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Frankie Drake Mysteries

Not completely offensive but not good
It seems every tv series these days has a requisite geeky character. Who always acts mentally challenged in order to make sure the audience knows, "I'm a wacky character!" Here it's the pseudo policewoman Mary Shaw - who is so moronic she drowns out how bad most of the others are. The Frankie actress has a repertoire of sly smirks but not much else. The one who plays her mother is entirely ham & cheese and had me wincing every time she appeared. The Trudy character is a lovely charming woman - but just not enough for this turkey.

The Grinder

Not closed captioned
This isn't closed captioned for the hearing impaired. Hello? Isn't that an FCC regulation? Thanks for the discrimination, Fox.

The Kennedys After Camelot

laughable castin
Matthew Perry as Ted? Oh no. Perry is 15-20 years older than Teddy was at the time - and looks even older and more dissolute. Actually, an Osmond kid would be a better fit. Onassis was barely 5' - a squat, ugly man - not a good-looking 5'11" Arab. A Boris Karloff look-alike would have been better. Katie Holmes is not terrible as Jackie but that has more to do with the hair and clothes than her acting. Was Jackie really that nervous when Onassis was negotiating her dowry with Teddy? Because Ari's estate "settled" with Jackie for $25 million upon his death so she wouldn't contest the will. After 7 years of marriage - not a bad investment of time.


Low expectations - met
I'm having Castle deja vu - but without the charm of Nathan Fillion. The devil guy kept reminding me of someone. Oh! Randy Quaid in Christmas Vacation. I'm stunned this is on it's fifth season because it's just so, so, so - boring. Based on a comic book? Yeah.

Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector

Why bother to trade on a popular book series and then change half the characters? What possible difference could it have made to keep the caregiver Thom, the forensic guru Mel, the police officer Ron? Why change Sachs' back story to a generic TV show drama trope? And especially the beginning - made up and completely different than the book. Deaver evidently sold out to change not just the characters but his carefully crafted portrayal of a quadriplegic. This show's version has Lincoln all but get up out of bed and dance a jig.

NCIS: New Orleans

Awful cast
I like the two lead actors and I liked the woman who bailed on the third season. But the rest of them, particularly the women - ugh. They've given us the requisite stereotypes: The loud-mouth rough-around-the-edges black girl, the wise mature black woman, the pouty lipped latina babe, the silly geeky boy. The plot line of adding staff - look for Asian martial arts expert, maybe Choctaw with special vision. Whoever, whatever they come up with will be sure to be terrible actors saddled with lame scripts.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas

Bad even for Hallmark
90 minutes of proselytizing - evidently just what some viewers want from a movie. In reality, the characters were completely self-absorbed and determined to pout through the holidays - while sharing every single little complaint from their lives with everyone around them. The two "quirky" characters border on mentally disabled. For such a smart guy who reads Dickens' Christmas Carol every year, the lead couldn't lift his head above his own fug to wonder about a mysterious stranger named Jordan Marley hanging around. The overall plot - holding a raggedy Christmas pageant (while the leads continue their self-righteous preoccupation with themselves) - is really really thin. And finally, just to prove god loves Hallmark, there's an unlikely happy ending.

Food Network Challenge: Haunted Gingerbread Houses
Episode 7, Season 5

Same Old Recycled Food Network
Same stable of contestants with a few new faces who only do gingerbread houses at Christmas. Same stable of judges (Jason being the most tiresome addition) with a few new "Food Network Celebrity" judges. (Elvira - please put those silicone girls away. ) Same silly fake drama, same spoon-fed quips. Which is all a shame because the creation of the gingerbread houses is fascinating. Too bad the Food Network can't come up with a format that isn't an absurd competition. I would have been interested in hearing exactly the parameters of how much they make at home. Why wouldn't they show up with everything already made? They are allowed to make stuff at home, then they have two days in the studio - with a helper, and still they're unfinished at the same old tired countdown. Unless you're desperate for some more Food Network Halloween stuff, give this a miss.

Tequila Sunrise

Why Wasn't This a Hit?
A friend watched this with me the other evening and said she couldn't believe she'd never heard of it. Gibson and Russell were at their absolute peaks - neither one ever looked better. Dave Grusin's score is excellent.

The Dictator's Playbook

Fascinating biographies
An in-depth look at six modern dictators - their upbringing, how they rose to prominence, and how they put a stranglehold on millions of people. The parallels to current American politics is chilling. One of the plays from the "Playbook" that should concern us all: Dictators-in-training admire successful dictators and learn from them.


What happened to this show?
I think the show makers succumbed to their own supercool hype. I slogged through the first two episodes in Season 4 and gave up. This is Sherlock Holmes as a petulant, bratty teenager. I.e., he spends most of one episode on his phone and being rude to the people around him. Whatever plot you can wade through the style-over-substance production to find is ridiculously convoluted. I guess the guy playing Holmes is some sort of swoony super hunk to a certain segment but I think he should stick to radio.

Christopher Kimball's Milk Street

No chemistry at all with cooks
Following the parting of ways with Cook's Country, this is Kimball's next project. Either he or his advisors evidently decided they need to capture that precious youth market. So we have hip and "experiential" ad nauseum. The smirky hipster kid (seriously, he smugly asserted he's hip) is especially irritating. It seems the whole point of the millennials being on the show is to demonstrate how wrong the old people were about cooking. And that's the most disappointing in this outing - watching Kimball kowtow to these self-congratulatory young-uns. He has more experience cooking than all of them put together - yet he's tentative and ingratiating and somehow apologetic when he interacts with them.

Four Weddings and a Funeral

Another Lazy Remake
I can almost hearing the gears painfully grinding: "That ancient movie was so-o-o popular with those nasty old people. But we're young, hip, and way cooler. Ripping off that movie and remaking it with us would make it totally AWESOME!" Plus - movies without one of each ethnicities must not be allowed. I'm beginning to wonder how much Kaling really had to do with my favorite all-time tv show The Office. Because nothing I've seen involving her has been funny.


Silly, shallow, inaccurate
What I've noticed most after two episodes that that the pretty girls cast as the leads always have contact lenses that carefully match their clothing. The pretty boys have the current 3-day-old scruffy beard at all times. The casting is millennial stereotypes in the Shona Rimes mold and anyone over 40 is either vile or stupid.


A petite beautiful victoria?
I often look up historical facts while watching this series. Every time - every single time - actual pictures of Victoria show her to be an overweight, unattractive woman. It seems in these supposedly enlightened times, that disqualifies a woman from power or historical accuracy. Shame on you for putting an empty pretty face on her, although I understand why there might be a need to explain Albert's devotion to a teevee audience.

Noble House

Always great to re-watch
This mini-series holds up really well, considering it's from the 80's. It was one of my favorite books, which was much more involved with a lot more back story for the characters. The Par-Con story line was just a very small part of it. It would have been impossible to translate to anything watchable. However, I've never liked Deborah Raffin as Casey (the lip biting and purse tapping - STOP!) or that they created a love affair between her and Ian Dunross - in the book he was pretty happily married. But having been filmed before everything is CGI, it's a fascinating real look at Hong Kong and Macao.

Best Baker in America

Standard recycled food network
I recognized FIVE contestants from previous Food Network outings - and I don't even have cable TV! I watch occasionally on the road so evidently the food network has a rotating stable of contestants to fill up their empty slots. They seem to be fed quips from production to pump them up for more gigs at a later date. Their introductions never seem to mention, "was a contestant on this-show, that-show, and whatever-show." The fact that Jason was anointed as a star just shows the bottom of the barrel in casting judges, too. His cornpone routine was tiring when he was a "contestant" and it's tiring now. The fact that none of the bakers in the episode I'm watching know that there IS a difference between a "macaron" and a "macaroon" illustrate the same barrel-delving as produced Jason.


millennial tripe
The original MacGyver was 35 when that series started - with a much more experienced and grown up way about him. This kid? Looks and acts about 16. Of course, we must have the multi-ethnic bad-but-hot girl with straggly hair, Hooters t-shirts, and scripted/obviously fake intelligence. When Hollywood casts the hip black dude side kick in every single tv show, doesn't anyone object to the stereotype? It's just so insulting. Plus the sidekick is always a silly moron. And finally, please, the audience just does not care about the tragic backstories of every character, every episode, starting from the first one.


Cheesy movie for hammy Pacino
Maybe I'm alone in the world, but I've come to detest Pacino and his hammy A-A-A-CTING!!!! presence. In this case, his Froghorn Leghorn southern accent almost turned his scenes into satire comedy. Also you might notice, that any movie Pacino graces with his massive ego has the big dramatic scene at the end based solely on himself. Duhamel should stick to rom-coms - especially since he's making his career primarily as a celebrity dating tool. Hopkins? He can be charming, he can be scary - here he was just ... not there.

Project Runway All Stars

I'm watching it but I'm annoyed
These women who have had a transactional relationship with Harvey Weinstein are so very obviously doing what they need to do to get theirs - and then preaching to the rest of us about proper MEETOO!!! behavior. Nowhere is it as blatant as this show. Also, their love affair (maybe literal?) with Sam is incomprehensible. I noticed that the episode that had a guest judge with the trendy gay hipster look - Sam matched his styling right down to the heavy black glasses that he'd never worn before. Did someone whisper in his little ears who the judge would be? The only time Sam had semi-great designs was when the other contestants helped him. I think the judges needed to know that before keeping him based on what he (actually Kini, Dom, etc.) did the first couple episodes.

Deep Water

Enjoyable enough with GREAT location
It wasn't until the end that I realized that the head thug was none other than our beloved Doctor Blake. Craig McLachlan certainly is versatile. As for the show, I started fast-forwarding through a lot of the woe-is-me scenes. Crisper editing would have done wonders.

The Coolest Guy Movie Ever: Return to the Scene of The Great Escape

At least it's short
I thought this would be about making the Great Escape - behind the scenes, cast interactions, challenges of making a Bad Nazi movie in Germany less than a generation after Hitler. I expected more than fanboys finding filming locations in Germany. It briefly touched on some of those things but mostly it was guys standing alongside a road, pointing, and exclaiming, "Look! That mountain is STILL THERE! This is definitely the place!"


I'm watching - half-heartedly
Women bickering is a huge annoyance for me - and that's basically the entire plot of the show. Also irritating: A man who believes he's god's gift to women and of course they're going to fight over him, with a smug, smarmy narration to match. And a self-indulgent "troubled" child who could not be any less likable.

I've worked in commercial kitchens so on the one hand it was interesting because of the food; on the other a completely silly and unrealistic portrayal of all but a handful of kitchens in the world. (Yeah yeah, every cook on the planet will solemnly proclaim that each and every dish served is perfect - from Waffle House to Osteria Francescana.) Arguing about the high quality of food being served - every single episode - is as boring as a weekly F&B meeting.

The 15:17 to Paris

Cashing in
It's our culture now. The good, the bad, the ugly - all position themselves to make money off their fame or infamy. I've become quite jaded about "heroes" grabbing the media to tell their stories. I've become disgusted by criminals or psychos selling their stories to become rich off their nastiness. This is the last "based on true events" I will watch and tacitly support the attention seeking.

Death in Paradise

NOT improving with age
I was actually quite glad when the first inspector was replaced with Kris Marshall. However, the show has become very boring. A locked-room type of impossible mystery, 4 suspects, solutions coming out of thin air, and fully a quarter of the show devoted to the big wrap-up scene. When Marshall left, I noticed this was the so-called comedy of the show all along: All the staff making fun of the white English guy who comes in. Eye rolls, head shakes, shrugs, "he's a crazy white dude" glances exchanged. How funny would we think it is if a black man played the boss and the white staff made fun of him behind his back?

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