June 14, 2024

Around the dial

That looks like the coolest TV setup, doesn't it? It reminds me of fall Sundays back when I was a kid, when I'd bring a portable set out from the bedroom and put on top of the console in the living room, so I could watch two football games at once. Whenever one of them looked like it was getting interesting, I'd turn up the sound on that one and turn it down on the other. I don't watch football anymore, and I don't miss it—but I do miss memories like that.

There are other memories worth pursuing, though. A couple of weeks ago, we looked at an article about ways people could secure tickets to be in the studio audience for their favorite television shows, and I asked if anyone had been in the audience for a show. Our loyal reader Bill chimes in with his own memories: "I was fortunate to attend tapings of Wheel of Fortune on two occasions when they did special themed weeks in Orlando, Florida.  The first was at Universal Studios Florida in 1999 and the second at SeaWorld Orlando in 2008 (actually won an audience prize for correctly guessing the name of the 1973 pilot which was called Shopper’s Bazaar). I also remember Pat Sajak after one episode thanking everyone for attending the late evening recordings, that he and Vanna were taking a quick break to change clothes, and when coming back 'we’ll all pretend it’s tomorrow!'  It was a fun experience, although ironically I don’t really watch the show itself." Sounds like a lot of fun, Bill!

And now, on with the show. At bare•bones e-zine, Jack's Hitchcock Project turns to Francis Irby Gwaltney's tenth-season story, "Lonely Place," a dark, nasty piece of work with Teresa Wright, Pat Buttram, and Bruce Dern doing their best to chill us all.

At Cult TV Blog, John detours, as he sometimes does, to look at the Big Finish series of audio adventures based on popular British shows of the past. This week, it's "Remember Me," from the supernatural mystery series Sapphire and Steel, but that's not all; there's also a bonus review of the slasher film The Flesh and Blood Show. Two for the price of one!

David returns to his journey through 1970s TV this week at Comfort TV, and he's up to Monday nights in 1974. For me, Mondays always meant Monday Night Football back then (there's that game again!), but there was much more than that; how about CBS's lineup of Gunsmoke, Maude, Rhoda, and Medical Center? Not bad.

I've mentioned this before, I think, but there's always something haunting about Judy Garland, especially when you contrast pictures of her from her Wizard of Oz days with those taken in the 1960s, when she looked at least fifteen years older. At Realweegiemidget, Gill reviews one of the many movies about Garland's youth, the teleflick Rainbow: The Judy Garland Story, with Andrea McArdle.

Let's stay on the Garland express for a moment and look, not at a portrayal of Judy, but the real thing: The Clock, a 1945 movie co-starring Robert Walker, which gives her a chance to demonstrate her dramatic acting chops after a string of musicals. You can read Maddie's take on it at Classic Film and TV Corner.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about Lucille Ball on the Dan Schneider Video Interview, so it's a good tie-in to look at Paul's review of Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie over at Drunk TV. It's not a biopic, but a documentary, and it's indeed based on home movies of the couple during the first years of their marriage. If you're a Lucy fan, you might want to make sure you see this if you haven't already.

I've said this before, but the only thing as much fun as watching a classic movie or TV show is reading about it, and Martin Grams is on the job this week with reviews of four new books from Bear Manor Media, covering a quartet of classics: Lawman, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle; Shane; and North by Northwest. All signs point to some good additions to your library.

Last week I wrote a brief tribute to Doctor Who's William Russell, who died at the age of 99; this week Terence adds some well-selected words of his own at A Shroud of Thoughts; he also has an appreciation for film and television star Janis Paige, who died June 2, aged 101. Both of them are well worth remembering.

At A View from the Junkyard, Mike and Roger compare notes on "Killer," an episode of The Avengers that doesn't feature Linda Thorson. After the Diana Rigg years, it was bound to be difficult getting used to a new companion for Steed, but I thought Thorson grew into the role quite well, and her Tara is endearing on her own merits. See what they think, and what you think.]q

One of my favorite guest panelists in the last years of What's My Line? was the columnist Suzy Knickerbocker; endearingly, her last name was so long that, after her first couple of appearances, her nameplate simply said "Suzy." There's much to know about her, and you can read some of it at TravalancheTV  


  1. Thanks for the mention in such lovely company.

  2. You dislike football? Another thing we have in common.
    I posted this Facebook back in February:

    I grew up in a football town.
    It was in my best interest not to tell my teen-age peers that I found it boring. If I did, I would have been physically attacked and had my manhood questioned.
    Because, apparently, there is a connection between wanting to watch a bunch of guys in tights grab at each other for over 3 FREAKING HOURS (up to FIVE for the Super Bowl) and who I want sleep with (my not-for-public description was a little more...colorful). So, I faked it.
    At middle-age I finally came out of the closet and told the world I hated football.
    Come to find I wasn't the only one.
    Apparently, a lot of people out there who 'fake it'.

    Add to that the political posturing, the military pageants, the fixed games...

    1. I actually like the game itself; for many years, especially growing up, it was my favorite sport. I can still watch a college game on occasion although the commercials kill me. I follow Canadian football on a weekly basis - I think that as far as the game itself, it's a faster and more interesting brand of football. But as for the NFL, I've got absolutely no time for it. I haven't watched the NFL for probably 20 years, except on Thanksgiving, and then it's only on in the background, to provide the proper atmosphere!


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!