Category: Weekly Reviews

 

I keep seeing commercials for an intriguing new series on FX called Snowfall.

Just one problem: It’s not an intriguing new series on FX. It’s in its second year.

There are just too damn many shows on TV. Who can keep up?

 

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Hmmm … why does that plot sound so familiar?

 

 

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Quote of the Week:

 

“Every single time, he has fought like a rock for conservative legal principles.” — Justin Walker, former Kennedy clerk, commenting on one of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court candidates.

Since when did rocks become known for their fighting prowess?

 

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The hamsters on Big Brother can’t seem to keep their clothes on.

Here is fitness model Angela Rummans demonstrating ladylike poses while sunbathing (top video), and how to full-frontally flash an audience without seeming to do so (bottom video):

 

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And finally, with a nod to the late, great Groucho Marx:

 

 

 

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Uncivil Wars

 

 

Silly old man. He’s 72. Probably didn’t realize the Twitter mob would be out for his scalp.

 

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Big Brother is back, but CBS missed out on an opportunity for ratings gold. It should have stocked the house with half Trump supporters, half Trump haters.

Of course, had the network done that, someone would no doubt burn down the house.

 

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The “Old Man” of Pawn Stars fame died. I don’t watch that show anymore; not because I don’t like it, but because I burned out on it.

When I first discovered Pawn Stars, I couldn’t get enough, and I binge-watched episodes for weeks. Same thing with other “reality” shows like recently deceased Anthony Bourdain’s series.

I still like the stars and their shows but, at a certain point, I realized I’d seen enough.

 

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My upstairs neighbor has been blaring music today, loud enough to make my framed Frazetta (look it up) shimmy on the wall. But that’s OK.

If there is one time of day it should be socially acceptable to play deafening music, it’s Saturday afternoons.

 

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I stopped watching late-night talk shows when the hosts stopped making jokes in favor of childish temper tantrums. But James Corden’s 23-minute “carpool karaoke” with Paul McCartney was irresistible. Click here to watch.

 

 

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How to take down your political opponent:

 

Mike Huckabee gave a textbook example of how to insult a political opponent when he went after liberal pundit Donny Deutsch on Saturday.

First, you make it clear to viewers that you’re not even sure who your opponent is. You do this by mispronouncing his name.

Second, you mispronounce it like this:

 

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November 13: Attack on Paris is basically nothing more than a series of interviews with survivors of the 2015 terrorism massacre. But it proves that if you want to truly horrify an audience, sometimes all you have to do is place a camera on people and let them talk.

 

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Not sure what Rip was referring to, but if “when pigs fly” gets the attention of a Playboy model, you have to go with it.

 

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I guess I’m not much of a journalist. The major news story pictured above occurred just 15 miles from where I sat at work on Tuesday, yet I didn’t know about it until the following day.

 

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If they had channels like Science and shows like What on Earth? when I was a kid, I believe I might have pursued a career in science. Well … probably not.

These science shows affect me like the myriad true-crime shows on basic cable: I never deliberately seek them out, but once I land on one of them, I’m hooked.

 

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In the classic movie Laura, a detective played by Dana Andrews grows obsessed with the portrait of a woman he believes is dead.

Is it OK if I grow obsessed with the buttocks of an actress from 40 years ago?

Sadly, although this actress might still be living, I’m guessing her ass no longer looks quite this spectacular:

 

 

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“Do we know if there are still people who are Scotch-taping together the president’s torn-up documents?” – Rachel Maddow grilling a Politico reporter about the latest Donald Trump scandal.

 

I used to think Maddow was one of our top TV journalists, but it looks as if Trump Derangement Syndrome has claimed her.

 

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Question That Refuses To Go Away:

 

“Will this be the year that the United States finally embraces soccer?”

 

Answer That Never Changes:

 

“No.”

 

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A proposal for media writers: If you agree to stop using the term “toxic masculinity,” I’ll agree to stop using the word “feminazi.”

 

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This business of the U.S. government forcibly separating parents from their children is awful.

One can only imagine how psychologically damaged Paul Manafort’s daughters must be, seeing their father get locked up.

 

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Assuming Trump is as devious as some of his detractors believe, I wouldn’t be surprised if he secretly hired celebrity nutcases like Robert De Niro and Samantha Bee to ensure his re-election in 2020.

 

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Random Gripes

 

Coastal media keep sending reporters on “road trips” to Trump Country/Red States/Deplorable Land and then writing articles about what they learn (or don’t learn). What a waste.

Would the New York Times dispatch a reporter to London for two weeks and then let its “London correspondent” write articles about British news from a desk in Manhattan? I think not.

You have to establish permanent bureaus in Omaha or Des Moines or San Antonio or wherever.

 

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The Miss America pageant, struggling to stay relevant in 2018, decided to ditch its swimsuit competition — and lose half of its audience.

How many of us really want to see Miss Tennessee play the piano and discuss global warming? Nope, we tune in to look for cellulite.

 

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So now they are saying that Hereditary (above) is “extremely scary,” a new classic in the horror genre. Well, we shall see. They said that about It Follows, which was good but hardly classic. They said it about The Babadook, which was intriguing but not even remotely scary. So … we shall see.

 

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The media are boring us with stories about Justify, the latest racehorse threatening to win the Triple Crown. Yawn.

I’m sorry, but horses are inherently boring.

By comparison, dogs are not boring. Dogs rescue their families from burning houses in the middle of the night. Dogs eat their deceased owners when they are stuck in the house with no other food. (OK, not sure if that last is true; do they eat their owners?)

But horses? They just look at you and snort.

 

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Can we please abolish the phrase “his (or her) life was ruined by (fill-in-the-blank)” when high-profile people get caught up in scandal?

Monica Lewinsky’s life was not “ruined” by the Clinton affair. Louis C.K. and Charlie Rose did not have their lives “ruined” by self-inflicted scandal.

Unless you are now washing dishes in Dubuque, or you are a Muslim woman caught cheating on your husband in rural Afghanistan, your life was not ruined; it was changed.

 

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If you enjoyed The Shield, check out Israel’s Fauda (above). Like L.A. cop Vic Mackey, Israeli Doron Kavillio is a chunky, complex, hot-tempered antihero battling bad guys and superiors in a show that’s relentlessly suspenseful.

 

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The above quote is from Anthony Bourdain.

I don’t know, man. If even that guy found life unbearable, it makes you wonder how the rest of us manage to soldier on.

 

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My new Netflix recommendations:

 

 

 

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“I would rather say nothing than to cause more trouble.” — John Goodman with the only sensible quote during the entire Roseanne fiasco.

 

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I suppose that at the end of the day it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, but if you’re a cliché-hater, talking head John Bussey (above) said “at the end of the day” four times in the space of about two minutes today on Fox.

 

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From The Washington Post:

 

 

No comment.

 

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As a society, we’re making lots of progress.

Eighteen months ago, during the election campaign, we were discussing Trump’s dick size.

Now we’re onto cunts.

 

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Damn you, Netflix, you’re doing what Blockbuster used to do. You’re changing the cover art on titles so that unsuspecting rubes (like me) watch a movie, forget its title and then, months later — and because the cover art is new — wind up watching the same damn movie. Or at least the first ten minutes of the same damn movie before recall kicks in.

New Black Mirror cover art above. Old Black Mirror cover art below:

 

 

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The Handmaid’s Tale — have you heard about The Handmaid’s Tale? If you surf the Internet, of course you’ve heard about The Handmaid’s Tale.

Hulu is showing The Handmaid’s Tale. The Handmaid’s Tale gets nominated for awards and gets lots of praise from critics.

But has anyone actually seen The Handmaid’s Tale?

 

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The good news: TBS might be forced to finally run something other than The Shawshank Redemption.

 

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This news that Tomi Lahren participated in a wet t-shirt contest annoys me. I live just minutes from the Minneapolis restaurant where she got doused with water, so I certainly would have been there if I’d known she was going to compete.

 

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You have to laugh at these people getting sucked out of airplane windows. And why is that?

Because if it isn’t you getting sucked out of an airplane window, it’s actually pretty comical.

 

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I had a lot more faith in humanity before the invention of Twitter.

I didn’t always feel the way I do now. I used to believe that Twitter was great, because it gave voice to millions of regular people who previously had little or no voice.

But now I’ve heard that voice and … well.

 

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Apparently, some prematurely balding dude in England got married to this fanny on Saturday:

 

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That’s about the extent of my interest in the bride and groom. Unless, of course, the topless-on-the-beach photos (below) are not really fake, as the royals insist, but are indeed real.

 

 

Real or fake — how on Earth are we supposed to know?

 

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When people make fun of Fox News they must be thinking of things like the ridiculous piece of “journalism” on Martha MacCallum’s show Tuesday night, in which Martha discussed – at length – the “angel” some idiot discovered on security footage of his car in a driveway.

 

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Entertainment sites are revisiting 1980s American movies and not liking what they find. Apparently, movies like Revenge of the Nerds and Sixteen Candles are “problematic,” largely because of sexism.

I’m still enjoying Killing Eve, but man …. Just midway through the season, we’ve already witnessed an Asian dude having his balls … something … and another dude get castrated by a female assassin. These cringe-inducers are treated as sort of a running gag on the show.

From the Killing Eve recaps on Vulture:

“When Eve later finds his body, Frank has her dress on … and his dick cut off. (Gross.) The camera then zooms in on two sausages sizzling in a frying pan.”

“A Chinese businessman in Berlin decides to give himself a birthday treat at a BDSM brothel, but his usual nurse is unavailable. The businessman will settle for his usual ‘vigorous scrotal massage’ … and it’s a mercy when the mercenary doesn’t draw out his torture, but gases him relatively quickly. Villanelle can’t wait to get to her climax: watching her victim die.”

I have to wonder who would be laughing if the plot featured female genital mutilation. Just sayin’.

 

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CBS Evening News on Wednesday featured the tongue-twister of the week – “lower lava levels” – courtesy of Carter Evans in Hawaii.

Try saying that three times in a row – real fast.

 

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Trump fans don’t like it when they are accused of wanting to turn the clock back in America. But during Trump’s speech in Indiana, I couldn’t help noticing the kid in the background taking pictures with his camera and flashbulb (above).

They still make cameras with flashbulbs?

Or maybe that isn’t a flashbulb.

Never mind.

 

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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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