The Seven Favorites

This month, the men of GLOP (Goldberg, Long, and Podhoretz) reunite for yet another jog through the pop culture and political parks. This time, a bit of commentary on the today’s shake-up in the Trump campaign, an argument for Larry Hagman as the most important actor in the history of TV, and then some Twitter hashtag games: #YourFavorite7Movies and #YourFavorite7TVShows. Finally, some thoughts on Chuck Klosterman’s new book, But What If We’re Wrong.

Aristophanes, EJHIll

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There are 32 comments.

  1. Jeff Peterson Inactive

    Fun discussion, as always. (Well, as fun as anything can be while the Republic collapses around us.) I’d have thought the death of John McLaughlin might have rated a mention, as he was at the intersection of politics and pop culture in his time, and I’d have enjoyed hearing the GLoP guys’ formative impressions of his show. (If there were none, that explains the omission.)

    As for TV shows: 1) “NYPD Blue” is often overlooked but was groundbreaking in prioritizing character arcs over formulaic genre plots in a weekly broadcast drama — especially well done in its first season before David Caruso’s meltdown. 2) Thesis for discussion: 1960s “Star Trek” was to pre-cable broadcast TV what the plays of Shakespeare were to the Elizabethan stage, viz., the finest material produced for the medium. (This is not to say that “Trek” was as good as Shakespeare.)

    • #1
    • August 17, 2016, at 8:53 PM PDT
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  2. Blue Yeti Admin

    jeffp:Fun discussion, as always. (Well, as fun as anything can be while the Republic collapses around us.) I’d have thought the death of John McLaughlin might have rated a mention, as he was at the intersection of politics and pop culture in his time, and I’d have enjoyed hearing the GLoP guys’ formative impressions of his show. (If there were none, that explains the omission.)

    It was on the list, we didn’t get to it.

    • #2
    • August 17, 2016, at 9:01 PM PDT
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  3. Jeff Peterson Inactive

    In other news, I’ve been re-viewing early episodes of “Twin Peaks,” which I remember being celebrated at the time as what TV was invented to bring us, and it’s … awful.

    • #3
    • August 17, 2016, at 9:47 PM PDT
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  4. Annefy Member

    jeffp:In other news, I’ve been re-viewing early episodes of “Twin Peaks,” which I remember being celebrated at the time as what TV was invented to bring us, and it’s … awful.

    Really? That bums me out. I haven’t watched it again, but I loved it at the time. My husband and I have been saving the re-watch for one of those weekends when you want to stay in your PJs.

    That having been said, I think you need to compare it to TV at the time (which sucked). TV since there (from what I’ve seen on Netflix) has gotten better and better.

    • #4
    • August 17, 2016, at 9:58 PM PDT
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  5. Podkayne of Israel Member

    Best photoshop yet, gentlemen. Which sandwiches do you prefer, the green or the brown?

    • #5
    • August 17, 2016, at 11:01 PM PDT
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  6. kylez Member
    kylez Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I watched Mr. Belvedere when I was a kid, but haven’t seen it since the 90s. Certainly never thought of it that way. From Wikipedia I just expanded my Mr. Belvedere knowledge with 2 things: the boy, Wesley (Brice Beckham), went to my high school, graduating 5 years before me, and, sort of related to the creepy factor, the reason production had to be stopped several times, given in the last paragraph of the “career” section of Christopher Hewett’s page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hewett

    • #6
    • August 18, 2016, at 12:17 AM PDT
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  7. kylez Member
    kylez Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Podkayne of Israel:Best photoshop yet, gentlemen. Which sandwiches do you prefer, the green or the brown?

    My dad always quotes that line whenever someone mentions the movie, along with the “hotel in Florida” joke.

    • #7
    • August 18, 2016, at 12:20 AM PDT
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  8. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Good grief- John Podhoretz mentioned an episode of “I Dream of Jeanie” that I have never seen.

    Yes, Rob, feminist/oppression studies lit classes did take on “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeanie” about 20 years ago. As a metaphor for interracial marriages in a time when such a topic was taboo if memory serves, and of course the gender oppression angle was done to death. When you think about it, the shows are themselves great ideological state apparatus for creating a society of men who think of themselves as inherently less powerful and less (potentially) influential than their wives.

    “Red Dawn”?! Oh, dear.

    • #8
    • August 18, 2016, at 1:31 AM PDT
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  9. Hartmann von Aue Member

    John is also right about Star Trek (so is JeffP), except for the “all sci-fi before Star Trek was cheap” assertion. Metropolis was not. Forbidden Planet was not.

    Hill Street Blues was indeed terrific. Somewhere there’s a picture of me as a sixteen-year old wearing a Hill Street Blues t-shirt. I owned two.

    I don’t know about “More people are reading Trollope than Dickens nowdays” assertion, either. I think the “Bleak House” series may have changed that but I don’t have any way to measure its lasting effects.

    • #9
    • August 18, 2016, at 1:59 AM PDT
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  10. Kim K. Member
    Kim K. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kylez:I watched Mr. Belvedere when I was a kid, but haven’t seen it since the 90s. Certainly never thought of it that way. From Wikipedia I just expanded my Mr. Belvedere knowledge with 2 things: the boy, Wesley (Brice Beckham), went to my high school, graduating 5 years before me, and, sort of related to the creepy factor, the reason production had to be stopped several times, given in the last paragraph of the “career” section of Christopher Hewett’s page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hewett

    You’d think doing that once would be like locking your keys in the car – a bad enough experience that you’d make sure never to do it again.

    • #10
    • August 18, 2016, at 5:12 AM PDT
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  11. Podkayne of Israel Member

    Kim K.:

    You’d think doing that once would be like locking your keys in the car – a bad enough experience that you’d make sure never to do it again.

    And yet, there are many who lock their keys in the car time and again.

    • #11
    • August 18, 2016, at 5:22 AM PDT
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  12. Fred Houstan Member

    As for Major Nelson’s and Darren’s putting the kibosh on their magical female companions, I always figured that had more to do with “taming” the whole “magical” aspect of their powers. Look at the more recent push-back the Harry Potter series received from certain quarters. In other words, in the 60’s, “glamorizing magic” might have been a point too far to consider.

    I love the sentiment that Major Healy is little more than a trolling stalker. That cracks me up. Weren’t all the comedic foils that way, back then?

    • #12
    • August 18, 2016, at 7:59 AM PDT
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  13. Elaine Minamide Member

    Hey, it just occurred to me. Why does Rob Long get to have the second initial of his name used in the title of this podcast? That doesn’t seem fair. Maybe you should rename the podcast using everyone’s second initial. GoLoPo, say. Or LoGoPo. Or PoGoLo. Or…

    • #13
    • August 18, 2016, at 9:35 AM PDT
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  14. billy Inactive

    This podcast is a good preview of what the next four years are going to be like for conservatives, Forget politics and policy, let’s just talk about movies and old T.V. shows.

    Not so bad I guess. We’ll get used to it.

    • #14
    • August 18, 2016, at 1:11 PM PDT
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  15. Jeff Peterson Inactive

    jeffp:Thesis for discussion: 1960s “Star Trek” was to pre-cable broadcast TV what the plays of Shakespeare were to the Elizabethan stage, viz., the finest material produced for the medium. (This is not to say that “Trek” was as good as Shakespeare.)

    I should have specified “series with continuing cast” here. “Twilight Zone” doubtless featured as many good episodes as “Trek.”

    • #15
    • August 18, 2016, at 1:38 PM PDT
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  16. Egg Man Member

    I never watched Bewitched, but isn’t this “don’t use your powers for petty achievements” a common trope? Clark Kent couldn’t be on the football team, Anakin Skywalker couldn’t levitate his fruit (I mean that literally…it’s a scene in the movie), the Charmed sisters were forbidden from using magic for personal gain, starship captains cannot alter the timeline (even just to make a better cup of Earl Grey), and the aliens certainly didn’t give Ralph Hinckley his suit just to clean his house faster. These rules are also worked into kids shows–on Disney Jr, Izzy isn’t permitted to fly unless there’s an emergency (thankfully there’s one every episode!).

    And let’s not forget that even the Man Upstairs is subject to these constraints, as was explained in the pilot episode of God Cop.

    It seems that Darren may not be an oppressor but instead was more of the magical “lawgiver.” Such a position would, in fact, make him a sorcerer vastly more powerful than a mere witch!

    • #16
    • August 18, 2016, at 8:25 PM PDT
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  17. SParker Member

    I recently saw Rene Clair’s I Married a Witch.  I figure whoever came up with Bewitched ran out of the theatre screaming “That’s it!” after the title credit. Not, I suppose, that anything that made the movie work would have translated very well into 60s TV.

    • #17
    • August 18, 2016, at 9:40 PM PDT
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  18. Podkayne of Israel Member

    My brother-in-law is actually named Darren, from the TV show. His parents let his 2 older brothers choose the new baby’s name.

    So I guesss he’s lucky it wasn’t worse.

    • #18
    • August 19, 2016, at 6:46 AM PDT
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  19. Profile Photo Member

    John P: Try swallowing slowly a teaspoon of raw honey when you feel throat-phlegmy. Also gargling with salt water prior to speaking will help.

    And as far as the election: It ain’t over till the fat lady sings!

    • #19
    • August 19, 2016, at 7:18 AM PDT
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  20. Mr. Dart Inactive

    A blonde genie in a bottle… a blonde witch twitching her nose in suburbia… fine.

    Before that there was the blonde palomino talking horse living in the architect’s stable studio, Mr. Ed.

    Now that show was comedy gold. Plus, a Jay Livingston theme song that you can never forget.0fdbe6458c7c04c29984c54fcbea9d75

    • #20
    • August 19, 2016, at 9:34 AM PDT
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  21. Casey Inactive

    I wrote something here in 2011 along the lines of the But What If We’re Wrong discussion. I think about this a lot. There’s only so much that can make it through the filter of time. Interesting what does.

    • #21
    • August 19, 2016, at 9:38 AM PDT
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  22. Michael C. Lukehart Thatcher
    Michael C. Lukehart Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Movies, movies, movies, but nobody ever discusses Bullitt. Odd.

    • #22
    • August 19, 2016, at 11:08 AM PDT
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  23. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @roblong, Cheers is in my top 7 best shows of all time. It is my #1 fav sit com

    • #23
    • August 19, 2016, at 4:35 PM PDT
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  24. Jeff Peterson Inactive

    Michael Lukehart:Movies, movies, movies, but nobody ever discusses Bullitt. Odd.

    There’s a great car chase, but what else noteworthy? McQueen was much better in “The Great Escape.”

    • #24
    • August 19, 2016, at 11:38 PM PDT
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  25. Thaddeus Wert Coolidge

    I really enjoyed the conversation about identical characters in TV shows played by the same actor/actress. Back in the ’80s, Nick At Night was a blast to watch, because they ran tons of shows from the late ’50s – early ’60s: the Ann Sothern Show, Mr. Ed, Donna Reed, Car 54 Where Are You, etc. I remember they had an “Evil Twin Week”, where they broadcast nothing but episodes featuring doppelgangers of characters. I’ll never forget a weird episode of Route 66, where Martin Milner kept running into his evil twin after the twin had done something bad, and Milner would get blamed for it.

    And for what it’s worth, I think Car 54 Where Are You is one of the funniest TV shows ever written.

    • #25
    • August 20, 2016, at 10:01 AM PDT
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  26. Michael C. Lukehart Thatcher
    Michael C. Lukehart Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    jeffp:

    Michael Lukehart:Movies, movies, movies, but nobody ever discusses Bullitt. Odd.

    There’s a great car chase, but what else noteworthy? McQueen was much better in “The Great Escape.”

    The acting is subtle and understated to the point that the characters become real. The personal confrontation scenes in the hospital should be studied by actors in all detail. And the movie is just a good watch.

    • #26
    • August 21, 2016, at 1:25 PM PDT
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  27. Ulysses768 Inactive

    I read But What If We’re Wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve never read any of Klosterman’s books before but I was struck by how strongly I identified with his overall view of the world as well as his tastes in music, film, and television.

    I tried very hard to convince myself that my favorite writer was John Locke. My guts still feel that way, and so does much of my mind.

    When I reached his discussion of politics I was shocked to see that he considers Barack Obama to be the greatest president of his lifetime. Perhaps he was being ironic since he saw his greatest achievement was becoming the President of the United States with “deftness and sagacity”, not actually for anything he actually accomplished or cause he championed.

    For what it’s worth, I recommend But What If We’re Wrong. That said, I likely would not have appreciated it as much if I have so much in common with Klosterman himself. At times I felt as though it was written by alternate and more talented version of myself that had decided to focus on writing rather than engineering and computer science.

    • #27
    • August 21, 2016, at 5:42 PM PDT
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  28. Blue Yeti Admin

    Ulysses768:I read But What If We’re Wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve never read any of Klosterman’s books before but I was struck by how strongly I identified with his overall view of the world as well as his tastes in music, film, and television.

    I tried very hard to convince myself that my favorite writer was John Locke. My guts still feel that way, and so does much of my mind.

    When I reached his discussion of politics I was shocked to see that he considers Barack Obama to be the greatest president of his lifetime. Perhaps he was being ironic since he saw his greatest achievement was becoming the President of the United States with “deftness and sagacity”, not actually for anything he actually accomplished or cause he championed.

    For what it’s worth, I recommend But What If We’re Wrong. That said, I likely would not have appreciated it as much if I have so much in common with Klosterman himself. At times I felt as though it was written by alternate and more talented version of myself that had decided to focus on writing rather than engineering and computer science.

    Listen to Russ Roberts’ interview with Klosterman on his Econtalk podcast. Highly recommended.

    • #28
    • August 21, 2016, at 6:06 PM PDT
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  29. Bill Member

    jeffp:In other news, I’ve been re-viewing early episodes of “Twin Peaks,” which I remember being celebrated at the time as what TV was invented to bring us, and it’s … awful.

    Honestly, I have never understood why anybody likes David Lynch. At all. His appeal is completely lost on me.

    • #29
    • August 22, 2016, at 7:15 PM PDT
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  30. Bill Member

    On the subject of beloved entertainment you introduce to other people and are very disappointed in their reaction: I once showed Princess Bride to a girlfriend who had never seen it. She didn’t like it. To be clear, the fault was with her, not the movie.

    This also relates to the Mel Brooks angle though. I showed her History of the World Part I, and she loved it. It was, is, and always shall be one of the funniest movies ever made. Other Mel Brooks movies haven’t aged as well. I don’t think High Anxiety is very good, and Blazing Saddles is wildly overrated. JPod spoke disdainfully of Spaceballs, but that one I think is ok, and is still moderately funny. Robin Hood: Men in Tights is not an example of a movie that has not aged well, simply because it was never good and never liked, by pretty much anybody, as far as I can tell.

    • #30
    • August 22, 2016, at 7:26 PM PDT
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