Criminal Minds: "Amplification"

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We didn't get to it right away, with so much other Peak TV in the way, and me working nights now. But we're up to episode 5, out of 8.

Doctor Hmmm? said:

I was surprised no one brought up Legion when Season 3 rolled out. Trippy!

YOUNG SHELDON: Yesterday tracy informed me, "We've got a Young Sheldon."

"What, a preview or something?"

Except for This Is Us, none of our shows have started yet. I had forgotten that, before "the new normal" (short seasons with a "mid season hiatus") the new television season used to start in September. Sure enough, it was the first episode of season three. Judging from the first episode, the lovable Sheldon of the first two seasons begins his transformation into the obnoxious adult he is destined to become. 

I'm re-watching the conclusion of Preacher. Herr Starr has a great line, which I don't remember from the comic. He says to Featherstone: "Life is not a thing you pass through. It is the thing itself."

I have to watch the last three episodes of Preacher, which I have in the DVR.

Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

I'm re-watching the conclusion of Preacher. Herr Starr has a great line, which I don't remember from the comic. He says to Featherstone: "Life is not a thing you pass through. It is the thing itself."

ALL IN THE FAMILY: We just moved from season eight to season nine. The Stivics moved to California at the end of season eight, and Edith’s deadbeat cousin dumps his nine-year-old daughter, Stephanie, on the Bunkers in the first episode of season nine. The last episode of season eight and the first episode of season nine go a long way towards softening Achie’s character.

And Kelvin, if you’re reading this, I know one of your ongoing complaints (about TV and movies in general) is that, whenever a mock-up of a newspaper is used, it never looks convincing. If nothing else, one thing you can say about All in the Family is that, whenever periodical reading material is shown, they always show an actual copy of the publication itself: The New York Post, Reader’s Digest, The National Enquirer, etc. They do use that generic beer in the yellow can, however, but at least Archie is consistent.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: There is one more thing I wanted to mention about the season eight-to-season nine transition. Season eight ended with a long pull-back of Archie and Edith sitting in their respective chairs in their familiar living room, symbolizing the emptiness of the house with Mike and Gloria now completely out of their day-to-day lives. It would have made a good point to actually end the series. Back when these shows first aired, I was disappointed they didn’t end it. That way, CBS could have aired reunion shows from time to time, maybe even annually. But what they eventually did to Mike and Gloria, not to mention Edith, precluded that.

I have read online that Carrol O’Conner was unhappy that the final episode of Archie Bunker’s Place provided no closure. I’m also unhappy that seasons 2-4 are not available on commercially produced DVD sets.

This documentary about the life and world-traversing of the late and former Cream founder and drummer, Ginger Baker. I've never got into his music or drumming, but was enthralled with this film. In full on YouTube.

Beware of Mr. Baker

Jeff of Earth-J said:

CBS could have aired reunion shows from time to time, maybe even annually. But what they eventually did to Mike and Gloria, not to mention Edith, precluded that.

Other than leaving New York, did they do something else with/to the Mike and Gloria characters? I saw early Archie Bunker's Place episodes but not all of them.

At one point, Gloria returned home (to 704 Hauser St.) and announced that Mike had run off with a co-ed and joined a nudist colony (as cliched as it was out of character), which led to their divorce. This episode of Achie Bunker's Place served as a lead-in to Sally Struther's short-lived spin-off Gloria (which co-starred Burgess Merideth). Gloria was a single mom and worked as a veterinary assistant.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

And Kelvin, if you’re reading this, I know one of your ongoing complaints (about TV and movies in general) is that, whenever a mock-up of a newspaper is used, it never looks convincing. If nothing else, one thing you can say about All in the Family is that, whenever periodical reading material is shown, they always show an actual copy of the publication itself: The New York Post, Reader’s Digest, The National Enquirer, etc. They do use that generic beer in the yellow can, however, but at least Archie is consistent.

Yeah ... it goes to doctors who can't stand to watch medical shows or police officers who dislike cop shows or lawyers who hate courtroom dramas; the things you see that are wrong take you out of the story and you can't enjoy what you're watching. As a viewer, I don't expect things to be letter-perfect -- really, I don't! -- but I do expect things to be good enough to fool me, someone who is not a expert in those fields.

However, in the field of newspapering, I do have writing and design experience, so bogus newspapers leap out at me. And not for things like, in Wall Street, where everyone reads The Wall Street Chronicle. I don't like it, but I get why they didn't call it The Wall Street Journal, like it is here on Earth-Prime. I don't even think it's a case where permission to use the name The Wall Street Journal was denied; I bet the filmmakers didn't even ask.

Although I have to say, The Wall Street Chronicle in the movie Wall Street DID look legit. Kudos to their prop guys! Likewise, their counterparts for the Law & Order shows, and their in-universe tabloid, the New York Ledger, which is plainly modeled on the New York Post.

Then there's the other extreme: Using the same newspaper over and over again in lots of different TV shows and movies. (Notice that Ed O'Neill is reading the same newspaper as Al Bundy on Married With Children and as Jay Pritchett on Modern Family.)

Since I'm off on this tangent, might as well mention a story I didn't have a place to mention before, about The Wire and The Baltimore Sun newspaper. The real-world Baltimore Sun was a champion of The Wire during its first four seasons, which focused on different failing institutions: the police, longshoremen and unions, the prison system, politics, and the school system. For Season 5, they were taking aim at the news media. The Wire producers essentially bullied the Baltimore Sun management into giving permission to use the name "the Baltimore Sun" for its fictionalized semi-major metropolitan newspaper, saying that after being in our corner for four seasons, you'd look really petty if we had to change the TV newspaper's name to something obviously phony like "the Baltimore Light" or something.

So, the Baltimore Sun agreed ... and soon had reason to regret it. TV's Baltimore Sun suffered from frequent budget cuts ordered from its corporate owners in Chicago. And its editor-in-chief and managing editor were thinly disguised caricatures of their real-life counterparts, selling the remaining staffers on the nonsensical notion that "We just have to do more with less." The editor-in-chief figure was a patrician who dictated what the stories were before they were written -- instead of letting the reporters report and write based on what they learned -- and had a shelf full of Pullet Surprises that made it impossible for him to think there was anything wrong with being so narrow-minded.

The managing editor was already lampooned in an earlier season as an arrogant police lieutenant who only wanted quick-and-dirty results and had no patience for the painstaking grunt work the detectives were doing. But since the TV producer really didn't like this guy (he worked with him back when he was the police reporter for the real-world Sun), he mocked him again with the managing editor character, played by David Costabile of The Legion of 'Hey, It's That Guy!" Character Actors. Costabile is the guy you call when you need a slimy, arrogant boss who shows you the knife while he's stabbing you in the back, but is oh-so-polite about it because he's made sure you can't touch him. 

To top it off, the paper had a new, ambitious reporter, who graduated from the Steven Glass school of journalism. Faced with a story about a serial killer preying on homeless people -- which itself was a hoax perpetrated by a frustrated detective -- our a fair-haired golden boy made up stuff the detective hadn't even told him! And as things work in the world of The Wire, it didn't turn out well ... for the wrong people. 

ARCHIE BUNKER’S PLACE: We finished All in the Family season nine and moved on to Achie Bunker’s Place season one. Season one begins with Edith’s deadbeat cousin dumping his 10-year-old daughter on Archie and Edith, and ends with him trying to extort money to let them keep her. Season nine is much better than I remembered it. I have seen the early season episodes many, many times each, but I’m moving into a phase in which I’ve never seen an episode more than one (twice if I happened to catch the repeat).

I had forgotten, for example, that Mike and Gloria were featured on the second part of the two-part Christmas episode, which was an hour long. They cancelled a visit back East supposedly due to Maike throwing out his back, when actually they were separated. Mike moves back in temporarily in order to keep the truth from the Bunker’s, but they find out anyway. My favorite episode of the season is the one in which they find out that young Stephanie is Jewish. Archie himself ends up buying a Star of david necklace for her.

In the first season of Archie Bunker’s Place, Archie gets a new partner, Murray, played by Martin Balsam. As much as Archie had mellowed in the years leading up to this, his antisemitism comes to the fore here. He almost convinces Murry to sell out in the first episode, until Murray meets Stephanie and learns that Archie bought her necklace for her. There is still plenty of tension going forward, though. Midway through the season, Archie and Murray buy out the restaurant next door, tear out the wall, and turn the bar into a bar and grill.

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