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October 25, 2014

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Today In Boob Tube History: the last episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 1st 2009 5:28PM
The last episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show aired on June 1, 1966. It was an actual ending to the show too (with clips!), as Alan Brady decided to create and star in a TV show of the autobiography that Rob Petrie was writing since the start of the show. Alas, that episode isn't available online, so here's one of the best episodes of the show, and one of the best sitcom episodes of all-time, period (in my opinion).

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Six great depictions of writers on TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2007 11:01AM

Sally, Buddy, and Rob

Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

TV usually gets the writing profession wrong. I've never understood why, since shows and characters are written by writers themselves. Maybe they think they have to dumb it down for the general audience. That's why you have writers like Jessica Fletcher, who just sits down at the typewriter and the words come out fine and she mails it off to her publisher. This happens all the time on television. And have you ever noticed that when you hear the writing that a writer character has done on a show it's almost always terrible? Why is that?

After the jump are six writer characters on TV that were done correctly.

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Who is the best sitcom character of all-time?

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 12th 2007 4:22PM

TV character chartIf I was to pick the Top 5 things I hate about television, the coverage of the NCAA Tournament this month would be near the top of the list. It interrupts regular shows, and I truly don't understand why people get so ga-ga over COLLEGE basketball, unless you went there or something.

But I do like the brackets set up, and we can use it for other things in life, including TV! Jacksonville.com has a tournment of their own going on. They're trying to pick the best sitcom character of all-time and they need your help. Go here and vote for your favorites in Week 1 (the second round is this Wednesday). Make sure you read the directions carefully.

Speaking of brackets, I picked up the new book The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything. It's a clever idea: get an expert in a particular field to set up a tournament about everything in life (puncuation, sports rivalries, dogs, political issues, etc) and keep on narrowing them down til you get the champ. There's a lot of TV-related ones in the book, including game show catchphrases (by Ken Jennings), animation characters (by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast), black and white TV shows, talk show hosts, and several more). Lists like these are argument starters for sure, and the entire outcome depends on how you start the brackets, which is rather random (unless you do something like talk show hosts, which you can at least start by nighttime, daytime, or region). Why are certain people/items placed together and not in another bracket? So it's probably not precise, but it's a ton of fun.

[Thanks to Toby for the tip.]

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The Five: Characters I'd love to be

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 9th 2006 7:10PM

The Dick Van Dyke ShowI don't have a  bad life, but there are just so many characters on TV I'd love to be. Here are the top five:

  1. Rob Petrie (The Dick Van Dyke Show): Writer for a hit TV show in New York City by day, and then he comes home to an ultra-cool home at night to eat dinner with Mary Tyler Moore. I want to be Rob Petrie.
  2. Thomas Magnum (Magnum, P.I.): I'm not even a warm-climate sort of guy, but I can imagine being a private eye (sorry, private investigator, as Magnum himself would correct me) on Oahu, living on an outrageous estate with my own private quarters and a red Ferrari. Yeah, I can picture that.
  3. Bugs Bunny: Independent wise-ass. I'd probably put on some pants though.
  4. Kelly Robinson or Alexander Scott (I Spy): To travel around the world on someone else's dime, drinking and swingin' and fightin' spies. Sounds cool to me.  
  5. Charlie (Two and a Half Men): This guy never seems to be doing his job (writing commercial jingles) because he's too busy drinking and bedding beautiful women, but he still seems to make a boat load in cash. Sign me up.

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