Summer debuts for these returning shows which are all airing on Sunday nights
The Strain (bonkers sci fi series about a monster spread virus that turns humans into monsters who are taking over NYC filmed in Toronto on FX Canada), Ray Donovan (series about a Hollywood fixer on HBO Canada) and Masters of Sex (series about the famed sex researchers Masters and Johnson on HBO Canada) return tonight.
I finished twenty episodes of Season 1 & Season 2 of Borgen and started Season 3. Airing Sunday nights on TVO, this Danish series is addictive. It follows the career of Birgitte Nyborg who is a Moderate party leader who is unexpectedly elected Prime Minister. It focuses equally on her personal life and the sort of compromises she is constantly asked to make between her career and her marriage. She has a spin doctor/speech writer assistant advising her on strategy who has severe love life and career challenges of his own. Great behind the scenes look at political intrigue, press tactics, and the personal challenges that people face when pursuing careers in this arena.
New on Specialty Channels
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – this 7 part miniseries originated on BBC and is being aired on HBO Canada on Sunday nights. Set in England in 1801 during the time of the Napoleonic wars, it tells the story of two rival magicians. Very Dickensian with a huge cast full of great character actors. Period costumes and English accents! My favorite things!
Film Review – New Release
This week, 10 of my ladyfriends and I attended a screening of Magic Mike XXL. What a disappointment! My reaction to the original Magic Mike film was that it had been entertaining but could have benefitted from more dancing and less dialogue and plot. Sadly, I found the sequel to be much less entertaining and it was filled with even more ludicrous dialogue and a ridiculous storyline. The choreography was extremely repetitious and depended on scene after scene of the dancers grinding their groins into women’s faces. I’m not making this up!
The film objectifies male beauty in a similar way to how female strippers have traditionally been portrayed in many films. Instead of men slobbering over shapely young women, we have hordes of women of all shapes and sizes being exhorted to think of themselves as queens while they salivate over the male strippers and toss handfuls of money at them. Worst sin of all for me with this film was how boring it was. Not comedic, not romantic, no great music and totally uninspired dance numbers. I really hope they don’t plan to make another sequel. The amazing six packs of Channing Tatum and Joe Manganiello are really not enough to sustain my interest for two hours. The other cast members are very forgettable with the exception of the luminous Andie McDowell who is very good in this as a mature Southern woman who welcomes the strippers into her home and uses them as therapeutic sex partners to raise the spirits of her lonely ladyfriends. These cougars are viewed very sympathetically.
The other scene that is a bit odd takes place in a gay club that the guys have previously frequented. They seem to be on very friendly terms with the drag queen MC and they take to the stage with fairly swishy and campy moves. Very bizarre that this scene portrays a gay club without actually dealing with the “gayness” of it. It’s kind of politically correct in this way – the same way that women are equal opportunity slobberers as they salivate over the dancers. Go and see this at your own risk. Prepare to be bored witless!
On Network TV
I watched the first two episodes of Dates, a British series airing on Thurs nights on the CW. Not nearly as funny or well written as Catastrophe (on Amazon Prime and Crave). This series has gotten off to a rather sad start as it details first dates between couples who have met through an online dating service. So far this series has illustrated the dangers of online dating in a rather unengaging way.
Off to see the musical Newsies (the tickets were my Mother’s Day gift) tonight at the Ed Mirvish Theatre with my boys who have inherited my love for musical theatre.
Shows I’m currently watching
Defiance and The Last Ship – both post apocalyptic sci fi series on Sunday nights
Poldark – romantic 18th Century Cornwall; period costumes and British accents – heavenly on Sunday nights
The Crimson Field – touching series about British nurses in WW! France on Sunday nights
The Whispers – (on Monday nights) Steven Spielberg produced sci fi series about an invisible friend persuading children to do terrible things
Under the Dome – (on Thurs nights )bonkers sci fi series about a small town mysteriously enclosed by a dome; Stephen King should be ashamed of this silly show from which I can’t look away
Teen Wolf – (on Monday nights) lovable characters on this teen fantasy show
Murder in the First -(on Monday nights) detective series set in San Francisco
True Detective – (on Sunday nights) Season 2 is even darker than Season 1 as self hating cops try to solve the murder of a city manager in a seedy part of LA
Suits – (on Wed nights) filmed entirely in Toronto, I love this legal drama wherein a brilliant young man pretends to be a Harvard trained lawyer
The Astronauts’ Wives Club – (on Thursday nights) 60’s era costumes, music and social mores
Father Brown – (on Thursday nights) cozy British series set in the 50’s featuring a Catholic priest with a knack for solving murders
The Dr Blake Mysteries – (on Thursday nights) dark Australian series set in the 50’s featuring an alcoholic former POW doctor with a knack for solving murders
Humans – (on Sunday nights) intriguing British series about robots who may be trying to take over the world
Zoo – (on Tues nights) ridiculous sci fi show about animals trying to take over the world
Tyrant – (on Tues nights) great political intrigue set in a mythical Middle Eastern country from the creators of Homeland
John Oliver Last Week Tonight – (on Sunday nights) current events satire returns from holidays tonight
Have a great week everybody! Enjoy the gorgeous summer weather that has finally arrived. (I know it looks like I never go outside, but I actually managed to play a couple of games of golf this past week!)