February 10, 2017

Around the dial

I chose the image above more for what it represents - an ideal - than anything else. As we speak, being able to sit back in the easy chair and watch television is a distant dream, what with boxes all over the place. Never fear; things will soon be back to normal, or at least what passes for it around here, but in order to make sure we don't miss a beat at It's About TV, I've started compiling this week's best-of well in advance, so that you might be able to benefit from the wisdom of others.

For example, at Comfort TV, David reflects on when Nick at Night was still done right. Looking at how that resource was wasted by the executives at the network reminds me of Franklin's words about the revolution, how "Never was such a valuable possession so stupidly and recklessly managed."

It's funny that Classic Film and TV Cafe is writing about the lone color episode of the original Perry Mason - we just saw that very episode a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps if the entire series had been filmed that way - but seeing Perry and Della and Hamilton Burger in color just didn't work for me. It was as if it had been colorized after the fact.

At Cult TV, John ponders the same question I've asked myself several times, an answer to which I'm still working on: why classic TV? John speaks of special effects when he says this, but I think he could be speaking of the characters as well, when he writes that "Perhaps we who watch old TV want to see things really happening to people who really existed?"

I did not know that yet another version of Agatha Christie's classic The Witness for the Prosecution had been done, but thanks to British TV Detectives I know it now. Unfortunately, it sounds very much as if this version - based not on the movie but on the original play - ultimately falls short. But then, when you have the original, why bother to improve on it?

What with the recent passing of Mary Tyler Moore, it seems a good time to look back beyond The Mary Tyler Moore Show to her first memorable appearance, which Once Upon a Screen covers in this look back at The Dick Van Dyke Show

At The Horn Section, Hal is back in the saddle with another episode of Hondo, this time the 1967 episode "Hondo and the War Hawks." It's a hard call considering I haven't seen Hondo, but I can't imagine the series is any more entertaining than Hal's writeups!

Another obituary in the television world, with the death this week of Professor Irwin Corey. The comedian was never my cup of tea, but then many people could say the same about my favorites. Classic Television Showbiz honors Corey with this clip from his 1983 appearance with David Letterman.

That's all I've got time for right now, but if I don't get a chance to update this before Friday, I hope I don't miss anyone. Just to be sure, you'd better check out all the classic TV blogs, as seen on the sidebar.

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Thanks for writing! Drive safely!