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by Laurel Krahn
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Word a Day


September 13 - 19
"Sometimes I see photographs of myself, and think, God I really was quite tasty. But I didn't know it at the time." -- Diana Rigg, re her Avengers days

From The Late Show w/ David Letterman (of course): The Top Ten Things That Will Get You Kicked Out of the Emmys. My favorites:

9. Bringing your own orchestra and interrupting winners' speeches after only five seconds.

5. Pointing at Jimmy Smits and screaming, ""A ghost! A ghost!"

1. Mentioning that you're the guy responsible for "Suddenly Susan."

* * *

New, official Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit webpage and an unofficial fan site (already!), too.

* * *

Alas, the Hollywood Reporter piece seems to have disappeared from their website already, here's the Ultimate TV recap:

NBC is near closing a deal with writer-producer Tom Fontana for a two-hour "Homicide: Life on the Street" movie. The film will feature the original cast members of the critically acclaimed crime drama, which left the air this spring after six seasons on the Peacock. The telefilm will shoot in Baltimore, where "Homicide" is set, Fontana told The Hollywood Reporter.

The original cast includes Daniel Baldwin, Ned Beatty, Andrť Braugher, Jon Polito, Melissa Leo, Yaphet Kotto, and Richard Belzer. . "Homicide: Life on the Street" reruns can currently be seen on Court TV.

Um, that's after seven seasons on NBC, guys (how soon they forget). Original castmembers they didn't mention? Kyle Secor and Clark Johnson.

I hope they got this right, I'd kill to see another hour or two of Homicide: Life on the Street that featured the cast from season 1. Nirvana. Not holding my breath, but gosh it'd be cool . . .

* * *

Doctor Zhivago is on TV this (Tuesday) morning, 11am Central Time, Turner Classic Movies-- letterboxed, even. I was chatting with someone re the movie and he pointed me to Harry Knowles' review of the film, it's a fine piece and exemplifies a lot of what I like about Harry. And then there's this bit, which very much sums up why there are classic movies, good movies, and a lotta disposable mediocre movies:

I love movies. They can contain such magic. Recently I was talking to a studio guy, a person that makes decisions that affect what gets made. This person hadnít seen DR ZHIVAGO, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or SPARTACUS. When I chastised him for this, he said, "We donít make movies for the sixties."

"We donít make movies for the sixties"

The funny bit is, neither did David Lean or Stanley Kubrick. This person, though, was making movies for the nineties. And that... that is the problem. Lean and Kubrick, they made movies for all time. Thatís why we still watch them.

* * *

Too cute: SIMI - The Search for Intelligent Monkeys on the Internet.

* * *

Have I mentioned you should see Iron Giant?

Yet another 'blogger agrees:

It's rare and unexpected, but The Iron Giant is indeed everything it's been said to be. Wonderfully expressive animation, terrific voice performances, and a brilliant and evocative screenplay: this was a labor of love. I got caught in a traffic jam, almost missing my chance to see it (I had promised myself if I went in to work today...), but drove half-an-hour to another theatre instead. The audience was me and about a dozen kids accompanied by parents, what a shame. As they left, I watched the credits, flickering imperfectly on the screen (second-run print), and my first thought in that emptiness was, who invented these things called "movies"? I want to find the fella and buy him a drink. Oh, please, I'm overdoing it. Dammit. See this movie.

I love this movie. See it! (I tell you, if you don't see it in a theater, you'll regret it someday . . . this is a true classic).

* * *

An oldie, but goodie: the web version of the game Lemonade Stand [via whim&vinegar].

* * *

Yay! Screenshot, Rebecca's Pocket, and jjg.net are all back.

* * *

Wow! Shades of a cool panel I attended at Minicon last year about the "fannish accent" . . . this is a fascinating article on a fascinating subject (of interest to all geeks and friends of geeks), read it! {via jjg] Do some geeks/nerds/et al have mild forms of autism?

Ten years ago, Dr. David Forrest, a psychoanalyst who had studied schizophrenics, turned his research attention to those who are designated "nerds," "geeks" and "space-cadets," to understand why so many with superior mental abilities are uncoordinated, come with plastic pen packs in smudged shirt pockets, have an often whiny voice with a mechanical timbre, and a sudden loud, peculiar, foghorn laugh and snort. He wondered why a "nerd" stoops to take such a close look at what interests him, sniffing his food if it smells funny, placing his nose right in it, "locking on" with his eyes. Forrest wondered if there was some special relationship between certain kinds of intelligence and the absence of physical and social graces.

Now there's a book, Shadow Syndromes, that begins to answer Forrest's questions, and many more. Shadow Syndromes, by Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey (co-authored with Catherine Johnson), sets off a cascade of "aha" reactions that significantly alter one's conception of oneself and others.

And here (since it's the first place I went after reading the article) is a link to the book @ amazon.com.

* * *

Robin Dougherty's Brilliant Careers piece @ salon re the brilliant Diana Rigg:

In a scene from the 1960s TV series "The Avengers," film director Z.Z. von Schnerk describes protagonist Emma Peel in this way: "You are a woman of courage, beauty and of action. A woman who could become desperate yet remain strong, become confused yet remain intelligent, who could fight back yet remain feminine." What he left out is that she also possesses a disarming sexiness, the best leather wardrobe in the history of television and a mean karate chop.

Schnerk is a fiction, of course, as is Mrs. Peel, who was played by Diana Rigg. But his words do justice to the female half of the famed crime-fighting team and, to a large degree, to the actress who played her.

* * *

Finally went and saw The Sixth Sense-- I liked it quite a bit. It's really good and it wasn't as scary or gory as I'd been led to believe (a good thing).

The Iron Giant is still, IMHO, the best movie currently showing in theaters (lemme know if you think there's another contender for the crown). But The Sixth Sense is quite good-- not on the same level as The Matrix and Iron Giant, but well-worth seeing in a theater before someone spoils the film for you.

* * *

Oh. My. God.

I think they need to release another CD of music from The Late Show with David Letterman-- so long as it includes the version of Nanci Griffith's "Love at the 5 and Dime" she performed tonight (Monday). It's one of my favorite songs, though I've not listened to any version of it in ages. This one's splendid, a pleasant surprise.

(Ranks up there with the time Michelle Shocked was a guest and played "Anchorage" 'cuz Dave requested it. Another old favorite that I didn't expect to hear . . . ).

* * *

Another report from "Anton Sirius" for Ain't It Cool News re the Toronto film festival. He's got good things to say about Ned Beatty's next film, but the paragraph that jumped out at me was regarding American Beauty:

American Beauty is a special film, one deserving of all the buzz it's been generating. The things it has to say are things that can't be said enough- about people; about modern America; about how we look at the world. And how, sometimes, the world looks back.

Yeah, like that. I loved the film, I'm still thinking about it a week or more since I saw the film. Can't wait 'til it opens on October 1st so I can see it again.

* * *

I found myself referring to the Primetime Emmy Nominee database a lot today as I explained how the Emmys work and why certain folks win, etc. 'Course some of it is inexplicable. Anyway, it's a cool resource for TV.geeks.

* * *

Whoa . . . I just happened to wander over to the main webpage for the St. Paul Pioneer Press tonight (Monday) and I saw my name and website mentioned there (of course, it won't remain there for long, but still). Eek! I knew I'd be mentioned in James Romenesko's column this week (Thanks, Jim!), but gosh-- the bottom of the front page Monday night? It's a strange feeling (but cool, of course).

It's weird, I used to try to avoid any publicity for my site, only mentioning it in my .signature. And I still haven't run around submitting it to other sites, etc, there's a lot of stuff I could do to publicize it, but I haven't. Maybe 'cuz I still feel it's got a long ways to go . . . there are so many bits that I'd love to improve and there's so much I haven't even done here yet. I'm flattered by the attention and I cherish the feedback I've received. (Do email me your comments, suggestions, etc).

* * *

Tim Goodman's comments on the Emmy awards are fine, and of course I have to quote this:

-- Sooooo typical. The Emmys showed clips of shows that are leaving the air and didn't show "Homicide: Life on the Street," only one of the best dramas ever.

Yeah, instead we got lengthy clips of Melrose Place, Home Improvement, and Mad About You. In the immortal words of Homicide's Kay Howard: "Oh, make me puke." Sigh. No mention of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Deep Space Nine, or Newsradio, either. But if ever there was a show that the Emmy awards owe an apology to, it's Homicide (did you know it was never even nominated for Best Drama? That fact alone makes it hard for me to take the Emmys the slightest bit seriously).

* * *

Beware the PC Death Ray [link submitted by Felix Strates, which is appropriate enough].

* * *

I was trading soundfiles with a friend via ICQ the other night (yeah, I'm a geek). You can find many of my favorites among these sounds from Newsradio and sounds from Homicide: Life on the Street.

* * *

Yes, it's that time of year again . . . time for the TeeVee Dead Pool:

The folks who've actually seen the first few episodes of the new season sound optimistic, if guardedly so. If nothing else, we're told, this year's crop of rookie shows isn't nowhere near as awful as last year's remedial freshman class. Of course, considering that last year marked Bo Derek's triumphant return to TV, gave us a show where the words Brian Benben were featured in the title, and tried to sell us on the wacky misadventures of Abraham Lincoln's black British butler, that's sort of damning with faint praise. It's like the Civil War-era surgeon telling you that he's managed to keep that gangrene in check, but, man, he hopes you weren't a southpaw.

And:

Prepare yourself for The 1999 TeeVee Dead Pool, the last Dead Pool of the 20th century. Except for the fact that the 21st century doesn't begin until January of 2001. But who are we to quibble with popular sentiment?

* * *

Cool [via Bradlands]:

The astronauts wanted a Tricorder, the handheld sensor used by Starfleet officers in Star Trek.

NASA is giving them something better.

* * *

Aieee! No new Amigas after all [via Looka!}. Not entirely surprising, but still disappointing.

* * *

There's a link to that Chicago Tribune article and other fab stuff in last week's log.

* * *

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This page created and maintained by Laurel Krahn who can be reached via email to laurel@windowseat.org. If you'd like to email or snail mail Laurel cool stuff (for this weblog or not), she'd love that.

Copyright ©1999 Laurel Krahn unless otherwise noted. May not be redistributed without permission.