Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.
The sine qua non of cinematic arts.
Forgot to mention that I had Decades on in the background yesterday morning and they were playing an Annie Oakley series from the '50s, which I'd never seen before, but some of the music cues it used were very familiar to me from Adventures of Superman.
And there goes a good hunk of DVR space...Decades is doing a Mod Squad Weekend Binge on 02/24-02/25...skipping episodes to cover highlights from all five seasons, apparently. I'll be recording the ones from the first two.
Also, Movies! is going to be playing Valley of the Dolls next month. I just might check it out...what with Paul Burke being in it, the Dionne Warwick song, and its reputation as an infamous bomb, I'm morbidly curious.
They must've drawn on the same stock music library. A lot of early shows were scored that way.
Must have intended to take short-term gains and flee the country or something.
Sunday section wrapped around a magazine, maybe.
I think I'll add this one to my MP3 folder.
I don't recall this one at all.
Now that was a vacation with far-ranging influence.
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of Westerns, and I enjoy the older ones more than the later ones.
Presumably with some awful flavor like lemon-lime to avoid temptation.
I get a kick out of stuff like that. You don't see it too much anymore.
Bouncy, catchy, not too significant.
I wonder if the people who write about them experience the same fluctuations. Maybe that's Donald's problem.
Assuring Gordon than Barbara was safe was not "women's intuition" and it was a nonsensically sexist line to give her, when this same series had Batman and Robin both explain the whereabouts of Bruce and/or Dick without using some subcultural hokum like that. They simply come up with a rational excuse. Why should Batgirls explanation be any different, other than Dozier/Horwitz placing the "little lady" in her nice, frill-lined box.
The ratings were falling at the end of season two, but ABC's chatter made Dozier attempt to create that one magical formula that he thought was THE "cant miss" event that would save the show, and that was Batgirl. His approaching Julius Schwartz and Carmine Infantino at DC about the creation of what would be a 2nd Batgirl (so he could use, while assuming a comic version would also promote the TV character) illustrated just how major the addition was supposed to be for the series, a fact supported by the expensive promotional film created to sell her. Again, a single character promotion is rare in TV history, when most producers will preview or introduce a new character in the series.
Again, the entire tone and structure of the series in its most important areas (e.g. character interaction, Robin's importance, fight scenes, etc.) were all dramatically all for Batgirl. If the heart of a change does not work (beats), the rest falls along with it (or, stops beating), which is what happened in season three.
The series not having as many two parters was not as major an undoing of format as you imply, since of the 26 third season episodes produced, 11 were as part of two or three-part stories, so its not as though the season was nothing but stand alone episodes completely eliminating the cliffhanger hook.
There's a rumor that the piece's composer--the legendary Ennio Morricone had a strong dislike of like Montenegro's pop adaptation. Montenegro--among his numerous credits--is also remembered for creating the second and more well known main and closing themes to I Dream of Jeannie (NBC, 1965-70).
Despite Don Kirshner's efforts to keep the band members in a corner with puppet strings attached, Mike Nesmith continued to write some of the group's greatest songs. You can count on one hand the number of Monkees greatest hits compilations that do not feature this song.
At times, the TV version of the band was supposed to be struggling--but known to a degree, at least among the younger end of the media as depicted in this episode, and "Monkees à la Mode," where a young female reporter initially wrote the Chic Magazine piece which selected the group as the "Typical Young People of the Year."
Trivia: Davy's all too recognizable body double belonged to self-claimed Monkees fan (and hanger-on) Rodney Bingenheimer, music publicist and best known for disc-jockeying for his "Rodney on the ROQ" show on the once-influential radio station KROQ.
He was denying involvement with the illicit pharmaceutical sweatshop that was making his product. And just making it was supposedly not a serious enough crime, so the IMF had to get him to confess to selling it, to get him on tax evasion, Capone-style.
I had that guitar bit in my head today and it took me a while to realize what it was. At first I thought it was something from a later era, which I suppose could be taken as a compliment.
It strikes me that the inconsistent treatment of the Monkees' fame on the show works better if they're has-beens rather than up-and-comers. People know who they are, there's still some interest, but they're having trouble finding work.
But as was being commented upon in the Me thread a couple years back, they had eliminated the cliffhanger hooks, even in their multi-parters.
And (the things you find on Wiki)...covered by Run-DMC:
12 O'Clock High
Originally aired December 27, 1965
TOS-guesting Lou Antonio as a rescued American pilot who'd been in the village when the bomb fell, and Harry Townes as a general from G-2 (title card pics here).
Exclusive to this thread--Also guesting Anthony Zerbe as a Nazi!
"Ve haff vays of making you vatch dis show!"
Lisa Pera plays Claudine, the vengeful French woman, who comes to Archbury packing heat. I think they wasted Claudine Longet on the wrong episode.
12OCH gets all happy ending-ish for once...the boy (Jean-Michel Michenaud)'s operation is successful, the 918th goes out of its way to perform some successful precision-bombing on the new German installation in the village, and all is forgiven. (Longet wouldn't have given up so easily....)
51st Anniversary Viewing
Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for 51 years ago this week:
"Monkees at the Circus"
Originally aired February 13, 1967
I've never seen Circus Boy, but caught Micky singing "a theme song from an old TV series" a couple of times. Other ones that IMDb mentions..."I haven't been to a circus since I was a kid" is tenuous...anyone could have said that without it being a reference. "Reminds me of when I was a boy" (which I didn't catch myself) is a bit more likely.
Donna Baccala was quite fetching.
"Sometime in the Morning"
Clowns...now that's definitely more their speed than a high-wire act.
The Rat Patrol
"The Holy War Raid"
Originally aired February 13, 1967
Guesting Abraham Sofaer as the kidnapped leader, in an all-outdoor episode for a nice change of pace.
An interesting idea if a bit comic-booky...impersonating a specific unit by means of wearing their distinctive hats. And the usually honorable Dietrich is going a little more below the belt than usual.
Moffitt uses a family connection with the tribe to buy the Patrol a chance to find their impostors.
In one scene, Moffitt tries to trick Dietrich by calling as one of his soldiers, but Dietrich hears through the ruse.
"What Are Your Intentions?"
Originally aired February 16, 1967
Oh look, the Maries got a new old picture of their daughter!
This story puts Mr. Marie's overbearing nature to good comedic use. At one point, his pressing Ann and Donald results in a brief breakup moment, so Mr. Marie sets Ann up on a date with Paul Carr.
Ann has a hanging in her kitchen that reminds me of John's Mr. Kite poster (which I have a replica of, that's sort of in my kitchen):
Mrs. Marie drops a Green Bay Packers reference...I had to look it up, but sure enough, they'd just won the first Super Bowl.
"Oh, Donald" count: 6
"Oh, Daddy" count: 2
"Oh, Mother" count: 1
They could have done that as a sequel series. Too late now.
I detect some subtle differences.
But they named the character Claudine. It's like they were sending a warning to the future.
It was on one of the retro channels not too long ago-- I think I caught one episode, maybe two.
Pleasant enough. Typical sunny day 60s love song.
This is interesting and pretty good. Doesn't sound like the Monkees much.
But still credited to Nesmith.
Yeah, but being a "has-been" implies loser. The kind of Gilligan-will-forever-screw-up-rescue/escape-attempts level of loser. As an up-and-coming-band (in-series) they get the benefit of not being completely unknown, and show potential as opposed the endless, faceless garage bands or club acts who were traveling a circle to nowhere (like many real world acts of that period). I think part of the comedy is that they are unemployed, but right on the edge of something big...if that week's foreign leader / corrupt TV host / mobster / mad scientist / cowboy bandit / vampire / Russian agents and other spy types / phony culture maven, et al., did not trip them up in the end.
Not really when one looks again. Batgirl subjected to gas in Londinium, Robin tied to the winch, etc., were all cliffhanger hooks.
I remember this well when it was released. Never a fan.
Not the most convincing as a Nazi, but to me, Zerbe is one of the most unappreciated actors of that era. The guy could act his butt off in almost every genre, such as "Dog Boy" in Cool Hand Luke, the charismatically creepy Matthias in The Omega Man, or Milton Krest in the Dalton James Bond entry, License to Kill. Not a small feat.
Well, to 1967 audiences, The Monkees used whatever in-joke they could, knowing someone would get it. Micky's former job would still be remembered by some regular TV viewers, hence the in-joke used over and again.
You are not kidding.
Another strong song (with great Dolenz vocals) from the More of the Monkees period.
Clowns...now that's definitely more their speed than a high-wire act.
Now that's a rock song.
Those would have been the exceptions. The majority of the multi-part stories in Season 3 had no cliffhangers to speak of, and if there was any attempt at jeopardy in the ending of a first part, it tended to be rather weak (like the Dynamic Duo being stuck in the seats of the Batmobile).
Yeah, I never understood why they did that. In the new format, viewers had to wait a week to see the outcome of the cliffhanger rather than a day, so you'd think they'd want the cliffhangers to be more intense to keep the audience eager to come back. Maybe they thought little kids would worry too much if they had to wait that long to find out if the Duo survived.
50th Anniversary Viewing
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
Season 1, episode 4
Originally aired February 12, 1968
Gary Owens announces a secret coded message from the Green Wasp.
The John Wayne running gag continues.
There's a running gag in the episode of Don Adams trying to check into a hotel with women, using Smith aliases prefaced by "Would you believe...?"
News from 1988--This time they're on the money, referencing President Ronald Reagan!
Speaking of presidents, Jack Riley (if I have my guests whom I wasn't previously familiar with straight) does Johnson in various bits throughout the episode.
I didn't even know that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were out there at this point...in fact, the single they're plugging is a year old.
"Buy for Me the Rain"
(Charted Apr. 8, 1967; #45 US)
This week Mod, Mod World takes a look at the medical profession.
It took me a bit to get, but I think Pamela Austin's pill, who keeps calling herself "little old me," is supposed to be "the" pill.
"All in a Day's Work"
Originally aired February 15, 1968
I recall this being an episode that Me showed when they did a four-hour Sunday block of Ironside years back (the first time I'd seen the show since childhood). I assumed they'd selected it as a highlight of the series. Having seen every episode up to this point, that assumption holds.
It starts with a pretty funny opening in which Team Ironside has basically been kicked out of a movie theater because Ironside loudly guessed whodunnit in the first 3-1/2 minutes. What's more, Eve accuses him of having done it deliberately because he got outvoted about going to a fight, and now his choice is Plan B.
The jewelry store robber that Eve shoots shot first, but was only 17. The episode emphasizes the drama of what Eve goes through afterward, this being the first time she's killed anyone. It's not a whodunnit, but there is an investigation to find the other robber that puts Eve through the wringer, as she learns about the boy she killed and the impact of his death on those he knew.
Wise, pragmatic bastard that he is, Ironside does what he can to keep her immersed in the investigation...and marksmanship training...rather than letting her withdraw from her work.
Ironside also plays it pretty tough with the grieving mother, on the basis that she's harboring a grudge against the police while being willfully ignorant of what her son was involved in.
It was perhaps predictable that the climax would put Eve in a position to have to use her gun again to defend Ironside, but it wasn't contrived--He deliberately put her in that position in a snare set for the second robber. She bawls him out for it afterward and angrily resigns...then walks calmly back into the room and pretends it never happened.
This was definitely a different episode...very moody. I'd say that it hit the right marks. If it had one weakness, it's that I find Barbara Anderson a bit wooden as Eve...but she did a serviceable job, with the regular and guest casts carrying their own share of the story's emotional weight.
"End of a Challenge"
Originally aired February 16, 1968
Jai has a playmate this episode, and he comes with backstory involving his father and Tarzan being enemies. The boys are hoodwinked by an accomplice in a caravan heist who's a colorful drunk, or at least that's what he's going for...he reminds me of Jai's sea captain friend from a couple previous episodes. Jai plays it smart, sending Cheeta back to get Tarzan and leaving a clue or two.
The chief is a dickweed who refuses to bond with Tarzan throughout the episode. Every chance he gets, as he and the Lord of the Jungle overcome obstacles together in their quest for the boys, he punctuates the moment by playing killjoy, swearing his eventual revenge for Tarzan's off-camera opposition of his raiding ways. In the end, only the boys' intervention stops the chief's desired trial by combat. I might have enjoyed the story more if the chief's portrayal had been a bit more nuanced...as it was, if Tarzan had kicked him off a cliff, I would have stood up and cheered.
Overall, the episode was a little too samey-same with previous stories and driven by mostly annoying guest characters whom I wasn't given any reason to care about.
"Patterns of Force"
Originally aired February 16, 1968
See my post here.
"Invitation to Danger"
Originally aired February 17, 1968 (US); October 6, 1968 (UK)
My M.O. up to this point had been to watch the British shows by UK airdates, but I realized that the US airdates, wonky as they could sometimes be, had one advantage: The networks tended to air the British shows as Spring/Summer replacements, which has the benefit for me of lightening the load during the main season and giving me ongoing business in the off-season. Going by IMDb's dates, it turns out that three episodes of the upcoming British season of The Saint aired substantially earlier on this side of the pond, in an American season that otherwise seems to have consisted of episodes from the previous British season. So I'll cover those three now, and save the rest for the next American season...when some of the episodes that I have left aired, and some didn't, but I'll watch the ones that didn't as if they aired on consecutive weeks following the ones that did. (Fun fact: In the Spring of 1969, NBC ran The Saint at 10 p.m. on Friday, evidently in lieu of rerunning the cancelled Star Trek.)
This one has a couple of very recognizable faces: in addition to the Golden Girl mentioned in the description, we also have Julian Glover.
The plot was a variation on the usual theme. Simon's temporarily held prisoner in a mysteriously escapable situation so that he can be framed for the robbery of the casino that he was at in the teaser, where he met Eaton's character. It got a bit confusing because it seemed like the casino owner and/or his men were the ones behind the frame-up...reinforced by the taped voice that spoke to Simon at the house sounding to me like Glover's. But it turned out that the frame was actually orchestrated for their benefit, and there was an espionage angle involving not just the CIA, but a third party that was behind the frame-up, who wanted both the stolen casino money and the plans that it was going to be used to buy.
Maybe it's me, but I'd enjoy this show more if the twists were a little more "A-ha, so that's what was going on!" and a little less "What...but I thought...?"
"99 Loses CONTROL"
Originally aired February 17, 1968
I liked the bit where Max won and lost a fortune by accidentally betting on roulette.
I assumed that "Susan Hilton" was a cover, but I was only half right. At the end she handwaved that away as not being her real name, but I was surprised that she wasn't on an assignment.
Is that why he has a bar in his apartment...?
In one scene, Max casually tosses out a cigarette on the hotel carpet!
Max shuffles cards about as well as I do!
People who don't drink might still keep libations on hand to entertain guests.
50 Years Ago This Week
Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:
Leaving the chart:
"Am I That Easy to Forget," Engelbert Humperdinck
"Darlin'," The Beach Boys
New on the chart:
"If You Can Want," Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
(#11 US; #3 R&B; #50 UK)
"Love Is All Around," The Troggs
(#7 US; #5 UK)
And new on the boob tube:
The Ed Sullivan Show, Season 20, episode 24, featuring the Muppets
Mission: Impossible, "The Town"
The Monkees, "The Monkees in Paris" *
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Season 1, episode 5
The Rat Patrol, "The Double Jeopardy Raid" *
Batman, "I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle"
Ironside, "Something for Nothing"
That Girl, "Odpdypahimcaifss"
Tarzan, "Jungle Ransom"
Star Trek, "By Any Other Name"
Get Smart, "The Wax Max"
* To be reviewed at a later date.
But a dedicated bar? If I had to rationalize it, I'd say that it was his eating area, though I'm not sure if there's a separate kitchen. (I've seen a dining room table, but his apartment in that episode didn't seem to match up with how it usually appears.) I'll have to keep an eye out for that and for any contrary indication of Max drinking.
Think about it. Max is a spy. Nothing is what it seems. So of course a spy who doesn't drink would have a bar in his home! It's the perfect cover!
Would you believe it came with the apartment?
How about it's really a juice bar?
How I Won the War
Produced and directed by Richard Lester
Released October 18, 1967 (UK), October 23, 1967 (US)
As aficionados know, filming this was what John was up to in Fall 1966, when the Beatles took a break from official Fab business between the end of their last tour and beginning the Sgt. Pepper sessions. In fact, it was while on location in Spain that John was inspired to write "Strawberry Fields Forever".
The film's other contribution to John's legacy was that it was while playing Musketeer Gripweed that he took an affinity to the round National Health glasses that would become iconically identified with him. He'd long been short-sighted, as the British say it, but had previously avoided wearing his glasses publicly. Finally, a picture of John as Gripweed appeared on the cover of the first issue of Rolling Stone.
Roy Kinnear (Clapper), of course, had previously worked with John as Algernon, the mad scientist's assistant in Help!
John Junkin (Shake from A Hard Day's Night) also appears briefly in one scene. And the two ladies watching the film in a theater look like the ones outside the Beatles' apartment in Help!
Ah, and scanning a list of credits teased me...one of the other actors in the film is named Peter Graves...but he's not our Peter Graves.
On a(n imaginary?) cricket pitch, Crawford's character, Goodbody, introduces Gripweed as his "faithful batman". John's first line:
We also get what might pass as one Beatles in-joke:
Juniper, the one who's "working his ticket" (trying to get out by establishing insanity) wears blackface for a segment of the film.
It was a striking but odd stylistic choice how killed members of the unit stayed around as brightly colored toy soldiers.
The ongoing references to Clapper's wife having affairs back home were mildly amusing. I caught some words being muted out, but it was hard to tell in British context what slang may have been in use. Though that wasn't the only material muted out...at one point they seemed to be muting out "pitch" when they were talking about building the cricket pitch...the word was still present in the closed captioning. Whoever was handling the censoring must have thought they were saying something else.
I generally got what the film was going for, and generally appreciated some of the absurd humor to some extent, but I think this IMDb reviewer summed it up well for me....
Fortunately, the closed captioning was generally pretty good, so I was at least able to follow most of the dialogue.
I haven't seen this in years. But I caught a bit of it on TV a few days ago, it was on the TV in the breakroom at work. Either THIS or Me TV, I think.
It was on This on Tuesday...that's what I recorded.
I saw an episode of Ed Sullivan yesterday that was still called Talk Of The Town. It had Nat King Cole doing "Mona Lisa," plus a duet with his wife, and Bob Hope doing a comedy-and-dance routine. But, most notably, it had a very long comedy segment of an Ed Sullivan impersonator doing a biography of Ed Sullivan-- which ended with Ed doing an impression of the guy doing an impression of Ed. But even that far back, the Ed Sullivan schtick was a source of parody.
I also watched two season four episodes of Laugh-In in which Teresa Graves made return appearances-- somehow I managed to notice other things that happened, such as Dan Rowan's mysteriously appearing and disappearing beard, lending credence to Old Mixer's theory about segments being recorded at different times.
Ah, the days of poetry.
Indeed. That's why she's visually distinct and is the one who makes people "feel safe." And why she always gets a laugh.
He's a bastard. This sounds like a really good story, though.
That seems unfortunately typical for this show.
So 99 really met some guy and intended to marry him? I don't remember that.
It only looks like a bar.....
A mediocre song made pleasant by that lovely voice.
Oh, yeah, I love this one. And I'm surprised every time when I'm reminded it's The Troggs.
A timeless classic, of course.
The creation of two icons in one swell foop.
"Bitch?" What do they do in closed captioning with censored words-- blur them like nipples?
There was a lot of that going around.
Looks like that was a mixed episode from ca. 1955. Nat and Maria Cole was from Oct. 23, 1955, specifically. IIRC, that's as early as Best of got.
It clicked for me when she described herself as "a girl's best friend." Prior to that there wasn't much to go on, other than her being a tablet rather than a capsule, and avoiding describing her function directly (reflecting how the birth control pill was only referred to in polite company as "the pill").
I neglected to mention that Eve managed to take down the second robber non-fatally by shooting to wound his shoulder, which she'd been practicing in the shooting range scene (to Ironside's criticism).
This one was noteworthily "meh" for me. Normally there'd be somebody I'd somewhat enjoy watching in the guest cast. The chief probably would have been more likeable if he hadn't been written as such a one-note bastard. The actor, Woody Strode, had done a few other roles on the show, though I don't recall much about the specific characters. He was very buff...he was over 50 at the time, but looked like could have snapped Ron Ely like a twig!
Yeah...bit of a placeholder as Miracles songs go.
This is a decent, classic song, though not particularly special to me. It sounds like something from about two years earlier to my ear. It's also the second of their two Top 20 (both Top 10) hits. We'll not be hearing more from them. (I feel the compulsion to note that "Wild Thing," in addition to being a #1 single in 1966, is #257 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)
A pity that this week's new selections are so light and underwhelming. Next week's going to be rather crowded.
The captioning showed "pitch"...two different hands. It was hard to tell in other cases where actual profanity might have been used, as even when it's fairly accurate, CC'ing sometimes drops words and entire sentences.
I'd rather watch the Prisoner finale again than this...but I might be questioning my decision around the third time they get into "Dem Bones."
As I'd always been led to believe, John's role in the film was really very small. There's no way he would have gotten co-billing with the star if he hadn't been one of the hottest people on the planet at the time.
So...nobody has anything to say about Mr. Rogers...?
I think I've decided against making my period album review catch-up a regular bit of business, but I should note that I got Pet Sounds this past week. Well...I can hear what the fuss has been about. A very sonically striking and ambitious album. Of course, I was already acquainted with the album's singles, which stand out as among the band's strongest. "God Only Knows" (#25 on the Rolling Stone list) would be on the short list of the prettiest songs I've ever heard...and it's noteworthily Paul McCartney's favorite song! I did not know until I was reading up on the album that "Caroline, No" (which I'd already owned because it was #211 on the Rolling Stone list) was the first single from the album, but credited in that release to Brian Wilson rather than the Beach Boys. (It made #32 on the Hot 100 at the time.)
The only time I can recall ever having been to a Karaoke bar, there was a guy who did a pitch-perfect performance of "God Only Knows"...beautiful and kind of disturbing at the same time.
ETA: "Sloop John B" is also on the Rolling Stone list, at #271.
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