Friday Roundup: Lived Fast, Died Young, Left DVDs

We have much to be thankful to the Japanese for. Robots. Anime more twisted than whiskey-valium weekend in Juarez. “Special purpose” vending machines.

But the greatest invention of the Japanese people has got to be the DVD. I assume they invented the DVD, because — who are we kidding?

Thanks to the miracle of DVD collections, I’m able to watch the entire short runs of those rare moments of television genius that are struck down, almost invariably in their first season, by the walking lobotomy cases that run Fox Network.

On tap now: “Action

This is probably the best and filthiest comedy ever to grace the airwaves. Naturally, it didn’t make it past 13 episodes. Peter Dragon is the man I want to model my life after.

On tap pretty much any weekend I haven’t loaned them out — I’m looking at you, Tina — “Firefly

On deck: “American Gothic” and “Profit.”

Ironically, much as I lament the short, brilliant runs and wish for an alternative universe where they would have had long runs and the execs who canceled them to get ebola of the anus, it also makes me realize that maybe it’s better they went out James Dean style. I mean, “Heroes” would have been considered brilliant if it had died after the first season, and “24” sadly should have have ended on the third day instead of both becoming the Fat Elvis’s of the small screen.

About the only consistently brilliant shows cut short but that made it to three seasons or more that are also in the DVD pile — “Arrested Development” “Larry Sanders” “Justice League” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm

(Honorable mention to current shows “Fringe” “Family Guy” and “Dexter.”)

Any I’m missing?

And if anyone names any medical drama, self-serious lawyer show, or any show with a laugh track, I will ban you from the Internet.

PS — Thank you, Mrs. Trey, for finding “Action.”


Roundup Part Two

It’s all Rawlins, all the time here: see the print version of the Dallas Morning News Monday. Local legend Rawlins Gilliland has an June 8 op-ed coving 60 years in Dallas on how 20 percent of the city became called by the wrong name and in the process countless crimes, etc. became credited to the wrong place.

Also, later this afternoon on KERA 90.1 Rawlins will have a replay on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED between 4 and 6:30 p.m. of his morning commentary on how we are all judged by our faces — a largely lamentable dynamic of which I’m really grateful since aside from my Adonis-like physique my countenance is my best feature.


  1. Rachel Dillard says:

    I hope Rawlins is going to straighten out the problem the media has with “South Dallas” into which they lump, South Oak Cliff, Oak Cliff, Southwest Dallas, and West Dallas.

  2. Dallasite says:

    All of those places are in South Dallas… what’s your point?

  3. FortWorthGuy says:

    I remember “Profit”….good show. Adrian Pasdar played this very odd, very ruthless business executive type of guy. But….if I remember correctly, he had this really state of the art apartment (NYC?), but slept naked in a cardboard box…in the apartment of course. I think he had some “issues”.

  4. You remember correctly.

    I seem to gravitate to shows with despicable or disreputable antagonists. Odd for a guy with a Superman obsession.

    Probably my own issues.

  5. Peterk says:

    Northern Exposure – the original summer short run, a delightfully quirky show that got promoted to the Big Show

  6. Daniel says:

    We judge people by their rumps, too — but they don’t teach you that in college because they’re a tweedy Marxists and lumpy besides.

    Oh, here’s one for you: The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Kids’ show, Nickelodeon, mid-90s. Best thing to ever grace a TV screen.

  7. Tom says:

    I wouldn’t bury “Curb” yet. Larry David is making noises about one more season. Of course, he says every season is the last.

  8. Rachel Dillard says:

    Dallasite: If you have to ask, then you’re not from Oak Cliff. It matters because those areas are different from each other economically, racially, and culturally. South Dallas is only a portion of Dallas that exists on the other side of the Trinity.

  9. keith johnson says:

    One of the best of the short ran comedy shows was a series with Dabney Coleman called Buffalo Bill; Coleman played a snarky talk show host in Buffalo NY and the show was a scream!

  10. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    Dallasite,building on Rachel’s I would hope you were kidding. But FYI, ‘South Dallas’ is the actual (and oldest historic and after the 50s largely black and poor) part of Dallas that lies immediately south of DT, east of the Trinity-I45, west of White Rock Creek/the Trinity Forest/ 2nd Ave depending on which touchstone resonates. . The Old City Park and the Cedars are in it’s most northern part. Also the Dallas Police Headquarters, etc. ‘South’ Dallas is a real part of the city, a sector, not the geo area meaning ‘southern Dallas’. At all.

    But no, that’s not what my piece addresses in specific terms. But in general terms, absolutely it speaks to your point. But yes, you may learn something if you read my piece. And it seems that would be a plus for us all since Dallas is now the 6th or 7th largest city in the USA. So sorta calling anything something other than what it is or having no clue the real names or locations of large portions of this city…is a shared lingo we should all aspire to correctly learn, if for no other reason to be speaking the same language and be on the same page in discussions. All knowledge being power as they say………..

  11. Dallasite says:

    Rawlins & Rachel:

    It sounds like you both have a geographic inferiority complex. South is a direction, and grouping all of “South” Dallas into a single group shouldn’t cause you lose sleep at night, or get your respective panties in a wad.

    If it’s south of I-30, it’s South Dallas. If it’s Downtown, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Oaklawn, etc., it’s Central Dallas. If it’s North of the Park Cities, it’s North Dallas, even if there are smaller neighborhoods contained within those larger geographic areas. Fortunately for the sane, the majority of Dallasites don’t give a damn that The Cedars and Old City Park aren’t the same neighborhood, and even more importantly, neither of you get to dictate what a specific area is called.

    Where do you draw the line? Kessler Park is within the boundaries of Oak Cliff, and while a large number of the people who live in Kessler may not want to be associated with the stereotype of Oak Cliff, they are well within the original boundaries of the town. So where do they live, Oak Cliff, or Kesser Park? (I would say both, they live in Kessler Park which lies within Oak Cliff, just as all the neighborhoods you listed above lie within South Dallas).

  12. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    Anonymous ‘Dallasite: You are right to exercise your right regarding not caring. Me? I neither care to ‘dictate’ nor would I guess what an area is called, in my hometown Dallas or elsewhere. And when in any form of media accountability, how could I? People in New York do not debate what is and isn’t Long Island or Queens. But it’s common as black east Texas dirt here to ‘debate’ what is or isn’t let’s say ‘Lakewood’? Trust me. Homeowners in Lakewood can tell you.

    Fortunately I do not have to render guesses even if I were so inclined. I like learning geography and coming to know, first by actually being a ‘Dallasite’ born here, but by reading and researching out of intrigued interest rather than being academic; finding the history of a city and its deeds and maps and history and borders and boundaries surprising, even enlightening.

    However defining what is South Dallas vs. Southeast Dallas and Oak Cliff and West Dallas and Lakewood and Park Cities and Pleasant Grove and Cedar Hills is not something people can arbitrarily define according to how they ‘feel’. They are defined. It’s just as you say, many don’t care. And I don’t care that they don’t. In fact I don’t ‘care’ as much as people might think. But I do care if those who don’t care have strong dart-toss opinions rather than actual insight and curiosity. And I have no interest when they’re proud of not really caring rather than merely admitting indifference.

    God knows I will hear loads of opinions after my upcoming Op-Ed runs. Many smart and thoughtful, others rude or smug, some condescending. And per usual I will answer each individually as the emails come in as long as they introduce themselves with their names. What I hope to avoid is assaults by those nonetheless telling me they ‘don’t care’. Which happens all the time these days. There is nothing wrong with not being interested. There is something however less than impressive when those who are proud of their indifference still insist upon being heard. If they are not interested, why pontificate, why contribute? And I will not let the piece I’m running set me up as the arbiter of Dallas history or neighborhoods. I have no such interest AT all. I only wrote the piece I did because I had come to know something the media at large was ignoring, and since Dallas is now one of this nation’s largest cities, I thought it was time to set the record straight. There are other parts of the city where this is also true but they musrt find their advocates. I resisted becoming the advocate for southeast Dallas but I was enlisted by fate.

  13. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    PS Dallasite. Old City Park IS in the Cedars. Which is the northern most neighborhood in South Dallas. And yes, there are to your points naturally other neighborhoods withing the boundaries of what is properly called South Dallas as you point out regarding North Dallas or any other city sector. Rachel’s point (not mine) being that South Dallas IS a sector, not a geo definition. At least in Dallas since South Dallas was the center of Dallas history and power until WW2. It was the origimal Park Cities elite address, bar none.

    Some of that become splitting hairs. What is not splitting hairs is what I write about on Monday. The improper loss of an area’s varied historical DNA identity by default. It’s the names of the sectors that becomes the issue. Of course Kessler Park is the northern most neighborhood in Oak Cliff. But Casa Linda in not part of Lakewood, no matter what a realtor who moved here from Dayton two years ago tells a potential buyer. Like my cousin.

  14. Rachel Dillard says:

    Dallasite, it appears your buttons have been pushed on this issue. I neither know, nor care, what they are or why you have them.

    If it’s fine with you that news items occurring south of the river are identified as having occurred in South Dallas, then that’s superfine with me that it’s fine with you. It’s simply my preference, as one raised in Oak Cliff who cares about what’s going on in the old homeland to preserve the identities of the former cities (and neighborhoods therein, such as Kessler Park, Cedar Crest, Singing Hills, Redbird, Upper and Lower Kiest, Jefferson, etc.) which “Southern Dallas” comprises and of which South Dallas and Oak Cliff are merely components.

    I’m not suggesting the press get so nitpicky as to identify neighborhoods in its reports, although it seems to have no problem identifying neighborhoods in its North Dallas stories. Now I’m getting into the splitting hairs issue that Rawlins describes.

    It’s like Rawlins said about the realtor from Dayton describing a Casa Linda neighborhood as being Lakewood. A significant portion of our media are young transplants who don’t know and may or may not care about the history of our city; but it makes a difference to those of use who’ve been here a very long time, care what’s going on, and don’t want our old stomping grounds referred to as “Tom” when they’re really named “Rawlins”. (I liked that line, Rawlins.)

    I don’t understand why it’s a big deal to you that it’s a big deal to me, but it really doesn’t matter.

  15. Dallasite says:

    I really don’t think it’s my buttons that have been pushed since I’m not the one correcting people for saying something that is already technically accurate. I guess it’s just frustrating that people have to put on arms that their (area/demographic/neighborhood/ice cream flavor) is somehow mistreated because people don’t know its given name, regardless of whether that name has been used regularly in our lifetimes. Face it, everything in S Dallas is S Dallas, regardless of whether it’s broken up into little bitty neighborhoods.

    I’m also a little confused about your statement that the media …seems to have no problem identifying neighborhoods in its North Dallas stories”. Without looking at a map, I doubt either of you could name a specific neighborhood in N Dallas that isn’t occupied by a former President (I’ll give you Lake Highlands).

    I just don’t think that classifying S Dallas in a single category, when its appropriate, deserves a rebuke. Educating people on the city’s history is one thing, lecturing them is quite another.

    p.s. Rawlins, I’m sure your editorial will be first class, and I look forward to reading it, even if it will make me feel like I’m being lectured to.

  16. Bear says:

    I for one am happy that “Chuck” got a third season.

  17. Rachel Dillard says:

    Ah, Dallasite. One thing I do understand, and that is why you post anonymously!

  18. Dallasite says:

    Get stalked one time, and you’ll start posting anonymously as well.

  19. keith johnson says:

    If I was unhappy living in Pleasant Grove I think I’d just move out….

  20. Mork from Ork says:


    Get off your high horse regarding anonymity. Ask “Troll Doll” why she decided to post anonymously after repeatedly slamming the practice. She’s a regularl reader here.