Criminal Minds: "Amplification"

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We plan to get Amazon Prime for about a month just to watch the new season. Bonus: if you know Toronto, you can identify several of the "earth" locations, surrounded by CGI.

Captain Comics said:

The Expanse Season 4. Still good!

I imagine people in Toronto, and especially Vancouver, get to point out barely disguised landmarks on lots of TV shows. Lucky you!

I often wonder, though, being a guy from Memphis, if all of the magnificent skylines we see in virtually every city on TV, as the real cities or as stand-ins for fictional cities, exist. I'm sure New York and Downtown Chicago are somewhat overbuilt, having been built during the heyday of the skyscraper (and Manhattan having limited real estate).

But is the Los Angeles on Lucifer unvarnished, or do they add more big building and lights in post? Is the "Star City" we see on Arrow really just Vancouver, or do they add a lot  in the editing room? They would only have to do it once or twice, and just repeat those establishing shots, or rotate a file of them, and it seems like something directors would do to wow the audience or give the impression that Big Things Happen Here.

I honestly don't know, because while the skylines I see on TV are suspiciously impressive, they could in fact exist -- I'm always gobsmacked when I see photos or video of places like tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, whatever the capital of Abu Dhabi is, and other big cities. Memphis and Nashville are the biggest cities in my area, and while they have decent skylines, they're not gonna knock anyone's shoes off.

Memphis aerial, more or less looking from Arkansas.

"Back in the day" Los Angeles City Hall, at 23 stories, was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Since then many skyscrapers have been added, with earthquake protections. I think the cityscapes, including Los Angeles, look better at night or in the dusk (plus photograph enhancements).

For our 25th anniversary we went to Seattle by train. For those of you who have only seen it on Grey's Anatomy, it's not quite  as gorgeous.

Caught up on Titans last night. While it started off strong last season, these last few episodes felt cluttered, aimless and under-written. The season finale was genuinely a mess.

ARCHIE BUNKER’S PLACE, Season 4: I have completely finished watching all of All in the Family followed by all of Archie Bunker’s Place. Between seasons three and four, Archie’s housekeeper (Mrs. Canby), his cook (Veronica) and his Puerto Rican girlfriend were all dropped. Five or six episodes from the end, Archie’s partner, Murray Kline, visits from the west coast. He is adamant about finally selling his share in the business, to the extent that his plan is to buy Archie out then sell the business outright himself. He wins in court, but then relents and to let Archie find a new partner on his own. As soon as Murry leaves, Archie goes back to not seeking a new partner. I did not remember this episode at all. I would have been in college at this time and probably didn’t watch much, if any, of the final season.

I neglected to mention in my discussion of previous seasons that Archie openly employees illegal aliens. In the last couple of episodes, Archie hired a new relief bartender, a woman, but not much was done with her in the few episodes remaining at that time. Billie and Gary (Archie’s niece and lawyer, respectively), who had been seeing each other romantically, break up three or four episodes before the end. One of the best of the final episodes was when Archie found some pot while doing laundry. Billie owned up to it being hers and Archie kicked her out of the house, but it really belonged to Stephanie. He relented and allowed Billie to stay when the truth came out. This topical episode harkened back to the heyday of All in the Family.

There was no closure to the series because CBS didn’t give it a proper final episode. I can only extrapolate that Murry finally got sick of waiting for Archie to find a new partner, followed through on this threat to buy Archie out, and the new owners forced him to retire.

Watching Lost in Space season 2. Still fun, and I like these Robinsons.

Oh, yeah... we've been waiting for that. We both really liked season one, but isn't will college age by now? Did all the episodes drop at once or is it a once a week thing? A whbile ago I bought a hardcover OGN based on this show but I haven't read it. I was waiting for season two to put me in the mood.

I've been watching season one of The Dick van Dyke Show. It was a pleasant surprise to see Jamie Farr in four episodes as a coffee delivery guy.

We binge-watched the entire run of The Dick Van Dyke Show a few years ago. Being old enough, we had seen many of them when they first aired. The ones with Jamie Farr were fun. I don't think my family was watching it that early.

PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod said:

I've been watching season one of The Dick van Dyke Show. It was a pleasant surprise to see Jamie Farr in four episodes as a coffee delivery guy.

I'd really like to watch Dick Van Dyke all over again. Also Twilight Zone. And some others. but in the era of Peak TV, I'm having trouble watching anything a second time.

Speaking of which, just finished Lost in Space Season 2. Very enjoyable. 

Captain Comics said:

I'd really like to watch Dick Van Dyke all over again. Also Twilight Zone. And some others. but in the era of Peak TV, I'm having trouble watching anything a second time.

Did you catch the annual New Year's DayTwilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel?

Watching at late-in-the-run episode of Emergency!, "What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing ..." 

I was a devoted fan of Emergency! when I was a kid -- I once even made a fitful stab at writing a suitable story -- but watching it with adult eyes is painful. It's amazing that a rescue show could be so dull. 

At this point in the show, Season 7, it was converted from a weekly series to two-hour movies of the week, with the two lead characters, L.A. County Firefighter Paramedics John Gage (Randolph Mantooth) and Roy DeSoto (Kevin Tighe), occasionally traveling to other locales. In this one, they are in San Francisco, observing how rescue work is done in the city by the bay.

Paramedics and EMTs are a standard part of life now, but back when Emergency! debuted in 1972, they were a new, unproven and still-developing concept. Indeed, the series pilot movie, "The Wedsworth-Townsend Act," is about getting a bill passed in the California Legislature to expand a pilot program. (That title reflects the kind of dullness that permeates the show.)

In this movie -- broken into two one-hour episodes for rerun syndication -- Gage and DeSoto find that San Francisco is behind Los Angeles in terms of what paramedics are allowed to do. The San Francisco crews aren't allowed to use the more potent painkillers they have in L.A., they have less autonomy in the field, and even I could see they were driving older-model apparatus, even considering this episode was made in 1979(!). 

Since Gage and DeSoto are observers in this movie, they just hang around with the S.F. firefighters and paramedics and watch them do the real work. Reflecting the newness of the paramedic idea, the episode title "What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing ..." refers to the fact that San Francisco, at least, has women in the paramedic corps. Reflecting the times, one is dating a fireman who doesn't want her in the job because "it's too dangerous." (Not too dangerous for him, of course, just her.)

These days, I'm a devotee of Chicago Fire. I probably wouldn't be if I was a firefighter, the same way police officers don't like cop shows, lawyers don't like courtroom dramas, doctors and nurses can't stand medical shows, etc. Chicago Fire is dramatic, sure, but it follows a theory I have about most TV shows: Everybody, no matter what line of work they're in, has at least one story about the craziest day on the job, and TV shows put those stories in every episode as if the crazy is routine. 

That said, Chicago Fire stays on the right side of believable and is good enough to fool me, a non-firefighter, which is all I ask. On the wrong side of believable is Station 19, a spinoff from Grey's Anatomy, a medical show that breaks suspension of disbelief and grinds it into sawdust on a regular basis. I've seen Station 19 a couple of times, but just couldn't stand it. Not even the presence of Boris Kodjoe (whom I remember from Undercovers a while back) could keep me interested.

Worse is 9-1-1 on Fox, which is a friggin' cartoon. God knows how they got the great Angela Bassett to sign on to this dreck. 

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