T is for Titans

Three actors were on NBC programs that started after their appearance in the movie.


Uncharacteristically, I was flipping through the TV channels recently. This is highly unusual, because generally, when I watch television, I go to a particular show, usually prerecorded. I came across this 2000 movie I saw in the theaters, Remember the Titans. Part of the IMBD synopsis:
“It’s 1971 in Alexandria, Virginia and successful high school football coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton) has just been deprived of the head coaching job at the new integrated T.C. Williams High School to make way for equally successful black coach Herman Boone (Denzel Washington). Yoast debates pursuing opportunities elsewhere, but when most of his white players vow to sit out the season unless he coaches, he changes his mind and stays on as Boone’s assistant.”
The Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: “An inspirational crowd-pleaser with a healthy dose of social commentary, Remember the Titans may be predictable, but it’s also well-crafted and features terrific performances.”

Well, yes, predictable, including having the Big Game. I enjoyed it well enough, and it at least tried to tackle the issue of race.

Looking back at it, though, I noticed an interesting coincidence:

Donald Faison, who played football star Petey Jones, became Dr. Christopher Turk, best friend of quirky Dr. John Dorian on the TV comedy Scrubs (2001-2010), with seven years on NBC, and the final two on ABC. Turk and JD were probably the epitome of a word I’m not fond of, “bromance”.

Ethan Suplee, who played big-hearted lineman Louie Lastik, was the some-what simple-minded younger brother Randy Hickey to the title character on the comedy My Name Is Earl (2005-2009, NBC). Earl dragged Randy into his plans to fix the outcomes of some of their less-than-desirable activities after the elder brother discovered karma following a car accident.



Hayden Panettiere played Sheryl Yoast, daughter of Coach Yoast: “My daddy coached in Alexandria, he worked so hard my momma left him, but I stayed with coach, he needed me on that field.” She initially resents Coach Boone for supplanting her daddy, but:
Sheryl Yoast: Coach Boone, you did a good job up here. You ran a tough camp from what I can see.
Coach Boone: Well I’m very happy to have the approval of a 5-year-old.
Sheryl Yoast: I’m 9 and a half, thank you very much.
Coach Boone: Why don’t you get this little girl some pretty dolls or something, coach?
Coach Yoast: I’ve tried. She loves football.
After playing Ally McBeal’s daughter in that program’s last season (2002), Hayden played Claire “Save the cheerleader” Bennet on Heroes (NBC) from 2006 until its cancellation in 2010.

So all three actors were on NBC programs that started after their appearance in the movie but that are all now off the air.
***


When the upstart American Football League (AFL) was formed in 1960 to challenge the long-established National Football League, the franchise in the US’s largest city was called the New York Titans. Major League Baseball’s National League experienced an expansion in 1962, and the city got the New York Mets. When the Titans were sold to new owners in 1964, the team changed its name to the New York Jets, to nominally link it to the popular, though inept, baseball franchise. The AFL merged with the NFL in 1966, though it wasn’t finalized until 1970. the Jets, of course, were the first AFL team to beat an established NFL in what became known as the Super Bowl, in January 1969. (The Mets would win the World Series later that same year.)

Another of the charter members of the AFL was the Houston Oilers, which relocated to the “state of Tennessee in 1997, first playing temporarily in Memphis for one season before moving to Nashville. For two seasons, the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers before changing its name to Titans in 1999.” So the Titans’ name lives again.


When I was collecting comics in the 1970s through the mid-1990s, I was pretty much a Marvel fan (Spider-Man, Iron Man, Fantastic Four) rather than a DC fan (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman). I never read, never even sought out, the original Teen Titans, a book about the sidekicks of the established stars from back in the 1960s. But because of the creative team of writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, I did collect the NEW Teen Titans, starting in 1980, even though Robin was the only character I knew, and it became one of the most popular titles of its time.

There was also a Teen Titans TV series in the first decade of the century. New episodes stopped in 2006, but they are rerun often; I watched a part of an episode just this week to get into the spirit of this post.

Here is an extensive team history of the Teen Titans.



Finally, there is Clash of the Titans, the cheesy 1981 film with Harry Hamlin, and the 2010 remake. But I’ve seen neither, so I thought I’d just do the photo comparison.


ABC Wednesday

30-Day Challenge: Day 2: Favorite Movie

I wish I could pull out a Marshall McLuhan to shut down an arrogantly wrong comment.

Considering all of the movies I’ve seen, all the GREAT movies I’ve ever seen, it is surprisingly easy for me to pick my favorite:

Annie Hall (1977).

It was my touchstone picture for a number of years. I saw it four times in the movie theater, and it was one of the first films I purchased on VHS.

It’s the roller coaster in Coney Island, which I loved as a child. It’s early Christopher Walken, bizarre as he would later become.

The opening of the film was more story, fewer jokes, my kind of humor. It reminded me of seeing Woody Allen on Ed Sullivan in the 1960s. The film also features Paul Simon, one of my music icons of that decade.

I related to Alvy Singer. Many is the time I wish I could pull out Marshall McLuhan or an equivalent person to shut down an arrogantly wrong comment. I have an aversion to driving. I hate going into a movie after it’s started. I came to believe that, “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”

Annoyingly, I used to say “la-di-dah, la-di-dah, la-di-dah” a lot. Incidentally, Diane Keaton won an Oscar for this role, though I always thought it was REALLY for her acting in that same year in Waiting for Mister Goodbar.

But mostly, in Annie Hall, it’s the split screenshot of Annie and Alvy with their respective therapists:
Alvy’s Therapist: How often do you sleep together?
Annie’s Therapist: Do you have sex often?
Alvy: [lamenting] Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.
Annie: [annoyed] Constantly. I’d say three times a week.

It defined how two people can experience the exact same events, yet see them very differently. This is a useful lesson when dealing with most human interactions. For instance, a Protestant and a Catholic can both take communion; for the Protestant, it’s representational of the body and blood of Christ, while Catholics believe that transubstantiation takes place. still, it’s the same act, for presumably the same God, and the chasm that exists over this seems unnecessary.

Other contenders: Groundhog Day, West Side Story (not a great movie, but a great musical), Young Frankenstein.

Oh, and one other: Star Wars, with the retronym Episode 4: A New Hope (meh). The Empire Strikes Back may be the better picture, but this one started it all. Star Wars lost the Academy Award for Best Picture to…Annie Hall.

Two long-running television shows end Monday night.
24 (FOX) will be over after eight seasons, and I’ll be happy about that. I fear that people have confused the fiction of the former CTU operative with real life. the United States Attorney General just recently was compelled to say, “We’re not Jack Bauer.” The TV Guide article about the show’s ending asks cast members, “What’s your favorite scene?” I watched the first season, but as the writers/producers decided how much more Jack can take, and deliver, I bailed.

Law & Order is gone after 20 years, after NBC failed to get a cable company to purchase reruns of season 21. I must admit I pretty much stopped watching it when the late Jerry Orbach left about eight years ago, but I’ll watch one more “ripped from the headlines” vignette.

Now (Don’t) Cut That Out!

I was ALSO watching Heidi Bowl.

Today is the 20th anniversary of the classic last episode of the TV series Newhart, which the local CBS in the Albany-Schenectady, NY area cut off 30 seconds too soon. Watch Bob Newhart talk about The Last Newhart.

It got me thinking about TV events that were interrupted. Surely, one of the most significant is the so-called Heidi Bowl, which I was ALSO watching.

It was an American Football League regular-season game between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, played on November 17, 1968. the Jets were leading 32-29 with only 65 seconds left, and NBC-TV ended the football coverage at 7 pm in favor of broadcasting the premiere of Heidi, a made-for-TV version of the classic children’s story. Meanwhile, the Raiders came back and scored 14 points, winning 43-32. Ultimately, the NFL’s television policies were amended, requiring games to be broadcast in their entirety in the markets of the teams involved.

Lately, I’ve been having difficulty for more prosaic reasons. I hardly ever get a chance to watch a TV show live. I record almost everything to the DVR to watch later. And I’m usually an episode or two behind. So it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that the results show of American Idol on FOX has been running two to four minutes long, the effect of which being my recording of Glee cuts off early. I DO have the ability to extend the recording of the later show and have. But it seems weird that a RESULTS show can’t end on time.

Any shows cutting off for you?

TV Fandom Meme

Please, Spock, do me a favor… and don’t say it’s `fascinating’

From Mr. Frog.

Pick five of your favorite shows, in no particular order, before you read the below questions, then answer them!

1. M*A*S*H
2. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
3. The Dick van Dyke Show
4. Homicide: Life on the Street
5. The Twilight Zone

Continue reading “TV Fandom Meme”

No, I’m NOT Doing Kill Your TV Week

The annual tradition of encouraging people to forgo their television viewing is upon us again. Frankly, I had forgotten this until my wife sent an e-mail.

Have you thought about how much TV you have watched this year? I think you will be surprised to see the statistics on this web site. For example the number of hours the average youth spends watching TV in a year is 1500 hours! YIKES!

National Turn off the TV week begins today. See if you can challenge yourself and your children to “turn off” to TV and “turn on” to reading!

This is all well and good. The problem is this: I LIKE TV. I don’t get to watch it all that often, sharing it with The Wife and the Daughter. Not that the Daughter watches it all that much either. She watches maybe 15 minutes in the morning, when she’s getting her hair done, then less than a half hour at night when she takes her medicines, including using her nebulizer. The average youth may watch over 1500 hours a year, but our youth sees less than 300. And all of it, on PBS Kids and Nick, Jr. with some legitimate educational content; I’m actually all right with that. In fact, in honor of Earth Day, Nick, Jr. is going to have a series of new shows on the topic which I had recorded for her.

So when the Wife came home Monday night and said to the Daughter, “Hey, how would you like it if I read you a story while you nebulize instead of watching TV,” and the Daughter frowned and said, “I don’t want to do that,” I was a bit sympathetic to the Daughter. I told the Wife that she had to sell the concept. So, a half hour later, AFTER I HAD WATCHED THE NEWS, BTW, the Wife repeated what she said before. The Daughter said, “Daddy doesn’t want to stop watching his news, does he?” Well, no, actually he does not.

By “selling it”, I mean to find the key to MOTIVATE the Daughter not to want to watch TV. There was this article a book review, really, in TIME magazine a couple months ago. Regarding Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, the piece begins: “Whether you’re a manager, a parent or a civic leader, getting people to change can be tricky business. In Switch, brothers Chip and Dan Heath–authors of the best-selling Made to Stick–survey efforts to shape human behavior in search of what works.

“Lesson No. 1: tell people what you want them to do in a way that will make intuitive sense to them.” Not watching TV, rather out of the blue, made no sense to her. She was going to get a story anyway before bed. Perhaps discussing how others were also doing this across the country, aligned with some reward, might have worked.

Besides, since I watch very little in real time with the DVR – even the news is taped – I don’t really want to give it up myself. Does no TV mean that we just fill up the DVR and watch more NEXT week? The DVR’s hovering around 50% full already.

In parenting, we really try to do the united front thing. But in this case, my heart simply wasn’t in it.

ROG