My viewing this week was pretty much dominated by Big Brother and the Olympics.
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, BBC)
This week brought us yet another bizarre episode, this one featuring Herr Flick dressing up as a gypsy to uncover a plot to kill Hitler while Rene dressed up as a fireman to steal the plans to invade Great Britain. Trying to keep track of it all proved a bit difficult but at least Crabtree was there wish everyone a “Good Moaning.”
The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)
The men tell all! The Men (or Women) Tell All is one of the franchise’s greatest traditions, a chance for the rejected to have their say before the finale. Often, it’s a highlight of this season. This year, without Chris Harrison or a similarly experienced host around to guide the conversation, it was pretty dull.
The main things that I learned from watching the men tell all is that 1) none of the men were that interesting this season and 2) The Bachelorette needs to hire a real host to replace Chris Harrison because neither Tayshia nor Kaitlyn have proven themselves to be up to the job. Their inexperience when it comes to interviewing people was obvious during this week’s episode. Whenever any of the men said anything that was the slightest bit unexpected, Tayshia and Kaitlyn just giggled and then move on to the next topic, without asking any follow-up questions. It reminded me of those terrible reunion episodes that used to end every season of Dance Moms. When The Bachelorette is remind me more of a low-budget Lifetime show than America’s number one dating show, that’s a problem.
Big Brother (All Week, CBS and Paramount Plus)
You can read my thoughts on Big Brother at the Big Brother Blog!
Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)
On Monday morning, Dragnet got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated a man who was pretending to be a policeman and a fireman. Though the man was doing good deeds, it was still a crime and he still got sentenced to probation. This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon searched for an aspiring starlet who had gotten caught up in the world of …. smutty films! It turns out that the only thing that Friday and Gannon disliked more than marijuana advocates was the adult film business. Unfortunately, it all ended in tragedy.
Tuesday started off with a rather silly episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated two rival gypsy families. One of the families offered Friday a bribe. Oh, that was a mistake! This was followed by a far more dramatic and effective episode, in which Friday and Gannon investigated a case of child abuse. It was an angry episode about an important subject and, for once, Friday’s moralistic outlook felt appropriate as opposed to out-of-touch.
The first of Wednesday’s episodes found Gannon and Friday interrogating a mob associate on a rainy night. The entire episode was just the interrogation and it was actually handled pretty well. Though the 60s Dragnet was best known for its scenes of Friday lecturing hippies, the best episodes were the ones where Friday and Gannon just did police work and avoided commenting on current events. This was followed by an episode where Friday and Gannon attempted to find a man who had threatened to commit suicide. Again, this was a well-handled episode, one that was sympathetic to those who struggle with depression and anxiety.
Thursday, on the other hand, got started with an episode that featured the type of thing for which Dragnet is best remembered. A bunch of smug hippie teenagers wanted to start their own island nation and they were robbing Los Angeles stores in order to get the supplies to do so. Fortunately, Gannon and Friday were on-hand to lecture them about their civic duty and their lack of practical camping experience before sending them all to juvenile hall. This was followed by an episode in which Friday interviewed police academy applicants and then he and Gannon investigated one applicant’s background, mainly to discover why he had gotten a divorce …. wait, what? It should be noted, though, that investigating the divorce did lead to the discovery of evidence that the applicant should be not be allowed the enter the police academy. Anyway, this was one of those Dragnet episodes were the emphasis was meant to be on how professional the LAPD was. Not everyone can join the department, the episode said, especially not divorced people.
The first of Friday’s episodes featured Joe and Gannon investigating a case of embezzlement. It turned out that the embezzler had a gambling problem! Joe and Gannon were not sympathetic. Such are the wages of greed, I guess. This was followed by an episode with Joe attempted to teach patrol officers about the importance of maintaining good community relationships, even with people who don’t like the LAPD. On the one hand, the show made a good point by directly addressing the fact that cops need to treat all people fairly. On the other hand, a large part of the episode centered around a young black activist learning that the cops weren’t so bad after all. In other words, this episode was the epitome of the type of well-intentioned, middle-of-the-road storytelling that tends to drive activists on both sides of an issue crazy. Still, everything worked out in the end. The activist agreed to pay a traffic fine and the cops agreed not to charge him with resisting arrest.
And that was it for this week!
Moone Boy (PBS, Sunday Night)
As the Moones somewhat reluctantly prepare for Fidelma’s wedding, the peace in Boyle is upset by the arrival of Travelers. The Travelers don’t really do much but, because they’re Travelers, everyone gets a bit paranoid about them, regardless. Martin, of course, develops a crush on one of them. Meanwhile, Dessie asks the priest to be his best man, which leads to “Stag Mass.” It was a funny, if somewhat messy, episode.
Open All Hours (PBS, Sunday Night)
Arkwright and Granville got a van, one with a mattress in back, so that they could pick up hitchhikers. It was a disturbing episode. It’s always been pretty obvious that Granville is one step away from losing it and going on a rampage but this week’s episode suggested that Arkwright might be a bit on the unstable side as well.
Tokyo Olympics (All week, Every Chanel)
On Sunday morning, I watched Spain defeat Serbia in water polo! Because I’m rooting for Spain, I was happy to see the win but water polo still seems like an amazingly silly sport. I then watched a bit of the handball match between Norway and South Korea. Who knew handball could be so intense!? After the handball, I surprised myself even further by getting totally caught up in fencing. I think the reason I liked the fencing is because the uniforms made all of the competitors look like characters from The Purge. That said, I definitely cheered a bit when Lee Kiefer won the gold!
While I didn’t get a chance to watch much of the Olympics on Monday, I made up for that on Tuesday morning by tuning in and watching Japan defeat the United States at softball. And I have to admit that it didn’t really bother me, watching the U.S. lose this event. Japan is hosting the Olympics this year. Softball is reportedly a big sport in Japan and, indeed, one reason why softball was an Olympic event this year was because Tokyo already had a softball field. Japan winning the Gold just felt appropriate. After I watched the softball medal ceremony, I found out about Simone Biles withdrawing from the Games. As I said on twitter at the time, “mental issues” can mean any number of things so instead of judging, the proper response from the beginning was to wish Simone the best for whatever she may be dealing with. Of course, most people did the exact opposite and this week has pretty much been dominated by people offering up terrible takes on Simone Biles, the Olympics, and the pressures of competition.
The over-the-top reaction to the Simone Biles news temporarily turned me off of the Olympics so I didn’t watch on Wednesday. However, I returned on Thursday. I watched the U.S. vs. Turkey in Women’s Volleyball and I have to admit that I soon found myself rooting for Turkey, whose team had more natural talent than the American team. That the American team still won felt like it had more to do with luck than anything else. After the indoor volleyball, it was time for Women’s Beach Volleyball, which featured Canada vs. Brazil. I have to admit that, ever since I finally watched Top Gun last year, it’s been impossible for me to take Beach Volleyball seriously. Jeff and I also watched a bit of Olympic golf.
On Friday night, it was time for more running, more swimming, and more medals! There was also some women’s soccer which …. bleh. I really hope we don’t win the gold this year. I’m sick of being expected to care about soccer.
Saturday, I watched a bit of volleyball and a bit of boxing and a little basketball. I have to admit that basetball has never appealed to me so I ended up watching golf instead. I never though it would happen but golf is winning me over. It’s such a refined and, most importantly, quite sport. No squeaky shoes or yelling, just the sound of golf swings and polite applause.
2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open (Golf Channel, Sunday Afternoon)
I also like watching golf because I like seeing what all of the courses look like. They’re all very nice and green.
Upstart Crow (PBS, Sunday Night)
Shakespeare and the crew (including the “Artist Formerly Known as Marlowe”) tire of the London fog and head up to Stratford. With everyone getting sick of being stuck indoors together, Shakespeare is inspired to write a romantic comedy. When his wife informs him that his idea for the play (featuring mistaken identities and, of course, a wedding at the end) all sounds like “much ado about nothing,” Shakespeare informs her that he’ll soon have another hit on his hands. Yay, Shakespeare!