TV Jan. 24-27: Flack, Euphoria, Charmed, Salisbury Poisonings, Flame Trees of Thika, Secret History of the British Garden, Mixed-ish, Snowpiercer, Resident Alien, Bonding, Penguin Bloom, 50M2

Some friendly advice (other than wash your hands, wear a mask): Remember that before you are successful, you will inevitably get curb-stomped in your search for a new job and your cautious re-entry into the app/online dating scene. That’s what your friends are for. Thank you, friends. And TV. Thank you TV. Onward.

Catching up

Flack (series premiere Jan. 22 Amazon Prime) Oh Anna Paquin. How could I have missed your presence anywhere, never mind as the lead of a new series? Apologies to you and your followers. “Bad behaviour. Great publicists. Ever wonder what the real story is behind those celebrity gossip columns? Flack has all the dirt. Four quick-witted and relentless flickers led by Robyn, played by Academy Award-winner Anna Paquin, are tasked (with making) the best of their celebrity clients’ terrible decisions. Will their ability to clean up their clients’ lives translate to their own?” I’m wagering not.

Sunday Jan. 24

Euphoria Part 2: Jules (special episode 8pmCT/9ET HBO, Crave app) “The second of two special episodes of the Emmy-winning HBO drama series Euphoria debuts … (with the) special episode directed by Sam Levinson, titled F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob. (Itz) follows Jules (Hunter Schafer) over the Christmas holiday as she reflects on the year. Schafer serves as co-executive producer on the second special episode, which she co-wrote with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson.

Charmed (Season 3 premiere W Network 8pmCT/9ET, Global TV and Stack apps) “At the end of season two, the Charmed Ones and the magical world find themselves in certain peril as Julian affirmed to Aunt Vivienne that “whatever it takes,” he would bring her Macy (Madeleine Mantock).  Meanwhile, Harry (Rupert Evans) and Macy’s newly cemented romance hangs in the balance after Harry asked Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) to use her new power to change his feelings for her sister. With Mel’s (Melonie Diaz) relationship with Ruby at an impasse, will Mel ever find true love?  And is the destruction of the sisterhood inevitable, or will the Charmed Ones conquer the Conqueror? The answers to these questions will unfold in season three and chart a whole new journey for the Charmed Ones as Maggie pursues her career ambitions, Macy returns to her science roots, and Mel’s activism is reignited.”

Monday Jan. 25

The Salisbury Poisonings (miniseries premiere AMC 9pmCT/10ET) Fact-based U.K. drama starring Anne-Marie Duff, Rafe Spall, Annabel Scholey. Comes to TV after premiering on the U.S.-only AMC “Tracy (Duff), head of Wiltshire Council Public Health, must handle the fallout after two people fall unconscious i a city centre due to an unknown illness. She discovered that it’s actually a deadly poison that’s been spread all over Salisbury.

Flame Trees of Thika (premiere Acorn) “Based on the beloved memoir by Elspeth Huxley, this BAFTA-nominated drama stars Hayley Mills (Pollyanna, Wild at Heart),David Robb (I, Claudius), and Holly Aird (Waking the Dead) as a British family who relocate to British East Africa (now Kenya) in order to set up a coffee plantation. Shot on location, this engaging series explores the trials and tribulations of the Grant family as they face everything from deadly animals to tensions with other colonists. (7 EPS, 1981)”

The Secret History of the British Garden (premiere Acorn) “World-famous gardener and horticultural expert Monty Don explores the stories behind four of the country’s most important gardens in this BBC Two series, unpacking their fascinating secrets to reveal how the British garden has evolved over the past 400 years. From Royal palaces of the 17th century, to wistful cottages of the 20th century, many of the world’s most famous influential and important gardens were created in the UK. Follow Monty Don as he unearths plans, diaries, letters and paintings to gain a truly revelatory look at how our most treasured and iconic outside spaces have evolved. (4 EPS, 2015)”

Tuesday Jan. 26

Mixed-ish (Season 2 premiere ABC City 8:30pmCT/9:30ET) “After finding out Johan has been pretending to be a different race, Rainbow gets mad, and Alicia and Paul try to find a way to encourage Johan to be proud of being Black.”

Snowpiercer (Season 2 premiere Netflix) A day after its U.S. premiere (on TNT), the sci-fi action series will commence its Season 2 episode-by-episode rollout on Netflix. Stars include Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs star. Based on the film the same name by Oscar-winner Bong Joon Ho, in which “Earth has frozen over and the last surviving humans live on a giant train circling the globe, struggling to coexist amid the delicate balance onboard.”

Wednesday Jan. 27

Resident Alien (series premiere CTV Sci-Fi Channel 9pmCT/10ET and CTV app) The extremely great Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Rogue One, Robot Chicken, Doom Patrol and Death at a Funeral) stars in the new sci-fi series about a crash-landed alien who “takes on the identity of a Colorado doctor and begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his secret mission on Earth.” As you do. Which reminds me, it’s time to rewatch the greatest one-season series there ever way, Firefly, starring Tudyk and Nathan Fillion among others. Also, the continuation of the story in the standalone film Serenity. If you haven’t already treated yourself, do it. It might cost you ( but it definitely worth it. Wonderful sci-fi western, with Fillion leading a band of rogues on the run from somebody while transporting somebody else. Danger, thrills, but mostly laughs and big, big heart.

Bonding (Season 2 premiere Netflix) “A New York City grad student moonlighting as a dominatrix enlists her gay BFF from high school to be her assistant.”

Penguin Bloom (movie premiere Netflix) “In 2013, Samantha Bloom (two-time Academy Award nominee NAOMI WATTS), her husband Cameron ( The Walking Dead’s ANDREW LINCOLN) and their three sons left their home in Australia for a holiday in Thailand. While enjoying a view, Sam fell off of a rooftop due to what was later determined to be a rotted railing…breaking her vertebrae in two places. Paralyzed from the chest down, Sam — a lifelong outdoorswoman, surfer, and traveler — was unrecognizable to herself, and spent long months in a depression that made her question who she could be in the world and in her own family. A year later, her children brought home a wounded baby magpie they found. Warily eyeing the black-and-white bird the kids affectionately named “Penguin,” Sam bonded with the household’s new member, beginning a process of emotional healing that surprised her husband and sons, her mother (Academy Award nominee JACKI WEAVER), and herself. PENGUIN BLOOM tells the amazing true story of renewal that occurred when a woman whose life seemed shattered found hope and purpose in her family’s love — and in a bird on its own journey of recovery.”

50M2 (series premiere Netflix) “Getting a second chance is easy, but making use of it is more difficult than one thinks. Gölge is doing the dirty work of Servet Nadir, whom he is raised by. He, who does not remember anything about his childhood, pursues the photograph that ties him to his past. Gölge, escaping with the secrets of Servet Nadir, takes refuge in a 50 square meter tailor shop in a neighbourhood named Güzelce. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood believe that he is Adem, son of Adil, the tailor who has just recently died. No matter how challenging the neighborhood is, Gölge will change the neighborhood and the neighborhood will change Gölge.”

Thank you so much for reading this far. You might be my soul mate, but no pressure. You do you and I’ll do me and … hmmm this is going south so… What is d2tv? 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! This is mostly a collection of Canadian streaming and broadcast programming notes focussing on premieres of new and returning series and specials etc, with the occasional series finale thrown in for sentimental reasons. Reviews are only occasional. You will notice that I focus on English-language scripted and documentary shows. I am no fan of reality TV (there is enough meanness and sarcasm in the world already without also financing it with funds that could otherwise go to quality scripted dramas, comedies and docs). If you spot an error or oversight or have a recommendation or opinion to share, please do so in the comments or by emailing me at the above address. Thanks for reading.


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