The most wonderful thing about this time of year is that we get to catch-up on TV. While we spend much of the year seeing theatrical releases, we regret missing some great Television so these past few weekends we’ve found out what the buzz is all about with some recent Golden Globe Award winners and nominees, plus also some new releases. Without going too much into detail, we’ll give you our thoughts on some shows that absolutely are worth your while! We hope you get some inspiration in your own winter watching!
THE MORNING SHOW (APPLE TV+)
This ten-episode Drama Series starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston helped launch subscription service Apple TV+ back in December. It surfaces in a timely manner as we enter this post-#MeToo era, exploring the aftermath of taking action on Sexual Misconduct in the workplace and healing some aged wounds. It definitely veers on the melodramatic and is a bit too passionate for its own good, but no one can deny the phenomenal work here by Witherspoon and Aniston, who play-up dueling female competitor tropes. It takes a while to get going, but proves worthwhile the deeper you go.
YOU – SEASON TWO (NETFLIX)
Joe (played masterfully by Penn Badgley) comes back as Will in the second season of this failed Lifetime Series which gained a massive following after surfacing on Netflix. Serial killing and stalking has never been as seductive as this and although You is all sorts of wrong, we were just as obsessed with this season which manages to be just as messed-up as its predecessor. Joining the Cast is Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Hill House) as Love and in her Will finally has met his match. James Scully is grating and unpredictable as Love‘s twin brother, but what Psychological Thriller is complete without an unstable twin? Teen Actress Jenna Ortega as a wise-beyond-her-years Ellie and Carmela Zubado as Delilah are welcome additions to the Cast and Gotham‘s RobinLord Taylor is unrecognizable in a surprise turn as a hacker who knows too much, also named Will. You Season 2 quashes the perception that follow-ups and sequels suck.
THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL – SEASON THREE (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
Season three of this Golden Globe and PrimetmeEMMY Award-winning Series continues putting its star Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) front and center and she once again proves outstanding. The eight-episode season sees her character supporting Singer Shy Baldwin (LeRoy McClain) on-tour and we see her go from Las Vegas to Miami fighting to win herself some new fans. All the while, she navigates her split from ex-husband Joel (Michael Zegen) and custody of their children. Her eccentric parents (Marin Hinkle and Tony Shalhoub) shine also as they cope with having to downsize and sell their beloved family home. We also see charismatic manager Susie (Alex Borstein) cope with her gambling addiction and balancing having to oversee Midge‘s career and that of competing funnywoman Sophie Lennon (Jane Lynch). Things get a bit messy and we’re here for it, leaving us on a bit of a cliffhanger.
FLEABAG – SEASON 1&2 (AMAZON PRIME)
I admit it, I zipped through this quick watch and wasn’t sold on Season One at all. I didn’t get it. I found Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) grating and irresponsible, feeling little empathy for her. Season Two took this Series to a high point and I absolutely got it! I enjoy Waller-Bridge’s ability with lightning-fast ability to break the Fourth Wall with us and soon I found myself connected intimately with her. And “Hot Priest” (Andrew Scott) is so worth the wait and her bond with on-screen sister Claire (Sian Clifford) make this all so magical. Here for this, and sad there won’t be a third season.
DON’T F**K WITH CATS: HUNTING AN INTERNET KILLER (NETFLIX)
I am a bit queasy with True Crime stuff and remember as a kid torturing myself watching Unsolved Mysteries alone at home and being messed-up for days after. Repeat weekly and you’ll understand why I have issues. The three-part Netflix series centers on the capture of Canadian murderer Luka Magnotta with the help of some savvy internet crime solvers hot on his trail, piecing the clues which took authorities on an international manhunt. Especially eery that some of this hits close to home with Toronto being where Magnotta once lived and their insistence on looping over and over real footage of Magnotta murdering kittens, with the gory bits kept off-screen. It is hard not to get caught-up in Mark Lewis‘ relentlessly-intense storytelling and the access he gets us whether it be Magnotta‘s mother or his actual interrogation after being caught and brought back to Canada.
KILLER INSIDE: INSIDE THE MIND OF AARON HERNANDEZ (NETFLIX)
While we know only bits and pieces of disgraced Football star Aaron Hernandez‘s story, this three-part Docu-Series gives us some insight to the circumstances surrounding his conviction and eventual suicide. Director Geno McDermott takes us on a gripping ride as we go right inside the courtroom and literally right into Hernandez’s brain as we see the impacts of his Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. We also get never-seen-before interviews with those from his past including a lover, suggesting that Toxic Masculinity and a deep-fear of his sexuality being uncovered may have played a role in his downfall as well. We found ourselves asking more questions than before we started and get the bigger picture in this great American tragedy.
SPINNING OUT (NETFLIX)
Filmed right here in Toronto, this Figure Skating Drama series takes bits from Black Swan, bits from Riverdale and mixes it into the world of competitive Figure Skating. The Series sees fallen Kat (Kaya Scodelario) make her way to a comeback, this time as a Pairs Skater, but not without some domestic drama. Scodelario navigates the mental struggles her character faces and handles the athleticism of her role with prowess. While the Series is not without its melodrama and goes the route of scandal for shock value more than it needed, there is enough to go on to keep fans engaged for ten episodes.
While it’s not for everyone, this hyper-sexualized Drake-produced Teen Drama Series explores some of the issues facing teens today. Several topics like drugs, toxic masculinity, same-sex relationships, being transgender are taboo still but Sam Levinson isn’t afraid to go there and for that we applaud this fresh take on the genre. These eight episodes are shocking and hypnotic and this is Zendaya‘s big moment, delivering a phenomenal breakthrough performance as central character Rue, a teen girl battling drug addiction. We were unable to keep our eyes off of newcomer model/actress Hunter Schafer, who possesses an ethereal beauty and magnetism, making her a name to look-out for. We cannot wait for Season Two, which is rumoured to begin production soon.
SEX, EXPLAINED (NETFLIX)
Janelle Monáe narrates this quick watch which gives adults a quick five-episode refresher on Sex Education, a spin-off of Netflix‘s Explained series. A vast array of taboo topics are explored with a diverse group of participants talking about things like attraction, fetishes, birth control and childbirth. New data is thrown at us quickly giving new insight into matters which have impacted humans since the beginning of time. Fun and informative.
SUCCESSION – SEASONS 1 & 2 (HBO)
Never before have we hated characters as much as The Roys in HBO‘s critical hit Succession and we kinda love it! And the fact that we couldn’t stop zipping-through 20 episodes is a testament to how masterfully-crafted it is. The second season of the Drama centering on an ailing patriarch of a media empire and his thirsty children who are eager to assume the throne, finished airing in the fall. While we were a bit late catching-on, we are seeing many people on the same boat who too are learning what Succession is all about after its Best Television Series – Drama win at the Golden Globes. We despise this Family, played with gusto by an Ensemble including 60-year screen veteran Brian Cox in the patriarch role, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin. We want them to basically go to hell and go bankrupt in the process! Give us season three!
THE CIRCLE (NETFLIX)
We listened to the recommendations of our friends on Social Media and began streaming this 12-episode Reality Series based on a British series of the same name. And we were seriously annoyed! The Series takes a group of millennial men and women, putting them together in one building in Manchester and they are to interact only via a Social Media portal where some of them are “catfishing”. Some are exactly as they present themselves to one another via their portal profiles. They compete for a prize of $100k, but must avoid being eliminated by Influencers who earn that title each episode and are given the power to decide who gets eliminated or “blocked”. They never get see each other except for the eliminated entrant at the end of each episode getting to meet one player of their choice. Sometimes there are major shocks when the eliminated player realizes the one person they chose to meet, looks nothing like the person whom they projected themselves as on the portal. While we appreciate the Series’ premise of encouraging people to let their true selves shine and stop judging one another by their appearances, it all feels forced and we aren’t sure it accomplishes exactly that through some of the artifice and all the “Yo Bruh!”. That being said, we vowed to stop watching after episode one but found ourselves finishing season one quickly, powered by our sheer drive to want to throw things and scream at our TV.
We were so genuinely-touched and invested in this six-episode Docu-Series by Greg Whiteley, which just got released on Netflix. We know nothing about Cheerleading but quickly found ourselves in-love with these Corsicana Community College athletes who are competing for glory at the NCA College Nationals in Daytona. The heart and soul of the Series is Coach Monica Aldama, whom despite having business acumen has chosen a career in Cheerleading, running a tight ship, leading the college to victory many times in the past and its standing as the best in class. We see how these young adults, many who come from troubled pasts, have found themselves in Cheerleading, under Aldama‘s meticulous guidance. The setbacks are painstaking and we see how much danger these athletes put themselves through in the name of perfection and loyalty to the enchanting Aldama. These are compelling stories and the thrills are tear-inducing, making us sad we had to say goodbye at the end of it.
It’s officially Awards Season! Nominees for the Golden Globes were just announced earlier today. The Awards voted upon by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are to be televised Sunday, January 5, 2020 on NBC, celebrate the year’s best in Television and Cinema. Ricky Gervais returns as host.
In the Film categories, we see JOKER, THE IRISHMAN, MARRIAGE STORY and ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD… leading the way, while the Television categories we see THE MORNING SHOW, SUCCESSION, FLEABAG, THE CROWN and BIG LITTLE LIES on-top.
The Golden Globes are never without surprises. Many are shocked not to see IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD up for Best Motion Picture, same for FORD V FERRARI. TIFF ’19 People’s Choice Award winner JOJO RABBIT only sees two nods and Director Taika Waiti isn’t among those included. While there was a bit of buzz for Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women, the Film only would see nominations for Score and Lead Actress, Saoirse Ronan. While it garnered lots of critical acclaim,Drama WAVES failed to garner any attention by the HFPA.
Complete list of nominees below:
Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Two Popes
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Dolemite Is My Name
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
Pain and Glory
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Best Director – Motion Picture
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won, Parasite
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Renée Zellweger, Judy
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Awkwafina, The Farewell
Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
Ana de Armas, Knives Out
Emma Thompson, Late Night
Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Daniel Craig, Knives Out
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Annette Bening, The Report
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Best Motion Picture – Animated
Toy Story 4
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The Lion King
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Thomas Newman, 1917
Hildur Guonadottir, Joker
Randy Newman, Marriage Story
Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
“Spirit,” The Lion King
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2
“Stand Up,” Harriet
“Beautiful Ghosts,” Cats
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Television Series – Drama
The Morning Show
Big Little Lies
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Brian Cox, Succession
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Billy Porter, Pose
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Ben Platt, The Politician
Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself
Ramy Youssef, Ramy
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Merritt Weaver, Unbelievable
Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Toni Colette, Unbelievable
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Patricia Arquette, The Act
Emily Watson, Chernobyl
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Henry Winkler, Barry
Andrew Scott, Fleabag
Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl
German-born and Los Angeles-based Singer-Songwriter Kim Petras has been winning universal acclaim for her debut Disc CLARITY. She makes a stop in Toronto at The Phoenix on her tour in support of the Album, with dates going into early 2020 in Europe.
Petras has been releasing music independently since her teens and has been generating heat with tracks like Love Me Less and Heart to Break, also making a contribution to the Charlie’s Angels Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on How It’s Done.
Many are comparing her to the likes of Robyn, labelling her a new Princess of Pop.
We are so pleased to have met Petras, exchanging compliments, she looking gorgeous. She did the rounds including Global Television’s The Morning Show.
It isn’t a coincidence 16-year-old Actor/Songwriter Baylee Littrell’s name rings a bell. The son of Backstreet Boys member Brian Littrell joins his father on the boy band’s largest tour in almost 20 years, the DNA World Tour! The emerging Country act who hails from Georgia, performs songs like Boxes and Don’t Knock It as a supporting act.
Baylee and his father have being doing the rounds and the other day visited Breakfast Television Montreal and while in Toronto, the younger did a live performance and interview with Global’s The Morning Show (National Edition). Fans were out in full support outside the studio cheering on both generations of Littrell.
See some snaps of them arriving:
Check-out some of Littrell‘s tracks below:
The DNA World Tour takes place tonight at Scotiabank Arena.
One of the this summer’s most eagerly-awaited escapes at the Movies is almost before us and in-town today to ring-in the occasion are some of the stars of CRAZY RICH ASIANS!
The Warner Bros. Canada release, adapted from KevinKwan’s critically-acclaimed and best-selling Novel of the same name, looks to quench the thirsts of those looking for something juicy. Stars Awkwafina(Ocean’s 8), Ken Jeong (The Hangover Trilogy) and Nico Santos (2 Broke Girls) did the rounds this morning, gracing Toronto’s television sets with their magnetic personalities and they will be walking the Red Carpet tonight at TIFFBell Lightbox at the Canadian Premiere for the Film. Directed by JonM. Chu, it also stars Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Constance Wu, the latter in the starring role as Rachel Chu, a New Yorker who learns suddenly that her boyfriend is extremely wealthy and is flown to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding, only to meet his disapproving mother.
See the Trailer:
Among the interviews the Cast did earlier today were Global’s The Morning Show (National Edition). Check-out their chat:
Travelling in a Mercedes Sprinter with a sizable entourage, the Cast were amazingly-friendly! And they may have made time for some Smoke’s Poutine also during the day! Who wouldn’t be giddy? Did you know Awkwafina also will be back to host the 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs next month too?
Audiences at the packed Premiere were split into two theatres and delivered a spirited introduction from the Cast with the help of TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey. The Trio had nothing but love for the City!
See the Intro:
CRAZY RICH ASIANS is everything I wished it would be. And even crazier! What a sumptuous feast for the eyes, equal parts a complicated web of emotions as it is a luxurious escape. Phenomenal performances from a talented Cast whom all bring their A-Game. Constance Wu is fantastic in this breakout role, as is screen legend Michelle Yeoh. If you couldn’t get enough of Awkwafina in Ocean’s 8, you will be delighted by her comedy again here. Gemma Chan is a gem waiting to be discovered by stateside audiences. The Film totally gets the experience of being a product of immigrant parents and honours the importance of traditions and family values. Fans of Kevin Kwan‘s bestselling novels will be overjoyed, new hearts will be won.
See our Snaps!
Warner Bros. Canada release CRAZY RICH ASIANS Friday, August 15, 2018.
(Photo/video credit: Global Television/Mr. Will Wong/Warner Bros. Canada)
Already having worked with some of the greatest Directors of our day including Jeff Nichols, Terrence Malick, Bryan Singer and now Steven Spielberg, 21-year-old Tye Sheridan is bound for great things. The X-Men Franchise star is front and center in Spielberg‘s latest effort READY PLAYER ONE and he was in Toronto to promote the new Film, opening in theatres end of March.
While he didn’t get much sleep last night due to flight delays , Sheridan still made the most of his day having to cancel a few interviews, but doing Press including a taping of Global‘s The Morning Show.
See our Snap with him and a young fan and her mom. He was a true gentleman, shaking hands and introducing himself to everyone individually!
See the Trailer for Ready Player One:
Huge things are expected of this. Will you be seeing READY PLAYER ONE?
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release READY PLAYER ONE on Friday, March 29, 2018.
(Photo/video credit: Warner Bros. Pictures Canada/Mr. Will Wong)
Craig David arrived on the Pop scene in the early 2000s as a force to be reckoned with. Fusing Two-Step Garage and R&B, the striking Southampton Singer/Songwriter had a sound unlike any other. Selling over 3.5 million copies of his debut disc Born To Do It with smash hits like Fill Me In and 7 Days, he would go on to be nominated for several BRIT and Grammy Awards also.
While it’s been some time since we’ve seen David in these parts, he has resurfaced with his seventh studio album The Time Is Now, released in Canada via Sony Music, led by new single Heartline. The Disc features also a collaboration with Bastille, titled I Know You. If you’ve followed David‘s career, you’ll hear the evolution in his sound and how it is very “now”, yet his older material actually still sounds fresh.
David treated longtime fans to a rare, intimate Toronto show at Velvet Underground delivering a selection of his catalog of hits and even found time to do a bit of Press while in the City.
See our Snap with David, whose music we’ve enjoyed for a long time. Though, busy on a call, he was more than nice to stop for a Snap understanding the request through hand gestures.
Check-out I Know You (ft. Bastille):
See his The Morning Show interview:
(Photo/video credit:Sony Music Entertainment/Mr. Will Wong)
Things are taking-off quickly for Ottawa-based Duo EWXJF. Comprised of Composer/Instrumentalist Elijah Woods and Lyricist/Vocalist Jamie Fine, the pair gained popularity overnight being selected for a push on CTV‘s The Launch. After meeting via a friend after Woods heard Fine‘s vocals on a Track, the two have multiplied their talents, accounting for the “x” in their name.
The six-episode Series see new emerging Artists being mentored by some of Music’s biggest icons including Shania Twain, Jennifer Nettles, Fergie, Ryan Tedder, Alessia Cara and BoyGeorge, getting a chance at working with a world-renowned Producer and also a release of that Track within 48 hours.
The Series is brought to us by Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Records (Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw) and Eureka Productions (The Biggest Loser, MasterChef).Borchetta accompanied the Duo on their Press Tour in Toronto which saw them at Bell Media Headquarters yesterday and Corus today where they appeared on Global Television’s The Morning Show (National Edition).
Skyrocketing to fame on popular ABC Series CASTLE starring as Kate Beckett, Hamilton-born Actress Stana Katic has made a name for herself internationally. The People’s Choice Award-winning University of Toronto Alumni returns home to promote her latest project, Amazon Series ABSENTIA which will air in Canada on Showcase.
The Series sees her starring as an FBI Agent who must reclaim her identity after being presumed dead and being a prime suspect in a string of murders.
Katic did the rounds including Global Television’s The Morning Show (National Edition) and ET Canada, after which she participated in a Live Chat with Fans, fielding questions online from her ardent fan base.
The elegant Star posed for photos in front of a display for her new Series and took a minute between interviews to take Selfies and sign autographs. She started first by introducing herseld and asking for our names.
Making his second visit to a blisteringly-cold Toronto in just under a year, Actor Geoff Stults is back for his latest Film, 12 STRONG. He is known best for his work on Grace and Frankie, 7th Heaven, The Finder (Co-Star Maddie Hasson also is in town filming) and last year’s juicy Thriller Unforgettable in which he starred alongside Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl.
Busy doing the TV circuit in Los Angeles last week in support of 12 Strong, Stults toughs the polar opposite temperatures locally armed with earmuffs. He was amazing to stop for a quick Snap leaving CITY’S Breakfast Television where he got to cuddle with an adorable dog, before continuing his day of interviews which also sees him return to Global’s The Morning Show.
The Drama centers on a Special Forces Team assigned to take down the Taliban under a new captain, post-9/11. They must however, work together with an Afghan warlord to accomplish the mission. Michael Shannon, Austin Stowell, Michael Peña, Trevante Rhodes, William Fichtner, along with real-life couple Elsa Pataky and Chris Hemsworth, also star.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release 12 STRONG on Friday, January 19, 2018.
Don’t forget your chance to win Run-of-Engagement Passes to see 12 STRONGright here!.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong/Warner Bros. Pictures Canada)