Retro Television Review: The Love Boat 1.4 “Message for Maureen / Gotcha / Acapulco Connection”


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Wednesdays, I will be reviewing the original Love Boat, which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1986!  The series can be streamed on Paramount Plus!

Welcome aboard, it’s love!

Episode 1.4 “Message for Maureen / Gotcha / Acapulco Connection”

(Directed by Stuart Margolin, Richard Kinon, and Peter Baldwin, originally aired on October 15th, 1977)

Oh no!  It’s a stowaway!  I guess any television show that took place on a cruise ship would have to feature at least one storyline featuring a stowaway.  It’s a bit disconcerting that The Love Boat couldn’t make it for more than four episodes before using the most obvious plotline but then again, the show ended up running for 9 seasons and a movie.  So, apparently, audiences didn’t mind and I have a feeling that there will probably be many more stowaway stories to come.

The stowaway in this episode is April Lopez (played by Charo).  Apparently, April became a recurring character, one who appeared in almost every season.  In this, her first appearance, she sneaks onto the boat in Acapulco.  The captain is not happy when she’s discovered hiding in a laundry hamper but everyone else is charmed by just how loud and talkative she is.  Because there’s no available rooms, April is housed with Doc Bricker until she can be dropped off at the next port.  Of course, Doc falls in love because Doc fell in love with everyone who came into his exam room.  Seriously, Doc was an HR nightmare waiting to happen.

Of course, April is not the only exhausting person to be on the ship.  There’s also Cyril Wolfe (Milton Berle), a nonstop practical joker whose wife (Audra Lindley) is getting sick of dealing with him and really, who can blame her?  Cyril greets a total stranger with a joy buzzer.  He carries around a fake, detachable hand so that he can freak people out.  Cyril can’t even give it a rest during their vacation!  Pretty soon, not only his wife but the crew are pretty sick of him.  (Most of the people watching the show will be sick of him, too.)  Do they conspire to toss Cyril overboard?  They could probably get away with it, seeing as how all of the ship’s nominal authority figures are busy dealing with a stowaway who loves to sing.  Somehow, Cyril survives his trip and he and his wife end up more in love than ever.

Finally, Maureen Mitchell (Brenda Benet) is a former tennis player who is now in a wheelchair.  All she wants is a few days of vacation before she meets with a surgeon who might be able to help her walk again.  Unfortunately, she discovers that an arrogant sportswriter named John (Bill Bixby) is also on the cruise!  At first, she wants nothing to do with him but when John injures his knee and has to use a wheelchair for the rest of the cruise, the two of them fall in love….

Hold on.  You know what just occurred to me?  Last week’s episode featured Robert Reed and Loretta Swit as two people who don’t like each other but just happen to end up on the same cruise.  This episode featured Brenda Benet and Bill Bixby as two people who don’t like each other but just happen to end up on the same cruise …. how long did The Love Boat writers last before they said, “Okay, we’re out of stories.  Let’s start repeating ourselves?”

Anyway, this episode was a mixed bag.  Charo and Milton Berle were not particularly subtle performers and their storylines felt as if they were designed to invite them to indulge in their worst impulses as performers.  But Bill Bixby and Brenda Benet had a lot of chemistry as John and Maureen and their story actually worked as a result.  (Bixby and Benet were married at the time they appeared in this episode.)  Plus, the ship looked lovely.  So did the ocean.  That’s what really matters.

Retro Television Reviews: The Love Boat 1.3 “Ex Plus Y / Golden Agers / Graham and Kelly”


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Wednesdays, I will be reviewing the original Love Boat, which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1986!  The series can be streamed on Paramount Plus!

Love!  Was it exciting and new this week?

Episode 1.3 “Ex Plus Y / Golden Agers / Graham and Kelly”

(Directed by  Adam Rafkin and Stuart Margolin, originally aired on October 8th, 1977)

The third episode of The Love Boat is all about age differences, growing together, and growing apart.

For instance, it’s love at first sight when Julie spots Jim Wright (Charles Frank).  I mean, hey, his name is even “Mr. Wright!”  And it turns out that, even though he looks like he’s 40, Mr. Wright is actually only 30!  And he likes Julie too!  The problem, however, is that Jim has been hired to serve as a tour guide for a group of elderly tourists.  And those tourists (led by Edward Andrews) simply will not leave Mr. Wright alone!  Every time Mr. Wright tries to spend some time alone with Julie, the old people show up.  Obviously, the show means for us to sympathize with Julie and Jim but I think I’m actually on the side of the old people as far as this is concerned.  I mean, they didn’t pay money so that Jim could have a vacation.  They paid Jim to be their tour guide and, unless he’s going to refund their money, that’s what he needs to concentrate on.  He and Julie can fall in love once Jim is off the clock.

While Julie pursues Jim, 12 year-olds Kelly (Kristy McNichol) and Graham (a very young Scott Baio) pursue their own romance.  Or actually, it’s Kelly who pursues the romance.  Graham likes Kelly but he’s also immature and not sure how to talk to girls so he always ends up doing or saying something silly or stupid whenever he and Kelly are on the verge of having a “real” moment.  On the one hand, this was actually a fairly realistic storyline, at least by Love Boat standards.  On the other hand, Baio and McNichol looked so much alike that any scene featuring the two of them was like that picture of the two Spider-Men pointing at each other.  Graham also ended up with a very convoluted backstory to explain why he was traveling with a British grandmother (played by Hermoine Baddeley) despite being a kid from Brooklyn.  It was one of those overly complicated and distracting things that could have been solved by simply not casting a British stage actress as Baio’s grandmother or not casting a very American actor as Baddeley’s grandson.

Finally, Robert Reed and Loretta Swit played a divorced couple who found themselves on the same cruise.  At first, they dreaded seeing each other but then, eventually, they agreed that they still had feelings for each other.  Surprisingly enough, the story did not end with Reed and Swit getting back together.  Instead, they just grew as people and were now ready to let go of the bitterness that was holding them back in their new relationships.  That was actually a pretty good story and I appreciated the realistic resolution.  However, before making peace with his ex-wife, Robert Reed came across as being so angry and so bitter that it was actually kind of scary to watch.  It turns out that the Love Boat has skeet shooting.  If you don’t think the sight of Robert “Mr. Brady” Reed with a rifle wouldn’t be terrifying, this episode is here to prove you wrong!

I have to give this episode a mixed review.  Two of the stories worked better than I was expecting but this episode suffered from the miscasting of some of the passengers.  Still, the ship and the ocean looked as lovely as ever and really, that’s the important thing.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 9/11/22 — 9/17/22


Though I’ve been busy getting ready for October, I still found time to watch a few things!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Donald Glover’s wonderfully surreal series has returned for its fourth and final season.  The first two episodes aired on FX this week.

The first episode was strange, funny, and more than a little creepy.  Darius’s attempts to return a gift that he didn’t need led to him being pursued by a knife-wielding white woman in a wheelchair.  Al’s attempt to honor the memory of a recently deceased singer led him on a scavenger hunt and it also served as a rather moving meditation on just what exactly it means to be famous and whether or not anyone actually pays attention to the lyrics of the music to which they listen.  Finally, Earn and Van found themselves trapped in some weird section of Atlanta where they kept running into people that they had dated.  Along with letting everyone know that the show had returned from Europe, this episode was a perfect example of the show’s dream logic.

The second episode is one that I’m still processing.  The ending presents the viewer with a bit of a litmus test.  Who do you feel bad for, Earn or the woman whose life he ruined?  Is it possible to feel bad for both of them?  Even if it’s possible to do so, should you feel bad for both of them?  Reading the reactions online, I was reminded of something that Spike Lee pointed out about Do The Right Thing, in that black audiences were outraged that the police killed Radio Raheem while white audiences were usually more upset about Sal losing his business.  It was a thought-provoking episode.  It was also one that finally gave audiences a look into Earn’s mind, revealing not only why he dropped out of Princeton but also that he was the victim of childhood abuse.  (That might explain the nightmare that he had a the start of the third season.)  The episode ended with Earn celebrating his elaborate revenge while also realizing that he he needed to return to the therapy.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

So, after the end of the first part of the finale (seriously, of all the seasons to drag out, why this one?), Gabby is pretty much stuck with Erich and Rachel is stuck with Tino.  I don’t see any of this ending well.  To be honest, Erich has every right to be concerned about the idea of getting engaged on a reality show.  And Aden had every right to be worried about what his relationship with Rachel would be like once the show ended.  But, as many have pointed out, everyone knows what they’re getting into when they sign up to appear on this show.

So, in short, I have sympathy for no one but Meatball.

Big Brother 24 (24/7, CBS and Paramount Plus)

The season’s nearly over!  I’ve been writing about all of it at the Big Brother Blog!

The Challenge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The Challenge came to a two-hour conclusion this week.  Enzo and Tyson …. well, neither one of them was the winner.  It’s always strange when the people who dominate a reality show don’t end up winning.  Instead, Danny and Sarah won.  I was happy to see that two Survivors won the game but still, it’s kind of like who cares?

The Emmys (Monday Night, NBC)

Eh.  The Emmys never really do much for me and I have to admit that I largely had the show on for background noise.  (I was actually watching two movies — Flight 93 and then Seven — while occasionally checking in with the Emmys.)  I was happy that Amanda Seyfried won but Yellowjackets losing to Succession and Barry losing to Ted Lasso pretty much ruined the night for me.  As well, how did Bob Odenkirk not win an Emmy?

Jimmy Kimmel getting dragged for his stupid “passed out” routine was the most entertaining part of the night.  Many have correctly pointed out that he intruded on Quinta Brunson’s moment.  Technically, his joke would have intruded on any winner’s moment but the fact that it occurred while the first black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series attempted to give her acceptance speech definitely made matters worse.

Of course, some of this is the risk you take whenever you have a comedian serve as a presenter at an awards show.  That’s one reason why I cringe whenever I see a certain former SNL star presenting an Oscar or a Golden Globe because I automatically know that there’s no way he’s going to give up the spotlight without a fight.

Devil in Ohio (Netflix)

This miniseries is about a psychiatrist (in Ohio!) who allows a girl to live with her and her family after the girl escapes from a Satanic cult that is led by her father (in Oho!).  Emily Deschanel plays the psychiatrist and gives a performance that will really leave you wishing they had cast Zooey instead.

I watched the first episode on Monday morning and it felt almost like a parody of a typical Netflix show, right down to the middling performances, the unnecessary filler, and the performative wokeness.  A good deal of the show dealt with Deschanel’s daughter starting a new year in high school.  She has a crush on the editor of the school newspaper and I have to admit that I laughed out loud when he approached her and he just happened to be wearing a “Notorious RBG” t-shirt.  I’m sure that’s really a hot seller in rural Ohio.

As for the show itself, I was pretty bored and I doubt I’m going to watch more of it.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Aunt Becky finally had the twins!  For some reason, the birth was broadcast on Good Morning, San Francisco.  Why would Aunt Becky agree to this?  Anyway, I guess Uncle Jesse’s going to have to give up his silly dreams of rock stardom and become an adult now, right?

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

Lewis and Hobson are a cute couple but there are still murders to be solved.  And Hathaway is still struggling with all the evil in the world.  The episode that I watched this week featured an elderly professor getting run over by a car.  I hate to admit it but I watched the episode on Tuesday and, as I type of this review on Saturday, I can’t remember who the murderer was.  I just know that Lewis didn’t seem to be as a depressed as usual and that’s good thing.

The Love Boat (Paramount+)

On the one hand, this show makes me want to go on a cruise.  But, on the other hand, I specifically want to go on a cruise in 1977 and I want all of the passengers to be a mix of television actors and retired movie stars.  I need a time machine.

Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head (Paramount+)

Old Beavis and Butt-Head kind of freak me out but it was still fun to watch them serve on a jury.  That said, I was still relieved when the younger and more hopeful versions of the characters appeared in the episode’s second story.  The Freaky Friday twist was nice.  I liked how the dude waited for his girlfriend to go into the 7-11 before he smashed Beavis and Butt-Head’s heads together for a second time.  That was considerate of him.

Monarch (Tuesday Night, FOX)

This is the latest attempt at a guilty pleasure soap from a network that specializes in them.  Trace Adkins and Susan Sarandon play Albie and Dottie Roman, the King and Queen of Country Music.  Judging from the first episode, it looks like it could be fun.  Albie is known as being “the Texas truth teller” but has a history of infidelity.  Dottie is dying and has frequent visions of a burning barn.  All of the children are angry with each other for one reason or another.  Like I said, fun.

If nothing else, you have to appreciate the bizarre pairing of the unapologetically conservative Trace Adkins with outspoken Sanders supporter Susan Sarandon.  It’s fun to imagine the set of the show, with Adkins having a beer and talking about his new truck while Sarandon harangues everyone to read Das Kapital.  Anyway, this show seems like it could be melodramatic enough to hold my interest.  I’ll give it a chance.

The premiere episode ended, in true cliffhanger fashion, with Dottie apparently dying.  We’ll see if she’s actually dead or not next week, I guess.  If she is dead, will Sarandon appear in flashbacks or as a ghost?  I’m hoping as a ghost.

Retro Television Review: The Love Boat 1.2 “A Tasteful Affair / Oh, Dale! / The Main Event”


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Wednesdays, I will be reviewing the original Love Boat, which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1986!  The series can be streamed on Paramount Plus!

It’s time to set sail on adventure and set your mind on a new romance!

Episode 1.2 “A Tasteful Affair / Oh, Dale! / The Main Event”

(Directed by Richard Kinon, Adam Rafkin, and Stuart Margolin, originally aired on October 1st, 1977)

The second episode of The Love Boat was all about fighting lovers.

For instance, one storyline — I assume it’s the one that was called “The Main Event” — features Sherman Hemsley as Maurice Marshall and LaWanda Page as his wife, Stella.  From the minute that they get on the boat, Maurice and Stella are arguing but it soon becomes obvious that, like many couples who have been together for a while, arguing is just the way that they express their love for each other.  The insults may be frequent but they’re always affectionate, which is kind of sweet.  Anyway, while on their way to dinner in the ship’s lounge, they get stuck in an elevator.  After arguing about the best way to escape from the elevator, they end up making out.  Of course, when the doors to the elevator do finally open, Captain Stubing and Gopher see that the couple, rather than being dead, are instead making good use of the space.  Everyone laughs.  Seriously, that’s the entire story.  Two people get suck in an elevator and make out.  That’s it.  You know, you can fool around on a moving elevator as well.  You don’t have to fry the circuitry ahead of time.  Just listen for the ping before the elevator doors open.

In a rather more serious storyline, Jaclyn Smith plays Janette Bradford, the wife of a wealthy but heartless man named Lucas (David Knapp).  Lucas is convinced that Janette is only taking the cruise alone because she’s planning on cheating on him.  Lucas hires a private investigator named Dennis Kingsley (Dennis Cole) to watch her on the boat.  Dennis soon discovers that Janette is not cheating on her husband but instead, she took the cruise because she needed a break from his controlling and emotionally abusive ways.  Dennis ends up falling in love with Janette and Janette with him.  However, Dennis also knows that he’s going to have to tell her the truth about why he’s on the cruise.  It doesn’t quite lead to heartbreak but it’s still far more serious than anything you might expect to see on a show of The Love Boat‘s reputation.  Jaclyn Smith, it should be said, does a wonderful job in the role of Janette, capturing both the vulnerability of someone in an abusive relationship and also her growing determination to escape from Lucas’s control.

Unfortunately, while all of this is going on, you have to deal with John Ritter playing a guy whose lover actually is cheating on him.  Ritter plays Dale.  Dale wants to follow his girlfriend on the cruise for the same reason that Lucas hired Dennis to spy on Janette.  Dale suspects that he’s being cheated on.  However, the cruise is almost entirely sold out.  There’s only one ticket left but it’s to share a cabin that’s already occupied by a woman.  Since Dale is not a woman, he can’t buy the ticket.  So, of course, Dale steals a blonde wig and a suitcase full of the frumpiest dresses imaginable.  Can you guess where this is going?  Dale gets his cabin, falls in love with his cabinmate (played, in a likable performance, by Tovah Feldshuh), and spends a lot of time changing clothes in the ship’s linen closet.  Captain Stubing ends up getting a crush on the mysterious woman with the big blonde hair and the ugly dresses and yes, it’s as stupid as it sounds with a heavy dose of cringey 70s gay panic humor tossed in to boot.  It doesn’t help that John Ritter gives such a frantic performance in the role that I actually got nervous watching him.  “Calm down!” I wanted to say.

As you can guess, the tone is all over the place in this episode.  That’s to be expected when you’re telling three stories at one time but there’s such an imbalance between Jaclyn Smith acting depressed and fragile and John Ritter doing pratfalls that it ultimately takes away from both stories.  With the second episode of The Love Boat, it seems obvious that the show was still struggling to find the right balance between drama and comedy.  As well, this episode suffers because the crew isn’t given much to do.  The first episode was enjoyable because the main cast had a fun chemistry but, in this episode, everyone is a bystander except for Captain Stubing.  Unfortunately, this episode couldn’t even treat Stubing consistently as the elevator storyline requires Stubing to be significantly smarter than the Stubing who appears in the John Ritter storyline.

Would the show ever succeed in finding and striking the right balance?  We’ll see what happens next week!

Retro Television Review: The Love Boat 1.1 “Captain & The Lady/Centerfold/One If By Land….”


Welcome to Retro Television Reviews, a feature where we review some of our favorite and least favorite shows of the past!  On Wednesdays, I will be reviewing the original Love Boat, which aired on ABC from 1977 to 1986!  The series can be streamed on Paramount Plus!

Welcome aboard, it’s love!

Produced by Aaron Spelling, The Love Boat is one of the signature shows of the 70s and the 80s.  Each week, the Pacific Princess would set off for a different location with a different group of guest stars.  Typically, each episode would feature three stories.  One story would be silly fun.  One story would be a dramedy.  And then one story would typically feature a member of the Love Boat crew either falling in love or worrying about losing their job.  It was a tremendously silly show but, from the episodes I’ve seen, it was also very likable.  If nothing else, the ship looked really nice.

While the passengers changed from week-to-week, the crew largely remained the same.  During the show’s first season, the crew was made up of:

Captain Merrill Stubing (Gavin MacLeod), who started out as a stern, no-nonsense captain but who became significantly nicer and a good deal goofier as the series progressed,

Adam “Doc” Bricker (Bernie Kopell), the ship’s doctor who hit on every woman who boarded the boat and who probably would have been an HR nightmare if the show actually took place in the real world,

Gopher (Fred Grandy), the ship’s purser who …. well, I’m not sure what a purser does but hopefully it wasn’t too important of a job because Gopher was always getting into weird situations,

Isaac (Ted Lange), the ship’s bartender who spent the entire cruise getting people drunk,

and Julie (Lauren Tewes), the cheerful cruise director.

And, of course, we can’t forget the true star of the show, the theme song!

Before the series, there were three made-for-television movies: The Love Boat (1976), The Love Boat II (1976), and finally The New Love Boat (1977).  These movies served as pilots for the show.  The first movie featured an entirely different cast playing the ship’s crew.  Kopell, Lange, and Grandy first played their roles in The Love Boat II.  MacLeod and Tewes came aboard in The New Love Boat.  Unfortunately, these pilots aren’t available on Paramount Plus but, fortunately, the rest of the series is.

So, let’s set sail on a course for adventure with the first episode of The Love Boat!

Episode 1.1 “Captain & The Lady/Centerfold/One If By Land….”

(Directed by Richard Kinon, Stuart Margolin, and Alan Rafkin, originally aired on September 24th, 1977)

The Pacific Princess is about to set sail but all is not right on the cruise ship that some call The Love Boat.

Ginny O’Brien (Brenda Sykes) just wants to get away from her longtime boyfriend, Ronald (Jimmie Walker).  Ginny wants to marry Ronald but Ronald just wants to have a good time.  When Ginny boards the cruise, Ronald decides to follow her.  The only problem is that the cruise is sold out and Ronald can’t break the law by stowing away.  (I was actually surprised that didn’t happen.  I can imagine The Love Boat writers room descending into chaos as the writers argued about whether or not it was too early to do a stowaway story.)  Ronald decides to follow the Love Boat from port to port, just so he can show Ginny that he is committed to something.  Ginny ends up spending her entire cruise wondering if Ronald is going to be make it to every port.  To me, it felt as if her cabinmate (Suzanne Somers) seemed to be kind of annoyed about getting sucked into all of Ginny’s personal drama but that could just be projection on my part.  I know that I would certainly get annoyed by it.

Meanwhile, Congressman Brad Brockway (Shelly Novack) has set sail with his fiancée, Sandy (Meredith Baxter-Birney).  When Sandy was younger, she posed for a sleazy photographer.  Now that she’s engaged to the Congressman, a tabloid has published those pictures.  Sandy spends the entire cruise trying to keep Brad from seeing any copies of the magazine.  The only problem is that the magazine is sold in ship’s gift shop!  (Did most cruise ships sell adult magazines in their gift shop?  I supposed it’s possible.  It was the 70s….)  Sandy manages to get almost every copy of the magazine but misses the copy that Doc keeps in his examination room.  Doc looks at the pictures and tells her that she has nothing to be ashamed of because the pictures look good.  That really wasn’t her main concern, Doc.  Anyway, it turns out that the Congressman doesn’t care.  Personally, I would have preferred that the story had ended with Sandy announcing that she was the one who didn’t care.

Finally, Captain Stubing is a nervous wreck because an executive of the cruise line named Aubrey Skogstad (Robert Symonds) is on the cruise and so is his wife, Stacy (Bonnie Franklin).  While Aubrey is quiet and polite, Stacy proceeds to tell every member of the crew that they are inadequate and that she will personally make it her duty to get them all fired.  It turns out that Stacy is hostile because she’s Captain Stubing’s ex-wife.  Since Captain Stubing is still new to the ship and has kept himself aloof from the rest of the crew, they wonder if he’ll ever stand up for them.  Eventually, the captain tells Stacy off and, in doing so, he finally wins the loyalty of his crew.  Yay!

Anyway, the first episode of The Love Boat was very, very 70s.  The only thing that could have made it more 70s would have been a disco ball on the lido deck.  Fortunately, as our long-time readers know, I’m a total history nerd so I enjoyed the show as a floating time capsule.  It’s one thing to watch a movie that’s set in the 70s and which features everyone going out of their way to bring to life every stereotype.  It’s another thing to actually view something that was specifically made during the time period.

Unfortunately, the stories and the passengers themselves were pretty forgettable.  The whole thing about the Stacy and the Congressman was slightly interesting just because, with the rise of social media, everyone’s got smutty pictures out there now.  For the most part, though, this first episode was about introducing Captain Stubing and the crew and the cast did display a good deal of chemistry together.  They were all likable.  Even Doc Bricker, with his stash of cruise porn, seemed to be well-intentioned.  They came across as people who most viewers would want to take a cruise with, which is exactly what the show required to be a success.

Next week …. more love, more 70s fashion, and more intrusive laugh tracks as we set sail on another voyage!

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


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

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

A Very British Scandal (Prime)

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

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

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

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

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

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

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

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

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

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

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

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

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

Court Cam (Monday Night, A&E)

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

Creepshow (Shudder)

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

The Curse of Degrassi (YouTube)

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

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

The Last Drive-In (Friday Night, Shudder)

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

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

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

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

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

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

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

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


Let’s get to it.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

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

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

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

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

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

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

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

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

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

Candy (Hulu)

I reviewed Hulu’s latest true crime miniseries here!

Dynasty (Friday Night, The CW)

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

Fantasy Island (Hulu)

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

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

Ghosts (Paramount Plus)

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

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

“This story is fictional….”

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

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

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

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

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

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

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

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


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

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

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

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

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

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

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

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

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

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

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

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

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

Ghosts (Thursday Night, CBS)

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

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

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

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

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

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

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

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

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own The City (Monday Night, HBO)

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

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


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

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

61st Street (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

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

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

2022 Masters Golf Tournament (Sunday, CBS)

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

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

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

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

The Tanners are going to Hawaii!

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

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

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

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

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

Hard Cell (Netflix)

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

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

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

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

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

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

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

Midnight Mass (Netflix)

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

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

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

The Outlaws (Amazon Prime)

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

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

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

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

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor here!

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

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

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


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

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

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

American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)

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

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

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

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

Bar Rescue (Sunday and weekday mornings, Paramount)

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

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

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, ABC)

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

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

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

The Chair (Netflix)

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

Couples Court With The Cutlers (Weekday Afternoon, OWNTV)

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

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

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

Cruel Summer (Hulu)

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

Dopesick (Hulu)

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

The Dropout (Hulu)

I wrote about the series finale of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

The Girl From Plainville (Hulu)

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

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

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

Law & Order (Thursday, NBC)

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

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

The Office (All the time, Comedy Central)

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

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Parking Wars (Monday Morning, A&E)

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

Survivor (Wednesday Night, ABC)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed Sunday’s episode here!

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

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