Entertainment Television

TV CHEAT SHEET: It's Princess Di vs the Paparazzi

Diana, Princess of Wales, waves to the public as she leaves the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney on November 1, 1996. Diana is in Sydney on a four-day private visit and to attend various fund raising functions.(TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

Diana, Princess of Wales, waves to the public as she leaves the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney on November 1, 1996. Diana is in Sydney on a four-day private visit and to attend various fund raising functions.(TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

DENETTE WILFORD\ 24 HOURS

 

ON THE FENCE: Disjointed

Pros: Kathy Bates is starring, and she can basically do no wrong. One of the creators is also former Daily Show head writer David Javerbaum. Con: The other co-creator, Chuck Lorre. Sure, he may be considered a sitcom god to many but he's also the man responsible for giving us Two and a Half Men for 12 long seasons, so, yeah.

Netflix's latest original comedy is a modern twist on the American dream and in keeping with the streaming service's trend of series that star established, award-winning actresses who can do just about anything. It centres on Ruth (Bates), the owner of a cannabis dispensary who has been advocating for the legalization of marijuana all her life. So basically the highs and lows of Ruth, her staff of "budtenders," and her entrepreneurial-minded son. We'll see if Bates is enough or if Lorre and his half-baked storylines will reign supreme.

Premieres: Friday, August 25 on Netflix

 

BINGEWATCH: The Tick

What began as a comic book hero in the '80s evolved into a beloved albeit short-lived comedy in 2001. Now that the entertainment world has a hard-on for all things superhero, a Tick revival couldn't come at a better time.

This version follows Arthur (Griffin Newman), the only person who believes a villain called The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) is still alive. Arthur suffers from some anxiety issues, so no one believes him, but that doesn't stop him from trying to prove it's not all in his imagination. Enter The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz), the unlikely saviour in blue who teams up with the unsuspecting, reluctant Arthur, becoming the brawn to his brain.

It's similar to Powerless, which had good intentions but never quite nailed the tone. The Tick, however, stays fun and weird and wonderful, lightening up this superhero world without being lightweight.

Premieres: Friday, August 25 on Amazon

 

REALITY BITES: Diana and the Paparazzi

August 31st marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's tragic death. In honour of the tragic day comes an hour-long special that explores the public's — but, more importantly, the media's — fascination with Lady Di and the horrific car crash that took her life. She began as the girl next door in love with a prince and naturally wasn't used to that level of attention. But she quickly learned how to use the press to her advantage. It wasn't always for selfish reasons; on the contrary, she brought attention to all kinds of causes around the world. She became the People's Princess and knew not only how to work a room but work the camera as well. She was the most photographed woman in the world in her time, but her view of the press began to change -- first as she became a mother and even more so as she and Charles split. Diana thought that once her royal ties were cut, she'd get privacy. Sadly, the invasion only got worse. The relentless chase for the perfect photo in a multi-million-dollar industry became aggressive and disgusting and the paps were out to do whatever they could to make a buck. If they could create a story or — even better, a victim — they would. F*cking savages.

Featuring interviews from Diana's friends, former staffers and security, as well as the paps and journalists who covered her, the special is eye-opening, maddening, and deeply devastating as audiences get a look at how the world's obsession with Diana altered how she lived, factored into her death, and forever changed her sons' lives.

Premieres: Sunday, August 27 on Smithsonian Channel Canada

 

LIKE YOU DON'T KNOW: Game of Thrones

It's the finale of the penultimate season so you know it's going to be good. And with HBO's promo revealing what looks to be the mother of all meetups, as several of the main characters come together to call what looks to be a ceasefire, it's practically guaranteed. Some of these characters are coming face-to-face for the first time since the show began, some for the first time ever. That's epic stuff right there.

The main question: Who will come out of this alive? GoT as a whole boasts an impressive body count but the victims this season have been fairly B-list. Methinks it's about time that a major player suffers. Or more. Not because I want them to, but because the show is due. If they want people hankering for the final season even more, that'll do it.

Premieres: Sunday, August 27 on HBO Canada

 

APPLAUSE APPLAUSE: Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

He may be best known for playing Joey Tribbiani on Friends but Matt LeBlanc playing Matt LeBlanc showed the world he's capable of so much more than being a lovable lug. In Crave TV's Episodes, LeBlanc is the epitome of what you hear about egomaniacal actors. His Matt is self-absorbed and image-driven, he ignores his kids, he sleeps with anything with a pulse, and while his career as a game show host is a success, it's not what he wants, making him more of a monster than normal.

We should hate Matt — but we don't.

Maybe it's that Sean and Beverly humanize him. Or perhaps there's just something endearing about LeBlanc (the real Matt, not the show's Matt) that you can't help but love. Whatever the case, if you hoped to get some insight into why Matt is the way he is, think again. Matt's past the point of changing his ways, even with the likes of Sean and Bev at his side. It's as if he's learned to not get too invested because everything can disappear. Or maybe he simply doesn't care. He's cynical and arrogant, shallow as a puddle, almost devoid of emotion — but somehow, you still love him. Not sure how LeBlanc does it, but he does it flawlessly.

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: This Is Us 

"He pushed a stranger on me. And that stranger became my child. And that child became my life. He became you."--Rebecca to Randall, who asked how she and Jack decided to adopt him, in the first preview for Season 2

Pass the tissues. There's something in my eye. Um, is it Sept. 26 yet?