Thursday, June 1, 2017

NBC Reverses Again

It seems that NBC has been rather indecisive lately, what with uncancelling Timeless, then moving This Is Us back to Tuesday. I'm not sure why they backtracked, but I'm glad for it, because now my Tuesday DVR schedule won't be so crowded in the fall. (I don't watch This Is Us.) There were just too many sitcoms on at once, but now they're not all competing at the same timeslot. Now I can record what I want and not need to upgrade my Tivo that urgently. I have more time to save up money for the new equipment.

Recently I watched the cable show Tut about the Egyptian pharaoh. Ben Kingsley played the Vizier, Alexander Siddig played the high priest, and Kylie Bunbury played Suhad, a love interest of Tut, competing with his sister/wife to give him an heir. Lots of drama and intrigue. It was very enjoyable though probably mostly fictional.

I also watched the Houdini miniseries on Netflix. It starred Adrian Brody, but he doesn't really look like Houdini. They revealed the secrets of some magic tricks, and claim that Houdini did espionage work for MI5. Unfortunately, they overdid it with the repeated motif of Houdini being punched in the gut literally and metaphorically. I know how he died, and the gratuitous imagery just made me cringe every time. Besides, it would have been more subtle to let Houdini's face convey his pain instead of spelling things out so clumsily. Nicolas Meyer wrote the miniseries, so of course he had to include Houdini arguing with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about spiritualism. Houdini desperately wants to communicate with his dead mother, but is so outraged by the phonies that he crusades against them. The last person to punch Houdini is portrayed as a spiritualist furious at Houdini for insulting Lady Jean Doyle. This show also has Houdini constantly seeing his mother's face on lots of people after she dies, and the face is quite young sometimes, so I guess this is where the Houdini & Doyle people got the idea for Houdini being haunted by his mother's ghost.

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