September 15, 2017

Around the dial

This is the culmination of a short week for me; if you're reading this on the date of publication, I'm at the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, but I didn't leave you without something to read in the meantime.

Speaking of satire, as we were on Wednesday, the Broadcast Archives at the University of Maryland links to this article at Smithsonian about Bullwinkle taught kids sophisticated political satire. I think "sophisticated" is one of the key words at play, not in the same sense as dressing up in a tuxedo, but in the way the show managed it without being crude, loud, or beating viewers over the head with it. (Even if Boris and Natasha were beating the moose and squirrel over the head.)

I've alluded to this in the TV Guide articles, but there was a time, once, when September was a little bit like Christmas, a special time when everything was new and fresh (even the returning TV series). At Comfort TV, David knows what I'm talking about, as he too remembers the days when Septembers were special.

Television Obscurities remembers the 50th anniversary of The Second Hundred Years, the 1967-68 ABC sitcom one where Monte Markham gets to play a man and his grandson, with Arthur O'Connell caught in the middle. I've read that O'Connell was put out that Markham was the star; that he was promised he would be the focal point of the episodes. Considering Markham plays twice as many characters in the series, I'm not quite sure how he figured that out.

Classic Film and TV Café has seven things we might not have known about Barbara Stanwick. What's interesting, and this I did know, is that although we think of her as a movie star, she had much more success with awards in television, winning Emmys for The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Big Valley, and The Thorn Birds. The other thing I know is that she was a class act all the way - and by far the toughest of all the Barclays.

At Classic TV History, Joanna makes a stop in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (just south of Pittsburgh) to see the statue of one of their favorite sons, Mr. Christmas himself, Perry Como, with a bonus - Bobby Vinton! - thrown in.

The Twilight Zone Vortex takes a closer look at the 1962 episode "Hocus Pocus and Frisby," which is not a story about someone making a misspelled flying object disappear, but a story of tall tales, starring Andy Devine. I think Brian's analysis of the episode's strengths and flaws is pretty much spot-on.

The very fun Eventually Supertrain podcast (from the man who brings you Some Polish American Guy) does some quick time travelling, with looks at Manimal, The Immortal, and Voyagers! Boy, some memories there.

Hopefully, that will hold you until I get back! TV  


  1. You're right about September being special. The TV Guide all about the new TV season was always a favorite of mine, read from cover to cover.

    Make that 8 things about "Barbara Stanwick" you didn't know. For the record, it's Stanwyck, as you spelled correctly in the name of her show. She was a very versatile actress and had a very long career. You could still see a little Ruby Stevens from Brooklyn coming out in her performance sometimes in the way she spoke.

  2. Thank you for the shout out, Mitchell!


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