Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 1/23/22 — 1/29/22


Another week in January essentially means another week of allergies and sneezing.  I watched quite a few movies this week but I also catched a few shows.  When you’re feeling under the weather, it’s sometimes more fun to watch something that’s only going to require 30 minutes of your attention as opposed to 132 of them.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

The show started with Rene nearly blowing up the cafe while trying to hide the stolen land mines and it ended with Herr Flick and Von Smallhousen trapped on a British airplane flying high over occupied France.  Along the way, Crabtree tried to speak French and the British airmen hid in a barrel.  It was all good fun.  I laughed.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here!  Switzerland, as I mentioned in my write up, is a beautiful country.  The scenery is gorgeous and the people understand the value of staying on schedule.

The Bachelor (Monday Night, ABC)

This week on The Bachelor, the women went to group therapy and Clayton continued to try to understand and replicate human behavior.  Seriously, they should just call him the Claytonbot.  I keep expecting him to ask someone why humans laughs and cry.

Bar Rescue (Monday Morning, Paramount TV)

Jon Taffer rescued a karaoke bar.  Yay!  A world without music is not a world for any of us.

Football Game: Buccaneers vs. Rams (Sunday Evening, NBC)

If only both teams could have won!  Seriously, from what I’ve seen of it, football is the most depressing sport ever because the players on the team that doesn’t win always end up sitting there and crying while the other team is celebrating.  That sucks.  If I was the coach, I would make sure that every game ended in a tie so that everyone could be a winner.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

God, this was a bad show.  I watched the first four episodes of the show on Sunday afternoon.  I felt kind of bad about not liking it but it was just so painfully cutesy.  The first episode of the series featured John Stamos and the goofy guy moving in with John Stamos.  The second episode featured John Stamos and his band trying to practice while two of Bob Saget’s daughters danced around.  (The band sounded terrible.)  The third episode featured …. I don’t even remember.  I know it was during the third or the fourth episode that the school year started.  Candace Cameron was upset about being put in a gifted class.  John Stamos hit on a teacher.  I can’t remember what the goofy one did.

From what I understand, the first four episodes are apparently the show’s highpoint so I can’t imagine what the rest of the series must have been like.

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

I watched three episodes of this classic on Friday.  Things got started with Grillstravaganza, in which Bobby temporarily fell under the influence of Joe Jack.  This was followed by the episode where Mr. Strickland briefly got involved with Luanne’s pool-based bible study group.  And then the final episode I watched featured Hank taking over the middle school’s organic garden.  Anything that featured Hank trying to motivate the apathetic students at the middle school was always funny.  Hank’s work at the organic garden may have been a success but he was still perturbed when he ended up getting added to the mailing list of a hippie food store called Passages.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville discovered that he had a cousin and she used to be able to communicate with the spirit world.  Unfortunately, Granville’s spirit had already been too thoroughly broken for him to take much comfort in that knowledge.

Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)

On Monday morning, as I watched the parking cops go out of their way to harass the citizens of Philadelphia, it occurred to me that most of these episodes were filmed over ten years ago.  I wonder how many of these people still work for the government and how many have retired.  How many are receiving a pension and how many are still walking the sidewalks and saying, “I’m just doing my job here?”  Hopefully, they’re all retired and collecting a pension.  It has to be kind of a sad existence, though.  How does anyone sleep soundly with the knowledge that they were a part of the system?

Seinfeld (Weekdays, Comedy Central)

I watched two episodes on Friday afternoon.  George and Jerry flew out to Hollywood to see Kramer.  kamer, meanwhile, was arrested for being a serial killer.  The real killer was Clint Howard, who was briefly arrested but who escaped police custody after George and Jerry accidentally left the backdoor of a police car unlocked.  It was all kind of dark, to be honest.

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

On Monday, I got back to binging my favorite 90s show about attractive detectives investigating half-naked criminals.  The first episode featured Chris falling for a duplicitous skip tracer who, it turned out, was actually just a hitwoman.  Oh, Chris!  Everyone knows you and Rita are in love!  The next episode featured Chris and Rita investigating the murder of a vice cop.  They suspected that it may have been a cop-on-cop killing and, of course, it all linked up to Chris’s past.  It was kind of a dull episode, to be honest.  It wasn’t quite trashy enough.  Oh well!

I didn’t return to the show until Thursday.  The first episode I watched opened with the brutal murder of a wealthy married couple.  At first, Chris and Rita thought that the murders had been committed by the couple’s twin sons but eventually, it was discovered that it was actually the work of the maid and a hitman.  That episode was enjoyably sordid.  The episode that followed was a bit less interesting.  Chris and Rita investigated a gang of jewel thieves, one of whom was played by a youngish Tobin Bell.  It was all a bit bland but the chemistry between Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture kept things fun.

Sierra Stranger (1957, directed by Lee Sholem)


Sierra Stranger starts with a familiar western situation.  Jess Collins (Howard Duff), a penniless but honorable drifter, comes across two men tying another man to the back of a horse.  The two men claim that Sonny Grover (Ed Kemmer) is an outlaw and a claim jumper and not to be trusted. Sonny says that he’s innocent and the two men are actually the claim jumpers.  Jess does what many a western hero has done.  He sides with the underdog and saves Sonny.  To thank him, Sonny gives Jess a part of his claim.

Jess rides into the nearby town to claim his new property.  He meets and befriends Sonny’s half-brother, Bert (Dick Foran).  He also meets and falls in love with Bert’s fiancée, Meg (Gloria McGeehee).  However, soon after arriving, Jess discovers that he made a mistake and he saved the wrong man.  Sonny really is the dangerous outlaw that everyone says he is.  After Sonny robs a stagecoach and murders the driver, Jess risks his new friendship with Bert by trying to bring Sonny to justice.

Howard Duff appeared in his share of B-westerns in the 50s.  He was always a solid hero, even if he didn’t really have the screen presence of some of the other stars of the genre.  He’s pretty good in Sierra Stranger and the fact that, for once, the town is right while the drifter is wrong is an interesting twist on an otherwise standard story.  This is the rare western where the hero makes a pretty big mistake and then has to spend the rest of the movie trying to make up for it.  If you’re not a western fan, this is not the type of B-movie that’s going to change your mind.  But, for those who do like the genre, it’s an interesting twist on what we’ve been led to naturally expect.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Bolero (dir by John Derek)


The 1984 film, Bolero, tells the story of  Ayre “Mac” MacGillvary (Bo Derek) and her best friend, Catalina (Anna Obregon).  They’re young, they’re rich, they’ve just graduated from college, and, despite the fact that they both appears to be in their early 40s, they’re determined to lose their virginities to the most perfect lovers that they can find.

Because the film is taking place in the 1920, Mac and Catalina first travel to the Middle East in hope of finding a Rudolph Valentino-style sheik.  Accompanying them is Mac’s chauffeur and protector, Cotton (a clearly embarrassed George Kennedy).  Though Mac does manage to find a sheik (played by Greg Benson), her efforts to lose her virginity to him prove to be a failure.  Though the Sheik is willing, he indulges a bit too much with his hookah and ends up passing out right before the consummating the act.

Well, if a sheik can’t do it, how about a bullfighter?  Mac and Catalina leave the Middle East for Spain and it’s there that Mac catches the eyes of Angel (Andrea Occhipinti), a celebrated bullfighter.  Mac decides that Angel will be the one to take her virginity but it turns out that, once again, nothing as is easy as it should be.  It turns out that Angel already has a lover and he’s been with her since she was a teenager.  And a 14 year-old Gypsy named Paloma (played by Olivia d’Abo) has already decided that she is going to be Angel’s next lover, which is incredibly icky even before the film makes it even ickier,  

While Mac is trying to seduce Angel, Catalina is trying to seduce a Scottish attorney named Robert Stewart (Ian Cochrane).  “What do you wear under your skirt?” Catalina asks.  “It’s a kilt!” Stewart yells because he’s Scottish.  Anyway, Catalina eventually does get an answer to her question so yay Catalina!

As for Mac, she does eventually manage to win Angel’s attention but then …. OUCH!  Angel gets gored by a bull and yes, he gets wounded exactly where you think that he gets wounded.  Suddenly, Angel can no longer get it up but fear not.  “We’re going to make that thing work,” Mac says, before she then takes up bullfighting herself.  It all eventually leads to a scene that makes heavy use of dry ice and a neon light that misspells the word ecstasy. 

Bolero is one of those sex-obsessed films that tries so hard to be erotic that it actually goes in the opposite direction and becomes so firmly anti-erotic that one gets the feeling it could be used as a torture device in a George Orwell novel.  “The Anti-Sex League sentences you to watch Bolero!”  A huge part of the problem is that, even though everyone in the film is certainly attractive, there’s still next to no chemistry between Bo Derek and any of her potential lovers.  The film was directed by Bo’s then-husband, John Derek and, somewhat perversely, John continually films her in the least flattering ways possible.  John also tries to introduce some humor into the film — at one point, it turns into a silent film, complete with title cards — but it all falls flat.  Finally, the gored bullfighter is played by a very handsome Italian actor named Andrea Occhipinti who I immediately recognized as being the same actor who played the killer in Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper.  Though it was a bit unfair to Occhipinti (whose likable blandness was exactly what made him such a subversive choice to play the killer in Fulci’s film), I was worried every moment that Mac was left alone with him.  (Occhipinti is now one of Italy’s most respected film producers.) 

Produced by Cannon Films, Bolero was apparently a huge flop when it was released.  Bolero was considered to be so bad that it led to MGM announcing that they would no longer help to distribute any other Cannon Films.  I can’t really blame MGM.  Even when viewed decades later, Bolero is a dull romp that’s fit only for the Anti-Sex League.

A Blast From The Past: Censorship: A Question of Judgment


The year is 1963 and Nancy is the editor of the high school newspaper.  She’s upset that so many students are settling their disagreements through fighting.  She wants to run a story about the fights and she wants to publish the pictures of the two students who were involved in the latest brawl.  When her faculty advisor points out that a high school newspaper is supposed to be positive and that publishing the pictures of the combatants would be an invasion of their privacy, Nancy argues that she has a responsibility as a journalist….

NANCY, IT’S A HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER!  YOU’RE NOT A JOURNALIST!

Anyway …. what would you do?

This film is from 1963 and it seems to be a bit biased in Nancy’s favor.  Of course, Nancy should publicly shame any student caught fighting!  Myself, I have to disagree.  I’m reminded of the old but very true saying: “No one likes a snitch.”  Add to that, judging from the opening shots of this film, the entire school witnessed the fight so it’s not like Nancy is going to be telling her readership something that they didn’t already witness firsthand.  Seriously, what is Nancy’s problem?

I’m against censorship but I’m also against being a snitch.  Honestly, I think Nancy has gone a little power mad.

However, if you want to consider for this issue for yourself, here, from 1963, is Censorship: A Question of Judgment:

Music Video of the Day: Valentina by Public Service Broadcasting, ft. Smoke Fairies (2015, dir by ????)


This is from Public Service Broadcasting’s The Race For Space, which I highly recommend. This song and the video are about Valentina Tereshkova, who was the first woman to go into space. In 1963, she spent three days in space and orbited the Earth a total of 48 times.

Enoy!