Category: Weekly Reviews

 

I keep wanting to call Don Lemon “little Donnie Darko” because it sounds insulting and I have no respect for him.

But it also sounds racist.

So I’d best not call him “little Donnie Darko.”

 

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TV Update

 

 

Shows I Hate to Love

 

There are good reasons to shun two of Netflix’s latest offerings, Dark and season two of The Crown. I have issues with both shows. But I watched all ten episodes of the German mystery Dark and am well into the second season of The Crown. They are both very, very well made. If you begin watching either of them, you are likely to get hooked — despite yourself.

 

 

Why I dislike Dark

 

It’s a time-travel fantasy show, and I generally like time-travel shows only when they are light and fun, like Back to the Future or Time After Time. As far as current science knows, time travel is not possible, and therefore the entire premise is silly. Yet Dark takes itself oh-so-seriously.

And there are a lot of characters. The show takes place in 2019, and in 1986, and in 1953. You must learn the names of characters in 2019, and of the same characters 33 years earlier, and of the same characters 33 years before that. The various characters in 1953, 1986, and 2019 are all played by different actors. And they are German actors, so they are unfamiliar.

The myriad characters all have complex relationships with one another. Once you finally feel comfortable with Ulrich in 2019, for example, you must learn what his father looked like in 1953, or whom Ulrich was dating in 1986, or which children he sired by which woman.

During your struggle to read subtitles and unravel scores of relationships between unfamiliar actors, you must also keep an eye out for clues to the central mystery: Who is kidnapping and killing kids in a small German village? We didn’t have to work this hard during Stranger Things.

 

Why I kept watching Dark

 

If you accept the silly premise, it’s an otherwise intelligent show. The cinematography and art direction are striking. The soundtrack, which alternates between ‘80s retro and some kind of eerie, modern, German contribution, is cool. The gloomy setting and mood are also cool.

 

Why I dislike The Crown

 

Why on Earth should any of us give a rat’s ass about the problems of rich, privileged, self-pitying royals? We shouldn’t. So what if their life isn’t trouble-free? Let them eat cake.

 

Why I keep watching The Crown

 

Living the life of a British royal is a seductive fantasy. If you can divorce your thoughts from the fact that these people actually exist, which isn’t always easy to do, this handsome, well-produced show will suck you in with its world cruises, slaves servants on hand to cater to your every whim, and that torrid sex scene between stars John Lithgow and Claire Foy.

OK, just kidding about that last one. Maybe.

 

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Uhhh … who?

 

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This was our prediction from a year ago:

 

 

OK, OK, so our timing was a little bit off. But still ….

 

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These are apples:

 

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As far as I’m concerned, there is only one “celebrity chef” – the man pictured above.

The rest of these guys are just cooks on TV.

 

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I just finished season three of Broadchurch, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Hardy and Miller (above) are the most entertaining crime-fighting duo since Blomkvist and Salander in the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I’ve softened my view of Hardy (David Tennant), of whom I said in my original review: “My problem is with the lead detective.  … this guy is so relentlessly sour and unpleasant that I find myself sympathizing with anyone he encounters — including all of the murder suspects.”

Hey, this is The Grouchy Editor. I can’t hold a grudge against a fellow grouch.

 

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I wonder if Queen Elizabeth caught this episode of Suits, featuring her future granddaughter-in-law.

 

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I have a hard time shedding tears for the Big Shots losing their jobs over sex scandals. When I lose my job, or when you lose your job, that’s a problem. When Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose get axed, they lick their wounds while sitting on piles of cash.

 

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I suspect that the best, smartest people in America are people you never see on television, most likely because they avoid going on television.

 

In other words, turn off the TV because there is hope for all of us.

 

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Yeah. What the lady above said. In this article.

 

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It was fun to see Laura Ingraham reunite legendary 1950s comedy team The Buffoon Brothers on her Wednesday-night show. That’s Bill on the left, and Bob on the right.

Who could forget the boys’ classic routine, “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”?

 

 

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Thank you, Charlie Rose, Louis C.K., and Harvey Weinstein, for affording all Americans the opportunity to mentally picture you as you step naked out of the shower.

It’s one thing to see handsome young movie stars do nude scenes, but what everyone’s been secretly craving is the sight of flabby, shriveled, middle-aged celebrities like you in the altogether.

 

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You Be the Judge

Jeanine Pirro has been railing against evil, powerful men who can’t keep their willies in their pants.

Here’s a question. Which do you think poses more of a danger to society: a 75-year-old creep prancing nude in front of his co-worker, or a woman driving 119 miles per hour on a public road?

 

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Just like everyone else in America – admit it; including you – I don’t watch many Westerns. I probably overdosed on horse operas when I was a kid, when TV was saturated with Gunsmoke and Bonanza and the like.

But I’m watching Godless on Netflix, and I like what I’ve seen (five of seven episodes). In 2017, viewers have something we didn’t back in the days of Marshal Dillon and Ben Cartwright: high-definition, large-screen televisions. When the drama dwindles on a Western like Godless (it rarely does), you can always soak in the stunning shots of sunset in the New Mexico desert.

Godless isn’t the new Lonesome Dove, but it does have colorful characters, some memorable scenes, and a good, old-fashioned Gunfight at the O.K. Corral vibe.

 

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I don’t know. It seems to me that Senator Al Frankenstien was just upholding a longstanding family tradition when he reached out to protégé Leeann Tweeden. For example:

 

Henry Frankenstein reaches out to his protégé:

 

 

Boris Karloff reaches out to his protégé:

 

 

Al Frankenstien reaches out to his protégé:

 

 

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Nude model Leeann Tweeden claims “Fish Lips” Franken behaved inappropriately. I call her “nude model Leeann Tweeden” because I’m a bit tired of hearing her called “radio host Leeann Tweeden.” Yes, she’s a radio host. But she’s a radio host because she was a Playboy model first.

 

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Sex Scandals Checklist:

 

Hollywood –

Media –

Politicians –

 

Still to come – musicians, CEOs, and professional athletes! It’s going to be an entertaining winter!

 

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Quote of the Week:

 

“We have to stop letting five self-righteous Millennials at The Huffington Post bully everybody into having opinions that they don’t really hold.”

– Bill Maher in an anti-groupthink, anti-political correctness rant

 

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People on My TV Who Need to Go Away: 

 

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The knucklehead (above) from Toujeo commercials.

Listen up, happy boy: You come dancing and prancing like that through my neighborhood, you’re gonna find out what it’s like to have your pants filled with eggs.

     

 

Toady to fat cats Kevin Brady (above). How much did the rich spend to buy your soul?

 

 

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Most outrageous sex scandal so far? I nominate the clowns in Washington, our illustrious “leaders” who have been quietly siphoning off millions of taxpayer dollars to pay hush money to their victims.

 

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One of the benefits of not being a particularly sexually desirable person, i.e., not being young and pretty, is that you don’t have to worry about landing on the radar of creepy old politicians like George Bush the elder and Joe Biden.

If I was a kid or a young woman, I’d be more terrified of these geezers than of the monsters in House of Frankenstein … er, Frankenstien.

 

 

© 2010-2017 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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Tucker’s Face

 

They say that women who use Botox tend to have frozen, perpetual smiles. The weird thing about Tucker Carlson is his frozen, perpetual scowl.

Tucker’s guest could be discussing nuclear warfare, or his guest could be describing how to tie a shoelace – Tucker has this expression:

 

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Why am I reminded of prehistoric man?

 

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Here is a little quiz:

 

Scenario 1:  Donald Trump plays golf with a bunch of fellow millionaires and billionaires, his buddies and peers. They tease him about whether, now that he’s supposedly the most powerful man on the planet, he can do anything for them.

Scenario 2:  Donald Trump, after downing a plate of Kentucky Fried Chicken, meets a group of unemployed coal miners. They ask him about whether, now that he’s supposedly the most powerful man on the planet, he can do anything for them.

Question:  When Donald lies in bed at night and contemplates his vast power, which of the two groups do you think he would more like to please?

 

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Dumb Quote of the Week

 

“Our stomachs are empty … Survivor is no joke. I mean, we’re not joking when we say if we don’t get food today we might die.”Survivor contestant Ashley

 

Sure, because the CBS camera crew and the medical team stationed just a few feet away from you – not to mention the network’s legal department — would like nothing more than to watch you starve to death.

 

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Apparently U.S. and Japanese leaders are engaged in some kind of competition to see who can look more foolish in public.

As you might recall, in 1992, George Bush puked on the lap of his host, the prime minister of Japan.

 

 

 

Not to be outdone by Bush, last week, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slipped on a political banana peel, doing this comical back flip while golfing with Trump.

 

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I was hoping to find a little escape from all the bad news in America, and so I surfed to The Hollywood Reporter to find a review of Murder on the Orient Express.

This is what greeted me on the main page:

 

 

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Rob Lowe’s cockiness wouldn’t last long.

 

Poor Hollywood. As if new sex scandals every day weren’t enough, its favorite sports team went and lost the World Series. Poor Hollywood. (Tee hee hee!)

 

Mila Kunis got knocked off her perch.

 

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I was a bit harsh last week when I called Stranger Things overhyped and mediocre. I stand by the overhyped part, but after watching the final two episodes of the second season, I think “mediocre” is a tad cruel.

I can see why kids would love this show. I probably would have loved it when I was a kid. It has a lot of fun characters and some memorable scenes.

From a jaded-adult standpoint, it’s a story that’s littered with ridiculous episodes. But it’s mostly entertaining.

So I’m revising my opinion, just a bit:

 

Kid Grade:  A

Jaded-Adult Grade:  B-

 

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This photo of a previously unknown woman named Anok Yai went viral last week:

 

 

Geez … how could it not?

 

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(Scroll down for an explanation of these breasts)

 

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The hell with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Take a look at what these gals were up to in 1944:

 

 

 

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Here’s the thing about an awful lot of modern TV shows and movies: They are often intelligent, socially relevant, well-acted, well-shot, hip, snarky, suspenseful, gory, sarcastic, or shocking.

But there’s one adjective I rarely use for the new stuff, and that’s “enjoyable.”

I can admire a show like Mindhunter, and I can learn things from a series like The Deuce. But I’m not sure I can say I “enjoy” either of them.

That’s why I like Rosehaven, Detectorists, and Doc Martin – they are enjoyable.

You might have noticed that those three shows have something else in common: None of them are American.

 

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The cameramen at CBS seem to have settled on their favorite Survivor contestant. This year, it’s Alexandrea “Ali” Elliott, pictured below and at the top of this post.

 

 

 

 

 

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I think I speak for all Americans when I say we are grateful that there is yet another country – or region, or whatever the hell it is – in the world of which we had previously given absolutely no thought, but of which we are now expected to become well-versed.

 

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Coming Soon to a Headline Near You:

 

Media Investigates Senate Committee Tasked with Investigating Investigator Robert Mueller

 

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Looking for something scary to watch on Halloween? Something that isn’t overhyped and mediocre, like Netflix’s Stranger Things?

 

 

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Why Women Scare Me

 

The Brides of Dracula was on TCM this week. I first saw this 1960 Hammer Films classic when I was a kid, and it made a lasting impression. Obviously. I wouldn’t be writing about it today if it hadn’t.

If there is a better opening 30 minutes featuring frightening women on film, I’m not sure what it might be. When I saw this thing as a kid, I was mesmerized by the unholy duo of Martita Hunt and Freda Jackson as the Baroness Meinster and her longtime servant Greta, respectively. I remain mesmerized.

 

Jackson, center, and Hunt, right, minding their manners

 

Hunt, still minding her manners

 

Hunt, forgetting herself

 

Jackson helping a friend make her societal debut

 

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Speaking of women in vampire movies … Alyssa Milano is in the news again. Did you know that Alyssa once starred in a vampire movie? I didn’t either.

Normally, the vampire sinks his teeth into his victims. In this movie, the vampire sinks something else into Alyssa:

 

 

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I am digging the latest Hot New Thing in Hollywood: the drone shot. Just about all recent TV shows and movies make use of it, and for good reason: soaring, breathtaking views of forests, mountains, skyscrapers.

 

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“Dilly dilly” — Bud Light

 “Badda book badda boom” — Choice Hotels

 

I used to think that jingles were the most annoying thing about television commercials. But that was before someone decided that Americans find baby-talk highly amusing.

 

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It’s a tad tiresome listening to talking heads like Fox’s Neil Cavuto defend tax cuts for the rich by claiming that the “well to do” (Cavuto’s preferred term, along with “successful”) pay a disproportionate share of taxes.

OK, Neil, but you always leave out the part about the rich having a disproportionate share of the world’s wealth.

 

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Curb Your Enthusiasm – The good news is that it’s great to see the old gang again. The bad news is that, at least through the first two episodes, it appears that the writers have lost their edge.

Then again, I thought the same thing a few years ago after I binge-watched the entire series; it went downhill after the first few seasons.

 

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Apparently, there was some fuss about film producer Harvey Weinstein this week. I turned to Google to learn more, and this popped up:

 

 

Doesn’t seem so bad. When times are tough, don’t we all just fly to Europe for sex?

OK, so that’s a lame attempt at humor. But since Kimmel and Fallon and Saturday Night Live are all afraid to do Weinstein jokes, somebody has to pick up the slack.

 

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You turn on a football game to enjoy a few concussions and … aarrgghh, politics.

You turn to a Matt Damon movie to enjoy some mindless violence and … aarrgghh, politics.

Ditto for sitcoms, talk shows, and the Internet.

It’s to the point that if you want to absorb some good fiction, you have to turn to cable news.

 

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Here’s an entertaining show you haven’t heard of: Rosehaven.

You haven’t heard of this sitcom because it airs on SundanceTV. And because it’s an Australian production set in … Tasmania. And unless you live across the pond, you’re not familiar with its stars.

The stars are Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor, pictured above, who play best buds running a real estate business in small-town Tasmania. Yes, Tasmania. It’s a bit like Doc Martin in tone — not a whole lot of belly-laughs, but near-constant smiles and chuckles — and the chemistry between Pacquola and McGregor is priceless.

McGregor is especially funny, although I can only understand every third word he says. I’m not sure if what he delivers is a heavy accent or a speech impediment, but no matter.

 

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“Bump Stocks”

 

In light of this week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, it’s a huge relief to see all of the attention finally being paid to bump stocks. I’ve been saying this for years: If this country can ever get a handle on its bump stocks, all of our problems will be solved.

 

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Survivor is back, which means that CBS cameramen are once again very happy.

 

Alexandrea Elliott displays her assets

 

 Chrissy Hofbeck, 46, opens up for CBS

 

What’s that you say? You don’t care for these sexist photo captions? Hey, Hugh Hefner died, so someone has to carry on the time-honored tradition.

 

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My Minnesota Lynx won another basketball championship.

 

 

Alas, they still get no respect from Google, which opted to post this fake news:

 

 

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