Monday, November 5, 2007


After finally convincing myself that it was just a mean-spirited rumor passed on by the rival New York Post, I opened the Daily News this morning on my ride home from work to read this:

It has been an honor, using the platform of the Daily News, to celebrate TV's best, from "Frasier" in 1993 to "The War" and "Pushing Daisies" this fall.

There are too many people to thank, in front of the camera and behind the scenes, for their access and kindness over the years, other than with this general but sincere salute.

But thank you, truly.

It's a really nice column, and it even got a great mention this morning on 'Live with Regis & Kelly' (which was only appropriate since David Bianculli kicked off the column with a mention of their show).

Online the headline is "So Long & Thanks". The Hitch-Hiker's Guide fan in me wanted it to read, "So Long & Thanks For All The Fish", but that head would have been better suited if he was still working at the Post.

The Post: a great paper for wrapping fish.

I can't deny part of my sadness for the loss of his column is because I got my name in there about 17 times or so over the years with my discoveries of "Extras" - his term for those in-jokes to be found in TV shows. And I must have sent in dozens more that were never mentioned or which were found faster by someone else. (The last one I sent in was for the cover of a They Might Be Giants song in an episode of 'Pushing Daisies which featured windmills. "They might be giants" was Don Quixote's justification for tilting at windmills in Cervantes' novel.)

But it's also because Bianculli brought an intelligence and depth of discussion to his coverage of Television, always presenting talking points which I then used to help bolster my arguments that there is stuff on TV worth viewing. However, I should point out that I am a tele-gourmand - I love to watch almost anything, so long as it's scripted.

By the way, fight for your rights, WGA! Toobworld Central supports the writers!

And Bianculli's fondness for really bad puns has also been an inspiration to me as well - so you can blame him for that!

The good news in all of this is that it's not like the old days when a favorite deejay vanished from your radio dial and you never knew where they ended up. Bianculli has already resurfaced with the official launch today of his own website, "TV Worth Watching". I just spent an hour and a half toobling around in there and really liked what I saw. It's well worth a visit and I'd go so far as to say it's worth "repeat viewing". I know I'll be checking in every day for the blog at least.

"TV Worth Watching" follows in the footsteps of Ed Bark and other TV critic/columnists who have found a new home for their "voice" on the web. Still, it felt as though I had lost an old friend when I read his farewell column this morning in the Daily News. Unlike some people who read the paper front to back, or go directly to the Op-Ed page or the sports section, I of course headed for the TV section in the back. And every time he went on vacation, I feared that this was it; he was gone for good with no word on where to find him. (Songs by Dar Williams and the Kinks would go on auto-play in my head whenever that happened....)

"TV Worth Watching" spares us from losing his point of view on Television, and perhaps it's all for the best. If reports are true, we might not even have actual newspapers in the future; everything will be culled from the Internet. (That should make the Trees happy!) So it's probably a good thing that Bianculli gets entrenched now!

While rooting about the new site, I want you to check out two items in particular. One is a column Bianculli wrote about the first
"Mission: Impossible" and his disappointment in a plot point that had to be okayed by Tom Cruise since he was one of the producers. It's a great balancing act in which he doesn't give away the ultimate spoiler, but said just enough so that I knew why I couldn't see the movie (and why to this day I boycott Tom Cruise movies).

The other item of note: check out the picture of David Bianculli in his den. (You can find it in the "About Me" section.)

It makes Toobworld Central look lab-condition pristine by comparison!

Thanks for the years of pleasure reading your column in the Daily News, Mr. Bianculli, and I'm looking forward to doing the same visiting your site on the Web.

And welcome to Inner Toob's Links To The Left!

Toby OB


Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah - LOL - good read

So, how's about that strike? Are you sweating just a little?

Thought about you when I heard about it. Dr. Bob will help you through it - ;>)


bill said...

Thanks for the Bianculli news. I had a coworker who knew him in high school and said he was a nice guy.