ell, I did it again last week - skipped an edition of "Around the Dial." I'm nothing if not a creature of habit, which explains why, for the most part, I stick to a Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday posting schedule. That means if something out of the ordinary comes up, "Around the Dial" is the feature most likely to suffer. I hate it when that happens, because doing this feature allows me to catch up on some really interesting pieces from other classic television blogs. So, you ask, why don't I just shut up and get on with the links? Why not, indeed.
I've never particularly cared for Doris Day or her movies, so why is it I can remember seeing her television show in the late '60s and early '70s? Search me - it must be more evidence (if more was needed) that I'd watch just about anything that happened to be on TV at the time. On the other hand, you have someone like Ivan at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, who knows and appreciates this show. I've enjoyed his regular reviews of episodes from The Doris Day Show, and this week's is no exception.
Another series of posts I've enjoyed has been on Cult TV, where we continue to work our way through the use of allegory in The Prisoner. This week's episode is "A Change of Mind," an episode that I've always found disturbing. The idea of "social conversion" was topical then (an allegory of Communism), but it's all the more so today. Any time you see one group or another attempting to enforce conformity around a given set of ideas or principles, with "reeducation" classes for those who resist, think back to this episode.
I don't know about you, but I loved TV dinners when I was a kid. It's not that they were really good, although some were better than others (I remember Swanson's fried chicken with some fondness; the TV dinners that were purely for kids were fun, but the desserts were always bad). It probably had something to do with being able to eat it off a TV tray while watching the tube. This week Michael's TV Tray tells us more about the history of the TV dinner. Ah, the memories of those foil containers!
Comfort TV has a good write-up of another program I remember from my youth, The Jimmy Stewart Show. I don't remember much about it, though - probably because I was watching The F.B.I. on ABC while Jimmy aired on NBC. David's right: Stewart is such an agreeable gentleman that you really want this show to be better than it is. At that, it would be hard to disagree with David's assessment of the 24 episodes that "many are good but none are great."
It's been anything but fall-like here in Dallas this month, so Christmas may not be the first thing on one's mind. I've been thinking about it, though - the first year in a new home presents many decorating challenges, and I've been considering some of them since we moved in. All the more reason to be put in the mood by Joanna's Christmas TV movie recommendations at Christmas TV History. Surprising how few of them I've seen - I guess I'm just stuck too much in the past.
One show that I don't remember from my childhood - mostly because I was a bit too young for it, is One Step Beyond, which generally shows up in my old TV Guides as Alcoa Presents. I've seen a number of episodes of this over the years - some better than others - and I've always thought of it somewhat as a junior version of The Twilight Zone, but Television's New Frontier: the 1960s has a very good overview of this show that was, at the very least, always intriguing. And I did like John Newland very much.
Hopefully I've done the links justice this week, and you'll go on and check them out. It should keep you busy until you join me on Thursday for - well, I'm not quite sure what I'll be writing about then!