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Jewish World Review
Feb. 6, 2009
/ 12 Shevat 5769
Sick but hard at work
I'm sick with a cold. I sit here at this machine coughing my head off and typing my column out when I really should be in bed. Why am I telling you this? Because if you read something in today's column that doesn't make too much sense I want you to know it's not my fault, it's my sickness. The cargo has been eaten into a false redemption of a spun glass auditorium before the orders to vacate had gotten too oblique. Just kidding with that last sentence. I'm glad you're paying attention, though. Now on with the column.
Various and sundry musings: Every time I pass by the Burbank Bob Hope Airport I think that it would be great to see that little caricature of Bob Hope's face up on the sign at the entrance or on the flight tower. I'm sure it can't be done because of copyright and likeness protection, but it would just add so much to have that little sketch up there on the sign. It would soften the bleakness of that airport gate with a bit of whimsy and fun in the spirit of a man who had both and shared it with the world for so many years.
Bob Hope Airport started out in 1930 as United Airport and soon it became the primary airport of the Los Angeles area. Early aviation legends like Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and Wiley Post used the airport on a regular basis. Then in 1940, as World War II neared, Lockheed bought the airport and expanded its facilities in support of the war effort on land adjacent to the airport's runway. The name was changed to Lockheed Air Terminal and it continued to operate as a commercial airport while the company began building thousands of B-17's, Hudson bombers, and P-38 fighters.
In 1978 Lockheed sold the airport to an airport authority created by Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena with the catchy new name of Burbank - Glendale - Pasadena Airport. Thankfully in 2003 the airport was renamed in honor of Bob Hope (who made plenty of flights out of that facility throughout his life) and in conjunction with his 100th birthday. It was truly fitting since both Lockheed and Hope were instrumental to the WWII war effort. Now all the airport needs is Bob's caricature profile up there on that fight tower! That would really be something.
Hold on to your seat now because I'm about to say something positive about a new show on television that I've just discovered. Regular readers of his column know how I really can't watch very much regular broadcast TV because I find it so lousy in so many ways - from bad writing, to dumbed-down concepts, to ugly images, to just pure vulgarity. But there is at least one new series that actually is pretty good. It's called "Trust Me" on TNT Monday nights from 10-11 PM.
Here is a show where the writing is actually witty and intelligent, yes believe it or not. The actors are all top-notch and make you care about them. The concept is simple. Set in a Chicago advertising agency, the plots revolve around an ad team's efforts to pitch and sell new ad campaigns to their clients. Sounds easier than it is, and for anyone who has, even remotely, been around agencies and agency people the stuff that goes on here, while exaggerated, really rings true.
The stars are Eric McCormack, Tom Cavanagh, and Monica Potter, all excellent in their parts. They are spot on with the one-liners and quips, but can also pull you into the characters innermost feelings. The concept of an ad agency is nothing new, of course, it has been used for decades in movies and TV. For example, remember "Bewitched"? Darren was an adman.
"Mad Men" is another new agency series, but for me, it doesn't even come close to the quality of writing on "Trust Me." "Mad Men" is a period show, set in the 60's in New York, and is one of those strange creatures that looks old but promotes the politically correct thinking of today. "Trust Me" is contemporary both in style and in its writing. And maybe because of that it feels miles fresher than "Mad Men." It also feels miles fresher than most of the other stuff television has to offer today. Credit that with smart writing and good acting. I hope it can keep it up.
Okay, that's enough. I gotta go lay down in bed now and take a nap - I'm sick remember? I hope you people appreciate what I do for you!
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.
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