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The premise of this absurd episode is that, at the request of a so-called "reverend", a young man forces himself sexually on a young woman to try to cure her of her homosexual tendencies, calling it "curative intercourse" and implying he is doing it as a religious mission.
Let's pretend for a moment that this wasn't a show about sex crimes. Let's say the young man legitimately convinced the woman to have consensual sex with him in order to "cure" her of her homosexual impulses, because homosexuality is a sin. Sex between unmarried adults, even consensual sex, is still a sin it's called fornication. No legitimate church would sanction committing a serious sin on the chance that it might prevent someone else from committing another serious sin in the future. No Christian denomination would condone such an action, let alone encourage it. Now add the rape element back in and you increase both the sinfulness and criminality of the act exponentially. In short, the premise of this episode is utter rubbish! No legitimate church would do it; nor would they stand still for someone trying to allow the act to be excused on religious grounds. So, I will refer to these BS characters as cult members from here on in. Not to be stopped there, the writers double down and imply that this young man is part of a "curative intercourse" ring again supposedly being sanctioned by the cult. I am pretty sure they were careful not to mention any denomination during the episode, knowing that they would be deluged with complaints from offended representatives of whatever denomination they chose to insult with this garbage.
I don't recall one positive statement being made about religion in the entire episode. The cult members were portrayed as if they were brainwashed and the victim's parents were shows as harsh and unfeeling. The cult's sleazy lawyer actually had the nerve to cite the "Hobby Lobby" ruling - wherein a Christian corporation was allowed to refrain from behavior that it considered sinful as if it was some moral equivalent to their "free ride for a rapist" defense.
Not surprisingly, the episode concludes with the victim declaring that she will now embrace her homosexual tendencies. "God made me this way," she oozes. "How can I be less than perfect if I accept that?" Now, imagine a pedophile or a sociopath saying the same thing, and you can see how ridiculous the statement really is.
This episode had absolutely no redeeming features. It looks like it was written just as an excuse to made religion look bad and homosexuality look good.
The Good Fight (2017)
Nothing to draw me in
The opening scene ultra-liberal Hillary supporter Diane Lockhart staring aghast at the inauguration of President Donald Trump - is breathtaking! Unfortunately, it's pretty much all downhill after that.
The pilot centers around 2 characters one is Diane who was a memorable, if not particularly likable, character in THE GOOD WIFE. She is planning to retire until it turns out her financial adviser was another Bernie Madoff, and she is now almost broke. Since she officially retired from her old firm before finding out she was bankrupt, they won't take her back. No one else wants her because she advised others to invest with her financial adviser and they lost millions. Eventually, the firm she was litigating against offers her a partnership.
She had an "opposites attract" type husband in the series a conservative. A few times in the series I recall him taking a risk to support her, but never vice versa. Then in the finale, out of the blue, he was revealed to have been sleeping with another woman. Here, her now separated husband is willing to stand by her even at the risk of losing his own money and properties. But, she makes it clear that she wants no part of him anymore. And, of course, she blames him entirely for their breakup.
The second focal character is Maia Rindell. She is a lesbian, since apparently protocol now dictates that all ensemble casts must have at least one gay couple. She is the daughter of the Bernie Madoff character and is now a pariah as well, since people insist she must have known her father was a crook. Like Alicia in THE GOOD WIFE, she must pay for the sins of someone else. She is fired from her new job at Lockhart's old firm, but not before pulling an Alicia and finding the missing key piece of evidence overlooked by everyone else. At show's end, Diane invites her to join up with her new employers.
So far, there was really nothing to draw me to this show. But if there had been any glimmer of hope, the "case of the week" effectively doused that. It involved two cops beating and kicking, to the point of brain damage, a Black man who tried to break into a car. There was a one minute gap in the video of the beating, which Maia was able to recover from another source. The big reveal was nothing. Apparently, the cops just saw him breaking into a car and arbitrarily decided to beat the crap out of him. And so it goes...on shows like this.
I wouldn't watch this show for free on a network, so I certainly won't be paying to see it.
Mr. Robot (2015)
A Liberal fantasy
The writing on the wall is evident for this show early on, when Elliott ridicules someone for liking GEORGE W. BUSH'S DECISION POINTS and Josh Groban. Elliott is the main character in the story; he's no "hero" in my book. He has great hacking skills but somehow is "trapped" in his job and life. He even takes morphine, but he's oh-so-careful about it so he can rationalize that he's not an addict. He talks about heroes turning out to be phony, then we see people like Lance Armstrong and Bill Cosby. Why not include a picture of Obama in that group? Oh, right. It's because the show's creators probably love Obama!
When Elliott's not busy stalking his psychiatrist's boy friend or sleeping with his morphine supplier, he comes across Mr. Robot and his fellow hackers. Mr. Robot had a father who rationalized stealing by saying that everyone steals, and surprise that people don't get their "fair" share in life (i.e. that most people get too little and a few get way too much). In this episode, he wants to hack into E corporation, which even Elliott calls "Evil Corporation" which is evil because...well, apparently because it's big. He wants to wipe out all their debt information so that he can accomplish "the biggest redistribution of wealth ever." (Well, at least he's upfront about it.) Never mind that people took on all that debt for some legitimate service. Apparently he feels the world would be better off if those consumers just got all their money back and the big evil corporation gets taken down a notch. Elliott is about to expose his organization to E Corporation, but changes his mind when their boss is rude to his incompetent co-worker. He changes his mind and frames the boss for the hacking scheme and debt destruction, raising his arms in triumph like Rocky when the innocent boss is arrested on bogus charges.
Elliott is a disturbing, judgmental guy who frankly I couldn't care less about. The only nice thing I can say about him is that at the end it turns out he likes dogs. Considering the show's obvious Liberal bias, perhaps the biggest surprise about the pilot episode is that in the opening scene Elliott takes down a genuine dealer in child pornography and not, say, some decent, honest baker or photographer who simply doesn't want to participate in a gay "wedding." I wasted 45 minutes of my life watching this nonsense; I'm happy to say I won't be wasting another second on it.
A movie everyone should see
Dinesh D'Souza is a man who obviously loves and admires this country and it shows in his work here. He presents a series of criticisms or "indictments" against this country - particularly concerning our past history. Then he counters this with arguments about the many good things about our country, and how important we are to the rest of the world. This is done through a series of interviews, news clips and some historical re-enactments. I found it fascinating to watch and learned some history that I was not aware of. My only criticism is that it was a bit long, particularly towards the end. But I think it's an important film that everyone should see, and that it would make them appreciate our wonderful country even more.
Ludicrous soap opera
A show about a "fixer" in Washington D.C. is at least something different, but in the end this is closer to a fantasy than a drama. For instance, the President Grant - is supposedly a Republican, yet he acts more like a Democrat, both in cheating on his wife and supporting liberal policies like the DREAM Act. He even has a Chief of Staff who's gay. He does have a conservative VP, but she is a total stereotype who talks like a religious zealot 95% of the time, and seems to exist here only to be constantly one-upped by the President.
The main character is our fixer Olivia Pope who can apparently change elections just by making the public think her candidate really does love his wife. This is done by having the candidate's wife confess to a miscarriage that she made up out of whole cloth and on the spur of the moment to boot. Later on, when a sex tape emerges of Grant and Olivia, Grant's wife says she will claim it is she and her husband having sex. This seems odd, since the only dialogue on the tape consisted of Grant saying "Take off your clothes." There's not even so much as an "I love you," or at least "Thanks, honey." But she will apparently get away with it, because in this show no character seems to really fact-check anything or if they do, they get killed or blackmailed.
Olivia also has an assortment of assistants working with her, including a man who used to torture people (and is persuaded to go back to his old habits, in one gruesome sequence), and another who seduces women in exchange for information. So far, we've seen she and her team remove all evidence from a murder scene, browbeat some people, lie to others, and even subtly arrange to have someone killed. All in a day's work for this crew.
With all the subject matter available for a TV series, I think you can do better than this hokum that seems to believe that if you have a good enough PR agent, you can simply spin your way out of anything.
The Moment of Truth (2008)
Like that little girl in the poem
"There was a little girl and she had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. And when she good, she was very, very good; but when she was bad, she was horrid!"
This show reminded me of that little girl in the poem. Its premise was simple: keep telling the truth, no matter how embarrassing the questions, and you can win big bucks. It started out well, actually. The earliest contestants didn't have to reveal any earth-shattering information. And some of the answers actually seemed cathartic. One man told his son that he had not gambled away his college fund (as his mother had always claimed.) His answer was declared correct, and a father/son hug ensued. Another man admitted he belonged to the Hair Club for Men. He seemed relieved and happier that now everyone knew. And finally, there was Ray the zenith for the series. He was a jovial, lovable blue collar worker. His only bad revelations were that he had looked at dirty magazines and occasionally fantasized about other women. But when asked if he would cheat on his wife if he knew she'd never find out, his answer was an emphatic and truthful "No!" Another question revealed the fact that he was hurt when his wife's parents refused to attend their wedding, but even that admission seemed to have a healing effect on both him and his wife. Ray left with 100 grand, and smiles on everyone's faces.
And then came the blonde. Mercifully, I don't remember her name. But if Ray was the zenith of the show, she was its nadir. She admitted to all kind of things not wearing her wedding ring so people wouldn't know she was married, cheating on her husband, and secretly feeling she should have married her first boyfriend instead. Even though she'd passed one plateau of prize money after revealing all that, she foolishly kept on playing, only to be tripped up on the question, "Do you think you're a good person?" She answered yes, but apparently really thought otherwise. It was miserable to watch.
After that, the healing moments we'd witnessed in earlier shows never seemed to happen again. A poor sweet wife lost all her prize money when she said her husband was the best lover she ever had and it was declared as false. Her husband tried to comfort her but she left in tears. Another man admitted that he falsified documents at his job, leaving him open to possible criminal prosecution. One more contestant brought a ray of hope when he told his wife he had not dated any of her sisters prior to dating her. She was delighted with the news, and he smiled and added, "I told you so." But then the last question was "Have you ever cheated on your wife?" and he admitted that he had. He did win $100,000, but his wife was clearly devastated.
I never saw the show again after that. It only ran for a couple more episodes. MOMENT OF TRUTH it had its moments, but the truth was it did more harm than good.
Law & Order: Brazil (2010)
Too many headlines in this one
This series loves to say its stories are "ripped from the headlines." That's usually fine if you rip one headline at a time. But this episode goes for everything but the kitchen sink. We start with the Climategate scandal (the e-mails exposing the global warming fraud), then we jump to the story of the father's whose child was taken to Brazil by his wife (they couldn't even be bothered to change the country) and then a little later comes the New York version of Balloon Boy. All of this might still be okay if the overall story was satisfying, but this one ends with a examination of a witness that is totally ludicrous. The man on the stand would have to be a complete imbecile to have made the statements he makes. At the end of the episode, Cutter comments it was "not a good day." Well, he got that right.
If you can't beat them, demonize them!
(This comment does contain spoilers.) Oh, those poor liberals. Conservative talk shows are actually criticizing them! What can they do to counter that? Well, if you can't beat them, demonize them! Oh, but conservative talk radio is intelligent and insightful. How the heck do you demonize that? Why, invent your own talk show host, Gordon Garrison, a white supremacist who hates immigrants. Oh, and he also has a follower named Thagard who is so dumb he thinks it's patriotic to kill immigrant children. Now be careful to never actually call Garrison a conservative, but have him criticize liberals and then mention his name in the same sentence along with Limbaugh and Beck and the audience will draw their own conclusions, right? Oh how clever!
But wait, you need a liberal character to oppose him. So here comes Randall Carver, a "cop-hating bottom-feeder" according to Fin. He says that SVU isn't doing their job and forms a protest against them. (Now, it's okay for liberals to protest; that's just "free speech". But if conservatives protest, it's "an angry mob"). Anyway, Randall's daddy was in the Klan, but his daddy couldn't be a bad man, so he must have been brainwashed by the Klan. So Randall decides Thagard must have been brainwashed too by Garrison. Putting his own self-interests up front, Randall defends this child-murderer with the claim, "It's all Garrison's fault." And Randall wins the child murderer goes free! Then he whispers in Randall's ear that's he off to kill more kids. Randall thinks, "Oh my gosh, what have I done?" No problem. He takes the law into his own hands and shoots Thagard dead. The only thing missing is a final scene where Fin leads Randall off in cuffs and Randall pleads, "But you don't understand. I'm not to blame. It was all Garrison's fault!"
This show often brags that it's "ripped from the headlines." Was there some spate of children being murdered by talk-show brainwashed people that I hadn't heard of? Didn't think so. NBC advertised this as "a landmark episode." Well, it did set a new low standard for the show. But ultimately, it only made the liberals look bad and a little desperate.
Land of the Giants: Panic (1970)
A Betty Bonanza
The character Betty was absent from several second-season episodes due to Heather Young's real-life pregnancy. This episode helps to make up for that. Betty has a huge part in the proceedings, and is wearing her new fetching pink outfit to boot. She figures prominently in the plot and easily has more screen time than any other character.
The story involves a kindly inventor (Jack Albertson) who has created a device which can teleport people and objects from one place to another. He and his device are being sought by a man (Peter Mark Richman) who wants to use it for sinister purposes. Diane McBain is also in the mix, playing a housekeeper who's not quite what she pretends to be.
There are the usual quota of rescues and narrow escapes, including Betty hiding in a rifle barrel. There's even a rare chance for our travelers to possibly get back to Earth. It's one of the better episodes especially for Betty fans. Barry fans are out of luck, however. He's absent from the entire episode.
Dead Like Me: Pilot (2003)
Flawed but promising start to an intriguing show
Having watched the series all the way through a couple of times now, I can appreciate the pilot more than I initially did. It effectively sets up the show's concept and introduces us to all the characters in this quirky universe. The cast all excel at making each character unique the reapers themselves are a hodge-podge of differing backgrounds and attitudes. And George's off-screen narration makes some clever satirical comments about life and death her opening story about how death came into the world is a delight.
The main flaw of the episode is that it lacks a really likable character. The lead character George is a self-confessed shirker who's lost interest in the world. Her fellow reapers are aloof at best, downright mean at worst. Even her own family is unpleasant to watch. The story isn't funny enough to be a real comedy; it's more of a light-hearted drama with occasional touches of genuine pathos. If you stick around for the series, you'll grow to like these characters even for some of the very flaws that make them undesirable in this outing. My advice is to watch the pilot with low expectations. Just get to know the characters and the setup and proceed on to the next episodes. If you like a show that's truly different, you'll enjoy this in the long run. And later, when you watch this pilot again, you'll find it was better than you first thought.