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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119751
Posted: 14 May 2020 at 2:18pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Two episodes of KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER.

“The Spanish Moss Murders” which suffered from an unconvincing monster and a bit too much clairvoyance from Kolchak...

...and...

“Horror in the Heights” which was another shaggy monster, but had a few genuinely creepy moments, especially for 70’s TV. Script by Hammer alum Jimmy Sangster.

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James Best
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 02 March 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 762
Posted: 16 May 2020 at 8:50pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Now watching the first season of HILL STREET BLUES via Hulu

I didn’t catch any episodes of this show until I went off to college. By then it was in its fifth season and was a cornerstone of NBC’s Thursday night lineup. Despite how much I enjoyed watching the show, my TV watching during my college years was very sporadic and two seasons later the network gave it the axe. But with my extended COVID-19 time off from work, my curiosity got the better of me. Or maybe I was just feeling nostalgic for 80’s television shows.

That said, watching the first season has proved to me just how good the show was right out the gate. Once you get beyond the early 80’s fashions and production values it is easy to see how HSB, with its stellar cast and excellent writing, racked up 14 Emmy nominations during its first year (winning six times).

And I have to give credit to writers/producers Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll for not shying away from the on-the-job subject matter and the friction on the home front that most cop shows to that point had mostly avoided. Of course, if you are going to touch on adult sexual themes in prime time, it certainly helps to have Veronica Hamel onscreen. :-) 

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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119751
Posted: 17 May 2020 at 6:45pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Two episodes of STAR TREK TOS, “Errand of Mercy” and “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

The first gave us the Klingons, and some marvelous scenery chewing by John Colicos, and so stands high in the canon. The second, despite Harlan’s grumbling and basically nonsense title, is widely considered one of the best single episodes the series had to offer. I do not disagree.

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Tim O Neill
Byrne Robotics Security


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 10206
Posted: 18 May 2020 at 4:41pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply



I did another dip into classic SNL this weekend with these two episodes:

Ray Charles - host and musical guest from 1977. Just wonderful season three
episode. Everyone is firing on all cylinders.

Bill Murray with musical guest Sting from 1993 - Murray didn't frequently come
back, but when he did it was awesome. This episode is around the release of
GROUNDHOG DAY, and it's interesting to think about why he would come
back. Definitely to promote the film, but we now know he had an irreparable
falling out with Harold Ramis on the set of the film, so it made me wonder if
this was a way of connecting with his former show during a time of great
change in his life.

And after that, I had something on the DVR that seemed like a natural follow-
up

THE KENNEDY CENTER MARK TWAIN PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR:
CELEBRATING BILL MURRAY - Only PBS could get away with a title that long!
This 2016 ceremony has clips of his career introduced by friends and
collaborators. Great all around, especially Murray acknowledging his brother
in his acceptance speech. Bill Hader steals the show when he comes out
dressed as a priest and proceeds to, in a thick Chicago accent, praise Murray's
charity while giving back-handed compliments to his work and career. It's two
days later and I am still laughing at how Hader-as-priest introduced a clip from
CADDYSHACK:

“I have a confession: I haven’t seen CADDYSHACK. But I have seen video
footage of lab rats high on cocaine trying to play golf, and it’s close.”


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James Best
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 02 March 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 762
Posted: 21 May 2020 at 12:18am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Continuing with season 2 of HILL STREET BLUES.

I forgot how many topnotch guest stars had brief roles on the show. Two episodes in and we have had Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon) and Karen Austin (Night Court) drop by.

And one of my favorite mystery writers, Robert Crais, has had story consultant credit on both episodes so far. :-) 

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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119751
Posted: 21 May 2020 at 5:50am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

After marathoning several seasons of PARKS AND RECREATION over the past couple of weeks, last night I found myself dreaming about those characters.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119751
Posted: 21 May 2020 at 3:41pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

AFTER HITLER on the National Geographic Channel, pts 1 and 2

I’ll admit I have not paid a lot of attention to what went on in post-War Europe. JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG and THE THIRD MAN pretty much sum up my knowledge. So this documentary was an eye-opener.

Incredible, for instance, to see European Jews denied entry to British held Palestine, and shipped back to be interned in the same camps from which they had been so recently liberated.   Meanwhile, German born and speaking immigrants were driven west out of eastern European nations, using the same trains and roads on which Jews had been shipped in the other direction during the “Final Solution”.

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Tim O Neill
Byrne Robotics Security


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 10206
Posted: 21 May 2020 at 10:20pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply


M*A*S*H - two episodes

"The Trial of Henry Blake" - this is a favorite, written by Henry himself McLean
Stevenson. This is a season two episode, so they are in full flight. The overall
story is a good one - Henry is on trial for helping a field hospital that treats the
enemy, something Frank and Margaret can't abide. Great ending sequence in
the courtroom. Some of the incidental gags are gold - specifically, it's the
episode with one of my favorite quotes: "A big red bird with fuzzy pink feet."

"Dear Dad ... Three" - I like all of the Dear Dads. This one addresses racism as
a patient refuses blood from African Americans. I am not sure this would play
today - it's a clever resolution, but too playful and trite. Stevenson as Henry
Blake has a wonderful moment when he drunkenly tells Fr. Mulcahy about how
he got to MASH. It's the best coffee enema story you will hear all week. These
Larry Gilbert era episodes have so many throw away gags that got lost when
he left. Fr. Mulcahy blesses a boxing bag before he starts his workout - a
funny throwaway moment to show the activity of the camp and highlight an
ensemble cast.

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Ryan Maxwell
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12424
Posted: 22 May 2020 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Community, from the beginning through Troy leaving. I think I might stop here, for a while at least. This was my first watch through since the show originally aired. So many forgotten moments. So many touchings of Jeff by the Dean. Thank you, Netflix!
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Trevor Smith
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 September 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 3142
Posted: 22 May 2020 at 9:31am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

We're currently blasting our way through Community as
well. Great, great stuff.
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119751
Posted: 22 May 2020 at 1:16pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I can only do the first three seasons of COMMUNITY with any kind of regularity. The fourth season was okay, but beyond that it turned into Dan Harmon's REVENGE, and lost me about halfway into the fifth. Maybe not even that far.

(Kind of a shock to see Alison Brie, too. She has become so hard edged. I have to remind myself that she is not aging badly, she was ten years older than Annie.)

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Ryan Maxwell
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12424
Posted: 22 May 2020 at 2:32pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I can't even bring myself to watch GLOW, she looks like a different person. I was crazy smitten with her while Community was airing, and I know I was far from the only one. 

I had completely forgotten how absent Chevy Chase was for the fourth season. I didn't know what was going on behind the scenes at the time, so it really stands out now (binging makes a lot of things stand out more). I did laugh out loud a LOT for the polygraph episode, though. It was a great tribute to his character, if not the actor. 
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