Category Archives: TV Review

Flashback Friday-Grease: You’re the One That I Want! (2007)

Reality television has a way of worming itself into every niche of the television world that it can.

In 2007, it made it’s way to Broadway. Grease: You’re the One That I Want! aired for one season. The purpose of the program was to use the reality show format to cast another revival of Grease. Using the competition show as a backbone, the format was not unfamiliar: the contestants would perform every week. One by one they are eliminated until the winners are cast as Danny and Sandy.

At the time, it was good television. Looking back I can see that it was not that good. It was not completely lifeless, but it was one of the shows that was only destined to last one season.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Music, Television, TV Review

Throwback Thursday-The Graham Norton Show (2007-Present)

Talk shows are a dime a dozen on television. For such a program to last, it has to stand out from the pack.

The Graham Norton Show premiered in 2007 in the UK. Hosted by Graham Norton, this talk show has all of the hallmarks of the genre with the celebrity guests and performances.

I love this show. Graham is brilliant, hysterical, and a little on the naughty side. Instead of coming off as your talk show, it like a party that everyone wants to be at. I can’t think of a better reason to watch.

I absolutely recommend it.

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Help! I Wrecked My House Review

From an outsider’s perspective, renovating one’s home is a simple process. But those who know better can easily say otherwise.

Help! I Wrecked My House premiered last night on HGTV. On the series, homeowners who have attempted and failed to do DIY home renovations turn to Jasmine Roth. The goal of Roth and her team is to complete the process that the owners were unable to.

I enjoyed the show. Though it is reality television, it is not as much of a brain drain as other programs in the genre are. Roth comes off as both amiable and knowledgeable. As a viewer, I was engaged, eager to see the final results of the renovation.

I recommend it.

Help! I Wrecked My House airs on Saturday night at 8PM on HGTV.

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Flashback Friday: The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us (2013)

History is an interesting thing. We might not be aware of it in the moment. But upon looking back, we are able to develop a clear picture of what has happened.

The six part miniseries The 80’s: The Decade That Made Us premiered on the National Geographic channel in 2013. Hosted and narrated by actor Rob Lowe, the program looks back at how the years of 1980-1990 changed America. Utilizing news clips, interviews, and other media, the audience is presented with a complete perspective of the decade.

I enjoyed this series. Encompassing every aspect of the era, it is an entertaining and captivating tale of how those ten years forever affected how we live today.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday: The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966)

There are television shows and there are television shows. The first is watchable and entertaining, but ultimately, fades from memory. The second lives on and continues to reach audiences across the generations.

The Dick Van Dyke Show originally ran for five years, from 1961-1966. Created by the late Carl Reiner, the show starred Dick Van Dyke and the late Mary Tyler Moore. Van Dyke played Rob Petrie, a TV writer who lived in the suburbs and worked in the city. Tyler Moore played Laura Petrie, Rob’s wife who was a homemaker.

There is a reason why sixty years on, this program is as revered and beloved as it was during its original run. Though it has the flavor of the family sitcoms of the era (e.g. Father Knows Best), it is a bridge to the modern family sitcoms that we watch today. Unlike their predecessors, the characters are imperfect humans who like the rest of us, are trying to get by.

The program was also revolutionary because Laura wore pants. Up to that point, the mothers in this genre all wore dresses or skirts. Though it is not a huge moment in the march for equality, it was a step that looked upon today is ground breaking.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Feminism, History, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Outlander Review

The narrative of a stranger in a strange land is one of humanities oldest stories.

Outlander (based on the books of the same name by Diana Gabaldon) premiered on Starz back in 2014. In post World War II Scotland, former British military nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) is enjoying a second honeymoon with husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). Then somehow, she is sent back two hundred years in the past. In order to survive, she marries Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

Can she return to her own time and if she can’t, what changes must she make to adapt?

I am presently about 2/3rds of the way though the first season. Though I never read the books and cannot make any comparisons to the series, I am enjoying it. It has elements of the different genres that play well together to create a story that is engaging and very entertaining.

I absolutely recommend it.

Outlander is now streaming on Netflix.

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Flashback Friday: The Plague (2005)

In the collective mind of humanity, we tend to believe that we are above Mother Nature. We forget that not only are we not above Mother Nature, but we are also still under her control.

The Plague was a documentary that premiered on the History Channel in 2005. It told the story of the Black Plague. Between the years of 1346 & 1353, millions were killed and Europe as it was back then was forever changed.

Watching this in 2020, it strikes me how relevant it is. Though Covid-19 does not have the same power over us that the Black Plague had in the 14th century, the repercussions have not changed. In spite of the science that has saved lives, human beings have not changed. There are still some among us who disbelieve the news and others who think that it is a punishment from the eternal parent upstairs.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday: Nostradamus Effect (2009)

We would all love to be able to predict the future. It is human to wonder and ask what is to come.

In the 16th century, Nostradamus was known as an astrologer, a doctor, and a reputed seer. The quatrains he wrote are said to have predicted the future. In 2009, Nostradamus Effect premiered on the History Channel. This “documentary” series promised to explain how his prophecies have come or will come to pass.

This is one of those history programs that tries to sound legit, but it is questionable at best. The information presented sounds good. But watching it, I have to wonder how much of it is real and how much is embellished to add to the drama.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under History, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

Flashback Friday: My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding (2012-2016)

There has been a fascination by those in the majority about those who are in the minority. This fascination has, for better or worse, become a gold mine for reality television producers.

My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding aired on TLC from 2012-2016. This reality show told the story of the marriage ceremonies of Romani Americans (otherwise known as Gypsies).

This program is trash, there is no other way to put it. I will freely admit that I am completely uneducated on this segment of American society. However, regardless of how much knowledge the viewer has of Romani-Americans, it comes off as the typical brain drain over-dramatic reality program.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely not.

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The English Game Review

One of the major conflicts over the course of human history is between the working class and the ruling and/or wealthy class.

The English Game premiered on Netflix earlier this year. Written by Julian Fellows (Downton Abbey), this six part series tells the story of how football (soccer for us Americans) became the sport it is today. In 1879 England, football is a game played by amateurs. The teams are made up of members of the upper class who are well, overprotective, of the game.

When they are confronted with other teams who come from the working class, the conflict becomes more than football. It represents the idea that the traditional social hierarchy is changing. Those who were born on the lower end of the hierarchy are no longer content to remain where they are. They want a piece of the action, so to speak, and are more than willing to fight for their rights.

Representing the upper classes is Arthur Kinnaird (Edward Holcroft). Standing up for the working men and women is Fergus Suter (Kevin Guthrie).

I enjoyed watching the series. Though it is a BPD (British Period Drama), the narrative is not the standard BPD narrative. It tells the story of a time in which the world was changing and the forces it took to create that change.

I recommend it.

The English Game is available for streaming on Netflix.

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Filed under Downton Abbey, History, Netflix, Television, TV Review