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Fake Bands and their TV Shows
You can blame IFC for this month long love letter to the type of television show we all secretly love. Ok. Maybe a small amount of us but it might be more since this has been done many times on television. I am talking about the fake television band.
I cannot resist a hook. Especially one that includes music and a play on what most girls go through. Loving a band of misfit specially marketed boy band.
This started on a very warm spring day when I was eight years old. I was home sick. Armed with tissues, cough medicine and the remote I started my sick day looking for something to watch. After enjoying Jerry Springer (something I was never allowed to watch but my grandma was not paying attention), I went looking for something else. I ended up settling on this old television show that featured four guys who were funny and ran around in a montage at the end of every episode. It could have been the cough medicine helping, but I soon became addicted to the show. Who were the four guys?
Micky. Mike. George. Davy.
What is a ‘Monkee’?
The Monkees were a group put together for the sole purpose of selling a television show from 1966 to 1968. It was supposed to be like The Beatles film (hence, why the misspelling is the same) A Hard Day’s Night but with a group that never did or will become famous. Filmmakers, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider wrote about this group and sold the idea to Screen Gems. The completion of the pilot episode, written by Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker put in motion an ad in the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety announcing auditions to be in the show.
Each guy that was picked was assigned a personality type, Micky Dolenz the funny one, Mike Nesmith the smart and serious one, Peter Tork the naive one, and David Jones the cute one (you can thank the Beatles for that one).
The style of the show was meant to break the fourth wall. It used quick cuts, jump cuts and loose narratives. This made the show stand out in a formulaic television landscape. The Monkees earned two Emmy Awards in 1967 for outstanding comedy series and directorial achievement in comedy. This was considered an upset especially since The Monkees were in the same category was Bewitched, Get Smart, The Andy Griffith Show and Hogan’s Heroes.
The show had a resurgence in the 80s when MTV (we should have known) would play the show on a loop making The Monkees popular again.
That is more than likely why I was watching the show on my television set that fateful spring day.
Why are you obsessed? Why are you even talking about them, Amanda?
Thank you for asking fake reader! Obsessed is a strong word but the show had staying power. The show was loose, silly and I cannot get enough of the fourth wall jokes. It is almost like, we as an audience, were on the same journey as these characters. It is like visiting old friends. That is what that show felt like. Each episode was like visiting old friends and getting involved in the scheme of the week.
The show used the ‘bands’ music well too. Even though it was loose and full of improv, there was a formula to the episodes. At some point, The Monkees single of the week would be played over a montage to tie up loose ends or finish off a scheme or two. The music is fun. Fits the time period. If you did not know, The Monkees did have quite a few hits. Daydream Believer, Last Train to Clarksville, Not your Stepping Stone, Pleasant Valley Sunday and of course, I’m a Believer (Thanks to Shrek for running that one into the ground). Some of the songs might not ring a bell but if you were to listen to them…it comes back to you. The Monkees music has been used constantly in Hollywood movies (DAMN YOU SHREK!)
It is just a silly, happy, random show and sometimes you need that in your life. The shows on the air now, not all of them, are dark. Sometimes a person needs to laugh and forget their life for 30 minutes.
The Monkees does that for me.
Now that I found the show is playing once again the television channel IFC, I found the show still holds up and I even get the more adult jokes that went over my 8-year-old brain.
If you are interested (come on…I know you are) stay tuned because tomorrow I give you my top three episodes of The Monkees 58 episode series.
The Monkees are just the beginning. Since then there have been fake television bands that have stolen my heart. Can you think of a few? What other bands will show up on this blog?
Until then, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!