Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/15/22 — 5/21/22


We’ve been up at Lake Texoma for most of this week and, because I’m supposed to be relaxing, I didn’t take my usual detailed notes about what I watched this week so I apologize if this latest recap seems a bit …. well, skimpy.  Trust me, though, I needed the break and the chance to recharge.

Anyway, here’s what I remember about what I watched this week:

A Very British Scandal (Prime)

This three-episode miniseries told the true story of the scandalous divorce of two aristocrats, who were played by Paul Bettany and Claire Foy.  It was all enjoyably sordid and neither one of the two characters were likable enough for you to feel bad about their lives getting turned upside down.  If you’re into melodrama with a British accent, you should enjoy A Very British Scandal.  If nothing else, the clothes and the furniture were to die for and the miniseries served as a nice reminded that having a title didn’t necessarily mean someone was rich.  Paul Bettany’s character may been a Duke but he still had to marry for money.  In fact, he had to do it three times.

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

I watched four episodes of Allo Allo on Sunday so I am happy to say that I am now caught up with the show.  Despite Michelle’s efforts, the plan to send the British airmen out of France in a hot air balloon fizzled.  A few episodes later, she decided to disguise the airmen as monks so that they could sneak past the Germans and board a secret flight to Germany.  However, Rene decided to hop on the plane himself.  He was hoping to escape with Yvette, just to find that Edith had misinterpreted his plans and …. well, look, I can’t really explain it all.  What’s important is that  Rene and Edith are now flying to the UK.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

The finale of this odd but intriguing season finally allowed Zazie Beetz a chance to shine as we discovered what Val has been doing in Europe while everything else has been going on.  Come for the biting social commentary and surreal satire, stay for the Alexander Skarsgard cameo!

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry blew up a house!  And then Sally dumped Barry, which she probably should have done a lot earlier.  At least Gene’s career is looking up.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Jimmy and Kim continued to plot against Howard.  The show is moving at its own deliberate pace but when you’ve got a cast this good, you can take all the time that you want.  That said, I love Patrick Fabian’s performance as Howard so I hope he’ll be around just a little bit longer.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

This vaguely silly but entertaining show came to an end this week.  Colton Underwood won this season!  Yay!  I’m just happy all the celebrities survived.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

The theme of last Sunday’s Brady Bunch bloc was that Jan sucks.  First, Jan thought she won an essay contest, just to discover that a mistake has been made while tabulating the scores.  Then, Jan ended up stealing a bicycle because she needed glasses.  That’s the same way I got my new car, by the way.  Poor Jan!  I hear it’s not easy being the middle sister.  Fortunately, I’m the youngest Bowman sister so I’ve never had to worry about it.

Court Cam (Monday Night, A&E)

I watched one or two episodes.  If I sound unsure, it’s because all of the episodes of Court Cam tend to blend together.  Once you’ve seen one judge yelling at an incompetent lawyer, you’ve seen them all.  Still, I do have to admit that I kind of enjoy this show.  It’s always fun to watch people in authority make stupid mistakes.

Creepshow (Shudder)

On Thursday, I finally watched the first two episodes of the third season of Shudder’s horror anthology and I enjoyed both of them.  Creepshow is the show that American Horror Story pretends to be.

The Curse of Degrassi (YouTube)

I watched this old favorite on Saturday night.  Read my review here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

DJ went to the school dance but, when her date got caught drinking, Uncle Jesse blamed her!  Not surprising, DJ was pissed off.  And she should have been!  Seriously, DJ never gets to have any fun.  MeTV showed three other episodes, none of which I really remember.

The Last Drive-In (Friday Night, Shudder)

What better way to watch Nosferatu than with Joe Bob Briggs?  Technically, I do think that Joe Bob goes on for a bit too long during his host segments but I really don’t mind.  Joe Bob may pretend to be a redneck who tells dad jokes but, as he showed while discussing the career of Werner Herzog, he truly loves cinema and, even more importantly, he knows his stuff.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

When an off-duty cop is killed, Nolan Price has to deal with pressure from both the NYPD and community as he prosecutes the defendant.  This episode was typical of the Law & Order revival — compelling but heavy-handed.  Is Sam ever going to get to do anything other than gaze adoringly at Nolan?  The fact that, after several episodes, we still know nothing about her character, her background, or her opinions is a bit annoying.  The episode ended with the defendant acquitted on one count and convicted on another and the entire city still angry.  It was all appropriately bleak.  Also, Mariska Hargitay made a cameo appearance and basically came across like she couldn’t wait to get back to SVU.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Gopher taught everyone on the boat how to perform CPR.  Good going, Gopher!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

This week’s episode of We Own This City dealt with the Freddie Gray uprising.  It made for compelling viewing and Jon Bernthal and Josh Charles continued to give good performances as two men who epitomized everything that people dislike about cops.  Still, I wish the timeline was a bit less jumbled and the scenes with the Justice Department investigators continue to be a bit of a slog.  Overall, though, this is a worthwhile show.  Just don’t watch it with the expectation that it’s going to be the second coming of The Wire.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 5/8/22 — 5/14/22


Let’s get to it.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Atlanta has been pretty evenly split, this season, between “anthology” episodes and the episodes that follow Earn and Al in Europe.  It’s an interesting format but, as I watched this week’s anthology episode, I really found myself thinking about much more interested I am in what’s going on in Europe.  This week’s episode was filmed in gorgeous black-and-white but the story of a biracial teen passing as white was nowhere near as interesting as what happened to Al in Amsterdam last week.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

This week, Barry attempted to make things up to Gene by getting him a role on a plausibly terrible television show.  Unfortunately, for Barry, it turned out that Gene isn’t just going to forget about Barry murdering his girlfriend in return for a role.  Meanwhile, Sally was forced to take part in a series of vacuous interviews in order to promote her new television series.  Everyone wants to know: “Who should be the next Spider-Man?”

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

This week, we got to see what Saul’s office was like before he redecorated it.  It was kind of a slow episode.  Better Call Saul is always watchable because of the performers but its status as a prequel also means that there’s a certain lack of suspense as to what’s going to happen to everyone.  Still, this week’s episode was worth it for the boxing scene.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The remaining celebrities continued to try to survive living in the jungle.  Jodie Sweetin finally ran the bell and removed herself from the show, just leaving a bunch of former pro athletes to continue the competition.  I don’t blame her.  Jodie lasted longer than I would have.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I don’t remember anything that happened during last Sunday’s Brady Bunch episodes so I guess I should count myself lucky.

Candy (Hulu)

I reviewed Hulu’s latest true crime miniseries here!

Dynasty (Friday Night, The CW)

Having missed most of the latest season, I finally got caught up on Dynasty this week and I was reminded of why I enjoy this wonderfully over-the-top and self-aware show.  Unfortunately, no sooner was I caught up than the CW announced that they were canceling the show.  Booooo!

Fantasy Island (Hulu)

Several months after watching the pilot, I finally watched the rest of Fantasy Island’s 1st season this week.  It’s an extremely silly but fun show.  Roselyn Sanchez plays her role with just the right mix of gravitas and mockery.  The show’s a bit heavy-handed at times but I think that’s to be expected.  The island looks lovely and the fantasies themselves are ultimately harmless and good-natured and that’s all the really matters.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

If I remember correctly, Jesse was worried that he was losing his cool and Joey said, “Cut it out.”

Ghosts (Paramount Plus)

I finished binging the first season of Ghosts on Monday and Tuesday.  What a sweet show!  I’m kind of amazed that it took me so long to give this show a chance.  I’ll be curious to see what happens with the second season.  Hopefully, the show can keep up its momentum.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

“This story is fictional….”

Yeah, whatever.  This week’s episode started out as an homage to Inventing Anna and then it ended as an homage to Dopesick.  Price decided to make a deal with a murderer so that he could then prosecute the owner of a pharmaceutical company.  It was all because Price’s brother died of a drug overdose.  To be honest, Price didn’t really make his case and he should have been fired for wasting tax payer money on a personal crusade.  But the jury disagreed.  It may sound like I’m trashing this episode but it was actually pretty well-acted and I actually appreciated that it totally turned into a different story during the second half.  That said, I don’t think the Law & Order revival will ever be known for having a particularly nuanced political outlook.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Vicki discovered that one of the passengers was hooked on speed.  Luckily, everything worked out in the end.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I reviewed the latest twist-filled episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

It was a pretty boring episode this week.  The cast is convincing and Baltimore continues to be a fascinating portrait of the American Dream gone bad but David Simon doesn’t really seem to have much to say, beyond pointing out that cops are bad and federal investigators are underfunded.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/1/22 — 5/7/22


Why didn’t anyone tell me that Ghosts was so good!?  Over the past few days, I’ve been watching it and loving it.

Anyway, here’s some more thoughts on my week in television!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

During this week’s funny but unsettling episode, Al got stoned in Amsterdam.  It’s possible that he met a mysterious women named Lorraine who warned him about the people around him and who took him to a club where he met Liam Neeson.  It’s also possible that Al hallucinated the whole thing while passed out in a doorway.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

The latest episode of Barry really, really freaked me out.  Basically, Barry found himself with two options.  He could either get Gene a role on a TV show in order to make up for killing Gene’s girlfriend or he could just kill Gene.  Barry was determined to give Gene a second chance and, by extension, himself a second chance.  Barry was trying to do the right thing.  The problem is that Barry is a sociopath who is trying to be the good person that he is incapable of being.

This episode was all about abusive relationships.  Sally is trying to produce her dramedy about her own abusive relationship but she doesn’t seem to understand that her current relationship with Barry is just as abusive as the one she escaped.  (The scene where Barry yelled at her for not casting Gene was legitimately scary.)  Barry is trying to recover from his abusive relationship with Fuches, little realizing that he’s repeating Fuches’s behavior with the way that he’s manipulating Gene.  Is Gene going to end up becoming a hit man by the end of this season?  It could happen.  Meanwhile, the only vaguely healthy relationship on the show, between Noho Hank and Cristobal, came to an end due to them being members of rival criminal gangs.

Bill Hader continues to astound as Barry.  He’s both sincere and terrifying.  Barry truly believes that he’s capable of doing the right thing even though we know he isn’t.  This week’s episode reminded us that Barry can be a scary guy.  When he indicated that he would kill Gene’s grandson if Gene didn’t accept the role that Barry had gotten for him, it was a chilling moment.  I’ll never look at Barry the same way again.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Rhea Seehorn directed this week’s episode of Better Call Saul, which featured both Jimmy’s continuing efforts to destroy Howard’s career and also his move into his new office.  Meanwhile, Gus and Mike continued to search for evidence of Lalo still being alive.  This was a well-done episode, one that did a good job of showing how Jimmy McGill transformed into the Saul Goodman who would later be hired by Walter White.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

Oh no!  Marcia lost her diary!  However, this somehow led to her meeting Davy Jones so I guess everything worked out.  This was followed by an episode in which the kids were worried that Mike and Carol were going to sell the house so they pretended to be ghosts.  Then, Carol and Mike had tickets to a show and Alice had a date so Greg and Marcia were left in charge of the house.  Disaster followed.  Then, during Sunday’s fourth episode, Marcia was accused of pulling a prank by her school’s principal.  The principal was played by the distinguished character actor, E.G. Marshall.  One can only guess how Marshall felt about going from Broadway and Oscar-nominated films like 12 Angry Men to appearing on The Brady Bunch.  Actually, he was probably happy for the money.  I hope Marshall was paid well because he definitely classed up the joint.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

MeTV aired 4 episodes of Full House on Sunday and I’m struggling to remember much about any of them.  In the first episode, Jesse was worried that he wasn’t smart enough for Rebecca and he proved that he wasn’t by acting stupid.  Rebecca, however, forgave him.  Then, Michelle and Kimmy ended up babysitting some bratty kid who got his head stuck in a bannister.  This was followed by an episode in which Danny started dating again and managed to forgive his date for having a messy apartment.  And then, in our final episode, Michelle started preschool and accidentally set the class’s pet bird free.  So, Danny bought a new bird and demanded that everyone be nice to his daughter, despite the fact that she was kind of a self-centered brat.

Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)

What a charming show!  For some reason, I was under the impression that Ghosts was just another gimmicky show but I finally sat down and binged the first eleven episodes on Paramount Plus and I discovered that I was totally wrong.  This is really a sweet, witty, intelligent, and well-acted show and one of my favorites of the season.  I loved the episode where Sam went to see her mom.  That made me tear up.  As for my favorite ghost …. Trevor.  Yep, it has to be Trevor.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

This frustratingly uneven miniseries came to a close this week.  The final episode dealt with the day that Conrad committed suicide and also Michelle’s final days before heading to prison.  Considering just how inconsistent this show has been, the finale was actually pretty effective.  The lengthy fantasy sequence, in which Michelle imagined running into Conrad at a bar while home from the college that, in reality, she’ll never get to attend, worked far better than it had any right to.  In the end, this miniseries didn’t have much to tell us about the suicide of Conrad Roy that we didn’t already know but it did work as a showcase for the talents of Elle Fanning and Colton Ryan.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

I have to admit that, when this week’s episode of Law & Order started, I rolled my eyes when it appeared that the main villain was going to be a barely disguised version of Elon Musk.  But then it turned out that guy was just a red herring and the accused instead turned out to be a former State Department employee who claimed that he couldn’t control his actions because of Havana Syndrome.  To my great surprise, this turned out to be the the best episode of the season so far, largely because the prosecution finally lost a case and Price was left to wonder if it was largely due to his own self-righteous approach to the law.  Sam Waterston finally got a few good scenes too.  The Law & Order revival has, for the most part, been uneven but I do think that it’s been getting better.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

A famous actress took a cruise and fell for Captain Stubing.  Unfortunately, not even the promise of being wealthy and secure could convince the captain to give up the sea.

M*A*S*H* (Weekday Evenings, MeTV)

On Sunday, I watched two episodes of this old sitcom.  The first one featured an obnoxious surgeon from Arkansas, who got in trouble for trying to steal Col. Potter’s horse.  The second was a bit more dramatic, as a friend of Hawkeye’s died on the operating table and a teenage Ron Howard appeared as a soldier who lied about his age in order to enlist.  In the past, I’ve found M*A*S*H to be a bit too preachy for my tastes but this was actually a pretty effective and well-acted episode.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own The City (Monday Night, HBO)

The second episode of David Simon’s latest miniseries about Baltimore was as compelling and as packed with detail as the first.  While setting in his jail cell, Jon Bernthal’s Wayne Jenkins remembered the process by which he went from being a relatively honest cop to being the poster child for police corruption.  Nicole Steele continued her investigation of Daniel Hersl.  In the role of Hersl, Josh Charles only appeared during the final few minutes of the episode but he still made a huge impression as the epitome of everything that people tend to dislike about the cops.  I look forward to seeing where this series is heading.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 4/24/22 — 4/30/22


I saw some pretty good things this week.  Barry is back.  We Own This City looks like it’s going to be a worthy follow-up to The Wire.  I finally binged the first season of Abbott Elementary.  Here’s some thoughts on what I watched:

61st Street (Sunday Night, AMC)

As of this point, I really don’t see 61st Street becoming anything more than a second-rate version of The Wire so I think I’m done with it.  As I said last week, I think the show would be fine if it was just about Courtney B. Vance and his family but the show is trying to tackle too much in its first season.  The best shows develop naturally whereas 61st Street has been overstuffed since the beginning.

Abbott Elementary (Hulu)

Throughout this week, I binged the first season of ABC’s Abbot Elementary on Hulu.  A comedic mockumentary about the teachers at a Philadelphia public school, Abbott Elementary owes a bit of a debt to The Office but, at the same time, it also quickly established an identity of its own.  It was a good, heartfelt comedy, one that made a point about the importance of supporting teachers without ever committing the Parks and Rec sin of getting preachy or self-satisfied.  Of the ensemble cast, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James were the stand-outs but really, everyone did a good job of bringing their characters to wonderful life.  I look forward to season 2!

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

How to get the British airmen out of France?  How about sending them up in a Helium balloon?  But how to keep the Germans from noticing the balloon?  How about moving up the wedding of Fanny and Ernest LeClerc?  Sure, why not?  It didn’t necessarily make any sense but I’m used to that by now.  The episode ended with the wedding and the release of what Officer Crabtree called a “carrier podgeon.”  I suppose that next Sunday, I’ll learn why this latest attempt to rescue the airmen failed.

Atlanta (Thursday, FX)

This week’s episode of Atlanta was another stand-alone episode dealing with white people struggling to understand black culture.  This time, the story dealt with a wealthy New York couple who, while attending the funeral of their Trinidadian nanny, discover that not only was she more of a parental figure to their son than they were but that she was also so busy raising the children of wealthy white people that she missed out on raising her own children.  Chet Hanks had an odd but somehow appropriate cameo as one of the people who the nanny had raised.

It was an okay episode and, unlike the other stand-alone episodes, it was clearly not a dream.  (For the same of continuity, posters advertising Paper Boi’s tour are visible during one scene.)  The humor and the satire was still sharp but also notably gentler this week than it’s been all season. That said, this episode felt like a clear follow-up to White Fashion, with its portrayal of neglectful white parents who use people of color to raise their children but who, at the same time, can’t even be bothered to learn anything about their nanny’s life or culture.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry’s back!  After all the excitement of last season’s finale, the new season Barry opened with everyone stuck in the same rut.  Barry is auditioning for roles and still killing people for money.  Sally is working on her television series.  NoHo Hank is struggling to be a gangster.  Gene is in mourning and looking for revenge.  (I loved the fact that his gun was a gift from Rip Torn.)  Fuches is in Chechnya, eating cereal.  The first episode served its purpose.  It reintroduced us to the characters (due to the Pandemic, there was a long delay between the 2nd and 3rd seasons) and reminded us of why we watch them in the first place.  Bill Hader both directed and starred and showed once again that he is a talent to be reckoned with.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Better Call Saul is an enthralling show, even if I’m often left a little bit confused as to what exactly is going on.  Bob Odenkirk is brilliant, though this week’s episode was dominated by Michael Mando in the role of the intimidating but ultimately tragic Nacho.  Perhaps because we know what’s going to happen to the majority of the characters once Walter White shows up, the shadow of death hangs even heavier over Better Call Saul than it did over Breaking Bad.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

Upset that his children were tying up the phone, Mike Brady came up with the brilliant idea of installing a pay phone in the house.  How did that even work?  Who installed the phone?  Who collected the money?  Seriously, this was one of Mike’s worst ideas and he was never held responsible for it.

This was followed by an episode in which Bobby got it into his head that Carol was going to kill him so he tried to run away.  Would anyone have missed Bobby in that crowded house?  This was followed by an episode in which Marcia got braces and the world world stopped while everyone tried to make her feel better.  (Good for them!  I never needed braces, by the way.)  The fourth episode of MeTV’s bloc of Brady programming featured Peter saving a little girl from being crushed by a collapsing wall.  Peter was a hero but he let it go to his head.  Mike had to remind Peter that he was still only the middle child and, as such, had no right to feel good about anything.

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

I missed last week’s bloc of Full House but I get the feeling that once you’ve seen one episode of this show, you’ve seen them all.  The first episode of Sunday’s bloc was yet another one where Jesse was worried that he was no longer as cool as he had once been.  After being ridiculed by his old friend Scott Baio, Jesse hopped on his motorcycle and drove up to the roof of a building.  Apparently, he planned to jump from one roof to another.  Rebecca, however, talked him down.  The funniest thing about this episode was the discovery that Jesse’s nickname was once “Dr. Dare.”  Like, seriously, I get the feeling that Jesse’s fiends were probably making fun of him when they gave him that nickname.

This was followed by an episode in which Michelle’s third birthday party was ruined by the combined stupidity of Jesse and Stephanie.  Michelle may have said she was happy celebrating her birthday in that dirty gas station but she was lying big time.  The next episode featured Stephanie panicking due to an earthquake and Danny eventually taking her to a therapist so that she could discuss her feelings.  Luckily, it only took five minutes to cure Stephanie of her anxiety.  The day’s final episode found Joey and Jesse once again struggling to write a jingle together.  Meanwhile, the family’s new dog, destroyed Stephanie’s childhood toy but no one cared because Stephanie’s the middle child.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

Much last week, this week’s episode of The Girl From Plainville got bogged down with a lot of boring courtroom dramatics.  Still, the final scene, with Michelle Carter fantasizing about her sister singing Teenage Dirtbag, was nicely done.  The Girl From Plainville seems like it would be a fine miniseries if it was only four episodes long but, at eight episodes, it just feels a bit too overextended.

Happy Days (Weekday Evening, MeTV)

I watched Happy Days on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, despite the fact that the continuing popularity of this show has always escaped me.  The reason I watched is because it was the three-part episode in which the Cunninghams and Fonzie went to California and Fonzie ended up proving his courage by putting on water skis and jumping over a shark.  It was an important moment in pop cultural history so I felt it was important that I watch.  Fortunately, Fonzie made it over the shark and Richie realized that he would rather be a journalist than an actor.

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

On Tuesday, I watched the episode where Jimmy Carter tried to heal Hank and Cotton’s relationship.  It’s a classic episode, if just for Hank and Cotton’s disdainful comments as Jimmy and his secret service detail fled the scene.  “Why, that’s was just a one-term peanut farmer.”  “The man wore a sweater.”  Take that, Carter!

On Wednesday, I watched four episodes.  Hank carried the Olympic torch and learned that it was okay to be happy.  Peggy overthrew the tyrannical king of a Renaissance Faire.  (Alan Rickman voiced the king, which was pretty neat.)  Connie and the Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience went to Branson, where Bobby sold a joke to comedian Yakov Smirnoff.  Peggy was conned out of her retirement savings but she got the money back.  Yay!

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

The headmaster of an exclusive private school has been shot!  Was it because he was too woke?  Nope, it turns out that he was shot by a troubled student.  The D.A.’s office decided to charge both the student and the student’s father. Personally, I found their actions to be legally dubious but the jury disagreed.  D.A. Jack McCoy was okay with manipulating legal statutes but I don’t think Adam Schiff nor Arthur Branch would have been happy with what his office ended up doing.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville’s broom fell apart and Nurse Gladys Emmanuel needed a new washing machine.  In the end, no one got what they needed.  That’s what happens when you’re open all hours.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

T.J. Hooker (Saturday, Decades TV)

William Shatner is a tough cop who speaks in a very dramatic fashion.  I was doing some work in my office on Saturday so I had this old 80s cop show playing in the background.  (Decades TV was apparently celebrating the 80s with a TJ Hooker marathon.)  The episodes kind of blended together but watching Shatner back when he was still taking himself seriously is always fun.

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

The latest Baltimore-set miniseries from David Simon and The Wire crew, We Own This City premiered this week and the first episode proved to be, in typical Simon fashion, both frustrating and fascinating.  The show’s political asides were heavy-handed but it’s depiction of a troubled American city was heart-breaking.  Simon has never flinched from showing how political corruption, racism, poverty, and crime all come together to create a destructive cycle that’s impossible to escape.  Because happy endings are nearly nonexistent, Simon’s show can be difficult to watch but each one is something that should be watched.  As for We Own The City, this miniseries deals with police corruption in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray and the subsequent uprising.  Out of the large ensemble cast, Jon Bernthal and Josh Charles are early stand-outs.

Lisa Marie’s Week in Television: 4/10/22 — 4/16/22


Because of the holidays, I haven’t seen the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead yet.  It’s on the DVR, along with American Idol and all the British comedies that I usually watch.  I’ll review it in the upcoming few days, even though I’m sure everyone has moved on by now.  One fun thing about having your own site is that you can set your own schedule.

Here’s a few thoughts on what I did watch:

61st Street (Sunday Night, AMC)

Arriving with very little fanfare, 61st Street is AMC’s latest original series.  It takes place in Chicago and it deals with a burned-out defense attorney (Courtney B. Vance) and a high school track star (Tosin Cole) who is just trying to survive long enough to make it to college.  Unfortunately, Cole is in the wrong place at the wrong time and, as the premiere episode came to a close, he was being pursued by the Chicago cops.

Judging from the pilot, the show is attempting to do for Chicago what The Wire did for Baltimore.  The problem, however, is that 61st Street never feels as authentic, unpredictable, or downright dangerous as The Wire.  In the pilot, at least, the characters came across as being caricatures and, for a show that is set in a very real neighborhood, there was little sense of place to be found.  The show could have been taking place in any generic city.

Interestingly enough, the show as created by Peter Moffat, an British writer who is best-known for writing a series of films and television shows about recent British history.  He also wrote the script for the worst film that Clint Eastwood ever directed, Hereafter.  You have to wonder just what exactly led Moffat to try to capture the spirit of Chicago.  For that matter, why do we even need yet another show about Chicago?  There are other cities in America.

2022 Masters Golf Tournament (Sunday, CBS)

I watched a bit of it with Jeff on Sunday afternoon.  The golf course was really pretty.  I’m going to learn how to play golf.  I already kind of know but I want to learn how to play golf well!  Why should my boyfriend have all the fun?

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

During this Sunday’s block of The Brady Bunch, Bobby became a pest after saving Peter’s life, Jan freaked out because she wasn’t good at anything, Bobby and Peter imagined what it would be like to live on another planet, and some weird new family showed up as a part of backdoor pilot!  While it’s best not to spend too much time thinking about The Brady Bunch, I have always been amused by backdoor pilots.  It’s always like, “Oh, hey, people we’ve never seen or head about before!  Wait …. why is the show following them to their home?”

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

The Tanners are going to Hawaii!

Sunday’s 4-episode bloc of Full House opened with an episode in which Danny, the girls, the uncles, and aunt Becky all went to Hawaii to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Joey and Jesse moving into the house.  The cool thing about this episode is that it had plenty of Hawaiian scenery and Becky got mad at Jesse for talking about Elvis all the time.  You tell him, Becky!

This was followed by three episodes in which everyone learned an important lesson.  DJ and Stephanie learned about the importance of going to school.  Becky and Jesse learned how to communicate as a couple.  Stephanie learned not to make fun of her nerdy friend and Danny really should have learned to stop inviting Joey to appear on Good Morning San Francisco.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Girl From Plainville here. 

As I mentioned in that post, I’m pretty much over the show and I will probably, from now on, only offer capsule reviews of the 3 remaining episodes in my Week in TV posts.

Hard Cell (Netflix)

This British sitcom takes place in a women’s prison in which the majority of the characters are played by Catherine Tate.  I watched the first two episodes on Wednesday and, unfortunately, neither one of them really worked for me.  There really wasn’t much gained by having Tate play multiple characters and the mockumentary approach no longer feels that fresh.  Tate is undeniably talented but the show just fell flat.

It’s The Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (Apple TV+)

Erin and I watched this on Saturday afternoon.  Erin wrote about this special a few years ago.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

This week’s “ripped from the headline” case was based on the Ed Buck murder trial and featured a wealthy, old white man who liked to pick up young black men and then shoot them up with drugs.  Occasionally, the younger men died.  He was brought to justice, just as Ed Buck finally was.  This was an okay episode and it gave Camryn Manheim a chance to shine.

I do have to say that I still always find it amusing how the Law & Order franchise has imagined a world in which a bunch of blue collar, unsentimental New York cops all talk like panelists on MSNBC.  I kind of doubt that many cops voted for Bernie Sanders but you wouldn’t know that from watching this show.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

On this week’s cruise: Telma Hopkins, Theresa Merritt, Brian Stokes Mitchell, James Noble, Raymond St. Jacques, Holland Taylor, Adam West, and Alan Young!  The highlight was Adam West, parodying himself in the role of an overly macho buffoon.

Midnight Mass (Netflix)

This horror-themed miniseries from Mike Flanagan was released in October of last year but, at the time, I really didn’t feel like watching a show about a demonic priest.  However, with the Emmy nominations coming up, I figured that I should go ahead and give the show a try.  At the very least, I wanted to see if it lived up to all the acclaim.

It’s a show about life on an isolated island and what happens to the community when a mysterious priest shows up.  I watched the first episode on Sunday night and it was pretty effective, even if some of the dialogue felt a bit overwritten.  Flanagan knows how to create a creepy and intriguing atmosphere and I liked Hamish Linklater’s menacing-but-friendly portrayal of Father Paul Hill.  I did not like the episode’s final scene, which involved a bunch of dead cats washing up on the beach.  Normally, that’s the sort of thing that would make me stop watching but, because of my faith in the storytelling abilities of Mike Flanagan, I decided to make an exception in the case of Midnight Mass.

That said, Holy Week (especially one that I was spending with my sisters) didn’t really feel like the right time to watch a miniseries about an evil priest so I decided to put off watching the rest of the show until next week.

The Outlaws (Amazon Prime)

This British comedy/drama hybrid deals with seven strangers who are forced to due community service as punishment for breaking the law.  At first, they start off as strangers but then they bond and steal a lot of money.  You can probably guess the story.  Christopher Walken plays Frank, an old con artist who has recently been released for prison.  He’s a delight, as always.

I watched the first episode of this show on Monday night and I have to say that it kind of annoyed me.  I appreciated the performances of Walken, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Darren Boyd but otherwise, the show itself often seemed to be trying a bit too hard and the mix of comedy and drama occasionally played a bit awkwardly.  Largely due to the fact that it was only a 6-epiosde series and the presence of Christopher Walken in the cast, I decided that I would give the show a second chance but that first episode didn’t do much for me.

I watched the second episode late on Tuesday night.  It was a definite improvement on the second episode and featured plenty of good Walken moments but the hour length still made the episode feel as if it was punishingly overextended and the show’s balance between comedy and drama continued to be a rather awkward one.

I’ll watch the four remaining episodes of the show next week.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor here!

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

I finished up Yellowackets on Monday afternoon.  I cried with Laura Lee blew up.  I was also really upset when Jackie froze to death.  And don’t even get me started on the dog!  This was actually kind of a traumatic series.  Still, it was a fascinating show to watch and I look forward to seeing how things plays out during the second season.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Televison: 4/3/22 — 4/9/22


For the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to catch up on all the potential Emmy nominees that I missed when they first aired.  So, I guess my week in television is about to get a lot busier!

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

“I shall say this only once,” Rene announced to Michelle, “I am done with the Resistance!”

Rene says this during nearly every episode of Allo Allo and no one ever believes him.  Such was the case with Sunday’s episode.  Michelle responded to Rene’s resignation from the Resistance by giving him suicide pills and announcing that the British airmen had been captured but she had a great plan to rescue them, a plan that would, of course, hinge on Rene’s involvement.  While Rene’s mother-in-law prepared for her wedding and Lt. Gruber tried to make sure that the painting did not fall into the hands of his rivals, Rene had to deal with a code book that had been eaten by rats.  I realize that previousy sentence makes no sense but that’s to be expected with this show.  Eventually, everyone ended up disguised as an undertaker while Crabtree wished everyone a “Good moaning,” in his fractured French.

American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)

Hollywood week came to a close with two episodes of American Idol.

On Sunday, the finalists were forced to perform duets, which meant that the episode was full of people singing painfully sincere songs and getting all emotional.  It was a bit awkward to watch at times.  There was a definite lack of drama, as only one duet team failed to get along.  Though a lot of Idol fans are going to hate me for saying this, I found myself getting a little bit tired of Kelcie going on and on about how insecure she was.  Fortunately, she was paired with Betty, who made it her life mission to bring Kelcie out of her shell.  And it worked, as both Kelcie and Betty made it to the next round.

On Monday, the remaining competitors performed one last time for the judges and they were whittled down to 24.  Both Betty and Kelcie were let go during this round.  We didn’t actually get to see Betty’s performance but we did see Kelcie perform and she wasn’t bad.  She’s got a great voice, even if the insecurity is a bit hard to take.  But she was apparently let go specifically because of the insecurity, with the judges telling her to work on her confidence so …. I don’t know.  It seems like, if that was going to be a determining factor, that’s something that they could have said during the Duets.  Instead, they put Kelcie through because it would make for good television to then cut her at the last minute.

Anyway, it’s a pretty bland bunch of singers this season.  They’ve got good voices but there’s very little real quirkiness to be found.  And no, Leah Marlene is not quirky, no matter how many times she tells us that she is.  Real quirkiness is natural.  It’s not something you have to work at.

Bar Rescue (Sunday and weekday mornings, Paramount)

Sunday’s bloc of Bar Rescue episodes was all about Jon rescuing bars in Texas!  I watched two episodes on Sunday evening.  They were both set in Houston and they both involved a lot of yelling.  The important thing, though, is that every bar was made profitable by the end of the hour.

On Monday, I watched an old episode that found Jon Taffer and the crew in Florida.  The bar owner thought that Taffer had good ideas.  The bar manager felt that Taffer was rude and he resented being yelled at.  I was kind of on the manager’s side as far as that was concerned because Taffer really did go a bit overboard with the yelling during this episode.  Fortunately, everything worked out in the end.  The bar was rescued, just in time for the hurricane season.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, ABC)

It amuses me to no end how this show keeps pretending like the celebrities are in mortal danger in the jungle.  We all know that production is not going to let Metta World Peace drown in quicksand.  After I pointed this out on twitter, a fan of the show wrote to me, and said, “Your weird.”  (That’s an exact quote, including the misuse of your.)  Oh well!  You can’t please everyone.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

What a weird collection of episodes!  First off, we had an episode where Mike’s father and Carol’s mother visited and the kids tried to get them to fall in love with each other.  Robert Reed and Florence Henderson played their own parents.  You could tell Florence was just having fun but Robert really went all in and acted up a storm.  This was followed by the episode where Cindy and Bobby auditioned to be on television and Cindy ended up freezing once the cameras were on her.  Poor Cindy!  Finally, Bobby got his first kiss and turned into a jerk and then Greg got in trouble for helping his friends steal a goat.  The drama never stopped with those Bradys!

The Chair (Netflix)

I watched all six episodes of The Chair‘s first (and, perhaps, only) season on Thursday.  In this comedy-drama, Sandra Oh plays the newly named chair of Pembroke University’s moribund English department.  When the department’s most popular professor (Jay Duplass) is filmed doing a Nazi salute in jest, all heck breaks loose.  The Chair is a bit uneven but ultimately, it works.  It’s well-acted and the mix of comedy and drama is, for the most part, effectively handled.  A recurring bit about David Duchovny being invited to give a lecture is a highlight of the show’s first season.

Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekday Afternoon, OWNTV)

I had this on as background noise for two hours on Monday.  That’s a total of four episodes, for those keeping count.  I didn’t really pay much attention because, again, it was background noise.  I did hear the audience gasp quite frequently.  And, of course, I looked up whenever Kendall Shull came out to deliver the lie detector results.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

I watched four episodes on Wednesday evening.  Mostly, I just had them on for background noise.  I do remember that one episode featured an attorney getting mad at a deputy who went through her private papers while she was giving her closing statement.  The deputy was held in contempt of court, as he definitely should have been.  He spent ten days in jail, after refusing to apologize to the attorney.

Cruel Summer (Hulu)

The first season of Cruel Summer aired on FreeForm last year.  With each episode jumping back and forth between three separate years, the show tells the story of two teenage girls in Texas.  One is abducted.  The other takes her place.  On Thursday, I watched the first two episodes of Hulu.  It was all a bit overdone and overheated but undeniably compelling.  I always enjoy a good melodrama.

Dopesick (Hulu)

On Thursday night and Friday morning, I finally watched the highly acclaimed miniseries, Dopesick.  The miniseries deals with the introduction of OxyContin and how the drug literally destroyed communities and continues to destroy them today.  This was one of those miniseries where good scenes co-existed with scenes that were a bit too on-the-nose for their own good.  Michael Keaton and Kaitlyn Dever both gave excellent performances as two people caught up in the epidemic.  The miniseries wasn’t quite as good as I had been led to believe and it was definitely heavy-handed but it was still effective enough to make an impression.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I wrote about the series finale of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Poor Uncle Jesse!  On his 26th birthday, he and his band had a gig at the hottest club in town.  Unfortunately, when the band couldn’t make it, Jesse’s idiot roommates decided to help him out and basically, they ruined Jesse’s big night.  Everything worked out in the end, though, because it’s not like Jesse could move out and have a normal life or anything like that.  The other three episodes that were shown on Sunday featured Joey getting back together with his ex (ewww!) and a two-parter in which Jesse and Becky nearly got married at a tacky casino before decided that it would be better to hold off so that Becky’s parents could come to the ceremony.  Run, Becky!  Escape while you still can.

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Girl From Plainville here!

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

I watched two episodes on Wednesday, both classics from the show’s final season.  In the first episode, Louanne and the Manger Babies got involved in the lucrative but demanding world of direct-to-DVD children’s programming.  As John Redcorn put it, “We are already direct-to-DVD.  There is no other place to go.”  This episode featured one of my favorite Dale storylines, as he tried to write a children’s book about the “gun who cared.”  The second episode featured Boomhauer allowing an obnoxious Canadian family to stay at his home while he went up to Ontario.  The Canadians were not impressed with America but Hank still helped one of them get out of jail because that’s what neighbors do.  Awwwww!

Law & Order (Thursday, NBC)

Eh.  The Law & Order revival is just as clumsy when it comes to handling political issues as the original series was.  This week, a congressional candidate was murdered and an extremist group went on trial and it all felt very much like partisan fan fiction.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

On this Sunday’s cruise: Frank Bonner, Shelley Fabares, Jennilee Harrison, Arte Johnson, Stephen Shortridge, McLean Stevenson, William Window, and Jane Wyatt.  Not exactly the most exciting line-up, to be honest.  And this was actually a pretty boring episode but the ship and the ocean both looked really nice!

The Office (All the time, Comedy Central)

I watched two episodes on Saturday.  Unfortunately, they were both from the 8th season.  In the first one, the Office crew went to a local trivia night.  The second episode was the pool party episode.  The trivia episode was actually fairly amusing but the pool party was the 8th season at its worse.  There was never any reason for Robert California to invite the Scranton branch to a pool party.  The problem with all of these ensemble party episodes during the post-Carell era is that they mostly just served to remind us that we really only knew these characters by how they related to Michael.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

After being rejected by Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, Arkwright considered burying Granville alive in the storeroom.  It was an intense episode.

Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)

In Detroit, Pony Tail handed out the tickets and encouraged everyone to be kind to each other.  It was a valiant effort but we all know that it’s cold in the D.  Anyway, I watched two episodes on Monday morning and they left me as aggravated as usual.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, ABC)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Chris Hardwicke interviewed people and complained about the villainy of Lance Hornsby.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed Sunday’s episode here!

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

I missed the first season of Yellowjackets when it first aired so I decided to catch up this weekend.  I binged the first half of the season on Saturday and I’ll do the second half tomorrow.  So far, this show has been playing out like a combination of Lost, Degrassi, and This is Us.  Even though I already kind of know what’s going to happens thanks to Wikipedia, I’m still intrigued by the show.  That said, I’m also spending a good deal of the show with my hands over my eyes because OH MY GOODNESS!  THE COACH LOST A LEG!  THAT GIRL’S FACE WAS RIPPED APART!  THERE’S A COMPOUND FRACTURE ON THE SOCCER FIELD!  EVERYONE’S PERIOD HAS SYCNED UP!  AGCK!  Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynesky, and Juliette Lewis are all Emmy-worthy.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 3/13/22 — 3/19/22


I probably watched too much television this week.  It happens.  But, on the plus side, I finally finished the first season of Baywatch Hawaii and I’m making progress on Silk Stalkings.  Plus, The Bachelor is over and I’m finally going to get a break from that franchise.  It’s always good to find the positive in things.

Here are some thoughts on what I watched this week:

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

Despite having announced last week that they had found the next great superstar in that girl who played the piano, the American Idol judges were back for more auditions this week.  As I’ve been saying ever since this season began, American Idol could use a little more negativity.  I know that we’re all supposed to be super supportive nowadays but these shows are more fun when some obnoxious dude who can’t carry a tune gets his dreams shattered by a snarky Brit.  Maybe Katy should bring Orlando with her to the next set of auditions.  He seems like he could handle the role.

That said, I did like the gospel singer because he seemed to be a genuinely nice person and I just hope the show doesn’t ruin him.  If he says he wants to sing gospel, let him sing gospel and let America decide whether or not to keep him around.  Personally, I’m not a huge gospel music fan but whatever.  It obviously meant a lot to him.

The Bachelor (Monday and Tuesday Night, ABC)

Mostly because I found Clayton to be rather dull (hence, why I called him the Claytonbot), I didn’t watch much of the latest season of The Bachelor.  (It didn’t help, of course, that the Bachelor was scheduled opposite both Celebrity Big Brother and the Olympics.)  However, I did join my BFF Evelyn to watch the two-part finale on Monday and Tuesday nights.

Wow, what a mess.  The Claytonbot finally learned what love is and then promptly told three separate women that he was in love with them.  He then slept with two of them, which led the third one — Susie — to leave the show.  Then, at the Rose Ceremony, Claytonbot informed Gabby and Rachel that 1) he loved both of them and 2) that he had slept with both of them.  This caused Gabby to walk off the show.  Claytonbot, however, convinced Gabby to come back and accept the rose.  The next day, Gabby and Rachel both had a nice meeting with the Claytonbot’s human family.  After Gabby and Rachel left, Claytonbot informed everyone but the two women that he had decided that actually was in love with Susie and that he wanted a chance to try to convince her to return to the show. It didn’t seem to occur to the Claytonbot that Gabby and Rachel might not be happy with the idea of going through all of this emotional turmoil just so he could then track down the woman who had previously dumped him.  The Claytonbot’s human family looked deeply disappointed in him and somewhat embarrassed to be associated with him on national television.   That was all on Monday’s episode.

Tuesday’s episode was even messier as the Claytonbot dumped both Gabby and Rachel because he had decided that he was “most in love” with Susie.  Gabby yelled, Rachel cried, and they both ended up leaving.  Claytonbot proposed to Susie and Susie …. turned him down.  Bachelor Nation rejoiced!  But then host Jesse Palmer revealed that, after filming wrapped up, Susie slid into the Claytonbot’s DMs and now the two of them are dating.  The live studio audience was not happy, especially when Claytonbot said that all of the emotional turmoil was worth it to end up with Susie.  Try telling that to Gabby and Rachel, you dumbfug!  (I gave up cursing for Lent.)

Anyway, this season of the Bachelor ended not with an engagement but instead a lot of pain and hostility.  At least Gabby and Rachel will be the next bachelorettes.

Bar Rescue (Sunday and weekday mornings, Paramount)

I watched one episode on Sunday morning.  The owner of an Irish pub was drinking too much so Jon Taffer called him a jerk in front of all of his friends.  That probably helped with the alcoholism.

On Monday, I watched another episode.  In this one, Taffer and the crew revealed that the bar was selling cheap beer at premium prices.  This, of course, led to a Roadhouse-style bar brawl.  If only Dalton had been there to break it up.  Oh well!

On Tuesday, I again watched one episode.  Why was I watching so much Bar Rescue?  It’s kind of a fun show.  Jon Taffer is amusing and the show itself has a sense of humor about itself.  Anyway, Tuesday’s episode was about yet another bar owner who had a drinking problem.  Why do so many drunks end up owning bars?  I would never want to mix my hobbies with my day job.  Taffer yelled at her to get sober and, by the end of the episode, the alcoholism had been vanquished and the bar was making a lot of money.  Yay!

Baywatch Hawaii (Prime and Hulu)

On Tuesday night, I watched two episodes from the first season of Baywatch Hawaii.  The first episode featured Jessie training for a triathlon and then abandoning the race as soon as she realized that the team needed her to help out with a rescue.  Jessie put aside her personal goals for the good of the team.  If I was in a similar situation, I cannot say that I would have done the same.  This second episode that I watched featured Sean, Jenna, and the team heading to the Big Island for a conference on drowning.  With Jenna’s help Sean came to terms with the drowning death of his son.  Both episodes felt like they had been assembled from scenes that had been cut from previous episodes.  There was an odd subplot during the first episode in which Jason was haunted by an apparently malicious water demon.  That whole storyline got abandoned after 20 minutes and was never mentioned again.  It was odd.  Like, seriously, how do you just forget about a water demon?

On Wednesday afternoon, I finally finished up season 1 with the final two episodes of the season.  Top-billed David Hasselhoff, who was absent for most of the season, finally returned as Mitch Buchanon.  In the first episode I watched, he helped Jessie’s grandfather deal with the guilt that he felt over surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Awwww!  Make fun of the Hoff all you want but sentimental stuff like this is what he’s good at and it was actually a pretty effective episode (by Baywatch Hawaii standards, of course).  The 2nd episode and the season finale featured Mitch …. GETTING BLOWN UP BY ECO-TERRORISTS!  Well, I guess that’s one way to get out of the show.  (Reportedly, the Hoff felt that he had been typecast as a result of his work on Baywatch.  Well, when you do a show for ten years, that will happen, I suppose.)   From what I understand, though, there was later a Baywatch reunion movie that established that Mitch actually survived the explosion, though with a case of amnesia.  That’s good because Mitch deserved better.  Other than Mitch getting blown up, the most interesting thing about this episode was that it revealed that both he and Sean were apparently part-time CIA agents, along with being lifeguards.  Good for them!  It’s always interesting to me how many part-time CIA agents there are on shows like this.

On Friday afternoon, I watched the first episode of the second season of Baywatch Hawaii.  There was no mention of Mitch or his sacrifice.  No one even seemed to be in mourning.  Instead, the episode introduced the viewers to a few new trainee lifeguards and also one new senior lifeguard, played by Brande Roderick.  Quite a few members of the first season cast were gone without explanation.  Jason Momoa was still there, however.  He looked kind of embarrassed.  As for the episode itself, it dealt with Sean and a former friend of his, an arrogant jet skier who didn’t care about stuff like teamwork.  *GASP!*

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

In this new reality show, 9 celebrities spend two weeks in the jungle and compete to raise money for charity.  Who will stay the entire two weeks!?  I watched the first episode and I don’t really care.  The celebs don’t really have any sort of personal stake in all of this so the competition aspect of it all is pretty dull.  I’m just glad that they’ve never done a celebrity edition of Survivor.  You know it’s going to happen someday, though.

The Bold and the Beautiful (Weekday Afternoon, CBS)

I watched an episode of the world’s greatest daytime drama on Tuesday afternoon.  Not much happened in the episode but the clothes were to die for and everyone owned a really nice house.  That’s the important thing.  It’s still hard for me to accept anyone other than Ronn Moss as Ridge.  Yes, I know it’s been ten years since Moss left the role but you have to understand that I don’t watch this show that often so, in my mind, it should still be exactly the same way that it was in 2009.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

MeTV showed four driving-related episodes of The Brady Bunch on Sunday.  Greg bought a car, without talking to his father about it first.  Carol had an accident and was sued by the other driver, who was faking his injuries.  Greg was told that he would not be allowed to drive his car for a week after nearly having an accident and then outsmarted his father by driving someone else’s car.  Marcia tried to get her license and this, of course, led to her and Greg getting into a fight over whether men were naturally better drivers than women.

I’m a bit disappointed that MeTV did not show the controversial episode were Mr. Brady ran over the homeless guy and then forced Alice to take the blame.  (Fortunately, Alice got out of prison just in time to appear on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour.)

Children’s Hospital (Hulu)

Yay!  My favorite medical show is on Hulu!  I rewatched season one on Sunday night.  Fortunately, since there were only five 11-minute episodes in that season, it only took me an hour.  But what an hour!  How great it was to see the early days of Children’s Hospital, when Dr. Cat Black was narrating her thoughts and Dr. Lola Spratt was pretending to have a brain tumor so she could break up with Owen.  And let’s not forget Dr. Blake Downs, curing people with the power of laughter!

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

I only watched one episode on Wednesday evening.  This episode featured too much true crime footage for me.  I prefer when the episode focuses on lawyers acting strangely and judges speaking sarcastically.  Watching the actual crimes that led to people ending up in court in the first place just isn’t as much fun.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Things continued to get heated at the Tanner household.  First, Joey and Jesse had to write a jingle together.  Then, the Beach Boys mysteriously showed up.  This was followed by Joey trying to be an authority figure as opposed to just a second-rate comic with an angry ex-girlfriend.  Finally, Danny was frustrated to discover that there apparently wasn’t a single woman in San Francisco who hadn’t already dated Jesse.  Poor DJ and Stephanie, it had to be traumatic growing up in that household!  That said, everything always worked out in the end.  The sentimental music would play.  Danny would say something wise.  The audience would respond with, “Awwwwwww!”

Happy Days (Weekday Evenings, MeTV)

I’m never quite understood the popularity of this old show but I did watch one episode on Tuesday evening.  The Fonz had to convince his cousin, Spike, not to be a delinquent.  Ron Howard only appeared for a few minutes at the start of the episode.  I guess it was largely filmed during his week off.

Inventing Anna (Netflix)

On Friday, I finally decided to return to watching Inventing Anna.  It’s not so much that Inventing Anna is any good (it’s not) as much as it’s just a case of me not wanting to leave anything unfinished.  I started watching this show and dammit, I’m going to finish it!  Even if it takes me until 2024.

Anyway, I finally watched the 6th episode, which was all about Anna and her friends traveling to Morocco and Anna apparently committing credit card fraud in order to pay for the whole vacation.  To be honest, though, the episode was really about the character of Vivian Kent bulging her eyes and going overboard with the facial expressions while listening to everyone’s story.  After spending an hour presenting Anna as being a terrible and manipulative friend, the episode suddenly shifted gears and had people talking about how, “I felt so sorry for Anna, in Morocco all alone.”  It was kind of annoying and didn’t make much sense.  Nothing about the way Anna has been portrayed on this show makes it believable that she would inspire that type of loyalty.  Maybe I’ll finish this show next year.

King of the Hill (Hulu and weekday afternoons on FXX)

I watched one random episode on Hulu on Monday evening.  Kahn mortgaged his house to be buy Scrubby’s Car Wash, which was apparently an Arlen institution despite having never been mentioned on the show before this episode.  Needless to say, Kahn’s abrasive management style was not a hit with the redneck customers and eventually, Mr. Strickland had to step in.  It was an okay episode, if not one of the show’s best.  The highlight of the episode was the introduction of infomercial huckster Dr. Money.  Dr. Money promised to make his customer so rich that they would have “champagne for breakfast and caviar for your cat!”

On Tuesday, I watched four episodes on FXX.  I watched as Peggy attempted to run a used bookstore and end up instead running a gun shop.  I watched the classic Halloween episode where Louanne ended up a prisoner of insane pork product industrialist Trip Larsen.  This was followed by the episode in which Dale was hired to kill the rats at the Mega-Lo Mart and instead discovered that jazz trumpeter Chuck Mangione was secretly living in the store.  Finally, I watched an episode in which Louanne became a boxer and ended up fighting George Foreman’s daughter.  Hank nearly got into a fight with Foreman himself over whether or not the Foremen Grill was a novelty product or not.  Luckily, George’s son broke up the fight.  “No, Daddy!  He ain’t worth it!” still makes me laugh every time that I hear it.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

On this week’s “ripped from the headlines” Law & Order, a tennis player who was definitely not meant to be one of the Williams sisters stood accused of murdering a family court judge.  The tennis player went with an insanity defense, claiming that she was suffering from a manic episode at the time of the murder and that only her father’s conservatorship could keep her from losing control.  So, just like that, the episode went from being about the Williams sisters to being about Britney Spears.  In short, this episode was so ripped from the headlines that it was actually kind of dumb.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

On this week’s cruise: Sharon Gabet, Laurence Lau, Denise Miller, Taylor Miller, Robert Pine, Janine Turner, and Ruth Warrick.  Admittedly, that’s not exactly the most memorable list of passengers and it was a bit of a silly episode.  Somehow, Gopher got trapped in a suit of armor while a preacher was romantically pursued by two of his followers.  And then, out of nowhere, there was this huge dramatic storyline, in which Warrick tried to forgive the son of the man who killed her husband in a drunk driving accident.  It was an odd cruise but the scenery was nice.

M*A*S*H (Hulu and Weekday Evenings, MeTV)

Like Happy Days, this is another old show that I usually don’t really care for but I did watch two episodes on Tuesday.  Both of them featured Alan Alda talking about how much he hates the war and basically getting in everyone else’s way.  Like, seriously, Hawkeye — EVERYONE HATES WAR!  It’s not all about you.

On Friday, I discovered that M*A*S*H is on Hulu and I decided to give the show another shot, mostly because people really do tend to rave about it.  Jeff suggested that I check out a later episode called “Dreams” and oh my God, was it effective!  While dealing with a seemingly never-ending amount of wounded soldiers, each of the main characters tried to get an hour or two of sleep and everyone ended up having a dream about what the war was doing to them, mentally.  It was a bit heavy-handed but it was undeniably effective.  Who knows?  I may have to give this show another shot next week.

Saved By The Bell (Saturday, E!)

E! did a Saved By The Bell marathon on Saturday.  I watched as Kelly broke up with Zack, Zack solved the mystery weekend, and Johnny Dakota tried to get all the students at Bayside hooked on the weed with roots in Heck.  Bad Johnny Dakota!

(Yes, I said “roots in Heck.”  I gave up cursing for Lent.  I realize that I probably could have gotten away with not using Heck because it’s a name of place, as opposed to an actual exclamation.  But I decided that it’s best not to get cutesy with Lent.)

Savoring Our Faith (Sunday Afternoon, EWTN)

Fr. Leon Patalinghug talked about St. Patrick and why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while preparing a meal.  I watched this with Erin on Sunday and, somewhat unexpectedly, I enjoyed it.  It’s an Irish Catholic thing.

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

On Monday, I returned to Silk Stalkings.  I watched the show’s 41st episode, in which Chris got shot at after witnessing yet another fight between a man, his mistress, and his wife. Chris literally couldn’t leave his apartment without witnessing a fight. Once again, the no-funsters at the police department were trying to get Chris in trouble but luckily, Rita was there to solve the crime.  To be honest, it was kind of a confusing episode but, as I’ve said before, this isn’t show that you watch for the plots.  You watch it for the frequently unclothed people committing crimes and having melodramatic conversations.  It’s a lot of fun.

On Tuesday, I watched episode #42.  A serial killer was stalking women who had sought the advice of a fake astrologer.  Chris not only flirted with every woman he met (even if he happened to meet them at a crime scene) but he also tossed the killer into the ocean.  Way to go, Chris!

On Friday morning, I watched episode #43, in which Chris and Rita investigated a murder connected to phone sex and prostitution.  Can you guess what happened next?  If you guessed, “Chris goes undercover as a client and Rita goes undercover as a phone sex operator,” you are correct!  This was a supremely silly episode, largely because there was only one suspect so it was pretty easy to guess who was going to end up getting shot at the end of it all.  Still, Chris and Rita!  How can you not love them?

I followed this with Episode #44 (entitled “Crime of Love”), which was also the first episode of the show’s third season!  Rita suspected that an author that she had previously arrested was responsible for murdering the wife of his publisher.  She was certain that there was no way that he could have reformed but it turned out that he wasn’t the murderer.  Sometimes you have to give people a second chance, Rita!

Since I was on a bit of a Chris & Rita roll, I decided to to watch two more episodes.  The first was Episode #45 (entitled “Team Spirit”), in which Chris and Rita investigated a serial killer who was targeting wealthy men.  However, the most interesting thing about the episode was the B-plot, in which Chris was audited by the IRS after he attempted to write off his wardrobe as a business expense! Even while being audited, Chris couldn’t help but flirt with the IRS agent.  Oh, Chris!

Episode #46 (“The Perfect Alibi”) found Chris and Rita investigating a hot tub murder that was linked to a gang of video tape bootleggers.  It was all very 90s but the main bad guy was named Sorkin so that was kind of amusing.  As usual, every suspect that Chris visited was just getting out of shower when Chris arrived at the apartment.  This happened every single episode but anyone who has watched the show knows that it didn’t matter how many half-naked people tried to come between them, Chris and Rita were always meant to be together.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode at Reality TV Chat Blog!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Yay!  For the second week in a row, Talking Dead was broadcast from the studio as opposed to Chris Hardwicke’s living room.  Nature is healing.

Vaticano (Sunday Afteroon, EWTN)

It’s news for Catholics!  It’s also Lent so I watched this with Erin on Sunday afternoon.  I couldn’t help but remember the time that we visited Italy and took a tour of the Vatican.  It was, needless to say, beyond amazing.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed this week’s episode here!

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 Marie’s Week In Television: 2/20/22 — 2/26/22


This week, I devoted a good deal of time to watching the news.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been horrifying to watch unfold.  At the same time, the bravery of the people of Ukraine has also been inspiring to witness.

Here’s a few thoughts on everything else that I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

While the Germans continued to search for the stolen gold, Rene reluctantly went through with marrying Edith, despite the fact that he’s really in love with Yvette.  Of course, Rene already was married to Edith but, because everyone in the village was convinced that Rene was actually his twin brother (who, coincidentally, was also named Rene), it was believed that Edith was a widow.  Alphonse even proposed marriage to her and Rene was forced to go through with the second marriage despite the fact that he wasn’t particularly happy with his first.  Got all that?

Meanwhile, Herr Flick sent Helga to try to distract Rene so that …. well, I’m not sure why Herr Flick did that.  I assume that it probably had something to do with recovering the stolen gold.  To be honest, it’s hard to keep track of everyone’s individual motivations.  The important thing is that Crabtree showed up and spoke in his mangled version of French.  Plus, LeClerc showed up, wearing a wet suit and announced, “It is I, LeClerc.”

It made me laugh.  That’s the important thing.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, ABC)

I wrote about the latest leg of the race here!  This was actually probably one of the best episodes in the history of The Amazing Race, with each of the four remaining teams revealing a bit about themselves and their dynamic.  I now like all four of the teams, even Kim & Penn.  I’m thankful that this week’s episode was a non-elimination leg and, as a result, Ryan and Dusty are still in the Race.  The finale is next week!  I am currently rooting for Cayla and Raquel because they remind me of myself and Erin.

Celebrity Big Bother (Paramount Plus and CBS)

It’s over!  I wrote about the final few days of Celebrity Big Brother at the Big Brother Blog!  This was a tough season to watch and I have to admit that there were a few times when I really resented the fact that it existed at all.  In the end, the jury showed zero enthusiasm as they named Meisha the season’s winner.  Todrick Hall pretty much ruined his reputation so that he could be the runner up.  It was not a pleasant season to watch.  Hopefully, this will be the final installment of Celebrity Big Brother.

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched an episode on Tuesday night.  Rachel was dating Bruce Willis.  Ross was dating Bruce Willis’s daughter.  Chaos ensued.  Ross discovered that Bruce was just as neurotic and nerdy as he was, which was kind of a nice touch.  That said, I do feel like Friends always went a little bit overboard with the celebrity guest stars.

I Survived A Serial Killer (Friday Afternoon, A&E)

I have mixed feelings about this show.  On the one hand, it’s great that the people being interview survived.  On the other hand, it’s kind of disturbing that “serial killer” is one of those terms that apparently brings in the viewers.  I’m as guilty as anyone, of course.  I mean, I ended up watching three episodes of this show on Friday!  It’s just that I worry that we sometimes give serial killers so much attention that we turn them into celebrities.  Serial killers are losers and they should be treated like losers.  Consider someone like The BTK Killer, who coined his own nickname.  He craved attention and he’s still getting it, even though he’s currently sitting in prison.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

12 years after initially being canceled, Law & Order is back for its 21st season!  Returning are Anthony Anderson (on the law side) and Sam Waterston (on the order side).  Camyrn Manheim is the new precinct captain.  Jeffrey Donavon is Anderson’s partner.  Hugh Dancy and Odelya Halevi are the new assistant DAs.

The first episode of this revival was a bit uneven.  It dealt with the murder of a famous singer (played by Norm Lewis) who was obviously meant to serve as a stand-in for Bill Cosby.  The singer had been convicted of rape but his sentence was overturned on a technicality.  He was gunned down outside of his New York townhouse.  Even though he was literally shot in the crotch, it took Anderson and Donavon a while to figure out that the murder was related to his crimes.

Anyway, it turned out that one of his victims was the murderer but Donavon resorted to unethical means to get a confession from her and Dancy, being one of those annoyingly idealistic types, didn’t want to use evidence that he considered to be tainted.  Previous cast member Carey Lowell returned in the role of Jamie Ross but it was a bit of an unsatisfying return because the episode never fully committed to whether or not she knew about the murder in advance or not.

(It was also a bit strange since it had been previously established that Jamie Ross left the DA’s office, became a defense attorney, and was then appointed to a judgeship.  Yet, on this episode of Law & Order, she was once again working for the District Attorney’s office.  No one mentioned anything about her being a former judge, either.  Obviously, it was a continuity error but I still hope the show tries to come up with an in-universe explanation at some point.)

The main problem with the episode was that each of the new characters were basically only given one personality trait.  Donavon was always angry.  Dancy was always conflicted.  There wasn’t much nuance to either one of them and it was easy to get annoyed with both characters.  Meanwhile, poor Odelya Halevi wasn’t really given any personality at all.  Hopefully, next week’s episode will be a bit better.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Taking a cruise on The Love Boat: David Doyle, Jack Gilford, Matthew Laborteaux, Charles Siebert, Connie Stevens, and Nancy Walker!  Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the greatest group of guest stars but still, I always enjoy seeing episodes of this silly, old show.  It’s all just so pleasantly superficial.

Murderville (Netflix)

On this Netflix show, Will Arnett is Detective Terry Seattle, a tough homicide detective who investigates a different murder every episode.  Each episode also features a new celebrity partner.  Because Seattle isn’t good at his job, it falls on the celeb to solve the murder.  The fun of the show is that it’s largely improvised, so the celeb has to think on their feet while trying not to laugh at the increasingly ludicrous details of each case.  Some celebs are better at this than others.

I watched two episodes on Sunday morning.  Seattle’s first partner was Conan O’Brien.  His second partner was football player Marshawn Lynch.  Conan correctly guessed the murderer.  Marshawn didn’t.  Conan obviously has more experience with improv than Marshawn but Marshawn’s lack of experience mixed with his own enthusiasm made him a bit more exciting to watch.

I enjoyed those first two episodes so much that, a few hours later, I decided to kill some time by watching the next two.  Kumail Nanjiani, to be honest, has gotten a bit too self-important lately but he was still fun to watch in his episode.  The fact that he kept laughing just added to the fun.  Annie Murphy, meanwhile, was brilliant.  I loved the fact that, instead of really paying attention to everything that was going on, she just made up clues.  Both Kumail and Annie correctly guessed who the murderer was.  Kumail, especially, did a good job.  I got the feeling that Annie’s guess was a bit more random but I would probably have done the exact same thing if I had found myself in her situation.  She guessed correctly and that is what was truly important.

I watched the final two episodes on Tuesday.  Sharon Stone and Ken Jeong were the final two guest stars and they were both good in their individual ways.  Stone, being a dramatic actress, tried to give a fairly straight performance, regardless of how strange things got.  Jeong, on the other hand, could not stop laughing and that was actually pretty endearing.  Fortunately, with Jeong’s help, Seattle was able to figure out who murdered his former partner and hopefully, Seattle will now be able to move on with his life.

With all that in mind, here are my Murderville rankings:

  1. Annie Murphy
  2. Kumail Nanjiani
  3. Marshawn Lynch
  4. Conan O’Brien
  5. Ken Jeong
  6. Sharon Stone

All six of them did a pretty good job.  So did Terry, eventually.

The Office (All Week, Comedy Central and Freeform)

I watched three episodes on Monday afternoon: The Injury, Michael’s Birthday, and The Convict.  All three of them were classics.  The Convict features one of my favorite scenes, in which Michael Scott attempted to transform himself into “Prison Mike.”  Then, on Tuesday, I caught the Golden Ticket episode on Freeform.  That’s always been one of my favorites, even if it does involve Michael trying to frame Dwight for coming up with a really terrible promotion.  Indeed, this episode featured Michael being a terrible boss and I’m a little surprised that Dwight was so forgiving.  That said, “Shoe La La” sounded like it had potential.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

The existential horror of working for Arkwright continued for poor Granville.  As usual, the episode ended with Arkwright talking to himself.  What a depressing show!

Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

I wrote about the latest episode of Pam & Tommy here!  This week’s episode wasn’t that bad but the show itself continues to feel a bit pointless.  There’s two more episodes left and I really can’t imagine what could possibly be left to say about these people.

Seinfeld (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched two episodes on Tuesday night.  In one episode, George lost his keys in a pothole, Kramer adopted a highway, and Elaine moved into a janitor’s closet so she could order food from a restaurant that didn’t deliver to her actual address.  (I hope the duck was worth it!)  The second episode featured George freaking out over an oven fire and tossing an old woman with a walker out of his way as he ran from the apartment.  George survived the fire but he was still nearly killed by an angry clown afterwards.  The main theme of these two episodes appeared to be that New York was a dangerous place to live.

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

On Saturday afternoon, I returned to my Silk Stalkings binge.  The episode that I watched featured a woman who called herself Diana, The Huntress.  She would pick up men and then execute them.  She would also frequently call up a radio station and discuss her crimes.  Fortunately, Chris and Rita were on the case!  It was sordid and enjoyable, as episodes of Silk Stalkings tend to be.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

The return of The Walking Dead also meant the return of Talking Dead!  Unfortunately, Talking Dead was kind of boring this week.  Chris Hardwicke was as goofy and enthusiastic as ever but this show is just not as much fun when the guests aren’t actually sitting on the couch and dealing with the reactions of a live studio audience.  Without an audience, the energy just feels off.

Twin Peaks (DVD)

Because Thursday was Twin Peaks day, I binge watched the first season of David Lynch’s classic series.  Needless to say, it holds up like a wonderful dream.  Watching the first season with the knowledge that Bobby Briggs was going to eventually grow up to be one of the good guys added a whole new layer to the show.  Unfortunately, the scenes with the young and rebellious Audrey now feel incredibly sad.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about the mid-season premiere here!  The Reapers may be gone but the Commonwealth is here!