Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Just Drop the Blanket

I read this post yesterday, written by fellow blogger Jason Soroski and thought his points were excellent. Having been a loyal Charlie Brown Christmas viewer for many years, I had never noticed Linus dropping his ever present blanket! Read on for a great message, especially this Christmas season.

The Way I See It

419244_1280x720This week “A Charlie Brown Christmas” aired on national prime time television for the 50th time. In a world where the latest greatest technology is outdated in a matter of months, and social media trends come and go in a matter of days, 50 years of anything becomes quite meaningful.

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Announcement: WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon 2015

I’ll be joining in on this blogathon fun, and writing about English character actor C. Aubrey Smith. :)

Once upon a screen...

WE’RE BACK for number 4!


WHAT A CHARACTER! a phrase borrowed from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) so that we could dedicate a blogathon to those whose names few remember – the players who rarely got leading parts, exhibiting instead a versatility and depth many leading actors wished they had.  Kellee, Paula and I never tire of seeing them or paying tribute and as the previous three installments of this event proved, neither do you.  So, here we are with the fourth annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon.

To say we’re thrilled is an understatement and we hope you’ll join us in spotlighting the Edmund Gwenns and Spring Byingtons of the world, the oft forgotten names that never appeared above the title.  If this is right up your movie alley then give us a shout out…

Kellee at Outspoken & Freckled and (@IrishJayHawk66) and Kellee Pratt

Paula at Paula’s Cinema Club

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Coming Next Week!

I’ll be participating in a blogathon dedicated to films that were released to movie going fans in the year 1947.  My pick is  They Won’t Believe Me!,   a romance/crime/drama of all things, starring Robert Young (famously known for playing Jim Anderson of Father Knows Best and Dr. Marcus Welby of Marcus Welby, M.D.-nice guy characters all around) playing a guy with lots of women trouble that he brings upon himself.  The women trouble are ably  supplied by: Rita Thompson, Jane Greer, and Susan Hayward.




Delving “Into the Darkness” with #TCM #NoirSummer

Calling all Classic Film Fans! A free, college class is being offered via Turner Classic Movies and Ball State University beginning June 1st-via online. Be sure to read Aurora’s fabulous blog about it all, and be sure to tune in to TCM Fridays in June and July for Film Noir Movie greats!!!

Once upon a screen...

It’s a bitter little world and I want all in!

Double-dealing dames, amoral cops, cynical, hard-hearted heroes all set against dark and dreary backdrops.  That is the world of film noir and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is offering us a chance to lurk in its shadows.

In conjunction with the “Summer of Darkness” festival during which TCM will air more than a hundred film noir classics as part of its Friday Night Spotlight series that will run through the end of July, the network has partnered with Indiana’s Ball State University and Canvas Network, an open online educational platform to offer a nine-week, free, online Film Noir course set to begin on June 1st.


The “Summer of Darkness” series was first introduced by TCM in 1999 and as one of film’s most popular and entertaining genres, the scheduled film noir line-up this year will not disappoint.  The series will be hosted by “The…

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Star in the Night, an Award Winning Holiday Short

This post from Dec., 2014 is my contribution to Movies, Silently’s wonderful Shorts: A Tiny Blogathon Be sure to visit Fritzi’s sight to read about more of these pithy, witty, some funny, and some more serious-minded short films that were shown by movie theaters before the featured attraction.


With Christmas Day right around the corner, two meals to prep for, gifts to wrap, stockings to stuff,  and more goodies to bake, this will probably be my last post until January 2015.  I decided it would be right and fitting to write about a short film that I saw on Turner Classics last year in December, Warner Brothers 1945 Star in the Night.

Star in the NIght

Star in the Night, is a modern(1945 modern) re-telling of the Nativity story.  It was written by Robert Finch and Saul Elkins, produced by Gordon Hollingshead, and directed by Don Siegel.  It was Siegel’s first film to direct and it touched so many audiences and the Motion Picture Academy that it won the Oscar for Best Short Subject in 1946.  Siegel went on to direct more films, including the first Invasion of the Body Snatchers, several Clint Eastwood starring movies, such as Dirty Harry, and John…

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Really, Bubble Guppies?

I care for  a preschool aged child a couple mornings a week.  A tv program the preschooler likes to watch is Bubble Guppies.  If you don’t know what the tv show is, don’t worry, you’re not missing much.  It’s a cartoon where the viewer has to throw logic out the window.  It is about  a group of half-fish, half- child creatures, more like “mer-children” instead of true guppies, that swim around in their undersea location, and they learn lessons about life: sharing, caring, some educational lessons once in a while, at their school taught by their beloved teacher, Mr. Grouper, who is an actual fish character.  He does have a catchy song that he sings to get the class to line-up in order to go outside and I do find myself singing along to that tune once in a while!

Bubble Guppies

A week ago the show happened to be on while I was folding laundry, my preschool charge enraptured with the episode.  I noticed that the episode was all about Mr. Grouper, the guppies beloved teacher being absent for the day and their being a substitute teacher in their classroom.  “What’s a substitute teacher?”, one guppy nervously asked another guppy.  After the definition was given, in swam the substitute teacher.  He was the blandest colored fish the show has ever shown.  He had a frowny face, and his voice was a boring monotone!  To every question from one of the cute, colorful guppies, he gave a negative answer:”No, we cannot go outside, it’s too cold.” “No, we cannot get out the puzzles, they’re too difficult.”  “No, we cannot paint today, it’s too messy.”  On and on this nonsense went and I became a bit teed off at this show aimed at preschoolers!

I have been a substitute teacher.  When mu husband was laid off for 16 months, I dusted off my teaching certificate and was hired to substitute for the Hazelwood School District.  It’s not at all easy being a substitute teacher and I resented a silly preschool cartoon show making fun of substitute teachers.

Hazelwood had their subbing system nicely set up online for the planned teacher/staff absences they knew they’d be having for each upcoming week.  One could stipulate in the subbing contract if one was willing to sub at only the elementary, middle, junior high, or high school level, or if one wanted to sub at all the grade levels.  However, I often got a call the night before a job when a teacher had become ill, or even an emergency call to come in half an hour before a school day was to start, or a call at 11 am to come in for an afternoon, for an emergency reason.

The teachers would have a folder for me in their desk, outlining the day, tips were given for handling the class, and the assignments were usually planned out.  Also a note to  not use the “Smartboard” which usually made the students groan as they liked to play class games of Sudoku on it.  I subbed for regular classroom teachers, resource teachers, pe teachers(a fun day!), inschool suspension teachers(really shocked me that an elementary school had inschool suspension, but it did), preschool aid, aid at the special needs school, and librarian( my favorite subbing post-all of those books to explore!)

When subbing, you are mostly unknown by the rest of the staff so lunch time is a bit lonely.  Eating in the teachers lounge as sort of the person non grata; the other teachers talking amongst themselves about various topics, but not including you as they don’t know you.  The students, most behave themselves, but the typical troublemakers, you know, the Usual Suspects, will be especially sure to misbehave.  Then there are the rules one has to follow in the school and make sure the students follow them too, and for an independent minded homemaker like myself, I had to watch myself and not make comments outloud about rules that I found confusing or nonsensical.

It’s not an easy job being a substitute teacher, and one bonus is that I didn’t have to take home all of those worksheets and grade them!  So, hey, Bubble Guppies, stop airing the episode that denigrates substitute teachers!  Stop putting nonsense into preschool tots heads that substitute teachers are downer, negative individuals to be feared.  Stick with the lessons on caring and sharing, colors, counting, and the ABCs.  I can ignore the illogical premise of your program, but I can’t ignore the recent disparaging of substitute teachers!  I challenge any of you that make this tv show to try subbing sometime, go on, I double-dog dare you!!

For the Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon : The Fugitive “Corner of Hell”

The Fugitive aired on ABC for 4 seasons, 1963-1967.  I was a mere tot then, only 2 years old when the show ended.  I recalled my Dad remembering how a lot of America tuned in for the last episode of The Fugitive, and I don’t think that record number of tv viewers for one tv episode  was broken until America tuned in to see the last episode of MASH, in 1983.   When I found out that A Shroud of Thoughts was hosting a Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon this weekend, I had to join in on the fun.  Be sure to visit the site to read about other bloggers favourite tv show episodes.   Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon

I was curious about The Fugitive.  So many Americans made sure they tuned in  each week to view it.   Checking out Youtube one day last year I was pleasantly surprised to discover that two folks had put all of The Fugitive episodes there.  I began watching and now I’m on Season 3.

The Fugitive poster 1

Why do I enjoy this show so much?  Various reasons!  The writing for this episodic tv show was excellent, with interesting story lines, that were bookended with a retelling of the show’s main premise.  The narrator-William Conrad.  Long before Conrad had his own hit tv show on CBS, Cannon, he did a lot of radio work-he was Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke , the radio show, before that Western made it to tv.  Conrad’s voice is wonderful, low and knowing, as he intones to the viewers what alias the fugitive has adopted for that episode, possibly what part of the country he is in, and a hint at the trouble he’s going to get caught up in.   The actors and actresses-just superb!  David Janssen was the show’s protagonist, aka the fugitive of the title, Dr. Richard Kimble.  Janssen played Kimble as a very serious guy and wouldn’t one be if they were on the run from the law?  British actor  Barry Morse was the show’s antagonist, police Lt. Philip Gerard.  Morse also played his character with lots of no nonsense and an obsessive gleam in his eye.  I don’t think the guy ever smiled in any episode he appeared in!  The guest stars were top-notch and many were just starting out in their careers, so that’s always neat to see.

Each episode of Season 1 begins with  Dr. Kimble and Lt. Gerard riding on a train as it makes its way to the penitentiary where Kimble will receive the death penalty.  William Conrad’s voice informs us  that Dr. Richard Kimble is an innocent man, innocent of the murder of his wife, and that he saw a one-armed man running from his home the night of the murder.  However, fate is about to throw Dr. Richard Kimble a curve.  Then we see the train derail and Kimble is on the run.  Girard  is obsessed with finding Kimble, who escaped on Girard’s watch.  An innocent man on the run each week, the relentless law man scouring the country for him, if this plot sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s none other than French writer Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables redone with a modern 1960s vibe.

The Fugitive, each week showing that fateful train ride to the death house

The Fugitive, each episode of Season 1 opened with Janssen and Morse, as Kimble and Girard, on the train to the death house.



Season 2, episode 21, “Corner of Hell” is the episode that I watched a few months back and it had an excellent plot twist:  Lt. Gerard  needing Dr. Kimble’s help in order to survive!

Guest stars for this episode were: R.G. Armstrong as Tully, the partriarch of a moonshine making family, a family that the local law officers avoid.  Lt. Girard is appalled when he finds that fact out!    Bruce Dern, playing a mean, sneaky, and slightly crazed young man, Cody, in with the moonshiners gang.  Sharon Farrell, as Elvie, Tully’s mischievious daughter-she likes to lift wallets and keep the cash.  Dabbs Greer as the hapless Sheriff Claypool who refuses to look for Dr. Kimble with Lt. Girard due to the fact that Kimble might have run off into the moonshiners’ woods.

R.G. Armstrong as Tully

R.G. Armstrong as Tully

Sharon Farrell as Elvie

Sharon Farrell as Elvie

Barry Morse, as Lt. Girard, and a crazed Bruce Dern, as Cody

Barry Morse, as Lt. Girard, and a crazed Bruce Dern, as Cody

Of course, Cody,(Bruce Dern) finds Dr. Kimble running through the woods and takes him prisoner, courtesy of his shotgun.  After Kimble and Cody wrestle/fight in front of Tully(R.G. Armstrong), Elvie(Sharon Farrell), and the rest of the moonshiners, Cody injures his arm cutting an artery on some glass in the melee.   Dr. Kimble impresses them  with his medical skills in stitching up Cody’s wound and dressing it.   As Elvie is making the good doctor a meal he can take with him, Tully is notified about a stranger’s car coming down their dirt road.  Kimble watches from behind the front window’s curtains and is shocked when he sees that the “stranger” is his nemesis, Lt. Girard!

Lt. Girard makes the mistake of telling the moonshiners that he is a police officer looking for a fugitive, wanted for murder.  When Evie finds Girard’s wallet, steals the cash from it, and Cody hits her over the head to take the cash for himself, the trouble kicks into high gear.   Cody runs off, Lt. Girard finds the unconscious girl and Tully accuses him of harming his daughter.  Kimble has to come forward to provide Elvie with medical care in her unconscious state.  He sees that the moonshiners tie up Lt. Girard, taunt him, refuse to listen to his claims of innocence, and in a key scene, the fugitive and the law man are left alone for a bit in the shack.  They have enough time for Kimble to get Girard to see what it’s like to be accused of a crime that one says one didn’t commit, and no witnesses to back up the accused’s alibi.

Hanging Lt. Girard is next on the agenda!

Hanging Lt. Girard is next on the agenda!

With Elvie finally gaining consciousness, Kimble finally able to cajole her into telling the truth of who hit her, the vigilante justice that was about to be carried out is tamped down.   Here is the entire episode, courtesy of Youtube.  This episode was directed by Robert Butler and the teleplay was written by Jo Heims and Francis Gwaltney.  Roy Huggins was the creator of The Fugitive.   This is a very enjoyable episode and you just might find yourself seeking out this series via dvd or via Youtube again!

A fun TV Guide cover with Morse and Janssen smiling!!

A fun TV Guide cover with Morse and Janssen smiling!!

Season 4 was shot in color,

Season 4 was shot in color,





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