Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

“No Matter Where You Are…”

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

“…in the world, on March 2nd get to a TV.”

Twenty one years ago tonight, I did just as the voice commanded and knelt my 7th grade self in front of the biggest TV in our house. The commercial for the commercial underlined just how serious it would be.

The fainter and closer to eternal loss that a memory is, the more I love it…

For a long while, I could still picture the diner dance party, the Catholic school girls, and the skunky striped hair-do as clearly as I did the burning crosses and the waxy black Jesus.

But when one set of chaste images is banned after only one airing, sending the blasphemous others into ubiquitous iconography, of course my memories are bound to darken at different rates.

At last, through the power and glory of internet video, all are again resurrected, forever and ever. A-men.

Oliver Steeds

Monday, February 1st, 2010

I didn’t even have to flip through the channels. It was easier and more fateful than that. I just flicked on the TV Wednesday night and there it instantly was – Solving History With Olly Steeds on the Discovery Channel.

Screen shot 2010-01-31 at 8.04.40 AM

Olly Steeds, the program, is bit unruly – its titular promise of ancient mysteries solved, rarely fulfilled.

But Olly Steeds, the daring dude, is worthy of being you and your mom and dad’s official Man Crush of 2010. He’s Steve McQueen with a thick, Brit accent; he’s Bear Grylls with a better nose and more covetable clothes.

Steed’s wardrobe is seemingly rooted in rote R.E.I. territory, but the way he recklessly rocks it with motorcycling jackets, square-shaped shades, and beautifully battered boots achieves that illusive “effortless” quality the rest of us spend so many hours orchestrating.

I’m not sure how exciting the rest of his adventures will prove this season, but I’m tagging along with old Olly anyway, just to see what he’s wearing.

Cold as Ice

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Nothing about Damages had ever screamed Must-See-Tv to me, but Season 2: Episode 1 was a free iTunes download last winter the week I had a long plane flight ahead of me and so I figured watching Glenn Close chew some scenery on my iPod would be a nice break from flipping through five million fashion mags.


I was swiftly seduced by the sly and sinister series, Glenn Close not so much chewing the sleek, New York scenery as searing it with her white hot glares. Her character, Patty Hewes, keeps the viewer constantly guessing and ever unsettled. We expect rage, she serves us compassion – we wait for a smile, she instead slings us a sneer. It’s all tense, terse, and terribly tony.


Season 3 begins tonight at 10/9 central, but if you’ve never watched before, feel free to jump right into the shockingly icy waters. Each season focuses on a new, over-arcing case and with Damages, even when you do know what’s going on, you mostly don’t.

Newbie viewer confusion will only enhance the program’s paranoia-punched plotlines, so schedule your season pass now!

Puttin’ on the Hits

Monday, October 19th, 2009

As a child, I’m not sure where my mother and father went every Saturday night, smelling of cologne and perfume, dressed fancy in black satin and tweed.

But as they primped and prepared to depart for the evening, my sister and I would watch Puttin on the Hits while we ate our stuck-at-home, little kid suppers.

Whenever I think of the show, even now, I automatically smell the fancy spritzes of my parents’ Brut and Chanel.

I selected this clip from the series in particular because the three contestants featured are named Stacy, Debbie and Stacy. That just kills me.

(Strange but true: My favorite babysitter Kerri, who taught me about Swatch watches, The Limited Express and Dynasty actually went to Jr. High School here in MN with most of the teen pop members of The Jets. I used to ask her about that all the dang time.)

Comfort Food – Cosby Style

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

I was sent some sad news on Sunday so I headed to a place called Cupcake to pick out some happy treats in order to soothe my soul.

Cupcake had a funny new flavor called the Clair Huxtable. It makes me smile and I haven’t even eaten it yet, so it was a very good choice for a very rough couple of days.


(Meanwhile I indulged in a Peaches ‘n Cream cupcake and a frosted Pull-Apart.)

I think I’ll finally enjoy the confetti-topped Clair cupcake tonight with some organic milk and the inorganic resurrection of Melrose Place. A junky party for the eyes, ears, and mouth – it’s just what I need.

TV Guiding

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009


As a child of the 80s, huge sections of my school vacations were spent watching NBC daytime. Scrabble and Santa Barbara were my favorites but my local affiliate must’ve not aired Super Password during it’s five year run ever, for whatever reason, or it would’ve been another childhood treasure.


I didn’t really even know the show existed (at least in its late 80s incarnation) until I found it last month in this, the summer of my 33rd year, re-running on the Game Show Network.



But it’s all the better seeing the show with virgin eyes at this later stage in life. The neon-lettered opening credits, the talk show meets Tron-ish set, host Bert Convy’s endearing awkwardness, the has-been celebrity guests…none of these things could I have appreciated appropriately as an 11 year old like I can and (twice a day) do, right now.


And the fashion! At least every other episode Mr. Convy harasses some post-pubescent sister from Gimme a Break or mullet-ed heartthrob from Dynasty about their sweatshirt worn as a dress or Navajo patterned gentlemen’s loafers, to which the celebrity guests always shrug sheepishly and reply, “That’s the style!”


In recent episodes Susan Anton and Marla Gibbs sported shoulder pads so wide, they almost plowed Bert right off his podium.


The TIVO catches twelve episodes of the show a week – and it’s the machine that can barely keep up with me.


I mute and pause the program at just the right moment, forcing my favorite friend to play along with me and the show…thinking how I could get them to guess the word BARREL or STAMPEDE or FRANCE with hopefully just a single one-word clue.

If you get the GSN channel, check or re-check the show out. I halfway/totally think the world used to be a better place mostly because there used to be more daytime game shows where winning even two thousand dollars felt super duper fine.

I’ve Gone North…

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Jack may have the answer.



From TPA:

“One of the scenes from episode 10 involves the filming of a drugged up Audrey Horne by Emory Battis and a 52-Pick Up girl for the purposes of blackmailing Ben Horne. The tape in question is in fact the original tape from inside the camcorder. What’s fascinating is that the tape stays on to include the scene setup, cast and crew joking around, multiple takes, direction from director Lesli Links Glatter and so on and so forth. Considering the age of the tape, it is fine condition.”

Premiere Party

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I think it’s required by law that your Style Blogger’s license is revoked permanently if you don’t post about Mad Men at least once a season. I’ll spare us all yet another synopsis of the skinny tie, slicked-hair style that the impeccably produced program has pushed back into the mainstream.


Instead I’ll offer this cliffhanger-style confession: Out of all the sly, city studs strutting around the show, I think it’s actually broody Betty Draper I identify most with. (Read into that whatever you will…)

In honor of Betty and this weekend’s season 3 premiere, I’m gonna serve something retro-suburban for Sunday supper while dressed up in my very best.

Though I’ll try my damnedest not to (deliberately) destroy any dining room chairs.

Tv Guiding: One Man’s Trash…

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

…is another man’s treasure, they say.

Around 1993, though not much before that, and not much after, Melrose Place was the best sort of trash, and Laura Leighton’s performance as sad-sack Sydney Andrews on the night time soap was the truest sort of treasure.

To be clear – the recent 90210 remake isn’t trash, its just God-awful garbage. But this man, for one, is hoping this fall’s made-over MP, and Sydney’s resurrection on it will yield some treasurable trash once again.

Band of Brothers

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

On a rare lazy day in bed over Christmas I flipped across the last 3 or 4 episodes of the Band of Brothers mini-series on TV. A few months later I came across the middle 3 or 4 installments. Now I’ve been reading the source book by Stephen E. Ambrose, yearning for myself a life where heroism involves something more noble than finding Common Projects shoes at $100 off.


I’ll have to get my heroism vicariously for now, it seems. The entire Brothers mini-series is running on the History Channel this holiday weekend so I’ll finally be able to see how it all started. I’m excited to see the base training scenes at last. I know from my reading now that those men trained for nearly two years before ever being dropped into combat. Just imagine!

Looking ahead, The Pacific a companion WWII mini-series also produced by the Brothers team and HBO is set to air in March 2010. I’m gonna watch that one right away and in order. Mark my words.

Suspension of Disbelief

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Produced just a few years before my time, I had never but heard of the 70s super-heroine TV series The Secrets of Isis until last summer.


After working its way up my Netflix queue the past ten months, the first disc of the program has arrived at last. Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels were my very first favorite programs, but neither Diana Prince nor Sabrina Duncan wore such nerd-de-licious eyewear or hung around hunks with such foxy facial hair. So it’s quite possible Isis might turn out to be my TV show soulmate.


Having peeked at the adorkable opening credits sequence on YouTube, I realized how glad I am for having come of age when one’s own imagination was still required to buy into the fiction of our filmed fantasies.


All the spot-on CGI effects we’re spoon-fed today seems to make make-believing a lot less human.

What I Thought Was Cool…

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

In 9th grade, this scene represented everything I wished for my life at the time: tearful tension, three part harmony, and teenage love triangles.

What creeps over the sofa right after this clip cuts off I probably could’ve lived without, though. Freaky…