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Posts tagged: television

Comparing the Jeff Daniels characters

What is the essential difference between the character he plays in “Dumb and Dumber To” and the character he plays in HBO's “Newsroom”?

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Today’s trivia question

Please name the TV series in which, in a final season episode, a newspaper reporter writes a feature story on the Baltimore Orioles' opening day and his editor has doubts about certain details and hazy sourcing in the piece.

This show first aired on Sept. 18, 1965

en.wikipedia.com

No, I am not taking back what I suggested a few years ago about what my first wish might have been. Boys at that age have certain thoughts.

Watching TV with your father

Did you and your dad have a television show you watched together?

My father didn't spend much time looking at TV. And our tastes weren't really in sync. But in the summers of my high school years and when I was home from college, we would watch reruns of “The Honeymooners” at 11:30, right after the local news.

We both knew every episode by heart. The show seemed ancient even back in the 1970s. But the adventures of Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton were a reliable source of smiles. 

Genre exhaustion

I know what you are thinking about the new zombie show to be shot locally.

You're thinking the whole zombies thing is played.

I thought the same thing about mob stories back when I first saw promos on HBO for “The Sopranos.”

A great moment in “The Honeymooners”

www.tvstylebook.com

Ralph gets a notice in the mail indicating that there is a question about his tax return. It directs him to report to a federal office the next morning.

Naturally, he worries.

So after much ranting and raving by Ralph, Ed gives him some advice. Stand on the 18th amendment, he says.

Mystified, Ralph wonders if Norton means the 5th amendment. He notes aloud that the 18th amendment established Prohibition.

Exactly, says Ed. “When you get down there, tell them you were drunk when you filled out your tax return.”  

Incredibly easy one-question TV quiz

What holiday was the backdrop for the series finale of “The Wonder Years”?

Crossover audience

I know I have alluded to this before. But it always amuses me to imagine the segment of the TV audience that watches both “The Walking Dead” and “Downton Abbey.”

I'm guessing this is not a tiny group. 

As adventures go, these were pretty tame

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I've long suspected that millions of Americans loved this gentle show because it offered a refuge from the tension that pervaded many real-life homes. The stories were slight, but Ricky was cute and Ozzie never raised his voice in anger.

Pre-bedtime viewing protocols

A colleague who has been watching early seasons of “Breaking Bad” late at night noted that, though he admires the show, it can be so dark he then wants to watch a sitcom or something as a buffer before going to bed.

Can you relate to that? Or are you able to flip a switch and put disturbing images and troubling themes instantly behind you?

Battle of the TV dads

Which of these gentlemen did you find most appealingly human?

I won't insult you by assuming that I need to tell you their names.

www.reuters.com

www.tucsoncitizen.com

www.artofmanliness.com

www.classictvprogram.com

www.stumptuous.com

www.articles.nydailynews.com

www.supanet.com

www.tvchannelsfree.com

Channeling on a Monday morning

From the first mention of Jaguar on “Mad Men” this season, I have been certain that we would eventually see the XKE.

For once, I was right.

And with “House” wrapping  up tonight, I can at long last stop asking myself why I stay with that show. The answer, of course, was always quite obvious: Hugh Laurie.

In any case, focusing on the Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson friendship between House and Wilson seems like a good choice for the swan song. 

Anyone else remember “The Newsroom”?

It was a dark Canadian comedy set in a television news operation.

It made me laugh. But not everyone would enjoy it. One episode included a confused politician saying “I believe life begins at masturbation.”

www.cbc.ca   

Another TV marathon to consider

The AMC channel is going to show every episode of “The Walking Dead” on New Year's Eve. Check listings.

There's more to this show than dead people trying to eat the living.

www.amctv.com

What’s your Thanksgiving TV policy?

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A) No TV on Thursday. B) No TV except for seven hours of football. C) It can be on until there is a fight over control of the remote. D) The TV is never off at our home. E) Other.

This date in “Dick Van Dyke” history

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On Sept. 30, 1964, an episode called “The Ghost of A. Chantz” aired for the first time.

An online episode guide summarized it this way: “After a mix-up by Mel for reservations at a lodge, Rob, Laura, Sally and Buddy are forced to spend a frightening night in a cabin that has not been used in years and is rumored to be haunted.”

Antics ensue.

This date in “Bewitched” history

en.wikipedia,org

Sept. 30, 1965 saw the first airing of an episode called “We're In for a Bad Spell.”

Sam and Aunt Clara try to help lift a bad-luck spell from Darrin's old Army buddy. Antics ensue.  

Thirty days has September

www.startrek.com

But the speed at which this month has flown by reminds me of an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager.”

Called “Blink of An Eye,” it has Voyager getting trapped in the orbit of a planet where time moves much faster than in the rest of the galaxy.

Here's how an online episode guide put it: “Although Voyager is stuck in orbit only for a matter of days, from the perspective of the planet, the 'Skyship' has been watching them for centuries, and becomes a guiding force for the development of their civilization.”

Maybe it's just me. But it seems like, this September, we've been down on that speeded-up planet.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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