November 3, 2017

Around the dial

Lots of variety in the blogs this week; let's jump right in and see what's new.

GET CHRISTIE LOVE! I mean, how can you write about this series without talking IN CAPITAL LETTERS? Hal Horn does an admirable job of restraining himself at The Horn Section as he reviews "The Big Rematch," complete with Bobby Riggs and Rosemary Casals as an extra bonus! I'm not sure I could stand much more excitement.

There was, once upon a time, a football player called Fair Hooker. Don't believe me? Go ahead, you can look it up. Or you can just read Jeff's article at Classic TV Sports, in which he examines whether or not Monday Night Football's Don Meredith really told that joke - you know, the one that goes. . .

The Bob Crane Show: Reloaded has a pair of podcasts just right for Halloween. Carol and Eric do look at Bob Crane's involvement with the TV version of Arsenic and Old Lace, as well as an episode of the radio program The Zero Hour. Good stuff, but it's the wild two-part story involving a rescue mission to Transylvania that steals the show(s). And if you listen closely, you'll have the chance to hear a rare audio appearance by yours truly - in character, of course. All objectivity aside, I love those two!

At The Twilight Zone Vortex, Jordan has a very good writeup of "The Gift," the third season episode that might well mark the beginning of the series' decline. I really enjoy the in-depth writeups of these episodes; like Jack's Hitchcock Project posts, they offer a critical examination of episodes that goes far beyond the kind of background one usually reads.

Speaking of which, I was listening to a TZ podcast the other day, one of the points in the discussion being that classic TV (especially Twilight Zone) was dialogue-heavy - we've become so accustomed to chases and action and whatnot that it would be difficult for a show to duplicate Rod Serling's often insightful writing. Does The Good Place offer that kind of insight? The Ringer talks to a philosopher about that very thing - and I probably ought to write about it someday.

You'll recall that last week in this space we looked at 1939's "Peace on Earth," the post-apocalyptic Christmas cartoon, at Christmas TV History. This week Joanna gives us that cartoon's sequel, "Good Will to Men," from 1955. Whereas "Peace on Earth" recalled the horrors of World War I, "Good Will to Men" resides firmly in the shadow of nuclear war, which comes clear in its chilling conclusion.

"The Secrets Broker" is, writes John at Cult TV Blog, one of those episodes that makes The Avengers The Avengers. It's all there - mystery, blackmail, suspense, technology, Steed and Mrs. Gale, and wine tasting - all in glorious black-and-white. Who, I say, could ask for anything more? Read on and find out.

That should give you something to think about until tomorrow - see you then! TV  


  1. There was, once upon a time, a football player called Fair Hooker.
    Could be worse ;)

  2. Possibly irrelevant, but not immaterial:

    I was browsing around YouTube, at the pages devoted to To Tell The Truth.
    I happened to find the show from January 17, 1959.
    The second game was about a New York City Transit policewoman named Dorothy Uhnak, who spoke of her experiences working undercover, busting pickpockets and such.
    When I happened on this, I remembered Dorothy Uhnak from what became of her about a decade later: she began publishing thriller novels, about an undercover policewoman named Christie Opara.
    There were about a dozen of these novels (I rushed this into print without looking it up - my bad) which met with success in the mystery marketplace, and ultimately attracted movie-TV attention.
    A pilot was made in the early '70s, starring (I think) Donna Mills (see 'my bad', above), but that didn't sell.
    A couple of years after that, the property found its way to a new producer who transformed/mutated it into Get Christie Love!.
    Needless to say, the new show bore little if any resemblance to Mrs. Uhnak's original novels (nothing new there).
    When someone asked her about Get Christie Love!, Dorothy Uhnak took the "high road", as it were: she banked the money and shut up.
    "Long ago, and oh so far away ..."

    1. Dorothy Uhnak - yes, that's the kind of thing I love to run across on shows like that. I had no idea, though, that she was the genesis, if you will, of Christie Love. (Or is that Christie Love!) I think I would have taken the money as well...

  3. Thanks as always for the shout out!

    1. As with Jack, the treat for me is getting to read it & share it with others!

  4. Thanks for the shout out and the kind words, Mitchell. As always, we are incredibly grateful for all the support you have shown us. And I agree that television, and film, are largely short on dialogue in the new millennium. There will always be quality films and television programs but it does seem like there are fewer of them every year. Hopefully, it will change.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Brian! Being a writer, I'm a word guy myself, and while you don't have to be My Dinner with Andre, I think there's room for a lot more dialogue and a lot less action. Indy producers realize this, and they put out some very interesting (if non-commercial stuff, even if some of it does get a little pretentious. Perhaps I'm out of touch, but I'd like to think that if it's well-written, you can still attract an audience, the demographics of which might be surprising.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!