July 15, 2016

Around the dial

It's another good week around the dial of the classic TV blogosphere, so let's get right to it and see what else you ought to be reading - besides It's About TV, of course.

At The Twilight Zone Vortex, an excellent review of the powerful 1961 episode "Deaths-head Revisited," starring Oscar Beregi and Joseph Schildkraut. I found particularly illuminating Brian's discussion of how the episode acts as an allegory for the then-current war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann.

Lincoln X-ray Ida looks at the season four Adam-12 episode "The Grandmothers," in which our police drama is interspersed with discussions of potholders and home remedies for headaches. I was never the great fan of that show that Keely is, but the warm relationship between officers Jim and Pete (not unlike that of Friday and Smith/Gannon in Dragnet) was always one of the show's highlights.

Faded Signals looks back at Good Morning America, along with its ABC morning show predecessor, A.M. America. It wasn't a big hit and disappeared after a year, but I watched it whenever I could (naturally, it wasn't on in The World's Worst Town), and it retains a soft spot in my memory. Fun fact: according to Bob Crane biographer Carol M. Ford, Crane was offered (and turned down) the role as host of GMA prior to David Hartman accepting it.

I overlooked this when it first appeared, but at TVParty!, Bobby Darin's guitarist T.K. Kellman shares his memories of the singer and his variety show. I always liked Darin, and I'm probably one of the few who actually thought the biopic made by Kevin Spacey was pretty good, even though it fell short of what it could have been.

It seems that invariably when I dump on contemporary American police procedurals, I cite as an example a British series such as Inspector Lewis, which accomplishes the challenging task of being elegant, grim and mysterious all at the same time. British TV Detectives puts the show under the microscope this week.

Wednesday, July 13 would have been Bob Crane's 88th birthday (can that be possible?), and Vote For Bob Crane takes a moment to remember the man and the many details of his life that most people don't know.

Television's New Frontier: the 1960s is back with another in-depth look at a show of the era - Wagon Train, circa 1961, a transition season that sees John McIntire take over for the late Ward Bond, while Robert Horton rides into the sunset. See how the show deals with such changes.

Ever wondered "why do I remember that show?" Classic Film and TV Cafe has, and tells us about seven (more) TV series that he remembers, although he's not quite sure why. Anyone else have some?

Finally, "Christmas in July" continues at Christmas TV History, with a reminiscence by yours truly. Check it out, as well as all of the many other contributions by readers of that fine blog.

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