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August 3rd, 2000

Lazy Flashbacks

I’ve decided that the laziest episodes of any sitcom are the “flashback” episodes — you know the ones… they have about 3-4 minutes of original content and the rest are flashbacks to the funniest moments of previous episodes. I’m not sure how many current sitcoms use these devices of the devil, but I know in the 80’s, most did.

For instance, Family Ties (of course) did an absurd three flashback episodes in a mere four seasons. The first one had some random relative visiting the Keaton’s, trying to tell them stories about London, but the family kept interrupting with their own inane stories, resulting in the painful flashback sequences. The second and third times were actually back-to-back (they presented it as a two-parter!) where the family recounted stories about Alex to his girlfriend Ellen. Ugh.

Does anyone else have any painful memories about flashback episodes in sitcoms? -ram

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday August 3, 2000 -- 9:32:04AM
I don't even enjoy the Simpsons' flashback episodes. Particularly "All Singing, All Dancing", in which only flashbacks with singing and dancing were involved, and the whole show was sung. Ick.

FROM: Aaron
DATE: Thursday August 3, 2000 -- 10:46:19AM
I can only remember (barely) one Saved By The Bell flashback episode. IIRC it was late in the last Kelly&Jesse year and they were sitting at a booth at the Max (of course), reminiscing about the past.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday August 3, 2000 -- 11:09:47AM
Aaron --

And don't forget the flashbacks of the Malibu Sands episodes. Remember, Zach plays hookie from the first day of school to recuperate from his time at Malibu Sands (even though, presumably, he's had several weeks off before school started). Belding ends up sending all the gang, one by one, to his house to go get him. Yeah, that's realistic. ;)

FROM: Maria
DATE: Thursday August 3, 2000 -- 3:58:02PM
I think those SBTB flashbacks were the producers' way of trying to cover up the fact that Tiffani and Elizabeth had left the show.
There was also the flashback episode (in my opinion, the worst) that takes place in the future (2003), where Belding shows a video of the class of 1993 to some students. It particularly bugged me that the 2003 kids were wearing typical 1993 clothes. Overall, that episode was a big letdown for me just because it was the last one I needed to see before I could say I had seen every episode, and it just didn't live up to my expectations.
As for recent sitcoms, Friends has a flashback episode or two each season.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday August 3, 2000 -- 4:23:52PM
Maria -- ah, I forgot about the "Flashahead" episode... that's three for one series... insane.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday August 3, 2000 -- 5:51:01PM
Simpsons flashback shows are the best because they at least aknowledge that such shortcuts are crappy. I've always guessed they were the result of budget restrictions by the network.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Friday August 4, 2000 -- 1:08:09AM
The Saved By the Bell flashback episode that was mentioned about the Malibu Sands summer was a very good episode but also very strange. At this period in Saved By the Bell I had always noticed that zach was extremely pale and had some speech problems with control in the distribution of the phlegm and mucus in his voice. He at this period has a semi-nasally voice, it was as if he had been undergoing a late period of puberty or maybe he had his appendix out.
In other flashback news there is the episode of Seinfeld that they aired two weeks back. Its probably one of the worst episodes.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday August 4, 2000 -- 7:13:12AM
Robert, I'll give you that - the Simpsons are usually aware they're in a flashback ep, which helps immensely. But I still don't like 'em.

FROM: Aaron
DATE: Friday August 4, 2000 -- 6:27:00PM
Thanks for the reminder on those SBTB flashbacks. I can't believe I forgot the Malibu Sands flashback episode. I never saw the "Flashahead" episode, but I remember Old Fezziwig telling me about it.

So, when are Ryan and Paul going to get lazy and give us another Daily Ping flashback?

FROM: liz
DATE: Friday August 4, 2000 -- 7:54:04PM
the golden girls always had flashback episodes. and i watched them, indeed.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday August 4, 2000 -- 8:22:20PM
Aaron - LOL, good call.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday August 4, 2000 -- 10:20:09PM
Touche, Aaron. :)

FROM: pistol jack
DATE: Monday August 7, 2000 -- 1:22:20PM
the episode of SBTB you were talking about was the Valentine episode, when they were all thinking about their relationships. that was the fateful episode where Schreech got a kiss from Lisa.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday August 7, 2000 -- 1:51:17PM
As a side note, the Valentine's episode is on TBS this week. :)

FROM: Aaron
DATE: Monday August 7, 2000 -- 8:24:08PM
Thanks for the reminder pistol jack. I thought it was a Valentine's Day episode, but I couldn't remember for sure, so I omitted it from my post.

I remember Screech busting on Zack about not everyone being able to skeez girls as well as Mr. Morris; something about "we don't all have a chin that could crack walnuts."

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday August 22, 2000 -- 4:29:16PM
I must add to the list of Family Ties flashback episodes yet another two-part series where the gang tells stories to young Andy. That makes five flashback episodes in the first five seasons.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday September 21, 2000 -- 11:00:16AM
It's almost unreal, but there was another two-part flashback on Family Ties. This one, it's very similar to an earlier one where the family spent two episodes recounting stories for Alex's girlfriend. This time, Alex's girlfriend (played by Courteney Cox) is doing an interview for her Psychology class and the family relates stories ad nauseum.

So, I believe that brings the count up to seven flashback episodes in six seasons.

FROM: pistol jack
DATE: Thursday September 21, 2000 -- 6:58:27PM
I don't know how many of you caught the series finale of Boy Meets World (please don't tell me I'm the only loser?!), but the whole episode mixed in flashbacks from previous episodes while going along with the plot of the current episode. Very interesting.....
Jeff Walsh

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday September 22, 2000 -- 9:23:29AM
Boy Meets World is definitely a guilty pleasure... it's a dopey show (especially in the later years), but I can never seem to change the channel when it's on...

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