Category Archives: Wendy Malick

“Lassie” and Television’s Progress

Standard

On Friday, September 12, 2014, 60 years of television had passed by, since “Lassie’s”

first debut episode. The show was simple, meaningful and encompassed all areas of

rural living, (1954 – 1973). When they list the ‘longest lasting television series,’ they

place this show close to top of the list.

 

The years I remember the show, “Lassie,” best had June Lockhart as portraying my

favorite mother of all time. The father was genuinely well-acted by Hugh Reilly and

my favorite little boy, “Timmy,” was played by Jon Provost.

 

Although the leading “human” roles changed over the years, there was always the

faithful dog, “Lassie.” (Many dogs played this role, of course, through the years.) I

enjoyed the various transitions of “Lassie,” having family values and including life

lessons.

 

Fast forward to September and October, 2014 for the New Fall, 2014 television

season.

It would be nearly impossible to picture most of the newest additions to our current

television programming to last ten years, let alone 19 years.

 

The “CSI” and “NCIS” shows are still going strong and on this Fall’s t.v. line-up.

I am going to miss having the original show, “CSI,” with its location of Las Vegas,

when it moves to its new Sunday evening slot. Sunday is my favorite ‘catch up’ night,

with PBS, Hallmark and I still am a big fan of “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”

The new Fall line up is already getting over-crowded on my own Sunday night.

 

I was talking to a good friend who thinks some of the shows sound “silly” and was

pointing out a Columbus Dispatch critic thought Debra Messing would be hard to

imagine being a cop, in the new show called, “”Mysteries of Laura.”

Since I would first respond, I love the silly show, “Mike and Molly.” I may be quite

blasphemous to say that “Mike” would NEVER make it on a real police force, due

to his large size…

Criticism from someone who loves all kinds of wild SyFy shows like, “Haven” and

“Eureka,”  and on regular network t.v., “Under the Dome,” should be wondering

about their own ways they stretch their imagination! I am laughing with you; not

at you, my friend!

 

Can you suspend your sense of disbelief and let your imagination go?

I remember the funny ways we learned, as children to open our ‘escape hatches’

and step into the Lands of Wonderment.

 

I shall try all the shows with female-driven plot lines. They have had ‘good fortune’

in the past. Imagine “The Good Wife” not being on,  not receiving another round of

Emmy Award nominations. I think it is nice to see women in professional situations,

not wearing an ‘apron’ and carrying out the character of a ‘housewife and mother.’

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy programs that have women who have chosen to

stay at home to do

this very important job and having this be part of the plot line, too. Choices are what

makes this a different world from the Fifties and Sixties’ television programming.

 

“We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!”

I like the characters in this sweet little show about a single mother with a son, you may

recognize him from big screen movies, I “About a Boy.” I am sadly not pleased with

where they tucked this show into a 9:30 time slot. It is ‘not cute’ but original and quirky.

We, if you are a viewer, are ‘rooting’ for the handsome neighbor man to become the single

mother’s date. Although it is about a boy, it is definitely about the mother, too. Having

raised 3 children on my own, I am particularly happy to watch this one. I also like the

upcoming role of Katherine Heigl getting another chance on television in “State of

Affairs.” While Katherine Heigl left “Grey’s Anatomy,” definitely getting better comedic

roles in movies, she is still sorely missed as the character of “Izzy,” on that show. I am

looking forward to seeing her as a CIA agent. She was funny in “One for the Money,” a

movie based on the hilarious antics of a bondswoman in more than 20 books by Janet

Evanovich.

 

If you liked Tea Leoni’s funny past roles you may have seen her show her acting chops

in serious dramas, too. We will see which direction she heads in, “Madame Secretary.”

She was one of the wackiest women on television for 2 years in a show called, “The Naked

Truth.”

 

I have read a decent review of “Red Band Society.” It is not a “Breakfast Club,” nor

is it one that will be all laughs, but will tackle diseases and illnesses with a touch of

humor and give it an uplifting spin. It is a group of young people who are ones who

have hospital experiences, who are dealing with personal challenges. I picture it more

like the movie, “Stand By Me,” in its tone and togetherness. It is about a ‘band

of young misfits.’

 

Critics are harsh when it comes to some and not so much with others. I remember

when I discovered, “How I Met Your Mother.” It was before the critics endorsed it,

awhile back. I am sad how they chose to end it, with the death of the mother but

happy the main gal, Robin, got her ‘man.’

 

The serious shows genre are tougher to predict. I would imagine Scott Backula will

knock the New Orleans’ version of “NCIS” out of the park. I happen to have liked his

‘goofy’ portrayal of character in “Quantum Leap.” I am not sure about, “Stalkers,” but

will support Dylan McDermott, since he is still okay after all these years since his role

as a non-supportive ‘husband’ for Julia Robert’s dying ‘wife’ role in “Steel Magnolias.”

 

Another serious plot line can be found in “Gracepoint.” (Not to be confused with the

CIA/FBI show about the safe house, “Graceland.”) David Tennant, from the British

show, “Broadchurch,”and Anna Gunn are two strong actors that will head up the

already critically-acclaimed and well-promoted television show. This show is set in a

fictional California coastal community.

 

I think that the “Forever” show that is listed on two consecutive days, for its kick-off

first two episodes sounds good.  Sadly, I lost “Journeyman” and also another traveling

through  time show just in the past two years. I will hope this one ‘sticks’ because I like

the concept. I used to enjoy “Time Tunnel” on television and “Back to the Future,” on

the movie screen.

 

I have been a fan of Josh Dushamel ever since the show, “Vegas.” I have enjoyed his

forte into romantic comedies, too. The actor, Dushamel will be on a new show called,

“Battle Creek,” This will be loosely based on likely crimes to be found in Battle Creek,

Michigan. His co-star/partner will be that of Dean Winters. You will recognize him,

but not necessarily ‘place’ him. I will check this one out simply because I love crime-

solving television series.

 

I will return to comedies. This is what a good friend in Lancaster, Ohio mentioned

when we turned 50: “Try to laugh more, watch comedies!”

I came up with a slogan, which I will hope no one else has coined:

“Humor is found in the ‘ear’ of the listener.”

(“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”)

So, if you liked “My Favorite Martian” did you ever try 2 seasons of “Neighbors?”

I think not, since it did not make it. This was clever, witty writing with four likable

adults, along with poking fun at Suburbia. I will miss this, unless it is on a later

schedule, it did not make the ‘cut.’

 

If you liked “Scrubs,” you probably followed the guy who was the janitor on over

into “The Middle,” who became the ever patient, sometimes ‘clueless’ Dad in this

sit-com. This also includes Patricia Heaton, who played the Mom/wife roles in

“Everyone Loves Raymond.”

 

If you liked “Taxi,” “Barney Miller” and “Psych,” you may have discovered last year’s

Emmy-awarding comedy, “Brooklyn 9-9.” Hilarious, quirky and goofy at times, but

watch out, you may laugh out loud anyway.

 

I am wishing that Nielson’s Rating chart were in my mailbox, because I had such a

lovely time about eight years ago, studying and analyzing the television Fall Season

Line-ups back then. The first time I had the full control of a remote control.  I wrote

some comprehensive and profuse notes for those receiving my multiple page Nielson

Ratings Report. I  am not a paid writer nor do I write for a newspaper. I was able to

honestly say this, it was all for the love of television and the future of programming

that I was inspired to carry out my ‘duties’ in this report.

 

My final thoughts on the Progress television has made since “Lassie” was on.

You are invited to ‘debate’ these comments, too. I love a good and lively discussion!

 

I personally feel current shows embrace more ethnicities, culture and show characters

with wider world views in our programming. They encompasses much more ‘diversity’

on television since my childhood days. This means the people who are represented

are not stereotyped as much, anymore.

 

I like that there are two children with special needs included in some popular shows.

I recommend, “Parenthood,” and if you have never seen this, start by watching the

first shows. It is cool to watch this fine young actor, “grow up” with two caring

‘parents’ who disagree about how to handle him, along with a supportive ‘family.’

I am not sure how they would ‘label’ the character, “Brick,” in the show “The Middle,”

but the family accepts him just as he is.

I feel the shows today give better examples of the way families really act, showing

varied relationships, how to handle or not able handle serious and controversial

subjects such as addictions, challenges and sexual orientations.

 

We have heroes and villains. The same as in the past, sometimes more graphically

(and honestly presented.)

 

World conflicts and images are horrifying.  We cannot ignore what is going on, bury

our head in the sand. Powerful, and yet maddening, events are daily depicted (some

consider, ‘bombarded’) on our television sets.

We are urged to ‘act’ and ‘choose’ which side of the dilemmas we will take, as a nation

and other countries must, too.

Along with this serious, somewhat negative impact of television’s immediacy to

situations, we have positives.

We have the opportunity to watch the Olympics, sporting events and international

specials, shown across the world. My coworkers and friends from the Philippines

were captivated by Pope Francis being chosen to be the Roman Catholic Pope.

Other friends were entranced by the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana. Then,

many followed the tragic ending to Lady Diana’s life. They were hopeful for the

more recent wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The baby’s birth and

now, the next one on its way, are subjects that many feel are happy bits of news.

 

History, social studies, geography and science are subjects of programs, for

everyone to  learn about, grow to enjoy and get more educated. There are so

many fascinating shows to watch. Nature, musical and art works may never be viewed

or listened to, first hand. Other countries and animals, places that may not be within

everyone’s budget or ability to travel.

 

Some people are not necessarily able to buy or read the newspaper. They find out

information about the world they live in, from the television news shows.

Hurray For National Geographic, Travel Channel, PBS, Weather Channel and

other quality network programming!

 

We have real and make-believe images still, with our magic carpet rides taking off,

from our own homes.

 

There are subjects and shows I may never care to watch. I embrace and support

those who like QVC shopping, cooking shows, reality shows and true dramas,

because they are part of the wide community of television watchers.

 

Many of the shows I choose to watch, you may not want to watch. I got hooked on a

soap opera, during our second break at work. For the past six years, I am ‘guilty’ of

watching, “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

All the years I stayed home and babysat, I did not watch any soap operas. I did in

college, much to the chagrin of my parents, when I mentioned I was scheduling my

courses around a couple of soap operas!

 

I was listening, the first year of American Idol, to all the animated conversations in

the teachers’ break room. They were talking about the ‘bad’ try-outs and the odd

characters. It was in the very beginning of the national search for those who would

make it to “Hollywood.” This caught my attention and I am so glad that I started

watching it.  I can say, “I remember when I first heard Carrie Underwood’s fantastic

voice, was medium built and had frizzy hair!” Along with several well-known singers

who made it to the Top Ten or higher.

 

I am grateful that I don’t have to sit on a sofa and listen to radio to imagine the

great radio characters of the “Green Hornet,” “Gracie Allen and George Burns,”

or how the President of the United States looks like as he is speaking. I enjoy

hearing my Mom’s excitement when she heard about Amelia Earhart’s trans-

Atlantic plane trip and her memories of the “Fireside Chats,” with President

Roosevelt, though.

 

I liked how we  used to watch to find out if we had school on Snow Days. Later,

if our children or grandchildren have school cancelled. I enjoy watching to see

how ‘my’ candidates or ‘my’ issues are doing, as the voting polls report in their

results.

 

I am saddened that there are blind people who cannot see, but grateful for the

inventions of special devices and increased equipment due to new technology

allowing them ‘to see’ the shows. The descriptions of the setting, characters and

other visual ‘clues’ are given. I have read about these and think the inventors are

brilliant for creating and providing this service. There are new creations in hearing-

impaired equipment, too.

 

Many people cannot afford to go to the movies or take a vacation with their families.

They may not go to Broadway but on PBS, they can see a Broadway play or musical.

They get their main form of entertainment from television.

 

There are others, lying on their back sometimes, healing from surgery or permanent

disabilities. My Dad liked to watch the comedies, while getting his chemo treatments.

Laughing made him feel so much better on those days he was nauseous.

 

The elderly in the nursing home I worked at for 4 1/2 years, liked to watch the shows

on TV Land, old reruns of “Lawrence Welk” and  “Bonanza,” along with their church

programming on Sunday mornings. The beauty of fireworks in our country and

celebrations around the world, brought big smiles to their faces. They enjoyed, as

I still do, the lovely creations in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

 

We get a sense of conscience from our ‘small screens.’  The night I watched, “Stand

Up 2 Cancer” impacted me, along with millions of other people watching. It moved

us to donate to some form of Cancer (Society) fund-raising, including Hospice Care,

research and local hospitals.

 

Remember “One Small Step for Mankind?” We now look forward to continued

space travel, inventions and research. When we hear of satellites making it to

Mars or other planets this gives us information that we may use in the future.

 

A quote about freedom from H.L. Mencken, American author and journalist

(1880-1956):

“We must be willing to pay a price for freedom,

for no price that is ever  asked for it,

is half the cost of doing without it.”

 

My soap box, put away for now. . .

 

 

 

What do you watch?

Have you heard about any new t.v. show compelling you

to ‘set your DVR’?

 

I’m Not Making This Up!

Standard

The crazy thing is, I have written some character studies on three

homeless people around Delaware, Ohio. I have also, tried to use my

imagination and intuitiveness, to dig deeper and build these essays

to include more well-rounded characters. Well, a man who has talked

to me a few times, younger by at least ten years or more had asked

me for my phone number before.

I did not tell him my phone number. I did tell him that he seemed

‘too young’ and I had ‘enough male friends already.’ So he launched

into a lower-voiced, loud whispered ‘tirade’ against women who ‘judge’

him!

Honestly, he looks quite attractive, so that is not my reason for

not handing out my phone number.

Wait a minute! I am not known for being judgmental.

I pointed out, looking anxiously at the librarian to see if our

voices were reaching her ears, in her audible range,

“Women need to be careful about giving details to people they

really don’t know!”

Let’s start at the beginning…

This younger man I met, had introduced himself as Chad a few weeks

ago, at the library. He’s the man I may have mentioned was heading

awhile ago to Roop’s (Roop Brother’s Bar) to sing for Open Mic night.

He had asked me if I would like to join him for a drink and wait

until his turn to sing at Open Mic Night.

I had not taken him up on an offer for a drink. This may or may not

‘ring’ a bell, but since I mention lots of details, I would not expect

you to remember this one man. I liked the way he smelled, (like a

bar of Irish Spring soap!) and he wore a nice pair of blue jeans,

a plaid flannel shirt in greens. He was thin, wiry with dark ‘salt

and pepper’ hair.

I felt a little uncomfortable that time a few weeks ago, as I walked

home. Not afraid he would jump out in the alley behind the library,

but mainly contemplating my motives for not giving my phone number

out or taking him up for a simple drink out. I used to go to that

particular Thursday night regular activity, enjoying the local

musical scene, including Felicia’s friend, Morgan Treni. I spent a

few moments thinking about whether or not I had been judging him.

It could be truthfully, my decision was partly impacted by the

fact that he was also using a computer in the library.

I know, that would be kind of ‘two-faced.’ It did make me stop

and wonder whether or not to get involved.

Mainly, I am not Cher!

I am not Jennifer Lopez!

I cannot afford a younger man, who may be an aspiring singer!

This makes me smile, thinking as my mind wanders off to last

Wednesday’s “Hot in Cleveland,” show. That is a little ‘gem’

which I like to play ‘channel surfing’ with, catching glimpses

of its incredibly funny ‘take’ on older men and women’s love

lives. The bonus part is how there have been so many other

oldies show up to take a role in the show. I enjoyed when the

“Emergency!” show squad showed up, the “CHIPS” guys were in

a Cleveland bar, at the same time the characters were, etc.

Only one other post was on this subject, the one where Wendie

Malick’s character wears a product similarly to Depends.

I laughed last week, when Betty White sashayed into the room,

while the others, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie

Malick were sitting on the sofa and a comfy chair. Her funny

announcement, tickled me:

“I have decided to take a lover!”

The ongoing conversation stopped, of course. Another added

titillating detail was thrown out, in a provocative tone,

“And he is much younger than I am!”

She raised her eyebrow and gave each of the women in the room,

a glance or a wink. Betty White is a professional and knows how

to ‘milk’ a crowd and build great laughs. This show is ‘filmed

in front of a live audience,’ too! They were roaring and hooting,

too!

So, along with being not as rich or flamboyant as Cher or as

incredibly beautiful and hot, like Jennifer, I have to say I am

not as bold and brazen as Betty White’s character is, on that

comedy show! (By the way, if you ever get a chance to see this

show, or wish to know the background on this fantastic cast

with lots of comedic histories for each character, you can look

it up! I used to watch Wendie in “Just Shoot Me,” Jane in “Frasier,”

and Valerie Bertinelli, as a teenager in the show, “One Day at a

Time” and later, in “Touched by an Angel” and movies, too. )

So, I was busily typing and trying to get my May Monthly Calendar

rough draft completed over the weekend. I had plans to pick up

my two grandsons, we had chosen a few titles of movies, were

going to have an egg hunt, along with hiding in the dark later

that evening, using flashlights. I was dressed for the first

destination, after I picked the boys up: Mingo Park.

Chad was sitting next to me, asking me how he could set up

a wordpress account, along with his having heard there was a

website to get money for potential production of musical CD’s.

I really was mad at myself, for being ‘too friendly’ to this

man and also, for my being accessible. I could not get up

and leave my computer, get in line and get a number, since

it was one of the ‘busiest’ computer days: Saturday!

I wrote down the word, “Kickstarter” on my little pad of

paper. Whispered that he could look into this online,

for helping raise money for his CD. Then, I added,

“You could get the website printed on cards to pass out

at Open Mic nights around the city of Delaware, and even

in Columbus.”

Big mistake!

I again, had led him to believe that I cared!

“I cannot keep doing this, Robin,” I thought to myself!

The next thing, was the last straw though. You will not

believe this one!!

Chad leaned over and asked me where my apartment building

was and how much was rent there?

Of course, I got nervous. I have conflicting feelings about

helping people when the situation brings me into a position

where there is a potential for danger. Also, somehow he may

wish to use me as a reference.

I had to look Chad, who is kind of cute for a younger forty

year old man, and say:

“I cannot tell you this. Sorry, Chad!”

He got up, humphed in a tone that was loud enough to catch

the librarian’s attention and gathered his backpack and stuff.

He crumpled up the piece of paper with the word, “Kickstarter”

on it, throwing change and his wallet, along with a notebook

into the backpack.

As I was leaving awhile later, the sympathetic librarian said

to me,

“You know, he is homeless. He lives at Andrews House, in the

homeless loft.”

Of all the luck…

I will try to restrain my overactive guilty conscience and

let this one go!

After Sandusky came Cleveland…

Standard

I have to admit there have been lots of times I was grateful to

be part of the big city of Cleveland. I moved from Sandusky to

Cleveland, where I felt that we had a more active life.

We moved to a subdivision, named “Bretton Ridge.” It had a busy

neighborhood pool, ice skating rink and sidewalks. My parents

joined a few card clubs and had Progressive Dinners, where each

couple would prepare a course of a multiple course meal. They

would rotate the host and hostess duties, from one home to the

next. Children were not invited, but there were plenty of fun

things to do around North Olmsted.

We still enjoy watching the Cleveland teams. We are fans of all

the different entertainment opportunities that are around that

area. I liked living close to Lake Erie, the metropolitan parks,

the downtown Public Square area. My parents still took us once

a year to Cedar Point Amusement Park, which became more and more

popular, expensive and crowded. (I ended up working there for

two summers and enjoyed living in the dormitories, although they

were hot!)

I am proud that “Cleveland Rocks!”

Thank goodness for Drew Carey and others who continue to bring the

city to light. I am a big fan of Drew’s sense of humor and his

ability to engage in improvisational comedy skits, too. He has

made our lunchtime show, in the break room, “The Price is Right,”

quite enjoyable.

There are numerous actors, past, present and upcoming that have

come from Cleveland.

The sights are diverse and interesting there. I still feel the

“Flats” is a fun place to go and listen to jazz, rock and roll,

along with R & B bands.

I like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Galleria, for places to

go. The Tower City has been replaced with the Horseshoe Gambling

Casino. There are more, new plans for the renewal of Cleveland’s

downtown area.

I never turn down a chance to go to the ‘new’ Cleveland stadium,

which was first called, Jacob’s Stadium, then is currently called,

“Progressive Field.”

Another wonderful actor, who graduated from Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware,

Ohio, is Wendie Malick. Her show with some major stars, including the

hilarious and ageless, Betty White is “Hot in Cleveland.” This show

is on TV Land channel. It continues to make me proud. I liked Wendie’s

other endeavors, such as she is active in pro-green, environmental and

water supply projects. I just love her wacky humor.

I was hoping that the Depends product being featured in Wendie’s

character’s (a soap opera diva) would have been seen by my friends at

work last night. Alas, my coworkers had not watched it.

With Wendie’s comedic flair for drama, her swishing across the room

wearing a pair of protective underwear was so funny! This was so her

character could be the spokesperson for them. She was practicing,

trying to look sophisticated, despite the swishing noise emitting

from inside her pants… The scene had me rolling on the floor,

laughing!

That’s all for Cleveland and my little “shout out’s” to the ones

who are featuring our great Hometown of Cleveland on T.V. these

days and nights!