The Classic/Retro Pop Culture Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    Brian Wilson, co--founder of the Beach Boys, has been diagnosed with dementia, following the death of his wife Melinda last month.
    Family and friends are making sure his final days are as comfortable as possible.
    I was too young to understand the impact the death John Lennon had on people, but this one, along with Paul and Ringo, is gonna hurt.
     
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  2. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Wow, that is some crazy casting. Not that there aren't some vast age differences in real life.

    If this show had a bible, it must have been written in cuneiform. :rommie:

    Yeah, they always make up at the end. :rommie:

    Pity, because those were some great shows.

    From then on, Gage and DeSoto devoted their lives to tracking him back and forth across the country, not believing him to be dead at all....

    Yeah, what's up with that? I never knew there were so many uncredited roles in TV shows.

    I was thinking that they must have only had about five minutes to throw together a script.

    This may sound bad, but I hope he dies quickly and peacefully in his sleep. I had a friend who got dementia following a stroke, and she just got steadily worse for five years until she had completely forgotten everything about herself and her life. She did finally die peacefully in her sleep, and she was fairly happy thanks to her medicine, but it was heartbreaking to watch her fade away a little bit every day until there was nothing left.
     
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    50 Years Ago This Week


    February 17
    • At 2 a.m., 20-year-old U.S. Army Private First Class Robert K. Preston landed a stolen helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House, about 100 yards (91 m) from the residence, after the Executive Protection Service fired with shotguns and struck the aircraft. Preston had stolen the helicopter from the Tipton Airfield at Fort Meade in Maryland. U.S. President Richard Nixon was at his vacation home at Key Biscayne, Florida at the time of the incident. Preston would receive a one-year prison sentence and a general discharge from the Army, dying of cancer in 2009.
    • Spiro Agnew, the former Vice President of the United States, lost all rights to protection by the U.S. Secret Service, four months after his resignation. Agnew's security detail of at least 12 agents left after midnight after traveling with him to the home of Frank Sinatra in Palm Springs, California.
    • Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., unveiled a portrait of her husband in the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, the first picture of a black man ever displayed in that building. A statue of King would be unveiled on the State Capitol grounds in 2017.
    • American driver Richard Petty won the 1974 Daytona 500, his fifth victory in the event, becoming the first driver to win the race two years in a row. Because of the ongoing energy crisis, the race was only 450 miles (720 km) and 180 laps around the track in Daytona Beach, Florida. In order to make 200 laps, the first lap was designated as "Lap 21".

    February 18
    • At 7:29 p.m., Colonel Thomas L. Gatch, Jr., took off in his balloon Light Heart from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to attempt the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon. Air currents pushed Light Heart far south of Gatch's planned course. An airliner would make the final radio contact with Gatch on February 19, and the last sighting would be by a freight ship, Ore Meridian, on February 21. The search by the U.S. Department of Defense was abandoned on March 6 after more than two weeks. Neither Light Heart nor Gatch had been found almost 50 years after his disappearance.
    • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the U.S. Ambassador to India, presented the largest check on record to the government of India, canceling India's $3.2 billion debt to the U.S. for food and humanitarian aid after signing an agreement with the government. Moynihan and presented the Indian Secretary of Economic Affairs, M. G. Kaul, with a check signed by John G. Kaptain, the disbursement officer for the U.S. Embassy in India, for 16,640,000,000 (16 billion, 640 million) Indian rupees, equivalent to $2,046,700,000 in U.S. dollars under the prevailing exchange rate. The remainder of the remaining 1.17 billion dollars would be drawn upon for operations of the U.S. embassy and for educational and cultural projects. Moynihan commented later, "I never saw so much money on such a small piece of paper in my life."

    February 19
    • The Foreign Ministry of the Soviet Union summoned ambassadors from the U.S., the UK, France and other Western nations and announced that it would end most travel restrictions against diplomats. A spokesperson told the ambassadors that they would be allowed to travel, without prior permission, to any non-restricted area of the Soviet Union, as long as 24 hours notice had been given, and allowing free access to all but restricted areas within the 40-kilometre (25 mi) radius of central Moscow.

    February 20
    • Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, a member of the Imperial Japanese Army's intelligence unit who had been in hiding on Lubang Island in the Philippines for 29 years after World War II, was located by a Japanese adventurer, Norio Suzuki. After being told that World War II had ended, 2nd Lt. Onoda told Suzuki that he would not surrender until ordered to by a superior officer, and finally gave up on March 9 when his former commander, Major Yoshimi Taniguchi, delivered the order. Onoda was the second-to-last Japanese officer to surrender after World War II. The last one, Teruo Nakamura, would be located in Indonesia on December 18, 1974.

    February 21
    • The last Israeli troops on the west bank of the Suez Canal departed on schedule, after having controlled both sides of the canal since 1967.

    February 22
    • During a failed attempt at Baltimore/Washington International Airport to hijack Delta Air Lines Flight 523 to Atlanta, 44-year-old Samuel Byck shot and killed an airport policeman and the copilot of the DC-9 and seriously wounded the pilot before killing himself. Byck had intended to crash the plane into the White House in order to assassinate President Nixon.
    • The Teleamazonas television network began broadcasting in Ecuador as color television was introduced to South America.
    • A food giveaway by the Hearst Corporation, on behalf of kidnap victim Patty Hearst, made at the demand of the Symbionese Liberation Army as a condition of setting the heiress free, began in San Francisco and Oakland at four distribution centers where bags of groceries were given away. The bags contained "a small frozen turkey, a box of crackers, a box of biscuit mix, a can of tomato juice and a quart carton of milk," for the thousands of people who showed up.
    • U.S. Navy Lieutenant (junior grade) Barbara Allen became the first female in the U.S. to be designated as a naval aviator, receiving her wings pin at ceremonies at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

    February 23
    • More than two years after the Bangladeshi war of independence from Pakistan, the leaders of Pakistan and Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) made peace with each other. Sheik Mujibur Rahman, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was welcomed to Lahore by Pakistan's Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The welcome came the day after Pakistan extended diplomatic recognition to its former province, which had seceded in 1971.
    • An artillery shell fired more than 55 years earlier killed seven people near the Italian town of Asiago. A group of scavengers were looking for war material left during the 1916 Battle of Asiago fought in World War I between the Italian Army and an invading force from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," Elton John (17 weeks)
    • "Helen Wheels," Paul McCartney & Wings (13 weeks)
    • "Hello It's Me," Todd Rundgren (20 weeks)
    • "Joy, Pt. 1," Isaac Hayes (9 weeks)
    • "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)," Helen Reddy (16 weeks)
    • "Let Your Hair Down," The Temptations (9 weeks)
    • "Livin' for You," Al Green (11 weeks)
    • "Me and Baby Brother," War (15 weeks)
    • "The Real Me," The Who (3 weeks)
    • "Rockin' Roll Baby," The Stylistics (18 weeks)
    • "Top of the World," Carpenters (20 weeks)
    • "When I Fall in Love" / "Are You Lonesome Tonight", Donny Osmond (13 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "Piano Man," Billy Joel

    (#25 US; #4 AC; #421 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time [2004])

    The original promo video, which uses different audio:


    It was a beautiful song, but it ran too long
    If you're gonna have a hit
    You gotta make it fit
    So they cut it down to 3:05

    "Tubular Bells," Mike Oldfield

    (#7 US; #15 AC; #31 UK)

    "Midnight at the Oasis," Maria Muldaur

    (#6 US; #7 AC; #21 UK)

    "The Lord's Prayer," Sister Janet Mead

    (#4 US; #2 AC)


    And new on the boob tube:
    • Adam-12, "Sunburn"
    • Hawaii Five-O, "Killer at Sea"
    • Kung Fu, "Crossties"
    • Ironside, "A Death in Academe"
    • M*A*S*H, "Mail Call"
    • The Mary Tyler Moore Show, "Two Wrongs Don't Make a Writer"
    • The Bob Newhart Show, "Confessions of an Orthodontist"

    _______

    Timeline entries are quoted from the Wiki page for the month.

    _______

    :D

    The creature is driven by rage, and pursued by a couple of paramedics...
    "Fireman Gage, don't get me involved in one of your quirky schemes. You wouldn't like me when I'm involved in one of your quirky schemes."

    It's a particular issue with this show. I've generally attributed it to there being so many regulars in the closing credits (the rest of the station crew and often Dr. Morton) that they crowd out one-episode guests...but there's usually at least one more full card of credited guests. In this case, the only credited non-regulars were Buttram (who had his own card) and the kid who played Jerry the box boy (sharing the regulars' card).

    Seems like they still could have written something after the fact to set it up better.

    I understand where you're coming from. It's sad that a legendary figure of the era should go out like this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2024
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Was he just bored or what? :rommie:

    The safest place on Earth.

    Imagine being the teller who had to cash that sucker. "I'll need my manager's approval for this." :rommie:

    Former Private First Class Robert K. Preston immediately stole a helicopter and flew to the Kremlin.

    This amazes me. These guys really knew how to hang in there. :rommie:

    A little foreshadowing there....

    Classic, but very overplayed.

    I had forgotten about the single version. I don't think anybody's played that one for a long time.

    Squiggy sighs and waits for it to be over.

    This is a goodie.

    Does this count as a novelty number? Or will I get burned at the stake for saying that? :rommie:

    :rommie:

    I find it really odd that a credit isn't required by the union or something. Credits mean a lot to these people, I think.

    True, they could have just worked around that footage.

    Very sad indeed.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    If you're on Frank's good side...

    Say, this might be a good place to mention that Sinatra's current album is the one with "Send in the Clowns".

    Don't bother, they're here.

    Better have another guest room prepped, Frank.

    In case anyone thought that Gilligan's Island was exaggerating a decade earlier...

    Not just a classic, the signature song of a newly emerging artist who won't fully break out until 1977's The Stranger. And if you've had occasion to accompany thousands of others in singing along to "Piano Man" at Madison Square Garden a few times like I have, you might feel differently. A highlight of Billy's shows.

    In case you weren't familiar, the lyrics are bit of commentary from "The Entertainer," a track on Billy's next album. Not to be confused with a sooner-upcoming Squiggy-unfriendly hit single from a current movie soundtrack.

    Squiggy needs to get some culture. :p

    An evocative oldies radio classic. This track has been on the album end of my shuffle for a while...about time the single charted.

    I have no first-hand recollection of this, and found it surprisingly good. I went in expecting the Singing Nun and got something a little more Jesus Christ Superstar. I'll get this if it's available.

    For the record, our uncredited actor is not Bill Bixby.
    Emergency22.jpg

    Yeah, I have to wonder if this caused issues getting people on the show. Or maybe these were package deals with credited appearances on Adam-12.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2024
  6. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Anti-hero, more than anything else, the kind of character Marvel needed at that point in the publisher's history, one who was not held back with self-applied rules in dealing with people who had not a moment of hesitation in unpending society / savaging the innocent in every sickening manner.


    Good Times--an astoundingly offensive perversion of Eric Monte's original concept, thanks to the incredibly racist hack Norman Lear, who--along with his band of thieves--would screw Monte over time and again in the creation of The Jeffersons, his suggestions for Sanford and Son, and What's Happening!--the latter based on Monte's film, Cooley High.

    Monte on Norman Lear and his associates in candid, yet unsurprising interviews:



     
  7. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    Having watched the show in reruns, the biggest problem I see with the show is that JJ has no personality outside of his one liners and catchphrases. If the writers had taken the time to develop his personality and maybe a conflict between JJ and his father, like Archie and Meathead, then John Amos might not have left. As it was, it quickly became the 'Jimmy Walker Show'.
     
  8. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    Back in spring on '97 or '98, I went to visit Mom and Wink in Winter Park, Colorado and Wink was part of a barbershop quartet that was participating in a local talent show, whose theme was 'Midnight at the Oasis.' At one point, belly dancers came out and danced to this song. Belly dancing and this song do not go together.
     
  9. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    Mike Oldfield was only nineteen when he composed and played all the instruments on this album.



    You might not like it; but that's pretty damn talented.
     
  10. DarrenTR1970

    DarrenTR1970 Commodore Commodore

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    You have to wonder if Sister Janet Mead knew what she was doing by singing this. There's no way this can't be listened to without thinking the produers thought this was a novelty song.
     
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    At this point, though, he was more of an antagonistic character for Spidey and later other heroes. He wouldn't have his own series for another decade.

    This might be a good place to note that Wolverine's first appearance is coming this summer.

    I was glancing at some YouTube comments, I think it was, about how she was known to use Beatles songs in her lessons and such. I think this was her idea.

    From her Wiki page...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2024
  12. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    True. :rommie:

    That throws a whole new light on the song.

    Once again, Gilligan's Island is vindicated. :mallory:

    Actually, I did see him at Boston Garden once, in the late 80s. One of the few big-name performers I've seen.

    I did cap that, actually. Kind of. I thought it was a general commentary on the industry, not specifically about "Piano Man."

    Well, he is Squiggy. :rommie:

    I was also thinking that she was trying to evoke Superstar. It makes sense.

    I knew that, but I'm still disappointed. :rommie:

    Could be. That never occurred to me.

    I don't know if they needed a character like this. Certainly not as a hero. I prefer my heroes to be held back by morals. :D

    Don't mince words-- tell us what you really think. :rommie: It would certainly be disappointing if these accusations against Lear were true, but it sounds like typical Hollywood shenanigans in any case. I don't see any reason to assume racism.

    Yeah, he was basically the Fonz.

    And I thought belly dancing went with everything. :rommie:

    It's not that I dislike it, it's just that I'm mostly lukewarm to instrumentals.
     
  13. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, i've never viewed the Punisher as a straight hero, so he's not expected to be that guy playing by the superhero guidebook.

    The content of a series such as Good Times painted a very different picture, not the one Monte had in mind when he developed the concept.
     
  14. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk A Spock and a smile Premium Member

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    I can't imagine her in this Sisters of Mercy

    ;)
     
  15. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    No, but as of the 80s they began to portray him as a hero, which really rubbed me the wrong way.

    Considering his overall body of work and his contributions to popular culture, it seems unlikely. I can understand the guy holding a grudge if he was screwed over, or even if he just feels that he was, but that seems more like character assassination than grievance.

    :rommie:
     
  16. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've read a few of Monte's original notes about the kind of series Good Times was supposed to be, and its almost a completely different concept to that minstrel crap that Lear produced. Instead of being a semi-aspirational view of a struggling black family, it was turned into hollering, stereotypical crap mirroring the kind of crap not seen since Amos 'n' Andy. It was shocking to see such a show at the time, as it countered and all but smothered the all-important fight to end the negative characterization of black people waged in the previous decade.

    For all of the strides made with black characters on series such as I Spy, Star Trek, Julia, Room 222, Mission: Impossible, Ironside and The Mod Squad (to name a few), Lear's silent-era retreads wiped that away to become the dominant media view of black people in the 1970s which led millions to believe black peole were all "jiving", strutting or loud caricatures (and was one of the biggest reasons Cosby created and launched The Cosby Show a decade after Good Times' debut). Lear's own contribution to pop culture with the black-oriented series he had a hand in producing makes said contributions questionable at best.
     
  17. Tallguy

    Tallguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I just realized April will be 40 years since my first Billy Joel concert and March will be 30 years since my last.
     
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  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    50th Anniversary Viewing (Part 1)

    _______

    Adam-12
    "Routine Patrol: The Drug Store Cowboys"
    Originally aired February 12, 1974
    The officers are discussing Pete's date when they're assigned a call for a 390 W with a gun at a bar. Hearing the woman (Jo Anne Meredith) making a drunken commotion inside, they wait until backup arrives before busting in and getting the drop on her. It turns out that she was threatening the bartender (Buddy Lester) and a couple of other patrons with a starter pistol.

    Next they're called to a 415 fight. When they get to the scene, they're flagged down by a beaten-up Fred Wheeler (Bill Williams, sporting what looks distinctly like Mentor's jacket from Shazam!), who describes how a carload of four younger men dressed in the subtitular fashion ran him off the road, beat him up, and stole his car; while other cars drove by without stopping; and informs the officers that he had two .45 automatics and a .44 magnum in his trunk, as he was either going to or coming home from a shooting range.

    After that is a 211 at a service station, where day man Dave Moss (Jim B. Smith) describes how he was held up by three men with guns, dressed as Wheeler described, who left their old vehicle there.

    Responding to a DB report, the officers are met by ambulance driver Al Guinn (Robert DoQui), who tells them how a tenant with brain damage, Donald Shore, had electrocuted himself with an electric comb in the tub according to the man's wife, Audrey (Rachel Romen); but he thinks she was putting on an act. The officers find that the details on the scene don't match her story that he took the comb from the sink, which would have involved getting out of the tub, and call it in as a possible murder.

    During a seven at a food stand called in during the commercial, Mac drops by to update the officers that Mrs. Shore has copped to the murder, and implicated her apartment manager boyfriend as an accomplice. Fishing for a lead on the subtitular case, the officers spend their patrol hitting C&W bars looking for the suspects' stolen vehicle. Prints from the old vehicle identify two of the suspects as the Arnold brothers from Albuquerque, with the others possibly being their cousins, the Bateses. Continuing their search, the officers find a match for the vehicle, which has been recently painted. Then shots are fired at them from behind the cover of other cars, cutting them off from their own vehicle. Malloy keeps the suspects occupied in an exchange of fire, wounding one of them, while Reed maneuvers behind parked cars to a position where he has the drop on them. The suspects are arrested and backup arrives.

    _______

    Hawaii Five-O
    "Mother's Deadly Helper"
    Originally aired February 12, 1974
    In court, D.A. Manicote requests a postponement of his case against Joseph "Happy" Furika--charged with having been hired to kill a man named Contrero who was threatening to make trouble by being elected to a union board--because of a missing witness. Heeding the objections of defense attorney Derringer (Ted Scott), Judge Bergstrom (Frank Cady) dismisses the charges.
    An ominous figure (Zerbe) watches from the stands with interest, and after court is adjourned, retrieves a wrapped rifle from his trunk and climbs up to a rooftop, from which he assassinates Furika, denying him the opportunity for a credited role. The assassin calmly leaves the scene in a car sporting a "Support your local police" bumper sticker. A poorly written letter is found declaring the killer's intention to keep helping Five-O in this manner...addressing Steve by first name and signed "Mother's Helper". Steve drops a bit of wisdom that's more true today than ever...

    McGarrett: Right or left, the lunatic fringe is always ready to take things into its own hands. That's one thing they share in common.​

    We see that Mother's Helper works at an arcade, where he takes particular interest in fixing the rifle of a shooting game. When he learns that a Patsy Lahao has been approved for parole, MH stakes out the state prison and follows Lahao. Che determines that MH used a forty-year-old model of typewriter; while Danno turns up a potential suspect named Elroy Wheeler, who has a record for assault and is known to be a law-and-order fanatic, but he later turns out to be hospitalized. Steve gets another letter, indicating Lahao as MH's next victim. Five-O rushes to Lahao's place and find him hanging, with another note pinned to him.

    The letter refers to Lahao as "commie scum," which doesn't fit the victim's history. Che's unable to find any prints at the scene. MH sits in on another trial in which Judge Bergstrom gives a lenient probation to a pair of young ADW offenders, on the condition that they'll be sentenced if they commit another offense. The vigilante then proceeds to write another letter to Steve in which he indicates that he'll be taking a more proactive approach..."preventive medicine". McGarrett deduces that MH plans to go after the judges, whom he's been describing as bleeding hearts and pinkos. Looking to flush MH out, Steve calls Freddie Dryden, a local talk show host he's not fond of who's been trying to get McGarrett on his show...
    H574.jpg

    Live in the studio, we get the Battle of the Seventies--Jack Lord vs. Casey Kasem!--as Dryden questions McGarrett about the parole system only to put answers in his mouth to score antiestablishment points.
    H575.jpg
    When McGarrett gives his counterargument, MH leaves his back office to put on the TV in the arcade and make the kids watch. Even as MH's hero worship of McGarrett becomes evident, Steve addresses the anonymous public-minded citizen he's been in touch with, expressing an interest in discussing the issue with him.

    After a few days, MH calls Steve to arrange for a meeting via a series of pay phone relays. Steve has himself wired for sound, and when MH specifies that he ride from one phone to another in a cab, Steve has Ben promptly arrange to sub for the driver. At the next phone, MH arranges for Steve to meet him at a funeral that he was reading about in the paper...then heads for the Department of Labor, where he offers to pay a man in an unemployment line (Richard Villard) to help him pull off a gag. The two of them are attending the funeral when McGarrett arrives, and MH has Jobless Guy approach Steve with a note requesting a rendezvous in the mausoleum. Five-O tips its hand, Steve and Ben pulling their weapons and the latter tackling the man, while MH watches from afar. MH slips away with the funeral procession, but leaves behind his car, which identifies him as Cord McKenzie and includes a rifle in the trunk just to ensure Five-O that they're on the right track.

    Prints help Five-O determine that Cord McKenzie is an alias for former North Dakota National Guardsman Lester Smith, whose known to have beat up student demonstrators and presided over a vigilante group. Danno belatedly recognizes his alias as the name of a Western character in a pulp magazine series that he read as a kid. MH abducts Judge Bergstrom and calls McGarrett, holding the judge hostage to arrange a paid getaway from the islands. Che uses an oscillograph to break down background noises from tapes of MH's calls. The sounds of gunfire, bowling pins, bells, and traffic indicate a penny arcade, which Five-O narrows down to one in MH's area of operation, Jollyland. Five-O swoops in and MH busts out a back window, leading to a brief chase that ends with Smith finding himself surrounded in an alley.

    Smith: You said you thought like I did!
    McGarrett: Thought like you!?! No way! No way. You set yourself up as judge, jury, and executioner. I'm just a cop! Book him, murder one!​

    As he's dragged away, Smith promises to seek vengeance against McGarrett when he gets out on parole.

    _______

    Ironside
    "The Taste of Ashes"
    Originally aired February 14, 1974
    Ironside is paying a visit to Joanna Portman (loather of bananas Kim Hunter) and her son, Walter (James Keach)...the latter of whom the Chief, at an earlier point in his career, had brought home when he got lost as a boy. Joanna gets a letter that causes her to faint--signed by her daughter, Gail, who'd run away as a teenager and is believed to have been killed in a commune fire (which is supposed to have happened in 1963--Were communes even a thing yet then?). The Chief learns that Walter has been intercepting such letters recently, and they're why he called Ironside to visit. When the Chief raises the possibility that the letters may actually be from Gail, he finds curious Walter's investment in not wanting that to be so. Other potential suspects we meet along the way are family attorney Simon Cole (Whit Bissell), who's been managing the estate since the death of Mr. Portman a year earlier; and housekeeper Lily (Anne Seymour), who'd been Walter's accomplice in keeping the letters a secret from the health-challenged Mrs. Portman. The trail of letters indicates that Gail was gradually traveling to Frisco; and Walter is subsequently found dead in what was made to appear to be a burglary with an incidental beating, during which the letters have come up missing; though it's later found that Walter was actually strangled. Then a woman arrives claiming to be Gail (Gretchen Corbett), accompanied by her husband, Philip Thomas (Scott Hylands).

    Cole emphatically protests to Joanna and the Chief that the woman claiming to be Gail has to be an imposter who's after the estate. The Chief talks to Gail, whose lampshading for why she looks different (post-fire plastic surgery) and doesn't remember some things (drug history) are so conspicuous that they made me think that she had to be telling the truth. Fran is assigned to keep an eye on things at Stately Portman Manor, and by night finds cars running in the closed garage over which Gail and Philip have been set up in an apartment, with the couple choking their way downstairs in their jammies.

    Lily also questions whether Gail is really Gail, but Mrs. Portman refuses to hear such talk. Mark investigates the surgical history of Sally Meyer, the commune member whose identity Gail is supposed to have assumed in the aftermath of the fire to fake her death; and Philip catches Fran searching the van that the couple arrived in, where she's found the missing letters. Ed questions a bum named Hobbs (James McCallion) who tried to hock a piece of Joanna's jewelry, which he says he found in the trash. The Chief warns Joanna that he believes she's in danger, and later at the Cave confronts Cole over how he's been funneling the estate's assets to a shady corporation in what initially appeared to be mismanagement. He admits to having been found out and confronted by Walter, but insists that he last saw Walter alive. At Portman Manor, Joanna announces to the Thomases that she wants to travel with them and close the house. Phillip seems more onboard with the idea than Gail.

    As Mrs. P is retiring to bed, Gail visits her to express an unexpected love. In the middle of the night, Fran and Mrs. P, who'd been hiding in Fran's adjoining room, catch a figure stealthing up to Joanna's bed to smother her with a pillow--Lily, who breaks down expressing her resentment of having slaved for the family for twenty years, and how she would have gotten away with her scheme to set herself up as the only potential heir if not for those blasted kids showing up. In the aftermath at the Cave, Gail admits to what Ironside has deduced--that she really is Sally Meyer, whose hoax was coincidental to Walter's murder. When Joanna arrives, the Chief is about to have Sally 'fess up to her, but Joanna doesn't want to hear it...making it clear between the lines that she knows the truth, but wants to go on treating Sally as Gail anyway.

    _______

    The Brady Bunch
    "Top Secret"
    Originally aired February 15, 1974
    Bobby's trying to impress Oliver by building a house of cards when Fred Sanders from the FBI (Don Fenwick) comes to the door, asking to see Mike. While he insists to the boys when asked that nobody's in trouble, they start to let their imaginations take over. Carol learns in Mike's den that it's about getting Mike a routine security clearance for a government building that he's working on. Later Sam (Allan Melvin's last appearance in the role) drops in with some rolled-up plans wanting to see Mike, keeping his purpose a mystery to the ladies while hinting that it will be of interest to Alice; and subsequently tells Bobby and Oliver that the plans he's carrying are "top secret". While the ladies get the idea that it has something to do with building a house for marrying Alice, Sam actually asks Mike for professional help in seeking to expand his shop by acquiring an adjacent property. Bobby decides to get more info about Sam's purpose by asking Alice about him.

    Oliver: Boy, you sure do know how to operate.
    Bobby: Well, thanks...I used to watch Mission: Impossible a lot.​

    All they get is that she met him while he was in the Army and that he's an "unbudgeable bachelor". The boys then make an excuse to visit Sam's store to ask him about his service...and he unknowingly feeds the flames by telling them a tall tale about stealing an enemy code book. Then a Mr. Gronsky drops in (Lew Palter) to ask Sam if he's gotten plans from Mr. Brady...and the boys come to the conclusion that Sam's a double agent trying to steal plans from Mike for Gronsky.

    The older boys are incredulous at Bobby and Oliver's allegations concerning Sam...

    Greg: You mean you think he's selling hamburger to both sides?​

    Sam arranges to have Mike leave the plans in his den for Sam to pick up later. Carol and Alice's efforts to "accidentally" get the plans to drop out of an envelope prove unsuccessful. The boys witness Sam rushing out with the plans and Bobby tries to dial Mike to warn him.

    Oliver (in anticipation): Oh, I only wish we had a push-button phone!​

    At the shop, Sam and Gronsky look over the plans and call Mike to come over and explain a few things. The boys, in their effort to contact Mike, learn that he's on his way to Sam's and rush to get there first. They get nervous when Sam continues his war story while brandishing his cleaver for emphasis. When Gronsky returns and Sam goes to show him the freezer, the boys take a cue from Sam's story and employ the element of surprise, locking them in. Mike arrives to find Sam and Gronsky trapped in the freezer and the boys trying to explain how Sam's an enemy agent. After they're released, Sam and Gronsky have a good laugh about it.

    Sam: This is one spy who's glad he came in from the cold!​

    In the coda, Sam doesn't understand why Alice is so upset when he tells her what the secret plans are for.

    _______

    I was at this one:


     
  19. Tallguy

    Tallguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Beyond the Farthest Star
    Nice. I got to see every tour from Innocent Man to River of Dreams. A couple of them twice. Heartbreaking to hear that he and Liberty Devito were on the outs for so long.
     
    RJDiogenes likes this.
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    I think you're overestimating the cultural impact of Good Times.

    And I remember people complaining about The Cosby Show because it showed an unrealistically successful lifestyle for Blacks. You'll always get people complaining about something. :rommie:

    You've gotta start somewhere.

    I wonder if this implies they knew about the guns and followed him.

    A whole episode just took place off camera. :rommie:

    "Git off'n the street! The Arnold Brothers is in town!"

    "This town ain't big enough for the six of us!"

    Reckon them bushwhackers are headed for the hoosegow.

    Bad Admiral, among other things.

    He's the Punisher. What a coincidence.

    Preach it, Steve.

    He's not the type to try to get caught, so this is about seeing Steve as a kindred spirit.

    "And now here's a letter from Judy in Omaha, who wants to know all your hair-styling secrets!"

    Did MH give some indication that he watches this show or was it just a lucky assumption?

    But this shows he's not very trusting of Steve, despite the hero worship, and leaving the car and gun is the behavior of someone looking to get caught. The characterization is a bit inconsistent.

    Which apparently provided no useful insights whatsoever. :rommie:

    Not smart. He should have sent misleading letters to Steve and slipped away quietly.

    Apparently he found out that the justice system is not as lenient as he thought. :rommie:

    Hippie communes? It seems unlikely. I suppose it could have been an artists' commune or nudist colony or something. There's been stuff like that going back to at least the prior century. Most likely they just didn't think it through, though.

    Space station guy, as well as a billion other things.

    Rockford's lawyer.

    So stupid they used it on Dallas. :rommie:

    Did they resemble each other down to the same eye color?

    I hope you had a warrant, Fran.

    That seems totally out of left field.

    The butleress did it.

    That seems pretty likely.

    So let me get this straight: Her daughter died in a commune fire, her son was killed by a maid who was out for her fortune, and now she's bonded with a woman who impersonated her dead daughter to scam her out of her estate. Why isn't Ironside recommending mental health care for this lady? And isn't impersonating a dead person a crime whether Joanna wants to press charges or not?

    Before it became Mission: Untouchables.

    Good quip, Greg. :rommie:

    In 1974, we had a push-button phone, but no color TV. :rommie:

    And yet neither one is ever seen again.

    Of course, this could be the reason that Sam is never seen again. :rommie:

    That's one of my favorites.