Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/18/22 — 9/24/22


A lot of shows returned this week.  Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched:

Abbott Elementary (ABC, Wednesday Night)

“What the Hell, Gritty!?”  I swear, I have been laughing at that line for days now.

Abbott Elementary started its second season this week, with a great episode that found Janine adjusting to being single, Gregory becoming a full-time teacher, Barbara, Melissa, and Jacob going out of their way to help their students, and Ava acting like Ava.  Though the whole mockumentary format isn’t as innovative as it was during the early days of The Office (and, even then, it wasn’t really that innovative), Abbott Elementary has a lot of heart and it’s frequently hilarious as well.

By the way, I don’t get Gritty either.  What the Hell is that thing?

The Amazing Race (CBS, Wednesday Night)

Yay!  The Amazing Race is back!  I wrote about the first episode of the new season here!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Realizing that he was only a few steps away from being cast as Ice Cube’s best friend in the latest Are We There Yet? sequel, Al got himself a Young White Avatar, a white rapper with whom he could collaborate behind the scenes.  Unfortunately, Yodel Kid died of a drug overdose before the Grammys but his debut rap album, Born 2 Die, still won the award.  Meanwhile, not wanting to work on rehabilitating the reputation of the author of I Was Wrong, Earn tried to track down D’Angelo and spent several days sitting in a cell as a result.  It all makes sense if you watch the episode.

Yodel Kid and Benny, the show’s YWAs, were both obnoxiously believable.  Benny, especially, was a Twitter trend waiting to happen.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

The cringiest season yet came to an end.  Rachel got engaged to Tino and Tino promptly cheated on her.  This led to Rachel apparently fleeing the studio with Aven.  Gabby, meanwhile, got engaged to Erich, who then explained that, while he did just go on the show for business purposes, he also totally fell in love with Gabby.  So, I’m sure that engagement will be a successful one.

Seriously, it’s kind of sad that the whole raison d’etre for this season was to make up for Gabby and Rachel having to deal with Clayton’s foolishness during The Bachelor but Gabby and Rachel still basically ended up even more emotionally traumatized than they were before.  This whole season was just icky.  I liked this franchise better when it wasn’t so eager to show everyone that it’s in on the joke.

Big Brother (All The Time, CBS and Paramount+)

This season is nearly over.  Yay!  All of the show’s major villains have been voted out of the House and guess what?  It’s all really boring now.  I’ve been writing about the show over at Big Brother Blog.

Cobra Kai (Netflix)

I finally watched the latest season of Cobra Kai on Netflix and, of course, I loved it.  Terry Silver was a wonderful villain and the season continued to do a great job of balancing comedy and melodrama.  Johnny discovering the gig economy was a classic moment.  Give William Zabka all the Emmys.  This really is an example of a show that should not work but it does.  As opposed to The Bachelorette, it’s self-aware without being smarmy about it.

Dynaman (Nightflight+)

I watched the second episode of this Japanese action series on Friday.  Go Dynapink!

Full House (Sunday Night, MeTV)

Becky and Jesse brought the twins back home from the hospital and Jesse promptly forgot which was which.  Dumbass.

This was followed by an episode where Danny was named the most eligible bachelor in San Francisco.  Technically, he’s the most eligible widower and he’s got three daughters who will never accept anyone unlucky enough to become their stepmom.  Run!

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

I watched an episode of Inspector Lewis on Wednesday.  Though retired and in love with Dr. Hobson, Lewis still couldn’t resist helping Hathaway solve another case.  It was a sweet episode, due to Lewis and Hathaway’s friendship.  Still, Hathaway was sporting a new hairstyle in this episode and I was not a fan.

Law& Order, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

All three of the Law & Order shows returned this Thursday with an epic crossover event.  A brutal murder led to an investigation into human trafficking which led to a terrorist bombing which led to a Russian businessman getting gunned down in the streets of New York, apparently on orders of Putin himself.

It was, perhaps, a bit much.  Law & Order always goes for the big targets when, sometimes, it might be nice to see the shows return to dealing with everyday crimes and less international concerns.  That said, the show handled the crossovers well and it was interesting to watch all of the detectives working together on one case.  Anthony Anderson has left the franchise so a good deal of time was spent introducing us to Cosgrove’s new partner, Detective Jalen Shaw (Mehcad Brooks).  Jeffrey Donavon and Mehcad Brooks worked well together.  Certainly, they had a better partnership chemistry than Anderson and Donavon did.  (Anderson’s a good actor but he seemed bored during the previous season of Law & Order.)  Donavon’s closing monologue was well-done, even if the ultimate suggestion seemed to be that everyone should just move to Toronto.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+)

No, Beavis, the girl with the blue hair likes you!

This was a funny episode and I was kind of happy that old Beavis and Butt-Head didn’t make an appearance.  (They’re funny characters but kind of depressing to think about.)  I wish Beavis could escape from Butt-Head’s influence.  I cringed with Beavis broke his arm.  How are these two still alive?

Monarch (Tuesday Night, Fox)

Well, I guess they really did kill off Susan Sarandon’s character.  Tuesday’s episode dealt with her funeral.  To be honest, I get the feeling this show is going to run out of gas in another few episodes, just because it’s trying a bit too hard to be a campy, guilty pleasure.  Still, the second episode had its share of entertainingly weird moments.  The Susan Sarandon hologram was brilliant.  Also, every episode needs to have at least one scene of Trace Adkins shooting a rifle in the air and yelling, “THAT’S ENOUGH!”

Night Flight (Nightflight+)

On Friday, I watched one episode about 80s comedy and one episode about “the pretty boys of rock.”  It was an interesting history lesson.

Survivor

Yay!  Survivor’s back!  I wrote about the first episode here!

Retro Television Review: California Dreams 1.7 “Guess Who’s Coming To Brunch?” and 1.8 “It’s A Guy Thing”


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Saturdays, I will be reviewing California Dreams, which ran on NBC from 1992 to 1996.  The entire show is currently streaming on YouTube!

This week, the California Dreams confront racism and misogyny!  Let’s see how it goes.

Episode 1.7 “Guess Who’s Coming To Brunch?”

(Directed by Don Barnhart, originally aired on October 24th, 1992)

During a performance of “Rain” (which is the first vaguely good song to be featured on this show), an amp blows out.  It’s going to cost $300 to replace!  Sly suggests that the band take a job writing an advertising jingle but Matt’s all like, “No, man!  It’s about the music!”  Matt, we’ve heard your music.

Fortunately, Tony has a new girlfriend and she comes from rich family!  Her father (played by the same actor who played Zach Morris’s Dad during the Good Morning Miss Bliss incarnation of Saved By The Bell) offers to pay for the amp but he has a condition.  “Stop dating my daughter.”

“Ohhhhhh!” the audience gasps.

Tony’s black and his girlfriend (and her father) are white.  When the girlfriend’s father says that the relationship will never work because “you two are from different worlds,” everyone knows what he means.  This leads to a discussion about race, which was probably quite progressive for 1992 even if it seems rather anodyne by today’s standards.  Tony’s girlfriend explains that her father can’t be prejudiced because he gives money to all the right causes.  Way to call out white liberalism, California Dreams!

Of course, this discussion about race takes place while everyone tries to write a jingle for Uncle Slappy’s Root Beer.  “We can’t lie in the jingle!” Tiffany argues.  Has Tiffani never watched a commercial?  This band deserves to fail for being annoyingly naïve.

The episode ends with the band playing a song called “One World,” which I was disappointed to learn was not the One World theme song.

Episode 1.8 “It’s A Guy Thing”

(Directed by Don Barnhart, originally aired on October 31st, 1992)

In order to force Sly and Tony to confront their own misogyny, Tiffani and Jenny trick them into falling in love with a non-existent French girl named Monique.  Kelly provides the French-accented voice over the phone.  Jenny wears a wig whenever Monique needs to be seen.  It’s kind of a dumb plan but Sly and Tony are both fairly stupid characters.  That said, Sly and Tony do eventually learn that Monique is just Jenny in a wig and somehow, this all leads to a boxing match.

Meanwhile, Mr. Garrison tries to figure out how to fix the family washing machine, in a storyline that I’m pretty sure was eventually reused on an episode of One World.  Speaking of reusing plotlines, the whole fake girlfriend thing was originally used in Saved By The Bell.  Remember when Zach pretended to be a Southern blonde in order to get Screech to do his homework?

This episode features Matt announcing, “Let’s do another tune!,” which is the funniest line in the script.  I’m always amazed at how the Dreams can produce that perfect studio sound while performing in their garage.

The Dreams dealt with some pretty serious issues this week!  What will they deal with next week?

AMV of the Day: The Test (Final Fantasy X)


What happened when Final Fantasy X met The Chemical Brothers?  Let’s find out in today’s AMV of the Day!

Anime: Final Fantasy X

Song: The Test (by The Chemical Brothers)

Creator: Yobomo (please subscribe to this creator’s channel)

Past AMVs of the Day

Scenes That I Love: Coyote Shivers and Renee Zellweger perform “Sugar High” in Empire Records


It’s not Rex Manning Day but it is Coyote Shivers’s birthday!

Here, he and Renee Zellweger do their part to save the store by performing Sugar High on the roof.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Bert I. Gordon Edition


4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today, the Shattered Lens wishes a happy 100th birthday to director Bert I. Gordon!  Known as Mr. BIG, both because of his initials and the fact that his films often dealt with things becoming bigger than they should, Gordon made his directorial debut in 1954 and continued to work all the way through 2014.  And that means that it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Bert I. Gordon Films

King Dinosaur (1955, dir by Bert I. Gordon, DP: Gordon Avil)

Beginning of the End (1957, dir by Bert I. Gordon, DP: Jack A. Marta)

Village of the Giants (1965, dir by Bert I. Gordon, DP: Paul Vogel)

The Mad Bomber (1973, dir by Bert I. Gordon, DP: Bert I. Gordon)

Live Tweet Alert: Watch Cabin Fever with #ScarySocial


As some of our regular readers undoubtedly know, I am involved in a few weekly live tweets on twitter.  I host #FridayNightFlix every Friday, I co-host #ScarySocial on Saturday, and I am one of the five hosts of #MondayActionMovie!  Every week, we get together.  We watch a movie.  We tweet our way through it.

Tonight, for #ScarySocial, ArtAttackNYC will be hosting 2002’s Cabin Fever!

From director Eli Roth comes the story of a flesh eating virus and the people that it infects!  Scream as bodies are consumed from within!  Gasp as Rider Strong tries to establish a career away from Boy Meets World!  And no matter what …. stay out of the water!

If you want to join us on Saturday night, just hop onto twitter, start the film at 9 pm et, and use the #ScarySocial hashtag!  The film is available on Prime and a few other streaming sites.  I’ll be there co-hosting and I imagine some other members of the TSL Crew will be there as well.  It’s a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.