What I am Watching on TV, November 2015


An American political thriller television series starring Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer with bipolar disease and Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody, a US Marine Corps Scout Sniper. Lewis is no longer in the series, ….he was killed many episodes back.  Too bad, he was one of the original reasons to watch. It has had mixed reviews and I said last season I would not watch it any more.

But I am giving it another go and I have to say, I still do not care for Claire Danes’ performance. I wish they would find someone to replace her. She always sounds like a hysteric, and she looks ridiculous and extremely unattractive in the wig she uses to hide her identity. It is almost laughable. Mandy Patinkin is great and so are the other actors. The story line has improved, the locale being in Berlin, interesting, but it still has lost its verve. It seems repetitive and a little boring. Without Damian Lewis it is flat and he has been gone for a long time now. I’ll dutifully watch the rest of the season and give you my final opinion after the last episode.


The Affair

Explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship. Noah is a NYC schoolteacher and novelist who is happily married, but resents his dependence on his wealthy father-in-law. Alison is a young waitress trying to put her marriage and life back together in the wake of a tragedy. This provocative drama unfolds when Noah and Alison meet in Montauk during the summer season. Their subsequent affair has far reaching consequences.

I have enjoyed this series. Ruth Wilson is fabulous – I remember her as Alice in LUTHER where she was brilliant. But, I am starting to get very annoyed with Noah, who is appearing to be more and more of a jerk. To be continued……


John Pilger’s UTOPIA, 2013

This is a documentary film written produced and presented by John Pilgrim that explores the experiences of Aborigines in modern Australia. The title comes from the Aboriginal homeland community of Uptopia, Northern Territory, one of the poorest and most desolate areas in Australia — wikipedia.

The film begins with the documentarian’s journey to Uptopia to see what has changed since he originally visited in 1985. He discovers that the families are still existing in extreme poverty. The conditions for these people is deplorable and this is a documentary that should be presented to high schoolers to learn what can happen to indigenous peoples. I highly recommend this film.


Stephen Colbert The Late Show

Stephen Tyrone Colberrt is an American comedian, writer, producer, actor, media critic and tv host.  He currently hosts the late-night tv talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  I love the subject matter he wrestles with: American politics, the Christain right, popular culture, current events, anti-intellectualism, sexuality.  I have read that his influences are George Carlin, Steve Martin, David Letterman, Jon Stewart.

If I can stay awake ,  love,  love,  love this show.  Stephen Colbert is brilliant.  He will have people like Daniel Craig followed with a Professor of Mathematics, or Jane Fonda followed by Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber.  He mixes it up, celebrities  and intellectuals, politicians with writers.  I have seen John Irving, Elizabeth Gilbert.  This past week  some of his guests were Bill Maher, Julianne Moore, Sharon Stone, Jane Fonda, Michael Caine.  keep up the good work Stephen!



Indian Summers on PBS Masterpiece Theatre

This is a British drama series that details the events of summers spent at Simla, in the foothills of the Himalayas, by a group of British socialites at the time of the British raj.  The series is filmed in Penang, Malaysia because  Simla was unsuitable….too many modern buildings and a monsoon season that would have interfered greatly with the filming.

Tonight was  the last episode and what a series it has been, 9 episodes, each one better than the previous. I intend to buy a boxed set.

I understand Season Two will be presented on the air in 2016.  I cannot wait that long and will buy the two seasons as soon as it is available in England.  I’ll have to watch it on my MAC because it is a different system than ours and cannot be viewed on my tv.

There is intrigue, mystery, murder, love affairs, political dimensions, etc. etc.

I’ll just encapsulate the first episode:

Ralph Wjelan and the rest of the The Indian Civil Service begin the annual move to Sinmla, while the doyenne of the social scene, Cynthia Coffin, prepares the exclusively white Royal Simla Club for the season.  Simultaneously  a boy is found collapsed on the railway tracks, while a mysterious assassin makes his way to the city.   This is the start of the summer season.    Each episode continues with Indian and British relationships, murder, pro-independence rallies, talk of Gandhi and his importance is just on the horizon.

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