Sunday, October 30, 2016

AVSEPod Episode 1: Diff'rent Strokes' "The Bicycle Man"

Welcome to the very first episode of "A Very Special Episode", the podcast which reviews "very special" episodes of pop culture! 

For our first episode, regular hosts Ryan, Carol, Austin & David (aka the Aluminum Four) tackle the always-hilarious subjects of child molestation and growth-stunting kidney disease via the two part Diff'rent Strokes episode "The Bicycle Man", in which Arnold (Gary Coleman) and his friend Dudley run afoul of the overly- and creepily-friendly owner of the local bike shop, in one of the more well-known "very special episodes" of the 80s. How well does the episode impart its message? How awkward is the required-for-its-time studio laughter when applied to a subject this serious? How do we manage to make an entertaining podcast out of such sensitive subject matter? You'll have to listen to find out! 

And you can do so by downloading the episode here and, shortly, via iTunes and various other podcast providers. You can also follow the show on Twitter, like our Facebook page, and email us via Drop us a line via any of those methods and let us know what you think of the show!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Very Special Introduction

TV of the 1980s is famous for its "very special" episodes, those well-intentioned, hyper-earnest, and tonally-dissonant stories which often broke the mold of the show, however briefly, to impart a lesson on an important real-world issue to the viewers. Substance abuse, sexual assault, teen pregnancy and suicide are just a few of the issues tackled in these 30-60 minutes chunks (with commercials, of course), all couched in the implicit, soothing promise that by episode's end, everything would be back to normal for the characters. Think of the time Maude had an abortion, or Alex Keaton got high on speed, or, yes, when Jessie Spano got high on...caffeine.

In this podcast, the hosts of Saved by the Bell Reviewed and friends will review those kinds of episodes, from the famous to the infamous to the lesser known. But we won't be limited to just television; rather, we will cover "very special episodes" from across pop culture, be they movies, music, comic books or more. Any time pop culture interrupts itself to teach, sermonize, or (attempt to) inspire, however earnestly or effectively (or not), we'll be there, to dissect, discuss, celebrate and/or mock it.

There will probably also be some poop jokes.

As always, we want to hear from you, the listeners. Let us know how we're doing, which of the hosts is your favorite, and make suggestions on very special episodes to cover in the future. You can email us at, follow the show on Twitter @AVSEPod, and drop us a line on our Facebook page.

We hope you enjoy the show!