Just giving a little notice that from May 22-June 6, I will be travelling in Scotland and Ireland and so will likely not be watching much TV. Instead, I will try to share travel highlights which means finding Wifi and trying to remember how to add photos to the blog. Probably a great time for a hiatus as many series have come to an end and I am actually feeling a little TV fatigue.
I’ve thought a bit about Netflix’s Grace and Frankie over the last week. I felt that despite the series’ sitcom format, it was actually at it’s most engaging when it veered from caricature into real moments of poignancy. I liked the elevator episode wherein the black adopted son of Frankie recalls his first glimmering that the two dads were gay. I also liked the frozen yogourt episode where Grace sees her potential future life flash before her eyes as she slips on the parlour floor. Lily Tomlin’s over-the-top performance as an aging hippy generally ruined the series for me, but I will probably hope-watch the second series to see if they can change the tone of the show, now that the big revelation moments have passed.
As I mentioned before, many series have aired their finales or are just about to (big time spoiler alerts for those of you not yet caught up with final episodes):
Chicago Fire – Cliffhanger ending: where’s Casey? He’s the main reason I watch the show as the adorable Aussie actor Jesse Spencer (notably from House) has disappeared leaving a dead pole dancer in his apartment
Nashville – Cliffhanger ending: Juliette’s gone bonkers (again); Teddy’s been led off in handcuffs; Deacon’s surgery may not have gone well; Will has come out of the closet; Jeff is more dastardly than ever, etc. Oh the drama!!!
Arrow – Cliffhanger ending: Oliver and Felicity have driven off into the sunset together; the rest of the gang is left to save Starling City; Malcolm Merlin is now the boss of the league of assassins
The Good Wife – Alicia begins her career again having lost one partner (Matthew Goode as Finn Polmar) and potentially gaining another (Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning) – plus, it appears that her facade as the Governor’s wife has also come to an end; the enigmatic Kalinda has sashayed off into the sunset
Scandal – oh no, deja vu time as Olivia and Fitz seem to be back on the love train again (I thought Jake was way cuter); Mellie moves out of the White House having unintentionally been complicit in the murder of an entire grand jury; Rowan is behind bars
Elementary – I only watch for Jonny Lee Miller’s dulcet tones to put me to sleep during my afternoon nap time and I hardly recall anything of note about this final episode
The Blacklist – bonkers show; Elizabeth is on the 10 Most Wanted List; Tom literally sails off into the sunset (on his boat, for god’s sake)
Grimm – Juliet has gone inexorably bad; Nick grieves for his mother; generally the monster madness continues
Saturday Night Live – season finale with Louis CK aired Saturday night; Louis looks great in wigs and his accents are very funny
Finales about to air:
The Flash – last episode about to air on Tues, but so far, now having his identity known by all his friends and acquaintances, Barry Allen is hot on the trail of Harrison Wells/Reverse-Flash; Eddie and Iris seem to have broken up
The Following – 2-hour finale airs Monday; let the horrific agony of this series end forever (although I do usually love James Purefoy)
Call the Midwife – last episode of this season airs Sunday; get out your hankies (as usual)
Mad Men – last episode of this season airs Sunday; what will become of Don Draper, Betty, the kids, and everyone else?
David Letterman – series finale starring Bill Murray and Bob Dylan airs Wednesday; my goodness what an epic 22-year run! can Stephen Colbert be far behind?!!!
Outlander – 2 episodes to go (drat I will be in transit between Scotland and Ireland on May 30 when the last episode airs); most romantic show I’ve ever seen on TV; it has been great to immerse myself in Scottish culture and history before actually going there for the first time
and the rest:
IZombie (about a newly created female zombie who also happens to be a doctor); Salem (completely bonkers witchcraft show); Penny Dreadful (completely bonkers supernatural monsters show); Silicon Valley (smartest sitcom on TV); Veep (Yay! Hugh Laurie comes to town as the new VP candidate); Nurse Jackie (strongest woman on TV – what a survival instinct!); Father Brown (most comforting British nostalgia crime show on TV); American Odyssey (bonkers action/war/espionage/terrorism series with more subplots that have ever existed in 1 show before)
Don’t forget to watch:
CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Game of Thrones, Bill Maher, Vice and, of course, just about any public affairs show on PBS such as Frontline, Nova, Independent Lens, etc.
I believe Daily Show and Nightly Show are on hiatus this week.
Streamed What We Do in the Shadows – this delightful NZ-made mockumentary is a hilarious film about 4 vampires sharing a flat together; it sends up all the usual vampire tropes and has very funny scenes with zombies and werewolves as well; who doesn’t love a great vampire/zombie/werewolf parody?
Saw Mad Max Fury Road last night and loved it. Sensitive friends may want to bring earplugs (or perhaps give this one a miss). Tom Hardy gives his usual strong but sensitive performance, Charlize Theron is amazing and to my mind Nicholas Hoult (see him in Warm Bodies as the most lovable film zombie ever) steals the film as a war boy who is redeemed by the kindness of a good woman. Non stop action, amazing stunts, surprisingly little obvious CGI, great musical score. What an imagination director George Miller displays in this dystopian post-apocalyptic masterpiece!
Next up at the movies is Pitch Perfect 2. Who doesn’t love a cappella singing competitions? I anxiously await the return of The Sing Off on NBC for its 5th season (hosted by Nick Lachey, former member of boy band 98 Degrees and ex-husband of Jessica Simpson).
Enjoy this amazingly changeable spring weather and I will send my next updates from Scotland and Ireland!