I must admit, that it has been a little tricky catching up with my regular shows after returning from our trip to England. Not only have the recent Blue Jays games disrupted my regular TV watching, but there has also been a general election. Yay Justin!! I think you’re ready and I have fallen victim to full fledged Trudeaumania, just like back in 1968 when I worked in Pierre’s campaign.
As we are preparing for our drive to Florida this week and will be on the road again for a few days, my TV watching will be pretty limited for the balance of this week, so I have only had a chance to catch up with a few of my shows. I am finding that I now understand my many friends who watch very little TV and who can’t understand how I can possibly watch as much as I do. It’s been a very hectic last couple of weeks and it’s forced me to be very selective with what I’ve been able to watch, so this week I’m just going to make a few recommendations:
Beasts of no Nation is a film that stars Idris Elba as an African war lord who uses child soldiers. I haven’t had a chance to watch this yet, but it is next on my list when we get to Florida. Elba has been suggested as a likely Oscar candidate. This feature film marks a first for Netflix as it is original programming that is also having a theatrical release.
Father Brown which has aired on both BBC Canada and PBS is the ultimate cozy British mystery. A period drama featuring a crime solving priest who is very sweet.
Network and Cable TV
PBS has won my heart with Home Fires about the women on the homefront in Britain during WW2. It has actually given me some insight into my own mother’s war years where she spent 6 years raising my brother and sister on her own while my father fought in North Africa. This series is followed on Sunday nights by Indian Summers set in India during the 1940’s as the Indian campaign for independence catches fire. Complicated and dark, it’s filled with mystery surrounding the English community that has taken to the Himalayan foothills in the heat of the summer. Following this series, there was a terrific 3-part mini-series called The Widower that told a true story about a ladykiller who travelled from Scotland to New Zealand and back again preying on women and murdering them.
Sunday nights are filled with great shows as usual. The Affair ( HBO Canada) continues to intrigue as does The Leftovers (HBO Canada) which has developed some heart in its second season. The Good Wife (CBS) has gotten off to a great start and The Walking Dead (AMC) continues to find new ways to terrify us. Homeland (Superchannel) is back! Carrie is in Berlin and in peril as usual. Watch out for Quinn who has become a CIA hitman this season. Mandy Patinkin has a very complicated love life.
Fargo has returned (FX) for a second season and is very much a prequel to season one. Great cast featuring Jeffrey Donovan, Jean Smart, Ted Danson, Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson and Keiran Culkan. I do feel that the Minnesota accents are a little over the top, but they add some levity amidst the relentless violence and mounting suspense.The Bastard Executioner (also FX) is a dark tale of the middle ages in Britain where a former knight is forced to become an executioner. Produced by the same team as Sons of Anarchy, this show is unrelentingly grim and violent in an era that was incredibly brutal. Starring Australian actor Lee Jones. Katey Sagal and Kurt Sutter (both Sons of Anarchy)and Stephen Moyer (True Blood), this show is not for everyone. It will really appeal to Game of Thrones fans, although sadly there are no dragons, just witches. Two other FX series I really enjoyed this season were You’re the Worst, a very naughty comedy about two LA hipsters and Married, a naughty comedy about an LA couple trying to survive in a difficult economy.
I am still watching Gotham (Fox), The Flash (CW) and Arrow (CW). It would appear that I am hooked on superheroes! I must catch up with IZombie (the CW) which I really enjoyed last year, but keep missing. Another CW show I just caught up with is the very amusing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – a musical comedy about a Harvard trained lawyer who leaves her fabulous job in NYC to follow a teenage crush to suburban California!! Chicago Fire (NBC) is featuring Casey, my favourite character. The Middle and Modern Family (both ABC) continue to make me laugh. Nashville (ABC) and Empire (FOX) are my favourite night time soaps, and I can’t look away from Scandal (ABC), no matter how ridiculous it gets. Blindspot, Blacklist, and The Player (all NBC) are generic crime series that all trade in spy craft cliches with engaging casts. Blood and Oil (ABC) is absolutely ridiculous, Quantico (ABC) is too complicated for me, Strike Back (HBO Canada) has come to an end with its two engaging lead actors off to new adventures on their two new NBC series (the aforementioned Blindspot and The Player).
I am still loving my regular political comedy series: Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO Canada), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS), The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Network) and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO Canada) which featured an astonishing segment on the Canadian election this past Sunday night which can be viewed on Youtube. My favourite moment of zen continues to be CBS Sunday Morning.
Wish us luck as we hit the road this week. Fingers crossed for no snow flurries, road construction or traffic jams as we head down through Buffalo on the I-77/ I-79 route. It’s 85 degrees Fahrenheit in Naples, Florida right now and after last week’s early snowfall in Thornbury we’re ready for beach walks and sunset drinks. Next time I write it will be from the sunny south.