Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bullet Points: Downbeat Thursday Edition

• Although it was broadcast for less than a full year, Darren McGavin’s 1974-1975 TV series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, is still broadly--and fondly--remembered. In 2012, Peter Enfantino and John Scoleri put together a terrific blog devoted to the show, It Couldn’t Happen Here. And now the Cult TV Lounge revisits that modern horror drama, calling it “a great deal of fun.
The good episodes outnumber the bad ones by a healthy margin and McGavin is delightful.”

• Amazon Studios has commissioned four original TV series to stream through its Amazon Prime service, one of which is Bosch, a police procedural based on Michael Connelly’s Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch novels and starring Titus Welliver. There’s more information about the four programs here, and specifically on Bosch here. A clip from the pilot is on the right. But I don’t see any word on when this series might debut.

• What do Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and World War I all have in common? This piece in The Atlantic reveals all.

• For anyone planning to attend this year’s CrimeFest in May, note that the program schedule has now been posted. Someday I hope to make it over to Bristol, England, to attend one of these conventions.

• Wow, I used to own all of the Major Matt Mason figures and their space gear, as well. I wonder what my mother did with that stuff …

• Have you been following the posts in Criminal Element, by author Jake Hinkson (Saint Homicide), that look back at the 1990-1991 TV drama Twin Peaks? Hinkson reintroduces the show, and then leaps quickly to the first episode. His reassessments of the second and third eps have followed. You can keep track of them all here.

• Really? A sequel to the 2005 neo-noir film Sin City? Crimespree Magazine offers a trailer for this new picture, which it says opens in theater on August 22.

• Another unnecessary remake. From New York magazine: “According to The Hollywood Reporter, our generation’s Chevy Chase, Jason Sudeikis, is in talks to take on the reporter role Chase made famous in the upcoming film Fletch Won, featuring the character I.M. Fletcher from the Gregory Mcdonald mystery series. Fletch Won will apparently be based on an original story, but Mcdonald did write twelve Fletch books in total, meaning Sudeikis could have his very own James Bond or Indiana Jones if he plays his cards right.” First off, Mcdonald penned 11 Fletch novels, one of which was in fact titled Fletch Won (1985). So is New York’s write-up wrong, or are this film’s supporters using the title, but telling a different story?

• I really must read Solomon’s Vineyard someday.

• For the first time, says author Robert J. Randisi, all three of his private eye Nick Delvecchio novels--No Exit From Brooklyn (1987), The Dead of Brooklyn (1992), and The End of Brooklyn (2011)--will be available in print at the same time.

• The Nick Carter & Carter Brown Blog is focusing on crime, mystery, and thriller fiction book covers this month, all of which contain the word “murder.” (Thankfully, that word is ubiquitous among crime novels, publishers being convinced that readers need such easy cue terms if they’re to recognize new entries in the field.) This “Murder in March Madness” celebration began with The Murders in the Rue Morgue, by Edgar Allan Poe, and has gone from there. You should be able to see all the book fronts at this link.

• Singer Debbie Harry--paperback cover model?

• Crime Fiction Lover’s rundown of “The 20 Best [TV] Crime Shows of All Time” doesn’t feature The Rockford Files, which it of course should, but at least it includes Columbo, Foyle’s War, and the British version of Life on Mars. In addition to The Wire.

• Congratulations to Tipping My Fedora for its first 400,000 visits.

• Finally, a new survey has found that “half the books stockpiled on shelves in British homes remain unread” and that “many people hoard books which they become emotionally attached to.” The Daily Telegraph adds that “the average home has 138 books.” First off, I must shake my head at the idea that there are a mere 138 books in most homes; mine probably contains 5,000. Far fewer than half of those remain unread, but I’ll confess to having a couple of hundred waiting for me to be in the right mood to pick them up and begin digesting their wonders. I don’t at all consider having myriad books in a home hoarding. Bookshelves, even of the jam-packed variety, bring elegance and life to any room. I’ve always been suspicious of people who don’t have books around. What the hell do they do with their spare time, watch Modern Family? I have almost all of the books I’ve read since I attended high school. Books were my friends long before I had many acquaintances of the human variety, and they remind me of the intellectual and imaginative variety I have enjoyed over these many years. Am I emotionally attached to them? Damn straight! And I am proud of the fact. As anyone should be.


Anonymous said...


There are also the books, which were gifts from loved ones, and also volumes that we inherit from relatives who were readers -- and which have a lot of emotional meaning.

Then there are the books which first inspired us to read, those that we read decades ago and learned from, etc.

Books are so much more than just pages of writing with covers. They mean something. They are important.

Ronald Tierney said...

Can't get excited about any connection of Chevy Chase with Fletch.As a Fletch fan, I was very disappointed with te tine Chase brought to the the big screen. Read the books.

Ronald Tierney said...

My apologies. I shouldn't be allowed to wander away without a proof reader.

Scott said...

Thanks for the plug.