Time to watch counter programming…

This past week, as our time has wound down here in Naples, we’ve relaxed by bingeing on The Night Manager this week. A BBC/AMC coproduction, this 6 hour miniseries based on a John LeCarre novel starring Tom Hiddleston as an MI6 operative was incredibly enjoyable. Hiddleston was suave and debonair in a role that had definite overtones of Bond. Hugh Laurie was a despicable international arms dealer being hunted by a branch of MI6. The series will debut on AMC next week. Watch for the racy scene for which Hiddleston has been affectionately dubbed Hiddlesbum. Also watch his mad dance moves on YouTube:

Passion Alert

My god, Outlander returns this Sunday on Showcase (I’ll be streaming it here in the US where it airs on STARZ). This most romantic of all tv series, defies genre description as it’s a tale of time travel, passionate love and history all bound up in one glorious narrative. It will literally carry you away to another time and place. Here’s John Doyle’s Globe article on Outlander:


In addition we’ve been able to stream the first few episodes of The Path starring Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy, Michelle Monaghan in a film about followers of a religious cult with more than a passing resemblance to Scientology. This 10 hour miniseries was made for Hulu and is airing on Showcase in Canada .


This will be my weekend to catch up with the new season of Happy Valley the British crime series with Sarah Lancashire set in a bucolic English village with a serious crime problem caused mainly by a character played by James Norton who is the star of Gratchester (more below). Here’s John Doyle’s article on Happy Valley:


This may be the weekend when I catch up with Velvet, a Spanish TV series on Netflix that’s been intriguing me and is the subject of a very favourable review in the NY Post:


PBS Comfort Food

Don’t forget to watch PBS’s two warm and fuzzy Sunday night offerings, Call the Midwife followed by Grantchester. Both tell great stories. Call the Midwife tells stories of the poor East Londoners in the early sixties being cared for by an order of Anglican nursing nuns and midwives. Grantchester is a cozy British crime series about a dishy vicar (played by James Norton, the serial killer star of Happy Valley above) with a knack for solving crimes in a 1950’s bucolic British village. He also is overly fond of whisky, is carrying a torch for his first love who has married someone else, and he seems to be suffering from PTSD as a result of his war service.

WGN has two great series on right now. Outsiders (Sons of Anarchy meets Justified meets Deliverance and produced by Paul Giamatti) is heading towards its season finale as Asa tries to wrest leadership of the clan away from Pherell. Underground continues its harrowing tale of slaves and abolitionists headed for freedom in the north.

Billions (on Showtime in the US and on Crave in Canada) is concluding shortly and its two protagonists, played by Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, are still circling each other as a powerful US Attorney pursues his quarry, a billionaire hedge fund runner whom he is convinced is mired in insider trading and other nefarious practices.

While George is glued to the Masters Golf Tournament this weekend, I will have an opportunity to catch up on books I’ve been trying to finish (the Elena Ferrante Neapolitan series, The Psychopath Test by Jon  Ronson), and movies I’ve been meaning to watch on Netflix, etc. I will continue the packing process, this time leaving behind a Florida wardrobe for next winter. We’re having a last dinner out on 5th Ave on Saturday night, golfing with some neighbours on Sunday , having sunset cocktails and appetizers on the beach tonight and last night attended the sneak preview opening of our grand new clubhouse at our golf club with a cast of thousands of our fellow residents. I think I’ve played our last game of Mahjong as our little group disbands and heads back north. Today was our last Florida book group until next November (we read The Headmaster’s Wife (by Thomas Christopher Greene).  My last Friday golf game is taking place tomorrow as next Friday will likely be taken up with packing, fridge clearing, etc.  Sigh…. it’s been a great winter, but next weekend we will take to the road and head north.


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