July 28, 2023

Around the dial

We'll start the week, as we often do, at bare•bones e-zone, where Jack's Hitchcock Project has moved on to the teleplays of Frank Gabrielson, starting with the third-season episode "Reward to Finder," a terrific story starring Oscar Homola and Jo Van Fleet. It's another example of the importance of the writer—in this case, Gabrielson turns a good short story into an exceptional half-hour program.

I hope you've been reading John's series on The X-Files and the American Dream over at Cult TV Blog. I probably say that, or some variation of it, every week, but this is the kind of thoughtful analysis of a program's content that I really appreciate. This week it's a look at episodes that deal with PTSD, government actions that belie what America is supposed to stand for, and more. Whether you agree with it or not, it's great stuff.

We're almost to the end of July (can you believe it? With the heat we've been getting here in Indiana, I certainly can), and that means Joanna is winding down to the end of "Christmas in July." There are several stories to choose from, as this is a daily feature throughout the month, but I'm going to single out a personal favorite, "Blackadder's Christmas Carol," which is a useful, cynical antidote to the sometimes syrupy Yuletide stories we can get.

At The Last Drive In, it's part three of Science Fiction Cinema of the 1950s, and the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Now, I know this isn't a television post per se, but I think we can all agree that many of these movies became classics through late-night TV viewing. And, for those that aren't true artistic classics, we can thank them for becoming riffing fodder on MST3K!

At Garroway at Large, Jodie talks about the added benefits that came from writing her biography of Dave Garroway, including the people you meet and the friends you make. She mentions your humble scribe and my wife (the feeling goes double from us!), and focuses on her recent time together with Dave's daughter Paris, who sounds like a wonderful person. I'll second what she says; it's easy to say this because I won't be winning awards, but I wouldn't trade a fistful of them for all the friends I've made along the "It's About TV" way.

David's latest at Comfort TV is on how you can't lose em all, or how some of our favorite episodes come from times when the perennial loser finally wins one. This week's example comes from the "Farmer Ted and the News" episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which our erstwhile newscaster Ted Baxter (and who'd have thought we'd have more confidence in him than in the news readers we have today) pulls one over on Lou Grant. (And I would have enjoyed Dick Dasterdly winning once, too!)

Speaking of movies, at Classic Film & TV Cafe, Rick looks at Strange Confession, one of the six "Inner Sanctum" movies starring Lon Chaney Jr. You OTR buffs will remember Inner Sanctum from the radio, where it ran from 1941 to 1952; it also was a syndicated television series in 1954. Besides Chaney, Strange Confession stars Brenda Joyce and J. Carrol Naish, and in supporting roles, future stars Lloyd Bridges and Milburn Stone.

At A Shroud of Thoughts, Terence has a fun feature on DC comic books based on TV sitcoms. In addition to such well-known series as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Honeymooners, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and Sgt. Bilko, the list also includes the radio series A Date with Judy. Read about these and more shows that made it on the comic pages.

The latest Avengers episode at The View from the Junkyard is also one of its most popular (and controversial): "A Touch of Brimstone," which features everything from Satanism to whips and bondage, and wasn't even shown in the United States in first-run. Roger and Mike are split in their opinions on this episode; what do you think? TV  

1 comment:

Thanks for writing! Drive safely!