Friday, October 31, 2014

GUESS WHO - HALLOWEEN EDITION


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Do you have your mask ready for tonight's festivities?

These two citizens of Toobworld do.....



Can you name the show in which these masks appeared?

And for bonus points, tell me the names of the characters and the actors who played them......

BCnU!

TVXOHOF, HALLOWEEN EDITION - THE WEEPING ANGEL OF THE WILD WILD WEST



With this being the month which ends in Halloween, October has traditionally been the month in which the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame has inducted the "monsters" of Toobworld. (Some of whom have been quite human.) And in this anniversary year in which what I say goes, it's no different.

For October 2014, we're inducting the Weeping Angels as a species into the Hall of Fame. But specifically, we're putting the Weeping Angel that has sent TV characters into the past of the wild, wild West.

And to make it adhere at least somewhat to the basic tenets of qualification - that there should be three different TV shows involved, here are FOUR examples of TV characters who are no longer seen in present day Toobworld but could be considered living in the old frontier:

AMBASSADOR STRASSER, "BATMAN"
BENSON PARKHURST, 'BATMAN'
GERMAN AMBASSADOR, 'THE WILD WILD WEST'

I wrote about this man back in January when I was making all those connections to 'Casablanca' in Toobworld. So to save time, click here.

DUBREK, 'THE NAME OF THE GAME'
PAUL VAN DILLEN, 'THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW'
ERIK HUNTER, 'LAREDO'

The same situation applies here. I wrote about this Texas Ranger/ski instructor/revolutionary (in reverse order) back in August when I inducted him into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame as one of my Western entries.

AGGIE THOMPSON, 'THE DORIS DAY SHOW'
MISS HANNAH, 'GUNSMOKE'
 
Aggie was the housekeeper for Buck Webb on his ranch, and I wouldn't have been surprised if she provided a bit more than home cookin' for Doris Martin's father, if you know what I mean. Nudge nudge wink wink.

Until the Weeping Angels were revealed in the "Blink" episode of 'Doctor Who', I always figured ol' Buck had dispatched Aggie in a drunken rage one night and then buried her somewhere on the ranch. After all, she just suddenly disappeared from the show without any reason given, to be replaced by a new housekeeper named Juanita. And it wouldn't have been like they'd ever find Aggie's body, not with LeRoy Simpson as the do-nothing ranch hand.



 

But I think we can now claim that what happened was that Aggie came into contact with this particular "lonely assassin" and was transported back to Dodge City of the 1870s. Needing something to do with her life in order to survive, Aggie saw an opportunity when Miss Kitty put the Long Branch Saloon up for sale. Changing her name to "Miss Hannah", Aggie took over the enterprise and ran it until she finally passed away.

'T.J. HOOKER'
JEFF CABLE, 'BARBARY COAST'



This is one case where the order of broadcast for the shows involved has been reversed. William Shatner played Jeff Cable in the one season Western before reclaiming much of his former glory as the uniformed cop T.J. Hooker. But as it's unlikely we'll ever see Hooker return in a TV reunion movie, I have no problem making the claim that he was ambushed by that Weeping Angel and sent back in Time to the wild wild West.

Using his knowledge of police procedures from the Future, Hooker quickly established himself as an agent for the federal government to rival his new contemporary James T. West of the Secret Service. Although unseen by the Trueniverse audience, I'm sure "Jeff Cable" had at least one adventure teamed up with West and Artemus Gordon, and perhaps with lawyer turned bounty hunter Brisco County Junior.

And so even though we never saw this particular Weeping Angel in action (or at all!), I think these four examples make a compelling argument that it exists in Toobworld.

Who might be its next victim.....?

Not sure I should say "Welcome to the TVXOHOF, Weeping Angel!", but I'm sure we can find a place for it in the Hall's atrium. Just don't take your eyes off it should you ever visit......



BCnU!

A big thanks to Caeric ArcLight for making two of the Weeping Angels pictures - the one with T.J. Hooker and the one with the cowboy hat. 
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

TVXOHOF - 10/2012 (THE HALLOWEEN "LITTLE BIG SCREEN" EDITION)



I've been thinking about "Ghostbusters" and its place in the Toobworld Dynamic.  Not just because Halloween is approaching, nor because of my year-long theme of "Little Big Screen".  What overshadows all of that was the untimely death of Harold Ramis, the comic genius who played Egon Spengler in the two movies (as well as in the video game).

If only Ramis and Bill Murray had been able to patch things up between them earlier, I think it might have been possible to bring the Ghostbusters team back for a prime-time Halloween TV special, the sort of thing we've seen done with "Toy Story".

As it stands, the Ghostbusters team do have a TV presence, but over in the alternate dimensions of Skitlandia and the Tooniverse.  They also live on in comic books and even in other movies (thanks to "Casper" which gave a cameo to Ray Stantz.)

As for Earth Prime-Time, I think we can safely assume that the Ghostbusters do exist in the TV Universe - even though there are quite a number of references to the film as a movie.

This is easy to splain away: the movie (as seen in the TV universe) was based on the lives of the actual Ghostbusters, using actors who looked remarkably like the "real" people.  Therefore, the real Ghostbusters (not to be confused with their Tooniverse counterparts) were already in existence in Toobworld before the movie opened.

If we make the assumption that what happened to the Ghostbusters in the Tooniverse also happened to their Toobworld doppelgangers, then the team served as technical consultants on the making of the film.


Here's a list of TV shows which treat "Ghostbusters" as a movie:
  • 'Three's A Crowd'
  • 'Gimme A Break'
  • 'Simon & Simon'
  • 'Fame'
  • 'Moonlighting'
  • '21 Jump Street'
  • 'Home And Away'
  • 'The Golden Girls'
  • 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'
  • 'Goodnight, Sweetheart'
  • 'Fresh Prince Of Bel Air'
  • 'Seinfeld'
  • 'Charmed'
  • 'Farscape'
  • 'Queer As Folk'
  • 'Undergrads'
  • 'Ed'
  • 'Do Over'
  • 'Law & Order'
  • 'Yes, Dear'
  • 'How I Met Your Mother'
  • 'The Sopranos'
  • 'Torchwood'
  • '30 Rock'
  • 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
  • 'The Office'
  • 'Samantha Who?'
  • 'Community'
  • 'Modern Family'
  • 'Leverage'
  • 'Children's Hospital'
  • 'Mike & Molly'
  • 'Little Mosque On The Prairie'
  • 'Breaking In'
  • 'Happily Divorced'
  • 'Supernatural'
  • 'Cougar Town'
  • 'Strike Back'
  • 'Misfits'
  • 'The Tomorrow People'
  • 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'
  • 'Welcome To Sweden'
  • 'Hot In Cleveland'
  • 'Hustle'
On 'Gilmore Girls', one character claimed that he saw the movie 124 times.  And the actual movie could be seen on a TV set in an episode of 'Cheers' when Woody climbed through a window at the home of his girlfriend's parents.

It's always been a contention of Toobworld Central that if a character cites a fictional character or location or situation from another source but without attribution, then the TwD is going to lean toward the claim that it was a reference to someone/some place/something that actually exists in Toobworld.  So based on the content of the dialogue in the following shows, we can consider the Ghostbusters to exist in Earth Prime-Time even though we never got the chance to give them a call.......
  • 'Charles In Charge'
  • 'Mama's Family'
  • 'Only Fools And Horses'
  • 'Roseanne'
  • 'Laat maar Zitten'
  • 'Married With Real Life'
  • 'The Nanny'
  • '3rd Rock From The Sun'
  • 'The X-Files'
  • 'The Famous Jett Jackson'
  • 'Midsomer Murders'
  • 'The Proud Family'
  • 'Angel'
  • 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'
  • 'nip/tuck'
  • 'Supernatural'
  • 'Rosemary & Thyme'
  • 'Doctor Who'
  • 'Ghost Whisperer'
  • 'The Vicar Of Dibley'
  • 'Bones'
  • 'Blood Ties'
  • 'Psych'
  • 'The Mentalist'
  • 'House, MD'
  • 'My Babysitter's A Vampire'
  • 'Warehouse 13'
  • 'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids'
  • 'Lizzie McGuire'
  • 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
  • 'The Suite Life On Deck'
  • 'Knight Rider' 
The movie itself made mention of a location that should only be found in Toobworld.  Quoting Robert Wronski, Jr. from the Television Crossover Universe blog:

~There is a line in the film that provides a crossover. “The walls of the 53rd Precinct were bleeding... How do you explain that?” The thing is that there is no 53rd Precinct in New York, but there was a fictional New York 53rd Precinct in the classic television show 'Car 54, Where Are You?'~

Robert also suggests that it was a reference to 'Baretta', but even though the location for that show was an unnamed major urban city on the East Coast, it's generally accepted that it took place in Newark, New Jersey.  Since "Ghostbusters" took place in New York City, I think I'll stick with the precinct that was on Tremont Avenue in da Bronx.

(For those of you who may specialize in studies of the Cineverse only, that 53rd Precinct reference in "Ghostbusters" could be about the police station to be found in the movie version of "Car 54, Where Are You?" and have nothing to do with TV shows.)


Scarecrow:
"Of course, people do go both ways!"

"The Wizard Of Oz"

And then there are the TV shows that make mention of the movie but also treat the Ghostbusters as being real people in their world.  Among them:
  • 'Level Up'
  • 'Spooked'
  • 'The Goldbergs' 
  • 'Perfect Strangers' 
  • 'The Sopranos'
Dean Winchester:
"That's ectoplasm..... 
Well, Sam, I think I know what we're dealing with here. 
It's the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man."
'Supernatural'

There are certain phrases from the movie that become references in TV shows.  Sure, the characters probably saw the movie, but the manifestation of the "real" Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man-monster more than likely made the front page of the NY Ledger, the NY Chronicle and the Daily Bugle.  So when Dr. Cox called Turk "Stay-Puft" on 'Scrubs', as Sawyer often did to Hurley on 'Lost', they could be making a reference to the movie or to the actual attack.


Other mentions of the "Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man":
  • 'Everybody Hates Chris': "Everybody Hates Superstition" (Julius asks Chris if he thought the Ghostbusters were lucky to defeat the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man)
  • 'Eureka' (Carter mentioned the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man)

OTHER REFERENCES:
Sloars - '10 Things I Hate About You' 
Slimer - 'Supernatural'
Getting slimed - 'Knight Rider'

Again, the source for these references could either be the movie or "real life".

In episodes of 'Supernatural' and in 'Stargate Universe', the movie line about the end of times being represented by dogs and cats living together (one of my favorites!) is quoted.  I believe this to be most likely a fabrication for the movie and thus would be the only source for the quote.  It's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that Dr. Peter Venkman actually said that, but I doubt it would have garnered national attention as there would have been no official transcript of that meeting in which it was said.



Now this is an interesting reference.  For the purposes of the Toobworld Dynamic, I think the movie as seen on Earth Prime-Time used music from a follow-up commercial to this one:



So when the Doctor and Rose start singing the Ray Parker song, or when it was quoted by Jennie in an episode of 'Kate & Allie', they could just as easily have been referring back to the TV/radio commercials as they could be to the movie.

Rob Petrie:
"We were a team, just like franks and beans and sauerkraut."
'The Dick Van Dyke Show'

I mentioned at the beginning that Harold Ramis passed away earlier this year, so it would be wrong to recast the role of Dr. Egon Spengler just to give him a Toobworld presence.  Luckily we could still get Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray to reprise their roles as Drs. Stantz and Venkman, PLUS! Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore!  But it wouldn't feel the same without Egon.

The ironic thing is that it's Egon who confirms the actual presence of the Ghostbusters in Earth Prime-Time.  And sadly, the reference to him also confirms that he passed away, years before Ramis did.

In an episode of 'The Middleman', there was the Egon Spengler Memorial Award for Excellence in Physics.  Since my own rules for the Toobworld Dynamic prevents me from treating the Egon Spengler of the Tooniverse or of any of the other fictional universes as being the same person, I can't treat this in any other way than as proof that he passed over to the Other Side.

In fact, he might have willed his personal PKE meter to the Middleman, since a PKE meter was mentioned in the same episode.......

By the way, we did get to meet Egon's brother Elon over in Skitlandia, which may be the only TV dimension in which he actually exists.....



Many years later, Peter Venkman made his debut in Skitlandia at the Scream Awards.....


This being the year in which the rules for membership in the Television Crossover Hall of Fame have been relaxed - the main qualification being that "What I say, goes" - then I'm taking this opportunity to announce the induction of these four intrepid explorers of the supernatural into the TVXOHOF.

Hail, Fellows!  Well met!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LITTLE BIG SCREEN: "THE LOVES OF FRANKENSTEIN"


In the 'Columbo' episode "Mind Over Mayhem", boy genius Stevie Spelberg really wanted to go to an R-rated horror movie at the drive-in - "The Loves Of Frankenstein".  The head of the Cybernetic Research Institute think tank, Professor Marshall Cayhill, saw that as the perfect opportunity to get Stevie out of the way so that he could establish his alibi for a murder he planned to commit.  That's why he had the institute's chief mechanic take Stevie to the drive-in.

I suggested to my fellow explorer of fictional universes, Caeric ArcLight, that he should create a poster for this movie, as he has done so in the past for other fictional movies.  (DVD boxes as well!)

And with seemingly little effort, he came up with this beauty:


All of the actors in this movie would be the televersions of their real-world counterparts, and so all of them would have experience in horror movies of a similar nature - "Vampire Lovers", "Lust For A Vampire", that sort of thing.  Plus they appeared as themselves in talk shows (I know, last resort), but some of them appeared on a game show called "Call My Bluff".  And game shows are always fair... um, game in Toobworld.

Personally I would have replaced them all with fictional TV characters - horror movie legend Loren Belasco with young American actresses Ann Marie, Cybill Sheridan, and introducing Sandy Stockton for the comic relief.  Pluys there would be a few leading ladies who had put in their time in Hollywood; some of whom may have been seeing their careers on the wane: Joyce Whitman, Jan Stewart, and former Queen of the Box Office Valerie Blake (probably in need of one more hit movie.)

At any rate, it's the type of movie title which is so generic for the genre that it should be cited often in other TV shows as an example of horror films.

I'm sure only a few years later it was already being dished up as late night fare by Count Floyd at that Mellonville, Ohio, TV station.

That's just my wish-craft, of course.....

SHOWS CITED:
  • 'Columbo'
  • 'Funny Face'
  • 'McCloud'
  • 'The Betty White Show'
  • 'That Girl'
  • 'Cybill'
  • 'SCTV'
  • 'It's Always Jan'
  • 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'
BCnU!

PS:
As an added bonus, Caeric named the movie studio "Cumberland", suggested by another 'Columbo' episode, "Requiem For A Falling Star".

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TUESDAY NEWS DAY HAT SQUAD: REMEMBERING MARCIA STRASSMAN


Here at Toobworld Central, determining the age of a TV character is simple: unless other reasons are given, the character is as old as the actor playing the part.  An example of an exception: Adrian 'Monk', who was played a few years younger than Tony Shalhoub based on the timeline established in at least one flashback episode.

Marcia Strassman had two major roles in Earth Prime-Time:
  • Nurse Margie Cutler, 'M*A*S*H'
  • Julie Kotter, 'Welcome Back, Kotter'


Julie was concurrent with Ms. Strassman, so she was born in 1948 like the actress.  On the other hand, Margie Cutler's time on 'M*A*S*H' occurred during the Korean War.  Her six episodes were broadcast in the 1972-1973 season and the conflict lasted from 1950-1953 (although it took 11 TV seasons for the show!)  Therefore, based on Ms. Strassman's age at the time of filming, Margie Cutler was about 24 years old when she was stationed in Korea.  That means she was born in 1927.

This is speculation on our part, but fanficcers are welcome to run with it......

In 1948, Margie was 21 years of age, certainly old enough to have become pregnant and given birth.  It's the wishcraft of Ye Olde Caretaker of the Toobworld Dynamic that this actually happened to Margie Cutler, and that she gave the child up for adoption.  That child, a baby girl, would be adopted and raised by the name of Julie and she would one day marry a high school teacher named Gabe Kotter.

This theory of relateeveety is dedicated to the memory of Marcia Strassman, who just died from breast cancer.

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

BIG SCREEN TV: MISS LIBERTY GOES DOWN & GIVES HEAD


From the schlock sequel "Sharknado 2: The Second One"




MEANWHILE, OVER IN THE MANY DIMENSIONS OF THE CINEVERSE:


"THE PLANET OF THE APES"

"DEEP IMPACT"

"BATMAN FOREVER"

"CLOVERFIELD"

"INDEPENDENCE DAY"

"ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK"
(POSTER ART)
The promise never fulfilled......

"KAMANDI"
What the hell, in the Comic Book Universe too!

The Statue of Liberty is always being destroyed in sci-fi and/or disaster movies, so why not see it happen over in the TV dimension of Disaster Toobworld?

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on this date in 1886.....

BCnU!

Monday, October 27, 2014

REALI-TV: THE DARK SIDE


Thanks to Thomas Holbrook for this horror television.....


BCnU!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

TVXOHOF - 10/2014 (LITTLE BIG SCREEN EDITION)



With October, consideration should be given to the scary films from the Cineverse for the topic of "Little Big Screen" (Toobworld Goes To Hollywood.)  And one of the more off-beat films in the horror genre has only a hypothetical link to Toobworld in that its main character could have had an entirely different life in the TV Universe than she did in the Cineverse.

I'm talking about "Carnival Of Souls"......


From Wikipedia:
"Carnival of Souls" is a 1962 independent horror film starring Candace Hilligoss. Produced and directed by Herk Harvey for an estimated $33,000, the film did not gain widespread attention when originally released, as a B-movie; today, however, it is a cult classic. Set to an organ score by Gene Moore, "Carnival of Souls" relies more on atmosphere than on special effects to create a mood of unease and foreboding. The film has a large cult following and is occasionally screened at film and Halloween festivals. It has been cited as an important influence on the films of both David Lynch and George A. Romero.

The main character is Mary Henry, seemingly the only survivor of a car crash in which her vehicle flew off a bridge and into a river.  She makes it into town where she has a job lined up as a church organist, but she is haunted by strange ghoulish figures who can only be seen by her.  Ultimately the secret is revealed about what's happening.  (I won't give it away, but if you've seen the 'Twilight Zone' episode "The Hitch-Hiker", you can guess how it turns out......)


Movie characters from all dimensions of the Cineverse are likely existing in other fictional universes as well, especially in the TV Universe aka the Toobworld Dynamic.  But only occasionally are they seen on our TV screens (usually in TV series remakes of the original movies.)  However, sometimes they show up in Toobworld without us even realizing that they have counterpart in the Cineverse.  That's because their lives can be radically different in the other medium, to the point where even their names are not the same as in the movie.  But for the most part, they would still both be played by the same actor.

And Mary Henry is my example for this Halloween season.


In Earth Prime-Time, she was born Mary Henry but in her two appearances on our TV screen she was known by different names.  As was the case in "Carnival Of Souls", the televersion Mary Henry had an artistic nature - but whereas Movie Mary channeled her talents into playing the organ, TV Mary became an actress.  

The TV Mary soon had reason to change her last name, around the same time as the events of "Carnival Of Souls" played out.  She married a noted writer, Kip Harris, who was known not only for the books he authored but also for his magazine articles.  One that brought him to the attention of the police during a murder investigation was about a poet named Duncan Kleist.


Mary Harris also decided to change her name for professional reasons and chose Kimberly Harris as her stage name.  When she and her husband were out on the town, gossip columnists branded them as "Kip & Kim" and everybody knew who was being referenced.


(I have a feeling that - outside the box - Kip Harris was supposed to be modeled after Norman Mailer.  Of course there is a televersion of Mailer as well.  Maybe it's only my imagination that has me seeing the resemblance, but both writers certainly liked having their arm candy....)

"Kimberly Harris" has only one known movie credit - she played the lead role of Victoria Sawyer in a film based on a "real life" murder case in which Mrs. Sawyer was alleged to have shot her husband as he slept.  She served six years for the crime before the technical director on the film, an L.A. medical examiner, realized that the original trial had been bungled with regards to the blood splatter evidence. (The eventual exoneration of Victoria Sawyer would become a classic example of a "text-book case" - it's likely that Dexter Morgan read all he could about the case in his college studies.)

As for "Carnival Of Souls", the only TV show that actually makes references to the cult movie is 'Mystery Science Theater 3000':

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teenagers from Outer Space (1992) (TV Episode)
Crow: "Suddenly, it's 'Carnival of Souls.'"


Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Painted Hills (1993) (TV Episode)
Tom: "'Carnival of Souls' here"

Mystery Science Theater 3000: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1997) (TV Episode)
The Carnival of Souls Boyfriend!

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Horror of Party Beach (1997) (TV Episode)
Crow: "Carnival of Co-eds"

As you can see, none of those quotes actually gives away the plot of the movie, so the Toobworld version doesn't necessarily have to be about the life of Mary Henry.

Since this is the fifteenth anniversary of the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame, I've been inducting new members based on my mantra of "What I Say, Goes".  These are all TV characters, many of whom actually have their roots in the Cineverse, who would never have been admitted under normal circumstances based on the rules of membership.  And so with Halloween approaching and with such a powerful cult classic to her credit, I'm going to declare that Mary Henry aka Kimberly Harris to be the latest member of the TVXOHOF.

Glad to have you aboard!

SHOWS (& MOVIES) CITED:

  • "Carnival Of Souls"
  • 'Naked City' - "Hold For Gloria Christmas"
  • 'Quincy, M.E.' - "Stain Of Guilt"
  • 'Dexter'
  • 'Mystery Science Theater 3000'
BCnU!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

RECASTAWAYS - ZOMBIE PENGUINS!


As we count down the days to Kathleen Trovato's favorite holiday, I think it's time to look for anything of televisiological interest in one of my least favorite alternate TV dimensions - Zombie Toobworld.  As I'm not a fan of the genre and so don't watch 'The Walking Dead' (especially since it could never be part of Earth Prime-Time), I owe my FB friend Frank McKenna big thanks for pointing this out.....


We learned in another alternate Toobworld that the criminal who will soon become known as "The Penguin" in 'Gotham' does not have "Cobblepot" as his original surname (although this may be the case in his original ficitional universe, the world of comic books.)  According to Oswald's mother, the family name is "Kapelput" which may be Eastern European in origin.*

Telegenetically, there is no connection to the Penguin of Earth Prime-Time, as he was born many decades after that member of the Television Crossover Hall of Fame entered the Toobworld timeline.  (And Burgess Meredith's portrayal of that fowl-mannered fiend of foul play will always be the best as far as I'm concerned.)


Additionally, I don't think the Penguin of the main Toobworld shared the same real name as in the comic books or in 'Gotham'.  I think his alias of "Penguin" grew out of his real name as much as from his looks.  It was a name the 1966 'Batman' treated as an alias: P. N. Gwynne.

But the Penguin of 'Gotham' does have counterparts in other Toobworlds of the TV Multiverse and one of them could be found in Zombie Toobworld.  At least until this year's season premiere of 'The Walking Dead'.  


In this doomed Toobworld, he was known as Sam and I think we could make the argument that this Oswald Kapelput wasn't too keen on his first name either.  "Sam" would make for an acceptable nickname; everybody likes a Sam.

And in Terminus, they'll probably not only like him, but find him delicious.....

Oooooh, real scary, kids!



BCnU!

* And Mrs. Kapelput just may be the Simka Gravas of Comic Book Toobworld!  (She probably remarried and had Oswald after the death of that world's Latka......)

 


Friday, October 24, 2014

O'BSERVATIONS: TELEFFLUVIA


Just a few quick O'Bservations about some of the other new TV shows this season:

'A TO Z'
This is the type of sitcom NBC might have parked in the 8:30 berth during their halcyon "Must See TV" Thursdays, between 'Friends' and 'Seinfeld'. Like the other shows they tried there, it would not have been up to snuff in comparison to the shows buffering it, but I think it would have done better than others (like 'Union Square' and 'Madman Of The People'). This slight romcom has plenty of cache with me because I like Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti so much from their earlier series, and they fit comfortably together.
 
'black-ish'
I enjoyed the first episode, but I don't think this is as universal a viewpoint as the powers that be are hoping for. I just didn't feel like it was made for me. I still have the second episode in the queue, but I have no clue when I'll get to it - which doesn't say much for it making my permanent collection of shows to record. I wish it well though. It's part of Earth Prime-Time and could conceivably continue without any help from ye olde Monitaur.
 
'MANHATTAN LOVE STORY'
I didn't have any problem with the debut episode and don't foresee any impediments to its remaining in Earth Prime-Time. I just got tired of the voiceover motif quickly, however, and don't think I'll be a regular viewer. I found the main actress refreshing, if that's anything.....

'THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA'
I checked out the pilot just to fulfill my televisiological O'Bligations, but I trust the opinions of some of my favorite online TV critics and of course they were right. It's a bit of a knuckle-dragger in its presentation - that whole "Wow! She's a cop and she takes care of her family!" attitude.

However, I did like the solution of the case and I'll admit I didn't see it coming even though it was quite similar to the pilot episode of 'The Glades' (much missed here at Toobworld Central). 'The Glades' did it better, but it was the performance of Enrico Colantoni that sold the premise. (I should have remembered one of my rules about TV pilots - the main guest star is only there to sell the series and will have to be removed in some way.)

'CRISTELA'
I only made it through the first fifteen minutes of this and it felt like the full half hour. It was lowest common denominator comedy with a main character who just wasn't that compelling. But to steal one of the best historical jokes ever (even if it may be apocryphal) and then play it to the back benches with an air of braggadaccio as though they came up with it first, I knew I had to bail. I'm just glad Sam McMurray showed up before I deleted the recording, but the material was beneath him.

BCnU!