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Random Thoughts of Pop Culture Manliness

A column article, Busted Knuckles by: Beau Smith

I've got a lot of stuff piled up here on my desk that I've been meaning to mention and talk about. Among those things are notes, Post-Its and thoughts scribbled on things you would never wanna touch a second time. So I thought I would do one of my Busted Knuckles Random Thoughts of Pop Culture Manliness columns this week. Time to get some stuff off my great big hairy chest.

The new Fall TV season is upon us 

I've managed to find a little time to watch a few of the shows. I do my best to try and give new shows a fighting chance before I mark them on my 
"Must See" list or my "Banish from My Eyes" list. Here are some quick thoughts a=on a few of them.

Chase 
NBC Monday 10 P.M. 
I really wanted to like this show a lot. It's about a female U.S. Marshal and her elite team that go after the baddest of the bad fugitives. Actress, Kelli Giddish stars with Cole Hauser in this Texas based action series about Annie Frost, U.S. Marshal that is uniquely qualified to hunt down bad guys on the run. She's ultra tough and wields a mean shotgun, but, as in a lot of Jerry Bruckheimer TV shows, you get a great cast and then don't give them likeable personalities. Trust me, this is a GREAT cast, but they are pretty bland. On the other end, the cast of bad guys of the week have been great and with interesting character. If they want this series to stay on, they better even the field and give the heroes a little humor and interest. It's my own Wynonna Earp series without the monsters or the humor.


The Event 
NBC Monday 9 P.M. 
Okay, another show with a great cast. The production of the show is top notch and I was surprised that after watching four episodes, I really liked it. I didn't think I was going to at first. The constant changing flashbacks were a bit distracting, but I soon learned to ignore them and just let the show unfold. Not that big a deal in the long haul. Star, Jason Ritter, does his late father, John Ritter well, as a young, everyman caught in a HUGE situation. He's just what he should be and does it well. The show has some really great guest stars that pop up and out every week and there's the right amount of action and sci-fi mystery that hooked me. It also has Ian Anthony Dale playing an elite Government agent that is not everything he seems to be. Dale is an actor I first saw in another sci-fi TV show called Surface. This guy has a really bright career ahead of him as an action hero on TV. I've also seen him play bad guys and he's high grade there as well. This is a good show that has grown on me.


Terriers
FX Wednesday 10 P.M. 
This has the west coast feel of another great FX Channel show, JustifiedTerriers is the very modern version of The Rockford Files. Likeable, funny, serious and gritty all mixed together and done well. The writers push just enough without pushing too much, too far. It's fun to see the Ocean Beach area, or "San Diego's Dirty Underwear" as I call it. Terriers is an easy going crime show that is also littered with great guest stars.


 


 


DC Comics (Depressing Comics)

Speaking of humor or a lack of it, DC Comics' Power Girl series has taken an instant nosedive with the departure of Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Amanda Conner. If this were a TV show it would be this season's Lone Star on Fox, axed after one episode. I don't think I've ever seen a comic book series go from great and what a comic SHOULD be to textbook example of what a comic book should not be…and that is boring. Sometimes I feel like someone at DC Comics is out to destroy any character or book that's likeable. So many (not all) of the current DC super hero comics are as suicidally depressing as the TV showLaw & Order SVU. It's a good thing they just lowered their cover prices to match the mood lowering reading that they have truly mastered. Don't get me started on Superman's current "Death Waltz" Across America.


 


 


Human Target: The Complete First Season DVD Boxed Set

Okay, now we're talking fun, drama and likeable characters. The FOX TV show Human Target, based - believe it or not - on the DC Comics original series is out, I've bought it and it is a true pleasure. I watched every episode last season and I will enjoy re-watching all these episodes for years to come. This is a rare Hollywood reversal story in the fact they have taken a comic book that was just okay and turned it into a TV series that is just great. Mark Valley stars in this action-packed series that's always a perfect balance of fun and drama and brings you 100% entertainment. The DVD has loads of extras and is reasonably priced as well. I can't recommend this highly enough. No risk, all fun!


 


 



Archie: Pureheart The Powerful 
TPB, IDW Publishing. 
As a kid, I read anything that came out as a comic. My tastes were wide and not nearly as narrow as they are today. I always enjoyed the Archie Comics and still do. They have always been the bright spot on any rainy day. In the late 1960s, the pop culture world was hit hard by the Batman craze on TV. That wonderfully campy, fun TV show took the Dark out of the Dark Knight. Every form of pop culture jumped on the camp super hero bandwagon including Archie. I'm sure glad they did. Pureheart The Powerful was Archie and his cast of friends dipping their toes into the super hero world. They did they same with the James Bond spy craze, that also was a blast. These stories had a wonderful sense of zaniness made you smile the entire read. Simple, fun stories that looked so good on printed paper. IDW has been smart enough to collect 13 of these crazy stories in a very nice trade paperback that any reader with a sense of humor will enjoy. 


 


 


Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week: Iron Jaw #4
Atlas/Seaboard Comics
July 1975
Cover Art by Pablo Marcus

1975 was a fun year for "Independent" comics like Atlas/Seaboard. They were like a riverboat gambler with nothing to lose. You could just hear them saying "Let it all ride." As they tossed out a dozen or so books that were all entertaining. They had it all, campy, sci-fi, sword and sorcery, super hero, police action, war, western, horror and much more. One of their better books was Iron Jaw. Some would say a Conan rip off, but trust me, it wasn't. It was unique and in many ways, much better than Conan. It had a great story by Gary Friedrich and amazing art by the under appreciated Pablo Marcus. This cover to Iron Jaw #4 is a great example of Pablo's art. Now with Atlas Comics looking to make a return, let's hope they don't stray too far from some of the original ideas. 


 


 


Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Taylor Cole
Actress

She's got dark hair, sexy smile and eyes that say she may be a bit more dangerous than you wagered on. She's Taylor Cole! She's been working a lot, so you say have seen her before on such TV shows asHeroesEntourageMelrose Place or in films such as The Surrogates12 Rounds or Loaded. Currently she is in the NBC TV series The Event playing someone you don't want to be on the bad side of. 




 


 


The Round Up

The Chicago Bears are 4-1 and leading their division! No one, not even me, would've thought that my much maligned Chicago Bears would be sitting at the top of their division this summer. All of my Packers and Vikings buddies have been ripping on me all summer long telling me how their team was going to make sure my Bears took up full time residence in the cellar. Well, who's feeding off the bottom now, mi amigos?

I don't know how long it's gonna last, but I'm enjoying every second of it while I can. We've already beat the Packers, Vikings and Lions once this season and just for icing on the cake, we thumped the Dallas CowPies as well. My life is good at the moment.

I thought I would share something with all of you from my office here at The Ranch. When I worked as VP of marketing for McFarlane Toys, my buddies Ed and Andy Frank in the design office surprised me one year by hand making a customized Chicago Bears figure of ….ME! The put me in Brian Urlacher's body, gave me the #10 jersey of my hero Bear's quarterback (1969-74) Bobby Douglass, (My name on the back of the jersey) and they hand made and painted my head/face inside the helmet!! It's one of the greatest gifts I've ever received in my life. It sits on my shelf with ticket stubs from various Bears games and helmets from those grocery store capsule machines, oh, there's also a graded card of Bobby Douglass as well.

I thought to celebrate the Bears current good luck, I'd share these photos with you.


Okay, until next time, Bear Down, Chicago Bears!

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
www.flyingfistranch.com

 


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