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Off-Topic: Favorite TV Shows

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After a rewarding trip to Big Lots over the weekend resulting in hauling home 3 seasons of The Streets of San Francisco, 4 seasons of Dynasty, and 5 seasons of I Love Lucy (all of these combined for a shade under $50), it made me to begin to think about TV shows over the years. We've all seen many. Many have become personal favorites. While we almost always talk about movies here, i thought it might make a nice change of pace to have a place to talk at lengthabout TV shows we've enjoyed over the years or are just getting into. So, let's dig into it and see what we can talk about here. :)

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When I was a young teenager, had a crush on Michael Douglas.  I still find I Love Lucy (when they still lived in the city) funny.

For scripted shows that are old... Comedies:  The Dick Van Dyke Show, Cheers, Fraser, Taxi, Night Court, some Mary Tyler Moore Show, Newhart (where he played the therapist and Suzanne P. was his wife), his other show where he owned the inn was also funny, Dick York years of Bewitched, Get Smart

Scripted Dramas/Adventure:  Mrs. Peel years of The Avengers, Police Story, Law and Order (mostly early versions of all three incarnation - though Dick Wolf tried a spinoff that never worked), Veronica Mar,, while I now think it is overrated, Buffy (up until season 3), anthology series Twilight Zone, NBC used to have rotating show, which might be where I first saw Lt. Columbo

Also loved Rocky and Bullwinkle, Wonderful World of Disney, many Warner Bros. Cartoons, Jetsons, Flintstones, discovered Robin Williams via Mork and Mindy

Other faves were Carol Burnett, Letterman, Carson, and Red Skelton, Perry Mason or other Courtroom Dramas (Owen Marshall?), St. Elsewhere, Room 222

I like NCIS the Ziva years (don't care she isn't Jewish), sorry Life in Pieces went off, Blue Bloods and The Rookie, some cooking shows (not dumbed down ones), PBS mysteries, also Doc Martin, Poldark

Too many others to name.  Don't do many reality shows except for cooking one (and liked Anthony Bourdain's different shows).

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Interesting that The Streets of San Francisco has been mentioned.

Jlewis and I conduct reviews each Saturday in the Essentials forum. And each month we do a new theme. We tend to work ahead, and right now we are on September. Typically we cover classic feature films, occasionally a classic TV movie. But until now we hadn't done any episodic TV. So I suggested our theme in September be small screen noir and that we go over four classic episodes from Streets of San Francisco. Jlewis had never seen the show first-run as a kid or later in syndication.

Today, he sent me notes for one of the episodes we're looking at, and he told me the Big Lots near him is selling the first three seasons at a good price. Then I come on here and read CinemaInternational's thread.

Among the episodes we are going to discuss in September on the Essentials threads: 

Mask of Death (season 3) featuring John Davidson as a murderous female impersonator; 

Who Killed Helen French? (season 5) featuring Marilyn Mason as someone who knows what happened to an abused housewife; 

and

A Good Cop...But (season 5) where Barry Primus plays a gay cop who is forced out of the closet because a crook realizes his secret and tries to blackmail him.

So if anyone wants to watch those episodes and join our discussion in September, that would be great!

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42 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Incidentally the episodes we are going to discuss in September on the Essentials thread will be as follows: Mask of Death (season 3) featuring John Davidson as a murderous female impersonator; The Programming of Charlie Blake (season 3) with Dean Stockwell as a sex offender who is brainwashed to believe he killed his psychiatrist's wife; Men Will Die (season 4) with Michael Parks & Vera Miles, where Parks assaults a woman and Miles is a feminist that encourages rape victims to apply pressure on the justice system to obtain more convictions; and A Good Cop...But (season 5) where Barry Primus plays a gay cop who is forced out of the closet because a crook realizes his secret and tries to blackmail him.

Uh, June's over now, you can stop talking about "The only classic TV episodes you should watch are the Gay ones!"

Although, since another newbie just did a thread like this, might be more interesting to talk about the ONE episode that made a favorite classic Classic for you:  Back when "The glories of streaming television!" was just becoming the hip trend with people just starting to become excited about staying home and delving the hidden treasures of the Streamverse, the usual Binge-y Grrls on one news/lifestyle blog posting their urgent Game of Thrones and The Americans updates started raving about having "just discovered" Frasier or Moonlighting through one cute random episode, and looking for any "shippable" characters.  Which became the running, quote, "Gateway Episodes" lifestyle column, which started the actual vintage-TV fans to start suggesting Gateway Episodes for millennial kiddies to discover other streaming vintage-reruns, like Dick Van Dyke, Star Treks, Andy Griffith, Columbo, etc...

For ex., if I wanted to promote The Prisoner as a streamable favorite, I'd mention the episode where Patrick McGoohan launches an ingeniously elaborate practical-joke-like revenge campaign to convince No. 2 that he's secretly being "investigated" by his higher-ups for mental instability, and dropping "clues" that all his insiders are in on the "conspiracy".  If only because you realize someone NEEDS to have tried this on the supremely gullible Trump a long time ago.  😂

2 hours ago, chaya bat woof woof said:

NBC used to have rotating show, which might be where I first saw Lt. Columbo

Shine a flashlight, and see how many people around you start joking about the same theme:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaWuXHMrwXo  🔦 

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41 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Uh, June's over now, you can stop talking about "The only classic TV episodes you should watch are the Gay ones!"

Not sure what precipitated this odd response on your part. 

TV shows that feature LGBTQ characters should be discussed all year round. Along with everything else.

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In re: DYNASTY

I would definitely be curious about seeing the show again, but I seriously doubt it could live up to this modern day reinvention:

 

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TV Series are so different now that we have Cable Network ones competing with traditional over-the-air networks for the eyes of viewers. I find that there are far fewer shows that hold my interest these days on networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX.

The only dramatic show from any of those 4 that I watch at present is The Blacklist. Anything else I might watch from the OTA's tends to be humor-oriented (Simpsons, SNL, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy). Not much else. I've even stopped watching late-night talk shows.

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In no particular order:

Columbo (1971–2003)
Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)
Yes Minister (1980–1984)
The Avengers (1961–1969)
Doctor Who (1963–1989)(2005– )

Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)
Perry Mason (1957–1966)
The Addams Family (1964–1966)
Banacek (1972–1974)
The Benny Hill Show (1969–1989)

The Prisoner (1967–1968)
Barney Miller (1975–1982)
Dad's Army (1968–1977)
The Saint (1962–1969)
To the Manor Born (1979–2007)

Foyle's War (2002–2015)
Tripping the Rift (2004–2007)
Star Trek: The Degeneration (1987–1994)
Eureka (2006–2012)
Firefly (2002–2003)

Midsomer Murders (1997– )
The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001)
Jeeves and Wooster (1990–1993)
Coupling (2000–2004)

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Streets of San Francisco. Jlewis had never seen the show first-run as a kid or later in syndication.

Great show!  My younger sister's favorite when we were kids. 

I love... LUCY !  The best thing TV has yet come up with. 

THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW  

These days I've been watching season 2 episodes of LOST IN SPACE at 1am EST Saturday nights... Sunday morn. LOST IN SPACE is so dumb!  I still enjoy it and always remembered it as dumb.  It's so dumb I like it better now than I did when I was 7 or 8 lookin' at ReRuns! 

 

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5 hours ago, EricJ said:

Shine a flashlight, and see how many people around you start joking about the same theme

I'm watching COLUMBO reruns too on METV... that's on Sundays at 8! 

 

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I was always disappointed when it wasn't a Columbo one - which was most of the time.

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3 hours ago, SadPanda said:

I was always disappointed when it wasn't a Columbo one - which was most of the time.

Apart from the better known ones, the only other one I remembered was "The Snoop Sisters", which I managed to find on disk at the library, and...discovered why it was one most of us don't remember.

Never saw any of "Hec Ramsey" though, and I'm usually a Richard Boone fan, from Have Gun Will Travel.

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it's kinda funny, (not meaning to toot my horn, but) I am pretty darn knowledgeable when it comes to FILMS of the 30s, 40's, 50's and 60's and to a degree the 1970's. but my expertise DOES NOT extend to television shows from 1950-1980, like I would get maybe a C- at best if I took a quiz about the first 40 years of TV, and sometimes when folks here go on tangents about classic shows, I get an idea of how some of you must feel when we do a deep dive into pre-Codes or the films of LUPE VELEZ or B-MOVIE HORRORS because as soon as someone mentions McHALE'S NAVY or SID CAESAR or LOVE AMAERICAN STYLE, ya'll may as well be speaking Esperanto.

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5 hours ago, EricJ said:

Apart from the better known ones, the only other one I remembered was "The Snoop Sisters", which I managed to find on disk at the library, and...discovered why it was one most of us don't remember.

Never saw any of "Hec Ramsey" though, and I'm usually a Richard Boone fan, from Have Gun Will Travel.

I came across an episode of THE SNOOP SISTERS on youtube featuring VINCENT PRICE, playing a horror star who looks like he spends most of his afternoons getting his face BEAT by the HEAD MAKE-UP GIRL at the local SEPHORA-

hqdefault.jpg

I must say that I am of the (possibly?) controversial opinion that, while she may have been dynamite on stage, HELEN HAYES was (sorry) a terrible film and television actress. MILDRED NATWICK, on the other hand, is doing everything outside of dancing with flaming swords to make this thing work and possibly go to series:

MV5BZDYwZWQ4ZjUtYjQ2MC00YWE2LTg4ZWYtMWMz

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My list will be both live-action TV shows and cartoons.

  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Mary Tyler Moore
  • The Bob Newhart Show
  • The Andy Griffith Show
  • Night Court (I still miss Harry Anderson)
  • Lost in Space
  • The A-Team
  • The Rockford Files
  • Home Improvement
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Will & Grace
  • The Simpsons
  • Hey Arnold!
  • Arthur
  • Clifford The Big Red Dog (the original with John Ritter as the voice of Clifford)
  • Hamtaro

 

 

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The episode of The Snoop Sisters with Vincent Price was the last one made. There had been a pilot, which is very good, followed by four interesting but someone formulaic episodes. As mentioned by someone else earlier, this was part of a rotating mystery series with Columbo. Meaning they were never going to do more than five or six 90 minute episodes per season. The show did not get picked up for a second season, because it was not as big a ratings hit as Columbo. This does not necessarily reflect on the actresses in the lead roles, who were both quite good. But rather it might speak more to viewers' reluctance in the 1970s to accept female detectives versus male detectives. A subsequent show with Kate Mulgrew playing Mrs. Columbo also failed.

Prior to the pilot episode of The Snoop Sisters with Helen Hayes and Mildred Natwick, there had been a standalone TV movie two seasons earlier called DO NOT FOLD SPINDLE OR MUTILATE. That time Hayes and Natwick played similar but differently named characters. And they were joined by Myrna Loy and Sylvia Sidney. Loy and Sidney were probably not signed on for The Snoop Sisters because of budget, and also because there was more contrast and inherent conflict in the relationship between Hayes and Natwick.

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5 hours ago, EricJ said:

Apart from the better known ones, the only other one I remembered was "The Snoop Sisters", which I managed to find on disk at the library, and...discovered why it was one most of us don't remember.

Never saw any of "Hec Ramsey" though, and I'm usually a Richard Boone fan, from Have Gun Will Travel.

Don't forget McCLOUD (DENNIS WEAVER) or McMILLAN & WIFE (ROCK HUDSON and SUSAN SAINT JAMES)...

 

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4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

The episode of The Snoop Sisters with Vincent Price was the last one made. There had been a pilot, which is very good, followed by four interesting but someone formulaic episodes. As mentioned by someone else earlier, this was part of a rotating mystery series with Columbo. Meaning they were never going to do more than five or six 90 minute episodes per season. The show did not get picked up for a second season, because it was not as big a ratings hit as Columbo. This does not necessarily reflect on the actresses in the lead roles, who were both quite good. But rather it might speak more to viewers' reluctance in the 1970s to accept female detectives versus male detectives. A subsequent show with Kate Mulgrew playing Mrs. Columbo also failed.

No, they're correct, it just wasn't very good--The pilot had the sisters' reluctant chauffeur/chaperone played by Art Carney, but that got too expensive, so the series sidekick character was replaced by the police detective's nerdy nephew.  No 'ffense to Ms. Hayes, but Jessica Fletcher she wasn't, and Levinson & Link this wasn't.

(And let's not even GET INTO  Mrs. Columbo--We always used to think the sharp Det. Columbo was simply "annoying" his suspects into confessing when he was really cleverly trapping them, whereas clueless-housewife Mulgrew actually was pestily hounding her suspects with cute "helpful" annoyance.)

4 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I came across an episode of THE SNOOP SISTERS on youtube featuring VINCENT PRICE, playing a horror star who looks like he spends most of his afternoons getting his face BEAT by the HEAD MAKE-UP GIRL at the local SEPHORA-

Before looking it up, I only remembered the one where they investigate Satanist-cult related killings, and Alice Cooper shows up as a Marilyn Manson type shock-rocker.  Might have had an easier time with that "shock the sweet old grandmas" plot line.

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

No, they're correct, it just wasn't very good--The pilot had the sisters' reluctant chauffeur/chaperone played by Art Carney, but that got too expensive, so the series sidekick character was replaced by the police detective's nerdy nephew.  No 'ffense to Ms. Hayes, but Jessica Fletcher she wasn't, and Levinson & Link this wasn't.

(And let's not even GET INTO  Mrs. Columbo--We always used to think the sharp Det. Columbo was simply "annoying" his suspects into confessing when he was really cleverly trapping them, whereas clueless-housewife Mulgrew actually was pestily hounding her suspects with cute "helpful" annoyance.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Snoop_Sisters

I thought Carney was delightful in the pilot of The Snoop Sisters and played off the ladies rather well. I was disappointed that his character was dropped and he didn't continue with the rest of the series.

The Mrs. Columbo show lasted two seasons. I think they renamed it at one point, rechristening it as Kate Loves a Mystery. Something like that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Columbo

Another female detective show in the 70s failed to connect with audiences. It was called Amy Prentiss and in that one, spun-off from Ironside -- we had Jessica Walter as the lead. A young Helen Hunt played her daughter. The stories had a feminist slant to them, which is what differentiated it from the Raymond Burr show.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Prentiss

Interestingly Jessica Walter earned an Emmy as lead actress for Amy Prentiss though only three episodes were made. That must be some sort of record. The pilot for Amy Prentiss is included in the syndication package for Ironside since Raymond Burr's character appears at the beginning of the story. Old Chief Ironside is a friendly colleague of Amy's, and his participation helps to launch what follows.

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Just now, TopBilled said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Snoop_Sisters

I thought Carney was delightful in the pilot of The Snoop Sisters and played off the ladies rather well. I was disappointed that his character was dropped and he didn't continue with the rest of the series.

I have the set of that show. I think its plausible that one reason why Carney did not appear in the remaining four episodes is that the first one was broadcast as a TV movie in late 1972, while the remaining four were aired in late 1973/early 1974.... at precisely the same time that Art Carney would have been filming Harry and Tonto.

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4 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I have the set of that show. I think its plausible that one reason why Carney did not appear in the remaining four episodes is that the first one was broadcast as a TV movie in late 1972, while the remaining four were aired in late 1973/early 1974.... at precisely the same time that Art Carney would have been filming Harry and Tonto.

Yes. Thanks. Makes perfect sense!

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

Before looking it up, I only remembered the one [episode of THE SNOOP SISTERS] where they investigate Satanist-cult related killings, and Alice Cooper shows up as a Marilyn Manson type shock-rocker.  Might have had an easier time with that "shock the sweet old grandmas" plot line.

OMG!

ME HEADING TO YOUTUBE TO SEARCH FOR THIS EPISODE:

wiley-coyote-gif.gif

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sadly, THIS is the ONLY CLIP I could find, and the quality is terrible (which, in an odd way, adds a certain charm):

MAN the 70's were ****IN NUTS!!!!!!!

 

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9 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

sadly, THIS is the ONLY CLIP I could find, and the quality is terrible (which, in an odd way, adds a certain charm):

MAN the 70's were ****IN NUTS!!!!!!!

 

I know it exists ( I have the DVd copy) but it sure looks strange in retrospect that Alice Cooper was in something with Helen Hayes, Mildred Natwick, and Joan Blondell.

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