The Shattered Lens Live Tweets The Golden Globes


It turns out that Patrick had the right idea.  Jeff, Leonard, Case, and I watched the Golden Globes tonight and it was seriously the most depressing awards show that I can remember.  The tables were largely empty and Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s attempts at humor felt forced and awkward.  The constant bragging about the amount of money that the show was raising for charity felt like an attempt to deflect from all of the negative publicity that the HFPA has received over the past few weeks.  Nothing about the show felt right.

The winners accepted from home.  I enjoyed seeing Eugene Levy’s house.  It’s a very nice house.  But it still felt, to use that familiar term again, forced and awkward.  Even the surprise winners — and there were more than a few — could do little to alleviate the gloomy feel of the show.  At a time when we could use a little glamour, the Golden Globes were subdued and painful.  One can only imaging how painful the Oscars are going to be.

Here’s a few tweets from tonight:

Here Are The Golden Globe Winners!


Supporting Actor, Motion Picture — Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Supporting Actor, Television — John Boyega, Small Axe

Actress, TV Music or Comedy — Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Motion Picture, Animated — Soul

Actor, TV Limited Series or Movie — Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

Screenplay, Motion Picture — Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Actress, TV Series, Drama — Emma Corrin, The Crown

Original Song, Motion Picture — lo Si, The Life Ahead

Original Score, Motion Picture — Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste, Soul

Actor, TV Series, Musical or Comedy — Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

TV Series, Musical or Comedy — Schitt’s Creek

Actress. Musical or Comedy Film — Rosamund Pike, I Care A Lot

Actor, TV Series, Drama — Josh O’Connor, The Crown

Foreign Language Film — Minari

TV Series, Drama — The Crown

Supporting Actress, Film — Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian

Supporting Actress, TV Drama — Gillian Anderson, The Crown

Actress, TV Limited Series or Made-For-Television Film — Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

Limited Series or TV Movie — The Queen’s Gambit

Actor, Motion Picture Drama — Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Director, Motion Picture — Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Motion Picture Comedy — Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Actor, Motion Picture Comedy — Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Actress, Motion Picture Drama — Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holliday

Motion Picture Drama — Nomadland

Here Are The 2020 Critics Choice Awards Nominations


The 2020 Critics Choice Award nominations were announced yesterday.  On the one hand, I like the fact that they nominated a lot of stuff because I love big, long lists.  On the other hand, it’s debatable how much this is really going to influence the Oscars.  For instance, if there were only 5 best actor nominees, it would be a big deal that Ben Affleck finally picked up some deserved recognition for his performance in The Way Back.  However, since there are 8 nominees, it’s probably going to get overlooked.

Anyway, here are the nominees.  There’s a lot of them.  Mank did surprisingly well.

Film Awards

BEST PICTURE
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Mank (Netflix)
Minari (A24)
News of the World (Universal Pictures)
Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

BEST ACTOR
Ben Affleck – The Way Back (Warner Bros.)
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Tom Hanks – News of the World (Universal Pictures)
Anthony Hopkins – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Gary Oldman – Mank (Netflix)
Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)

BEST ACTRESS
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman (Netflix)
Frances McDormand – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Zendaya – Malcolm & Marie (Netflix)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Bill Murray – On the Rocks (A24/Apple TV+)
Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios)
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman (Netflix)
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
Olivia Colman – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
Amanda Seyfried – Mank (Netflix)
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari (A24)

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Ryder Allen – Palmer (Apple TV+)
Ibrahima Gueye – The Life Ahead (Netflix)
Alan Kim – Minari (A24)
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)
Caoilinn Springall – The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
Helena Zengel – News of the World (Universal Pictures)

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Minari (A24)
One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

BEST DIRECTOR
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari (A24)
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
David Fincher – Mank (Netflix)
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Regina King – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari (A24)
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Jack Fincher – Mank (Netflix)
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)
Darius Marder & Abraham Marder – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Paul Greengrass & Luke Davies – News of the World (Universal Pictures)
Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow (A24)
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Christopher Blauvelt – First Cow (A24)
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank (Netflix)
Lachlan Milne – Minari (A24)
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
Hoyte Van Hoytema – Tenet (Warner Bros.)
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World (Universal Pictures)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Cristina Casali, Charlotte Dirickx – The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight Pictures)
David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan – News of the World (Universal Pictures)
Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas – Tenet (Warner Bros.)
Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale – Mank (Netflix)
Kave Quinn, Stella Fox – Emma (Focus Features)
Mark Ricker, Karen O’Hara & Diana Stoughton – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)

BEST EDITING
Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Kirk Baxter – Mank (Netflix)
Jennifer Lame – Tenet (Warner Bros.)
Yorgos Lamprinos – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
Mikkel E. G. Nielsen – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Alexandra Byrne – Emma (Focus Features)
Bina Daigeler – Mulan (Disney)
Suzie Harman & Robert Worley – The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight Pictures)
Ann Roth – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Nancy Steiner – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Trish Summerville – Mank (Netflix)

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
Emma (Focus Features)
Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Mank (Netflix)
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Greyhound (Apple TV+)
The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures)
Mank (Netflix)
The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
Mulan (Disney)
Tenet (Warner Bros.)
Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.)

BEST COMEDY
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios)
The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)
The King of Staten Island (Universal Pictures)
On the Rocks (A24/Apple TV+)
Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)
The Prom (Netflix)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Another Round (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Collective (Magnolia Pictures)
La Llorona (Shudder)
The Life Ahead (Netflix)
Minari (A24)
Two of Us (Magnolia Pictures)

BEST SONG
Everybody Cries – The Outpost (Screen Media Films)
Fight for You – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Husavik (My Home Town) – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Netflix)
Io sì (Seen) – The Life Ahead (Netflix)
Speak Now – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)
Tigress & Tweed – The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)

BEST SCORE
Alexandre Desplat – The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
Ludwig Göransson – Tenet (Warner Bros.)
James Newton Howard – News of the World (Universal Pictures)
Emile Mosseri – Minari (A24)
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Mank (Netflix)
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste – Soul (Disney)

Bad Education

Television Awards

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Lovecraft Country (HBO)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark (Netflix)
Perry Mason (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jason Bateman – Ozark (Netflix)
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)
Jonathan Majors – Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Josh O’Connor – The Crown (Netflix)
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul (AMC)
Matthew Rhys – Perry Mason (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christine Baranski – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Olivia Colman – The Crown (Netflix)
Emma Corrin – The Crown (Netflix)
Claire Danes – Homeland (Showtime)
Laura Linney – Ozark (Netflix)
Jurnee Smollett – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul (AMC)
Justin Hartley – This Is Us (NBC)
John Lithgow – Perry Mason (HBO)
Tobias Menzies – The Crown (Netflix)
Tom Pelphrey – Ozark (Netflix)
Michael K. Williams – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Gillian Anderson – The Crown (Netflix)
Cynthia Erivo – The Outsider (HBO)
Julia Garner – Ozark (Netflix)
Janet McTeer – Ozark (Netflix)
Wunmi Mosaku – Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul (AMC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Better Things (FX)
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Mom (CBS)
PEN15 (Hulu)
Ramy (Hulu)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Hank Azaria – Brockmire (IFC)
Matt Berry – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Nicholas Hoult – The Great (Hulu)
Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Ramy Youssef – Ramy (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Pamela Adlon – Better Things (FX)
Christina Applegate – Dead to Me (Netflix)
Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
Natasia Demetriou – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Issa Rae – Insecure (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
William Fichtner – Mom (CBS)
Harvey Guillén – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Alex Newell – Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC)
Mark Proksch – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Andrew Rannells – Black Monday (Showtime)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Lecy Goranson – The Conners (ABC)
Rita Moreno – One Day at a Time (Pop)
Annie Murphy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Ashley Park – Emily in Paris (Netflix)
Jaime Pressly – Mom (CBS)
Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST LIMITED SERIES
I May Destroy You (HBO)
Mrs. America (FX)
Normal People (Hulu)
The Plot Against America (HBO)
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
The Undoing (HBO)
Unorthodox (Netflix)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Bad Education (HBO)
Between the World and Me (HBO)
The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel (Lifetime)
Hamilton (Disney+)
Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Studios)
What the Constitution Means to Me (Amazon Studios)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
John Boyega – Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
Hugh Grant – The Undoing (HBO)
Paul Mescal – Normal People (Hulu)
Chris Rock – Fargo (FX)
Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much is True (HBO)
Morgan Spector – The Plot Against America (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Cate Blanchett – Mrs. America (FX)
Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You (HBO)
Daisy Edgar-Jones – Normal People (Hulu)
Shira Haas – Unorthodox (Netflix)
Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Tessa Thompson – Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Studios)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Daveed Diggs – The Good Lord Bird (Showtime)
Joshua Caleb Johnson – The Good Lord Bird (Showtime)
Dylan McDermott – Hollywood (Netflix)
Donald Sutherland – The Undoing (HBO)
Glynn Turman – Fargo (FX)
John Turturro – The Plot Against America (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Uzo Aduba – Mrs. America (FX)
Betsy Brandt – Soulmates (AMC)
Marielle Heller – The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
Margo Martindale – Mrs. America (FX)
Winona Ryder – The Plot Against America (HBO)
Tracey Ullman – Mrs. America (FX)

BEST TALK SHOW
Desus & Mero (Showtime)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC/Syndicated)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL
Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty (Netflix)
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (Netflix)
Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill (Netflix)
Marc Maron: End Times Fun (Netflix)
Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia (Netflix)
Patton Oswalt: I Love Everything (Netflix)

BEST SHORT FORM SERIES
The Andy Cohen Diaries (Quibi)
Better Call Saul: Ethics Training with Kim Wexler (AMC/Youtube)
Mapleworth Murders (Quibi)
Nikki Fre$h (Quibi)
Reno 911! (Quibi)
Tooning Out the News (CBS All Access)

My Top 6 Super Bowl Commercials


Let’s just admit that the Super Bowl was weird this year.

I’m not talking about the game.  To be honest, I could really hardly care less about the game.  When it comes to winners and losers, I’m one of those people who wishes that both teams could win. I think the coach of the winning team should let the losing team score a touchdown so that no one’s feelings get hurt.  I worry about concussions, broken ankles, and compound fractures.  I can handle some of the most graphic zombie films ever made but football just freaks me the fug out.

Instead, I’m one of those people who watches for the commercials and this year, the commercials were odd.  I guess that’s to be understood, all things considered.  But even when you take into account the pandemic and the general sappiness of modern American culture, the commercials felt weak.  There were a lot of inspirational commercials.  Bruce Springsteen gave a two-minute monologue about America while sitting in a jeep.  There was a Ford commercial about how we’re all in this together or something like that.  The beer commercials were less surly and more cringey this year.  There were a lot of commercials with celebrities where the whole joke seemed to be, “Hey, look!  A celebrity!”

There were precious few commercials for any upcoming movies or TV shows.  In fact, there were four.  FOUR!  Every previous year, I’ve worked myself to a beautiful exhaustion trying to keep up with all the movies being advertised during the big game.  This year, I wrote a few — very few — words about Coming 2 America, Old, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Raya and the Last Dragon.

Anyway, with all that in mind — here are 6 commercials that I did enjoy.  I don’t know if it’s right for me to say that any of these really qualify as a “favorite” because I really didn’t have any favorites this year.  But, the important thing is that I enjoyed the commercials below.

6) Edgar Scissorhands — Cadillac

I guess Edward is dead or something?  Because Edward’s definitely not in this commercial.  I can only assume that he died or he moved to Paris and was later judged to be too problematic to be invited back to appear with his son.  Well, regardless, this is a cute commercial.  I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a good commercial because people are going to remember Edgar on the bus more than they’re going to remember the Cadillac but still, it was nice.

5) Adam Levine Sets Up Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton — T-Mobile

But if not for the spotty network, Gwen and Blake never would have gotten together!  Oh well.  What matters is that Gwen and Blake are a cute couple.

4) Jason Alexander Hoodie — Tide

This was actually kind of a disturbing commercial but then again, I like the idea of clothing that screams at you.

3) Doritos — Flat Matthew McConaughey

It was weird enough to work.

2) Alexa — Michael B. Jordan

It was sexy enough to work.

  1. Reddit

This made my night.  This ad was short.  It wasn’t pretentious.  It didn’t pretend that it was going to bring America together.  It didn’t feature Bruce Springsteen doing his Kerouac imitation.  Instead, it popped up for five seconds, it freaked a lot of people out, and it kind of gave the finger to the whole silly culture that’s sprung up around Super Bowl advertising.  That was brilliant.  (Considering that Reddit has now become the favorite scapegoat of the establishment, I applaud them for raising their profile as opposed to just meekly waiting for the storm to pass.)

Reddit wins the night!  And, just in case the above video gets taken off of YouTube for some reason, here’s the ad:

Congratulations To The Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers!


The Super Bowl just ended and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won their 2nd Super Bowl!  Tom Brady has won his seventh.  Though the Chiefs scored first with a field goal, there was never really any doubt as to who was going to win the Lombardi Trophy.  As soon as I saw Tom Brady’s face after the Chiefs got those three points, I knew he was going to be unstoppable.

The final score was 31 to 9.  Though the Chiefs may have fallen short, Patrick Mahomes showed that he is the quarterback of the future.  He’s scary good.  He may not have won tonight but he’ll definitely get another chance to win his second super bowl.

For now, though, the Buccaneers are your Super Bowl champions and Tom Brady has added another chapter to an already amazing career.  Congratulations, Tampa Bay!

My Super Bowl Predictions


Since the game is just a few hours away, I guess I should make my prediction as to who is going to win the Super Bowl.

This is exactly the type of Super Bowl that I’ve always wanted to see.  Tom Brady is the best quarterback of his generation and probably the best quarterback of all time.  Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback of the next generation.  This season, Brady proved that he can lead more than one team to the Super Bowl.  Mahomes seems like he has the same type of talent.  This is the best vs. the best.

I think the Buccaneers are going to win.  I think the Chiefs are going to give them a good game.  It’s not going to be easy for either team.  But I think Tampa Bay is going to win in the end.  The Buccaneers are playing at home, which is going to be a huge advantage.  And I just have an unquestioning faith in the ability of Tom Brady to win Super Bowls.  I know that’s not a very scientific analysis but Tom Brady has a talent that sometimes seems to defy everything that we’ve been led to assume about football.  Tom Brady went from being nearly undrafted to winning 6 Super Bowls.  At an age when most football players have already retired, Brady is still playing like a man in his early 30s.  The rest of the team is going to have to do their part but I still see Tom Brady and the Buccaneers winning this game.

Final prediction:

Buccaneers — 24

Chiefs — 21

The game will be won by a last minute field goal that Tom Brady will probably volunteer to kick himself.  Having won his 7th Super Bowl and led two separate teams to victory, Tom Brady will then win a Nobel Peace Prize and write a memoir that will be turned into an Oscar-winning film.  Brady will then be elected governor of whatever state he decides to run in.  Eventually, President Tom Brady will bring about world peace along with ending climate change and personally overseeing the first manned mission to Mars.  After you win seven Super Bowls, there’s nothing you can’t do.

If the Buccaneers somehow lose, it will mean the winter is coming.

Enjoy the game!

12 Good Things I Saw On Television In 2020


What to say about television in 2020?

It’s hard to come up with much, largely because there really wasn’t a whole lot of television to watch.  With the pandemic shutting down several productions and even knocking out stuff like the Olympics, network television was even more of a wasteland than usual.  As far as the major networks were concerned, 2020 was a year of rerurns and overproduced celebrity-themed game shows.

I’m sure that some would say that the presidential election livened things up and I have to admit that I did enjoy snarking on Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and MJ Hegar, all three of whom seem to be competing to see whose campaigns could put out the most cringe-worthy commercials possible.  But, with Trump on one side and Biden on the other, there was little about this election that was enjoyable to watch.  Indeed, I’ve reached the point where just thinking about hearing someone say, “Fake news” or “Come on, man,” makes me want to throw something across the room.

Even my old reliables failed me this year.  Survivor halted production.  The Amazing Race and Big Brother both featured the least likable cast imaginable.   It’s hard to get excited when bullies are winning your favorite shows.

As usual, the streaming services did a bit better than the networks but, in the end, it feels as if I spent most of 2020 watching the retro channels.  Whenever the real world got too stressful, annoying, or stupid, I would go out to my private office and I’d watch a channel like MeTV, AntennaTV, ForwardTV*, or maybe even CoziTV.  To be honest, it really didn’t matter what old shows they were showing.  All that mattered was that watching those shows of the past provided an escape from all the bad stuff happening in the present.  They provided non-threatening background noise and there’s something to be said for that.  They’re televised time capsules, perfect for a history nerd like me.

(*To be honest, I’m not sure that there really is a network called ForwardTV.  I do know that I frequently watch Ghost Whisperer on one of the retro channels and I’ve never actually caught the name of the channel.  Maybe it’s ForwardTV.  Who knows?)

So, this year, my list of good things that I saw on TV is going to be shorter than usual.  Who knows?  It could be for the best.  I usually watch too much TV as it is.

  1. A Teacher

This miniseries, about a teacher who has an affair with a student and how it continues to determine the shape of their lives long after the affair ends, was an unusually intelligent and thought-provoking show.  As the teacher and the student, Kate Mara and Nick Robinson both gave realistic and empathetic performances.

2. Bad Education

One of the best films of the year premiered on HBO.  On the one hand, it’s sad to think that the film would have been eligible the Oscars if it had only been bought by Netflix.  On the other hand, though, it’s totally possible that more people saw it on HBO than would have seen it otherwise.  Hugh Jackman didn’t win an Emmy and he’s not going to get an Oscar but he still gave one of the best performances of 2020.

3. Michael Bloomberg blowing it during his first Democratic Debate

Considering how obnoxious and ever-present his commercials were (“Mike will get it done!”), there was something deeply satisfying about watching this smug technocrat totally blow it when he actually found himself on live TV and having to deal with actual human beings.  There wasn’t much to enjoy as far as politics went in 2020 but seeing Bloomberg get booed after trying to explain away all of the HR complaints against him was a joy.

4. Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult

There were two high-profile NXIVM series last year.  HBO had The Vow, which was a lengthy series that was produced by a bunch of former NXIVM members and which tried to make the director of What The Bleep Do We Know into some sort of hero.  Seduced, meanwhile, was an honest look at life in the cult, one that pulled no punches and which made The Vow look worse and worse with each episode.

5. Saved By The Bell: The Reboot

The Saved By The Bell reboot turned out to be a 100 times better than it had any right to be.

6. 9-1-1: Lone Star

This show is a guilty pleasure for me, I’ll admit it.  On the one hand, it does a fairly good job of capturing the feel and attitude of my homestate.  On the other hand, I don’t know that there’s as many volcanoes in Texas as this show seems to think.  No matter, though!  It’s over-the-top and fun.

7. The Mandalorian

I’m not even into Star Wars and even I had to admit that The Mandalorian was pretty damn cool.  I’m among the many people who started watching for Baby Yoda and who stuck around because the show itself turned out to be so unexpectedly entertaining.

8. Better Call Saul 

Saul Goodman never lets us down.

9. The Queen

Neither does Queen Elizabeth.

10. Ghost Whisperer Reruns

And neither does Melinda!  Eve when she’s appearing in reruns airing on Hulu and whatever ForwardTV actually is.

11. Coronation Sreet

They have a ton of episodes on Hulu!  Considering that it often seemed as if I might never get to leave the country again, there was something nice about being able to go on Hulu and watch something as British as this show.

12. I learned to appreciate the Daytime Dramas

When you’re working from home in the middle of a pandemic, there’s something oddly comfortable about turning on the TV and seeing something like the Bold and the Beautiful or General Hospital.  Those shows are always there, they’re always dealing with same stuff that it’s been dealing with for decades, and they are also the shows most likely to get interrupted by a breaking news alert.  So, as long as I turn on the TV at 12:45 and I see The Bold and the Beautiful instead of Norah O’Donnell looking somber, I know that the day’s probably going to be crisis-free.

TSL Looks Back at 2020:

  1. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Novels of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  2. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Non-Fiction Books of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  3. Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Songs of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  4. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  5. My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (Necromoonyeti)
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems That I Saw In 2020 (Valerie Troutman)
  7. Top 10 Vintage Collections (Ryan C)
  8. Top 10 Contemporary Collections (Ryan C)
  9. Top 10 Original Graphic Novels (Ryan C)
  10. Top 10 Ongoing Series (Ryan C.)
  11. Top 10 Special Mentions (Ryan C.)
  12. Top Ten Single Issues (Ryan C)

Hey! Here’s Yet Another Trailer for WandaVision!


Hey!  Did you know that WandaVision is going to be streaming in another five days!?

Well, if you didn’t, you obviously haven’t been spending much time on YouTube or Twitter and I guess you haven’t been reading this site much either so shame on you.  It seems like, every day, there’s another trailer, preview, or teaser for WandaVision.  The trailers mix black-and-white sitcom-style laugh tracked scenes with color scenes that seem like they’re from a 70s soap opera.  My assumption is that the show features Wanda creating an alternate universe where she and Vision can attempt to live happily, one that I’m going to guess she created out of her knowledge of old television shows.  That’s a nice thought and, of course, an alternate universe means that Marvel will have an easy way to correct past mistakes.

“Robert Downey, Jr. wants to come back to the MCU?  Go snatch Tony Stark out of an alternate universe!”

“Everyone finally realized that it was freaking stupid to kill off the Black Widow and that the MCU is better with Scarlett Johansson than without her?  QUICKLY!  TO THE ALTERNATE UNIVERSE!”

As I said, I think it’s a good idea and, the next time I find myself in my office, watching the retro TV stations, I will be sure to think about how I can use each episode of Ghost Whisperer to create a new universe.  And, as snarky as I am about the constant trailers, I am actually looking forward to WandaVision.  Even though I think the MCU reached it’s logical end with Avengers: Endgame, I’m still looking forward to seeing if Marvel can keep their winning streak alive.  Thanks to the pandemic, it’s been a while since we had a new MCU production and I’m a bit curious to see whether or not that absence is going to help or hinder the franchise.

Add to that, I like Elizabeth Olsen.  I like Paul Bettany.  I’ll watch them in almost anything.  Elizabeth Olsen deserves better than to just be the romantic interest in a Godzilla film.  Paul Bettany deserves better than to just be everyone’s eccentric British friend (or the European villain in the latest action movie).  As played by Bettany and Olsen, Vision and Wanda were two of the more interesting characters to be found in the MCU.  Both the actors and the characters deserve a chance in the spotlight and I’m happy to see them getting one.

Here’s the latest trailer:

Finally, all of twitter was abuzz (bleh!  Did I really write that?), with the news that some people were allowed to watch the first three episodes of WandaVision.  Their reactions were so incredibly positive that it would be good to remember that early reactions are always overly positive to almost every new TV show and movie.  I mean, if your entire career is dependent upon keeping Disney happy and maintaining your access to “company insiders,” it’s only common sense to have a positive reaction to the latest Disney product.  Always take these things with a grain of salt, I’m saying.

That said, I really hope WandaVision is good.  We’ll all find out in five days!

Here’s The Latest Trailer for WandaVision!


Well, it’s a new day and I guess that means that it’s time for another enigmatic trailer for WandaVision.  It’s been interesting to note that, even with all the trailers that Disney Plus has released for this show, it’s still hard to get a definite feel for just what exactly WandaVision is going to be.  That’s not a bad thing, of course.  The enigmatic is intriguing.

Judging from the trailers that have been released so far, this is either going to be brilliant or a disaster.  I don’t really see much room in between those two extremes. I am going to guess that Wanda and Vision are living in some sort of alternate reality, one that Wanda constructed from a lifetime of watching old TV shows.  That’s my guess, anyways.  I’ve come across a few people online who have a much darker interpretation — i.e., Wanda is actually in some sort of coma and the entire show is her dying fantasy of having a perfect life with Vision.  I mean, seriously — that would be like a Marvel show from the darkest timeline.  I would have to put a blue streak in my hair if that happened!  (“Life got dark!” to quote Britta Perry.)

Anyway, this latest trailer continues to mix comedy with darkness.  I’ll definitely give this show a try, if just because I love both Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen and I don’t feel that either one of them has really gotten all of the opportunities that they deserve.  Disney Plus, obviously, is hoping that they’ll have another Mandalorian-style hit with this one and it is interesting to consider that, with the pandemic and all, this will be the first new MCU release in a year.  To a certain extent, the reception of this show will answer the question of whether or not the MCU can continue to thrive after the apocalyptic conclusion of Avengers: Endgame.  The show will be available on Disney Plus on January 15th so we should have our answers in just another two weeks!

Here’s the latest trailer: