Television notes for today, in my vain hope to influence your viewing habits.
1. One of the only new shows to catch even a glimmer of my attention is Once Upon A Time. The idea, already mined by the comic series Fables, is about fairy tale characters trapped in the real world with no memory of their past. But suddenly Snow White and Prince Charming’s long lost daughter shows up in this sleepy town and things start to change. And the Evil Queen is not happy about this. Each episode furthers the drama of the awakening, while giving us glimpses of the characters lives from within the fairy tales. I was not completely sold on this show at first, but the Jiminy Cricket showcase two weeks ago brought the promise of this journey to the forefront. This was the Locke-in-the-wheelchair moment from Lost. Which does not surprise me since the creators are card carrying members of the Dharma Initiative. Make a deal with yourself, watch Once Upon A Time or else Rumplestiltskin will pay you a visit. And you don’t want that.
2. My next new show is the fine cartoon Young Justice, based on the DC Comic from the 1990’s. I never read the comic even through it was written by one of my favourite scribes Peter David, but I knew the premise. The youthful proteges of the superheroes want to prove their worth so they form a clandestine team to work under the direction of their mentors. The show continues the feel of the previous Justice League cartoon, while still charting a destiny of its own. Character development is prominent here, with issues from parental neglect to science versus faith being explored. Superboy’s surly behaviour is contrasted to Kid Flash’s cockiness which plays against Miss Martian’s naivete. And this is the coolest Aqualad ever. As for the adult end of things, for once Superman is being the jerk not Batman. So if you like your teen angst served with some good old fashioned slugfests, try Young Justice.
3. One show I still weep (weep?) over is Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The final episodes of this goofy fun cartoon series have just aired in the states, but we Canadians have been deprived of the final season so far. If you liked your Batman with a grin, aided and abetted by a gallery of guest stars, then this is one groovy toon for you. That last sentence hurt. Last week the finale of this fine series caused some facebook traffic. Henry “The Fonz” Winkler pulled a cameo as the one and only Ambush Bug, the only comic character that knows he is a comic character. Best. Idea. Ever. So, I humbly beg the Geek Gods to please bring these last moments of Bat merriment north of the 49th. Pretty please?
Unfortunately I have to leave this edition with some sad news. Harry Morgan, the actor who played Colonel Sherman Potter on the classic sitcom M.A.S.H. passed away today at the age of 96. I grew up an avid viewer of M.A.S.H. and thanks to my brothers I have the compete box set. RIP Harry Morgan, and don’t worry Mildred and Sophie will be well taken care of.
P.S. Once Upon A Time is on Sunday at 7 on ABC and CTV. Young Justice is on Friday at 7 on TeleToon. M.A.S.H. will play forever in our hearts. Rumplestiltskin image copyright 2011 to ABC Television Network.