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3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 6 Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 6 By season six I was just waiting to see how 3rd Rock from the Sun would wrap up. Would they stay, would they go, whom might they bring with them? Spoiler alert: the Solomons leave and don't bring anyone.

Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes off to college. Dick (John Lithgow) tells Mary (Jane Curtin). Sally (Kristen Johnston) sets Don (Wayne Knight) on the right path. Harry (French Stewart) continues his wacky ways without a mate. Nina (Simbi Khali), Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel), Leon (Ian Lithgow), Bug (David DeLuise), Pitman (Chris Hogan), Caryn (Danielle Nicolet), Judith (Ileen Getz), and Strudwick (Ron West) are around for the final party, but don't get extended send offs.

Season six is better than seasons four and five, but not as good as the first two. While the show didn't end at its peak - shows over 3 seasons long rarely do - I still felt sad when the Solomons were beamed up in the Rambler. The family - the aliens - lacked any tact, but they had heart. They were always quick to love the things they learned about our primitive planet. It's always endearing when an outsider tells you he or she loves your hometown or your family. That's what the Solomons did, and that's why they'll be missed.
Across The Void, We come A-warping,
Across The Fields Of Stars We Soar...
We pledge to land, and something something
something and something Spaceship!

And When, at Last, our mission’s finished,
In duty, homeward shall we fly!
Our glory can not be diminished
Back to the heavens in our mighty

30 minutes
This product was released around October 2000 by NBC
I consumed this around July 2011
More: 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 6
Posted by: Jeff Egnaczyk at: 7/17/2011 10:25:25 PM
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 5 Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 5 Topics the Solomons encounter this season: car insurance, murder mystery parties, plastic surgery, tipping, reality TV, therapy, the stock market, spring break, labor disputes, and homosexuality.

William Shatner makes three appearances as the Big Giant Head, the latest reveals that he is Dick's (John Lithgow) father. 3rd Rock from the Sun went to the well one too many times with Shatner. I'm hoping with their reconciliation, it will mean the end of Shatner's guest appearances. He was good, but ultimately overused.

Season 5 halts the decline of seasons 3 and 4, but doesn't get back to season 1 and 2. The most distressing part of the season was the decision to change up the opening credit music.
30 minutes
This product was released around September 1999 by NBC
I consumed this around July 2011
More: 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 5
Posted by: Jeff Egnaczyk at: 7/11/2011 9:45:53 PM
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 4 Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 4 Season 4 of 3rd Rock from the Sun drops almost all of its "aliens encounter Earth culture, and are confused" theme. There's hi-jinx, but it's not inherently different than what you'd get from any other zany sitcom character. It is not no longer about the Solomons being aliens.

Early in the season, Dick (John Lithgow) is constantly whining. The arrogance that made him so funny in the first three seasons disappears. Mary becomes Dean of Pendleton, so Dick goes through half a dozen episodes of complaining about her not spending time with him. It's not that Dick has never been portrayed as needy, but it usually comes out from under a facade of confidence. He has none of that now.

Some highlights of the season include: Dick becomes obsessed with "Fuzzy Buddies", a parody of the Beanie Babies fad. He gets involved with another professor, Jennifer (Laurie Metcalf), after he and Mary break up. In a great episode, he gets roped into a family reunion (featuring Kurtwood Smith, who plays Red Forman in That '70s Show). "Dick vs. Strudwick" becomes more of a thing, which is kind of lame. Dick discovers computers. He gets superstitious. A crazy lady (Kathy Bates) thinks Dick is an alien. Dick battle Dubcek (Elmarie Wendel) over rent. Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets a new girlfriend, Alissa Strudwick (Larisa Oleynik, also seen in 10 Things I Hate About You). Harry (French Stewart) gets a job at a bar and tries to have a baby with Vicki (Jan Hooks). Sally (Kristen Johnston) and Don (Wayne Knight) go all the way. Don finally stands up to her later in the season. Sally and Don break up, so Sally starts dating. Sally moves out, so the men get a maid. The family learns they are delinquent on 6 years of income taxes, even though they've only been on Earth for 3. Sally and Dick change bodies for an episode. The Big Giant Head finally arrives, and it's William freaking Shatner. He doesn't like Dick's performance and demotes him, making Sally the High Commander because of her body.

Again, it was a decent season, but as you can see, it's just another sitcom at this point.
30 minutes
This product was released around 1998 by NBC
I consumed this around June 2011
More: 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 4
Posted by: Jeff Egnaczyk at: 7/2/2011 11:49:40 PM
3rd Rock from the Sun Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner
3rd Rock from the Sun The problem with watching a 20+ episode middle season of an above average sitcom is sometimes you space out. The first two seasons of a good sitcom are great because the style is new and refreshing. Even if things remain the same, your experience levels off in subsequent seasons. Especially when you watch the show quickly on Netflix, you get the feeling that it is all one big episode, and that it's OK if you skip a few episodes. This is particularly true with 3rd Rock from the Sun. A lot of what made the show funny was that it was able to find a new part of human culture for the Solomons to experience and bumble through each week. There's much less of this in season three. The characters are still relatively the same - and this doesn't seem to harm the show - but now their personalities are involved in relationships like a typical sitcom, rather than experiencing the basics of human existence as profound new experiences.

The season starts off awfully with the Big Giant Head's niece (Roseanne Barr) being assigned as Dick's wife. I don't hate Roseanne Barr, but this plot line was excruciating. Mercifully it ends early, but the damage to Dick (John Lithgow) and Mary (Jane Curtin) is already done. August (Shay Astar) also breaks up with Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Don (Wayne Knight) rightfully gets a bigger role, as his relationship with Sally (Kristen Johnston) heats up and he gets to know the rest of the family better.

A sign that 3rd Rock was running out of new cultural experiences for the Solomons is the fact that it had at least three episodes relating to health (medicine, weight gain, disability). has several episodes relating to health. Other notable episodes include the following: Harry and Sally try to get jobs. It was a good episode but seemed a little late for them to try this in their stay on Earth. The Solomons think they are being haunted by a ghost. It's always good when the family loses its grip on reality. Dick gets picked for jury duty in probably the funniest episode of the year. Dick goes to the theater. The family gets hooked on TV. It's hard to believe this one as they've always made jokes about how great TV is. Tommy and Harry are good samaritans, but don't really get how it works. Harry's "dog" Pickles (Bill Irwin) crosses space to find him in a wacky episode. The Solomons worry about fitting in. Sadly, a clip show was somehow needed in a 27 episode season.

Aside from Roseanne, Phil Hartman guests as Vicki Dubcek's (Jan Hooks) ex-lover who kidnaps Harry (French Stewart) in the cliffhanger finale. John Cleese plays another alien who goes up against Dick in a clever little one-off episode. The Super Bowl plays a big role in a two-part episode involving aliens disguised as super models. Cindy Crawford stars as an alien who falls in love with Harry, while Angie Everhart, Beverly Johnson, and Irina Pantaeva seduce the rest of the men of Rutherford.

Overall season three was an above average sitcom, but somewhat lacking the from the first two seasons of the show.
30 minutes
This product was released around 1997 by NBC
I consumed this around June 2010
More: 3rd Rock from the Sun
Posted by: Jeff Egnaczyk at: 7/2/2011 2:39:12 PM
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 2 Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 2 3rd Rock from the Sun continues to show its audience the great complexity of modern society. After a crash course in human relations in season one, the Solomons still have a lot to learn in season two. Season two finds them learning about comedy, sports, theater, Thanksgiving, Christmas, health, marriage, high society, animals, and - most epically - dreams.

The Solomons mature slightly in their relationships. Harry (French Stewart) gets lucky with Ms. Dupcheck's daughter (Jan Hooks). Sally (Kristen Johnston) falls in love with Don's (Wayne Knight) uniform. Tommy's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) relationship with August (Shay Astar) ends. Most importantly, Dick's (John Lithgow) relationship with Mary (Jane Curtin) gets deeper. He even shows appreciation for Nina (Simbi Khali). His ego ever so slightly recedes, exposing his emotions and some vulnerability. The world is becoming less alien to the Solomons, and as a result the Solomons are becoming more human.
30 minutes
This product was released around 1996 by NBC
I consumed this around June 2011
More: 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 2
Posted by: Jeff Egnaczyk at: 6/11/2011 3:04:30 PM
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 1 Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner
3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 1 After re-watching the 3rd Rock from the Sun pilot 15 years later, I was afraid that maybe the show I remember liking as a teenager would not hold up. The first episode was bland, with only a few jokes to force a viewing of the next episode. It got better though. The jokes start to click out of sheer will power. John Lithgow acts the hell out of Dick, the High Commander of a ragtag alien scout team disguised as a human family in Rockland, Ohio. Seriously, he goes all out. The way it's written, you might think the role was beneath such an accomplished actor. If Lithgow thought that, he doesn't let on and he doesn't let up. The aliens' cover is the Solomon family. Sally (Kristen Johnston) is a big mess of a woman trying to understand traditional femininity. Often complaining about being the woman, she also refuses to be boxed in by societal norms for her sex. Tommy (itty bitty Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is navigating the world of a teenage boy. In this respect he's the most believable human because he, like all teenage boys, has no idea what he's doing. Harry (French Stewart) is, well, I'm not sure about Harry. He's just bonkers. In short, they've been given the bodies of humans, without the instructions on how to use them.

The Solomons ridicule our society by not understanding it. They are all brutally honest, which is, of course, dangerous for any human. Mostly they struggle with personal relationships. Dick becomes infatuated with his office-mate at Pendleton University, Dr. Mary Albright (Jane Curtin). Mary is consistently baffled by Dick's honesty and egotism. She, along with Dick's secretary Nina (Simbi Khali), serve to highlight Dick's inept social skills with cynical wit without being wet blankets. Somehow Dick's earnest nature grows on Mary. Tommy falls in love with an older high school girl, August Leffler (Shay Astar). She schools him on how to treat a woman. Sally is perpetually looking for a man on the dating scene. She is a whole lot of woman who doesn't act like a woman. In short, they lack all tact.

The show also explores physics, education, emotions, health, aging, parenting, death, lying, government, politics, art, business, cars, the weather, consumerism, work, race, culture, and food. The whole concept of the show is so well executed that humor is attained simply by watching the Solomons explain to each other some basic fact of human life. As much as they are befuddled and disgusted by what they see, this world called Earth grows on them. The unit starts to gel as a family. And by the end of nearly every episode, the family that started out exposing our culture's flaws is extolling its subtle virtues.

I think 3rd Rock from the Sun could be seen as a story about immigrants coming to America. It's an exaggerated version, no doubt. No humans would be this clueless, as many values and customs are surprisingly similar across cultures. When you are thrust into a new culture though, many things that you take for granted are done in a foreign way. Adjusting takes time, so you're probably going to look stupid for a while, regardless of your intelligence.
30 minutes
This product was released around January 1996 by NBC
I consumed this around 1996, May 2011
More: 3rd Rock from the Sun - Season 1
Posted by: Jeff Egnaczyk at: 5/18/2011 10:41:12 PM

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