Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 2/19/23 — 2/25/23

With this being the week of Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday, I didn’t watch much but I did watch some.  And here are my thoughts!

Abbott Elementary (Wednesday Night, ABC)

PESCA …. PESCA …. PESCA …. I’m not really a fan of the whole “the charter school is coming for us!” storyline but I do love the Gregory/Janine storyline.  Some of Tyler James Williams’s line deliveries made me laugh so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair while watching this week’s episode.

Animal Control (Thursday Night, FOX)

I like Joel McHale and I really like animals so I was hoping that I would really, really like this new sitcom but …. eh.  The first two episodes just didn’t work for me.  As tired as I am of the whole mockumentary format, I do kind of feel that maybe that was the approach that should have been taken with Animal Control.  Right now, the show just feels a bit forced and awkward and the frequent lowbrow humor feels cheap.  Despite the presence of McHale, this is definitely not Community.  I did laugh when the weasel set that guy’s house on fire, though.

The Brady Bunch Hour (YouTube)

I wrote about The Brady Bunch Hour here!

California Dreams (YouTube)

Here’s this week’s review.

City Guys (Tubi)

Here’s this week’s review!

Fantasy Island (Tubi)

Here’s this week’s review!

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

I watched last week’s episode of Law & Order on Monday night.  It dealt with a shooting at a nightclub.  The shooter was stalking his ex-girlfriend but the majority of the episode dealt with the cop who responded to the 911 call and who froze and sat in his police car for 3 minutes before entering the club.  Obviously, this was meant to remind the viewers of both the cowardly deputy at the Parkland shooting and the cops who stayed outside of the classroom in Uvalde.  The show had sympathy for the cowardly cop.  I did not, just like I didn’t have any sympathy for Scott Israel’s deputies.  This was another episode that ended with Price getting his conviction but still getting punched outside the court because all of the bad publicity led to the cowardly cop committing suicide.  Again, the show attempted to put the blame on the tabloid press.  Myself, I put the blame on the cop who let others die.

As for this week’s episode, it dealt with race as Detective Shaw filed a report on two cops who profiled him at a crime scene while the show’s defendant was a real estate guy who was spreading rumors about mostly black criminals in order to run down property values.  This was one of those episodes where the person on trial was definitely a bad guy and he was probably guilty but I still didn’t think Price proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt.  I think the Law & Order revival would benefit from occasionally admitting that even a good prosecutor can lose a weak case.  It would make the show a bit more realistic.  At this point, Price is apparently the greatest prosecutor who has ever lived because he has a 99% success rate despite the majority of his cases being noticeably weak.

What’s interesting is that, after basically spending a season and a half as a self-righteous loose cannon who did things like prosecute a pharmaceutical firm just to get revenge for his brother’s unrelated death, Price is now being portrayed as being a pragmatist while the cops are now the social justice warriors.  Of course, who knows?  The next episode could find Price once again tilting at windmills and Cosgrove once again acting like a reactionary.  Narrative consistency is not one of this show’s strengths.

The Love Boat (Paramount Plus)

I wrote about The Love Boat here!

Night Court (Tuesday Night, NBC)

When Abby’s train is delayed, she annoys all of the other passengers with her upbeat personality.  I have no idea to whom this show is meant to appeal.  The only reason I watched it is because I needed to have something in the background for thirty minutes while I did some dusting.

Retro Television Reviews: California Dreams 4.3 “Principal Tiffani” and 4.4 “The Dateless Game”

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 attitudes….

Episode 4.3 “Principal Tiffani”

(Dir by Don Barnhart, originally aired on September 30th, 1995)

Earl Boen returns as Principal Blumford!  The last two times that Blumford appeared, he was given dialogue that deliberately harkened back to his days of appearing in the first two Terminator films.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here but Principal Tiffani is still an important Blumford episode because this is the episode where it becomes clear that Tiffani and Blumford are having a secret affair.

Seriously, how else do you explain Blumford’s decision to appoint Tiffani to the role of “student principal?”  In fact, I’m not even sure that there is such a thing as the student principal program, despite the fact that both Saved By The Bell and California Dreams did episodes about it.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  Why would a student be put in charge of the school for a week?  In this episode, Blumford not only names Tiffani as student principal but he also expects her to run the school during mid-terms week.  I mean, shouldn’t Tiffani be studying for her mid-terms?  And why make Tiffani principal as opposed to someone who actually wants the job?

I think we all know the answer.

At first, Tiffani struggles with her new position.  No one will listen to her.  Then her other boyfriend, Jake, gives her a lesson in how to yell at people.  Tiffani takes his lessons to heart and goes mad with power, handing out detentions and forcing troublemakers to stand in the corner of her office in time-out.  Eventually, the entire school rebels and, on cut day, Tiffani discovers that the halls are completely deserted.

The entire school goes to Sharky’s, of course.  The Dreams, minus Tiffani, perform.  I imagine there’s nothing better than getting hired for a sweet cut day gig.  Eventually, Tiffani and Blumford show up at Sharky’s but Tiffani has learned to not be such a martinet so she lies and says that students had her permission to go to Sharky’s.  She then orders all of them to start studying, which they do.

Blumford pretends to fooled by Tiffani but, obviously, he knows what’s really going on.  Technically, Blumford could have gotten in trouble for giving an important role like student principal to someone who was obviously unqualified for the job but the hearts wants what the heart wants.

This was a very romantic episode.

Episode 4.4 “The Dateless Game”

(Dir by Don Barnhart, originally aired on October 7th, 1995)

Speaking of romance, it’s time for Jake and Tiffani’s first anniversary!  They’ve only been dating for 2 episodes but whatever.  Everyone acts like they’ve been together forever.  (Actually, Lorena specifically says that Tiffani and Jake have been a thing for 3 months.)

However, before Jake can celebrate their anniversary, he decides help Sly and Mark out with their plan to take part in a charity dating game.  When the third bachelor fails to show up for the event, Jake agrees to take the stage with Sly and Mark.  Of course, despite his best efforts to pretend to be a shallow burn-out, Jake wins and it turns out his date is scheduled for the night of his anniversary!  Instead of just coming clean to Tiffani, Jake attempts to go on both dates at the same time.  That was a pretty dumb idea on Jake’s part and it helps to explain why Tiffani has been cheating with Blumford.

Needless to say, Jake’s dumbass plan explodes in his face.  Fortunately, the Dreams know how to fix the situation,  They hold a dating game of their own so that Jake and Tiffani can see that they belong together.  Tony is the host and William James Jones totally throws himself into the performance.  For some reason, the fake dating game is held at Sharky’s.  As far as I could tell, no one was ordering food during the dating game.  If Sharky’s goes out of business, blame it on the Dreams and their constant drama.

These two episodes felt very much like they belonged more on Saved By The Bell than California Dreams but no matter!  This cast long ago proved that they had the chemistry necessary to transcend even mundane material and that’s certainly what happens here.  Jake and Tiffani forgive each other and the audiences says, “Awwww!’ but somewhere, Principal Blumford’s heart is breaking.

Live Tweet Alert: Watch Goodnight Mommy 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 2022’s Goodnight Mommy!

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.


Music Video of the Day: Bath County by Wednesday (2023, dir by Karly Hartzman)

Welcome to the parts of the world that aren’t often featured in media.  Though I’m a city girl, I’ve got enough family living in the country that some of these places look very familiar to me.