January 9, 2015

Around the Dial

I've always enjoyed Alfred Hitchcock's shows on television.  When I was younger, I found them sinister and spooky; watching them on DVD, at my advanced age, I can also appreciate the irony, dry wit and humor that are present in many of them as well.  bare bones reviews one of those this week, the delightfully ironic "Who Needs an Enemy?"  This is one I haven't seen yet, but I need to catch it the next time it's on MeTV.

CultTV has a typically thought-provoking article that features Leonard Rossiter, star of many British series including The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.  In this one he's writing about another of his series called Rising Damp, but makes a comment about what we see on '70s television that really resounds with me: "the 1970s were a frankly awful time."  That can apply either to the programs themselves, or the world they depict.  As I've mentioned before, I've no great love for the '70s, but as always your mileage (or opinion) may vary.

Last Sunday my wife and I were watching Columbo on the aforementioned MeTV, an episode in which Forrest Tucker played the victim du jour, and I remarked that F-Troop, the series in which he starred, would have been far, far less funny had it not been for his co-star, Larry Storch (with which my wife agreed).  So I was pleased to read The Flaming Nose's tribute to Storch on his 92nd birthday.

This week Television Obscurities has a review of the TV Guide from January 9th, 1965.  It's a typically good report, with a very interesting article about noted television critics and their thoughts on the year's new series.  Not surprisingly, they tore into Gilligan's Island; not surprisingly, most of those critics now live on in obscurity while Gilligan remains a show beloved by its generation.  The rest of the review is excellent as well, particularly a bit on Danny Kaye.

Between his two big hits, Father Knows Best and Marcus Welby, M.D., Robert Young starred in yet another series, Window on Main Street.  It wasn't a success, and this week Television's New Frontier: the 1960's gives us some insight into why that might have been the case.  Heard of this show before, but never knew much of anything about it until now.

A new blog I'm following, Envisioning the American Dream, has one of many tributes to Donna Douglas, the much-loved Ellie May from The Beverly Hillbillies (another of those series the critics hated), who died last week.

And that will do it for today - be sure and come by tomorrow for further adventures in TV Guide-land!

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