Posted in Television

The Sandra Bullock Files #6: Working Girl (1990)

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The Sandra Bullock Files is a series that looks at the films of Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock, all the way from her debut in 1987, to her two major 2018 releases, Ocean’s Eight and Bird Box.

By the turn of the new decade, Sandra had starred in a handful of films but had made hardly a blip on Hollywood’s radar. She needed something more mainstream, more highly publicized, to get her to the next step in her career. Finally, in 1990, Sandra took advantage of a great opportunity and never looked back.

The Mike Nichols directed film Working Girl was one of the big hits of 1988. It starred Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack, and Oliver Platt, and it gave newcomer Melanie Griffith the best role of her career. It won an Academy Award and was nominated for five more. Clearly this film was a success, and two years later, many involved decided to go ahead not with a sequel, but with a TV sitcom. Of course nobody from the original movie would head over to the show — Ford probably had better things to do — and an entirely new cast was brought on board.

Who did the producers turn to in late 1989 before filming was to commence? They didn’t want a nobody. They wanted a familiar TV face. So they cast The Facts of Life’s Nancy McKeon in the lead role of Tess McGill, a secretary who becomes a junior executive of her company. With a long list of credits dating back fifteen years, McKeon seemed a decent enough choice for the role. But when she dropped out, Sandra took a chance, auditioned, and nabbed the role mere weeks before shooting commenced.

Created by Kimberly Hill and Tom Patchett, the series premiered on NBC on April 16, 1990, with an episode called “Dream On.” A mid-season replacement, Working Girl didn’t get too far. The network only aired nine of its initial twelve episodes and canned the show soon thereafter.

The show intro promises great cheesiness to come. Sandra walks around New York with her big early ’90s frizzy hair, smiling as if she can hear that annoying (Oscar-winning!) background music in her head. She has been known to say that working on this show was one of the worst professional acting experiences of her life.

The best thing that came out of this show was more exposure for Sandra, who finally had a major credit on her resume to get her to her next job. Although her truly big break wouldn’t be for another four years, the Working Girl TV series allowed her to test her skills in a new format — multi-camera television — and make her decide, thankfully, to pursue film instead.

Best Scene: That classic ’90s intro.

Best Line: “Me. Tess McGill from Stanton Island!”

Fun Facts

Working Girl marked Sandra’s only starring role on a TV show.

Episode titles include “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Hungry Heart,” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” the latter of which was the last episode aired, on July 30, 1990.

The four episodes never aired are titled “Get Back,” “Two’s a Crowd,” “We Can Work It Out,” and “Oh, Brother.”

The series briefly reran on TV Land in the 1990s after Sandra became a major star.

Working Girl has never been released to DVD.

Posted in Television

Was Season 2 the best season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

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During the last three years, I’ve been slowly making my way through a re-watch of my all-time favorite TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here are my thoughts on the Season 2 episodes!

When She Was Bad **1/2 (out of ****)

I don’t like seeing Buffy manipulate others, no matter how bad she feels about killing the Master, but this is a decent season opener, also, surprisingly, written and directed by Whedon.

Some Assembly Required **

Not one of the best season two episodes… cool twist about who the Frankenstein guy is, but overall this one failed to engage me.

School Hard ***

The introduction of Spike!! Fun episode that gets Joyce in on a bit of the action.

Inca Mummy Girl ***

One of the best monster-of-the-week episodes, with a mummy who has to suck the life out of others to stay a beautiful teenage girl. Some nice moments with Buffy and Xander together. The introduction of Oz!!

Reptile Boy **1/2

Another Monster-of-the-Week episode that feels a little too familiar, but I liked the idea of frat boys being the monster.

Halloween ***1/2

One of the classic season 2 episodes that have the Scooby Gang turning into the real people they’re costumed as. Great fun!

Lie to Me ***

The second Spike-centric episode that features him try to kill Buffy… again. Nothing special, but still solid!

The Dark Age ***1/2

A great episode I forgot about. I love this show because it takes characters in directions you don’t expect, and here you see a different side of Giles that is scary and effective. Love it!

What’s My Line?: Part 1 ***

Such a clever idea to have Buffy’s brief death at the end of Season 1 create a new slayer who comes to Sunnydale. This is not one of my favorite Buffy two-parters, but it’s damn entertaining!

What’s My Line?: Part 2 ***

Love more Spike and Drusilla but this two-parter seems only a little long… I wonder if it could have been handled in one single episode. Even still, lots of great Buffy fights, and I love how the relationship between Buffy and Angel develops!

Ted ***1/2

I love this episode! John Ritter is so gleefully twisted as Joyce’s new boyfriend, and while the very end, where he turns out to be a robot, is silly, everything leading up to that is great, especially the scenes where Buffy thinks she has killed a man.

Bad Eggs **1/2

I remembered this one being one of the dogs of Season 2, but it actually entertained me more than I expected it to. The scenes of major characters walking with blank expressions on their faces made me laugh hard, it’s just so silly. But definitely not one of the stronger episodes!

Surprise ***

The last chapter of happiness for Buffy before everything changes… a pretty standard episode that ends with Buffy finally having sex with Angel… more a set-up to Innocence than anything else.

Innocence ****

This was it. This was the episode where Buffy transformed from a fun show I was really enjoying to something different, something special, something that would influence me beyond words. Angel’s moment of happiness makes him go bad, and now Buffy is faced with the ultimate villain, a man she loved so deeply but now has to kill. I always tell anyone starting Buffy, if they make it to Innocence, they’re in it for the long haul. The best episode Joss Whedon had written and directed to date, and probably the best in all of Season 2. Fantastic!

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Posted in Television

How great was the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

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During the last three years, I’ve been slowly making my way through a re-watch of my all-time favorite TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here are my thoughts on the Season 1 episodes!

SEASON 1

Welcome to the Hellmouth *** (out of ****)

The first episode of my favorite show is a little rocky around the edges but still starts strong, with the mix of action and sense of humor… obviously the budget is small but the actors already have a great handle on their characters… the design of the Big Bad is still striking!

The Harvest **1/2

Not as strong as the first half of the pilot, too much clunky action and not enough humor with the main trio… but I love “sunlight’s not for another nine hours, moron” and that wonderful closing moment “the Earth is doomed” that Whedon repeats in the series finale!

Witch ***

The first stand-alone monster-of-the-week episode is pretty strong, with a mother trying to live through her own daughter as a cheerleader… lots of great banter between the characters and a clever twist ending!

Click here for more mini-reviews of Buffy Season 1!

And if you’re not a Medium member, feel free to join my Patreon for just $1 a month to read this article in full and subscribe to all my content.