My weekly TV column is up at Torontoist.
There’s actually a show called Joe Schmo? Shows you how much attention I pay to television…
And Lorenzo Lamas is still alive?
I read this entry for Connections on Wikipedia. Then I re-read it again. And I reread it a third time before posting it here, because it seems so simply unbelievable given the state of programming on TLC:
Connections is a ten-episode documentary television series created, written and presented by science historian James Burke…It took an interdisciplinary approach to the history of science and invention and demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology…
Years later the success in syndication led to two sequels, Connections² (1994) and Connections³ (1997), both for TLC.
both for TLC.
It boggles the mind.
TLC also ran Burke’s later series, “The Day the Universe Changed”.
At the same time, the US version of the Bravo channel was showing art films, opera, and The South Bank Show, rather than what appears to be several different though nearly identical showcases for roving gangs of professional clothing insulters.
The concept of the People’s Choice Awards confuses me. Movies that are really popular already get a reward for that: it’s called money. What’s some meaningless statue next to that?
William Kendall . . . hells yes. And if you got Time Warner, the second season is “On Demand.” Because it was filmed soon after the original edition, host Ralph Garman had to wear prosthetics and put on a British accent. Also, format twists would come via a falcon named Montecore swooping in and landing on Garman’s arm. It was awesome . . . especially when they showed behind-the-scenes footage of Montecore slamming into a door. Great times.
The first season of “The Joe Schmo Show” was pure awesome in a bottle. It helped that the “schmo” they picked, Matt Kennedy Gould, was pretty much perfectly cast. (And that one of the fake contestants was played by a pre-SNL Kristin Wiig.) The second season wasn’t quite as good, but it was still quite enjoyable. (One of my all-time favourite moments was when the female “schmo” figured out what was going on in a talking head, with the caption under her name changing from “thinks it’s all real” to “probably thinks it’s real” and so on, all the way up to “we’re screwed”. And it did inflict Jonathan Torrens on the American public, a partial payback for that whole “acid rain” business….) So yeah, I’m looking forward to “The Joe Schmo Show” coming back. I’m acutally surprised it took this long to bring it back. (Okay, not that surprised. Casting the schmo must’ve been a bitch.)
Back when TLC was showing Connections and The Day the Universe Changed, it was also showing The Secret Life of Machines. Basically a golden age.
The first episode of Connections has a certain atemporal eeriness today: there’s James Burke, standing in front of the World Trade Center, telling us that about 10 years ago an event occurred in New York that gave everyone a startling reminder of how vulnerable they were…
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