Geek out on the '80s, ghosts, says the Televisionist | Rock Candy

Geek out on the '80s, ghosts, says the Televisionist



Broderick and Sheedy think war gaming.

7 p.m. Friday, July 24
Turner Classic Movies

Ah, the 1980s. It was a simpler time, wasn't it? A pair of acid-washed jeans on every butt, a synthesizer in every song and a semi-lucid geriatric with his finger on the nuclear button in the White House. Nothing like the good old days. Given that this writer grew up in the age of big hair and Wham!, it's no surprise that I've got a soft spot for the movies of that era. It was kind of a golden age: After all the dreary realism and big mustaches of 1970s cinema, but before all the hyper-violence and Will Smithification of the 1990 flicks. Well, get on your leg warmers and break out that six-pack of New Coke you've got hoarded in the basement, kiddies, because TCM is offering up this three-fer of 1980s teen flicks. First up is 1984's “Karate Kid.” Then it's the better-than-you-remember-it look at early computers and nuclear annihilation, “WarGames.” The trio rounds out with the 1986 roman-a-clef classic, “Stand By Me.” Frankie says: Relax, and have some popcorn.

8 p.m. Friday, July 24
The Travel Channel

Yeah, I know I've picked this show in the past, but I can't overstress how much I love watching “Ghost Adventures,” and I want you, my loyal readers, to know love as well. In the history of reality TV, this might be the greatest example of unintentional comedy the genre has ever produced, and that's saying a lot.  Every week, Zak, Nick and Aaron, three over-hair-gelled frat boys — who use the word “dude!” as often as they use the word “the,” and who seem to have fallen down and hit their heads a few too many times — go looking for ghosts in spooky old buildings. The result is like an episode of “The Three Stooges” filmed in night vision. For example: Because of their perplexing insistence that no visible lights be used while they're filming (it's night vision only, which usually leaves them feeling their way along in pitch darkness, using only the tiny screens attached to their camera to guide them) you could make a damn fine drinking game out of the number of times they poke each other in the eye alone. This week, Larry, Moe and Curly visit Britain's Ancient Ram Inn.

—David Koon

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