Saturday, September 16, 2006


I spent the last week in Connecticut on vacation. Figures the sun would come out today as I got ready to head back to the City.

So I'm back at Toobworld Central for this last night off, giving me the chance to re-adjust to life here before I head back to work Sunday overnight.

But on Friday night, my brother Bill and I crossed the state line to Millerton. There we saw "Hollywoodland", the new movie that delves into the mysterty surrounding the death of actor George Reeves, THE Superman for the main Toobworld dimension - was it suicide or murder?

Basically, this is two movies in one. In flashback, we see the life of Reeves, beginning with when he was struggling to re-start his career and when he became involved with Toni Mannix, the wife of a powerful MGM executive.

We see the steady progression of Reeves' life to its tragic end within the framework of the investigation by a down-and-out private eye into how the actor died. Adrien Brody plays the investigator, a fictional character named Louie Simo.

In several of the blogs which I haunt, I've seen my compadres divided as to which story is better. For some, it's the bio-flick for Reeves; for the others, it's the attempt at film noir and a 1950s version of "Chinatown".

As for me, I just didn't buy into Brody as even being in that time period, let alone that he was this private eye who was down on his luck. And I just couldn't care very much for the turmoils in his private life.

But I was fascinated by the story about Reeves, and obviously with regards to the behind-the-scenes look at his work in 'The Adventures Of Superman' and how it caused serious harm to his status as an actor.

As far as the Toobworld concept goes, I try not to deal with that aspect. I keep the life of the actor separate from that of the character. How the shows are made should have no impact on what transpires on the screen... and from there, on what transpires in the TV Universe.

'The Adventures Of Superman' was canceled two years before Reeves' death. But in the Toobworld mythos, Superman lived on Earth Prime-Time into the early 1960s, outliving the actor.

According to my theory, Superman saved two gangsters who drove into a Nevada A-bomb test site just as an explosion occurred. ['Crime Story'] However, the radiation drove Kryptonite particles deep into Superman's body and it eventually killed him. That's why he's no longer around in the main Toobworld to save the day for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

I always add TV series production to sausages and laws for those things that should never be seen being made. But even so, I found Reeves' story riveting in "Hollywoodland" and only wish it had been filled out to be the entire movie. Or at the very least, Brody's role should have been recast with a lesser-known actor who didn't need his part so beefed up. Had the role of Louie Simo only been used to launch the flashback into the life of Reeves and then perhaps showcase each of the theories, it would have worked. I didn't need to see his home life (or lack thereof), his tangles with the powerful studio system, and the other case he was working on - which he botched big time.

Still and all, for fans of the 1950s Hollywood system and especially those interested in a backstage look at 'The Adventures Of Superman', I recommend this movie. Ben Affleck was especially good in the role of George Reeves.

But if you want a good story that mixes a fictional private eye with famous Hollywood figures, I'd suggest reading Stuart Kaminsky's excellent series of novels about Toby Peters.



Those astronomers who demoted Pluto from being the 9th planet in our solar system weren't done kicking the now-classified dwarf planet when it's down. They've gone so far as to strip it of its name; the former ninth planet is now known as simply 134340.

And that newly discovered dwarf planet, which had a groundswell of support to be named after 'Xena, Warrior Princess', will now be known as Eris.

Believing in the power of names, I'm sure there will be plenty of discord in the outer reaches of the solar system now.....

The odd thing is, those astronomers probably didn't want to sully their krelboyne image with a TV reference. But Eris appeared in two episodes of 'Xena, Warrior Princess'. And now she's pulled an "All About Eve" on the star character!

But getting back to 134340, it'll always be Pluto in my heart. And as I posted a few weeks ago here at the "Inner Toob", it will not only be known as Pluto once again in Toobworld's future, but it will also have its status as a planet restored.


[Thanks to Roger Catlin, TV Eye, for the info.]


From FOX News:

TOLUCA, Mexico — Teenage actor Pablo Santos, who starred in the television series"Greetings from Tucson,"died after a small plane in which he was riding crashed in Mexico, a hospital official said Saturday.

The Piper Malibu crashed Friday just over a mile short of the runway as it was making its approach to the airport in Toluca, some 35 miles west of Mexico City, according to the Mexico State Security Agency. Six other people were hospitalized.

Santos starred as the son of a Mexican-American family portrayed in"Greetings from Tucson,"which ran on the WB network from 2002 to 2003.

He had appeared in numerous episodes on other television programs, including 'Boston Public', 'Law & Order' and 'American Family', as well as films such as "Sea of Dreams" and "Party Animalz."

Born in Monterrey, Santos moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was 12.

Officials were investigating the cause of the accident.

"Greetings from Tucson" (2002) TV Series .... David Tiant

Walkout (2006) (TV) .... Mickey Fernandez

"Boston Public"
- Chapter Sixty Seven (2003) TV Episode .... Student
"The Proud Family"
- Johnny Lovely (2003) TV Episode .... Johnny Lovely
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
- Angels (2002) TV Episode .... Ernesto Diaz
- Red Kiss (2002) TV Episode .... Fipps
"American Family"
- Crash Boom Love: Part 1 (2002) TV Episode .... Spyder
- Crash Boom Love: Part 2 (2002) TV Episode .... Spyder
"The Shield"
- Our Gang (2002) TV Episode .... Olman
- Doppelganger (2001) TV Episode .... Boy
"Resurrection Blvd."
- Comenzando De Nuevo (2000) TV Episode .... Juan



From the New York Times:

Pat Corley, the character actor who served sage advice along with drinks as Phil the barkeep on 'Murphy Brown,' died here on Monday. He was 76.

The cause was congestive heart failure, according to his son, the actor-comedian Jerry Corley. He had undergone surgery for the placement of coronary stents.

Pat Corley appeared on 'Murphy Brown,' the CBS show starring Candice Bergen as a television newswoman, from 1988 to 1996. Among his other television roles was a baseball team owner on 'The Bay City Blues' and the coroner Wally Nydorf on 'Hill Street Blues. '

From a Toobworld perspective, it's pozzble, jes' pozzble, that the characters Mr. Corley played on 'Simon & Simon' and 'Magnum P.I.' (Sheriff Brian MacKenzie and Dennis MacKenzie respectively) were twin brothers, as both series were linked by crossovers.

Looking over his TV output, it seems sheriffs and bartenders were his main stocks in trade. I'm not sure if the Bartender he played in the TV Movie "I Want To Live" could be the same as Phil or even a twin brother, but at the very least he could be an identical cousin. And perhaps the Bartender he played in an episode of 'The Waltons' could have been Phil's father.....

"Murphy Brown" .... Phil (1988-1996)
"He's the Mayor" (1986) TV Series .... Chief Walter Padget
"Bay City Blues" (1983) TV Series .... Ray Holtz
Callie & Son (1981) (TV) .... Deputy Sheriff

"Hill Street Blues" .... Chief Coroner Wally Nydorf
- Say It as It Plays (1986)
- Life in the Minors (1983)
- The Belles of St. Marys (1983)
- No Body's Perfect (1982)
- Phantom of the Hill (1982)

Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (1994) (TV) .... Sheriff Myron Thorpe

"Roots" (1977) (mini) TV Series .... Referee
"A Year in the Life" (1986) (mini) TV Series .... George Bilzarian
"Robert Kennedy & His Times" (1985) (mini) TV Series .... Andy McLaughlin
"Fresno" (1986) (mini) TV Series .... Earl Duke

When Time Expires (1997) (TV) .... TV Car Salesman, Beck's Interface
In Defense of a Married Man (1990) (TV) .... Det. Brendan Bradley
Poker Alice (1987) (TV) .... McCarthy
The Stepford Children (1987) (TV) .... Sheriff Weston
The Christmas Gift (1986) (TV) .... Bud Sawyer
Stark: Mirror Image (1986) (TV) .... Wichita Police Chief Waldron
Silent Witness (1985) (TV) .... Brad Huffman
Stark (1985) (TV) .... Wichita Police Chief Waldron
Stormin' Home (1985) (TV) .... Broker
Scorned and Swindled (1984) (TV) .... Ty Jenkins
Calendar Girl Murders (1984) (TV) .... Tony
I Want to Live (1983) (TV) .... Bartender
Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (1983) (TV) .... Joe Pedowski
The Executioner's Song (1982) (TV) .... Val Conlan
Of Mice and Men (1981) (TV) .... Carlson
The Best Little Girl in the World (1981) (TV)
Mark, I Love You (1980) (TV) .... Bucky Sims
Act of Love (1980) (TV) .... Sgt. Waterson
City in Fear (1980) (TV) .... Supermarket Manager
The Gift (1979) (TV)
The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan (1979) (TV) .... Realtor
Flesh & Blood (1979) (TV)
The Best Place to Be (1979) (TV)
And I Alone Survived (1978) (TV) .... Kaminsky
A Death in Canaan (1978) (TV) .... Judge Vincet
The Night They Took Miss Beautiful (1977) (TV) .... Roman
The Quinns (1977) (TV) .... Eugene Carmody
Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn (1977) (TV)

- It's a Swamp Thing (1997) TV Episode .... Jeb
"Murder One"
- Chapter Four (1995) TV Episode .... Marvin Siegalstein
"Cagney & Lacey"
- A Fair Shake: Part 1 (1988) TV Episode .... Sheriff Craddock
- High Steel (1982) TV Episode .... Tom
"Night Court"
- Another Day in the Life (1988) TV Episode .... Otis Edwards
"J.J. Starbuck"
- Cactus Jack's Last Call (1988) TV Episode .... Cactus Jack
"Mr. Belvedere"
- Commentary (1988) TV Episode .... Mr. Patton
"Simon & Simon"
- Desperately Seeking Dacody (1987) TV Episode .... Sheriff Brian McKenzie
- Still Phil After All These Years (1986) TV Episode .... Don Brighton
- Our Fair City (1984) TV Episode .... Mayor K.K. Drinkman
"L.A. Law"
- Pigmalion (1987) TV Episode .... Uncle Willard Sabrett
"Falcon Crest"
- The Stranger Within (1986) TV Episode .... James Saunders
"Magnum, P.I."
- A Little Bit of Luck...A Little Bit of Grief (1986) TV Episode .... Dennis MacKenzie
"Murder, She Wrote"
- Powder Keg (1986) TV Episode .... Frank Kelso
"Hardcastle and McCormick"
- She Ain't Deep but She Sure Runs Fast (1985) TV Episode .... Buzz Bird
- Gunfight at the So-So Corral (1985) TV Episode .... Frankie Tate/Farley Wrye
"Scarecrow and Mrs. King"
- A Little Sex, a Little Scandal (1985) TV Episode .... Detective Tuggey
"Hawaiian Heat"
- Missing in Hawaii (1984) TV Episode .... Charlie
"Domestic Life"
- Harold at the Bat (1984) TV Episode .... Coach
"The Fall Guy"
- Spaced Out (1983) TV Episode .... Sheriff Baker
"St. Elsewhere"
- Release (1983) TV Episode .... Norman Wyler
"House Calls"
- Ducks of Hazzard (1982) TV Episode
"McClain's Law"
- What Patric Doesn't Know (1982) TV Episode
"Flamingo Road"
- Old Friends (1982) TV Episode
"Hart to Hart"
- The Hartbreak Kid (1981) TV Episode .... Monty
- Siege of 31 August (1981) TV Episode .... Colonel/Sheriff
"Mr. Merlin"
- The Cloning of the Green (1981) TV Episode .... Roy Oakland
"Lou Grant"
- Dogs (1980) TV Episode .... Organizer
- Andrew: Part 2 (1979) TV Episode .... Judge
"Barnaby Jones"
- The Price of Anger (1980) TV Episode .... Sam Powell
- The Wife Beater (1977) TV Episode .... Sid Markham
"The Waltons"
- The Idol (1980) TV Episode .... The Bartender
"The Amazing Spider-Man"
- The Con Caper (1978) TV Episode
"Starsky and Hutch"
- Moonshine (1978) TV Episode .... Ben Meadows
- Numbers (1976) TV Episode
"The Blue Knight"
- Throwaway (????) TV Episode .... The Man
- Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die (1974) TV Episode .... Mr. Miller
"Get Christie Love"
- Highway to Murder (1974) TV Episode

"Hey Arnold!" - On the Lam/Family Man (2002) TV Episode (voice) .... Mr. Camacho


Friday, September 15, 2006


From the New York Times:

Ann W. Richards, the silver-haired Texas activist who galvanized the 1988 Democratic National Convention with her tart keynote speech and was the state’s 45th governor until upset in 1994 by an underestimated challenger named George W. Bush, died Wednesday at her home in Austin. She was 73.

A champion of civil rights for minorities, women and gay men and lesbians, Ms. Richards first ran for governor in 1990 calling for a “New Texas” that would offer more opportunity and power to those groups.

She went on to become one of the most effective in a long line of Texas progressives who vied for control of the state when it was largely a Democratic stronghold. But her defeat after one term was a strong signal that generations of Democratic dominance in Texas had ended.

If one Mr. Bush closed out her political career, another figured into her rise, as a target of her barbs. “Poor George, he can’t help it,” Ms. Richards said at the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta, speaking about the current president’s father, former President George Bush. “He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

[After leaving office, she] appeared in national advertising campaigns, including one for snack chips. She also appeared on several talk shows and in political documentaries, but sealed her presence as a televersion of herself by appearing not only in an episode of 'Murphy Brown', but also in the Tooniverse on an episode of 'King Of The Hill'.

"King of the Hill"
- Hank and the Great Glass Elevator (2001) TV Episode (voice) .... Herself
"Murphy Brown"
- When One Door Closes... (1997) TV Episode .... Herself
Vote for Me: Politics in America (1996) (TV) .... Herself
Willie Nelson: The Big Six-0 (1993) (TV) .... Herself



Edited from the BBC obituary:

Raymond Baxter, who has died at the age of 84, was the face of 'Tomorrow's World' for 12 years, bringing science to generations, but his versatility also saw his commentary skills sought for sports and state occasions.

These included the annual Festival of Remembrance, the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and the 1953 Coronation for which he had to stand in Trafalgar Square under the statue of King Charles's horse in the pouring rain.

As the commentator on motor racing, speedway and aviation, Raymond Baxter was always close to the action and sometimes part of it. He competed in the Monte Carlo rally and during World War II he flew Spitfires.

It was Baxter who described Concorde's first flight. He was the first to broadcast live from an aeroplane, an ocean-liner and a submarine under water.

He was there from the start of 'Tomorrow's World' in 1965, bringing to it a particular enthusiasm for explaining gadgets and mechanical processes in an uncomplicated way.

He left the programme in 1977 to make way for a more youthful presentational style.

Some 20 years later, he co-hosted 'Tomorrow's World Time Machine' which looked back at 33 years of the popular science show.

He will be remembered by his fellow broadcasters as the ultimate professional.

Being an American, I wasn't familiar with Mr. Baxter or his work, but he does sound like he as the English counterpart to our Walter Cronkite.

"The Goodies"
- It Might as Well Be String (1976) TV Episode
"Stars Reunited"
- Tomorrow's World (2003) TV Episode .... Himself
"Tomorrow's World" (1965) TV Series .... Presenter (1965-1977)
"Dial RIX"
- What a Chassis (1963) TV Episode .... Himself
"Eye on Research" (1959) TV Series .... Himself - Commentator


Thursday, September 14, 2006


Because I hiked up Haystack Mountain on Monday, by that evening I was exhausted. I fell asleep halfway through 'House', totally missed "Primal", the last episode of the season for 'Eureka' (maybe), but woke up just in time for the beginning of 'Men In Trees'.

Even then, I was able to stay with it for only twenty minutes before surrendering to the kin of Morpheus, "Mr. Nappies".

Forget about this week's insta-repeat of the 2nd episode of 'nip/tuck'. But at least with that and 'Eureka', I have another shot Friday night.

Twenty minutes isn't enough to make a fair assessment of any show... unless it's a half-hour sitcom. So I'll have to give it another try before I can tell if it's something I want to spend my Friday nights with. If it's up against the first season of David Tennant's reign as the Tenth Doctor of 'Doctor Who' over on Sci-Fi, there'll be no contest. I've already seen those courtesy of the Brokeback Boys Mark and Michael, but I want another chance with those since I missed a lot of the dialogue due to the accents.

At any rate, with 'Men In Trees' I was able to find some points of interest from a Toobworld point of view. Good or bad, every series ends up in the TV Universe once broadcast; only then to be relegated to its proper dimension. So here's what I have so far regarding 'Men In Trees':

1) "Marin Frist" - Being a fan of neocognomina (Lin Carter's term for the apt coining of names), this may be the best new name for a TV character this season. Unfortunately, one of the first people she met in that small Alaskan town was named "Patrick Bachelor" and that nearly wipes out all of its cool quotient cred.

2) "Elmo, Alaska" - I'm a sucker for the quirky small towns in Toobworld. Fernwood, Ohio, Dunn's River, Connecticut, Cabot Cove, Maine, Hooterville, Wherever, and of course (in keeping with this show), Cicely, Alaska.

On 'Northern Exposure', we saw the history of the young woman for whom Cicely, Alaska, was named. But not all of the blanks were necessarily filled in. Wouldn't it be neat if at some point in her short tragic life Cicely met the man named Elmo for whom this hamlet is named?

Speaking of Elmo, Alaska, I've seen a lot of complaints that a lot of it rips off 'Northern Exposure'. I tend to think of it this way - both Elmo and Cicely share attributes that such small towns in our 49th state must have:

The town bar as central gathering place - The Brick in Cicely and The Chieftain for Elmo.

Main transport in and out of town, a small commercial plane.

Wildlife treated almost as part of the citizenry - a moose in Cicely, and a raccoon in Elmo.

Okay, maybe that last one is a bit of a rip-off.

Had the show been more involving, I might have stuck with it all the way through since I did have that hour and a half power nap leading up to it. But like I said, under those conditions, I didn't give it a proper opportunity. And as one of my good friends, an ADA back in NYC raved about it, marking it as appointment TV for Friday nights, I'll give it another shot.

At least until I see what's up against it on the sked.......


Wednesday, September 13, 2006


CHANTILLY, Va. (Sept. 13) -- A man wearing military fatigues and throwing punches into the air tried to open the exit door of a jet during a cross-country flight on Tuesday night, airline officials and passengers said.

United Airlines Flight 890 from Los Angeles landed as scheduled at Washington Dulles International Airport at 8:35 p.m., said Amy Kudwa, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman. No one was injured.

Ken Wolfenberger, of Whittier, Calif., who was on the flight, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he helped subdue the unruly passenger.

Wolfenberger said he heard a flight attendant yell for help and tell the man, "Sir, get your hand off the handle."

Wolfenberger said the man was held down and punched by other passengers as he grabbed the man's leg. Air marshals then came and took custody of the man.

Sound familiar?

Grissom and his team investigate the death of a first class passenger on a flight to Las Vegas. The investigators are forced not only to examine the physical evidence, but also to interview all of the first class passengers to get their personal accounts of the incident.
- from

I remember seeing that episode again after the events of 9/11, I wondered how the ending might have changed had it been made after the collapse of the Twin Towers. Because Grissom's attitude was disdainful towards the passengers for taking the forceful action they did against their unruly passenger.

Post 9/11, he would probably have congratulated them. There's too much at stake once you're in the air, not only for the passengers and crew on board but also for the people down below should it crash.

It's a little moment like that, just an attitude, that can date a TV show episode as much as fashion and the make of an automobile.



According to TV Guide, "Rachel Dratch says she's 'bummed out' by the negative spin the press took in response to her being replaced by Jane Krakowski on NBC's new sitcom '30 Rock'."

Rachel Dratch said of the decision, "The network decided they wanted more of an ingenue, more of a sitcom person. I'm definitely not an ingenue."

Okay, maybe I'm more of a mysoginist than a feminist, but that just sounds wrong to me.

If the networks thought that way forty years ago, we'd never have had 'The Carol Burnett Show'!


Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune is a big fan of 'The Wire', and so are many of her readers, judging by the number of comments she gets when she writes about that show.

Here's one of Toobworldian interest:

Bunk? Any 'Homicide' fan knows that "Junior" Bunk (Mekhi Phifer) was the cousin of Luther Mahoney who shot up the squad room. There's got to be a story there.

Interesting in-joke: Phifer's Dr. Pratt on 'ER' was continually called "Junior" by desk manager Frank, until Pratt one day told him in no uncertain terms to never use that name near him again.

Posted by: Tom Sep 6, 2006 2:59:44 PM

I believe Tom is referring to Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland on 'The Wire', played by Wendell Pierce. "Bunk" for both men was a nickname, perhaps stemming from them both having the talent to spin a real bull-bleep story. Nothing about having a common nickname would suggest to me that they had to be related.

On the other hand, I think the 'ER' in-joke is relevant. Frank must have known that Dr. Pratt had an identical cousin down in Baltimore. (Just because Dr. Pratt practices in Chicago, does not mean that he comes from there.)

And as Junior Bunk Mahoney was not quite the sort of family member anyone would want to be associated with, I'm sure Dr. Pratt tolerated Frank's jibes for only so long before he told him to shut up.

Just another chance to fill in the blanks here at Toobworld Central!



Initial reports for Sunday night's airing of part one for "The Path To 9/11" had it coming in second in the ratings to "the Brothers Bowl" football game on NBC. But in truth, it came in third after FOX whose football game ran overlong and then led into a more palatable lineup of animated shows (especially an episode of 'The Simpsons' which featured the voices of a few actors from 'The Sopranos'.)

Going in to the program, a lot of pundits figured that the controversy over the film's scrambling of the facts with fiction would gain it even more viewers. If that was so, it would have done even worse in the ratings than it did.

But even so, it still probably would have trounced the third go-round of the CBS documentary about that tragic day. I don't have much faith in the viewing audience and I know they'll always go for the fiction rather than the fact - more entertainment value that way. (It still only beat CBS by 3 millions viewers, not that many in the grand scheme of things.)

ABC claimed that they did a lot of editing due to the complaints they got about the film's veracity from powerful voices - like former President Bill Clinton. But according to reports after Sunday night's broadcast, most of those changes seemed superficial......
After initially promoting the film as being based on the official report of the Sept. 11 Commission, ABC changed that promotion last week to say the film was based on a number of sources. And it added a disclaimer that ran at least three times during the broadcast on Sunday. The disclaimer noted that “for dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, as well as time compression.”

ABC subsequently cut a scene in the film where the White House terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke indicates that President Bill Clinton would not be willing to go after Mr. bin Laden because of the impeachment fight over his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Another scene removed from the broadcast version, The Associated Press reported, showed Samuel R. Berger. a national security adviser to President Clinton, hanging up on George Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, as the CIA was seeking permission to attack Mr. bin Laden.
"Having now seen the first night of this fiction, it is clear that the edits made to the film did not address the factual errors that we brought to your attention.

"The final product was fraught with error and contained contrived scenes that are directly contradicted by the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report. The film has undoubtedly cemented in millions of viewers' minds a false impression of critical historical events."
- Bruce Lindsey, the former President's personal attorney and head of the Clinton Foundation, wrote in an open letter to Disney chief Robert Iger.

"As someone who was directly involved in almost every event depicted in the fictionalized docudrama The Path to 9/11, I believe it is an egregious distortion that does a deep disservice both to history and to those in both the Clinton and Bush administrations who are depicted.

"Although I am not one to easily believe in conspiracy theories and have spent a great deal of time debunking them, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the errors in this screenplay are more than the result of dramatization and time compression [as ABC initially implied]."
- Richard Clarke, who served under both Clinton and George W. Bush and now works for ABC News.

I like the fact that Clarke had no trouble speaking up, even though his employers were the ones broadcasting the movie.

As for Bill Clinton?

"He made the choice that most Americans made," Clinton Foundation spokesman Jay Carson told the Associated Press. "Of a fictionalized drama version of Sept. 11 or the Manning brothers playing football against one another, he chose the latter."

An FBI agent who was hired to be a technical advisor on the film quit because he was rebuffed by the producers after he pointed out the inaccuracies.

“There were some of the scenes that were total fiction. I told them unless they were changing this, I could not have my name associated with it.”
- FBI Agent Thomas Nicoletti

Chief among Mr. Nicoletti’s concerns were scenes that put people at places they weren't or plotted the narrative action out of chronological order.

Toobworld has never had a problem with the concept of fictionalizing historical events for dramatic purposes. Composite characters, timeline compression, representational dialogue - these are all par for the course in an historical drama.

But there just seems something wrong when you create totally fictional events and then try to pass it off as being based on historical fact. I understand that this has been done in the TV Universe in the past as well, but usually couched in a larger story the audience would automatically know never occurred - the events in the TV series 'Dark Skies', for example.

When presented as the main thrust of the narrative, with nothing else to measure it against, the audience more than likely will take it as fact.

ABC claimed it covered its bases by broadcasting that disclaimer three times during Sunday night's installment, but disclaimers were also broadcast during the radio presentation of Orson Welles' production of 'War Of The Worlds', and that seems to have slipped by a few people.....

This was the first full-scale production which dramatized the 9/11 tragedy for the TV Universe, and as such the errors become the Truth in Toobworld. I know there are differences between Toobworld and the Trueniverse, that Nancy Reagan never met Arnold Drummond in the Real World; but this doesn't feel right at all.

Claiming that Mac Taylor's wife ('CSI: NY') and Tommy Gavin's cousin Jimmy Keefe ('Rescue Me') died in the collapse of the Towers is one thing. Claiming that Sandy Berger set in motion the chain of events by doing something that never happened in the Real World is quite another. Or by showing Bush leaping into action upon hearing the news about the attack when Michael Moore's documentary showed him sitting in stunned inertia for over five minutes is just wrong.

Not that the writer and director seemed to care; reports are that they had a strong anti-Clinton, pro-Bush bias. And Real Life events certainly worked in their favor - do the Clinton bashing in the first night when more people were likely to watch. Then if they did bother to point some (if any) blame at Bush, do it during the second night when most of the people who sampled the first night would probably choose not to come back.

It was kismet for them that Bush himself interrupted the movie, which probably caused even more people to wander off before their perceptions could be changed.

Personally, I'll be more than willing to toss this movie over into the evil mirror universe where the allegations about the deeds done by Berger, Clarke and Madeleine Albright would be understandable. But for now, this has to stand as the Toobworld version of Real World events.


"Nothing is typically more accurate than a made-for-television movie."
Jon Stewart
'The Daily Show'

Monday, September 11, 2006


AMC has given the green-light to a TV series created by Matthew Weiner. who worked on 'The Sopranos',.'Becker', 'The Naked Truth', and 'Andy Richter Controls The Universe'. 'Mad Men' is about the lives of New York advertising executives, both at home and at work, around 1960.

I get this image of the type of white collar workers found in 'The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit' and 'Executive Suite'. But these men in their white shirts and ties a la 'Twelve Angry Men' will probably have more in common with 'nip/tuck' than with Darrin Stephens at McMann & Tate in 'Bewitched'.

The series will star Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser and Christina Hendricks, with John Slattery slated as guest star. Hamm's character is Don Draper, who's an up-and-coming creative director with a lot of secrets. (That description of him gave me the 'nip/tuck' vibe.)

As is usual with TV series from cable networks, like 'The Closer' and 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia', 'Mad Men' won't debut until next summer. But it sounds just different enough for me to check it out and welcome it into the Toobworld universe.

What especially excites me, in regards to TV series set in the past, is the possibility to find new links to those shows set in their "future". For instance, the mention of a name of a product or a company (which seems likely in a show about a Madison Avenue ad agency) which can then be theorized to be the foundation of some other product or business found in a show set during the present day.

And because history is already set in stone (at least history in the Real World), I'd like to see this show's viewpoint on the current events of that day - the new Kennedy administration, for example.

So I'm thinking 'Mad Men' will prove especially fertile for Toobworld, even if their line of work will more than likely create plenty of Zonks with mentions of actual TV shows AS TV shows.

I'll worry about that once 'Made Men' premieres......



It's a couple of weeks since the finale of 'Who Wants To Be A Superhero?" and I'm still peeved by it.

First off, that I actually watched it. I gave up on the "reality" show genre after the first season of 'Survivor'. (I refuse to write "reality" show without those quotation marks.) But because the grand prize was going to be a TV movie based on the winning character, and thus a legit addition to Toobworld, I figured I'd give it a shot.

I could tell right away it was so faked, and they made no effort to hide that from the audience. But that wasn't important to me. At the beginning I was pretty much focused on Lemuria's assets.

Talk about the Golden Globes!

But right from the beginning I told a few friends at work who were watching the series that I could see Fat Momma going all the way to the championship.

Well, I came pretty close.

I still find it hard to believe that Stan Lee chose Feedback over Fat Momma. Besides looking like the generic superhero with run-of-the-mill powers, he's basically the distaff version of the Disco Dazzler.

Back in the Sixties, Stan the Man came up with great, enduring ideas - the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the X-Men, and of course, Spidey. (Of course, these were abetted by the work of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.) But somewhere along the line, I think the creative juices started to dry up. Or maybe the industry kept evolving beyond the limits of Stan's imagination.

This is most evident during the run of 'Who Wants To Be A Superhero?' when he brings up the reasons why people are eliminated. Superheroes don't kill? What about Wolverine? The Punisher? And there's no place for a sense of humor? Spiderman slings wisecracks as much as he does webs. Stan's image of the superhero is still stuck in 1964.

And his later characters illustrate this dearth of ideas - along with the Dazzler, there's also She-Hulk, and Stripperella. Feedback will fit right in with that crew. And even after the TV movie, no matter who plays the role, he'll just fade into obscurity.

But consider how it might have been with Fat Momma! She's unique in powers and image. Imagine if they got someone like Mo'nique to play the role! Maybe Stan just couldn't figure out a way to write the character, whereas he's done Feedback-style comic books in the past and can always fall back on those stale storylines.

Exelsior, Fat Momma! I wish it was your costumed avenger who'll be joining the roster of Toobworld superheros.

Up, up, and BCnU!


Thanks to Maureen Ryan, the Chicago Tribune TV columnist pointed out this fantasy crossover:

Check out Dwight Schrute’s “Schrute-Space” at “The Office’s” Web site for his musings on what would happen if the “Battlestar Galactica” crew crash-landed on the “Lost” island. An excerpt: "Adama would want to imprison the 'Lost' cast in the old cave with the creek in it, but President Roslin would want to reason with them and have both casts mate in order to create more surviving humans."

Dwight's blog can be found in my list of links to the left, as well as Maureen's column.

Of course, it also contains a Zonk, as Dwight is a fictional TV character in 'The Office'. And despite the wildly different types of TV shows represented by 'The Office' and 'Lost', they would exist in the same TV universe. (And that's not taking into account the hilarious sketch with Conan O'Brien during the opening of the Emmys, which took place in the sketch-world.)

But as for 'Battlestar Galactica', that is set in an alternate TV dimension (with 'Firefly' and the upcoming 'Caprica'). The original 'Battlestar Galactica' and 'Galactica 1980' are the shows that are housed in Earth Prime-Time.

Am I sounding like a broken record to the party faithful when it comes to 'BG' and its place in Toobworld?

Sorry about that, Chief.