1. Given that he was traveling the world in the early 1900s, the teenage Indiana Jones would have traveled slowly to many of his adventures by steamship. Fittingly, the 1990s George Lucas television series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, has taken more than a decade to reach DVD. In part, that's because Lucas wanted to upgrade the series by remastering the soundtracks and the 16 mm film. Those tasks continue, and the 44-episode series is being released in three volumes, the first of which is out this month.
2. Many states adopted compulsory school-attendance laws before the turn of the last century. So we have no idea how a young Indy could have been traveling the world instead of doing his book learning. Lucas is making up for that, though. His intention is to have the DVD series used as an educational and entertainment tool. David Schneider, a former 60 Minutes producer who now works for Lucasfilm, has spent the past several years creating documentaries on the historical figures and places featured in the series. Those documentaries will accompany each volume of the DVD releases.
3. Before he was Bond, Daniel Craig connected with Sean Connery by appearing in an episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Unlike Connery's character, Indiana Jones's older father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Craig's character was not related to Indy. But like Connery, Craig - 25 at the time of his 1993 appearance - had a mustache. Ick.
4. While not an instance of six degrees of Kevin Bacon, this connection is worth mentioning: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Connery's costar from 1999's Entrapment, also appeared in the Young Indiana Jones episode with Craig. It's very interesting that the episode with Zeta-Jones and Craig was, like much of the series, partly shot in an exotic location. (Producers visited some 35 different countries, even though the series didn't even last two full seasons.) But what's more interesting is that during her appearance, Zeta-Jones does a belly dance.
Curb Your Enthusiasm star and Seinfeld cocreator and coexecutive producer Larry David on what his mother expected of him: "Her dream was for me to work in the post office and deliver mail," he says. "I thought, You know, maybe she's right; it's not such a bad job. But I didn't take the test. One day, you know, I was funny, and somebody said, 'You should be a comedian.' So here I am."
Larry David and the other Larry David are back for the sixth season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.
When Larry David, our favorite narcissistic neurotic, finished the fifth season of the deliciously amusing Curb Your Enthusiasm, he left HBO without saying whether he would return for a sixth encounter. David went to his office in Santa Monica, and HBO waited for his decision. He sat at his desk, twiddled a pencil, made a few notes and a call, took a sip of water, and noticed, in a mere 12 minutes, that he was bored. "I went, Jeez, I don't have anything to do," David recalls. "And I thought, This is very uncomfortable. I better do another season."
If that sounds like it would be a perfectly prickly dilemma for the character David plays on his show, good - it should. Now that Curb is in its sixth season, it has become even harder to figure out where TV Larry David ends and real Larry David begins.
From the start, Curb Your Enthusiasm was set up to be a slightly fictionalized version of David's real life in Los Angeles. While real David is the misanthropic rich genius who was behind Seinfeld and who now makes his HBO show because he feels like it, TV David is a semiretired sitcom legend zipping around town in his Toyota Prius, trying to find something useful to do.
The big difference between the two, of course, is that real David can be cordial if he wants to - or has to - whereas TV David manages to annoy or infuriate everyone he comes in contact with. Whether inviting a sex offender to a seder or adopting a racist dog, David's always doing something - something that only gets worse the more he talks. "I love the guy who's on the show," says David about his TV character. "He says things I'm thinking and feeling, and he doesn't have to behave in a way that society really wants everybody to behave. I wish I could be that way in my life."
Maybe the rest of us feel the same way. David specializes in cringe television, amazingly making us root for characters who are self-absorbed and argumentative. Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm share that quality. And although Curb doesn't have the same pop-culture omnipresence as Seinfeld did, it's just as good. Fans of this acerbic series, as was the case with Seinfeld devotees, exchange jokes and plotlines from weekly episodes the same way some people would trade cards.
What appeals to fans but appalls others is how typical TV sentimentality is stripped from the language and mood of David's work. TV David would see no shame in that approach, of course, and real David doesn't either. "I'm getting closer to him [TV David] every day," David says.
Nowadays, the two Davids are most like each other in their contempt for the workings of Hollywood.
Before the two Davids merge into one, will we get a seventh season? David isn't sure. Filming has wrapped, and the season finale, which will air in November, was "written as a could-be-the-last-show ending or might-not-be-the-last-show ending," David says. "We'll just see when I get back to my desk if I want to do it again."
Curb skewers the TV and film industries' hypocrisies, but it doesn't name names - yet. "I can get away with that," David says, "because there's a very fine line between TV Larry and me."