Category: TV

RIP: David McCallum

David McCallum died yesterday at the age of 90.

David McCallum’s parents were professional musicians. For a while it appeared that David might follow in their footsteps.  He studied music for a short time.  After serving in the British Army’s 3rd Battalion (he was born in Glasgow, Scotland), Mr. McCallum attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

David McCallum had been getting roles in both television and feature films when his breakout role came. He was cast as Russian agent Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Although the show was conceived as a showcase for Robert Vaughn to play a James Bond-like spy, the audience loved the chemistry between Vaughn and McCallum.  David McCallum was elevated from occasional guest to the show’s co-star.  Critics also loved Mr. McCallum in this role.  He was nominated for two Emmy awards during the series four year run.  The Man from U.N.C.L.E remained so popular that in 1983, David McCallum returned to the role for a television movie titled, The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E..

David McCallum’s popularity was such that he released four record albums during the run of The Man from U.N.C.L.E..  Unlike many stars of the era, Mr. McCallum did not sing on his records.  Instead he wrote some of the compositions, conducted their arrangements and played various instruments as well.

After The Man from U.N.C.L.E ended Mr. McCallum continued to act on television and in feature films.  In 2003, he earned the role of Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on the popular series NCIS.  He was a cast member until his death.

Some of David McCallum’s television appearances include: The Rose and the Ring (3 episodes); Our Mutual Friend (10 episodes); The Eustace Diamonds (6 episodes); Emma (5 episodes); Armchair Theater (2 episodes); The Travels of Jamie McPheeters; Perry Mason; The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (105 episodes); The Outer Limits (2 episodes); Please Don’t Eat the Daises; Night Gallery; Marcus Welby; The Six Million Dollar Man; Frankenstein: The True Story; Colditz (26 episodes); The Invisible Man (13 episodes); Kidnapped (13 episodes); Sapphire & Steel (34 episodes); Hart to Hart; The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.; As the World Turns; The A-Team; Matlock; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; The Return of Sam McCloud; Murder, She Wrote (2 episodes); Masterpiece Mysteries (3 episodes); Cluedo (6 episodes); Trainer (23 episodes); Law & Order; The Outer Limits; Sex and the City; The Education of Max Bickford (9 episodes); JAG (2 episodes); The Replacements (67 episodes); NCIS: New Orleans (2 episodes) and NCIS (457 episodes).

Some of David McCallum’s feature film appearances include: Hell Drivers; A Night to Remember; Billy Budd; The Great Escape; The Greatest Story Ever Told; The Spy with My Face; The Spy in the Green Hat and The Watcher in the Woods.

My favorite David McCallum role is on The Man from U.N.C.L.E..  Like all the kids my age, we thought he was the coolest.  The fact that Mr. McCallum was so popular playing a Russian spy at the height of the cold war is amazing.  I am also in awe of the fact that David McCallum was able to stay a working actor for decades. That is a testament to his acting ability.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to David McCallum’s family, friends and fans.

“Joe Pickett”: Season 2 (2023) / Z-View

Joe Pickett: Season 2 (2023)

Written by: John Erick Dowdle (ep. 11, 20 ); Stacy Chbosky (eps. 12, 18); Isaac Gomez (ep. 13); Nelson Greaves (eps. 14, 19); Sarah Marie Masson (ep. 15); Diego D. Moreno (ep. 16); Alice Dennard (ep. 17);

Directed by: Stephen Woolfenden (eps. 11 – 12); Blackhorse Lowe (eps. 13 – 14); Drew Dowdle (eps. 15 – 16); Janice Cooke (eps. 17 – 18); Shana Stein (eps. 19 – 20)

Stars: Michael Dorman, Julianna Guill, Sharon Lawrence, Mustafa Speaks, Skywalker Hughes, Kamryn Pilva, David Alan Grier, Chad Rook, Aadila Dosani, Patrick Gallagher, Emily Alabi, Sean Wei Mah, Alex Breaux and Chris Gauthier

Tagline: None

The Plot…

When a hunter doesn’t return home, Joe (Dorman) rides out in a remote section of wilderness to look for him.  Joe happens on Caleb and Camish Grimmengruber aka the Grim brothers.  The two live off the grid and are distrustful of the government.  One thing leads to another and the Grim brothers attempt to kill Joe.  Although they succeed in killing Joe’s horse, and badly wounding Joe, he barely makes it out alive.

In the mean time the hunter has been found… murdered.  He was decapitated and left hanging upside down from a tree.  Because the man was wealthy and of some importance, the Governor flies in.  He meets with the Sheriff and head of the area’s Fish and Game commission.  The Governor demands that the two groups work together to quickly find the murderer.

Not totally healed from the Grim Brothers’ attack, Joe finds himself thrust into an investigation that is going to lead to corruption and more murders by people in high places.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Joe Pickett: Season One was surprisingly good.  Season 2 is even better.

The series features some of the best acting you will find anywhere.  Standouts include: Michael Dorman (Joe Pickett), Julianna Guill (Marybeth Pickett), Sharon Lawrence (Missy, Marybeth’s mother), Mustafa Speaks (Nate Romanowski), Skywalker Hughes (Sheridan, one of the Pickett’s daughters) and Chad Rook (Deputy McLanahan).

Kudos to this season’s writers:

  • I love that events from season one had major ramifications in season two.
  • Joe and Marybeth’s relationship is so well written (and acted).
  • Each episode ended with a cliffhanger making us want to move on to the next episode.
  • All of the characters are given backstory without hindering the main focus of the season.
  • It was cool to see David Alan Grier get a cameo that has a major impact going forward.
  • The Grim Brothers are two of the creepiest bad guys you can imagine.  They get an interesting character arc.

Joe Pickett: Season 2 (2023) ends with some great twists.  I hope we get a third season.

Joe Pickett: Season 2 (2023) earns 5 of 5 stars.

Fargo | Installment 5 Teaser is Here! – Dot Lyon (Juno Temple) is a Homemaker


It’s about to get saucy. Installment 5 of FX’s Fargo premieres 11.21 on FX. Stream on Hulu. 

| Visit Official Site

The latest installment of Fargo is set in Minnesota and North Dakota, 2019. After an unexpected series of events lands “Dorothy ‘Dot’ Lyon” (Juno Temple) in hot water with the authorities, this seemingly typical Midwestern housewife is suddenly plunged back into a life she thought she had left behind.

“Jack Ryan: Season 4” (2023) starring John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce, Michael Kelly, Betty Gabriel & Michael Peña, / Z-View

Jack Ryan: Season 4 (2023)

Written by: Vaun Wilmott and Aaron Rabin and Steven Kane (ep. 25); Aaron Rabin (ep. 26, 30); Jada M. Nation (ep. 27); Robert Port and Aaron Rabin (ep. 28); Joe Greskoviak and Aaron Rabin (ep. 29)

Directed by: Lukas Ettlin (ep. 25, 29-30 ); Jann Turner (ep. 26, 28); Shana Stein (ep. 27);

Stars: John Krasinski, Wendell Pierce, Abbie Cornish, Michael Kelly, Betty Gabriel, Michael Peña, John Hoogenakker and Adam Bernett.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Jack Ryan steps down as the CIA’s Acting Deputy Director in order to go into the field.  Evidence points to collusion between a high ranking US government official(s) with one or more people in the CIA and a drug cartel/terrorist organization.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Jack Ryan has been nominated for 3 Prime Time Emmy Awards:

  • 2019  Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role – Nominee
  • 2019  Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) – Nominee
  • 2020  Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role – Nominee

It has been fun to see Jack Ryan develop from an brilliant analyst to a James Bond-type field agent.

Season four didn’t resonate as well with me as previous outings.  I liked it and thought it was well done.  The problem is we know Jack is going to survive.  The real danger is to the supporting characters.  John Krasinski is excellent as Jack Ryan.  The supporting cast is wonderful as well.  Kudos to Wendell Pierce, Abbie Cornish, Michael Kelly, Betty Gabriel and Michael Peña, (Soon congratulations may be in order for Peña since a spin-off featuring his character is in development.)

Jack Ryan: Season 4 (2023) earns 3 of 5 stars.

“The Continental: From the World of John Wick” | Opening Fight Scene – Sneak Peek

This looks better and better.

The three-part event will explore the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins centerpiece of the John Wick universe through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the Hell-scape of 1970’s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind. Winston charts a deadly course through the hotel’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his future throne.

“The Walking Dead: Dead City” – Season 1 (2023) starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Lauren Cohan / Z-View

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 (2023)

Written by: Eli Jorné (eps. 1-2, 4, 6); Keith Staskiewicz (ep.3); Brenna Kouf (ep. 5)

Directed by: Loren Yaconelli (eps. 1-2); Kevin Dowling (eps. 3-4); Gandja Monteiro (eps. 5-6)

Stars: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, Gaius Charles, Mahina Napoleon, Zeljko Ivanek, Logan Kim, Jonathan Higginbotham, Karina Ortiz, Michael Anthony, David Chen and Lisa Emery

Tagline: Keep Your Enemies Close

The Plot…

Maggie’s son, Hershel, has been taken hostage by a sadist known as “The Croat”.  The Croat was an enforcer for Negan, when Negan led The Saviors. So Maggie recruits Negan to go with her to Manhattan to rescue Hershel.  Negan agrees on the condition that Maggie’s group give Ginny, a young orphaned girl, refuge.

Maggie and Negan head to Manhattan unaware that three Marshalls are tracking Negan who is wanted for murder.  Because of their past history, Maggie and Negan’s partnership is uneasy at best.  Add in the complications of the Marshalls, New York City full of zombies, dangerous survivalist groups, plus the sadistic Croat with plans of his own… let the fun begin!

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 clocks in with just six episodes, which is a smart move.  I think all of the Walking Dead spin-offs should come up with a story to tell and get to it,

I wasn’t too sure about the pairing of Negan and Maggie.  Maggie’s hate for Negan should override every reason for her to be around, much less work with him for a common goal.  Then the writer’s came up with a plausible reason… to save her son.  I liked how Negan put his murdering her husband back on Maggie when he asked her “How many husbands have you killed?”  Maggie also got to see how Negan using over-the-top “theatrics” when murdering a person kept a group from attacking them.  Well played, writers.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Laura Cohen are two of the most popular Walking Dead characters.  They have the star power to carry the series.  Zeljko Ivanek plays The Croat with zeal.  Gaius Charles as the Marshall is an interesting character that I believe will be come more important in season two.  Lisa (Ozark) Emery is a welcome addition to the cast. She was mean in Ozark and now she’s mean and creepy.

Bring on Season 2.

The Walking Dead: Dead City – Season 1 (2023) earns 4 of 5 stars.

“Batman & Bill” (2017) / Z-View

Batman & Bill (2017)

Director: Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce

Stars: Marc Tyler Nobleman, Bill Finger, Fred Finger, Portia Finger, Thomas Andrae, Jerry Bails, Otto Binder,
Athena Finger, Judy Flam, Stacey C. Friends, Carmine Infantino, Stan Lee, Todd McFarlane, Daniela Nobleman  
and Bob Kane.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

For decades one of the biggest “secrets” that insiders knew was that Bob Kane wasn’t the sole creator of Batman. Despite this knowledge, every appearance of The Dark Knight contained the credit “Created by Bob Kane”.  The truth of the matter is Bill Finger was the creator of Batman’s costume, Robin, Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, Commissioner Gordan, the Batcave, Gotham City and more.  Yet Bill Finger received no credit or compensation while Bob Kane got rich and famous.

Batman & Bill is the story of one man’s quest to right this wrong.  Despite overwhelming odds justice finally prevailed.  This is that story.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

Although the general public didn’t know about Bill Finger, it wasn’t a secret among comic book professionals and many fans. Bob Kane for years claimed he was the sole creator of Batman.  The publishers of Batman and all its spinoffs knew differently.  It wasn’t until after Bill Finger’s death that Kane started to give Finger some credit.  Still, Kane was the only one listed on any Batman comic, movie or merchandise.

When Marc Tyler Nobleman learned of this injustice, he made it his life’s mission to right that wrong.  He had nothing to gain, but like a true superhero wanted justice to be served.  And it finally was.

Batman & Bill (2017) rates 4 of 5 stars.

“Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal”: Season 2 | Official Trailer

On March 2, 2023, Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul. The world watched with bated breath as a verdict was announced. The people of the Lowcountry had been waiting the better part of two years to understand what happened the night of June 7, 2021.

Season 2 will feature first-hand accounts from those who were there the days leading up to and following the murders, giving more insight than ever into that deadly night, including Blanca Turrubiate-Simpson (Former Murdaugh Family Housekeeper) and Mushelle “Shelly” Smith (Caregiver for Libby Murdaugh) – who became some of the most powerful witnesses at the trial – Curtis Edward Smith (aka Cousin Eddie), and Gwen Generette, one of the trial’s jurors. Morgan Doughty, Paul’s ex-girlfriend, Anthony Cook, Paul’s friend, and Valerie Bauerlein, Wall Street Journal reporter, also return.

“Mr. Inbetween”: Season 3 (2021) written by and starring Scott Ryan

Mr. Inbetween: Season 3 (2021)

Written by: Scott Ryan

Directed by: Nash Edgerton

Stars: Scott Ryan, Justin Rosniak, Brooke Satchwell, Nicholas Cassim, Chika Yasumura, Damon Herriman and Matt Nable

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Ray Shoesmith is a professional criminal/killer with an anger problem.  Ray’s also juggling his responsibilities as a divorced dad with a young daughter and is caretaker of his older brother who suffers from a degenerative neural disease.

In season three Ray…

  • takes in a guns deal that gets hijacked… Ray doesn’t take it well
  • gets jail time after a want-to-be-tough-guy breaks Ray’s car’s mirror
  • takes a job on another inmate while in jail
  • rekindles his relationship with his estranged father
  • literally helps his friend on a ledge
  • accepts a job to dispose of a woman’s body
  • takes on a hit for free when he learns that an older friend committed suicide after being scammed of his life savings
  • agrees to do some free work for a crime boss in exchange for giving Ray’s friend more time to pay off a debt
  • while on a drug run, is involved in a car wreck caused by a kangaroo
  • is set-up to be murdered by a friend

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Season 3 of Mr. Inbetween continues the streak of excellent shows featuring a great mix of drama and comedy. Each episode clocks in between 21 and 32 minutes which makes it perfect if time is short.

Mr. Inbetween: Season 3 (2021) earns 4 of 5 stars.

“Dark Winds”: Season 2 (2023) starring Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten & Deanna Allison / Z-View

Dark Winds Season 2 (2023)

Director:  Chris Eyre (Eps 1, 2, 6), Michael Nankin (Eps 3, 4), Billy Luther (Ep. 5)

Teleplay by:  John Wirth & Rhiana Yazzie (Ep 1), Max Hurwitz & DezBaa’ (Ep 2),  Steven Paul Judd (Ep 3), Jason Gavin (Ep 4), Billy Luther & Max Hurwitz (Ep 5), Graham Roland & John Wirth (Ep 6)  // Based on the Leaphorn & Chee novels by Tony Hillerman

Starring:  Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, Elva Guerra, Nicholas Logan, A Martinez, John Diehl and Jeri Ryan.

Tagline:  None

The Plot… (beware of spoilers)

A car explosion kills a terminal cancer patient, and injures Emma Leaphorn (Allison). Emma’s husband, Sheriff Joe Leaphorn (McClarnon) arrives to check on his wife.  Once assured her injuries are minor, Leaphorn checks out the scene of the explosion and quickly finds evidence of a car bomb.  Why would anyone want to kill someone with little time to live?

Jim Chee (Gordon), no longer on the force, is now a private investigator.  Chee is hired by Rosemary Vines (Jeri Ryan).  Rosemary is the wife of B.J. Vines (John Diehl), the richest man in the state.  Rosemary wants Chee to recover a box stolen from her husband.  She refuses to say what is in the box.

When Chee visits Leaphorn to get background information, Chee learns that Vines owns the property where six men were killed in a mining explosion.  One of those men was Leaphorn’s son.  Leaphorn and Chee drive out to the remote desert property.  They are attacked by Cotton Wolf (Logan).  Chee is shot and badly wounded.  Leaphorn returns fire, but Wolf escapes.  They discover that Wolf was burning the contents of the box that Chee was hired to find.  One of the items in the box was Leaphorn’s son’s belt buckle.

Leaphorn and Chee find themselves the target of a psycho-killer who murders without hesitation.  They have also ignited the ire of B.J. Vines who is hiding more than one dark secret.


Dark Winds: Season 1 provided an excellent mystery from a perspective not often seen in television/film. There was a feeling of respect and authenticity to Navajos due to the writers being Native American.  I was happy to see this continue in Season 2.

I’ve been an A. Martinez fan since I first saw him in John Wayne’s The Cowboys.  Loved seeing him here.  Jerri Ryan is excellent as Rosemary Vines.  She reminded me of a fem fatale from the 40s.  Perfect.  Nicholas Logan was spot on creepy as the killer Cotton Wolf.  Logan was scary even in his quiet moments.

Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten and Deanna Allison have real chemistry.  I look forward to Season 3.

Mike Flannigan’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” – The Trailer is Here!

She’s coming for them all.
In this wicked series from Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House) and based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, ruthless siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher have built Fortunato Pharmaceuticals into an empire of wealth, privilege and power. But past secrets come to light when the heirs to the Usher dynasty start dying at the hands of a mysterious woman from their youth.

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” starring Kurt Russell & Wyatt Russell – The Trailer is Here!

The trailer looks cool.  Add in Kurt and Wyatt Russell and I’m sold.  Deal me in!

When monsters emerge, secrets follow. Monarch: Legacy of Monsters premieres November 17 on Apple TV+

Following the thunderous battle between Godzilla and the Titans that leveled San Francisco, and the shocking revelation that monsters are real, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” tracks two siblings following in their father’s footsteps to uncover their family’s connection to the secretive organization known as Monarch. Clues lead them into the world of monsters and ultimately down the rabbit hole to Army Officer Lee Shaw (played by Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell), taking place in the 1950s and half a century later where Monarch is threatened by what Shaw knows. The dramatic saga — spanning three generations — reveals buried secrets and the ways that epic, earth-shattering events can reverberate through our lives.