February 12, 2016
Around the dial
Next, a note of personal promotion. Last week I did an interview with Dave Palmer at radio station KATH (910 on your radio dial, serving the North Texas area) regarding my novel The Collaborator. For those of you interested, I'd urge you to give it a listen here. My thanks again to Dave and the great people at KATH, and if you're in the DFW area, give it a listen sometime. And now on to our regular news.
The Onion's A.V. Club does some very nice work with classic television, and this week is no exception: a look at an episode from the half-hour version of Gunsmoke. It's an episode that serves to be thought-provoking, plays with your expectations, and offers no simple solutions - all in less than 30 minutes. Our dramas today have an hour to play with - why can't they do that?
In honor of the Chinese New Year, Comfort TV takes a close look at the way the Chinese were portrayed on classic television. Yes, there are some terrible stereotypes on those old shows - but it's not always what you might expect. In other words, save your knee-jerk responses.
I've never seen the movie Mrs. Mike, even though it has Dick Powell. But I read it in school; or, rather, I should say I was assigned to read it. It's not the kind of book I would choose on my own but, with no choice, it offered a surprisingly compelling story. Silver Screen looks at that movie version, and tells us why the values it demonstrates aren't just for Canadians.
I think I've mentioned before that I've never seen an episode of Love That Bob, though all I have to do is type it in on YouTube. I do like Bob Cummings, so it probably merits at least a look. Fortunately, The Horn Section is here to provide another in the series of recaps of episodes, this one called "The Wolf Sitter." It's not the four-legged kind we're talking about, either.
I don't often write about Cleveland Classic Media, although it's a site I've enjoyed for a long time - but here's the kind of thing I'm a sucker for. (For which I'm a sucker?) It's a review of the book Cleveland TV Tales, and in my opinion there ought to be a book like this about every major television market in the country, while some of the television veterans are still around to contribute!
"A Town Has Turned to Dust" is one of Rod Serling's more problematic television experiences; his fictionalization of the Emmett Till lynching faced predictable interference from network executives and sponsors during his initial attempts at staging the drama, first on CBS' Playhouse 90, and then on an episode of his own Twilight Zone (entitled "Noon on Doomsday.") At Made for TV Mayhem, Amanda looks at the third attempt to tell the story, this time on SyFy's (or Sci-Fi, if you prefer) 1998 made-for-TV movie.
And the always-interesting Cult TV Blog offers us a look at how railway journeys are portrayed in TV series, starting with the second-season Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Adriatic Express Affair." Since I just mentioned U.N.C.L.E. on Wednesday, I was bound to notice this, and moreso to enjoy it.
That's it for today - back here tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, for another TV Guide review.