It’s been another wonderful week in Thornbury. I’ve had a few great dinners with friends, went to two newish restaurants in the area (St Louis Bar and Grill and dinner at The Orchid), went to see an actual movie in a real movie theatre, played golf and mahjong, went to the local Antiques Fair, and caught up with programs I was curious about on Netflix. There are some new show alerts coming up very soon. Watch for Jack Ryan which debuts on Amazon Prime on August 31; The Sinner Season 2 debuts this Monday Aug 20 at 10 pm on Showcase; Ozark Season 2 on HBO debuts on Netflix on Aug. 31; The Deuce Season 2 on HBO debuts on Sept. 9 and there will be many other new and returning shows debuting soon. I’ve included a link to a handy article from Deadline Hollywood for your easy reference. Here are my recommendations for the week to come.
Here is your Fall TV Preview from Deadline Hollywood:
On the Big Screen
Crazy Rich Asians (feature film 2 hrs) I loved this totally frothy romantic comedy. I had read the first novel in the trilogy on audible.com and really enjoyed it. The film follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s incredibly wealthy family. Just a delightful film that introduces us to a society of extremely wealthy and comically idiosyncratic Singaporeans. Trip to Singapore to follow! Also sit through the ending credits as there is a bonus scene to the film and make a dinner reservation for afterwards at the best Chinese restaurant in the area as you will have an immediate craving for Chinese food.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (feature film 2hrs 4 min) What a delight to see a book I really enjoyed turned into a film rather than a tedious miniseries that expands the story into 5 or 6 hours. This film takes place in the aftermath of World War II, as a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island. She decides to write a book about their experiences during the war. A beautiful story of love, friendship and the sadness of friends lost. Just in case you don’t use the IMDB application, you will see many familiar faces from Downton Abbey in this one: Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil Crawley), Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot), Lily James (Lady Rose) and Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley). For Game of Thrones fans watch for Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis).
House Doctor (43 min, 20 episodes) I loved the original version of this show starring Ann Maurice which ran from 1998-2000. The concept of an American designer travelling around the UK helping hapless homeowners stage their homes for sale was delightful as a fish out of water series where two cultures clash. It has been revived with a new host (Tracy Metro) who again crisscrosses Britain to help homeowners sell their houses. I now fast forward from the introduction to the reveal and thus was able to binge my way through 20 episodes of home staging UK style. Just loved it and found the new brash host to be very entertaining.
Jack Taylor (Irish mystery series, 1 hr 30 min, 9 episodes) I only binged on this one because I am a huge fan of Iain Glen and I ache for his return to Game of Thrones); the episodes are strangely slow-paced, there are meandering plot lines and inexplicable voiceover narration. However, It makes for great afternoon nap watching. Just put on an episode, cover yourself with an afghan on your most comfortable couch and see how long you can manage to keep your eyes open. Very soothing.
Jane (documentary, 1 hr 30 min) The life and work of the renowned primatology scientist, Jane Goodall, especially on her research about chimpanzees. I am looking forward to watching this one as I have been an admirer of Goodall since I saw the first articles about her work and life in National Geographic.
Younger (sitcom, 5 seasons, 30 min) Oh my, Liza has been passing as a millennial for 5 seasons now in order to work in the publishing field. Her secret is getting out quickly and the last episode of this season is about to air this week. So enjoyable!
Animal Kingdom ( 1 hr drama, 3 seasons) The last episode of this season airs this week. Oh my, J has turned into quite the ruthless killer in this breathtakingly ruthless family of criminals. Ellen Barkin will literally take your breath away as the family matriarch who will not hesitate to kill one of her children if necessary.
Battle of the Sexes (feature film, 2 hrs) I have recorded this one for later viewing. Starring Emma Stone, Steve Carell and Andrea Riseborough. The film tells the true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
Outcast (2 seasons, 1 hr) This series falls under the batshit crazy category adapted from a comic book. Demons are possessing people in this doomed town. A demon-hunter is a total outsider here. I dare you to try and make sense of this show.
Sharp Objects (Season 1, 8 episodes) A reporter confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her hometown to cover a violent murder. A slow burn of a series that meanders between past and present. Painfully slow to watch, but features a great cast including Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson. Last episode airs tonight.
Better Call Saul (Season 4, 10 episodes) The trials and tribulations of criminal lawyer, Jimmy McGill, in the time leading up to establishing his strip-mall law office in Albuquerque, NM. Great performances from Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks, Giancarlo Esposito, etc. If you liked Breaking Bad, you will love this series.
Lodge 49 (Season 1, 10 episodes) Surfer dude joins a Fraternal order. Quirky and strangely appealing. I am loving this one. The star, Wyatt Russell is the son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell if you can’t figure out why he seems strangely familiar.
Preacher (Season 3, 10 episodes) Another entry in the batshit crazy category adapted from a comic book. After a supernatural event at his church, a preacher enlists the help of a vampire and his ex to find God. I think that says it all!
Queen of the South (Season 3, 13 episodes) This series tells the powerful story of Teresa Mendoza, a woman who is forced to run and seek refuge in America after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico. In the process, she teams up with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the very drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. Powerful and unrelentingly violent.
I still seek daily relief from the Trumpocalypse by watching Colbert, Noah, Maher, Bee, Jeffries, Oliver and most recently Sacha Baron Cohen in Who is America? OK, I’ll admit that Cohen’s series is actually more painful to watch than the reality it’s supposed to be providing relief from. Cringeworthy!!
CBS Sunday Morning which has been airing every Sunday morning at 9 am since 1979 is my weekly 90 minutes of information and inspiration. Stay tuned for the final moment of nature if you want to get your week off to a peaceful start.
I am headed back to Toronto this evening to join a group of lady friends on an outing to beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake tomorrow. Later in the week we have friends coming to stay with us in Thornbury and we will have dinner with them and other local friends as our summer comes rapidly to an end. Another friend is hosting an art event in the area that I will attend and we will gather after at a newish restaurant in Meaford that I have yet to make it to (Gio and Fran’s). Enjoy the beautiful late summer weather wherever you are. Hugs to my friends dealing with medical challenges.