Archive for the ‘TV’ category

The Kitty Packard Pictorial Website of the Week: TCM

turnerclassicmoviesHow could we not?

Today TCM celebrates its crystal anniversary:  15 years as television’s foremost platform for all things classic film. For all of us classic movie fans out there, there really aren’t enough words to express our gratitude that TCM exists—I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that it has cheered many a gloomy morning, eased many a stressful day, and brightened many a lonely night. For 15 years its been a loyal, dear friend to all of us, giving its all every day, through good times and bad. Always ready for us with open arms, a cozy armchair conversation and an unfailing arsenal of the movies that make us believe in life, love, and even ourselves.

So here’s to Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz and all the unsung heroes over at Turner Classic Movies. You are definitely the best station out there, and the best website of the week any week out of the year!

Do tune in to TCM today as its 15th anniversary celebrations kick into high gear as TCM fan guest programmers take over the airwaves, and make sure to visit the special 15th anniversary section of the TCM website..

Beeker. The Muppets. Memories. Oh, the memories.

Any time the Animal has to shut up a crowd, you know the act’s gotta be bad. Welll… here is the one and only Beeker doing his rendition of Barbra Streisand’s Feelings, circa nineteen seventy-something-or-other. And it still absolutely tickles my funny bone to no end. (p.s.: this clip courtesy J&B Blended Scotch Whiskey.)

Graham Greene – Tonight on TCM

thirdmanalleyMy TV is rarely tuned to any other channel (save for CNN and BBC) and tonight is just another in the long ledger of reasons why life is simply better with TCM in one’s life. Tonight their lineup features the work of one of the 20th centuries most important writers, Graham Green. Author, screenwriter, playwright and critic, Greene’s work explored (or should I say, exposed) the depths of human morality and spirituality with the sort of remorseless chill and tightly wound plots that proved irresistible to both critics and the masses alike. George Orwell, in my opinion, put it best when he said that Green “appears to share the idea, which has been floating around ever since Baudelaire, that there is something rather distingué  in being damned; Hell is a sort of high-class nightclub, entry to which is reserved for Catholics only.”

And so tonight, on what would have been Greene’s 104th birthday, TCM salutes Greene with his best screenplays (his magnificent The Third Man) as well as adaptations of his finest novels (Brighton Rock). Turn on the fireplace, make some coco or coffee or pour yourself a scotch and soda and enter Greene’s world, starting at 5PM eastern time with Brighton Rock (1947), followed by The Fallen Idol (1948), The Quiet American (1957), The End of the Affair (1955), The Third Man (1949) and Our Man in Havana (1959).

Oscar Host 2009: Hugh Jackman

hugh_jackman1There was quite a bit of hubub today across the wires following the announcement that Hugh Jackman is to host the 81st Academy Awards in February. That’s right … Mr. Sexiest Man Alive himself. He sings, he dances, he’s a trained theatre professional and a solid actor in his own right … the fact that Mr. Jackman is not a comedian is precisely why a lot of people are hopeful that this decsion might just be a shrewd one. In the post-Billy Crystal era of Oscar emcees, the show has … well … let’s face it, it’s three and half hours of yawn-worthy cheese. Even truly great comedians like Jon Stewart and Ellen deGeneres, although solid in their deliveries, have been unable to lure interest in Hollywood’s venerable biggest night.

The plan, according to an LA Times  interview with the show’s new producers Bill Condon and Larry Mark, is to give the show a face-lift. They sound like they understand what’s needed: “people don’t tune in to see the host, they tune in to see the show.” They want to bring class and sophistication back to the show, and to make it feel like more of a party. After all, when the show began it was a dinner party at the swanky Roosevelt Hotel where the luminaries had a ball and generally enjoyed themselves. Condon and Mark say that if these were the good old days, they’d be asking Cary Grant or Clark Gable to host–that’s the sort of quality they seen in Jackman. They want the host to be able to say, ‘OK everyone, let’s just have a ball.’

A little known fact too is that Jackman has hosted high-caliber award shows before–even winning an Emmy for his hosting of the 2004 Tony Awards.

He may very well have the right stuff, but can Condon and Mark deliver the right stuff with their production?

We shall see. And for the first time in quite a while … I’m very much looking forward to the telecast.

'80s Nostalgia: Alice in Wonderland, a la 1985

My, my, my. The glories of the Internet are now fully manifest. Today I came face to face with a most cherished childhood memory. I am sure there are a lot of you out there who remember this: the 1985 TV miniseries of Alice In Wonderland featuring insanely star-studded roster of entertainers. I remember watching this snuggled on my mom and dad’s bed when it first aired (YES I’M DATING MYSELF), hiding from the Jabberwocky, laughing at TweedleDee and TweedleDum while being thoroughly ignorant of exactly who these people were: Martha Raye, Carol Channing, Ann Jillian, Ringo Starr, Red Buttons, Scott Baio, Donald O’Connor, Telly Savalas (AS A HIGHLY DISTURBING CHESHIRE CAT) Lloyd Bridges, Karl Malden, Steve Allen, Jonathan Winters, Merv Griffin and, of course, the inimitable Sammy Davis Jr.

I admit it’s not exactly as, shall we say, magical as it was as a child … but, oh, the memories … from the corner of my mind … misty water colored, awww, you know what I mean. ;)