July 18, 2013

Around the dial

The traffic this week at the Classic TV Blog Association revolves around the Me-TV blogathon, so let’s step outside the circle and see what other kinds of goodies can be found around the dial.

Catching up on a few things I didn't get to earlier, the Onion’s AV Club has this terrific piece on Hogan’s Heroes and the lack of a series-ending episode. Reading Noel Murray’s straight recitation of an episode’s plot, without watching the accompanying clips, demonstrates that there really was some gravitas to the show’s concept – a trait I think the show shares with Burke’s Law, and one reason why Hogan is on my personal top 10 list.

From the same source, there’s this article about the classic Brit series The Avengers – perhaps not a top 10 (you’ll just have to wait and see) but a show that epitomizes the twin concepts of fun and cool. To paraphrase Zaphod Beeblebrox, Steed and company are so cool, you could keep a side of beef next to them for a week. Murray makes a point I’ve never considered before, but that I’m inclined to think is quite astute: that the cultural and social turmoil of 60s America led to a “grass is greener” importation of British TV. What do you think?

My pal Billy Ingram at TVParty! has this interesting note on my single favorite cartoon character, Felix the Cat - the first image broadcast on television, and why he was replaced by Mickey Mouse.

TV tie-in novels! Any time you're browsing through an antique store or used book store, you're apt to see a book or two with a familiar TV character on the cover. Many of these were written for young readers and included illustrations of the familiar characters, while others were virtually continuations of the TV series (think Star Trek, for example). Television Obscurities has a nice piece on these, including links to TV tie-in books. And if you're really interested in the genre of TV tie-ins, check out this website.

And while we're at it, take some time to visit Ken Levine's TV blog. Levine's TV writing credits include M*A*S*H, Cheers and Frazier, and his blog has some of the wittiest and most perceptive comments on TV - past and present.

That's it for this week - and don't forget the Me-TV blogathon! TV  

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