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Wicked, Wicked Words From The Home Front

February 01, 1985

We get letters. . . .

Comes along a perfectly delightful old-Hollywood production, and you scorn it. Good for me! I resisted your negative review and watched it anyway. The three--count them, three--hours of "My Wicked, Wicked Ways" passed phhht! (Fast.)

A steady diet of lightweight fare isn't good for us. OK. But not by fish and veggies alone does viewer live. We can have a little dessert now and then. If you choose to pass, at least let us enjoy ours.


Not only did I want them to "Stop Zee" awful "Wicked Ways," I also wondered why they bothered making it in the first place! Barbara Hershey usually gives a fine performance, however this time she seemed somewhere between lower Slobovia and Santa Monica with that horrendous accent. Was she supposed to be French?


I don't mind your knocking everything I have ever done for television, but I must object to your article in which you "assume" how I would cast "The Jewel in the Crown," and you "assume" what I would say in an "assumed" conversation with the show's producer, Christopher Morahan.

Surely you know the difference between conjecturing and reporting. How sophomoric for you to presume how I would cast or produce a masterpiece like "The Jewel in the Crown" . . . or any project.

If you had wanted to interview me, if you had wanted to get my viewpoint on anything, you know where to find me. If you possess any journalistic integrity at all, you'd have to agree that "presuming" what I might do or say is indeed a very cheap shot.

My cast for "Hollywood Wives" includes Anthony Hopkins, Candice Bergen and Rod Steiger, among others. My cast for "The Best Little Girl in the World" was Charles Durning and Eva Marie Saint. Does that sound like a producer who would star Soupy Sales (and no offense to him) in "The Jewel in the Crown"?

While we are "presuming," I shall "presume" that your personal animosity toward me has warped your journalistic standards.


Los Angeles

Your column, "Resolved: Some No-Nos for the Networks in '85," moves me to express the following hope for the new year: That any pictures published or broadcast of Mary Lou Retton show her with her mouth closed.

ED MITCHELL, Los Angeles

The constant exposure of Retton has taken all the joy from her Olympic performance. Instead of effervescent, Mary Lou is now--unfortunately--boring.

KAY HILE, Laguna Hills

Retton deserved the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. She may have only won one gold medal, but gymnastics is something special. I'll bet you didn't groan about all the Nadia hoopla. Brisco-Hooks ran real fast, three times. Yawn. Martina has dominated her sport for years, but this was 1984, the year of the Olympics.


You stated there should be a new program called "Diff'rent Blokes" in which short people play the children of a couple played by Boy George and Brooke Shields. I and most likely a lot of other readers take this remark as a cut-down on short people. There is nothing wrong with a short person.

LEO A. NOVELLI, Hacienda Heights

I don't know the derivation of goy, but it doesn't sound flattering. How about this for a TV series: A devout Catholic couple is crushed when their son converts to Judaism. The title: "Jew-Boy George." Ha Ha. Ooops, doesn't sit well with you? Good, we're even.


In your discussion of "Webster," I noted a response that should not trickle through without challenge: " . . . Young viewers will . . . wind up thinking that a friendly pat on the behind is criminal." My question: What is a "friendly pat on the behind" and when is it so?

These are dangerously difficult distinctions, often at the root of abuse cases, which involve questions of relationship, gender, age, locale and motivation, the latter factor being the most elusive. Simply, the insidious nature of child abuse precludes the blithe exclusion of any act of "touching" from the repertoire of possibly ill intentions toward children.


Culver City

It is true as you say about "The Jewel in the Crown" that Daphne is a prisoner of her background, as we all are to some extent. But I think you misunderstand the meaning behind her words when, referring to Indians, she says: "They all look alike." Her words are ironical, even sarcastic. They are the words of the raj, and she throws them back in their faces to protect Hari Kumar.

LILLIAN J. KANE, Canoga Park

"I Challenge You" made "Battle of the Network Stars" look like a work of art. It's hard to believe the garbage that's served to us on television. If I had children, I'd rather have them watch violence on TV than stupidity. At least they wouldn't turn out to be morons.


Los Angeles

Ageism runs rampant on the tube, and it's high time producers, writers, advertisers, and yes, the Clara Pellers of Hollywood be made to realize how very nauseating the stereotyping is. I have long been offended and angered by the image of the old (especially women) as dithery, weak and senile, mere jokes to be humored at best, laughed at more often than not.

You cited, as an exception to the usual old fool, the elderly gent in "Punky Brewster." To this, I would like to add one other marvelous exception: Jessica Fletcher on "Murder, She Wrote," played by the wonderful Angela Lansbury. She's active, fit, bright and displays an exuberance for life usually attributed to only the young.


Portland, Ore.

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