It’s been a truly wonderful week. I saw two movies in actual movie theatres, one play at Shaw and got to golf a couple of times with some lovely ladies. The deluge of summer rain has resulted in my garden in Thornbury looking the best it ever has. We had some wonderful dinners with friends, one eaten at the local restaurant that overlooks the town marina, and ending with a campfire under the stars. TV has been somewhat limited, but here are a few recommendations:
Me and My Girl was the big musical at Shaw this year. What a delight! Great singing and dancing in a show that makes fun of the British class system and is a bit of a send up of Pygmalion. Terrific performances from the leads and supporting players. Some great songs that will send you out humming the tunes. A totally entertaining and uplifting experience.
Witnesses is an 8-episode French crime series about a serial killer who stages his bodies frozen. Very dark and intriguing.
Okja is a Korean fantasy film (and a very controversial screening at Cannes) about a genetically modified giant pig with Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhall as the name actors. This film really belongs to the young Korean actress who plays Mija, the little girl who raises Okja the giant pig. Totally unique and original and delightfully sardonic. Watch for Steven Yeun (Glenn from The Walking Dead) as an ecowarrier.
Gypsy is a very strange 10-episode series about a psychotherapist (played by Naomi Watts) who gets way too involved in the lives of her patients.
The Keepers is a 7-episode documentary series about the unsolved murder of a nun and the horrific secrets and pain that linger nearly five decades after her death.
New episodes of Animal Kingdom and Younger are available! Find them if you can, before these series air on Canadian TV later this year.
On the big screen
The Big Sick is an endearing romantic comedy about a real life relationship between the star Kumail Nanjiani and his real-life wife Emily. I adored this movie. Nanjiani is a regular on Silicon Valley where everything he says and does makes me giggle.
My Cousin Rachel is a new adaptation of the Daphne Dumaurier classic suspense novel. Sam Claflin and Rachel Weiss are perfectly cast as the two leads. British accents and period costumes = bliss. The story doesn’t make a lot of sense and many films have dealt with poisoning and gas lighting since this story was written in 1951, so one almost has a deja vu experience watching it because it all seems so familiar. However, even though this film is flawed, for me, this beautifully filmed trip back to 1890’s England is still a very enchanted experience.
Salvation – where is the asteroid!!! All I saw were lame romances! This show is extremely silly, and if they don’t start showing some CGI shots of the approaching asteroid, I will be tuning out very soon.
Zoo – I still can’t look away, but I did delete the last episode after watching about 15 painful moments of cheese.
Suits is premiering new episodes! Do I still care about Mike and Rachel, Harvey, Donna and the egregious Lewis? I think not. I hope that Rachel (Meghan Markle) and Prince Harry make their wedding plans soon so that her character can be put out of her misery.
Game of Thrones returns this Sunday! There will be dragons!
Preacher continues its rapid-fire craziness. Turns out Tulip is married to a New Orleans crimelord. Who knew?
The Strain returns for its 4th season premiere on Sunday night. This vampire apocalypse series is seriously nutty. Turns out the Nazis were vampires!
Omar Khadr: Out of the Shadows This documentary gives you a picture of the human being that has been the source of so much angry focus this past week or so. It may defuse some of the outrage that has been expressed regarding the $10.5 million settlement the Canadian government recently awarded him. (More likely that angry Canadians will call for further defunding of the CBC). Very thought provoking.
Peter Mansbridge replacement project My vote goes to Wendy Mesley who has been soldiering on as an anchor very valiantly. God knows the woman has paid her dues!
21 Thunder is a new series debuting next week on July 28. It stars Colm Feore! Even though it is about soccer, I will give it a chance, because Feore is a national treasure, despite the weaselly bad guy parts he usually plays in US based TV series.
My Sunday night of British bliss continues with My Mother and Other Strangers, Grantchester, and debuting tonight Remember Me. Starring Michael Palin, Mark Addy and Julia Sawalha, this 3-episode miniseries tells the story of a man who moves into residential care who then becomes the sole witness to a violent death.
Midnight,Texas is a new supernatural based series (based on the novels of Charlaine Harris whose work was most famously turned into the series True Blood) that will have its debut on July 25. Psychic Manfred Bernardo moves to the small town of Midnight, Texas and meets his new neighbours. Among the inhabitants: a witch, an angel, a mysterious assassin, a local pawn shop owner and a reverend who may or may not be a werewolf. Can’t wait, but then I am a total sucker for this sort of thing. Here’s the trailer:
Nashville continues its corny melodrama. Despite the impulse to want to slap most of the main characters silly, I keep being drawn back to this increasingly lame show.
Colbert (CBS) and Noah (Comedy) are both back with new episodes. Samantha Bee is on Comedy on Wednesday at 10:30; The Jim Jeffries Show is on Tues at 10:30 (Comedy); The President Show is on Thursday at 10:30; Baroness Von Sketch airs on CBC Tuesdays at 9:30.
The week ahead promises some golf and Mahjong; some gatherings with friends, and of course, lots of viewing possibilities. I’m way behind on catching up on all sorts of shows I’ve been meaning to check out on Netflix. Today we’re attending a farewell party for some of our Thornbury neighbours who are moving to their next home in Meaford for their next chapter of retired life; there’s also a Jazz in the Park concert here in Thornbury that we will be attending if the weather stays dry. Safe travels for everyone who may be headed off on holidays. Enjoy the week, whatever it may hold for you.