February 22, 2019

Around the dial

I remember what it was like a few years ago, after hearing the news that Davy Jones had died; there was a tremendous outpouring of sorrow and affection from people everywhere, and I think that surprised some observers. It shouldn't have, though, because it demonstrated just how much The Monkees had been a part of American life at a given point in time. The pre-Fab Four had retained popular throughout the years after the show went off the air (although it's continued, off and on, in reruns), and if you grew up during that time, they left you stamped with an indelible image. I can't call myself a fan of the show, though I bore it no animus, but the songs, the skits, the theme—well, that never really goes away, does it? An so it is with the news of Peter Tork's death yesterday at age 77; social media was filled with fond memories of the offbeat bassist, and hopefully it won't be a surprise this time. His passing, like Jones's, reminds us of our own mortality, that we're no longer young anymore, even if we can be for a short time.

My friend Amanda Reyes, who contributed a very nice blurb for the cover of The Electronic Mirror, has the details of her third Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies talk on the history of the made-for-TV genre movie. Head on over to Made for TV Mayhem to find out more; it's worth it!

At Garroway at Large, Jodie has a piece on one of Dave Garroway's most prized possessions, his 1938 Jaguar SS 100. I imagine that car, which he owned for three decades, made him feel a little younger as well. It can be yours, if you're willing to part with a mid-six figure amount.

This week Cult TV Blog looks at the great Helen Hayes as she admirably assays Miss Marple in Murder with Mirrors. You can't really go wrong with that, can you? (By the way, I'd agree with Mike Doran's appraisal of Angela Lansbury in the comments section; read it to find out what I mean.)

You absolutely know you're going to be noticed when you title a blog post "Hey, There's Naked Bodies on My TV." Consider yourself noticed, Daniel of Some Polish American Guy! It's a delightful review of what sounds like a very, very offbeat movie.

The Broadcasting Archives at the University of Maryland links to this piece that takes us back to when This Old House was new. Having lived in New England for a few years, I can testify to just how big a deal that show was back there.

At Comfort TV, David looks at the new DVD release of an old classic, Mr. Novak, and asks the question: purchase or pass? In case you can't guess the answer, look back at my interview with Chuck Harter, author of the definitive book on the series.

TV Guide returns once again to the question of children's programming; it's the cover story on the February 18, 1989 issue, reviewed this week at Television Obscurities. If that's not enough, you might also want to check out Merrill Panitt's glowing review of China Beach. TV  

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