I don’t know how many of you watch CBS Sunday morning (airs 9-10:30 every Sunday morning), but yesterday’s program had a segment on the incredible busyness of Sunday Night TV Programming. I’m sending you a link to a recap of the show (it may be difficult to view a video in Canada) or you can try and find the segment on YouTube as CBS Sunday Morning apparently has its own YouTube channel. By the way, I love this show and I consider it my Zen moment of TV watching as it is a wonderful magazine show with many segments on Arts and Culture. One of the first TV experts interviewed in the show runs a website called Hitfix.com and he recaps TV shows. He has now found Sunday evening so jam-packed with quality TV that he can’t cover all the programs he would like to summarize. Enjoy!!
OK, in good conscience, I must give some advisories re shows I am no longer willing to watch as follows:
- Miss Marple – deadly dull (I still don’t care who killed the characters we don’t really get to know anyway; Julia Mckenzie, the current Marple is almost a cypher as a character; usually I’m enchanted by nostalgic English period mysteries, but I have to give up on this one).
- Under the Dome – indescribably awful, but if you’re even thinking of catching up with this one on demand, Netflix, etc., be afraid, be very afraid….
- How to get away with Murder – I hated this show; the great Viola Davis is forced to play a completely unsympathetic character who seems to abuse her law students; I can’t imagine that this show is grounded in legal reality in any way
- The Mysteries of Laura – absolute dreck; I have never been a fan of Debra Messing, but I actually feel sorry for this actress for having to play such a ridiculous character; I can’t imagine that viewers will stay with this ludicrous show
- Intruders – incredibly dark series about a secret society that enables people to become immortal; completely unlikeable characters and I no longer care if anyone gets to the bottom of this murky conspiracy
OK, On the bright side, this week on Netflix:
Happy Valley – a 6 hr series based in Yorkshire, England starring Sarah Lancashire as a police sergeant whose world is shattered when the man who drove her daughter to suicide is released from prison; a little Fargoish in its downward spiral plot as a mild mannered accountant devises a kidnap scheme that goes completely awry; lacks the black humour of Fargo, but it is very touching (I think the title is meant to be ironic)
Adventures in Downloading:
Million Dollar Arm – a Disney film about a sports agent’s pursuit of Indian cricket players as potential major league baseball players; Jon Hamm goes for a family rating and the music is by A.R. Raman who did the scores for Slumdog Millionaire, 100 Foot Journey, etc.
Downton Abbey – the most recent season debuted in the UK last week and I watched Episode 1 this week; I am having trouble with some of the iconic images; I can no longer watch the opening credits without giggling when the chandelier is being dusted; Thomas is still evil; Lady Edith is very sad; Lady Mary is still besieged with suitors who adore her haughty ways; Lord Grantham is still kind of oblivious to the modern world; Maggie Smith can amuse with the slightest arch of an eyebrow; you get the picture – same old, same old. No spoilers here as I know DA fans take this show very seriously.
I just finished programming my PVR for the week to come as many shows are returning and some new shows are debuting as follows:
Sunday night is a little crazy as the networks have decided to go head to head with many shows competing against each other for audience share, so timeshifting is pretty helpful if you can record or watch some programs in later timezones.
Tonight I’m recording:
- Masterpiece Theatre airing two Miss Marple episodes on PBS (8 – 11 pm)
- Ray Donovan on HBO Canada 9 pm
- Masters of Sex on HBO Canada 10 pm
- The Strain on FXX at 10 pm
- Madam Secretary on CBS 11 pm
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver at 11 pm on HBO Canada
- The Good Wife at 12 am on CBS
- Outlander on Showcase at 1 am
- Boardwalk Empire on HBO Canada at 2:30 am
Crazy right? And Walking Dead doesn’t return until Oct. which could push me over the edge.
Monday I’m recording:
- Gotham on Fox at 8 pm
- Sleepy Hollow on Fox at 9 pm
- Under the Dome on CBS at 9 pm
- Forever on ABC at 10 pm
- Utopia on Space at 1:45 am
Tuesday I’m recording:
- The Mindy Project on Fox at 9:30 pm
- Covert Affairs on Showcase at 10 pm
- Sons of Anarchy on Superchannel at 10 pm
- Chicago Fire on NBC at 1 am
- Forever on ABC at 1 am
Wednesday I’m recording:
- The Middle on ABC at 8 pm
- Legends on Bravo at 9 pm
- Red Band Society on Fox at 9 pm
- Nashville on ABC at 10 pm
- The Bridge on FXC at 12 am
- Modern Family on ABC at 12 am
- black-ish on ABC at 12:30
- Dominion on Showcase at 1 am
Thursday I’m recording:
- Scandal on ABC at 9 pm
- How to Get Away with Murder on ABC at 10 pm
Friday I’m recording:
- Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO Canada at 10 pm
- The Knick on HBO Canada at 11 pm
Saturday I’m recording:
- Hell on Wheels on AMC at 9 pm
- Intruders on Space at 10 pm
And then it’s back to Crazy Sunday again.
I may have overwhelmed you by the amount of TV I have recorded, but if it doesn’t grab me after the first 15 minutes or so, the erase button is always an option.
For those who are as keen on decorating as I am, I’m sending you the link to Houzz (my favourite online decor website) which is running a decor/TV story this week. Enjoy!
Posted on September 19, 2014 by brunswil
I am sending the link to The Daily Beast’s article which recommends this terrific new show. The first episode aired Wed. evening on Fox (which is on most people’s basic cable packages). It stars Octavia Spencer who won an Academy Award for her performance in The Help and is produced by Steven Spielberg. The show is incredibly touching as it takes place in the adolescent wing of a hospital. The acting, dialogue and production values are all excellent and although it will require you to keep a hankie close by, I think it’s worth the tears. C’mon, give it a chance!
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Complete John Doyle article re Fall TV Shows
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My son (and fervent critic) tells me my email blast yesterday only linked to page 2 of the John Doyle article from the Globe and Mail, so here is the link to the complete article:
Yesterday, I began my log of TV/Movies you should know about. Today, I address Netflix for those of you who can access it.
- Justified – stars Timothy Olyphant of Deadwood as a Federal Marshall in Harlan County, Kentucky – the meth/oxy capital of the USA, apparently; intriguing modern western
- Boss – stars Kelsey Grammar as the ruthless mayor of Chicago with a health secret
- Hell on Wheels – stars a very handsome Anson Mount and Colm Meaney as the evil railroad boss building the railroad across the USA
- Suits – great show about a young man with a photographic memory who successfully passes himself off as a Harvard Law grad
- The Fall – stars a very British Gillian Anderson as a detective tracking a serial killer in Northern Ireland
- Luther – great detective show with the wonderful Idris Elba
- Damages – stars a scary Glenn Close as a ruthless class action lawyer
- Call the Midwife – get out your hankies as you watch midwives in bleak 1950’s London
- Friday Night Lights – the best show about small town USA and high school football I have ever seen and I hate football!!
- The Shield – most influential crime show which kind of gave birth to The Wire, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Southland, etc.; very dark and powerful
For years friends have been suggesting that I keep a blog of my TV and Movie recommendations . This is my first crack at it, so here goes:
Shows I’m watching now – check your local listings and google shows to find out when and where they air in your local market
Masterpiece Theatre – just watched Breathless, a 3 part British series starring Jack Davenport and Sarah Parish, kind of a Mad Men set in the British health care system of the early 60’s
Coming up on Masterpiece: new Miss Marple episodes and new Inspector Lewis episodes
Boardwalk Empire – crime in Atlantic City in the roaring 20’s
Sons of Anarchy – motorcycle gang saga with sex and violence that astounds
Covert Affairs – espionage series featuring lovable female CIA agent
Dominion – outrageously insane TV adaptation of the Paul Bettany film Legion
Legends – Sean Bean plays a master of disguise secret agent
Rush – anti-hero show about LA doctor who will treat anyone privately for the right price
The Smoke – British firefighter show featuring James Bamber of Battlestar Gallactica fame
Under the Dome – Stephen King written show about a town mysteriously enclosed by a transparent dome
Ray Donovan – impossibly sexy and violent show about an LA fixer played by Liev Schreiber
Masters of Sex – stunning depiction of the lives of Masters and Johnson as they conduct their groundbreaking study of sexual techniques in 1950’s America
The Strain – crazily scary show that depicts a viral strain that turns people into vampires; scariest part – Corey Stoller’s hairpiece
Outlander – time travel piece where woman travels back in time from 1940’s England to 1740’s Scotland
Intruders – immortality anyone?
You’re the Worst – very funny battle of the sexes between two hipsters who are dating despite their worst instincts
Shows I will be watching when they return:
The Mindy Project – hilarious show about a NYC female gynaecologist played by Mindy Kalem
New Girl – Zooey Deschanel is adorable as a kind of updated That Girl in LA
Madam Secretary – might this be as good as The Good Wife?
The Good Wife – love this show: great casting, great writing
Gotham – love that Ben Mackenzie
Scorpion – looks intriguing
Sleepy Hollow – Tom Mison is dreamy as Ichabod Crane
Forever – Ioan Griffud gets a new series
The Blacklist – the great James Spader continues to intrigue
Person of Interest – Jim Caviezel continues to intrigue
Chicago Fire – dreamy firefighters in Chicago
The Middle – love this Midwest family
Modern Family – doesn’t everyone love this show?
Nashville – soapy stories with fabulous music
Scandal – ludicrously plotted and so repetitive in terms of relationship break-ups but I can’t look away
Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Adam Samberg is awfully likeable in this as are his fellow cast members
Stalker – I can’t believe they gave Dylan McDermott another show!
Gracepoint – got to see David Tenant play American
Homeland – here we go again in the Middle East
The Flash – love the Arrow, so let’s give the spin-off a chance
Arrow – so proud of the Canadian lead actor Stephen Amell
The Walking Dead – for zombie lovers only
Grimm – for monsters of the week fans only
Elementary – Jonny Lee Miller rules as Sherlock Holmes in present day NYC!
Short movie list of recently viewed films:
The Trip to Italy – loved it, but I am a big Steve Coogan/Rob Bryden fan and loved the original
Guardians of the Galaxy – very funny and Chris Pratt is enormously appealing
The 100 Foot Journey – so predictable but so enjoyable
The Lunchbox – touching and funny Indian film that is as original and unpredictable as 100 Foot Journey should have been
The Selfish Giant – wrenchingly sad film about two British boys in Bradford who are doomed by their poverty
Finding Vivian Maier – a true mystery about a nanny/photographer who took tens of thousands of street photos in Chicago in the 40’s – 70’s that have only recently been discovered and exhibited