Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dying Words: Gunsmoke, 'Reward For Matt', 28 January 1956.

"Leave me lay. I don't need nobody to help me die. Maybe you done me a favour. Stinkin' thievin' trash all of them. Already lived past my time. I want to see what comes next."

Paul Newlan as Jeremy Stoner looks on the bright side in 'Reward For Matt', Gunsmoke, 28 January 1956.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Violence: Rawhide, 'Incident at Alabaster Plain', 16 January 1959.

A bell toll sends Ward Mastic (Peter Mark Richman) into Rawhide's death toll, in 'Incident at Alabaster Plain', 16 January 1959.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Doing It Right: Wrestling Revolution Project

From PWTorch:

"Shawn Daivari, known as Dara Daivari, is the latest wrestler to join the Wrestling Revolution Project. Daivari is the fourth former WWE wrestler on the roster, joining Colt Cabana, Ken Doane, and MVP. Production for Jeff Katz's start-up wrestling promotion begins October in Los Angeles.

Katz commented on Daivari having a new character as part of today's announcement: "I utterly despise cheap race-baiting in wrestling. It's 2011. Time to move on. Daivari in WRP is exhibit A. No terrorist. No sheik.""

Monday, July 4, 2011

Violence: The Untouchables, 'Syndicate Sanctuary', 7 January 1960.

Judge Leon Zabo (frequent TV judge Raymond Greenleaf) fails to suppress a motion in The Untouchables, Syndicate Sanctuary, 7 January 1960.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tough Talk 101: Have Gun - Will Travel, 'Ambush', 23 April 1960.

"Well, now, Devereaux, I have found your soft spot, haven't I? It has to play off your way, doesn't it? But you won't turn the wheel unless it's fixed. How many alleys you waited in, Devereaux? How many men you've shot in the back? Now this time you may be miscalculating. ... Oh, you won't miss this time. You'll hit me. But I'm fast, Devereaux. I'm very fast. And there's just a chance my finger might close over that trigger while I'm falling. Maybe, just maybe, the shot'll hit home. Odds are all on your side, but it isn't foolproof. Not like clubbing a man to death. Not like putting your gun to the back of his head!"

Paladin (Richard Boone) drills into Devereaux (Alan Dexter) in Have Gun - Will Travel 'Ambush' from 23 April 1960, Boone's third episode as director (repeating the theatrical enclosure of his second, 'Fight at Adobe Wells', and a definite step-up from his first, the clumsy 'The Night the Town Died').

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Poetry on TV: 'The Equalizer' and William Butler Yeats' 'The Second Coming'

Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) and W. Donald Polk (Brian Bedford) recite a few lines of 'The Second Coming' by William Butler Yeats in The Equalizer, 'Bump and Run', 20 November 1985 (an episode also featuring an appearance by Meat Loaf).

From Poem of the Week:

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Dying Words: Gunsmoke, 'Reed Survives', 31 December 1955.

'Is that you, Marshal? I admire you, Marshal. You have such implicit faith in the law. Good thing, I suppose. But there's no law to cover an old man being a fool --'

John Carradine croaks in 'Reed Survives', Gunsmoke, 31 December 1955.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Australian TV News: The Fourth Estate on the Third Estate

"private education and private health care would be considered necessities these days"

Ron Wilson, Channel Ten Morning News, 6 June 2011.

I guess plebs don't watch the news. Ron Wilson reminds us who the news is really made for while giving a cheery report on young people entering the housing market.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 'in 2010 66% of students in Australia attended government schools, 20% attended Catholic schools and 14% attended independent schools'.

As for health care, DFAT reports that 'forty-three per cent of the population' have private health insurance.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TV on Paper: Thomas Pynchon and Perry Mason

But Roseman had also spent a sleepless night, brooding over the Perry Mason television program the evening before, which his wife was fond of but toward which Roseman cherished a fierce ambivalence, wanting at once to be a successful trial lawyer like Perry Mason and, since this was impossible, to destroy Perry Mason by undermining him. Oedipa walked in more or less by surprise to catch her trusted family lawyer stuffing with guilty haste a wad of different-sized and colored papers into a desk drawer. She knew it was the rough draft of The Profession v. Perry Mason, A Not-so-hypothetical Indictment, and had been in progress for as long as the TV show had been on the air.

"You didn't use to look guilty, as I remember," Oedipa said. They often went to the same group therapy sessions, in a car pool with a photographer from Palo Alto who thought he was a volleyball. "That's a good sign, isn't it?"

"You might have been one of Perry Mason's spies," said Roseman. After thinking a moment he added, "Ha, ha."

-- Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, 1966.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tough Talk 101: The Equalizer, 'Lady Cop', 16 October 1985.

"You. Are. Scum! You are scum! You make everything you touch dirty! And you've made me lower than you are. And that, I will not forgive. I do not forgive! I do not forgive!"

Robert McCall (Edward Woodward) has a word with Officer Nick Braxton (Will Patton) in The Equalizer, 'Lady Cop', 16 October 1985 (with a story written by Kathryn Bigelow, anticipating her later Blue Steel (1989)).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Killing Osama bin Laden, and David Mamet's Special Ops Drama, 'The Unit'

The Unit, 'Old Home Week', 31 October 2006.

In response to any criticism of major military action, David Mamet's 'The Unit' makes sure we target two threats to global security: 1) terrorists who would disrupt the democratic world, 2) the democratic world. (Plus: Jon Hamm as Bizarro peacenik Don Draper).

Read the article at Popmatters:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

On, you huskies!: Yukon King

"See there, your master's left you behind. Why don't you go home? Go on home! Think you're pretty smart, huh? Well, I'm smarter than any dog... mind if I stretch my legs a little bit? Don't growl at me. We're friends, partners. Get down! Get down!

Well, there's no sense of us sitting here staring at each other. Let's get a little shut-eye... Alright, so I wasn't sleeping..."

Bowker (Gregg Barton) in a battle of wits with Yukon King (King) in Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, 'Last Mail From Last Chance', 10 November 1955.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Storytelling in the Squared Circle: WWE RAW, 9 May 2011.

James Caldwell @ PWTorch on WWE RAW, 9 May 2011:

"Lowest common denominator all over the place with focus on race and stereotypes being the only thing that separated the competitors. Not who's the better wrestler or who's won the most matches, but who has the wrong skin color or heritage. WWE at its worst."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tough Talk 101: Gunsmoke, 'Kite's Reward', 12 November 1955.

"Listen, you. I've seen your kind before. You stand around in saloons suckin' up strong talk and cheap whiskey 'til you get the idea that you're a man. But don't let that fool ya. You came in here as nothin' and you go out as nothin'. And all the talk you hear and the whiskey you drink doesn't fill you out one little bit. Now get out of here. Go sit in the dark where you belong."

Matt Dillon (James Arness) greets Joe Kite (James Griffith), visitor to Dodge City, in Gunsmoke, 'Kite's Reward' 12 November 1955.