Tuesday, January 29, 2019

90 YEARS OF JEAN SIMMONS BLOGATHON - Murder, She Wrote: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (1989)

The Wonderful World of Cinema and Phyllis Loves Classic Movies are hosting a blogathon tribute to the lovely actress Jean Simmons. Start HERE and HERE to relive the memories and discover new favourite performances.

Jessica Beatrice Fletcher, a teacher turned mystery author and amateur sleuth of Cabot Cove, Maine continues to enchant fans in syndication and on DVD after a 12 season television run (1984-1996) and 4 made-for-TV films. Murder, She Wrote was created by Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson and William Link.

Jean Simmons

Series star Angela Lansbury brought home 3 out of 6 Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama. Ms. Lansbury was nominated for a Primetime Emmy each of the show's 12 seasons with no wins. In 1989 her Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series nomination was alongside Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Jean Simmons for playing Eudora McVeigh in the episode Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.

The two-part season 5 finale aired on May 14 and 21, 1989. It was written by series creator Peter S. Fischer as a possible series finale until Ms. Lansbury renewed her contract with CBS. The episode was directed by TV veteran (The Fugitive, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones) Walter Grauman.

Ron Masak, Angela Lansbury

"I've been here one year. This is my fifth murder. What is this? The murder capital of Maine? On a per capita basis, this place makes the South Bronx look like Sunnybrook Farm. I mean, is this why Tupper quit? He couldn't take it anymore? Somebody really should have warned me, Mrs. Fletcher. Now perfect strangers are coming to Cabot Cove to die."
- Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak)

If Sheriff Metzger wants any help with the mysterious body found on the beach he is not only able to ask the assistance of J.B. Fletcher, following in the habit of his predecessor Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley), but he has unsolicited input from Eudora McVeigh who came to Cabot Cove with her own agenda.

Eudora McVeigh played by Jean Simmons has been the reigning Queen of Mystery for the past two decades, but her publisher played by Richard Anderson feels her latest works are stale, especially since her marriage to Hank Shipton played by Ken Howard. Word is the publisher is looking to sign J.B. Fletcher and this rankles Eudora like nothing else.

Jean Simmons

"My career is in tatters. My marriage is hanging by a thread. And who do I have to thank for this? Dear, lovable, sweet-as-apple-pie Jessica Fletcher who just bounced me from fifth-row center to the back of the last row in the balcony."
- Eudora McVeigh (Jean Simmons)

With a lovely basket of locally grown apples as a gift, Eudora descended on Jessica's Cabot Cove home following up Jessie's polite invitation extended at a convention. Eudora wrangles a stay for the night and drugs Jessica into a sound sleep so she can rummage the house for Jessica's latest novel. Eudora has the novel copied and intends to pass it off as her own work.

Eudora is followed to Maine by her husband Hank and his grown son Bobby played by Daniel McDonald. Hank is worried by Eudora's increasingly erratic behavior and troubled by guilt over his affair with Eudora's agent Liza played by Shelley Fabares. Bobby is worried his dad is about to blow the money they have come into since the marriage.

The body on the beach that so irks Sheriff Metzger is that of a private eye who was following Hank. Liza's husband Victor Casper played by David Hedison had hired the detective to follow his wife and Hank. Ah, what a tangled web they weave.

William Windom

"A few years back, you needed this writing to help you get through the empty days and empty nights. I know that. I went through it myself. But Frank's a long time gone now, just like my Ruth. And another best seller or 10 best sellers is not going to fill that void. All I know is that if Frank Fletcher were still around you wouldn't be spending half your life chained to that typewriter and the other half chasing around the country. No, sir. You'd be out smelling the salt air at sunrise."
- Seth Hazlitt (William Windom)

Jessica is in a position where she has to discover a murderer and protect her own intellectual property. She is also grappling with the idea that her life needs more balance. These ideas were put into her head by dear friend Dr. Seth Hazlitt played by William Windom whose life is in peril at the end of the first episode. Seth has been poisoned by one of those lovely apples presented to Jessica by Eudora McVeigh.

Angela Lansbury, Jean Simmons

The piling up of evidence finds Eudora arrested for the murder of the private investigator and the poisoning of Dr. Hazlitt. There is also the little matter of Jessica's manuscript and the assault with the sedative. Nonetheless, Jessica believes Eudora is innocent of the murder and poisoning charges. Eudora's behavior indicates a breakdown of some sort and it is help she needs, and when someone needs help they can always count on Jessica Fletcher.

Everyone Jessica needs to investigate has come to Cabot Cove, Eudora's husband and stepson, her agent and her husband, and the publisher. Each has reason to fear Eudora and to fear for her. Matters of the heart and financial matters surround these people and their actions. Sadly, it is the money that will lead Jessica to the killer.

Vindicated of the crimes, her marriage over, and her career on hold, Eudora plans to visit family and reboot her life.

"I treated you shabbily. I'm ashamed and embarrassed. If there is anything I can do to make amends, I will do it. Now, please don't say anything kind. I just couldn't take it."
- Eudora McVeigh (Jean Simmons)

If Eudora can make such a huge change to find balance in her life, then Jessica can take one small step away from the typewriter and off to the harbour for a day of fishing with Seth.

Jean Simmons, Angela Lansbury, Richard Erdman

Angela Lansbury and Jean Simmons both starred in the 1966 film Mr. Buddwing, but their characters had no interaction. It is in this 1989 episode of Murder, She Wrote that we get to see the two ladies from London, with long Hollywood careers, finally together on the screen. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall is terrific television and it would have been icing on the cake to see Angela and Jean take home those Emmy Awards.

Friday, January 25, 2019

ROBOTS IN FILM BLOGATHON: Hymie in Anatomy of a Lover, Get Smart

The Robots in Film Blogathon runs from January 25th to 27th. It is hosted by our esteemed friends at The Midnight Drive-In and Hamlette's Soliloquy. Click HERE or HERE to enjoy these imaginative characters in movies and television.

Get Smart (1965-1970) is the genius television sitcom created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry that is a perfect send-up of the popular spy films of the 1960s. The series doled out consistent laughs during five seasons of classic television and received numerous Emmy Awards and nominations. To this day, folks repeat Agent 86's catchphrases ("Sorry about that, Chief.") without even knowing their source.

Don Adams, Edward Platt

Maxwell Smart aka Agent 86 was played by comic Don Adams. The source of this superspy's humour comes from the fact that he is a dimwit who inadvertently enjoys success without realizing he is a dimwit. Max is adored and more than ably assisted by the lovely Agent 99 played by Barbara Feldon. Max is the bane of the existence of the Chief of their agency CONTROL played by Edward Platt.

Don Adams, Barbara Feldon

CONTROL has at its disposal a laboratory that creates all sorts of gadgets necessary to the battle against their opposite number, the international organization of evil in the form of KAOS. Phones were famously concealed in shoes, in make-up compacts, and fingernails. Agents were concealed in everything from sofas to refrigerators. 

Dick Gautier

KAOS got the jump on CONTROL when evil Dr. Ratton created HYMIE the robot played by Dick Gautier. KAOS used Hymie to kidnap a scientist and during the operation, Hymie also captured Agents 86 and 99. Hymie had a screw loose somewhere and refused to do Dr. Ratton's bidding when he was ordered to kill Max. Max, you see, had treated Hymie like a real person. A kink in Hymie's circuitry gave him a sense of self and independence and, unwittingly, Max played up that side of the robot and became his friend.

Gary Clarke/C.F. L'Amoreaux

Back to the Old Drawing Board in Season One was Hymie's origin story in Get Smart. It was written by Gary Clarke (Steve on The Virginian) as C.F. L'Amoreaux and directed by Bruce Bilson. Clarke /L'Amoreaux wrote all but the last of the six episodes featuring Hymie the robot.

Don Adams, Dick Gautier

Anatomy of a Lover opened Season Two in 1966 with Hymie a member of CONTROL in good standing. However, those sneaky guys from KAOS have planted an agent who tinkers with Hymie. His new wiring causes Hymie to attempt to kill the Chief. The Chief, visibly perturbed, orders Max to disassemble the cybernaut. "What's his religion got to do with it?".

Laurel Goodwin

Certain that someone has messed with Hymie's circuitry, Max hides the robot at his apartment until they can discover who is behind the dastardly deed. While incognito as Max's cousin, Hymie meets the chief's niece Phoebe played by Laurel Goodwin. Phoebe is quite taken with the handsome neighbour. "I wouldn't care if he came from a junkyard.".

The double agent turns out to be Kirsch played by King Moody (KAOS second banana Starker in later episodes). Max fooled no one when he brought the remains of a disassembled washing machine into the office as Hymie. Kirsch again works on the robot, this time programming him to kill the first person he hears say the phrase "Waiter, the cheque." 

Dick Gautier

First Hymie must convince Max to take him to a restaurant. This isn't too difficult since Max has been made to feel guilty for his over-the-top sloppiness. After all, the programmed-for-neatness Hymie has been slaving all day to keep the apartment nice. He's lonely and wants to get out. It is a double date for Max and 99 with Hymie and Phoebe.

King Moody

When the polite mechanical man asks for the cheque himself and then tries to blow his brains out, Max clues in that someone has tinkered with his friend yet again. It is easy enough to determine that  Kirsch was the only other person to come to the apartment that day, ostensibly to deliver a message to Max. Kirsch confirms all this when he attempts to destroy Max, 99 and Hymie. Stupid Kirsch! He let ashes fall on the carpet!

"Hymie's programming for neatness was stronger than his programming for evil!"

Dick Gautier

Good looks, impeccable comic timing, and spot-on deadpan delivery. What more could be asked of a sit-com robot? Dick Gautier is perfect as Hymie, speaking in a monotone and taking every command or utterance literally. Hymie's abilities, in the grand tradition of sci-fi, seem to know no bounds. He can judge distances accurately, perform feats of prodigious strength, and deflect bullets. Hymie understands his place in the scheme of things; being a cybernaut and all, but his loyalty is touching. Always a welcome character in the series, in the minds of fans it seems he must have appeared in more than seven episodes. The laughs are worthy of double or triple that number. Thus are legends born in our minds.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Crystal of In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood is reviving her Remembering Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon of 2016 with co-host Maddy of Maddy Loves Her Classic Films. The blogathon runs from January 20 - 22.

Everything starts at Day One and continues here.

"The Saint Louis Blues is the most beautiful music they is."
- Newt Holley played by Walter Brennan

Newt Holley is determined to serenade his son Ernie on the night of his marriage to Pearl Elliot, ensuring the grandbaby he longs to see. Newt and his bride were serenaded thusly almost 50 years earlier, and they had six sons, with Ernie the only one still living. The rest "was drownded." That's what comes from living in Shantyboats.

Shantyboats describes exactly what you would think; a shanty town on the water. Roughhewn, homemade houseboats on barges were affordable for a poorer population that tended to keep to themselves. Itinerant workers learned to like the life, and lived on the canals and rivers of America from the 19th century well into the 1930s, the setting of our story.

The history of shantyboats and a novel by Harry Hamilton published in 1936, makes an interesting setting for Banjo on My Knee, a likably improbable movie directed by John Cromwell for 20th Century Fox that same year.

Where the Lazy River Goes By
Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson

Ernie, played by Joel McCrea is marrying land girl Pearl played by Barbara Stanwyck. During the ceremony, Newt plays the Bridal Chorus on his one-man-band contraption while cousin Buddy, played by Buddy Ebsen dances and sings. After the ceremony, Pearl sings to her husband and fights with jealous rival Leota played by Katherine De Mille. Barbara Stanwyck has a pleasant and controlled contralto. For his part, Ernie's post-ceremony festivities include a fight with a land business acquaintance, Mr. Slade played by Victor Kilian. This Slade character wanted to kiss the bride and Ernie wouldn't stand for it.

Joel McCrea, Barbara Stanwyck

Ernie knocks Slade right into the water and when the body does not re-emerge it is assumed to be dead. Vengeful Leota goes for the sheriff and Ernie hightails it for New Orleans as he doesn't trust the land police. So much for any serenading this night!

It turns out that Slade wasn't dead so Ernie is free to return to his lovely bride. Of course, any serenading will have to wait until Ernie returns from roaming the seven seas on a freighter. Six months later Ernie is back with tattoos to account for his wandering. He talks to Pearl about the places he has seen including Aruba. Ernie thinks they should settle there and he'll go ahead and get a job and then send for everyone.

Pearl has waited six long months for Ernie's return and she is not open to the idea of his leaving again! We know by now that these are two hot-headed characters and they have a doozy of an argument. Ernie storms out. Pearl storms out. This time it is Pearl who is bound for New Orleans with a traveling photographer played by Walter Catlett. Catlett was pulling his line on Leota when Pearl swept him off his feet. Leota is not happy with Pearl.

Once in New Orleans, Pearl gets cold feet about working for the photographer and takes a dishwashing job at a restaurant run by Minna Gombel. She almost runs into Ernie there as he'd finally cooled off after their fight. However, they miss each other when Ernie runs into a former shipmate played by Milburn Stone and is off again.

St. Louis Blues
W.C. Handy

In her loneliness, Pearl sits alone at the docks listening to the Hall Johnson Choir and her Baby Face co-star Theresa Harris singing "the most beautiful music they is" and it breaks Pearl's heart. Note: The Hall Johnson Choir can lead me into any movie in which they appear.

Barbara Stanwyck, Tony Martin

You'll never guess who else shows up in New Orleans. Why it's none other than Newt! His contraption is a hit with the restaurant audience and this causes the resident baritone Chick played by Tony Martin to lose some of his considerable faith in himself. Eventually, Chick, Newt, and Pearl team up as entertainers at the restaurant and they are a hit. Even cousin Buddy hits the big town and joins the act.

Life couldn't be any better, especially when they learn that Ernie is on his way home. A celebration is planned, but when Ernie arrives he sees the peddling photographer, gets the wrong idea, and wrecks the joint. That's it! It's all over! Pearl is going to Chicago with Chick. Ernie goes back to the river and Leota.

Buddy Ebsen, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Brennan

Here's where the special effects folks get into things with a finale involving all our leading characters and a major storm on the river. There are life and death situations, hilarious girl fight situations, and ... at long last ... some "serenading." If Ernie and Pearl can keep from fighting long enough, they may have time to raise some singing/dancing/fighting children.

Banjo on My Knee is the second of six films starring Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea from 1934s Gambling Lady to 1957s Trooper Hook. I find them a very simpatico pairing in all their outings. However, Banjo on My Knee by far the oddest little movie in the grouping, with its comedy/drama/musical mix.

McCrea's character is so obstinate and so much the cause of the misunderstandings that you begin to wonder if he is worth all the trouble. Barbara Stanwyck is charming as a girl who longs for her home and her man but refuses to be pushed around. She creates a vulnerable character who learns through her experience. One wonders if McCrea's Ernie will ever grow up.

Bonus music:

Where the Lazy River Goes By from the film has been recorded by many artists and this version by Teddy Wilson reached #7 on Billboard. Tony Martin's solo in the movie, There's Something in the Air also charted.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

MADE IN 1938 Blogathon: If I Were King

Crystal of In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Robin of Pop Culture Reverie are hosting a blogathon tribute to the exemplary film season of 1938. Our journey begins HERE or HERE.

The Irish politician, historian and writer Justin Huntly McCarthy (1859-1936) is one of the creative minds to be inspired by the life of the poet and rabble-rouser Francois Villon (1431-1463). In 1901 McCarthy gave us the romantic novel and four-act play If I Were King

The history of If I Were King in film includes a 1912 Italian short, and a 1920 Fox feature starring William Farnum. A 1930 adaption of Rudolf Friml's operetta The Vagabond King with the Broadway star Dennis King and Jeanette MacDonald was remade by Michael Curtiz in 1956 starring Oreste Kirkop and Kathryn Grayson.

Our 1938 film was nominated for 4 Oscars: Basil Rathbone for Best Supporting Actor, Hans Drier and John B. Goodman for Best Art Direction, Loren L. Ryder for Best Sound and Richard Hageman for Best Original Score.

Ronald Colman

Ronald Colman is Francois Villon, a poet, a leader of men, a lover of women, and a thief. His foster father, a priest played by C.V. France, gave young Francois a supportive home and an excellent education. That Francois' nature was roisterous and led him to a life of questionable pursuits in no way reflects upon his upbringing. Colman brings to this role the introspection of Conway in Lost Horizon, the devil-may-care attitude of his Englishman in The Prison of Zenda and a dash of derring-do from his Bulldog Drummond of old.

Basil Rathbone

King Louis XI (1423-1483) is holed up in Paris while his political rival the Duke of Burgandy and his rebels surround the city with the hopes of starving the King into submission. It is most annoying. Adding to the annoyance is the robbery of his storehouse and the presence of a traitor is in his midst.

Basil Rathbone's Louis is played with a querulous speech, a mincing walk, and a joyful cackle at whatever tickles his fancy. His quirks almost belie a quick wit and an even quicker turn to action when deemed necessary. If the real Louis were anything like his fictional counterpart he truly deserved his nickname of "cunning."

Villon is a double-edged sword for the monarch. King Louis discovers that the poet outlaw is behind the thievery at the storehouse, but at the same time, Villon dispatches the traitor who has been bedeviling the monarch.

Villon must be punished for the thievery, yet he must be rewarded for unmasking the traitor. Having heard the boastful bandit regale his followers with what he would do if he were king, Louis puts the rogue to the test. Villon is tasked with replacing the traitorous Chief Constable and given a week to set things in Paris and the whole of France aright. Villon considers himself more than able to fulfill this task, not realizing that the king intends to hang him at the end of his, more or less parole.

Ronald Colman, Ellen Drew

We meet two of the women in Villon's life in this story. Huguette is played by Ellen Drew. She knows Villon for the dog and liar he is but loves him for the sweetness in his soul that she hears in his poetry. She is loyal and feisty, and Villon is telling her the truth when he says he does not deserve her. 

Ronald Colman, Frances Dee

Frances Dee is Lady Katherine de Vaucelles, a lady-in-waiting to the Queen. Katherine wins the poet's heart with her beauty and gains his respect for her character. She is an independent thinker whose bravery is brought to the fore by her affection.

Francois Villon uses his personal view of the world and knowledge of the lower classes for the betterment of their attitude toward the King. His efforts to rouse the generals to battle, which they are loathed to do, presents a trickier situation. Villon wants to bring the battle to the Burgundians before all of Paris is starved. The generals are of a different mind and refuse to budge. It is at this point Villon learns that his fate has always been the hangman's knot, yet he turns the situation to victory, earning the grudging respect of his sovereign.

Ronald Colman, Basil Rathbone

Louis XI: "Once more you've made everything very complicated. You have a devilish talent for seating me on the point of the sword of justice and it is becoming uncomfortable in the extreme."

Francois Villon: "I am sorry I have no cushion to offer for Your Majesty's --- comfort."

Louis XI: "Now, now please --- please spare me your witticisms. It is difficult enough trying to be King of France."

Francois Villon: "I found that out, Your Majesty."

Louis XI: "You know, that is the first nice thing you've said to me."

Ronald Colman and a cast of thousands.
And this is inside the palace. Wait until you see the climactic battle!

The romance in the story of a rogue granted an offhand wish is wonderfully told in this adaption of McCarthy's play by the Preston Sturges. More than one viewing is necessary to catch all of the droll wit tucked away in the adventurous tale. Frank Lloyd, the director of epic films such as Cavalcade and Mutiny on the Bounty, knows his way around and through a costume extravaganza. Many familiar faces from Henry Wilcoxon to Walter Kingsford to Sidney Toler and more show up to delight classic movie fans. 

If I Were King deserves acclaim as one of the great movies released in 1938. It will delight the viewer who likes their love stories and their adventures with touches of thoughtfulness and humour.

Movie trivia:

William Farnum appears in this film as General Barbezier, one of those timid generals so bothersome to both His Majesty and Francois Villon, whom Farnum played in 1920.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Robert E. Sherwood was an acclaimed playwright and producer who wrote classic dramas like Waterloo Bridge and classic comedies such as Tovarich. His 1935 Broadway hit The Petrified Forest ran for six months and was co-produced by its leading player, Leslie Howard.

Program notes on the actor playing Duke Mantee.

When Warner Brothers bought the film rights for a 1936 production, Leslie Howard was part of the deal. When Leslie Howard agreed to the movie, he made certain that his Broadway co-star Humphrey Bogart was also part of the deal. Bogart had been a sensation in the role of Duke Mantee, the moody and brutal murderer. Bogart took this opportunity to redeem his stalled Hollywood career.

Alan Squier, played by Leslie Howard, has a strong case of the old ennui exacerbated by the heavy mantle of early literary success and a failed marriage. Penniless, he is now roaming the world in search of something. His search has led him to a way station in the desert in the southwestern United States. Howard's performance is filled with fatalism and a self-deprecating sense of humour.

Gramp Maple, played by Charlie Grapewin is the owner of said way station, a combination gas station/lunchroom. Gramp's son Jason played by Porter Hall got traveling out of his system after WWI when he had returned from France with a wife and a young daughter. The wife soon tired of the isolation and loneliness, returning to her native land.

Leslie Howard, Bette Davis

Gramps and Jason Maple were left to raise young Gabriella, played by Bette Davis. The isolation and loneliness that plagued her mother now irks Gaby. She is also a girl of imagination who yearns for adventure, for life beyond the same old thing and the same old people. Alan Squier is definitely not "the same old people." Bette is a charming, breath of fresh air in this role.

Alan is amused and touched by Gaby. Gaby is intrigued by Alan, while also seeing that he needs to be cared for. His presence ignites all of Gaby's feelings of romance and adventure. He even speaks French! Dick Foran plays Boze Hertzlinger, a footballer and mechanic at the station. He has romantic feelings or designs that could pass for romance, on Gaby. Gaby instinctively realizes that such an involvement would be disastrous.

Joe Sawyer, Humphrey Bogart, Adrian Morris

"Now just behave yourself and nobody will get hurt. This is Duke Mantee, the world-famous killer and he's hungry!"

Who knows how things would have turned out for these people without the involvement of Duke Mantee? The current excitement in the locale is the police manhunt for the escaped killer played by Humphrey Bogart. Jason Maple has joined his local militia in the search, giving him a chance to wear a uniform again. Gramps is thrilled to follow the news on the radio, and hopes for a shootout.

Genevieve Tobin, Paul Harvey, John Alexander

Gramps is going to get up close to the action this night. Duke Mantee and his gang intend to hole up at the way station waiting for Duke's girlfriend and the cash he had stowed away. Love is at the root of his belief that the woman will show up. Mantee creates a night of violence and fear by holding the people we have previously met as hostages, along with a wealthy couple, Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm played by Genevieve Tobin and Paul Harvey. The couple's personal attitudes and conflicts play off of the situation created by the criminals in their midst.

There is an interesting undercurrent between two African American characters, Chisholm's chauffeur Joseph, played by John Alexander, and one of the Mantee gang played by Slim Thompson. Both actors are reprising their roles from the original Broadway production.

Leslie Howard, Dick Foran, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart

Destiny is the invisible visitor to the way station along with the intellectual hobo and the violent hood. Character is tested, dreams revealed and lives are bared open. Who will survive the night and who will be buried in the Petrified Forest?

Surprisingly, the Academy was not impressed by The Petrified Forest. The fine acting, directing by Archie Mayo, cinematography by Sol Polito, and the screenplay by Sherwood, Delmer Daves, and Charles Kenyon were ignored at Oscar time. Nonetheless, the film preserves for us one of the important plays of the 20th century and a groundbreaking performance by an actor and star who still inspires.

TCM is screening The Petrified Forest on Friday, January 18th at the unimaginable hour of 6:15 a.m. and will be followed by a slate of other films from the pen of Mr. Sherwood. Maybe you haven't seen it in a while, or perhaps you only know The Petrified Forest by reputation. At any rate, it is well worth recording for your pleasure and convenience.


The Broadway production
Broadhurst Theatre
January - June 1935

Humphrey Bogart again takes on the skin of Duke Mantee in a live television production of The Petrified Forest for Producers' Showcase in 1955. Lauren Bacall is Gaby and Henry Fonda is Alan Squier. Tad Mosel wrote the script and the director was Delbert Mann.


Terence Towles Canote at A Shroud of Thoughts is hosting The 8th Annual Favourite TV Show Episode Blogathon . The popular blogathon is runn...