I’m a little bit late in posting my week in television. That’s because it’s been a long week, both in television and out! Here’s some thought on what I watched:
Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)
On Sunday’s episode, with Rene back at the café and Maria in Switzerland, a new waitress was hired. Recommended by the Resistance, Mimi LaBonq was just as short as Maria and, it would appear, just as obsessed with Rene. She was also just a bit more homicidal than Maria, attempting to poison Herr Flick and later beating up an Italian officer. While Mimi was attempting to kill people (albeit bad people), LeClerc was delivering Rene’s new radio and Michelle of the Resistance was insisting that she would “only say this once.” And, as always, it was all a hundred times funnier than it sounds.
Having watched enough episodes, I can now see that the humor of Allo Allo really does come down to the fact that everyone has such a bizarrely idealized view of Rene. “This is the bravest man in France!” Michelle will announce while Rene scurries behind the bar and tries not to get spotted. The absurd cluelessness of everyone involved is never less than fascinating.
The Bachelorette 17 (Monday Night, ABC)
Yes, we’re doing this again. Katie Thurston is the latest bachelorette and Chris Harrison is no longer the host. While I can understand Katie’s decision not to keep the creepy RV guy around, I wish she had because, judging by last night’s episode, this show could really have used a dose of that weird energy.
Baywatch (Weekdays, H&I)
Life on the beach continues, though I do have to say that appears that, in its later seasons, Baywatch started to frequently repeat itself. How many time can the exact same thing happen to the exact same lifeguards?
On Sunday, lawyer and former lifeguard Craig Pomeroy returned to Baywatch so he could defend the right of one of his clients to die on the beach. Once his client did die, Craig was free to once again become a lifeguard so I guess it’s good that the old man hired probably the only lawyer in the world who was probably for the opportunity to switch careers and take a massive pay cut. This was followed by an episode in which a woman disappeared into the ocean because Cody left his lifeguard tower early. This would seem like a massive dereliction of duty but the show suggested it was no big deal because it was Cody as opposed to some random lifeguard. Everyone loves Cody!
On Monday, Caroline returned to Baywatch and got held hostage by a criminal. How many times has this happened to Caroline? It used to happen frequently to her sister as well so I guess it’s a Holden family trait. This was followed by an episode in which Craig and April got trapped in a sunken power station. They survived and it looks like there might romance in the air, despite Craig being in his late 40s and April being 18.
The romance continued on Tuesday, when Manny broke up with April and Craig helped to capture a bunch of reckless jet skiers. Though April asked Craig to take her to a charity dinner, Craig eventually convinced Manny to take her instead because, again, Craig is like nearly 100 and April is 18. This was followed by an episode where Cody was trapped underwater and had to be rescued …. wait a minute, didn’t the exact same thing just happen to April and Craig!? Neely also admitted that she was hooked on pain pills that the real reason she took a leave of absence from Baywatch was so she could have a baby.
On Wednesday, the first episode featured Lani losing her hearing. Fortunately, she got it back at the end of the second episode because no problem ever lasts longer than two episodes. During the first episode, Mitch met a woman who was riding a horse across the beach. In the second episode, cop Garner Ellerbee returned to capture some drug dealers and he als rode a horse across the beach.
On Thursday …. well, who knows? Cody made the mistake of betting Mitch’s new boat as a part of some silly competition, which is something that I’m pretty sure Logan did at some point during the show’s first two seasons. During the second episode, Mitch rescued a swimmer who may been sick, which again is something that happened frequently in the past. As a result, all of Baywatch had to be quarantined! Only Newman could work the beach, which meant he got to save a bunch of models who were posing for the …. ahem …. new Barbara’s Boutique Catalogue.
Friday was a weird two-part episode. As occasionally happens when an old show is airing on the retro channels, the show suddenly skipped over a handful of episodes and we jumped, without warning, into the future. All new opening credits! All new cast intros, with several regulars now missing! Suddenly, Mitch was married to Neely and Neely was played by an entirely different actress! Anyway, the marriage didn’t last because it turned out that Neely was lying about seeing her ex in Alaska (?). I guess maybe it all would have made sense if the episodes had been shown in their proper order but …. oh well! The main thing is that Neely and Mitch were no longer married at the end of it all and Neely was no longer a part of Baywatch.
On Saturday, Mitch was stalked and held hostage by a psycho babysitter. Didn’t that happen to Mitch at least once a year?
The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (YouTube)
I watched the first episode of this 1977 TV series. The Brady Bunch sings! Fake Jan turns out to be more likable than Real Jan! Peter Brady conspires to replace his father with Tony Randall! Donnie and Marie Osmond stopped by! Clowns swam underwater! The entire family and Alice the maid did the Hustle! It was …. well, it was something.
Cellmate Secrets (Monday Night, A&E)
On this new Lifetime/A&E show, cellmates of infamous criminals talk about what it was like living with a temporary roommate. This week, I learned that Casey Anthony was apparently manipulative and heartless. Shocker!
Championship Boxing — Wilder vs Fury (Showtime Extreme, Friday Morning)
This was a boxing match from 2018. I’m not really a boxing fan, though I do like to see what everyone in the crowd is wearing. The match was between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder and it ended in a draw. Personally, I wish they both could have won. I cringed every time I saw a punch land to the head. That can’t be good!
At one point, during the fight, one of the announcers pointed out that “The Black Panther is in the crowd,” and the camera cut to Chadwick Boseman talking to Mario Lopez in the audience.
Cheaters (MTV2, Friday Morning)
I watched three episodes of Cheaters on Friday morning, from two to three-thirty. Unfortunately, the guide didn’t list what year they were from but Joey Greco was hosting and, just from the fashion choices made by some of the cheaters, I’m going to guess the episodes were from 2009 or 2010. Cheaters is, in many ways, a terrible show but it’s also a Dallas-based production so I’m happy it’s out there. One of my favorite things about Cheaters is that the cheaters often get busted at places that I’ve actually been to. I’m like, “I’ve been to that restaurant!”
Anyway, all three episodes featured cheaters who didn’t show enough contrition upon getting caught. Joey Greco’s self-righteous commentary was hilariously overwrought. All in all, this is a show for the entire family.
Court Cam (Wednesdays, A&E)
The judges were all sarcastic. The defendants were unrepentant. To be honest, the main thing I remember was that someone in the gallery kept yelling at the accused criminals because he didn’t think their bail was high enough.
Degrassi Minis (YouTube)
Degrassi Minis was a series of 5-minute short films about Degrassi! They typically had titles like “What if Jimmy could walk?” or “What if Craig married Ashley?” They presented an alternate reality to the show’s reality and they were often disturbing as Hell. I watched “What if Jimmy hadn’t gotten shot?,” which featured Jimmy getting a basketball scholarship while a bitter Sean watched from his wheelchair. So, I guess if Rick Murray hadn’t shot Jimmy, he would have shot Sean? But, in the “real world,” it was pretty much established that the main reason Rick brought the gun to school was to specifically shoot Jimmy, whom he incorrectly believed has been behind the plot to bully him. So, if he couldn’t shoot Jimmy, why would he then go after Sean, a character who he didn’t even know? Why not go after the other people who he thought were in on the plot?
In short, this mini made no sense but both Daniel Clark and Stacey Farber gave good performances as Sean and the ever-loyal Ellie. Seriously, even in the alternate timeline, Ellie didn’t get enough credit for putting up with everyone’s crap.
Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)
On Tuesday’s episode, Ross adapted a British accent while teaching and he didn’t both to let Rachel know that he hadn’t actually gotten their Vegas wedding annulled, which was kind of messed up to be honest. On Wednesday, Joey agreed to keep an eye on someone’s Porsche. Joey soon started to pretend that it was his Porsche. It was kind of a stupid storyline but the criminally underrated Matt LeBlanc did a great job selling it.
Hell’s Kitchen (Fox, Monday Night)
Chef Ramsay’s attempt to mentor Generation Z chefs hit a snag on Monday night when one of the chefs imitated Ramsay getting mad about a dish being undercooked. The problem was that the dish was undercooked and the chef in question was one who had undercooked it. Can you guess who ended up going home at the end of service?
Intervention (Monday Night, A&E)
As I’ve said previously, I always have more sympathy for the druggies than I do for the drunks. On Monday night, Pam struggled with both drugs and alcohol so my feelings were mixed. Still, she went to rehab and appeared to be doing better at the end of the show so good for her.
Last Man Standing (Sunday, Newsnation)
There are certain shows that just make perfect background entertainment. These are the shows that you have on television while you’re doing something like cleaning the house or trying to organize your movies. They keep you from getting overwhelmed by silence but, at the same time, they don’t really demand your attention. Most of these shows tend to be sitcoms and rather old-fashioned sitcoms at that. Last Man Standing is a perfect example. Starring Tim Allen as the often-confused father of three daughters, Last Man Standing was one of the sitcoms that was always more popular with audiences than critics. I can’t say that I have ever regularly watched it, though the few times I have both watched and paid attention to it, it seemed to be an inoffensive sitcom that, more often than not, worked because of its cast and despite some heavy-handed writing.
For whatever reason, Last Man Standing is one of those sitcoms that always seems to be airing somewhere. On Sunday, it aired on Newsnation from early in the morning until late in the evening. I had it playing in the background while I did some work around the house. I can’t say that I really paid much attention to it. Tim Allen was confused by his daughters. His daughters were competing for his attention. One of the daughter’s had a liberal husband, who was basically the world’s biggest wimp. It felt more like a series from the late 90s than the 2010s. But no matter. It helped me focus on the work I was doing around the house and that was really all I needed.
Moone Boy (Sunday Night, PBS)
Martin became an altar boy and found out the truth about the Mass Mafia. It was an enjoyable homage to Goodfellas, even if it did end with the Godfather theme playing over the end credits. I especially like the fact that Martin’s confirmation name was also Martin. “That will be easy to remember.”
(For the record, my confirmation name was Sofia.)
The Office (Comedy Central, All The Time)
On Sunday morning, I watched Safety Training and Product Recall, two classics from season 3. Safety Training featured Michael thinking that he could safely jump off the building and onto a bouncy castle. Product Recall featured Andy dating a 16 year-old high school student. Funny episodes but what the Hell was going on in Scranton!?
Actually, my favorite part of Product Recall was Michael calling the press to let them know about the offensive watermark because, otherwise, how were they going to find out?
Open All Hours (Monday Morning, PBS)
Poor Granville. His entire life revolves around that morning milk delivery. Some morning, the delivery’s going to be delayed and Granville’s going to snap. It won’t be pretty.
Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)
“I love South Philly but if you’re parked in the wrong place on one of my streets, you’re getting a ticket.” Oh, shut up.
Seinfeld (Weekday Night, Channel 33)
I watched four episodes of this 90s sitcom, two on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. Two of the episodes dealt with the production of a pilot that was written by Jerry and George. I’ve always like the episodes with The Pilot, if just because of the way that Jerry Seinfeld poked fun at his own acting limitations. (“Because he’s my butler!”) George’s obsession over the box of raisins was another classic, cringey moment.
As for the other two episodes, one dealt with George trying to hire a secretary to which he wouldn’t be sexually attracted (it did not work) and the other was one of my favorites, in which Jerry and George try to figure out how to perfect the roommate switch. (“I’m not sure of the exact pronunciation but I think it’s called …. ménage a trois?” “Oh, that’s wild.” And, of course, later: “I’m not an orgy guy!”) Really, putting George in any position of authority just seems like the ultimate HR nightmare.
Storage Wars (All Day Tuesday, A&E)
I watched several episodes on Tuesday and, as tends to happen with A&E all-day marathons, they all blended together. But no matter! The good thing was that the majority of the episode were from the first three seasons, when the whole show was about Dave getting on people’s nerves and Barry acting all eccentric and somehow managing to injure himself every time he tried to clean out a locker. To be honest, I don’t think the show has ever really recovered from losing Barry as a regular.
Upstart Crow (Sunday Night, PBS)
Realizing that his new play, Twelfth Night, just isn’t working, Shakespeare comes up with the brilliant idea to turn it into a jukebox miracle! Everyone loves the play once the music of Thomas Morley is added but then Morley himself refuses to sign over the rights to his music. Oh, Shakespeare, will you ever learn?