Monthly Archives: March 2018

 

Roseanne Repercussions

 

There’s good news and bad news about the ratings success of the Roseanne reboot:

 

Good news:  By now, even coastal “elites” must be a bit tired of every new show being set in Southern California or, to a lesser extent, New York. Thanks to Hollywood, I feel like I’ve lived in every L.A. neighborhood and worked in every liberal profession. Enough already. We need some shows set in Enid, Oklahoma and Ames, Iowa. Maybe Roseanne will lead to that.

 

Bad news:  God help us if TV executives decide to shower the nation with heavily religious, “family”-oriented shows. In decades past, Hollywood knew how to make entertaining films that were both wholesome and smart. But just reading the titles of recent religious films on the big screen makes me feel like I’m being lectured.

 

Bottom line:  Deplorables who are hoping that the success of Roseanne might trigger an outpouring of empathy and understanding from TV types are in for disappointment. I’m afraid that for Hollywood execs to truly grasp the mindset of America’s heartland, they would have to do the one thing they are most loath to do: move there.

 

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Yes, we get that there’s a great deal of public interest in Stormy Daniels right now.

But it’s depressing to see a beloved channel like TCM jump on the bandwagon:

 

 

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I am liking both AMC’s The Terror (above) and FX’s Trust.  Ancient icebergs are featured in both shows:  Arctic landscapes on The Terror, and Donald Sutherland on Trust.

 

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Commercial Hell

 

grouchyeditor.com Marie Osmond

 

Marie Osmond has been telling Nutrisystem (weight loss) customers who are “busy” that she’s “been there.” Uh, no, you haven’t. You’ve been filthy rich your entire adult life, and rich people “busy” is not the same as middle-class “busy.”

 

grouchyeditor.com Mark

 

Dear “Mark,” the dude who’s so pleased with himself for quitting smoking in the Chantix commercials:

If you are so concerned about your health, Mark, maybe you should lose some weight. I’m surprised you can even see the menu past that double-chin of yours.

 

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Current events are so dire that when I hear reports that pieces of a Chinese space station could plummet to Earth and crash through the roof of my house this weekend, I consider it trivial entertainment news.

 

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by Agatha Christie

 

If you do an Internet search of “best Agatha Christie books,” you’ll find this novel in many top-five lists, along with Christie classics like And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I’m a bit surprised by that.

Pigs is a typical Hercule Poirot investigation, with the Belgian detective interviewing a series of murder suspects and then amazing everyone when he unmasks the killer. But unlike the classic mysteries listed above, Pigs doesn’t feature anything particularly clever or groundbreaking in the genre. It’s entertaining, but routine Christie.

 

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I never expected to say this, but after watching her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show (above), I’m glad Roseanne is back.

 

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TV Updates

 

   

Top: Counterpart; below: The Alienist

 

Counterpart and The Alienist are wrapping up their rookie seasons. Back in January, I thought Counterpart was the more likely keeper. But now …

I much prefer The Alienist. Counterpart is the more “intelligent” show, but it has a complicated plot, is awfully talky, and takes itself oh-so-seriously. The characters aren’t particularly likeable, and it’s not as much fun as it ought to be.

The Alienist has likeable characters, a simple plot, doesn’t take itself so seriously … and is a lot more fun.

 

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Awhile back I made fun of Steve Hilton’s less-than-polished delivery, but I wouldn’t make fun of his message. Expatriate Steve looks around D.C. and sees The Swamp everywhere – Republican and Democrat – and I’m afraid he’s right. Evidently, anyone who has money and power in this country is corrupt.

So keep up the great work, Steve — at least until we find out that you just got a big raise and now you’re corrupt, too.

 

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How to convince everyone that you’re one smart cookie:

 

When the conversation lags, just say this – “If there’s one thing the market hates, it’s uncertainty.”

 

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Woof!

 

Burt Reynolds is an American treasure. He made the talk-show rounds and was equal parts charming and nuts. Like in this clip.

 

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Here is Congressman Mike Conaway trying to pronounce a five-syllable word:

 

 

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On the one hand, Hillary is an older woman, and it isn’t very nice to make light of an older person’s physical frailty. However … it’s Hillary.

 

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I watched a movie called Bad Match about a dude who sleeps with lots of women.

Despite the subject matter, there was no nudity in the movie. I don’t know if it’s the “#MeToo” movement or what, but this is a disturbing trend.

So I looked up the star of Bad Match, Lili Simmons, and learned that her nude photos had been leaked.

And so if you watched Bad Match and were angered at the lack of nudity, here is Lili Simmons in her leaked nudes:

 

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California keeps talking about seceding from the rest of the country.

I’m not sure we can wait through that process, which could be long and costly. Why don’t we just boot them out right now?

 

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Let’s see if I have this straight: We’re supposed to feel sorry for this guy because he might not get his gigantic pension until he’s 57?

 

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Is there a more pretentious expression than “Who are you wearing”?

 

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I have a question for the “Time’s Up” and “#MeToo” people: What about women who deliberately use sex or sleep their way into plum movie roles or juicy job promotions? Do they get a free pass?

 

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Peak TV

 

There are too damn many shows. I will watch a police drama and then not recall if the bad guy did something in the show I am watching, or if it was another bad guy in another police drama I’ve been watching.

 

There are too damn many shows. I forget about some of them. I will kind of enjoy season one of a show, then it will return a year later and I’ll forget that it’s still on.

 

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Quote of the Week

 

“This is a typical case.” – some lawyer on Fox News discussing the porn star who is suing the president of the United States

 

The sad thing is, I didn’t even blink when I heard this.

 

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If embattled Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner needs a new career, I think he’d make an excellent Bond villain. I am reminded of this dude from Thunderball:

 

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Just like the bad guy in Thunderball, Jared is famous for generating gender confusion:

 

 

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All eyes will be on accused harasser Ryan Seacrest at Sunday’s Oscars, which is beyond annoying.

It figures that, after all these years, the one guy still clinging to American Idol is the “celebrity” with no discernible talent.

 

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Some wag on Uproxx made Oscar predictions based on having seen none of the nominated movies.

 

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Blank Panther? I’m guessing that’s an intentional typo.

 

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Wind River

 

A grieving father (Jeremy Renner) teams up with an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to find the killer of a Native American girl in Taylor Sheridan’s latest thriller.

Sheridan films are often scenic and boast dynamic action scenes. Yet there is something about his characters that leaves me unmoved. People we are clearly supposed to care about will have tragic back stories. Or they die violently. But I’m just not that invested in them. That’s how I felt about Hell or High Water, and that’s how I feel about Wind River.

Great Utah scenery, though. Release: 2017 Grade: B

 

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Bullet Head

 

I’m a sucker for a good animal-on-the-rampage thriller. The shark in Jaws, the St. Bernard in Cujo, and the tiger in Burning Bright – they are much more terrifying, to me, than a special-effects creature from outer space, or a demon in the closet, which are often more silly than pee-your-pants scary. I nearly wet myself several times during Bullet Head, in which a trio of thieves (John Malkovich, Adrien Brody, Rory Culkin) are stalked in an abandoned warehouse by a crazed mastiff. And, believe it or not, the movie is actually pro-dog. Release: 2017 Grade: B+

 

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Bad Match

 

Bad Match doesn’t have the budget or the big stars of Fatal Attraction, but it does share its famous predecessor’s thriller DNA and it delivers a neat twist ending. Harris (Jack Cutmore-Scott)  is a self-centered Millennial who spends his leisure time playing video games and banging girls he finds on a dating site – until he swipes right on the wrong target (Lili Simmons). Nothing particularly new in this karmic morality tale, but bad boy Harris’s descent into ruin is a thing to behold. Release: 2017 Grade: B

 

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