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GiveLife.ca

    
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PRINT EDITION
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Globe Columnists
Saturday, January 19




  John Doyle
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Television



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Brexit, the movie, is a terrifying lesson in populism space
Farcical TV drama puts focus on 'geeky analyst' who used social media to lead a 'Leave' victory
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, January 19, 2019 – Page A20
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-- Remember where you were when you heard in 2016 that Britain had voted narrowly to leave the European Union? If you remember at all - the referendum seemed like a mere sop to an anti-EU fringe at the time - you probably went ''uh-oh!''  FULL STORY arrow
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A true, uplifting hour about unlikely skating champs space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, January 17, 2019 – Page A13
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-- When I was in Dublin recently and crossing one of the bridges over the Liffey I saw the new ferry that carries people and cars to England. It is named ''W.B. Yeats.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Is Netflix phenom Marie Kondo most adorable or most annoying? space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 – Page A15
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-- TELEVISIONListen, you have too much stuff. I have too much stuff.We're all embarrassed about it. It's like being caught by David Suzuki when you're throwing an old toaster into the Green Bin. You could try explaining the other bins are full and besides, somebody must have a good-paying job extracting old toasters and such from the Green Bin stuff. It wouldn't fly. Suzuki would just give you this look.  FULL STORY arrow
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Good riddance to Criminal Minds and its female-subjugation porn space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, January 14, 2019 – Page A13
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-- Generally speaking, it ill behooves anyone to take great pleasure in the ending of a longrunning TV series. But in the case of Criminal Minds on CBS, it's perfectly legit.  FULL STORY arrow
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True Detective Season 3 goes back to basics space
The HBO drama series' latest season is done with precision, but lacks the ferocity of the first season
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, January 12, 2019 – Page A18
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-- TELEVISIONSometimes, to progress you must go back to your essence and channel it again.In the matter of True Detective, ain't it the truth: The first season arrived exactly five years ago on HBO with a bang. A murder mystery of grave intent and profound depth, it was immediately called the best drama of 2014, which indeed it was.  FULL STORY arrow
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Let's talk about Sex Education: Saucy, smart Netflix series is worth a spin space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, January 10, 2019 – Page A16
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-- Hello again and Happy New Year.January is just great, isn't it? Even in these times of populist nihilism and spite, a person can construct an air of optimism. New year, new beginnings and while it's chilly outside, we feel warm inside. It won't last, of course. By the time the slow, damp drip of April is upon us, we'll be cranky. You know I will.  FULL STORY arrow
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New year promises a smorgasbord of big-ticket TV space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, January 5, 2019 – Page R2
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-- TELEVISIONThe first thing to consider about TV content coming in 2019 is that there will be more. Literally, more content from more content-providers.Three new players are expected to enter the arena. Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox was the final brick in building Disney+, a new streaming service to launch in late 2019. Apple has spent about a billion dollars in creating original content in drama and comedy, much of it from established creators, to be launched in 2019. Warner Bros.  FULL STORY arrow
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Here comes holiday programming of joy, Royals and rabbits space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, December 22, 2018 – Page A16
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-- TELEVISIONFirst, important information for many of you: The Queen's Christmas Message airs on Tuesday, Christmas Day, at 10 a.m., on CBC News Network, noon on CBC TV and is repeated on CBC News Network, at 3 p.m. You may now be seated.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, December 22, 2018 – Page R3
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-- One morning in January of this year, in a hotel ballroom near L.A., Roseanne Barr met a few dozen TV critics to talk up the revival of her sitcom Roseanne. It didn't go well. Surly and defensive, Barr engaged in passive-aggressive sniping at the critics.  FULL STORY arrow
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Farewell to CBC's Mr. D space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 – Page A16
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-- ''I m awesome!/No you're not, dude...'' That song by Spose was the perfect theme music for Mr. D (CBC, 9 p.m.) which ends its remarkable run tonight with a series-finale episode.  FULL STORY arrow
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Consider this: A classy drama about the brilliant Bronte sisters space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – Page A15
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-- Let's shift away from silliness, shall we? There's a lot of it about, this time of the year, when substantive content is rare.So let's talk classy British drama. Literary drama, to be specific. First thing to do is consider BritBox, the streaming service established by the BBC and ITV for subscribers in the United States and Canada.  FULL STORY arrow
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Top Ten Most Irritating Canadians 2018 (TV-related) space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, December 17, 2018 – Page A17
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-- The Brother and the lads in his digs emerged from their lair recently to annoy me.There was an ill-mannered rata-tat-tat on my front door. I knew it was either the Brother or Doug Ford because my cat Rita, snugly ensconced on the windowsill and peering out, took off like a rocket. Rita can't stand Ford.  FULL STORY arrow
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Six unheralded TV gems you won't see on the best-of lists space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 – Page A17
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-- Lists, lists and more lists. Where does it end, at this time of the year?Such is the mania, a person would be tempted to make lists of TV types that won't be missed. Like, say, Les Moonves, previously the big boss of CBS. Or Megyn Kelly, whose strange, tortured shift from Fox News to more mainstream NBC has ended with fraught negotiations about her exit. Eventually, she will take her views about blackface somewhere else. But for now, who can be missing her?  FULL STORY arrow
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HBO's Room 104 delivers short, strange wonders space
The anthology series' second season contains little masterpieces of concise storytelling
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, December 8, 2018 – Page A20
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-- One of my counterparts who writes about TV in the United States recently came up with a plan. He describes it as, ''A new, recurring set of recommendations based on how much, or how little, time you have to watch.'' It's a great plan. In answer to the persistent question, ''What should I watch?'' the key is whether the questioner wants to see 12 hours, just six episodes of under an hour, or a 30-minute drama. At this time of the year we're all too busy. Too little time to do all that's required in the preholiday period, and never enough time to indulge in contemplation or entertaining drama or comedy that is substantial rather than slight. Here's a suggestion.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is back with buckets of charm space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 – Page A21
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-- Cast your mind back to the Emmy Awards in September. The most memorable part of the broadcast was Amy Sherman-Palladino, got up in her personal version of top hat and tails, making Emmy history for her wins in both comedy writing and directing, making her the first woman to do so.  FULL STORY arrow
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No mystery to McGregor: He's in it for the money space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 – Page A16
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-- A local man appeared in court on the outskirts of Dublin last week to answer a charge of speeding.Local police said the defendant had been driving at 154 kilometres an hour in a 100 km/h zone. The judge gave the defendant, age 30, a short, stern lecture on the dangers of speeding, noted the man had 12 previous driving convictions dating back to his teenage years, then fined him 1,000 (about $1,500) and banned him from driving for six months.  FULL STORY arrow
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Is the conformity of holiday entertainment dangerous? space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, December 3, 2018 – Page A15
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-- My plan is this: a small glass of dry sherry while I listen to my old Andy Williams and Perry Como albums. I might even indulge in some toe-tapping when Perry Como sings Papa Loves Mambo.  FULL STORY arrow
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Breaking down Brexit via British TV, soccer and Ireland space
Programs such as The Crown have made a fetish of the U.K.'s decline, and play upon nostalgia for an earlier, often imagined, time
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 – Page A15
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-- As I write this, and you read it, British Prime Minister Theresa May is traipsing around the U.K. trying to sell her Brexit deal to the great British public. Good luck with that. It is a truth as plain as a poke in your eye that the exit deal she's agreed on with the European Union has been universally condemned across political lines over there.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ford's terrible TV persona reveals he's no Trump space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 – Page A18
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-- It was a subdued Doug Ford who appeared in front of TV cameras on Monday morning.The Ontario Premier had to say something about General Motors Co. announcing a major restructuring and saying it will shut production at five facilities in North America, including Oshawa, Ont.  FULL STORY arrow
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Patriot: An unheralded gem of a mad, melancholy spy drama space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, November 26, 2018 – Page A19
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-- This era is called ''Peak TV'' for a reason. There's an insane amount of content. There are series, mini-series and one-off dramas and comedies here, there and everywhere. This period will end, eventually. There will be some cataclysmic shift, one big content provider will collapse and others will follow or remaining services will coalesce.  FULL STORY arrow
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A must-see masterpiece space
Dogs on Netflix stands as a complex portrait of families and individuals as we live now
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, November 24, 2018 – Page A20
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-- The girl, aged 11, looks directly into the camera with grave and guileless eyes.Around her, the pleasant activities of an American summer unfold. The kids playing on the grass rush, race, run, sprint, bolt and dart chasing a ball or each other.  FULL STORY arrow
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Trevor Noah's Netflix special is uniquely, fiercely funny and logical space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, November 22, 2018 – Page A20
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-- Our friends in the United States are celebrating their Thanksgiving and probably binge-watching Netflix. Many would benefit from an hour spent watching Trevor Noah's new stand-up special. So can we.  FULL STORY arrow
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Fox Nation: When tribal news gets more tribal space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, November 21, 2018 – Page A18
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-- As I write this on a Tuesday morning, Facebook is down. The joke going around online is that a massive data harvest went awry as Facebook prepped data for its advertisers and their Black Friday sales.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why The Little Drummer Girl is a perfect, explosive spy drama space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, November 19, 2018 – Page A20
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-- The cynical spymaster. The moral ambiguity. The sexual allure of the handsome fanatic. The betrayals. The tension. The forging of documents and of identities. The melancholy that comes with all that deceit.  FULL STORY arrow
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My Brilliant Friend might be the most exquisite drama of the year space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, November 17, 2018 – Page A20
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-- It is not a matter of life and death, as so much TV drama is.It is a matter of life as it is lived fully, expansively. It is a matter of life observed from youth amid constricting social conventions and then transcended through imagination and love.  FULL STORY arrow
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A gripping turn by Patricia Arquette is at the centre of this week's terrific TV space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, November 15, 2018 – Page A19
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-- It remains startling how much excellent, serious-minded TV content exists now.In the space of a few days, a long list of series, long or shortform, arrives. On Friday, The Kominsky Method and Narcos: Mexico (both already reviewed) arrive on Netflix. On Sunday, HBO unveils My Brilliant Friend (review coming Saturday), its adaptation of Elena Ferrante's acclaimed bestselling novel. Also on Sunday comes Showtime's star-studded Escape at Dannemora (see below). On Monday, AMC delivers its already-acclaimed-in-Britain adaptation of John le Carre's The Little Drummer Girl. A review of that will appear in Monday's paper and online earlier.  FULL STORY arrow
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We know how Narcos: Mexico ends. That's part of its power space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 – Page A20
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-- There is a short scene in the opening episode of Narcos: Mexico that reveals a great deal about the culture in which the drama is set. It lasts a minute or so, but the depths of the entire eight-part series are glimpsed.  FULL STORY arrow
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Netflix's The Kominsky Method is wry, dry and recommended space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 – Page A17
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-- It's a packed week ahead, with a lot of big-ticket drama to review. So let's try to get ahead. But first a short detour.As constant readers are aware, this column has certain likes and dislikes.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why Netflix's talk shows fail space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, November 12, 2018 – Page A16
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-- Sometimes you need a bit. Just a bit to liven things up and take the focus away from always looking at the same darn thing. By ''bit'' I mean something like ''Amber Says What'' on Late Night with Seth Meyers, or ''Drunk Donald Trump'' on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  FULL STORY arrow
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Sally4Ever is macabre humour firing on all cylinders space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, November 10, 2018 – Page A20
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-- There's a man in England who celebrates Christmas every day. For years, he consumed turkey and Brussels sprouts daily but was advised to stop. He watches the Queen's speech every day and opens a gift he's wrapped for himself. He started doing this when his wife left him.  FULL STORY arrow
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Staring into the abyss: Midterm madness on U.S. news networks space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 – Page A19
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-- The other night, Saturday Night Live opened with a sketch parodying the scare-mongering by Fox News personalities about that migrant caravan. Kate McKinnon played Laura Ingraham and Cecily Strong was former judge Jeanine Pirro.  FULL STORY arrow
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House of Cards falls in its final season space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, November 5, 2018 – Page A17
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-- It is stating the obvious to say that a good deal of venomous rage and everyday misogyny is aimed at women in positions of power. Turn on the news any day of the week and you can see the evidence. Go online and you can quickly find yourself horrified by the rage.  FULL STORY arrow
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Homecoming: Come for the star, stay for the thrills space
While Julia Roberts plays the leading role, a counsellor for returning soldiers at a sinister facility, the show is not centred on her
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, November 3, 2018 – Page A20
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-- There has been inordinate coverage of Julia Roberts taking a role on the new Amazon Prime Video series Homecoming. It's an understandable publicity ploy but the same darn things are being said over and over: Roberts is one of the last movie stars to make the shift to prestige TV. The fact that she's doing it needs to be separated from the series itself and its merits.  FULL STORY arrow
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True love knows no season: Outlander's triumphant return space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, November 1, 2018 – Page A20
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-- The story, it must be acknowledged, is drenched in darkness, cruelty and betrayal. But the lamplight at its core is love. It is a romantic love but of a remarkably complex type. It is a relationship that actualizes humour, beauty, passion, tenderness and carnal desire.  FULL STORY arrow
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Frontline explores how Facebook has been weaponized space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – Page A17
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-- We live in an age of social-media mayhem.Brad Parscale, the man who will be campaign manager for Donald Trump's 2020 re-election effort, knows all about the mayhem. Less well-known than such former Trump inner-circle figures as Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski, Parscale was digital director in the 2016 Trump campaign.  FULL STORY arrow
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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a madhouse of ideas space
Netflix's latest original series is a taste of the bizarre and a treat for those who aren't normally interested in teenage witches
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, October 29, 2018 – Page A15
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-- It's perfectly possible you're not even a teensy bit interested in intra-witch wars played out by teenage girls. That's your choice, and your loss.One of the most heavily promoted and closely studied Netflix series in ages, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (streams from Oct. 26) is a madhouse of ideas, themes, surreal retro-vibe visuals and fabulous acting. In fact, it glitters with performances to savour. Even when the narrative is as wonky as a newborn kitten, there are lip-smacking turns by actors relishing the material.  FULL STORY arrow
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New Howards End is wistful and poignant space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, October 27, 2018 – Page A20
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-- In this strange era, it might seem there's a reboot or a revival happening in TV every week, and it's all a mere fad. Not so.This weekend's highlight is a return to literary source material. There's nothing faddish about it.  FULL STORY arrow
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Gaelic's great awakening space
In the weekly series The Enthusiast, The Globe and Mail's arts writers offer a window into their private cultural lives: what they're watching, reading, seeing and listening to. This week, television critic John Doyle is awed by the pleasures and passions of a purportedly dying language
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By JOHN DOYLE
Saturday, October 27, 2018 – Page R3
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-- In the biographical note that accompanies my work for this great newspaper, it says this: ''Always argumentative, John has the distinction of winning a gold medal, at the age of 10, for his debating skills in the Gaelic language.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Is Bill Maher the last sane man on U.S. talk shows? space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Thursday, October 25, 2018 – Page A20
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-- One the most frightening hours of TV I've seen this year had nothing to do with ghouls, murder or mayhem. It was a talk show.An August episode of Real Time with Bill Maher (Fridays on HBO, 10 p.m. ET) had a robust panel of guests. They were Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. counterterrorism intelligence officer; Steve Schmidt, a former Republican strategist; Kristen Soltis Anderson, a columnist for The Washington Examiner; Charles Blow of The New York Times; and historian Nancy MacLean of Duke University. MacLean is the author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America.  FULL STORY arrow
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Netflix's Bodyguard is a bloody great British thriller space
The terse, twisted narrative has all the hallmarks of exquisitely crafted TV drama
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – Page A16
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-- It starts with a long and excruciating scene. A guy on a train, late at night in England, is fussing over his two kids, trying to get them to sleep. But he's not sleepy.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Trumpian impulses behind TV's reboot fever space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – Page A16
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-- There's a rumour going round that rapper Cardi B wants to star in a reboot of The Nanny. Reliable sources say Cardi B is ''in talks'' to play Fran Drescher's daughter in a revival of the early-nineties CBS sitcom.  FULL STORY arrow
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CBC decides what's news - you and I just pay for it space
The network says it will air Murdoch Mysteries on Monday evening, and not the coverage of Toronto's mayoral race
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By JOHN DOYLE
Monday, October 22, 2018 – Page A15
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-- In the annals of peculiar CBC manoeuvres, the decision not to carry live TV coverage of Toronto's municipal-election results is not that notable. It's just typical.The other day, CBC TV made it clear that it will air Murdoch Mysteries and Frankie Drake Mysteries on Monday evening, as usual, in the Toronto region. It is certainly not going to pre-empt those masterpieces of mystery shenanigans to cover the results of the mayoral race and the first reduced-council election. If you want that kind of politics stuff, you can go online. That's where the action is, says CBC.  FULL STORY arrow
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The Romanoffs is not really a masterpiece, and that's fine space
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By JOHN DOYLE
Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – Page A19
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-- We take for granted now the amount of quality material made for cable and streaming services. Too much so, I think.Certain series of the past two decades have become like sacred texts. They are studied closely, books are written about them and they influence creators and TV execs everywhere.  FULL STORY arrow
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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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By JOHN DOYLE
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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