Friday, May 22, 2015

SPLAININ TO DO - "THE VIEW" CONTINUUM


Here's a classic Zonk for you....

'The Name Of The Game'
"A Different Kind Of Spy"

"People" magazine reporter Jeff Dillon was investigating corporate espionage at the research facility where a friend of his worked.  This first screencap shows him inside the offices.


But when he steps outside the building, he's no longer wearing the turtleneck sweater and black jacket.  Now he's in a suit and tie.


Here's a close-up as he realizes someone is about to run him over with a car.


Having survived that, he heads straight to the home of the guy he was investigating, only to see him shot.  He races inside to use the phone in order to call for help.  And as you can see, he's now back in the clothes he was wearing when he was inside the building.


I think this is a case in which our viewpoint changed from watching Jeff Dillon of Earth Prime-Time to watching his doppelganger in some alternate TV dimension and then back again, only for the time it took him to leave that facility's parking lot and drive over to his quarry's home.  Before he arrived, the point of view had changed back to the main Toobworld.

This would be the work of some sort of powers that be from within the TV Universe, a kind of hive-mind that speaks with one voice.  And we know that voice.  We've heard it before.  We know it as the Control Voice....




The Control Voice, or this Hive Mind which I'm going to call "The View Continuum", could also serve as a splainin for certain recastaways in shows where the usual excuses - like plastic surgery, alien or android impersonation, or quantum leaping - just wouldn't work.  (Mostly because the show has too realistic a setting - for example: Agent Deborah Ciccerone of 'The Sopranos', who was played by Fairuza Balk at the end of one season only to be recast with Lola Glaudini when the show returned.)



Sometimes the View Continuum would change the point of view for the Trueniverse audience several times within the same series.  For example - the 1966 'Batman' series.  We got to see three different TV dimensions in that series where all of the main characters - Batman, Robin, Aunt Harriet, Alfred, and the two stalwarts at Police Headquarters - were all played by the same actors, but Mr. Freeze was played by three different actors, one from each dimension.  George Sanders is the Mr. Freeze from the main Toobworld; Otto Preminger is from the Land O' Remakes; and the Mr. Freeze played by Eli Wallach is from - oh, I don't know.... Let's say from Zombie Toobworld.  Why not?  That Toobworld was "normal" until the last few years. 

At least once, the View Continuum forced our viewpoint to change within a single episode!  This happened in 'Community' when Jeff and Shirley were playing a cut-throat game of Foosball.  Suddenly we saw their counterparts in the Tooniverse instead of in the main Toobworld.

So what other TV dimension was it for this 'Name Of The Game' episode?  I'll keep it simple and say it was the world of the prequels.  This is a TV dimension which consists mostly of pilots for TV shows which are sold but then key roles are recast.  'The Name Of The Game' is already part of this world, thanks to "Fame Is The Name Of The Game" in which Anthony Franciosa still appeared as Jeff Dillon, but Glenn Howard - played on the series by Gene Barry - is here portrayed by George MacReady.

BCnU!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SUPER SIX QUIZ - THE GAME OF THE NAME


I think it's time for a quiz, don't you?

This week's Super Six List is actually a quiz, a list of six first names for TV characters.

You have to tell me the characters' full names and what show they come from.

These are not one-shots, otherwise you'd be seeing the likes of "Eulalia" in the list.  These were all regular characters in various TV shows.  (One is actually current.)  I don't think any of them were used more than once, but if you give me a regular character whom I wasn't thinking of, I'll accept it.

Now, I know it's simple enough to do this using an online service like "Ol' Reliable".  (You should know what I mean by that.)  But try to solve it on your own.

::sigh:: Right.

What the bleep.  Give it a go.....

1]  Zebulon

2]  Mahala May

3]  Jonas

4]  Throckmorton

5]  Eobard

6]  Orrin

To me, it seems simple enough without using outside sources, but see how you do......

BCnU!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LITTLE BIG SCREEN - "JULIUS CAESAR" (1953)


Many of the movies we enjoy in the Real World also exist in Toobworld, but with some slight variables.  Some of those variables are in what is actually seen on screen; others occurred behind the scenes during production.

For instance, many of them were based on actual events and we covered this last year with our monthly feature "Little Big Screen".  Among those types of films:

  • "Back To The Future"
  • "The Wizard Of Oz"
  • "Casablanca"
  • "The Maltese Falcon"
"Sense And Sensibility" was based on a novel by Jane Austen which was also based on a real event in Toobworld.  But the Toobworld movie from 1995 differed from the Real World film in that it starred Emma Thompson.  Oh, the Real World movie starred Emma Thompson as well, but her televersion is faking her English accent and background.  She is really a lesbian from Akron, Ohio.

Anyhoo....



For the most part, the 1953 adaptation of "Julius Caesar" is exactly the same as the one we can now view on DVD or some alternate streaming device.  But here's the difference: see those crowds waving to Caesar?  Among those with their hands in the air is Bobby the Bellboy at the Hollywood hotel where the Ricardos and the Mertzes were staying.

Bobby vogues his "Hail Caesar" pose
According to Bobby, he got four days work out of that movie.  What makes it believable is that Bobby Jellison (who played Bobby the Bellboy) was very short, so he could have been in that crowd - even right up front behind a centurion! - and who would have seen him?

(That bit of extra work makes him as a TV character similar to Mitchell the vampire in 'Being Human', who did extra work on "Casablanca".)

And if there really was a "Don Juan" movie starring Ricky Ricardo in the Real World, perhaps he was able to secure a role for Bobby in that as well.  After all, Bobby became an indispensible part of their time in Hollywood... sometimes against his will.  So it would have been only right!

BCnU!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TUESDAY NEWS DAY - THE RETURN OF LYNCH




There couldn't be any better news for Earth Prime-Time than this:

“Dear Twitter Friends, the rumors are not what they seem ….. It is !!! Happening again. #TwinPeaks returns on @SHO_Network” 

That was the tweet from David Lynch the other day, after earlier announcing that he was walking away from the project because Showtime was being too tight-fisted with the money.

Showtime confirmed this with an announcement by its president:

“This damn fine cup of coffee from Mark and David tastes more delicious than ever.  Totally worth the extra brewing time and the cup is even bigger than we expected. David will direct the whole thing which will total more than the originally announced nine hours. Preproduction starts now!!”  (This is a reference to Showtime's commitment to produce more than the original nine episodes planned for.)


Can't wait to find out how's Annie?  How's Annie?  How's Annie?


BCnU!

Monday, May 18, 2015

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE - "MAD MEN" & COCA-COLA




I never gave this commercial much thought with regards to its placement in Toobworld, but thanks to the series finale of 'Mad Men' we now know that it has to be considered as a blipvert in Earth Prime-Time as well and not part of "real life" during prime time.


In those closing moments of the show, the former Don Draper, stripped down to his true identity of Dick Whitman, was on a sunny California cliffside with others of a commune who were practicing yoga.  As a small enigmatic smile formed, the scene dissolved to the commercial.

I think the main inference from this has to be that Don was inspired to create that ad campaign (In the Real World it was produced by McCann-Erickson.) and most likely reverted back to the only life where he was most at home - the world of advertising.  Your mileage may vary.

The finale took place in late October of 1970 and the commercial was first broadcast in the summer of 1971.  McCann-Erickson gathered young people from all over the world, some in native dress, and all holding bottles of Coca-Cola bearing labels printed in their native languages, on a hillside in England for the shoot.  However the rains made the ground too hazardous to work on and so the production was shipped to a far sunnier (and drier!) hilltop in Italy.

In the past 'Mad Men' has fictionalized the Real World products that were the clients of Sterling Cooper - like Kodak, Utz, Jaguar.... - and the same holds true here in claiming that the commercial was born from Draper's inspiration in California.  (More than likely for that soulless corporation, it was put together in committee.)  

Some folks online have even speculated that some of the singers cast in the blipvert were perhaps chosen by Don Draper himself, based on the people he met on his cross-country search for his soul in 1970.  As evidence they've offered up this comparison between the girl who worked the desk at the resort and one of the girls in the commercial:

There's another reason why I'm sticking with the idea that Don reverted to his old lifestyle and was responsible for that Coca-Cola advert.  I like to see it as the jumping-off point for Don's life after prime time.

I think Don also came up with the idea for Coke's next great TV commercial as well:


But that wouldn't occur for nearly a decade, in 1980.  So much could have happened to Don in the meantime, such as trying to compete with the new style of advertising that seemed to lampoon the old-fashioned values he espoused in earlier campaigns.  Ads by Stan Freberg for Great American Soups, or the campaigns mounted by Joe Sedelmeier for products and services like Alka-Seltzer, Benson & Hedges, AMC cars, and Federal Express.  I think that's a very good reason why the show had to end when it did - it was a whole different world in advertizing, one which would have meant the show's production would have to take on a whole new look and tone.  It just wouldn't have been the same.

Getting back to that Mean Joe Green Coke commercial....  I'd like to think that Don would have found inspiration for that in something his son Bobby or even his youngest, Gene*, did in real life with some other athlete.  (Preferably a fictional football player from an episode that dealt with pro sports - 'McMillan & Wife' had one, so did 'The Odd Couple'.....)

It's just something we were never going to be able to see from the Trueniverse....

BCnU!

* Gene may have carried his Dad's last name, but not his "genes".  I believe he was the product of Betty Draper's one-time encounter with some young stud in a bar's bathroom.....



Sunday, May 17, 2015

VIDEO SUNDAY - A HAT SQUAD TRIBUTE TO B.B. KING


From the Los Angeles Times:

B. B. King, the singer and guitarist who put the blues in a three-piece suit and took the musical genre from the barrooms and back porches of the Mississippi Delta to Carnegie Hall and the world's toniest concert stages with a signature style emulated by generations of blues and rock musicians, has died. He was 89.

The 15-time Grammy Award winner died Thursday night in his Las Vegas home, said Angela Moore, representative for his youngest daughter, Claudette. He had struggled in recent years with diabetes.

King died peacefully in his sleep, Claudette King told The Times.


Three of his songs are known to have been played at the radio station 'WKRP In Cincinnatti', Ohio.  And "Chains And Things" was played on the record player in the Swan station, as heard in 'Lost'.

Here are some of his appearances in Toobworld.  Some of them are as a member of the League of Themselves.  In others he plays other characters who are similar to him.




In February of next year, BB King will be inducted into the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame....

Good night and may God bless.......

TOOBWORLD MILESTONE!
This is my 10,000 blog post for Inner Toob!




Saturday, May 16, 2015

SATURDAY MORNING SUPERHEROES - THE BATMOBILE


"I once sat in the original Batmobile."
Hank Muntak
'Parks & Recreation'

As far as Toobworld is concerned, Hank was talking about the actual Batmobile, used by the Batman in Gotham City back in the 1960s.

But he wasn't the only resident of Earth Prime-Time to do so.  Here we see that Thelma Evans Anderson got the chance to sit in the driver's seat at some point in the last few years.  (Back in happier days when her husband Keith was still alive.*)


Drew Carey and Mimi Bobeck were also in a Batmobile, but it was more than likely a prop from one of the movies that were produced and based on the "true" life of the original Batman.


BCnU!

* Sadly, Keith Anderson recently passed away.  It may have been due to injuries from his football career.....

Friday, May 15, 2015

DOUBLE VISION - A LITTLE BIT O' SOUL



Although it was never mentioned on 'Starsky And Hutch', Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson had a brother named Jerome.  (But everyone knew him as "Jerry".)
 
While his brother Hutch worked as a detective in Los Angeles, becoming famous enough to have a movie be made about him and his partner, Jerry lived farther north in San Francisco.  He also followed his brother into law enforcement, working as a court officer for the San Francisco judicial system.
 
Jerry Hutchinson became romantically involved with a woman named Virginia Ryan, whose stepson was a juror on a murder trial for which Jerry provided security for the jury members. 
 
Mrs. Ryan had complete control over Jerry, to the point where she easily convinced him to kill her step-son so that her ailing elderly husband would hopefully die of heartbreak, leaving her the sole heir to his fortune.
 
Jerry must have been an avid student of the "perfect murder" and in his research he found a scenario which would hopefully keep suspicion away from him since he was supposed to be guarding the sequestered jurors.
 

About ten years before, at a gathering of "super sleuths" in Los Angeles, Police Chief Gaynor was murdered at a closed gathering of the greatest detectives in the world - from London, Paris, Tokyo, and Budapest.  As it turned out it was Mr. Toto of Japan who killed Gaynor.
 
I'm about to tell you how he dunnit, so if you ever want to see that 'Burke's Law' episode, "Who Killed Supersleuth?", then avert your eyes and come back tomorrow!
 

When the assembled "super sleuths" had discovered Chief Gaynor's body at the writing desk, it was Toto who reached it first.  He instructed the others to get help and while he was alone with the body, he killed Gaynor.  See, he wasn't dead before, merely drugged by Toto and so the others just assumed he had already been murdered.
 
Being an avid reader of crime stories, Jerry Hutchinson read of this case and it percolated in the back of his mind for years.  When he finally had a chance to use the scheme, he drugged Mrs. Ryan's son-in-law so that it appeared that he was dead.  Jerry declared him as such and instructed the other guard to go get help.  While that guy was gone, Jerry killed Ryan.


 
Jerry and Ken Hutchinson were both played by David Soul......


SHOWS CITED:
  • 'Starsky & Hutch'
  • 'Burke's Law' - "Who Killed Super Sleuth?"
  • 'MacMillan & Wife' - "Guilt By Association"
BCnU!

 

TOP TEN NEW FALL TV SHOWS


David Letterman will be leaving late night all too soon - May 20th! - but isn't it nice he took the time to deliver some Toobworld news.....?


Top Ten New Fall Shows
Monday, May 11, 2015

10. Mob Dermatologist

9. Underwater Cowboy

8. So You Think You Can Whistle?

7. Micro Mountie

6. Albania's Next Top Albanian

5. Squat Squad

4. Haunted Mailbox

3. Tax Clown

2. Alice Cooper 360°

1. The Dentalist


BCnU!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

ZONKS - LAWYERING UP



"You take the idea that a lawyer should be anonymous. 
Television killed that dead! 
Fellows like Perry Mason murdered it."
Ben Franklin Bristow
'The Name Of The Game'

This quote is perfect for splainin away why TV lawyers, especially Perry Mason, can be familiar to characters in other TV shows - because they have seen them on TV during the news, during TV specials about really notorious cases, perhaps even on talk shows.

And this is why it would never be a Zonk if a TV character mentions lawyers like Perry Mason.  It wouldn't even be a Zonk if they inferred that they saw them on TV.

BCnU!