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

spoilers

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

spoilers

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.

The TV Week That Was

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A holiday week brought some interesting online content for us.

ccollisionAt Collider Video on YouTube this week, we had not only the Movie Trivia Schmoedown, massive event, The Collider Collison, headlined by the triple threat match betwen Mark Reilly, Dan Murrell and John Rocha, but also the team trivia matchup between old rivals Top Ten and team champions the Patriots.  The Patriots defeated Top Ten rather soundly to successfully defend the team titles after an uncommonly poor performance by John Rocha.  Rocha would return to the Collider Collision and, as the leader of the 4 Horsemen, would compete int he triple threat match.  Unfortunately for the Outlaw, though he competed at a much higher level, he still fell to the hands of new Movie Trivia real champChampion, Dan Murrell.  Murrell’s night was not yet over, however, as he was then challenged by Free-4-All winner Samm Levine, who was, by winning the Free-4-All allowed to challenge the champion any time he wanted.  Murrell aggressively accepted the challenge and stepped up to the plate, defeating Levine as well, ending the night not only winning the title, but also successfully defending it.  Murrell was not the only trivia competitor competing at the Collider Collision, though.  The opening bout was a match between Rotten Tomatoes (Grae Drake and Matt Atchity) and The Nerd’s Watch (Ken Napzok and Rachel Cushings) for the #1 contendership for the team titles.  It was a close encounter that was won by Rotten Tomatoes.  Then, after trailing the whole match, lions denHector Navarro barely defeated Jeremy Johns to retain the Innergeekdom Championship when Johns could not come up with AC/DC’s Back in Black.  Then, in the most contentious match of the night, Kristian “The Commissioner” Harloff defeated “The Insneider” Jeff Sneider of the Lion’s Den, despite that heelish faction’s constant complaints and criticisms.  We also saw William “The Beast” Bibbiani betray John Rocha and his former stablemates in the 4 Horsemen, leaving the group for his own.  The PPV-like event was hugely successful for the Movie Trivia Schmoedown, which consistently is one of the most entertaining programs on YouTube.  Congratulations to Schmoedown head honcho Kristina Harloff on the exciting program.

Image result for Castlevania netflixAlso online this week, I watched the four episodes of the new Netflix animated series, Castlevania, based on Konami’s vampire-slaying game series.  This was a very easy binge and the animated story was very well done.  Castlevania immediately brings you into the story, actually humanizing Dracula, after his human wife is burned at the stake as a witch for practice “science.”  Of course, Dracula, instead, goes to far and prepares to destroy the entire human race in vengeance.  The series, created by Warren Ellis, was wonderful, but it was only four episodes and it felt like the series just got ready to get going and then it was over.  I am looking forward to a second season of Castlevania, which has been officially renewed at Netflix.

Image result for arseface and HitlerPreacher took the road trip to New Orleans this week in their continued search for God, who apparently loves jazz.  Preacher also looked at the true origin of Arseface, through flashbacks, allowing us to see Eugene in his tragic moment.  We also see Eugene in Hell, and that seemingly, his roommate, is Adolf Hitler.  Season two of Preacher continues to be off the chart in awesomeness.

gongThere was a lot of ringing this week as the gong was being smashed repeatedly on the Gong Show.  Guest judges Dana Carvey, Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson were bashing that gong left and right, eliminating act after act.  Not that they weren’t deserving of a gong, mind you, but there were more this week than the previous two weeks combined.  The weird Uprooted, an act with a man who was double jointed and could do some weird movements with his arms wound up this week’s winner.  I agreed, by the way.

Image result for battle of the network stars Jack OsbourneIt was TV Sex Symbols vs. TV Variety on Battle of the Network Stars this week.  The competition show is hosted by Mike Greenberg and Joe Tessitore of ESPN.  This week’s show looked at Jack Osbourne from the Osbournes and his battle to overcome an MS diagnosis.  Osbourne ran the obstacle course and won a surprising upset victory for the team TV Variety over sex symbol Keegan Allen, from Pretty Little Liars.  However, TV Sex Symbols were able to defeat the TV Variety in a grueling tug of war at the end.

We have Twin Peaks returning this week after a week off. Also tonight is the WWE’s next PPV Great Balls of Fire, featuring the Universal Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe.  This upcoming week also features the MLB All Star Game and Home Run Derby.

Happy viewing.

The TV Week That Was

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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.)

Image result for twin peaks the return episode 8Okay, 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 Image result for twin peaks the return episode 8beautifully 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 Image result for twin peaks the return episode 8frog/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.

Related imageAnother 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.

Image result for battle of the network stars 2017The 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.

Image result for gong show zombie balletAfter 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.

Image result for flick bait screen junkiesThe 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.

Image result for clarke wolfe vs mark ellisThis 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!

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome back to another TV Week That Was.  We got a great finale, a new series dropped on Netflix and some surprising debuts.  Let’s talk about it.

Image result for Twin peaks episode 7 gun plantFinally, Twin Peaks felt like Twin Peaks.  I had been becoming somewhat frustrated with the narrative of the new event series on Showtime… that it did not feel like Twin Peaks.  Episode six had become the crux of that concern.  Then, episode 7 came along and all of those fears were laid to rest.  The story suddenly jumped into high gear, we got the humor back and we got evil Agent Cooper and Diane confrontation that was epic.  And we got fantastic Laura Dern as the f-bomb dropping Diane.  Though Agent Cooper has not yet snapped out of his Dougie persona, we get progression toward that as he was able to disarm the gun wielding midget that had attacked him.  Pacing issues that plagued some early episodes were gone too as we zoomed through several transitions.  It was great to finally be feeling like I am watching Twin Peaks, and I hope that they continue down this road.

Image result for fargo season 3 finaleFargo came to an end with a remarkable finale.  The third season of Fargo had been up and down for me, but the last few weeks of programming has been out of this world.  The revenge of Nikki against the men of V.M. Varga in a bloody warehouse shooting was remarkably satisfying.  But Fargo was not done yet as we see the standoff between Nikki and Emmit not going nearly as well for the brunette beauty.  Emmit, literally, in the middle of a shootout between Nikki and a cop somehow became the only one of the three to escaped unharmed.  Seeing Nikki dead on the highway was one of the most tragic moments of the series.  Let’s just hope Ray Wise has another kitten for her to turn into and she can then be reunited with Ray.  Then, that ending.  Whoa, the show ends where it started.  The show started with a cold open in an interrogation room during the war, and it ended with Varga sitting opposite Gloria in an interrogation room.  Each character believed that in mere minutes, someone would come through the door to resolve the standoff.  Gloria said it would be agents taking Varga away and she would go out to a state fair and a fried Snickers.  Varga said it would be someone coming to tell her to release him right this minute.  And we never find out as the show goes to black focused on the wall clock.  While I am sure there are many who hated seeing the uncertainty of the situation, I loved this ending.  It put the perfect punctuation at the end of the season with its metaphysical question and the debate between the two points of view. 

Image result for GLOW netflixThe Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, aka GLOW, debuted on Netflix this weekend and it was tremendous.  10 episodes of (approximately) 30 minutes made this a real easy binge and any fan of pro wrestling had to love the show, which treated the sport with remarkable amount of respect.  The characters were great, and the show continued to be funnier with each episode.  I will say that the finale, episode 10, is one of the best finales I have seen in a long time.  You do not have to be a fan of professional wrestling to love this series because the characters are so well written that you find yourself cheering for them anyway.  As a shout out, I had no idea that the character of “The Welfare Queen” Tamee was played by Kia Stevens, who was known in wrestling rings as Awesome Kong (or Karma in the WWE).  It was also awesome to see cameos from John Morrison, Carlito, Brodius Clay, Alex Riley, Christopher Daniels among others.  GLOW was an awesome and very easy binge.

Image result for the mist tv showThe Mist debuted on Spike TV this week and it was creepy as hell.  Based on the Stephen King story and the movie of the same name, The Mist brought some great horror moments back to television.  A good chunk of the first episode was spent introducing characters (which is always a good idea).  These shows will live and die on their characters.  Of course, they also spent the first episode killing off some of these new characters, including the husband of AHS alum Frances Conroy.

Image result for gong show 2017Thursday also brought us the return of the Gong Show to ABC.  I was a fan of the old 1970s version with Chuck Barris and the Unknown Comic, so i knew I wanted to give this reboot a try.  I enjoyed the weirdness of the series and found it fascinating having the show hosted by Tommy Maitland.  However, Tommy Maitland is not a real person.  Tommy Maitland is being played by Mike Myers doing his very best Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton gimmick.  Myers will not admit to playing Tommy, keeping kayfabe alive.  Even without the secret identity,   The Gong Show is a fun time watching people joyfully make fools of themselves doing some unbelievable things.  Panel judges give them a score out of ten, if they do not hit the gong instead.  I also loved the group sing along with the classic dementia hit, Shaving Creme.  I sure hope the Unknown Comic gets to make an appearance.

Related imageThe Gong Show fits in with the rest of the ABC group of game shows with 100,000 Pyramid (this week featuring Nsync guys) and the Celebrity Family Feud.  These programs are fun, full of energy and entertaining.  They also should be cheap and easy to produce.  ABC hit a great idea bringing these game shows back for the summer (although, the most successful- Match Game- has already had their episodes).

Hoping tonight’s Twin Peaks will continue the return.  People on social media have hinted that tonight’s episode is the best yet.  Here’s hoping!

Happy viewing.

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome back to the TV Week That Was.  Some good stuff to talk about.

Image result for putin and oliver stone watch dr strangeloveFirst of all, Showtime had a four episode documentary called “The Putin Interviews.”  Filmmaker Oliver Stone spent the last three years having interviews with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.  I have to say that most of these episodes felt pretty fluff.  Putin comes off very charming and intelligent.  I think some of what the Russian leader said was taken too much as truth.  There was not enough of questioning or challenging what he said in a situation where, supposedly, there were no questions off limit.  Episode four was a little different when the questions on Trump and the Russian hacks came up.  Putin, who was cool as a cucumber throughout the previous three episodes, was twitchy and displayed body language that made you believe that he was not telling the truth.  It was a distinct change in his tone.  During that time, Stone, to his credit, did press Putin on much of what he said and did not let him just say what he wanted.  It was probably the most compelling part of the series.  However, there is no doubt to what my favorite moment was… and it was unbelievably surreal.  Oliver Stone mentioned Stanley drstrangeloveinrussiaKubrick’s classic “Dr. Strangelove” during their discussion of nuclear weapons and he asked Putin if he had seen the film.  Putin responded with a no (or nyet).   We then see a series of scenes of the two of them in a large room, watching the DVD of Dr. Strangelove, and it was amazing.  Stone had that look on his face as if he were sharing something great with his friend, and Putin sat there with a humorless expression on his face.  Truly, the most surreal moment of the entire thing.   I can’t even wrap my head around it.

What else happened this week…

Image result for twin peaks showtime episode 6Twin Peaks.  I have to say, as a lover of the original series and a definite Peaks Freak, I have been somewhat disappointed with the new series so far.  I am ready for the whole “Dougie” stuff to come to an end.  I understand that Agent Cooper needs to show some off-balance behavior after returning from 25 years in the White Lodge, but I am ready for him to “wake up,” as he was told by Mike.  There also seems to be less of the art in this series, replaced by simple violence.  The scene of the little boy being run down by the truck and the scene of the midget stabbing the woman to death seem out of place with the elegance of the rest of the series.  Maybe it is because there are no brakes on David Lynch as there were on the original series, but those moments lose a lot of their power, I believe, with the gratuitous nature of their presentation.  Understand, I am still on board with Twin Peaks and I have Image result for twin peaks showtime episode 6no intention of stopping my viewing of the show, but it just has not captured the same place in my heart as the first series did.  I must say though the arrival of Diane was a welcome moment.  I could use more narrative.  It really feels like a series of individual scenes without any through line.  Perhaps that will still come, but I would like it to come soon.  I would also like more action in Twin Peaks itself.

Image result for fargo episode 9Fargo is rushing toward its finale this coming week as we got an outstanding showdown between Varga and Nikki.  Both of these great characters believe that they have the key to blackmail the other, but only one can come out on top.  Nikki really showed herself as a player in these scenes, reminding me how much I have enjoyed the progression of this character during this season of Fargo.  I also loved the interactions between Emmit and Gloria.  These two actors, Ewan McGregor and Carrie Coon, provided such a powerful interrogation scene that dove deep into the characters.  I felt for Emmit as he recollected his relationship with his brother.  “30 years I’ve been killing him. That was just when he fell,” said Emmit as a summary of his relationship with Ray.  Very powerful, indeed.

Image result for jesus prime american godsThe season finale of American Gods is on tonight, and I have been able to see the episode already on Amazon Prime and it is spectacular.  The first season has been amazing and we finally get the reveal tonight of the true name of Mr. Wednesday.  He is Odin.  And we also meet the goddess of spring, which has become mashed up with Easter.  There are also a lot of Jesus characters wondering around.  The remarkably creative idea that said that when someone believed in Jesus, a different version showed up, was tremendous.  It also gave us a chance to see on old favorite in his second role of the week.  LOST’s Daniel Faraday was played by Jeremy Davies, and Davies appeared in this episode as Jesus Prime.  Davies also appeared this week on Twin Peaks.  American Gods has been weird and wonderful and full of amazing performances.  Gillian Anderson was back this week, once again commanding the screen with her presence.

Image result for family feud with irwin familyABC has returned to the summer of games, as we got the premiere of Celebrity Family Feud and the $100,000 Pyramid.  There were a few other game shows on the summer schedule, but these are the two that interested me.  I enjoyed watching Leslie Jones and her over the top behavior on the Pyramid.  You could tell she really wanted to help the contestants win.  Then, it was also great to see the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin’s family on the Feud, despite them not winning the big money at the end.  Teri was there and it brought me back to the old days with Steve.  I miss him so much.  There was a really nice story told by Bindi Irwin to host Steve Harvey about how much her father loved Harvey.  It was very touching and you could see how much it meant to Steve.

Image result for battle of the network stars 2017However, what stuck out the most was a promo they ran during the Sunday night game shows.  It revealed the return of the Battle of the Network Stars.  I AM SO IN!!!  I remember loving that old series back on ABC, where stars from the three networks would get together and compete in track and field like events.  I always cheered for ABC.  It looks as if this time, they won’t be going by network as much as by categories (e.g. TV Sitcoms, TV Kids, Primetime Soaps etc), which works for me.  Series premieres on June 29th.  I cannot wait.

That’s it for the week.  Tonight is the WWE Money in the Bank PPV, which has the first ever female money in the bank ladder match.  We also get the finale of Fargo this week and the continued hope that Agent Cooper will break free from this Dougie persona.

Happy viewing.

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Summer time brings lots of new television to watch.

Image result for adam west batmanHowever, we must first look farther back than the previous week.  We must look back to 1966, to one of the shows that I loved to watch (albeit in reruns, as I am not old enough to have watched it live).  Batman had taken the characters of Batman and Robin and recreated them for a new audience and created quite a stir.  Some of my earliest memories were watching this show in the afternoons.  I was a fan of Robin, and I remember making my mom make me a robin half mask that I could wear.  I did not understand the series at that time, but later on I was able to see it with new eyes.  Batman was a hilarious spoof of super heroes, with the over-the-top acting, cheesy dialogue and the bright colors.  The show was amazingly entertaining.  A big part of that reason was because of Adam West.  Adam West embraced the role of Batman and was so perfect int he role because he understood and was in on the joke.  This was a comedy, and Batman was the ultimate boy scout, a title that Superman would one day take instead.  Batman was the goodest of the good, though he would hate the use of that incorrect grammatical term.  His “Bat-leap” becoming a phrase that we used anytime someone made a leap of logic that was anything but logical.  Glu Glutton’s Glue Factory?  Of course!  Adam West was how the world saw Batman for decades, until the darker shade of the Dark Knight arrived.  Yet, there is an audience for the good old days, as there is a Batman ’66 comic and a limited release movie The Return of the Caped Crusaders, where Adam West voiced his greatest role once again.  Adam West passed away this weekend and I want to thank him for the role that he played in shaping my love of the super hero genre and the goodness of the hero, a hero who would never toss away a bomb into a group of little duckies.  RIP Adam West.

Related imageNetflix had a big week this week.  First of all, I finished binging the fifth season of House of Cards.  With the resignation of Frank Underwood and the swearing in of Claire Underwood, House of Cards continued to show us the worst of the politicians of the US.  Now, the argument is that the show is not as enjoyable now because it is too close to reality, and I think that is a big part of it.  Still, there is no denying that the show is top quality and Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are at the top of their game.  Will Claire pardon Frank or will she let him flap in the air?  I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

Related imageSecondly, I found a seven-part docuseries called The Keepers.  This series told the true story of Sister Catherine, a nun who was murdered in 1969, and the circumstances around the case that had never been solved.  The cold case was tremendously engaging, as we had two of Sister Cathy’s former students (Cathy worked as a high school teacher) who wanted to solve the case.  The case took us through a ton of twists and turns including the Catholic church sex scandal, a mysterious man named Brother Bob, and laid the groundwork for several possible suspects.  I kept hoping that this series would end with a big “gotcha” moment, much like The Jinx, but unfortunately, the mystery remains unsolved.  There were some episodes, in particular episode 5, that were just creepy, scary and left you disturbed.

Image result for orange is the new black season 5And thirdly, Netflix dropped the fifth season of Orange is the New Black this past Friday.  If you remember, season four left off with the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary surrounding a guard who had brought in a gun to exact some of his own justice.  That gun found its way into the hands of Daya Diaz.  Well, she wound up shooting the guard in the leg, setting off the prison riot.  The entire season dealt with the ramifications of the few days of the riot.  The inmates took the remaining guards hostage, started running free around the campus, and engaging in shenanigans.  There were also several of the inmates who kept mourning Poussey Washington, who had been accidentally killed in season 4, leading to the unrest in the riot.  Taystee led the way in trying to make sense of Image result for orange is the new black season 5the tragic loss of her friend.  Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee, was absolutely brilliant this season and deserves an Emmy nomination for her work.  This was the absolute best season of Orange is the New Black since season one, with an amazing story and deeply motivated and three dimensional characters.  Throw in one of the series’ best villains in Desi Piscatella as well.  The only drawback to the season is the use of the flashbacks are weak.  LOST used to do this tremendously, but these flashbacks felt as if they did not inform characters, but were included simply to fill time.  Very few of the flashbacks (Taystee’s being a notable exception) felt as if they were a waste of time.  Still, the flashbacks did not deter how much I enjoyed OITNB this year, and I am anxious to see where it goes from here.

Image result for nakamura vs owensI rarely watch Smackdown on Tuesday nights.  I watch RAW on Monday, but you would think that I would watch Smackdown instead.  Many more of my favorite performers are on this show (Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, The New Day, etc), but I still watch RAW.  However, I tuned in this past Tuesday for a specific match.  The first time ever (in WWE at least) that Shinsuke Nakamura would take on Kevin Owens.  That dream match made me watch Smackdown.  Unfortunately, the match itself was a letdown.  It only got about ten minutes of match time, they went to commercial a minute into the match and there just felt a lack of big match feel to it.  Nakamura won cleanly, which is fine, but I would have loved to see a 20-30 minute classic between these two instead of what we got.

Image result for agent cooper is dougieTwin Peaks continues to be the weirdest show on television.  David Lynch unfiltered keeps getting stranger each week.  Now, I must say that I have been very impressed with Kyle McLaughlin’s performance as Agent Cooper, but I am ready for Cooper to get back to his full functioning federal agent state.  The whole Dougie thing has been okay, and funny at times, but it really has made me want to see Agent Cooper bust through the haze.  There have been signs of this starting to happen, and I hope that tonight is the night that we actually get him back.  I would also love a little more time spent in Twin Peaks itself.

Image result for gotham season 4 finaleGotham had its season finale and it really kicked some ass.  So much happened… from Gordon killing Fish Mooney in a Tetch virus induced rage to Mr. Freeze creating a Riddler ice sculpture (from the Riddler himself) to the first bad guys stopped by a dark and mysterious vigilante.  We found a Tetch virus cure, killed Butch (only to discover that Butch’s real name was Cyrus Gold (hint…Solomon Grundy) and had Lee bolt from Gotham once again.  Oh… and Ra’s Al Ghul.  Season four has been, start to finish, easily the best season of the show so far.  As Gotham gets closer and closer to the era of Batman, the future only looks brighter.

Image result for nikki and mr wrench fargoPoor Emmett in Fargo has taken a turn for the worse.  He has began to unravel after his killing of his brother last week.  This week, we got a time jump of three months, after a brutal and violent conflict with the assassins Yuri and Golem who attacked the prison bus and a team up of Nikki Swango and season one deaf baddie, Mr. Wrench.  Last week I said how unhappy I would be if Nikki were to meet such a sad fate, being executed on this prison bus.  Well, those concerns left quickly as the battle in the woods between these two factions was just amazing.  Body parts strewn around and the decapitation of Golem with the chain that bound Mr Wrench and Nikki together was off the charts.  Fargo started the year weaker, but it has really been great the last 3-4 weeks.

Image result for whose line with the bellasWhose Line is it Anyway is a great way to spend some time on Monday nights.  This past week, we saw the Bella Twins, Nikki and Brie from the WWE as the special guest stars on the show featuring the fourth seat filled by Jeff Davis.  We also got a Hoedown, a special treat that we have not gotten as much on the CW version of the show.  The Bella Twins did sound effects, which never fails to entertain, and then Colin put on perhaps the most terrifying mask ever seen on “Questions” before.colin and ryan

Upcoming this week includes the Showtime mini series featuring the interview with Vladimir Putin conducted by Oliver Stone and the season finale of American Gods.

Happy viewing.

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome back everyone.

Image result for house of cards season 5Netflix dropped the new season of House of Cards on Tuesday of this past week.  I was able to binge the first ten episodes of season 5.  I hope to be able to finish that in the upcoming week.  I love Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, but I have to say that there was just something about this season that has been underwhelming.  I’m not sure I can actually put a finger on the reason behind it, but it could be that real life has become too much like House of Cards for me to really get into the fictionalized corruption of the series.  The world of President Donald Trump compares way too closely to the world of President Frank Underwood.

Image result for tom HammerschmidtThen, there are several other facts that have me questioning the season.  It took too long to determine the result of the 2016 election.  Republican candidate Will Conway has gone from a serious threat to a nearly incompetent puppet.  The story with Frank and his personal trainer “friend” and Claire and her “boyfriend” bothered me.  Then there is the weird sensation of cheering for Frank Underwood.  Underwood has done some horrendous things, including murder, but he is so charming and entertaining that you can’t help but cheer for him.  The reporter Tom Hammerschmidt, who is searching into Underwood’s dark and evil past, is someone I want to see fail and that is so backwards.  Hammerschmidt is the antagonist of the show, and that is so strange and it echoes the real world and the trouble with Trump/press too much.

I still love House of Cards, but so far season 5 has been kind of a disappointment.

Image result for gotham season three buried aliveHowever, Gotham was tremendous this past Monday in its penultimate episode of the season.  Gordon buried alive by  Leslie.  Leslie and Gordon taking the Tetch Virus.  The return of Bruce Wayne, though brainwashed.  The return of Fish Mooney, to snatch Penguin from the clutches of The Riddler.  And in one of the biggest WTF moments, Gordon failing to prevent the release of the Tetch Virus in Gotham.  What does this mean for Gotham, its residents and the newly murdered Court of Owls?  I don’t know but my jaw hit the ground when that bomb went off and was not stopped by Gordon.  Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us on Monday.

Image result for whose line season 13 episode 1Whose Line is it Anyway returned on Monday night with more improvisational fun.  Monday’s episode included regulars Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and host Aisha Tyler, as well as “fourth seater” Ann Campbell.  Tony Hawk arrived as their celebrity guest star.  As always, Whose Line brought some great laughter as these performers are ridiculously entertaining and clever.  The WWE’s Bella Twins are scheduled as the special guest stars this week as Whose Line revs up for a lot of summer fun.

Image result for fargo season 3 episode 7 sy cries in wife armFargo continues to improve every week.  This week, we had some serious issues with Nikki, as she was arrested for the murder of Ray and finds herself in a bus wreck, being stalked to be killed.  I am really hoping some miracle is able to save Nikki because I have grown to like her a lot.  I also love Gloria and her battle with bureaucracy and the pairing of Gloria and fellow oddball cop Winnie.  And the character of Sy was heartbreaking in this episode.  When he collapses in his wife’s arms and said: “The world. The world is wrong. It looks like my world, but everything’s different,” that was painful and hard to watch.

Image result for media american godsAmerican Gods was outstanding last week too.  We had our first confrontation between Shadow and Mr. Wednesday and the new gods, including Mr. World (played by Crispin Glover).  But the standout was easily Gillian Anderson, who as the god Media, appeared as both David Bowie (in his blue suit) and as Marilyn Monroe.  This was after her debut in the series looking like I Love Lucy.  The confrontation with the new gods really brought the level of drama to a whole new level.  You have got to feel for poor Shadow, who has also just had to react to his back from the dead (or is she?) wife.

 

Episode 5 of Twin Peaks is on tonight.  American Gods is also tonight.  Extreme Rules on WWE Network is on tonight.  Sunday night seems to be must see TV.

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Image result for twin peaks season 3 episode 3As of this moment, I have seen the first four episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return.  These episodes have been tremendously Lynchian.  David Lynch has a distinct flare about what he does and this new Twin Peaks is apologetically David Lynch.  It’s weird, wild and bizarre.  The first two episodes, which I saw last Sunday, were really dark and weird.  They were extremely violent and, even shocking at times.  The next two episodes were made available after that, and will be shown on Showtime tonight.  These next two episodes Image result for twin peaks season 3 episode 3are more like the old Twin Peaks.  The oddball humor was back (Agent Cooper as “Mr. Jackpot”) and we saw David Lynch as Gordon Cole.  We also saw the late great Miguel Ferrer as Albert.  David Duchovny returned as Denise Bryson.  Meanwhile, Agent Cooper is finally out of the White Lodge, but it seems like the experience has caused some confusion for him.  The doppelganger is also here and in prison, being interviewed by Cole and Albert in a seriously creepy scene.  The new Twin Peaks is doing a good job of combining the new with the nostalgic (We saw Bobby Briggs).  I think the show is really going to take off soon.

Image result for nurses ball 2017 valentin cassadineGeneral Hospital had its annual Nurses’ Ball this past week.  For years, the storyline nurses of GH get together and perform a one night talent show to raise money for AIDS/HIV research.  Lucy Coe is always the emcee and they have had some really fun musical numbers over the years.  This year’s Nurses’ Ball felt a little too manufactured, but they had some decent musical acts.  Valentin Cassadine sang Billy Joel’s “So It Goes.”  Ned Quartermaine and Olivia performed “Faith” by George Michael and Dillion Quartermaine did a David Bowie sone, “Modern Love.”  The show ended with “Hallelujah” sung by the nurses.

Image result for stranger things lip syncMore musical news… Lip Sync Battle had a great episode this week as the four boys from Stranger Things competed.  Normally, the format of the show is two celebrities performing two songs, but this time we had four celebs doing one song each.  Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Finn Wolfhard, and Noah Schnapp all pulled out the stops for the episode, but Caleb McLaughlin came away with the show title after he performed I’m Bad,” a song originally performed by Lip Sync Battle host L.L. Cool J.

Image result for Ray dies on Fargo episode 6Fargo pulled out a serious surprise this week as, after a confrontation between brothers, Ray wound up dead, bleeding out from a glass wound to the neck, caused, accidentally, by his brother Emmett.  It was a seriously dramatic moment for the series, which as truly picked up over the last few weeks.  I had begun to feel for Ray and I was getting behind him as the main hero of the story, despite basically being behind some of the early episode shenanigans.  His death was tough to watch and Emmett’s reaction was very well done.  Ewan McGregor is bringing some great work here.

Image result for i'm dying up here episode 1I watched the premiere episode of “I’m Dying Up Here,” the new stand-up comic show that follows a group of comedians during the late 70’s in the comedy clubs.  Now, I was not blown away by this, but I have to say, I was watching it Sunday morning while I was still a little tired so I dozed through much of it.  It also had a surprise death (this one being death by bus—one of LOST’s favorite techniques).  The series is produced by Jim Carrey, so it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.  The atmosphere was perfectly rendered.

Image result for american gods shadow's dead wifeAmerican Gods was all flashback this week, showing us how Shadow’s dead wife, Laura Moon (née McCabe) wound up sitting in Shadow’s room, waiting for him.  It had some very funny moments, but it was missing the presence of Mr. Wednesday.  It did give us all the back story we needed to know about Laura and her relationship with her “puppy,” Shadow.

Image result for gotham season three episode 19Gotham continues to have an exceptionally excellent season three as we are in full race to head to the showdown with the Court of Owls.  This episode brought us back with The Judge, as well as saw a tentative truce between Riddler and Penguin.  The off beat relationship between Oswald and Edward is one of the  season’s biggest successes, so I was glad to see them working together once again, no matter how temporary it would be.  We are also moving closer to the creation of one Dark Knight in the world of Gotham as Bruce Wayne is being “trained” by the mysterious man who may (or may not) be Ra’s al Ghul.

Image result for deMayos from SpeechlessI caught back up with the last three episodes of Speechless on ABC this week.  The show is charming and really shows one of the most supportive families on TV.  The DiMeo clan have all kinds of negative qualities about them, but they really love one another. The first season has shown some great growth for these characters, and dealt with the disability of JJ in a real and non-cliched manner.  Ray is a breakout character and Maya is the tornado mother that we all wish we had.  That mother that would have your back no matter what.  Minnie Driver is brilliant here and I hope she gets recognized for the season.  Micah Fowler, as JJ DiMeo, is exceptional as the young boy with cerebral pulsey.  He emotes as much as any of the actors in the show and he has great chemistry with Kenneth.  This is an enjoyable half hour show with more heart than you would expect.

Next week sees the return of House of Cards on Tuesday as well as Whose Line is it Anyway on Monday.

Keep watching!

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Good day all.

Image result for Twin peaksTonight is the night.  On Showtime, Twin Peaks makes it triumphant return in a two hour debut.  The 18 episode mini-series picks up where the classic ABC series left off 26 years ago.  I am so excited for Twin Peaks that, despite having to miss American Gods and the last two hours of WWE Payback PPV, I will be front and center for the revival.  I can’t wait for that damn good coffee and pie, the return of Agent Dale Cooper and the rest of the massive cast.  It is happening again.

Meanwhile, we had several season finales last week, each bringing something interesting to the table.  First, last Sunday, Once Upon A Time came to a conclusion for the season in what should have really been a series finale.  With Jennifer Morrison leaving, the series came to what could only be defined as a happily-ever-after ending after they defeated the Black Fairy and prevented Rumple and Belle’s son from killing Emma.  Then, we had a strange time jump where everything seemed to become bizarrely familiar.  A little girl came to a door (room 815 by the way, hello LOST!!!) and knocked on it.  A grown up Henry answered only to have the little girl claim to be his daughter and that he needed to come with her to help save his family.  This, of course, hearkens back to the series premiere when Henry literally did the exact same thing with his mother Emma.  OUAT has been renewed for season 7, but the ending to season 6 really felt like a perfect ending.  I hope they do not spoil what could have been a magnificent way to go out for the sake of one more season.

Image result for agents of shield season 4 finaleAgents of SHIELD came to an end as Ghost Rider jumped over to Coulson so he could finish off AIDA once and for all.  Apparently, Coulson made some kind of deal with the devil to temporarily house the Spirit of Vengeance.  What that deal is, we do not know.  But Agents of SHIELD was not done yet with the questions that they left us pondering.  As the team was made to look as if they had attacked Talbot, they were fugitives.  But they had done enough running so they waited together to be arrested.  Mack had returned safely from the Framework after his daughter, sadly, disappeared.  Robbie Reyes returned to some alternate dimension (by opening up with his chain what looked like a sling ring pathway from Doctor Strange).  Then, after they were taken by some mysterious group who were (clearly) not he police, Coulson ended up somewhere in space.  Is this setting up S.W.O.R.D.?  Or will they have something to do with Avengers: Infinity War?  Who knows.  All I know for sure is that Agents of SHIELD once again brought the goods for a season finale.

Image result for scandal season 6 finaleScandal also had a season finale this week, but I feel considerably less positive about this one.  The truth behind the Frankie Vargas murder was once again revealed and once more was changed.  Now it was in the hands of Frankie’s wife Luna Vargas, who was manipulated into doing it by Cyrus.  Yep.  That is right.  We came back to the beginning again.  So, what happened?  Why, Olivia and Jake went to Luna with the evidence and forced her to take some pills that would kill her and make it look like she had a heart attack, of course.  Wait…what?  Olivia forced Luna to kill herself?  That is right.  Then, Olivia and Cyrus had a meeting confirming that the two of them know what the other was responsible for and neither seemed to upset. The white hat is officially gone.  Lots happened here from Mellie’s inauguration to the return of Olivia’s mother (tick tock).  The attempt to make Eli and crazy Maya heroic is just sickening.  But, instead of making them the heroes, the show has made Olivia just like them.  She is power hungry and willing to do anything.   She has reformed B16 and has taken the reigns for herself.   I do not know where the white hat wearing gladiator went, but I miss her.  This Olivia… well, I wish she would go off with Fitz and drive him to drink.  Or maybe the entire Pop clan could head off to go fishing off the coast of some third world country and grab control there.  Scandal is in desperate need of some heroes again.

Image result for designated survivor season 1 finaleDesignated Survivor came to a more happy ending with President Kirkman showing the Scandal crew that you can still be a good person and run the country (at least for now).  The mole inside the White House was captured and President Kirkman addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time since the bomb that made him the Commander in Chief went off.  It was a nice way to bookend the season, but I was becoming somewhat frustrated with the inability of the FBI to catch anyone in connection to the conspiracy.  Thankfully, they finally did, although the main villain behind the conspiracy escaped and now has all the state secrets ready to do some dastardly plan next season.  This series really could use Jack Bauer to arrive and do some work.  I do love President Kirkman, despite how unlikely someone like him could be a president.  It has a good message for the country that is tired of all the divisiveness.

Image result for rock and Hanks 2020Saturday Night Live also came to the season finale, hosted by “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson.  The Rock continued to show how much talent he has as he went from skit to skit and just knocked it out of the park.  He also had a joke in the opening monologue about him running for president in 2020 and he brought out Tom Hanks as his running mate.  The best part of the bit was that it was a joke… or was it?  It played like a bit, but it had a realness to it.  SNL also featured Alec Baldwin in the cold open performing “Hallelujah” as Donald Trump.  Baldwin was joined by all of the people who played parts of Trump’s administration, including Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway and Scarlett Johannson as Ivanka.  Look close and you may see the Russian flag lapel pin on Baldwin.  Subtle.  Word is that Baldwin will be hanging up his platinum wig after this season and, if that is true, this is a fitting send off.

 

Image result for DIY Takeover ChicagoSaturday night saw the next NXT Takeover: Chicago special on the WWE Network.  These shows never fail to bring the goodness and really raise the bar to a level that the pay per view the next night could not possibly reach.  On the Takeover show, there was a possible Match of the Year candidate as Pete Dunne defeated Tyler Bate for the WWE United Kingdom Championship.  This match was just epic and went back and forth, completely engulfing the arena with emotion.  Tyler Bate pulled out the fastest airplane spin I have ever seen and the WWE brought Jim Ross out to do commentary on the match, making it feel that much more special.  We also saw an amazing ladder match where the Authors of Pain defeated DIY, and then we saw DIY member Tommaso Ciampa turn on his partner and close friend Johnny Gargano in a brutal beat down post match.  This was made even worse after Gargano took a brutal ladder shot to the face for his friend, shoving Ciampa out of the way of the blow.  The event was wonderful from top to bottom and, again, set the bar really high for Payback.

Image result for fargo season threeI will also say that I was pretty engrossed with this week’s Fargo.  I have not been as enamored with Fargo season three as much as I have been in the past, but this week got me.  I am really starting to get into the story and I want Varga and his men to pay for their crimes.  I am also finally starting to feel for Emmett and Nikki.  Hopefully, Fargo, which I have loved over the last two seasons, will be able to continue this momentum with me and really pick up the pace for the remainder of the season.

Not too long now until Twin Peaks!  Awesome.  See you next week!  Happy viewing!

 

 

 

The TV Week That Was

spoilers

Welcome back to the TV Week That Was.  And this week brought about a rush of renewals and cancellations of some of our favorite shows.

Image result for jennifer morrison leavingLeading the pack for renewals included Agents of SHIELD, Scandal (renewed for a final season 7), Once Upon A Time (though without Jennifer Morrison), Designated Survivor, Flash, Supergirl, Supernatural, American Gods, Big Bang Theory, Lucifer, Arrow among others.  While the other end of the spectrum saw the cancellation of such shows as American Crime, Dr. Ken, Last Man Standing, Secrets and Lies, Blacklist, Powerless among others.

Image result for once upon a time musicalSpeaking of Once Upon a Time, this past week saw the huge musical episode of the long running series, and I loved it.  In my mind it was so much better than the much ballyhooed Flash musical episode that it was not even comparable.  While Flash had a couple of good songs, OUAT had a great song almost every time.  The song by Captain Hook, “Revenge is Gonna Mine” is just really awesome.  Each song had a different style and the actors from the show did an admirable job singing.  Sure the Evil Queen had the weakest of the singing voices here, but her song was tailored to her strengths.  Plus, it ended with a beautiful Captain Hook-Emma wedding just moments before the new curse is enacted.  This was one of the best episodes of Once Upon a Time that they have had for years.

Image result for american gods episode 2American Gods.  Whoa.  This show has become one of the best on television in a very short period of time.   When Shadow playing checkers is one of the most tumultuous moments of the show, you know you are on to something.  Cloris Leachman was perfect as  Zorya Vechernyaya.  Gilligan Anderson as Media, appearing to Shadow through a television screen as Lucy Ricardo was a truly surreal moment for Shadow and for all of the viewers.  Slavic god of the dead, night and chaos, Czernobog was creepy as hell as played by Peter Stormare (with that blood dripping off the hammer) and we started the episode with Mr. Nancy, played by Orlando Jones,  aboard a slave ship, talking the slaves into a violent revolt.  And doing it in the most outlandish suit possible.  This has been one fo the standout shows on Starz in awhile.

Image result for olivia pope's mom scandalI really thought we were finally done with Papa Pope on Scandal. He was on the way out of town to retire to a happy life of fishing by himself.  I don’t know how that can happen since he assassinated the President-Elect of the United States, but I guess forgiveness is tantamount on Scandal.  Unfortunately, the return of his crazy ass wife as the REAL big bad of the season (you know… not Peus after all) forced the weak stars of the show call Eli back for his help.  Ugh.  The rest of the show was fun with a cool little bit with David dealing with a head in a box, trying to identify who the mysterious woman he was involved with truly was.

riverdale-season-1-photos (4)Riverdale ended with a bang, literally as Archie’s dad, Fred, wound up bleeding out on the floor of Pop’s in Archie’s arms after taking a bullet from an intended robber.  It was a dramatic moment after an episode full of finality.  Jughead was given a Southside Serpents jacket by the Serpents, as a way of saying that they have his back- especially since J.P. did not name names to get out of his charges.  Archie had to punch through the ice on a frozen river to save suicidal Cheryl, who had fallen through the ice.  Archie and Veronica had sex, and Jughead and Betty said that they loved each other.  Betty gave a very cliched speech at the formal dance that was definitely the weak part of the show.  We discovered about Betty’s secret brother that had been given up for adoption.  Is he J.P’s son?

Image result for fargo season 3 episode wolfFargo has continued to be a decent show that is not a match for the last two seasons.  I have enjoyed the work of Ewan McGregor though, playing the brothers Stussy.  This episode though was intriguing with the “Peter and the Wolf” soundtrack playing behind with narration by Billy Bob Thornton.  However, I must say, Fargo had the most revolting puke scene and I just hate puke scenes.  I did not feel well the rest of the morning after watching that.  However, I have really enjoyed the story with Chief Gloria Burgle (especially how none of the sensors seem to pick her up, including the automatic faucets in the restroom.  Burgle seems to be starting to focus in on the appropriate areas in her murder investigation.

Image result for agents of shield ghost rider returnsGuess who showed back up on Agents of SHIELD right at the very end of this episode?  Yep, that is Robbie Reyes, aka The Ghost Rider.  Looks like Ghost Rider has returned to help the agents end the threat of Aida, who has gained not only a new human body, but also a variety of powers that might just make her unstoppable.  And with Fitz basically telling her that there would never be anywhere in his heart for anyone except for Simmons, Aida did not take that well.

Next week brings us several season finales:  Agents of SHIELD, Designated Survivor, Once Upon a Time.  But the biggest news for next week…. TWIN PEAKS returns Sunday on Showtime!

The TV Week That Was

 

 

spoilers

Welcome back to the TV Week That Was.  This past week had some intriguing shows, but it honestly felt a little down after last week’s big finales of Bates Motel and Feud.

Image result for american godsWe saw the debut of the Neil Gaimann adapted series American Gods on Starz.  The show was very entertaining, extremely brutal and bloody.  You couldn’t help but become engaged in this story as we see Shadow Moon in prison, preparing for his release.  Unfortunately, bad news preceded the release as he found out that his wife died in a car crash.  Related imageThis bit of bad news led to an early release and caused Shadow a lot of problems trying to get back for the funeral.  Along the way, he ran into the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who offers him a job.  Mr. Wednesday is played wonderfully by Ian McShane.  I am looking forward to follow this show on Starz.

Image result for riverdale killerThe biggest reveal last week confirms the long held belief that if your hair turns grey overnight, you are definitely going to/or have murdered one of your children.  Riverdale, in an obvious homage to Twin Peaks’ Leland Palmer, revealed that Jason Blossom’s killer was no other than his father Clifford Blossom.  We still have not had a complete reason for the patriarch of the Blossom clan to have shot his son in the head, but there should be some further details in this week’s finale of Riverdale.  We did find out that the Blossoms and the Coopers had an unexpected connection.  They were related.  The fact that Jason and Polly were truly cousins may have played in with dear old dad’s decision.  Plus, please be careful of those #Maplesyruplandgrabs.  (Thanks Sasha and Roth).

Image result for tv talk collider liveOn YouTube this week at Collider, we had a special week of TV Talk.  Collider TV Talk, which has aired taped on Monday nights, went live each day all week long.  The show started at 10 AM PST and was hosted by Josh Macuga.  David Griffin was also on each episode as was the lovely Sinéad de Vries.  Also on this week, though not on every episode, was Emma Fyffe, John Rocha and Jason Inman.  The week of live episodes was a trial to see how it went, and for the future, TV Talk will return to once a week.  However, perhaps they will decide that there is more TV to talk about than on Monday nights.

Image result for scandal season 6 the box imagesScandal brought its season long conspiracy crashing down this week with the bullet to the head of villainous Theodore Peus.  The show has truly gone out of its way to make a hero out of Pappa Pope, Eli Pope, that I find that pretty sickening.  He did assassinate Frankie Vargas.  The whole “We’re gonna send you Olivia’s head in a box” just never felt like sufficient motivation to scare Rowan and make him into such a wussy.  And I am so tired of his constant sermonizing.  In a season where things started so high, I found myself grimacing more than smiling at Scandal recently.

Image result for agents of shield escape from the frameworkMuch more satisfying was Agents of SHIELD as the main crew (or at least most of them) escaped from the Framework this week back to the real world.  I say most of them because Mack decided that he was staying in the Framework when he realized that his daughter would not be waiting for him in the real world.  It was a bittersweet moment for the agent and a strong performance from Henry Simmons.  We also had a great Coulson-May moment as this pair were able to reunite in both worlds.  In the Framework, Coulson is shot and comments on how it feels familiar.  Of course, in true Agents of SHIELD fashion, not everything is perfect, as Aida also found herself back in the real world in a non-robot body and TELEPORTED away from the group with Fitz.  Teleported???  What?  Rumors circulated this week that Agents of SHIELD will be renewed for a fifth season, and, if that s true, it is welcome news because this is consistently one of Marvel’s best shows.

Image result for fargo season three LAFargo had a different style of episode this week as Gloria Burgle headed to Los Angeles to continue to investigate the strange backstory of her “step”-father who had been murdered.  He apparently was, at one time, a sci-fi writer named Thaddeus Mobley.  Though I do like Gloria a lot, and I enjoyed this episode (especially with its weird animated breaks), I have been somewhat disappointed with Fargo so far in season three.  This episode had no purpose to it, as we know who killed Gloria’s step father and none of this background info seems to have any reason to be included.  Now, maybe I am wrong and it will fold back into the story, but this felt like a real wasted opportunity.  And why was Ray Wise there?  I hope Fargo picks up as the season continues.

We officially bid farewell to Tracy Quartermaine on General Hospital and we did see her reunite with Luke Spencer in a coffee house somewhere in Europe (Amsterdam, perhaps).  We did not hear anything from Luke, but the show played up the fate aspect as their meeting was completely coincidental.  It makes me kind of happy to think that Luke and Tracy are together and having adventures somewhere in the world.

Image result for once upon a time musicalTonight is the Once Upon a Time musical episode.  I hope it will be better than the Flash one from earlier this year.  I plan on watching.  There still has never been a musical episode of TV better than “Once More With Feeling”, the classic episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I still listen to that soundtrack on my phone.

We got an official teaser trailer for the Twin Peaks revival- 25 years later.  The Showtime show is just two weeks away and I am very excited to once again return to the oddball little town.

 

Have fun watching!