My Month or So in Book, Movies and Television

It’s been over a month since I’ve written a “week in review” post of my books, TV and movies. I likely won’t have one next week either as I will be out of the country again. Here are some highlights of what I’ve read and watched over the last month or so.

Books – I’ve read at least seven books since I last wrote one of these posts. I’m sad to say that only to really stand out enough to mention in a good way. Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory and Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman. Spoonbenders is kind of mystery, but with people with some sort of super power. I really liked it. It has potential to be the best one I read this year. Safe Houses is a little more of a straight u mystery, but it does alternate between two time periods and involves some espionage as well. I would highly recommend both.

Movies – I haven’t watched a lot of movies recently. I did finally watch Lady Bird and Shape of Water on the plane to and from London last month. They were both very good, which makes sense since they were nominated for awards. I made my wife and daughter watch It with me. I had already seen it alone, but wanted to watch it again with others. They didn’t hate it as much as they expected to.

Television – I’ve watched a lot more TV than I have movies over the month. I finished season two of Thirteen Reasons Why. It was a good season, but the finale was not great. It coud have been a good ending if they had focused on the friends moving on with life and not added in the scenes setting up the conflict for next season(including a brutal assault scene). I watched season 2 of Santa Clarita Diet. I think it was better than season 1. Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore are very good, but I think I like the scenes with their daughter and the boy next door the best. Finally, a recommendation for a nice, light summer series – Take Two. Take Two stars Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian. Bilson plays an actress who had a breakdown after a break up and is just out of rehab. She once starred in a popular TV cop show. She has a shot at a role as a PI so her friend calls in a favor and gets a former cop and PI, Cibrian, to let her shadow him. She turns out to be good at it, they solve a high profile case and he gets more clients, but they all want her, so she joins the firm. Noting ground breaking, but it is a fun show.

That’s all I’ve got. I will try to get back in the weekly habit once I’m done traveling.


My Week in Books, TV and Movies(5/25)

Here it is – my anticipated by no one weekly review of what I’ve read and watched since last Friday. It’s been a long week filled with prom, trip planning, work around the house, etc but I did manage to find time to read and watch some stuff. I’m sure that means there are things I forgot to do. This weekend will also be filled with very stressful “getting ready for company” cleaning and then the company arrives and a week from today is graduation. I don’t think this post will happen next week. Anyway, here is my week:

Books – I’m reading pretty fast right now because the day I get back from th trip I am going to a high school to do summer reading promotions. I’m trying to get through the books I haven’t read before I leave. It looks like I will be taking my last book with me on the plane. This week I finished As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti and And Then You Die by Cody Cassidy. As You Wish takes place in a small town where everyone gets to make one wish on their 18th birthday. The wish can’t affect anything outside of town. The main character struggles with his wish so he asks others about their wish and the results. I liked it even though I hated the main character. And Then You Die goes through multiple scenarios like “what happens if you go over Niagara Falls in a barrel” and “What would happen if you were swallowed by a whale” It’s interesting, but better to read off and on and not all together.

Television – I’ve been home alone a lot this week, so I’ve watched a good bit of television. I started working my way slowly through the second season of 13 Reasons Why. It’s been pretty good so far, but I’ve been warned(and then googled to read about it) about the last episode being very upsetting. I’m still slowly working my way through Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. Wednesday night after work my daughter and I watched the season finale of Survivor. I still love the show. It will be less fun next year when my daughter is at college and I’m watching alone. I also watched the series finale of The Middle. It was such an underrated show. So much better than others that won multiple awards. It was probably more emotional for me as I am looking toward my youngest heading off to college and the episode was all about Axl leaving home for a new job in Denver. I will miss the Hecks.

Movies – We watched two movies this week: Justice League and Maze Runner: Death Cure. I need to re watch some of Justice League. I did my typical “doze off and miss half the movie” thing. What I saw wasn’t bad. We started Maze Runner early enough that I was able to stay awake for the entire thing. I liked it more than I expected, especially since I can’t really remember what happened in the second movie. It had a good cast and a good mix of action humor and drama. I also liked that they actually allowed major characters to die. I’m not saying I’m a fan of death, but I get frustrated with TV and movies where the characters are always facing death, but never die.

That’s that for the week. I expect I will not have much time to enjoy myself for the next one, so I’m glad I got all that in this week.

My Week in Books, TV and Movies(5/19)

I’m a day late with my weekly review due to my post about the fall TV schedule yesterday. I’m not sure how much I will remember from the week. My mind is muddled from a combination of constant rain, waking up very early for no reason and my daughter’s prom last night.

Books: I finally finished the arc of Splinter in the Blood. I’m not sure the conclusion was worth it. I also finished Sunny by Jason Reynolds. I liked it, but not as much as his other stuff. I read Last Message Received by Emily Trunko, an adaptation of a Tumblr about the last message you received from people. It was kind of depressing. I am now currently reading As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti and Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II.

Television: It is the season of finales and reveals of what is coming next fall. I’ve spent the entire week writing about TV, so I won’t say much here. I did end up watching the series finale of New Girl this week while waiting for my family to be ready to watch something else. I didn’t see any of the rest of the season, but the finale did a good job of wrapping up the show. The Timeless season finale was very good, but still no word on its fate for next season. I finished season 2 of Dear White People on Netflix. Now, on to season 2 of Thirteen Reasons Why.

Movies:  I slept through my wife watching Last Jedi. I have already seen it and was very tired, so I was OK with missing it this time. I watched The Post with my daughter. It was very good, but I can see why people like my wife, who needs action in movies, would be bored watching it. I loved the ending and would be interested to see if they bring back some of the cast to do the Watergate story as well.

I think next week’s post will be heavy on books and light on the others as I will be reading to prepare to do book promotions at a high school and the rest of the time at home will be preparing for guests for my daughter’s graduation and then a trip immediately following graduation.

Tater Takes on the Entire Fall TV Schedule

Now that we know what is on when, I will now tell you what I think is worth watching each night. Now that I can record 6 shows at a time, I will likely try more new shows than I normally would. I am not going to rebuild the grid. Click here to see the grid I am using for my information.

Sunday – There’s really not a lot here for me. I will likely try God Friended me because it sounds interesting, but I am not hopeful. I will keep watching Supergrl and Madam Secretary I might try Rel because I like the people in it. The rest is just not interesting to me.

Monday – The most exciting new show for me is on Monday night  – Magnum PI. I loved the original and the trailer for the new one looks really good. I will try the two new sitcoms on CBS, but I’m not hopeful. I really like The Resident, so I will continue watching and if I can catch up over the summer on Netflix, I will watch the CW superhero shows.

Tuesday – As far as new shows go, New Amsterdam is likely the only one I will try because I’m a sucker for medical shows. I watched the trailer for The Rookie. It didn’t look as bad as I expected. I might change my mind and try it. I will keep watching Lethal Weapon and hope that the cast change doesn’t ruin it. I will stay with the superhero trio of Flash, Black Lightning and The Gifted and the two ABC comedies I like: Roseanne and Splitting Up Together. There’s a lot on Tuesday nights.

Wednesday – Two of my most anticipated new shows are on this night. A Million Little Things based completely on the cast(I really need to watch the trailer) and All American because I watched the trailer and it looks really good. Survivor is still one of my favorite shows and I like SEAL Team. American Housewife is one of my favorite sitcoms and I still kind of watch Modern Family.  I watch one of the Chicago shows(Fire) and if I catch up over the summer I will keep watching Riverdale.

Thursday – I will keep watching(with no embarrassment) Grey’s and Station 19. The two NBC sitcoms, Superstore and The Good Place are very good. I will try the revival of Murphy Brown and continue watching SWAT. Neither of the new shows is interesting to me.

Friday – I like the ABC comedies Fresh Off the Boat and Speechless a lot. I liked Last Man Standng on ABC, so I will watch it on FOX. The Cool Kids might be good if they give the cast decent writing. I still really like Blue Bloods as well.

Saturday – Nothing here. Time to watch a movie, read or watch all of the shows I’ve recorded.

Tater Takes on the CW Schedule

The final schedule is out. Tomorrow I will try to do an overview of the whole thing.

8 pm DC’s Legends of Tomorrow  9 pm Arrow

I’m way behind on both of these. They might have turned into “watch on Netflix” shows for me. Legends is fun, Arrow not so much anymore.

8 pm The Flash 9 pm Black Lightning 

We still love The Flash. We liked Black Lightning, but are way behind on it as well/

8 pm Riverdale  9 pm All American

We are also behind on Riverdale. Seems to be a trend. I do like it. All American is a good pairing with Riverdale. It is another high school show about a football player recruited from a poor area to play in Beverly Hills and is based on a real story.

8 pm Supernatural 9 pm Legacies

Neither  one is for me. Legacies is another Vampire Diaries universe show at a boarding school.

8 pm Dynasty 9 pm Crazy Ex-Girlfriend


8 pm Supergirl (new time slot) 9 pm Charmed

I like Supergirl. Never watched the original Charmed, so I won’t watch this one.

Tater Takes on the CBS Fall Schedule

We are nearing the end of the network upfronts. Only CW left to go and we will have the full fall schedule. Here is CBS:

8 pm The Neighborhood 8:30 pm Happy Together 9 pm Magnum P.I. 10 pm Bull

A completely revamped Monday night. Two new comedies, the Magnum PI reboot and Bull taking the old Scorpion spot.  Both comedies seem promising. The Neighborhood stars Max Greenfield and Cedric the Entertainer and Happy Together stars Damon Wayans Jr and Amber Stevens West. I like all of them. I will give the Magnum reboot a shot as well.

8 pm NCIS 9 pm FBI 10 pm NCIS: New Orleans

This is a night made for my wife. She loves the NCIS shows and FBI seems like the procedural type show she likes. I will watch FBI is she does, but I’m not sure I will stick with it.

8 pm Survivor 9 pm SEAL Team 10 pm Criminal Minds

I still love Survivor and before I worked on Wednesday nights it was the one show I always watched live. Now, I watch it as soon as I get home. Navy Seals is surprisingly good. I’ve never watched Criminal Minds.

8 pm The Big Bang Theory 8:30 pm Young Sheldon 9 pm Mom 9:30 pm Murphy Brown 10 pm S.W.A.T.

I’m not a fan of Big Bang, Young Sheldon was OK, but not good enough to keep watching. I’ve never watched Mom, but I hear it is good. I was a fan of Murphy Brown when it was on before, so I will give the revival a shot. SWAT is a show I expected not to like, but it is pretty good.


8 pm MacGyver 9 pm Hawaii Five-0 10 pm Blue Bloods

My wife watches the first two and I watch Blue Bloods. I’m not sure why I like it so much, but I do


8 pm Crimetime Saturday (drama series encores) 9 pm Crimetime Saturday (drama series encores) 10 pm 48 Hours

A good chance to catch shows you missed if you don’t have a DVR

7 pm 60 Minutes 8 pm God Friended Me 9 pm NCIS: Los Angeles 10 pm: Madam Secretary

God Friended Me sounds interesting(an atheist is friended by God on social media and become an agent of change) and my daughter has asked me to save Madam Secretary for her to watch when she comes home from college.

The Code, Elementary, Fam, Instinct, Life in Pieces, Man With a Plan, The Red Line, The Amazing Race, Blood and Treasure, Big Brother, Big Brother: Celebrity Edition

I love Amazing Race and I’m glad they are bringing it back. I wish there were still two seasons a year like Survivor. Fam might be OK and I might watch The Red Line because I like Noah Wyle. We are recording Instinct but it is our lowest priority show on the DVR.

Tater Takes on the ABC Fall Schedule

The ABC fall schedule has been released. Here are some quick thoughts on it:


Monday: 8pm Dancing With the Stars 10pm The Good Doctor

I have no interest in Dancing with the Has Beens. I watched a couple of episodes of The Good Doctor, but there are better medical dramas than this.

Tuesday: 8pm Roseanne 8:30pm The Kids are Alright(new show) 9pm Black-ish 9:30pm Splitting Up Together 10pm The Rookie(new show)

I will admit that I am watching Roseanne for nostalgia reasons. It’s OK, but not as good as I remember the old show. I don’t watch Black-ish, but I’ve seen some episodes of the spinoff on Freeform. Splitting Up Together is growing on me. I really like the cast. I don’t know that I will watch the new shows even though I like Michael Cudlitz and Nathan Fillion.

Wednesday: 8pm The Goldbergs 8:30pm American Housewife 9pm Modern Family 9:30pm Single Parents (new show)10pm A Million Little Things(new show)

American Housewife is one of my favorite sitcoms. Modern Family is getting old and I generally watch more out of habit. I might try Single Parents because I like some of the cast(Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett) and I will watch A Million Little Things because it is James Roday and I loved Psych.

Thursday: 8pm Grey’s Anatomy 9pm Station 19 10pm How To Get Away With Murder

I still watch Grey’s and Station 19 is surprisingly good. I got tired of HTGAWM pretty quick.

Friday: 8pm Fresh off the Boat 8:30pm Speechless 9pm Child Support 10 pm 20/20

Fresh off the Boat and Speechless are two really good sitcoms and will be a good block of comedy for old people like me who don’t go out on Friday night. Also an interesting counter programming of FOX’s revival of former ABC show Last Man Standing

Saturday: Football

Sunday: 7pm America’s Funniest Home Videos  8pm: Dancing with the Stars Junior 9pm Shark Tank 10pm The Alec Baldwin Show(new show)

Nothing of interest here

Midseason shows: American Idol, SHIELD, The Bachelor, For the People, new shows The Fix, Grand Hotel, Schooled and Whiskey Cavalier.

I really like For the People and Whiskey Cavalier stars Lauren Cohen, so I will definitely watch those two. I’m getting a little tired of SHIELD, but I’m hoping this will be a short wrap-up final season.