Daily Dirt: ‘Yellowstone’ cements its No. 1 ranking … and a long time ago in a 1964 chick magnet

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Rod Stewart, the official artist of Daily Dirt

Daily Dirt for Jan. 13, 2022

We’re entering the homestretch of the TV viewing season … That and more in today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 182 of the Daily Dirt.

1. As we head into the final portion of the 2021-22 television viewing season, here’s an updated list of my top 10 shows:

1. “Yellowstone”: Let’s be honest, at this point the only race is for No. 2. We may have to wait for awhile for season No. 5, but I promise to be patient. And once again, may hat’s off to sister-in-law Julie Fisher for getting me to watch this marvelous production a couple of years ago.

2. “The Walking Dead”: I have a feeling the ending to this final season is going to be memorable, possibly historic. I’m really going to miss this program.

3. “Fear the Walking Dead”: When this offshoot of the “The Walking Dead” debuted in 2015 it was not an award-winning program — far from it. But the showrunners actually reinvented it over the first two-plus years and it is now on par — or verrrry close to it — with the flagship.

4. “Blue Bloods”: An oldie, but still a goodie. For me, Donnie Wahlberg has emerged as the star of this longstanding hit. Tom Selleck, who in the beginning was the key marquee name in a talented lineup, is more or less a caretaker these days as Wahlberg, Will Estes, Bridget Moynahan and Vanessa Ray emerge as stars of the future.

5. “NCIS”: Talk about having to reinvent yourself, this show is in the midst of that. Numerous frontline cast members have left in recent years but this juggernaut rolls on. I think the new leader of the NCIS crew, Gary Cole, is effectively growing into the tole as Mark Harmon’s successor. I do miss Emily Wickersham, though.

6. “NCIS: Los Angeles”: This is one of the front-running shows that has been able to keep its principal cast together over the years, and that’s a major plus. I feel very comfortable with Chris O’Donnell and LL Cool J helping protect the nation.

7. “Sunday Night Football” on NBC: The No. 1 show on all of televsion — in terms of viewing audience — and worthy of that title. Al Michaels, 77, remains the finest play-by-play man in the business. Hopefully, we’ll have him to brighten our viewing experience for many more years to come.

8. “S.W.A.T.”: Make no mistake, Shemar Moore is the reason this show is popular. From his days on “Criminal Minds”.

9. “Young Sheldon”: As “young” Sheldon gets older — and taller — I am concerned this show may lose some of its appeal. I might suggest a spinoff featuring older brother Georgie (Montana Jordan), who is quite interesting most weeks.

10. “Bull”: Arguably the most underrated show on TV, from both its format (trial analysis) to its cast, which is anchored by Michael Weatherly.

Honorable Mention: I think “NCIS Hawaii” has a bright future and will likely crack this top 10, if not by the end of the current season, next year for sure.

Individual honors
Actor of the Year: This was an extremely tough selection, but I lean toward Donnie Wahlberg of Blue Bloods”. I’m expecting Cole Hauser’s role on “Yellowstone” to continue to grow, and if that happens just mark him down as a perennial winner in this category. For now, however, Wahlberg is effective in his role as a NYC detective. His smart-aleck attitude is absolutely perfect.

Actress of the Year: Kelly Reilly, who plays Beth Dutton on “Yellowstone”. She has been the ultimate breath of fresh air to viewing audiences. No female character on television can shred a fellow human being like the acid-tongued Beth Dutton. She’s like the second generation version of Abby Ewing from the heyday of “Knots Landing”.

Supporting Actor of the Year: Cole Hauser, who has earned a cult following as Rip Wheeler on “Yellowstone”. Do not mess with this man, or you’ll likely end up with a trip to the infamous Train Station.

Supporting Actress of the Year: Alycia Debnam, “Fear the Walking Dead”. She’s the only member of the original cast who was a key figure in season one. And rightly so. The rest of that early crew were little more than zombie snackfood.

Future star, male: Montana Jordan, “Young Sheldon”. I think he’ll have his own program at some point.

Future star, female: Jennifer Landon, “Yellowstone”. She’s the mush-mouthed ranch hand, who is also the daughter of the late Michael Landon. Keep an eye on her character’s future role.

2. If these aren’t my 10 favorite sports nicknames ever, it’s close:

  • Gold medal: “The Big Hurt,” Chicago White Sox slugger Frank Thomas.
  • Silver medal: “The Bayonne Bleeder,” heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner.
  • Bronze medal: “Chocolate Thunder,” NBA center Darryl Dawkins.

Honorable mentions:

  • “The Assassin,” Ohio State and NFL defensive back Jack Tatum.
  • “The Truth,” NBA forward Paul Pierce.
  • “White Chocolate,” NBA guard Jason Williams.
  • “Night Train,” NFL defensive back Dick Lane.
  • “Swaggy P,” NBA guard Nick Young.
  • “The Matrix,” NBA forward Shawn Marion.
  • “Black Mamba,” NBA forward Kobe Bryant.

3. Rod Stewart turned 77 this week. Rod has also been my favorite artist since August 1971 when I first heard “Maggie May” on the radio of my 1964 Chevy Impala while driving east on U.S. 30. That car had a rag top and was light green, a true chick magnet. Anyway, back to Rod Stewart …

Here are my my five favorite offerings from him over the past 51 years:

“I Don’t Wanna Talk About it” (Hearing him sing this in person is close to a religious experience.)

“You’re In My Heart” (This is another of his relatively early songs that established his reputation as a gifted, gritty-voiced storyteller.)

“Downtown Train” (I absolutely loved this song when it was released in 1989. For about two months, I played Rod Stewart’s “Downtown Train” video a minimum of six times every morning before I headed to work.)

“Tonight’s the Night” (“Kick off your shoes, and sit right down …”)

“Maggie May” (No Rod the Mod list would be complete without this classic, the one that started it all for the man who once dreamed of a pro soccer career in Europe.)

Steve Fact O’ The Day
The first time Steve saw Rod Stewart in concert was Nov. 3, 1977 at the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio. At the time, the Coliseum was the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The concert was tremendous, which is more than Steve could say about the Cavaliers at the time.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. You’re in his heart, you’re in his soul.

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