Archive for the Uncategorized Category

May 2020

Posted in American TV (General), American TV Shows, Americans watching British TV, Behind-The-Scenes, Internet TV, Reality TV, Reviews, TV Acting, TV advertising, TV channels, TV Criticism, TV Culture, TV History, TV News, Uncategorized, Watching TV with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2020 by Tom Steward

Outlander Season 5 2020

Outlander is now re-purposing Little House on The Prairie episodes.

Because the first thing you want to see when you turn on The Disney Family Singalong is Ryan Seacrest’s kitchen.

The Homeland Series Finale took full advantage of The Americans being off the air.

I had to break it to my son B that conglomerate capitalism was the driving force behind the absence of Mickey from Mickey Mouse Mixed-Up Adventures.

Ryan Murphy specializes in making television about fascinating subjects with nothing new to say about them.

Someone is close captioning Outlander phonetically.

A game to play while watching the American Experience on George W. Bush; drink every time someone says “He set the bar so low … “

90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days should offer de-programming to all its participants.

I wish commercials would go back to selling stuff.

The Good Fight’s writing of production limitations into its visual style will make it an interesting archeological document in future years, if nothing else.

Outlander trumped The Lord Of The Ring’s record with a full hour of goodbyes.

The problems encountered by the cast of 90 Day Fiance have now become global norms.

The Lego versions of recent blockbuster movies are embarrassingly better than their live-action originals.

The 90s animated Spiderman series that B has me watching may have just done the origin story of Tiger King.

There’s a lot to love about the CBS All Access Star Trek series but a lack of self-censorship is not among them.

New Blog 11.2

Is there a character left in Outlander that hasn’t been raped?

This is not a good time for TNT to advertise Snowpiercer by making it look like the TV signal died.

When the quality of streaming dips during CBS All Access shows, they start to look like 90s movies and it’s adorable.

The veteran cast of Vanderpump Rules are growing their replacements from loose skin on their elbows.

Are there any Netflix shows not about money-laundering husbands?

Outlander is in the half-episode dream sequence stage of its existence.

Old episodes of The Simpsons in the original 4:3 ratio is my idea of new TV content during lockdown.

Late-night talk show hosts are now all essentially Rupert Pupkin from The King of Comedy.

While its viewers are quarantined with only three episodes of TOTS on a loop to show to our kids at lunchtime, Disney Junior tried slipped an Australian dog parenting satire under our wet noses.

Top Chef just did an episode where the prize was a trip to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It should be taken out of syndication like the New York episode of The Simpsons or Seinfeld’s The Puerto Rican Day.

If Barbara Cartland novelized Highlander, you would get Outlander.

Netflix was found to be streaming a censored version of Back To The Future 2 that somehow still left all the white supremacy and incest intact.

I don’t know who in the Netflix Fyre Festival documentary I hate more. I just know that I hate more.

Discovery is more a reboot of Futurama than Star Trek.

I thought Jimmy Fallon’s absolute ineptitude as an interviewer and/or his free propaganda for Donald Trump would have put an end to his late-night talk show career but I’ll take Blackface.

The Outlander series finale had no titles so technically it was an hour-long cold open.

The Original Series characters in Discovery seem to have wandered in from the USS Mad Men.

New Blog 11.3

Breaking Good News: John Krasinski criticized for selling news to the news.

Amy Schumer Learns To Cook is nothing of the sort.

With its closing image of Jeffrey Epstein’s penis suspended in a tank, no wonder the producers of The Good Fight were anxious about ending their season at Episode 7.

Outlander has all the nuance you might expect from Doctor Who slash fiction.

I wonder if television composers ever get mad when their themes are randomly replaced by pop songs.

I want Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe to go viral.

The trajectory for most contemporary TV series seems to be “2 seasons and a spin-off.”

There’s too much focus on the half-wives in The Real Housewives franchise.

I’m not going to say anything derogatory about Sam Heughan because there are women on the internet who would literally kill me for it.

CBS All Access announces a new Star Trek series set between the Pilot and Episode 1 in TV’s first ever Prebootsequelpinoff.

Ducktales is this month’s “The Sopranos of [insert genre here]”

Every day is a Jerry Stiller marathon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 2020

Posted in American TV (General), American TV Shows, Americans watching British TV, Behind-The-Scenes, BiogTV, British Shows on American TV, hiatus, Internet TV, Reality TV, Reviews, Touring TV, TV Acting, TV advertising, TV channels, TV Criticism, TV Culture, TV Dreams, TV History, Uncategorized, Watching TV on April 2, 2020 by Tom Steward

New Blog 9.1

I’m escaping quarantine by watching lovers separated by walls, animals in cages, people trapped on a cruise liner, and the after-effects of a deadly global virus.

Maybe U-Verse should re-consider using the word “cowering” when talking about the characters in Day of The Dead given the current state of things.

McMillions raises the question of how weather ever makes the news.

The quarantine edition of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was effectively a crossover episode with Black Mirror.

Avenue 5 confirms that Armando Iannucci only makes accidentally prophetic television.

If I’ve learned anything new about Trump from his televised Coronavirus press conferences, it’s that he says “contagion” like Kevin James’ Doug in The King of Queens.

Curb Your Enthusiasm may be the handiest guide to social distancing in the whole of media.

With an ABC sitcom, Disney cartoon and Bravo reality show on the way, this is Indian-Americans’ TV year. Let’s hope networks don’t pull it away from them as fast as they did with Mexicans and South-East Asians.

Homeland is trying to break 24’s record of Presidential turnover before it ends.

Netflix doesn’t need to add a button to remind you that you’re alone.

My Samsung TV is recommending movies for me to watch while I’m working at home. Either it knows I’m a critic or thinks we’re a nation of liars.

Inside No. 9 just El Camino’d Psychoville. If you don’t get those references now, you will after months of quarantine.

New Blog 9.2

Isn’t now a good time to reboot those CNN election coverage holograms? I don’t think I can take another home news report on an iphone.

We’re all now basically the BBC News interviewee whose children burst into the office during broadcast.

Whomever was responsible for closed captioning of Top Chef Allstars LA did well to add a question mark to Padma Lakshmi’s opening assertion that Los Angeles was “one of the best food cities in the world?”

Vanderpump Rules needs to omit the skits and cartoons. Anyone watching already knows the show is cheap, nasty and artless and doesn’t mind a bit.

Breaking News: The Walking Dead reboots as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

With its stolen memoir and culinary school plots, the finale of Fresh Off The Boat was an apology letter to its estranged subject.

If you want to know what TV is going to look like for the next few months, check out a 90-Day Fiance Tell-All.

There’s been a staggering number of new series about people facing global crises in the past few months. It seems that Coronavirus was in our art before it found its way into our lungs.

HBO missed a golden opportunity to re-launch its 1970s science-fiction remake as Westworld in The City.

There’s never a good time to do an entire episode about penicillin, but if there was Outlander nailed it.

Korean animators must be working 24/7 to get those Disney Channel and Nick Jr. Coronavirus PSAS out.

One wonders if Game of Thrones could have salvaged its reputation by crossing over into the Westworld universe before it ended.

New Blog 9.3

Picard is like a version of Star Trek where your parents and schoolteachers make out in front of you.

G literally prayed for a Netflix show like Tiger King to come along. Be careful what you wish for.

Jeff Goldblum’s commercials for Apartments.com are bringing out the lighter side of illegal data mining.

I’m starting to think I should have paid more attention to those episodes of The Sopranos where Uncle Junior was under House Arrest.

TV networks are giving away more content for free than a theatre major with an iphone.

I’m sure the female guests on Talking Dead feel safer now that they don’t have to share a room with Chris Hardwick.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey filled a time capsule entirely with items that future archeologists would need to know their 2019 activities in order to understand.

I generally prefer that documentary directors be fly-on-the-wall observers but I wouldn’t have been averse to Eric Goode or Rebecca Chaiklin opening the cages at any point during the filming of Tiger King.

The person who accidentally broadcast a MyPillow.com infomercial during a televised White House Coronavirus briefing must be in serious trouble.

Love is Blind is proof of what dating shows can achieve when they don’t have to remind viewers of the concept every twenty seconds.

Better Call Saul is The Sopranos of legal dramas.

Mickey Mouse’s guide to the Internet is no Mickey Mouse operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January and February 2020

Posted in American TV (General), American TV Shows, Americans watching British TV, Behind-The-Scenes, BiogTV, British Shows on American TV, Internet TV, Reality TV, Reviews, TV Acting, TV advertising, TV channels, TV History, TV News, TV Sports, Uncategorized, Unsung Heroes, Watching TV on March 2, 2020 by Tom Steward

New Blog 8.1

I seriously doubt there’s anything in No Time to Die that can compete with Graham’s laser shoe from Spyfall.

Seen through the prism of a constantly buffering HBO Go app, the final season of Silicon Valley was an unintentionally interactive viewing experience for me.

qubo specializes in cartoons from yesteryear that look like they’re being watched from another room.

Have the rights to Ted Bundy recently gone into the public domain?

The Magic Motor Inn episode of Fresh Off the Boat proves that G’s back-door spinoff-dar is military grade.

Netflix’s Cheer is not to be confused with the first screen outing of Ted Danson’s Sam Malone.

Time jump finales in HBO Original Series are now contractually binding.

The advertising for the BBC’s Seven Worlds, One Planet makes it seems like Earth is a TV show leaving a streaming service in 2020.

I don’t know if I’m more amazed that a musical act on The Bachelor once dated a contestant or that a contestant had prior knowledge of a musical act on The Bachelor.

American quality television is having its own papal war.

HBO’s McMillions recalls Ben Affleck’s comment on Argo that “even the feeblest execution” of such a compelling real-life story would still make for great entertainment.

G was expecting Shrill to be like a live-action Nature Cat, demonstrating that as parents of a toddler we are no longer able to distinguish between adult and children’s television.

New Blog 8.2

The MSNBC reporter’s racist outburst in reporting of the death of Kobe Bryant and the subsequent resurrection of Mr. Peanut in his honor suggests that TV’s priorities on grief may need re-evaluating.

The best media satire I see on network television is in Geico and Progressive Commercials.

Larry David may be Bernie Sanders’ best impersonator but, judging by this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, he could also be Trump’s most effective speechwriter.

Avenue 5 is a worthy addition to the British science-fiction sub-genre of Shoddy Space.

When Adam Driver hosts Saturday Night Live, it feels like improvised jazz rather than a hit-and-miss sketch show.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez made me wonder why there isn’t a rolling news channel devoted to this story.

I urge you to watch reality shows with closed captioning as they put inverted commas around words that don’t exist and they come thick and “fastly.”

The Oscars 2020 really made the case for the continuing importance of commercial cinema with an opening musical number recreating an iconic moment of public television.

U-Verse On-Demand needs to accept that I am not going to rent A Simple Favor.

Season Three is the new Season Two. We need to be talking about Junior Slumps.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is the best argument for only reporting the news when it’s not happening.

If parents are confused as to which version of The Adventures of Paddington Bear is the newest one, just remember it’s not the Canadian one with a bloated expositional theme tune that even The Simpsons couldn’t credibly parody.

New Blog 8.3

Unexpected bonus of AMC’s uncensored airing of The Godfather films Part 1 – 8am boobs.

Unexpected bonus of AMC’s uncensored airing of The Godfather films Part 2 – The Godfather Part II now gives two fucks.

Unexpected bonus of AMC’s uncensored airing of The Godfather films Part 3 – Doesn’t apply to The Godfather Part III so you have an excuse to skip it.

What is anyone on Married at First Sight talking about? They all sound like malfunctioning self-help robots.

The world television premiere of El Camino was somewhat undermined by the fact that millions of viewers had already seen the movie on television.

Haven’t we done enough damage to Pizza Hut crusts without making them their own appetizer?

Bad News Breaking – Breaking Bad Now The Sequel To Better Call Saul.

In terms of romanticizing of the Taliban, the final season of Homeland picks up where Rambo III and The Living Daylights left off.

The commercial for the “Battle for the 2020 White House” commemorative chess set is the best piece of television to play parody chicken with.

I bet the voice actors on Superwings: Mission Teams increasingly regret having ticked the Accents and Dialects box on their online submission for the casting call.

Made my national television commercial debut and now worried about being typecast as “Man in Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirt that doesn’t fit him ignoring Phil Mickelson.”

Apparently, Saturday Night Live having a host and musical guest I’m equally excited to see only happens every four years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July and August

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2019 by Tom Steward

New Blog 6.3.jpg

Netflix’s Tales of the City is the first adaptation not based on any of the books and I don’t know what to do with that. It’s not as if you televise Bleak House and then come up with entirely new storylines.

#BH90210 takes a show whose strength was its sincerity and makes it a collection of in-jokes.

Having seen the extended Hateful Eight on Netflix and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the movies, I can say with certainty that Tarantino’s future lies in series television.

The tone of GLOW is what TV dramedies have been striving for since Hill Street Blues but seldom achieved.

If their commercials are to be believed, Olive Garden have created a savory Cinnabon, complete with jizz sauce.

Viewers who use the “Skip Intro” button on Netflix should immediately have their subscriptions cancelled.

I have no interest in Brodie Jenner but if you put a Rottweiler fetching a ball for a man in a bath on my TV screen, I’m going to watch it.

Bachelor in Paradise should be renamed The Chris Harrison Bodily Assault Seminar Hour.

Andy Cohen reproaching Titus Burgess for working with Eddie Murphy is a little rich for someone who makes his money off some of the most homophobic women on television.

Kumail Nanjiani’s no-show on Conan within months of retooling is a sharp reminder why the late-night talk format has remained so static since the fifties.

Marrying Millions is 90-Day Fiance minus money problems, which is to say nothing.

New Blog 6.4.jpg

Martin Scorsese is just going to have to accept that he made a miniseries.

It’s hard to imagine a world where both Star Trek and Star Wars are exclusively television properties.

Whomever is writing those DVR show descriptions for U-Verse really dislikes late 80s action movies.

I would not be surprised if The Family Chantel was revealed to be a reality reboot of 3rd Rock from the Sun.

What if El Camino was a prequel to Gran Torino and ends with Jesse hiding out in a Korean community?

In July, I performed in an immersive theatre version of Carnival Row, which doesn’t premiere until August 30. I can now say on my resume that I was in the original cast of an Amazon Prime Series.

This season of Married at First Sight answers the burning question of what happens when a man marries himself in drag.

I have no idea how Dora the Explorer holds up as a feature film as my 2-year-old son only stayed in the theater for the length of one episode.

The final seasons of Elementary and Game of Thrones were both sorely lacking Natalie Dormer.

The second One Day at a Time returns to broadcast television just in time for the second Nixon’s impeachment proceedings.

Leo the Inquisitive Truck on Amazon Prime Video looks and sounds like it was cobbled together by the PTA of a struggling school.

New Blog 6.5

With Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead heading to theaters, it seems there’s no longer such a thing as a TV movie.

Marc Maron taking to Conan to question the host’s impact on podcasting sort of undermines his point.

Someone should make Damon Herriman Charles Manson for life.

Good Morning America ballet-shaming Prince George is a waste of good Royal-bashing.

90 Day Fiance: The Other Way is basically a nature documentary about stray animals.

The Real Housewives of Orange County has reached that point in the franchise where it feels like its own spin-off.

Today’s HBO doesn’t let a show go beyond three seasons unless it is truly terrible.

The news that Transparent will end with a musical should reassure those viewers who were worried the show would go off the rails after losing Jeffrey Tambor.

Pennyworth is the latest in a long line of Batman fare to explore the origins of characters whose origins have already been explored.

It’s too much to hope that Grand Hotel will be an adaptation of the 1932 classic based on the acclaimed 1930 play. If I don’t watch it, then it will remain so in my imagination.

By the time you read this post, we’ll be on the other side of the Fantasy Streaming Wars of August 30. I for one welcome our puppet/faery (delete as appropriate) overlords!

Reelz is the fake search engine page of broadcast television.

Kurt Sutter announced he’s standing aside as Mayans M.C. showrunner so a white man doesn’t dictate a story about people of color. Your move, Jenji Kohan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May and June 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2019 by Tom Steward

New Blog 5.1

The worst ending to a TV series since Seinfeld? I hate to break it to you all but that was the ending of Seinfeld.

The Bachelorette sinks to new low as their clip show shows clips from their clip show.

Robert Mueller’s televised press conference was very “There’s money in the banana stand.”

Following the exit of Lisa Vanderpump from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills expect the next season to play out like The Death of Stalin.

90-Day Fiance has exhausted its spin-off possibilities to the point where the only format left is a reality show about Americans getting married to someone who has 90 days to live.

Texicanas is a “Previously On …” segment that never ends.

DuckTales is a reboot of something from your childhood that actually improves your nostalgia for it.

I would not be at all surprised to find out that The Real Housewives of New York were all inmates in an open asylum.

Elementary has made it impossible for me to see Sherlock Holmes as anything other than a New Yorker and Dr. Watson as anything other than a woman of color.

Having just written and produced a show that involved research of 80s cop shows, I now realize that the title sequences of police dramas in this era set an impossibly high standard for the episodes to follow.

New Blog 5.2

Jenna Elfman’s casting in Fear the Walking Dead seems to have infected the show with a late 90s feel.

HBO Original Series are like Real Housewives Reunions. You know before they start that they’re not going to end well.

Arguably you’re not part of the quality TV elite until you feature an episode that seems like a dream but turns out not to be. Welcome to the club, Barry!

It’s not often that a great show suffers for trying to do justice to its ensemble, but the finale of Veep finally managed it.

With its regular skewering of everything British and San Diegan, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver feels like local television to me.

When I saw what went into making the final season of Game of Thrones in The Last Watch, I felt like Clipton at the end of The Bridge on The River Kwai.

The trailer for Star Trek: Picard dropped and its vineyard setting made me wonder whether it was about the wine-tasting road-trip than Jean-Luc and Riker took before Will married Deanna Troi.

CBS announced it will soon start airing The Good Fight from the beginning. There are as yet no plans to do the same with other All Access shows like Star Trek and The Twilight Zone.

With Jon Stewart’s testimony securing a successful vote in Congress, we’re faced with the reality that the demographic most able to effect governmental change are retired TV stars.

Hannah was making out with so many people in one episode of The Bachelorette that I genuinely thought Jason Voorhees was going to smash through a window and machete her.

New Blog 5.3

 

 

The success of Deadwood: The Movie prompts calls for John from Cincinnati: The Explanation.

The Hills and Beverly Hills 90210 return to TV screens this Summer which coincides with the announcement that my wife is now the control experiment for all Nielsen ratings.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah revealed that Bernie Sanders used to have his own TV show where he frequently insulted his guests. Now I know why the Bernie Bros voted for Trump.

Thus far in his career Robert De Niro has only ever been out of his depth playing Frankenstein’s Monster and Robert Mueller.

The low ratings of The 73rd Tony Awards on CBS may have something to do with the fact that its core audience also watched the 1st Tony Awards on CBS.

Dead to Me should win the Emmy for “Best TV Series … Until A Bunch of Better Stuff Comes Along.”

With its rapid season turnover, Married at First Sight will soon be responsible for more weddings than a cult.

With Poppy Montgomery’s TV career heading out to sea every six or so years and then returning to shore, her new project Reef Break is the perfect marriage of content and form.

Constance Wu took to Twitter to clarify a series of negative tweets about the renewal of Fresh Off The Boat, claiming that people had mistook her meaning by understanding exactly what she meant.

The ending of Killing Eve Season Two was the non-verbal equivalent of looking into camera and saying the title of the show.

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