Kansas City’s early risers may have been a little startled Sunday to see two KC references on CBS’ “Sunday Morning.” In a segment remembering Pearl Harbor, Lee Cowan interviewed survivor Dorinda Nicholson, a Kansas City doctor and children’s author. She was 6 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
“They were coming right over the house,” she said of the Japanese planes. “Right overhead, canopies pushed back, and you could see that pilots’ faces, they were that close.”
Later in the show, Tracy Smith interviewed Billy Bob Thornton, writer, actor, director and musician. Part of the interview was conducted in Kansas City, where Thornton played Knuckleheads with his band, the Boxmasters. Both segments are below.
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▪ We were reminded this week that KC’s Paul Rudd owns a candy shop in New York with “Walking Dead” star Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Here’s the clip from Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” earlier this year:
The idea that “The Walking Dead” might pull itself out of its tailspin this season seemed as unlikely as the Chiefs returning a two-point conversion, but if we’ve learned anything from the 2016 it’s that nearly anything is possible this year.
There be spoilers ahead.
▪ “The Walking Dead”: It’s tough to pull off a decent impression of Negan in prose, but let’s put a figurative bat on our shoulder and give it a shot: “Now THAT’S (lean back and bounce) what I’m TALK-(lean back and bounce)-in’ a-BOUT (lean back and bounce)!”
After seeing a quality and ratings dip the previous week with its “Return of the Tara-Who?” episode, “TWD” returned to form with the multi-leveled 90-minute “Sing Me a Song.”
This was basically an extended “Where’s Carl?” episode, as we found out the consequences of the kid stowing away with Jesus on one of Negan’s panel trucks. Carl tricks Jesus into jumping out early, and when the truck stops at Negan’s Rape and Torture Factory, Carl ambushes Negan’s crew with an assault rifle.
Now, at this point, when Carl had a bead on Negan, many may have said to themselves “Why didn’t Carl shoot Negan?!?!?” or simply, “SHOOOOTTT!!!,” the answer really is simple:
After they (too easily) disarm him, Negan gives the kid a tour of Saviorville, including the creep’s private den of sexual assault, where about a dozen women are locked up and dressed like the band in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video.
After he burns a guy’s face with a red-hot iron and makes Carl reveal his eye wound and sing him a tearful and terrifying rendition of “You Are My Sunshine,” Negan takes the kid back to Alexandria where he threatens to rape Olivia while he waits for Rick. Thankfully, Olviai slaps him. When it seemed clear she might get Lucille’d, Negan instead orders her to make lemonade while Carl gives him a tour of Alexandria. The episode ends with Negan sitting on the porch of Rick’s house snuggling Lil’ Ass Kicker Judith with Carl glowering in a rocking chair.
Elsewhere, Michonne is on her own suicide mission to find Negan, Rick and Aaron stumble on a survivalist and his zombie lagoon, Gabriel tells Spencer he’s being a jerk (in so many words) and Rosita holds Eugene to his promise to make her a bullet.
Yeah, the episode could have been 20 minutes shorter if the writers weren’t wearing out Thesaurus.com finding big words for Eugene to spout, but those are 20 minutes well spent, especially after he rejects Rosita’s apology and says, “You meant it, you felt it, and that’s your truth. I’d like to take it back to awkward silence now.”
Next week is the big “mid-season finale.” The trailer is below.
▪ “Westworld”: HBO’s excellent sci-fi oater had only a few fan theories left to confirm on Sunday, and it came through on most of them. The Man in Black is William and we were experiencing the past through Delores’ memories — trapped in her dream, so to speak. The center of the maze wasn’t so much the end of the game as the beginning of consciousness for the hosts. Delores was revealed as Wyatt, we learned how Arnold died and Maeve was revealed to still be working on a script.
But Entertainment Weekly came up with a list of 10 questions remaining unanswered for Season 2. We still don’t know the true fates of Elsie and Stubbs, and we’re not sure if the Ford we saw at the end was human or host.
On Friday, Watkins performed at Knuckleheads, and The Star’s music writer, Timothy Finn, wrote of the show, “Watkins, with assistance from a two-piece band, showed a crowd of more than 400 how she has evolved from her days with Nickel Creek into a singer-songwriter and musician with a voice and style of her own.” The full review is here. Before the show, Finn interviewed Watkins about her career; that story can be found here.
▪ Classical music correspondent Libby Hanssen says the Kansas City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” “mixes spectacle with humor in a nostalgic, fantastical event that is physically, visually and technically impressive.” The full review is here. Also, read about two of the Ballet’s dancers who emigrated from Cuba, here.
On the way to KC
▪ Country swingers Asleep at the Wheel perform Thursday at Knuckleheads. Tickets are $32.50 at knuckleheadskc.com.
▪ Rapper Lupe Fiasco performs Saturday at the Granada in Lawrence. Tickets are $35 through thegranada.com.
▪ Mannheim Steamroller performs Saturday at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. Tickets are $34-$97.50 through midlandkc.com.
New this week
▪ Music: Neil Young, “Peace Trail”; J. Cole, “4 Your Eyes Only.”
▪ Video: “The Secret Life of Pets”; “Jason Bourne”; “Don’t Think Twice”; “Scream Queens: Season 1.”
▪ Games: “The Last Guardian”; “Dead Rising 4.”
▪ Movies: “Office Christmas Party”; “Manchester by the Sea”; “Nocturnal Animals”; “Miss Sloane.”