Some of my highlights this week:
Borgen (on TVO Sunday nights) – I can’t believe I watched all 30 episodes! That’s how addictive this show is. It follows the career and personal journey of a female Danish politician. She is one of the most admirable women ever depicted on TV. The series also shows the behind the scenes operations of the press in politics and provides insight into the work of spin doctors who attempt to control the media’s portrayal of politics. A great series of ideas and the many compromises that have to be made in a political career.
The Ambassador (new/old show alert on our local PBS affiliate WNED Thursdays in the 8:00 timeslot just vacated by Father Brown) – filmed in 1998 Dublin, it’s about the newly appointed British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland. Starring the usually very likeable Pauline Collins, this could have been my replacement for Borgen. Unfortunately the show seems awfully dated and slow paced. Collins is a little Margaret Thatcherish and the show doesn’t seem very relevant today. Having just been to Ireland recently, the show feels a bit time capsulish in its attempt to show the tension that existed at that time between Britain and Ireland.
What Happened, Miss Simone? (on Netflix) is a touching doc about an extraordinarily talented but tormented woman whom we now recognize as being bipolar. Nina Simone was a jazz and blues artist of great originality. Trained as a classical pianist, her musicality was superb. She fled an abusive marriage and was a terrible mother to her only child who, in turn, fled her mother to live with her father. The film documents Simone’s life with the upswings and tragic downswings of her career.
The Brink (HBO Canada) I tried to watch this comedy series again but gave up at its incredible silliness.
7 Days in Hell (HBO Canada) is an incredibly silly tennis mockumentary with Andy Samberg and Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones). Harington is adorable as a witless tennis star but this show is not nearly as funny as it thinks it is.
Wentworth (on Netflix) is an Australian prison melodrama about women. Kind of soap operaish, it is a cross between Oz and Orange is the New Black. I preferred both those shows.
Hjordes (on Netflix) is a sequel to Rita (the Danish show about a schoolteacher that I loved) has just arrived on Netflix. The lead character is hopelessly naive but highly principalled. Those who haven’t watched Rita may be totally bewildered.
Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll (on FX Thursdays) – I hated this series starring Dennis Leary as a has been rock star. Awfully unfunny.
Marriage – (on FX Thursdays) – I like this darkly funny series about married life in LA
Catch up on some shows you may not be watching:
I’m including a link to a great internet article on the best TV shows you could be watching this summer:
Shows I’m currently watching:
Defiance (on Showcase Sundays), this post apocalyptic series shows humans and aliens trying to coexist on a future earth
Falling Skies – (on Superchannel on Tuesdays), this post apocalyptic series shows humans and aliens at war with each other on a future earth
The Last Ship – (on Space on Sundays) this post apocalyptic series shows everyone trying to avoid a deadly virus
Poldark – (on PBS Sundays) this romantic series is set in 18th Century Cornwall; period costumes and British accents – heavenly!
The Crimson Field – (on PBS Sundays) this touching series is about British nurses in WW! France
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 CBS 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 completely look away but I usually fast forward through the truly insane parts
Teen Wolf – (on MTV Monday nights) features lovable characters on this teen fantasy show
Murder in the First -(on Bravo Monday nights) detective series set in San Francisco
True Detective – (on HBO Canada 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 Bravo 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 ABC Thursday nights) 60’s era costumes, music and social mores
The Dr Blake Mysteries – (on PBS Thursday nights) dark and slow moving Australian series set in the 50’s featuring an alcoholic former POW doctor with a knack for solving murders
Humans – (on AMC Sunday nights) intriguing British series about robots with human emotions who may be trying to take over the world
Zoo – (on CBS Tues nights) ridiculous sci fi show about animals trying to take over the world
Tyrant – (on FX Tues nights) great political intrigue set in a mythical Middle Eastern country from the creators of Homeland
John Oliver Last Week Tonight – (on HBO Canada Sunday nights) incredibly funny current events satire
Jon Stewart – (on Comedy Network M-Th) the countdown to the airdate of the last episode (Aug. 6) begins; Trevor Noah will debut as his successor on Sept. 28
The Strain – (on FX Sundays) bonkers Sci Fi series about a monster spread virus in NYC (all filmed in Toronto!)
Ray Donovan – (on HBO Canada Sundays) played by Liev Schreiber, a Hollywood fixer lives a life of chaotic mayhem
Masters of Sex – (on HBO Canada Sundays) tells a fictionalized version of the lives of pioneering sexologists, Masters and Johnson
CBS Sunday Morning – (on CBS Sundays at 9 am) I love this weekly newsmagazine show which features great celebrity profiles and human interest stories
Enjoy our incredibly hot and humid weather this week!! Wear a hat and sunscreen! Drink lots of water! (does it sound like I am afraid to go outdoors?)