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Adventures in the Small Screen Crit Trade

July 17, 2008

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My Bullz-Eye colleague and sometime editor Will Harris has been filing a series of fascinating dispatches over at Premium Hollywood — and I say this without any fear of perceived bloggy brownnosing, in that not only is he doing it very well, but he’s covering subjects that are near and dear to your faithful proprietor’s heart (and those of a few of our regular readers).

Anyhow, the event Will is covering is the huge dog-and-pony show that is the annual meeting of the TCA, which I assume stands for “Television Critics Association.” These are some major league canines and equestrians.

What follows is a cherry picked selection of the FtY-esque highlights, going backwards in time….

* TCA Press Tour, Day 6: PBS, Pt. 2 — Some interesting comments on comedy and the passing of George Carlin and a lot more from Richard Lewis, Larry Wilmore (The Daily Show‘s brilliant, deadpan “Senior Black Correspondent” and the man behind the great first season of The Bernie Mac Show), and original SNL writer Anne Beatts.

TCA Press Tour, Day 6: PBS, Pt. 1 — Just interesting stuff relating to God and the fact that Nobel winning physicist has a son whose a well-known, critically respected alternative rocker with a really uncomfortable looking neck beard. Also, the scoop on an upcoming version of an old favorite of mine involving sword play, unrequited love, and a very large nose, starring Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner.

TCA Press Tour, Day 5: PBS, Pt. 2 — An upcoming documentary on the history of probably my favorite single movie studio (though, obviously, RKO has a big place in my heart as well, and MGM’s Freed unit, too….). Cool that Joan Leslie was included in the discussion and some interesting stories from Frank Darabont and Richard Donner — I have mixed feelings about both of them as filmmakers, but still very much worth reading. (For that matter, I have even more mixed feelings about the documentarian behind this — Richard Schickel. But that’s a gigantic blog post for another day.)

That’s followed by some comments on the ranting of former Black Panther and cookbook writer Bobby Seale, but my favorite part of this post has to do with Will’s encounter with actor David Hyde Pierce and an upcoming PBS documentary on Alzheimer’s disease. If you’ve got relatives dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you’ll want to read the last section of this post.

TCA Press Tour, Day 5: PBS, Pt. 1 — The burning question of the day — will Ian McKellan’s upcoming Lear feature the Shakespearian full Monty? Inquiring minds, etc. But forget McKellan’s nudity, some words with Beatles producer George Martin, probably one of the ten most important people in pop music history. A must for Beatlemaniacs. You know who you are.

TCA Press Tour, Day 4: Cartoon Network — If the words “Clone Wars” set your heart racing, this one’s for you.

TCA Press Tour, Day 4: CNN — Beauteous CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien meets bespectacled alpha-bassist and Seussian p-funk force-of-nature Bootsy Collins. The topic: Presidential politics, what else?

TCA Press Tour, Day 3: HBO – Some interesting tidbits about upcoming shows, but the real attraction is a meeting with Ricky Gervais discussing his stand-up routine and the possibility of more Extras (which I haven’t blogged about that I can remember, but which I really love). Also, this blog has at least one fairly regular reader whose a fan of Little Britain starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams, and he will find something of interest here as well. And, from there we go to Generation Kill and the new show from Alan Ball (Six Feet Under), with a premise that sounds very much like a pacifist variation on Buffy.

TCA Press Tour, Day 3: Sundance Channel — And here’s the big one, folks. Someone I work with and may eventually meet, has quite a tale to tell involving himself and my personal all-time favorite musical person (whose still living, anyhow) and who is flogging a very interesting sounding new show interview/music program on Sundance. This is a very big deal (to me, anyway).

TCA Press Tour, Day 2: AMC — A fascinating discussion of probably my favorite show of the last few years, Mad Men (and that’s saying something considering that I say that after two mostly great seasons of Dexter), including some touching thoughts from Robert Morse and a cameo from comedy and advertising legend, Stan Freberg.

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And there’s much more good stuff before and after those posts as this TCA business goes on for several more days still. Stay tuned.  And now, some words from our sponsor.

Thank you, Mr. Freberg

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