From a writing perspective, one of the upshots of creating a science fiction and fantasy narrative is that the number of stories one can tell is nearly endless. However, that does not mean that the reader or viewer is entertained.
The pilot of the new NBC series, Debris, premiered last night. MI6 agent Finola Jones (Riann Steele) and CIA agent Brian Beneventi (Jonathan Tucker) have been tasked with answering questions about an alien space craft and its effects on human beings.
If I was generous, I would give this program an A for effort. The show tries to live up to the trailer and the genre. But it was nothing more than background noise. Whatever story hook the created is non-existent. Though I did finish watching the pilot, there was nothing that inspired me into continuing on with further episodes.
The premise of Young Rock is that The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson) is running for President in 2032. He sits down with an interviewer to tell his story.
On Kenan (Kenan Thompson) the title character is a television host and a recent widower living in Atlanta. Supported by his brother, Gary (Chris Redd) and his father-in-law Rick (Don Johnson), he is attempting to put his life together after his wife’s passing.
I told myself that I wanted to give both shows on a shot. Now that I have, I can move on. Young Rock is boring and Kenan is just a modern reboot of Full House.
Do I recommend them? No.
Kenan and Young Rock air consecutively at 8:00 and 8:30 on NBC on Tuesday.
World on Fire (PBS): This PBS/Masterpiece follows a group of individuals as World War II is on the horizon.
Mrs. America (F/X/Hulu): In the 1970’s, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was close to becoming the law of the land. A tug of war begins between one group of women that is for it and another that is against it.
Sanditon (PBS): Based off the unfinished book of the same name by Jane Austen, we follow Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams), a young woman who leaves her family for the seaside resort town of Sanditon.
The first day on any new job is often confusing and/or head spinning.
The new medical drama Nurses aired last night on NBC. Grace (Tiera Skovbye), Natasha (Ashley Collins), Keon (Jordan Johnson-Hinds), Nazneen (Sandy Sidhu), and Wolf (Donald MacLean Jr.) are all rookie nurses. New hires at the fictional St. Mary’s hospital, the pilot follows them as they try to adapt during their first day on the job. If they expected an easy work day, their expectations immediately go out the window. And then, like all television dramas, the personal lives of the characters come into play, making work just a little more complicated.
I watched the first episode last night. So far, so good. The cast is well chosen and the narrative is compelling. Only time will tell if the series lasts. But overall, it’s not a bad way to spend an hour of our television watching time.
If there is one thing that Americans have lost over the last four years, it is that we have lost a sense of decency.
On Thursday, in lieu of the cancelled Presidential debate, each candidate held a televised town Hall. You know who’s town hall aired on NBC with Savannah Guthrie as moderator. Vice President Joe Biden’s town hall aired on ABC with George Stephanopoulos moderating.
I didn’t watch you know who’s town hall. But I watched enough clips to know that it was not worth watching. Instead of talking about what he would do for the American people if he is re-elected, he once again claimed the spotlight and whined.
One of the questions that was asked of the Vice President, was his stance on the rights of the LGBTQ community. His response is as follows:
This is the type of person I want to be President. Is he perfect? No. But at the very least, he understands that the role of a public servant is to serve the community. It is not intended to be used for personal gain or to fill an emotional hole created by difficult parent.
If I were to list the reasons to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the number one reason is a vote for decency. If we are to move forward as a nation, we need a President and an administration that represents that sense of decency. That administration will be led by Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Among the many boundaries that Covid-19 ignores is the health of the person it infects. On one end of the spectrum, the person could be the picture of optimal physical health. On the other end of the spectrum, they could be dealing with dealing with multiple health issues. It means nothing to this disease.
Dr. Joseph Fair is a respected virologist and a regular NBC contributor. In the nearly two months since the virus has taken hold of the country, he is one of the doctors who has become the voice of reason and science. Now he has joined the ranks of those who are sick with Covid-19.
I understand the frustration of those who are eager to go back to the pre-Covid-19 normal. I’ve been home nearly 24/7 for two months. While I am fortunate to be able to work from home, I am more than ready to get out in the world. Especially with summer on the horizon.
However, I also know that Covid-19 has killed over 80,000 Americans and sickened over 1,000,000 Americans. Those who protest and/or ignore the stay at home orders are not only endangering their lives, they are endangering the lives of everyone they come in contact with. If staying at home, and only going out for the most basic of needs (while wearing a mask) means that I am doing my part to save lives, so be it.
Let the fools who believe they can’t get sick with the virus live in a fantasy world. I will live in the real world, knowing that I am doing all I can to protect my health and the health of those around me.
If there is one thing that holds us back, it is what we fear.
Fear Factor originally aired on NBC from 2001-2006. Hosted by Joe Rogan, the premise of the show is that contestants attempt to complete physically or emotionally daunting extreme challenges. If they fail to complete the challenge or their fear gets in the way, they are eliminated. At the end of each episode, the winner walked away with $50,000.
We all have to face our fears at some point. However, doing so for the chance to be on TV and win $50,000 cheapens that challenge of facing our fears. I would rather face my fears because I need to, rather than doing so for a potential payday or 15 minutes of fame.
Family sitcoms have been part and parcel of the television landscape since the beginning. The question is, do these programs stand out from the pack or are they just a little too predictable?
Indebted premiered on Thursday. Linda (Fran Drescher) and Stew (Steven Weber) are a middle aged couple who, well, have not been the most responsible when it comes to their finances. When their debt becomes too much to bear, they move in with their son, Dave (Adam Pally) and daughter in law Rebecca (Abby Elliott). When generations collide, as they usually do, misunderstandings occur.
The thing about pilots is that they never reveal the nuances and the colors in both the characters and the narrative. That takes at least a season or two to develop. I was drawn to the show because it followed the standard premise of a family sitcom, but it felt like it belonged in 2020.
The problem with this show is that it trades on stereotypes and predictable character molds. I appreciate that the characters are Jewish, as there continues to be a dearth of positive Jewish representation on television. But I felt like the writers and the creative team leaned a little too far on the stereotypes instead of using them as a launching point for greater character and narrative exploration.
When the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in 2017, it did not break out of thin air. Getting the story to the public took time, effort and going against powerful people who would do almost anything to keep the story out of the news.
Ronan Farrow was one of those reporters. In his new book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Farrow walks the reader through the process of reporting the story of the Weinstein scandal and the major barriers that were in his way. Back in 2017, Farrow was working for NBC. What started out as a routine investigation blew up into a news story that revealed a dark side of our culture that few were willing and/or able to expose.
Though this book is non-fiction, it reads like a spy thriller. The scary thing about this book goes well beyond what Weinstein did. The scary thing is that he had accomplishes who actively helped to bury the story. To my eyes, it says that men like Weinstein still hold all of the cards. The women he attacked and intimidated are powerless.
However, there is a glimmer of hope. There are good people in this world, like Ronan Farrow, who despite the challenges, are willing to stand up for what is right.
George to the Rescue (2010-Present), has aired on NBC for nearly a decade. Hosted by contractor George Oliphant, the show follows George and his team as they renovate the homes of deserving families.
What I like about this program is that the renovations are more than vanity projects or the homeowners looking to add value to their house in order to sell it. It’s about giving back to a family who is going through hard times and desperately needs a leg up of some sort. I don’t know if one might classify it as reality television. But if it does fall under that category, it certainly makes up for some of the brainless programs that also fall into the category of “reality television”.
This hobby blog is dedicated to movie nerdom, nostalgia, and the occasional escape. In the late 90s, I worked at Blockbuster Video where they let me take home two free movies a day. I caught up on the classics and wrote movie reviews for Denver 'burbs newspapers and magazines. Today, I continue to revisit the old and discover the new on the screen. Comments and dialogue are highly encouraged. This year, I'm excited to collaborate with other writers via SLICETHELIFE, in which we will share our movie genre favorites in our 2021 Movie Draft!