The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Lots of shows to talk about this week.

Image result for mindhunterMindhunter debuted on Netflix.  I love the book Mindhunter by John Douglas that this series is based on.  The focus on profiling the serial killers was something that fascinated me so when I heard that this was going to be a Netflix series, I was very excited.  In this very busy weekend, I have not been able to binge the whole series, but I made it up to about episode 7 and I have to say that I am really enjoying this.  I love the two main characters, Holden and Bill.  They are based on the real life FBI agents John Douglas and Robert Ressler.  The interviews they had with these serial killers were constantly enthralling.

Image result for riverdale season 2We returned to Riverdale on the CW this week with a great start to the second season.  We see the result of the season one cliffhanger of Archie’s father Fred being shot at Pop’s.  Fred survives the supposed robbery, which is looking more and more as if it were something more than just a robbery.  The end of the episode saw the return of the masked man who had shot Fred, strangling Miss Grundy to death.  Who is this masked murderer and what is his motive?  Does he have some kind of vendetta against Archie?

Related imageSaturday night saw the return of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America.  Max Landis’s adaptation of a Douglas Adams book is all kinds of weird, but Landis promises us that everything has a reason and that it will all make sense as the season progresses.  Meanwhile, there are some really entertaining moments with Dirk and Todd.

Image result for mr robot season 3Mr. Robot returned Wednesday on USA Network.  After a weaker season two, the premiere episode of season three felt like it was getting back to basics.  There were several hints that the show was preparing to “reboot” and start things over, though I have no idea what that might entail.  Elliot talked about wanting to “fix” things and he seemed to believe that he could do so.  Of course, “Mr. Robot” himself is fighting against Elliot. This felt like a welcome change for the show.

Image result for inhumans episode 4The Inhumans need a reboot too.  So far, four episodes in, this show is a hot mess.  It feels as if there may be a story there somewhere, but it is lost in this series with so many dumb side stories that really serve no benefit to the story. The Karnak love story?  The Hawaiian hit squad that Gorgon had found?  Mortis is just a ridiculous villain.  Medusa is either a fish out of water or she knows exactly what the earth item is used for.  Crystal is just wooden as can be.  We even do not have the best part of the show, Lockjaw, as the poor dog got hit by a car.  This has just four more episodes left to straighten itself out.

Image result for gotham episode 3 season 4A show that has straightened itself out is Gotham.  After two very inconsistent and cheesy seasons, last year’s got so much better.  This season has continued as we got an emotional showdown with Bruce and Ra’s Al Ghoul.  We also got some exciting scenes with the Penguin and the Riddler.  Gotham continues to move closer to the Dark Knight as Bruce Wayne is developing his heroic self.  So if Gotham can do it, maybe Inhumans can do it as well.

Image result for scandal season 7 episode 2Scandal had a better second episode than the travesty of the season premiere.  Olivia Pope however continues to be a completely different character than the one who we all fell in love with.  One wonders if Olivia will eventually be saved by the returning former President Fitz Grant, who showed up on her doorstep at the end of the season.  Oh, and by the way, Olivia was making out with the reporter Curtis on the way to her apartment.  The show had an entertaining state dinner with a President of a Middle Eastern country that Mellie wants to sign a nuclear peace treaty.  We also had a loose parody of Trump with Dean Norris as a new character, a billionaire thinking about a run for political office that Cyrus took care of.  And there was a really funny moment between Mellie and Olivia talking about vibrators.  No really.

Image result for the mayor episode 2The Mayor had a pretty good second episode and may have solidified a spot on my queue for watching.  The show dealt with a city cutting music program despite the new rap mayor’s promise to fund new music equipment.  Courtney tried to execute a filibuster to prevent the vote from happening.  The show depends on its cast and it does a great job being entertaining. The show has been funny and lighthearted fun.

Image result for loreAaron Mahnke’s podcast has transformed into a new series on Amazon called Lore.  The six episode series focuses on real life events that lead to our darkest fears and some of the legends of the world.  The first episode showed how a certain case led to the inspiration for vampires.  Again, I was only able to see the first three episodes of the series since the weekend was so packed, but it was a very chilling show.

Dodgers and Cubs are playing the National League Championship Series while the Houston Astros play the New York Yankees.  At this point, LA leads 1 game to 0 and Houston leads 2 games to 0.

Next week-  The Walking Dead returns.

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome back to the TV Week That Was.  Fall TV is in full swing and I am watching my fair share of the shows to see what, if anything, I want to continue to watch.

mortisLet’s start with the most disappointing.  Inhumans.  I had seen the premiere in IMAX and it was not very good, but I had hoped for the show to improve.  Sadly, I think it may have gotten worse.  The acting is wooden.  The costumes are laughable.  The special effects are just not quality.  The story is dull and idiotic.  The new villain named Mortis was played up to be a dangerously powerful and crazed villain that even scared Maximus, but he turned out to be a whining and complaining smart ass.  There are only 8 episodes of the Inhumans and this was episode three so I will most likely continue to watch the remaining 5 episodes patiently until Agents of SHIELD returns, but for a show that could have been an epic, Inhumans has been an epic failure.

mr.clucksBefore Inhumans, we saw the return of the seventh season of Once Upon a Time with its new story arc. We have Henry aged and there is a young girl claiming to be his daughter and that he had forgotten all of the history of the past.  Turns out, Henry’s great love is Cinderella.  We see all of our favorite characters playing different characters (much like the final season of LOST in the flash sideways).  The first episode was passable, but it feels like just a publicity stunt.  Although, the fun did arrive when I saw Mr. Clucks appear in the episode.  Mr. Clucks (which I believe has been in past episodes of OUAT) was the chicken joint Hurley worked at and eventually bought on LOST.  Now, Cinderella is working there.  It was a fun little Easter egg from my favorite series of all time. As for Once Upon a Time, it still feels as if they should have ended the series last year with the happy endings, but I’ll see where it goes from here.

Image result for rick and morty season 3 finaleRick and Morty had their season finale and my thought was the same as most everybody who watched it… ALREADY???  The season of Rick and Morty just flew by and, considering we do not know exactly when the fourth season will arrive, the short season made it even worse, and the continual jokes about it in the show kept reminding us of it.  The episode itself was very funny, with the question of whether or not Beth is a clone (something that might have happened in the penultimate episode of the season).  A major face off with Rick and Morty and the President of the USA highlighted the finale, which was a typically great Rick and Morty episode, but might have been a bit lackluster for a season finale.

Image result for scandal season 7 premiereScandal returned for its final season and I was immediately unimpressed.  I have grown to dislike Olivia Pope tremendously.  She does not seem to be the same woman whom I fell in love with in the first several seasons of Scandal.  To be honest, I am not sure that the show has ever truly recovered after Olivia was kidnapped.  Most of these characters are acting like completely different characters, doing things that do not seem like these characters would do. All led by the power hungry Olivia Pope.  They tried during the episode to show Olivia doing the “right thing” but it felt so far from the old days of gladiators with the white hats that it makes me sad.  This is another show that I will continue to watch because of history and because it is in its final season, but it is a shadow of its first 3 seasons.

htgawm4However, the other Shondaland show that I watch, How to Get Away With Murder, seems to be better than it has been since the first season.  I am fully engaged in the new mystery, and I want to know what is going on.  I am also enjoying the cat and mouse discussions between Annalise and Dr. Roa.  Viola Davis and Jimmy Smits make an amazing pair and this episode showed what we have to look forward to this season.  This episode also included a powerhouse performance from L. Scott Caldwell (Rose from LOST) as Annalise’s first defendant since being reinstated as a lawyer.  This show has started extremely compelling.

Image result for gotham season 4 episode 3The Riddler escaped the ice on Gotham while Bruce Wayne continued to move closer to the Dark Knight persona.  Jim Gordan went to try and find help from the former gangland leader Carmine Falcone to overcome the Penguin’s grip on Gotham City.  However, Carmine tells us he is dying.  Still, his daughter, Sophia, has returned to help. I don’t know if this is the new love interest for Jim, but I am intrigued for sure.  Gotham continues to be a solid show and continues to be a much improved show from its first couple of seasons.

Image result for 10 days in the valleyI saw four new series this week.  First one was last Sunday on ABC.  Ten Days in the Valley starred Kyra Sedgwick and told the story about her daughter  who was kidnapped.  There are several mysteries involved in the new show and there are some really strong new characters with some unknown motives.

Image result for the giftedNext show was the new X-Men universe show, The Gifted.  This one was better than I thought it would be.  We saw some cool X-Men characters including Polaris and Blink.  The heroes being chased by the Sentinal Services.  That name would make any comic fan take notice.  The effects were good too, so The Gifted has got me hooked in.

Image result for ghostedThird new show is Ghosted.  This one I had no intention of watching and I thought that I would not enjoy it.  Boy I was wrong.  This one was really enjoyable.  It was not the stupid comedic spoof that I thought it was.  It felt like an X-Files episode that leaned toward comedy.  There were plenty of those and they were some of the best.  This one has some real potential.

Related imageThe fourth new show was The Mayor.  I had seen a lot of promotion for this show and so I gave it a chance.  It was okay.  I did not hate it.  I might give it another chance, but there will need to be something more than what they gave us on Tuesday for it to become a regular watch for me.

 

Go Dodgers!  Happy viewing

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Big week as the Fall TV Season is well underway.

Image result for star trek discoveryStarting off last Sunday night, I saw the premiere episode of Star Trek: Discovery on CBS.  I was watching it as well as trying to watch the WWE No Mercy PPV at the same time, so there was some lack of focus.  I thought Discovery’s first episode was okay.  It was certainly a beautifully shot show and some of the characters were interesting.  I am not sure it was quite a Star Trek series, as the whole Vulcan strategy of shooting first against the Klingons did not seem very Star Trekkie to me.  I did not watch episode two since you had to go online ot watch it.  This is one of those shows that I will most likely not watch, especially since it is on CBS All Access.  Had it been on CBS itself, then I might have given it a chance, but I will not be paying for another streaming service just to see it, even if I did like the show.

Image result for cesaro loses his teeth at no mercyAs I mentioned, I was also watching No Mercy on the WWE Network.  There were two big time matches that felt like Wrestlemania matches: John Cena vs. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman.  Unfortunately, I found both to be underwhelming.  Cena-Reigns was a good match but I did not like the ending.  Lesnar vs. Strowman was just disappointing.  The best match of the night was Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins defeating Cesaro and Sheamus.  Cesar had his teeth driving into his gums and blood was everywhere.  The Swiss Superman still finished the match.  He is quite the stud.

Image result for oprah on 60 minutesAnd as I was waiting for Star Trek to start, I ran across Oprah Winfrey on CBS’s 60 Minutes.  I did not know that Oprah was joining the news show and her piece this first week was bringing together a group of people who both supported and opposed Donald Trump and see what connections that could be made.  Honestly, this was a fascinating story as it made you look at these people (from Michigan, if I remember correctly) who had differing opinions on Trump and how they believed what they believed.  Oprah did a good job of keeping things cordial despite a couple of blow ups.  This being 60 Minute’s 50th season, Oprah will help bring the goods to the show.

Image result for sheldon proposes to amyI watched the Big Bang Theory on Monday night.  I had not watched the show much the last season or so, but I always liked it.  I know there is a lot of hate for the Big Bang Theory online but I have never understood that.  It was nice to see Sheldon propose to Amy and then to be immediately interrupted by a phone call.  This was a very in-character bit for Sheldon.  Thing is, very few characters have had the development over a series as Sheldon has.  Having said that, BBT did feel its age for the rest of the episode.  This is the 11th season and many of the jokes of the show felt tired.  It is perhaps nearing time for the show to move off into the night.

Image result for young sheldonThe Big Bang Theory was followed by Young Sheldon, the new show about the childhood of Sheldon Cooper in high school as a young boy.  This show was enjoyable but I did not find it as laugh out loud funny as some of the early seasons of the Big Bang Theory.  I think there may be some problems with the concept (such as how do you show any character development for Sheldon if he is to turn out like he did for the first season of BBT?)  Still, the young actor playing Sheldon (Iain Armitage) does a great job and the actress doing her best Laurie Metcalf (the BBT’s Mary Cooper) impersonation, Zoe Perry, is actually Metcalf’s daughter.  The mother-son relationship here is no doubt going to be fascinating.

That’s the most CBS shows I have ever commented about.

Related imageABC had a new show called The Good Doctor starring Freddie Highmore as an Autistic savant doctor.  Highmore was really good in the role, but the show itself was kind of weak.  This is another show that I might have to give a couple of episode to get the flow going, but, since it is on Monday nights opposite RAW, it might get pushed aside.  Highmore was brilliant for five seasons on Bates Motel and I feel like I want to give him another chance.

Image result for big mouth netflixI came across another new series on Netflix this weekend and I am about halfway through the binge.  It was called Big Mouth and it is an animated show from Nick Kroll.  It is a coming of age story, but extremely dirty and sexually based.  There are a lot of dick jokes and a lot of jokes about jerking off and every other hormone-induced action teens do.  It is quite funny, but if you offend easily, it is probably not for you.  Think Family Guy without the network censors.  So far I have not grown tired of the jokes (I am not a huge fan of this kind of humor) and the characters are actually quite good.  The last episode featured a voice-over cameo from Nathan Fillion, which is always fun.  I think that I will be finishing the binge on this show so we can see how far they might push it.

Image result for whose line season finale brad and wayne les mizWhose Lien is it Anyway had its season finale for the time being, with an episode featuring fourth chair specialist, Brad Sherwood.  The first game featured was “Hollywood Director” and it found the crew bringing up 20-25 members of the audience to participate in a Les Miz style song.  It is consistently amazing what the show is able to convince its audience to do.  One of the newest games included Brad and Wayne using cell phones form the audience and they could only use lines that were in the phone text already and Colin had to play the straight man.  Whose Line is a classic and hopefully it will be back soon.

Image result for designated survivor season 2Designated Survivor returned on Wednesday with a new problem for President Kirkman.   A plane full of hostages, including some Americans, finds itself in-between troubles with Russia and Ukraine.  As it turned out, one of Kirkman’s old friends happened to be on the plane.  Was he able to get the opposite sides to free the hostages without a major international incident?  Yes and no, I guess as his friend wound up dead.  Kiefer Sutherland looked very presidential here, unlike some…

Image result for speechless BrandySpeechless returned with a wonderful episode featuring the return form camp for JJ.  However, JJ missed out on his first kiss because he did not see the note.  The family went out of their way in a touching way to get JJ back in contact with the girl.  This episode featured a brilliant musical parody of “Brandy” by Looking Glass with Kenneth singing the song as a diss to the DiMeos clan.  It brought a huge smile to my face for the entire run of the song.

In fact… here it is…

 

Image result for gordon vs scarecrow season 4 episode 2Gotham continues its push toward Batman as Bruce Wayne received a more impactful suit from Lucius Fox.  Meanwhile, Jim Gordon continues to fight to prevent Penguin from licensing criminals making crime legal.  The GCPD did not have Gordon’s back, since they liked not being killed constantly by the crazy criminal element in Gotham. With as many cops as have died in seasons 1-3, who can blame them.  However, it meant that Jim had to face off against Scarecrow all by himself inside Arkham.  We also got some development of Poison Ivy and the other ladies teamed up (including the not dead Barbara).

Related imageAnnalise Keating returned in ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, starting up a new mystery for season four, as well as continuing the story from season 3.  The tag at the end where we wonder what happened to Laurel’s baby.  Annalise had called the group together to tell them that she was not being disbarred, but they were all dismissed.  She provided letters of recommendation to each of the crew, who were anything but enthused with her dismissal.  Before this in the episode, there were some truly powerhouse scenes with Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson as Annalise’s mother.  We also met Jimmy Smits, who has a role this season- exactly what is yet to be determined.

Image result for baldwin trump new season cold openSaturday Night Live returned as well with a new season where they left off… with Emmy Award winner Alec Baldwin skewering President Trump.  Seeing Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions sitting on Baldwin’s Trump’s lap is just so surreal that it can’t help but be funny.  Plus, fresh off their own show during the summer, Weekend Update with Colin Jost and Michael Che is great satire on the world as a whole.  Weekend Update hasn’t been this topical in years.

Image result for 2017 mlb postseasonMajor League Baseball will begin its playoffs this week.  In the National League, the wild card teams playing a one game play in are the Arizona Diamondback and the Colorado Rockies with the winner of that game to play the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In the American League, the wild card teams are the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins.  The winner of that game will play the Cleveland Indians.  The other two series include the Washington Nationals vs. the defending World Series Champions the Chicago Cubs and then Boston Red Sox vs. the Houston Astros.  MLB action!

Later tonight is the season finale of Rick and Morty and the debut of the new ABC series Ten Days in the Valley.

Happy viewing

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

We are closer yet to the unloading of an entire new fall season and I am ready for it to start.  However, before it does, I found a gem on Netflix.

Image result for american vandalAmerican Vandal dropped last weekend and I binged it this week.  It was an easy binge of eight half-hour (generally) episodes and it was simply brilliant.  It was laugh out loud funny and, before it was over, it was as compelling as any of those documentary series that it is spoofing.  American Vandal is a mockumentary dealing with an investigation by high school student Peter Maldonado into a true crime style case involving local bad boy Dylan Maxwell, who had been suspended for spray painting dicks on 27 faculty cars at the school parking lot.  However, Dylan claimed to be innocent, despite being a known dick drawer.  The show is a brilliant send up on the true crime genre, but it is more than that.  It is a true compelling mystery as well as Peter and Image result for american vandalhis friend Sam dive full force into the mystery searching for the truth of what happened.  The fact that this was the spray painting of penises on car was played completely straight and each character was taken seriously within this ridiculous situation.  When a key piece of evidence is that there has been no ball hair drawn, you know you have something special. I loved this show.

Image result for gotham season four episode oneGotham made its return to the FOX schedule on a new night this past Thursday, and the show continued from its high level of last season.  No show was more improved from one season to another as Gotham was from season 2 to season 3.  We are getting closer to a Batman character as young Bruce Wayne has started wearing a dark outfit and has begun thinking about the life of a vigilante.  Meanwhile, Penguin has bribed the new mayor into allowing criminals to carry a license to commit crimes.  Legalized crime?  How creative. This certainly places Jim Gordon in an awkward position.  Plus, we return to the Scarecrow.  Gotham started off season four HOT.

Image result for braun StrowmanTonight is the WWE Network’s next special, No Way Out, which features two huge matches that are being dubbed as “Wrestlemania” quality matches.  John Cena vs. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman.  While Cena vs. Reigns may be a passing the torch match between the “guy” of yesterday to the “guy” of today, the real match that I am looking forward to is Lesnar and Strowman.  Braun Strowman is legitimately a beast of a man, a monster that seems that he can do everything.  Though I still expect Lesnar to retain the title, if I were the WWE, I would be jumping on the Strowman band wagon with both feet.  He is a legitimately impressive individual who can do unbelievable feats of strength as well as talk on the microphone.  He is big time money and he should be the one to finish off Brock Lesnar.  My guess is he won’t, but you never know.

Image result for hbo liars show emmy 2017The Emmys were presented last Sunday night.  The Handmaid’s Tale won Best Drama, Veep was the Best Comedy and Big Little Lies won Best Limited Series.  Julia Louis Dreyfus won her 7th consecutive Emmy as Best Actress in a Comedy.  Big Little Lies was a huge winner as well with multiple acting awards presented.  Sterling K. Brown was Best Actor in Drama for This is Us.  Stephen Colbert hosted with his typical amount of political humor as well as a good musical opening number.  Saturday Night Live cashed in on the air of political satire as both Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin won supporting actor/actress awards for a Comedy.  Of course, McKinnon and Baldwin were heavily featured this year as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump respectfully.  And Last Week with John Oliver won the Best Variety Talk Series and writing.  Congratulations to all the winners.

Image result for rick and morty season 3 episode 8I watched last week and this week’s episode of Rick and Morty, and they were tremendous as usual.  Morty has been having Rick wipe his mind of certain memories that he believes that he cannot handle.  Unfortunately, there have been times where Rick erased Morty’s mind without the permission of his grandson.  Morty started to get those memories back via the special helmet and the mind blowers.  This show consistently takes the line and completely destroys it.  It never fails to be brutally funny.

New Star Trek series on CBS tonight.  More new shows debuting as the week moves along.  Happy viewing.

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Good day.  It is time for the TV Week That Was once again.  We are racing toward the start of the Fall TV season.  Entertainment Weekly came out with its Fall Preview issue this past week, highlighting some of the shows that are returning as well as the new ones to look forward to.

Image result for colbert emmysTonight is the Emmy Awards on CBS.  Stephen Colbert from the Late Show is the host this year, and that should be fun to see.  There are some very difficult categories to pick this year, but I will be cheering for Feud in the Mini-Series categories.  Will Julia Louis-Dreyfus win once again for Veep or will the Academy find another female comedic performance worthy?  Will Alec Baldwin earn an Emmy for his Donald Trump imitation from SNL?  How will newcomer series such as Atlanta, The Handmaid’s Tale, This is It, Westworld, The Crown do against some of the old Academy favorites such as Modern Family, House of Cards or Veep?  How much will Colbert roast Donald Trump?  Many questions to answer tonight.

Image result for unabomber discoveryManhunt: Unabomber ended its run by doing something that you would never think it was possible to do… it humanized and made me feel sorry for Ted Kaczynski.  Part of that was the situation he found himself in and part of that was a tremendous performance from Paul Bettany.  It was important that, near the end of the show, the Unabomber’s victims reminded us of the horrors that he had unleashed upon them, or else there might have been an outrage with the way he was seemingly railroaded into a confession.  The show was a great hit for Discovery and I hope we get more Manhunt shows with other real life cases.

Image result for schmoedown championship murrell harloffThe Schmoedown team tournament has a final match, scheduled for this upcoming week.  It is Team Action, who knocked off the number one seed in Top 10, vs. Above the Line, who defeated the Wolves of Steel.  Team Action vs. Above the Line will vie for the tourney championship and for the title match with the Patriots in December this coming week.  But the biggest news coming from the world of movie trivia is they have a new Movie Trivia Schmoedown Champion.  “The Commish” Kristian Harloff defeated “Dangerous” Dan Murrell in a low scoring but very competitive championship match.  Murrell, who comes over from Screen Junkies, announced his retirement from the Schmoedown after the match completed.

Image result for the orvilleLast Sunday night, I watched the pilot for the new Seth MacFarlane series on FOX, The Orville.  The Orville is a Star Trek spoof and debuted on Sunday before eventually heading to anchor FOX Thursday nights.  I must say that I was surprised that I did not hate this.  The pilot has created a great deal of divisiveness in the online community, but I found the show smarter than I thought it would be.  I went in expecting humor like was found (and I use the word humor loosely here) in A Million Ways to Die in the West.  I am also not a fan of much of the Family Guy type humor so I anticipated not liking this.  However, though some of that humor was in effect, it was more subtle than I thought and felt more of an homage to Star Trek than a spoof.  It was enough for me to look into the second episode and see if it continues to interest me.

American Horror Story: Cult had its second episode and it seems to be finding its footing pretty well.  The use of the killer clowns is extremely topical these days as It is completely crushing at the box office.  Plus, with the inclusion of the political world we face these days, the feeling of horror is truly in place.  The show has yet two more great performances from Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson, long term cast members from the anthology series.

Things are slowly heating up as the temperatures down down outside.  Fall season is right around the corner.  Happy viewing!

 

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Hey all.  Welcome back to the TV Week That Was.  We are nearing the new fall TV season and there are several new shows that look interesting.  How many of these actually pan out is a crap shoot each year but it is the feeling of new that is always exciting.

imageLast week saw the end of Twin Peaks which I already discussed in its own post.  After some time to reflect, I believe that two part finale was even better than I had thought.  It certainly created buzz.  There are countless theories online about what was going on in episode 18 and many of them really work out slickly.  The thing is… we will never know for sure because Showtime has not renewed the series and it is unknown if they are planning on it.  The third season of Twin Peaks is one of David Lynch’s greatest creations and will be examined and debated for years to come.

image.jpegManhunt: Unabomber had its penultimate episode this past week where the FBI was able to get the search warrant from the judge and get Ted Kaczynski out from his cabin in the woods in Montana.  The final episode looks to have a face off with Fitz and the Unabomber in court over the legitimacy of the warrant.  I have been really enjoying this series, even with having to watch it on the Discovery Go app.

image.jpegThe Gong Show returned this week with a new episode that included former Friends star Courteney Cox.  The acts this week were really good as the show ended in a four-way tie, the most of the year so far.  The winner this week was the very entertaining FlashPants.  There was also a 16 year old rapper who rapped on broken glass.

image.jpegThe NFL season kicked off with a shoot out in Foxboro.  The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the World Champion New England Patriots on Thursday night 42-27.  It was an unexpected start to the season.  Today has a full slate of games in the NFL.

Monday Night Raw continues to feature a showdown between John Cena and Roman Reigns.  These two polarizing figures in image.jpegthe world of pro wrestling have been slamming each other verbally for the past few weeks on Raw and on social media, Twitter in particular.  The match, being dubbed a Wrestlemania quality match, between Cena and Reigns is scheduled to take place at No Mercy.

image.jpegTuesday saw the first episode of the new season of American Horror Story: Cult.  The Ryan Murphy series started off with the most infamous night of the last year… The 2016 Presidental election.  The series also included the return of Twisty from AHS: Freak Show along with other killer clowns.  Riding on the coat tails of the new movie, It, AHS is off to an okay start.  The first episode was fine, but I have seen better starts to the anthology series.  Rumors indicate that the second episode picks up really well.

Image result for IT actors on SchmoedownThe team tournament of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown continued this week.  We are down to the final four:  Team Action vs. Top 10 and Wolves of Steel vs. Above the Line.  The tournament has been entertaining so far despite having a few blow out matches this past week.  Next week’s match with Team Action and Top 10 should be a heavyweight battle for sure. They added a celebrity edition of the Movie Trivia Schmoedown this past Monday as well featuring the young actors from It.  Finn Wolfhard won the Free-for-All format of the Schmoedown.

Emmy Awards are out next week.  Happy viewing.

 

 

Twin Peaks: The Return

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I just finished watching the season finale of Twin Peaks and I am all adrift in emotions.  I’m not sure how I feel.  There are so many emotions washing over me, from confusion to anger to regret to amazement.  Nobody can mess with you like David Lynch.

The original series finale ended with an unexplained cliffhanger, Cooper staring into the mirror only to have Killer Bib staring back, so I should have guessed that the third season would be no less as anger inducing.  Of course, right now as I type this, there is untold amount of angry hyperbole going on on Twitter and other social media outlets.  People earned their right to be frustrated, especially those who watched the 18-hours of Twin Peaks only to end with more questions.  Was it worth it?

I have been watching Twin Peaks all day today.  Showtime was showing the season three marathon and I have been watching since 7 AM this morning (with about two hours of a break to head to the comic shop).  Watching these episodes for a second time gave me a real new appreciation for the art that was Twin Peaks season three.

Did we need one?  Absolutely.  Did Mark Frost and David Lynch mess with us.  Constantly.

The first several episodes were slow and prodding.  We had a ton of characters we did not know and those who we did know were different than we thought.  Most frustrating of all, Special Agent Dale Cooper was able to escape the Black Lodge, but, instead of being himself, he was trapped int he body of a man named Dougie Jones.  Some fans hated Dougie.  I did too, at first, but I grew to appreciate Dougie.  It did take a while though.  Now, however, I truly loved the Dougie character because without him, we never would have gotten the perfect Cooper return that we got in episode 16.  When Cooper was back 100%, you could feel the chills.  Without the excessive Dougie story, we do not have near that emotional response.

By about episode six, I had even stretched my patience to the point of breaking.  I was not going to stop watching it, but it had stumbled from my must see, like Preacher has.  Episode six did not feel like Twin Peaks to me.  On re-watch this morning, though, it felt considerably different to me.  Then, episode seven had a uptick for me, and the tone felt once again like Twin Peaks.  I was renewed.

Then came episode eight.  The most mind blowing episode of television maybe ever created.  We got the origin of Bob and an extended stretch in the past where we see the Woodsmen for the first time, some weird frog bug creature, and some of the most disturbing yet transcendent imagery you have ever seen.  Episode eight was a master class in art and creativity.

The plot started to pick up as well.  Dougie was becoming more than just a lump of nothingness.  People who were finding themselves in Dougie’s world were finding themselves better off than before.  Janey-E started realizing what she had with her husband.  Naomi Watts was simply brilliant as the wife of the tulpa.

The introduction of the idea of a Tulpa was fascinating as well.  According to Tulpa.info a Tulpa “is an entity created in the mind, acting independently of, and parallel to your own consciousness. They are able to think, and have their own free will, emotions, and memories. In short, a tulpa is like a sentient person living in your head, separate from you.”  This helped make sense of some of the really unknown aspects of two Coopers running around.

Kyle MacLachlan is Emmy worthy in his roles as Dougie Jones, Mr. C (evil Cooper, Bob, the Doppelganger..whatever else you may want to call him) and then eventually Dale Cooper.  MacLachlan shows his tremendous range with his distinct characters.  The arm wrestling scene of Mr. C is one of the best moments of the season.  The return of Agent Cooper to 100% might BE the best moment of the season.  Dougie had his share of moments as well.  MacLachlan led the way with these people.

Among the new characters, the Mitchum Brotehrs, Bradley and Rodney, became fan favorites.  Played by Robert Knepper and Jim Belushi, the Mitchums went from evil casino owners to criminals with hearts of gold when they befriended Dougie.  Belushi was very funny with his one liners throughout the series, and truly became great in the last few episodes.

Audrey Horne (played by Sherilyn Fenn) was one of the most beloved characters from the original and her arc in this new series really frustrated fans.  First, she did not show up until the end of episode 12, which drove many people crazy.  The story implied that Audrey was the mother of big time bad boy Richard (and also implied that Bad Cooper was the daddy).  Then, when they brought Audrey in, she was shrouded in mystery in some weird scenes with her “husband” though she claimed to be in love with someone named Billy, a character whom we have never met (or at least, we don’t know if we have met him).  Then, after heading to the Roadhouse and doing her dance in front of the whole crowd, Audrey seemingly woke up in some white room.  Mental institution?  Had she been in a coma?  Alien abduction?  The White Lodge?  No one knew, but surely this would be a major plot answered in the two hour finale, right?

Um… wrong. Audrey did not appear in the finale at all.  This is probably the biggest slight the internet crowd will scream about.  The ending of Audrey waking up in this weird location and looking at the mirror reeks of the ending with Cooper at the end of season two 27 years ago.  She had no resolution to her character at all.  We have no idea where she is or what has happened to her.  We do know for certain that Richard was her son with Mr. C, believed to be a product of rape.  This explained why Richard was such a horrible character who ran down a kid with his truck and beat up his grandmother for money.  We did get a satisfying end to him, as he was electrocuted into nothingness by the false Lodge entryway, sent to his death by his own father.

The show used its characters amazingly well, even those that had since passed away.  Both Miguel Ferrer, Warren Frost and Catherine Coulson died after taping had concluded, so their inclusion was very bittersweet, but even those actors whom died before the series shot were represented well.  We had David Bowie, Frank Silva, and Don S. Davis appeared despite their final passing.  We also saw a flashback including the wonderful Jack Nance and the still living, but retired Piper Laurie.

We got some happy endings.  Big Ed and Norma finally got together when Nadine gave Ed his freedom from their long time loveless marriage.  Loveless is not the right term, because there is clearly a lot of feelings between them, but we all know that Big Ed and Norma have been the tortured couple for decades.  It looked as if Nadine was ready to move along with crazy internet blogger Dr. Jacoby and his golden shovels.  We also got a happy end for Janey-E and her son Sonny Jim, who were surprised with a brand new Tulpa courtesy of Dale Cooper and Mike, the one armed man.  Yes, Cooper replaced himself with another Tulpa so the little family could be happy together.  That was one of the nicest and happiest moments in the finale.

Lets talk about the finale.  The first hour was amazing!  Stunning!  Extremely exciting.  Bob got his comeuppance thanks to Freddie and his Hulk glove.  We had all the heroes coming together at the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station to confront Mr. C.  Mr. C sitting in Frank Truman’s office as Frank was on the phone with Dale Cooper was as tense as it was going to possible be.  I did not see Lucy being the hero, stopping Mr. C from shooting Sheriff Truman (no not that one).

Speaking of Sheriff Truman, the absence of Harry Truman, Michale Ontkean, was felt consistently through the series.  Now, take nothing away from Robert Forster, who played Frank Truman, but the Harry Truman-Dale Cooper bromance was one of the biggest selling points of Twin Peaks, and the show did feel his absence.  Also noticeably gone was Donna Hayward, Lara Flynn Boyle.

The first hour of the finale had everything.  It had reveals (such as the real Diane showing up), exciting action (hello Freddie), unexpected heroes (I already mentioned Lucy), funny quips (Jim Belushi) and a great Kyle MacLachlan performance as Bob gets taken care of.  Then, Agent Cooper seemingly goes back in time to scenes from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (literally, scenes from that movie were used) in an attempt to save Laura from her fate of being wrapped in plastic.  At first, it looked like Cooper had done just that, but the episode ended with him losing teenage Laura to the Twin Peaks forest, echoed by Laura’s scream.

That first hour was everything anyone could have wanted, sans Audrey, of course.  It was ballsy to potentially take the most iconic scene of your original story and change it up with time travel.

However, as we all know time travel causes more trouble than it is worth, and then we get the final episode of the series.  It wound up asking more questions than it answered.  Cooper and Diane have sex for some reason and she leaves a strange note the next day and disappears.  They had already traveled somewhere, through the electrical magic of the world.  Back in time?  Forward in time?  Different universe?  It is impossible to tell.  Cooper, after Diane leaves, winds up in Odessa, Texas finding an older version of Laura Palmer alive and well, although not calling herself Laura Palmer.  She seemingly did not remember anything about being Laura (and the totally unexplained dead body in her house did not seem to bother Cooper).  He took her back to the Palmer house (after multiple minutes of nighttime driving scenes), but now apparently, the house does not belong to the Palmers.  There is a different family that owned it.  What year is it? asked Cooper before our maybe-Laura leaves us with one more classic scream.

Show fades to black.

I am afraid that Twin Peaks has once again chosen to leave the story unanswered instead of wrapping it up in a bow.  They completely ignored Audrey, and taking Cooper and maybe-Laura into a time line somewhere does not leave someone with good feelings.  No one can accuse David Lynch of fan service, that is for sure.

The second hour definitely felt like a step down from the dramatic and fast paced first hour and I am sure that was intentional.  The second hour without shame moves the story to a different level.  I may not be sure how I feel about it, but I do respect the creation of said story.  There certainly is material for a season four, but it is not certain that there will be a season 4.

Kyle MacLachlan, Naomi Watts, and Laura Dern should, at the very least, receive Emmy nominations for their roles in this, if not wins.  They were, all three, sensational.  Episode eight should win every technical Emmy award available for a transcendent episode of television.

After spending all day in Twin Peaks, I understand the joys and the sorrows, the anger and the happiness, the surprise and the frustration that comes along with challenging television.  I have always enjoyed a show that does not feel like it needs to explain every little detail to people, a show that expects its audience to be smart enough to fill in the blanks.  However, Twin Peaks may take that idea too far.  Just like they take everything.

Thank you David Lynch for giving us something that we will never forget… and may never forgive.

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Happy Labor Day to all!

I am currently watching the Showtime all day Twin Peaks: The Return marathon.  We are into episode 11 on the way to the evening’s two part finale of the series.  I have already had some pie, and anticipate having some more later tonight.  I am very exciting about the finale, and I plan on writing up an article here with my thoughts over the whole Image result for twin peaks return of cooper episode 16series.  However, I would be remiss if I did not mention last week’s episode, the 16th of the return.  It was such a brilliant episode, giving us everything we wanted.  The sequence leading to the return of Dale Cooper was such a perfect piece of story telling that I can’t imagine it possibly being better.  Plus, the Audrey stuff at the end, the Richard Horne resolution, the gunfight at Rancho Rosa, the Diane revelation… it was possibly the best episode of TV of the year, and certainly of the series.  Tonight cannot get here soon enough.

Image result for inhumansI made my way to the IMAX theater Friday night for the debut of the first two episodes of Marvel’s The Inhumans.  The special showing in IMAX was meant to be a big deal.  Unfortunately, much of the bad word of mouth must have done some damage as there were not very many people at my showing.  I could see why.  The show was extremely disappointing.  The acting was wooden and dull.  The dialogue was trash.  The look of the show, with a few exceptions, was amateurish.  It was not good television and certainly does not kick off the Inhumans on the right foot.  Now, it wasn’t the worst thing I ever saw either, but with Marvel, the expectations were considerably higher. I did not enjoy Black Bolt. I thought his facial expressions did not fit the character and felt too jokey.  Medusa’s hair?  Ugh.  Triton?  Terrible.  Crystal?  Weak acting.  What did I like?  I enjoyed Karnak (possibly because he was played by Ken Leung of LOST fame) and I thought he was portrayed decently.  Lockjaw was pretty good.  I think this could be good if there are some serious overhauling done.  Scott Buck is the showrunner and he also was in charge of Iron Fist.  Iron Fist was the least loved Marvel anything … until this came along.  I plan on watching Inhumans (Friday?) when it starts on ABC, but I certainly hope the quality picks up.  At this point, it feels like a low quality sci-fi movie on SyFy Network.

Image result for manhunt Unabomber episode 6 college brainwashingThere was also the best episode of the season for the Manhunt: Unabomber.  This episode was a Ted Kaczynski stand alone episode, showing his back story and how he came to be a near hermit in the wilderness sending bombs through the mail.  There were remarkable scenes that really caused you to feel a connection to this serial killer that we had never had before.  The brainwashing attempts by the professor at the college were heartbreaking and were nearly predatory.  “Ted” brought a deeper understanding of the controversial figure, and it makes the series as a whole more interesting.

Image result for rick and morty season 3 episode 6Rick and Morty were back with their new episode, “Rest and Ricklaxation” last week.  Rick and Morty were feeling as if they needed a break from their constant adventuring and so they headed off to a galactic spa of some sort and had their “toxins” removed, but their toxins turned out to be sentient and ready to take over their lives.  Meanwhile, Morty was enjoying his new life without the toxins polluting him.  It fell to Rick to try and make everything, and every one, united again.

This coming Tuesday is the debut of the latest season of American Horror Story: Cult.  The series sees the return of Twisty from AHS: Freak Show.  It is also rumored to be a satire of the political election of 2016.

 

Image result for jerry lewis labor dayOf course, Labor Day used to be synonymous with the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.  I would watch many acts of the show and enjoy the call of “timpani” by Ed McMahon.  The last few years without the telethon has just not felt right.  We lost Jerry Lewis just recently, as the 91 year old comedian died.  After so many years of raising money for those who needed his help, Lewis deserves to be considered a great humanitarian.

So excited for Twin Peaks finale tonight.  Happy viewing!

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Another big week…

SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

Image result for th etick amazonYes, The Tick is back.  This time it is on Amazon Prime and it dropped the first six episodes of season one this past Friday… and it was AWESOME!  I was unbelievably thrilled by the series.  Being a big fan of the animated series from FOX Kids and the short lived live action series, I was very happy to see The Tick become one of the pilots that Amazon put up last year as a potential series.  Fans would vote to see if they wanted to see the pilot move to full series.  I knew the Tick fans would come through despite the pilot itself being a little less than expected.  However, from episode two on, the Tick series was gold!  So many great moments.  It was laugh out loud funny.  Peter Serafinowicz is perfectly cast as the Tick.  His voice and innocent presence captures the character to a tee.  Serafinowicz takes the best from Townsend Coleman and Patrick Warburton, the previous Ticks, and adds to the character.  It is a singularly wonderful performance.  Yet, the top performance of the show might just go to Arthur, played by Griffin Newman.  Arthur is the driving force Image result for th etick amazonbehind the plot, trying to prove that ancient villain, The Terror (the constant scene-chewer Jackie Earle Haley) is still alive and Newman fills the twitchy and neurotic Arthur with so much humanity that you can’t help but love him.  And the episode six ends with the Terror yelling “Cliffhanger” after capturing Arthur.  I can’t wait for more of this show.  There are several of the meta jokes here.  When the Tick design changed from the pilot to make him bluer and more flexible, Arthur said to the character of the Tick in episode two , “You look different” and the Tick responded, “Thank you.”  Nothing further.  I loved that joke.  This show has become one of my favorites of the year.

Image result for big ed and norma 2017Twin Peaks is soon to be reaching its ending as last week we got episode 15, and we got what looked like a happy ending for Big Ed and Norma.  I know, right.  Who saw that coming?  After all of these years, the chance to see these two original character with a chance to be happy really was a highlight form last week’s episode.  We also saw Dougie watching TV when Sunset Boulevard came on the screen.  When Dougie heard the name “Gordon Cole” mentioned in the film, something triggered in his subconscious and he stuck his fork into the wall socket.  Could this electric shock be the final jolt to bring back Dale Cooper?  I don’t know, but I sure hope so.  There was also some tremendous scenes with the wonderful Log Lady.  Related imageMargaret called Hawk and told him, “Hawk, I’m dying . . . You know about death—that it’s just a change, not an end. Hawk, it’s time. There’s some fear—some fear in letting go. Remember what I told you. I can’t say more over the phone, but you know what I mean. From our talks, when we were able to speak face to face. Watch for that one. The one I told you about. The one under the moon on Blue Pine Mountain. Hawk, my log is turning gold. The wind is moaning. I’m dying. Good night, Hawk.”.  It was such a surreal and beautiful scene because the actress who played the Log Lady, the brilliant Catherine E. Coulson, who was a close personal friend of Twin Peaks director/writer David Lynch, was actually dying at the time of the shot.  She was in bad shape with cancer, but she did come back to shoot these episodes for Lynch.  RIP Margaret.

Image result for chip esten whose line returnChip Esten made a return of his own, this time to Whose Line is it Anyway.  Chip, who currently stars on Nashville, spent several years as one of the rotating fourth seats on the improvisation show, really showing his worth in musical numbers.  He had not been seen with the crew since the last days of Drew Carey’s Improviganza.  Chip seemed to step right in beautifully, performing with Wayne Brady and Jeff Davis in a version of Greatest Hits.  Unlike most “special guests” on Whose Line, Chip was a welcome return and I hope we don’t have to wait for another 5 years before we see him again.

Related imageSummerSlam was last Sunday night and it was a long and reasonably enjoyable show.  However, the biggest match was the huge hoss fight that closed the show with Broick Lesnar retaining his Universal Championship against Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe.  Braun Strowman looked like a star in this match and the crowd was firmly behind him despite him not being the face.  At one point, Brock and Joe were on the floor and, from out of the frame, flew one of the announcer’s chairs.  It had been thrown by Strowman and it was really funny.  Strowman was a massive beast, but Lesnar was able to survive by giving an F5 to Reigns.  On RAW the next night, they announced a one-on-one match between Strowman and Lesnar for the next PPV, Hell in a Cell.

Image result for alec baldwin weekend update trumpOn the SNL Weekend Update Summer Edition, we got another performance of Donald Trump from Emmy nominated Alec Baldwin.  This skit was the cold open for the show and it made fun of the Arizona rally that was held this past Tuesday by President Trump.  Baldwin came out with sunglasses on joking about how he had looked at the eclipse earlier this week (which the real Trump is photographed doing without any eye protection despite all the warnings.)  It was great to see Baldwin again with his attempts to skewer the President of the US.

Image result for critically acclaimed vs late to the partyThe Movie Trivia Schmoedown Ultimate Schmoedown Team Tournament has begun on Collider Video.  The 16 team tournament will culminate with a new #1 contender for the Patriots, the team of “Little Evil” JTE and “The Insneider” Jeff Sneider in December.  With round one starting, the first week saw a major upset as the team of fans known as Late to the Party knocked off tournament favorite Critically Acclaimed in a close and tense match.  Other winners included Team Action over Deep Cuts, DC Movie News over Six Degrees and Team Trek defeating Cinema Blend.  The remaining matches of round one will be completed and shown on YouTube next week.

There was another Gong Show repeat this week. *SOB* I still watched the proper sing-a-long.  Not sure what I am going to do when this goes away.

Oh, I know that there is a Game of Thrones finale tonight.  I am happy when TV Talk then does not have to talk about Game of Thrones every episode all week long.  That is excellent.

This Friday is the debut of Inhumans on IMAX screens.  I am not sure if I will be able to see it yet, and I sure hope it is better than it appears.

Happy viewing!

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Hey all.  A big week in TV this week.  Where should we start?

DHJvlgAU0AEgjArHow about with Twin Peaks?  Last week was episode 14, leaving just 4 more hours of the Return left, and there were some huge things happening.  The Twin Peaks Sheriff Department’s crew headed out to the forest where Andy wound up being brought to the giant’s White Lodge (the giant said his name was the Fireman).  Andy got some vital info there and seemed to be more confident in his return.  We also found out that Diane is actually the half sister of Janey E, who is married to Dougie (aka Agent Cooper).  Whoa, small world.  It feels like it is just a matter of time before Agent Cole and the others with the Blue Rose finally find our wayward Dougie Cooper.  But the creepiest thing of the week was when Sarah Palmer removed her face, revealing the hand of the Mother of All Evil and a big smiling smile, and then proceeded to rip out a man’s throat.  Now, the man was being very abusive toward her so no one shed a tear, but it certainly was more than what I expected. Sarah Palmer has been really weirder than usually lately and this could be the reason why.  Things are heading quickly toward the finale.

Image result for defenders episode 3The Defenders debuted on Netflix this week and saw Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist team up to take on the Hand, in what really served as an ending to the previous story lines from their individual shows.  The 8-episode season of The Defenders was an easy watch and went extremely quickly.  By episode three, there was a tremendous fight in a high rise with all the Defenders and the show was underway.  Sigourney Weaver was the main villain as one of the main “fingers” of the Hand and she was great.  Elektra returned and was a bad ass in all of her scenes.  The end of the series seemed to be setting up Daredevil season three for the classic “Born Again” story line.  Jessica Jones was a series standout receiving most of the best lines of dialogue.  Iron Fist, who was universally disliked after his own series was panned critically, was much improved here.  Luke Cage is the moral center of the Defenders.  The show was very strong and did a great job of tying stories up.

Netflix also released a short teaser trailer of its upcoming series The Punisher with Jon Bernthal.  It looks vicious and that is great.

 

Image result for please dont nuke us north korea weird alOn Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver did a whole segment on the potential dangers with North Korea.  When President Trump claimed that North Korea would see “fire and fury”, the world became a more tense place.  However, John Oliver knew what to do.  He discovered that North Koreans loved accordion music and who better to play some music to soothe the nuclear beasts than EYG Hall of Famer Weird Al Yankovic, who then played The North Korea Polka, a song also known as “Please Don’t Nuke Us, North Korea.”  And of course, the tensions have since gone down.  Thanks for saving the world, Weird Al.

Image result for blackout drunk rick and mortyLast week we have Pickle Rick.  This week we had Blackout Drunk Rick.  Little did we know that when Rick goes blackout drunk, he sets up death traps that could destroy the galaxy. In the episode, the Vindicators returned to the show to call for assistance from Rick and Morty and Morty convinces Rick to go along on the adventure.  However, the super team known as the Vindicators only called Rick and Morty because they had to and it was revealed that they had had another adventure and did not call them.  The episode was thus entitled Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender.  In the end, several members of the Vindicators fall to Rick’s death traps.  Rick seems to be becoming more of the villain here and it is interesting to see how Morty reacts to his grandpa’s misbehavior.

AlbertGate.pngThis week saw two episodes of The Gong Show, one on Monday and one at its regular time on Thursday.  I am finding it amazing how much I am enjoying this show.  I did not expect to be downright giddy watching the Gong Show.  However, there was controversy this week.  On Monday’s episode, Tommy Maitland called for the proper sing-a-long and asked for Albert to come out and sing Shaving Cream like he does every week.  However, the person he called Albert was NOT Albert!  It was some imposter.  I immediately took to Twitter calling this #AlbertGate.  The real Albert was back on Thursday without any explanation for why some other chap was singing our proper sing-a-long.  (Yes, the episode on Monday felt like the first one they had taped, so they had obviously replaced this guy with the new Albert, but that is not near as fun as wondering about a deep seeded conspiracy).

A Total Failure - Manhunt: UNABOMBER Season 1 Episode 4Manhunt: Unabomber continues to be tremendous.  The show this week gave us a massive FBI plot to try and draw out the Unabomber by printing the serial bomber’s manifesto in the Washington Post and staking out and interviewing everyone who bought a newspaper at a certain newsstand in San Francisco.  The idea is that the Unabomber would want a copy and it was believed that he made his base in SF.  Imagine how much manpower this would have taken?  Good news and bad news.  The stakeout was a failure, but the Unabomber’s brother’s wife saw the published manifesto and recognized the writing style.

Image result for drew mcintyre wins NXT championshipNXT Takeover Brooklyn III was on the WWE Network on Saturday and it delivered once again.  I have never seen a Takeover special that has not been just tremendous in action and wrestling drama.  Drew McIntyre defeated “Glorious” Bobby Roode to become the new NXT Champion.  Adam Cole made his NXT Image result for drew mcintyre wins NXT championshipdebut by attacking McIntyre after the victory.  NXT Women’s Champion Asuka continued her dominance by defeating and retaining her title against Ember Moon in the match of the night.  The team of Sanity defeated the Authors of Pain to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.  Alistair Black defeated Hideo Itami one on one.  Tonight is the WWE’s big SummerSlam, but it will have a challenge to stack up against NXT Takeover.

cabaret.pngWhose Line is it Anyway continues wits run on Thursday nights on the CW.  This past week the show had a game of Hollywood Director where Wayne, Colin and Ryan had to act out a scene and Heather Anne Campbell would be the director and give them notes on how to improve the scene.  The final time, Heather Anne came on and said they should do the scene like Cabaret.  And what followed was musical genius between the three of these amazing improv performers.  Seriously, search this up if you have not seen it.  It is comedy gold.  And next week, Chip Esten returns!

SummerSlam is tonight.  So is Episode 15 of Twin Peaks.  I am a week behind Preacher and have yet to see Orphan Black’s finale.

Lots of great shows to watch.  Happy viewing!

 

 

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome all.  I have sixty minutes until this week’s Twin Peaks so I have to be focused and on-task to get this finished.

Image result for twin peaks arm wrestlingSince it is on my mind, let’s start with last week’s Twin Peaks.  I really enjoyed episode 13 as we got to see the two Coopers really stand out.  First, Dougie seems to be making everyone’s lives better when he comes in contact with them.  He is like a beacon of light while Mr. C (or Doppelcooper or Bob or whatever you want to call him) is the dark opposite.  The arm wrestling scene with Mr. C against the leader of that gang was one of the best arm wrestling scenes I have ever seen.  Plus, Mr. C gives One Punch Man a run for his money.  I am seeing an eventual face off between Dougie and Mr. C in the future of this series, which has only 5 more episodes to go.

Image result for pickle rickThe one thing that EVERYONE was talking about last week… Pickle Rick!  Yes, it was the episode of Rick and Morty where Rick turns himself into a pickle to avoid going to family therapy and winds up on a Pickle Rick adventure.  This was hilarious, but, honestly, the internet might have taken this too far.  Yeah, I know… what are the odds of that?

Image result for comrade detectiveThen, this week, on Amazon Prime I discovered a real gem of a series.  A six episode series called Comrade Detective.  This was a series that was brought to Amazon by Channing Tatum.  It was supposedly a recently discovered buddy cop series from during the Cold War era Romania dubbed into English.  In truth, the series was shot in Romanian recently and then dubbed into English.  The series is a wonderfully funny satire on Communism and Capitalism and the Cold War era mindset of the countries.  Tatum voiced our main character Gregor and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did the dubbed over voice of Iosef as the pair investigated the murder of former police officer Nikita.  Florin Piersic Jr and Corneliu Ulici played the detective pair in the Romania version and who we see acting as Tatum and Gordon-Levitt voice the characters.  It is very funny and well worth your time for a six episode binge.

Image result for fitz and Ted Unabomber manhuntManhunt: Unabomber was tremendous this week as well as we had a tense and dramatic one-on-one confrontation between Fitz and Ted Kaczynski.  Kaczynski told Fitz that he planned on challenging the legality of the search warrants that were used to find all the evidence against him from the cabin in the woods.  If he could get that search warrant thrown out, all of the evidence would be “fruits of a poison tree” and would be inadmissible.  The confrontation is beautifully played by Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany.  This series has been constantly good so far, and does not lose momentum when flashing between time frames.  Watching Fitz figure out information about the Unabomber by the linguistics language that he used was gripping as can be.

Image result for american ripper handwritingMeanwhile, the more episodes in, the less interested I am in the American Ripper documentary that is trying to make a case for H.H. Holmes as Jack the Ripper.  Each week, they bring up info that does not fit their case and they dismiss it as if it were nothing, only to grab hold of inconclusive evidence or rampant speculation.  They looked at handwriting samples this week, comparing some of Holmes writing to the Dear Boss letter.  The expert showed them several examples that did not match at all, but they seemed to focus only on the few examples that were called inconclusive.  They are preparing to look for potential victims at the bottom of a river that might have been encased in concrete, so this is interesting at least.  But it does not make the case for Holmes as the Ripper.

Image result for gong show on mondayI was so disappointed this week because there was no Gong Show.  ABC showed a Princess Diana special this week instead of the Gong Show (or Battle of the Network Stars, btw) and I could not believe how much I missed the proper sing-a-long.  Good news though, the episode of the Gong Show is to be shown tomorrow night.  Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston are scheduled as judges.

Image result for schmoedown modok patriotsOn the Movie Trivia Schmoedown this week, the team titles were on the line as the champions, The Patriots, defended against Team MODOK (formerly known as Rotten Tomatoes.)  This was an extremely entertaining match with the Patriots pulling out a victory in sudden death.  This was the fourth time the Patriots have successfully defended the titles since they won them and they are beginning to look as if they are one of, if not the, most dominant teams ever.  They were also very lucky as Matt Atchity was playing Boris Badenov and, while staying in character, this cost him a point in the speed round and looked to have rattled Atchity.  The rule that the person must answer in two seconds during that speed round is unfair to anyone who hasn’t done it before or who is trying to be entertaining as Atchity was.  Five seconds seems like a fast enough time.  But, it’s not my game.  I just love watching it.  The Patriots next title match will be at the Schmoedown Spectacular in December.

Image result for orphan Black finaleLast night was also the finale episode of Orphan Black.  I have not been watching Orphan Black for the last season and a half, and I have not yet seen the finale, but I do want to see it.  Tatiana Maslany is truly a genius when it comes to this show.  She can play countless characters and you, as the audience, consistently forget that it is her playing them.  Truly Maslany gave one of the best performances on any television show in history.

Image result for stephen colbert said about North koreaThe best response this week about President Trump’s threats of “fire and fury” toward North Korea came from Stephen Colbert.  After showing the clip, the camera came back to an empty stage.  Colbert slowly peaked up at the camera and told Trump to “shut up” and that Kim Jong-Un was crazy.  Colbert showed the fear many Americans felt perfectly and helped to balance that out with humor.

That is it this week.

Next weekend:  The Defenders!!!!  Happy viewing.

 

 

 

The TV Week That Was

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Image result for twin peaks episode 13 earlier timeGood evening everyone.  I only have about an hour and half to get this done before Twin Peaks starts.  This week, the 13th episode of the Showtime series will be shown at 7 PM Central time.  I assume this will be the same going forward fro the remaining six episodes of the event series.  It should be plenty of time to finish up this column, but I do have to stay focused.  By the way, I am ready to make my random prediction that Twin Peaks: The Return is going to end with Amanda Seyfried’s character in the last scene, wrapped in plastic.   I believe that they will be ending this series with the same image that they began the original series, except with it being Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic.  I have no knowledge of anything but if that happens, remember where you heard it first.

Image result for herr starr preacher tv showI caught up on Preacher this week, seeing the previous two week’s episodes.  We got the introduction to a new villain last week in Herr Starr.  Herr Starr is involved in the white suited people intending to protect the lineage of Jesus.  We see how much of a horrible man Herr Starr is despite being an agent for Christianity.  The way he became the final combatant for the job was to shoot the other applicant instead of the target (for target practice).  I do like the introduction of this character and I am looking forward to seeing him interact with our main cast.  However, I was not a fan of the sub plot of this episode where Tulip was having some kind of PTSD from her interaction with the Saint of Killers.  That felt pretty forced considering what we have seen of Tulip of the first season and half of the show.

Image result for shinsuke vs. CenaTuesday we got a great match on Smackdown, with major implications for SummerSlam.  John Cena and Shinsuke Nakamura faced each other with the winner being declared the #1 contender for Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship.  In what would have to be considered a bit of an upset, Nakamura defeated Cena cleanly after delivering a devastating back suplex and the Kinshasa.  I was truly hopeful that Cena was okay after the suplex because the landing was extremely ugly, but he seemed to be okay.  After the match you can see Shinsuke approach Cena and mouth “I’m sorry” and Cena responded with “Don’t be sorry” and a handshake.

Image result for manhunt unabomberI saw the debut of the new Discovery true crime series, Manhunt: Unabomber.  The series is an eight episode show presented in a scripted format, much like the People vs. OJ from last year.  The show included double time lines, following the pre-investigation by the FBI and the attempt to then get a confession from Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.  Paul Bettany played the bomber in the show.  It does a good job of showing how profiling helped catch him, despite the initial belief that the Unabomber was an uneducated airport employee.  I enjoyed the first two part night and look forward to fining out more about the series as it progresses.

Related imageAnd we also continued to find out more about how H.H. Holmes is Jack the Ripper.  American Ripper has yet to show me much of anything outside of some weird coincidences between the two serial killers.  There did appear to be some close ties with the way Holmes killed to the final death of the Ripper. Still, much of the show feels like a stretch to me.  True crime seems to be everywhere these days, and as long as they continue to be interesting, I think that is as good as any other genre to see.

Image result for the sinner usa networkUSA Network debuted its new summer event series called The Sinner, starring Jessica Biel.  The show introduces us to Cora Tannetti, a young mother whose marriage seems to be strong.  Cora, however, has something going on.  At the beach, she sees a young couple kissing passionately and she takes a knife and brutally stabs the man multiple times in the neck and face, killing him.  The show gives us no reason or motive for the attack and it devastates her family.  However, Detective Harry Ambrose, played by Bill Pullman, wants to know what the motive was.  The show really grabs you with that brutal, violent attack and makes you engaged with the mystery at the center of the show.

Image result for gong show shaving creamI just love the Gong Show.  It has become one of my favorite hours of television of the week.  This week we had four different acts receive a perfect 30 from the judges, which makes up for the lack of any good acts from the week before.  I look forward to the proper sing-a-long all week long, something I never expected when I first realized that they would be singing Shaving Cream each week.  I would miss it terribly if they didn’t sing it one week (thanks Albert!).  We also had Megan Fox this week!  Plus Andy Samburg.  Not sure how many more weeks The Gong Show will be around, but I will be enjoying each and every one ABC gives me.

Image result for whose line is it anyway macchioWhose Line is it Anyway moved to Thursday, so I had to flip back and forth between it and the Battle of the Network Stars.  I prefer that to Mondays though since there are way too many shows on Mondays to watch.  This week we had Ralph Macchio of Karate Kid fame make a guest star appearance on the improv show.  Interestingly enough, this week also saw the announcement of a new Karate Kid series, starring Macchio, on YouTube Red.

Bill Maher returned form vacation and jumped with both feet back into Real Time on HBO.  Maher’s first guest was former Vice President Al Gore, there to promote his new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel.  Maher also brought out a Barack Obama imitator during his New Rules segment to prove to the Republicans that they would not be okay if Obama had said some of the same things that Donald Trump has said.  This was hilarious.

 

Made in plenty of time.  Tonight continues to be busy as I need to watch Twin Peaks, the Dodgers-Mets game on ESPN, Family Feud, 100,000 Pyramid and the new Rick and Morty.  Sundays are a great night of TV.

Happy Viewing!

The TV Week That Was

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Welcome back all.  This was a catch up week for me as I had several days in Minneapolis at a conference and I missed several shows early in the week.

One of those shows was Twin Peaks.  With last week’s show and this week’s show, there was some really great TV.  Just a short while ago, we saw Audrey Horne!  After 12 episodes, the Twin Peaks Freaks have been getting anxious about the appearance of the Queen.  There has been a ton of speculation that Audrey was Richard’s mother and that she may have had Richard after being sexually assaulted by Evil Coop… but none of that fit with tonight.  Tonight, Audrey was yelling at her husband, some guy we find out is named Charlie, whom she has some kind of contract with.  And she wanted this Charlie to help her find Billy.  Billy is someone she loves.  And he was to call Tina.  It’s kind of funny that we have waited so long for Audrey to arrive only for her to be involved with a whole bunch of people that we have no idea who they are.  David Lynch messing with us again?

2010sBut there is more than Audrey.  Last week we had advancement with the Dougie situation, where he looks to be out of trouble with the gangsters at the casino (including Jim Belushi).  Something weird is going on with Sarah Palmer as she seemed to have been triggered by turkey jerky.  Ben Horne presented Sheriff Frank Truman with the key that had arrived in the mail that once was the key to Agent Cooper’s room.  We saw some progress on the Blue Rose case.  Dr. Jacoby continues to hock golden shovels and Nadine is still listening.  We found some Bobby Briggs family drama with Shelly and their daughter Becky.

There are only six more episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return.  What is going to happen?

Image result for New Day new smackdown champsAnother event I missed last week was the latest PPV from the WWE, Battleground.  This was a Smackdown Live event and I have to congratulate one of my favorite teams, The New Day, in winning the Smackdown Tag Team Championship in a very enjoyable match verses the Usos.  In the match, Xavier Woods was fantastic.  Many times, Woods has been made to look like the weakest link of the New Day, but he brought his “A Game” in this match.  The other surprise on the PPV was that the Punjabi Prison Match between WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton, which has never been very good, turned out to be a very good championship match.  The Great Khali made an appearance to help Jinder with the win.

On Collider Video, there has been a ton of content released.  Not only is TV Talk going live as of tomorrow, but they continue to have Movie Talk, Heroes, Awesometacular, a ton of movie reviews, and Jedi Council.  But this week we had a trailer reaction that was just tremendous.  The new trailer for It was released, and Peri Nemiroff, noted horror fan, was going to do a reaction video for It.  She grabbed Josh Macuga, host of TV Talk to work with her.  Now, it is well known that Macuga hates horror movies and is easily scared.  Lately, they have been making Macuga watch these scary videos and play some horror VR games.  The trailer reaction by Macuga and Nemiroff is hilarious.

 

Image result for rick and morty season three premiereReturning tonight on Cartoon Network is Rick and Morty.  First they will broadcast the season three premiere which was originally shown earlier this year, and then we will get season three, episode two.  The third season has been highly anticipated by the fans of the series for a couple of years.  It has been pushed back to make sure it is done properly.  Rick and Morty is one of the funniest animated shows on television and it is good to have it back.

Related imageLots of fun on ABC this week.  We had a $150,000 winner on Pyramid.  The Gong Show continued to be silly fun, and we kept singing “Shaving Cream” as a proper sign-a-long.  Celebrity Family Feud brought us Louie Anderson, a former Family Feud host back to the show with his mother, who said it was her lifelong dream to be on the Feud.  The Battle of the Network Stars found us concerned over Erik Estrada getting his hair wet.  The summer fun on ABC has been wonderful.

Have a great week.  Happy viewing.

 

The TV Week That Was-but late

 

spoilersHey!  Yes I know it is Wednesday, but I had a conference in Minnesota (tried talking like Fargo for as long as I could, yah) and I did not have a chance to write this up.  I have also not seen any TV since Saturday night so I am behind on Preacher, Twin Peaks, etc.  So this will be strictly about LAST week.

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I came across a new History Channel docu-series called American Ripper.  In the series, a relative of the infamous American serial killer, H.H. Holmes, carries out an investigation trying to prove that Holmes was also the British murderer Jack the Ripper.  The series is anything but scientific, but I am a sucker for anything about the Ripper and I intend on seeing where this goes.  The fact is that there are so many different theories on whom Jack truly was, that no one will ever be completely convinced… even with indisputable evidence… if such a thing will ever be possible.  Personally, I have always subscribed to the theory that Jack was in fact James Maybrick, and that he wrote a diary.  That diary was very compelling a read when I was younger.

imageLast week’s Battle of the Network Stars had some interesting moments– especially when dealing with Josh Henderson from Dallas, who had to be taken away in an ambulance after the running relay.  It was Team Prime a Time Soaps vs. Team ABC stars and Henderson was the anchor, but he was just able to hold off the challenge of Roseanne’s Michael Fishman.  After the race, Henderson went down and was having trouble catching his breath.  He wound up going to get an IV.  However, he was able to return later an win the relay race in the show’s biggest “thrill of victory” moment so far.  However, ABC Stars wound up winning the tug of war and upset the younger and favored Soap stars.

imageLast week was San Diego Comic Con and they dropped a lot of news about upcoming television shows.  At the Marvel TV panel, they not only dropped a new Defenders trailer, but they showed lucky attendees of their panel the first episode.  They also showed footage from the upcoming Punisher show on Netflix.  There was a new Inhumans trailer, a trailer for Gifted, and confirmation of a season two for Iron Fist.  As well as the Marvel news, we got a brand new trailer for season two of Stranger Things which looked to focus a great deal on Will and his odd connection to the Upside-Down.  The eighth season of the Walking Dead gave us a trailer that ended with a sleeping, older, grey-bearded Rick with a cane beside his bed.  Mysterious!

imageTwin Peaks episode ten continued its slow progress toward a plot that you may understand.  Dougie (Agent Cooper) went to the doctor, who commented on how much weight Dougie had lost.  Janey noticed it too and got herself turned on.  This led to a night of sex with the couple.  How will that affect the still confused Agent Cooper?  We saw the Log Lady return once again, this time with a cryptic message…. “Laura Palmer is the one.”

imageThe Gong Show brought out David Arquette as a surprise performer, though he would not be judged.  This also prevented the former WCW World Champion from being ganged.  The Gong a Show has become a personal favorite of mine and I look forward to the weekly proper sing-a-long, Shaving Cream.  I doubted this, thinking the repetitive nature of the song would get dull, but I sing along ever week.

I will catch up this week and be back on the regular Sunday schedule.  Happy viewing!

 

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome back to the Sunday review of the week that was in television.

screenjunkiesmovie fightsMajor going ons over at Screen Junkies this week.  They have officially announced that their streaming service would be no more, and that they were moving their content over to YouTube, allowing more people to see their programming.  And with this week’s Movie Fights, they gave us a massive event.  Movie Fights Champion Dan Murrell took on #1 contender #Botanicus, Mike Carlson.  Mike was known for his oddball choices and comedic timing, playing quite the opposite to the more business like Murrell.  Dan was able to retain the title against Carlson in a fun match-up, but the night was just starting.  Spencer Gilbert, the winner of the Showstopper, cashed in for his chance to win the title.  And, after a controversial speed round, we have a new Movie Fights Champion!  Gilbert defeated Murrell on the fifth question of the speed round.  Controversy came in during the 4th round when the question, “Name the best movie with only six words in the title” came up and Spencer said Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.  Whether “Episode V” should have been included in the title was a point of contention, but was eventually overruled by judge and host Andy Signore.  I am sure that we have not heard the last of Dan Murrell as the chase to reclaim the title has begun.

DEVy_EAXUAIXtINLast Sunday, the WWE presented its ridiculously named PPV, Great Balls of Fire.  Strangely though, the PPV was one of the best of the year, overcoming the silly name.  Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe was a brutal fight, Cesaro and Sheamus defeating the Hardy Boyz in an Iron Man match was a great match up, and Roman Reigns lost to Braun Strowman in an ambulance match and proceeded to try to murder Strowman by tossing him into the ambulance and backing it into a semi.  In what felt like a double turn pCzHs7IY(though seeing RAW the next night, I don’t think it was), Braun was extracted from the ambulance with the jaws of life, but refused any medical attention and staggered away, leaving a trail of blood behind him.  Braun was no where to be seen the next night on RAW, selling his injuries, but Roman was there ready to challenge Brock.  However, Samoa Joe came out and insisted he was not done with this whole thing yet.  Kurt Angle made a #1 contenders match for next week between Roman and Joe (and if you don’t think Braun is showing up there, then you haven’t been watching wrestling).  The rest of RAW was pretty insignificant in comparison to this opening segment, which is a shame.

Related imageHowever, on WWE Network, they did debut the WWE 24 documentary on Kurt Angle. This was extremely well done, chronicling Kurt’s life, his Olympic victory with a broken freakin’ neck, his arrival in WWE, and his eventual departure.  The doc went into Kurt’s substance abuse issues with alcohol and painkillers that stemmed from his multiple broken necks.  The show ended with Kurt’s return to the WWE and his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.  There was a very nice moment shown between Angle and Vince McMahon, whom Angle described like a father figure.  The WWE video was very powerful and they show themselves to be extremely solid with these kind of documentaries dealing with their talent.

Related imageHowever, all was not rosy this week in the WWE Universe as the well-liked program Talking Smack, an interview program the would air on Tuesday nights to discuss about things that happened on Smackdown Live, was cancelled.  Fans seemed to enjoy the Talking Smack show, hosted by Renee Young and Daniel Bryan, because it was not scripted as closely as the main show, allowing wrestlers to come on and get themselves over with their speaking skills.  We would see the performers noticeably more relaxed without the script, which brought about some excellent promos from some who we did not think had it in them.  The Miz really started his resurgence when he verbally went after Bryan.  Talking Smack will remain after Smackdown PPV’s so hopefully there will be a change in this decision.  Or maybe we should have some more animated Camp WWE crap to fill up the hours on the network instead.

Image result for twin peaks episode 9 2017Twin Peaks last week brought us a great episode a week after the big WTF episode of #8.  We started piecing some details together, as a plot might have actually been seen.  *Big smiley face*.  There were some really solid scenes involving Bobby Briggs and the discovery of a note left for him by his father, Major Briggs.  We also had Agent Cole finding the headless body of Briggs.  Bob/Evil Cooper also texted a message to Diane, making us all wonder about the wonderful Diane’s actual loyalties.  Then we got the long awaited return of the missing Horne child…Johnny.  Johnny?  With no sign of Audrey yet, Johnny looked to have killed himself by ramming his head into a glass picture frame.  As we move into the second half of the season, things seem to be picking up, which means, of course, David Lynch will throw us into some kind of alternate dimension tonight that will seem like it has nothing to do with the story.  Ah, Twin Peaks!

Image result for preacher and Pat fight in ViktorThis week on Preacher, Jesse finally realized that Tulip was not around and was more than just mad at him over their argument.  She was in trouble.  So he went ballistic with the voice of God to find her. There was a great fight with Jesse and Pat with the tune of Uptown Girl by Billy Joel playing away.  This fight scene led to the discovery that Viktor, Tulip’s capture, was also her husband. BOOM.  This week’s preacher also did what you never thought it would do … it made you feel bad for Hitler.  Seriously, as the other members of Hell were kick the crap out of the Fuhrer, including Eugene by the way, I actually had some feels for him.  Yes, I know what Hitler has done, but… I don’t know, it was just really well done.  Oh, and the Killer of Saints is on his way.  Preacher is delivering big time this year.

Oh, yes I know that there is a certain show returning tonight, but I do not watch Game of Thrones, so I won’t be discussing it in future columns.  Sorry.

Image result for alec baldwin trump emmyThe Emmy nominations came out this week and there were several solid picks.  EMMY AWARD NOMS can be found here.  Stranger Things and SNL received a bunch of nominations, as did Feud: Joan and Bette.  I hope Feud wins everything because it was truly some of the best TV of the year.  I also hope Alec Baldwin wins for SNL just so we can get the Tweets the next day! SAD!

Happy viewing…especially for all of you who are going to be enjoying the return of Game of Thrones.  Maybe one day I’ll binge it.