Tuesday, March 03, 2020


 Jim: Roundtable time.  Remember our e-mail address is thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com.  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't):  We've done a number of political roundtables recently -- and one "" -- and the feedback we're getting it that it's past time for a TV and film roundtable. So that's our focus here. Ty?

Ty: Candice wonders what show, new show, we most enjoyed so far this year?

Marcia: That's hard because both BATWOMAN and EMERGENCE are new this year and I love both equally. They're great shows. I know there are others but that would be my pick.

Betty: Your dual pick.

Marcia: My dual pick.

Betty: I'd go with INDEBTED. It's a funny show and there are not a lot of those.

Stan: I'd have to tip my hat to INDEBTED too. It's a funny show, like Betty said, and it just gets better with each episode. I like the character, I like the actors, I like the situation.

Mike: I like everything but the title.

Betty: Agreed.

Jim: Three e-mailed asking what was the best returning show this season and what was the worst.

Ann: The worst is EMPIRE.

Stan: The worst really is EMPIRE.

Mike: I'd make an argument for MODERN FAMILY.

Isaiah: They're both wasting time but EMPIRE is worse because it's the same damn story season after season. Oh, I'm Cookie, I have value, I just realized, so I'm leaving Lucious. Oh, I'm Cookie and I'm back with Lucious. Is she a character or a ping-pong ball?

Ann: And Taraji has not expanded the character of Cookie. Instead, she's made her one note -- to the point that people may forget that Taraji P. Henson can do more than Cookie.

Stan: I'd agree with Isaiah and Stan. I do think Mike has a point too because EMPIRE has sucked since Demi Moore's character left so this last season wasn't a huge drop off. MODERN FAMILY managed to have a few good episodes last season but this season just sucks. I'm not going to miss it.

Mike: I won't either. Killing off Shelley Long's character was stupid. Making Hayley pregnant was stupid. This season, they can't even get Jay and Gloria right. So why should we care anymore? The only one who really deserves praise this season is Julie Bowan. I have slammed her for just riding the role out. But this season, she's brought a freshness and enthusiasm to the character that we haven't seen in sometime. Phil? I don't think the actor who plays Phil can do wrong. More Julie Bowan and Ty Burrell and it would have been a better season. I'm also real tired of equating Cam with a woman or girl. It's not funny and it's really beneath the show.

Elaine: One thing I'd point out here, I watch because Mike does, is that the show as getting some good mileage out of the character of Pam, Cam's sister. And then they come back this season and she and her son are basically gone. Pam was a funny character and she was a great set up for other characters.

Ty: I have to weigh in on that. I agree. Some of the best episodes in the later season have been Pam episodes. When she comes to visit and she and Cam fight over who the Cam is -- who can't handle bad news. That's a hilarious episode and hilarious for every single character in it. "The boy who cried devine," even Manny got a funny moment. Then there's the episode where James Vanderbeek's on as the father of her child. He's hilarious as Beau. And watching Mitch grapple with being free of Pam versus letting Beau hurt her was a good moment for Mitch. When Pam gets out of prison, that's a hilarious episode. I love her prison name -- Botox because she will wreck your face. I buy the episodes on AMAZON that I like. I have all the Pam episodes. There's only one non-Pam episode I have.

Mike: Can I guess?

Ty: Yes.

Mike: Does it involve a parrot?

Ty: Yes.

Mike: Manny writes a play based on the women in the family. In Haley's dialogue, she talks about how she got into a fight with a parrot. Haley gripes to playwright Manny that she told him that in private. It's a very funny episode and Alex has some good moments too. It's a very funny episode.

Jim: Mike, who would you rank as the funniest characters on the show?

Mike: I'm going to omit this season because Gloria won't make the list otherwise. In this order: Phil, Gloria, Haley, Luke and Cam.

Jim: Okay, best returning show?

Rebecca: Jumping in! I'll say DYNASTY but I'll note that the actress playing Alexis is awful. We need a new Alexis, a fourth one. We're also on the third Crystal. But DYNASTY is really getting better each season and Dominique -- Michael Michele has made the show so much better. She's just amazing and adds such a strong element. It also helps Elizabeth Giles who plays Fallon because when every scene is Fallon -- as was the case for season two -- it weakens her character and makes us care less. I really love Michael Michele's Dominique and all that she brings to the show. I do understand the need to focus on Vanessa -- Dominique's step-daughter -- who has more storyline possibilities but I wish that they would bring her daughter Monica.

Isaiah: And let's give the reboot real credit because they've had a diverse cast from the start. We've had three Latina actresses play Crystal in the three seasons so far. We've had Sam -- Sammy Jo -- Rafael de La Fuente. And the reboot has made a serious effort to include African-Americans -- Jeff Colby and Michael have been front and center. I'd like to see more of Monica as well. But Dominique is a major character on the show and Vanessa has been a strong supporting character. I think the show should receive real credit for the casting and for the efforts at diversity.

Ty: THE CW is the network that shows a real commitment to diversity.

Rebecca: I would agree with that. I wish NETFLIX had a real commitment to diversity.

Ruth: Agreed. I would get rid of NETFLIX in an instant were it not that I keep hoping that things will get better and they will find something new to program that I will like. I am with Stan, when GRACE AND FRANKIE ends, I will be ditching it. All the shows I enjoy get the axe: SENSE8, LUKE CAGE, JESSICA JONES, DAREDEVIL, IRON FIST, SANTA CLARITA DIET and ATYPICAL -- they just announced ATYPICAL is getting the axe after the upcoming season.

Trina: I don't get how NETFLIX can do that. It is asking people to pay for their service. It's one thing for ABC or CBS -- free over the airwaves -- to axe this and that. It's very different for NETFLIX to do it. Each time they axe a show, they're ticking off a paying subscriber. In the US, NETFLIX has reached saturation and there's no real push going forward. So I don't see how they can take their subscribers for granted the way that they do.

r /> Kat: "Now in the place where I come from, the people don't grow on the trees. And you can't treat people like meat without getting brought to your knees." Carly Simon sings that on BOYS IN THE TREES. It's a message that NETFLIX should take to heart and then some.

Jess: Well NETFLIX is getting so awful with their children's programming. Ava and C.I. covered this and I've noted it too -- they cancel everything. Our kid watches AMAZON or DISNEY. I've talked with Dona about this.

Dona: Yeah, it's the same. NETFLIX has pretty much axed any good show that they had for kids. That includes Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett's shows. There's no point to it. And now that DISNEY's around, it's pretty much over for NETFLIX and kids.

Ava: What's interesting is that, a few years back, they were boasting about how they were going to spend on children's programming.

C.I.: In 2019, they were boasting that they were going to spend over $1 billion.

Ava: What do they have to show for it? Nada.

Jim: With each month that passes, I think it's more and more likely that NETFLIX will end up going the way of THE DUMONT NETWORK. And on children's programming, I think HULU does a better job than NETFLIX as well. And on that note, we'll go ahead and wind down this roundtable. This has been a rush transcript.

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