EPL's Emmy Extravaganza!

September 6, 2016


Calling all Evanston TV lovers and likers!  The 68th Emmy Awards are right around the corner, and here on Off the Shelf, we need your help.  You see, we want to know which shows you think should win the big Emmys of 2016 and why.  We’re not asking which shows you think WILL win but which ones you think SHOULD win, and please don’t worry if you haven’t seen every episode of every nominated series.  Even if you only tuned in sporadically, please don’t be shy and let us know what you thought by filling out our EPL Emmy Picks 2016 Survey.  After that, make sure to check back with Off the Shelf next week for all the results.  Stay tuned.

Happy Father's Day!

June 19, 2016

Today is Father’s Day, and here on Off the Shelf we’re celebrating with a special salute to EPL’s favorite TV dads.  Enjoy, and to all the dads in both Chicagoland and TV land… Happy Father’s Day!

robert crawleyRobert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, Downton Abbey

“He loves his daughters enough to learn from them and see the world in a different, better way.” — Jill



bob belcherBob Belcher, Bob’s Burgers

“He appreciates his kids’ unique qualities and spends quality time with them.  He’s involved in their lives.  He also does something he loves doing and shows the kids a different kind of success.” –Elizabeth Sanderson


Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights

“Coach Taylor is committed to his family and to making a difference in the lives of the kids on his teams.”  — Jarrett Dapier



randy marshRandy Marsh, South Park

“A terrible example of what a dad should be… but hilarious.”  — Bob Meyer



A Few More Favorites…


EPL's Favorite TV Dads

June 14, 2016

tv dads
TV dads Robert Crawley, Homer Simpson, Ned Stark, and Dre Johnson (l to r).

Father’s Day is less than one week away, and that party you’re planning for your dad is really coming together.  You’ve already gift wrapped a fashionable necktie, ordered brats for the cookout, and scoured StubHub for tickets to see the Cubs beat those dastardly Pirates.  Well, here on Off the Shelf we’re also planning a special Father’s Day celebration, and we need your help.  You see, this Sunday we’re saluting our favorite TV dads, and between now and then, we’d like to invite you to share yours.  Please let us know at EPL’s Favorite TV Dads where you can choose from candidates like Ned Stark, Homer Simpson, and the Earl of Grantham or write in your own.  Then, check back with Off the Shelf on Father’s Day when we highlight all of EPL’s picks.  Stay tuned.

"11/22/63" Is Coming 2/15/16

February 11, 2016


You read it, you loved it, you want some more of it!  And now Stephen King fans, you’ve got it.  This Monday, February 15 King’s fantastic alt-history novel 11/22/63 comes to television as an 8-hour miniseries airing on Hulu.  Directed by J.J. Abrams of recent Star Wars fame, the TV adaptation stars multi-hyphenate James Franco as Jake Epping, a lonely high school teacher who travels back in time to stop the assassination of JFK.  Check out this great Rolling Stone article to get the whole scoop on the project and don’t miss the Vice essay that landed Franco the starring role.  You can also whet your appetite with the trailer above.  If you’ve yet to read King’s breathtaking novel, don’t fret and don’t delay.  It’s so good you’ll burn your way through all 850 pages of brilliance by Monday with time to spare.  This wintry weekend should be perfect for some binge-reading.


Mayoral Musings

February 23, 2011

In keeping with the regime change in Chicago yesterday, I am offering some reflections on mayors. A new TV show about Mayor Daley is being prepared with Kelsey Grammer as the lead. “Boss” will start taping this spring in Chicago. Interesting side point-  Rahm’s brother, Ari,  was involved with the deal.

I came across a book about best and worst mayors, The American Mayor: the Best and Worst Big-City Leaders, by UIC professor Melvin Holli, who specializes in Chicago politics.  Written in 1999, it does not include our immediate election, however it is still worth looking at the short first chapter which discusses top candidates in each category.




Finally, I was curious if there were any shows about mayors, and the irrepressible Ed Koch of NY is the subject of an off-Broadway show called Mayor: the Musical. I listened to a couple of samples on Amazon– not bad! Will we see the same for Da Mayor? If a TV show is in the works, who knows?

Shira S.

Modern Sherlock to Appear This Week on PBS

October 21, 2010

After hearing at least two programs speaking about the new Sherlock, I decided it was a good time to mention it here. The BBC‘s 3 part series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead and Martin Freeman as Watson has become quite famous in Britain over the past few months. Sunday night, on Oct. 24th at 9 pm, it will start airing on PBS. Apparently, you can expect a terrific production. Some reviewers were concerned that a contemporary Holmes  might detract from the essence of Conan Doyle’s character, however, the writers have updated the detective in clever ways. As David Bianculli says, the new Sherlock doesn’t rely on cocaine when he’s nervous, he prefers to slap nicotine patches on his arm. Reviews indicate the characters are funnier than in past versions, also.

Robin Young, host of Here and Now on WBUR presented a discussion on the 21st century Sherlock Holmes. NPR’s David Bianculli absolutely raved about the show.

Shira S.

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