Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Beware, Evil Doers! You Face The Tick!

Friday, September 4th, 2015

In 2001, Fox premiered the live-action version of The Tick. I thought they did a pretty credible effort capturing the comic book’s goofy, off-kilter charm, despite an incredibly modest budget for a live action network show (they couldn’t even hire someone who looked like Jimmy Carter for the pilot).

So naturally, it being on Fox, they cancelled it after nine episodes

Now comes word that Amazon is resurrecting the show with Patrick Warburton back in the title role.

If it gets picked up, I may have to finally break down and subscribe to Amazon Prime…

(Hat tip: Bill Crider on Facebook.)

Leonard Nimoy, RIP

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Super brief because I need to be back at work, but I wanted to note the passing of Leonard Nimoy at age 83. He was great as Spock, perhaps the best actor in a very fine ensemble cast, and also extremely good in several other roles. A good actor and, by all accounts, a classy, stand-up guy.

Sam Beckett, Private Dick

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Someone’s been having fun imaging Samuel Beckett as the star of his own Quinn Martin private detective show:

The mention of Andre the Giant may seem random, but in fact Beckett used to drive the young Andre to school every morning because he was too big to fit on the bus.

(Hat tip: Don Webb.)

Two TV Artifacts From My Misspent Youth

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

There are two forthcoming TV show DVD sets that hearken back to the days of my youth:

Recommended without qualification is the complete WKRP in Cincinnati with the original music restored. If it wasn’t the greatest sitcom of the late 1970s/early 1980s, it was certainly in the top 5.

A bit more qualified recommendation for the complete 1960s Batman. Every significant dark, gritty Batman of the last 30 years (from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight to the Christopher Nolan trilogy, and even the Tim Burton movie) has been largely in reaction to this show’s campy tone. The show is very much a product of its time, but retains a certain charm for just that reason. Plus the cast of villains (Burgess Meredith, Vincent Price, Julie Numar, Frank Gorshin, etc.) draws from some of the very best character actors of the time.

I’m sure either might make swell Christmas presents for someone you know…

RIP: SNL Announcer Don Pardo, 96

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Longtime Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo has died. I think he was the last person who worked on the inaugural season of SNL who stayed on with the show for it’s entire run. (Lorne Michaels went away for five years before coming back to the show.)

He was a great announcer, and he did a lot of work in radio and on TV game shows like Jeopardy.

Here he is on why script writers should use short words:

“But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci!”

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Robin Williams dead of an apparent suicide at age 63.

Williams, along with Richard Pryor, was one of the true authentic comic geniuses of my lifetime. As a stand-up comic, his mind was so quick and his work was so manically innovative that his basic appeal actually survived transition to the straitjacket confines of a prime-time sitcom. He was a solid dramatic supporting actor, but it’s a shame that (unlike Pryor) he never found a movie that served the true essence of his comic genius.

(Subject line hat tip.)

Reality TV Show Ideas: Daddy Was A Serial Killer Division

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Someone needs to do a reality TV show featuring all the people claiming their father was the Zodiac killer living together in the same house. It would be like The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, except, you know, sleazy.

For the season finale they could battle the people who claim their fathers were the Black Dahlia killer in some sort of trash sports obstacle course…

Crap: Almost Human Cancelled

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Fox has evidently cancelled the science fiction police drama Almost Human. Which is a damned shame, since it was the first attempt to do a serious post-cyberpunk drama on American TV. (The true first was Japan’s animated Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.) While it wasn’t a great show (it had too much 1970s cop dram patina to it, including the requisite Climatic Gunfight at the end of every episode), it was a pretty good one and had a lot of potential.

Well, so much for that. Unless another network picks it up, or the DVD sales convince Fox to pick it up again. I’m not holding my breath.

Almost Human

Library Additions: Two Books, One Signed by Gilda Radner

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Every now and then you see an item outside your sphere of collecting interests at a good price and go “I want that!” This is one of those times.

  • Radner, Gilda and Alan Zweibel. Roseanne Roseannadanna’s Hey, Get Back to Work! Book. Long Shadow Books, 1983. First edition trade paperback original, a Near Fine copy with a few small sports to page block edges. Inscribed by Radner and Zweibel: “Thanks/a lot to/Tim/Gilda Radner” and “”To Tim-/You just brought back/a million great/memories when you/handed me this book./Al”

    Roseanne Roseannadanna's

    Radner Sig

  • Bought in a lot with:

  • Zweibel, Alan. Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner: A Sort of Love Story. Villard Books, 1994. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with a clipped price. Early Saturday Night Live writer’s memoir of working with Radner.

    Among the areas I occasionally contemplate starting book collections in are the early history of Apple Computer and the original cast of Saturday Night Live. (Warning: Get off my lawn ahead.) I know that Saturday Night Live is about as edgy as a bowling ball these days, but the original SNL was groundbreaking, daring and funny as hell. So when I saw this in that 70% off sale I bought so many SF books in, I snapped it up. Bought for $40.49.

    Though Radner was the best female cast member in the original cast, the Roseanne Roseannadanna character was far from her best bit (see the Judy Miller Show, where she plays a hyperactive girl for that), but she died young enough that books signed by her are not particularly common.

    Two tidbits on Alan Zweibel:

  • On Weekend Update, the Roseanne Roseannadanna character would often read letters written by “a Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey” In fact, there is a real Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey, who was Zweibel’s brother-in-law.
  • Zweibel wrote the young adult novel North, upon which Rob Reiner’s famously horrible movie of the same name was based.
  • Mike Judge Has A New TV Show: Silicon Valley

    Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

    The creator of Office Space, Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill has a new (live action) TV show on HBO called Silicon Valley.

    The first episode is up free:

    I’ve seen about half of it. It’s reasonably funny, but some of the geek characters are a bit too cliched…