Happy Juneteenth Freedom Day, to be celebrated and considered as we in Canada mark days until Tuesday’s National Indigenous Peoples Day. And also Happy Father’s Day, which also has the potential for celebration and sadness and other hard feelings. Celebrate what you can and if it’s a hard day, make sure you connect without someone, somehow.
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (Prime Video, now in Canada too) Wonderful sexy elder coming-of-age story. “Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), a retired schoolteacher, is yearning for some adventure, and some sex. Good sex. And she has a plan: she hires a young sex worker named Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack).”
Summer I Turned Pretty (series premiere Prime Video) “A new series based on the New York Times bestselling book. Every summer, Belly and her family head to the Fishers’ beach house in Cousins. Every summer is the same … until Belly turns sixteen. Relationships will be tested, painful truths will be revealed, and Belly will be forever changed. It’s a summer of first love, first heartbreak and growing up — it’s the summer she turns pretty. Starring Lola Tung, Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno.”
Also repeating this to update that you can AND SHOULD, RIGHT NOW! watch the first two episodes now on Disney+ (not just FX): The Old Man (new series continues Thursdays on FX and Disney+) “Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Thomas Perry, “The Old Man” centers on “Dan Chase” (JeffBridges), who absconded from the CIA decades ago and has been living off the grid since. When an assassin arrives and tries to take Chase out, the old operative learns that to ensure his future he now must reconcile his past. With Dan Chase flushed out of hiding, the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterintelligence “Harold Harper” (John Lithgow) is called on to hunt him down because of his complicated past with the rogue fugitive. Working alongside Harper is his protégé “Angela Adams” (Alia Shawkat) and CIA Special Agent “Raymond Waters” (E.J. Bonilla). When Chase proves to be more difficult to apprehend than the authorities expected, “Julian Carson” (Gbenga Akinnagbe), a highly trained special ops contractor, is sent to pursue him as well. While on the run, Chase rents a room from “Zoe McDonald” (Amy Brenneman) who draws on reserves she never knew she had in order to survive the day when she learns the truth about her new tenant. Bill Heck, Leem Lubany and Pej Vahdat also star in the drama series.”
Also recommended: Father of the Bride (HBO/Crave) starring Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan. Wonderful wonderful. “This sparkling story of a family and its unbreakable bonds, illustrates the surprising and funny ways the heart can adapt in the name of love.”
Sunday June 19
Civil: Ben Crump (doc premiere Netflix) “An intimate vérité look following the life of maverick civil rights attorney Ben Crump as he challenges America to come to terms with what it owes his clients—including the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Nadia Hallgren (Becoming, After Maria, The Show). Produced by Kenya Barris, Roger Ross Williams and Lauren Cioffi.”
Hotel Portofino (series premiere 7pmCT/8ET PBS) “Set in the breathtakingly beautiful resort town of Portofino, this series is one of personal awakening in the aftermath of World War I and of the liberating influence of Italy’s enchanting culture, climate and cuisine on elite British travelers. “Hotel Portofino” tells the story of the Ainsworth family that has relocated from Britain to open an upscale hotel on the Italian coastline.” Stars Natascha McElhone, Claude Scott, MItchell, Lucy Akhurst, Assad Zaman, Mark Umbers, Adam James and Lily Frazer.
Endeavour (Season 8 premiere PBS 8pmCT/9ET)
Flatbush Misdemeanors (Season 2 premiere Crave / Crave app)
Monday June 20
Mind Over Murder (documentary series premiere 9pmCT/10ET) “The series chronicles the bizarre and psychologically complex story of six individuals who were convicted for the 1985 murder of beloved 68-year-old grandmother, Helen Wilson, in Beatrice, Nebraska. Despite five of the individuals originally confessing to the crime, the “Beatrice Six” as they became known, were exonerated by DNA evidence in 2009, a turn of events that divided the rural town, and incensed the family of Helen Wilson. As the filmmakers track the case from the murder, through investigation, trial, exoneration and two civil suits, shifting perspectives cloud the truth; a stranger-than-fiction tale emerges that raises salient questions about the reliability of confessions, and memory in criminal cases.”
Wednesday June 22
The Umbrella Academy (Season 3 premiere Netflix) “After putting a stop to 1963’s doomsday, the Umbrella Academy return home to the present, convinced they prevented the initial apocalypse and fixed this godforsaken timeline once and for all. But after a brief moment of celebration, they realize things aren’t exactly (okay, not at all) how they left them. Enter the Sparrow Academy. Smart, stylish, and about as warm as a sea of icebergs, the Sparrows immediately clash with the Umbrellas in a violent face-off that turns out to be the least of everyone’s concerns. Navigating challenges, losses, and surprises of their own – and dealing with an unidentified destructive entity wreaking havoc in the Universe (something they may have caused) — now all they need to do is convince Dad’s new and possibly better family to help them put right what their arrival made wrong. Will they find a way back to their pre-apocalyptic lives? Or is this new world about to reveal more than just a hiccup in the timeline?”
Friday June 24
Man vs. Bee (series premiere Netflix) “Renowned actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson plays a new character in this riotous comedy. A man finds himself at war with a bee while housesitting a luxurious mansion. Who will win, and what irreparable damage will be done in the process?”
Chloe (series premiere Prime Video) “follows Becky Green (Doherty), who is obsessed with stalking her childhood friend Chloe Fairbourne’s (Poppy Gilbert) perfectly curated social media presence. Chloe’s charmed life, adoring husband, and circle of high-achieving friends are always just a click away, and Becky can’t resist peering into a world that contrasts so starkly with her own, as she cares for her mother, who has early onset dementia. When Chloe suddenly dies, Becky assumes a new identity and infiltrates the enviable lives of Chloe’s closest friends to find out what happened to her. Through her alter-ego Sasha, Becky becomes a powerful, transgressive heroine; a popular, well-connected “someone” with a life–and loves–that are far more exciting and addictive than the “no-one” she is as Becky. However, the pretense soon obscures and conflates reality, and she discovers Chloe’s real life had not been nearly as perfect as it was portrayed online. As Becky gets deeper into her con, and Chloe’s inner circle, she risks losing herself completely in the game she is playing.”
Loot (series premiere Apple TV+) “billionaire Molly Novak (Maya Rudolph) has a dream life, complete with private jets, a sprawling mansion and a gigayacht — anything her heart desires. But when her husband of 20 years betrays her, she spirals publicly, becoming fuel for tabloid fodder. She’s reaching rock bottom when she learns, to her surprise, that she has a charity foundation run by the no-nonsense Sofia Salinas (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez), who pleads with Molly to stop generating bad press. With her devoted assistant Nicholas (Joel Kim Booster) by her side, and with the help of Sofia and team — including mild-mannered accountant Arthur (Nat Faxon) and her optimistic, pop-culture-loving cousin Howard (Ron Funches) — Molly embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Giving back to others might be what she needs to get back to herself.
Trevor: The Musical (premiere Disney+) “follows a charming 13-year-old on a turbulent journey of self-discovery. After an embarrassing incident at school, Trevor must summon the courage to forge his own path. The musical is based on the 1995 Academy Award-winning short film “Trevor” which ultimately inspired the nonprofit organization The Trevor Project; the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.”
The Deanne Smith Experience (comedy premiere Crave) “Filmed in front of a live audience during the 2021 Just For Laughs Festival in Montréal, and with five exes in the audience, DeAnne Smith talks dating, break-ups, 4,000 unread emails, and confronts their relationship history head-on.”
Rise (Premiere Disney+) “After emigrating from Nigeria to Greece, Charles and Vera Antetokounmpo (Dayo Okeniyi and Yetide Badaki, respectively) struggled to survive and provide for their five children, while living under the daily threat of deportation. With their oldest son still in Nigeria with relatives, the couple were desperate to obtain Greek citizenship but found themselves undermined by a system that blocked them at every turn. When they weren’t selling items to tourists on the streets of Athens with the rest of the family, the brothers– Giannis (Uche Agada) and Thanasis (Ral Agada)–would play basketball with a local youth team. Latecomers to the sport, they discovered their great abilities on the basketball court and worked hard to become world class athletes, along with brother, Kostas (Jaden Osimuwa). With the help of an agent, Giannis entered the NBA Draft in 2013 in a long shot prospect that would change not only his life but the life of his entire family. And last season, Giannis and Thanasis helped bring the Milwaukee Bucks their first championship ring in 50 years, while Kostas played for the previous season champs, the Los Angeles Lakers.”
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. 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.)