Happy Easter chocolate fiends.
Stardust (on Crave app since Friday) “In 1971, a 24-year-old fledgling David Bowie (Johnny Flynn) is sent to America to promote his newest record, The Man Who Sold the World. Leaving behind his pregnant wife Angie (Jena Malone), Bowie and his band embark on a makeshift coast-to-coast promotional tour with struggling Mercury Records publicist Rob Oberman (Marc Maron). The film centres on David Bowie’s first US tour and his creation of the Ziggy Stardust persona that followed this visit, while also showing Bowie’s origins.”
Sunday April 4
Gangs of London (series premiere AMC 9:14-10:24pmCT/10:14ET) “Finn Wallace was the most powerful criminal in London. But now he’s dead – and nobody knows who ordered the hit. It’s up to Sean Wallace, with the help of the Dumani family and Elliot Finch, to take his father’s place.” In Episode One: “Elliot is forced to make a choice that will define his entire future; Sean makes a discovery about a traitor who has been in his midst all along.”
My Grandparents’ War (docuseries premiere 7pmCT/8ET PBS) “Combining key moments in history with compelling personal stories, My Grandparents’ War is a new four-part series that takes a fascinating journey into the past to understand the extraordinary impact of World War II on the families of four British actors. Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown, “Harry Potter” series), Mark Rylance (“Dunkirk,” “Bridge of Spies,” Masterpiece: Wolf Hall), Kristin Scott Thomas (“Darkest Hour,” “The English Patient”) and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman,” “The Great Gatsby”) each host a one-hour journey into their respective family histories as they travel to historic locations, from the beaches of Dunkirk to the former site of a prisoner-of-war camp in Hong Kong, to retrace their grandparents’ footsteps during the conflict that changed their lives forever.” Subsequent episodes follow over the new three Sundays.
Masterpiece Theatre: Atlantic Crossing (series premiere 8pmCT/9ET PBS) “A princess steals the heart of the president of the United States in an epic drama based on the World War II relationship of Franklin Roosevelt and Norwegian Crown Princess Martha. Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Sex and the City) stars as Roosevelt, opposite Swedish star Sofia Helin (The Bridge) as the beautiful Martha, who flees the Nazis with her three young children and lives under Roosevelt’s protection. The eight-part series co-stars Tobias Santelmann as Crown Prince Olav and Harriet Sansom Harris as First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Us (series premiere 9pmCT/10ET CBC, CBC Gem) “Based on David Nicholls’ best-selling novel of the same name and adapted by Nicholls for television, this BBC dramedy stars Tom Hollander (Baptise, Taboo, Rev.) as Douglas Petersen, who is blindsided when his wife Connie (Saskia Reeves; Belgravia) tells him that she’s not sure she wants to be married to him anymore. Agreeing to still go on their planned family grand tour of Europe, Douglas vows to win back the love of his wife and repair his troubled relationship with their son Albie (Tom Taylor; The Last Kingdom). Reflecting Nicholls’ signature mix of humour and heartbreak, US brings the Petersens’ poignant and often hilarious story to life, taking viewers with them on their once-in-a-lifetime journey through some of the most beautiful cities in the world.”
Birdgirl (spinoff series premiere 11pmCT/midnight ET on Adult Swim) “Thirty-something Judy Ken Sebben inherits her father’s company, which would be great if that company weren’t built around the most socially irresponsible 20th century products and practices that, on a good day, involves clearing redwood forests or operating for-profit children’s hospitals. From the halls of the company headquarters, she assembles the ragtag, non-overtime earning Birdteam. Together, they try to undo all the luridly dangerous decisions of the generation before or contain the havoc of one of their own “world saving” products gone bad. The series stars Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds) along with the main voice cast that includes Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), Sonia Denis (Set It Up), Kether Donohue (You’re the Worst), John Doman (Blue Valentine), Negin Farsad ( 3rd Street Blackout), Tony Hale (Veep), and Lorelei Ramirez (Pervert Everything).”
Monday April 5
Hemingway (documentary series premiere PBS 7pmCT/8ET) The” three-part, six-hour documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick examines the visionary work and the turbulent life of Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest and most influential writers America has ever produced. Interweaving his eventful biography — a life lived at the ultimately treacherous nexus of art, fame, and celebrity — with carefully selected excerpts from his iconic short stories, novels, and non-fiction, the series reveals the brilliant, ambitious, charismatic, and complicated man behind the myth, and the art he created.”
Family Reunion (Season 3 premiere Netflix) “When the McKellan family moves from Seattle to small-town Georgia, life down South — and traditional grandparents — challenge their big-city ways.” This NAACP-honoured series stars Loretta Devine, Tia Mowry and Anthony Alabi. Created by Meg DeLoatch.
Tuesday April 6
Chad (series premiere 9:30pmCT/10:30ET CTV Comedy, CTV app) “Teetering between extreme cringe comedy and relatable tales of teenage angst, CHAD follows a 14-year-old pubescent Persian boy (Nasim Pedrad) as he navigates his first year of high school on a mission to become popular. Chad’s friendships and sanity are pushed to the limits as he uses every tactic at his disposal to befriend the cool kids, while enduring his mother’s new dating life, and reconciling with his cultural identity. Multi-talented Pedrad also serves as creator, writer, executive producer, and showrunner of the series.”
Wednesday April 7
Home Economics (series premiere 7:30pmCT/8:30ET ABC, 9pmCT/10ET CTV) “From writers and executive producers Michael Colton and John Aboud, the series takes a look at the heartwarming yet super uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating relationship among three adult siblings: one in the 1 per cent, one middle-class and one barely holding on. The comedy is inspired by the life of writer and executive producer Michael Colton. The series stars Topher Grace as Tom, Caitlin McGee as Sarah, Jimmy Tatro as Connor, Karla Souza as Marina and Sasheer Zamata as Denise. Also starring is Shiloh Bearman as Gretchen, Jordyn Curet as Shamiah, Chloe Jo Rountree as Camila and JeCobi Swain as Kelvin.” On ABC, it’s followed by back-to-back The Connors, then A Million Little Things at 9pmCT/10ET, the latter of which has now moved from Thursdays to Wednesdays on both ABC and Citytv.
Snabba Cash (premiere Netflix) “The Swedish language reboot sets in Stockholm ten years after the events depicted in the film trilogy. In the center of the story is Leya, a young single mom trying to make it within the startup- scene. It is a buzzing environment where the craving for status and money is stronger than ever and Leya is determined to make it, no matter what. The entrepreneurial jet set as well as the criminal world is more brutal, chaotic and ruthless than ever. When these two worlds collide, loyalty, friendships and business partners will all be tested in the never-ending quest for easy money. Starring Evin Ahmad, Alexander Abdallah, Ali Alarik, Olle Sarri, Dada Fungula Bozela and Jozef Wojciechowicz (Z.E).”
Exterminate All the Brutes (doc series premiere 8pmCT/9ET HBO, Crave app) The four-part series premieres “with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro, SOMETIMES IN APRIL), the docuseries journies through time into the darkest hours of humanity. Through his personal voyage, Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism, from America to Africa and its impact on society today, challenging the audience to rethink the very notion of how history is being written. The final two-episdoes of EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES will premiere back-to-back Thursday, April 8 .”
The Wedding Coach (series premiere Netflix) “Bridesmaids and in-laws and mason jars, oh my! Weddings are a beautiful cause for celebration, but despite what the bridal magazines say, planning one is far from a party. After barely making it down the aisle of her own wedding, comedian Jamie Lee is on a hilarious, heartwarming mission to help couples survive the stressful, and sometimes ridiculous, expectations of “Big Bridal.” With a different comedian “plus one” by her side each episode, Jamie intervenes before and on the wedding day, serving up her refreshing, real-talk perspective on the Bridal Industry, squashing the couple’s drama to help them focus on the big picture.”
Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute (film premiere Netflix) “We love you Doll,” says Willy, which says it all, but here’s some very minimalist bumph: “In a star-studded evening of music and memories, a community of iconic performers honor Dolly Parton as the MusiCares Person of the Year.”
This Is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist (series premiere Netflix)
It was the biggest art heist in history: Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 1990, legendary works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and others worth over half a billion dollars today were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. This four-part documentary series from director Colin Barnicle covers the leads, dead ends, lucky breaks and speculations that characterized the investigation of this still unsolved mystery.
Kung Fu (series premiere 7pmCT/8ET CTV2) “A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese-American woman, Nicky Shen, to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China. But when she returns to San Francisco, she finds her hometown is overrun with crime and corruption. Nicky will rely on her family and friends, as well as her martial arts skills and Shaolin values, to protect her community and bring the criminals to justice…all while searching for the ruthless assassin who killed her mentor. The series stars Olivia Liang (LEGACIES) as Nicky, Kheng Hua Tan (Crazy Rich Asians) as Mei-Li, Shannon Dang (THE L WORD: GENERATION Q) as Althea, Eddie Liu (NEVER HAVE I EVER) as Henry, Gavin Stenhouse (9-1-1) as Evan, Vanessa Kai (NEW AMSTERDAM) as Pei-Ling, Tony Chung as Dennis, Tzi Ma (Mulan) as Jin, Gwendoline Yeo as Zhilan, Jon Prasida (RECKONING) as Ryan, and Ludi Lin (Power Rangers) as Kerwin. The series is from writer-executive producer Christina M. Kim (HAWAII 5-0), creator-executive producer Martin Gero (BLINDSPOT), and executive producers Greg Berlanti (DC’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW) and Sarah Schechter (THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT, BATWOMAN). Inspired by the original series created by Ed Spielman.”
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. Have a good one.