Archive for the ‘Decade: 1970's’ Category

That Gay Episode: ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ Comes Out Of The Closet (Decider)

May 9, 2017

Photos: HULU ; Illustration: Dillen phelps; from Decider

Brett White over at Decider continues the series, That Gay Episode this time focusing on the famous Mary Tyler Moore episode where Phyllis finds out her brother is gay. From Decider,

Gay people worry about how they’re perceived — not for vanity reasons, but survival reasons. The period of a gay person’s life — be they minutes, months or years — between acknowledging their queer identity and proudly flying a rainbow flag are a nonstop internal Q(ueer) & A session.”Do they know I’m gay?” “Wait, does this make me seem gay?” “When do I tell them I’m gay?” It’s hard to express who you now know you are when you’re dealing with people whose perceptions of you run back decades.

These are the issues at the heart of The Mary Tyler Moore Show‘s 1973 episode “My Brother’s Keeper.” Unlike Cheers‘ “The Boys in the Bar,” which tackled machismo and gay panic by making half the cast straight-up homophobes, “My Brother’s Keeper” saved its big gay reveal for the very end. To get all meta, this is a gay episode that literally plays it straight for 24 of its 25 minutes.

Read the full article.
Read Kenneth in the 212’s blog post about how this episode and other quintessential queer moments on television personally affected him.

Classic TV Bloopers: Uncensored

April 9, 2017

Amazon Prime streams a pair of blooper reels from film and television. I watched Classic TV Bloopers: Uncensored. Most of the scenes are from television during the 60’s and 70’s. Think I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Happy Days, M*A*S*H*, The Andy Griffith Show, and Laverne and Shirley. Uncensored means you get to hear your favorite celebrities swear like sailors. This makes for two hours of whimsical entertainment. Reacting to their mistakes is even funnier than the mistakes themselves. Enjoy a trip down memory lane with your favorite television stars. 3 out of 5.

Frenzy (The Masterpiece Collection)

March 18, 2017

There’s something fascinating watching one of Hitchcock’s final films from the 1970’s. Each contains a real reach on his part to embrace the influence of the graphic nature of violence in our culture. Looking back, it’s a shame because Hitchcock’s films masterfully told a violent story without showing every detail. Implied rather than in your face. Suspense vs. gore. Frenzy in 1972 turned out to be Hitchcock’s penultimate film. Family Plot released in 1976 and Hitch died in 1980 at the age of 81 years old. Filmed in London, Frenzy follows the “Neck Tie Serial Killer” who we think might be one person, but then perhaps someone else. The only name actor I recognized was Billie Whitelaw (Maurice). The rest of the cast did a good job keeping the plot moving. I will say there was some awful misogynistic dialogue that shocked me. I assume it was used to show the cavalier nature some men in power felt about rape. It was certainly rough to witness even historically. I enjoyed the final third of Frenzy much more than the beginning and middle. I wasn’t really sure where it was going for a long time and then it crystallized on to a “wronged man” plot device, working its way into a satisfying ending. This is definitely second tier Hitchcock, but even second tier is worth investigating, especially on a quiet Saturday night. 3 out of 5 for Frenzy.

For a more detailed view of the Frenzy misogyny and even how it relates to Trump, check out Frenzy’s review on Hitchcock 52, a great film project where each week in 2016 Matt Buchholz chronicles his viewing of a Hitchcock film.

Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017)

January 26, 2017

Rest in Peace dear Mary Tyler Moore whose ground-breaking television series, Mary Tyler Moore (1970-1977) spun off not one but three series and a reunion movie:

Rhoda (1974–78)
Phyllis (1975–77)
Lou Grant (1977–82)
In 2000, Moore and Harper reprised their roles in a two-hour ABC TV-movie, Mary and Rhoda.

Prior to her series, Moore starred with Dick Van Dyke in The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966). After her 70’s television run, Moore won acclaim for her role as Beth in Ordinary People (1980). More died yesterday at the age of 80.

Nothing showcases Moore and her co-stars sense of humor and timing quite like the episode Chuckles Bites the Dust. Watch it on Youtube.

Where To Stream Her Greatest Hits (Decider).

LGBTQ Film and Television History (SlideShare)

October 28, 2016

I updated my presentation I gave at Fairfield University last Spring for a program I did here at Fairfield Public Library on Thursday, October 27, 2016 in Connecticut. LGBTQ Film and Television History is a great introduction to the many films that despised and eventually celebrated our culture. Many of these films I have reviewed here on Reel Charlie. The PowerPoint is available on LinkedIn and SlideShare. Feel free to have a look below.

The Partridge Family turns 46

September 26, 2016

Where does the time go? My dear friend Nina texted me a reminder yesterday that The Partridge Family premiered on September 25, 1970 – 46 years ago! Funny, the Callie character on The Fosters currently sports a Season 4 Laurie Partridge haircut. Everything becomes new again. Happy Anniversary a day late Partridges. Dave Madden (Reuben Kincaid) died in 2014 and Suzanne Crough in 2015. Who knew the littlest Partridge would be one of the first to leave? I hope the rest of the cast are healthy and happy.

Watch a clip from the pilot episode on YouTube (Johnny Cash introduced them!):


Where to Stream All The Best Drama Emmy Winners (Decider)

September 20, 2016

From Decider,

…we here at Decider are paying tribute to TV’s illustrious history as we take a look back at every Outstanding Drama Emmy Award-winner in history.

From the ’50s and the days of Gunsmoke to the modern-day juggernauts like The West Wing and Mad Men, this video takes you on a tour of TV’s most prestigious shows through the years… you can find out where to stream all the Best Drama Emmy Award-winners of the past below!

See the full list at Decider.

Marcus Welby (1969- 1976)

Marcus Welby (1969- 1976)

What Would Endora Do?

September 10, 2016

I’ve had this image hanging in my office for nearly two years now. Finally someone’s made a t-shirt out of it. Who wants one? Who needs one?


Buy the t-shirt here.

All 162 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died (Autostraddle)

August 28, 2016
Roslyn and Cicely, Northern Exposure, 1992.

Roslyn and Cicely, Northern Exposure, 1992.

Riese over at Autostraddle compiled a phenomenal list of all the lesbian and bisexual female characters who have been killed on television series – ever! From Autostraddle,

People die. Characters die. This is perhaps life’s most unfortunate fact: that people will die and leave the rest of us behind. It’s incredibly rare that any dramatic television series lasting over three seasons will never kill a main or recurring character, and all those deaths have driven a stake through the heart of fandom: Joyce on Buffy, Lady Sybil on Downton Abby, Charlie on Lost, Ned Stark on Game of Thrones, Jen on Dawson’s Creek, Nate on Six Feet Under — but when the person who dies is a lesbian or bisexual character, queer fandom takes it pretty hard.

The history of lesbian representation on television is rocky — in the beginning, we seemed exclusively relegated to roles that saw us getting killed/attacked or doing the killing/attacking. And until the last five or so years, lesbian and bisexual characters seemed entirely unable to date an actual woman or stay alive for more than three episodes, let alone an entire run, of a show. Gay and lesbian characters are so often murdered on television that we have our very own trope: Bury Your Gays. We comprise such a teeny-tiny fraction of characters on television to begin with that killing us off so haphazardly feels especially cruel.

Not every death listed below was wholly uncalled for. In many genres, like soap operas and shows about vampires, zombies, criminals, or games of thrones, characters are killed on the reg. That’s a different trope — Anyone Can Die. Furthermore, shows composed entirely of queer characters will inevitably kill one. But regardless, they still add to the body count weighing down our history of misrepresentation.

Read the full article at Autostraddle to see which of your favorite characters made the list. It’s daunting and necessary. Thanks Riese!

The Top 100 Best Binge-Watches of All Time (Decider)

August 7, 2016

Decider’s been releasing 20 a day of their Top 100 best binge-watches of all time this week. I waited until the full list has been released to post. From Decider,

Binge-watching: It’s a unique type of TV-viewing that’s not about savoring a show week-to-week, but jamming as much of it as possible into our systems at once. It’s also a fairly modern way of enjoying television. Before the introduction of DVD box sets, viewers were held hostage by the schedules of the cable companies. Television episodes were designed to be watched individually.

However, in the last 15 years, technology has changed the way we watch television — which means it’s changed the way TV is written. Now a season of a television series is experienced as a complete linear storyline and there’s a badge of honor in watching as many episodes as possible in one sitting.

To honor the rise of binge-watching, Decider is unveiling its list of the 100 Best Binge-Watches of All-Time. These are the shows that lend themselves to binging, helped spearhead new creative directions in the world of TV writing, and set the foundation for the rise of streaming culture. These are not necessarily the 100 best television shows of all time, but they are the 100 best binge-watches.

To determine the 100 Best Binge-Watches, Team Decider analyzed hundreds of our all-time favorite shows and ranked them considering the following criteria:

  • “Binge-ability”: A word we made up to describe the intangible ability that certain shows have to hook us in and keep us watching for hour after hour, until whole days pass us by.

  • Pop Cultural Relevance: How important was the show to the rise of binge-watching and how important was binge-watching for building its audience?

  • Quality of the Program: Point blank: How good is this show?

  • Our Personal Favorites: Yes, we admit that this list has a fair amount of bias. Everyone on the team wiggled something on the list that they are passionate about and believe that everyone in the mainstream should watch.

So, what do I think? This list is packed with TV shows. Here are some of my favorites that made the list along with their ranking:

96 Bloodline
95 Glee
87 Ugly Betty
77 Happy Valley
70 The Good Wife
66 The Great British Baking Show (only one of two reality/contest shows listed)
57 Top of the Lake
52 Better Call Saul
46 True Blood
45 Black Mirror
38 Broadchurch
37 United States of Tara
36 The Walking Dead (not higher?)
31 Six Feet Under (a travesty it didn’t make the top 3!)
28 Downton Abbey (not higher)?
18 Transparent
16 Sex and the City
15 Orange is the New Black (not higher?)
14 Fargo
13 Buffy the Vampire Slayer
12 The West Wing
10 The Wire (why isn’t this in the top 3?)
8 Gilmore Girls
1 Breaking Bad

No The L Word or Queer as Folk. Hmmm. Watch pioneering gay content much? Notice the gap between Gilmore Girls and Breaking Bad. I disagree with the ranking on many of these shows, but I disagree with the shows themselves in 7 of the top 10 shows. Still the list is a good place to start.

Click on any show to read Reel Charlie’s review.
See the full list of binge-worthy shows at Decider.

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