In Bexhill, England, a baby fox fell down a drain pipe. It was too far away to reach, so the rescue workers waited until it tried to find a way out itself and got close enough to grab.
All the while, the young fox's mother (sorry, "mum" this is England, after all) came by to watch surreptitiously, at a distance, keeping an eye on the proceedings.
When they were able to get the little fox out, it will so covered in muck that they decided to clean it first, before putting it an an open animal carrier. They then placed the carrier out in the open of the backyard, so that the mother could come by to help -- and as soon as she does, the baby fox realizes that all is well and...
Well, just take a look at it all --
So, I've seen that ABC is bringing back the old game show, To Tell the Truth, in a six-episode Summer run. It will star Anthony Anderson, who I like very much. The original show first aired in 1956 and had a long run, and it's had other incarnations since.
To Tell the Truth is, I think, one of three particularly iconic TV game shows of that era, the others being What's My Line?, I've Got a Secret.
As readers of these page have probably figured, What's My Line? is the one I think was the best, being substantive, and a good mix between celebrity Mystery Guests and "everyday" guests, along with sharp and entertaining celebrity panelists who had a wide range to ask thoughtful questions and be funny-- not to mention having perhaps the most erudite host, John Daly. I've Got a Secret was a respectable second best, for me, a show that was clearly heavily inspired by What's My Line?, but I find the "secrets" often fairly flimsy and forced, especially with the celebrity guests compared to the celebrity Mystery Guests.
In watching old reruns on YouTube, I find To Tell the Truth not only the least interesting of the three, but often annoying to watch. To be fair, I didn't feel that way when I watched the original show as a kid -- but then, I was a kid. But the reruns don't hold up for me. It does have one thing going for it, though two negatives for my taste, which far top the sole positive.
Make no mistake, the one positive is a big one -- it's probably the easiest for home viewers to play along with. Three guests insist they are someone, and panelists ask questions to determine which of the three guests is the real person.
But that's the foundation of the biggest problem. Because two-thirds of the answers are lies, I find myself not caring. Even if the answers by the "fraud" contestant are accurate, the person responding is lying because they're not who they say they are. And when the answers are not accurate, because the fake-person simply doesn't know, that just makes it all the less involving In the end, I just find it sort of bone-dry empty. There's a randomness, as well, to the questioning, which is totally up to the panelists that means the actual person could conceivably be asked almost no questions about themselves if the panelists prefer to question the two others, who are frauds. And as the viewing audience in the dark, you just don't know. Some viewers might find that "the fun" -- me, I find it frustrating and empty.
The other problem is what comes after the game, when the real person is revealed. At that point, the host would question the two "liars" to find out more about them, and once that's done all three contestants would get sent off. That's what I find especially egregious. They've brought on someone who is apparently interesting enough to be a subject, let two other people lie about that person, and once this interesting person is finally revealed -- he or she is never asked a single thing directly about their interesting life. Only the two "frauds," which is usually something fascinating like, "I'm Earl Bondurant, and I sell insurance at the Automobile Club." Swell, but I want to know more about the person who was interesting enough to have them on as a guest.
The good news is that this second problem is is easily resolvable, and if this new version does so, it'll be a vast improvement. If the new show repeats that pattern, it will -- for me -- fall into the same boring hole. If, however, they allow for brief follow-up questions by the panelists for the real, and interesting, person who can at that point answer more about themselves, in more detail, then a big hole will be vastly improved on.
Otherwise, I find To Tell the Truth an especially frustrating show., and ultimately fairly empty. Yes, a game that the audience can play along with reasonably well -- it's one notable saving grace -- but a game that "Who cares?" is far too often the first reaction.
Me, I'm just not particularly interested in watching a show where the answers are lies two-thirds of the time. If I wanted to do that, I'd put on a Donald Trump press conference.
There! And you didn't think I could get politics in this. O ye of little faith...
This week's contestant is Allison Toltz from Montreal, Canada. This is one that on every level I felt like I should get both the hidden song and composer style -- but didn't. But sort of did. It's a well-known composer, but not as well-known as the most-famous of this style, and I didn't get the specific person. As for the song, it reminded me of one particular song, and I thought it was that, but not enough. And...that's what it turned out to be! So, if you play along and have a guess, don't veer off it. You might well be right.
I heard back from my cousin Susie about the piece I wrote the other day of her experience starring in the film, A Bridge Too Far. She noted a few corrections on her Facebook page, but I'm pleased that I got as much of the story as accurate as I did. However, I do stand by my larger point that she is the star of the film.
For the sake of accuracy, here's what she wrote --
" Bob, you're so funny. That's amazing you remember (kind of remember) the story from 4 decades ago! I was traveling Europe, by myself except for the people I kept meeting and traveling with along the way, two of which were friendly Dutch boys. I went back to their town to visit them while A Bridge Too Far was being filmed. Hans had a minor role and brought me to the set a lot. That's when Richard Attenborough asked me to be in the scene where I sit on top of the tanker with a soldier as it rolled into town. It was a ton of fun and my spot was edited down to a couple nano seconds. Blink and you'll miss it! wink emoticon The photographs I have from being on the set for a week look reflect "
Ha. I work in the film industry. It's not likely that I'm going to forget that my cousin appeared in a film directed by Richard freaking Attenborough. If I got a couple of details slightly off, I attribute that the a screenwriter's creative license. But as I said, I stand by my insistence that she's the star...
For those who missed the original tale, you can find it here, along with a video.
I've posted links to many of Mark Evanier's wonderful series of articles on "Rejection" for writers, and here's his latest, #11. Though the pieces are of most interest to...well, writers, I think they're interesting, as well, for people who like movies and TV, because they give in inside look at how those professional actually work, behind the scenes. But beyond that, they generally offer thoughtful insight into dealing with with work situations whatever the field -- dealing with all manner of bosses, how to handle behind turned down, and not always getting what you want...and how to get there, or how to move on to something different if you don't get there.
This new article is about money. How to deal with not getting it, and how to find ways that will not only help you get it, but help you in ways that will allow you to pursue your interests. And...oh, other things, too.
It was a quiet week. The town finds a way to complain in the midst of beautiful spring weather, Mildred makes off with $220,000 in cash and heads to Buenos Aires, and a few memories of the host's Uncle Jack.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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