June 24, 2022

Around the dial

The cruellest part of living in the World's Worst Town™ (and there were many) was that, while we were limited to one commercial station, the Minnesota State Edition of TV Guide provided listings for all stations, a subtle way of taunting those of us by reminding us of the shows we couldn't watch. Perhaps they were in cahoots with TV aerial manufacturers to get us to buy one of those tall antennas to put on the roof. (This was long before the age of satellite dishes, of course, because I'm old.) And so it was that, while I was never able to watch the legendary TV-movie The Night Stalker, I was all-too-well aware of it. Eventually I had the last laugh, as I've got both the two movies and the complete series on DVD.* This is, admittedly, a rounbdabout way of introducing us to this week's first link, to Classic Film & TV Café, where Rick reviews The Night Strangler, the memorable sequel to The Night Stalker, and the clincher that there would be a Kolchak series on ABC in the fall. 

*Which only goes to show the truth of the old maxim that justice delayed is not justice denied.

At Comfort TV, David has a really terrific, thoughtful piece on cutting the pop culture cord. In it, he voices many of the criticisms of contemporary entertainment that I've made or thought, in a very succinct manner. It's a very hard thing to explain to those who aren't a part of the classic TV community—why preferring old shows is not the same thing as living in the past or denying the present. Times change, ways of life change. Religious beliefs, public and private morals, codes of conduct, the social contract, and a common national culture—I don't want to say that these are completely non-negotiable, but they were never meant to be tossed aside like a piece of crumpled paper and ignored. That's what we see too often today, and it's those lost things that we respect, those lost things that we look to respect and emulate, at least in our own lives.

I hope you've been reading John's excellent series "The Prisoner in the Asylum" at Cult TV Blog. I mention it each week as new installments come in, and while I haven't had the chance to try it out against a Prisoner episode, the analysis is nothing less than fascinating. This week, it's part one of a two-part look at "The Girl Who Was Death," and how many of you haven't known that? 

On a lighter note, Joanna has announced this year's "Christmas in July" festivities at Christmas TV History, and it should be a fun one: an entire month of daily reminisces about Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies inspired by It's a Wonderful LifeWe all know there are a lot of them out there, but I rather expect there are even more than we're aware of. TV  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words. This was already a happy day and you just made mine happier.


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