Category: Weekly Reviews

 

Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

 

The problem wasn’t that Wolf skewered Trump and other Republicans, because they’re all fair game. The problem wasn’t that her jokes weren’t funny; some were and some weren’t. No, the problem is that she only attacked one side.

Here are a few targets that escaped Wolf’s attention: Tom Brokaw, Joy Reid, and James Comey, all of whom were in the news and all of whom are eminently target-worthy.

 

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“The Swedish four-piece announced on Instagram that they had recorded two new songs for a project in which members of the band will perform as computer-generated avatars … the band had been digitally scanned and “de-aged” to look like they did in 1979, when they performed their third and final tour.”

 

Probably a good idea to come back as avatars – unless Agnetha’s butt still looks like this:

 

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I watched the first episode of Maigret, starring Mr. Bean himself as the famous French detective, and I wasn’t completely sold. Rowan Atkinson’s Maigret seemed too one-note, and that note was “glum.”

But now I’ve watched more episodes, and now I’m sold. If a British-produced cop show is even halfway decent, I’m the sort of Anglophile who almost always gets hooked.

 

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The Kanye and Donald bromance is making me angry — not because I give a crap that the two of them are BFFs, but because I am now going to have to listen to Kanye’s music to see what all the fuss is about. I am unfamiliar with Kanye’s music.

Sorry, but I’m old. I have become my father, who used to argue that The Beatles didn’t make music, they made noise.

 

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Speaking of things I’m not big on, I’m not a big fan of most “family” shows. They are usually sappy, sentimental, and insipid.

But I kind of dug Lost in Space. The characters are likable, the dialogue is often amusing and, if you don’t mind a few ridiculous plot elements, the story is fun.

 

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On the other hand, thumbs down to Netflix’s foreign imports Requiem and The Chalet, both of which put me to sleep.

 

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I’m sorry, but even decades ago (above), Barbara Bush looked like George’s mother.

 

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I don’t spend a great deal of time on YouTube, but I might start. It’s a bit like having a video version of the Smithsonian on your computer, with a treasure trove of historical interviews and clips.

Last night I was up way past my bedtime watching old videos of literary curmudgeon Fran Lebowitz (below), the New York wit who is woefully misguided on some issues but always, always amusing.

 

 

Of course, if you tire of highbrow interviews with the likes of William F. Buckley, James Baldwin, or Fran Lebowitz, you can always escape to YouTube’s other attraction: Jack Vale’s fart videos.

 

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And who might be the anti-Fran Lebowitz? I’d nominate this chick, who is finding her 15 minutes of fame by posting provocative pictures like this one:

 

 

But be warned: If you scroll Brenna Spencer’s Twitter or Instagram seeking more pics for your erotica collection, you will have to wade through roughly 12,000 annoying “fish face” photos.

 

 

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TV Updates

 

McMafia is a good-looking, globetrotting crime show on AMC. It takes itself very seriously. I watched about three episodes and the boredom was killing me, so I quit watching.

 

 

Killing Eve (above) is a good-looking, globetrotting crime show on BBC America. It’s a tongue-in-cheek thriller, never taking itself too seriously. I liked the first episode and intend to keep watching.

 

 

If I lived in the Middle East, I don’t know that I’d care to watch the Israeli drama Fauda (above). Its realistic depiction of Arab-Israeli conflict, complete with endless bombings and shootouts, might hit too close to home. But for the rest of us, this is a smart, top-notch thriller.

 

Season two of Netflix’s La Casa de Papel (a.k.a. Money Heist) is even sillier than season one. But it remains an absurdly entertaining show.

 

No matter what you think of its star, the Roseanne reboot is all-around good.

 

 

After reading a few early reviews of Netflix’s Lost in Space (above), I wasn’t expecting much. After watching the premiere episode, my first impression is: not an amazing show, but it’s reasonably entertaining. But WTF is the deal with black Judy and her white parents? Is Judy adopted? A genetic fluke of nature?

 

FX’s Trust and AMC’s The Terror continue to intrigue. And kudos to AMC for not rewriting history by casting women as members of the captain’s crew.

 

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Latest word that the media loves:  Granularity

 

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That’s quite a trick. Whenever I’m naked and afraid, the last thing in the world I can do is pop up.

 

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People complain about Donald Trump being constantly in the news.

Maybe, but whenever I tune in to the news, it seems to be the media covering the media.

 

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I don’t understand all the “surprise and outrage” over news that Mark Zuckerberg has been shopping Facebook users’ personal information.

Doesn’t anyone remember The Social Network?

 

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How to Write for a “News” Web Site:

 

A)  Your headline is the most important element. It needn’t have anything to do with the story beneath it, and it should be either misleading or sensational or both. Just get readers to click on the article.

B)  The story itself can be fairly straightforward and non-controversial. But at the end, the reporter must sum things up by inserting his or her own opinion about the issue in question. Preferably, the writer will be some snot-nosed kid straight out of college who knows next to nothing about real life. Readers aren’t smart enough to draw their own conclusions, so it is essential that said snot-nosed kid explain things for them.

C)  The above applies to both liberal sites like The Huffington Post and conservative sites like Breitbart.

 

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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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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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