Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 6/19/22 — 6/25/22


I watched a lot this week.  I’m getting prepared for the Emmys!

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Because Edith was named The Spirit of Nouvion, it was decided that she should marry Bertorelli for propaganda purposes.  Meanwhile, the British airmen ended up trapped in some wine barrels that were floating in the sewers underneath the city.  Wait, what?  Actually, by Allo Allo standards, it’s all pretty normal.

Angelyne (Peacock)

I reviewed Angelyne here!

Collector’s Call (Sunday Night, MeTV)

On this show, fans of classic television get their collectibles appraised and discuss their collections.  It’s a simple show that owes an obvious debt to Antiques Roadshow (though Collector’s Call usually only focuses on one collector as opposed to several) but, at the same time, it’s also a rather sweet-natured celebration of nostalgia and the joy the can come from collecting.

Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (Netflix)

This Netflix true crime docu-series dealt with a series of murders that occurred in New York and New Jersey in the 70s.  The majority of the victims were sex workers who were especially vulnerable because they couldn’t go to the police without running the risk of ending up in jail themselves.  The series also took a look at the sleazier days of Times Square.  It ended with modern day footage of the killer, now imprisoned in New York and looking a bit like Santa Claus.  That was a bit jarring.

The Deep End (Hulu)

The Deep End originally aired on FreeForm.  I watched it on Hulu on Saturday afternoon.  The Deep End is a four-episode documentary about Teal Swan, a creepy “spiritual guru.”  Swan, apparently, cooperated with the making of The Deep End and then got pretty upset when the final product portrayed her as being a manipulative bully who takes advantage of the emotionally vulnerable.  Cults are so weird to me.  I guess people need something to believe in but I will never understand how people can fall for obvious charlatans like Teal Swan or the NXIVM people.  For her part, Swan appears to be very good at taking advantage of our current culture of victimization.

The Essex Serpent (Apple TV+)

In 19th Century Britain, both Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston investigate a legend of a sea serpent.  Danes is a scientist while Hiddleston is a clergyman.  Of course, they fall in love but Hiddleston is already married and the recently widowed Danes is determined to establish a life and identity of her own.  The Essex Serpent is a mix of history, gothic romance, and horror.  Danes’s closest friend is a social reformer who reads Marx.  Another potential suitor is an arrogant doctor who has the potential to be a pioneer in the field of heart surgery.  The show might seem like it’s about a serpent but it’s actually about the eternal conflict between superstition and science and, in the end, it turns out that neither has all the answers.  It’s a bit uneven but, in the end, rewarding.  It’s always nice to see Hiddleston get a chance to play someone other than Loki.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

This week, both episodes of Full House were pretty stupid.  The first episode recycled the old Saved By The Bell plot of having a love note circulating around that everyone thought was sent to them by a secret admirer.  The second episode found Danny having to spend the weekend with his daughters without the help of Jesse and Joey.  At one point, Danny was so tired that he passed out in bed and his daughters couldn’t wake him up.  That was …. not easy to watch.

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (Disney Plus)

Gordon Ramsay explores the world!  I watched two episodes on Tuesday.  Ramsay went to the wilds of Michigan and Finland.  Ramsay may be best known for shouting at hapless chefs on Hell’s Kitchen but I always enjoy shows where he gets to show his nicer side.

History’s Greatest Mysteries (History Channel)

I watched two episodes on Wednesday.  One episode explored the death of Bruce Lee while the other was about the recently discovered journal of Harry Houdini.  I love history.  I like a good mystery.  I enjoyed what I watched.

Impractical Jokers (HBOMax)

In this show, four friends go out of their way to humiliate each other and the people around them.  I watched a few episodes on Thursday, largely because the show has been submitted for the Outstanding Structured Reality Show Emmy.  The four jokers sometimes tend to come across as being a little bit too amused with themselves a little bit but, at the same time, I do have to admit that I laughed quite a bit.

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

I watched an old episode of this British detective show on Tuesday.  Lewis and Hathaway were investigating a Halloween murder that may or may not have involved vampires.  It was very foggy, very amusing, and very British.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (Apple TV+)

Samuel L. Jackson plays a 90 year-old man who tries to solve a mystery before losing his memories to dementia.  I watched a bit of this Friday.  It never quite captured my attention the way that I expected it to, given the show’s intriguing premise.  The show’s greatest strength, not surprisingly, is Samuel L. Jackson’s powerful performance in the title role.

Love is Blind (Netflix)

In this reality dating show, couples can talk to each other but, sealed away in their own individual pods, they can’t see each other.  In fact, they only get to see each other if one of them proposes marriage and the other accepts.  Is love truly blind?  Is this show absolutely silly?  Yes, it is!  However, I watched a few episodes this week and it was all pleasantly silly.

Moon Knight (Disney Plus)

I reviewed Moon Knight here!

The Offer (Paramount Plus)

I reviewed The Offer here!

Painting With John (HBOMax)

Musician, actor, and artistic gadfly John Lurie paints pictures while talking about whatever he feels like talking about.  I watched three episodes on Monday.  At one point, Lurie told everyone watching to imagine their hand turning into a light bulb.  That’s my type of artist.

Sketchbook (Disney Plus)

Disney animators teach viewers how to draw their favorite characters.  I watched two episodes, one of Friday and one on Saturday.  I learned how to draw Simba.  It’s a cute show.

Slasher: Flesh and Blood (Shudder)

I watched this horror-themed miniseries on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday!  A killer brutally killed off the members of a particularly greedy family.  David Cronenberg played the family patriarch and gave a nicely eccentric performance.  I appreciated this show for its atmospheric locations, its ruthless killers, and its willingness to kill off just about anyone.  It was a bit of a spiritual sequel to Harper’s Island.  It was horror for people who appreciate horror.

Slippin’ Jimmy (Prime)

It’s the early days of Jimmy McGill!  This is an animated prequel to Better Call Saul.  The episode that I watched, on Sunday, was an Exorcist parody.  It should have been funny but it just never worked for me.  The humor was a bit too obvious and predictable for me.  Maybe I’ve just seen too many Exorcist parodies for the idea to really capture my imagination.

Two-Sentence Horror Stories (Netflix)

This horror anthology actually airs on The CW but I watched the third season on Netflix, on Sunday and Monday.  The season was made up of ten episodes and, as is somewhat typical of anthology series, the end results were uneven.  I did, however, like The Crush episode, which was kind of an extra macabre take on What Ever Happened To Baby Jane.

The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window (Netflix)

This miniseries, directed by Michael Lehmann, does for the Netflix what A Deadly Adoption did for Lifetime.  It’s a pitch perfect satire of the type of movies that tend to show up on Netflix, one that pokes fun but does so in such a dry way that some viewers will undoubtedly miss the point.  Since films like The Girl On The Train and The Woman In The Window are already kind of self-parodies, this is the best approach to take.  Kristen Bell is great in the role of the wine-drinking neighbor who is haunted by the strange things that she sees across the street.  Can she conquer her fear of the rain and solve the mystery!?  Watch to find out!

You (Netflix)

I watched You‘s third season over the course of the week.  Joe and Love are now parents living in the suburbs but Joe is still up to his old tricks.  Unfortunately, for Joe, so is Love.  The first episode was great but the rest of the season couldn’t live up to it.  Penn Badgley always does a good job as Joe but the rest of the season felt like a knock-off of some of Dexter‘s later seasons.

Miniseries Review: Moon Knight (dir by Mohamed Diab and Aaron Moorhead & Justin Benson)


No sooner had Ryan posted his essay about whether or not comic book companies like Marvel or DC actually need readers anymore then I came over here to type up my review of Moon Knight.

Why is that relevant?  Well, Moon Knight is a 6-episode miniseries based on a character who made his debut in the pages of Marvel comics.  The character has a loyal following of readers but the Disney miniseries has introduced him to a whole new group of people, many of whom have never even held a comic book, let alone read one.  I’m one of those people.  If not for the miniseries, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea who Moon Knight is because, for the most part, I’ve never been a comic book reader.  I would have to imagine that if I was a comic book reader, it would bug the Hell out of me that people who have never read a comic book are now suddenly acting as if they’re experts on all of the various costumed characters who have been published by Marvel and DC over the past few decades.  I can remember how upset I was when everyone suddenly decided that they were an expert on Dario Argento and Italian horror just because they had read some lame article on the remake of SuspiriaNo, I wanted to say, you haven’t done the work!

Unfortunately, that’s the way of the world now.  With the current pop cultural dominance of the MCU and the DCEU, everyone’s a super hero fan regardless of whether or not they’ve ever read a comic book.  And, with the explosion of social media over the past decade, everyone is now in a position to present themselves as being an expert regardless of whether they’re tweeting their own thoughts or just plagiarizing what they’ve read on Wikipedia.  It doesn’t matter whether the topic is politics, television, history, science, religion, or comic books.  Everyone now claims to be an expert and, as the old saying goes, when everyone’s an expert, no one’s an expert.  Again, if that annoys the Hell out of you, I sympathize.

Perhaps you can take some consolation in the fact that, even though I watched all six episode of Moon Knight today, I hardly feel like an expert as far as the character is concerned.  For the most part, I enjoyed Moon Knight but I would be lying if I said that I was always able to follow what was going on.  Oscar Isaac plays Marc Spector, a mercenary who is mortally wounded in Egypt but who is revived by Khonshu (voiced by F. Murray Abraham), the Egyptian God of the Moon, who tasks Spector with protecting humanity from evil or something like that.  Sometimes, however, Spector becomes Steven Grant, a mild-mannered and neurotic Brit who works in a museum gift shop and who is haunted by strange dreams.  When Grant discovers that he’s actually Spector, this leads to him meeting Spector’s wife, Layla (May Calamawy) and also having to battle Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), a fanatical cult leader who is trying to get his hands on ancient scarab that will …. let him do stuff, I guess.  Harrow’s evil, Moon Knight’s good, and I guess that’s all we really need to know.  Moon Knight is basically a typical MCU “let’s all fight over the artifact” story, with the main twist being that all of the Gods are Egyptian instead of Norse and the hero has dissociative identity disorder and might actually very well be a patient at psychiatric hospital.  

With all that in mind, Moon Knight is actually pretty entertaining.  It’s biggest strength, not surprisingly, is Oscar Isaac, who appears to be having a ball playing several different versions of the same character.  When he’s Marc Spector, he gets to play at being a grim and serious action hero.  When he’s Steve Grant, he gets to play a comedic bumbler who gets the chance to prove that he’s stronger and more capable than anyone gave him credit for.  Isaac does a good job with both roles and the show is at its best when it’s just Isaac arguing with himself.  Playing a villain in an MCU production is often a thankless task but Hawke’s brings the right edge of fanaticism to Arthur Harrow and F. Murray Abraham voices Khonshu with the just the right combination of righteous indignation and weary frustration.  The show makes good use of its Egyptian setting and the fourth and fifth episodes are enjoyably surreal as they delve into the corners of Spector’s mind.

Unfortunately, the show’s conclusion leaves a bit to be desired.  After all that build-up, it all pretty much leads to a standard MCU street battle and the possibility of more Moon Knight action in the future.  That said, I enjoyed the show for what it was.  Turn off your mind, relax, and float across the Duat, as the old saying goes.

Miniseries Review: The Offer (dir by Dexter Fletcher, Adam Arkin, Colin Bucksey, and Gwyneth Horder-Payton)


Almost despite myself, I enjoyed The Offer.

That may come as a surprise to some.  The Offer is a 10-hour miniseries about the making of The Godfather and how Hollywood politics aren’t really that much different from Mafia politics.  As anyone who has regularly read this site over the past few years should know, I absolutely love The Godfather.  It’s my favorite movie.  It’s a movie about which I’ve done a lot of personal research.  There’s very little about the making of The Godfather that I don’t know.  If we’re going to be honest, I’m probably a little bit of a snob about it.

So, like many people, I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about The Offer.  It didn’t seem like something that was particularly necessary and it was hard for me to imagine how the miniseries would ever be able to convincingly cast anyone as Marlon Brando or Al Pacino or, for that matter, Francis Ford Coppola.  My skepticism only increased when I learned that the story was going to be told from the perspective of the film’s producer, Al Ruddy.  Everyone agrees that Ruddy was an important part of The Godfather team but he’s never been quite as compelling a figure as the brilliant but often self-destructive Brando or the neurotic but playful Pacino.  When people talk about what makes The Godfather such a brilliant film, they talk about the quotable dialogue.  They talk about the masterful performances.  They talk about Coppola’s skill as a storyteller.  They talk about the way that Gordon Willis lit the scenes so that the characters often seemed to be on the verge of being swallowed by their shadows.  They even talk about how Robert Evans insisted that the film could only be directed by an Italian and how Evans defied Paramount when the studio originally demanded that Coppola cut the film down to two hours.  When Al Ruddy is praised, it’s usually for staying out of the way.

I knew that I would have to watch The Offer eventually but I avoided it while it was actually airing and I made sure not to read anyone else’s opinion to it.  Despite my own obvious biases, I did want to try to maintain as open a mind as I possibly could.  That said, I wasn’t expecting much when I finally watched The Offer this weekend.

But, as I said at the start of this review, I enjoyed it.

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a bit of a silly show.  If The Offer was a sitcom, it would be called Everybody Loves Ruddy because the main theme of the show seems to be that Al Ruddy (played by a miscast Miles Teller) was literally the most important man in the entire history of Hollywood.  There’s not a problem that Ruddy can’t solve, whether it’s convincing CBS to air a tasteless sitcom called Hogan’s Heroes or convincing Paramount to take a huge risk on a mercurial director named Coppola and an unknown actor named Pacino.  When gangster Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi) tries to interfere with production, Ruddy befriends him and is soon a popular guy with the crew.  When Al Pacino (Anthony Ippolito) signs a contract with MGM, Ruddy puts the pressure on Paramount to find a way to get Pacino out of it.  When Coppola (Dan Fogler) has a fight with Gordon Willis (T.J. Thyne), Ruddy convinces them to make up.  When Robert Evans (Matthew Goode) goes on a coke binge, Ruddy snaps him out of it.  When …. well, you get the idea.  There’s nothing Al Ruddy can’t do!  When Evans mentioned that Henry Kissinger was coming to the Godfather premiere, I half expected Al Ruddy to negotiate a ceasefire in Vietnam.

From the start, The Offer is full of visual cues and dialogue that pay homage to not only The Godfather but the other films of the period.  The first line of the miniseries is Joe Colombo telling someone to, “Leave the cannoli.”  At first, I groaned but, slowly but surely, the show won me over.  By the end of the first episode, it was obvious that The Offer was not necessarily meant to be taken literally.  The Offer doesn’t tell the story of what Hollywood was really like in the late 60s and early 70s.  Instead, it tells the story of how people like me, who were born a few decades too late, imagine it was.  It’s less about the decade itself and more about how that decade continues to fascinate us and spark our imagination.  In our imagination, Robert Evans is snorting coke in his office, Ali MacGraw is lounging by the pool, Frank Sinatra is making angry phone calls to Joe Colombo, Al Pacino is so nervous that he can’t look anyone in the eye, and Marlon Brando is wandering around his mansion in a kimono and talking about how he can’t get anyone to see his latest, politically-charged film.  In our fantasies, it only makes sense that Evans and his assistant Peter Bart (Josh Zuckerman) would spend all of their time dropping titles of well-regarded, still-remembered films because why would anyone fantasize about them discussing a film that was forgotten?  And, of course, no one is going to fantasize about people discussing some actor who was briefly big in 1972 and then spent the rest of their career on television.  Instead, in the fantasy, it’s all about Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Liz Taylor, and Marlon Brando.  It also makes sense that only classic 70s music would be heard in the background of every scene because, seriously, who ever fantasizes about a bad song playing at a party?

Once it is accepted that it is all meant to be a fantasy, it becomes much easier to appreciate The Offer for what it is, a gossipy, Hollywood story with a Mafia subplot and an overabundance period detail.  Once the viewer accepts The Offer is a fantasy, the viewer is freed up to appreciate the 70s-chic wardrobe.  Once the viewer gets past the fact that the cast is playing characters based on actual people, it becomes much easier to appreciate the performances of character actors like Colin Hanks (who plays an uptight executive) and Burn Gorman (who plays the notoriously eccentric businessman, Charles Bluhdorn).  Patrick Gallo is slyly funny as Mario Puzo while Dan Fogler does a credible enough job as Coppola, even if he never quite captures Coppola’s larger-than-life persona.  Even Lou Ferrigno gets a nice bit, playing a mob enforcer turned unwilling actor.  At the center of it all is the absolutely brilliant Matthew Goode, giving a charismatic performance as the brilliant but sometimes unstable Robert Evans.

As a history, The Offer won’t win any points for accuracy.  But, as a fantasy, it’s undeniably entertaining.  It’s not so much the story of how The Godfather was made but the story of how we wish it was made.

Miniseries Review: Angelyne (dir by Matt Spicer and Lucy Tcherniak)


Who is the real Angelyne?

That’s question that is at the heart of Peacock’s new miniseries, Angelyne.  The obvious answer is that Angelyne (played, quite well, by Emmy Rossum) is a Los Angeles icon who, in the 80s and 90s, was known for having her image plastered on billboards across the city.  The billboards usually featured a provocative picture of Angelyne, her name, and a phone number that one could call.  Billboards, of course, are used for advertising and Angelyne was advertising herself.  What service did Angelyne provide?  She provided the service of being a celebrity that people might actually run into while walking or driving around the city.  She drove her pink Corvette across Los Angeles, waved at tourists, and sold merchandise to her fans.  She even twice ran for governor.  Before the Kardashians and the explosion of social media, Angelyne was famous for being famous.  And when people asked who Angelyne was before she became Angelyne, she replied that she had always been Angelyne.  Sometimes, she said she was someone who had come to Los Angeles from another state.  Sometimes, she said that she was a literal angel, sent down to spread peace and help people believe in themselves.  Other times, she suggested that she was an extra-terrestrial.  Perhaps her most honest response was that she was whatever the person looking at her wanted to be.  People saw Angelyne and they projected their own feelings onto her.

Filmed in a manner that combines faux documentary footage with flashbacks, each of Angelyne‘s five episodes focuses on someone from Angelyne’s past as they talk about their role in Angelyne’s enigmatic life.  Often times, they seem to be struggling to come to terms with the fact that they’re obsessed with someone about whom they actually know very little.  A smarmy reporter (Alex Karpovsky) and a twerpy filmmaker (Max Allen) both investigate Angelyne’s past and it’s hard not to resent their efforts to bring her down to Earth.  (The reporter, at one point, actually says that Angelyne lost her right to privacy when she ran for governor, as if anyone seriously believed Angelyne was going to be the next governor of California.  Seriously, most viewers will want to smack him.)  Cory Hunt (Philip Ettinger), the lead singer of a band that Angelyne was briefly a member of, tries to take credit for creating her persona but he’s never credible and Angelyne even interupts their flashbacks to say that he’s lying.  Wendy Wallace (played by Molly Ephraim) struggles to come to terms with the fact that her father, Harold (Martin Freeman), not only bankrolled Angelyne’s billboards but also neglected his family to “manage” Angelyne’s career.  Angelyne’s assistant, Rick (Hamish Linklater), devotes his life to supporting and protecting Angelyne but sometimes, even he has to take a break.

All of them get their chance to tell their story and, as played by Rossum, Angelyne gets to tell her story.  Not surprisingly, Angelyne’s story often differs from the stories being told about her.  Frequently, a flashback will come to a halt as soon as Angelyne announces, “That’s not what happened.”  When the twerpy filmmaker claims that he got Angelyne to admit the truth about who she was before she remade herself as Angelyne, Angelyne pops up to tell us that it never happened.  Even after the “truth” of Angelyne’s past has been revealed, Angelyne shows up to assure that the story isn’t true and, if it is true, it’s only halfway true and it’s impossible not to respect Angelyne’s refusal to accept or admit to being anyone other than a Los Angeles icon named Angelyne.  The miniseries suggests that Angelyne is someone who dealt with unimaginable pain and trauma by creating herself as almost a cartoon of what it means to be a celebrity.  The miniseries also suggests that, at the very least, Los Angeles should be thankful that she did.

In many ways, Angelyne feels like a superior companion piece to Hulu’s Pam & Tommy.  Both miniseries are about the curious nature of fame and the America’s bizarre celebrity culture.  The main difference is that while Pam & Tommy was thuddingly literal and featured Seth Rogen wandering around with that stupid mullet, Angelyne is stylish and imaginative and there’s not a mullet in sight.  Whereas Pam & Tommy struggled to justify its existence, Angelyne features a scene where the title character flies a UFO over Los Angeles.  Whereas Pam & Tommy presented Hugh Hefner as being a benevolent father figure, Angelyne features a scene where Angelyne tells off a smug Hefner and informs him that there’s nothing his magazine can do for her that she can’t do for herself.  For that scene alone, Angelyne deserves to be seen.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 6/12/22 — 6/18/22


As opposed to last week, where I didn’t watch anything except for old episodes of King of the Hill, I ended up watching a lot this week. That’s because the official Emmy ballots have dropped and I now know everything that was officially submitted this year. That ballots have given me a roadmap of what I need to check out over the next week and a half, before I announce what I would nominate for the Emmys, if I was an Emmy voter and had all the power.

So, without any further ado, here are some thoughts on what I watched this week:

The 2022 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards (Shudder)

Now, really this is what all award shows should be like!  The show honored “the best in horror,” and while I didn’t necessarily agree with all of the winners, I did appreciate that it only took them 90 minutes to hand out all the awards and that the show didn’t take itself too seriously.  Maybe the Oscars should move to Shudder.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Rene tried to flee to Spain while Michelle decided to smuggle the British airmen out of France in wine barrels.  Needless to say, nothing worked out.

Archer (FX)

While searching for the mysterious assassin known as the Dingo, Sterling Archer confronted painful memories of his past.  For whatever reason, I never seem to get a chance to watch Archer as much as I probably should.  Whenever I do catch an episode (and I watched this one on Hulu on Thursday), I always enjoy the show’s Bond-parody humor.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry’s third season came to an end on Sunday night and oh my God!  What an amazing episode!  From Gene betraying Barry to Barry breaking down in the desert to NoHo Hank somehow managing to escape in Colombia to Sarah Goldberg’s amazing performance as Sally, this was an incredible episode.  That said, it played like a series finale.  I have no idea where the show can go from here but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Bob’s Burgers (Fox, Sunday Night)

I’ve lost track of how long Bob’s Burgers has been on.  I don’t watch it regularly but, whenever I do, I usually laugh a few times.  The episode that I watched this week was also the show’s Emmy submission.  After being made fun of yet again at school, Tina escaped into a Blade Runner-inspired fantasy world.  Bob and Teddy, meanwhile, dealt with their insecurities about running a crappy restaurant by obsessing over some derogatory graffiti.  I laughed enough to enjoy the show.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Hulu)

I finally watched the final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Friday afternoon.  (It was only nine episodes long.)  I know that a lot of people complained that the final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was too political and anti-cop and, if I had seen the show when it originally aired, I probably would have agreed.  But, seeing it in 2022 and with the failures of the Ulvade cops still on my mind, I didn’t mind that the main villain was the head of the policeman’s union and that a major theme of the season was that police reform is going to have to start with the culture of policing itself.  Fortunately, the Andy Samberg-led ensemble was as strong as ever and helped make the more heavy-handed moments palpable.  The highlight, for me, was the episode where Peralta’s previously unmentioned nemesis, Johnny Franzia, returned.  It worked as both a domestic comedy and a parody of shows like Law and Order: Criminal Intent and the CSIs.

Cheer (Netflix)

I watched the second season of Cheer early on Saturday morning.  The Navarro cheerleaders are still obsessive perfectionists who seem to take cheerleading maybe a little too seriously.  This season deserved some credit for being honest about how disruptive their sudden fame was.  (That’s one of those things that many reality shows chose to avoid.)  The first episode featured an unforgettable montage of smarm as we saw everyone from Ellen to Colbert to a dazed-looking Biden talking to the cheerleaders.  The show also acknowledged both the legal troubles of one of the first season’s breakout stars and the outsized influence that Varsity Brands has on the cheerleading industry.  All in all, it was a good show even if you kind of wanted to tell the cheerleaders to take it down a notch and maybe enjoy their time in college. 

Community (Netflix)

“We had name for people like you in prison.  We called you …. the mean clique!”  Still a classic.

Dr. Death (Peacock)

I watched this Peacock miniseries on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Joshua Jackson played an incompetent and possibly sociopathic surgeon while Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater played the two doctors trying to, at the very least, get Jackson’s license suspended.  It was a good and disturbing miniseries, though I imagine that some of my reaction was due to the fact that my Dad is currently having issues with back pain and is exactly the type of patient who was victimized by Jackson’s coke-snorting surgeon.  This show is based on a true story.  It was also set in Texas but, for the most part, it avoided all of the stereotypes that usually make me cringe.  When Slater dismissed Jackson as being an arrogant yankee, a part of me cheered.  Of course, the show had to feature a character blaming everything on Rick Perry, which was dumb and felt out-of-character, but that’s the entertainment industry for you.

On a final note, the show was very well-acted and, yes, that includes Alec Baldwin.  When Baldwin wants to be, he can still be a very good and, dare I say, subtle actor.

Full House (MeTV, Sunday Evening)

I watched two episodes of this stupid show on Sunday.  First, Jesse went to his high school reunion, performed with his old band (how many bands did this dude have?) and was tempted to leave Aunt Becky for his high school girlfriend.  Why was Jesse always tempted to abandon Aunt Becky?  Jesse was supposedly only 28 so he was still a little bit young for a midlife crisis.  (In other words, STOP CRYING, JESSE!)  This was followed by an episode where Danny suddenly had a girlfriend and he had to look after her obnoxious son.  It was pretty dumb.

Hart to Heart (Peacock)

Kevin Hart interviews his celebrity friends.  I watched two episodes on Thursday, mostly because the show was submitted to the Emmys.  Kevin Hart is not a bad interviewer, though none of the conversations were really that in-depth.  This is a good example of the “Famous Person Knows Other Famous People” talk show genre.

I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson (Netflix)

This short comedy sketch show is best-known for being the source of the “We’re all trying to figure out who did this” meme.  I watched the show’s second season on Thursday night.  (Each episode is less than 20 minutes long so the season went by quickly.)  While the 2nd season never quite reached the heights of the “We’re all trying to figure out who did this” skit, it was still amusing.  A bit about an “aggressive store” that sold “busy” shirts to men was a highlight.

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

I watched this British detective show from the aughts with my friend Shirley on Tuesday.  Inspector Lewis and Inspector Hathaway investigated a series of murders surrounding a quiz competition.  The episode took place at Oxford and the scenery was lovely.

Making the  Cut (Amazon Prime)

After Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn left Project Runway, they began to appear in Prime’s Making the Cut.  Making the Cut is basically the same show as Project Runway, just without Nina Garcia or the lingering stench of the Weinstein Company.  I binged the second season on Tuesday and I loved it.  Tim and Heidi really were Project Runway‘s main selling points and watching them on Making the Cut filled me with nostalgia for a time of fun reality shows, as opposed to what’s going on now.

Married at First Sight (Lifetime, Wednesday Nights)

It has been forever since I watched an episode of Lifetime’s apparently immortal Married at First Sight franchise so, on Saturday morning, I watched two recent episodes on Hulu.  It was pretty much as I remembered.  Five couples, who had just met and married, took part in a group honeymoon in Florida and tried to get to know each other.  One couple split up.  Another couple debated whether to get undressed in front of each other.  Even though the episode were from the most recent season, they left like they could have been from any season of the show.  Don’t mess with success, I guess.  It’s a silly show but undeniably addictive, as silly shows often are.

Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)

On Thursday, I watched the episode of Rick and Morty that was submitted to the Emmys.  Morty made the mistake of landing a spaceship in the ocean, which led to Rick having a summit with his arch nemesis, a flamboyant sea king of some sort.  Morty tried to keep his date with Jessica while all this went on.  An attempt to get wine for the summit led to a centuries-old civilization being developed around the idea of Morty being a demon who had to be destroyed.  It was chaotic and it made me laugh.

Robot Chicken (Adult Swim)

Oh wow, those toys are cursing and telling dirty jokes!  Stoner humor at its best.  It made me laugh.

The Rockford Files (Tubi)

This is a 70s detective show, starring James Garner as a detective who lives in a trailer on the beach.  On Sunday, I watched an episode in which a vacationing family from Indiana accidentally stole Garner’s grill and the diamonds that were hidden inside of it.  Apparently, this sort of thing happened quite frequently. 

Selling Sunset (Netflix)

This totally spontaneous and not at all scripted “reality” series is all about real estate.  A group of beautiful women work at a real estate company owned by a guy who we are told is handsome and sexy but who actually looks like a gnome and has all the charisma of a brick wall.  When they’re not selling amazing houses, the real estate agents re gossiping about each other and talk about how much they dislike anyone new who their boss hires.  Again, totally spontaneous and not at all staged, right?  

Anyway, I watched a few episodes of the latest season on Netflix.  There’s literally no one likable on the show but the houses make up for it. 

Step Into The Movies With Derek and Julianne Hough (Hulu)

This special originally aired on ABC but I watched it on Hulu.  Derek and Julianne Hough recreated classic move dance scenes.  I loved it.  The scenes were recreated with love and respect and Derek and Julianne were as adorable as ever.

Taylor Tomlinson: Look At You (Netflix)

I watched this Netflix stand-up special on Friday morning.  Taylor told jokes about her meds and discovering that she was bipolar by doing a google search on what they were all supposed to do.  That was humor to which I could relate.

The True Story with Ed and Randall (Peacock)

Everyday Americans sit down with Hollywood celebrities, Ed Helms and Randall Park, and tell the story of something interesting that happened in their life.  While they tell the story, their actions are recreated by a group of comedians.  I watched a few episodes on Monday afternoon.  The show was a bit uneven, as one might expect when everything’s pretty much dependent on the story being told.  That said, the show’s heart is in the right place and Ed and Randall seem to be genuinely interested in the stories being told.  That’s a big plus.

Undone (Amazon Prime)

This is a rather bizarre animated series, one that features time travel and alternate realities.  I watched the episode that was submitted for the Best Animated Episode Emmy.  Even though I didn’t fully understand the story, the animation was so hauntingly beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen.

Voir (Netflix)

This Netflix show features various film critics talking about the movies that caused them to fall in love with cinema.  I watched a bit on Wednesday.  The first episode featured Sasha Stone talking about Jaws.  This episode has been criticized, by many on Film Twitter, for focusing more on Sasha than on the film being reviewed.  Of course, some people have said the same thing about my own reviews and I actually appreciated that Sasha acknowledged that falling in love with a film has lot to do with what’s going on in your own life at the time.  The personal is important when discussing how we react to great art.  (It should also be acknowledged that 95% of Film Twitter is never going to forgive Sasha Stone for not being a Bernie Sanders-loving socialist and that undoubtedly has something to do with the out-of-proportion criticism directed at her episode.)  All in all, this is a good series and not worthy of the disdain that some have treated it with.  I get the feeling that a lot of that disdain is fueled by critics who were not invited to participate.

We Need To Talk About Cosby (Showtime)

Indeed, we do.  From W. Kamau Bell, We Need To Talk About Cosby is a four-part series about how Bill Cosby became a beloved media figure despite not really making any sort of an effort to hide his crimes.  It looks at why Cosby was so important to so many people while also taking a harsh and honest look at the reality of who Bill Cosby actually is.  Myself, I was lucky enough to grow up in a post-Cosby world but, after watching this show, I understand why so many people continue to struggle with the way they used to feel about Cosby.

What If….? (Disney Plus)

This is the MCU’s animated series, in which we visit alternate timelines and see what would happen if the heroes made different choices.  The episode I watched featured Dr. Strange turning evil and basically destroying the universe.  Yikes!  It was effective, though.  It helped that Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, and Tilda Swinton all lent their actual voices to the show, as opposed to Marvel trying to bring in sound-alikes.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW, Saturday Nights)

Hey, it’s improv!  Improv is always uneven but it’s usually funny on Whose Line Is It Anyway.  This show would probably be more acclaimed (or, at least, more prominent as an Emmy contender) if it wasn’t a CW show.  Someday, though, the CW will break through!  I have faith in you, CW!

Lisa Marie’s Week in Television: 6/5/22 — 6/11/22


Yes, you are seeing this correctly.  I watched next to zero television last week and the only new show that I watched was the latest episode of Barry.  I’ve been busy cleaning around the house, listening to music, and writing this week.  Usually, I use the television for background noise but this week, I listened to music.  It was the right decision, I think.

Here’s a few thoughts on what little I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

With the French Resistance broke and in desperate need of money, Michelle demanded that Rene hand over the painting of the Fallen Madonna With Big Boobies so that the Resistance could sell it.  Unfortunately, Rene had already given the painting to Herr Flick so Michelle suggested that Rene break into Herr Flick’s dungeon and steal it back.  Rene agreed, though his plan was to steal it and then sell it for himself as opposed to the Resistance.  Meanwhile, Herr Flick deal with an official order to stop having sex while on duty and, as newspaper editor, Rene was tasked with helping to select the perfect model for The Spirit of Nouvion.

The important thing, of course, is that nothing worked out and, at the end of the show, the British airmen were still trapped in France,

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

This week’s episode of Barry was …. disquieting.  While Gene filmed his hilariously over-the-top online acting class, Barry struggled to recover from being poisoned and Sally was fired from writing for the sitcom about the Medusas after she was filmed screaming the C-word at her former assistant.  While Barry struggles with his own mortality, Sally seems to be heading for a very, very dark place.

That said, the episode was dominated by Stephen Root and his performance as Fuchces.  Fuches has finally been arrested but, even while sitting in an interrogation room, he still managed to expertly manipulate everyone around him.  He’s like a Southern-version of Hannibal Lecter.  This episode made as a strong a case as any in the show’s history that Stephen Root deserves all the Emmys.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Starting as of late week, MeTV now only shows two episodes of Full House on Sundays and I do have to say that the show is more bearable when you only watch two at a time instead of four.  Last Sunday, Joey took his crappy comedy act to Vegas and he reconciled with his father, who apparently was some sort of general or admiral.  (Shades of Jim Morrison, I suppose.)  In the second episode, DJ developed an eating disorder but, fortunately, all it took was for Danny to say a few understanding words and DJ snapped out of it.  The episode had a good message but it would have been more effective if Aunt Becky had been the one to have the eating disorder talk with DJ.

King of the Hill (Hulu)

I watched three episodes, two on Tuesday and one on Friday.  The two episodes on Tuesday both featured Bobby taking on eccentric hobbies that were nearly ruined by Hank, rose growing and dog dancing.  Friday’s episode was one of my favorites: Minh, Nancy, and Peggy all run for school board and end up losing to the local kooky fundamentalist.

Seinfeld (Netflix)

On Friday, I rather randomly watched an episode where Kramer and George went to the airport to pick up Jerry and Elaine.  Kramer saw his former roommate.  George ended up trapped on a plane with a serial killer.  Jerry got upgraded to first class while Elaine suffered the indignities of flying in coach.  The episode made me laugh but it also made me want to fly somewhere.  But only in first class!

Great Moments In Television History #19: CHiPs Skates With The Stars


On September 22nd, 1979, NBC aired the premiere of the third season CHiPs.  The show, which revolved around the hijinks of the members of the California Highway Patrol, was never a favorite of the critics but it was a hit with young audiences who didn’t know any better.  For the start of the third season, the show paid those fans back with Roller Disco.

On this special, two-hour episode, Ponch (Erik Estrada) and Jon (Larry Wilcox) pursued thieves on roller skates while setting up the patrol’s annual charity benefit, which also involved roller skates.  The plot was not as important as the epic finale, in which Baker and Captain Getear (Andrew Pine) greeted all of the local celebrities who showed up for the the charity roller disco.  The scene is remembered for both the quality of the stars (Melissa Sue Anderson and Nancy Kulp!) and the excited announcer who spent the entire benefit shouting out names.

Behold, the 70s:

Previous Moments In Television History:

  1. Planet of the Apes The TV Series
  2. Lonely Water
  3. Ghostwatch Traumatizes The UK
  4. Frasier Meets The Candidate
  5. The Autons Terrify The UK
  6. Freedom’s Last Stand
  7. Bing Crosby and David Bowie Share A Duet
  8. Apaches Traumatizes the UK
  9. Doctor Who Begins Its 100th Serial
  10. First Night 2013 With Jamie Kennedy
  11. Elvis Sings With Sinatra
  12. NBC Airs Their First Football Game
  13. The A-Team Premieres
  14. The Birth of Dr. Johnny Fever
  15. The Second NFL Pro Bowl Is Broadcast
  16. Maude Flanders Gets Hit By A T-Shirt Cannon
  17. Charles Rocket Nearly Ends SNL
  18. Frank Sinatra Wins An Oscar

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/15/22 — 5/21/22


We’ve been up at Lake Texoma for most of this week and, because I’m supposed to be relaxing, I didn’t take my usual detailed notes about what I watched this week so I apologize if this latest recap seems a bit …. well, skimpy.  Trust me, though, I needed the break and the chance to recharge.

Anyway, here’s what I remember about what I watched this week:

A Very British Scandal (Prime)

This three-episode miniseries told the true story of the scandalous divorce of two aristocrats, who were played by Paul Bettany and Claire Foy.  It was all enjoyably sordid and neither one of the two characters were likable enough for you to feel bad about their lives getting turned upside down.  If you’re into melodrama with a British accent, you should enjoy A Very British Scandal.  If nothing else, the clothes and the furniture were to die for and the miniseries served as a nice reminded that having a title didn’t necessarily mean someone was rich.  Paul Bettany’s character may been a Duke but he still had to marry for money.  In fact, he had to do it three times.

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

I watched four episodes of Allo Allo on Sunday so I am happy to say that I am now caught up with the show.  Despite Michelle’s efforts, the plan to send the British airmen out of France in a hot air balloon fizzled.  A few episodes later, she decided to disguise the airmen as monks so that they could sneak past the Germans and board a secret flight to Germany.  However, Rene decided to hop on the plane himself.  He was hoping to escape with Yvette, just to find that Edith had misinterpreted his plans and …. well, look, I can’t really explain it all.  What’s important is that  Rene and Edith are now flying to the UK.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

The finale of this odd but intriguing season finally allowed Zazie Beetz a chance to shine as we discovered what Val has been doing in Europe while everything else has been going on.  Come for the biting social commentary and surreal satire, stay for the Alexander Skarsgard cameo!

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry blew up a house!  And then Sally dumped Barry, which she probably should have done a lot earlier.  At least Gene’s career is looking up.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Jimmy and Kim continued to plot against Howard.  The show is moving at its own deliberate pace but when you’ve got a cast this good, you can take all the time that you want.  That said, I love Patrick Fabian’s performance as Howard so I hope he’ll be around just a little bit longer.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

This vaguely silly but entertaining show came to an end this week.  Colton Underwood won this season!  Yay!  I’m just happy all the celebrities survived.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

The theme of last Sunday’s Brady Bunch bloc was that Jan sucks.  First, Jan thought she won an essay contest, just to discover that a mistake has been made while tabulating the scores.  Then, Jan ended up stealing a bicycle because she needed glasses.  That’s the same way I got my new car, by the way.  Poor Jan!  I hear it’s not easy being the middle sister.  Fortunately, I’m the youngest Bowman sister so I’ve never had to worry about it.

Court Cam (Monday Night, A&E)

I watched one or two episodes.  If I sound unsure, it’s because all of the episodes of Court Cam tend to blend together.  Once you’ve seen one judge yelling at an incompetent lawyer, you’ve seen them all.  Still, I do have to admit that I kind of enjoy this show.  It’s always fun to watch people in authority make stupid mistakes.

Creepshow (Shudder)

On Thursday, I finally watched the first two episodes of the third season of Shudder’s horror anthology and I enjoyed both of them.  Creepshow is the show that American Horror Story pretends to be.

The Curse of Degrassi (YouTube)

I watched this old favorite on Saturday night.  Read my review here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

DJ went to the school dance but, when her date got caught drinking, Uncle Jesse blamed her!  Not surprising, DJ was pissed off.  And she should have been!  Seriously, DJ never gets to have any fun.  MeTV showed three other episodes, none of which I really remember.

The Last Drive-In (Friday Night, Shudder)

What better way to watch Nosferatu than with Joe Bob Briggs?  Technically, I do think that Joe Bob goes on for a bit too long during his host segments but I really don’t mind.  Joe Bob may pretend to be a redneck who tells dad jokes but, as he showed while discussing the career of Werner Herzog, he truly loves cinema and, even more importantly, he knows his stuff.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

When an off-duty cop is killed, Nolan Price has to deal with pressure from both the NYPD and community as he prosecutes the defendant.  This episode was typical of the Law & Order revival — compelling but heavy-handed.  Is Sam ever going to get to do anything other than gaze adoringly at Nolan?  The fact that, after several episodes, we still know nothing about her character, her background, or her opinions is a bit annoying.  The episode ended with the defendant acquitted on one count and convicted on another and the entire city still angry.  It was all appropriately bleak.  Also, Mariska Hargitay made a cameo appearance and basically came across like she couldn’t wait to get back to SVU.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Gopher taught everyone on the boat how to perform CPR.  Good going, Gopher!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

This week’s episode of We Own This City dealt with the Freddie Gray uprising.  It made for compelling viewing and Jon Bernthal and Josh Charles continued to give good performances as two men who epitomized everything that people dislike about cops.  Still, I wish the timeline was a bit less jumbled and the scenes with the Justice Department investigators continue to be a bit of a slog.  Overall, though, this is a worthwhile show.  Just don’t watch it with the expectation that it’s going to be the second coming of The Wire.

Scenes I Love: Berkman Goes Boom from Barry


Today’s scene that I love is a fairly recent one.  

On Sunday’s episode of HBO’s Barry, hitman-turned-actor Barry Berkman (played by Bill Hader) accepted a contract to blow up a house and the Bolivian gangsters within.  He was given a bomb which had been purchased on the Dark Web and which, unfortunately, had been programmed to continually repeat a phrase in Japanese.  He was also given the Detonator App (developed by KABOOM), which would allow him to remotely detonate the bomb.

The only problem is that the app didn’t seem to be working and as Barry tried to figure out why, some of the gangsters heard the bomb “speaking” underneath the house.  Meanwhile, Fernando — who was not supposed to be in the house when the bomb went off — showed up to talk to his father-in-law.  While Fernando discovered that his own secrets were no longer secret, Barry wondered if he would even be able to get the bomb to go off.

Customer service to the rescue!

As I said, I saw this scene on Sunday and, as Monday comes to a close, I’m still laughing about it.  It almost makes me want to get a job at Kaboom.  This is a wonderfully executed and detailed scene and one of the best that I’ve seen so far this year.

“Alright, sounds like we were successful….”

 

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 5/8/22 — 5/14/22


Let’s get to it.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Atlanta has been pretty evenly split, this season, between “anthology” episodes and the episodes that follow Earn and Al in Europe.  It’s an interesting format but, as I watched this week’s anthology episode, I really found myself thinking about much more interested I am in what’s going on in Europe.  This week’s episode was filmed in gorgeous black-and-white but the story of a biracial teen passing as white was nowhere near as interesting as what happened to Al in Amsterdam last week.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

This week, Barry attempted to make things up to Gene by getting him a role on a plausibly terrible television show.  Unfortunately, for Barry, it turned out that Gene isn’t just going to forget about Barry murdering his girlfriend in return for a role.  Meanwhile, Sally was forced to take part in a series of vacuous interviews in order to promote her new television series.  Everyone wants to know: “Who should be the next Spider-Man?”

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

This week, we got to see what Saul’s office was like before he redecorated it.  It was kind of a slow episode.  Better Call Saul is always watchable because of the performers but its status as a prequel also means that there’s a certain lack of suspense as to what’s going to happen to everyone.  Still, this week’s episode was worth it for the boxing scene.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The remaining celebrities continued to try to survive living in the jungle.  Jodie Sweetin finally ran the bell and removed herself from the show, just leaving a bunch of former pro athletes to continue the competition.  I don’t blame her.  Jodie lasted longer than I would have.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I don’t remember anything that happened during last Sunday’s Brady Bunch episodes so I guess I should count myself lucky.

Candy (Hulu)

I reviewed Hulu’s latest true crime miniseries here!

Dynasty (Friday Night, The CW)

Having missed most of the latest season, I finally got caught up on Dynasty this week and I was reminded of why I enjoy this wonderfully over-the-top and self-aware show.  Unfortunately, no sooner was I caught up than the CW announced that they were canceling the show.  Booooo!

Fantasy Island (Hulu)

Several months after watching the pilot, I finally watched the rest of Fantasy Island’s 1st season this week.  It’s an extremely silly but fun show.  Roselyn Sanchez plays her role with just the right mix of gravitas and mockery.  The show’s a bit heavy-handed at times but I think that’s to be expected.  The island looks lovely and the fantasies themselves are ultimately harmless and good-natured and that’s all the really matters.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

If I remember correctly, Jesse was worried that he was losing his cool and Joey said, “Cut it out.”

Ghosts (Paramount Plus)

I finished binging the first season of Ghosts on Monday and Tuesday.  What a sweet show!  I’m kind of amazed that it took me so long to give this show a chance.  I’ll be curious to see what happens with the second season.  Hopefully, the show can keep up its momentum.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

“This story is fictional….”

Yeah, whatever.  This week’s episode started out as an homage to Inventing Anna and then it ended as an homage to Dopesick.  Price decided to make a deal with a murderer so that he could then prosecute the owner of a pharmaceutical company.  It was all because Price’s brother died of a drug overdose.  To be honest, Price didn’t really make his case and he should have been fired for wasting tax payer money on a personal crusade.  But the jury disagreed.  It may sound like I’m trashing this episode but it was actually pretty well-acted and I actually appreciated that it totally turned into a different story during the second half.  That said, I don’t think the Law & Order revival will ever be known for having a particularly nuanced political outlook.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Vicki discovered that one of the passengers was hooked on speed.  Luckily, everything worked out in the end.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I reviewed the latest twist-filled episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

It was a pretty boring episode this week.  The cast is convincing and Baltimore continues to be a fascinating portrait of the American Dream gone bad but David Simon doesn’t really seem to have much to say, beyond pointing out that cops are bad and federal investigators are underfunded.