I was going to expound on something pretty deep this evening, but I’ve got this headache that’s only beginning to go away with half an hour left before this cafe closes, so I’ll just do a few memes. Deeper thoughts tomorrow, perhaps.
TV Meme from here.
- TV Theme songs. Which is your favorite, and which makes you crazy enough to hit mute on the remote?
Of course it’s the theme from MASH, but less subjectively, I will also name the themes from Cheers, Hill Street Blues, Night Court, Welcome Back, Kotter, and The Greatest American Hero. Okay, yeah. That last one is my real favorite. Least favorite: I love Family Ties and think is the most influential television sitcom on my generation’s sensibilities (baby-boomer parents, late-Cold-War children), but that theme song sucked, especially the “sha-na-na-na” that ended it. Blech.
- The Classics. What is your favorite Classic TV show?
I guess it depends on your definition of classic. My favorite show of all time, as I have said a million times in this space, is MASH, but if that’s not classic enough, I’ll go with the original Twilight Zone. “You’re traveling through another dimension: a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey through a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. There’s the signpost up ahead; your next stop: the Twilight Zone.”
- What character from a Classic TV show would you like to be?
Boy, I’ll tell you who leaps to mind: Rob Petrie of The Dick Van Dyke show. Not because I know more than one thing about the character and not because I’ve ever seen more than a few minutes of any episode of that show, but because that character’s wife, Laura Petrie, was played by a very young Mary Tyler Moore, the sexiest funny woman there ever was. Yes, please.
- Can you remember a line you liked from a Classic TV show?
Well, the opening voice-over from a few different seasons of The Twilight Zone. The one I quote in the second question is from the second season, probably the best one even though I think it’s season six whose opening begins with, “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension…” Which is the coolest phrase the TZ ever used. As for actual lines of dialogue, I’m going with something Paul Lynde supposedly said on Hollywood Squares when asked, “When would you rub your hand on a sheep’s back?” His response: “When a thank you just isn’t enough.” It’s much funnier if you hear it in Paul Lynde’s voice.
- Heroes. What show featuring those who protect your country (fiction or non-fiction) is your favorite?
- TV Cops. Who is your favorite (past or present) TV cop? Which TV cop do you think was the most crooked, or the most inept?
- You need to hire a bodyguard for yourself. Which TV cop do you choose?
Okay, for something like this, you need someone who’s bad*** but since you have to spend all that time with him (or her), you need someone who can be a friend, someone who’ll chat with you and stuff. So I’m going with Seargent Judy Hoffs, played by Holly Robinson on 21 Jump Street. As Arsenio Hall once said of Ms. Robinson: what she ain’t got, you don’t need.
- TV Doctors. Which TV doctor would you choose to remove your appendix? Which TV doctor would you not let touch you with a 10-foot pole?
I know that once we got to know her as Fox Mulder’s partner, Dana Scully on The X-Files wasn’t doing surgery, but I’m sure she could handle a little appendix if she wanted to, and why wouldn’t she want to handle mine? I have tons of sympathy for Dr. Frank Burns on MASH, but I wouldn’t let him operate on me.
- TV Moms. Which TV mom would you have liked to have had for your own? Is there a TV mom you would never want as your own?
Mrs. Cosby first. Mrs. Cunningham second. Mrs. (Jill) Taylor third. Mrs. Partridge fourth. Wasn’t Mrs. Siever a child psychologist? For that reason alone, I wouldn’t want her.
- TV Dads. Which TV Dad would you have most liked to have for your own dad? On the flipside, who was the TV Dad you’d have least liked to have had?
Mr. Cunningham. Remember how he handled Richie’s first episode with drunkenness? That by itself is why you need a dad like Howard Cunningham. I guess Tim the Tool Man Taylor second. For the second question, isn’t it obvious? Who’d want Homer Simpson for a dad?
- Comedies. How do you feel about sitcoms? Good, wholesome fun or saccharine inanity?
The overwhelming majority of them are inane. But that’s true of any television genre. Sitcoms at their best are better than dramas at their best, because comedy at its best is generally better than drama at its best. It’s just true. And when everything is clicking the way it’s supposed to in a great comedy, you don’t even think of it as a comedy. Who really thinks of MASH or Ally McBeal as a sitcom?
- If your life was a sitcom, what would the title be?
By Myself. Which is the title of Lauren Bacall’s first autobiography, so, you know. Double coolness.
- If you went to a comedy club on amateur night, and they gave you some jokes and a microphone, would you go onstage?
Yeah, I’d give it a try. I wish I could learn to do stand-up.
- Reality. Are you a fan of Reality TV? What’s your “can’t miss” reality TV show (or shows), or what reality TV show do you suppose the devil plays on the TV in Hell as punishment?
- If you were given a free ticket to be on any reality show, which one would you choose?
I think I could do okay on The Apprentice, but the one I’d really, really like to be on is Food Network Star.
How can you beat MASH? It’s the reason TV was invented. It’s all been downhill ever since, and I’m not saying that jokingly.
My favorite is without question Barney Miller. That show had an incredible way of being dismal but allowing the tiniest amounts of optimism to shine through. It was Taxi before Taxi was on the air, a kind of aquarium of bizarre human life that seemed to say, “Can you believe this is who we are?” but then still shone that tiny light out from all that darkness. It was a great, great show, and Barney Miller was the ringmaster. Harry Anderson would later assume a very similar role (in a show with a very similar soundtrack) when Night Court came on some years later. In many ways it surpassed Barney Miller, but it also held on too long and by the time it went off the air, it was only a shadow of its amazing original self.
For crooked, I’m going to go with Andy Sipowicz of NYPD Blue who wasn’t really crooked, but certainly walked the line in a way that, for its time, was pretty edgy. For inept, the one who leaps to mind is Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show, but of course he has been surpassed by Eddie, Lou, and Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons. Three of my least-favorite characters from that universe.
The worst are those Bachelor shows; anything that encourages people to bring out the worst in each other, I have no room in my life for. But as I said, no genre of television programming is all bad. Pawn Stars, which I watch every week, is like a little history lesson, and why would anyone have a problem with Antiques Roadshow and other shows of that sort? I’m also a fan of Ice Loves Coco, which is apparently finished. And the early days of Monster Garage and American Chopper were terrific.
Three on Thursday from here.
- What is one thing you would like us to know about you?
Ah man. It’s a new meme so these are getting-to-know-you questions. I’m going to answer them in good faith, but part of me is regretting copying these questions this week. What do I want people to know about me? Maybe that I’m a lot shyer than most people believe.
- What is your favorite color and why?
*sigh* As I’ve said many times in this space (not that it needs saying; pretty much everyone knows this about me right away), my favorite color is black. I have black sheets on my bed. I have a black bathrobe. I used to paper the walls of my classroom black. I don’t know why it’s my favorite, but everything looks great against a black background. Most people look best dressed in black. All the women I’ve been in love with have had black hair. And black is the color of night. Black is awesome.
- Do you follow/believe in Horoscopes? What is your sign?
My sign is Capricorn, but I don’t believe in astrology one iota. I don’t believe in luck, or ghosts, or hexes, or curses, or clairvoyance, or palmistry, or numerology, or haunted places. I do believe in one virgin birth, in a creator, in a trinity, and even in a resurrection. I understand that this makes me horribly inconsistent, but if you knew what I know, you wouldn’t think so. I know what I’ve seen, and I know what I’ve experienced, and that’s good enough for me. If someday I see a ghost, or if someday some clairvoyant can see into my heart and even take up residence there, I could be persuaded to believe. But I haven’t seen those things or experienced them, so I do not believe. Call me Doubting Thomas.
Friday 5. From here.
- Those silly TV programs showcasing supposedly funny videos often feature unexpected blows to someone’s Man Zone (you know, crotch shots). How amusing do you find these videos?
Not really funny at all. I don’t think I’m a snob about it; I just don’t find crotch-shots funny.
- Athletes today often talk about being “in the zone,” attaining that state of mind where everything is both automatic and excellent. When did you last find yourself in the zone?
I’ve met my writing partner a few times (outside our usual meeting time for sharing work) and we just sat and wrote. There were a couple of times last week when I was just flowing, grooving, cruising down the stream of creativity in a canoe called Prose Narrative. Haha. Seriously, I don’t know how excellent the work was, but it was pretty good, and I love it when I get like that. It’s getting to the point where I can summon that, a lesson I think I learned from NaNoWriMo.
- What time zone do you live in, and is there anything especially good or bad about it?
I live in the Hawaii time zone, which doesn’t have daylight savings time, thank you very much. What’s bad about it is that since we’re five or six hours behind the east coast (depending on THEIR daylight savings time), we have to avoid FB and Twitter (and sometimes even just the regular news) to avoid television spoilers.
- An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may result in the production of sexual fantasies or sexual arousal (not to mention orgasm). What typically non-sexual part of your body is an erogenous zone?
I’m guessing that most people would say their neck, and I’d add my voice to that chorus. I once had a girl’s tongue in my ear and that was pretty darn hot. I’m not sure it’s what I’d like on a regular basis, but that one time it was pretty electric. The small of my back is pretty good too.
- Where can you get a really good calzone?
The ones at Boston’s North End are pretty darn good, but they charge you for extra dipping sauce, which is lame. I almost never order a calzone because they’re sold where you get pizza, and who’d rather have a calzone than a slice of pizza? Also, I taught myself how to make a pretty decent calzone a few years ago, using Pillsbury croissant dough.
It’s going to be a tense week at work. I can’t say confidently I will emerge unscathed. Details (as always) later.