Sunday, January 24, 2016

TV Thoughts - 1/24/16

If it snows two feet in one day, a lot of television gets watched.


Billions (SHOWTIME)

It seems that everyone working on this show has received or been nominated for an Emmy. With that kind of pedigree, expectations are set super high.

Mix in financial market manipulation in Manhattan, and you've got a lot of explaining to do right from the get go. There's no Margot Robbie in a bathtub, but at least Maggie Siff sports some high-heeled boots.

I've been a fan of the writing of Brian Koppelman and David Levien since Rounders in the late 90's. They're edgy, smart and you know a twist is always coming.

As for the acting, I would watch Giamatti and Lewis read a NYC deli menu (which would actually work on this show). I wonder how Tara left Jax in Charming and ended up with the Manhattan DA plus the gal from Children's Hospital is married to Axe, but I can get past that.

I'm two episodes in and enjoyed the second ep more than the first. The chess board has been set. The show is too smart for its own good at times and relies on cliches that aren't necessary. Just give me Giamatti and Lewis trying to outsmart each other with the DA's wife caught in the middle. The other characters are colorful, but more screen time for them means less for the big three.

Justice department versus hedge fund king with Manhattan as the backdrop - stay focused and I'm on board for Billions.

Angie Tribeca (TBS)

The Naked Gun. Sledge Hammer! I've always been a fan of police satire, the dumber the better.

On the recommendation of my good friend JD Harmeyer who shares my love for Python/Zucker Brothers humor, I checked out this new TBS comedy created by Steve Carrell and his wife Nancy.

This is no Naked Gun, but it is funny. And stupid. A lot of the gags are hit or miss, but it's non-stop absurdist jokes.

Rashida Jones does a fine job in the lead role. Other characters have silly names and are not as funny, with the exception of the canine partner of one of the detectives. That dog is a star.

There are tons of special guest stars and cameos, and I love the spirit of the show. Angie Tribeca is no Frank Drebin, but she holds her own in this first go-round.


History of the Eagles (SHOWTIME)

RIP Glenn Frey. After watching this documentary a second time, I still can't believe he's gone.

Love or hate the Eagles, this is one excellent rock doc. The footage, interviews and candidness are all there for you to marvel at.

Glenn Frey calling the shots. Don Henley rolling right along. Bernie Leadon wanting to stay mellow. Randy Meisner not wanting to hit that high note. Don Felder getting bounced. Joe Walsh getting sober. Tim B getting his dream job, going on hiatus, then living the dream. And Irving Azoff taking no prisoners.

Oh...and the number one selling album of the century.

And of course it's in two parts - it wouldn't be the Eagles if it wasn't.

The Godfather Saga (HBO)

I stumbled upon Don Corleone multiple times during the week, and no matter what point I entered, I couldn't change the channel.

I wondered if I had seen some of the deleted scenes before, but it really didn't matter. The Corleone family is impossible to turn away from.

And thankfully Godfather III is nowhere near this 7 hour masterpiece. It's must-watch TV. I didn't even realize it was snowing outside.


I watched Michigan beat Nebraska in Lincoln and the Penguins top the Canucks at home. That's a good sports day for the Hein house.

It's very strange having a Sunday without the Steelers playing. If only they could have stayed healthy. I like the Pats big and the Panthers not so big today.

Only two weeks until my new book, Fast Food Maniac, becomes available. What a great way to celebrate Groundhog Day.

I'll be doing some book signings in the metro New York area. Come by and say hi. I'm working with DQ and some other places on doing some events. More when things become official.

Word is out to late-night and daytime talk shows, so we'll see who wants me to drop by.

As always, let me know if there's anything out there I should be watching!



  1. Hi Jon, do ou see any 9/11 connections with Lewis? They mentioned it twice in the first episode.

  2. Do you think the Chelsea Netflix show will be good? I tried to watch the first episode last night but had streaming issues, so I'll try again this evening.

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