ABC’s ‘Whiskey Cavalier’ Battles Assassins, Double Agents, & Poor Ratings

by Doug Snauffer

Cold war intrigue is upon us this spring — not from Washington, D.C. or the Kremlin, but from ABC.  Viewers need only turn to the alphabet network on Wednesday nights at 10:00 pm to catch the ambitious new hour-long espionage series Whiskey Cavalier.

The lightweight spy spoof/buddy comedy follows the escapades of an inter-agency group of agents who join forces to save the world from the worst the enemy has to offer. read article

Corporal Punishment and Primetime TV

by Doug Snauffer

The subject of corporal punishment is seldom addressed on TV these days, but that hasn’t always been the case.  Television periodically changes to reflect society (or perhaps vice-versa), and the idea of paddling a child is pretty much taboo in our time, particularly on TV.  But back in the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and even into the ‘80s, most fictional parents lived by the motto “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” At least that’s what TV producers wanted viewers to believe.

The issue was addressed — with a bit of a twist — on the CBS sitcom Family Affair.  In the episode “Love Me, Love Me Not” (12/5/66) young Jody (Johnny Whitaker) witnessed a friend being spanked.  8The boy’s father explained to Jody that he only punished his son because he loves him and wants him to behave and to stay out of trouble. This led Jody to question his Uncle Bill’s (Brian Keith) love since Bill had never paddled him.  His solution was a streak of bad behavior that would leave his uncle with no alternative but to discipline him. But Bill, being a relatively new and inexperienced father, was hesitant to resort to corporal punishment.

Brian Keith (left) and Johnny Whitaker in Family Affair.

Bill was eventually clued in to the cause of Jody’s bad behavior, and this time gave him a swat on the behind — with his hand, not a paddle — to which Jody responded with a big, satisfied smile. read article

Everybody Remembers Floyd the Barber…and if You Don’t, You Should!

by Doug Snauffer

In October 3, 1960, TV viewers were introduced to the fictional small-town of Mayberry, North Carolina—home to an oddball assortment of lovable characters on a new CBS comedy, The Andy Griffith Show.  The pleasant hamlet quickly became as definitive a depiction of rural America as Norman Rockwell’s classic Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations.

There were few lawbreakers in Mayberry.  In one episode, the town was even recognized as the most crime-free community in the country.  Andy never even carried a gun, and Barney kept his one and only bullet in his shirt pocket. read article

Cinemark Classic Film Series: ‘Rebel Without a Cause’

by Doug Snauffer

Director Nicholas Ray’s classic ode to embittered, alienated teens, Rebel Without a Cause, was back in theaters last week as part of ‘Cinemark’s Winter Classic Series 2017.’

The weekly showcase of Hollywood’s most distinguished and time-honored films is sponsored by Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events, and often includes commentary reels featuring TCM TV-hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz. read article

‘Longmire’ Proves Hard to Kill

by Doug Snauffer

As the TV landscape continues to diversify, it’s nice to know there’s still room for an old-fashioned show like Longmire — even though it’s survival has included a number of last-minute reprieves.

Based on the novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson, Longmire is best described as a modern-day Western. It’s protagonist, Sheriff Walt Longmire (Australian actor Robert Taylor), upholds the law in Absaroka County, Wyoming. Walt is a widower who lives in a small secluded cabin on the edge of the Big Horn Mountains. read article