Criminal Minds: "Amplification"

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"Bill Malloy is ... DEAD!?!"

What do you do with a drunken sailor?

What do you do with a drunken sailor?

What do you do with a drunken sailor...

Earlie in the morning?

Catching up on the third and last season of Preacher. Three more to go before the end. I actually feel about the TV show how I felt about the comic book: ambivalent. I guess that means they're doing a good job?

We have wrapped up ULTRAMAN ORB and WILL & GRACE (season one) and moved on to DICK TRACY (Republic serial) and MARY TYLER MOORE (season one).

DICK TRACY: I’ve seen all the movies starring Ralph Byrd but never this serial. Republic has taken many liberties with the source material. For example…

DICK TRACY… is a G-man, not a detective

TESS TRUEHEART… has been replaced by Gwen Andrews, Tracy’s assistant

PAT PATTON… has been replaced by Mike McGurk for comic relief

JUNIOR… has blond hair.

GORDON TRACY… is Tracy’s brother

Tracy is after the Spider Gang, one of whom is Moloch. Gordon Tracy has been hypnotized into Dick’s enemy. The cliffhangers are often just dismissed. For example, at the end of one chapter, Tracy and McGurk’s plane crashes into a bridge, bursts into flame and falls to the ground. In true serial fashion, I would have expected the beginning of the next chapter to reveal that they bailed out at the last minute, but no, they simply survived and walk free of the burning wreckage. So far we have watched four chapters (of fifteen).

Sometimes the serials would cheat and, rather than continue from the cliffhanger scene, would change it in the opening of the next chapter to make it less deadly than it originally was shown. 

A few things:

  • The Arrow series finale, "Fadeout." I'm a little surprised that nobody else has said anything about it here, as I'm not even a regular Arrow viewer; I just watch it when it crosses over with the other CW shows. As such, it wasn't totally clear to me who all the players were or what all was going on. It didn't help that when the episode got to that final scene -- the reunion of Oliver and Felicity -- my local TV station ran a completely unnecessary promo for a rerun of black-ish right in the middle of it!  But I got that Oliver and Felicity got their happy ending ... but did it mean Felicity sacrificed her life to join Oliver in Heaven? It looks that way.
  • The series finale for The Good Place, aptly titled "The Final Chapter." Speaking of people in the afterlife and happy endings, The Good Place delivered. I didn't catch on to the show at the beginning -- and thus missed the import of the twist ending of Season 1.  (To wit: "The Good Place" our four leads thought they were in was really a disguised suburb of "The Bad Place.") Over the final season, the Soul Squad -- Eleanor, Chidi, Jason and Tahani, plus villain-turned-mentor Michael and eternally peppy guide Janet -- discovered the whole afterlife system is so complicated that nobody gets into The Good Place, kept Judge Gen from destroying all of existence, developed a fair alternative system and as a reward, got into The Good Place themselves ... only to discover the residents were bored out of their minds from an eternity of bliss. So they fixed that problem by developing a way for people to leave The Good Place and end their existence. In the finale each party reached their conclusions about reaching that end, and it was heartwarming and satisfying.
  • An old episode of 20/20, "Becoming Michelle: A First Lady's Journey With Robin Roberts." I waited to watch this special edition of 20/20 until after I read Forever First Lady Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming, but didn't get around to it until now. Watching it now -- man, I needed that inspiration. There's a moment where she and Robin Roberts visit her old high school, and walk in on a dance class full of teen girls who are positively giddy when they see her. She told them how she had a guidance counselor who told her she wasn't Princeton material (the principal quickly added "She doesn't work here any more"), but she went on to great achievements, and you girls can too. It was a real joy. The girls did a dance for her, and she signed a poster on the wall -- a picture of her as a teen dancer doing a high kick. (She signed it on her outstretcted right leg.)

Thanks, CK!

I watched both of those finales this week as well, and also wondered why no one said anything about them.  But then, I didn't either.  So I appreciate the little kick in the pants.

Except that I don't have too much to say,  I found both of them  satisfying, in their own ways.

I watched The Good Place from Day 1.  I recently described it to The Lad -- with what I considered to be a very high compliment indeed -- as simultaneously the dumbest and smartest show on TV.  It was sad to see these characters off, but show didn't shy away from giving them all (or mostly all) real conclusions.  The emotional moments were earned, Chidi's Buddhist parable was lovely and wise, and the last scene suggested an answer to "what is life really all about?" without forcing an interpretation on anyone. Well done.

I was also a "never miss an episode" viewer of Arrow from Episode 1, but I can't say that I was really a fan until sometime in Season Two, at which point the show seemed to turn a corner and really go all in on its pulp/comics/superhero roots.  It decided that it knew what it was, it owned it, and it ran with that with conviction and enthusiasm.

Up to that point, I was really only watching because (1) Amell was growing on me and (2) the show had, hands down, the most well-choreographed, well-shot and frankly cinematic fight scenes I had ever seen on TV.  Arrow set, and then kept raising, the bar on what network TV action scenes should aspire to be.

How appropriate, then, that the finale gave us a real stunner -- maybe the best the show has ever done.  I could just hear Amell and the production team saying "John Wick?  Oh Hell yeah, we can do that!"  And they did.

You and I watch the same channel, CK, and I was very nearly screaming  at the TV when it (effectively) dropped the last 30 seconds of the finale.  Thanks to YouTube, I was able to see it by the time I finished brushing my teeth.

I came across the last 20 minutes of ... And Justice for All on my local PBS station(!) and had to watch. Here's the key part: "Arthur Kirkland's Legendary Opening Statement"

It's one of my favorite movies, even though the critics didn't like it, and I understand lawyers don't either (the ABA Journal scolds protagonist Arthur Kirkland for his actions).

But I was so happy to see this, especially after what happened on Capitol Hill this week -- to see an honest man, faced with defending the indefensible, decide he can't defend it. 

FOLLOW THAT DREAM: Elvis made 31 movies (not including concert films and documentaries), almost all of them awful. I’ve got about half of them on VHS. They’re a guilty pleasure of mine, and Tracy likes them, too. We started watching them a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t quite certain where we left off. We weren’t too far in to “Follow That Dream” before we realized we’d seen it together, but we watched the rest of it anyway.

ClarkKent_DC said:

The Arrow series finale, "Fadeout." I'm a little surprised that nobody else has said anything about it here, as I'm not even a regular Arrow viewer; I just watch it when it crosses over with the other CW shows. As such, it wasn't totally clear to me who all the players were or what all was going on. It didn't help that when the episode got to that final scene -- the reunion of Oliver and Felicity -- my local TV station ran a completely unnecessary promo for a rerun of black-ish right in the middle of it!  But I got that Oliver and Felicity got their happy ending ... but did it mean Felicity sacrificed her life to join Oliver in Heaven? It looks that way.

When I saw your post I resolved to finally watch the last two episodes (post Crisis) of Arrow. The penultimate episode was more meaningless fighting in the dark. I hadn’t even bothered to watch the two episodes before Crisis. I think it was on a previous episode of Arrow that Felicity walked into the unknown with The Monitor. When she spoke to Oliver she commented that it was the Afterlife. If you can watch the last episode On Demand or on the CW internet you should probably watch the final scene again.

 The series finale for The Good Place, aptly titled "The Final Chapter." Speaking of people in the afterlife and happy endings, The Good Place delivered. I didn't catch on to the show at the beginning -- and thus missed the import of the twist ending of Season 1

We also hadn’t watched this finale when I first saw your post. We watched the series from the beginning and enjoyed every minute. I have never watched Ted Danson (Michael) or  Kristen Bell (Eleanor) when I didn’t thoroughly enjoy them. Anyone who enjoys these actors, quirky stories and pretty good special effects should check out this show from the beginning. It is not sickly sweet, despite the title.  

Minor  : It is clear from the beginning that Eleanor and Jason have both lived disreputable lives. The thinking is that heavenly mistakes were made. When we find out that this "Good Place" isn't really good, it becomes clearer. 

Richard Willis said:

When I saw your post I resolved to finally watch the last two episodes (post Crisis) of Arrow. The penultimate episode was more meaningless fighting in the dark.

That's a good way of putting it. I got bored with all the "meaningless fighting in the dark" on Arrow early on, but for their part, they were proud of it. I've seen many an article with one or more people affiliated with the show going on and on about how they achieved movie-level stunt fighting on a TV show budget. Okay if you like that kind of thing, but I found a little goes a long way.

The State of the Union Address.

I've been re-watching the original Magnum PI. I've just finished the third season. Episode 3x20, "Two Birds of a Feather," felt to me like a pilot for another show, so I did a little research, and it turned out it was supposed to be the forerunner of a show starring William Lucking as a Vietnam veteran flyer. The premise was re-worked into Airwolf, and some of the aerial scenes were reused in Airwolf episodes. Episode 3x21, "The Big Blow," features James Doohan as Archibald McPherson, Robin Masters' Scots accountant, and Robin actually puts in an appearance, though we, the viewing audience, don't see his face.

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