"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 17 July 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.






Once again, we at Suck find ourselves waxing nostalgic for a simpler time, an age when everything made sense. Our hazy yearning for the past is driven - as these melancholy sensations invariably are - by abject confusion with the present, and our frustration is measured not in years, but in television seasons. Time was, we croak from our front porch, the only prerequisite for understanding the characters, conceits, and essential plot points of a prime-time series was a set of ears and the ability to follow a tune. Flip on the TV and a catchy jingle laid a show's dramatic truths at our feet like the family tabby dragging home a dead sparrow. These days, finding the thread of a Must See TV plot is more difficult than finding the remote, the channel, and our asses with a feather duster, combined.

True, the jingle was utilized in what some might argue to be a much lamer epoch, when the shows were more high concept: "orangutan that can speak" (Mr. Smith), "trucker and chimp are best friends" (B.J. and the Bear), "lower primate throws fits" (The Morton Downey Jr., Show). But those songs! "Now sit right back, and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip!" Yes, yes, a thousand times, YES! We want the tale of a fateful trip, goddammit, and we'd really much rather it not be our own. So, in the spirit of constructive criticism, we ask: Isn't it about time that someone introduced lyrics to those TV theme songs that especially need them? Wouldn't you like to hear them and finally, joyously understand the themes and dreams that sustain the tales we tell ourselves in order to understand how we love, how we live, and who we are in this modern world? We thought not, but please follow along anyway. As a warm up, we'll start off with shows of the past, eventually worming our way to the dramas of today. To lend proper atmosphere to this long-overdue undertaking, we've scoured the Web for the appropriate - and appropriately dazzling - MIDI files (RealAudio files, too, for those lacking imagination), which should help you in your studies. Do sing along.

Next ... Junkyard Jig! (music by Quincy Jones)

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