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Noted: New Chrome extension helps find all those hidden Netflix categories

February 6th, 2017 No comments

On YouTube: British History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley Episode 1 War of the Roses [HD]

January 30th, 2017 No comments

Noted: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries visual novel out this year

January 12th, 2017 Comments off

I’ve been a big fan of the Miss Fisher’s Mysteries series out of Australia and watched and re-watched all three seasons. (You can see them all on Netflix). I love mysteries a lot — from Poirot to Maigret to Midsomer to Foyle — and Miss Fisher ticks all of my mystery lover boxes. I think it could be very interesting to see a game with the characters. Series 4 of the Miss Fisher’s Mysteries might not happen — although there has been some talk of a reduced series of longer movies to carry on the story. I certainly hope it returns — Douglas

Why The Monkees Matter by Dr. Rosanne Welch | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide #32

December 2nd, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

From 1966-1968 NBC aired The Monkees on Mondays at 7:30pm, opposite Gilligan’s Island on CBS and Iron Horse on ABC.  During that time Raybert Productions, headed by Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson, produced 58 half-hours of what Time Magazine contributor James Poniewozik recently described as “far better TV than it had to be.

During an era of formulaic domestic sitcoms and wacky comedies, it was a stylistically ambitious show, with a distinctive visual style, absurdist sense of humor, and unusual story structure that was commercial, wholesome, and yet impressively weird.”

Originally, the producers conceived The Monkees as a response to the youth and music movement of the early 60s, a time when every young person seemed to be slinging a guitar on their back and hoping to change the world.  In the shadow of Hard Day’s Night the producers cast four relative unknowns who could act, sing and play instruments – Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith – and hired Jim Frawley to teach them improvisation and become their in-house director. Beyond mere fame, The Monkees deserves ranking as a TV Cultural and Comedy Classic because, according to Micky Dolenz, “It brought long hair into the living room and changed the way teenagers were portrayed on television.  It made it okay to have long hair in the same way Henry Winkler as the Fonz late made it okay to wear a black leather jacket and Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel Air made it okay to be to be young, black and like rap.”

From an artistic standpoint the show introduced a new generation of viewers to the kind of fourth-wall-breaking, slapstick comedy created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers as well as to the idea of friends in their late teens living on their own without adult advice or supervision, a powerful idea at the height of the Vietnam war.

While there is continued controversy over the fact that the musical group has yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, time has shown that the television show deserves the accolades it earned.  Now it deserves a deeper reading and that is exactly what Why The Monkees Matter will provide.

Go beyond the fandom and delve deeply into what The Monkees meant to “the young generation” and to our current world.

 

Why The Monkees Matter by Dr. Rosanne Welch

 

Why The Monkees Matter by Dr. Rosanne Welch | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide #32

Order a signed copy directly from the author

Also Available from McFarland (Direct from Publisher) | Amazon | Kindle Edition | Nook Edition

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Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Mohu Leaf 30 TV Antenna | Douglas E. Welch Gift Guide 2016 #10

November 10th, 2016 Comments off

Dew 2016 gift guide

From Douglas…

About 2 years ago, we finally decided to turn off our cable television account, return our cable boxes and rely on over-the-air broadcasts again. While the thought of living with “rabbit ears” didn’t really thrill me, we were only watching about 5 shows from broadcast TV. Joseph had long outgrown NickJr and Nickelodeon — his major viewing. We didn’t subscribe to any pay channels and looking over the all the channels we COULD watch, we only really would ever watch about 10 of them. So, once the cable bill topped over $100 it was time to turn it off.

First, we needed a decent antenna to receive the HD over-the-air (OTA) digital broadcasts. Too many people think that when we turned off the analog broadcasting system a few years ago it turned off ALL over-the-air broadcasts. In fact, there is more content to be found, for free, over-the-air than ever before. Looking about in the Internet, I came across the Mohu Leaf indoors HDTV antenna. it took a little fiddling with positioning in our large home office/family room, but now we can watch any broadcast television show we might wish, including Castle, NCIS, Big Bang Theory and Once Upon A Time — which are basically all we watch. This also pulls in news during fires, earthquakes and other emergencies. This antenna is connected to a 42″ LCD HDTV that we upgraded to a year or so ago and provides full 1080p signal for most stations and shows.

Mohu Leaf 30 TV Antenna

Mohu Leaf 30 TV Antenna

More Over-The-Air Antenna at Amazon.com

 * A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Previously in the Douglas E. Welch 2016 Gift Guide…

Categories: Electronics, Products, Technology, Television Tags:

Christmas Zen: Sleigh Ride from the BBC [Video Clip]

December 22nd, 2015 Comments off

An amazing idea, and similar to past “Slow TV” programming. You can enjoy a 3 min preview of the experience in the YouTube video below.

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In a Slow TV Christmas special, BBC Four rigs a traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Following the path of an ancient postal route, the ride captures the traditional world of the Sami people who are indigenous to northern Scandinavia and for whom reindeer herding remains a way of life.

Filmed in Karasjok, Norway – 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle – this journey takes us through breathtaking scenery not normally glimpsed by anyone other than the Sami. Deliberately unhurried, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer guides us along an epic two-hour trip that takes us over undulating snowy hills, through birch forests, across a frozen lake and past traditional Sami settlements.

Facts about the reindeer, natural history, Sami culture and the Arctic climate are delivered by graphics and archive stills embedded into the passing landscape. With no commentary, music or presenter – just the crunching of snow and the soft tinkle of a reindeer bell – this hypnotic sleigh ride is an enchanting experience to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.

BBC Web Site

 

TV Worth Watching: Slings and Arrows – Canada

January 4th, 2015 Comments off

TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas


Slings and Arrows – Canada

In the fictional town of New Burbage, legendary theatrical madman Geoffrey Tennant returns to the New Burbage Theatre Festival, the site of his greatest triumph and most humiliating failure, to assume the artistic directorship after the sudden death of his mentor, Oliver Welles. When Geoffrey arrives he finds that Oliver is still there, in spirit anyway, and with his guidance (and often in spite of it) Geoffrey attempts to reconcile with his past while wrestling the festival back from the marketing department. Despite a bitter leading lady, a clueless leading man, and a scheming general manager, he manages to stage a remarkable production of Hamlet — the play that drove him mad.

Rosanne and I discovered this Canadian series when it was mentioned in the review of the new Mozarts in the Jungle series being produced by Amazon. Perhaps it is because of our history (and love) of the theater and our experiences there, but we have adored the show. We are currently watching the final 2006 season. WE have been laughing so hard at points that our son has asked us “What crazy show are you watching?” several times.

It seems to us that the writers know a but of out the craziness that surrounds live theater, actors and especially productions of Shakespeare. Add in the machinations of arts funding, sponsors and crazy directors and you have a fine mix of craziness and art. We are greatly enjoying the show and will be sad to complete this final season of episodes. It will be like the closing night of productions we have been involved with, I am sure.

TV Worth Watching: Slings and Arrows - Canada

 
 
Previously on TV Worth Watching…

Categories: Television, Theater, TV Worth Watching Tags:

TV Worth Watching: Murdoch Mysteries (Canada)

July 19th, 2014 Comments off

TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas


Murdoch Mysteries (CBC Canada)

TV Worth Watching: Murdoch Mysteries

Watch Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix

Murdoch Mysteries books and DVDs from Amazon.com

 

Watch Murdoch on Amazon Instant Video (Free with Advertising)  | DVD

More Murdoch Mysteries Novels by Maureen Jennings

A fun romp through turn of the century Toronto, Canada, Murdoch Mysteries was a great find for Rosanne and myself. We love history, we love mysteries and the show is pretty darn good. I know some people will discount television from Canada (and any other country) but we are alway pleasantly surprised when we go looking for something new. I enjoy Murdoch Mysteries more than many American shows. The writing is good, the acting well done and it makes a great hour of entertainment each episode. We love the way they include historical figures and incidents in the story including people like Arthur Conan Doyle and Nicola tesla, technology of the time like Zepplins and the beginnings of forensic science and deal with modern issues in the context of their times like the rights of women and First Nations people. 

Be aware, Season 1, Episode 1 is a bit stiff, but the cast and crew soon hit their stride and the later episode and seasons improve with each episode.

We are working our way though the first three seasons, which we discovered via Netflix and Murdoch has become our standard dinnertime/evening viewing along with our other favorites like Miss Fisher’s Mysteries from Australia and All Creatures Great and Small from the BBC. 

From the CBC web site…

Set in Toronto at the dawn of the 20th century, Murdoch Mysteries is a one-hour drama series that explores the intriguing world of William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), a methodical and dashing detective who pioneers innovative forensic techniques to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders.

Murdoch’s circle of associates includes Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Hatching, Matching and Dispatching), Murdoch’s eager and often naïve right-hand man; Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Coronation Street), Murdoch’s skeptical yet reluctantly supportive boss; feisty pathologist Dr. Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly, The L.A. Complex); and the love of his life, pathologist-turned-psychiatrist Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy, Durham County), a staunch ally who shares the detective’s fascination with forensic science and innovative ideas. All are valuable allies who help Murdoch solve his varied cases and traverse the many stratums of Victorian-turned-Edwardian society.

More information on Murdoch Mysteries (Canada):

Previously on TV Worth Watching…

Video: Book Reading: “Hollywood Digs: An Archaeology of Shadows” with author Ken LaZebnik

April 1st, 2014 Comments off

Our friend, Ken LaZebnik, held a book reading and signing at Diesel Bookstore, Malibu for his latest book, Hollywood Digs: An Archaeology of Shadows. He was joined by Kathy Kohner Zuckerman, whose childhood journals led her father, Frederick Kohner, to create the book and film character Gidget.

Hollywood digs thumb

In Hollywood Digs, veteran film and television writer Ken LaZebnik unearths shards of film history that have rarely seen the light of day. Here is the romantic and tragic saga of Jock Mahoney, legendary stuntman and Hollywood’s thirteenth Tarzan; F. Scott Fitzgerald, toward the end of his life, living in a cottage on the Encino estate of film butler Edward Everett Horton; Micky Moore, who spent eighty-four years in the industry, first as a child actor with Mary Pickford and later as the fabled second-unit director of Raiders of the Lost Ark. More than sixty duotone photographs include two large galleries by Hollywood master Leigh Wiener. They accompany the author’s deft and idiosyncratic portraits of Hollywood luminaries including Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Milton Berle, George Burns, and Harpo Marx. Ken LaZebnik gives readers an insider’s look at how Hollywood works, sharing his own experience of success and failure. He excavates hidden histories of the famous and near-famous. Told with wit and compassion, Hollywood Digs finds treasures amid the dust.

 

TV Worth Watching: Death in Paradise – Caribbean Mystery Series

February 1st, 2014 Comments off

TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas


Death in Paradise

I love mystery series, and I have featured many here in the TV Worth Watching series. Add one more to the list with Death in Paradise from the BBC and currently airing on KCET here in Los Angeles. It is a funny, witty, and excellently written mystery with a “fish out of water” element in the main character, a Chief Inspector with the London Metropolitan Police Force who finds himself in an island world he cannot quite comprehend. As usual, lots of of our favorite UK actors show up as guest stars in the series, which is always a treat. Former Doctor Who, Peter Davison, shows up in the current season (3) as a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who is suspected of trying to kill the star of his latest film.

Death in paradise

From KCET.org web site…

Sent to the tiny island of Saint-Marie to solve a mysterious murder, Detective Inspector Richard Poole is a total fish out of water. A quintessentially British cop, he would much prefer the London drizzle and a freshly pressed shirt to blue seas, sparkling sands and gorgeous tropical weather. This warm, light-hearted detective series takes place against a stunning Caribbean island backdrop – as far away from the grey skies of London as you could possibly get. What Richard finds is a ramshackle station and a very different type of policing. The fact that there’s a goat in one of the cells says it all. He can’t get out of there fast enough, but there’s a job to do and he does it brilliantly. His reward – a permanent posting to the island, his own personal hell on Earth. He may be stuck there, but he’s not going to let his standards slip. He’ll bring British rigor to this relaxed Caribbean workplace. Always in a suit and tie, eschewing sandals for a stout brogue, he’s the very embodiment of the Englishman abroad. He can get through his ordeal, if only he could find a decent cup of tea.

Death in Paradise – Episode 1 (YouTube)

 

More information on Death in Paradise:

DVD
 
Previously on TV Worth Watching…

Categories: Television, TV Worth Watching Tags:
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