Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 10/10/21 — 10/16/21


I didn’t watch much TV this week.  I’ve kind of made the decision to hold off on a lot of shows until after October so no Dancing With The Stars or The Voice for now.

Here’s what little I did watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

With the Gestapo looking to arrest Rene, Rene was forced to disguise himself by wearing a putty nose.  Yes, the nose did get smashed.  Yes, Rene did try to smoke a cigar.  Yes, the nose did catch on fire.  Rene, being the bravest man in France, ripped those nose off and threw it out the cafe, where it promptly exploded.  It was an interesting episode.

Bar Rescue (Weekday Mornings, Paramount Network)

I watched two episodes on Monday morning.  Judging from all the yelling and the scowling, apparently there is no more important job in America than being a good bar owner.

Friday the 13th: The Series (Yahoo)

I’m still having fun watching and sharing this series on the Shattered Lens!

Gabby Petito: ID Special Report (Wednesday Night, ID)

This didn’t really reveal anything about the case that I didn’t already know.  John Walsh showed up to say that he thinks Brian Laundrie is still alive.  I agree but, at the same time, I’m not sure if sending Dog the Bounty Hunter after him is the best way to eventually capture him.  So many people are using the Petito case to build up or reboot their own brand that I fear that Gabby herself is getting forgotten in the rush.  My heart breaks for her and her family.

The Office (Thursday Night, Comedy Central)

It watched an episode on Thursday.  It was from the final season.  Andy got out his guitar and started singing.  It was cringe city.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Help I’m Being Held Prisoner, Granville painted on the store window.  No one came to his aid.  This is the darkest British sitcom that I’ve ever seen.

Parking Wars (Weekday Mornings, A&E)

A&E’s tribute to fascism continues to be must-viewing for anyone who wants to understand how authoritarianism took root in the United States.  I watched a few episodes on Monday morning while I was straightening up around the house.  There was one terrifying parking cop in general, who kept complaining about people making excuses but who, at the same time, seemed to feel that she was a victim just because people didn’t appreciate getting ticketed.  Giving out tickets to the guilty is one thing.  Whining because people aren’t kissing your ass in response is another.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode here.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

In the past, I was often bored with The Walking Dead but charmed with Talking Dead.  This season, I’ve pretty much had the opposite reaction.  Every good episode of The Walking Dead is followed by a boring Talking Dead.  It doesn’t help that Talking Dead also has to hype up stuff like World Beyond.  It’s been a long time since that night that Chris Hardwicke shed a tear while discussing the death of Herschel.  (We miss you, Scott Wilson!)

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about this week’s episode here!

Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

Eh, who cares?  I set the DVR for it.  I watched it.  It didn’t interest me.  It feels too much like Walking Dead fanfic, to be honest.  I guess I’ll give it another chance next Sunday but, so far, this show just is not holding my interest at all.  It’s like the CSI: Cyber of The Walking Dead franchise.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 10/3/21 — 10/9/21


This has been a busy week.  Along with dealing with the Hole of Death, I also took my Dad to and from the chiropractor on Tuesday.  I’ve always been trying to keep up with my horrorthon commitments so I didn’t watch much TV.  That’s probably a good thing.

(“Girl, you watch too much TV!” as my friend Marty would say.)

Here’s a few thoughts on what I did watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Rene had to take pictures of the secret meeting.  Luckily, Michelle of the Resistance supplied him with a totally obvious hidden camera.  He had to hide it under his apron.  How would he operate the bulky camera without anyone noticing, you may be asking.  Michelle also supplied Rene with a fake arm.  Rene went through with it because, as Michelle and others often point out, Rene is the bravest man in France.

Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

It’s now safe to return to the beach.  Bachelor in Paradise is over …. for now!  Three couples got engaged so I guess we won’t see any of them next season.  I’m joking, of course.  They’ll all probably be back next season, even more bitter than ever.

Baywatch (Weekday Evenings, H&I)

While I was cleaning around the house on Sunday, I turned the TV on and had Baywatch going in the background.  It was the pilot film, Panic at Malibu Pier.  The Hoff tried to get used to being in charge while Madchen Amick stalked a lifeguard.

Columbo (YouTube)

Peter Falk vs. Donald Pleasence!  My friend Mark suggested this episode to me after I shared a scene of Pleasence from Wake in Fight.  It’s a terrifically entertaining episode and guess what?  You can watch it here on the Shattered Lens!

Dancing With The Stars (Monday Night, ABC)

It was Britney night!  I was too busy dancing myself to pay too much attention to the dancers on the show.

Flight of the Conchords (Friday Night, HBOMax)

After “dissing” several rappers, Bret formed a gang for his own protection.  Stay cool, Murray!

Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)

This is an entertaining show and I’ve been having fun highlighting here on the Shattered Lens.  Yes, I totally relate to Micki.  We both have red hair and a desire to collect cursed antiques.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Tuesday Afternoon, Sundance Channel)

I took my Dad to and from the chiropractor on Tuesday.  The television in the waiting room was tuned to the Sundance Channel and while I waited for my Dad to return, I watched two episodes of Law & Order: CI.  They were obviously very early episodes, as Vincent D’Onofrio was still slightly restrained in his performance as Goren.  One of the episodes featured a killer doctor and was kind of disturbing to watch in a doctor’s office.  Choosing what to show in the waiting room of an office is an underrated skill.  I usually go with one of the retro stations.  The shows may not be challenging but they’re also designed not to cause any undue worry.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright, that old perv, finally got to go away with nurse Gladys Emmanuel for the weekend.  Nothing happened, though.  The nurse really seems to be leading Arkwright on, perhaps hoping that someone who isn’t a sociopathic shopkeeper will show an interest in her.  Meanwhile, Granville continued to listen to the voices in his head, undoubtedly imploring him to burn everything to the ground.

Parking Wars (Weekday Mornings, A&E)

Apparently, A&E shows episodes of Parking Wars of every morning.  I watched two episodes while I was working from home on Monday morning.  In the first episode, the people at the impound lot had to deal with an irate “customer.”  Apparently, we were supposed to feel bad for the poor little government quislings who were having to deal with the citizens whose lives they make miserable.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Chris Hardwicke, who has gone back to being clean-shaven, spent some time talking about Walking Dead, which was cool.  But then he spent even more time trying to get the audience hyped up for Walking Dead: World Beyond and that just felt awkward.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about this week’s episode here!

Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

I hate to be rude but what the Hell is this?  I guess this show started during my temporary hiatus from all things related to The Walking Dead.  According to Wikipedia, World Beyond is in its seconds season.  AMC advertises the show by saying, “And now, the final season Walking Dead: World Beyond,” as if this show is some sort of landmark event as opposed to just a rather cynical spin-off from one mighty work of pop culture.

Anyway, as far as i can tell, Walking Dead: World Beyond is like a YA version of The Walking Dead.  Instead of adults killing each other and having endless discussions about the ethics of it all, it’s teenagers.  But, from what I saw of the show, it seems like a pretty pale imitation of The Walking Dead and, unlike Fear The Walking Dead, it doesn’t really add anything new to the story.  So, I don’t know if I’ll bother to set the DVR for any more episodes of Walking Dead: World Beyond.  I imagine I will but I probably won’t be very happy about it.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 9/26/21 — 10/2/21


If it seems like I watched an excessive amount of old TV shows this week, that’s because I did.  While I was working this week, I kept the TV turned to the retro channels.  The only exception to that rule was on Friday when I watched three daytime dramas.  For the most part, these shows served as background noise while I was making plan for this year’s Horrorthon but, at the same time, I have to admit that I do kind of like occasionally watching the old TV shows.  I’m a history nerd and, at their best, those shows are like stepping into a time machine and seeing the way people used to dress, talk, and, for better or worse, think.

This week also saw the end of Big Brother, which means that I can now devote all of my time to horror films.  Yay!

With all that in mind, here’s my week in television:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

With the Germans and the Italians holding a conference to determine their plans for invading England, it falls on Rene to discover their plans to send that information to the Resistance, via the use of a homing duck.  Yes, a duck.  There’s probably worse ways to do it, to be honest.  I know that the ducks in our neighborhood are pretty resilient.  Needless to say, Rene complained quite a bit but still did what he had to do.

Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

Ivan had to leave the show because he snuck out of his room during lockdown and tried to see one of the future contestants.  This show certainly does have a lot of rules for something that is essentially just a second-rate knock-off of Paradise Hotel.

Bewitched (Weekday Afternoon, Antenna TV)

I watched two episodes of this classic sitcom while doing some work around the office on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, both episodes were from the Dick Sargent years.  (I prefer the episodes with Dick York’s hapless Darrin to the episodes that feature Dick Sargent flying into a rage every few minutes.)  The first episode features Sarena causing trouble, which was fun.  The second episode featured Endora casting a hex on Darrin, which was fun if just because Darrin was such a pain in the ass that he certainly deserved it.

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

It’s over!  I wrote about the show and big finale over at the Big Brother Blog!

The Bold and the Beautiful (Weekday Afternoons, CBS)

Last year, when the COVID lockdowns first kicked in, I got sucked back into the world of the daytime dramas.  However, up until this week, it had been a few months since I had watched any of them.  I guess I just got bored with them.  That said, this Friday, I decided to check in with a few of them, just to see what was going on.

The Bold and the Beautiful remains my favorite, just because it’s so self-aware and intentionally over the top.  This Friday’s episode featured a lot of people having heated discussions and it was fun to watch.  The drama, the eye rollings, the flaring nostrils, the little smirks — Hell, I might have to start setting the DVR for these shows again!

CHiPs (Weekday Afternoon, Charge!)

I watched two episodes of this 70s cop show on Thursday.  The show itself was pretty bland but the California scenery was lovely and that opening theme music really gets stuck in your head.  They knew how to work a bassline in the 70s.

Cold Case (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)

Remember this show?  Cold Case followed the adventures of Lily (Kathryn Morris), the deathly pale cold case detective who never seemed to wash her hair.  On Wednesday, I watched an episode in which Lily and the cold case squad investigated the murder of a woman who made a tape for a dating service shortly before her death.  As always, the show started off on an interesting note but then got unbearable once Lily and the gang started doing their thing.

Crossing Jordan (Weekday Afternoons, Start TV)

On this crime show, Jill Hennessy played Jordan, a coroner who investigated crimes for some reason.  This was one of those overly quirky crime shows that aired in the aughts, so naturally Jordan has a crew of odd co-workers and a potential boyfriend played by Jerry O’Connell.  Fortunately, Miguel Ferrer was also on the show, lending it all some much needed gravitas.

I watched two episodes on Wednesday.  In the first one, Jordan researched the darkest corners of the internet.  (GASP!)  It was interesting to watch, just because the episode was made before Twitter and Facebook really became things.  This was followed by an episode in which Jordan investigate the death of corporal who had gone AWOL from Afghanistan.  Crossing Jordan was always at its worst when it tried to be political.

Considering how annoying I found this show to be, both during its original run and in reruns, I’m kind of surprised I watched two episodes.  Was I just too lazy to change the channel?  It’s possible.

CSI: Miami (Weekday Mornings, Charge!)

I don’t care what anyone says.  Between David Caruso putting on the sunglasses and Emily Proctor’s Southern accent, CSI: Miami was the best of the various CSIs.  I watched two episodes on Thursday.  The first one dealt with a man who died at a race track and it was okay but kind of forgettable.  The second one dealt with the mysterious world of the internet and there’s nothing I love more than when CSI: Miami explores the dark web!  While the team explored the internet, Horatio protected his niece from a killer and did that thing where he delivered one-liners in an extremely serious voice.  It was fun!

Dennis The Menace (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

Dennis the Menace?  More like Dennis the sociopath!  I watched two episodes on Tuesday.  When Dennis wasn’t harassing Mr. Wilson, he was making everyone else’s life a living Hell.  GO AWAY, YOU LITTLE BRAT!

Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)

Getting to discover old shows like this is one of the truly fun things about our annual horrorthon at TSL.

General Hospital (Weekday Afternoons, ABC)

Oh my God, Sonny might still be alive!  On Friday, I watched this show for the first time in months and I was immediately reminded of why I love General Hospital, despite the fact that I find the title to be misleading.  The show features nonstop drama, much of it revolving around gangsters named Sonny who know how to fake their own death.

Ghost Whisperer (Weekday Mornings, Start TV)

As I’ve written in the past, I love Ghost Whisperer!  The episode that I watched on Wednesday featured a ghost leading Melinda to a munitions dump that was full of unexploded bombs.  I don’t believe in ghosts but, if they did exist, I would hope they would be willing to confide in me as easily as they do Melinda.

I Dream of Jeannie (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

I watched two episodes of this old show on Tuesday, while I was doing some work around the office.  The first episode featured Jeannie’s sister trying to steal away Major Nelson.  The 2nd featured a con artist (played by Milton Berle) trying to outsmart Jeannie! Oh no!  The 2nd episode took place in Hawaii, which was nice.  I loved visiting Hawaii.

Hazel (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)

Hazel is an old sitcom about a live-in maid who insists on trying to run everyone’s life.  On Tuesday, I had the TV in the office tuned to Antenna TV and, as a result, two episodes of Hazel served as background noise while I worked.  In one episode, Hazel’s employer was convinced that the neighbors were interfering with his TV reception.  In the second episode, Hazel came to the defense of a friend who was accused of being a corporate spy.  I felt bad for Hazel, who apparently didn’t have much of a life outside of work.

Knight Rider (Weekday Afternoons, Charge!)

I’ve often heard of this old show but Thursday was the first time that I ever watched an episode.  In fact, I watched two episodes.  Youngish David Hasselhoff driving a car that talks in the voice of Mr. Feeney?  What’s not to love!?  Actually, to be honest, it seemed like the type of show that would get pretty boring once the novelty wore off.  The car was cool, though.  The first episode featured the Hoff and the car saving a building from detonation.  The second found the Hoff driving the car in a race and protecting a journalist.  In both cases, everything turned out for the best.

McHale’s Navy (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)

This was an old sitcom about a bunch of sailors in the Navy.  It was obviously made at a time when America was not at war because you wouldn’t trust any of these people to be able to handle a combat situation.  Ernest Borgnine played the McHale of the title.  I had the show on for background noise while I was doing some work around the office on Tuesday.  Antenna TV aired two episodes but I didn’t pay much attention to either one.  One featured a chimpanzee.  The other featured McHale trying to run a beauty contest.  Ernest Borgnine seemed to be having fun.

Medium (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)

Medium was the serious version of Ghost Whisperer, starring Patricia Arquette instead of Jennifer Love Hewitt.  It will always be interesting to me that Patricia basically spent the first decade of this century starring in Medium and filming Boyhood on the weekends.  Anyway, Medium was always a bit too dour for me but Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber both gave good performance every week that the show aired.  It was a show for grown-ups, one that unfortunately aired when I was anything but.

Start TV always shows Medium after Ghost Whisperer, which makes it impossible not to compare the two shows.  On Wednesday, I watched an episode in which Patricia developed a sensitivity to light.  She started wearing sunglasses but whenever she put them on, everyone that she saw would have a number on their head that states how many days they have left to live.  AGCK!  Actually, by Medium standards, this was a fun episode.

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

PBS’s airing of Moone Boy came to a touching end with two final episodes on Sunday.  The first featured Dessie trying to open a Catholic book shop.  It soon became popular with people of all religions, including Scientologists!  The second episode featured the death of Martin’s grandfather and the return of his grandfather’s imaginary friend, George Gershwin (played by Paul Rudd).  It was the a very, very sweet episode, one that took an honest but humorous look at aging, maturing, and death.  The final scene brought tears to my mismatched eyes,  What a good show!  I’m glad I got to see it.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

I didn’t really pay much attention to this episode but I’m pretty sure a dog ordered Granville to go on a rampage.  I’m a little bit worried about Granville, to be honest.  He seems to let things get to him.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

You can read my thoughts on the latest episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Talking Dead was a bit bland this week, which was a shame considering how good the latest episode of The Walking Dead was.  For the record, the guests were superfan Yvette Nicole Brown and, via satellite, Lauren Ridloff.

That Girl (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

On Tuesday afternoon, I had the TV in the office tuned to Antenna TV, largely because I had a lot of work to do and retro sitcoms are often the perfect background noise.  Among the shows that aired were two episodes of That Girl, which is a show that I had heard of but never watched before.  Marlo Thomas plays Anne Marie, an actress.  I appreciated the fact that Anne and I share a middle name.

Anyway, I didn’t really pay much attention to the two episodes that aired.  I had a lot of work to get done.  The first episode featured Anne dealing with a potential audit from the IRS and it was nice to see that people in the 70s hated the IRS as much as I hate them right now.  The second episode featured Anne Marie trying to encourage a singer who was planning on becoming a nun.  In both cases, everything worked out for the best.

Three’s Company (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

I watched two episodes of this very 70s sitcom on Tuesday.  I should admit that I only had it on for background noise while I was finishing up some work so I didn’t pay much attention to it.  I’ve seen a few episodes of this show over the year and I’ve never really seen the appeal.  I’m just like, “Just explain what really happened and get on with your life!”

Anyway, the first episode features James Cromwell — yes, that James Cromwell — as a vice cop who thought Chrissy was a prostitute so he came back to the apartment to arrest her but Jack thought he was just a jerk so he punched him and then Cromwell tried to arrest everyone but then Mr. Roper said that Jack was gay so Cromwell let him go because it would be too embarrassing to admit that he got punched out by a gay guy.  God, that was exhausting.  This was followed by an episode where everyone thought the apparently asexual Mr. Roper was having an affair because every character on the show was an idiot.

Unforgettable (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)

On this show, Poppy Montgomery played a detective who had the ability to remember every single thing she had ever seen or heard.  It was a really interesting premise and Poppy Montgomery was a good series lead but the show was never as interesting as it should have been.  The episode I watched on Wednesday featured Poppy and Dylan Walsh transporting a witness down to Florida.  It was a pretty basic show but Poppy and Dylan had an enjoyable chemistry.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

This week’s episode was pretty good and I wrote about it here!

The Young and the Restless (Weekday Afternoons, CBS)

After having not watched the show for a month, I watched Friday’s episode.  There was a lot of talking.  Mariah and Tessa were debating whether or not start a family.  Victoria and Nick’s rivalry was threatening to ruin a wedding.  As usual, there were a lot of restless people on the show.  I enjoyed it.  I like watching attractive, rich people argue.

In conclusion …. actually, this post is already over 2,000 words long so we probably don’t need a conclusion.  It was a good week!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/12/21 — 9/18/21


Again, this was another week where I didn’t watch much.  But I have a good reason.  Number one, I was up at Lake Texoma for the first part of the week and I forgot to set the DVR to record a few shows.  Number two, I accidentally DVRed a reshowing of the first episode of Impeachment and I missed the second episode and, since I didn’t care much for the first episode, I didn’t bother to rewatch.  Number three, I somehow totally forget abut the Brooklyn Nine Nine finale.  That was such a good show but I always had a hard time figuring out when it was actually airing.  Finally, I watched quite a few movies this week as I continued to prepare for October!

So, here’s a few notes on what little television did I watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Having avoided (through a convoluted set of circumstances) marrying the head of the community resistance, Rene found himself being targeted for death by that same resistance.  Rene was forced to once again fake his own death and then wander around the village disguised as his father, which meant putting on a fake beard.  Rene even resorted to asking Herr Flick to “lock me up in one of your dungeons for a few days,” but Flick refused because they couldn’t just have people wandering in from off the street.  Rene even asked Office Crabtree to arrest him.  “Are you confessing to a cream?” Crabtree responded, in his broken French.  It was all a bit complicated and, in the end, nothing really worked out.  But it made me laugh and that’s the important thing.

Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

Because I forgot to set the DVR, I only saw one of this week’s episodes of Bachelor in Paradise.  Lil Jon was the new host because eventually, every reality show will be hosted by Lil Jon for a week.  I didn’t really pay too much attention to the show, to be honest.  I had just gotten back from the lake and I was tired.

Big Brother (All the Time, CBS and Paramount Plus)

It’s almost over and I’m happy about that.  I like Big Brother but I always get a bit bored with it towards the end.  I’m still writing about the show over at the Big Brother Blog.

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

I was happy that Trenton won, even though he did occasionally act like a bit of a jerk.  Still, he obviously earned his victory and I’m sure that Megan will find success as well, even if she didn’t ultimately win Hell’s Kitchen.  I really liked this season.  The kinder, gentler Chef Ramsay was fun to watch and, for once, he really seemed to actually enjoy working with the younger chefs.  Who would have thought that Hell’s Kitchen would end up becoming the most positive and feel-good reality show of 2021?

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Two episodes of Moone Boy aired on Sunday.  I recorded both.  The first featured the Moones trying to fool granddad into giving up his house so that Fidelma, Dessie, and the baby would have some place to live other than with them.  Meanwhile, Martin wandered about with a video camera, hoping to capture something that could be sent to Ireland’s version of America’s Funniest Home Videos.  Fortunately, it turned out that Grandad’s home was full of bats and when they attacked Dessie, Martin had his video!  The second episode featured Martin and Padraic all excited about the idea of aliens having landed in Boyle.  Can you blame them?

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

After overordering, Arkwright desperately tried to get his customers to buy extra apples.  Meanwhile, Granville continued to wonder how his once promising life had descended into the living Hell of being a 40 year-old stockboy.

The Ultimate Surfer (Tuesday Night, ABC)

Though two episodes aired this week, I only watched the 2nd episode.  I still have no idea what’s happening on the show, beyond that it features a lot of attractive people getting wet.  But, sometimes that’s all a show needs.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Walking Dead here.

Yes, Minister (Sunday Night, PBS)

PBS aired two episodes of Yes, Minister and I recorded both of them, despite having seem both of them before.  That’s just how good this show is!  The first episode featured Jim unsuccessfully trying to reduce the power and size of the civil service.  The second episode featured a lively debate about whether or not the government should allow citizens to have any privacy.  Even though this show is over 40 years old, both episodes continue to feel extremely relevant to our current situation.  That’s the mark of a good show.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/5/21 — 9/11/21


Jeff and I have been up at Lake Texoma since Wednesday so I haven’t watched much television.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.  Sometimes, it’s important to take some time off.

Here’s a few thoughts on what I did watch this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

After being absent for a few weeks, Allo Allo is back on PBS!  Having won his freedom from the Communist Resistance, Rene finds himself still expected to marry the head of the Communists.  Meanwhile, Herr Flick continues to search for the missing painting, Edith somehow does not realize that Rene is cheating on her with literally everyone on the show, and Crabtree continues to speak very bad French.  It was a strange but entertaining episode.

Bachelor in Paradise (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

This week, temporary host Lance Bass was replaced by Tituss Burgess.  Unlike the sarcastic David Spade and the overly earnest Bass, Burgess was just kind of boring, though it was fun to watch the Bachelors and the Bachelorettes all pretend to be huge Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fans.  Anyway, though I watched them, I didn’t really pay much attention to either one of this week’s episodes.  It’s a show about attractive people hanging out on the beach.  You really don’t have to pay that much attention to what’s actually going on.  Just enjoy the scenery.

Big Brother (All The Time, CBS and Paramount Plus)

It’ll be over by the end of this month!  Until then, I’m writing about it over at the Big Brother Blog.

Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)

I finished binging Dragnet this week, watching the final three episodes of the show’s fourth season on Monday and Tuesday.  In a minute, the results of that binge.

Monday got started with an episode in which Joe and Gannon were investigating a string of robberies.  A woman called them and claimed that her ex-husband was responsible.  However, it turned out that he wasn’t responsible and that his ex was just trying to get him in trouble because she was still angry over the end of their marriage!  However, it then turned out that, even though he wasn’t responsible for the crimes his wife accused him of, he was still holding up other stores!  It was actually kind of an interesting story though, Dragnet being Dragnet, all of the action did stop for a lengthy explanation of how fingerprinting works.  This was followed by another episode in which Joe and Gannon tracked down a thief, this time a safecracker.  The safecracker was well-played by G.D. Spradlin, who later played Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather Part II and Col. Corman in Apocalypse Now.  This episode was also memorable for featuring a crime victim named Mr. Letterman.  Needless to say, whenever his name was mentioned, I immediately pictured David Letterman looking annoyed.

On Tuesday, I set the DVR to record the final episode of the 60s revival of Dragnet.  This episode, called “The Victims,” followed Joe and Gannon over the course of one night, as they investigated a series of crimes.  They investigated a few robberies and yet another murder at a boarding house.  Throughout it all, the emphasis was placed less on the detectives and more on the traumatized victims of the crimes that they were investigating.  Throughout the show’s run, even during the campy third season, Dragnet centered around the idea that that the job of the police was to protect and serve the public and this episode emphasized that point.  With the exception of a scene where Joe (rightly) reprimanded a patrolman who didn’t show enough compassion for a robbery victim, there was no moralizing.  Instead, Joe and Gannon did their jobs as best they could and tried to help out the innocent victims of terrible crimes.  It was the perfect final episode for this series.

Now that my binge of Dragnet is over, I can say that it wasn’t a bad show at all.  Yes, it’s dated, as any show that ran from 1967 to 1970 would be.  And yes, the drug-and-hippie shows were frequently campy.  But there really weren’t as many episodes about drugs and hippies as I imagined.  Instead, for the most part, this was just a show about two men trying to do the right thing and protect their community.  Some of the episodes were undeniably silly and it’s easy to laugh at any episode in which Friday and Gannon went undercover but quite a few of the episodes hold up well as police procedurals.  If nothing else, the show is an interesting time capsule of when it was made.  As a history nerd, I enjoyed it.

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

On Monday night, there were two episodes of Hell’s Kitchen, meaning that two chefs were eliminated ahead of next week’s finale.  Steve was the first to go, with Chef Ramsay saying that Steve had talent and a good attitude but that he wasn’t vocal enough in the kitchen.  Second to go was Brynn, who Rasmsay said had the makings of a great chef but who still needed to learn how to control her emotions.  I don’t think anyone who has watched this season was surprised to see those two chefs eliminated but I did appreciate that Ramsay emphasized their positive traits and encouraged them, even as he sent them out the door.  I like the kinder, gentler Ramsay.

Three chefs remain and the finale is next week!  Personally, I’m rooting for Trenton.

Impeachment: American Crime Story (Monday Night, FX)

This is the third installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story series and it deals with the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

The first installment of American Crime Story dealt with the O.J. Simpson trial and it worked largely because the involvement of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski worked as a buffer against producer Ryan Murphy’s worst instincts.  The second installment, about Andrew Cunanan and Gianni Versace, started out strong but ended up getting so bogged down in its reverse chronology gimmick that it lost whatever narrative momentum it had going.  It’s too early to pass judgment on the third installment but I’ve had my doubts about it from the beginning.  In what world, I wondered, could an Arkansas hillbilly like Bill Clinton, a living caricature of everything that is wrong with American politics, somehow be played by the handsome and charming Clive Owen?  Even with Monica Lewinsky reportedly signing on as a co-producer, it was hard to imagine Ryan Murphy ever producing a show that would truly be critical of a Democrat, even one as terrible as Bill Clinton.

The first episode was uneven.  It dragged a bit, lacking a dramatic set piece like O.J. Simpson getting arrested or Versace getting shot, in broad daylight, outside of his mansion.  Instead, this episode built up to Bill Clinton calling Monica Lewisnky for phone sex but the effect was ruined by the sight of Clive Owen wearing a prosthetic nose.  The majority of the episode was taken up with Sarah Paulson, acting up a storm as yet another obnoxious character with no social skills and while Paulson did her usual good job, it all felt rather familiar.  The episode worked best during the few scenes that focused on Paula Jones, well-played by Annaleigh Ashford.  Jones was the first woman to accuse Clinton of sexual harassment and, in the days before Me Too, she was ridiculed and caricatured as being “trailer trash” by the rabidly pro-Clinton national media.  In the scenes in which Jones faced a barrage of ridicule and outrageously sexist questions from the press, Impeachment showed why this decades-old political scandal matters.

Mom (Weekday Afternoons, Paramount Plus)

On Tuesday afternoon, as I was packing to go up to the lake for the week, I had Mom playing in the background.  I think I went through about four episodes.  I didn’t pay much attention but, from what I saw, each one seemed to be more depressing than the last.  This show always reminds me of why I could never be an alcoholic because there’s no way I’d ever be able to bring myself to sit through those AA meeting with all of their rules.

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

After being gone for a few weeks, Moone Boy is once again airing on PBS on Sunday Night.  This week’s episode featured Padraic running away from home and Debra trying to launch a new career as a marriage counselor.  Needless to say, things didn’t go as planned for either one of them.  It was a funny episode, as they tend to be.  I especially enjoyed it when Martin and Padraic attempted to take up shoplifting.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Open All Hours is back on PBS.  This week, Arkwright went to a funeral and left Granville alone at the store.  Though Granville seemed to enjoy having some time to himself, I’m going to guess that he probably spent most of the time wondering how he had ever ended up trapped in a go-nowhere existence, living in a run-down shop as an indentured servant to a greedy old man who cared not whether his employee lived or died.  It was a pretty dark episode.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

It was fairly dull Talking Dead this week.  Sometimes, Talking Dead is the perfect way to recover from an intense viewing experience.  Other times, it just reminds you that it’s essentially a one-hour infomercial for The Walking Dead.  This week was a case of the latter.

The Ultimate Surfer (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

Much as with Bachelor in Paradise, I have no idea what’s actually happening on this show.  I just know that it features attractive people surfing and that’s really all that matters.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday, I rewatched the first episode of Upstart Crow, with Will working on Romeo and Juliet, Kate lobbying for a chance to play the lead role despite the law against allowing women on stage, and Will’s family wondering why his poems don’t make much sense.  I had seen it before but it all held up very well.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I (finally) reviewed this week’s episode earlier today.  You can read my thoughts by clicking here.

Yes, Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

Yay!  Yes, Minister is back on PBS!  They’re reshowing the show from the beginning so I rewatched the first two episodes on Monday morning.  The first dealt with Jim Hacker learning about his new ministry and getting expertly manipulated by Sir Humphrey for the first time.  This was followed by the episode in which Jim discovered that the world’s newest dictator was an old college classmate.  Both episodes held up well to repeat viewing.  In fact, having to deal with the daily reality of a Biden presidency has led me to have a greater appreciation for this show’s satirical portrayal of shallow politicians and devious civil servants.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 8/8/21 — 8/14/21


I’m healthy again this week, at least physically.  (I’m stressed out mentally but that’s a story for another time.)  Here’s what I watched:

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

It appeared that Rene and LeClerc were about to executed by the Communist Resistance until it was discovered that Denise, the leader of the communists, was Rene’s “childhood love.”  So now, Rene has to marry Denise, despite the fact that he’s already married to Edith.  Meanwhile, the two British airmen decided to surrender themselves to the Germans but they could not find an officer to surrender to and surrendering to an enlisted man just wouldn’t be the right thing to do.  So, they ran off to search for Officer Crabtree.

It was a chaotic but funny episode, as they tend to be.

The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Night)

This week was the finale of The Bachelorette!  Still mourning the loss of Greg, Katie got engaged to Blake.  In fact, she basically just told Justin to go home so that she and Blake could spend all of their time together.  For all the talk about how Katie was all about ending drama, this was certainly a messy season and it only got messier when Blake met Katie’s mother and her aunt.  Her mom actually had some intelligent things to say and was right to be skeptical.  Katie’s aunt was perhaps the scariest person to ever appear on The Bachelorette and it was hard not to feel that her main concern was just making sure that Katie would forever be as miserable as everyone else in the family.  Katie and Blake got engaged in the desert, in a ceremony that was so pretentious that …. well, Katie and Blake are both fairly pretentious so I guess it was appropriate.

I watched the episodes with my girls, Evelyn, Emma, and Amy, and a bottle of wine.  Between the four of us, a lot of snarky and unrepeatable comments were made towards the television on Monday night.  That’s really the only right way to watch the finale of any season of the Bachelorette.  Admittedly, I’m not much of a drinker, which is another way of saying that a little Chardonnay puts me flat on my ass.  Evelyn says that I was drunk before I finished my first glass.  Personally, I think it was probably more like two glasses.  The point is that this messy show is the only thing that ever drives me to drink.

As we watched Katie scream at Greg at the reunion show, we all agreed that Katie is still in love with him and that she only got engaged to Blake as a sort of rebound revenge thing.  It was interesting to watch Katie literally transform into the villain of her season before our eyes.  If Blake and Katie break up (which they will), will Blake appear on a fourth season of the Bachelorette?  I guess we’ll find out.  Have they broken up already?  I don’t know, I was dealing with a sip of Chardonnay

.

Bar Rescue (Sunday, Paramount TV)

I watched an episode of this on Sunday morning, while I was trying to work up the strength to get out of bed and start my day.  Actually, since I wasn’t wearing my contacts or my glasses, I didn’t so much watch it as I listened to it while squinting.  Taffer was yelling at some blurry guy who I guess owned a fetish bar of some sort.

Big Brother (All the time, CBS and Paramount Plus)

Yep, I’m still watching this and writing about it over at the Big Brother Blog.

Court Cam (Wednesday Day, A&E)

I only had this show on for background noise while Windows was doing an update.  At this point, it seems like they’ve repeated every episode of Court Cam at least a hundred times.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Amber Guyger received a hug from Botham Jean’s brother before going to prison.

Fantasy Island (Tuesday Night, FOX)

Fox’s Fantasy Island reboot premiered this week and the first episode was stylish but also a bit predictable and, dare I say it, a little dull.  Roselyn Sanchez seems like a good choice to play the proprietor of Fantasy Island but it’s already easy to see that the show, much like last year’s attempt to turn Fantasy Island into a film franchise, is probably going to get bogged down in its own mythology.

Fasten Your Seat Belts (Wednesdays, A&E)

Originally, I was pretty skeptical of this show, which is made up footage of people acting either silly or crazy at airports and on airplanes.  But the two episodes that I watched on Wednesday morning were actually kind of cute.  It helps that Robert Hays is a very charming host.

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched an episode on Monday.  Chandler and Monica returned from their honeymoon, convinced they had made new friends, just to discover that they had been given fake numbers.  (Chandler was particularly shocked as all he did during the entire honeymoon was “joke and joke and joke!”)  That was just the B-plot, though.  The main plot was Ross and Rachel again trying to figure out who was responsible for their latest tryst.  It was a cute episode, featuring Joey’s “western Europe” story.

I watched another episode on Thursday, this one featuring Monica obsessing on whether or not the maid had stolen her clothes.  Needless to say, both she and Chandler went a bit overboard in their investigation and they were soon left without a maid.  The debate over whether or not the maid had stolen Monica’s pink bra — which Monica later discovered that she was actually wearing at the time — was one that I could relate to, as Erin and I have had similar debates and oddly, many of them have centered on a pink bra.  It’s a cute bra and I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who bought it.  My sister disagrees.

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

After taking two weeks off for the Olympics, Hell’s Kitchen returned this week with an episode in which Hell’s Kitchen hosted a charity dinner.  Needless to say, it was a disaster and Victoria’s dream of being head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak came to an end.  Why does Chef Ramsay always agree to allow charities to hold events at the restaurant?  It’s always a disaster.

Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole (Tuesday Night, A&E)

As the result of a Supreme Court decision, prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment when they were juveniles are being given new sentences and, of course, A&E is there to record every dramatic and heart-wrenching moment.  It all feels a bit exploitive, of course.  I watched two episodes, both of which were painfully heavy-handed as far as who the cameras focused on and on whose pain was considered to be more important, the victim or the victimizer.  A&E undoubtedly gets good ratings from shows like this but they still leave you feeling icky after the finish.

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

I watched two episodes on Tuesday morning.  The first episode was memorable because there were two possible fathers and both of them looked exactly like Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman.  The second episode featured a married couple that was being driven apart by accusations of infidelity.  No one drags out reading DNA test results like Judge Lake.

Lonesome Dove (Wednesday Night, DVD)

I’ve been watching this classic 1990 miniseries with the #WestWed live tweet group, hosted by Matthew Titus.  I watched the first two episodes this week.  It’s the story of a cattle drive during the dying days of the old west, featuring great performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Diane Lane, Chris Cooper, Fredric Forrest, and especially Robert Duvall.  Even Steve Buscemi showed up during the second episode!

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

There’s a chance that Moone Boy might be leaving PBS’s schedule next week.  If so, this week’s episode was a good one to go out on.  When Liam and Debra go on a anniversary vacation to the beach, Martin and Padriac head down to Dublin (“where the streets all have names,” we’re told) to stay with Martin’s uncle.  When we last Uncle Danny, he was pretending to be a roadie with U2.  However, in this episode, Danny is honest about his profession as an encyclopedia salesman.  Through a series of events too complicated to explain in a capsule review, Martin and Padriac spend the week selling encyclopedias while Liam is tempted by an ex-girlfriend who happens to be at the same resort as he and Debra.  It was funny, sweet, and just silly enough to be effective.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright got a dog to protect the shop while Granville feared that he might be the father of Maureen’s baby.  Silly, Granville!  You have to have sex with someone to get them pregnant and that’s definitely something Granville’s never done.

Seinfield (Weeknights, CBS)

I watched two episodes on Sunday.  I relate so much to Elaine Benes.  During the first episode, she went hoarse after spending all night yelling at a barking dog.  (Like I said, I can relate.)  During the second episode, she worked with a potentially psychotic co-workers and still managed to put out the latest edition of the J. Peterman catalogue on schedule.

I then watched two episodes on Thursday.  The first featured one of my favorite Seinfeld characters, Bob Cobb.  Bob is better known as the Maestro.  The Maestro told Jerry that there were no houses for rent in Tuscany, which of course led to Jerry and Kramer going to Tuscany just to spite him.  The second episode featured Jerry and Kramer switching apartments due to the red neon sign of a new chicken restaurant.  I laughed.

S.W.A.T. (Wednesday Night, CBS)

When this show suddenly came on my television on Wednesday night, I was shocked to discover that it still existed (because, seriously, I figured it had been canceled after one season) and that Shemar Moore is still the most boring man on television.  I would be lying if I said I actually paid attention to the episode, of course.  I had it on for background noise.  I imagine that’s the way many people use this particular show.

Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremonies (Sunday Night, NBC)

Remember how, last week, I said I was okay with the idea of the United States not winning the most gold medals?  Well, I may have been fooling myself because, when I found out the U.S. had defeated China in the gold medal race on Sunday afternoon, I was incredibly happy and excited!  Congratulations, Team USA!  (Especially those of you who went to the Olympics to try to win, as opposed to just trying to promote your brand or your politics….)

Though I missed a lot of the 2nd week of the Olympics, I did catch the Closing Ceremonies and I found them to be very moving.  This year, more than any other, the International Games truly meant something.  Congratulations to everyone who competed (but especially to the ones who won)!

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

PBS is apparently intent on breaking my heart as it appears that this is the last episode of Upstart Crow that they’re going to broadcast for a while.  Of course, it was also the last episode of the show’s third series.  It was followed by two Christmas episodes but, unfortunately, those episodes don’t appear to be in the show’s American syndication package.  Hopefully, I’m wrong and this will be corrected but, right now, PBS doesn’t have the show on its schedule for next week.  Of course, PBS doesn’t have any of their other regular British sitcoms scheduled for next week, either.  So, we’ll wait and see, I guess.

This week’s episode — wow, where to even start?  It started out as a typical episode of Upstart Crow, with Shakespeare blowing off the confirmation of his son, Hamnet, so that he could attend the first annual London Theatrical Awards.  Shakespeare confidently expected to win because, due to the Plague, his plays were the only ones running.  However, Robert Greene produced a one-night only showing of one of his plays and then paid off the voters so that he swept the awards.  The highlight of the ceremony was not Shakespeare winning (for he won nothing) but instead a tribute to the “late” Kit Marlowe (Kit, who faked his death, attended but told everyone that his name was Kurt) and the caustic hosting of Will Kempe.  It was all very funny, especially if you’re into awards shows.

Empty-handed, Will returned home to Stratford, where he discovered his family in mourning as Hamnet has died, of the Plague, the night before.  Though the agnostic Will did not believe that he would be reunited with his son in Heaven, he pretended that he did to comfort his wife, Anne.  It was a powerfully handled scene, wonderfully written and performed by the entire cast.  It ended the show on a melancholy note but also a historically accurate one.  Hamnet Shakespeare did die at a young age, presumably of the Plague.  The episode’s final scene of Will and Anne sitting silently in their room was sad but also somewhat comforting.  In mourning, they had each other.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 8/1/21 — 8/7/21


Let me tell you about my week. On Sunday, I started to feel slightly congested. The left side of my face hurt a little whenever I smiled. Since I’ve been vaccinated, I wasn’t terribly worried about it being COIVD or anything like that but still, I did think to myself, “I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come.”

On Monday, I woke up feeling a bit more discomfort, especially on the left side of the my face. After making sure I still had my sense of taste and smell, I thought to myself, “Well, it is allergy season.”

By Tuesday, I was in the throes of a full-blown sinus infection! AGCK! I’m talking fever, fatigue, pain, the whole thing. Fortunately, the really bad part of it only last two days. By Thursday, I started to feel better and, as I sit here typing this on Saturday, I would say that I’m 99% over being sick. That 1% is still there but I’m definitely read to move on.

Anyway, as a result of being ill and medicated, I spent a lot of this week in bed and not a lot of it watching television. (The DVR, however, is now almost full so I’ll have a lot to get caught up on over the next few days.) Here’s some notes on what little I did watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Uh-oh, Rene’s been captured by the Communist Resistance! Even worse, LeClerc has been captured alongside him. Now, Rene and LeClerc are bound on a circular saw table and it’s up to Edith, Yvette, Mimi, and Michelle to rescue him. I think Rene may be doomed. We’ll find out next week, I guess.

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

Since this season began, there have been rumors about Greg leaving the show right before the finale so I can’t say that I was shocked when, this week, he left the show right before the finale. Greg left because he was upset that Katie refused to say that she loved him while she still had two other men competing for the final rose. Uh, Greg — what show did you think you were on?

Anyway, Greg has left and I imagine Katie will now settle for Blake. It’s funny how often this show seems to end with The Bachelorette settling for her second choice after her first choice either leaves the show or suddenly proves himself to be not the man that she thought he was.

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

I’m having a really difficult getting into this season but I’m still writing about the show over at the Big Brother Blog!

Love Island (Weeknights, CBS)

Despite having sworn off this amazingly shallow show, I did watch an episode on Sunday night because I was too lazy to change the channel. That’s right, I admit it. I’m lazy! Anyway, this episode featured the women dancing in lingerie while the men made goofy faces. I like dancing in lingerie so maybe I should have applied to have been on this show. Oh well. Missed opportunities and all.

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

While the town of Boyle celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, Fidelma got married and gave birth at the same time! Unfortunately, Martin also got his heart broken when he traveler girlfriend mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind a note that explained that she and her family had left town because “that’s what we do.” Poor Martin!

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright pretended to be ill in order to get the attention of the local nurse while Granville continued to dream of murder and destruction.

Silk Stalkings (Weekday Afternoons, ZLiving)

On Thursday, I came out of my daze long enough to watch two epiosdes of this show on ZLiving. I have no idea what the plot of each episode was but there were a lot of undressed people, a lot of gunplay, and John O’Hurley appeared in one of them as a wealthy murder victim.

Tokyo Olympics (Every day on every network)

On Sunday, I watched the BMX freestyle competition. Go, BMX Bandits, go!

And that’s it! Seriously, I loved what I saw of the Olympics this year but, once that sinus infection it, I pretty much stopped watching because I was in a bit of a daze. I hear that the U.S. performed slightly below expectations, despite the fact that U.S. athletes won the most overall medals and, as of right now, we’re in 2nd place behind China as far as gold medals are concerned. Usually, as a patriotic American, that would bother me but this year …. eh.

Fortunately, there’s still one more day of coverage to go and I plan to watch as much as I can on Sunday!

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

I loved Sunday’s episode, largely because it dealt with the production of one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays, Julius Caesar! It was very interesting to see the show’s version of how Julius Caesar went from being a comedy about Caesar taking a vacation in Kent to being one of Shakespeare’s best historical plays. Of course, along the way, we also had time for Shakespeare to prevent an attempted coup in the theater company and for Kate to once again call everyone out for their foolishness.

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