Goodbye Mad Men

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Outspoken & Freckled


Social media and water coolers alike have been a buzz since the series final episode of “MAD MEN” aired. Some have wondered just why the series became such an intensely popular phenomenon. Was it the nostalgia and quirky fun of Janie Bryant’s wardrobes spanning mainly across the 60s, right up to 1970? Was it the character development of these Madison Avenue ad men and women? Yes. Plus so much more.

No one is a hero. Creator Matthew Weiner took great care to create this show like none other. In world filled with characters at their very best and their very worst… of strong heroes, saintly women, villainous women, and evil antagonists. Here instead was a rare world where characters were not such typical standards. They felt more authentic and more oft to show us their warts and jaded outlooks than their best pose. And he took the time to…

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In Praise of Vintage: 10 Classic TV Shows + Where to Watch Them

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A must read – get your classic TV on!

cinematically insane

the_man_has_style_cary_grant_style_icon_1943“I can’t stand old movies,” my Uncle Tommy once said to me. “Any time I see a guy wearing a hat, I change the channel.”

Despite his dismissal of a filmmaking era I love, and have since childhood, I kept my cool. (I learned that from Cary Grant, who, by the way, knew how to rock a hat.) Opinions are subjective reflections of personal taste, I reminded myself. That explains why some people are Yankee fans, or Republicans.

Then I asked him, calmly, what he didn’t like about “old movies.”

“They’re dated.”

“What you may think of as ‘dated’ other people consider ‘classic,’” I said.

“They’re boring, and the acting is terrible!” he added. “Katharine Hepburn is the worst. I can’t stand her.”

Funny thing: I have a picture of Katharine Hepburn from THE PHILADELPHIA STORY hanging in my apartment; I have no such picture of my Uncle Tommy, love…

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Gracie Allen, Eve Arden and others – Mother’s Day on OTR

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On everyone’s agenda as part of the festivities honoring Mother’s Day should be listening to good, old-fashioned entertainment – on the radio.  In case you have none of that handy, included here is a nice collection to get you started so have fun and share with the entire family – episodes and clips of popular, classic shows – all with Mother’s Day themes.

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Return to Walton’s Mountain

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R.I.P. Ralph Waite

cinematically insane

the-waltons_thumb On March 30, 1978, in the final episode of the sixth season of The Waltons , Emmy-winning actress Ellen Corby returned to the role of Grandma Esther Walton after surviving a near-fatal stroke fifteen months earlier.

The 66-year-old veteran character actress was partially paralyzed and her ability to speak was severely impaired. Producer Earl Hamner Jr. (who wrote Spencer’s Mountain, the autobiographical novel upon which the series was based, and also served as narrator) could have decided to kill Grandma off, or recast the role, as he would later do with the character of John-Boy after star Richard Thomas left the series. Instead, he chose to write Corby’s illness and recovery into the storyline. It was a bold decision, and Corby’s willingness to perform on national television in a physically compromised state was enormously courageous.

grandma3I was 9-years-old when Grandma Comes Home aired and it was, by far, the most…

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2013 in review

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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Columbo: Why We Watch / Why it Matters


Following is a special guest post by Paul Hughes @PoetandPriest

Why We Watch

For my wedding, I asked for and received the Columbo DVD collection. Complete to that point, it ended with the double helping of Seasons Six and Seven, and back copy text touting the guest stars like Kim Cattrall and Ed Begley, Jr. Plus a “captivating conclusion in these final episodes.”

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