Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quote of the Week

I've got to be honest. I met President Obama and he was a nice fellow, but I'm not going to vote for him, and I'm not going to vote for Romney. So, that leaves me without many options. I don't see much that I like in either of them. It's a tough world and I don't think either of them is capable of representing this country right now.
--Merle Haggard, The Dallas Observer, June 28, 2012

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Pensamientos Acerca de Televisión

ER: “24 Hours (Pilot)”

The oddest thing I noticed about the first episode of the long-running medical series ER?

How young George Clooney looked in the first season.

Granted, he was hardly the first actor to age in a certain role but I've gotten so used to seeing him in older roles that it is shocking to see how young he was when he first started out. It didn't help that he spent the entire first season wearing weird blonde highlights in his hair that lowered his age to the point that he seemed to be auditioning for a reboot of Doogie Howser, M.D.. Of course, once the second season started, he stopped wearing highlights and allowed his hair to take on a more natural color but for a while there, I had to wonder how it was that Clooney's character Doug Ross managed to look younger than almost every other adult male character including Noah Wyle's John Carter character -- who, of course, was an intern.

In any event, the initial episode of the series focused more on Dr. Mark Greene -- the Anthony Edwards character -- than on either Ross or Carter. Apparently, the show was set in a fictional inner-city Chicago hospital and its main purpose was to give the American TV-viewing public some idea of what it was like to be a doctor or a nurse in such a hospital. Of course, as time went by, the show would grow more and more melodramatic to the point that it seemed light-years away from its original intention -- and I'm sure that its having to compete with newer medical shows like Grey's Anatomy and House M.D. didn't help matters.

Just the same, the first episode managed to straddle a believable line between fiction and reality in that the average viewer could actually picture the events of said episode occurring in an actual hospital. The same, unfortunately, could not be said of more recent episodes.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Movie Quote of the Week

Look, Annie... I love you. But let's leave that out of this. I don't want to be someone that you're settling for. I don't want to be someone that anyone settles for. Marriage is hard enough without bringing such low expectations into it, isn't it?
--Bill Pullman, Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

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TV Quote of the Week

Aw! We're going to spice you up so much you're going to forget you're white.
--Ana Ortiz, Ugly Betty, "Hello Goodbye"

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

R.I.P. Nora Ephron

Noted writer and director Nora Ephron -- most famous for her work on the 1993 Tom Hanks comedy Sleepless in Seattle -- dropped her last bon mot yesterday at age 71.

She will be missed.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Movie Quote of the Week

I always thought the only alien in this high school was me.
--Clea DuVall, The Faculty (1998)

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TV Quote of the Week

I think it's pretty safe to say I'm not going to see anyone who's invisible.
--Michelle Trachtenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Lessons”

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Friday, June 22, 2012

R.I.P. Caroline John

English actress Caroline John, best known for her role as Liz Shaw in the original Doctor Who series, finished her last journey on June 5 of this year at age 71.

She will be missed.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

R.I.P. Rodney King

Civil rights icon and LAPD victim Rodney King passed away on June 17 at age 47.

He will be missed.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Movie Quote of the Week

You have a point, An idiotic one, but a point.
--George Sanders, All About Eve (1950)

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TV Quote of the Week

Your guilty conscience may move you to vote Democratic, but deep down you long for a cold-hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king.
--Kelsey Grammer, The Simpsons, "Sideshow Bob Roberts"

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

R.I.P. Frank Cady

American actor Frank Cady, most famous for his role as Sam Drucker on the popular 1960s sitcoms Green Acres and Petticoat Junction, rang up his final sale last Friday at age 96.

He will be missed.

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R.I.P. Ann Rutherford

Canadian-American actress Ann Rutherford, most famous for playing Scarlett O'Hara's youngest sister in the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind, went to her last ball yesterday at age 94.

She will be missed.

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

R.I.P. Bob Welch

Former Fleetwood Mac member and solo artist Bob Welch, most famous for such songs as "Ebony Eyes" and "Sentimental Lady," decided to join Kurt Cobain in rock and roll purgatory two days ago at age 65.

He will be missed.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

Famed American science fiction author Ray Bradbury, most famous for such works as The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, finished the final chapter of his life story last night at age 91.

He will be missed.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

R.I.P. Kathryn Joosten


Actress Kathryn Joosten, most famous for her supporting role on the TV series Desperate Housewives, hit her last cue yesterday at age 72.

She will be missed.

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R.I.P. Richard Dawson


British-born actor Richard Dawson, most famous for co-starring in the World War II comedy Hogan's Heroes and hosting the TV game show Family Feud, asked his final question yesterday at age 79.

He will be missed.

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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Book of the Week


Given the popularity that the alternative history genre has had among American readers for at least two decades now, it was probably inevitable that we get a novel that attempted to tell an alternative history of the 9/11 attack. Indeed, I am a bit surprised that it took this long.

Author Matt Ruff, of course, doesn't just stop there. He also gives us readers a surprisingly convincing account of a world where the Muslims in the Middle East are an united people who dominate the globe and the Americans are a bunch of disunited political entities who are rebelling against foreign occupation -- an occupation which is being carried out, naturally, by the -- ahem -- Muslims.

Ruff's novel isn't quite science fiction -- towards the end, he brings in an element of obvious fantasy that most readers might wish to take with a grain of salt -- but it is interesting and entertaining. It even includes an alternative universe version of 24 protagonist Jack Bauer. Of course, Matt Ruff's version of Jack Bauer is still a fictional character in the eyes of the characters of this novel and rarely gets more than an occasional reference. But then I'm not sure that most cultural conservatives in the U.S. really would want to see an entire novel devoted to that version -- especially since he is a Muslim.

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