As I write this, it’s my sainted mother’s birthday eve. On Jan. 17, she would’ve been 82 and happy/cranky AF (yeah, it’s a thing). To celebrate, I’m writing this and then going to make her FAAAAAAMOUS mac and cheese. Here’s the recipe. Happy birthday Betty Lou.
Betty’s Macaroni and Tomatoes and Cheese
While you’re boiling the bejesus out of a small box of high-fibre macaroni, set the oven to 350 C. In a large casserole, add a can of diced tomatoes, an egg-sized lump of butter, three green onions chopped roughly and a handful of chopped parsley, plus salt and pepper. Put that in the oven while you shred enough cheddar cheese to fill your brain cavity, which is empty from too little good TV (don’t buy preshredded because are you made of money?). When the pasta is limp to the point of disintegrating, pull the casserole out of the oven and add the drained pasta, and a third of the cheese. Stir with the vigour of complicated mother-daughter love and then top with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for roughly three old family stories or, say, 40 minutes or until the top browns. Get out the TV tables, grab the remote and tuck in.
Sunday Jan. 16
Somebody Somewhere (series premiere HBO, Crave) “Starring and executive produced by comedian and singer Bridget Everett, the seven-episode HBO original comedy series SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE premieres Sunday, January 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET. The series follows Sam (Everett), a true Kansan on the surface, but, beneath it all, struggling to fit the hometown mold. Grappling with loss and acceptance, singing is Sam’s saving grace and leads her on a journey to discover herself and a community of outsiders who don’t fit in but don’t give up, showing that finding your people, and finding your voice, is possible. Anywhere. Somewhere.
Hell or Clean Water (premiere 8pmCT/9ET on CBC / CBC Gem) “The inspiring story of Newfoundlander diver Shawn Bath’s obsessive quest to clean up the coastal ocean floor one rotting tire at a time. He’s already removed thousands of pounds of garbage on his own and is now seeking ways to scale up his operation and bring attention to a worldwide environmental crisis. Directed by Cody Westman, 2021.”
The Teacher (series premiere 8pmCT/9ET SuperChannel Fuse / Amazon Prime) “tells the story of Jenna Garvey (Smith), a popular teacher with a chaotic private life, who after a drunken night out celebrating a promotion, is accused of sleeping with a 15-year-old pupil, Kyle Hope (Samuel Bottomley, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie). Formally charged and with no memory of the night in question, Jenna’s only hope of redemption lies in uncovering the truth about a dark event in her past that returns to haunt her.”
American Gods (Season 3 premiere 9pmCT/10ET SuperChannel / Amazon Prime) “American Gods is the epic story of an inevitable war building between the Old Gods of mythology and our New Gods of technology. Ricky Whittle (The 100, Nappily Ever After) stars as ex-con Shadow Moon, a man pulled into the service of the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, played by Ian McShane (Deadwood, John Wick) — only to discover that not only is his charismatic but un-trustable boss the Norse All-Father god Odin, he’s also…Shadow’s father. In season three, Shadow angrily pushes this apparent destiny away, and settles in the idyllic snowy town of Lakeside, Wis. — to make his own path, guided by the gods of his black ancestors, the Orishas. However, he’ll soon discover that this town’s still waters run deep, and dark, and bloody, and that you don’t get to simply reject being a god. The only choice — and a choice you have to make — is what kind of god you’re going to be.”
Two Sentence Horror Stories (Season 3 premiere 8pmCT CW)
Monday Jan. 17
Fanny: The Right to Rock (premiere Crave) “Sometime in the 1960s, in sunny Sacramento, two Filipina-American sisters got together with other teenage girls to play music. Little did they know their garage band would evolve into the legendary rock group Fanny, the first all-women band to release an LP with a major record label (Warner/Reprise, 1970). Despite releasing five critically-acclaimed albums over five years, touring with famed bands from SLADE to CHICAGO, and amassing a dedicated fan base of music legends including David Bowie, Fanny’s groundbreaking impact in music was written out of history, until the bandmades decided to reunite 50 years later, with a new record deal. Following its premiere earlier this year at the 2021 Hot Docs Festival, FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK includes incredible archival footage of the band’s rocking past, intercut with its next chapter releasing a new LP, and interviews with a large cadre of music icons, including: Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott; Bonnie Raitt; The Go-Go’s Kathy Valentine; Todd Rundgren; The Runaways’ Cherie Currie; Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian; The B52’s Kate Pierson; and Charles Neville and David Bowie guitarist and bassist Earl Slick and Gail Ann Dorsey.”
Tuesday Jan. 18
How I Met Your Father (series premiere Disney+) “In the near future, Sophie (Hilary Duff) is telling her son the story of how she met his father: a story that catapults us back to the year 2022 where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options.”
Wednesday Jan. 19
Man, Woman, Dog (series premiere Disney+)
Assembled: The Making of Hawkeye (premiere Disney+) “is a comprehensive series of documentary-style specials streaming on Disney+ that chronicles the creation of Marvel Studios’ thrilling new shows and theatrical releases. Journey behind-the-scenes of the Hawkeye series with stars Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in this immersive, and in-depth examination of the latest installment of storytelling in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Thursday Jan. 20
La Fortuna (series premiere AMC+ app) “Álex Ventura, a young and inexperienced diplomat, unintentionally becomes the leader of a mission that will put all his convictions to the test: to recover the sunken treasure stolen by Frank Wild, an adventurer who travels the world plundering items of common heritage from the depths of the sea. Starring: Álvaro Mel, Pedro Casablanc, Stanley Tucci, Clarke Peters, T’Nia Miller and Karra Elejalde.”
Friday Jan. 21
Real Time with Bill Maher (Season 20 premiere 9pmCT/10ET HBO / Crave) Guests tba as of this writing.
Ozark (Season 4 premieres on Netflix) You know who needs a vacation? Yeah, other than you. The Byrde family that’s who. The former suburban dullards have been on the run since leaving Chicago, but four seasons in, they are way past redemption, and caught all the way up inside of the drug world. Can they get out? Do they even want to? And they don’t even have Ruth on their side this time. Although, did they ever? The tagline for Part 1 of this latest season has a telling tagline: “No one gets out clean.” But we will get thrills and chills. Welcome back Laura Linney, Jason Bateman and ruthless Ruth, Julia Garner.
As We See It (series premieres on Amazon Prime) “Life is a spectrum” is the tagline for this new “coming-of-age dramedy” about three roommates starting their grownup lives. As the more clever of you will have guessed, these characters (as well as the actors Rick Glassman, Albert Rutecki and sue Ann Pien, who play them) are all on the autism spectrum. The latest in a wonderfully expanding stable of television putting a fictional lens on lives that have been rarely and often wrongly portrayed. It also comes from Jason Katims, who brought us Parenthood and Friday Night Lights. So, after having watched the adorable trailer a half dozen times, I think we can safely hope that this series will not just introduce us to lives many of us know little about, but that like The Good Doctor and Atypical, it will also be also very good.
A Hero (premiere Amazon Prime Video) “from Academy Award®-winning director Asghar Farhadi. The film follows Rahim (Amir Jadidi), who is in prison because of a debt he was unable to repay. During a two-day leave, he tries to convince his creditor (Mohsen Tanabandeh) to withdraw his complaint against the payment of part of the sum. But things don’t go as planned.
Servant (Season 3 premiere Apple TV+) “The 10-episode third season of “Servant” will debut with the first episode on Friday, January 21, 2022, followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday. From executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, “Servant” follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy creates a rift in their marriage and opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home. The ensemble cast of stars returning for “Servant” season three includes Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free and Rupert Grint, with new addition Sunita Mani (“Spirited,” “Mr. Robot,” “GLOW”).”
Dramaworld (series Canadian premiere CBC Gem) “When 20-year-old college student and K-drama fanatic Claire Duncan (Liv Hewson, Santa Clarita Diet) is transported into her favorite drama, “Taste of Love”, her appearance throws the show off-balance, causing other dramas to splice into the series. Mysterious waiter Seth Ko (Justin Chon, Twilight) made his own journey into the drama years ago from the real world and mentors Claire on how to navigate the dramaworld. What kind of crazy adventure will Claire experience?”
Mark Moriarty: Off Duty Chef (series Canadian premiere CBC Gem) “Award-winning and world-renowned chef Mark Moriarty (Cook In with Mark Moriarty) is here with his brand new TV series, THE OFF DUTY CHEF. When he’s not working in some of the finest Michelin star restaurants in Ireland, Mark loves nothing more than cooking everyday meals in his own kitchen.
War Club (series Canadian premiere CBC Gem) “DJ Shub, the godfather of powwow step, brings us a live visual performance of his critically acclaimed, chart-topping Indigenous electronic album War Club. Set in a conservation area, DJ Shub partners with special guests Phoenix, Fawn Wood and Boogat to perform each song as a story, accompanied by Indigenous dancers.”
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., 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.)