May 15, 2014

Around the dial

Back again for another look at the classic TV blogosphere, and as usual there's plenty to read. Here are some that caught my eye.

Remember Robert Vaughn? Alas, while his Man from U.N.C.L.E. sidekick David McCallum reaches new audiences on N.C.I.S. (must have a thing for shows with initials, no?), Vaughn may well be better known to today's viewers as a commercial spokesman for lawyers.  And that's too bad because, as Rick points out at Classic Film and TV Cafe, Vaughn's a pretty interesting guy.  I've always identified with Vaughn's smug, pretentious turns - even in the first season of U.N.C.L.E., he manages to make the good guy smarmy.  But as the series progresses into satire and then camp, Vaughn begins to grow on me.  His reactions and takes to the sometimes bizarre events surrounding each week's caper are delightful.

I've said this before, but I'm going to have to check out The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  Now that we're got MeTV back in Dallas, I have no excuses for not setting the DVR to early Sunday morning.  And if I'm lucky, it won't be long before I catch the 1960 Christmas show, an episode Joanna Wilson recounts this week at Christmas TV History.  I know I've seen Dobie before, in after-school reruns - I can't tell you about any episodes, but I sure remember his pose mirroring Rodin's The Thinker.

One of the newer blogs I enjoy is Dixon Hayes' TV When I Was Born, not only because of his wonderful writing, but we're close enough in age* that his memories are quite similar to mine.  This week Dixon writes about a show that aired the day he was born: The Garry Moore Show.  I've written about Moore a couple of times in the last few weeks, and Dixon covers well Moore's unlikely, unorthodox variety show stardom.

*I'm not telling you which of us is older, though you can figure out Dixon's age easily enough from his age when various shows aired; I've left more subtle clues throughout the blog's history, but they're there if you look hard enough.

At Comfort TV, David Hofstede touches on something near to me - he asks if watching television can be a hobby.  David talks about assembling TV "theme" viewing for things like the start of baseball season, which I think is very cool.  We do the same thing in the Hadley household at Christmastime, and we've got a batch of TV shows and movies that make theme appearances throughout the year (Great Pumpkin at Halloween, Grand Prix before the start of the F1 season, Rhubarb before the World Series, 1776 and The Music Man for the 4th of July, and so on.  I commented at his blog that my writing may be a bit more than a hobby for me, but the act of watching television is, as always, a simple pleasure, and collecting favorite series on DVD is as good a hobby as it gets.

Finally, you might have noticed on the sidebar a logo for this year's "Summer of MeTV Classic TV Blogathon" - as was the case last year, yours truly will be part of it on June 2.  I could tell you what I'm writing about - but better that you check out the lineup at The Classic TV Blog Association and find out about the other great articles on tap.  You won't want to miss this one!

And you won't want to miss Saturday's TV Guide recap, either - see you then!

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