Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Obit watch: March 6, 2015.

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Natalia Revuelta Clews, aka “Fidel Castro’s mistress”.

Cardinal Edward M. Egan, Archdiocese of New York.

Harve Bennett, Star Trek guy. (Hattip: Lawrence.) (Edited to add: A/V Club.)

Nimoy.

Friday, February 27th, 2015

For the historical record: NYT. LAT. WP. A/V Club. Lawrence.

Other people have pointed this out, too, but he went beyond Spock. He replaced Martin Landau in the original “Mission: Impossible”, and is described as being one of the more memorable “Columbo” villains.

And here’s a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore I ran across while searching for “M:I” episode openings featuring Nimoy:

Kids, ask your parents about Y2K.

One more for the road:

Obit watch: February 12, 2015.

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Bob Simon, for the record.

TMQ Watch: February 2, 2015.

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

The ultimate TMQ! (At least, for this season.) Plus, we almost, but not quite, apologize to Gregg Easterbrook. After the jump, this week’s TMQ

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Random notes: February 2, 2015.

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I feel an obligation to say something about the Super Bowl. Here it is:

I was burned out on the game and the commercials by Sunday of last week. I had no intent to watch any of it; I was just so tired and frustrated and fed up with the whole thing.

I ended up catching a few minutes of it when I went out for dinner. What I caught was the less exciting part, but I did see a couple of commercials that puzzled me:

I’ve been sort of following the Brooklyn warehouse fire story, and I got to wondering. Seven alarms is a lot. But what’s the largest alarm response ever in the history of the NYFD? And how many alarms was September 11th?

I haven’t found a good answer to either of those questions. According to this Slate article, there has been at least one ten alarm fire. (I defend my decision to link to Slate by noting that this is a very old article.)

As for the second question, that’s also not easy to answer, but for different reasons. According to New York magazine:

In a standard single-alarm fire, a total of six units—three engines, two ladders, and a battalion chief—respond. A five-alarm fire brings 44 units. September 11 was on the order of five five-alarm responses, involving more than 214 FDNY units—112 engines, 58 ladder trucks, five rescue companies, seven squad companies, four marine units, dozens of chiefs, and numerous command, communication, and support units.

But:

Off-duty firefighters and entire companies “self-dispatched” to the site without orders. So did numerous ambulances and police officers. The area around the Trade Center quickly became a “parking lot,” in the words of one police radio report, making it impossible for many units to report to the alarm boxes and staging areas they were assigned to. Of the 214 or so units dispatched, only 117 of them activated a “10-84” status signal that let dispatchers know they’d arrived. The details of what many companies did at the scene remain hazy; the operations of twenty companies that were wiped out are simply unknown.

Obit watch: December 31, 2014.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

I’ve seen coverage of this elsewhere, but I wanted to note it here.

Christine Cavanaugh, noted voice actress, passed away on the 22nd, though her death wasn’t widely reported until yesterday. Her major credits included the voice of “Babe” in the first movie, the voice of Marty Sherman on “The Critic”, and the voice of Dexter in “Dexter’s Laboratory”.

ETA: A/V Club.

TMQ Watch: December 30, 2014.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

We hope everyone had a good Christmas – or, if you do not celebrate Christmas, a good version of whatever seasonal observance you do celebrate.

In this week’s TMQ, the purge.

No, not that one (though we commend to your attention the “The Purge” episode of “Phil and Lisa Ruin the Movies”), but the annual NFL coaching purge, or as we call it, “Bloody Monday”. After the jump…

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Obit watch: December 30, 2014.

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Timothy J. Dowd.

Mr. Dowd was the NYPD detective who led the task force that caught David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz.

This brought a smile to my face:

Ms. Begg [Mr. Dowd’s daughter – DB] said in an interview on Monday that her father had disdained television dramas about the police because they were unrealistic about police work — all except one, she said: “Columbo.” That series, especially popular in the 1970s, starred Peter Falk as an untidy, seemingly distracted detective in Los Angeles who solved cases by poking around in a practiced but random fashion and stumbling in the direction of a solution.
“That’s how it’s done,” she said her father explained to her.

TMQ Watch: December 23, 2014.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Before we jump into this week’s post-bye TMQ, a tweet from Easterbrook:

Dear Greggles:

The “whole nation” saw Jacksonville – Tennessee because it was a Thursday night game and the only game on. It may be true that California didn’t get to see Dallas – Indianapolis, but that was a curb stomping; the San Diego – San Francisco and Oakland – Buffalo games were close thrillers.

After the jump, this week’s TMQ. Warning: spoilers ahead for “Ascension”.

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Obit watch: December 24, 2014.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Lawrence forwarded this really nice appreciation of Margot Adler, who passed away in July. Awful lot of dust in the room today.

(No, really. I’ve been sneezing my ass off the past couple of days.)

A/V Club obit for Joseph Sargent, who I mentioned yesterday. Also: NYT.

I missed this over the weekend: former Houston mayor Bob Lanier.

Finally, one I missed until late yesterday: Billie Whitelaw. You may know her as the nanny in the original “The Omen”, but she was very famous in England. She may have been best known as Samuel Beckett’s muse and collaborator:

She accepted his artistic vision without always understanding its explicitly rendered ambiguities. They read his plays together, discussing not their meaning but the most minuscule elements of the text — the pauses and sighs and guttural sounds as well as the words, the inflections demanded by the language, and his need, as she said in interviews, to remove the acting from the performance. “Flat, no emotion, no color,” he would often caution her, she said.

Obit watch: December 23, 2014.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Yesterday was a bad day for the Joes.

Joe Cocker: LAT. NYT. A/V Club.

This is the only story I’ve found so far, but prolific television and movie director Joseph Sargent also died yesterday. Among his credits: the original “Taking of Pelham 123″ and “The Marcus-Nelson Murders” (the pilot for “Kojak”).

Wiki wandering.

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

At dinner Saturday night, the topic of crap TV shows we watched in syndication came up. For some reason, I got kind of curious about “Hogan’s Heros“:

  • How many episodes were there? (168; the pilot was black and white, the rest in color.)
  • Who is still alive? Basically, nobody.

We all know about Bob Crane. No need to rehash that here.

Werner Klemperer died of cancer in 2000.

John “Sgt. Schultz” Banner died two years after Hogan went off the air. He was only 63.

Robert “Corporal LeBeau” Clary is still alive, and the only surviving original cast member.

Richard Dawson died in 2012. I didn’t realize he was Diana Dors’ second husband. (And, as a side note, the Diana Dors/Alan Lake story is a good one if you happen to be looking for a massive dose of sad this holiday season. I knew a little about Dors and Lake, as they were apparently close friends of the Kray brothers.)

Larry “Sergeant Carter” Hovis died in 2003. What I did not know: he was teaching drama at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos (just down the road from Austin) at the time of his death.

Ivan Dixon died in 2008. It sounds like he had a fascinating career both before and after. Especially after:

From 1970 to 1993, Dixon worked primarily as a television director on such series and TV-movies as Trouble Man, The Waltons, The Rockford Files, The Bionic Woman, Magnum, P.I., and The A-Team. He also directed the controversial 1973 feature film The Spook Who Sat By the Door, based on Sam Greenlee’s novel of the same name, about the first black CIA agent, who takes his espionage knowledge and uses it to lead a black guerrilla operation in Chicago.

That’s another movie I’d like to see.

And Kenneth Washington, who replaced Ivan Dixon in the last season, is also still alive.