THURSDAY
JANUARY 10
2019

BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS

 

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

In this show’s final season, plot twists and personal triumphs and tribulations keep coming. On tonight’s new episode, Penny’s ex-boyfriend Zach (Brian Thomas Smith) decides to tackle the infertility problem between him and his wife with a somewhat novel approach: he asks Leonard to be the father of their baby by donating some sperm. Big bang indeed...
 
  
 
 

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

The second episode of this super-sized athletic-competition reality series is called “Whatever It Takes” – an approach that tonight’s contestants firmly embrace. Dwayne Johnson hosts.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 9:00 p.m. ET

SERIES RETURN: The Season 6 premiere of this series finds it at a new network: The first five seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine were shown on Fox, but after that network dropped the show, NBC quickly picked it up. The story line picks up where it left off, too. At the end of Season. 5, Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) got married on Fox. Tonight, on the Season 6 premiere on NBC, they make plans for a honeymoon, with suddenly available cash.

 
  
 
 

NBC, 9:30 p.m. ET

I adore this show. The more times I watch an episode, or the more closely I examine its set design and final credits, the more hidden jokes I find. And the more I read about philosophy, the more I almost begin to approach a limited understanding of what this show is really doing. In tonight’s new episode, the gang arrives in the actual Good Place for the first time – but only at a distant outpost. Meanwhile, Michael tries to alert the actual Good Place authorities that the Bad Place demons have hacked their point system for afterlife rewards – and prevented anyone from entering the Good Place for 521 years. For a full review, see David Hinckley's All Along the Watchtower.

 
  
 
 
 
 
Read and add comments HERE for today's Best Bets!
 
 
 
 
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1709 Comments
 
 
Mac
A major reason to comment less frequently is that I don't participate in subscriber channels-Netflix,Amazon Prime,HBO etc. Don't .Won't Ain't. A financial wall tougher than anything Gen. Bonespurs attempts. And PBS adds to the crime with their Passport paywall,keeping the Public out of the vault.
So I had to smile at a recent story of the Foundation For A Christian Civilization calling for Netflix to cancel the Good Omen series and getting 20,000 petitioners to protest. Trouble is,the series comes from Amazon Prime and not Netflix. Wrong pew,wrong church. So much for Return to Order. It isn't Satan winning,it is stoopid.
Jun 20, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
A major reason to comment less frequently is that I don't participate in subscriber channels-Netflix,Amazon Prime,HBO etc. Don't .Won't Ain't. A financial wall tougher than anything Gen. Bonespurs attempts. And PBS adds to the crime with their Passport paywall,keeping the Public out of the vault.
So I had to smile at a recent story of the Foundation For A Christian Civilization calling for Netflix to cancel the Good Omen series and getting 20,000 petitioners to protest. Trouble is,the series comes from Amazon Prime and not Netflix. Wrong pew,wrong church. So much for Return to Order. It isn't Satan winning,it is stoopid.
Jun 20, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
A major reason to comment less frequently is that I don't participate in subscriber channels-Netflix,Amazon Prime,HBO etc. Don't .Won't Ain't. A financial wall tougher than anything Gen. Bonespurs attempts. And PBS adds to the crime with their Passport paywall,keeping the Public out of the vault.
So I had to smile at a recent story of the Foundation For A Christian Civilization calling for Netflix to cancel the Good Omen series and getting 20,000 petitioners to protest. Trouble is,the series comes from Amazon Prime and not Netflix. Wrong pew,wrong church. So much for Return to Order. It isn't Satan winning,it is stoopid.
Jun 20, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
A major reason to comment less frequently is that I don't participate in subscriber channels-Netflix,Amazon Prime,HBO etc. Don't .Won't Ain't. A financial wall tougher than anything Gen. Bonespurs attempts. And PBS adds to the crime with their Passport paywall,keeping the Public out of the vault.
So I had to smile at a recent story of the Foundation For A Christian Civilization calling for Netflix to cancel the Good Omen series and getting 20,000 petitioners to protest. Trouble is,the series comes from Amazon Prime and not Netflix. Wrong pew,wrong church. So much for Return to Order. It isn't Satan winning,it is stoopid.
Jun 20, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
A major reason to comment less frequently is that I don't participate in subscriber channels-Netflix,Amazon Prime,HBO etc. Don't .Won't Ain't. A financial wall tougher than anything Gen. Bonespurs attempts. And PBS adds to the crime with their Passport paywall,keeping the Public out of the vault.
So I had to smile at a recent story of the Foundation For A Christian Civilization calling for Netflix to cancel the Good Omen series and getting 20,000 petitioners to protest. Trouble is,the series comes from Amazon Prime and not Netflix. Wrong pew,wrong church. So much for Return to Order. It isn't Satan winning,it is stoopid.
Jun 20, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
A major reason to comment less frequently is that I don't participate in subscriber channels-Netflix,Amazon Prime,HBO etc. Don't .Won't Ain't. A financial wall tougher than anything Gen. Bonespurs attempts. And PBS adds to the crime with their Passport paywall,keeping the Public out of the vault.
So I had to smile at a recent story of the Foundation For A Christian Civilization calling for Netflix to cancel the Good Omen series and getting 20,000 petitioners to protest. Trouble is,the series comes from Amazon Prime and not Netflix. Wrong pew,wrong church. So much for Return to Order. It isn't Satan winning,it is stoopid.
Jun 20, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
Thank you for finally mentioning the Women’s World Cup. Folks should realize, however, that there are many exciting games involving teams other than the U.S. Check it out, people! It’s on Monday-Thursday this week; knock-out rounds start next Saturday
Jun 16, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Let me recommend "Klepper's new participatory documentaries on Comedy Central Thursday nights at 11:30.
Jun 16, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Neil
Seriously, game 6 of the NBA Finals isn't worthy of a Best Bet? DB, you're killing me.
Jun 14, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
SharonGS
I’m disappointed that you haven’t mentioned the Women’s World Cup, which started in France on Friday and continues on the Fox networks through June. Great games!
Jun 10, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mary B.
What kind of sadist/wicked joker wrote the Payday candy bar TV commercial?
"Gets the job done"? Is that the bare-minimum or lowest common denominator expectation of candy, or something lower? Isn't adding the pegboard visual behind over the top or under the, uh, or round the bend? No, really, who is responsible for the eyesore earsore sorely not needed ... um..
Jun 9, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
jan
I just finished watching "Chernobyl," and I recommend it highly. It's difficult to watch in places but extremely worthwhile. I hope people who haven't seen it seek it out.
Jun 4, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
Mac
While revisiting Woodstock on TCM,why not gather $799(SRP) hiding in your couch cushions for the 38CD/1BluRay set of the entire weekend(sans two Jimi Hendrix cuts and a Sha-Na-Na track)? 432 tracks,267 newly released. Each act gets a CD. Stage announcements & sound bites. "Brown acid" speech,9 min. long,on disc 17.Comes with book,posters,photo prints,replica program and guitar strap(really),housed in a plywood box.Out Aug.1 and limited to 1,969 copies. Smaller sets will be out,too including some vinyl.
Jun 4, 2019   |  Reply
 
Linda Donovan
Good to have you back, Mac. We were worried about you.
Jun 6, 2019
 
 
Mac
Tammy-Thanks for the kind words,but I dunno how often I'll show up-lots of reasons. Things are kinda OK.
Meanwhile,back when Rolling Stone magazine was worth reading,J.R. Young wrote a bunch of record reviews as short stories. His take on Woodstock-the film and soundtrack-still stays in my head. Basically,a guy tells of his Woodstock "I was there" tales,only to be shut down by a guy who really was there and proved that the guy's knowledge was based on the film & soundtrack. No where to be found online. Sad. Collected in the 1971 mass paperback,The Rolling Stone Record Review.
Jun 6, 2019
 
 
Tammy
With or without any kind of acid, it seems odd that the editors took some liberties with the timeline. It's framed as if it's chronological lineup, but its not-which pixilates the experience. Odd choice, Scorsese-I don't see the benefit. Every outdoor music festival I've attended has tried to recreate the experience to some extent, the vibe, the sleep deprivation, and even the mud (the best part). The journey is as significant for the film audience as it is(was) for the live audience.

Glad to see you back, Mac. You were missed! ;)
Jun 5, 2019
 
 
 
Ron
"Brooks was an American actress, born in Kansas, who was hired by Pabst and flown to Germany to star in Pandora’s Box."

Either it was admirably brave of Brooks to fly to Germany considering this movie was released just 2 years after the first solo crossing of the Atlantic by Charles Lindbergh or else it is an error. Commercial transatlantic flights wouldn't commence for another 10 years.
Jun 3, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
jim
Long ago I read a capsule review of West Side Story, probably in The New Yorker, which referred to it as "the Ben-Hur of musicals." That was not intended as a compliment. I love both films, particularly WSS, but I also absolutely understand that viewpoint and I thought it was hilarious. I am not looking forward to a new, revisionist version. Particularly not from Spielberg.
Jun 1, 2019   |  Reply
 
Matt Alpern
Jim: Tend to agree with you about Spielberg. Would rather see Lin-Manuel or Barry Jenkins or Ryan Coogler have a go of this. But, Tony Kushner is a brilliant writer and what can anyone say about Sondheim. So, let's all wait and see.

Matt A.
Jun 1, 2019
 
 
 
Jim Considine
Hi, Your website is one of a handful whose icon is pixelated when viewing all of my personal favorites with an Amazon Fire Tablet. I am not a website developer, but I am a graphics person with a history in marketing. When looking at a page of favorite websites represented by icons, yours appears poorly. I realize that you probably do not have a webmaster on staff, but the next time you utilize this person, you might want to increase the resolution of the icon that is usurped by the Silk website browser.
Best wishes.
May 28, 2019   |  Reply
 
T
Hey Linda,
If you are interested in feedback, some of us work in UX and would love to help out.
Jun 5, 2019
 
 
Linda Donovan
Hi Jim -- Your comments on TVWW are genuinely appreciated. We're working on updating the site right now, actually, and your insights will be shared with the team. In fact, your concerns have been moved to the top of the to-do list. Thank you for taking the time to write up your concerns and solutions, Jim. We're very grateful!
May 29, 2019
 
 
 
Larry Levinson
David's AITF preview ... Archie work on a loading dock, and only occasionally drove a cab on the side. See 'sent a crate to London, UK'
May 23, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
T
It’s funny that you leave out the main through-line of the Welles documentary. “The Eyes” refer literally to his rich oeuvre of visual works-sketches, paintings, character studies-artifacts which help draw out why his films were so visually striking. Instead of being capricious, it layers biography, history, still images and clips into a beautiful tapestry. It helps you see the legendary films with fresh eyes, which is more than any linear documentary.


Where is Mac? I hope he’s okay.
May 14, 2019   |  Reply
 
Angela
Good question! I hope he's OK too.
May 22, 2019
 
 
 
Scott
Rough blurb for Chernobyl today! It says to look at the Uncle Barky or Watchtower sub blogs for further review but I don't see it written about on either one. Am I overlooking it?
May 6, 2019   |  Reply
 
Scott
"
Pleasant viewing it’s not. But in terms of capturing a time and place, the five-part miniseries (Monday at 9 p.m. ET) succeeds on every level. Initial viewer resistance is understandable. This is a grim and unsparing dissection of the April 26, 1986 catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat. Never more so than when radiation-contaminated pets left behind in evacuated areas are hunted down, shot, and dumped into a mass grave during a heartrending Episode 4."
May 6, 2019
 
 
Scott
It's up now after my initial comment.
http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogPostDetails.aspx?postId=18170
May 6, 2019
 
 
 
JOEL
The odds you give on the Kentucky Derby don't look right to me. Game Winner can't lead the field at 8-1 odds when there are a couple of horses in the race with odds of 5-1. Right?
May 4, 2019   |  Reply
 
 
 
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David Bianculli

Founder / Editor

David Bianculli has been a TV critic since 1975, including a 14-year stint at the New York Daily News, and sees no reason to stop now. Currently, he's TV critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and is an occasional substitute host for that show. He's also an author and teaches TV and film history at New Jersey's Rowan University. His 2009 Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour', has been purchased for film rights. His latest, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to the Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific, is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV.