Thursday, October 29, 2009


Why is it that every "Doc Zone" show that I watch has Ann-Marie MacDonald doing the voice-over? To tell you the truth I am sick to death of hearing her voice; partially because there are a lot of talented actor/voice-over artists in Canada who could use the work.

Typically Canadian... and par-for-the-course at the CBC.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Sorry, dear faithful readers. I did not realize that it has been a week since I last posted anything here.

Okay, what can I throw in for filler?

Hey, I got my scanner back into action... scanned some archival photos. Kicked them into the 'digital world'.

What else?

I knew that that "Balloon Boy" stuff was a load of crap ("rubbish" to you UK readers). As the balloon flew about on my televiewer, and the voice-over described the object's rough dimensions, I was very doubtful that even a little five year-old could be pulled aloft. What struck me even more, after the whole affair was more or less settled, not counting the controversies of course, is how intense the boy's father comes across. Some nasty columnists have labeled the man a "pathetic" being with no life who had to make a mockery of his family to elevate his feeble existence.

Speaking of pathetic, that is the best way to describe the state of affairs in (what exists of) Toronto's film and television business. How do we know this? Check out the job boards and see an awful lot of intern positions offered for what have traditionally been regular paying gigs. The ugly truth is many companies that exist to make third-tier television programs -- the digital channels -- are one step away from bankruptcy.

Why is it that Thursday evenings in downtown Toronto are like Friday evenings? Do people not have to go to work the next day? Do students not have to rise early to make that class?

Speaking of students, I walked through the University of Toronto grounds yesterday and felt a palpable electricity in the air. Academia. It felt like I was part of an opening title sequence to a post-secondary version of the old television series Room 222. I could almost hear that great theme tune playing as I walked down the sidewalk.

How is York University these days? Because it is located at the north end of the city, that school tends to get forgotten, except by those who attend classes or work there. Fine, fine school from what I understand. Winters College, anyone?

Film and television composer Vic Mizzy died a few days ago. That guy knew how to write very sticky theme tunes: Green Acres, The Addams Family, and The Reluctant Astronaut are a few examples.

The Toronto Star newspaper has been running a contest of sorts to find the ultimate Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey team) joke. As they have been playing badly, even worse than usual, the average person has become uber jokester. Some are very funny. My own joke? I came up with this sour little ditty: "How many Leafs does it take to change a light bulb? Don't ask; they can't even change themselves." (A meaner version goes like this: "How many Leafs does it take to screw in a light bulb? None, because they can only screw themselves.")

Friday, October 16, 2009


I admit there are times I just love this woman (Sarah Silverman)...

... in case you have not heard... of the video.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Last Friday I posted about Entertainment Weekly Magazine's top TV SF shows of all time picks (see: EW TOP SF TELEVISION). While I did see the original list, via an annoying 'one page at a time' photo gallery, I admit my look was cursory at best... probably because of the annoying presentation.

A friend sent the complete list to me this morning. This time I had a better look at the document while I slurped my instant coffee and noted the subjectivity of such a thing, although I'm assuming it was compiled/voted by a committee at EW.

Hey, it's all in fun, even though I'm wondering why The Six Million Dollar Man is so low down the pole, and question why Mystery Science Fiction Theater 3000 is even on there. I'm embarrassed to admit that the V listing was in regards to the mini-series, not the regular series; which makes much more sense, and illustrates I did not read properly the first time around. I also did not notice that The Prisoner was on there, and would not have thought about including that brilliant series.

1. The Twilight Zone
2. Star Trek
3. Battlestar Galactica (I'm assuming they mean the redo, not the expensive original)
4. X-Files
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation
6. Lost
7. Firefly
8. Quantum Leap
9. Doctor Who
10. Max Headroom
11. Futurama
12. V: The Miniseries
13. Babylon 5
14. The Outer Limits
15. The Prisoner
16. Alien Nation
17. Mystery Science Theater 3000
18. The Jetsons
19. The Six Million Dollar Man
20. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

(Photo at top: Bigfoot and Steve Austin from The Six Million Dollar Man. I'm not sure if that is "Good" or "Bad" Bigfoot.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I was in Shopper's Drug Mart (a retail corporation here in Canada) today to pick up some things when upon lining up to pay for my goods I could not help but notice a certain product in the POP (point of purchase) rack: The eye-grabber was a Gillette razor that had an AAA Duracell packaged in with the plastic item. Good, this puzzle gave my brain something to do while I waited in line.

"Does the battery make the (5) blades slide back and forth?"

That is all I could think of. It just occurred to me now that maybe there is a light on the front of the razor... so you can see where you are putting it.

A razor with headlights. Makes sense, I guess. After all, they are on the front of some vacuum cleaners.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Is there a backlash against the late pop superstar Michael Jackson?

Check out the poll on today's Globe and Mail website...

... it concerns the release of his 'new' song.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Sun-TV likes to give you the impression that they play "fun" stuff in their schedule.

Well, today that might be the case: At 4pm on 'Sun' is the 1963 Francis Ford Coppola thriller Dementia 13, an effective picture showcasing the director's raw talent... which would take him, ultimately, to great accomplishment.

Filmed as a quickie/cheapie for producer Roger Corman, Dementia 13's success is helped by a game cast (William Campbell, Luana Anders, and the ever reliable Patrick Magee) and atmospheric location filming in Ireland. Corman provided $21,000 to initiate production although he pulled the film out of Coppola's hands after seeing a 'cut', and added a five minute prologue to beef-up the running time. (This prologue has since been dropped for the home-video versions of Dementia.)

Yes, the movie is fun, and well made, although I'm sure the station in question will show the film with minor cuts.

Friday, October 9, 2009


A friend alerted me to a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly Magazine's pick of the top 20 science fiction television shows of all time. We love lists, don't we?

I have my own list, of course, but what is interesting about the rag-mag's pecking order choices is how high some programs are that you would not expect... V is at 12th place? Battlestar Galactica is 3rd? (From the bottom, maybe.)

My order of things would go something like this (if someone threatened to withhold my bags of "Cheesies" from me)...

1. The Outer Limits (1963-65)
2. Star Trek (1966-69)
3. Doctor Who (the first one...s)
4. The Twilight Zone (the original, which is #1 on EW's list even though that series is more fantasy)
5. The Flintstones (the 'Great Gazoo' episodes)


"Reality TV" producer Mark Burnett wants to remake the 1970s/80s series Fantasy Island (starring Ricardo Mantalban and Herve Villechaize) as a reality version.

I have no real opinion since I saw just one episode of the original. What I do remember of that show is its lovely Laurence Rosenthal-penned theme music.

Maybe Burnett will mimic the opening title sequence for his own.


Like many, I awoke this morning to the news that U.S. president Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. On the surface I admit that I too felt the awarding was a little early, but the more I thought about it, I could see why this happened.

Obama is in "the toughest job in the world" simply because he succeeded one of the most corrupt administrations in the world: This is a case of going from a bunch of war criminals to someone who wants co-operation and mutual respect. How far the man can do his job is another question given the mess he inherited... domestically and in foreign affairs.

Perhaps the award was more a message of hope. Besides, having something hanging around your neck such as a peace prize makes you want to succeed even more; and makes many others want to see you succeed.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today I met an old friend of mine for our bi-monthly ritual of food and drink; between gulps we tried to fill each other in on what has been happening in our respective and exciting lives. He told me that he went down to the big 'Fan Expo' at the Toronto Convention Centre this past summer. While I did know about the show, I am not so inclined these days (this time in my life) to be seen with a bunch of weirdos; ie, people dressed as Star Wars stormtroopers or non-descript characters from video games.

My buddy told me a story of how he ended up at the back entrance of the Centre after realizing he was in the wrong building. He saw a group of people standing by the curb as a limo pulled up. Seconds later a couple of burly guys opened the car door and helped an "old guy"get out. My friend recognized it was movie superstar producer Roger Corman, then "fumbled" with his camera to get a shot of the heavily escorted man. Realizing an opportunity was evaporating as his potential photography subject was getting away, my friend, in uncharacteristic fashion ("you did that?"), called out, "Mr. Corman, can you turn around so I can get a picture of you?"

Roger Corman is quite the amiable guy. And a god-like guy to someone like me.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


This morning while I was polishing myself-up for the day I saw an article which headlined as "5 telltale signs you're a Metrosexual".

I read the signs...

"La ba de da."

"Ba Ba dum ba."

"(whistling sound)"

"Hmmm... "

"Yep, I'm a Metrosexual all right."

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Tonight is a special night for some, especially those without cable: The CBC is premiering their NHL coverage for this season; the Toronto Maple Leafs (a team I despise with every Tim Hortons-infused cell in my body) are playing the Montreal Canadiens (my favourite, although I have never smashed shop windows when they win a playoff series).

I have too much to do to be watching anything on television, and, to boot, I mentioned a few postings back that "I hope the NHL dies a horrible death". I must stay consistent.

Can it happen, tonight?

(The joke about the above posting, which was not lost on me as I keyed-in the text, is that Tim Horton was a legendary Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman.)