OK, I realize that last week’s blog was kind of sad. I was truly in a malaise about the state of affairs on TV. Everything is so bleak. Characters are so flawed. Plot lines are dense and confusing. Storylines are told in so many episodes when things could be condensed and told in far less time. As a result, I am going to concentrate on viewing experiences this week that are a little more positive. Here are some recommendations:
Fun Home (short for funeral home) is the musical that is currently playing at the CAA Theatre in Toronto. It was the 2015 Tony Best Musical Award winner. While the music is not always terribly memorable or melodic, the show is incredibly moving as it tells the story of a family that struggles with the sexual identities of both a father and a daughter. The three actresses cast as the daughter from childhood to middle aged are wonderful and their harmonies when they get to sing together will bring a tear to your eye. Worth seeing.
Heartwarming &/or Good vs Evil
Plus Special Mention of Nearly All PBS Programming
Although I did mention Call the Midwife as leading the list above, PBS is also the home of much entertaining programming that doesn’t depress or confuse. Their dramas and mysteries on Masterpiece Theatre and Masterpiece Mystery will provide many hours of viewing bliss and all are available through shop.pbs.org:
Victoria, The Child in Time, Man in an Orange Shirt, Little Women (upcoming), Downton Abbey, Poldark, Breathless, A Room with a View, Great Expectations, Edwin Drood, Mansfield Park, Anna Karenina, Birdsong, Poldark, The Durrells in Corfu, The Collection, My Mother and other Strangers, King Charles III, Home Fires, To Walk Invisible, Mr. Selfridge, Indian Summers, Churchill’s Secret, Foyle’s War, Sense & Sensibility, Worricker, Arthur & George, Wolf Hall, The Forsyte Saga, Death Comes to Pemberley, The Jewel in the Crown, Inspector Lewis, The Paradise, Poirot, The Escape Artist, Silk, Upstairs, Downstairs, Love in a Cold Climate, Bleak House, I, Claudius, Far from the Madding Crowd, Page Eight, Wuthering Heights, Any Human Heart, The Diaries of Anne Frank, Goodnight Mister Tom, Cranford, Little Dorrit, God on Trial, The Last Enemy, Northanger Abbey, The Wind in the Willows, Elizabeth 1: The Virgin Queen, Middlemarch, Pollyanna, Our Town, Wives and Daughters, Last Tango in Halifax, etc.
Endeavour, Grantchester, Prime Suspect, Tennison, Sherlock, Wallander, Inspector Lewis, Miss Marple, Case Histories, Zen, Framed, Endgame, Collision, Heat of the Sun, The Turn of the Screw, A Thief of Fire, Coyote Waits, Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries, Rebecca, Skinwalkers, The Tunnel, Unforgotten (which is one of the few Masterpiece Mysteries I have hated), Dark Angel, Midsomer Murders, Marcella, The Widower, etc.
Plus PBS public affairs series
PBS News Hour, Nova, Frontline, American Experience, Independent Lens, Great Performances, etc.
Public Affairs across the other broadcasters
CBC offers a host of great programs like The Fifth Estate, The Passionate Eye, The Nature of Things, CBC Docs POV, etc.
CTV offers WFive.
TVO offers The Agenda, and innumerable documentaries, historical series, science and technology shows, etc.
CBS offers my very favourite show CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, Face the Nation, etc.
NBC offers Meet the Press, Today, Dateline, etc.
CNN offers Fareed Zakaria GPS, Reliable Sources, State of the Union, etc.
ABC offers Good Morning America, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Nightline, etc.
Special Shout out to Netflix
Netflix has become a provider of some great shows like The Crown, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Peaky Blinders, Making a Murderer, Jessica Jones, The Great British Bake Off, The Good Place, The Fall, Sense 8, Luke Cage, Riverdale, The Honourable Woman, The Killing, Love, Queer Eye, Ozark, Tabula Rasa, Portlandia, Sons of Anarchy, Bloodline, 13 Reasons Why, Shameless, Luther, Broadchurch, Grace and Frankie, Extras, Daredevil, Everything Sucks, Rectify, Mindhunter, Master of None, American Crime Story: People vs OJ Simpson, The Walking Dead, Godless, Better Call Saul, Mad Men, Freaks and Geeks, Breaking Bad, etc.
Don’t forget about Amazon Prime Video
I keep forgetting that we actually subscribe to this network and that I have seen several of their shows like The Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle, Red Oaks, Orphan Black, Goliath, Catastrophe, Mr. Robot, Transparent, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Justified, The Americans, Veep, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, The Wire, etc.
You have to hand it to the political satirists who can interpret the day’s events and manage to add comic spin. My favourites are Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jim Jeffries, Samantha Bee, Bill Maher, John Oliver, and Seth Meyers. SNL had a great opening sketch this past week which actually featured Stormy Daniels playing herself in a telephone conversation with Trump and his hapless lawyer, Michael Cohen.
It’s a beautiful day in Thornbury today. Yesterday was spent walking our golf course and dining with friends. Today it’s errand running and then a trip into Blue Mountain village for dinner with friends. This week will be a mixture of golf, mahjong, both a Trivial Pursuit night with my fitness friends and a movie night to see Finding Your Feet, dental appointments and some miscellaneous get-togethers with friends. Enjoy this beautiful spring day wherever you are! Hugs to my friends dealing with medical challenges.