Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 8/8/21 — 8/14/21


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.

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.