Saturday, August 19, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings #73 (Special "73-0 is still the single most famous game score in NFL history" edition)

1) Netflix: A new Mission Control documentary is getting raves, and tons of Marvel-ness finally leads to The Defenders. Excuse me, Marvel's The Defenders (not to be confused with Jim Belushi's The Defenders). A Brad Paisely comedy special is a thing (he is hosting, not doing an hourlong set),

The news was a lot better for Netflix this week after the Disney brouhaha. Getting Shonda Rimes away from ABC is the kind of move that excites entertainment journalists. It's also the kind of move that distresses someone who pays each month for stuff besides the kind of stuff Shonda Rimes perpetrates at ABC. I'm trying to be somewhat objective, though. The Chuck Lorre announcement (new show with Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas) is interesting, too. And Ozark got a renewal.

2) MLB.TV: I hate to say it, but I'm kind of glad I was watching Red Sox games this week and not seeing the Pirates put the nail in the coffin of the season. Why, in the same game, I got to see a triple play, plus a batter hitting himself in the junk with a foul ball!

3)  Hulu: Better Things joins the service just ahead of its season 2 premiere on FX. Now can we get Atlanta, Legion, and season 3 of Fargo...and, like, now, and not before their next seasons?

Hulu is also going forward with an intriguing pilot for Locke & Key, and it generated some buzz with casting news for upcoming series Runaways, Castle Rock, and Crash and Burn.

4) YouTube: Notice that when some entity like Rolling Stone posts a video of Eddie Vedder singing "Better Man" in 1989, it's embedding a YT video. Every day offers a reminder of what a great resource YT is.

5) Pub-D-Hub: Solid update last weekend, with new episodes of programs like Richard Diamond.

6) TuneIn: There are other stations on here besides Deep Oldies, but if Deep Oldies is around, I'm not sure I really need them. This week's "hadn't heard it, now can't get it out of my head" song = "Nothing Succeeds Like Success" by Bill Deal and the Rhondels.

7) Nosey: Likely to drop out of the top 10 next week unless I can find more "troubled teens" episodes of Sally.

8) Shout! Factory TV: I checked out Rifftrax's Hillbillies in a Haunted House this week, and it wasn't their best work, but it was free and made me smile. I like that Shout! has all this Rifftrax material now, but it's kind of funny that it just lumps it all in with the MST3K section.

9) PIX 11: Makes a return to the list on the strength of its Son of Sam featurette, but the "digital documentary" is all too short at 7 minutes and should have been supplemented with more vintage news clips from the era.

10) HBO: Terrible circumstances, but the Vice News documentary on Charlottesville got a lot of praise, and kudos to HBO and Vice for streaming it for free. Also, and there's no smooth segue, if I had HBO, I would totally want to see the debuting Nocturnal Animals. Sucks that it got hacked, but I don't think it has done anything to diminish anticipation for new Curb or for Game of Thrones.

Friday, August 18, 2017

This new movie fills my heart with my joy

To paraphrase the late Robert Palmer, it fills my heart with joy; it ma-akes my day.

Netflix added a new feature film this week, but not just any feature film. It's a sequel, but not just any sequel. Yes, it's the extension of  franchise, but not just any extension of a franchise.


"A world-weary detective is forced to team up with a 12-year-old who thinks she's a cop in order to solve a case that's baffled police."

One kid's fantasy.
One cop's nightmare.

Oh, I could dig for some info on this, but why? Why spoil the movie I am constructing in my head? I feel that the summary, the tagline, and the poster art below are enough.

Actually, its existence should be enough. Someone decided there was enough "equity" in the Cop and a Half franchise to "reboot" it.


Image result for cop and a half new recruit

Monday, August 14, 2017

'Mooners Monday #23: Pardon My Glove

It's time for another installment of 'Mooners Monday, and I have to confess, readers, I don't have a lot to say about "Pardon My Glove." It's great in the way all Honeymooners Classic 39s are, but it's unexceptional. Ralph gets jealous and makes a fool of himself--no big revelation here.

Two things stand out after a rewatch: 1) The guy who plays would-be interior decorator of the Kramden residence, Andre (love that his name is Andre, by the way), sounds like a real hoot. Check out the indispensable Official Honeymooners Treasury for his take on how to deck out the place. Alexander Clark told a RALPH (Royal Association for the Longevity and Preservation of the Honeymooners) convention quips like, "I figured I wouldn't bother about getting curtains for the bathroom because if the neighbors saw Ralph taking a shower, they'd buy the curtains." Clark later returned to play Herbert Whiteside in "On Stage."

The other thing is that this episode does have some classic examples of 'Mooners physical comedy. A great example is the take Ralph does when he bursts into the apartment expecting a surprise party and finds...nothing:

This is really best appreciated by watching it play out in real time

Another great piece of business is Ralph bumping himself on the always-balky kitchen window right in the middle of the glorious AHA he gives Andre and Alice:

Nothing like a classic "pain bit"

And let's show some love for Art Carney because his depiction of Norton showing Ralph how to act surprised is one for the ages:

This cracks me up all over again

These are little touches that help make the series so great and even one of the less memorable episodes stand out.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Public Service Announcement: Hazel Season 4 now showing on FETV

Family Entertainment TV, which joined DirectTv at channel 323 just a month or so ago, runs Hazel every weekday at 11:00 and 11:00 A.M. in chronological order. If the comments on this blog are any indication, the final, non-George-and-Dorothy season of the series is not only divisive, but quite provocative.

FETV just started season 5 on Friday, so if you want to get a look at Ray Fulmer and Lynn Borden as the replacements (who wouldn't want to get at least a look at Lynn Borden, really), check out this channel. I can't fully endorse this, though, because I believe the episodes are stretched to fit a full screen, edited, and possibly time-compressed.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Streaming Video Power Rankings: Week #72 (Special "Wow" edition)

This was a huge week for streaming video news, so let's get to it:

1) Netflix: The company made some big announcements lately, like it is determined to tell everyone, "Stick it! So were $20 billion in debt. We can still throw money at everyone we want." But what happens when the recipient doesn't want the money?

Despite Netflix announcing new projects coming with David Letterman (sounds great), Carol Burnett (bless her, but that particular idea sounds terrible), and the Coen Brothers (sure) and the acquisition of comic publisher Millarworld (interesting move that doesn't move me much one way or the other at the moment), all the buzz is about content it is losing, as Disney announced it is starting its own OTT service in 2019 and putting new Disney movies on it.

Still unanswered: What about Marvel? Star Wars? What about the 99% of the Disney catalog that never even made it to Netflix? I think a lot of people don't understand that Netflix never showed most of the Disney catalog, it already lost some of it (movies like Mulan), nor that Hulu has some of that content now.

However, the fact is, this week proves Netflix is the standard. When someone asked me about the possible cost of a Disney streaming service, I said part of it probably depended on what Netflix would do and if it raised rates by 2019 (it will; the question is how much). Everyone is reacting to the industry leader.

This really isn't good news for Netflx, though.

2) Amazon Prime: The new series Comrade Detective sounds interesting, and Amazon has been on a roll snapping up cheap catalog TV series lately, getting a bunch of shows from MPI (like the public domain Beverly Hillbillies episodes) and from FilmRise (Carsey Werner programs like Third Rock from the Sun). I don't really care for much of it, but it's more than Netflix has done lately.

3) YouTube: Let's talk about the decision by many "copyright holders" to allow material on YouTube but to monetize it. Good and bad, right? Good that it means more stuff stays up there, but bad because you're listening to an album or something, and an ad comes in right in the middle of a song.

4) TubiTV: Added a lot of movies lately, and not just the usual blend of recent-ish movies that cycle through all the services, but genuine classics like Wuthering Heights and The Magnificent Seven.

5) Warner Archive Instant: I am not even gonna make a snide reference to WAI not adding movies in several months. Grant Goodeve dueting with Willie Aames is worth dozens of classic un-added films.

6) Hulu: I think Difficult People is terrible, but a new season is here. I'm getting super annoyed at Hulu promoting the new season of Ray Donovan to me. I don't get Showtime. Quit acting like I can watch this series without paying more money.

7) Pub-D-Hub: An intriguing add last weekend was an episode of The Big Record with Patti Page.

8: TuneIn: Have I mentioned that Deep Oldies, the Phoenix-based radio station that rules the world, is virtually free of commercials?

9) HBO: Respect for the premiere of Hard Knocks.

10) PureFlix: A family-friendly outfit that strives to be the Christian Netflix. I looked at some of the offerings this week, and there isn't a lot there, but I give them credit for trying. I give them credit for brass, too. Their monthly plan is 10.99/month, which makes them by far one of the priciest services out there, all for "safe" viewing. Yet they are spending money on original programming, so let's give them a spot this week.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The most ANNOYED man in classic TV: Wildcat Wendell Corey

There's nothing like strapping yourself in and enduring the high-octane thrill ride that is Harbor Command. OK, maybe it's not the most exciting crime drama in the annals of television history, but it's a reasonably entertaining 30 minutes, and coming from ZIV, you know it's going to be reasonably well produced.

Even when the show itself is not a huge winner, I get a warm feeling. Harbor Command is not a world beater, but it has its charms.

Looks impressive, don't it? But this isn't just any old sea/land hybrid entertainment. ZIV reminds us each time out that Harbor Command enjoys the cooperation of the local authorities:

I also like the propers given to the true-life Harbor Commanders.

The best part about the series, though, is Wildcat Wendell Corey, who manages to look annoyed in any situation. Pursuing a thief? Annoyed. Tracking the carrier of a deadly infectious disease? Annoyed. Getting vital information from a fellow civil servant? Annoyed.

Telling the audience about his real-life counterparts? Annoyed.

Thanking us for watching? Annoyed.

Wildcat Wendell Corey: The most annoyed man in classic TV.