May 29, 2014

Around the dial

Last reminder that the Summer of MeTV Blogathon begins next week. Come by here Monday to see what I'm writing about!

Always, always liked Dana Andrews, an actor who I thought gave great dignity to the roles he played, so I was interested to read Classic Film and TV Cafe's account of his 1965 movie Crack in the World, the plot of which sounds suspiciously like the classic 1970 Doctor Who episode "Inferno."  But then I don't think anyone ever accused science fiction of being a particularly original source of plots...

From a tie-in to one Brit series, we go to Cult TV Blog for a recap of another archetypal Brit offering, Danger Man, and the episode "Yesterday's Enemies."  Interesting that John has the same thoughts that I did when first seeing this episode, that " if this story were intended to set up the correct circumstances for the events of The Prisoner, I can't think of a better way to do it."

This week, CNN is doing a series on the '60s, and today's installment is on television; one of their questions: was TV better in the '60s than it is today?  At the start, let me say that I don't have much respect for CNN as a news organization, and lest you think I'm being political here, for many years CNN was my go-to station for breaking news, far more than the other networks.  Whatever else they had, you could always count on them in that one area.  Not so much anymore, when they apparently can't tell the difference between "Breaking News" and "Developing Story" and "Overhyped all to Hell."  Still, you might think it worth your time, though the article's conclusions aren't closing the deal for me.

Does Mystery Science Theater 3000 count as classic television?  Now, by classic I don't mean great, although there's no question that MST3K makes the grade there.  What I mean is that, for a blog that mostly discusses television from the '50s through the '70s, is it too new?  I don't think so, because if you think about it, the show is created around a framework that's not all that dissimilar from the old kids shows of the era - Joel could just as easily be the guy who does the weekend weather.  Not only that, the bulk of the movies that constitute the show's best episodes are B&W marvels we might well have seen as Saturday matinees or (for the better ones) the Late, Late Show.  So I was glad to see Professor Barnhardt's link to Wired's ultimate oral history of the show.  Thanks, Prof!

Finally, Stephen Bowie of The Classic TV History Blog is back at his other gig, the Onion A.V. Club (how do you get to write for a swell place like that?) with a piece on what might have been one of the last great private detective series, CBS' Mannix.  The headline describes Mannix as "brutal, stylish comfort food."  Yes, yes, and yes.

And since you don't want to be bored by my story of having the flu, I think we'll call it a day and see you back here on Saturday for a TV Guide trip into the mid-'70s.  Be here - aloha.*

*Although if anyone out there has expertise in tracking blog links, please contact me at the site's email address (found at, sensibly enough, the "Contact" tab.)

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Thanks for writing! Drive safely!