For the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to catch up on all the potential Emmy nominees that I missed when they first aired. So, I guess my week in television is about to get a lot busier!
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)
“I shall say this only once,” Rene announced to Michelle, “I am done with the Resistance!”
Rene says this during nearly every episode of Allo Allo and no one ever believes him. Such was the case with Sunday’s episode. Michelle responded to Rene’s resignation from the Resistance by giving him suicide pills and announcing that the British airmen had been captured but she had a great plan to rescue them, a plan that would, of course, hinge on Rene’s involvement. While Rene’s mother-in-law prepared for her wedding and Lt. Gruber tried to make sure that the painting did not fall into the hands of his rivals, Rene had to deal with a code book that had been eaten by rats. I realize that previousy sentence makes no sense but that’s to be expected with this show. Eventually, everyone ended up disguised as an undertaker while Crabtree wished everyone a “Good moaning,” in his fractured French.
American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)
Hollywood week came to a close with two episodes of American Idol.
On Sunday, the finalists were forced to perform duets, which meant that the episode was full of people singing painfully sincere songs and getting all emotional. It was a bit awkward to watch at times. There was a definite lack of drama, as only one duet team failed to get along. Though a lot of Idol fans are going to hate me for saying this, I found myself getting a little bit tired of Kelcie going on and on about how insecure she was. Fortunately, she was paired with Betty, who made it her life mission to bring Kelcie out of her shell. And it worked, as both Kelcie and Betty made it to the next round.
On Monday, the remaining competitors performed one last time for the judges and they were whittled down to 24. Both Betty and Kelcie were let go during this round. We didn’t actually get to see Betty’s performance but we did see Kelcie perform and she wasn’t bad. She’s got a great voice, even if the insecurity is a bit hard to take. But she was apparently let go specifically because of the insecurity, with the judges telling her to work on her confidence so …. I don’t know. It seems like, if that was going to be a determining factor, that’s something that they could have said during the Duets. Instead, they put Kelcie through because it would make for good television to then cut her at the last minute.
Anyway, it’s a pretty bland bunch of singers this season. They’ve got good voices but there’s very little real quirkiness to be found. And no, Leah Marlene is not quirky, no matter how many times she tells us that she is. Real quirkiness is natural. It’s not something you have to work at.
Bar Rescue (Sunday and weekday mornings, Paramount)
Sunday’s bloc of Bar Rescue episodes was all about Jon rescuing bars in Texas! I watched two episodes on Sunday evening. They were both set in Houston and they both involved a lot of yelling. The important thing, though, is that every bar was made profitable by the end of the hour.
On Monday, I watched an old episode that found Jon Taffer and the crew in Florida. The bar owner thought that Taffer had good ideas. The bar manager felt that Taffer was rude and he resented being yelled at. I was kind of on the manager’s side as far as that was concerned because Taffer really did go a bit overboard with the yelling during this episode. Fortunately, everything worked out in the end. The bar was rescued, just in time for the hurricane season.
Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, ABC)
It amuses me to no end how this show keeps pretending like the celebrities are in mortal danger in the jungle. We all know that production is not going to let Metta World Peace drown in quicksand. After I pointed this out on twitter, a fan of the show wrote to me, and said, “Your weird.” (That’s an exact quote, including the misuse of your.) Oh well! You can’t please everyone.
The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)
What a weird collection of episodes! First off, we had an episode where Mike’s father and Carol’s mother visited and the kids tried to get them to fall in love with each other. Robert Reed and Florence Henderson played their own parents. You could tell Florence was just having fun but Robert really went all in and acted up a storm. This was followed by the episode where Cindy and Bobby auditioned to be on television and Cindy ended up freezing once the cameras were on her. Poor Cindy! Finally, Bobby got his first kiss and turned into a jerk and then Greg got in trouble for helping his friends steal a goat. The drama never stopped with those Bradys!
The Chair (Netflix)
I watched all six episodes of The Chair‘s first (and, perhaps, only) season on Thursday. In this comedy-drama, Sandra Oh plays the newly named chair of Pembroke University’s moribund English department. When the department’s most popular professor (Jay Duplass) is filmed doing a Nazi salute in jest, all heck breaks loose. The Chair is a bit uneven but ultimately, it works. It’s well-acted and the mix of comedy and drama is, for the most part, effectively handled. A recurring bit about David Duchovny being invited to give a lecture is a highlight of the show’s first season.
Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekday Afternoon, OWNTV)
I had this on as background noise for two hours on Monday. That’s a total of four episodes, for those keeping count. I didn’t really pay much attention because, again, it was background noise. I did hear the audience gasp quite frequently. And, of course, I looked up whenever Kendall Shull came out to deliver the lie detector results.
Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)
I watched four episodes on Wednesday evening. Mostly, I just had them on for background noise. I do remember that one episode featured an attorney getting mad at a deputy who went through her private papers while she was giving her closing statement. The deputy was held in contempt of court, as he definitely should have been. He spent ten days in jail, after refusing to apologize to the attorney.
Cruel Summer (Hulu)
The first season of Cruel Summer aired on FreeForm last year. With each episode jumping back and forth between three separate years, the show tells the story of two teenage girls in Texas. One is abducted. The other takes her place. On Thursday, I watched the first two episodes of Hulu. It was all a bit overdone and overheated but undeniably compelling. I always enjoy a good melodrama.
On Thursday night and Friday morning, I finally watched the highly acclaimed miniseries, Dopesick. The miniseries deals with the introduction of OxyContin and how the drug literally destroyed communities and continues to destroy them today. This was one of those miniseries where good scenes co-existed with scenes that were a bit too on-the-nose for their own good. Michael Keaton and Kaitlyn Dever both gave excellent performances as two people caught up in the epidemic. The miniseries wasn’t quite as good as I had been led to believe and it was definitely heavy-handed but it was still effective enough to make an impression.
The Dropout (Hulu)
Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)
Poor Uncle Jesse! On his 26th birthday, he and his band had a gig at the hottest club in town. Unfortunately, when the band couldn’t make it, Jesse’s idiot roommates decided to help him out and basically, they ruined Jesse’s big night. Everything worked out in the end, though, because it’s not like Jesse could move out and have a normal life or anything like that. The other three episodes that were shown on Sunday featured Joey getting back together with his ex (ewww!) and a two-parter in which Jesse and Becky nearly got married at a tacky casino before decided that it would be better to hold off so that Becky’s parents could come to the ceremony. Run, Becky! Escape while you still can.
The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)
King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)
I watched two episodes on Wednesday, both classics from the show’s final season. In the first episode, Louanne and the Manger Babies got involved in the lucrative but demanding world of direct-to-DVD children’s programming. As John Redcorn put it, “We are already direct-to-DVD. There is no other place to go.” This episode featured one of my favorite Dale storylines, as he tried to write a children’s book about the “gun who cared.” The second episode featured Boomhauer allowing an obnoxious Canadian family to stay at his home while he went up to Ontario. The Canadians were not impressed with America but Hank still helped one of them get out of jail because that’s what neighbors do. Awwwww!
Law & Order (Thursday, NBC)
Eh. The Law & Order revival is just as clumsy when it comes to handling political issues as the original series was. This week, a congressional candidate was murdered and an extremist group went on trial and it all felt very much like partisan fan fiction.
The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)
On this Sunday’s cruise: Frank Bonner, Shelley Fabares, Jennilee Harrison, Arte Johnson, Stephen Shortridge, McLean Stevenson, William Window, and Jane Wyatt. Not exactly the most exciting line-up, to be honest. And this was actually a pretty boring episode but the ship and the ocean both looked really nice!
The Office (All the time, Comedy Central)
I watched two episodes on Saturday. Unfortunately, they were both from the 8th season. In the first one, the Office crew went to a local trivia night. The second episode was the pool party episode. The trivia episode was actually fairly amusing but the pool party was the 8th season at its worse. There was never any reason for Robert California to invite the Scranton branch to a pool party. The problem with all of these ensemble party episodes during the post-Carell era is that they mostly just served to remind us that we really only knew these characters by how they related to Michael.
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
After being rejected by Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, Arkwright considered burying Granville alive in the storeroom. It was an intense episode.
Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)
In Detroit, Pony Tail handed out the tickets and encouraged everyone to be kind to each other. It was a valiant effort but we all know that it’s cold in the D. Anyway, I watched two episodes on Monday morning and they left me as aggravated as usual.
Survivor (Wednesday Night, ABC)
Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)
Chris Hardwicke interviewed people and complained about the villainy of Lance Hornsby.
The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)
I missed the first season of Yellowjackets when it first aired so I decided to catch up this weekend. I binged the first half of the season on Saturday and I’ll do the second half tomorrow. So far, this show has been playing out like a combination of Lost, Degrassi, and This is Us. Even though I already kind of know what’s going to happens thanks to Wikipedia, I’m still intrigued by the show. That said, I’m also spending a good deal of the show with my hands over my eyes because OH MY GOODNESS! THE COACH LOST A LEG! THAT GIRL’S FACE WAS RIPPED APART! THERE’S A COMPOUND FRACTURE ON THE SOCCER FIELD! EVERYONE’S PERIOD HAS SYCNED UP! AGCK! Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynesky, and Juliette Lewis are all Emmy-worthy.