My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 6/7/19

My first full week back home, but still an off week. My schedule has been odd. It’s just me and my daughter at home. We both fall asleep a lot earlier than normal. Not exactly a week conducive to movie watching. Plus, she is not exactly thrilled with the movie choices I have from the library. So, there was a lot of catching up on TV this week.

Movies – I feel like we watched a piece of an old movie on TV this week, but I can’t recall what that might have been.  Otherwise, for the reasons stated above, we did not watch a movie this week. I thought we would at least watch Always be my Maybe on Netflix, but I think she is waiting to watch that with one of her friends.

TV – This was a week of catching up on TV.  I’ve recorded and saved several shows for my daughter while she was at college. We have been catching up on those this week. This is when you find out which shows you really care about and which ones you will watch when they are the only options left. She finished the season of Survivor and caught up to me on Amazing Race(I’m still 4 episodes behind) and then we watched all of the Superstores we had recorded. Superstore is still one of the best comedies on TV and this season ended in a rather dramatic way. I can’t wait to see what happens next season. We also watched Beat Shazam(while I played along on the app) and America’s Got Talent(I missed both golden buzzers because I was asleep by the end of the show).

Books – I finished two books this week:

Dry by Neal Shusterman – After a long drought California is completely out of water. The story revolves around kids who go looking for their parents who disappeared while going to where the government was supposed to be handing out water. I really liked this one, as did my daughter. She audibly gasped at some parts of the book.

Gmorning, Gnight: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin Manuel Miranda – Probably not meant to be read through in one sitting like I did it. Probably good to own and pick up when you need a pep talk. It was a really quick read.

On Deck – I don’t know if we will watch a movie this week. My wife comes home on Sunday, so that will increase the chance that someone will want to watch one of the movies I have, but only slightly. I do have Happy Death Day 2 You to watch alone. I keep forgetting about that. I hope to watch the first episode of NOS4A2 soon and the second season of Big Little Lies starts on Sunday. I made the mistake of showing my wife the trailer for Good Omens thinking it would lead to her saying it looked too weird and we should watch it without her. It did not work out that way and now we have to wait for her to be ready to watch it. I’m currently reading Educated by Tara Westover and listening to Sadie by Courtney Summers.

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My Recent Movies, Books and TV 5/31/19

Over 20 hours on a plane over the last week or so means I had a lot of time to watch random movies and read a book. It also means less time watching non-movie TV. The only thing we found on TV in English while away that was not a movie was The Tonight Show. Usually, our trips overseas mean we watch random TV shows at night because they are what we can find in English, Not so this time.

Movies – I watched one movie on the trip over and then slept off and on. I watched one movie on the second leg. I watched three movies on the way home.

The Upside – I watched this one on the way over and dozed a lot during it. What I saw was decent. Kevin Hart plays Kevin Hart again. If you like him you will like the movie

On the Basis of Sex – Really well done and well acted. If you enjoy movies based on historical events you will enjoy this one.

Mary Poppins Returns – I don’t really remember the original, so I can’t compare this one to it, It was pleasant and fun. I liked the music and I’m a fan of Lin Manuel Miranda, so I enjoyed it. I don’t know if I would have watched it away from a plane environment.

The Kid Who Would Be King – This one was a lot better than I expected. I should have expected it to be good since it was written and directed by Joe Cornish. It is a fun, modern, kid version of the King Arthur story. I especially liked the kid who played Young Merlin. Patrick Stewart is adult Merlin.

A Simple Favor – Another one I liked a lot more than I expected. I like Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, so I was predisposed to like this one anyway, but it was really good. I didn’t really expect the story to go the direction it did. That’s always a good thing.

TV – Nothing new to report on TV-wise, so I will use this space to complain about the cancellation of AP Bio. AP Bio is a really good, really funny show that got much better in the second season as it became more of an ensemble comedy. It was such a talented cast. Instead of giving it a chance with a more regular, non-midseason schedule NBC decided to cut it and try again with some new show that they will screw up by holding until mid-season and then having random weeks when it’s not on at all.

Books – I read two books over the past two weeks. One was a 700+ page fantasy book and the other was a YA novel about a family threatened by the cartels in Juarez.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – It took me a long time to get into this one, but that might have been because I was reading it while tired from traveling. Once I did get into it I really liked it. I liked it enough that I spent an entire three hour flight from Baku to Istanbul reading it and never even looked at my screen to see what movies were available. Lynch is like George RR Martin in that he is not afraid to kill off characters the reader might expect to be a larger part of the story. If you like epic fantasy, I would recommend this one. It also finishes the main story in the first book so you don’t necessarily need to keep reading past book one to finish the story.

Disappeared by Francisco Stork – A YA novel about siblings in Juarez, Mexico. Sara is a reporter who is investigating the disappearance of young girls, including her best friend. Her investigation makes her a target of the criminal network in the city. Her brother is dating a wealthy girl and is being lured into the criminal world by her family and their connections. I meant to just skim this one real quick to prepare to talk about it at a school on Monday, but I got sucked in fast and really read it.

On Deck – We have four movies on DVD because somehow every time I go away all of the movies I have requested from the library come all at once.  We have Fighting With My Family, The Mule, Vice and On the Basis of Sex. I have two more books I need to at least skim for my presentation on Monday. I hope to watch Good Omens on Amazon as soon as possible, but I have a lot of stuff I need to do this weekend.

Tater Talks Game of Thrones

I have about ten minutes before I have to leave for work and no time to write after so I thought I would say something about the end of Game of Thrones.

Caution Spoilers Ahead

I started the story of Game of Thrones years ago with the books. I was invested enough to ask my wife to walk to the DC library from her office to get one of the books for me because they got it before I could get it from my library. I’ve been reading and watching for a long time and had my favorite characters and thoughts on how I would end the series. It did not end with the king I expected or wanted. I think it was an odd choice, but I’m not the writer, so I have no say in the end. I was happy about the fate of most of the characters left alive at the end.

Sansa declares the north an independent country and is Queen of the North.

Arya is off on adventures.

Jon is with the wildlings north of the wall and free from all of the politics he hated and was bad at.

Tyrion is Hand of the King and doing what he does best – drinking(I assume) and knowing things.

Bronn got his castle and control of the kingdom’s money.

Davos is in charge of the Navy.

Brienne is Commander of the King’s Guard.

Sam is Grand Maester.

Podrick is a knight.

The season felt rushed. It needed more episodes. I think Bran was an odd choice to end up on the throne, but overall, I was satisfied with the end for most of the characters.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 5/17/19

I’ve reached the point where I’m going to have to resign myself to this being one of my lowest number of books read in a year. I don’t know if it is the books I’m choosing or my state of mind, but it is taking me forever to finish a book these days. I should be reading a lot more. I have no kids at home. I have at least an hour every night home alone. I have days like today when I’m off work and my wife is actually at the office. What will I do with today? Watch the Grey’s season finale(already done), do a load of laundry, clean toilets, mow the lawn, vacuum if I still have time and then maybe read for a couple of minutes after it is all done. What do I do with my time alone every other day? Walk the dog and watch TV. I’m not making time to read and when I do read  I fall asleep or get distracted. Maybe my upcoming travels will increase my reading, but I doubt it. Now, on to the week.

Movies – I only watched one movie this week. We watched Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse while the kids were home for Mother’s Day. Well, three of us watched it. My daughter had seen it already and slept instead. I liked it a lot. My son liked it a lot. That is not a surprise. The surprise was that my wife actually liked it a lot. I did not think it was a movie she would enjoy and I was surprised when she said we could watch it and actually liked it. Thumbs up from the entire family.

TV – Nothing new on TV. This was a week of watching season finales of the shows I watch and reading about which shows are coming back and what new shows are coming. I think most of the finales I’ve watched have been satisfying. I thought about watching the series finale of Big Bang even though I don’t watch the show but opted against it.  I liked it at first but gave up on it pretty early. I know a lot of people loved it. I just didn’t have an interest in it.

Books – I finished Word by Word: The Secret Life f Dictionaries by Kory Stamper,  Stamper is a lexicographer for Merriam Webster and writes about the work of writing a dictionary.  There were some interesting chapters and interesting facts(pumpernickel means fart goblin), I was surprised that people actually write to the dictionary. It would never occur to me to do that. It was not a bad book, but not what I would typically read.

On Deck – I will watch whatever movie is available on the plane and whatever we can find on TV in Baku. I’m desperately trying to finish Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen before we leave and have some teen books downloaded to read on the trip. They are books I need to read for work before I get back. Maybe all of the time on planes and in airports will help increase my reading. I doubt it.

Tater’s TV Week Ends: The CW Fall Schedule

I’m surprised there are some new shows to talk about considering the CW renewed every show that was not already ending.  I actually watch a lot of CW because I really like the DC shows.

Monday – 8pm All American 9PM Black Lightning

I really like All American and I was happy to see t was renewed. Watch it on Netflix this summer and then watch season 2 in the fall. It’s good. We watched some Black Lightning, but when we got behind on it we realized we didn’t really care enough to go back to finish it.

Tuesday – 8pm The Flash 9pm Arrow

The two original DC shows together again as Arrow begins its final season. We stopped watching Arrow a while back. I feel like we need to catch up on Netflix over the summer so we can watch the final season. Flash is fun and even though I’m behind because I’m waiting for my daughter to watch with me, I still really like it.

Wednesday – 8pm Riverdale 9pm Nancy Drew

I really liked the first season of Riverdale, but couldn’t make it through more than a handful of episodes of season 2. I will probably give Nancy Drew a try to see what they do with it.

Thursday – 8pm Supernatural 9pm Legacies

I don’t watch either one. My daughter has been watching Legacies now that it is on Netflix, so I’m sure she will want me to record the next season for her.

Friday – 8pm Charmed 9pm Dynasty

Two remakes. I have no interest in either.

Sunday – 8pm Batwoman 9pm Supergirl

More DC shows. I still like Supergirl a lot and I will give Batwoman a try. I’m looking forward to the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover next season.

Midseason – Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, Legends of Tomorrow, Roswell, In the Dark and The 100. I will only watch Legends. Legends is the most fun of the DC shows.

I might do a look at the entire schedule tonight, but now that we all watch on streaming and DVR does it really matter what is on against what?

Tater’s TV Week #4: The CBS Fall Schedule

I think CBS is my second most watched network. I know it is the one my wife watches the most. I record a lot of CBS staff for her that I don’t watch. They didn’t cancel anything I cared about so  I guess we will be watching a lot again.

Monday – 8pm – The Neighborhood 8:30pm Bob Hearts Abishola 9pm All Rise 10PM Bull

I gambled with the new sitcoms last season and chose the canceled Happy Together over The Neighborhood as the one with the most potential. I was obviously wrong. Bob Hearts Abishola is another new sitcom with a premise(man has heart attack, falls in love with his nurse) that seems thin. I doubt I will watch. All Rise sounds a lot like For the People that ABC canceled. Maybe my daughter will like this one as much as she liked For the People. I didn’t really like Bull when we tried it.

Tuesday – 8PM NCIS 9PM FBI 10PM NCIS New Orleans

My wife watches the NCIS shows. I think she likes New Orleans more than the original now. We both watch FBI. It’s your typical procedural, but I like the cast.

Wednesday – 8pm Survivor 9pm SEAL Team 10pm SWAT

I like all of these shows. I still watch Survivor as soon as I get home from work on Wednesday. It’s not quite the same now that I watch alone, but it’s fun to watch a second time with my daughter to see her reaction. SEAL Team and SWAT are much better than I expected them to be. Of the two I think I like SWAT the best.

Thursday – 8pm Young Sheldon 8:30pm The Unicorn 9pm Mom 9:30pm Carol’s Second Act 10pm Evil

I will try both of the new sitcoms because The Unicorn stars Walton Goggins and Carol’s Second Act stars Patricia Heaton. I really like both of them. Evil sounds interesting. A skeptical female forensic psychologist works with a priest in training and a carpenter to investigate supposed miracles, demonic possessions, and unexplained phenomena. It could be really good or really bad.

Friday – 8pm Hawaii 50 9pm Magnum PI 10pm Blue Bloods

Magnum joins the night with shows that feel like a good fit. Hawaii 50 and Magnum are both in Hawaii and Blue Bloods stars the original Magnum. It makes sense. My wife still watches 50, I watch Magnum with her, but wish it was better and I still really like Blue Bloods. I still want Blue Bloods and Magnum to crossover so Selleck can meet the new Magnum,

Saturday – Series encores(repeats) and 48 hours

Sunday – 7pm 60 Minutes 8pm God Friended Me 9pm NCIS LA 10pm Madam Secretary

I only watch Madam Secretary. LA is the one NCIS my wife doesn’t watch. This is the night CBS makes people mad by constantly having shows start late because of football. They should change the schedule to account for the fact that football is never over by 7.

Midseason – Amazing Race, Big Brother, Criminal Minds, Macgyver, Man With a Plan and Undercover Boss plus an FBI spinoff and a couple of generic new shows. My wife still likes the new Macgyver and I still really like Amazing Race. Nothing else interests me here.

Tater’s TV Week #3: ABC’s Fall Schedule

ABC canceled For the People, Whiskey Cavalier, Shameless, and the Kids Are Alright. I loved all four shows, but I have to forgive them because a lot of my favorite shows are still on ABC. Here’s the fall schedule:

Monday: 8PM Dancing with the Stars 10pm The Good Doctor

Nothing for me here. I have no interest in watching B-list stars dance and I was not impressed with the episode of The Good Doctor I watched. I think my son watched some of it and liked it.

Tuesday: 8pm The Connors 8:30pm Bless this Mess 9pm Mixed-ish 9:30pm Black-ish 10pm Emergence

The Connors is much better now that Roseanne is gone. I like Dax Shepard but I had no interest in watching more than one episode of Bless This Mess. I never watched Black-ish. We did watch some of the spinoff Grown-ish and liked it. I doubt I will watch the prequel series. I don’t want to get sucked into another conspiracy show, but I really like Alison Tolman, so I might watch Emergence.

Wednesday – 8pm The Goldbergs 8:30pm Schooled 9pm Modern Family 9:30pm Single Parents 10pm Stumptown

I don’t watch the first two comedies. I hear they are pretty good. Modern Family is not as good as it once was, but I still like it and will watch the final season. I thought Single Parents was the best new comedy this season and I’m really happy it was renewed. Stumptown is based on a graphic novel series about a PI and stars Cobie Smulders. I think I will give it a shot.

Thursday – 8pm Grey’s Anatomy 9pm A Million Little Things 10pm How to Get Away With Murder

I still love Grey’s and it will be one of the shows I will watch from the beginning of the run to the end of the run, no matter how long that is. I really like A Million Little Things and I’m looking forward to what the second season brings. I lost interest in How to Get Away With Murder halfway through season one.

Friday – 8pm American Housewife 8:30pm Fresh Off the Boat 9pm 20/20

I’m not sure I like the move of American Housewife to Friday. I’m afraid it is still the first step to cancelation. We still watch Fresh Off the Boat. It’s a good hour of comedy. I don’t watch 20/20.

Saturday – Football

Sunday – 7pm AFV 8pm Kids Say the Darndest Things 9pm Shark Tank 10pm The Rookie

Nothing for me here. The one episode of The Rookie I saw when on vacation was OK, but I don’t think I will ever watch it regularly.

Midseason – Shield, Station 19, American Idol, The Bachelor and some new shows, I like the first two, never watched the second two and the new shows don’t interest me.

Tater’s TV Week #2 – The FOX Schedule

A lat post tonight because I had a work event and then went out with friends after. We left after 8. I’m a part animal. The FOX schedule was released while I was at work. They canceled one of the shows I watch and don’t have much else that interests me. Not much on the schedule for me to be excited about.

Monday – 8PM – 9-1-1 9PM Prodigal Son

I feel like 9-1-1 is a show I would like, but I had scheduling conflicts when it first aired so I never watched it.  A spin-off is coming with Rob Lowe and I like him so I might watch the spinoff.  Prodigal Son is a new show about the son of a serial killer who is a criminal psychologist who uses his skills to help solve crimes in NYC. It has a good cast(Tom Payne, Michael Sheen) so I might give it a shot.

Tuesday – 8pm The Resident 9PM Empire

I think The Resident is one of the better doctor shows on TV. I especially like Malcolm Jamal Warner’s character. I hate when they move a show. It has always been on Monday and  now has the risk of people not finding it or having other shows they already watch. I have never watched Empire.

Wednesday – 8PM – The Masked Singer 9pm – Not Just Me

The Masked Singer is strangely compelling. I hope the success of season 1 helps them get bigger celebrities for this season. Not Just Me is about a girl who finds out her dad, a fertility doctor, used his sperm to father a hundred children. Not sure I will watch that one. It stars Brittany Snow, Emily Osment and Timothy Hutton.

Thursday – Football

Friday – WWE

Saturday – College football

Sunday – 8pm – The Simpsons 8:30pm Bless the Harts 9pm -Bob’s Burgers 9:30pm Family Guy

Bless the Harts is another animated show with the voices of Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph. Nothing for me here.

Last Man Standing, The Orville and a bunch of new shows are midseason shows.

So, only one show for me and a new one I might try with two more, Last Man Standing and The Orville, coming later in the season. It won’t be long until I don’t watch this network at all.

The Week Where Tater Talks TV: The NBC Fall Schedule

This is the week I love to write about and no one reads. The TV Network Upfronts are here and I will have a post to discuss each network’s fall schedule. NBC goes first tomorrow and the schedule is out, so it’s a bonus Sunday night post. Exciting, I know. Before I get to the schedule – I’m very disappointed that Abby’s and AP Bio are still up in the air. I love AP Bio and Abby’s is growing on me. Why not just give them a midseason slot. I’m sure something won’t last and you will have time slots to fill. Fill them with good shows that people already know and not new stuff you will just cancel anyway. Do it! Now the schedule:

Monday – 8PM – The Voice 10PM Bluff City Law

I used to watch The Voice, but there is too much of it. I can’t watch that much, especially since most of it is filler. I might try Bluff City Law. It stars Jimmy Smits as a civil rights lawyer in Memphis. I like him and it’s been a while since I’ve had a good lawyer show to watch. Maybe this will be one.

Tuesday – 8PM The Voice 9PM This is Us 10pm New Amsterdam

Still not watching The Voice. I’m one of the few people not watching This is Us. I really like New Amsterdam and will keep watching next season.

Wednesday – Still One Chicago night. 8pm – Med 9pm – Fire 10pm PD

I still only watch Fire. I like Fire, but the leads(Casey and Severide) are boring. I want more episodes about the goofball group that runs the bar. They are the best part of the show.

Thursday – 8PM – Superstore 8:30pm Perfect Harmony 9pm The Good Place 9:30pm Sunnyside 10pm SVU

I love Superstore and The Good Place. They are two of the best comedies on TV right now. Perfect Harmony looks fun. Bradley Whitford plays a Princeton music professor who stumbles into a small town choir practice and stays on as the choir director. Anna Camp stars as one of the choir members. I watched the trailer and enjoyed it. Sunnyside stars Kal Penn as a former New York City Councilman who is hired to help a group of people become US citizens. I was not that impressed by the trailer, but I like Penn, so I might give it a shot.

Friday – 8pm Blacklist 9pm Dateline

I watch Blacklist, but I’m getting a little bored with it. They could have ended it with this season and I would have been OK with it.

Saturday – 8pm Saturday Dateline Mystery 10pm SNL encore 11:30 SNL

Noting there for me. I might watch SNL if the host is interesting.

Sunday – Football

Depends on the game.

Not much of a change to the schedule at all. Some shows I watch are being held for midseason – Brooklyn 99, Manifest and Good Girls are all better than shows on the main schedule. The Kenan Show, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Lincoln all sound good and I will give them a look whenever they finally air.

The FOX schedule is next – Sometime tomorrow so look for my post tomorrow night sometime.

My Last Couple of Weeks in Books, TV, and Movies 5/9/19

I did not do my normal weekly last week. I was away at a conference Friday morning and lazy Saturday morning. The sad thing is, I don’t have a lot to report even covering two weeks. I’m starting to think my entire reading year will be slow.

Movies – The only movie I’ve watched over the last two weeks is Avengers Endgame. I went to the movies the morning I was heading to the conference and then drove directly from the theater to the hotel. It’s hard to talk about the movie without spoilers. I did think it was a good wrap up of the original Avengers phase of the movies. I’m curious to see what the next big team-up movie will be.

TV – Still mainly dealing with an almost full DVR. I am still watching the latest season of Shameless on DVD and watching every new episode of Game of Thrones live. I have been watching the 1969 documentary series on ABC. The first episode bored me a little as it was about the moon landing and I feel like I’ve heard everything I need to hear about that. Episode two was about Manson and I’ve always been fascinated by that story and they had both Squeaky Fromme and the member of the family who testified against them giving their perspective. It was a good episode. This week’s was on Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick. I didn’t really know a lot of detail on the story, so that was an interesting one to watch. I will ignore the fact that a retrospective series on the year I was born means I’m old.

Books – I finished two books over the past two weeks. Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner and Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy. Rayne and Delilah is a YA book about two girls who host a public access TV show where they screen horror movies. They are at the end of their senior year in high school and dealing with what that means for the show and their friendship. It was good, but I hate the books that make it seem normal and right for an 18-year-old to make major life decisions around the plans of their high school relationship. Last of the Stanfields is about two people who get letters alluding to secrets in the past of their moms. It alternates between the present and 1980 when the moms are best friends living in Baltimore. It was a good story with a few flaws in some of the characterizations and dialogue My book club thought maybe some of that could be a translation issue(it was originally written in French). I did enjoy it,

On Deck – I need to watch Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse this weekend, but I’m sure my wife has no interest in watching it so I’m not sure when that will happen. A lot of season finales on TV this week and the network upfronts are next week so I will be writing about the new fall schedules. I am reading Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper because I traded book clubs with a coworker this month because I’m out of town for mine.