Saturday, May 29, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (5/28): The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The pick this week belongs to one of my favorite episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It is “The Snow Must Go On”, which is from the first season.

In it, a barreling blizzard during election night helps put things on the map as a nervous Mary Richards must produce her very first news program. I like this episode because we get to see Mary really stand on her own two feet. It’s hard at first, but it becomes very easy for her to take authority when the time calls for it.

This episode was written by co-creator David Davis, and the late Lorenzo Music, who is perhaps best known for his role as the voice of Garfield; and Carlton the Doorman on the Mary Tyler Moore spin-off, Rhoda.

Mary Tyler Moore... my online pick of the week!

Remembering Gary Coleman

I’m not quite a child of the ‘80’s as one would usually be, seeing as I wasn’t raised during much of the decade and never watched the show originally, but as being a classic TV buff and as someone who enjoyed Diff’rent Strokes reruns as an older kid, I am in mourning of the loss of the series’ star, Gary Coleman. He passed away Friday at the age of 42.

As much as I do prefer the spinoff The Facts of Life over Diff’rent Strokes these days, Gary’s role in the show was one of the bigger things that really lead to helping me enjoy the show and the era of the show that I ultimately do like the best today. Which was seasons 3-6.

I also enjoyed some of his other guest appearances as well, including shows such as The Simpsons and The Parkers.

I do realize that considering the problems he had in association with his most famous work, including with his parents and typecasting, I know he would rather be remembered for something else. And Gary unfortunately had a drama filled life after Strokes ended and it’s heartbreaking to see it end in such a manner. But in reality I think it’s best to remember him as the member of the show that lead him to stardom, because he did bring a significant number of fun onto our television screens and has entertained multiple generations of people. And that in itself is a pretty big accomplishment.

Remembering Art Linkletter

We lost a pretty big television legend this week. This would be Art Linkletter, who was best known for his shows Art Linkletter's House Party (which included the incredibly popular segment Kids Say The Darndest Things) and People are Funny which aired on NBC. He was 97.

Art also appeared on shows such as What’s My Line? and I’ve Got A Secret.

The “Kids Say The Darndest Things” portion of House Party is arguably the thing he’s best remembered for. This spawned the idea of a separate show in its own right in the late 1990's, which was hosted by Bill Cosby, which often featured flashback segments with Art. In this, school children ages 5-10 years old were interviewed for their thoughts on basic questions, such as “do you know what a politician is?” The responses could be very classic though no matter how simple the questions were.

Here's an example, and a real nice look back at his impact:

Facts of Life: Season 5 DVD News

According to this TVShowsonDVD article, Facts of Life fans will have much to be happy about as the fifth season of the show will be released before the end of the year, just months after season four’s release. And personally it really makes me happy because my personal favorite seasons are 5-8. I can't wait to revisit the Edna's Edibles era.

This is very nice. At this point, knowing Shout! Factory, the show will actually be completed on DVD in our lifetimes. I am so glad Sony leased the rights of the show to a company that will release it in a timely manner. Hopefully the same will happen with other classics.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (5/21): Empty Nest

I mentioned a while back that in 1991 on NBC during their Saturday Night line-up, that there was a special themed “Hurricane Night” as it were. As all three Susan Harris shows airing at the time, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, and Nurses, each set in Miami, dealt with the same storm. I’m sure if you’re a Golden Girls fan, you’ve seen “The Monkey Show.” Here is Empty Nest’s take on the night. Basically it’s found out pretty earnestly that now is not the best time for the Weston clan try to sell their house.

Fun episode. I can’t see a network line-up taking advantage of using the same story device this way in television today. Unless someone like Seth MacFarlane did something with the 3 of his shows.

Empty Nest, my online pick of the week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

ATWT: Confused?

Wednesday, May 19th:

Wow, Luke is really bad at B.S.'ing his way out of anything. It's plain as the look on his cute face that something more is going on with him and Reid than he's letting on. Noah wasn't born yesterday.

I'm really tired of McDouchey's attitude. To put things in a nutshell, Reid, Luke and Noah have been honest with each other long before this accident. And again, there's no reason why Reid is so assy. At this point he just continues to come off as bitter and butthurt. The more hissy fits and bitter barrages he throws the less and less I enjoy the idea of a Luke/Reid coupling... and I was never too on board with that to begin with. If only he'd handle himself with some common courtesy as well as getting straight to the point.

Loving the Noah and Alison interaction. This should have been happening from the very beginning of this break-up.

Thursday, May 20th:

What in the world is up with Reid? First he gets all angrypants when he sees Luke and Noah together. Then he tells Noah to fight for Luke; and then later after that when Luke says he doesn’t understand Noah and Reid knows the whole honest to God truth about it all, he doesn‘t say a dang thing to prove the contrary. Um, what? And I love Luke to bits but Noah is NOT confused at this point. At ALL! YOU ARE. Basically right now the only one who is spilling his guts 100% about this whole hot mess is Noah. And I’m still sick of Reid’s attitude. The world does not revolve around him and he can’t just be pissy with everyone when things don’t go his way. If Reid wants any kind of significant relationship with Luke, then he had better start respecting Luke’s family members, especially his mother.

Noah is breaking my heart into about sixty-‘leven kajillion pieces. He knows he’s screwed up with handling things and he wants to make it right. I wish he wouldn’t clam up and surrender so quickly. And points for the show for finally divulging more of Noah’s point of view. It’s been badly needed.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (5/14): Card Sharks

Often times in game shows there are rules that aren’t often liked by many of the fans or the contestants on the show. Match Game for a while had a rule in 1975 where you couldn’t pick the same celebrity over and over for the SuperMatch round. Password Plus in 1981 changed the main game from a $300 maximum to a $500 one, and while there was more money involved, it made for an intensely dragging game. Scrabble had a rule for a few months earlier in the run where you had to spell the words correctly before scoring.

Card Sharks had one of these unfavorable rules as well. For the first two years of the original Perry run, in the money cards, if you played the round and got duplicate cards, it’d count against you. For instance, if you were dealt an ace and bet lower on the next card, seeing as on the show the ace is the highest card possible, and you turned up another ace; you’d lose however much you just bet. This changed late in 1980, when double cards would be considered “pushes” and didn’t count for or against you and carried onto the next card. I will admit originally that the initial rule did add to the suspense a bit. Norma Brown could have easily busted instead of going all the way for $28,800. But the change instilled a much fairer round of play for the contestants. This push rule would also be carried onto the two later versions with Bob Eubanks and Bill Rafferty.

Doubles were bad enough for the first two years, but imagine if you managed to find ALL FOUR 3’s at once? Talk about your bad luck.

Card Sharks, my online pick of the week!

ATWT: Rise and Shine

Wednesday, May 12th:

For starters, Reid snapping at Luke to get him to wake up? So freaking inappropriate! But that’s also Reid. Sigh.

Finally! So glad Noah woke up. Such a lack of Noah in this storyline almost made me think we couldn’t even see Noah waking up on-screen.

Today pretty much explains why I’m much more willing to be patient with Noah no matter how crazy he may drive me. I’ll appreciate anyone who’s at least willing to apologize for the rough time they put their loved one through. This is why Reid’s annoyed me. All the Richie Rich insults and so forth; he was totally willing to ask for help. But no apology. No admitting he was wrong. No nothing. All it did is make him look like a hypocrite.

Lily knew right from the bat that Luke has feelings for Reid. I am amazed, because as of lately when Lily’s been involved in a story, her brain doesn’t seem to function all that well.

Thursday, May 13th:

Reid is just like Stewie Griffin's description of Gary Busey: frequently aggressive in situations that don't call for it. This guy drove me absolutely batty today! As much as Noah's pushing of Luke away annoyed me, the guy was raised in an environment in which it was deemed not okay to show emotion or ask for any kind of help. Which is why I've been more willing to be patient with him. Reid on the other hand, we know absolutely nothing as to what makes him so assy and standoffish; and he's been like this since before kissing Luke the first time, and even before boarding a plane to Oakdale. Which is why I have been unable to form any kind of sympathy for the guy; the show hasn’t given me any kind of reason to. And even if Luke does feel guilty about kissing Reid, it’s been established before any kissing took place that he’s still got a large emotional attachment to Noah. His break-up with him was far from a clean break. I just wonder what would happen if Luke and Reid did have a long term thing. Because if past story has told us anything, it’s that with Luke Snyder, patience is a virtue. And if he’s going to get all butthurt at this point, and not just butthurt over Luke being with Noah, but even with Casey and Alison, a real relationship when it’s actually started is easily going to be one extra incredibly bumpy rollercoaster ride. Not involved in his patients personal lives, indeed!

As painful a conversation as it was on the roof, it needed to be said. I love Noah to bits but it'd be unrealistic at this point to expect things to be the exact same between he and Luke. Especially if Noah told Luke to move on with his life. Basically if you tell your ex-partner to move on with their life, the chances are high it’s going to happen. And you can’t be surprised if changes have occurred.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (5/7): The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Naturally enough I thought this online pick of the week, in honor of this week’s Saturday Night Live, should involve none other than Betty White. Also, again this is going to be a thought on a specific episode of something rather than the show as a whole itself.

Betty’s done many roles in her long career of entertainment; but there are two characters that stand out the most with fans: Sue Ann Nivens and Rose Nylund. Two funny, intriguing, and very different characters. And what’s interesting in seeing these episodes now is knowing what happened years later when The Golden Girls started. Initially the idea was to have Betty play Blanche and Rue play Rose. Both actors definitely could have definitely done it well. But it was absolutely perfect the way it was.

Here she is, Betty White, in one of the best and most known roles of her acting career, her debut as Sue Ann Nivens. The Mary Tyler Moore Show season 4 episode called "The Lars Affair," my online pick of the week!

Friday, May 7, 2010

ATWT: Hot Mess

Thursday, May 6th:

Sorry, Reid, looks like you won't be getting in Luke's pants tonight. Or as Alex Trebek would say: "ooh... sorry."

Though seriously, I’m pretty much reiterating what I said yesterday. It’s obvious what an emotional attraction Luke still has to Noah; and if later down the line Reid gets involved with Luke knowing this from the get-go, and it doesn’t end happily for him, I’m not going to feel all that bad for him. He knows what the stakes are. I'm glad that Luke stopped things though. It would have been so out of character for him to screw Reid at this point. Talk about bad timing.

I’ve questioned Luke and Reid’s chemistry in some instances. Sometimes it’s off… sometimes it’s on. Today it was definitely on. The first kiss itself did nothing for me. But I still do not see this “epic romance” that other folks are seeing. Not one bit. More like epic rebound. Epic vulnerability. Epic horniness. There are feelings, but there are definitely more lust than anything. When Luke and Noah kiss for me there’s much more emotion and love in it. Today it was pretty much just two attractive men making out (no matter how I feel about Reid at the moment Eric Sheffer Stevens is pretty good looking) and nothing but that. Luke is distraught, exhausted, conflicted, and horny all at the same time; literally a hot mess.

I will give Reid some credit today for backing off at the end and letting Luke be with Noah. I was expecting a jerky response and am glad to see that didn't happen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Betty White Weekend

What a great weekend showcase for Betty White! Not only will fans of the legendary actress see her host Saturday Night Live for the first time ever, but there will be at least two marathons honoring her.

I was waiting to post this until we knew for sure what exact episodes would be, but since that’s apparently not happening, I am still excited to see that GSN will be having a Match Game marathon featuring Betty. The episodes are from 1974-77. Judging from the promo that's been airing, it looks to be her best episodes from the prime years of the series. From 9 am - 4 pm.

WEtv is also having a marathon of their own Saturday evening, with The Golden Girls from 6 pm - 1 am. The episodes themselves are naturally mostly Rose Nylund-centric:

6:00 pm: “Rose The Prude”
6:30 pm: “In a Bed of Rose’s"
7:00 pm: “Isn’t it Romantic?”
7:30 pm: “Love, Rose”
8:00 pm: “Letter to Gorbachev”
8:30 pm: “Rose’s Big Adventure”
9:00 pm: “Yokel Hero”
9:30 pm: “Rose Fights Back”
10:00 pm: “Dancing in the Dark”
10:30 pm: “Once, In St. Olaf”
11:00 pm: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun… Before they Die”
11:30 pm: “The Bloom is Off the Rose”
12:00 am: “Ro$e Love$ Mile$”
12:30 am: “Rose: Portrait of a Woman”

I say “mostly” because with the episode “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun…”, Sophia seems to have the biggest focus of the episode, but Rose is still involved with Miles a good deal and it’s still a goodie. I’m a little surprised they’d air episodes the same time as SNL, but it still looks to be a lot of fun to have stuff like this to look forward to as a countdown to the big night.

ATWT: Emotional!Luke Day

Wednesday, May 5th:

Um, okay. Wow. Well, damn. With this episode I pretty much have three things to say:

One: If Reid starts something with Luke knowing full well how vulnerable and emotionally involved Luke still is with Noah despite a break-up… and in the end he has his heart broken, I’m not going to be feeling very sorry for him. It’s standing out like a sore thumb that anything between Luke and Reid (a.k.a. LuRe, Ruke, Loliver, Snoliver, Ryder, Lubitchy, take your pick) is going to be just a big, fat rebound, and no matter how hot Luke gets over Reid it’s very clear where his heart is.

Two: I know I'm not Reid's biggest fan at this point but even I think he wouldn't harm Noah on purpose. First, for someone who values his career more than anything (which is apparently the reason for his assiness in the first place), it really wouldn't make much sense to deliberately attempt to let someone die on the operating table. We already saw the potential damage with one person who did die and that was definitely accidental. Secondly, it's obvious that no matter what state Luke and Noah are in their relationship or lack thereof, that Luke still cares about Noah very much and intentionally botching Noah's surgery really isn't going to help Reid look good in the long run if he wants any kind of serious thing with Luke. I mean, look at how Luke went off today. This being said, in the beginning though, Reid boasting about how he’s the greatest neurosurgeon known to man really doesn’t help him at all. And I’m assuming that along with the death of the girl that he operated on, that along with the death itself, Reid’s ego and inhospitable style demeanor is what also contributed to the girl’s father going off into a fit of rage.

Three: This was some of Van’s best acting ever. Emotions and everything were all there as usual, but today he really shined. How has he not won an Emmy yet?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ATWT: It's About Time

Tuesday, May 4th:

It’s about time that Noah’s surgery started. I have waited so long for this, seriously. Though it’s odd that he’s having brain surgery with a head full of hair (big mistake there). That mistake being pointed out, I am still impressed with the show in this regard. Considering what a lack of Noah we’ve had, I was not even expecting the surgery to take place on-screen. But not only to see this but also Noah dreaming about Luke? Wow. It is rare when the show pulls something like that I didn’t see coming. And with this and how Luke and Noah were acting with each other in the hospital room before the start of the surgery just shows that a reunion will happen at some point. It would make no sense to put so much emphasis on one if it wasn’t going to happen.

What is up with Katie’s constant matchmaking? First Chris and Alison, then Luke and Reid? And then later in the show, she tries it with Henry and Vienna? If something happens between any of these potential pairings, then so be it, as much as I’m not a huge fan of some of them. But forcing it the way she does isn’t going to get things anywhere well decently with anyone. And it really annoyed me with Reid because it was just another way for the writers to pimp how much he's apparently the newest, hippest, and greatest thing since sliced bread. Also, while Katie's known Henry and Vienna for a long time, where has she been during the past 2 3/4 years where Luke and Noah has been concerned? She should just give this up. Chuck Woolery she is not.

Remembering Lynn Redgrave

Over the weekend we also lost actress Lynn Redgrave, who lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 67.

Lynn had a career mostly in films, such as Gods & Monsters, Antony & Cleopatra, and Georgy Girl. As a classic game show watcher, I remember her best for her appearances on various game shows in the 1970’s, ‘80’s, and ‘90’s. Including Password Plus, Jeopardy!, The $25,000 Pyramid, I've Got a Secret, and Tattletales. She was a guest on The Muppet Show and in the 1980’s she also did commercials for Weight Watchers.

What a sad year it has been for the Redgrave family. With the deaths of Natasha Richardson, brother Colin Redgrave, and now Lynn. My heart goes out to their family at this time.

Remembering Helen Wagner

Even sadder times loom for As The World Turns fans as over the past weekend we lost the show’s longest-running matriarch figure, Helen Wagner, who played Nancy Hughes. She was 91. Nancy spoke the very first line on the show in April 1956: “Good morning, dear.“ Her role diminished very much so in recent years, but even in rare appearances her character was always there for her sage advice.

Nancy was last seen on the Bob & Kim anniversary show last month. I’ve not had much optimism with the people running As The World Turns lately, but I would certainly hope that there would be not only a look back at Helen’s life on the show, but the character as well. I would also say that the best time period for it would be around the show’s end. Such a shame she won’t be around to see the final episode.

Good night, dear. You will be missed by many.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Online Pick of the Week (4/30): Newhart

Another Bob Newhart related post this week for the online pick.

I’ve mentioned myself in the past that I do find that Newhart managed to really hit its stride by the second and third years of the run. And I prefer elements of the later years more; for instance, I find Stephanie Vanderkellen funnier than her cousin Leslie, who appeared at the start of the series. Also while Larry, Darryl, and Darryl did appear a couple times in the show’s freshman year, it was a good idea to expand their roles in future seasons.

However, that is not to say that the first season didn’t have its great moments too, and I think that this is one of them. Michael Harris who arrived later on is a really funny character but before him, there was Kirk Devane. The original owner of The Minuteman Café. He also wants Leslie Vanderkellen. And he’s a habitual liar. This season one episode, “This Probably Is Condemned,” is actually a favorite; definitely one of Kirk’s finest episodes in which he finds himself in a jam with the café and needs the help of Dick, Joanna, George, and Leslie.

Newhart, my online pick of the week!