Category Archives: Reviews

‘Perry Como’s Christmas Show’ (1974): The Carpenters join Como for a look back on a world long gone

Despite my wife’s adamant aversion to Karen and Richard, for me it just doesn’t seem like Christmas without the mellifluous strains of The Carpenters warbling out some beloved carol (Donna’s a Quaker, but “smash them in their stupid smiling faces” seems to be her default comment whenever they come on the radio). So why not ditch the stress and strain of today’s world and cool out with not one but two mellow masters of easy listening: The Carpenters and Perry Como?    

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‘The U.F.O. Incident’ (1975): Fact, fiction, or Hollywood entertainment?

Can’t some bug-eyed outer space piece of sh*t abduct me the hell out of what passes for America today? Oh, well…one can dream. 

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‘Frankenstein: The True Story’ (1973): Miniseries brings Mary Shelley’s classic monster to life

It’s Shock-tober, everyone! That’s right—time to take out a second mortgage to pay for your groceries this week. So, let’s lighten our loads by doing what I’ve been since I was in a playpen: escaping reality by obsessively watching TV. And what better way to block out the possibility of six more years of the Didy-in-Chief, than to watch one terrifying horror movie after another until one’s senses are completely numb.

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‘The Roller Derby Chronicles’: 2 documentaries & tons of vintage game footage!

You know what sports I played as a kid? My TV, that’s what. And my favorite of all time was catching Big Time Wrestling coming out WXYZ, Detroit’s Channel 7. When Bobo Brazil, after breaking free of The Sheik’s camel-clutch hold, would give his skull-crushing “Coco Butt” to lay the Sheik out, well…why the hell would I want to go outside and toss around a ball and maybe miss that?

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‘The California Kid’ (1974): A spare, surprisingly grim little suspenser

A clean, trim, hard-boiled little gem of a suspenser, from the golden days of network made-for-TV movies.

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‘Satan’s Triangle’ (1975): Decades later, occult thriller is still a winner

You know what would be the perfect vacation for this particular Fourth of July, Independence Day? In today’s America, I mean?  Cruise to the Devil’s Triangle. But you say you just can’t let Beelzebub see your bikini bod this year? Well…you could check out Satan’s Triangle, the 1975 made-for-TV occult classic starring Kim Novak and Doug McClure, that originally appeared on the beloved anthology series, ABC Tuesday Movie of the Week (there’s a nice print streaming on Prime right now).

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‘Gilligan’s Planet’: Early ’80s Filmation offering continues the fun

So the Oscars were last weekend, apparently, which I haven’t watched since forever (how can you take an organization seriously that doesn’t award Best Pic to Rex Harrison’s Doctor Dolittle?). Just my luck I miss the organization’s first live televised felony battery. Any hoo, since I wasn’t tied down to watching 3+ hours of a bunch of millionaire hypocrites telling me how much they wish I’d die off, I rooted around for something equally cartoonish.

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‘Gunsmoke’ (Season 1): The iconic 20-year Western begins

Better late than never. I know, I know: I promised over two years ago to begin reviewing the massive 65th anniversary boxed set (beautifully put together for CBS video by pro Andrew J. Klyde) of Gunsmoke, the iconic, legendary 20-year Western series starring James Arness, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, and Dennis Weaver. Well…things happen (don’t get me started with the government, okay?), so let’s just all move on and get started on looking at one of the greatest TV series of any decade.

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‘Breaking Up is Hard to Do’ (1979): Forgotten TV movie is a true gem

Worthwhile, even remarkable-at-times, made-for-TV drama; perfect viewing for post-football withdrawal…if you’re a real man.

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‘Ripcord’ (Season 1): Stuck on a mountaintop? These men can help

Hey…where do we pull the chute on this entire new world, man?

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‘Christmas on the Coast’ (2018): Love, romance and going home

They say you can never go back home. But sometimes, it’s just what the doctor ordered to find yourself again.

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‘I Dream of Jeannie’ (Season 1): Classic sitcom will always please its Master – the audience

When are they coming for I Dream of Jeannie? I mean…the word “master” is thrown out at least ten times an episode by that scantily-clad genie slave Jeannie. Hasn’t this by now aroused the ire of some pajama-clad soy latte-drinking non-binary “pop culture author” who needs their “they/them” tantrum to be noticed today on Twitter? Isn’t a reckoning coming for this racist/sexist sitcom, and for all those who participated in it and who watch it today? Can’t someone please cancel 90-year-old Barbara Eden before it’s goddamn too late?

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‘The Deadly Tower’ (1975): Questionable—but suspenseful—re-telling of real-life Texas killings

In a post-holiday mood for something light, I happened upon an older Warner Bros. Archive Collection disc of The Deadly Tower, NBC’s 1975 made-for-TV movie with Disney alumnus Kurt Russell starring as infamous University of Texas sniper, Charles Whitman.

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‘Christmas in the Smokies’ (2015): Saving the family farm has never been so romantic

It’s a story as old as the hills where it’s set, and that’s A-OK when you want some down home, feel-good holiday viewing.

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‘A Christmas Story’ (1972): Hanna-Barbera special is a sweet, nostalgic time capsule

Hey, listen, readers: if we have to change our name from DrunkTV to All Hanna-Barbera! All the Time!, we will, particularly with the insane number of hits we’ve been clocking lately off that brand.

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‘Yogi’s First Christmas’ (1980): A smarter-than-the-average holiday special

Last week, in a rather desperate bid to fend off my irate editor (his is a simple process:  no review from me…no booze for me), I fobbed off a quick look at 1982’s Hanna-Barbera animated holiday TV special, Yogi Bear’s All Star Comedy Christmas Caper.  Well, imagine our collective shock when 100s and 100s of readers clicked on it.  A veritable bonanza of eyeballs!  So…in an unashamedly naked, crass attempt to repeat that fluke, we’re offering up even more Jellystone Christmas cheer, this time with 1980’s syndicated romp, Yogi’s First Christmas!  

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‘Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper’ (1982): A sweet & quick last glimpse of that old H-B look

Do they still have animated Christmas TV specials show up in first-run syndication?

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‘A Day for Thanks on Walton’s Mountain’ (1982) & ‘A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion’ (1993): A TV reunion double feature

Thanksgiving, right? I mean…it’s a tough one this year, no doubt. Outside of family and friends and the traditional bird and old timey TV, it feels like there’s not a whole lot else to be thankful for, you know? I mean, you’ll be lucky if family can even visit, what with gas prices the way they are (as well as that one lunatic who refuses to visit because most family members don’t believe in the clot-shot). And that big dinner—if you can find the ingredients on those mostly empty shelves—costs way more this year, thanks to you know who (when given the time-honored chance to offer Presidential clemency to the White House Thanksgiving turkey, he promptly pardoned the Easter Bunny). Hell, even nostalgic TV might not help; I know I had a tough time getting into the holiday mood, after watching 1982’s mostly-okay A Day for Thanks on Walton’s Mountain and 1993’s decidedly icky A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion.

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‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’ (1978): TV extravaganza is what today’s world needs

Dear God, now, more than ever…we need The Star Wars Holiday Special.

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‘My Three Sons’ (Season 1): A remarkably complex, innovative American sitcom

Escape is the only option today, I fear (if you’re lucky enough to be able to escape, I should add). So if you’re going to retreat, you should go somewhere extraordinary.

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