Meghan and Harry burned it all down last night. Good for them.

It’s Monday. Again.

All Other TV News

We all know what we’re obviously going to start with today: The Critics Choice Awards.

LOL, no, just kidding. We’re going to start with the biggest thing to hit television this week — maybe this year: the Oprah interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry which at least 17 million of us watched on CBS last night.

I’ve seen some over-hyped television specials in my lifetime. Children, I am old enough to have watched Geraldo Rivera explore the completely empty vault of one Al Capone live on television. I also watched the famous 1995 Martin Bashir interview with Princess Diana, which, I have to admit, left me underwhelmed. It all just felt so familiar, as every single thing Diana did had already been breathlessly reported in the tabloid media.

And that’s what I expected from last night’s interview: a reinforcement of tabloid narratives about mild palace intrigues: maybe the royal family wasn’t all that welcoming of Meghan; perhaps there was nastiness towards her regarding her own messy family; perhaps some jealousy over press coverage, or some attempts to stifle and control her.

Dear Reader: that is not what was revealed last night. In an emotional, but frank conversation, Meghan Markle made a number of legitimately shocking claims:

  1. The royal family decided that contrary to the George V convention, Harry and Meghan’s child would not be a prince or princess — or given any title at all (traditionally, the grandchildren of the monarch are automatically given the title of prince or princess)
  2. And because the child would not be a prince or princess, they would not be granted security, despite being the first mixed-race royal and the target of much racial animosity
  3. Someone in the royal family was concerned about how dark the child would be. Oprah clarified this morning that Harry said it was neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Phillip … so simple math suggests it must have been Prince Charles or Prince William
  4. When Meghan asked to receive mental health help after being driven to the point of being suicidal, she was told it would not be appropriate
  5. Prince Charles stopped taking Prince Harry’s calls at one point and he and Prince William are keeping their distance
  6. They did not “blindside” the royal family with their choice to leave, it was an ongoing conversation
  7. They were completely cut off financially by the royal family and the only way they were able to leave was because Princess Diana had left her sons a trust
  8. Meghan was kept for long periods of time in isolation — sometimes as long as four months — because she was receiving “too much” media coverage
  9. The royal family promised to protect Meghan from the notoriously vicious British press, but not only did not do so, but they also turned her into the “villain” of the story
  10. It wasn’t Meghan Markle who made Kate Middleton cry over flower girls’ dresses at her wedding — it was the other way around, and Kate Middleton apologized. However, the palace never made any effort to refute the story or correct it
  11. Meghan and Harry got married three days before the official wedding
  12. It’s a girl!


The comparisons to the 1995 Diana interview — which genuinely shook up the United Kingdom’s feelings about the monarchy, and took the better part of 20 years of constant PR work to undo — are obviously being made, and for good reason. This is another fling-open-the-curtains-and-expose-the-rot kind of moment for the monarchy, as was Diana’s interview.

However, this interview reveals something even darker and crueler at root in the monarchy, because it comes in the shadow of Diana’s death. Diana’s death at only 36 years old was as shocking as it wasn’t. She had been hounded mercilessly by the press since she was introduced to the world at 19 and the palace did nothing to stop it. So while her 1997 death was tragic, it almost felt inevitable. It was always going to end in a horrific spectacle, illuminated by the paparazzi’s flashbulbs.

And so we are left to ask how a father and brother could turn their backs on Harry when he is asking them for help, asking them to help protect his wife and child from the same vultures who killed his mother, how they could turn away from their own family member in favor of protecting a shaky institution that serves no real purpose … the lack of humanity within the monarchy that Harry and Meghan revealed last night was astounding. No one but Harry seems to have learned a single goddamned thing from Diana’s terrible death — if anything, they seemed more than happy to make another sacrifice to keep the tabloid gods appeased.

What’s worse was that this situation was potentially one hundred times more explosive than Diana’s when you add on the factors of race, the fact that Meghan is American, an actress, and a “tainted” woman having been previously divorced. She was facing a storm of hostility and racism brewed by the press that, at least according to her and Harry, the family was all but willing to foster if it meant keeping other royals’ names in the clear. It’s all so ghoulish … and dangerous.

I doubt this will be the final blow to an institution that has weathered worse, an institution that is predicated on colonialism and racism and, despite having a female figurehead, deep misogyny. But good for Meghan and Harry for trying to finish what his mother started.

“They’re an emotionally stunted group of fundamentally flawed people doing a very silly pseudo-job … that’s what she’s marrying into. So, I hope she likes it!” — John Oliver, once again nailing it back in 2015.

As I mentioned, the Critics Choice Awards were also on last night — not that anyone was watching — and the long and short of it is that it looks like unless something big happens between now and May, The Crown and Ted Lasso will be the shows to beat at the Emmys this year.

The only other thing you missed at the Critics Choice Awards was the adorable young star of Minari, Alan Kim’s acceptance speech. If his getting choked up doesn’t make you choke up a little, your soul is dead:

Rachel Lindsay is not going to let you keep her off of Instagram, monsters.

Anya Taylor-Joy wouldn’t be out here teasing a sequel to Queen’s Gambit if it weren’t likely to happen, methinks. Meanwhile, someone is turning Queen’s Gambit into a wholly unnecessary musical. I’m already cringing imagining the dance numbers with giant chess pieces.

If you can’t get enough Superman & Lois, additional footage will be available on The CW’s digital platforms.

Wait, are y’all just now discovering Kathryn Hahn? How do you not remember her from her amazing Parks and Recreation role?

One of the lessons of Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel was that while internet sleuths can sometimes be helpful, they can also be very very wrong. So obviously, since the series debuted on Netflix, the cops have been flooded with tips about Elisa Lam’s mysterious death from a bunch of …. internet sleuths. Y’all.

NewsNation was billed as a “just the news,” no partisan bullshit outlet when it debuted last year. I’ll give you three guesses how that’s going now that the journalists who signed on just found out that Bill Shine, a former Trump administration official and Fox News co-president, was secretly working as a consultant since last summer …

NBC News Now, NBC’s news streaming service which is also available through Peacock, is adding content. This is a good start, but if they would add live streaming of MSNBC to Peacock, it would go a long way towards some of us being able to cut the cord …

Going Viral

Mondays are always a misleading day to look at the COVID numbers as there is usually a weekend lag in reporting, but it does look like the numbers continue to tick downwards in small but significant ways. And on Saturday, nearly 3 million vaccines were administered, which is ENORMOUS. If we can keep those numbers up, we could have half of our country vaccinated by May, 70% by July, and 90% by September. (We will never have 90% vaccinated because anti-vaxxers are stupid fucking morons who don’t understand science and comprise around 30% of our population.)

So now you’ve received the vaccine: what can you do? The CDC has issued much-needed guidelines about how vaccinated folks can behave, including where they can safely go maskless. Let’s get those shots, people! We’re SO CLOSE to getting back to normal!

President Biden is going to deliver a primetime address on March 11, marking the one-year anniversary of the shutdowns.

Rita Wilson marks her one-year anniversary with COVID-19. March 11, the day the rest of us found out she and Tom Hanks had the virus and the world effectively shut down, is coming …

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and his wife, Asma have tested positive. Pity.


Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood could reopen as soon as April 1 — with limited capacity, and only California residents — if California can hold the virus numbers down.

John Oliver had some choice words for our dumb Governor who plans on undoing our mask mandates on Wednesday and opening everything up 100%.

“Well that’s fucking stupid,” Oliver said bluntly. “Lifting all restrictions is ridiculous when we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.” This leaves it to businesses to decide whether or not they would require masks.

He continued, “The thing is, leaving it up to individuals to ‘behave responsibly’ is likely to cause immediate problems because while businesses can still require people to wear masks, the lack of a government mandate could make things difficult.”

And, in fact, let me give you a couple of examples of how Texas’s dumbass, “let adults make good decisions” policy is making trouble here in Houston:

1. A bar best-known for being where one of former Astros pitcher Roger Clemmons’ grown sons got into a bar brawl is planning on hosting a “mask-off” party on Wednesday, which prompted our mayor and health care workers to host a press conference demanding that they cancel it.

2. One of my favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurants (in fact, one that we have regularly been ordering from during the pandemic) is keeping their mask policy. As a result, they have angry patrons threatening to call ICE on their employees.

Behaving responsibly!

In Development

  • Stephen King’s The Talisman is being adapted for television by the Duffer brothers at Netflix.
  • We Own the City, a limited series based on the story of the Freddie Gray police abuse case in Baltimore, is being produced at HBO by David Simon.
  • The Pale Blue Eye has been acquired by Netflix.
  • Grace, a thriller series from Scott Derrickson, is going to Paramount+.
  • What She Saida one-hour drama, is coming to Peacock.
  • A documentary about Robert Murdoch is being produced by CNN and New York Times.
  • Rurangi has been picked up at Hulu.
  • Good Night Oppy, a documentary about the Mars rover is being made by Amazon.
  • Malala Yousafzai has signed an overall deal with Apple TV+.

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • Lupin returns on Netflix this summer.
  • The Runaway Bunny will premiere on HBO Max on March 25.
  • Moment of Truth will premiere on IMDb TV on April 2.


Frank Lupo, Writer-producer who worked on The A-Team, Hunter,  Wiseguy, Battlestar Galactica, Magnum, P.I., B.J. and the Bear, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, and The Greatest American Hero among others.

Tony Hendra, Satirist who led National Lampoon and Spy magazine, producer of Spitting Image and writer on a number of other TV series, and actor who appeared in This Is Spinal Tap. After writing a deeply confessional memoir, Hendra was also accused of sexual abuse by his daughter.

Merrill Jonas, Actress and commercial casting director

Richie Tienken, Founder of the comedy club the Comic Strip where Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy and others got their starts

Michael Wolf Snyder, Sound mixer who most recently worked on Nomadland

Michael Stanley, Ohio musician-turned-radio-and-television personality


The Bachelor: Ugh. Fantasy Suites. Have your hydroxychloroquine ready. 7 p.m., ABC

Super Sema: In this new animated children’s series, Sema, a girl living in the neo-African-futuristic community of Dunia, solves problems using her STEM superpowers. Premiere. YouTube

Strictly Ballroom: SHOW ME YOUR PASO DOBLE. 7:45 p.m., Showtime Showcase

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Amy Poehler, Courtney B. Vance, Willie Jones
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Eddie Murphy, Guy Fieri, Josh Herndon
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Nicolle Wallace, Michaela Coel, Kings of Leon
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Andra Day, SG Lewis featuring Nile Rodgers
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Seth Rogen; Patrick Schwarzenegger; Daddy Yankee
  • The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
  • Conan: Fortune Feimster
  • Watch What Happens Live: Dani Soares, Alli Dore
  • A Little Late with Lily Singh: Elsa Majimbo

MON. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Bachelor
The Good Doctor
CBS The Neighborhood
Bob ♥ Abishola
The Equalizer
CW All American
Black Lightning
FOX 9-1-1
9-1-1: Lone Star
NBC The Voice

3 thoughts on “Meghan and Harry burned it all down last night. Good for them.

  1. Are you watching “Debris”? The pilot episode was very interesting and I put it on my list of programs to watch. Then the second episode fell off a cliff. It was a half-hour show padded out to one hour. And it was boring.

    1. I have both episodes recorded — I’m disappointed to hear the second episode fell short!


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