My 71st birthday is Saturday -- and yes, I'm a "first day of summer" gal. (By the way, it's the ONLY "first day of whatever season" whose date I can remember for sure!) Some of you already know that I have been intending to write a post talking about my all-time favorite movies, TV shows, actors, etc.
Well, I've been compiling lists and making pertinent notes in regard to same off and on for the past two weeks, trying to be a little more prepared to write this (what will probably be a terribly lengthy) post.
It was only earlier this morning that I realized I was going to have to 'split off' a category, that of favorite TV shows. (I may decide tomorrow that I will do another splinter, that of favorite actors. We'll see.)
When I got this idea originally, I thought I would do a 'list of my 71 all-time favorite movies'. Then, as I got into it and began paying more attention, I stopped counting and instead began categorizing. There were STILL too many!
OK. The focus today is on my all-time favorite TV shows. There is only one, and that is M*A*S*H.
I don't know exactly where my mind was, minute by minute, from 1972-1983, but for sure it wasn't on television. I mean, I think I knew that that series existed, but I wasn't paying any attention at all to TV! (I don't think it helped M*A*S*H's case later, either, that my 3rd husband -- who was very fond of criticizing my every action, including how I wrang out the dish cloth -- put that series at the very top of his 'couch potato' watching list.)
But let's get back to M*A*S*H. Of the more than 250 episodes, I think the ONLY ones I have not seen are the last two -- the two and a half hour finale.
Here in Houston, local TV channels 20 and 26, between the two of them, probably carry between eight and ten different reruns each week (depending on the very late/early hours you are up and watching).
You know what? I never realized that the "Suicide is Painless" tune was M*A*S*H's theme song. (Now, I ask you, how ignorant is THAT?!?) I only ever listened to the 47-second intro each time, just the tune, no lyrics.
I see the series as a commentary on life ... a lot of moral lessons to be learned ... the fact that we need to be able to laugh at not only ourselves but at what's going on around us. I have NEVER seen the series as "noir". May God poop on those who would choose to think otherwise!!
Did you know that Alan Alda contracted polio at the age of seven? I didn't!
He has made/directed/written/acted in a LOT of movies! One of my favorites was "Same Time Next Year". If you're not familiar with it, you might want to look it up. Co-starring Ellen Burstyn, the story spans 24 years in the lives of two people who are not married to each other but yet continue to meet once a year. Thought-provoking.
The closest second to my all-time TV favorites is "Fantasy Island", with -- who else? -- Ricardo Montalban.
Some of the more unkind critics say that this series guest-stars "hasbeens" and "wannabees". I find this series MUCH more than that! In my mind, there are a whole lot of life's more valuable lessons to be learned here.
[It REALLY distressed me, upon doing research for this post, to learn that Ricardo Montalban has been confined to a wheelchair since 1993. (It seems that he had a spinal operation that left him paralyzed from the waist down.) Why don't we ever hear of these things?!? Is the media that pre-occupied with just the 'beautiful' people?]
From Ricardo, I went on to Esther Williams. Now, I would never have categorized her as one of the world's greatest actresses, but she made some WONderful films, all related to water ballet, of course.
Did you know that she rarely used a stunt double? (I thought as much, but I didn't really "know".)
While filming for "Million Dollar Mermaid" (1952) ... the story of Annette Kellerman ... she broke her neck while diving off a tower during a 'climactic' musical number and was in a body cast for seven months.
Current favorites? I like "Frazier" (along with various spinoffs, but I don't know how 'current' they are). I used to like "Rosie", but don't anymore. Personally, I have a really hard time getting past laugh tracks/canned laughter. Do YOU??
I very much enjoy "Dancing with the Stars". I used to dance a lot, but never at that level! As for religion, I like watching and listening to Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.
"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" is among my favorites. Also "Cold Case". Almost always a sucker for 'hunks', "Smallville" makes my list. "House", while he is anything but a hunk, is a really good show. (You'll probably find yourself not liking the man!)
While I generally am not a science fiction fan, "Stargate SG-1", along with its successor "Atlantis", intrigues me.
PBS has lots of programming that I find worthwhile. Locally, they've been running films based on Jane Austen's novels. Generally speaking, I love listening to the British speak -- think it helps me with my own use of our common language -- so succinct! PBS' "Mystery" series is always worth a look. The ones starring Helen Mirren (an extremely talented actress!) are first class.
British comedy? Some I like very much, and others not at all. "Are You Being Served?" and "To the Manor Born" DEfinitely among my favorites. American humor? Try "Reno 911" -- hilarious!!
Let's see, what else?
Can't think of anything else right now. If I come across or remember something later, I'll re/edit this post yet once more, OK?