Welcome back to the Fourth of July weekend version of The TV Week That Was (although technically, July 4th is not until Tuesday, making it not really the 4th of July weekend. Oh well.)
Okay, last week I talked about how episode seven of Twin Peaks started to look more like the Twin Peaks that I remembered and I had hoped that the narrative structure might get going after that. Then………….WTF? Twin Peaks: The Return episode 8 was the most trippy, surreal, confusing episode of television I think I have ever seen. It was the weirdest thing ever on TV, and the show is obviously unapologetic for it. It was a beautifully shot episode with EPIC visual imagery. From the point of Nine Inch Nails and their song to the end of the show, there has never been anything like it. Now, what exactly happened? Well, I do believe that we saw the origin of Killer Bob and a response to Bob from the Giant… and that response was Laura Palmer. It seems that Bob was created or unleashed or born in a nuclear test in New Mexico in 1945. Something like “fire walk with me” perhaps? Then, the frog/mosquito/bug that crawled into the woman’s mouth (Sarah Palmer, maybe?) was right out of a nightmare. The entire episode felt like someone’s recurring nightmare and shown in the most stylish way possible. Twin Peaks is off this week, so there will be no episode to confuse and confound us. I don’t know if that is a good thing. Twin Peaks has been one of the most bizarre returns you are ever going to see.
Another return was made when Preacher season two started on AMC. The show kicked off with a charming and entertaining car chase to the tune of “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Season 2 of Preacher is expected to be closer to the comic book that it is adapting than season one was. Season one was created to give the characters a back story and add to what we would see. And in fact, the first two episodes (episode two was shown Monday night after the Sunday premiere) were very faithful to the source material. Preacher is very violent, funny and has great characters and, expect an exciting season with Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy on a road trip in search of God, who has gone missing. And the arrival of The Saint of Killers brings an element of real danger for our characters. Season two will have 13 episodes, expanding from the 10 during season one.
The next big return was one of my favorite shows from my childhood. ABC has brought back The Battle of the Network Stars as a part of their Summer Fun and Games series. I remember loving the Battle of the Network Stars as a youth, watching Howard Cosell call the athletic competition between stars from ABC, CBS and NBS. I always cheered for ABC. Now, however, there are actually way too many networks out there so the show has adjusted. It has put together the celebrities into categories. Episode one featured the TV Sitcoms vs. TV Kids. Admittedly, you did not get the A-list celebrities participating, but it was cool to see Tootie and Blair from Facts of Life reunite on the sitcom team. We also had a slightly off Tom Arnold, and Bronson Pinchot was here from Perfect Strangers. It was a lot of fun and nostalgic watching the dunk tank and the relay race and the obstacle course. The show ended with the classic tug of war as well. I loved it and I look forward to seeing more.
After the Battle of the Network Stars, I switched over to the Mist on Spike, but I have to say, I had a hard time getting into it and ABC was calling to me again. So I left The Mist and came back to The Gong Show. I enjoyed this again this week, but I have to wonder… will we have a Shaving Cream sing along each week as we had the bit this week as well? I might be okay with that as that was one of my favorite childhood song (thanks Dr. Demento). I still want to see the Unknown Comic make his triumphant return to the show. “Not Mike Myers” Tommy Maitland continued to host the show and we had a cool act win this week… Zombie ballet. The Gong Show and Battle of the Network Stars join the 100,000 Pyramid and Celebrity Family Feud as the Summer Fun and Games promotion for ABC. This is a clever way to reach people’s nostalgia and create programming on the down low for the summer months. Keep it up, ABC.
The last couple of weeks, I have been watching a new show on YouTube from the guys at Screen Junkies. It is called Flick Bait and it is really entertaining. Andy Signore, Dan Murrell, Spencer Gilbert and Joe Starr get together to talk about the movie news, putting their own slant on the stories, and then each person is responsible for a skit. These skits range from the most ridiculous to extremely funny. Above all else, it is clear that these guys are having a blast creating this show and their laughter is contagious. I have enjoyed the show quite a bit and actually watched the live stream of it this past Friday with guest star Jay Washington.
This upcoming week will see two big matches in the Movie Trivia Schmoedown. On July 4th, the team champions The Patriots will defend their titles against Top 10. Then, on Friday, they have their big Collider Collision event, featuring the Triple Threat championship match between champ Mark Reilly, and challengers Dan Murrell and “The Outlaw” John Rocha. There is also an Innergeekdom championship match with champ Hector Navarro defending against Jeremy Jahns. The Movie Trivia Schmoedown is always fun and when they present these WWE-like events, they are even more so. This past week, they had a big match with “Classy” Clarke Wolfe defeating “Baby Carrots” Mark Ellis in a battle of big-time competitors.
Happy viewing everyone and have a great 4th of July!