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The Righteous Gemstones (2019)
Amateurish, Thinly Written Rubbish
After reading what this HBO "Gem" was about, I was hoping/expecting this drama-comedy to be funny (it wasn't), intelligently written / clever dialogue (sadly not even close), and perhaps something worth watching each week (nope). It wasn't any of the above. Perhaps the writers of this show should watch some British religious comedy shows to learn how to be funny, intelligent, and clever when dealing with this subject matter.
Designated Survivor (2016)
Season three could have been its best, but sadly was not. 1. You have a crying, whining, White House staffer whose every thought is more akin to a jilted teenager, and whose "professional" performance is more akin to a sniveling summer intern. Her delusion extends to thinking she should be given equal treatment to the National Security Adviser / VP candidate! 2. You have a White House Chief of Staff who insists that his wife should be a Virginia senator, simply because she abused drugs and went through drug rehab and later hospitalized -- she has no distinguishable experience or qualities for the job! 3. What the writers of this show pass off as "Independent / Centrist" thinking is not "Centrist" thinking -- it is more idealistic, teenage, left-leaning thinking that does not give credence to a more realistic, moderate viewpoint. The focus of this season appears to be: put emotion over reason.
Upstart Crow (2016)
Witty, Clever, and Intelligent
I wish that there were more comedy shows like this. It is intelligent (sometimes bawdy!) humor. It is very skillful at using both past and present references to take a sarcastic poke at both Shakespeare and society in general.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
Dark and Pointless
We were very disappointed in this movie which started out funny, but soon became a series of dark and pointless (almost feeling unfinished) unrelated stories.
Green Book (2018)
Finally...Well-written, well-acted Movie
This picture should be up for BEST PICTURE. It has everything: great acting, solid script-writing (something that Hollywood really needs), and lots of humor. I wish that Hollywood would make more pictures like this.
The Neighborhood (2018)
The Un-funny, Un-clever Comedy
This show had the feel of a 15-year old trying to write his first high school drama class comedy. It 's a shame that it seemed so one-dimensional, because this could have been a good opportunity to have clever, adult-level, comedic, as well as quality, dialogue regarding a variety of social issues.
Murphy Brown (1988)
Smug partisan humor
Ya' know -- It would be nice if this TV sitcom offered a more balanced approach to political ideas than treating the "Murphy Brown" viewpoint is the only acceptable or "learned" standard. It might also help the national discourse if the other side offered an equally (perhaps humorous) valid point, and showed that there is another intelligent / valid side to the issue. It might help to "calm the waters" by encouraging people to listen, rather than reject free thinking. This show would be much better if it had smart, balanced dialog in its writing.
Darkest Hour (2017)
Dull and Slow
For a motion picture that received so many "Best Picture" awards, it was certainly lacking. It seemed like Churchill was mumbling throughout the film, and it was challenging to make out what he was saying half the time. The movie moved very slowly and was not very appealing (or even interesting).
Jack Ryan (2018)
Intelligent, well-written, series
It's such a joy to find such a well-written, action-packed, Intelligent series on TV. I look forward to seeing season two when it premieres (hopefully) next year.
Good Actors, Bad Script
I felt sorry for the good actors who played in this series. They did a good job of trying to salvage an awful script that jumped all over the place, and at times was difficult to follow.
A Touch of Frost (1992)
Excellent Balance of Mystery and Humor
Outstanding acting, writing, and humor. I wish that there were more television shows like this available on television. I really like the Frost character whose intelligence,wit, quirkiness,and compassion really makes this a first-rate show. I also wish that there were more American mystery/crime-drama shows that exhibited this level of quality script writing.
Jonathan Creek (1997)
The Way Murder Mysteries Should Be
This series is one of the most engaging, intelligent, and amusing murder-mystery shows that I have seen on TV. I wish there were more series like this one that combines intelligent writing with humor.