Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Again With the Favorite Things

Do these posts represent a subtle dig at the Facebook penchant for finding new and exciting ways to get into my personal information? Or is it just a sad excuse to talk about things I like, as if anyone else was required to care? Never mind required to agree. Well… here then is the ugly narcissistic underside of blogs that you very rarely, if ever, see.


Next category: Favorite Television Programs.

Favorite TV Shows:

[] “The Rachel Maddow Show”. Commentary mixed with a dash of righteous snark and a whole lot of research thrown in. And Ms. Maddow is just ferociously smart.

[] The revived/re-envisioned “Battlestar Galactica”. Now everyone’s trying to make a show that looks and sounds and feels like it, which ought to tell you what you need to know. In a set of about four episodes mid-run, they managed to make a statement about armed insurgents / terrorists… by casting our heroes as the armed insurgents / terrorists. Gutsy, especially when the episodes aired. And exactly what science fiction was supposed to be – not so much zap guns as “oh! Hadn’t thought of it that way; that’s a good point”.

[] “Good Eats”. Although Alton Brown is starting to look less “young and hip”, and more “old and hip.” Still funny.  (And while we’re on the subject: not “Iron Chef America”, but “Iron Chef” the original Japanese production, featuring the music from “Backdraft”.)

[] “The Simpsons”. Still. Even now, a thousand years into its run.

[] The fourth and fifth seasons of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, which at the time was head and shoulders above any other of its contemporaries for great storytelling, and got absolutely nothing from the Emmys to show for it. “Best Sound Design” does not answer the question, “Excuse me, are you telling me there’s a better actor in town than Patrick Stewart?” Please.

(But dear Lord, not the first season.)

[] “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”. The UK version, thank you. At least when the UK version made jokes that hit below the belt, it was still clever. Drew Carey’s US-based version more often looked like a bunch of high school guys trying to do improv without a faculty advisor.

[] “Laugh-In”.  Catch-phrases, topical humor that its parent network had to HATE … Henry Gibson’s poetry … Arte Johnson in a Nazi helmet behind palm branches … JoAnne Worley … the Joke Wall!! … Goldie Hawn being a hundred times more dopey than (and at least as funny as) any Gracie Allen moment ever … Ruth Buzzi clobbering people with her handbag … Gary Owens announcing that the show would begin “in spite of all your cards and letters” … BUT still my most memorable moment of this TV classic: Dan Rowan intoned, “News of the Future, twenty years from now: dateline 1989 … President Ronald Reagan announced that his administration would–” and that’s ALL I remember because while watching that particular Laugh-In rerun during my senior year in college, 1988, I literally stood up and yelped “–whoa!!”  In 1988 that was the truth; in 1969 it was a punchline. They were that good!

[] “M*A*S*H”. It is not hyperbole to say that this may have been television’s finest half-hour.


November 17, 2010 - Posted by | entertainment, humor, media, science fiction, television | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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