TV Oct. 18-21: Enslaved, The Trouble with Maggie Cole, Independent Lens, Walter Winchell, Rebecca, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Goldbergs, Conners, black-ish, 537 Votes

Thanks to west-coast friends of d2tv who flagged the ONLY SEGMENT ON SNL THAT I FULLY SLEPT THROUGH but which I enjoyed the most upon waking this morning. Oh Montreal TV news. I miss you! But enough about Saturday. This is a brand new week of TV! Onward!

Sunday Oct. 18

Enslaved (six-part documentary series kicks off on CBC 9pmET/CT and CBC Gem after a Saturday-night sneak peek on the documentary channel) “Led by icon and activist Samuel L. Jackson, ENSLAVED sheds new light on 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World. Based on a DNA test identifying his ancestral tribe, the series traces Jackson’s personal journey from the U.S. to Gabon for his induction into the Benga tribe, with rare and unprecedented access to secret ceremonies and local customs. … Using new diving technology – such as advanced 3D mapping and ground-penetrating radar – to locate and examine sunken slave ships on three continents, the series reveals an entirely new perspective on the history of the transatlantic slave trade. The series also tracks the efforts of Diving With a Purpose (DWP),  a collaborating organization with The National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS), as they search for and locate six slave ships that sank, drowning the enslaved humans aboard. Featuring the most dives ever made on sunken slave ships, Enslaved also chronicles the first positive identification of a“Freedom Ship,” an American schooner that ferried African American runaways to Canada. Each episode follows three separate story lines: the quest for a sunken slave ship, a personal journey by Samuel L. Jackson and a historical investigation led by investigative journalists Simcha Jacobovici and Afua Hirsch.”

The Trouble with Maggie Cole (series premiere on PBS 8pmET/7CT) “Historian Maggie Cole is asked to an interview her coastal village, Thurlbury. Maggie throws a garden party where she plays the interview in full, revealing all the guarded secrets, indiscretions and gossip, changing life in Thurlbury forever.”

Monday Oct. 19

Independent Lens (Season 22 premiere PBS 9pmCT/10ET) “Feels Good Man is the story of how artist Matt Furie, creator of a trippy, once-benign comic character named Pepe the Frog, fought an uphill battle to reclaim his iconic creation from those who turned it into a symbol of hate. An exploration of the power of online imagery and the fascinating spin cycle of memes in a culture where ownership and meaning can be wrested away from creators, Feels Good Man is a thought-provoking, wild ride through an Internet that transformed an unlucky cartoon frog, and then the rest of the world.”

Tuesday Oct. 20

American Masters (8pmCT/9ET PBS) Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip sounds a bit tame given the monstrous machine of fake news, especially in these few days before the U.S. election, but interesting nonetheless. It “traces the life and career of the syndicated columnist, radio news commentator and television host who pioneered the fast-paced, gossip driven, politically charged media culture that dominates today. At the height of his career, Winchell had a combined print and radio audience of 50 million and the power to make or break careers. He became the most feared and admired man in America, a man who transformed entertainment journalism and championed “Mr. and Mrs. America” in his daily columns and Sunday night radio program. Decades later, an alliance with Senator Joseph McCarthy and feuds with Josephine Baker and Ed Sullivan turned his audience against him and forced him into obscurity. Featuring Stanley Tucci as Winchell and narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this American Masters documentary breathes new life into Winchell’s original newspaper columns and broadcast scripts, drawing on rare recordings and a recently digitized collection of his work in the Billy Rose Theatre Division at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Winchell’s own words comprise nearly a quarter of the script as the film tracks the rise and fall of his career, and his continued influence on today’s media. “He was not only present at the creation of modern journalism,” concludes biographer and film interviewee Neal Gabler, “in many respects he was the creation.””

Wednesday Oct. 21

Rebecca (movie premiere on Netflix) “A young newlywed arrives at her husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast and finds herself battling the shadow of his first wife Rebecca, whose legacy lives on in the house long after her death. After a whirlwind romance in Monte Carlo with handsome widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer), a newly married young woman (Lily James) arrives at Manderley, her new husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast. Naive and inexperienced, she begins to settle into the trappings of her new life, but finds herself battling the shadow of Maxim’s first wife, the elegant and urbane Rebecca, whose haunting legacy is kept alive by Manderley’s sinister housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas). Directed by Ben Wheatley (High Rise, Free Fire) and produced by Working Title Films (Emma, Darkest Hour), REBECCA is a mesmerising and gorgeously rendered psychological thriller based on Daphne du Maurier’s beloved 1938 gothic novel.”

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (Season 3 premiere on Netflix) “David Letterman returns to the host seat with My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, combining humor, curiosity and in-depth conversations with extraordinary people. The four-episode third season of the Netflix talk show series will welcome another round of guests, including Kim Kardashian West, Robert Downey Jr., Dave Chappelle and Lizzo.”

The Goldbergs (one-hour Season 8 premiere 8pmET/7CT ABC) “Beverly surprises the family with an end-of-summer vacation to Miami; Adam wrestles with the fact that he is a cool kid and no longer a nerd while his original friend group isn’t as lucky.”

The Conners (season premiere 9pmET/8CT ABC CTV) “are dealing with the pandemic and life’s financial troubles; the Lunch Box is closed for everything but takeout and delivery; Becky and Darlene are both forced to search for additional income at the newly reopened Wellman Plastics plant.” 

black-ish (season premiere ABC 9:30pm/8:30CT) “As a first responder at the beginning of the pandemic, Bow receives her family’s praise for her work, but over time, the family loses its enthusiasm; Dre tries to convince everyone that he is an essential worker.”

537 Votes (documentary premiere HBO Crave 9pmET/8CT) “chronicles the political machinations that led to the unprecedented, contested outcome of the 2000 presidential election, including the chaotic voter recount in Florida that ended with George W. Bush winning by a razor-thin margin. From director Billy Corben and his producing partner Alfred Spellman, with Adam McKay (HBO’s “Succession”) and Todd Schulman executive producing, the film details how the international custody battle over six-year old Elian Gonzalez triggered a political earthquake in Miami-Dade County in 2000, swaying the outcome of the presidential election. With the margin of victory hinged on Florida, George W. Bush won the presidency by a mere 537 votes. With new insights, the documentary exposes the key players who contributed to the chaos in the contested Florida county, including interviews from insiders and political operatives at the time such as Roger Stone, Joe Geller, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party, and Al Cárdenas, Chairman of the Florida Republican Party.”

d2tvblog@gmail.com

What is d2tv anyway? I’m so glad you asked. This is the latest iteration of my TV writing/blogging that began back in 1986 or so? at the Winnipeg Sun, continued briefly in print and on the web at the Montreal Gazette and finally, here, for myself and YOU! Having newly (July 2020) left the full-time journalism business for a brief rest aka vacation and moved myself and d2tv head office to my hometown of Winnipeg (YAY), I am hoping to put more time and features on this blog, which is still currently mostly a collection of Canadian streaming and broadcast programming notes focussing on premieres of new and returning series, specials etc, with the occasional series finale thrown in for sentimental reasons. Reviews are, for the moment, only occasional. If you spot an error or oversight or have a recommendation to share, please do so in the comments or by emailing me at the above address. Glad you’re here. PS: Reminder that I’m trying to keep the ET/CT times straight but sometimes, there will be mixups (I’m a pensioner for chrissakes!) so do let me know if there is a problem and I will makes very sincere empathic (empathetic?) noises. (edit note: please check the previous.)

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