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Friday, September 22, 2023


Couch Potato: TV draws on past for its ideas

A wise man once said, "Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." Couch potatoes everywhere should be hoping this is the case in light of the death of the fresh and talented television screenwriter Mel Tolkin, the man behind such greats as Sid Caesar, Woody Allen, Bob Hope and Mel Brooks.

Perhaps, in the grand scheme of things his death was necessary to further the evolution of TV. The medium has certainly seen its share of change since Tolken first came on the scene in the 1930s. After all, one of these days we’ll be reminiscing about reality TV. Right?… Right?

In light of the strike, the great push for high definition and as the next generation prepares to take over the medium’s administration, it is obvious that we are on the verge of a sea change. Everything that was popular before will eventually find its way back into vogue. Right now, it’s all about completely re-imagining everything we have already seen.

Apparently, there just aren’t enough variations of the story of Dorothy (and her little dog, too). Imagine a dark, postmodern fantastic voyage to O.Z. ("Outer Zone") but on a metaphorical yellow brick road. The road actually looks like one that runs through Detroit or something. Stop imagining. It’s really happening. Sort of. Sci-Fi, of all networks, will air its decidedly strange interpretation of the L. Frank Baum novel, Tin Man, as a miniseries at 8 p.m. on Sunday and continues through Tuesday.

Another made-for-TV movie (and possibly a future spin-off) viewers can look forward to is a Knight Rider full-length feature. While it is still very much in talks, some of the groundwork is laid. In the sequel, David Hasselhoff (the Hoff, for short) would relinquish the role of the protagonist and pass it to his son, to be played by Justin Bruening, who by some crazy coincidence falls hard for the daughter of KITT’s inventor.

In similar news, Erik Estrada will once again don the uniform and possibly sit astride a motorcycle – but not for TV. He is only trying to maintain his status as a reserve police officer with the Muncie Police Department. I smell a sitcom! Or is that just garbage?

By the way, you should probably get an HD television. Tomorrow is a brand new day.

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