In my post-Thanksgiving turkey trytophan-induced delirium yesterday, I quite forgot myself and managed to absolutely neglect to watch or record a couple of shows I was following. Homeland, which made its season debut last week, was on and I completely forgot about it. No matter as it will repeat on Superchannel this week. I have decided that life is too short to watch Janet King (the bleak Australian courtroom series featuring a Lesbian prosecutor getting to the murky bottom of an assisted suicide case) and Strange Empire (the bleak CBC homegrown Western featuring women in the wild Canadian west). Too many anachronistic hairstyles and attitudes for me. Unrelentingly grim! Sorry CBC TV, I was trying to be loyal and I have failed. Still listening to tons of CBC radio though! (OK, satire lovers, catch up with Podcasts of the hilariously deadpan This is That, a total parody of CBC radio).
I was distracted last night by the opportunity to catch up on Downton Abbey episodes 2 & 3. Woo hoo! Love is in the air for the most unexpected characters. Hitherto witless kitchen maid trying to upgrade her education with tutoring from local rabble rousing teacher; evil Thomas seems to be signing himself up for a self-improvement course; haughty Lady Mary goes off to Liverpool for a sexy week; sweet Lady Cora seems to be considering a relationship with an admirer; even the mighty Dowager meets up with a man from her past. Poor Bates, just when you think the black cloud hovering over his head has lifted, finds that he’s still a person of interest in the unsolved murder of the servant who assaulted his wife. Oh the misery…
The Walking Dead on AMC (not for zombie lovers only) made its season debut last night. Amazingly, the whole Terminus experience seems to have resolved itself in 1 hour (or has it?). Most unlikely for this show, not to drag out dark suspense and despair interminably. Hmmm…a positive episode that is ultimately uplifting…this can’t last long (or can it?).
The Affair (originates on Showtime in the US, but on HBO Canada here) made its debut last night. I absolutely love Dominic West who stars. For those who watched The Wire, his disapproving father-in-law (whom he despises) is played by the same actor (John Doman) who played his disapproving boss on The Wire. Too hilarious. This show’s hook appears to be the Rashomon narrative technique whereby the two major characters give very different accounts of their relationship. Intriguing…
Also last week, there was the season debut for Arrow and series debut for its spinoff series The Flash. Loved them both. In the same vein, I am continuing to enjoy Gotham which creates a dark world for the pre-Batman Bruce Wayne character to grow up in. Ben Mackenzie (formerly of The OC and Southland) shines as a youthful Inspector James Gordon who tries to do the right thing in this corrupt town. Also still enjoying Forever (the Ioann Gruffud drama about an immortal medical examiner in NYC) and Sleepy Hollow (featuring the dreamy Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane who awakens hundreds of years after being killed in the American Revolution to a world of skinny jeans and cellphones; this show walks a fine line between humour and the supernatural and does so in a very charming way). And of course, I am still watching The Good Wife. A great courtroom drama which still manages to surprise and introduce fresh plot twists and character development even into its 6th season. Excellent writing and casting. Rarely predictable.
There are some new shows debuting this week. Jane the Virgin (an American adaptation of a comedic telenovela from Latin America) starts tonight on the CW.
Some film recommendations:
Watched Maleficent on TV this weekend. Absolutely loved it. Angelina Jolie (whom I still haven’t forgiven for the Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston thing) is amazingly perfect in it. A beautiful retelling (OK, feminist and revisionist) of a classic fairy tale.
Saw Gone Girl last week. Can’t recommend highly enough. Just as well told as the book. Perfect casting. A great noir film.