Category: Weekly Reviews

More evidence of the decline of Western civilization:

 

 

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The media were aghast that an American president might utter the word “shithole” in a public forum. Classy Politico, for example, wouldn’t dream of exploiting such a vulgar term. From Politico’s Web site:

 

 

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TV Updates

 

 

Sometimes I get hooked on a show simply because I am entranced by the main characters. It doesn’t matter if they’re robbing a bank, or reading quietly in the library; I just want to see what they’re up to.

Fortunately for viewers of The End of the F***ing World, a delightfully eccentric Netflix import from Britain, the show’s writers are more than capable of finding interesting things for teenage runaways James and Alyssa (pictured above) to do — things like shoplifting, car theft, and offing serial killers.

 

 

Sure, it’s contrived. But God help me, I am once again watching (and enjoying) the crazy geezers on Better Late than Never.

 

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We’re thinking that the presdent of Fox Business Network should consider repatrating some funds to hire a proofreader. It’s something dimmocratic the could do.

 

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Good commercial:

 

 

I loathe that GEICO green lizard, but I’ll have to admit that a lot of the company’s other spots, like the sloth bit pictured above, make me chuckle.

 

Bad commercial:

 

 

Good lord, could Xfinity have found an athlete with less personal charisma than shuffling, mumble-mouthed bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor, pictured above? Not “lookin’ good,” Elana.

 

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What the hell is it with all of these weird-ass, sex-related confessions and rumors featuring Michael Douglas?

Is the dude trying to tell us something?

 

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OK, sure. We could do that.

 

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Bad Headlines

 

 

Yes, and yes again. Trump and his Republican pals need to stop citing the fucking stock market when crowing about “the economy.”

 

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Trump might be nuts, but CNN seems to be right there with him. Brooke Baldwin freaked out when a guy said “boobs” on her show, but on New Year’s Eve she boasted to a drunk Don Lemon that “my balls are bigger than your balls.”

Lemon, viewers might recall, once complimented Kathy Griffin on her “nice rack.” And then last week, we got CNN’s Randi Kaye laughing and fondling a pot-filled bong on live TV.

Brian Williams, when informed about Baldwin’s “big balls” declaration, assured anyone within earshot that his enormous testicles are listed in the Guinness World Records.

 

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Let me see if I have this straight: Tobacco taxes go up every 15 minutes, but liquor taxes, which haven’t gone up in decades, are going down?

 

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Mark Steyn and Sebastian Gorka: How are these not the same guy?

 

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Formerly great show that is now merely a good show:

Curb Your Enthusiasm

 

Formerly great show that is still a great show:

Black Mirror

 

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Veteran character actor Paul Sorvino wants to pummel Harvey Weinstein for blacklisting Sorvino’s daughter, Mira.

The blacklisting makes no sense to us, either, because we took a look at Mira’s audition tape, presented below:

 

 

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That’s Elizabeth Montgomery, circa 1963. You can’t tell me that Hollywood babes of that generation weren’t the bomb.

 

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“The great thing about Netflix right now is that it’s like a catapult, because they just want content and lots of it. Do they care so much about the quality? Less about it, and they should keep their eye on that.” – director Ridley Scott

 

So, so many of the movies on Netflix suck. Netflix’s acquisitions team doesn’t seem to care if you shot a found-footage thriller in two hours on an iPhone in your back yard, they just want to air it.

The real reason to subscribe to Netflix is to discover gems that would have been unavailable 15 years ago – especially foreign movies and series. Like La Casa de Papel (pictured above and below), an exciting new series from Spain. It’s a bit like Die Hard, but with empathy for the bad guys and the good guys.

It’s a cops-and-robbers show with an implausible plot, but paced and directed with such pizzazz that you don’t really care.

 

 

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It’s December 30, 2017, and I am two-thirds through Magpie Murders, and I hereby make the following prediction: Charles Clover is guilty of one of the murders.

 

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I live in a state (Minnesota) where some people boast that they enjoy the cold weather. These people are either a) bundled under so many layers of clothing that they are “outdoors” in theory only, or b) lying.

I wouldn’t worry about terrorism if I was one of the fools braving cold temperatures to celebrate the New Year in Times Square. Studies have shown that when the weather is cold enough, even criminals tend to stay home. No, I wouldn’t worry about bombs. I’d worry about my mental health.

 

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I don’t know if it’s the insane political atmosphere of 2017, or if I’m just getting old, but lately I’ve been drawn to conspiracy-theory shows. Shows like Wormwood (CIA shenanigans), 911: Truth, Lies and Conspiracies (“truthers”) and Unacknowledged (UFOs and aliens and pretty much everything else you can think of).

Just remember: It’s true that you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

 

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She is a beauty. We’re looking forward to seeing the nude pictures once they hit the Internet.

 

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I watched part of Jupiter’s Darling (1955) on TCM, and now I know why we got the 1960s.

 

Although it must be said, the musical number in which a woman debates whether or not she’d like to be treated like one of a trainer’s elephants has a certain spunky charm.

 

 

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I am wondering which subject our government will keep hidden from us the longest: the Pentagon’s research on UFOs, or the list of congressmen who used taxpayer money to hush up their sex scandals.

 

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This photo of Hillary that was posted on Breitbart … you just know it’s gonna get photoshopped.

 

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Wormwood on Netflix

 

A mesmerizing docudrama about the shady doings of the CIA and its impact on one man’s family.

But it’s also a frustrating miniseries because, you know, CIA.

 

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Stupid Tweets

 

 

Oh, come now. Omaha isn’t the largest city, but it surely has theaters bigger than that.

 

 

Hmmm … must have been a pretty big freezer to make room for her and the dogs.

 

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grouchyeditor.com crooked pol

 

How come we aren’t hearing more about the secret fund that Congress set up to protect its members against sexual harassment claims?

Are the devious creeps in Washington hoping that we’ll eventually forget about it and the issue will just fade away?

 

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Today is December 16, 2017, and I have reached page 170 of the whodunit Magpie Murders. I hereby make this bold prediction:

Dr. Emilia Redwing dunit.

Well, she done at least one of the murders.

I did not cheat by looking ahead to the end of the book to find out whodunit.

 

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Fox’s Steve Hilton was either star-struck by guest Corey Lewandowski, or he’s still learning how to host an American cable-news show.

Either way, this gets our vote for Introduction of the Year:

 

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Do your part to help Tasmania’s economy: Watch Rosehaven (above) on Sundance.

 

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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.

 

 

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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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