2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)

“Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die.” — John Merrick’s Mother, quoting Tennyson, at the end of The Elephant Man (1980)

Was Twin Peaks: The Return a movie or a TV show?

As I sit here on January 9th, 2018, that’s a question that’s still on my mind.  There are many critics who insist that Twin Peaks: The Return should be viewed as being a 16-hour movie.  It’s a claim that I, myself, have made several times.  In order to support this argument, we point out that David Lynch and Mark Frost didn’t sit down and write 16 different scripts.  Instead, they wrote one 900-page script which they then filmed and subsequently divided into 16 different “chapters.”  It’s really not that much different from what Quentin Tarantino did with Kill Bill or what Peter Jackson did with both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  As well, Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental artistic achievement that calling it a TV show just seems somehow diminishing.

And yet, the fact of the matter is that Twin Peaks: The Return did air on television.  It aired in 16 different episodes, which were aired on a weekly basis.  To many, that fact alone makes Twin Peaks: The Return a television show.

It may all seem like a silly question to some readers.  However, for those of us who like to make best-of lists at the start of the new year, it is a legitimate issue.  Should I include Twin Peaks: The Return at the top of my list of the best 26 films of 2017 or should I rave about it in my list of good things I saw on television in 2017?

My solution is to do neither.  Twin Peaks: The Return was such a monumental achievement that it deserves a best-of entry of its very own.

(Of course, not everyone is going to agree.  For everyone who loved Twin Peaks: The Return, there was someone else who hated it with just as much of a passion.)

Months after the show ended, Twin Peaks: The Return continues to haunt many viewers.  As the Man From Another Place once told Agent Cooper, “She is full of secrets.”  When the show ended, many of the show’s mysteries were left unsolved.  Really, we shouldn’t have been surprised.  As a filmmaker, David Lynch has always been most interested in mysteries than solutions.  What happened to Audrey?  Why did Laura/Carrie scream?  At the end of the show, was Dale trapped in another world or another time?  Was BOB really destroyed?

Interestingly, David Lynch actually provided viewers with two endings.  The first ending, which occurred halfway through Part 17, was an ending that would have been perfect for a television show.  Dale Cooper, back to normal, defeated the bad guys and was reunited with all of his friends.  The second ending — also known as Part 18— was a much more Lynchian ending as two strangers took a road trip to nowhere.  Part 17 gave us hope for the future.  Part 18 ended with a dark reminder that the past cannot be changed, no matter how much we obsess over it.  For me, Part 18 was the most important chapter of Twin Peaks: The Return.  Part 8, of course, is the chapter that got and continues to get all the attention.  And Part 8 was probably one of the greatest stand-alone episodes in television history.  But, when considering the reoccurring themes of Twin Peaks: The Return and all of Lynch’s work, Part 18 was far more important.

What’s interesting is that, while the show ended on a dark note, Twin Peaks: The Return was often Lynch at his most optimistic.  For all the terrible things that happened, the show also featured a reoccurring theme of redemption.  Two of the original show’s most villainous characters — Dana Ashbrook’s Bobby Briggs and Richard Beymer’s Ben Horne — were reintroduced as two of the most sympathetic characters to be found in The Return.  Agent Cooper finally escaped from the Black Lodge and not only got a chance to redeem himself by destroying Bob but he also destroyed his evil Double.  He even got a chance to turn Dougie Jones into a good husband, father, and employee.

In the end, it would appear that Cooper’s only mistake was thinking that he could change the past.  He may have saved Laura but, in doing so, he just transformed her into Carrie, an unbalanced woman living in a house with a dead body on the couch.  As her final scream confirmed, he could save her life but he couldn’t erase her pain.  The past is the past but the future can always be better.

Of course, it wasn’t just the characters on the show who won redemption.  The cast of Twin Peaks: The Return was truly amazing and, by the time the show ended, my opinion of several performers had changed forever.  Who would ever have guessed that Jim Belushi would end up being one of my favorite characters?  Or that Michael Cera would turn Wally Brando into a minor cult hero?   Or that David Lynch would prove to be as good an actor as he is a director?  Or that Balthazar Getty would get a chane to redeem his less than impressive work in Lost Highway with a chilling performance as the newest face of Twin Peaks corruption?  Even the returnees from the original show — Dana Ashbrook, Wendy Robie, Sheryl Lee, Harry Goaz, Kimmy Robertson, Russ Tamblyn, Everett McGill, Peggy Lipton, Grace Zabriskie, James Marshall, Madchen Amick, and others — were given a chance to reveal new depths of character.  Veterans like Robert Forster, Ashley Judd, Laura Dern, Don Murray, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Naomi Watts and Tim Roth shared the stage with newcomers like Chrysta Bell and Eamon Farren and they all came together to create an unforgettable world.

You could even argue that Twin Peaks: The Return was a comeback of sorts for Kyle MacLachlan.  Hollywood has never seemed to really understand how to best use this appealing but quirky actor.  Twin Peaks: The Return provided him with a chance to show what he can do, giving him not just one but three characters to play.


Twin Peaks: The Return gave us one final chance to appreciate some talented people who are no longer with us.  Harry Dean Stanton was the face of old-fashioned decency.  Miguel Ferrer provided snarky commentary, letting the audience know that the show understood how strange it was.  Warren Frost returned briefly, still as reliable as ever as Doc Hayward.  And Catherine E. Coulson, who was so often Lynch’s muse, got to play the role one more time.

(Jack Nance, Don S. Davis, Frank Silva, and David Bowie all made appearances as well, a reminder that they may no longer be with us but they will never be gone.)

In the end, it seems appropriate to end this post with a picture of Ed and Norma, finally together.  The world of Twin Peaks: The Return was frequently a dark one but sometimes, love won.

Tomorrow, my look back at 2017 continues with my picks for my favorite songs of 2017.

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017


Merry Christmas from Vincent Price (A CHRISTMAS CAROL 1949)

cracked rear viewer

What’s Christmas without Dickens’ classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and who better to narrate than jolly old Vincent Price! Enjoy this TV treat from 1949 before you eat your Christmas goose, and “God bless us, every one!”.

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Holiday Scenes That I Love: Christmas in Mayberry

Every classic sitcom had a holiday-themed episode, and THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW was no exception. Andy and Ellie (Elinor Donahue) sing “Away in a Manger” and Aunt Bee serves up some home cookin’ for a family in trouble, while crotchety old Ben Weaver (the great character actor Will Wright) is on the outside looking in. It’s a perfect example of what made this show so great, and includes a guest appearance by Santa Claus… sort of!

Guilty Pleasure No. 27: Sex Decoy: Love Stings


First off, a tweet from five years ago:

I cannot begin to put into words just how much I miss the Fox Reality Channel!  From 2005 until it went off the air in 2010, Fox Reality was the channel to go to if you wanted to watch some of television’s greatest guilty pleasures.  It was all reality tv all the time, a mix of original programming with reruns of shows like The Amazing Race, American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen, and about a hundred different dating shows.  Occasionally, they would devote an entire weekend to showing just one show and I have many fond memories of binge watching Paradise Hotel on Fox Reality.

Fox Reality also showed its share of cheap original programming as well, including today’s guilty pleasure.  If you were watching the Fox Reality Channel in 2009 (as I was and I have the tweets to prove it), there’s a good chance that you saw this commercial:

Now, of course, after seeing that commercial, you probably said, “Oh my God, I have to watch this show!  I mean, it says ‘sex’ right there in the title so it has to be good!”

So, you tuned into the Fox Reality Channel and, after sitting through the last 15 minutes of a rerun of The Rebel Billionaire: Richard Branson’s Quest For The Best, you watched Sex Decoy: Love Stings.

Fortunately, just in case you were unsure about what you were about to watch, the opening credits explained the whole concept behind this “reality” show:

All 8 episodes of Love Stings started out the same way, with Arizona P.I. Sandra Hope talking about how worried she is about her three daughters: Kashmir, Jasmine, and Xanadu.  It upsets Sandra that all three of them dislike her nerdy boyfriend and business partner, Tom.  It also upsets Sandra that all three of her daughters work as strippers whenever they are running low on funds.  (But, if Sandra is so worried about all of her daughters becoming strippers, why did she give them all stereotypical stripper names?  That’s what I’ve always wondered…)  Then the daughters show up and make fun of Tom and complain that Sandra doesn’t treat them like adults…

It’s probably around this time that you, the viewer, came to realize that Sex Decoy: Love Stings was obviously an attempt to create a hybrid of Cheaters and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.  Much like the Kardashians, Sex Decoy was obviously scripted.  However, Sandra and her daughters made Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and even Kris look like Oscar-winning thespians by comparison.  Sandra, in particular, had an amazingly robotic voice.  Her dialogue and her interactions with Tom and her daughters were so lacking in emotion and spontaneity that they became odd portraits of existential dread.  And when Sandra robotically talked about how much money she made by exposing cheaters, it almost felt as if we were watching one of Jean-Luc Godard’s experimental attacks on capitalism.

Anyway, after each episode’s family crisis had been set up, we would then meet this week’s client and get around to exposing their mate as being a cheater.  This, of course, involved a lot of secret cameras and a sex decoy who would be brought in to seduce the cheater while the client watched in a nearby trailer.  (Often times, Sandra would use her own daughters as the decoy which was kind of icky.  A running subplot, throughout the series, was that Kashmir felt she was never properly used as a decoy and, as a result, would threaten to go back to stripping.)  The client, naturally, would often get very upset and eventually, the cheater would end up being confronted while the cameras rolled.

And again, what made this so fascinating was the total inability of Sandra or her daughters to show any hint of human emotion.  The client would get upset and start yelling.  The cheater would try to talk his way out of it and occasionally beg for forgiveness.  Meanwhile, Sandra and the daughters would watch and say things like, “He.  Is.  A.  Cheater.”  It was almost as if they were aliens sent down to Earth to expose cheaters.

Each show would end with Sandra, Tom, and the daughters doing some sort of family activity.  Sandra would often brag that Sex Decoy was a family business but, being a robot, it always came out as, “After.  All.  We.  Are.  A.  Family.  Business.”

It was seriously just so strange to watch and that strangeness made it the epitome of a guilty pleasure.  Sadly, Fox Reality is gone but Sex Decoy lives on!  You can watch every episode on Hulu.  And, fortunately, there’s only 8 of them so, right when the novelty of the show starts to wear off, it’s over!


Previous Guilty Pleasures

  1. Half-Baked
  2. Save The Last Dance
  3. Every Rose Has Its Thorns
  4. The Jeremy Kyle Show
  5. Invasion USA
  6. The Golden Child
  7. Final Destination 2
  8. Paparazzi
  9. The Principal
  10. The Substitute
  11. Terror In The Family
  12. Pandorum
  13. Lambada
  14. Fear
  15. Cocktail
  16. Keep Off The Grass
  17. Girls, Girls, Girls
  18. Class
  19. Tart
  20. King Kong vs. Godzilla
  21. Hawk the Slayer
  22. Battle Beyond the Stars
  23. Meridian
  24. Walk of Shame
  25. From Justin To Kelly
  26. Project Greenlight

A Few Thoughts On The iZombie Pilot


Pictured above, you’ll find Liv Moore (played by Rose McIver), the character who is at the center of the new CW show, iZombie.

Just a few months before the start of iZombie, Liv was a friendly and optimistic medical student who was engaged to marry the handsome and rich Major Lillywhite (Robert Buckley), whose personality can pretty much be summed up by the fact that his name is Major Lillywhite.

However, then Liv happened to attend a party where things went dramatically wrong.  How wrong?  Liv was offered a mysterious drug by a mysterious man.  Liv turned the man down.  Everyone else at the party took the drug and soon, it was zombie apocalypse time!  Liv was one of the few “survivors,” practically bursting out of a body bag that she had been placed into and discovering that her arms were covered with zombie scratches.  That would traumatize anyone, right?

Now, several months later, Liv is no longer in medical school and she’s broken things up with Major.  She works as a coroner’s assistant, spending her time surrounded by the dead.  Her skin is deathly pale.  Her hair is nearly white.  She no longer smiles and instead, she reacts to almost every situation with a sarcastic comment.  Her family and former friends assume that she’s just going through a phase and that eventually, she’ll get over it and end up back with Major.

What her family and friends don’t know is that, at work, Liv eats the brains of cadavers.  Eating brains is the only thing that keeps her own mind alert.  Much like the lead character in Warm Bodies, eating a brain allows her to access both the memories and the skills of the brain’s previous owner.

As you probably guessed from the show’s title, Liv is now a zombie.  She’s a walking, talking, and thinking zombie and she’s not particularly happy about it.  Apparently, the only way that she can keep from turning fully into a mindless flesh eater is by eating brains.

She’s also a zombie who solves crimes!  (And I’m just going to say right now that I’ve been waiting my entire life to have an excuse to write that sentence.)  She does so with the help of her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) and Detective Clive Babinaux (Malcolm Goodwin).  Ravi knows that Liv is a zombie and is overjoyed to have the chance to study her existence.  Detective Babinaux, meanwhile, thinks that Liv is a psychic.

Ever since I first saw the teaser trailer in January, I’ve been looking forward to seeing iZombie.  Not only did I think that the concept was a promising one, but I was excited to hear that iZombie was the latest from Rob Thomas, who previously gave the world Veronica Mars.

As well, and with all due respect to The Walking Dead, it was hard not to feel that it was time for a zombie show that was actually fun to watch.  (The Walking Dead is a great show but, whenever I watch it, I’m always thankful for the knowledge that each somber and grisly episode will be followed the always funny and adorable Chris Hardwick.  We need Hardwick there to keep the Walking Dead experience from becoming too oppressively depressing.)  From the minute I first heard about iZombie, I thought it seemed like it would be a fun show.

And you know what?

Judging from the pilot, it is.

The first episode of iZombie aired on Tuesday night and it was pretty good.  The procedural aspects of the pilot’s mystery didn’t really interest me but then again, the pilot really wasn’t about the mystery.  The pilot was all about establishing Liv and her existence and it succeeded quite well in accomplishing just that.  Rose McIver brought a lot of life to the role of the undead Liv and the pilot made good use of the show’s moody Seattle setting.

Add to that, the pilot features a great throw-away line in which Liv dealt with an annoying hipster by calling him, “Karl Marx.”  Seriously, you can’t set a show in Seattle unless you’re willing to make fun of hipsters…

So, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where iZombie goes.  Hopefully, the show will continue to mix comedy with drama and it won’t allow itself to get bogged down in the whole procedural format.  Am I saying that I’m hoping that future episodes will continue to follow the lead of the pilot and turn out to be Zombie Veronica Mars?  Yes, I am.

I’ve read some comments on the imdb from people who are angry that Liv is not a “real” zombie because she can think and talk and all the rest.  Those people need to relax and stop taking their CW shows so seriously.  Obviously it’s too early to say whether or not iZombie is going to live up to its full potential but the pilot was definitely a step in the right direction.


A Few Thoughts On The 2015 Golden Globes!


So, normally, this where I’d make a few disparaging remarks about the nature of celebrity in American society and also a few jokes about how my boobs are the real golden globes.  But I’m not going to do that.  (Or, at the very least, I’m not going to do that right now.)  At this moment, as I think back on the Golden Globes, I am too excited to be snarky.

This was a historic night.

For perhaps the first time in Golden Globe history, both of the winnings films — The Grand Budapest Hotel for comedy and Boyhood for drama — were directed by native Texans.  Richard Linklater grew up around Houston and lives in Austin.  Meanwhile, Wes Anderson was raised in Dallas and, along with Owen and Luke Wilson, attended St. Mark’s!

That’s right, America.

Two great films won tonight and you have my homestate to thank for both of them.

Take that, Vermont!

(Just kidding, Vermont.  I remember how sensitive people are up there.)

(Because, God forbid, there should ever be a moment when anyone dares joke about a state north of West Virginia.)

(Love you, mean it.)

It was a good night.  Not only were my fellow Texans honored but so were my fellow redheads.  Amy Adams won Best Actress (Comedy) for Big Eyes.  Julianne Moore won Best Actress (Drama) for Still Alice.  I have yet to see either one of those films so I can’t really say much about either performance but, for me, it doesn’t matter.  After spending years of having to deal with the rampant anti-redhead prejudice that runs through this society, it was good to finally to see some of my flame-haired sisters getting some recognition.

In other news, Michael Keaton won for Best Actor (Comedy) for Birdman and he gave a speech that nearly made me cry.  Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood and gave a speech that did make me cry.  And then Amy Adams gave her acceptance speech and it was so heartfelt and eloquent that it should be the speech by which all future speeches are judged.  Before any of those three won, J.K. Simmons picked up Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Whiplash and he gave an acceptance speech that left me amazed that such an intimidating actor could also be such a nice guy.

In many ways, it was a great night.

And then, in some other ways, it most definitely was not a great night.

For the most part, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler seemed to just be going through the motions, secure in the knowledge that people would laugh and applaud regardless of what they actually said because, at this point, people feel obligated to do so. However, good for them for calling out Bill Cosby on his bullshit and saying what everyone knows is true.

I was not a fan of Margaret Cho’s North Korean observer.  Not only was it offensive but it was a bit hypocritical as well.  This is an industry that, up until three weeks ago, was terrified of North Korea, to the extent that they were even willing to shut down movies to avoid offending a dictator who is a legitimate contender for the title of Worst Living Human Being.  However, the Alamo Drafthouse — a Texas theater, I might add — had the guts to show The Interview, the world did not end, and now suddenly Hollywood wants credit for standing up to North Korea.

Of course, the main reason that the film industry is willing to make fun of North Korea is because there’s no money to be made there.  The people who are patting themselves on the back for “standing up” to North Korea are probably the same people who rationalize doing business with equally oppressive but far more financially lucrative regimes across the world.

Finally, I guess my main problem with the Golden Globes this year is that it just wasn’t the type of train wreck that we’ve come to expect from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  All of the presenters (except for Ricky Gervais) appeared to be sober.  Only one winner had to have his speech censored.  (A lot of people on twitter loved Kevin Spacey’s acceptance speech.  I thought it came across as being calculating and manipulative — which, I guess, is one reason why Spacey makes for such a convincing Frank Underwood.)  Everyone was on their best behavior.

And I can understand that.  With the murders in Paris and the worldwide attacks on free speech, this was perhaps the time for everyone to be serious.  But, still, I wanted to see just one thoroughly incoherent speech.  That’s what we watch the Golden Globes for, isn’t it?

So, ultimately, a mixed review for the Golden Globes.  Ultimately, though, it was a good night for Texas filmmakers so I’m happy.

Add to that, it gave me my annual excuse to arch my back and declare, “I’ll show you a pair of golden globes!”

It was a good night.

2014 In Review: 20 Good Things That Lisa Saw On TV In 2014

So, I’m sitting here and I’m trying to make out my annual list of good things that I saw on TV over the previous year and I’ve just realized something.

I did not watch as much TV as usual last year.

It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part.  Up until this very moment, I was actually thinking that I watched too much TV last year.  But, honestly, 2014 was a busy year for me.  Between work and dance and family and romance and writing and seeing movies and shopping and being sick and getting well and the manic states and the depressive states, I just didn’t have as much time as usual to devote to television.

In fact, the only shows that I always made it a point to watch were two reality shows and that was mostly because I write about them over at the Big Brother Blog and the Survivor Blog.

That takes me by surprise because I love television.  I’ve never made any secret of that fact and I’ve never felt guilty about it.  When I’m writing, I find it helps to have the TV on in the background.  As well, knowing that a certain show is always going to be on at a certain time tends to help me deal with my Obsessive Compulsive tendencies.  I’ve always felt that, in a perfect world, I would have my own TV network.  It would be called the Lisa Marie Network (LMN) and I would be in charge of programming every single minute.

But, for whatever reason, in 2014, I didn’t watch as much as usual.  So, don’t consider the list below to be a comprehensive list of everything that was good on television last year.  Instead, consider it to just be 20 good things that I was lucky enough to see.

So, here’s the list!

1) Too Many Cooks on Adult Swim

You knew that I’d have to start out with this one, especially considering that I still find myself randomly singing the theme song.  “When it comes to the future, you can never have too many cooks!”

2) Figure Skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

I actually enjoyed watching most of the 2014 Winter Olympics.  (Except, of course, when Bob Costas was there with his fucked up eye.)  But what I especially loved was watching the figure skating.  How couldn’t you love the chemistry between Charlie White and Meryl Davis or the amazing grace of Yulia Lipnitskaya or Ashley Wagner’s refusal to hide her disgust with the judges?

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 1

3) Veep

Without a doubt, the funniest show on television.  Anyone who idolizes a politician should be forced to watch it.

4) Community ended its network run on a decent note

After a rough fourth season, Community made a comeback of sort during the fifth season.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep NBC from canceling the show but still, it was good to see a few more decent episodes of Community before the show moved over to Yahoo.

5) True Detective

True Detective has been praised so much that I really don’t have much more to say about it, beyond the fact that I found it to be endlessly fascinating.

6) Sharknado 2!

So, I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of the first Sharknado.  (I was even less of a fan of the way the media seemed to believe that Mia Farrow was the first person to ever live tweet a movie, especially considering how lame most of Mia’s Sharknado tweets were.)  But I loved Sharknado 2!  Sharknado 2 was everything that the first Sharknado was supposed to be and more!

IZ in Sharknado 2

7) The Old People TV Networks

This is the year that I really made an effort to explore all of the channels that I have available to me.  What I discovered is that there are a lot of stations that are apparently dedicated to exclusively showing shows that were made long before I was even born!  For a history nerd like me, coming across these networks is a bit like accidentally digging up a time capsule.  Add to that, I’ve discovered that old TV shows make for perfect background noise.  I call these networks the Old People TV networks but I do so with affection.

8) Seeing my friend and fellow movie blogging Irish gal Kellee Pratt in the audience whenever TCM rebroadcasts that interview with Maureen O’Hara.

9) Opposite Worlds on SyFy

Opposite Worlds was a reality show that was broadcast on the SyFy Network.  Contestants were divided into two tribes.  One tribe lived in the luxurious future, complete with a fully automated house.  The other tribe lived in the past, which basically meant wearing furs and staying in a cave.  The two tribes competed every week.  Many contestants were seriously injured.  I was hoping that Samm would win, mostly because I share her struggle.  But I was okay with Frank eventually winning.  He turned out to be a nice guy.

(By the way, SyFy, I’m still waiting for a second season…)

10) Bates Motel

Bates Motel got better and better during its second season.  I still think Olivia Cooke needs a spin-off where she solves crimes.


11) True Blood ended before it totally went the way of Dexter.

To be honest, True Blood was definitely showing signs of its age.  I wasn’t really happy with the final season but I was relieved to see that it still ended on a better note than Dexter did.

12) Flowers in the Attic

2014 got off to a great start with Flowers in the Attic, one of the best movies to ever show up on Lifetime.

13) Lizzie Borden Took An Axe

In fact, the only that kept Flowers in the Attic from being the best Lifetime movie was the fact that Lizzie Borden premiered a week later.


14) The Way The Saved By The Bell and Aaliyah Movies Brought Us Together As A Nation

For two nights, our often troubled country was united by the power of mass snarkiness.

15) Coverage Of The Fact That Paul Rosalie Was Not Eaten Alive

There was something greatly satisfying about how, after spending weeks promising that he would be, Paul Rosalie failed to be eaten alive by an anaconda.  I think one reason I especially enjoyed this fact that I didn’t actually watch the special.  I thought the whole thing sounded stupid and crass.  That made the subsequent ridicule all the more satisfying.

16) Key and Peele

Without a doubt, the funniest sketch comedy program on TV today.

17) Talking Dead

To be honest, the only reason I watch The Walking Dead is so I’ll be able to understand what they’re talking about on The Talking Dead.

18) Daft Punk At The Grammys

It was great to see the Robots enjoying themselves.

Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers

19) Weather On The Local News

“Folks, we’ve got a storm system approaching but don’t worry.  Channel 4 will keep your 4warned…”  Some things never change.  I’ve reached the point where I can find the humor in watching our local meteorologists panic every time that it starts to rain.  This past year, whenever I was stuck inside while a light drizzle fell outside, I knew that Pete Delkus, Larry Mowery, and David Finfrock would be there to amuse me with their dire warnings of a weather apocalypse.

"A storm's coming!"

“A storm’s coming!”

20) Degrassi!

Degrassi endures.  And we’re all the better for it.


On one final note: GetGlue, R.I.P.  For five years, I enjoyed checking into tvs, movies, books, and emotions on GetGlue.  Sadly, GetGlue (or TV Tag as it came to be known) went offline on January 1st.  Goodbye, GetGlue.  It was fun while it lasted and I’ll always remember that week when me and that guy from Indonesia were violently fighting over who would get to be the guru of pepper spray. (GGers will understand.)

Tomorrow, my look back at 2014 continues with my ten favorite novels of the year!

Previous Entries In The TSL’s Look Back At 2014:

  1. Things Senor Geekus Dug In 2014 Off The Top Of His Head
  2. 2014 In Review: The Best of Lifetime and SyFy
  3. 2014 In Review: Lisa’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2014
  4. 2014 In Review: 14 of Lisa’s Favorite Songs of 2014
  5. 2014 in Review: Necromoonyeti’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2014

Review: True Blood 7.1 “Jesus Gonna Be Here”


I have to start out this review of the 7th season premiere of True Blood with an explanation and an apology.

I always like to think that I can write a good review regardless of what else might be going on in my life.  If I took a break from writing every time that I felt less than great, I certainly would not have ever reviewed Black Swan or The Perfect Teacher.  Sometimes, you just have to take your medicine and get things done.  That said, I should let you know that summer has just begun down here in Texas.  Pollen is everywhere and I have spent today battling my allergies.  I am definitely under the weather as I write this review and I apologize if that has effected my ability to properly consider tonight’s episode.

However, for the season premiere of a show that’s known for its complex storylines and huge cast, it doesn’t really seem like there’s much to analyze about what happened tonight.

Don’t get me wrong.  True Blood has always been an uneven show.  For every great episode of True Blood, there’s also a mediocre one.  For every brilliantly drawn and acted character (like Kristin Bauer van Straten’s Pam), there’s been characters who have never quite reached their potential but yet remain in the cast.  For every storyline that worked, there will be memories of Bill getting possessed by Lillith.

In the past, mediocre episodes or creative misfires did not worry me.  I accepted them as being just a part of what happens with all long-running television shows.  I accepted the occasional bad because I knew that the good would be great and I always knew that there was a chance that any creative miscalculations would be corrected in a future season.

However, we’ve now reached a point where there are no more future seasons.  This is it!  Season seven has ten episodes and then True Blood — as a television series — is over.  Rumor has it that there will be a Broadway musical and I’m certainly looking forward to it eventually showing up on the community theater circuit because I really do think that I’d be a natural for it.  But, until then, these final 10 episodes are all that we have left and True Blood — being True Blood — has a lot of storylines that it needs to somehow resolve so that viewers like me don’t feel like we’ve spent the last 7 seasons being set up for an anticlimax.

After all, we don’t want True Blood to end up like Dexter.

That’s why I can’t simply laugh off a mediocre or uneventful episode now.  As I sat through tonight’s premiere, a part of me was thinking that things were moving slowly because the show is setting up the foundation for a proper and satisfying finale.  However, another part of me wanted to scream, “HELLO — WE’VE ONLY GOT 10 EPISODES LEFT!  THESE HAVE TO COUNT!”

And I will admit — though this may have been the headache talking — I did end up hissing at the screen, “Where.  The.  Hell.  Is.  Erik!?”  As we all remember from last season’s finale, Erik was last seen naked on a mountain, bursting into flame as the sun shined down on him.  The important thing, however, is that we never saw Erik explode into red goo.  I chose to believe that Erik is still alive and, apparently, Pam agrees with me because tonight’s episode found Pam in Morocco searching for Erik.  There really weren’t enough scenes featuring Pam but I was happy for what we got of her.  Pam’s snarkiness always brings True Blood to life.  Hopefully, Erik will show up next week.

As for everyone else:

Tonight’s premiere began where season 6 ended.  A group of infected vampires attacked a human-vampire mixer at Bellfluer’s.  During the attack (which was well-filmed but still a bit too chaotic for its own good), vampire Tara is apparently killed and Holly and Arlene are kidnapped by the infected vampires.  Sam, who is now the mayor, orders that all the humans go home with an uninfected vampire, the idea being that the human will feed his vampire in return for protection.  Nobody is really happy with the arrangement and, as quickly becomes apparent, everyone blames Sookie.  What people don’t consider is that Sookie can hear their accusatory thoughts.  At the end of the episode, she goes to church and tells everyone off.  So, it looks like Sookie is once again frustrated with living in Bon Temps and thinking about saying goodbye to all of the drama and going off on her own.  Then again, that’s pretty much what always happens to Sookie.

(Sookie, incidentally, is now in a relationship with Alcide and good for her!  I still have a feeling that she’ll end the show with Sam but when you’ve been through everything that Sookie has, you’ve earned the right to spend a few nights with Alcide.)

Meanwhile, Sheriff Andy and Bill spent the episode looking for the kidnapped humans and I have to say that Andy has actually turned into a badass, even getting to save Bill from a group of human vigilantes.  However, Andy assures Bill that, even if there are temporarily allies, Andy still hates Bill and every other vampire.

Jessica, meanwhile, is stuck outside of Andy’s house, protecting Adelyn.  Despite the fact that Andy ordered his daughter not to invite Jessica inside, Adelyn does allow Jessica to enter to escape both the rising sun and to thank her for protecting her from a random vampire who wanted to drink Adelyn’s blood.  Once inside the house, Jessica nearly attacks Adelyn but manages to stop herself.

And finally, Jason has sex with his vampire girlfriend.  It’s not an episode of True Blood unless Jason is having sex with his vampire girlfriend.

I always enjoy watching True Blood and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with tonight’s premiere, which seemed to move slowly and, oddly for True Blood, didn’t really seem to be too concerned with moving any of the show’s dozen or so storylines forward.  Hopefully, future episodes will pick up the pace because, after all, we’ve only got nine more left and they have to count!

And, hopefully, Erik will return.


Don’t Look Back: The Walking Dead 2014 Teaser Poster

AMC has released the teaser poster for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead and looking at it, two things are obvious.  First off, the prison is gone.  Secondly, Rick and Carl are on their own.

The Walking Dead returns in February to AMC.


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.