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Television kills, literally... but it does it so good

Stay Tuned Movie Poster
Stay Tuned Movie Poster
Warner Bros.

Unfortunately some films tend to fall under the radar and don't accumulate the gratification and cult following that they deserve. One film that has definitely not earned its fair share of recognition is 1992's Stay Tuned. A film filled with so many ironies from start to finish that you would need the help of good ol' Google in order to notice them all.

John Ritter and Pam Dawber (both big hit television stars of the 70's: which plays into the ironies of the film) play Roy and Helen Knable: a middle class couple suffering from marital problems due to Roy's obsession with television. Roy has become a couch potato to the extreme. Not the average every day couch potato that most of us are though, we're talking straight up tv junkie worse than being a methhead type couch potato.  This eventually leads to a very frustrated Helen who ends up smashing the TV with hopes to snap Roy back to reality. No such luck though. Later that evening Roy gets a knock on his door by a creepy man in a suit who calls himself Spike (Jeffrey Jones). Spike offers to give Roy 666 channels worth of programming that the big four stations can't offer, and of course Roy accepts.

The plot thickens...

Spike ends up being the devil (or some form there of) and uses the satellite dish that he installed for the Knables to literally suck them into a hellish world of rotten shameless television filled with satirical shows and films. The Knables are then told that if they can survive all the channels that they partake in over the next 24 hours, they are set free. However if they can’t, their souls go to Spike.

The channels in Stay Tuned are filled with several (of the time) modern parodies that some would call insightful delights. A few of which include; a classic Three's Company flashback (google John Ritter if you don't get that), The Silencer of the Lambs (a gag mask for children), Northern Overexposure, Driving Over Miss Daisy, Beverly Hills 90666, Meet the Mansons, My Three Sons... of Bitches, and my personal favorite Different Strokes (a commercial of two men literally having different types of strokes). The film even bestows us with a sadistic Tom and Jerry typed cartoon animated by Chuck Jones.

A great story of overcoming obstacles from start to finish, Stay Tuned manages to keep you interested throughout its entirety. Any one who appreciates parodies in a Weird Al type way will enjoy this one.


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