October 27, 2017

Around the dial

Ah, the weekend is in sight. Unless, of course, you're reading this at a later date, in which case the weekend may be in full swing, or you might be looking forward to the next weekend. At any rate, whenever it is that you read this, I think you'll find something worthwhile.

This week David reviews the DVD set of the '70s TV series Petrocelli, with Barry Newman and Susan Howard, and asks whether it passes the crucial Comfort TV test: is this a series you'll watch once and forget, or does it have the all-important "re-watchability" factor? Inquiring minds want to know.

Joanna's latest foray into Christmas TV History takes us to the eerie pre-WWII cartoon "Peace on Earth," one of the more disturbing cartoons I've seen. It's a blunt look at war and its aftermath, and yet there's no question it's entirely appropriate for the season. If you haven't seen it before, she's got a link to it; it's not long, so take the time to watch it.

Television Obscurities visits the Nielsen Bottom 10 for the week of October 23-29, 1972. It's an interesting and surprising look at the least-popular shows of the week: Streets of San Francisco? Night Gallery? Dean Martin? A repeat of Yellow Submarine? Of course very few shows get to go out on top; there's almost always a fall in popularity. Still, some revered shows here.

It's another journey to the Hitchcock Project at bare-bones e-zine, where Jack takes us inside the first season episode "A Bullet for Baldwin," written by Eustace and Francis Cockrell. I'm always fascinated by these articles, where Jack takes us through the process from the original story as it was written, and winding up with the version that hits our screens. It's a far cry from the episode guides we usually see for other shows.

Want an example of how I watch television? Read Miles Surrey's article at The Ringer, "51 Questions about The Good Doctor." It's not the kind of series I'm ever likely to watch, but the point is that when I'm watching a show, I pick at it exactly the way Surrey does here. (Even some the shows I like!) It's why my wife watches her favorite programs while I'm at work. It also demonstrates that the really good series are ones that keep opportunities for you to think this way to a minimum.

Not a lot of links this week (c'mon!), but quality makes up for quantity!   TV  


  1. For me "Peace on Earth" was both scary and thought provoking. Even before the days of atomic bombs it was becoming all too clear that man's technology had reached a point where it was capable of destroying civilization.

    The irony is that "Peace On Earth" appeared in theaters as the most destructive war in the history of the planet was beginning.

    George Everson


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!