August 29, 2013

Around the dial

If it's Thursday, that must mean it's time to take a spin around the classic TV blogosphere:

Grantland's Ben Lindberg has a terrific piece on the appalling body count in A&E's Longmire, which would qualify it as the most dangerous city in the world if it were true. As soneone who's constantly struggling with the suspension of disbelief when watching TV, I love this kind of analysis.

Speaking of the suspension of disbelief, Television Obscurities has yet another typically good piece on 10 of the most outlandish TV concepts ever. It takes a special program - often a combination of writing and acting - to sell viewers on something that is, on the face of it, a ridiculous idea. You can be the judge as to how well these ten turned out.

One of the blogs I enjoy following is Andrew Fielding's Lucky Strike Papers. His mother, Sue Bennett, was a singer on early television, and Andrew's blog (and book, which I'll be writing about in the near future) provides a marvelous glimpse into some of those early-TV days. This week, Andrew reminds us of the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. I've always wanted to go to that, and the one year I was right next door, living in North Carolina, I wasn't able to make it. Well, as the Dodgers used to say, maybe next year.

At Comfort TV, David asks and answers the question "Why we stil miss Johnny Carson." Some great clips underline David's observation as to why Carson was so good at what he did. I will always admit to having more of a fondness for Jack Paar*, but you could still see the Tonight Show's line of succession from Steve Allen to Paar to Carson. I'm not sure you can, anymore. The Tonight Show's still on, but it's not really the same program, is it? David mentions that as early as 1980 he'd asked himself the question, “What are we all going to do when Johnny Carson retires?” I particularly like his closing line: "Now I know the answer. I wish I didn’t."

Finally, don't be surprised if you see a new look to the blog in the next few days. It might appear as early as Saturday, or sometime next week. Then again, this all depends on the industriousness of yours truly, so if I get too lazy (i.e. watching too much television), it could be later than that. You'll just have to check back Saturday and see if This Week in TV Guide looks any different!

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