Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Farewell, Mr. Bradbury

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Are you ready for some MORE football?

Saturday, January 16th, 2010


Well, apparently, “some” is the operative word here. In a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, a study discovered that during a typical NFL game, only 11 minutes are actually devoted to footage of the playing on the field. It seems 58.5% of the footage is of players just “standing around”. How is this possible? Check out the chart, which compares four NFL games broadcasted by CBS, NBC, FOX, and ESPN.

Below, Standing Around Football:

Taking madness to the next level…

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

And I mean that in the most flattering of ways. Let me explain.

Last year, I mentioned the blog Rogers Park Cheetos. For those who don’t remember (or can’t waste their time following links), Rogers Park Cheetos is a website that obsessively chronicles discarded used Cheetos bags in a North Side Chicago neighborhood. Now, while the blog was started in 2007, there hasn’t been an update since last year, June 21. Which, I suppose, the lack of recent posts could mean that folks are being more conscious of how they handle their trash. More likely, the blogger has grown tired of the burden of the upkeep of a blog. Or perhaps, the blogger has taken up a hobby that doesn’t require having an eagle-eye for neglected Frito-Lay products. Either way, there are plenty of other extremely focused websites out there to fulfill your obsessive tendencies. Below are two of my favorite recent discoveries:

Perry Mason Wiki

First up is a Wiki site completely devoted to the original lawyer show, Perry Mason which ran on CBS from 1957 – 1966. Sure, through syndication and DVD season box sets, Perry Mason will always with us. But if you want to go even further, then this Wiki is for you. Dive deeper into every aspect of the show including an Actors List, which displays every actor that made an appearance on the show as well as which episodes they appeared in. One list my father would love is the Car List which documents the make and model of every car seen in the first two seasons (more to come, as this feature is a work in progress). However, my favorite aspect of this Wiki page is the detail given to recreate the floor plan of Perry Mason’s office. This page explains the long process of overtaking such a job, which included carefully examining every episode and taking an average account of the office, as in changed slightly through the years. This page actually shows the floor plan and includes stills from the series that show the direction of various views of the office. Truly, amazing.

Next up…

Third and Delaware

If you around the age of myself than you grew up with the Conner family. I’m talking, of course, about Roseanne which ran on ABC from 1988 – 1997. Unlike the Perry Mason Wiki which showcases multiple aspects of the program, Third and Delaware is merely interested in one thing: fashion. Yep, fashion. This is a very funny, tongue-in-cheek website that “praises” the bold statements made by the Conner family’s attire, compete with their love of flannel, oversize T-shirts, and colorful yet non matching outfits. Truly, a work of madness, Third and Delaware claims to make fashion observations from every single episode. Check it out.

And finally…

Final Girl – 23:45

Finally, I leave you with one of my favorite horror blogs on the web, Final Girl. While Final Girl is an insightful often hilarious look at the horror genre, it is the the 23:45 that I wish to talk about here. Somewhere along the way, Final Girl blogger Stacie saw to freeze frame whatever horror film she was watching exactly at the 23:45 running time. And then take a still of it. Sometimes, this frozen moment in time shows central characters from the film. Other times, we get a glimpse of a tree. More times than not, whatever ends up being caught at 23:45, seems to be a perfect representation of the feeling of the film. Click here for the complete 23:45 archive.


Buehrle’s Top Ten List – Update!

Monday, July 27th, 2009


Tune into the David Letterman show tonight as White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle reveals the Top Ten “Things That Went Through Mark Buehrle’s Mind During His Perfect Game”. Should be a hoot!

UPDATE: If you missed Buehrle’s appearance (along with Josh Fields and Dewayne Wise) on Letterman, here was the Top Ten:

10. “I did it! I did it! Oh wait, it’s only the fourth inning.”
9. “If this doesn’t get Kate Hudson to notice me, nothing will.”
8. “Too bad I’m not on my own fantasy team.”
7. “My brother-in-law bowled a perfect game.”
6. Fields and Wise: “We’re going to Disneyworld!”/Buehrle: “and I’m running for the Governor of Alaska.”
5. “Did I remember to Tivo ‘So You Think You Can Dance’?”
4. “I’m leaving after the 7th inning to beat the traffic.”
3. “Should I shave my back?”
2. “Sunflower seed… lodged in my windpipe… Get Help!”
1. “Maybe I’ll give up one hit so I don’t have to appear on Letterman.”

Best of the Zone

Monday, May 11th, 2009


With a Twilight Zone marathon on today on the MeToo network (sorry, only Chicago, Milwaukee, and South Bend), I started thinking of my favorite episodes from this landmark series. Since I discovered The Twilight Zone as a child, watching it with my Dad, I have been an avid fan, catching the same episodes over and over. While there were a few duds through its five year run, the classic ones still rank as the best that television has ever produced. For today’s post, I thought I would share with you my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone, trying to avoid some of the more obvious choices. So, here we go…

My Top 10 episodes of The Twilight Zone:


10. The Whole Truth written by Rod Serling

One of only six episodes to be shot not on film but videotape, “The Whole Truth” resolves around a used car salesman that is forced to be honest whilst under a spell. Predictably, his car sells begin to suffer. Sound familiar? The plot was reused in the Jim Carrey vehicle, Liar Liar. To be honest, the episode isn’t well executed, but it still ranks high with me for sentimental reasons. I saw it on my grandmother’s old TV set in Sledge, MS.

The Hunt

9. The Hunt written by Earl Hamner Jr.

“The Hunt” tells the story of what happens after an old man and his dog drown during a hunting trip and find themselves in the afterlife, walking down a dirt road in search of the Gates of Heaven. When the old man comes up to a gatekeeper, he is told that he is welcome to enter “Heaven,” but that he must leave behind his dog. Not accepting these terms, the old man walks up farther up the road, where he encounters a second gatekeeper. This time, the gatekeeper turns out to be an angel who accepts both the old man and the old man’s best friend, telling them “A man, he’ll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But not even the Devil can fool a dog.” The Hunt, which was written by the same man who created The Waltons, remains special to me because the old man reminds me of my own grandfather and the love he had for his hunting dogs.


8. Stopover in a Quiet Town written by Earl Hamner Jr.

“Stopover” is about a married couple who on their way home from a party, black out and find themselves waking up in an unfamiliar house. The couple begin exploring the house and neighborhood, only to find that it is empty and everything around them is fake. A fake tree. Fake grass. A fake squirrel. In fact, the only sign of life is the unseen laughter of a young child. The source of the laughter is a bit predictable but still a lot of fun.

Night Call

7.. Night Call written by Richard Matheson

When I was in Jr. High, 20th Century Fox had a commercial on TV for a VHS collection of The Twilight Zone. The commercial showed various clips from classic episodes, including one from “Night Call” where Gladys Cooper utters over the phone, “Who is this? Who’s on the line?” Before even seeing the episode, I knew from the commercial it was going to be creepy. It’s not only creepy but ends quite cruelly. “Night Call” was written by the legendary science fiction writer Richard Matheson.

A Stop at Willoughby

6. A Stop at Willoughby written by Rod Serling

“A Stop at Willoughby” is about a stressed ad executive who finds solitude from his work and his demanding wife through a fantasy town called Willoughby. In Willoughby, every day is the summer of 1880, and life is simple. Will our hero become a resident? And at what cost?


5. The Miniature written by Charles Beaumont

During the fourth season, The Twilight Zone went from an half hour to an hour long program. While the extended length actually hurt many of the episodes due to padded storylines, “The Miniature” remains strong throughout. The premise is simple. A young loner (played by Robert Duvall) witnesses a doll living in a museum dollhouse come to life and proceeds to fall in love with her. When others learn of this, he is labeled sick and sent away for treatment. However, he doesn’t get over it and returns to the museum, turning himself into a doll to live happily ever after with his love. Sure, it sounds silly but it’s so well done that its quite a remarkable love story. I’ve only seen this episode once since it’s rarely shown in syndication, yet it had such an effect on me that it remains one of my favorites.

Mirror Image

4. Mirror Image written by Rod Serling

“Mirror Image” stars Vera Miles (Psycho) who plays a woman waiting in a bus station who discovers her doppelganger and fears that it’s trying to take over her life. “Mirror Image” is pretty scary and has a great ending that lets no one off the hook.

After Hours

3. After Hours written by Rod Serling

“After Hours” is about a woman who is left alone in a department store after closing time and begins to feel that the mannequins around her are actually alive. I am not ashamed to say that “After Hours” actually scared me. In fact, it still scares me a little when I think about the mannequins calling out her name, “Marcia, Marcia.” For some reason, this episode is another rarely seen in syndication.

Kick the Can

2. Kick the Can written by George Clayton Johnson

“You’re only as old as you feel”. Or so the saying goes. No one knows this better than Charles Whitley in “Kick the Can”. Charles, a older gentleman who lives in a retirement home, discovers that the secret to youth lies in thinking young and in a simple game of kick the can. I could watch this episode 1000 times and never grow tire of it.

Walking Distance

1. Walking Distance written by Rod Serling

Hands down, the best episode of The Twilight Zone. Martin Sloan, a frustrated, overworked businessman has car trouble and wanders into the town of his youth. However, not only is it his hometown, but Martin has stepped back in time when he was a youngster. He even sees himself as a child and his parents. Martin longs for these simpler days of his childhood. Not only is the story a great sentimental tale but the episode is wonderfully directed and has a wonderful score from Bernard Hermann (Citizen Kane, Vertigo, etc). The most touching moment of the episode is a final conversation between Martin and his father who has come to realize who Martin really is:

Martin: I’ve been living at a dead run and I was tired. Then one day, I knew I had to come back here. I had to come back and get on a merry-go-round and eat cotton candy and listen to a band concert, to stop and breathe and close my eyes and smell and listen.

Father: I guess we all want that. Maybe when you go back, Martin, you’ll find that there are merry-go-rounds and band concerts where you are. Maybe you haven’t been looking in the right place. You’ve been looking behind you, Martin. Try looking ahead.


Any one out there have their own favorites?

Hank Hill visits Memphis!

Sunday, February 15th, 2009


For those not in the know, one of my favorite shows is King of the Hill. Unbelievably, the show has been on air for 13 seasons. Even more amazing is that it’s still as funny as it was when it came on air back in 1997. At least, I think so. So tonight, you can be sure that I’ll be in front of the television watching episode #244, titled “What Happens at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis Stays at the National Propane Gas Convention in Memphis.” I can’t wait!

If you are reading this after the fact, check it out here.