Saturday, March 26, 2022

Five Shows That Should be Available on Streaming

Sometimes its seems as if every TV show ever made is on streaming. After all, one can watch a show as obscure as Camp Runamuck on Tubi. In fact, there is a good deal that is not available on streaming. What is more, many of the TV series not to found on streaming services are not exactly obscure. Here are five shows that are not available on streaming, but should be.

Culture Clash: Culture Clash was a sketch variety show starring the comedy troupe of that name. It aired on Fox stations starting in 1993. Sadly, Culture Clash has not been available ever since it aired in the Nineties. It really should be made available. First, it was one of the first shows to star Chicanos. This was well before George Lopez, let alone such shows as Vida and Gentefied. Second, it was one of the first shows to be produced and written by Chicanos as well (among them legendary cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz). Of course, on a personal level I would like for Culture Clash to become available on streaming (and DVD as well) because my dearest Vanessa Marquez was a regular on the show. For those curious about the show, there are clips to be found on YouTube, some of which Vanessa uploaded herself.

Empty Nest: Empty Nest was a spinoff of The Golden Girls starring Richard Mulligan as paediatrician Dr. Harry Weston, whose adult daughters moved back in with him. The show was one of NBC's hits in the late Eighties, ranking no, 9 in the Nielsens for the year in its fist two seasons and no. 7 for its third season. Its ratings would decline afterwards, but it still managed to run seven seasons. Despite its success, Empty Nest aired for a time on the Hallmark Channel, but has since largely disappeared from syndication and has never been released on DVD.

He & She
: While it only lasted one season, He & She remains well remembered by many. The show starred real life married couple Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss as Dick and Paula Hollister. Dick was a cartoonist whose comic strip Jetman has been adapted into a TV show starring the vain, but not particularly bright Oscar North (Jack Cassidy). Paula worked for the Tourist Aid Society, making her one of the first married women to work outside the home in American television.  He & She debuted on CBS on September 6 1967 to critical acclaim. It even won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy and was nominated for four more Emmy Awards. Unfortunately, none of this prevented CBS from cancelling the show. CBS would rerun it during the summer of 1970 and it would later pop up on both the USA Network and TV Land. Sadly, it has never been released on DVD, nor is it on any streaming services. All we have are episodes that have been uploaded to YouTube.

Nurses: Just as Empty Nest was a spinoff of The Golden Girls, Nurses was a spinoff of Empty Nest. It centred on a group of nurses working in a hospital in Miami (the same hospital as Dr. Weston of Empty Nest). Nurses debuted on September 14 1991 on NBC and ran for three seasons. Nurses received modest ratings until its third and final season. Reruns of the show aired on Lifetime for a while after its initial network run, but it hasn't really been available since. Like Empty Nest, it hasn't been released on DVD, although there are a few episodes on YouTube. Of course, here I have to say I have a personal reason for wanting Nurses available on streaming. Vanessa guest starred on the third season episode "The One After the Earthquake."

Sea Hunt
From the Forties into the early Sixties, several hit shows were released through first-run syndication in the United States. Among the last of the hit shows to emerge from the first wave of first-run syndication shows in the Fifties and Sixties was Sea Hunt. The show was created and produced by Ivan Tors, who would later produce such shows as Flipper and Daktari. It starred Lloyd Bridges as former Navy frogman Mike Nelson. Plots on the show ranged from underwater salvage missions to facing criminals. Sea Hunt proved to be very popular and ran for four seasons. Unlike other shows on this list, Sea Hunt is available on DVD. It has also been available on streaming in the past. Currently, it is available on no streaming services.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Godspeed Peter Bowles

Peter Bowles, who starred on To the Manor Born and appeared on TV shows from The Avengers to The Sarah Jane Adventures, died on March 17 2022 at the age of 85. The cause was cancer.

Peter Bowles was born on October 16 1936 in Upper Boddington, Northamptonshire. His father, Herbert Bowles, was a valet to Drogo Montagu, son of the Earl of Sandwich. His mother, Sarah, was nanny to Lady Jeanne Campbell, Lord Beaverbrook’s granddaughter. In 1940 the family moved to Nottingham, where Herbert Bowles took a job with Rolls-Royce. Peter Bowles attended  High Pavement grammar school, where he took part in school plays. He won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He began his career with the Old Vic Company.

Peter Bowles made his television debut in an episode of The Last Chronicle of Barset in 1959. In the Sixties he was a regular on the series Magnolia Street and Emergency-Ward 10. He appeared in different roles in several episodes of The Avengers. He also guest starred on the shows Doctor Knock, It Happened Like This, Drama 61-67, The Protectors, The Great War, ITV Play of the Week, Danger Man, Crane, No Hiding Place, The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, Jury Room, Six of the Best, Famous Gossips, Out of the Unknown, Sunday Night, Redcap, The Informer, The Baron, The Saint, Armchair Theatre, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Troubleshooters, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Prisoner, Dr. Finlay's Casebook, Champion House, Love Story, Sherlock Holmes, Department S, W. Somerset Maugham, Softly Softly, Take Three Girls, Ryan International, The Main Chance, and Happy Ever After. He appeared in the mini-series The Gold Robbers.

Peter Bowles made his movie debut in The Extra Day in 1956. In the Sixties he appeared in the movies Live Now--Pay Later (1962), The Informers (1963), Three Hats of Lisa (1965), Dead Man's Chest (1965), Blowup (1966), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), The Assassination Bureau (1969), The Laughter Brigade (1969), Taste of Excitement (1969), and Eyewitness (1970).

In the Seventies Mr. Bowles appeared in the TV mini-series Napoleon and Love, Murder Must Advertise, and Pennies from Heaven. He was a regular on the shows Brett, Good Girl, The Crezz, Only When I Laugh, and Rumpole of the Bailey. It was in 1979 that To the Manor Born debuted. Peter Bowles played Richard DeVere, a noveau riche millionaire who buys the manor of Audrey fforbes-Hamilton (Penolope Keith). The show proved to be wildly successful, running for three series, with a Christmas special aired in 2007. Peter Bowles guest starred on the shows Hadleigh, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, The Persuaders!, ITV Saturday Night Theatre, The Shadow of the Tower, Alexander the Greatest, Harriet's Back in Town, The Protectors, The Adventures of Black Beauty, Crown Court, Cheri, Arthur of the Britons, Omnibus, Special Branch, Public Eye, Thriller, Survivor, Comedy Playhouse, Churchill's People, Space: 1999, I Claudius, A Roof Over My Head, Rising Damp, BBC Play of the Month, The Sunday Drama, Bless Me Father, Tales of the Unexpected, Turtle's Progress, and Nanny Knows Best. He appeared in the movies A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1972), Endless Night (1972), The Offence (1973), The Legend of Hell House (1973), For the Love of Benji (1977), and The Disappearance (1977).

In the Eighties Peter Bowles continued to appear in To the Manor Born, Only When I Laugh, and Rumpole of the Bailey. He was a regular on the shows Vice Versa, The Bounder, The Irish R.M., Lytton's Diary, Executive Stress, and Perfect Scoundrels. He guest starred on Storyboard. He appeared in the movie Try This One for Size (1989). In the Nineties he continued to appear on Perfect Scoundrels and Rumpole of the Bailey. He guest starred on Screen One and Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased). He appeared in the movies The Steal (1995) and One of the Hollywood Ten (2000).

In the Naughts Peter Bowles appeared in the movies Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story (2005), Freebird (2008), and The Bank Job (2008). He guest starred on the shows Holby City Jericho, and Poirot. In the Teens he appeared in the movies Love's Kitchen (2011), Lilting (2014), Peterman (2014), Meet Pursuit Delange: The Movie (2015), We Are Tourists (2017), and Together (2018). He guest starred on the shows The Sarah Jane Adventures, Citizen Khan, and The Life of Rock with Brian Pern, Murder. He was a regular on the show Victoria. His last appearance was in the movie Off the Rails (2021).

Peter Bowles was a remarkable actor of considerable talent. In his guest appearances on The Avengers the characters he played were dramatically different. He particularly stood out as Thyssen, the diabolical mastermind who claims to have created a time machine in "Escape in Time." In the movie Blowup he gave a good performance as Ron, photographer Thomas's agent. Of course, chances are good that the will always be remembered as Richard DeVere  on To Manor Born, the millionaire supermarket chain owner. It was a role that he excelled in. Chances are good that he will also be remembered as the somewhat irresponsible Sir Guthrie Featherstone, who often found himself at odds with barrister Rumple on Rumpole of the Bailey. Peter Bowles could play everything from villains to heroes, and could play comedy as well as drama. He was an incredible actor.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Jimmy Lydon Passes On

Jimmy Lydon, who played Henry Aldrich in nine of Paramount's "Aldrich Family" movies and appeared in the movie Life with Father (1947) died on March 9 2022 at the age of 98.

Jimmy Lydon was born on May 30 1923 in Harrington Park, New Jersey. He was the fifth out of nine children. His father was an alcoholic who announced that he was quitting his job and retiring in 1937. The rest of Jimmy Lydon's family then had to seek out work. It was a family friend who suggested to his mother that she try making one of her children an actor. Jimmy Lydon lied about his acting experience, claiming to have already been in three plays, and was cast as Danny in the 1937 Broadway production Western Waters. In the late Thirties he appeared on Broadway in Sunup to Sundown, Prologue to Glory, Sing Out the News, and The Happiest Days. Jimmy Lydon made his film debut in the movie Back Door to Heaven in 1939. By 1940 he was playing the lead character in the movie Tom Brown's School Days. In the late Thirties he also appeared in the movies The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair (1939), Two Thoroughbreds (1939), Little Men (1940), and Bowery Boy (1940).

In the Forties he took over playing Henry Aldrich from Jackie Cooper (who had played the role in the first two movies. He played Henry in the films Henry Aldrich for President (1941), Henry Aldrich Editor (1942), Henry and Dizzy (1942), Henry Aldrich Swings It (1943), Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour (1943), Henry Aldrich Haunts a House (1943), Henry Aldrich, Boy Scout (1944), Henry Aldrich Plays Cupid (1944), and Henry Aldrich's Little Secret (1944). In Life with Father (1947) he played the eldest son of the title character (who was played by William Powell). During the Forties he also appeared in the movies Naval Academy (1941), Cadets on Parade (1942), The Mad Martindales (1942), Star Spangled Rhythm (1942), Aerial Gunner (1943), My Best Gal (1944), When the Lights Go On Again (1944), The Town Went Wild (1944), Strange Illusion (1945), Twice Blessed (1945), Affairs of Geraldine (1946), Cynthia (1947), Sweet Genevieve (1947), Joan of Arc (1948), An Old-Fashioned Girl (1948), Miss Mink of 1949 (1949), Bad Boy (1949), Tucson (1949), When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950), Tarnished (1950), Destination Big House (1950), September Affair (1950), Hot Rod (1950), and The Magnificent Yankee (1950). He made his television debut in episodes of The Life of Riley in 1949. He also guest starred on The Silver Theatre.

In the Fifties Jimmy Lydon played Skeezix in two films based on the comic strip Gasoline Alley: Gasoline Alley (1951) and Corky of Gasoline Alley (1951). He appeared in the movies Oh! Susanna (1951), Island in the Sky (1953), The Desperado (1954), Rage at Dawn (1955), Battle Stations (1956), Chain of Evidence (1957), The Hypnotic Eye (1960), and I Passed for White (1960). On television he was a regular on The First Hundred Years, CBS's first daytime soap opera. He was also a regular on the shows Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, So This is Hollywood, Love That Jill, and The Gale Storm Show. He guest starred on the shows The Bigelow Theatre, Crown Theatre with Gloria Swanson, Your Jeweler's Showcase, Mr. & Mrs. North, The Ford Television Theatre, Racket Squad, The Revlon Mirror Theatre, Public Defender, The Lineup, Screen Directors Playhouse, Matinee Theatre, Crossroad, Sneak Preview, Sergeant Preston of Yukon, Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal, Lux Video Theatre, Wire Service, Navy Log, Casey Jones, The Silent Service, Tales of the Texas Rangers, Lawman, Maverick, Trackdown, 77 Sunset Strip, Union Pacific, Colt .45, Man with a Camera, M Squad, Tightrope, Hotel de Paree, Wagon Train, The Texan, New Comedy Showcase, Peter Gunn, and Lassie.

In the Sixties Jimmy Lydon guest starred on the TV shows The Twilight Zone, Bronco, General Electric Theatre, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Real McCoys, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Stagecoach West, Whispering Smith, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, 87th Precinct, Hennesey, Wagon Train, 77 Sunset Strip, The Fisher Family, Many Happy Returns, and The F.B.I. He also served as a producer on the shows 77 Sunset Strip, Temple Houston, and Mister Roberts. He appeared in the films The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961) and Death of a Gunfighter (1969).

In the Seventies he guest starred on the shows Cannon; Love, American Style; Cade's Country; O'Hara United States Treasury; The Jimmy Stewart Show; The Wonderful World of Disney; Police Story; Adam-12; The Six Million Dollar Man; Gunsmoke; Ellery Queen; The Rockford Files; The Quest; Lou Grant; and Baa Baa Black Sheep. He produced the show Roll Out. He appeared in the movies Scandalous John (1971), Bonnie's Kids (1972), and Vigilante Force (1976).

In the Eighties Jimmy Lydon guest starred in The Greatest American Hero, The Fall Guy, Simon & Simon, Misfits of Science, and St. Elsewhere.

It is safe to say Jimmy Lydon will always be remembered for playing Henry Aldrich in the "Aldrich Family" movies and Clarence in Life with Father. That having been said, he leaves behind several fine performances in other roles, including many guest appearances on television.  Over the years he played law enforcement officers, lawyers, military officers, and other roles. What is more, he did all of them well.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Thank You for a Successful Blogathon

I want to thank everyone who participated in an 8th Annual Favourite TV Show Blogathon. This year's blogathon was dedicated to the memory of Patricia Nolan-Hall--Paddy Lee to her friends. She got her post for the blogathon done before she passed on. Sadly, it is also her last blog post.

This year's blogathon spanned several decades, from the Fifties to the Nineties.  It also featured posts on TV shows in a diverse number of genres, from Westerns to mysteries to science fiction. I will go ahead and announce that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, there will be a 9th Annual Favourite TV Show Blogathon next year!