Saturday, August 15, 2009

Around the Blogosphere This Week

Miscellaneous bits of news and fun stuff from the Internet...

...The Post Office has released a set of "Early TV Memories" postage stamps. Click the title of this post for the press release. Leonard Maltin has posted some great photos of the August 11th ceremony celebrating the release. June Lockhart was there with Lassie! She and Barbara Hale, among others, look terrific.

...Speaking of classic TV, TV reporter Stan Chambers has been a mainstay of KTLA Ch. 5 in Los Angeles since 1947. He just celebrated his 86th birthday...and still works every day! A few years back Stan published an enjoyable autobiography, which is not only the story of his life, but of major Southern California news events since the mid-20th Century. I once saw Stan in our area covering a news story (the Samantha Runnion tragedy).

...thirtysomething has its long-awaited DVD release 10 days hence. In the meantime, the TV Shows on DVD site has a series of 11 promo clips available, including the opening credits sequence.

...It took me a while to warm up to MAD MEN. I "speed-watched" Season 1, admiring the fabulous costumes and set decor and hitting the high points storywise, but not investing a great deal of time in what were often downbeat storylines; even today critics remark on the show's "icy" and "chilly" tone. Last season, however, was often fascinating, and by the end of the season I was hooked. Season 3 starts Sunday evening. USA Today gives the premiere a 4-star review and raves about its "icy genius" and "chilly brilliance." The L.A. Times admires it too. Links to more reviews are here. (P.S. for musical fans: How cool is it that the star of HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING is playing the ad agency's elder statesman?)

...A new article mourns the vastly scaled-back releases of classic movies on DVD, and notes that Fox has shut down its Studio Classics website. I checked, and sure enough, it's gone.

...James Peterson, author of wonderful cookbooks including ESSENTIALS OF COOKING, WHAT'S A COOK TO DO?, and COOKING, releases his newest book on September 29th: BAKING.

...Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has released a new study they commissioned on the results of homeschooling: "In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts-moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009)."

...A mini-roundup of interesting political articles of the last few days: "You Might Be a Birther If..." by Kyle-Anne Shiver of American Thinker, "Nazis For Me, But Not For Thee" by Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online, "What Are You Waiting For, Doc?" by Duane Patterson (the "Generalissimo" of Hugh Hewitt's show), "Will They Still Love Him Tomorrow?" by Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal, and your dose of Steyn on Saturday, "Unplugging Grandma Isn't the Problem."

...TV Shows on DVD reports that the series of TV-movies which followed the conclusion of THE ROCKFORD FILES will be coming to DVD starting November 3rd.

Have a great weekend!


Blogger Dana said...

Laura, I was interested to read your review of Mad Men. I tried to watch it the first season and was put off by the lack of redeeming characters, as well as the coldness. And while I understand it was very much a part of the cultural fabric of sexism that existed, it was cringe inducins when seeing the men refer to the office girls as honey, sweetie, or pat their behinds. Wow.

Anyway, I'm willing to give it another shot based on your review. Thanks. And I quite agree that the costuming is wonderful and the sets are so authentic looking: I'm pretty sure I grew up in one of those same living rooms!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That was pretty much my initial reaction, Dana...yet despite the lack of redeeming characters, I loved the show's style and was curious enough to flip through the Season 1 episodes just enough to enjoy the visual design and keep up with what was going on.

Last season, however, was really interesting, especially when it came to the storyline of Don mentoring Peggy (not only professionally, but he found her in the hospital after the Season 1 finale shocker). It was fascinating watching Peggy's gradual success in a "man's world."

I think my favorite set is the Drapers' kitchen! Hope you find it worthwhile this year.

Best wishes,

10:19 PM  
Blogger James Corry said...

Laura, with regards to the demise of the "Fox Studio Classics" website, it's unfortunate, but true, that in these economic times the studios are just NOT going to gamble on restoring and releasing some old film that no one has ever heard of anyway starring people who may have been dead for over 50 years (unless it's John Wayne).....ALL eyes on the Warner Bros. Archive editions to see how well that experiment does......If it succeeds, then other studios will follow suit; if it fails.....then the other studios will basically say: "I told you so!" and do nothing. I'm sure you've noticed the lack of classic films and box-sets at Costco over the past 18 months or so. They used to have an entire section for them. But they discovered that they just don't sell as well as: "Resident Evil pt. 6" or "Men In Black pt. 2"......unfortunately.

7:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older