August 2010

Daria - one of the greatest television shows in history

So the Emmys are tonight.  Unlike various other sites that follow awards, I really don’t care about television awards.  There are a variety of reasons for this.  Here are a few:

  1. I don’t watch much television.  By much, I mean, at all.  With Thomas we watch kids shows, I watch sports, though not as much as I used to and we watch Stewart and Colbert.  Every show that Veronica has watched with any regularity since we moved to Boston was canceled in the same week earlier this year (no joke – “Scrubs”, “Better Off Ted”, “Heroes” and “FlashForward” were all axed in the same week).  And I never watched much television.  I went through four years of college, when people often watch a ton of television and basically only watched “The Simpsons” and “Seinfeld.”
  2. Television shows that I like either don’t last long (“Sports Night”, “Dream On”, “Titus”) or last so damn long I eventually lose interest (“The Simpsons”, “South Park”).
  3. The Emmys seem to give the same damn awards every year.  When I was a kid, it seemed like you could always count on Susan Lucci losing and Michael J. Fox winning.  And when they don’t win, does that mean the show lost something?  It just seems like a retread of the year before.
  4. I hate most television shows and I really can’t take watching shows with laugh tracks.  Even shows I remember liking, I can’t go back and watch when I realize they have a laugh track.  You know what the truly great thing about single-camera comedies like “Scrubs” and “Better Off Ted” are?  They don’t have a “live studio audience” with a laugh track to try to tell me when to laugh.  I can’t go back and watch “Seinfeld” because of the damn canned laughter.
  5. The Emmy’s never give out awards to the shows I truly love.
    1. Case in point – “Sports Night”, which might be my favorite show of all-time, won three Emmys – Cinematography in Season 1; Directing and Editing in Season 2 – nothing for the acting, the writing or the series itself
    2. Other case in point – “Daria“, which might be my second favorite show of all-time, was never nominated for an Emmy (more…)

the Bantam mass-market version of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973) that I own

Gravity’s Rainbow

  • Author:  Thomas Pynchon  (b. 1937)
  • Rank:  #67
  • Published:  1973
  • Publisher:  Viking
  • Pages:  887
  • First Line:  “A screaming comes across the sky.”
  • Last Line:  “Now everybody -“
  • ML Edition:  none
  • Acclaim:  All-TIME Top 100 Novels; National Book Award; Pulitzer Prize  (voted unanimously by fiction jury; over-turned by board and no award given)
  • Film:  none
  • First Read:  Fall, 2000 (more…)

Tom Jones won Best Picture in 1963 and made Albert Finney a star.

The 36th Academy Awards for the film year 1963.

Best Picture:  Tom Jones

  • Lilies of the Field
  • America, America
  • How the West Was Won
  • Cleopatra

Most Surprising Omission:  Hud

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Great Escape

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #78 (more…)

the magnificent jump in The Great Escape (1963)

My Top 20:

  1. The Great Escape
  2. Stray Dog
  3. Winter Light
  4. High and Low
  5. Tom Jones
  6. Ivan’s Childhood
  7. Knife in the Water
  8. Hud
  9. 8 1/2
  10. The Leopard
  11. The Birds
  12. Love with the Proper Stranger
  13. Sundays with Cybele
  14. The Idiot
  15. Four Days of Naples
  16. Sanjuro
  17. The Music Room
  18. This Sporting Life
  19. Dr. No
  20. Il Diavolo (more…)

"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

The 35th Academy Awards for the film year 1962.  The nominations were announced on February 25, 1963 and the awards were held on April 8, 1963.

Best Picture:  Lawrence of Arabia

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Music Man
  • The Longest Day
  • Mutiny on the Bounty

Most Surprising Omission:  The Miracle Worker

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #38 (more…)

the distance image of a man that will become Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

My Top 20:

  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. The Music Man
  4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  5. Through a Glass Darkly
  6. Ride the High Country
  7. The Manchurian Candidate
  8. Jules and Jim
  9. The Bad Sleep Well
  10. Peeping Tom
  11. Last Year at Marienbad
  12. Billy Budd
  13. Lolita
  14. The Miracle Worker
  15. The Lower Depths
  16. Carnival of Souls
  17. Viridiana
  18. Whistle Down the Wind
  19. Long Day’s Journey Into Night
  20. Sweet Bird of Youth (more…)

the second Modern Library dust jacket for Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway

  • Author:  Virginia Woolf  (1882  –  1941)
  • Rank:  #68
  • Published:  1925
  • Publisher:  Hogarth Press
  • Pages:  194
  • First Line:  “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”
  • Last Lines:  “It is Clarissa, he said.  For there she was.”
  • ML Edition:  #96  (two dust jackets – 1937, 1948)
  • Acclaim:  All-TIME List
  • Film:  1997
  • Read:  Spring, 1996 (more…)

Romeo and Juliet done right: Tony (Richard Beymer) and Maria (Natalie Wood) in West Side Story (1961)

The 34th Academy Awards, for the film year of 1961.  The nominations were announced on February 26, 1962 and the awards were held on April 9, 1962.

Best Picture:  West Side Story

  • The Hustler
  • The Guns of Navarone
  • Fanny
  • Judgment at Nuremberg

Most Surprising Omission:  La Dolce Vita

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Throne of Blood

Best Eligible English Language Film Not Nominated:  Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #33 (more…)

a nice shot from the fantastic prologue in West Side Story - the Academy and Nighthawk choice for Best Picture of 1961

My Top 20:

  1. West Side Story
  2. Throne of Blood
  3. The Hustler
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  5. Yojimbo
  6. The Bridge
  7. Elevator to the Gallows
  8. La Dolce Vita
  9. One, Two, Three
  10. White Nights
  11. L’Avventura
  12. The Guns of Navarone
  13. Splendor in the Grass
  14. A Raisin in the Sun
  15. Zazie in the Subway
  16. The Ballad of a Soldier
  17. Ice-Cold in Alex
  18. 101 Dalmations
  19. A Pocketful of Miracles
  20. The Human Condition Part II (more…)

the first Modern Library edition of Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver’s Travels

  • Full Title:  Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts
  • Author:  Jonathan Swift  (1667  –  1747)
  • Rank:  #69
  • Published:  1726, rev. 1735
  • Publisher:  Benjamin Motte
  • Pages:  277
  • First Line:  “My father had a small estate in Notthinghamshire; I was the third of five sons.”
  • Last Line:  “I dwell the longer upon this subject from the desire I have to make the society of an English Yahoo by any means not insupportable; and therefore I here entreat those who have any tincture of this absurd vice, that they will not presume to appear in my sight.”
  • ML Edition:  #100  (four dust jackets – 1933, 1942, 1957, 1958);  P10
  • Film:  14 film versions and 7 television adaptations
  • Read:  Fall, 1990 (more…)

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