Not only did I spend this week preparing for Horrorthon, I also ended up watching quite a bit of television. Here’s some thoughts on what I watched.
Abbott Elementary (Wednesday Night, ABC)
This week, Janine tried to get Abbott a computer and Ava got to host a Shark Tank-style competition. Ava is such a great character. This episode may not have matched the premiere but it was still pretty funny and a good example of how Abbott Elementary is able to deal with the realities of public education without losing sight of the comedy.
The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)
Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)
This week’s episode of Atlanta took a break from the surreal with a straight-forward but very funny episode about Earn and Al’s family. Earn’s mother “kidnapped” Grandpa while Earn’s father made the mistake of buying a hat and allowing himself to get delayed in the mall. While Aunt Jeanine called the police and demanded that her sister by criminally charged, Earn and Al looked for a way to escape the studio. It was funny and enjoyably cringey. Give Isiah Whitlock, Jr. an Emmy.
Bachelor in Paradise (Monday Night, ABC)
It’s a new season of Bachelor in Paradise! All of the people who couldn’t find love on the main show get to hang out on the beach. Bachelor in Paradise is actually more fun than The Bachelor because it’s honest about being a totally and completely shallow production. Nobody is there for the right reasons and it’s great.
Apparently, Jesse Palmer is going to be the host for the entire season so I guess last season’s rotating host gimmick has been retired. That’s probably for the best. I actually like Jesse as the overall franchise host. He doesn’t bring a lot of extra drama with him like Tayshia and Kaitlyn did and he seems to understand that his job isn’t exactly the same as being a brain surgeon.
That said …. where’s Meatball!?
Big Brother (Sunday Night, CBS)
Big Brother 24 finally came to a close on Sunday night. Taylor Hale not only won the game but she also won America’s Favorite Player. Considering the way that Taylor was bullied by the other houseguests at the start of the season, her victory was popular with the show’s fans. Personally, I think both Monte and Turner played a better game but knowing that Taylor’s victory upset some of the worst people to ever appear on the show was still a satisfying feeling. Knowing that Ameerah, Nicole, and Daniel were probably upset made the past few months worth it.
I wrote about this season over at the Big Brother Blog.
Bubblegum Crisis (NightFlight+)
80s cyberpunk! Man vs machine! The Sabre Knights vs a pack of robots known as the Boomers! The main character, Priss, is also a rock star! I had no idea what was going on when I watched this show early on Saturday morning but the animation was interesting to look at and Priss was undeniably cool.
CHiPs (Weekday Afternoons, Get TV)
I watched one episode of this old motorcycle cop show on Tuesday. The cops kept the peace at an anti-nuke rally and Erik Estrada provided counseling to a child who was being abused by his parents. I can’t say that I really paid that much attention. I did like the bass-heavy theme song however.
Concentration (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)
This was an old gameshow from the 70s and the 80s. I watched an episode on Friday while I was doing some work around the office. The most interesting thing about it was that it was hosted by Alex Trebyk, who came across as being far more relaxed and casual about things than when he hosted Jeopardy.
Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)
Uncle Joey (you know, the one with the mullet) tried to teach Michelle how to ride a bike but he wasn’t very good at it and Michelle was humiliated when she fell off her bike at the park. At first, Michelle blamed Joey but eventually she got over it. What a brat.
This was followed by an episode in which poor DJ (who, really, deserves to nominated for sainthood for putting up with her family) has to take her two obnoxious sisters with her on a date. Everyone learned an important lesson about sneaking into the movie and lying. Don’t do either of them but, if you do sneak into the movie, don’t get caught.
Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)
The second season premiere of Ghosts was as charming as ever, with the ghosts spying on the B&B’s first guests and Jay discovering that, despite his near death experience, he still cannot see the ghosts. I felt bad for Sam, as most of the stuff that the guests complained about when it came to her was the same stuff that people tend to complain about when it comes to me. I cheered a little when she stood up to them. The whole “Our yelp account was hacked!” ending was perfect.
Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night, FOX)
Hell’s Kitchen is back! This season is going to be 40-something chefs vs 20-something chef. To be honest, the gimmick doesn’t matter. I’m just looking forward to Chef Ramsay yelling at people and losing his temper at the potentially lethal incompetence around him. Who will be the first to try to send out raw chicken? Sadly, the premiere episode did not feature a dinner service but, according to the previews, it’s coming up next week!
Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)
Last week’s Law & Order was pretty good. This week, sadly, was one of those middling, lefty political episodes that the franchise often does in an attempt to remain in the good graces of those who would otherwise dismiss the whole thing as being copaganda. It’s always funny to me how the Law & Order franchise is full of blue collar, Catholic cops who sound like they spend all of their time watching Joy Reid and Chris Hayes as soon as their shift is over.
On last night’s Law & Order, the victim was the daughter of the governor of Texas so, of course, we got this whole big thing about how the governor is always criticizing New York City as being crime-ridden. “Why does the governor of Texas care about New York?” one of the detectives demanded and that’s when I started to tune this episode out. One could just as legitimately ask why people in California and New York always feel the need to comment on what’s happening in Texas. Law & Order always errs on the side of going overboard when it attempts to deal with politics. This was especially true this week, as Law & Order waded into the abortion debate and came up with an ending that was both so heavy-handed and so predictable that I felt embarrassed for the show’s writers.
Law & Order: Organized Crime (Thursday Night, NBC)
With the start of a new season, Stabler got a new partner and a new crooked family to investigate. From what I’ve seen, Organized Crime is the least interesting of the Law & Order shows and often feels more like it should be a part of NCIS franchise than Law & Order. It was difficult for me to watch because Stabler really does seem like he’s going to give himself a heart attack if he doesn’t figure out a way to relax.
Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)
This week’s episode of SVU opened with an extremely disturbing scene in which a teenage girl was gang-raped on a subway while, just a few feet away, the rest of her family was hacked to death with machetes. This scene reminded me of why I don’t regularly watch this show. It’s undeniably well-acted and usually well-written, except for when it tries to be overly political. But Good Lord, are the cases ever disturbing!
Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount Plus)
Inspired by a holy nacho chip, Beavis went on a spiritual journey and learned nothing. This was a unique episode in that it told one story instead of the usual two. It’s become obvious that Beavis, with his odd moments of clarity and his desire to actually be something more than just a sidekick, is a far more compelling character than Butt-Head.
Monarch (Tuesday Night, FOX)
This show gets sillier and sillier with each episode but it’s kind of worth it for the scenes of Trace Adkins glowering in the shadows while holding a gun. I don’t really care much about which Roman daughter is crowned the next queen of country music but I definitely do what to know who Trace has been burying for the past three episodes.
Night Flight (NightFlight+)
From the 80s, it was a look at women in rock, from Janis Joplin and Grace Slick to Stevie Nicks. I watched on Friday night. The music was good.
Password (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)
I watched two episodes of this old game show on Tuesday. Apparently, the aim was to try to guess a word and win money. The episodes I saw were from the mid-70s and the most interesting thing about them was how cheap and run-down the show’s set looked. One got the feeling that the whole studio probably reeked of cigarettes and spilled beer.
Saving Grace (Weekday Nights, Start TV)
On this show, which apparently ran for three seasons, Holly Hunter played an Oklahoma detective who, after she accidentally ran over a pedestrian after a night of drinking, was told by a fallen angel named Earl that she was going to go to Hell unless she changed her ways. So, apparently, the rest of the show was about Grace solving crimes and talking to Earl. How have I never heard of this show before? It aired from 2007 to 2010 and Hunter was even nominated for two Emmy awards for playing Grace.
Anyway, the episode that I watched on Wednesday night featured Grace trying to solve a murder while another angel (F. Murray Abraham) tried to convince her to abandon Earl and work with him. It was odd but Holly Hunter is always good and the show took place in Oklahoma so, as someone who spent some time in Oklahoma while she was growing up, I felt like I could relate to most of the characters.
Super Password (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)
I watched two episodes of this show on Tuesday. It was just like Password, except the set looked cleaner.
Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)