TV Dec. 5-11

Things are getting pretty busy in the d2 workshop but I managed to toss this together and throw it into the oven. I mean blog.

Catching up

Santa Inc. (season 1 premiere Crave Dec. 2) “The HBO Max eight-episode, half-hour adult animated series, SANTA INC., tells the story of Candy Smalls (Sarah Silverman), the highest-ranking elf in the North Pole. When the successor to Santa Claus (Seth Rogen) is poached by Amazon on Christmas Eve, Candy goes for her ultimate dream – to become the first female Santa Claus in the history of Christmas. The series also features the voices of Leslie Grossman, Gabourey Sidibe, Craig Robinson, Nicholas Braun, Joel Kim Booster, and Maria Bamford. All episodes from Season 1 drop Thursday, Dec. 2 on Crave.”

Alex Rider (Season 2 premiere Amazon Prime Video) “Alex (Otto Farrant) is still reeling from the traumatic events at Point Blanc, and desperately wants to return to a normal life. But when his new friend Sabina’s father, journalist Ed Pleasance, is attacked by Yassen Gregorovich (Thomas Levin), the man who may have killed his uncle, Alex reluctantly finds himself drawn back into the world of international espionage. Cut loose from his one-time allies within shadowy MI6 division The Department, Alex discovers a link between Ed, a dangerous hacker known as Smoking Mirror, and tech billionaire Damian Cray. With the help of his guardian Jack and trusted friend Tom, Alex must unravel a sinister political plot with global repercussions, the answer to which may be locked within Cray’s latest product, the global phenomenon video game Feathered Serpent. This season is based on the fourth book in the franchise ,Eagle Strike.

Sunday Dec. 5

Vigil (series premiere Starz, Crave) “From the makers of LINE OF DUTY, in this police procedural, the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board the submarine HMS Vigil bring the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services. DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) and DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) lead an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that goes to the very heart of Britain’s national security. VIGIL premieres with two episodes on Sunday, Dec. 5, followed by a weekly release schedule with two new episodes dropping Sundays on STARZ.”

Monday Dec. 6

Voir (doc series premiere Netflix) “From executive producers David Fincher and David Prior, VOIR is a series of visual essays celebrating Cinema and the personal connection we each have to the stories we see on the big screen. From intimate personal histories to insights on character and craft, each episode reminds us why Cinema holds a special place in our lives.” Executive Producers: David Fincher, David Prior, Ceán Chaffin, Joshua Donen, Neil Kellerhouse, Ross M. Dinerstein, Ross Girard.

The Forever Prisoner (doc premiere HBO, Crave app) “Are we prepared to abandon our principles in order to defend them? #TheForeverPrisoner, an HBO original documentary film that takes viewers, for the first time, behind the architects of America’s torture program. From acclaimed director Alex Gibney (HBO’s “The Crime of the Century,” “Agents of Chaos,” “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley”), The Forever Prisoner is an unflinching look at how America’s torture policy began with CIA captive Abu Zubaydah — the first high-value detainee subjected to the CIA’s program of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs), later identified as torture by those outside the agency. Having never been charged with a crime or allowed to challenge his detention, Zubaydah remains imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay in Kafkaesque limbo, in direct contravention of America’s own ideals of  justice and  due process. ”

Landscapers (miniseries premiere HBO, Crave app) “HBO’s four-part limited series LANDSCAPERS, starring Emmy® and Oscar®-winner Olivia Colman (THE CROWN) and Emmy-nominee David Thewlis (FARGO), debuts Monday, Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. ET. Inspired by real-life events, LANDSCAPERS tells a unique love story involving Chris and Susan Edwards (Thewlis and Colman), a seemingly ordinary British couple who become the focus of an extraordinary investigation when two dead bodies are discovered in the back garden of a house in Nottingham. Will Sharpe (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain) directs the exploration of love and fantasy, which is created and written by screenwriter Ed Sinclair. The series follows a weekly release schedule, with new episodes available to stream Mondays. ”

Tuesday Dec. 7

Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo) (comedy premiere Netflix)

Abbott Elementary (series sneak peek ABC) In this workplace comedy, a la The Office, “In this workplace comedy, a group of dedicated, passionate teachers — and a slightly tone-deaf principal — are brought together in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life. Though these incredible educators may be outnumbered and underfunded, they love what they do — even if they don’t love the school district’s less-than-stellar attitude toward educating children. Stars Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, Janelle James as Ava Coleman, Chris Perfetti as Jacob Hill, Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa Schemmenti and Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard.”

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Facts of Life & Diff’rent Strokes (ABC) “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” makes its highly anticipated return with a third iteration, featuring live reenactments of the hit series “The Facts of Life,” created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, and “Diff’rent Strokes,” created by Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris. “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes'” premieres TUESDAY, DEC. 7 (8:00-9:30 p.m. EST), on ABC. The one-night-only live event will reunite executive producers Norman Lear, Jimmy Kimmel, Brent Miller, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, Justin Theroux and Jim Burrows and will feature an all-star cast with John Lithgow who will play Mr.Drummond, Kevin Hart assuming the role of Arnold and Damon Wayans and Ann Dowd who will play Willis and Mrs. Garrett in”Diff’rent Strokes.” The cast of “The Facts of Life” will be named at a later date.

Wednesday Dec. 8

Welcome to Earth (doc series premiere Disney+) It might seem humans have mapped every inch of our planet’s surface, but look closer and you’ll discover that there is still so much more to uncover — the age of exploration is far from over! Welcome to Earth, a Disney+ original series from National Geographic, follows two-time Academy Award® nominee Will Smith on an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world to explore Earth’s greatest wonders and reveal its most hidden secrets. Throughout the six-part limited series produced by visionary Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Protozoa Pictures, Jane Root’s Nutopia and Westbrook Studios, Will is guided by elite explorers on an awe-inspiring journey, getting up close and personal with some of the most thrilling spectacles on the planet — from volcanoes that roar in silence to deserts that move beyond our perception to animal swarms with minds of their own. Combining breathtaking cinematography with Will’s boundless curiosity and enthusiasm, the blockbuster series is an exciting, multisensory ride through Earth’s most mind-bending portals.

Carolin Kebekus: The Last Christmas Special (comedy  premiere Netflix) “In Netflix Germany’s first Christmas themed stand up special, one of the biggest comedians in the country, Carolin Kebekus, mixes festive nostalgia and social commentary with her signature edgy wit to poke fun and challenge ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.”

Thursday Dec. 9

Day Zero (doc premiere Amazon Prime Video) “The Amazon Original documentary Day Zero premieres December 9. This fearless documentary has an urgent message and takes us on a journey across the planet that introduces frontline workers in the battle to prevent the world’s most precious resource – freshwater – from running out. Filmed on location over three years, we witness local crises as they happen with compelling up-close-and-personal stories. Connecting the threads between the 2018 Cape Town water crisis and the 2019 Australian wildfires; the devastating effects of deforestation in the Amazon and the irreversible impact of human action on natural water resources in Florida, Mexico and the American Mid-West, Day Zero’s astonishing insight and access show how these localized disasters expose an impending global catastrophe, creating chaos and conflict all across the world. As water comes perilously close to running out all over the planet, Day Zero examines the perfect storm of climate change and population growth, challenging our ideas about water and spurring us towards crucial action.

And Just Like That (HBO, Crave) “The new chapter of the groundbreaking HBO series “Sex and the City,” follows “Carrie” (Sarah Jessica Parker), “Miranda” (Cynthia Nixon) and “Charlotte” (Kristin Davis) as they navigate the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s. The ten-episode, half-hour series is scheduled to begin production in New York this summer.” Sara Ramirez also stars).”

1 Queen 5 Queers (spinoff series premiere Crave) “CANADA’S DRAG RACE judge and the Queen of the North, Brooke Lynn Hytes, leads open, honest, and no-holds-barred conversations about all things queer in the new Crave Original series, 1 QUEEN 5 QUEERS. An update to the MTV Canada hit 1 GIRL 5 GAYS, which ran from 2009 to 2014, the new series presents fierce, fiery, and uncensored discussions about sex, relationships, pop culture, challenges facing the LGBTQ2S+ community, and more. Led by Hytes who moderates a panel that represents a variety of sexualities and identities, each half-hour episode of 1 QUEEN 5 QUEERS is focused on a single topic, and reflects the awareness and values of a new generation of viewers. The eight-part series, which is also available to French audiences with subtitles, premieres with two episodes on Thursday, Dec. 9, with subsequent new episodes dropping Thursdays on Crave.”

Anne Boleyn (series premiere AMC+) “The new three-part psychological thriller Anne Boleyn, [stars] Jodie Turner-Smith (Queen & Slim, Without Remorse) in the titular role. The groundbreaking AMC+ Original Series will make its highly anticipated U.S. premiere beginning Thursday, December 9 with the two remaining episodes released on consecutive Thursdays. The drama explores the final months of Anne Boleyn’s life from the eponymous Queen’s perspective, as she struggles to secure a future for her daughter and to challenge the powerful patriarchy closing in around her. Anne Boleyn depicts the key moments that cause Anne to topple, unpicking her immense strength, her fatal vulnerabilities and her determination to be an equal among men. … The ensemble cast includes Emmy® and BAFTA® Award nominated actor Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You, AMC+’s Gangs of London) as Anne’s brother and Tudor nobleman George Boleyn. Mark Stanley (Criminal: UK, Game of Thrones) is Henry VIII, one of the most famous Kings in British history, and Lola Petticrew (Bloodlands) is Anne’s love rival, Jane Seymour.”

Friday Dec. 10

THE UNFORGIVEABLE (movie premiere on Netflix after earlier theatrical release) I’m fascinated by movies that broaden the frame on stories about crime and punishment to include what comes after. This, judging by the trailer, is not about redemption. Sandra Bullock plays a woman who served a sentence for a murder. She is not, as Viola Davis’s character tells her in the trailer, “a victim.” The murder was not an accident. The prison term is over. Bullock’s character wants to reconnect with family. So now what? Let’s take a look. Also stars Vincent D’Onofrio (Ratched), Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) and Richard “John Boy” Thomas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNUjx7LZoiU

Tron: Legacy (Disney+)

The Expanse (Season 6 premiere Amazon Prime Video) “This season of The Expanse picks up with the solar system at war, as Marco Inaros and his Free Navy continue to launch devastating asteroid attacks on Earth and Mars. As the tensions of war and shared loss threaten to pull the crew of the Rocinante apart, Chrisjen Avasarala makes a bold move and sends former Martian Marine Bobbie Draper on a secret mission that could turn the tide. Meanwhile in the Belt, Drummer and what’s left of her family are on the run and hunted for betraying Marco. And on a distant planet beyond the Rings, a new power begins to rise. Series stars Steven Strait, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Cara Gee, Frankie Adams, Keon Alexander, Nadine Nicole, and Jasai Chase Owens reunite for the most exciting season yet.”

Space Jam: A New Legacy (movie premiere Amazon Prime Video) “Welcome to the Jam! When NBA champion and cultural icon LeBron James and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny, and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered‐up roster of NBA and WNBA stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest‐stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready‐for‐action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents, and surprise even “King” James by playing the game their own way.”

Encounter (Amazon Prime) “Featuring an adrenalized lead performance from Riz Ahmed, this is a thriller for the age of cultural division and seemingly endless existential threat. A decorated marine, Malik Khan (Ahmed) is trained to identify risk. But what if the risk appears totally ordinary? Malik sees bugs. Evil bugs. Alien bugs that seem to be seizing control of people, one after another. Malik can’t convince the world to sound the alarm, but he can at least protect his two young sons from global parasitic invasion — which might involve kidnapping them from the home of Malik’s estranged wife.”

Saturday Dec. 11

The Real Charlie Chaplin (doc premiere Crave 7pmCT/8ET, Crave app)

d2tvblog@gmail.com

Thank you so much for reading this far. So, what is d2tv? Glad you asked. There is so much great TV right now, but too much to easily keep track of. So this blog is me sharing my lifelong habit of tracking TV in general, but premieres in particular — series and seasons and one-offs on Canadian broadcast, cable and streaming. And since I’m doing it for myself, I share it here with you, every Sunday and Thursday. So thanks, fellow traveller, for stopping by. If you want this sent to your email inbox instead, shoot me an email or join the 50! others who subscribe (free, no strings) by typing your email into the box at the bottom of d2tv.wordpress.com, where it reads: “Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.” Who am I, Denise Duguay? Been writing about TV since 1986 or so at the Winnipeg Sun, then at the Montreal Gazette, currently at the Winnipeg Free Press and of course here, for myself and YOU! You might want to know – no judgement – I hate and mostly ignore “non-scripted” reality programming. (BECAUSE IT’S SO MEAN, THAT’S WHY.)

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