Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thumbs down, permanently

An era ends. It ended me for at least a decade ago, when Siskel died (before that, actually, as the show became hard to find in New York). When Ebert left that should have been it, but it limped on. And now after 35 years in some form or another the show's over, and another standard-bearer of old media criticism (one hotly contested by the old guard until it became an institution of sorts) is extinct.

But fond memories I have of watching Sneak Previews as a teen, on my old black-and-white TV on PBS. I learned a lot, took note of movies I should see, or wished I could see, and treasured the "Dog of the Week," a feature that ended when the grindhouses and drive-ins that played them went toes-up. I now know that some of those dogs weren't so bad. But the show helped develop my faculties, and I'm glad to have shared the aisle seat with Siskel and Ebert.

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