Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 12/25/22 — 12/31/22

Welcome to my final week in television for 2022!  I spent most of the past week with my sister Megan and her family.  We probably watched the news more than anything else, what with that guys getting arrested for committing those murders in Idaho.  Here’s some thoughts on the non-news programming that we watched.

1923 (Paramount+)

On Tuesday, my sister Megan and I watched the first two episodes of the latest Yellowstone prequel.  It wasn’t bad, though I do have to admit that I was only half-paying attention to it.  Harrison Ford is ideally cast as an aging western icon.

California Dreams (YouTube)

Megan and I love this show and we watched several episodes this week.  The reviews will be available every Saturday!

The Circle (Netflix)

I swore to myself that I was not going to allow myself to get sucked into another stupid reality show but then, on Wednesday, I decided to just take a quick peek to discover what The Circle was like.  I wasn’t planning on watching much of the latest season.  I just wanted to get maybe a 5-minute sample.

Of course, as soon as the show started, I discovered the Brett was on the show.  Brett was a part of Big Brother 20.  He was a total jerk but he was honest about it and he was frequently one of the funniest people in the house.  He was the type of bad boy that I’ve always had a weakness for.  As well, his betrayal of Rockstar (yes, that was the name she used in the House) led to the classic moment of Rockstar yelling about how she had been betrayed on “my daughter’s birthday!”

Anyway, Brett was one of the first people voted out of the Circle but, fortunately, he and Xanthi are still secretly playing the game.  Brett and Xanthi are a cute couple and if we don’t see some sort of evidence of them hooking up by the end of next week, I can only assume that the show is hiding it from us.

Also, one of the contestants is a British comedian named Tom.  He mentioned that he lived in the Tower of the London.  “I’ve never heard of the Tower of London,” the other contestants said while I screamed internally.  Anyway, Tom’s adorable.

Despite my best efforts, I’ve been sucked into The Circle.

Dragnet (YouTube)

I watched two episodes of this 1960s cop show on Thursday.  One featured Joe Friday on a talk show, where he debated a snide hippy and a pompous professor.  The other featured Friday taking a class at night school and justifying his decision to arrest one of his classmates for possessing marijuana.  Welcome to the 60s!

The Love Boat (Paramount+)

I wrote about the Love Boat here!  Megan and I watched several episodes this week.  We both agreed that the ship looked nice.

Night Flight (Night Flight Plus)

Late Saturday night, I experienced New Year’s 1983!  It was a bit trippy.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday night, my sister Megan and I watched all of the Upstart Crow Christmas specials.  I had already seen them but I enjoyed introducing them to my sister.

Retro Television Reviews: California Dreams 3.4 “Blind Dates” and 3.5 “Yoko, Oh No!”

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 is all about romance and total defiance!

Episode 3.4 “Blind Dates”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 1st, 1994)

Oh my God, Sly has been talking to a girl on a brand new thing called the Internet!  When he meets Allison (played, quite well, by Nikki Cox), he is shocked to discover that she’s blind.  Allison brings out Sly’s rarely seen good side and Allison appreciates that Sly is too much of a jackass to treat her differently just because she’s blind.  At first, Sly is worried about taking her to the school dance but then he takes her anyway.  Yay!

Meanwhile, Tony and Sam also get on the internet and both of them think that they’ve found their soul mate.  But it turns out that they’ve just been talking to each other.  By the end of this episode, Tony and Sam have begun their relationship.  This is a huge moment in the history of California Dreams because, in the end, Tony and Sam had most (and maybe the only) stable relationship on the show.

Unfortuntely, as we’ll see next week, things wouldn’t last as long for Sly and Allison, which is a shame because Nikki Cox and Michael Cade had tons of onscreen chemistry and they were a sweet couple.  Oh well.  Such is life.

Episode 3.5 “Yoko, oh no!”

(Dir by Patrick Maloney, originally aired on October 8th, 1994)

It’s time for another Battle of the Bands!

In this episode, we meets the Dreams’s rival band, Total Defiance.  We’re supposed to dislike Total Defiance because they’re constantly making fun of the Dreams and their manager is an obnoxious girl named Rosie who has a crush on Mark Winkle.  The thing is that Total Defiance, which appears to be a rap/heavy metal hybrid band, actually does appear to be a lot better than the Dreams.  From what little of what we’re allowed to hear from them, their sound is a bit more interesting than the California Dreams.  I mean, let’s be honest.  The California Dreams did have a few good songs but, for the most part, Rosie has a point when she says that the Dreams are a generic pop band.  Jake may wear a leather jacket and talk about being a rebel but, even after Matt Garrison leaves the band that he founded, the Dreams still specialized in coming up with mellow, feel-good tunes that really could have been sung by anyone.  Total Defiance was all about taking risks.  They were the true rebels!

They were also all about giving the Dreams a hard time.  When Rosie dismisses Lorena as just being a “groupie,” Lorena tries to prove them wrong by auditioning for the band.  The good thing is that she gets to wear a really pretty dress when she auditions.  The bad thing is that she can’t carry a tune.  (See?  There’s something else that Lorena and I have in common.)  Blinded by love, Jake insists that Lorena be allowed to sing with the band.  However, when Lorena hears the rest of the band talking about how bad her voice is, she fakes laryngitis so they’ll perform without her.  As a result, the Dreams not only win the Battle of the Bands but everyone also learns an important lesson about being honest.  Yay!

I liked this episode because it was a Jake and Lorena episode and those are always my favorites.  They were a cute couple.  That said, Total Defiance should have won the Battle of the Bands and if Tony Manero had been there, he would have handed the trophy to them at the end of the contest.


Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for December

Here they are!  These are my final Oscar predictions for 2022.  The critics groups have certainly helped to show us which films are major contenders.  That said, the Guilds are even more important so I can’t wait to see who they nominate and honor in January.

be sure to check out my predictions for FebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptember, October, and November!

Best Picture

Avatar: The Way of Water


The Banshees of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick

The Woman King

Women Talking

Best Director

Todd Field for TAR

Baz Luhrmann for Elvis

Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Gabriel LaBelle in The Fabelmans

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson for The Banshees of Inisherin

Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan in The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Woman Talking

Kerry Condon in The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Dolly de Leon in Triangle of Sadness

Janelle Monáe in Glass Onion

Retro Television Review: One World 3.9 “Jane Cops Out” and 3.10 “Marci’s In Hot Salsa”

Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a new feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Fridays, I will be reviewing One World, which ran on NBC from 1998 to 2001.  The entire show is currently streaming on Tubi!

The Cast of One World

Wow, I’m nearly done with this show!  Yay!

Episode 3.9 “Jane Cops Out”

(directed by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on November 18th, 2000)

Ugh.  It’s a Jane episode.  I actually liked Jane during the first season and for the first half of the second season but she’s been pretty much unbearable during the third season.  There’s a difference between being edgy and just being annoyingly rude.  Of course, if I was living with the Blakes, I’d probably develop a bit of a bad attitude as well.

Anyway, in this episode, Jane gets a job at a SCUBA gear store and starts dating the owner’s grandson, a rookie cop!  Jane is copping out …. oh wait, that’s what the title says!  Jane freaks out over dating a cop because she’s a former criminal.  The cop freaks out because all of his coworkers have arrested Jane in the past.  Jane being a criminal is a bit like Neal being a genius or Ben being an alcoholic, in that it’s one of those plot points that’s never really been that convincing but which the show tends to randomly bring up.

In the B-plot, Dave’s snoring is keeping everyone awake.  Eh, who cares?

Episode 3.10 “Marci’s In Hot Salsa”

(directed by Mary Lou Belli, originally aired on November 25th, 2000)

I’ve often stated that Sui is my favorite character on this show.  Marci is a close second.  Unfortunately, Marci rarely seems to get to do much.  With this episode, she finally get to be at the center of the main plot but it turns out that the plot is pretty much lifted from the “Dancing Isn’t Everything” episode of California Dreams.

Feeling that she doesn’t have any one thing that she’s good at and worried that she’s destined to be the average member of the family, Marci decides to make dancing her thing.  She enters a salsa contest that is, of course, being held at the Warehouse, Miami’s “hottest under 21 club.”  I would think this would be a problem, as Marci is also the assistant manager of the Warehouse and usually, employees are not allowed to enter contests that their employer is sponsoring.  But no matter!  By this point, The Warehouse pretty much only exists to cater to the whims of the Blakes.

Marci enters the contest with one guy but discovers that there’s another guy who is a far better dancer.  Will Marci stay loyal to her original partner or dump him for the better dancer?  You can probably guess exactly what happens in this episode but I still liked it because it featured a lot of dancing and the audience applauded when Marci said she was looking forward to death of Fidel Castro.

In the B-plot, Neal is grounded when he comes home late.  (Was he grounded for helping Jane cheat on the SATs?  Anyone remember that?)  But he sneaks out and goes to a baseball game while Dave and Jane go to a modern art show.  Dave says he doesn’t understand modern art.  That’s because Dave’s a moron.

Just three more episodes to go!

The Greater Western New York Film Critics Association Rewards Banshees!

The Greater Western New York Film Critics Association have announced their winners for the best of 2022!

And here they are:

The Banshees of Inisherin
The Batman
Decision to Leave
Everything Everywhere All at Once
The Fabelmans
Top Gun: Maverick
Women Talking

Athena (France)
Decision to Leave (South Korea)
EO (Poland)
Happening (France)
RRR (India)

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Fire of Love
Good Night Oppy
Moonage Daydream

Apollo 101⁄2: A Space Age Childhood
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Turning Red

Todd Field, Tár
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave
Charlotte Wells, Aftersun

Cate Blanchett, Tár
Danielle Deadwyler, Till
Mia Goth, Pearl
Margot Robbie, Babylon
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Janelle Monáe, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Keke Palmer, Nope

Austin Butler, Elvis
Diego Calva, Babylon
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser, The Whale
Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Todd Field, Tár
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Park Chan-wook & Jeong Seo-kyeong, Decision to Leave
Charlotte Wells, Aftersun

Guillermo del Toro & Patrick McHale / Guillermo del Toro & Matthew Robbins (story), Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale
Rian Johnson, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
David Kajganich, Bones and All
Sarah Polley and Miriam Toews, Women Talking

Ben Davis, The Banshees of Inisherin
Florian Hoffmeister, Tár
Claudio Miranda, Top Gun: Maverick
Linus Sandgren, Babylon
Hoyte Van Hoytema, Nope

Tom Cross, Babylon
Eddie Hamilton, Top Gun: Maverick
Paul Rogers, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Matt Villa & Jonathan Redmond, Elvis
Monika Willi, Tár

Carter Burwell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Alexandre Desplat, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Michael Giacchino, The Batman
Hildur Guðnadóttir, Women Talking
Justin Hurwitz, Babylon

Vanessa Burghardt, Cha Cha Real Smooth
Austin Butler, Elvis
Frankie Corio, Aftersun
Danielle Deadwyler, Till
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Audrey Diwan, Happening
Damien Leone, Terrifier 2
Lila Neugebauer, Causeway
Chloe Okuno, Watcher
Charlotte Wells, Aftersun

What Lisa Marie and Megan Watched Last Night #225: Mommy’s Little Star (dir by Curtis Crawford)

Last night, my sister Megan and I watched Mommy’s Little Star on the Lifetime Movie Network!

Why Were We Watching It?

For the past week and a half, I’ve been visiting my sister Megan and her family.  This is kind of our holiday tradition.  Everyone gets together for Christmas and then, from Christmas Day to New Year, Megan and I catch up and bond and talk about how we’re feeling about the past year and what we’re hoping to get out of the upcoming year.  Plus, we watch a lot of TV and movies!

I’ve always loved watching movies with my family and I especially love Lifetime movies.  (Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to watch as much Lifetime as usual this year.)  So, when I saw that the Lifetime Movie Network was broadcasting something called Mommy’s Little Star, I literally fell on my knees and begged Megan to stay up and watch it with me.

What Was It About?

12 year-old Olivia (Maja Vujicic) thinks that she’s found a way bring her parents back together.  She’ll become a social media star by posting dancing videos online.  If she can get her mother, Lauren (Rebecca Amzallag), to appear in the videos with her, she’ll become an even bigger star and maybe even win a contest because people love to watch young influencers dance with their moms.

Lauren’s new boyfriend, Aiden (Roderick McNeil), offers to act as Olivia’s agent and to guide her to social media stardom.  Olivia is excited but soon, she becomes so addicted to being popular online that she starts neglect her friends, her schoolwork, and her well-meaning but strict nanny.  Meanwhile, Aiden is actually a con artist who is willing to go to any lengths, including murder!, to get what he wants.

What Worked?

I always enjoy a good Lifetime moral panic film.  This film had the typical Lifetime plot of the handsome but sinister man who was trying to take a daughter away from her loving parents but, to that, it also added a fear that I imagine many parents have, the fear of what their children might be doing online.  One thing that both Olivia’s mom and her father (played by David Lafontaine) had in common is that neither one of them was really sure what it was that Olivia was getting so excited about and watching them, I was reminded of my aunt’s reaction when I first tried to explain to her what Twitter was.  The film suggested that all of the trouble that Olivia and her family go through is worth it because it encourages Olivia to eventually take a break from social media.  It’s all rather silly and campy but that’s what makes Lifetime movies so much fun.

I really enjoyed Roderick McNeil’s performance as Aiden.  He had the whole charming sociopath act down to perfection.

What Did Not Work?

The film missed an opportunity by not having Olivia herself turn evil in her attempts to win the big contest.  Maybe Lifetime had already met their quota for murderous children by the time they got around to Mommy’s Little Star.

“OMG!  Just like me!” Moments

Right after my parents divorced, I had a fantasy that lasted for about two years where they would both come to see me performing with the New York City Ballet and they would be so moved by my dancing that they would get back together.  That never happened, of course, but still, I could relate to what Olivia was trying to do even if I didn’t quite agree with her methods.

Both Megan and I agreed that Rebecca Amzallag, who did a great job playing Olivia’s mother, looked just like our friend Lea so that was kind of neat.  We spent a lot of the film asking ourselves, “Is that what Lea would do?”

Lessons Learned

Social media is evil!

Live Tweet Alert: Join #FridayNightFlix for Saturday Night Fever!

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, at 10 pm et, I will be hosting the final #FridayNightFlix of 2022!  The movie? 1977’s Saturday Night Fever!

If you want to join us this Friday, just hop onto twitter, start the movie at 10 pm et, and use the #FridayNightFlix hashtag!  It’s a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.

Saturday Night Fever is available on Prime and Paramount!  See you there!