Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 3/6/22 — 3/12/22


Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched this week!

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

The Resistance was finally able to smuggle the Enigma machine out of Rene’s Cafe.  The effort, of course, led to lot of costume changes and many scenes of Rene rolling his eyes in exasperation.  But the important thing is that the plan worked and Michelle had to “say this only once.”

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

The judges were in Nashville and almost everyone who auditioned wanted to be country music star.  It got kind of boring.  A former Miss America auditioned and Katy tried to steal her crown.  That was pretty cool.  I relate to Katy Perry far more than I relate to Taylor Swift.  Eventually, one girl sang while playing the piano and was declared to be the industry’s next big superstar so I guess the show’s over now.  Oh well.

Baywatch Hawaii (Prime)

I finally decided to return to my Baywatch Hawaii binge after taking about two months off.  To be honest, the only reason why I returned is because I’m a completist and it’s hard for me to abandon anything.  It’s certainly not because this show is particularly good or anything like that.  There’s a reason why, after months of watching, I’m still struggling to finish up the first season.

Sunday morning, I got things started with an episode in which Jason was sent to the Big Island of Hawaii, where he got in touch with his native heritage by making his own canoe.  A grumpy old man assisted him.  Seriously, that was the entire episode.  This was followed by an episode in which Sean and Jenna teamed up to rescue a few people and to argue about whether or not it was even necessary for the Baywatch Hawaii training facility to even exist.  Sean thought it was necessary, which makes sense when you consider that he would be out of a job otherwise.  Jenna felt it was a waste of money.  Despite being attracted to each other, Sean and Jenna fought and fought.  Despite being first-billed in the credits, David Hasselhoff was nowhere to be seen in either of these episodes.

Later that evening, I watched the next episode, which didn’t really have a plot beyond Kekoa and Dawn having a crush on Sean and Jason and JD trying to hit on every woman they saw.  This episode basically felt like it had been put together out of scenes that had been edited out of previous episodes.  Perhaps it was.  Again …. no Hasselhoff!

And, for the rest of the week, I kind of forgot about the show.  So, I guess I’ll get back to binging it tomorrow.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

On Sunday, I was too congested to change the channel so I lay on the couch and I was tortured by the Bradys.  The Brady kid fought over a clubhouse.  The Brady Kids fought over trading stamps.  The Brady Kids fought over a lost wallet.  The Brady Kids fought over feminism.  The Brady Kids spent a lot of time fighting.  I blame the parents.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

Court Cam has finally produced some new episodes and, as a result, I was shocked to actually see some new footage on Wednesday.  For instance, I saw the Naked Cowboy getting detained in Daytona.  Court Cam remains an odd show to me, largely because of how worshipful it is of the legal system.  The judges are portrayed as being modern day super heroes, quick to exercise their power to find anyone in contempt.  The unquestioning embrace of the court system is, overall, probably not a good thing but that’s the way of the world nowadays.  My inner libertarian will always have a hard time accepting it, though.

The Dropout (Hulu)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

MeTV is currently showing episodes from the first season of Full House.  I watched four on Sunday.  Every episode has a sort of bizarre train wreck appeal to it, never more so than when Uncle Jesse gets as serious storyline.  First, Stephanie cut Jesse’s hair while Jesse was sleeping so Jesse had to go get a real haircut and this led to him crashing his motorcycle and breaking both his arms.  Then, Jesse decided that he would rather pursue music with his dorky band than work in the family garage.  Jesse’s father was not happy about this but Uncle Jesse was like 40 years old so who cares?

Meanwhile, on another episode, Danny was hired to co-anchor a talk show with Becky (Lori Loughlin).  I believe this was Loughlin’s first appearance on the show but she didn’t share any scenes with Jesse.  In fact, it almost seemed as if the show was trying to set her up as a future girlfriend for Danny.  While this was going on, DJ threw a party and had to kick out several of her guests when they started drinking beer.  Fortunately, in the next episode, she got a horse to make up for losing all of her friends.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

Ripped from the headlines!  This week’s Law & Order was based on the Gabby Petito case and took a look at the difficulty of solving crimes and getting convictions in the social media era.  It wasn’t a bad episode but I still don’t know how I felt about it or this revival overall.  The episode was so obviously based on the Petito case that it actually felt a bit exploitive.  I mean, I doubt Gabby’s parents took much comfort from the fact that their daughter’s death inspired a TV show.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

On today’s cruise: Willie Aames, Morey Amsterdam, Richard Deacon, Elaine Joyce, Susan Lucci, Rose Marie, Michelle Phillips, Tristan Rogers, and Jerry Van Dyke!  That’s quite a lineup!  Willie Aames thought he could steal Dr. Bricker’s girlfriend!  A psychiatrist tried to take a vacation from his therapy group but the group decided to tag along!  And, best of all, Susan Lucci played a soap opera writer who fell for Tristan Rogers.  This was a cruise to remember!

The Office (Sunday Afternoon, Comedy Central)

I watched the two-part season three finale on Sunday.  Jim, Karen, and Michael all went up to New York to interview for a corporate position.  Michael withdrew when he realized that Jan was going to get fired.  Karen showed zero sympathy for Jan so Jim apparently abandoned her in New York and drove back to Scranton so he could ask Pam out on a date.  And, of course, Ryan got the job.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright and Granville pursued a mouse that had invaded the store.  Arkwright continued to obsess on Nurse Gladys Emmanuel.  It’s odd that this show apparently ran for 10 years, despite producing only 20 or so episodes.

Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

I reviewed the finale of Pam & Tommy here!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I reviewed the season premiere of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Yay!  Talking Dead has returned to the studio.  This week’s episode was pretty good, as any episode featuring Chris interviewing Josh McDermitt tends to be.  It was also nice to see the return of Michael Cudlitz to the interview couch.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Walking Dead here!

TV Review 1.8 Pam & Tommy “Seattle” (dir by Gwyneth Horder-Payton)


Pam & Tommy comes to an end, not with a hard bang but instead with a flaccid whimper.

The final episode of Pam & Tommy opened with Seth Rogen’s Rand Gauthier wandering around with a pained expression on his face.  Apparently, this was the one thing that Rand was good at.  Rand has been beating up people who owe Butchie money but it’s starting to trouble him.  Rand believes in karma and thinks that being a glorified mob enforcer will turn karma against him.  Or maybe being a glorified mob enforcer is karma’s way of punishing Rand for stealing a sex tape and trying to sell it online in the first place.  It’s hard to say.  All I know is that there was way too much Rand and way too much karma talk for me.  The show may be based on what Rand claims actually happened to him but the idea of Rand, with his mom jeans and his mullet, becoming a feared debt collector is simply a bit too much.  Perhaps because he was just as sick of listening to Rand whine as the rest of us, Butchie offered to let Rand off the hook if Rand would simply pay him $10,000.  Rand, of course, doesn’t have $10,000, despite being responsible for coming up with the most profitable and lucrative use of the internet ever.  Loser!

Meanwhile, Tommy attempts to make a musical comeback by imitating the 90s Seattle sound while an actual resident of Seattle, Seth Warshovsky (Fred Hechinger), offers to buy the rights to Pam and Tommy’s sex tape.  On the one hand, selling the rights to Warshovsky will allow Warshovsky to sue anyone who is distributing and making money off of bootlegged copies.  On the other hand, it will also lead people to assume that Pam and Tommy were behind the video’s initial release.  Pam wants to do it.  Tommy refuses.  Their marriage starts to crumble.  The episode insinuates that the tape caused Pam to miss out on opportunities to appear in both L.A. Confidential and Austin Powers which …. yeah.  I’m honestly going to say that, as far as Pam not becoming a movie star and losing roles to Kim Basinger and Elizabeth Hurley, there may have been factors in play other than the sex tape and hypocritical American puritanism.  One can sympathize with what Pam went through while also still being honest about the fact that she was never a particularly good actress.  If anything, her talent and persona were perfect for television.

After 8 hours, the finale of Pam & Tommy didn’t add up too much.  We start to see that Pam is getting sick of Tommy’s immaturity and that Tommy can’t control his temper, even around Pam.  But it’s not until the end title cards that we’re informed that Pam and Tommy divorced after Tommy was arrested and did jail time for spousal abuse.  (We’re also told that both Pam and Tommy consider each other but the love of their lives, which is kind of a bold statement to make when neither Pam nor Tommy had anything to do with the production of Pam & Tommy.)  Seth Warshovsky pays Rand a total of $10,000 for the original copy of the sex tape and then goes on to make several million dollars off of it.  Rand considers using the money to settle his debt with Butchie but instead he gives the money to his ex-wife because that’s what karma would want him to do.  (One has to wonder if anyone involved with Pam & Tommy ever watched a little show called My Name Is Earl.)  Those helpful title cards inform us that Rand moved to North California and now works as a marijuana grower and that he still struggles to get people to believe that he’s the man who actually stole the tape.  It doesn’t mention whether he did anything about his hair.

The main problem with Pam & Tommy is that the story itself just wasn’t interesting enough to demand 8 hours of screen time.  The second biggest problem, and this is a problem with a lot of streaming miniseries, is that the show itself never really settled on a consistent tone.  Was it a drama or was it a live action cartoon?  The show couldn’t seem to make up its mind.  Themes were raised and then abandoned, as if the show itself was desperately trying to justify its existence.  Lily James gave a good performance as Pam.  Sebastin Stan has a few good moments as Tommy Lee.  Seth Rogen, Taylor Schilling, Andrew “Dice” Clay, and Nick Offerman all gave their characters one-note interpretations that didn’t add up too much.  Considering the talent involved, it’s all a bit of a shame.

Oh well.  It’s over now.

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.

TV Review: Pam & Tommy “Destroyer of Worlds” (dir by Lake Bell)


After two blissfully Rand-free episodes of Pam & Tommy, Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen) returned to dominate this week’s episode.  As soon as things opened with a close-up of Rand looking like someone had just run over his favorite pet, I groaned very loudly.  Rand is such an unlikable character and the show insists on trying to make us feel sorry for this loser.  Even if Seth Rogen wasn’t both miscast and intent on giving the worst performance of his career in the role, Rand would make Pam & Tommy difficult to watch.

Rand (or Reed or whatever his name is supposed to be) was basically upset because he wasn’t making any money off of the Pam and Tommy sex tape.  Instead, the bootleggers were making all the money.  Rand/Reed also got upset because cocaine addict Uncle Miltie (Nick Offerman) turned out to be a bad business partner.  Meanwhile, Butchie (Andrew “Dice” Clay, acting up a storm with little to show for it) wanted his money and demanded that Reed/Rand turn into a debt collector.  “I AM THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS!” a frustrated Rand declared as he collected a debt and seriously, what the heck?  (Folks, I gave up cursing for Lent.  Just go with me here.)  The episode’s best moment was when Rand tried to blackmail Tommy and Tommy reacted by setting the money on fire while Randy Reed watched.  What made this scene so great was that Tommy called Reedy Rand a loser.  Again, I got the feeling that we were supposed to feel bad for Rand but …. eh.  Who cares?  Rand is a loser and the mullet isn’t making him look any better.

If the highlight of the episode was Tommy setting that money on fire while taunting Rand, the show’s second best moment was Pam appearing on The Tonight Show and having to deal with a series of disrespectful and infuriatingly sexist questions from Jay Leno.  The actor playing Leno essentially played him as being the devil, which was kind of amusing.  Watching the scenes with Leno acting like a member of the Spanish Inquisition, I found myself thinking about how Ken Russell probably could have done something amazing with this material.  The scene ended with Pam having to talk Tommy out of beating up Jay Leno, which again was kind of amusing.  Just imagine if Tommy had stormed onto the Tonight Show set and thrown a punch while Jay was introducing Hugh Grant.  That would have been classic television.

As the Tonight Show debacle indicated, the release of Barb Wire was overshadowed by Pam and Tommy’s court case against Penthouse.  The judge ruled that the 1st Amendment gave Penthouse the right to publish still from the tape.  Tommy was too stupid to realize that the judge had ruled against him.  Pam responded with a monologue about how the judge was actually saying that it was okay to exploit her because she wore a swimsuit on Baywatch and she also previously appeared in Playboy.  Pam had a point but, as so often happens on this show, that point was somewhat negated by the fact that the real-life Pamela Anderson never signed off on having her life dramatized in Pam & Tommy and, as a result, the show is itself a bit exploitive.

The show also continues to feel a bit pointless, despite Lily James’s frequently excellent performance as Pam.  Again, it’s hard not to wonder why exactly this story demands the limited series treatment as opposed to the 90-minute movie treatment.  Indeed, by stretching thing out over 8 hours, Pam & Tommy just reminds us of how superficial this story really is.

One final note: early on in the episode, Butchie is shocked to discover that there’s a new coffee company in Seattle that’s called Starbucks.  I’ve noticed this is a joke that’s popped up in a lot of movies about the 90s and it feels rather lazy.  They should have made an AOL joke instead.

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!

TV Review: Pam & Tommy 1.6 “Pamela in Wonderland” (dir by Hannah Fidell)


Yes, I’m still reviewing this.

If the earlier episodes of Pam & Tommy seemed to owe a huge debt to the aesthetic of Ryan Murphy, the latest episode feels more indebted to the style of Aaron Sorkin.  The entire episode centered around Pam testifying at a deposition.  While being asked increasingly intrusive and sexist questions about her career as a model and how she and Tommy came to make the infamous the sex tape, Pam flashed back to her past.  We saw how she was discovered at a Canadian Football game and how she eventually ended up up posing for Playboy.  Hugh Hefner (played by Mike Seely) showed up, wearing his stupid red robe, and puffing away on his pipe.  In typical Sorkin rip-off fashion, the episode featured the attorneys asking a lot of questions and the only person of color to be seen was the unnamed court stenographer whose only line of dialogue was to briefly give Pam some encouragement.

Compared to the other episodes of Pam & Tommy, Pam In Wonderland actually worked fairly well.  It helped that it largely focused on Lily James, whose performance as Pam is probably the strongest thing that this show has going for it.  This is the second episode in a row not to feature the character of Reed Gauthier and the show was definitely better off without his presence and the attempts to somehow convince us that there’s any reason to portray him as being a sympathetic character.  With no Reed and Tommy reduced to appearing in flashbacks, this was the first episode that was fully told from Pam’s point of view and, when the attorneys suggested that Pam was somehow to blame for what had happened because of her past as a model or just the fact that she allowed herself to be filmed in the first place, every woman watching could relate to what Pam was going through because we’ve all heard the same condescending tone and we’ve all been told that somehow, the bad things that happen to us are actually our fault.  Lily James did a wonderful job of portraying Pam’s struggle to keep smiling and just get through the worst day of her life.  I knew what she was going through.  Again, Lily James is the best thing that this show has going for it.

And yet, I have to be honest that I still found myself wondering just what exactly the overall point of the show is.  For all of the episode’s strong points, it’s still hard to see why this story needs to be told as an 8-hour miniseries as opposed to a 90-minute film on FX.  The first three episodes did a good job of fitting this story into the early days of the Internet and the culture of the late 90s.  But the subsequent episodes haven’t added much to that initial impression.  It’s also worth noting that Pam herself has repeatedly distanced herself from the program and said, even before the show started shooting, that she didn’t want anything to do with it.  One could argue that, as a show, Pam & Tommy is as intrusive and exploitive as the attorneys at the disposition.  With each new episode, it become difficult to deny that this is a show that seeks to exploit the very same thing that it claims to be condemning.

One final thought on this episode and culture in general: how did people not realize that Hugh Hefner was creepy as Hell before he died?  Today, of course, A&E is airing an entire TV series dedicated to exploring what an asshole Hugh Hefner actually was.  But, just 11 years ago, Hefner was still being portrayed as some lovable old lothario in a sailor’s cap.  NBC even tried to air a Mad Men-style show about how great life was at The Playboy Club.  Remember that?  Creepy old Hef even provided the narration at the start of the first episode.  Last night’s episode of Pam & Tommy presented Hef as being essentially a benevolent (if manipulative) father figure.  It felt oddly tone deaf, though that may indeed be how Pam herself saw the old man.

Seriously, though …. did no one ever tell him how stupid he looked in those red pajamas?

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 2/13/22 — 2/19/22


This week stated with my watching the Super Bowl, which I imagine will be the last football game that I ever pay attention to in my life.  (Seriously, football’s depressing.  I hate it when the losing team starts crying.)  It’s ending with my thoroughly disgusted by the Olympic Games.  This has not been a great week for sporting events.  Except, of course, for karate.  I finally watched the fourth season of Cobra Kai.  Miyagi Fang is definitely the philosophy to follow.

Anyway, here’s what I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

An odd episode.  Having stolen several bars of Gold from the Germans, Rene hid the gold in his cuckoo clock, which led to the clock making a weird noise every few minute but, for some reason, no one but Rene ever seemed to notice.  Somehow, this led to Rene and his staff disguising themselves as a musical group so that they could infiltrate the general’s chateau and search for the stolen painting, as well as the famous Enigma machine which, if smuggled out of France, would give the British the ability to translate Germany’s secret code.  Eventually, Crabtree sang a song in his mangled version of French.  This was silly humor that I could appreciate.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here!  We’re down to the top four now.  Somehow, Arun and Natalia have survived.  This has been a weird season because of the COVID lockdowns and a few really strong teams were forced to drop out of the race.  As a result, Kim & Penn have pretty much dominated things, despite neither one having much of a personality.  I have a feeling this will continue through the finale.

Celebrity Big Brother (CBS and Paramount Plus)

I wrote about Celebrity Big Brother over at the Big Brother Blog.  Celebrity Big Brother is almost over and, to be honest, I won’t miss it.

Cobra Kai (Netflix)

On Tuesday night, Jeff and I finally got a chance to start in on season 4 of Cobra Kai.  We watched the first three episodes of the season and we were both immediately sucked back into the hyperemotional and somewhat silly, yet always affecting world of Cobra Kai.  My heart broke for Kenny, the new kid who found himself being bullied by Daniel’s son and I was worried when I saw that Kenny was being drawn towards the Cobra Kai dojo.  I enjoyed Thomas Ian Griffith’s surprisingly contemplative performance as Terry Silver and his explanation that his over-the-top behavior in Karate Kid III was due to a cocaine addiction.  (Really, it’s the only explanation that makes sense.)  I enjoyed the complex portrayals of characters like Robby and Torry.  And, of course, I loved the uneasy friendship of Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso.

We watched the next three episodes on Wednesday.  Terry confronted Daniel!  Daniel and Johnny fought to a draw!  The Karate tournament changed their rules!  Johnny returned to his old high school and creeped out the entire track team!  It was all good.  I liked the fact that Cobra Kai embraces both the silliness of the later Karate Kid films while also managing to sneak in some truly touching moments.  The show manages to maintain an almost perfect balance between satire and drama.

We watched episode 7 and 8 on Thursday.  Daniel learned that his son was a bully and Kenny learned how to take advantage of his opponent’s overconfidence.  This was followed by the return of Paul Walter Hauser’s Stingray, who attempted to rejoin Cobra Kai and eventually ended up getting beaten up by Terry Silver for his trouble.  The school held their prom, Johnny and Carmen revealed their relationship to Miguel, and Robby and Torry got to show off their dance moves!

Early Saturday morning, we watched the final two episodes of the 4th season of Cobra Kai.  The All-Valley Tournament dominated both episodes, with Johnny and Daniel making peace, Robby realizing that the Cobra Kai way was not his way, Miguel leaving to find his father, and Torry winning a fixed match against Sam.  In the end, Terry framed Kreese for beating up Stingray.  Kreese was taken to prison while Daniel realized that he would have to go against his promise to abandon Miyagi Do (or Miyagi Fang as it was renamed during the tournament) if he was going to stop Cobra Kai.  It was an exciting conclusion, full of drama, tears, and some enjoyable self-parody.  Bring on season 5!

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoon, FXX)

I watched a few episodes on Tuesday afternoon.  Joseph was recruited by a private school and Dale nearly had to fake his death to get out of a financial debt.  (This happened quite frequently with Dale).  Peggy had a memorable birthday party on train.  This was followed by one of my favorite episodes, the one in which Hank accidentally stole a man’s wallet and the man interpreted Hank’s efforts to return it as being Hank threatening him.  (At the same time this was going on, Dale found himself working at the show’s version of Hooter’s.  Dale had applied for a job, expecting to be turned down because he was a skinny, bald guy.  Dale figured he could then sue the restaurant.  The restaurant’s manager decided to call his bluff.)  This was followed by Hank getting scared by a bat hanging out in his garage, Louanne’s father returning from the oil rig (which, it turned out, was actually federal prison), and Bill finding himself temporarily confined to a wheelchair.

King of the Hill was a good show, though I’m biased because the show is based on my hometown and it’s all about Texas.  A part of me does worry about the proposed revival, just because I don’t know if I’m prepared to hear what Hank thinks of twitter.  If there is a revival, they better give Boomhauer a podcast.

Inventing Anna (Netflix)

Starring Anna Chlumsky and Julia Garner, Inventing Anna is a limited series about Anna Delvey, a Russian con artist who managed to fool some of the leading members of New York high society.  Julia Garner plays Anna while Anna Chlumsky plays a fictionalized version of the reporter who interviewed Anna during her trial.

I watched the first two episodes on Thursday.  From the minute I saw the Shondaland logo, I knew what I was getting into.  The first two episodes were occasionally intriguing but largely superficial, with no consistent tone and too many superfluous scenes.  Julia Garner gave a good performance as Anna, though, smirking her way through the interview and intentionally changing up her accent in order to keep everyone off-balance.

The Office (All week, Comedy Central)

On Saturday afternoon, I rewatched The Michael Scott Paper Company arc.  I loved Pam trying to establish an identity outside of answering the phones at Dunder Mifflin, Jim trying to play soccer and Michael unsuccessfully trying to convince his grandmother to invest in his company.  It’s kind of unfortunate that Pam turned out to be terrible at sales but I could relate.  I doubt I could sell paper either.  I’m stunned that anyone on The Office was able to make a career out of it.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville shot a man just to watch him die.  Arkwright was too busy pining for Nurse Gladys Emmnauel to notice.

Pam and Tommy (Hulu)

Pam and Tommy is one Nathan Lane cameo away from turning into a Ryan Murphy production.  I wrote about the latest episode here.

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

On Monday morning, I got back to binging Silk Stalkings on Tubi.  Though I hadn’t really been keeping track up until this week, a quick check with Wikipedia confirmed that I am currently watching episodes from the second season of the show.  There’s 8 seasons in total so I’ve still got quite a bit to watch as far as this stylish and enjoyably silly series is concerned.

Anyway, the first episode that I watched on Monday was called Scorpio Killer.  I’m a Scorpio so I appreciated the title!  The show dealt with a man who murdered his mistress’s husband.  It was a fun episode.  The thing I like about Chris and Rita is, as played by Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture, they seemed to be aware that they were characters in a somewhat sordid television series and, as such, they never had any problem winking at their audience and basically saying, “Can you believe this plot?”  This was followed by an episode in which Chris and Rita investigated the death of a tennis pro’s stepfather.  It featured a lot of slow motion tennis action and overheated locker room talk.

On Tuesday, I got things started with an episode in which Chris and Rita investigated a murder that occurred at a rather tacky beauty pageant.  They solved the case but the highlight of the show was Rita’s attempts to buy fish for her aquarium.  Needless to say, Chis was convinced that all of Rita’s fish were going to die and Chris was probably right since the aquarium was nowhere to be seen during the next episode.  That episode found Chris and Rita investigating a murder that was connected to a high-profile divorce.  It was a typical Chris-and-Rita-Smirk-At-Dumb-Rich-People episode.  Seriously, don’t commit a murder in Palm Springs because Chris and Rita will definitely judge you.

On Thursday, I started off with a pretty good episode called Jasmine.  Directed by Rob Estes, Jasmine featured Rita investigating a decades-old cold case and having plenty of surreal dreams in the process.  Of course, the main reason Rita was investigating the case was to help her deal with the guilt that she felt after the murder of one of her friends.  It was a well-directed episode and also well-acted by Mitzi Kapture.  The next episode was an enjoyably trashy one, in which Chris and Rita tracked down a cocky teenager who was seducing both his classmates and their stepmothers.

Silk Stalking is a lot of fun.  I like forward to continuing the binge next week.

Super Bowl (Sunday Night, NBC)

The Super Bowl?  Does anyone remember the Super Bowl?  It was played last Sunday and …. well, someone won.  I don’t remember who won.  I watched it for the commercials, which kind of disappointed me this year.

Super Bowl Pre-Show (Sunday Afternoon, NBC)

Yes, I even watched the big show before the game, just in case they showed any interesting commercials.  They didn’t but it was still kind of nice to see how excited everyone was before the game started.  I don’t know if it was really necessary to include an interview with President Biden, though.  That gave the whole thing kind of a weird feel.  Like why do we need the President’s permission to enjoy the game?  At least he didn’t do that creepy whispering thing.

The Winter Games (All Week, Every Channel)

On Sunday morning, as I got ready for a day of watching Super Bowl commercials, I watched a bit of NBC’s coverage of the games. It was a little bit of skiing with some speed skating and some figure skating tossed in as well.  I didn’t really pay that much attention.

On Wednesday night, I watched the USA take on Canada in hockey.  Usually, when it comes to hockey, I support Canada because I know hockey is an important part of Canadian culture.  This year, I was Team USA because Justin Trudeau annoys me.  Canada still won, though, so I guess my cheering powers were not as powerful as I thought they were.

On Thursday night, I watched some skiing and then I watched the figure skating, which has been quite controversial this year.  What I saw pretty much turned me off of watching any more of the Beijing Games.  Though I didn’t agree with the decision to let her skate, I still felt bad for Kamila Valieva, the Russian skater who has essentially been villainized due to doping allegations.  No one should be put under that type of pressure and scrutiny when they’re only 15 years old, especially when it’s quite probable that any drugs that she took were forced on her by the adults who are supposed to be looking out for her best interests.  Not surprisingly, given all the stress she was under, Kamila did not do as well as she had done in the past.  She ended up finishing in fourth place and started crying.  This, of course, overshadowed the accomplishments of the talented women who did win medals but what really struck me was that none of the members of Kamila’s coaching entourage — the people who should have been acting as her “support team” — appears to offer any words of comfort or encouragement.  (Later, I learned that her coach had demanded to know, “Why did you give up!?”)  And we wonder why so many young athletes burn themselves out or grow up to have personal troubles once they can no longer compete.  Meanwhile, the skater who came in second screamed in anger over having to settle for a silver medal while the gold medal winner sat alone, holding a teddy bear. It was not one of the better moments of the Winter Games.  In fact, it was so disturbing to watch that it pretty much turned me off of the idea of watching what little was left of the Olympics.

TV Review: Pam & Tommy 1.5 “Uncle Jim & Aunt Susie in Duluth” (dir by Gwyneth Horder-Payton)


This week’s episode of Pam & Tommy was a definite improvement on last week’s, largely because it didn’t feature Seth Rogen wandering around with a “poor me” expression on his face.  Last week, far too much time was devoted to Rogen’s sad sack portrayal of Reed Gauthier, who the show insists on trying to make a sympathetic character even though he was essentially just a thief who tried to make a lot of money by stealing and then selling someone else’s private sex tape.

Reed was nowhere to be found in this week’s episode.  Instead, the narrative focused on how Pam and Tommy’s sex tape became a national story.  Not surprisingly, it all turned out to be Tommy Lee’s fault.  When the show opens, Jay Leno won’t make jokes about the sex tape because it’s not something that Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie in Duluth have heard about.  The LA Times won’t run a story on it because the editor says that it’s not real news.  With Pam preparing for the opening of Barb Wire and Tommy working on his new album (and very much aware that his label no longer views him or the band as being a top priority), it appears that there’s a chance that Pam and Tommy can ride this out.

But then Bob Guccione the publisher of Penthouse, gets his hands on the tape and Tommy and a bunch of lawyers decide to file a lawsuit to keep him for publishing stills.  Pam has her doubts but Tommy and the lawyers do what they want.  Guccione responds by saying that he had a first amendment right to publish pictures from the sex tape.  The L.A. Times discovers, from the court filings, that the sex tape was stolen from Pam and Tommy and that it’s being sold without their permission.  With the story going national, Jay Leno realizes that Duluth now know all about it.  On top of all that, Pam learns how to use a search engine!

It was a busy episode.  And, in contrast to the nearly hour-long episodes that proceeded it, it was only 32 minutes long.  A half hour is the perfect amount of time to spend with Pam & Tommy.  Spending more than half an hour with them means dealing with the fact that Tommy’s a moron and Pam really does seem to think that she’s going to win an Oscar for Barb Wire.  Spending just 30 minute with them means that both characters get a chance to present their cases without wearing out their welcome.  Sebastian Stan and Lily James both gave good performances in this week’s episode, with Stan portraying Tommy as being a manchild who is in deep denial about the fact that the 80s are over while Lily James captured Pam’s need to try to keep everyone happy.  It’s Pam who instinctively knows the right way to deal with Guccione but she’s ignored by Tommy and his team of lawyers.  As Pam’s publicist puts it, women are taught from an early age to always say yes and to agree with men, even when they know that the men doesn’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about.

That said, Pam & Tommy is still definitely a flawed vehicle.  For every moment that works, there’s a moment or a line of dialogue that just tries too hard.  Particularly in the scenes with Jay Leno, Pam & Tommy felt like it was one Nathan Lane cameo away from turning into a Ryan Murphy production.  Five episodes in and the main problem remains that Pam & Tommy continues to struggle to convince the audience that it’s telling a story that needs to be stretched out of over 8 episodes.  If ever a true story was meant to a 90-minute TBS production, this is it.

 

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 2/6/22 — 2/13/22


It’s been quite a week.  The Oscar nominations were announced.  The creepiest Winter Games ever have been playing out in China.  South Park revealed that some people apparently didn’t understand that Tolkein was named after the author of The Hobibt and Lord of the Rings.  (Like, seriously, you guys…..)  And the z-list celebs on Celebrity Big Brother revealed themselves to be taking the show way too seriously.

Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Chaos on a train!  Rene thought he and Yvette were going to elope on the Geneva Express but unfortunately, his wife Edith found Rene’s note and thought that it was meant for her.  While Rene wandered the train, trying to hook up with his two mistresses without his wife noticing, Herr Flick, Lt. Gruber, and a host of others wandered the train in search for the valuable original copy of the painting known as The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies.  Things got a bit chaotic on the train and they were even more chaotic back at the Cafe, where Officer Crabtree and his mangled French offered up very little in the way of help.  I laughed, I always do.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here.  The Amazing Race has been a bit odd this season.  Due to the COVID lockdowns, two of the strongest teams ended up dropping out of the race.  As a result, we are late into the race and there are currently three strong teams and then two teams that basically can’t even read a road map.  The two weaker teams would never have lasted this long in a normal season.  I’m going to laugh and laugh if one of them somehow manages to win.  As of right now, though, it seems as if the oddly robotic but hyper competent team of Kim & Penn have to be considered the favorites.

BBC World News (Tuesday Morning, BBC)

I watched the Oscar nomination announcements on the BBC because, unlike ABC, the BBC actually showed all of the categories instead of just showing the major nominees.  (Add to that, why would anyone want to watch Oscar analysis from George Stephanopoulos?)  I have to admit that I enjoyed the BBC’s take on the nominations, which basically amounted to, “Quite a few nominations for Belfast, that’s a win for our side.”

Celebrity Big Brother (CBS and Paramount Plus)

I wrote about Celebrity Big Brother for the Big Brother Blog.  I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of celebrity reality competition shows to begin with and Celebrity Big Brother tends to be the worst of them all.  Since celebrities really don’t have much at stake in these games, most of them just leave the House when things get too intense, like Chris Kattan did earlier this week.  As for the remaining celebrity houseguests, Todd Bridges is an idiot and Toddrick Hall seems to be taking this whole thing just a little bit too seriously.  Don’t ruin your brand just to give Julie Chen something to talk about.

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoon, FXX)

Among the episodes I watched on Monday afternoon, there was one where Hank got to carry the Olympic flame and Dale got a chance to use the flame to light his cigarette.  Go, Hank!  Go, Dale!  That was back when the Olympics were something special.

On Thursday, after getting disgusted with all of the propaganda at the Winter Games, I again turned over to FXX and watched a few episodes of King of the Hill.  I watched five episodes, from Lucky trying to sue Dale to Launne getting married to Boomhauer surfing at Corpus Christi.  It was fun and took my mind off what Boomhauer would call “the dang ol’ enormity of it all.”

 The Love Boat (MeTV, Sunday Afternoon)

Yay!  It was a 70s Valentine’s cruise!  Love was in the air and cocaine was probably backstage.  Sailing on the Love Boat were Patty Duke, Frankie Avalon, Barbie Benton, Denny Evans, Jamie Farr, Ricky Nelson, and Carole White!  A computer program that was designed to link everyone to their ideal Valentine’s Day partner caused havoc on the boat but everything worked out in the end.  That’s the important thing.

Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

Because I have the world’s worst martyr complex, I wrote about the latest episode of Pam & Tommy here.

South Park (Wednesday Night, Comedy Central)

For the record, I always knew his name was Tolkien.  I don’t know what the Hell was wrong with the rest of you.

The Winter Olympics (All Week, NBC and Other Stations)

On Sunday night, I watched figure skating.  Even though I’m not as into the Olympics this year as I’ve been in previous years, there’s still no way that I would miss figure skating, curling, yeti hunting, and that weird sport where they ski and shoot a rifle.

On Monday morning, I watched that very sport, with the skiing and the rifle shooting.  It still seemed like a strange sport to me but, as I watched, I also realized that it was probably the only Olympic event that James Bond would have enjoyed (and, by that, I mean Roger Moore’s joyful Bond as opposed to Daniel Craig’s whiny Bond) and I was happy about that.  Later, I watched some curling and I seriously think I could do well with that sport.  I know how to work a broom.

On Wednesday, I watched some skiing and that totally freaked me out, just because I’ve heard so many stories about people slamming into trees.  Agck!  Then, on Thursday, I watched a bit more curling and that definitely left me less freaked out than the skiing.  You can’t hurt anyone with a broom, unless you’re Jackie Chan in an 80s movie.

Saturday morning, I watched some figure skating, which I loved.  I also watched some ski jumping and I marveled at how fake the snow looked.  Apparently, they’ve been using fake snow for the Winter Olympics because it’s not actually that cold or snowy in Beijing.  That’s weird and strange and yet somehow appropriate for these uniquely uninspiring games.

WKRP In Cincinnati (MeTV, Sunday Afternoon)

Radio DJ Johnny Fever got a job hosting a television dance show and sold out his soul to play disco music.  Fortunately, Johnny was able to vanquish his evil Rip Tide identity at the end of the episode.  At one point, Johnny’s TV boss said that she loved the 60s and would love to “get mellow and listen to the Dead” after the show and I was like, “Oh my God, they allowed people talk about weed on TV back then?”  You learn something new every day.

TV Review: Pam & Tommy 1.4 “The Master Beta” (dir by Lake Bell)


“I’ve made a terrible mistake.”

That was my thought after I published my review of the first three episodes of Pam & Tommy.  Don’t get me wrong.  I stand by everything that I wrote in that review.  The first three episodes were relatively well-made and they captured as specific point in time and Lily James was likably earnest as Pam.

Instead, my concern came from the fact that, by reviewing the first three episodes, I had now committed myself to watching and reviewing the entire series.  And, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was no way that Pam & Tommy could remain interesting for a total of 8 hours, not unless the show abandoned its Ryan Murphy-lite approach and did something really unexpected with its recreation of the story.  There’s just not enough there.  This is a good 2-hour story but Pam & Tommy is an 8-epiosde miniseries.  That’s 8-plus hours of Pam getting upset, Tommy acting like a dumbass, and Rand being every creepy guy who has ever approached you in a bar and started asking you about the book you’re reading.  (It would, of course, never occur to him that the main reason you’re reading the book is to avoid talking to guys like him.)

Having now watched the fourth episode, it’s hard not to feel that I was very much correct in my concerns.  Don’t get me wrong.  The fourth episode had its moments.  It featured an enjoyably intense performance from Don Harvey as the legendary Hollywood private investigator, Anthony Pellicano.  Once Tommy finally discovers that his safe has been stolen and Pam reminds him about the videotape, Pellicano is the man who they approach to track down the perpetrator.  This leads to a scene of Pellicano beating the crap out of Rand and it’s fun to watch.  Some of that is because Don Harvey is a master of portraying urbane menace.  But I have to admit that a lot of it is because Rand himself is such an annoying character.  This episode opened with Seth Rogen, as Rand, wandering around a porn set and trying to reconnect with his estranged wife (Taylor Schilling), who significantly was just trying to read Anne Rice’s latest book when he approached her.  Just the sight of Rand, with his mullet and his sad-sack facial expression, was so annoying that it was actually cathartic to see him get tossed around his apartment.

The problem is that the show wants us to feel some sympathy for Rand but there’s nothing sympathetic about him.  He’s a loser and the fact that he still loves his wife and still wants to take care of her doesn’t make him any less of a loser.  He’s a thief, a guy who accidentally stole a sex tape and then decided to put it online.  The fact that he later feels guilty doesn’t change the fact that he did it.  There’s as scene in the fourth episode where Rand is upset to see someone else selling bootleg copies of the tape.  On the one hand, it’s not a bad scene.  There’s an enjoyable irony to Rand discovering that someone has essentially stolen the tape from him after Rand went through so much trouble to steal the tape from Tommy.  But the show doesn’t seem to be sure whether it wants us to laugh at Rand’s misfortune or to sympathize with him as he realizes that the consequences of his actions are out of his control.  As a character, Rand is not compelling enough for both to be an option.

As for the title characters, both Sebastian Stan and Lily James do their best but I get the feeling that we’ve already learned all the we need to know about them.  There was one good moment that examined Pam and Tommy’s different reactions to the release of the sex tape but otherwise, neither Tommy nor Pam are really that interesting as characters.  I ended the fourth hour of Pam & Tommy very much aware that there were still four more hours to go.  What else, I found myself wondering, could be left to be said?