Category Archives: TV

The Secret Sauce of Steven King’s Story Telling

King, of course, is hugely popular as a writer. And yet, as Todd Vanderwerff points out for Vox, this rarel,y translates into great adaptations in film.

Why not? Todd argues thta the adaptations tend to skimp on a key component of King’s stories — the build up of a friendly locality. Audiences need to be lured into liking the setting (a small town, for example) before they will react to a threat to it.

Very interesting point. And a new TV series based on a King sotry, Mr. Mercedes may be getting this right!



TV: Good Neighbors is the Best!

Years ago, I took Good Neighbors for granted. I thought it was funny, but nothing special. Now when I watch it again, I realize how foolish I was. It was indeed a great show! “The Mutiny” is one of my favorite episodes. Jerry (one of the neighbors) gets into a tiff with his boss. Tom (the other neighbor) tries to help out. And in the midst of it all, Jerry’s wife has the lead in the town’s play. enjoy!

Dropping Serious Bucks with Rihanna … and More

No no! The famous party hound and singer has not chosen me as a heart throb. But she has chosen to reveal to the five top hotels where she likes to drop serious dineros.

I am reminded of a great episode from a TV series, years ago, “The Duchess of Duke Street”. The series is loosely — very loosely — based on the life of Rosa Lewis, who ran the legendary Cavendish Hotel from Edwardian times to the second war. BTW, Edwardian London saw the rise of the great hotels. Bertie, the Prince of Wales, loved dining out and fashionable London followed him.  If you want to see more, check out a humorous episode of “Supersizer Me“.

Back to the TV series — in this episode called “The Outsiders”, a man with a rather ordinary background chooses to spend his last days at the luxurious and expensive hotel to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Enjoy!

This, in turn, is a riff on a great 1932 movie: Grand Hotel, starring Greta Garbo and John Barrymore. It is a great period piece!

Remembering Claudius

After Caligula, I suppose that any anyone would look pretty good. But Claudius was in fact a great Caesar. Things did not, however, get off to a bumpy start

In A.D. 41, a cabal of Praetorian Guards—the sworn protectors of the Roman emperor—assassinated Caligula and brutally murdered his wife and child at the imperial palace. As the story goes, upon hearing the commotion, a frightened Claudius ran for his life and took refuge on a balcony. The Praetorians eventually found him cowering behind a curtain, but rather than killing him, they saluted him as Rome’s new emperor. Claudius’ disabilities may have given the impression that he could be easily manipulated, but once in power, he showed himself to be cleverer than previously believed. He deftly avoided a confrontation with the Roman senate, and purchased the loyalty of the Praetorian Guard with a massive 15,000-sesterce per man donative. His ailments appeared to improve after he took the throne, and he later claimed that he had only pretended to be dimwitted to protect himself. Some historians have even argued that he helped plan or was at least aware of the plot on Caligula’s life.

And this story tells us quite a lot about why Rome could not last — folks grew weary of bloody infighting between those who craved power. Check this out in the great series created by Robert Graves, I, Claudius.  Derk Jacobi is brilliant in the lead role.