Lisa’s Week In Television: 7/25/21 — 7/31/21


My viewing this week was pretty much dominated by Big Brother and the Olympics.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, BBC)

This week brought us yet another bizarre episode, this one featuring Herr Flick dressing up as a gypsy to uncover a plot to kill Hitler while Rene dressed up as a fireman to steal the plans to invade Great Britain. Trying to keep track of it all proved a bit difficult but at least Crabtree was there wish everyone a “Good Moaning.”

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

The men tell all! The Men (or Women) Tell All is one of the franchise’s greatest traditions, a chance for the rejected to have their say before the finale. Often, it’s a highlight of this season. This year, without Chris Harrison or a similarly experienced host around to guide the conversation, it was pretty dull.

The main things that I learned from watching the men tell all is that 1) none of the men were that interesting this season and 2) The Bachelorette needs to hire a real host to replace Chris Harrison because neither Tayshia nor Kaitlyn have proven themselves to be up to the job. Their inexperience when it comes to interviewing people was obvious during this week’s episode. Whenever any of the men said anything that was the slightest bit unexpected, Tayshia and Kaitlyn just giggled and then move on to the next topic, without asking any follow-up questions. It reminded me of those terrible reunion episodes that used to end every season of Dance Moms. When The Bachelorette is remind me more of a low-budget Lifetime show than America’s number one dating show, that’s a problem.

Big Brother (All Week, CBS and Paramount Plus)

You can read my thoughts on Big Brother at the Big Brother Blog!

Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)

On Monday morning, Dragnet got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated a man who was pretending to be a policeman and a fireman. Though the man was doing good deeds, it was still a crime and he still got sentenced to probation. This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon searched for an aspiring starlet who had gotten caught up in the world of …. smutty films! It turns out that the only thing that Friday and Gannon disliked more than marijuana advocates was the adult film business. Unfortunately, it all ended in tragedy.

Tuesday started off with a rather silly episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated two rival gypsy families. One of the families offered Friday a bribe. Oh, that was a mistake! This was followed by a far more dramatic and effective episode, in which Friday and Gannon investigated a case of child abuse. It was an angry episode about an important subject and, for once, Friday’s moralistic outlook felt appropriate as opposed to out-of-touch.

The first of Wednesday’s episodes found Gannon and Friday interrogating a mob associate on a rainy night. The entire episode was just the interrogation and it was actually handled pretty well. Though the 60s Dragnet was best known for its scenes of Friday lecturing hippies, the best episodes were the ones where Friday and Gannon just did police work and avoided commenting on current events. This was followed by an episode where Friday and Gannon attempted to find a man who had threatened to commit suicide. Again, this was a well-handled episode, one that was sympathetic to those who struggle with depression and anxiety.

Thursday, on the other hand, got started with an episode that featured the type of thing for which Dragnet is best remembered. A bunch of smug hippie teenagers wanted to start their own island nation and they were robbing Los Angeles stores in order to get the supplies to do so. Fortunately, Gannon and Friday were on-hand to lecture them about their civic duty and their lack of practical camping experience before sending them all to juvenile hall. This was followed by an episode in which Friday interviewed police academy applicants and then he and Gannon investigated one applicant’s background, mainly to discover why he had gotten a divorce …. wait, what? It should be noted, though, that investigating the divorce did lead to the discovery of evidence that the applicant should be not be allowed the enter the police academy. Anyway, this was one of those Dragnet episodes were the emphasis was meant to be on how professional the LAPD was. Not everyone can join the department, the episode said, especially not divorced people.

The first of Friday’s episodes featured Joe and Gannon investigating a case of embezzlement. It turned out that the embezzler had a gambling problem! Joe and Gannon were not sympathetic. Such are the wages of greed, I guess. This was followed by an episode with Joe attempted to teach patrol officers about the importance of maintaining good community relationships, even with people who don’t like the LAPD. On the one hand, the show made a good point by directly addressing the fact that cops need to treat all people fairly. On the other hand, a large part of the episode centered around a young black activist learning that the cops weren’t so bad after all. In other words, this episode was the epitome of the type of well-intentioned, middle-of-the-road storytelling that tends to drive activists on both sides of an issue crazy. Still, everything worked out in the end. The activist agreed to pay a traffic fine and the cops agreed not to charge him with resisting arrest.

And that was it for this week!

Moone Boy (PBS, Sunday Night)

As the Moones somewhat reluctantly prepare for Fidelma’s wedding, the peace in Boyle is upset by the arrival of Travelers. The Travelers don’t really do much but, because they’re Travelers, everyone gets a bit paranoid about them, regardless. Martin, of course, develops a crush on one of them. Meanwhile, Dessie asks the priest to be his best man, which leads to “Stag Mass.” It was a funny, if somewhat messy, episode.

Open All Hours (PBS, Sunday Night)

Arkwright and Granville got a van, one with a mattress in back, so that they could pick up hitchhikers. It was a disturbing episode. It’s always been pretty obvious that Granville is one step away from losing it and going on a rampage but this week’s episode suggested that Arkwright might be a bit on the unstable side as well.

Tokyo Olympics (All week, Every Chanel)

On Sunday morning, I watched Spain defeat Serbia in water polo! Because I’m rooting for Spain, I was happy to see the win but water polo still seems like an amazingly silly sport. I then watched a bit of the handball match between Norway and South Korea. Who knew handball could be so intense!? After the handball, I surprised myself even further by getting totally caught up in fencing. I think the reason I liked the fencing is because the uniforms made all of the competitors look like characters from The Purge. That said, I definitely cheered a bit when Lee Kiefer won the gold!

While I didn’t get a chance to watch much of the Olympics on Monday, I made up for that on Tuesday morning by tuning in and watching Japan defeat the United States at softball. And I have to admit that it didn’t really bother me, watching the U.S. lose this event. Japan is hosting the Olympics this year. Softball is reportedly a big sport in Japan and, indeed, one reason why softball was an Olympic event this year was because Tokyo already had a softball field. Japan winning the Gold just felt appropriate. After I watched the softball medal ceremony, I found out about Simone Biles withdrawing from the Games. As I said on twitter at the time, “mental issues” can mean any number of things so instead of judging, the proper response from the beginning was to wish Simone the best for whatever she may be dealing with. Of course, most people did the exact opposite and this week has pretty much been dominated by people offering up terrible takes on Simone Biles, the Olympics, and the pressures of competition.

The over-the-top reaction to the Simone Biles news temporarily turned me off of the Olympics so I didn’t watch on Wednesday. However, I returned on Thursday. I watched the U.S. vs. Turkey in Women’s Volleyball and I have to admit that I soon found myself rooting for Turkey, whose team had more natural talent than the American team. That the American team still won felt like it had more to do with luck than anything else. After the indoor volleyball, it was time for Women’s Beach Volleyball, which featured Canada vs. Brazil. I have to admit that, ever since I finally watched Top Gun last year, it’s been impossible for me to take Beach Volleyball seriously. Jeff and I also watched a bit of Olympic golf.

On Friday night, it was time for more running, more swimming, and more medals! There was also some women’s soccer which …. bleh. I really hope we don’t win the gold this year. I’m sick of being expected to care about soccer.

Saturday, I watched a bit of volleyball and a bit of boxing and a little basketball. I have to admit that basetball has never appealed to me so I ended up watching golf instead. I never though it would happen but golf is winning me over. It’s such a refined and, most importantly, quite sport. No squeaky shoes or yelling, just the sound of golf swings and polite applause.

2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open (Golf Channel, Sunday Afternoon)

I also like watching golf because I like seeing what all of the courses look like. They’re all very nice and green.

Upstart Crow (PBS, Sunday Night)

Shakespeare and the crew (including the “Artist Formerly Known as Marlowe”) tire of the London fog and head up to Stratford. With everyone getting sick of being stuck indoors together, Shakespeare is inspired to write a romantic comedy. When his wife informs him that his idea for the play (featuring mistaken identities and, of course, a wedding at the end) all sounds like “much ado about nothing,” Shakespeare informs her that he’ll soon have another hit on his hands. Yay, Shakespeare!

Lisa’s Week In Television: 7/18/21 — 7/24/21


The Olympics are here! I know what I’m going to be watching for the next two weeks.

Seriously, don’t ask me to explain it. I just get excited about the Olympics. Admittedly, I do usually prefer the winter games to the summer games but still, I’m just glad that the Olympics are finally being held. This is the year that I discovered that badminton is an Olympics sport and I have to admit that I’m kind of upset that I didn’t know that earlier. My sisters and I used to play badminton all the time. WE COULD HAVE GONE TO THE OLYMPICS!

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

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

“I have the spy camera! It is disguised as a potato!”

Allo Allo opened with Rene escapes from the Colonel’s dungeon and then being sent on a mission to take photographs of a safe. As usual, it was overly complicated and funny. I think what I like about this show is that some of the humor is very complex and very clever and then an equal amount of the humor just comes from silly things like Crabtree and his greeting of “Good moaning,” regardless of the time of day. It’s a mix of sophistication and stupdity and it’s a good combination.

The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Night)

And now we’re down to four! The highlight this week was Katie sending Andrew home, then changing her mind and asking him to stay, just for Andrew to turn her down. And that’s why Andrew will probably be the next Bachelor.

Big Brother 23 (CBS and Paramount Plus, 24/7)

You can read my thoughts on the show that everyone love to hate over at the Big Brother Blog.

Court Cam (A&E, Wednesday Night)

More courtroom drama! I complain about this show, some would say nonstop. And yet, it is addictive. Or, at the very least, it makes for good background noise. It’s one of those shows that you don’t really have to pay too much attention to. Each 30 minutes episode is full of so many little stories that it’s basically tailor-made for people with ADD like me. That said, I still stand by my claim that this show is a sign of the decline of civilization in general. We live in dangerous times. Or actually, I guess we just live in increasingly stupid times. Dangerous is such a dramatic word.

Dragnet (MeTV, weekday mornings)

Monday’s two-episode block of Dragnet 1968 started with an episode in which an ex-con called the police to let them know that someone had solicited him to commit a murder. The solicitation happened as a result of an ad that the ex-con put in a “hippy newspaper.” Joe Friday went undercover as the ex-con to catch the killer. Somehow, he was able to do this despite the fact that there is absolutely nothing about Joe Friday that suggests that he would even know what a hippy newspaper was, let alone put an ad in one. Episodes of Dragnet where Friday goes undercover are some of my absolute favorites because it’s not like Friday puts any effort into changing his behavior or his style of speaking. He just takes off his tie! He’s still obviously a cop, no matter what he claims. This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated the murder of a real estate agent. Interestingly enough, for a show from 1968, the victim and all of the suspects were black but no mention of race was made during the episode. Instead, the emphasis was on Friday and Gannon treating everyone exactly the same as they treated white suspects. I imagine that was a deliberate decision on the part of the producers, as Dragnet always went out of its way to present the LAPD in the best light possible.

Tuesday started with a somewhat silly episode about a gang of dogs that had been trained to snatch purses. For those who love campy Dragnet, the highlight of the episode was Friday and Gannon interviewing a victim who was also a hippie and who carried a gigantic flower with her and who explained that she “like(d) the fuzz because you’re all flowers too.” This was followed by an episode where Friday and Gannon once again went undercover, this time to bust a con artist who was responsible for a pyramid scheme. Uniquely, this episode ended with a lengthy and rather dull courtroom scene.

Wednesday started off with Friday and Gannon pursuing another set of con artists. This time the con involved impersonating police officers and selling people cards that were said to extend special privileges. Soon, Los Angeles was full of swindled people tearing up traffic tickets. Fortunately, the LAPD were able to get the fake cops off the streets and once again, Friday and Gannon took of their ties and went undercover to make the arrest. One of the con artists was played by G.D. Spradlin, who would later go on to memorably play Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather, Part II. This was followed by an episode where Friday and Gannon investigated whether a patrolman had taken a bribe. As usual, the emphasis was put on the police force doing things by the book.

Thursday stated off with a Christmas episode, in which Friday and Gannon worked hard to recover a stolen statue of Jesus. This is actually a classic episode, one that is aired by the retro stations every Christmas season. The statue was recovered and no one went to jail. This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon searched for a drug smuggler whose plane had crashed in the San Fernando Valley. Many people went to jail at the end of that episode.

Finally, Friday’s episodes started off with Joe and Gannon investigating the disappearance of two little girls. It turned out the parents of the girls were divorced, which led to Joe giving their mother a lot of attitude, as if it was solely her fault that her daughters were missing. And indeed, the show ended with the girls being recovered safely (it turned out that they had just run off to see their old dog) and a hearing in which the father was given “reasonable visitation rights.” It was an awkward episode that didn’t really sit well with me. Fortunately, it was followed by a much more enjoyable episode, in which Joe and Gannon investigated a cult leader who was giving his followers LSD. It was Joe Friday vs. the counter culture! Brother William, who thought everyone should embrace LSD, was well-played by a distinguished actor named Liam Sullivan. For 20 minutes or so, Brother William and Joe Friday debated whether or not drugs should be legal. “How many times have you taken LSD?” Friday demanded. “Several hundred times!” Brother William exclaimed, “and look at me! I’m as sane as you are!” In the end, no one learned anything but Brother William did eventually got to prison.

Fasten Your Seat Belts (A&E, Wednesday Night)

Hey, who doesn’t love chaos at airports and on airplanes, right?

Actually, hold on. Both of those things would totally make me and a lot of other people nervous. The last place most of us would ever want to be would be on an airplane where someone is losing it during mid-flight.

Regardless, Fasten Your Seat Belts is a the new, ultra-cheap reality show that features footage of people acting up on airplane and in airports. It’s basically like watching YouTube for 30 minutes, except for the fact that Robert Hays (star of the Airplane! films) is the host. I guess if you’re into YouTube videos of people acting like jackasses and inconveniencing their fellow travelers, this show might be for you.

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, Monday Night)

For me, the funniest part of any Gordon Ramsay show, from Hell’s Kitchen to Kitchen Knightmares to that motel hell show, is when everyone sits around and talks about how attractive they find Chef Ramsay to be. It happens at least once every season. This week’s episode of Hell’s Kitchen featured Chef Ramsay talking to all the chefs one-and-one and then all of the chefs talking amongst themselves about how sexy they found Chef Ramsay to be. Eventually, Keona was sent home but Ramsay told her to keep her head up high and to keep growing as a chef and, the show seemed to be saying, who couldn’t appreciate those words coming from someone as amazingly handsome as Gordon Ramsay?

Hunter (ZLiving, Weekday Mornings)

Hunter is an extremely 80s cop show about a 7 foot detective named Hunter who shoots criminals in Los Angeles. His partner is Dee Dee McCall, who is just as quick to shoot as Hunter is. This is one of those shows that always appears to be playing on at least one retro station. I’d never actually watched a full episode until Monday morning, when I used two of them for background noise. The show looked fun in a silly 80s cop show sort of way — a lot of tough talk, car chases, and gunplay. At one point, Hunter casually tossed a man off a roof and then said, “Works for me.” That pretty much sums up the show.

Moone Boy (PBS, Sunday Night)

Martin wanted the latest game system but his father couldn’t afford it and was sure that “this whole computer thing is just a fad.” (Remember, Moone Boy takes place in the early 90s.) To raise the money himself, Martin got a job as a “golf ball hunter” at the local country club. Eventually, Martin got struck in the head by an errant golf ball and his imaginary friend, Sean, was briefly transformed into a 1920s style golf pro. Meanwhile, Martin’s father reached into the past and remembered his time as a table tennis champ to win his son’s respect. It was a sweet and funny episode, as most episodes of Moone Boy tend to be.

Open All Hours (PBS, Sunday Night)

Apparently, PBS has re-started Open All Hours, showing the very first episode this week. Arkwright looked about the same but Granville was obviously much younger this week than he was last week. That said, even at a young age, he still seemed like he had been utterly defeated by life. Poor Granville. No wonder he’s always trying to figure out a way to kill Arkwright.

Perry Mason (MeTV, Weekday Mornings)

I was back at the office on Monday and I needed a little background noise while getting my desk organized so I turned on MeTV and I watched an episode of the old, 1950s Perry Mason. This was the one with Raymond Burr as Perry. Unfortunately, because I was working and organizing while the show was on, I couldn’t pay much attention to it but I did see that Perry did manage to not only win an acquittal for his client but he also exposed the real murderer, who just happened to be sitting in the courtroom when Mason announced his name! He confessed and everything! Yay!

Rachael Ray (Channel 21, Weekday Mornings)

On Monday, I turned over to Rachael Ray for background noise while I was at work. She discussed how to make the perfect hot dog. It all looked very complicated but I will say that, if I was one to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I would probably totally trust Rachael. She seems to know what she’s talking about.

Silk Stalkings (ZLiving, Weekday Afternoons)

This is a cop show from the 90s, an exercise in pure style that followed two beautiful cops as they arrested beautiful (and often half-naked) people for committing ugly crimes in Florida. On Monday, I watched two episodes. The first one was about killer frat boys and somewhat inevitably featured William McNamara as one of the bad guys. The second featured an investigation of murder among the rich, famous, and unclothed. It was a fun, largely because nearly everyone in it was oversexed and naked for the majority of the episode.

Tokyo Olympics (NBCSN, Saturday Afternoon)

I watched badminton and a bit of beach volleyball. I noticed that professional badminton moves a bit more quickly than what I’m used to. Still, I think if I had made the Olympic team, I could have adjusted at brought home the bronze.

Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremonies (NBC, Friday Morning and Night)

I caught the final half of Friday’s opening ceremony during the morning broadcast and the first half when NBC reshowed it later that night. I can’t help it — I love the Olympics, though I prefer the winter games to the summer games. I was really upset when they were cancelled last year so I’m glad to see them back this year. As for who I’m rooting for — my father’s side of the family is Irish, my maternal grandmother was born in Spain, and one set of great-great grandparents came to this country from Italy. And my best friend was born in Israel. So, I’m cheering for Ireland, Israel, Italy, Spain, and maybe the United States. I don’t know. The U.S. has been getting on my nerves lately.

Upstart Crow (PBS, Sunday Night)

While trying to write a new comedy called The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare struggles to come up with a big issue that could set the play apart from other plays. Christopher Marlowe, who is sleeping on Shakespeare’s couch after having faked his own death, is of no help. Things start to look up when the intense actor Wolf Hall joins the theater (“I’m a member of the Wolf Pack!” Kate exclaims) but the ever sneaky Robert Greene plots to ruin Shakespeare’s new play by tricking Wolf into making an ill-thought political statement. This was another funny episode, featuring a great turn by Ben Miller as Wolf Hall.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 7/11/21 — 7/17/21


Twonky

Another week, another collection of television shows!  Here’s what I watched this week.  As you may notice, there’s not a lot.  This week turned out to be an unexpectedly busy one.  Perhaps next week I’ll finally be able to get caught up with everything.  Here’s hoping!

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Alllo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

At this point, I’m not even sure that I remember why Herr Flick was chained up in that dungeon but the Resistance and a reluctant Rene got him out of there on this week’s episode.  Meanwhile, Officer Crabtree was still incapable of mastering the French language and the English airmen were still hiding in barrels and responding to everything by saying, “Jolly good show, old boy.”

Upon doing some research, I discovered this week’s episode was actually the first episode of the show’s 5th season.  Because there was apparently some interest from American broadcasters about perhaps bringing the show to the U.S. or doing an American version of it, the 5h season had 26 episodes and were designed so that commercial breaks could be inserted, just in case the show ever did appear on an American network.  As such, much of this week’s episode was designed to fill potentially new viewers in on who everyone was and how they were related to each other.  Needles to say, it was all a bit frantic but still funny.

bachelorette 2021

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

This week, Katie challenged the men to see who could go the longest without masturbating.  I’m not sure how that’s supposed to help her find a husband or how that goes along with the whole idea that Katie is supposed to be the sex positive bachelorette who is going to help this franchise get with the modern era.  It was all pretty dumb.

Anyway, this week, Katie declared for the 100th time that she doesn’t have any interest in any drama and then she dramatically sent Hunter home.

Big Brotehr 23

Big Brother 23 (Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, CBS)

I’ve watched every season of this show and I’ve achieved every writer’s dream of getting paid to write about and yet, it’s something that I rarely brag about.  You can read my current thoughts about the show and the live feeds over at Big Brother Blog.

Dragnet

Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)

I forgot to see the DVR to record the two episodes that aired on Monday morning.  It happens and since Dragnet wasn’t a serialized show, missing two episodes doesn’t make it any more or any less difficult to follow the rest of the series.

I did remember to set the DVR for the rest of the week, however.  Tuesday got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon dealt with a teenage genius who had a rebellious and homicidal streak.  Despite getting a warning after throwing a beaker of acid at a jock, he later decided to hold an entire party hostage with a grenade!  Friday and Gannon agreed that it was all the fault of parents who don’t teach their kids to respect authority.  While it was easy to roll my eyes at some of the more didactic parts of the episode, it was interesting to see how this 1968 show foreshadowed many of the subsequent school shootings that would follow.  As well, the episode ended with a Spaghetti western-style stand-off between Gannon, Friday, and Grenade Boy, which was actually pretty well executed.  This was followed by an episode in which Friday shot and killed a man robbing a store and was subsequently subjected to an investigation by the police’s “shooting board.”  As with many early episodes of Dragnet, the emphasis was on the process.  As someone who has seen her share of cop shows, it’s weird to see something Dragnet where everyone brags about how they go “by the book.”  There’s no room for any renegades on this show!

Wednesday featured Friday and Gannon going undercover to catch a couple of hotel con artists who were pretending to be cops.  I love episodes where Friday and Gannon go undercover because it’s not like either one of them ever makes much of an effort to change their behavior or appearance.  They don’t take off or even loosen their ties.  They still sound, look like, talk like, and act like cops,  But, because all of the criminals in L.A. in 1968 were apparently really stupid, no one ever notices.  This was followed by an episode about a bank robber whose M.O. was to abduct innocent women and force them to help him carry out his crimes.  At the end of the episode, he attempted to abduct a karate instructor and Friday and Gannon pulled up just in time to see her kicking his ass.  Yay!

The first of Thursday’s episodes opened with Gannon telling Friday that “there’s a football game on the old tube,” and that Friday was welcome to come over and watch it.  Friday agreed but, once they arrived at Gannon’s place, it turned out that Gannon’s neighbors were just as annoying as any everyday criminal.  The main lesson here seemed to be that Friday and Gannon acted exactly the same off-duty as they did on-duty and that Friday was just as stiff and formal at home as in the office.  This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon attempted to track down a sergeant who, as a result of burn-out and general depression, had developed a drinking problem.  Friday and Gannon help him see the errors of his way, largely by telling him to drop the self-pity act.

Finally, Friday started out with an episode in which Joe and Gannon arrested a veteran burglar named Charles Smith.  Charles Smith was a courtly senior citizen but he still had to go to jail.  He didn’t seem to mind, however.  It was all a part of the job.  The second episode featured Joe and Gannon fighting the evils of …. you guessed it …. MARIJUANA!  These are the type of episodes that Dragnet is known for, the episodes where a grim-faced Joe debated long-haired draft dodgers who thought smoking marijuana and otherwise breaking the law was no big deal.  And it’s true that this episode — called The Big High — had its share of campy moments.  Just hearing Joe explain that “dealers say smoking marijuana is like heaven but the users discover its Hell,” was enough to make me laugh out loud.  It was also hard not to laugh at the scene where a clueless, pot-loving suburbanite told Joe and Gannon that, “Once the young people cut their hair, put on a suit, and start voting, marijuana will be legal!,” just for Gannon to confidently reply, “I don’t think so.”  The show ended with that suburbanite’s toddler drowning in a bathtub because her stoned parents forgot about her, a scene that perhaps would have been more effective if not for the total overacting of the actor playing the stoned father.  It was all pretty melodramatic but, to be fair, it was also rather sincere.  As opposed to something like Reefer Madness, you got the feeling that Dragnet actually did believe in what it was saying, even if the show was totally clueless about the effects of drugs or the lifestyle of anyone under the age of 50.  The final shot, of Jack Webb’s Joe Friday crushing a baggie of weed in his hands was handled well, even if the show’s insistence on solely blaming marijuana seemed to kind of let the dumbass parents off the hook.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, Fox)

Poor Kevin!  As hard as he tried, he just couldn’t get it together during service and Chef Ramsay kicked him out of the kitchen and off the show before the final order was even served.  I imagine the same thing would happen to me if I was ever on Hell’s Kitchen.  I’d probably survive a few nights based on my charm but eventually, I’d get kicked out during the middle of an episode.  I would cry and cry, too.  It’s probably a good thing that I’ve never been on the show.

intervention

Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)

Elann had a drinking problem but then she faced an intervention and got help.  As the show came to an end, she talked about how much better she was feeling about life.  Then a title card appeared that informed us that, after getting sober, Elann still struggled with depressing and took her own life in 2019.  It was heart-breaking and a reminder that getting sober is important but it’s not a magic cure-all.

Elann’s episode was followed by one featuring Caitlin, who was addicted to crack cocaine. “Crack is my boyfriend,” she said.  This episode was hard for me to watch because I’ve known many people like Caitlin, who was obviously very intelligent but also very defensive and angry.  Unfortunately, Caitlin relapsed after getting treatment and, at the show’s end, was described as “living on the streets.”

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Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

On a special Halloween episode of Moone Boy, Martin and Padraic built a raft, which they planned to sail into town so that they could “freak everyone out.”  Needless to say, the river did not cooperate and they instead ended up on an island with a castle and an eccentric caretaker.  Meanwhile, Martin’s mother defended the right of her daughter to be a reader at Mass despite being pregnant and unmarried.  She also impressed the priest with her knowledge of Simon and Garfunkel trivia.  It was a good episode.

The Office

The Office (All The Time, Comedy Central)

On Tuesday night, I watched several episodes from season 6.  Admittedly, season 6 is not my favorite season, as it featured the terrible storyline where Jim was co-manager and a lot of nonsense about Sabre.  Season 6 was when The Office started to get noticeably cartoonish.  That said, a cartoonish Office is still better than a lot of other sitcoms out there and it was nice to rewatch Jim and Pam’s wedding.

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Open All Hours (PBS, Sunday Night)

This week, I decided to pay attention the plot as opposed to just focusing on Granville’s quickly decaying sanity.  Apparently, Arkwright — a man in his 60s — had never seen his girlfriend’s bedroom and he decided that the best way to fix that would be to fake a burglary.  Granville went along with the plan, presumably because it was either do that or continue to fantasize about murdering the entire town.

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Seinfeld (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched two episodes on Tuesday night, one of which featured Jerry indirectly getting Babu deported and the second of which was the classic Festivus episode.  I preferred the second episode.

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Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Ever since I first started watching Upstart Crow, I wondered how this comedy would deal with the tragic death of Christopher Marlowe, who is portrayed on the show as being Shakespeare’s free-loading, hedonistic best friend.  This week, I discovered that handled it by having Marlowe fake his own death.  Yay!  Marlowe lives!  As well, as Kate pointed out, with Marlowe believed dead, that meant no one would ever try to promote any weird theories about Marlowe secretly writing all of Shakespeare’s plays.  If only Kate were right!

(Seriously, the Shakespeare-Didn’t-Write-His-Plays people are the worst.  And no, I don’t care what Derek Jacobi has to say on the matter.)

The other major development this week was that Shakespeare wrote out the outline for a play to be called Hamlet.  However, when he tried to explain the plot to his colleagues, they all assumed it was a comedy.  When they heard about Ophelia drowning in the duck pond, they asked Shakespeare if they could have a duck on stage.  Will was not amused.  And yet, as silly as this show is, it’s hard not to think that it probably does get more right than it gets wrong.  Shakespeare is such a mythic name that it’s easy to forget that he was once just a playwright trying to make a living off of his writing.  Every classic work of art started as a rough draft and was probably dismissed, out-of-hand, by people who should have known better.  Upstart Crow is a good reminder of that fact.

Twonky

Lisa’s Week In Television: 7/4/21 — 7/10/21


Twonky

This week, I mostly used the television for background noise.  Here’s some notes on what I watched:

allo-allo

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

A camera was dropped off that could save France but, unfortunately, it landed in a vineyard.  So, of course, it fell on Rene and everyone from the café to work in the vineyard to retrieve it.  I find myself relating to Michelle of the Resistance.  “I shall say this only once!”

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The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Night)

If I hadn’t already read all the spoilers about who Katie is going to end up with, I probably would have been more excited by the return of Blake.  But …. eh.  I’m ready for this season to be over.  I really need to stop reading spoilers.

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Bar Rescue (Wednesday, Paramount Network)

Jon Taffer and Mia Mastroianni were outraged to discover that a country-and-western bar was not serving fruity, beach-themed cocktails.  Mia gasped as if she had just seen the worst thing in the history of terrible things.  Taffer yelled a lot.

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Big Brother (CBS and Paramount, 24/7)

Big Brother is back!  It’s taken them 23 seasons but Big Brother finally has a season where there’s more than two people of color in the House.  It’s the most diverse cast ever but everyone is still making the same stupid mistakes that previous houseguests made in past seasons.  I’ve been writing about it over at Reality TV Chat Blog!

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Children’s Hospital (Hulu, Thursday)

I watched two episodes of this classic show on Thursday.  The first was the special “lost episode” from the 70s, in which Dr. Lola Spratt joined the staff and was immediately dismissed by everyone because she was a woman.  (“The operation has been canceled!  The patient doesn’t want to be operated on by a woman!”)  Dr. Glenn Richie also joined the staff and attempted to prove that he wasn’t a “baby killer.”  It all ended with an orgy.  The second episode I watched was the British version of Children’s Hospital, which aired on “BBC10” and featured a French mime.

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Court Cam (A&E, Wednesday)

“This defendant thinks he’s going to get away with lighting a joint in the middle of the court room but the judge ain’t having it!”  WHY DO I WATCH THIS STUPID SHOW!?  Actually, the answer to that is pretty simple.  It makes good background noise.  I may watch but I rarely pay attention.

Dragnet

Dragnet (MeTV, Weekday Mornings)

Monday’s showing of Dragnet got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon teamed up with a bunch of old women to take down two con artists who were posing as bank examiners.  It was a good and straight-forward police story and one that, despite Dragnet’s reputation, featured absolutely no crazy hippies.  The second episode featured Friday and Gannon solving the murder of a 66 year-old man.  It turned out that he was murdered by a young couple but they weren’t quite hippies as much as they were beatniks with bad attitudes.  Still, the episode was very well-done, with the audience ultimately sharing the cop’s disgust over the murder.

Both of Tuesday’s episodes were rather dry, which I guess is a polite way of saying dull.  The first one dealt with Gannon and Friday tracking down two men who had been holding up candy stores and a good deal of time was spent explaining how a lineup works.  This is one of those things that I imagine was fascinating in 1967 but today, it’s a bit less so.  The second episode featured a gang selling fake furs.  Gannon went undercover to bust them but it turned out that going undercover just meant showing up in a hotel room, lying about your profession, and then pulling out your badge a few minutes later.

Wednesday started off with Gannon and Friday being called in to investigate a jewelry theft, just to discover that it was actually insurance fraud.  It was, again, all a bit dry.  The second episode was better, with Gannon and Friday tracking down two men who shot a cop.  One of the men was played by none other than Dick Miller!  As usual, the focus was on everyone doing everything “by the book,” which was quite a contrast to the rogue cops who would later come to dominate television.  Gannon and Friday, it would appear, took quite a bit of pride in being dull.

On Thursday, Friday and Gannon worked traffic and continually arrested the same drunk driver until that driver ended up killing two innocent people and losing his legs.  Again, it was a fairly dull episode but the message was a good one because people really shouldn’t drive drunk.  This was followed by an episode in which Friday teamed up with the department’s chaplain to take down a crooked accountant.  Everyone assumed that a preacher couldn’t be a good cop but he proved them wrong, I guess.  It was a weird episode.

On Friday, Joe went on TV and gave an interview about various type of scam artists to look out for, particularly magazine subscriptions salesmen who claim to be veterans.  This was followed by a murder investigation, one that again was handled very succinctly and by-the-book.

These old episodes of Dragnet are interesting from a historical point of view.  From the an entertainment point of view, they’re kind of dull.  But I know that the show is eventually going to exclusively became about Friday and Gannon putting hippies in their place so I’ll keep watching in anticipation.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

The chefs had to cook for Chef Ramsay’s daughter’s birthday party!  Needless to say, it was pretty much a disaster.  Megan Ramsay sent back one plate of noodles because it was flavorless and I was like, “YESSSSSSSS!” because, seriously, the episode needed some more yelling.  The Red Team lost for the second service in a row.  Payton was sent home.  Boo hoo.  I liked Payton.

Love Island

Love Island (CBS, Weeknights)

Love Island is proof that someone watched Paradise Hotel and thought to themselves, “The only thing that would improve this show would be if the people involved were just a little more shallow.”  I watched two episodes, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday.  I like the snarky narrator but, honestly, I’m already watching The Bachelorette, Hell’s Kitchen, and Big Brother so I’ll probably skip out on the rest of Love Island.

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Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Martin’s starting at a new school but he’s still got his imaginary friend, Sean Murphy, at his side.  This week’s episode was sweetly humorous and had a lot of dancing.  Martin developed a crush on his art teacher, which I found amusing since I once thought I might became an art teacher, specifically so I could inspire young minds to embrace abstract thinking.  But then I realized being an art teacher would also mean having to tell children that their talent was inadequate for my class so I changed my mind.  I’m just too nice.

The Office

The Office (Comedy Central, All The Time)

I watched episodes from season 2 on Thursday, season 3 on Friday, and season 4 on Saturday.  My favorite remains Jim and Pam staying overnight at Dwight’s beet farm.

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Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright continued to steal from his customers while Granville drew plans for a bomb behind the counter.

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Parking Wars (Weekday mornings, A&E)

I watched an episode on Thursday while I was getting ready for my day.  The parking cops were all acting like martyrs because people didn’t like them.  Who knew that civil servants could be so whiny?

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Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

As Will Shakespeare struggled to write A Midsummer’s Night Dream, he told Kate and Bottom about the time he met an actual fairy named Puck.  Puck sold him the dust that he used to make Anne fall in love with him.  Kate and Bottom both felt that it sounded more likely that Puck was drug dealer.  Poor Shakespeare …. will he ever win?

Twonky

Here’s The Trailer for Marvel Studios’ What If….?


I apologize for being a few days late in sharing this. It’s been a busy week. What if …. it hadn’t been a busy week!? Well, I probably would have shared this trailer yesterday.

Anyway, What If….? is the first official animated series in the MCU. It appears to take moments from MCU history and ask, “What if…..” Like, What If Clint Had Sacrificed His Life Instead of Natasha? That’s something I’d like to see.

Here’s the trailer!

Lisa’s Week in Television: 6/27/21 — 7/3/21


Twonky

This week, my plan was to get caught up on all of the MCU shows and Mare of Easttown and all the rest.  As you’ll soon discover from looking at the list below, that didn’t happen.  But that’s okay.  By the time next week, I will be caught up on everything, just in time for the Emmy nominations.

Here’s what little I watched this week!

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Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Rene’s got a new radio but he’s got no way to power it!  He’s also got a huge amount of sausages, some of which are real and some of which hide a forged painting.  To be honest, I struggled a bit to follow the plot of this week’s episode but all of those sausages being tossed around made me laugh.

bachelorette 2021

The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Evening)

I’m just going to admit it.  I don’t like Katie Thurston.  I wanted to like Katie.  I tried really hard to like Katie.  I agree with Katie on so many things.  But this week’s Rose Ceremony-dismissal of Thomas was just too …. bleh!  Basically, Katie felt that Thomas was there for “the wrong reasons.”  She was right, as far as any of that can really be determined.  (Is anyone ever on a show like this for the right reason?)  And she felt Thomas was creating drama and being a toxic influence and again, she’s right.  But the way she sent him home was so self-righteous and overdramatic and specifically designed to be a big viral moment that it’s hard not to feel that Katie really wasn’t that much better than Thomas.  Katie’s complaint was that Thomas was treating the show like a “Bachelor audition” but Katie came across like she was auditioning for Bachelor in Paradise.

To be honest, it’s been a while since I really liked any of the bachelors or bachelorettes on this show.  I guess that’s why I never mind when things don’t work out for them after the final rose.

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Couples Court With The Culters (Channel 33, weekday morning)

I watched the case of Stoltz vs. Winning on Friday morning.  From the start, it was pretty obvious (to me, if not the judges) that Mr. Stoltz was cheating but at least Ms. Winning got to wear a really pretty green dress on TV.  After watching the show, I bought a new green dress for myself!  Anyway, Mr. Stoltz and Ms. Winning were actually a really cute couple so I hope things worked out for them.

Dragnet

Dragnet (MeTV, Weekday Mornings)

Dragnet was one of the first cop shows.  Premiering in the 50s and featuring Jack Webb as no-nonsense Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet’s episodes were based on actual cases that were investigated by the LAPD.  The 1950s Dragnet, with its semi-documentary style, is considered to be a forerunner of shows like Law & Order.

Of course, I’ve never actually seen the 50s Dragnet.  That’s because that version of Dragnet is rarely repeated, even on the retro stations.  Instead, the version of Dragnet that currently shows up on MeTV is the second version of the show, which ran from 1967 to 1970 and which featured Jack Webb stiffly lecturing hippies on why the law had to be obeyed regardless of whether or not they agreed with it.  While this version of the show wasn’t always as campy as it has since been made out to be, the show’s best-known episodes do tend to feature Friday sighing in disappointment while someone with long hair tells him that “smoking a little grass is no big deal, baby.”

I set the DVR to record Monday morning’s episode, largely to see if I might be interested in watching and reviewing Dragnet for this site.  (I’ve seen a few episodes over the years but I’ve never sat down and watched the whole series from beginning to end.)  The episode I recorded was from 1970 and it was one of the last episodes of the second version of the show.  Friday was taking a night class, one in which the idea was for the students to just talk about their differing views of the world.  When Friday noticed that one of his fellow students had a baggie of weed in his notebook, Friday arrested him.  The scandalized class then voted to kick Friday out.  Friday gave a speech about why the law had to be obeyed and he refused to apologize for arresting his classmate.  In fact, he declared, he would do it again if he had to!  Friday won over some members of the class but not enough to overturn the vote.  However, another classmate revealed that he was an attorney and that he was prepared to sue the professor on Friday’s behalf.  “Cops have constitutional rights, too!” the lawyer said.  Friday nodded in agreement as the show ended.  It was a bit of a silly episode, as any episode featuring Friday interacting with the counter culture tended to be.  (Until he made his arrest, no one suspected Friday of being a cop despite the fact that everything about him literally screamed, “Cop!”)  I especially liked the fact that the liberal professor had a Van Dyke beard and was made up to resemble a Satanic high priest.  At the same time, this episode can today be viewed as an early example of cancel culture and, in the end, it did make a good point.  Everyone has a right to an education.  That said, it really didn’t look like the student had that much weed on him and I personally probably would have been uncomfortable being in a class with Sgt. Friday.

On Wednesday, I DVR’d the first ever episode of the 60s Dragnet.  From 1967, “The LSD Story” was just what the title implied.  Friday and his partner, Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan), investigated a bunch of swinging hippie drug parties and they met a teenage dealer called Blue Boy.  Blue Boy’s wealthy parents refused to get upset over his druggie ways and, somewhat inevitably, Blue Boy ended up dead of an overdose.  On the one hand, it was definitely heavy-handed and over-the-top and the show’s insistence that marijuana would automatically lead to LSD was undeniably cringey.  But, at the same time, there was a sincerity at the heart of the episode.  My first thought was to call it the epitome of a Boomer show but Dragnet was really a Silent Generation show.  The boomers, after all, were the ones dancing in front of the lava lamp.

The first of Thursday’s episodes featured Friday and Gannon investigating a burglary of several pounds of explosives.  It turned out that it was stolen by a blonde man who wore a brown shirt and had a big Nazi flag hanging in his apartment.  The man argued that he wasn’t a Neo Nazi terrorist but seriously — this flag was right there!  The second episode featured Friday and Gannon investigating a kidnapping and who would guess that an episode about a kidnapping would be so talky?  Compared to the cop shows of today, Dragnet was very much obsessed with showing that everything iwas being doing exactly by the book and the kidnapping episode was more interested in examining how a fake ransom payment is set up than on the payment itself.  It was a bit dry but also a change of pace from what I’m used to.

The first of Friday’s episodes featured Joe Friday and Gannon interrogating a cop who was suspected of holding up a liquor store.  The cop turned out to be innocent but what was interesting about the episode was that the emphasis was put on Friday and Gannon being just as tough and suspiciously-minded with a colleague as they were with everyone else.  There was none of that “one of their own” stuff that you tend to find in more recent cop shows.  The second episode featured the hunt for a group of red-masked bandits.  It was fairly dry but it got the point across, that everyone was a professional doing the best they could to keep Los Angeles safe.

My main thought on Dragnet so far — the first season feels a bit arid, though there were a few campy moments, especially in the LSD episode.  Still, it’s interesting to see what Los Angeles looked like in the 60s and the show was definitely well-intentioned.  Jack Webb may not have been a particularly expressive actor but he brought enough sincerity to the role to keep things moving.

Hell in the Heartland

Hell In The Heatland: Where are Ashley and Lauria? (HBOMax)

I watched this four episode, 2019 docudrama on Sunday.  It was about the 1999 murders of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, two Oklahoma teenagers.  It was also about how meth is destroying certain parts of rural America.  It was disturbing stuff and made all the more tragic by the fact that, though we now know what happened to Ashley and Lauria, we still don’t know the location of their remains.  The Bibles and Freemans are still waiting for their chance to give Lauria and Ashley a proper burial.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, Fox)

The Red Team finally had to face an elimination.  Morganna was sent home.  I have to admit that I didn’t realize Morganna was on the show until she was kicked off, which probably explains a lot as to why she was eliminated.

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Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court (Weekday Mornings, Channel 33)

I watched two episodes on Friday morning because I was too lazy to change the channel. My favorite thing about this show is how, at the start of each episode, Judge Lake snaps, “Good day, everyone!” at the courtroom and the courtroom replies with the most desultory “good day,” imaginable.

Love Boat

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

This week’s episode was the second part of the story that was started last week.  The Love Boat crew was in Australia, for their cruise director, Julie’s, wedding.  Meanwhile, the missing link was being held prisoner in a cage by Jose Ferrer.  Yes, it was weird.  Anyway, it turned out that the missing link was a fake who had been hired to swindle the gullible and Julie did not get married because the groom fled the church.  Later, he sent Julie a letter that explain that he was …. wait for it …. DYING!  Julie broke down into tears and the episode came to an end.

I mean, my God — who knew The Love Boat was so traumatic!?

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Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Everyone was totally caught up in football (or soccer or whatever you want to call it)!  Even though the show was shot in 2013 and set in the 90s, it still felt incredibly relevant to today.

The Office

The Office (Sunday, Comedy Central)

Sunday morning, I watched as Michael Scott quit his job, started his own paper company, and then successfully sold it, largely due to David Wallace really not being a very good CEO.  In retrospect, I think The Michael Scott Paper Company was probably the highpoint of The Office’s post-season 3 run.  The scene of Michael calling Prince Family Paper just to discover that he had helped to drive them out of business is horrifying, funny, and depressing, all at the same time!

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Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville is getting closer and closer to snapping.  Arkwright has no idea.

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Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Finally!  Will finished Romeo and Juliet and Kate achieved her dream of appearing on stage, despite the fact that it was illegal for her to do so.  It was a sweet ending to the 2nd series of Upstart Crow and it almost makes up for the lack of Yes, Prime Minister on PBS’s current schedule.

Twonky

Lisa’s Week In Television: 6/20/21 — 6/26/21


This was a sad week, as far as television goes. Due to the PBS pledge drive, I didn’t get to watch any of my usual British sitcoms. Plus, Baywatch came to an end so now I have to find a new old show to binge.

202ONE U.S. Olympic Trials (Friday Night, NBC)

I watched the gymnastics trials on Friday night. Simone Biles is amazing. That said, I’m cringing at “202ONE.” Rethink this, NBC.

That said, I’m definitely looking forward to the Olympics this year. I am an Olympics fanatic and I make no apologies for it. (I do, however, prefer the winter games just because of the curling and the skating.) Especially when compared to some people, I managed to stay pretty positive last year but I did get pretty upset when they had to cancel the games.

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

The Bachelorette was very emotional this week but, of course, The Bachelorette is emotional every week. Katie isn’t going to put up with any drama or fights this season but fights and drama are kind of the main reason for watching this show. Oh well. Thanks to all the brave internet sleuths out there, I already know how things are going to end. Personally, I think Katie made the right decision, assuming the spoilers I’ve seen are correct.

Bar Rescue (Monday Morning, Paramount)

John Taffer is helping bars survive the Corona Pandemic by yelling at their owners. I hope that strategy works. Watching the latest episode, it occurred to me that the show is currently in a strange place. The whole appeal of Bar Rescue has always been the chance to watch Taffer act like a dick. But it’s not as much fun to watch Taffer yell at people when those people are on the verge of losing their livelihood due to a pandemic. As a result, Taffer has been trying to balance being belligerent with being a nice guy. The end result, so far, has been kind of awkward.

Baywatch (Weekday Evening, H&I)

My Baywatch binge came to an end this week as H&I reached the end of the series and started over again from the start. Here’s my thoughts on how this oddly addictive show wrapped things up.

On Sunday, Mitch and the lifeguards went to Australia! Wait a minute, what? Yes, they actually did This is not a joke. It was a two-part episode called Baywatch: Down Under. After Jake, a lifeguard who had never previously appeared or been mentioned on the show, learned that he had a son in Australia, he went to meet him and Jake’s best friends — who, again, never before mentioned this Jake over the course of the previous 9 seasons of the show — accompanied him. The majority of the two episodes focused on Jake and a bunch of new Australian lifeguards. That’s because Baywatch: Down Under was actually a pilot for a Baywatch spin-off that didn’t happen. It was also kind of a wasted two parter, though the Australian scenery was lovely.

The first of Monday’s episodes featured Mitch and Cody rescuing a violinist who was being held prisoner on a boat. What’s odd is that the episode opened with Cody mentioning that he had broken up with his girlfriend Lani (who was played by Carmen Electra during the previous season). However, since Cody had already been seen flirting with and dating other women all through season 9, that would seem to suggest that either Cody and Lani were already broken up or Cody was just a no-good, dirty cheater. I’m going to guess that, for whatever reason, season 9’s episodes were shown out of production order. As if to prove my theory, the next episode featured Hobie living back at home with Mitch despite the fact that he had moved away to live with his mother earlier in the season. Did the Baywatch producers just not care about continuity? No wonder the show only lasted 11 seasons!

On Tuesday, the recently returned Neely Capshaw tried to 1) seduce Hobie, 2) get Mitch fired, and 3) drug Alex with sleeping pills. This would have all been fun if Gena Lee Nolin was still playing the role of Neely but, for Season 9, Baywatch replaced Nolin with another actress who just have didn’t the same skill when it came to making evil entertaining. Needless to say, Neely did not get away with it. The second episode featured George Hamilton playing himself and really, what more did you need? Well, how about Manny getting paralyzed as a result of a lifeguard accident? After it happened, Manny was bitter but, this being Baywatch, he eventually made peace with his new circumstances.

On Wednesday, season 9 ended not with a bang but with a whimper. The episode was split between Cody searching for a missing boat and Alex trying to figure out who was making elaborate sand castles on the beach. David Hasselhoff and Michael Newman, the two mainstays of the show, were barely featured. As Season 9 came to an end, so did H&I’s collection of Baywatch episodes. Seasons 10 and 11 were rebranded Baywatch Hawaii and, apparently, they were not included in the syndication package. So, the second of Wednesday’s episode was the first episode of season 1, which I really didn’t have much interest in rewatching.

So, I’m done with Baywatch for now. The two seasons of Baywatch: Hawaii are, of course, available on Prime but …. eh. Nine seasons in five months was enough for me, at least for now. Baywatch was an entertainingly dumb show and I’m sure I’ll occasionally catch an episode whenever I’m bored and I want to see some ocean scenery or maybe Cody in a speedo. For now, though, I’m ready to move on and binge another old show.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

Plenty of drama in the court this week! Court Cam is such a ludicrous show but it’s also rather addictive. Between the showy but shallow editing and Dan Abrams’s breathless narration, it’s hard not to crack a smile while watching.

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, Monday Night)

The current season of Hell’s Kitchen feels like some sort of demented boomer fantasy. Take the most emotionally fragile 20 year-olds you can find and force them to work for the most abrasive man on television. I’m just waiting for one of the chefs to mention needing a trigger warning.

Anyway, both the red and the blue teams screwed up this week so Chef Ramsay sent two chefs home and then reorganized the teams. I hope it helps because the diners at Hell’s Kitchen deserve the best food possible.

Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)

As soon as Intervention started on Monday night, there was a loud boom of thunder outside, followed by lightning and then pouring rain. Looking around the house, I realized that I wasn’t sure where Doc was so, naturally, I assumed he was outside in the storm. Panicking, I ran out to the backyard and stood there, in my bathrobe, and yelled, “DOC! DOC!” There was no sign of Doc so I ran back inside, grabbed a flashlight, and ran back outside. Shining the light around the backyard, I continued to call for the cat even as I got more and more soaked.

Getting no response and fearing that my beloved cat had been swept away by the storm, I turned to reenter the house and that’s when I saw Doc, sitting inside on a kitchen counter, and watching me through the window with a somewhat bemused expression on his face. (Trust me, cats can be bemused!)

I stepped back inside and, once I finally dried off and changed clothes, Intervention was nearly over. However, the end title cards informed that me that both Nicholette and her father have been sober since 2018 so good for them.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

The Love Boat crew goes to Australia! Julie is getting married! Captain Stubing is on the verge of having an affair with Katharine Helmond! Gopher and Doc are competing to impress the new cruise director! Isaac is making drinks while Vicki sacrifices her childhood to essentially do slave labor on a cruise ship! Meanwhile, special guest star Jose Ferrer has captured the missing link and has chained him in a cage that’s been kept in the cargo bay …. wait a minute, what!? Yes, it was a strange episode. Australia looked great, though!

Mom (Friday afternoon, Paramount TV)

I watched four episodes of this long-running commercial for the recovery industry on Friday. Actually, I don’t know if I really watched them as much as I just had them on for background noise. This is probably one of my least favorite shows ever, a 30-minute exercise in 12-step propaganda. Every episode I see of this show, I just find myself wondering if the title characters have ever met anyone whose life isn’t a depressing hellsack. That said, it’s obvious that some people like this show because it’s been on for what feels like 40 years

The Office (Comedy Central, Friday Evening)

I watched the final four episodes of season 4 (Did I Stutter, Job Fair, and the two-part Goodbye Toby) and Season 5’s Weight Loss premiere. Out of that set, Job Fair was probably the weakest, just because it had an entire subplot involving Jim and Andy golfing with a potential client. Jim begging the guy for his business was just cringey and Andy — who was always the most inconsistently written character on the show — was portrayed as being such a cartoonish idiot that it was difficult to watch. Much better was Goodbye Toby (in which Andy was a much more likable character) and Weight Loss (featuring that iconic proposal scene). Did I Stutter is one of the best and most underrated episodes of The Office, with the final conversation between Michael and Stanley being one of the show’s strongest moments.

Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness (Wednesday and Thursday, Netflix)

I reviewed this Netflix docuseries here.

The Vow (HBO2, Saturday)

The Vow, which originally aired last year, was HBO’s lengthy docuseries about the NXIVM cult. This show started with great fanfare and acclaim, the majority of which tapered off as it became clear that The Vow was produced by a bunch of former cult members who were trying to make themselves look better and more innocent than they actually were. The Vow is famous for a scene in which former NXIVM dude Mark Vicente rages that anyone can get sucked into a cult. That may be true but, judging from The Vow, it helps to be intellectually shallow and emotionally needy. Since it doesn’t take much research to discover that Vicente was far higher-up in NXIVM than The Vow acknowledges and that he financially profited from the cult’s pyramid scheme-inspired structure, it’s hard not to feel that Vicente doesn’t really have the moral standing necessary to portray himself as being just another NXIVM victim.

Anyway, HBO2 aired the entire series on Saturday. I rewatched a few episodes and I have to say that I was kind of surprised to discover that Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson came across as even more unlikable and disingenuous that second time I watched than they did the first time. Supposedly, there’s a second season of The Vow on the way so I guess we’ll get even more chances to listen to Mark Vicente brag about co-directing What The Bleep Do We Know.

That’s it for this week! Next week, I’ll be selecting new shows to binge!

The Things You Find On Netflix: The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness (dir by Joshua Zemen)


For a little over a year, from July of 1976 to August of 1977, New York City lived in fear of a killer.

Carrying a .44 caliber handgun, this killer — or, some thought, killers — preyed on the young. Though one victim was shot while walking by herself, the rest were all gunned down while sitting in parked cars, often while kissing at the end of a date. It was said that the killer’s main targets were young women with dark hair, leading to a run on blonde wigs and dye jobs. While the media originally called him the .44 caliber killer, he wrote two letters in which he requested to be known as the Son of Sam. He was one of America’s first celebrity serial killers, a dark force who moved through the night and inspired nightmares.

When he was arrested, the fearsome Son of Sam turned out to be a rather goofy-looking postal worker named David Berkowitz. Berkowtiz confessed to all of the shootings, with the initial story being that he believed he was ordered to do it by a dog named Sam. Even at the time, though, there were doubts as to whether or not Berkowtiz acted alone. Some witnesses claimed that they had seen more than one gunman at a few of the shootings and the pudgy Berkowtiz didn’t look anything at all like some of the early sketches that had been released on the gunman. Were the witnesses just confused or was Berkowitz a part of a larger conspiracy?

Journalist Maury Terry believed that Berkowitz was a part of a bigger conspiracy. He dedicated his life to trying to prove that Berkowitz was a part of a Satanic cult. Terry claimed that the cult was not only responsible for the Son of Sam murders but he also claimed that they were connected to everyone from Charles Manson to Arliss Perry, a 19 year-old college student was brutally murdered in a California church. Eventually, Terry wrote a book about his investigation and his theories. The Ultimate Evil was a best seller during the Satanic panic of the late 80s but Terry’s conclusions were never taken seriously by the NYPD. Even after Berkowitz himself gave Terry a televised interview in which he said that he wasn’t the only gunman, the case remained closed. Terry spent the rest of his life obsessing on his theories and with that obsession came a litany of self-destructive behavior. Terry died in 2015. Berkowitz remains in prison, claiming to be a born again Christian. The murderer of Arliss Perry apparently committed suicide in 2018 after DNA linked him to the crime. Among his possession was a copy of The Ultimate Evil.

Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness is a four-part Netflix docuseries about the Son of Sam murders and Terry’s investigation. Featuring archival footage, interviews, and Paul Giamatti reading excerpts from Terry’s work, the documentary details not just Terry’s theories but also the way his relentless quest to prove them took over his life. We hear from detectives and reporters and Maury Terry’s ex-wife. There’s also plenty of footage of Berkowitz, both from his initial arrest and his subsequent interviews.

The documentary itself clearly believes that Berkowitz was a member of a cult and that he worked with other gunmen. Myself, I came away from the series unconvinced. Some of the evidence that Terry uncovered was indeed compelling. Particularly when it comes to the mysterious Carr brothers, two shady men who Terry believed were involved in the shootings, it’s hard not to feel that Terry was right to feel that there was more to the story than was officially accepted. Far too often, however, one gets the feeling that Terry allowed himself to be motivated more by what he wanted the evidence to show than what was actually there. The attempt to connect Berkowitz to Manson especially feels vague. As is the case with most conspiracy theories, we’re expected to consider only the evidence that confirms that conspiracy’s existence while ignoring anything that might suggest an alternative solution. We’re asked to believe in a conspiracy that could apparently take out everyone except for the one journalist who was very publicly trying to reveal its existence. At times, the Cult is portrayed as just being a bunch of maladjusted losers and, at other times, they’re at the heart of a massive drug, pornography, and human trafficking cartel. Terry’s own conception of the cult and their plans seems to change as each new piece of a “evidence” is uncovered. Finally, as happens with many conspiracy theorists, Terry refuses to accept the simple truth that coincidences are a huge part of life.

When Berkowitz finally does give an interview to Terry, it’s hard not to notice that Berkowitz allows Terry to lead him to the answers that Terry wants to hear. Instead of answering Terry’s questions immediately — as someone with firsthand knowledge should presumably be able to do — Berkowitz instead waits until Terry has offered up enough details for Berkowitz to know in which direction Terry wants the answer to go. Often it seems that Berkowtiz is just agreeing with what Terry says or simply answering Terry’s questions by rephrasing them. Berkowtiz isn’t particularly clever or slick about it, either. One gets the feeling that, by the time the interviews happened, Terry had allowed his obsession with the case to cloud his instincts as a journalist.

Terry’s obsession is the most compelling part of the series. Much as with Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, Sons of Sam works best as an examination of how one person can become so obsessed with exposing the darkness that they allow that darkness to take over their lives. At times, Terry is described as almost being an Ahab-like figure, obsessively pursuing the prey that he insists is somewhere waiting for him. Much as how McNamara obsessively pursued a version of the Golden State Killer who didn’t actually exist outside of her own theories, Terry spent the final decades of his life trying to expose a conspiracy that may not have actually existed outside of his own mind. His obsession may have been self-destructive but, the series argues, his motives were sincere

As you may have guessed, my feelings about Sons of Sam are mixed. Maury Terry is a compelling figure, even if his theories don’t really hold together. I guess the ultimate lesson of Sons of Sam is that, eventually, every conspiracy will get its own Netflix series.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 6/13/21 — 6/19/21


Yes, I did watch some television this week.  However, I didn’t actually take any notes about the shows that I watched so this edition of Lisa’s Week in Television might be lacking a little in detail.  Sorry about that!  To be honest, I spent most of this week adjusting to the arrival of summer temperatures and I ended up devoting most of my attention to the air conditioning.

Still, here’s a few thoughts about what I can remember about what I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

It was a bit of a silly episode this week.  (I know, I know, they’re all silly.)  Rene had to fly a kite in order to make the new radio work.  (Don’t ask.)  Mimi, the new waitress, was disguised as a nun and she ended up getting twisted in the kite so she ended up as a flying nun.  It made no sense but, perhaps for that reason, it made me laugh.

The Bachelorette (Monday on ABC)

This week, Katie was stunned to discover that one of the bachelors might not have been there for the right reasons!  She sent Cody home because he was apparently only there to increase his profile.  Usually, it takes a few more episodes for The Bachelorette to reach the “He’s not here for the right reasons” stage.  The fact that this season got to it during the second episode worries me a little because this is a franchise that is always at its worse whenever it gets self-righteous.

(I always remember the episode of Burning Love, where the bachelors had to make sock puppets.  Adam Scott said, “This is so stupid.” Cut to Joe Lo Truglio: “And I was like — hey man, I’m here for my son.  Take this seriously!”)

In other news, Mike read a really awkward letter to his “future wife,” explaining why he waited until marriage to have sex.  Like I said, it was hella cringey but it pretty much guarantees that Mike will be the next Bachelor.

Bar Rescue (Sunday Night, Paramount)

It’s been a while since I watched this show.  Watching it on Sunday night, I discovered that John Taffer still apparently believes that not knowing how to run a bar is the worst crime known to man.  “YOU’RE OVERPOURING!  THAT’S MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN!”  Relax, John.  It’s just a bar.

Baywatch (Weekday evenings, H&I)

H&I has started in on the NINTH season of Baywatch and I have to say that I’m getting the feeling that, by the time this season rolled around, Baywatch was just repeating itself and going through the motions.  Every episode that I watched this week featured a storyline that had been done in a previous episode.  So, I guess if you’re wondering how many lifeguard stories there are, the answer is 8 seasons worth.

Let’s see how much I can remember about what I saw this week:

On the first of Sunday’s episodes, the Baywatch lifeguards had some competition from a private security company called — I kid you not — Bayguard!  Mitch and Cody had to prove that Baywatch was just as good as Bayguard, which they managed to do by rescuing a boy in a storm drain.  Mitch and Cody spent a lot of time rescuing people from storm drains.  The second episode was a sweet story about a little boy named Timmy who really liked dolphins.  Timmy also got trapped in a cave so Mitch and the lifeguards had to save him.  It was typical Baywatch stuff but David Hasselhoff always did his best work with the unabashedly sentimental storylines.

On Monday, a mysterious figure was roaming the beach and saving people from drowning!  Could it have been the klutzy new maintenance worker played Brooke Burns?  Since Burns was already featured in the opening credits wearing a Baywatch uniform, that was a pretty easy question to answer.  This was followed by an episode where April felt guilty about a swimmer dying, which was pretty much a remake of an earlier episode in which Caroline felt guilty about a swimmer dying.

On Tuesday, Hobie made his first appearance of the season.  Despite being Mitch’s son, Hobie had been missing in action for the previous few episodes.  (In real life, actor Jonathan Jackson was dealing with an addiction to cocaine that basically led to him being fired from the show.)  Hobie was arrested after a boat he was driving crashed.  However, it turned out that Hobie was not at fault!  Knowing that this episode was kind of meant to be a wake-up call to Jackson about his own behavior made the whole thing awkward to watch.  This was followed by an episode in which one of the lifeguards was selected for Jeopardy.  Unfortunately, she was later disqualified when it was discovered that she knew someone who worked on the show but Alex Trebek still made an appearance and was his usual charming self.

On Wednesday, the first episode featured Mitch having a mid-life crisis, which he previously had two seasons ago.  This was followed by an episode were Mitch befriend an orangutan.  Strangely, Mitch didn’t mention that — during season two — he befriended a chimpanzee.

On Thursday, Cody started using performance-enhancing drugs to increase his chances of going to the Olympics, much as several other characters have done on previous episodes of Baywatch.  This was followed by a skydiving episode which was basically a remake of the skydiving episode from season six.  Of course, the previous episode turned out to be a dream whereas this episode was real.  MITCH CAN SEE THE FUTURE!

On Friday, Mitch adopted a new son named Tanner.  (Hobie, we were told, was now living with his mother.)  This was followed by an episode where April and Craig finally broke up, which seemed appropriate since April was like 19 and Craig was nearly 60.  Craig apparently is a hotshot defense attorney but he was nowhere to be seen in the episode where Hobie was in jail.  Craig is a bad friend.

On Saturday, Peter Barton co-starred as a race car driver who was officially sponsored by …. wait for it …. AOL!  As a result, the entire episode featured people talking about how much they loved AOL.  Mitch’s adopted son even checked his AOL account and got the “You have mail” prompt.  “Hey, pal,” Mitch said, “you got mail!”

When future historians research the 90s, they’ll just watch episodes of Baywatch.

Court Cam (Wednesdays, A&E)

Don’t talk back to the judge or Dan Abrams will put you on TV and make fun of you.

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

There was a lot of raw chicken being sent up to the pass this week.  The blue team lost again.  This seems to be the way that it goes every season, though.  The men start out losing, the women get overconfident, and eventually both teams kind of crash and burn.

Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)

The intervention didn’t work this week.  Kelsey went to rehab but relapsed.  It was sad for I’ll give Intervention some credit for admitting that these things don’t always have a happy ending.

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Martin graduated from national school and attempted to make sure that his name would be remembered by future classes!  I remember, in high school, I was convinced the future students would never forget my graduating class.  In retrospect, I’m not sure why I thought that.  It’s not like Saved By The Bell, where the members of the New Class where still talking about the time Jessie got hooked on caffeine pills.  Time marches on.

The Office (Saturday Afternoon, Comedy Central)

Amy Adams just wanted to sell purses.  Michael bought her a $10,000 espresso machine. CRINGE!  Still, hilarious though.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

It was a typical episode of Open All Hours.  Arkwright abused Granville while Granville silently plotted his revenge.

The Powers of Matthew Star (Sunday Mornings, MeTV)

I was dealing with insomnia on Sunday so I did watch an episode of this old sci-fi series on MeTV.  (I used to set the DVR for it but, up until this week, I had kind of lost interest in it.)  Peter Barton — yes, the same Peter Barton who appeared on Baywatch this week — played an alien who was pretending to be a normal high school student.  In this week’s episode, Matthew Star traveled to the Bermuda Triangle and got a tragic message from his homeworld.  It was pretty silly but, as the title character, Peter Barton was sincere enough to nearly sell it.

Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

Screech got struck by lightning and suddenly had the power to see the future.  Zack tried to use Screech’s powers to cheat on the History midterm.  Unfortunately, Screech lost his powers and Zack got an “F minus …. for scamming!”

South Park (Wednesday Night, Comedy Central)

“Free Hat!  Free Hat!”  Actually, I don’t remember which episode it was that I watched but the Free Hat episode is always a good a default to go with.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Incredibly proud of his new play, Will Shakespeare is stunned to discover that the few women in his life are not as enamored of The Taming of the Shrew as he is.  Will simply cannot figure it out!  This was a funny episode, mostly because it was true.

 

 

 

Lisa’s Week In Television: 6/6/21 — 6/12/21


Twonky

I’m a little bit late in posting my week in television.  That’s because it’s been a long week, both in television and out!  Here’s  some thought on what I watched:

allo-allo

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday’s episode, with Rene back at the café and Maria in Switzerland, a new waitress was hired.  Recommended by the Resistance, Mimi LaBonq was just as short as Maria and, it would appear, just as obsessed with Rene.  She was also just a bit more homicidal than Maria, attempting to poison Herr Flick and later beating up an Italian officer.  While Mimi was attempting to kill people (albeit bad people), LeClerc was delivering Rene’s new radio and Michelle of the Resistance was insisting that she would “only say this once.”  And, as always, it was all a hundred times funnier than it sounds.

Having watched enough episodes, I can now see that the humor of Allo Allo really does come down to the fact that everyone has such a bizarrely idealized view of Rene.  “This is the bravest man in France!” Michelle will announce while Rene scurries behind the bar and tries not to get spotted.  The absurd cluelessness of everyone involved is never less than fascinating.

bachelorette 2021

The Bachelorette 17 (Monday Night, ABC)

Yes, we’re doing this again.  Katie Thurston is the latest bachelorette and Chris Harrison is no longer the host.  While I can understand Katie’s decision not to keep the creepy RV guy around, I wish she had because, judging by last night’s episode, this show could really have used a dose of that weird energy.

Baywatch

Baywatch (Weekdays, H&I)

Life on the beach continues, though I do have to say that appears that, in its later seasons, Baywatch started to frequently repeat itself.  How many time can the exact same thing happen to the exact same lifeguards?

On Sunday, lawyer and former lifeguard Craig Pomeroy returned to Baywatch so he could defend the right of one of his clients to die on the beach.  Once his client did die, Craig was free to once again become a lifeguard so I guess it’s good that the old man hired probably the only lawyer in the world who was probably for the opportunity to switch careers and take a massive pay cut.  This was followed by an episode in which a woman disappeared into the ocean because Cody left his lifeguard tower early.  This would seem like a massive dereliction of duty but the show suggested it was no big deal because it was Cody as opposed to some random lifeguard.  Everyone loves Cody!

On Monday, Caroline returned to Baywatch and got held hostage by a criminal.  How many times has this happened to Caroline?  It used to happen frequently to her sister as well so I guess it’s a Holden family trait.  This was followed by an episode in which Craig and April got trapped in a sunken power station.  They survived and it looks like there might romance in the air, despite Craig being in his late 40s and April being 18.

The romance continued on Tuesday, when Manny broke up with April and Craig helped to capture a bunch of reckless jet skiers.  Though April asked Craig to take her to a charity dinner, Craig eventually convinced Manny to take her instead because, again, Craig is like nearly 100 and April is 18.  This was followed by an episode where Cody was trapped underwater and had to be rescued …. wait a minute, didn’t the exact same thing just happen to April and Craig!?  Neely also admitted that she was hooked on pain pills that the real reason she took a leave of absence from Baywatch was so she could have a baby.

On Wednesday, the first episode featured Lani losing her hearing.  Fortunately, she got it back at the end of the second episode because no problem ever lasts longer than two episodes.  During the first episode, Mitch met a woman who was riding a horse across the beach.  In the second episode, cop Garner Ellerbee returned to capture some drug dealers and he als rode a horse across the beach.

On Thursday …. well, who knows?  Cody made the mistake of betting Mitch’s new boat as a part of some silly competition, which is something that I’m pretty sure Logan did at some point during the show’s first two seasons.  During the second episode, Mitch rescued a swimmer who may been sick, which again is something that happened frequently in the past.  As a result, all of Baywatch had to be quarantined!  Only Newman could work the beach, which meant he got to save a bunch of models who were posing for the …. ahem …. new Barbara’s Boutique Catalogue.

Friday was a weird two-part episode.  As occasionally happens when an old show is airing on the retro channels, the show suddenly skipped over a handful of episodes and we jumped, without warning, into the future.  All new opening credits!  All new cast intros, with several regulars now missing!  Suddenly, Mitch was married to Neely and Neely was played by an entirely different actress!  Anyway, the marriage didn’t last because it turned out that Neely was lying about seeing her ex in Alaska (?).  I guess maybe it all would have made sense if the episodes had been shown in their proper order but …. oh well!  The main thing is that Neely and Mitch were no longer married at the end of it all and Neely was no longer a part of Baywatch.

On Saturday, Mitch was stalked and held hostage by a psycho babysitter.  Didn’t that happen to Mitch at least once a year?

brady buch hour

The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (YouTube)

I watched the first episode of this 1977 TV series.  The Brady Bunch sings!  Fake Jan turns out to be more likable than Real Jan!  Peter Brady conspires to replace his father with Tony Randall!  Donnie and Marie Osmond stopped by!  Clowns swam underwater!  The entire family and Alice the maid did the Hustle!  It was …. well, it was something.

cellmate secrets

Cellmate Secrets (Monday Night, A&E)

On this new Lifetime/A&E show, cellmates of infamous criminals talk about what it was like living with a temporary roommate.  This week, I learned that Casey Anthony was apparently manipulative and heartless.  Shocker!

Show Boxing

Championship Boxing — Wilder vs Fury (Showtime Extreme, Friday Morning)

This was a boxing match from 2018.  I’m not really a boxing fan, though I do like to see what everyone in the crowd is wearing.  The match was between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder and it ended in a draw.  Personally, I wish they both could have won.  I cringed every time I saw a punch land to the head.  That can’t be good!

At one point, during the fight, one of the announcers pointed out that “The Black Panther is in the crowd,” and the camera cut to Chadwick Boseman talking to Mario Lopez in the audience.

Cheaters

Cheaters (MTV2, Friday Morning)

I watched three episodes of Cheaters on Friday morning, from two to three-thirty.  Unfortunately, the guide didn’t list what year they were from but Joey Greco was hosting and, just from the fashion choices made by some of the cheaters, I’m going to guess the episodes were from 2009 or 2010.  Cheaters is, in many ways, a terrible show but it’s also a Dallas-based production so I’m happy it’s out there.  One of my favorite things about Cheaters is that the cheaters often get busted at places that I’ve actually been to.  I’m like, “I’ve been to that restaurant!”

Anyway, all three episodes featured cheaters who didn’t show enough contrition upon getting caught.  Joey Greco’s self-righteous commentary was hilariously overwrought.  All in all, this is a show for the entire family.

court-cam

Court Cam (Wednesdays, A&E)

The judges were all sarcastic.  The defendants were unrepentant.  To be honest, the main thing I remember was that someone in the gallery kept yelling at the accused criminals because he didn’t think their bail was high enough.

degrassi minis

Degrassi Minis (YouTube)

Degrassi Minis was a series of 5-minute short films about Degrassi!  They typically had titles like “What if Jimmy could walk?” or “What if Craig married Ashley?”  They presented an alternate reality to the show’s reality and they were often disturbing as Hell.  I watched “What if Jimmy hadn’t gotten shot?,” which featured Jimmy getting a basketball scholarship while a bitter Sean watched from his wheelchair.  So, I guess if Rick Murray hadn’t shot Jimmy, he would have shot Sean?  But, in the “real world,” it was pretty much established that the main reason Rick brought the gun to school was to specifically shoot Jimmy, whom he incorrectly believed has been behind the plot to bully him.  So, if he couldn’t shoot Jimmy, why would he then go after Sean, a character who he didn’t even know?  Why not go after the other people who he thought were in on the plot?

In short, this mini made no sense but both Daniel Clark and Stacey Farber gave good performances as Sean and the ever-loyal Ellie.  Seriously, even in the alternate timeline, Ellie didn’t get enough credit for putting up with everyone’s crap.

friends

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)

On Tuesday’s episode, Ross adapted a British accent while teaching and he didn’t both to let Rachel know that he hadn’t actually gotten their Vegas wedding annulled, which was kind of messed up to be honest.  On Wednesday, Joey agreed to keep an eye on someone’s Porsche.  Joey soon started to pretend that it was his Porsche.  It was kind of a stupid storyline but the criminally underrated Matt LeBlanc did a great job selling it.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, Monday Night)

Chef Ramsay’s attempt to mentor Generation Z chefs hit a snag on Monday night when one of the chefs imitated Ramsay getting mad about a dish being undercooked.  The problem was that the dish was undercooked and the chef in question was one who had undercooked it.  Can you guess who ended up going home at the end of service?

intervention

Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)

As I’ve said previously, I always have more sympathy for the druggies than I do for the drunks.  On Monday night, Pam struggled with both drugs and alcohol so my feelings were mixed.  Still, she went to rehab and appeared to be doing better at the end of the show so good for her.

Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing (Sunday, Newsnation)

There are certain shows that just make perfect background entertainment.  These are the shows that you have on television while you’re doing something like cleaning the house or trying to organize your movies.  They keep you from getting overwhelmed by silence but, at the same time, they don’t really demand your attention.  Most of these shows tend to be sitcoms and rather old-fashioned sitcoms at that.  Last Man Standing is a perfect example.  Starring Tim Allen as the often-confused father of three daughters, Last Man Standing was one of the sitcoms that was always more popular with audiences than critics.  I can’t say that I have ever regularly watched it, though the few times I have both watched and paid attention to it, it seemed to be an inoffensive sitcom that, more often than not, worked because of its cast and despite some heavy-handed writing.

For whatever reason, Last Man Standing is one of those sitcoms that always seems to be airing somewhere.  On Sunday, it aired on Newsnation from early in the morning until late in the evening.  I had it playing in the background while I did some work around the house.  I can’t say that I really paid much attention to it.  Tim Allen was confused by his daughters.  His daughters were competing for his attention.  One of the daughter’s had a liberal husband, who was basically the world’s biggest wimp.  It felt more like a series from the late 90s than the 2010s.  But no matter.  It helped me focus on the work I was doing around the house and that was really all I needed.

moone_boy_title

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Martin became an altar boy and found out the truth about the Mass Mafia.  It was an enjoyable homage to Goodfellas, even if it did end with the Godfather theme playing over the end credits.  I especially like the fact that Martin’s confirmation name was also Martin.  “That will be easy to remember.”

(For the record, my confirmation name was Sofia.)

The Office

The Office (Comedy Central, All The Time)

On Sunday morning, I watched Safety Training and Product Recall, two classics from season 3. Safety Training featured Michael thinking that he could safely jump off the building and onto a bouncy castle. Product Recall featured Andy dating a 16 year-old high school student. Funny episodes but what the Hell was going on in Scranton!?

Actually, my favorite part of Product Recall was Michael calling the press to let them know about the offensive watermark because, otherwise, how were they going to find out?

open-all-hours

Open All Hours (Monday Morning, PBS)

Poor Granville.  His entire life revolves around that morning milk delivery.  Some morning, the delivery’s going to be delayed and Granville’s going to snap.  It won’t be pretty.

parking_wars

Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)

“I love South Philly but if you’re parked in the wrong place on one of my streets, you’re getting a ticket.”  Oh, shut up.

1-seinfeld

Seinfeld (Weekday Night, Channel 33)

I watched four episodes of this 90s sitcom, two on Tuesday and two on Wednesday.  Two of the episodes dealt with the production of a pilot that was written by Jerry and George.  I’ve always like the episodes with The Pilot, if just because of the way that Jerry Seinfeld poked fun at his own acting limitations.  (“Because he’s my butler!”)  George’s obsession over the box of raisins was another classic, cringey moment.

As for the other two episodes, one dealt with George trying to hire a secretary to which he wouldn’t be sexually attracted (it did not work) and the other was one of my favorites, in which Jerry and George try to figure out how to perfect the roommate switch.  (“I’m not sure of the exact pronunciation but I think it’s called …. ménage a trois?”  “Oh, that’s wild.”  And, of course, later: “I’m not an orgy guy!”)  Really, putting George in any position of authority just seems like the ultimate HR nightmare.

storage-wars

Storage Wars (All Day Tuesday, A&E)

I watched several episodes on Tuesday and, as tends to happen with A&E all-day marathons, they all blended together.  But no matter!  The good thing was that the majority of the episode were from the first three seasons, when the whole show was about Dave getting on people’s nerves and Barry acting all eccentric and somehow managing to injure himself every time he tried to clean out a locker.  To be honest, I don’t think the show has ever really recovered from losing Barry as a regular.

1-upstart-crow

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Realizing that his new play, Twelfth Night, just isn’t working, Shakespeare comes up with the brilliant idea to turn it into a jukebox miracle!  Everyone loves the play once the music of Thomas Morley is added but then Morley himself refuses to sign over the rights to his music.  Oh, Shakespeare, will you ever learn?

Twonky