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


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

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

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

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

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

Baywatch (Weekday Evenings, H&I)

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

Columbo (YouTube)

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

Dancing With The Stars (Monday Night, ABC)

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

Flight of the Conchords (Friday Night, HBOMax)

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

Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)

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

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

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

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Parking Wars (Weekday Mornings, A&E)

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

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

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

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about this week’s episode here!

Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

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

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


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

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

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

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

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

Bewitched (Weekday Afternoon, Antenna TV)

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

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

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

The Bold and the Beautiful (Weekday Afternoons, CBS)

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

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

CHiPs (Weekday Afternoon, Charge!)

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

Cold Case (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)

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

Crossing Jordan (Weekday Afternoons, Start TV)

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

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

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

CSI: Miami (Weekday Mornings, Charge!)

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

Dennis The Menace (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

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

Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)

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

General Hospital (Weekday Afternoons, ABC)

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

Ghost Whisperer (Weekday Mornings, Start TV)

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

I Dream of Jeannie (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

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

Hazel (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)

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

Knight Rider (Weekday Afternoons, Charge!)

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

McHale’s Navy (Weekday Mornings, Antenna TV)

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

Medium (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)

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

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

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

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

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

That Girl (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

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

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

Three’s Company (Weekday Afternoons, Antenna TV)

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

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

Unforgettable (Weekday Afternoon, Start TV)

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

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

The Young and the Restless (Weekday Afternoons, CBS)

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

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

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/19/21 — 9/25/21


I spent most of this week planning and preparing for the big October horrorthon (yes, it does take a month to prepare) but I did watch a bit of television.  I also made the decision not to watch American Crime Story: Impeachment, despite having the two most recent episodes on the DVR.  The first episode just didn’t capture my interest and there’s way too much that I want to do to spend any more time than necessary on the Clintons.  So, Impeachment is now off my DVR.  If I hear that it’s good, I might get caught up with it later.

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

Bachelor In Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

I’ve stopped paying attention to what actually happens on this show.  Some of that’s because I’ve been busy getting ready for October.  More of it, though, is just because this show is primarily about watching attractive people hang out on the beach.  Actually paying attention to what they’re talking about would just take away from the fun of it all.

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

Yay, it’s almost over!  The highlight of this week was Kyland nearly getting into physical altercation with Xavier over being voted out of the house.  I had mixed feeling about the whole thing.  It was interesting television but I didn’t particularly feel good about watching it.  I wrote more about this show over at the Big Brother Blog!

Dancing With The Stars (ABC, Monday Night)

I used to love this show but I’ve kind of been over it for a while.  I will still set the DVR for this season but, after just one episode, I really have a hard time imagining anyone other than JoJo and Jenna winning.  I’m torn, because I liked Dance Moms, The Office, and the Spice Girls.  I guess I’m Team Melora/JoJo/Melanie.  I would definitely prefer not to have Mr. Peloton win.

Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)

This is an old 80s horror show, which ran for about three seasons and was about a cursed antique store.  (Jason Voorhees is nowhere to be seen.)  All three seasons, I recently discovered, been uploaded to YouTube.  I watched a few episodes this week in preparation for our upcoming Shattered Lens Horrorthon!  I’ll have more to say about this show in October.

King of the Hill (Wednesday afternoon, FX)

The episode where Hank and Bobby enter the father/son shooting contest despite the fact that Hank’s a terrible shot is one of the few cartoons to consistently make me cry.  It’s such a sweet episode.

Ordinary Joe (Monday Night, NBC)

This is a new series about a guy named Joe.  The day he graduates from college, he has to make a decision.  He can either go talk to the girl he just met or he can talk to his girlfriend or he can talk to his uncle.  The show features three alternate realities, each determined according to whom he decided to speak with.  In one reality, Joe is a rock star.  In another, he’s a cop.  In another, he’s a nurse.  Unfortunately, he’s pretty boring in all three of those realities.  The idea behind this show is interesting but the pilot suffered from some pretty obvious This Is Us-style plotting.  We’ll see how the rest of the series does, though.  The premise has enough promise that I’ll give it a second and probably even a third chance.

Smash (Friday, E!)

Yes, E! did indeed do a Smash marathon on Friday.  I watched an episode or two, perhaps hoping the show would turn out to be more fun than I remembered.  Smash is the show that made the term “hate watch” well-known.  To be honest, it was rarely even interesting enough to be a hate watch.  The Marilyn musical feels like it really would be a pain to sit through.  This is the show that begged us to believe that Katharine McPhee could somehow be a better Marilyn Monroe than both Megan Hilty and Uma Thurman.  It was a disappointing show, let’s just leave it at that.

(Dammit, now I want to rewatch the whole thing.)

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

Yay!  Survivor’s back!  I wrote about the 41st Season Premiere at the Reality TV Chat Blog!

The Ultimate Surfer (Tuesday Night, ABC)

I honestly didn’t even realize that Tuesday was the finale until a few minutes before the show ended.  That’s how much I was actually paying attention to the show.  As I’ve said before, the appeal of this show was essentially that it featured attractive, wet people.  Congrats to the winners.

The Voice (Monday Night, NBC)

I watched a bit of The Voice but I have to admit that I got bored with it.  The singers are good but they’re all good in the same generic way.  Blake and Kelly are the fun judges.  I would probably want to be on Kelly’s team, just because we’re both from Texas.

The Walking Dead

I wrote about this week’s episode here.

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


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

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

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday Night, ABC)

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

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

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

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

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

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

The Ultimate Surfer (Tuesday Night, ABC)

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

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

Yes, Minister (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

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


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

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

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Bachelor in Paradise (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

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

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

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

Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)

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

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

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

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

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

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

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

Impeachment: American Crime Story (Monday Night, FX)

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

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

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

Mom (Weekday Afternoons, Paramount Plus)

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

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

The Ultimate Surfer (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

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

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

Yes, Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

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

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 8/29/21 — 9/4/21


I’ve been on a cleaning binge over the past week so I didn’t really watch that much. I did get hit with insomnia on Wednesday, which led to me watching a lot of true crime. It also led to me being beyond exhausted on Thursday. Anyway, here’s what I watched this week!

Bachelor In Paradise (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

Lance Bass has replaced David Spade as the guest host. On Monday’s episode, he was very enthusiastic and very earnest and it felt totally wrong for this deeply silly and extremely shallow little show. As for Monday’s episode, the men are still hung up on stuff that happened during their time on the Bachelorette and it’s kind of pathetic. (“You weren’t there for the right reasons!”) As for the women, Demi is my favorite because she’s unapologetic when it comes to creating drama. She understands what this show is about. As for Tuesday’s episode …. well, I didn’t really pay attention to be honest. There was a lot of arguing on the beach. My favorite part of this show remains the totally self-aware and delightfully silly opening credits.

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

I’m writing about the trainwreck of a show over at the Big Brother Blog.

Dead Silent (Wednesday morning, ID)

This is a true crime show about murders that occurred in isolated locations. I watched three episodes on Wednesday morning. One of them dealt with a particularly gruesome crime that occurred in my home city of Dallas. Yikes! It’s a scary world out there.

Dragnet (Weekday mornings, MeTV)

I’ve only got a few more episodes left until this binge is over.

On Monday, things got started with an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated the case of a seemingly helpful woman who was actually conning old people. This was yet another episode where Joe and Gannon went undercover! I always enjoy the undercover episodes because it’s not like Joe and Gannon actually change their behavior in any way. They’re still obviously cops but no one ever seems to notice. This was followed by an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a murder at a boarding house, which was something that happened fairly frequently on Dragnet. This episode also featured a classic scene where Joe and Gannon convinced a reporter to hold back on publishing a story by appealing to sense of civic duty. That reporter would lose his job today. He probably would have lost in in 1970, too.

On Tuesday, the DVR only recorded the 1st episode. Either I forgot to set it to record both episodes or the cable could have gone down. (I was asleep, so who knows?) These things happen. Anyway, the episode that was recorded featured Gannon and Friday searching for a missing college student who, because of his drug addiction, had fallen in with a bad crowd. It wasn’t a bad episode, despite the fact that if featured the most clean-cut heroin addicts imaginable. For once, the emphasis was on helping drug addicts instead of just throwing them in jail.

On Wednesday morning, the DVR actually recorded both episodes. The first episode featured Joe and Gannon investigating a man who was manufacturing and selling amphetemines out of his home. They had to prove that the man was actually the one who did the manufacturing, which they managed to do through handwriting analysis. (It turns out that the man was foolish enough to leave his notes out where anyone could find them.) It was actually a pretty good episode, focusing more on police work than on heavy-handed moralizing. (That’s the main difference between the third and fourth seasons of Dragnet.) The second episode featured Joe and Gannon taking down a gang of criminals who would kidnap dogs and then return them to collect the reward. The best thing about this episode is that all of the dog owners were portrayed as being kind of crazy. I’m a cat person so I approved.

I forgot to set the DVR to record Thursday’s episodes. Sorry.

Friday got started with one of my favorite episodes, perhaps my second favorite after the third season episode where Joe and Gannon appeared on the talk show and debated the hippies. In this episode, Joe was taking a night class at the local community college when he noticed that one of his classmates had a baggie of weed hidden in his notebook. Joe arrested the student and, as a result, was kicked out of class by his left-wing professor. Joe asked for a chance to plead his case. Fortunately, it turned out that another classmate was an attorney who pointed out that the professor didn’t have any any right to kick Joe out in the first place. Featuring smug liberals, anti-drug hysteria, and a self-righteously indignant Joe Friday, Night School is a classic Dragnet episode. This was followed by an episode where Joe and Gannon worked in the Internal Affairs Department and cleared the names of two homicide detectives accused of stealing money from the victim of a crime. It was a good, solid episode but it could have used more hippies.

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

The black jackets were handed out and, sadly, both Emily and Antonio were sent home. I surprised myself by crying a little when Emily was eliminated but, to be honest, it wasn’t the first time that I’ve teared up this season. I’ve actually gotten quite emotionally involved with this show.

As you may have guessed, I’ve really enjoyed this season of Hell’s Kitchen. I’ve actually preferred it to Big Brother. The fact that Chef Ramsay has been a bit nicer this season than he has in previous seasons has been a surprising but also a welcome change. As much as everyone loves it when Ramsay yells and curses, he seems to be a lot more sincere when he’s actually praising a chef that he’s sending home and telling them to keep learning and not give up their dreams.

Hometown Homicide (Wednesday Morning, ID)

This is a true crime show about homicides that occur in small communities. I watched two episodes on Wednesday morning while I was working on some things. I’m not sure why, exactly, I ended up watching so much true crime on Wednesday. I guess it was just the mood I was in. Sometimes, you want confirmation that the world is as scary and dangerous as you think it is.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Sunday morning, FX)

I watched Chardee MacDennis 2: Electric Boogaloo, which wasn’t quite as good as the first Chardee MacDennis episode but which still featured a pretty good guest turn from Andy Buckley. This was followed by the episode where Frank fell out of a window, which is one of the few It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia episodes that I’ve never been able to make my way through. That gash on the back of Frank’s head just freaks me out too much.

Man With A Van (Wednesdsay Morning, ID)

Apparently, this entire series is about men who owed vans and abducted women. I had insomnia on Wednesday morning so I watched an episode. It was about a 16 year-old girl in Arkansas who got abducted by a man with a van. It was disturbing to watch and, as with most true crime shows, it was hard not to tell that the show was exploiting a real-life tragedy. Still, the message was a good one: stay away from weird men who own vans.

60 Minutes (Sunday Night, CBS)

Good God, this show is like a hundred years old and so are most of the reporters on it. I imagine the same that can be said for the people who watch it every week. Myself, I only watch it when Big Brother gets preempted by a football game and I have to impatiently wait for Scott Pelley to get off my TV.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Josh McDermitt continually pointing out that it made no sense for Maggie to leave Gage to die was the highlight of this week’s Talking Dead. McDermitt was, in fact, so charming and funny that I found myself really hoping that he’ll find another high-profile role after The Walking Dead ends.

The Ultimate Surfer (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday Night, ABC)

I struggle to follow most of what happens on this show. Growing up, I lived in a lot of different states and I experienced a lot of different cultures but I never met any surfers so I’m at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to this show. (If it was The Ultimate Ballerina or The Ultimate Motorcycle Gang Member, I would be on more familiar ground.) But honestly, the only thing that really matters about this show is that everyone looks really good. If you’re going to make a show about surfing, be sure to populate it with people who you would actually want to see on the beach.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed the latest episode here.

Your Worst Nightmare (Wednesday Morning, ID)

This is a true crime show. I woke up at two in the morning on Wednesday and, unable to get back to sleep, I watched two episodes. Both of them were about young women being abducted by crazed stalkers. It was probably not the best thing to watch at 3 in the morning, to be honest.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 8/22/21 — 8/29/21, Part One (American Justice to Dragnet)


And so another week comes to a close.  You may remember that, last week, I announced that I was taking a break from watching the news this week.  Well, that didn’t happen.  Instead, I spent most of this week worrying about everyone stranded in Afghanistan and getting increasingly more and more angry with the government that appears to have abandoned them.  That the attacks on Thursday were expected by anyone who had been actually paying attention to the situation did not make them any less horrific.  I watched a lot of news this week.

Here’s some thoughts on the non-news related programming that I watched:

American Justice (Tuesday Night, A&E)

A&E has apparently decided to revive the old true crime mainstay, American Justice.  I watched an episode of Tuesday and while it was well-put together and it highlighted an interesting crime, it just wasn’t the same without Bill Kurtis introducing the story while standing behind police tape and wearing a trench coat.  Dennis Haybsert does a serviceable job as narrator but no one can replace Bill.

Bachelor in Paradise (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

David Spade’s time as guest host came to an end with this Monday’s episode and I was sorry to see him leave.  He had exactly the right “who cares?” attitude for this silly show.  As for the rest of the episode — well, I’m glad Demi is there because she brings the drama and she doesn’t pretend to be impressed by anyone.  And I have to applaud the show for taking a lesson from Paradise Hotel and intentionally embracing just how silly and stupid it all is.  Unfortunately, a lot of the people on the show are kind of boring when left to their own devices so let’s hope that the rotating hosts can keep things lively.

On Tuesday, Lance Bass took over as host.  Also, Thomas — one of the more controversial bachelors from the previous season of The Bachelorette — joined the cast.  As soon as he showed up, Aaron — who was also on the previous season of The Bachelorette — started to complain that Thomas wasn’t on Bachelor in Paradise “for the right reasons.”  Like, seriously, Aaron — take a Midol and shut up.  There are no right reasons for being on Bachelor in Paradise.

Bar Rescue (Weekday Mornings, Paramount)

I watched Road House on Wednesday night so I had to watch Bar Rescue on Thursday morning.  I don’t remember much about the two episodes that I watched because they do tend to all blend together.  Mostly, I just remember Jon Taffer yelling a lot and the guest bartenders saying stuff like, “We’re going to keep the cocktails basic because all of you suck.”

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

This season is turning out to be fairly dull but I’m still watching the show and writing about it over at the Big Brother Blog!

Dragnet (Weekday Morning, MeTV)

Because I’ve been sick and dealing with some other things, I started this week with a month’s worth of Dragnet on the DVR!  On Sunday, I started watching.

The first two episodes that I watched were recorded on August 2nd, a Monday.  These episodes also started the third season of the show, which was rechristened Dragnet 1969.  The third season is the season that focuses on what the 60s version of Dragnet was best-known for, Joe Friday and Bill Gannon lecturing hippies.  The first of Monday’s two episodes was one of my favorites.  Joe and Gannon are assigned to appear on a public affairs talk show where they debate a hippie newspaper editor and an sanctimonious professor.  Joe and Gannon win the debate but the hippie (played by Howard Hesseman) gets all of the best lines.  The host of the show wears a good deal of love beads, just to make sure that the audience knows he’s a commie.  The 2nd episode featured Joe and Gannon working the night shift in the Juvenile Department, which meant dealing with a suspected shoplifter, an abandoned baby, and a stoned hippie who insisted on being called Prince George.  Joe was tough but fair and probably didn’t convince a single person to change their ways.

On August 3rd, a Tuesday, the first episode of Dragnet featured Joe and Gannon trying to convince a group of black high school students to consider a career in law enforcement.  Not surprisingly, many of the students were not particularly enthused about joining the LAPD.  Gannon and Joe decided to recruit a black cop who was a former football player to make their case for them.  The cop was reluctant but Joe told him, “If you talk to these students now, you might not have to put handcuffs on them later on.”  The episode got even more cringey once it became obvious that a young O.J. Simpson was playing one of the high school students who was debating whether or not to become a cop.  This was followed by yet another cringey episode, in which Joe and Gannon headed up the Command Room to coordinate the LAPD’s response to the “civil disturbance” that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Again, the show meant well (i.e., “Look at how professional the police were, even at a moment of great unrest.”) but it was hard not to cringe at the sight of the command center — staffed by several dozen white officers and one black patrolman whose only function in the story was to ask Joe and Gannon to explain things to him — smiling as they bragged about how the LAPD was doing a better job of keeping the peace than other police departments that night.  There was little thought given as to why people across the country were rioting. 

On August 4th, a Wednesday, the first episode of Dragnet featured Joe and Gannon pursuing dishonest tow truck drivers.  Get ’em, Joe!  As opposed to the previous four episodes, there was little moralizing or preaching to be found in this episode.  Instead, Joe and Gannon just did their jobs.  I liked it because, as a result of watching too many episodes of Parking Wars, I don’t particularly like tow truck operators.  This was followed by an episode where Gannon and his wife went to Joe’s apartment for dinner.  Joe dealt with some noisy neighbors.  I always enjoy episodes where Gannon and Joe are off-duty because they act exactly the same as when they’re on duty.  They don’t even loosen their ties.  During the course of the dinner party, someone tried to burglarize the building’s laundry room so, of course, Joe and Gannon drew their guns and ran out of the apartment.  Arrests were made and the laundry room was safer.

OJ On Dragnet

On August 5th, a Thursday, the first episode found Joe and Gannon working in the Robbery Division. They weren’t investigating crimes. Instead, they sat in an office and dispatched other officers. They did interrogate one quasi-hippie who tried to hold up a convenience store. He was shocked to discover he was going to jail! Take that, you ungrateful hippie! This was followed by an episode in which President Johnson came to town and Gannon and Joe coordinated with the Secret Service to keep him safe from all of the L.A. hippies. Though it should have been fun, it was actually a pretty boring episode.

On August 6th, a Friday, the first episode featured Gannon and Joe escorting “one of those lady authors” as she did research on a story about women at the police academy. The writer made the mistake of telling Joe, “I’ve never been high on cops” so it soon become Joe’s mission to educate her on why the police are important and also why she should totally be high on the cops. The writer wanted to do a profile on recruit Anderson. Unfortunately, Anderson’s fiancé didn’t want to her to become a cop. It was a bit of a mess but everything worked out in the end. Anderson decided she wanted to be a cop. Joe replied, “Well, I’m glad to hear that. A lot of time and money has been spent on your training.” Awwwww! This was followed by an episode in which Joe and Gannon met with business owners and encouraged them to start a neighborhood watch. “Get involved!” Joe commanded them. It was a bit dull.

On Monday, August 9th, Dragnet returned with two episodes. The first one was one of those unfortunate Dragnet episodes in which Joe, Gannon, and a private busybody citizen attempted to reach the kids. This time, they recruited a bunch of anti-drug teens to come up with posters and slogans that could be used to keep other teens from smoking marijuana and dropping acid. The anti-drug teens were so incredibly earnest and square that it was hard not to feel that they probably drove more kids to drugs than away from them. The 2nd episode featured Joe and Gannon investigating a case of police brutality. It turns out that the detective did go overboard but it was just because he was frustrated by not being appreciated by all the hippies on the streets.

On Tuesday, August 10th, the DVR did not record Dragnet. Maybe I forgot to set it. Maybe the cable was temporarily down in the middle of the night. It happens but, because Dragnet is an extremely episodic show (with every storyline resolved within 30 minutes), missing an episode is not as big a deal as missing an episode of modern show would be.

On Wednesday, August 11th, the DVR did record. The first episode found Joe and Gannon working the telephones at the police station, dealing with various situations that occurred as a tidal wave rolled towards California. Two hippies showed up at the station, demanding their right to hang out with their hippie protest signs. Joe kicked them out. This was all observed by a priest who was taking notes for an article. Fortunately, the priest learned that the police should never be doubted. This episode ended not with the usual details about whether or not anyone was convicted of a crime but instead with the narrator ordering the audience to appreciate the cops who work the front desk. This was followed by an episode where Joe and Gannon helped to train dogs to sniff out narcotics at the airport. Apparently, this was a new thing in 1969. The highlight of this episode was a lengthy dog training montage in which Joe and Gannon watched as dog-after-dog failed to track down the marijuana. Fortunately, the dogs got their act together by the end of the show.

On Thursday, August 12th, the first episode featured Joe working undercover to take down a crooked vice cop. As I’ve said before, I love it when Joe and Gannon go undercover because neither one of them is ever the least bit convincing as people interested in breaking the law but no one ever seems to notice. Joe pretending to be on the take and awkwardly reacting to a flirtatious waitress made this a classic episode. The second episode featured Joe and Gannon dealing with spoiled middle-class teenagers who thought it was no big deal to steal cars. Interestingly enough, I instantly recognized that one of the teenagers was played by the same actor who appeared as a LSD-loving hippie in the first episode of the third season. I looked up Lou Wagner on the imdb and discovered that he played four different characters — all of them out-of-control teens — on Dragnet. Wagner is also one of the two last-surviving cast members of the original Planet of the Apes. (The other is Linda Harrison.) Wagner played Lucius, the young chimpanzee who helped Taylor to escape. “Never trust anyone over thirty, Lucius,” Taylor told him at the end of the film.

Lou Wagner on Dragnet

Friday, August 13th, got started with an episode in which Joe and Gannon used a gigantic, bulky, multi-part computer to track down a gang that was stealing disability checks. This was one of those fun episodes where everyone was amazed by technology that was top-of-the-line in 1969 but which looks like an antique to modern viewers. There’s a certain amount of elitism that goes with laughing at an episode like this because it’s not like anyone in 1969 could have imagined what the world would be like in 2021. But that’s okay because, seriously, watching Joe and Gannon stare in amazement at that huge computer with its dot matrix printer was just too much fun. This was followed by a rather effective episode in which Gannon and Joe investigated a case of child abuse.

Monday, August 16th, started off with an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigates a series of burglaries being committed by someone calling himself The Crimson Crusader. He only stole comic books and movie posters but still, theft is theft and no one gets away with breaking the law when Joe Friday’s on the case! The second episode featured — YES!!!! — Joe and Gannon going undercover to investigate a prostitution ring. This time, they pretended to be farm equipment salesmen who were in L.A. for a convention. Once again, they didn’t even bother to loosen their ties before going undercover. Everything about them screamed, “Cop!” but no one seemed to notice. The undercover episodes are some of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 17th, got started with an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a gang of check forgers. Did I mention they were hippie check forgers? Joe and Gannon had to decide whether or not to trust an informant. Did I mention that he was a hippie informant? This was a fun episode, as most episodes where Joe and Gannon have to deal with hippies are. Whereas past episodes at least humored the idea that hippies were idealistic but misdirected, this episode left no doubt that they were all crooks sponging off of decent society. This was followed by an episode in which a child was bitten by two dogs that might have been rabid and Joe and Gannon had to track down the dogs. AGCK! Rabid dogs are actually one of my big fears so this episode actually effected far more than you might otherwise expect.

Wednesday. August 18th, started off with an episode in which Joe, during his opening narration, explained that “Hippies see the world as being square. They want to change the world but, like all of us, they get overanxious. That’s when I go to work.” The actual case, though, had nothing to do with hippies. It involved Joe and Gannon trying to discover who had abandoned a 4-day old infant in a garbage can. It turned out that the culprit was Donna, who was knocked up by her boyfriend Tony right before he left for Vietnam. This was actually a pretty serious episode and it was pretty well-done. Joe and Gannon’s fury that someone would be so irresponsible as to abandon a baby was palpable. “You’ll never make mother of the year, lady,” Joe snarled as he arrested Donna. This was followed by an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a case of embezzlement at a department store.

Thursday, August 19th, started off with the final episode of season 3 and yes, once again, Joe went undercover! A militia leader approached Joe about getting a licence to sell machine guns. Joe pretended to be willing to help but it was just so he could arrest the guy for illegally selling guns. Interestingly, for a season that loved to scold hippies, the third season ended with Joe arresting someone who disliked the counterculture even more than Joe did!

The second episode to air on August 19th was also the first of the show’s fourth (and final) season, during which the show was called Dragnet 1970. It featured Joe and Gannon investigating the shooting of two police officers during a liquor store robbery and it was actually a very serious episode, one that featured none of the preachiness that dominated season 3. This was a straight police procedural and it was well-done, if a bit dry. To be honest, it was so serious that I kind of found myself hoping a hippie would show up, just so Joe could yell at him.

Friday, August 20th, started off with an episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a double murder. The killer turned out to be a nerdy college student who wrote “gloomy poetry” and who claimed to be an exisentialist. “What’s an existentalist?” Gannon asked the student’s English teacher. “No one knows,” the teacher replied. This was followed by an episode with Joe went undercover — YAY! — to arrest a jewel thief. Helping him in his undercover operation was a policewoman. “Don’t worry,” the captain assured Joe and Gannon, “she’s capable and she looks good out of uniform.” Yes, welcome to 1970.

That brings us to this week!

On Monday, the first episode featured Gannon and Joe, waiting for a missing man to show up at a hospital. As they waited, they also investigated a series of other cases. One man brought in a dead woman who he claimed has just passed out in his car. It turned out that she was actually living with the man when she died but, because the man was on probation, he didn’t want anyone to find out the true circumstances of her death. Still, it was determined that she died of natural causes so the man was “released into the custody of his probation officer.” It was a bit of a dry episode, to be honest. It needed some hippies. This was followed by another dry episode, in which Joe and Gannon tracked down a burglar who was also a con artist and a bigamist. The criminal insisted on being called “mister.” Joe informed him that, from now on, he’d only be known by his prisoner number.

Tuesday returned us to the deadly world of hippies! This time, Gannon and Joe were investigating the case of a 12 year-old who overdosed on seconal. It turned out that he got the pills from the local hippie commune. While this episode featured some pretty Manson-like hippies and a scene where Gannon and Joe lectured a bunch of new teachers on the dangers of drugs, it actually wasn’t as campy as the anti-drug episodes that aired during the show’s third season. Still, I did have to smile a little when Joe and Gannon made a point of warning people about taking the meds that I take every day for my ADD. This was followed by an entertaining little episode where Joe and Gannon had to determine whether the man who had confessed to a murder was actually guilty. In typical Dragnet fashion, this episode featured a length explanation of how finger printing worked.

Wednesday featured two excellent episodes. The first featured Joe and Gannon investigating the disappearance of a high school student who turned out to be not quite who she was believed to be. An actress named Jill Banner gave a great performance as the missing girl. The second episode featured Joe and Gannon going to court and helplessly watching as three burglars they arrested were allowed to go free because a material witness was not able to make it to the trial in time. It was a well-acted episode and it was interesting that the point of the episode seemed to be that it was better that the three burglars go free than that they be convicted in an unfair trial.

Jill Banner on Dragnet

The first of Thursday’s episode was an interesting if somewhat dry one. A prisoner in Colorado was up for parole but he still had a 14 year-old arrest warrant in Los Angeles so Joe and Gannon had to investigate the old crime and see if there was still enough evidence to justify charging the man. It turned out there wasn’t. Interestingly, after season 3 was all about criticizing the Left for being too easy on criminals, the first few episodes of Season 4 seemed to emphasize that the importance of protecting the rights of even the most obvious of criminals, even to the extent of letting a guilty man walk rather than violate proper procedure. This was followed by an amusing episode in which Joe and Gannon investigated a series of burglaries that had been masterminded by a diabolical and clever 12 year-old.

Friday started off with Gannon and Joe arresting a con artist and sending him to jail. It was typical Dragnet stuff. This was followed by another Dragnet drug episode, in which Joe and Gannon searched for a missing addict who, having completed rehab, had fallen back into his old habits. This episode was actually handled fairly well, largely because the addict was hooked on heroin, an actual dangerous drug. (Previous Dragnet drug episodes often portrayed marijuana as being the most dangerous drug on the planet, which made them easy to laugh at.) Still, it wouldn’t have been an episode of Dragnet without at least one scene of Joe telling off a snooty pro-drug academic and that’s what happened during this episode. Then again, snooty academics are kind of annoying so it’s always fun to watch them get put in their place.

Wow, I watched a lot of Dragnet last week. In fact, I watched so much that, for space considerations, I’m going to have to divide this post into two separate parts. So, look for part two of my week in television to post in about ten minutes!

Lisa’s Week In Television: 8/15/21 — 8/21/21


Usually, I’m not a big news watcher.  That’s not to say that I don’t know what’s going on in the world.  It’s just that I make it a point not to spend hours sitting in front of CNN, MSNBC, or FOX because I’ve noticed that people that do that seem to go insane after a week or so.  In fact, I’m the type of person who regularly makes it a point to go for a week without checking any of the big political accounts on twitter because I know that their nonstop partisanship can be bad for one’s mental health.  I’m proud to say that, from Obama to Trump to Biden, I’ve always blocked the @POTUS.

That really wasn’t an option this week.  The images coming out of Afghanistan were too horrifying and the President’s response to them were too baffling for me too look away.  So, when it comes to television, I’ve spent a lot of this week watching the news.  In fact, I’ve probably spent too much.  I’m going back to my old habits starting on Monday.

Here’s the details on the non-news related television that I watched this week:

Bachelor In Paradise (Monday Night, ABC)

I watched the premiere episode of the new season but, at the same time, I was also watching Gleaming the Cube with the #MondayActionMovie live tweet group and I have to admit that skateboarding Christian Slater was a bit more entertaining than shallow singles on the beach.  So, long story short, I didn’t really pay much attention to Bachelor In Paradise.  David Spade appeared to be having fun as the temporary host and one of the bachelors spent almost the entire episode naked and I couldn’t help but notice that the censorship box over his crotch was a little bit on the small side.

That said, I do have to say that I usually enjoy Bachelor In Paradise.  It’s kind of a nice antidote to all the forced earnestness of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.  It’s honest about the fact that it’s just a trashy reality show.

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

I’m still watching this show and writing about it at the Big Brother Blog!

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday, FOX)

Both teams did a good job this week and it’s good that they did since Melissa Joan Hart was one of the celebrity diners!  You don’t want to mess up when you’re cooking for Sabrina.  Still, despite their success, someone had to be eliminated and this week, it was Josie.  Still Gordon Ramsay told Josie to keep cooking and to keep learning.  It was a pretty nice episode, actually.

Lonesome Dove (Wednesday Night, DVD)

I’ve been watching Lonesome Dove with the the #WestWed live tweet group, hosted by Matthew Titus.  This week, we watched the third episode, which was a real heartbreaker.  Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones were forced to hang their oldest friend after he fell in with a bunch of outlaws.  Then, after that tragedy, Danny Glover ended up getting impaled with a spear.  The old west was brutal!

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

While Vicki struggled with her place on the boat and worked as her father’s secretary, various passengers fell in love.  “She may have a South Beach body but she’s a North Pole personality,” Doc Bricker scornfully said about one passenger who didn’t appreciate his attempts at flirtation.  That was a mean thing to say!  Anyway, that’s all I really remember about the episode.  I always enjoy watching this show because the cruise looks fun but it’s rare that I remember much about anything that happens.

Saved By The Bell (Monday, E!)

On Monday, E! did a Saved By The Bell marathon.  They aired all of the senior-year episodes, except for the ones that featured Tori.  I watched a few.  Everyone totally rearranged their lives so Zack could graduate, even though Zack’s academic problems were totally his own fault.  Awwwww!

As I said, I spent most of this week following the news and watching movies.  Seriously, the DVR is so full of things I need to watch, I’m surprised it hasn’t stopped working.  Hopefully, I’ll make my way through some of that next week!