It’s been a pretty busy week. Appointments, Mahjong, golf, brunches, lunches and dinners with friends. We tried out the new restaurant The Grey, which is conveniently located on our street in Thornbury, and although we were astonished at the noise level (lots of hard surfaces) we were pleasantly surprised by great food and service. We have said good-bye to some favourite programs that have ended, but this week, there are some new shows to enjoy! Here are some recommendations:
Cobra Kai (Season 2, 10 episodes)I can’t believe I watched all 10 episodes of this weird, lame, sequel to the original Karate Kid film. Last year’s Season 1 wasn’t nearly as awful as I had assumed it was going to be. My expectations, therefore, were high that I would be equally entertained by Season 2, but it was very disappointing. Some truly terrible acting on display here. Unbelievably juvenile, but great soundtrack full of 1980’s music.
Premiering this week:
Deadwood (TV movie, 2 h) The cast returns including Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Robin Weight, Brad Dourif, Kim Dickens Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, Anna Gunn, Keigh Carradine, John Hawkes, etc. Expectations are high for this one.
Vida (Season 2, 6 episodes) This great series features mainly Latino performers. Following the death of their mother Vida, her two estranged daughters come to terms with their identities and their inheritance.
Animal Kingdom (Season 4, 10 episodes) The Southern California based Cody crime family continues their saga under the leadership of Ellen Barkin (Smurf). Great suspense series.
Blood & Treasure (13 episodes) An antiquities expert teams up with an art thief to catch a terrorist who funds his attacks using stolen artifacts. Meant to be light entertainment that blends Indiana Jones-style adventure with caper flicks.
What/If (10 episodes) If you loved the campy suspense series, Revenge (2011-15), you will get a kick out of hate watching this “so bad it’s good” series. Features an over the top performance from a shockingly thin Renee Zellweger as an amoral venture capitalist who gets the action started with an Indecent Proposal-type plot line. Enjoy if you like campy morality tales.
Here’s an article from the NY Times recommending some new programs:
Eurovision 2019 (4 hours +) This one took place in Tel Aviv. You have to see it to believe it. Over the top production numbers. Now available on demand. Warning: Once it’s seen, it cannot be unseen!
The Sense of an Ending (1 h 48 min) A man becomes haunted by his past and is presented with a mysterious legacy that causes him to re-think his current situation in life. Great British cast includes Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Harriet Walter, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode. etc. I watched this on a dreary, rainy afternoon, and found it so soothing that I managed to snooze through a good portion of this rather slow and understated film.
Dracula Untold (1 h 32 min) I’m sure I had seen this one before, but family consensus determined our choice. Tells the untold story of a kinder, gentler Vlad the Impaler who was only trying to save his kingdom from the Turks. Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper star.
White Gold (Season 2, 6 episodes) The travails of Cachet Windows continue as Vincent has now teamed up with a gangster to run the business. Ed Westwick stars as the amoral Vincent.
Killing Eve (Season 2, 8 episodes) The cat and mouse game between intelligence officer and international assassin continues.
Billions (Season 4, 12 episodes) The cat and mouse have teamed up in this one to vanquish their enemies.
Catch 22 (6 episodes) Long and torturous retelling of this anti-war tale. Great performance by Christopher Abbott in the lead role as Yossarian. There are cameos from Kyle Chandler, George Clooney, and Hugh Laurie as the nefariously out of touch senior officers.
Fosse/Verdon (8 episodes) Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams are fabulous as the two leads.
Mary Kills People (Season 3, 6 episodes) Mary is pregnant now and still providing medically assisted suicides for terminal patients. Now, she’s being blackmailed!
Warrior (12 episodes) Riotously violent tale of warring gangs in 1870’s San Francisco. Features great Kung Fu fighting.
Gentleman Jack (16 episodes) Astonishing tale of a real life LGBTQ trailblazer in 1830’s Yorkshire.
Chernobyl (5 episodes) Tragic retelling of the 1986 disaster. Stars Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson.
Condor (13 episodes) Great cast includes William Hurt, who turns into an American Bill Nighy in this one! Watch for the resemblance. I do think this series could have been a few episodes shorter.
Keep watching James Corden (Prime Time Carpool Karaoke Special with Celine Dion should be available on demand), Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, Bill Maher, etc. A bright light on You Tube is the series of brilliant political/musical parodies of Randy Rainbow. If you haven’t discovered him yet, try this recent one done to the opening music of Beauty and the Beast:
Moment of Zen
I have yet to watch this morning’s CBS Sunday Morning, but I look forward to watching its Memorial Day Weekend show which features a travel segment on road trips, Annette Bening on Broadway, conductor Teddy Abrams, historical statues of men, Iraq war veteran, school bus drivers, etc.
The weather seems to be warming up a little, and the rain has stopped temporarily. Great time to stay in and watch videos, when the rain starts again. I keep trying to view the numerous submissions I am screening for the Naples International Film Festival. So far I have watched films from Israel, Iran, Turkey, Hungary, Britain, and more. It’s been a combination of features and shorts. On the whole, they are challenging films on difficult themes. Enjoy this season, indoors or out! Have a wonderful week wherever you are.