Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/22/22 — 5/28/22


We’ve been up in Arkansas for most of this week so I haven’t watched much television.  Interestingly enough, I have watched quite a few films and written quite a few reviews.  I guess there’s probably a lesson to be learned there.

I have to be honest.  As much as I want to get caught up on all of the miniseries and shows that I didn’t get a chance to see over the past few months, it’s difficult to get started.  It doesn’t help that even the miniseries that sound interesting are still way too long.  I saw a show that I was interested in watching on Netflix but then I checked and I discovered that it’s 10 episodes long, each episode is over 60 minutes, and the first episode deals with the main character’s grandparents.  It’s hard for me to justify spending 11 to 12 hours on a show that doesn’t even start with the main storyline.  During the pandemic, streaming services could get away with that sort of thing because there were no other options.  Today, there are other options, assuming you don’t live in one of those crazy lockdown states up north.

Anyway, here are a few thoughts on what I did watch this week:

1883 (Paramount Plus)

This western miniseries serves as a prequel to Yellowstone, a very popular show that I have yet to really watch.  Sam Elliott plays Shea Brennan, an aging and suicidal cowboy who helps to lead a group of German settlers across the frontier.  Along for the ride are the Duttons (played by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) and their teenage daughter, Elsa (Isabel May).  It’s a long journey, full of tragedy and violence.  Many people die, some from gunshot and some just from accidentally run over by a wagon.  Elsa narrates.  Shea finds something to live for.  The Duttons eventually settle in the land that will serve as the setting of Yellowstone.  

Each episode of 1883 was sponsored by a store that sells tractor supplies and that pretty much tells you who the target audience was for the show.  For all the graphic violence, sex, and precision F-bombs, 1883 is a fairly old-fashioned western.  That said, it was all very well-done and well-acted.  Isabel May was the cast standout while Sam Elliott showed that, regardless of how you may feel about his Power of the Dog opinions, he’s still one of the most authentic western actors around.  1883 was long but, even over 10 episodes, there weren’t any slow spots and even potentially distracting cameos from Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Hanks didn’t take away from the show’s narrative momentum.

On a personal note, I liked 1883‘s portrayal of Fort Worth as being the most lawless town in Texas.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Having stowed away on the airplane that was meant to pick up the British airmen, Edith and Rene found themselves in the UK!  They also discovered that Captain Geering (last seen 3 seasons ago) was now working for the British.  Edith and Rene received medals for Chuchhill and then, to Rene’s consternation, they were promptly sent back to France.  They arrived just in time to keep Momma and LeClerc from performing their new cabaret number.  

By Allo Allo standards, this episode was actually fairly coherent.

American Idol (Monday Night, ABC)

Though I kind of lost interest in this season after Hollywood week, I did tune in to see Noah Thompson win the season on Monday.  To be honest, Noah seems like he’s destined to be one of the forgotten winners of American Idol but I was still happy to see that he beat the annoyingly quirky Leah Marlene and the annoyingly monikered Huntergirl.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

While this week’s episode didn’t feature anything quite as brilliant as last week’s customer service conversation, it was still a very good episode.  Gene’s dinner with Joe Mantegna was cringe comedy at its best.  Meanwhile, Sally’s show was canceled despite its RT score.  At first, I was a bit worried she would take Barry back but fortunately, Barry ruined the moment and she get kicked him out again.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Poor Howard!  I’ve seen enough of this show and Breaking Bad to know that Howard was probably going to die at some point but I was still upset to see it happen.  Patrick Fabian was terrific in the role.  Hopefully, the Emmy voters will remember Fabian this year.  If nothing else, he’s come a long way since he played Prof. Lasky on Saved By The Bell: The College Years.

Creepshow (Shudder)

On Friday, I watched the third episode of season 3.  A tech billionaire destroyed the wrong painting.  A prisoner took revenge after his pet spider was killed.  It was all enjoyably macabre.  Those killer spiders were especially creepy!  Agck!

Dynasty (Friday Night, The CW)

All the scheming and the plotting and the melodramatic dialogue continued this week.  To be honest, I was a bit out of it on Friday because I had strained my back earlier in the day so I’ll probably have to rewatch Friday’s episode.  I just know I’m going to miss Dynasty when it’s gone.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

Maryanne won.  I was happy that Maryanne won.  I know some people are saying that she only won because she was likable but Maryanne did engineer the Omar blindside so I think she earned her right to claim victory.  That said, I am getting a little bit tired of people riding their immunity idols all the way to the end of the game.  The show needs to put a time limit on those idols.  Anyway, I wrote about the finale for the Reality TV Chat Blog!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

This week’s episode was a bit heavy-handed but that’s what most of us have to come to expect from David Simon’s recent work.  We Own This City works when it’s dealing with the corrupt cops but it comes to a halt whenever the focus shifts to the DOJ investigators.  Treat Williams’s cameo as a reform-minded police academy instructor was embarrassingly over-written and felt out-of-place.  That said, the good still outweighs the bad when it comes to this show.  It may be uneven but, at its best, it’s still a thought-provoking look at the warrior cop mentality and how systemic corruption can destroy a city.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Televison: 4/3/22 — 4/9/22


For the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to catch up on all the potential Emmy nominees that I missed when they first aired.  So, I guess my week in television is about to get a lot busier!

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

“I shall say this only once,” Rene announced to Michelle, “I am done with the Resistance!”

Rene says this during nearly every episode of Allo Allo and no one ever believes him.  Such was the case with Sunday’s episode.  Michelle responded to Rene’s resignation from the Resistance by giving him suicide pills and announcing that the British airmen had been captured but she had a great plan to rescue them, a plan that would, of course, hinge on Rene’s involvement.  While Rene’s mother-in-law prepared for her wedding and Lt. Gruber tried to make sure that the painting did not fall into the hands of his rivals, Rene had to deal with a code book that had been eaten by rats.  I realize that previousy sentence makes no sense but that’s to be expected with this show.  Eventually, everyone ended up disguised as an undertaker while Crabtree wished everyone a “Good moaning,” in his fractured French.

American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)

Hollywood week came to a close with two episodes of American Idol.

On Sunday, the finalists were forced to perform duets, which meant that the episode was full of people singing painfully sincere songs and getting all emotional.  It was a bit awkward to watch at times.  There was a definite lack of drama, as only one duet team failed to get along.  Though a lot of Idol fans are going to hate me for saying this, I found myself getting a little bit tired of Kelcie going on and on about how insecure she was.  Fortunately, she was paired with Betty, who made it her life mission to bring Kelcie out of her shell.  And it worked, as both Kelcie and Betty made it to the next round.

On Monday, the remaining competitors performed one last time for the judges and they were whittled down to 24.  Both Betty and Kelcie were let go during this round.  We didn’t actually get to see Betty’s performance but we did see Kelcie perform and she wasn’t bad.  She’s got a great voice, even if the insecurity is a bit hard to take.  But she was apparently let go specifically because of the insecurity, with the judges telling her to work on her confidence so …. I don’t know.  It seems like, if that was going to be a determining factor, that’s something that they could have said during the Duets.  Instead, they put Kelcie through because it would make for good television to then cut her at the last minute.

Anyway, it’s a pretty bland bunch of singers this season.  They’ve got good voices but there’s very little real quirkiness to be found.  And no, Leah Marlene is not quirky, no matter how many times she tells us that she is.  Real quirkiness is natural.  It’s not something you have to work at.

Bar Rescue (Sunday and weekday mornings, Paramount)

Sunday’s bloc of Bar Rescue episodes was all about Jon rescuing bars in Texas!  I watched two episodes on Sunday evening.  They were both set in Houston and they both involved a lot of yelling.  The important thing, though, is that every bar was made profitable by the end of the hour.

On Monday, I watched an old episode that found Jon Taffer and the crew in Florida.  The bar owner thought that Taffer had good ideas.  The bar manager felt that Taffer was rude and he resented being yelled at.  I was kind of on the manager’s side as far as that was concerned because Taffer really did go a bit overboard with the yelling during this episode.  Fortunately, everything worked out in the end.  The bar was rescued, just in time for the hurricane season.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, ABC)

It amuses me to no end how this show keeps pretending like the celebrities are in mortal danger in the jungle.  We all know that production is not going to let Metta World Peace drown in quicksand.  After I pointed this out on twitter, a fan of the show wrote to me, and said, “Your weird.”  (That’s an exact quote, including the misuse of your.)  Oh well!  You can’t please everyone.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

What a weird collection of episodes!  First off, we had an episode where Mike’s father and Carol’s mother visited and the kids tried to get them to fall in love with each other.  Robert Reed and Florence Henderson played their own parents.  You could tell Florence was just having fun but Robert really went all in and acted up a storm.  This was followed by the episode where Cindy and Bobby auditioned to be on television and Cindy ended up freezing once the cameras were on her.  Poor Cindy!  Finally, Bobby got his first kiss and turned into a jerk and then Greg got in trouble for helping his friends steal a goat.  The drama never stopped with those Bradys!

The Chair (Netflix)

I watched all six episodes of The Chair‘s first (and, perhaps, only) season on Thursday.  In this comedy-drama, Sandra Oh plays the newly named chair of Pembroke University’s moribund English department.  When the department’s most popular professor (Jay Duplass) is filmed doing a Nazi salute in jest, all heck breaks loose.  The Chair is a bit uneven but ultimately, it works.  It’s well-acted and the mix of comedy and drama is, for the most part, effectively handled.  A recurring bit about David Duchovny being invited to give a lecture is a highlight of the show’s first season.

Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekday Afternoon, OWNTV)

I had this on as background noise for two hours on Monday.  That’s a total of four episodes, for those keeping count.  I didn’t really pay much attention because, again, it was background noise.  I did hear the audience gasp quite frequently.  And, of course, I looked up whenever Kendall Shull came out to deliver the lie detector results.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

I watched four episodes on Wednesday evening.  Mostly, I just had them on for background noise.  I do remember that one episode featured an attorney getting mad at a deputy who went through her private papers while she was giving her closing statement.  The deputy was held in contempt of court, as he definitely should have been.  He spent ten days in jail, after refusing to apologize to the attorney.

Cruel Summer (Hulu)

The first season of Cruel Summer aired on FreeForm last year.  With each episode jumping back and forth between three separate years, the show tells the story of two teenage girls in Texas.  One is abducted.  The other takes her place.  On Thursday, I watched the first two episodes of Hulu.  It was all a bit overdone and overheated but undeniably compelling.  I always enjoy a good melodrama.

Dopesick (Hulu)

On Thursday night and Friday morning, I finally watched the highly acclaimed miniseries, Dopesick.  The miniseries deals with the introduction of OxyContin and how the drug literally destroyed communities and continues to destroy them today.  This was one of those miniseries where good scenes co-existed with scenes that were a bit too on-the-nose for their own good.  Michael Keaton and Kaitlyn Dever both gave excellent performances as two people caught up in the epidemic.  The miniseries wasn’t quite as good as I had been led to believe and it was definitely heavy-handed but it was still effective enough to make an impression.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I wrote about the series finale of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Poor Uncle Jesse!  On his 26th birthday, he and his band had a gig at the hottest club in town.  Unfortunately, when the band couldn’t make it, Jesse’s idiot roommates decided to help him out and basically, they ruined Jesse’s big night.  Everything worked out in the end, though, because it’s not like Jesse could move out and have a normal life or anything like that.  The other three episodes that were shown on Sunday featured Joey getting back together with his ex (ewww!) and a two-parter in which Jesse and Becky nearly got married at a tacky casino before decided that it would be better to hold off so that Becky’s parents could come to the ceremony.  Run, Becky!  Escape while you still can.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Girl From Plainville here!

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

I watched two episodes on Wednesday, both classics from the show’s final season.  In the first episode, Louanne and the Manger Babies got involved in the lucrative but demanding world of direct-to-DVD children’s programming.  As John Redcorn put it, “We are already direct-to-DVD.  There is no other place to go.”  This episode featured one of my favorite Dale storylines, as he tried to write a children’s book about the “gun who cared.”  The second episode featured Boomhauer allowing an obnoxious Canadian family to stay at his home while he went up to Ontario.  The Canadians were not impressed with America but Hank still helped one of them get out of jail because that’s what neighbors do.  Awwwww!

Law & Order (Thursday, NBC)

Eh.  The Law & Order revival is just as clumsy when it comes to handling political issues as the original series was.  This week, a congressional candidate was murdered and an extremist group went on trial and it all felt very much like partisan fan fiction.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

On this Sunday’s cruise: Frank Bonner, Shelley Fabares, Jennilee Harrison, Arte Johnson, Stephen Shortridge, McLean Stevenson, William Window, and Jane Wyatt.  Not exactly the most exciting line-up, to be honest.  And this was actually a pretty boring episode but the ship and the ocean both looked really nice!

The Office (All the time, Comedy Central)

I watched two episodes on Saturday.  Unfortunately, they were both from the 8th season.  In the first one, the Office crew went to a local trivia night.  The second episode was the pool party episode.  The trivia episode was actually fairly amusing but the pool party was the 8th season at its worse.  There was never any reason for Robert California to invite the Scranton branch to a pool party.  The problem with all of these ensemble party episodes during the post-Carell era is that they mostly just served to remind us that we really only knew these characters by how they related to Michael.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

After being rejected by Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, Arkwright considered burying Granville alive in the storeroom.  It was an intense episode.

Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)

In Detroit, Pony Tail handed out the tickets and encouraged everyone to be kind to each other.  It was a valiant effort but we all know that it’s cold in the D.  Anyway, I watched two episodes on Monday morning and they left me as aggravated as usual.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, ABC)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Chris Hardwicke interviewed people and complained about the villainy of Lance Hornsby.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed Sunday’s episode here!

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

I missed the first season of Yellowjackets when it first aired so I decided to catch up this weekend.  I binged the first half of the season on Saturday and I’ll do the second half tomorrow.  So far, this show has been playing out like a combination of Lost, Degrassi, and This is Us.  Even though I already kind of know what’s going to happens thanks to Wikipedia, I’m still intrigued by the show.  That said, I’m also spending a good deal of the show with my hands over my eyes because OH MY GOODNESS!  THE COACH LOST A LEG!  THAT GIRL’S FACE WAS RIPPED APART!  THERE’S A COMPOUND FRACTURE ON THE SOCCER FIELD!  EVERYONE’S PERIOD HAS SYCNED UP!  AGCK!  Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynesky, and Juliette Lewis are all Emmy-worthy.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 3/27/22 — 4/2/22


I spent most of this week passed out, to be honest.  Oscar Sunday took a lot out of me.  Here’s a few thoughts on what I did watch:

The Academy Awards (Sunday Night, ABC)

I wrote about the Oscars here.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Could the British airmen escape from floating down a canal and meeting a submarine?  It sounds like a good idea but …. no, of course it’s not going to work.  Good moaning, indeed!

American Idol (Monday Night, ABC)

Hollywood week!  The genre challenge!  It was boring.  The indie folk group had some of the most annoying singers that I’ve ever seen.  I’m really hoping that the girl who keeps bragging about how “weird” she is will get eliminated early.  If you’re truly weird, you don’t have to beg people to notice.

Baywatch Hawaii (Hulu)

On Wednesday, I finally watched episode two of the second and final season of Baywatch Hawaii.  JD wasn’t being a team player so Sean briefly suspended him and then asked him to help with a rescue.  JD learned an important lesson about putting aside your own concerns and taking one for the team.  Bleh.  Meanwhile, the father of an injured jet skier tried to sue Baywatch Hawaii but then he met the couple who was nearly killed by his son’s carelessness and he dropped his lawsuit.  Yay!  Lessons were learned all around.

On Thursday, I watched episode three.  Jenna was determined to shut down Baywatch and sell the property to the Mafia.  Sean was determined to raise the money necessary to pay his bills.  Fortunately, Jason and Zack saved the gangsters from drowning and, as a result, Baywatch lived to see another day.  You can’t put someone out of business after they save your life.  It’s the Mafia code.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

All four of Sunday’s episodes centered around the kids playing baseball.  Greg wanted to drop out of school to pursue a career in the majors so Mike used a baseball bat to break his kneecaps.  That seems a little extreme to me but the important thing is that Greg stayed in school.

Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekdays, OWN)

I watched two episodes on Monday afternoon.  I was too busy making jokes about Will and Jada Smith someday appearing on the show to actually pay that much attention.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Personally, I don’t see what was so bad about Danny Tanner wanting to have a clean house.  In all four the episodes that aired last Sunday on MeTV, people gave him a hard time for being compulsively neat but seriously, who would want to live in a dirty house?  For instance, while I was watching Full House, I stepped outside for a few minutes and accident stepped on a rock while barefoot.  Once I came back in, I discovered that the den floor had a trail of bloody footprints on it, much like a totally horrific crime scene.  Needless to say, I was not happy about this turn of events so, once I managed to step bleeding, I spent a few hours scrubbing the floor.  It was just the right thing to do.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

I wrote about the first three episodes of Hulu’s latest miniseries here!

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

I watched one episode on Monday.  Desperate to make money so that he could afford some nicer clothes, Bobby first tried to get a legitimate job but eventually, he turned to panhandling.  Hank, needless to say, did not approve of his own son being a bum for fun.  He also didn’t approve of the other panhandlers, who were all basically rich kids just pretending to need the money.  They even forced Hank’s favorite homeless man, Spongey, to move to a different spot!  Fortunately, it all worked out in the end and Spongey hopefully got the money he needed.

Last Man Standing (Sunday, Newsnation)

I swear, this show is inescapable.  It’s on at least one channel every hour of every day.  I guess it kind of makes sense.  It’s a sitcom that didn’t really require too much focus on the part of the viewer and, as a result, it makes for nicely acceptable and inoffensive background noise.  Myself, whenever I see this show, I find myself relating to the middle daughter, the one who pretends to be self-centered but is secretly nicer than everyone else.  Anyway, I watched three episodes on Sunday and I don’t remember a thing about any of them, other than one featured the mom and the older sisters trying on wedding dresses and talking about how silly the world was.  That’s just the type of show that Last Man Standing was.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Debbie Reynolds boarded the ship and briefly pretended to be Dr. Bricker’s nurse.  I’m not sure it’s a good idea for a doctor to agree to allow anyone to “pretend to be a nurse.”  I mean, a nurse still has a lot of real responsibility.  I assume everything worked out in the end.  To be honest, I was busy getting ready for the Oscars so I didn’t pay much attention to the show this week.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright somewhat desperately tried to convince Nurse Gladys Emmanuel that he wasn’t a monster who is holding Granville hostage.  The nurse (a real one, this time!) was too clever for him.

Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I woke up on Sunday morning and I watched the Christmas episode!  That was the one where Zack and his mom allowed a homeless man and his daughter to move in and then they never mentioned them ever again.  Kind of a strange episode.  I’ve always been worried about what happened to the man and his daughter after the final credits.  It just seems like having two strangers living in the house is something that would have come up again in a future episode.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, ABC)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Chris did his best to make this week’s episode of The Walking Dead more interesting than it actually was.  Good for him.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

Lisa Marie’s Week in Television: 3/20/22 — 3/26/22


I didn’t watch much this week because I’ve been busy preparing for the Oscars.  Here’s a few thoughts on what little I did watch.

Allo Allo (Sunday, PBS)

Lt. Gruber thought that he spotted the ghost of Rene’s twin brother in the cemetery and was frightened for his life.  Of course, what we all know is that Rene never had a twin brother and instead, he’s been pretending to be his own twin brother after faking his death several seasons ago.  Somehow, no one on the show has figured this out yet or found it strange that Rene had to explain that both he and his twin have the same name.  Things only got more complicated from there, with Flick trying to disguise himself as a British spy and the Italian soldiers learning how to speak English.  Officer Crabtree still still thinks that he can speak French.  What I like is that, whenever he says “Good moaning,” all of the French characters respond with “Good moaning,” indicating that they are also mangling their French in sympathy for him.  That’s nice of them.  I’m also starting to get the feeling that those British airmen are never going to get out of France.

American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)

ABC gave us two episodes of American Idol this week.  The auditions came to a close.  Because I was busy on both Sunday and Monday, it wasn’t until Tuesday that I watched both of the episodes on Hulu and I have to admit that it wasn’t long before I started to get bored and I ended up fast forwarding through some of the auditions.  From what I heard, some of the singers had good voices but there was still an overwhelming blandness to the whole thing.  Perhaps things will perk up in Hollywood.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The show is all about celebrities doing stuff in the jungle.  Aguirre, The Wrath of God, it is not.  So far, none of the celebs have had a breakdown and requested to leave the show so what even is the point?

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

The Bradys went to a national park, laughed their way through a Native ceremony, and declared themselves to be The Brady Braves.  More like the Problematic Bunch, am I right?

The Dropout (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

The Tanners and the Uncles are stranded at the airport on Christmas Eve and proceed to make life miserable for all of the other passengers.  Uncle Jesse gives a speech about the true meaning of Christmas.  Santa Claus is revealed to be a grumpy passenger who wears a toupee.  In a scene of maximum cringe, Danny falls asleep on the baggage claim carousel.  This was followed by three more episodes, all of which dealt with Jesse and Joey trying to work from home while Stephanie and Michelle demanded all of their attention.  DJ and Aunt Becky were the only characters on this show who ever seemed to worry about anyone else’s feelings.

The Love Boat (Saturday Afternoon, MeTV)

On Saturday’s episode, The Love Boat’s passengers included: Kim Darby, Howard Duff, Greer Garson, Lawrence Pressman, Louanne, and Jim Stafford.  To be honest, I didn’t know how the majority of those people were.  Greer Garson was a psychic.  Lawrence Pressman was a guy who used his best friend’s daughter to convince Kim Darby that he was a single parent.  In the episode’s serious plot, Isaac briefly went deaf.  It all worked out in the end.

The Office (All Week, Comedy Central)

On Sunday, I watched two episodes from season 1, both of which were classics of cringe comedy.  In Basketball, Michael challenged the warehouse to a game and Jim ended up getting punched in the face by Roy.  (Agck!  That was a lot of blood and, according to John Krasinski, it was real.)  Then, Amy Adams showed up at The Office to sell purses and Michael ran out to buy her a cappuccino machine.  Amy Adams deserved an Emmy for the look of horror she got in her face when Michael tried to flirt with her.  Will offices really let you sell purses out of their conference room?  I might actually check into that.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

This week, PBS aired the first ever episode of Open all Hours.  Granville looked younger and a smidgen less disgruntled than he did in later episodes.  He still seemed to be a bit of a ticking time bomb, though.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode here!  I enjoyed this week’s episode far more than I enjoyed the previous two episodes.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Chris talked to Michael Biehn and Seth Gilliam, both of whom were absolutely charming.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about The Walking Dead here!

Now, on to the Oscars!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 3/13/22 — 3/19/22


I probably watched too much television this week.  It happens.  But, on the plus side, I finally finished the first season of Baywatch Hawaii and I’m making progress on Silk Stalkings.  Plus, The Bachelor is over and I’m finally going to get a break from that franchise.  It’s always good to find the positive in things.

Here are some thoughts on what I watched this week:

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

Despite having announced last week that they had found the next great superstar in that girl who played the piano, the American Idol judges were back for more auditions this week.  As I’ve been saying ever since this season began, American Idol could use a little more negativity.  I know that we’re all supposed to be super supportive nowadays but these shows are more fun when some obnoxious dude who can’t carry a tune gets his dreams shattered by a snarky Brit.  Maybe Katy should bring Orlando with her to the next set of auditions.  He seems like he could handle the role.

That said, I did like the gospel singer because he seemed to be a genuinely nice person and I just hope the show doesn’t ruin him.  If he says he wants to sing gospel, let him sing gospel and let America decide whether or not to keep him around.  Personally, I’m not a huge gospel music fan but whatever.  It obviously meant a lot to him.

The Bachelor (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

Mostly because I found Clayton to be rather dull (hence, why I called him the Claytonbot), I didn’t watch much of the latest season of The Bachelor.  (It didn’t help, of course, that the Bachelor was scheduled opposite both Celebrity Big Brother and the Olympics.)  However, I did join my BFF Evelyn to watch the two-part finale on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Wow, what a mess.  The Claytonbot finally learned what love is and then promptly told three separate women that he was in love with them.  He then slept with two of them, which led the third one — Susie — to leave the show.  Then, at the Rose Ceremony, Claytonbot informed Gabby and Rachel that 1) he loved both of them and 2) that he had slept with both of them.  This caused Gabby to walk off the show.  Claytonbot, however, convinced Gabby to come back and accept the rose.  The next day, Gabby and Rachel both had a nice meeting with the Claytonbot’s human family.  After Gabby and Rachel left, Claytonbot informed everyone but the two women that he had decided that actually was in love with Susie and that he wanted a chance to try to convince her to return to the show. It didn’t seem to occur to the Claytonbot that Gabby and Rachel might not be happy with the idea of going through all of this emotional turmoil just so he could then track down the woman who had previously dumped him.  The Claytonbot’s human family looked deeply disappointed in him and somewhat embarrassed to be associated with him on national television.   That was all on Monday’s episode.

Tuesday’s episode was even messier as the Claytonbot dumped both Gabby and Rachel because he had decided that he was “most in love” with Susie.  Gabby yelled, Rachel cried, and they both ended up leaving.  Claytonbot proposed to Susie and Susie …. turned him down.  Bachelor Nation rejoiced!  But then host Jesse Palmer revealed that, after filming wrapped up, Susie slid into the Claytonbot’s DMs and now the two of them are dating.  The live studio audience was not happy, especially when Claytonbot said that all of the emotional turmoil was worth it to end up with Susie.  Try telling that to Gabby and Rachel, you dumbfug!  (I gave up cursing for Lent.)

Anyway, this season of the Bachelor ended not with an engagement but instead a lot of pain and hostility.  At least Gabby and Rachel will be the next bachelorettes.

Bar Rescue (Sunday and weekday mornings, Paramount)

I watched one episode on Sunday morning.  The owner of an Irish pub was drinking too much so Jon Taffer called him a jerk in front of all of his friends.  That probably helped with the alcoholism.

On Monday, I watched another episode.  In this one, Taffer and the crew revealed that the bar was selling cheap beer at premium prices.  This, of course, led to a Roadhouse-style bar brawl.  If only Dalton had been there to break it up.  Oh well!

On Tuesday, I again watched one episode.  Why was I watching so much Bar Rescue?  It’s kind of a fun show.  Jon Taffer is amusing and the show itself has a sense of humor about itself.  Anyway, Tuesday’s episode was about yet another bar owner who had a drinking problem.  Why do so many drunks end up owning bars?  I would never want to mix my hobbies with my day job.  Taffer yelled at her to get sober and, by the end of the episode, the alcoholism had been vanquished and the bar was making a lot of money.  Yay!

Baywatch Hawaii (Prime and Hulu)

On Tuesday night, I watched two episodes from the first season of Baywatch Hawaii.  The first episode featured Jessie training for a triathlon and then abandoning the race as soon as she realized that the team needed her to help out with a rescue.  Jessie put aside her personal goals for the good of the team.  If I was in a similar situation, I cannot say that I would have done the same.  This second episode that I watched featured Sean, Jenna, and the team heading to the Big Island for a conference on drowning.  With Jenna’s help Sean came to terms with the drowning death of his son.  Both episodes felt like they had been assembled from scenes that had been cut from previous episodes.  There was an odd subplot during the first episode in which Jason was haunted by an apparently malicious water demon.  That whole storyline got abandoned after 20 minutes and was never mentioned again.  It was odd.  Like, seriously, how do you just forget about a water demon?

On Wednesday afternoon, I finally finished up season 1 with the final two episodes of the season.  Top-billed David Hasselhoff, who was absent for most of the season, finally returned as Mitch Buchanon.  In the first episode I watched, he helped Jessie’s grandfather deal with the guilt that he felt over surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Awwww!  Make fun of the Hoff all you want but sentimental stuff like this is what he’s good at and it was actually a pretty effective episode (by Baywatch Hawaii standards, of course).  The 2nd episode and the season finale featured Mitch …. GETTING BLOWN UP BY ECO-TERRORISTS!  Well, I guess that’s one way to get out of the show.  (Reportedly, the Hoff felt that he had been typecast as a result of his work on Baywatch.  Well, when you do a show for ten years, that will happen, I suppose.)   From what I understand, though, there was later a Baywatch reunion movie that established that Mitch actually survived the explosion, though with a case of amnesia.  That’s good because Mitch deserved better.  Other than Mitch getting blown up, the most interesting thing about this episode was that it revealed that both he and Sean were apparently part-time CIA agents, along with being lifeguards.  Good for them!  It’s always interesting to me how many part-time CIA agents there are on shows like this.

On Friday afternoon, I watched the first episode of the second season of Baywatch Hawaii.  There was no mention of Mitch or his sacrifice.  No one even seemed to be in mourning.  Instead, the episode introduced the viewers to a few new trainee lifeguards and also one new senior lifeguard, played by Brande Roderick.  Quite a few members of the first season cast were gone without explanation.  Jason Momoa was still there, however.  He looked kind of embarrassed.  As for the episode itself, it dealt with Sean and a former friend of his, an arrogant jet skier who didn’t care about stuff like teamwork.  *GASP!*

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

In this new reality show, 9 celebrities spend two weeks in the jungle and compete to raise money for charity.  Who will stay the entire two weeks!?  I watched the first episode and I don’t really care.  The celebs don’t really have any sort of personal stake in all of this so the competition aspect of it all is pretty dull.  I’m just glad that they’ve never done a celebrity edition of Survivor.  You know it’s going to happen someday, though.

The Bold and the Beautiful (Weekday Afternoon, CBS)

I watched an episode of the world’s greatest daytime drama on Tuesday afternoon.  Not much happened in the episode but the clothes were to die for and everyone owned a really nice house.  That’s the important thing.  It’s still hard for me to accept anyone other than Ronn Moss as Ridge.  Yes, I know it’s been ten years since Moss left the role but you have to understand that I don’t watch this show that often so, in my mind, it should still be exactly the same way that it was in 2009.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

MeTV showed four driving-related episodes of The Brady Bunch on Sunday.  Greg bought a car, without talking to his father about it first.  Carol had an accident and was sued by the other driver, who was faking his injuries.  Greg was told that he would not be allowed to drive his car for a week after nearly having an accident and then outsmarted his father by driving someone else’s car.  Marcia tried to get her license and this, of course, led to her and Greg getting into a fight over whether men were naturally better drivers than women.

I’m a bit disappointed that MeTV did not show the controversial episode were Mr. Brady ran over the homeless guy and then forced Alice to take the blame.  (Fortunately, Alice got out of prison just in time to appear on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.)

Children’s Hospital (Hulu)

Yay!  My favorite medical show is on Hulu!  I rewatched season one on Sunday night.  Fortunately, since there were only five 11-minute episodes in that season, it only took me an hour.  But what an hour!  How great it was to see the early days of Children’s Hospital, when Dr. Cat Black was narrating her thoughts and Dr. Lola Spratt was pretending to have a brain tumor so she could break up with Owen.  And let’s not forget Dr. Blake Downs, curing people with the power of laughter!

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

I only watched one episode on Wednesday evening.  This episode featured too much true crime footage for me.  I prefer when the episode focuses on lawyers acting strangely and judges speaking sarcastically.  Watching the actual crimes that led to people ending up in court in the first place just isn’t as much fun.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Things continued to get heated at the Tanner household.  First, Joey and Jesse had to write a jingle together.  Then, the Beach Boys mysteriously showed up.  This was followed by Joey trying to be an authority figure as opposed to just a second-rate comic with an angry ex-girlfriend.  Finally, Danny was frustrated to discover that there apparently wasn’t a single woman in San Francisco who hadn’t already dated Jesse.  Poor DJ and Stephanie, it had to be traumatic growing up in that household!  That said, everything always worked out in the end.  The sentimental music would play.  Danny would say something wise.  The audience would respond with, “Awwwwwww!”

Happy Days (Weekday Evenings, MeTV)

I’m never quite understood the popularity of this old show but I did watch one episode on Tuesday evening.  The Fonz had to convince his cousin, Spike, not to be a delinquent.  Ron Howard only appeared for a few minutes at the start of the episode.  I guess it was largely filmed during his week off.

Inventing Anna (Netflix)

On Friday, I finally decided to return to watching Inventing Anna.  It’s not so much that Inventing Anna is any good (it’s not) as much as it’s just a case of me not wanting to leave anything unfinished.  I started watching this show and dammit, I’m going to finish it!  Even if it takes me until 2024.

Anyway, I finally watched the 6th episode, which was all about Anna and her friends traveling to Morocco and Anna apparently committing credit card fraud in order to pay for the whole vacation.  To be honest, though, the episode was really about the character of Vivian Kent bulging her eyes and going overboard with the facial expressions while listening to everyone’s story.  After spending an hour presenting Anna as being a terrible and manipulative friend, the episode suddenly shifted gears and had people talking about how, “I felt so sorry for Anna, in Morocco all alone.”  It was kind of annoying and didn’t make much sense.  Nothing about the way Anna has been portrayed on this show makes it believable that she would inspire that type of loyalty.  Maybe I’ll finish this show next year.

King of the Hill (Hulu and weekday afternoons on FXX)

I watched one random episode on Hulu on Monday evening.  Kahn mortgaged his house to be buy Scrubby’s Car Wash, which was apparently an Arlen institution despite having never been mentioned on the show before this episode.  Needless to say, Kahn’s abrasive management style was not a hit with the redneck customers and eventually, Mr. Strickland had to step in.  It was an okay episode, if not one of the show’s best.  The highlight of the episode was the introduction of infomercial huckster Dr. Money.  Dr. Money promised to make his customer so rich that they would have “champagne for breakfast and caviar for your cat!”

On Tuesday, I watched four episodes on FXX.  I watched as Peggy attempted to run a used bookstore and end up instead running a gun shop.  I watched the classic Halloween episode where Louanne ended up a prisoner of insane pork product industrialist Trip Larsen.  This was followed by the episode in which Dale was hired to kill the rats at the Mega-Lo Mart and instead discovered that jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione was secretly living in the store.  Finally, I watched an episode in which Louanne became a boxer and ended up fighting George Foreman’s daughter.  Hank nearly got into a fight with Foreman himself over whether or not the Foremen Grill was a novelty product or not.  Luckily, George’s son broke up the fight.  “No, Daddy!  He ain’t worth it!” still makes me laugh every time that I hear it.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

On this week’s “ripped from the headlines” Law & Order, a tennis player who was definitely not meant to be one of the Williams sisters stood accused of murdering a family court judge.  The tennis player went with an insanity defense, claiming that she was suffering from a manic episode at the time of the murder and that only her father’s conservatorship could keep her from losing control.  So, just like that, the episode went from being about the Williams sisters to being about Britney Spears.  In short, this episode was so ripped from the headlines that it was actually kind of dumb.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

On this week’s cruise: Sharon Gabet, Laurence Lau, Denise Miller, Taylor Miller, Robert Pine, Janine Turner, and Ruth Warrick.  Admittedly, that’s not exactly the most memorable list of passengers and it was a bit of a silly episode.  Somehow, Gopher got trapped in a suit of armor while a preacher was romantically pursued by two of his followers.  And then, out of nowhere, there was this huge dramatic storyline, in which Warrick tried to forgive the son of the man who killed her husband in a drunk driving accident.  It was an odd cruise but the scenery was nice.

M*A*S*H (Hulu and Weekday Evenings, MeTV)

Like Happy Days, this is another old show that I usually don’t really care for but I did watch two episodes on Tuesday.  Both of them featured Alan Alda talking about how much he hates the war and basically getting in everyone else’s way.  Like, seriously, Hawkeye — EVERYONE HATES WAR!  It’s not all about you.

On Friday, I discovered that M*A*S*H is on Hulu and I decided to give the show another shot, mostly because people really do tend to rave about it.  Jeff suggested that I check out a later episode called “Dreams” and oh my God, was it effective!  While dealing with a seemingly never-ending amount of wounded soldiers, each of the main characters tried to get an hour or two of sleep and everyone ended up having a dream about what the war was doing to them, mentally.  It was a bit heavy-handed but it was undeniably effective.  Who knows?  I may have to give this show another shot next week.

Saved By The Bell (Saturday, E!)

E! did a Saved By The Bell marathon on Saturday.  I watched as Kelly broke up with Zack, Zack solved the mystery weekend, and Johnny Dakota tried to get all the students at Bayside hooked on the weed with roots in Heck.  Bad Johnny Dakota!

(Yes, I said “roots in Heck.”  I gave up cursing for Lent.  I realize that I probably could have gotten away with not using Heck because it’s a name of place, as opposed to an actual exclamation.  But I decided that it’s best not to get cutesy with Lent.)

Savoring Our Faith (Sunday Afternoon, EWTN)

Fr. Leon Patalinghug talked about St. Patrick and why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while preparing a meal.  I watched this with Erin on Sunday and, somewhat unexpectedly, I enjoyed it.  It’s an Irish Catholic thing.

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

On Monday, I returned to Silk Stalkings.  I watched the show’s 41st episode, in which Chris got shot at after witnessing yet another fight between a man, his mistress, and his wife. Chris literally couldn’t leave his apartment without witnessing a fight. Once again, the no-funsters at the police department were trying to get Chris in trouble but luckily, Rita was there to solve the crime.  To be honest, it was kind of a confusing episode but, as I’ve said before, this isn’t show that you watch for the plots.  You watch it for the frequently unclothed people committing crimes and having melodramatic conversations.  It’s a lot of fun.

On Tuesday, I watched episode #42.  A serial killer was stalking women who had sought the advice of a fake astrologer.  Chris not only flirted with every woman he met (even if he happened to meet them at a crime scene) but he also tossed the killer into the ocean.  Way to go, Chris!

On Friday morning, I watched episode #43, in which Chris and Rita investigated a murder connected to phone sex and prostitution.  Can you guess what happened next?  If you guessed, “Chris goes undercover as a client and Rita goes undercover as a phone sex operator,” you are correct!  This was a supremely silly episode, largely because there was only one suspect so it was pretty easy to guess who was going to end up getting shot at the end of it all.  Still, Chris and Rita!  How can you not love them?

I followed this with Episode #44 (entitled “Crime of Love”), which was also the first episode of the show’s third season!  Rita suspected that an author that she had previously arrested was responsible for murdering the wife of his publisher.  She was certain that there was no way that he could have reformed but it turned out that he wasn’t the murderer.  Sometimes you have to give people a second chance, Rita!

Since I was on a bit of a Chris & Rita roll, I decided to to watch two more episodes.  The first was Episode #45 (entitled “Team Spirit”), in which Chris and Rita investigated a serial killer who was targeting wealthy men.  However, the most interesting thing about the episode was the B-plot, in which Chris was audited by the IRS after he attempted to write off his wardrobe as a business expense! Even while being audited, Chris couldn’t help but flirt with the IRS agent.  Oh, Chris!

Episode #46 (“The Perfect Alibi”) found Chris and Rita investigating a hot tub murder that was linked to a gang of video tape bootleggers.  It was all very 90s but the main bad guy was named Sorkin so that was kind of amusing.  As usual, every suspect that Chris visited was just getting out of shower when Chris arrived at the apartment.  This happened every single episode but anyone who has watched the show knows that it didn’t matter how many half-naked people tried to come between them, Chris and Rita were always meant to be together.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode at Reality TV Chat Blog!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Yay!  For the second week in a row, Talking Dead was broadcast from the studio as opposed to Chris Hardwicke’s living room.  Nature is healing.

Vaticano (Sunday Afteroon, EWTN)

It’s news for Catholics!  It’s also Lent so I watched this with Erin on Sunday afternoon.  I couldn’t help but remember the time that we visited Italy and took a tour of the Vatican.  It was, needless to say, beyond amazing.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed this week’s episode here!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 2/27/22 — 3/5/22


Yes, I watched a lot this week.  Here’s some thoughts:

Allo Allo (Monday Morning, PBS)

Rene attempted to abandon his wife and his café so that he could elope with Yvette but Michelle had one “last” mission for him.  It involved smuggling the Enigma machine to the British via the sewer system and, needless to say, it involved a lot of digging.  It made me laugh, that’s what is important.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

You can read my thoughts on the finale here!  I wasn’t particularly happy about who won but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

I am as stunned as anyone by the fact that American Idol still exists.  I stopped caring about the show a lifetime ago but I still watched the premiere of the latest season on Sunday because I was cleaning around the house and I thought it would make for acceptable background nose.  I love Katy Perry but the rest of the judges are pretty dull.  No one’s willing to be as mean as Simon Cowell was back in the day.  The whole thing is just too damn positive.

The Bachelor (Monday Night, ABC)

I haven’t really been keeping up with this season but I did watch Monday’s episode, just to see if the Claytonbot had developed any sort of individual personality over the past few weeks.  He has not but apparently, everyone can still see themselves falling in love with him and spending the rest of their life with him.

Bar Rescue (Friday Morning, Paramount)

It had been a while since I watched Bar Rescue so I watched the Friday morning bloc of reruns.  I guess, due to the fact that I don’t drink, I always find it amusing how worked up everyone on the show gets over the mismanaged bars.  Whenever Taffer starts to yell about a bartender not knowing how to make a certain cocktail, I’m always like, “Well, can’t you just order something else?”

Couples Court With The Cutlers (Sunday Afternoon, OWN TV)

I had forgotten this show existed but when I stumbled across it on Sunday, I have to admit that I immediately got sucked into the case of Bacon vs. Bacon and the question of whether or not Mrs. Bacon was cheating on Mr. Bacon.  They even brought in a cybersecurity expert to go through Mrs. Bacon’s phone and it was discovered that she was using an app to send out secret text messages!  Mrs. Bacon claimed she was talking to other men but not actually cheating with them.  However, “licensed polygraph examiner Kendall Shull,” (as he’s called in every single episode) determined that she was cheating.  Mr. Bacon walked out on her husband while the audience gasped.  Poor Mr. Bacon!  I later looked this episode up on the imdb and I discovered that it was 5 years old so I can only imagine how the Bacons feel whenever they come across it playing on TV.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

To be honest, I thought this show had been canceled but, on Wednesday, I discovered that it still exists and it’s going strong.  Featuring actual court footage and breathlessly narrated by Dan Abrams, Court Cam is the equivalent of true crime junk food.  I watched about four episodes.  Judges yelled.  Defendants yelled.  The bailiffs were ready to spring into action.  The lawyers were usually smart enough to stay out of the way.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I wrote about the latest Hulu miniseries here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Uncle Jesse was upset that he wasn’t getting to spend as much time with his cool friends as he wanted to because he was always spending all of his time taking care of Danny’s children.  So, Jesse went skiing with his old friends but they all turned out to be just as dorky as Joey and Danny so I kind of think Jesse was fooling himself as far as the old gang was concerned.  Jesse’s life didn’t get any better in the episode that followed, as he was forced to take a job as an Elvis impersonator to pay the bills.  Poor Jesse!  At least he had adequate hair.

Inventing Anna (Netflix)

I watched episodes 3, 4, and 5 of Inventing Anna early Monday morning.  They didn’t do too much for me, largely because Vivian isn’t a very interesting character and every minute that we have to spend listening to her whine about her career is a minute that we’d rather be spending with Anna and her wealthy friends.  This show makes a lot more sense once you know that the journalist upon whom Vivian Kent is based is also one of the producers.  She made the mistake of thinking she was the star of the story.

King of the Hill (Hulu and FXX)

On Sunday morning, I watched three episodes of King of the Hill on Hulu.  The first featured the possibility of Bobby being a reincarnated holy man.  The second found Peggy getting involved with a pyramid scheme.  (“No, it’s a triangle.”)  And the third featured Hank getting a haircut from Bill and then demanding that the Army charge him for it.  It turns out that it costs $900 for the army to give a man a haircut.

I watched two episodes of FXX on Wednesday.  One episode featured Hank becoming the substitute shop teacher and teaching the kids how to fix things.  Unfortunately, he had the kids bring tools from home and that got him fired.  I love this episode, largely because of the wonderful voice over work of the late Dennis Burkley, who played Principal Moss.  This was followed by Aisle 8A, in which Connie spent a memorable few days with the Hills and Hank had to find the courage to take a trip down Aisle 8A.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

I watched the latest episode of Law & Order to see if McCoy had gotten around to firing his ludicrously idealistic Executive D.A. yet.  He had not.

This week’s episode was based on the relationship of Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani so it was interesting to watch it after having binged the first three episodes of The Dropout.  It was an okay episode, even if it still sometimes seemed to be trying a bit too hard.  The Law & Order revival needs to calm down a little and give the new characters (and the actors playing them) a chance to define who they are.

I kept hoping the ghost of Adam Schiff would materialize and rasp, “Take the deal….”

Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

What if Joe Rogan confessed to a decades-old murder!?  Well, I guess you’d have to send someone in undercover to catch him.  This was not one of SVU‘s better episodes.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

On Sunday’s cruise, Kim Richards played a 13 year-old who, after putting on a good deal of makeup and taking off her glasses, could pass for a 22 year-old.  Fortunately, Gopher found out the truth about her age before committing a crime.  Meanwhile, Eve Plumb learned to forgive the man who she thought was her father for walking out on the family 20 years earlier.  Yay!  Quite a cruise.

Open All Hours (Monday Morning, PBS)

A woman wished Granville a happy birthday so Arkwright pushed Granville off of a step ladder.  This is something that appeared to happen fairly frequently with Granville.  He was always getting shoved off something.  Poor guy.

Pam and Tommy (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of Pam & Tommy here.  Unfortunately, the character of Rand Gauthier has returned.  I’m glad this show is almost over.

The SAG Awards (Sunday Night, TNT)

I caught the second airing of the awards.  It was nice to see CODA win the award for Best Ensemble.  I loved Marlee Matlin’s speech.

Secrets of Playboy (Monday Night, A&E)

This A&E docuseries is all about exposing Hugh Hefner as being kind of a creep.  The episodes that I saw on Monday certainly accomplished that goal.  It’s kind of amazing that, for years, Hefner was able to get away with presenting himself as being some sort of benevolent father figure when basically, he was just a jerk with a mansion and smoking jacket.

Silk Stalkings (IMDB TV)

On Wednesday, I returned to binging Silk Stalkings.  I started with the 35th episode of the series, which was called Dead Weight and featured Chris and Rita investigating the murder of a businessman who was played by John O’Hurley.  I was pretty sure that I had seen this episode before but no matter.  It was fun and trashy and O’Hurley played his brief role like a soap opera villain come to life.  The 36th episode was called Kid Stuff and it told the story of a 17 year-old prostitute who shot her older lover’s wife.  The older man was a doctor who was played by the great Andrew Stevens.  Even by the standards of Silk Stalkings, this was a sordid episode but that’s one of the fun things about Silk Stalkings.  It may have been shameless but it also clearly wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.  Later, that night, I watched the 37th episode, in which Chris and Rita investigated a shooting that was connected to a couple’s kinky sex game.  That said, Chris was more concerned that Rita might accept a job offer and move to San Diego.  Awwwww!  No need to worry, Chris!  Rita would never leave you!

Thursday, I watched Episode #38.  After a murder turned out to be connected to a shady modeling company (which was actually a front for a trafficking scheme), Chris and Rita went undercover!  Chris pretended to be a mobster!  Rita pretended to be a model!  Any episode in which Chris and Rita go undercover is guaranteed to be a gem, especially if it requires Chris to wear a red suit and talk tough.  This was followed by an episode in which Chris and Rita investigated a death at a birthday party and Rita dealt with some issues from her traumatic childhood.  It was actually a pretty effective episode.  As silly as the mysteries on the show were, both Mitzi Kapture and Rob Estes were good actors who managed to find a sort of emotional reality amongst all the neon and lingerie.

Finally, on Friday, I watched Episode #40, “Soul Kiss.”  Chris and Rita investigated what appeared to be a suicide but what was actually a murder that was connected to a tantric sex seminar.  Rita was intrigued but Chris thought it was silly to suggest that he needed a seminar to learn anything new.  Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture both kind of laughed their way through this episode.

Snowpiercer (Sunday Night, TNT)

I watched Snowpiercer while waiting for the second showing of the SAG Awards to begin.  Visually, it’s an impressive show and there’s a lot of actors in the cast who I like.  And I also liked the movie upon which the show is based.  That said, I don’t have the slightest idea what was going on in the majority of the episode.

South Park (Wednesday Night, Comedy Central)

This week, South Park not only took on Russian aggression but it also took a look at the way adults specialize in scaring and emotionally traumatizing children “for their own good.”  As usually happens in a time of crisis, South Park was the only show to come across as being the least bit sensible.  The new episode was followed by the “Zipline” episode from 2012.  That episode was only ten years old but seemed to come from a totally different universe.

The State of the Union (Hulu)

I skipped the State of the Union address on Tuesday and I wasn’t planning on watching it at all but then I heard from several people about how weird it was so I decided to give it a watch.  And yes, it was very, very weird.  All of our leaders are very, very weird and there’s no point in pretending otherwise.  What’s the deal with Biden’s creepy whispering thing?  Can no one tell him not to do that?  For that matter, most of the members of Congress appear to be deeply weird as well.  As much as we Americans love watching British and Canadian lawmakers heckle their prime ministers, we’re still not used to the idea of people in Congress doing it to the president.  At times, I felt like I was watching a sci-fi film in which society had moved underground.

My main impression is that this country is led by a group of very old people.  Maybe we should try electing some younger people the next time we have the opportunity.  Just a thought.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Just like last week, Talking Dead did not feature a studio audience and, as a result, it fell somewhat flat.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I like the Commonwealth.  Their Halloween looked fun and I don’t really care about the income inequality.  The world’s ending.  Let people enjoy themselves, Carol.  I reviewed the latest episode of The Walking Dead here.

Worst Roommate Ever (Netflix)

Netflx’s latest true crime series tells the story of four terrible roommates.  Three of them turned out to be murderers.  The other one attempted to kill two people that we know about and the fact that both of them survived is something of a miracle.  I binged this frequently fascinating but often disturbing series on Tuesday morning, before Erin and I left to the vote in the Texas primaries.  The fact that this series is only five episodes long and doesn’t resort to dragging out any of the stories that it tells should really serve as a lesson for some other showrunners out there.  That said, I also have to say that the final two episodes, which dealt with the nightmarish crimes of Jamison Branch, left me feeling deeply unsettled and there’s a part of me that wishes that I hadn’t watched them.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 5/23/21 — 5/29/21


I didn’t watch much television this week. I was too busy watching movies! However, here’s some thoughts on what I did see:

Allo Alllo (PBS, Sunday Night)

Everyone’s trapped in a POW camp and having to pretend to be British airmen, incuding Yvette! However will they escape? At the end of Sunday’s episode, they were all still in the camp but I’m sure they’ll find a way out. This is one of the strangest shows that I’ve ever watched but, at the same time, I am eager to see how it all (eventually) works out.

American Idol (ABC, Sunday Night)

Yes, I watched all three hours of the finale on Sunday night. I’m not sure why because to say that I felt absolutely no emotional connection to this season of American Idol would be an understatement. Words cannot begin to express how little I cared about anything that happened over those three hours. Why was I watching? Was it nostalgia for a time when American Idol was a big deal? Was it just laziness on my part? Maybe I just wanted to see if I was correct in my prediction that Chayce Beckham would win because of the whole country music thing. I imagine all of those reasons are correct. I’m not going to think too much about it, to be honest. I was tired on Sunday night.

Anyway, Chayce Beckham did win so congratulations to him and congratulations to me for my above average predictive abilities. Yay!

Baywatch (Weekday evenings, H&I)

On Sunday, Baywatch started off with an episode in which a woman purchased a date with Mitch. Mitch took her sailing and, long story short, they ended up trapped on a deserted island. Fortunately, they were rescued by the end of the episode and they even found time to all in love. Yay! (By the way, Baywatch, Lina Wertmuller would like a word.) This was followed by an episode in which, due to a heat wave, the beaches were extra crowded and the lifeguards were extra busy. Complicating things was the President of the United States, who wanted to go jogging on the beach. Since this show was from the 90s, that means that the president was Bill Clinton. Yikes! Get that beach cleared!

Monday started off with an episode in which CJ’s mom came to visit the Baywatch crew and it turned out that she was being pursued by a murderous gambler. It was actually one of the silliest episodes of this show that I’ve ever seen. This was followed by a much better episode that featured all of the lifeguards competing for a chance to take part in an Ironman competition. Once again, the main goal was to defeat a group of arrogant Australians. What did Baywatch have against Australia? The episode ended with all of the lifeguards — American and Australian — diving underwater and lifting up a submerged car, which they then pushed out of the ocean and back onto the beach! It was just ludicrous enough to be brilliant.

Tuesday started off with yet another earthquake episode, along with a storyline about one of the new lifeguards posing for Playboy, which I assume was only included to help promote an issue of Playboy featuring that particular actress. It was dumb. This was followed by an episode in which lifeguards trained to become firefighters and firefighters trained to become lifeguard and …. well, sad to say, it was pretty dumb too. However, Mitch did spend sometime dealing with a man who thought he was a vampire. Way to give Baywatch Nights a shout out!

On Wednesday, the first episode featured Mitch nearly dying after swimming through polluted water. Fortunately, he survived and, in the second episode, he was named Bachelor of the Month and got to pose with a bunch of models. Meanwhile, Stephanie got married and Caroline and Logan realized that they were never, ever getting back together.

On Thursday, the recently married Stephanie died while trying to sail a boat through a sudden ocean storm. It was shamelessly melodramatic and yet, I’ll be damned if it wasn’t emotionally effective as well. Whatever else you may say about David Hasselhoff on this show, he could deliver even the cheesiest of lines with a surprising sincerity. Of course, the episode featuring Stephanie’s death and funeral was followed by an episode where Mitch was invited to appear on a television talk show and it also featured Jay Leno as a guest star. That’s Baywatch in a nutshell, tragedy followed by Jay Leno.

On Friday, the first episode featured a ghost helping Caroline save a drowning child. The second episode featured a bunch of rival gang members setting aside their differences to learn CPR. Both episodes were as clumsily handled as they sound.

Finally, on Saturday, there was an episode that mixed a teen suicide storyline with an unrelated plot concerning CJ and Cody discovering a mermaid. Yes, a real mermaid. “Finally!” Cody exclaimed, “we can prove that mermaids are real!” “No,” CJ said, “that wouldn’t be fair to the mermaids!” In the end, everything worked out and, in its weird way, it was classic Baywatch.

Gangs of London (Sunday, AMC)

Nine episodes of this, I’ve watched so far, and I still don’t have the slightest idea what’s going on. But I do appreciate it as an exercise in pure style and Colm Meaney is convincingly intimidating whenever he shows up in flashbacks.

Hill Street Blues (Weekday Mornings, H&I)

Oh, Hill Street. It’s amazing how quickly this show went downhill during its final days.

On Tuesday morning, the two episodes that aired seemed to share a common thread — i.e., no one at the Hill Street precinct was particularly good at their job. The first episode featured a mob boss getting held hostage while the Hill Street cops stood around and smirked. And believe me, I get it. He’s a bad guy. He’s a mob boss. But still, he was under police protection when he got grabbed so maybe instead of smirking about it, why not give some thought to how you totally screwed up a simple assignment? The second episode featured Norman Buntz getting his finger chopped off by a loan shark. I enjoyed that, mostly because Buntz is such an annoying character. “My shy’s got a soda connection,” he told Capt. Furillo at one point during the second episode. I nearly threw a show at the TV.

At the start of Wednesday’s episodes, Buntz had gotten his finger reattached. He arrested the loan shark who was responsible for doing the chopping but, Buntz being Buntz, he still ended up shooting the guy. While this was going on, Grace Gardner — an incredibly annoying character from an earlier season — was debating whether or not to become a nun and Patrolman Patrick Flaherty, a new character, was chasing after her with an annoying grin on his face. To be honest, the first episode of the morning was a bit of a mess. Fortunately, the second episode was much better. Capt. Furillo struggled to come to terms with his father’s suicide while Detective Belker had nightmares about the apocalypse. It was all surprisingly well-handled.

Thursday morning brought two frustratingly uneven episodes. The first found the precinct’s cops on the verge of a race war after a white cop shot his black partner. It turned out that it was all linked to a bigger corruption scandal. Sam McMurray played the white shooter. It was an interesting story but, as usual, things got bogged with an unrelated Lt. Buntz plotline and, in the end, it was hard not to feel that the show had handled the topics of systemic racism and police corruption far more effectively in the past. The second episode featured Joyce getting held hostage by a criminal and, as I’ve said before, I always find hostage episodes to be a bit of drag. As well, there was an unrelated plotline about Patrick Flaherty trying to recover a stolen radio, which would have been interesting if not for the fact that Flaherty’s a remarkably uninteresting character.

On Friday morning, the first episode featured several of the policemen going on a hunting trip and …. well, that was about it. The second episode featured a few of the cops having to work as garbagemen while Sgt. Howard Hunter had to deal with his former second-in-command, Jack Ballentine, who had gone crazy and was shooting at people from an upstairs window. As usual, both episodes had their moments but got bogged down with unrelated Norman Buntz action.

Saturday morning’s episodes hit a nadir for me, as far as this show is concerned. The first episode featured a wacky misunderstanding plot, as Buntz got it into his head that Joyce was cheating on Captain Furillo. The second episode found Buntz in charge of the precinct for the day and encouraging all of his officers to basically violate the civil rights of anyone who might be carrying even the most miniscule amount of weed. By the end of these two episodes, I found myself wondering if the writers during the final two seasons were getting paid based on the number of lines they gave to Norman Buntz because it’s hard to deny that the show went from being an ensemble show to being all about him.

Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)

I watched two episodes on Monday night. The first episode was about an alcoholic. The second one was about a woman addicted to fentanyl and cocaine. As I’ve stated in the past, I never have as much sympathy for the alcoholics as I do for the drug addicts. The first episode was about a former hockey player named Dan whose catch phrase was “Oh golly golly.” Good to have a catch phrase when you’re putting your family through Hell, I guess. The second episode was about Elizabeth, who had all sorts of family tragedies to blame for her addictions. Hopefully, they’re both doing better now.

King of the Hill (Hulu)

On Thursday night, I watched two episodes of the greatest show ever made at Texas. In the first episode, the Hills celebrated the millennium. In the second episode, Peggy wrote Bobby’s flag essay for him. These were two classic episodes from a classic show.

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Desperate to find a way to get to school quicker without having to cut into any of his precious sleeping time, Martin Moone tears down the shoddily constructed wall in his family’s backyard. He’s briefly a school hero, until Liam and Debra notice all of the students walking through their backyard. It was a funny episode. I especially enjoyed the scene where Martin’s imaginary friend, Sean Caution Murphy, explained that Martin created him because Martin himself is cautious and doesn’t like to take risks.

“And what did you name me?”

“Sean Murphy, the most common name in Ireland!”

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville attempted to change his image by dressing up like some sort of weird mix of punk rocker and 70s disco king. He also ended up nearly hanging himself when his medallion got tangled up with the store’s singing. “Don’t just be hanging about!” Arkwright snapped at him. Granville survived, meaning that he could continue to spend many more miserable days working for his uncle and dreaming of freedom.

Seriously, Granville’s going to snap some day and it won’t be pretty.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Despite everyone telling him that Henry V is a much better subject, Shakespeare heads home to Stratford-Upon-Avon to work on a play about Henry VIII. Unfortunately, upon arriving, he discovers that his fearsome former school master is a Catholic! When Robert Greene and Kit Marlowe show up, Shakespeare has to figure out how to allow his teacher to conduct midnight mass without anyone noticing, Fortunately, Marlowe helps out by hiring a prostitute. It’s all a bit convoluted by funny. I’m Catholic and I laughed, largely because most of the jokes were at the expense of the Church of England.

Yes, Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

Jim Hacker’s attempts to subsidize his local football club run afoul Sir Humphrey’s attempts to continue to subsidize the constituency’s little-visited art museum. I’ve often written about how Yes, Minister was a show that could appreciated by anyone because bureaucracy is a universal reality but all it takes is one episode centered around a football club to remind us that this is, at heart, a very British show. And, needless to say, a very funny one! Sir Humphrey, as usual, won the battle of the wills but Hacker still got some good publicity out of it. That’s the important thing.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 5/16/21 — 5/22/21


It was a busy week and yet, I still found time to watch what was probably too much television. Here are my thoughts for this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Trying to explain what happened on Sunday’s episode will not be easy but here goes. Having faked their deaths in the previous episode, the two British airmen were attempting to tunnel their way into a German POW camp. However, their tunnel ends up colliding with the tunnel of two other British airmen, who are attempting to dig their way out of the camp. In typical Allo Allo fashion, nearly every character on the show, whether British, German, or French, eventually ended up in the tunnel at the same time. When the tunnel collapses, everyone finds themselves in the POW camp. It was odd but funny, an enjoyably chaotic parody of movies like The Great Escape.

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

I watched this week’s Final Four episode on the DVR and I have to admit that I fast forwarded through most of it. I just wanted to see who would make it into the top 3. Chayce, Willie, and Grace made it to the finale. Casey Bishop was eliminated. Because of the show’s weirdly rushed format, Casey didn’t get to say anything or even sing a goodbye song after being told that she had been rejected by America. Instead, the credits quickly flashed across the screen. It just didn’t feel right.

Of the final three …. well, I have no idea. In the past, it seems like Chayce would have won easily because of the whole country music thing but who knows? The judges seemed to really want the voters to pick Willie. Then again, the judges really just seemed to be going through the motions this season. There’s a real fear of being too negative. It’s not like the way it used to be when Simon hated everything and the other judges always seemed to be coming down from a coke binge.

Anyway, the finale is next week. I’m going to go ahead and predict that Chayce will win. I don’t know if I’m going to watch the finale or not. It’ll probably depend on what else is on at the time. (I refuse to set the DVR for the finale of a show that I know I’m going to forget about in two weeks.) It’s been a while since winning American Idol was really a big deal, to be honest. Maybe it would help if the show’s producers weren’t so determined to force everyone to sing sappy ballads.

Baywatch (Weekday Evenings, H&I)

The week in Baywatch got off to an extremely strange start on Sunday. The first episode featured Neely and Caroline competing for a modeling gig while Cody, Mitch, and Logan descended into the sewers to search for a mutant alligator. Neely got the gig and Mitch got the alligator. One thing that I did like about this episode is that the alligator was taken alive and donated to a zoo. The second episode featured a mysterious man trying to kill Logan, which led to Caroline wondering what it would be like if Charlie’s Angels were called in to save Logan’s life. Next thing you know, Caroline, Stephanie, and CJ were wearing wigs and bell bottoms and trying to solve the mystery of who was trying to kill Logan. Eventually, it was all revealed to be a dream. This was one of those meta episodes that Baywatch occasionally tried to do. Unfortunately, the show often struggled whenever it tried to be deliberately funny.

Monday was even stranger as the first episode opened with a bunch of lifeguard dragging a lifeless Hulk Hogan out of the ocean. Fortunately, they were able to bring Hogan back to life and, in order to thank them, Hogan and a bunch of wrestlers fought each other for charity. While that was going on, Stephanie was waiting to discover whether or not she had skin cancer. So, on the one hand, you had a very serious storyline about cancer and, on the other hand, you had a bunch of pro wrestlers yelling at each other on the beach. Fortunately, while Stephanie’s ultimate fate was left up in the air, the wrestlers raised enough money. Monday’s second episode featured Mitch sky-diving and this, of course, led to a lot of flashbacks to previous episodes, with some of the clips featured a totally different actor playing Mitch’s son because Baywatch was just like that. There were also some really weird green screen shots of David Hasselhoff with a bunch of fake clouds behind him. It also led to a lot of Hasselhoff voice over acting: “But if I’m unconscious, how can I know what’s happening? Am I dead?” (I may be remembering incorrectly but I thought this show already did a Mitch nearly dies while skydiving episode.) Fortunately, it turned out that Mitch’s death, much like the Charlie’s Angels episode, was just a dream.

On Tuesday, the first episode opened with Mitch trying to adopt a little girl who had never been on the show before. Eventually, I figured out that the episode was continuing a storyline that started on Baywatch Nights. In the end, Mitch did not go through the with the adoption and the little girl was sent to live with her grandparents in Iowa or Kansas or wherever it is that saintly grandparents tend to live. The second episode featured Mitch and Caroline trying to reunite a Vietnamese immigrant with her father. While they did that, CJ and Cody designed a special wheelchair so that a disabled friend would be able to roll across the sandy beach and experience the ocean firsthand. This led to a lot of shots of a sweaty, shirtless, and sexy David Chokachi handling a welding torch. Yum!

On Wednesday, the 1995 Baywatch “film,” Forbidden Paradise, was aired as a two-part episode. I reviewed it here.

Thursday started off with an odd episode, in which Stephanie discovered that she was cancer-free but, at the exact same moment she was getting her good news, a professional surfer was drowning and Logan was cheating on Caroline. It was a strangely philosophical episode but it did feature a surprisingly exciting rescue sequence. I think what made it work is that Michael Newman, who was an actual lifeguard, was the one doing the rescuing and you could tell that he actually knew what he was doing. The second episode featured Cody searching for Spanish gold and Newman, Logan, and Neely searching for a rat that was living in Baywatch headquarters.

Friday’s first episode started off with a new opening credits sequence that featured not only a bunch of new lifeguards but also the promotion of real-life lifeguard Michael Newman to the main cast. Yay, Newmie! The episode that followed featured Logan trying to make a movie about a killer shark and basically endangering everyone by filming with a real shark! At the end of the episode, Logan left Baywatch to become a director. Considering the number of people that Logan almost got killed during his time on the beach, I imagine the lifeguard were happy to see him go. The second episode found Mitch judging a beauty contest and having to deal with a new boss, Samantha Thomas (Nancy Valen).

Saturday’s episode featured an eccentric old man leaving CJ 4 millions dollars in his will and Hobie debating whether or not to get a tattoo. I have to admit that I didn’t pay much attention to it as I was preparing to host Saturday’s #ScarySocial live tweet.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MTV)

I had this show playing in the background while I was cleaning around the house. I needed background noise to help me focus but I also needed something that I knew I would be in no danger of getting emotionally invested in. The adventures of America’s most annoying family fit the bill!

City Confidential (Thursday Night, Crime and Investigation)

The episode that I watched on Thursday night was about Boston and it told the story of a white man who claimed that two black carjackers had murdered his wife but who, it quickly became apparent, had actually committed the murder himself. With the city on the verge of a riot, he jumped off a bridge. It was a disturbing story and a far too common one.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

A&E’s stupidest reality show (and that’s saying something!) basically runs nonstop on Wednesdays. I watched two episodes on Wednesday afternoon and it was the typical collection of jocular judges, rude defendants, and teary-eyed victim statements, all breathlessly narrated by Dan Abrams. This show is basically like the 2021 version of those old “Totally Shocking Video” shows.

Fear Thy Neighbor (Saturday Afternoon, ID)

Fear Thy Neighbor is a true crime show that tells stories about neighbors who end up killing each other. On the one hand, it’s just as exploitive as it sounds. On the other hand, it does make you appreciate the neighbors who don’t try to kill each other. Whenever my neighbor gets on my nerves, I remind myself that at least he’s not one of the Fear Thy Neighbor neighbors.

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched Monday night’s episode. Monica was annoyed by Chandler’s fake laugh. Ross slept with the very annoying Janice. Chandler’s boss was played by the always-funny Sam McMurray. It was an okay episode, though I doubt it’s one they’ll discuss during the HBOMax reunion.

Gangs of London (Sunday nights, AMC)

I got caught up on Gangs of London this week, watching the three latest episodes (or, at least, the three latest episodes to be broadcast in the United States). I still struggle to follow the show and to keep track of who is working with who. That’s probably more due to me not watching on a regular basis than anything else. After watching the last three episodes, I’ve decided that Gangs of London works best as a parody of ultra-violent gangster epics. It’s all so over the top that it’s hard to believe that it was ever meant to be taken all that seriously.

One thing I did learn from watching the show is that Denmark apparently has a fearsome army. Who would have guessed?

Hill Street Blues (Weekday Mornings, H&I)

On Tuesday, the first episode of Hill Street Blues dealt with the aftermath of the murder of Officer Joe Coffey. Played by Ed Marinaro, Coffey had been a part of the show’s cast of characters since the first season and was at the center of many storylines. As such, you would think that the death of his character would be a big deal. Unfortunately, since Coffey had the misfortune of dying during the show’s sixth season, his death was mostly just an excuse for Lt. Norman Buntz to beat up a suspect and try to manipulate Coffey’s long-time partner into making an identification that she wasn’t sure about. The second of Tuesday’s episode featured more Norman Buntz drama as he found himself potentially being framed for the murder of another cop. Lindsay Crouse also joined the cast as a new police officer named Kate McBride who, in her first episode, got more screen time than people who had been there since the show began.

Wednesday’s first episode continued the trend of shining the spotlight on new characters as opposed to the old ones. Norman Buntz continued to threaten everyone he met. Kate McBride was accused of sexually harassing a prostitute and, though it turned out that the prostitute was lying, McBride did tell her partner, Lucy, that she was a lesbian. (The scene was so awkwardly handled that I was surprised McBride’s announcement wasn’t followed by a dramatic music cue.) Meanwhile, another new cop (played by a very young Chris Noth) tried to talk a man out of jumping off the ledge of a building. “Go ahead and jump but I don’t think you want to,” Noth said, right before the man jumped to his death. Whoops! The second episode of the morning found Detective Mick Belker reuniting with a former informant, Eddie, who died of AIDS at the end of the hour. The Belker/Eddie storyline was actually pretty effective and very well-acted by Bruce Weitz and Charles Levin. Unfortunately, it had to compete with space for scenes of Norman Buntz once again beating up suspects and Captain Furillo trying to decide whether or not to run for mayor. (The chief of police running for mayor makes sense and happens fairly frequently. But the captain of the city’s most notorious and troubled police precinct? It seems a bit less likely.)

The first of Thursday’s episodes featured Paul McCrane, who was suitable creepy as a serial killer who was captured by a group of angry citizens. This was also the last episode of season 6, as became obvious when the morning’s second episode featured completely different opening credits. (Jeff has warned me that Season 7 was even more Buntz-centric than Season 6. They probably should have renamed the show Hill Street Buntz.) The second episode featured an airplane crashing into the city, a briefcase full of cocaine getting stolen, and Buntz being held hostage. Buntz, it would seem, got held hostage quite frequently.

On Friday, the first episode featured Lt. Howard Hunter shooting a thief with a non-Department issued gun and being investigated by Internal Affairs as a result. As well, the public defenders office went on a work slow down to try to get better terms in a contract negotiation with the city. This led to Joyce Davenport getting into a physical altercation with a judge played by Jeffrey Tambor. It was actually a good episode, featuring a wonderful performance from James B. Sikking in the role of Hunter. The second episode, however, was a bit of a mess with the public defenders now on strike, Lucy introducing two new cops to life on the Hill, and Lt. Henry Goldblume abruptly going from being a bleeding heart liberal to being the type of cop who smirks while drawing a gun on a drug dealer. (The episode suggested that this was due to Buntz’s influence but Norman Buntz is exactly the type of cop that Goldblume hated just a few episodes ago. The real culprit was inconsistent writing.)

Finally, on Saturday, the first episode was another mixed bag. On the one hand, the episode featured a compelling storyline in which Capt. Furillio discovered that his recently-promoted, former second-in-command, Capt. Calletano, was struggling with running his new precinct. There was also a rather sweet moment where Assistant D.A. Irwin Bernstein admitted that he had a crush on Public Defender Joyce Davenport. However, there was also an incredibly icky storyline in which a new character, Officer Tina Russo, confessed that she had slept with a criminal (played by a youngish Chazz Palmenteri) while working undercover. And, of course, there was yet another largely pointless Norman Buntz storyline. The second episode was a mess. An old friend of Henry Goldblume’s got killed. (Doesn’t this happen every other episode?) Buntz glowered at everyone. Russo tried to defend her reputation even while the camera leered at her.

All in all, this show still has its moment but I’m glad that I’m nearly done with it.

Intervention (Mondays, A&E)

The first episode that I watched on Monday was a really old one, one that seems to get repeated rather frequently. Leslie is a soccer mom-turned-alcoholic whose children beg her to get help. As someone who grew up with an alcoholic parent, I have to admit that, whenever I see this episode, I have absolutely zero sympathy for Leslie. The episode aired in 2007 so her children are all adults now and I can only hope that they’ve managed to deal with the trauma that she put them through. Leslie did agree to go to rehab, though the show’s epilogue states that she relapsed a few times after getting treatment.

Leslie’s episode was followed by the story of Jason and Joy. Jason was a cocaine addict. His younger sister, Joy, was an alcoholic. As usual, I had more sympathy for the cocaine addict than I did for the alcoholic, which I guess suggests that I’m just biased against drunks. Fortunately, according to the episode’s epilogue, both Jason and Joy are now sober.

The third episode deal with hairstylist-turned-drug-addict Casey. To be honest, I cringed a bit when I saw that Ken Seeley was going to run her intervention because his interventions always seem to end in disaster. But, Casey actually agreed to get help for her addiction so yay! But the she left treatment early so boo! But then apparently, she got clean on her own so yay! As you can tell, the final three title cards were a real roller coater ride.

Later that night, I watched the two latest episodes of Intervention. Tim was a former MMA fighter turned addict. Shandra was an aspiring nurse turned addict. Both of them went to treatment, though Tim got kicked out after getting into a physical altercation with another patient. Let’s hope the best for them.

The Jetsons (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I had this old cartoon playing in the background while I was cleaning the house on Sunday. George Jetson really was a whiny prick, wasn’t he?

Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court (Weekdays, Channel 33)

I watched two episodes on Tuesday because I’m a terrible person. Both episodes featured fairly trashy people so it was hard for me to really care about whether or not they stayed together.

Nobody drags out the relatively simple process of reading the results of a DNA test like Judge Lake.

Judge Lake: “Tell me about when you first got married….”

Actually, Judge Lake, why don’t you just open up the damn envelope and read the piece of paper inside?

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Sunday’s episode of Moone Boy centered around the Irish presidential election. It was nice to see that insane elections aren’t limited to the United States. At the end of the episode, Ireland elected it’s first woman president and Liam Moone helped to bathe the local fish monger. It’s a complicated story but the important thing is that everything worked out for the best.

The Office (All the Time, Comedy Central)

Product recall! Seriously, one of my favorite episodes ever. Michael calling that press conference is a classic Office moment. Angela’s inability to apologize is another great moment. I knew exactly what she was going through. I watched this episode of Thursday. It’s probably the 100th time I’ve seen this episode but I still laughed the whole time. It’s a classic.

On Friday, I watched three classic two-parters — Dunder Mifflin Infinity, Launch Party (“Lanch Party!?”), and Money. The scenes of Jim and Pam spending the weekend at Shrute Farms are some of my favorites from the entire series. (“Does Mose often have nightmares?” “Oh yes. Ever since …. the storm.”)

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday night’s episode, Arkwright was concerned that an old school chum named Chalky White was going to steal away Nurse Gladys Emmanuel. Arkwright’s worries turned out to be unfounded. He should have been more concerned about the fact that Granville is obviously only a few more insults away from snapping and blowing up the store.

Philly D.A. (Tuesday Night, PBS)

On Tuesday, I watched two episodes of the PBS docuseries, Philly D.A. This is a series that follows Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner over the course of his first term. The blandly smug Krasner is a progressive who is determined to reform the culture of Philadelphia law enforcement. The series follows not only him but also his critics and the prisoners he’s released and the families who have been effected by the crime of those prisoners. Like Parking Wars, this is a series whose main message seems to be, “For the Love of God, stay out of Philadelphia.”

And really, it should be interesting but the series is so extremely one-sided that it comes across as being propaganda. It’s so obvious that the series is on Krasner’s side that you never feel like you can trust it to give you the whole story and I say this as someone who strong believes that the criminal justice system does need to be reformed. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, seeing as how this is a PBS production. Let’s just say that you’ll never see a similarly uncritical docuseries following the first term of a politician on the opposite side of the political divide.

(Interestingly enough, while I was watching this on Tuesday, Kraser was easily defeating a credible challenger in the city’s Democratic primary.)

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (Sunday, Fuse)

Sabrina! Listen, I know that a lot of people enjoyed that Netflix series more than Case and I did but for me, the only true Sabrina is Melissa Joan Hart and the only true Salem is the one who could actually talk. I watched four episodes of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch on Sunday and they were all fun and, as opposed to the Netflix series, brightly lit.

Saved By The Bell (IFC, Monday Morning)

On Monday, I caught the infamous “All in the Mall” episode of Saved By The Bell. This is the episode in which the gang goes to the mall to buy tickets for the big U2 (?) concert but, because they’re stupid enough to trust Screech to be able to buy the tickets, everything gets screwed up. However, they do find a bag full of money. Unfortunately, two criminals want the money too! Or do they? It turns out that it’s all a set up for Totally Candid Video! The gang’s reward for appearing on the show? Tickets to the big U2 concert! Personally, I would have rather had the money.

Seinfeld (Channel 33, Weeknights)

On Monday’s episode, Elaine tried to put a clothing store out of business, Newman and Kramer competed to throw the bet millennium party (this episode was from the 90s, remember), and Jerry’s girlfriend of the week was played by Lauren Graham. It was a funny episode.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Alas poor William Shakespeare. All Shakespeare wants is a family coat of arms so that he and his father can be “posh” but the man who is in charge of handing out such honors is Robert Greene, who has always disliked the Shakespeares. Perhaps if Shakespeare can throw a successful dinner party for Kit Marlowe’s new best friend, a Moorish prince named Othello, he’ll be able to convince Greene that he deserves to be a gentleman. However, when Greene discovers that Othello has fallen in love with Kate, Greene plots to trick Othello into murdering (or, at the very least, attacking) Shakespeare. It’s all rather complicated (and, as usual, rather funny). Hopefully, someone will write a play about it.

Favorite moment from Sunday’s episode: Greene tricks Othello into thinking that Shakespeare has the handkerchief that Othello originally gave to Kate. Othello starts to lose his temper.

Greene: “Ah, the green-eyed monster….”

Othello: “Perhaps you’re right. Don’t want to jump to any conclusions.”

In the end, it’s revealed that Othello stole all of his amazing stories from Sir Walter Raleigh’s latest book and Kate breaks up with him. All’s well that ends well.

Yes, Minister (Sunday Night, PBS)

Even by the standards of Yes, Minster, Sunday’s episode was a dark and cynical one. Don’t get me wrong. It was funny but the laughter was somewhat uneasy. Jim Hacker discovered two things over the course of the episode. Number one, British-made weapons were being sold to Italian terrorists. Number two, there was nothing he could do about it. As Sir Humphrey explained it, telling the Prime Minister would lead to an inquiry and an inquiry would lead to the discovery of all sorts of government scandals and the end result would be the government falling, Jim losing his position, and the terrorists still receiving their weapons. In the end, even Jim decided that his career was more important than doing the right thing. At least in Jim’s case, he didn’t seem to be happy about it.

Halfway through this melancholy episode, Bernard asked Sir Humphrey if Jim was right about the civil service being amoral. Humphrey explained that, of course, Jim was right. The role of the civil service, Humphrey explained, was not to worry about right or wrong. The role of the civil service was to support whichever government happened to be in power. Having personal beliefs went against that. As I said, it was all pretty cynical but it was also definitely more believable than any of the good government propaganda that we tend to get here in the United States. Aaron Sorkin wishes he could have written something as effective as Sunday’s episode of Yes, Minister.

Zombie House Flipping (Saturday Morning, A&E)

No zombies. Not since The Floor is Lava have a I felt so deceived.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 5/9/21 — 5/15/21


As you can tell by looking below, I didn’t really watch a lot of television this week. That’s because I was busy watching movies and cleaning the house and organizing my books and my DVDs and my Blu-rays and then working on compiling my lists of all the movies that I’ve watched since 2007, which is a project that’s going to take at least a few months to complete. (Letterboxd is seriously addictive.) So, I watched far less television than usual and I guess that’s a good thing. I have to admit that I really didn’t miss it. To be honest, there was actually something liberating about not caring about it. That said, I’ll probably watch way too much TV next week. That’s just the way these things seem to go.

I also didn’t take a lot of notes about what I did watch. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have time to do so this week. So, my thoughts below are largely based on memory and, as you’ll see, some shows were more memorable than others.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

“Listen carefully, I shall say this only once.”

The British airmen are still stuck in occupied France, the Germans are still trying to find the painting, and Rene is still just trying to find some time to focus on cheating on his wife. For reasons that are way too complicated to explain, the airmen had to fake their deaths this week. Apparently, people faking their deaths is something that happened pretty regularly on this show.

Anyway, this show continues to amuse me with its combination of humor both clever and low. For whatever reason, British sitcoms have always done better at portraying the humor of chaos than American sitcoms.

American Idol (Sunday Night, CBS)

Admittedly, it’s been like three years since I regularly watched this show so you’re going to have to excuse me for being annoyed about stuff that everyone else is probably already used to. Such as, it’s weird to me that there’s only one episode a week and that all of the voting is apparently done and over with in two hours. It definitely moves things along at a quicker pace than back in the old days but it still seems like whoever sings last is going to get screwed just by the fact that their supporters are going to have less time to vote. Of course, I’m foolishly assuming that people are actually casting their votes based on the night’s songs as opposed to who they’ve wanted to win since the show began.

I watched on Sunday. I felt bad for Arthur Gunn, who I felt should not have been eliminated. Later in the week, one of the people who did make it to the top 5 dropped out of the competition because of video that surface of him wearing a sheet when he was 13 years old. It was felt that he looked like he was pretending to be a member of the KKK, though his mother says that he was just pretending to be one of the killers from The Strangers: Prey By Night. So, I guess we’re down to the Top 4 now and American Idol will be ending a week early? Or will one of the previous eliminated singers get a second chance? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow!

I miss Vote for the Worst. They always provided such clarity in confusing times.

Baywatch (Weekday Evenings, H&I)

This week on reruns of Baywatch, the fifth season ended and the sixth season begun. David Charvet left the show and was replaced by David Chokachi, playing a swimmer-turned-lifeguard named Cody who my sister and I nicknamed “The Bulge” as soon as we saw him in the revised opening credits. Gena Lee Nolin also joined the cast, playing a bad girl lifeguard named Neely.

Though the cast may have changed, it’s still the same old Baywatch. The main theme of this show seems to be that no one should go to the beach because the beach is a seriously dangerous place. Every episode also features at least one drowning victim spitting up water after being revived by a lifeguard.

Season 6 did start with Mitch telling Stephanie that he was thinking of becoming a private investigator. Hello Baywatch Nights! Here’s hoping that H&I airs that show at some point in the future as well.

Hill Street Blues (Weekday Mornings, H&I)

As I mentioned last week, Jeff warned me that there was a massive drop-off in quality at the start of the 6th season of Hill Street Blues and my God, was he ever right. None of the episodes that I watched this week — all of which were from the sixth season — were particularly memorable. Some of them were actually rather regrettable. For some reason, it appears that, during season 6, the writers decided to abandon all of the established characters and instead devote their time to detailing the violent and sleazy adventures of Lt. Norman Buntz (played by Dennis Franz). Buntz is the type of fascistic cop who, in previous seasons, would have been portrayed as being a menace or an aberration. As such, it’s strange to see him now portrayed as being the center of the show. I’ve already spent a few months watching over a hundred episodes of this show and I’d like to see it all the way through to the end but I have to admit that the Norman Buntz Show doesn’t hold much appeal for me.

Intervention (Mondays, A&E)

On Monday afternoon, I watched two episodes of this A&E mainstay. In both cases, the interventions worked. One thing I noticed is that no one bothered to dress up for any of the interventions. One guy didn’t even bother to take off his backwards baseball cap. I’m just going to say right now that if anyone ever does any sort of intervention for me, they better make some sort of effort to look good. Don’t come to my intervention looking like it’s laundry day or something.

The Last Drive-In (Friday Nights, Shudder)

I caught the second half of this week’s Last Drive-In. (During the first half, I was hanging out with the #FridayNightFlix crew and watching Joe Don Baker in Mitchell.) The movie was an entertainingly gruesome film from 1981 called Dead & Buried. As always, Joe Bob Briggs was the perfect host.

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

The Old Guys wrapped up last week so, in its place, PBS is now airing this sweet and funny Irish sitcom, which aired from 2012 to 2015. Chris O’Dowd plays Sean, who is the imaginary friend of 12 year-old Martin Moone, an imaginative boy whose drawings often come to life (or, at least, they do in his mind). In the first episode, Martin’s bike was stolen by two bullies and Martin’s father ended up bonding with the father of the two miscreants. It was a funny episode, well-acted by O’Dowd and, in the role of Martin, David Rawle.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

This week, both Granville and Arkwright were miserable and lonely but, again, they avoided killing each other. Granville, however, did appear to give it some serious thought. In the end, he just left a small explosive device in the store. “Where does that boy go at night?” Arkwright wondered before nearly blowing his hand off.

The Rookies (Sunday Mornings, H&I)

Another Sunday, another two episodes of this old 70s cop show. I’m not sure why I’m still watching these episodes, beyond the fact that I’ve gotten into the habit. The opening credits are stylish and it’s always interesting to see how people dressed in 1973 but, for the most part, this is not a particularly interesting show.

The first episode featured Michael Ontkean having to prove that yet another shooting was justified. This is the third episode in which Ontkean’s character has had to justify shooting someone. Considering that he hasn’t even been a cop for more than a year (hence the title of the show), that’s somewhat disturbing. The second episode was something about the rookies trying to get the community to accept the presence of a camp for troubled and disturbed teenagers. It all worked out in the end. Ontkean didn’t have to shoot anyone for once.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Will got his theater but it nearly cost him a pound of flesh. Kate finally got a chance to act but failed to convince everyone that she was actually a man when she made the mistake of getting a vegetarian lunch. It all led to a courtroom drama and, fortunately, things worked out for the best. Will even got a new play out of all the drama. Upstart Crow continues to be a truly delightful discovery. (I should perhaps clarify that it’s a discovery for me. The show itself first aired in 2016 and had a dedicated fan base long before I came across it on PBS.)

Yes, Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

On this week’s episode, Jim was placed in charge of transportation policy and quickly discovered that, as Sir Humphrey has often pointed out, it’s never good to be put in charge of anything. This seemed like a funny episode, if just because it was hard not to compare Jim’s distaste for transportation policy to the dorky (and kind of weird) enthusiasm that some people here in America currently have for debating infrastructure policy. Unfortunately, because the episode got off to a late start, my DVR did not record the last five minutes or so. I was not happy about that. Hopefully, Jim managed to push all of the transportation duties off on to someone else.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 4/11/21 — 4/17/21


“Girl, you watch too much television.” Someone said that to me once right before they cut me out of their lives and, I hate to admit it, but they may have been right. I probably do watch too much television. This upcoming week, my goal is to watch a bit less.

Anyway, now that I’ve acknowledged my television addiction, here’s what I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

“That stupid Englishman who thinks he can speak French is here!”

“Good moaning. I was pissing by and I have a massage from the Resistance.”

Allo Allo is a British sitcom from the 80s, which I just recently started watching on PBS. It takes place during World War II, in occupied France and, despite being made by the same people who did Are You Being Served?, it’s actually very funny. Essentially, it’s about Rene who owns a cafe and who keep getting dragged into the plans of the Resistance, the Germans, and the British airmen who are always hiding somewhere in the building. There’s also a running joke about the search for a valuable painting and the various forgeries of it that are floating around town. Last Sunday’s episode featured the Resistance holding a forgery of the painting for ransom. The humor was frequently crude and pretty much dependent upon the viewer knowing all of the pre-existing jokes but it was performed by a lively cast and it was hard not to laugh at the “stupid Englishman who thinks he can speak French.”

American Idol (ABC, Sunday and Monday Night)

As I said the last time that I wrote about this show, I’m not really that much into American Idol anymore. I do watch it on occasion but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I really pay that much attention. The whole show is rather bland and the refusal of the judges to risk their popularity by actually being brutally honest with the singers is a bit of drawback. I often just have the show on a background noise, barely aware of what’s actually happening while it’s on.

That said, I was as shocked as anyone when it was announced, on Monday, that Wyatt Pike had left the show. Why did Wyatt Pike leave? No one knows. In typical American Idol fashion, a vague statement was released that revealed next to nothing. It’s at times like this that I miss Vote For The Worst because that message board would have been on fire with speculation as to why Pike had left the competition. Of course, a lot of the speculation would have been a bit mean-spirited but that’s the internet for ya.

(I was devoted reader of Vote For The Worst but I never commented on the site because I knew, deep down, I was probably too nice to be a part of the community. I always agreed with the site when they trashed production for forcing the singers to sing out-of-date songs and for trying to manipulate the viewers by getting the judges to only praise production’s favorites. But I was also one of those “Can’t we all be happy for the singers?” types and I knew no one wanted to hear that. Still, as biting as some of the comments on the message boards could be, the site was always a valuable reminder not to take American Idol or any “reality” show too seriously.)

Anyway, I’d like to say that Wyatt Pike left because he didn’t want to have to sing whatever song Kara DioGuardi wrote for the finale but then I remembered that it’s been like 12 years since Kara was involved with American Idol and that tells you just how closely I follow the show.

America’s Most Wanted (Monday Night, FOX)

This week was the first season finale of the America’s Most Wanted reboot. It almost might be the finale of the show itself as it has apparently been struggling in the ratings. To be honest, the show’s mix of modern technology (like the CGI versions of the fugitives) and old school recreations of the crimes that the most wanted are accused of having committed has always felt a bit awkward.

Anyway, last night’s episode featured a murderous rapper named Maurice Nesbitt and an environmental terrorist, among others. As I watched the show, I was mostly hoping to hear that Raymond McLeod, the grotesque body builder who was profiled last week, has been captured. No such luck.

Baywatch (Weeknights, H&I)

Baywatch was consistently silly this week. Sunday featured an episode in which Mitch fell in love with a literal princess and it pretty much just got sillier from there. I guess these episodes are from the third season of the show and it appears that it was during this season that Baywatch went from being semi-serious to being so unserious that it occasionally bordered on the surreal. It’s hard not to feel that David Lynch could have worked wonders with Baywatch.

On Monday, things got even stranger as Mitch put on a fake mustache and Stephanie wore a blonde wig so that they could go undercover to capture a master criminal played by John O’Hurley of Seinfeld, Dancing With The Stars, and Family Feud fame. This was followed by an episode that opened with a murder but which was mostly made up of footage of David Hasselhoff playing basketball and Pamela Anderson being stalked by a nerdy newlywed.

Tuesday’s episodes, I didn’t pay much attention to. I was busy cleaning the house so they were mostly on as background noise. The first episode was something about criminals wanting to blow up a pier. Under normal circumstances, blowing up a pier would be a bad idea but these criminals wanted to blow up the pier while the governor was standing on it! The second episode was about Mitch’s father wanting him to take over the architectural firm. Apparently, Mitch’s parents thought that he was wasting his life on the beach. Of course, Mitch is in his early 40s and lives in a pretty big house so it’s kind of hard not to feel that maybe his parents should have had this conversation with him two decades earlier.

On Wednesday, the first episode featured Mitch hiring a sexy housekeeper named Elke. Hijinks ensued! The second episode featured Mitch having to deal with hundreds of UFO enthusiasts flooding the beach. During this episode, Mitch insisted that he didn’t believe in aliens or anything supernatural so I can only imagine that this was before Baywatch Nights. It’s always struck me as a bit odd that Mitch would battle vampires and demons at night and then, during the day, go back to being a laid back lifeguard. But I guess you do what you have to do. Maybe it’s a California thing.

Thursday’s episodes produced a good deal of tonal whiplash. The first episode was a rather grim story about two lifeguard being held hostage in their tower by a sociopathic criminal. I’ve noticed, on Baywatch, that the beaches were always attracting sociopaths and the lifeguards often seemed to end up getting held hostage. I guess it goes with the job but still, I would probably get freaked out after the third time it happened. I would probably look for another job, one that didn’t involve trying to enforce the law while wearing a tight bathing suit. The second episode of the night featured a non-lifeguard pretending to be a lifeguard in order to impress his mother and it was absolutely nothing like the first episode. The two episodes were so different that it was hard to believe that they both took place in the same television universe. Again, it’s hard not to feel that the show missed an opportunity by not asking David Lynch to direct an episode or two.

Friday’s episodes saw Mitch getting paralyzed during a rescue but he didn’t let that stop him from thwarting a hitman. By the end of the second episode, Mitch could walk again and the mafia had been defeated so yay!

Finally, Saturday’s episode featured a surprising amount of kickboxing, which apparently all of the lifeguards were totally into despite no one having mentioned anything about it in any of the previous episodes. There was also this plot about a sleazy French photographer trying to take Pamela Anderson away from the beach. He would have succeeded if not for a fact that a child conveniently had to be rescued from drowning. Having been reminded of why being a lifeguard is so important, Pamela was able to say, “Au revoir, creep.”

Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekday mornings, Channel 33)

If you think you’re significant other is cheating on you, you can take them to Couples Court where Judges Keith and Dana Cutler will determine whether or not it’s true while a national audience watches and makes fun of you. This show is actually more enjoyable than most other court shows, just because the Cutlers are generally likable and their advice usually makes a little bit of sense. Still, it’s hard not to laugh whenever their grim-faced lie detector guy announces the results of the test as if he’s just returned from interrogating the Boston Strangler or something. In the past, the Cutlers have also used “voice analysis” to determine whether or not someone’s lying. I guess that’s what you do when you can’t afford to hire the polygraph guy for the entire week. “Voice analysis revealed that …. SHE IS NOT CHEATING!” Everyone can be happy with that.

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33 and many other stations, not to mention HBOMAX)

On Thursday night, I watched the episode where Chandler was dating Rachel’s boss and, even though he couldn’t stand her, Chandler still couldn’t bring himself to break up with her because he was Chandler and he had issues with that sort of thing. It was a funny-enough episode but I guess it was filmed at a time when Matthew Perry was still doing drug because he looked distressingly thin and I actually found myself getting a little freaked out over how sickly he looked. I’m glad that he apparently got all of that worked out. As for the rest of the episode, I actually preferred the subplot, which featured Monica and Phoebe competing over who had the best dollhouse. Phoebe’s dollhouse was the most popular but it was also the most dangerous because it ended up bursting into flames towards the end of the episode.

Gangs of London (Sunday Night, AMC)

Gangs of London is a show that originally aired in the UK in 2020 and which is now airing here in the States on AMC. On Friday, I finally got to watch the first two episodes and it’s really not bad. In fact, it’s actually pretty good. It’s stylish and it’s violent and it does, at times, test how much patience one has for scenes of men glaring at each other but it’s also very well-acted and it makes great use of its gritty London locations. So far, the show has dealt with the aftereffects of the assassination of the man (played by the great Colm Meany) who, for 20 years, ruled over London’s underground. Now, his family is trying to maintain their power while everyone else is looking to move in on their territory. One of the most interesting themes of the show is that the majority of London’s crime families are international in nature. Just as the world has changed, so has the nature of organized crime. These aren’t just a bunch of London hoodlums fighting over an alley or a block. Instead, these are mobsters from all over the world, all fighting for control of a major city. It’s a complicated but definitely compelling show. I will continue to set the DVR for it.

Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night, FOX)

On Thursday night, the final two chefs were revealed. Next week, Mary Lou will be going up against Kori in the finale. Mary Lou better win, especially since Declan deserved Kori’s spot. Go, Mary Lou, go!

Hill Street Blues (Weekday Mornings, H&I)

Jeff introduced me to this show last year and I’ve been setting the DVR for it ever since. Hill Street Blues originally aired in the early 80s. It was the first of the big ensemble dramas, following a bunch of cops and detectives as they patrol a really depressing and unnamed city. It’s very much a show of its time but it’s mix of humor and tragedy is surprisingly effective even if it is sometimes dated and the show was really well-written. The characters are especially interesting. Alcoholic detective JD La Rue is my favorite! This week, I noticed that the story editor was Mark Frost, who later collaborated with David Lynch on Twin Peaks. As odd as it may seem, it’s easy to see how the gritty toughness of Hill Street Blues led to the surreal and dream-like drama of Twin Peaks. They’re both ensemble show that require viewers to actually pay attention and think for themselves.

Kung Fu (Wednesday Night, The CW)

I kind of watched the second episode of Kung Fu. I have to admit that I occasionally found myself struggling to remain interested in it. It’s just such a CW show and, as a result, it’s a bit predictable at times. That said, Olivia Liang is doing a great job in the role of the lead character and it still feels like the show has the potential to become something special. Personally, I find the family drama to be way more interested than all of the mystery surrounding the death of Nicky’s shifu. I especially like the relationship between Nicky and her sister. It feels real. Olivia Liang and Shannon Dang are basically the two main reason to give Kung Fu a chance.

The Last Drive In (Friday Night, Shudder)

Joe Bob and Darcy and the iguana are back! The third season of The Last Drive-In started on Friday. The first film that they showed was Mother’s Day and I missed it because I was busy hosting the Friday Night Flix live tweet. However, I did catch the second film that they showed, Lucio Fulci’s The House By The Cemetery. Needless to say, I had a great time watching one of Fulci’s best films. Joe Bob was as likable as ever. His special guest was Eli Roth. On the one hand, I felt the Eli tended to ramble a bit too much (I wanted to get back to the movie!) but, at the same time, his love of the horror genre always came through. It was fun, that was the important thing. I have to say thank you to my friend Jason for correctly guessing and letting me know that Joe Bob was about to show a Fulci film.

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

No one can needlessly drag out the reading of paternity results quite like Lauren Lake. It’s almost like a very sadistic style of performance art, the way she tortures the people in her court by getting them at their most vulnerable and then slowly opening the envelope and very precisely and slowly reading every single word of the results. “These results were prepared by DNA Diagnostics, a subsidy of the Rand Company of New Haven, Connecticut, a division of Petrolli Incorporated of Newark, New Jersey and they read as follows. In the case of….” GET ON WITH IT, JUDGE!

The Masked Singer (Wednesday, FOX)

On the one hand, The Masked Singer is an entertainingly strange show and it’s usually fun to try to guess who the celebs under the masks are. On the other hand, it’s hosted by an anti-Semite and one of the judges is an anti-Vaxxer. As I watched the show on Wednesday, I found myself wondering how Jenny McCarthy has managed to more or less get a free pass despite the undoubtedly large role she played in popularizing the anti-vaccine movement. And then you’ve got Nick Cannon, who was ranting about the Rothschilds just a few months ago, serving as the show’s host. My advice would be to replace Jenny McCarthy with …. well, someone who doesn’t have a history of putting people’s lives at risk. And then replace Nick Cannon with Joel McHale and Robin Thicke with Mark McGrath. (Ken Leong, of course, is more than welcome to stay.) Seriously, this is an entertaining show so it would be nice to be able to watch it without feeling guilty about it later.

Speaking of Mark McGrath, he was eliminated this week. He was the Orca.

The Office (All The Time, Comedy Central)

Monday evening, I watched Basketball and Hot Girl from Season 1 and The Dundies from season 2. I rarely drink but when I do, I’m a lot like Pam at the Dundies.

The Old Guys (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday’s episode, one of the old guys finally moved out and got his own flat. Unfortunately, it turned out that he was miserable living without his best friend and housemate so, eventually, he moved back in and everything got back to normal. It was a bit predictable but it was still a cute episode. The flat had an alarm system that was so sensitive that anyone who visited basically had to crawl across the floor to prevent it from going off. That was fun to watch.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright and Granville made it through another episode without killing each other, though both clearly wanted to. It’s a bit of a depressing show but I guess we should be happy no one died.

Protection Court (Weekday mornings, Channel 33)

Protection Court is a reality court show where we watch as people request that the judge grant a restraining order against abusers and stalkers. It’s a disturbing show. Speaking as someone who knows firsthand what it’s like to be stalked, watching this show on Monday morning brought back all of that fear and dread. I’m not really sure why I was watching in the first place.

Rebel (Thursday nights, ABC)

Rebel is a show about a paralegal who gets results not through any real knowledge of the law but instead by yelling at people until they give her whatever she wants just so she’ll go away. We’re supposed to like her but the show is so heavy-handed and the character is such a scold that you actually end up feeling sorry for the heartless corporations. You’re like, “Really? You polluted that river? Well, at least you’re not yelling at me right now.” The main problem with the show is that the main character is actually nicknamed “Rebel,” which …. I mean, yeah whatever. What a waste of Katey Sagal’s talents.

The Rookies (Sunday Morning, H&I)

This Sunday, the first episode of The Rookies featured Michael Ontkean shooting and killing a suspect who he thought was shooting at him. It later turned out that the suspect was unarmed and was instead carrying a camera that apparently sounded like a gun. I don’t know, it was weird. On the one hand, the episode did a good job of showing how a tragedy like this could happen and Michael Ontkean gave a good performance as someone haunted by a terrible mistake. On the other hand, this episode was from 1972 and was so firmly on the side of the cops that it’s hard to watch it today without cringing a little. It’s not so much that the episode justified the shooting as much as it didn’t even seem to entertain the thought that any rational person could possibly believe that Ontkean had been too quick to fire his weapon.

The second episode was incredibly silly, largely because it featured Roddy McDowall as a professional hitman trying to take out an informant in the most unnecessarily complicated way possible. If you were trying to assassinate someone before they went into the witness protection agency, would you kidnap a cop, hold him hostage at a public airport, and demand that the informant be turned over to you so that you can kill him? That’s what McDowall does! Like seriously, this guy is supposedly the best assassin in the world and that’s the best plan that he can come up with! Needless to say, it doesn’t work out for the bad guys but still, anything from the 70s that features Roddy McDowall as a villain is going to be entertaining.

Seinfeld (Weeknights, Channel 33 and a host of other channels, as well was Hulu)

The episodes that I watched on Thursday was a Christmas episode. Elaine was dating a creepy communist named Ned. Kramer was working as a department store Santa, or at least he was until he got too political. “Hey,” a little kid yelled, “This guy’s a commie! Commie! Commie! Traitor to our country!” That made me laugh. Finally, Jerry raced an old acquaintance from middle school and he beat him by cheating. That made me laugh too.

The Serpent (Netflix)

I reviewed The Serpent here.

Tough as Nails (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The second season of Tough as Nails, the bizarre reality show about blue collar people competing to see who can be the first to complete various blue collar tasks, came to an end this week. I guess Scott won and good for him. He got $200,000 and a truck.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Upstart Crow is a British sitcom, one that imagines the life of William Shakespeare, his friends, his family, and his co-workers. Shakespeare is a pompous social climber with a neurotic side. His co-workers are constantly trying to take advantage of him. His family can’t understand why he won’t ever just write normal and simple dialogue. His friends are, for the most part, idiots. His wife doesn’t respect him and his landlady’s daughter, Kate, is determined to use him to become an actress despite the fact that women are not allowed to appear on stage. Each week, Shakespeare struggles with a new play (or, occasionally a sonnet) and his struggles are usually used as a way to satirically comment on modern events.

PBS just started airing Upstart Crow at the start of this month. Right now, they’re on the first series, which originally aired in 2016. Personally, I’m growing to really like it. It’s a fun show, one that’s rewarding for students of Shakespeare and for those who love a mix of high satire and lowbrow comedy. Like a good Shakespeare play, it appeals to both the nobility and the plebeians. I especially enjoy the performances of David Mitchell as Shakespeare and Gemma Whelan as Kate.

My favorite joke so far has been the portrayal of Christopher Marlowe as a vapid self-promoter who frequently steals Shakespeare’s plays and tries to pass them off as his own. Take that, Marlovians!

The Voice (Monday Night, NBC)

I’m always a little bit surprised by the fact that I always set the DVR for this show because it’s not like a really pay that much attention to it while I’m watching. I think I just like the fact that it’s so ludicrously overcomplicated, what with the battles and the judges stealing people and the judges saving people and it’s always kind of fun to see how silly the judges get when its time to play up all the drama.

Add to that, I like Blake Shelton. I like Nick Jonas. It’s nice that Carson Daly has a job.

Yes Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

I got a bit of a scare last week when it appeared that PBS was going to stop showing Yes, Minister and instead start showing — ugh — Are You Being Served in its place. Fortunately, it turned out that it was just an error in the guide and Yes, Minister did indeed air Monday at midnight.

(Actually, it started about six minutes late, due to ‘Allo ‘Allo and Open All Hours running late.)

This week’s episode was …. well, it was okay. It was about Jim Hacker’s attempts to bring more women into the civil service and Sir Humphrey’s old school panic regarding the prospect. On the one hand, the episode did a good job of showing the extent that an “old boys club” will go to keep women from advancing. There was a great scene in which all of the heads of the various departments said that they fully supported equal opportunities for all people before then giving increasingly flimsy excuses for why they personally wouldn’t be promoting any women. But then the show itself ended with a woman turning down a promotion because she didn’t want to be viewed as just being a diversity hire and that felt a bit like a cop out. Still, the episode had many funny lines and three great performances from Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, and Derek Fowlds.

I’ve recently discovered that Yes, Minister eventually became Yes, Prime Minister and I’m certainly hoping that PBS will show those episodes as well. It would certainly be preferable to Are You Being Served.