Saturday, September 01, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 359

Saturday, September 01, 2007---744 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 27 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
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Rave: Roy Barcroft
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On the Victrola: “The Measure of Monk” by Thelonious Monk (Yet another Starbucks collection).
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Reading: James Crumley’s “Bordersnakes.”
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Rave: “Leave It to Beaver” is celebrating its 50th anniversary. You can vote for your favorite episode at tvland.com.
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Rant: The power of the media lies in its inherent ability to make us obsess over stories we would have otherwise ignored.
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TV Time Out: Overall, I give “The Bronx is Burning” a mid to low “B.” On the whole, it lacked the high heat.
I thought the early episodes (before Son of Sam was caught) were stronger---mainly as the cops were magnificent and there less Mickey Rivers in the last three installments.
Erik Jensen, who played Thurman Munson was outstanding---as was John Turturro as Billy Martin.
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Hmmm: Guess which will get you a fine: watering your lawn or paying an illegal alien to mow it?
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Innocent: August 29th marked the 40th anniversary of the final episode of “The Fugitive” starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble.
When it originally aired, it was the highest rated show in TV history with 45.9% of US households tuned in. It is the only TV show aired prior to 1970 still in the Top 20.
David Janssen was one of those rare actors who had three hit television shows. Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957-1960) and Harry-O in the mid-1970’s(very under-appreciated) were the other two.
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Rave: No publication does a more entertaining job with abbreviations, nicknames and acronyms than Daily Variety. My current fave is “spesh” for special.
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Rant: One in five Americans cannot find the U.S. on a map, but 20 million Mexicans can.
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TV Timeout II: If you get RFD-TV, you can catch “The Imus Ranch Special” on Labor Day.
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Lou Boldt and John LaMoia of the Crimes Against Person squad of the Seattle PD are the leads in Ridley Peason’s “The First Victim.”
A container filled will illegal Chinese aliens goes overboard in Puget Sound, resulting in three deaths. The illegals are headed for either sweatshops or prostitution.
A Chinese/American TV investigative reporter goes undercover to locate the sweatshop. When she is captured, the station’s anchor (Stevie McNeal, the reporter’s sister by adoption), takes a personal interest.
She arouses the ire of the criminals and interferes with the police work. When things get very sticky, she joins the SPD effort.
The Chinese Triad, slimy INS agents, ships, containers, rendezvous, fake ID's, graveyards, brothels and sweatshops, the media, agency turf wars, SPD politics and an information leak all conspire in the SPD’s mission to out think the villains.
The characters, both good guys and bad guys are credible throughout, the pace is resolute and determined (mirroring the police procedures), local color drops you into the Puget Sound area and the dialogue is realistic.
Good plot, sturdy story telling and absorbing character studies.
Maybe a little too much time spent on Boldt and McNeal’s introspections on their family lives that fail to advance the plot---but that is a small objection.
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Ratings game: MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” is a distant third in its time slot in the cable news game. Fox News Channel’s “Big Story with John Gibson” leads the way.
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Factoid: Before Trigger and Roy Rogers hooked up in 1938, Trigger was ridden by Maid Marian (Oliva de Havilland) in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).
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Rant: We don’t need to teach Spanish in pre-schools. What we need to do is stop coddling those immigrants who don’t take the time and effort to learn English
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Didjaknow: Puget Sound is North America’s largest estuary, has unusual and unpredictable tides and currents, and produces some of the fastest surface currents in the western United States.
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Quote: “Friends don’t let friends become US Attorney General, ineptly.”---Dennis Miller.
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Rant: Okay…I am driving along and I see a dozen city workers standing around a new section of sidewalk watching the concrete dry. And, we wonder why we cannot get decent raises for cops, firefighters and teachers.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

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