I am sending the link to John Doyle’s column from yesterday’s Globe and Mail. He previews tonight’s double episode Season 4 premiere of Homeland (9-11 pm on Superchannel). Spoiler alert (he reveals plot points of the Season 3 finale for those who haven’t caught up yet). He also previews Janet King airing tonight at 9 on CBC. Apparently it’s an Australian courtroom drama (great news for those who loved The Rake, The Slap, Secrets and Lies, The Amazing Johnsons – OK, that one was from NZ, etc.) I know this super complicates TV viewing, so if you possibly can, you might time shift your viewing or PVR recording and catch Janet King in the Atlantic timezone, etc.
Gracepoint – My thoughts on this show:
One of my friends commented that my site has a lot of content, but little of my personal opinion, so here goes. I am weighing in on Gracepoint (airing Thurs 9 pm on Fox and Global), the Americanized version of Broadchurch, an 8-part British crime series that aired last year in Canada. Still starring David Tennant whose accent is now American rather than Scottish, it deals with the same crime: the murder of a young boy in a small seaside town (now on the US west coast, although Gracepoint was apparently filmed on Vancouver Island). I’m willing to give this adaptation a chance as the cast includes Anna Gunn (Walter White’s wife on Breaking Bad) as the detective assisting Tennant. So far, all the performances and dialogue are convincing. There is an air of dread that hangs over this mystery. The first episode follows the template of the British series, and that’s not a bad thing. As opposed to many American crime series, the tone is low key. We are hooked by a very sad death and a family’s loss. Having just watched two new American series Stalker and Scorpion (not to mention the execrable Mysteries of Laura, and How to Get Away with Murder) last week, the understated style of the British crime series is much appreciated. Characters are not cartoonish, there has been no grisly, sensationalized violence in the depiction of the crime that has taken place. Shows like the enormously popular The Blacklist and The Following depict grotesque acts of violence and are over the top in their characterizations of the evil villains who commit these crimes. Perhaps showing that ordinary people can commit terrible crimes is even more disturbing in the world where Broadchurch and Gracepoint are set. Having watched the original, I am fascinated to see the differences between the two series. I personally don’t have a problem with spoilers (as it is so far adhering pretty closely to the plot points of the original), so I will continue to watch Gracepoint despite the enormous amount of criticism it has received for being a bad translation of the original, but you can make your own decision. Heaven knows there are enough other shows to capture your attention.