Category Archives: TV

Sugar (2024) a (right on time) review

Released through the Apple TV+ streaming service, Sugar is a 8 part series focusing on Private Detective John Sugar (Colin Farrell) who is investigating a missing person in sunny L.A. Here’s the trailer:

When I first heard about this series, it struck me as something very much in my wheelhouse. I’m a total sucker for Private Detective stories set in L.A. When I read reviews which stated the series was a good updating on the Raymond Chandler novels, I was there.

The show started rather …odd. In Japan of all places, before moving to L.A. We are introduced to Sugar, who is presented as an earnest, dedicated detective who has some kind of vague tragedy in his recent past and which makes his desire to find missing people a mission.

After arriving in L.A., Sugar meets up with Ruby (played by Kirby), his contact there, and she is preoccupied. Sugar, we’ve seen, has some weird hand/muscle twitch/reaction and seems to be hiding some kind of health issues. Ruby tells him he needs to see their doctor and that proves to be something Sugar is reluctant to do.

In the meantime, Sugar is contacted by a big time “old school” movie maker named Jonathan Siegel (James Cromwell) whose granddaughter -a woman who had been a history of heavy drug use but who has supposedly cleaned up her act- has disappeared.

Sugar is instantly connected to the job and, again, we get vague implied personal reasons (ie, he lost someone himself) which draw him into the job.

I won’t get into too many other details but instead offer the following: In the course of the case we find Sugar and Ruby are part of a larger group of mysterious people, Sugar meets and is often rebuffed by the other Siegel family members who hide their own skeletons, and we meet other odd and dangerous personalities while investigating the case.

The series, as I mentioned, goes eight episodes. Each episode is approximately 30 minutes long (give or take) for a total of about 4 hours of material. I generally enjoyed what I saw so if you’re into this sort of stuff and have the time, give it a go.

But be forewarned, this series gets really strange toward its end and, when all is said and done, it sure did feel like a wonky pilot to a series which I don’t know we’ll ever have. Or maybe we’ll get another 8 episode series.

The bad: I know A.I. is a big thing nowadays and viewed really negatively when used in the arts. And I have no way of verifying any of this but I get this weird feeling that the story was put together by some form of A.I.

I mean, it gets so weird and there is this weird internal logic to the story that doesn’t feel as smooth as it should be. It feels, frankly, like at times we’re seeing an A.I. story unfold before us.

If this is not the case, my deepest apologies to those involved.

To get into that, I’ll have to get into some really, REALLY big SPOILERS so for those interested, the bottom line is this: Sugar is worth checking out even if there are some bumpy moments.



Still there?

You’ve been warned!

So I mentioned it before but Sugar, we find as the series goes along, is tied in with an odd group of characters, including Ruby, his L.A. contact. They have this weird party and Sugar touches base with Henry (Jason Butler Harner) who seems to be a kindred soul.

But as viewers, we keep wondering what’s up with Sugar and these people. They act kinda weird and almost in a cultish manner, even if they don’t seem like evil/bad people.

Further, we find that there may be crosscurrents going on here, where Ruby and the group Sugar belongs to don’t necessarily want him to take on this case, much less solve it.

Then we get to the big, BIG reveal later in the show where we find that Sugar, and the group he’s with are… BIG TIME SPOILERS FOLLOW… are freaking aliens. Like, from outer space. Like, people from another freaking planet. And they’re here on Earth to observe us. There’s no greater explanation. They seem to be peaceful enough and they take on “real” jobs but their primary goal is to watch us and make reports on us. Why? It’s never really revealed beyond this and that’s part of the reason it feels like this is a pilot to a longer series.

The other part is that we end with certain discoveries. There’s a powerful politician/person who knows the aliens are there and, by the end of the series, is hunting them down. There’s also the fact that humanity is bleeding into the peaceful aliens, including Sugar himself. Are they being corrupted? That is answered by the end which, again, promises a longer story to come.

Now, the A.I. thing I mentioned.

I felt at times I was watching a story unfold without the usual smoothness of a “regular” storyteller. It’s like a program took elements from private investigator literature, then threw them into a blender, and added “surprise” elements. Things simply didn’t always go smoothly. We had a subplot involving human traffickers which… went pretty much nowhere. We get the alien stuff as a surprise near the end and, while decently done, it’s very much a “what the fuck?!” moment that needed perhaps a better build up. Again: it’s the little things which lead to the bigger things. So many story elements are introduced but many of them don’t necessarily lead to anything big. Some are outright dropped and the very big ones are introduced in the final three episodes.

It is what it is.

I still enjoyed the series, mind you, but I sure do wish there had been a little more thought in the story transitions.

Lance Kerwin (1960-2023)

Time marches on as it inevitably does.

The above name may not mean much to people today, but if you’re of a certain age -like mine- you may remember actor Lance Kerwin for a couple of very good roles he had in the late 1970’s.

Perhaps the role most people will remember him for is that of Mark Petrie in the very creepy TV adaptation Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

He was also the star of James at 16, a show that ran between 1977-78 and which I recall rather fondly.

Anyway, Mr. Kerwin, it was reported, died yesterday at the age of (gasp) 62. While his subsequent work may not have been quite as memorable as those he was involved in during his youth, the fact that I still remember those roles after all these years later, shows he did something quite special.

My condolences.

Midterms are (finally!) over


So a couple of days ago and on December 6th George had their run-off election to determine who would serve the next six years in the Senate, incumbent Democratic candidate Rafael Warnock or Republican ex-football player Hershel Walker.

There was a runoff because in the midterm elections held on November 8th, Mr. Warnock didn’t receive the necessary 50% of the votes needed to be declared the outright winner. He did receive the most votes, mind you, but just not enough. So the runoff came and, while the results were close, Mr. Warnock won.

This effectively ends what seems like a too long midterm election cycle, one that proved surprising in many ways.

Chief among them is the fact that the supposed “red wave” never materialized. While Republicans did regain control over the House of Representatives, their margin of victory is very slim…

In the House of Representatives, the magic number is 218 and, as you can see from the graphic above, Republicans gained 10 seats to have an 11 vote margin over Democrats but only 5 votes which can provide them a majority in any votes. In other words, if a measly 6 Republicans decide they don’t like whatever is being presented on the floor and the Democratic party holds their votes together, whatever proposals may not pass.

One would think Republicans can maintain a united front. After all, for the previous two years the Democratic Party held the exact same numbers. However, unlike the Democratic Party, the Republican party is far more fractured and there are far right wing elements within it which are trying to exert their power and this may not sit well with others within the party who aren’t quite as extreme in their views.

We’ll see.

As far as Mr. Warnock, he represents the 51st Democratic Senator. In the Senate, there are 100 representatives and the current Vice President can serve as a “tie breaker”. In this election cycle, not only did the Republicans underperform in the House, though they did gain control, in the Senate they actually lost one seat. Now, the Democratic Party has an actual majority here, which will help them with their legislation and, especially judicial picks. Now the committees which push judicial candidates for formal votes will have a Democratic majority which therefore means these picks will be sent to the full Senate much more quickly.

In this day and age, a positive for sure.

In the meantime, Ex-President Donald Trump seems to be having a very bad time of late. He recently hosted Kayne West and Mr. West decided to bring along Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist, to the event. This, along with a court finding the Trump Organization found guilty on all counts of tax evasion, begins to show how bad a time he’s been having of late. Add to that the fact that the majority of candidates he endorsed for this election cycle, including Mr. Walker, lost and you start to see the first inklings of the Republican party maybe realizing he is a drain on their party.


Politics are an interesting and, especially these days, toxic topic to delve into.

On December 5th it was announced actress Kirstie Alley, perhaps best known for her role in the TV show Cheers, had passed away from cancer at the age of 71. My first experience seeing her was in the wonderful Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, easily (IMHO of course!) the best of the Star Trek theatrical movies…

I don’t know Ms. Alley other than the roles she’s played on movies or TV but I was surprised to see many people opining on how (here comes that word again) toxic she had become in the past ten or so years. Seems Ms. Alley, who is also a Scientologist (another strike against her to many!) also became very pro-Trump and hard right wing in her final years, espousing some of the more far out/lunatic rantings coming from that side.

I genuinely feel for people who have fallen into the sway of these right wing politics, especially the things offered from right wing media that seem from the outside looking in as being idiotic at best and dangerous at worst.

In the past few generations, really since Nixon was essentially booted from the White House, it seems like the ring wing in this country has slowly but effectively weaponized their strategies and have used the media to a sometimes alarming degree in swaying voters their way.

And they have taken a lot of people into their sway, including, it would seem, Ms. Alley.

Maybe I’m naive but its my hope that many of these people realize that much of the hate -and it usually is just that, focused hate- is being used to outrage them and keep them in their camp. Hate can be like a drug, one that keeps people in your sway.

I’m not saying these people are mindless drones, though at times they may talk like them.

Perhaps with this election and the fact that Republicans -and especially those who seemed to be farthest right- lost and underperformed as they did that maybe this particular dam is starting to crack.

We’ll see, won’t we?

What will become of the movie industry…?

Stumbled upon this rather grim article written by Tony Maglio and presented on…

Warner Bros Discover lost 2.4 Billion and Lionsgate lost 1.8 Billion and its not even dinnertime

The article rightfully wonders how film studios can survive with such staggering losses and, frankly, I wonder the same.

Looking at this from a longer view, it seems to me this is part and parcel of, of all things, the arrival of home computers and the internet.

Let me explain.

When home computers first appeared they were crude yet began changing the landscape. I’m old enough to have been part of the very first generation to have one way, waaaaaaaayyyy back in the early 1980’s. My first computer was the venerable Atari 800…

Compared to what we now have, the Atari 800 was a laughably crude and for the most part primitive machine. And yet I almost instantly found a use for it. See, I was in high school at the time and the word processing program it had allowed me to write reports and get them printed out (on an equally crude and extremely slow printer) which was an incredible blessing!

No longer did I have to use a typewriter and white out errors or have to start all over again when I made too many errors. With Atari’s Word Processor, I could type and correct the whole thing and print it out only when it was ready!

A truly marvelous innovation!

Of course, the Atari computers didn’t last and soon IBM and Apple computers appeared. Apple was viewed as more “graphic” intensive but the IBM computers seemed to have the leg up. They were constantly improving and, like the mania to buy new iPhones or new gaming computers, one expected each new generation of IBM or Windows based computers to be better and better.

And they were!

And then came the internet, which is essentially phase two.

Now, you could interact with people all over the world. You could communicate via email. You could send files…

When MP3s became a thing, you no longer needed to store your music on CDs or have those vinyl records (by then, cassettes were a thing of the past and, yes, I know vinyl records are making a comeback).

You could keep your music on your computer and soon enough, even buy albums digitally without having to leave the comfort of your home. Suddenly, all those music stores I frequented -some of which were incredibly large!- were gone…

Then came the Kindle and the iPad and, as with music, now you didn’t need to actually buy physical copies of books. You could buy digital copies and buy and read them in the comfort of your home and, just like that, bookstores also became something of a thing of the past.

Certainly in my area there are only a fraction of them around like there used to be!

Alas, next in line were movies.

With the ability to create music and book files, it wasn’t long before digital copies of movies became a thing as well. Further, Netflix appeared and showed the industry that streaming was also a viable option to watching movies and TV shows.

However, people still went to theaters to see the latest releases, so things seemed to be going ok…

Until COVID hit.

Suddenly people were homebound and the studios had to hold back on releasing their upcoming films. In some cases, these films eventually were released but appeared on streaming services very quickly afterwards. It’s fair to say that films such as Wonder Woman 84, No Time to Die, and Tenet, regardless of their quality (and I know some feel they’re not great films at all), would have performed far better had COVID not kept them from being released as they should have been… and those are the three “biggest” films I can think of offhand which were victims of COVID.

Here’s the thing I’ve come to notice after spending all these years watching the ebb and flow of entertainment: Something that is big at one point might suddenly become old hat really quickly.

There was a time disco music ruled. Then, suddenly, no one wanted to hear disco music. There was a time grunge ruled. Then, it was gone.

Movie theaters for so many years have been THE place to go see new films. But with COVID, we stopped going to them en mass. Yes, there are exceptions (Top Gun Maverick and the latest Spider-Man film being two of them) but in general the entire industry is in a funk.

And now that COVID is somewhat a thing of the past (get vaccinated, people!) we’re seeing that audiences aren’t necessarily flocking back to see the latest movies. At least not quite yet.

For we have seen movies appear on various streaming services and some of us figure we’ll just wait a month or two and see whatever film is currently in theaters then.

It’s happened to me, quite frankly, with Black Adam. I’m certainly curious to see it (Dr. Fate is a favorite comic book character of mine and the fact that they got Pierce Brosnan to play the role delights me!) but frankly… I can wait.

How many other people are saying the same thing?

I’ve mentioned it before to friends of mine, but we still don’t know the extent to which the internet and home computers will affect our lives. We’re seeing it, day by day, from the early days when I realized I could use a Word Processor to write my High School reports, to realizing you can have your entire music collection on a small memory card to realizing you can have your entire library (books, comic books, magazines, etc.) on a memory card as well, to where we now realize we can stream or own movies on that same memory card.

Where will it all ultimately end?

I guess we’ll all find out together.

Just wanted to say…

…sorry for the dearth of posts of late.

It’s been a very busy week for me and, frankly, so many things are going on of late and so many deadlines and problems to face that it’s gotten me down.

But, I’m hoping, the worst of it may be nearly over and I will hopefully get back on track with the regular grind.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, perhaps too many times, but it’s been a rough year to say the least. In large part it’s been the tragedy of Champlain Towers South’s collapse and the loss of my parents and all the events that have followed that one. I’ve also been working hard on my latest novel and dealing with issues regarding a home fix up which have driven me to the brink of insanity.

There was a time I enjoyed watching all those HGTV shows about how they rehabilitate a home and everything seems to go so very, very well and how the biggest problem winds up being our hosts butting heads about which subway tile to use in their renovated bathroom.

These shows, and most “reality” shows, alas, present viewers with a condensed, easily digestible version of what is real.

The other day a comic book artist friend of mine presented me this video from the (yes) reality show Shark Tank and said the people presenting their book got really lucky…

After watching this piece, however, I was left with a lot of questions and some really strong doubts about the overall legitimacy of this presentation.

To begin with, it seemed not one of the panelists actually opened and looked at any of the books they were supposedly there to invest in. Further, the sales figures the creators were citing sounded rather… incredible, frankly. I’m not saying it’s impossible to achieve these lofty sales numbers, but as someone with more than a cursory interest in the comic book field, it’s strange I haven’t heard about these people at all and especially given their very strong sales numbers.

Their promo video was ok, I thought, but not all that spectacular (this is, of course, a matter of personal taste and nothing more… I found the promo reel only ok) and yet based on those very few minutes these people presented their ideas they get offered $500,000?!?!

Again, at least in the above clip it seemed no one opened even one of the books. No one read any of the material within any of the books. Yet based on a sizzle promo reel and sales figures which, again, I wonder about, they were willing to drop a half a million dollars on their venture?

I dunno.

I told my friend that I suspected there was more to this story than was presented here. That the hosts had to have been more aware of what this company was doing and, at the least, someone had to have read these books.

Thus, I told my friend, it wouldn’t surprise me if this segment was totally staged, that Kevin Hart and company already had a much more solid idea of what these publishers and their books were like and this segment was more fiction than reality, that a deal was already probably made and this was a summation for the cameras of that deal.

The “story” presented in this segment is a very positive one and one always roots for creators to have success in their ventures, but like too many reality shows, I wonder where the reality actually is.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be back ’round these parts a little bit more in the following days!

Bruce Willis

For a few years now I’ve noticed rumors appearing on the internet about Bruce Willis’ health. Specifically, his mental health.

An “A” level actor whose films once topped the box office, of late he has been appearing in Video on Demand works where, further rumors had it, he would appear to film for one or two days of work at a staggering million dollars per day.

Many of these VOD films featured Bruce Willis in what amounted to cameo roles, often doing little but sitting at a bar or in a car or something similar, saying his lines and whatever “dialogue” with other actors was made up using film tricks, cuts and close ups and, often, the appearnace the other actors’ work was filmed later on, when Willis was long gone.

There were snickers about his “work” ethics, of Willis “phoning it in” and not giving a shit anymore. Of taking the money and running but now, with the news released yesterday of Mr. Willis suffering from aphasia and “stepping away” from acting (you can read the full article here, from CNN), the jokes have abruptly stopped and an outpouring of sympathy has followed.

Perhaps, some wonder, Mr. Willis was cashing in on those roles because he knew his mental deterioration meant he only had so much time left to build up a proper nest egg for his family. Others also noted the rumors and stories on Wilis being a (to put it politely) handful on sets was maybe a manifestation of the anger and confusion he had early on in the progression of his disease.

I suppose its all possible.

What I take away from this is the sad realization of just how frail a human body is, and how people who are “normal” can find themselves deteriorating and, ultimately, not being able to function as they once did.

Now that the news of his retirement from acting has come out, it seems more of the stories about Bruce Willis’ deterioration on sets is also coming out. The following article, by Ron Dicker and presented on, notes…

Bruce Willis Has Struggled On Set For Years, Co-Workers Say

Truly it is a sad thing to read and find out how at times Mr. Willis was confused and didn’t even seem to understand exactly what he was doing on certain sets.

More often than not I’ve enjoyed Mr. Willis’ acting. I first noticed him way, waaaaaayyyyy back in 1984 in the episode “No Exit” of Miami Vice. He played that episode’s (the 7th one aired during the first season of the show!) bad guy, and he was damn nasty in the role as a wife beating scumbag…

He would then get the co-starring role in the very popular TV show Moonlighting before moving on into films. His first couple of films, Blind Date (1987) and Sunset (1988), didn’t do all that well, but a little film named Die Hard (1988) was right around the corner.

I hope Mr. Willis’ sunset years will be peaceful and comfortable. It seems like he has a large and loving family and it feels like he’s hopefully in good hands.

I suppose that’s all anyone can hope for.

What a way to start the year…

Saw this meme way back when 2020 was coming to an end…

Was I a good year | New Year's Day | Know Your Meme

2020 wasn’t much fun but neither was 2021. For the family and I in particular, it was downright awful.

So we said goodbye to 2021 and we aren’t even done with the first month of 2022 and already its been this avalanche of bad news coming through.

I suppose the biggest bits of news are the celebrity deaths. While it happened on the very last day of 2021 (December 31st), you had the beloved Betty White, longtime star of television and movies, passing away just shy of her 100th birthday…

Betty White dead at 99: Best moments and quotes

Yesterday/today came the news of the passing of two celebrities, Meat Loaf, aka Michael Lee Aday, mostly known as a terrific singer but also actor…

And, finally (for now, I suppose), comedian Louie Anderson…

Not My Job: We Quiz Comedian Louie Anderson On The Song 'Louie Louie' : NPR

Betty White had supposedly had a stroke a few days before her passing and it was likely the cause of her death. I read articles which stated Louie Anderson was being treated for cancer and this was the cause of his death.

As for Meat Loaf, the reports indicate he had contracted COVID and this was the cause of his death.

While the information is still very fresh and not entirely sourced, there have been those who have noted the singer had stated in previous interviews he was against vaccine mandates. There was evidence to suggest he had a conservative viewpoint.

Obviously, I can only go by those reports as I didn’t know the man myself.


While it feels unseemly to speculate, I can’t help myself.

I can’t help but wonder if he was one of those people who refused to get vaccinated for COVID.

Understand: There is no joy in this speculation. I don’t have any feelings but sadness at his passing.

But I’d be lying if it doesn’t cause me to contemplate the weird times we’re living in.

We live in a time where the politization of things seems to have gone waaaaaaay too far.

In the past, vaccinations weren’t something I thought about all that much but when I did, I tended to view them positively.

After all, you vaccinate yourself against Polio. Chicken Pox. Measles. Mumps. Shingles. The flu.

I can’t recall anyone stating these vaccines were some liberal plot and/or a threat to one’s freedoms and yet this seems to be exactly what’s happened with too many people when it comes to COVID vaccines.

It hurts to realize this weird thinking has taken over too many people, especially when I have very close family members on my side as well as my wife’s side who have fallen into this bullshit crap as well.

Which begs the question: What is it going to take to convince people reluctant to get vaccinated to do so?

How many more people have to pass away before then?

I just don’t know anymore.

It’s a hell of a way to begin the new year, though.

My thoughts are with the families of those who passed, regardless.

POSTSCRIPT: Just goes to show how much has happened and how many celebrities have passed. I forgot to mention two:

Yvette Mimieux. Perhaps not as well known today, but an absolutely stunning actress, perhaps best known for the original The Time Machine and Where The Boys Are. She was 80.

And, shockingly, Bob Saget, amiable comedian and star of the popular Full House. He was 65.

Omicron & Joe Manchin & Chris Noth & Spider-Man… Oh My… sigh…

First: Hope everyone’s having a decent time as we head into the holidays. Sorry for the dearth of posts but, as pretty much expected, things have been extra-busy lately and finding the free time to post -much less do much of anything with the very little free time I’ve had lately- has kept me busy.

Naturally, there’s been a bunch o’ stuff going on, not a lot of it good.

First up is Omicron, the latest COVID 19 Variant which has, unfortunately, become a real issue worldwide. Why? Because it appears this variant is even more highly transmissible than Delta, the last variant, and further appears to be leading to record-breaking infection rates. In New York, for example, has a new one day reported infection record (you can read the full article here):

The previous record, set 11 months ago on Jan. 14, crumbled when Gov. Kathy Hochul announced 21,027 new positive cases statewide Friday.

Locally, we’re getting grim news as well regarding surging infection rates. The only positive, if one is to look at it as such, is that at least so far it appears Omicron might be a weaker infection despite its strong ability to be spread. In other words, those who catch it appear to have more mild symptoms. Doesn’t mean, however, that some people aren’t showing stronger symptoms.

I can’t help but wonder if the lag in people getting vaccinated has allowed this virus the time to mutate and therefore become much more infectious.

Regardless, there still exist those out there who refuse to get vaccines and, sadly, they may find themselves in the bullseye like never before. Which is not to say those of us who have been vaccinated -even those who have gotten a booster- need not take this seriously.

There’s no poetic way to say this: It sucks. It really, really sucks.

Onto the second topic and…

Politics…. Beware…!

So this morning Joe Manchin, senator from West Virginia, decides to go on Fox News (you just know that’s no good) and announces he’s a “no” vote on Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation.

He’s always been slow on the legislation, but there seemed to be a deal made where the Infrastructure Deal was allowed to pass with the understanding that the BBB legislation would be passed… in whatever form Manchin finally agreed with.

There were progressives within the House who didn’t want to pass one piece of legislation without the other, and it was only because of the promise that the BBB would be passed that the Infrastructure Bill was finally allowed a vote.

Therefore its not terribly surprising Manchin’s statement today has left many absolutely furious with him.

Frankly, they have every right.

I don’t know where things go from here. I believe this great country needs more of an investment in its infrastructure and services to the citizens. I believe we need to spend more on climate change. Almost all the elements I’ve read which are in the legislation feel like they are good.

But even if Manchin had issues with the bill, even if he didn’t feel the bill worked for him, this move, going on TV and publicly making this announcement… it’s chicken shit stuff.

Dude, what prompted you to do this? One can’t help but wonder now if all those other negotiations, all that other “work” done on the bill to date… was him bullshitting and hoping to get the Infrastructure bill done so he could then pack up his toys and set fire to everything else.

It really casts him in a negative light, IMHO, and I never had a particularly positive or negative impression about him before.

If you’re curious, you can read more about Manchin’s statement and the blowback in this article by Daniella Diaz and presented on CNN:

Manchin says he won’t vote for Build Back Better Act

Next up is actor Chris Noth.

I like Chris Noth. Liked him since first seeing him many, many years ago in Law & Order.

Chris Noth, on the left, with Jerry Orbach on the right

He’s had a long and very successful career, more recently playing the role of “Mr. Big” in Sex and the City.

There was an interesting bit of controversy because in the premiere of the latest Sex and the City featured a stunning element involving Mr. Big’s character and… Peloton?! I don’t want to get into SPOILERS but if you don’t care about Sex and the City, you can Google that stuff yourself.

Anyway, its fascinating the way things blow up in the news and Mr. Noth has certainly become a cause celeb, but for all the wrong reasons. I suppose it was because the actor became newsworthy (he’s been around, as I said, a long time, but he’s never been front page news until the events of the first episode of the new Sex and the City).

The reason Mr. Noth is suddenly in the news? Because there have been actresses that have gone on record to accuse Mr. Noth of sexual assault. You can read about this in the following article by Lisa Respers France and found on

Chris Noth Peloton ad suspended after sexual assault allegations

It’s a sad story to read. Again, I’ve like Mr. Noth’s acting in various shows. Obviously, what he projects on screen and in his acting jobs has little to do with the person and, if the stories are to be believed, this is yet another actor who may well find his career aborted. In that respect, what struck me was the speed in which Peloton reacted to this and cancelled the ads using him.

It feels like maybe they know the accusations have some merit and wanted to rid themselves of Mr. Noth as quickly as possible.

Finally, Spider-Man No Way Home is doing absolute gangbusters at the box-office. The opening box-office weekend is projected to be $253 million dollars, the third highest opening of all time and easily the highest opening since the start of COVID.

I have to say -and I make no claims of being a psychic or anything- I’m not shocked the film is doing gang-busters.

The fact is the Marvel Universe films remain extremely popular and the trailers for this movie, to me, were intriguing. Understand: I’ve tired of the MCU films. Since the dual release of Dr. Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy and my subsequent disappointment with both films, I’ve found myself blasé about the whole thing.

I’ve also found the Spider-Man films -the first two- rather unimpressive. I thought the first Tom Holland starring one was ok after a weak opening and found the second (the one that came right before this one) near unwatchable for the first 2/3rd of the movie.

Yet even someone as jaded about the whole MCU thing found the trailers for No Way Home intriguing!

So good for them. I’ll catch the film when I can.

Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll carve out the time to post again before the New Year. I’ll certainly try.

But if I don’t, my best wishes to everyone out there.

Hope the New Year proves far better than the last two.

Great British Baking Show, Final Thoughts Redux…

At the risk of getting really ridiculous/repetitious here, it occurs to me I should go a third time into my thoughts on the Great British Baking Show to clarify any misconceptions… all of which are likely my own fault, as briefly as possible.

(You can read my previous posts here and here)


First: I don’t have any problems with Giuseppe Dell’Anno, the contestant who (SPOILERS!!!!!) won this year’s series. He is a very talented baker and some of works he produced were absolutely beautiful. I’ll have to take the two judge’s opinions about the taste of his bakes, as I do with all the other contestants, because until TV develops a taste feature, that’s all we gotta go by.

Second, going into the final episode of the series, Mr. Dell’Anno was the clear favorite if only because he was the most consistent of all the competitors left.

I don’t think this is a shocking statement. If you’ve watched the show from start to the finale, there were two contestants who were consistently great: Mr. Dell’Anno and Jurgen Krauss.

Mr. Krauss, of course, didn’t make it to the finale because he was eliminated in the semi-finals which, it’s fair to say, was a shocking result.

However, and Third, I felt if you watched that episode it was clear of the four contestants left, three -including Mr. Dell’Anno- seemed to be hitting home runs with their bakes while Jurgen was doing great… but not spectacular. So for me, as sad as it was that we didn’t get to see Mr. Dell’Anno and Krauss go head-to-head in the finale, It felt to me his elimination was fair.

And it was fair because the judges knew he had the weakest bake of that particular episode.

Which is the crux of my previous two posts: In that episode the judges appeared to act according to what I feel should be the proper way to judge such a show: Like in sporting events, you forget what’s happened before and focus on what’s happening now. Whoever “wins” the current episode moves on. Whoever comes in last does not.

Which is what didn’t seem to happen in the episode prior to the semi-final and which has, IMHO, occurred a few times before.

In the episode prior to the semi-final (quarter-final?), Mr. Dell’Anno appeared to have a very off week. In the technical round, if memory serves, he actually burned the bake!

Lizzie Acker, who was ultimately eliminated in the episode, on the other hand appeared to have a very good day. Her bakes, at least according to the judges, were consistent.

By all rights, she should have gone on and, in that episode, it felt to me Mr. Dell’Anno should not have.

Yet she was eliminated and he was allowed to continue.


Again: I can only guess the judges decided at that point to go by overall performance of the bakers in deciding who was to be eliminated versus who did well in that episode.

Way, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1985 the Chicago Bears were a formidable football team.

So good were they that many speculated they stood a great chance of equaling a record that, until that year, stood strong: That of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who ended the season undefeated.

They tore through one opponent after another until week 13 of the season rolled around and the Bears played against -you guessed it- the Miami Dolphins.

Perhaps it was karma, perhaps it was the football Gods having a laugh at their expense, but the game rolled around and the Bears were destroyed.

They lost that game 38-24.

But they had the last laugh: They made it to the Superbowl and won quite convincingly 46-10 against the New England Patriots.

Here’s the thing: The Dolphins that year were a damn good football team as well.

In fact, once the playoffs rolled around, many in Miami salivated at the prospects of Dan Marino, Miami’s Quarterback, again going up against the Bears.

And everything looked like it would happen that way…

…that is, until the Dolphins lost to the New England Playoffs in the Conference Final game (the game before the SuperBowl) by a score of 31-14.

There were those who said Miami -pardon the pun- took their eyes off the ball. They were already looking to the next game, to confronting the Bears again in the SuperBowl, and didn’t take New England seriously.

They’re probably right.

But my beloved Dolphins lost nonetheless and because of that did not get to face off against the Bears again.

When Jurgen Krauss was eliminated in the semi-final episode of the Great British Bake off, it was a shock but the others really did seem to do better.

In the episode prior, Mr. Dell’Anno, to me, felt like he should have been the one eliminated but instead Lizzie Acker, the more inconsistent baker, was taken out and the only reason I could see for that happening was because the judges felt Mr. Dell’Anno deserved to continue due to his overall excellence versus Ms. Acker’s inconsistency.

It would have been as if the NFL decided that the New England/Dolphins game’s results didn’t matter and the Dolphins -who were a better overall team at 12-4 versus NE’s 11-5- were allowed to continue on to that SuperBowl against the Bears.

And that, folks, is what irritates me now and again about the show.

And (redux) having said all that, it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop watching it!

Great British BakIng Show, Some Final Thoughts About 2021 Season…

A little while back I noted my… irritation… with the otherwise really enjoyable Great British Baking Show show.

In sum, I felt that toward the end of seasons, the two judges sometimes -not always, mind you- play favorites and wind up dumping someone even if they perform well and should (IMHO, of course) stick around (you can read my ridiculous ramblings about that here).

The next episode after the one I mentioned above featured a very surprising elimination.

Now, the show has been over for a couple of weeks so I imagine most people have already seen the end results. However, if you have not, I WILL GET INTO SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPHS ABOUT WHO WON THIS SEASON’S BAKE-OFF.

So if you have yet to see the season and plan to, PLEASE DO NOT READ FURTHER.


So in the third from the last episode, which was the subject of the link I presented above, it was my feeling in that episode Giuseppe Dell’Anno, despite being a really consistently great baker for most of the show’s run, had an off day and Lizzie Acker, who was far more inconsistent in the show’s run, nonetheless had a really good day and it was my opinion, based on what I saw (obviously, I cannot actually taste their bakes so I have to take the judges’ opinions about how good -or not- they are), that Dell’Anno should have gotten the boot.

Instead, it was Lizzie Acker who got the boot despite having what appeared to be a very good baking day (or two) that episode.

Yes, she was more inconsistent and yes, if I were to have the two before me and had to pick which was overall the better baker I would go with Dell’Anno.

However, if we were to judge them just by what they did that episode, it sure did appear to me like the judges decided to go with the better overall baker and not the one that shined that particular episode.

Interestingly, the next episode featured (AGAIN, SPOILERS!) one of the two very favorite bakers, Jurgen Krauss get shockingly booted, but I suspect in his case the judges simply had no excuses. Mr. Krauss did well but the two “lesser” (I say this only in terms of overall performance across all episodes to date) bakers, Chigs Parmar and Crystelle Pereira, did exceedingly good while Giuseppe Dell’Anno bounced back from his not very good performance the week before.

In fact, of the remaining four, Ms. Pereira was likely the one most in jeopardy in the semi-final episode if one based their opinion on overall performance. However, she simply smashed the semi-final bakes and wound up being the week’s “Star Baker”. Giuseppe and Chigs appeared to do quite spectacularly during the early rounds as well so it fell on Jurgen, who did well (as usual) but not spectacular to be the odd man out.

Apparently, this was a controversial end result as many viewers felt Jurgen should stay but I had no problems with this end result. In fact, the way it went seemed to me the way it SHOULD have gone the previous week and when Dell’Anno was spared when, IMHO, he performed worse than Ms. Acker.


So going into the finale, we had Giuseppe Dell’Anno, Chigs Parmar, and Crystelle Pereira.

And as we moved along from the first two challenges, it seemed to me Crystelle Pereira, who was very much on the outside it seemed, I felt was doing the best.

The others, don’t get me wrong, were doing well but it seemed like heading into the final bake she was the one inching over the others.

However, one of her elements in the finale wound up being uncooked, a major problem.

At that point, I felt the finale’s champion would be Chigs Parmar, who was most consistent throughout. Mr. Dell’Anno wasn’t doing bad but didn’t seem to be quite as spectacular as the week before when he was saved and Jurgen was taken out.

So it was a HUGE surprise to me when Giuseppe Dell’Anno was crowned the finale’s winner.


Once again I felt like the judges decided to supplant their views of that week’s baking and look at the overall performance in order to crown the winner.

I cannot argue that over the course of the show’s season Mr. Dell’Anno was the overall best baker of those three that remained. Both Mr. Parmar and Ms. Pereira started decently but sputtered here and there. They really seemed to get their collective acts together as the show’s final episodes were made but the errors they exhibited earlier on seemed to weigh more on the judges’ opinions as we reached the finale.

Again, its something I’ve seen in the show and which bothers me because you would think the judges would base their opinions on that week’s bake, as they did when Jurgen was booted, but they simply do not as they go along and, as with other seasons here and there, I feel Mr. Dell’Anno’s win was not totally deserved.

At least not for what he did in the final week.

C’est la vie.