We get letters. . . .
Mail about the new TV season is pouring in, and so is praise for my reviews:
I just wanted to tell you I think your review of "Dolly" stinks. I watched the show and I loved every minute of it. I was sad when it ended. Frankly, I can't get enough of Dolly Parton and I'd do anything for her, even work on the show. I think you're either crazy or blind. Of course, I love Dolly and just had to come to her defense. I just wish she knew I was alive.
I have never been a fan of Dolly Parton's singing--if you can call it that--but I've always been a great admirer of her anatomy. I saw the show and thought it stunk. I have an idea for future shows which will guarantee Parton an audience of at least half the adult population of America. No songs. No dancing. No guests. No jokes. No music. Just have Dolly walk around on the stage stark naked for the entire hour.
LANNY R. MIDDINGS
OK, somebody has to say it. Dolly Parton looks ill!
Won't any of her entourage or co-workers tell her that she needs to put back on some of the weight she lost? We were shocked at how emaciated she looked on the first show, which turned out to be boring and amateurish. Her clothes were absurd and even for someone who prides herself on her "hooker look," this was too much. Not sexy. Not funny. Just sad.
Your review of the new "Star Trek" series was neither accurate nor fair. First, we prefer to be referred to as Trekkers, not Trekkies. Secondly, Droxine was not Spock's girlfriend. True, she was turned on by him, but he did not have reciprocal feelings. Any accommodation on his part was simply for reasons of diplomacy.
Thirdly, there is nothing wrong with having the one-day alliance between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets. So having a Klingon on the Enterprise is merely in fulfillment of prophecy. Fourthly, the Enterprise has always been able to separate its saucer from the secondary hull. If you had listened carefully to the episode "The Apple," you would have heard Capt. Kirk tell Engineer Scott to separate "and get the main section out of there," if things got too bad.
Let's face it: You blew it.
Between the lines of two recent articles by Howard Rosenberg, one finds the usual prejudices of any reviewer, but what was particularly disturbing was to see racism rear its ugly head within that context.
Virtually every major periodical in the country that writes on television commented favorably on the new CBS show "Frank's Place." Chief among the compliments were descriptions of its film texture, its lack of a laugh track, its huge assortment of rich characters, and its successful blending of the light and the serious.
Mr. Rosenberg saw fit to comment--at length--about the comedy-that-is-not-a-comedy ("Molly Dodd") and that the "traditional line separating some TV comedy and drama has been . . . fading for years" when discussing "Hooperman" and " 'Slap' Maxwell." In his terse comments on the pilot of "Frank's Place," he "wished" it was "funnier," but perhaps after reading his comments about the "pedigree" of the other shows' producers, writers and actors, what Mr. Rosenberg meant to say was he wished it reflected Mr. Rosenberg's own ethnic or racial background.
I hope that the readers of the Los Angeles Times have the opportunity to encounter this textured and charming show about working class people--primarily, but not exclusively black working class people--in New Orleans. What Mr. Rosenberg wrote about "MASH" could be amended to describe his own articles. ". . . Beneath its serrated wisecracks," he wrote, "was a grim message about war." Well, beneath Mr. Rosenberg's not-so-wise cracks is a grim message of race and class. For shame.
In belaboring our show in your latest Bull, you, the veritable Pope of the Wasteland faithful, have created a quote which does not exist in the product you presumably watched. Are you on overload, Howard, my duck? Are your exquisite senses at last overtaxed in your role as the Chief Arbiter of Los Angeles aesthetics? (An oxymoron, if there ever was one.)
The line, "Don't drop dead before you're dead," dreadful as it is, is not ours, but yours, old dear. Our line, while we don't defend it, surely shows why we write drama and you write about writing drama.
PAUL F. EDWARDS
I can't understand your opposition to "Tour of Duty." Just because it doesn't accentuate the drug usage and other ridiculous occurances of the vast minority of the Vietnam War vets that all the rest of us had to shoulder (guilt by association), you don't think it's an actual portrayal.