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

Montytc

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Good stuff, Tim. I agree with your general consensus on these two shows. By the way, Randall has posted a handful of episodes over in the 77 Sunset Strip thread, in case you want to check them out. There's one Surfside 6, one Hawaiian Eye, one 77 Sunset Strip and I believe 4 Bourbon Street Beats over there...the BSB's are nearly complete, at around 48 minutes (at least the two I talked about in my post above). Enjoyable lunchtime viewing, I've found.

And maybe our good friend Randall has a few more of these shows up his sleeve (hint hint...) :)
Thanks for the heads up about the episodes Jeff, I will definitely check those out. I don't think I have ever seen Bourbon Street Beat.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Thanks for the heads up about the episodes Jeff, I will definitely check those out. I don't think I have ever seen Bourbon Street Beat.
I hadn't either, Tim, and really enjoyed the episodes that I've watched so far. It's all down to the casting...the leads in BSB are in a whole other league than those in Surfside 6 and Hawaiian Eye (no offense to Bob Conrad, who really comes into his own in The Wild Wild West.) 77 Sunset Strip, it seems to me upon my initial viewings, has the benefit of having Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as the core figure, with the chemistry seeming to build from how the other guys and gals in the ensemble bounce off of his screen presence.
 

Jeff Flugel

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It is. I already can't edit a post from yesterday (~13 hours ago). IIRC it *was* around 3 days before the edit opportunity expired.
I put in a query about this issue in the Site Feedback forum, and owner and admin Dave Upton replied promptly about it. It seems that some members were abusing the "edit posts" option before (something which hadn't occurred to me), so the management shortened the window to 24 hours. But Dave did mention that members with a good track record can PM him to discuss altering this on a case-by-case basis. His reply can be found in full here:

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/xenforo-2-known-issues.366447/page-7#post-4884596
 

MatthewA

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I take back every bad thing I ever said about Norman Lear. Seriously, F(r)iends is indefensible. I haven't come across a single 1980s show anywhere near as bad nor any since it. Not one. And I've seen some clunkers in my day. One of the reasons I have slowed down on my LA Law recaps is because David Schwimmer is so repulsive externally and internally, and they put him in an absolutely awful story arc in season 7. That made the loss of Kuzak, Grace, and Victor even harder to take. I can't even look at him he's so ugly and a bad, bad actor. No wonder my dad quit watching it. He didn't even pick it back up after they rightfully fired him and stopped assaulting our eyeballs.

This is also why I have had enough of the Lear-bashing, the 1980s bashing, and the projecting of this obnoxious show's numerous and fatal flaws onto shows that as far as I am concerned are unquestionable classics. I'll sit through a marathon of Very Special Episodes before I watch one frame of that stupid, unfunny, and deeply offensive show ever again. If you're insulted by his shows, then that's no reflection on the shows themselves.

And here's another show I'm tired of seeing get bashed here (or anywhere for that matter) while that vile, vile, show is praised*:



It also removes any real sense of reality, tenuous as it may have been. Stopping for the audience applause, to the point where the actors have to stop and restart a line or shout over the fading screams, turns what was a halfway humorous comedy into a personal appearance or a concert sort of thing. At the same time, it was a different era where audiences would lap up repetition and catch phases. You couldn't be a TV star without one

One of these days I should tell you about the time I met Jimmie Walker, who was no worse an actor than Roseanne or Jerry Seinfeld. Then I'll tell you about the time I met Mackenzie Phillips, the stablest member of her family (and that speaks volumes). Then I'll tell you about the time I met Norman Lear himself. The attacks on him are just as tiresome as the attacks on Walt Disney and for the exact same reasons. To go around and attack his shows, when from 1971 to 1982 his studio launched classic after classic, and even had two well-deserved hits in them** without him around, and then turn around praise an irredeemable piece of hate speech disguised as comedy such as F(r)iends… wow, man. Wow.

*And why it also bothers me that Silver Spoons, the one mixed-race Embassy show that wasn't a constant us-versus-them, and where a gay black man played a non-domestic role, is treated like it never existed. And that none of the episodes he was in are on DVD or streaming, just the first season which, Jason Bateman or no Jason Bateman, wasn't their best.
**That ABC atrocity Katherine Helmond wasted eight years of her life on is an anomaly. Shows how a time slot used to be able to make or break a show. Incidentally, MAD's parody of Good Times was called Good Time-Slot.
 
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Jeff Flugel

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Well, Matthew, you are certainly passionate in both your hates and loves. My only response would be that, at least in this thread as far as I can see, none of us are "attacking" Norman Lear. Some of us just don't care for the shows that he was involved in, and that's it. I would never make the claim that he wasn't a good writer or producer, or that his shows weren't groundbreaking in tackling head-on a lot of serious issues in society, or especially that they weren't funny. All in the Family for one is loaded with great lines. It's strictly a case that, for the most part, the characters and tone of his shows just don't appeal to me.

And if we're going to tar Friends with the brush of being sexist or lacking diversity, well, we're going to have to throw out a whole lot of commonly-held TV classics, sitcoms or otherwise. I mean, Cosmopolitan complaining about Joey objectifying women...isn't that part of the joke? And isn't the show in on it?

I have absolutely no problem with anyone disliking Friends, but I do think people on social media or the Internet in general (not talking about you here, Matthew, as I believe you've always been consistent in your hatred for Friends for your own personal reasons) are too quick to dismiss any past pop culture that doesn't rigorously adhere to what is considered to be acceptable in the present moment.
 
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MatthewA

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Yet you put up with an abusive jerk like Ross, a moron like Joey, an even bigger jerk like Chandler*, and three women who best represent that line from 1939's The Women about that word only used in polite society in a kennel? And as for tone, its vapid TGIF-meets-TNBC tone has been dragging TV down for 25 miserable years. And the overacting makes me long for the comparative subtlety and nuance of Mickey Rooney. The only reason subsequent shows are put on more of a pedestal than they deserve is because they couldn't possibly be worse. Eye-gougingly horrible, maybe, but not worse. I don't agree we are in another Golden Age of TV. If there used to be 3 or 4 bad shows for every good one, then there are a dozen now. And the undeserved adulation for this show is part of the reason why.

Give me Edith Bunker and Louise Jefferson any day of the week. It's not like theirs were the first families to ever fight on TV anyway. At least they feel more like fully-developed characters and therefore funnier, more believable, and more relatable, especially compared to a show that was nothing more than a warmed-over version of the almost-as-abysmal Full House, except with the girls the same age as the guys. Miller-Boyett used the same people as Lear on many of their shows yet somehow subjected them to inferior writing. At least they were on film; that's basically the only advantage they had over him.

What is funny is that back in the 1980s it was the shows of the 1950s that were looked at with similar disdain in some circles.

*I had a doctor by that name and he hated it, too. The word he used was "inane."
 
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Jeff Flugel

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I don't agree we are in another Golden Age of TV. If there used to be 3 or 4 bad shows for every good one, then there are a dozen now.
I think we definitely agree here, Matthew. While I think many modern shows are frequently very well produced and well-acted, I'm tired of the constantly dour, downbeat, angst-ridden standards of characterization and plotting that proliferate today. Some of that kind of material is welcome, and I find some of the dark, twisty neo-noir detective dramas compelling (I just blitzed through S1 of the 2018 Aussie western/police procedural Mystery Road, for example) but it seems like that's 90% of the scripted TV diet these days. And frankly, I just don't have much interest in watching a tormented, down-on-his luck, disheveled loser of a P.I. version of Perry Mason investigating a grotesque baby murder, thanks very much...no matter how good Matthew Rhys might be in the role.
 
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MatthewA

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That sounds more like Mike Hammer to me.

Most of the best comedy shows of the last 30 years, IMO, are animated. They don't have to deal with the laws of physics or child actors growing up. Some of them were on cable or streaming where they could do fewer episodes a year (the British model of 13) and, depending on the target audience, have less censorship. Ironically, the 1990s Toon Boom pretty much left the Big Three networks for dust by the turn of the century because there was no longer a need to restrict shows to Saturday morning. NBC had interchangeable live-action teen shows. ABC held out longer because Disney just bought them out. CBS was bounced from owner to owner, so they had no long-term plans. They still rarely seem to venture beyond specials in this respect.

As for Sanford and Son, Lynn Hamilton (Donna) was in The Golden Girls episode that Hulu pulled. So forgive me if seeing a show I cherish subject to the whims of "Cancel Culture" has me feeling a little on edge especially when multiple shows that deserve that kind of treatment are spared from it. This thread is making me want it to be 1977 forever.
 
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Rustifer

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That was why it was reduced before so it appears it still got abused. Oh well... it's no biggie and it's not often that I want/need to edit a post. That normally happens due to me noticing a misspelling or grammatical error I feel needs correcting.
I re-read / edit my commentaries no less than 3 times before I hit the "Post Reply" button. And still, when I read them again I'll find something wrong. It's drives me batty (short trip) if the edit window has closed and I'm unable to correct the mistake. As far as I'm concerned, the entire commentary is then tainted and useless. I hate that.
It seems that this new HTF format is a speed bump on the road to participant ease of use.* Still, it's a great forum regardless.

*Let's hope the Monitors / owners don't put out a hit on me...

1593780032627.png
 

Montytc

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I put in a query about this issue in the Site Feedback forum, and owner and admin Dave Upton replied promptly about it. It seems that some members were abusing the "edit posts" option before (something which hadn't occurred to me), so the management shortened the window to 24 hours. But Dave did mention that members with a good track record can PM him to discuss altering this on a case-by-case basis. His reply can be found in full here:

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/xenforo-2-known-issues.366447/page-7#post-4884596
I wouldn't be too grumpy. On the Steve Hoffman music forum I post at, I think you have 15 minutes to edit.:huh:
 

Flashgear

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I need that editing window desperately. I'm an old coot who also relies on spellcheck more than I'd like to admit. It's all age related, as I used to be a spelling and grammar whiz. But perhaps the inertia from my "don't give a damn" subconscious rules for me in the end...but, like you guys, I hope to provide something of edifying interest and merit. I like to draw from other's postings here in order to make purchasing decisions on the many shows still unknown to me, or stuff that has long been available but has slipped my mind in the pursuit of my priority shows over these many years...

In a bid to keep my desiccating brain in some kind of optimum functionality, I try to watch (and play) Jeopardy on a daily basis...I'm also checking in on good ol' Alex Trebek, God bless him, while I hope to not see any of the evident Jaundice and catastrophic weight loss that killed my eldest brother from the very same disease...some days, I'm a Jeopardy world-beater and would have swept the floor with some tenured professor from Stanford or Columbia who walked off with the money...other days, I'm as dumb as a stoned Maynard G. Krebs...
 

Rustifer

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I need that editing window desperately. I'm an old coot who also relies on spellcheck more than I'd like to admit. It's all age related, as I used to be a spelling and grammar whiz. But perhaps the inertia from my "don't give a damn" subconscious rules for me in the end...but, like you guys, I hope to provide something of edifying interest and merit. I like to draw from other's postings here in order to make purchasing decisions on the many shows still unknown to me, or stuff that has long been available but has slipped my mind in the pursuit of my priority shows over these many years...

In a bid to keep my desiccating brain in some kind of optimum functionality, I try to watch (and play) Jeopardy on a daily basis...I'm also checking in on good ol' Alex Trebek, God bless him, while I hope to not see any of the evident Jaundice and catastrophic weight loss that killed my eldest brother from the very same disease...some days, I'm a Jeopardy world-beater and would have swept the floor with some tenured professor from Stanford or Columbia who walked off with the money...other days I'm as dumb as a stoned Maynard G. Krebs...
Well put, Randy.
 

JamesSmith

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I've been watching Stingray, not the 80's version, but the Gerry Anderson one. Even with the technical flaws (by today's standards), you can tell the people really put work into it. Just love the bright colors, and the silly plots which I can follow. Am amazed at some of the dialogue of the sixties. I don't know whether to laugh or groan.

--jthree
 

Ron1973

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It seems I'm walking into something I've missed...lol!!!

I absolutely cannot stand Friends or Seinfeld either one. I've yet to find anything remotely funny about either one, yet they are supposed to be "modern classics." To each his own. I can't stomach modern TV any longer. I get surveys that will ask if I've watched some new show, and if I've heard of such and such actor/actress. I'm sitting there dumbfounded like "who the heck is this?" I just got a Roku, and I guarantee you there are too many classics still waiting to be rewatched for me to ever watch some cookie cutter nonsense that looks like what's already out there.

I have never agreed with Mr. Lear on the political side of things, but the majority of his shows were just downright funny. Now and then, yeah, he could get on a soapbox. You could sit and watch those no matter what side of the political spectrum you fell on. We all know a Archie Bunker or a Fred Sanford. We've all had a obnoxious relative like Meathead or knew a dingbat like Edith. He didn't have any sacred cows-George Jefferson was just as bigoted against white people as was Archie Bunker against black people. The characters were never "over the top."
 

bmasters9

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I absolutely cannot stand Friends or Seinfeld either one. I've yet to find anything remotely funny about either one, yet they are supposed to be "modern classics." To each his own.
Neither can I-- both have always been ineligible for my collection; nonetheless, like you, I am not the one to say that no one else can have them (there are people in this nation who are entertained by Jerry Seinfeld's comedy and the New York Six [my term] of Friends, and that's fine with me).
 

BobO'Link

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I'm generally entertained by both Friends and Seinfeld, with a strong nod to Seinfeld (that is, given a choice I'll watch it over Friends every time), and have copies of both in my collection, although neither is anywhere close to being a favorite. Both groups are quite dysfunctional and generally unlikable. I liken watching them to watching a train wreck - you can't look away - and yet I get a laugh or two out of almost every episode of either. I noticed on both shows that most people who enter any group member's "sphere of influence" don't stick around very long as they see them for what they are.
 

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