Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 12/18/22 — 12/24/18


Merry Christmas!  I spent the first part of this week shopping and I’m spending the second half of the week with my family.  It’s literally freezing outside!  Wheeee!

Anyway, here’s a few thoughts on what I watched this week:

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Oh no!  It’s Christmas and Carol is supposed to sing!  But she’s losing her voice!  Don’t worry, she gets it back.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (Apple TV+)

I watched this with my sisters on Friday night.  It’s still a classic and it’s really not the Christmas season without it.  Erin wrote about what this special means to her a few years ago.  Read her thoughts!

Community (Netflix)

Poor Shirley.  Her efforts to have a great Christmas were ruined by Jeff Winger’s need to fight a bully.

Degrassi (Tubi)

My sisters and I watched the season 3 “Holiday” episode on Friday.  Actually, I kind of forced my sisters to watch it with me and, as we watched, I made sure they knew all about how Craig cheated on Ashley with Manny and how, long before that, Joey cheated on Caitlin with Tessa.  I don’t know if they really cared but I had fun telling the story!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Uncle Jesse went on tour in Japan, where he was inexplicably popular.  But he realized that he missed his family so he went home.  Michelle gave Jesse a hard time for trying to find success out of the house.  This was followed by Jesse trying to become a radio DJ but losing the job to Joey.  Things aren’t looking good for Uncle Jesse.

King of the Hill (Tubi)

After walking in on his mother and her new boyfriend, Hank is struck blind!  Still, it’s Christmas and Hank is determined to hand out the gifts like he always does.  Bobby gets a nightgown.  “A nightgown,” he says, “I’ll wear this when I’m older.”  That line always makes me laugh.

Leave It To Beaver (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Beaver loses the money that his father gave him to get a haircut so he gives himself a haircut.  Then he asks his brother, Wally, to help him fix his new haircut.  Beaver ends with a mohawk but his parents realize that they’re partially to blame for being too hard on him.  It was a sweet episode.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Tubi)

Friday night, I watched the MST version of Santa Claus Conquers The Martians with Jeff and our friend Pat.  Hooray for Santy Claus!

The Office (Peacock)

On Saturday morning, I watched my two favorite Christmas episodes of The Office.  First, I watched as Michael destroyed Secret Santa by turning it into Yankee Swap.  (“How is this better than an iPod!?”)  Secondly, I watched the 3rd season episode in which Michael, Andy, and Dwight went to Benihana.  I always enjoy the episodes where Andy’s evil more than the episodes where Andy is so needy for approval that it’s difficult to take.  I know that one of the actresses who played a Benihana waitress has subsequently spent a lot of time condemning the episode and trying to get the outrage machine going.  There’s really nothing more Twitter than signaling that you appeared in a classic TV show while, at the same time, trying to cancel it.  Anyway, for the first four or five seasons, every Office Christmas episode was a classic.  Secret Santa, especially, is brilliant.

Saved By The Bell (DVD)

On Saturday morning, Megan and I watched an episode in which Zack and the gang met a homeless girl and her father at the mall.  Because it was Christmas, the girl and her father moved in with Zack and his mom.  The girl and her father were never mentioned again.

 

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 10/30/22 — 11/5/22


I’ve spent this week in a state of exhaustion as I’ve tried to physically and mentally recover from this year’s Horrorthon.  Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched over the past seven days.

Abbott Elementary (Wednesday Night, ABC)

The commercial was amusing and I enjoyed the scene where everyone realized that the reason they had allowed the commercials to be filmed was because they had gotten used to being followed around by cameras.  I enjoyed hearing about the shows that the characters happened to be watching when they saw the commercial.  I’m not really sure that Abbott needs a supervillain, though.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here!

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

Al moved out to a farm and nearly got killed by a feral hog.  Brian Tyree Henry’s reactions were priceless.

California Dreams (YouTube)

Surf dudes without attitude …. kinda groovy …. I watched a few episodes and wrote a few reviews that will be dropping over the course of the next few weeks.  I’ll be glad to be done with season 2 because, as everyone knows, season 3 is when this show gets good.

City Guys (Tubi)

98 Degrees played Manny High and Chris dated a goth!  You can read about it here.

Family Feud (Weekday afternoons, Buzzr)

On Monday, I watched two episodes of this deathless game show.  They were both Halloween episodes from the 80s so everyone was wearing a costume.  I have no idea who won.  Survey says, “Didn’t much attention!”

Fantasy Island (Tubi)

I wrote about Fantasy Island and Leslie Nielsen here!

Ghost Whisperer (Hulu)

I watched an episode of my favorite guilty pleasure on Monday.  Jennifer Love Hewitt helped Hillary Duff deal with a ghost.  Meanwhile, Melinda’s dead husband continued to hang out in someone else’s body.  That was a weird season.

Hang Time (YouTube)

I watched a few episodes of Hang Time yesterday and today and I wrote and scheduled reviews for all of them.  Keep an eye out on Monday.

Highway to Heaven (YouTube)

I shared this episode on Monday.  Jonathan battled the devil for Mark’s soul.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Hulu)

I watched the episode in Sunday in which Mac and Dennis tried to create an economy based on Paddy Bucks.  Meanwhile, Frank chopped off a finger while trying to sale knives.  I fell off the couch laughing.

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (Apple TV+)

Erin and I watched this classic on Sunday.  It’s a part of our Halloween tradition.  A few years ago, Erin wrote about this special and why it continues to appeal to us.

King of the Hill (Hulu)

I watched two episodes on Monday.  The first was the episode where Hank fights for the right to trick or treat.  The second was one of my favorites, in which Bobby buys a pack of Tarot cards and accidentally joins a coven.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

A fashion designer is murdered while crime spirals out of control in New York.  This was actually a pretty good episode, even if the mystery itself was rather routine.  It was an episode that acknowledged just how powerless people feel in the face of America’s current crime wave and it put the blame squarely on our elected officials.

The Love Boat (Paramount Plus)

I wrote about my latest voyage here.

Night Flight (NightFlight+)

I watched an episode of this entertainment news show from 1992.  The show contained a profile of Bruce Springsteen, some footage of Duke Ellington performing, and then a few comedic shorts featuring Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, and others.

The Office (Peacock)

On Halloween, I watched the first Halloween episode.  Imagine how different the series would have been if Michael had fired Creed instead of Devin.

One World (Tubi)

I binged the entirety of this show on Thursday and Friday.  Here are my thoughts on two episodes.

Saved By The Bell (Hulu)

Zach and the gang went on a mystery weekend!  It’s about as close as this show ever got to a Halloween episode so I watched it on Halloween.  Even when Zach thought people were actually being murdered, he seemed oddly unconcerned.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Toy Story of Terror (Sunday Night, ABC)

I watch this special every year.  I have to admit that it’s never quite as good as I seem to remember it being but, that said, how can you not love the toys?

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 8/21/22 — 8/27/22


Again, this week was mostly about getting ready for October.  Here’s a few thoughts on what I did watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Once again, Rene was mistaken for dead.  He even attended his own funeral, while disguised as Officer Crabtree.  Crabtree, of course, retired to Madame Fanny’s old bedroom, which led to all sorts of chaos when Fanny showed up.  It was, needless to say, a crazy time in Nouvion.

The Bachelorette (Monday Night, ABC)

Hometown dates!  Who cares?  Meatball’s not on the show anymore.  Gabby appears to be heading for another heartbreak while Rachel just can’t catch a break.  First, hardly any of the men wanted to date her.  Then, Tino’s family decided that they all hated her.  This is a messy season and it’s hard not to feel that it’s not going to end well for either one of the Bachelorettes.  Next week’s Men Tell All should be interesting and hopefully, Meatball will make a case for why he should be be the next Bachelor.

Big Brother (Everyday, CBS and Paramount+)

I’ve been writing about this season over at the Big Brother Blog! This season was going well until production came up with one of the worst twists in the history of the show.  Jasmine and Joseph are both gone.  Jasmine lost her fake limp and her fake accent when she was evicted.  For all the excitement over the Leftovers building a strong and positive alliance, it now appears that the show could very well be won by yet another unlikable showmance.  Do these words make sense to anyone who doesn’t watch Big Brother?

The Challenge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

Bye, Leo.  I’m still predicting a Tyson victory.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

The first of Sunday’s episodes found DJ requesting that she finally be given a room of her own, which was a totally justifiable request considering how much older she was than her sisters and that Michelle, for some reason, had an entire room to herself while DJ was expected to share with Stephanie.  While DJ prepared to move and Stephanie dealt with feeling rejected, Becky and Jesse went to childbirth class, which was being held in the living room for some reason.  Becky got mad at Jesse because Jesse was being insensitive and talking about Elvis.  I assume they resolved the issue.  The second episode featured Danny freaking out because DJ was growing up and getting interested in boys and asking him to respect her privacy.  They worked it out.

Inspector Lewis (YouTube)

On the episode that I watched on Tuesday, David Soul played the murder victim.  Hathaway solved the mystery while Lewis dealt with a toothache.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Hulu)

On Wednesday, I watched “Conscience,” an episode from season 6 of NBC’s long-running legal show.  Kyle MacLachlan gave an intense performance as a man on trial for shooting and killing the 13 year-old who had previously murdered his son.  It was a good episode, thought-provoking and well-written.  It was an example of what the Law & Order franchise used to be like.

On Saturday, I watched a second episode from season 6.  In “Doubt,” Benson and Stabler found themselves dealing with a case in which a woman accused her teacher of raping her.  The teacher insisted it was consensual rough sex.  The episode ended before the verdict was read, leaving it to the audience to try to decide who was telling the truth.

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

This week’s episode started with Butt-Head getting prescribed a new, grape-flavored medication that caused him to become so nice that Beavis freaked out.  Perhaps the funniest part of this segment was Butt-Head asking Mr. Van Driessen to lunch and then listening attentively while Van Driessen talk about the teacher’s union.  The second part of the episode featured the return of Smart Beavis and Smart Butt-Head, who provided us with a look at a universe where Beavis and Butt-Head were middle-aged.  Butt-Head was obese and could barely walk.  Beavis was an alcoholic with broken teeth.  It was realistic and kind of depressing.  However, it’s always nice to Smart Beavis and Smart Butt-Head.  “Very droll, yes.”

Night Flight (NightFlight+)

This was apparently an old 80s TV show that used to run on the USA network and which took a look at entertainment news.  I watched two episodes on Friday, largely as historical research.  The first episode dealt with the 1986 Academy Awards and featured a lot clips from the nominees.  The second episode was from 1984 and it dealt with music videos that had been deemed too violent to be aired on MTV.  The second episode was fun because it claimed to be a serious look at music video violence but instead, that was just an excuse to show the videos.  Cecil B. DeMille would be proud.

The Office (Weekday Nights, FaveTV)

I discovered two things this week.  Number one, I discovered that there’s a station called FaveTV.  Number two, I discovered that they air The Office late at night and early in the morning.  I watched two episodes on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  The first featured Michael and Dwight hanging out with Ryan in New York City.  Ryan attempted to talk to them about his drug use.  Michael started talking about how he couldn’t understand The Wire.  Dwight sang an Amish lullaby.  The second was the classic episode in which Stanley demanded to know, “Did I stutter!?”  This is one of my favorite episodes, both because of the final conversation between Stanley and Michael and for the B-plot of Pam forgetting her contacts.  I could relate.  Even though I can watch these episodes anytime I want on Peacock and I own the entire series on DVD, it was still kind of fun to watch it on an ordinary channel.  It made me feel nostalgic for the day before instant gratification.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Arkwright continued to cheat his customers while Granville wondered if there was anything more to life beyond being an indentured servant.

Two Looks at the Office: The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene and Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office by Brian Baumgartner and Ben Silverman


The American version of The Office was so good that it has led to not one but two oral histories!  And I’m such a fan that I’ve got both of them.

The first oral history that I read was Andy Greene’s The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s.  First published in 2020, Greene’s book was full of interesting facts and anecdotes, though a careful reading revealed that a lot of the “oral” part of the oral history was lifted from old interviews, DVD commentaries, and an article that Greene had previously written.  The book was notable for 1) establishing that Steve Carell is one of the nicest guys in show business, 2) putting the blame squarely on Jeff Zuker for Carell not returning after Season 7, and 3) getting some of the behind-the-scenes people to talk about why seasons 8 and, to a lesser extent, season 9 were so uneven.

The other oral history, which was published earlier this year, was Welcome to Dunder Mifflin.  It was written by Brian Baumgartner (who played Kevin Malone on the show) and Ben Silverman, one of the show’s producers.  Probably because Baumgartner and Silverman were both involved in the show, they apparently were able to get a lot more people to talk to them personally.  Unlike Greene’s book, which relied heavily on previously published interviews, Welcome to Dunder Mifflin features recent interviews with people like Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Angela Kinsey, Craig Robinson, Ed Helms, Amy Ryan and many others.  In fact, nearly the entire cast seems to have been interviewed for Welcome to Dunder Mifflin.  Presumably because their schedules wouldn’t allow it, neither BJ Novak or Mindy Kaling are interviewed and their absence is definitely felt.  Also not interviewed is James Spader but that’s not really a surprise.  (Spader played Robert California during the season of The Office that everyone seems to agree was the worst, Season 8.)  While everyone in both of the oral histories is quick to compliment Spader as an actor and a person, there’s a general agreement that the show never figured out what to do with the Robert California character and that Spader’s vibe didn’t quite meld with the show.  One gets the feeling that his time on The Office is something that Spader is more than happy to put behind him.

(Personally, of all the celebrities who were brought in to “interview” for the management position after Steve Carell left the show, I thought Ray Romano was the one who seemed like he would best fit in with the show’s ensemble.  Then again, I always felt that the best solution would have been to cast some total unknown for as Michael’s replacement and then keep him off-screen as much as possible.  But I’m getting distracted.  Someday, I’ll post my big ‘What the Office Should Have Done’ screed.  Of course, it’ll be like 20 years too late but whatever….)

The books are both full of love for The Office but they each take a somewhat different approach.  The Untold Story takes a very structured and very chronological look at the show and focuses a lot on what went on behind the scenes, both on set and with the network.  (If you didn’t already dislike Jeff Zucker, you will after reading Greene’s book.)  Welcome to Dunder Mifflin takes a far looser approach to the material and focuses more on what it was like to be a part of television’s funniest ensemble.  Welcome to Dunder Mifflin is full of interviews of people gushing about how much they loved working together and how proud they were to work on The Office and what’s interesting is that, even though you’re just reading their words on the printed page, you never doubt that they’re totally telling the truth.  Perhaps because it was Baumgartner who was doing the interview, the cast seems to let down their guard in a way that you really don’t see very often when it comes to performers talking about their time on a classic show.

Welcome to Dunder Mifflin focuses on the positive aspects of being on the show.  Whereas The Untold Story spends a lot of times on Seasons 8 and 9 and on the difficulty of integrating James Spader and Catherine Tate into the main cast, Welcome to Dunder Mifflin devotes only a few pages to those seasons and instead focuses on the Carell years.  One thing that both of these oral histories have in common is that Steve Carell comes across as being the nicest guy who ever lived.  How nice is Steve Carell?  I’d rather live next door to him than Tom Hanks.  Actually, I take that back.  I would want Carell next door and Tom Hanks living across the street.  It’s a big neighborhood.

Both of these oral histories nicely compliment each other.  If you want a chronological history of the show, Greene’s book is for you.  If you want a book that focuses on what it felt like to be a member of The Office crew, Welcome to Dunder Mifflin has you covered.  I would recommend buying both and getting the full Office experience.

And remember, there’s no party like a Scranton party.

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.

Lisa Marie’s Week in Television: 3/20/22 — 3/26/22


I didn’t watch much this week because I’ve been busy preparing for the Oscars.  Here’s a few thoughts on what little I did watch.

Allo Allo (Sunday, PBS)

Lt. Gruber thought that he spotted the ghost of Rene’s twin brother in the cemetery and was frightened for his life.  Of course, what we all know is that Rene never had a twin brother and instead, he’s been pretending to be his own twin brother after faking his death several seasons ago.  Somehow, no one on the show has figured this out yet or found it strange that Rene had to explain that both he and his twin have the same name.  Things only got more complicated from there, with Flick trying to disguise himself as a British spy and the Italian soldiers learning how to speak English.  Officer Crabtree still still thinks that he can speak French.  What I like is that, whenever he says “Good moaning,” all of the French characters respond with “Good moaning,” indicating that they are also mangling their French in sympathy for him.  That’s nice of them.  I’m also starting to get the feeling that those British airmen are never going to get out of France.

American Idol (Sunday and Monday Night, ABC)

ABC gave us two episodes of American Idol this week.  The auditions came to a close.  Because I was busy on both Sunday and Monday, it wasn’t until Tuesday that I watched both of the episodes on Hulu and I have to admit that it wasn’t long before I started to get bored and I ended up fast forwarding through some of the auditions.  From what I heard, some of the singers had good voices but there was still an overwhelming blandness to the whole thing.  Perhaps things will perk up in Hollywood.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

The show is all about celebrities doing stuff in the jungle.  Aguirre, The Wrath of God, it is not.  So far, none of the celebs have had a breakdown and requested to leave the show so what even is the point?

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

The Bradys went to a national park, laughed their way through a Native ceremony, and declared themselves to be The Brady Braves.  More like the Problematic Bunch, am I right?

The Dropout (Hulu)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

The Tanners and the Uncles are stranded at the airport on Christmas Eve and proceed to make life miserable for all of the other passengers.  Uncle Jesse gives a speech about the true meaning of Christmas.  Santa Claus is revealed to be a grumpy passenger who wears a toupee.  In a scene of maximum cringe, Danny falls asleep on the baggage claim carousel.  This was followed by three more episodes, all of which dealt with Jesse and Joey trying to work from home while Stephanie and Michelle demanded all of their attention.  DJ and Aunt Becky were the only characters on this show who ever seemed to worry about anyone else’s feelings.

The Love Boat (Saturday Afternoon, MeTV)

On Saturday’s episode, The Love Boat’s passengers included: Kim Darby, Howard Duff, Greer Garson, Lawrence Pressman, Louanne, and Jim Stafford.  To be honest, I didn’t know how the majority of those people were.  Greer Garson was a psychic.  Lawrence Pressman was a guy who used his best friend’s daughter to convince Kim Darby that he was a single parent.  In the episode’s serious plot, Isaac briefly went deaf.  It all worked out in the end.

The Office (All Week, Comedy Central)

On Sunday, I watched two episodes from season 1, both of which were classics of cringe comedy.  In Basketball, Michael challenged the warehouse to a game and Jim ended up getting punched in the face by Roy.  (Agck!  That was a lot of blood and, according to John Krasinski, it was real.)  Then, Amy Adams showed up at The Office to sell purses and Michael ran out to buy her a cappuccino machine.  Amy Adams deserved an Emmy for the look of horror she got in her face when Michael tried to flirt with her.  Will offices really let you sell purses out of their conference room?  I might actually check into that.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

This week, PBS aired the first ever episode of Open all Hours.  Granville looked younger and a smidgen less disgruntled than he did in later episodes.  He still seemed to be a bit of a ticking time bomb, though.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode here!  I enjoyed this week’s episode far more than I enjoyed the previous two episodes.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

Chris talked to Michael Biehn and Seth Gilliam, both of whom were absolutely charming.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about The Walking Dead here!

Now, on to the Oscars!

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


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

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

American Idol (Sunday Night, ABC)

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

Baywatch Hawaii (Prime)

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

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

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

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

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

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

Court Cam (Wednesday, A&E)

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

The Dropout (Hulu)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Dropout here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

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

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

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

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

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

The Office (Sunday Afternoon, Comedy Central)

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

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

I reviewed the finale of Pam & Tommy here!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I reviewed the season premiere of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

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

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed the latest episode of The Walking Dead here!

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 2/20/22 — 2/26/22


This week, I devoted a good deal of time to watching the news.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been horrifying to watch unfold.  At the same time, the bravery of the people of Ukraine has also been inspiring to witness.

Here’s a few thoughts on everything else that I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

While the Germans continued to search for the stolen gold, Rene reluctantly went through with marrying Edith, despite the fact that he’s really in love with Yvette.  Of course, Rene already was married to Edith but, because everyone in the village was convinced that Rene was actually his twin brother (who, coincidentally, was also named Rene), it was believed that Edith was a widow.  Alphonse even proposed marriage to her and Rene was forced to go through with the second marriage despite the fact that he wasn’t particularly happy with his first.  Got all that?

Meanwhile, Herr Flick sent Helga to try to distract Rene so that …. well, I’m not sure why Herr Flick did that.  I assume that it probably had something to do with recovering the stolen gold.  To be honest, it’s hard to keep track of everyone’s individual motivations.  The important thing is that Crabtree showed up and spoke in his mangled version of French.  Plus, LeClerc showed up, wearing a wet suit and announced, “It is I, LeClerc.”

It made me laugh.  That’s the important thing.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, ABC)

I wrote about the latest leg of the race here!  This was actually probably one of the best episodes in the history of The Amazing Race, with each of the four remaining teams revealing a bit about themselves and their dynamic.  I now like all four of the teams, even Kim & Penn.  I’m thankful that this week’s episode was a non-elimination leg and, as a result, Ryan and Dusty are still in the Race.  The finale is next week!  I am currently rooting for Cayla and Raquel because they remind me of myself and Erin.

Celebrity Big Bother (Paramount Plus and CBS)

It’s over!  I wrote about the final few days of Celebrity Big Brother at the Big Brother Blog!  This was a tough season to watch and I have to admit that there were a few times when I really resented the fact that it existed at all.  In the end, the jury showed zero enthusiasm as they named Meisha the season’s winner.  Todrick Hall pretty much ruined his reputation so that he could be the runner up.  It was not a pleasant season to watch.  Hopefully, this will be the final installment of Celebrity Big Brother.

Friends (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched an episode on Tuesday night.  Rachel was dating Bruce Willis.  Ross was dating Bruce Willis’s daughter.  Chaos ensued.  Ross discovered that Bruce was just as neurotic and nerdy as he was, which was kind of a nice touch.  That said, I do feel like Friends always went a little bit overboard with the celebrity guest stars.

I Survived A Serial Killer (Friday Afternoon, A&E)

I have mixed feelings about this show.  On the one hand, it’s great that the people being interview survived.  On the other hand, it’s kind of disturbing that “serial killer” is one of those terms that apparently brings in the viewers.  I’m as guilty as anyone, of course.  I mean, I ended up watching three episodes of this show on Friday!  It’s just that I worry that we sometimes give serial killers so much attention that we turn them into celebrities.  Serial killers are losers and they should be treated like losers.  Consider someone like The BTK Killer, who coined his own nickname.  He craved attention and he’s still getting it, even though he’s currently sitting in prison.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

12 years after initially being canceled, Law & Order is back for its 21st season!  Returning are Anthony Anderson (on the law side) and Sam Waterston (on the order side).  Camyrn Manheim is the new precinct captain.  Jeffrey Donavon is Anderson’s partner.  Hugh Dancy and Odelya Halevi are the new assistant DAs.

The first episode of this revival was a bit uneven.  It dealt with the murder of a famous singer (played by Norm Lewis) who was obviously meant to serve as a stand-in for Bill Cosby.  The singer had been convicted of rape but his sentence was overturned on a technicality.  He was gunned down outside of his New York townhouse.  Even though he was literally shot in the crotch, it took Anderson and Donavon a while to figure out that the murder was related to his crimes.

Anyway, it turned out that one of his victims was the murderer but Donavon resorted to unethical means to get a confession from her and Dancy, being one of those annoyingly idealistic types, didn’t want to use evidence that he considered to be tainted.  Previous cast member Carey Lowell returned in the role of Jamie Ross but it was a bit of an unsatisfying return because the episode never fully committed to whether or not she knew about the murder in advance or not.

(It was also a bit strange since it had been previously established that Jamie Ross left the DA’s office, became a defense attorney, and was then appointed to a judgeship.  Yet, on this episode of Law & Order, she was once again working for the District Attorney’s office.  No one mentioned anything about her being a former judge, either.  Obviously, it was a continuity error but I still hope the show tries to come up with an in-universe explanation at some point.)

The main problem with the episode was that each of the new characters were basically only given one personality trait.  Donavon was always angry.  Dancy was always conflicted.  There wasn’t much nuance to either one of them and it was easy to get annoyed with both characters.  Meanwhile, poor Odelya Halevi wasn’t really given any personality at all.  Hopefully, next week’s episode will be a bit better.

The Love Boat (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

Taking a cruise on The Love Boat: David Doyle, Jack Gilford, Matthew Laborteaux, Charles Siebert, Connie Stevens, and Nancy Walker!  Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the greatest group of guest stars but still, I always enjoy seeing episodes of this silly, old show.  It’s all just so pleasantly superficial.

Murderville (Netflix)

On this Netflix show, Will Arnett is Detective Terry Seattle, a tough homicide detective who investigates a different murder every episode.  Each episode also features a new celebrity partner.  Because Seattle isn’t good at his job, it falls on the celeb to solve the murder.  The fun of the show is that it’s largely improvised, so the celeb has to think on their feet while trying not to laugh at the increasingly ludicrous details of each case.  Some celebs are better at this than others.

I watched two episodes on Sunday morning.  Seattle’s first partner was Conan O’Brien.  His second partner was football player Marshawn Lynch.  Conan correctly guessed the murderer.  Marshawn didn’t.  Conan obviously has more experience with improv than Marshawn but Marshawn’s lack of experience mixed with his own enthusiasm made him a bit more exciting to watch.

I enjoyed those first two episodes so much that, a few hours later, I decided to kill some time by watching the next two.  Kumail Nanjiani, to be honest, has gotten a bit too self-important lately but he was still fun to watch in his episode.  The fact that he kept laughing just added to the fun.  Annie Murphy, meanwhile, was brilliant.  I loved the fact that, instead of really paying attention to everything that was going on, she just made up clues.  Both Kumail and Annie correctly guessed who the murderer was.  Kumail, especially, did a good job.  I got the feeling that Annie’s guess was a bit more random but I would probably have done the exact same thing if I had found myself in her situation.  She guessed correctly and that is what was truly important.

I watched the final two episodes on Tuesday.  Sharon Stone and Ken Jeong were the final two guest stars and they were both good in their individual ways.  Stone, being a dramatic actress, tried to give a fairly straight performance, regardless of how strange things got.  Jeong, on the other hand, could not stop laughing and that was actually pretty endearing.  Fortunately, with Jeong’s help, Seattle was able to figure out who murdered his former partner and hopefully, Seattle will now be able to move on with his life.

With all that in mind, here are my Murderville rankings:

  1. Annie Murphy
  2. Kumail Nanjiani
  3. Marshawn Lynch
  4. Conan O’Brien
  5. Ken Jeong
  6. Sharon Stone

All six of them did a pretty good job.  So did Terry, eventually.

The Office (All Week, Comedy Central and Freeform)

I watched three episodes on Monday afternoon: The Injury, Michael’s Birthday, and The Convict.  All three of them were classics.  The Convict features one of my favorite scenes, in which Michael Scott attempted to transform himself into “Prison Mike.”  Then, on Tuesday, I caught the Golden Ticket episode on Freeform.  That’s always been one of my favorites, even if it does involve Michael trying to frame Dwight for coming up with a really terrible promotion.  Indeed, this episode featured Michael being a terrible boss and I’m a little surprised that Dwight was so forgiving.  That said, “Shoe La La” sounded like it had potential.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

The existential horror of working for Arkwright continued for poor Granville.  As usual, the episode ended with Arkwright talking to himself.  What a depressing show!

Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

I wrote about the latest episode of Pam & Tommy here!  This week’s episode wasn’t that bad but the show itself continues to feel a bit pointless.  There’s two more episodes left and I really can’t imagine what could possibly be left to say about these people.

Seinfeld (Weeknights, Channel 33)

I watched two episodes on Tuesday night.  In one episode, George lost his keys in a pothole, Kramer adopted a highway, and Elaine moved into a janitor’s closet so she could order food from a restaurant that didn’t deliver to her actual address.  (I hope the duck was worth it!)  The second episode featured George freaking out over an oven fire and tossing an old woman with a walker out of his way as he ran from the apartment.  George survived the fire but he was still nearly killed by an angry clown afterwards.  The main theme of these two episodes appeared to be that New York was a dangerous place to live.

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

On Saturday afternoon, I returned to my Silk Stalkings binge.  The episode that I watched featured a woman who called herself Diana, The Huntress.  She would pick up men and then execute them.  She would also frequently call up a radio station and discuss her crimes.  Fortunately, Chris and Rita were on the case!  It was sordid and enjoyable, as episodes of Silk Stalkings tend to be.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

The return of The Walking Dead also meant the return of Talking Dead!  Unfortunately, Talking Dead was kind of boring this week.  Chris Hardwicke was as goofy and enthusiastic as ever but this show is just not as much fun when the guests aren’t actually sitting on the couch and dealing with the reactions of a live studio audience.  Without an audience, the energy just feels off.

Twin Peaks (DVD)

Because Thursday was Twin Peaks day, I binge watched the first season of David Lynch’s classic series.  Needless to say, it holds up like a wonderful dream.  Watching the first season with the knowledge that Bobby Briggs was going to eventually grow up to be one of the good guys added a whole new layer to the show.  Unfortunately, the scenes with the young and rebellious Audrey now feel incredibly sad.

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about the mid-season premiere here!  The Reapers may be gone but the Commonwealth is here!

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


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

Anyway, here’s what I watched this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

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

Celebrity Big Brother (CBS and Paramount Plus)

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

Cobra Kai (Netflix)

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

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

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

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

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoon, FXX)

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

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

Inventing Anna (Netflix)

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

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

The Office (All week, Comedy Central)

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

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

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

Pam and Tommy (Hulu)

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

Silk Stalkings (Tubi)

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

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

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

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

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

Super Bowl (Sunday Night, NBC)

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

Super Bowl Pre-Show (Sunday Afternoon, NBC)

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

The Winter Games (All Week, Every Channel)

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

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

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

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 1/30/22 — 2/5/22


As I promised last week, I spent most of this week getting caught up on movies.  Here’s some thoughts on what little television I did watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Though the episode aired on Sunday, I didn’t get to watch it until Friday and I have to admit that I was a bit out of it at the time, so don’t even ask me to explain just what exactly happened.  I do remember that Officer Crabtree had a conversation in which he mangled the French language.  I know that happens every episode but still, it always makes me laugh.

The Amazing Race (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of The Amazing Race here!

The Bachelor (Monday Night, ABC)

Claytonbot continued to learn human emotions while the bachelorettes continued to accuse each other of not being on the show for the right reasons.  Claytonbot even cancelled the cocktail party due to some drama that was definitely totally real and in no way staged.  Like, totally, for real.

Bar Rescue (Weekday Mornings, Paramount TV)

I watched an episode on Tuesday.  A bartender couldn’t make the perfect Manhattan so Jon Taffer condemned everyone who worked at the bar to Hell.

Celebrity Big Brother (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Night)

I wrote about Celebrity Big Brother, the show that I love to hate, over at the Big Brother Blog.

Football Game: Bengals vs. Chiefs (Sunday Night, Fox)

I was happy when the Bengals won because they wear those cute helmets with the stripes.

Football Games: 49ers vs Rams (Sunday afternoon, CBS)

Everyone’s a winner as far as I’m concerned!  Yay!  But, on a much more realistic note, the Rams won.  Or was it the 49ers?  I can’t remember for sure.  Either way, congrats.

Full House (Sunday Mornings, MeTV)

I watched two episodes on Sunday.  Uncle Jesse was upset that no one cared about his crappy cover band.  I have to wonder if the band themselves ever resented having all of Danny Tanner’s bratty children wandering around the place while they were trying to rehearse.  Also, why didn’t they rehearse in the garage as opposed to that cramped living room?  I haven’t seen that many episodes of Full House but I’m getting the feeling that this show often did not make sense.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

It was a Halloween episode so everyone wore a costume.  Woo hoo!

The Office (All Week, Comedy Central)

On Friday, I watched the “Search Committee” episode, which I’ve always considered to be one of those shows biggest mistakes.  This was after Michael had left, D’Angelo had died, and Dwight had fired a gun in the office.  Jo appointed Gabe, Jim, and Toby to interview applicants to be the new manager and, of course, all of the applicants were played by celebrities.  The cameos were distracting and I still don’t understand why James Spader’s bland take on Robert California led to the show being massively restructured during the following season.  Of the celebs who interviewed, Ray Romano actually came across like he would have been the best fit for the show’s style but, if I remember correctly, Romano was already on another show at the time.  Personally, I think that, instead of trying to find another Steve Carell, they should have just hired some nondescript nobody to play the manager and spent the last seasons of The Office concentrating on the people working there.

I can still remember watching this episode when it originally aired.  At the time, I actually felt a bit of dread when Andy Bernard showed up to be interviewed because I knew he was probably going to end up with the job.  Andy was a funny character during his first two seasons with the show but, after that, Ed Helms’s performance started to become oddly needy.  All of the flaws that made Andy an unfortunate choice to be at the center of the season 8 were present in the “Search Committee” episode.

Finally, I have to ask — why would Jo put Jim on the Committee?  How does that make any sense?  He already had managerial experience so why didn’t she just promote him?

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Granville seemed to be really upset about something.  As usual, Arkwright was too busy obsessing on Nurse Gladys Emmanuel to care.  This was definitely an episode that I had seen before.

Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

I wrote about the first three episodes of Pam & Tommy here.

Parking Wars (Tuesday Morning, A&E)

The indie towing guys took a man’s truck and then laughed when the man said that he was going to lose his job and wouldn’t be able to feed his family.  What a bunch of scumbags.  “I feel bad for him but he came here cussing and I got no sympathy for that.”  ANY SYMPATHY, you illiterate fascist!

The View (Weekday Mornings, ABC)

It’s been a very long time since I’ve watched The View but I decided to watch it on Tuesday to see how they would deal with Whoopi Goldberg outing herself as being incredibly ignorant on the subject of the Holocaust.  It turns out that they didn’t really deal with it.  Whoopi briefly interviewed the president of the ADL, who mentioned that The View had never had a Jewish co-host.  The show then went to commercial and we came back with Whoopi and the gang talking about “you know who,” which I guess is their way of referring to Trump.  Later, Charlie Day was interviewed.  I like Charlie Day.  For one thing, he’s not an anti-Semite.

That night, after the show aired, ABC announced that Whoopi would be suspended for two weeks.  For the record, I don’t think Whoopi’s comments were malicious, at least not in the way that Nick Cannon’s anti-Semitic comments were.  (It’s kind of weird how Nick basically repeated the same anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that have, for centuries, been used to justify the persecution of the Jewish people but, afterwards, was allowed to keep his job as host of The Masked Singer and was also giving his own talk show.  Like seriously, how the Hell does that happen?)  I think Whoopi’s comments were ignorant and the fact that she doubled down on them, on both the show and apparently later on Colbert, shows the type of arrogance that only comes from never having to deal with anyone openly disagreeing with you.  I’d rather that, instead of suspending her and waiting for everything the blow over, The View would have used this opportunity to educate both Goldberg and the show’s viewers.  Whoopi Goldberg is 66 years old and, we are constantly told, a smart woman.  That she could be so ignorant is definitely a cause for concern.

The Winter Olympics (Weekdays, NBC and other stations)

I’ve tried to watch a little of The Olympics but the whole thing just feels icky this year.  As soon as the Olympics Committee guy started quoting John Lennon during the opening ceremonies, I had to look away.  I imagine I’ll watch a bit of skating and maybe some curling.  But I’m definitely in no way enthusiastic about the Olympics this year.