Thursday, September 3, 2015

2015 NFL Forecast

I haven't watched much preseason football, so we're just going to roll the dice.

AFC:

East:


1. New England. Crybaby Brady's been exonerated in the DeflateGate debacle, so he'll have a bigger than usual chip on his shoulder, more arrogant than usual, and that's trouble for the rest of the league.

2. Buffalo. Rex Ryan has changed teams, but the quest to unseat the Evil Empire remains futile.
3. Jets. Todd Bowles came from Arizona to pick up Rex's mess, but it won't be enough.
4. Miami. Just because.

North:

1. Cincinnati.
2. Baltimore.
3. Pittsburgh.
4. Cleveland.

South:

1. Indianapolis.

2. Tennessee. They cut ex-Jet Shonn Greene, but will still be in play for a Wild Card.
3. Houston.
4. Jacksonville.

West:
1. Denver. Ho-hum. Federal marshals will be at Invesco when the Evil Empire comes in for a primetime game, just in case the Patriots try something stupid.

2. Oakland.
3. Kansas City. Andy Reid's running out of magic.
3 (tie). San Diego. Is this Philip Rivers' last run?

NFC:

East:


1. Philadelphia. Tortilla Chip Kelly is slowly turning the Eagles into Oregon East. Too bad he couldn't draft Marcus Mariota (Tennessee).
2. Giants. Big Blue will nose out the Jones Boys for a Wild Card.
3. Dallas.
4. Washington. This year, we'll just call them the Congressionals.

North:
1. Green Bay. Ho-hum.
2. Minnesota.
2 (tie). Detroit.
4. Chicago.

South:


1. New Orleans.
2. Carolina.
3. Tampa Bay. Jameis Winston will get his act together---but not in time for the playoffs.
4. Atlanta.

West:

1. Seattle. Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, & Co. will be hungering for revenge for letting the Patriots escape in the Super Bowl.
2. Arizona.
3. St. Louis.
4. San Francisco. Too many losses on the defense, plus swapping out Frank Gore for Reggie Bush, will hurt the Niners.


Of course, I could be wrong.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Musical Interlude: Help is on Its Way (1977)

In retrospect, don't you think that an action movie soundtrack in the late 70's could've used Little River Band's "Help is on Its Way"? It just seems so appropriate.

Anyway, the following video has the LRB in an Australian studio......



It wasn't long before LRB became big here in the US and became Adult Contemporary staples.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Forgotten TV: All About Faces (1971)

Screen Gems took a chance with All About Faces, which was a bit of an early bird, debuting before Labor Day in 1971, but lasting just 1 year. The series was produced in Canada, and distributed in both Canada & the US by Screen Gems. As memory serves, one of the local stations coupled Faces with the syndicated revival of What's My Line? in an early afternoon block.

The concept was part quiz, part Candid Camera, with the use of a hidden camera. Richard Hayes (ex-The Baby Game) served as host. To me, the show deserved a better fate than it got. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but I'd guess that Faces failed because Candid either was still on the air or had recently ended, and was still fresh in people's minds.

Here's a sample all-star episode, with Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Jacqueline Susann, and & Irving Mansfield.




By the time GSN got its hands on Faces, they were, as you can see, compressing closing credits for ad purps. Not good.

Rating: B-.

Can we keep the loons away from Washington?

How do I know you're not sick? You could be some deranged lunatic!---The Fresh Prince (Will Smith), "Parents Just Don't Understand", 1987

We know Dumb Donald (Trump) is prematurely senile with some of his mindless remarks as he embarks on another futile quest for the White House. We know he's not getting the nomination from the Geezers on Parade next year, because a more sensible candidate will come along.

How do we know this? The other day, disgraced wrestling icon Hulk Hogan (real name, Terry Bollea) went on record as saying he wants to be Trump's running mate. With the baggage Da Huckster is dragging around, yesterday's mea culpa on Good Morning America aside, Hogan would actually sink the SS Trump------if Dumb Donald doesn't sink it himself, of course. Despite the apology on air, Hogan's not being welcomed back to WWE, at least not now. That's something for Hogan to settle with another senile old fool, Vince McMahon, behind closed doors, over tea and Geritol.

We also know that Trump will bow out after poor showings outside of the Northeast. He'll be toast before Easter.

And, then, there is Kanye West.

In a searing indictment of how low Empty-V has fallen, the network awarded the deranged West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award on Sunday, giving West another excuse to have a microphone in hand and make a fool out of himself in front of the whole world. West claims that in 2020, he'll be running for President.

Yeah, sure. By then, he'll have long forgotten he'd ever said that. Some might say that West was on something on Sunday. Being married to a Kardashian bimbo would do that, if he wasn't already a few fries shy of a happy meal. 10 years ago, West ranted against then-President George W. Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Like Dumb Donald, West is more about promoting himself and the delusional world he's living in. Unlike Trump, however, it's clear that West's warped mindset is built around his being on pot.

Speaking of which, Empty-V rightfully was slammed by the Parents Television Council on Monday. The media nannies whined about the blatant drug use during the VMA's. I'd seen a headline online that said Miley Cyrus was carrying a lit marijuana joint. The nannies complained, likely, about how the former tween queen (ex-Hannah Montana) was dressing like a Lady GaGa wanna-be, as if she really needs to.

There's a reason people don't watch Empty-V anymore, despite the critical acclaim for some of its scripted programming (i.e. Teen Wolf). 31 years later the Video Music Awards are a shallow, hollow shell of its former glories. They'll only play videos during the morning rush, then waste the rest of the day with lame "reality" shows and reruns played into the ground. Viacom needs to find someone willing to take Empty-V and turn it back into what MTV used to be. Not that they'd go all the way and hire a new group of VJ's, but start playing videos more often. Never mind the internet. There are still some folks who don't own computers, and I know a few of them myself.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Forgotten TV: Greatest Heroes of the Bible (1978)

From the same folks that brought you The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams comes the first modern-day series to adapt stories from the Bible. Unfortunately, NBC's Greatest Heroes of the Bible, due largely to poor promotion leading to even poorer ratings, was a colossal flop, and marked the end of Schick Sunn Classic Pictures' foray into television.

The mid-to-late 70's were awash with miniseries based on classic Biblical tales. CBS had Moses the Lawgiver, which was co-produced by an Italian network as memory serves. NBC answered with Jesus of Nazareth. If you're lucky, either TBN or Daystar or INSP will air these shows sometime.

The same goes for Greatest Heroes of the Bible. Seven episodes were ordered, but four aired, including an adaptation of Joshua and the battle of Jericho. Robert Culp (ex-I Spy) stars. Brad Crandall is the announcer, but Victor Jory is the narrator.



I'd love to have the DVD's for my personal collection. However, it's been so long since I'd seen any of these shows, I can't remember if I had seen them all. We'll pass on a rating for now.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Musical Interlude: My Maria (1997)

Brooks & Dunn resurrected B. W. Stevenson's 1-hit wonder, "My Maria", on their 1997 CD, "Borderline". The concept has Kix Brooks as a cowboy trying to find a lost love. Ronnie Dunn, on lead vocals, appears be at an old church.




Today, Brooks has swapped his guitar for a DJ's microphone as the host of radio's American Country Countdown, having replaced Bob Kingsley some time back. Not really sure what the rationale was behind the change, as it might not be so dissimilar to how Casey Kasem ended his first run on American Top 40 (same syndicator) in favor of Shadoe Stevens in 1988. Dunn? Well, suh, you just never know.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Modern Classic: In Living Color (1990)

Launched as a spring replacement series in April 1990, In Living Color was an instant hit for Fox, and would be part of the network's Sunday lineup for 4 years (5 seasons).

Following the success of "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", Keenan Ivory Wayans was approached by Fox suits about developing his own show. He envisioned Color as an urban version of Saturday Night Live, albeit with more of a hip hop beat. It was a family affair, too, with brothers Marlon, Damon, & Shawn, and sister Kim joining the fun. The series also launched the careers of Jamie Foxx, Rosie Perez, Jennifer Lopez, & Carrie Ann Inaba, among others. Perez, before turning to acting, was the choreographer for the Fly Girls troupe, which featured Inaba and Lopez. Jim Carrey (ex-The Duck Factory) resurrected his career thanks to Color, and left after the 4th season.

Currently, cable rights for the series are held by BET/Centric (check listings), and, as FX did before them, episodes are usually run in a hour-long block or more. However, some of the material is dated due to current events of the period, such as the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill scandal. On the other hand, the first skit in this sample episode actually foreshadows some current events of today........




We previously featured the East Hollywood Squares skit, which featured original Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall. He wasn't the only one to contribute to a parody. The late Ray Combs, at the time the emcee of Family Feud, was similarly brought in for skits related to that series.

Rating: B.