I watched a lot this week. I’m getting prepared for the Emmys!
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)
Because Edith was named The Spirit of Nouvion, it was decided that she should marry Bertorelli for propaganda purposes. Meanwhile, the British airmen ended up trapped in some wine barrels that were floating in the sewers underneath the city. Wait, what? Actually, by Allo Allo standards, it’s all pretty normal.
Collector’s Call (Sunday Night, MeTV)
On this show, fans of classic television get their collectibles appraised and discuss their collections. It’s a simple show that owes an obvious debt to Antiques Roadshow (though Collector’s Call usually only focuses on one collector as opposed to several) but, at the same time, it’s also a rather sweet-natured celebration of nostalgia and the joy the can come from collecting.
Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (Netflix)
This Netflix true crime docu-series dealt with a series of murders that occurred in New York and New Jersey in the 70s. The majority of the victims were sex workers who were especially vulnerable because they couldn’t go to the police without running the risk of ending up in jail themselves. The series also took a look at the sleazier days of Times Square. It ended with modern day footage of the killer, now imprisoned in New York and looking a bit like Santa Claus. That was a bit jarring.
The Deep End (Hulu)
The Deep End originally aired on FreeForm. I watched it on Hulu on Saturday afternoon. The Deep End is a four-episode documentary about Teal Swan, a creepy “spiritual guru.” Swan, apparently, cooperated with the making of The Deep End and then got pretty upset when the final product portrayed her as being a manipulative bully who takes advantage of the emotionally vulnerable. Cults are so weird to me. I guess people need something to believe in but I will never understand how people can fall for obvious charlatans like Teal Swan or the NXIVM people. For her part, Swan appears to be very good at taking advantage of our current culture of victimization.
The Essex Serpent (Apple TV+)
In 19th Century Britain, both Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston investigate a legend of a sea serpent. Danes is a scientist while Hiddleston is a clergyman. Of course, they fall in love but Hiddleston is already married and the recently widowed Danes is determined to establish a life and identity of her own. The Essex Serpent is a mix of history, gothic romance, and horror. Danes’s closest friend is a social reformer who reads Marx. Another potential suitor is an arrogant doctor who has the potential to be a pioneer in the field of heart surgery. The show might seem like it’s about a serpent but it’s actually about the eternal conflict between superstition and science and, in the end, it turns out that neither has all the answers. It’s a bit uneven but, in the end, rewarding. It’s always nice to see Hiddleston get a chance to play someone other than Loki.
Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)
This week, both episodes of Full House were pretty stupid. The first episode recycled the old Saved By The Bell plot of having a love note circulating around that everyone thought was sent to them by a secret admirer. The second episode found Danny having to spend the weekend with his daughters without the help of Jesse and Joey. At one point, Danny was so tired that he passed out in bed and his daughters couldn’t wake him up. That was …. not easy to watch.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (Disney Plus)
Gordon Ramsay explores the world! I watched two episodes on Tuesday. Ramsay went to the wilds of Michigan and Finland. Ramsay may be best known for shouting at hapless chefs on Hell’s Kitchen but I always enjoy shows where he gets to show his nicer side.
History’s Greatest Mysteries (History Channel)
I watched two episodes on Wednesday. One episode explored the death of Bruce Lee while the other was about the recently discovered journal of Harry Houdini. I love history. I like a good mystery. I enjoyed what I watched.
Impractical Jokers (HBOMax)
In this show, four friends go out of their way to humiliate each other and the people around them. I watched a few episodes on Thursday, largely because the show has been submitted for the Outstanding Structured Reality Show Emmy. The four jokers sometimes tend to come across as being a little bit too amused with themselves a little bit but, at the same time, I do have to admit that I laughed quite a bit.
Inspector Lewis (YouTube)
I watched an old episode of this British detective show on Tuesday. Lewis and Hathaway were investigating a Halloween murder that may or may not have involved vampires. It was very foggy, very amusing, and very British.
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (Apple TV+)
Samuel L. Jackson plays a 90 year-old man who tries to solve a mystery before losing his memories to dementia. I watched a bit of this Friday. It never quite captured my attention the way that I expected it to, given the show’s intriguing premise. The show’s greatest strength, not surprisingly, is Samuel L. Jackson’s powerful performance in the title role.
Love is Blind (Netflix)
In this reality dating show, couples can talk to each other but, sealed away in their own individual pods, they can’t see each other. In fact, they only get to see each other if one of them proposes marriage and the other accepts. Is love truly blind? Is this show absolutely silly? Yes, it is! However, I watched a few episodes this week and it was all pleasantly silly.
Moon Knight (Disney Plus)
The Offer (Paramount Plus)
Painting With John (HBOMax)
Musician, actor, and artistic gadfly John Lurie paints pictures while talking about whatever he feels like talking about. I watched three episodes on Monday. At one point, Lurie told everyone watching to imagine their hand turning into a light bulb. That’s my type of artist.
Sketchbook (Disney Plus)
Disney animators teach viewers how to draw their favorite characters. I watched two episodes, one of Friday and one on Saturday. I learned how to draw Simba. It’s a cute show.
Slasher: Flesh and Blood (Shudder)
I watched this horror-themed miniseries on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! A killer brutally killed off the members of a particularly greedy family. David Cronenberg played the family patriarch and gave a nicely eccentric performance. I appreciated this show for its atmospheric locations, its ruthless killers, and its willingness to kill off just about anyone. It was a bit of a spiritual sequel to Harper’s Island. It was horror for people who appreciate horror.
Slippin’ Jimmy (Prime)
It’s the early days of Jimmy McGill! This is an animated prequel to Better Call Saul. The episode that I watched, on Sunday, was an Exorcist parody. It should have been funny but it just never worked for me. The humor was a bit too obvious and predictable for me. Maybe I’ve just seen too many Exorcist parodies for the idea to really capture my imagination.
Two-Sentence Horror Stories (Netflix)
This horror anthology actually airs on The CW but I watched the third season on Netflix, on Sunday and Monday. The season was made up of ten episodes and, as is somewhat typical of anthology series, the end results were uneven. I did, however, like The Crush episode, which was kind of an extra macabre take on What Ever Happened To Baby Jane.
The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window (Netflix)
This miniseries, directed by Michael Lehmann, does for the Netflix what A Deadly Adoption did for Lifetime. It’s a pitch perfect satire of the type of movies that tend to show up on Netflix, one that pokes fun but does so in such a dry way that some viewers will undoubtedly miss the point. Since films like The Girl On The Train and The Woman In The Window are already kind of self-parodies, this is the best approach to take. Kristen Bell is great in the role of the wine-drinking neighbor who is haunted by the strange things that she sees across the street. Can she conquer her fear of the rain and solve the mystery!? Watch to find out!
I watched You‘s third season over the course of the week. Joe and Love are now parents living in the suburbs but Joe is still up to his old tricks. Unfortunately, for Joe, so is Love. The first episode was great but the rest of the season couldn’t live up to it. Penn Badgley always does a good job as Joe but the rest of the season felt like a knock-off of some of Dexter‘s later seasons.