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What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Cinematographer

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    Great stuff, Jeff!

    When you're on the run like Kimble, you definitely have to be shrewd when dealing with that Russell kid... especially when he's packing superior firepower and also borrows your show's narrator without asking first--

     
  2. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    The first go of it did indeed only have that later 20th Television logo, and I thought all of the releases so far would have that one and that one only, but when you get to the second go of it (do you have that one yet?), one episode on that second go (forget which one) will have the 20th Television Fox logo as it was from the original NBC broadcast.
     
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  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I only have what Shout! Factory put out, but I am waiting for the rest of it to come from the UK so I can compare and contrast.
     
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  4. Message #3384 of 3631 Jan 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    would be the original 20th Television Fox logo.

    Season 4 switched to the same logo but with the same jingle heard under the 1990s 20th Television logo.


    ~Ben
     
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  5. Message #3385 of 3631 Jan 17, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    My mistake Ben, I wrote that off the top of my head, and naturally got a few details wrong...the CBS TV station for El Paso is KROD...cameras and a remote broadcast van for KOSA Odessa Texas are also seen on site in the media gathering...in Route 66's A Fury Slinging Flame, a number of real print and TV journalists are seen in the story as it plays out on new years eve 1960-61, while Physicist Leslie Nielsen has arrived at Carlsbad Caverns with his following of family and friends to go underground in the expectation that World War 3 is about to break out with a Soviet nuclear attack being imminent, and he has very persuasive and terrifying rationale to believe this, which is revealed in the story...
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    Great review Jeff. As you know, I was very impressed by the genuine performances of Eileen Nakamura and Arabella Hong, accomplished actresses that likely were seasoned Broadway players, as they both have very limited film credits on IMDB...these substantial roles for Asian American actors in that era were rare indeed, Black actors likewise, regretfully. And I found the true story quite compelling, and Frank Sutton must have relished this opportunity to really shine as a driven good guy on a relentless campaign for justice. In watching this, I was skeptical as to civilian volunteers like these nurses being awarded the Bronze Star....but I looked up the precepts and protocol for this award and much to my surprise, it indeed was awarded to civilians as a award for valor, just as with soldiers in the US Army....for me, this is already a favorite performance of Frank Sutton... And we have a Steve Franken sighting, which I always welcome...and Paul Stewart's direction is deftly handled...and his voice over narrative I love, "This is Newark New Jersey...Burma is half a world away, but as close as a memory". I hope that folks buy this wonderful series Deadline, a high quality series transferred from great 35 mm film elements, and at a bargain price! These caps from the Filmchest set...
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    Great info Jeff. I think this episode (and What a Shining Young Man was our Gallant Lieutenant with Dick York) were incredibly topical to early 1963, and may represent the very first substantial mention of the nascent Vietnam War on an American Network TV drama...I'm pretty sure that Herbert B. Leonard and Stirling Silliphant were inspired in this story arc by the recent battle of Ap Bac on January 3, 1963, big news at the time, with 5 helicopters shot down, 5 Americans killed, including the Green Beret commander who died while trying to urge panicked South Vietnamese soldiers to attack the Viet Cong...this battle in the Mekong delta heralded a milestone for American combat involvement in the war at this early stage, colonel John Paul Vann was a frustrated observer in his aircraft orbiting overhead...and the whole affair is central to historian Neil Sheehan's Pulitzer prize winning book, A Bright Shining Lie...

    As you know, I have a thing for lovely Anne Helm...she bears a striking resemblance to my high school crush...all of 5 foot nothing, but dynamite...I knew I finally had her when she crossed a crowded chemistry class to ask me, and only me, to titrate her sulfuric acid into her graduated cylinder for a coming experiment...yes, for me this phrase would be a euphemism for something else I wanted to do with her, ha, ha...
    Peter, I've never seen this wonderful Kurt Russel commercial for the "Zero-M Sonic Blaster"...I loved seeing that! But I don't remember that toy gun at all, but sure would have wanted one to do battle with other kids in my neighborhood...I did have a big plastic gun called the "Johnny Seven", with seven different weapons all combined...but the weak spring loaded mechanism was hilariously pathetic for such a formidable looking gun, hardly propelling the rifle grenade that just plopped out a few feet and was laughed at...my friend had the James Bond 007 attache case pistol, which fired it's plastic bullets at tremendous velocity...it really stung and left a red welt where he hit me...of course, I counterattacked with a water balloon...
     
  6. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Not a problem-- when I looked up KDBC on Wikipedia (actual call letters now), I discovered that it was KROD at that time.
     
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  7. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    Another week down, here is what I enjoyed.

    Have Gun - Will Travel - Complete Series
    Tiger (3.11) - Parley Baer. Similar to a TZ episode starring John Dehner. Baer believes he is haunted by an African Tiger and it just so happens there is one coming to his town by way of the circus.

    Champagne Safari (3.12) Valerie French, Patric Knowles. Paladin is hired to find out wha tis wrong inside a buffalo hunting party. Seems to be some hanky-panky!

    Charley Red Dog (3.13) Scott Marlowe, Raymond Bailey, Cyril Delevanti. A mail order Indian Sheriff has to prove his mettle to a town of skeptics. Excellent episode.

    The Naked Gun (3.14) Ken Curtis, Robert J. Wilkie. Two despicable men create havoc for Paladin as he is trying to visit a card playing acquaintance. Another fine episode.

    One Came Back (3.15) George Mathews, Strother Martin, James Coburn. A criminal from a bad family served his time and wishes to go home and try to reestablish himself. He hire Paladin for protection.

    The Prophet (3.16) Shepherd Strudwick, Lorna Thayer, Barney Phillips. A general with a valid greivance (Apache wife raped by his own troops) is teaching his wife's tribe modern European military tactics. Paladin is hired to capture and return or kill the renegade general.

    Gunsmoke (Season 17 and Season 8)
    Having received the newer season sets, I once again picked a multi-episode story to watch. Another favorite highlighting the return of Milburn Stone the series after his heart attack.
    The Bullet Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (17.12, 17.13, 17.14) Eric Braeden, Katherine Justice, Eddie Firestone, Robert Hogan, Warren Kemmerling, John Crawford, Sam Melville, Harry Carey, Jr., Jonathan Lippe, Walter Sande. Another series of eps. that I really remember form their original airings. So much fun to see this one again. Excitement, tension and nicely paced.

    P. S. Murry Christmas (17.15) Jack Elam, Jeannette Nolan, Erin Moran, Jodie Foster. Above average cute kids episode involving a miserly caretaker at an orphanage who does the necessary things to keep her charges safe. Jack Elam appears to be having a blast in a scoundrel role. Another episode that is fondly remembered.

    No Tomorrow (17.16) Sam Groom, Pam McMyler, H. M. Wynant, Henry Jones. A land barron tries to forcefully purchase a farm and falsely accuses an expectant father of theft. The father is accused and is sentenced. After arriving in jail, he finds a way to escape and takes his family on the run.

    Now back to my normal viewing rotation.

    The Odyssey of Jubal Tanner (8.36) Peter Breck (also in an episode with the same title on The Big Valley), Beverly Garland, Denver Pyle, Kevin Hagen. A quiet drifter arrives in Dodge after Matt finds him injured. Jealousy is a prime motivator in almost all actions taken.

    Jeb (8.37) Roy Thinnes, James Hampton, Emile Genest. The one with the Apaloosa horse.

    The Quest for Asa Janin (8.38) Anthony Caruso, Richard Devon, Joseph Sirola, George Keymas, James Nusser, Harry Carey, Jr. An innocent man is being transported to Hayes City to be hanged. Matt believes in his innocence and when he realises the real murderer is on the road, Matt travels to save his friend.

    Well, I have now finished the first eight seasons, will begin to tackle season 9 shortly.

    Moving on to more modern settings, I moved to the 7o's with The Rockford Files - Complete Series Bluray.
    The Fourth Man (3.1) Sharon Gless, John McMartin. A case involving a mob hitman by night and numismatist by day. Clever script.

    The Oracle Wore A Cashmere Suit (3.2) Robbert Webber. Great performance of a questionable psychic. Webber is excellent again in his role. Always enjoy his guest rolels.

    The Family Hour (3.3) Kim Richards, Burt Young, Ken Swofford. Crroked task force cop and a single dad criminal ensnare Jim and Rocky in this one.

    Feeding Frenzy (3.4) Eddie Firestone, Susan Howard. The local bait seller stole nearly half a million dollars three years ago (statute of limitations have expired) and he wishes Rockford to return the money.

    Drought At Indianhead River (3.5) Vince Baggetta, Stuart Margolin, Robert Loggia. Angel is being set up as a fall guy. Rockford hears about a possible "hit" and finds himself on the run from the mob.

     
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  8. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Thanks, Randall. And congrats on blowing past 5,000 "Likes". You deserve each and every one!
     
  9. John*Wells

    John*Wells Screenwriter

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    Dragnet 1967 The LSD Story
     
  10. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I started Twin Peaks (1990) a few nights back. This is a series I've never seen before - in spite of working for an ABC affiliate during the years it was on (although *not* during the hours it ran). I rejected it outright back then as I generally didn't care for such programs and if something was hyped as much as this one was I went even more out of my way to avoid it. A few months back I picked up a BR copy from Amazon UK simply because it was very inexpensive (~$15 after shipping).

    So far I've watched 4 episodes. I'm doing my best to watch this one only at times that there's not a chance I'll nod off due to the lateness of the hour.

    Here are some of my observations/opinions of those 4 episodes.

    At first glance, this one seems to check off several boxes that point to my liking the series. It has mystery, horror, comedy, quirkiness, and more. Right now, those are all rather disjointed and don't appear to be all that connected with styles changing due to a different character on screen or whatever the needs of the moment seem to be. Some of the dialog is quite trite and forced as are some situations. There are times the photography goes for an "artsy" approach just to be "artsy" or "different" (aka artsy-fartsy).

    The much lauded music (I remember a big deal being made of the "great score" in this one) often sounds like a rather generic soap opera soundtrack. When it's not soap-opery it mostly has a generic jazz vibe or what sounds like random noise passing for music. I'm finding the music mostly bad and distracting being grateful for those "quiet" segments/scenes.

    At times an episode will play like a soap opera (often when the music has that sound so is this related?)... others it's like it's going for tongue-in-cheek (almost but not quite self-parody)... the dialog and plotting swing back and forth from rather amateurish to borderline quite good. Frequently scenes come off as having a severe lack of direction (as in no director giving actors something to work with). The demeanor of the FBI agent is almost like everything's a joke, including the show, and he's just along for the ride. Oddball characters seem to exist for no other reason than to have an oddball character (one-eye lady and wood log lady especially). The dream sequence with "reverse speech" was interesting from a technical standpoint. It only took a couple of sentences to figure out what was done to achieve the effect. It's clever, but seems like an awful lot of work for a short segment in a weekly TV series. In spite of that I really enjoyed that segment looking for the "tells" of the technique used.

    At this point I'm having a hard time understanding just why this received huge critical/audience acclaim. Maybe my opinion will change as I get further into the series...
     
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  11. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Episode Commentary
    Route 66
    "Lizard's Leg and Owlet's Wing" (S3E6)

    Just as I thought we've ridden the Route 66 horse to exhaustion, I'm gonna take on one more episode--one of my favorites--before I call it quits on this particular subject. I remember seeing this episode as a 12-year old when it first aired, and it's stuck with me ever since. Famous Monsters on a TV show! As I sidebar, the story takes place in Chicago at the O'Hare Inn, a venue where I've had more business meetings than Frankenstein has stitches.

    You can't beat an opening scene that has Lon Chaney, Jr. dressed as Quasimodo, sneaking up on a sleeping kid, only to be interrupted by the maid announcing a conference call for him. The incongruity is absolutely delicious. And who else is on this call? None other than an oily, stone-faced Peter Lorre and a rather dapper Boris Karloff. This unholy trio agrees to meet in Chicago ostensibly to discuss Peter's concept of whether the old time horror genre can be regenerated for this newer generation.

    How fortunate for the story that Tod (Martin Milner) and Buzz (George Maharis) are also headed for the same hotel, as well as a busload of "executive" secretaries in town for a convention. This is back in the era when secretaries were eponymously portrayed as man-hungry, short-skirted beauties willing to climb the pole (so to speak) to administrative success, and maybe even scoop up an executive-type hubby. As temporary junior executives in charge of convention liasons by the hotel, Buzz gets the envious task of escorting the gals while Tod is stuck with the mysterious Society of Gerenuks--the secret code name used by Peter, Lon and Boris for anonymity's sake while in the hotel.

    The level of silliness begins to escalate as the story unfolds. Buzz turns into a positively harlequin fool around the women while Tod struggles to fulfill the unusual meeting requests of the Society, as in securing a coffin for a conference table. Buzz falls for Molly (Jeannine Riley), an alluring yet somewhat scatterbrained unemployed secretary with a soft sexy voice from Indianapolis (my neck 'o the woods). Buzz gets as sweaty as a roofer in August when he's around her. Meanwhile, Tod--bored with herding the horror idols around--tries to weasel into Buzz's venue, which he protects like a Canadian goalie does his net. As a result, Tod schemes with Peter to use the secretaries as a sort of focus group for their retro horror experiment. If they can still scare the crap out of the women, the test will be considered a success. And Tod will have successfully wrecked Buzz's happy little adventure.

    upload_2020-1-20_11-51-23. [​IMG] upload_2020-1-20_11-54-6.
    Some guys just wake up ugly in the morning, Hellooo Ladies!; The peanut gallery

    Over cocktails and cigarettes, the secretaries moan and groan about equal pay and lecherous bosses. Some will eventually work for Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton. Molly wanders about in deep reflective thought and a form-fitting dress. Boris takes notice of her, but at 117 doesn't really pose a lewd threat. Instead, he offers up old man advice regarding her love life. In the meeting area, Lon--in his iconic wolfman makeup--jumps into the middle of the cocktail crowd causing them all to faint dead away. His act doesn't work on stoic Molly, despite his making noises like a patient in a constipation ward. Has she single-handed poked holes into the trio's horror concept--their Pagent of Terror?

    In the end, Molly's ex-boss shows up and romantically whisks her away. A monstrously happy ending.

    Notes:
    Gerenuks are small antelopes in danger of extinction--a fitting metaphor for the horror trio's experiment. I'm guessing Bela Lugosi wasn't available for Peter Lorre's part, which would have really represented the classic trio of Frankenstein, Wolfman and Dracula.

    Boris Karloff was very stingy about ever reprising his Frankenstein role and makeup beyond his original two movies. I'll bet this episode was probably the last time we ever saw him in that role.

    Jeannine Riley also played Billie Jo Bradley in the first two seasons of Petticoat Junction. If she had looked like this in that series, I surely would have watched it more often...

    upload_2020-1-20_12-5-32.
     
  12. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    I agree with you, Howie. I approached this series with a great deal of anticipation when it first aired. After 3 or 4 episodes, I happily switched to watching Cheers instead.
     
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  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    OK... dramatic series are falling a bit flat for me lately. I'm sure that means I need to just watch something else so...

    I binged S2 of Home Improvement last week. This series was such a fun romp in its first 4 or so years - up until the boys grew up a bit and, like other 90s (OK... even before then too) series injected far too many of those "Special Episode" things or just became more dramedy as it "matured." Those were the years when the series focused almost as much time on the set of "Tool Time" as it did at home. Lots of fun stuff in that season:

    "Rights and Wrongs of Passage" in which Tim attempts The Caber Toss - Tim, of course, has no idea what it is or how to do it but tries anyway.

    "Overactive Glance" - Jill catches Tim checking out a female guest on the show (via tape). To make up for it, Tim takes her to a fancy restaurant which just happens to be full of hot women. Tim does his best to not look - until Kiki Van Fursterwallenscheinlaw (Debbie Dunning looking especially...) recognizes him and comes to the table for an autograph - while Jill is in the restroom.

    "May the Best Man Win" - Benford's daughter has taken over the show *and* Tim's "Project House." Tim's not happy and insists on doing things his way with an unfortunate side effect as he avoids weak sections in the roof.

    "The Great Race" - Tim's nemesis, Bob Villa, is voted "Best Guest" in spite of Tim removing his name from the ballot. Tim challenges Villa to a lawnmower race - of course Tim's is souped up. Randy is tricked by his brothers into swallowing a tadpole. Mom helps him gets revenge.

    And lots more. Just about every episode has a laugh-out-loud stunt.

    And last night I started S1 of The Phil Silvers Show (aka You'll Never Get Rich and Sgt. Bilko), a show that premiered the year I was born (1955). I saw it mostly in reruns but had seen enough episodes by 1961 to know that the 2nd Hanna-Barbera prime time cartoon, Top Cat, was essentially a "Bilko" rip off. That absolutely colored my desire to see Top Cat as I'd rather just watch Sgt. Bilko.

    The first season of that one is quite special. Every episode was filmed like a play. The cast had to memorize the entire script, and the scenes were filmed in one take, in sequence, in front of a studio audience. Wow!

    This is one that *should* have run longer and had good ratings but CBS cancelled it after S4 (143 episodes!) to sell the reruns in syndication. At the time, it was believed that a series could not still be in production in order to do well in reruns. The reruns were sold to NBC, and aired continuously for forty years.

    One especially fun episode so far has Bilko trying to come up with a way to win the base boxing match. He has no one... other than Pvt. Papparelli (who's quite hopeless). He accidentally discovers one of his men is a former champ! No one knew as he's a gardening fool - wanting to put in window boxes and constantly working in his garden. He seems perfect as *everyone* who sees him work out drops out of the match. The problem is he's promised his girlfriend he won't fight anymore... and, of course, Bilko's bet the ranch on the outcome.
     
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  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    LA Law: "Sidney, the Dead-Nosed Reindeer" (12/18/1986): During the Christmas season, Kuzak asks an unrepentant LAPD Sergeant (David Dunard) about a shooting that ended up in a baby girl named Sarah Emmonds losing her life, while the officer actually responsible (Campbell Scott) feels much differently. Douglas tries to keep the office holiday party on a budget. Sidney Hershberg returns to thank Kuzak for seeing him in the hospital when no one else would; he invites him to sit in on a solicitation case, but it turns tragic all of a sudden. Ann represents the inventor (Ian Abercrombie) of a self-squeezing teabag in a royalties lawsuit; Vinnie LaRosa (Robert Costanzo) returns with a garbage bag full of evidence incriminating the company trying to screw him over. Nina Emmonds wants to take the DA's offer to drop the charges against her if she drops the lawsuit, though Kuzak advises her against it and tries to negotiate a better deal. Arnie dates the female lawyer (Christine Healy) representing the opposite side in a divorce case he's representing while still exchanging Christmas gifts with Roxanne. Eric's father (Boyd Gaines, One Day at a Time) brings him (Barry O'Neill) to Abby while telling her he stopped drinking.

    Gaines later went on to win four Tony Awards, his most recent being for playing Herbie in Gypsy alongside Patti LuPone. If you only knew him from his sitcom role, then it comes as a shock to see him playing an abusive alcoholic who kidnaps his son, although domestic violence is only alluded to and not shown.

    LA Law: "Prince Kuzak In A Can" (1/8/1987): Kuzak takes Sid Hershberg's caseload even at the expense of his own, and the strain is starting to show when he starts to get short with his co-workers and would rather be jailed for contempt of court than submit perjured testimony as evidence. This also makes short work of his plans for a romantic getaway with Grace and puts a strain on their relationship. Victor defends an 18-year-old computer wunderkind named Andrew Putnam (Grant Heslov) accused of fraud and makes him an offer to do some technical consulting at the office, but then he falls in love with Roxanne. Videotape evidence turns the tide in a case in which Kuzak is representing the defendant. Ann makes the case about why her firm should represent an airplane company falsely accused of making a faulty engine that resulted in a fatal crash.

    Before becoming a producer of several George Clooney movies, Grant Heslov co-starred on a short-lived NBC sitcom called Spencer starring Chad Lowe (Rob's brother), whose producers also made Gimme A Break! and Kate & Allie. The ratings were poor, Lowe was fired, Heslov was not, and the show got a new name: Under One Roof. None of it made a difference, and the network canceled it soon after.

    LA Law: "The Douglas Fir Ball" (1/15/1987): Leland gets an order to set Kuzak free. Andrew receives probation and community service. After Douglas breaks his ankle playing racquetball, he receives a summons from his wife Sheila (Joanna Frank, Alan Rachins' real-life wife) accusing him of adultery with an aerobics instructor. The lawyer representing Sheila has had a fling with Arnie before. Stuart apologizes to Ann for trying to get in the way of her career advancement, then confronts her when he sees her kissing a client (Sandy McPeak). As Kuzak tells Grace how prison changed him, Judge Morris Hood, the judge who sent him there (Milton Selzer, The Famous Teddy Z), wants to step down from the bench and wants to help the firm grow. Andrew asks Roxanne out to dinner, but things go a bit awkwardly. Victor uses statistics on a judge's ruling history to accuse a judge of racism after a guilty verdict for a Hispanic client, but the judge argues otherwise and tries to turn the tables on him because of how many of his clients have an ethnic background in common with him.

    LA Law: "December Bribe" (1/22/1987): Arnie goes house-hunting and finds a seaside house a divorcing couple is selling. Leland turns down an offer from a New York firm called Marshall-Taft to buy out Mackenzie-Brackman, but the other members resent his not telling them; Arnie likes the idea once he hears about the raise he would get, as does Douglas, but Stuart and Kuzak argue against it. The judge who held Kuzak in contempt now finds himself on the other side of the law, but Leland asks for leniency on his behalf against a deputy DA (John Schuck, The Munsters Today) who offered him a bribe. Abby represents a grandmother on trial for making obscene calls out of fear for the safety of her grandson who suspects his mother is cheating on his father and is neglecting the boy. The trial turns into a shouting match. Judge Hood gets an offer to drop the charges if he resigns. He wants to go to trial, but Leland points out there is still an ethics probe independently of it, and he won't even take his case. After a deadlocked vote over whether or not to merge the firm with the New York firm that wants to buy it out, Leland changes his vote. Grace gets to go back to day court after threatening to resign if she remains in night court. The firm's new owners want to make changes almost immediately, then Roxanne tells Arnie about their bad reputation. George Handelman (Michael Holden), the opposing lawyer in the obscene phone call case asks Abby for a date; she rejects him on the spot. Arnie tries to get the couple selling their house to reconcile.

    Michael Holden played The Fonz's half-brother Artie on Happy Days and a judge on Reasonable Doubts, the first TV show with a hearing-impaired woman (Marlee Matlin) as a lead. Liz Torres, who played Teresa on All in the Family (the Latina who rented Mike and Gloria's room when they moved into the Jeffersons' old house), plays a judge here. The final scene's piano bar rendition of "Embraceable You" is retained on Region 1 DVD.
     
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  15. Message #3395 of 3631 Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Great commentary, Russ...though this happens to be one of the few dud episodes of the series for me. Just thought it completely didn't work (as a Route 66 episode) when I watched it a few years ago. Frankly, I don't care too much for any of the comedic episodes of the show...thankfully, there weren't too many of them. I do know it holds a special place in the hearts of Monster Kids, though, for the presence of Karloff, Chaney, Jr. and Lorre. Those three are just fine in this, at any rate.

    Jeanine Riley, on the other hand...rowr! She's definitely one of the reasons to tune in to the early seasons of Petticoat Junction (a very fun and charming rural comedy, actually).

    "Lotsa curves, you bet
    Even more, when you get
    To the junction
    (Petticoat Junction)"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Nice write-ups, Matthew! I watched LA Law regularly when it was first airing and remember enjoying it pretty well at the time, though can't say I remember much about it. Those punning episode titles are great, though...
     
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  17. Message #3397 of 3631 Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Doctor Who - 10.1 "The Three Doctors"
    Here's one I watched last week, but forgot to include in my last round-up. This 10th Anniversary story has got some ragged edges and weak production aspects, but benefits from many big, wild sci-fi ideas and receives a massive boost from the appearance of Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, who is on absolutely stonking form, clashing with then current Doctor Jon Pertwee in highly entertaining fashion. Unfortunately, William Hartnell was quite ill and unable to fully participate in the story, but his brief appearances (trapped in a "time bubble," to allow the ailing actor to film his scenes sitting down) manage to capture the First Doctor's acerbic yet wise character well. Stephen Thorne hams it up to memorable effect as the mad Time Lord, Omega, and Katy Manning looks even more adorable than ever in her her all-blue ensemble of feathery coat, sweater, miniskirt and tights. The exterior shots on this one don't look quite as nice as those in "The Green Death," but once again all the studio stuff looks splendid on this remastered Blu-Ray edition.

    [​IMG]


    The Scooby-Doo Show
    (a.k.a. The Scooby-Doo / Dynomutt Hour, a.k.a Scooby-Doo, Where Are You S3)
    3.1 "Watch out! The Willawa!"
    3.2 "Creepy Tangle in the Bermuda Triangle"
    Scooby-Doo series nomenclature is far more confusing than a cartoon has any right to be - seriously, you practically need a PhD. to keep all permutations of this long-running animation icon straight. At any rate, these episodes aired in the 1976-1977 season and were a return to the format of the 1969-1970 original show.

    "Watch Out! The Willawa!" is just OK, with its giant glowing screech owl monster pretty uninspired. As usual, the amusing antics of Scoob keep things afloat. Much better is "Creepy Tangle...," which finds the Scooby Gang adrift in the Bermuda Triangle after a hurricane damages their catamaran, washed up on Diablo Island and investigating UFOs and disappearing airplanes. Some very good water effects for a cheap Saturday morning cartoon series in this episode. Ever notice how much of a jerk ol' preppy Fred is? He's always bossing Shaggy and Scooby around, sending them out on dangerous tasks, while he just hangs around with the two girls and does little else. (OK, a jerk he might be, but he's obviously not stupid...)

    Mr. Novak
    1.2 "To Lodge and Dislodge"
    1.5 "A Single, Isolated Incident"
    1.6 "The Risk"
    What a great show this is! Was only intending to watch a single episode, but ended up watching three in quick succession. Had skipped over the second episode, due to my anti-Kim Darby bias, but actually found her very good in this, her first acting credit, as a blind student who gets a crush on her improbably handsome English teacher, Mr. Novak. Very interesting to see several scenes depicting a class of actual blind students matriculated into regular high school life, something which surely must have been uncommon at that time period. How Novak defuses this awkward "schoolgirl crush" situation is handled with sensitivity and care.

    Dean Jagger takes center stage as a rattled and incensed Principle Vane in "A Single, Isolated Incident," in which several racist punk students assault and harass a young black woman on her way to school. The resulting fallout sends shock waves through the staff and student body, with police and press hovering around the school grounds, and an ugly undercurrent is exposed. Jagger is on fire in his climactic speech at an emergency assembly, in which he makes the school's condemnation of such ugly behavior, and the potential consequences, very clear. Befitting the difficult subject matter, the episode closes without a wholly satisfactory resolution, but with a positive note of hope for a brighter future, and Novak's obvious pride in working with such a principled and capable leader as Vane.

    "The Risk" features a terrific performance from Alexander Scourby, as an experienced teacher and recovering alcoholic who gets hired at short-staffed Jefferson High. Mr. Novak is his former pupil, and soon discovers that his mentor has remarried to a sexy young wife (Sherry Jackson) with a full-blown drinking problem. The producers try to frowse up the stunning Ms. Jackson, but are unsuccessful in dimming her high-wattage sex appeal; it's funny to watch everyone (especially the boys) rubber-necking at her tight capri pants-wearing figure as she staggers drunkenly through the school hallway.

    [​IMG]

    All three episodes continue this series' trend of being exceedingly well written and acted, with events unfolding in believable and thoughtful ways, and I'm very impressed with how realistically the show captures the chaotic hustle and bustle of daily school life and teacher-student interactions. James Franciscus does career-best work here as the dedicated beyond measure Novak, and Dean Jagger is simply wonderful as the wise, caring yet stern when necessary Principal Vane. I would like to see more focus given to the fine ensemble players, who barely get a look in or a line most episodes, especially the winsome Marian Collier as home economics teacher (and potential love interest that unfortunately doesn't go anywhere), Miss Scott. I think Novak definitely missed a golden opportunity right there...None of my high school teachers looked remotely like that, more's the pity. Come on, Novak, you dork...put the halo down and pay attention!

    [​IMG]


    Hawaii Five-O
    2.3 "Forty Feet High and It Kills"
    Five-O flirts with Cold War spy hijinks once again, as Wo Fat returns, this time with an outlandish plan to fake a tidal wave alert as a distraction, enabling him to kidnap a renowned geneticist (played with wry wit by the great Will Greer). McGarret and Co. must work fast to track the missing man down before he's spirited away to Red China. Sabrina Scharf rocks a miniskirt as the scientist's worried daughter. Fun episode, which concludes with a tense face-off between McGarrett and his clever, long-time adversary, played with courtly menace by Khigh Deigh.
     
  18. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    The Scooby-Doo Show? You did get it right about it being rather confusing, so here is how to break down when each of the 40 episodes were originally ran on ABC:
    Episodes 1 to 16 were originally part of The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour/Show (September 11, 1976 to September 3, 1977). Originally one-hour long under the title The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, which consisted of one half-hour Scooby-Doo episode and one half-hour Dynomutt, Dog Wonder episode, starting on the 14th week the show was re-jiggered to add an extra half-hour (from one hour to 90 minutes) by also re-running episodes of season one (1969-70) of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! -- the amended title was The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Show.
    Episodes 17 to 24 were originally part of the extended, 2-hour Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics (September 10, 1977 to September 2, 1978), which was similar to The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour/Show but also adding the new entries Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels and Laff-A-Lympics.
    And, finally, episodes 25 to 40 were originally part of the new standalone Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! for the first eight weeks of its run (from September 9 to October 28, 1978) and then as part of the 90-minute Scooby's All-Stars (same format as Scooby's All-Star Laff-A-Lympics, but minus one half-hour and the Dynomutt segments) for the second half of this run.

    ~Ben
     
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  19. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Woof! Thanks Ben, for trying to straighten this tangled web out.

    It's funny...the DVD cover calls this Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? Season 3, the episode titles display The Scooby-Doo Show, and IMDB lists this as The Scooby-Doo / Dynomutt Hour...Thus my confusion. :)
     
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  20. ClassicTVMan1981X

    ClassicTVMan1981X Screenwriter

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    Right, because these 16, along with the previous 24, were all re-packaged for syndication under the title The Scooby-Doo Show, starting in 1980. The original master prints were never found for the first 16 episodes when The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour came out on DVD in 2006, and neither were the original prints for these last 16.

    ~Ben
     
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