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: 7/25/21 — 7/31/21


My viewing this week was pretty much dominated by Big Brother and the Olympics.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, BBC)

This week brought us yet another bizarre episode, this one featuring Herr Flick dressing up as a gypsy to uncover a plot to kill Hitler while Rene dressed up as a fireman to steal the plans to invade Great Britain. Trying to keep track of it all proved a bit difficult but at least Crabtree was there wish everyone a “Good Moaning.”

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

The men tell all! The Men (or Women) Tell All is one of the franchise’s greatest traditions, a chance for the rejected to have their say before the finale. Often, it’s a highlight of this season. This year, without Chris Harrison or a similarly experienced host around to guide the conversation, it was pretty dull.

The main things that I learned from watching the men tell all is that 1) none of the men were that interesting this season and 2) The Bachelorette needs to hire a real host to replace Chris Harrison because neither Tayshia nor Kaitlyn have proven themselves to be up to the job. Their inexperience when it comes to interviewing people was obvious during this week’s episode. Whenever any of the men said anything that was the slightest bit unexpected, Tayshia and Kaitlyn just giggled and then move on to the next topic, without asking any follow-up questions. It reminded me of those terrible reunion episodes that used to end every season of Dance Moms. When The Bachelorette is remind me more of a low-budget Lifetime show than America’s number one dating show, that’s a problem.

Big Brother (All Week, CBS and Paramount Plus)

You can read my thoughts on Big Brother at the Big Brother Blog!

Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)

On Monday morning, Dragnet got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated a man who was pretending to be a policeman and a fireman. Though the man was doing good deeds, it was still a crime and he still got sentenced to probation. This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon searched for an aspiring starlet who had gotten caught up in the world of …. smutty films! It turns out that the only thing that Friday and Gannon disliked more than marijuana advocates was the adult film business. Unfortunately, it all ended in tragedy.

Tuesday started off with a rather silly episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated two rival gypsy families. One of the families offered Friday a bribe. Oh, that was a mistake! This was followed by a far more dramatic and effective episode, in which Friday and Gannon investigated a case of child abuse. It was an angry episode about an important subject and, for once, Friday’s moralistic outlook felt appropriate as opposed to out-of-touch.

The first of Wednesday’s episodes found Gannon and Friday interrogating a mob associate on a rainy night. The entire episode was just the interrogation and it was actually handled pretty well. Though the 60s Dragnet was best known for its scenes of Friday lecturing hippies, the best episodes were the ones where Friday and Gannon just did police work and avoided commenting on current events. This was followed by an episode where Friday and Gannon attempted to find a man who had threatened to commit suicide. Again, this was a well-handled episode, one that was sympathetic to those who struggle with depression and anxiety.

Thursday, on the other hand, got started with an episode that featured the type of thing for which Dragnet is best remembered. A bunch of smug hippie teenagers wanted to start their own island nation and they were robbing Los Angeles stores in order to get the supplies to do so. Fortunately, Gannon and Friday were on-hand to lecture them about their civic duty and their lack of practical camping experience before sending them all to juvenile hall. This was followed by an episode in which Friday interviewed police academy applicants and then he and Gannon investigated one applicant’s background, mainly to discover why he had gotten a divorce …. wait, what? It should be noted, though, that investigating the divorce did lead to the discovery of evidence that the applicant should be not be allowed the enter the police academy. Anyway, this was one of those Dragnet episodes were the emphasis was meant to be on how professional the LAPD was. Not everyone can join the department, the episode said, especially not divorced people.

The first of Friday’s episodes featured Joe and Gannon investigating a case of embezzlement. It turned out that the embezzler had a gambling problem! Joe and Gannon were not sympathetic. Such are the wages of greed, I guess. This was followed by an episode with Joe attempted to teach patrol officers about the importance of maintaining good community relationships, even with people who don’t like the LAPD. On the one hand, the show made a good point by directly addressing the fact that cops need to treat all people fairly. On the other hand, a large part of the episode centered around a young black activist learning that the cops weren’t so bad after all. In other words, this episode was the epitome of the type of well-intentioned, middle-of-the-road storytelling that tends to drive activists on both sides of an issue crazy. Still, everything worked out in the end. The activist agreed to pay a traffic fine and the cops agreed not to charge him with resisting arrest.

And that was it for this week!

Moone Boy (PBS, Sunday Night)

As the Moones somewhat reluctantly prepare for Fidelma’s wedding, the peace in Boyle is upset by the arrival of Travelers. The Travelers don’t really do much but, because they’re Travelers, everyone gets a bit paranoid about them, regardless. Martin, of course, develops a crush on one of them. Meanwhile, Dessie asks the priest to be his best man, which leads to “Stag Mass.” It was a funny, if somewhat messy, episode.

Open All Hours (PBS, Sunday Night)

Arkwright and Granville got a van, one with a mattress in back, so that they could pick up hitchhikers. It was a disturbing episode. It’s always been pretty obvious that Granville is one step away from losing it and going on a rampage but this week’s episode suggested that Arkwright might be a bit on the unstable side as well.

Tokyo Olympics (All week, Every Chanel)

On Sunday morning, I watched Spain defeat Serbia in water polo! Because I’m rooting for Spain, I was happy to see the win but water polo still seems like an amazingly silly sport. I then watched a bit of the handball match between Norway and South Korea. Who knew handball could be so intense!? After the handball, I surprised myself even further by getting totally caught up in fencing. I think the reason I liked the fencing is because the uniforms made all of the competitors look like characters from The Purge. That said, I definitely cheered a bit when Lee Kiefer won the gold!

While I didn’t get a chance to watch much of the Olympics on Monday, I made up for that on Tuesday morning by tuning in and watching Japan defeat the United States at softball. And I have to admit that it didn’t really bother me, watching the U.S. lose this event. Japan is hosting the Olympics this year. Softball is reportedly a big sport in Japan and, indeed, one reason why softball was an Olympic event this year was because Tokyo already had a softball field. Japan winning the Gold just felt appropriate. After I watched the softball medal ceremony, I found out about Simone Biles withdrawing from the Games. As I said on twitter at the time, “mental issues” can mean any number of things so instead of judging, the proper response from the beginning was to wish Simone the best for whatever she may be dealing with. Of course, most people did the exact opposite and this week has pretty much been dominated by people offering up terrible takes on Simone Biles, the Olympics, and the pressures of competition.

The over-the-top reaction to the Simone Biles news temporarily turned me off of the Olympics so I didn’t watch on Wednesday. However, I returned on Thursday. I watched the U.S. vs. Turkey in Women’s Volleyball and I have to admit that I soon found myself rooting for Turkey, whose team had more natural talent than the American team. That the American team still won felt like it had more to do with luck than anything else. After the indoor volleyball, it was time for Women’s Beach Volleyball, which featured Canada vs. Brazil. I have to admit that, ever since I finally watched Top Gun last year, it’s been impossible for me to take Beach Volleyball seriously. Jeff and I also watched a bit of Olympic golf.

On Friday night, it was time for more running, more swimming, and more medals! There was also some women’s soccer which …. bleh. I really hope we don’t win the gold this year. I’m sick of being expected to care about soccer.

Saturday, I watched a bit of volleyball and a bit of boxing and a little basketball. I have to admit that basetball has never appealed to me so I ended up watching golf instead. I never though it would happen but golf is winning me over. It’s such a refined and, most importantly, quite sport. No squeaky shoes or yelling, just the sound of golf swings and polite applause.

2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open (Golf Channel, Sunday Afternoon)

I also like watching golf because I like seeing what all of the courses look like. They’re all very nice and green.

Upstart Crow (PBS, Sunday Night)

Shakespeare and the crew (including the “Artist Formerly Known as Marlowe”) tire of the London fog and head up to Stratford. With everyone getting sick of being stuck indoors together, Shakespeare is inspired to write a romantic comedy. When his wife informs him that his idea for the play (featuring mistaken identities and, of course, a wedding at the end) all sounds like “much ado about nothing,” Shakespeare informs her that he’ll soon have another hit on his hands. Yay, Shakespeare!

Lisa’s Week In Television: 7/18/21 — 7/24/21


The Olympics are here! I know what I’m going to be watching for the next two weeks.

Seriously, don’t ask me to explain it. I just get excited about the Olympics. Admittedly, I do usually prefer the winter games to the summer games but still, I’m just glad that the Olympics are finally being held. This is the year that I discovered that badminton is an Olympics sport and I have to admit that I’m kind of upset that I didn’t know that earlier. My sisters and I used to play badminton all the time. WE COULD HAVE GONE TO THE OLYMPICS!

Anyway, here’s my thoughts on what I watched this week:

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

“I have the spy camera! It is disguised as a potato!”

Allo Allo opened with Rene escapes from the Colonel’s dungeon and then being sent on a mission to take photographs of a safe. As usual, it was overly complicated and funny. I think what I like about this show is that some of the humor is very complex and very clever and then an equal amount of the humor just comes from silly things like Crabtree and his greeting of “Good moaning,” regardless of the time of day. It’s a mix of sophistication and stupdity and it’s a good combination.

The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Night)

And now we’re down to four! The highlight this week was Katie sending Andrew home, then changing her mind and asking him to stay, just for Andrew to turn her down. And that’s why Andrew will probably be the next Bachelor.

Big Brother 23 (CBS and Paramount Plus, 24/7)

You can read my thoughts on the show that everyone love to hate over at the Big Brother Blog.

Court Cam (A&E, Wednesday Night)

More courtroom drama! I complain about this show, some would say nonstop. And yet, it is addictive. Or, at the very least, it makes for good background noise. It’s one of those shows that you don’t really have to pay too much attention to. Each 30 minutes episode is full of so many little stories that it’s basically tailor-made for people with ADD like me. That said, I still stand by my claim that this show is a sign of the decline of civilization in general. We live in dangerous times. Or actually, I guess we just live in increasingly stupid times. Dangerous is such a dramatic word.

Dragnet (MeTV, weekday mornings)

Monday’s two-episode block of Dragnet 1968 started with an episode in which an ex-con called the police to let them know that someone had solicited him to commit a murder. The solicitation happened as a result of an ad that the ex-con put in a “hippy newspaper.” Joe Friday went undercover as the ex-con to catch the killer. Somehow, he was able to do this despite the fact that there is absolutely nothing about Joe Friday that suggests that he would even know what a hippy newspaper was, let alone put an ad in one. Episodes of Dragnet where Friday goes undercover are some of my absolute favorites because it’s not like Friday puts any effort into changing his behavior or his style of speaking. He just takes off his tie! He’s still obviously a cop, no matter what he claims. This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon investigated the murder of a real estate agent. Interestingly enough, for a show from 1968, the victim and all of the suspects were black but no mention of race was made during the episode. Instead, the emphasis was on Friday and Gannon treating everyone exactly the same as they treated white suspects. I imagine that was a deliberate decision on the part of the producers, as Dragnet always went out of its way to present the LAPD in the best light possible.

Tuesday started with a somewhat silly episode about a gang of dogs that had been trained to snatch purses. For those who love campy Dragnet, the highlight of the episode was Friday and Gannon interviewing a victim who was also a hippie and who carried a gigantic flower with her and who explained that she “like(d) the fuzz because you’re all flowers too.” This was followed by an episode where Friday and Gannon once again went undercover, this time to bust a con artist who was responsible for a pyramid scheme. Uniquely, this episode ended with a lengthy and rather dull courtroom scene.

Wednesday started off with Friday and Gannon pursuing another set of con artists. This time the con involved impersonating police officers and selling people cards that were said to extend special privileges. Soon, Los Angeles was full of swindled people tearing up traffic tickets. Fortunately, the LAPD were able to get the fake cops off the streets and once again, Friday and Gannon took of their ties and went undercover to make the arrest. One of the con artists was played by G.D. Spradlin, who would later go on to memorably play Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather, Part II. This was followed by an episode where Friday and Gannon investigated whether a patrolman had taken a bribe. As usual, the emphasis was put on the police force doing things by the book.

Thursday stated off with a Christmas episode, in which Friday and Gannon worked hard to recover a stolen statue of Jesus. This is actually a classic episode, one that is aired by the retro stations every Christmas season. The statue was recovered and no one went to jail. This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon searched for a drug smuggler whose plane had crashed in the San Fernando Valley. Many people went to jail at the end of that episode.

Finally, Friday’s episodes started off with Joe and Gannon investigating the disappearance of two little girls. It turned out the parents of the girls were divorced, which led to Joe giving their mother a lot of attitude, as if it was solely her fault that her daughters were missing. And indeed, the show ended with the girls being recovered safely (it turned out that they had just run off to see their old dog) and a hearing in which the father was given “reasonable visitation rights.” It was an awkward episode that didn’t really sit well with me. Fortunately, it was followed by a much more enjoyable episode, in which Joe and Gannon investigated a cult leader who was giving his followers LSD. It was Joe Friday vs. the counter culture! Brother William, who thought everyone should embrace LSD, was well-played by a distinguished actor named Liam Sullivan. For 20 minutes or so, Brother William and Joe Friday debated whether or not drugs should be legal. “How many times have you taken LSD?” Friday demanded. “Several hundred times!” Brother William exclaimed, “and look at me! I’m as sane as you are!” In the end, no one learned anything but Brother William did eventually got to prison.

Fasten Your Seat Belts (A&E, Wednesday Night)

Hey, who doesn’t love chaos at airports and on airplanes, right?

Actually, hold on. Both of those things would totally make me and a lot of other people nervous. The last place most of us would ever want to be would be on an airplane where someone is losing it during mid-flight.

Regardless, Fasten Your Seat Belts is a the new, ultra-cheap reality show that features footage of people acting up on airplane and in airports. It’s basically like watching YouTube for 30 minutes, except for the fact that Robert Hays (star of the Airplane! films) is the host. I guess if you’re into YouTube videos of people acting like jackasses and inconveniencing their fellow travelers, this show might be for you.

Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, Monday Night)

For me, the funniest part of any Gordon Ramsay show, from Hell’s Kitchen to Kitchen Knightmares to that motel hell show, is when everyone sits around and talks about how attractive they find Chef Ramsay to be. It happens at least once every season. This week’s episode of Hell’s Kitchen featured Chef Ramsay talking to all the chefs one-and-one and then all of the chefs talking amongst themselves about how sexy they found Chef Ramsay to be. Eventually, Keona was sent home but Ramsay told her to keep her head up high and to keep growing as a chef and, the show seemed to be saying, who couldn’t appreciate those words coming from someone as amazingly handsome as Gordon Ramsay?

Hunter (ZLiving, Weekday Mornings)

Hunter is an extremely 80s cop show about a 7 foot detective named Hunter who shoots criminals in Los Angeles. His partner is Dee Dee McCall, who is just as quick to shoot as Hunter is. This is one of those shows that always appears to be playing on at least one retro station. I’d never actually watched a full episode until Monday morning, when I used two of them for background noise. The show looked fun in a silly 80s cop show sort of way — a lot of tough talk, car chases, and gunplay. At one point, Hunter casually tossed a man off a roof and then said, “Works for me.” That pretty much sums up the show.

Moone Boy (PBS, Sunday Night)

Martin wanted the latest game system but his father couldn’t afford it and was sure that “this whole computer thing is just a fad.” (Remember, Moone Boy takes place in the early 90s.) To raise the money himself, Martin got a job as a “golf ball hunter” at the local country club. Eventually, Martin got struck in the head by an errant golf ball and his imaginary friend, Sean, was briefly transformed into a 1920s style golf pro. Meanwhile, Martin’s father reached into the past and remembered his time as a table tennis champ to win his son’s respect. It was a sweet and funny episode, as most episodes of Moone Boy tend to be.

Open All Hours (PBS, Sunday Night)

Apparently, PBS has re-started Open All Hours, showing the very first episode this week. Arkwright looked about the same but Granville was obviously much younger this week than he was last week. That said, even at a young age, he still seemed like he had been utterly defeated by life. Poor Granville. No wonder he’s always trying to figure out a way to kill Arkwright.

Perry Mason (MeTV, Weekday Mornings)

I was back at the office on Monday and I needed a little background noise while getting my desk organized so I turned on MeTV and I watched an episode of the old, 1950s Perry Mason. This was the one with Raymond Burr as Perry. Unfortunately, because I was working and organizing while the show was on, I couldn’t pay much attention to it but I did see that Perry did manage to not only win an acquittal for his client but he also exposed the real murderer, who just happened to be sitting in the courtroom when Mason announced his name! He confessed and everything! Yay!

Rachael Ray (Channel 21, Weekday Mornings)

On Monday, I turned over to Rachael Ray for background noise while I was at work. She discussed how to make the perfect hot dog. It all looked very complicated but I will say that, if I was one to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I would probably totally trust Rachael. She seems to know what she’s talking about.

Silk Stalkings (ZLiving, Weekday Afternoons)

This is a cop show from the 90s, an exercise in pure style that followed two beautiful cops as they arrested beautiful (and often half-naked) people for committing ugly crimes in Florida. On Monday, I watched two episodes. The first one was about killer frat boys and somewhat inevitably featured William McNamara as one of the bad guys. The second featured an investigation of murder among the rich, famous, and unclothed. It was a fun, largely because nearly everyone in it was oversexed and naked for the majority of the episode.

Tokyo Olympics (NBCSN, Saturday Afternoon)

I watched badminton and a bit of beach volleyball. I noticed that professional badminton moves a bit more quickly than what I’m used to. Still, I think if I had made the Olympic team, I could have adjusted at brought home the bronze.

Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremonies (NBC, Friday Morning and Night)

I caught the final half of Friday’s opening ceremony during the morning broadcast and the first half when NBC reshowed it later that night. I can’t help it — I love the Olympics, though I prefer the winter games to the summer games. I was really upset when they were cancelled last year so I’m glad to see them back this year. As for who I’m rooting for — my father’s side of the family is Irish, my maternal grandmother was born in Spain, and one set of great-great grandparents came to this country from Italy. And my best friend was born in Israel. So, I’m cheering for Ireland, Israel, Italy, Spain, and maybe the United States. I don’t know. The U.S. has been getting on my nerves lately.

Upstart Crow (PBS, Sunday Night)

While trying to write a new comedy called The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare struggles to come up with a big issue that could set the play apart from other plays. Christopher Marlowe, who is sleeping on Shakespeare’s couch after having faked his own death, is of no help. Things start to look up when the intense actor Wolf Hall joins the theater (“I’m a member of the Wolf Pack!” Kate exclaims) but the ever sneaky Robert Greene plots to ruin Shakespeare’s new play by tricking Wolf into making an ill-thought political statement. This was another funny episode, featuring a great turn by Ben Miller as Wolf Hall.

Lisa’s Week In Television: 7/11/21 — 7/17/21


Twonky

Another week, another collection of television shows!  Here’s what I watched this week.  As you may notice, there’s not a lot.  This week turned out to be an unexpectedly busy one.  Perhaps next week I’ll finally be able to get caught up with everything.  Here’s hoping!

allo-allo

Alllo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

At this point, I’m not even sure that I remember why Herr Flick was chained up in that dungeon but the Resistance and a reluctant Rene got him out of there on this week’s episode.  Meanwhile, Officer Crabtree was still incapable of mastering the French language and the English airmen were still hiding in barrels and responding to everything by saying, “Jolly good show, old boy.”

Upon doing some research, I discovered this week’s episode was actually the first episode of the show’s 5th season.  Because there was apparently some interest from American broadcasters about perhaps bringing the show to the U.S. or doing an American version of it, the 5h season had 26 episodes and were designed so that commercial breaks could be inserted, just in case the show ever did appear on an American network.  As such, much of this week’s episode was designed to fill potentially new viewers in on who everyone was and how they were related to each other.  Needles to say, it was all a bit frantic but still funny.

bachelorette 2021

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

This week, Katie challenged the men to see who could go the longest without masturbating.  I’m not sure how that’s supposed to help her find a husband or how that goes along with the whole idea that Katie is supposed to be the sex positive bachelorette who is going to help this franchise get with the modern era.  It was all pretty dumb.

Anyway, this week, Katie declared for the 100th time that she doesn’t have any interest in any drama and then she dramatically sent Hunter home.

Big Brotehr 23

Big Brother 23 (Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, CBS)

I’ve watched every season of this show and I’ve achieved every writer’s dream of getting paid to write about and yet, it’s something that I rarely brag about.  You can read my current thoughts about the show and the live feeds over at Big Brother Blog.

Dragnet

Dragnet (Weekday Mornings, MeTV)

I forgot to see the DVR to record the two episodes that aired on Monday morning.  It happens and since Dragnet wasn’t a serialized show, missing two episodes doesn’t make it any more or any less difficult to follow the rest of the series.

I did remember to set the DVR for the rest of the week, however.  Tuesday got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon dealt with a teenage genius who had a rebellious and homicidal streak.  Despite getting a warning after throwing a beaker of acid at a jock, he later decided to hold an entire party hostage with a grenade!  Friday and Gannon agreed that it was all the fault of parents who don’t teach their kids to respect authority.  While it was easy to roll my eyes at some of the more didactic parts of the episode, it was interesting to see how this 1968 show foreshadowed many of the subsequent school shootings that would follow.  As well, the episode ended with a Spaghetti western-style stand-off between Gannon, Friday, and Grenade Boy, which was actually pretty well executed.  This was followed by an episode in which Friday shot and killed a man robbing a store and was subsequently subjected to an investigation by the police’s “shooting board.”  As with many early episodes of Dragnet, the emphasis was on the process.  As someone who has seen her share of cop shows, it’s weird to see something Dragnet where everyone brags about how they go “by the book.”  There’s no room for any renegades on this show!

Wednesday featured Friday and Gannon going undercover to catch a couple of hotel con artists who were pretending to be cops.  I love episodes where Friday and Gannon go undercover because it’s not like either one of them ever makes much of an effort to change their behavior or appearance.  They don’t take off or even loosen their ties.  They still sound, look like, talk like, and act like cops,  But, because all of the criminals in L.A. in 1968 were apparently really stupid, no one ever notices.  This was followed by an episode about a bank robber whose M.O. was to abduct innocent women and force them to help him carry out his crimes.  At the end of the episode, he attempted to abduct a karate instructor and Friday and Gannon pulled up just in time to see her kicking his ass.  Yay!

The first of Thursday’s episodes opened with Gannon telling Friday that “there’s a football game on the old tube,” and that Friday was welcome to come over and watch it.  Friday agreed but, once they arrived at Gannon’s place, it turned out that Gannon’s neighbors were just as annoying as any everyday criminal.  The main lesson here seemed to be that Friday and Gannon acted exactly the same off-duty as they did on-duty and that Friday was just as stiff and formal at home as in the office.  This was followed by an episode in which Friday and Gannon attempted to track down a sergeant who, as a result of burn-out and general depression, had developed a drinking problem.  Friday and Gannon help him see the errors of his way, largely by telling him to drop the self-pity act.

Finally, Friday started out with an episode in which Joe and Gannon arrested a veteran burglar named Charles Smith.  Charles Smith was a courtly senior citizen but he still had to go to jail.  He didn’t seem to mind, however.  It was all a part of the job.  The second episode featured Joe and Gannon fighting the evils of …. you guessed it …. MARIJUANA!  These are the type of episodes that Dragnet is known for, the episodes where a grim-faced Joe debated long-haired draft dodgers who thought smoking marijuana and otherwise breaking the law was no big deal.  And it’s true that this episode — called The Big High — had its share of campy moments.  Just hearing Joe explain that “dealers say smoking marijuana is like heaven but the users discover its Hell,” was enough to make me laugh out loud.  It was also hard not to laugh at the scene where a clueless, pot-loving suburbanite told Joe and Gannon that, “Once the young people cut their hair, put on a suit, and start voting, marijuana will be legal!,” just for Gannon to confidently reply, “I don’t think so.”  The show ended with that suburbanite’s toddler drowning in a bathtub because her stoned parents forgot about her, a scene that perhaps would have been more effective if not for the total overacting of the actor playing the stoned father.  It was all pretty melodramatic but, to be fair, it was also rather sincere.  As opposed to something like Reefer Madness, you got the feeling that Dragnet actually did believe in what it was saying, even if the show was totally clueless about the effects of drugs or the lifestyle of anyone under the age of 50.  The final shot, of Jack Webb’s Joe Friday crushing a baggie of weed in his hands was handled well, even if the show’s insistence on solely blaming marijuana seemed to kind of let the dumbass parents off the hook.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, Fox)

Poor Kevin!  As hard as he tried, he just couldn’t get it together during service and Chef Ramsay kicked him out of the kitchen and off the show before the final order was even served.  I imagine the same thing would happen to me if I was ever on Hell’s Kitchen.  I’d probably survive a few nights based on my charm but eventually, I’d get kicked out during the middle of an episode.  I would cry and cry, too.  It’s probably a good thing that I’ve never been on the show.

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Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)

Elann had a drinking problem but then she faced an intervention and got help.  As the show came to an end, she talked about how much better she was feeling about life.  Then a title card appeared that informed us that, after getting sober, Elann still struggled with depressing and took her own life in 2019.  It was heart-breaking and a reminder that getting sober is important but it’s not a magic cure-all.

Elann’s episode was followed by one featuring Caitlin, who was addicted to crack cocaine. “Crack is my boyfriend,” she said.  This episode was hard for me to watch because I’ve known many people like Caitlin, who was obviously very intelligent but also very defensive and angry.  Unfortunately, Caitlin relapsed after getting treatment and, at the show’s end, was described as “living on the streets.”

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Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

On a special Halloween episode of Moone Boy, Martin and Padraic built a raft, which they planned to sail into town so that they could “freak everyone out.”  Needless to say, the river did not cooperate and they instead ended up on an island with a castle and an eccentric caretaker.  Meanwhile, Martin’s mother defended the right of her daughter to be a reader at Mass despite being pregnant and unmarried.  She also impressed the priest with her knowledge of Simon and Garfunkel trivia.  It was a good episode.

The Office

The Office (All The Time, Comedy Central)

On Tuesday night, I watched several episodes from season 6.  Admittedly, season 6 is not my favorite season, as it featured the terrible storyline where Jim was co-manager and a lot of nonsense about Sabre.  Season 6 was when The Office started to get noticeably cartoonish.  That said, a cartoonish Office is still better than a lot of other sitcoms out there and it was nice to rewatch Jim and Pam’s wedding.

open-all-hours

Open All Hours (PBS, Sunday Night)

This week, I decided to pay attention the plot as opposed to just focusing on Granville’s quickly decaying sanity.  Apparently, Arkwright — a man in his 60s — had never seen his girlfriend’s bedroom and he decided that the best way to fix that would be to fake a burglary.  Granville went along with the plan, presumably because it was either do that or continue to fantasize about murdering the entire town.

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Seinfeld (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched two episodes on Tuesday night, one of which featured Jerry indirectly getting Babu deported and the second of which was the classic Festivus episode.  I preferred the second episode.

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Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Ever since I first started watching Upstart Crow, I wondered how this comedy would deal with the tragic death of Christopher Marlowe, who is portrayed on the show as being Shakespeare’s free-loading, hedonistic best friend.  This week, I discovered that handled it by having Marlowe fake his own death.  Yay!  Marlowe lives!  As well, as Kate pointed out, with Marlowe believed dead, that meant no one would ever try to promote any weird theories about Marlowe secretly writing all of Shakespeare’s plays.  If only Kate were right!

(Seriously, the Shakespeare-Didn’t-Write-His-Plays people are the worst.  And no, I don’t care what Derek Jacobi has to say on the matter.)

The other major development this week was that Shakespeare wrote out the outline for a play to be called Hamlet.  However, when he tried to explain the plot to his colleagues, they all assumed it was a comedy.  When they heard about Ophelia drowning in the duck pond, they asked Shakespeare if they could have a duck on stage.  Will was not amused.  And yet, as silly as this show is, it’s hard not to think that it probably does get more right than it gets wrong.  Shakespeare is such a mythic name that it’s easy to forget that he was once just a playwright trying to make a living off of his writing.  Every classic work of art started as a rough draft and was probably dismissed, out-of-hand, by people who should have known better.  Upstart Crow is a good reminder of that fact.

Twonky

Lisa’s Week In Television: 7/4/21 — 7/10/21


Twonky

This week, I mostly used the television for background noise.  Here’s some notes on what I watched:

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Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

A camera was dropped off that could save France but, unfortunately, it landed in a vineyard.  So, of course, it fell on Rene and everyone from the café to work in the vineyard to retrieve it.  I find myself relating to Michelle of the Resistance.  “I shall say this only once!”

bachelorette 2021

The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Night)

If I hadn’t already read all the spoilers about who Katie is going to end up with, I probably would have been more excited by the return of Blake.  But …. eh.  I’m ready for this season to be over.  I really need to stop reading spoilers.

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Bar Rescue (Wednesday, Paramount Network)

Jon Taffer and Mia Mastroianni were outraged to discover that a country-and-western bar was not serving fruity, beach-themed cocktails.  Mia gasped as if she had just seen the worst thing in the history of terrible things.  Taffer yelled a lot.

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Big Brother (CBS and Paramount, 24/7)

Big Brother is back!  It’s taken them 23 seasons but Big Brother finally has a season where there’s more than two people of color in the House.  It’s the most diverse cast ever but everyone is still making the same stupid mistakes that previous houseguests made in past seasons.  I’ve been writing about it over at Reality TV Chat Blog!

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Children’s Hospital (Hulu, Thursday)

I watched two episodes of this classic show on Thursday.  The first was the special “lost episode” from the 70s, in which Dr. Lola Spratt joined the staff and was immediately dismissed by everyone because she was a woman.  (“The operation has been canceled!  The patient doesn’t want to be operated on by a woman!”)  Dr. Glenn Richie also joined the staff and attempted to prove that he wasn’t a “baby killer.”  It all ended with an orgy.  The second episode I watched was the British version of Children’s Hospital, which aired on “BBC10” and featured a French mime.

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Court Cam (A&E, Wednesday)

“This defendant thinks he’s going to get away with lighting a joint in the middle of the court room but the judge ain’t having it!”  WHY DO I WATCH THIS STUPID SHOW!?  Actually, the answer to that is pretty simple.  It makes good background noise.  I may watch but I rarely pay attention.

Dragnet

Dragnet (MeTV, Weekday Mornings)

Monday’s showing of Dragnet got started with an episode in which Friday and Gannon teamed up with a bunch of old women to take down two con artists who were posing as bank examiners.  It was a good and straight-forward police story and one that, despite Dragnet’s reputation, featured absolutely no crazy hippies.  The second episode featured Friday and Gannon solving the murder of a 66 year-old man.  It turned out that he was murdered by a young couple but they weren’t quite hippies as much as they were beatniks with bad attitudes.  Still, the episode was very well-done, with the audience ultimately sharing the cop’s disgust over the murder.

Both of Tuesday’s episodes were rather dry, which I guess is a polite way of saying dull.  The first one dealt with Gannon and Friday tracking down two men who had been holding up candy stores and a good deal of time was spent explaining how a lineup works.  This is one of those things that I imagine was fascinating in 1967 but today, it’s a bit less so.  The second episode featured a gang selling fake furs.  Gannon went undercover to bust them but it turned out that going undercover just meant showing up in a hotel room, lying about your profession, and then pulling out your badge a few minutes later.

Wednesday started off with Gannon and Friday being called in to investigate a jewelry theft, just to discover that it was actually insurance fraud.  It was, again, all a bit dry.  The second episode was better, with Gannon and Friday tracking down two men who shot a cop.  One of the men was played by none other than Dick Miller!  As usual, the focus was on everyone doing everything “by the book,” which was quite a contrast to the rogue cops who would later come to dominate television.  Gannon and Friday, it would appear, took quite a bit of pride in being dull.

On Thursday, Friday and Gannon worked traffic and continually arrested the same drunk driver until that driver ended up killing two innocent people and losing his legs.  Again, it was a fairly dull episode but the message was a good one because people really shouldn’t drive drunk.  This was followed by an episode in which Friday teamed up with the department’s chaplain to take down a crooked accountant.  Everyone assumed that a preacher couldn’t be a good cop but he proved them wrong, I guess.  It was a weird episode.

On Friday, Joe went on TV and gave an interview about various type of scam artists to look out for, particularly magazine subscriptions salesmen who claim to be veterans.  This was followed by a murder investigation, one that again was handled very succinctly and by-the-book.

These old episodes of Dragnet are interesting from a historical point of view.  From the an entertainment point of view, they’re kind of dull.  But I know that the show is eventually going to exclusively became about Friday and Gannon putting hippies in their place so I’ll keep watching in anticipation.

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)

The chefs had to cook for Chef Ramsay’s daughter’s birthday party!  Needless to say, it was pretty much a disaster.  Megan Ramsay sent back one plate of noodles because it was flavorless and I was like, “YESSSSSSSS!” because, seriously, the episode needed some more yelling.  The Red Team lost for the second service in a row.  Payton was sent home.  Boo hoo.  I liked Payton.

Love Island

Love Island (CBS, Weeknights)

Love Island is proof that someone watched Paradise Hotel and thought to themselves, “The only thing that would improve this show would be if the people involved were just a little more shallow.”  I watched two episodes, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday.  I like the snarky narrator but, honestly, I’m already watching The Bachelorette, Hell’s Kitchen, and Big Brother so I’ll probably skip out on the rest of Love Island.

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Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Martin’s starting at a new school but he’s still got his imaginary friend, Sean Murphy, at his side.  This week’s episode was sweetly humorous and had a lot of dancing.  Martin developed a crush on his art teacher, which I found amusing since I once thought I might became an art teacher, specifically so I could inspire young minds to embrace abstract thinking.  But then I realized being an art teacher would also mean having to tell children that their talent was inadequate for my class so I changed my mind.  I’m just too nice.

The Office

The Office (Comedy Central, All The Time)

I watched episodes from season 2 on Thursday, season 3 on Friday, and season 4 on Saturday.  My favorite remains Jim and Pam staying overnight at Dwight’s beet farm.

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Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright continued to steal from his customers while Granville drew plans for a bomb behind the counter.

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Parking Wars (Weekday mornings, A&E)

I watched an episode on Thursday while I was getting ready for my day.  The parking cops were all acting like martyrs because people didn’t like them.  Who knew that civil servants could be so whiny?

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Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

As Will Shakespeare struggled to write A Midsummer’s Night Dream, he told Kate and Bottom about the time he met an actual fairy named Puck.  Puck sold him the dust that he used to make Anne fall in love with him.  Kate and Bottom both felt that it sounded more likely that Puck was drug dealer.  Poor Shakespeare …. will he ever win?

Twonky

Lisa’s Week in Television: 6/27/21 — 7/3/21


Twonky

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!

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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.

bachelorette 2021

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 Bachelor in Paradise.

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.

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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

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 Heartland

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

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.

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

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.

Love Boat

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 The Love Boat was so traumatic!?

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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

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 The Office’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!

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Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville is getting closer and closer to snapping.  Arkwright has no idea.

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Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Finally!  Will finished Romeo and Juliet 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 Upstart Crow and it almost makes up for the lack of Yes, Prime Minister on PBS’s current schedule.

Twonky

Music Video Of The Day: City of Crime by Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks (1987, directed by Marty Callner)


“They didn’t have enough confidence in the material that they had to try and hook kids in with some disco thing.”

— Gene Siskel on Dragnet (1987)

In 1987, Dragnet was released into theaters.  Based on the classic television series, Dragnet was a comedy that featured Dan Aykroyd as straight-laced Sgt. Joe Friday and Tom Hanks as his new partner, Det. Pep Streebeck.  Perhaps realizing that they had spent $20,000,000 making a movie about a show that most teenagers had never heard of, Universal Pictures decided to promote the film by having Aykroyd and Hanks rap about fighting crime.

The end result was City of Crime and this music video.  Collaborating with Aykroyd and Hanks on this song are former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath vocalist Glenn Hughes and famed guitarist Pat Thrall.  This video was directed by Marty Callner, who is best-known for doing videos for Aerosmith and Poison.

Enjoy!