This week, I mostly used the television for background noise. Here’s some notes on what I watched:
Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)
A camera was dropped off that could save France but, unfortunately, it landed in a vineyard. So, of course, it fell on Rene and everyone from the café to work in the vineyard to retrieve it. I find myself relating to Michelle of the Resistance. “I shall say this only once!”
The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Night)
If I hadn’t already read all the spoilers about who Katie is going to end up with, I probably would have been more excited by the return of Blake. But …. eh. I’m ready for this season to be over. I really need to stop reading spoilers.
Bar Rescue (Wednesday, Paramount Network)
Jon Taffer and Mia Mastroianni were outraged to discover that a country-and-western bar was not serving fruity, beach-themed cocktails. Mia gasped as if she had just seen the worst thing in the history of terrible things. Taffer yelled a lot.
Big Brother (CBS and Paramount, 24/7)
Big Brother is back! It’s taken them 23 seasons but Big Brother finally has a season where there’s more than two people of color in the House. It’s the most diverse cast ever but everyone is still making the same stupid mistakes that previous houseguests made in past seasons. I’ve been writing about it over at Reality TV Chat Blog!
Children’s Hospital (Hulu, Thursday)
I watched two episodes of this classic show on Thursday. The first was the special “lost episode” from the 70s, in which Dr. Lola Spratt joined the staff and was immediately dismissed by everyone because she was a woman. (“The operation has been canceled! The patient doesn’t want to be operated on by a woman!”) Dr. Glenn Richie also joined the staff and attempted to prove that he wasn’t a “baby killer.” It all ended with an orgy. The second episode I watched was the British version of Children’s Hospital, which aired on “BBC10” and featured a French mime.
Court Cam (A&E, Wednesday)
“This defendant thinks he’s going to get away with lighting a joint in the middle of the court room but the judge ain’t having it!” WHY DO I WATCH THIS STUPID SHOW!? Actually, the answer to that is pretty simple. It makes good background noise. I may watch but I rarely pay attention.
Dragnet (MeTV, Weekday Mornings)
Monday’s showing of Dragnet got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon teamed up with a bunch of old women to take down two con artists who were posing as bank examiners. It was a good and straight-forward police story and one that, despite Dragnet’s reputation, featured absolutely no crazy hippies. The second episode featured Friday and Gannon solving the murder of a 66 year-old man. It turned out that he was murdered by a young couple but they weren’t quite hippies as much as they were beatniks with bad attitudes. Still, the episode was very well-done, with the audience ultimately sharing the cop’s disgust over the murder.
Both of Tuesday’s episodes were rather dry, which I guess is a polite way of saying dull. The first one dealt with Gannon and Friday tracking down two men who had been holding up candy stores and a good deal of time was spent explaining how a lineup works. This is one of those things that I imagine was fascinating in 1967 but today, it’s a bit less so. The second episode featured a gang selling fake furs. Gannon went undercover to bust them but it turned out that going undercover just meant showing up in a hotel room, lying about your profession, and then pulling out your badge a few minutes later.
Wednesday started off with Gannon and Friday being called in to investigate a jewelry theft, just to discover that it was actually insurance fraud. It was, again, all a bit dry. The second episode was better, with Gannon and Friday tracking down two men who shot a cop. One of the men was played by none other than Dick Miller! As usual, the focus was on everyone doing everything “by the book,” which was quite a contrast to the rogue cops who would later come to dominate television. Gannon and Friday, it would appear, took quite a bit of pride in being dull.
On Thursday, Friday and Gannon worked traffic and continually arrested the same drunk driver until that driver ended up killing two innocent people and losing his legs. Again, it was a fairly dull episode but the message was a good one because people really shouldn’t drive drunk. This was followed by an episode in which Friday teamed up with the department’s chaplain to take down a crooked accountant. Everyone assumed that a preacher couldn’t be a good cop but he proved them wrong, I guess. It was a weird episode.
On Friday, Joe went on TV and gave an interview about various type of scam artists to look out for, particularly magazine subscriptions salesmen who claim to be veterans. This was followed by a murder investigation, one that again was handled very succinctly and by-the-book.
These old episodes of Dragnet are interesting from a historical point of view. From the an entertainment point of view, they’re kind of dull. But I know that the show is eventually going to exclusively became about Friday and Gannon putting hippies in their place so I’ll keep watching in anticipation.
Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)
The chefs had to cook for Chef Ramsay’s daughter’s birthday party! Needless to say, it was pretty much a disaster. Megan Ramsay sent back one plate of noodles because it was flavorless and I was like, “YESSSSSSSS!” because, seriously, the episode needed some more yelling. The Red Team lost for the second service in a row. Payton was sent home. Boo hoo. I liked Payton.
Love Island (CBS, Weeknights)
Love Island is proof that someone watched Paradise Hotel and thought to themselves, “The only thing that would improve this show would be if the people involved were just a little more shallow.” I watched two episodes, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. I like the snarky narrator but, honestly, I’m already watching The Bachelorette, Hell’s Kitchen, and Big Brother so I’ll probably skip out on the rest of Love Island.
Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)
Martin’s starting at a new school but he’s still got his imaginary friend, Sean Murphy, at his side. This week’s episode was sweetly humorous and had a lot of dancing. Martin developed a crush on his art teacher, which I found amusing since I once thought I might became an art teacher, specifically so I could inspire young minds to embrace abstract thinking. But then I realized being an art teacher would also mean having to tell children that their talent was inadequate for my class so I changed my mind. I’m just too nice.
The Office (Comedy Central, All The Time)
I watched episodes from season 2 on Thursday, season 3 on Friday, and season 4 on Saturday. My favorite remains Jim and Pam staying overnight at Dwight’s beet farm.
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
Arkwright continued to steal from his customers while Granville drew plans for a bomb behind the counter.
Parking Wars (Weekday mornings, A&E)
I watched an episode on Thursday while I was getting ready for my day. The parking cops were all acting like martyrs because people didn’t like them. Who knew that civil servants could be so whiny?
Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)
As Will Shakespeare struggled to write A Midsummer’s Night Dream, he told Kate and Bottom about the time he met an actual fairy named Puck. Puck sold him the dust that he used to make Anne fall in love with him. Kate and Bottom both felt that it sounded more likely that Puck was drug dealer. Poor Shakespeare …. will he ever win?