Sunday, August 30, 2009

BLOG ISLAND

Hey there, hi there, ho there!

I'm back from vacation - didja miss me? I really did miss you - or at least, I missed filing Toobworld stories for your perusal. And thanks for the comments left about the 'Stories Of The Century' series that ran while I was gone.

I spent two weeks up at "the Lake", the place where I would spend my entire summers as a boy, with a mini-vacation in the middle: my brother Bill and I went to Block Island last weekend for four days to spend with our cousins. That proved to be a perfect get-away, even with the threat of Hurricane Bill's approach (which never materialized except in a stronger than usual surf).

All of the usual programming that I watch was relegated to the guardianship of my DVR, although if it didn't air until 10 pm, then I sometimes was able to catch it. I did catch the serial killer episode of 'The Closer', and there was no way I was going to miss either of the two episodes from the return of a favorite, 'Leverage'. And as it turns out, my cousin Marilee is a BIG fan of 'Mad Men' - she watched this season's second episode twice in a row, just to make sure she caught all the nuances in the dialogue. So I saw that, even before seeing the first episode of the third season!

When it came to TV, it was mostly live broadcasting that occupied me on vacation - by the end of the vacation, that meant coverage of the death of Senator Kennedy. While on Block Island, of course that meant a LOT of the Weather channel and local (R.I.) news programs for forecast updates on Hurricane Bill. But as I mentioned, that mostly passed us by. What little rain we experienced happened overnight on Saturday while we were all sleeping.

But I did bring a duffel bag full of DVDs with me to the Lake, just in case the weather did turn bad, or I got really bored. Here's what I watched:

"The Quare Fellow" - based on the Behan play, starring Patrick McGoohan and Sylvia Syms, with a small role played by a favorite character actor, Aubrey Morris.

'The Murdoch Mysteries' - the first in the series, from 2004, with Peter Outerbridge as Toronto-based Victorian detective William Murdoch and Keeley Hawes as the doctor/coroner. I'm eager now to continue with it, but not sure how I'll feel with the return of the series a few years later with a new actor. (Longtime readers know how I feel about recasting!)

[Both of those were from Netflix.]

"The Girl Most Likely To....." - a 1970's TV movie starring Stockard Channing and written by Joan Rivers. I remembered this fondly from that one time I saw it back then and was happy to see that it held up for the most part. Great supporting cast! (Ed Asner, Jim Backus, Chuck McCann, Carl Ballantine, Joe Flynn, Larry Willcox, Fred Grandy, Warren Berlinger, and a dear favorite, Ruth McDevitt.)

'Kingdom' (Season Two) - I don't know why Season One isn't currently available on DVD here in the States, but at least I saw that on public TV before I left. I was disappointed that the Honore story-line was dropped so abruptly, and too much time was spent on Simon's situation (although I did come to like the actor in the role). But Stephen Fry, as always, delighted as Peter Kingdom, and it's always a treat to discover a new Richard Briers role.

'Sherlock Holmes And The Leading Lady'
'The Incident At Victoria Falls'
Two Holmes mini-series, both with Christopher Lee and Patrick Macnee as Holmes and Watson in their golden years. Plenty to work with about alternate dimensions of Toobworld (especially with Macnee as a different Watson than the one he played in "Sherlock Holmes In New York"). But mostly there are the real-world characters who can be used for the "As Seen On TV" showcase, among them Emperor Franz Joseph, King Edward VI, Elliot Ness, Lillie Langtry, Sigmund Freud, and former President Teddy Roosevelt. (Teddy was played by Claude Akins, who also assayed the role in the fourth 'Gambler' mini-series, "Luck Of The Draw". But the two appearances are from different TV dimensions.)

"The Best Of Friends" - Since McGoohan passed away, I've watched this adaptation of the play at least five times; I never tire of it.

"Shadow Of The Thin Man"
"The Thin Man Goes Home"
"Song Of The Thin Man"
The Chief of Security at work will be happy to get these back tomorrow, I'm sure. I've only been holding on to them for months. Scattered among the casts were faves like Keenan Wynn, Harry Davenport, Lloyd Corrigan, and in the last movie, Dean Stockwell as Nick, Jr.! I only wish there was somebody out there in the movie biz like William Powell today.

One personal anecdote - when I was a teenager, I was watching some movie with one of my brothers and my Dad. I forget what it was, but the star was quite buxom and a real turn-on for me. (I think we all were thinking along the same lines.)

I asked my Dad during a commercial break who was the actress that he found the most exciting when he was my age and without hesitation, he replied "Myrna Loy".

I laughed, which pissed him off. But at the time, all I had to go on was her various motherly roles and a guest appearance on 'Columbo'. But having seen her in the "Thin Man" series, I can see why he thought so. She was beautiful, she was classy, and she could deliver a comedy line with zing. All turn-ons for me, as well.

There were also a lot of bootleg cartoon DVDs starring Underdog, Hekyll & Jekyll, Crusader Rabbit, and Fractured Fairy Tales for when my 4½ year old nephew showed up. I also showed him "The Empire Strikes Back", which got me into hot water with my sister when she found out. (Damned kid can't keep a secret and tells her everything. But at least he learned a new word from me: "betray".) I took the dressing-down without protest, but then I don't think it would have mattered had I told her that he barely watched it. Quite frankly, he was bored through most of it. Just when the one scene that did interest him started (the climactic light saber duel), we had to turn it off because She Who Must Be Obeyed returned to pick him up.

So anyhoo, that's what I watched while I was on vacation......

It may take me a few days to return to normal activities on the Inner Toob blog while I re-acclimate myself. But I did write a few posts while at the Lake and I'll spread those out over the week as I re-adjust.....

BCnU!

1 comment:

HERS Foundation said...

Kudos to Joan Rivers for being honest about the effects of hysterectomy! In the new book about hysterectomy, THE H WORD, Chapter 48 is titled "Joan Rivers"Liars: hysterectomy didn't improve sex life." You can read about why hysterectomy ruins sex at http://www.hersfoundation.org.