Lisa’s Week In Review: 1/25/21 — 1/31/21


I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my list.

This week moved really fast.  From Monday to Wednesday, everything was about the stock market and now everything’s about …. well, to be honest, I don’t really know what everything’s about now.  I’ve been busy watching movies and making my plans for the rest of the year.

I’ll get to this one as soon as I finish the stock investing book.

When last I checked, Reddit was being blamed for every bad thing that’s ever happened in this country.  For the next four years, random people on the internet are going to be the scapegoat of choice.  There’s going to be a lot of breathless reporting about message boards and underground forums.  Remember when Brooke Baldwin was on CNN and she mentioned that she had seen a lot of talk of a “powerful hacker named 4Chan?”  It’s going to be like that, only a hundred times more annoying.  Right now, across the country, boomers are watching their favorite cable news channel and saying, “If we got Bin Laden, why can’t we take out this Reddit person?”

If I ever learn German, I’ll check it out.

Personally, my main thought on the whole stock market thing is that it’s just too bad that The Office is no longer on the air because they could have done a great show about Pennsylvania redditors forcing up Dunder Mifflin’s stock price.  Just imagine how excited Michael would have gotten until Oscar explained to him that the stock would eventually go back down.  Oh well.  I guess we’ll have to wait until Steven Soderbergh makes a movie about it.  It’ll have a soundtrack of mid-tempo jazz and Meryl Streep will play four different characters.

At the risk of being simplistic, sometimes you just have to concentrate on what makes you happy.  I love movies and that’s what I’ve largely devoted this week to.  I should be posting my picks for the best films of 2020 tomorrow.  On the one hand, it feels a bit silly to post a list of the best films of 2020 in February in 2021 but, on the other hand, what was I supposed to do?  Just pretend like some very good films didn’t exist just because I hadn’t gotten a chance to see them yet?

Speaking of watching movies, here’s what I watched this week:

Films I Watched:

  1. Artemis Fowl (2020)
  2. Assassin 33 A.D. (2020)
  3. Bobbie Joe and the Outlaw (1976)
  4. Death of Me (2020)
  5. Dolittle (2020)
  6. Emma (2020)
  7. The Final Terror (1983)
  8. First Cow (2020)
  9. Gone In 60 Seconds (1974)
  10. The Life Ahead (2020)
  11. Lovers Rock (2020)
  12. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020)
  13. Ode to Billy Joe (1976)
  14. One Night in Miami (2020)
  15. Palm Springs (2020)
  16. The Prom (2020)
  17. She Dies Tomorrow (2020)
  18. Sound of Metal (2020)
  19. Swimfan (2002)
  20. Witches (1961)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 9-1-1
  2. 9-1-1: Lone Star
  3. The Bachelor
  4. Bar Rescue
  5. The Bold and the Beautiful
  6. The Chase
  7. Cheaters
  8. Coronation Street
  9. Couples Court with the Cutlers
  10. Days of Our Lives
  11. The District
  12. Dr. Phil
  13. General Hospital
  14. Ghost Whisperer
  15. Hell’s Kitchen
  16. Hill Street Blues
  17. King of the Hill
  18. Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court
  19. Law & Order
  20. The Love Boat
  21. The Office
  22. Police Story
  23. Saved By The Bell
  24. Seinfeld
  25. The Simpsons
  26. South Park
  27. The Twilight Zone
  28. Yes, Minister
  29. The Young and the Restless

Books I Read:

  1. The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood―and America―Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (2020) by Greg Mitchell
  2. The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Days of Hollywood (2020) by Sam Wasson
  3. Gone at Midnight: The Tragic True Story Behind the Unsolved Internet Sensation (2020) by Jake Anderson
  4. Reckless (2020) by Ed Brubaker

Music To Which I Listened To:

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Adele
  3. Armin van Buuren
  4. Big Data
  5. Bob Dylan
  6. Britney Spears
  7. The Chemical Brothers
  8. Chromatics
  9. Chrysta Bell
  10. Coldplay
  11. Courtney Barnett
  12. Daft Punk
  13. deadmau5
  14. Dillon Francis
  15. Dua Lipa
  16. Fitz and the Tantrums
  17. Fiona Apple
  18. Haim
  19. i_o
  20. Icona Pop
  21. Jakalope
  22. Jessie Frye
  23. Kate Vogel
  24. Lady Gaga
  25. Linkin Park
  26. Muse
  27. Phantogram
  28. The Prodigy
  29. Purity Ring
  30. Saint Motel
  31. Selena Gomez
  32. Space 92
  33. UPSHAL
  34. Zeds Dead

Awards Season:

  1. Hollywood Music In Media Awards
  2. New York Film Critics Online Winners
  3. North Texas Film Critics Association Winners
  4. National Board of Review Winners
  5. Independent Spirit Nominations
  6. Online Film Critics Winners
  7. AFI Top Ten
  8. North Texas Film Critics Association Nominations
  9. Kansas City Film Critics Winners

Best of 2020:

  1. The Best of Lifetime (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  2. 12 Good Things I Saw On Television in 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  3. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Novels of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  4. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Non-Fiction Books of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  5. Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Songs of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  6. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)

Links From Last Week:

  1. The World’s Most Dangerous Theme Park – Welcome To “Class Action Park!” My “Cult Movie Monday” Has This Riveting New Documentary!
  2. It’s time for major institutions to make their employees get off of Twitter
  3. The Greatest Hollywood Memoir Ever Written
  4. Oscar’s Best Picture Race Should Include a Documentary This Year

News From Last Week:

  1. BAFTA Extends Awards Eligibility Period Through 2021 Calendar Year
  2. AMC Raises $917 Million to Weather ‘Dark Coronavirus-Impacted Winter’
  3. Anheuser-Busch Pulls Budweiser From Super Bowl Ad Lineup
  4. GameStop Stock Soars as Reddit Investors Take On Wall Street
  5. Billionaire Mark Cuban says his 11-year-old son made money with Wall Street Bets traders and he ‘loves’ what’s going on with the Reddit forum
  6. Not just a U.S. phenomenon — the Reddit investing frenzy has spread overseas
  7. Republicans in Washington warn Wall Street: The GameStop populists are more powerful than you think
  8. Cloris Leachman, Emmy and Oscar Winner, Dies at 94
  9. Cyberpunk developers ask players to please stop having sex with Keanu Reeves
  10. Cicely Tyson, purposeful and pioneering actor, dead at 96
  11. Sophie, Who Pushed the Boundaries of Pop Music, Dies at 34
  12. Hollywood Is Leaving COVID Safety To Ill-Prepared Assistants Who Say They Have No Idea What They’re Doing
  13. CODA’ Sparking Sundance Bidding War Following Rapturous Premiere — How High Can It Go?
  14. Lindsay Lohan Asks TikTok User to Take Down Viral Cameo
  15. Armie Hammer Exits Making of ‘The Godfather’ Drama Series at Paramount Plus
  16. The Academy Announces The Films Eligible For Best Animated, Documentary & International Feature For The 93rd Academy Awards
  17. Melvin Capital Lost 53% in January, Hurt by GameStop and Other Bets
  18. 21 Men Accuse Lincoln Project Co-Founder of Online Harassment

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared: Look Behind You Lady, Waterfront Cop, The Episode of the Wandering Knife, Wanton For Murder, Not So Funny, Murder by Latitude, and Let the Night Cry!
  2. Jeff shared music videos from Styx, Crash Test Dummies, Rodney Dangerfield, Heaven 17, Guns N Roses, INXS, and REM!
  3. Ryan reviewed Even More Diary Comics From A Relative Nobody, Jeremy, and The Age of Elves!
  4. I reviewed Artemis Fowl and Dolittle. I shared my January Oscar predictions!  I paid tribute to Norman Mailer, Michael Anderson, Ernst Lubitsch, and Cloris Leachman!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon!  You should consider subscribing!
  2. At Pop Politics, Jeff wrote about the upcoming Super Bowl!
  3. At Days Without Incident, Leonard shared a song from Odesza!
  4. At SyFyDesigns, I shared: The Latest Twitter Disaster, What I Miss, and I Have No Idea How The Stock Market Works!
  5. At my music site, I shared songs from: Bob Dylan, Linkin Park, Adele, Chromatics, Chrysta Bell, Above & Beyond, and Lady Gaga!
  6. At her photography site, Erin shared: January 25th, January 26th, January 27th, January 28th, January 29th, January 30th, and God Bless Texas!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Have a good week!  We’ve got the Golden Globes nominations and a whole lot of other stuff to look forward to!  Stay safe!

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for January of 2021


Normally, this is when I would be talking about the actual Oscar nominations as opposed to the hypothetical ones but, due to the whole COVID thing, the 2020 Oscar nominations (or really, the 2020-2021 Oscar nominations since neither Nomadland nor Minari is really a 2020 film as far as I’m concerned) will not be announced until March.

So, guess what?

It’s that time of the month again!

It’s time for me to present my own personal predictions of what will eventually be nominated.  With some of the critics groups giving out awards over the past two months, the Oscar picture is definitely a bit clearer.  Still, it’s not as clear as it’s going to be by the end of next week.  February is going to see the Golden Globes and the guilds announcing their nominees.  The Globes and the guilds are far more reliable than the critics groups when it comes to serving as Oscar precursors.

Still, I feel somewhat confident about the nominations below.  So, take a look and be sure to check out my previous predictions for January (2020), February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December!

Best Picture

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Da 5 Bloods

First Cow

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

(I’m going out on a limb with Borat, I know.  My theory is that the same people who nominated Vice for a host of Oscars aren’t going to be able to resist the temptation to give Trump the finger at least one more time.)

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung for Minari

Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7

Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

(Again, I know that I’m going out on a limb with Vinterberg but if there’s ever a year that’s going to have a totally surprising and unexpected nomination, it’s going to be this year.  Another Round’s been getting a lot of attention and a lot of acclaim.  Since 2014, despite the expanded best picture lineup, two directors have still managed to get nominated without their film also getting a picture nod.  Bennett Miller was nominated for Foxcatcher.  Paweł Pawlikowski was nominated for Cold War.  I’m going to go ahead and predict that Vinterberg will join them for Another Round.)

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Steven Yeun in Minari

(I’ve pretty much been predicting this line-up for a while now.  I think Minari will be popular enough with the Academy that Steven Yeun will pick up a nomination.)

Best Actress

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Sidney Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Often

Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

(Once again, this is a lineup that I’ve been predicting for a while now.  I’m adding Sidney Flanigan to my predictions because of the strength she’s shown with the critics.  I nearly replaced her with Meryl Streep for The Prom but my instincts, for whatever they’re worth, say Flanigan.)

Best Supporting Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods

Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Bill Murray in On The Rocks

Leslie Odom, Jr. in One Night In Miami

Paul Raci in Sound of Metal

(I do think Chadwick Boseman is going to receive two posthumous acting nominations in the same year.  That’s the way the momentum is going and his passing adds an extra poignancy to his Da 5 Bloods performance that wouldn’t be there otherwise.  If I had to guess, I’d say that this is the Oscar that Boseman is going to win.)

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Ellen Burstyn in Pieces of a Woman

Olivia Colman in The Father

Amanda Seyfried in Mank

Youn Yuh-jung in Minari

(I know some people aren’t sure that the Academy is going to go as crazy for Bakalova as some of the critics have.  But I think the same Academy that nominated Vice is going to be open to considering a performance from the Borat sequel, especially one that embarrassed Rudy Giuliani.)

We’ll see whether or not I’m correct about any of these predictions in March!

2020 In Review: The Best of Lifetime


As chaotic as 2020 may have been, one thing remained unchanged!  Lifetime provided me with a lot of entertainment!  Below, you’ll find my picks for the best Lifetime films and performances of the past year!

(For my previous best of Lifetime picks, click on the links: 2014201520162017, 2018, and 2019!)

Best Picture:

  1. Mile High Escorts
  2. Escaping My Stalker
  3. Sleeping With Danger
  4. Beware of Mom
  5. Abducted On Air
  6. Killer Competition
  7. Remember Me, Mommy?
  8. A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  9. Cheer Squad Secrets
  10. Deadly Mile High Club

Best Director:

  1. Jeff Hare for Beware of Mom
  2. Sam Irvin for Mile High Escorts
  3. David Weaver for Sleeping With Danger
  4. Linden Ashby for Escaping My Stalker
  5. Colin Theys for A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  6. Doug Campbell for Deadly Mile High Club

Best Actress:

  1. Wendie Malick in Deranged Granny
  2. Elisabeth Rohm in Sleeping With Danger
  3. Sydney Myer in Remember Me, Mommy?
  4. Ezmie Garcia in Escaping My Stalker
  5. Anita Brown in Cheer Squad Secrets
  6. Crystal Allen in Beware of Mom

Best Actor:

  1. Houston Stevenson in A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  2. Antonio Cupo in Sleeping With Danger
  3. Panos Vlahos in Psycho Yoga Instructor
  4. Nick Ballard in Psycho Escort
  5. Andrew James Allen in Escaping My Stalker
  6. T.C. Matherne in A Murder to Remember

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Damon K. Sperber in Deadly Mile High Club
  2. Jim Klock in Secrets in the Woods
  3. Gord Rand in Abducted on Air
  4. Brandon Howell in Beware of Mom
  5. Mark Jude Sullivan in Sinfidelity
  6. Jeff Schine in A Mother Knows Worst

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Cristine Prosperi in Killer Competition
  2. Perrey Reeves in Abducted on Air
  3. Mariette Hartley in Escaping My Stalker
  4. Christina Moore in Mile High Escorts
  5. Christie Burson in Ruthless Realtor
  6. Cristina Rosato in No Good Dead Goes Unpunished

Best Screenplay:

  1. Stephen Romano for Escaping My Stalker
  2. Richard Blaney and Gregory Small for Sleeping with Danger
  3. S.L. Heath for Beware of Mom
  4. Barbara Kymlicka for Abducted on Air
  5. Daniel West for Killer Competition
  6. Adam Rockoff and Zachary Valenti for Remember Me Mommy

Best Score:

  1. Andrew Morgan Smith for Sinfidelity 
  2. David Findlay for Revenge For Daddy 
  3. Christopher Cano for The Pom Pom Murders
  4. Fantom for Mile High Escorts

Best Editing:

  1. Maxime Chalifoux for Abducted on Air
  2. Seth Johnson for The Pom Pom Murders
  3. Bryan Capri for A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  4. Kelly Herron for Sleeping With Danger

Best Cinematography:

  1. Branden James Maxham for A Predator’s Obsession: Stalker’s Prey 2
  2. Nate Spicer for Mile High Escorts
  3. Thomas M. Harting for Sleeping With Danger
  4. David Dolnik for Deadly Mile High Club

Coming up next (tomorrow at the latest — maybe sooner, depending on how much time I can devote to watching 6 movie today): My picks for the best films of 2020!  Finally!

TSL Looks Back at 2020:

  1. 12 Good Things I Saw On Television in 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  2. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Novels of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  3. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Non-Fiction Books of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  4. Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Songs of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  5. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  6. My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (Necromoonyeti)
  7. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems That I Saw In 2020 (Valerie Troutman)
  8. Top 10 Vintage Collections (Ryan C)
  9. Top 10 Contemporary Collections (Ryan C)
  10. Top 10 Original Graphic Novels (Ryan C)
  11. Top 10 Ongoing Series (Ryan C.)
  12. Top 10 Special Mentions (Ryan C.)
  13. Top Ten Single Issues (Ryan C)

 

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Norman Mailer Edition


Norman Mailer, running for mayor of New York City in 1969

4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Norman Mailer wasn’t just a writer and symbol of New York City.  He was also an aspiring filmmaker, a director who made three experimental films in the 60s and one studio film in the 80s.  And while none of his films could really be described as being a hit with either audiences or critics, they do — to a certain extent — epitomize an era.  Plus, the story of Rip Torn hitting Mailer with a hammer during the filming of Maidstone will live forever.

In honor of Norman Mailer the director, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Norma Mailer Films

Wild 90 (1968, dir by Norman Mailer, DP: D.A. Pennebaker)

Beyond The Law (1968, dir by Norman Mailer, DP: D.A. Pennebaker)

Maidstone (1970, dir by Norman Mailer, DP: D.A. Pennebaker)

Tough Guys Don’t Dance (1987, dir by Norman Mailer, DP: Mike Moyer and John Bailey)

 

Artwork of the Day: Let The Night Cry (by Robert Maguire)


by Robert Maguire

This book came out in 1954 and the cover is simply brilliant.  From the close-up of the bullets being loaded into the gun to worried expression of the woman in the background, this is an evocative, tough, and unforgettable cover.  Not surprisingly, it was done by the legendary Robert Maguire.  We’ve shared many Maguire covers in the past and we’ll undoubtedly share many more in the future.

Music Video of the Day: Come Sail Away by Styx (1977, directed by ????)


Leave it to Styx to take a seemingly straight-forward song about sailing away from life’s trouble and suddenly end it with an alien visitation.  Actually, I’ve read multiple interpretations of the film’s final verses.  Some see it as the subject of the song being abducted by aliens.  Others think that it means that he’s been taken into Heaven.  Because it’s a Styx song, the lyrics are open to many readings as long as you accept that it’s either angels or aliens.

Considering all of the debate that’s been inspired by this song, the music video is a pretty simple affair.  Like the majority of the videos that were released in the days before MTV, it’s a simple performance clip.  If you were hoping to see either aliens or angels in this video, you’ll be disappointed.  It’s good song, though.  It’s impossible not to get that chorus stuck in your head.

Enjoy!

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Michael Anderson Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

101 years ago today, Michael Anderson was born in London.  Anderson may have never become a household name but he directed some memorable movies.  Around The World in 80 Days proved that audiences love spectacle and celebrity cameos and it won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1956.  (Though Anderson was nominated for best director, the award went to George Stevens for Giant.)  However, I think that Anderson’s best-remembered film is probably Logan’s Run.  Whenever I shout, “I hate outside!” or I reply to a simple question with, “There is no sanctuary,” people always seem to automatically know which film I’m referencing.  Anderson followed up Logan’s Run with Orca, which is one of the better Jaws rip-offs.

Today, we honor the career and legacy of Michael Anderson with….

4 Shots From 4 Michael Anderson Films

Around The World in 80 Days (dir by Michael Anderson, DP: Lionel Lindon)

Logan’s Run (1976, dir by Michael Anderson, DP: Ernest Laszlo)

Orca (1977, dir by Michael Anderson, DP: J. Barry Herron and Ted Moore)

The Martian Chronicles (1980, directed by Michael Anderson, DP: Ted Moore)

12 Good Things I Saw On Television In 2020


What to say about television in 2020?

It’s hard to come up with much, largely because there really wasn’t a whole lot of television to watch.  With the pandemic shutting down several productions and even knocking out stuff like the Olympics, network television was even more of a wasteland than usual.  As far as the major networks were concerned, 2020 was a year of rerurns and overproduced celebrity-themed game shows.

I’m sure that some would say that the presidential election livened things up and I have to admit that I did enjoy snarking on Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and MJ Hegar, all three of whom seem to be competing to see whose campaigns could put out the most cringe-worthy commercials possible.  But, with Trump on one side and Biden on the other, there was little about this election that was enjoyable to watch.  Indeed, I’ve reached the point where just thinking about hearing someone say, “Fake news” or “Come on, man,” makes me want to throw something across the room.

Even my old reliables failed me this year.  Survivor halted production.  The Amazing Race and Big Brother both featured the least likable cast imaginable.   It’s hard to get excited when bullies are winning your favorite shows.

As usual, the streaming services did a bit better than the networks but, in the end, it feels as if I spent most of 2020 watching the retro channels.  Whenever the real world got too stressful, annoying, or stupid, I would go out to my private office and I’d watch a channel like MeTV, AntennaTV, ForwardTV*, or maybe even CoziTV.  To be honest, it really didn’t matter what old shows they were showing.  All that mattered was that watching those shows of the past provided an escape from all the bad stuff happening in the present.  They provided non-threatening background noise and there’s something to be said for that.  They’re televised time capsules, perfect for a history nerd like me.

(*To be honest, I’m not sure that there really is a network called ForwardTV.  I do know that I frequently watch Ghost Whisperer on one of the retro channels and I’ve never actually caught the name of the channel.  Maybe it’s ForwardTV.  Who knows?)

So, this year, my list of good things that I saw on TV is going to be shorter than usual.  Who knows?  It could be for the best.  I usually watch too much TV as it is.

  1. A Teacher

This miniseries, about a teacher who has an affair with a student and how it continues to determine the shape of their lives long after the affair ends, was an unusually intelligent and thought-provoking show.  As the teacher and the student, Kate Mara and Nick Robinson both gave realistic and empathetic performances.

2. Bad Education

One of the best films of the year premiered on HBO.  On the one hand, it’s sad to think that the film would have been eligible the Oscars if it had only been bought by Netflix.  On the other hand, though, it’s totally possible that more people saw it on HBO than would have seen it otherwise.  Hugh Jackman didn’t win an Emmy and he’s not going to get an Oscar but he still gave one of the best performances of 2020.

3. Michael Bloomberg blowing it during his first Democratic Debate

Considering how obnoxious and ever-present his commercials were (“Mike will get it done!”), there was something deeply satisfying about watching this smug technocrat totally blow it when he actually found himself on live TV and having to deal with actual human beings.  There wasn’t much to enjoy as far as politics went in 2020 but seeing Bloomberg get booed after trying to explain away all of the HR complaints against him was a joy.

4. Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult

There were two high-profile NXIVM series last year.  HBO had The Vow, which was a lengthy series that was produced by a bunch of former NXIVM members and which tried to make the director of What The Bleep Do We Know into some sort of hero.  Seduced, meanwhile, was an honest look at life in the cult, one that pulled no punches and which made The Vow look worse and worse with each episode.

5. Saved By The Bell: The Reboot

The Saved By The Bell reboot turned out to be a 100 times better than it had any right to be.

6. 9-1-1: Lone Star

This show is a guilty pleasure for me, I’ll admit it.  On the one hand, it does a fairly good job of capturing the feel and attitude of my homestate.  On the other hand, I don’t know that there’s as many volcanoes in Texas as this show seems to think.  No matter, though!  It’s over-the-top and fun.

7. The Mandalorian

I’m not even into Star Wars and even I had to admit that The Mandalorian was pretty damn cool.  I’m among the many people who started watching for Baby Yoda and who stuck around because the show itself turned out to be so unexpectedly entertaining.

8. Better Call Saul 

Saul Goodman never lets us down.

9. The Queen

Neither does Queen Elizabeth.

10. Ghost Whisperer Reruns

And neither does Melinda!  Eve when she’s appearing in reruns airing on Hulu and whatever ForwardTV actually is.

11. Coronation Sreet

They have a ton of episodes on Hulu!  Considering that it often seemed as if I might never get to leave the country again, there was something nice about being able to go on Hulu and watch something as British as this show.

12. I learned to appreciate the Daytime Dramas

When you’re working from home in the middle of a pandemic, there’s something oddly comfortable about turning on the TV and seeing something like the Bold and the Beautiful or General Hospital.  Those shows are always there, they’re always dealing with same stuff that it’s been dealing with for decades, and they are also the shows most likely to get interrupted by a breaking news alert.  So, as long as I turn on the TV at 12:45 and I see The Bold and the Beautiful instead of Norah O’Donnell looking somber, I know that the day’s probably going to be crisis-free.

TSL Looks Back at 2020:

  1. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Novels of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  2. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Non-Fiction Books of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  3. Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Songs of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  4. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  5. My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (Necromoonyeti)
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems That I Saw In 2020 (Valerie Troutman)
  7. Top 10 Vintage Collections (Ryan C)
  8. Top 10 Contemporary Collections (Ryan C)
  9. Top 10 Original Graphic Novels (Ryan C)
  10. Top 10 Ongoing Series (Ryan C.)
  11. Top 10 Special Mentions (Ryan C.)
  12. Top Ten Single Issues (Ryan C)

Music Video of the Day: Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by Crash Test Dummies (1994, directed by Dale Heslip)


I don’t know if I can possibly express how inescapable this song was in 1994.  It was on the radio constantly and the video was just as prominent on MTV.  At first, people loved the song and the video was viewed as being profound.  There was a lot of speculation about why the lead singer of Crash Test Dummies had such a deep voice.  I won’t repeat any of it here but it got pretty out there.

Of course, whenever any song is overplayed, it doesn’t take long for people to go from loving it to hating it.  Though I can only offer up anecdotal evidence, the span from love to hate seemed to be especially quick for Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.  Before long, people grew sick of seeing the lead singer humming on MTV.  To me, this video proves that no one should be filmed while humming with their eyes closed.

The video takes place at a school play.  Each act features a different dramatization of what the the singer is humming about.  The adults in the audience start out as being amused but then become disturbed.  Are lessons learned?  I don’t know.

This song was nominated for a Grammy so make of that what you will.

Enjoy!