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CNN —Toby Keith will receive a posthumous honor. The late country music star, who died in February at age 62 from complications of stomach cancer, will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. “Election to the Country Music Hall of Fame is country music’s highest honor, and new members are elected annually by an anonymous panel of industry leaders chosen by the Country Music Association (CMA),” according to a press release about the announcement. The legendary country singer went public with his stomach cancer diagnosis in 2022, which he had been dealing with since October 2021. The new members-elect will be inducted during this year’s Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on October 20.
Persons: Toby Keith, Singer John Anderson, James Burton, Rolling Stone, Sarah Trahern, Keith, Toby, ’ ” Trahern, ” Keith, “ I’ve, , Organizations: CNN, Country Music Hall of Fame, Country Music Association, CMA, Fame’s, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Music Hall of Fame Locations: Las Vegas
Ruth Wilson Photo: SHOWTIMERuth Wilson gives a ferocious performance in “The Woman in the Wall” (think Edgar Allan Poe ) and the show’s mysteries are many. But one realizes early on why so little fiction builds itself around genuinely disturbed characters. And if we can’t trust ourselves, well, whom can we trust? The Woman in the Wall Streaming Friday, on-air Sunday, 9 p.m., Paramount+ with ShowtimeNot Lorna Brady . The unreliable centerpiece of this six-part series is portrayed by Ms. Wilson with a volatile mix of anger, regret and grief.
Persons: Ruth Wilson, SHOWTIME Ruth Wilson, Edgar Allan Poe, Lorna Brady, Ms, Wilson Organizations: SHOWTIME, Paramount, Showtime
‘Archie’ Review: Becoming Cary Grant
  + stars: | 2023-12-06 | by ( John Anderson | )   time to read: +1 min
Jason Isaacs Photo: ITV StudiosAmerican cinema died in 1966, a European friend used to say, because that’s when Cary Grant retired. The friend favored turtlenecks and mohair and was a style-extremist, but is Grant still held in such regard by anyone? As it happens, on the afternoon I watched the four-part “Archie”—Grant having been born Archibald Leach in 1904—Turner Classic Movies was devoting an entire day to Cary Grant movies. If there were a Mount Rushmore dedicated to matinee idols of the Golden Age of Hollywood, two of the four heads would belong to Cary Grant. You search Mr. Isaacs’s face for signs of Cary, and you find them, albeit in flashes; he has the walk, and a craggy version of Grant’s younger, springy, English-y inflection.
Persons: Jason Isaacs, Cary Grant, turtlenecks, Grant, Archie ” — Grant, Archibald Leach, — Turner, Mount Rushmore, Archie Thursday, Grant —, Chaplin, Mr, Isaacs, Lucius Malfoy, Harry Potter, Tavington, “ Archie ”, Isaacs’s, Cary Organizations: ITV Studios American, Mount Locations: European, America,
Illustration: Sean McCabeIt wasn’t a regular year, this 2023. Writers were on strike; actors were on strike. Martha the Medicare Lady was making people crazier than they already were. That said, I had assumed that this retrospective examination and contemplation of TV in the year ’23 was destined to be about the new. Hence the flourishing business of game shows, “unscripted” celebrity-reality series and nonfiction programming about serial murderers, which are always comforting to those of us not being murdered.
Persons: Sean McCabe, lurched, Martha
Lucy Worsley Photo: PBSInspiring one of the largest police pursuits of her time, a certain celebrated detective novelist created a lingering real-life mystery by disappearing for 11 days in 1926. But she has seldom gone missing since—not from print, movies, the trans-Atlantic consciousness or public television, where another popular PBS import autopsies the writer in “ Agatha Christie : Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen.”Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen Begins Sunday, 8 p.m., PBSMs. Worsley’s investigations have largely concerned Tudors, Georgians, Victorians and U.K. Christmas traditions, but in this three-part and nearly three-hour deep dive, she explores not just the biography of the world’s best-selling novelist but what made her the writer and woman she was. The 1926 vanishing act isn’t even mentioned until episode 2. First we see the way the author’s eccentric family, its evaporating fortune, her traumatizing experiences as a World War I nursing volunteer and her work in the hospital dispensary (where she learned about poisons) influenced the 70-odd novels (as well as plays and short stories) that continue to disturb and fascinate readers across the globe. Ms. Worsley’s idea—a good one—is to track Christie’s life alongside her crime-ridden imagination and see where and whether the two intersect.
Persons: Lucy Worsley, , Agatha Christie, ” Agatha Christie Organizations: PBS
Gary Oldman Photo: Apple TV+It would be a stretch to describe “Slow Horses” as a “feel good” show, except for its ramshackle centerpiece, Jackson Lamb . Played by a deliciously derelict Gary Oldman , Jackson will certainly make the average viewer feel good about his or her own personal hygiene. Slow Horses, season 3 Wednesday, Apple TV+He’s also hilarious, usually right and never modest about it, which may infuriate the poor unfortunates around him but does make him a highly watchable and even quotable post-Le Carré Cold War hero—a reservoir of seemingly passé spycraft that nevertheless becomes critically important from episode to episode, and season to season. (“Slow Horses” now enters its third as one of the best series on television.) The infractions can be minor, but the damage to one’s career and credibility are never less than biblical, the ensuing duties clerical.
Persons: Gary Oldman, Jackson Lamb, Jackson Organizations: Apple, Slough House Locations: Slough
IFB survivors in ‘Let Us Prey’ Photo: Warner Bros. DiscoveryThere is much that is depressingly familiar about “Let Us Prey: A Ministry of Scandals,” a four-part documentary that examines sexual abuse within the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. According to one source in the program, eight million people identify as “IFB.” Few of them are going to be happy. Let Us Prey: A Ministry of Scandals Begins Friday, ID (Investigation Discovery) and MaxWill viewers? What is significant about ”Let Us Prey” is not the experiences of the individuals involved, but the institutional structures that not only enabled their abusers but gave them succor.
Persons: , Max Will, that’s Organizations: Warner Bros, Fundamental Baptist Locations:
Or let it all molder. Steeltown Murders Monday, Acorn TVThere is no shortage of serial murder on current TV; it is a wonder that anyone survives from week to week. But “Steeltown Murders” goes its own way—two ways, as it happens. We see them getting it wrong. We see the same folks trying to get it right.
Persons: Scott Arthur Photo, William Faulkner, it’s, It’s, Organizations: Acorn Locations: Mississippi, Wales,
1945: She begins dating Jimmy Carter, now a Naval Academy midshipman and the brother of her close friend, Ruth Carter. 1987: She establishes the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, located at her collegiate alma mater, to advocate for Americans who are unpaid caregivers. 1996: She establishes the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, based at The Carter Center, to help working journalists produce better reporting on the topic. November 2016: She hosts the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy for the 32nd time. Rosalynn Carter dies at home in Plains, Georgia, in the same house where the Carters lived when Jimmy was elected to the state Senate in 1962.
Persons: Rosalynn Carter, Eleanor Rosalynn Smith, Wilburn Edgar Smith, Allie Murray Smith, , Lillian ” Carter, Jimmy, Rosalynn's, Jimmy Carter, Ruth Carter, John William, “ Jack ”, James Earl III, Chip ”, Donnel Jeffrey, Amy Lynn, Rosalynn, Carter, , Jimmy’s, Amy, Camp David, Israel's Menachem Begin, Egypt's Anwar Sadat, David, Begin, Sadat, Ronald Reagan, Reagan, John Anderson, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Biden Organizations: U.S, Naval Academy, Georgia Southwestern College, Plains Methodist Church, Senate, Georgia, D.C, Camp, David Accords, White, Mental Health Systems, Carter, Habitat, Mental Health, The Carter, . House Locations: Ga, Plains , Georgia, Georgia, Iowa, Washington, Atlanta, Caribbean, Panama, Cambodian, Iran, Plains, , New York City, Africa, Guinea, Nashville, Delaware
A page from a copy of the First Folio Photo: PBSWho, pray tell, were John Heminges and Henry Condell ? Men responsible for “the most important secular book in the history of the Western world,” according to “Making Shakespeare: The First Folio.” A “Great Performances” presentation, it is concerned, though not overly, with the original publication of William Shakespeare ’s previously uncollected plays, now 400 years old and a near-accident of history. Making Shakespeare: The First Folio Friday, 9 p.m., PBSHeminges and Condell, actor colleagues of Shakespeare, took it upon themselves (with assistance, financial and otherwise, we are told, from bookseller Edward Blount ) to collect, transcribe and print Shakespeare’s 36 known plays in the few years after the playwright’s death in 1616; fewer than 20 had been printed previously (in quarto form—eight pages of text to a sheet, folded to make four leaves). Others were gathered by the pair from handwritten copies, scripts, notes, and often had to be compared with the few examples of Shakespeare’s own handwriting, which was, as one expert describes it, “a mess.”
Persons: John Heminges, Henry Condell, William Shakespeare ’, Shakespeare, Edward Blount Organizations: PBS
David Holmes and Daniel Radcliffe Photo: HBO“The gift that keeps on taking” is how the inexplicably good-humored David Holmes describes his broken neck, suffered during the making of the “ Harry Potter ” films, on which he had served as principal stunt double for Daniel Radcliffe . Mr. Radcliffe, who is a major presence in and force behind the documentary “David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived,” helps tell the story of Mr. Holmes’s journey from movie set to wheelchair, one that might have left a viewer a tear-stained wretch except for the camaraderie on display, and the enchantment of lifelong friendships. David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived Wednesday, 9 p.m., HBOAs Mr. Radcliffe tells us, he all but grew up with Mr. Holmes, who was just a few years older than the 11-year-old unknown selected to play Harry Potter—“the boy who lived,” as Potter fans well know—and who served as a mentor-hero for the admittedly unathletic actor. Much of what Harry did on screen—flying through the air, piloting broomsticks through Quidditch games, being hurled through walls by Nagini the giant snake—Mr. Holmes actually did, as a young man who was small for his age but prodigiously talented as a gymnast and gifted with the kind of physical genius envied by those of us who lack it.
Persons: David Holmes, Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter ”, Radcliffe, , Holmes, Harry Potter —, Potter, Harry Organizations: HBO
He, along with other non-major-party candidates, has a real chance to affect the outcome of the 2024 election. Perot is a bit of an exception in that independent or third-party candidates usually fade as an election nears. George Wallace topped out at 21% in pre-election polling as a third-party candidate before picking up 14% when the votes were cast. Given all that, it’s no surprise we’re seeing other independent and third-party candidates jumping or potentially jumping into the 2024 race. He was entertaining the idea of running as a third-party candidate earlier this year.
Persons: Joe Biden, Republican Donald Trump, Robert F, Kennedy Jr, Kennedy, Ross Perot, Perot, John Anderson, George Wallace, Biden, Trump, They’re, Democrat Hillary Clinton, it’s, Independent Cornel, Jill Stein, West Virginia Sen, Joe Manchin, Manchin, don’t Organizations: CNN, Democrat, Republican, Quinnipiac University, Alabama Gov, New York Times, Siena College, Trump :, The Times, Trump, Times, Independent, Independent Cornel West, Green Party, Clinton, West Locations: Siena, Trump, Trump : Georgia, Arizona , Wisconsin , Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac, Michigan , Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, West Virginia
Albert Brooks and Rob Reiner Photo: HBOThe status of Albert Brooks in American comedy is a curious thing. Is that a subtext of “Albert Brooks: Defending My Life”? Albert Brooks: Defending My Life Saturday, 8 p.m., HBOMany of the people whom director Rob Reiner has throwing bouquets during this documentary— Steven Spielberg , Larry David , Jon Stewart , Conan O’Brien and Sharon Stone among them—are all more famous than Mr. Brooks, but genuflect before his comedic genius. Larry David, whose own brand is all about kvetchiness, virtually gushes while recalling a compliment he got from Mr. Brooks. When David Letterman says, “I would rather have Albert’s career than my career,” you believe him.
Persons: Albert Brooks, Rob Reiner, “ Albert Brooks, Steven Spielberg, Larry David, Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, Sharon Stone, Brooks, David Letterman, , Organizations: HBO
Marin Ireland Photo: IFC FilmsOne could never faultMary Shelley for a lack of imagination, just a lack of available technology: Her 1818 “Frankenstein” offers no pseudo-scientific explanation for its Creature’s reanimation, only some vague primal force harnessed by the book’s title character. It was the movies, beginning in 1931, that suggested electricity as a means of fusing humans out of spare parts. What is suggested by the remarkable “birth/rebirth” is how Shelley’s story—its mythos, at any rate—can itself be brought back to vibrant life, time after time, by torquing modern medicine into increasingly plausible horror. The Shelley blueprint—which locates the fear factor in every scientific leap that humans make as they inevitably play God—is always paved with good scientific intentions. Rose and Celie mean well.
Persons: Marin, Shelley, Frankenstein ”, Laura Moss, Brendan J, , Rose, Judy Reyes, Organizations: IFC Locations: Marin Ireland
Kristine Frøseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag and Imogen Waterhouse Photo: Apple TV+If “The Buccaneers” is what it takes to keep Edith Wharton in circulation among a new generation of readers, it may be worth the price. On the downside, people will think “The Buccaneers” has something to do with Edith Wharton. The Buccaneers Wednesday, Apple TV+Wharton—chronicler of robber-baron America, genius of the social critique, stylist extraordinaire—had left four-fifths of “The Buccaneers” behind when she died in 1937. It was published in 1938, unfinished; Marion Mainwaring’s “completed” version appeared in 1993, to a predictable mix of bouquets and outrage. The version materializing on Apple TV+ is the interpretation of series creator Katherine Jakeways (the director is Susanna White ) and will have hardcore Wharton-ites squealing louder than the bevy of batty beauties exported from New York for the London Season in order to find themselves titled English husbands who need American money.
Persons: Kristine Frøseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag, Imogen Waterhouse, Edith Wharton, Wharton, America, extraordinaire —, Marion Mainwaring’s “, Katherine Jakeways, Susanna White Organizations: Apple, Buccaneers, Wharton, London Locations: batty, New York
A still from ‘Mysteries of the Faith’ Photo: NetflixOne needn’t be a true believer to be fascinated by the holy relics of the Catholic Church, objects credited with the ability to facilitate miracles and even provide access to the divine. Considering how frequently the cinema has co-opted the iconography of the Church—often enough for ghoulish purposes—something like “Mysteries of the Faith” suggests an opportunity for clarity, inspiration and, God knows, maybe a little debunking. Mysteries of the Faith Wednesday, NetflixAs our breathless narrator David Harewood says, “Belief in the power of relics is as old as faith itself” and, similarly, facts have had little to do with belief in the relics covered in this four-part series—which include the Crown of Thorns at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the Holy Face of Jesus in Manoppello, Italy, and the fragments of the True Cross at the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro. All have been associated with purported miracles, and even received the imprimatur of the Vatican. But if one is seeking a peek into secret Church history, or the Almighty’s intervention on Earth, one’s prayers may go unanswered.
Persons: , , David Harewood, Jesus Organizations: Netflix, Catholic Church, Cathedral, Notre Dame Locations: Paris, Manoppello, Italy, Rio de Janeiro
Aria Mia Loberti and Mark Ruffalo Photo: NETFLIXTo judge by “All the Light We Cannot See,” it’s no wonder the Nazis lost World War II. They can’t even find the one angelic blind girl with a radio transmitter sending out coded messages. All the Light We Cannot See Thursday, NetflixThe series certainly is. Based on the popular novel by Anthony Doerr and set in the occupied France of 1944, it involves the French, English-accented Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti) and German soldier Werner Pfennig (Louis Hofmann). As has probably already become clear, one needs to approach this four-part series as a fairy tale, or surrender unconditionally.
Persons: Aria Mia Loberti, Mark Ruffalo, , , Anthony Doerr, Marie, Laure, Werner Pfennig, Louis Hofmann Organizations: NETFLIX, Netflix Locations: France, Saint, Malo
When John Anderson, 37, moved to a new house in September, he made an Amazon housewarming registry. He shared it with his followers online and got $600 worth of presents from people he'd never met. AdvertisementAdvertisementHe's not alone: Some new homeowners are setting up housewarming registries with wish lists of items to furnish their new pads. People with housewarming registries believe that buying a home is its own milestone nowadays, on par with getting married or having a baby. Did you have a housewarming registry?
Persons: John Anderson, he'd, , they'd, Anderson, Lizzie Post, Emily Post, Refinery29, John Anderson Anderson, Jordan Pandy Organizations: Service, Facebook Locations: New Orleans,
Michael Chow Photo: HBOAmong his many talents, the celebrity restaurateur Michael Chow , the subject of “AKA Mr. Chow,” has the seemingly savant-ish ability to recall the first shot of any movie he’s seen. “Why are first scenes so important?” asks director Nick Hooker . “Is your birth important?” asks Mr. Chow. AKA Mr. Chow Sunday, 9 p.m., HBOA film-critic colleague once observed, or conceded, that few movies get any better after the first five minutes. Over the great operatic journey that is Mr. Chow’s life, can anything top the overture performed by this supremely self-confident, mildly abrasive, quasi-pugnacious but likable impresario-artist-actor and feeder of the elite?
Persons: Michael Chow, Chow, , “ Lawrence, Nick Hooker, , Hooker, Jean Tsien, Chow — Organizations: HBO Locations: Northwest, Arabia
‘Old Dads’: Bill Burr’s Bitter Comedy of Fatherhood
  + stars: | 2023-10-20 | by ( John Anderson | )   time to read: +1 min
Bokeem Woodbine, Bill Burr and Katie Aselton Photo: NETFLIXThe shtick of stand-up legend Bill Burr is the comedy of the oppressed—the oppressed in question being middle-aged males in a foreign land, i.e. the 2020s, where they can’t say what they want, smoke where they want, win an argument with a woman or lay claim to the victimhood that seems to give everyone else the upper hand. The Burr persona is angry, ironic and, quite often, hilarious. If you find him offensive, it might be because he’s making fun of you. And you might be him.
Persons: Woodbine, Bill Burr, Katie Aselton, Burr, Organizations: NETFLIX
‘The Pigeon Tunnel’ Review: Decoding John le Carré
  + stars: | 2023-10-18 | by ( John Anderson | )   time to read: 1 min
David Cornwell, aka writer John le Carré Photo: Apple TV+If someone were going to tell you their life story, the ideal someone would be one of the world’s great storytellers—John le Carré, for instance, the celebrated spy novelist, literary archivist of the Cold War, spinner of tales of diaphanous morality. And what better conduit than Errol Morris , a filmmaker fascinated by people who delude themselves, or defend the indefensible, or become pawns in a system that eventually devours them—just like those in a Le Carré novel?
Persons: David Cornwell, John le Carré, — John le Carré, Errol Morris Organizations: Apple
‘Goosebumps’ Review: A Series of Safe Scares
  + stars: | 2023-10-15 | by ( John Anderson | )   time to read: 1 min
Zack Morris Photo: DisneyOK, Boomer, this one is really not for you. But the near-venerable “Goosebumps”— R.L. Stine ’s series of horror-fantasy fables first published in 1992—has seen enough film adaptations, comic books, video games and TV series that Generations X, Y and Z have always considered it a current event. Far grimmer than its near-contemporary Harry Potter , the “Goosebumps” oeuvre shares a similar appreciation for humor among the dark arts and has likewise been a target of censors outraged by its grooming of children to be witches, warlocks, satanists and acolytes of the occult. It is hardly meant to be taken so seriously.
Persons: Zack Morris, R.L, Stine ’, , Harry Potter
A bison in Montana in 2019 Photo: Craig Mellish/PBSAs recounted during Ken Burns ’s two-night, four-hour “The American Buffalo,” an Irish peer named Sir St. George Gore embarked on a hunting trip to the American West in the mid-1850s, bringing along 50 people, six wagons, 21 carts, 112 horses and 50 dogs. He spent about a quarter of a million dollars en route to killing 1,500 elk, 2,000 deer, more than 1,000 antelope, 500 bear and 4,000 bison. He was so “wanton,” we are told, he even offended the frontiersmen who spent their days butchering wildlife. When he attempted to breach the Black Hills of South Dakota, the tribes there told him to go, or fight.
Persons: Craig Mellish, Ken Burns ’, , St, George Gore Organizations: PBS Locations: Montana, American Buffalo, American, South Dakota
‘The Burial’ Review: Jamie Foxx’s Courtroom Flair
  + stars: | 2023-10-11 | by ( John Anderson | )   time to read: 1 min
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Persons: Dow Jones, jamie, foxx
Brie Larson Photo: Apple TV+Late in episode 5, the eight-part “Lessons in Chemistry” suddenly turns wonderful. Elizabeth Zott ( Brie Larson ), the world-class chemist who has been deprived of opportunity, dignity and love, ascends to a job she seems born to do: hosting a television cooking show and making it intelligent. She may not be manipulating nucleotides and amino acids, but she’s baking ham and educating minds. And winning an audience.
Persons: Brie Larson, , Elizabeth Zott Organizations: Apple
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