with the girl that tutors Arnold. Philip Drummond, the dad, is portrayed as someone who has an unhealthy liking of his kids. In the later part of the segment, you see him taking! risqué pictures of his daughter Kimberly. In the "The Partridge Family" segment, there is a not-too-subtle incest reference (or references later in the segment) that was originally meant to be innocent (I know this was already done in A Very Brady Sequel, but it is just as funny here too.)

Why would I think these things are funny? Since the original episodes were so innocent and cheesy, it is just funny to me to see them tweaked with and spoofed. After seeing years of cheesy reruns, it’s fun to see the familiar in a fresh and funny way.

It’s more than just the TV-14 elements of this show that make it funny. Smaller bits of spoofery just tickled me. In the "Diff’rent Strokes" segment, whenever Arnold held something (like a pencil or a box of chocolate), it was huge, but when someone else held that exact same item, it was normal-sized, making fun of the fact that Arnold was so small himself. Also, Arnold takes a bow when he (or I should say she, since Arnold was being portrayed by a woman) says his famous line, "Whatcha talkin’ about, Willis?" In the "The Partridge Family" segment, Danny was being played by the actual fully-grown Danny Bonaduce. Also, at the end of the segment when the family was performing "I Woke Up in Love This Morning," it was very clear that no one in the band was actually playing their instruments, because they just appear to be pawing at their keyboards or mismatching the beat.

If you loved these shows so much that you don’t want to see them messed with, than you might want to avoid "The Rerun Show." If you were a fan of the Brady Bunch movies and their style of crudely spoofing the sacred reruns of old sitcoms, then by all means check out the show. Future episodes will spoof reruns of "The Facts of Life," "The Jeffersons," and one I can’t wait to see, "Married…With Children." You won’t believe that you are actually looking forward to watching reruns!


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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