In my post last week, I listed all the programs I intended to watch this past week, beginning with the Sunday offerings. I must confess that I have only today finished catching up with the Sunday programs, so I have fallen behind on my tv watching. In addition, I got a bit distracted by various on demand and Netflix offerings, and managed to make it to an actual movie theatre twice, so my recommendations are a true mixed bag this week.
Shomi On Demand
As we have become recent subscribers to Shomi (because of our enormous Rogers bills, apparently) I just caught up with the on demand film, A Little Chaos, starring Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet. This wonderful period film features fabulous costumes and English accents and is set during the Louis XIV period when Versailles was being built. It is a gorgeous film about the building of the external ballroom with cascading fountain walls. Beguiling!!
On the Big Screen
We saw The Jungle Book in 3D last weekend and I think it’s an absolute masterpiece with fabulous live action animated animals who are gorgeously voiced by Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Bill Murray and many others. Perhaps a little intense for very small children, but very engaging for adults. Tonight we are headed to see Money Monster with George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Fingers crossed as I haven’t been a fan of films that tell the story of the 2008 financial collapse and detail bad behaviour by investment professionals.
I was delighted to find the film MI5 (aka Spooks: The Greater Good) on Netflix. Starring the pouty and adorable Kit Harington (Jon Snow on Game of Thrones), this film is a final instalment of the long running BBC TV series Spooks. Old time spyycraft in the LeCarre mode starring Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle, etc.
Superchannel on demand
A Little Chaos whetted my appetite for all things Louis XIV, so I turned to Versailles on demand on Superchannel. Sexy and naughty, there is much nudity and philandering at the royal court that I never knew about!!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is an absolute hoot of a film for those of you who love Jane Austen and are not adverse to throwing a zombie apocalypse into the mix. Starring Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella), Sam Riley, Jack Huston, etc.). This is an affectionate retelling of the Austen classic with hilarious zombie attacks thrown in to induce incongruous martial arts displays by our cast of very fetching young people. Watch for Douglas Booth as Mr. Bingley. He is surely as beautiful as any of the young women cast in this film, and in a hilarious role reversal, the Bennet sisters are called upon to rescue their young gentlemen in distress.
My Recommended Programming
Friday night was a night of Grimm (NBC), Real Time with Bill Maher , and Banshee (both HBO).
Grimm is my guilty pleasure monster of the week show; Bill Maher is my politically incorrect political satirist; Banshee is simply the most intriguing batshit crazy show set in a crime ridden Amish village in Pennsylvania. I love it!!!
Saturday night is my catch up with the cozy mysteries of period piece Father Brown on PBS and whatever is happening on new Saturday Night Live shows. As we were out to see a friend performing with his band on Saturday, I never properly caught up with the actual SNL show with Drake but caught up via YouTube with many of the sketches. He’s a pretty good comic performer for a rapper.
Sunday programming is not for the faint of heart. Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh is the Masterpiece Mystery offering on PBS these days. John Doyle has a great article in the Globe on why it’s worth watching in its last season:
Call the Midwife (PBS) is a wonderful period piece about life in East London among the very poor who are looked after medically by an Anglican group of nursing sisters. Incredibly touching and inspiring. It makes me weep every week (in a good way!)
Game of Thrones (HBO) was awesome this week. Jon Snow has a new mission, Daenerys strikes back and shows off her awesome body. Everyone has a new purpose in life!!
Outlander (Showcase) continues its historical romance, adventure and intrigue as our fabulous couple plot against the Jacobite Rebellion in the royal court of France.
Silicon Valley and Veep are two hilarious HBO comedies that are both devilish parodies. SV makes incredible fun of nerdy Millennials and Veep is an outrageous political satire about White House life.
Sensitive Skin (TMN) stars Kim Cattrall as a woman coping with midlife crisis. Very cool show about middle aged hipster life in TO. Great scenes from the Toronto Islands this week.
John Oliver (HBO) puts everything into perspective with sly humour as he reviews current events on Last Week Tonight. I love this witty Englishman.
Also honourable mention in the political humour vein is the Mon-Thurs The Daily Show (Comedy) with Trevor Noah, a witty black South African; Stephen Colbert ‘s The Late Show (CBS) is a nightly talk show hosted by the wittiest and most intelligent humorist on TV. If only the combined efforts of those two comical gents were enough to vanquish the forces of evil at work in US politics today.
Monday night is my guilty pleasure Gotham (Fox) night featuring Ben Mackenzie as a young Jim Gordon looking after a very young Bruce Wayne (pre Batman).
Houdini & Doyle (Fox) is a period mystery starring Stephen Mangan (Episodes) in a very non-comic turn as Arthur Conan Doyle. English accents and period costumes abound!
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (Comedy) is a great political satire sketch comedy show with lots of doc bits with real people thrown in and a bit of standup from the host. Bee is a wonderful host for this show and I’m so darned proud of her Canadianness!!
OK, that brings me up to date with what I have been watching. I have set my PVR for Megan Kelly Presents, a prime time show on Fox tonight featuring an interview with the Donald. Although I detest everything Fox News stands for, you have to admire Kelly’s feistiness in standing up to Donald Trump this past year. Can someone not bring this guy down before November? For those of you who will be glued to the Raptors tonight, Go Raptors Go!!!