Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 11/6/22 — 11/12/22

It’s my birthday and I’m up at Lake Texoma so, needless to say, I haven’t been watching much television.  That said, we just got hit by the first cold front of the season and both freezing temperatures and rain are on the way so, for the upcoming week, I may not be doing much other than staying inside and watching old TV shows.

Anyway, here’s a few thoughts on what I watched this week:

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

With Quinton and Mattie getting eliminated, we are now down to five teams!  To be honest, I get the feeling that Aubrey and David are going to come out of nowhere and somehow manage to win the final leg.  That said, as a Big Brother watcher, I am rooting for Claire and Derek and, as a dancer, I’m rooting for Luis and Michelle.  I wrote about this week’s episode at the Reality TV Chat Blog!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Atlanta came to a conclusion this week with an episode that somehow managed to wrap up the show’s themes while also feeling just like another episode of Atlanta.  The show ended with a celebration of the relationships between the main characters and a hint that we might all just be in a sensory deprivation tank.  It was a great ending for a good show.

California Dreams (YouTube)

I wrote about California Dreams here!

City Guys (Tubi)

I wrote about City Guys here!

Fantasy Island (Tubi)

I wrote about Fantasy Island here!

Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)

Poor Pete!  A trashy reality show called “Dumb Deaths” wanted to shoot an episode about his dumb death.  Fortunately, a series of weird events led to them actually doing a show about the hippie’s death.  Compared to the first season, the second season has been a bit uneven but last night’s episode did make me laugh.

Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night, FOX)

It seems like Trenton should have known better than to have his wedding reception at Hell’s Kitchen.  Needless to say, things did not go well.  Chef Ramsey kicked both teams out of the kitchen and then sent home two chefs.  And really, the two teams were so incompetent that night that they left Chef Ramsey with no other option.  I will never eat another scallop.

Law & Order (Thursday, Night, NBC)

Price and Mouron humiliated a prominent activist attorney in order to get a murder conviction.  We knew the attorney was powerful because, in her office, there was a really photoshop of her standing next to Nancy Pelosi.  I’ve finally gotten to the point where I kind of like Detective Cosgrove and Jeffrey Donavon’s performance has definitely improved over last season’s one-note characterization.  That said, there’s still a self-righteousness to Price that just makes me want to throw something at the screen whenever he launched into one of his sermons.

The Love Boat (Paramount Plus)

I wrote about The Love Boat here.

Mid-Term Coverage (All Week, All Over The Place)

Come on, Arizona …. HURRY UP!  I swear, we knew who won in Texas on election night and this state is a hundred times bigger and more populated than Arizona and Nevada combined.  If you really want to fight against the conspiracy theories, a good first step would be to not be totally incompetent at your job.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

This week, Jeanine become the first member of the jury.  That was not a shock at all.  I wrote about this week’s episode at the Reality TV Chat Blog!

Live Tweet Alert: Watch Tales From The Darkside 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, Tim Buntley will be hosting 1990’s Tales From The Darkside!

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.  I’ll probably be there 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.

Retro Television Reviews: California Dreams 2.8 “High Plains Dreamer” and 2.9 “Bwa Ha Ha Means I Love You”

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, Tony turns out to be a total coward while the Dreams attempt to record their first album.

But first, the opening  credits.  Again, because the post-Jenny opening credits for season two have not been uploaded to YouTube, you have to imagine Jennie Kwan in the place of Heidi Noelle Lenhart.

Episode 2.8 “High Plains Dreamer”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 30th, 1993)

Oh Good God.

Like all TNBC shows, California Dreams had its share of bad episodes.  In fact, technically, you could argue that the majority of them were bad.  It’s not like anyone was trying to win an Emmy for a writing or directing a show like Saved By The Bell, Hang Time, or California Dreams.  Still, even the knowledge that we’re not exactly dealing with Friends or Seinfeld here, left me unprepared for the crappiness of High Plans Drifter.

High Plains Drifter is the worst episode of California Dreams that I have seen so far.  At the movies, Tony is threatened by a bully.  Tony reacts by passing out.  Seriously, he doesn’t even get knocked unconscious in a fight or anything like that.  Someone gives him a mean look and he faints!  And then, while he’s passed out, he imagines that he’s a drifter who becomes the sheriff of an old west town.  Matt shows up as the town’s singing cowboy.  Jake is the blacksmith who promised his wife, Tiffani, that he would never pick up a gun.  Sly is the rich ne’er-do-well who owns the town.  Sam runs the town’s dancehall, which is obviously meant to be a brothel.

One gets the feeling that the cast had fun with this episode, because everyone got to wear a costume and speak with an exaggerated Southwestern accent.  But, for the most part, the humor is painfully corny (even by the standards of California Dreams) and the cast’s overly theatrical performances quickly wear out their welcome.

Let’s move on!

Episode 2.9 “Bwa Ha Ha Means I Love You”

(Directed by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on November 6th, 1993)

Jake and Tiffani’s seven-week anniversary is coming up and cash-poor Jake hasn’t even bought her a present yet!  It looks like it’s time for to Jake to set aside both his pride and his leather jacket and take a job at Maniac Music.  Jake puts on a tie and a red vest and soon, he’s the one handing out flyers and saying, “Welcome to — Bwa ha ha! — Maniac Music!”

Unfortunately, only Tony knows that Jake has taken a job.  When the other Dreams — and Tiffani — begin to wonder why Jake appears to be sneaking around, Jake’s fumbling attempts to answer their questions leads to Sam deciding that Jake must be cheating on Tiffani.  And, of course, Tiffani believes it because …. well, who knows?  This is another one of those annoying episodes where a lot of conflict could have been avoided by people just not being stupid.

Meanwhile, the Dreams record their first album!  And hey, it only takes an hour or two!  They perform in Matt’s garage and Sly hits record on the big tape recorder.  They don’t even need a producer or a mixing board or anything else like that.  Sly takes the tape and heads down to Maniac Music.  When he discovers that Jake is working there, Sly convinces him to pressure the store manager into carrying the tape.

The members of the Dreams hear that their album is for sale at Maniac Music so they head down there.  Not only do they discover that Jake has a job at the store but they also discover that all of the tapes are blank!  Sly screwed up the recording but why would the store manager agree to stock the tapes without checking to make sure that there was actually something on them?  Meanwhile, Tiffani is so mad that Jake lied to her that she refuses to speak to him.  Jake angrily quits his job.

Fortunately, all it takes for Jake to get back together with Tiffani is one impassion speech at Sharky’s.  Plus, the Dreams record their performance so I guess they’ll survive the whole blank tape fiasco.  Yay.

This was an incredibly busy episode.  In fact, it was a bit too busy.  Nothing anyone did made sense.  Sly was somehow allowed to remain the manager of the Dreams despite screwing up their big break.  Jake told increasingly elaborate lies to hide from Tiffani the fact that he had a job even though Tiffani has consistently been the only Dream who probably wouldn’t have made fun of him for having to wear a dorky vest.  This was an annoying episode but it was still a hundred times better than the old west episode so it had that going for it.

Seriously, that old west episode was bad!

Music Video of the Day: We’ve Got It Goin’ On by Backstreet Boys (1995, dir. by Lionel C. Martin)

Today’s music video day is not just a Backstreet Boys video.  It’s also the very first video that the Backstreet Boys ever made and it’s for their very first single!  Just look at how young everyone used to be.

The main theme of this video seems to be that the Backstreet Boys are terrible boyfriends but it doesn’t matter because they have got it going on!  Their real girlfriends play their video girlfriends in this video and Lou Pearlman, the shady puppet master who never understood that just because we liked his band didn’t mean that we wanted to know about him, is in the video too.  My favorite Backstreet Boy was Brian.