Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.


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» Saturday, August 29, 2009
New Products and Old Friends
Up relatively early to go to the Farmer's Market. It was still cloudy and cool and we took full enjoyment of it with the windows down. I still wore my hat, and good thing, as it peeped out several times. Otherwise it was good strolling weather.

We bought six ears of corn and some tomatoes and cucumbers; also a baguette and some breakfast, plus I bought some goat cheese, and admired all the dogs wandering about at heel at the market. Not a lot of greyhounds at the rescue stand today.

After tucking that all away, we went to BJs for weekly supplies and sandwich meats for DragonCon. Had a couple of samples and checked out the books, and then the DVDs. To my surprise, I saw two old favorites and bought them. One was the first season of the British series The Adventures of Black Beauty (not the Australian follow-on series, but the original with Judi Bowker as Victoria Gordon, William Lucas as her father Dr. Gordon, Roderick Shaw as her brother Kevin, and Charlotte Mitchell as their often-exasperated but motherly housekeeper Amy Mitchell. (In the second season Bowker left the show and was replaced by Stacy Dorning as her sister Jenny, who was explained as having been at boarding school during the first season; I never felt those episodes were as good.) The other was the first season of Rhoda, which, I'll admit, I purchased just to have an uncut copy of "Rhoda's Wedding."

People have comfort food—for my own part it's chicken soup with rice, or a glass of milk and a Hershey's Special Dark bar—and comfort activities, like curling up before a fire, doing yoga, or needlework. There is also comfort television for most of us who have grown up with "the idiot's lantern." My audio copy of "Rhoda's Wedding" has always been one of my favorite "comfort TV" offerings. I videotaped a syndicated copy, but it had all my favorite lines neatly excised, like Lou Grant's deadpan "cute...cute as hell" and most of Georgette's opening scene.

Rhoda as a series ran five years, but it rather failed the character. The entire humor of Rhoda Morganstern, late of the Bronx, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was that she was a fish out of water in Minneapolis, plus that she was overweight and had horrendous luck on dates. After a while, Valerie Harper lost what little extra poundage she had (her costuming on Moore's show always made her look more frumpy than she actually was), then decamped to New York, where she promptly met and married Joe Gerard after eight episodes. Rhoda happily married was Rhoda boring, and eventually Rhoda and Joe divorced. But the first season was fun, and the wedding hilarious. I can still recite it almost line for line.

While watching it this time, I noted the words of Rhoda's little confession to Joe on the night before their marriage and had to laugh even more.
Joe: Why should it be hard for you to ask me anything?

Rhoda: Joe, you'll never understand me until you learn to be insecure...I spent a lot of time wondering if you're doing the right thing...there's a lot you don't know about me, a lot of stuff...first, I'm not easy to live with. I'm overly sensitive. You look at me cross-eyed and I go to pieces...you won't know when it's happening. You see, when I feel hurt I do one of two things: I withdraw--or attack. And the eating thing, the eating thing--Joe, sometimes I go two days straight talking of nothing but food. I'm boring. I'm a boring person, Joe. Not to mention my temper. Or my mother! Or the fact that I have absolutely no experience living with a man. I mean, there's your life, Joe Gerard, stretching out in front of you. You're going to be living with a woman who is either crying, or mad at somebody, or talking about food. One terrific life! Oh, I really must love you--I feel so sorry for you.
Because except for the crack about her mother, and the line where she mentions that some days she talks about nothing but food, I could have made the same confession to James before we got married! Especially "you'll never understand me until you learn to be insecure"! (Maybe for food I could have substituted "books." Or "Lassie." LOL.)

So now I'm watching Black Beauty and eating a slice of French bread with goat cheese and honey. I feel rather like Heidi. The Adventures of Black Beauty first ran in syndication during the mid-1970s after the passage of the prime-time access rule, and then was shown on Nickelodeon along with the classic favorites like Lassie and Belle and Sebastian in the 1980s. It's an ambling, old-fashioned type story, with no flashing special effects and 3-D animation, but it suits me just fine.

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