July 30, 2021

Around the dial

I think we can all agree that the real Avengers are not the superheroes from the comics, but the superheroes of British intelligence: John Steed, Mrs. Gale, Mrs. Peel, Tara King, et al. And speaking of movies, at Cult TV Blog John has some movies you'll like if you like The Avengers. 

One of the the arguments you'll hear in favor of classic television as opposed to the television of today is that classic television shows had the ability to inspire viewers, to encourage them to follow in the footsteps of their heroes. Case in point is at Comfort TV, where David asks how classic TV has inspired you over the years. By contrast, what inspirational value do today's shows have? To make you want to be a meth dealer?

On Wednesday I mentioned Dick Powell's portrayal of private detective Richard Diamond on the radio; at Once Upon a Screen, Aurora goes a step further and looks at Powell's long history of playing radio P.I.s, including a gig I hadn't been aware of: a turn as America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator: Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

That Wednesday article referenced Richard Diamond and Johnny Staccato, two private detectives with more than a touch of noir and pulp about them. Appropriate, then, that at A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence writes about two new books, Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, by Eddie Muller. It's coupled with Master of Mystery: The Rise of The Shadow by Will Murray. Might want to include them on your wish list.

At The Random Access Television podcast, Zach and Nas take a look at the story of Monday Night Baseball. Although ABC liked to fashion it as the summer continuation of Monday Night Football, it actually came from NBC, which, beginning in the 1960s, broadcast three Monday night games a year, before going to a full season's worth in 1973. In the days before cable TV, these night games were a really summer treat.

"Day of Reckoning," the fourth Hitchcock Project script by William Link and Richard Levinson, is Jack's latest entry at bare•bones e-zine. It's a nasty little story of infidelity, murder, and a confession that isn't believed, and stars Barry Sullivan, Dee Hartford, Claude Akins, Hugh Marlowe and Louis Sullivan. Once again, I particularly enjoy how Jack contrasts the original novel by John Garden and the Link-Levinson adaptation.

At Great but Forgotten, an interesting piece on The Funny Company, a 1963 syndicated cartoon that appeared as filler on local kid shows. I have to admit it doesn't ring any bells with me, but I'm certainly familiar with this kind of five-minute type of cartoon, something like The Mighty Hercules or Roger Ramjet. I miss those days, as much as I miss local kids' shows. But there again, I'm just showing my age. TV  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Mitchell! I do find some current shows inspirational, and I also find some classic shows to be dark and challenging. The British series, Call the Midwife, is particularly good, if you're looking for an uplifting show.


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