Archive for June 25th, 2018

by Sam Juliano

With only two days left to the 2017-18 school year, preparations are in place for the summer program which in these parts runs from July 2nd till July 31st.  Some of us are also planning August vacations, though for those not tied up in July those expectations are far more imminent.

The presently running Greatest Television Series Countdown will continue until its finale in mid-July.  Many thanks to the writers and those placing comments.  After a sluggish span it has really started to pick up on all counts.  As announced previously this will be the only film project of 2018 at the site after Part 1 and the AFOFF were similarly showcased over the past year.

Lucille and I watched three films in theaters over the past two weeks.  (My apologies for the rare miss with the MMD last Monday, but not seeing that happening again anytime soon): (more…)

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by Adam Ferenz

This seminal sitcom, set in a fictional newsroom at a tv magazine show, FYI, tells the story of the recovering alcoholic Murphy Brown-the great Candice Bergen-and how she negotiates her way through a life she seems incapable of appreciating. The series may have gone on several seasons past its best by date, but when it was at its best, few comedies of the era could match it. That is an important distinction, because unlike other classic comedies of its era, such as Cheers, Wonder Years or, later in its run, the prime years of Seinfeld, Murphy Brown was a series rooted in the topics of the day. Being a political series, there was little way around it, since the show was centered on a news magazine.

Yes, the series lost much of its steam once the Bush/Quayle administration was no longer around to mock, but while it was, the series was about the sharpest, most insightful comedy on air, taking aim at left and right-but mostly right-leaning politics. The birth of Murphy’s child, Avery, named after Murphy’s mother, who had been played by the magnificent Colleen Dewhurst until her passing, created a firestorm in the media about “family values” and brought the series increased visibility.

For the series early run, the first four or five years, in which creator Diane English was in charge of the proceedings, this was one of the smarter, more astute sitcoms on the air. While it never approached the level of pop culture sophistication of a WRKP in Cincinnati, or the workplace realism of a Barney Miller, the series nevertheless carved out its own niche. Never as elegant as Cheers or Frasier, as outright funny as Seinfeld, as comforting as Golden Girls or as convention defying as the late, great Frank’s Place, instead Murphy Brown was like its central character. (more…)

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