The Equalizer With Queen Latifah

I’ve been biting my tongue since watching the latest reboot of The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah. I can’t say I remember much about the original 1980 television series, starring Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, a retired CIA agent who spends his time helping desperate people in desperate situations.

The series was rebooted with movies in 2014 and 2018, starring Denzel Washington as McCall. The storyline was the same, and I thought Denzel was perfect for the role, one similar to the character he played in Man on Fire. When I heard of the new TV series coming out I was kind of hoping he would be continuing his role.

To say I was shocked and skeptical when I saw that Queen Latifah was given the role of Robyn McCall is an understatement. Queen Latifah. Really? McCall is now retired, but billed as the best agent the CIA ever had. The woman has to be near 300 pounds, with a caboose that barely makes it though doors. Watching her waddle pains me, trying to believe the fight scenes where camera tricks and edits make her look faster than Bruce Lee.

McCall also has a teenage daughter in this latest version, something else that totally contradicts what the CIA would look for in it’s operatives. But as we’ve always been led to believe, you’re never really out of the company. Perhaps this is why our new Equalizer still has access to professional computer hackers and an assortment of fancy weapons.

I have to admit I’m still watching the show, mostly because I like the storylines, but I wince every time I see Latifah faking an action scene. They don’t even try to make her look thinner or more like an action hero – she has a wardrobe that is very unflattering for a large female spy. I’m sorry but watching her in this role is like seeing Mr. Rogers as the next James Bond.

Streaming – The New Normal

I think it’s safe for me to say that 95% of those who read this are now streaming movies and/or television shows via their mobile device or Smart TV. And that’s only because the remaining 5% are either computer illiterates or simply don’t watch the squawk box. And it’s so convenient and easy for us to do nowadays, right? Just sign up for Netflix or one of the other streaming companies that are popping up like dandelions on a Spring lawn.

Or maybe you opt for Prime if you have an Amazon account; it’s only another 5 bucks a month. And there’s Crave for those of you who subscribe to Bell. That’s only 5 bucks too but if you want to watch anything good you need to drop another fiver (each) to get HBO, Showtime, Starz or the Super Channel. Apple TV is another conglomerate that is free, until you find you have to pay for Netflix or Crave or anything else under their umbrella.

Then there’s Gem, CBS All Access, CTV, Tubi, Global, Ted, A & E, Sundance or Sundance Plus if you want to watch anything decent. And I forgot You Tube, which is still free if you can figure out how to navigate the gazillions of videos that everyone with an iPhone has posted. I’ve recently seen Paramount Plus advertised, apparently one of the new ways the company can release movies without having to sell them to Netflix or Prime.

So, what does all this streaming really cost? My wife and I have taken to listing dollar amounts and effective dates on our calendar to keep track. Many say it’s cheaper than going to the movies. Really? Take your $100 to $150 basic cable or satellite bill, then add another $10 a month for one of the big shots like Netflix. But then add another $5 a month so you can binge on one of your favorite TV shows. Then a couple more fives here and there for whatever others you’ve forgotten to cancel, and remember that you’re paying this each and every month!

I know some who are paying $200 a month to watch television. That’s quite a few trips to the movie theater. I don’t know about you but I’m finding it more frustrating every day when I see a new show or movie that’s about to be released, but I have to subscribe to another provider to watch it. If this is the new normal I don’t like it.

The Grand Tour – Netflix

I’d seen previews of this show while watching other things on Netflix but never really understood what it was all about until Cathryn and I watched an episode. Making that decision proved to be a good choice.

It’s called a British television series about cars but The Grand Tour is much more than that. You don’t have to know anything about cars or be a motorhead to appreciated the show. Granted, they talk a lot about cars – mostly sports cars, but they produce the show in a tent while they travel around the world to different locations.

Using the car theme, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May discuss everything from engine size to comfort levels, making fun of each other and some of the vehicles they are describing. They build, compare, race, and even destroy cars across the world.

Although the show is presented from a tent, it’s recorded in front of a live audience. Cathryn and I both get a kick out of the show and neither of us are car buffs. If you’re looking for something different on Netflix, take forty-five minutes and give it a try. It’s a fun show.