I’m healthy again this week, at least physically. (I’m stressed out mentally but that’s a story for another time.) Here’s what I watched:
Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)
It appeared that Rene and LeClerc were about to executed by the Communist Resistance until it was discovered that Denise, the leader of the communists, was Rene’s “childhood love.” So now, Rene has to marry Denise, despite the fact that he’s already married to Edith. Meanwhile, the two British airmen decided to surrender themselves to the Germans but they could not find an officer to surrender to and surrendering to an enlisted man just wouldn’t be the right thing to do. So, they ran off to search for Officer Crabtree.
It was a chaotic but funny episode, as they tend to be.
The Bachelorette (ABC, Monday Night)
This week was the finale of The Bachelorette! Still mourning the loss of Greg, Katie got engaged to Blake. In fact, she basically just told Justin to go home so that she and Blake could spend all of their time together. For all the talk about how Katie was all about ending drama, this was certainly a messy season and it only got messier when Blake met Katie’s mother and her aunt. Her mom actually had some intelligent things to say and was right to be skeptical. Katie’s aunt was perhaps the scariest person to ever appear on The Bachelorette and it was hard not to feel that her main concern was just making sure that Katie would forever be as miserable as everyone else in the family. Katie and Blake got engaged in the desert, in a ceremony that was so pretentious that …. well, Katie and Blake are both fairly pretentious so I guess it was appropriate.
I watched the episodes with my girls, Evelyn, Emma, and Amy, and a bottle of wine. Between the four of us, a lot of snarky and unrepeatable comments were made towards the television on Monday night. That’s really the only right way to watch the finale of any season of the Bachelorette. Admittedly, I’m not much of a drinker, which is another way of saying that a little Chardonnay puts me flat on my ass. Evelyn says that I was drunk before I finished my first glass. Personally, I think it was probably more like two glasses. The point is that this messy show is the only thing that ever drives me to drink.
As we watched Katie scream at Greg at the reunion show, we all agreed that Katie is still in love with him and that she only got engaged to Blake as a sort of rebound revenge thing. It was interesting to watch Katie literally transform into the villain of her season before our eyes. If Blake and Katie break up (which they will), will Blake appear on a fourth season of the Bachelorette? I guess we’ll find out. Have they broken up already? I don’t know, I was dealing with a sip of Chardonnay
Bar Rescue (Sunday, Paramount TV)
I watched an episode of this on Sunday morning, while I was trying to work up the strength to get out of bed and start my day. Actually, since I wasn’t wearing my contacts or my glasses, I didn’t so much watch it as I listened to it while squinting. Taffer was yelling at some blurry guy who I guess owned a fetish bar of some sort.
Big Brother (All the time, CBS and Paramount Plus)
Yep, I’m still watching this and writing about it over at the Big Brother Blog.
Court Cam (Wednesday Day, A&E)
I only had this show on for background noise while Windows was doing an update. At this point, it seems like they’ve repeated every episode of Court Cam at least a hundred times. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Amber Guyger received a hug from Botham Jean’s brother before going to prison.
Fantasy Island (Tuesday Night, FOX)
Fox’s Fantasy Island reboot premiered this week and the first episode was stylish but also a bit predictable and, dare I say it, a little dull. Roselyn Sanchez seems like a good choice to play the proprietor of Fantasy Island but it’s already easy to see that the show, much like last year’s attempt to turn Fantasy Island into a film franchise, is probably going to get bogged down in its own mythology.
Fasten Your Seat Belts (Wednesdays, A&E)
Originally, I was pretty skeptical of this show, which is made up footage of people acting either silly or crazy at airports and on airplanes. But the two episodes that I watched on Wednesday morning were actually kind of cute. It helps that Robert Hays is a very charming host.
Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)
I watched an episode on Monday. Chandler and Monica returned from their honeymoon, convinced they had made new friends, just to discover that they had been given fake numbers. (Chandler was particularly shocked as all he did during the entire honeymoon was “joke and joke and joke!”) That was just the B-plot, though. The main plot was Ross and Rachel again trying to figure out who was responsible for their latest tryst. It was a cute episode, featuring Joey’s “western Europe” story.
I watched another episode on Thursday, this one featuring Monica obsessing on whether or not the maid had stolen her clothes. Needless to say, both she and Chandler went a bit overboard in their investigation and they were soon left without a maid. The debate over whether or not the maid had stolen Monica’s pink bra — which Monica later discovered that she was actually wearing at the time — was one that I could relate to, as Erin and I have had similar debates and oddly, many of them have centered on a pink bra. It’s a cute bra and I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who bought it. My sister disagrees.
Hell’s Kitchen (Monday Night, FOX)
After taking two weeks off for the Olympics, Hell’s Kitchen returned this week with an episode in which Hell’s Kitchen hosted a charity dinner. Needless to say, it was a disaster and Victoria’s dream of being head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak came to an end. Why does Chef Ramsay always agree to allow charities to hold events at the restaurant? It’s always a disaster.
Kids Behind Bars: Life or Parole (Tuesday Night, A&E)
As the result of a Supreme Court decision, prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment when they were juveniles are being given new sentences and, of course, A&E is there to record every dramatic and heart-wrenching moment. It all feels a bit exploitive, of course. I watched two episodes, both of which were painfully heavy-handed as far as who the cameras focused on and on whose pain was considered to be more important, the victim or the victimizer. A&E undoubtedly gets good ratings from shows like this but they still leave you feeling icky after the finish.
Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court (Weekday Morning, Channel 33)
I watched two episodes on Tuesday morning. The first episode was memorable because there were two possible fathers and both of them looked exactly like Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman. The second episode featured a married couple that was being driven apart by accusations of infidelity. No one drags out reading DNA test results like Judge Lake.
Lonesome Dove (Wednesday Night, DVD)
I’ve been watching this classic 1990 miniseries with the #WestWed live tweet group, hosted by Matthew Titus. I watched the first two episodes this week. It’s the story of a cattle drive during the dying days of the old west, featuring great performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Diane Lane, Chris Cooper, Fredric Forrest, and especially Robert Duvall. Even Steve Buscemi showed up during the second episode!
Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)
There’s a chance that Moone Boy might be leaving PBS’s schedule next week. If so, this week’s episode was a good one to go out on. When Liam and Debra go on a anniversary vacation to the beach, Martin and Padriac head down to Dublin (“where the streets all have names,” we’re told) to stay with Martin’s uncle. When we last Uncle Danny, he was pretending to be a roadie with U2. However, in this episode, Danny is honest about his profession as an encyclopedia salesman. Through a series of events too complicated to explain in a capsule review, Martin and Padriac spend the week selling encyclopedias while Liam is tempted by an ex-girlfriend who happens to be at the same resort as he and Debra. It was funny, sweet, and just silly enough to be effective.
Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)
Arkwright got a dog to protect the shop while Granville feared that he might be the father of Maureen’s baby. Silly, Granville! You have to have sex with someone to get them pregnant and that’s definitely something Granville’s never done.
Seinfield (Weeknights, CBS)
I watched two episodes on Sunday. I relate so much to Elaine Benes. During the first episode, she went hoarse after spending all night yelling at a barking dog. (Like I said, I can relate.) During the second episode, she worked with a potentially psychotic co-workers and still managed to put out the latest edition of the J. Peterman catalogue on schedule.
I then watched two episodes on Thursday. The first featured one of my favorite Seinfeld characters, Bob Cobb. Bob is better known as the Maestro. The Maestro told Jerry that there were no houses for rent in Tuscany, which of course led to Jerry and Kramer going to Tuscany just to spite him. The second episode featured Jerry and Kramer switching apartments due to the red neon sign of a new chicken restaurant. I laughed.
S.W.A.T. (Wednesday Night, CBS)
When this show suddenly came on my television on Wednesday night, I was shocked to discover that it still existed (because, seriously, I figured it had been canceled after one season) and that Shemar Moore is still the most boring man on television. I would be lying if I said I actually paid attention to the episode, of course. I had it on for background noise. I imagine that’s the way many people use this particular show.
Tokyo Olympics Closing Ceremonies (Sunday Night, NBC)
Remember how, last week, I said I was okay with the idea of the United States not winning the most gold medals? Well, I may have been fooling myself because, when I found out the U.S. had defeated China in the gold medal race on Sunday afternoon, I was incredibly happy and excited! Congratulations, Team USA! (Especially those of you who went to the Olympics to try to win, as opposed to just trying to promote your brand or your politics….)
Though I missed a lot of the 2nd week of the Olympics, I did catch the Closing Ceremonies and I found them to be very moving. This year, more than any other, the International Games truly meant something. Congratulations to everyone who competed (but especially to the ones who won)!
Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)
PBS is apparently intent on breaking my heart as it appears that this is the last episode of Upstart Crow that they’re going to broadcast for a while. Of course, it was also the last episode of the show’s third series. It was followed by two Christmas episodes but, unfortunately, those episodes don’t appear to be in the show’s American syndication package. Hopefully, I’m wrong and this will be corrected but, right now, PBS doesn’t have the show on its schedule for next week. Of course, PBS doesn’t have any of their other regular British sitcoms scheduled for next week, either. So, we’ll wait and see, I guess.
This week’s episode — wow, where to even start? It started out as a typical episode of Upstart Crow, with Shakespeare blowing off the confirmation of his son, Hamnet, so that he could attend the first annual London Theatrical Awards. Shakespeare confidently expected to win because, due to the Plague, his plays were the only ones running. However, Robert Greene produced a one-night only showing of one of his plays and then paid off the voters so that he swept the awards. The highlight of the ceremony was not Shakespeare winning (for he won nothing) but instead a tribute to the “late” Kit Marlowe (Kit, who faked his death, attended but told everyone that his name was Kurt) and the caustic hosting of Will Kempe. It was all very funny, especially if you’re into awards shows.
Empty-handed, Will returned home to Stratford, where he discovered his family in mourning as Hamnet has died, of the Plague, the night before. Though the agnostic Will did not believe that he would be reunited with his son in Heaven, he pretended that he did to comfort his wife, Anne. It was a powerfully handled scene, wonderfully written and performed by the entire cast. It ended the show on a melancholy note but also a historically accurate one. Hamnet Shakespeare did die at a young age, presumably of the Plague. The episode’s final scene of Will and Anne sitting silently in their room was sad but also somewhat comforting. In mourning, they had each other.