Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A Step In the Right Direction

Got a such a late start this morning, I had breakfast during the tail end of Classic Concentration and the start of Match Game '75. Carol Bartos won her second and third games in these episodes; she would eventually go on to become one of the show's biggest winners. Arlene Francis also made her first appearance since the pilot episode here, while Bob Barker tossed out jokes about why they hadn't called the first items up for bids yet. Fannie's happier to help Carol with "Pie __" in the Audience Match.

Even before the second episode ended, I went online. Called T-mobile after I called their customer service phone number. They couldn't get into the original account because I didn't have Jessa's password and account number. I never needed them before! Dad and Jessa always handled everything to do with the phone line. I called Jessa to either go to one of their stores and give them the password or call them and give it to them, but she said I'd need to hit a physical store.

Let Tattletales run while I signed a congratulations on your new baby card for Keefe and Julia, a get-well-soon card for Skylar, and a late birthday card and gift card for my good friend Amanda. Tattletales moved to 1 PM as of yesterday, bumping the 60's Password off the schedule. (While I am disappointed they removed that and dumped Let's Make a Deal at 11 PM, they did restore Press Your Luck at 10 AM.) The only couple I recognized in the 1975 episodes I watched were Richard Dawson and his then-girlfriend Jody Donovan. They played well in the first episode, but not well enough to beat producer Harvey Miller and his wife Diana Ewing.

Rushed out as the second episode was ending. Briefly stopped at Dollar General first, but they didn't have the conditioner I wanted. Went to WaWa next. Had a very fast and simple lunch of a soft pretzel, a banana, and a pumpkin spice smoothie.

Made it to the T-Mobile store in the mall behind the Acme by almost 3, then called Jessa. We had a lot of miscommunication. I tried to get her to give me the password and account number, or at least go to a physical store herself, but she kept insisting I do it. Then she said she only knew the pin number and couldn't remember the account number. It took over 40 minutes of haggling and frustration before the young woman finally transferred my phone number to the new phone line and said I was free to go.

(And from now on, no letting my family do anything for me. No giving them anything "for safekeeping," no sharing anything with them, no living with them. I'll hang out with Jessa and spend holidays with her, but I really need to  stand on my own two feet.)

Cut through Oaklyn on my way back. I hoped to see one of the neighbors who knew Jodie on Hillcrest, but I only saw kids out enjoying the gorgeous, warm sunshine and soft breezes. I'll try texting them tomorrow and seeing if I can get Jodie's phone number to call her about the death certificate. Made another quick stop at Dollar General for laundry detergent after I crossed the White Horse Pike.

Went straight upstairs after I finally got home and into popcorn popped in a microwave and First Love. I go further into this lovely Cinderella tale starring teen soprano Deanna Durbin at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Went online to work on the review for that and Acting Blank. Gene chuckles as the others head off. Brett and Charles are really something else. Bill Cullen is more worried about their appearing in A Christmas Carol together. He's doing it for the children's charity and for Gene's sake, but he's not really much for acting. 

Had dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game '77 as I ate. Today's episode was one of the funniest of the year, and one of the best to feature tough-guy Scoey Mitchilll. He's so tough, he's probably the only panelist who could get away with leaving the desks to use the bathroom in the middle of an episode. 

(Oh, and looks like Buzzr's next special event will be their first Halloween marathon on the 29th. I'm really excited for this one. Looks like it'll include several shows that they either haven't run or don't often turn up, including the hilarious Halloween episode of Match Game '90 and episodes of the Ray Combs and Richard Karn Family Feud.) 

Finished the night online after a shower with episodes of Murder She Wrote in honor of Angela Lansbury, Jessica Fletcher herself, who passed away today. "Harbinger of Death" from the fourth season brings her to a research observatory, where her niece Carrie and her husband Leonard (Dean Jones) are supposed to be residing. Carrie's not there when she comes, and Leonard is tied up in trying to discover a new comet. What he finds is a dead man at the home across the street...the one where the victim assaulted his bored wife. The local cop is convinced Leonard did it, but Jessica thinks there's a lot more to it...and there's a lot that neither Leonard nor Carrie are telling.

Skipped way ahead to the eleventh season for "Film Flam." Jessica travels to Hollywood to discuss the adaptation of one of her novels. The studio is in the midst of restoring the lost, unfinished work of a popular director who died young. A huge fan of his who is going to write a book on his death (John Astin) also passes away, just as he claims he got a bit of information that would bring several shocking revelations to light. Jessica works with the head of the studio and his daughter to find who didn't want that book to come out.

Two of Lansbury's movies were major parts of my childhood. I'm even fonder of Bedknobs and Broomsticks than I am of Mary Poppins. It has a grittiness to it that the 60's fantasy lacks; Lansbury keeps things grounded as the apprentice witch who hopes to find a spell that will help England wind World War II. Her lovely ballad "The Age of Not Believing" got nominated for an Oscar. She also joined David Tomlinson for his rousing "Eglantine" and the catchy "Substitutionary Locomotion." "A Step In the Right Direction" and "Nobody's Problems" didn't make it into the original cut of the film, but the former is on the soundtrack, and the latter was restored later. For most kids who grew up in the 90's, Lansbury is probably best-known as the voice of Mrs. Potts in the original 1991 Beauty and the Beast who introduced the Oscar-winning title song. 

Actually, my first encounter with Lansbury may have left the most lasting impression. I was only four when I first saw Lansbury and George Hearn in the stage version of Sweeney Todd that ran on cable in the early 80's. I never forgot the gruesome image of a woman and a man making meat pies from human remains...and I never really felt the same way about Lansbury afterwards! (I don't think half the cops who harassed Jessica in Murder She Wrote would have given her as much trouble if they knew what this lady could do with a meat cleaver.) 

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