As a handsome man once said here:
"Nostalgia is deception wrapped in sentiment. Nostalgia is a ghostly lover dressed in a lovely, old-fashioned gown, who beckons you to dance with her, to make love to her… and then she turns into a hideous mummified ghoul who rips your throat out with her teeth and blood gushes and the screaming, my God, the screaming… That is nostalgia."*Gosh, if only there were some way to scientifically determine whether or not say, an old network TV show sucked or not, so we could spare ourselves the pain and disillusionment...
Well now there is!
Using the patented Nostalgiametric grading system, we can now quantify a show's suckiness or lack thereof. It's simple: just pick a favorite old TV show, run it through the Nostalgiametric Checklist to assign it quality points, and then add up the points to get your Nostalgiametric Quotient!
Here's the Nostalgiametric Checklist for One Hour Network Television Programs:
- Doesn't suck: +5 points (Incredible Hulk, Wild Wild West)
- Is William Shatner: +5 points (T.J. Hooker, Star Trek)
- Is a Woman: +3 points (Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman)
- Superpowers: +3 points (Man from Atlantis, Greatest American Hero)
- Ex-astronaut: +3 points (Buck Rogers, Six Million Dollar Man)
- Ex-soldier: +2 points (Magnum P.I., BJ and the Bear)
- Ex-convict: +2 points (Rockford Files)
- Ex-cop: +2 points (Booker, Renegade)
- Cop/agent: +2 points (Hunter, Martial Law)
- Hot cop: +3 points (Miami Vice)
- Private eye: +2 points (Spenser for Hire, Vegas)
- Bounty hunter: +2 points (Renegade, The Fall Guy)
- Can fly helicopter/plane/spaceship: +2 points (Matt Houston, Airwolf)
- Mysterious loner who helps people in trouble: +2 points (Kung Fu, The Equalizer)
- Occasionally shirtless: +1 point (Wild Wild West, Starsky & Hutch)
- Always shirtless: +2 points (Magnum P.I., Man From Atlantis)
- Hunted by somebody: +2 points (A-Team, Incredible Hulk)
- Main character totally sucks: -5 points (Manimal, Automan)
- Dog: +3 points (Tales of the Gold Monkey)
- Monkey: +5 points (BJ and the Bear)
- Hot chick: +3 points (Hunter)
- Ernest Borgnine: +3 points (Airwolf)
- Robot/alien: +3 points (Buck Rogers, Alien Nation)
- Master of disguise: +2 points (Wild Wild West)
- Punching bag/goon: +2 points (The Fall Guy, Walker Texas Ranger)
- Dreamboat: +2 points (T.J. Hooker, JAG)
- Comic relief: +2 points (Riptide, Fantasy Island)
- Totally rules: +5 points (Magnum P.I., Six Million Dollar Man)
- Sucks ass: -2 points (Manimal, Misfits of Science)
- Written by Mike Post & Pete Carpenter: +5 points (Hill Street Blues, Rockford Files)
- Spoken word intro: +3 points (A-Team, Charlie's Angels)
- Sung by star of series: +3 points (Walker Texas Ranger, Fall Guy)
- Title of show mentioned in song: +2 points (BJ and the Bear, Love Boat)
- Gratuitous synthesizers: +2 points (The Equalizer, Airwolf)
- Theme song sucks bad: -5 points (Misfits of Science, B.J. and the Bear)
- Lone wolf show: +3 points (Kung Fu, Incredible Hulk)
- Buddy show: +5 points (Hunter, Cagney & Lacey)
- Hero + posse show: +3 points (Walker Texas Ranger, T.J. Hooker)
- Ensemble show: +2 points (Love Boat, SWAT)
- Show named after buddies: +3 points (Starsky & Hutch, Tenspeed & Brownshoe)
- Romantic tension: +3 points (Moonlighting, Hunter)
- Old man buddy: +2 points (Hardcastle & McCormick, Jake & The Fat Man)
- Attractive buddies: +2 points (Miami Vice, Charlie's Angels)
- One attractive/one ugly buddy: -1 point (CHIPs)
- Hot chick: +3 points (Dukes of Hazard, Buck Rogers)
- Roddy McDowell: +2 points (Tales of the Gold Monkey)
- Science guy/mechanic: +2 points (Street Hawk, Bionic Woman)
- Patriarchal old dude: +2 points (Battlestar Galactica, Love Boat)
- Frustrated police lieutenant: +2 points (Rockford Files, Starsky & Hutch)
- Pilot: +2 points (Magnum P.I., 240 Robert)
- Token old dude on posse: +2 points (Walker Texas Ranger, Matt Houston)
- Major cast members replaced: -3 points (Airwolf, Dukes of Hazard)
- Minor cast members replaced/added: -1 point (Airwolf, Knight Rider)
- Hot chick added: +2 points (T.J. Hooker)
- Normal vehicle: +1 point (Rockford Files, Heart to Heart)
- Boss vehicle: +3 points (Magnum P.I., A-Team)
- Super boss vehicle: +5 points (Airwolf, Street Hawk)
- Crazy ass stunts: +2 points (Fall Guy, Dukes of Hazard)
- Vehicle talks: +2 points (Knight Rider)
- Loaded with custom features: +2 points (Wild Wild West, Star Trek)
- Vehicle has a name: +2 points (Battlestar Galactica, Hardcastle & McCormick)
- Vehicle is frickin' huge: +2 points (Love Boat, Supertrain)
- Vehicle blows shit up: +3 points (Airwolf, Buck Rogers)
- More than one vehicle: +1 point for each extra vehicle (Miami Vice, Riptide)
- Two fights + one chase per episode: +3 points (T.J. Hooker, Hunter)
- Weapon/gadget created out of scratch each episode: +2 points (A-Team, MacGyver)
- Characters often pose as exotic dancers: +3 points (T.J. Hooker)
- Has spawned spin-off show: +2 point (Dukes of Hazard, B.J. and the Bear)
- Is spin-off show: -1 point (Enos, Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo)
- Shameless use of stock footage: -1 point (Airwolf)
- Non-lethal gunplay: -2 points (A-Team)
- Fights vampire at least once: +2 points (B.J. and the Bear, Starsky & Hutch, Buck Rogers)
That's the basic Nostalgiametric Checklist for One Hour Network Television Programs. Now, let's add up all the points and see what your favorite show's Nostalgia Quotient is:
1-20 pts: Sucks ass. Try
to pretend it never existed - everyone else has.
21-25 pts: Some redeeming qualities. Watch it again after drinking a few beers.
26-30 pts: Halfway decent. Buy the DVD. Somebody out there has a website devoted to this show.
31-34 points: Kicks ass.
Begin letter writing campaign to network begging for the
show's return. Write fan-fiction or get a tattoo with the show logo.
35-40 points: Best show ever. Devote your life to this program and bludgeon anyone who speaks ill of it. Create a cult based on show. Name your children after characters on show.
Here are some examples for your reference:
Tales of the Gold Monkey - ABC's 1982 Raiders of the Lost rip-off starred Stephen Collins as Jake Cutter, a pilot/adventurer in pre-war South Pacific. Featured one-eyed dog and Roddy McDowell.
Airwolf- Jan Michael-Vincent and Ernest Borgnine fly into danger and into our hearts in Airwolf, a super helicoppter. Extra points for awesome theme song, but loses points for replacing the entire cast for the last season. No Borgnine? No love.
T.J. Hooker- William Shatner, Adrian Zmed, and Heather Locklear keep the streets of L.A. clean in this cop show. Shatner clung from every manner of speeding vehicle known to man, while Zmed and Locklear posed as exotic dancers on regular basis. Loses points for losing Zmed to Dance Fever.
*Wow, what kind of egomaniac quotes himself?