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This Week: Just Taking Notes on Stanley Tucci

What are you all watching this week?

Like many out there, I've been wrapped up in Succession. I don't usually watch shows with characters I cannot possibly ever like, but there's something fascinating about watching these horrible people drowning in money and power trying to find their way to the surface. Kieran Culkin's character Roman and his uncontrollable mouth is my favorite character, if only because I think he's the only one who tells the truth and actually loves his horrible father.

I also watched the first season of Perry Mason because what Shari and ChrisB said about it in our last "This Week" made me curious. A terrific cast, but an uncomfortably dark and unpleasant story. I almost stopped a couple of times but hung in because I wanted to know whodunit, and it did get better when they finally got to the courtroom drama.

It's obvious that Perry Mason wants to be Chinatown and L.A. Confidential, a morality play/period piece about Tinsel Town. It does not want to be the old Perry Mason. There's even a point in season one where Hamilton Burger ridicules the very idea of someone confessing on the witness stand.

Anyway. I don't love it, but I might hang in for the second season.

How about you guys?

Adam D. Jones: I am caught up in a few long series at the moment.

For one, I've been revisiting the Guardians of the Galaxy films, as well as the films they appear in. There's a lot. What a time to be alive! Twenty years ago, I never would have guessed I could watch Groot or Nebula in so many major motion pictures I could lose track of their film appearances.

And we're heading into the final stretch with my first-time Gilmore Girls viewing. It's gotten rotten. I understand the writers had the show taken away from them for the final season. Is that why Lorelai did the stupid thing that ruined her relationship with Luke? Was it an attempt to sabotage the show and stick the new writers with an impossible plot? Either way, it's really dumb. I'm barely able to pry my eyes from my phone while it's on, just sticking with it to see the tire fire that it has become and wonder how high the flames will reach.

Lastly, I'm loving my romp through the Arrowverse, every episode in order. Just saw "The Good, The Bad, and the Cuddly," and it was unforgettable. The Legends are amazing because they deliver unique stories that are a blast to watch. It's the most fun thing on TV. I have a feeling this show will be in my permanent rotation for a very long time, just like The Flash and Highlander, the shows I watch when I don't have anything to watch. They're always comfortable, like pulling on an old shirt. Also, we just watched "The Dragon," an episode of Arrow that barely includes Oliver, and it was easily the best episode so far. My wife and I really don't like Oliver is what I'm saying. As soon as he showed up, he condescended to Felicity and tried to gaslight her feelings away. He's a turd.

Sounds like Perry Mason is a well made show that hits the dark notes I wouldn't care for. Probably good, but not my cup of tea. Life is hard enough; give me comic books.

Samantha M. Quinn: Oddly enough, I'm also doing a Gilmore Girls rewatch but I'm only in season four. I won't spoil you but yes, the show runner was upset about what they did in season seven. Thankfully we did get A Year in the Life, while not perfect it did wrap things up in a satisfying way.

I just started Star Wars: Rebels season two (season review will be out when I'm finished watching it), and I'm finding it to be way better than expected. I'm really looking forward to finishing it and moving on to Ahsoka coming in August (which I will be reviewing). I had to move forward with Andor past the episode I am up to reviewing because I was watching with a friend, so now to get my head in the right place to finish the season reviews I have to start the season over (poor me, having to rewatch the best Star Wars content in twenty years).

Other than that I just finished the first season of The Ark, which is VERY Dean Devlin (Stargate), but it was oddly compelling. I cannot say it is great, but I liked the characters (mostly) and the problem of the week format fit really well with the premise. I also like that almost all of our main characters are really good people, it makes things easy to watch. Plus the season long mystery ended up being somewhat interesting, although in retrospect kind of obvious. It does occasionally tend to push believability, but if you can turn your brain off it is worth watching (all of season one is on Peacock).

I tried the first episode of Dead Ringers (Amazon) and my god Rachel Weisz is brilliant. It is very dark, bloody, graphic and disturbing. If you have issues with childbirth then this probably isn't for you. However, if you can get through the darker aspects, it is a tour de force with Weisz playing two very different twin sisters who are trying to open their own birthing clinic to create a place where women are put first. This is based on a movie of the same name, with the main characters gender flipped (the original starred Jeremy Irons).

Victoria Grossack: Just watching season four of Manifest in order to do its reviews. Also, because I am currently in the US (not much longer), have been indulging in some of the many seasons of NCIS because Netflix makes it available here. I keep falling asleep to the episodes, so I have to keep going back to catch what I have missed.

Shari: I'm pretty sure the first thing I said about Perry Mason was that it opened on the death of a child and was far darker than the original. I don't usually watch shows like that but I loved the cast and I was curious...

Currently, I'm halfway through season one of The Diplomat on Netflix. There better be a season two because it is amazing. It's smart and funny and filled with complex characters that in lesser hands could have been stereotypes. Keri Russell is perfectly (if surprisingly cast) and Rufus Sewell steals every scene he's in. The premise is that Keri Russell's character is a career diplomat who is unwittingly being groomed to replace the VP who will be forced to step down. Any description will not do it justice. Just watch.

I've also watched the first two episodes of Citadel on Amazon Prime; it's the much-hyped series starring Priyanka Chopra and Richard Madden. It's produced by the Russo Brothers of MCU fame. And if you're a fan of the MCU you'll probably enjoy this. It's a highly stylized spy story with an intriguing plot and better-developed characters than one would typically expect. Plus Stanley Tucci. Always a win!

As for books, Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree deserves all the hype that it's gotten and I expect the recently released The Adventures of Amina al Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty will get equally praised. Both were such fun rides.

Josie Kafka: Weirdly enough, I tried Perry Mason this week! It was an impulse choice – I had nothing else to watch and remembered that people were really into it during the pandemic.

Billie, I was shocked by what you mentioned. Opening with the death of a child really was a big neon light that this wasn't the Perry Mason with Raymond Burr I remember watching as a kid.

Ultimately, it may not be for me. I used to really love noir, but I'm a bit burned out on it these days. I'm going to give it a few more episodes, but I'm not particularly hopeful about its ability to grab me.

OMG Stanley Tucci is in Citadel?!?! Stanley Tucci is so sexy. So, so sexy. (No, I'm not the only person who thinks that. There's a character on Abbott Elementary that also thinks he is sexy.)

I am absolutely in love with Mrs. Davis, the new Peacock show.

Billie Doux: I'm pretty much keeping Perry Mason at arm's length while I watch so it doesn't hurt me.

Mrs. Davis is awesome. I thought the fifth episode in particular was really helpful in explaining what's going on. (No spoilers.)

ChrisB: Stanley Tucci’s trip through Italy for CNN was pure genius. I have watched each episode twice. My mother (an outstanding cook) actually took notes.

I have found the old Perry Mason's on Paramount and am making my way through them. Wow, are they dated, but I am loving them just the same. Also, Rockford Files on Amazon. You have to put up with ads, but what a joy to reconnect with one of my earliest crushes.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with old movies. Butch Cassidy, The Sting, Heaven Can Wait, My Cousin Vinny, and all the great rom coms have been keeping me company when I need a break from the detectives.

Of course, the big watch this week will be Saturday morning at the crack of dawn. You will find me attending the coronation in my pajamas with a huge mug of coffee.

Josie Kafka: "Hey, Mom, whatcha doing?"
"Nothing much. Just taking notes on Stanley Tucci."

ChrisB: That’s frighteningly accurate! :-)

Forgot to mention that I finally got through season five of The Crown. It was my least favorite of the five, but I am curious where season six will take us. I would not be surprised if we skip Diana’s death all together. After all, just rent The Queen and you’ve got that tale. Also wondering if it will now go all the way up to the queen’s death. Shout out to Victoria for a great season of reviews.

Mikey Heinrich: I'm at last up to date with Mrs. Maisel and enjoying the flash forwards in the current season. Not sure what my next series will be. Maybe West Wing?

I did stumble on something called Jury Duty on Freevee that's both funny and bewildering. Apparently it's about James Marsden trying to get out of doing jury duty (as himself), but really what's going on is that every single person in the 'trial' is an actor except for one juror guy, and the point is to just mess with the one guy that thinks it's all real. It's very odd, but nice to see that James Marsden apparently has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

Billie Doux: FYI, Mikey, if you loved The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the same creators/writers did Gilmore Girls. Despite the seventh season maybe going downhill, Gilmore Girls is exceptionally witty and after watching it through several times, it still makes me laugh.

That's it for this week. What are you guys watching?


  1. Just today I was wondering when we might get one of these “This Week” posts! I love reading the recommendations and getting some new ideas of what to watch. This time I’ve gleaned at least “The Ark” as a new possibility.

    I watched all 5 eps of Casa Grande and was hoping one of you might have shared an opinion, as I don’t really trust mine as far as James Marsters is concerned. I was intrigued by the bilingual approach, as well as the story line of the conflicts faced by immigrants vs ICE. But, for me, the show aspired to more than it achieved. Not to mention its great underuse of James Marsters. If anyone else watched, I’d love to hear your take.

    I’m also starting season 2 of Star Wars Rebels.

  2. Currently working through The Wire (second time, mom's first), but will probably check out Succession after that; the plot doesn't appeal to me, but the actors do and my brother won't stop imploring me to watch it. Mrs. Davis or Poker Face seem like they'd be more up my alley. Will also probably check out Chernobyl, since the rest of my immediate family loved it.

    I tried watching Citadel on Amazon. It's the first time in awhile that I turned something off within minutes of starting it. It looks great, but just felt so painfully generic and obvious. I like Priyanka Chopra, Richard Madden and especially Stanley Tucci well enough, but not even their charisma could hold my interest. I thought maybe I was judging it too quickly, but apparently there were a lot of people who felt that way.

    I'm also watching Grant, the Ulysses S. Grant biopic on Amazon, for a second time. Very well-done. Though it really makes me wanna do an early rewatch of HBO's John Adams, which I finally saw a little while ago.

  3. Logan, I think you and I tend to have similar taste, and I adore Mrs Davis. My review will be up in a day or two.


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