Throwback Thursday: Hang Time (1995-2000)

Everyone has that one thing in high school that defines those years and that experience. It could be sports, music, art, etc.

Hang Time aired on NBC from 1995-2000. This high school sitcom followed the lives of seven members of a high school basketball team at fictional Deering High School.

In short, this show was Saved by the Bell on the basketball court. Other than the sports angle, the only thing that made this show stand out was that the team consisted of both male and female players. I can recall watching an episode or two, but I was not a regular viewer. Obviously, there was enough of an audience to keep the series on the air for five years. I was not among them.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Throwback Thursday: One World (1998-2001)

There is no one way to become a parent. While many go the traditional route, others choose either fostering or adoption.

The NBC 1990s series, One World (1998-2001), followed a married couple Dave and Karen Blake (Michael Toland and Elizabeth Morehead) as they do their best to raise their six kids, who all come from various backgrounds.

Unlike other shows of this era (i.e. Saved by the Bell) that focused solely on the kids in the school setting, I like that the younger characters were seen both at home and on campus. I also appreciate that the creators went through the extra efforts to create a world with diversity as the backbone.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

The Courtship Review

It’s easy to look at the past with rose-colored glasses. This is especially true when it comes to love and romance. Modern dating sometimes comes off as dry or lacking that spark.

The new NBC reality dating show, The Courtship, premiered last night. The best way to explain it is Jane Austen meets The Bachelorette. Nicole Remy is our heroine. Fed up with the apps, hookup culture, etc, she “travels” back to the Regency era, hoping to meet her future husband. Joining her as her advisors are her parents, her sister, and her best friend. Vying for Nicole’s heart are sixteen suitors, each hoping to be the one.


My first thought on watching this show is how much I appreciate a man in Regency garb. It’s one of the reasons I love this period.
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Fangirling aside, it is a unique twist on a genre and subgenre that we have become all too familiar with. Though the I do have two things to nitpick on. The first is Nicole’s outfits (so far). The dresses are beautiful, but they are not exactly authentic to the time. The second is a scene that I will not elaborate on for those who did not watch it. What I will say is that in Austen’s era, it would have created a major scandal.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

The Courtship airs on NBC on Sunday night at 8PM.

The Endgame Review

The “cat and mouse game” narrative is a potent one. When done right, the story sends the audience on a ride that keeps us hanging on to the very end.

The new NBC series, The Endgame premiered last night. Criminal mastermind Elena Federova (Morena Baccarin) has just been caught by the US government. While Elena is in custody, a series of bank heists happen simultaneously across New York City. The only one who can stop her is FBI agent Val Fitzgerald (Ryan Michelle Bathe). Val is both dedicated to her job and not willing to cut corners in order to close cases.

I like the premise and I like the fact that both the protagonist and antagonist are female. Each is formidable in her own right.

I can’t say that based on the pilot, I am head over heels in love with this series. There is a lot of potential for a long-running program, but I don’t know if it will be realized. I will probably watch upcoming episodes, but only time will tell if I continue with the full season.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

The Endgame airs on NBC on Monday night at 10PM.

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.

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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Home Sweet Home Review

The best way to learn about someone who is different from us is to spend a day in their shoes. Though the outcome is not 100% guaranteed, the hope is that we see that person behind the stereotypes and the labels.

NBC‘s new reality show, Home Sweet Home premiered last Friday. Created by writer/producer Ava Duvernay, it is a sort of gentler version of Wife Swap. Each episode follows two families who switch lives and homes for four days. While in the other’s house, they live as that family does and meet their loved ones. At the the end of that period, they meet for a meal and get to know those who they have temporarily shared their lives with.

The participants in the first episode are a heteronormative Caucasian Greek Orthodox couple and an African-American LGBTQ couple.

Though the show could border on schmaltzy or the typical overly dramatic reality television formula, it doesn’t. It has a nice balance of tension and the predictable narrative that the audience has come to expect for the genre. What I found appealing was that it spoke to the humanity in all of us. The connection between the two families was the thing that drew me in. Despite their differences, they not only got along, but they became friends. The hook that will keep me watching was a statement by the father. He realized that it is possible to raise children that are happy and successful without forcing the traditional cis gender two parent structure down our throats.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Home Sweet Home airs on NBC on Friday night at 8PM.

La Brea Review

The science fiction and fantasy genres are fascinating. There seems to be no limit in the stories that can be told.

La Brea premiered earlier this week on NBC. On an average day in Los Angeles, a sink hole opens, swallowing everything and everyone its path. Among those that have fallen in are Eve Harris (Natalie Zea) and her son Josh (Jack Martin). On the surface, Eve’s daughter Izzy (Zyra Gorecki) and her estranged husband Gavin (Eoin Macken) are trying to figure what happened. Gavin is having visions of the fate those who have disappeared into the sinkhole, but, no one believes him.

Thousands of miles below them, Eve, Josh and the other survivors have found themselves in ancient world, populated by animals that have not been seen alive for a millennia. The first task to figure out where (and when) they are and pull through. The second is to get home. Neither will be easy.

I like this show. It reminds of both Lost and The Lost World. Among the new series of this season, it is certainly a unique concept. I like both the family dynamic and the creative twist to a narrative that we have all seen in one form or another. Though the special effects leave a little to be desired, I’ve seen worse.

As good as I think it is, the reception from both audiences and veers toward the negative. Only time will tell if the full season is released or it is cut short. Either way, it is worth at least, a chance.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

La Brea airs on NBC on Tuesday night at 9PM.

Ordinary Joe Review

When we graduate college, it is both the end of one experience and the beginning of another experience.

The new NBC series, Ordinary Joe, explores this question. Joe Kimbreau (James Wolk) has just received his BA in 2011. There are three literal and physical life paths before him. The narrative then flashes forward to 2021. Fate had led him down three different life choices. In the first, he is a rock star. In the second, he is a nurse, In the third, he is a police officer. Supporting him is his childhood best friend Charlie (Eric Payne), his college bff/secret love interest Jenny, (Elizabeth Lail) and new crush Amy (Natalie Martinez). Each narrative swirls and gets tangled up in one another until they momentarily mingle, coming together to ask the question of which life he will live.

I really like the series so far. The premise is unique and the format does not feel convoluted or complicated. One thing that I noticed was each scenario has its own color scheme and the representation of where the program could go with three physical paths seen on campus early in the first episode.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Ordinary Joe airs on NBC on Monday night at 10PM.

Throwback Thursday: Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist (2016-Present)

The news does not stop when the traditional work week ends.

Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist premiered back in 2016 and has since become a regular part of the NBC schedule. A weekend offshoot of the long running talk show The Today Show, host Willie Geist walks the viewer through headlines of the day.

It is a pleasure to wake up to this show on Sunday morning. Geist has an every person quality to him, making it seem as if he is having a one on one conversation with the audience instead talking into a camera beaming into millions of televisions across the country.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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