"I watch a lot of TV, but that's my job."
I've been using that excuse for decades. The truth is, I loved watching TV before I learned how to walk. I'm fortunate to have made a career of it, but I'd watch just as much even if I was never paid a single dollar to do so.
I never bought the "too much TV is bad for you" argument either. You'll often hear that from elite pseudo intellectuals who feel books and museums are the only way to go. Once they get off their high horses, they'll see TV is a low-cost all-inclusive medium . If you've got an interest, there's a program out there for you either free or for a reasonable price.
Plenty of programs that fall through the cracks as I flip through all of these channels. When I was running jumptheshark.com, I didn't miss a thing. Viewers from other countries would contact me about shows I had never heard of. My viewing was updated on a nightly basis for a decade.
Since I sold the site in 2006, the number of channels and offerings have dramatically increased. Netflix only mailed DVDs back then. It's almost impossible to keep up with everything that's on with all the options out there today...but I try.
The good news is that I get to play catchup and watch series that I missed during their initial run. I keep an ongoing list (who doesn't) of TV that I need to see. It's nice to have quality stuff in the hopper.
Here are some shows that were on my radar but I never got to the first time around. I was able to avoid spoilers before checking these programs out, so I will extend the same courtesy in my reviews.
Missed this one because it originally aired on Bravo in 2017. Let's just say I've never been a big fan of the programming slate on that particular cable channel. Shame on me.
Imposters starts with a simple con, but evolves into so much more. The acting is really good, there are plenty of laugh out loud moments, the plot twists are surprising, and the morality tale never gets too preachy.
Everyone in the cast looks like other more famous stars, except for Uma Thurman and Brian Benben (from Dream On) who are actually on the show. Lead actress Inbar Lavi (no, not Maggie Siff) is the glue who holds it all together and is mesmerizing to watch.
Money Heist (NETFLIX)
I've started Lupin (great pilot), but had to get through Money Heist first. No issue here watching with subtitles and hearing the drama play out in its native tongue. Dubbing has improved, but if you want to capture the essence of any drama, listen and read along.
The Money Heist pilot plays like a feature film, but I expected something else for the remainder of the series. Happy to be surprised. Great character development, plenty of intense drama, and of course, the heist happening during it all keeps you hooked.
The Wilds (AMAZON)
I recommended this show months ago when it debuted. The pilot feels like Lost for young women and potential Olympic gymnasts. There are plenty of Lindelof-style flashbacks as family drama oozes in this island mystery.
This one is tough to review and remain spoiler-free, so let's just say some elements work well and others are a bit contrived. Overall, it's a good show with plenty of conflict that keeps you guessing all the way through.
Don't worry, I haven't forgot about the new stuff. Here are my picks for this week...
The Price Is Right At Night (CBS)
Wednesday, January 27th 8pm
Yodeling. Golf. Plinko. The highest rated daytime show returns to prime time once again. And as always, it's all about the game.
Bob Barker was irreplaceable, until Drew Carey came along. Bob's spayed and neutered charm is no longer there, but there's enough nostalgia in the current TPIR to satisfy anyone who wants to come on down. Drew's eternal love for this legendary game show always comes through.
Once you get your Price Is Right fix, the next night celebrities spin the Wheel of Fortune on ABC. I love Wheel, but TPIR has a wholesomeness that will never go away. I look forward to the $1 bids, spinning the vertical wheel, and guessing how much that Showcase Showdown is worth without going over.
The Great Escapists (AMAZON)
Friday, January 29th
Who doesn't love a great escape? Two buddies who are very good with their hands are stranded Gilligan style in this docuseries.
Richard Hammond from the UK's Top Gear and Tony Belleci from Mythbusters only have their intellect and shipwreck scraps to survive a desert island. These two believe in science - and their skills get put to the ultimate test.
This island is so beautiful you wonder why the two of them would ever want to leave. Watching them come up with engineering feats that the Professor could only dream of as they one-up each other is the highlight of the series.
The Lady and The Dale (HBO)
Sunday, January 31st 9pm
In the 1970's, a woman fooled the country with her fuel-efficient three-wheeled car. This four-part documentary profiles Elizabeth Carmichael who rose to prominence during the oil crisis with her believable scam.
The Dale was a three-wheeled two-seater vehicle marketed as a revolutionary machine powerful enough to take down the big three automakers. It promised 70 miles per gallon fuel economy at a low purchase price.
If something seems too good to be true, it often is. Carmichael is more interesting that the car she created, and watching her company fall apart and the subsequent court case is a cautionary tale worth catching.
If you love or hate my picks, I'd love to hear from you.
Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Stay healthy and safe.