Tag Archives: Oprah

Today I am thankful for….

I stopped subscribing to cable (aka “cut the cord”) long ago and now rely solely on streaming for my television needs. Which, for me, includes Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon Instant Video. 

Which works out fine. Unless your internet goes out.

Which mine did three days ago after, it turns out, a large tree branch blown by heavy winds into the telephone pole out back disconnected the coax into my house.

After three days and two tries, Cox cable finally made it out to take care of the problem. 

So, today I am thankful I do not have to spend this holiday watching broadcast TV and reruns of old sitcoms that make today’s treacly sitcoms look sophisticated.

Jeez, what a waste land.

I endured two episodes of “The Love Boat” back-to-back, each one with a different Julie Your Cruise Director because the original Julie Your Cruise Director was let go because of her cocaine addiction — which was a novel malady back then, at least in the public consciousness. 

Enjoy the short video below, wherein Oprah talks with Julie #1 and Isaac (the bartender on “The Love Boat”) about how differently Hollywood approached drug addiction back then.

I will add that one of the novel features of MeTV, the broadcast network of old American television, is that it gets the stars of those shows back in the 70s to do appearances today plugging their old shows. 

Jamie Farr (“M*A*S*H”) looks not a whole lot different than he did back in that Korean War dramedy. Hunk Adrian Zmed of “TJ Hooker” fame? Not so much. 

I’m not sure how I feel about these commercials. On the one hand, they are entertaining in a sort of where-are-they-now kind of way. On the other hand, they are a bit jarring. 

Oh, and I am thankful for all my friends and family. And living a nice quiet and normal life. And cake.

Oprah’s Harpo Studios in Chicago are no more


It was the Chicago home of a worldwide television icon, and it exists no more.

Harpo Studios, which helped revitalize the city’s West Loop and gave a home to Chicago’s hometown girl who became a media empire, are seen in the video below being demolished to make way for the location of the McDonald’s Corporation’s new worldwide headquarters. Which is kind of funny given how much of Oprah’s show’s and entire zeitgeist was about weight loss.

The video was shot by West Loop resident Moshe Tammsot and published first on the Chicagoist web site.  In the Chicagoist article Tammsot says of Harpo, “It was one of the catalysts that changed the area. It employed a lot of people and put the West Loop on the map. There was no reason to come here other than gawk at the studio. It got white people to come stand in line in the winter, just to stand in front of the ‘O.’ That spurred so much.”

There is other interesting trivia in the article, including a note about how the Harpo building was used as a temporary morgue in the 1915 SS Eastman steamship disaster on the Chicago River during which 844 passengers and crew were killed just feet from safety when the ship overturned in dock.