March 24, 2023

Around the dial

Let's start things off this week at bare-bones e-zine, where Jack's Hitchcock Project moves to the first of two scripts by Lou Rambeau: "Hangover," from December, 1962, starring Tony Randall and Jayne Mansfield. While I'm offended that it features an alcoholic whose first name is Hadley, it sounds like a terrific, sinister episode.

At Realweegiemidget, Gill goes all the way back to 1981 and the glory days of prime time soaps, with the first episode of Falcon Crest, "In His Father's House," with Jane Wyman, Robert Foxworth, Susan Sullivan, and Lorenzo Lamas heading a cast that never, in the show's nine seasons, would lack for big names.

We've discussed the ABC Movie of the Week many times here; it remains a popular topic among classic TV fans, and at Classic Film & TV CaféRick looks at one of the more unusual entries in the series: Goodnight, My Love, Peter Hyams' neo-noir starring Richard Boone and Michael Dunn, with Barbara Bain as the femme fatale and Victor Buono as Sidney Greenstreet. Talk about great casting!

At Comfort TV, David makes me envious with his look back at close encounters with classic TV stars. It's an impressive list—I'm going to make you go over there and read it, because I don't want to pick and choose names—and I wish I could relate some experiences like that. I've seen many over the years, but the only one I've ever talked with was Gary Lockwood, who was very conversational.

John continues his series on 1980s TV at Cult TV Blog with a review of The Chinese Detective, and if you know anything about British TV and still don't remember this, it's because it's virtually impossible to find. Read what John has to say about this British-Chinese detective (David Yip) who has to battle both crime and racism on the mean streets of London's east end.

Here's the kind of story I enjoy: at the Washington Post, Benjamin Dreyer writes on HBO's reimagined Perry Mason, and the difficulty the series sometimes has with making sure the dialogue is period-authentic. I wrote about a similar article several years ago regarding Mad Men; it's another way we see the eternal challenges of viewing the past through the prism of the present.

What does Rod Serling mean to you? That's the question that Paul's asking at Shadow & Substance, with a story on efforts to erect a statue of Rod Serling in his hometown of Binghamton, NY—and how you can help. I submit it for your approval.

I've poked fun at television's attempts in the late 1960s and early '70s to be "with it"; sometimes, as in a series like Judd for the Defense, tackling current issues worked, but more often, the attempts were wince-inducing. Terence looks at the 1970-71 season at A Shroud of Thoughts, and finds that "relevant" TV didn't particularly translate to "successful" TV.

Finally, at TVParty, Cary O'Dell writes about those shows that went just one season too many. For some it will be a painful reminder of a favorite show that went, in Cary's words, "off the rails," while other examples will just confirm what you knew all along. In any case, it proves the old adage that you should always leave them wanting more; I hope we don't outstay our welcome here! TV  

1 comment:

Thanks for writing! Drive safely!