We will be watching the show tonight with some of our Florida neighbours. There will be games and valuable prizes! I did a little prep by watching the BAFTA (British Academy) awards and the Independent Spirit Awards last night. For a summary of the Indy awards you can read this article from the NY Times:
The red carpet fun starts very early tonight on ABC (the show is filmed in LA which is 3 hours earlier than eastern time), but I will be tuning in to the coverage as of 7 pm. The awards presentation itself starts at 8 pm. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, it should be very interesting to watch, as politics will likely play an important role. Again, the NY Times ran an article this week on why Kimmel will likely be a good host for a political Oscars telecast:
And now for my other recommendations:
On the Big Screen
John Wick: Chapter Two (starring Keanu Reeves) was two hours of unrestrained mayhem. I accompanied my son Jon to his choice of movie and I found the level of killing (at least 200 in the body count according to my son) mind boggling. Who knew there were so many professional killing squads? My heart was stolen by Ruby Rose as an adorable mute assassin with a bad ass haircut and incredibly expressive sign language skills.
The Founder (starring Michael Keaton) is the story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ innovative fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence and ruthlessness. The movie is ultimately very sad as the two brothers see themselves obliterated from the business they started.
Becoming Warren Buffett is the perfect antidote for living with the craziness of today’s politics and watching the ruthless rise of Ray Kroc’s takeover of McDonald’s. Produced for HBO, the film shows how the legendary investor started out as an ambitious, numbers-obsessed boy from Nebraska and ended up becoming one of the richest and most respected men in the world. His charitable activities are truly inspiring.
My son accompanied me to the Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum. Our book group read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah last month and I really wanted to know more about resistance movements during WWII, so I was able to convince my son to join me on a visit to this incredibly moving museum. From the Yelp page:
History cannot be denied. Everyone needs to visit, whether young or old, if only to refresh one’s moral consciousness. This Museum houses a sobering collection of letters, photographs, and artifacts donated from the personal holding of SW FL Families and survivors of the mid-20th century Nazi hate and death campaigns in Europe. There is an Audio Guide, and Volunteer docents convey compelling detail, steeped in both largely known and obscure facts. Pastor Martin Niermoller’s quote is at the door, and is most poignant:
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
I had long resisted visiting because I thought it would be too painful, but I’m very glad I went and I’m so proud of my 31-year-old son for seeing it with me. A long way from the John Wick film.
Debuts This Week
When We Rise debuts on ABC on Monday at 9 pm. An 8-part miniseries, it chronicles the gay rights movement in the US, beginning with the Stonewall riots in 1969. Based on Cleve Jones’ 2016 memoir of the same title, it stars Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffiths, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Carrie Preston.
My Usual TV Recommendations
There will be many other shows competing for audiences tonight as counter programming is being offered for new episodes of The Walking Dead, Homeland, Billions, Black Sails, The Missing, Big Little Lies, Girls, Crashing, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. PBS has decided to rerun all the Victoria episodes this evening for those of you who have missed it so far.
As for my usual weekly obsessions, have a look back through the archives of this blog. I am including John Doyle’s latest article on what’s hot on TV as he seems to be enjoying one of my latest faves, Riverdale (the subversive take on Archie comics):
The Comic Relief Team
On Wednesday night, Conan O’Brien has a Prime Time Special on TBS at 10-11 pm. Conan Without Borders: Made in Mexico. In light of the negative news surrounding the state of the US-Mexico relationship, Conan decides to strike a positive note by hosting a show in Mexico City with an all Mexican staff, crew, guests, and audience. It should be hilarious!
We entered a whole new world of TV viewing this week, as George and Jon headed to the Xfinity store to pick up our new Xfinity X1 box. Voice activated and state of the art, it makes your old cable system and PVR seem like antiques. I am still getting used to all the new features, but I have to confess that I am loving what it can do at the touch of a finger and it has the best voice activated system I have ever encountered. Even better than the Amazon Alexa which I thought was pretty cool. Available to Comcast subscribers, Rogers subscribers can look forward to this service later in the year as they have just licensed it as well. Oh yes, and I received a lovely new iPad Pro (9.7″) for my birthday last week and now my old iPad seems like an antique as well. Tomorrow we are off for a little boating in the Everglades as our 10 days of excursions with our son is winding down. He has now discovered the worlds of Pickleball, Bocci, and he even got his dad to purchase new tennis racquets this week. I will be playing golf and Mahjong as usual (plus attending our book group – the tearjerker Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes) and we will be welcoming some visitors from our Thornbury gang of friends. Other good friends are arriving this week to begin their month-long rental stay at Treviso Bay, so the good times will continue to roll.
Have a wonderful week wherever you are and don’t forget to tune in to the Oscars tonight (or even better, record it and avoid all the commercials)!!