Daily Archives: March 6, 2008

The Appeal of Carson

A couple years back, I devoted a pretty large chunk of copy to trying to explain what I thought was so cool about the late Johnny Carson.

Larry Aydlette sums it up in a single line:

There was something adult, sophisticated and boyishly wink-wink naughty all at the same time.

And he provides some video evidence of what he’s talking about, too:

An appropriate thing to post at this time of night, no?


Duncan MacLeod vs. John Amsterdam

During the mid-90s, I was borderline obsessed with a television show called Highlander: The Series. Don’t feel bad if you’re not familiar with it. It was a low-budget syndicated spin-off from a relatively obscure movie, and it aired in the wee hours of the morning in many markets, so about the only regular viewers it ever had were insomniacs, night watchmen, and hardcore fanboys. (Actually there seem to be many more fangirls of this series, fairly unusual in sci-fi and fantasy fandom circles.)

One of these days, I’d like to do a detailed entry in which I attempt to explore why the 1986 Highlander film and the subsequent TV version appealed so strongly to me at that point in my life, but that’s not really important right now. For the purposes of this entry, let me simply lay out a few important facts about the show:

  • The protagonist, Duncan MacLeod, is a 400-year-old immortal man who can only be killed by decapitation. He can recover from any other “fatal” injury.
  • Each episode of the series features a number of historical flashbacks which both flesh out Duncan’s long backstory and have some bearing on the episode’s present-day plotline.
  • A significant portion of Duncan’s backstory involves American Indians. (He lived among them for a time when he was trying to find peace and solace from his troubles.)
  • Above all else, Duncan yearns to have a “normal” life, to have children and grow old with a woman he loves. This may be possible if he wins “The Prize.” (It’d take too long to explain right now; just trust me on this one.)
  • Duncan has a friend and confidante who knows about his secret immortality. This friend is an older man who owns a bar and plays blues guitar.
  • Duncan is not a cop, but he often finds himself in law enforcement-type situations, solving mysteries, helping the helpless, defending the innocent, looking for killers, etc.

Okay, have you got all that? Now let’s consider a few things about a new series I caught for the first time tonight called New Amsterdam: