Tag: teevee

Popular Culture 20121005: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Of all of the horrible crap on TeeVee, the TLC program Here Comes Honey Boo Boo amongst the worst.  As a matter of fact, this program is the epitome of redneckery.  This trainwreck revolves around overweight child beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson, now seven years old, her obese and incredibly stupid mum June, her three sisters (all four of the girls have different fathers), and her father.

I really do not know where to start.  This program is so vile that it would require instruments not yet invented to measure its offensiveness.  But it is my job to give my opinion, and remember I do not always write about things that I like.  

Popular Culture 20120803: Leroy Jethro Gibbs

NCIS is really a good TeeVee program.  The writing is realistic, the characters well developed, and the mysteries usually pretty good, often with last minute twists.  Of all of the characters, Gibbs (played with aplomb by Mark Harmon) is by far the most complex.

This piece is not intended to be a history of the show, but rather my take on the personality of the character.  Various scenes that I remember may be used to illustrate my points, but once again this is more of a character analysis of Gibbs than a narrative of the program.

First and foremost, Gibbs is damaged goods.  He was always in trouble when he was a kid, often rescued by his father, Jackson (played by the wonderful Ralph Waite).  Some of these incidents are told in flashback, and the young Gibbs is played by Sean Harmon, Mark Harmon’s son by Pam Dawber.

My Little Town 20120509: C. W. Clark and the TeeVee

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate education, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

C. W., Mr. Clark to me, was a very nice man.  He worked at a TeeVee repair shop in Fort Smith (yes, people actually had TeeVees fixed back then when they broke) and moonlighted some as well.  At the time, a TeeVee was relatively much more expensive that they are now, so repairing them was the norm.

We had the same TeeVee from since I could remember until my father finally upgraded to a color unit around 1968 or so.  Actually, that is not quite true.  I remember a very old console unit with a round picture tube and watching it, but that must have been before I was three.

Popular Culture (TeeVee) 20120316: David McCallum

David Keith McCallum, Jr. is a wonderful actor who has been on TeeVee for decades in either bit, supporting, or starring roles.  Most folks would not realize that he is 78 years old, because he looks much younger.  He is a Scot, being born on 19330919 in Glasgow.

He has been a professional actor since he was 15 or 16, and began doing voiceovers in 1947.  He did a fair amount of film work early on, but it was TeeVee that really got him noticed.

I hope that you will read and comment about this little tribute to not only a great actor, but also on whom I consider to be a great person.  The reasons for that will become more evident later.

Pique the Geek 20111218: The Science of NCIS

The popular TeeVee show NCIS purports to use science to solve most of the difficult bits of its cases, almost always murders.  Since this is about a TeeVee show, I was torn betwixt posting this piece here or on Popular Culture, but chose here because it will get a little geeky.

Before I continue, let me tell you that I like the program very much, not so much for the science but for excellent script writing and character development.  I think that it is important to recognize a well crafted program.  Since most viewers are not technically proficient, the science is not a problem for them.

But it is for me.  I am reminded of another popular TeeVee show from years, the Jack Klugman one called Quincy, M. E., that relied heavily on fictionalized scientific methods.  I had a boss at one time who coined a phrase that I shall reveal later.

Popular Culture (TeeVee) 20110826: Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks is one of the few TeeVee shows with a predominately child and adolescent that ever had much appeal to me.  Part of the appeal was that the program was masterfully written and directed, and another part is that the acting was really very good.  It ran only for one season, 1999 through 2000, and even then not all of the 18 taped episodes were aired.  It was an NBC show and was the precursor for later, more successful shows like That ’70s Show.

Even though it aired in 1999 and 2000, it was set in 1980 in a made up suburb of Detroit.  The production team did a really good job with getting the period right, in particular the cars that were often used as unifying devices in several episodes.  I have to tell you a personal reason that I immediately liked the show.  As a really big admirer of SCTV, the fact that Joe Flaherty was cast as the father of the protagonist made me watch faithfully.

Popular Culture (Music AND TeeVee) 20110318: Iconic Themes Part I

I love to be able to fuse two topics into one!  Since almost the beginning of TeeVee, there has been theme music for its programs.  Many of you will remember lots of them, but there were some programs without music, the very first TeeVee image being one of them, although it got a theme later.  Does that pique your interest?

TeeVee became widely available in the late 1940s, in large part because of the revolutionary improvements in electronics because of the necessity of the war effort.  However, there is a backstory to that as well:  after the war was over, there was a flood of components that were military surplus, available for cents on the dollar, to be had by manufacturers.

TeeVee had been invented long before World War II, but the components were rare and expensive.  Because of the glut of surplus components, TeeVee became widely available, but that is more of a Pique the Geek piece.

Popular Culture 20110225: Van Susteren to the Rescue!

It is not often that I have such a ripe opportunity to combine TeeVee, politics, the FOX “News” Network, the horribly biased Governor of Wisconsin, and my own parody songwriting skills into a post.  As a matter of fact, it has never happened before.  Please allow me to explain.

I usually do not do purely political pieces here, there, or anywhere, because so many other are much more talented than I am at it.  But I do keep an eye out for popular culture, and this opportunity just hit me in the face.  I do not have to explain how Governor Scott Walker, a Tea Party wingnut, has probably disqualified himself for holding a position of trust, but I will!  

Popular Culture (TeeVee) 20110218

Many of you will dismiss this installment as sentimental drivel about a TeeVee show that ran when Translator was a kid.  I beg to differ.  This program was much, much deeper than that, and was actually a shining example of how good TeeVee should work.

It had excellent writing, excellent production, and excellent acting from all of the principal players.  It also started the careers of several, now prominent, actors.

Please put up with me here and open your mind to what was a really wonderful situation comedy.  Also, I will pepper this with a bit of insight into the man himself and other roles that he has played that do not jibe with the kindly sheriff of Mayberry.

Popular Culture 20101022. Really Bad TeeVee Adverts

Most of you know that I try to keep in touch with popular culture.  Also, many of you know that I appreciate a good advert.  I also really dislike what I perceive to be bad ones, that this week there were a lot of them.

Now, I recognize that adverts are essential to keep the cost of mass communication low, so I welcome any and all of them.  Welcoming them does not mean that I have to LIKE all of them.  Tonight we shall take a look of some of the worst that are currently circulating.

Note:  I would have covered the brilliant King Crimson tonight, but as I researched that band, it became obvious that more time would be required.  I think that I can be ready to do it next time.

Popular Culture (TeeVee) 20100924: Enterprise and Others (With Poll!)

I apologize for being away last week; Translator was a bit under the weather.  Not really ill, but feeling poorly enough that I could not have monitored comments for the hours that I always promise after publication.  I would rather post nothing at all than not be available to respond to comments, because I respect my readers and know that the comments are usually the most interesting part of the post.

Tonight we shall discuss the final spinoff of Star Trek that appeared on TeeVee. Enterprise (after the first couple of seasons renamed Star Trek:  Enterprise) is, in my opinion, held in much lower esteem than it should be.  I always liked it, but since SyFy has been running it, I have come to appreciate it even more.  It sort of lost its way halfway into the run, but the final season more than made up for it.

Popular Culture 20100820: TeeVee Adverts

I have written about adverts on the TeeVee before, but there are a whole new crop of them now.  I am not against advertising; as a matter of fact I strongly support it in concept.  However, some of them are just offensive, at least to me, and others are very well received, again at least for me.

Tonight I will pick out my most favorite ones, my most disliked ones, and the genres that I personally like and dislike.  Like all forms of art, adverts are extremely subjective and I do not expect that everyone will agree with me.  That actually makes the topic more interesting.

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