Friday, June 6, 2014

Taking a break...

Thanks to all the loyal Cultureshark readers out there for your support. I have, as the American Dream Dusty Rhodes might say, some BIDNESS to attend to and don't have the time right now to maintain the blog. I hope to return soon.

In the meantime, though, keep watching ClassicFlix for my reviews and my ongoing TV Time column.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ok, wise guy, what SHOULD be on Hulu Plus?

I've been complaining about Hulu Plus for months, and ever since the streaming service announced the CBS library deal, I have nitpicked and clamored for more and different offerings than what we have received. Today I'm going to offer some suggestions for what should (and realistically could) be on there. For one thing, I'm looking for complete series runs or at least complete seasons, not the random assortment of episodes we are getting. That said, here are some CBS series I'd like to see join Hulu:

*The Phil Silvers Show/Sgt. Bilko: The series has looked a lot better on CBS' official DVD releases--a Best of and a Season 1--than on my AHEM set which is rife with 22-minute versions. A complete set is coming in the UK, and a certain licensor may be bringing it stateside late this year, but why not put the show on Hulu? It could use more classic sitcoms.

*The Wild, Wild West: It has been on Me-TV, and I think it was on RTV before the Paramount library left, but this has had a remarkably low profile in recent years. It's been complete on DVD for years, so it's not like you need to worry about cannibalizing video sales.

*The Fugitive: CBS finally got it right and did a gigantic complete DVD package a few years ago. Me-TV runs this, but it doesn't make a big deal out of it. One of the best TV series of all time deserves more of a presence.

*Perry Mason: Again, ME-TV shows it, it's complete on DVD--now is the time for a streaming presence. It would be particularly fun to have something like this on demand and be able to cherry-pick episodes with certain guest stars and whatnot.

*The Invaders: It's only two seasons, it's been complete on DVD for years, and I would think a cool genre show like this would be a nice add for Hulu.

*One Step Beyond: It's possible that the public domain cheapo DVD releases of this series killed sales when CBS finally decided to do a proper season one set, but I fear people just don't remember the series. It's not "Twilight Zone," but it doesn't deserve its current obscurity. Clearly no one else is interested in this. Put it online.

*Love American Style: I think I've read there is some kind of source material/elements issue preventing more DVD releases of this comedy anthology. Well, put 'em online. The show is dated, yes, and while that may slow video sales, it makes it a fun watch today. I'd love to be able to see these on Hulu.

*Love Boat: See what I said above about cherry-picking episodes with fun guest stars. I've seen some episodes online that look pretty darn good. Who knows what the DVD strategy is with this? It's not on any kind of fast track. Give Hulu access to these cheesy but iconic crapfest.

*My Three Sons: Even Me-TV only shows less than half of the series' long run, and nobody seems to want to show the black-and-white episodes with William Frawley. That's 5 seasons' worth! CBS screwed up the series by using abominable music replacement and splitting seasons, then gave up after two seasons. I'd really love to see the b&w Bub years since they aren't syndicated anymore.

OK, how about some more pie-in-the-sky scenarios? Here are some titles in the CBS/Paramount library that may have issues preventing their release. They certainly aren't coming to DVD anytime soon, so it would be great to see them online:

*The Millionaire: Me-TV showed some of these...right before I got Me-TV. The series is on someone's radar, I guess.

*The Lineup: The 1958 film is a blast. How about the San Francisco cop procedural series that spawned it?

*December Bride: This sitcom is way too obscure for something that had 156 episodes.

*The Defenders: I believe there is some kind of problem with source materials for this series. I don't know if that would preclude some kind of online streaming deal.

*Ben Casey: Warner Archive is putting out "Dr. Kildare" and is even streaming the first season on Warner Archive Instant. It would be nice to see this medical show back in circulation.

*Our Miss Brooks: Believe it or not, I have seen rumors that this show is being prepped for a possible DVD release. You know what? I don't believe it. But maybe we can see it on Hulu someday!