This is taking all my self-discipline…

It’s been a busy week of fine tuning our condo furnishings (much time spent comparing rugs, light fixtures, kitchen benches and carts, etc.) online.  We’re still awaiting the delivery of some major pieces (oh how I miss being able to sit on a comfy couch in the living room) so I am making do with things that are very temporary until the real items arrive.  It’s been a week of family gatherings for Thanksgiving, a fun-filled Indian wedding, and get-togethers with longtime friends.  We have about 11 days to get ourselves ready for the trip to Florida so here’s the best I can do at the moment with some recommendations and recaps:

Streaming

The first two episodes of Berlin Station premiered on the Internet this week.  The show is debuting on Epix, a US premium cable channel.  This spy drama is a contemporary serial set among CIA and German operatives in Berlin.  It will appeal to fans of Homeland, London Spy and The Night Manager.  The action kicks off when a well-regarded CIA analyst Daniel Miller (Richard Armitage known for The Hobbit, Strike Back, North and South, etc.) decides to become a field agent and is assigned to Berlin.  It’s a turbulent time for agency employees in Europe, given that an Edward Snowden-like figure has been leaking some of the CIA’s juiciest secrets to the press and a number of those revelations have caused problems for Berlin based spies in particular.  Familiar faces like Richard Jenkins (Spotlight, Olive Kitteridge, The Visitor, etc.), Michelle Forbes (Orphan Black, Chicago Fire, The Killing, etc.), and Rhys Ifans (Snowden, Elementary, Notting Hill, etc.) turn up in recurring roles.  It’s a great substitute for James Bond and John Le Carre films.

Broadcast Channels

ABC

Designated Survivor (Wednesdays) stars Kiefer Sutherland as an ordinary man who must assume the job of POTUS when all those above him in succession order are killed by terrorists.  Will he rise to the occasion?

NBC

I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live which featured Lin- Manuel Miranda ( Broadway’s Hamilton).  The cold open featured a hilarious performance by Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump in a follow-up to the Vice Presidential debate and the leaked audiotape of Trump making horribly vulgar remarks about his tendency to grab women’s genitalia.  The rest of the show had some great moments and a wonderful musical guest, 21 Pilots.

The Blacklist (Thursdays) I am still hanging in with this show until Tom gets his own spinoff.

Fox

Gotham (Mondays) continues to amuse as we see young Batman moving towards his goal and the star of the show Ben Mackenzie is the main focus as a young Jim Gordon.

The Exorcist (Fridays) tells the story of a teenager who is demonically possessed and her family’s attempts to get the Church to help her.

FX

Continuing to enjoy The Strain (Sundays) and Better Things (Thursdays).

FXX

Continuing to enjoy You’re The Worst (Wednesdays).

CBC

Shoot the Messenger debuts Monday night.  It is a crime drama about a young reporter.  It begins with the meeting a source with “something big” to tell her, but the rendezvous is interrupted by gunfire, leaving the source wounded and his friend dead.  Apparently, Rob Ford’s story was an inspiration for this one!!  Lots of political intrigue.

This Life (Sundays) returned last week and we are still following Natalie’s journey after a cancer diagnosis.

Kim’s Convenience will finally debut 2 episodes on Tuesday after being pre-empted by a late running Blue Jays game last week.  Looking forward to this comedy about the life of a family running a convenience store.

HBO

Westworld (Sundays) is deepening its mystery as we get more familiar with how this crazy resort works.  The machines seem to be developing an agenda of their own!

Masters of Sex (Sundays) gets more and more intriguing as the sex therapists have to deal with their own faltering relationship.

Quarry (Fridays) tells the store of a Viet Nam vet trying to make a living as a hitman.

Both Real Time with Bill Maher (Fridays) and Last Week Tonight  with John Oliver (Sundays) are required viewing as they discuss the upcoming US election.

Comedy Network

I love The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Mon-Thurs at 11 pm).  I think Noah is funny despite what many others say (yeah, yeah, he’s no Jon Stewart…l).

I also love Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (usually Mondays at 10:30).  She has a wickedly acerbic take on US politics.

Bravo

Bravo seems to be running for the owner of the title most female dominated series as it features both Queen of the South (Tuesdays) as a Latino in Texas climbs to the top of a drug cartel and Queen Sugar (Wednesdays) as a family dominated by women struggles to deal with the death of their patriarch.

PBS

PBS took Sunday night off (sigh, no Poldark or Indian Summers), so for those of you who still haven’t caught on, you have a chance to find these series On Demand and you can catch up before next Sunday evening’s episodes.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve not had as much time as usual to catch up with TV and movies this past week as we’ve been busy packing up our Thornbury house, trying to decorate our new Toronto condo and preparing to drive to Florida for the winter.  There are a ton of films I want to see (Hell or High Water, Sully, Snowden, etc.) and I have lots of shows I’ve recorded but haven’t had a chance to watch yet.  It’s been an absolutely beautiful fall season so far with lots of sunny days and the colours are approaching their peak, so get out there and enjoy this fine weather before the November shoulder season of drizzle and damp starts.  Have a wonderful week!!

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