ALF

A new review every Thursday! Join me as I work my way through every episode of ALF, in order, because you asked me to do this, thereby proving that man gravitates naturally toward evil. Seriously, this show is awful. ENJOY!

SEASON ONE

Episode 1: A.L.F.
Episode 2: Strangers in the Night
Episode 3: Looking For Lucky
Episode 4: Pennsylvania 6-5000
Episode 5: Keepin’ the Faith
Episode 6: For Your Eyes Only
Episode 7: Help Me, Rhonda
Episode 8: Don’t it Make Your Brown Eyes Blue?
Episode 9: Jump
Episode 10: Baby, You Can Drive My Car
Episode 11: On the Road Again
Episode 12: Oh, Tannerbaum
Episode 13: Mother and Child Reunion
Episode 14: A Little Bit of Soap
Episode 15: I’ve Got a New Attitude
Episode 16: Try to Remember
Episode 17: Border Song
Episode 18: Wild Thing
Episode 19: Going Out of My Head Over You
Episode 20: Lookin’ Through the Windows
Episode 21: It Isn’t Easy…Bein’ Green
Episode 22: The Gambler
Episode 23: Weird Science
Episode 24: La Cuckaracha
Episode 25: Come Fly With Me
Bonus #1: Season One Reviewed
Bonus #2: Character Spotlight – Kate Tanner
Bonus #3: The ALFies, season one

SEASON TWO

Episode 1: Working My Way Back to You
Episode 2: Somewhere Over the Rerun (aka The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island)
Episode 3: Take a Look at Me Now
Episode 4: Wedding Bell Blues
Episode 5: Prime Time
Episode 6: Some Enchanted Evening
Episode 7: Oh, Pretty Woman
Episode 8: Something’s Wrong With Me
Episode 9: Night Train
Episode 10: Isn’t it Romantic?
Episode 11: Hail to the Chief
Episode 12: ALF’s Special Christmas
Episode 13: The Boy Next Door
Episode 14: Can I Get a Witness?
Episode 15: We’re So Sorry, Uncle Albert
Episode 16: Someone to Watch Over Me: Part 1
Episode 17: Someone to Watch Over Me: Part 2
Episode 18: We Gotta Get Out of This Place
Episode 19: You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog
Episode 20: Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Episode 21: Movin’ Out
Episode 22: I’m Your Puppet
Episode 23: Tequila
Episode 24: We Are Family
Episode 25: Varsity Drag
Bonus #1: Season Two Reviewed
Bonus #2: Character Spotlight – Brian Tanner
Bonus #3: The ALFies, season two

SEASON THREE

Episode 1: Stop in the Name of Love
Episode 2: Stairway to Heaven
Episode 3: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Episode 4: Tonight, Tonight: Part 1
Episode 5: Tonight, Tonight: Part 2
Episode 6: Promises, Promises
Episode 7: Turkey in the Straw: Part 1
Episode 8: Turkey in the Straw: Part 2
Episode 9: Changes
Episode 10: My Back Pages
Episode 11: Alone Again, Naturally
Episode 12: Do You Believe in Magic?
Episode 13: Hide Away
Episode 14: Fight Back
Episode 15: Suspicious Minds
Episode 16: Baby Love
Episode 17: Running Scared
Episode 18: Standing in the Shadows of Love
Episode 19: Superstition
Episode 20: Torn Between Two Lovers
Episode 21: Funeral For a Friend
Episode 22: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Episode 23: Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow
Episode 24: Like an Old Time Movie
Episode 25: Shake, Rattle and Roll
Episode 26: Having My Baby
Bonus #1: Season Three Reviewed
Bonus #2: Character Spotlight – Lynn Tanner
Bonus #3: The ALFies, season three

SEASON FOUR

Episode 1: Baby, Come Back
Episode 2: Lies
Episode 3: Wanted: Dead or Alive
Episode 4: We’re in the Money
Episode 5: Mind Games
Episode 6: Hooked on a Feeling
Episode 7: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s Willie’s Brother
Episode 8: The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face
Episode 9: Live and Let Die
Episode 10: Break Up to Make Up
Episode 11: Happy Together
Episode 12: Fever
Episode 13: It’s My Party
Episode 14: Make ‘Em Laugh
Episode 15: Love on the Rocks
Episode 16: True Colors
Episode 17: Gimme That Old Time Religion
Episode 18: Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades
Episode 19: When I’m Sixty-Four
Episode 20: Mr. Sandman
Episode 21: Stayin’ Alive
Episode 22: Hungry Like the Wolf
Episode 23: I Gotta Be Me
Episode 24: Consider Me Gone
Bonus #1: Season Four Reviewed
Bonus #2: Character Spotlight – Willie Tanner
Bonus #3: The ALFies, season four

PROJECT: ALF

Part 1: Hey, a Movie!
Part 2: Movin’ Right Along
Part 3: Never Before, Never Again
Bonus: Character Spotlight – Gordon Shumway

SUMMING UP

Season One, Uncut
The 10 Best and 10 Worst Episodes
ALF Reviewed

MISC.

Misc. 1: Gordon Weston Shumway
Misc. 2: The German Box
Misc. 3: Radio Free Melmac
Misc. 4: “SPEWEY and Me,” Get a Life season 2, episode 11
Misc. 5: Guest Post: A Look at ALF’s Hit Talk Show
Misc. 6: Guest Post: Insight from Bernie Brillstein
Misc. 7: ALF to the Future
Misc. 8: Guest Post: A Look at the ALF Comic Series (Part One)
Misc. 9: Guest Post: A Look at the ALF Comic Series (Part Two)
Misc. 10: Check out this ALF syndication trifold!
Misc. 11: “ALF Loves a Mystery” (1987)

(Hat-tip to the excellent Full House Reviewed blog for the inspiration, and Dylan Savageau for the banner image!)

42 thoughts on “ALF”

  1. Howdy, I got over to your webpage via Facebook. Not something I usually read through, although I like your thoughts none the less. Thanks for developing some thing worthy of reading!

  2. Do you have any plans to eventually review Project Alf? The movie doesn’t really wrap things up but at least it continues where the show left off, sorta.

  3. I’ve been absolutely loving these Alf reviews. Keep ’em coming! I never watched the show as a kid, but as an adult I got curious to see if it was as bad as I heard it was. After I saw a couple episodes, I was hooked because it’s a complete train-wreck of a sitcom. I’ve seen most of the episodes on TV over the last year or so, and I just can’t believe just how BAD the writing was. How did it last for 4 season? I think if it didn’t have the Alf puppet, it surely would have been canceled after the first season.

    One strange detail I noticed that you should keep an eye out for…in all the scenes where the Tanners leave the house and are in the car driving around, it’s ALWAYS at night. I’ve never once seen them drive around during the day. Now you could say that they didn’t drive around during the day with Alf because it was too risky, but there have been episodes where Alf wasn’t even in the car. There were also times where they HAD to get in the car due to something Alf did, and it always just happened to be dark outside even if it seemed like it was in the middle of the day. Maybe filming the car scenes at night was easier for the production team? Cheaper? Not sure, but it’s weird nonetheless.

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Stick around for the rest of the journey. I’ll need all the help I can get.

      Also that’s a very interesting point about driving at night. I wonder. I’ll keep an eye out in the future to see if that holds true. I know they drove in the daytime during “On the Road Again,” but I don’t remember if the camera angle ever actually let you see the scenery going past. I’m pretty sure it didn’t. Interesting…

      1. Don’t worry, I’m definitely in for the long-run! It’s great to see someone really dissecting these episodes, especially since many of them are still fresh in my mind. :-)

        Good point, I didn’t think about the “On the Road Again” episode with them driving the RV during the day. What I was originally thinking was their car specifically, so I didn’t even think about the RV. I definitely can’t remember a single time ever seeing them driving the car around during the day though, so just keep an eye out. I haven’t seen all the episodes, so I may be wrong, but I saw enough scenes of them only driving the car at night to think it was strange.

        I also found this link which might be helpful for you for upcoming reviews. It’s a list of the specific cuts in the syndicated and DVD versions of the Alf episodes you’re reviewing. It’s far from complete, but there is a good deal of information there on many episodes. It might help fill in some plot-holes or inconsistencies due to edits as you’re watching future episodes.

        http://alf.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_cuts_in_syndicated/DVD_version

        1. I thought I responded to this but I guess I didn’t: thank you for that link! I wish it were more comprehensive, but that is indeed interesting and helpful!

    2. That would have been interesting if ALF was, say, a costumed actor and not a puppet – yeah, the show would never have been picked up in the first place, as quality aside, it would have been too similar to other “alien” sitcoms!

  4. Really enjoying these reviews! LOLed several times and I’ve only read the first seven so far because those are the only episodes I’ve watched but I’m hoping to catch up. I must be some kind of masochist ’cause I’m watching the region 2 DVDs which for the most part have the episodes as originally broadcast rather than the shorter, syndicated versions.

    1. Thanks Clem!

      I should have the German DVDs soon, thanks to some kind readers. As far as I could tell, that was the only release that got them uncut, but maybe I’m wrong! Or maybe there are several kinds of edits floating around. Either way, I hope you really love episode 8!

  5. Google image search is currently letting me down, so for now I will just try to describe this crazy Alf thing I once owned. In 1996 my then-girlfriend went to Germany for her senior trip, and brought me back a large Alf statue that was wearing lederhosen and had a knapsack on a stick slung over his shoulder. She knew that even at 16, in 1996, I was a crazy big Alf fan, and apparently at that time he was still big over in Europe. Enough so to easily find a large statue of him, at any rate. I have absolutely no idea what has become of it, if it’s sitting in some box at my grandmother’s or whatever, but man I have to find a pic of that ridiculous statue that I was so happy to receive.

    1. Just finished it! It’ll post tomorrow morning, my time. (So…about 11 hours from now if that helps?)

    1. I loved that show! It’s a shame it didn’t last longer. I’ve been meaning to pick up the DVD but haven’t gotten around to it.

  6. I read some of your reviews. Why are you attacking this show left and right? I watched this as a kid and i still do. I’m a fresh Chemistry graduate and the light, funny comedy plots of ALF has helped me deal with a lot of stress during exams and my dissertation writing.
    I cannot believe that there are so many people agreeing with you! Have you tried making a show?? You must give them credit for the simple comedy they’ve created, without try to critically evaluate every word they utter? I feel sorry for you’ll coz you can’t just sit back and relax and enjoy a show.

  7. So, I was watching an old Mork and Mindy (“Alas poor Mork, we knew him well”) researching into the nature of executive meddling, and something struck me as odd. Mork is a paranoid hypochondriac in the show, and at one point he throws a plate he believes is lead painted out of a restaurant doorway into the hands of the shows resident escaped mental patient Exidor. He proclaims it to be an object from the Melmac galaxy – and that would be a full 5 years before ALF is piloted. So was Melmac an existing alien thing, or did Paul rip his planet name from a throwaway line from a dying sitcom?

    1. I think they got it from the brand of melamine, but certainly it’s the first time that I heard it used in a space context.

      1. Yeah, the planet Melmac is definitely a reference to the dinnerware company Melmac. Mork and Mindy did make that joke first, but obviously in a very different context. It’s hard to say whether or not Fusco lifted it. We’ve seen him lift OTHER material for sure, so it’s fully possible…but it’s also possible it was subconscious plagiarism, and he didn’t realize that he’d heard the joke elsewhere before he made it.

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