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Television Parts (1985)

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(as Michael Dolenz)
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40 minute compilation taken from the Michael Nesmith TV series, featuring four music videos sandwiched between comedy sketches.

Directors: William Dear, Alan Myerson
Stars: Michael Nesmith, Joe Allaine, Bobbie Bates
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7 March 1985 (USA)  »

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A Forgotten Classic Part 2 and first to review!!
5 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

It's Michael Nesmith back again with more comedy bits and music video antics in this funny sequel to his earlier full-length film Elephant Parts (1981). Unlike Elephant Parts straight release to VHS at the time,Television Parts was actually aired on NBC-TV in 1985. For those of you who originally saw the broadcast of Television Parts and remember it, you may find the DVD release has an entirely different edit. This is good considering Nesmith was forced to include certain things in the film by the network as well as god awful can-laughter. Luckily the remastered DVD release shows it the way it was meant to be seen.

Unlike Elephant Parts, Television Parts was aired after MTV had already taken off, Michael Jackson's Thriller had been seen, and Michael Nesmith was ripped off on his concept of music videos by executives in suits who stole his credit as the creators of the concept of music videos and lies going around that artists such as The Beatles, The Monkees, and David Bowie were doing music videos in a way. This was in fact partially true for The Beatles. However the film making in A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965) was the idea of the brilliant director Richard Lester. Probably the first Beatles music video to feature themselves as the creators was their TV film Magical Mystery Tour (1967) and their promotional films for their songs Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane (1967). As for The Monkees probably the t.v show's various directors. But Nesmith was the first artist to actually create the concept in which we now call a music video. The idea was proposed by a friend to Nez after seeing these video clip shows in England. Nesmith thought his friend said to make a film about the song (that is the concept in which most music videos these days follow) when his friend really meant film you singing the song in front of a camera.

I found the laughs in this to be just as funny as the ones in Elephant Parts and the videos as clever too. Especially the video for the song I'll Remember You. At times that song brings tears to my eyes knowing will never ever have people like The Beatles or Fred and Ginger ever, ever again. Anyways I enjoyed it, but why 8 out of ten, well..... I was sort of disappointed about it's length, but more the fact that it seems that a genius actually seemed to have ran out of creative ideas and decided to play the entire film in fast motion again for the closing music video for the song Total Control.

If I was rating the DVD release of it I would give it five out of ten because of lack of bonus features.

And recently Michael Jackson's music video for Thriller was added to the National Film Preservation Archive (it should as for the album was the world's top best selling album of all- time selling a jaw-dropping 124,000,000 copies.) But I do believe Nesmith's music video for his song Rio should've gotten in there faster than lightening for it was the first original music video (it was even aired on TV some six years before Jackson's Thriller.) and the artist of the song himself thought up the music video rather than a hired director. Even if Mike had hired a director his concept should greatly be rewarded. Not that music videos are important to the music itself.


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