Oh the pressure – trying to see all the Oscar nominated films, watching enough TV to contribute to my own blog – not to mention Pickleball, Mahjong, Fitness Classes, Book Club, Golf, Girlfriends of Treviso Bay (our Newcomers Club), dining out, dining in, etc. These are truly problems I am blessed to have. And now for some recommendations:
On the Big Screen
As it is rainy and miserable here in Naples, I at last have the perfect opportunity to catch up with Fences today, the Denzel Washington-directed film of the play by Langston Hughes which is nominated for multiple Oscars. Looking forward to it!! Review to follow.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards show airs tonight at 8 on TBS in the US and on Global in Canada. As the show focuses only on acting awards, it’s incredibly entertaining and the stars usually show up en masse. Honouring both Film and TV, many of the awards are often precursors of the Oscars. Lily Tomlin is honoured with the Life Achievement Award.
Sunday Night Madness
In addition to the above awards show, there is a plethora of great TV airing on Sunday nights:
Here in Naples, the Sunday lineup begins at 7 with the delightful Father Brown British mystery series (Season 4 repeats); at 8 we have Mercy Street, PBS’s first original production for the Masterpiece series – set during the Civil War, it follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides – New England abolitionist Mary Phoney and Confederate supporter Emma Green; finally at 9 pm Victoria, the story of a young Queen Victoria airs – British costume drama in all its glory.
Black Sails, pirate show par excellence starring Toby Stephens (son of Maggie Smith) returns for its final season at 9 tonight. The prequel to Treasure Island, we get to see how Long John Silver evolved. Aargh!
Homeland and The Affair both continue tonight. Homeland‘s intrigue is continuing to build and last week’s The Affair ended with a cliffhanger involving Noah’s view of reality.
Riverdale debuted last Thursday and I loved it. Archie Andrews is far sexier than I ever imagined him to be as are Betty and Veronica; Jughead is the omniscient narrator; Moose is gay; there’s a nod and wink to Twin Peaks (a murder has occurred), Beverley Hills 90210 (Luke Perry is Archie’s Dad); Archie has had an affair with Miss Grundy, the music teacher, etc. It’s a very subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.
Supergirl returns from hiatus this week. She’s awfully likeable for a young Superhero.
Arrow has also returned from hiatus and he’s still fighting to save his city.
Gotham (on Mondays) has returned from hiatus and Jim Gordon is still fighting to save his city.
Taboo (on Tuesdays) starring Tom Hardy is dark and mysterious. This mystery is made even harder to follow by Hardy’s impenetrable accent (hello Bane!). His psychopathic character Delaney is on a murderous vendetta against the East India Company.
The Young Pope continues to intrigue and mystify starring Jude Law as a most unlikeable and unlikely American Pontiff. More like Fellini than any other American TV series (from the Italian director of The Great Beauty), this co-production with British Sky TV is totally unique and original. Not for everybody.
Incorporated (on Global in Canada) is a show that flew under my radar until the last couple of weeks, so as the first season has now concluded, you can catch it On Demand. Produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, it is a dystopian future show in which a man attempts to thwart a giant corporation that seems to have unlimited power. Global warming has reduced most of the world to an impoverished husk and international corporations have been given unlimited power to rule over the 99 percenters. Debuting mere weeks after one-man corporation Donald Trump was elected president of the US, Incorporated feels like an ominous predictor of things to come.
Suits (Wednesdays) has returned and Mike is having a rough time getting a job, Harvey and Louis are struggling with the firm’s survival, etc. Those who are following Prince Harry’s love life may get a kick out of seeing his girlfriend Meghan Markle in the role of Rachel Zane, newly minted legal associate and fiancee of Mike.
Colony (Thursdays) returned for its second season. It is a story of a dystopian future where aliens have occupied LA and an active resistance has formed.
Outsiders (Tuesdays) has returned for Season 2. Hillbillies in Appalachia fight big coal on a Kentucky mountain top. Produced by Paul Giamatti, this intriguing series is a David vs Goliath story with both sides willing to do whatever they can to win.
This is my channel for guilty pleasure shows Chicago Fire (Tuesdays), The Blacklist (Thursdays), Grimm and Emerald City (Fridays).
Powerless debuts this Thursday. Starring Alan Tudyk, this show follows the staff of an insurance company specializing in products to protect defenceless bystanders from the collateral damage of Superheroes and Supervillains. I love Alan Tudyk who steals most scenes he’s in (Rogue One, Firefly) and am looking forward to it.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Mon-Thurs on Comedy), Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show (Mon-Fri on CBS), and Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal (Wednesdays on TBS) all return with new shows this week. I count on these shows to make me laugh at the decidedly unfunny daily news.
Have a wonderful week wherever you are! For my southern friends, wear lots of sunscreen and for my northern family and friends, be careful on that nasty ice, regardless of whether you are walking or driving.
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