‘Alf’ and ‘ER’, the latest classics that ‘streaming’ recovers

Every time a platform streaming adds a television classic to its catalog should be considered a victory. And it is that television culture had always had the same problem: the difficulty of recovering the series that marked the medium because, as they are not novelties, have problems with musical rights or the cost due to the immense number of chapters, the platforms do not They viewed it as a priority. But it’s time to celebrate because HBO Max will bring two hitherto unreleased series to the streaming: alpha Y emergencies.

“Members of a normal family find themselves in extraordinary situations when an alien being lands in their garage and becomes part of the family.” This was the starting point of alpha, one of the most iconic series of the 80s. Could it be that its cult status also derives from its crazy premise, which placed an alien from the planet Melmac and played by Paul Fusco through a puppet? Of course.

The initial reviews of ‘Alf’ were disastrous but it made a niche for itself among the public, in part because of its crazy starting point with a puppet as the protagonist

When it premiered in September 1986, it received dire reviews in the United States after the first episode aired. “It’s one of those TV sitcoms that just isn’t funny,” they said. Los Angeles Times. But this did not prevent him from winning a parish of the faithful and even taking the People’s Choice Award for best new comedy.

But his success was short-lived: in 1990, after four seasons, NBC canceled his series with a memorable ending for all the wrong reasons. Creator Paul Fusco, who also played Alf, had been assured that he would be renewed for a fifth season and signed off with a cliffhanger: Alf was trying to reunite with his family in Melmac when he was captured by the US air force. A very twisted goodbye to content designed for the whole family, right?

The movie they shot six years later was a dud: it didn't even include the Tanner family.

The movie they shot six years later was a dud: it didn’t even include the Tanner family.

hbo max

Six years later a TV movie was produced to close this open ending and leave audiences with a better taste in their mouths. They failed: a lackluster script and the absence of the Tanner family, as the actors were unavailable to shoot, led audiences to dismiss the film as the series finale. Will the movie be an integral part of the series or not? On July 10 we will clear up doubts when alpha land on HBO Max.

In the case of emergencies, which will arrive on July 17, was one of the main absentees from the HBO Max catalog, considering that it is a Warner Bros production and, therefore, they had the rights to exploit it on the new service. And what can be said about it: 331 episodes spread over 15 seasons broadcast between 1994 and 2009 and that served to launch actors like George Clooney and Julianna Margulies, eternals like doctor Doug Ross and nurse Carol Hathaway who, as a curiosity, originally he was supposed to die in the pilot episode.

George Clooney and Julianna Margulies in 'ER'

George Clooney and Julianna Margulies in ‘ER’

File, Archive

At the time of its release it was considered a turning point for television, in part because of the pace of Michael Crichton’s script, which he had written in 1974 based on his experiences as a trainee doctor after graduating from Harvard Medical School. After collaborating with Steven Spielberg on the adaptation of his novel jurassic-park in 1993, the filmmaker wanted to develop Crichton’s old script into a television series with John Wells as executive producer.

Averaging 19 million viewers in its first season, it became an automatic hit for NBC, where it broke records with seasons three and four, over 30 million viewers. And what was the key to success? Assume that the viewer is intelligent, that it is not necessary to give it all chewed up, understand that it will be able to process hard medical cases, and keep the pulse of the episode while the characters are cooked and multiple medical cases are exposed every hour. In 1996, in addition, it was consecrated with the Emmy for the best dramatic series after having obtained the statuette as best supporting actress for Julianna Margulies for the first season.

Michael Crichton had written the initial script for ‘ER’ in 1974 after serving as a trainee doctor upon graduation, and Steven Spielberg wanted to get it back after collaborating together on ‘Jurassic Park’

But emergencies Y alpha are not the only veteran series to appear on HBO Max: all seven seasons of Parks and recreation (July 17), Amy Poehler’s unmissable comedy that has already had its run on Amazon Prime Video, all six seasons of downton abbey (July 25) and all nine seasons of the US version of office with Steve Carell (July 4).

The advantage of the classics? That, when they have the attention of the public, they offer hundreds of hours of content to subscribers, generating customer loyalty and ensuring that they remain subscribed to the platform. And, in the case of comedies and case series, the revival factor never ends for those who love the series in question.

‘The office’ arrives on July 4; ‘Parks and recreation’, the 17; and ‘Downton abbey’, on the 25th

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