Thursday, November 19, 2020

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Soundtrack

Before I go any further, Peanuts fans should rejoice!

Just two days after I posted my complaint about the lack of Peanuts holiday TV specials airing on broadcast TV this season, it's been announced that Apple has made an agreement with PBS to air A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas! The Thanksgiving special will air this Sunday November 22nd at 7:30pm, and the Christmas special will air Sunday December 13th at 7:30pm. This will be the first year that Peanuts specials have ever aired on PBS. Thank you Apple and thank you PBS!

Get warmed up for this Sunday's airing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with the soundtrack to the special below. It's Vince Guaraldi at his groovy 70s best. It's a good bit different from the sound of Peanuts specials from the 60s, but I dig it.


Monday, November 16, 2020

Good Grief! Peanuts Specials No Longer On Broadcast TV


Hello everybody! Sorry for the long time posting since the Countdown, but this is such a busy time of year. I'm glad to be back, even if it's to mention an unfortunate development in the world of entertainment.

As you likely know, ABC has lost the broadcast rights to the Peanuts TV specials to the online streaming service Apple TV+. The service is now the exclusive TV distributor of all of the previously created Peanuts TV programs as well as future specials and series. This is the first year since each special's debut broadcast that It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas will not air on free broadcast TV. Apple will make each of these three specials available to non-subscribers for a three-day window, but other than that, you must be an Apple TV+ subscriber to watch these specials.

Being a huge Peanuts fan in general and of these three specials in particular, I was heartbroken to learn this news. These specials are in fact very special, especially A Charlie Brown Christmas. To me, these specials have such innocence and heart that they should always be available to all people free of charge. I feel they are a right, like single payer healthcare. To lose these specials from broadcast TV so unceremoniously, especially without warning (the announcement was made halfway through October when we all were expecting an air date for Great Pumpkin on ABC), was just, well, crappy.

Having said that, I don't hold as much animosity towards Apple as you might think. In fact, I kind of admire their interest in the franchise. They realize that to be a major player in the streaming world, they need a big name family franchise to be competitive. Disney has their many classic characters, HBO Max has Looney Tunes, and Netflix has Dreamworks Animation properties. Having Peanuts exclusively on their service helps Apple TV+ be an attractive service for families. Apple's interest is a compliment to the Peanuts legacy!

So if there's any silver lining to the loss of Peanuts from broadcast TV, it's that. Plus, the holiday specials are readily available on DVD and Blu-Ray, so it's not like the specials are locked away in some private vault to remain unseen by anyone.

It's know. Different. Weird. Not right.

There's something about being on broadcast TV that makes viewing the specials a communal event. It's a different experience when you know that millions of other families are enjoying the programs the same time you are. Even having the commercials adds to the communal aspect. Yes, the commercials are trying to sell products, but they're also an acknowledgment that millions of homes are watching.

Oh well. We'll always have YouTube.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween 2020!


And that's a wrap!

Halloween is here! Thank you to everyone who visited my blog this season. I very much appreciate each and every reader. Please let me know in the comments what you liked, what you didn't, and what you'd like to see in the future.

I won't tell you what a terrible year this has been, you already know. It's times like these that holidays such as Halloween are even more important, as they give us the joy we need to overcome life's adversities and remind us what is important: family, friends, and love. I wish that for you this Halloween and every day thereafter!

Happy Halloween!

On to November!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Halloween Home Movies

When the Halloween season begins, my mind is on all the cool decorations, movies, TV episodes, and music that comes with the holidays. But as we get closer to the big day, my mind turns to more practical things: trick or treating, kids getting excited for the candy they'll collect, adults enjoying the kids' enthusiasm, and the warm feeling the holiday fills in our hearts. That's what today's post is about.

Here are some real life Halloween home movies that evoke what I'm talking about. No fantastic monsters or ghosts here, just the innocence of children and their families enjoying the day. Really, this is the coolest part of Halloween.

Enjoy! See you tomorrow for the finale!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Siskel and Ebert review Halloween (1978)


The late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were the leading movie critics of their day for most of America. When they voiced their opinions, people listened, even if they didn't agree with the men.

One film both Siskel & Ebert and the public agreed on--Halloween was an awesome movie!

Here, Gene and Roger praise the film for being a scary movie that doesn't treat its characters as simple fodder for the villain. They appreciate the film's artistry and craft, making for a horror film far above so much of the grindhouse releases of the time. Siskel and Ebert recognize Halloween as a true cut above the rest!

Just for fun, here is Halloween's trailer. Who would have guessed it would become the movie that defined the scary part of the holiday for decades to come!


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