WEDNESDAY
MARCH 31
2021

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

I’m not likening the end of TVWW’s 14-year run to the end of life as we knew it… Where daily newspapers and magazines were once the nexus of TV criticism, it seems fair to say this is another reminder that a torch is passing...(continued)
 
  
 
 

I did not have a TV when I grew up. The family moved from city to city, country to country — a life on the road, constantly on the move. I have vague recollections of Doctor Who playing — in flickering black-and-white — in a tiny room in a tiny house during one early childhood memory, but I don't remember much about it, except that I'm pretty sure that incarnation of the Doctor was played by Jon Pertwee and I was terrified of the Daleks...(continued)
 
  
 
 

By now, way too many TV memories are taking up space in my mind.

They leave little room for anything else, except movie plots and Cubs' batting averages. But one vivid memory is basic – a show in which a man simply played records...(continued)
 
  
 
 

There has never been a showcase for smart television criticism quite like TVWW...I may never have to get used to a world without I Love Lucy, but I can't say the same about TVWW. I'm going to have to get used to that. Sort of...(continued)
 
  
 
 

For me, David Bianculli on "Best TV Tomorrow" was TV Worth Watching. 

It was fun streaming along, seeing if David knew what day it was, watching him build to a terrible pun. Every show ending with that Mickey Rooney grin. It was a minute or two with a friend, delivered every day to my inbox. For free!...(continued)

 

 

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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2119 Comments
 
 
bharatkhabar
Thank you so much for sharing such a informative and useful blog post. I hope that you and your family will good. I really appreciate you
and your blog post. I like your informative blog. And I wish that you will be sharing this such as informative and motivational blog
as in future

Thank you
Sep 27, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Ben Dover
I have a deal for you David: come back to maintaining this site, but only update with a few recommendations, once per week. In exchange for doing this I promise to never criticize any of your choices. :-)
Aug 17, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Sandra Dandrade
David:
If you are out there.. how are you feeling? Your many fans (myself and my hubby included) miss you and are concerned about you.. Saludos
Aug 1, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Bridget
Reply to Mary Hagen's 6/22/21 post: That show was "Us" - originally broadcast as 4 pts on BBC, aired as 2 pts on PBS in June. Rather sweet story of the end of a marriage ... many of us might NOT relate to sweetness in those circumstances, but I enjoyed a look at how other people break up. :)
Jul 31, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Ben Dover
Me too Mila!

Please come back David, we miss and need you!
Jul 29, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Mila
I still keep checking in from time to time hoping this was all some horrible mistake and David will be back telling me what to watch this evening. Good luck and Godspeed, my friend. My life is a little emptier without your daily recommendations.
Jul 14, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Mary Hagan
We started watching a story of the end of a marriage and the decision to go to Europe with their teenage son as had been planned. Can’t find it again. It was not an American-made movie. Does that ring a distant bell. Just watched it last night.
Jun 22, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Stacey Elise Caplin
HELP. There was this phenome of a part fantasy part world building. I must have found it roughly three months ago. Not quite "cartoon" definitely not anime. Summation of what I have seen in the first episode a gifted girl heads out (obvi) to save her world. The production and dialogue far surpassed any T.V show (and so comforting) I have seen recently. I do not engage with cartoons. I am at a loss of where I even discovered it. I have spent time that I could have written the great American novel searching for this show. It is also perfect summer fare. Any help or suggestions on how to narrow my searches would be so appreciated. I do not even recall the network, I do vye for it toreturn into my life.
Jun 17, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Mary B.
SNL skit showing "NYU" students doing a weak job interviewing "Roommates" wasn't their best. Maimed by overkill shot-taking, ham-handed and stuffed with race-baiting, straight-baiting ...
May 23, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Robert Prestifilippo
David, Enjoyed seeing you on CNN's "The Story of Late Night" this passed Sunday night. You looked healthy and your wisdom is always welcome. Hopefully, we'll get to see you in future episodes. With luck they won't be preempted by BREAKING NEWS, which occurred too often in the past.
May 4, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Bridget
For TCM fans who might have missed Mon 5/3/21 replay of Alec Baldwin's 2014 interview of Robert Osborne in honor of RO's birthday, they announced the launch of a new American Film Institute sub-site called The Robert Osborne Collection which has videos of RO's intro/outro comments about many classic films. I miss that guy almost as much as Bianculli, et al, and really appreciate the new resource.
Here is the press release: https://www.afi.com/press/american-film-institute-launches-the-osborne-collection-honoring-legendary-film-historian-and-tcm-host-robert-osborne/ (sorry, I dunno how to make a friendlier link in this setting), which has a link to this video of Ben Mankiewicz talking to The Hollywood Reporter about it: https://thrpresents.hollywoodreporter.com/the-osborne-collection/
Lastly, here is the actual Collection: https://www.afi.com/robert-osborne-collection/
May 4, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Sandra Dandrade
Thanks MAS.. Yes, we have heard only bad things about the original box set and.. I am sure that, since music was such a integral part of the show, licensing costs have been a major factor in why this great show has never been streamed. Watched 'The Wire' and 'Treme' recently and was reminded of how much we miss HLOTS. Hasn't David Simon & Co. produced so much brilliant TV these last two decades!!
Apr 23, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
MAS
About "Homicide: Life on the Street" I have the original box set of HLOTS, and the video transfer quality was so awful I could barely watch it 10 years ago on a 32" TV. I think it would literally be unwatchable on a modern TV, even with the best upscaling you can get on your disc player.

Interesting article in NYTimes this week (paywall) https://tinyurl.com/2jwse257 about how shows that used a lot of popular music for sountracks couldn't afford lifetime rights so pre-streaming era they opted for a 5-year term and now some shows are streaming but the soundtrack has changed. As soon as I read this I wondered if that's why HLOTS has never been available to stream.
Apr 22, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Pam
David, one of the first things I would read on my computer each morning was TVWW's Best Bets. I often forwarded the reviews to friends. I hope you continue to do TV reviews on Fresh Air. Having a podcast would also be great. Some of the many shows that TVWW recommended that I enjoyed are Glee, The Leftovers, The Handmaid's Tale, Ally McBeal, This is Us, and Route 66, which I enjoyed as a child.

I have a special interest in your success because we were both at University of Florida at the same time. I may have read your TV reviews in the Gainesville Sun. I hope you take time to rest and enjoy the things you are fond of. One of your replies mentioned your diet. I have adapted to diet changes over the years. Almost all of the food I stopped eating, I have lost the desire to eat. I hope you have the same success and your health continues to improve.
Apr 20, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Ken Rehfield
Hi David. Sure miss your daily recommendations. Would you happen to have a recommendation for another site that would do what you have been doing each day? It wouldn't be as good as you (I've been following you since your Daily News days) but at least I would get some guidance for TVWW.
Apr 16, 2021   |  Reply
 
Randy R
I have been wondering the same thing.
Apr 16, 2021
 
 
 
Ed
Hello David,
Always loved your reviews. Sad that the site had ended but like all good things...Any recommendations for online tv reviews not named RT and IMBD? Asking for a friend. Anyway good luck and hope to hear you on FA.
Edwin
Apr 13, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Ed
Hello David,
Always loved your reviews. Sad that the site had ended but like all good things...Any recommendations for online tv reviews not named RT and IMBD? Asking for a friend. Anyway good luck and hope to hear you on FA.
Edwin
Apr 13, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Andrew
I just wanted to say Hi. I had finished reading Platinum Age of Television for the second time, and decided to expand on some of it, first took the 18 categories and added a sixth TV show to make the genres a little more updated. I also added more genres to include, game shows, reality tv, news, sports, talk shows anthology series, late night and more each with six entries that I feel added to evolutionary of television. Lastly, I took all the tv shows and using the classic bracket tournament system, and trying rank the best show out of all of them. The point is, I couldn't do this without your book and your insights to television lore.
Apr 13, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
Ed
How many of this community still check this site every day (like I do) to see if David has changed his mind about stepping back from it? ??
Apr 13, 2021   |  Reply
 
Carrie
I check it still almost every day. It is a long standing habit. I do not think he realized how many people loved this site.
Apr 13, 2021
 
 
 
Sandra Dandrade
Thanks David and Mac! Yes, David, you are immortalized as the cold case Frank solved upon his return from his massive stroke. And, mac.. you have been missed. The rights do seem to be a muddle.. think that Fontana/Levinson were, essentially, bought out by NBC Network after season 2 (or 3) as a condition for the show to continue. Good to hear from you both!
Apr 12, 2021   |  Reply
 
 
 
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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.