August 6, 2021

Around the dial

Wou might recall that a couple of months ago, we looked at a TV Guide cover story on Gail Davis, star of the syndicated Western series Annie Oakley. This week, I received a very nice email from Windham Taylor and Brian Miller at the website, on an article they'd published (by Molly Carter) on the real Annie Oakley, America's most iconic woman sharpshooter. Would I be interested in the article? You bet I would, and I'm happy to share it here today. It's in the best tradition of the "Background" feature that TV Guide used to run, an article that would tell the story behind an upcoming movie or special. I appreciate getting links like this, and if any of you have similar things you'd like to share, please let me know!

My Twitter friend Herbie Pilato has a terrific article at the Television Academy website—you know, the people who do the Emmys—on the 50th anniversary of the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. Fifty years, which would make me, let's see—too old. Whether or not you were a fan of the duo, you'll be a fan of the article.   

At The Ringer, Alison Herman examines one of the many ways that streaming television has changed the very product it provides: all the conventions that governed classic TV, from the length of the show to the length of the season, are now up for grabs, with the result being what she calls "form confusion": "an exciting array of possibilities that also leaves room for error."

On a philosophical note, at The American SpectatorLou Aguilar has an interesting—and provocative—article on how today's television is redefining masculinity. TV has the power to shape perception and behavior, of course; otherwise, advertisers would be throwing their money away. There's a reason why some people prefer classic television, back when things were black-and-white—so to speak.

In a somewhat similiar vein, at Comfort TV, David says television should always have a Superman. A simple, declarative statement, but I think it goes beyond Superman the character, to Superman the iconic hero. There's some thought that in these days when Marvel seems to dominate all forms of entertainment, the antihero's time is over, and the age of the hero is back. We could use some.

Week in and week out, one of my favorite stops on the trip around the dial is at bare•bones e-zine, especially when it's time for one of Jack's Hitchcock Project entries. For those of you scoring at home, or even if you're alone, here is a complete index to all the episodes covered so far. The closer he gets to the end, the closer we are to seeing that much-needed book!

Speaking of recaps, you won't want to miss Joanna's recap of this year's Christmas in July feature at Christmas TV History. Considering the hot, dry summer we've been experiencing here in Minnsota, it's kind of nice to think about Christmas in July. Come December, though, we might already be sick of the snow.

At The Horn Section, Hal stops by F Troop long enough to ask the question, "What Are You Doing After the Massacre?"  It's a delightful second-season episode featuring the great Phil Harris guesting as the 147-year-old Chieftan Flaming Arrow, aiming to get the entire United States back, one parcel of land at a time. 

One of the more popular memes out there asks you to tell people your age without using numbers. For me—well, I'm old enough to remember when MTV ran nothing but music videos. (Even typing that sentence has aged me.) At A Shroud of Thought, Terence takes a look back at the history of the groundbreaking network on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

Finally, at Eventually Supertrain, I'm back to talk about the Search episode "The Gold Machine" with Dan; stick around as Dan discusses Planet of the Apes with Amy The Conqueror, and chats about Kolchak with Tim. Some people ask why I so often promote my own links at the bottom of the page, and the truth is it's because I have every confidence in you, my loyal readers, that you'll read to the very end, right? Right? TV  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks very much, Mitchell. Four more years and I'll be through the series!


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