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GiveLife.ca

    
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PRINT EDITION
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Globe Columnists
Tuesday, October 16




  John Doyle
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Television



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Network TV's fight for the right space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 – Page A17
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-- Tuesday night is a big deal in the U.S. network-TV racket.The late arrivals in the new fall TV season finally land, and there's a lot at stake. Specifically, ''red state'' viewers.  FULL STORY arrow
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Without Roseanne, The Conners is just a lacklustre family sitcom space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, October 15, 2018 – Page A19
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-- It's just a TV sitcom continuing without the lead actor. The show must go on.That's showbiz. But this one is different. It's always different with Roseanne Barr, even when she's not there, on the show. The politics of it become toxic.  FULL STORY arrow
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After Girls, Lena Dunham has a Camping disaster space
The show, based on the British series of the same title, is not fun to watch at all
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, October 13, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Anything Lena Dunham does after Girls is going is get major attention. For several years, the era-defining series brought commensurate amounts of adulation and derision. Ms. Dunham's coming-ofage character, Hannah, was as compelling as she was irritatingly precious.  FULL STORY arrow
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Coates shines in Bad Blood's thoroughly enjoyable second season space
There's little fuzziness in this textured, Shakespearean tale that focuses on Vito Rizzuto's fixer after he takes control of Montreal
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, October 11, 2018 – Page A16
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-- The first season of Bad Blood was a solid Mafia/crimefamily docudrama, one that rose to achieve a thrilling confidence in storytelling once the minutiae of the real story was chronicled. It was based on the book Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto's Last War by Antonio Nicaso and Peter Edwards, and as such stuck mostly to the true material about Rizzuto's messy rise and fall as a crime boss controlling most of Montreal.  FULL STORY arrow
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Netflix's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is lovely, pure nourishment space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – Page A18
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-- We live in angry times. We are surrounded by and pummelled by, among other indignities, inaccuracy, overstatement and righteous indignation. And still, we have to eat.Shows about food should be a retreat from all that frenzy, but many are not. Competitive cooking shows are among the most manipulative and irritating in the reality-TV genre. Other food shows are more about narcissism or privilege, thus cheapening the experience for the viewer.  FULL STORY arrow
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Netflix's Elite is a Spanish teen drama with a blunt message space
Despite adhering to a familiar narrative, the murder mystery incorporates a serious social agenda
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, October 8, 2018 – Page A13
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-- One of the benefits arising from the existence of Netflix is the sheer volume of drama and comedy from outside North America that is easily available.As an example, if you haven't seen Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), a Spanish drama, you're really missing out on a unique take on the standard bank-heist format. It demolishes many of the cliches of heist movies and honours others, with a fair dollop of irony.  FULL STORY arrow
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The heartbreaking ninth season of The Walking Dead begins space
At this crucial juncture of the hit show, we can expect the Rick Grimes character to make his (likely fatal) exit
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, October 6, 2018 – Page A20
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-- It's the No. 1 show on TV. There was a dip in the ratings last season but here's the truth, courtesy of trade magazine Variety: ''The Walking Dead remains the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the sixth season in a row.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Be aware of these anger-inducing stories of hate and malice space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, October 4, 2018 – Page A18
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-- Far be it from me to drag Shakespeare into the current craziness that is evident any time you turn on the TV news. But you can't go wrong with Shakespeare. Watching two recent documentaries about hate, I was put in mind of Horatio's description to Hamlet of the demeanour of his father's ghost: ''A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Keeping the faith: God lives on prime time space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 – Page A20
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-- So this guy, a character on a new CBS drama, gets a message on his phone: ''I found God. He's in Jersey!'' Immediately, the character heads for Jersey, determined to confront God.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trump's Showdown: At last, a coherent view of the turmoil space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, October 1, 2018 – Page A17
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-- ''Every day before 6 a.m. Bob Mueller comes into the garage, slips in, and witnesses come in through the garage. They're bringing in every single White House official they can. This is a sprawling, active investigation.''  FULL STORY arrow
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The horse: nature's human whisperer space
If the news has you down, some sessions with CBC documentary Equus provide timely distraction from life
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, September 29, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Gentle reader, there are times when this column is less a TV column than it is an advice column. It is less a matter of expertise in the matter of television content than it is directing you to a soothing balm. It cannot be a shoulder to cry on, but it can be a source of information about how to distract yourself from the awfulness of the everyday news and the indignities of mundane living.  FULL STORY arrow
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Televised hearings of Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh were a brutal, cruel contest of strength space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Friday, September 28, 2018 – Page A13
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-- Sometimes, there is no underlying meaning, no theatrical artifice to deconstruct. There is only what is there.That's the way U.S. President Donald Trump thinks. We know from his own words and from many accounts by others that he believes strongly in the value of being forceful on TV. It's what matters most to him. He hires and fires, promotes and demotes on that basis.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Murphy Brown reboot comes at a trying time for the #MeToo movement space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, September 27, 2018 – Page A16
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-- Through one of those curious coincidences that the popular culture throws at us, the rebooted version of Murphy Brown starts on Thursday. Yes, the same day that on live TV U.S.  FULL STORY arrow
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Mr Inbetween: A marvellous tale of an ordinary thug space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 – Page A17
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-- You, me and the dogs on the street know there is too much good TV to keep up with.In the matter of the current crazy but delightful cornucopia, what we are witnessing is a strange amalgamation of commerce and boundless creative and intellectual endeavour. (Regrettably, much Canadian content can be excluded, but that's another endeavour to explore.) You need to be an indefatigable collector to stay on top of things. And that just isn't possible for most consumers, let alone connoisseurs. Things go unwatched, unloved. Allow me to point you in the direction of a small, largely unheralded show that truly deserves your attention.  FULL STORY arrow
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The big cultural baggage of The Big Bang Theory space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, September 24, 2018 – Page A16
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-- It ill behooves anyone to suggest that the oldfashioned sitcom is a dinosaur of an art form.Those shows made with three cameras, a live audience and canned laughter have never died.  FULL STORY arrow
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Maniac is humane, surreal and highly recommended space
Ambitious Netflix series on beauty and terror of modern life serves up exquisite performances
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, September 22, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Two lonely people, both half-destroyed. Yes, two lonely, addled people searching for peace, and escape from the destructiveness of the past. They intersect, connecting in a way that seems haphazard but fated.  FULL STORY arrow
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14 & Muslim: Eye-opening and complex space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, September 20, 2018 – Page A17
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-- Do yourself a favour and make a date to spend time with some teenagers on Friday evening.Guaranteed, it will be worth your time.14 and Muslim (Friday, CBC 9 p.m. on CBC Docs POV) is a gentle, touching and very illuminating documentary about a small group of Muslim teens in the Toronto area about to go from grade school to high school.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Emmys fail to reflect the very best of TV space
Based on the winners, it seems the awards go to the easily understood rather than the perplexingly brilliant
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 – Page A15
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-- If NBC and the Television Academy were hoping that an awards show saturated with Saturday Night Live talent was going to boost ratings, they got a rude awakening on Tuesday morning.  FULL STORY arrow
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2018 Emmys: fun, frolics and heavy competition space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, September 17, 2018 – Page A16
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-- In the TV racket, speculation is rampant.Rampant, I tell you. Is it possible, the speculation goes, that The Handmaid's Tale could win an Emmy again for outstanding drama series? As a paid-up member of the Television Critics Association I will says this: Yes, it's entirely possible.  FULL STORY arrow
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A sweet, silly, breezy show about the basics of clothing space
Stitched, a competitive fashion-creation series, showcases real skill in a charming way
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, September 15, 2018 – Page A21
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-- It's an intermission weekend, that brief period just before the onslaught of new fall-TV content. So let's talk fall fashion.The return of plaid! Or, HandM is doing a line of clothing based on the work of William Morris, which makes a change from allowing some hack actor to design stuff.  FULL STORY arrow
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As the TV world changes, its trends adjust space
Police shows, medical dramas and literary adaptations are the three types of shows being made, but 11 stand out as special
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, September 15, 2018 – Page R6
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-- It's not an avalanche. It's a tsunami. Last year, about 500 scripted shows aired in the U.S. market across network, cable and streaming services. The idea of a fall TV schedule, a package comprising new and returning shows, still stands, but looks increasingly shaky. Yet it persists, as U.S. networks in particular stick to the belief that as soon as summer is over, the public's attention turns to TV content and there are avid consumers primed for comedy and drama.  FULL STORY arrow
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Extreme weather coverage is now extremely political space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, September 13, 2018 – Page A15
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-- It's hurricane season and the all-news TV channels are all over it. Look up the TV listings for Thursday and the listings for CNN say, ''Hurricane Florence coverage'' in prime time. Fox News and MSNBC are sticking with listings for Tucker Carlson or Rachel Maddow. But both channels are already brimming with hurricane coverage.  FULL STORY arrow
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What the fall of Leslie Moonves tells us about the TV industry space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 – Page A17
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-- Stephen Colbert opened The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday by addressing the resignation of Leslie Moonves, who resigned as chairman and chief executive of CBS on Sunday.''It's never a good sign when you're the subject of a Ronan Farrow double dip,'' was among the wisecracks, referring to Farrow's second piece about alleged sexual misconduct by Moonves in The New Yorker. Colbert then quoted one woman's allegation that she ''Entered Moonves's office to discuss a work matter, and he said that he was going to get a glass of wine. He left briefly and, when he returned, he was not wearing pants, and was aroused.'' Colbert then joked, ''Wow, that is an impressive way to open a bottle of wine.''  FULL STORY arrow
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A gripping journey and a story of kindness space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 – Page A15
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-- Today, two very great and important productions to recommend.So keep reading to the end.First, some versions of reality TV programming can have a positive impact. They can educate and open your eyes.  FULL STORY arrow
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A gripping journey and a story of kindness space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 – Page A15
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-- Today, two very great and important productions to recommend.So keep reading to the end.First, some versions of reality TV programming can have a positive impact. They can educate and open your eyes.  FULL STORY arrow
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Carrey isn't Kidding around in new series space
The comedian is back and brilliant as he plays a man who's barely holding it together
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, September 8, 2018 – Page A21
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-- Years and years ago, when I was a lad, I interviewed Jim Carrey. It was just when In Living Colour had made the Canadian comic and actor a true star.  FULL STORY arrow
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Reality bites: 10 years of Palin politics space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 – Page A18
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-- On the long weekend, the funeral of U.S.Senator John McCain took up a lot of time and punditry on TV. President Donald Trump wasn't there, but he was the focus of speeches and eulogies, and commentary. The other absent figure, mostly forgotten and undeservedly so, was Sarah Palin.  FULL STORY arrow
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Mayans M.C.: This son of Sons of Anarchy is a tremendous blast space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, September 3, 2018 – Page A11
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-- It took a while but eventually everybody figured out that Sons of Anarchy was loosely inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet.Creator Kurt Sutter acknowledged the connection and, indeed, for anyone paying attention to the epic biker drama, even with only a superficial acquaintance with the play, the template was there.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ozark returns as a perfect long-weekend binge space
Violent and pulpy Netflix show keeps up the swift pace in its second season
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, September 1, 2018 – Page A17
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-- Many of you will remember the Netflix series Ozark from last summer.It was a big, binge-worthy hit and a lot of people loved it, especially for the propulsive, twisting pace of the narrative.  FULL STORY arrow
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Netflix's feverish interest in youth is more than a marketing ploy space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, August 30, 2018 – Page A14
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-- ''Get ''em while they're young'' might well be the motto of Netflix at the moment.Sticking with the marketing adage that if you get youths hooked on your product they are yours for life, the service has recently churned out teen-aimed content.  FULL STORY arrow
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Majumder's departure is all about CBC arrogance space
The long-time 22 Minutes star's exit is a reminder that the network has a long-standing problem with recognizing talent
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Page A13
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-- There has been a bloodless coup at CBC and the nitwits have taken over again.That is this column's take on the bizarre departure of Shaun Majumder from CBC's This Hour has 22 Minutes.  FULL STORY arrow
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FROM AFFECTION TO ADDICTION space
In the weekly series The Enthusiast, The Globe and Mail's arts writers offer a window into their own private cultural lives: what they're watching, reading, seeing and listening to. This week, television critic John Doyle writes about his love affair with opera
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, August 4, 2018 – Page R2
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-- If blame is to be laid in the matter of my love for opera, it must be laid at the feet of that lovely man, the late Richard Bradshaw. He was the visionary general director of the Canadian Opera Company for many years until his sudden death in 2007. We never met, but talked on the phone.  FULL STORY arrow
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Crisis? What crisis? Facebook now wants to be Netflix space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, July 30, 2018 – Page A16
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-- The other day, Facebook was much in the news. Facebook Shares Take Historic Plunge As Scandals Take A Toll was the headline in this newspaper. You probably know the gist of the story - the social-media colossus reported slowing growth and acknowledged that millions of users in Europe had abandoned the site after revelations about private data being misused.  FULL STORY arrow
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Star-crossed lovers shine brightly amid dark male rage space
CBC presents a bracing, gloomy version of Romeo and Juliet set in a toxic world
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, July 28, 2018 – Page A18
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-- What light through yonder window breaks? Why, it is the CBC offering two Stratford Festival productions in HD and, this time, actually alerting us to the existence of the films.  FULL STORY arrow
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A binge-worthy riff on the world of Stephen King space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 – Page A18
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-- The Stephen King empire keeps expanding. Just as Chapter 2 of the movie It is filming right now in Toronto, along comes an eerie series that is extrapolated from the strands of existing King material.  FULL STORY arrow
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TV everyone likes that only we could make space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 – Page A15
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-- As scholars of the history of great television will know, the absurd title of the very first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, in 1969, was Whither Canada? This was a joke, the Pythons and others believing that the most boring title for anything on TV would involve Canada. Nobody would ''care tuppence,'' as they probably still said at the BBC in 1969, about Canada.  FULL STORY arrow
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Fighting fire with satire space
In his new show, coming to Toronto this week, the 'Jon Stewart of the Arab world' links today's America to his disturbingly direct experiences with dictatorial regimes
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, July 24, 2018 – Page A15
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TELEVISION CRITIC -- It's the day after the Helsinki summit and two days after the final game of the World Cup when I talk to Bassem Youssef on the phone. So it seems natural to ask him about both.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Bachelorette is a utopian oasis in a dystopian world space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, July 23, 2018 – Page A14
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-- It is an inescapable fact that loads of people perfunctorily pretend to be interested in the higher arts, serious political issues and the grave conflicts that face their nation and this planet.  FULL STORY arrow
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Killing Eve is a killer of a thriller and an unmissable summer series space
The show is packed with dry wit and two brilliant performances by Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, July 21, 2018 – Page A21
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-- It's here at last: one of the best, most acclaimed and sizzling series of the year. It's here late and Canadian Sandra Oh is already Emmy-nominated for her starring role in it.  FULL STORY arrow
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Good Girls makes for a great summer binge space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 – Page A14
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-- Now here's an interesting, illuminating example of what's going on right now in the TV racket: a series called Good Girls.The show, an odd hybrid of comedy and drama, debuted on NBC last January. Not much fanfare, but reasonable ratings. It's a one-hour show and both networks and audiences tend to struggle with one-hour shows that are genre-benders. First, it feels like a sitcom and then it seems to be a drama.  FULL STORY arrow
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What the World Cup says about us: We are so Anglo space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, July 16, 2018 – Page A9
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-- In the end France won the World Cup, as some predicted long ago, including me. But the interesting, illuminating thing about a World Cup tournament is what it reveals about us in Canada and the world at large. Some of it is predictable and some of it is surprising. It is an intense month, a gripping distraction, a drama that twirls and swerves and, in doing so, manages to illuminate so much.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Workers Cup, not the other Cup, is where the real heartbreak is space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, July 14, 2018 – Page A19
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-- The biggest, most watched live event in the world takes place this weekend. That's the World Cup final (Sunday, CTV, TSN 11 a.m. ET), between France and Croatia. The World Cup final matches in 2010 and 2014 each attracted an average of 3.2 billion viewers, making the Super Bowl look like the little regional event it is.  FULL STORY arrow
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France, Croatia both have good reason to believe space
This World Cup is about collective guilt playing against collective will in nation-building
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, July 14, 2018 – Page S9
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TORONTO -- Ask anyone and they'll say France is the favourite to win this World Cup final.But what does anyone know, anyway? In the matter of Croatia's semi-final against England, along came Ivan Perisic, with muscular skill and keen awareness, rampaging forward to score, and thus demolish not just England but a mass of punditry and predictions.  FULL STORY arrow
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But what if England wins it all? space
There are pros and cons, and it depends on how you look at the possible, mostly surreal repercussions
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Wednesday, July 11, 2018 – Page B11
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TORONTO -- According to reliable sources such as the BBC, there's been an outbreak of World Cup delirium in the part of Britain called England.The weather is unusually warm. Large and excited crowds are watching the games outdoors, and it all looks jolly, jolly good for England.  FULL STORY arrow
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Netflix's Sacred Games: A brilliant thriller series from India space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 – Page A12
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-- In Europe and elsewhere, the TV landscape is littered with failed attempts to combat Netflix and Amazon Prime and compete for customers. If you look at the broadcast trade media, there is, almost weekly, yet another new effort by commercial channels to combine their resources and offer new video-on-demand services.  FULL STORY arrow
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For the tournament's final four, teamwork makes the dream work space
There is a natural tendency to see the World Cup, especially in its final stage, as a sort of red carpet on which glamorous individuals appear and are worshipped. This World Cup isn't that, at all
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, July 9, 2018 – Page B11
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TORONTO -- Look at these guys. The final four at this World Cup are Croatia, Belgium, France and, God Save the Queen, England. Stating the obvious, it's like the set-up for a Euro tournament semi-finals.  FULL STORY arrow
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Sharp Objects is gripping, grim and unsettling space
Based on Gillian Flynn's gothic murder-mystery novel, the miniseries is a summer indulgence of sorts, but far from light
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, July 7, 2018 – Page A18
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-- Anyone who watched and admired HBO's Big Little Lies, and many did, noted the emphatic style that Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee brought to it. The manner in which he contrasted the soaring vistas of Northern California with the tight spaces in which the characters mainly existed. The elliptical way they perceived reality, from the numerous scenes of characters watching through car windows and seeing others in mirrors. The technique and flair he brought to it was subtly key to the intensity.  FULL STORY arrow
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All human frailty is in the penalty shootout space
Tournament has already seen dramatic endings from brilliant saves or poorly taken kicks
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, July 7, 2018 – Page S9
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-- Here's what to say to persons who assert that a penalty shootout is a terrible way to end a soccer game: There has to be an ending. A divorce. The conflict can't go on forever. As much as two sides are fully engaged in an endless tug of war for dominance, the niggling fouls and attempts at ascendancy must stop. An ending is a good thing.  FULL STORY arrow
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Jerry Seinfeld's banter with comedians: Some gems, some fails space
Now a Netflix series, comedian's interview show is still ultimately about him and his obsessions - the guest is allowed in, but only carefully and skillfully
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, July 5, 2018 – Page A12
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-- Some years ago, Jerry Seinfeld had this idea. The idea was then honed to a simple-format chat show that would appear online. Seinfeld would introduce a comedian to a vintage car, they'd go for a ride, chat and then chat some more over a coffee or light meal. No fuss, a lean budget and some good, funny conversations. Sometimes a bit personal, but mostly not.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Toronto bar that plays host to the 'sweet bedlam' of soccer fans space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, July 4, 2018 – Page B11
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TORONTO -- The consensus at the Football Factory, a downtown Toronto bar and restaurant, is it's a pity Mexico is out of this World Cup. The fans of Mexico were the best, the most deliriously cheerful and good-natured of them all. The fans of Iran weren't far behind.  FULL STORY arrow
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Nothing rotten about Denmark's play space
Throughout their tournament, the Danes showed tremendous effort - and that's more than many, more talented squads can say
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, July 2, 2018 – Page B11
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-- It was around midnight in Nizhny Novgorod when the epic penalty shootout finally ended and Croatia squeezed into the quarter-finals of this World Cup.The watching world was exhausted by it all, even if it wasn't anywhere near midnight where the game was being viewed.  FULL STORY arrow
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GLOW returns for a wonderful second season space
New episodes of Ozark, Better Call Saul and Orange Is the New Black, are also arriving this summer
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 30, 2018 – Page A21
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-- If you're trying to keep up this summer TV season, take note that a lot of content amounts to a new season of an existing series.New episodes of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee start streaming on Netflix next Friday. A new season of Orange Is the New Black arrives on Netflix on July 27. The second season of last year's big summer hit, Ozark, arrives on Netflix on Aug. 31. Away from Netflix, the fourth season of the great Better Call Saul returns to AMC on Aug. 6.  FULL STORY arrow
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Messi style of play is not the Argentina way space
The current team regime favours system over individual effort, a system that does not fit the star's strengths
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 30, 2018 – Page S3
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-- In the matter of France playing Argentina on Saturday in the World Cup's Round of 16, all bets are off. Neither team has played to its potential. France is packed with some of the best young talent in Europe yet it has gone through a sleepwalking version of getting to the knockout stage.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why has the World Cup TV coverage been so sexist? space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, June 28, 2018 – Page B13
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-- Great World Cup so far.More than 100 goals scored. Thrilling games and upsets. Germany, the defending champion, evicted in the first round. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo struts through it, Argentina's Diego Maradona having meltdowns in the VIP seats and a lot of viewers crushing on Mexico's spirit and style.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trump's war against TV hosts is real, not a distraction space
The President's tweets aren't deflection at all: It's genuine hatred behind which his supporters can rally
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 – Page A12
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-- ''That deflection technique doesn't really work when the thing you're deflecting from is children in cages,'' John Oliver observed on his HBO show last Sunday. He was ranting about attempts made on Fox News to change the news narrative from the Trump administration's family-separation policy and focus instead on tax cuts.  FULL STORY arrow
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Suddenly, England fancies a Cuppa delusion space
A thumping victory over a bad Panama team is the worst possible result for Kane and Co.
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, June 25, 2018 – Page B12
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-- The consensus at The Done Right Inn, a cozy dive bar on Queen Street West in Toronto, is that England has a first-rate, world-beating team and Harry Kane is a God-like figure. The Done Right Inn is, week in and week out, a little hotbed of support for Harry Kane's employer, the English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur.  FULL STORY arrow
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The beautiful read space
While it's game on in Russia, John Doyle lines up 14 essential soccer books for World Cup season
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 23, 2018 – Page P15
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-- Entranced by the World Cup, or inquisitive about the game, the spectacle and the serious passion, you might wonder where to read further and deeper into this, the greatest shared sports phenomenon on the planet. Well, there are a lot of books about soccer; some brilliantly written and insightful, some sincere and some both scholarly and splendid. It's a writing arena as big as the sport.  FULL STORY arrow
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Three great foreign dramas on Netflix for a summer binge space
Money Heist, The Mechanism and The Break draw on familiar themes, but with a twist
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 23, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Cast your viewing net wide this summer. There is a lot of foreign-language content that is both off the radar and excellent. Some of it is mind-boggling and addictive.  FULL STORY arrow
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Even if its World Cup exit is near, Iceland can teach the world a lesson space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 23, 2018 – Page S3
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-- Iceland isn't out of this World Cup. Yet. It stands level on points with Argentina - Argentina, no less - in Group D with a slight advantage in goal difference. The momentum is with Nigeria, however as candidate for the next round.  FULL STORY arrow
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DIEGO MARADONA'S LEGENDARY GOALS space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Friday, June 22, 2018 – Page A2
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Succour in a savage world space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 – Page A16
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-- I'm pretty sure I ended up covering soccer from 17 countries on four continents because in 2001, I wrote a column about watching Ireland play Iran in a World Cup qualifying game at a bar in downtown Toronto. That, some experience playing the game and a fierce interest in it.  FULL STORY arrow
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Brazil: Another South American failure could be in the making space
Despite prodigious talent, Neymar and company lacked basic organizational efficiency in 1-1 draw with Switzerland
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, June 18, 2018 – Page B13
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-- It is a testament to the predictability of World Cup prognostications that Brazil is always a favourite. Even if Brazil has not actually looked anything like a potential World Cup champion since 2002.  FULL STORY arrow
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Picnic at Hanging Rock is a lovely, disturbing miniseries space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 16, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Peter Weir's 1975 film version of Picnic at Hanging Rock is famous for its soft-focus, gauzy beauty and the chill in the unexplained key event - in Australia on Valentine's Day, 1900, three young women and a teacher from a boarding school disappear while on an outing to Hanging Rock, a former volcano.  FULL STORY arrow
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Even poor games have corrosive drama space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 16, 2018 – Page S3
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-- Luis Suarez cut a frustrated figure in this World Cup's second game, as Uruguay struggled to get past Egypt. At least he wasn't cutting anyone with his teeth.  FULL STORY arrow
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The women's game loses when the World Cup comes to Canada space
The status and goodwill our female players have acquired will be squandered when the male game gets put in the spotlight
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, June 14, 2018 – Page A13
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-- Three cheers for Canada, the United States and Mexico as the three countries have landed the job of co-hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup. I'm cheering too - with reservations.  FULL STORY arrow
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Two new, weirdly wonderful CBC series: time-travelling foodies and a loopy family space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, June 14, 2018 – Page A22
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-- Two fine, fascinating and oddball series start on CBC. Things are looking up.First, an anecdote. The last time I met Carlo Rota in person was a few years ago at the airport in Los Angeles. He was disembarking from a plane from Toronto, the one I was waiting to board and return home. A very affable chap, he stopped for a chat. He had work lined up in L.A. The previous time I'd met him in person was also in L.A.  FULL STORY arrow
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Let the Emmy voting begin space
From The Americans to Counterpart, a look at the best TV dramas of late - and the thorny questions that could be on this year's ballot
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 – Page A16
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-- TELEVISIONOn Monday, members of the Television Academy started voting on this year's nominations for the Emmy Awards. Yes, while some broadcasters and all streaming services boast they have abandoned the fall-season/mid-season model for TV, there are still markers that tell us time is up and it's necessary to assess a period of television excellence.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why is there so much torture on smart television? space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 – Page A20
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-- TELEVISIONIt unfolds like this: On a weekI end evening peruse what's in the PVR or On-Demand and there are accumulated episodes of shows I don't particularly savour at that moment. Too much torture, too much pain, a great deal of cynicism and more torture.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Tony Awards, cool and glamorous at last space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 9, 2018 – Page A20
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-- It's a strange weekend on TV. Most notable early summer series have already launched and more substantial ones will arrive in the coming weeks. This is a pause weekend.  FULL STORY arrow
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This World Cup will be going totally rogue space
A Trump connection, Putin's ambivalence, much chicanery - there's no shortage of sideshow material here
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 9, 2018 – Page S9
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-- Anyone who says that sport and politics don't mix is a halfwit. You see, you couldn't make it up, the story behind and leading to this World Cup in Russia. There is an embarrassment of weird coincidences and connections to prove that truth is way stranger than fiction. What is weirdest of all is the entanglement of this World Cup with ongoing events that dominate daily political coverage and discussion.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Citizen Kane of true-crime docs comes to Canadian viewers at last space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, June 7, 2018 – Page A17
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-- The mother of all true-crime docuT mentary series is back. In the matter of newspaper columnist and novelist Michael Peterson, and the alleged murder of his wife, Kathleen, and possibly another person, it ain't over until it's over.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why a Roseanne spinoff would be elusive, fraught - and inevitable space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 – Page A17
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-- This week is Canadian upfronts week. What's that? The Canadian commercial broadcasters, Rogers, Bell Media and Corus, announce what new U.S. series they have acquired for their channels. The point is to generate attention and ad sales.  FULL STORY arrow
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Queen of the Oil Patch: Portrait of a different, ace conqueror space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 – Page A16
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-- A lot of Canadian-made reality TV is unwatchable. This one isn't.Queen of the Oil Patch (Tuesday, APTN at 10:30 p.m.) presents a Canada that is simultaneously unrecognizable and familiar.  FULL STORY arrow
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Pose is fabulous, stirring, outrageous and unmissable space
First-rate cable drama about 1980s New York ballroom scene is not - remarkably - about middle-aged white guys and their issues
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, June 2, 2018 – Page A20
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-- What is this fabulous, ambitious new drama series about? The ballroom scene in New York in 1987. And what is that? As a major character says to a young man entering this world, the ballroom scene is ''a gathering of people who are not welcome to gather anywhere else, a celebration of a life that the rest of the world does not deem worthy of celebration.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Ford's TV phobia: He's no Mike Harris space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, May 31, 2018 – Page A17
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-- You can tell a lot about a political leader by how they attempt to use television to communicate a message. Doug Ford doesn't seem to be attempting anything at all.  FULL STORY arrow
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Roseanne reboot's inevitable bitter end space
The show, always likely to end in tears of fury, has been cancelled after actor's Twitter attack on former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – Page A3
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-- The revival of Roseanne was never about television nostalgia. The reboot was never really connected, in anything more than the most superficial way, with the revived Gilmore Girls and rejuvenated Will and Grace.  FULL STORY arrow
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Michelle Wolf's weird, wicked comedy lands nicely on Netflix space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, May 29, 2018 – Page A17
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-- There's another new comedy/chat show vying for your attention. You might well sigh and ask, ''Is it different from what's done by John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Bill Maher and all those others?'' Well, yes and no.  FULL STORY arrow
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Anthony Bourdain is rightfully fed up with Canada space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, May 21, 2018 – Page A13
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-- Anthony Bourdain has a point. The chef and host of the Emmy and Peabody-winning CNN series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is dismayed by the coverage of his recent and misfortunate foray into Canada to do a program on Newfoundland and Labrador.  FULL STORY arrow
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Current events rekindle dystopian spirit of Fahrenheit 451 space
An updated retelling of Ray Bradbury's novel makes for essential viewing in an anti-intellectual age
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, May 19, 2018 – Page A20
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-- The Irish writer Joseph O'Connor has a story about being on a bus in south Dublin in his teenage years. The bus paused next to the Martello tower in Sandycove, commonly known as the James Joyce Tower because the first part of Joyce's Ulysses is set there.  FULL STORY arrow
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How to watch the royal wedding without losing your mind space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, May 17, 2018 – Page A21
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-- Do you know who's back? You don't? Well then, you'll be glad you stopped by this column on the royal wedding.Peter (Pastor) Mansbridge is back.That's right. I kid you not. Wedding day coverage on CBC TV and CBC NN starts at 4 a.m. ET on Saturday. The live coverage is hosted by Adrienne Arsenault who is joined by ''royal expert'' Katie Nicholl, author of a book about Prince Harry. And then, says the CBC, ''Peter Mansbridge, former anchor of The National, will drop by the broadcasting booth during the special.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Cackle away, Roseanne is part of a revival in network TV space
In Trump's America, cardboard characters and laugh tracks appear to be back in vogue
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 – Page A15
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-- It's alive! It's alive! After the eye-watering ratings that accrued for the revival of Roseanne on ABC, all of network TV is refusing to die. It just won't go away. It has, you might say, a reason to live.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canadian show Carter is inelegantly made tomfoolery space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 – Page A17
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-- When it comes to Canadian TV, the term ''exacting doesn't apply.standards'' Take the new comedy-drama Carter (starts Tuesday, Bravo, 9 p.m. ET). The series already has some very positive coverage.  FULL STORY arrow
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Netflix's Safe is a solid British crime binge space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, May 14, 2018 – Page A16
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-- uring a recent visit to IreD land, I spent some time watching British TV. At the moment, a lot if it is talk - angry, flaring-nostrils talk about Brexit and immigration policies.  FULL STORY arrow
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Cumberbatch dazzles in Patrick Melrose miniseries space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, May 12, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Kudos to Benedict Cumberbatch. He isn't going in for easy roles or resting on his laurels. In his latest and dazzling outing he's working with a full-tilt ferocity that is breathtaking and, you suspect, backbreaking for any actor.  FULL STORY arrow
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What the world needs now is wedding fever, and it's on TV space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, May 10, 2018 – Page A19
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-- As the old and much-recorded song reminds us, ''What the world needs now is love, sweet love/It's the only thing that there's just too little of.''  FULL STORY arrow
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The Handmaid's Tale: more harrowing, more horror space
The TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel returns for a second season as a formidably dark tale
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, April 28, 2018 – Page A20
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-- If you want your nerves jangled and your optimism shattered, you will find what you want in the second season of The Handmaid's Tale (returns Sunday, Bravo, 9 p.m. with two consecutive episodes).  FULL STORY arrow
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Nobody can prepare for this: The emotional impact of TV after the horror space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, April 26, 2018 – Page A20
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-- On Tuesday morning a young woman at the makeshift wall memorial for the victims of Monday's van attack on Yonge Street in Toronto was being interviewed on TV. She apologized to the reporter for not being very articulate. She actually said, ''Sorry.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Genius: Picasso is a nice portrait of a merely prickly guy space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 – Page A21
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-- One of the awkward moments during the TV Critics press tour in January was a presentation for Genius: Picasso (starts Tuesday, National Geographic Channel, 9 p.m.).The first season of Genius, the anthology drama series, had dealt with the life of Albert Einstein. It was a good, solid series, presenting Einstein as a rascal and a roue, a man enjoying a life of sensual pleasure while shifting science onward. It established the National Geographic channel as an outlet willing to produce finely textured drama, a cut above banal biopics. Pablo Picasso is a vastly different figure to tackle.  FULL STORY arrow
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What conservatives can learn from the Roseanne reboot space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, April 23, 2018 – Page A14
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TELEVISION -- In a funny way, we're all going to miss Roseanne when the 2018 iteration ends soon. Right now, there's a pause. No new episode this week and four more to come starting next week.  FULL STORY arrow
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Westworld returns with timely focus on bitter rebellion space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, April 21, 2018 – Page A20
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-- The most lavish, praised and sometimes most puzzling HBO series of the past few years is back. Thematically, the best of American cable TV hews to themes below the surface in the culture that inevitably rise to the surface, and so it is with the wonderful Westworld (Sunday, HBO Canada 9 p.m.).  FULL STORY arrow
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A cult hit about what may or may not be a cult space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, April 19, 2018 – Page A15
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-- People of a certain age will remember the era. During the 1970s, there was a huge appetite for alternatives to the usual resources that might deal with depression, loneliness and general, common-or-garden, unhappiness.  FULL STORY arrow
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The only thing bigger than Netflix is the daily news space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 – Page A19
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-- The announcement on Monday was hardly a surprise. In the first quarter of 2018, Netflix added almost two million U.S. subscribers and yet more in other territories, beating its own estimates. The streaming company also posted quarterly earnings slightly above expectations.  FULL STORY arrow
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On Facebook: A tiny, minor and perfect drama space
Chateau Laurier is an impeccable slice of Canadiana - already viewed more than a million times
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, April 16, 2018 – Page A15
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-- There's a certain kind of Canadian TV content that people like. There's no denying it. The content is period-piece drama with a dose of comedy.There's always an emphasis on costumes and matters of social class and money. Pinafores might well be featured. There's usually a grumpy old person whose heart is melted by, you know, the sweetness and energy of youth. Somebody falls in love. Or maybe there's a long-standing attraction that goes unspoken.  FULL STORY arrow
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A family-friendly adventure void of political or social meaning space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Lost in Space (streams Netflix from Friday, April 13) starts with a crash landing on a planet that, geez, Louise, looks very much like British Columbia.And indeed it is B.C. that is masquerading as the planet on which the Robinson clan land.  FULL STORY arrow
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The National now: Confusing, well-meaning and maddening space
Viewers are unhappy about the flagship program's overhaul. One only needs to sit through a single bleak and exhausting hour to get an idea of why
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – Page R3
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-- TELEVISIONReaders write to me about The National. That would be the usual thing if I write something about CBC's flagship newscast. But readers now write to me regularly about The National, not just in response to a column.  FULL STORY arrow
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A solid dose of British drama and daftness on Netflix space
The streaming service offers political thrills, gothic chills and a healthy helping of scatological laughs from across the pond
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, April 12, 2018 – Page A14
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-- The craving for British TV is unabated in Can ada. I get queries all the time about when and where a hit British show will turn up here. Often the answer is, I just don't know.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ice-man Zuckerberg, live on TV, pleads innocence space
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – Page A14
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-- He knows. He knows people loathe him. He knows and doesn't care, until he's forced to look like he cares.They made a movie about his life, The Social Network. It portrayed him as a nerdy tech guy driven by a need to connect with women. As if. It wasn't unkind, though. It ended with the Beatles singing Baby, You're a Rich Man.  FULL STORY arrow
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Rick Mercer embodies Canada, without the smugness space
The funnyman is going out on top with a successful formula that is rare in this country's TV programming
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – Page A17
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-- On Tuesday, after 15 seasons and 277 episodes, The Rick Mercer Report will cease to be. There will be an hour-long episode (CBC, 8 p.m.) with highlights from across the years, and one last rant from Mercer.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trump doc chronicles his twisted ascent in Washington space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, April 9, 2018 – Page A16
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-- In the flurry of all-news cable coverage of the whirlwind that is the Trump presidency, the details get lost.It's hard to tell what's really going on when Fox News is busy claiming there's a caravan of immigrants about to storm the U.S. border, or is busy attacking Jimmy Kimmel for some wisecrack he made. And CNN is busy trying to help viewers connect the colourful, shady players who turn up in the Mueller investigation.  FULL STORY arrow
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A message to CBC's new president: Invest in gold space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, April 5, 2018 – Page A19
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-- Far be it from me to join the lineup of pundits offering advice and analysis to Catherine Tait, the incoming CBC president. But, in the matter of CBC English-language TV, there's an issue: Where's the great stuff?  FULL STORY arrow
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