Friday, April 21, 2006

TV On DVD - April 18, 2006

Apologies for not getting this out a little sooner. I mean it's not as if it's a huge list, or even a big list like next week's is going to be, but I've had some other draws on my time. Tuesday and part of Wednesday were spent trying to get everything put together for my bowling league's annual windup banquet, which was Wednesday night. This of course fell on the League Executives of which I am one and because of my personal schedule I was able to do a bit more of the work than the others. It did keep me away from other projects however. And I won $10 for having the High Single Game of 358 (this is Canadian Five Pin Bowling which has a perfect game of 450 rather than 300 in Ten Pin Bowling.

An interesting list this time around with a nice mix of shows, and a couple of oddities. As usual the list is courtesy of TVShowsOn

Best Moments of the Amazing Kreskin
- For some reason I've always been rather fond of The Amazing Kreskin. He always looked like the kid who did magic tricks in school and probably got beaten up for it because not only was he a magician he was also a boy scout. I mean sure, he's a "mentalist" which usually implies some sort of "supernatural" hoaxing, but the guy has always presented himself with a great sense of humour, as if he's saying to the audience "look you know I'm a fake and I know you know I'm a fake. Play along with the gag and we'll all have fun with it." James Randi, for whom I have tremendous respect, may not like Kreskin but he has exposed people who are a lot more dangerous and a lot more serious about committing frauds. Kreskin puts on a show and promotes himself with his "psychic" predictions.

Doogie Howser, M.D.: Season Four
- The fourth and final season of Doogie Howser saw the format finally losing its novelty value. It was bound to happen of course - a show about a teenaged doctor only works so long as he's a teen trying to deal with his "teen angst" while he's working in an adult world. Once you get rid of that what you have is just another medical show with a lead character who may be a few years younger than the people he's working with.

Remington Steele: Season 3
- The third season of Remington Steele was quite interesting. There are a number of episodes shot in various European locations including the French Riviera, Malta, and Ireland. There is also an episode featuring old time Hollywood stars Dorothy Lamour, Virginia Mayo and Lloyd Nolan. Finally there's the only episode of the series written by Stephanie Zimbalist ("Steele In The Chips"). I loved this series for a lot of reasons: Brosnan's suave playing of the character in the style of Cary Grant; the witty writing; the fact that it was one series where the "unresolved sexual tension" existed for a quantifiable reason. I confess however that the main reason why I loved this series as much as I did was because I have been in love with Stephanie Zimbalist since she did one episode of the miniseries Centennial seven years before Remington Steele debuted.

Michael Palin: Sahara
- Everyone knows Michael Palin the comedian and actor - Monty Python's Flying Circus, Ripping Yarns, The Missionary and A Fish Called Wanda - but he's also carved out a bit of a career for himself as an adventure traveller for TV. It sometimes seems as though every one of his trips gets easier, if you can believe that. I mean after trying to go around the world in eighty days without flying - a far more difficult journey in modern times than it was for Jules Verne's fictional Phileas Fogg or for real life journalist Nellie Bly (who did it in 72 days) - a trip from the North Pole to the South Pole through Europe and Africa as close to possible to 30 degrees of Longitude would seem to be a piece of cake. This was followed by a trip around the Pacific Rim, a journey in the footsteps of Hemmingway (thought by many to be the worst of his travel documentaries) and this 2002 series in which he travels around the Sahara Desert. This was followed by a trip the the Himalayas, and there are rumours that there will be another series (check Palin's website, which incidentally allows you to read all of the book versions of his trips free of charge although not in a particularly user friendly manner).

The Sentinel: The Complete First Season
- I'm not entirely sure, but it seems to me that The Sentinel was probably the first UPN drama - maybe the first UPN series - other than Star Trek Voyager to last more than one season It ran for three seasons, and after being cancelled with a huge cliffhanger the show's fans were able to get UPN to do an extra half season for the show to wind the show up properly. While I confess that I enjoyed the show, primarily for the relationship between Detective Jim Ellison (Richard Burgi now on Desperate Housewives as Susan's jerk of an ex-husband) a former Army Ranger, and long haired anthropologist Blair Ellison (Garrett Maggart), I have to say that it is on the whole pretty light stuff, and UPN had other early shows that I would much rather have seen have had a longer run - Legend, Live Shot and Nowhere Man come to mind. Still it is a fun series.

Thundercats: Season 2, Vol. 1
- Okay, so I guess we can't avoid "kidvid" for more than a couple of weeks. I don't know much about this series and to be honest I don't think I care that much.

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