Monday, July 09, 2007

Blogroll Update

One of the things that has been going on around here lately is a desire to get the old Blog a bit more up to date while still retaining my own disorderly sense of order and design. I'll eventually migrate to the new style of template which makes things easier to plug in and personalize (they say – Blogger still doesn't supply a three column layout though, which is something I really would like to go to) but when I do I want everything up to date and ready to plug in and go when I do make the jump.

One of the things that I wanted to do was to modify my Blogroll. There were a few links that I wanted to cut (although one has been retained for old time's sake from a guy who goes way back with me at and more – many more – that I wanted to add on. One thing I have added are a number of blogs or sites from professional critics that I like. So here's a bit of a review of the new additions.

Above The Fold: The site of Ed Bark – aka Uncle Barky – longtime TV writer for the Dallas Morning News until he took a "voluntary" layoff, a story that he tells in a section of his blog. Uncle Barky behaves just like a newspaper TV critic except without a newspaper. He reviews shows, answers questions, makes lists and does a nice bit on local Dallas-Fort Worth TV.

Alan Sepinwall in the Star-Ledger: Online home of Allan's newspaper columns. He refers to them in his blog entries but here they are solo.

Blogcritics: They call themselves an online magazine. I call it a smorgasbord of critics. Of interest to us is the TV/Film section but the link is to the home page and you can choose areas that interest you.

By Ken Levine: The blog of long time sitcom writer/producer/director/creator. An interesting mix of stories about people he's worked with (his memories of Mary Tyler Moore are hardly fond), advice for writers, and humorous stories. Good stuff.

Check The Fein Print: TV and movie critic
Charles Feinberg looks at TV and movies and has some sort of odd relationship with Sepinwall.

Dead Things On Sticks: Canadian TV writer Denis McGrath rails at length about working as a writer in Canadian TV and particularly about private broadcasters and broadcast policies. Sadly, not updated as recently as one would have liked. It would have been very interesting to read the reaction to Kevin Reilly's ouster at NBC Entertainment and the rise of Ben Silverman (he'll be so-o-o-rry). I'm sure they'd have told us that the wrong man was fired or that NBC only dealt with half the problem.

Ken Jennings: The smart guy who seemed like the co-host of Jeopardy for a while – he and Alex Trebek would welcome two contestants to the show after which he'd whup thetar out of them – has an interesting blog that mixes a good sense of humour and an obvious love of trivia. Recommended.

Lydia Cornell: Do you remember the series Too Close For Comfort? Lydia Cornell played the younger of Ted Knight's two daughters on the show, the stereotypical "dumb blonde" (though I tend to think of her as just naive). In real life Lydia Cornell is neither dumb nor naive. She is in fact the co-host of a liberal talk show who managed to provoke Anne Coulter into a rather vile act – Coulter revealed Cornell's home phone number during a TV appearance. Anyone who can provoke that bitch to do something that vindictive is all right with me.

Media Obsessed: A solid review site that used to update daily or close to it. The pace seems to have slowed, not just because of the time of year but because the one member of the trio supposedly posting here who seemed to be doing most of the work now has a 9-5 job. Still worth it.

My Name Is Earl Kress: And Earl Kress is a noted writer for Hanna-Barbera and animation historian. Many of his current posts deal with releases of Hanna-Barbera shows on DVD, giving a lot of background and history about what's on the DVDs and sometimes what's not and should be.

The (TV) Show Must Go On: An absolute must read when Big Brother is on (Jackie is great at summarizing the live feeds, usually two or three times a day), the blog is also a gathering place for fans of Survivor, and The Amazing Race. Jackie also puts up links to interviews and other resources primarily about reality TV but also about other shows.

The Watcher (Chicago Tribune): Maureen Ryan does one of the professional critic blogs that I really like.

Today's Views: Comic book (and sometimes TV) writer and editor Marv Wolfman writes about projects he's working on, Cons he's attending and stuff that catches his interest.

Toronto Star Entertainment: Not a blog per se, but a good site for bits of news and some reviews.

Trouble In Paradise: Primarily a photoblog with plenty of glamourous pictures of classic movie stars, mostly from the 1930s, with a particular fascination with Kay Fwancis – sorry Kay Francis – and the stars of the "pre-Code" era. Some other art of the period as well.

TV Barn ( Aaron Barnhart's blog includes a podcast and a big listing of blogs and columns by professional critics. Admittedly they aren't all necessarily up to date, but still a valued resource.

TV Blend: The TV side of the Cinema Blend website. News and episode recaps all with the concept that brevity is the soul of wit, a concept that I continually fail to embrace.

TV Deuce: I confess I'm not a huge fan. Claims to be "a daily, funny TV blog" but doesn't always succeed with the funny part.

TV, Eh?: Created by Dianne Kristine, this fills a huge void as an aggregator for news stories (and sometimes press releases) about Canadian TV series – not shows shot in Canada for the US market but home grown (and frequently under-promoted) TV series.

TV Guidance: Jaime Weinman, who does Sonething Old, Nothing New also does a blog for Maclean's Magazine – Canada's answer to Time or Newsweek – that generally aggregates news from other sites mixed with occasional opinion from Jaime and as always, YouTube clips.

TVNewser: Probably the best site around for news about the business side of TV News. Brian Stetler, who created the site for Mediabistro is sadly moving on to real world pursuits (he recently graduated from college and is getting an actual job in the TV news business) but is actively looking for a replacement for himself.

TVSquad: Well I quote them often enough but kept forgetting to put this online TV magazine on the Roll. Part of the Weblogs Inc. Network, which is owned by AOL, but still extremely useful for news and opinion. A highlight is the weekday Vidcast from the fabulous Brigitte.

Unified Theory Of Nothing Much: Dianne Kristine's personal blog. She does quite a few TV reviews – including writing a lot about House – but she also created TV, Eh? even though she wasn't that big a fan of Canadian TV.

Viewer Discretion (Boston Globe): A blog from the TV writers at the Boston Globe. Postings tend to be short, pithy and opinionated. Quite good actually.

Vitaphone Varieties: I'm at a loss how to describe this blog. Long, long, l-o-n-g posts (fortunately only one visible at any given time) with plenty of images and links to MP3s of various songs from the era of Vitaphone movies. Sometimes the posts focus on a particular performer and/or a particular film, but at other times they just seem to ramble off on tangents so that where you start seems totally unrelated to where you finish. And don't even think of copying anything.

Weinwords: A blog from one of my favourite comic book writers, Len Wein. Tends to have a more personal focus than Marv Wolfman's blog; Marv writes about Cons and upcoming books that he's done, Len talks about cooking and doing What's My Line on stage. My only complaint is that Len doesn't post nearly enough.

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