Our North Carolina friends visit Canada for the first time…

We had a lovely Thornbury weekend, celebrating our 44th wedding anniversary with some longtime friends. We hiked the Loree Forest portion of the Bruce Trail, sampled flights of beer, wine and cider at the Thornbury Cidery, and then had our traditional lobster dinner followed by dessert and an amazing red wine around the fire pit under a cloudless star filled sky.

It’s going to be a busy week of sightseeing and theatre going as we take our Florida neighbours (summer home is Pinehurst, NC) on their first ever tour of Southern Ontario (not to mention Canada!). We’re going to introduce them to Toronto’s multicultural diversity by taking them on the subway, touring St Lawrence Market and Kensington; Yorkville and the Eaton Centre; Chinatown, Little India and Greektown; Little Portugal; the Lakeshore; Casa Loma; High Park, etc. We may take them to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the Lake if they are keen. We are headed to Stratford to see Guys and Dolls and HMS Pinafore and stay overnight in a B&B. We’ll finish our tour with a weekend in Thornbury, some golf at the Georgian Bay Club and a backyard barbecue with friends. It doesn’t look like a good week for TV so you’ll all have to watch on my behalf.

Summer Previews

Here’s a helpful summary of new shows coming this summer:


On the Big Screen

The Exception with Christopher Plummer is opening in limited release this week.  I saw it at TIFF last year and absolutely loved it.  A German soldier tries to determine if the Dutch resistance has planted a spy to infiltrate the home of Kaiser Wilhelm (Christopher Plummer, who steals every scene he’s in) in Holland during the onset of WW11, but falls for a young Jewish Dutch woman during his investigation.

Streaming/On Demand

Sleeping Giant is a Canadian film from 2015 which has been described as a masterpiece.  While spending the summer in cottage country on the shores of Lake Superior, three teens cope with boredom by testing the limits of their experience.

Fleabag This wonderful British comedy series can be streamed from Amazon.  It’s a six-part series adapted from the award-winning play about a young woman trying to cope with life in London while coming to terms with a recent tragedy.  Very naughty!!

Animal Kingdom This very dark series has returned for its second season on TNT and will be seen in Canada on Bravo.  It’s a fabulous story about a crime family in Southern California led by a most unmaternal granny played by the still attractive Ellen Barkin.  Very noir!!


House of Cards Here’s a terrific analysis of how this season of House of Cards is having difficulty making fiction as interesting as fact:


Bloodline continues its noir story of a family of adult siblings who find that their pat secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep of a brother returns home.

All my favourites

You can still catch Genius (National Geographic), Fargo (FX),
Better Call Saul (AMC), and The Americans (FX) before their seasons come to an end.

Still Star Crossed debuted last week on ABC.  It’s the continuation of Romeo and Juliet, picking up from their untimely deaths.  My head is still reeling from the insanity!

Gotham  (Fox) is one of my favourite guilty pleasure shows!

Sunday Night Madness

Things have slowed down as PBS takes a break and several series are ending their seasons including The LeftoversVeep and Silicon Valley.  John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight returns for a new episode tonight.

Comic Relief

Bill Maher (Real Time with Bill Maher HBO) got into a bit of trouble last week for using the N-word in a very unfunny joke.  He’s still not in as much trouble as poor Kathy Griffin for her stunt with a decapitated Donald Trump. She has now lost many jobs and seems genuinely apologetic for her actions.
Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal (Comedy) continues her full-on attack of all things Trumpian.
Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show (Comedy) continues to poke fun at the regime.
Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show  (CBS) was on a vacation break last week but returns for new shows this week.
The President Show (Comedy) has been flying under mot people’s radar since it debuted 6 weeks ago (Thursdays at 11:30).  Here’s how IMDB describes it:  The losers dominating late-night are in for a rude awakening when the smartest, handsomest, most winningest president of all time enters the fray to address the nation.  The President Show brings television back to the people – by putting a plutocratic billionaire behind the desk. It stars a comic named Anthony Atamanuik as Trump and it’s very funny.  Give it a look!!

Zen TV

CBS Sunday Morning (9 am Sundays on CBS) continues to be my most relaxing hour and a half of TV. Gotta love its take on popular culture.

Fareed Zakaria GPS is a level headed look at current events every Sunday on CNN at 10 am.

Sunday Night with Megan Kelly debuted tonight (NBC at 7).  I thought she was very brave interviewing Putin (surely the scariest man on earth).  The rest of the show was remarkably like 60 Minutes with a team of investigative reporters assigned to segments about elephants in Africa, pharmaceuticals that kill people, etc. I really enjoyed the show!

Closing Words

I’m looking forward to showing our Florida friends what their neighbours to the North are really like when we’re not basking in the Florida sunshine.  Enjoy your week, whatever it holds for you.  Fingers crossed that the taste of sunshine and warmth we had this weekend continues.  Everything looks so much better when the sun is shining!!


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