Urgent: A lost episode of ALF has been discovered!

This is not a drill, a joke, or a trick. I have in my possession a complete and very real script for a never-produced episode of ALF.

This is what I was referring to last week. I didn’t want to promise anything until I actually held the script in my hands. Any number of things could have gone wrong. The post office could have eaten it. The script could have been incomplete. The whole thing could have been a hoax.

But here I am, with 30 minutes’ worth of never-seen ALF in my grubby little hands. It’s called “Home Sweet Home” and I’m dying to tell you all about it…but that will have to wait.

This is a piece of television history that was almost lost to the ages. Granted, it’s a small piece of something nobody likes, but still. It’s something.

And it’s a hell of a damn find. In July I reviewed the ALF Sega Master System game, and I was pretty certain that was the last ALF project to warrant coverage. I even ended that review by saying, “Tune in next year when I review the fuckin’ paper plates.”

But now, I have this.

I am going to cover it in July for this year’s ALF review. That is to be expected, I’m sure, and I’m thrilled to be able to share this with the world for the very first time.

However, I’ll need your help in terms of how to present it. In every other case, you could watch the episode or play the game or whatever yourself, and then read what I have to say about it. In this case, that’s not possible. I have the script and you don’t. That’s a problem.

The easiest solution would be to scan the whole thing and post a .pdf, but I don’t own the rights to “Home Sweet Home” and have no intention of distributing somebody’s script without permission.

Fair Use, however, allows for transformative works. That’s why I’ve never had any qualms about using screen grabs and quotes in my reviews; they’re being presented in a transformative context that does not rob the episodes of their own identities. The reviews exist in a space that doesn’t overlap the value of the episodes.

All of which is to say, there are a number of ways I could go with this. The script could be illustrated, storyboarded, animated, acted as a radio play…anything, really. I want people to be able to enjoy it, so please let me know how you would like to see “Home Sweet Home” presented, and I’ll do my best to give you something worth coming back for.

Share your thoughts, either below or otherwise. I’m all ears, and we have a few months to do this right.

We’re making history, here, people.

Updates, and This Year’s Rule of Three

HELLO as I’m sure was pretty clear I’ve had a difficult month. But I’m here, I’m okay, and I have some updates I think you will enjoy.

The book: The loss of Mike a few weeks back made me profoundly unproductive, which I think most people would agree is understandable. As such, I wasn’t able to finish the next draft of my book as quickly as I’d have liked. It’s still been submitted ahead of the publisher’s deadline, so there’s no problem there, but I had hoped to have it finished sooner and work on some blog stuff instead. That didn’t happen, but things will pick up very soon.

Fiction into Film: Ghost World won the poll for my next Fiction into Film. That was the project I had hoped to tackle over the past few weeks, but it will have to happen a little later instead. I’m planning to have it done at some point in March, so that it’s out before this year’s Rule of Three starts up in April. More on that in a bit.

Advertising: Every so often I get an alert from Google AdSense saying my site is in violation of some guideline or other. Typically this happens while I’m at work, and by the time I get home and check on my site, the violation is gone without explanation. I almost never have any clue what they thought I violated, so I’m assuming they’re just false positives that get automatically cleaned up by the system. (It would be nice if they told me what was causing them, though.) Today I got one and was able to check it quickly enough. It was a sexual content violation on my Fiction into Film for The Running Man, which, as I’m sure you recall, was done in the style of hardcore pornography. Granted, I do talk about sex in that writeup, but only in terms of how the adaptation handles it. Each time I get flagged, ads either stop being served or I stop making any money from them until it’s resolved. And since I’ve yet to post any hardcore super sex on this site, it’s getting irritating. I may just do away with AdSense altogether. Some folks have suggested Patreon instead, and while I have nothing against that I’d feel pretty bad if the audience paid for my services rather than sponsors or employers. Wanting you enjoy my content and expecting you to fund it are two very different things. I’m open to ideas, so let me know your thoughts.

ALF news: It’s very possible I will have one hell of a big coup for this year’s one-off ALF review. Stay tuned. It’s a good one.

Rule of Three: The big update is this year’s Rule of Three, the comedy-focused sister series of Trilogy of Terror. Rule of Three kicks off April 1, and this year I’ll be looking at movies based on novelty songs. I could say more about why I chose that topic, but I’d rather save that for the actual features so I’m not spreading my criticism into places later readers won’t find. If you’re interested in watching the films ahead of time, you’ve got about a month!

The schedule is as follows, with links to the appropriate songs so you can be amazed anyone squeezed 90+ minutes of narrative out of this crap:

April 1: Harper Valley PTA (1978)
April 8: Convoy (1978)
April 15: Purple People Eater (1988)

These are all varying degrees of glorious trainwrecks, and I look forward to writing them up and sharing them with you. On a related note, I apologize for letting you know these things exist.

For now, I just want to thank you for your patience. There’s good stuff coming. Life may slow me down, but it has yet to keep me down.

Update: Book, Fiction into Film, Mega Man, more!

Right! So, it’s been quiet around here, I’m not dead, you know the drill. But since I haven’t updated the site in 2019 yet, I wanted to provide some information about what’s going on, tease a few features, and open something up to a vote.

First, the book.

I know, I know, I wish I could actually tell you about it. Hopefully soon. My publisher will have to do its own announcement first, and then I’ll never shut up about it, I promise.

Progress has been great. I sent them a complete draft toward the end of 2018, and they provided a lot of useful, extremely thoughtful feedback. I was happy with the draft (as far as drafts can make one happy), and they’ve unquestionably given me the tools to make it better.

Posting much of the feedback here would give away the subject, so I’ll instead just include this one general bullet instead.

That felt good to receive! I can sleep again knowing I didn’t submit a big heap of crap.

There were definitely a few things I did that they weren’t on board with, which is great to know. It’s impossible for me to experience my own work as a reader, so feedback like that is immensely helpful.

I will say that the book covers a topic I’ve discussed here before. Obviously this will cover it in much greater depth, but if you’ve been a reader of the site, I think it’s safe to say you’ll be glad when you find out what I’m covering.

All of that is to say that I’m currently working on the second complete draft of the book, which consists of a major rewrite followed by lots of and lots of editing and polishing. I owe them this draft by the end of February, and I expect to turn it in much sooner than that. Once that happens, I’ll be posting here regularly again.

Well, “regularly.”

I do have a number of things I want to cover when I have the bandwidth. For starters, it’s safe to say I’ve spent enough time with Mega Man 11 now that I can write its Fight, Megaman! entry. You’ll notice it wasn’t in my best-of-2018 list, but I don’t hate it and I know I’ll have a lot to say.

I’ve also spent a lot of time with Fallout 76, which has become less of a video game and more of a flaming dumpster tumbling down a mountain. Which is a shame, because its dire reputation is both well deserved and unfortunate. You’ll notice it wasn’t in my best-of-2018 list, but I don’t hate it and I know I’ll have a lot to say.

There’s also a whole piece I’d like to write about Prey‘s approach to ethical conundrums. You’ll notice it was in my best-of-2018 list, and I nearly discussed my (very positive) feelings about this aspect of the game there, but saying anything of substance will be impossible without major spoilers, so I’m going to confine it to its own post. In the meantime, go play Prey.

In February, I’ll be reviewing another show in its entirety, for those missing the ALF reviews. It’s a worse show than ALF, but it also didn’t last as long, so we can call it a draw. Stay tuned for more information on that.

I have my three films selected for this year’s Rule of Three, and I think it will be an interesting study. You can look forward to that series starting up, as always, on April 1.

And, finally, I want to spend time this year writing more Fiction into Film entries. I always have good intentions with this series, and it’s one of my favorite things to write, but it also takes a lot of time and energy, so when those things are at a premium, this is the first to go.

However, as your reward for being patient, I thought I’d open up the next Fiction into Film to a vote.

Below are a number of entries I’ve wanted to write for a long time. These are adaptations I know I’d have a lot to say about, and the reason I haven’t covered them yet is simply because I haven’t gotten around to it.

After this draft of the book is complete and submitted, though, I will begin work on whatever wins the popular vote. You’re welcome to vote here in the comments, on Facebook, through email, on Twitter…any way you like. Just let me know which one you’d prefer to read about, and that’s what will get my attention. I’ll announce the winner as soon as my draft is complete, so I don’t have a firm date yet. The end of this month is probably a fair guess, though, so vote now!

  • Catch-22 (1961/1970)
  • The Long Goodbye (1952/1973)
  • The Hotel New Hampshire (1981/1984)
  • Jackie Brown (1992/1997)
  • Breakfast of Champions (1973/1999)
  • Ghost World (1997/2001)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970/2009)
  • Submarine (2008/2010)

As always, thank you for your patience and for your readership. You’ll get something great out of the quiet time, I promise.

Vote!

Ho ho ho, it’s bed time

I have to admit, while I didn’t expect to take a break after this year’s Xmas Bash, I’m very glad I did. It feels good to just do…nothing.

That obviously won’t (and can’t!) last forever, but for now, I hope you’ll understand if I take the end of December off.

I won’t be completely gone. At the very least, I want to post a best-games-of-my-year list like I did for 2017. I’m still trying to decide on a format, though, since once again I’ll be allowing games I missed from the previous year.

And though I say I’ll take the end of December off, I’m actually working on the second draft of my book. The publisher got back to me with feedback that was thorough, useful, and honestly flattering! The rewrite won’t take nearly as much work as the first draft did, but there are a few things I’ll need to really rework, so it’s no small task, either.

So…be patient. Enjoy the holidays. Hang out with friends, exchange gifts, consume alcoholic lactose. You’ve got better things to do than check a blog!

I’m not gone…just enjoying a few deep breaths. I’ll be back soon.

Announcing: Halloween and Christmas!

Happy Labor Day! Let’s talk about Halloween and Christmas.

The two biggest holidays for this blog are closer than you may realize. I recently announced my Halloween plans on the official Facebook page, so be sure to follow that if you aren’t already. It’s sometimes easier for me to push quick news there if I don’t have time to write an actual post.

In short, I’ve been busy with the book lately, so don’t worry…I haven’t stopped writing, even if this blog seems a bit slow lately. You’re going to get a really great, long, intensive piece in physical form, and it’s horror-related, so I know it’s something you’ll enjoy. Just be patient; I will make the official announcement as soon as I can.

To make up for my online absence, though, this year’s Trilogy of Terror feature will be getting a bonus entry in the form of the long-overdue return of Fiction Into Film.

Fiction Into Film is a series I deeply enjoy writing for, and one I truly love, but it’s also one that takes a massive amount of work, time, and focus. As such, I never quite get to it. There’s always something else I could (or should…) be doing.

Now, though, I’ve set aside the time. Not only because I want to give you something great to read, but because it fits perfectly into this year’s Trilogy of Terror theme.

The films I’m covering this year follow the theme of The Most Dangerous Games. That is to say, they each center upon competitions of life and death. And every one of them has a unique approach to that concept.

If you’d like to follow along this year, here are the films we’ll be covering, and the dates on which the features go live.

Oct. 10 – Fiction Into Film: The Running Man (1982/1987)
Oct. 17 – Trilogy of Terror: Deathrow Gameshow (1987)
Oct. 24 – Trilogy of Terror: Rollerball (1975)
Oct. 31 – Trilogy of Terror: Solarbabies (1986)

Each of these films should be fairly easy to find, and you might get lucky and see a few of them available for streaming. You’ve got time to look, if you’re interested in checking them out beforehand!

In addition, well…I may as well announce the date and time of this year’s Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!

This will be the sixth time we all gather ’round the internet to enjoy five hours’ worth of forgotten Christmas specials, bizarre Christmas music, vintage commercials, and so much more.

All you have to do is visit this very website at the following time, and enjoy the Xmas Bashing.

The 6th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash!
Saturday Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Eastern

What will we be watching? I can’t tell you yet! But I have been working on the stream as well as the book (and as well as the upcoming Halloween posts!) and I know you’re going to wish I never dragged any of this crap back up and made you witness it.

It will be great!

As a refresher, here are the holly jolly trainwrecks we enjoyed in the past five Bashes.

The 1st Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2013):

  • ALF – “Oh, Tannerbaum”
  • Lassie – “The Christmas Story”
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch – “Sabrina Claus”
  • Major Dad – “The Gift of the Major”
  • Charles in Charge – “Home for the Holidays”
  • Lost in Space – “Return From Outer Space”
  • Family Ties – “A Keaton Christmas Carol”

The 2nd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2014):

  • ALF – “ALF’s Special Christmas”
  • The Fat Albert Christmas Special
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “Alpha’s Magical Christmas”
  • Christmas Comes to Pac-Land
  • The Partridge Family – “Don’t Bring Your Guns to Town, Santa”
  • Santa’s Magic Toy Bag
  • Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

The 3rd Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2015):

  • ALF: The Animated Series – “A Mid-Goomer Night’s Dream”
  • The Bill Cosby Show – “A Christmas Ballad”
  • Full House – “Our Very First Christmas Show”
  • We Wish You a Turtle Christmas
  • Mr. Ed – “Ed’s Christmas Story”
  • Perfect Strangers – “A Christmas Story”
  • Walker: Texas Ranger – “A Ranger’s Christmas”

The 4th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash (2016):

  • Family Matters – “Christmas is Where the Heart Is”
  • The Flying Nun – “Wailing in a Winter Wonderland”
  • The Monkees – “The Monkees’ Christmas Show”
  • Amos & Andy – “The Christmas Story”
  • Welcome Back, Kotter – “Hark, the Sweatkings”
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show – “Koopa Klaus”
  • Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa

The 5th Annual Noiseless Chatter Xmas Bash! (2017):

  • The Cosby Show – “Getting to Know You”
  • Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – “I’m Dreaming of a White Ranger”
  • Inspector Gadget – “Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas”
  • Thunderbirds – “Give or Take a Million”
  • Dog With a Blog – “Twas the Fight Before Christmas”
  • Good Times – “The Traveling Christmas”
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues – “A Shaolin Christmas”

You may not see it here just now, but I’m working hard on getting some great things together.

Join me, won’t you? And thanks, as ever, for your patience and support. We’ll be together for the important holidays.

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