My Week in Movies, Books, And TV 11/1/19

Last week I wrote about my failings in reading and viewing. I’ve done much better this week. It helped that my wife worked late a lot this week and worked some more when she was home. I had a lot of alone time to fill.

Movies – I still only watched one movie this week. It was Toy Story 4 and I watched it alone because my wife and son did not want to watch it and my daughter saw it in the theater(and wasn’t home anyway). I thought three had a perfect ending and I’m annoyed that they decided to do another. It was unnecessary, but it was still good. I enjoyed the new toys in this one. The voice cast is still excellent. The story was a lot of the same. The ending was not as good as three but maybe, finally a real ending.

TV – I finished the latest season of 13 Reasons Why. This is another one that had the possibility of a good ending with a scene at the end of the last season but added a cliffhanger to set up a third. This season had a scene at the end that also would have been a good ending, but they’ve already announced a 4th and final season, so there were also scenes setting up story for that. This last season was good. I liked how they told the story. I liked how they added some depth to the villains without excusing what they did. I have no idea how they will end this story, but as I told my daughter, I’m invested in the lives of these fictional kids and want to see ho it ends.

Books – I finished two books this week.

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Kileen – This was one of my assignment books for the teen literature conference. It tells the story of a Jewish girl who is orphaned when her mom dies running from the Nazis. She ends up working with a spy and infiltrating a Nazi girl’s school to try to get invited to a Nazi scientist’s house to sabotage a bomb he is making. It was a decent book. I might have liked it better if t was not homework. I did feel like the girl became a master spy a little too quick.

Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley – Another teen book, but one I read because I wanted to. The story is told by Nathan as he is being deposed in the case of his being stabbed by his friend. We go back to when they met and see the events of what led to the stabbing through Nathan’s eyes. It is the first book in a while I liked so much that I didn’t want to put it down. There were plot points that surprised me. That’s unusual. I would highly recommend.

On Deck – I still have the new Lion King on DVD. I also have Midsommar and a Korean movie my coworkers handed me. I will have to watch those alone. Jack Ryan’s new season starts today on Prime. I have a feeling I will be watching a lot of that. It is also college basketball season so I several hours of my TV time each week will be watching games. I have another assignment book for work, The Favorite Sister b Jessica Knoll. It is definitely I wouldn’t read if it wasn’t for book club.

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My Week in Failing at Reading and Watching

This is the time when I usually post my week in movies, books, and TV.  Last week was a good week. I actually finished two books and had a movie to talk about. This week I’ve got a whole lot of nothing.

I had no new movies from the library. I didn’t watch any of the random movies we have on the DVR. I didn’t watch any of the movies available on Netflix, Amazon or HBO. I didn’t even scan the TV listings and stop on a random old movie that happened to be airing.

I did not finish the book I started last week. It’s not a bad book, but I think it is suffering from being “homework”. I’m a facilitator at Books for the Beast, a teen literature conference, tomorrow and Orphan Monster Spy is the last book I need to read before the discussion. I find myself doing everything but reading the book. I’m like a kid avoiding homework. I have the audio now so I am listening on 1.5 speed on my drive to and from work. That should get me to almost the end before tomorrow.

I have watched a lot of TV but nothing really of note. My daughter was home this weekend so I caught up on The Good Place and watched some episodes of other shows we watch together We finally watched last season’s finale of The Flash. I’m going to be way behind on watching the crossover this year. Otherwise, I’ve been trying to keep my DVR from filling up by watching the handful of shows I watch alone. My wife has worked late all this week so I ran out of those and watched a few episodes of 13 Reasons Why. I probably could have used that time to read.

I do have Toy Story 4 and The Lion King on DVD so I will have movies to talk about next week. I need to find a fun book to read after my homework reading is over tomorrow. I hope to watch Watchmen sometime this weekend.

Some Thoughts On Some New TV Shows

I’ve watched a few episodes of some new shows now so I thought I would write a few thoughts on what I think about them and what could make them better.

The Unicorn – I really like the cast and I think they are talented enough to make this show really good. I like it OK the way it is. The last episode didn’t lean to hard into the dating life of the main character too much, The sooner they realize the dating part is the weakest part of the show the better.

Mixed-Ish – Another show with a great cast. Gary Cole is always good and is once again the best part if this show. I think it has the potential to be really good. They need to cut down on the narration, It is annoying and distracting.

Evil – There is not a lot here to fix. Very well done show with a good mix of scary, supernatural forces and cases that are not caused by real evil. The cast works well together. If anything, maybe give the grandmother a bigger story if she is going to keep popping up.

Emergence – Another good cast. I’m glad they answered some questions early instead of dragging out the secrets. I just don’t see how this story can go for more than one season. They need to give me a reason to think I should get invested.

I’ve watched a few more but not enough episodes to give an opinion yet.

 

My Week in Movies, Books and TV 10/18/19

I did a little better reading this week. It helped that I decided to take Saturday to just relax and recharge and spent some time reading on my deck. My daughter is coming home for the weekend today so I likely will watch a lot of TV and not really read at all.

Movies – I only rewatched the latest Spiderman this week. It was the only movie I got from the library last week. My wife and son had not yet watched it. I still enjoyed it the second time. Marvel has done a good job with the character. I’m glad they have him for at least one more movie.

TV – I always watch a lot of TV during the regular network season. It’s hard to decide what to talk about I watch so much. There was the series finale of Ballers on HBO on Sunday. I watched it and I enjoyed the show, but not so much that the end of the series seemed like a big deal to me. We had our first cancelation of the new season this week. Sunnyside was canceled after three episodes. I had planned to try it. I had recorded it, but I thought my daughter might want to watch so I was waiting for her. No need now. I got a little space back on my DVR. I watched Grey’s Anatomy last night. I like the new storyline with Karev and Weber at Pac North more than the main hospital storyline. I would watch a whole show set with them and the bad hospital.

Books – I finished two books this week.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – A YA book set after the Civil War where the end of the war brought zombies. The main character is from KY but is sent to a Baltimore school to train to fight zombies. African Americans are trained to fight to act as attendants to protect the wealthy white people. I really enjoyed the book and I’m looking forward to reading the inevitable sequel.

A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais – The latest in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series. I love this series. Cole and Pike are great characters. In this one Pike rescues a bank teller when he witnesses her being kidnapped Soon, the kidnappers are found dead and she is missing again. Pike and Cole investigate to find and save her. It would make a good movie.

On Deck – I have no movies from the library this week.  Toy Story 4 will be available on Monday at the library, but I have to time my check out to have it when the kids can watch. I’m looking forward to the HBO version of Watchmen premiering on Sunday. I was already interested before I read the positive review in the Washington Post this morning. I need to read Orphan Monster Spy before next Saturday but can’t start until I retrieve it from work tomorrow.

 

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 10/11/19

I’ve not done any better with my reading this week. There’s just too much TV to watch and no book that is pulling me in enough to make me want to read instead of watching all of the new shows.  I’m going to be way below my goal for the year.

Movies –  We watched two movies last week: John Wick 3 and Dark Phoenix. I liked the first two John Wick movies so I knew I was likely to enjoy the third. I don’t really like the X-Men movies so I knew I was unlikely to enjoy Dark Phoenix. I was correct in both cases. Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy? Maybe. Was Dark Phoenix just a bad movie? Probably. Was John Wick violent but enjoyable? Yes. So, watch John Wick 3 and skip Dark Phoenix unless you are one of those weirdos that like the X-Men movies.

TV – I watched the Braves choke again in the postseason. I hate reruns.  I’m still enjoying the new show Emergence, but I don’t see how it ould be anything more than a 13 episode mini-series. The mystery surrounding the events of the show does not seem to be one that can last more than that and I don’t see where they can take it in a season 2 that makes sense. I’ve watched another episode of The Unicorn and I still think there is potential for a good show in there if they will stop leaning so hard on the thin premise of the main character not knowing how to navigate dating. They need to take a lesson from Cougar Town and move to make it an ensemble comedy about life and not episode after episode of awkward dates. I still think Prodigal Son is the best of the new shows.

Books – I finished The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. It is a mystery where Horowitz makes himself a character as the Watson to a detective named Hawthorne’s Sherlock. I liked the fact that it was a true mystery and that I didn’t know who the killer was until the reveal. That is rare. I didn’t like Horowitz as a narrator. I thought there was too much about all he has done to the point that it felt like I was reading his resume in parts. There was an unnecessary scene where he meets with Peter Jackson and Spielberg that thought was too name droppy. I think he made Hawthorne too unlikeable. A lot of promise for a series wasted. The real critics loved it.

On Deck – I have the new Spiderman on DVD. I’ve seen it, but my wife has not.  We will definitely watch it at some point this weekend.  I’m reading Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. It is a YA novel about zombies in 1800’s post Civil War America. My daughter is coming home next weekend so we will probably watch the new Nancy Drew show while she is here. I have a lot of new TV that I’m waiting to watch with her.

My Week in Books, Movies and TV 10/4/19

It will be hard to condense the TV I’ve watched this week into one paragraph. I’ve spent a lot of time watching new episodes when I should have been reading my book for work. I will see what I decide to do when I get there.

Movies – We watched two movies this week. I watched Booksmart with my daughter and really enjoyed it. It was a good cast and was very funny. I especially liked Billie Lourd as Gigi and I’ve been a fan of Kaitlyn Dever since her days on Justified and Last Man Standing. She’s going to be a star. I also watched The Dead Don’t Die. It had a very good cast I like zombie movies. This movie bored me. Nothing happened and the cast was wasted. I would not recommend it. Very disappointing.

TV – With the new YV season going and a lack of desire to do much else, I’ve watched a lot of TV this week. I finally watched the last two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead. At one point I thought this was starting to be better than the original show. I liked the cast and the story was moving in interesting directions. Then they decided to move one of the most boring Walking Dead characters over to Fear and the show become all about boring Morgan. All of the interesting people are now either dead or in the background while we goe boring Morgan monologues on helping people.  The ending of the season left his fate up in the air. I hope he’s dead so the show can focus back on the people who made me want to watch the show in the first place. Otherwise, I might have to give it up.

Books – I finished the Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. I was reading this for my book club at work. Maybe the “homework” feel to it made me less inclined to read. Maybe it was my mood, maybe it was the translation. I just know it took me forever to read it. I did end up liking the book and I will probably end up reading the sequels. I just need to match my mood with the books so I’m in the right frame of mind to read hard science fiction.

On Deck – We have John Wick 3, Triple Threat, Alita: Battle Angel and Dark Phoenix on DVD. I doubt we will get to all of them. I know we will definitely watch John Wick. TV shows will take a backseat to baseball until the Braves lose(which may be Sunday) so my DVR will start to fill up at an alarming pace.  I will find time to watch The Walking Dead. I think the whisperers storyline will get the show back on track. I still have homework books to read, The first up is The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. I’m halfway through now and have mixed feelings so far.

 

What’s on TV Tonight 9/27/19

I will skip my regular post about what I’ve watched and read this week to do the TV post. Before I move on to the abbreviated TV schedule for tonight, though, I will mention a movie and a book. We watched MIB: International. I should say my wife watched it while I dozed off and on while she watched it. I didn’t see much of it. Maybe someday I will go back and watch it while awake. I struggled through and finally finished Life L1k3 by Jay Kristoff. I probably would have given up if I wasn’t reading it for work. I know have 5 days to finish Three-Body Problem, also for work. I don’t think I will make it. Now on to tonight,

NBC – A second shot at watching the premiere of Bluff City Law and then a new Dateline.

FOX – Wrestling followed by a second shot at the premiere of Prodigal Son

CBS – Finally a network with all new shows for people like me who never leave the house on a Friday night. Hawaii 5-0 at 8. Magnum at 9. Blue Bloods at 10.

I watch Magnum even though it is not nearly as good as it could have been. It takes itself way too seriously to be Magnum. I still love Blue Bloods. My wife watches Hawaii 5-0. I guess I will watch an episode this year since they are crossing over with Magnum.

ABC – American Housewife at 8. Fresh Off The Boat at 8:30. 20/20 at 9.

I think Amerian Housewife is one of the better comedies on TV right now. More people should watch it. I also like Fresh Off The Boat but would not have been extremely sad if they had canceled it.

I watched The Unicorn and Stumptown last night. I liked both of them but can see how both could possibly go in a mediocre direction. They both have great casts and a decent premise so they could be really good. It’s reall hard to judge a show on a pilot episode, especially a sitcom. If The Unicorn can learn from Cougar Town and not focus the entire show on the main character dating and instead make it an ensemble comedy about the life of him and his friends I think it will e really good. If every episode is him going on awkward dates it will be gone soon.

Now I need to make myself read some before I have to go to work.

What’s on TV Tonight 9/26/19

Before we get to today – I watched Emergence yesterday. I wasn’t planning on watching it, but it got good review and  I kept seeing commercials for it. I didn’t want a new with a long term mystery. It was really good and I love the cast. Looks like I will be watching more. I also watched mixed-ish. It was cute. I will watch a few more episodes to see if it will stay on my watch list. Not on to Thursday:

NBC – Superstore at 8. Perfect Harmony at 8:30. Good Place at 9. Sunnyside at 9:30. SVU and 10.

Superstore and The Good Place are two of the best comedies on TV and are two of my favorite shows. I’ve never watched SVU.

Perfect Harmony is Bradley Whitford as a former Princeton music professor who ends up working with a small-town choir. It looks like it could be pretty good.

Sunnyside stars Kal Penn as a disgraced councilman who is hired by a group to help them get citizenship. I like Penn and I will try it, but it doesn’t seem like it will be that good.

FOX – Thursday Night Football. I may watch some of the game, but there’s a lot of TV to watch.

ABC – Grey’s Anatomy at 8. A Million Little Things at 9. How to Get Away With Murder at 10.

I’ve watched Grey’s from the beginning and I still like it. I’m in til the end. I really liked the first season of Million Little Things. It’s a great cast. I watched part of the first season of HTGAWM and got tired of it pretty quick.

CBS – Young Sheldon at 8. The Unicorn at 8:30. Mom at 9. Carol’s Second Act at 9:30. Evil at 10.

I’ve seen bits of Young Sheldon at Mom on planes and overseas but never felt the need to watch more. Plus, I avoid all thing Big Bang on principle.

The Unicorn stars Walton Goggins as a widower who is starting to date again. The premise is not one that would normally make me watch, but Goggins is one of my favorite actors. I’m looking forward to it.

Carol’s Second Act stars Patricia Heaton as a divorced, retired teacher who has gone back to medical school. I might give in a try it because I like Heaton, but this one was the unanimous don’t watch show for TV Line.

Evil is about a psychologist who teams up with a priest to investigate supernatural phenomena. I wasn’t going to watch this one, but everything I’ve read about it says it is very good, so I will give it a shot.

CW – Two episodes of The Outpost. Still waiting for the new shows.

Cable – I see nothing of note.

What’s on TV Tonight 9/25/19

I’ve still only watched one new show this season.  I will try to watch mixed-ish and/or Emergence before work today. Here is your Wednesday:

NBC – Chicago Med at 8. Chicago Fire at 9. Chicago PD at 10.

I only watch Fire regularly. The others I only watch during crossover events. I like how they have characters from the other shows pop up sometimes to make it feel more like a shared universe. I still like Fire, but I’m tired of the two main male characters and wish they spent more time on the other more interesting characters.

FOX –  A two-hour Masked Singer.

I’ve said before that I don’t believe in guilty pleasures.  If I did, this would be mine. I enjoy trying to guess who the singers are. I just wish some of the judges were less annoying.

ABC – Goldbergs at 8. Schooled at 8:30. Modern Family at  9. Single Parents at 9:30. Stumptown at 10.

I’ve never watched The Goldbergs. I watched one episode of Schooled because Jaret Reddick and Kelly Ogden wrote and performed the theme song. I felt the need to support them. That was enough. I bought their album. I’m good. This is the final season for Modern Family. I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends. Single Parents was my favorite new comedy last season.

Stumptown is a new show starring Cobie Smulders as a private detective. It is based on a graphic novel series. I like PI shows and I like Smulders so I will watch it.

CBS – Survivor at 8. Big Brother at 9:30.

I still love Survivor. I work Wednesday nights so I don’t get to watch it live anymore. I usually watch as soon as I get home. Tonight will be more complicated as it is longer and my wife might want to watch New Amsterdam even though she knows my Wednesday routine.

Cable – American Horror Story on FX, Property Brothers and House Hunters on HGTV. The only thing that really matters is that the series finale of Suits is tonight. I’ve watched since the first episode. The latest seasons have been shaky, but I’m enjoying the final season. I’m glad they brought Mike back for the final two episodes. It wouldn’t be right to end the show without him.

What’s on TV Tonight 9/24/19

Day two of the new TV season. There is a lot more of interest for me tonight. I did watch Prodigal Son last night. The beginning was a little shaky for me, but I did really enjoy it and will be watching more. Here’s your Tuesday:

NBC – The Voice at 8. This is Us at 9. New Amsterdam at 10.

Still not watching The Voice. I never started watching This is Us. I did go back and watch the first episode after it was on and could see how you could get sucked in but didn’t watch more. I really like New Amsterdam and can’t wait to see the outcome of the finale cliffhanger.

FOX – The Resident at 8. Empire at 9.

I’m a fan of medical shows. I loved ER and House. I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy since the start. As I mentioned above, I really like New Amsterdam. The Resident may be my current favorite medical show. I like the cast. I like the mix of stories. I like how they show the ugly side of the health care business. I’m looking forward to watching more.

ABC – The Conners at 8. Bless This Mess at 8:30. mixed-ish at 9. black-ish at 9:30. Emergence at 10.

I watched Roseanne when it was on originally. I watched the new version and it was OK> Roseanne was terrible in it. It is a much better show without her. I wanted to like Bless This Mess, but didn’t. I have never watched an episode of black-ish. I did watch a few episodes of grown-ish with my daughter and liked it. I will watch mixed-ish because I will watch Gary Cole in anything. I also think Mark Paul Gosselaar a lot.

Emergence is a new show starring Allison Tolam as a police chief who takes in a girl found at a crash site. There’s some possible supernatural mystery around her. I like Tolman, but I don’t think I want to get invested in another show like this with the danger it is canceled before they reveal the mystery.

CBS = NCIS at 8. FBI at 9. NCIS: New Orleans at 10.

I don’t watch the NCIS’s. My wife loves them. I do like FBI a lot more than I expected to.

CW – Pandora at 8. Mysteries Decoded at 9.

I know nothing about these. The real CW shows still to come.

Cable – New Chopped on HGTV. New Adam Ruins Everything on TruTV, Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo. The Little Couple on TLC. Mayans MC on FX.

Nothing to see here.