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Books about TV: The Soap Opera Slaughters

In another addition to my entertainment book collection, I purchased a used copy of "The Soap Opera Slaughters", by Marvin Kaye. T...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Primetime TV Update - July 2015

Here's a quick description of all of the shows I've watched and completed in July 2015. Of course, as always, there is a possibility of spoilers for any primetime show I mention.

This month I watched the ABC run of Celebrity Family Feud. The show wasn't very different than the "normal" syndicated episodes hosted by Steve Harvey. The main changes were everyone was playing for charity for the increased amount of 25,000, each celebrity family only appeared once, two episodes aired back to back and the show was filmed in LA instead of Atlanta, so the set was slightly different. Occasionally Steve spent more time fooling around with the contestants, but I figure that was due to the extra time as people were only introduced when they answered a question.

On the CW, I completed "The Messengers", which was cancelled though all 13 episodes aired. The show was about a group of people who became angels. We met the good angels who worked together to try and stop the creation of the new bad angels. The show was scheduled for Friday nights, so most people never would have even seen it. The show ended with a cliffhanger, but the original goal of stopping one of the seals of the apocalypse from being broken did occur.

On FOX, I completed one show "Wayward Pines". The show based on a trilogy was a ten-part event series as it aired weekly on the network. I enjoyed it for what it was, and due to its ending I hope that's it. The main premise is people live in a town in Idaho, and you can never leave just like the Hotel California. It is many years in the future and regular human civilization is gone.

On PBS, I watched "The Crimson Field", which aired on the BBC in 2014. The story was about a World War One field hospital. We learned about the lives of the nurses and volunteers who helped the soldiers. The medical staff was on every episode, and we got to see new patients regularly. This show wasn't renewed, so it was only six programs. One of the main stories was about a woman who loved a German man, as they had been together before the war in Liverpool.

On Spike, I watched "Tut", which aired over three nights for a total of six hours. The show was a historical drama about the Egyptian King. I watched it out of curiosity as Spike doesn't typically have programs like this. There was sex and violence befitting the topic. Also there were some British performers I was familiar with though the lead three actors in the main romantic triangle I didn't recognize.

On BBCAmerica, I watched "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell", which originally was on BBC. The show is based upon a book of the same name from 2004. I haven't read the book, so I can't do a comparison. The show was about magic in 19th Century Great Britain. The main characters are magicians who were strangers, became friendly, became enemies and came back together. Characters became mad, war was fought against Napoleon and nearly everyone lived.

I watched two reality shows in binge format during the month of July: "Big Family Adventure" on Travel and season eight of "Face Off" on Syfy. Big Family Adventure was a series about the Kirkby family from British Columbia, Canada. The family consists of Bruce who is a travel writer/photojournalist, his wife Christine and their sons Bode (who is autistic) and Taj. Instead of flying from Canada to India, they took a land route, which include boats, trains, cars, riding on animals and good old fashioned walking. We got to see what it was like to be on a cargo ship and hotels from fancy to inexpensive. It took them months to arrive at their final destination, a monastery where Christine would teach the boy monks. This particular season of Face Off, had former winners as mentors to the contestants. I haven't watched Face Off in years, but I appreciate that finally they focus on the art and creativity of the contestants and not interpersonal drama.

So that's what I've watched and finished during July of 2015. Happy Viewing!

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