PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #214  (Vol. 5, No. 18)  This edition is for the week of April 26--May 2, 2004.

Florida’s Commuter Airlines from the 1960’s to the 1980’s: Part One
 by William Moriaty
"The Punisher"
 by Mike Smith
"The Punisher"  by Nolan B. Canova
Tambay Film Festival, Neck Aches, Horror Movies, Etc.
 by Andy Lalino
Cable Channels Fighting for an Identity (and Viewers)....Couch Potato Quick Takes
 by Vinnie Blesi
Politics: The World of Two Extremes....Put It In Your Planner....Save The Ship....Who Needs Indy?
 by Brandon Jones
Coming Soon....A Nice Cape....A Salute....What About "The Night Chicago Died"?....Cool Venues....Meet The Beatles, Part 14
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
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Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.
   A sardonic commentary on America’s favorite pastime.

Cable channels fighting for an Identity (and viewers)
To promote the opening of “Kill Bill Vol. Two” the cable channel “Trio” had a special My Trio week with guest host Quentin Tarentino. “Trio” was originally a channel that carried mostly English and Aussie TV shows, which we don’t receive in the US. I used to watch it quite a bit and loved the show “Bugs”, about a detective agency using high tech gadgets, a UK series that originally ran from 1995-98. The channel is now owned by one of the media big brothers, Universal/Vivendi and calls itself “Pop Culture TV”. Its current claim to fame is reruns of David Letterman. The major problem with this channel is its hodge podge programming style, which emphasizes special themes. For example, in June the upcoming theme is “Greatest Pop Culture flops”. I’m sure there will be some interesting programs and movies on then, but finding when they will be on will be the challenge for us truly lazy couch potatoes.

Creature With the Blue HandI was able to catch two enjoyable movies from the '60s and a couple of episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” during the Tarentino week. First up is German director’s Alfred Vohrer’s “Creature with the Blue Hand”. This a must see for any real goth or horror fan. Based on a novel by Edgar Wallace this story features a young Klaus Kinski as twin brothers, one evil and one good (but which one is which?), an insane asylum, a creepy castle and of course a Butler. Kinski does some brilliant silent brooding in this one and the soundtrack music is excellent. Clues are thrown in ever which way as to who the killer really is (did the Butler do it?). The plot holes in this movie are huge, but it is fun to watch. A DVD is available as “The Bloody Dead” which features footage added in the '80s (boo hiss).

The Bloody DeadThe second flick I caught was “Human Vapor” a Toho release from 1960, directed by the director of Godzilla, Ishiro Honda. This mildly amusing Japanese treat has a librarian who is subjected to a scientists experimentation and turns into the The Human Vapor! It’s a story of revenge, it’s a love story, and most important there are no monsters destroying Tokyo for a change.

I was also able to see the very first episode of the late '50s-early '60s TV show, “Alfred Hitchcock presents” entitled “Revenge”. Featuring Vera Miles as a woman just recovered from a nervous breakdown, she is then attacked by a stranger in her trailer. The plot moves along a little slow, but then get ready for one those shocker endings in the EC comics style. http://www.tvtome.com/AlfredHitchcockPresents/

Another cable channel struggling to find an identity is “Spike”, the first network for Men. This channel, that used to be "TNN", can’t decide if it wants to show wrestling, car races, sci-fi, or copy “Comedy Central’s The Man Show”. At least they are now showing “Star Trek, Next Gen” without that annoying black bar at the bottom like TNN did and they recently began airing the “Deep Space Nine” series. This channel also suffers from a hodge-podge programming style. Tune in at different times and you never know what will be on. Hopefully they pick up more sci-fi programming (but you women out there, no watching!)

The third cable channel that has an identity crisis is “BBC America”. With a great back catalog of BBC programming to choose from this channel has turned into another decorating show channel. I used to be able to catch Monty Python, Black Adder, and the Young Ones on this channel. And how about Dr. Who? That would be an excellent addition to this channel. The good news is they are starting to show reruns of “The Saint” daily at 4:00 pm. Also please bring back “Hamish Macbeth”.

Couch Potato Quick Takes
Private message to Omarosa: “Honey, your 15 minutes were up a loooong time ago!”

The Sci-fi channel has recently started airing the best sci-fi show currently on, “Andromeda”. Lets hope the production remains independent or else we will see another great show ruined.

“Deep Core”, another in yet an endless supply of Original Sci-Fi channel movies, is worth seeing just to watch Wil Weaton do a shot of liqour off a hooker’s stomach and to hear Terry Farrell say, “Lets go check out the cockpit”.

The long awaited finale to the show that has gone on too abysmally long, “Friends”, is set to air May 6th. Will this show be the one to finally knock “Mash” off the throne as most watched season finale?

The Cartoon Network is now showing episodes of “Aqua Teen Hungerforce” nightly. I was able to catch the first episodes in which our fast food heroes were originally detectives, Master Shake was the leader, and MeatWad slept on a grill. In later episodes Frylock is now the leader and MeatWad’s grill is no longer in sight. No longer detectives they are now just slackers, except for the occasional get rich scheme.

Until next time, May you not lose your mighty remote control!

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2004 by Vinnie B.  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.