Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 11/20/22 — 11/26/22


I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!  Here’s some thoughts on what I watched this week!

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here!

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

One of the Brady kids needed to make a movie for his Thanksgiving project.  The entire family helped!  Needless to say, Mike took it all way too seriously.  The movie itself looked awful but I’m sure the Brady kid — I think it was Peter — got an A.  No one ever had the courage to stand up to those Bradys.

California Dreams (YouTube)

Surf dudes with attitude….

Catholic Mass (Sunday Morning, The CW)

I always feel a bit weird watching Mass on television.  This Sunday, I felt even stranger about watching it while wearing a bikini and getting ready to lay out on the deck of my cousin’s place at Lake Texoma.  But, I did promise my sisters that I would try to go to Mass on Sunday so I did what I had to do!

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (Apple TV+)

Erin and I watched this classic on Wednesday.  She wrote about why she loves this special a few years ago.

Cheers (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

I haven’t seen many episodes of this show but I’ve read all the online praise and I am an unabashed fan of Frasier Crane.  The episode that I watched on Sunday was a Thanksgiving episode.  A bunch of barflies decided to spend Thanksgiving together.  Needless to say, it turned out to be a bit messy but also funny and even kind of heart-warming.

City Guys (Tubi)

They’re the neat guys.  I wrote about them here.

Football (FOX, NBC, CBS, Thursday)

The family was watching football so I joined them, kind of.  I cringed with every tackle and I felt terrible for the teams who lost.  I mean, what a sucky way to spend Thanksgiving.  Personally, I think they should allow for tie games so that everyone can be a winner!  But apparently, that’s not the way that football works.

Frosty Returns (Friday Night, CBS)

Frosty’s back!  But an evil businessman is going to destroy him with something called Summer Wheeze!  The 90s version of Frosty The Snowman tries a bit too hard.  I prefer the original.

Frosty the Snowman (Friday Night, CBS)

Yay!  Santa was able to bring Frosty back to life!  Seriously, I first saw this special when I was little and I was traumatized by melting Frosty!  Trauma aside, I love these old Christmas specials.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

I watched two episodes on Sunday.  The first episode was from season one and it featured the Tanners having their first Thanksgiving since the death of Danny’s wife.  This was actually one of the better episodes of Full House.  This was followed by a much later episode of Full House, in which DJ finally got a boyfriend and started to show some independence from her overbearing family.  Good for her!

Gilligan’s Island (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

A bank robber (played by Larry Storch) somehow ended up on the island.  He menaced everyone with a gun, tried to hide his money, and then left without offering to help anyone else return to civilization.  I haven’t seen many episodes of Gilligan’s Island but apparently, this was a fairly common occurrence on the show.  For the record, I only watched this episode because I thought it was going to be Thanksgiving-themed but it wasn’t.

Happy Days (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Upset that her family was more interested in football than fellowship, Marion Cunningham told the story of the First Thanksgiving.  To be honest, Happy Days is one of those popular old shows that I just don’t get.  The extremely enthusiastic “live audience” drives me crazy.  That said, this was an okay episode.  The cast got to dress up like pilgrims.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (NBC, Friday Night)

I love Boris Karloff!

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

MeTV aired a Thanksgiving episode of The Love Boat on Sunday.  It was from season 6 so it’ll be a while before I get to review it as a part of my retro television reviews.

Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I woke up early on Sunday morning and I watched six episodes of this show — that’s three hours! — as I had breakfast, cleaned up around the lakehouse, and packed for the trip home.  The episodes were a bit random.  It started with the Senior Prom episode, in which Zach realized that he still had feelings for Kelly.  This was followed by the infamous Graduation episode, in which the entire school rallied to help Zach avoid summer school despite the fact that they didn’t owe Zach a damn thing.  Then it was time for the “Time Capsule” clip show, in which a bunch of loser students gathered in Belding’s office to watch a VHS tape that had been left behind by Zach and the gang.

Time then moved backwards.  Suddenly, Zach was meeting Slater for the first time, Zach and Slater were competing to take Kelly to the school dance, and Zach was pretending to be Candy in order to get Screech to do his homework.

All of these episodes were, of course, pretty dumb and cringey.  But they made for nice background noise.  At this point, I think I have ever episode of this silly show memorized.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

WKRP IN Cincinnati (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

“Oh my God!  They’re turkeys!”  Jeff introduced me to the Thanksgiving episode of this classic sitcom a few years ago and, since then, watching it has become a Thanksgiving tradition.  Poor Mr. Carlson!

Retro Television Reviews: California Dreams 2.13 “Schoolhouse Rock” and 2.14 “Save the Shark”


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!

Surf dudes with attitude, kind of groovy….

Episode 2.13 “Schoolhouse Rock”

(Dir by Miguel Higuera, Originally aired on November 27th, 1993)

Sting is performing in California and it’s the hottest show in town!  Unfortunately, because Sly is an idiot, he spent all of the Dreams’s money before he could buy tickets for the band.  However, Sly has a chance to redeem himself!  Sting’s opening act has had to cancel and Sly decides that the Dreams should audition for the gig….

*Sigh*

Would Sting really have such a hard time finding a new opening act that he would be forced to hire a garage band that no one outside of their high school has ever heard of?  According to this episode, he would!  All the band has to do is find a way to get into the office of Sting’s manager.  And what better way to do that than for Tiffani to pretend to be a Swedish massage therapist while Tony and Jake pretend to be window washers and….

No, I’m not lying!  That’s how they get in the office.  Tiffani speaks in a Swedish accent while Tony and Jake slip through an open window.  Sting’s manager is impressed with their moxie and he says he’ll give them an audition.  The only catch is that it has to be at 3:00 pm and the Dreams cannot be a minute late.

Unfortunately, Ms. McBride, the insane home economics teacher, has been promoted to vice principal and she’s an insane disciplinarian.  She’s a former Marine who will not tolerate laughter or a messy locker.  Tiffani and Jake end up in detention!  Can they break out of detention and make the audition?  Will Sly be able to trick to the manager into coming down to the the high school so the band can perform in the gym?  And will the show end with the manager praising the band but saying that Elton John has already agreed to be Sting’s opening act?

Yes, yes, and yes.

This was a dumb episode that basically recycled an old Saved By The Bell plot but, at the same time, it’s also a good example of why California Dreams is so well-remembered after all these years.  Yes, it’s dumb but the cast really gives it their all and they’ve got enough chemistry that they can get a chuckle from even the lamest of jokes.  Ms. McBride is a cartoonish villain but then again, that’s the way most teenagers view their vice principals.  Finally, the song that the Dreams perform at the audition is actually pretty good.  For once, their music has a bit of an edge to it.  The Dreams are rocking instead of just popping!  (Don’t ask me what that means, it just came to me and I liked the sound of it.)  Add in an enjoyably weird subplot about clog dancing and you’ve got an pretty entertaining episode of California Dreams!

Episode 2.14 “Save The Shark”

(Dir by Don Barnhart, Originally aired on December 4th, 1993)

Sharky’s, the band’s favorite hangout, has been sold!  Tony is the new manager!  The Dreams are playing every night!  Matt is dating the new owner’s daughter.  However, the new owner is a land developer who is planning on tearing down Sharky’s and replacing it with condos!

Whatever is the band to do?  How about staging a protest?  Maybe they can occupy Sharky’s!  They can’t tear the place down if the Dreams are inside of it, right?  Well, maybe not.  Tony’s presence doesn’t seem to be stopping that wrecking ball.

Fortunately, Matt figures out that Johnny and the Himalayas, a band that he loves, got their start at Sharky’s and, as result, Sharky’s is declared a historical landmark.  Take that, land developer!  The land developer not only agrees to not tear down Sharky’s but he also allows his daughter to continue to date Matt.  His daughter was a terrible actress so hopefully, this was the only appearance of her character.

The episode ends with the ghost of Johnny Himalaya appearing and congratulating Matt.  Matt is surprised but happy.  Personally, I would be worried about the fact that Sharky’s is haunted!  What have you done, Matt!?

Like the episode that preceded it, Save The Shark was dumb but it was saved by the chemistry of the cast.  It took them a while but, towards the end of the second season, the Dreams ensemble really stared to click.

Next week: Jake hooks up with an undercover cop!

Live Tweet Alert: Watch 1BR 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 2020’s 1BR!

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 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.