MONDAY
SEPTEMBER 14
2020

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

Syndicated, 9:00 a.m. ET

SERIES PREMIERE: Daytime talk shows aren’t normally something that hits my radar – but this new series, a talk show hosted by Drew Barrymore, is worth a look, at least on today’s day one. To launch her series, the former child star of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial has leaned heavily on her movie co-stars, and today welcomes not only her Charlie’s Angels co-stars from 20 years ago, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu, but also Adam Sandler, her cinematic Wedding Singer. How will Barrymore stack up when she’s asking questions rather than answering them? And how will she, like everyone else on TV right now, deal with pandemic restrictions and televised social distancing? Check local listings.
 
  
 
 
 
 
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1991 Comments
 
 
Mac
Thanks for the Decades notice.It took some investigating-CBSViacom is owner of the series and they co-own Decades.
I loved the show when first aired but much does not age well. The theme music blares with brass while Chicago PD in 2020 has no theme and music is synthesized. With only 22 min.,complicated stories of race,familial violence,etc.- ideas were jammed. L&O SVU has logged 478 44 min. episodes primarily centered on sexual assault. Unfair? Even SVU could use more time to tell stories.
Interesting actors beyond the headlines-Roy Scheider & Tony LoBianco-both French Connection stars-appear in the same episode. LoBianco appears 3 episodes later as a different guy. Donna McKechnie,7 years before A Chorus Line. Blythe Danner's first TV credit. John Cazale,Martin Sheen & Raul Julia together. Red Headed Pigeon,centering on a newly-minted undercover policewoman-imagine SVU's Olivia Benson dropping in on that one.
Now,how about Frank Converse's Coronet Blue? Pre-NYPD. 13 paranoid hours.
Sep 13, 2020   |  Reply
 
Mac
An interesting tidbit as the N.Y.P.D. marathon ends. Every episode that I viewed included a sitar & tabla as background music. After the Beatles' use of these instruments in 1966,the sitar became the hip,new sound heard on many hits of the time. The show created that similar vibe,though how the music was used seemed just tossed in for hipness. I saw no stories involving the Indian community,but the music was often showing up in police office scenes.
A scene featuring the future Clemenza character from the Godfather had me screaming:"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." at the TV.
Sep 14, 2020
 
 
Neil
Saying "And though the transfers they’re televising are washy and hardly of the highest quality..." is a true understatement. I have off-the-air VHS tape recordings at the 6-hour ELP (extended play) setting that look cleaner. But now I see where the creators of Police Squad and the spinoff movies got their idea for the opening sequences.
Sep 13, 2020
 
 
 
Mac
As David suggests the TCM airing of Casino Royale 9/11,news today of the passing of Diana Rigg,who,besides a multi-faceted career,was the only Bond girl to officially marry 007. For many,though,her stint as the sexy yet deadly Emma Peel in the British spy TV series,The Avengers. She worked till the end,with a few filmed performances scheduled into next year. RIP.
9/24 -as part of their doctor-themed movies,TCM schedules The Hospital,a 1971 black comedy starring George C. Scott and Ms. Rigg,written by Paddy Chayefsky,who won his 2nd Oscar.
Sep 10, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
TCM's Women Make Film doc,Part 1,was great! Hope that ideas like this slip through paywalls(Comcast puts TCM in a higher price bracket-ugh!) as this idea is no "old fart" rehash of old films(which I love)but a new world of unexplored films-images,sounds and ideas-curated with knowledgeable oversight. Not just for elitists-consider the doc a great clip show. Film,like any art,helps us grasp with misogyny,racism-in general, fear of the unknown and each other. Music did that for me early on. Hatred of race means no appreciation of Ellington or Sam Cooke. I can't imagine a world without them. They help me when down and bring joy when not. Per Harrison Ridley Jr.(RIP)-The Positive Music.
For the viewing masses,what is discussed Tues. on TCM will,at least,help you see the possible qualities of your next "blowed up good"film.
Re:My earlier post about Election Night & this series:There will be a lot of channel hopping Nov. 3rd. Possible no winner that night? I'm OK with that for a few days.
Sep 2, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Henry Heinlein
You've got to check out the series "Earthflight". They follow migrating birds from all over the world. They do a different continent, each episode. Somehow the've attached camera's to the birds, or maybe using drones, for some of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen! On BBCA station, Saturday nights.
Aug 31, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
David's Khartoum pun reminded me of a similar offering via New York Magazine's Competition under Mary Ann Madden's watchful eye. Ms. Madden died 4 years ago and is missed. One idea was to put together a double bill for a movie marquee-e.g.- Heller In Pink Tights and Selected Shorts(Heller was a real 1960 Paramount feature). Khartoum with Cartoons. Triple Feature-Suddenly,Suddenly last Summer,Last Summer-all real films. These word games were extraordinary and often featured entries from Ms. Madden's friends-Stephen Sondheim(who recommended her for the job) and many fine NYC based writers-everyone wanted to show up. After her death,it was revealed that Ms. Madden often punched up weaker entries. Google Books has most New York Magazine issues online-Ms. Madden's games show up every other issue.
Aug 30, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Bill
In this 1999 drama.....you might need someone to check the facts.

BOMBSHELL
Epix, 8:00 p.m. ET
In this 1999 drama, John Lithgow plays Fox News Channel founder Roger Ailes, who was accused of establishing and perpetuating a toxic atmosphere of sexual harassment at his workplace.
Aug 28, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Robert
I couldn't agree more about Brooklyn Bridge. Pure joy. How come you're the only one pushing this? It seems to be NOWHERE else. Not even the Decades website (except daily schedule).

I saw from Google that Brooklyn Bridge was part of LAST YEAR's Fan-Tastic promotion on Decades. I never knew because we were without Decades for 18 months after our local CBS affiliate changed over to StartTV. But I'm surprised you missed it.

I'm seeing Brooklyn Bridge stretched to minimize borders from the Fox affiliate that's airing it. I don't know if that's true everywhere, but it is aggravating. I'm missing the top and bottom and the lower res is even more distorted. In fact, it's not much better than the YouTube versions that someone posted a few years back. (And yes, I tried all the adjustments my setup allows. It must be broadcast that way.)
Aug 27, 2020   |  Reply
 
Neil
I need to be the contrarian here. I watched some episodes when it was in first-run, way back when. And I tried watching a couple of this week's reruns. But I can't get into it, It just comes across to me as ersatz and saccharin. But unlike David, I was born in the Bronx, had relatives in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn that we visited all the time, came of age just outside Queens, went to college in Brooklyn, within walking distance of the Brooklyn Bridge, for four years (commuting by subway, bus and railroad), and married a Brooklyn chick. So I have spent a lot of time experiencing the real Brooklyn. "Brooklyn Bridge" ain't it. I do love the sweet Art Garfunkel theme song though, always been one of my favorites from his solo years.
Aug 27, 2020
 
 
 
Bill
Last night’s opening of the Democratic Convention was mostly on tape??????

2020 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION
Various Networks, Check local listings
Last night’s opening of the Democratic Convention was mostly on tape,
Aug 25, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Bill
Have you given up on updating Best Bets?
Aug 25, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
During the RNC,I'm hoping to see a mashup ad of Jerry Falwell Jr. watching the Liberty Limu Emu & Doug "solving crime while letting folks know about insurance savings"-at least that is how Liberty University might describe it. Falwell is an early Trumper and represents Evangelicals. Liberty.Liberty. Liberty. Liberty. Liberty. Another day,another embarrassment.
Aug 25, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
George A.
Brooklyn Bridge also has a very nice theme song, sung by Art Garfunkel.
Aug 24, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
John Oliver surprised many with his 8/16 show centered on juries,which,besides facts and questions raised,centered on the "whiteness" of juries. It took the premise of the CBS show,Bull, and tore it to shreds. Bull is based on the early days of Dr.Phil, and Oliver killed Bull while never mentioning the subject and Dr. Bullsh...err Phil.
Oliver's show was initially made to investigate-not current headlines,but oft- ignored subjects that affect us all. If Oliver ignores the conventions,we would all be a bit smarter about the Nov. decision.
Sadly/happily,last week's convention viewer numbers is a confusing soup of how many saw what when as well as who was watching and what parts were watched. MSNBC viewers who ignored the convention wraparounds missed 3 competent broadcasters,all women,doing just fine till Brian Williams showed up as a literal anchor,weighing it down. Rachel,Joy & Nicolle-take a bow!
Aug 23, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Susan Spragg
Best TV Tomorrow video for August 22 was blocked, saying it contains content from Warner Bros Entertainment on copyright grounds. Try again, please?
Aug 22, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Robert
I wish I knew how to send this in without posting it. Mario Cuomo is an earlier governor of New York. The current one is Andrew.
Aug 18, 2020   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
Thank you, Robert. We discovered it (and, more importantly, fixed it!), but we appreciate your help...and your help in trying to keep us from embarrassing ourselves.
Aug 18, 2020
 
 
 
Kathy Ingrao
What happened to What We're Watching Now? I enjoyed that feature.
Aug 17, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
Early head's up. TCM often uses Sept. as "back-to-school", exploring film history. This year is quite ambitious:Woman Make Film. It runs Tuesdays from Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. Alicia Malone and Jacqueline Stewart(Silent Sundays) are hosting. If you haven't experienced Prof.Stewart,she is as smart as they come. Each Tues. starts with a 75 min. history lesson,a feature,then the lesson is repeated. The rest of Tues.,into Wed. midday,more films. They boast 120 years,100 directors from 6 continents and tons of films you probably have never seen,sprinkled with some acclaimed mainstream picks. The schedule is up,so get those blue books out,double space,sharpen those #2 pencils and no talking. Something to look forward to past the political hoopla. Heck,Election Night is one of those Tues.(11/3) and titles that night include Outrage & Born In Flames. 11/10-The Day I'll Never Forget,The Night of Truth,Crime Thief and The Hurt Locker.
Aug 17, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
jim
Daryl Hannah was Hanks' costar in "Splash", but she was not in "Big".
Aug 13, 2020   |  Reply
 
Neil
You beat me to the punch, Jim. That was Elizabeth Perkins.
Aug 13, 2020
 
 
 
Vince Everett
Do you dictate your Best Bet selections ti Siri ? That might explain how Matthew Rhys becomes Matthew Rees
Aug 11, 2020   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
Um, yep. Sure. That was it. Thanks, Vince...
Aug 11, 2020
 
 
 
Bill
BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS AUGUST 10 2020

Tomorrow's Best Bets are up as they could be all the time like the video. Entering the computer age as we speak.
Aug 9, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
wwwparker
Last Week Tonight is off tonight (8-9-20). It returns next week.
Aug 9, 2020   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
Oops. Thank you!
Aug 9, 2020
 
 
 
 
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David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

David Bianculli has been a TV critic since 1975, including a 14-year stint at the New York Daily News, and sees no reason to stop now. Currently, he's TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and is an occasional substitute host for that show. He's also an author and teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University. His 2009 Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour', has been purchased for film rights. His latest, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to the Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific, is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV.