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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

Z-View: “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”

I saw Glen Campbell perform live when I was a kid.  Glen Campbell was one of the first celebrities that I can remember seeing “in person.”  The concert took place at the Indiana State Fair.   At the time Mr. Campbell was a recording star, but would go on to have his own television series and appear in movies.

Glen Campbell always came across as a nice guy.  Mr. Campbell seemed like someone you’d enjoy sharing a meal with or just talking to.  That made the news that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s even more tragic.  Not that you’d want anyone to get the disease, but especially not one of the good people.

Last October I posted about Glen Campbell’s song, I’m Not Gonna Miss You.  At the time I said it was one of the saddest songs that I’d ever heard.  I still think it is.  Perhaps even more so after watching the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me takes us behind the scenes for a look at how Alzheimer’s wrecks the life of not only the person with the disease but also everyone who is close to the him/her.

Luckily for Mr. Campbell he has a devoted wife, family and friends and the financial resources to provide him a superior support system.  Still even with all of that, the disease is unstoppable.

Mark Evanier wrote about being at a party a few years ago and the excitement that went through the crowd as it became known that Glen Campbell was going to sing a few songs… and the initial discomfort when they realized the toll Alzheimer’s was taking on him.  Mr. Evanier goes on to say, heck, instead of me telling you what he said, why don’t you just click on over and read his words for yourself.  Like everything Mark Evanier posts, it is more than worth a read.  I’ll be here when you get back.

I want to echo Mark Evanier’s recommendation that you check out Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.

Rating:   

As I was posting this, I noticed (and it was probably unintentional) that the title of the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me can also read like Glen Campbell: Ill Be Me.

Every Message Left on Jim Rockford’s Answering Machine


The Rockford Files always opened with a message left on Rockford’s answering machine.  The message (unrelated to the episode) “…invited the viewer to return to the quirky, down-on-his-luck world of Jim Rockford.”

Here’s a favorite:

“Jim, It’s Norma at the market. It bounced. You want us to tear it up, send it back, or put it with the others?”

Now thanks to That Eric Alper we can listen and download every message used.

The Return of The Three Stooges

Cake, animation studio Titmouse, Inc. and C3 Entertainment Inc.— owners of The Three Stooges brand have announced that Larry, Curly and Moe will be returning in a new animated series of 52 eleven minute episodes.

While I’m happy that three of our favorite knuckleheads will be exposed to a new generation of fans, wouldn’t it be cool if each new cartoon was paired with one of the original Three Stooges shorts for a thirty minute episode?  The cherry on the top would be to include Shemp in the cartoons paired with original shorts that he co-starred.

Source: Entertainment Weekly.

19 Fun Facts About “Married with Children”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 19 Fun Facts About Married with Children. Here are three of my favorites…

5. THE SHOW WAS PITCHED WITH SAM KINISON AS AL AND ROSEANNE BARR AS PEGGY.

Both Kinison and Barr’s managers told Moye, Leavitt, and the other producers that their clients were shooting for the movies, not television.

9. THE SHOW BRIEFLY RUINED O’NEILL’S MOVIE CAREER.

O’Neill had to be recast long after the 1991 war film Flight of the Intruder had finished shooting because test audiences kept laughing whenever he appeared on screen, even though he was playing a Navy captain involved in a court-martial.

6. MICHAEL RICHARDS AUDITIONED TO PLAY AL.

Two years before he landed the career-making role of Kramer on Seinfeld, Richards auditioned to play the Bundy family patriarch. Moye estimated that out of the many people who auditioned for the role, “80 percent” played Al like Jackie Gleason as Ralph Cramden and “five percent” went the Jack Nicholson in The Shining route.

16 Things You May Not Know About “The Brady Bunch”

Kara Kovalchik and Mental_Floss present 16 Things You May Not Know About The Brady BunchHere are three of my favorites…

4. GENE HACKMAN WAS IN CONTENTION TO PLAY MIKE BRADY.

For the role of Mike Brady (the family’s surname had changed by this time), “there were a number of men I wanted to interview, including Gene Hackman,” recalled Schwartz in Brady, Brady, Brady. “Paramount wouldn’t even okay Gene Hackman for an interview because he had a very low TVQ. (TVQ is a survey that executives use to determine the audience’s familiarity with performances. TV executives have don’t admit to the existence of TVQs, but it is commonly employed in casting.)”

They finally chose Reed because he was already under contract to Paramount, and he had a certain amount of marquee value because of his co-starring role on the popular legal drama series The Defenders. “The year after The Brady Bunch debuted, unknown Gene Hackman with no TVQ starred in The French Connection and won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and has been a major star ever since,” added Schwartz.

14. THE SHOW WAS NEVER A HUGE HIT.

The Brady Bunch was never a huge Nielsen hit during its original run; in fact, it never managed to crack the Top 30 shows. But it did well enough to run for five seasons, which gave Paramount enough episodes to sell as a package for syndication. The syndicated reruns were often shown in the late afternoon, which gave it more exposure to a younger audience. As a result, the show’s fan base grew exponentially after it had ceased production, and continues to grow today as each younger generation discovers it.

15. MANY FLUBS WERE NEVER CORRECTED.

Like most shows of that era, no one who worked on The Brady Bunch thought that the show would still be airing regularly over 40 years later after it had been cancelled. So sometimes little mistakes were left unfixed in the name of finishing an episode on schedule. After all, the show aired in the days before every home had a VCR, so who would notice something like the family leaving the house in a convertible and returning from the same errand in a station wagon? Or Jan’s hair mysteriously switching from a ponytail to loose around her shoulders repeatedly while the kids were building a house of cards? Those flubs and others—like a tired Susan Olsen sticking her tongue out as she exited a scene, thinking it was still a rehearsal—have become part of the show’s legend thanks to syndication, DVRs, and viewers with too much time on their hands.

John Ridley and “American Crime”

I discovered John Ridley through his novels.  He’s an amazing writer.

Ridley is probably best known as the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave

Ridley is also the creative genius behind the series American Crime.  The series is unlike anything on television.  The emotions are so raw, so real, that it was hard to watch some episodes.  But I’m glad I did.  What a ride!

If you tuned in to the series or want to know more about it, why not check out Anna Lisa Raya’s interview with John Ridley?

Source: Deadline.

Eight Bizarre Facts About Rod Serling and “The Twilight Zone”

Jake Rosen and Mental_Floss present Eight Bizarre Facts About Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. Here are three are my favorites…

2. The Episode That Won an Oscar
When Serling’s budget for the series tightened in the fifth and final season, he decided on an unusual cost-cutting measure: the writer paid $10,000 (by some accounts, $25,000) for the rights to broadcast An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, a French short based on the Ambrose Bierce story about a Confederate sympathizer who escapes the hangman’s noose at the end of the Civil War. No dubbing was needed: the short was virtually silent, and its haunting cinematography was a perfect fit for the show. The year prior, it had won an Oscar for Best Short Subject. Bierce’s story was also adapted into an episode of the other popular anthology of the day, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, marking the only time the two series used the same source material.

4. Six Dimensions
When Serling recorded his famous opening narration for the pilot episode in 1959, he began by intoning that there was “a sixth dimension” to explore. A CBS executive heard it and asked the writer why he had skipped a fifth dimension—weren’t there only four? Serling, puzzled, hadn’t really considered it. “Oh,” he said. “Aren’t there five?” The narration was re-recorded before any angry letters from physicists poured in.

8. God Complex
Though he spoke fondly of Serling through his entire career, Zone teleplay writer Richard Matheson (“Steel,” “The Invaders”) found one mandate puzzling: According to Matheson, only Serling could use the word “God” in his teleplays. It was off-limits to the rest of the writing team. “I used to get ticked off at Rod because he could put ‘God’ in all his scripts,” Matheson said. “If I did it, they’d cross it out.” Matheson never asked, and was never told, the reason behind the rule. Chalk it up to a mystery worthy of The Twilight Zone.

Star Trek: 57 Nerdy Things About the Original Crew Films

Sven Harvey and Den of Geek present Star Trek: 57 Nerdy Things About the Original Crew Films.  Here are three are my favorites…

13. Khan Noonian Singh is, of course, the same character as the Khan from the original series second season episode, “Space Seed.” His wife was Lt McGivers, who became enamoured with him in the original episode.

The late Ricardo Montalban reprised his role from the original episode, and as a genetically enhanced human or “augment” it was these performances that led to more episodes on the same theme.

14. The character of Lt Marla McGivers was supposed to originally be in Star Trek II, but the actress, Madyln Rhue, had been confined to a wheelchair.

Rather than recasting, which executive producer Harve Bennett thought unfair, the character was written out. That said, the filmed line confirming her as Khan’s dead wife was cut.

31. Hello computer?!? The Apple Mac wasn’t supposed to be in the factory, and the original Commodore Amiga model was originally supposed to be in its place. Commodore Business Machines refused to send a sample machine for filming and simply told the film crew that they had to buy one. Apple just sent a machine and a member of staff to help out.

Commodore also stated it didn’t want to be associated with Star Trek. Facepalm…