April 24, 2020

Around the dial

We start the week with a couple of articles from The Ringer; first, Michael Baumann hearkens back to the days of the opening title sequence, for both TV and movies, and says it's time to bring them back. He's absolutely right: a great title sequence can tell you everything you need to know about a show's story and tenor—think, for instance, of The Fugitive and The FBI, two of the very best.

The other Ringer piece, by Claire McNear, has nothing to do with classic television whatsover, except insofar as to illustrate the difference between then and now. It's about Too Hot to Handle, the new Netflex reality series, which sounds as godawful as any show that's ever appeared on television. I don't think it's to strong to say that this is what the fall of Western Civilization looks like. Just don't read it on an empty stomach.

After that, I think I might need something a little stronger that a soft drink (were I a drinking man), but it's welcome nonetheless to see these pop/soda/Coke/whatever-your-region-calls-it ads from the past, courtesy of Michael's TV Tray.

At bare•bones e-zine, it's time for another Hitchcock episode from the writing duo of Morton Fine and David Friedkin, as Jack looks at the 1964 episode "The McGregor Affair," with the great Andrew Duggan and John Hoyt among those in a standout episode that is very nasty indeed.

The Horn Section salutes the late Andrew J. Fenady, a television vet who died last weekend at the age of 91. Among his many credits are the three westerns he produced in the 1960s: The Rebel, Branded, and the series that's near and dear to Hal's heart, Hondo. R.I.P.

Another passing in the classic TV family is Tom Lester, Eb Dawson in Green Acres, who was 81 when he died on April 20. At A Shroud of Throughts, Terence looks back on the career of the man who was the last surviving cast member from a much-loved show.

The October 1982 issue of The Twilight Zone Magazine is a best-of-1982 issue, with the greatest stories of the year, and Jordan from The Twilight Zone Vortex is here to review it all, including stories by Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Harlan Ellison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Rod Serling himself, among others.

Last, but most certainly not least, it's time for another episode of the Eventually Supertrain podcast, as Daniel and I discuss the further adventures of Bourbon Street Beat, plus more fun features!

Steady on, and we'll be back tomorrow with—well, I don't remember what issue we're looking at tomorrow, so it will be a surprise for all of us. A good one, though. TV  


  1. The man who played Eb Dawson was Tom LESTER, not Lesser. He certainly was not a lesser man. I had the privilege of hearing him speak at my church back in 1990, and I wish I'd had the chance to meet him in person then as well.

  2. Not necessarily on-topic for the Friday edition, but now that I am running the graduate admissions operation for Utica College from home, I always (as a child of TV) have the TV on in the background. If you get Z Living (we get it with a Sling package), they run three episodes of Route 66 each weekday at 2, 4 and 5 eastern. Having watched the original in early elementary school with my much older sister on Friday nights, I obviously missed the subtleties of solid writing and characterization. Route 66 had the great elements--engrossing storytelling, likeable characters and, like the Fugitive, new characters cycling in and out of Buz and Tod's (later Link's)four year road trip. Plus you can spot some great guests in virtually every episode!

  3. Thanks for including Michael's TV Tray in the roundup!


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!