Despite the summer doldrums. I still managed to find a few shows to watch…

It’s been a busy week as I worked on my golf game, attended a new yoga class, participated in Trivia Night at the local pub, and had family come and visit in Thornbury for the weekend. I have come home to TO for a rest and to see my husband off for a week of golfing in Ireland.

On the Big Screen

The Man from Uncle
Lighter than air film for aficionados of the 60’s series. Great costumes, hair and makeup & set design set the tone. Apparently director Guy Ritchie decided not to use the original theme music by Jerry Goldsmith and has gone with a sixtiesish soulful theme over the Bondish credits. In the midst of the Cold War, an American And a Russian intelligence agent are forced to work together to stop a madwoman from selling a nuclear device. Loved the performances by the leading men (Henry Cavill and Armand Hammer). Great new villainess played by Australian Elizabeth Debicki, and Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is the lovely leading lady.  Totally enjoyable spy pastiche from Guy Ritchie. Just wished they could have used the original music which was James Bondish/Austin Powersy/Mission Impossiblesque with its underlying bongo beat. Find the various versions of the original music on ITunes.

Currently (as I write this) I am watching the film Inherent Vice on demand. An all star ensemble mess from Paul Thomas Anderson (starring Joachim Phoenix with his most unattractive facial hair ever, Reese Witherspoon, James Brolin, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, and dozens of other recognizable actors). Almost 3 hours long – I don’t know if I can make it all the way through.  It’s pretty cray cray about an unorthodox detective on a search through the noir that is LA for a missing person.  Kind of a whimsical version of season 2 of True Detective about the corruption lying below the surface of LA.

Tried to watch the documentary Tim’s Vermeer on demand but found it way too dull and detailed for me. Watch when you are wide awake if you are wondering how Vermeer achieved the incredible realism of his painting.

Watched a great documentary on TVO about Lance Armstrong called Stop at Nothing that was absolutely riveting in it’s depiction of his ruthlessness and double life.

I  haven’t yet had the opportunity to watch the Netflix series debut of Narcos this past week about the Escobar cartel in Colombia. It has had great advance reviews.

Series debut for Public Morals on Superchannel on Sept 2. A new series directed by and starring Ed Burns set in 60’s NYC about cops.  Another auteur effort from Mr. Burns.

Mr. Robot
This series will debut on Superchannel in September and I have been streaming it online.  The season 1 finale airdate has been postponed due to the similarity of plot points with the recent on air shooting of journalists in Virginia. You will either love or hate this series which is totally unlike most shows dealing with hackers and the true nature of the Internet. You have to really concentrate to follow the dreamlike plot.

Miss Fisher Mysteries
Netflix viewers may have discovered this series already but PBS just debuted this Aussie detective series set in Melbourne during the twenties featuring a very fashionable and liberated woman for her era. You may fall in love with Phryne.

Fear the Walking Dead
On AMC. This prequel to Walking Dead just debuted.  I was dreading watching this as the original Walking Dead series actually has made me scream with terror. Anyhow I really enjoyed this show and the fact that it is so character based and follows the story of one family trying to deal with the onset of a zombie apocalypse makes it much less terrifying somehow. At least in the first episode….

Banished
On CBC. Very touching episode where friendships are tested.

Suits
On Bravo. OMG it must be the mid season cliffhanger ending!

Graceland
On Bravo. Ooh, is Briggs up to something bad?

Please Like me
On CBC. Don’t forget to watch this very sweet Aussie show about a boy coming of age and coming to terms with his sexuality. Very grown up content.

Strike Back
On TMN. OMG the mayhem escalates as our heroes smuggle themselves into N. Korea!

The Whispers
On ABC. Thank god that there is only one episode left to go to find out what the alien’s endgame is.

Teen Wolf
On MTV. Season finale is totally bonkers as the gang faces threats from all sides. Non stop action!

Zoo
On CBS. This week’s episode was their homage to Hitchcock as even budgies and doves go on a rampage against humanity.

Defiance
On Showcase. Alien apocalypse coming – again!

The Last Ship
On Space. Still trying to save what’s left of earth’s population

Falling Skies

On Superchannel. Alien apocalypse has come and humans are fighting for their survival.

The Strain
On FX. The vampire apocalypse has landed and humans are fighting for their survival.

Murder in the First
On Bravo. Darker and darker and in the season finale, James Cromwell is back to defend a corrupt police officer.

Show me a Hero
On HBO Canada. Who would ever want to be Mayor of Yonkers?!! Very sad true story of the efforts to bring some public housing to this suburb. Oscar Isaac burns up the screen with his intensity.

Ray Donovan
On HBO Canada. He lives in a film noir world where nothing is what it seems and his spiral keeps going downward.

Masters of Sex
On HBO Canada. Josh Charles is having a dalliance with Virginia and bringing a little light to this very strange and hypnotic series.

I am Cait
On E! I can’t look away. Apparently Kris Jenner is making a painful appearance tonight.  It will be their first appearance together since Cait publicly began her transition.

Tyrant
On FX. Yowza! Barry fights the Caliphate (a lot like ISIS) while Jamal succumbs to total paranoia. The most enjoyable series ever about a mythical middle eastern state from Gideon Raf (creator of Prisoners of War for Israeli TV and its Amrtican adaptation Homeland).

Married
On FX. Such a cute show about life in LA.

Hell on Wheels
On AMC. Deals are made with POTUS Ulysses S. Grant and The Swede finally sees his revenge plot against Brigham Young unfold.

Recently, a friend reminded me about how enjoyable The Graham Norton Show is. If you haven’t discovered it yet, you can check it out on YouTube  or BBC Canada.This British series is more irreverent than we’re used to, and this celebrity chat show features huge stars at their funniest.

This week I plan to see the film Learning to Drive starring Sir Ben Kingsley (apparently he insists on being addressed as Sir even in his private life!) playing one of the few Indian roles he has taken on since his starmaking appearance in Gandhi. It also stars one of my favourite actresses, Patricia Clarkson, who is usually the best thing about anything she appears in. Enjoy this very last week of the summer holidays! I will be spending the Labour Day weekend attending the Meaford International Film Festival where I will be seeing 3 films in 3 days with longtime lady friends.
Sent from my iPad

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