Tag Archives: CBS

Top ten list of my favorite TV shows

Greetings, readers. Over my lifetime I have enjoyed many television programs from the 1970s right through the 90s. Though I have watched a few episodes of Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and Mike and Molly, I just don’t get into network programing nearly as much as I used to. I have much more to do, and outlets such as Netflix streaming and YouTube give me all the entertainment I need. TV shows, movies, and even concerts are there on offer. Here’s a top ten list of my favorite TV shows. I’ll try to put them in order.

#10. Family Matters. [A very nice family show with the geeky boy next door whose wonderful catch phrase was, “Did I do that?” You got to love Steve Urkel.]

#9. Fresh Prince of Bel Air. [I’ve been a big fan of Will Smith, mostly from his movies, but this show was exceptional. The young boy from Philly who got sent to Bel Air to live with the rich aunt and uncle. Wouldn’t that be nice. As a side note, this is also one of my girlfriend’s favorites.]

#8. Maude. [This was Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan’s first TV venture together. I laughed with them in Maude, as well as in their later series The Golden Girls with Betty White and Estelle Getty.]

#7. The Love Boat. [All aboard on Captain Stubing’s love boat. I watched it each and every week for years. The first few seasons were from the port of L.A. down to Mexico and back. A whole cruise shown in an hour. In later seasons, guest stars got to fall in love while traveling to exotic and rare destinations.]

#6. Full House. Fuller House. [Now we are starting to get to my really favorite shows. I watched every episode of Full House and taped them all when they were on reruns. Danny, Uncle Jesse and Joey helped guide the three girls through topics such as sharing a room, their first loves, and in a very poignant episode, where was their daddy during the San Francisco earthquake. It’s spin-off, Fuller House, which premiered last year on Netflix, picks up with D.J. Fuller widowed with three boys. The whole cast, except the Olsen twins, took part. As far as I know, there will be a second season. I can’t wait.]

#5. Charlie’s Angels. [When this show aired in 1976, I was 11 going on 12. Young, beautiful women in skimpy outfits or bikinis. Yes, I’m going to like it, shoot me. For any real Charlie’s Angels fan, I’m sure you’ll agree that most of their stories were good ones and well written. And let’s not forget David Doyle as Bosley and John Forsythe as the voice of Charlie. Two excellent actors.]

#4. Star Trek. ST: The Next Generation. ST: Deep Space Nine. ST: Voyager. ST: Enterprise. [Well, the secret is out; I am a Trekkie. I love the whole idea of the almost perfect future universe. I adore holodeck episodes; the idea that you can walk into a room and it becomes anything you wish fascinates me to no end. To be honest, I did not watch every episode of Enterprise, but most Trek fans did like it.]

#3. Cagney and Lacey. [A wonderful police drama in the 1980s about two women police detectives dealing with not only their jobs but their home lives. Mary Beth’s husband Harvey was a wonderful character and magnificently played by John Karlen. On a down note, midway through the series, Christine Cagney got a love interest, but for some unknown reason the writers made him an almost exact duplicate of Harvey. This did not go down well with me. This series dealt not only with police issues, but with Christine’s loss of her father and her own alcoholism, as well as the brilliantly written two-part episode dealing with Mary Beth’s breast cancer. If there was a down side to this series, it was the lackluster series finale. Apparently CBS didn’t know if it was being renewed or not, so the women were instructed by LT. Samuels to paint the ladies’ room. If they didn’t get promoted to the major cases squad, they would have a, “freshly painted bathroom to come back to.”]

#2. Reba. [This is a series I watched with my girlfriend Traci in reruns. I had heard about it but never watched it when it had its first run. The show deals with a divorced woman devotedly religious, played by Reba McEntire, as she struggles to make ends meet, fights with her ex-husband and his new wife, and loves and cares for her kids. The show is set in Houston, Texas, and in the early years, son-in-law Van plays high school and then college football. For a brief period, he turns pro, but an injury ends his career. That allows Reba and Van to partner up in a real-estate venture. Actress Scarlett Pomers dealt with an eating disorder fairly late in the series and missed a season. She triumphantly returned in the final season.]

#1. M.A.S.H. [The is quite possibly my favorite show of all time. I watched it religiously in prime time and in reruns as a teenager. For a half hour each night, I would picture myself there in Korea with all my friends; Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. and all the rest. My favorite episode, which according to Loretta Swit changed the series, was called Comrades in Arms. Hawkeye and Margaret were sent to another M.A.S.H. unit, their jeep breaks down and they have to hide. When shelling of the hut they are hiding in starts near the end of part one, they embrace and seem to fall in love, though that is a misunderstanding. At the end of part two, they are not a couple, but the dynamics of the characters changed for the rest of the series.]

Well, there is my list. As usual, please chime in with your top ten list in the comments if you wish. Have a great Friday and weekend, take care, and happy reading.

I’m getting into controversy today

Greetings, readers. I was going to write a blog entry this morning about how upset I am with CBS and Paramount’s decision to clamp down on Star Trek fan fiction films and episodes. I still need to do a little more research into the guidelines that they have set up. So far I am not impressed. I do understand that Star Trek is the intellectual property of Paramount and CBS. However I am a firm believer that any non-profit fan fiction production is simply a love letter to the series, and really will not hurt the new show coming out in 2017. Could I be wrong? Most definitely. To me though, if I owned a song or film and someone honored me with a tribute, I would be flattered as long as they weren’t making a gazillion dollars off me. As I understand it, fan fic films make little or no money. It is all for the love of the series.

My topic today will be about how disgusted I am with the political onslaught the American people have to put up with until voting day in November. Let’s go over the main candidates. First is Hillary Clinton. There is speculation at this moment about her health concerns. Some folks would have you think she is dying. The truth is that she has a case of pneumonia and will most likely be fine.

I want this understood right now before we go any further. I have not gone on to any websites for the front running candidates. Former Secretary Clinton is a Democrat and her opponent Donald Trump is running as the Republican candidate. Gary Johnson and his running mate are the Libertarian candidates who, I feel, have zero chance of obtaining the presidency.

I don’t particularly like Hillary Clinton. I don’t know why. Maybe it is because of all the accusations against her all these years. Maybe it is because she comes across as a cold woman. She and her husband have been in trouble since Arkansas. Rebecca has explained to me before what she knows about the scandals and accusations against Hillary Clinton, but I just can’t shake the feeling that she did something wrong and got away with it. Is anybody perfect? Of course not. Everybody has faults, but when you are running for president they are always magnified. I do like some things about Mrs. Clinton. She is highly educated with way more foreign policy experience than Donald Trump. She might not be as powerful a speaker as her opponent, but she can back up her claims.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, comes across to me as a pompous, arrogant ass. He is a racist, a bigot, and on at least one occasion, made fun of a handicapped person. That is when he lost any hope of my vote. Even though my handicap is mild, I will not support anyone who makes fun of a physically challenged person, for political gain or to prove a point.

Mr. Trump’s idea to build a wall between Mexico and the United States and have the Mexicans pay for it, is, quite frankly, absurd. Do I want illegal aliens taking our jobs? No. But there must be a better way than duplicating the Great Wall of China. To be perfectly honest with you readers, I did watch a couple of his speeches on YouTube, and I’ll give you that he is a rousing speaker. But that is it. I don’t think any one of his policies would work. Now let’s go into his economics. Multiple casinos – bankrupt. Trump Airlines – failed. A lot of his business ventures have gone belly up. I don’t know what makes him think that he is qualified at all at being our president. Here is another point for you. Does Donald Trump have any foreign policy experience? I would wager no. If Mr. Trump squeezed through by some miracle to win the White House, he will have to have advisors on top of advisors. And as is shown many times on news clips, Donald Trump likes to talk, not listen. Donald Trump would make George W. Bush look like a great president. With Donald Trump’s big mouth, we just might get into another war. One we might not be able to win.

Do we really have a great choice for president this time around? I suppose Hillary Clinton is the lessor of two evils. And her foreign policy experience is a plus. As long as the Clinton’s can keep their noses clean for four to eight years, we might be okay. If Donald Trump wins, I might be blogging from Canada. Ha ha.

This might not be my greatest blog entry ever, as I don’t go into politics often. I did want to put my two cents in about the major candidates. You may be wondering who I am going to vote for. Quite honestly, I’m not certain yet. Could it be Bernie Sanders? Possibly. Could it be Hillary Clinton? More than likely. Will it be Donald Trump? ROTFL. Definitely not.

One thing I do know is that the mud-slinging from this election has gone on way too long. It is the reason I rarely watch TV anymore.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Time for the new fall season on network television

Every fall the big networks start a new season for their programs, with new projects they bought from pilot episodes in the spring, and with the next season of shows renewed from last season. A new line-up, new schedule, and new stories. I get so excited. I get the TV Guide magazine, and for the last few years in September, they have covered the new shows in one issue and covered the returning shows in the next. I read these issues with marker in hand, seeing which shows I’m interested in and which I’m not, noting the day of the week they will be on and when they start. This year was no different, and I have enjoyed the shows that have premiered so far. More premiers to come in the weeks ahead.

The new fall season is a tradition I have followed since I was a child and teenager. TV was a lot different back then, with only three major networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC plus PBS. Not every household got every channel though, because of using an antenna that might not receive them all. If you watched TV, you watched shows from their line-ups, and chances were high that your neighbors and co-workers watched the same thing the night before. No VCRs or other recording devices, so we watched shows as they aired or we missed them. Well, until re-runs in the summer, when networks would often repeat the just-finished season of a show to fill the slow summer schedule.

We would often watch one channel the whole evening, like CBS’s Monday night line-up, or NBC’s Thursday block of shows. Some of the shows I watched back then were Cagney & Lacey, All in the Family, M.A.S.H., Wonder Woman, Hill Street Blues, and Masterpiece Mystery.

In the 80s and 90s, other channels launched, some successful and some not. UPN, Fox, WB, CNN, HBO. Now we have hundreds of channels to choose from, depending on our cable package, and more shows than we can keep up with. We also have new shows all year round, not just in the fall, from this array of cable networks. This influenced the major networks to also run new shows in the spring and the summer. Shows I watch now, from my choices of network and cable channels, are The Good Wife, Modern Family, Mom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Doctor Who, Face Off, Downton Abbey, and Major Crimes.

In last few years, the field of choices has grown again, as the internet sprouted sites for web-shows with original content that did not start on television or a television network. Hulu, Netflix, and other sites have followed with original content of their own that can be streamed and watched on whatever electrical device we have. This can be exciting, but also overwhelming, and no one can watch everything that is available.

So I am glad that the major networks, now CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox, with PBS and CW, still have the fall season, with new shows and new seasons for the returning programs. Though they space out the premiers a lot more than they did, and some shows don’t premier until January, it is still a fresh start and a definite new slate. One of my favorite traditions.

R.M.S Titanic 100 years later

Greetings, readers. It’s hard to believe that the great unsinkable Titanic sank 100 years ago tomorrow on her maiden voyage. I’ve always had a special fascination with Titanic. And yes, there’s my morbidity shining through again. Perhaps fascination is the wrong word, so I shall try to explain.

I have seen many films depicting the events dealing with the ship’s final hours. My favorite was called The Titanic, with George C. Scott as Captain Smith. It was a CBS made-for-TV movie shown over two nights. Very well done. But what isn’t well done that George C. Scott stars in?

As far as the particulars of the accident, several things are universal in the storytelling. Point number one was that the Titanic was thrown into reverse. If the ship was simply turned at the first instant of the iceberg’s spotting, the incident never takes place and the Titanic has a long and illustrious 30 year career. Point number two, from my understanding about the way the ship was constructed, if it had hit the iceberg head-on, perhaps only one or two compartments would have flooded and the ship could have limped to New York harbor. That would have been a minor inconvenience, but the Titanic would not have sunk. Point number three, and to me the biggest boo-boo of them all, when the wireless operator took the message that icebergs were spotted in the area, he should have stopped what he was doing and taken that message directly to the captain, and made certain he saw it. If this had been done, Captain Smith slows the Titanic, the ship has extra time to pass the iceberg, and everyone laughs at it as they go by. The Titanic crosses the Atlantic hundreds of times. I think you now get my point.

Yes, I’ve pondered all the ins and outs of the Titanic tragedy, all the things that could have happened but didn’t, should have happened but didn’t, oh, if only I had a time machine. For the survivors, they were truly blessed to be at the right place at the right time, and I suppose at the right age. Remember women and children were allowed to board lifeboats first.

Having seen most of the Titanic documentaries, where underwater submersibles dive down to the depths to find Titanic and come across eerie shadows of the great ship that was, it is humbling to see the mighty ship, a twisted wreck on the bottom of the Atlantic. Now filled with barnacles and bacteria growing out of every open port-hole, the remains of the great vessel is 10 to 20 years away from collapsing in on itself due to her steel being weakened.

Over the years, much memorabilia has been retrieved from the site. I’m going out on a limb here to say that I think that is wrong. I know I will probably peeve off some Titanic buffs, but remember we are talking about a gravesite here. I’ve now said my piece.

With Friday the 13th and the morning the Titanic went down soon behind us, my blog entries will go back to normal for a while. They will consist of me writing about my kitty cat, my books, the goings-on in State College, but don’t worry, when there is something which makes the news or something I’m reminded of, that ignites my passion and fury, you will all know about it. Until soon.