I had a feeling last week's Top Ten Television Series of all Time issue would likely be an instant classic, but even I didn't appreciate how difficult a challenge it would be for me and everyone else. Shows how deeply ingrained this thing called television has become in our lives.
First, Will Moriaty gave me guff for including a mile-long "honorable mentions" list. I replied it wasn't specified anywhere there couldn't be one, and I'm notorious for bending my own rules anyway. But, Will sent in his list months ago, shortly after the first announcements. Like always, he is the only contributor who works way ahead of schedule (thank God) and I apologize to him if I wasn't clear on the "rules". (He did indicate he might send in a post-facto update since others did.)
I am surprised I am the only one who listed "The Outer Limits"! I thought for sure that was every baby-boomer's post-Twilight Zone destination, but I was wrong. (There is one exception in this issue's "Letters" section--thank you, my friend.)(UPDATE: 1-23-02. Another one in Will's honorable mentions, further down this page.) I still think that the show rocked and was a lot of thought-provoking fun. And great monsters!
Less surprising was the absence of any support for "The Adventures of Superman" and/or "Lost in Space". I didn't expect much, but I just know there have got to be more fans of these shows out there, severely dated as they are notwithstanding. (UPDATE: 1-23-02. Another winner for Will. "Lost in Space" shows up in his honorable mentions, further down.)
MORE HONORABLE TV SERIES MENTIONS. by Nolan Canova: Ha ha! Can't help it. I know you all remembered some more after you sent your lists, too. In addition to last week's "mentions" updates, please add "The Green Hornet" (Thanks, Matt), "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In", "Green Acres", "Room 222", "Love, American Style", "Captain Kangaroo" (do NOT give me sh*t about it), The Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffin Show (even though he grates on my nerves, he had great guests), the '60s SuperMarionation greats: "Supercar" and "Fireball XL-5" (very important shows to me),
"The Rich Little Show" ('70s), "Barnaby Jones", "Canon", "Space: 1999" (kind of a late-bloomer fan of that), "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", "Happy Days", "Monty Python's Flying Circus", "The Marty Feldman Show", any Rowan Atkinson vehicle, "The Archies" ('60s version--breaking the Sat. morning cartoon rule here, but a guilty pleasure that affected me musically, believe it or not), if you count Sat. afternoon Creature Features, "Creature Feature", starring Dr. Paul Bearer ('70s-'90s in primarily the Tampa area, but had a national rep), and "Terminus" (same category, but from the '60s).
Shows you will NOT see on my honorable mentions list, even tho, yes, I sat thru them fairly frequently, but I could not develop any strong feelings for are "Hee Haw", "H.R. Pufnsuf", "The Banana Splits" (I give 'em credit for energy and a great theme song), "The Man from Atlantis", "Quark" (sorry, Adriana), "Babylon 5" (sorry, Drew), "The Waltons" (sorry, Matt), "Seinfeld" (sorry everybody--excellent writing, yes, just a little overrated to me), any of the Norman Lear shows OUTSIDE of "All in the Family" (I admit being a fan of "The Jeffersons", et.,al, at the time, but they are NOT timeless episodes--the time-period references depress me now), and Judge Wapner in that original court show (I can't friggin' ESCAPE those court clone shows now--they're all over the dial).
"Jerry Springer" and any of the knock-offs are evil incarnate. Altho I was a big fan of game shows of the '60s (Truth or Consequences, The Match Game, To Tell the Truth, What's My Line ('70s version)), that did not follow into the modern age.
I was never big on westerns, but I admit "Gunsmoke" was well done and I was a pretty avid watcher of "Bonanza". "Medical Center" is the only medical show that will stick to me for a lifetime, altho I admit I haven't given the newer ones much chance. "Quantum Leap", to me, was very similar to "The Time Tunnel", but it definitely had its moments. "South Park" was unbelievable at one time, but the creators couldn't compete with the expectations they themselves built up. New episodes are rare.
Stay tuned...I may have more updates before the week is over.
UPDATE 1-24-02: "Mystery Science Theater 3000".
TV TOP TEN honorable mentions update by Matt Drinnenberg
I know we broached this subject in last week's PCR, but there are a couple shows I MUST mention or my TV Karma won't be right! Without going into depth.....or order sequence.....
"I Love Lucy", "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "High Chapperal", "Gunsmoke", "Mr.Ed", "Carl Sagan's Cosmos" (which I must've seen Billions and Billions of times), "The Waltons", "All In The Family",
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show", "Little House on the Prairie" (that's right.....I said Little House), "Bossum Buddies", and the big Kahuna of what I left off my list.......(drum roll please)......."THE GREEN HORNET". How in the world I forgot this show I'll never know. Certainly Nolan will agree with those sentiments. Heck, I didn't even remember the Batman episode with them in it until Nolan and I hooked up on AOL IM.
Fortunately, those brain cells weren't killed off by my years of stupid living, and were just lying dormant, ready to be awakened by Mr Canova's thought-provoking IM's.
(I sometimes marvel how I ever got along without Instant Messaging! Yes, it was a stimulating session we had that resulted in this madness.---Nolan)
TV TOP TEN honorable mentions update by Will Moriaty
Okay, Canova---I know you're the "grand fazah of waddee doo dah" of this here 'zine, so I might as well join in on the fray. ADD'L HONORABLE MENTIONS: "That Was the Week That Was", "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "Honey West", "The Untouchables". "Peter Gunn", "Checkmate", "The M Squad", "Dragnet", "Bonanza", "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color", "The Littlest Hobo", "The Green Hornet", "The Time Tunnel", "Stingray", 'Supercar", "Fireball XL-5", "The Thunderbirds", "Clutch Cargo", "Sky King", "The Carol Burnett Show", "M*A*S*H", "Yancey Derringer", "Bourbon Street Beat", "The Rebel", "Bob Newhart Show", "Newhart", "It Takes a Thief", "Hawaii Five-O","Magnum P.I.", "The Grey Ghost", "Highway Patrol", "The Outer Limits (old)", "Alcoa Presents One Step Beyond", "Playhouse 90", "Have Gun Will Travel", "Comedy Tonight", "The Bailey's of Balboa", "Secret Agent", "the FBI", "Remington Steele", "Quantum Leap", "Brisco County Jr.", "Lassie", "Rin Tin Tin", "the Virginian", "the Wild Wild West", "Iron Horse", "the Real McCoys", "Green Acres", "Hee Haw", "Shindig", "Hullabaloo", "Midnight Special". "Buck Rogers of the 25th Century", "Quark", "Star Trek (orig and NG)", "Rawhide", "Hogan's Heroes", "the Mary Tyler Moore Show", "the Jeffersons", "Maude", "the Andy Griffith Show", "Fantasy Island", "the Lloyd Thaxton Show", "the Ernie Kouvacs Show", "the Steve Allen Show", "the Young Ones", "Amos Burke", "I Love Lucy", "ABC Monday Night Football", "Columbo", "60 Minutes", "Soul Train", "Taxi", "Cosby", "I Dream of Jeannie", "Jonny Quest", "the Jetsons", "the Addams Family", "the Munsters", "Soap", "Lost in Space", "Hill Street Blues", "I Spy", "Barney Miller", "Gidget", "the Red Skelton Show", "Black Adder", "Adventures in Paradise", "the Jackie Gleason Show" and "Zombies of the Stratosphere".
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS: "Hello Larry", "Thicke of the Night", "the Montefuscos", "Super Train", "the Chevy Chase Show", "Fish", "Hank", "the Pruitts of Southhampton", "Many Happy Returns", "Hawaiian Heat", "After M*A*S*H", "Entertainment Tonight", "Inside Edition", "When______Go Bad".
Hope you're happy now "Monkey Boy"...
(Ecstatic! Pass me a banana---N)
TV TOP TEN honorable mentions update by Michael A. Smith
TV STUFF. I can't begin to tell everyone how pleased I was at the response to my "Top 10 TV Shows" challenge. I must admit that when I broached the topic last year to little response I was pretty crushed. (I take partial responsibility for that.---N) Thank you, Nolan, for carrying the torch forward and re-lighting the flame. (You bet!---N)
As hard as it was for me to pick my 10 Top Films of the past YEAR (incidentally, films 12 and 13 are "Black Hawk Down" and "In the Bedroom" (See Mike's Rant", this issue.---N)), you can't imagine how hard it was to pick 10 shows from 35 plus years of television watching. Thankfully, others have included "honorable mentions" list, so here is mine:
Yes! "The Green Hornet". Also the shows that comprised the various Mystery Theatre shows, including "Columbo", "McMillan and Wife", "The Magician" (Bill Bixby between "My Favorite Martian" and "The Incredible Hulk"), the various Quinn Martin productions, such as "Barnaby Jones", "The F.B.I". and "Streets of San Francisco", other sci-fi/fantasy shows like "Time Tunnel", "Land of the Giants", "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "Twilight Zone" (the '60's) and "Night Gallery" and, of course, the grand-daddy of them all, "Star Trek".
Throw in such diversive shows as "The Waltons", "Kojak" and the little-seen "Bay City Blues" (think "Hill Street" with baseball players instead of cops) and I have just scratched the surface. Thanks to everyone for their responses!
I am not a fan of Rush Limbaugh, nor of his politics, nor of his radio show or anything else, but it was hard not to be moved by the announcement, late last year, that Rush was going deaf due to some freak genetic thing. This on the heels of the announced largest contract-signing in radio history.
Now, it appears that thru a miracle of science, a cochlear implant (hope I spelled that
right), Rush is not only hearing about 90% of everything again, but WAY ahead of schedule. Supposedly, he wasn't supposed to regain any hearing for months, but was successful virtually immediately, or so the story goes.
This is a wonderful thing, don't get me wrong if I'm sounding a little sarcastic. It never ceases to amaze me what medical science is often able to do (and equally amazed at what it's never able to do, but that's another story...), and if Rush Limbaugh can commune with his loyal listeners by being able to take phone calls on the air again, more power to him. But, just remember one thing...
There is a HUUUGE amount of money at stake here. I'm trying to remember what his obscene contract calls for, but it's something like a quarter billion dollars over, like, 15 years or something. Who of any of us has access to that kind of money? I'm sure we could cure a lot of ills if we had.
CELEBRITY PASSINGS. This past week saw the passing of two notable celebrities, one famous, one not-so-famous, but important to fandom. Peggy Lee, famed jazz and torch pop singer has died at the age of 81 in LA. She was most famous for her renditions of "Fever" and "Is That All There Is?"
The not-quite-as-famous one is comic book legend John Buscema who died at the age of 74 from stomach cancer in Port Jefferson, NY. Buscema was an artist who worked on such hits as Avengers, Conan the Barbarian, Fantastic Four and The Hulk among others. He will be sorely missed.
Mike Smith will likely have more to add to these thoughts in his current "Rant".
NEW PCR LINKS. I am very grateful to announce two more brilliant and forward-thinking webmeisters have notified me they've added The Pop Culture Review to their "Links" sections. Our own Matt Drinnenberg's "Masters of Horror" site (see nav bar) had me on one of his links pages already (thanks Matt), but now has added a new section devoted to--of all things--The Planet of the Apes magazine from the '70s! The PCR link was added onto the left-side nav bar. If any of you remember that mag (I sure do), you'll get a kick out of this.
Also, my new friends over at Legion Studios have sincerely honored me by featuring a PCR link on their links page. If you haven't visited their site yet, by all means do so. This is a talented group of artists and writers who
feature and promote totally independent original stories, poetry, and artwork, and accept contributions of same for publication. They've also developed a series of funny/weird Quicktime cartoons (I love their approach to this). I'm presently trying to catch up on their original fictions.
The severely-behind schedule revamp of the Crazed Fanboy homepage will inherit The World of Nolan's "bucket-o-links" section and all my esteemed colleagues' links will all be listed there. Have patience, it'll be great when it's done.
This week's issue|
La Floridiana by William Moriaty
On July 1, 1951, Mrs. Mary Hardy Reeser had a luncheon with her son, Dr. Richard Reeser. Dr. Reeser last saw his mother that evening at 8:30 P.M. when she told him that she was going to take two sleeping pills and go to bed. The last person to see her alive was her landlady at 9:00 P.M.
Mrs. Reeser was a 67-year-old widow who lived alone in an apartment in St. Petersburg, Florida until she was claimed by what many have called "spontaneous human combustion."
........Click here for more.
This week's issue|
Matt's Rail by Matt Drinnenberg
TUNA TO BUCS? SORRY CHARLIE!
For a guy who has never been under contract to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Parcells has solidified his place in Bucco history as possibly the greatest heartbreaker ever.....TWICE!
As I write this, the news is reporting a plane from London to Orlando was diverted to Iceland because of a "bomb threat"......
.......Click here for more.
This week's issue|
The Enlightenment by Terence Nuzum
"PICK A BALE OF COTTON": ROOTS & INFLUENCES. First of a multi-part Enlightenment covering the history of the blues!
A what point the blues actually began is a question that is more difficult to answer than you can possibly imagine. Who first sang the blues and turned what was then negro work songs and spirituals
into the form we now know is also an impossible question to answer. But what we can speak about is its roots and influences, the musical forms and traditions that eventually shaped the blues.
......Click here for more.
This week's issue|
Mike's Rant by Michael A. Smith
AND THE NOMINEES ARE............PASSING ON............GIMME A "C"............PLEASE HAMMER, DON'T HURT THEM...........
......Click here for more.
Revived Feature! PCR Spotlight on TV.|
This was an under-utilized idea from last year that I'd like to again see develop: reviews of certain TV series or specials by fans who want to express something about them without necessarily a regular column. Single episodes are welcome, but if you want to cover a whole series, that's fine, too. It'll attract others of like-minded interests.|
First up: Lauré Piper returns with a review of the new episode of "The Gilmore Girls" from 1-22-02.
..............Click here for more.
We welcome your feedback.|
Can I play? (Re: The top 10 TV series of all time from last issue. Of course! Everyone's welcome.---N)
10. Red Dwarf
8. Star Trek/Next Gen/Deep Space 9 (last two seasons)
7. Outer Limits
6. Monty Python
4. Twilight Zone
3. Absolutely Fabulous
2. Twin Peaks
1. The Prisoner
Great Top Ten list! I am again honored and pleased you cared enough to write in. Thanks again for being a contrbutor.
To all prospective Top 10 list contributors: your/our friends and fans like to read some comments supporting your choices. Remember to send 'em with your list even if it's only one or two lines.---Nolan
What the hell kind of President of the United States of America would choke on a pretzel? (Re: headline section of PCR #95.---N) Personally, I would be embarrassed.
I would much rather say, "I choked on a HOT 'N' SPICY PORK RIND."
Now there's a real MAN.
Since I am a MIAMI DOLOHINS fan, Tony Dungy's firing doesn't affect me. I wish the BUCS would disappear off the face of the earth.
Also, "All In The Family", only gets an honorable mention? (Re: My list of the Top 10 TV Series of all Time, also PCR #95.---N)
At least Will Moriaty puts it at #4.
It deserves to be at #1. Carroll O'Connor belongs with the greats! Jackie Gleason and Moe.
God Bless Norman Lear and Bob LoHendro.
How can you lump SNL with The Carol Burnett Show? Do you have rocks in your head? Let's compare.
Carol Burnett: COMEDY GENIUS!!!!!!!!!
Lorne Michaels: Producer of the SADDEST SHOW OF ALL TIME! And I don't want to hear about SNL's early days. They were not that great. Coneheads are not funny. John Belushi-as-a-bumblebee-Ralph-Kramden is not funny.
Don't give me crap about social satire either. SNL is not, nor has ever been, funny!
Picard was gay.
PICARD: Number 1.
RIKER: Yes, Captain.
PICARD: Meet me in my ready room, and be ready! You know, you always were my Number 1.
PICARD: Ensign Crusher!
WESLEY: Yes, Captain.
PICARD: Meet me in my ready room, and be ready!
Dave, thanks for the feedback! If you get the inspiration to write again anytime soon, I'd LOVE to see your Top Ten TV Series list!!---Nolan
Am I missing it or is there no mention of Dr. Who anywhere?
Of all the shows from my childhood, no other show had me more excited than Dr. Who. What can I say? I have a soft spot for space aliens made out of construction paper.
-Christian A. Dumais
P.S. I stand corrected. Drew mentioned it. I feel better. Life is good again.
How about Buffy? By far, one of the greatest shows in the last 5 years.
Points taken. I never caught Dr. Who enough times at the right times to get hooked on it, but I know plenty of people who did (like Drew). And I certainly can't argue with its longevity. And, yes, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" also deserves an honorable mention. Sarah Michelle Gellar has kept me...er...busy...many nights!---Nolan
In response to Dave Thielen, I must confess MOE RULES!!! (Re: Dave's letter, above, published earlier in the week---N) (presuming his reference is about Mr. Howard and not Mr. Bandy).
Please pardon me now as I relax with N.Y.U.K.
Terence's first article on the blues was absolutely incredible! (Re: Terence Nuzum's current "The Enlightenment" series.---N) Thanks for sharing this wealth of knowledge that has been neglected for too long in mainstream American society. The accompanying graphics made this a truly historical and aesthetic piece as well. Keep up the great work Terence!
DR. WHO. Arrrrgggghhhh! I can't believe I forgot that one! (Re: Christian A. Dumais' letter, above, published less than 24 hrs. ago.---N) One of my favorite of all shows! (TOM BAKER RULES!!!!!)
Buffy's pretty darned good too---you know, at this rate, this honorable mention stuff may keep up for a while (really enjoyed Vinnie's top ten). Don't forget Douglas Adamms's "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" either!
Write to: Letters to the Editor Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan
"Mike's Rant" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith "Matt's Rail" is ©2002 by Matt Drinnenberg "La Floridiana" is ©2002 by William Moriaty "The Enlightenment" is ©2002 by Terence Nuzum The review of the Gilmore Girls episode featured in PCR Spotlight is ©2002 by Lauré Piper Thanks again to Vince Blesi, Dave Thielen, Christian A. Dumais, Karen Cashon and Will Moriaty for writing in. Add'l thanks to Matt Drinnnberg, Will Moriaty, and Mike Smith for their Top Ten TV updates. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova
Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova ©2002; all rights reserved.