Friday, April 12, 2013

TV Guide, April 26, 1997

All the talk about Glen Mazzara being hired to write the screenplay for Warner Bros.' prequel to The Shining (the Kubrick movie, not the King novel) got me to thinking about various things, and in the course of that thinking, I had cause to take my copy of the April 26, 1997 issue of TV Guide down off the shelf.

Doing that caused me to realize that I ought to scan in the pages that were King-centric, just so I'd have them in digital form.

Doing that made me think that maybe I ought to post some of those scans here.

And so I shall, although I may as well give you the bad news now: "Before the Play" will not be included among those scans.  I have no issue with posting some scans of an article about the making of the miniseries, but I'll have to draw the line at posting scans of an entire story.  Some artwork...?

That's a possibility.

Here's the article:

And here's some Bernie Wrightson artwork, all of which accompanied the abridged version of "Before the Play" (the prequel to the novel, which King cut from the final manuscript before publishing it, but allowed the magazine Whispers to run in 1982):

I've seen Wrightson's first name spelled both "Berni" and "Bernie."  This issue opts for the latter.

Here's a brief review of the miniseries, which is way more enthusiastic about it than I would be.  (10/10...?!?  I'd call that sucker a 6/10 at best...)

Look how hot Laura Dern looks in that photo from Ellen.  Mmmm, Laura Dern...

And finally, here's a treat: a review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which had debuted on March 10 and had aired roughly half of its first season as of the time this issue hit stands.  Fascinating...!

Hard to argue with any of that, really.


  1. Well, here's as good an opportunity for the following as any:

    While i make no bones about being a bonafide Garris fan, I can't just ignore the devotion a lot viewers as well as King Constants lavish on Kubrick's interpretation, some of the mgoing as far as to call Kubrick's film the definitive version.

    While I can't say I agree, I am nonetheless starting to get fascinated in the reason for said devotion to the K. film.

    I often wonder over the logic of it, what elements is everybody drawn to, what is it about Nicholson's performance or the way Kubrick does the Overlook that make people rank it a masterpiece while I keep insisting I've sen Nicholson do better.

    Here I think a good opportunity was ruined by the dictates of both screenplay and director; the same thing happened to both Nicholson and Burton on Batman I'm no convinced.

    I think part of the explanation for the K. film popularity is something Roger Ebert pointed out, that Kubrick deliberately seems to be trying to mentally disorient his audience.

    That may be, though I for one never felt confused, just underwhelmed, something a surprising number of K's films have left me in, despite visuals and performance.

    It could be that some are pulled into that visual disorientation, and it's what they take away more than anything else.

    I don't know. However the continued devotion is still a fascinating phenomena for study.


    1. I could -- and probably should, sooner or later -- delve into a real examination of my feelings about the Kubrick film. I'm a big fan (just as I am a big fan of Kubrick's work in general), but I'm not entirely sure I can put my finger on WHY I'm a big fan.

      It's going to be a long while before this blog gets around to covering "The Shining," but when it does, it'll be looking at the novel first, and then the movie, and then the miniseries. And Chris, you've given me the idea of doing a series covering ALL of Kubrick's movies, so that I can place "The Shining" in its proper context. That's not something I'd feel was necessary for most other filmmakers; for Kubrick, I think it might be.

      See you in 2017! (Sigh...)

  2. Looking at this reminds me of how mighty and all-pervasive the TV Guide Empire once was. Only 16 years ago! Seems as remote an age as the Victorian.

    I'll go on record and say a Shining prequel might be cool. But it'll probably come off like Before Watchmen. Hard to follow-up on Moore or Kubrick. But, I have no initial resistance to the idea, but no great enthusiasm, either.

    1. I feel the same way. It could, theoretically, be good...but even if it is, is SO unlikely to be even close to as good as the original that it's hard to work up any enthusiasm.

      As for TV Guide, yeah, that thing used to printed gold. How many people bought copies each week and then pored through the entire thing, highlighting things that looked like they might be cool to watch? At least one...

  3. I just don't know how I feel about all this prequel talk. Umm... how about NO! I love that you were able to scan in all these articles!! Jealous!

    1. Yeah, I agree. I'll watch it when and if it gets made (I'm a completist, which occasionally means watching things you know will be crap), and who knows, it might even end up being decent; but all things considered, I hope it never happens.

      As for the scans...some of them look a bit shabby, on account of the fact that I didn't want to spread the pages far enough apart and damage the magazine just for the sake of getting the scans. I think they're acceptable, though.

    2. I don't this help from a completest standpoint, however, here's an online essay by Michael r. Collings, the man many believe to be THE King expert, entitled "On Kubrick's The Shining: