If it seems like I watched an excessive amount of old TV shows this week, that’s because I did. While I was working this week, I kept the TV turned to the retro channels. The only exception to that rule was on Friday when I watched three daytime dramas. For the most part, these shows served as background noise while I was making plan for this year’s Horrorthon but, at the same time, I have to admit that I do kind of like occasionally watching the old TV shows. I’m a history nerd and, at their best, those shows are like stepping into a time machine and seeing the way people used to dress, talk, and, for better or worse, think.
This week also saw the end of Big Brother, which means that I can now devote all of my time to horror films. Yay!
With all that in mind, here’s my week in television:
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)
With the Germans and the Italians holding a conference to determine their plans for invading England, it falls on Rene to discover their plans to send that information to the Resistance, via the use of a homing duck. Yes, a duck. There’s probably worse ways to do it, to be honest. I know that the ducks in our neighborhood are pretty resilient. Needless to say, Rene complained quite a bit but still did what he had to do.
Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)
Ivan had to leave the show because he snuck out of his room during lockdown and tried to see one of the future contestants. This show certainly does have a lot of rules for something that is essentially just a second-rate knock-off of Paradise Hotel.
Bewitched (Weekday Afternoon, Antenna TV)
I watched two episodes of this classic sitcom while doing some work around the office on Tuesday. Unfortunately, both episodes were from the Dick Sargent years. (I prefer the episodes with Dick York’s hapless Darrin to the episodes that feature Dick Sargent flying into a rage every few minutes.) The first episode features Sarena causing trouble, which was fun. The second episode featured Endora casting a hex on Darrin, which was fun if just because Darrin was such a pain in the ass that he certainly deserved it.
Big Brother (24/7, Paramount Plus and CBS)
It’s over! I wrote about the show and big finale over at the Big Brother Blog!
The Bold and the Beautiful (Weekday Afternoons, CBS)
Last year, when the COVID lockdowns first kicked in, I got sucked back into the world of the daytime dramas. However, up until this week, it had been a few months since I had watched any of them. I guess I just got bored with them. That said, this Friday, I decided to check in with a few of them, just to see what was going on.
The Bold and the Beautiful remains my favorite, just because it’s so self-aware and intentionally over the top. This Friday’s episode featured a lot of people having heated discussions and it was fun to watch. The drama, the eye rollings, the flaring nostrils, the little smirks — Hell, I might have to start setting the DVR for these shows again!
CHiPs (Weekday Afternoon, Charge!)
I watched two episodes of this 70s cop show on Thursday. The show itself was pretty bland but the California scenery was lovely and that opening theme music really gets stuck in your head. They knew how to work a bassline in the 70s.
Cold Case (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)
Remember this show? Cold Case followed the adventures of Lily (Kathryn Morris), the deathly pale cold case detective who never seemed to wash her hair. On Wednesday, I watched an episode in which Lily and the cold case squad investigated the murder of a woman who made a tape for a dating service shortly before her death. As always, the show started off on an interesting note but then got unbearable once Lily and the gang started doing their thing.
Crossing Jordan (Weekday Afternoons, Start TV)
On this crime show, Jill Hennessy played Jordan, a coroner who investigated crimes for some reason. This was one of those overly quirky crime shows that aired in the aughts, so naturally Jordan has a crew of odd co-workers and a potential boyfriend played by Jerry O’Connell. Fortunately, Miguel Ferrer was also on the show, lending it all some much needed gravitas.
I watched two episodes on Wednesday. In the first one, Jordan researched the darkest corners of the internet. (GASP!) It was interesting to watch, just because the episode was made before Twitter and Facebook really became things. This was followed by an episode in which Jordan investigate the death of corporal who had gone AWOL from Afghanistan. Crossing Jordan was always at its worst when it tried to be political.
Considering how annoying I found this show to be, both during its original run and in reruns, I’m kind of surprised I watched two episodes. Was I just too lazy to change the channel? It’s possible.
CSI: Miami (Weekday Mornings, Charge!)
I don’t care what anyone says. Between David Caruso putting on the sunglasses and Emily Proctor’s Southern accent, CSI: Miami was the best of the various CSIs. I watched two episodes on Thursday. The first one dealt with a man who died at a race track and it was okay but kind of forgettable. The second one dealt with the mysterious world of the internet and there’s nothing I love more than when CSI: Miami explores the dark web! While the team explored the internet, Horatio protected his niece from a killer and did that thing where he delivered one-liners in an extremely serious voice. It was fun!
Dennis The Menace (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)
Dennis the Menace? More like Dennis the sociopath! I watched two episodes on Tuesday. When Dennis wasn’t harassing Mr. Wilson, he was making everyone else’s life a living Hell. GO AWAY, YOU LITTLE BRAT!
Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)
Getting to discover old shows like this is one of the truly fun things about our annual horrorthon at TSL.
General Hospital (Weekday Afternoons, ABC)
Oh my God, Sonny might still be alive! On Friday, I watched this show for the first time in months and I was immediately reminded of why I love General Hospital, despite the fact that I find the title to be misleading. The show features nonstop drama, much of it revolving around gangsters named Sonny who know how to fake their own death.
Ghost Whisperer (Weekday Mornings, Start TV)
As I’ve written in the past, I love Ghost Whisperer! The episode that I watched on Wednesday featured a ghost leading Melinda to a munitions dump that was full of unexploded bombs. I don’t believe in ghosts but, if they did exist, I would hope they would be willing to confide in me as easily as they do Melinda.
I Dream of Jeannie (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)
I watched two episodes of this old show on Tuesday, while I was doing some work around the office. The first episode featured Jeannie’s sister trying to steal away Major Nelson. The 2nd featured a con artist (played by Milton Berle) trying to outsmart Jeannie! Oh no! The 2nd episode took place in Hawaii, which was nice. I loved visiting Hawaii.
Hazel (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)
Hazel is an old sitcom about a live-in maid who insists on trying to run everyone’s life. On Tuesday, I had the TV in the office tuned to Antenna TV and, as a result, two episodes of Hazel served as background noise while I worked. In one episode, Hazel’s employer was convinced that the neighbors were interfering with his TV reception. In the second episode, Hazel came to the defense of a friend who was accused of being a corporate spy. I felt bad for Hazel, who apparently didn’t have much of a life outside of work.
Knight Rider (Weekday Afternoons, Charge!)
I’ve often heard of this old show but Thursday was the first time that I ever watched an episode. In fact, I watched two episodes. Youngish David Hasselhoff driving a car that talks in the voice of Mr. Feeney? What’s not to love!? Actually, to be honest, it seemed like the type of show that would get pretty boring once the novelty wore off. The car was cool, though. The first episode featured the Hoff and the car saving a building from detonation. The second found the Hoff driving the car in a race and protecting a journalist. In both cases, everything turned out for the best.
McHale’s Navy (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)
This was an old sitcom about a bunch of sailors in the Navy. It was obviously made at a time when America was not at war because you wouldn’t trust any of these people to be able to handle a combat situation. Ernest Borgnine played the McHale of the title. I had the show on for background noise while I was doing some work around the office on Tuesday. Antenna TV aired two episodes but I didn’t pay much attention to either one. One featured a chimpanzee. The other featured McHale trying to run a beauty contest. Ernest Borgnine seemed to be having fun.
Medium (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)
Medium was the serious version of Ghost Whisperer, starring Patricia Arquette instead of Jennifer Love Hewitt. It will always be interesting to me that Patricia basically spent the first decade of this century starring in Medium and filming Boyhood on the weekends. Anyway, Medium was always a bit too dour for me but Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber both gave good performance every week that the show aired. It was a show for grown-ups, one that unfortunately aired when I was anything but.
Start TV always shows Medium after Ghost Whisperer, which makes it impossible not to compare the two shows. On Wednesday, I watched an episode in which Patricia developed a sensitivity to light. She started wearing sunglasses but whenever she put them on, everyone that she saw would have a number on their head that states how many days they have left to live. AGCK! Actually, by Medium standards, this was a fun episode.
Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)
PBS’s airing of Moone Boy came to a touching end with two final episodes on Sunday. The first featured Dessie trying to open a Catholic book shop. It soon became popular with people of all religions, including Scientologists! The second episode featured the death of Martin’s grandfather and the return of his grandfather’s imaginary friend, George Gershwin (played by Paul Rudd). It was the a very, very sweet episode, one that took an honest but humorous look at aging, maturing, and death. The final scene brought tears to my mismatched eyes, What a good show! I’m glad I got to see it.
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
I didn’t really pay much attention to this episode but I’m pretty sure a dog ordered Granville to go on a rampage. I’m a little bit worried about Granville, to be honest. He seems to let things get to him.
Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)
Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)
Talking Dead was a bit bland this week, which was a shame considering how good the latest episode of The Walking Dead was. For the record, the guests were superfan Yvette Nicole Brown and, via satellite, Lauren Ridloff.
That Girl (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)
On Tuesday afternoon, I had the TV in the office tuned to Antenna TV, largely because I had a lot of work to do and retro sitcoms are often the perfect background noise. Among the shows that aired were two episodes of That Girl, which is a show that I had heard of but never watched before. Marlo Thomas plays Anne Marie, an actress. I appreciated the fact that Anne and I share a middle name.
Anyway, I didn’t really pay much attention to the two episodes that aired. I had a lot of work to get done. The first episode featured Anne dealing with a potential audit from the IRS and it was nice to see that people in the 70s hated the IRS as much as I hate them right now. The second episode featured Anne Marie trying to encourage a singer who was planning on becoming a nun. In both cases, everything worked out for the best.
Three’s Company (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)
I watched two episodes of this very 70s sitcom on Tuesday. I should admit that I only had it on for background noise while I was finishing up some work so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I’ve seen a few episodes of this show over the year and I’ve never really seen the appeal. I’m just like, “Just explain what really happened and get on with your life!”
Anyway, the first episode features James Cromwell — yes, that James Cromwell — as a vice cop who thought Chrissy was a prostitute so he came back to the apartment to arrest her but Jack thought he was just a jerk so he punched him and then Cromwell tried to arrest everyone but then Mr. Roper said that Jack was gay so Cromwell let him go because it would be too embarrassing to admit that he got punched out by a gay guy. God, that was exhausting. This was followed by an episode where everyone thought the apparently asexual Mr. Roper was having an affair because every character on the show was an idiot.
Unforgettable (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)
On this show, Poppy Montgomery played a detective who had the ability to remember every single thing she had ever seen or heard. It was a really interesting premise and Poppy Montgomery was a good series lead but the show was never as interesting as it should have been. The episode I watched on Wednesday featured Poppy and Dylan Walsh transporting a witness down to Florida. It was a pretty basic show but Poppy and Dylan had an enjoyable chemistry.
The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)
The Young and the Restless (Weekday Afternoons, CBS)
After having not watched the show for a month, I watched Friday’s episode. There was a lot of talking. Mariah and Tessa were debating whether or not start a family. Victoria and Nick’s rivalry was threatening to ruin a wedding. As usual, there were a lot of restless people on the show. I enjoyed it. I like watching attractive, rich people argue.
In conclusion …. actually, this post is already over 2,000 words long so we probably don’t need a conclusion. It was a good week!