Saturday, September 16, 2017

And now for some interesting television trivia

Because I'm both bored and have acquired quite a bit of otherwise useless trivia.


Leave It to Beaver was both the first TV series to show a toilet and the first to have a series finale. The latter is interesting because apparently most shows at the time just ended when they were cancelled without a proper sendoff like long-running successful shows do now. Meanwhile, Star Trek has been around for fifty-one years and has never shown the former.

Hugh Beaumont, who played Ward Cleaver, retired from acting at the end of the show's run and became a tree farmer until his death in 1977. I guess after you've played the dad of a kid named 'Beaver', it's time to call it a career. When they did a reunion movie and subsequent spinoff back in the 80s, they explained Beaumont's absence as Ward having died a couple years prior.

Speaking of death, when Don Blocker from Bonanza died in 1972 from a pulmonary embolism, his character simply disappeared from the show without any onscreen explanation. It wasn't until the first Bonanza television movie that his character Hoss Cartwright was revealed to have drowned by trying to rescue a woman from, ironically, drowning. Similarly when the last TV movie was made after the death of Michael Landon, it was explained that his Little Joe character had been killed at the Battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. Talk about a critical failure of character shields.

He wasn't working harder,
he was working smarter.
Credit: Sid Avery | IMDb.

Actor Fred MacMurray of The Absent-Minded Professor and The Apartment fame filmed all of his scenes for his show My Three Sons in two separate one month blocks each season in order to be free to continue making movies and playing golf. These were just his scenes, mind you, so the rest of the cast had to film around him.

One of the reasons The Rockford Files was cancelled despite its popularity is because years of doing his own stunts for both it and his previous show, Maverick, had wrecked James Garner's back and knees. Another reason is that the show frequently used well known guest stars that were more expensive than using ones that were more c-list or otherwise cheap.

Speaking of costs, that was the reason The Dukes of Hazzard was cancelled. The General Lee had to be replaced every episode because surprise, surprise, the cars couldn't survive the landing from those epic jump stunts. Eventually it just became too expensive for the network to keep buying 1969 Dodge Chargers. The show did briefly continue as a cartoon, however.

Ja'net Dubois, who played Willona Woods on CBS's 70s hit Good Times, also co-wrote and sang the theme for another of CBS's hit, The Jeffersons.

That's it for now. I plan on posting more and even doing ones focused on singular bits, like Ben Cartwright’s (from Bonanza) marital curse, the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, and more. If you enjoyed these, then let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bought some CDs the other day

Kids, if you don't know what a CD is, ask your older siblings and get the hell off my lawn. Joking aside, I don't buy music all that often because I just don't listen to it with any kind of regularity. Still, when someone is selling CDs 4/$1 and the selection is good, I'm buying.

 Oh man, this album. I remember hooplah that accompanied Jagged Little Pill because of its lead single "You Ought to Know". The song's frank look at a failed relationship from the point of view of the woman refreshing, while Alanis Morissette's use of "fuck" and blowjob reference was quite shocking at the time. Nowadays, blatant references to sex acts in music is blaise, but back then, "going down on you in the theater" and "do you think of me when you fuck her?" had people shook.

Of course, those references were bleeped out on radio version.

Jagged Little Pill also features "Ironic", a song that people like to point out contains very little in the way of irony. Still, lines like "he waited his whole damn life to take that flight and as the plane crash down, he thought 'isn't this nice'" and "ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife" are nice contrasts between serious and nonsensical verses.

Also, I still can't wrap my head around the fact that Alanis Morissette did two dance-pop albums before Jagged Little Pill. She's the real life Robin Sparkles/Robin Daggers (and if that was an intentional reference by the How I Met Your Mother Writers, then holy shit).

 I haven't listened to Dirt yet, but I have listened to "Rooster" many times over the years, so the rest of the album ought to be good. Layne Staley had one of the greatest voices in music - not just rock music, but music period - and his untimely death more than fifteen years ago was easily as big a blow as Kurt Cobain's.
 I'm going to be honest here, I bought this entirely because it has "Hip to be Square" on it and regardless of that scene from American Psycho, it's one of my personal favorites.

Turns out the rest of the album isn't bad either. Huey Lewis and the News are an amazing band that managed to capture recreate the sound and feel of classic rock and roll without it coming off as a gimmick. I like 80s music, but in a sea of new wave and synth pop whatever, Huey Lewis was a refreshing breeze.
None more black.

Metallica's self-titled fifth album could practically double as a greatest hits. "Nothing Else Matters", "Enter Sandman", "The Unforgiven", and "Wherever I May Roam" all on the same album? Metallica evidently wanted to give buyers the most (head)bang for their buck.

My only regret here is that I didn't buy more CDs. There was a small plastic tub of them and I saw some choice albums, but I didn't go for them. Unfortunate.

All pictures via Wikipedia.

Friday, August 18, 2017

In the still of the night / I hear the wolf howl, honey / sniffing around your door

There's never a bad time for White Snake¹.

And if that's not enough, here's a pretty damn snazzy cover by the band Halestorm!


Lzzy Hale has some pipes on her, that's for sure.

¹Except, you know, during natural disasters, alien invasions, and when your president has clearly gone off the deep end.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nerding it up in a computer lab at General Dynamic's Astronautics Division, 1968.

Atlas Negative Collection Image

Jodie Whittaker reacting to people cosplaying the Thirteenth Doctor is cute as heck



I like the positive reaction, because I can imagine that being cast as The Doctor can be a bit overwhelming for anybody. I know I certainly would be! Kind of amazing that people are already cosplaying as the new Doc when we haven't even seen what she'll be wearing on the show. Then again, the fandom works fast.

(via Tor.com)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Women clean up at the Hugo Awards

Note: This is a cross-post from my sci-fi blog, Rayguns and Space Suits.

You can see all of the nominees and winners here, but suffice to say, goddamn.

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.
Best Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
Best Novelette: The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon.
Best Short Story: Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar.
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer.

Overall, women won 15 out of the 17 categories and counting Palmer netting the Campbell (which is award at the Hugos but isn't a Hugo), they won 16 altogether. Not a bad performance and well deserved. Oh, I'm sure there will be grumblings and teeth gnashing from a certain segment of the fandom over this, but I'll say here what I said on my Tumblr:
Write better. The success of women and writers of color at the Hugos and other SFF lit awards has nothing to do with their ethnicity or identity and everything to do with them just being better writers, editors, etc.
Being white, straight, and/or identifying with your assigned gender (because let's not overlook the fact that these groups include women) does not automatically mean you win awards.

Unless you create your own or manipulate a poorly planned one. *coughcoughDragonAwardscoughcough*

In any case, congrats to all of the winners and nominees.

Watch Jeff Goldblum talk about the importance of e-mail in this Apple iMac commercial


Well, I mean, e-mail was a lot more important back then than it probably is now. You had instant messaging like AIM, ICQ, and MSN Messenger, but those were all short-form messaging, like texting is today. E-mail was more long form, not unlike how Blogger and WordPress are to Twitter.

Then there's that Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan flick, You've Got Mail.

If this movie had been made today, Hanks and Ryan's characters would be texting instead of e-mailing each other and Ryan's character would probably be overusing the poop emoji. 💩

I honestly hate myself for using that emoji. I'm sorry.
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