January 22, 2010
I'm going to make a habit of selecting a TV show and YouTube clip every week for your viewing pleasure since I waste who knows how many hours watching both. Let me know what you think.
For my inaugural TV pick, I've been watching HBO's miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, now available on HBO On Demand (Channel 412 for Time Warner digital cable users). This is not anything new — it first aired in 1998 — but this Tom Hanks 12-part program offers a really interesting perspective on the evolution on the U.S. space program, especially the 11 manned Apollo missions.
Everyone knows about Apollo 11 and Apollo 13, but this series draws attention to the drama of the "other missions" as well — from Alan Shepard's historic Freedom 7 flight, to the Gemini program, to the tragic Apollo 1 fire, all the way through to Apollo 17, the final flight to the moon.
We often forget every mission was perilous and how much our astronauts risked to pull them off. It definitely gave me — as someone born well after the Apollo program — a new appreciation for those heroes. I highly recommend it.
As for my YouTube pick, well, it's the greatest YouTube clip ever made. In "Scarlet Takes a Tumble," a girl inexplicably stands on a coffee table while singing a song. You'll soon see why that wasn't a good idea.
I strongly encourage watching the whole clip from the beginning to build the suspense, but if you're impatient, fast forward to about the 2:40 mark.
I gotta say, "Scarlet" was a very good sport about this. She posted the video herself and parlayed it into a couple of TV appearances.
It's still hilarious a year later.