January 19, 1993 |
The transition of presidential power is, as Bill Clinton's communications director George Stephanopoulos terms it, "an awkward phase"--awkward for the Clinton group, awkward for the Bush group still in the White House, and awkward for the producers of "Frontline," whose report, "Clinton Takes Over" (at 9 tonight on KCET-TV Channel 28 and KPBS-TV Channel 15; 8:30 p.m. on KVCR-TV Channel 24) means to take us behind the scenes during this uncomfortable, in-between time.
September 22, 2011 |
As wildly different as they were in execution, the originals of "Prime Suspect" and "Charlie's Angels" were, thematically, sisters of the same revolution. Although best known for flaunting the beauty of its shapely stars, "Charlie's Angels," which ABC launched in 1976, openly refuted the then-still-popular notion that women were the weaker sex. The faceless Charlie hired women whose police careers had been squelched by stereotypes and created the first all-female detective agency on television.
September 14, 2011 |
NBC, which has long made Thursday the bunker for its comedy, moves into Wednesday this week with a pair of solidly constructed new sitcoms, "Free Agents" and "Up All Night," about grown-ups in moments of midlife transition. Compared with the metafictions and mockumentaries and postmodern ironies that have come to characterize the Thursday night comedies, they are more reality-based, more particularly concerned with relationships and maturity and, in a less than sentimental way, matters of the heart.
January 31, 1986 |
Clad in kimono and obi, jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi once nervously "entered and signed in" on a late '50s edition of the television program "What's My Line." Though it's doubtful that today many would find her occupation any more unusual than that of anyone who makes a living playing jazz, it might be surprising to find that the Manchuria-born pianist is internationally recognized as a composer, arranger and leader of one of the finest big bands in jazz.
April 23, 1986 |
You don't have to be a parent to understand that there's probably no greater tragedy than the death of a child. That's why "Alex: The Life of a Child" (at 9 tonight on Channels 7, 3, 10 and 42) is such a heartbreaking two hours, an ABC movie so painful you may have difficulty sitting through it.
March 26, 1986 |
What a challenge a video director faces in trying to compress the Brobdingnagian features of a Wagner opera within the Lilliputian limits of the small screen! Still, credit must go to the undercredited director--who turns out to be Brian Large--for making the Metropolitan Opera's "Lohengrin" TV broadcast--scheduled to air tonight at 8 on Channels 28, 15, 24 and 50, with stereo simulcast in most areas--as clear and as involving a story as possible.
September 26, 1986 |
"Lord, my family never brings me anything but humiliation and grief," moans Thelma Harper. And eternal life, it would seem. More than two years after it was last seen on NBC, "Mama's Family" is back, returning with new episodes Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on KNBC Channel 4, starring Vicki Lawrence in a role she has been playing for more than a dozen years now.
December 19, 1995 |
When trying to get a fix on the quicksilver nature of the American economy, the electronic media are fond of making sweeping statements based on personal stories. Bill Moyers did this with his 1991 documentary, "Minimum Wages," which summed up jarring economic shifts in the stories of the Neumann and Stanley families of Milwaukee. Moyers captured a snapshot in time, when people accustomed to high-wage, high-benefit factory jobs were laid off into a new world of low wages and zero benefits.
October 30, 1985 |
Liberty, that fragile concept that is our nation's birthmark and soul, is provocatively explored both in theory and in execution in three very different documentaries on KCET Channel 28 tonight. "The Statue of Liberty," airing at 8 p.m., was made by director and co-producer Ken Burns to kick off the yearlong celebration of the 100th birthday of the grand lady who symbolizes the ideals of the country she overlooks.
September 11, 1986 |
If being a geisha was as boring as it's made to look in "American Geisha," the profession would have died out long ago. Geishas are the Japanese women trained to work as hostesess and entertainers at parties and business meetings of Japanese men. The one played by Pam Dawber in the first TV movie of the new prime-time season tonight (9 p.m., CBS Channels 2 and 8) is so sullen and introspective that she'd probably bring down a convention of sake salesmen.