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Home Run Derby (1959)
Why I enjoy "Home Run Derby"
I think that I may have found a new favorite show-- "Home Run Derby" from 1959-60. Why, you might ask? Several reasons, as a matter of fact.
--First, it was the thrill of seeing some of the greatest players hitting homers without all the "styling" of today's Derbies.
--Secondly, it was the fact that the game was played in a compact, easy- to-enjoy half-hour format, unlike today's Derbies, where one batter can stay up at the plate for at least that long or much longer than that, so long as he keeps hitting homers.
--Third, very simple rules: one, that any ball not hit as a homer was an out (of which each player got three per inning, just as in real ball; a swing and a miss, or a pitch that was taken in the strike zone, also was an out), and for a string of three homers, there was a $500 bonus; the same for a fourth, and every home run after that got an additional $1000. The winner got $2000, and the runner-up $1000. The pitcher who threw the most homers also got a bonus (don't know how much it was).
--Finally, it was the inherent feeling of sportsmanship; the two players shook hands before the start of the game, and again afterward, as well as shaking hands with presenter/announcer Mark Scott (sadly deceased).
In short, all these reasons are why I enjoy looking at "Home Run Derby," and why I think you will too, whether you see it on ESPN Classic, or get one or all of the DVD releases.
Deal or No Deal (2005)
Even "Tic Tac Dough" was better than this, at least to me...
"Deal or No Deal" is not one of my favorite games. There are several things that I do not like about it that make me prefer the old "Tic Tac Dough" with Wink Martindale:
1. The studio. "Tic Tac Dough"'s wooden studio from the Martindale run (this studio was made by John C. Mula)had more visual appeal than the city skyline studio of "Deal or No Deal." IOW, the "TTD" Martindale studio was a masterpiece of game show studio design that ranks right up there with that of "Bullseye," a Jim Lange game that ran from 1980-82.
2. The host. I derive more enjoyment out of seeing Howie on "St. Elsewhere" (the first season's worth of which I have on DVD) than I ever did seeing him on "Deal or No Deal." Wink Martindale, I strongly believe, was a better fit for "TTD" than Howie was/is for "Deal or No Deal."
3. The contestants. Based on what I have seen of "Deal or No Deal" and "Tic Tac Dough," to me, the contestants on the latter are more preferable than the contestants on the former, for one simple reason: I don't think that I have seen anyone clown around and make a fool of themselves on "Tic Tac Dough." Sure, they may have celebrated a win in either the front game or bonus game, but they seemed to keep it in check, being sportsmanlike in the process. On the other hand, the contestants on "DoND" seem to always mug for the NBC cameras and make fools of themselves after big wins. They also reject good money ($100,000, for instance) and end up sometimes knocking the big amounts out of play. Sometimes, with big deal possibilities (like the aforementioned $100,000), I scream at the TV, something like "Take the Deal!!" or "Deal!!" The contestants don't seem to care, however, even for such a big amount as that, as they say "No Deal!" They oftentimes walk out with less than the possible deal could have brought. This is one fault that made "Tic Tac Dough," overall, a better show-- at its core, "TTD" was simply the children's game of tic-tac-toe turned into a game show, nothing more, nothing less (except for the Dragon, of course, in the bonus game; the Dragon stands to me as a better adversary than the Banker).
Overall, the old "Tic Tac Dough" with Wink Martindale, to me, is a better choice, based on the reasons that I have listed, than NBC's "Deal or No Deal."
Hardcastle and McCormick (1983)
"Hardcastle and McCormick" is a great series
I took a chance on "Hardcastle and McCormick" by purchasing the first season's worth (Canadian release) from Amazon. When I got it, I started with the pilot, and I was instantly hooked after that. I rated it 5 stars on Amazon, and I am rating it 10 stars here. It is just that good. What I liked about it were the opening and closing themes, and of course Stephen J. Cannell's logo at the end of each episode, but most of all, the relationship between the Judge and Mark as they worked together to crack each case. I was so hooked that I also purchased the second season as a companion, and I enjoyed it equally. If you do not have this excellent series on disc, I believe that you should purchase it and put it in your collection.
What I liked and did not like (among other things)
I saw "Dynasty Reunion: Catfights and Caviar" the other night, and here's what I liked and did not like about it, among other things: PRO: The title sequence, in which each cast member is shown in a "before" clip from the original series, then the cast member's name comes up, and then a current picture of that cast member (showing what he/she looks like in the Reunion) is shown. They did this for each cast member, even for those who only had clips (Bellwood, Coleman, and Samms).
CON: I did not like that Johnny F. (John Forsythe) did not appear himself until the end of the program, although he did the narration and a couple of interview clips, and appeared in a few of the scenes that the others talked about. I also did not like that it only lasted 1 hr. that Tuesday night (5/2/06). I would have liked 2 hrs. on a Friday for it, just like they did for "Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again".
I'd like to hear what you think! 8/10