Archive for TV Shows/Movies

MOVING ON!

Honestly, he is NOT retiring!  Moments ago after 28 1/2 years, and a combined on-air time over 53 years of 17,000 hours (a Guinness record), Regis Philbin said goodbye to HIS show.  He moved from NYC to California years ago after graduating from his beloved University of Notre Dame.  In 1983, he returned to his home and eventually created what I have enjoyed since it went national in 1985 (not every day, but every day I was able).  Whether it was with Kathie Lee or Kelly (Lee as Letterman refers to her),  the warmth that Reege brought to millions will never be replaced.  Succeeded but never replaced.

The celebration of his career in the morning began almost minutes following the announcement of his vacating the role on January 18, 2011.  Support from fans both in the limelight and we ordinary joes poured in from all over the country.  It culminated the past few weeks with extended tribute segments paying tribute to the legend.  Last night, a Katie Couric special followed his backstage ritual and around the city.  Something that surprise me as they made their way to Cardinal Hayes High School and the auditorium that was named after Regis:  He never performed on the stage during his time at his alma mater.  I could tell that he wished he had.  During his “exit Interview,” Big Daddy stated that he was happiest when he was entertaining people (so he won’t be gone long).  I could NOT agree more.

Later, David Letterman presented a gift to his frequent (scheduled or otherwise) guest: a motorized scooter.  Regis went outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre (been there, inside, AND performed… but that is another post) and proceeded to crash after about five feet!  Way to go Dave; kill the man hours before his final bow!

This morning was a fantastic send off.  The audience was filled with friends, dignitaries, and other special people.  We finally got to hear the details of Regis and Joy’s honeymoon…. something that has been hinted about for several years.  Also interspersed were “Reflections by Regis” on his life.  And what would a Regis celebration be without the 100s of people who have (for better or worse) come up with their own interpretations on the King’s unique personal.

For me, the greatest part of the show has been Regis, himself.  He’s like the uncle everyone wishes they had (or actually do have, who knows).  He is a remarkable story teller.  In fact, I tuned in every morning I could to see the first 15 minute host chat and if the guests did not appeal to me, I turned the channel.  He created a totally family feeling atmosphere by introduced his audience to Joy, his daughters Joanna and JJ, his son-in-law Michael Schur  (a writer on The Office), and his grandkids Mr. Trouble and Ivy.  Everyone on the show from Kelly to his executive producer Michael Gelman to the “Executive in Charge of Production” Art Moore (whatever it is he does besides sit in the corner begging for air time) were like an extended family coming into homes every weekday morning for an hour. Regis really did entertain for an hour with the extraordinary brand of “guerilla television” and made us feel better.

Thanks for the memories, Reege!  We will see you soon!

And anyone looking for that GREAT Christmas gift idea: How I Got This WayI do like some reading material in actual book form instead of downloading it onto my Nook. 😉

 

Date Set

Well… I finally set the date in which I will put on glorious display that which I have been concentrating on for sometime.  It is just less than 5 months away but it will be here before I know it.  Even with this leg of mine the last 7 months have not been slow… although I am sure others would disagree ;).  I checked the school calendar to see if there was a weekend when there was no school event going on so there would be no excuse for some to not attend 😉

[At my latest blood test on Monday, I was informed that the blood is right where it needs to be.  Not too thick, not too thin, but just right.  Just call me Goldilocks]

Why so long?  I had a feeling there was going to be a wait with not one but two shows in October, the Christmas show in December, the awards night in January, and any other events scheduled in between so February was the first month available.

In the meantime, I will dig through the books, find more material for future use, and focus on the program without making it stale.  I was reminded of some of the splendiferous music from West Side Story the other night courtesy of “Glee.”  Music, yes… choreography not so much.  Plus, I suppose I can look back at the foreign pieces I had glanced at a few months ago.  A small challenge.

I do see ads on television for Jersey Boys (the Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons story… one of the few jukebox musicals I would like to see) set to play the Stranahan in February, too. Maybe it ISN’T that long away.

One Labor Day Institution Comes To A Close

Well… another summer is UNofficially over.  It seems that once Labor Day is here, the kiddies are back in school and the county fair is about to begin, the scene changes.  However, it is my favorite season.  This holiday weekend is considerably different and I did not even realize that it was set to change this time last year.  Since 1966, Jerry Lewis has been the face of the Muscular Dystrophy Association as HIS telethon began airing locally and has spread Nationwide since.  In total during his reign, he helped raise $1.66 billion to find a cure to the number of diseases which affect millions of “Jerry’s Kids” around the world.  Apparently, last fall it was announced that the 21.5 hour telecast would be chopped down to a six-hour broadcast on Sunday night from 6PM-midnight.  That was not the only change to come.

In May, Jerry announced that this year’s star-filled extravaganza would be his swan song  but he would appear to close the show with his traditional take on “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”  In August, the organization announced that not only would the comedian/philanthropist not “be appearing on the telethon” but also “had completed his run as [MDA’s] national chairman.”  Dunno but it sounds like  some water under that bridge especially when little has been heard from Jerry himself.

I had to work last night and went to a bon fire after so I was unable to watch any of the shortened broadcast.  However, I have learned that in the 6 hours $61.5 million was raised (two million more than last year’s total).  I think it will be interesting to see if this version will be as successful as the last 45 years.  I realize that 22.5 hours is a long time and technology exists that can get word out and raise $2 million more than a year ago; however, it should be interesting to see if this year was more of a farewell for the decades long chairman.

Plus the fact that 2 days ago it was 100º+ and today’s temp barely reached 60º has not been lost on me!  I love the autumn season but a gradual fall into it is greatly appreciated 😉

Puppetry Of The Newlyweds

I catch the Newlywed Game on Game Show Network occasionally.  Tonight, I had the opportunity to watch a couple I actually know (well… the male participant, anyway) try to guess each other’s answers.  I came in midway but I thought to myself… “That looks a lot like Rich Binning.” Given that the wife’s name was Olivia convinced me even further.  I was still like… “NO WAY!”  Until a question that seemed almost tailor-made for the New York-based actor who grew up in this neck of the woods was asked.  When a commercial came on, I rewound to the beginning to learn that it was indeed Rich and Olivia.  Of course, the actor’s latest professional gig was well plugged… something about contorting his maleness in various… well, you get the point.

Rich’s mother has taught at my alma mater since I was in elementary school.  I also shared the stage with him when FCF performed The Sound of Music several summers ago.  I played a party guest at the home of Captain Von Trapp  as well as the Nazi guard who announces the escape of the family following the festival concert near the end of the show. Rich played Rolf, Liesl’s love interest.

Unfortunately, the couple did not win but they had points on the board so it was not all bad.

The Superhero Network

OK… I am about to illustrate my profound geekiness (or my wealth of Useless Knowledge, you decide).  Way back in the mid to late 1970s, it seemed like at least two of the big three networks (remember those days?) had at least one live-action superhero show on the air.  ABC had The Six Million Dollar Man which lead to the Bionic Woman (which jumped ship to NBC for its third and final season… told you I was going to demonstrate my geekiness ;).  Over on CBS, you had The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman (which ABC tried for a season by putting the story in the original WWII time frame), and The Amazing Spider-Man.

The Hulk and Wonder Woman are much easier to track down than your friendly neighborhood web-crawler for a number of reasons.  Sad to say the budget for the live-action Spider-Man was not over the top.  After locating several of the 14 episodes via youtube, the special effects definitely showed the lack of money put to it.  The crawling up and down buildings left much to be desired and to save even more money, stock footage from the pilot episode would be used.  Funny, but what finally spelled Spidey’s doom was not the cheesy effects but CBS’ self-described fear of becoming THE Superhero Network.  The Amazon Princess and the arachnid were given the ax while The Hulk continued on into the early 80s.

HOWEVER, this was not Spider-Man’s first appearance as a live-action hero. Beginning in 1974, he was seen in short live action bits on the children’s series The Electric Company.

Here is a Great pseudo cross-over Spider-Man episode tied with a classic episode with another series:

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And here is an Electric Company short.  Guess the voice of the narrator:

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Ok… enough geekiness for one day. I won’t go further by saying that Nicholas Hammond also played Fredrick (the oldest Von Trapp male child) in The Sound of Music… although I think I just did.

Make A Gleeful Noise

Awwrighty… so I have found a new show to fill an hour or two a week.  During its inaugural season , I wanted no part of Glee because I thought it would be High School Musical: The TV Show. On Super Bowl Sunday, I decided to give the post-game show a try, the club was to do a routine set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”  After this episode, I decided to watch the next episode the next Tuesday night to get a better feel and a new Gleek was born.

What isn’t to love?  The overall theme centers around a group of misfits in the  glee club as they endure ridicule at the hands of the football team, cheerleading squad, and nearly everyone else.  The slushie throw is the ultimate in humiliation.  Walking down the halls of the fictional William McKinley High School (in Lima, Ohio), members of the underdog New Directions glee club often feel the cold, sticky confection in their face.  So often does this happen, that some of the 12 have worn rain coats to protect themselves.

New Directions is led by Will Schuester (played by Broadway vet Matthew Morrison). An alumnus of McKinley High who has big dreams; however, he mentors the kids and often comes head to head with his nemesis….

Competing against “Mr. Schue” is the delicious, hilarious, and EEEEEEvil Sue Sylvester (Emmy award winner Jane Lynch) who will stop at nothing to crush the glee club.  The cheerleading advisor has planted some of the “Cheerios” in the group to spy and concocted countless other dirty, brilliant schemes.

Some of the underdog members of the glee club:

  • Rachel (Lea Michele, another Broadway vet)… the diva of the group and the most prone to the slushie throw
  • Finn … the football quarterback /glee club co-captain.  Yes, there are those who do transition between the two worlds.
  • Quinn … Cheerio and Coach Sylvester’s right hand
  • Kurt…. the male diva.  Idolizes Streisand, loves Wicked, fashionista, ok… gay.
  • Puck… the mohawk spouting trouble maker with a heart

The music performed on the show is not all Broadway standards as one might expect.  Some of today’s pop music as well as some 80s hits seem to be just as popular as the students compete for glory and maybe even a modicum of respect.

Also glad that Netflix has added season one of the series to its Instant Viewing selection.  For now, anyway.  I have been known to begin watching other shows and return to watch and see that they have been taken off.

Party Like It’s 1985

I found while looking at my email today:

Teen Wolf available for download soon on itunes.

Ok, call me curious or naive, but I opened the file and… sure enough it IS going to be available for download.  However, the picture definitely was not of Michael J. Fox nor whoever his leading lady was (she must have had a sterling career).  So I figured that it was another in a long line of endlessly uncalled for remakes.  I did enjoy the original… one of my favorite MJF films (aside from the Back to the Future trilogy, of course). The sequel (with Jason Bateman if I remember correctly) was a waste of the ticket price and I don’t recall ever watching the cartoon. … YES, there was even a cartoon. 😀

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My curiosity led me to imdb.com where I discovered that it is not in fact a movie, but a live action television series being unveiled by none other that MTV (why it is still called Music Television is still beyond me) set to premiere in June.  I think I will pass on this one.  And tempting though it is, I do not think I will mention the needle in a haystack faux pas that slipped passed the sensors in the original.

What’s The Use Of Wonder-ing

Well… it looks like one contender for next fall’s NBC lineup is now defunct.  The network passed on the new adventures of the Amazonian Princess after a disastrous screening of the pilot.  I wonder if it will ever be shown… probably over the internet in the coming days.  I remember a few years ago, the creators of another superhero inspired series attempted to bring a live-action Aquaman series to the small screen.  It too failed but the pilot was shown on outlets like itunes.  Perhaps, the shows creators will continue to shop it around.  Either way, at least we will not have to be disappointed by another heartless update of another television series gone by.  I dunno if it would have been the comic book geek in me or the nostalgic value of the series.  Of course, the updated Bionic Woman travesty did nothing to endear itself to anyone and the Knight Rider update lasted about as long  Maybe it was the new costume? Personally, I prefer the original Lynda Carter version 😉

One More Episode

The end of a 10 year odyssey is upon those who have been able to follow the formative years of Clark Kent on the series Smallville. I like to think of the series as an Elsewhere’s storyline (one in which much of what you know about a character is somehow altered).  Characters were introduced earlier than what long time fans were accustomed to.  The “No Flights, No Tights” scenario concocted by the show’s creators has been adhered to but something tells me that this may change as the young man finally fully accepts his destiny.  If not, then I sense a HUGE letdown… even if it is for the last seconds of the series.

My favorite parts of the series were definitely the guest appearances of the past keepers of the Superman legacy.  Dean Cain played a villain.  Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane’s mother (how ironic).  Margot Kidder made an appearance.  Get this… Terence Stamp (who played the EVIL General Zod in Superman I and II) has been the voice of Jor-El (Superman’s father) for the last several years.  Finally before his untimely tragic death, MY Superman, Christopher Reeve made two memorable appearances as Dr. Virgil Swan who taught Clark more about his Kryptonian heritage.  The two episodes were definitely my favorite.  It was if a torch was being passed from one man of steel to another.  Not forgetting that Annette O’Toole (who plays Martha Kent on Smallville) portrayed Clark Kent’s high school sweetheart Lana Lang in Superman III.

So, while not always the most faithful of shows to what has come before, it will be very strange not to see new episodes of the series after this Fridays 2 hour series finale.  Which will leave one must see show on the air.

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Cheaters Prosper

I came across this classic Price is Right moment the other day via you tube and I have shared it with family.  I just can’t stop laughing at the audacity of the contestant or Bob’s reaction.  Quality not the best but good enough.

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