Archive for the TV Category

Stephen King is an angel … and he dislikes “Twilight,” to boot

Posted in Books, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2009 by macmystery

Does this man scare you?

Well, I know that’s not the way most people, even those who like his writing, would describe him.

But Stephen King recently did something pretty cool. He and his wife, Tabitha, donated $13,000 so that 150 Maine Army National Guardsmen training in Indiana can come home for Christmas.

The troops, from the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit, are training at Camp Atterbury and are scheduled to depart for Afghanistan in January.

It’s a kind gesture that many of those soldiers and their families may never forget. Who knows how long it will be before they can return to their loved ones for the holidays … if at all. Those men and women shouldn’t have to spend their last holidays stateside a third of the country away from home.

The Kings actually gave $12,999 — because 13 is an unlucky number … who’d have though King was superstitious? — and a personal assistant chipped in $1.

If you’re a King fan, here are some other recent developments you may or may not be aware of:

Speculation that if King broke into the business today, he’d be less successful

A review of “Under The Dome”

SyFy turning King’s “The Colorado Kid” into a series titles ‘Haven”

King is considering a sequel to ‘The Shining”

King possibly teaming with Spielberg to bring “Under the Dome” to TV as miniseries

And my favorite … King trashes “Twilight” author Meyer, praises Harry Potter author Rowling

Happy 40th, Scooby Doo

Posted in TV with tags , on September 9, 2009 by macmystery
Scooby-dooby-doo!

Scooby-dooby-doo!

The greatest cartoon dog of them all is over the hill.

Scooby Doo turned 40 on Tuesday.

Ruh-roh.  Ri missed it.

Happy bithday, Scoob!

And that’s the way it is … Walter Cronkite, 1916-2009

Posted in History, Journalism, TV with tags , on July 19, 2009 by macmystery

I know I’m a couple of days behind here, but putting out two papers a night can be time-consuming and all, and sometimes, you just don’t have time to stop and think.

If something big happened during a large part of the 20th century, CBS newsman Walter Cronkite reported on it.

Cronkite, who died July 17, brought the news into a lot of Americans’ homes during the golden age of television, when most Americans’ window to the world  was that box in their living room tuned to one of the big three networks.

Since then, the way we get news has changed. First CNN emerged, the 24-hour news cycle, the Internet, and now, the news with a nice spin to the left or the right, depending on what you choose to believe.

But none of them do it like Cronkite did.

And that’s a shame.

At the top of this post was the seven-minute piece CBS ran the evening he died. Below are a couple of big broadcasts he did.

A strange anniversary

Posted in History, Sports, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by macmystery

I wouldn’t have even realized it if I hadn’t seen it on ESPN.

Fifteen years ago, today.

The slowest high-speed chase in history.

But you couldn’t stop watching.

It was Friday, June 17, 1994.

According to the ESPN report, it was actually a pretty big day in sports … Arnold Palmer’s final U.S. Open round, … a big Ken Griffey Jr. HR, … NBA Finals Game 5, … the New York Rangers’ Stanley Cup parade.

But if it hadn’t been the opening day of the World Cup, I may have missed any live coverage of that bizarre day.

What I saw of the slowest high-speed chase in world history I witnessed from a bungalow in the Bahamas. I was on vacation with my girlfriend, Eli, and her family. Her father was Italian and a huge soccer fan. The only reason we watched TV that day was so he could see the first day of the World Cup being held in the U.S.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

O.J. Simpson on the run. There was no way he did it. Had to be some mistake. He was framed, he was covering for someone. It had to be something else. O.J. Simpson? A double-murderer? No way.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt for quite some time. It was a sad story, in a way. But eventually I joined most sane people at the conclusion that he killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and the unlucky Ronald Goldman.

I remember where I was when the not guilty verdict was read, standing with about 50 others, including my friend Tyrone Walker, in one of the lounges in Clemson’s old University Union. A bunch of people cheered. A bunch were angry. A bunch, like Tyrone and myself, simply couldn’t believe what we had just heard.

Our security guard at the newspaper, Mr. Black, and I talked about that trial tonight. It’s amazing the things and people who have become part of the culture as a result of that tragedy. It amazes me how easy it was to list their names. Some were famous before, but most were about to get their five minutes …

Christopher Darden and Marcia Clark.

Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran.

F. Lee Bailey and Alan Dershowitz. And Barry Scheck.

Judge Lance Ito and Henry Lee.

Roger Cossack and Greta Van Susteren.

Mark Fuhrman and Kato Kaelin.

A.J. Cowlings, Fred Goldman and Denise Brown.

Robert Kardashian and Traci Adell.

Do you remember them all? And what they did?

Remember how many people covered the trial. I t made Court TV. Cosack and Van Susteren had a show that ran for eight years that never would have come into being if not for the trial. Van Susteren is still on the air.

Did you know, despite leading the police on that ridiculous chase, no charges were ever filed against Cowlings? In fact, O.J. was never charged with evading arrest, either.

It just seemed so surreal. O.J. Simpson running. I mean really on the run. I spent the rest of my week in the Bahamas certain that by the time we returned home, all this would be settled. Little did I know ….

And it all started for me, like most Americans, with those oh-so-familiar film clips of a white Ford Bronco making it’s way down a California freeway.

Rescuing Crusoe

Posted in Family, TV with tags , , on April 1, 2009 by macmystery
Crusoe, right, and his friend Friday, left ...

Crusoe, right, and his friend Friday, left ...

I guess I have always known it would happen, but I guess I had always hoped I would get out of having to break my child’s heart.

I mean, it’s not like this is the big one. Santa Claus’ existence is still safe.

But for Dylan, this is a big one. Since the fall when it premiered, Dylan has been mesmerized by the NBC series “Crusoe.”

If you haven’t seen it, it, of course, is a slightly different take on the classic “Robinson Crusoe” packaged in a family-friendly, primetime Friday night package.

While there is a complicated backstory as to how Crusoe came to be marooned on an island, who would like to keep him that way, and the efforts of his wife to find him, Dylan isn’t concerned with all of this. He simply enjoys the adventures Crusoe and Friday go through each week in their efforts to return to civilization … or simply to survive.

Dylan and I first saw the preview for “Crusoe” before the Star Wars “Clone Wars” movie we saw together at the end of last summer. He saw the premiere and didn’t miss an episode. Every week, he would excitedly remind Brooke that “Crusoe” was on tonight and, ‘we can’t miss it!’

Since I was working, each week I would get an excited recap of that Friday night’s adventure, with a little help from Mom, of course, to fill in the gaps.

Fast forward to Friday night. I get a phone call at work. It’s Dylan.

He never trusts Brooke for the answers to these questions. Only me, I’m told.

“Daddy,” he says, “Can you find out when ‘Crusoe’ comes on again?”

A quick Google search and investigation determined that it wasn’t airing anytime soon in our viewing area. I could hear the tears start on the other end of the phone before hanging up.

So I did a little reading after our phone conversation was over and discovered that, like most first-year series, NBC ordered less episodes of “Crusoe” than it would of a normal, established series like “ER” or “Law & Order.”

Usually, if the series is successful, the network will order more episodes before its allotment runs out, or it may let the short season conclude before committing to the series for another season.

Needless to say, according to most news reports I could find, NBC doesn’t plan to order any more “Crusoe.”

Forever on that island, with Friday, he will be. No resolution. No more adventures.

So, I haven’t told Dylan, yet, that “Crusoe” is no more, only a childhood memory.

And I don’t want to. I know how he’ll feel. As a boy, I had my “Crusoes,” too.

But that doesn’t mean that “Crusoe” deserves to suffer the same fate as “She’s the Sheriff” or “Cop Rock,” or other crappy shows that lasted a season or less.

When I was a single guy with no children, I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard some sissy in the media talk about how there are no family-friendly choices on primetime TV any more, I used to secretly wish they would be unwillingly subjected to hours of “Faces of Death.” That would teach them to complain.

Well, now, fast forward 10 years, and I’m not just on the other side of the fence, I’m standing in the middle of the yard.

Maybe it’s because I’m behind on my pop culture, but I can’t name another family adventure-type show like “Crusoe” on TV now. He liked “Knight Rider,” but that’s already suffered the same fate as “Crusoe.” (Shhh! He doesn’t know about that one yet, either.)

If Dylan wants to sit in the den on a Friday night in the fall with his mother and watch TV, what exactly are his options? Pretty much nothing. Maybe we can get him hooked on “Gossip Girl” so he can stay up on which 16-year-old is doing which other 16-year-old this week.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, I don’t know what to do about “Crusoe.” I’d like to just let it lie and wait for Dylan to just forget about it, but Dylan’s not like that. He’s not your normal 5-year-old. He won’t forget.

So on Sunday, I told Dylan that we’d sit down this week and write a letter to NBC to let them know we really liked “Crusoe” and that we wanted to know when we’d see it again, knowing all along what the inevitable response would be, assuming there is one at all.

I told him that since it was his favorite show, he could tell me what to say, and I’d write the letter for him, and then he could sign his name.

Dylan said, “Yeah, and we can tell them, ‘don’t forget to write back!’ ”

Catching up

Posted in Movies, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by macmystery
Kahn's relly gone this time.

Kahn's really gone this time.

I haven’t made a post in quite some time, so in this one I’ll run down a few things I would have commented on.

The Golden Globes

This was a cool night for me.

First, Bruce Springsteen won the Golden Globe for best original song from a movie for his theme from “The Wrestler.”

Then, in his acceptance speech for best actor in a musical or comedy for “In Bruges,” Collin Farrell made the statement that, “Love is the nemesis of ignorance.”

I’ve never heard it said that way before, but I think that’s dead on and it’s beautiful, especially coming from someone many people consider one of the “bad boys.”

Finally, there was Mickey Rourke. The longshot underdog won for best actor for his role in “The Wrestler” (Watch the trailer here). I was so happy for him, he’s come a long way back.

I couldn’t help but be shook up when in his acceptance speech, he thanked his dogs. Sometimes, when a man is really alone, all he has are his dogs, he said.

If you needed proof he was probably pretty low, I think that fits the bill.

Khaaaaaaaaaan!

Ricardo Montalban died Jan. 15. (See obit here)

While he will always be remembered as the suave Mr. Rourke from Fantasy Island, to me he is Khan, the exile from an original episode of the show in 1967.

He lived and returned in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” to see revenge on his nemesis, Captain Kirk, of course.

He was also in a couple of Planet of the Apes movies as well — “Escape from …” and “Conquest of …” — meaning he obviously knew cinematic genius when he saw it.

God bless his soul.

R.I.P. Commissioner Gordon

Pat Hingle, the actor that played Commissioner Gordon in several of the Batman movies of the 1990s, as well as the judge in Clint Eastwood’s classic “Hang ’em High,” died.

I know it’s not the same incarnation of Batman, but we just lost Catwoman (Eartha Kitt) last month. Bad time to be tied to the Dark Knight.

Maybe Heath Ledger will change that with an Oscar next month.

Controlling the minds of women

Um, I really don’t know how to explain this link.

But basically, if you believe what you read, there’s a theory that just by having sex with a man, women increase the ability of men to control their minds, thanks to the mind-control properties of semen.

Ummm …  Check it out.

More?

I’ll probably reserve any comments on the inauguration, etc., and the plethora of Springsteen news for a few more days.

R.I.P., Kitt-y Katt

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by macmystery
Here, Kitty Kitty

Here, Kitty Kitty

Eartha Kitt died  Christmas Day of colon cancer at the age of 81.

An Emmy-winning actress and Grammy-nominated  singer, Kitt was better known to me (and let’s face it, that’s what counts) as one of the actresses who portrayed Catwoman (1967-68) on the original Batman TV series.

Her purr will be missed.