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.
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:
- Annie Murphy
- Kumail Nanjiani
- Marshawn Lynch
- Conan O’Brien
- Ken Jeong
- 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!