Criminal Minds: "Amplification"

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TITANS has arrived on Netflix (I'm in the UK).

So far I've watched the first 4 episodes.

Mrs Mantle is still on-board which shows an appeal to 'non-geeks'  although she dislikes the profanity.

So far I'm loving it but Kori  is grating  a tad (for being annoyingly vague not for the actress choice which I'm happy with). and I'm hoping Gar gets more screentime.

The Doom Patrol episode felt like a pilot for their own series and diverted from the main plot ( but I liked it).

I consider this the best comic adaptation on the small screen so far.

Michigan at Wisconsin on this cold winter day. IU vs. Purdue starts in about a half hour.

We are currently having a bit of an ice storm, which is supposed to turn into a snowstorm by about 4, which is predicted to end around 11. I love feeling cozy and warm and safe while hearing the ice hitting all around me outside. My driveway is covered in ice melt, so I'm good for now on that front. I have food, beer, and plenty of water, so I'm settled in for a nice afternoon and evening inside!

THE FRANKENSTEIN CHRONICLES: An older Mary Shelley showed up in episode two, and my interest level in this show immediately fell to zero. That last time I checked (2017, for the record) I had 17 different versions of the Frankenstein story, and I was looking for another one in The Frankenstein Chronicles. Instead, it’s some sort of… I don’t know, like a “story-behind-the-story” kind of thing. We watched one additional episode and decided it wasn't for us. Regarding stories featuring Mary Shelley, I much prefer her as a companion to the Eighth Doctor or…

DRUNK HISTORY: I’ve heard about this show, but I was never motivated to watch it until it featured Mary Shelley and the creation of Frankenstein. It features Evan Rachel Wood (Delores of Westworld) as Mary Shelley, and she absolutely shines. She lip synchs the drunk guy who’s telling the story to perfection, and makes me appreciate her acting skills much more than a straight-forward role would. There are several other notable actors in the cast as well, such as Elijah wood (no relation) and Will Ferrell as the creature.

Evan Rachel Wood has been in a lot of projects, even including voice acting. She is probably what we call a character actor. I think I've only seen her as an understated vampire queen in True Blood. She was only in 8 out of 81 episodes, but I remember her (she was overshadowed by Kristin Bauer van Straten as the over-the-top Pam and by Deborah Ann Woll as lovable baby vampire Jessica).

Oh, I don't remember her from True Blood (but I didn't know who she was when I watched it).

...REUNION IN FRANCE, starring Joan Crawford and John Wayne, on TCM. A Wood War II story. I stumbled onto it.

...A TB+movie on BET I stumbled on, THE BOBBY BROWN STORY. Snort coke with Whitney!

...A TB+movie on BET I stumbled on, THE BOBBY BROWN STORY. Snort coke with Whitney!

The 1993 failed pilot for "The Elvira Show." Every bit as awful and wonderful as you can imagine.

Not so much what I’m watching, but what I’m listening to.

I took a break from Doctor Who audios this week to listen to a couple of Star Trek audios. First I listened to two “Spock vs. Q” debates from Alien Voices. Those are perennial favorites of mine. The first is better than the second, but they’re both well worth a listen.

CACOPHONY: This is a Captain Sulu/Excelsior story from 1994. I transferred it from cassette tape to CD a couple of years ago, but haven’t listened to it since. I’ll tell you, Big Finish has really got me spoiled. The story is okay, but it’s so expository. It’s basically a series of log entries and whatnot being reviewed by someone at Starfleet legal. As such, it a series of journal entries, news reports, what have you loosely strung together by a guy who talks to himself. The story itself concerns a civilization which has built a religion around old radio broadcasts from Earth. The story is obviously structured for audio; the planet itself is called “Cacophony.” It’s interesting to hear old news broadcasts, radio jingles, comedy shows, etc. strung together as a religion, and it’s only in comparison to the more polished audios from Big Finish that it suffers. I wish they would have made more of them, but there’s only one other that I know of.

NEXT: Envoy

INSIDE STAR TREK: Instead of “Envoy” I listened to “Inside Star Trek” today. I have had it on vinyl since I was little, but for the 20th anniversary of Star Trek it was reissued, along with the complete soundtrack, with the tracks in movie order, of Star Trek: the Motion Picture. “Inside Star Trek” features Gene Roddenberry interacting with William Shatner, DeForest Kelly, Mark Lenard (in character as Sarek) and a live audience. For the 20th anniversary release, linking narration by Nichelle Nichols was added.

Once again watching the two-part Barney Miller episode "Homicide." Even though I watched it again a year and a half ago, it seemed a lot more grim than I remember.

The guys really don't like dealing with their new clientele, since the 12th is now a specialty squad that solely investigates homicides.*

Dietrich has a dapper gentleman who slit his barber's throat for giving him a bad trim. A woman comes in telling the detectives she's hired somebody to bump off her husband, but she's changed her mind. Dietrich and the ever-brown-nosing Levitt go to find the husband, and Levitt pushes the husband out of the way just before the would-be killer strikes.

There's other bits of business: a comely crime scene photographer delivers photos to Dietrich for a case he's working on, and Harris comes on to her -- and won't drop it when she lets him know she's flattered but doesn't want it to go any further, and no, I don't want to explain why; you should just respect it. Inspector Luger comes by; bad enough that he got the 12th turned into the Homicide squad, he wants Barney to write him a letter of recommendation so he can get a desk job in the NYPD Department of Public Affairs -- and promptly proves to Barney how ill-suited he is to being a spokesman, saying how if they get some cop with his fingers in the till or who shot some innocent bystander, he'll stand before the cameras and say "the Department is concerned" and all that touchy-feely crap to get the public off their backs(!). The expressions on Barney's are priceless. He practically races out of his office when Wojciehowicz calls for him about the wife who hired a hit man.

The bad news about Mr. Cotterman hits hard. The first part has Cotterman and Hadad arguing because Cotterman believes Hadad, who owns the dry cleaning store next door, threw a brick through the liquor store window. Hadad denies this, and the two toss gibes at each other about their respective ethnic backgrounds. Wojo tells Barney that Hadad is an Arab, and he notes, "You didn't introduce Cotterman as a Jew." Wojo responds, "He knew it already."

Indeed, Cotterman's history with the show -- he first appeared in the first season -- really undergirds everyone's pained reaction. Especially because he came back two weeks after his run-in with Hadad to tell the detective Hadad was not at fault for the brick; the guys who did it threatened him. He gladly says he and Harris can go pick them up and put and end to it. Cotterman is baffled when he is told they can't investigate: "Can't you make an exception for a regular customer?"

Right after Hadad tells everyone "Cotterman's dead," Harris gets a call: a Homicide at Cotterman's Liquor Store. "I guess we can handle it now," Wojo said.

Barney goes on a rant about how bureaucracy has made the police unresponsive to the people right around them -- he lived right around the corner and we couldn't help him! He signs Inspector Luger's recommendation ... and the tag shows he pulled some strings of his own and got the One-Two out of the Homicide business.

*This, as they say, was ripped from the headlines; there was a period back then when the NYPD turned the neighborhood precincts into specialty squads. As it is, even today, homicides are handled by specialty squads in Manhattan North and Manhattan South, despite what you see on Law & Order and its sister shows.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Watching the two-part story on Barney Miller, "Homicide." In a reshuffling of the neighborhood precincts and their duties, the detectives in different precincts are now assigned to specialty squads -- burglary, sex crimes, vice, arson, etc. Inspector Luger pulls some strings and gets the 12th Precinct what he thinks is the best of all: Homicide!

It comes back to bite them when Mr. Cotterman, the guy who runs the neighborhood liquor store, comes in reporting that two hoods are shaking him down for protection money. They tell him to go to the 10th Precinct. By the end of the episode, Cotterman's buddy, Mr. Haddad, comes in and tells the detectives Cotterman was killed by the hoods. 

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