Category Archives: TV Review

Flashback Friday: Animal Cribs (2017-2019)

When it comes to our pets, we love them as if they were our own children.

Animal Cribs aired on Animal Planet from 2017 to 2019. Antonio Ballatore is both a respected designer and an animal lover. This reality show followed Antonio and his team as they renovated the client’s homes to fit the needs of the humans and the nonhumans who called the property home.

I enjoyed this program when it was on the air. It was an interesting take on what could have been standard for this genre. I loved the passion that Ballatore had for not only his work, but for the creatures who would call his creations home.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Hidden Potential (2017-2019)

The design of one’s home is a personal decision. It can be simple, out there, or somewhere in between.

The HGTV series, Hidden Potential, was on the air from 2017 to 2019. Meeting with a new homeowner every week, designer Jasmine Roth transforms each property according to the needs of the owner(s). Along the way, there may be a few bumps in the road. By the end of the episode, the building is as unique as the people who call it home.

The narrative of the program is standard for the genre. As much as I appreciate the show, it was merely ok. It comes down to the question of how many episodes you can watch before the repetitiveness becomes too much.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Flip or Flop: Fort Worth (2017-2018)

Getting into real estate as a profession is a gamble. The potential of earning more than a reasonable income is more than compelling. But, the risk is that if things go south, those involved could lose their shirt.

Flip or Flop: Fort Worth aired on HGTV from 2017-2018. A Texas offshoot of the original California-based series, the show follows married couple and military veterans Andy and Ashley Williams as they buy, renovate, and sell run-down houses. As with every show within this genre, there are always problems and the possibility of not being able to sell the finished product is always there in the background.

Unfortunately, some shows are not meant to last. As much as I enjoyed it, my opinion was not enough to keep it on the air for more than a year.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: Ellen’s Game of Games (2017-Present)

TV game shows are a dime a dozen. A part of the television landscape since the beginning of the medium, the variety of programming within this genre is nearly endless.

Ellen’s Game of Games has been part of the NBC schedule since 2017. Hosted by Ellen Degeneres, the games the contestants play are an outsized version of the games that are played on her daytime talk show. As per the standard structure of this type of program, the participants are put through their paces in hopes of walking away with a cash prize by the end of the episode.

Obviously, there is enough of an audience that has kept this show on for a few years. But I have yet to find it appealing. I can’t put my finger on it, but I just don’t enjoy it.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Best New TV Shows of 2021

*I apologize for the delay in posting. I should have written this before New Year’s Eve.

  1. Loki: Tom Hiddleston shines once more as Loki, the complicated immortal who has become much more than the standard antagonist. Forced into new circumstances, he goes on a journey that forever changes him.
  2. The Wonder Years: This reboot of the beloved 1980’s/1990’s series is just as poignant as its predecessor. The choice of making the main character and his family African-American only adds to its relevancy.
  3. Law & Order: Organized Crime: This spinoff of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit starring Chris Meloni as returning Detective Elliot Stabler is a thrilling and spine tingling hour of television.
  4. Ordinary Joe: This new NBC series is the story of one man and three distinct life paths before him. Told concurrently and using different colors for each decision, is is a reminder of how one choice can affect the rest of our lives.
  5. Impeachment: American Crime Story: The latest chapter of this long running F/X series focuses on the affair between Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein) and former President Clinton (Clive Owen) and the impeachment trial that followed. Instead of focusing on Clinton, the story is about the women who were directly affected by his less than honorable actions.
  6. WandaVision: This first foray by the MCU via DisneyPlus is everything it promised to be. Wanda Maxmioff and Vision (Elisabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany) are living in family sitcom wedded bliss. But it not what it seems to be. With a star making turn by Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness, this series is a must see.
  7. All Creatures Great and Small: Ths unexpectedly Masterpeice/PBS series is adorable and charming. A rookie vetenarian starts his career in rural Yorkshire in the 1930’s and grows in unexpected ways. The new season starts tonight at 9PM ET/ 8PM CT.
  8. Atlantic Crossing: This second Masterpeice/PBS series tells the story of the friendship/supposed affair between Franklin Delanor Roosevelt and Crown Princess Martha of Sweden during World War II. Forgotten for nearly a century, this tale of one woman’s drive to save her nation is truly worth watching.
  9. The Book of Boba Fett: This latest entry into the Star Wars universe from DisneyPlus just premiered on December 29th. Though only two episodes have been released, it is already asking questions that are begging for answers.
  10. Behind Her Eyes: Based on the book by Sarah Pinborough, this six part Netflix series about a married man’s affair with his secretary has a delicious ending that is jaw dropping and completely out of left field. Few endings have wowed me as this did.
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Flashback Friday: The Nineties (2017)

It’s easy to look back on the past with rose-colored glasses. It’s harder to look at it it was in reality, not what we want it to be.

The Nineties was a CNN miniseries that aired in 2017. It explored everything about the decade from politics to entertainment to technology to major news stories, etc. While going into the different aspects of the era, it also discussed how we are still living with the after-effects today, whether they be good or bad.

I really liked the program. It was a nice dive into the 1990s without being melodramatic, academic, or dreamy.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Throwback Thursday: The President Show (2017-2018)

When times are tough, we turn to comedy and satire to let some air outside of the tires and let us breathe a little.

The President Show aired on Comedy Central from 2017-2018. Stepping into the shoes of you know who is actor/comic Anthony Atamanuik. Set in the format of a late-night talk show, the former guy and his sidekick/Vice President, Mike Pence (Peter Grosz) talk about the day’s events as only they can.

Among the performers who have played he who shall not be named, Atamanuik is the best of the best. He hits all of the marks in a way that creates nothing short of gut-busting laughter. It’s too bad that this show only lasted one season, it was the medicine we needed and still need.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Around the World in 80 Days Review

When we travel, we do more than step out of our comfortable bubbles. We see the world from another perspective and perhaps learn from that perspective.

The new Masterpiece/PBS series, Around the World in 80 Days, is an eight-episode miniseries based on the Jules Verne book of the same name. The program stars David Tennant as Phileas Fogg, Ibrahim Koma as Passepartout, and Leonie Benesch as Abigail “Fix” Fortescue. Their goal (as explained by the title), is to travel to different parts of the globe and return to England within 80 days of their departure date.

To be clear, I have not read the book. I have heard of it, but it has yet to be on my TBR list. This review is based solely on the television program.

The problem is that whatever it is that should hook me in is missing. Maybe it’s because I’m not really a fan of Verne or his books. Or maybe it’s that I was just bored.

Do I recommend it? No.

Around the World in 80 Days airs on PBS on Sunday nights at 8PM.

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The Book of Boba Fett Review

From the outside looking in, it may appear that the Star Wars franchise begins and ends with the Skywalkers. But, as any fan knows, that is only the beginning of the story.

The Book of Boba Fett premiered Wednesday on DisneyPlus.

When we last saw Boba Fett (Temeura Morrison), he had been swallowed by the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi. The opening shot of the series reveals that Boba is still alive. After fighting to get to the surface and to civilization, he takes the throne and the power from the deceased warlord Jabba the Hutt. Unlike Jabba, Boba does not want to rule via fear, he wants to rule via respect from the local communities. Beside him is his second in command, Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). Though it appears that he and Fennec are welcomed by the locals, there are some who would prefer to eradicate them.

Like any first episode of any new series, there are more questions than answers. But so far, the questions are more than enough to keep me coming back for me. It proves, in my mind at least, that the number of narratives that exist within this universe is endless.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

The Book of Boba Fett is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.

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Flashback Friday: George Eliot: A Scandalous Life

Drawing outside of the lines requires a backbone and a belief that you can withstand the questions and the judgment coming from those around you.

The writer George Eliot was one of those people. The 2002 television program, George Eliot: A Scandalous Life, is a television biopic of the author. Starring Harriet Walter in the title role, this hour-long drama tells Eliot’s story. The daughter of a clergyman, she was a rebel at a young age. Knowing that her looks would not secure her a husband, the future writer then known as Mary Ann Evans decided to blaze her own path. That included writing books that would scandalize Victorian England and living in sin with her married boyfriend, George Henry Lewes (John Sessions).

I personally enjoyed this program. But I am a fan of Eliot. Overall I would say that it is worth watching, but only if the viewer is curious about this period or has read George Eliot’s books.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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