Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 11/28/21 — 12/4/21


I spent most of this week working on Christmas stuff but I did watch a few shows.

Bar Rescue (Weekday Mornings, Paramount)

I watched three episodes while I was trying to wake up on Wednesday.  Jon Taffer and “the experts” yelled at a lot of owners and reduced their employees to tears but I guess it’s all worth it in order to make sure that alcoholics have a fun place to hang out.  The third episode that I watched was actually filmed in my hometown and I totally recognized the bar that Jon was rescuing.  (I don’t drink so I’m usually the girl at the bar who gets weird looks for asking for a glass of water.)  Jon described my hometown as being upper middle class.  Thanks, Jon!

Baywatch Hawaii (Prime)

On Friday, I watched episode 14 of this show.  There were three subplots, all of which were repeats of storyline that had previously happened on the original Baywatch.  An all-nude protest went wrong.  Sean flirted with the new boss.  JD and Jessie bickered about their relationship.  Despite being top-billed in the credits, David Hasselhoff was only in the show for a minute, boarding a plane back to Los Angeles.  It’s hard not to feel that the Hoff just wasn’t that invested in Baywatch Hawaii.  For that matter, neither am I.  This show only lasted two seasons and it’s still taken me a month and a half to even make it through the first half of the first season.

I then watched Episode 15, which was weird.  Basically, it started with Jessie getting lost in an underwater maze.  Once she was rescued, suddenly it become about Jason and Allie working together on the beach and Jason being haunted by the death of a previous lifeguard.  And then Dawn went on a date with some strange guy who insulted her by assuming that he knew everything about her.  I know where Dawn’s coming from but still, none of these random stories really seemed to go together.  One gets the feeling that this episode’s script was a combination of scenes that had been cut out of previous episodes.  Again, it’s hard not to suspect that the people in charge of the show just didn’t care.

Dexter: New Blood (Sunday Night, Showtime)

I reviewed Dexter here!

Dude, You’re Screwed (Friday Morning, Discovery)

So, I guess the idea behind this show is that three ex-military guys toss some someone in a hostile environment and then they watch to see if that person can make it back to civilization without dying in the process.  On the episode that I watched, they stranded some guy in Tanzania and then watched as he spent two days being chased by lions and trying to run in 98-degree heat.  Luckily, the guy did make it back to civilization.  He met some local hunters who were on the verge of killing him for trespassing before the hosts showed up to whisk him away.

It was kind of a fun show actually.

Fear The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about the latest episode here!

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Wednesday Night, FXX)

Yay!  The Gang’s back and they’re as terrible as ever!  Two new episodes aired on Wednesday, featuring the gang fearlessly taking on the brave new world of the 2020s.  In the first episode, they discussed what they did during 2020 and what they spent their PPP money on.  In the second episode, they made Lethal Weapon 7, while trying to avoid remaking the mistakes that they made with Lethal Weapon 5 and Lethal Weapon 6.  They’re a terrible group of people and I love them.  They’re what this country needs right now.

Killer Cases (Wednesday Night, A&E)

The latest episode of this A&E true crime series took a look at the murder of Mollie Tibbets.  On the one hand, I feel like shows like this are terribly exploitive and insensitive.  On the other hand, I always end up watching.  So, I’m as much of a hypocrite as anyone.

The Office (Everyday, Comedy Central)

I watched two episodes from season 3 on Thursday night.  The thing is …. Jim knew that Andy had anger issues so hiding his phone and then repeatedly calling it through the day was really a dick move on his part.  Bullying is never cool, Jim!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Oh, hey, this is back!  Chris Hardwicke did his best to try to make Walking Dead: World Beyond sound interesting.  I respected him for trying.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

After being absent from PBS for a few months, Upstart Crow returned on Sunday.  PBS aired the show’s three Christmas specials, though not in chronological order.

As such, the first Christmas special that was aired was actually the show’s third, from December of 2020.  In this special, Will and Kate were stuck in Will’s London home, under quarantine due to the Bubonic Plague.  As Will tried to write a “Scottish play,” they discussed how the world had changed due to the plague.  Needless to say, it was a pretty obvious and heavy-handed commentary on the UK during the Coronavirus lockdowns.  The episode was both hopeful and angry.  It had its funny moments but overall, it was a rather dark episode.  Then again, December of 2020 was a rather dark time for many people.

This was followed by “A Christmas Crow,” which was the show’s fist Christmas Special.  Airing long before COVID (or, for that matter, the episode the featured the death of Will’s son), A Christmas Crow was an enjoyably light-hearted “look” at how Eighth Night became Twelfth Night.  Emma Thompson appeared as Queen Elizabeth I and was funny, sympathetic, and somewhat terrifying.

The final Christmas special shown was “A Crow Christmas Carol.”  Still mourning the death of his son, Shakespeare met a mysterious stranger (Kenneth Branagh) who told him a story about a miser who changed his ways after being visited by three ghosts.  Shakespeare and his friends attempted to pull the same thing on the villainous Robert Greene in an attempt to get Greene to change his ways.  The highlight of this episode was, not surprisingly, Kenneth Branagh’s effectively creepy cameo as the Stranger.

Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

Eh.  Who knows?  There was a lot of death and paramilitary stuff going on.  The show briefly had my attention a few weeks ago but the last few episode have just been kind of dull.  It’s nearly over.

TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 7.1 “The Portrait” (dir by Heather Cappiello)


The latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead featured Morgan taking baby Mo to Strand’s tower, in order to try to find medicine for her.  Normally, Strand would have sent Morgan away and laughed about it but Morgan was lucky enough to show up while Strand was having an existential crisis about his role in the brave new world of the Walking Dead.

In short, Morgan got to enter the tower and he stayed there for a while before Strand ended up having one of his trademark changes of heart.  After nearly tossing Morgan to the Walkers, Strand changed his mind on the condition that Grace and the baby would stay at the tower while Morgan went back out into the apocalyptic wasteland.  Morgan then hooked up with Dwight and his “moral outlaws” and then they all ran into some Stalkers who are apparently different from the other Stalkers who have previously appeared and then there was a big explosion …. or something.

Look, I don’t know.  To be honest, I had a hard time following what was going on after Morgan left the Tower.  That could be because this is the first season of the show that I’ve really watched.  But, I will say that, when Fear the Walking Dead works, it works precisely because it captures the confusion of trying to keep track of who is who in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  It does a good job of capturing the paranoia that would go along with the end of the world.  If The Walking Dead and Walking Dead: World Beyond is occasionally a bit too neat when it comes to depicting its characters as being good or evil, Fear The Walking Dead is a bit more chaotic.

As for this episode, it kind of reminded me of one of those old episodes of Lost where Jack or Kate would end up spending a week with The Others and you would kind of end up thinking that, regardless of how you felt about The Others as a moral force, you’d really rather live in their little village than in the caves with Jack and the skeletons.  I wouldn’t necessarily want to live under the rule of a dictator prone to arbitrary rages but, at the same time, the Tower does look nice and Strand is keeping people alive (or at least, he is until he randomly decides to them off the top of the Tower).  One could easily imagine the Others living in the Tower and telling a disbelieving Morgan, “We’re the good guys.”

For me, the highlight of this episode was Colman Domingo’s performance of Strand.  Domingo, who has recently gotten some deserved attention for his performances in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Zola, is charismatic enough to be believable as a leader while also frightening enough to be believable as someone who could get his followers to go along with his often contradictory impulses.  I actually felt a bit of sympathy for Strand as he realized that he would always be viewed as a fearsome ruler as opposed to a benevolent monarch.  Of course, the rest of the episode was dedicated to reminding views as to why exactly Strand is so feared.

Anyway, it was a good episode.  Colman Domingo and Lennie James dueling each other to see who could control each scene was entertaining to watch.  The next episode is called Padre, so I guess we’ll finally get some answers as to who exactly is out there.

We’ll see!

TV Review: Dexter: New Blood 1.4 “H is for Hero” (dir by Sanford Bookstaver)


Boom!  I predicted Harrison would be a budding serial killer so give it up for me!

Well, to be honest, I’m probably not the only person who predicted that.  I haven’t been reading any other reviews of Dexter: New Blood beyond my own but Harrison turning out to have a dark passenger shouldn’t be a shocking development to anyone who watched the original Dexter series.  The way that the Trinity Killer killed Rita was obviously designed to turn Harrison into a killer.  There was even an episode during season 5 in which Dexter investigated whether or not Trinity’s son had taken up his father’s bad habits.  (And let’s not forget that, in the books, Dexter quickly realized that Rita’s children were sociopaths.)  Harrison following in his father’s footsteps was something that was set in motion long ago.  It’s an inevitable development.  The only question really is whether or not Harrison has killed before or if his attempt to kill his high school friend was his first dry run.  And will Dexter forgive his son, partner with his son, destroy his son, or be destroyed by his son?

While I’m patting myself on the back for being correct about Harrison, I should also admit that it appears that I was wrong about the identity of the killer sniper.  I was sure that it was going to be Olsen but the end of this episode seems to suggest that it’s Kurt.  Of course, Kurt could be working with Olsen.  Considering what’s happened in past seasons of Dexter, it wouldn’t be a shock to discover that the Sniper is actually more than one man.  Perhaps Matt was a part of the organization as well.  I mean, he certainly was trigger happy.

It was a good episode.  I’m cringing a little bit at the character of Molly Park, if just because she sometimes seems like a boomer’s version of what a podcaster is like.  (“Those crazy kids, with their cursing and their drunk sex….”)  But, I do think there is some potential to her “alliance” with Angela.  I also felt the fallout of the school stabbing was handled well, particularly Harrison’s new status as the town hero.  In many ways, Harrison is living Dexter’s fantasy.  He’s killing (or nearly killing) and he’s being celebrated for it.  He’s a hero, just like Dexter always wanted to be.

(That said, even I could tell that Harrison obviously stabbed himself.  Have the people in this town never watched an old episode of CSI?)

For me, the best part of the revival remains Ghost Deb.  She really deservers her own show, though plotlines would probably be limited by the fact that she’s just a figment of Dexter’s imagination.  Still, Jennifer Carpenter was one of the key parts of what made the original Dexter such an entertaining series and the way that show’s final season rather cavalierly killed her off is one of the many reasons why so many people hated the original finale.  Though Ghost Deb may not be solving crimes, she’s still calling everyone on their bullshit.  It’s good to have her back, in all of her profane glory.