That Wacky Redhead

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Brainbin, Nov 18, 2011.

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  1. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    Here we are on Page 11! At least, if you use default page view settings :) Thank you everyone for helping me reach 200 replies!

    Isn't that awfully convenient? It's almost as if I planned it that way :cool:

    Once demographic breakdowns come into play, a Rural Purge type situation is pretty much inevitable. All you need is a catalyst.

    You make a very strong argument, but I don't want to discuss my plans for the crossover in any more detail until the actual update.

    Whereas you feel that Star Trek, the show that defines both Earth Is the Center of the Universe and Humans Are Special, walked a more moderate line on the subject? ;) If Glen Larson does indeed seek out Gene Coon's advice, it certainly won't move him away from them.

    To be fair, "Sean Cassidy" is about as stereotypically Irish a name as you can get, so it's only natural for the name to show up in comics.

    Yes, that's the one. Is there any particular reason you're emphasizing his role so strongly? :confused:

    Would you also consider the OTL (first two) Superman movies an example of what you're looking for?

    I have a sneaking suspicion I would find all ten of them on this list, which at least tells you that you aren't alone :)

    I do think that "pulp" would do well. Even Star Trek indulged in it from time to time; and, needless to say, we have an example from that genre becoming a seminal blockbuster megahit a few years down the line IOTL. And at the end of the day, pulp is fun!

    Ordinarily, I'd ask why Adam West would be willing to keep up this charade for more than four decades, but really, the fact that it's Adam West is enough to answer that question. Granted, it does make a good anecdote to share at conventions, but come on, already :rolleyes:

    By most indications, he felt that "slumming" on a "kiddie sci-fi" show was beneath her. Now, what that says about him...

    Sorry, I don't think I was terribly clear. What I was driving at was specifically a response to just this line:

    I've decided to add a third rule to the That Wacky Redhead drinking game: Any time you find a link to TVTropes, take a shot! (I apologize for inebriating most of you with this post.) In other news, it looks like the 1970-71 season overview will be ready tomorrow. So until then!
     
  2. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    I wonder if GR's The God Thing concept will make it to the big screen ITTL.

    On an unrelated note, I could see some TV exec for a less well funded company going with Avimov's Caves of Steel story for a series to jump on the sci-fi bandwagon without having to pay for so much special effects. The overcrowded Earth stuff would also fit the environment conscious times. Also the buddy cop formula would be familiar to them more. R. Daneel Olivaw lives!
     
  3. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

    Joined:
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    :p
    Nope, just raising the issue in case you missed it.;)
    I felt as if it was a trifle more subtle in TOS. It got bad later...:eek: And there was at least the pretense of non-Earth civilizations in TOS, while the very goal of "Galactica" was the "mythical lost planet of Atlantis".:rolleyes: (Oh, wait...:rolleyes: That also had the stupid "evolving into energy forms"...:rolleyes:) TOS at least had a major, pivotal character who was obviously alien, & other recurring aliens. "Galactica" had Lorne Greene, John Colicos,:eek: Richard Hatch, Terry Carter, & a character from Moby Dick.:rolleyes: (Who was no better in "The A-Team", where his inability to actually act was less important.:rolleyes:) They spent the whole budget on the miniature for Galactica:rolleyes: & forgot they needed writers...
    It might move him toward actual SF writers for screen stories, which can only help.
    True. It's just the irony that strikes me.;)
    Not his role. I recall watching them as a kid, & even then, I was pretty sure they were no good. Having seen them again recently...:eek: (Soles was the only one I recall, & that in part because his daughter, P.J., was in "Humongous".:rolleyes:)
    I'd count them examples of what not to do...:rolleyes: Chris Reeve was not my ideal Superman, nor Clark, tho IMO Gene Hackman made a superb Lex. (For a continuing character, tho, I'd pick John Shea {"Lois & Clark"} or John Glover {"Smallville"}, I think.) I still put Dean Cain at the top of my "Clark" & "Superman" list. And I can't picture anybody better than Christian Bale as Bats: he's the only actor I've seen credible as both Bruce and Bats. (Clooney is the best Bruce, but there's no way in hell he'd put on that stupid suit; he'd hire somebody.:rolleyes: And Keaton would put on the suit, but he's not a credible Bruce.:rolleyes: Val Kilmer we shouldn't even mention, except maybe as Jason Todd, or somebody.:rolleyes: And Chris O'Donnell has proven a much better actor than I thought from "Batman & Robin", judging by "NCIS:L.A.".)
    A select group we are, then.:p I found no less than 5 shows I watched, & loved, from Episode 1 on that list.:rolleyes: (Care to guess which ones?:p Feel free to save any of them you guess right.;)) I'll say this: "The Cape" isn't on it. Nor "Airwolf" or "Blue Thunder".
    I suppose I ask a trifle more. No objection to the occasional romp, but I'd rather be challenged by a show. Which may also explain why shows I like go nowhere. (How "West Wing" surivived, I still haven't figured out.:confused: I do think "NYPD Blue" made it only because, for the first two seasons, I didn't notice how good it was, because all I wanted was to see Amy Brenneman's butt,:p so the curse never landed.:rolleyes:)
    :rolleyes: He's not related to Alan Alda, by any chance...?:p
    Ahem. Give him a smack.:p
    I had that sense, but... This was the early/mid-'70s: "UFO", "1999", "Starlost", "$6 Million Man"... They were mediocre at best, but they were better than nothing at all, & I hadn't yet figured out the difference, & I wasn't expecting I Will Fear No Evil or Dune on TV anyhow.

    Even now, shows I watch fairly faithfully, like "Stargate", have their weaknesses, which I'll overlook for the sake of their good points. I won't recommend them as good SF, but they're better than some of the junk, & at least they're watchable. There's scant chance anybody will see, or has seen, "Journeyman" or "The Dresden Files", or even "Human Target":rolleyes: (which is extremely different from the DC concept, as I understand it). (And I'm frankly deeply thankful the Sable adaptation:eek::eek: got cancelled swiftly.)

    If something about a show grabs me, I can often stick with it even if the rest is pretty awful. And sometimes, I'll completely flip: I watched the debut of NCIS, because I liked the backdoor pilot they did in "JAG" (not least because I liked Harmon as far back as "Reasonable Doubts", with Marlee Matlin; another of the short-lived ones I liked...:rolleyes: Along with "Shannon's Deal", while I'm thinking of it,;) for which Jamey Sheridan deserved an Emmy IMO), & stopped watching after that, because it was "6 characters in search of a show". I came back at the end of Season 2 on the strength of a solid story & a really interesting new character (& the fact Cote is so hot:p). "NCIS" has kept me on the strength of those same characters (tho, even this long after, I still don't think they have a show: there isn't that unifying something; "JAG" had it). I will also confess I started watching "Buffy" only because I wanted to find out who Charisma was, after catching the end of an episode out of curiosity how bad it was, knowing the movie was dreck,:eek: & "X-Files" after catching a glimpse of Gillian.:p I stayed with "Buffy" on the solid writing (&, yes, the hotness of Charisma for an episode or 2:p), & with "X-Files" for the writing & the mature partnership without turning it into the "JAG"-style soap opera (or the absurd Picard-Crusher "romance":eek::eek:). (Yes, "Buffy" suffered from that a lot, too; it had other things going for it. Like vampires.:cool: And the coffee ad guy.:cool::p And Charisma.:cool::p)

    (50 points to anybody who can name the sizzling blonde in the Michael J. Fox "Apartment 10G" Pepsi ad. She later became famous in a TV cop show. No Googling allowed.:eek:)
    Salud!:p
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  4. Threadmarks: 1970-71: The End of an Era

    Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
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    The British Empire
    The End of an Era (1970-71)

    "Who can turn the world on with her smile?
    Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
    Well it's you, girl, and you should know it,
    With each glance and every little movement you show it.
    Love is all around, no need to waste it,
    You can have the town, why don't you take it?
    You're gonna make it after all.
    You're gonna make it after all!"


    - "Love is All Around", aka the Theme from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", written and performed by Sonny Curtis, 1970 [1]

    The 1970-71 season was, in all respects, one of transition. It was the first full season in which a fourth network, PBS, joined the Big Three on the airwaves; it was the first in which the two prevailing genres of the early 1970s – far-beyond-the-stars science fiction and down-to-earth situation comedy – made themselves apparent on broadcasting schedules; it was the last season in which the primetime schedule began at 7:30, and, partly as a result, the last season for a larger proportion of shows than ever before in broadcast history.


    Desilu Productions, for their part, were producing four series during this season, returning to an output level last achieved in 1967-68. However, they would only maintain it for this one season, just as they had before, because it would mark the finale of Star Trek, one of their most successful series. The rookie show on the Desilu lot, "Night Gallery", was able to take full advantage of the elaborate sets built for the other three shows, keeping overall costs down and providing some interesting settings for showrunner Rod Serling. In terms of ratings, all three of the studio's returning shows remained in the Top 30, though only "Mannix" saw ratings improve from the previous season. Lucille Ball, always one to give credit where credit was due, decided to reward the man she felt was most responsible for Desilu's success: Herbert F. Solow, the Vice-President in Charge of Production since 1965. He was promoted to Senior Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer [2], effective as of the end of the production season, so as not to interfere with his ongoing commitments.

    Meanwhile, across the lot, and just next door, Paramount Television was facing a rougher, more uneven road to success, much to the chagrin of Charles Bludhorn. However grateful he had been at the time to evade the exorbitant operating costs that came with buying Desilu, he had since spent a great deal of time lamenting his inability to convince Ball to sell her studio. "The House that Paladin Built" had become the toast of the town; Paramount's struggles, on the other hand, had become the subject of derision throughout Hollywood. He had little choice but to stay the course, hoping that what he had already set into motion would eventually yield good returns. And indeed, this season, Paramount Television finally found itself with a genuine success story: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", a hip and relevant star vehicle for Division President Grant Tinker’s eponymous wife, cracked the Top 30, in a first for the studio.

    "Mary Tyler Moore" was a landmark sitcom, which emphasized appealing, believable characters placed into a realistic setting and dealing with relevant situations. Most importantly, a new emphasis was placed on supporting the strong cast with intelligent, naturalistic, and consistent writing, rather than relying on the actors to carry the show in spite of the sub-par writing; a paradigm which had dominated sitcoms of the previous decade (with a few exceptions). It also deliberately avoided escapism, attempting to depict a close facsimile of the lives of their ideal viewers:
    relatively young, living in urban markets, and receptive to the societal changes taking place in this era. On all these fronts, it was remarkably successful; though like most pioneers, it would later seem cautious, even quaint, in its ambitions.

    Among the other new programs on the air was "Monday Night Football", which aired on ABC. Certainly, the risk of ceding prime airtime to a sporting event on a regular basis was a calculated one that only that network – still the lowest-rated of the Big Three – was willing to make. There was definite upside to such a risk, however; football had already superseded baseball as the most popular spectator sport in the United States, and regular television broadcasts the pet project of National Football League commissioner, Pete Rozelle – were seen as the logical next step to challenge the supremacy of the National Pastime. Certainly those sporadic broadcasts of the late 1960s had been largely successful [3], in particular the annual championship game, known as the Super Bowl. And as for "Monday Night Football", it became an instant hit, particularly the dedicated colour commentary provided by an especially colourful individual named Howard Cosell.

    PBS, in their first full season on the air, inherited several of the programs produced by NET, including "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and "Sesame Street", both of which would become mainstays, and receive credit for helping to raise generations of children across the country. Their modus operandi was providing educational and informational programming to American audiences. As was the case for most public broadcasters [4], they were commercial-free. Government funding subsidized some of their exploits, but they became famous for their pledge drives, during which they would interrupt on-air programming with telethons where they would attempt to raise money for their continued operations. Each network affiliate would generally conduct pledge drives independently, as PBS was far more decentralized than the three privately-owned networks were, with programming generally funded and produced by individual affiliates. [5] Naturally, this resulted in shows that were especially sensitive to the interests of local communities.

    With regards to ratings for the networks, CBS had 13 shows in the Top 30, down one from the previous year; NBC had 11, up one. ABC was level, with only six shows in the Top 30. However, the Top 10 was far more evenly distributed; CBS and NBC had three shows each, and ABC led them both with four. One of those four was "Marcus Welby, M.D.", the #1 most-watched show on television. This marked the first time in broadcast history that the #1 show was on the Alphabet network. Monday was again the most-watched night of the week, with eight of the Top 30 shows, though none of the Top 10. Other widely-viewed nights were Thursday and Saturday, with five Top 30 hits apiece. Tuesday was a phenomenal night for ABC, with all three of the shows it aired that night in the Top 10, but it was a quiet night for the other networks. Finally, Friday had a Top 30 hit for the first time in three years, with "The Partridge Family".

    At the Emmy Awards taking place that May, Star Trek won Outstanding Dramatic Series for the third and final time, with Leonard Nimoy also winning a third trophy for Supporting Actor. For the fifth consecutive time, Barbara Bain won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Dramatic Series, a record for the category that still stands today. [6] Bain finally removed her name from consideration for the role shortly thereafter. On the Comedy side of the ledger, the Series award went – for the second year in a row – to a low-rated but critically-acclaimed series; this time it was the CBS program, Those Were the Days [7], which also won Lead Actress for Jean Stapleton.

    And then, only a few weeks later, to close out the season, came the biggest television event in broadcast history to date

    ---

    [1] IOTL, the lyrics for the first season's theme were somewhat more tentative, more cautious, before they were reworked in the second season to the more familiar lyrics written above. ITTL, given this more optimistic society, these lyrics are used from the outset.

    [2] Solow was, for all intents and purposes, already the #2 guy at Desilu – this promotion rewards his years of faithful service, gives him a big, fat raise, moves him to a nicer office, and of course, removes him from directly supervising the production of four series at once.

    [3] Note that by far the most notorious NFL broadcast of this era IOTL, known as the "Heidi Game", has been butterflied away ITTL.

    [4] Other examples include the BBC, and the ABC in Australia. A curious exception to this rule is the CBC in Canada, which has always been a commercial network - not that it's prevented them from running into financial trouble on a near-constant basis.

    [5] For example, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was produced by WQED, the Pittsburgh affiliate of PBS. More ambitious (read: expensive) productions were often co-produced by two or more affiliates.

    [6] The most Emmy wins by any actress in this category for a single role IOTL was 4, by Tyne Daly for "Cagney and Lacey". Michael Learned also won 4 Emmys in this category, for two separate roles (three for "The Waltons" and one for "Nurse").


    [7] The series was known IOTL as All in the Family; Those Were the Days was a working title. The Emmy category for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series was not introduced IOTL until 1974; the inaugural winner was Alan Alda for "M*A*S*H", which will not exist ITTL.

    ---

    Welcome to the 1970-71 season, which is going to involve some long and hard goodbyes. It's out with the old, and in with the new!
     
  5. Unknown Member

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    Brainbin, I'm sure there will be a Heidi Game equivalent in this TL.

    Good update, though.
     
  6. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Pennsylvania
    I don't want to sidetrack this excellent timeline with a debate about the merits of various shows and actors of the 1970s and 1980s, but I will make some counter-comments because I do think that Brainbin would benefit from some diversity of views.

    I loved watching Battlestar Galactica as a child, and have rewatched it fondly in recent months (I've been rewatching a lot of old shows with my children, now). I did think the acting on the show by and large was strong, especially in the first episodes. The opening show (made into a movie) included some very moving scenes and really made you believe these people were fleeing for their lives, leaving behind many dead loved ones. Lorne Greene was, in my opinion, outstanding at portraying a real leader that I could imagine people following out of the ashes. I have always thought the world of Jane Seymour, and her character in this show was also a great role. Apollo I did find a little forced (Hatch later proved his acting chops to me in the reimagined BSG as Zarik), but Starbuck (yes, the name is discordant in this show) was played with zest by Benedict as a philandering ladies-man flyboy (and yes, he played a character with much the same temperment in the A-team, but I even enjoyed Face in that, though it doesn't say much about his range as an actor either way). I also found John Colicos' Baltar one of the most deliciously despicable characters ever (and actually appreciated his high drudgeon performances even more on rewatching recently). Terry Carter (and Herb Jefferson Jr.!) were the first African American men that I can ever remember seeing in positions of authority in an American television series (or movie for that matter), and they were so as a matter of course, and their performances were strong in their roles in my opinion. I found the whole concept behind BSG fascinating and original for the times. I do agree that the writing was uneven with some episodes really being groaners and others quite good. The fact that the show was alien lite was okay in my opinion since they were trying to find refuge with other humans and thus were following a human blazed trail, not trying to seek out new life and civilizations (though I would point out that there were a few alien species in the series).

    What I want to say here is that the original BSG had a lot to recommend itself, and for one who watched it when it first came out, it was great and fired the imagination, and still is a show I consider a classic for my own children to know.

    I also have some differing opinions (not all, just some) on the Superman and the Batman movies you mentioned, but I don't know that they are as relevant as I see those projects as likely further in the future of this timeline and also likely to be realized in a different fashion.
     
  7. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

    Joined:
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    As I understood it, that had less to do with society & more with the producers not being sure the show would get picked up.:rolleyes: When it was...;)

    You're entirely right about "MTM". I remember it being pretty daring when it debuted, but looking back, it's "Waltons"-level tame. Mary is so damn nice. ("I hate nice!":p {And I only remember that because it was a clip from one of the TV retrospetives PBS did.:eek:})
    Can I also conclude NASCAR coverage will be better, & the Daytona 500 won't suffer a similar fate?:cool: (I recall it happening, a cutaway to "The Sound of Music" IIRC,:eek: but damned if I can track down what year it was...:mad:)
    More like infamous.:eek::p
    Presuming this is still taken from "Til Death...", can you butterfly the wiping:eek: of its videdotape archive?
    Because, as I presume you know, CBC doesn't run entirely on ad income, but depends rather heavily (as it has from Day One) on a fed subsidy. Which raises the obvious question of why it then also has ads...:confused: Of course, CBC in early days broadcast "enlightening" programming like opera which you couldn't pay people to watch.:rolleyes: (They did figure out, long before ABC-TV, to set aside one night for sports.:p)
    I did not know that. Thx.

    Nor I, especially, except to say why I thought as I did. Maybe a matter of taste, & maybe it was the writing more than the performances, but I found them stiff & forced, with a really good idea burdened by inadequate scripts. I don't mean to say Greene or Carter or Colicos in particular were untalented, just bad in these roles. Colicos I found over the top, tho in a later generation, he'd have made a decent choice as Garak, if a bit old. Carter's character seemed fawning, to me (& seeing clips of it recently, I still think so). (Am I right this is the same Terry Carter of "McCloud"? I rather liked him in that... Still a bit "token black", tho.:rolleyes: {It took "Tenafly" to ovecome that, for me.}) How much was just bad writing, I can't say. (BTW, a passing reference to why he's named Starbuck, or even uses callsign Starbuck {which makes as much sense}, would have cured that problem in a second. Again, fix it in the typewriter.:rolleyes:)

    Neither do I mean to say there should, necessarily, have been more aliens in "Galactica", tho if these were human "tribes", a better eplanation of how they were so more advanced than we would have been appreciated. (I had the same problem with the "Ancients" nonsense in "SG-1" & "SGA", but they made less an issue of it, since the Ancients had disappeared.) Something as simple as changing the destination to a semi-mythical world that wasn't Earth would have cured my biggest conceputal problem with it. (A variety of "future history" where they'd all originated from Earth in a distant past, & where Earth had become mythical, sounds good on its face, but as Norman Spinrad once pointed out, destroying enough records to make that credible stopped being possible generations ago.:rolleyes: And they're still left with the damn silly space battles & weak scripting...)
    I'd suggest, if they do nothing more than spark Brainbin's thinking, they're worth airing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  8. Falkenburg CMII & Bar Monthly Donor

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    I'd like to second that thought.

    As intriguing as I'm finding Brainbins' excellent TL, the conversation taking place around the Posts is illuminating and engaging.

    Is it a TV Trope, I wonder, if I just mention Muppets for the hell of it?

    As you can see, Glen, there are those determined to drag the tone of that conversation down. ;)

    Falkenburg
     
  9. anon_user anonymous member

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    Mary Tyler Moore! Monday Night Football! And That Wacky Redhead! :)
    ***
    Incidentally, is the Spassky-Fischer chess tournament in Reykjavik going to be successfully pulled off? It nearly failed to happen in OTL.
     
  10. Chipperback Catherverse 2020: Endgame

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    Hartford, Connecticut UCNE/Omaha, Nebraska GPUR
    Why does the Heidi Game get butterflied away? Is it matter that network policy changes differing from how its developed in the OTL?

    And while we are broaching on sports just a little bit. Can we assume that the NFL-AFL merger pretty much went as OTL? Although I could see a wrinkle here and there based on the different climate being fostered within the networks.

    Also with that in mind, I wonder were Roone Arledge would be in this timeline. :)
     
  11. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    Another day, another dollar. And by dollar, I mean another set of responses!

    Gene Roddenberry's career is going to be very different from the one we remember IOTL.

    Another fine suggestion. Duly noted.

    I've never actually seen "Battlestar Galactica", given that (unlike many of my readers, apparently) I was not yet alive during its original run, and I haven't actively sought out reruns. So I can't comment here, though obviously many of you have strong opinions on the matter.

    Now that is a surprise. I've never encountered anyone describing Christopher Reeve as sub-par in either role (or, more famously, his ability to differentiate between them). And that includes myself. Whenever I think of Superman, I think of his performance.

    Hackman was a lot of fun in the part, and he certainly put in a lot more effort than Marlon Brando did :rolleyes: But I never actually bought him as a legitimate threat. Even in the climax of the first movie, he almost won more because Superman wasn't being very smart than because of any inherent ability on his part. And in Superman II, he was full-on comic relief, though he was very funny. I don't doubt that Hackman could play a truly menacing Luthor, of course, were he given the chance.

    And interestingly enough, this is far from a consensus opinion. With his Batman, the one thing that always takes me out of it is the "Bat-voice". He's trying way too hard. And he always uses it, too, even when he doesn't have to be threatening! Now you might concede that the voice is a little much, but everything else about the performance - NO. Stop right there. It doesn't matter. The voice overshadows everything else, by its very nature. And Batman can put on a voice and still be effective - Keaton did, along with Kevin Conroy in the animated series. But Bale's voice just does not work. Likewise, Bale seems to be trying way too hard as Bruce Wayne. Yes, I know, that's the idea, so that nobody suspects him - I know. But his whole performance just strikes me as incredibly insecure.

    Ah yes, George "The Facts of Life" Clooney. Forgive me if I don't throw myself at his feet in adulation :rolleyes:

    I don't know; I liked the quiet, unassuming take he had on the character. Bruce Wayne shouldn't be flamboyant; that's what Batman is. But I definitely think he was the best Batman. Now there is someone who is completely intimidating without trying at all.

    Well, he had big elfin shoes to fill, because we all know who the best Robin was. "Holy alter ego, Batman!"

    What definition are we using here? Shows you actually watched first-run? Shows you fell in love with after discovering them on DVD or in syndication? And how far back do you want me to guess? There are shows from as early as the 1950s on there... :eek:

    I have. Hipster cred. It was the classic example of the show that went around announcing how much smarter than everything else it was, and made everyone feel incredibly insecure; naturally, they then watched it to feel smarter (See also: "Frasier"). In all seriousness: Demographics. It had the most desirable audience on television; which is to say, the wealthiest audience.

    This is something about TV in general. It's an extremely restrictive medium. Every aspect of production, from conception to delivery, always has to be just so; it's a testament to the creative people working in the industry that they've been able to transcend all these limitations so successfully. "When television is good, nothing is better", so the saying goes; and by golly, I think it's true.

    You're of the opinion that such a fiasco was inevitable? Maybe. But let's note that: a) the network already scheduled loads of extra time for the game, and b) the game just happened to have an exciting, come-from-behind last-minute finish, after having run overlong, a combination which is extremely rare. What if the game runs really long, and the network cuts away, but nothing happens? Suddenly the NFL has a lot less leverage. But maybe, just maybe, it might encourage them to speed up their games a little?

    Thank you :) Glad you're still reading. I do value everyone's comments. Especially when they're relevant to the timeline ;)

    By all means, Glen! I'll certainly chime in myself on those actors and shows that I've seen. And I do appreciate having a wide range of opinions on what I've not seen, because that's what pop culture is, really: how people feel about what they see and hear.

    I actually would like to hear your thoughts on this matter. I've certainly shared mine. Especially if there's disagreement :D

    Who's to say that the more optimistic society of TTL won't rub off on the producers? ;)

    And yet this incredibly passive, mild-mannered woman was once famously described as such:

    LOU: You know what? You got spunk.
    MARY: Well, you...
    LOU: I hate spunk!

    I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the incident, and tentative research hasn't given me any leads. Could you link me to some information?

    I can't really answer that question without relating more about its American spinoff, and I'll be devoting an entire update to its development. So I'm afraid you'll have to sit on that question for a while. Sorry.

    The CBC, of course, also shot themselves in the foot with their incredibly boneheaded decision to stop broadcasting American programs.

    Why does it not surprise me that you're a bartender by trade, Falkenburg? :rolleyes:

    Look what you did, Glen! I really need to contact a moderator and have him put a stop to all this! :p

    What a combination! And now I've mentioned four out of five of the shows on your original list :)

    That's an excellent question. Doing some preliminary research into this topic has yielded some interesting results, which are worth elaborating on in some detail later on. So thanks for the idea!

    The Heidi Game was butterflied away for the simple reason that it happened IOTL on November 17, 1968 - that's almost two weeks after Humphrey won the election ITTL. By then, the butterflies are in full force. (The Jets beat the Raiders 28-22, and they finished the game with time to spare.) As of 1971 ITTL, the situation hasn't really come up yet. Is it a ticking time bomb for the future? Maybe.

    All the wheels for the merger were apparently set in motion before the butterflies could affect it, so assume that everything went as IOTL.

    I'll have to see what role I can find for Arledge in the years ahead.

    Thanks again to all of you for your continued input. Feel free to continue discussing the pop culture product of this era. I'll read along :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2011
  12. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

    Joined:
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    Pennsylvania
    Yeah - I personally would recommend that you see "Saga of a Star World (the pilot, basically) and Parts I & II of "Lost Planet of the Gods" as these really tell you the basics you would need to know to write a convincing alternate BSG for this timeline (and to guage it's impact on other SF series). Extra credit if you watch Part I & II of "The Living Legend". Of course, you may choose to write blindly, but that's my recommendation.

    I think Christopher Reeve was excellent in the role and the quintessential Superman for the 70s (now then, having said that, I didn't particularly care for the convential 1970s leading man style). I have to say, his real life drama retrospectively outstrips and makes greater his performance in this role. His first Superman movie was well done, and I actually liked better the second one (but who wouldn't love a movie with the line "Kneel before Zod!"
    [​IMG]

    Now then, having said all that nice stuff about Reeve, for me, the real Superman/Clark Kent was portrayed by George Reeves (and no, I am not old enough to have watched these when broadcast, silly silly people - unless of course you believe that vicious internet rumor that I am actually eldest of the immortals - sheer poppycock, I say!).

    The other supermen mentioned were good in their way, but I'd place Reeves then Reeve above them, personally.

    I agree with you there on Hackman playing it up for comedy, though sometimes dark comedy. Here I do in fact like the Lex from Smallville the best, even if he is quite different from the comic book Lex. Probably the closest portrayal of Lex Luthor to the comic books would be Kevin Spacey in Return of Superman, but even that one was a bit off - I guess what I am saying here is that we have yet to see realized a true rendering of the Lex Luthor character from the comic books to the screen, in my opinion. Maybe that will be different in your timeline - I have to say, Telly Savalas would just be too awesome as Lex (maybe typecasting because of the bald thing, but he just knows how to carry it off SOOOO well, and I could see him exuding menace if he were inspired - seemed to do well as Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service).
    [​IMG]

    My God Yes! I can't stand that voice!! I have to try very, very hard to forget it so I can enjoy the rest of the movie(s). I actually really love the Batman movies that Bale is in - except for Bale himself! Everyone and everything else is superb in them, except the man playing the bat!! He's not half-bad as Bruce Wayne, but his Batman is just like fingernails scraping against chalkboards (a sound my children may only know from cartoons and old movies, apparently).

    Agreed! Actually, the Kevin Conroy Batman may be the best of them all (yes, it's a cartoon, but he's just so good in the role, both of Bats and Wayne, especially old Wayne in Batman Beyond! For that matter, Tim Daly is really good as Superman (less so Kent) in the cartoons).

    I'm less harsh on his Bruce Wayne - they took it in a different direction, but it's not disingenuous to me.

    So bad, so painful, make it go away....

    I remember when I heard that they had cast Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne - I thought they had gone nuts! It just didn't make sense to me. But he did it, and he did it so well, I agree! His Batman really was intimidating, and he really didn't sound like the same person (while still sounding like a person, hello!) when being Batman versus being Bruce Wayne. Yet again another take on Bruce Wayne, but a great performance. After I saw the movie, I then thought about it and remembered that Michael Keaton is very good at playing crazy characters - and somehow it all made sense in retrospect.

    So...I would actually say my favorite Batman performance might in fact be Michael Keaton's, with my favorite Bruce Wayne performance actually going to Kevin Conroy!

    For me, the less said about Robin, the better. Granted, they do a decent job with the character on the cartoon Teen Titans, but other than that? Not really for me.

    I can see the hipster thing, but actually I watched "West Wing" for the dialogue - that kind of whip-snap banter/ripartee was just incredible to watch and I hadn't seen it since the Golden Age of Hollywood, certainly not done that well. I started watching Sportsnight hoping for the same (didn't really gel as well, though).

    Frasier I wasn't as addicted to, but I really enjoyed it, especially when they started ramping up the romance between Niles and Daphne - really, I watched it for those two characters, they were great!

    Yeah, I can that with those shows.

    Yeah, I think people perhaps expect too much of television sometimes - let go and enjoy your suspension of disbelief. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to transport you someplace!

    Argh, it's the Tentacle Porn thread all over again!:eek:
     
  13. anon_user anonymous member

    Joined:
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    Woo! Just one more to go now... :)

    It was sparked by watching "Bobby Fischer Against the World" - which was a pretty good documentary. Worth watching, if you get the chance.

    Looking forward to this.
     
  14. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

    Joined:
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    You already indicated that Gene Roddenbury's career would take a different course, and of course I will trust to you what way that will go. However, I do wonder if we might actually see The Questor Tapes made as a series ITTL. It had both Roddenbury and Coon involved in it, so it might still be a possibility. If it doesn't get made, maybe it's star, Robert Foxworth, gets a role in that Caves of Steel series we talked about - playing another sci-fi robot....
     
  15. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
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    Charlie Townsend's guest house
    For me, it wasn't "Turn it off, it's too awful", it was a regret it wasn't a lot better, because there was quite a bit of good there that got wasted.
    I found his Clark too big a dork (more than he needed to be IMO), & his Supes didn't have the presence IMO. Also, & one reason I liked the "L&C" approach better, there was more humor. (I also felt Teri's Lois was less...in awe, which I liked.) I got the sense from "L&C" there was a bit of tongue in cheek, very subtly, & it worked for me, while Chris took it very seriously indeed & ended up looking silly. (Nor am I surprised being in the minority.:rolleyes:)
    IMO that's a flaw of the script, not the portrayal. He took what he had & made me, at least, believe he really was as deranged as he was made out, & entirely serious about what he was doing. Yes, the plan was flaky:rolleyes: (supervillain plan, what do you expect?:p), but he sold it well IMO. With better material...?
    IDK, it seemed to me that was why it worked: it's Bruce that's the mask, not Bats, after all. If this was intended to be early in his career, the separation between the two would be smaller; he'd get better at hiding under the mask of Bruce Wayne as time went on. Nor, again, am I surprised being a minority.
    You are one of the few I know of who would remember that.:)
    I liked Keaton's Bats a lot, but his Bruce was too weak. I never believed him as the consummate playboy millionaire. Clooney, yes. Even Robert Downey, surprisingly enough (after "Iron Man", & who wouldn't actually make a terrible Bats, either, judging by "Sherlock Holmes"). Not Keaton. That said, tho, his Bats was excellent. The problem I have is, he had to do both well, & undermining Bruce also undermines his Bats.

    Bale, IMO, had them both in a way neither Clooney nor Keaton did.
    Please.:rolleyes: I was treating it on its own... That, again, may've been a flaw in scripting. I suppose I'm of the view really good actors can make even bad scripting credible, & the number of those is pretty damn small.:eek:
    :) First-run. AFAIK, none on the list were ones I've seen anywhere else.
    Oh, that I knew.;) I meant how it survived the curse of my liking it from the very first episode.:p And seeing them all.:eek: (No other show I can think of managed it.:eek: Except "NYPD Blue", & I explained that.:p)
    It sure is.:cool: Watch good shows, shows you used to really like, in syndication after it's been awhile. You know what to expect. A lot of the "good" wears off because there isn't the "newness", & I bet it surprises you how few really good episodes there were. Those are the ones that will still stand out. (I think of "Magnum", which I did like for all it's problems: I will never forget "Did You See the Sunrise?":cool::cool: And that's really on the strength of the ending.) And when it's a show that's hitting on all cylinders, every episode will be like that, ones you'd watch in repeats in preference to almost anything new. "West Wing" does that for me. Offhand, I can't think of another show that does.
    Since they aren't working for your titular Redhead, I'd say not.:p Too many turnips in suits in the biz.:p
    That, I daresay, is the correct quote...:eek::eek:
    I looked for a link, & couldn't find one, either.:eek::eek: Faulty memory may be at play here, too, so... It would have to be in the period around 1980, & it was the Daytona 500 IIRC, but beyond that, I can't offer any help. A mention that networks decide not to cut away, or generally allow more time for live events, would solve it.
    No apology necessary. More a request than a question.;) I await eagerly.:)
    This surprises me not one bit. Without looking into it, I suspect it was a condition of getting more federal $$. I've a sense CBC would've locked U.S. programming out of Canada entirely, if they could've figured out how.:rolleyes:
    I do, too, actually. He's the most credible IMO, & you see how he would have become the comics' Lex. (How much of the difference in "Smallville" was a retcon from the familiar continuity IDK.)
    That is a very interesting choice.:cool: Never thought of him...:eek:
    I have to confess ignorance, there. I'll have to give that a look.
    Agreed. His Bats was about as good as it gets. As said, tho, he had to be both....
    Agreed. Going back to the creation of the character.:rolleyes: They completely changed Bats into a more kid-friendly guy. (About doubled their sales, so...:rolleyes:) And helped produce a plague of kid sidekicks.:rolleyes:
    Smart dialog, & actual ideas.:eek::cool::cool: And humor. And great casting.:cool: And some fancy camera work. (The trademark master shot in every episode...:cool:) Is it any wonder it worked so well? What stuns me is, the network let it,:eek::cool::cool: instead of finding some way of turning it into a parody of itself.:rolleyes: When has that happened, before or since?:rolleyes:
    IMO, that's the difference between "good TV" & "great TV". The mediocre stuff you'll watch & wish it was better (because it shows signs it could be), the good stuff you'll watch & love, & the great stuff you'll wonder how it ever got on & how it stays on & how nobody managed to screw it up.:rolleyes:
    That could be really good, if done the way Gene intended. (The suits wanted "The Questor Fugitive"...:rolleyes:) I do have a sense, from vague recollection of the concept (it's been years since I saw it), something like "The Fugitive" (or "Route 66") is inevitable, if he's on a search for origin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  16. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    Hoing season 5 of Stark Trek is posted soon as that's what I'm watching this thread for, though I'll likely be back some (so much conversationn here, too!) but I wanted to chime in with something.

    One reason I liked that awestruck Lois Lane is something that I probably couldn't name as easily right away, but which I noticed and discussed often with friends during the other ST series. There was the opposite of awe on some of those shows.

    Now, granted, they can probably program computers to simulate all sorts of amazing things, and growing up with computers and such now, just like growing up with alien cultures all around in the ST universe, does tend to make you less amazed by things.

    But, there sometimes doesn't seem to be the sense of awe with anything in the ST universe. I mean, it's like4, "Oh, well, we just travelled through time, no big deal," or, "Just another strange creature." Now, granted, keeping a straight face helps to sell it, but not all humans are going to be so used to thigns that they just act like it's no big deal.

    So, I think Lois Lane, for the first time, seeing Superman is very appropriately in awe. Should it wear off over time? Yeah, that I can see. But, there still should be some amazement at the fact a man can fly, etc. Something skin to the famous play-by-play call from then-40year veteran Vin Scully, "I can't believe what I just saw", if only for a moment. And for someone like Lois Lane, for a while longer. (Kirk Gibson's home run in '88 whenh e could hardly walk is a lot different than a man flying, after all. Though maybe not to some Dodger fans.:D)
     
  17. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Location:
    The British Empire
    So much time and so little to say! Wait a minute... strike that, reverse it.

    If I have the chance, I'll see if I can take a look at the episodes in question, though I certainly can't promise anything.

    I'm not sure I've ever seen his work as Superman - except for that one episode of "I Love Lucy". Though I haven't even seen that in ages.

    Assuming all else goes as IOTL, there is another consideration to casting Savalas in the role. Four words: "Who loves ya, baby?"

    I think it's unfair to compare Conroy directly to the live-action Batmen, because the medium gives him advantages that all of the others lack (he doesn't have a sub-par physique, and his costume doesn't look ridiculous). But he does vocally differentiate between Batman and Bruce Wayne, without either character sounding ridiculous. Comparing him to other voice actors in the role, there's no contest.

    I'm not as familiar with the Superman animated series. I remember being unimpressed with the show in general. It seemed to me that everyone just felt obliged to do a Superman cartoon, because he's Superman; whereas they really poured their heart and soul into Batman.

    But Glen! He's the greatest living actor, didn't you know that? :rolleyes: (Yeah, not a fan. Never have been. At all.)

    I understand the reaction to Michael Keaton being cast in the role was quite vitriolic. Unfortunately, though I was actually alive by this point, I was too young to remember it personally. I've heard it's because he was Mr. Mom, but frankly, I think Beetlejuice should have silenced all comers. He really is a very talented, versatile actor - a shame he doesn't get any more work.

    Again, I think directly comparing Conroy to the others is unfair. In my heart of hearts, he is both the best Batman and the best Bruce Wayne; but in live-action I would definitely give them both to Keaton. That is, assuming we go by the traditional rule of not "counting" Adam West. I know it's verboten, but he was the funniest Batman without a doubt, and probably the most fun to watch.

    Robin only fits with the lighter interpretations of Batman - the darker, moodier interpretations that have prevailed in the last quarter-century really don't leave any room for him. I was actually very serious when I implied that Burt Ward was the best Robin.

    I have to admit, I haven't really seen the series. I was too young during its first-run to really appreciate it, and I have no real interest in starting now. And, for the most part, I don't like the cast, and I certainly don't like the showrunner.

    The actors were good - and the chemistry between David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves was excellent. I would have appreciated the show a lot more if every episode weren't either a "Three's Company"-style misunderstanding, or a "the best laid plans..." plot.

    And that is the magic of television :)

    You'll have to wait a few seasons before we hear about your last show, but I'm sure I'll find room for discussion :)

    Thanks for the advice. I'll file it away in my "To Watch" drawer.

    If you have any input or thoughts on the trajectory of his career, I would love to hear them!

    Believe me, I'm already aware of it - how could I not be, with two of the "Big Five" involved? - so we'll see how things develop there.

    It seems to me that you dislike the approach of Superman director Richard Donner - "verisimilitude". He was the one who insisted that everyone take everything seriously, lest Superman slide into the Camp that made fanboys so loathe the "Batman" series with every fibre of their being. This "tongue-in-cheek" storytelling paradigm that seems to have caught on since the 1990s (the decade of self-awareness and everything having to be "ironic" - I blame the hipsters) does have its uses, but it also has weaknesses. I, for one, like sincerity.

    I agree, Hackman was better than the material he was given, which I did concede in my criticism of his performance :)

    I like how you completely sidestep the issue of his "Bat-voice". Admit it; it doesn't work, and undermines his portrayal :p

    It's my ammunition against his inexplicable legions of adoring sycophants ;)

    I think I disagree with every part of that sentence :D But we'll have to agree to disagree, obviously.

    All right, let's name some of the perennial candidates: "Police Squad!", "Freaks and Geeks", "Keen Eddie", "Farscape", and "Firefly".

    You mean Wacky Redhead. :mad: You mustn't forget! Otherwise, you could be talking about anyone! :p

    ;)

    "The eyes and ears of Canadians belong to one channel — and that’s the CBC."

    - Peter Mansbridge, May 24, 2001

    I strongly recommend it. I've never found anything that feels more like Batman to me - that this is what Batman is all about.

    Well, it depends on which studio he approaches. Surely there's one out there that would give him a chance? :D

    The production appendix for Season 5 of Star Trek - which will include discussion of the epic two-part series finale - is scheduled to be the next update. Though that won't be the end for Star Trek, not by a long shot!

    Like I said earlier. The 1990s were a decade of irony, self-awareness, and a too-cool-for-school attitude. Look at the defining sitcom of that era: "Seinfeld". Why should Hatcher's Lois Lane be impressed by Superman? That would involve caring about something, seeming vulnerable. I think that's one reason people are so nostalgic for the 1980s. Back then it was okay, nay, encouraged to really put yourself out there. Nowadays, you have to wink at the audience, call attention to how "hip" and "ironic" you are. It can get a little tiring.

    The next update should be ready on or before New Year's Day, to ring in 2012!
     
  18. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    10 miles north of 10 miles south
    One thing I forgot to mention in regard to suspension of disbelief...

    Who says that we have to know everything. Other media also leave thigns unanswered. True, books can tell us more becuase they have more time, but not everyone is Charles Dickens painstakingly telling us what color everything is and where it is in the room.

    I mean, sure, there is more of a need for suspension of disbelief with some things, like Star Trek's transporters, and inconsistency in that can be a little annoying. When Voyager was on the joke I remember hearing was that Voyager was canon to Star Trek in general, but not to itself.:D The same could have been said for Space: 1999 in the '70s, from what little I recall thei played very loose with time and distances.

    But, people do tend forget that in a typical sitcom, drama, or whtever, we see less than 1/2 of 1% of their lives each week!:eek: (1/336 for a half hour show, 1/168 for an hour long one, not counting commercials.) Even of their waking moments, there are 8766 hours a year, take a third of that out for sleep, we have 5-6,000 hours in which to do stuff each year. So with these people we see on TV, we only see very little of their lives.

    What does that mean? It means people can have cars int he shop and need to borrow one, people can have thigns happen that are off screen, between scenes, or whatever.

    I admit it could be a touch of Asperger's Syndrome, but i have always watched TV like Columbo; and a poll I put on sitcomsoline.com once shows I'm not alone. Why would people complain about an inconsistency when 9 times out of 10, there is a logical explanation that would work in everyday life. Sure, some of them have to be more elaborate - take for isntance the very in character bit about Uncle Jesse's faked graduation on "Full House" - but i can usually come up with ideas for those faster than Columbo seems to be able to find out the killer, simply by seeing little patterns.

    Then again, I probably do take it further than some (farther than most with the "Full House" Chronology I helped put together); I vividly remember watching MTM reruns as a child, and one episode ends witha question Murray asks. He's chosen not to cheat on his wife but he does buy a piano from this woman. And, he asks, "How do i explain to my wife I bought a piano while watching 'The Sting'?" And, I rembmer thinking of what the scene might have beena t the end right after that, because somehow, i knew that it wasn't the end, that their lives kept on going between episodes. (Granted, my mom or grandparents might hve *told* me that but I still knew it.)

    So, all that blabbering is to say, I don't know how unique I am, but most of what people complain about is not only inconsequential, but is in fact explainable, if the person is willing to doa little puzle solving.

    (I ran a different poll wondering if the "you can find out anything" Internet age led to more ciomplaining; a number of people voted that it6 did.)
     
  19. phx1138 Bocagiste troll

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
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    Charlie Townsend's guest house
    That is the biggest hurdle to overcome now in positing Savalas in anything...:eek: Even if he really is the right choice.;)
    Agreed. Playing comedy, & doing it well, is harder than most people think.
    I actually liked the idea of a "mature" Robin as more of a peer: a kind of Teen Titans or pre-Nightwing Robin, if you like, for which O'Donnell was well-cast IMO.
    :eek::eek::eek::eek: That leaves me speechless. I count it one of the best shows TV has ever seen.
    I did dislike the film, too, but that's a separate issue. I liked Dean's Clark better because there wasn't the extreme dorkiness. He could keep a masquerade without it. More Peter Parker, you might say. Or Tom Welling.
    I didn't notice it. Or, at least, it never bothered me. No side-stepping involved.;)
    Most of them women?:p
    It appears so. Judging by your views on "West Wing", our chances of agreeing on casting will never coincide.:eek:
    :eek: One right: "Police Squad". (Hint: I've dropped mentions of some of them...) I've never even heard of "Keen Eddie".:eek:
    Oh, no. "Titular" is "in the title". So...;) (As opposed to titular...:p)
    Not judging by the ratings of the nightly newscast...:rolleyes:
    I didn't want to presume.:p (I also wasn't sure how much you knew about the show...;))
    True, & if it really happened, I might be in awe, too, IDK. On first meeting ("Who's got you?!", IIRC), I can see it. After she's seen him at work awhile, a bit less so. (Even allowing Metropolans {?} aren't quite as blasé as Manhattanites.:p {"Yeah, a flyin' guy. Can he fix the sewers?":p})
    There's an argument in favor of the Rick Jones approach, of somebody who, seeing something mind-blowing, reacting with blown mind, as compared to not.

    In the "ST" case, broadly, I think you're underestimating something: these people deal with the peculiar ever single day, & are specially trained & selected to do so. (It's also why I'm troubled by the stories treating peculiarities as potential mental problems: wouldn't they expect alien oddities, first?:confused:) IMO, they shouldn't be weirded out by anything. Indeed, even the "youthened" Picard, frex, shouldn't have been a huge issue, certainly not for Worf or Data: whatever his age, Picard was Captain, & Worf should've followed him, while Data could detect the unchanged voice & retina patterns... For others? Get over it.:rolleyes: (I'm deeply disappointed with the writers they didn't explore that aspect.:mad:)

    For Lois (& that may've been Margot as much as anything), it didn't work for me. (Nor was I a big fan of the adoration in "L&C".:rolleyes:) If the first encounter had been the interview, & not the rescue, awe might have made sense. By that time, tho, in the film, she should have had time to get used to him. And she's supposed to be a top reporter, so dealing with presidents & kings & billionaires (including Lex, IIRC) & movie stars:p should have made her more jaded IMO. Maybe it's the cynic in me. Or the inability to separate out prior knowledge: I really can't get to what a first experience with Supes would be like, 'cause I'm so used to it...;)
    I won't argue she shouldn't be, only how it's done. Actually, I'd have liked it more if it'd been, "I thought you'd be bigger.", & being embarassed for saying it, because what he does & who he is really is so much bigger than life: she's realizing he's more "human" than she thought. Then he'll go do something fantastic, & "that's why he's Superman".
     
  20. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Who's heading Universal's Television division in the early 1970s? Looking at the history of the development of Kojak, it is by no means certain that we see the same chain of events that led to the creation of the character, Kojak - on the other hand, we might.
     
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