Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/25/22 — 10/1/22


Not only did I spend this week preparing for Horrorthon, I also ended up watching quite a bit of television.  Here’s some thoughts on what I watched.

Abbott Elementary (Wednesday Night, ABC)

This week, Janine tried to get Abbott a computer and Ava got to host a Shark Tank-style competition.  Ava is such a great character.  This episode may not have matched the premiere but it was still pretty funny and a good example of how Abbott Elementary is able to deal with the realities of public education without losing sight of the comedy.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

This week’s episode of Atlanta took a break from the surreal with a straight-forward but very funny episode about Earn and Al’s family.  Earn’s mother “kidnapped” Grandpa while Earn’s father made the mistake of buying a hat and allowing himself to get delayed in the mall.  While Aunt Jeanine called the police and demanded that her sister by criminally charged, Earn and Al looked for a way to escape the studio.  It was funny and enjoyably cringey.  Give Isiah Whitlock, Jr. an Emmy.

Bachelor in Paradise (Monday Night, ABC)

It’s a new season of Bachelor in Paradise!  All of the people who couldn’t find love on the main show get to hang out on the beach.  Bachelor in Paradise is actually more fun than The Bachelor because it’s honest about being a totally and completely shallow production.  Nobody is there for the right reasons and it’s great.

Apparently, Jesse Palmer is going to be the host for the entire season so I guess last season’s rotating host gimmick has been retired.  That’s probably for the best.  I actually like Jesse as the overall franchise host.  He doesn’t bring a lot of extra drama with him like Tayshia and Kaitlyn did and he seems to understand that his job isn’t exactly the same as being a brain surgeon.

That said …. where’s Meatball!?

Big Brother (Sunday Night, CBS)

Big Brother 24 finally came to a close on Sunday night.  Taylor Hale not only won the game but she also won America’s Favorite Player.  Considering the way that Taylor was bullied by the other houseguests at the start of the season, her victory was popular with the show’s fans.  Personally, I think both Monte and Turner played a better game but knowing that Taylor’s victory upset some of the worst people to ever appear on the show was still a satisfying feeling.  Knowing that Ameerah, Nicole, and Daniel were probably upset made the past few months worth it.

I wrote about this season over at the Big Brother Blog.

Bubblegum Crisis (NightFlight+)

80s cyberpunk!  Man vs machine!  The Sabre Knights vs a pack of robots known as the Boomers!  The main character, Priss, is also a rock star!  I had no idea what was going on when I watched this show early on Saturday morning but the animation was interesting to look at and Priss was undeniably cool.

CHiPs (Weekday Afternoons, Get TV)

I watched one episode of this old motorcycle cop show on Tuesday.  The cops kept the peace at an anti-nuke rally and Erik Estrada provided counseling to a child who was being abused by his parents.  I can’t say that I really paid that much attention.  I did like the bass-heavy theme song however.

Concentration (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)

This was an old gameshow from the 70s and the 80s.  I watched an episode on Friday while I was doing some work around the office.  The most interesting thing about it was that it was hosted by Alex Trebyk, who came across as being far more relaxed and casual about things than when he hosted Jeopardy.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Uncle Joey (you know, the one with the mullet) tried to teach Michelle how to ride a bike but he wasn’t very good at it and Michelle was humiliated when she fell off her bike at the park.  At first, Michelle blamed Joey but eventually she got over it.  What a brat.

This was followed by an episode in which poor DJ (who, really, deserves to nominated for sainthood for putting up with her family) has to take her two obnoxious sisters with her on a date.  Everyone learned an important lesson about sneaking into the movie and lying.  Don’t do either of them but, if you do sneak into the movie, don’t get caught.

Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)

The second season premiere of Ghosts was as charming as ever, with the ghosts spying on the B&B’s first guests and Jay discovering that, despite his near death experience, he still cannot see the ghosts.  I felt bad for Sam, as most of the stuff that the guests complained about when it came to her was the same stuff that people tend to complain about when it comes to me.  I cheered a little when she stood up to them.  The whole “Our yelp account was hacked!” ending was perfect.

Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night, FOX)

Hell’s Kitchen is back!  This season is going to be 40-something chefs vs 20-something chef.  To be honest, the gimmick doesn’t matter.  I’m just looking forward to Chef Ramsay yelling at people and losing his temper at the potentially lethal incompetence around him.  Who will be the first to try to send out raw chicken?  Sadly, the premiere episode did not feature a dinner service but, according to the previews, it’s coming up next week!

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

Last week’s Law & Order was pretty good.  This week, sadly, was one of those middling, lefty political episodes that the franchise often does in an attempt to remain in the good graces of those who would otherwise dismiss the whole thing as being copaganda.  It’s always funny to me how the Law & Order franchise is full of blue collar, Catholic cops who sound like they spend all of their time watching Joy Reid and Chris Hayes as soon as their shift is over.

On last night’s Law & Order, the victim was the daughter of the governor of Texas so, of course, we got this whole big thing about how the governor is always criticizing New York City as being crime-ridden.  “Why does the governor of Texas care about New York?” one of the detectives demanded and that’s when I started to tune this episode out.  One could just as legitimately ask why people in California and New York always feel the need to comment on what’s happening in Texas.  Law & Order always errs on the side of going overboard when it attempts to deal with politics.  This was especially true this week, as Law & Order waded into the abortion debate and came up with an ending that was both so heavy-handed and so predictable that I felt embarrassed for the show’s writers.

Law & Order: Organized Crime (Thursday Night, NBC)

With the start of a new season, Stabler got a new partner and a new crooked family to investigate.  From what I’ve seen, Organized Crime is the least interesting of the Law & Order shows and often feels more like it should be a part of NCIS franchise than Law & Order.  It was difficult for me to watch because Stabler really does seem like he’s going to give himself a heart attack if he doesn’t figure out a way to relax.

Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

This week’s episode of SVU opened with an extremely disturbing scene in which a teenage girl was gang-raped on a subway while, just a few feet away, the rest of her family was hacked to death with machetes.  This scene reminded me of why I don’t regularly watch this show.  It’s undeniably well-acted and usually well-written, except for when it tries to be overly political.  But Good Lord, are the cases ever disturbing!

Mike (Hulu)

I wrote about Hulu’s disappointing Mike Tyson miniseries here.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount Plus)

Inspired by a holy nacho chip, Beavis went on a spiritual journey and learned nothing.  This was a unique episode in that it told one story instead of the usual two.  It’s become obvious that Beavis, with his odd moments of clarity and his desire to actually be something more than just a sidekick, is a far more compelling character than Butt-Head.

Monarch (Tuesday Night, FOX)

This show gets sillier and sillier with each episode but it’s kind of worth it for the scenes of Trace Adkins glowering in the shadows while holding a gun.  I don’t really care much about which Roman daughter is crowned the next queen of country music but I definitely do what to know who Trace has been burying for the past three episodes.

Night Flight (NightFlight+)

From the 80s, it was a look at women in rock, from Janis Joplin and Grace Slick to Stevie Nicks.  I watched on Friday night.  The music was good.

Password (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)

I watched two episodes of this old game show on Tuesday.  Apparently, the aim was to try to guess a word and win money.  The episodes I saw were from the mid-70s and the most interesting thing about them was how cheap and run-down the show’s set looked.  One got the feeling that the whole studio probably reeked of cigarettes and spilled beer.

Saving Grace (Weekday Nights, Start TV)

On this show, which apparently ran for three seasons, Holly Hunter played an Oklahoma detective who, after she accidentally ran over a pedestrian after a night of drinking, was told by a fallen angel named Earl that she was going to go to Hell unless she changed her ways.  So, apparently, the rest of the show was about Grace solving crimes and talking to Earl.  How have I never heard of this show before?  It aired from 2007 to 2010 and Hunter was even nominated for two Emmy awards for playing Grace.

Anyway, the episode that I watched on Wednesday night featured Grace trying to solve a murder while another angel (F. Murray Abraham) tried to convince her to abandon Earl and work with him.  It was odd but Holly Hunter is always good and the show took place in Oklahoma so, as someone who spent some time in Oklahoma while she was growing up, I felt like I could relate to most of the characters.

Super Password (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)

I watched two episodes of this show on Tuesday.  It was just like Password, except the set looked cleaner.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/18/22 — 9/24/22


A lot of shows returned this week.  Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched:

Abbott Elementary (ABC, Wednesday Night)

“What the Hell, Gritty!?”  I swear, I have been laughing at that line for days now.

Abbott Elementary started its second season this week, with a great episode that found Janine adjusting to being single, Gregory becoming a full-time teacher, Barbara, Melissa, and Jacob going out of their way to help their students, and Ava acting like Ava.  Though the whole mockumentary format isn’t as innovative as it was during the early days of The Office (and, even then, it wasn’t really that innovative), Abbott Elementary has a lot of heart and it’s frequently hilarious as well.

By the way, I don’t get Gritty either.  What the Hell is that thing?

The Amazing Race (CBS, Wednesday Night)

Yay!  The Amazing Race is back!  I wrote about the first episode of the new season here!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Realizing that he was only a few steps away from being cast as Ice Cube’s best friend in the latest Are We There Yet? sequel, Al got himself a Young White Avatar, a white rapper with whom he could collaborate behind the scenes.  Unfortunately, Yodel Kid died of a drug overdose before the Grammys but his debut rap album, Born 2 Die, still won the award.  Meanwhile, not wanting to work on rehabilitating the reputation of the author of I Was Wrong, Earn tried to track down D’Angelo and spent several days sitting in a cell as a result.  It all makes sense if you watch the episode.

Yodel Kid and Benny, the show’s YWAs, were both obnoxiously believable.  Benny, especially, was a Twitter trend waiting to happen.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

The cringiest season yet came to an end.  Rachel got engaged to Tino and Tino promptly cheated on her.  This led to Rachel apparently fleeing the studio with Aven.  Gabby, meanwhile, got engaged to Erich, who then explained that, while he did just go on the show for business purposes, he also totally fell in love with Gabby.  So, I’m sure that engagement will be a successful one.

Seriously, it’s kind of sad that the whole raison d’etre for this season was to make up for Gabby and Rachel having to deal with Clayton’s foolishness during The Bachelor but Gabby and Rachel still basically ended up even more emotionally traumatized than they were before.  This whole season was just icky.  I liked this franchise better when it wasn’t so eager to show everyone that it’s in on the joke.

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

This season is nearly over.  Yay!  All of the show’s major villains have been voted out of the House and guess what?  It’s all really boring now.  I’ve been writing about the show over at Big Brother Blog.

Cobra Kai (Netflix)

I finally watched the latest season of Cobra Kai on Netflix and, of course, I loved it.  Terry Silver was a wonderful villain and the season continued to do a great job of balancing comedy and melodrama.  Johnny discovering the gig economy was a classic moment.  Give William Zabka all the Emmys.  This really is an example of a show that should not work but it does.  As opposed to The Bachelorette, it’s self-aware without being smarmy about it.

Dynaman (Nightflight+)

I watched the second episode of this Japanese action series on Friday.  Go Dynapink!

Full House (Sunday Night, MeTV)

Becky and Jesse brought the twins back home from the hospital and Jesse promptly forgot which was which.  Dumbass.

This was followed by an episode where Danny was named the most eligible bachelor in San Francisco.  Technically, he’s the most eligible widower and he’s got three daughters who will never accept anyone unlucky enough to become their stepmom.  Run!

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

I watched an episode of Inspector Lewis on Wednesday.  Though retired and in love with Dr. Hobson, Lewis still couldn’t resist helping Hathaway solve another case.  It was a sweet episode, due to Lewis and Hathaway’s friendship.  Still, Hathaway was sporting a new hairstyle in this episode and I was not a fan.

Law& Order, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

All three of the Law & Order shows returned this Thursday with an epic crossover event.  A brutal murder led to an investigation into human trafficking which led to a terrorist bombing which led to a Russian businessman getting gunned down in the streets of New York, apparently on orders of Putin himself.

It was, perhaps, a bit much.  Law & Order always goes for the big targets when, sometimes, it might be nice to see the shows return to dealing with everyday crimes and less international concerns.  That said, the show handled the crossovers well and it was interesting to watch all of the detectives working together on one case.  Anthony Anderson has left the franchise so a good deal of time was spent introducing us to Cosgrove’s new partner, Detective Jalen Shaw (Mehcad Brooks).  Jeffrey Donavon and Mehcad Brooks worked well together.  Certainly, they had a better partnership chemistry than Anderson and Donavon did.  (Anderson’s a good actor but he seemed bored during the previous season of Law & Order.)  Donavon’s closing monologue was well-done, even if the ultimate suggestion seemed to be that everyone should just move to Toronto.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+)

No, Beavis, the girl with the blue hair likes you!

This was a funny episode and I was kind of happy that old Beavis and Butt-Head didn’t make an appearance.  (They’re funny characters but kind of depressing to think about.)  I wish Beavis could escape from Butt-Head’s influence.  I cringed with Beavis broke his arm.  How are these two still alive?

Monarch (Tuesday Night, Fox)

Well, I guess they really did kill off Susan Sarandon’s character.  Tuesday’s episode dealt with her funeral.  To be honest, I get the feeling this show is going to run out of gas in another few episodes, just because it’s trying a bit too hard to be a campy, guilty pleasure.  Still, the second episode had its share of entertainingly weird moments.  The Susan Sarandon hologram was brilliant.  Also, every episode needs to have at least one scene of Trace Adkins shooting a rifle in the air and yelling, “THAT’S ENOUGH!”

Night Flight (Nightflight+)

On Friday, I watched one episode about 80s comedy and one episode about “the pretty boys of rock.”  It was an interesting history lesson.

Survivor

Yay!  Survivor’s back!  I wrote about the first episode here!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/11/22 — 9/17/22


Though I’ve been busy getting ready for October, I still found time to watch a few things!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Donald Glover’s wonderfully surreal series has returned for its fourth and final season.  The first two episodes aired on FX this week.

The first episode was strange, funny, and more than a little creepy.  Darius’s attempts to return a gift that he didn’t need led to him being pursued by a knife-wielding white woman in a wheelchair.  Al’s attempt to honor the memory of a recently deceased singer led him on a scavenger hunt and it also served as a rather moving meditation on just what exactly it means to be famous and whether or not anyone actually pays attention to the lyrics of the music to which they listen.  Finally, Earn and Van found themselves trapped in some weird section of Atlanta where they kept running into people that they had dated.  Along with letting everyone know that the show had returned from Europe, this episode was a perfect example of the show’s dream logic.

The second episode is one that I’m still processing.  The ending presents the viewer with a bit of a litmus test.  Who do you feel bad for, Earn or the woman whose life he ruined?  Is it possible to feel bad for both of them?  Even if it’s possible to do so, should you feel bad for both of them?  Reading the reactions online, I was reminded of something that Spike Lee pointed out about Do The Right Thing, in that black audiences were outraged that the police killed Radio Raheem while white audiences were usually more upset about Sal losing his business.  It was a thought-provoking episode.  It was also one that finally gave audiences a look into Earn’s mind, revealing not only why he dropped out of Princeton but also that he was the victim of childhood abuse.  (That might explain the nightmare that he had a the start of the third season.)  The episode ended with Earn celebrating his elaborate revenge while also realizing that he he needed to return to the therapy.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

So, after the end of the first part of the finale (seriously, of all the seasons to drag out, why this one?), Gabby is pretty much stuck with Erich and Rachel is stuck with Tino.  I don’t see any of this ending well.  To be honest, Erich has every right to be concerned about the idea of getting engaged on a reality show.  And Aden had every right to be worried about what his relationship with Rachel would be like once the show ended.  But, as many have pointed out, everyone knows what they’re getting into when they sign up to appear on this show.

So, in short, I have sympathy for no one but Meatball.

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

The season’s nearly over!  I’ve been writing about all of it at the Big Brother Blog!

The Challenge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The Challenge came to a two-hour conclusion this week.  Enzo and Tyson …. well, neither one of them was the winner.  It’s always strange when the people who dominate a reality show don’t end up winning.  Instead, Danny and Sarah won.  I was happy to see that two Survivors won the game but still, it’s kind of like who cares?

The Emmys (Monday Night, NBC)

Eh.  The Emmys never really do much for me and I have to admit that I largely had the show on for background noise.  (I was actually watching two movies — Flight 93 and then Seven — while occasionally checking in with the Emmys.)  I was happy that Amanda Seyfried won but Yellowjackets losing to Succession and Barry losing to Ted Lasso pretty much ruined the night for me.  As well, how did Bob Odenkirk not win an Emmy?

Jimmy Kimmel getting dragged for his stupid “passed out” routine was the most entertaining part of the night.  Many have correctly pointed out that he intruded on Quinta Brunson’s moment.  Technically, his joke would have intruded on any winner’s moment but the fact that it occurred while the first black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series attempted to give her acceptance speech definitely made matters worse.

Of course, some of this is the risk you take whenever you have a comedian serve as a presenter at an awards show.  That’s one reason why I cringe whenever I see a certain former SNL star presenting an Oscar or a Golden Globe because I automatically know that there’s no way he’s going to give up the spotlight without a fight.

Devil in Ohio (Netflix)

This miniseries is about a psychiatrist (in Ohio!) who allows a girl to live with her and her family after the girl escapes from a Satanic cult that is led by her father (in Oho!).  Emily Deschanel plays the psychiatrist and gives a performance that will really leave you wishing they had cast Zooey instead.

I watched the first episode on Monday morning and it felt almost like a parody of a typical Netflix show, right down to the middling performances, the unnecessary filler, and the performative wokeness.  A good deal of the show dealt with Deschanel’s daughter starting a new year in high school.  She has a crush on the editor of the school newspaper and I have to admit that I laughed out loud when he approached her and he just happened to be wearing a “Notorious RBG” t-shirt.  I’m sure that’s really a hot seller in rural Ohio.

As for the show itself, I was pretty bored and I doubt I’m going to watch more of it.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Aunt Becky finally had the twins!  For some reason, the birth was broadcast on Good Morning, San Francisco.  Why would Aunt Becky agree to this?  Anyway, I guess Uncle Jesse’s going to have to give up his silly dreams of rock stardom and become an adult now, right?

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

Lewis and Hobson are a cute couple but there are still murders to be solved.  And Hathaway is still struggling with all the evil in the world.  The episode that I watched this week featured an elderly professor getting run over by a car.  I hate to admit it but I watched the episode on Tuesday and, as I type of this review on Saturday, I can’t remember who the murderer was.  I just know that Lewis didn’t seem to be as a depressed as usual and that’s good thing.

The Love Boat (Paramount+)

On the one hand, this show makes me want to go on a cruise.  But, on the other hand, I specifically want to go on a cruise in 1977 and I want all of the passengers to be a mix of television actors and retired movie stars.  I need a time machine.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+)

Old Beavis and Butt-Head kind of freak me out but it was still fun to watch them serve on a jury.  That said, I was still relieved when the younger and more hopeful versions of the characters appeared in the episode’s second story.  The Freaky Friday twist was nice.  I liked how the dude waited for his girlfriend to go into the 7-11 before he smashed Beavis and Butt-Head’s heads together for a second time.  That was considerate of him.

Monarch (Tuesday Night, FOX)

This is the latest attempt at a guilty pleasure soap from a network that specializes in them.  Trace Adkins and Susan Sarandon play Albie and Dottie Roman, the King and Queen of Country Music.  Judging from the first episode, it looks like it could be fun.  Albie is known as being “the Texas truth teller” but has a history of infidelity.  Dottie is dying and has frequent visions of a burning barn.  All of the children are angry with each other for one reason or another.  Like I said, fun.

If nothing else, you have to appreciate the bizarre pairing of the unapologetically conservative Trace Adkins with outspoken Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon.  It’s fun to imagine the set of the show, with Adkins having a beer and talking about his new truck while Sarandon harangues everyone to read Das Kapital.  Anyway, this show seems like it could be melodramatic enough to hold my interest.  I’ll give it a chance.

The premiere episode ended, in true cliffhanger fashion, with Dottie apparently dying.  We’ll see if she’s actually dead or not next week, I guess.  If she is dead, will Sarandon appear in flashbacks or as a ghost?  I’m hoping as a ghost.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/15/22 — 5/21/22


We’ve been up at Lake Texoma for most of this week and, because I’m supposed to be relaxing, I didn’t take my usual detailed notes about what I watched this week so I apologize if this latest recap seems a bit …. well, skimpy.  Trust me, though, I needed the break and the chance to recharge.

Anyway, here’s what I remember about what I watched this week:

A Very British Scandal (Prime)

This three-episode miniseries told the true story of the scandalous divorce of two aristocrats, who were played by Paul Bettany and Claire Foy.  It was all enjoyably sordid and neither one of the two characters were likable enough for you to feel bad about their lives getting turned upside down.  If you’re into melodrama with a British accent, you should enjoy A Very British Scandal.  If nothing else, the clothes and the furniture were to die for and the miniseries served as a nice reminded that having a title didn’t necessarily mean someone was rich.  Paul Bettany’s character may been a Duke but he still had to marry for money.  In fact, he had to do it three times.

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

I watched four episodes of Allo Allo on Sunday so I am happy to say that I am now caught up with the show.  Despite Michelle’s efforts, the plan to send the British airmen out of France in a hot air balloon fizzled.  A few episodes later, she decided to disguise the airmen as monks so that they could sneak past the Germans and board a secret flight to Germany.  However, Rene decided to hop on the plane himself.  He was hoping to escape with Yvette, just to find that Edith had misinterpreted his plans and …. well, look, I can’t really explain it all.  What’s important is that  Rene and Edith are now flying to the UK.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

The finale of this odd but intriguing season finally allowed Zazie Beetz a chance to shine as we discovered what Val has been doing in Europe while everything else has been going on.  Come for the biting social commentary and surreal satire, stay for the Alexander Skarsgard cameo!

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry blew up a house!  And then Sally dumped Barry, which she probably should have done a lot earlier.  At least Gene’s career is looking up.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Jimmy and Kim continued to plot against Howard.  The show is moving at its own deliberate pace but when you’ve got a cast this good, you can take all the time that you want.  That said, I love Patrick Fabian’s performance as Howard so I hope he’ll be around just a little bit longer.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

This vaguely silly but entertaining show came to an end this week.  Colton Underwood won this season!  Yay!  I’m just happy all the celebrities survived.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

The theme of last Sunday’s Brady Bunch bloc was that Jan sucks.  First, Jan thought she won an essay contest, just to discover that a mistake has been made while tabulating the scores.  Then, Jan ended up stealing a bicycle because she needed glasses.  That’s the same way I got my new car, by the way.  Poor Jan!  I hear it’s not easy being the middle sister.  Fortunately, I’m the youngest Bowman sister so I’ve never had to worry about it.

Court Cam (Monday Night, A&E)

I watched one or two episodes.  If I sound unsure, it’s because all of the episodes of Court Cam tend to blend together.  Once you’ve seen one judge yelling at an incompetent lawyer, you’ve seen them all.  Still, I do have to admit that I kind of enjoy this show.  It’s always fun to watch people in authority make stupid mistakes.

Creepshow (Shudder)

On Thursday, I finally watched the first two episodes of the third season of Shudder’s horror anthology and I enjoyed both of them.  Creepshow is the show that American Horror Story pretends to be.

The Curse of Degrassi (YouTube)

I watched this old favorite on Saturday night.  Read my review here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

DJ went to the school dance but, when her date got caught drinking, Uncle Jesse blamed her!  Not surprising, DJ was pissed off.  And she should have been!  Seriously, DJ never gets to have any fun.  MeTV showed three other episodes, none of which I really remember.

The Last Drive-In (Friday Night, Shudder)

What better way to watch Nosferatu than with Joe Bob Briggs?  Technically, I do think that Joe Bob goes on for a bit too long during his host segments but I really don’t mind.  Joe Bob may pretend to be a redneck who tells dad jokes but, as he showed while discussing the career of Werner Herzog, he truly loves cinema and, even more importantly, he knows his stuff.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

When an off-duty cop is killed, Nolan Price has to deal with pressure from both the NYPD and community as he prosecutes the defendant.  This episode was typical of the Law & Order revival — compelling but heavy-handed.  Is Sam ever going to get to do anything other than gaze adoringly at Nolan?  The fact that, after several episodes, we still know nothing about her character, her background, or her opinions is a bit annoying.  The episode ended with the defendant acquitted on one count and convicted on another and the entire city still angry.  It was all appropriately bleak.  Also, Mariska Hargitay made a cameo appearance and basically came across like she couldn’t wait to get back to SVU.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Gopher taught everyone on the boat how to perform CPR.  Good going, Gopher!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

This week’s episode of We Own This City dealt with the Freddie Gray uprising.  It made for compelling viewing and Jon Bernthal and Josh Charles continued to give good performances as two men who epitomized everything that people dislike about cops.  Still, I wish the timeline was a bit less jumbled and the scenes with the Justice Department investigators continue to be a bit of a slog.  Overall, though, this is a worthwhile show.  Just don’t watch it with the expectation that it’s going to be the second coming of The Wire.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 5/8/22 — 5/14/22


Let’s get to it.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Atlanta has been pretty evenly split, this season, between “anthology” episodes and the episodes that follow Earn and Al in Europe.  It’s an interesting format but, as I watched this week’s anthology episode, I really found myself thinking about much more interested I am in what’s going on in Europe.  This week’s episode was filmed in gorgeous black-and-white but the story of a biracial teen passing as white was nowhere near as interesting as what happened to Al in Amsterdam last week.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

This week, Barry attempted to make things up to Gene by getting him a role on a plausibly terrible television show.  Unfortunately, for Barry, it turned out that Gene isn’t just going to forget about Barry murdering his girlfriend in return for a role.  Meanwhile, Sally was forced to take part in a series of vacuous interviews in order to promote her new television series.  Everyone wants to know: “Who should be the next Spider-Man?”

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

This week, we got to see what Saul’s office was like before he redecorated it.  It was kind of a slow episode.  Better Call Saul is always watchable because of the performers but its status as a prequel also means that there’s a certain lack of suspense as to what’s going to happen to everyone.  Still, this week’s episode was worth it for the boxing scene.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The remaining celebrities continued to try to survive living in the jungle.  Jodie Sweetin finally ran the bell and removed herself from the show, just leaving a bunch of former pro athletes to continue the competition.  I don’t blame her.  Jodie lasted longer than I would have.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I don’t remember anything that happened during last Sunday’s Brady Bunch episodes so I guess I should count myself lucky.

Candy (Hulu)

I reviewed Hulu’s latest true crime miniseries here!

Dynasty (Friday Night, The CW)

Having missed most of the latest season, I finally got caught up on Dynasty this week and I was reminded of why I enjoy this wonderfully over-the-top and self-aware show.  Unfortunately, no sooner was I caught up than the CW announced that they were canceling the show.  Booooo!

Fantasy Island (Hulu)

Several months after watching the pilot, I finally watched the rest of Fantasy Island’s 1st season this week.  It’s an extremely silly but fun show.  Roselyn Sanchez plays her role with just the right mix of gravitas and mockery.  The show’s a bit heavy-handed at times but I think that’s to be expected.  The island looks lovely and the fantasies themselves are ultimately harmless and good-natured and that’s all the really matters.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

If I remember correctly, Jesse was worried that he was losing his cool and Joey said, “Cut it out.”

Ghosts (Paramount Plus)

I finished binging the first season of Ghosts on Monday and Tuesday.  What a sweet show!  I’m kind of amazed that it took me so long to give this show a chance.  I’ll be curious to see what happens with the second season.  Hopefully, the show can keep up its momentum.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

“This story is fictional….”

Yeah, whatever.  This week’s episode started out as an homage to Inventing Anna and then it ended as an homage to Dopesick.  Price decided to make a deal with a murderer so that he could then prosecute the owner of a pharmaceutical company.  It was all because Price’s brother died of a drug overdose.  To be honest, Price didn’t really make his case and he should have been fired for wasting tax payer money on a personal crusade.  But the jury disagreed.  It may sound like I’m trashing this episode but it was actually pretty well-acted and I actually appreciated that it totally turned into a different story during the second half.  That said, I don’t think the Law & Order revival will ever be known for having a particularly nuanced political outlook.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Vicki discovered that one of the passengers was hooked on speed.  Luckily, everything worked out in the end.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I reviewed the latest twist-filled episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

It was a pretty boring episode this week.  The cast is convincing and Baltimore continues to be a fascinating portrait of the American Dream gone bad but David Simon doesn’t really seem to have much to say, beyond pointing out that cops are bad and federal investigators are underfunded.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/1/22 — 5/7/22


Why didn’t anyone tell me that Ghosts was so good!?  Over the past few days, I’ve been watching it and loving it.

Anyway, here’s some more thoughts on my week in television!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

During this week’s funny but unsettling episode, Al got stoned in Amsterdam.  It’s possible that he met a mysterious women named Lorraine who warned him about the people around him and who took him to a club where he met Liam Neeson.  It’s also possible that Al hallucinated the whole thing while passed out in a doorway.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

The latest episode of Barry really, really freaked me out.  Basically, Barry found himself with two options.  He could either get Gene a role on a TV show in order to make up for killing Gene’s girlfriend or he could just kill Gene.  Barry was determined to give Gene a second chance and, by extension, himself a second chance.  Barry was trying to do the right thing.  The problem is that Barry is a sociopath who is trying to be the good person that he is incapable of being.

This episode was all about abusive relationships.  Sally is trying to produce her dramedy about her own abusive relationship but she doesn’t seem to understand that her current relationship with Barry is just as abusive as the one she escaped.  (The scene where Barry yelled at her for not casting Gene was legitimately scary.)  Barry is trying to recover from his abusive relationship with Fuches, little realizing that he’s repeating Fuches’s behavior with the way that he’s manipulating Gene.  Is Gene going to end up becoming a hit man by the end of this season?  It could happen.  Meanwhile, the only vaguely healthy relationship on the show, between Noho Hank and Cristobal, came to an end due to them being members of rival criminal gangs.

Bill Hader continues to astound as Barry.  He’s both sincere and terrifying.  Barry truly believes that he’s capable of doing the right thing even though we know he isn’t.  This week’s episode reminded us that Barry can be a scary guy.  When he indicated that he would kill Gene’s grandson if Gene didn’t accept the role that Barry had gotten for him, it was a chilling moment.  I’ll never look at Barry the same way again.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Rhea Seehorn directed this week’s episode of Better Call Saul, which featured both Jimmy’s continuing efforts to destroy Howard’s career and also his move into his new office.  Meanwhile, Gus and Mike continued to search for evidence of Lalo still being alive.  This was a well-done episode, one that did a good job of showing how Jimmy McGill transformed into the Saul Goodman who would later be hired by Walter White.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

Oh no!  Marcia lost her diary!  However, this somehow led to her meeting Davy Jones so I guess everything worked out.  This was followed by an episode in which the kids were worried that Mike and Carol were going to sell the house so they pretended to be ghosts.  Then, Carol and Mike had tickets to a show and Alice had a date so Greg and Marcia were left in charge of the house.  Disaster followed.  Then, during Sunday’s fourth episode, Marcia was accused of pulling a prank by her school’s principal.  The principal was played by the distinguished character actor, E.G. Marshall.  One can only guess how Marshall felt about going from Broadway and Oscar-nominated films like 12 Angry Men to appearing on The Brady Bunch.  Actually, he was probably happy for the money.  I hope Marshall was paid well because he definitely classed up the joint.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

MeTV aired 4 episodes of Full House on Sunday and I’m struggling to remember much about any of them.  In the first episode, Jesse was worried that he wasn’t smart enough for Rebecca and he proved that he wasn’t by acting stupid.  Rebecca, however, forgave him.  Then, Michelle and Kimmy ended up babysitting some bratty kid who got his head stuck in a bannister.  This was followed by an episode in which Danny started dating again and managed to forgive his date for having a messy apartment.  And then, in our final episode, Michelle started preschool and accidentally set the class’s pet bird free.  So, Danny bought a new bird and demanded that everyone be nice to his daughter, despite the fact that she was kind of a self-centered brat.

Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)

What a charming show!  For some reason, I was under the impression that Ghosts was just another gimmicky show but I finally sat down and binged the first eleven episodes on Paramount Plus and I discovered that I was totally wrong.  This is really a sweet, witty, intelligent, and well-acted show and one of my favorites of the season.  I loved the episode where Sam went to see her mom.  That made me tear up.  As for my favorite ghost …. Trevor.  Yep, it has to be Trevor.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

This frustratingly uneven miniseries came to a close this week.  The final episode dealt with the day that Conrad committed suicide and also Michelle’s final days before heading to prison.  Considering just how inconsistent this show has been, the finale was actually pretty effective.  The lengthy fantasy sequence, in which Michelle imagined running into Conrad at a bar while home from the college that, in reality, she’ll never get to attend, worked far better than it had any right to.  In the end, this miniseries didn’t have much to tell us about the suicide of Conrad Roy that we didn’t already know but it did work as a showcase for the talents of Elle Fanning and Colton Ryan.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

I have to admit that, when this week’s episode of Law & Order started, I rolled my eyes when it appeared that the main villain was going to be a barely disguised version of Elon Musk.  But then it turned out that guy was just a red herring and the accused instead turned out to be a former State Department employee who claimed that he couldn’t control his actions because of Havana Syndrome.  To my great surprise, this turned out to be the the best episode of the season so far, largely because the prosecution finally lost a case and Price was left to wonder if it was largely due to his own self-righteous approach to the law.  Sam Waterston finally got a few good scenes too.  The Law & Order revival has, for the most part, been uneven but I do think that it’s been getting better.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

A famous actress took a cruise and fell for Captain Stubing.  Unfortunately, not even the promise of being wealthy and secure could convince the captain to give up the sea.

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

On Sunday, I watched two episodes of this old sitcom.  The first one featured an obnoxious surgeon from Arkansas, who got in trouble for trying to steal Col. Potter’s horse.  The second was a bit more dramatic, as a friend of Hawkeye’s died on the operating table and a teenage Ron Howard appeared as a soldier who lied about his age in order to enlist.  In the past, I’ve found M*A*S*H to be a bit too preachy for my tastes but this was actually a pretty effective and well-acted episode.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own The City (Monday Night, HBO)

The second episode of David Simon’s latest miniseries about Baltimore was as compelling and as packed with detail as the first.  While setting in his jail cell, Jon Bernthal’s Wayne Jenkins remembered the process by which he went from being a relatively honest cop to being the poster child for police corruption.  Nicole Steele continued her investigation of Daniel Hersl.  In the role of Hersl, Josh Charles only appeared during the final few minutes of the episode but he still made a huge impression as the epitome of everything that people tend to dislike about the cops.  I look forward to seeing where this series is heading.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 4/24/22 — 4/30/22


I saw some pretty good things this week.  Barry is back.  We Own This City looks like it’s going to be a worthy follow-up to The Wire.  I finally binged the first season of Abbott Elementary.  Here’s some thoughts on what I watched:

61st Street (Sunday Night, AMC)

As of this point, I really don’t see 61st Street becoming anything more than a second-rate version of The Wire so I think I’m done with it.  As I said last week, I think the show would be fine if it was just about Courtney B. Vance and his family but the show is trying to tackle too much in its first season.  The best shows develop naturally whereas 61st Street has been overstuffed since the beginning.

Abbott Elementary (Hulu)

Throughout this week, I binged the first season of ABC’s Abbot Elementary on Hulu.  A comedic mockumentary about the teachers at a Philadelphia public school, Abbott Elementary owes a bit of a debt to The Office but, at the same time, it also quickly established an identity of its own.  It was a good, heartfelt comedy, one that made a point about the importance of supporting teachers without ever committing the Parks and Rec sin of getting preachy or self-satisfied.  Of the ensemble cast, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James were the stand-outs but really, everyone did a good job of bringing their characters to wonderful life.  I look forward to season 2!

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

How to get the British airmen out of France?  How about sending them up in a Helium balloon?  But how to keep the Germans from noticing the balloon?  How about moving up the wedding of Fanny and Ernest LeClerc?  Sure, why not?  It didn’t necessarily make any sense but I’m used to that by now.  The episode ended with the wedding and the release of what Officer Crabtree called a “carrier podgeon.”  I suppose that next Sunday, I’ll learn why this latest attempt to rescue the airmen failed.

Atlanta (Thursday, FX)

This week’s episode of Atlanta was another stand-alone episode dealing with white people struggling to understand black culture.  This time, the story dealt with a wealthy New York couple who, while attending the funeral of their Trinidadian nanny, discover that not only was she more of a parental figure to their son than they were but that she was also so busy raising the children of wealthy white people that she missed out on raising her own children.  Chet Hanks had an odd but somehow appropriate cameo as one of the people who the nanny had raised.

It was an okay episode and, unlike the other stand-alone episodes, it was clearly not a dream.  (For the same of continuity, posters advertising Paper Boi’s tour are visible during one scene.)  The humor and the satire was still sharp but also notably gentler this week than it’s been all season. That said, this episode felt like a clear follow-up to White Fashion, with its portrayal of neglectful white parents who use people of color to raise their children but who, at the same time, can’t even be bothered to learn anything about their nanny’s life or culture.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry’s back!  After all the excitement of last season’s finale, the new season Barry opened with everyone stuck in the same rut.  Barry is auditioning for roles and still killing people for money.  Sally is working on her television series.  NoHo Hank is struggling to be a gangster.  Gene is in mourning and looking for revenge.  (I loved the fact that his gun was a gift from Rip Torn.)  Fuches is in Chechnya, eating cereal.  The first episode served its purpose.  It reintroduced us to the characters (due to the Pandemic, there was a long delay between the 2nd and 3rd seasons) and reminded us of why we watch them in the first place.  Bill Hader both directed and starred and showed once again that he is a talent to be reckoned with.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Better Call Saul is an enthralling show, even if I’m often left a little bit confused as to what exactly is going on.  Bob Odenkirk is brilliant, though this week’s episode was dominated by Michael Mando in the role of the intimidating but ultimately tragic Nacho.  Perhaps because we know what’s going to happen to the majority of the characters once Walter White shows up, the shadow of death hangs even heavier over Better Call Saul than it did over Breaking Bad.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

Upset that his children were tying up the phone, Mike Brady came up with the brilliant idea of installing a pay phone in the house.  How did that even work?  Who installed the phone?  Who collected the money?  Seriously, this was one of Mike’s worst ideas and he was never held responsible for it.

This was followed by an episode in which Bobby got it into his head that Carol was going to kill him so he tried to run away.  Would anyone have missed Bobby in that crowded house?  This was followed by an episode in which Marcia got braces and the world world stopped while everyone tried to make her feel better.  (Good for them!  I never needed braces, by the way.)  The fourth episode of MeTV’s bloc of Brady programming featured Peter saving a little girl from being crushed by a collapsing wall.  Peter was a hero but he let it go to his head.  Mike had to remind Peter that he was still only the middle child and, as such, had no right to feel good about anything.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

I missed last week’s bloc of Full House but I get the feeling that once you’ve seen one episode of this show, you’ve seen them all.  The first episode of Sunday’s bloc was yet another one where Jesse was worried that he was no longer as cool as he had once been.  After being ridiculed by his old friend Scott Baio, Jesse hopped on his motorcycle and drove up to the roof of a building.  Apparently, he planned to jump from one roof to another.  Rebecca, however, talked him down.  The funniest thing about this episode was the discovery that Jesse’s nickname was once “Dr. Dare.”  Like, seriously, I get the feeling that Jesse’s fiends were probably making fun of him when they gave him that nickname.

This was followed by an episode in which Michelle’s third birthday party was ruined by the combined stupidity of Jesse and Stephanie.  Michelle may have said she was happy celebrating her birthday in that dirty gas station but she was lying big time.  The next episode featured Stephanie panicking due to an earthquake and Danny eventually taking her to a therapist so that she could discuss her feelings.  Luckily, it only took five minutes to cure Stephanie of her anxiety.  The day’s final episode found Joey and Jesse once again struggling to write a jingle together.  Meanwhile, the family’s new dog, destroyed Stephanie’s childhood toy but no one cared because Stephanie’s the middle child.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

Much last week, this week’s episode of The Girl From Plainville got bogged down with a lot of boring courtroom dramatics.  Still, the final scene, with Michelle Carter fantasizing about her sister singing Teenage Dirtbag, was nicely done.  The Girl From Plainville seems like it would be a fine miniseries if it was only four episodes long but, at eight episodes, it just feels a bit too overextended.

Happy Days (Weekday Evening, MeTV)

I watched Happy Days on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, despite the fact that the continuing popularity of this show has always escaped me.  The reason I watched is because it was the three-part episode in which the Cunninghams and Fonzie went to California and Fonzie ended up proving his courage by putting on water skis and jumping over a shark.  It was an important moment in pop cultural history so I felt it was important that I watch.  Fortunately, Fonzie made it over the shark and Richie realized that he would rather be a journalist than an actor.

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

On Tuesday, I watched the episode where Jimmy Carter tried to heal Hank and Cotton’s relationship.  It’s a classic episode, if just for Hank and Cotton’s disdainful comments as Jimmy and his secret service detail fled the scene.  “Why, that’s was just a one-term peanut farmer.”  “The man wore a sweater.”  Take that, Carter!

On Wednesday, I watched four episodes.  Hank carried the Olympic torch and learned that it was okay to be happy.  Peggy overthrew the tyrannical king of a Renaissance Faire.  (Alan Rickman voiced the king, which was pretty neat.)  Connie and the Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience went to Branson, where Bobby sold a joke to comedian Yakov Smirnoff.  Peggy was conned out of her retirement savings but she got the money back.  Yay!

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

The headmaster of an exclusive private school has been shot!  Was it because he was too woke?  Nope, it turns out that he was shot by a troubled student.  The D.A.’s office decided to charge both the student and the student’s father. Personally, I found their actions to be legally dubious but the jury disagreed.  D.A. Jack McCoy was okay with manipulating legal statutes but I don’t think Adam Schiff nor Arthur Branch would have been happy with what his office ended up doing.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville’s broom fell apart and Nurse Gladys Emmanuel needed a new washing machine.  In the end, no one got what they needed.  That’s what happens when you’re open all hours.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

T.J. Hooker (Saturday, Decades TV)

William Shatner is a tough cop who speaks in a very dramatic fashion.  I was doing some work in my office on Saturday so I had this old 80s cop show playing in the background.  (Decades TV was apparently celebrating the 80s with a TJ Hooker marathon.)  The episodes kind of blended together but watching Shatner back when he was still taking himself seriously is always fun.

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

The latest Baltimore-set miniseries from David Simon and The Wire crew, We Own This City premiered this week and the first episode proved to be, in typical Simon fashion, both frustrating and fascinating.  The show’s political asides were heavy-handed but it’s depiction of a troubled American city was heart-breaking.  Simon has never flinched from showing how political corruption, racism, poverty, and crime all come together to create a destructive cycle that’s impossible to escape.  Because happy endings are nearly nonexistent, Simon’s show can be difficult to watch but each one is something that should be watched.  As for We Own The City, this miniseries deals with police corruption in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent uprising.  Out of the large ensemble cast, Jon Bernthal and Josh Charles are early stand-outs.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 4/17/22 — 4/23/22


I’m still in the process of trying to get caught up with everything.  I still need to watch the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead and the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead.  I also look forward to checking out CNN+ next month.

61st Street (Sunday Night, AMC)

The second episode of 61st Street was only a slight improvement over the first.  I liked the scenes involving Courtney B. Vance and his son and I actually kind of wish that the entire show was just about those two characters.  The rest of the episode was painfully heavy-handed and, most importantly, it still had no sense of place.  For all the show’s attempts to be a Chicago show (and, perhaps even more importantly, a 61st Street show), the setting still felt generic.  For a show like this to reach the lofty heights to which it aspires, Chicago would have to become a character in much the same way that Baltimore was a character in The Wire or New York City was a character in a few of the better episodes of Law & Order.  61st Street isn’t there yet.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

I had two episodes of this British sitcom on the DVR.  In the aftermath of the attempted rescue of the British airmen from the Chateau, Herr Flick was briefly arrested, Rene continued to be annoyed by the demands put upon him, and Michelle continued to say things only once.  The airmen were eventually rescued, which led to another round of trying to find and sell the stolen painting.  In the end, Rene has to disguise himself as a priest.  It was all a bit confusing.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

After four years, Donald Glover’s surreal comedy-drama is back.  Actually, it’s been back since March but it was only this week that I was able to catch up with it.  I watched the first three episodes on Tuesday.  The first episode was a disturbing horror story, about a black child who is forced into the foster system and who is nearly murdered by his white foster parents.  This episode turned out to all be a dream but, at the same time, it was also based on a very real murder case and it stuck closely to what actually happened.  This was followed by episodes that followed Earn, Al, Darius, and Van as they explored first Amsterdam and then London.  The third episode, which dealt with rich white guilt and the white savior complex , was particularly well-done.

I watched the fourth and the fifth episodes on Thursday afternoon.  The fourth episode featured none of the regular characters and told the surreal story of a white man (Justin Bartha) who was being sued by the descendant of a slave who was owned by his ancestors.  A character from the first episode made an appearance, still talking about what it meant to be white.  I assume this was meant to indicate that this episode may have been another dream but, as opposed to the first episode, it didn’t end with Earn waking up so …. who knows?  The fifth episode featured the search for Al’s missing phone and, though it was a bit more obviously comedic than the previous episode, it was also a bit unsettling.  It was obvious that the phone was meant to represent much more than just a phone, that it was instead a symbol of both Al’s talent and his individuality.

This bring us to the most recent episode, “White Fashion.”  “White Fashion” opens with a London fashion house making a huge mistake when they sell a terrifying but all too plausible “Central Park 5” jersey.  Looking to do damage control, they bring in Al and a host of other social justice influencers.  “Racism will be over by 2024!” one of them shouts during the press conference.  Al’s attempt to get the company to make a commitment to investing in black communities leads to a terrifying but, again, all too plausible black-and-white commercial in which a collection of people, ranging from a gender fluid cowboy to a posh old lady, announce that this is “our hood.”  Meanwhile, Darius took a white woman to a Nigerian restaurant and, within our hours, the woman had bought the restaurant and transformed it into her own take on Nigerian food.  Earn and Van danced together in a nice hotel room but then Earn woke up alone, leaving us all to wonder if perhaps this entire season has just been a collection of dreams.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Better Call Saul is back, in all of its twisty and grimly funny glory.  Knowing that Bob Odenkirk nearly died during shooting does add an extra poignancy to the show’s final season. This Monday, AMC aired the first two episodes of Season 6.  The characters, with their complete and total amorality, remains fascinating.

The Doctors (Tuesday morning, Syndication)

I drove my Dad to a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday.  An episode of this amazingly vacuous talk show was playing in the front lobby.  I have to admit that I didn’t pay much attention to it.  I mean, I was already in a doctor’s office.  Why would I want to watch a show that would only remind me of that?

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

This week’s episode of The Girl From Plainville really overestimated the excitement that can be generated by watching people read text messages aloud.  The show has moved on to the trial portion of Michelle Carter’s story, which is a bit dull since the actual trial was already televised so it’s not as if The Girl From Plainville is showing us something new.  The episode also featured scenes of Michelle and Conrad dealing with their own mental health and the main theme seemed to be that, even if Michelle hadn’t met him, Conrad would have been doomed by growing up in his dysfunctional family.  Seriously, there is not a single character on this show who is the least bit likable.

Only Murders In The Building (Hulu)

I binged the first season of Only Murders In The Building on Friday and Saturday.  Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez play three mismatched true crime aficionados who end up solving a murder in their building, along with starting a true crime podcast.  I could have done without the dead cat but, for the most part, I really liked this show.  Maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted to solve a mystery myself.  Amy Ryan, Steve Martin, Selena Gomez, and especially Martin Short all gave wonderful performances in the lead roles.  As well, Nathan Lane was wonderfully (and surprisingly) menacing in the episodes in which he appeared.  And, of course, Sting played himself and was basically the guy that you would never want to live next to.  This show wonderfully captured the current morbidity of our national cuture.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

I actually had two episodes of Open All Hours on my DVR.  I watch them both.  It was a depressing hour.  I found myself wondering why Granville never tried to run away.  What power did Arkwright have over him?

Rachael Ray (Tuesday morning, Syndication)

When I took my Dad to a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, I watched two shows in the front lobby.  The first was The Doctors.  The second was Rachael Ray.  Personally, I like Rachael Ray but I think she would get mad at me if she ever saw me trying to cook.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Here’s the AFI’s Top Ten for 2018!


Earlier, this Tuesday, the American Film Institute announced their picks for the top ten American films and television shows of 2018!  The AFI list is typically one of the most reliable Oscar precursors around.  It’s rare that an American film picks up a best picture nomination without first getting recognized by the AFI.

(Roma, being a Mexican film, was not eligible for AFI honors but it did receive a “special award.”)

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
BLACKKKLANSMAN
BLACK PANTHER
EIGHTH GRADE
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
THE FAVOURITE
FIRST REFORMED
GREEN BOOK
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
A QUIET PLACE
A STAR IS BORN

AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
THE AMERICANS
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
ATLANTA
BARRY
BETTER CALL SAUL
THE KOMINSKY METHOD
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
POSE
SUCCESSION
THIS IS US

AFI SPECIAL AWARD
ROMA

Here Are The 70th Annual Emmy Winners!


To be honest, I didn’t actually watch the Emmys this year.  For one thing, I was upset that Twin Peaks was not nominated for Best Limited Series and I was even more upset that Kyle MacLachlan was totally overlooked.  It’s hard for me to take seriously an awards show that snubs Twin Peaks but honors Alec Baldwin’s uninspired Donald Trump impersonation.

However, I did kind of follow the ceremony on twitter.  I was happy, for instance, to learn that Bill Hader and Henry Winkler won for Barry and that Thandie Newton won for Westworld.  The Emmy that should have gone to Twin Peaks went to The Assassination of Gianni Verscace, which was good but uneven.  (The first five episodes were brilliant.  The final three felt somewhat superfluous.)  Ryan Murphy beat David Lynch for Best Director.  I mean, what the Hell?

Anyway, here’s the winners!

Best Comedy: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

Best Drama:“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

Best Limited Series: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)

Best Actress, Comedy: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Best Actor, Comedy: Bill Hader, “Barry”

Best Actress, Drama: Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Best Actor, Drama: Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

Supporting Actress, Drama: Thandie Newton, “Westworld”

Supporting Actor, Drama: Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”

Supporting Actress, Comedy: Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Supporting Actor, Comedy: Henry Winkler, “Barry”

Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie: Regina King, “Seven Seconds”

Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie: Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or a Movie: Merritt Wever, “Godless”

Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Jeff Daniels, “Godless”

*Television Movie: “Black Mirror: USS Callister” (Netflix)

Variety Sketch Series: “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)

Variety Talk Series: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”(HBO)

Reality Competition Program: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)

*Reality Host: RuPaul, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

*Structured Reality Program: “Queer Eye” (Netflix)

*Unstructured Reality Program: “United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell” (CNN)

*Guest Actress, Drama: Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

*Guest Actor, Drama: Ron Cephas Jones, “This Is Us”

*Guest Actress, Comedy: Tiffany Haddish, “Saturday Night Live”

*Guest Actor, Comedy: Katt Williams, “Atlanta”

*Documentary or Nonfiction Series: “Wild Wild Country” (Netflix)

*Animated Program: “Rick And Morty” (Adult Swim)

Writing for a Comedy Series: Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Pilot)

Writing for a Drama Series: Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg, “The Americans” (“Start”)

Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama: William Bridges & Charlie Brooker, “Black Mirror: USS Callister”

Directing for a Comedy Series: Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Pilot)

Directing for a Drama Series: Stephen Daldry, “The Crown” (“Paterfamilias”)

Directing for a Limited Series: Ryan Murphy, “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (“The Man Who Would Be Vogue”)

*Directing for a Variety Series: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Donald Glover)

Writing for a Variety Special: John Mulaney, “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous At Radio City”

Directing for a Variety Special: Glenn Weiss, “The Oscars”

*Awards presented during the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony on Sept. 8-9.