April 8, 2022

Around the dial

At Cult TV Blog, John has a very interesting comment in his review of the ITV Playhouse episode "Last Summer": "Writing these posts keeps reminding me that television was treated very much as if it was a new medium, even as late as the 1970s." I think that's very perceptive, as is his follow-up: "When I think of formats new to TV I'm ashamed to say that all I can think of is TV shopping, and reality TV. Strange it should have become so dominant when it's so derivative." By all means read about what John thinks of "Last Summer," but keep these thoughts in mind as well, and apply them to what is supposed to be a boom time of prestige TV.

The Hitchcock Project continues at bare-bones e-zine, and this week Jack looks at "Mr. Blanchard's Secret," a second-season episode written by Sarett Rudley. Not only does it show the dangers of having a vivid imagination, it's another example of how dramatically a plot can change in the process of being adapted from a short story to a teleplay—one of the aspects I most enjoy from these pieces.

Perhaps it's just me; Sunday evenings have always had a character different from the other six days of the week, and I assume that it has something to do with returning to school or work the next day. Sunday's also had a distinctive history of television shows over the years, both good and bad. This week at Comfort TV, David begins an ambitious project with a look at Sunday TV in the 1970s. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series!

Good news on the reading front! Martin Grams reports on a book coming out next year, Playhouse 90: A History of the Television Program, 1956-1960, which he's co-authoring with Bob Tevis. I'm looking forward to this; it's sure to be a valuable addition to the classic TV bookshelf.

The actress Barrie Youngfellow, a familiar face on television throughout the 1970s and '80s, died last week, aged 75. Terence recalls her career and credits at A Shroud of Thouughts.

Finally at Shadow & Substance, Paul takes a closer look at "A Most Non-Political Speech" that Rod Serling wrote for the "Religious Witness for Human Dignity" civil rights rally held in Los Angeles in 1964. It's a powerful message from a man accustomed to speaking with gravitas. TV  


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!