Friday, June 15, 2007

A television review, plus or minus 32 years

Minx yelled at me for not posting this week. It wasn't entirely intentional. I doubt I've missed five days in a row since I began blogging, but I have spent a lot of my week avoiding my normal routines.

I realize that recently I warned that I might be blogging more, but then I also have to recall that every time I've said I'll be away from the blog for a bit, I've been back almost immediately. It seems I do the opposite of my intentions when it comes to blogging sometimes. If anyone besides Minx noticed, I apologize.

I've also been avoiding my novel for the most part, letting it go to see if I can gain a small amount of perspective. That seems to have worked pretty well for me, and now one of my secondary characters, who I was thinking of eliminating completely, has suddenly revealed that she has a story to tell as well, and I broke into it today, getting down 3,000 words in a nice period that felt like maybe 20 minutes but was actually more than three hours. It's nice when it comes like that.


Longtime Blogreaders will already be aware that Lorne Michaels, producer of Saturday Night Live, is a reader of this blog. He was turned on to it by Conan O'Brien back in September.

Since he was a fan of my early stuff here, I thought I might repay the favor by watching the first season of Saturday Night Live. It's interesting to watch the show develop from a more free-form thing into the more or less standard format it has had for most of its run. While a lot of it is dated, there are plenty of jokes and bits that are still funny today.

The first show was hosted by George Carlin, who never interacted with the regular cast at all. He just did stand-up bits throughout the show. At one point, he asked "Do you ever look at the crowds in old movies and wonder if they're dead yet?" Watching the crowd behind him, and mindful of the more than 30 years that have passed since the first broadcast, I was certainly wondering that from that point on.

And it sure is weird to watch then-President Ford's Press Secretary Ron Nessen (the host for an April broadcast) introduce a young and feral Patti Smith, sounding for all the world like he knew who she was and maybe even loved Horses.

Jim Henson and his Muppets (but not Kermit or any of the ones you'd recognize from The Muppet Show) were a regular feature that first season, as were short films by Albert Brooks. This kind of stuff never made it into the syndication versions I've seen of some of these episodes. Nor did some of the weirder musical performances, dancers, and comedians who were on a lot. Andy Kaufman had several routines in the first season. Some episodes featured two or more musical guests, my favorite from a juxtaposition standpoint was ABBA and Loudon Wainwright III.

The second episode is nearly entirely musical, with host Paul Simon even doing a short reunion
set with Art Garfunkel. Seems like they were hedging their bets on the comedy or the cast being much of a hit.

Don't worry, I won't be posting a review of any other decades-old television for at least the near future. It's just that I watched a lot of those this week, and had nothing compelling to blog about.

Except that the deal for the new Mahtmobile is on hold for now. I'll have to make do with my rustbucket for a while longer.


Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Regarding writing more when you said you'd be writing less and vice versa, I noticed a similar phenomenon in my life a few years ago, but with money. Whenever I'd try to buckle down and not spend, I'd spend more, but when I wasn't really paying close attention to what I was doing, I did just fine and spent less.

Eventually I realized that sometimes I need to *not* think analyze and label so much and just trust that what I'm doing is OK for the moment; things have gone fairly smoothly since then.

But what is it about our subconscious that rebels?

Unknown said...

I did not yell at you - I merely gave you a small poke with a pointy stick!

BTW, your word count thingy over there is looking very healthy.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Minx, you slay me. Thank you for prodding him back to the keyboard.

Moon Topples,
I was wondering where in the world you had gone to as well. Glad to have you back, and methinks you have redeemed yourself with the huge jump in word count.
Very good.

BTW - love SNL. Thanks for the review.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

The Moon Topples said...

Sognatrice: I have the same problem if I announce that I'll be in early to work (when I'm working, of course). Sure-fire path to being even later than normal.

As to the subconscious aspects, I suppose I have no real clue. My sub stays subbed for the most part, and refuses to tell me anything.

Minx: Sure, I'll go with your version of events here in public. I'd hate for you to yell at me again. Now please stop slaying Scarlett.

Scarlett: Whenever I'm quiet for a few days, usually a small comment pointing out that I am neglectful of my blogly duties is enough to drag me back to it.