New TV shows on DVD @ AADL

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. Here are some new DVDs on their way to AADL:

The Love Boat, Season 1: Volume 1 & Volume 2
See you on the Pacific Princess, where romance blossoms on the way to tropical and exotic ports of call with Captain Stubing, Doc, Gopher, and Isaac the bartender. (The show ran from 1977-1986.)

The Patty Duke Show, Seasons 1 & 2
They laugh alike, they walk alike, sometimes they even talk alike, what a crazy pair! Cousins Patty and Cathy are identical in appearance but not in personality, and they find themselves in wacky situations. (The show ran from1963-1966.)

Hawaii Five-O, Seasons 1 & 2
Book ‘em, Danno! Follow Detective Steve McGarrett, Danno, and the rest of the Five-O squad. McGarrett heads an elite state police unit investigating organized crime, murder, assassination attempts, foreign agents, and felonies of every type. (The show ran from 1968-1980.)

The Killing, Season 1
Following a shocking murder, the lives of the police, suspects and victim's family are intricately woven together in this spellbinding series. Fans of Twin Peaks or The X-Files might dig it. It’s an American drama based on a Danish TV show. (Season 3 is in production now.)

Roger Ebert, beloved Chicago movie critic, has died

Just one day after announcing he was taking a 'leave of presence' from his 46-year gig as movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and his 31-year career on TV reviewing films, Roger Ebert lost his long public battle with salivary and thyroid cancer.

His announcement yesterday said he would just review the movies HE wanted to see and leave the rest of the reviews to his trusted colleagues at the paper. When he lost part of his jaw and thus his ability to eat or speak, he used his good humor and courage to write about his experience fighting, and often triumphing, against, his devastating illness.

Ebert's long career resulted in a 1975 Pulitzer Prize, the first movie critic to receive this honor. The Webby Awards named him their 2010 Person of the Year. And Hollywood, which lived and died by Ebert's laser-beam ethical demand for excellence in all things film, honored him with his own Walk of Fame star in 2005.

Ebert's career took off in a new direction when he and Chicago Tribune movie critic, Gene Siskel, took their 'point/counterpoint' routine to television in 1975. Originally titled Coming Soon to a Theater Near You, PBS picked it up and renamed it Sneak Previews three years later. There were two more name-changes: In 1981, it morphed into At the Movies. Five years later, accompanied by their signature 'thumbs up, thumbs down' rating system, it settled on Siskel & Ebert & the Movies.

Sadly, Siskel died in 1999. He had had brain surgery for brain cancer but it was complications from another surgery that ended his life.

Despite his long fight with illness, Ebert wrote almost seventeen books on movies, the internet, his life (Life Itself: A Memoir, 2011), and yes, even a cookbook for rice cookers (The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, 2010).

Ebert, who was 70, died today in Chicago.

Irish character actor, Milo O'Shea, has died

Milo O'Shea, an Irish character actor known for his bushy eyebrows and lovely brogue, has died.

Best known in this country for his roles in the campy science fiction film, Barbarella (1968), starring Jane Fonda and the 1982 courtroom thriller, The Verdict, starring Paul Newman, he also enjoyed considerable success in TV. His large body of work included appearances in The Golden Girl, Cheers, Frasier, and in the fifth season of The West Wing, as Chief Justice Roy Ashland.

He also did some stage work, notably performing in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys.

Mr. O'Shea, who was 86, died yesterday in Manhattan.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #387

When Kirkus Reviews called a novel "an outstanding debut", you take notice.

Truth in Advertising* * * by John Kenney is "wickedly funny, honest, at times sardonic, and ultimately moving story about the absurdity of corporate life, the complications of love, and the meaning of family".

Christmas is just around the corner. Madison Avenue ad-man Finbar Dolan is forced to cancel a much anticipated vacation in order to write/produce a commercial for his diaper account in time for the Super Bowl. Closing in on 40 and having recently called off a wedding, he is a bit of a mess and doesn't quite know it.

Unfortunately (or fortunately as it turns out...) things get worse. His long-estranged and once-abusive father is dying and reluctantly, Fin returns to his Boston root and comes face to face with a traumatized childhood he tries hard to forget.

"With wry wit, excellent pacing, and pitch-perfect, often hilarious dialog, New Yorker humorist and former advertising copywrite Kenney (website) has created something remarkable: a surprisingly funny novel about an adult American male finally becoming a man.

"(A) comic tour de force; for fans of Nick Hornby and Jonathan Tropper" and those who enjoyed the Mad Men series.

* * *= starred reviews

Dexter's Laboratory

Created in the 90's for Cartoon Network, Dexter's Laboratory is a children's cartoon series about the eponymous Dexter, a boy genius with a secret laboratory from which he conducts elaborate experiments, schemes to defeat his nemesis Mandark, and puts up with annoyingly perky sister Dee Dee. The series is funny and clever, with plenty gross-out jokes for children to enjoy and high-brow references that'll have parents laughing, too.

The first season is now available on DVD from the library. Check it out!

The Big Game Weekend: Puppy Bowl IX

Are you ready to rrrrrrrumble?!

This Sunday at 3pm Eastern, tune into the cutest "football" game of the season: Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl IX! The Puppy Bowl is a televised program where adorable pups from rescue groups and shelters romp and play inside a model stadium, complete with commentary and a Kitty Half-Time Show (which is exactly what you think it is!).

Prepare yourself for the cuteness by checking out these great dog books from the library:

What's a Dog For? The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man's Best Friend
Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family - and a Whole Town - About Hope and Happy Endings
Comet's tale : How the Dog I Rescued Saved My Life
A Dog Named Boo : How One Dog and One Woman Rescued Each Other - and the Lives They Transformed Along the Way

And these picture books for the little ones:

The Dog from Arf! Arf! to Zzzzzz
Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!
Before You Were Mine

Robert Chew, beloved bad guy on The Wire, has died

Actor Robert Chew, who infused complicated humanity into the character Prop(osition) Joe on The Wire, has died.

Chew had strong ties to Baltimore, where he was born. His first love was music, which he studied at his hometown university, Morgan State.

HIs love for Baltimore translated into three high-profile roles that defined his career. In addition to Prop Joe, the verbally gassy, somewhat sympathetic drug dealer on The Wire, Chew also played Wilkie Collins, a drug supplier in the sixth season (1997-1998) of Homicide: Life on the Streets in a three-part episode, Blood Ties. He also brought to life a shoe salesman in the the TV mini-drama The Corner, based on the book, The corner : A year in the life of an inner-city neighborhood by David Simon and Ed Burns, writers and producers for both The Corner and The Wire.

Chew (52), who suffered from cardiovascular disease, died from a heart attack at his home in Baltimore.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #375

If the name Dick Wolf sounds familiar, it is likely you are a Law & Order fan and have seen the credits at the end of each episode for the show's Creator/Executive Producer. The Intercept * just released, is his debut novel, and the first in a projected series.

When 5 passengers and a flight attendant of a commercial jetliner thwarted a hijacking attempt over the Atlantic Ocean, New York Intelligence Division Police detective Jeremy Fisk (a rule-breaker with a sharp mind and flawless instincts) suspects that this might only be a diversion; that another potentially more devastating terrorist attack is imminent, and soon.

Krina Gersten, a 4th-generation NYPD and tough-as-nails has been assigned as Fisk's partner. Together they match wits with opponents who are smarter and more agile than any they have ever faced.

"Wolf's espionage and police-procedural hybrid combines the brainy suspense and unfiltered social commentary found in the best Law & Order episodes with perfectly calibrated action".

"A pulsating plotline. Clever characters. Dramatic dialog. Surprising twists. All make for an edge-of-your-seat read that will have thriller fans eagerly awaiting the next series installment", a good thing if you are an adrenaline-junkie.

For fans for Nelson DeMille, Vince Flynn, and Christopher Reich.

* = starred review

Holiday Films For The Little Ones

This time of year the hold lists grow for certain movies and TV show episodes that many wish to view. The good news is that there are plenty of cheery holiday DVDs on the shelves sure to please the kiddies. Here’s a list of some currently available DVDs, including A Flintstones' Christmas carol, Madeline's Christmas & other wintery tales, Frosty's winter wonderland, Curious George: A very monkey Christmas, Thomas & friends. Merry Christmas Thomas, and Strawberry Shortcake: Berry, merry Christmas. For more titles, here's a larger list of youth and adult holiday DVDs that AADL owns.

TV Spotlight: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation has been one of the funniest shows on television the past few years. Currently in its fifth season, it’s a show well suited to its time slot on Thursday nights along side (the now dwindling) The Office and 30 Rock. It’s also a show that seems to fall under the radar with some crowds. Once you get used to it, this show is a serious laugh-out-louder, where every other sentence seems like comedic gold.

The show stars former SNL funny girl Amy Poehler as the positive, high-energy, do-gooder Leslie Knope, who works at the Parks and Recreation department in fictional Pawnnee, Illinois. Filmed mockumentary style, the show focuses on Knope and her colleagues as they work daily on a variety of city government issues. The cast is full of quirky and oddly matched personalities, played by the likes of Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones, and Adam Scott, which make an amazing comedy team. To be honest, Ron Swanson is one of the best characters ever written for television. If you haven’t already done so, give it a whirl!

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