Lisa Marie’s Week in Television: 7/3/22 — 7/9/22

My summer job as a Big Brother recapper started this week!  So, guess what I’ve been watching a lot of?  Along with the Big Brother live feeds, I’ve also been doing the last bit of work to get caught up on all of the potential Emmy nominees.

Here’s my thought on what I watched this week:

The Andy Warhol Diaries (Netflix)

I watched this Ryan Murphy-produced docuseries throughout the week.  Essentially, the documentary takes a look at the last few decades of Andy Warhol’s life.  Warhol kept a diary over those years and we actually hear an AI-generated voice reading Warhol’s thought in Warhol’s voice.  It makes for an interesting documentary.  At times, in this diary, Warhol is surprisingly open and honest.  At other times, it’s obvious that he’s playing for an audience for he surely knew that his diaries would be read after his death.

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney Plus)

I watched the final two episodes of this documentary on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  Yes, it took me two days to get through two episodes.  To be honest, it’s a bit of an exhausting documentary but, at the same time, its undeniably fascinating to watch The Beatles working together, working separately, love each other and hating each other at the same time.  I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little emotional by the end of it all.  The documentary both celebrated the group while also showing why the time had come for them to go their separate ways,  George Harrison was my favorite at the end of the first episode.  Paul McCartney was my favorite by the end of the series.

Big Brother 24 (All Week, CBS and Paramount Plus)

You can read my thoughts on Big Brother over at the Big Brother Blog!

The Challenge USA (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The Challenge comes to the USA, featuring teams made up of veterans from other reality shows.  I watched the first episode on Wednesday but I have to admit that I didn’t really pay much attention to it.  Maybe next week’s episode will have more success capturing my attention.

Euphoria (HBO)

I watched the second episode of Euphoria.  As much as I’ve made fun of “visionary Sam Levinson” over the past two years (mostly due to Malcolm and Marie), Euphoria is a well-done show.  Fortunately, it’s very well-cast.  It’s impossible it working with Zendaya, Sydney Sweeney, Jacob Elordi, and the rest.  They somehow manage to strike the right balance so that the show works even at its most excessive.

Goliath (Amazon Prime)

I watched a few episodes of Goliath’s fourth and final season.  This episode features Billy Bob Thornton as an attorney and it’s perfect casting.  This season also featured Bruce Dern and you really haven’t lived until you’ve seen Thornton and Dern, two actors who have no fear when it comes to embracing eccentricity, acting opposite of each other.

Hanna (Amazon Prime)

As much as I love the original movie, I was never really been able to get into Hanna the series.  The third and final season features a nicely villainous turn from Ray Liotta and it ended on a satisfying note, with Hanna hopefully finally getting to live a life of her own.

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

Inspector Lewis and Hathaway investigated a murder that had religious overturns.  Hathaway considered returning to the seminary but, perhaps realizing the show would end if he did that, he didn’t.

Invasion (Apple TV+)

The Earth is being invaded by aliens!  I watched the first episode of this show on Thursday.  It was a bit slow but Sam Neill gave an excellent performance as the sheriff of a small town in Oklahoma.

Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)

Eh.  Another over-written David E. Kelley production.  At least Nicole Kidman had a good role, as the somewhat enigmatic owner of a wellness resort.  I have to admit that I kind of zoned out on this one.

Ozark (Netflix)

I watched the finale of Ozark.  To be honest, this show has never done as much for me as it’s done for others.  To me, it owes a bit too much to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.  Despite moving the action to Ozarks, it simply cannot escape the shadow of those two shows.  That said, Jason Bateman and Julia Garner both gave excellent performances.

Phoenix Rising (HBO)

In this two-part documentary, Evan Rachel Wood talks about the abuse that she says she suffered at the hands of Marilyn Manson and her efforts to create and lobby for the Phoenix Act.  The documentary was perhaps a bit overlong but compelling nonetheless.

Severance (Apple TV+)

An absolutely brilliant mind-bended of a show, Severance is brilliantly odd and moving.  I wonder how many people heard that Ben Stiller was directing and Adam Scott was starring and assumed that this would just be another Judd Apatow-style comedy?  Severance is a wonderful series about emotional and intellectual freedom, memories, and …. well, life itself.  Christopher Walken and John Turturro are both such quirky actors that it’s good to have a show like this that allows them to remind audiences that they happen to be brilliant as well.

Succession (HBO)

Eh.  The media’s favorite television drama has never done much for me.  I watched two episodes.  It’s a talented cast but I got bored fairly quickly.

Body Language (1992, directed by Arthur Allen Seidelman)

Betsy (Heather Locklear) is a workaholic executive who has finally gotten the prize promotion at the Orpheus Capital Corporation.  Along with her new office, Betsy also gets a new assistant but when that assistant mysteriously disappears, she is replaced by Norma (Linda Purl).  Norma is just as ambitious as Betsy but she just can’t seem to make her way up the corporate ladder, no matter how hard she tries.  Norma soon grows indispensable to Betsy, comforting her when she breaks up with her boyfriend (James Acheson) and also supporting her when Betsy refuses to sleep with her sexist new boss (Edward Albert).  Before you can say “Single White Female,” Norma is dressing like Betsy, talking like Betsy, dating Betsy’s ex, and trying to take over Betsy’s life.  When Betsy eventually catches on, she discovers just how far Norma will go to be her.

It is easy to compare this film to Single White Female, though Body Language actually aired on the USA Network two months before Single White Female was released.  The main difference between the two films is that Single White Female was an R-rated theatrical release whereas Body Language is unmistakably a television production.  That means no bad language, no nudity, no graphic violence, only a little sex, and not a hint of psychological nuance beyond Norma being the type of girl who snuffs out candles with her fingers.  Single White Female‘s main strength was the effort that Jennifer Jason Leigh went to make her unstable stalker into a believable character who had more motivation than just being crazy.  The script for Body Language is less concerned with why Norma does what she does.  Betsy is glamorous and successful.  Norma is neither of those things and, in this film’s view of things, that is more than enough motivation for her to try to take over Betsy’s life.

Still, the underrated Linda Purl does the best that she can with the role of Norma and she has a few good moments where Norma lets the mask slip and reveals how unstable she actually is.  Heather Locklear matches her as the workaholic who learns that climbing the corporate ladder can be murder and she shows why she was so often cast in films like in-between appearing on shows like T.J. Hooker, Dynasty, and Melrose Place.  If you grew up in the 90s, it’s hard to watch any old Heather Locklear tv movie without feeling nostalgic.