We move to our condo one week from tomorrow, so there are drawers to be cleaned out, clothing to be sorted, etc. We have had a dizzying week of trips to furniture stores, many hours spent online comparing items, and, hilariously, looking at small appliances to replace those we passed on to Goodwill when the children moved in with us and their spanking new wedding present toasters, kettles, etc. replaced our old ones. I also had the great pleasure of seeing a longtime friend get married yesterday in Niagara on the Lake, so now that that diversion is over it’s back to work (with a brief break this week to see 5 films at the Toronto International Film Festival). In the meantime, I have a few recommendations to make including a great article from Esquire on the best tv shows of 2016 that you might want to catch up with online, on demand, on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or any which way you can.
Daily Beast had a great article on the best fall movies of 2016:
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a very silly parody of a rockstar biography. In the vein of Spinal Tap, it features many amusing cameos of actual pop stars (including Seal who is mauled by a wolf in a music video gone wrong). Andy Samberg is the star along with the other members of his The Lonely Island group who were responsible for many hilarious videos for SNL.
Narcos Season 2 is airing. We have binged on the first 6 episodes of ten. Still suspenseful even though we know (or at least those of us who cannot stop looking at Wikipedia) how this ends. Amazingly, the lead actor Wagner Moura is from Brazil and had to learn Spanish to play this role. He is incredible and manages to terrify by doing very little.
New Shows Begin
The first episode of Quarry aired last Friday. The lead actor, Logan Marshall-Green, seemed remarkably familiar and when I checked him out on IMDB, it turned out that he was Ryan’s evil older brother Trey on The OC! That’s what happened to that guy!! This series is very haunting as it follows the story of a returned Vietnam veteran in 1972 who can only find work as a paid assassin.
Ray Donovan has its season finale tonight and Masters of Sex begins a new season.
Old Shows Limp to their conclusions
Tyrant finally wound down to its series finale after 3 seasons. Barry was looking very sad as he stared at a portrait his new son had painted of him and had hung in the palace right beside one of Barry’s father, the old dictator. This show started off with great promise and was fascinating to watch as an LA based paediatrician returns home to the middle east and becomes sucked in by his country’s political quagmire. Unfortunately, there were many melodramatic moments along the way and characters became seriously unhinged and downright annoying. This series has been cancelled by FX, but may be picked up (like Nashville which will air on CMT instead of ABC this year, and which has also become a trashy soap opera, but with great music).
The Strain returned last week and continues to be as insane as the previous 2 seasons.
Better Things began airing last Thursday. It is a new show featuring the husky voiced Pamela Adlon whom you may recognize as the foul mouthed Marcy from Californication. It’s a great series about Sam Fox, a working actress/single mother in LA. It features scenes of her doing voice work for animation which draw directly from the actress’s own experiences as she has voiced several animated characters. In the pilot episode there’s a great scene where Sam is auditioning for a role right beside the actress Constance Zimmer (Unreal) who is similar in appearance and manner. Both actresses decide to leave when they see Julie Bowen (Modern Family) exit the audition room being hugged rapturously by a staff member. The series is produced by Louis CK and Adlon is best known for her Emmy nominated work as Pam on Louie.
Suits came to the end of its sixth season and the question of whether Mike and Rachel would get back to one another was answered. I have enjoyed this series’ central conceit of how long a brilliant young man can pass himself off as a Harvard trained lawyer with no formal legal training. Over the course of 6 seasons, the will he/won’t he, will they/won’t they plot twists got a little old for me. The past season where Mike had to serve a prison sentence for his fraud was a rehash of every prison cliche with bullying, informants, crooked guards, etc. Sadly, Mike never had to build a tunnel and tattoo his entire body with an escape plan. This series is going to have to find a new plan for next season to avoid its relationships and plot lines from devolving into endless repetition. By the way, Toronto stands in for NYC and many scenes are filmed in the Bay/King area.
American Gothic is finally over. What started out as a blackly comic mystery became very silly over the course of the series as many red herrings were dangled regarding the identity of the Silver Bells Killer and the red herrings continued right through to the conclusion. One of the delights of this series was to watch Toronto stand in for Boston. Look for the landmarks!
Zoo came to an astonishingly insane conclusion. I confess this show was a total guilty pleasure for me and I loved fast forwarding through episodes to see scenes that featured animals on the rampage with hilariously cheesy special effects.
Brain Dead has its 2 hour season conclusion tonight. I really have enjoyed this series as I adore the two leads, Aaron Tveit (that guy can do anything – musicals, undercover cops, congressional chiefs of staff, etc.) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (that girls can do anything – civil war dramas, science fiction, etc.)
Follow the Money came to its conclusion and justice was served as Energreen’s main players had to face the music for their financial fraud.
Undercover continues on Monday nights and Four in the Morning continues on Friday nights.
I caught up with the Season 3 conclusion of Peaky Blinders. Cillian Murphy is compelling as the leader of a Birmingham crime family. Double dealing abounds!
The Choir: Sing While You Work had an inspired and teary conclusion as the final workplace teams faced off against one another while singing one of the judge’s compositions.
You’re the Worst continues airing on Wednesday nights. Witty and raw, I love this show about a mismatched, decidedly imperfect group of LA hipsters.
This is going to be a tough week for me. So much to watch, so little time. The Emmys are on next weekend and next Sunday night is also the last night of the Toronto International Film Festival and George has reminded me that it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to the closing night Viewers’ Choice award winning film (often a predictor of Oscar success) as we are moving the next morning. In the meantime, our glorious weather continues. I am hosting our neighbourhood backyard BBQ tonight for the last time in our house. Fingers crossed that the wasps are all gone and that yesterday’s band of thundershowers has well and truly passed to the east.