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It's Your Move


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#1

hannahjane

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Posted Feb 12, 2005 @ 4:36 PM

Hey everyone,

Is anyone else still obsessed with this classic Jason Bateman series that should have lasted more than it did 20 years ago? I'd love to discuss it with others who cherish it and can't wait for the DVD (turning blue from holding breath)!

#2

Mibbitmaker

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Posted Feb 12, 2005 @ 7:04 PM

I loved that show. While it was a shame it didn't last longer, I thought they wrapped up the entire premise too soon. Once the back-and-forth was revealed to Jason's character's mother, it ruined what made that show great. The battle of wills between JB's character and Al Bundy's future foil (I forget the characters' names) was fun to watch. At that stage, it was a great, underrated show.

IYM and AD are like bookends of a sort. Only AD needs to go much longer!

Edited by Mibbitmaker, Feb 12, 2005 @ 7:05 PM.


#3

hannahjane

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Posted Feb 12, 2005 @ 8:40 PM

The actor who played Norman was David Garrison. He actually had great chemistry with Jason Bateman. The actor who played Eli, Matt's best friend, was definitely a novice actor, but came off as very sweet. I loved the way that the character always pined away for Matt's sister. It was sort of scary-stalkerish, but then a sweet schoolboy crush at the same time.

Of course, my favorite episodes were the gameshow episode, where Matt and Norman pretend to be father and son to replace the furniture that was stolen. Then we find out at the end that Norman had hired the movers to steal the furniture all along.....then that excellent two-parter "Dregs of Humanity" story with the fake rock band. Oh the memories.

I have loved JB since he was Derek on "Silver Spoons" and have followed his career ever since. I'm glad that "Arrested" has given his career the resurgence that it so deserved. It almost makes me want to forget "Valerie"/"Hogan Family", which is nowhere near Jason's best work.

#4

Tiramisu1980

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Posted Feb 13, 2005 @ 2:10 AM

Was Jason Bateman on this show? I'm sure that he's not worried about this piece of junk now that he's doing well on Arrested Development.

#5

hannahjane

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Posted Feb 13, 2005 @ 3:46 PM

I recently bought the entire run of this show off someone on EBay and I was so excited. I have always wanted to meet Jason Bateman just to let him know how much I appreciated this show. I'm glad he landed on his feet again with AD.

Tricia Cast who played Julie is now living in Nashville with her husband and no longer working.

Adam Sadowsky played Eli, Matt's best friend. A Google search a couple of years ago turned up his official website: Sadowsky.net

#6

Dynamite Teddy

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Posted May 2, 2005 @ 6:03 PM

I've become a big fan of Jason Bateman because of Arrested Development and this show sounds so cool. I really hope it comes on DVD.

#7

Caroma

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Posted May 2, 2005 @ 8:53 PM

I wouldn't be so sure it will show up on DVD; it only lasted 18 episodes. Around the 13th one the network suits decided that Matt's schemes had to be discovered by his mother and punished, and they made struggling writer Norman into struggling substitute teacher Norman. There were a couple of good ones where they tangled at school but it wasn't the same, and the show languished and died.

I'm a big David Garrison fan and am pleased to report he's alive, well, and has a flourishing theater career, just as he wanted when he left MWC in 1990 (of course, the same men who created IYM created MWC, Ron Leavitt and Michael Moye, and wrote the part for him). I've seen him in several plays and musicals and charity benefits and concerts (he has a fine singing voice, strong and expressive if not beautiful) and in Stoppard, Shakespeare (a terrific Malvolio), Sondheim, and many other things. Right now he's on a national tour playing the Wizard in the smash hit musical WICKED (it's in Chicago right now and already sold out).

I started watching AD because of Jason and am delighted to see him finally in a role worthy of the talents he exhibited as Matthew Burton. It's great to see the occasional flash of the boy in the man's expressions, timing, and dry wit. But he and Eli and even Julie were really sweet kids in the end. And it could be very adult, too--a gay mistaken identity plot played just for laughs--in 1984!--and the spontaneous first time lovemaking of Norman and Eileen with a goat, for example. The goat wasn't involved, he was just in the boxcar with them. It's a long story.

Lots of the same writers worked on MWC, as well as the directors, etc. The episode DAD AND ME was largely recycled into the MWC one JUST MARRIED...WITH CHILDREN. Poor Norman's Peanut butter wipes were transformed into Al's Tangwiches, and a few other jokes and themes showed up, as well as some of the actors--Ernie Sabella (currently starring with Christina Applegate on Broadway in SWEET CHARITY, as it happens), Geoffrey Scott, Garrett Morris, and in the next to last MWC ever, Tricia Cast herself. I have video copies of all the episodes and they're pure comedy gold.

#8

Gulftastic

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Posted May 3, 2005 @ 9:20 AM

Completely agree that they spoiled the show when they let the cat out of the bag with regards to the schemeing.

Somewhere on a very old VHS I've got the episode where Norman, Principal Ellis(?) and Mr Twinkisety (sp?) have to enter a talent competition to pay a bar bill. They sang Midnight Train To Georgia and called themselves Ellis And The Lambs. Good times.

#9

Caroma

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Posted May 3, 2005 @ 9:26 AM

Principal Dwight Ellis, and Mr. Lou Donatelli, yep. Good times.

#10

bigmonster

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Posted May 4, 2005 @ 7:31 AM

I think I've started two or three threads on this show, and they always seem to disappear. I loved this show when I was a senior in HS, especially the first half of the one season it was on. I would love to meet Jason Bateman just to tell him how much I loved this show. Had they not f***ed up the entire premise, it could have lasted another season or two.

David Garrison played Norman Lamb. I loved JB's delivery on lines like "Norman....you owe me nothing...." and "Well, Norm....you're gonna laugh..."

"You see, Julie, you never know what's gonna happen when you tune into....The Millers!"

ELI: "Gee, Matt, I wish I had a sister to torture!"
MATT: "Use your imagination, Eli. You have a grandmother."

Or who can forget the classic Christmas episode: "AAAAAHHH! It's the Egg Nog man!"

Good times.

Edited to add: In the where are they now Dept: David Garrison also has a recurring role on L&O as a defense attorney

Edited by bigmonster, May 4, 2005 @ 7:32 AM.


#11

IseutLaBrune

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Posted May 4, 2005 @ 10:53 AM

ELI: "Gee, Matt, I wish I had a sister to torture!"
MATT: "Use your imagination, Eli. You have a grandmother."


Ha! It's great to see some of these old lines. I can totally picture the actors saying them, too.

I loved this show so much during its run, but of course didn't tape anything (I was, what, maybe 8 or 9 years old when it was on? I remember that my mom let me stay up past my bedtime to watch it because she loved it too!) I don't really remember the good quotes or plots, but I remember that it was hilarious. The Dregs of Humanity ep still stands out for me as one of the funniest episodes of any TV show ever. We wants the DVD, we needs it!

Edited by IseutLaBrune, May 4, 2005 @ 10:55 AM.


#12

bigmonster

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Posted May 4, 2005 @ 2:41 PM

WHo can forget when Matt hired an actor to flirt with his mom so that Norman would get jealous:

Norman: "What I like about being a writer is that I can imagine myself doing all kinds of different things. One day I might be an arctic explorer, and the next I might be a professional gambler, and the next day I might even be....oooh, a lion tamer.....So what is it you do?"
Actor: "I'm an arctic explorer, a professional gambler, and a lion tamer."

#13

hannahjane

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Posted Jun 16, 2005 @ 12:35 PM

I am so excited you guys. I went to an event last night called "An Evening With...Jason Bateman" in Los Angeles. It was basically to promote "Arrested Development," which is one of my favorite shows right now, but he will always be Matthew Burton to me. Anyway, in the course of the evening the subject of "It's Your Move" came up and he actually said that of all of the shows that he has done in his career (about 25 years) that he gets the most questions about "It's Your Move." (who knew?!) Someone asked what happened to the show and he said that it only ran 18 episodes and that what he was told was that NBC was getting complaints from parents because their children were trying to emulate some of what Matthew would do and that the show was setting a bad example. Jason said that kids his age at that time had nothing else to do but stay home on Saturday night's and watch it so it would make sense.

Someone in the audience actually asked about Adam Sadowsky who played Eli and Jason said that he wasn't really like that in real life and that they were good friends. Jason said that Adam actually has a company with one of Jason's best friends right now and that he is a really good guy.

After the panel Jason stuck around for a meet and greet and was really sweet to everyone. As much of a geek as I am I told him how I have been a fan forever and declared myself an "It's Your Move fanatic." I told him that I had every episode on tape and had to ask him if there was ever any talk of a DVD release. He basically said that it would make sense since everything else is on DVD these days. But, alas, he had no real news.....as I expected would be the case.

I had my picture taken with him and will remember it as one of my favorite celebrity experiences. He really came off as genuinely respectful and appreciative of his career and his fans. Part of that being because he said himself that he IS a fan and watches his own show and understands that his fans are the reason that "Arrested Development" is still on the air.

For those who are interested, I posted also on the Michael Bluth/Jason thread over on the Arrested Development section about other topics he discussed. Jason said that he does read the posts over there....which was cool.

#14

Chyna

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Posted Jun 16, 2005 @ 2:31 PM

That Dregs of Humanity episode was genius. When I was in college, I was talking to a friend and used the expression "dregs of humanity," and he sort of laughed and said, "OK, you're going to think I'm crazy, but there used to be this sitcom with Jason Bateman..." Of course I knew what he was talking about. But everyone else in the room did think we were crazy.

Re: Adam Sadowsky. I checked out his site, and it's pretty cool that he's had a very successful career after acting, rather than becoming another sad story about former child stars.

#15

Rinaldo

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Posted Jun 16, 2005 @ 8:11 PM

Like Caroma, I'm a big David Garrison fan. It recently occurred to me that I've probably seen him onstage more often than any other actor over the years: in plays, musicals, revues, and concerts (I also have him on a lot of recordings, and videos thereof, including the classic archival Show Boat recording and a live concert of On the Town). He's always good, always right in character, and capable of a wide range of characterizations. I'm glad he's had the success he deserves -- but I would like to see him in some episodes from this series again, too.

#16

Mibbitmaker

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Posted Jun 16, 2005 @ 9:52 PM

I loved this show. I see it and AD as sort-of Jason Bateman bookends of his carreer so far; both shows have a wonderful edge to them, and not in that "hip" way of everything having to be "edgy", either. Also, this show was indeed ruined by the revealing of the schemes. Those made the show!

I taped the good episodes when they ran on USA years ago. I've got to dig those up (I squeezed often disparate things from TV on tape, writing dwn the contents in a writing pad), I'd love to see them again.

#17

MingSchwazia

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Posted Jun 18, 2005 @ 3:08 PM

Wait, Gulftastic, is that Mr. Twinkasetti played by Ernie Sabella? I seem to remember him playing that character on Perfect Strangers... or am I nuts. Anyone?

Edited by MingSchwazia, Jun 18, 2005 @ 3:10 PM.


#18

Gulftastic

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Posted Jun 18, 2005 @ 5:31 PM

I will really have to dig out the VHS and look it up. I am so gald Jason is so brilliant on Arrested Development. It's Your Move could really have gone somewher, but, as mentioned previously, the producers chickened out.

It was definately Ernie Sabella however.

#19

lovelinus

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Posted Jun 20, 2005 @ 6:19 PM

The building manager played by Ernie Sabella was Mr. Donatelli. Mr. Twinkacetti was from "Perfect Strangers".

Edited by lovelinus, Jun 20, 2005 @ 6:20 PM.


#20

Caroma

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Posted Jun 21, 2005 @ 9:55 AM

...and Sabella got to use his singing skills a couple of times, slightly more than Garrison, who just got to sing some Christmas carols and a bit of "I'm in the Mood for Love". But he's getting rave reviews as the Wizard on tour; here's a (slightly fuzzy) picture of him in costume.

Glad to hear that Adam's doing OK, he's a sweet guy. And I saw SWEET CHARITY the night before it opened and Sabella got a huge ovation; like Garrison, he's a very popular Broadway performer who does a lot of charity and benefits. He sang the hell out of 'I Love to Cry at Weddings'.

PS Useless fact of the day! Actor Geoffrey Scott, who played Elroy--excuse me, Jack--in that episode, 'The Rival', went on to play the fake Gary, Al's boss, in an early episode of Married with Children. The creators of both shows, Leavitt and Moye, liked to re-use actors, and Garrett Morris, Ernie Sabella, and even Tricia Cast herself made guest appearances on MWC.

ETA: Yikes! I totally forgot the singing trio of "Ellis and the Lambs" at the end of 'The Experts', where Norman and Lou back up Dwight. Garrett Morris, quite an excellent singer, rocks the hell out of 'Midnight Train to Georgia' while the two Broadway vets geek out as the whitest white guys ever to back up a soul man. Hilarious stuff. As I saw in 'Randy Newman's Faust', Garrison can handle the rock genre fine when he wants to, although he'll never open for the Stones or anything.

However, he could definitely outsing the Dregs of Humanity. :)

Edited by Caroma, Jun 21, 2005 @ 10:00 AM.


#21

bonitobroth

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Posted Jun 21, 2005 @ 12:45 PM

On the East Coast, the second half of the Dregs of Humanity episode got preempted by some news conference with President Reagan and I'm pretty sure the second half never aired again on NBC. I was so mad as a Junior High student that I called NBC to complain and wrote them a letter. I finally saw the second half years later when USA started airing it.

#22

doctorb

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Posted Jun 25, 2005 @ 10:13 AM

I clicked the wrong link looking for something else and saw this. What a great show! I still laugh when I see the image of the friend pulling all those ropes simultaneously to get the band skeletons to move. For an episode I only saw once when it was new a bazillion years ago, that must have been good to stick with me. I also remember thinking the mom was hot.

#23

Caroma

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Posted Jun 25, 2005 @ 10:54 PM

Apparently she is still fondly remembered for her nekkid scenes in 'My Tutor'. Hmmmm.

Eli: "Matt--the lead singer is my left leg!" And later, him attempting to grope Julie with Bones' glove, and coming out of the room after she left with a dazed "I think I'm a man now..."

And the whole terrific long scene of Matt and Norm and the skeleton Don King. "OK, I'm being sued for twenty-six million dollars; but, Norm, you interviewed those guys."

And the look at early, early MTV. As I knew it. I am soooo old. Hey--kids!! KIDS on my LAWN!


"The women? They are just objects of lust! We toss them aside! WE ARE--THE DREGS!"

#24

ubiquitous

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Posted Aug 9, 2007 @ 11:52 AM

Did this first air as a network show or a syndicated one? I remeber watching only a couple eps but cannot recall much else about, other than the man who played Steve Roads on MwC was on it.

#25

lovelinus

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Posted Aug 9, 2007 @ 11:05 PM

It was a network (NBC) show. There were 18 episodes.

Edited by lovelinus, Aug 9, 2007 @ 11:05 PM.


#26

pembertonsucks

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Posted Sep 28, 2008 @ 2:16 PM

An amazing television sitcom, one of the best I've seen. It has the dark, cynical comedic feel of Married with Children and The Simpsons, but unfortunately way ahead of its time. I loved Bateman's character on Silver Spoons, and this show allowed some great character development of the young con-artist, climaxing with his slightly disturbing arson attempt before finally getting caught by his mom. Imagine what could have escalated if it weren't for viewer complaints! A serial-killer storyline comes to mind. Bateman's character had to be found out, since viewers found the concept of a child out of his mother's control to be upsetting. Every episode is on YouTube right now, complete with classic commercials. Hooray!