I really miss the Movies of the Week and it seemed that there were certain nights that the three major broadcasters would show an original.
Good or bad, they all provided some level of entertainment and some were talked about the next day, while others weren't.
Here's what a typical Monday night might have been like.
Night Terror (2-7-77)
Baby it was cold outside, but television sets were really hot as people tuned in to see Rhoda fight evil.
It's moving day for the Turney's and Carol (Valerie Harper) is freaking out while having a panic attack. She has to get her family from Phoenix to Denver within a few days.
Carol's sister Vera (Beatrice Manley) will be flying to Denver in a few hours with the kids, Nancy and Buddy (Quinn Cummings and Damon Raskin), while husband Walter (Michael Tolan) has to fly out to Los Angeles for the day. Later that night, he and Carol are planning a second honeymoon before they make the drive to Denver in the morning.
After checking into a hotel, Carol learns that Walter has to stay overnight and Vera tells her that Buddy's in the hospital and needs surgery.
She calls the airlines and demands that she gets onto the next flight to Denver, but due to snow, the airport is closed which means she's going to have to drive herself to Denver.
Of course at the time it was an edgy thriller, but here's where it starts to get dumb.
Carol pulls into a gas station just as they're closing and the employees ignore her and decide to go partying with their girlfriends. Now, she's on empty and had been driving around looking for the entrance to the expressway. Obviously, she didn't explore Phoenix in the time they lived there.
She gets onto the expressway (still with only drops of gas, which by the way was fifty cents a gallon) and a car speeds by her, followed by the police.
Up ahead she sees both cars and slows down to ask the officer where the nearest gas station is, but instead witnesses his murder, thanks to The Killer (Richard Romanus).
Carol speeds away as does The Killer and begins a mad chase for her.
The rest of the movie concentrates on the chase, but she does manage to break into a gas station, fill up and take off again, only to be stopped due to a rainstorm.
She runs over to the car ahead of her and tells the man inside (Nicholas Pryor) of her plight but, he's been drinking and doesn't really believe her story, just as The Killer pulls up behind her car.
He goes outside to The Killer's car, is gunned down and Carol takes off.
After crashing into his car and causing damage, he begins the pursuit again, only in her car (it's hard to say if there's still a full tank of gas) but Carol makes go time, until she runs out of gas for a second time, this time in the desert.
Of course back then, this was edge of your seat excitement and you cursed the commercials and now in modern times you wonder why she just doesn't pull out a cell phone.
The acting is pretty over the top and it really is a dated movie, but it's definitely campy.
When I feel like a guilty pleasure, I always turn to this "soap" since it seemed glamorous to live in a high rise apartment building in Los Angeles. And the neighbors managed to like one another.
As the movie begins, Julie (Kit McDonough) is moving into her very first apartment. She's extremely excited to be living down the hall and around the corner from her friends, Greg and Beth Loomis (Bill Gerber and Eliza Roberts).
Of course there's an assortment of neighbors, from the retired Robbins (Jane Dulo and Arny Freeman), dancer Chalane (Julie Newmar) and actor Alex (James Phipps). With the exception of Chalane, the movie gives a glimpse of the others' apartments and that great late '70's decorating. It's truly a time capsule.
This was the pilot for a potential night time soap, but it must not have been sold since too many things are going on at the same time.
My big issue is the timing of the movie.
For those of you who have ever moved, were you finished unpacking and entertaining guests later that day? Somehow, Julie manages to get everything unpacked, decorated and makes dinner before her "boyfriend" Steve (Timothy Thomerson) comes over. Even when she moves in, she fumbles outside the apartment looking for her keys, but inside are the movers and the telephone installer. Who would have let them in and who would forget that they were there? Obviously Julie forgot.
Within what seems like a few hours, Julie is welcomed with open arms into the building and it seems like it's only been less than seventy two hours that she's a part of the drama.
The pacing just seems a little off and whenever I do watch this, I get a little anxious since all of this has happened.
Whenever I've moved, I didn't have things unpacked within a few hours and moving sometimes took a couple of days.
Anyway, this is something fun to watch if you're looking for nothing better to do.
The Children of Times Square- (3-3-86)
When his mother (Joanna Cassidy) remarries, Eric Roberts (Brandon Douglas) was upset, but he's really upset that he has a baby brother and has to watch him tonight. By staying home, he's going to miss The Rave-Ups concert and this just isn't fair.
He defies his stepfather's (David Ackroyd) order to babysit and as soon as the coast is clear, he tries to find a babysitter and after not being able to find one, sets the baby in a playpen with a Jack-in-the-box.
Thinking that he's going to make it home before the elder Roberts, he's shocked when he sees the car in the driveway and later overhears them talking about his irresponsibility's.
The next morning, he steals some money from his mother's purse and after hopping on his bike, hightails it to New York, via the bus. It's a good thing the clerk has a good memory because the next day she does remember him.
Anyway, I'm not sure how much cash Eric has on him, but he's having a great time in the Big Apple.
At the arcade, he's approached by Alberto (Jacob Vargas) and Rick (Griffin O'Neal). Rick talks him into going with Alberto to "ride around and get high" with a couple of middle aged men. Alberto earns his money, but Eric smacks the other guy and escapes.
Skater (Larry B. Scott) steps in when he sees an argument between Eric and Rick and makes him take half of what Alberto made.
The two go walking to where Skater hangs out and he tells him about a possible job with local drug kingpin Otis (Howard E. Rollins, Jr.) and he's over the moon at the prospect of making money.
Meanwhile, Eric's mother is in town looking for him and she asks Debbie (Annie Oringer) if she's seen him. She has and tells her that it was at the arcade.
In another storyline, Luis (Danny Nucci) and his family are burned out of their apartment building and wind up in a hotel. He wants to bring in money so that they can get out fast and he, too, goes to work with Otis.
Luis and Eric see two strangers peddling drugs on their turf and Otis tells them to handle it, since Skater and C.J. (De'voreaux White) will be with them.
The next day, Luis buys a used television set and he and Eric take it up to the hotel room, but are spotted by the two peddlers and their boss, Walter (R.D. Call).
After a chase through the hotel and the streets one of the boys is killed and Eric goes home with his mother.
As they leave by taxi through Times Square, Debbie approaches a group of guys asking if anyone wants a good time.