Thursday, July 12, 2018
I received an email last week from a fellow veteran viewer complaining that there was precious little for us baby boomers to watch on TV anymore. I respectfully disagree.
One simply has to be more adventurous when searching up and down the dial. There's more to watch than reruns of Longmire and Blue Bloods.
Dial? Oops. There I go dating myself again. TVs haven't had dials since at least the advent of flatscreens and the subsequent arrival of the digital age when we bid a fond farewell to analog TV. But I'll lump dial in the same anachronistic category as "hang up the phone," "picture tube" and "tape a movie."
You don't have to be a Luddite to use an old term, although your Gen Z grandkids might look at you funny.
One of the hidden treasures way up the dial is Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum with host Don Wildman. There's a new episode airing at 9 p.m. today. Check it out.
In Mysteries at the Museum, Wildman goes deep into a number of museums across the country, "taking viewers on a sometimes shocking tour of America's past by re-examining what's been left behind." The tales are sometimes "brimming with scandal, mystery, murder and intrigue."
Wildman interviews experts and uses archival footage and re-enactments to bring to life the secrets behind the artifacts. Many of the tales have never been told before on television.
Tonight's episode, "Jack The Ripper, Wooden Money and Deadly Decor," finds Wildman investigating three topics. He examines a new clue that could identify history's most notorious killer, investigates an odd piece of wood that saved a small town and looks into the surprising cause of a deadly illness.
So, strap on your adventure fanny packs and go exploring.
• Beat Bobby Flay kicks off Season 17 at 9 p.m. today on Food Network. As you might surmise from the title, this series comes with a twist for the longtime celebrity chef and host/competitor of TV food shows (Bobby's Dinner Battle, Throwdown With Bobby Flay).
In this series, Flay is host and contestant.
Each half hour begins with two guest chefs creating a dish using an ingredient chosen by Flay. Tonight's episode features Michael Psilakis and Seamus Mullen battling it out.
The winner of the opening challenge is determined by special guest judges. Tonight's are Food Network's Marcus Samuelsson and Sunny Anderson.
To make things more fair, the Round 2 challenger gets to prepare a signature dish that is unknown to Flay until the start of the round. Flay must then immediately come up with his own version. A panel determines the winner of the second round through a blind taste test.
Beat Bobby Flay is just one more way Food Network tweaks the basic competition formula.
• The Disappearance, 9 p.m. today on WGN America. I love it when a new show bills itself as "an emotional roller coaster ride" as if that's a good thing. This Canadian limited series certainly fits the phrase.
There will be six episodes in the psychological family drama that centers on the unexplained disappearance of Anthony Sullivan (Michael Riendeau) during a special 10th birthday treasure hunt organized by his grandfather, Henry Sullivan, played by Peter Coyote (The 4400, Law & Order: LA).
Gavin Harvey, president of WGN America, says, "The Disappearance has a unique and intense storyline that delves into the very deep and real, heart-wrenching impact a missing child has on a family and community."
While the all-consuming investigation unfolds, "long-buried familial secrets with devastating consequences rise to the surface leaving an unforeseen impact on every member of the Sullivan family that threatens to shatter the family unit."
Family secrets hardly seem unique, but we'll let Harvey have his say.
Aden Young (Rectify, Killer Elite) plays Anthony's father, Luke Sullivan, and Camille Sullivan (The Man in the High Castle) portrays his mother, Helen Murphy Sullivan.
• Little Big Shots has its Season 3 finale at 7 p.m. today on NBC. The youngsters featured include identical twin singers, a 7-year-old movie whiz, a clogging troupe, sibling singer-songwriters, a 4-year-old cotton candy expert, a contemporary dance duo and brother and sister magicians.
If my fellow boomers want to feel young again, Steve Harvey chatting with the kiddies is as funny as Art Linkletter's House Party (1952-1969) with its closing segment "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Art who? Check him out on YouTube.
• Netflix stuff. Available today for streaming are The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants; Jim Jeffries: This Is Me Now and Sugar Rush. They are, in order, a TV-Y7 cartoon about fourth-graders, a TV-MA stand-up comedy special, and a TV-PG food competition show.
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