Category Archives: Television

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: REVIEW OF FIRST EPISODE OF WOLF HALL ·

(Stevens’s article appeared in the Daily Mail, 1/21; via Patricia N. Saffran.)

There’s something oddly familiar about Shakespearean heavyweight Mark Rylance, as Thomas Cromwell, the central figure in BBC2’s Wolf Hall.

His insolence, the edge of sarcasm as he addresses ‘my lord’ or ‘my lady’, and, above all, the hint of a nasal whine in his London vowels… this blacksmith’s son resembled Blackadder’s devious servant Baldrick. But of course Cromwell’s plans are far more cunning.

The dash of humour is what makes Hilary Mantel’s two Booker-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, set in the maelstrom of Tudor politics, so entertaining.

WAS THE ORIGINAL SUPERMAN TYPECAST TO DEATH? ·

 
(Gaby Wood’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 1/11.)

If we believe the stories Hollywood tells us, then any death involving a girl and a gun might be regarded as suspicious.

But that wasn’t the conclusion drawn by the two police officers who arrived at 1579 Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, in the early hours of June 16 1959.

Officers Johnson and Korby found a few drunken houseguests and a body on a bed, shot through the head by a bullet that had left a hole in the ceiling and its casing beneath the victim’s back. The Luger lay between his feet, which were still on the floor, as if he’d been sitting on the edge of the bed before falling back. He was naked, a burly six foot two, and his blood was spreading out on the sheets beneath him like a billowing red cape. 

It didn’t take the officers long to discover that the deceased was George Reeves, the 45-year-old actor who had become famous for playing the only bulletproof character on television: Superman.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/11335273/Was-the-original-Superman-typecast-to-death.html

 

ALLISON WILLIAMS TO SOAR AS PETER PAN ON THURSDAY ·

 

(Frazier Moore’s article appeared on the AP 12/2.; via the Drudge Report.)

NEW YORK (AP) — "Losing your shadow: What is THAT about?" muses Allison Williams. "As a kid you just accept it. But as an adult, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what it means."

Williams, at 26 best-known for the HBO series "Girls," feels her life since childhood has pointed toward Thursday at 8 p.m. EST, when she (and her shadow) will headline NBC's "Peter Pan Live!"

As a toddler, she was already listening to the Broadway recording of "Peter Pan," and she viewed the 1960 NBC telecast starring Mary Martin countless times.

She even played Peter Pan with her grandparents.

http://news.yahoo.com/allison-williams-soar-peter-pan-thursday-155402246.html

ALL ABOUT THE NEW SONGS IN ‘PETER PAN LIVE!’ — AND HOW THE SHOW’S HANDLING ‘UGG-A-WUGG’ ·

  

(Esther Zuckerman’s article appeared in Entertainment Weekly, 11/18.)

In addition to classics like “I Won’t Grow Up” and “I’m Flying,” NBC’s upcoming live production of Peter Pan will feature some songs unfamiliar even to those who wore out their VHS copies of the Mary Martin movie.

Peter Pan Live! enlisted Amanda Green—the daughter of one of Peter Pan‘s original lyricists, Adolph Green, and a Broadway veteran in her own right—to help expand the show with new lyrics for pre-existing melodies. “It fleshed out the show. It deepened the characters, it kind of drove plot more—which good songs do in musicals. Amanda was just wonderful in capturing the spirit of her father and [Green's partner] Betty Comden,” executive producer Neil Meron told EW.

Change has long been part of Pan‘s production history, Meron explained. The elder Green, Comden, and composer Jule Styne added songs, including “Never Never Land,” to Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh’s score during the show’s road to Broadway back in 1954. To keep the show’s “integrity” intact for the new production, Meron and the Pan team dove into the Styne, Comden, and Green songbook to find songs they could adapt.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/11/18/peter-pan-live-new-songs/

FRANK GAGLIANO ON: ‘THE ROOSEVELTS’ (KEN BURNS, PBS) ·

 

 

 

The Ken Burns PBS Roosevelt saga (just completed) has had the same effect on me as a great production of a great Shakespearean tragedy: Turmoil in a family of flawed (very flawed) kings, against a background of flawed (very flawed) political, national, and international worlds gone bonkers; the difference being that we see — not actors playing these kings–but the kings themselves — from the time they are born to the day they die. It is also a saga starting in an era of scratchy sound and picture to excellent sound and technicolor.

The effect of watching the fourteen hours consecutively (2 hours each night) was overwhelming. That I lived during the reign of these kings and was undoubtedly a child extra in some of those crowd scenes–there somewhere–and was now seeing the whole period from inside the palaces with the back stories explored and exposed — made it even more moving; very personal. The DVD 14 hour set is available this week. 

–Frank Gagliano

(c) 2014 by Frank Gagliano.  All rights reserved.

ANN COULTER WRITES AN ARTS REVIEW ·

 

(Coulter’s article appeared on Human Events, 10/2.)

For readers interested in an Obamacare column this week, please refer to the 40,000 columns I’ve written on the subject from 2008 to last week.

This one’s about AMC’s smash TV series “Breaking Bad” — the most Christian Hollywood production since Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” (Not surprisingly, both were big hits!)

It may seem counterintuitive that a TV show about a meth cook could have a conservative theme, much less a Christian one, but that’s because people think Christian movies are supposed to have camels — or a “Little House on the Prairie” cast. READ THE BIBLE! It’s chockablock with gore, incest, jealousy, murder, love and hate.

Because the Bible tells the truth, the lessons are eternal — which also marks the difference between great literature and passing amusements. Recall that even Jesus usually made his points with stories.

http://www.humanevents.com/2013/10/02/breaking-bad-a-christian-p