Day: December 12, 2016

Tales Of The City – tape 1598

Here’s some episodes of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. I confess I recorded these but didn’t watch them at the time. This is the first episode.

I like it already – the theme from Vertigo, and Laura Linney. She’s in San Francisco, at the end of a vacation, and she phones her mother to tell her she’s decided to stay there and try to make a new life. It’s 1976, so the soundtrack is all Disco classics.

Laura Linney

She crashes at an old schoolfriend’s apartment, but soon finds her own apartment, in a building owned by Olympia Dukakis, who likes to quote Tennyson as she shows potential tenants around, and leaves a joint pinned to her door as a welcome gift.

Olympia Dukakis

She gets a job as secretary to Donald Moffat. He has his own issues, secretly visiting some kind of faith healer

Donald Moffatt

“I like your place.” “It’s funky, isn’t it? Anywhere else it’s squalor, here we pass it off as old world charm.”

Linney has a Commodore PET in her workplace. That model didn’t exist until 1979. This whole programme is ruined for me.

Commodore PET

The boss’s son in law is a creep, and naturally starts hitting on her.

Moffat gets a terminal diagnosis from his doctor, so I assume his faith healer wasn’t doing much good. He wanders through the park and happens to sit next to Dukakis, and they hit it off.

Linney and creepy son sleep together, but he can’t perform, so he’s snippy and petulant. He’s called Beauchamp but it’s pronounced Beecham. I really hate him.

In the second episode, the various relationships intertwine, and there’s a couple of star cameos. Here’s Paul Bartel.

Paul Bartel

And here’s Ian McKellen at the same dinner party.

Ian McKellen

It’s all pleasant enough, if a bit soapy. I think it was well received, probably because it was rare to have a gay community portrayed in TV, even in the 90s.

After this episode, recording stops (after a few more adverts).


  • trail: Rory Bremner – Who Else?
  • British Airways
  • Radion
  • Pond’s Performance
  • PG Tips
  • Rennie
  • Corn Flakes
  • trail: Film on Four
  • Findus Lean Cuisine
  • Kellogg’s Bran Flakes
  • Munchies
  • Kenco
  • Sara Lee
  • Heineken
  • Boddingtons
  • Bourjois
  • Toffee Crisp
  • Camay
  • Rennie
  • Surf Micro
  • Direct Line Insurance
  • Cusson’s Pearl
  • Milky Bar
  • Flora
  • Scottish Widows
  • Under Siege/Body of Evidence on video
  • Stella Artois Dry
  • Sara Lee
  • Vauxhall Astravan
  • DeBeers
  • Kotex
  • Theramed
  • Clerical Medical
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • AA
  • L’Oreal Casting
  • Ferrer0 Rocher
  • Disco Divas
  • Theakston
  • Shape Yoghurt
  • Radion Colour
  • Jif Microliquid
  • Prince: The Hits
  • St Ivel Gold
  • Citroen Xantia
  • Rennie
  • Persil
  • Tetley Bitter
  • trail: The Camomile Lawn
  • trail: Eurotrash
  • Ferguson
  • Tampax
  • trail: Cutting Edge
  • Guinness
  • Pepsi Max
  • Clerical Medical
  • Imperial Leather – Paul Merton
  • Findus Lean Cuisine
  • Rennie
  • Tampax
  • Search Extra
  • De Montfort University