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Bullet Sunday 752

Posted on February 20th, 2022

Dave!Do not go gentle into that good night... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• LEGEND! To say that Roy Kent is my favorite television character of all time is kinda underselling it. And to them get him to do something like THIS?!?

Perfect.

   
• Well, Fuck! Doesn't it just figure? After decades of finally trying to find the perfect frozen pizza, I actually DO, only to have Red Baron fucking change it...

Old vs. New

The cheese, which used to be creamy and gooey has been cut bigger and now tastes chewy... like I have a mouth of pencil erasers. The crust looks the same, but it doesn't cook up light a airy like bread... it's more pasty and dense. This could be because the cheese and sauce has changed... but it really doesn't seem the same. And it's like... WHY?!? Why change something that's actually good? Oh well. I was eating way too much pizza anyway (I was buying six at a time)... so that problem is solved.

   
• Marple! Ever since not being able to go to the theater to see the remake of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, I've been obsessing over other Agatha Christie adaptations. And I think that I've found the book which has been adapted the most... A Caribbean Mystery. This evening I started with the 1983 Helen Hayes movie, which is my favorite. Then tomorrow I'll finish up with the BBC/ITV versions from 1989 and 2013...

The three different versions of A Caribbean Mystery

The BBC version with Joan Hickson is likely the most faithful version... but I'm just such a huge Helen Hayes fan that it's difficult for me to see past it.

   
• MIWANDA! Dead. Legit dead. If you've seen Sex and the City: And Just Like That... this is one of the funniest things you'll see (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@zzzachariah Justice for silly Steve 🤪 #satc #sexandthecity #ajlt #andjustlikethat #mirandahobbes #stevebrady #carriebradshaw ♬ Sad Emotional Piano - DS Productions

Steve was thoroughly trashed by the sequel series, and this puts a cherry on it.

   
• Threat! For whatever reason, I have been getting a shocking number of viruses attempting to take over my computer these past few weeks. Four appeared just yesterday...

Threat messages from BitDefender.

There was a day that Mac users didn't have to worry so much about viruses, but now? Yeah. If you're a Mac user, I would install some kind of virus protection sooner rather than later. I went with BitDefender because I got a deal on it, but anything you find is bound to be better than nothing.

   
• EmmyEmm! I find it fucking hilarious when dipshit ass-clowns like Rudy Giuliani dare to talk shit about anybody. They just don't have the brains to do it without getting fucking roasted in the rebuttal...

Gotta hand it to the writers at The Late Show, this parody of Eminem is funny as hell. Not that it was very difficult for them to come up with something... Giuliani is basically a parody of himself.

   
• Peace, Mutherfucker! The season finale of Peacemaker was sublime. Absolutely perfect. Thanks to James Gunn for such a terrific show... but especially for Vigilante, who is easily one of my favorite characters now. Freddie Stroma was inspired casting! And then there's Adebayo. Holy crap did she get an amazing character arc in this series! "I was made for this shit!" is right! Cannot wait for Season 02.

   
Until next Sunday, true believers...

   

Tube21

Posted on December 30th, 2021

Dave!And it's time once again for my annual wrap-up of my favorite TV shows that came out this year.

Or, more accurately, a "wrap-up of TV shows that I saw which came out this year." As always, there's a bunch of shows I never got around to watching that might have ended up on my list... and (more likely) shows I loved but have forgotten about. And here we go...

Favorite TV Shows 2021

   
#1 Hawkeye (Disney+)
If you had walked up to me and told me that my number one show of 2021 would not be Ted Lasso just last month, I would have slapped you across the face. Mostly because you aren't wearing a mask, but partly because it's just so inconceivable. But here we are. After getting off to a slow start, Hawkeye managed to go out with a bang and seal that top spot. The series takes so many of the things that I love from the original Matt Fraction and David Aja comic book series then blends them seamlessly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe we know and love. Though pretty much flawless, I maintain that had the first two episodes been merged into a single episode... and they split the final episode into two parts with more Yelena in them... we would have got more of what made everything so darn good. Like that cast! Jeremy Renner is at his best yet as Clint Barton. Hailee Steinfeld is sublimely perfect as Kate Bishop. Alaqua Cox nailed it as Maya Lopez. Florence Pugh is hilariously great as Елена Белова. And we also get some new characters that are all perfectly cast... along with the return of a character that was better than could have been hoped for. The best Disney+ series from Marvel Studios yet and my favorite show of 2021.

   
#2 Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Following up one of the most flawless seasons of a show ever created had to be a daunting task. There was literally nowhere to go but down. But darned if the people behind Ted Lasso didn't manage to come darn close. Even if they had to utterly destroy one of my favorite characters to get there. And speaking of favorites? Roy Kent... my favorite television character ever... had a run for his money thanks to Sarah Niles playing Dr. Sharon Fieldstone. If I have a criticism it's that the season was all build-up to the endgame coming next season. The conflict came very late and it was just feel-good moments piled on top of each other. But they were such good moments, weren't they?

   
#3 The Mandalorian (Disney+)
If anything, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Crew elevated their game to give us something that may be better than even the first season. Partly because they worked hard to push things into new directions... partly because we got a mix of terrific new characters and a return of old favorites... and partly because they know exactly what the fans want to see, then they 100% deliver on it. One has to wonder if they had been in charge of the movie prequels and sequels... would they have ended up as shitty as they were? I'm willing to bet not. Though Book of Boba Fett just started and is not exactly blowing my socks off, so perhaps. Oh well. So long as Disney keeps pumping out amazing content like Mando Season 02, Star Wars will be just fine. And just think... Obi-Wan, Andor, Ahsoka, Lando, and more are coming. Oh happy day.

   
#4 Resident Alien (SyFy)
I knew I was going to like this show the minute I saw the trailer. Any time you wind up Alan Tudyk and let him run wild you're guaranteed terrific entertainment... and this time they put him in the wacky world of a comic book series that he actually elevated to something even better. Tasked with destroying the Earth, but then crashing into it instead, an alien has to assume the identity of a doctor who died while attempting to repair his ship, avoid being spotted by a boy who can see his true identity, and burying his growing affection for earthlings. The result is hilarious television that has me eagerly anticipating what we're going to get in the second season.

   
#5 What We Do In the Shadows (FX)
I honestly anticipated that this show would burn through whatever good ideas they had after two seasons then deteriorate into something that's a shadow of what we started with. Well, thank heavens that's not the case, because the third season was every bit as great and sets things up for yet another spectacular season. Or maybe I'm just in love with Nandor. But who isn't in love with Nandor? Consistently one of the funniest shows on television and they haven't had a bad episode yet.

   
#6 The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+)
This show was badly hampered with having to deal with the ramifications of half the planet being blipped into existence after five years dead from Thanos snapping his fingers. Had they been able to just work towards Sam taking up the mantle of Captain America without spending so much time being distracted, we would have gotten a better show. But it is what it is, and there was enough on-screen magic in the Sam/Bucky love/hate relationship to make this series far more entertaining than it had a right to be. The Flag Smashers weren't great as a threat. Counterfeit Captain America was just a way to set-up future shows (and did not deserve the hate he got online). And the arc for Sharon Carter is something that's likely going to either be forgotten... or hung around the neck of a future Marvel Studios series.

Favorite TV Shows 2021

   
#7 Acapulco (Apple TV+)
I have quickly become a major fan of Eugenio Derbez. His performance in the Overboard remake was classic... he had a fantastic bit part in one of my favorite 2021 films, CODA... and he's done a load of fantastic voice work for various animation. So when I heard that they were building a series around his character from How to Be a Latin Lover AND he would be reprising the role? I had no idea what to expect. But it wasn't the sweet, charming, funny, and wholly entertaining show. There's no word on if we're getting a second season, but I sure hope so.

   
#8 The Other Two (HBO Max)
In their first season this show was so horribly demented and wrong... but all the more hilarious because of it. This time around they did not back down, going to even worse places to mine for laughs, and striking gold more often than not. A part of me is embarrassed that I like this show so much, but it just can't be helped. It's so very, very funny. But also so very, very wrong.

   
#9 Reservation Dogs (FX/Hulu)
All I had to hear was "Taika Waititi is producing" and I was in. But in for what I had no idea. A comedy about indigenous teens who want to move from Oklahoma to California, but have to commit petty crimes in order to ear the money they need to do it? Okay then. The result is a lot of subtle, deadpan humor that always seems to land perfectly. The show is funny and painfully relevant, making it must-see television for anybody who appreciates shows like that.

   
#10 Modern Love (Amazon Prime)
You know how I found this show? I heard a song, liked it, then found out that it was the theme song for this show which is now in its second season. Based on a popular column from The New York Times by the same name, each episode is a stand-alone story which talks about love in all its forms (BONUS: in the first season all the episodes end up tying together at the end). Charming, funny, awkward, heartbreaking, uplifting, painful, and wonderful... this series is all the things that love can be.

   
#12 Lupin (Netflix)
Netflix really hurt the show by splitting the first season into two parts because the second half was not as good as the first. And yet it's hard to get too caught up in all that when Omar Sy's gentleman thief is so compelling a character. Revenge stories are as old as time, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one done as stylish as this. At the end of the season Lupin is essentially forced to cut off some dead weight that was dragging the show a bit. What I hope that the writers do is have the guts to leave it be so they can focus on Lupin alone, which is when the show absolutely shines. Of course I have no idea if it will even get a second season, but given how it was Netflix's most-watched non-English program before Squid Game came along, it's likely pretty likely.

Favorite TV Shows 2021

   
#13 Loki (Disney+)
I'm just going to get this out of the way... the Loki variants like Gator Loki and Thor Loki and Female Loki were not something I thought worked very well. What did work exceedingly well was everything else. The writers wisely decided to snap Loki out of his element and comfort zone so he has to evolve past the merry prankster he was before he "died" in Avengers: Endgame. And it was handled so beautiful. After getting apprehended by the TVA (Time Variance Authority) AKA "The Time Police," Loki thinks that all his problems will be solved if he can just get The Tesseract and its Infinity Stone back after the TVA took it from him. Then he will have the power to do whatever he wants. Again. But very quickly he finds out that the Infinity Stones which Thanos used to eliminate half of all life in the universe are mere trinkets to everybody working at the TVA. That "The Power" he's been chasing since Avengers was never what he thought it was. And at that moment when you can see it dawn on him (holy shit is Tom Hiddleston an amazing actor) is when you realize that this series is not going to be what you thought it was. And the story was darn good... if not a bit meandering.

   
#14 The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime)
Historical fiction is a tricky business. When you stray too far from the real events, you might very well diminish the things you are trying to tell your story around. And here we have a series where the Underground Railroad is made into a literal railroad?!? It's like... why would you do that? And I very nearly skipped out until people started telling me how good it was. And while I'm ultimately glad that I saw it, I'm the first to admit that it's difficult to watch at times... a boring slog at times... and challenging to the viewer always. It ain't going to be for everybody. But what makes it so worth it is how beautifully the series is crafted. When you get to those bright spots, the show's epic scope unfolds and reveals itself. This show is the very definition of "powerful television." If you think you can handle it, you really should.

   
#15 For All Mankind (Apple TV+)
There's something to be said for how this series coasts on the sheer quality of it all. It's not the best thing on television. But everybody working on it treats it as if it is, and that goes a long, long way. In my opinion, For All Mankind is often times as good as it was the first season, but there are still issues that pop up which have me scratching my head. They're 100% invested in this being an alternative history series one minute... then it feels as if they're scrambling to fill in the gaps the next, and it makes for an uneven ride. Like they come up with really great ideas in the broad-strokes, but don't know where to go with the details from time to time to get there. But it's still a very good ride. Thrilling even. And one that I'm happy to keep taking.

   
#11 Magnum, PI (CBS)
This series started so brilliantly, but then kinda lost its way after the first two seasons. The chemistry was there. The cast was still amazing. And Higgins was so great that she could carry her own show. But it just wasn't working as well as it once was. Then they kinda earned something back in this, their fourth season. I still find myself hoping for more Rick & T.C. because they are woefully underutilized too much of the time, but am glad that they're still around at all. Their job is to ground the show more often than not, and they excel at that.

   
#16 WandaVision (Disney+)
For a Marvel Studios fan like myself, WandaVision was a tough sell. Because it was The Vision and the Scarlet Witch from the Avengers... but not really. Told through the lens of old television shows and exploring Wanda's trauma over losing The Vision, I understand why the show was so critically acclaimed. Honestly I do. I'm just not one of the people who was able to buy into it. I wanted to see the characters have some cool super-hero stuff to do, but we didn't really get that.

   
#17 Hacks (HBO Max)
Jean Smart completely caught me off guard with her performance in HBO's Watchmen series. She was absolutely glorious and pushed that role in a direction that not many other actors could. I can't even say if she knew the material she was a part of... but she knew her character. She had a handle on that much from her first moment. And now she's done it again with Hacks. As an aging comedian in Vegas who is forced to take a look at herself and her world after taking on an assistant (who has problems of her own, let me tell you). I don't think that every episode is a home run. But overall as a series I was digging it. And that was mostly thanks to Jean Smart, who I am paying very close attention to for whatever she decides to do next.

   
#18 Mythic Quest (Apple TV+)
The first season was exceptional. I loved every minute of it. And their COVID special was one of the better ones. But this second season, while still pretty darn good, is no longer must-see television for me. It's more of a "I like it... but when I get around to watching" kind of show. Maybe it's because the whole "behind the scenes of a video game company" blew through so much funny in the first season that it's running out of gas? Maybe I've grown tired of it already? That very well could be, because I know people who think that the second season is better than the first. So I dunno. I still love the characters and what they're trying to do... I'm just not as hyped for the result as I once was. Still made my list though.

   
MUST SEE TELEVISION SPECIALS AND DOCUMENTARIES...
This year was a weird one in comedy because one of my all-time favorite comedians was cancelled... or is getting cancelled... or is somebody people want canceled... or whatever. In an effort to clarify the material he used in a previous special about the trans community, Dave Chappelle actually dug himself into an even deeper hole. And it's pretty cringe because he devoted so much time to it. But even worse? It wasn't very funny. The ultimate comedy sin. He would have been better of saying nothing, but instead we get a huge chunk of an entire special prefaced with "I can't be transphobic because I have a trans friend who died." A horrible take to be sure. I don't think the actual material was as bad as its been blown up to be, but it's my least favorite of his specials, so there's that. What were my favorites this year though? Glad you asked...

  • Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. It's not up to the level of The Tennessee Kid, but its still observational humor that's very funny done very well. The fact that Bargatze can manage all this while performing clean? That takes quite a lot of talent.
  • Bo Burnham: Inside. A good chunk of this lockdown experiment was disturbingly funny... but in a way that's different from the Bo Burnham material he's given us so far. And it's great fun. But the best part? He's got some seriously good songs in here. One in particular, Content, is so good that I wish he'd flesh it out to a full song. I'd buy that single.
  • Tig Notaro: Drawn. Tig is already one of the funniest people on the planet, but that wasn't good enough so she decided to kick it up a notch and animate a special. And the result is even more hilarious than I expected.
  • Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material. I always hesitate before saying that I like anything Jimmy Carr does because he's so terrible that I'm almost afraid of getting "canceled" by osmosis. If you're a Carr fan, this is more of what you love... horrible takes on things made hilarious.
  • Phil Wang: Philly Philly Wang Wang. I actually watched this twice. The first time I was only kinda paying attention. But then the ending had me wanting to sit through it all over again to see what I missed. This is terrible, but I actually think it gave me a better appreciation for the show.

   
TELEVISION HONORABLE MENTION...

  • Schmigadoon! I'm not a "musicals" guy, but this was incredibly entertaining with a cast that's perfect.
  • The Expanse As of this writing, we're only half-way through the final season of the show, and I'm honestly not sure what to make of it. The first episode was 100% wasted. They got six... SIX!... episodes and just threw away 1/6 of it. Then things picked up. Whether or not they can manage to land this plane without shitting the bed is anybody's guess. But Im willing to give them the benefit of doubt that they can. But after that first episode? Well... we won't know until next year's list, will we?
  • Squid Game. I'm a big fan of South Korean films and television, and this was the one that really broke the genre wide open for the US... becoming one of Netflix's most popular shows. And while I liked it (and liked it a lot) there were some leaps of logic that were just too far for me to make and kept it from breaking into my list.
  • Love, Victor. The first season of the show was very well done, expanding on the show in a way that felt fresh while giving fans more of what they liked about the movie Love, Simon. The second season really took a bizarre turn, adding unnecessary drama where it didn't really need to exist. Victor's life would be interesting enough without it. Hopefully they'll figure this out in the next season, if we're getting one.
  • Pen15. The final season was as good as it ever was and I was sad to see it end. Though maybe going out on top was the smart move when it comes to a show like this? Probably.
  • CSI Vegas. Was the revival anything exceptional? Not really. Were the murder mysteries the best you'll find on television? Not even close. But it was a chance to see Gil Grissom, Sara Sidle, and Jim Brass return to our television screens, and I was all for that. The overall mystery arc of who framed David Hodges was actually solved fairly early... but they didn't take it home until the very last episode. At which point it was almost moot. But it was all good. I'm guessing it will get renewed without William Petersen and Jorja Fox, at which point the only reason to watch will be gone. But I'm might give it a go.
  • LuLaRich. I was on a real documentary tear for a while there, and this one was pretty crazy from a "how in the heck did this actually happen?" kind of way. But there's a lot of that going around, so... yeah.
  • Superman & Lois. This is not the best Superman television show. That would be Superman: The Animated Series. But it's likely the closest thing to being the best live action version of the character since the first two Christopher Reeve movies. Part of it is just how good Tyler Hoechlin is in the role. But Henry Cavill was a good Superman, and his movies suck. So I think it comes down to the version of Superman that we're getting. This is a more hopeful, measured take, and one that you actually want to watch. Doesn't hurt that this show is taking big swings with the stories and everything looks so fantastic on top of that.

   
ANIMATION TO WATCH

  • Invincible. This was an animated comic book series which I seriously expected to be dulled down to the nib. And I was oh so wrong. If anything, they took the source material to the next level and gave us a violent, bloody, take-no-prisoners approach to super-heroes that even puts The Boys to shame. Very well done adaptation that's not for the faint-at-heart.
  • Rick and Morty. The fifth season is more a mixed bag than ever before and there were episodes that I thought were pretty bad. But when the show is good, it's one of the best things ever made, so I kind of end up in the middle somewhere.
  • What If.... I gotta say, the thing that I will forever take away from this series is that it was the last time we got to have Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Otherwise I was kinda underwhelmed. Individual episodes were often short-changed in service of the bigger narrative being built, and I don't think the payoff was worth it. Still... nice animation, great talent, and a few really good episodes made this something I was happy to see in 2021.
  • Inside Job. Inappropriately funny. But in a good way! Actually more consistent an animated series than Rick and Morty right now! Never thought I'd be saying that!

   
HAVEN'T SEEN, MIGHT HAVE MADE MY LIST

  • Only Murders in the Building. I have never found Martin Short funny. Ever. Not once. I might have cracked a smile or two when he was on SNL, but his other roles have all rubbed me the wrong way. So I was going to take a big ol' pass on this show. Until the rave reviews started pouring in.

   
OVERRATED BUT OKAY

  • The White Lotus. The premise of this show was alright. Horrible wealthy white people doing what horrible wealthy white people do... exploit everything and everybody without giving it another thought. And while there were some fascinating characters, interesting scenarios, and an idea that worked, the implementation fell flat for me. Trivial situations are taken too far, which was great... until they went more than too far. At which point the show faltered for me.
  • Mare of Easttown. You will get absolutely no argument from me that this was a well-written show with a cast to die for. But there's a point when you can just look at this as one of those British police dramas being stretched to tedium and so mired in drama that it can't breathe. We've seen this show a million times before. Not always done this well, but enough that I was hoping for something more.
  • Succession I honest-to-God don't get it. For all the hype, I expected to find Jesus while tuning in to this show... but instead I found writing that wasn't great, acting that wasn't great (with a few exceptions), and stories that were outright boring. None of the devious intrigue I was counting on was present... the episodes unfolding more like a bad comedy than a dark comedy done well. After a hugely disappointing first season, I started powering through... despising how Nothing. Ever. Changes. No. Matter. What. Happens. and that the status quo would always be preserved. Then things started improving a bit. Season 03 was the best of the lot, but that's not saying much from my perspective. The series is "just okay" and, in my humble opinion, grossly overrated.
  • Maid. The show is dark and depressing. And I don't know that the "happy-ish" ending makes up for sitting through it all. Because while you are definitely given reason to cheer for the protagonist as she does whatever she can to make the best life possible for her daughter and herself while also maintaining her honesty and integrity... there are times that she just doesn't earn it. At which point you're supposed to be all "but at least she owns up to it." And it's like... yeah... but by then I've stopped caring. The message of the show is how some people just can't get a break in a system designed to oppress them. And we know it's true because we see the result of it every day. But when you stack crap on top of that which makes you not care about the hero of the story, you risk losing the viewer. And this show lost me like that too many times, even while it was okay as a whole.

   
DISAPPOINTING

  • Lucifer. Most definitely didn't stick the landing. Not terrible, it's just that this season didn't live up to what came before. And I kinda get it. It was supposed to end on the fifth season, but then Netflix changed their mind, so the writers had to undo what they did and find a compelling way to keep things going. It didn't work for me.
  • Star Trek: Discovery. The last season was so phenomenally bad that I decided I was done with it. But then I figured I might as well give it another try since they were kinda rebooting it, and immediately wish I hadn't bothered. How can a show which was so frickin' incredible in its first season... fall to something quite mediocre in the second... fall even further to total weepy, whiny shit in the third... and then hit rock bottom by completely dying a horrible death in its fourth? How? It's almost as if the writers were trying to kill it.
  • The Wheel of Time. I've never been a huge fan of the books, as they feel so bloated, but I thought that they might streamline things enough to make a good TV show. AND it's got Rosamund Pike in it. Well, despite some decent special effects, I was bored to tears through the first two episodes and couldn't go any further than that.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation With Kevin Smith runnning the show, I was anxiously awaiting the series to debut. And when it did I was in for crushing disappointment because I didn't like any of it. Well, maybe the voice cast. But not the stories or anything else that matters. What kills me here is that the second take on the material in 2021, He-Man and the Masters of the Univers, which was meant to be more kid-freiendly was actually the far superior show.

   
TOTALLY SHIT THE BED

  • Foundation. I don't get it. I honestly don't. This critically acclaimed show is horrendously shitty. It brings new definition to the word "shitty." Boring, plodding, meandering, senseless drama that totally fucked over the source material by dragging it out so they can keep the actors around for longer. God. I would hate this pile of shit even if I wasn't a fan of the books.
  • Jupiter's Legacy. Jesus. Here we go again. Take source material that CANNOT FAIL but then adapt it so badly by folding in prequel shit that NOBODY cares about and watch it fail spectacularly. And so it went.
  • Kevin Can Fuck Himself. I was highly enthusiastic to see what Annie Murphy was going to do after her turn on Schitt's Creek. And the concept for this show seemed original and interesting. Until I watched it. Holy crap what a joyless, boring, awful show. Which can totally work... but not like this. Not even remotely like this. In the end I was saying This Show Can Fuck Itself.

   

Christmas ‘Stache

Posted on December 16th, 2021

Dave!The next season of Ted Lasso is likely 9 months away. It's an agonizing wait. But I'd rather they take their time and do it right than rush it to a bad conclusion. If, in fact, it's actually the end. It may be contracted for three seasons, but it's hard to stop a success train like this. Even if Jason Sudeikis decides he's had enough.

In the meanwhile... there's this...

Yeah. They could create this as a series and I'd totally watch it as well.

   

Bullet Sunday 733

Posted on October 10th, 2021

Dave!Fall days are here, but it's still Summer Vacation at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bags! Washington State is one of those bizarre states that wants to do a good thing... but often ends up doing it badly. Take for example the "Single Use Plastic Bag Ban" that recently went into effect. The idea is to make people bring reusable cloth totes to the store in order to keep plastic bags out of landfills. But... holy shit. Those bags were never single-use to me. I use them to carry stuff all the time (like my lunch) and they're also the garbage bag I use in my kitchen and bathrooms. Stores will still have plastic bags available for a mandatory 8¢ each, but Washington State requires them to be thicker plastic so they're tougher. And I'm like... okay... 8¢ is still the cheapest garbage bag I can buy... and now they are going to be five times thicker, so it's actually one of the best frickin' garbage bags you can get. EXCEPT NOW THERE'S FIVE TIMES MORE PLASTIC GOING INTO THE LANDFILL!! Lots of people use them as trash bags, so even if a bunch of people switch to cloth totes, people will either be buying more plastic trash bags or using the thicker bags, meaning that we might actually have more plastic in the landfills. Does anybody think about this shit before passing these laws? ANYBODY?!??

   
• Finale! Not sure how to feel about the finale of Ted Lasso. In many ways, it was disappointing. There were zero surprises, if you've been paying attention. But I didn't hate it. The entire purpose of the second season was to lead up to the endgame of the third season, which was designed to be the last. It seems entirely likely that it will continue past that... there's just too much to lose... but Bill Lawrence says the three-season story arc will remain regardless...

Ted Lasso walking and smiling on a chilly London day.

He also says that Doctor Fieldstone and Trent Crimm will be back, so there's that. And so... until next year, I guess.

   
• Make Mine Marvel! And so now there's a Kathryn Hahn spin-off with Agatha Harkness from WandaVision. Add to this the rumor that some Netflix Marvel shows are headed to Disney+ as well (Jessica Jones? Daredevil?), and the future is looking very good for Marvel Studios fans... with Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Secret Invasion, Ironheart, Armor Wars, Wakanda Series, and an Echo Series, already announced...

Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness being all evil and stuff.

And heaven only knows how many are being roughed out that we don't even know! I'm guessing that the Marvel stuff is the most popular part of Disney+, so increasing the number of new shows is a no-brainer.

   
• Kenan! The new cast lineup for Saturday Night Live seems solid. But the killer app of the show is Kenan Thompson. He's the most memorable part of every skit he appears in, but it's only due to how he plays it... not necessarily the material they give him. In Billionaire Star Trek he had a bit part as an Amazon delivery guy and Kenan is all I remember of it. The meeting with the school board sketch was instantly forgettable... except for Kenan. Everything EXCEPT for Kenan in the funeral skit evaporated minutes after I saw it. This is most decidedly not a great way to start the season. They had months to prepare for the first show, and nothing sticks in my head except how Kenan managed to make the most of what he had to work with? I dunno. SNL has a problem that's not an easy fix. Hopefully everything will gel and get dialed in before Jason Sudeikis shows up, because that show is something I am really, really looking forward to.

   
• Weekend! How my weekend started...

My SourJo starter being all bubbly.

VS. how its going...

My baked SourJo bread looking delicious.

So pretty darn delicious, I'd say!

   
• Retired! Good riddance you crusty old homophobic, racist, misogynistic bigot. I’ve got a bottle of champagne chilling in the refrigerator for the day you depart this earthly plane. Don’t keep me waiting...

This asshole may be retiring now, but his brain retired decades ago.

   
• Inside! God. Could Intel reek any worse of desperation? This ad is fucking embarrassing. And the "random strangers" they pulled in are ridiculous. Like Apple fans are completely unaware that other products exist. I mean... holy shit... is Intel SO worried that people are leaning away from their chips that they have to be all pathetic like this? Sad. Just sad...

Somebody would have to be legit brain-dead to think that this reflects any semblance of reality.

   
Everybody remember to drink responsibly...

   

Bullet Sunday 732

Posted on October 3rd, 2021

Dave!Everybody do the hokey-pokey and turn yourselves around... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Lasso Unwound! The fact that the writers of Ted Lasso are taking a beloved character from the first season and turning them into a literal villain is an interesting turn. The penultimate episode that played out on Friday makes this fairly irrevocable, and there's no real way of getting out of it. Couple that with the fact that Dr. Fieldstone is leaving the show (God please don't let it be permanently!) and I am very interested in seeing how next week's finale is going to play out...

Doctor Fieldstone on the brilliant television series Ted Lasso.

Doctor Fieldstone getting a good bye note from Ted.

Doctor Fieldstone finds an army man in her beer.

Before all the awards and accolades, it was said that Ted Lasso was going to be a trilogy of seasons. But now that Apple has a very, very good reason to keep the show running, I am fairly certain that a fourth season is highly likely. But whether or not that will include Jason Sudeikis as Ted remains to be seen.

   
• NO CRYING! I wish I knew whom to credit this photo to, because it is absolutely epic. Easily one of the best Halloween costumes I've ever seen...

Three young girls dressed as players from A League of Their Own while a man behind them drinks a beer in his coaches uniferm.

Adorable. Adorable. Adorable.

   
• Poorly Animated! As a massively huge fan of Reza Farazmand's comic strip Poorly Drawn Lines (which he graciously contributed to Thrice Fiction)), I was happy to hear that it was becoming an animated series. And now it's here...

You can watch it on FX and stream it on Hulu right here.

   
• Trash TV! Paramount+ is fucking garbage. Can't play the content I'm paying for, and their tech support doesn't give a shit. Tells you to jump through hoops that never work. Has you disable stuff that no other streaming service requires. Then blames you or your hardware when none of their "suggestions" work. When will these fucking dumbasses learn that whenever they treat their customers like shit, it just encourages them to find other ways of watching the content they want to see. I have many streaming services... and NOT ONE OF THEM fails consistently like Paramount+. Not Amazon Prime, not Netflix, not Philo, not YouTube TV, not Hulu, not Apple TV+, not Peacock, not HBO Max, not Sundance, not Discovery+, not Hallmark Now, not Disney+, not Showtime... NONE of them fail like piece of shit Paramount+. And yet it's MY fault. Right. Okay. Cool. Well, at least I'm not alone...

Mark Evanier tweets... Apparently if your TV can't play Paramount+ properly, Tech Support from Roku or Paramount+ consists of telling you to buy a newer set and see if that solves the problem.

If it weren't for the new Star Trek shows, I wouldn't give a fuck about Paramount+... the only show I watch on CBS is Magnum PI, and I always buy that off of iTunes so I can watch the episodes multiple times.

   
• PASSWORD?! This bullshit right here...

It is so fucking infuriating how sites set their requirements. Most of the things which they claim protect your security actually do exactly the opposite. Making passwords impossible to remember. Making passwords expire. All kinds of idiotic shit which keeps you from getting where you need to go. And password managers only scratch the surface, because sometimes it's the SITE that's fucked up. I've had many a site tell me that I have my password wrong EVEN THOUGH IT'S SAVED IN A MANAGER, and then when I have to reset it, I'm told that I can't use my previous password? Fuck you.

   
• NEWSFLASH: Photographer, social media star Matt Mathews: Opossum taken by the state was his ‘baby’. Animals are not seen as living creatures by our laws. They are seen as disposable assets unworthy of consideration. And usually it comes down to some stupid-ass bullshit about "God providing animals for man's use..." (or abuse, as the case may be). But if you took ten minutes to actually read the Bible, you'd find that it dictates that animals are indeed worthy of kindness and care. God rejoices in ALL that he created. How in the hell do you think that this somehow excludes animals? This is just more of the typical "pick-and-choose theology" that plagues us. And our government.

   
• HA! Apples response to the EU wanting to dictate a USB-C standard for all devices is a laugh riot: "We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world." What a load of horse shit. They moved to USB-C for their laptops and iPads without any problem. Why the fuck is the iPhone any different? Oh... that's conveniently left out of the statement.

   
That's what it's all about...

   

Emmy Schmemmy

Posted on September 22nd, 2021

Dave!Okay... Hacks is funny and Jean Smart is amazing. But the writing is supposed to be better than Ted Lasso? Seriously? Hacks wins the Emmy for writing over Ted? This is impossible to comprehend. Ted Lasso is so tightly-written that there are no wasted minutes. Every second is building to something. I did not get that feeling from Hacks at all. You could miss an episode... you could miss multiple episodes... you could miss all the episodes between the first and last... and not miss a thing. Good writing? Sure. But when it comes to a series of episodes, it takes great writing to do what Ted does.

Oh well.

Not the first time that the most worthy nominee loses an Emmy. Which is why I find them irrelevant and don't watch them.

Don't even get me started about The Crown winning everything over Lovecraft Country.

#EmmysSoWhite.

   

Bullet Sunday 727

Posted on August 22nd, 2021

Dave!I hate to break it to you, but I'm still blogging here... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Ted! My third time watching the latest Ted Lasso. ALL THEY ARE DOING IS WALKING BY AND COLLECTING NESPRESSO MACHINES AND I AM AM DYING. Each time I go back and watch the player reactions in the background as they're picking up their machines. And this time I noticed that Paul didn't grab one? And if he didn't... then why couldn't Nate have his? And I love how Isaac is a big guy... but carries his with two hands so he doesn't drop it while all bundled up...

And how Jamie looks like he's trying to figure out what it is that he's getting! BWAH HA HA HA. And this is what I mean when I say that this show just nails the details. Even the tiniest things are well-realized. Oh how I love this show. And then there's Roy...

Celebrity photos at a kebab shop with a photo of Roy Kent signed YUM!

=sigh= Roy Kent is easily my favorite television character of all time and this episode just cemented it. If you are not watching this show... please stop hurting yourself!

   
• I'll Take a New Host for $500! I guess I was in the minority in that I actually LIKED Mike Richards' job as Jeopardy host. But with all that's come to light about his past actions, I am not sad for him to step down as permanent host. He's not a good choice to fill Alex's tremendous shoes. I suppose that I am also in the minority in saying that I hope Aaron Rodgers gets the gig now...

Aaron Rodgers hosting Jeopardy

By the end of his episodes he was relaxed, fun, charming, smart, personable, and let the contestants shine in a way that was a bit lacking with the other hosts. My least favorite was Ken Jennings, but apparently he's the frontrunner? I dunno. I'll still watch Jeopardy regardless... the reason I watch is to see how much I know and learn new stuff. But it would be nice to have a host I like as well.

   
• Trust! Okay. I don’t mind saying that I teared up a little bit... 103 days, and FINALLY the pet seagull landed on his hand!

@arrynskelly

Day 103 of feeding my pet seagull - today is a monumental day, i held my little buddy on my arm 🥺 he was so heavy… ##fyp ##foryou ##seagull

♬ original sound - arrynskelly

I swear I’ve been watching for 80 of those 103 days! Good job buddy!

   
• I HAVE THE POWER! I was hugely disappointed in the He-Man reboot... but this? THIS HE-MAN?!? Looks awesome...

He-Man for kids that's actually more interesting than the show for adults. Sweet. And it looks visually fantastic to boot.

   
• A Seldon Crisis! Another Foundation trailer. I'll say it again... this looks spectacular. But it also looks like they made the same mistake that Jupiter’s Legacy made. Rather than adapting the original books that people love, they’re folding in stuff from the sequel prequels that people don’t give a shit about...

And I think we all know what happened to the Jupiter’s Legacy series.

   
• MANDATE! I hesitate over the idea of mandatory vaccines. Sure I believe that employers and private companies should be able to mandate vaccines if you want to work there or shop there or use their service... I support that 100%. If an airline says "We require vaccination for you to fly with us"... well, there you go. You can make a choice as to whether you want to fly with them or work there. What I'm talking about is making it mandatory for people who just sit around the house and hang out with their neighbors in their back yard and stuff. A part of me is like... well, sadly, that's their choice and they'll have to live with it. So long as they mask-up when requested outside their home in enclosed spaces, you do you. Except now the latest COVID wave has gotten so bad that such people are filling up hospitals and infecting kids too young to be vaccinated. It's a serious problem that many people are making decisions for themselves and their family out of ignorance and misinformation. They listen to absolute nutjobs who have no idea what the fuck they are talking about, and it ends up being a public safety risk. This is perfectly encapsulated in this video from The New York Times...

I mean... what do you do here? The people refusing the vaccine are getting deathly sick at a rate monumentally higher than vaccinated people. And they are filling up our hospitals. As it gets worse, a vaccinated person who was careful as they can be who has a heart attack may not have a hospital bed available to them because they're full up with unvaccinated COVID patients. Patients who were given every opportunity to get vaccinated but didn't. How is it fair? I read an article that talked about the very real possibility of unvaccinated COVID patients being cut loose and denied a hospital bed in favor of vaccinated patients. The thought of it terrifies me. But... it certainly seems more fair than shafting vaccinated people who at least tried their best to be safe when it comes to COVID. So I dunno. I am grateful I don't have to make those kind of decisions. But it sure seems unfair that doctors will have to. So-called "death panels" may be coming and it has nothing to do with "Obamacare."

   
And on that horrific note, I guess we're out of bullets.

   

A Very Ted Lasso Christmas

Posted on August 13th, 2021

Dave!Since I don't celebrate Christmas, I can take it or leave it when it comes to Christmas television specials. If done well, it transcends any holiday and just becomes darn good television that's great entertainment.

As you can probably guess... the latest episode of Ted Lasso 100% nailed it (spoilers to follow). They did such a good job that I stayed up and watched it when it debuted... then watched it again this morning... then immediately watched it all over again with subtitles.

That being said, I'd have been thrilled just watching the claymation opening credits! WONDERFUL!

Claymation Ted Lasso Characters in the opening credits!

Claymation Ted Lasso Characters in the opening credits!

There were three rather distinct stories woven into this episode. The heart and soul of the meaning of Christmas was found in Ted and Rebecca's story. It's sweet and charming to behold... but the deeper meaning is to be found with just how big a 180° that Rebecca has taken since the first season. Ted was always the empathetic one when it came to others... Rebecca was only seeing a way to use others to enact her revenge. Then her heart won out after a relentless assault by Ted's kindness, and this season she's just as lovely a person as you could hope to meet. Taking time away from epic holiday parties to make sure Ted is doing okay with his first Christmas away from his family... his first Christmas divorced...

Ted sits alone in his apartment.

Rebecca is down on the street saying HI TED!

Rebecca's plan to get Ted into the Holiday Spirit? Delivering Christmas gifts to kids that didn't get any...

Rebecca and Ted are Santa's elves delivering gifts.

It could not have possibly have been more perfect.

The second story involves Higgins and his annual Christmas dinner for players who are far from home. This means that Nathan and players like Jamie Tartt and Colin Hughes drop out early in the episode. Which is actually kind of nice, because players like Richard Montlaur get a minute of screen time they wouldn't normally get (and believe me, Montlaur's +1 definitely makes it worthwhile!). It's also a telling moment for Higgins, because usually he's so unpopular that only two or three players showing up... but this year everybody who doesn't have a place to go shows up! It's genuinely sweet. As is an appearance by Higgins' late cat, Cindy Clawford...

A photo of Cindy Clawford.

I was worried that events of the previous episode would be forgotten... but they do get a mention. And if there's anybody who could give Ted a run for his money in the sweetness department... it's Sam, and I couldn't be happier that he's gotten so much screen time this season...

Sam arrives and the Higgins house.

A very full table at the Higgins home!

The last story is probably my favorite... because it's Roy Kent... but boy does his neice Phoebe hold her own (again) this episode. Roy and Kelley are planning "Sexy Christmas," but plans go awry when Phoebe shows up with a big problem...

Phoebe with a candy cane at Keeley's door.

And just because the show never misses an opportunity to demonstrate once again how Roy and Keeley are a romance for the ages...

Roy giving Keeley a Christmas kiss.

Phoebe's problem is horrendous bad breath which Keeley (rightly) determines must be clinical. This gives Roy the idea of driving back to his "posh neighborhood" and banging on doors until they find a dentist. This is ripe with touching moments of Roy showing genuine love for his niece that belies his gruff exterior...

Roy talking to Phoebe.

That we end up with a cameo from the "Ussie Guy" from the first season (he is actually the fourth character we meet after Rebecca, Higgins, and Ted!) is just icing on the cake...

Roy talking to Phoebe.

And it's at this point that I feel compelled to mention that the cinematography in this episode is sublime...

Roy, Keelye, and Phoebe bathed in a beautiful pink glow from a neon sign.

Is that... it that another smile from Roy Kent?!

As wonderful as this episode is (my favorite this season and ranking very high overall), I can't help but think how much more wonderful it would be to watch it during the holidays (which, of course, I will)...

A Christmas street party.

What can I say? The best show ever to air on television just aired one of the best episodes to ever air on television. It's almost impossible to see how it could be topped, but I say that almost every week.

   

Right-est Thing You Do

Posted on August 6th, 2021

Dave!What happens when the most inconsequential character in Ted Lasso is Ted Lasso? You realize that the show is more important than the lead character, and Jason Sudeikis is more interested in the show being good than being about him.

Last season we learned that Rebecca has a goddaughter named Nora, and this episode we finally get to meet her. I was mortified that they would choose to take the easy way out and maker her be a heinous character that's mean or arrogant so that Rebecca can "fix" her. But this is Ted Lasso we're talking about, so I should have known they would play it much, much smarter than that. And of course they did. Nora is smart, charming, funny, and sweet... and her purpose isn't to make Rebecca look like a better character... her purpose is to make Rebecca be a better character...

Rebecca's goddaughter Nora.

Nora is yet another great character that subverts expectations by ignoring television tropes in the best possible way...

Nora and Rebecca typing on a computer while laying on a bed.

Roy Kent is probably more valuable to the show now that he's no longer a part of the team than he was in the first season when he was. He floats in and out of the narrative in a way that puts the other characters in perspective. Who could have ever thought that Roy hanging out with Rebecca could ever lead to some shockingly deep dives into the nature of relationships... or, as we see this episode... children?!?

Rebecca and Roy walking down a street together.

My only complaint about Roy is that we don't see more of him, but we do get another hilarious snippet of him on Sky Sports...

Roy at the commentator desk.

Dr. Sharon isn't given a lot to do, but what she gets is pretty pivotal. First by explaining Ted's entire story this episode...

Roy at the commentator desk.

And later when it comes to Jamie Tartt. Which is such a huge off-screen moment that it's almost impossible to imagine what could have possibly happened. Her character is great, but it's the way she's used to move the show to where it needs to go each episode that really makes her an impressive addition to the cast.

As mentioned, Ted himself is actually nearly inconsequential this episode. Most of his relevant bits are relegated to him playing Evil Ted Lasso... Led Tasso...

Ted flips over a table of sports drinks.

It's silly to the point of being stupid but, even more damaging, it is completely irrelevant to anything else going on. I mean, his moments aren't always going to be gold, but it's almost as if they were struggling to find a way for him to contribute to the show.

And then there's Sam.

As predicted, they were laying the groundwork towards moving the character into something much greater, and this episode we get to find out what that is. And it looks like it will end up changing everything for AFC Richmond in coming episodes...

Sam.

The thing about Sam is that he's a genuinely sweet person who has only ever wanted to be kind and please other people. Now he finds out that he may have to veer away from that role, and it's such a heroic, beautiful moment for his character. It is impossible to overstate just how lucky the show is to have found actor Toheeb Jimoh, who manages to hit the right note with Sam every single time. It's almost inconceivable at this point to see how he could have been played by anybody else, as he essentially carried the entire episode...

Sam walking through the locker room with Ted.

And thus ends yet another incredible episode of Ted Lasso.

To say I think that this is the best show to ever air on television is actually underselling it.

   

Lavender Plus

Posted on July 30th, 2021

Dave!Ted Lasso, the greatest television show to ever exist, is a very different show this second season. The drive and tension that ran through the first season is gone. All that's left in these first two episodes is conversation.

But here's the thing... it's wonderful conversation between characters I love, and it makes me so happy I want to cry.

And then... the final scene of this episode drops and I get it. The entire purpose of the first two episodes was to lull everybody into a sense of routine... a sense of calm. Then... BOOM! There it is! Things are going to be shaken up again.

The amazing part about the show is that I would totally watch an entire season of "just conversation"... I'd watch a DOZEN seasons of that. Just following everybody around while they go about their lives is enough. And how many shows could you say that about?

Keeley and Roy's arc this episode is priceless. It's like the writers are intent on making people love them as characters (and a couple) more and more with each new episode. This is what flawless television looks like...

Roy & Keeley

And speaking of Roy... they seem to be making him the focus of the season this time around, and I don't see how anybody could be upset about that. I was fearful that since he left the team at the end of the previous season that he would be relegated to cameo appearances, but boy was I happy to be wrong. As happy as Roy Kent, apparently, as he's found reason to smile both episodes so far...

Roy Kent talking on the phone to Keeley and smiling.

And then there's Sam, one of the sweetest characters to ever grace a television screen. They have been dropping hints that he's being set up for big things on the show, and giving him charming scenes like the one he got this episode is proof positive of that...

Sam talking to Ted and smiling.

But it's the newest character on the show... Doctor Sharon... who is proving to be an MVP for the series. A lot of that falls squarely on Sarah Niles reserved portrayal of the character. She's more than just lovely on the outside... she has a sweet demeanor that makes her character seem lovely on the inside as well. And we got to see even more of that late in the episode. Guess her initial clash with Ted wasn't going to last long at all, clocking in at a total of one episode. I was worried that adding her to the series would mean less time for other characters, but it turns out that her presence is making the other characters stronger, so and fears were completely unfounded...

Sharon looking up at Ted after receiving a box of his biscuits.

A part of me is dying for the week-long wait between episodes. But if they were all available at once, a binge-watch would mean that I'd be done with the show for another year in one day!

Thank God for Apple TV and Ted Lasso. In absence of a kinder, more caring world... this is enough.

   

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