Q&A

Q: In "America's Funniest Home Videos," why does the audience always look all dressed up?

You think of restaurants and nightclubs as having a dress code, but you'd never expect it from a show about people embarrassing themselves on camera. Yet "America's Funniest Home Videos" has one. I guess we should think of it as attending two dozen film premieres -- if you want to be in the audience for the world debut of "Man Gets Hit in Crotc...

Q: I was recently watching "A Star Is Born," with Judy Garland, on TCM. In parts of the movie, they use pictures with conversation playing in the background -- I was wondering why they did that.

That must have seemed pretty strange indeed. Airings of the restored version of the 1954 "A Star Is Born" (the second of four film versions so far) should start with an explanation of the strange story of how it came to be. The film is now considered a classic, but it wasn't always. In fact, Warner Bros. hated it so much when it was first relea...

Q: I'm just catching up with "Star Trek: Discovery" and am wondering: Is Rainn Wilson's character a reference to something from one of the old shows? He feels, I don't know, significant somehow.

You have a good eye for character development. In a show, indeed a long series of shows, that often features a creep-of-the-week type of disposable villain, Harcourt Fenton Mudd (Harry, for short) is indeed different. The fact that he's being played by a known actor -- former "The Office" star Rainn Wilson -- is a giveaway, but for fans of the ...