For the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to catch up on all the potential Emmy nominees that I missed when they first aired. So, I guess my week in television is about to get a lot busier!
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)
“I shall say this only once,” Rene announced to Michelle, “I am done with the Resistance!”
Rene says this during nearly every episode of Allo Allo and no one ever believes him. Such was the case with Sunday’s episode. Michelle responded to Rene’s resignation from the Resistance by giving him suicide pills and announcing that the British airmen had been captured but she had a great plan to rescue them, a plan that would, of course, hinge on Rene’s involvement. While Rene’s mother-in-law prepared for her wedding and Lt. Gruber tried to make sure that the painting did not fall into the hands of his rivals, Rene had to deal with a code book that had been eaten by rats. I realize that previousy sentence makes no sense but that’s to be expected with this show. Eventually, everyone ended up disguised as an undertaker while Crabtree wished everyone a “Good moaning,” in his fractured French.
American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)
Hollywood week came to a close with two episodes of American Idol.
On Sunday, the finalists were forced to perform duets, which meant that the episode was full of people singing painfully sincere songs and getting all emotional. It was a bit awkward to watch at times. There was a definite lack of drama, as only one duet team failed to get along. Though a lot of Idol fans are going to hate me for saying this, I found myself getting a little bit tired of Kelcie going on and on about how insecure she was. Fortunately, she was paired with Betty, who made it her life mission to bring Kelcie out of her shell. And it worked, as both Kelcie and Betty made it to the next round.
On Monday, the remaining competitors performed one last time for the judges and they were whittled down to 24. Both Betty and Kelcie were let go during this round. We didn’t actually get to see Betty’s performance but we did see Kelcie perform and she wasn’t bad. She’s got a great voice, even if the insecurity is a bit hard to take. But she was apparently let go specifically because of the insecurity, with the judges telling her to work on her confidence so …. I don’t know. It seems like, if that was going to be a determining factor, that’s something that they could have said during the Duets. Instead, they put Kelcie through because it would make for good television to then cut her at the last minute.
Anyway, it’s a pretty bland bunch of singers this season. They’ve got good voices but there’s very little real quirkiness to be found. And no, Leah Marlene is not quirky, no matter how many times she tells us that she is. Real quirkiness is natural. It’s not something you have to work at.
Bar Rescue (Sunday and weekday mornings, Paramount)
Sunday’s bloc of Bar Rescue episodes was all about Jon rescuing bars in Texas! I watched two episodes on Sunday evening. They were both set in Houston and they both involved a lot of yelling. The important thing, though, is that every bar was made profitable by the end of the hour.
On Monday, I watched an old episode that found Jon Taffer and the crew in Florida. The bar owner thought that Taffer had good ideas. The bar manager felt that Taffer was rude and he resented being yelled at. I was kind of on the manager’s side as far as that was concerned because Taffer really did go a bit overboard with the yelling during this episode. Fortunately, everything worked out in the end. The bar was rescued, just in time for the hurricane season.
Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, ABC)
It amuses me to no end how this show keeps pretending like the celebrities are in mortal danger in the jungle. We all know that production is not going to let Metta World Peace drown in quicksand. After I pointed this out on twitter, a fan of the show wrote to me, and said, “Your weird.” (That’s an exact quote, including the misuse of your.) Oh well! You can’t please everyone.
The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)
What a weird collection of episodes! First off, we had an episode where Mike’s father and Carol’s mother visited and the kids tried to get them to fall in love with each other. Robert Reed and Florence Henderson played their own parents. You could tell Florence was just having fun but Robert really went all in and acted up a storm. This was followed by the episode where Cindy and Bobby auditioned to be on television and Cindy ended up freezing once the cameras were on her. Poor Cindy! Finally, Bobby got his first kiss and turned into a jerk and then Greg got in trouble for helping his friends steal a goat. The drama never stopped with those Bradys!
The Chair (Netflix)
I watched all six episodes of The Chair‘s first (and, perhaps, only) season on Thursday. In this comedy-drama, Sandra Oh plays the newly named chair of Pembroke University’s moribund English department. When the department’s most popular professor (Jay Duplass) is filmed doing a Nazi salute in jest, all heck breaks loose. The Chair is a bit uneven but ultimately, it works. It’s well-acted and the mix of comedy and drama is, for the most part, effectively handled. A recurring bit about David Duchovny being invited to give a lecture is a highlight of the show’s first season.
Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekday Afternoon, OWNTV)
I had this on as background noise for two hours on Monday. That’s a total of four episodes, for those keeping count. I didn’t really pay much attention because, again, it was background noise. I did hear the audience gasp quite frequently. And, of course, I looked up whenever Kendall Shull came out to deliver the lie detector results.
Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)
I watched four episodes on Wednesday evening. Mostly, I just had them on for background noise. I do remember that one episode featured an attorney getting mad at a deputy who went through her private papers while she was giving her closing statement. The deputy was held in contempt of court, as he definitely should have been. He spent ten days in jail, after refusing to apologize to the attorney.
Cruel Summer (Hulu)
The first season of Cruel Summer aired on FreeForm last year. With each episode jumping back and forth between three separate years, the show tells the story of two teenage girls in Texas. One is abducted. The other takes her place. On Thursday, I watched the first two episodes of Hulu. It was all a bit overdone and overheated but undeniably compelling. I always enjoy a good melodrama.
On Thursday night and Friday morning, I finally watched the highly acclaimed miniseries, Dopesick. The miniseries deals with the introduction of OxyContin and how the drug literally destroyed communities and continues to destroy them today. This was one of those miniseries where good scenes co-existed with scenes that were a bit too on-the-nose for their own good. Michael Keaton and Kaitlyn Dever both gave excellent performances as two people caught up in the epidemic. The miniseries wasn’t quite as good as I had been led to believe and it was definitely heavy-handed but it was still effective enough to make an impression.
Poor Uncle Jesse! On his 26th birthday, he and his band had a gig at the hottest club in town. Unfortunately, when the band couldn’t make it, Jesse’s idiot roommates decided to help him out and basically, they ruined Jesse’s big night. Everything worked out in the end, though, because it’s not like Jesse could move out and have a normal life or anything like that. The other three episodes that were shown on Sunday featured Joey getting back together with his ex (ewww!) and a two-parter in which Jesse and Becky nearly got married at a tacky casino before decided that it would be better to hold off so that Becky’s parents could come to the ceremony. Run, Becky! Escape while you still can.
I watched two episodes on Wednesday, both classics from the show’s final season. In the first episode, Louanne and the Manger Babies got involved in the lucrative but demanding world of direct-to-DVD children’s programming. As John Redcorn put it, “We are already direct-to-DVD. There is no other place to go.” This episode featured one of my favorite Dale storylines, as he tried to write a children’s book about the “gun who cared.” The second episode featured Boomhauer allowing an obnoxious Canadian family to stay at his home while he went up to Ontario. The Canadians were not impressed with America but Hank still helped one of them get out of jail because that’s what neighbors do. Awwwww!
Law & Order (Thursday, NBC)
Eh. The Law & Order revival is just as clumsy when it comes to handling political issues as the original series was. This week, a congressional candidate was murdered and an extremist group went on trial and it all felt very much like partisan fan fiction.
The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)
On this Sunday’s cruise: Frank Bonner, Shelley Fabares, Jennilee Harrison, Arte Johnson, Stephen Shortridge, McLean Stevenson, William Window, and Jane Wyatt. Not exactly the most exciting line-up, to be honest. And this was actually a pretty boring episode but the ship and the ocean both looked really nice!
The Office (All the time, Comedy Central)
I watched two episodes on Saturday. Unfortunately, they were both from the 8th season. In the first one, the Office crew went to a local trivia night. The second episode was the pool party episode. The trivia episode was actually fairly amusing but the pool party was the 8th season at its worse. There was never any reason for Robert California to invite the Scranton branch to a pool party. The problem with all of these ensemble party episodes during the post-Carell era is that they mostly just served to remind us that we really only knew these characters by how they related to Michael.
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
After being rejected by Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, Arkwright considered burying Granville alive in the storeroom. It was an intense episode.
Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)
In Detroit, Pony Tail handed out the tickets and encouraged everyone to be kind to each other. It was a valiant effort but we all know that it’s cold in the D. Anyway, I watched two episodes on Monday morning and they left me as aggravated as usual.
I missed the first season of Yellowjackets when it first aired so I decided to catch up this weekend. I binged the first half of the season on Saturday and I’ll do the second half tomorrow. So far, this show has been playing out like a combination of Lost, Degrassi, and This is Us. Even though I already kind of know what’s going to happens thanks to Wikipedia, I’m still intrigued by the show. That said, I’m also spending a good deal of the show with my hands over my eyes because OH MY GOODNESS! THE COACH LOST A LEG! THAT GIRL’S FACE WAS RIPPED APART! THERE’S A COMPOUND FRACTURE ON THE SOCCER FIELD! EVERYONE’S PERIOD HAS SYCNED UP! AGCK! Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynesky, and Juliette Lewis are all Emmy-worthy.
Could the British airmen escape from floating down a canal and meeting a submarine? It sounds like a good idea but …. no, of course it’s not going to work. Good moaning, indeed!
American Idol (Monday Night, ABC)
Hollywood week! The genre challenge! It was boring. The indie folk group had some of the most annoying singers that I’ve ever seen. I’m really hoping that the girl who keeps bragging about how “weird” she is will get eliminated early. If you’re truly weird, you don’t have to beg people to notice.
Baywatch Hawaii (Hulu)
On Wednesday, I finally watched episode two of the second and final season of Baywatch Hawaii. JD wasn’t being a team player so Sean briefly suspended him and then asked him to help with a rescue. JD learned an important lesson about putting aside your own concerns and taking one for the team. Bleh. Meanwhile, the father of an injured jet skier tried to sue Baywatch Hawaii but then he met the couple who was nearly killed by his son’s carelessness and he dropped his lawsuit. Yay! Lessons were learned all around.
On Thursday, I watched episode three. Jenna was determined to shut down Baywatch and sell the property to the Mafia. Sean was determined to raise the money necessary to pay his bills. Fortunately, Jason and Zack saved the gangsters from drowning and, as a result, Baywatch lived to see another day. You can’t put someone out of business after they save your life. It’s the Mafia code.
The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)
All four of Sunday’s episodes centered around the kids playing baseball. Greg wanted to drop out of school to pursue a career in the majors so Mike used a baseball bat to break his kneecaps. That seems a little extreme to me but the important thing is that Greg stayed in school.
Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekdays, OWN)
I watched two episodes on Monday afternoon. I was too busy making jokes about Will and Jada Smith someday appearing on the show to actually pay that much attention.
Personally, I don’t see what was so bad about Danny Tanner wanting to have a clean house. In all four the episodes that aired last Sunday on MeTV, people gave him a hard time for being compulsively neat but seriously, who would want to live in a dirty house? For instance, while I was watching Full House, I stepped outside for a few minutes and accident stepped on a rock while barefoot. Once I came back in, I discovered that the den floor had a trail of bloody footprints on it, much like a totally horrific crime scene. Needless to say, I was not happy about this turn of events so, once I managed to step bleeding, I spent a few hours scrubbing the floor. It was just the right thing to do.
I watched one episode on Monday. Desperate to make money so that he could afford some nicer clothes, Bobby first tried to get a legitimate job but eventually, he turned to panhandling. Hank, needless to say, did not approve of his own son being a bum for fun. He also didn’t approve of the other panhandlers, who were all basically rich kids just pretending to need the money. They even forced Hank’s favorite homeless man, Spongey, to move to a different spot! Fortunately, it all worked out in the end and Spongey hopefully got the money he needed.
Last Man Standing (Sunday, Newsnation)
I swear, this show is inescapable. It’s on at least one channel every hour of every day. I guess it kind of makes sense. It’s a sitcom that didn’t really require too much focus on the part of the viewer and, as a result, it makes for nicely acceptable and inoffensive background noise. Myself, whenever I see this show, I find myself relating to the middle daughter, the one who pretends to be self-centered but is secretly nicer than everyone else. Anyway, I watched three episodes on Sunday and I don’t remember a thing about any of them, other than one featured the mom and the older sisters trying on wedding dresses and talking about how silly the world was. That’s just the type of show that Last Man Standing was.
The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)
Debbie Reynolds boarded the ship and briefly pretended to be Dr. Bricker’s nurse. I’m not sure it’s a good idea for a doctor to agree to allow anyone to “pretend to be a nurse.” I mean, a nurse still has a lot of real responsibility. I assume everything worked out in the end. To be honest, I was busy getting ready for the Oscars so I didn’t pay much attention to the show this week.
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
Arkwright somewhat desperately tried to convince Nurse Gladys Emmanuel that he wasn’t a monster who is holding Granville hostage. The nurse (a real one, this time!) was too clever for him.
Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)
I woke up on Sunday morning and I watched the Christmas episode! That was the one where Zack and his mom allowed a homeless man and his daughter to move in and then they never mentioned them ever again. Kind of a strange episode. I’ve always been worried about what happened to the man and his daughter after the final credits. It just seems like having two strangers living in the house is something that would have come up again in a future episode.
Yes, I watched a lot this week. Here’s some thoughts:
Allo Allo (Monday Morning, PBS)
Rene attempted to abandon his wife and his café so that he could elope with Yvette but Michelle had one “last” mission for him. It involved smuggling the Enigma machine to the British via the sewer system and, needless to say, it involved a lot of digging. It made me laugh, that’s what is important.
I am as stunned as anyone by the fact that American Idol still exists. I stopped caring about the show a lifetime ago but I still watched the premiere of the latest season on Sunday because I was cleaning around the house and I thought it would make for acceptable background nose. I love Katy Perry but the rest of the judges are pretty dull. No one’s willing to be as mean as Simon Cowell was back in the day. The whole thing is just too damn positive.
The Bachelor (Monday Night, ABC)
I haven’t really been keeping up with this season but I did watch Monday’s episode, just to see if the Claytonbot had developed any sort of individual personality over the past few weeks. He has not but apparently, everyone can still see themselves falling in love with him and spending the rest of their life with him.
Bar Rescue (Friday Morning, Paramount)
It had been a while since I watched Bar Rescue so I watched the Friday morning bloc of reruns. I guess, due to the fact that I don’t drink, I always find it amusing how worked up everyone on the show gets over the mismanaged bars. Whenever Taffer starts to yell about a bartender not knowing how to make a certain cocktail, I’m always like, “Well, can’t you just order something else?”
Couples Court With The Cutlers (Sunday Afternoon, OWN TV)
I had forgotten this show existed but when I stumbled across it on Sunday, I have to admit that I immediately got sucked into the case of Bacon vs. Bacon and the question of whether or not Mrs. Bacon was cheating on Mr. Bacon. They even brought in a cybersecurity expert to go through Mrs. Bacon’s phone and it was discovered that she was using an app to send out secret text messages! Mrs. Bacon claimed she was talking to other men but not actually cheating with them. However, “licensed polygraph examiner Kendall Shull,” (as he’s called in every single episode) determined that she was cheating. Mr. Bacon walked out on her husband while the audience gasped. Poor Mr. Bacon! I later looked this episode up on the imdb and I discovered that it was 5 years old so I can only imagine how the Bacons feel whenever they come across it playing on TV.
Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)
To be honest, I thought this show had been canceled but, on Wednesday, I discovered that it still exists and it’s going strong. Featuring actual court footage and breathlessly narrated by Dan Abrams, Court Cam is the equivalent of true crime junk food. I watched about four episodes. Judges yelled. Defendants yelled. The bailiffs were ready to spring into action. The lawyers were usually smart enough to stay out of the way.
Uncle Jesse was upset that he wasn’t getting to spend as much time with his cool friends as he wanted to because he was always spending all of his time taking care of Danny’s children. So, Jesse went skiing with his old friends but they all turned out to be just as dorky as Joey and Danny so I kind of think Jesse was fooling himself as far as the old gang was concerned. Jesse’s life didn’t get any better in the episode that followed, as he was forced to take a job as an Elvis impersonator to pay the bills. Poor Jesse! At least he had adequate hair.
Inventing Anna (Netflix)
I watched episodes 3, 4, and 5 of Inventing Anna early Monday morning. They didn’t do too much for me, largely because Vivian isn’t a very interesting character and every minute that we have to spend listening to her whine about her career is a minute that we’d rather be spending with Anna and her wealthy friends. This show makes a lot more sense once you know that the journalist upon whom Vivian Kent is based is also one of the producers. She made the mistake of thinking she was the star of the story.
King of the Hill (Hulu and FXX)
On Sunday morning, I watched three episodes of King of the Hill on Hulu. The first featured the possibility of Bobby being a reincarnated holy man. The second found Peggy getting involved with a pyramid scheme. (“No, it’s a triangle.”) And the third featured Hank getting a haircut from Bill and then demanding that the Army charge him for it. It turns out that it costs $900 for the army to give a man a haircut.
I watched two episodes of FXX on Wednesday. One episode featured Hank becoming the substitute shop teacher and teaching the kids how to fix things. Unfortunately, he had the kids bring tools from home and that got him fired. I love this episode, largely because of the wonderful voice over work of the late Dennis Burkley, who played Principal Moss. This was followed by Aisle 8A, in which Connie spent a memorable few days with the Hills and Hank had to find the courage to take a trip down Aisle 8A.
Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)
I watched the latest episode of Law & Order to see if McCoy had gotten around to firing his ludicrously idealistic Executive D.A. yet. He had not.
This week’s episode was based on the relationship of Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani so it was interesting to watch it after having binged the first three episodes of The Dropout. It was an okay episode, even if it still sometimes seemed to be trying a bit too hard. The Law & Order revival needs to calm down a little and give the new characters (and the actors playing them) a chance to define who they are.
I kept hoping the ghost of Adam Schiff would materialize and rasp, “Take the deal….”
Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)
What if Joe Rogan confessed to a decades-old murder!? Well, I guess you’d have to send someone in undercover to catch him. This was not one of SVU‘s better episodes.
The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)
On Sunday’s cruise, Kim Richards played a 13 year-old who, after putting on a good deal of makeup and taking off her glasses, could pass for a 22 year-old. Fortunately, Gopher found out the truth about her age before committing a crime. Meanwhile, Eve Plumb learned to forgive the man who she thought was her father for walking out on the family 20 years earlier. Yay! Quite a cruise.
Open All Hours (Monday Morning, PBS)
A woman wished Granville a happy birthday so Arkwright pushed Granville off of a step ladder. This is something that appeared to happen fairly frequently with Granville. He was always getting shoved off something. Poor guy.
I caught the second airing of the awards. It was nice to see CODA win the award for Best Ensemble. I loved Marlee Matlin’s speech.
Secrets of Playboy (Monday Night, A&E)
This A&E docuseries is all about exposing Hugh Hefner as being kind of a creep. The episodes that I saw on Monday certainly accomplished that goal. It’s kind of amazing that, for years, Hefner was able to get away with presenting himself as being some sort of benevolent father figure when basically, he was just a jerk with a mansion and smoking jacket.
Silk Stalkings (IMDB TV)
On Wednesday, I returned to binging Silk Stalkings. I started with the 35th episode of the series, which was called Dead Weight and featured Chris and Rita investigating the murder of a businessman who was played by John O’Hurley. I was pretty sure that I had seen this episode before but no matter. It was fun and trashy and O’Hurley played his brief role like a soap opera villain come to life. The 36th episode was called Kid Stuff and it told the story of a 17 year-old prostitute who shot her older lover’s wife. The older man was a doctor who was played by the great Andrew Stevens. Even by the standards of Silk Stalkings, this was a sordid episode but that’s one of the fun things about Silk Stalkings. It may have been shameless but it also clearly wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. Later, that night, I watched the 37th episode, in which Chris and Rita investigated a shooting that was connected to a couple’s kinky sex game. That said, Chris was more concerned that Rita might accept a job offer and move to San Diego. Awwwww! No need to worry, Chris! Rita would never leave you!
Thursday, I watched Episode #38. After a murder turned out to be connected to a shady modeling company (which was actually a front for a trafficking scheme), Chris and Rita went undercover! Chris pretended to be a mobster! Rita pretended to be a model! Any episode in which Chris and Rita go undercover is guaranteed to be a gem, especially if it requires Chris to wear a red suit and talk tough. This was followed by an episode in which Chris and Rita investigated a death at a birthday party and Rita dealt with some issues from her traumatic childhood. It was actually a pretty effective episode. As silly as the mysteries on the show were, both Mitzi Kapture and Rob Estes were good actors who managed to find a sort of emotional reality amongst all the neon and lingerie.
Finally, on Friday, I watched Episode #40, “Soul Kiss.” Chris and Rita investigated what appeared to be a suicide but what was actually a murder that was connected to a tantric sex seminar. Rita was intrigued but Chris thought it was silly to suggest that he needed a seminar to learn anything new. Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture both kind of laughed their way through this episode.
Snowpiercer (Sunday Night, TNT)
I watched Snowpiercer while waiting for the second showing of the SAG Awards to begin. Visually, it’s an impressive show and there’s a lot of actors in the cast who I like. And I also liked the movie upon which the show is based. That said, I don’t have the slightest idea what was going on in the majority of the episode.
South Park (Wednesday Night, Comedy Central)
This week, South Park not only took on Russian aggression but it also took a look at the way adults specialize in scaring and emotionally traumatizing children “for their own good.” As usually happens in a time of crisis, South Park was the only show to come across as being the least bit sensible. The new episode was followed by the “Zipline” episode from 2012. That episode was only ten years old but seemed to come from a totally different universe.
The State of the Union (Hulu)
I skipped the State of the Union address on Tuesday and I wasn’t planning on watching it at all but then I heard from several people about how weird it was so I decided to give it a watch. And yes, it was very, very weird. All of our leaders are very, very weird and there’s no point in pretending otherwise. What’s the deal with Biden’s creepy whispering thing? Can no one tell him not to do that? For that matter, most of the members of Congress appear to be deeply weird as well. As much as we Americans love watching British and Canadian lawmakers heckle their prime ministers, we’re still not used to the idea of people in Congress doing it to the president. At times, I felt like I was watching a sci-fi film in which society had moved underground.
My main impression is that this country is led by a group of very old people. Maybe we should try electing some younger people the next time we have the opportunity. Just a thought.
Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)
Just like last week, Talking Dead did not feature a studio audience and, as a result, it fell somewhat flat.
Netflx’s latest true crime series tells the story of four terrible roommates. Three of them turned out to be murderers. The other one attempted to kill two people that we know about and the fact that both of them survived is something of a miracle. I binged this frequently fascinating but often disturbing series on Tuesday morning, before Erin and I left to the vote in the Texas primaries. The fact that this series is only five episodes long and doesn’t resort to dragging out any of the stories that it tells should really serve as a lesson for some other showrunners out there. That said, I also have to say that the final two episodes, which dealt with the nightmarish crimes of Jamison Branch, left me feeling deeply unsettled and there’s a part of me that wishes that I hadn’t watched them.
This week, my plan was to get caught up on all of the MCU shows and Mare of Easttown and all the rest. As you’ll soon discover from looking at the list below, that didn’t happen. But that’s okay. By the time next week, I will be caught up on everything, just in time for the Emmy nominations.
Here’s what little I watched this week!
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)
Rene’s got a new radio but he’s got no way to power it! He’s also got a huge amount of sausages, some of which are real and some of which hide a forged painting. To be honest, I struggled a bit to follow the plot of this week’s episode but all of those sausages being tossed around made me laugh.
The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Evening)
I’m just going to admit it. I don’t like Katie Thurston. I wanted to like Katie. I tried really hard to like Katie. I agree with Katie on so many things. But this week’s Rose Ceremony-dismissal of Thomas was just too …. bleh! Basically, Katie felt that Thomas was there for “the wrong reasons.” She was right, as far as any of that can really be determined. (Is anyone ever on a show like this for the right reason?) And she felt Thomas was creating drama and being a toxic influence and again, she’s right. But the way she sent him home was so self-righteous and overdramatic and specifically designed to be a big viral moment that it’s hard not to feel that Katie really wasn’t that much better than Thomas. Katie’s complaint was that Thomas was treating the show like a “Bachelor audition” but Katie came across like she was auditioning for BachelorinParadise.
To be honest, it’s been a while since I really liked any of the bachelors or bachelorettes on this show. I guess that’s why I never mind when things don’t work out for them after the final rose.
Couples Court With The Culters (Channel 33, weekday morning)
I watched the case of Stoltz vs. Winning on Friday morning. From the start, it was pretty obvious (to me, if not the judges) that Mr. Stoltz was cheating but at least Ms. Winning got to wear a really pretty green dress on TV. After watching the show, I bought a new green dress for myself! Anyway, Mr. Stoltz and Ms. Winning were actually a really cute couple so I hope things worked out for them.
Dragnet (MeTV, Weekday Mornings)
Dragnet was one of the first cop shows. Premiering in the 50s and featuring Jack Webb as no-nonsense Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet’s episodes were based on actual cases that were investigated by the LAPD. The 1950s Dragnet, with its semi-documentary style, is considered to be a forerunner of shows like Law&Order.
Of course, I’ve never actually seen the 50s Dragnet. That’s because that version of Dragnet is rarely repeated, even on the retro stations. Instead, the version of Dragnet that currently shows up on MeTV is the second version of the show, which ran from 1967 to 1970 and which featured Jack Webb stiffly lecturing hippies on why the law had to be obeyed regardless of whether or not they agreed with it. While this version of the show wasn’t always as campy as it has since been made out to be, the show’s best-known episodes do tend to feature Friday sighing in disappointment while someone with long hair tells him that “smoking a little grass is no big deal, baby.”
I set the DVR to record Monday morning’s episode, largely to see if I might be interested in watching and reviewing Dragnet for this site. (I’ve seen a few episodes over the years but I’ve never sat down and watched the whole series from beginning to end.) The episode I recorded was from 1970 and it was one of the last episodes of the second version of the show. Friday was taking a night class, one in which the idea was for the students to just talk about their differing views of the world. When Friday noticed that one of his fellow students had a baggie of weed in his notebook, Friday arrested him. The scandalized class then voted to kick Friday out. Friday gave a speech about why the law had to be obeyed and he refused to apologize for arresting his classmate. In fact, he declared, he would do it again if he had to! Friday won over some members of the class but not enough to overturn the vote. However, another classmate revealed that he was an attorney and that he was prepared to sue the professor on Friday’s behalf. “Cops have constitutional rights, too!” the lawyer said. Friday nodded in agreement as the show ended. It was a bit of a silly episode, as any episode featuring Friday interacting with the counter culture tended to be. (Until he made his arrest, no one suspected Friday of being a cop despite the fact that everything about him literally screamed, “Cop!”) I especially liked the fact that the liberal professor had a Van Dyke beard and was made up to resemble a Satanic high priest. At the same time, this episode can today be viewed as an early example of cancel culture and, in the end, it did make a good point. Everyone has a right to an education. That said, it really didn’t look like the student had that much weed on him and I personally probably would have been uncomfortable being in a class with Sgt. Friday.
On Wednesday, I DVR’d the first ever episode of the 60s Dragnet. From 1967, “The LSD Story” was just what the title implied. Friday and his partner, Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan), investigated a bunch of swinging hippie drug parties and they met a teenage dealer called Blue Boy. Blue Boy’s wealthy parents refused to get upset over his druggie ways and, somewhat inevitably, Blue Boy ended up dead of an overdose. On the one hand, it was definitely heavy-handed and over-the-top and the show’s insistence that marijuana would automatically lead to LSD was undeniably cringey. But, at the same time, there was a sincerity at the heart of the episode. My first thought was to call it the epitome of a Boomer show but Dragnet was really a Silent Generation show. The boomers, after all, were the ones dancing in front of the lava lamp.
The first of Thursday’s episodes featured Friday and Gannon investigating a burglary of several pounds of explosives. It turned out that it was stolen by a blonde man who wore a brown shirt and had a big Nazi flag hanging in his apartment. The man argued that he wasn’t a Neo Nazi terrorist but seriously — this flag was right there! The second episode featured Friday and Gannon investigating a kidnapping and who would guess that an episode about a kidnapping would be so talky? Compared to the cop shows of today, Dragnet was very much obsessed with showing that everything iwas being doing exactly by the book and the kidnapping episode was more interested in examining how a fake ransom payment is set up than on the payment itself. It was a bit dry but also a change of pace from what I’m used to.
The first of Friday’s episodes featured Joe Friday and Gannon interrogating a cop who was suspected of holding up a liquor store. The cop turned out to be innocent but what was interesting about the episode was that the emphasis was put on Friday and Gannon being just as tough and suspiciously-minded with a colleague as they were with everyone else. There was none of that “one of their own” stuff that you tend to find in more recent cop shows. The second episode featured the hunt for a group of red-masked bandits. It was fairly dry but it got the point across, that everyone was a professional doing the best they could to keep Los Angeles safe.
My main thought on Dragnet so far — the first season feels a bit arid, though there were a few campy moments, especially in the LSD episode. Still, it’s interesting to see what Los Angeles looked like in the 60s and the show was definitely well-intentioned. Jack Webb may not have been a particularly expressive actor but he brought enough sincerity to the role to keep things moving.
Hell In The Heatland: Where are Ashley and Lauria? (HBOMax)
I watched this four episode, 2019 docudrama on Sunday. It was about the 1999 murders of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, two Oklahoma teenagers. It was also about how meth is destroying certain parts of rural America. It was disturbing stuff and made all the more tragic by the fact that, though we now know what happened to Ashley and Lauria, we still don’t know the location of their remains. The Bibles and Freemans are still waiting for their chance to give Lauria and Ashley a proper burial.
Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, Fox)
The Red Team finally had to face an elimination. Morganna was sent home. I have to admit that I didn’t realize Morganna was on the show until she was kicked off, which probably explains a lot as to why she was eliminated.
I watched two episodes on Friday morning because I was too lazy to change the channel. My favorite thing about this show is how, at the start of each episode, Judge Lake snaps, “Good day, everyone!” at the courtroom and the courtroom replies with the most desultory “good day,” imaginable.
The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)
This week’s episode was the second part of the story that was started last week. The Love Boat crew was in Australia, for their cruise director, Julie’s, wedding. Meanwhile, the missing link was being held prisoner in a cage by Jose Ferrer. Yes, it was weird. Anyway, it turned out that the missing link was a fake who had been hired to swindle the gullible and Julie did not get married because the groom fled the church. Later, he sent Julie a letter that explain that he was …. wait for it …. DYING! Julie broke down into tears and the episode came to an end.
I mean, my God — who knew TheLoveBoat was so traumatic!?
Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)
Everyone was totally caught up in football (or soccer or whatever you want to call it)! Even though the show was shot in 2013 and set in the 90s, it still felt incredibly relevant to today.
The Office (Sunday, Comedy Central)
Sunday morning, I watched as Michael Scott quit his job, started his own paper company, and then successfully sold it, largely due to David Wallace really not being a very good CEO. In retrospect, I think The Michael Scott Paper Company was probably the highpoint of TheOffice’s post-season 3 run. The scene of Michael calling Prince Family Paper just to discover that he had helped to drive them out of business is horrifying, funny, and depressing, all at the same time!
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
Granville is getting closer and closer to snapping. Arkwright has no idea.
Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)
Finally! Will finished RomeoandJuliet and Kate achieved her dream of appearing on stage, despite the fact that it was illegal for her to do so. It was a sweet ending to the 2nd series of UpstartCrow and it almost makes up for the lack of Yes, PrimeMinister on PBS’s current schedule.
“Girl, you watch too much television.” Someone said that to me once right before they cut me out of their lives and, I hate to admit it, but they may have been right. I probably do watch too much television. This upcoming week, my goal is to watch a bit less.
Anyway, now that I’ve acknowledged my television addiction, here’s what I watched this week:
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)
“That stupid Englishman who thinks he can speak French is here!”
“Good moaning. I was pissing by and I have a massage from the Resistance.”
Allo Allo is a British sitcom from the 80s, which I just recently started watching on PBS. It takes place during World War II, in occupied France and, despite being made by the same people who did Are You Being Served?, it’s actually very funny. Essentially, it’s about Rene who owns a cafe and who keep getting dragged into the plans of the Resistance, the Germans, and the British airmen who are always hiding somewhere in the building. There’s also a running joke about the search for a valuable painting and the various forgeries of it that are floating around town. Last Sunday’s episode featured the Resistance holding a forgery of the painting for ransom. The humor was frequently crude and pretty much dependent upon the viewer knowing all of the pre-existing jokes but it was performed by a lively cast and it was hard not to laugh at the “stupid Englishman who thinks he can speak French.”
American Idol (ABC, Sunday and Monday Night)
As I said the last time that I wrote about this show, I’m not really that much into American Idol anymore. I do watch it on occasion but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I really pay that much attention. The whole show is rather bland and the refusal of the judges to risk their popularity by actually being brutally honest with the singers is a bit of drawback. I often just have the show on a background noise, barely aware of what’s actually happening while it’s on.
That said, I was as shocked as anyone when it was announced, on Monday, that Wyatt Pike had left the show. Why did Wyatt Pike leave? No one knows. In typical American Idol fashion, a vague statement was released that revealed next to nothing. It’s at times like this that I miss Vote For The Worst because that message board would have been on fire with speculation as to why Pike had left the competition. Of course, a lot of the speculation would have been a bit mean-spirited but that’s the internet for ya.
(I was devoted reader of Vote For The Worst but I never commented on the site because I knew, deep down, I was probably too nice to be a part of the community. I always agreed with the site when they trashed production for forcing the singers to sing out-of-date songs and for trying to manipulate the viewers by getting the judges to only praise production’s favorites. But I was also one of those “Can’t we all be happy for the singers?” types and I knew no one wanted to hear that. Still, as biting as some of the comments on the message boards could be, the site was always a valuable reminder not to take American Idol or any “reality” show too seriously.)
Anyway, I’d like to say that Wyatt Pike left because he didn’t want to have to sing whatever song Kara DioGuardi wrote for the finale but then I remembered that it’s been like 12 years since Kara was involved with American Idol and that tells you just how closely I follow the show.
America’s Most Wanted (Monday Night, FOX)
This week was the first season finale of the America’s Most Wanted reboot. It almost might be the finale of the show itself as it has apparently been struggling in the ratings. To be honest, the show’s mix of modern technology (like the CGI versions of the fugitives) and old school recreations of the crimes that the most wanted are accused of having committed has always felt a bit awkward.
Anyway, last night’s episode featured a murderous rapper named Maurice Nesbitt and an environmental terrorist, among others. As I watched the show, I was mostly hoping to hear that Raymond McLeod, the grotesque body builder who was profiled last week, has been captured. No such luck.
Baywatch (Weeknights, H&I)
Baywatch was consistently silly this week. Sunday featured an episode in which Mitch fell in love with a literal princess and it pretty much just got sillier from there. I guess these episodes are from the third season of the show and it appears that it was during this season that Baywatch went from being semi-serious to being so unserious that it occasionally bordered on the surreal. It’s hard not to feel that David Lynch could have worked wonders with Baywatch.
On Monday, things got even stranger as Mitch put on a fake mustache and Stephanie wore a blonde wig so that they could go undercover to capture a master criminal played by John O’Hurley of Seinfeld, Dancing With The Stars, and Family Feud fame. This was followed by an episode that opened with a murder but which was mostly made up of footage of David Hasselhoff playing basketball and Pamela Anderson being stalked by a nerdy newlywed.
Tuesday’s episodes, I didn’t pay much attention to. I was busy cleaning the house so they were mostly on as background noise. The first episode was something about criminals wanting to blow up a pier. Under normal circumstances, blowing up a pier would be a bad idea but these criminals wanted to blow up the pier while the governor was standing on it! The second episode was about Mitch’s father wanting him to take over the architectural firm. Apparently, Mitch’s parents thought that he was wasting his life on the beach. Of course, Mitch is in his early 40s and lives in a pretty big house so it’s kind of hard not to feel that maybe his parents should have had this conversation with him two decades earlier.
On Wednesday, the first episode featured Mitch hiring a sexy housekeeper named Elke. Hijinks ensued! The second episode featured Mitch having to deal with hundreds of UFO enthusiasts flooding the beach. During this episode, Mitch insisted that he didn’t believe in aliens or anything supernatural so I can only imagine that this was before Baywatch Nights. It’s always struck me as a bit odd that Mitch would battle vampires and demons at night and then, during the day, go back to being a laid back lifeguard. But I guess you do what you have to do. Maybe it’s a California thing.
Thursday’s episodes produced a good deal of tonal whiplash. The first episode was a rather grim story about two lifeguard being held hostage in their tower by a sociopathic criminal. I’ve noticed, on Baywatch, that the beaches were always attracting sociopaths and the lifeguards often seemed to end up getting held hostage. I guess it goes with the job but still, I would probably get freaked out after the third time it happened. I would probably look for another job, one that didn’t involve trying to enforce the law while wearing a tight bathing suit. The second episode of the night featured a non-lifeguard pretending to be a lifeguard in order to impress his mother and it was absolutely nothing like the first episode. The two episodes were so different that it was hard to believe that they both took place in the same television universe. Again, it’s hard not to feel that the show missed an opportunity by not asking David Lynch to direct an episode or two.
Friday’s episodes saw Mitch getting paralyzed during a rescue but he didn’t let that stop him from thwarting a hitman. By the end of the second episode, Mitch could walk again and the mafia had been defeated so yay!
Finally, Saturday’s episode featured a surprising amount of kickboxing, which apparently all of the lifeguards were totally into despite no one having mentioned anything about it in any of the previous episodes. There was also this plot about a sleazy French photographer trying to take Pamela Anderson away from the beach. He would have succeeded if not for a fact that a child conveniently had to be rescued from drowning. Having been reminded of why being a lifeguard is so important, Pamela was able to say, “Au revoir, creep.”
Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekday mornings, Channel 33)
If you think you’re significant other is cheating on you, you can take them to Couples Court where Judges Keith and Dana Cutler will determine whether or not it’s true while a national audience watches and makes fun of you. This show is actually more enjoyable than most other court shows, just because the Cutlers are generally likable and their advice usually makes a little bit of sense. Still, it’s hard not to laugh whenever their grim-faced lie detector guy announces the results of the test as if he’s just returned from interrogating the Boston Strangler or something. In the past, the Cutlers have also used “voice analysis” to determine whether or not someone’s lying. I guess that’s what you do when you can’t afford to hire the polygraph guy for the entire week. “Voice analysis revealed that …. SHE IS NOT CHEATING!” Everyone can be happy with that.
Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33 and many other stations, not to mention HBOMAX)
On Thursday night, I watched the episode where Chandler was dating Rachel’s boss and, even though he couldn’t stand her, Chandler still couldn’t bring himself to break up with her because he was Chandler and he had issues with that sort of thing. It was a funny-enough episode but I guess it was filmed at a time when Matthew Perry was still doing drug because he looked distressingly thin and I actually found myself getting a little freaked out over how sickly he looked. I’m glad that he apparently got all of that worked out. As for the rest of the episode, I actually preferred the subplot, which featured Monica and Phoebe competing over who had the best dollhouse. Phoebe’s dollhouse was the most popular but it was also the most dangerous because it ended up bursting into flames towards the end of the episode.
Gangs of London (Sunday Night, AMC)
Gangs of London is a show that originally aired in the UK in 2020 and which is now airing here in the States on AMC. On Friday, I finally got to watch the first two episodes and it’s really not bad. In fact, it’s actually pretty good. It’s stylish and it’s violent and it does, at times, test how much patience one has for scenes of men glaring at each other but it’s also very well-acted and it makes great use of its gritty London locations. So far, the show has dealt with the aftereffects of the assassination of the man (played by the great Colm Meany) who, for 20 years, ruled over London’s underground. Now, his family is trying to maintain their power while everyone else is looking to move in on their territory. One of the most interesting themes of the show is that the majority of London’s crime families are international in nature. Just as the world has changed, so has the nature of organized crime. These aren’t just a bunch of London hoodlums fighting over an alley or a block. Instead, these are mobsters from all over the world, all fighting for control of a major city. It’s a complicated but definitely compelling show. I will continue to set the DVR for it.
Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night, FOX)
On Thursday night, the final two chefs were revealed. Next week, Mary Lou will be going up against Kori in the finale. Mary Lou better win, especially since Declan deserved Kori’s spot. Go, Mary Lou, go!
Hill Street Blues (Weekday Mornings, H&I)
Jeff introduced me to this show last year and I’ve been setting the DVR for it ever since. Hill Street Blues originally aired in the early 80s. It was the first of the big ensemble dramas, following a bunch of cops and detectives as they patrol a really depressing and unnamed city. It’s very much a show of its time but it’s mix of humor and tragedy is surprisingly effective even if it is sometimes dated and the show was really well-written. The characters are especially interesting. Alcoholic detective JD La Rue is my favorite! This week, I noticed that the story editor was Mark Frost, who later collaborated with David Lynch on Twin Peaks. As odd as it may seem, it’s easy to see how the gritty toughness of Hill Street Blues led to the surreal and dream-like drama of Twin Peaks. They’re both ensemble show that require viewers to actually pay attention and think for themselves.
Kung Fu (Wednesday Night, The CW)
I kind of watched the second episode of Kung Fu. I have to admit that I occasionally found myself struggling to remain interested in it. It’s just such a CW show and, as a result, it’s a bit predictable at times. That said, Olivia Liang is doing a great job in the role of the lead character and it still feels like the show has the potential to become something special. Personally, I find the family drama to be way more interested than all of the mystery surrounding the death of Nicky’s shifu. I especially like the relationship between Nicky and her sister. It feels real. Olivia Liang and Shannon Dang are basically the two main reason to give Kung Fu a chance.
The Last Drive In (Friday Night, Shudder)
Joe Bob and Darcy and the iguana are back! The third season of The Last Drive-In started on Friday. The first film that they showed was Mother’s Day and I missed it because I was busy hosting the Friday Night Flix live tweet. However, I did catch the second film that they showed, Lucio Fulci’s The House By The Cemetery. Needless to say, I had a great time watching one of Fulci’s best films. Joe Bob was as likable as ever. His special guest was Eli Roth. On the one hand, I felt the Eli tended to ramble a bit too much (I wanted to get back to the movie!) but, at the same time, his love of the horror genre always came through. It was fun, that was the important thing. I have to say thank you to my friend Jason for correctly guessing and letting me know that Joe Bob was about to show a Fulci film.
No one can needlessly drag out the reading of paternity results quite like Lauren Lake. It’s almost like a very sadistic style of performance art, the way she tortures the people in her court by getting them at their most vulnerable and then slowly opening the envelope and very precisely and slowly reading every single word of the results. “These results were prepared by DNA Diagnostics, a subsidy of the Rand Company of New Haven, Connecticut, a division of Petrolli Incorporated of Newark, New Jersey and they read as follows. In the case of….” GET ON WITH IT, JUDGE!
The Masked Singer (Wednesday, FOX)
On the one hand, The Masked Singer is an entertainingly strange show and it’s usually fun to try to guess who the celebs under the masks are. On the other hand, it’s hosted by an anti-Semite and one of the judges is an anti-Vaxxer. As I watched the show on Wednesday, I found myself wondering how Jenny McCarthy has managed to more or less get a free pass despite the undoubtedly large role she played in popularizing the anti-vaccine movement. And then you’ve got Nick Cannon, who was ranting about the Rothschilds just a few months ago, serving as the show’s host. My advice would be to replace Jenny McCarthy with …. well, someone who doesn’t have a history of putting people’s lives at risk. And then replace Nick Cannon with Joel McHale and Robin Thicke with Mark McGrath. (Ken Leong, of course, is more than welcome to stay.) Seriously, this is an entertaining show so it would be nice to be able to watch it without feeling guilty about it later.
Speaking of Mark McGrath, he was eliminated this week. He was the Orca.
The Office (All The Time, Comedy Central)
Monday evening, I watched Basketball and Hot Girl from Season 1 and The Dundies from season 2. I rarely drink but when I do, I’m a lot like Pam at the Dundies.
The Old Guys (Sunday Night, PBS)
On Sunday’s episode, one of the old guys finally moved out and got his own flat. Unfortunately, it turned out that he was miserable living without his best friend and housemate so, eventually, he moved back in and everything got back to normal. It was a bit predictable but it was still a cute episode. The flat had an alarm system that was so sensitive that anyone who visited basically had to crawl across the floor to prevent it from going off. That was fun to watch.
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
Arkwright and Granville made it through another episode without killing each other, though both clearly wanted to. It’s a bit of a depressing show but I guess we should be happy no one died.
Protection Court (Weekday mornings, Channel 33)
Protection Court is a reality court show where we watch as people request that the judge grant a restraining order against abusers and stalkers. It’s a disturbing show. Speaking as someone who knows firsthand what it’s like to be stalked, watching this show on Monday morning brought back all of that fear and dread. I’m not really sure why I was watching in the first place.
Rebel (Thursday nights, ABC)
Rebel is a show about a paralegal who gets results not through any real knowledge of the law but instead by yelling at people until they give her whatever she wants just so she’ll go away. We’re supposed to like her but the show is so heavy-handed and the character is such a scold that you actually end up feeling sorry for the heartless corporations. You’re like, “Really? You polluted that river? Well, at least you’re not yelling at me right now.” The main problem with the show is that the main character is actually nicknamed “Rebel,” which …. I mean, yeah whatever. What a waste of Katey Sagal’s talents.
The Rookies (Sunday Morning, H&I)
This Sunday, the first episode of The Rookies featured Michael Ontkean shooting and killing a suspect who he thought was shooting at him. It later turned out that the suspect was unarmed and was instead carrying a camera that apparently sounded like a gun. I don’t know, it was weird. On the one hand, the episode did a good job of showing how a tragedy like this could happen and Michael Ontkean gave a good performance as someone haunted by a terrible mistake. On the other hand, this episode was from 1972 and was so firmly on the side of the cops that it’s hard to watch it today without cringing a little. It’s not so much that the episode justified the shooting as much as it didn’t even seem to entertain the thought that any rational person could possibly believe that Ontkean had been too quick to fire his weapon.
The second episode was incredibly silly, largely because it featured Roddy McDowall as a professional hitman trying to take out an informant in the most unnecessarily complicated way possible. If you were trying to assassinate someone before they went into the witness protection agency, would you kidnap a cop, hold him hostage at a public airport, and demand that the informant be turned over to you so that you can kill him? That’s what McDowall does! Like seriously, this guy is supposedly the best assassin in the world and that’s the best plan that he can come up with! Needless to say, it doesn’t work out for the bad guys but still, anything from the 70s that features Roddy McDowall as a villain is going to be entertaining.
Seinfeld (Weeknights, Channel 33 and a host of other channels, as well was Hulu)
The episodes that I watched on Thursday was a Christmas episode. Elaine was dating a creepy communist named Ned. Kramer was working as a department store Santa, or at least he was until he got too political. “Hey,” a little kid yelled, “This guy’s a commie! Commie! Commie! Traitor to our country!” That made me laugh. Finally, Jerry raced an old acquaintance from middle school and he beat him by cheating. That made me laugh too.
The second season of Tough as Nails, the bizarre reality show about blue collar people competing to see who can be the first to complete various blue collar tasks, came to an end this week. I guess Scott won and good for him. He got $200,000 and a truck.
Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)
Upstart Crow is a British sitcom, one that imagines the life of William Shakespeare, his friends, his family, and his co-workers. Shakespeare is a pompous social climber with a neurotic side. His co-workers are constantly trying to take advantage of him. His family can’t understand why he won’t ever just write normal and simple dialogue. His friends are, for the most part, idiots. His wife doesn’t respect him and his landlady’s daughter, Kate, is determined to use him to become an actress despite the fact that women are not allowed to appear on stage. Each week, Shakespeare struggles with a new play (or, occasionally a sonnet) and his struggles are usually used as a way to satirically comment on modern events.
PBS just started airing Upstart Crow at the start of this month. Right now, they’re on the first series, which originally aired in 2016. Personally, I’m growing to really like it. It’s a fun show, one that’s rewarding for students of Shakespeare and for those who love a mix of high satire and lowbrow comedy. Like a good Shakespeare play, it appeals to both the nobility and the plebeians. I especially enjoy the performances of David Mitchell as Shakespeare and Gemma Whelan as Kate.
My favorite joke so far has been the portrayal of Christopher Marlowe as a vapid self-promoter who frequently steals Shakespeare’s plays and tries to pass them off as his own. Take that, Marlovians!
The Voice (Monday Night, NBC)
I’m always a little bit surprised by the fact that I always set the DVR for this show because it’s not like a really pay that much attention to it while I’m watching. I think I just like the fact that it’s so ludicrously overcomplicated, what with the battles and the judges stealing people and the judges saving people and it’s always kind of fun to see how silly the judges get when its time to play up all the drama.
Add to that, I like Blake Shelton. I like Nick Jonas. It’s nice that Carson Daly has a job.
Yes Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)
I got a bit of a scare last week when it appeared that PBS was going to stop showing Yes, Minister and instead start showing — ugh — Are You Being Served in its place. Fortunately, it turned out that it was just an error in the guide and Yes, Minister did indeed air Monday at midnight.
(Actually, it started about six minutes late, due to ‘Allo ‘Allo and Open All Hours running late.)
This week’s episode was …. well, it was okay. It was about Jim Hacker’s attempts to bring more women into the civil service and Sir Humphrey’s old school panic regarding the prospect. On the one hand, the episode did a good job of showing the extent that an “old boys club” will go to keep women from advancing. There was a great scene in which all of the heads of the various departments said that they fully supported equal opportunities for all people before then giving increasingly flimsy excuses for why they personally wouldn’t be promoting any women. But then the show itself ended with a woman turning down a promotion because she didn’t want to be viewed as just being a diversity hire and that felt a bit like a cop out. Still, the episode had many funny lines and three great performances from Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, and Derek Fowlds.
I’ve recently discovered that Yes, Minister eventually became Yes, Prime Minister and I’m certainly hoping that PBS will show those episodes as well. It would certainly be preferable to Are You Being Served.