TV Nov. 22-25: The Undoing, American Music Awards, Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square, Belushi, Fifth Estate, Black Narcissus, Shawn Mendes, Notes for My Son, Hillbilly Elegy, Mystery of D.B. Cooper, Christmas Chronicles 2, Uncle Frank, Great Pretender

Hello dearest hearts. GAK! Correcting earlier version, this is the penultimate episode, not the finale of The Undoing (Sunday, 8pmCT/9ET HBO, Crave app). However, my question still stands: Did Hugh Grant do it? Nicole Kidman? Donald Sutherland? There is a huge stinking pile of red herrings. I have a bottle of vodka on it being one of the sons. I’ve already bought the bottle for myself because it was a bet with myself so either/any way it ends, I WIN! Yes, stress fractures are showing, I know I know. I’m adding a walk a day in hopes of not cracking up completely. Although no shame in cracking. Onward!

Sunday Nov. 22

American Music Awards (CTV/ABC 7pmCT/8ET) Taraji Henson hosts.

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (special premiere on Netflix) “A rich and nasty woman, Regina Fuller, returns to her small hometown after her father’s death to evict everyone and sell the land to a mall developer – right before Christmas. However, after listening to stories of the local townsfolk, reconnecting with an old love, and accepting the guidance of an actual angel, Regina starts to have a change of heart. This is the story about family, love, and how a small town’s Christmas spirit can warm even the coldest of hearts. Starring Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Jenifer Lewis, Treat Williams, and directed and choreographed by three-time Emmy and Golden Globe winner Debbie Allen. Featuring 14 original songs with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton.”

Belushi (doc premiere on Crave/Starz 8pmCT/9ET, Crave app) “chronicles the life and legendary career of beloved comedian John Belushi. Written and directed by Emmy-winner R.J. Cutler (AMERICAN HIGH), the film uses previously unheard audiotapes recorded shortly after John Belushi’s death to examine the too-short life of a generational talent who captured the hearts and funny bones of devoted audiences.”

Monday Nov. 23

The Fifth Estate: Thirteen Deadline Hours – The Nova Scotia Shooting (Season 46 premiere 9pmCT/10ET) An hour-long look at Canada’s deadliest shooting.

Black Narcissus (full-run series premiere 7-10:35pmCT/8-11:35ET FX) “is an FX limited series based on the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden. Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once known as the ‘House of Women’ holds many dark secrets. When the young nuns of St. Faith attempt to establish a mission there, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy. During the latter years of British rule in India, ambitious young nun Sister Clodagh heads a mission to a remote part of the Himalayas. The palace of Mopu has been donated by General Toda Rai, who hopes the Sisters of St. Faith will rid the ‘House of Women’ of unhappy memories connected to his late sister, Srimati. Although Clodagh ignores the warnings of the General’s raffish agent Mr. Dean, isolation and illness soon take their toll, with the haunting atmosphere of the palace particularly affecting volatile Sister Ruth. As past and present collide, the arrival of the young General Dilip Rai is the catalyst for an explosion of repressed desires that may end in a fatal confrontation. Black Narcissus stars Gemma Arterton as “Sister Clodagh,” Alessandro Nivola as “Mr. Dean,” Aisling Franciosi as “Sister Ruth,” Diana Rigg as “Mother Dorothea,” Jim Broadbent as “Father Roberts,” Rosie Cavaliero as “Sister Briony,” Karen Bryson as “Sister Philippa,” Patsy Ferran as “Sister Blanche,” Nila Aalia as “Angu Ayah,” Kulvinder Ghir as “General Toda Rai,” Chaneil Kular as “Dilip Rai,” Dipika Kunwar as “Kanchi,” Gina McKee as “Sister Adela,” Soumil Malla as “Joseph Anthony,” Gianni Gonsalves as “Srimati Rai.”

Shawn Mendes In Wonder (new on Netflix) “follows Shawn Mendes’ journey toward self-discovery, after the physical and emotional demands of his rise, and his last world tour, pushed him towards a personal and musical reckoning. The documentary is a heartfelt look at a songwriter and performer wrestling with the pressures of stardom and the emotional tolls of coming-of-age while the world watches. Largely framed around his rise and recent tour, the film offers unprecedented access to Mendes’ private life both at home, and while traveling across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and features years of footage as he rose from precocious troubadour to global superstar.”

Réunions (premiere Acorn) “In this heartwarming, contemporary French drama, two half-brothers who learn about each other’s existence after the death of their father inherit a hotel on the paradise island of Réunion. Since the hotel is on the verge of bankruptcy, Jérémy (Loup-Denis Elion) and Antoine (Nicolas Bridet) and their respective families make huge sacrifices in working together to turn things around.  Chloe (Laëtitia Milot), Jeremy’s companion, is immensely excited by the prospect of moving to the island with its stunning white sandy beaches and sees it as the ideal opportunity to start a new life, where the couple can leave behind their massive debts. She plunges herself enthusiastically into management with Jérémy and Antoine, who are from different races and economic classes. But things are not as rosy as they seem. This series explores the importance of family, parenthood and the class divide. (6 EPS, 2020, with English subtitles)”

Tuesday Nov. 24

Notes for My Son (new on Netflix) “When María ‘Marie’ Vázquez finds out she has a terminal disease, she decides to face her fate the only way she knows how: with emotion and a sarcastic humor that defines her.  She spends most of her time writing a book for her four-year-old son, Tomy, with the idea that his mother’s image will stay with him for ever. María also shares her experience through social media, with her unique style, and her life story becomes really popular. Her last days are full of mixed feelings as she is joined by her lovely husband, Federico, and her closest friends to celebrate her life.”

Hillbilly Elegy (movie premiere on Netflix) Glenn Close and Amy Adams star and Ron Howard directs. “J.D. Vance (Gabriel Basso), a former Marine from southern Ohio and current Yale Law student, is on the verge of landing his dream job when a family crisis forces him to return to the home he’s tried to forget. J.D. must navigate the complex dynamics of his Appalachian family, including his volatile relationship with his mother Bev (Adams), who’s struggling with addiction. Fueled by memories of his grandmother Mamaw (Close), the resilient and whip-smart woman who raised him, J.D. comes to embrace his family’s indelible imprint on his own personal journey.”

Wednesday Nov. 25

The Mystery of D.B. Cooper (documentary premiere 8pmCT/9pmET HBO, Crave app) “Directed by Emmy-nominated filmmaker John Dower, The Mystery of D.B. Cooper brings to life the stories of four individuals fervently believed by their family and friends to be “D.B. Cooper,” the mystery man who hijacked a 727 flying out of Seattle, traded the passengers’ lives for $200,000 and four parachutes, lept from the jet over some of Washington state’s roughest terrain, and was never heard from again. ‌Almost 50 years later, the case continues to confound the FBI and inspire wild speculation as it remains the only unsolved airplane hijacking in United States history.‌ The film draws from a combination of recreated and archival footage, as well as exclusive interviews with those most connected to the infamous case and its likeliest culprit, and explores how the heist inspired copycat hijackings around the world and elevated Cooper to “legend” status before his plane even touched back down on land. ‌”

The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two (movie premiere on Netflix) “It’s been two years since siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) saved Christmas, and a lot has changed. Kate, now a cynical teenager, is reluctantly spending Christmas in Cancun with her mom’s new boyfriend and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Unwilling to accept this new version of her family, Kate decides to run away. But when a mysterious, magical troublemaker named Belsnickel threatens to destroy the North Pole and end Christmas for good, Kate and Jack are unexpectedly pulled into a new adventure with Santa Claus (Kurt Russell). Written and directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter) and co-starring Goldie Hawn, THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2 is an action-packed adventure for the whole family that’s full of heart, humor, and holiday spirit.”

Uncle Frank (movie premier on Amazon Prime) “In 1973, when Frank Bledsoe (Paul Bettany) and his 18-year-old niece Beth (Sophia Lillis) take a road trip from Manhattan to Creekville, S.C. for ht family patriarch’s funeral, they’re unexpectedly joined by Frank’s lover Walid aka Wally (Peter Macdissi).” Directed by Alan Ball of Six Feet Under fame and also starring Steve Zahn, Judy Greer and Margo Martindale. Woo!”

Great Pretender (Season 2 premiere Netflix) “Supposedly Japan’s greatest swindler, Makoto Edamura gets more than he bargained for when he tries to con Laurent Thierry, a real world-class crook.”

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. Hello? Is there no editor in charge? edit reply: the editor will go to work when the editor gets paid. blogger reply: You’ll get paid when… when… No I better not say it out loud. *storms off, fuming*)

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