Who are you?

I’m Jackson Upperco, a 23-year-old graduate of Boston University’s Film & Television program, currently pursuing an MFA degree in Writing for Screen & Television at the University of Southern California. I once had a Gilligan’s Island themed birthday party and made my friends act out an episode (“Goodbye Island” from Season One); I played Mr. Howell. Prior to the event, I wrote to Sherwood Schwartz asking for scripts from the unproduced fourth season. He sent autographed photos of the cast instead — one of those currently hangs in my L.A. apartment.


Why do you write this blog?

I established this blog in June 2013 with a simple mission: to seek, share, and discuss the entertainment that I believe to be of quality, which as far as I’m concerned, means… entertainment that’s entertaining. Each day of the week is themed: Musical Theatre Monday (once a month), Sitcom Tuesday (weekly), Wildcard Wednesday (weekly) — and until 2016 when they were indefinitely retired, Xena Thursday, and Film Friday.


What makes you an authority on the stuff you discuss here?

My entire life has been built around the joyous study of particular entertainments, based on my feverish absorption of these works and my unending quest for passion-furthering knowledge. Humbly, I think my unique, individual commentary has value for you because it’s a studied, (hopefully) well-articulated perspective — supported by both my enthusiasm and my dedication.


Why do you choose ten favorites from seasons with only 22-24 episodes?

I believe a single entry is often unable to illustrate the totality of a series’, or even a sole season’s, appeal. By choosing ten installments, I’m afforded the opportunity to discuss many sides of a show – its storytelling, its characters, its senses of humor, etc. Picking a number that’s seemingly so high allows for a fuller discussion and a “buffet” of relative superiority for readers who have different interests. This is, simply, a more comprehensive form of analysis — intending to offer something for everyone. Also, ten is both a round number and a benchmark I can usually maintain for all the shows discussed here.


Why do you prefer multi-cams to single-cams?

I think television is an intimate medium, and it most fulfills its promise when offering intimate material: theatre in our living rooms (on screens of all different sizes). Also, I think multi-cams are harder to get right; the risk is greater. In a single-cam comedy, a bad joke passes quickly. In a multi-cam, a bad joke lingers over sculpted laughter. There’s nothing more offensive than hearing people laugh at something that’s not funny, so when a show’s design inherently holds it accountable for its comedy, there’s more of an incentive to actually be funny. Thus, while the risks are greater with multi-cams, so are the rewards…


Why are you so tough on great shows?

The quest for quality — in others, and ourselves — is not, to paraphrase Bette Davis, for sissies. Heck, there’s so much television out there today that we have to be ruthless when determining what’s worth our time. We’re no longer able to be passive consumers, blinking through whatever seems inoffensive; now, we’re active hunters — seeking out the things we like, the material that entertains us and brings us joy… So, in order to know what we like, we have to know what we don’t. And this requires forming hierarchies of value within our own subjective and individual tastes. I’m tough because I have to be.


Why are you so declarative when taste is subjective?

Yes, taste is subjective, so when you click on a post on jacksonupperco.com that’s titled “The Ten Best SEINFELD Episodes of Season Three,” it’s implied that you’re getting this website’s individual determination of what the year’s best episodes are. I don’t disguise that my site is an opinion-based enterprise. And in addition to my opinions being just, well, opinions, I also know they’re ever-changing. So, a 2013 post on I Love Lucy is only going to reflect what my thoughts were at the time of writing. I’ll always defend my printed words and chosen episodic decisions — my way of thinking in that moment — but when I circle back and cover I Love Lucy again (at this blog’s conclusion), those thoughts will most likely change. Evolution is part of what it means to be a thinking individual, right?


Am I right in assuming you prefer old shows to new ones?

While I definitely prefer music from the first half of the 20th century to much of what’s produced today, when it comes to television, I only care that a show provide character-driven comedy. That exists in every era, so there’s no preference between “old” or “new” here… However, I’m a different consumer than most; I find every single piece of entertainment to be an artifact of its time. Part of the value I derive from watching a 1957 episode of Date With The Angels comes in knowing that I’m seeing something intended for a 1957 audience — it’s a snapshot of that particular moment in time. So, I don’t find any work creatively “dated,” because everything, by definition (even that 2017 episode of Modern Family you just watched), is dated. The only difference is, with works of the past, I feel like I’m learning something, too — in a way that I can’t yet claim with stuff that’s still “new.” As to why I don’t cover any currently running shows here, I believe that this kind of material is naturally ubiquitous at the moment and, therefore, less necessary and less worth our time.


How can I find past posts?

I know that digging through the archives isn’t a user-friendly endeavor. (This is somewhat purposeful; as long as I’m churning out new content, my sanity demands that old posts stay buried.) However, you can use tags, categories, and the search bar to locate a topic or show. Also, the best way to search this site is to Google a specific term (like, say, “adele astaire” or “wkrp”) along with “jacksonupperco.”


What’s coming up on the blog?

Check out the Coming Attractions page here.


Can I make recommendations?

Absolutely. Comment on the Coming Attractions page. I’ll tell you if the show/topic is a possibility!


What’s the deal with commenting?

Discussion is encouraged — please feel free to join the conversation here. The only rule is mutual respect.


Do you sell or make copies of the shows discussed here?

I never sell. I do, on occasion, offer subscribers access to rare shows and recordings — ones that aren’t commercially available — when I’m able. But I do not engage in large-scale sharing, because I’m simply not in that business. If you’re a subscriber seeking something specific that’s been discussed here — an episode or two, for instance — I’m happy to oblige if I can. Comment with your request on the appropriate blogpost.


Why should I subscribe?

In addition to getting an email update every time a new post is published, subscribers — and subscribers only — have the opportunity to request copies of the rare (and non-commercially available) shows and recordings discussed and featured here. Also, it’s free and it’s easy.


How do I subscribe?

On the top right corner of the home page, enter your address into the box underneath the heading “Follow Blog via Email.” Then, confirm your subscription in the email you’ll immediately receive. Did I mention that it’s free?


Do you have a Facebook page?

Yes. Visit it here: facebook.com/jacksonupperco


How can I contact you?

For professional inquiries or truly urgent matters (like important corrections), you can email me at my new blog-themed address: jacksonupperco.wordpress@gmail.com. Don’t email me asking for free stuff; please comment with your requests on the appropriate blogposts.






16 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks for posting that episode of MARY on YouTube. If you have more, I’d love it if you would post them too. Thanks. Ken Levine

    • Hi, Ken! Thanks for checking out my blog.

      I love your site, and am a big fan of your work. CHEERS is one of my absolute favorite sitcoms and it serves as such an exquisite example of comedy rooted in character. It’s one of the shows that has really inspired me as a writer.

      I do indeed have every episode of MARY, but they’re not with me at this time. I’ll have access to them again when I return back home next month. If you e-mail me at [redacted], I would be happy to send you all 13 episodes then!

      Thanks again, and please check back regularly — I cover sitcoms here every Tuesday!

    • Hi Track,

      Both NIGHT COURT and FRASIER will definitely be covered. MARTIN and BOY MEETS WORLD likely will not.

      In the meantime, stay tuned each Tuesday for more sitcoms of the ’70s!

  2. Jackson, you just amaze me! You always have since you were wee little! You have an awesome God given talent and it is a blessing to watch you grow and share your talents with others!

    • Hi, Susan Silver!

      I’m honored to have you here on my site. THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW is a paradigm of excellence, and many of your episodes are among my favorites! (Oh, what’d I’d give to be at MTM in the ’70s…)

      Stay tuned for coverage on my favorites from THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, which also includes some of your work!

  3. It gives me great hope that someone your age is as fond of old-school musicals and sitcoms as I am; 26 years old here. Consider myself a fairly old-fashioned fellow myself, and wish contemporary television and theatre would draw from their roots more. While I studied music in college, I’m now considering pursuing comedy writing myself. Currently living in NYC though – wrong choice of coast, eh? Any plans to review I DREAM OF JEANNIE? While I do love BEWITCHED, a staple of my childhood television diet was JEANNIE. Yes, I suppose it could be considered “inferior” in terms of originality, storytelling, character development, and continuity, but it now feels less dated to me than BEWITCHED. Somehow, it has retained more of a freshness to my eye. Besides, who wouldn’t want to live in that bejeweled room inside her bottle?!

  4. Hi, I love your blog! Lots of bloggers share their enthusiasms with the world, but you do a particularly good job of adding incisive commentary about the movies, TV shows, and musicals that you present. So you not only raise our awareness, you enhance our appreciation. Well done!

    Thanks for offering to send recordings of rarely performed shows. I would love to have both of the recordings of “Gay Divorce” that you mentioned. Also “Jubilee” and “Three Sisters” (and any other Kern or Porter). Forgive my audio greed — I don’t know where else I could obtain these recordings. . . .

    • Hi, Scott! Thanks for reading, commenting, and subscribing!

      And thank you so much for your very kind words. I have emailed you at your earthlink address.

      Oh, and don’t worry about asking for too much — it’s a pleasure to share with others the stuff that brings me joy! (Just be sure to comment on the individual posts; it’s easier to keep track of requests that way.)

  5. At one point you noted that 126 of the 130 Our Miss Brooks episodes were on youtube. I take it that for whatever reason most are now off youtube?

    • Hi, Bob. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      There’s a July 2014 addendum at the bottom of each OUR MISS BROOKS post that confirms CBS’ removal of the series from YouTube. The show has since been remastered for syndication, and so far, one episode has been broadcast on DECADES. Hopefully there’ll be more soon.

  6. Hi, Jackson! I just wanted to say (again) how much I enjoy reading your blog and cannot wait to see what other series you will cover after you have concluded your coverage of “Cheers.” Also, what is your opinion overall on “Barney Miller”? I would love to know since so much of the show — character-driven comedy, set almost exclusively within one location — seems right up your proverbial alley.

    • Hi, Rashad! BARNEY MILLER has been brought up in the comments of several posts here. I’ve tried several times to get into the series, but I simply don’t like it enough to warrant several months of coverage. The energy doesn’t quite work for me and I find the comedy VERY hit and miss. So I have no plans to feature the series here in any capacity at this time. However, I will be covering NIGHT COURT (following MAMA’S FAMILY), which was created by one of BARNEY MILLER’s most prolific writers. Stay tuned . . .

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