Keeping busy in a time of loss…

It has been a week of sadness mixed with joys.  My husband and I got out to walk the golf course in Thornbury while we played 9 holes on a gorgeously sunny, yet decidedly cool and windy day. Sadly, two longtime friends have passed away.  One, a neighbour of over 30 years, died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 64 and with no previous history of heart disease.  Another, a golf buddy of longstanding, died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  They will both be missed and the message of “Carpe Diem” calls out more loudly than ever, so in a tribute to departed friends, it’s important to celebrate our gift of life, and to never forget that it can be taken away very unexpectedly, so here’s how I have been celebrating life this past week.

On the Big Screen

Esquire has a great article on the 10 Great Movies that were booed at the Cannes Film Festival:

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a54719/best-movies-booed-at-cannes-film-festival/?src=nl&mag=esq&list=nl_enl_news&date=042917

Live Theatre

Last week we attended a one-man show of New York Stories presented by Micah Barnes (formerly of The Nylons) at the gorgeously renovated and restored Gayety Theatre in Collingwood.  He is a terrific singer and storyteller currently taking his show across Canada.  We were lucky to be seated with his Collingwood-based aunt and uncle, so we felt like we were almost part of the family.  If you have a chance to see this gifted performer, please do see his show.

This past week, I attended The Bodyguard with a friend at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. I have to admit that although I enjoyed the music and especially the singing of Beverly Knight in the lead role, this is a seriously flawed show.  It has a ridiculously thin plot that the writers have tried to enhance by adding in characters that didn’t exist in the movie and a love triangle plot that makes no sense whatsoever.  There was much giggling and chuckling throughout the audience over clumsily staged action scenes involving the stalker who is after “Rachel” throughout the entire show, and in fact, the audience began to laugh every time the villain made a hulking appearance.  As is now the convention with every modern musical, the cast assembled on stage for their curtain calls and launched into a reprise of several musical numbers from the show.  When the villain started dancing at the end of the show, the audience went completely berserk with laughter.  If you actually see this show, don’t run to the parking lot before the curtain calls are over, as they are actually more entertaining than the musical itself.  The music consists of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, and it is poignant now to be reminded of what a talented artist she was and what a great loss her early death is.

What I’m Listening To

Audible.com
Bryan Cranston: A Life in Parts is our current “read” while driving.  Cranston is a gifted storyteller and writer and hearing him read his own life story is a treat.  However, similar to Alec Baldwin’s recording Nevertheless, there’s a little too much tedious detail that the average reader is likely not fascinated by.

CBC/On Demand

If you haven’t caught up with Anne, the new version of Anne of Green Gables, do yourself a favour and give it a look.  I binged yesterday on the first 4 episodes and am absolutely loving it. Amybeth McNulty is wondrous in the lead role, as are Geraldine James and R.H. Thomson as Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. Enjoy! For a wonderful article in the NY Times  (as reprinted on Flipboard) read:

https://flipboard.com/section/flipboard-top-stories-3lfp6ucl7q971h5c?flipit=http%3A%2F%2Fflip.it%2FQxxIo1&intent=item_share

National Geographic

Einstein’s Genius premiered this week. This miniseries stars Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn as both older and younger Einsteins. The series depicts how patent clerk Einstein could not get a teaching job or doctorate in his early life, yet managed to go on to solve the secrets of the universe.

 

Netflix

The Last Kingdom (a co-production with the BBC) continues the thrilling story of Alfred the Great and his efforts to unite England.
Riverdale (originates with the CW in the US) continues its subversive retelling of the Archie story.
Dear White People is a series adaptation of the movie of the same name which is set at a predominantly white Ivy League college where a diverse group of students navigate various forms of racial and other types of discrimination.  Narrated by Giancarlo Esposito (Gus from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul)!
Girlboss (starring Britt Robertson as Sophia) follows the story of Sophia, a misfit, who discovers a passion for fashion, becoming an unlikely businesswoman in the process. As her business grows, however, she has to learn to cope with life as her own boss.

ABC

Designated Survivor continues its imaginary tale of what would happen if a decent, well intentioned fellow were to accidentally  become President of the US.

CBS

Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show has hit its stride in its merciless skewering of Trump and the right wing every weeknight from M – Fri.

CBS Sunday Morning has finished recording as I write this blog.  Segments include the closing of the Ringling Bros. Barnum &Bailey circus; singing duo Hall & Oates; astronomer Neal DeGrasse Tyson; the Liberty Bell, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey bellmakers; Albert Einstein; Jonathan Demme, etc. I always anticipate watching this show, and its closing moment of nature, with great pleasure.

 

NBC

Great News (starring the amazing and hilarious Andrea Martin) debuted last week:  A New Jersey mom puts her relationship with daughter to the test when she lands an internship at her new job, which comes with many challenges.  I was very amused by this series, and it’s wonderful to see Andrea Martin in a role that is tailor made for her.

HBO

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is based on the wonderful book of the same name.  I frankly found the telefilm adaptation tedious and prosaic, although it does star a wonderful group of actors who gamely try to bring this fascinating story to life.  If you haven’t read the book, you may be intrigued.
The Leftovers is possibly the saddest TV series ever, but it is taking some weird and wacky turns this season.  We are currently in Australia!!!
Veep is wickedly following the former President, Selina Meyers as she tries to secure her legacy.
Silicon Valley I love these silly boys who struggle to find funding for Pied Piper’s video chat app. I particularly love Kumail Nanjiani who plays Dinesh and has now taken charge of Pied Piper. He has a film out about his life which just debuted at Sundance called The Big Sick, which I can’t wait to see!

Billions (starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti) tells a suspenseful tale about a cat and mouse game between a US Attorney and his quarry, a ruthless hedge fund manager.
Real Time with Bill Maher continues to amuse and inform while skewering politicians.

Comedy/CNN

Samantha Bee White House Correspondents Dinner/ CNN (Actual) White House Correspondents Dinner: I just finished watching Samantha Bee’s WHCD which did have some standout moments, particularly the parody of The Man in the High Castle segment, which showed an alternative version of history where Hilary Clinton got elected and then promptly impeached. Her “In Memoriam” tribute to Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly was also pretty funny.

We had to do a lot of fast forwarding through the CNN coverage of the event which featured a keynote speech by Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy (which I watch religiously every night at 11 pm). Once he finally appeared on stage at the end of the show, Minhaj got in some good remarks about the irony of a Muslim speaking at a dinner that is roasting a President who has sponsored a Muslim ban. There was a mixture of jokes and very pointed political commentary about Trump’s assault on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The evening also featured a stirring segment with Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward talking about the importance of the first amendment to the US constitution which guarantees freedom of the press.

Bravo

A Handmaid’s Tale (a miniseries adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel) premieres tonight.  I found the novel and the movie adaptation starring Natasha Richardson very dark and disturbing 20 years ago.  Apparently, this new version is very timely indeed, as that dystopian future may be closer than ever. Here’s what the NY Times had to say about it:

https://flipboard.com/section/flipboard-top-stories-d3orudnh0e1acc3c?flipit=http%3A%2F%2Fflip.it%2F0jG6YA&intent=item_share

The CW

The 100 has returned with new episodes about attractive young people in space.  You can catch previous episodes on Netflix.

FOX

Gotham (about Bat Man as a boy and Inspector Jim Gordon when he was a 30-something) returns for new episodes tonight.

FX

Great shows I’m following at the moment include The Americans and Fargo. Esquire has an intriguing article debunking what it calls the myth of prestige TV:

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a54762/the-flaws-of-prestige-tv/?src=nl&mag=esq&list=nl_enl_news&date=042717

 

AMC

If you liked Breaking Bad, you need to see the prequel, Better Call Saul.

PBS

Tonight’s British Drama lineup includes Call the Midwife, Home Fires and a repeat of the Wolf Hall series.

Space

The Expanse I was delighted to be able to find this series (which originates on SYFY in the US and is showing previous episodes on Netflix) on Rogers On Demand.  This thrilling saga of conflict between the Earth, Mars and the Asteroid Belters is fascinating and has pretty good special effects.  It’s Game of Thrones meets Battlestar Galactica.  Thomas Jane has the original lead role and there is a wonderful cast of supporting players that features many Canadians.  Look for the remarkable Iranian sultry-voiced actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo, as a UN official trying to stop war from breaking out.

Superchannel

The White Princess continues the story of the rise of the Tudors.

 

Summer TV Premieres

Esquire has a rundown of the upcoming summer TV season:

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a54785/summer-tv-premieres/?src=nl&mag=esq&list=nl_enl_news&date=042817

Closing Words

A dear friend is performing his music live this afternoon at our neighbourhood cafe in Thornbury so George and I will be attending with pleasure. Sunday night is full of TV delights and I will thoroughly enjoy having an opportunity to watch my lineup of recorded programs at my leisure. Back in Toronto later this week, we will be celebrating birthdays with our daughter-in-law and our younger son with a family dinner! Today is clearly an “April showers bring May showers” kind of day, so enjoy the day by taking some time to reflect on your blessings whatever they may be. Stay dry! (Unless you’re in Florida where I believe it is incredibly hot, humid and scorchingly dry with the lowest amount of rainfall in many years.)

 

Spring has sprung…

Our garden clean-up in Thornbury is complete and we did a little spring cleaning in our master bathroom when a leak was discovered under my sink requiring trips to both Home Hardware and Home Depot.  I have purged years worth of magazines that had been accumulating in baskets scattered throughout the house.  Ahhh! A quiet feeling of satisfaction creeps in. It hasn’t been a great week for TV watching as we had some nights out with family and to actually go see a movie in a real theatre!  However, here are some of my recommendations for your week:

On the big screen

Their Finest is a wonderful British film about the WWII propaganda effort in patriotic films designed by the War Office to draw America into the war.  Delightful and touching, it is about a much simpler time.

Here’s an article from Esquire on the best movies (so far) of 2017:

http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a52209/best-movies-of-2017/?src=nl&mag=esq&list=nl_enl_news&date=042217

 

Netflix

I Don’t feel at home in this World anymore is an Indie film that is blackly humorous as it follows the journey of a depressed woman to avenge the burglary of her home.  Wonderful performances from Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood.

 

13 Reasons Why is a 13-part miniseries about the causes and effects of a teen suicide on a high school community.  Much longer than it needed to be, it did make me relive my high school years and made me feel nervous about attending my upcoming high school reunion as I still have recurring dreams about not being able to remember my locker combination and sleeping through a final exam (not to mention the going to school without underwear dream).

Riverdale will air a new episode on April 28!  Love this mysterious series.  Kind of a blackly comic version of 13 Reasons Why.

Superchannel/On Demand

National Treasure is a 4-part miniseries from the UK starring Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters.  In the wake of the Jimmy Saville/Bill Cosby/Bill O’Reilly scandals about TV personalities with a history of sexual assault, this series depicts a beloved comedian’s arrest and trial on sex charges.  Powerful performances, especially from Andrea Riseborough as the daughter of the comedian.

 

Sunday Madness

PBS 

Tonight’s lineup includes a double episode of Home Fires and Wolf Hall.

 

HBO

Tonight’s lineup includes The Leftovers, Silicon Valley, Guerrilla, Billions, Veep and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. 

 

ABC 

American Crime follows the heartbreaking story of immigrant farm workers, sex workers, and all those around them.

 

Superchannel 

The White Princess continues the story of the rise of the Tudors.

W

The Good Fight has its season finale tonight.

Under the Radar (shows you could be watching)

The Path (on Showcase and available by streaming) aired originally on Hulu in the US. A mysterious series about a cult.
Better Call Saul (AMC) shows Saul, Mike and now Gus all before Breaking Bad.

The Americans, Fargo and Feud (all on FX) are three great shows from a network that has slowly built into a power house of original programming. Here’s John Doyle’s article on why you should be watching Fargo:

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/john-doyle-fargo-season-three-is-another-little-masterpiece-of-storytelling/article34722574/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

Designated Survivor (on ABC) is actually a somewhat comforting parable about what might happen if a good man accidentally became POTUS.  Compared to the current national nightmare, this show is like a fairy tale.

Comic Relief

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS), Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (Comedy), and Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) are my preferred way of catching up with the headlines these days.  I will be on the road today attending a charity function in Caledon, so I will be missing the French Election results.  Fingers crossed that Le Pen will be defeated and we will not face a Frexxit vote.

Audible.com and Podcasts

Given that we just spent a few long days on the road, we have been listening to a few podcasts and things of that nature.  We just finished Alec Baldwin’s autobiography Nevertheless on Audible.com.  A little wordy and unfunny for my tastes, that man has serious anger issues!!  From the team that originated the Serial series of NPR podcasts, we just listened to S-Town: a journalist’s account of a mysterious relationship with a man from Alabama who believed he had uncovered a murder in his awful small town.  Hypnotic (which isn’t necessarily what you want when driving), it’s a tale of obsession and madness and life in a small backwoods town.

 

Closing Words

It’s an absolutely beautiful spring day here in Thornbury!  Please enjoy your week regardless of whether it involves TV, movies, etc.  Get outside and play if you can!!!

Home again…

We arrived home Friday afternoon after a marathon drive home from Naples.  Along the way we stopped in Charleston, SC for two nights.  We stayed at a lovely hotel on the harbour which offered free afternoon tea, free wine and cheese and free milk and cookies at bedtime.  We spent our time there walking the town, and dining at restaurants we had failed to get reservations at our previous two visits to Charleston.    Snob (slightly north of Broad) was lovely, warm and had fabulous food.  Husk (rated the #1 restaurant in Charleston) was a little off-putting with impossibly complicated food and very, very slow service.  We spent our last night in the US at a suburb of Pittsburgh called Southpointe  and did our last bit of outlet shopping in Grove City, PA.  We had a visit with my mother yesterday and then celebrated Easter with George’s family in Port Perry yesterday and will be having dinner tonight with our daughter-in-law and very good friends at our golf club.  Our two boys are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Star Wars in Orlando and will return home later today.  In the meantime, although I watched TV very little this past week, here are some recommendations for the week to come:

Today’s must see viewing

These are the items I’m recording today on Sunday madness:

CBS Sunday Morning (my weekly Zen moment)

Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN where Zakaria explains world events.

Face the Nation on CBS features great panel discussions of world events.

Reliable Sources on CNN features journalists discussion current events.

State of the Union on CNN features Jake Tapper leading a discussion of current events.

Call the Midwife on PBS is a heartwarming British drama series.

Home Fires on PBS is another heartwarming British drama series.

The Leftovers on HBO Canada returns for its third head scratching season in a post Apocalyptic world.

American Crime is a searing drama on ABC that continues its sad tale of a failing furniture business in NC, struggling farm owners, immigrant farmworkers living in harrowing conditions, young people being sold into modern day slavery as sex professionals, and the social service and justice systems that tries to deal with the fallout from all of the above.

Wolf Hall returns to PBS with its history of the times of Henry VIII.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO Canada deals comedically with current events.

The White Princess on Superchannel in Canada is the series premiere of a sequel to “The White Queen” and chronicles the power grab among the women vying for the English throne adapted from a Philippa Gregory historical novel.

Feud: Bette and Joan on FX continues the feud between the great screen legends as they work on Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte.

Girls on HBO Canada airs its series finale tonight.

Veep on HBO Canada has its Season 6 premiere.  Selina tries to secure her legacy one year after losing the presidency.

The Kennedys – After Camelot on Bravo details the life of Jacqueline Kennedy in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination in this mini-series.

Guerrilla with Idris Elba and Frieda Pinto debuts tonight on HBO Canada (Showtime in the US).  Here’s what the NY Post has to say about it:

http://nypost.com/2017/04/15/british-police-target-immigrants-in-explosive-guerrilla/

Billions (HBO Canada and Showtime US) The cat and mouse game continues.

Later this Week

Better Call Saul Monday on AMC is rerunning its Season 3 premiere.  jimmy and Chuck’s relationship deteriorates; Kim feels the pressure of running her own firm; and Mike investigates the note left on his car.  The suspense is slowly building…

The Americans Tuesday on FX shows Paige becoming more enmeshed in her parents’ world, Philip and Elizabeth’s honeytraps take surprising turns.

Fargo Wednesday on FX has its Season 3 premiere.  A petty sibling rivalry between two brothers escalates and brings chaos to a small Minnesotan community.  Ewan McGregor plays twins!!

Under the Radar

Well, even though I didn’t get to watch much TV this week as we were actually out on the road, I did find out that one of my favourite subversive shows from the US is available here on Netflix – Riverdale.  If you haven’t discovered this disarmingly funny and intriguing show about the dark secrets of a seemingly idyllic American town, take the opportunity to binge this season’s episodes.  Can’t wait to catch up.

I did actually binge on demand yesterday catching the whole first season run of Mary Kills People on Global.  Quite enjoyed this suspense series about a doctor who assists patients in end of life decisions.  Filmed in Toronto, part of the fun of this very Canadian show is spotting the shooting locations.

I have been streaming The Good Fight (sequel to The Good Wife) online and have been enjoying the continuing legal machinations of Diane and her band of lawyers. Many of the same characters from the original series continue their roles.

Catastrophe I watched the last episode of this Britcom series’ Season 3 and continue to be amazed and amused by the story’s bawdy twists and turns.

Comic Relief

 

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS returns this week with new shows.  The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy is on the air this week, but I’m unclear as to whether the show is still in reruns.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on Comedy is airing this Wednesday at 10:30, but I’m not sure if it’s a new episode.

Final Words

We have returned to glorious spring weather – blue skies and sun.  Our Toronto golf club is open for business this week, so we will be swinging golf clubs at the range.  Our fitness group is celebrating spring with a neighbourhood walk in the Thorncrest Village area on Easter Monday.  I’ll head back to our regular class on Wednesday.  We will drive north on Thursday to check on our Thornbury house and head for the golf course there.  We are going to see a show at the Gayety Theatre in Collingwood on Friday night that features one of The Nylons (Micah Barnes) in a musical review called New York Stories. It’s a bit of culture shock to be back (kind of nice not to be worrying about Mr. Trump’s next move 24/7), and we’re getting to know our condo again.  Enjoy this beautiful weather wherever you are.

 

 

The bags are packed…

Well, we will be starting our drive north in less than 48 hours.  I have played my last golf game (a lifetime best score in Bonita Springs with good friends), played my last game of Mahjong (actually winning a hand for a change), attended my last fitness classes (celebrating afterward with our wonderful instructor and the Tues/Thurs regulars), eaten our last 5th Avenue dinner (at Molto’s, a great Italian spot), and attended our last Treviso Bay dinner party (with our neighbours who also happen to be part of the Thornbury crowd), and attended our last Book Club (discussing the wonderful A Man Called Ove with a group of lovely ladies).  My bags are packed and the last load of laundry is in the machine. I’m going to miss our friends here but I am looking forward to seeing family and friends in the North.  Our first stop on our trip home will be a visit in the W. Palm Beach area with two of my cousins, followed by two nights in Charleston, SC and then back to Toronto.  I won’t be watching much TV over the next week, but for those of you who can catch some shows, here are some recommendations:

On the big screen

I saw the film Frantz at the Toronto International Film Festival and it is getting its release now.  Loved it and recommend it highly.  Here’s what the Globe and Mail had to say about it:

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/film-reviews/in-frantz-director-francois-ozon-weaves-a-compelling-tale-of-tragedy-and-grief/article34616920/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

New Debuts and Returning Programs

John Doyle in the Globe and Mail has some recommendations for April viewing:

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/john-doyle-online-and-on-tv-april-is-the-coolest-month/article34560607/

The NYTimes also has some suggestions for April viewing:

The NYTimes isn’t letting me insert an operable link, so find this article in their watching section in Arts and take a look. They list the new show Brockmire (debuts April 5 on IFC), Better Call Saul (returns April 10 on AMC), Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (debuts April 14 on Netflix), The Leftovers (returns April 16 on HBO), Fargo (returns April 19 on FX), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (debuts April 22, on HBO), Great News (debuts April 25 on NBC), The Handmaid’s Tale (debuts April 26 on HULU), Dear White People (debuts April 28, on Netflix), and American Gods (debuts April 30 on Starz).

Shows I’m Catching Up With

Last night’s SNL had a fabulous segment with Alec Baldwin playing Bill O’Reilly and Trump in the same sketch!  His O’Reilly is truly a masterpiece of makeup and impersonation.  Watch it here on You Tube!

As usual I have been keeping track of the news on The Late Show on CBS with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show on Comedy with Trevor Noah, Full Frontal on TBS with Samantha Bee, Vice on HBO and CNN the rest of the time (especially Fareed Zakaria GPS).  

The Late Late Show on CBS with James Corden has had its share of musical delights,  so I’ll share its wonderful Beauty and the Beast Crosswalk edition with you:

Late Night with Seth Meyers has had some wonderful “A Closer Look” Segments this past news week:

And a couple of days earlier:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO tonight should be required viewing!

My Sunday morning ritual includes watching CBS Sunday Morning while I write this blog and this morning is no exception as “The Money Issue” is being aired.  Not one of my favourite themes of theirs, but it forces me to leave politics aside for the moment and catch up with some business trends.

Sunday Craziness

The Daily Beast has an article about the female-centred nature of much Sunday viewing that I found interesting:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/04/03/big-little-lies-feud-girls-was-sunday-the-best-female-driven-night-of-tv-ever.html?via=newsletter&source=DDAfternoon

Sunday has definitely become a day of must-watch viewing.  Today’s schedule of news shows should be interesting because of the recent US involvement in the Syrian conflict.  Here’s a summary of my PVR recordings for today:

Meet the Press (NBC 10 am): guests to include Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham, Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine and a roundtable discussion with journalists.

Fareed Zakaria GPS (CNN 10 am):  topics include Trump’s decision re Syria; Iran; Chinese Presidential visit to Mar-a-Lago.

Face the Nation (CBS 10:30 am): guests include Rex Tillerson; John McCain; Tom Donilon; intelligence analyst Michael Morell and an assortment of journalists.

60 Minutes (CBS 7 pm): topics include addictive smartphone apps; Chobani and refugees; Japanese baseball.

Call the Midwife (PBS 8pm) is heartwarming British drama.

Homeland (Showtime 9 pm) is entitled America First and is the season finale where pieces fall into place.

Home Fires (PBS 9 pm) is another heartwarming British drama set in 1940 when divorce and marital infidelity were actually causes of scandal.

Girls (HBO 10 pm) has its series finale.

Billions (Showtime 10 pm) continues the cat and mouse game between Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti.

American Crime (ABC 10 pm) tells its searing story of human trafficking and migrant labour.

Feud: Bette and Joan (FX 10 pm) continues to showcase Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon in the legendary feud between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.

Into the Badlands (AMC 10 pm) is martial arts madness in a land of feuds between barons.

The Arrangement (E!10 pm) is a naughty show that is really about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and Scientology.

Crashing (HBO 10:30 pm) continues to tell the touchingly poignant story of a would-be stand-up comedian in NYC and the people in his life.

Last Week Tonight (HBO 11:03 pm) John Oliver covers news, politics and current events in a scathingly humorous and intelligent way.

Closing Words

OK folks, I will have my work cut out for me just catching up with today’s programs before we leave at the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning, and I haven’t even packed my toiletries or cleaned out my cupboards and fridge yet.  Have fun this week wherever you are, and I will summarize our road trip next weekend when I have recovered from Easter Dinner with our family.  Now back to work for me!!!

One week to go…

We leave here in 8 days or so, so we’ll make the most of our last precious days in Florida.  Golfing, mahjong, pickle ball, etc. are all on the agenda.  Today was about 90 degrees F. with 100% humidity, but I’m not complaining as there won’t be many days like this back home for a while.  Today we enjoyed after golf lunch on an outside patio overlooking a beautiful golf course.  In the meantime, there are plenty of shows to be watched!

Streaming

Obit is a marvelous documentary about the NYTimes Obituary section that I saw at last year’s Hot Docs festival in Toronto.  The Globe and Mail has a wonderful article about it:

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/film-reviews/obit-doc-follows-new-york-times-writers-as-they-chronicle-the-lives-of-the-dead/article34498055/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

 

Rules Don’t Apply is a film by Warren Beatty starring him and Annette Bening.  It is about the later years of Howard Hughes and tells an unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and their boss, an eccentric billionaire named Howard Hughes. This is a meandering and odd film that gives Beatty a chance to shine in a very unsympathetic role as a very strange man who cuts himself off from the world.  It has charming moments painting a Hollywood in a much more innocent age during the 1950’s. A great cast was assembled, but the film just doesn’t quite make it as a romance or a comedy.

Life Animated is a wonderful documentary that tells the story  of an autistic young man whose deep connection to the Disney movies he’s watched countless times enables him to make sense of an often-bewildering world.  Keep your hankies handy as you admire the fortitude of his family in helping their child to regain his voice.

Netflix

I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I managed to binge on all 13 episodes of Iron Fist. I can’t explain why I was fascinated with this totally weird series about a young man who returns from the dead to try and regain control of his family business, but I quite enjoyed this silly show set in the world of martial arts.  It didn’t hurt that hunky Finn Jones from Game of Thrones plays Danny Rand, the hero.

All my usual obsessions

Tonight will feature the finales of several Sunday night shows (Big Little Lies on HBO and The Walking Dead on AMC) and John Doyle has an article contrasting them:

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/john-doyle-two-series-two-profound-finales-lots-of-dead-bodies/article34495055/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

Heartwarming British shows return on PBS

Call the Midwife makes it’s return for Season 6 tonight.  Get out your hankies as this wonderful group of women attempt to make a difference in a disadvantaged corner of London in the 1960’s.

Home Fires returns for Season 2.  It’s June 1940 and Britain faces the threat of imminent invasion.  As the Battle of Britain looms, the villagers of Great Paxford live under a cloud of fear and suspicion.  A heartwarming story of my parents’ generation in Britain as they truly faced the worst of times.

Shows you should try and find

Imposters on Bravo on Tuesdays is a terrific suspense series about a con woman who is confronted by her victims.  It’s hurtling towards its last episode this week.

Colony on USA on Thursdays is about an Earth that is colonized by invading extraterrestrials.  A resistance movement emerges to challenge them and therein lies our story.

The Expanse on SyFy on Tuesdays shows us a world in the future where Earth and Mars (which it has colonized) have a very uneasy relationship.  Fascinating futuristic stuff!

Homeland on Showtime Sundays continues the espionage story surrounding the CIA’s anti terrorism activities in NYC. We are in Season 6 and are up to the second last episode.

Billions on Showtime Sundays continues the story of a hedge fund manager and a US States Attorney locked in a cat and mouse game with each other.

Feud on FX Sundays follows the relationship of divas Bette Davis and Joan Crawford who are brought together to star in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.

The Americans on FX Tuesdays tells the story of an American family who happen to be Russian spies during the 80’s.  How timely!!

As we had company last week, I am still trying to catch up on shows I recorded without much success.  As usual, I try and make time for my favourites like CBS Sunday Morning, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Real Time with Bill Maher and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.  Today, I will have to catch up with Fareed Zakaria GPS as he tries to explain our complicated times to us.

Closing Words

Enjoy this wonderful Spring weather regardless of where you are.  To my friends who begin their journeys home to the North from Florida this week, safe travels! Have a wonderful week!