Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Random notes: June 26, 2015.

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Obit watches: Patrick Macnee. A/V Club. LAT.

Phil “Nick Danger” Austin, founding member of the Firesign Theater, passed away on the 18th, but the paper of record just got around to running his obit.

Shepard Fairey has been charged with two counts of “malicious destruction of property” for tagging buildings in Detroit.

The police say he tagged as many as 14 buildings with his signature images, which include the face of Andre the Giant. Nine of the building or business owners were interested in pressing charges.

Two things from the WP that kind of tickled my fancy:

1. How much water do California pot growers use? The answer is: well, that’s hard to quantify, for obvious reasons. But a group of researchers have made an attempt to come up with a number, and their estimate is that pot growing uses about the same amount of water as almond growing.

2. Don’t let your pet goldfish loose in the nearest pond, because they will become gianormous and screw up the ecosystem.

(Do I need a “Fish” category?)

And speaking of things that delight me…

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

…I am absurdly happy to learn, by way of a comment in an article at the A/V Club, that Shout! Factory is issuing DVDs of both “The Bold Ones: The SenatorandThe Bold Ones: The Protectors“.

I’m sure I’ve written about this before (and some of you may remember it first hand) but: “The Bold Ones” was one of those wheel shows. (The other parts were “The Lawyers” and “The New Doctors”.) When RTN was an over-the-air network in Austin, they used to run “The Bold Ones” episodes on weekends; I recorded all that I could, but they kept running the same ones over and over, and then the hard drive died, and then RTN went cable-only in Austin…

Anyway, Hal Holbrook was “The Senator”, trying to navigate Washington politics and advance his agenda. I’m excited about this one because the DVDs include the two part “A Continual Roar of Musketry”; I’ve never seen that episode, but Harlan Ellison praised this episode highly in one of the “Glass Teat” books, and I look forward to finally watching it.

“The Protectors” starred Leslie Neilsen as a conservative white chief of police in an unnamed midsized California town, and Hari Rhodes as the liberal black district attorney. Honestly, you can see a lot of where “Police Squad” came from in Neilsen’s performance. But there’s also some good stuff there: “Memo from the Class of ’76”, while it has a few unfortunate cliches, is also a surprisingly successful attempt to ask hard questions about the War on Drugs before that war was even declared.

Now, if we could just get “The New Doctors” and “The Lawyers” as well, I’d be a happy man.

Obit watch: June 23, 2015.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

This has been semi-well reported elsewhere (except, oddly, in the paper of record); James Horner. (Edited to add 2: NYT obit. In fairness, it appears that they were waiting for official confirmation from Horner’s people that he was actually flying the plane; other sources seemed to be basing their reports on “well, it was his plane, and he hasn’t called anybody since it went down to say ‘I’m alive!’, so…”)

Dick Van Patten: LAT. A/V Club. (Edited to add: NYT.)

(He was in “Soylent Green”? I need to watch that movie “again”, as I’ve only ever seen parts of it in the “edited for television” version.)

Random notes: May 18, 2014.

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Lawrence has been on the Waco biker gang shootout like a fat man on a Chinese buffet. I’d encourage you to go here and here for coverage. (I was out and about with friends pretty much all day yesterday, which is why I’m running behind.)

A few random thoughts:

  • Before yesterday, I couldn’t have named five biker gangs; my knowledge pretty much stopped with the Hells Angels, Bandidos, and Mongols (the latter because of their trademark battle). Not that I’m proud of my ignorance or anything, just saying.
  • A lot of yesterday’s stories included some variation on “Twin Peaks corporate office was unavailable for comment”. Of course; it was a Sunday. But I figure there’s got to be a 24/7 emergency number for franchise owners to call…

    “Thank you for calling the Twin Peaks hotline. If you have an emergency, press 1.”

    “Thank you. If your restaurant is on fire, press 1. If your restaurant is flooding, press 2. If there is a shootout between rival biker gangs going on, press 3. If someone is committing an act of regicide, press 4.”

    You have selected regicide. If you know the name of the king or queen being murdered, press one.

  • Speaking of Twin Peaks corporate, Lawrence quotes: “Twin Peaks corporate “is ‘seriously considering revoking’ the Waco location’s franchise agreement.” Gee, you don’t say. (As I was writing this post, the Statesman reported that the franchise has, indeed, been yanked.)
  • “”We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today.” Shocked, shocked we are to find out that biker gangs used our restaurant as a meeting place. (I know it is early and I’m relying on news media coverage, but it seems pretty well established at this point that this was a biker hangout, and that the management knew it.)
  • Not only did they shoot up Twin Peaks, they walked the check at Denny’s and were rude to the Hooters girls. “They come in here all the time. I’ll keep waiting on them because that is my job. But this whole thing is just so crazy. And it’s also disrespectful, because of lot of those girls at Twin Peaks used to work here.”
  • Seriously, I feel bad for the Twin Peaks and Don Carlos staff, who are probably going to lose at least several days of pay (if not their jobs) over this. Twin Peaks had their liquor license yanked temporarily, though the reports I’ve read say they can reopen as a restaurant “as soon as police allow it to be opened”.

Obit watch: Garo Yepremian, legendary Miami Dolphins kicker.

A while back, I linked to a NYT story about the Clif Bar people ending their sponsorships of certain athletes because of their discomfort with the risk involved. One of those athletes, Dean Potter, was quoted in the article.

Dean Potter was killed in a BASE jumping accident over the weekend.

Penn Jillette on the closing of the Riveria. The Riveria was actually the first place I ever stayed in Vegas.

Finally, and on a lighter note, the NYT ran an interview with Don Rickles. The news peg is that the complete “CPO Sharkey” is being released on DVD Tuesday. I had actually completely forgotten the existence of “CPO Sharkey” (though I’m sure I watched it) until the paper of record reminded me. Man, it is hard getting old.

Edited to add: Well. Well well well. Well.

The Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco will be permanently closed as a result of Sunday’s deadly shooting.

Quel fromage! I wonder what they’re going to replace it with. Maybe a Bikinis? Or perhaps a Bombshells? Wait, wait, I know: perhaps someplace good? Or at least not degrading to women?

Riffing.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015


Krazy-Glued Gun



F/X

— MOVIECLIPS.com

booth2

(Previously on WCD. Hattip to Joe D. for the inspiration.)

Obit watch: May 4, 2015.

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Frank Olivo died last Thursday at the age of 66.

Mr. Olivo’s claim to fame? He was the Santa Claus who got booed and hit with snowballs at an Eagles game in 1968.

Monastra recalled that after his cousin was pelted with snowballs, as a thank-you for his trouble the Eagles’ general manager sent Mr. Olivo a “very nice letter” and “a pair of lousy cuff links.”

(Hattip: Jimbo.)

I haven’t found an obit that I like yet, but various reliable sources are reporting the death of Grace Lee Whitney, also known as Yeoman Janice Rand on the original Star Trek.

Whitney, a recovering alcoholic, spent the last 35 years of her life helping others with addiction problems, often at women’s correctional facilities or the Salvation Army, her family said. They said she was credited with having helped thousands of people successfully complete 12-step addiction programs.

(Edited to add: A/V Club. NYT.)

Finally, and most personally upsetting to me, Ruth Rendell passed away over the weekend.

I got into a conversation with Lawrence a while back about who I would put into the first rank of mystery writers: I need to write up that conversation at some point. Honestly, there are large gaps in my knowledge of Rendell – I haven’t read very much of Inspector Wexford, for example. But the Rendell I have read has made a huge impression on me: I think I would put her into that first rank, even with the gaps.

I want to specifically mention one book of Rendell’s that just blew me away when I read it, and which seems undeservedly obscure: A Judgement in Stone. Rendell pulls off one of the greatest tricks ever in this book:

Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.

That is the first line of the novel. Rendell has just told you who the murderer was, who was killed, and even why the crime took place. What else is there to tell? She has literally spoiled the entire novel in the very first sentence.

Except she hasn’t. The rest of the novel explains how Eunice Parchman’s illiteracy and ignorance inevitably leads her to shotgun a happy family to death. It is like a train that you see coming, but can’t get out of the way of.

The world is a lesser place for Ms. Rendell’s passing.

A poor substitute for content…

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

…some random crap. I don’t really have anything to say about the riots, except: “It’s Baltimore, gentlemen. The gods will not save you.”

The Carnegie Deli is temporarily closed. Rent dispute? Insect infestation? Nope.

At the Carnegie Deli, however, Con Edison said about half of the gas that the utility was delivering to the building was being diverted before the meter and, therefore, not showing up on the deli’s bills.

Obit watch: Jayne Meadows, noted actress, sister of Audrey “Alice Kramden” Meadows, and Steve Allen’s wife.

Edited to add: Crap! And I completely forgot the original reason for this post. My friend Erin Palette goes to the Taurus booth at the NRA Convention, and gets treated like something scraped off the bottom of a shoe. Hilarity ensues.

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

(more…)

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.