The TV schedules seem to be returning to normal post Christmas, even if the world around us feels like it is in a state of nervousness and uncomfortable coughing. This week feels a bit old-school with so many of the week's highlights not having global streaming releases. There's a bunch of comedies with built-in viewer interest, but if you want to see them you are going to have to get creative.
Fans of Toast of Tinseltown will be scrambling around trying to work out how to watch the show outside of the UK - it's the return of Toast of London's Steven Toast and for many people, this is the TV event of the year.
Fans of Kim's Convenience might want to check out new Canadian sitcom Run The Burbs, which stars Andrew Phung from KC in a new comedy that he co-created. As Kimchee, he was a breakout star and I'm curious to see how he goes in the new show. Like the direct Kim's Convenience spin-off Strays, this doesn't appear to be available outside of Canada - frustrating as I think there's considerable interest in both sitcoms. You'd think that after the success of Kim's Convenience and Schitt's Creek, there would be an effort to push Canadian sitcoms harder outside of that countries maple leaf-covered borders.
The highlight for the week, I feel, is The Tender Bar on Amazon Prime Video. This is the latest George Clooney film and is based on the memoir of a kid raised by a single mother in Long Island. He latches onto his uncle (Ben Affleck) who runs a local bar and we follow him from a journey of adolescence to finding an identity for himself as a young adult. The film is good, but not great. Like most of Clooney's movies it skirts occasionally on being fantastic, but it just never finds a way to elevate itself from being just kinda fine. That said, the film isn't without its charms and it is always great seeing Ben Affleck cast in a role that knows how to play into his charms as a performer.
And might I leave you with a strong recommendation - next week has the debut of HBO Max superhero comedy Peacemaker. It is a spin-off from the under-seen The Suicide Squad movie that saw release mid to late last year. With a lot of the world in lockdown thanks to COVID and the general bad smell surrounding the previous Suicide Squad movie, people overlooked the new film which was great fun. Like The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker is also a hoot. My suggestion this weekend is that you might want to catch up on The Suicide Squad if you can - people WILL be talking about Peacemaker next week.
Father Brown (s09), Black-ish (s09), This is Us (s06), Kenan (s02), 911 Lone Star (s03), Workin' Moms (s06), Father McCooligan (s08), Death in Paradise (s11), A Discovery of Witches (s03), Would I Lie To You? (s15)
The Tender Bar - Amazon Prime Video
Stars: Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Daniel Ranieri
In 1972, 9-year-old J.R. Maguire moves into his grandfather's dilapidated house in Long Island, N.Y. Searching for a father figure, he falls under the unconventional tutelage of his uncle Charlie, a charismatic, self-educated bartender who introduces him to a handful of the bar's colorful regulars. As the years pass and J.R. grows into a young man, he tries to fulfill his dream of becoming a writer.
Rebelde - Netflix
Stars: Azul Guaita Bracamontes, Franco Masini, Sergio Mayer Mori
As Elite Way School starts a new term, a familiar enemy a secret society called the Lodge threatens to crash the musical hopes of the first-years.
Toast of Tinseltown - BBC
Stars: Matt Berry, Doon Mackichan,Fred Armisen
Toast is becoming increasingly angry, and everyone has noticed. There is no chance of landing a big movie audition when he is in this state. Toast needs anger management therapy.
Run The Burbs - CBC
Good Sam - CBS
Women of The Movement - ABC (US)
Hype House - Netflix
Stars: Adrienne Warren, Cedric Joe, Carter Jenkins
From humble beginnings to overnight fame, these are the stories of the most popular personalities on social media as they come into their own, fall in love and tackle new chapters in their lives.
That's it for this week. Stay safe, get a vax/booster, and be good to those around you!