Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/25/22 — 10/1/22


Not only did I spend this week preparing for Horrorthon, I also ended up watching quite a bit of television.  Here’s some thoughts on what I watched.

Abbott Elementary (Wednesday Night, ABC)

This week, Janine tried to get Abbott a computer and Ava got to host a Shark Tank-style competition.  Ava is such a great character.  This episode may not have matched the premiere but it was still pretty funny and a good example of how Abbott Elementary is able to deal with the realities of public education without losing sight of the comedy.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

This week’s episode of Atlanta took a break from the surreal with a straight-forward but very funny episode about Earn and Al’s family.  Earn’s mother “kidnapped” Grandpa while Earn’s father made the mistake of buying a hat and allowing himself to get delayed in the mall.  While Aunt Jeanine called the police and demanded that her sister by criminally charged, Earn and Al looked for a way to escape the studio.  It was funny and enjoyably cringey.  Give Isiah Whitlock, Jr. an Emmy.

Bachelor in Paradise (Monday Night, ABC)

It’s a new season of Bachelor in Paradise!  All of the people who couldn’t find love on the main show get to hang out on the beach.  Bachelor in Paradise is actually more fun than The Bachelor because it’s honest about being a totally and completely shallow production.  Nobody is there for the right reasons and it’s great.

Apparently, Jesse Palmer is going to be the host for the entire season so I guess last season’s rotating host gimmick has been retired.  That’s probably for the best.  I actually like Jesse as the overall franchise host.  He doesn’t bring a lot of extra drama with him like Tayshia and Kaitlyn did and he seems to understand that his job isn’t exactly the same as being a brain surgeon.

That said …. where’s Meatball!?

Big Brother (Sunday Night, CBS)

Big Brother 24 finally came to a close on Sunday night.  Taylor Hale not only won the game but she also won America’s Favorite Player.  Considering the way that Taylor was bullied by the other houseguests at the start of the season, her victory was popular with the show’s fans.  Personally, I think both Monte and Turner played a better game but knowing that Taylor’s victory upset some of the worst people to ever appear on the show was still a satisfying feeling.  Knowing that Ameerah, Nicole, and Daniel were probably upset made the past few months worth it.

I wrote about this season over at the Big Brother Blog.

Bubblegum Crisis (NightFlight+)

80s cyberpunk!  Man vs machine!  The Sabre Knights vs a pack of robots known as the Boomers!  The main character, Priss, is also a rock star!  I had no idea what was going on when I watched this show early on Saturday morning but the animation was interesting to look at and Priss was undeniably cool.

CHiPs (Weekday Afternoons, Get TV)

I watched one episode of this old motorcycle cop show on Tuesday.  The cops kept the peace at an anti-nuke rally and Erik Estrada provided counseling to a child who was being abused by his parents.  I can’t say that I really paid that much attention.  I did like the bass-heavy theme song however.

Concentration (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)

This was an old gameshow from the 70s and the 80s.  I watched an episode on Friday while I was doing some work around the office.  The most interesting thing about it was that it was hosted by Alex Trebyk, who came across as being far more relaxed and casual about things than when he hosted Jeopardy.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Uncle Joey (you know, the one with the mullet) tried to teach Michelle how to ride a bike but he wasn’t very good at it and Michelle was humiliated when she fell off her bike at the park.  At first, Michelle blamed Joey but eventually she got over it.  What a brat.

This was followed by an episode in which poor DJ (who, really, deserves to nominated for sainthood for putting up with her family) has to take her two obnoxious sisters with her on a date.  Everyone learned an important lesson about sneaking into the movie and lying.  Don’t do either of them but, if you do sneak into the movie, don’t get caught.

Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)

The second season premiere of Ghosts was as charming as ever, with the ghosts spying on the B&B’s first guests and Jay discovering that, despite his near death experience, he still cannot see the ghosts.  I felt bad for Sam, as most of the stuff that the guests complained about when it came to her was the same stuff that people tend to complain about when it comes to me.  I cheered a little when she stood up to them.  The whole “Our yelp account was hacked!” ending was perfect.

Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night, FOX)

Hell’s Kitchen is back!  This season is going to be 40-something chefs vs 20-something chef.  To be honest, the gimmick doesn’t matter.  I’m just looking forward to Chef Ramsay yelling at people and losing his temper at the potentially lethal incompetence around him.  Who will be the first to try to send out raw chicken?  Sadly, the premiere episode did not feature a dinner service but, according to the previews, it’s coming up next week!

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

Last week’s Law & Order was pretty good.  This week, sadly, was one of those middling, lefty political episodes that the franchise often does in an attempt to remain in the good graces of those who would otherwise dismiss the whole thing as being copaganda.  It’s always funny to me how the Law & Order franchise is full of blue collar, Catholic cops who sound like they spend all of their time watching Joy Reid and Chris Hayes as soon as their shift is over.

On last night’s Law & Order, the victim was the daughter of the governor of Texas so, of course, we got this whole big thing about how the governor is always criticizing New York City as being crime-ridden.  “Why does the governor of Texas care about New York?” one of the detectives demanded and that’s when I started to tune this episode out.  One could just as legitimately ask why people in California and New York always feel the need to comment on what’s happening in Texas.  Law & Order always errs on the side of going overboard when it attempts to deal with politics.  This was especially true this week, as Law & Order waded into the abortion debate and came up with an ending that was both so heavy-handed and so predictable that I felt embarrassed for the show’s writers.

Law & Order: Organized Crime (Thursday Night, NBC)

With the start of a new season, Stabler got a new partner and a new crooked family to investigate.  From what I’ve seen, Organized Crime is the least interesting of the Law & Order shows and often feels more like it should be a part of NCIS franchise than Law & Order.  It was difficult for me to watch because Stabler really does seem like he’s going to give himself a heart attack if he doesn’t figure out a way to relax.

Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

This week’s episode of SVU opened with an extremely disturbing scene in which a teenage girl was gang-raped on a subway while, just a few feet away, the rest of her family was hacked to death with machetes.  This scene reminded me of why I don’t regularly watch this show.  It’s undeniably well-acted and usually well-written, except for when it tries to be overly political.  But Good Lord, are the cases ever disturbing!

Mike (Hulu)

I wrote about Hulu’s disappointing Mike Tyson miniseries here.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount Plus)

Inspired by a holy nacho chip, Beavis went on a spiritual journey and learned nothing.  This was a unique episode in that it told one story instead of the usual two.  It’s become obvious that Beavis, with his odd moments of clarity and his desire to actually be something more than just a sidekick, is a far more compelling character than Butt-Head.

Monarch (Tuesday Night, FOX)

This show gets sillier and sillier with each episode but it’s kind of worth it for the scenes of Trace Adkins glowering in the shadows while holding a gun.  I don’t really care much about which Roman daughter is crowned the next queen of country music but I definitely do what to know who Trace has been burying for the past three episodes.

Night Flight (NightFlight+)

From the 80s, it was a look at women in rock, from Janis Joplin and Grace Slick to Stevie Nicks.  I watched on Friday night.  The music was good.

Password (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)

I watched two episodes of this old game show on Tuesday.  Apparently, the aim was to try to guess a word and win money.  The episodes I saw were from the mid-70s and the most interesting thing about them was how cheap and run-down the show’s set looked.  One got the feeling that the whole studio probably reeked of cigarettes and spilled beer.

Saving Grace (Weekday Nights, Start TV)

On this show, which apparently ran for three seasons, Holly Hunter played an Oklahoma detective who, after she accidentally ran over a pedestrian after a night of drinking, was told by a fallen angel named Earl that she was going to go to Hell unless she changed her ways.  So, apparently, the rest of the show was about Grace solving crimes and talking to Earl.  How have I never heard of this show before?  It aired from 2007 to 2010 and Hunter was even nominated for two Emmy awards for playing Grace.

Anyway, the episode that I watched on Wednesday night featured Grace trying to solve a murder while another angel (F. Murray Abraham) tried to convince her to abandon Earl and work with him.  It was odd but Holly Hunter is always good and the show took place in Oklahoma so, as someone who spent some time in Oklahoma while she was growing up, I felt like I could relate to most of the characters.

Super Password (Weekday Afternoons, BUZZR)

I watched two episodes of this show on Tuesday.  It was just like Password, except the set looked cleaner.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/18/22 — 9/24/22


A lot of shows returned this week.  Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched:

Abbott Elementary (ABC, Wednesday Night)

“What the Hell, Gritty!?”  I swear, I have been laughing at that line for days now.

Abbott Elementary started its second season this week, with a great episode that found Janine adjusting to being single, Gregory becoming a full-time teacher, Barbara, Melissa, and Jacob going out of their way to help their students, and Ava acting like Ava.  Though the whole mockumentary format isn’t as innovative as it was during the early days of The Office (and, even then, it wasn’t really that innovative), Abbott Elementary has a lot of heart and it’s frequently hilarious as well.

By the way, I don’t get Gritty either.  What the Hell is that thing?

The Amazing Race (CBS, Wednesday Night)

Yay!  The Amazing Race is back!  I wrote about the first episode of the new season here!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Realizing that he was only a few steps away from being cast as Ice Cube’s best friend in the latest Are We There Yet? sequel, Al got himself a Young White Avatar, a white rapper with whom he could collaborate behind the scenes.  Unfortunately, Yodel Kid died of a drug overdose before the Grammys but his debut rap album, Born 2 Die, still won the award.  Meanwhile, not wanting to work on rehabilitating the reputation of the author of I Was Wrong, Earn tried to track down D’Angelo and spent several days sitting in a cell as a result.  It all makes sense if you watch the episode.

Yodel Kid and Benny, the show’s YWAs, were both obnoxiously believable.  Benny, especially, was a Twitter trend waiting to happen.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

The cringiest season yet came to an end.  Rachel got engaged to Tino and Tino promptly cheated on her.  This led to Rachel apparently fleeing the studio with Aven.  Gabby, meanwhile, got engaged to Erich, who then explained that, while he did just go on the show for business purposes, he also totally fell in love with Gabby.  So, I’m sure that engagement will be a successful one.

Seriously, it’s kind of sad that the whole raison d’etre for this season was to make up for Gabby and Rachel having to deal with Clayton’s foolishness during The Bachelor but Gabby and Rachel still basically ended up even more emotionally traumatized than they were before.  This whole season was just icky.  I liked this franchise better when it wasn’t so eager to show everyone that it’s in on the joke.

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

This season is nearly over.  Yay!  All of the show’s major villains have been voted out of the House and guess what?  It’s all really boring now.  I’ve been writing about the show over at Big Brother Blog.

Cobra Kai (Netflix)

I finally watched the latest season of Cobra Kai on Netflix and, of course, I loved it.  Terry Silver was a wonderful villain and the season continued to do a great job of balancing comedy and melodrama.  Johnny discovering the gig economy was a classic moment.  Give William Zabka all the Emmys.  This really is an example of a show that should not work but it does.  As opposed to The Bachelorette, it’s self-aware without being smarmy about it.

Dynaman (Nightflight+)

I watched the second episode of this Japanese action series on Friday.  Go Dynapink!

Full House (Sunday Night, MeTV)

Becky and Jesse brought the twins back home from the hospital and Jesse promptly forgot which was which.  Dumbass.

This was followed by an episode where Danny was named the most eligible bachelor in San Francisco.  Technically, he’s the most eligible widower and he’s got three daughters who will never accept anyone unlucky enough to become their stepmom.  Run!

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

I watched an episode of Inspector Lewis on Wednesday.  Though retired and in love with Dr. Hobson, Lewis still couldn’t resist helping Hathaway solve another case.  It was a sweet episode, due to Lewis and Hathaway’s friendship.  Still, Hathaway was sporting a new hairstyle in this episode and I was not a fan.

Law& Order, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

All three of the Law & Order shows returned this Thursday with an epic crossover event.  A brutal murder led to an investigation into human trafficking which led to a terrorist bombing which led to a Russian businessman getting gunned down in the streets of New York, apparently on orders of Putin himself.

It was, perhaps, a bit much.  Law & Order always goes for the big targets when, sometimes, it might be nice to see the shows return to dealing with everyday crimes and less international concerns.  That said, the show handled the crossovers well and it was interesting to watch all of the detectives working together on one case.  Anthony Anderson has left the franchise so a good deal of time was spent introducing us to Cosgrove’s new partner, Detective Jalen Shaw (Mehcad Brooks).  Jeffrey Donavon and Mehcad Brooks worked well together.  Certainly, they had a better partnership chemistry than Anderson and Donavon did.  (Anderson’s a good actor but he seemed bored during the previous season of Law & Order.)  Donavon’s closing monologue was well-done, even if the ultimate suggestion seemed to be that everyone should just move to Toronto.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+)

No, Beavis, the girl with the blue hair likes you!

This was a funny episode and I was kind of happy that old Beavis and Butt-Head didn’t make an appearance.  (They’re funny characters but kind of depressing to think about.)  I wish Beavis could escape from Butt-Head’s influence.  I cringed with Beavis broke his arm.  How are these two still alive?

Monarch (Tuesday Night, Fox)

Well, I guess they really did kill off Susan Sarandon’s character.  Tuesday’s episode dealt with her funeral.  To be honest, I get the feeling this show is going to run out of gas in another few episodes, just because it’s trying a bit too hard to be a campy, guilty pleasure.  Still, the second episode had its share of entertainingly weird moments.  The Susan Sarandon hologram was brilliant.  Also, every episode needs to have at least one scene of Trace Adkins shooting a rifle in the air and yelling, “THAT’S ENOUGH!”

Night Flight (Nightflight+)

On Friday, I watched one episode about 80s comedy and one episode about “the pretty boys of rock.”  It was an interesting history lesson.

Survivor

Yay!  Survivor’s back!  I wrote about the first episode here!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 8/21/22 — 8/27/22


Again, this week was mostly about getting ready for October.  Here’s a few thoughts on what I did watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Once again, Rene was mistaken for dead.  He even attended his own funeral, while disguised as Officer Crabtree.  Crabtree, of course, retired to Madame Fanny’s old bedroom, which led to all sorts of chaos when Fanny showed up.  It was, needless to say, a crazy time in Nouvion.

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

Hometown dates!  Who cares?  Meatball’s not on the show anymore.  Gabby appears to be heading for another heartbreak while Rachel just can’t catch a break.  First, hardly any of the men wanted to date her.  Then, Tino’s family decided that they all hated her.  This is a messy season and it’s hard not to feel that it’s not going to end well for either one of the Bachelorettes.  Next week’s Men Tell All should be interesting and hopefully, Meatball will make a case for why he should be be the next Bachelor.

Big Brother (Everyday, CBS and Paramount+)

I’ve been writing about this season over at the Big Brother Blog! This season was going well until production came up with one of the worst twists in the history of the show.  Jasmine and Joseph are both gone.  Jasmine lost her fake limp and her fake accent when she was evicted.  For all the excitement over the Leftovers building a strong and positive alliance, it now appears that the show could very well be won by yet another unlikable showmance.  Do these words make sense to anyone who doesn’t watch Big Brother?

The Challenge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

Bye, Leo.  I’m still predicting a Tyson victory.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

The first of Sunday’s episodes found DJ requesting that she finally be given a room of her own, which was a totally justifiable request considering how much older she was than her sisters and that Michelle, for some reason, had an entire room to herself while DJ was expected to share with Stephanie.  While DJ prepared to move and Stephanie dealt with feeling rejected, Becky and Jesse went to childbirth class, which was being held in the living room for some reason.  Becky got mad at Jesse because Jesse was being insensitive and talking about Elvis.  I assume they resolved the issue.  The second episode featured Danny freaking out because DJ was growing up and getting interested in boys and asking him to respect her privacy.  They worked it out.

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

On the episode that I watched on Tuesday, David Soul played the murder victim.  Hathaway solved the mystery while Lewis dealt with a toothache.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Hulu)

On Wednesday, I watched “Conscience,” an episode from season 6 of NBC’s long-running legal show.  Kyle MacLachlan gave an intense performance as a man on trial for shooting and killing the 13 year-old who had previously murdered his son.  It was a good episode, thought-provoking and well-written.  It was an example of what the Law & Order franchise used to be like.

On Saturday, I watched a second episode from season 6.  In “Doubt,” Benson and Stabler found themselves dealing with a case in which a woman accused her teacher of raping her.  The teacher insisted it was consensual rough sex.  The episode ended before the verdict was read, leaving it to the audience to try to decide who was telling the truth.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+)

This week’s episode started with Butt-Head getting prescribed a new, grape-flavored medication that caused him to become so nice that Beavis freaked out.  Perhaps the funniest part of this segment was Butt-Head asking Mr. Van Driessen to lunch and then listening attentively while Van Driessen talk about the teacher’s union.  The second part of the episode featured the return of Smart Beavis and Smart Butt-Head, who provided us with a look at a universe where Beavis and Butt-Head were middle-aged.  Butt-Head was obese and could barely walk.  Beavis was an alcoholic with broken teeth.  It was realistic and kind of depressing.  However, it’s always nice to Smart Beavis and Smart Butt-Head.  “Very droll, yes.”

Night Flight (NightFlight+)

This was apparently an old 80s TV show that used to run on the USA network and which took a look at entertainment news.  I watched two episodes on Friday, largely as historical research.  The first episode dealt with the 1986 Academy Awards and featured a lot clips from the nominees.  The second episode was from 1984 and it dealt with music videos that had been deemed too violent to be aired on MTV.  The second episode was fun because it claimed to be a serious look at music video violence but instead, that was just an excuse to show the videos.  Cecil B. DeMille would be proud.

The Office (Weekday Nights, FaveTV)

I discovered two things this week.  Number one, I discovered that there’s a station called FaveTV.  Number two, I discovered that they air The Office late at night and early in the morning.  I watched two episodes on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  The first featured Michael and Dwight hanging out with Ryan in New York City.  Ryan attempted to talk to them about his drug use.  Michael started talking about how he couldn’t understand The Wire.  Dwight sang an Amish lullaby.  The second was the classic episode in which Stanley demanded to know, “Did I stutter!?”  This is one of my favorite episodes, both because of the final conversation between Stanley and Michael and for the B-plot of Pam forgetting her contacts.  I could relate.  Even though I can watch these episodes anytime I want on Peacock and I own the entire series on DVD, it was still kind of fun to watch it on an ordinary channel.  It made me feel nostalgic for the day before instant gratification.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright continued to cheat his customers while Granville wondered if there was anything more to life beyond being an indentured servant.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 2/27/22 — 3/5/22


Yes, I watched a lot this week.  Here’s some thoughts:

Allo Allo (Monday Morning, PBS)

Rene attempted to abandon his wife and his café so that he could elope with Yvette but Michelle had one “last” mission for him.  It involved smuggling the Enigma machine to the British via the sewer system and, needless to say, it involved a lot of digging.  It made me laugh, that’s what is important.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

You can read my thoughts on the finale here!  I wasn’t particularly happy about who won but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

I am as stunned as anyone by the fact that American Idol still exists.  I stopped caring about the show a lifetime ago but I still watched the premiere of the latest season on Sunday because I was cleaning around the house and I thought it would make for acceptable background nose.  I love Katy Perry but the rest of the judges are pretty dull.  No one’s willing to be as mean as Simon Cowell was back in the day.  The whole thing is just too damn positive.

The Bachelor (Monday Night, ABC)

I haven’t really been keeping up with this season but I did watch Monday’s episode, just to see if the Claytonbot had developed any sort of individual personality over the past few weeks.  He has not but apparently, everyone can still see themselves falling in love with him and spending the rest of their life with him.

Bar Rescue (Friday Morning, Paramount)

It had been a while since I watched Bar Rescue so I watched the Friday morning bloc of reruns.  I guess, due to the fact that I don’t drink, I always find it amusing how worked up everyone on the show gets over the mismanaged bars.  Whenever Taffer starts to yell about a bartender not knowing how to make a certain cocktail, I’m always like, “Well, can’t you just order something else?”

Couples Court With The Cutlers (Sunday Afternoon, OWN TV)

I had forgotten this show existed but when I stumbled across it on Sunday, I have to admit that I immediately got sucked into the case of Bacon vs. Bacon and the question of whether or not Mrs. Bacon was cheating on Mr. Bacon.  They even brought in a cybersecurity expert to go through Mrs. Bacon’s phone and it was discovered that she was using an app to send out secret text messages!  Mrs. Bacon claimed she was talking to other men but not actually cheating with them.  However, “licensed polygraph examiner Kendall Shull,” (as he’s called in every single episode) determined that she was cheating.  Mr. Bacon walked out on her husband while the audience gasped.  Poor Mr. Bacon!  I later looked this episode up on the imdb and I discovered that it was 5 years old so I can only imagine how the Bacons feel whenever they come across it playing on TV.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

To be honest, I thought this show had been canceled but, on Wednesday, I discovered that it still exists and it’s going strong.  Featuring actual court footage and breathlessly narrated by Dan Abrams, Court Cam is the equivalent of true crime junk food.  I watched about four episodes.  Judges yelled.  Defendants yelled.  The bailiffs were ready to spring into action.  The lawyers were usually smart enough to stay out of the way.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I wrote about the latest Hulu miniseries here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Uncle Jesse was upset that he wasn’t getting to spend as much time with his cool friends as he wanted to because he was always spending all of his time taking care of Danny’s children.  So, Jesse went skiing with his old friends but they all turned out to be just as dorky as Joey and Danny so I kind of think Jesse was fooling himself as far as the old gang was concerned.  Jesse’s life didn’t get any better in the episode that followed, as he was forced to take a job as an Elvis impersonator to pay the bills.  Poor Jesse!  At least he had adequate hair.

Inventing Anna (Netflix)

I watched episodes 3, 4, and 5 of Inventing Anna early Monday morning.  They didn’t do too much for me, largely because Vivian isn’t a very interesting character and every minute that we have to spend listening to her whine about her career is a minute that we’d rather be spending with Anna and her wealthy friends.  This show makes a lot more sense once you know that the journalist upon whom Vivian Kent is based is also one of the producers.  She made the mistake of thinking she was the star of the story.

King of the Hill (Hulu and FXX)

On Sunday morning, I watched three episodes of King of the Hill on Hulu.  The first featured the possibility of Bobby being a reincarnated holy man.  The second found Peggy getting involved with a pyramid scheme.  (“No, it’s a triangle.”)  And the third featured Hank getting a haircut from Bill and then demanding that the Army charge him for it.  It turns out that it costs $900 for the army to give a man a haircut.

I watched two episodes of FXX on Wednesday.  One episode featured Hank becoming the substitute shop teacher and teaching the kids how to fix things.  Unfortunately, he had the kids bring tools from home and that got him fired.  I love this episode, largely because of the wonderful voice over work of the late Dennis Burkley, who played Principal Moss.  This was followed by Aisle 8A, in which Connie spent a memorable few days with the Hills and Hank had to find the courage to take a trip down Aisle 8A.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

I watched the latest episode of Law & Order to see if McCoy had gotten around to firing his ludicrously idealistic Executive D.A. yet.  He had not.

This week’s episode was based on the relationship of Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny Balwani so it was interesting to watch it after having binged the first three episodes of The Dropout.  It was an okay episode, even if it still sometimes seemed to be trying a bit too hard.  The Law & Order revival needs to calm down a little and give the new characters (and the actors playing them) a chance to define who they are.

I kept hoping the ghost of Adam Schiff would materialize and rasp, “Take the deal….”

Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

What if Joe Rogan confessed to a decades-old murder!?  Well, I guess you’d have to send someone in undercover to catch him.  This was not one of SVU‘s better episodes.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

On Sunday’s cruise, Kim Richards played a 13 year-old who, after putting on a good deal of makeup and taking off her glasses, could pass for a 22 year-old.  Fortunately, Gopher found out the truth about her age before committing a crime.  Meanwhile, Eve Plumb learned to forgive the man who she thought was her father for walking out on the family 20 years earlier.  Yay!  Quite a cruise.

Open All Hours (Monday Morning, PBS)

A woman wished Granville a happy birthday so Arkwright pushed Granville off of a step ladder.  This is something that appeared to happen fairly frequently with Granville.  He was always getting shoved off something.  Poor guy.

Pam and Tommy (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of Pam & Tommy here.  Unfortunately, the character of Rand Gauthier has returned.  I’m glad this show is almost over.

The SAG Awards (Sunday Night, TNT)

I caught the second airing of the awards.  It was nice to see CODA win the award for Best Ensemble.  I loved Marlee Matlin’s speech.

Secrets of Playboy (Monday Night, A&E)

This A&E docuseries is all about exposing Hugh Hefner as being kind of a creep.  The episodes that I saw on Monday certainly accomplished that goal.  It’s kind of amazing that, for years, Hefner was able to get away with presenting himself as being some sort of benevolent father figure when basically, he was just a jerk with a mansion and smoking jacket.

Silk Stalkings (IMDB TV)

On Wednesday, I returned to binging Silk Stalkings.  I started with the 35th episode of the series, which was called Dead Weight and featured Chris and Rita investigating the murder of a businessman who was played by John O’Hurley.  I was pretty sure that I had seen this episode before but no matter.  It was fun and trashy and O’Hurley played his brief role like a soap opera villain come to life.  The 36th episode was called Kid Stuff and it told the story of a 17 year-old prostitute who shot her older lover’s wife.  The older man was a doctor who was played by the great Andrew Stevens.  Even by the standards of Silk Stalkings, this was a sordid episode but that’s one of the fun things about Silk Stalkings.  It may have been shameless but it also clearly wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.  Later, that night, I watched the 37th episode, in which Chris and Rita investigated a shooting that was connected to a couple’s kinky sex game.  That said, Chris was more concerned that Rita might accept a job offer and move to San Diego.  Awwwww!  No need to worry, Chris!  Rita would never leave you!

Thursday, I watched Episode #38.  After a murder turned out to be connected to a shady modeling company (which was actually a front for a trafficking scheme), Chris and Rita went undercover!  Chris pretended to be a mobster!  Rita pretended to be a model!  Any episode in which Chris and Rita go undercover is guaranteed to be a gem, especially if it requires Chris to wear a red suit and talk tough.  This was followed by an episode in which Chris and Rita investigated a death at a birthday party and Rita dealt with some issues from her traumatic childhood.  It was actually a pretty effective episode.  As silly as the mysteries on the show were, both Mitzi Kapture and Rob Estes were good actors who managed to find a sort of emotional reality amongst all the neon and lingerie.

Finally, on Friday, I watched Episode #40, “Soul Kiss.”  Chris and Rita investigated what appeared to be a suicide but what was actually a murder that was connected to a tantric sex seminar.  Rita was intrigued but Chris thought it was silly to suggest that he needed a seminar to learn anything new.  Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture both kind of laughed their way through this episode.

Snowpiercer (Sunday Night, TNT)

I watched Snowpiercer while waiting for the second showing of the SAG Awards to begin.  Visually, it’s an impressive show and there’s a lot of actors in the cast who I like.  And I also liked the movie upon which the show is based.  That said, I don’t have the slightest idea what was going on in the majority of the episode.

South Park (Wednesday Night, Comedy Central)

This week, South Park not only took on Russian aggression but it also took a look at the way adults specialize in scaring and emotionally traumatizing children “for their own good.”  As usually happens in a time of crisis, South Park was the only show to come across as being the least bit sensible.  The new episode was followed by the “Zipline” episode from 2012.  That episode was only ten years old but seemed to come from a totally different universe.

The State of the Union (Hulu)

I skipped the State of the Union address on Tuesday and I wasn’t planning on watching it at all but then I heard from several people about how weird it was so I decided to give it a watch.  And yes, it was very, very weird.  All of our leaders are very, very weird and there’s no point in pretending otherwise.  What’s the deal with Biden’s creepy whispering thing?  Can no one tell him not to do that?  For that matter, most of the members of Congress appear to be deeply weird as well.  As much as we Americans love watching British and Canadian lawmakers heckle their prime ministers, we’re still not used to the idea of people in Congress doing it to the president.  At times, I felt like I was watching a sci-fi film in which society had moved underground.

My main impression is that this country is led by a group of very old people.  Maybe we should try electing some younger people the next time we have the opportunity.  Just a thought.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Just like last week, Talking Dead did not feature a studio audience and, as a result, it fell somewhat flat.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I like the Commonwealth.  Their Halloween looked fun and I don’t really care about the income inequality.  The world’s ending.  Let people enjoy themselves, Carol.  I reviewed the latest episode of The Walking Dead here.

Worst Roommate Ever (Netflix)

Netflx’s latest true crime series tells the story of four terrible roommates.  Three of them turned out to be murderers.  The other one attempted to kill two people that we know about and the fact that both of them survived is something of a miracle.  I binged this frequently fascinating but often disturbing series on Tuesday morning, before Erin and I left to the vote in the Texas primaries.  The fact that this series is only five episodes long and doesn’t resort to dragging out any of the stories that it tells should really serve as a lesson for some other showrunners out there.  That said, I also have to say that the final two episodes, which dealt with the nightmarish crimes of Jamison Branch, left me feeling deeply unsettled and there’s a part of me that wishes that I hadn’t watched them.

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


Another busy week so, once again, I’m running behind on watching some things that I really want to watch. Hopefully, I’ll get caught up with shows like The Walking Dead, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and The Serpent during this upcoming week!

American Justice (CIN, Monday Morning)

I watched two episodes of this old true crime series on the Crime and Investigation Network. One episode was about teacher Pamela Smart convincing her students to murder her husband. The other was about a crazed Texas deputy who murdered a woman with whom he was obsessed. The most memorable thing about the episodes was the very precise and dramatic narration of Bill Kurtis. Kurtis sounded like a such a stereotypical anchorman that he became oddly fascinating to listen to. Discovering that there were journalists who actually sounded like a comedian doing an imitation of a journalist felt a bit like stumbling across Bigfoot after watching a movie about the Abominable Snowman.

America’s Most Wanted (Fox, Monday night)

The revival of America’s Most Wanted is entertaining in its tabloid-like way and it might even lead to the capture of some bad people. That said, it’s hard for me not to worry about the idea of the show eventually being used to track down people who have criticized the government or who have been accused of thought crimes. As dramatic as that might sound, that is the way our culture seems to be heading.

Until then, though, I really hope that this week’s episode leads to the capture of grotesque bodybuilder Raymond McLeod, who apparently murdered his girlfriend five years ago.

Baywatch (H&I, weekday evenings)

On Sunday’s episode, Billy Warlock got hit on the head and ended up fantasizing that he was starring in an episode of Gilligan’s Island. That was seriously the entire episode and you know what? It was actually kind of cute. It was an episode in which Baywatch acknowledged that it was silly show and not meant to be taken seriously. It fit into my thesis that Baywatch was meant to be a satirical. Of course, that episode was immediately followed by an episode in which David Hasselhoff was trapped underneath an old shipwreck. That episode took itself very seriously and was full of flashbacks to previous episodes, forcing me to consider that the Gilligan episode might have just been an outlier.

Monday’s episodes did little to settle the question as to whether or not Baywatch was meant to be taken seriously. The first episode featured Shauni (Erika Eleniak) freaking out after thinking that one of her friends had been eaten by a shark. It was all very dramatic and it too featured flashbacks to previous episodes and it ended up with a very important message about not pressuring your daughter to the extent that she ends faking her own death while swimming around Shark’s Cove. (That’s a rather ominous name for any part of the beach.) That would seem to suggest that Baywatch took itself seriously. The second of Monday’s episodes featured a beach bum/poet who discovered a stolen jewelry box on the beach. The poet was such a silly character that it was hard to believe that anyone involved could have taken that episode’s script seriously. In other words, when it comes to the Is Baywatch Serious Or Not debate, Monday’s episodes constituted yet another draw.

Tuesday’s episodes led to another draw. The first episode featured Hasselhoff breaking into the headquarters of a multinational corporation to track down evidence that they were polluting the bay. It also featured a character who was a lifeguard-turned-environmental activist and it took itself very seriously. The 2nd episode, however, featured an illegal poker game and a B-plot in which Billy Warlock stood up to his girlfriend’s snobby family. It also featured Erika Eleniak dramatically announcing, “He’s a lifeguard!” when someone tried to stop Billy Warlock from giving CPR to a woman who had drowned. The 2nd episode, again, seemed to suggest that the show was in on the joke.

Wednesday’s episodes broke the tie, with both episodes being ludicrous enough that it was hard not to believe that the show had to be at least a little bit aware of how silly it was. The first episode featured a gypsy fortune teller. The second featured David Charvet battling evil surfers. At the same time, the 2nd episode also featured Alexandra Paul as Stephanie, a woman from Mitch’s past, and Hasselhoff acted the Hell out of being shocked to see her. Based on Wednesday’s episodes, it would seem Baywatch did not take itself as seriously as David Hasselhoff did.

Thursday’s episodes — well, who knows? You had a two parter that started with Mitch getting all weepy over a dead uncle but you also had a subplot about the search for a lost gold mine. And, to top it all off, you had Pamela Anderson, Nichole Eggert, and David Charvet all showing up for the first time. (Though all three were in Wednesday’s episode, it appears that H&I showed the episodes out-of-order.) Who knows what to make of all that?

Friday’s episodes both dealt with Nicole Eggert and David Charvet struggling to make it through rookie school and they were both silly enough to make me think that Baywatch was in on the joke. Saturday, however, featured not only a native American activist with magical powers but it also ended with a PSA about the dangers of huffing inhalants. It seemed to be taking itself pretty seriously, even if no one else was.

In the end, all I can surmise is that Baywatch took place in a strange dream world where everyone was in on the joke but they still took the joke literally.

Court Cam (Wednesday Night, A&E)

With the cancellation of Live P.D., Court Cam is A&E’s newest way to 1) exploit people during the worst moments of their lives and 2) justify keeping Dan Abrams under contract. This show is made up of courtroom footage, all breathlessly narrated by Abrams. A typical episode will feature several stories. There’s usually one story that ends in a brawl. There’s at least one sarcastic judge story. There’s at least one story where the defendant begs for mercy. It’s all pretty exploitive and, of course, it’s also fully on the side of the system as opposed to the people living under it.

“But Lisa, if you hate the show so much, why do you watch it?”

Each episode is only 30 minutes long and it passes the time. Plus, occasionally, they’ll show footage from DFW and I’ll spot someone I know.

The District (Weekday Nights, H&I)

Last week, I said that the main appeal of this old show was watching Craig T. Nelson somehow find a way to overact in every single scene in which he appeared. It turns out that appeal is actually kind of limited. On Tuesday morning, as I watched Nelson’s Jack Mannion violate the Constitutional rights of suspects and browbeat everyone who works for him, I realized that the act was no longer particularly amusing so I think I’m done with The District for now.

The Drew Barrymore Show (Weekdays, Syndication)

I caught an episode on Tuesday. I was depressed for hours afterwards. Drew used to be so cool and now she’s hosting a talk show for people find Ellen DeGeneres to be too challenging.

Kung Fu (Wednesday Night, The CW)

I wrote about Kung Fu and my mixed reaction to pilot over at SyFyDesigns.

The Old Guys (Sunday Night, PBS)

This is a British sitcom that aired in the UK in 2009 and 2010. In America, it just recently started airing on PBS. It’s about two …. well, old guys. Tom (Roger Lloyd-Pack) and Roy (Clive Swift) are old and they are housemates and they’re both in love with Sally (Jane Asher). This Sunday’s episode was called “the triple date” and it found the two men competing to see who could go on a date with Sally, who apparently didn’t realize she was on a date with either of them. It was amusing, largely due to the performance of Jane Asher and the two men. Sadly, both Lloyd-Pack and Swift have since passed away.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

This is an incredibly depressing British sitcom about two men and a grocer’s shop. Arkwright, the older of the two, is always trying to cheat people out of their money. His nephew, Granville, always appears to be on the verge of walking into the middle of traffic. The show originally aired in the 70s and 80s and, in America, it’s pretty much a PBS mainstay. I have to admit that I don’t usually pay much attention to the show when it’s on. I usually just watch it because it’s the lead-in to Yes, Minister and there’s not really much else on at 11:30 on Sunday night. That said, the few times I have really paid attention to it, I’ve found it to be well-acted if a bit grim. The bits where Arkwright has to deal with the customers are occasionally amusing.

Don’t even ask me what happened during this Sunday’s episode. I think Granville was in love but he knew it would never work out because he was stuck in a go-nowhere life. By the end of the episode, he appeared to be borderline catatonic due to the overwhelming misery of his existence. It was hard not to feel bad for him.

The Rookies (Sunday Morning, H&I)

I’m still setting the DVR to record this old 70s cop show. Though the storylines are predictable cop stuff (albeit from the point of view of idealistic rookies as opposed to cynical veterans), it’s still pretty interesting if you’re just looking for a show with some early 70s flavor.

This week’s episode featured special guest star Lou Gossett, Jr. as a criminal-turned-preacher. The older cops suspected that he was just running a scam. The Rookies — Georg Stanford Brown and Michael Ontkean — felt that he was sincere in his desire to reach people and atone for his past. In the end, the show left it somewhat ambiguous as to just how sincere Gossett was. Gossett gave an excellent performance as the preacher and the show actually treated his congregation of hippies with a bit more respect than you might expect from an early 70s cop show.

The SAG Awards (Sunday Night, TBS)

This year, the televised SAG Awards were handed out in an hour and there weren’t any awkward attempts at either comedy or political pontification. To be honest, it was probably the best awards show that I’ve seen so far this year. Here’s hoping the Oscars pay attention to how SAG did it.

Shipping Wars (Vice, Sunday afternoon)

I wrote about Shipping Wars a few years ago. I watched two episodes on Sunday, though I mostly just had them on for background noise. The people involved in the show are always too angry and their customers are always too unlikeable for me to really spend too much time really paying attention to Shipping Wars.

The first episode featured Jen delivering bottled water to hurricane victims in Louisiana while Roy delivered a boat and acted like a jackass. It was typical Roy behavior, which made him entertaining to watch even though you wouldn’t want to actually have a conversation with him. When Roy suddenly died in 2014, Shipping Wars brought on a handful of people to try to replace him but none of them could. Certainly not Dusty! Don’t even get me started on freaking Dusty.

The second episode featured more of Roy being a jackass, this time as he transported a Cadillac to a 50s diner. It also featured Robbie and Chris transporting a deactivated nuclear missile. It would have been more fun if it had been an active missile but still, just the strangeness of that situation explains why Shipping Wars was briefly a popular show.

Storage Wars (A&E, Tuesday Night)

I watched four episodes. None of the storage lockers had any cursed amulets and dead bodies inside of them. I was disappointed.

Tough As Nails (CBS, Wednesday Night)

This reality competition show doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. Two teams, made up of blue collar, salt-of-the-Earth workers, compete to see which team can be the first to complete various blue collar tasks, like cleaning windows on an office building or installing drywall. It seems like the show would be more interesting if it was like middle-management types and low-level executives having to do the hard work while being instructed and judged by construction works and plumbers.

Still, I watch almost every week, just because the show is hosted by The Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan. Love ya, Phil!

Wipeout (TBS, Sunday Night)

So apparently, this is a thing again. Wipeout is a game show where teams make money if they can manage to cross an obstacle course without falling or dying. It used to be on ABC, where every episode ended with John Henson saying, “Big balls,” with a creepy smile on his face. Now, it’s on TNT and it’s hosted by John Cena, who just can’t quite match Henson when it comes to being creepy.

Anyway, on Sunday night, they reaired the first episode of the reboot. It aired after the SAG Awards. I have to admit that I mostly just had it on for background noise. Every time I looked up at the TV, people were either jumping on top of or falling off of big rubber balls. I imagine the reboot will probably run until 2060 and I’ll never watch another episode.

Yes Minister (Monday Morning, PBS)

Well, sadly enough, this week’s episode of Yes, Minister is the last one that’s going to be aired on my local PBS station for a while. Next week, Yes, Minister is being replaced by …. ugh …. Are You Being Served? Imagine, going from one showing one of the wittiest and most intellectually engaging sitcoms of all time to showing a hundred episodes of Are You Being Served?

Fortunately, this week’s episode was a great one. It featured both Paul Eddington’s Jim Hacker and Nigel Hawthorne’s Sir Humphrey testifying at a committee meeting about cutting government waste. For once, Hacker actually got the better of Sir Humphrey. Both Eddington and Hawthorne, both of whom are sadly no longer with us, gave brilliant comedic performances. It was a joy to watch.

(UPDATE: I wrote the above on Monday afternoon. When I checked on Tuesday morning, the guide had been changed and apparently, Yes, Minister is going to continue to air on PBS! So, I guess the listing for Are You Being Served was an error. I also checked with KERA.org and found no plans to replace Yes, Minister with Are You Being Served so, hopefully, all that frustration was for nothing! I’ll find out for sure on Monday at midnight, I suppose.)

Watched But Not Reviewed:

  1. American Idol (Sunday and Monday Nights on ABC)
  2. ‘Allo ‘Allo (Sunday Night on PBS)
  3. Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday Night on Fox)
  4. Hill Street Blues (Weekday mornings on H&I)
  5. House Hunters (Tuesday Night, HGTV)
  6. House Hunters International (Tuesday Night, HGTV)
  7. Law & Order: Organized Crime (Thursday Night, NBC)
  8. Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)
  9. The Masked Singer (Wednesday Night, FOX)
  10. Temptation Island (Tuesday Night, USA)
  11. Upstart Crow (Sunday Night on PBS)
  12. The Voice (Monday Night on NBC)

The Previous Week In Television

Lisa’s Week In Television: 3/28/21 — 4/3/21


Twonky

Welcome to the first ever edition of Lisa’s Week In Television!  Because of the holiday weekend, there’s a lot of streaming shows that I haven’t gotten a chance to watch yet.  And I will also admit that I watched a lot of old TV shows over the previous few days.  Then again, I always end up watching a lot of old shows, if just because I always enjoy seeing how people dressed and spoke in the past.

American Idol

American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)

I was recently trying to remember when the last time was that I was emotionally invested in American Idol and I think it was way back in 2007.  That would be the sixth season.  I thought Blake Lewis was totally adorable and I was actually really upset when he lost to Jordin Sparks.  That’s nothing against Jordin.  At the time, I just had a weakness for beat boxers.

Ever since then, American Idol has mostly been background noise to me.  It’s one of those things that I watch out of habit and it’s rare that I ever pay that much attention to it while it’s on.  When the show started, it was always interesting to see how brutally frank Simon Cowell could be but, after Simon left, no one was willing to play the villain and the show’s gotten rather bland as a result.

Anyway, on Sunday and Monday’s episodes, the judges announced the top 24 singers.  I have no idea who any of these people are.  I just know that none of them will ever win my heart quite like Blake Lewis performing Time of the Season.

Baywatch

Baywatch (Weekday Evenings, H&I)

Yes, the show about lifeguards is now airing on H&I.  Hopefully, Baywatch Nights will eventually follow.  There’s always been a lot of debate about whether or not David Hasselhoff is self-aware in the style of William Shatner or if he actually took Baywatch seriously.  Having watched a few episodes of the show, I still have no idea.  On the one hand, Hasselhoff certainly seemed to be taking thing very seriously.  On the other hand, how could anyone actually take a show like Baywatch seriously?  I mean, you would have to have somewhat of a satricial spirit to just be involved with the show, wouldn’t you?

Speaking of taking Baywatch seriously, Tuesday’s episode featured Danny Trejo as the father of a gang member.  Trejo wanted his son to stay in the gang and was upset when Billy Warlock tried to recruit him into a lifeguard program instead.  However, when Trejo subsequently fell in the ocean just to be saved by his own son, everyone learned an important lesson.

City Confidential

City Confidential (Sunday Afternoon, CI)

This show, which originally aired on A&E 20 years ago, is actually two shows in one.  The first half of every episode always deals with the history and culture of an American city.  The 2nd half always deals with some crime that happened in that city and which, we’re told, changed that city forever.  Each episode was narrated by actor Paul Winfield, who always sounded somewhat amused no matter how heinous a crime he was describing.

I watched two episodes, one about Milwaukee and one about Carlsbad, New Mexico.  My family briefly lived in Carlsbad when I was growing up so I found that episode to be interesting.  What can I say?  I have a weakness for true crime shows hosted by sardonic narrators.

Distirct

The District (Weekday Mornings, H&I)

The District is a fairly predictable cop show that aired for four seasons at the start of the century.  I had totally forgotten about it until I stumbled across it on H&I during a bout of insomnia.  It’s about Jack Mannion (Craig T. Nelson), the hyperactive police commissioner for Washington D.C.  Pretty much the only interesting thing about the show was Craig T. Nelson’s frequently bizarre lead performance.  Nelson’s not exactly a low-key actor to begin with and The District cast him as a frequently married, show tune loving cop who enjoyed yelling at people.  The show’s producers basically gave Nelson a license to overact and he took full advantage of it.  With each episode, you think that Nelson can’t possibly go more over-the-top and, with each episode, he proves you wrong.

Tuesday’s episode featured him crashing a meeting of the Washington D.C, city council and, when he felt they weren’t paying attention to him, climbing up on a desk so that he could better yell at them.  Later, when Mannion had to interrogate a young child who had witnessed a crime, he got her to answer his question by having a tea party with her.  That’s Jack Mannion for ya!

Hell's Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen (Thursday night, FOX)

Even though I’m not really a huge fan of yelling at or insulting people, I’ve always liked Hell’s Kitchen.  Some of it is because of those moments (which usually happens towards the end of the season) when Gordon Ramsey reveals that he’s not quite as fearsome as he pretends to be.  (He actually does seem to get emotionally invested once there’s only 6 or 5 chefs left.)  Plus, since I can’t cook, I guess I find it interesting to watch people who actually can.  This latest season, which is drawing to a close, has been one of the better seasons.  Myself, I’m totally cheering on Mary Lou!  Go, Mary Lou!  You got this!

King of the HIll

King of the Hill (Hulu)

This is still the best and most authentic TV show ever made about Texas.  Watching it today, it’s also a nice alternative to the more mean-spirited programming of Seth MacFarlane.  Let it never be forgotten the Fox cancelled King of the Hill to make room for The Cleveland Show, of all thing.  Fortunately, King of the Hill can currently be watched at any time on Hulu.

Saturday morning, my sisters and I watched three episodes while we were preparing for the day — the episodes where Hank goes down Aisle 8A, where Hank goes to New Orleans, and where Dale thinks he’s rabid.  We agreed that Boomhauer is one of the greatest characters of all time.

law & Order

Law & Order: Organized Crime (Thursday Night, NBC)

I reviewed the first episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime here.

Law & Order: SVU (Thursday Night, NBC)

I used to watch SVU religiously when I was in high school and college.  However, as I got older, I kind of lost interest. That said, I did watch it this week because Elliott Stabler (played by Chris Meloni) was making his first appearance on the show since leaving 8 seasons ago.  Thursday’s episode also served as a backdoor pilot, of sorts, for Law & Order: Organized Crime.

The episode was …. okay.  The mob stuff was predictable but it was nice to see that Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay still had their old chemistry.  That said, Stabler seemed to be even more tightly wound than he did during his time as a regular on SVU and that’s really saying something as Stabler always seemed like the cop mostly likely to beat a suspect to death during interrogation.  (Of course, Stabler’s wife was injured by a car bomb and later died during the episode so Stabler had good reason for being wound up.)

A lot of people on twitter freaked out over the fact that no one on the show was wearing a mask.  Calm down, people, it’s a TV show.

Love Boat

The Love Boat (Weekday Evenings, Decades TV)

Ah, The Love Boat.  If there’s any show from the 70s and 80s that deserves a revival, it’s probably this one.  Movie and television veterans play the passengers of a weekly cruise, falling in love and taking part in other hi-jinks.  Every episode that I’ve ever seen of The Love Boat has been charmingly silly and, quite frankly, I think that’s what we need more of in the world.  Add to that, the cruise ship industry took a hit with the pandemic.  A Love Boat revival might help revive it.

Monday’s episode featured Zsa Zsa Gabor and a bunch of people who I didn’t recognize but who all appeared to be having a great time on the boat.  Zsa Zsa was determined to win back her ex, even though he was planning on marrying someone else.  The other stories dealt with a kleptomaniac who kept accidentally stealing stuff and a TV actor who feared that he would never be able to live up to his heroic image.  In the end, for all the passengers and crew, love won.

Wednesday’s episode was a Christmas episode from 1980.  Dorothy Lamour was one of the passengers.  Father and son entertainers ran into each on the boat after having not spoken to each other for years.  A stowaway pretended to be the child of a wannabe womanizer.  In the end, for all the passengers and crew, love won.

My Evil Sister

My Evil Sister (Sunday Afternnon, CI)

I watched this on Crime and Investigation on Sunday morning.  As the youngest of four sisters, it’s hard for me not to be intrigued by the fact that there’s so many evil sisters out there that they could actually produce an entire TV series about them.  The episode I saw featured two stories, one about a sister who killed her lazy sister and then tried to frame local drug dealers and the other about a girl who shot her adopted sister because she felt her sister was keeping her from being popular in high school.  Scary stuff!  I’m glad my family likes me!  (I say this as I nervously glance over my shoulder.)

The Office

The Office (Comedy Central)

I watched a few episodes of The Office on Thursday and Friday.  I always feel like I’m taking a risk whenever I watch The Office on Comedy Central because there’s always a chance that they’ll be showing episodes from Seasons 8 or 9.  Fortunately, on Thursday and Friday, they were showing episodes from Season 5.  Jim and Pam hadn’t gotten unbearably smug yet.  Andy and Angela weren’t quite as cartoonish as they would later become.  Best of all, Michael was still on the show so I got to watch him once again fall in love with Holly Flax.  Though The Office was pretty uneven after the third season, the few episodes of season 5 were all gems.

parking_wars

Parking Wars (Monday Morning on A&E)

I wrote about this annoyingly addictive show a few years ago.  I watched two episodes of the show on Monday morning, as I was getting ready for my day.  Even though I mostly had it on for background noise, I still couldn’t help but think about how this show, which aired its last original episode nearly ten years ago, feels like the perfect show for the current era.  A bunch of self-righteous bureaucrats make life difficult for their fellow citizens and, whenever they’re challenged on it, they respond with a bunch of “If you had followed the rules” bullshit.  Watching this show always makes me want to park in front of an expired meter and then rip up the ticket.

The Rookies

The Rookies (Sunday Morning, H&I)

The Rookies is a cop show that aired from 1972 to 1976.  H&I just recently started showing the show.  It airs on Sunday morning at 2 in the morning.  I decided to set the DVR to record the show, just because it was a show that I’d never heard of.  I’m like a cat when it comes to being curious about stuff.

Anyway, The Rookies is about three cops who are …. can you guess it? …. rookies!  One is black.  Two are white.  One has a wife, the other two single.  Whenever they drive their car around the city, 70s wah wah music plays in the background.  From what I’ve seen so far, it’s pretty much a standard cop show.  One of the cops is played by Michael Ontkean, so it’s possible to view the show as being a prequel to Twin Peaks, if you’re so inclined.

I watched Sunday’s episode off of the DVR.  The first episode featured a criminal turning into an informant and putting his life at risk.  In the 2nd episode, Ontkean was shot in the back and had to undergo an experimental surgery to regain the ability to walk.  The stories were, in no way, surprising but it was a chance to experience how people talked and dressed in 1972.

Rome Chariot

Rome’s Chariot Superstar (Monday Morning, Smithsonian Channel)

This docuseries took a look at the ancient Roman chariot races.  It was actually pretty entertaining.  I enjoyed the descriptions of life in ancient Rome and, even better, they showed how to build and steer a chariot!  As I’ve said many times on the site, I’m a history nerd.  I love stuff like this.

sbtb

Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

Ah, Saved By The Bell, the oddly popular and incredibly dated high school sitcom from the early 90s.  Don’t ask me to explain why Saved By The Bell remains so watchable, despite being terrible in almost every way.  It’s just a part of the culture and, perhaps more importantly, there’s never been an extended period of time when it hasn’t been on TV somewhere.  One of the many places where it can currently be found is as a part of MeTV’s Sunday morning lineup.  I always seem to end up watching it, even though the show makes me cringe in so many ways.

For instance, on Sunday morning, I watched three separate episodes.  First off, I watched the infamous Running Zack.  This is the incredibly problematic episode where the blonde, blue-eyed, and very pale Zack Morris discovers that he’s a direct descendant of the Native American Chief Joseph and he responds to this news by putting on an elaborate headdress and then giving a speech to his class.  It’s really …. not good.  Zack, however, does subsequently win the big track meet.  If I remember correct, his Native American heritage was never again mentioned on the show.

Running Zack was followed by a far more entertaining episode, Jessie’s Song.  This is the “I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so scared” episode, in which Jessie gets hooked on caffeine pills.  Everyone always laughs about the scene where Jessie freaks out but I think the extremely 80s music video is even more memorably weird.

Jessie’s Song was followed by The Fabulous Belding Boys, in which Mr. Belding’s supercool brother, Rod, showed up as a new substitute teacher at Bayside.  After getting all of his students excited about going rafting for the senior class trip, Rod ditched them all for two stewardesses.  Fortunately, Mr. Belding stepped up and took Rod’s place, showing Zack what being a hero is all about.  This is actually one of the few episodes of Saved By The Bell that actually works as something more than camp, with the normally underappreciated Dennis Haskins getting a chance to show what he could actually do with some halfway decent dialogue.

YesMinister

Yes, Minister (Monday Morning on PBS)

This is a BBC series, which originally aired back in the 80s.  It’s about a government minister named Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington) and two civil servants, Sir Humphrey (Nigel Hawthorne) and Bernard (Derek Fowlds), and their efforts to help Hacker run his department while also making sure that Hacker doesn’t actually accomplish anything.  It’s a hilarious show, one that Jeff recently introduced me to.  Even though the show is very British and 40+ years old, it’s still easy to see parallels between the show’s portrayal of the British government and the realities of Washington, D.C.  I guess bureaucracy is universal.

This show airs on Monday, usually at midnight.  I always set the DVR for it, though I’ve lately been staying up to watch it just because PBS is so inconsistent about keeping to their posted start and stop times.  Back in February, when Texas got hit by that winter storm, an episode of Yes, Minister was the last thing that I watched before the rolling blackouts began.

This week’s episode found Jim Hacker going to a farm for a photo op and essentially screwing everything up.  The show is at its best when it pokes fun at Hacker’s self-righteousness by revealing him to be just another clueless politician and this episode did just that.  (In all fairness, though, Hacker also consistently means well and, occasional pompousness aside, actually is the type of person you would want in office.)  Though the show may be an old one, it’s kind of what we need right now in the Age of Big Government.

Watched But Not Reviewed:

  1. ‘Allo ‘Allo (Sunday Night on PBS)
  2. America’s Most Wanted (Monday Night on Fox)
  3. Fear Thy Neighbor (Saturday Afternoon on ID)
  4. Hill Street Blues (Weekend Morning on H&I)
  5. The Killer Beside Me (Saturday afternoon on ID)
  6. The Masked Singer (Tuesday and Wednesday on Fox)
  7. Open All Hours (Sunday Night on PBS)
  8. Temptation Island (Tuesday Night on USA)
  9. Tough as Nails (Wednesday Night on CBS)
  10. The Voice (Monday Night on NBC)
  11. Your Worst Nightmare (Saturday afternoon on ID)