Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 12/26/21 — 1/1/22


Happy 2022!  I spent most of this holiday week visiting my sister Megan and her family.  That’s been a bit of a Bowman holiday tradition since 2008.  We watched a lot of TV.  We both love Saved By The Bell and California Dreams so that shouldn’t be too much of surprise.  Anyway, there’s much to share this week so let’s get right into what I watched during the final week of 2021!

The Bold and the Beautiful (Weekday afternoons, CBS)

This used to be my show!  Of course, it’s been a while since I’ve regularly watched The Bold and the Beautiful but, on Wednesday, I decided to tune in just to see what was happening.  People were discussing their relationships and talking about fashion while getting ready for New Year’s.  Brooke is still on the show.  I might start setting the DVR in 2022.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I watched two episodes.  First, Greg wanted to drop out of high school to pursue a career as a major league pitcher.  He was talked out of it.  Is there nothing that the Brady kids weren’t good at?  What an annoying family!  This was followed by an episode in which Marcia promised she could get Davy Jones to play her high school dance and somehow, she pulled it off because everything always worked out for Marcia.  Jan, on the other hand….

California Dreams (DVD)

Megan and I watched a few episodes of this classic 90s NBC sitcom on Friday morning.  It’s kind of our New Year’s tradition.  We both agreed that Lorena and I have a lot in common.  We also watched Tony perform that “Next big thing” song of his.  He’s so funky!

Dance Moms (Wednesday, LRW)

LRW did a Dance Moms marathon on Wednesday.  I watched a few episodes that morning and it made me realize how much I miss this show.  It also brought back a lot of memories for me personally, though my mom was never as crazy as the moms on this show.  I wonder if Maddie ever returns Abby’s calls.

Since the show aired on LRW, I got to see all those old “real women” commercials that Lifetime used to air, like the one with the woman talking about the time she scolded her mom for saying she needed a man to explain something to her.  “You know, that was her generation, ha ha ha.”  All I know is that you just made fun of your mother on national television.

Days of Our Lives (Weekday Afternoons, NBC)

It’s been a while since I’ve watched any of the daytime dramas but my sister Megan informed me that a character on Days of Our Lives had been possessed by the devil since September so, on Tuesday, I decided to watch to see what that was like.  From what I saw of it, it looked like a lot of fun.  With Marlena tied to her bed and speaking in a gravelly demon voice, everyone was getting ready for the exorcism.  “We’re not dealing with your mom,” one character explain, “We’re dealing with …. it.”  “You shut your mouth or you’re going to get a face full of holy water!” someone else declared.  A priest entered the bedroom and Marlena’s daughter said, “You’re a priest again?”  Meanwhile, Patch dressed up as Santa Claus, which was charming in its own weird way.  Fortunately, everything worked out in the end.  These are indeed the days of our lives.

Dexter: New Blood (Showtime, Sunday Night)

I wrote about the latest episode of Dexter here!

Football Game: Bills vs. Patriots (Sunday Afternoon, CBS)

I watched this on Sunday morning with my sisters.  I have to admit that I didn’t pay much attention but I do remember that everyone wanted the Bills to win so I felt obligated to cheer for the Patriots.  I don’t remember who actually won, though.  Football games are really, really long.

Football Game: Cowboys vs. Football Team (Sunday Night, NBC)

I watched this game with my sister Megan and her husband, John.  They got really excited whenever the Cowboys scored.  I felt bad for Football Team.  I figure that it has to suck to be a member of Football Team because everyone they meet is probably like, “Who do you play for?” and when the player says, “Football team,” everyone probably replies, “I know, but which one?”  What I’m saying here is that these guys need a real name if they’re going to succeed.  For example, the Cowboys pretty much destroyed Football Team on Sunday.  I thought the Cowboys were seriously going to score a 100 points before the game ended.  Poor generic Football Team.

General Hospital (Weekday Afternoons, ABC)

I watched an episode on Wednesday.  Too much talk, not enough hospital.

Hang Time (YouTube)

Hang Time was basically Saved By The Bell except it centered around a high school basketball team in Indiana.  It aired from 1995 to 2000 on NBC and it was never that good but it lives on because every episode has been uploaded to YouTube.  NBC is pretty aggressive about taking down unauthorized SBTB uploads but they don’t seem to care much about Hang Time.

Anyway, early Wednesday morning, I forced Megan to watch an episode because I wanted her to hear one line that always amused me.  The episode opened, as they often did, with a basketball game.  However, for this game, the main characters (including a very young Anthony Anderson) were forced to spend the entire game on the bench while the backup players hit the court and …. uhm, lost.  In fact, they lost bad.  It turned out the main characters were being punished for getting fake IDs and driving drunk.

About 15 minutes into the episode, one of the backup players is injured but when he limps over to the baseline or the sideline or whatever they call it in basketball, he yells at the coach that he wants to keep playing because, unlike some people, “I CARE ABOUT THE TEAM!”  And then coach sends him back into the game despite the fact that the he can barely walk!  For some reason, that’s always made me laugh.  The coach taught his players a lesson by forcing someone who did nothing wrong to play injured.  What a guy!

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

The Love Boat and another ship traveled to Alaska, where the captains competed to see who was the best.  Apparently, it was a promotional gimmick but the competition turned personal when the son of the rival captain decided that he would rather work on the super mellow Love Boat as opposed to his father’s boat.  Anyway, it was silly but Alaska looked lovely.  Plus, Sonny Bono was on the episode as some sort of hyper corporate guy.

The Office (Weekdays, Comedy Central)

Comedy Central did an Office marathon this week.  On Monday, I watched a few episodes from season 2.  They kept me happy as I wrote 2,300 words on Monster, one of the most depressing movies ever made.  (Look for that review on Monday!)  Then, on Tuesday, I watched a few episodes from season 3 while I was writing another 2,000 words about the making of The Godfather Part III.  (Look for that post on Monday as well!)

By the time Wednesday rolled around, Comedy Central had started on season 5, which is when the show started to get uneven and, not coincidentally, Ed Helms’s role started to get larger.  However, there were still some classic episodes during season 5, like the Golden Ticket episode and The Michael Scott Paper Company arc.  Those also just happened to be the episodes that I watched.

By Thursday, we were into season six and …. eh.  Season six is when Jim and Pam started to get a bit insufferable in their smugness and there was that whole weird thing where Jim was briefly co-manager.  Megan and I watched the Gossip episode and The Meeting episode and we both agreed it was actually kind of rude of Jim to go behind Michael’s back with his whole co-manager idea.  We then did a little shopping.  When we came back, we caught my two favorite episodes of that season — Scott’s Tots and The Shareholder’s Meeting. 

Hey there, Mr. Scott, whatcha going to do?  Whatcha going to do?  Make our dreams come true!

Parking Wars (Weekday Mornings, A&E)

On Thursday morning, I forced Megan to watch an episode of Parking Wars with me, just so she could understand what I’m always complaining about.  For 30 minutes, as we watched the action in Detroit and Philadelphia, I said, “See?  This is totally how fascism comes to be accepted!”  Megan said she agreed with me, though I think she may have just been saying that …. which is fine!  Just as long everyone agrees.

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (Fuse, Monday Morning)

Sabrina felt that all of her academic accomplishments were being taken for granted so she cast a spell which caused everyone to go crazy over every little thing she did.  Needless to say, an important lesson about humility was learned.

As far as I’m concerned, this is the only show about Sabrina, The Teenage Witch that matters.  Talking Salem for the win!

Saved By The Bell: The Junior High Years (a.k.a. Good Morning Miss Bliss) (Netflix)

At December 26th, at midnight, my sister Megan and I sat down and watched six episodes of Saved By The Bell.  Well, we didn’t actually just spend 2 and a half hours watching them.  We were talking and cleaning and laughing and doing other things.  But still, we had the show on and we did occasionally pause long enough in all of our other activities to see what was going on.

The episodes that we watched were from the infamous Junior High years.  That was when the show aired on the Disney Channel and it was set in Indiana and Slater, Kelly, and Jessie were not on the show.  Instead, the show centered around Miss Bliss (Hayley Mills), a British widow who somehow ended up teaching social studies at a junior high in Indiana.  At the time, the show was called Good Morning, Miss Bliss.  Good Morning, Miss Bliss was canceled after 13 episodes but was then relaunched on NBC, with Zack, Screech, Lisa, and Mr. Belding all somehow relocating to California.  The Miss Bliss episodes could probably be written off as non-canon, if not for the fact that many of them were re-aired as episodes of Saved By The Bell, with special introductions in which Zack would say, “This is from when we were in junior high.”  It didn’t make any sense but Saved By The Bell just didn’t care.

Anyway, the first episode of Good Morning, Miss Bliss featured Zack lying to a girl about the fact that he was only in the 8th Grade.  The girl was played by a very young Carla Gugino, who went on to do much better things with her career.  Anyway, Zack learned an important lesson about lying but apparently not important enough to inspire Zack to actually be honest in any future episodes.

The 2nd episode that we watched featured a love letter that kept getting read by the wrong people.  Mr. Belding thought Miss Bliss was in love with him.  Miss Bliss thought Belding loved her.  Lisa thought …. ugh, I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.  The most interesting thing about this episode is that the whole stupid plot was later reused in one of the Tori episodes of regular Saved By The Bell.

The third episode that we watched was one of my favorites of the Miss Bliss episodes.  Miss Bliss teaches her students about the stock market by investing some of her own money in a stock of their choosing.  However, Zack desperately needs money so he invests the money in potatoes.  Miss Bliss is furious when she finds out and yells at everyone, which was fun because Miss Bliss was always a bit too perfect to be believed so it was nice to see that, deep down, she was a neurotic mess.  Fortunately, she forgave everyone by the end of the episode.

Episode #4 features Zack’s friend Nikki refusing to dissect a frog.  Miss Bliss took Nikki’s side but was still upset when Nikki stole all of the frogs.  Meanwhile, Mr. Belding was panicking because he thought another school was trying to recruit Miss Bliss so he let Miss Bliss have anything that she wanted.  However, Mr. Belding soon realized he was mistaken and promptly took everything back.  TAKE THAT, MISS BLISS!

Episode #5 left Megan and I totally confused.  Zack was upset because Miss Bliss was dating his father.  The divorce of the Morrises had been hard on Zack and, as a result, Zack was totally acting out.  What’s weird is that Zack’s parents were NOT divorced in the high school episodes of Saved By The Bell.  It’s almost as if the writers just didn’t care.

Finally, Episode #6 featured Screech getting targeted by the school bully.  However, it turned out that the bully was just upset because he was illiterate.  That would have upset me too.  Having learned a valuable lesson about bullying, Megan and I decided we had watched enough Saved By The Bell for that morning.

On Monday morning, we watched the remaining 7 Miss Bliss episodes.  Again, we didn’t just watch.  We talked and laughed and made plans while the show played in the background.  To be honest, we probably paid even less attention on Monday than we did on Sunday.  By this point, we’ve both got every episode of this stupid show memorized so it’s not like we really had to focus to know what was going on.

Episode #7 was a school dance episode.  I guess, technically, it was the first ever SBTB dance episode.  Mr. Belding was worried about a fight breaking out at the dance.  A first actually did break out at the dance between Zack and his loser friend, Mickey.  Mickey liked a girl but she liked Zack.  Fortunately, Miss Bliss was there to save the day.

In Episode #8, Zack got out of taking a midterm by releasing Screech’s pet rats in the school.  Megan and I found the idea of a school closing down because of rats to be hilarious.  Seriously, I’ve seen rodents running around college campuses, ducking from classroom to classroom.  Anyway, due to Zack’s selfishness, it appeared that Miss Bliss would miss out on her chance to be named Teacher of the Year.  Fortunately, everyone teamed up to help her because, of course, the entire school revolved around keeping her happy.

In Episode #9, Zack and his other other loser friend, Nikki, teamed up for a class project but Zack expected her to do all the work.  (Boooo!)  It led to a rift in their friendship but Zack fixed it all by apologizing in front of the entire class.  Megan and I both agreed that was probably an awkward experience for all the other students who were forced to sit through it.

Episode #10 found the junior high in the midst of a prank war.  Who pranked Miss Bliss and ruined her ugly sweater!?  Everyone thought it was Screech and the class held a mock trial as opposed to just burning him at the stake.  Screech was acquitted and it turned out that he was actually framed by Miss Bliss, who wanted to teach the class about the jury system.  Neither Megan nor I cared much for this episode and we agreed that it was proof that Miss Bliss was a terrible teacher who didn’t really consider what being forced through a mock trial could do to a young student’s psyche.

Episode #11 was the silliest episode of all.  It turned out that Miss Bliss’s former student, Colleen Morton, was now a pop star named …. STEVIE!  Zack made a bet with everyone that he could get a kiss from Stevie.  He did get a kiss, but it was from Colleen.  It was only later that Zack figured out that Colleen and Stevie were one in the same!  Zack lost the bet, even though he was being honest about having been kissed by her.  So, I guess the lesson here is that Saved By The Bell took place in a post-truth world.

Episode #12 featured Zack pledging to some sort of weird ninth grade fraternity.  The frat demanded that Zack mistreat all of his friends and then, after Zack had lost everyone’s friendship, they revealed they were just playing a joke on him.  For some weird reason, Miss Bliss was the principal while Mr. Belding taught home room.  At first, everyone thought that Miss Bliss was both the perfect principal and the perfect teacher but then it turned out that Miss Bliss didn’t actually bother to get permission from the school board for any of the “good” things that she did and all of her solutions backfired.  TAKE THAT, MISS BLISS!

Finally, we ended things with the 13th and final episode of the Miss Bliss years.  Miss Bliss’s mentor showed up at the school and helped to teach her class.  His unorthodox methods were frowned upon by Mr. Belding.  Personally, I think Belding had a point but whatever.  The important thing is that Megan and I survived all 13 episodes.

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

I decided to binge all 8 seasons of the stylish 90s crime show, Silk Stalkings.  This show also airs on one of the retro channels, ZLiving.  It was a stylish show about rich people doing bad things, often while undressed.  The first few seasons starred Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture as Chris and Rita, two detectives who worked together to solve crimes and who generated endless amounts of sexual tension.

My sister Megan and I watched the pilot on Monday.  Chris and Rita investigated the murder of a model. Not surprisingly, the pilot was mostly about introducing Chris and Rita and establishing that they were attractive people who would be worth watching.  The pilot did a good job of just that.  Estes and Kapture had obvious chemistry from the start.  Even overly cutesy things — like calling each other “Sam” — were charming when they did it.  A good deal of time was devoted to Rita recovering from an aneurism, with gave the audiences a chance to see just how much Chris cared about his partner.  It was sweet, even if I have to agree with Rita that Chris was being a bit overprotective.  After the pilot, Megan and I watched two more episodes.  Chris and Rita investigate an old rich man who was shooting snuff films in his private sex dungeon and Rita came to terms with the tragic details of her father’s death.  And then, a rich car salesman was found floating in the ocean.  Fortunately, Chris and Rita were able to bring his very attractive killers to justice!

On Tuesday, we watched an episode in which Chris and Rita solved the murder of a wealthy (naturally) man who was killed on a golf course by an assailant who wielding a meat hook!  AGCK!  It was a grisly case but the important thing is that everyone involved was attractive.  Rita got shot towards the end of the episode.  She survived but Megan and I were still like, “Awwwwww!” when Chris got all worried about it.  This was followed by a fun episode in which Chris and Rita investigated the murder of a Congressman.  You might be surprised to learn that investigating the death of a politician involves talking to a lot of half-naked people. Chris and Rita (especially Chris) were up for the job!  This episode also featured a cute little subplot where Chris tried to help Rita deal with her insomnia.  Rita had a big poster that simply read, “ART!” in her bedroom.

The first episode that we watched on Wednesday featured Chris and Rita investigating the murder of a half-naked,rich woman.  This led to a scene in which they arrested a naked man who, standing in his hot tub, announced that “I heard you would need a semen sample.  I was just getting warmed up for you.”  Meanwhile, Chris reconnected with an ex-girlfriend who was now working as a stripper.  Reconnecting, in this case, meant spending a lot of time at the beach.  It was a fun episode.  The second episode found Chris and Rita investigating the murder of a sleazy tabloid publisher.  Of course, if this show had been made today, he would have just owned a clickbait factory and his death would have been live-streamed.  Chis was also upset that Rita had a date with a guy that she barely knew.  The date, of course, led to wild limo sex because seriously, what else are you going to do in a limo?

We got things started on Thursday with an episode about a decadent socialite who was drowned in her own pool.  Chris and Rita eventually discovered that the killer was a psycho named James who, ironically enough, also ended up dying in a pool.  Of course, James killed himself by jumping into the water while holding a sander.  We then watched an episode featuring Chris and Rita investigating a murder that had been committed by a bunch of frat boys.  Megan and I both agreed that frat boys were the worst!

The Steve Wilkos Show (Weekday Morning, Channel 33)

Hey, Steve Wilkos!  Giving lie detector tests and changing lives!  Good for you, Steve!  I watched your show on Wednesday morning because I was waking up and getting ready for my day and I was basically too busy to change the channel!  Get the Hell off my stage!

The Tribe (Pluto TV)

The Tribe is a British/New Zealand co-production that ran for five seasons in the last 90s and the early aughts.  It takes place in a future in which all of the adults have been killed by a mysterious virus, leaving behind only children and teenagers who have all formed “tribes,” and who are having to grow up in a world ruled by fear and anarchy.  A friend of mine has been recommending this show to me for a while.  One of my New Year’s resolutions was to finally check it out!

And that’s what I did.  On Saturday morning, around 2 a.m., I watched the first episode on Pluto.  It was pretty good.  It quickly set up the premise and introduced the characters.  Actually, it did quite a bit in just 25 minutes.  After meeting in an abandoned city, the main tribe took refuge in a mall.  Meanwhile, on the outside, a group of teenagers drove around in a cop car, the siren wailing ominously.  It was was an intriguing opening and, after watching the first episode, I decided that The Tribe would be one of the shows that I would binge over the course of 2022.

The Twilight Zone (Saturday and Sunday, SyFy)

I got a few episodes of SyFy’s annual Twilight Zone marathon.  On Saturday, I saw Burgess Meredith break his glasses.  I saw the one with the hitch-hiker who kept saying, “Going my way?”  And I saw one of my absolute favorite episodes, The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.  On Sunday, the highlight included Twenty-Two (“Room for one more!”), Peter Falk playing Castro in The Mirror, The Hunt (in which a man realizes that only Hell would refuse to allow dogs), The Bard (in which Shakespeare met Burt Reynolds), and The Changing of the Guard with the great Donald Pleasence!

The Young and the Restless (Weekday mornings, CBS)

Because I had so much fun with Days of Our Lives on Tuesday, I decided to watch The Young and The Restless on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, the episode of Y&R that I saw was a bit dry, with a lot of scenes of people standing around and talking about a lawsuit.  It was kind of boring but at least everyone looked good!

Lisa’s Week In Television: 5/16/21 — 5/22/21


It was a busy week and yet, I still found time to watch what was probably too much television. Here are my thoughts for this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Trying to explain what happened on Sunday’s episode will not be easy but here goes. Having faked their deaths in the previous episode, the two British airmen were attempting to tunnel their way into a German POW camp. However, their tunnel ends up colliding with the tunnel of two other British airmen, who are attempting to dig their way out of the camp. In typical Allo Allo fashion, nearly every character on the show, whether British, German, or French, eventually ended up in the tunnel at the same time. When the tunnel collapses, everyone finds themselves in the POW camp. It was odd but funny, an enjoyably chaotic parody of movies like The Great Escape.

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

I watched this week’s Final Four episode on the DVR and I have to admit that I fast forwarded through most of it. I just wanted to see who would make it into the top 3. Chayce, Willie, and Grace made it to the finale. Casey Bishop was eliminated. Because of the show’s weirdly rushed format, Casey didn’t get to say anything or even sing a goodbye song after being told that she had been rejected by America. Instead, the credits quickly flashed across the screen. It just didn’t feel right.

Of the final three …. well, I have no idea. In the past, it seems like Chayce would have won easily because of the whole country music thing but who knows? The judges seemed to really want the voters to pick Willie. Then again, the judges really just seemed to be going through the motions this season. There’s a real fear of being too negative. It’s not like the way it used to be when Simon hated everything and the other judges always seemed to be coming down from a coke binge.

Anyway, the finale is next week. I’m going to go ahead and predict that Chayce will win. I don’t know if I’m going to watch the finale or not. It’ll probably depend on what else is on at the time. (I refuse to set the DVR for the finale of a show that I know I’m going to forget about in two weeks.) It’s been a while since winning American Idol was really a big deal, to be honest. Maybe it would help if the show’s producers weren’t so determined to force everyone to sing sappy ballads.

Baywatch (Weekday Evenings, H&I)

The week in Baywatch got off to an extremely strange start on Sunday. The first episode featured Neely and Caroline competing for a modeling gig while Cody, Mitch, and Logan descended into the sewers to search for a mutant alligator. Neely got the gig and Mitch got the alligator. One thing that I did like about this episode is that the alligator was taken alive and donated to a zoo. The second episode featured a mysterious man trying to kill Logan, which led to Caroline wondering what it would be like if Charlie’s Angels were called in to save Logan’s life. Next thing you know, Caroline, Stephanie, and CJ were wearing wigs and bell bottoms and trying to solve the mystery of who was trying to kill Logan. Eventually, it was all revealed to be a dream. This was one of those meta episodes that Baywatch occasionally tried to do. Unfortunately, the show often struggled whenever it tried to be deliberately funny.

Monday was even stranger as the first episode opened with a bunch of lifeguard dragging a lifeless Hulk Hogan out of the ocean. Fortunately, they were able to bring Hogan back to life and, in order to thank them, Hogan and a bunch of wrestlers fought each other for charity. While that was going on, Stephanie was waiting to discover whether or not she had skin cancer. So, on the one hand, you had a very serious storyline about cancer and, on the other hand, you had a bunch of pro wrestlers yelling at each other on the beach. Fortunately, while Stephanie’s ultimate fate was left up in the air, the wrestlers raised enough money. Monday’s second episode featured Mitch sky-diving and this, of course, led to a lot of flashbacks to previous episodes, with some of the clips featured a totally different actor playing Mitch’s son because Baywatch was just like that. There were also some really weird green screen shots of David Hasselhoff with a bunch of fake clouds behind him. It also led to a lot of Hasselhoff voice over acting: “But if I’m unconscious, how can I know what’s happening? Am I dead?” (I may be remembering incorrectly but I thought this show already did a Mitch nearly dies while skydiving episode.) Fortunately, it turned out that Mitch’s death, much like the Charlie’s Angels episode, was just a dream.

On Tuesday, the first episode opened with Mitch trying to adopt a little girl who had never been on the show before. Eventually, I figured out that the episode was continuing a storyline that started on Baywatch Nights. In the end, Mitch did not go through the with the adoption and the little girl was sent to live with her grandparents in Iowa or Kansas or wherever it is that saintly grandparents tend to live. The second episode featured Mitch and Caroline trying to reunite a Vietnamese immigrant with her father. While they did that, CJ and Cody designed a special wheelchair so that a disabled friend would be able to roll across the sandy beach and experience the ocean firsthand. This led to a lot of shots of a sweaty, shirtless, and sexy David Chokachi handling a welding torch. Yum!

On Wednesday, the 1995 Baywatch “film,” Forbidden Paradise, was aired as a two-part episode. I reviewed it here.

Thursday started off with an odd episode, in which Stephanie discovered that she was cancer-free but, at the exact same moment she was getting her good news, a professional surfer was drowning and Logan was cheating on Caroline. It was a strangely philosophical episode but it did feature a surprisingly exciting rescue sequence. I think what made it work is that Michael Newman, who was an actual lifeguard, was the one doing the rescuing and you could tell that he actually knew what he was doing. The second episode featured Cody searching for Spanish gold and Newman, Logan, and Neely searching for a rat that was living in Baywatch headquarters.

Friday’s first episode started off with a new opening credits sequence that featured not only a bunch of new lifeguards but also the promotion of real-life lifeguard Michael Newman to the main cast. Yay, Newmie! The episode that followed featured Logan trying to make a movie about a killer shark and basically endangering everyone by filming with a real shark! At the end of the episode, Logan left Baywatch to become a director. Considering the number of people that Logan almost got killed during his time on the beach, I imagine the lifeguard were happy to see him go. The second episode found Mitch judging a beauty contest and having to deal with a new boss, Samantha Thomas (Nancy Valen).

Saturday’s episode featured an eccentric old man leaving CJ 4 millions dollars in his will and Hobie debating whether or not to get a tattoo. I have to admit that I didn’t pay much attention to it as I was preparing to host Saturday’s #ScarySocial live tweet.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MTV)

I had this show playing in the background while I was cleaning around the house. I needed background noise to help me focus but I also needed something that I knew I would be in no danger of getting emotionally invested in. The adventures of America’s most annoying family fit the bill!

City Confidential (Thursday Night, Crime and Investigation)

The episode that I watched on Thursday night was about Boston and it told the story of a white man who claimed that two black carjackers had murdered his wife but who, it quickly became apparent, had actually committed the murder himself. With the city on the verge of a riot, he jumped off a bridge. It was a disturbing story and a far too common one.

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

A&E’s stupidest reality show (and that’s saying something!) basically runs nonstop on Wednesdays. I watched two episodes on Wednesday afternoon and it was the typical collection of jocular judges, rude defendants, and teary-eyed victim statements, all breathlessly narrated by Dan Abrams. This show is basically like the 2021 version of those old “Totally Shocking Video” shows.

Fear Thy Neighbor (Saturday Afternoon, ID)

Fear Thy Neighbor is a true crime show that tells stories about neighbors who end up killing each other. On the one hand, it’s just as exploitive as it sounds. On the other hand, it does make you appreciate the neighbors who don’t try to kill each other. Whenever my neighbor gets on my nerves, I remind myself that at least he’s not one of the Fear Thy Neighbor neighbors.

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched Monday night’s episode. Monica was annoyed by Chandler’s fake laugh. Ross slept with the very annoying Janice. Chandler’s boss was played by the always-funny Sam McMurray. It was an okay episode, though I doubt it’s one they’ll discuss during the HBOMax reunion.

Gangs of London (Sunday nights, AMC)

I got caught up on Gangs of London this week, watching the three latest episodes (or, at least, the three latest episodes to be broadcast in the United States). I still struggle to follow the show and to keep track of who is working with who. That’s probably more due to me not watching on a regular basis than anything else. After watching the last three episodes, I’ve decided that Gangs of London works best as a parody of ultra-violent gangster epics. It’s all so over the top that it’s hard to believe that it was ever meant to be taken all that seriously.

One thing I did learn from watching the show is that Denmark apparently has a fearsome army. Who would have guessed?

Hill Street Blues (Weekday Mornings, H&I)

On Tuesday, the first episode of Hill Street Blues dealt with the aftermath of the murder of Officer Joe Coffey. Played by Ed Marinaro, Coffey had been a part of the show’s cast of characters since the first season and was at the center of many storylines. As such, you would think that the death of his character would be a big deal. Unfortunately, since Coffey had the misfortune of dying during the show’s sixth season, his death was mostly just an excuse for Lt. Norman Buntz to beat up a suspect and try to manipulate Coffey’s long-time partner into making an identification that she wasn’t sure about. The second of Tuesday’s episode featured more Norman Buntz drama as he found himself potentially being framed for the murder of another cop. Lindsay Crouse also joined the cast as a new police officer named Kate McBride who, in her first episode, got more screen time than people who had been there since the show began.

Wednesday’s first episode continued the trend of shining the spotlight on new characters as opposed to the old ones. Norman Buntz continued to threaten everyone he met. Kate McBride was accused of sexually harassing a prostitute and, though it turned out that the prostitute was lying, McBride did tell her partner, Lucy, that she was a lesbian. (The scene was so awkwardly handled that I was surprised McBride’s announcement wasn’t followed by a dramatic music cue.) Meanwhile, another new cop (played by a very young Chris Noth) tried to talk a man out of jumping off the ledge of a building. “Go ahead and jump but I don’t think you want to,” Noth said, right before the man jumped to his death. Whoops! The second episode of the morning found Detective Mick Belker reuniting with a former informant, Eddie, who died of AIDS at the end of the hour. The Belker/Eddie storyline was actually pretty effective and very well-acted by Bruce Weitz and Charles Levin. Unfortunately, it had to compete with space for scenes of Norman Buntz once again beating up suspects and Captain Furillo trying to decide whether or not to run for mayor. (The chief of police running for mayor makes sense and happens fairly frequently. But the captain of the city’s most notorious and troubled police precinct? It seems a bit less likely.)

The first of Thursday’s episodes featured Paul McCrane, who was suitable creepy as a serial killer who was captured by a group of angry citizens. This was also the last episode of season 6, as became obvious when the morning’s second episode featured completely different opening credits. (Jeff has warned me that Season 7 was even more Buntz-centric than Season 6. They probably should have renamed the show Hill Street Buntz.) The second episode featured an airplane crashing into the city, a briefcase full of cocaine getting stolen, and Buntz being held hostage. Buntz, it would seem, got held hostage quite frequently.

On Friday, the first episode featured Lt. Howard Hunter shooting a thief with a non-Department issued gun and being investigated by Internal Affairs as a result. As well, the public defenders office went on a work slow down to try to get better terms in a contract negotiation with the city. This led to Joyce Davenport getting into a physical altercation with a judge played by Jeffrey Tambor. It was actually a good episode, featuring a wonderful performance from James B. Sikking in the role of Hunter. The second episode, however, was a bit of a mess with the public defenders now on strike, Lucy introducing two new cops to life on the Hill, and Lt. Henry Goldblume abruptly going from being a bleeding heart liberal to being the type of cop who smirks while drawing a gun on a drug dealer. (The episode suggested that this was due to Buntz’s influence but Norman Buntz is exactly the type of cop that Goldblume hated just a few episodes ago. The real culprit was inconsistent writing.)

Finally, on Saturday, the first episode was another mixed bag. On the one hand, the episode featured a compelling storyline in which Capt. Furillio discovered that his recently-promoted, former second-in-command, Capt. Calletano, was struggling with running his new precinct. There was also a rather sweet moment where Assistant D.A. Irwin Bernstein admitted that he had a crush on Public Defender Joyce Davenport. However, there was also an incredibly icky storyline in which a new character, Officer Tina Russo, confessed that she had slept with a criminal (played by a youngish Chazz Palmenteri) while working undercover. And, of course, there was yet another largely pointless Norman Buntz storyline. The second episode was a mess. An old friend of Henry Goldblume’s got killed. (Doesn’t this happen every other episode?) Buntz glowered at everyone. Russo tried to defend her reputation even while the camera leered at her.

All in all, this show still has its moment but I’m glad that I’m nearly done with it.

Intervention (Mondays, A&E)

The first episode that I watched on Monday was a really old one, one that seems to get repeated rather frequently. Leslie is a soccer mom-turned-alcoholic whose children beg her to get help. As someone who grew up with an alcoholic parent, I have to admit that, whenever I see this episode, I have absolutely zero sympathy for Leslie. The episode aired in 2007 so her children are all adults now and I can only hope that they’ve managed to deal with the trauma that she put them through. Leslie did agree to go to rehab, though the show’s epilogue states that she relapsed a few times after getting treatment.

Leslie’s episode was followed by the story of Jason and Joy. Jason was a cocaine addict. His younger sister, Joy, was an alcoholic. As usual, I had more sympathy for the cocaine addict than I did for the alcoholic, which I guess suggests that I’m just biased against drunks. Fortunately, according to the episode’s epilogue, both Jason and Joy are now sober.

The third episode deal with hairstylist-turned-drug-addict Casey. To be honest, I cringed a bit when I saw that Ken Seeley was going to run her intervention because his interventions always seem to end in disaster. But, Casey actually agreed to get help for her addiction so yay! But the she left treatment early so boo! But then apparently, she got clean on her own so yay! As you can tell, the final three title cards were a real roller coater ride.

Later that night, I watched the two latest episodes of Intervention. Tim was a former MMA fighter turned addict. Shandra was an aspiring nurse turned addict. Both of them went to treatment, though Tim got kicked out after getting into a physical altercation with another patient. Let’s hope the best for them.

The Jetsons (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I had this old cartoon playing in the background while I was cleaning the house on Sunday. George Jetson really was a whiny prick, wasn’t he?

Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court (Weekdays, Channel 33)

I watched two episodes on Tuesday because I’m a terrible person. Both episodes featured fairly trashy people so it was hard for me to really care about whether or not they stayed together.

Nobody drags out the relatively simple process of reading the results of a DNA test like Judge Lake.

Judge Lake: “Tell me about when you first got married….”

Actually, Judge Lake, why don’t you just open up the damn envelope and read the piece of paper inside?

Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)

Sunday’s episode of Moone Boy centered around the Irish presidential election. It was nice to see that insane elections aren’t limited to the United States. At the end of the episode, Ireland elected it’s first woman president and Liam Moone helped to bathe the local fish monger. It’s a complicated story but the important thing is that everything worked out for the best.

The Office (All the Time, Comedy Central)

Product recall! Seriously, one of my favorite episodes ever. Michael calling that press conference is a classic Office moment. Angela’s inability to apologize is another great moment. I knew exactly what she was going through. I watched this episode of Thursday. It’s probably the 100th time I’ve seen this episode but I still laughed the whole time. It’s a classic.

On Friday, I watched three classic two-parters — Dunder Mifflin Infinity, Launch Party (“Lanch Party!?”), and Money. The scenes of Jim and Pam spending the weekend at Shrute Farms are some of my favorites from the entire series. (“Does Mose often have nightmares?” “Oh yes. Ever since …. the storm.”)

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

On Sunday night’s episode, Arkwright was concerned that an old school chum named Chalky White was going to steal away Nurse Gladys Emmanuel. Arkwright’s worries turned out to be unfounded. He should have been more concerned about the fact that Granville is obviously only a few more insults away from snapping and blowing up the store.

Philly D.A. (Tuesday Night, PBS)

On Tuesday, I watched two episodes of the PBS docuseries, Philly D.A. This is a series that follows Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner over the course of his first term. The blandly smug Krasner is a progressive who is determined to reform the culture of Philadelphia law enforcement. The series follows not only him but also his critics and the prisoners he’s released and the families who have been effected by the crime of those prisoners. Like Parking Wars, this is a series whose main message seems to be, “For the Love of God, stay out of Philadelphia.”

And really, it should be interesting but the series is so extremely one-sided that it comes across as being propaganda. It’s so obvious that the series is on Krasner’s side that you never feel like you can trust it to give you the whole story and I say this as someone who strong believes that the criminal justice system does need to be reformed. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, seeing as how this is a PBS production. Let’s just say that you’ll never see a similarly uncritical docuseries following the first term of a politician on the opposite side of the political divide.

(Interestingly enough, while I was watching this on Tuesday, Kraser was easily defeating a credible challenger in the city’s Democratic primary.)

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (Sunday, Fuse)

Sabrina! Listen, I know that a lot of people enjoyed that Netflix series more than Case and I did but for me, the only true Sabrina is Melissa Joan Hart and the only true Salem is the one who could actually talk. I watched four episodes of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch on Sunday and they were all fun and, as opposed to the Netflix series, brightly lit.

Saved By The Bell (IFC, Monday Morning)

On Monday, I caught the infamous “All in the Mall” episode of Saved By The Bell. This is the episode in which the gang goes to the mall to buy tickets for the big U2 (?) concert but, because they’re stupid enough to trust Screech to be able to buy the tickets, everything gets screwed up. However, they do find a bag full of money. Unfortunately, two criminals want the money too! Or do they? It turns out that it’s all a set up for Totally Candid Video! The gang’s reward for appearing on the show? Tickets to the big U2 concert! Personally, I would have rather had the money.

Seinfeld (Channel 33, Weeknights)

On Monday’s episode, Elaine tried to put a clothing store out of business, Newman and Kramer competed to throw the bet millennium party (this episode was from the 90s, remember), and Jerry’s girlfriend of the week was played by Lauren Graham. It was a funny episode.

Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)

Alas poor William Shakespeare. All Shakespeare wants is a family coat of arms so that he and his father can be “posh” but the man who is in charge of handing out such honors is Robert Greene, who has always disliked the Shakespeares. Perhaps if Shakespeare can throw a successful dinner party for Kit Marlowe’s new best friend, a Moorish prince named Othello, he’ll be able to convince Greene that he deserves to be a gentleman. However, when Greene discovers that Othello has fallen in love with Kate, Greene plots to trick Othello into murdering (or, at the very least, attacking) Shakespeare. It’s all rather complicated (and, as usual, rather funny). Hopefully, someone will write a play about it.

Favorite moment from Sunday’s episode: Greene tricks Othello into thinking that Shakespeare has the handkerchief that Othello originally gave to Kate. Othello starts to lose his temper.

Greene: “Ah, the green-eyed monster….”

Othello: “Perhaps you’re right. Don’t want to jump to any conclusions.”

In the end, it’s revealed that Othello stole all of his amazing stories from Sir Walter Raleigh’s latest book and Kate breaks up with him. All’s well that ends well.

Yes, Minister (Sunday Night, PBS)

Even by the standards of Yes, Minster, Sunday’s episode was a dark and cynical one. Don’t get me wrong. It was funny but the laughter was somewhat uneasy. Jim Hacker discovered two things over the course of the episode. Number one, British-made weapons were being sold to Italian terrorists. Number two, there was nothing he could do about it. As Sir Humphrey explained it, telling the Prime Minister would lead to an inquiry and an inquiry would lead to the discovery of all sorts of government scandals and the end result would be the government falling, Jim losing his position, and the terrorists still receiving their weapons. In the end, even Jim decided that his career was more important than doing the right thing. At least in Jim’s case, he didn’t seem to be happy about it.

Halfway through this melancholy episode, Bernard asked Sir Humphrey if Jim was right about the civil service being amoral. Humphrey explained that, of course, Jim was right. The role of the civil service, Humphrey explained, was not to worry about right or wrong. The role of the civil service was to support whichever government happened to be in power. Having personal beliefs went against that. As I said, it was all pretty cynical but it was also definitely more believable than any of the good government propaganda that we tend to get here in the United States. Aaron Sorkin wishes he could have written something as effective as Sunday’s episode of Yes, Minister.

Zombie House Flipping (Saturday Morning, A&E)

No zombies. Not since The Floor is Lava have a I felt so deceived.

Horror on TV: Sabrina The Teenage Witch 6.4 “Murder on The Halloween Express”


In this episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch (which was originally broadcast on October 26th, 2001), Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) is upset to discover that none of her friends have the proper Halloween spirit.  So, Sabrina arranges for all of them to spend Halloween on a Murder Mystery Train.  However, it quickly turns out that the train is magical and now, Sabrina and her friends have to solve an actual murder!

Things like that always seemed to happen to Sabrina…

Incidentally, Salem was always my favorite character!  Are you surprised?

 

Horror on TV: Sabrina The Teenage Witch 5.6 “The Halloween Scene”


For today’s televised horror, we have another episode of a show that I loved when I was growing up!  In this episode of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Sabrina attempts to hold a Halloween party and ends up having to give marriage advice to Frankenstein and his wife!

This episode was originally broadcast on October 27th, 2000.

Horror on TV: Sabrina The Teenage Witch 1.5 “A Halloween Story”


I used to love watching Sabrina The Teenage Witch when I was younger!  This was mostly because I wanted to grow up to be a teenage witch.

Sabrina’s very first Halloween episode was first broadcast on October 25th, 1996.  In A Halloween Story, Sabrina must use magic (surprise! surprise!) in order to be able to attend two Halloween parties at the same time.  As so often happens with Sabrina, the laughs are surprisingly clever and the ending is nicely heart-warming.

Ghosts of Christmas Past #18: Sabrina The Teenage Witch 3.11 “Christmas Amnesia”


I had so much fun with yesterday’s Ghost of Christmas Past that I decided, “Why not see how Sabrina celebrated Christmas the next year?”

She celebrated it by accidentally casting a spell that made the entire world forget about Christmas!  Agck!

Christmas Amnesia originally aired on December 11th, 1998.

Ghosts of Christmas Past #17: Sabrina, The Teenage Witch 2.12 “Sabrina Claus”


In today’s Ghost of Christmas Past, Sabrina the Teenage Witch develops a case of egotitis so her aunts call upon a special person named Bob to help her with her problem.  While spending the day with Bob, Sabrina discovers that Bob is better known as Santa Claus.  When Bob is injured, it’s up to one teenage witch to save Christmas…

I used to love Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.  Some of that was because I always wanted to be able to make things happen just by pointing her finger and saying something cute, just like Sabrina!  However, most of it was because Sabrina had a talking cat.

This episode originally aired on December 19th, 1997.