Readers respond to Frank Sinatra, "Ellen," and classic TV finales

Missing Persons: Though our Summer Music Preview (#434, May 29) received high marks, nostalgic readers were distressed over a few omissions: “I feel compelled to point out a glaring absence,” wrote Virginia’s Scott Moore. “Neil Finn of Crowded House, one of the most inspired musical craftsmen since Lennon and McCartney, graces us with his first solo album, Try Whistling This, on June 16.” Joey McDaniel (perhaps the only Boy George fan in Memphis) complained that we ignored the impending Culture Club reunion tour, which kicks off in July. Also of note: A bevy of Hunter S. Thompson fans took issue with our D+ review of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. “You fiends. I was horrified to read your inept review,” says Lisa Lascody of Los Angeles. “The film captured the madness of the book so completely that…I felt a contact high. It was pure Gonzo.” Seems the Doctor is still in.


What a beautiful tribute to Frank Sinatra. Your writers really did their homework! They took the time to research and study this magnificent force, describing, concluding, and confirming that he is and always will be special—as the Man, the Voice, and the Chairman of the Board. “Do Be Do Be Do!”

Am I the only person who appreciates the irony of your May 29 issue? You feature a photo of Frank Sinatra smoking on the cover and inside run a recommendation for PBS’ Cancer Wars with the words “Wars tracks modern medicine’s fight against the disease as well as a glamorizing Hollywood….” Glamorizing, indeed. Et tu, EW?
Springfield, Mass.


I’d like to settle the debate over the merits of the Ellen program this last season. The absolute, objective truth is that the show was exceptional. Episode by episode, scene by scene, Ellen was the smartest, funniest show on network television, and anybody who says otherwise is a bigot reaching for an excuse to condemn her. Period. Case closed. Hey, and how about that Seinfeld finale? Didn’t that blow?
Head Writer, Ellen
Glendale, Calif.

How ironic that ABC cancels a show for adult viewing about a lesbian, and Disney promotes a summer cartoon for kids about a girl who cross-dresses (Mulan).
Mission, Tex.


Your article on over-hype was right on (“Stop the Insanity!”). Hype is like the studios crying wolf. One of these days there’s going to be a brilliantly scripted, big-budget special-effects extravaganza that no one will see because the public feels like it’s been burned by too many Godzillas or Batmans.
Orem, Utah


I would like to know what more A.J. Jacobs could want out of the last episode of M*A*S*H (“A Finale Exam of Classic Sitcoms”). This episode had it all, from a fond farewell to a heartfelt drama. I can understand if he didn’t like the show, but grading it as the worst episode ever is absurd. The last episode was a classic, and that is why 106 million people watched it that night. Suicide may be painless, but reading this review wasn’t.
Evergreen Park, Ill.

How could you leave off the St. Elsewhere finale? The idea that the entire series was the dream of an autistic child peering into one of those snow-filled paperweights was both eerie and brilliant.
Short Hills, N.J.


Do you have something against Christian Bale? You failed to recognize him as being part of the cast for Velvet Goldmine. He wasn’t admitted into your “Frat Pack.” You even dubbed him a Loser of the Week. It’s one thing to get the news across; it’s another thing entirely to make fun of someone who’s worked hard to get recognition for his great acting.
New Orleans

CORRECTIONS: Dateline NBC has gone head to head against 19 original episodes of NYPD Blue this season and has bested Blue in total viewership 10 times (TV). Go-Go’s guitarist Charlotte Caffey performed in the band’s 1990 reunion tour, but missed its 1994 tour due to pregnancy (What Ever Happened To). The jumbo-size TV screen in New York’s Time Square is the NBC Astrovision by Panasonic (News & Notes).


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EW’s Summer Double Issue featuring the It List. Plus reviews of

Out of Sight, with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez (Movies)
— A&E’s Biography (Television)
— Summer singles (Music)
— The new wave of one-stop Net surfing (Multimedia)