Just a few words before I go…

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks.  We had some lovely company come and stay with us for George’s 65th birthday bash and we spent a few days touring Toronto with them which included lunch at the fabulous Royal Canadian Yacht Club, touring Yorkville and Kensington, and showing them the west end of Toronto featuring our very own Lambton Golf Club.  The party went off pretty much as planned as we celebrated with 60 friends in Thornbury with a backyard BBQ, a campfire and a rousing tennis game and brunch the morning after the party.  We attended a lovely Rotary Fish Fry last night in Meaford followed by another campfire.  I am leaving for Newfoundland and Labrador in 2 days, but I would feel awful if I didn’t bring your attention to a few films and shows before I go.

Streaming

The Secret is a 2016 British miniseries about a very bad dentist in Ireland.  True story about a double murder.

Showcase

John Doyle writes about Mr. Robot (which I am finding downright mystifying this year):

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/doyle-must-see-mr-robots-stunningly-good-journey-into-hell/article30885057/?ord=1

Netflix

Stranger Things is the 8 part mystery that stars Winona Ryder as a mother whose 11 year old son has gone missing.  It’s a wonderful look at childhood and manages to combine homages to E.T., Stand by Me, Super 8, and every Spielberg movie ever made.  The boy’s best friends and a mysterious little girl join forces to find him. Spellbinding and addictive. Here’s a great article about this series:

http://www.cnet.com/news/stranger-things-is-every-80s-movie-trope-in-one-awesome-series/

John Doyle writes about Marcella (which I really enjoyed) on Netflix:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/john-doyle-new-and-hot-on-netflix-marcella-the-maverick-crime-drama/article30770859/

I watched a lovely film with Paul Rudd called The Fundamentals of Caring.  In this inspirational buddy comedy, a young shut-in and his caregiver take a road trip in search of landmarks, but end up finding hope and friendship. I would watch Paul Rudd in virtually anything (ok, even I couldn’t watch all of Antman). It is awfully similar to Me Before You (which I loved and was about a spunky girl in a small British town who forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she’s taking care of) and a Hilary Swank film called You’re Not You about a woman with ALS who hires a spunky caregiver.

FX

Tyrant continues to be madly entertaining!  Major characters die!  Crazy cliffhanger ending.

 

Bravo

Animal Kingdom centers on 17-year-old Josh Cody, who moves in with his freewheeling relatives in theirSouthern California beach town after his mother dies of a heroin overdose.  Headed by boot-tough matriarch Janine “Smurf” Cody and right-hand Baz,  who runs the business and calls the shots, the clan also consists of Pope, the oldest and most dangerous of the Cody boys; Craig, the tough and fearless middle son; and Deran, the troubled suspicious “baby” of the family.  Ellen Barkin is terrifying as the granny and Scott Speedman turns in a chilling performance as Baz.

Suits returns with a bang! Yikes, Mike’s in jail and it’s looking dicey for him.  The nice pharmacist from Nurse Jackie has turned into a psychopath and is out to get him.

Murder in the First is a sexy cop show set in San Francisco and featuring Canadian actress Kathleen Robertson.

 

HBO

Ray Donovan keeps trying to live on the straight and narrow, but it’s so darned hard!

You Me Her looks at a suburban married couple who try to save their marriage by becoming involved with an escort who is working her way through college through prostitution.  Yowza!  A little reminiscent of The Girlfriend Experience which I loved.

The Night of tells the story of a man who parties with a female stranger, only to wake up to find her stabbed to death and who is then charged with her murder.

Outcast is a dark series about a young man who searches for answers as to why he’s been suffering from supernatural possessions his entire life.

Vice Principals is a dark comedy series about a high school and the two vice principals who are in an epic power struggle, vying for the top spot to be school principal.

PBS

The Tunnel is set primarily in Folkestone and Calais where detectives Karl Roebuck and Elise Wassermann are called to investigate the death of a French politician.  When a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, the pair is forced into an uneasy partnership as they seek out a politically-motivated killer who draws them into his own personal agenda.

CBC

Follow the Money is a Danish series about the company Evergreen which seems to be incredibly corrupt and is run by a ruthless executive who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. I believe this series ended its first season last week, so catch it on demand at CBC.ca

Unclaimed is a fact-based procedural film about a psychopathic serial killer who murdered more than 50 women in a run-down Vancouver neighborhood.

Lifetime

Unreal is a fictional series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program (modelled on The Bachelor).  Bat shit crazy!!

AMC

Hell on Wheels concludes its series run tonight as the two competing railroads face government hearings and unpredictable actions mean new beginnings and endings for the survivors.

Preacher is a bat shit crazy show about a preacher with a dark past who has supernatural powers.

CBS

Brain Dead is a delightful satire about the state of Washington, DC wonks whose brains have been taken over by extraterrestrial bugs.

American Gothic is a series about the hunt for a serial killer known as “the silver bell killer” which becomes connected with an extremely dysfunctional Boston blue-blood wealthy family.  Stars the hunky Aussie actor Antony Starr from Banshee.

The Horror of the RNC

I tried to get my news of this week’s Republican Convention in Cleveland by watching my favourite satirists on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal and Real Time with Bill Maher. Sunday night’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver should be the icing on the cake as he summarizes his impressions of the Trump insanity.  Hopefully, Newfoundland will have very little coverage of the Democratic Convention from Philadelphia, as I don’t know how much more of this I can take!

I return from our trip on Aug 5 and will look forward to catching up with all my favourites then.  Until then, stay cool!!

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m on holidays!

We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves in Thornbury and so I’m going to take a few weeks off while I get ready for my husband’s big significant birthday party and we prepare to have out of town guests and about 60 people for dinner.  Besides, I haven’t really had a chance to keep up with many of my shows. We’ve been busy going to concerts, golfing, relaxing by the pool, reading, etc.  Before I take a blog hiatus, here are a few thoughts I leave you with.

On Stage

 

We went to a lovely jazz concert in Toronto at Hugh’s Room in the west end.  We saw one of our favourite chanteuses, Patricia Barber, who sang some standards and a lot of her newer avant garde stuff.  Great dinner as well. Barber hails from Chicago where she is a goddess.

Last night was the very first of the Jazz by the Bay concerts in Thornbury Park and it was a blues band called The Groove Project.  These are community events held every Sunday in July and August from 6-8.  Bring a picnic dinner and carefully camouflaged alcoholic beverages.

At the movies

We are looking forward to seeing the latest Tarzan film starring my favourite vampire from True Blood, Alexander Skarsgard.

Season Debut Alert

For those of you lucky enough to have seen Tyrant, it returns on FX Canada this Wednesday at 10 pm.  Great series about a mythical Middle Eastern kingdom and the brothers fighting to rule.

Emmy Awards Article

John Doyle has a great article about the Emmy Awards and he mentions the hitherto ignored Outlander. Don’t forget that next Sunday will be the season finale and will be a 90 minute episode that will include the adventures of Jamie and Claire  post Culloden.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/john-doyle-the-emmy-awards-and-the-outlander-problem/article30639014/

Unreal

This show is not for everyone as it is a blackly comedic take on what goes on behind the scenes of a reality show based on The Bachelor.  Very, very dark as it shows how scripted and produced these shows are.  Unreal is on Monday nights at 10 on Lifetime.

My Favourites

There are so many! Ray Donovan, Outcast, Preacher, Brain Dead, American Gothic, Hell on Wheels, The Daily Show, The Late Show, Full Frontal, Bill Maher, CBS Sunday Morning, Endeavour, The Tunnel, Follow the Money, Animal Kingdom, etc.  

In Conclusion

I really am having difficulty keeping up, but I will try and will update you when I return from holidays.  We are off to Newfoundland and Labrador for a few weeks and will squeeze in a theatre trip to Stratford, Ontario as well, so I’ll be back mid August. Hopefully revitalized and ready to watch TV.  In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful summer weather!!