It’s been a hectic week as I played my last rounds of golf for the season at Lambton and the Georgian Bay Club. I said goodbye to my Thornbury Mahjongg group after a great summer of friendship and laughter. It was just revealed that one of Trump’s accusers disclosed her assault by Trump to her Mahj group a year and a half ago. Many truths are revealed at the Mahj table! As we packed for our Florida trip this week, I managed to keep up with my viewing as I report below:
Live On Stage
Ones is a travelling road show that showcases the Beatles’ number one hits. It was performed at the historic Meaford Hall last night. I had the great pleasure of seeing it with our longtime friend Brian who was in a Beatles cover band for many years. The Ones performers are a great band with wonderful musicians and singers. They were backed up by a string section and a horn section and were able to produce a very big sound for a small number of musicians. It was a wonderful community event.
Amanda Knox is a Netflix original documentary film that tells the story of American Amanda Knox and her prosecution for the savage murder of her British roommate in Italy in 2007. It poses the question of how we all might handle a murder accusation, investigation and prosecution, in much the same vein as Making a Murderer. Incredible interviews with the actual players (including the prosecution team and the police who were determined to achieve a fast arrest and conviction).
Transparent Season 3 is the latest season in this wonderful funny and heartbreaking series about a father of three grown children who is transitioning to female. It follows his journey as well as that of his family and ex-wife.
The Nice Guys is a very dark film comedy about two private detectives in LA and stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. I lasted about an hour into this completely unfunny film and then had to turn it off due to lack of amusement and incredibly brutal action.
Younger has returned for its third season and tells the story of a single mother who is compelled to pretend that she is 26 in order to forge a career in publishing after her marriage ends and she is unable to find work as a forty-something. Very funny especially in its depiction of social media and the role it plays in today’s workplace.
Westworld, Divorce, Masters of Sex, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver all air on Sunday nights. An embarrassment of riches! Westworld is absolutely intriguing in its depiction of a resort that features Artificial Intelligence characters and allows pampered guests to pretend they are in the old west. Masters of Sex is a terrific series about Masters and Johnson the pioneering sex therapists of the early sixties. Divorce (starring Sara Jessica Parker) is a wry look at divorce (from Sharon Horgan of Catastrophe). Last Week Tonight is a savage comedy series hosted by the very funny John Oliver who delights in poking fun at the American political system and takes a weekly special look at widely divergent issues and problems in a most informative and enlightening way.
Real Time with Bill Maher (Fridays) is a must see show in the run-up to the Nov. 8 election. Maher is completely intolerant of political correctness in all forms and is having the time of his life poking fun at Donald Trump and his alt-right supporters.
Poldark, Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser, Indian Summers, and The Durrells in Corfu are all part of PBS’ Sunday lineup. Poldark continues to smolder and swashbuckle; Queen Victoria and the Crippled Kaiser gave much insight into the conditions that led to WWI; Indian Summers is a dark tale of the conditions that led to India’s self-rule; The Durrells in Corfu is a charming real life tale of a family of British eccentrics in the 1930’s who escape Britain’s cold unforgiving climate for a wonderful warm time in Corfu.
The Blacklist (Thursdays) is my guilty pleasure batshit crazy tale of a megalomaniac crime lord who has a soft spot for an FBI agent.
Chicago Fire (Tuesdays) is my guilty pleasure show about hunky firemen in Chicago.
Designated Survivor (Wednesdays) is Kiefer Sutherland’s return to network TV as a man who has the Presidency foisted upon him after a terrorist bombing.
Occupied (Sundays) comes to us from Norway and tells the story of a Russian occupation of Norway in order to control their oil and gas industry.
This Life (Sundays) is a touching tale of a single mom’s journey after a diagnosis of terminal cancer.
Shoot the Messenger (Mondays) is a ripped from the headlines tale of the Toronto Mayor’s office, an investigative journalist, and drug deals at Kipling and Dixon.
Kim’s Convenience (Tuesdays) is a very sweet comedy about a Korean Canadian family who run a convenience store in east end Toronto.
CBS Sunday Morning (9 am on Sundays) is now hosted by an adorably aging Jane Pauly. This is my moment of Zen show and it centres me and calms me for the week ahead.
The Late Show (Mon-Fri at 11:3 5) with Stephen Colbert is must see viewing for Colbert’s take on the US political process. He is also very fun on every other topic he tackles.
The Daily Show (Mon-Thurs at 11) with Trevor Noah is my daily fix of political humour. I like South African born Noah’s worldview take on politics.
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (Mondays at 10:30, but the network has been moving this one around. Bee is Canadian and is voting in her first US election and is completely outraged by the craziness of the US political scene and it is making for great comedy.
Better Things (Thursdays) is a wry tale of a single mother/actress in LA who struggles to keep her head above water with a demented mother, 3 demanding children and an ex-husband who simply doesn’t care.
You’re The Worst (Wednesdays) is a demented comedy about mismatched hipsters in LA.
A few Last Words
Here’s a column from the Globe’s John Doyle on his TV series recommendations:
We leave on our drive down to Florida In a few days. We will be spending a night in Pennsylvania and then visiting with friends in Pinehurst. NC. We’re hoping that the effects of Hurricane Matthew will have all been cleaned up as there was real road damage in parts of NC and 17 people died there. By this time next Sunday Oct 23, we should be in Naples. As I will have watched very little TV over the next week or so, I will probably catch up with my blog the following week. The political debate leading up to the election on Nov 8 should get hotter and heavier as more unsavoury allegations about both candidates seem to be surfacing every day. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful fall weather.