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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

“The Strain” Season 2 Teaser

One of my must-see tv shows is The Strain  on FX.

The Strain is based on the novels created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan and explores the idea of a vampire apocalypse.

Be advised: These are not your parent’s or your daughter’s vampires.  They aren’t dark, brooding or romantic and they sure don’t sparkle.

18 Things You Might Not Know About “Frasier”

Kara Kovalchik presents 18 Things You Might Not Know About Frasier.

Regular readers know the drill: using just Kovalchiks list, here are my three favorite facts…

7. THE FIRST CUT OF THE PILOT WAS SIX MINUTES TOO LONG.

After seven passes, it still came in sixty seconds more than it should and the creative team decided they couldn’t cut any more. NBC agreed and said they would find the extra time—not by cutting a commercial, but by taking 15 seconds from the other 4 shows on that night.

17. KELSEY GRAMMER PLAYED FRASIER FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME …

Counting the time he spent on Cheers, Kelsey Grammer played the character of Frasier Crane in prime time for 20 consecutive years, a record TV-land hadn’t seen since James Arness played Marshall Dillon on Gunsmoke for the same length of time. Grammer’s publicist invited Arness to join Kelsey on The Today Show in 2004, but according to Grammer, Arness rejected the idea with a brief expletive that rhymes with “duck shoe.”

18. … AND HE’S THE FIRST AMERICAN ACTOR TO BE NOMINATED FOR THE SAME CHARACTER ON THREE DIFFERENT SERIES.

Cheers and Frasier are obvious, but Frasier Crane also made an Emmy-nominated guest appearance on Wings.

Click here for the full list.

Source: Mental_Floss.

 

Top 10 Biggest Design Flaws In The U.S.S. Enterprise

I got a kick out of Charlie Jane Anders and Diana Biller’s Top 10 Biggest Design Flaws In The U.S.S. Enterprise

Here are my top three design flaws using Anders and Biller’s list

9. No Seatbelts

We get it. It’s fun to watch a dozen or so people get tossed around a bridge during a battle sequence — definitely more fun than just seeing a camera shake up and down while all the crew members remain safely strapped into their seats. But seriously, you’d think that after enough concussions caused by people falling out of their chairs, the Enterprise designers would just add some damn restraints. Class action lawsuit, anyone?

6. Only One Transporter Room

Especially early on in the series, when they don’t seem to have shuttlecraft yet, this is a serious problem. There’s only one transporter room, and if you put that out of action, nobody gets on or off the ship. In “The Enemy Within,” the transporter conks out, and Sulu and his team are screwed, notes Altman. Also, in “Wink of an Eye,” Kirk fiddles with one component on the transporter, and the Enterprise is cut off from the planet’s surface. The ship’s blueprints actually show more than one transporter room, but on screen there only appears to be one, and it’s easy to put out of action.

3. Super easy to make the Enterprise blow up

This is a big one. In “That Which Survives,” we discover you can make the Enterprise explode by screwing around with the bypass valve in the matter-antimatter integrator room, “adjacent to main engineering — which is easy to get in and out of, especially for beautiful women without midriffs,” says Altman. And here’s one area where the Enterprise-D is definitely not superior: there are at least a half dozen warp core breaches listed on Memory Alpha. So why aren’t there better fail-safes in place? The crew was usually left to try to either eject the core, which wasn’t a particularly reliable procedure, or to separate the starship. If they managed to do one of those things and prevent a cataclysmic explosion, they would still only be left with impulse and battery power. Surely there must be a better way. (More pleasant, but potentially just as lethal: the Warp Core Breach cocktail.)

Check out the full list for more Star Trek  fun.

Source: io9.

A Visual Guide to All 37 Villains in the Batman TV Series

Scott Neumeyer and Mental_Floss present A Visual Guide to All 37 Villains in the Batman TV Series.

My favorite Batman TV series villains were…

  1. Catwoman [both Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt versions]
  2. The Joker [Caesar Romero]
  3. The Penguin [Burgess Meredith]
  4. Mr. Freeze [George Sanders, Eli Wallach, and Otto Preminger]
  5. The Riddler [Frank Gorshin and John Astin]

If The Green Hornet and Kato had been listed as villains, then Kato would have shot to #1.  Bruce Lee rules.

15 Fun Facts About The Twilight Zone

Neatorama recently posted 15 Fun Facts About The Twilight Zone that You Might Not Know.  Here are my three favorites from their list…

  • Serling narrated for the show, first through just his voice and then on camera during the second season. Serling’s first choice for that role was not himself, but Orson Welles.
  • The episode “To Serve Man” shows aliens visiting Earth and offering to take them to their home planet. They say that they have nothing but benevolent purposes and possess a book titled To Serve Man. After linguists translate the text, they discover that it’s a cook book.That episode starred Lloyd Bochner as one of the translators. Bochner reprised his role and the episode’s most famous line in the movie The Naked Gun 2 1/2.
  • Sterling wrote TV scripts throughout the late 40s and early 50s. His breakthrough script was for “Patterns,” a 1955 episode of Kraft Television Theater. This episode featured a very young Elizabeth Montgomery (later famous for Bewitched) in a tale of conflict and intrigue within the leadership of a corporation. It was enormously popular and earned Serling an Emmy.

Rarely Seen Pilot to “The Orson Welles Show”

The video embedded below is to the rarely seen pilot to The Orson Welles Show.

The Orson Welles Show  had it been picked up would have been a weekly anthology series hosted by, you guessed it, Orson Welles.

Sadly that was not to be.  Otherwise Welles  could have been mentioned right there with Serling and Hitchcock when folks spoke about the great anthology series that used to be on tv.

Source: io9.

Remembering Kotter and His Sweathogs

Welcome Back, Kotter  burst onto the scene in September 1975 and was an instant hit.  The initial idea was to focus on a young newly married teacher [Gabe Kaplan] returning to teach remedial students [called Sweathogs] at his former high school where he had been a remedial student.  The show’s breakout stars turned out to be the Sweathogs.

So the focus changed.

Soon the spotlight was on the students with their teacher in a co-star or even supporting role.  The teacher’s wife usually had a scene in the shows opening and again in the closing where she got to laugh at an old joke told by teacher.  There were stories of an unhappy set.

Things became more complicated when Kaplan butted heads with the show’s producer and John Travolta [one of the remedial students] made it big in the movies.  Both Kaplan and Travolta didn’t even appear in many of the last season episodes.

The show ran four seasons and for the first two and maybe the third it was “must-see” tv.  Sadly during the the fourth and final season the audience graduated even if the Sweathogs didn’t.

The AV Club posted a piece by Noel Murray titled 10 Episodes That Show How Welcome Back, Kotter Was Like a Class in Comedy History.  While that may be a bit of an overstatement, the article did bring back some fun memories of Kotter and his Sweathogs.