Friday, December 24, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (12/24): Match Game ‘78

Posting this now before I forget; one of my favorite televised holiday moments. This is from the Christmas episode of Match Game ‘78. Here, we can see Brett and Charles have fun and dress up in costume for the occasion. This isn’t the first time Charles dressed as Santa. He also did it in 1973 and 1977. Definitely one of the best moments of what’s known as the “post-Richard Dawson” era of the show.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (10/18): Christmas Commercials

Been scouring and searching YouTube today for some Christmas themed commercials now that I’m finally in the Christmas spirit. A lot of great ones are out there.

A number of them are the favorites that I grew up watching over the years. For instance, this one for Fruity Pebbles; very heartwarming. And this one from Stetson colognes. Also, who can forget this classic Folgers ad, which dates back to 1982 and has been repeated many times over the years since its original television debut? Another favorite: the Coca-Cola Panda ads.

There’s also a long forgotten one from 1991 for Target featuring the legendary Betty White. Cheesy, but fun. About one minute into this clip, the late Bea Arthur does a holiday commercial for a Canadian drug store chain, Shoppers; it is from 1987.

Grocery chain Publix always puts out really cute ads all-year round, and the Christmas season is certainly no exception. Take a look at this one from 1997.

Holiday commercials are my pick for this week. What are your favorites?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Online Pick of the Week: Bob Newhart Show Promos

A short look but a good look at a couple of promos for The Bob Newhart Show, one featuring Mary Tyler Moore, whose show aired on the same night, which was on Saturday.

Judging from the promo graphics and Suzanne Pleshette’s hair, I’m pretty safe in assuming this is from 1972. As usual with a lot of classic TV, I see the shows themselves, but it’s a rare treat in itself to see how the shows were originally pitched to the viewing audience.

Uploaded by wny. - Check out other Film & TV videos.

My online pick of the week!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (12/4): Beat the Clock

A look at the rarely-aired color version of Beat the Clock with Jack Narz is my pick this week. The guest features the late Leslie Nielsen.

This version seems to get some flack from the game show community, but in spite of its cheapness compared to the earlier nighttime version with Bud Collyer, I actually find this era of the series pretty enjoyable. I guess there was really no way at all to match the budgets since one version aired on network prime time television weekly and the other was shot for daily first-run syndication.

I think the celebrities’ appearances are a big regard to this. There’s also been appearances by Bert Convy, Tom Kennedy, Ted Knight, Henry Morgan, William Shatner, Dick Clark, Gene Rayburn, Peggy Cass, and Louis Nye, to name several. It’s been so long since GSN’s aired it on a regular basis, it’d be nice to know who else appeared on it.

This episode was uploaded by a good pal of mine, GarryMooreFan. My pick!

Siskel and Ebert: What’s Wrong With Home Video?

Granted, the show was obviously movie-oriented, but in seeing this particular episode of Siskel & Ebert, which was done back in 1988, it particularly got my attention enough to blog about it because the points brought up really do remind me an awful lot of the imperfections that have come from TV-on-DVD releases over the past several years. It’s really pretty parallel.

Movies presented in their original form are a big point of the episode. Reminds me of course of the syndication and musical cuts in some TV shows. This would include Rhoda, Roseanne, The Cosby Show, and A Different World, which saw the syndicated cuts of their first seasons on DVD; and shows like WKRP in Cincinnati which got both syndicated prints and heavy amounts of music removed from its first seasons set. Most TV fans of course prefer to see episodes in their original uncut form, especially on DVD; this was especially evident with Roseanne, Rhoda, and Cosby Show's releases. The fandom response was enough to garner the uncut masters for their remaining seasons.

Even as technology evolves, we’ve seen issues such as cropping still come up. For example; take How I Met Your Mother’s first season DVD set, which contains the episodes in full screen format instead of the original 16:9. About four episodes in the Golden Girls season 7 set are cropped to something that resembles a widescreen image even though they originally aired in full screen. It's also interesting that widescreen cropping was an issue then, but today we have instances where 4:3 images mess up and air wrong and we get them squashed on a 16:9 screen.

I loved Roger’s point about the issues of harder to find movies in stores, in his case he‘s referring to foreign movies; but it also reminds me so much of TV-on-DVD releases. These days, as I browse in stores, I find it harder and harder to find a really good selection of shows. Most stores just have recent hits and a few classics (if any). Walmart, well, at least the Walmart in my area, is the biggest example of this. Stores like Fry’s and Best Buy seem to do better jobs with selection. It gets frustrating when looking for a favorite show and honestly I just end up in many instances calling it a day just selecting and looking for certain shows online. It obviously had to be a good thing for fans of rarely sold movies of any kind in stores when the online shopping scene emerged; no more of being let down when perusing for a hard-to-find favorite.

Remembering Leslie Nielsen

We lost another legendary actor earlier this week. Comedic actor Leslie Nielsen passed away Sunday of pneumonia at the age of 83.

In seeing tributes to him earlier in the week, I was surprised to see that he had done multiple serious roles. In fact, he had many roles of such a nature before the classic comedy Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies came along, which evolved from the short-lived Police Squad!. Roles on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Bonanza, and Hawaii Five-O.

Leslie also appeared on many game shows over the years, including Match Game, Beat the Clock, Password All-Stars, and Celebrity Bowling. The final game show appearance was on the Game Show Marathon in 2006. I really enjoyed his playing of Press Your Luck on that.

My favorite television role of Leslie’s hands down has to be his role as Blanche’s uncle and soon to be Dorothy’s love interest Lucas Hollingsworth on the series finale of The Golden Girls. That was a really great casting choice; he and Bea Arthur really clicked in their scenes.

Surely he’ll rest in peace. Oh, sorry, I couldn’t call him Shirley. Rest in peace, Leslie.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (11/27): Jeopardy's 4000th Show

The pick this week is a great look back at one of my favorite game shows of all-time, Jeopardy!. It was nice to see the show get to the 6,000th episode mark this season, but I was disappointed not much was done for the milestone. But there's always this particular pick. This was back in 2002 and celebrated the show's 4,000th episode milestone. Not only was this a great look back at the series finest moments, but it also shows how well Jeopardy! has evolved overtime into a pop culture zeitgeist. You'll see this in the second part.

This retrospective also shows why I still show a great desire to follow the current era as well as the previous ones. The show evolves, like such as doubling the money values of the clues, adding the clue crew, getting an HD set, and going on the road, without alienating the main concept of the game.

Jeopardy!'s 4000th show celebration, my pick of the week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (11/20): Vintage Mishap

I suspect some east coast people watching the mini-series Loose Change in 1978 on NBC were not pleased with what they saw here:

As an avid TV watcher... I've seen some weird errors in my time... wrong graphics on the screen, tapes obviously starting too early or too late, a slate accidentally airing, too many commercials, someone obviously accidentally hitting the rewind button by mistake, etc. But this? Takes the cake. How could this have been running for as long as 17 minutes without before realizing something went wrong? How?

Perfect case of vintage network fail if I ever saw this one. My online pick of the week!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GSN's 1 vs. 100: Debut

When I first heard GSN was going to be the ones to revive 1 vs. 100, I was happy but also a bit curious and skeptical in how they'd actually do it. This is show that I always thought deserved better treatment from NBC. To me it always seemed that they cared more about Deal or No Deal.

I'm not that familiar with Carrie Ann Inaba. I do know she's a judge on Dancing with the Stars -- a show I've never seen a full episode of but actually considered watching at least some of this season for Margaret Cho until she was voted off -- so this is my first real time watching her in action. She does a pretty passable job here. She has a good rapport with the contestants and does a nice job at making the contestants feel at home. Not going to lie, but I do miss Bob Saget here. Though I am confident that Carrie will warm up to the show soon enough.

The questions are pretty good. They are written as well as they originally were. I liked that kind of wit that they carried. No problems there. The video mob wall looks decent; though the in-studio mob really helped add a better feel to the show.

One thing I don't really care for is the Ask the Mob lifeline being removed. You can still ask a mob member for their opinion on a particular question. Basically, a really good part of the show that I didn't see the point in removing.

As far as the prize budget goes, I'm really not disappointed about the money that's being played for. Yes, a million dollars was the highest point on NBC, but it has to be remembered that what we saw on there was a weekly nighttime show on a major network. This is a daily version, on GSN for crying out loud. $50,000 is fine. Even if it aired daily in first-run syndication I wouldn't expect the prize amount to be any higher than 6 figures.

New episodes air at 7:00 PM. Some disappointing elements (no "ask the mob" for instance), but in spite of that, I think this is worth watching as far as originals go. Far more exciting than much of the other batch of original shows that GSN have come and gone within the past year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (11/13): The $25,000 Pyramid

Pyramid is my absolute favorite game show, partly because of how unexpected and intense it can be.

From my own personal collection, this $25,000 episode from 1982 is a perfect example. Florence Henderson is one of the celebrity guests on this episode, and while she's usually regarded as one of the show's better players, and she is, on this particular episode? Not so great. The first winners' circle round in particular. But later on in the show there's a pretty good change that has to be seen to be believed. It just goes to show that really anything can happen.

My online pick of the week!

GSN's Thanksgiving Week Marathons

Marathons for this year:

Thursday, 11/25: Deal or No Deal (syndie 2008-2010, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM)
Friday, 11/26: Wheel of Fortune (episodes from seasons 23 and 24, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM)
Saturday, 11/27: Deal or No Deal (NBC 2005-2009, 9:00 AM-9:00 PM)

Well. Um.


I can't say I'm overly thrilled about a Deal or No Deal marathon (oh, who the hell am I kidding? I'm not thrilled for that one bit). Or these particular episodes of Wheel of Fortune airing. But the really good thing that comes out of Friday is that, for once in quite a long while, something's being marathoned that hasn't been run to death yet. Even though it comes from an era of the show that is really not a particular favorite. I wish I could say the same thing about Deal or No Deal.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (11/6): Charlie O'Donnell Tribute

The clip this week is a nice tribute montage made in honor of television veteran announcer Charlie O'Donnell, who passed away early this week.

I think I'm just going to let this clip with Charlie's purely professional voice speak for itself:

Nice job by user Hondo20132. My online pick of the week.

GSN November Schedule Changes

starting November 15th:

7:00 PM 1 vs. 100 (GSN's new version)
7:30 PM Deal or No Deal (2008-2010 syndie version)
8:00 PM Family Feud (O'Hurley)
8:30 PM Family Feud (Karn)
9:00 PM The Newlywed Game (GSN's version, w/Sherri Shepard)
9:30 PM Baggage
10:00 PM 1 vs 100 (GSN's new version)
10:30 PM Lingo
11:00 PM Deal or No Deal
12:00 AM Catch 21
12:30 AM Family Feud (O'Hurley)
1:00 AM Family Feud (Karn)
1:30 AM $25,000 Pyramid (CBS 1982-88)
2:00 AM Millionaire (Regis)
3:00 AM Card Sharks (NBC 1978)
3:30 AM Card Sharks (CBS 1986)

Lingo also replaces the Newlywed Game/Baggage hour at 12 noon.

Sorry to see $100,000 Pyramid leaving; especially after finding out that reruns of the show have done well for the network. It would have been really nice if GSN just leased a different season of the show. Or better yet, when a show reaches its 100-200 episode mark of said lease, why not just immediately renew, so we can see the entire run in one go? I have to say that also airing $100,000 Pyramid and $25,000 Pyramid back-to-back was one of the few good schedule ideas to come from GSN within the past year or so.

As far as the rest of the schedule goes... most of it is just meh to me these days. I can't get excited about too much programming wise on GSN these days, sad to say. The only show I'm really excited about and actually try to watch daily at this point in time is Match Game '75. And Millionaire at 2 am? I'm sorry, but that's just sad. Pyramid and Card Sharks are die-hard favorites of mine, and I'm glad to see both shows retain spots on the schedule, they're good shows and they deserve it, but I'm thinking it'd be really nice if they'd get different episodes of both series. Both shows do well so it's not like it'd be a bad investment to lease more shows. Basically at this point, if you don't like seeing the same few shows repeated over and over again for most of the day, then you're pretty much screwed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Remembering Charlie O'Donnell

My game show fan heart was truly broken this Monday when I found out about the passing of veteran television announcer Charlie O'Donnell.

Charlie is perhaps best known for his long running announcing role on Wheel of Fortune, a role that he started before Pat and Vanna were even on the series. He was there from its 1974 pilot with Edd "Kooky" Byrnes through the first 5 years of the show's run on NBC daytime, with original hosts Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford. He left in 1980 and came back to the show in 1989 and had stayed ever since.

Though his announcing career actually began in 1958, with the series American Bandstand, and Dick Clark's Bloopers and Practical Jokes. Game show viewers have heard him most, not only for his work on Wheel, but on the following series through the past few decades: All-Star Secrets, Card Sharks, Bullseye, Hot Potato, Monopoly, Trivia Trap, Tic Tac Dough, The Joker's Wild, The $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid, Let's Go Back, The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, To Tell The Truth, The Wizard of Odds, and Wordplay. He was also a news anchor for KCOP-TV.

Charlie always had a voice of gold -- one of the most exciting things about the Wheel of Fortune bonus rounds over the years was his dulcet tone telling us in grand enthusiasm how much the winning contestants had earned that particular day.

Rest in peace to one of my all-time favorite announcers in the television industry.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (10/30): Cheers

Time for another pick of the week, this time, Halloween related and a classic, and that classic would be a season 5 episode of the beloved sitcom Cheers.

I actually saw this on television yesterday morning and thought it'd be a good enough idea for this if I could find it online. Here we find Carla having trouble finding a new house. Cliff saves the day by informing her that he found a decently priced old house. The only catch is that it was built on top of a 17th century prison graveyard and appears to be haunted.

This episode is called "House of Horrors with Formal Dining and Used Brick" and was written by the late David Angell and directed by the legendary James Burrows. This also has the distinct notoriety of being the series' 100th episode.

It's my online pick of the week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (10/22): Blankety Blanks (Australia)

The year is 1977. Like the UK version, there's no Gene Rayburn obviously, but it's still a pretty funny show. Hosted by personality Graham Kennedy, the format here on Blankety Blanks is pretty much the same here, except for the cash amounts in the SuperMatch rounds. Unlike the UK counterpart, this one does offer cash in that round. The show was produced by Reg Grundy, best known here in America for the shows $ale of the Century and Scrabble.

It's absolutely crazy how close this version of the show resembles the American version in the looks department. The set colors are exactly the same as ours was back then. Same style opening with the turning wheel, Graham Kennedy's hair looks like Gene Rayburn's did in 1977. Even one of the celebrities laughs like Brett. It's insane. From a physical point of view, it's only a music change, lighted sign and an EMC-51 microphone away from being our Match Game '77.

The episode chosen is the debut of the series. Worth a look to see how another country took Match Game and made it their own.

Remembering Tom Bosley

Another loss in the television industry; this week, we lost one of the most beloved actors in show business, Tom Bosley, who died Tuesday at age 83 of lung cancer.

My love for the later years of Happy Days has pretty much dwindled because I didn't really care for how silly it got towards the end. This being said though, Howard Cunningham was definitely one of my favorite television fathers. Fair and loving.

It's been really nice seeing the interview clips of the cast mentioning what a nice man Tom was. A real gentleman. It was actually what I expected to hear. I also didn't realize what a broad history Tom had in Broadway. I also read that Tom initially turned down the role for Happy Days, until he read a scene involving Richie and Howard. I was glad to see that he changed his mind; I can't imagine anyone else playing that role so perfectly.

After Happy Days ended, Tom also had roles on Murder She Wrote and The Father Dowling Mysteries.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (10/16): Blankety Blank

Another fun British game show to enjoy. This time it's Blankety Blank, their take on the classic US game Match Game, which has, for all of its incarnations on the BBC, have been based on the 1973-82 version of the series. The show has had its fair share of hosts: Terry Wogan (1979-83), Les Dawson (1984-90), and Lily Savage (1997-2002).

As seen by the caps here, they've gone through a different share of sets, but the game remained the same. There are 2 contestants and 6 celebrities, just like our version. Two rounds with "A" and "B" questions. Questions have blanks to them, naturally, just like our versions did.

The prizes don't quite match up with our version though. They play the SuperMatch round for prizes, and the losing contestants get that old Blankety Blank chequebook and pen. What I like about this version is that while it doesn't have the budget that the US versions had, it's still worth a good laugh. Also, the lack of a big budget really comes in handy for Les Dawson, who is featured as host on this particular episode; who as seen on other clips throughout YouTube, had no problem cracking some great jokes at its expense. And well, who are we kidding anyway? While Match Game, and especially Match Game PM had a perk of offering large sums of money in the SuperMatch rounds, the bigger reason most watch the show is for the comedy, and there's a really good supply of that here.

The episode is from 1988, and as mentioned features the second host, Les Dawson at the helm. Les had a dry, sarcastic wit with his version of the run. It's like he realized the show was comedic and not to be taken too seriously, and with that notion, he ran with it.

Blankety Blank, my online pick of the week!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (10/9): Charmed

It's been a while since I've caught some Charmed reruns on TNT, but I fell in love with the show about 2-3 years back. Out of all the sisters on the show, Piper is my favorite out of the Charmed ones. Fierce, and doesn't take crap from anyone. She also had one of my favorite magical powers on the show -- the ability to freeze time.

This is one of my favorite scenes of hers on the show. As much as I hated Prue's death, it really did bring out the best in the actresses on the series, especially Holly Marie Combs. Here, we find Piper naturally having a hard time dealing with the death of her sister. And here, while grieving, we find out who exactly Piper is upset with.

This clip from Charmed is my online pick of the week.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (10/2): Vintage Promos

Been scouring YouTube and been gawking at many of the older ways networks and local stations tried to grasp our attention with the shows they had to offer. I like how promos back then seemed to be more catchy and memorable. This is kind of a missing element from today's shows. I know networks still do a fall preview show, but it seemed to be a much more glamorous event back in the day.

From a local standpoint, WXIN in Indianapolis had a great campaign from circa 1989: "Indiana's Best." Some have their cheesy elements, like WAGA Atlanta's "Good News Atlanta" 1986 ad here with the balloons and such, but it's still very fun and heartfelt. Some of my favorites also include the old ads of WUSA in Washington, D.C. (back then known as WDVM, and before that WTOP).

And I can't make an entry like this without mentioning a few of the network promos that have graced our screens over the past several decades. Including ABC's "Still the One" in 1977, the successful campaign of CBS's in the mid 1980's (1983-86), "We've Got The Touch". About a year later in 1984, NBC had come up with "Let's All Be There," and used it for two years, this was when the network really started to bounce back with success with hits like The Cosby Show.

A good look at nostaglia here with some of these. Vintage station promos, my online picks of the week!

Remembering Stephen J. Cannell

Another big loss in the world of entertainment, television writer Stephen J. Cannell passed away on September 30 of cancer, at the age of 69.

Cannell had an amazing success as a television writer and was involved in the creations of many different crime drama series, including 21 Jump Street, Hardcastle and McCormick, The Rockford Files, The A-Team, Wiseguy, and Hunter. Steven also did some acting roles as well, including guest shots on Silk Stalkings (which he also acted in), Magnum P.I., and most recently Castle, in which he played himself.

I personally loved his idea on how to create a hit show. Basically that if you know whatever you're working on is good if it's something you yourself would want to watch. And also, an amazing clip was just posted by the Archive of American Television/EMMYTVLEGENDS folks over at YouTube, which has Stephen giving advice to all of the aspiring writers out there, especially the ones who are going through a bit of a rough period. It's something I'm really going to take to heart:

And of course, we can't close this entry without this iconic television ending:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More September Classic TV DVD News

2010 is continuing to turn out pretty well for news in regards to classic TV on DVD.

Night Court season 4 is now available at the WB shop. Artwork looks nice and blends in well with previous seasons. It's also worth noting that this is the first season with Marsha Warfield playing baliff Roz, coming after the passing of Florence Halop. It's nice that Warner decided to find a way to keep getting this show out to its fans. Hopefully something can happen with other abandoned Warner shows.

According to; the final season of Dallas will be released January 2011. Also Shout! has also just announced that they've just acquired the rights to the '80's hit Webster. It'll be interesting seeing Webster again, it's been so many years since I personally have seen it. It's on that unwritten list of many shows that I thought would have easily been released and completed on DVD by now.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (9/25): Wheel of Fortune

While I've shown my disdain with some of the theme weeks used on Wheel of Fortune in the last several years, pretty much because the concept is well overused, this one in particular I found to be pretty entertaining. Retro Week, from 2001. Here we find the show looking back at some of its roots. Including prizes on turntables, a "shopping" wedge, though not the actual thing, it is a nod back to the shopping days of the show where a contestant chooses a prize, and even the old "look at this studio" and "waiting to be won" phrases used in the opening.

I'm rather mixed on the whole shopping business. I like the idea of it, however, some of the prizes were a little... shall we say, interesting. I think I'd rather play for the cash instead.

The clips shown are also a nice treat. As well as trying to re-create the old atmosphere with the turntables and the older backdrops on the video wall. I have my likes and dislikes with the video backdrop wall on the show. I love it during times like Christmas with the fireplace and snow falling in the background. Some other times, not so much.

An episode of Wheel of Fortune's Retro Week, my online pick of the week!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (9/18): Celebrity Jeopardy!

This pick is pretty much from a diehard fanatic's point of view. I love Celebrity Jeopardy!, as I've mentioned in the past. But here features one of my all-time favorite famous people, Melissa Joan Hart; who of course is best for her role as Sabrina Spellman on Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

I'm also enjoying Fred Savage on this. The Wonder Years was great, I also loved Working, haven't seen it in a long time, and I wish it'd be back in reruns again. The other celebrity featured is Alicia Witt, who played the daughter on the sitcom Cybill!

Celebrity Jeopardy!, my online pick of the week!

A Little GSN Schedule Rant

So I see GSN has decided to slip on more Family Feud with Richard Karn. Taking over the Dawson Monday and Friday daytime slots, at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm eastern. Combine that with the other airings, and basically the show will continue to be run into the ground.

In all honesty, I've really grown tired of all of this constant repetition. And I'm referring to all types of shows when I'm talking about this. Especially in the case of a show like Karn Feud. I don't have any actual hate for his version of the series. Or Richard Karn. That being said, no version of any show needs to air 5 times a day. Period. I don't care what year it's from. I don't care who the host is. I don't care how popular the run is (or seems to be). Especially if it's the same version of a series that has upwards of at least 4 different eras. As much as I was happy to see it return to the schedule, there's no need to air Card Sharks 4 times a day, especially if they only leased a limited portion of both shows. No need to air Deal or No Deal as much as they do. It's a hot property now, but it's going to get stale eventually, and drop off. Just like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. And it'll probably happen sooner if they continue to air it as frequently as they do.

I'm tired of cable networks airing the same limited numbers of shows multiple times a day. I love a lot of shows, but some of them on other channels I barely watch in reruns and just decide to watch DVD's or old tapes instead at my convenience because I don't want to get sick of them because they air so much. It's lazy programming. Especially for a network like GSN, which has many shows from multiple eras at its hands. Hundreds of thousands of episodes at their disposal. It doesn't have to be all classic either. I miss the variety.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ATWT: Reflections, Part IV

With it being a combination of things, that these are Procter & Gamble/Telenext's final shows, and because we've lost both shows in two years, and considering these were two of my favorite soaps, I also just can't help but compare how this show's final months to Guiding Light's. The last several months of that show were so hard to watch, but that was because the concluding storylines were actually pretty good. And as the weeks went onward, it became harder and harder to say goodbye to the characters that I once fell in love with. I was in tears after Josh and Reva drove away in the final scene. It's also worth pointing out that Guiding Light had far less time to wrap up their stories. As The World Turns was a different story, for the most part, things drove me away from watching.

I'll be more than happy to follow the actors from this show on future projects, because many of them are very talented and what kept people like myself from leaving the show sooner than I actually did. However, if I see a future show with Jean Passanante and Christopher Goutman's names in the credits, I will avoid it at all costs. As far as I'm concerned, those two have no business in the television industry after they've helped murder two lengendary soaps (I'm sure some Another World fans are still a bit miffed at them, too).

Because at the end of the day, the fans will know what's causing the growing decline of daytime soaps, and for the fans of As The World Turns and Guiding Light, they'll always know why those shows were canceled. Higher ups can blame it on "people not being home during the day" or "not having enough time to invest in a daily serial" all they want. Fans will know the truth. That these shows were put in the wrong creative hands for far too long.

ATWT: Reflections, Part III

But what has to be the most disturbing part out of all of this is that these two in charge actually think they did a good job telling this story. I mean, really. I know that when a character has two love interests, the ending won't please everyone. But still, the ending they came up with is inexcusable. In one of the most simple and classic soap opera storyline plots, the triangle, they managed to piss off virtually every fan involved, in some way, from start to finish! Yeah, real good job, guys. Not.

So much potential for this legendary and meaningful storyline to go out with a bang, and instead it went out with a whimper, all because simple potential was not met and details were not paid attention to; especially with a show in the soap opera genre, because things like key points in the storyline like the end of Nuke's relationship, and well, the relationship period, which was spat on by the writers and they progressed towards the end, Luke's being with Reid, and Luke's character in general were too compromised and manipulated for the sake of mere plot. I can't help but roll my eyes every time when reading about and watching these farewell tributes with the two of them mentioning the history and the legacy of the show. Like they actually cared. Please. They cared when they turned Adam into a psycho who attempted to rape his sister-in-law twice? They cared when they made Carly do disgusting things like fake her impending death in order to get Jack to marry her? They cared when they turned Paul into a complete cartoon? They cared when they made Vienna a complete skank? They cared whenever they decided to drop a character's IQ in order to make an insane plot work? They cared whenever they contradicted story dialogue within even mere WEEKS of each other?

And especially with this storyline in particular, when I think of all the good that came out of this storyline over the past 4 years... people feeling better about themselves when it comes to their sexuality, people who were inspired to come out because of it, people who were homophobic before watching it and had their views on gays changed for the better because of it, the effort spent to fight unfair kissing and on-screen sex bans just because the characters in questioned happened to be gay men, all the money raised for charity, friendships that were made, etc. This story over its entire course had a serious and major impact on people. It's honestly rather jarring watching the infancy of Luke's coming out storyline now, knowing all the character wanted was love and happiness, and knowing the story ends with him grieving like this. Knowing what a horrible way it ended just makes me all the more disappointed.

ATWT: Reflections, Part II

I also couldn't stand how towards the end this simply started to become a Reid redemption story. When Luke was with Noah, he was usually doing something, something. Writing, getting involved in an election, being involved in a "murder" investigation as half-assed as that story was; doing something other than just being in a relationship with someone. Luke was doing things for the hospital in the beginning of this, but that went away eventually. When Luke was finally with Reid, as in a relationship with him, it was all about Reid. We saw Luke actually giving Reid lessons on how to behave like a grown-up. Also what truly bugged me about the "redemption" element is that the writers never elaborated on why Reid was so nasty in the first place. I mean, yes, Luke blackmailed him into coming to Oakdale, but there had to be more to it than that. Why was he nasty to Bob and Kim all that time in the start? The random patient back on February 25th? The nurse on July 26th? MONTHS after Reid realized he wanted to be with Luke in spite of the blackmail business? Because I'm assuming if you're willing to have several make-out sessions with the guy who blackmailed you, the blackmail thing? Eh, might not be that much of a big deal anymore. But maybe that's just me. Though, anyway, it was simply all a mystery, and instead of finding it intriguing, like I'd guess the show seemed to intend it to be, I found it excruciatingly annoying; because it's extremely, extremely difficult for me to root for someone to get through whatever issues in the end they may have when I don't know what caused said issues to occur in the first place. He wasn't a monster, but his behavior was never explained. And when they tried to, it would be just like what occurred on May 28th. As soon as conversation between Luke and Reid during chess got really deep, and we were about to find out more about him, it was over. Just too much detail about this character was left up for interpretation. To sum it up? Basically, I didn't know why I should care.

Though I must say, as much as I have not liked Reid for about 97% of this storyline, even I find the ending for him to be disgusting and in poor taste. Seriously, THE most rectum-derived insanity I have EVER seen. He really couldn't get out of that car? Um, plot twist fail, show. Heaven knows I didn't want him to end up walking off screen hand in hand with Luke, but there was no reason whatsoever to kill the character. For one thing, it makes absolutely zero sense to spend all this time "humanizing" a character and giving Luke a second love interest only to waste him in the end. Secondly, there's the old standard, negatively stereotyped cliché out there of endings for gay stories in which characters end up either dead or alone and miserable. And with this show, executive producer Chris Goutman and head writer Jean Passanante decided to go for the gusto and include both elements. Also, don't get me started on how pretty much all of the straight couples walk off into the sunset happy while Noah and Luke end up apart and Reid ends up dead. Cliché much?! Just shameful.

ATWT: Reflections, Part I

I know it's been a while since I've made an As The World Turns-related entry. But I've just been so upset for the final weeks of this show that I seriously needed to take a breather for a while from watching it, for the sake of my sanity.

Especially as a Nuke fan, if someone asked me which part of this story did I enjoy the least, I'd say it was this part. Yes, it's definitely this one, because as much as overtime I grew on the idea of having some kind of triangle, this one was told so badly and so infuriatingly that I ended up taking some time off from watching the show. And as furious as I got during periods of the kissing ban, and things like the Ameera era, I never stopped watching the storyline for an extended period of time. I never dreaded seeing Luke on my screen. Never. My emotion for the characters of the show never went away. Ever. And for the better part of about 4 years, I always looked forward to the fierceness, the boldness, and well, the, hell, adorableness that was Luke Snyder. Always. Up until this mess.

Because they just didn't break up the Luke and Noah relationship and spice things up in a typically soapy manner. They took the Nuke relationship, balled it up, and threw it in the garbage. I will never understand why anyone running this show could have called this storyline a triangle. Because, it was not. Not a triangle. Not. A triangle involves three characters getting all three points of view equally and firmly established. One member of said triangle does not disappear from the screen for about 2 months. And the worst in that has to be this show lying about why Noah wasn't on so much in this story.

So much of it made no sense. Why did they keep going back and forth on who broke up with whom? Luke broke up with Noah. Period. On March 16th. And also, why did Reid seem to be on Noah's side during the breakup on March 17th, but then did a complete 180 with no explanation in a manner of weeks with him being completely on Luke's side? Oh, and speaking of taking Luke's side, where in the world did Reid have any right telling off anyone on how badly he treated Luke in the beginning? Where? For months he treated Luke himself like complete dirt, even after Reid realized he wanted him. Why couldn't they decide on when Luke and Reid's relationship actually began? I'm surprised I didn't get whiplash watching this.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Millionaire: Season Premiere

The biggest thing I noticed is that, well, as far as I'm concerned, the show pretty much resembles the copycats that came out after Millionaire instead of Millionaire now. I'm not a fan of the questions being randomized. I think that bothers me more than any of the cosmetic changes would have.

The music I don't have too much a problem with after listening to it in action, both on the show and on the show's website when playing the online game. It's got a dramatic element; my TV speakers thumped like crazy to the sound of the question cues, particularly when the "heartbeat" part of the cues played.

I have my issues with the format changes, but Meredith is still at her best as a host. Over the years I've looked forward to seeing her emcee Millionaire, and from this aspect of it all, that hasn't changed one bit. She is still bringing her "A" game as far as I'm concerned.

Family Feud: Steve Harvey's Debut

Well, it's finally a new day for Feud. Steve Harvey's first shows aired.

Just as I figured I would be after seeing the preview clips on YouTube, I really am impressed with Steve Harvey. I love Steve's interaction with the contestants. His reactions to the answers that are given are priceless. Especially when they give less-than-stellar answers. I have to repeat myself here: I am so happy to see that the bad answers are teased with. It was too annoying seeing the rotten responses getting applauded anyway like they were good. Also obviously being a comedian, he's great at telling a good joke; and in the case of this type of show, that's pretty much needed to help keep the fun aspect of the show alive.

I'm glad the Bullseye round is gone. For many years, I was very curious about how the round worked and wanted to see some episodes featuring it. Because within the game show fandom, they were often talked about. And when GSN started airing the ones from the Ray Combs syndicated era, I was pretty unimpressed with it. I didn't like how that round slowed the game down. It's nice that the current version of the show wants to have a nod or two for its classic roots, but there are better ways to honor them.

As for minor notes, I'm also glad the outdoor family introductions are gone. The new set looks nice. I still am not a fan of the classic theme being used on the newer version of the show. I know, I know, that sentence sort of contradicts what I just wrote in the paragraph above. But I do have my problems with this, as I've said before. Too much of the same parts of the song repeated over and over. I'd love it if they could get some different face off cues or something. "The Feud" is a truly one of a kind and memorable game show theme, but I wish the music people of the current version would take note, because there's more to the song than just the main part of it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (9/11): UK Blockbusters

The pick this week goes to a foreign version of a favorite game show of mine, the UK version of Blockbusters. The classic game that tried to answer the age-old question, are two heads better than one?

Blockbusters didn't fare as well here in America unfortunately. Bill Cullen's version ran for two years on NBC (1980-82), and 5 years later the show returned on the same network, albeit with a different format of one vs. one in 1987 with Bill Rafferty hosting. The show however lasted for a long time in the United Kingdom, from 1983-1993.

The primary object of the game stayed the same. The solo player played and connected a (white) vertical line of hexagons, while the pair connected a horizontal (blue) line. Also just like in America, the answers would begin with the letters on the game board. What really stands out for me with this version is how they managed to keep the two vs. one format and use it in their favor. No family pairs here, but sixth form students (equivalent to high school seniors in the US) made up the contestant pool. I wish the 1987 version had continued with the two vs. one format. Taking that away and making it two solo players only really took the original purpose away from the game. There were some differences in the prizes department also compared to the US versions; cash was the primary prize in the here, in the UK, money wasn't the sole thing to be won, although £5 (later £10) per question for instance were awarded, completing the Gold Run would win the players a trip. Bob Holness did a really nice job hosting the show. He almost reminds me of a British Allen Ludden, especially with the hand gesture.

Also a couple minor observations; what a lovely opening credit sequence, and who can't love the extra cheesy yet delightful Blockbusters hand jive? Those really help add to the charm of the show.

The UK Blockbusters, my online pick of the week!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (9/4): Mary Tyler Moore

Been having a hard time this Labor Day weekend trying to find something for this week's choice, so I went onto Hulu, and after several hours of watching Mary Tyler Moore episodes, I finally decided on this.

Here we find a season 2 ditty, "Thoroughly Unmilitant Mary." Easily one of Edward Asner's best episodes. A news writers' strike leaves it all up to Mary and Lou to prepare their station's newscasts, and a clammy and nervous Lou Grant to do the night's newscasts. As we can see here, it ends up in a complete disaster.

This episode was written by Martin Cohan, future co-creator of Who's The Boss?.

Mary Tyler Moore, my online pick of the week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/27): Just Men!

The online pick this week belongs to a classic but short-lived daytime game show. The name of it was Just Men!, which aired from January-April 1983 on NBC, and it was hosted by the legendary Betty White. The show had two female contestants asking questions two seven different male celebrities to see if they answered YES or NO to a particular subject in order to win a car.

Unfortunately the show was plagued by airing at the noon time slot, a slot in which many stations chose to preempt for local news. Scheduling of this caliber marked an easy death for a number of shows (see Go!, Hot Potato, Match Game 1990). Sadly, this show was no exception.

Betty is really great as a host. I love her interactions with the contestants and the celebrities. She did a very good job of helping the contestants feel at home, and just like whenever she appears on anything, here she shows just as much that she can crack a pretty good joke.

I'd say that if you enjoy her as a celebrity guest on game shows, or if you're just a fan of Betty White in general, it's definitely worth checking out. Oh, and one more thing: even though the show lasted for only 13 weeks, Betty would win an Emmy for her hosting of this program, and she was the first woman to win an award for best game show host.

Just Men!... my online pick of the week!

September Classic TV DVD News

September is going to mark more DVD releases for classic TV fans, as reports. Regarding the fourth seasons each of Night Court, Designing Women, and Rhoda. Night Court won't be released in stores though... but the good thing is that the show is still going to be released in some form and it's not going to be abandoned like other shows, and well, like this one between the releases of seasons one and two.

Rhoda will also be sold exclusively through Shout! Factory's website.

Shout's always been pretty dependable when it comes to releasing classic shows on DVD, so it's not surprising on their front, but it is (pleasantly) surprising to hear such news from Warner. They are often criticized for their treatment, or lack thereof, of classics, and in most cases, it's well-deserved criticism. It's nice to see that they're finally starting to realize that there are fans of these shows who want them on DVD, and they're trying to find some way to listen to these fans. It's a shame that the classics don't seem to be available in stores much anymore. Especially in a case with a show like Night Court, which ran for nine seasons and has a loyal fanbase who's waited patiently for more sets of the show to come out.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/20): Win, Lose or Draw

For classic game show fans, this is a pretty fun pick if I do say so myself. It’s a daytime episode of the series Win, Lose, or Draw. The game based on Pictionary, and pitted the men against the women for a good old fashioned half hour of drawing and guessing words, phrases, and famous names.

What makes this version stand out from the nighttime version that aired in first-run syndication with Bert Convy, was the show’s host Vicki Lawrence. This was her first time hosting a game show of her own, and I must say, she did a really great job here. If you’ve loved her other game show appearances, such as on Password Plus, Super Password, and Pyramid, with her surefire wit and energy, then you will certainly love seeing this.

Guests are Betty White, Leann Hunley, Charles Durning, and Charles Nelson Reilly.
Win, Lose, or Draw… my online pick of the week!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/14): Maury's Match Game Moments

Not only do I appreciate this pick of the week because one of my favorite shows, Match Game, is highlighted, but also because it comes from an era of The Maury Povich Show that is for me seldom missed now. This came from a time when the show had more than the same 5 or 6 subjects around to discuss and 90% of the shows altogether became about paternity and lie detector tests.

What I really love is that Gene was still his funny and high spirited self, years after Match Game ended. It's also nice seeing the late Brett Somers and Peter Tomarken too.

Maury's Match Game highlights, my online pick of the week!

Can't wait for Feud this fall

When I first heard Steve Harvey was going to host Family Feud this fall, I was surprised. But the more I thought about it, I realized, he could be a really great host. Because he's got experience of working with people as a television host (e.g. Showtime at the Apollo, Steve Harvey's Big Time), so there's that. And he's also quick witted and can surely tell a good joke.

And if that isn't enough convincing, seeing this clip of the show pretty much reinforced that view point: The Feud is going to be in very good hands:

I mean, I just love that for once if someone has a stupid answer to give, it's going to be called out on. And the contestants judging from this clip realize that it's all in good fun and no harm is intended. As much as I really enjoyed some of Richard Karn's and John O'Hurley's eras of the show, I couldn't stand it to see all these really dumb and ridiculous answers constantly applauded over and over. I like that the families are supposed to encourage each other, but that was a bit much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Golden Girls Complete Series Set Coming

Coming November 9th.

As happy as I am to see the show be acknowledged for the debut of its 25th anniversary, and complete sets are great for people who haven’t yet bought a certain show on DVD yet, I know I’m not the only one who can’t stand the idea of these weird style DVD storage cases that these companies put out for complete series sets. I mean, couldn’t they come up with something that will fit nicely on the shelf and not be flimsy, like say, the Friends complete set? The “handle” of that “purse” looks like it’d snap off at some point.

I guess it could be worse. It could be like the What’s Happening!! complete set, which is set on a spindle. In which all the discs would be touching each other.

Though personally, I’m still hoping for The Golden Palace or Empty Nest to come out on DVD myself.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (8/6): Donny’s Pyramid Game

The online pick of the week is a British version of an American classic. In 2007, Pyramid, or what it’s better known as in the UK-- The Pyramid Game, came to be for a few months on the network Challenge, their equivalent of GSN. This was a pretty good adaptation of the show. And what really helps it are the simple things that helped older versions too; in the main round the categories were played 7 phrases in 30 seconds. The names of the categories were simple too and to the point. The judging was a bit off but not too overtly anal retentive like it was 8 years ago. I'll never forget how our judges wouldn't take "bike" for "bicycle," but they did take "picketing" for "picket." Oh, and not taking "disco music" or "disco songs." Ugh. Why, judges, why?

Yeah, I’ll take this any day over what we got in 2002. If you’re going to have futuristic Pyramid, this is the way to go.

Donny is a good host here. I never had any real problems with him on our version, with the exception of the “oh, oh, oh!” in the winner’s circle rounds.

Donny's Pyramid Game, my online pick of the week!

Upcoming GSN Schedule Changes... and a Gripe

GSN will be modifying their schedule in the afternoons, starting August 16th.

Here are the changes:

4:00 PM Family Feud (Richard Karn, SYN 2002-06)
4:30 PM Deal or No Deal
5:30 PM Catch 21 (new episodes)

While it’s no big loss to trim a version of Karn Feud as it airs a lot anyway, to me it would make more sense to just move Deal to 4 PM and just have Karn Feud and Catch 21 in the 5 PM hour. The 4:30 Deal slot just looks awkward. Oh well, I guess it could be a lot worse. At least it’s not like the early days on NBC when Deal would end literally at 9:02. Such a pain for people that wanted to change the channel at 9:00 and watch something else by that point.

Not really a schedule change, but in looking at the specifics for the other shows, I see that it’s also a pretty big disappointment that we’ll be seeing both versions of Card Sharks rewind back to episode one. If they only leased about 200 episodes per run, then it really made no sense to air the show four times a day. I expected cycle backs from Sony shows, like Pyramid, but when even the Goodson shows do this then it just goes to show how sad things have gotten. If they have to only do 200 shows for each show at a time, why not just lease 200, air those, then when that’s done, lease the next 200 and show these, and continue on down the line?

ATWT: Another Doomed Wedding

Monday, August 2nd:

This episode alone just goes to show the annoyances that can really made a potentially decent show suffer. First of all, again, lack of Noah is driving me insane. Especially when we go back to the fact that the Snyders have made an extra special effort in order to have Noah as a part of the family. Hell, they just did this two months ago! It made no sense not to have him on. Not just that, but there could have been some great awkward scenes between Noah, Luke, and Reid to spice things up. It could also help make this storyline an actual TRIANGLE, which this mess is not.

And the logistics are a joke, as usual. Craig somehow conveniently makes it back to the US from France by the show’s end but Holden and Lily do not? Um, no. I really do not understand the writing process with this show.

Tuesday, August 3rd:

Okay, this is one rare instance where I actually see Reid’s side on something. No matter how I feel about the guy generally and even though this is not coming from a Luke/Reid fan I can't say I'd blame him for at least wanting to take it to the next level. Basically I put myself in Reid’s shoes and said to myself: “If I were in a relationship with Luke, would I want to take it to a physical level?” The answer to this question is a resounding and overwhelming “yes.” So, no, I can't blame Reid for simply putting the message out there. I would do the same and I would be hoping too.

But this week shows one of the problems I have with Reid’s character and why I can‘t like him as much as I possibly could. It’s nice that Reid respects Luke’s views on sex in a relationship, and stuff like the scenes with Molly weren’t bad either. But the problem is that if they’re trying to loosen this guy up and tone him down, it’s done inconsistently. It almost reminds me of Dallas. Reid began to tone himself down then too, but the progress was thrown out for the plot. Or they have him act a complete fool and within the last 5 minutes have him hold a baby or fix a teddy bear, like it’s supposed to erase all the nastiness that occurred. It’s why Reid’s rant to Noah about treating Luke like garbage smacked of blatant hypocrisy. It also renders scenes like Luke teaching Reid manners useless because with what happened on the 2nd and 3rd alone we’ve seen that Reid can be nice or at least tolerable with other people without being coached by anyone.

This is one of many examples of lazy writing to me and it really does characters on the show a disservice and proves why in soap storytelling, character driven material owns really hard over plot driven material.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (7/30): Match Game Ticket Plugs

The pick for the end of this week belongs to the good old classic Match Game. Any new fan to the show wouldn't know now because they don't air on GSN, but during the show originally ticket plugs for people wanting to be in the show's audience would air. This clip provides a really good combination of them. The first few are rather standard. The crazy ones didn't come into the picture until 1979. They are pretty darn funny. Even if some of them really are kind of disturbing. At any rate, it's always nice to find rare things, especially if they involve legendary announcers, like the late, great Johnny Olson.

Match Game ticket plugs, my online pick of the week.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ATWT: Where the Hell is Noah Mayer? Version 3.0

Give me a break, writers. You've got to be kidding me. This is sad. It's nothing other but utterly sad to see someone in their early 20's teaching someone who's 30+ years old simple common courtesy and manners.

Oh, and what makes it all the more frustrating, which I've stated many times before: why does Reid act like this in the first place? Honestly, why should I be rooting for this man? Why should I feel sorry for him? What makes Reid tick is something that should have been tapped on a long time ago. Also if in the end it turns out he's being written as an ass just for the sake of being one, well, then that's just going to be utterly disappointing, and yet another opportunity for this to be a decent story completely and totally wasted. It also shows again how little this show cared about character development. If I'm supposed to be supporting this guy by this point, then the writers have done a major disservice, because I'm not.

Such a shame. Because as usual, the actors are fine. It's the dialogue that drives me batty.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (7/23): Nurses

A while back I had mentioned there was a special night which aired on a Saturday back in 1991 on NBC. Three of the flagship shows The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, and Nurses, all shows created by Susan Harris (also best known for creating Soap and its spin-off Benson) had a similar plot theme. All shows were set in Miami and this particular week dealt with each show going through a hurricane.

This show in particular happens to be Nurses, which aired after Golden Girls and Empty Nest. These shows featured crossovers from each other’s shows. Here we see Betty White from Golden Girls, as of course, none other than Rose Nylund. Park Overall appears as her character Laverne Todd, from Empty Nest.

A very good episode overall. The characters are used to their potential very well. I can tell from the theme song that this episode is from the first season.

Nurses, “Begone with The Wind”, my online pick of the week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Carnie Wilson leaving Newlywed Game

GSN has renewed The Newlywed Game for a fourth season, however, Carnie Wilson will not be continuing with the series. I’m not the hugest fan of this version of the show; though I do like Carnie personally and I do wish her the best in future endeavors.

All I can really say else to this is that they better find someone good for this hosting job. With this current version being the sole exception, the other versions of The Newlywed Game without Bob Eubanks have failed -- see Paul Rodriguez (1988) and Gary Kroeger (1996). Not to mention this is also one of GSN’s few original hits these days; the other being Baggage. Finding just the right emcee could very well be a critical decision in the show’s survival for the next season.

CBS' replacement for ATWT

CBS has announced that a new daily talk show, Project Mom, will replace As The World Turns this fall. The show will be hosted by Sara Gilbert, Julie Chen, Holly Robinson Peete, Sharon Osbourne and Leah Remini.

Truth be told the more I think about it I think Pyramid is best off as a 30 minute $100,000 version in syndication, maybe with new bonus round amounts for regular play sufficing.

I was never that excited about any new show in this slot, and Les Moonves‘ douchiness in the CNBC interview the day As The World Turns was canceled pretty much drained my interest in anything new coming in. But the biggest issue I have with this new talk show is that we already have The View at 11 am, I'll watch that on ABC; I don't need to see another version hours later. And I love how from the press releases that it doesn’t hesitate to sound like such a blatant rip off of The View -- even down to having 5 female hosts. As much as I loved Sara Gilbert on Roseanne and Holly Robinson-Peete on Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, I can’t say I’m excited about this.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (7/16): Mary Tyler Moore

Another episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show is the pick for this week. This episode comes from the fifth season. In response to WJM newscasts becoming “static,” Lou decides to add a female perspective to the show. Lou has in mind a woman that is exactly like Mary, so much like her that Mary decides to audition for the job herself.

Look for Rosalind Cash in one of her earlier acting roles on this episode, as she plays one of the people auditioning, Enid Berringer. Also a rarity happens on this episode, Ted actually takes a good jab at Murray!

The Mary Tyler Moore episode "A Girl Like Mary," my online pick of the week!

TPIR: Rich Fields Out

It’s been announced earlier today that Rich Fields will be replaced with a new announcer this upcoming season. On-air auditions similar to what happened after Johnny Olson and Rod Roddy passed away will take place this fall.

I’d say that while I wasn’t a huge fan of Rich’s actual announcing, I did enjoy his chemistry with Drew Carey very much. I found it much more enjoyable than his interactions with Bob. With Bob Barker, it seemed way too much like Rich was looking up to this superior being, but when he was with Drew it was like two pals; the host and his sidekick having a good time. The odd thing about it is that I found that his voice during the early part of his tenure was better. It’s almost like listening to two different people when hearing him announce anything when comparing, say 2005 to today.

All I can say now is that I hope they find someone good to take over. No Daniel Rosen’s, please.

ATWT: More of the L-Shaped Triangle

Wednesday, July 14th:

As much as I'm not a fan of Reid, I was glad to see Bob stand up for him. No one should ever be discriminated against because of their sexuality. But the problem with this latest story development though is that it really seemed out of the blue that Mona was suddenly homophobic. Just three weeks before, the objections had nothing to do with that. Bob himself emphasized that the first day this issue of Luke and Reid being in a relationship came to blows. Now suddenly the woman that wants to buy the hospital is a homophobe? More disjointed writing.

Reid wasn't bothering me as much as he usually does this time around, but the lack of Noah in this storyline is really annoying. This storyline is supposed to be a triangle, but it’s coming off very L-shaped. Such a shame. My opinions on the writing aside, I'd say the potential is there with three talented actors. Van is as great as usual; same as Jake (when he's actually on), and I'm actually warming up to Eric rather nicely. It's the writing and story direction that makes me want to throw something at the television set at the end of an episode. And it is this way with the rest of the show too. I remember Guiding Light actually increasing somewhat in quality post-cancellation notice; with this show, it's the opposite.