Saturday, August 17, 2019

Musical Interlude: Can't Get There From Here (1985)

R. E. M.'s "Can't Get There From Here" is the first single off their 1985 CD, "Fables of The Reconstruction". This does resemble something that was actually intended for public access, but it did gain significant airplay on MTV.

On The Shelf: GLOW loses some shine, and some old friends return

Season 3 of Netflix's GLOW dropped last week. A couple of weeks earlier, the comics version of the series came to an end at IDW.

There was so much promise when the miniseries launched at the end of April. However, artist Hannah Templer fell behind schedule, delaying issue 2 to mid-June. As a result, issues 2-3 came out on back-to-back weeks, and so did issue 4 and the Summer Special last month.

I was willing to forgive Templer's neo-Manga art style, the same used on Cartoon Network shows such as Steven Universe, for example. Then, considering that writer Tini Howard has been busy as well, writing for Marvel and other publishers, maybe part of the problem was hers as well. In any case, the miniseries ended with a thud.

The GLOW Summer Special, written by comics vet Devin Grayson, who is making a bit of a comeback on the independent circuit, is a little bit better. The artwork looks a little more realistic and serious, but not given enough space. Why? Because IDW needed the space to promote another miniseries, Marilyn Manor, which is a tabloid journalist's dream.

Marilyn Manor purports the notion that Marilyn Monroe & President John F. Kennedy not only had a steamy affair back in the 60's, but also had a daughter, who's a bit of a party girl. Meh.

Final rating for the GLOW miniseries: Down to B--.
Rating for Marilyn Manor: C.
Rating for GLOW Summer Special: B+.
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DC had an abundance of super-teams back in the 60's, and, one by one, those teams are returning.

Brian Michael Bendis is adding a new, monthly Legion of Superheroes to his work load. After the two part miniseries running through September & October, the monthly kicks off in November. Ryan Sook is doing both the miniseries and the ongoing. Add this to the previously announced revivals of Metal Men (October) & Inferior Five (September) as 12 issue maxiseries, and you wonder if DC will go for the downs and add, oh, I don't know, the Sea Devils at some point.
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As expected, Bendis is adding his breakout star, Naomi, to Young Justice, beginning with issue 10, out in November, following a two-part appearance in Action Comics. Meanwhile, Jamal Campbell is working on another project for DC, so any continuation of Naomi's own book will wait until 2020 at the earliest.

Along that same tack, Grant Morrison will begin "season 2" of The Green Lantern in 2020. To tie fans over, a 3 part miniseries, Green Lantern: The Darkstars, debuts in November. Remember when the Darkstars were actually perceived as heroes? You don't? Get thee to a bargain bin, effendi! In recent times, the Darkstars have been reimagined as being rogues. Ehh, whatever.
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DC continues to solicit Shazam! despite the continuing delays with the series. I get that the solicitations are written in advance, but writer Geoff Johns is SO busy with movie & TV work, as we talked about last time, and co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio don't quite get the idea that there's no point in soliciting a book until it gets back on schedule.
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NBC-Universal-Comcast has some beancounters who may have gotten lessons in economics from watching Jack Benny's sitcom back in the day. How else to explain SyFy reversing field and passing on a pilot for Lobo, which was to spin off from Krypton? Instead, Krypton, which ended its 2nd season on Wednesday, has been cancelled, leaving Wynonna Earp as the last comics-related series left at SyFy, which already deep-sixed Deadly Class after 1 season and Grant Morrison's Happy! after 2. Warner Horizon is looking to either DC Universe or HBO Max to be the next destination for the two series. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 16, 2019

What Might've Been: Wendy & Me (1964)

George Burns returned to television as both an actor and a producer in 1964.

Burns teamed with Warner Bros. to package a pair of freshman sitcoms for ABC, No Time For Sergeants (previously reviewed), and our next subject, Wendy & Me. That was the good news. The bad? Both shows were cancelled after one season.

Burns plays the building manager of an apartment building, and, as he did with The Burns & Allen Show, takes time to talk to the audience, cigar in hand as always. Wendy & Me was his first acting gig since wife Gracie Allen had passed away. Perhaps he was hoping that Connie Stevens (ex-Hawaiian Eye) could fill the void on camera in terms of chemistry.

Viewers, however, voted against the notion. Wendy & Me had one big roadblock in front of it. Lucille Ball was in the 3rd season of The Lucy Show as part of CBS' powerful Monday block. NBC answered with Andy Williams. Game over.

Now, being that I was a toddler back then, I never saw the show. So this sample size, provided by John Eimen (ex-McKeever & The Colonel) on his YouTube channel, is not enough to warrant a rating.

Sports this 'n' that

The late Baltimore Orioles manager, Earl Weaver, often fretted when Don Stackhouse was on the mound with the game on the line. I think he gave Stackhouse the nickname, "Two-Pack", as in two packs of cigarettes that Weaver would go through, back when smoking in the dugout was permitted, when Stackhouse was in the game.

Today, Mets manager Mickey Callaway might be inclined to feel the same way about his bullpen in general.

Callaway almost let another game slip away Thursday night in Atlanta. The Mets had been on their way to a blowout win over the Braves to salvage the final game of a three set with the NL East leaders. However, Drew Gagnon, entrusted with a six run lead in the 9th, cut the lead by 2/3, down to two, allowing homers to Ronald Acuna, Jr., Freddie Freeman, & Josh Donaldson. For the latter two, it was each their 2nd homer of the game, and in Freeman's case, his 2nd in as many innings.

Closer Edwin Diaz was brought in with two out. Diaz promptly walked Brian McCann, then struck out Ender Inciarte to end the game. Mets Nation could breathe a sigh of relief.

On a popular message board this morning, there were the haters complaining about Gagnon, who has been on the yo-yo shuttle between New York & Syracuse. Callaway has gotten his share of haterizing in his two seasons in Flushing, but we've been over that before. The Mets snapped a three game losing streak in beating Atlanta, and the two teams will meet again in Flushing next weekend.
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For all the bludgeoning the Yankees administered to Baltimore this season, going 17-2 against the Orioles, you wondered if there was any karma headed the Bombers' way.

The Cleveland Indians may have had the answer Thursday.

The Yankees used reliever Chad Green as an "opener", and he didn't survive the first inning. In all, the Indians hit 7 home runs, including two apiece for Carlos Santana and Jose Ramirez, en route to a 19-5 rout. Granted, the Yanks could've had their last run taken away when a fan pulled a Jeffrey Maier and caught Gleyber Torres' home run ball in the 8th, but with the big lead, the Indians didn't want to raise a fuss, and who could blame them?
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Who besides Yankee radio announcer John Sterling, 82, would be the oldest active announcer in baseball? For all we know, Sterling may have inherited that title after Vin Scully retired from the Dodgers a couple of years back. Just askin'.
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While Vince McMahon's XFL 2.0 does not begin play for another six months, the league is starting to sign players. Former Oklahoma QB Landry Jones was picked up off the scrap heap on Thursday. Keep in mind that in the original XFL's lone season, Tommy Maddox led Los Angeles to the championship, then finished his career in Pittsburgh as a placeholder until Ben Roethlisberger was drafted four years later.
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ESPN debuted their revamped Monday Night Football broadcast team on Thursday, with Anthony "Booger" McFarland moving to the booth to join Joe Tessitore (whose Holy Moley for ABC may have wrapped on Thursday), with Jason Witten one and done before heading back to Dallas. McFarland uses his nickname on the air, but it sounds like he's in the wrong profession. Don't ya think his future lies in wrestling? Just askin'.

For what it's worth, Oakland had its way with Arizona and rookie Kyler Murray, 33-13.
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The Associated Press reports today that a minor league baseball owner wants nothing to do with a Muslim rights group.

E. Miles Prentice, owner of the NY-Penn League's Connecticut Tigers, also runs the Center For Security Policy, an organization that has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. Prentice, however, maintains he's not a racist. Prentice, who also has a stake in an Oakland AA affiliate, may need to keep an open mind going forward. The last thing baseball needs right now is to be swept into the political maelstrom regarding race.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Only in The South: Football fundraising takes a fumble at gunpoint

School has started in Arkansas. Unfortunately, the last days of summer vacation ended in controversy.

On August 7, four teenagers from Wynne High, two of them wearing football jerseys, were doing some door-to-door fundraising. Harmless? Of course. But try telling that to the wife of a jail administrator in Wynne.

Jerri Kelly, seeing the four teens approaching her door, reportedly dialed 911, then met the boys with a gun and ordered them to the ground. She held the boys at gunpoint until the police arrived.

The issue? Mrs. Kelly is white. The football players are African-American.

Five days later, Mrs. Kelly was arrested and charged with false imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a minor, and four counts of assault. There was no mug shot immediately taken due to what was claimed to be a "medical issue". A picture was taken the next day, although that won't be in the following video:



Mrs. Kelly has been accused of racially profiling the four boys. Her husband's boss denies any preferential treatment was given, but clearly, with school having started yesterday, damage control was in order.

The players were selling discount cards for the season. No harm, no foul, except in the mind of a callous Weasel who's too afraid to tell her side of the story, knowing she was wrong. She was released on bond, but inevitably, the truth will put her behind bars where she belongs.

ABC Fall Preview 55 years ago (1964)

In 1964, ABC celebrated what they called, "The Year of The Week". Cheesy, yes, but, as history teaches, there were quite a few clunkers.

We have already reviewed the following:

Voyage to The Bottom of The Sea: The promo mentions a Captain John Phillips. However, Phillips was replaced or rechristened Lee Crane when the series hit the air, with Crane portrayed by David Hedison ("The Fly").

No Time For Sergeants
The Bing Crosby Show
Peyton Place
Shindig!
The Addams Family
Jonny Quest (reviewed at Saturday Morning Archives)
Bewitched
Valentine's Day
12 0'Clock High
Broadside

Yet to be reviewed:

Wendy & Me
The Tycoon
Mickey (as in Rooney)
ABC Scope (announced as ABC Close-Up), produced by ABC News.

Michael Rye, staff announcer at ABC at the time, is the narrator.



Yeah, cheesy.

Rating: B-.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Forgotten TV: Profiles in Courage (1964)

Independent producer Robert Saudek had acquired the rights to adapt President John F. Kennedy's acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize winning best-seller, Profiles in Courage, into an anthology series for television, dramatizations of the chapters in the book.

However, NBC slotted Profiles on Sunday nights at 6:30 pm (ET), which back in those days was an optional lead-in slot for the primetime schedule. Today, NBC has news at that time most weeks. Because of the early hour, and the fact that it would likely be airing opposite football during its first two months on the air, having launched in November 1964, viewers had trouble finding the show, which was cancelled after 1 season, and certainly deserved a better fate.

Here, Union College graduate Lee Tracy stars as second generation politician Robert Taft.



Rating: A.