I Can’t Keep Up…

We’ve had overnight guests, dinners with lots of neighbours and friends, and now our children are visiting, so TV has definitely had to take a back seat. I am writing this just as the Superbowl Half Time show has ended (hey, I though Coldplay did a pretty good job keeping up with Beyonce and Bruno Mars.  Maybe they’re not as boring as everyone says). This week did feature some really enjoyable new shows, so here’s what I’ve been able to keep up with, plus I’m going to include some useful links to guide you in viewing new series and those you may not have discovered yet.

Here’s John Doyle’s article on midseason shows making their debut:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/john-doyle-midseason-tv-is-here-so-filter-your-choices-accordingly/article28485756/

Don’t forget to watch The Walking Dead when it returns next Sunday Feb. 14. I adored Grease Live which debuted last Sunday night on Fox.  Watch it on demand if you missed it.  A very lively addition to the annals of modern live TV musicals as it reinvented the genre with amazing sets and camerawork.  Great performances from the leads and supporting players.

The True Crime genre took over scripted TV with some new shows this past week:

The People vs OJ Simpson  (FX Tuesdays) is a Ryan Murphy production that stars Cuba Gooding JR, David Schwimmer, John Travolta, Courtney B. Vance and many others.  It will run for 10 episodes and was very engaging viewing that transports you back in time to what was then seen as the crime of the century.

Here are John Doyle’s two excellent articles on the OJ series:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/race-at-the-heart-of-fx-miniseries-the-people-v-oj-simpson-author-says/article28455982/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/john-doyle-the-people-v-oj-simpson-an-instant-classic-of-tv-storytelling/article28461425/

Madoff aired on ABC and will be available on demand.  Starring Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner, it was also great viewing as it shows Bernie Madoff’s incredible ruthlessness and overall sociopathic behaviour in fleecing his many victims. Dreyfuss is absolutely chilling and Danner is perfect as the oblivious spouse who took pride in having no knowledge of her husband’s business affairs.

Don’t Forget to Watch these two fairly highbrow shows that you can tell your friends about when they say there is nothing worth watching on TV (and that is why they only read books):

Mercy Street  (PBS after Downton Abbey Sunday nights) continues to tell its Civil War era hospital stories featuring drug addicted doctors, sex crazed nurses, psychopathic cooks, struggling freed slaves, expropriated Confederate property owners, etc.

War and Peace (a BBC coproduction with A&E, Lifetime, History in the US) concludes on Monday nights with its final episodes this week, but also available on demand .  This star studded extravaganza featured sumptuous costumes (many fur hats), ballroom scenes, duels,  and English accents.  I was enchanted!

My ongoing embarrassing addictions:

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that teenagers are the obvious target audience for much of my sci-fi/fantasy viewing, but I can’t look away from Arrow (CW), Teen Wolf (MTV), The Expanse (the final episode of this season aired this past week on SYFY), The Shannara Chronicles (MTV), The 100 (CW),  Lucifer (Fox and abominably ludicrous but the British star, Tom Ellis, is kind of charming), The X Files (Fox), and last monster of the week show, Grimm (NBC). Sleepy Hollow (Fox) returned this week and is as silly as ever. I only watch it for its dreamy British star in the Ichabod Crane role (Tom Mison).

Much more adult oriented, but still addictive:

The Good Wife (Alicia comes to terms with Eli’s betrayal on CBS), Suits (returned with an exposed Mike last week on USA), Younger (my new favourite show about a 40 year old single mom who must pass as a 26-year-old in order to get a job on TVLand), Me, You and the Apocalypse (NBC), Black Sails (STARZ), Shameless (Showtime), Billions (Showtime), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW), Outsiders (WGN), Shades of Blue (NBC), The Blacklist (NBC), Elementary (CBS). And perhaps best of all, is this year’s season of American Crime (ABC).  Searing and hard to watch starring last year’s stars Felicity Huffman, Tim Hutton, Regina King and Lili Taylor, in a story of a high school student’s attempt to deal with being sexually assaulted by his schoolmates.

Comedy and Public Affairs

Bill Maher (HBO), Trevor Noah (Comedy) and Stephen Colbert (CBS) all make me smile.  John Oliver’s HBO show Last Week Tonight returns next Sunday Feb. 14. CBS Sunday Mornings soothes and informs and Fareed Zakaria GPS (CNN) explains the world.

Films

I have succeeded in seeing almost all the nominated films for this year’s Academy Awards so I haven’t been focused on seeing movies this past week or so.  However, I did come across this hilarious column by veteran movie reviewer, Rex Reed, where he names his worst films of 2015.  I strongly disagreed with a few of his choices, but he is very funny.  See what you think:

Rex Reed: The 10 Worst Films of 2015

This week will feature many excursions, exercise classes, golf and mahjong games and lots of visiting with family, but I’ll be squeezing in my favourite shows when time permits.  Have a wonderful week!!!

 

 

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