2ish or so stars out of 4, maybe 3 if you’re really sick
Do you know the Millionaire Matchmaker? She is a horsefaced lady named Patty who has had reality show success by taking socially awkward millionaires and matching them up with gold diggers. The premise of the show is that if you are a millionaire and can’t get a mate, the first thing Patty needs to do is figure out WTF is wrong with you, then get you to pretend not to be that way anymore. Her advice on How to Act is actually not bad and she tends to look for potential mates that, aside from being obvious gold diggers, are nonetheless well matched to deal with the problems and baggage that the millionaire brings along with him—or occasionally her. Female millionaires have even fewer problems with getting mates as far as I can tell.
I hate to say it, but I kindaaaaa like this show. I could live without Patty’s interludes with her boyfriend or husband thing with voiceovers about how she finally found love because that is obviously fake and that guy is not her real husband thing and it’s all pretty boring: like them getting pedicures or eating fruit baskets. But I like that I get to see people falling in love and getting yelled at for behaving badly. Those are two great things about the human condition.
In some ways, this show reminds me of the old-school dating shows of yore, such as (sigh) Love Connection, which I used to watch with my sister when we were hungover. That was the best show.
4 stars out of 4
QI is an English “celebrity quiz show” with Stephen Fry as moderator. The letters stand for “quite interesting” and you get points for saying cool things that are true and maybe for making people laugh. You get points taken away if you say things that are boring and/or false. Sometimes the person who wins has a negative score! Like, I have seen episodes where the highest score was negative 15. Try not to answer any question with the answer “blue whale” as it will always be wrong except the one time you don’t say it. There is also a dude who is ALWAYS ON and his name is Alan Davies and they make fun of him for being dumb but really he has the gentle wisdom of a sea creature and is incredibly funny. If you ever met him, you guys would be best friends and also, he is already best friends with me. But you can be his second best friend; that’s okay.
It’s not really a quiz show so much as an excuse for Stephen Fry to wear crazy ties and ask a bunch of people (most of the “celebrities” are stand-up comedians and, anyway, English so we don’t usually know who they are) insanely difficult questions. Then they say ridiculous and completely inappropriate things and have side conversations and wander off topic and make Stephen Fry say things that he pretends he wishes he didn’t say. There’s a warning at the start saying that kids shouldn’t watch the show. That warning is often merited. There should also be a warning at the start for: HILARITY. I laugh really really hard at some point during almost every episode. Note: Only a few seasons are on Hulu, but I found some on some website.
Hotwives of Atlanta
1.5 stars out of 4
This show purports to be a spoof of reality television shows such as The Real Housewives of Orange County. However, I can see no discernable difference between this show and the shows it’s purporting to mock apart from the fact that Kristen Schaal is in this one. Obviously, that’s a huge bonus, but the show is still kinda boring.
? stars out of 4
I had never actually watched Friends in the sense of seeing more than an episode here and there, so when a truly horrific commercial featuring a jingle that doesn’t even make sense hypnotized me into watching the first episode, I was drawn in. It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s not the best. It reminds me of mini Oreo cookies in that I find myself wanting it even though it’s not objectively delicious. Or is it?
A painful aspect of the show is the things that people considered appropriate to wear in 1994. It’s sad and hurtful to see someone with abs like Joey in a pair of mom jeans. On the other hand, the mystery engendered by David Schwimmer’s extremely large shirts has me on the edge of my seat. Is he fat or just wearing a large shirt? I honestly do not yet know. I myself was an inveterate wearer of large, mysterious shirts in that year even though I was extremely thin.
I was also emphatically not watching Friends as that was the height of my time as a Bohemian—fighting against the man by having a low-paying job, drinking a lot, and writing poetry. This method is one of the most effective ways of raging against the machine. My many accomplishments from those days include a poetry chapbook, which has mercifully disappeared from the earth (I hope) and . . . uh, that’s about it. When Chandler’s temp job turns into a high-paying, corner-office gig, I found myself daydreaming about how my life would have turned out if I had taken one of the offers of permanent work that came my way when I was a temp . . . in 1994. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
3.5 stars out of 4
Okay, a female detective gets into a bit of a scrape and, as “punishment,” is assigned to head a small cold case squad consisting of three retired male detectives who are all “different kinds of cops” in their various ways. One of them is crazy and talks to his dead wife. The other one is also crazy but does not have a dead wife. And then the other other one is a ladies man with 400 ex wives who all still hang out together and make fun of him.
All of the old dudes sort of act like they are from 1974 or something and think it’s okay to pretend to shoot fake lawyers to get confessions from people, which isn’t really possible given the timeline but try not to think about whether things make sense. Like, who would think that solving cold cases with three hilarious old dudes is a bad thing? (Answer: no one.)
This is an English detective show, which makes it cool. Plus, it’s actually pretty funny. Plus, mysteries. Plus, star of the show Amanda Redman, who was in her mid 40s when the show started, has a face that looks like a face, not a flawless piece of weird porcelain. And she’s sexy! And grumpy! And she eats bacon sandwiches every day! This combination would not be possible on American teevee.
Jen Bingham needs no introduction. But she is Punchnel’s poetry editor, if you really need to know.