Category Archives: TV

Send in the Marines! Or the shaolin! Or the Ghostbusters! Or the Sailor Scouts!

HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (1944) is Preston Sturges’ screwball classic in which William Demarest’s Marine platoon discovers 4F Eddie Bracken has been lying to his mother about fighting overseas rather than disappoint her by not following in dad’s footsteps. Simple solution: the Marine fit him with a uniform and some spare medals, take him home and pass him off as a hero. Complication: everyone in town turns out to celebrate and opponents of the windbag mayor decide a war hero would be the perfect choice to run against him. And what about Ella Raines, the girl Bracken left behind, now engaged to the mayor’s son? A great comedy, and in an age where “thank you for your service” is supposed to be the automatic response to meeting anyone in the military, Sturges’ gentle mockery of soldier-worship (“Nobody knows what I did, they just know I’m a hero.”) hasn’t aged a bit. “They’ve got four bands out there — one medal isn’t enough!”

The second season of KUNG FU(1973-4) sometimes gets a lot closer to a conventional wandering-hero TV western than S1 did, but not so often it lost its distinctive charm (as noted in my S1 review, if you don’t want a white guy in yellowface as the Eurasian lead character, the charm may be lost on you). Among the memorable episodes are A Dream Within a Dream (Caine investigates an apparent murder, only the body vanishes) and Empty Pages Within a Dead Book (a vengeful Texas ranger learns the difference between Law and Justice) — and yes, the titles are definitely part of the charm. There are also some whimsical episodes such as The Spirit Helper (a young Native becomes convinced Caine is his spirit guide) and the zany two-part season ender, The Cenotaph, which includes a fight with a Chinese warlord who is emphatically not a master of the martial arts. With the TV season starting up, it may be a while before I get to my DVDs of S3, alas. ““That woman must have died of gallstones — 2,000 pounds worth.”

Rewatching the 2016 GHOSTBUSTERS remake during my Florida stay didn’t change my opinion that it’s a very worthy follow-up to the original, as “ghost girls” Kirsten Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Johnson discover a seething misanthrope (if they’d made it this year, I suspect he’d be an incel) plots to raise the dead to terrify the living, Melissa McCarthy avoids a fatal high five, Mayor Andy Garcia insists he is not that mayor from Jaws and Chris Hemsworth tries to answer the phone. A shame it didn’t win over more people.  “Laborers such as you shall be spared until the end of the butchering, so make the most of your extra time.”

The third season of Sailor Moon, AKA SAILOR MOON S, uses much of the previous seasons’ formula (energy-draining monsters dominated by villains who keep failing and getting destroyed, but a bigger bad behind them), in fact too much for my taste. On the other hand, it has some good stuff, such as Chibi-USA’s relationship with the seriously ill Hotaru and the enigma of Sailor Scouts Neptune and Uranus, tougher, more mature and more experienced fighters (also lesbians, something dropped from the original US dub) who think the regular cast just isn’t hard core enough to stop the coming of the Messiah of Silence (I do like the episode in which Usagi demonstrates that silly and tenderhearted though she is, she’s still top dog on this show). I’m sure I’ll get to the remaining run eventually, even though I’ve never heard anything positive about it. What they say is true, I was naive and foolish — but I was also right!”

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Our heroes have always been bad guys: Movies and TV

Hank Pym forces ex-con Scott Lang to become ANT-MAN (2015) and reclaim Pym’s shrinking technology before former protegé Darren Cross can use it to create Yellowjacket, the ultimate killer. While I didn’t care for the drawn-out origin in Doctor Strange, this takes almost as long and it works, perhaps because Scott’s character arc is stronger. The cast includes Michael Douglas as Hank, Paul Rudd as Scott, Evangeline Lily as Pym’s daughter Hope and Corey Stoll as Cross (the villain from the first Scott Lang Ant-Man story). A real winner — I’ve rarely seen a film do so well with shrinking special effects.“I’m just destroying everything that gives your daddy’s life meaning.”

Errol Flynn’s classic THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) made a double-bill for both Ant-Man and last week’s viewing of Sherwood. Rewatching the story shows why Robin endures as a legend and symbol — the fight against tyranny and corruption and 12th century England’s 1 percent is probably always going to be relevant. Plus Flynn’s laughing swashbuckler makes being a rebel and an outlaw look like the most fun in the world. Alongside Flynn we have Basil Rathbone’s sneering Guy of Gisborne, Claude Raines coolly evil Prince John, Una O’Connor as a flirty servant, Alan Hale as Little John and Eugene Pallette as Friar Tuck. Olivia deHaviland plays Maid Marion who like countless movie heroines has to be awakened by the hero to what’s right (you could also look at it as checking her Norman privilege). Given I just finished a book about Technicolor (review tomorrow) I was very aware of how gorgeous the movie’s colors are. “You’ve come to Nottingham once too often!”

THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (1996) which starts with Geena Davis as a school teacher afflicted with amnesia for everything beyond the past eight years — why that’s right, the missing years do contain a dangerous secret! It turns out Davis is a CIA hitwoman who’s unwittingly believed one of her cover identities is the real her — and she’s regaining her memories with the help of sleazy PI Samuel L. Jackson just at the point her former bosses are up to something very nasty (“Budget cuts? Is that what this is about?”).

This is a wildly over the top film (the protagonists take damage that would kill anyone without healing factor), but it’s also thoroughly entertaining. While Bourne Identity would be a logical double bill, the clip of 1973’s The Long Goodbye shown on TV makes me think that would make sense as well (even though I hate it): another story of someone faking their death, and Elliott Gould’s seedy PI, matching Jackson’s. With G.W. Spradlin as the president, David Morse as a sadist (“A woman is never as beautiful as when her face contorts in pain.”) and Craig Bierko as a smirking nemesis. “I was busy coming up with that ham sandwich line.”

After a disappointing fifth season, THE AMERICANS managed to finish its run with a bang. It’s a year or two after S5; Paige is now a spy in training, Philip’s working full-time at the travel agency (which is slowly collapsing) and Elizabeth, spying without him, is beginning to crack under the strain. Now with the US/USSR START arms-reduction talks in progress, the KGB assigns Elizabeth to spike negotiations if Gorbachev gives away too much; Oleg returns from the USSR to ask Philip to stop her. Will the marriage survive? Will Stan finally catch on to what his neighbors are up to? Will Paige find happiness? This leaves enough loose ends I wonder if they have a sequel in mind, but it’s still excellent. “You’re my best friend — the only friend I’ve had in my whole shitty life.”

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TV Time Travel, invasions from the moon and death playing chess: TV and movies

Netflix’ time-travel show TRAVELERS had its merits, but didn’t quite click with me. The premise is that a team of agents from the future has come back to 2016 to avert their future by changing a key event or two. To make the leap, they land in the bodies of people on the brink of death, which saddles them with their host bodies’ various relationships, jobs, health problems, etc. Focusing on personal drama more than changing time was a smart move, but it didn’t integrate the personal with the SF elements the way Odyssey 5 managed to do, and the bleak, downbeat tone of the personal stories just lost me. I won’t be back for S2.

12 MONKEYS’ third season, by contrast, worked great. At the end of S2, Cassie discovers she and Cole are the parents of the Witness, the leader of the Army of the 12 Monkeys plotting to end time and create a timeless, deathless world. Worse, Cassie wound up a prisoner of the Army, so they can see the Witness brought up to fulfill his destiny. Can Cole rescue Cassie? What will their allies do if they learn killing Cassie in say, 1990, would end the Witness’s threat? It’s a twisty entertaining season setting up for the finalé in S4. As usual Emily Hampshire steals the show as Jennifer Goines (a more entertaining version of Brad Pitt’s character in the film), particularly when she has to turn herself into a star of the Paris stage. “Nothing in either morality or causality prevents me killing you.”

RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON (1952) ain’t an A-list serial but it shows the competence with which Republic usually approached the genre (as opposed to The Undersea Kingdom). A quasisequel to King of the Rocketmen, using that film’s flying suit (the inspiration for The Rocketeer) but with a new character, Commando Cody. In the first episode, gangsters working for the first wave of a lunar invasion are disrupting American shipping with a devastating nuclear cannon; brilliantly deducing this ties in with atomic activity on the moon, Cody leads his cast to our satellite, where Retik (veteran villain Roy Barcroft) is indeed plotting Earth’s conquest. This is better all round than Undersea Kingdom, but annoyingly mundane, with a few too many car chases and shoot outs. Fun, nonetheless, but they never explain why they’re “radar men.” “Do you have an atomic bomb strong enough to start a volcanic eruption in the Mt. Alda volcanic crater?”

After reading We All Are Legends inevitably I rewatched Ingrid Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957) in which a young Max von Sydow plays a knight terrified of what might await him in the next world; when Death shows up, he buys time by talking Death into a chess game. Meanwhile his squire and various l0w-comic characters intrigue and romance each other (I can see a similarity to Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night), unaware that with the Black Death at hand, Death can’t be far away. Visually impressive, dark and one of the movies that made Bergman Bergman. “You play chess, don’t you? I’ve seen it in paintings.”

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Dr. Mabuse vs. the Black Panthers, Abba vs the Librarians: Movies and TV

With THE DEATH-RAY MIRROR OF DOCTOR MABUSE (1964) the 1960s Mabuse cycle ends not with a bang but a whimper. Peter van Eyck, who was adequate as part of the ensemble in 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse is miserably dull as the central character, a super-spy out to secure the title McGuffin for England while You Know Who wants it for his own ends. This is a Mabuse film done as a Bond film, with a lot of similarity to Thunderball (David Kalat, author of The Strange Case of Dr. Mabuse, wonders if Death-Ray Mirror could actually have influenced the later 007 adventure) but none of the flair Eon brought to the Bond films of this era. It’s also much more sexist than Bond in its treatment of the female lead, and has the least mind-control of any of the films (mostly just a vague reference to Mabuse mindwiping people at the start of the film). “The almighty took seven days to create the world, and you could destroy it in a few seconds.”

THE BLACK PANTHERS: Vanguards of the Revolution (2015) is a good documentary about how an Oakland movement to stop police abuse of blacks (which, of course, makes this depressingly relevant) broadened into providing free breakfasts and health clinics while attracting followers across the country (as much because of their apparent pride and self-confidence as their actual policies), including a large percentage of women. The film chronicles the FBI’s obsessive war against the Panthers, the party’s attempt to switch to straight politics (“After the loss, there was no plan B.”) and the gradual internal collapse, heavily influenced by the FBI’s efforts at subversion. “We didn’t get those brothers to revolutionary heaven.”

MAMMA MIA: Here We Go Again (2018) is the sequel to the 2008 stage-to-screen musical, alternating the story of Amanda Seyfried struggling to open late mom Meryl Streep’s dream hotel despite everything going wrong with her secret origin as her mother heads to Greece for a summer of love and winds up bedding three different men in rapid succession. This was pleasant enough, but doesn’t feel as well structured as the first Mamma Mia — Cher’s appearance at the end is quite gratuitous, though she does give a great rendition of Abba’s Fernando. “You have the courage of the lion, the heart of the panther and the wisdom of the flamingo.”

The third season of THE LIBRARIANS has the cast coping with an unleashed chaos demon plotting to turn the world upside-down and a new government magic-hunting agency that’s determined to put the Librarians and their assets under lock and key. This has the series’ usual quirky fun, such as a reluctant cult leader trapped by her own popularity, a reunion of evil monsters and a magician wreaking havoc as he tries to impress his (he thinks) true love. I’ll also give them points for resolving Cassandra’s cancer problems without the usual miracle cure. “He didn’t tell you the Eye of Ra requires a human sacrifice.”

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Is There a Doctor In the House? Lots!

The past week reminded me of when I’d be watching nothing but time travel material for Now and Then We Time Travel. I started subscribing to BritBox, a streaming service for British shows. The main reason was the access to Doctor Who, which is surprisingly spotty on Netflix. I’d Netflixed the first two Tom Baker serials a while back, but I started on Britbox by going back further …

THE POWER OF THE DALEKS was the first Second Doctor serial; Patrick Troughton here is so dotty and so unlike William Hartnell’s cantankerous senior that companions Ben and Polly and even the Doctor himself aren’t sure he’s really who he says he is. To make matters worse the TARDIS has dropped them on a colony planet riven by rival factions, one of which is convinced these mechanical creatures they found in a spaceship will make wonderful robot servants … Although the video was lost the soundtrack wasn’t, so the Beeb animated it as they did with Hartnell’s The Reign of Terror. Not a classic story, but a landmark for proving the show could survive the loss of its star. The emphasis that the Doctor survived through the power of the TARDIS shows they still hadn’t established regeneration as normal — even when Troughton left at the end of War Games, it was the Time Lords forcing him to change (it wouldn’t be until the Fourth Doctor that regeneration became a normal Time Lord thing). “The law of the Daleks is in effect.”

Enough of THE WHEEL IN SPACE survives that rather than use animation, the BBC used stills from the show to accompany the voice track (two episodes remain intact). The Second Doctor and Jamie land on a drifting rocket from which they wind up on the eponymous space station. Here they meet Zoey, a brilliant, petite young woman who begins to realize her life has trained her to prepare for emergencies but only carefully predicted ones. Which does not include an attack on the Wheel by the Cybermen … Zoe’s one of my favorite companions (cute, small, brainy brunette — it’s like I have a type!) and the serial is overall good, but loses steam at the finish (the purpose of all the Cyber-scheming to seize the Wheel is quite underwhelming). And it’s depressing to think of the Time Lords just wiping Zoe’s memory at the end of War Games and dropping her back on the Wheel; I do hope she found some other way to break out of the box her society put her in. “Logic, my dear Zoe, only allows one to be wrong with authority.”

Last year’s Christmas special TWICE UPON A TIME (on Amazon Prime, not BritBox) has Capaldi contemplating not regenerating when he winds up meeting the First Doctor (David Bradley) who’s contemplating doing the same thing, which would, of course unmake the entire series. Can they survive and work together long enough to stop the seemingly sinister schemes of …. Testimony? A fun concept, though a bit heavy-handed on First Doctor Sexism; the ending gives us the new female Doctor, though not for very long. “By any analysis evil should always win. Good is not a practical survival strategy.”

THE FIVE (ISH) DOCTORS REBOOT was a spoof special tied to the 50th anniversary of the show in which Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy (Doctors Five Through Seven) desperately try to convince current showrunner Stephen Moffat that they’re a vital part of the history and need to make an appearance — oh, did you know McCoy was in The Hobbit, a major blockbuster theatrical release? Fluffy but very funny. “Instead of a sonic screwdriver I could have sonic beams come out my eyes!”

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A superhero, a Jew, a rom-com and spies: this week’s movies (and one TV show)

M. Night Shyamalan’s UNBREAKABLE (2000) stars Bruce Willis as a train-crash survivor confounded by comic-book buff Samuel L. Jackson’s insistence that he survived because just as Jackson’s bones are abnormally fragile (“They call me Mr. Glass.”), Willis’ body is indestructible. This was Shyamalan’s second movie and I like the way he plays with comic book tropes. However I don’t see why Willis would also acquire a kind of spider-sense for spotting evildoers, and no question Mr. Glass is a Cinema of Isolation cliche (particularly the isolation aspect: he apparently has no social life except his mother, and the film treats his condition as if he were unique). And I wish the ending captions had told us what happened to Willis, not just Jackson, though I gather a sequel may be in the offing (but given how much Shyamalan’s quality has fallen, I’m not optimistic). The deleted scenes here were interesting but a documentary on comics (including a number of noted creators) was disappointing: I’d be more interested in how Shyamalan applies the tropes here than a general comics discussion. “I’m going to ask you a question — it may sound a little strange.”

The only production of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE I’ve ever seen was a 1970s TV movie. When I rewatched it a couple of decades back, it left me wondering whether it was just a poor production (despite a cast including Laurence Olivier) or the play itself was dull (even Shakespeare can’t bat 100 percent). After watching the 2004 version with Al Pacino as Shylock, I can say it was definitely the production. Pacino does a great job as the resentful money-lender who puts up money for Antonio (Jeremy Irons) to help his bestie/possible ex-lover Bassanio (Joseph Fiennes) woo wealthy heiress Portia (Lynn Collins). But when Antonio’s bill comes due and he can’t pay, Shylock demands his right to the forfeit — a pound of fles, cut out from Antonio’s heart. Powerful though it was, the anti-Semitism is still repellent: Shylock pays a penalty for being Jewish and the Christian bigots all get happy endings (Shakespeare After All may have a point that Shylock pays for being anti-joy as much as being Jewish, but that doesn’t erase the anti-Semitism)  “You called me dog before you had a cause; since I am a dog, beware my fangs.”

SET IT UP (2018) has the stressed-out administrative assistants to demanding bosses Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu decide to make their bosses fall in love and hopefully take it easy—when you control someone’s schedule completely, how hard can it be to arrange a meet cute? As they struggle to get the couple past the inevitable obstacles (including that Diggs is quite a jerk), they also notice how cute each other is … This is a pleasant enough movie, but for the life of me I don’t see why it’s gotten so many gushing reviews online. For a double bill I’d suggest White Christmas for a variation on the same premise. “We are not Cyrano-ing, this is totally The Parent Trap.”

The fifth season of THE AMERICANS was a disappointment — not bad, but they juggled a lot of plotlines and none of them paid off strongly enough to make the season work. There’s a possible American bioweapon targeting Soviet grain, Paige’s torment at being the child of spies, Henry getting an arc of his own, follow-ups on Oleg and Martha in Moscow (Martha, a character from previous seasons, really felt shoehorned in) … the cumulative effect leads to a personal turning point, but not enough to make the season work. Still, I’ll be back for S6. “Now I have power — I can crush people for you.”

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A djinn and a detective: two series on DVD

Given my love for the Arabian Nights, it’s not surprising that as a kid I loved SHAZZAN, Hanna-Barbera’s fantasy series about two kids and their nigh-invincible genie. Rewatching as an adult, I can see all the flaws I expected, but I still enjoyed it.

The premise is that two American kids, Chuck and Nancy (Janet Waldo, Jerry Dexter) find two halves of an ancient ring, join them together and are instantly transported back to fantasy Arabia. The genie of the ring, Shazzan (Barney Phillips), whose name is an obvious riff on “Shazam!”, tells them that to return home they must deliver his ring to the Wizard of the Seventh Mount, but he has no idea where the mage is. Until then, they have a magical flying camel, Kaboobie, and whenever they join the ring together they can summon him. Which of course they need to do as they run into a variety of wizards trying to oppress, conquer or otherwise wreak havoc (so yes, we have something of a white savior element).

The animation is more imaginative than I expected, though the stories are formulaic. A bigger problem is that Shazzan is so powerful, he usually overwhelms everyone he goes up against. As the series goes along, the kids get absurdly powerful too. At the start they have a couple of magic items (enchanted rope, cloak of invisibility) but by the end of the show they’re just pulling endless magical gadgets out of their utility belts, as it were.

Still, I had a lot of fun watching this.

THE UNPLEASANTNESS AT THE BELLONA CLUB brought back Ian Carmichael as Peter Wimsey. The eponymous unpleasantness is that an elderly general expired in his arm chair at Wimsey’s club on Armistice Day. Nothing suspicious about it, until it turns out the exact time of death will determine the distribution of sizable inheritance. And someone worked very hard to cover up the time … This is much better than Clouds of Witness (of course, it’s a better book) though it’ll be a while before I get any more of Carmichael’s later seasons. “If you keep people young with monkey glands, they’re not going to die of heart failure.”

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Four weddings, a funeral and Supergirl: movies and TV

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (1994) stars Hugh Grant in his career-making role as a commitment-phobic Brit who beds Andie McDowell, a more sexually experienced American, in the aftermath of a friend’s wedding. He’s hooked, but she’s flying home; over the following three weddings and a funeral, they keep meeting, bedding and discovering reasons they can’t be together — one of the weddings is hers, for instance and not to Grant (Romantic Comedy might make a good double-bill for a couple who are similarly never available at the same time). A funny, charming rom-com with a cast that includes Rowan Atkinson as a mumble-mouthed minister and Kristin Scott-Thomas as one of Grant’s buddies. “There’s nothing more off-putting at a wedding than a priest with an enormous erection.”

I found SUPERGIRL‘s third season an exercise in frustration. The cast is great (Smallville‘s Erika Durrance didn’t add much as the new Alura) Melissa Benoist is always winning, we got a visit from the Legion of Super-Heroes. Storywise, the season’s big arc — a battle against a gen-engineered Kryptonian called Reign arriving on Earth — seemed to run out of steam well before the end. Supergirl and her team spend a lot of time worrying that more “world killers” are on the way, but when two more show up, they’re disposed of laughably quickly. The show still seems unsure what to do with Jimmy Olsen, Alex’s romance with Maggie Sawyer just flatlined and I really hope they don’t turn Lena Luthor evil — she’s much more interesting as the one good member of her clan. The one good arc involved J’Onn reuniting with, and ultimately losing his Martian father.

More generally, this is the third time we’ve had a menace tied to Krypton as the big bad, and I wish they’d stop. It feels like they’re paralyzed and unable to move beyond the Kryptonian threat of Superman II but they’ve had plenty of minor Earthborn adversaries. There’s no reason they can’t do one more formidable (just not Lena, please!). But while I’m unenthused about picking up Arrow next season, Supergirl‘s still on my list.

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Dr. Mabuse and Peter Wimsey: Movies and TV

THE TERROR OF DR. MABUSE (1962) was a remake of Testament of Dr. Mabuse and known under that title as well as Terror of the Mad Doctor; under all the names it’s a pale shadow of the original. Wolfgang Preiss returns as Mabuse #3, now frantically dictating a new Testament of his own. Could he possibly be behind the crime wave sweeping the city? His shrink (Walter Rilla) says no, but in the world of Mabuse, you know how little statements like are worth. A good example of why this is an inferior film is the sequence where a rebellious hood confronts Mabuse in his lair. Instead of facing drowning as in the original, we get a silly sequence involving a hall of mirrors (pretty to look at, but not much of a threat) and then Mabuse spares him for plot reasons. Not without its moments — Mabuse’s wry second-in-command is a hoot (“Here’s money for bus fair.”) — but a poor wannabe compared to Lang. Gert Frobe adds his usual talent in his last role in this series. “This is not a philanthropic institution — corpses are part of our business.”

DR. MABUSE VS. SCOTLAND YARD (1963) is even weaker and not even terribly continuous (the references to Mabuse burning down his lab to destroy his Testament don’t fit the end of Terror) as the devil doctor (Walter Rilla again) now resorts to mind-control rays to accomplish what the original Mabuse did with sheer personal force. Peter van Eyck returns as a rather bland secret agent, aided and abetted by his dotty mother. “It means the control of mankind — a power more effective than any atom bomb.”

When Ian Carmichael first appeared as LORD PETER WIMSEY on TV I found him way too flighty and silly-ass. Rewatching now, I realize he’s a dead-on portrayal of Wimsey in the earliest books, though I’m not sure how well he’d have worked romancing Harriet Vane (this series never got to those books, though a later BBC production did). For the first season they adapted Clouds of Witness, in which Peter tries to clear his brother of murdering their sister’s disgraced lover. It’s a poor choice for an opener as it’s a very stiff mystery, with way too much time spent on Who Was Where When; having actors deliver the lines rather than reading them on the printed page helps, but not enough. I must admit though, Carmichael and the rest of the cast are good and the visuals (like the climactic trial in the House of Lords) are nice. “I did not travel 3,000 miles to pass moral judgment on someone as charming as you.”

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Roseanne, you don’t have to tweet that bad thing tonight

Normally I don’t review a show until the season ends, but thanks to Barr’s racist tweeting, Roseanne is gone (much to the outrage of some conservatives). And Hulu’s pulled the shows that already aired. So here we go.

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Roseanne Barr and John Goodman
ABC ‘Roseanne’ TV show panel, TCA Winter Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA – 08 Jan 2018

I enjoyed the original show back in the day (though it ran out of steam too long before it ended). In the first place, it was funny. And Barr’s take on motherhood defied the usual formulas: she’s a very, very imperfect mother who isn’t infinitely patient or perfect and that’s rare. Goodman’s Dan, conversely, was a good dad, which is unusual for TV’s blue collar fathers (an article once pointed out that blue-collar dads tend to be clueless, white-collar dads have their shit together). And a solid cast.

I was not optimistic for the new series because revivals rarely work that well. But I found it worked. Not in the first episode when Jackie and Roseanne are arguing over Jill Stein vs. Donald Trump. But otherwise. While I’m dubious Archie Bunker could still work today, Roseanne in some ways works better. As more and more of the economy flows into the pockets of the upper brackets, I feel much more conscious of how much everyone else has to struggle. And I’m very well aware of how much harder things get as you get older. The family’s coping with buying meds, taking meds, having the kids and grandkids move back in, Roseanne driving for Uber and having trouble going up the stairs … it’s a lot of stuff TV usually doesn’t deal with on a regular basis. And yes, still funny.

Had it come back in the fall, I’d have watched. But I have no problem with ABC sending the show to an early grave.

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