Criminal Minds: "Amplification"

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AGT: I’ve never admitted this before, but Tracy and I watch America’s Got Talent. The new season debuted last night and it’s off to a great start. The first four acts got through with four “yeses” each, then they moved into a series of silly ones. There is a new host this year (Terry Crews replaces Tyra Banks) and two new judges (basically younger versions of Mel B. and Heidi Klum). They put together a clip of one of the new judges who was at first reluctant to “X” any of the acts, then really got into it. I could see any of the first four act going to the finals, and this week’s “Golden Buzzer” was awarded to a blind, autistic piano player/singer.

HOME MOVIES: Back in the early ‘90s, by dad (with his movie projector), my brother (with his VHS recorder) and I (with my stereo) sat in my dad’s basement and transferred all of our 8mm home movies to video tape. I eventually ended up with those tapes because, of everyone in my family, I am the only one who still has a VHS player. A couple of years ago, my nephew offered to transfer them to DVD, but for whatever reason, that never happened. I had been trying, unsuccessfully, ever since to get the tapes back. I recently got word that my nephew is going to be moving, so I used the “one less thing to move” reason for his to return them, which he did. I have all of the VHS tapes my brother shot as well, and I’ve been watching a few of them a night. It’s weird. Not only are my mother and father dead, but my brother is dead, my brother-in-law is dead, my sister-in-law is dead, her folks are dead, and all of my aunts and uncles on both sides of my family are dead. SIGH. It’s kind of depressing, in a way.

Your comments about family members, particularly parents, uncles and aunts, dying certainly hits home with me and, I'm sure, many of the people reading this.

As for VHS tapes, magnetic tapes are very fragile. When I moved on from VHS to DVD I asked a friend to convert two tapes I had relating to things personally valuable to me. If you still want to convert your tapes I know there are commercial services that will do it. 

Thanks, Richard. I know of a place locally. The reason I sent them to my nephew in the first place was that he had the ability to do it where he worked (at the time, but no longer) for free. But like I said, for whatever reason that didn't happen.

I have two, two-hour tapes of old 8mm film, and six two hour tapes originally recordced on VHS. There is quite a difference in style between the old films and the newer tapes (apart from the fact that the new ones have sound). Those 8mm films were 20 minutes each, and the photographer (my dad, usually) had to be really choosey about what made the cut. The VHS ones are basically unlimited, which leads to tons and tons of, well... crap. For example, 20 minutes alone may be dedicated to my nephews riding their bikes back and forth, back and forth, whereas my bike-riding scenes lasted maybe 20 seconds. I might transfer all of the 8mm ones to DVD, but I'd want to be really picky about transferring those VHS tapes.

OTOH, my other nephew ended up with the original films and the movie projector. It would probably be cleaner for him to have the film transfered to DVD directly, rather my my tape of the film.

This device will help you digitize video and capture it to a PC or Mac. I used a similar device to copy all my VHS tapes to DVD. Nowadays, a big external hard drive would be the best place to capture. Once it's all captured, back it up to another big hard drive, and you should be safe for some time.

Thanks, Tim!

SWAMP THING: We watched the first episode of the new DC streaming series Swamp Thing. Most of the main characters are in view, but they’ve been shuffled up a bit. (For example, the roles of Linda Holland and Abigail Arcane seem to have been combined.) The special effects are particularly gory. Based on the first episode, this series is more about the “horror” than the “sophisticated suspense.”

THE TERRY KATH EXPERIENCE: This documentary about Chicago’s original guitarist was made by his daughter and is available via Amazon Prime. It’s worth watching for anyone who is a fan of his work. Such a shame he died so tragically and a t such a young age. (He accidentally shot himself in 1978 when he was 31.)

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

Did the live special of ALL IN TBE FAMILY me tion the show's roots in the British TIL' DEATH DO US PART?I'm not sure if that was the literal title.) In it, Alf Garnet was English Tory Protestant (I suppose) royalist his son-in-law Irish Labour Catholic guess) republican. I've never, alas, been able to see it


Richard Willis said:

They didn't mention the British show. It's amazing how many British shows were remade into American ones.

Yeah ....

  • All in the Family, famously, 
  • Sanford and Son was an American remake of Steptoe and Son.
  • Cosby on CBS (not to be confused with The Cosby Show on NBC) was based on One Foot in the Grave.
  • Three's Company was based on Man About the House.
  • There were three short-lived stabs at turning Fawlty Towers into an American sitcom, says Wikipedia: Chateau Snavely starring Harvey Korman and Betty White; Amanda's, starring Bea Arthur; and Payne, starring John Larroquette.
  • IMDB says that Welcome Back, Kotter was based on Please, Sir!, although every other source says it was based on Gabe Kaplan's standup act and memories of his childhood. 

And, of course, there are more recent examples like The Office, House of Cards and Veep.

In the opening credits for The Good Doctor they credit an award-winning show from South Korea as the original inspiration.

The Ropers was based on George and Mildred.

Three's a Crowd maybe was based on Robin's Nest.

I ran across this piece from The Undefeated that testifies to the wonderfulness of Uncle Phil:

"Uncle Phil from 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' May Be the Best TV Dad in History — This Scene Proves It":


ClarkKent_DC said:

Richard Willis said:

I have always enjoyed every episode I've seen of Fresh Prince, a much better show. Comedy shows that can successfully blend comedy and real-life lessons/problems are always head-and-shoulders above others.  

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996) overlapped with The Cosby Show (1984-1992), which got a lot more acclaim, but I always thought Uncle Phil was a better and much cooler dad than Cliff Huxtable.

Uncle Phil had Will's back through any number of scrapes, and put up with Will, Carlton and Jazz even though they often were disrespectful of him. Uncle Phil, however, was very patient with them, because he had life experience that they didn't have. Will and Carlton often didn't know what they didn't know, but Uncle Phil did. 

Will also thought Uncle Phil was a fat cat who forgot where he came from, and didn't realize that Uncle Phil had street smarts. He revealed them in one glorious moment, when Will wound up losing his car to a pool shark:

An even better example of how great that show could be. Terrific Acting!

ClarkKent_DC said:

I ran across this piece from The Undefeated that testifies to the wonderfulness of Uncle Phil:

"Uncle Phil from 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' May Be the Best TV Dad in History — This Scene Proves It":

SWAMP THING: We watched the second episode of the new-but-soon-to-be-cancelled Swamp Thing on Friday. Now that the origin is past, I think it bears a stronger resemblance to the Martin Pasko era than to either the Len Wein or Alan Moore eras, but the elements have been shuffled drawing some from each. For example, there is no Linda Holland but her role in the story has been given to Abby Arcane. Abby, Matt Cable and Liz Tremaine are all locals. Cable is now a local cop and had a crush on Abby in high school. Sunderland has a wife who blames Abby for the death of their teenage daughter years ago. Alec Holland is some sort of freelance troubleshooter. The bio-restorative formula is now a a bio-accelerant invented by Jason Woodrue, who has a wife. Etc.

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