Here’s just a few thoughts on what I watched this week:
Abbott Elementary (Wednesday Night, ABC)
Now, I want to play Drought.
Accused (Tuesday Night, FOX)
After missing the previous two episodes, I caught the latest episode of Accused on Tuesday night. Whitney Cummings played a comedian who was a raped by another comedian. Mary Lynn Rajskub played the clingy fan who offered support but who later turned out to be dangerous in her own way. This episode was a bit overwritten, which tends to be a problem with many anthology shows. But it was saved by the excellent performances of Rajskub and Cummings.
American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)
The auditions moved to Nashville! A lot of talented singers made it through to Hollywood but …. eh, I don’t know. The best singers are usually the ones who may not be technically perfect but who bring their own individual personality to their performances. So far, there hasn’t been much personality this season. Everyone’s a bit too polished and the judges already seem to know who is going through before they ever hear one note. I guess I’m old-fashioned as far as my reality show preferences go. I don’t care how tragic your life has been or what your family is like. I just care about whether or not you’re an interesting and entertaining performer.
The Bachelor (Monday Night, ABC)
Eh. Who cares?
Bar Rescue (Weekday Mornings, Paramount)
I watched two episodes on Wednesday morning. Both featured bars that were so disgusting and filthy that it made me happy to be a non-drinker. The second episode that I watched actually featured the bar’s cook taking a bath in the dishwashing area. BLEH! That was not exactly something I needed to see.
Bubblegum Crisis (Night Flight Plus)
I have no idea what was actually happening in this animated series from Japan but the imagery was nice and a lot of things blew up.
Court Cam (Weekday Mornings, A&E)
I watched two episodes on Wednesday. Angry defendants were making trouble. Dan Abrams breathlessly narrated every single event. One defendant attacked his own lawyer. I’m going to assume that someone else probably handled his appeal after he was convicted for that.
Farmer Wants A Wife (Wednesday Night, FOX)
Apparently, this show is 1) based on a British program and 2) also a reboot of a show that aired on the CW way back in 2008. Basically, a bunch of city girls compete for the chance to marry four farmers. The dramatic high point of the first episode came when the farmers had to ask each girl, “Do you want to come back to my farm?” and the women were then given the choice to say yes or to walk out. Only one girl walked out. Everyone else was like, “I’d love to go back to the farm with you!” This show felt a lot like Burning Love, the brilliant and much-missed parody of The Bachelor franchise.
I enjoyed the first episode, though. With The Bachelor a bit of a bore this season, Farmer Wants A Wife might temporarily replace it as my new guilty pleasure show. I’m always torn between my love of the city and my nostalgia for the country so this is a show to which I can relate. Plus, the farmers are all handsome and strong and they don’t look like the types to spend a lot of time crying about the state of the world. This show brings out my country girl side. I think my accent got a hundred times more Southern while I was watchin’ it.
Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)
This week’s episode was great. I hope Matt Walsh makes a guest appearance every season.
Jared From Subway (Monday Night, ID)
This three-hour documentary detailed, in repulsive detail, the crimes of Jared Fogle and his associate, Russell Taylor. On the one hand, it did a good job of showing how America’s cult of celebrity allowed Jared to flourish. On the other hand, Rochelle Herman, the journalist who first recorded Jared talking about his desires, often came across as being more concerned with promoting herself than anything else. Between the use of blurry reenactments and the people who were interviewed solely so they could talk about how “beautiful” Rochelle was, the documentary was occasionally its own worst enemy.
The New Wave Theatre (Night Flight Plus)
I watched an episode of this 80s cable access show on Saturday morning. The music was good and loud.
Night Court (Tuesday Night, NBC)
Abby is all excited because her favorite podcast host is in the court to serve as a witness. Abby thinks that the going-ons at the court would make a great podcast! The host, however, only wants to interview Dan. Dan talks about running for the city council in the 80s and bribing people to vote. “It was hard to get people to vote in the 80s,” Dan says, “there were other things to do …. like cocaine! Plus, Pac-Man had just come out and that was the perfect surface on which to do cocaine.” Okay, that made me laugh. The rest of the episode was fairly forgettable. The problem is that Dan is the only consistently well-written character and John Larroquette so completely dominates the show that it’s hard not to kind of resent having to spend time with any of the other characters.
Night Flight (Night Flight Plus)
On Friday, I watched an episode from the early 80s. It was about erotic imagery in music videos. Prince and Madonna were heavily featured.
Poker Face (Thursday Night, Peacock)
Though it took me a month and a half to get around to it, I finally watched the first episode of Poker Face on Tuesday night. I resisted because the commercials (“Meet Charlie Cale, you’re going to like her.”) annoyed me and the show’s creator Rian Johnson is undeniably talented but also makes films that occasionally seem to be a bit too impressed with their own cleverness. However, Poker Face has been critically acclaimed since it premiered and I do like Natasha Lyonne and Benjamin Bratt so I decided to finally give the show a chance.
The first episode was set in Nevada and set up the premise of the series. Lyonne stars as Charlie, who has the ability to tell whenever anyone is lying. Over the course of the episode she discovered that her boss (played by Adrian Brody) was a liar and, after his suicide, she had to go on the run. The episode looked great. I loved the sight of Charlie’s little trailer sitting in the desert and I also liked the contrast between the opulent casino and the messy house where the episode’s murder actually took place. Plotwise, it suffered from a problem that is typical of pilots in that it tried to cram too much information into a limited amount of time. That said, it held my interest and Natasha Lyonne was sympathetic and likable as Charlie. I did find myself wishing that Charlie would cut down on the alcohol but I guess that’s what people do when they’re stuck in a go-nowhere situation. They drink to dull the pain.
The second episode was set in New Mexico and featured Charlie not only solving the murder of a Subway employee who had just won the lottery but also proving that a trucker was not a murderer. The mystery itself wasn’t that interesting (and really, since both episodes opened with showing us the murder being committed, it technically really wasn’t a mystery) but, again, the episode was entertaining due to Lyonne’s performance. Since this show is apparently going to reveal the identity of the murderer at the start of each murderer and then show how Charlie eventually learns the truth, it’s important that the lead character be likable and interesting. As much as I hate to admit it, the commercials were right. I like Charlie Cale.
South Park (Wednesday Night, Comedy Central)
“Written by Trey Parker and ChatGPT.”
I loved this week’s episode, mostly because it confirmed that ChatGPT is going to eventually transform the world into a cold, barren place where people have no appreciation for art or literature. It’s not a happy vision of the future but at least we’ve been warned so it won’t be too much of a shock.
Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)
I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor at the Reality TV Chat Blog!