June 21, 2015 |
Aidan Turner, so dashing as the soulful vampire with a conscience in BBC's Being Human , is in top form as the lead in Brit import Poldark , a gorgeously shot eight-part costumer set along England's Cornish coastline. The Masterpiece series premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday on PBS (locally on WHYY-TV). Based on novels by 20th-century author Winston Graham and previously adapted for TV in the mid-1970s with Robin Ellis in the titular role, Poldark is glossy, attractive, and exciting.
April 27, 2015
Chef's Table . David Gelb, director of the wonderful, must-see doc Jiro Dreams of Sushi, beautifully profiles acclaimed chefs from around the world. (Jiro is also on Netflix and a fantastic primer for the series). All six episodes on Netflix on Sunday. Tales of the Grim Sleeper . BAFTA-honored documentarian Nick Broomfield (Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam) turns his lens to Lonnie Franklin Jr., who has been linked to more than 20 murders of minority women in L.A. Broomfield and his interview subjects posit that this was a community the authorities and media largely ignored.
March 30, 2015 |
The sweeping chronicle of cancer that premieres this week on PBS has strong Philadelphia connections. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is famed documentarian Ken Burns' three-part, six-hour film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling book. On Wednesday, the third and final episode prominently features a breakthrough immunotherapy being developed at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in partnership with pharmaceutical giant Novartis.
April 10, 2014 |
* SUSAN BOYLE: HER SECRET STRUGGLE. 10 tonight, Ovation. * YOUR INNER FISH. 10 tonight, WHYY12. LABELS CAN BE limiting, but they can also be freeing. It's worked that way, at least, for Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer whose appearance on "Britain's Got Talent" - five years ago this week - made her an international sensation via YouTube. Her attempt to overcome crippling stage fright to add live performances to a successful recording career is the subject of "Susan Boyle: Her Secret Struggle," a documentary making its U.S. premiere on Ovation tonight.
February 7, 2014 |
PBS's new literary documentary, Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth , which premieres Friday at 9 p.m. on WHYY TV12, opens with a series of nature shots - a serene landscape, water, trees, close-ups of tall, wild grass. It's a cliched bit of hokum, easily dismissible. Yet it fascinates, arrests, and draws in the viewer with its voice-over. As the first image appears, so rise the unique timbre and rhythms of Walker's voice as she recites a verse. "I am the woman: Dark, / repaired, healed /Listening to you," the Pulitzer-winning author of The Color Purple reads from her poem "Remember?"
December 18, 2013 |
Western society's most significant advances in crime detection didn't come from a police force or a pioneering scientist. They came from a fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. That's the claim made by PBS's How Sherlock Changed the World , a two-hour documentary airing at 9 p.m. Tuesday, with narration by The Walking Dead 's Andrew Lincoln in a smooth, seductive, for-real British accent. A repetitive, highly selective scavenger hunt through Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes oeuvre that tends to be more exhausting than exhaustive, the show strategically leads the way for two returning Holmes dramas.
November 14, 2013 |
* PARROT CONFIDENTIAL. 8 tonight, WHYY12. * GROUND FLOOR. 10 and 10:35 p.m. tomorrow, TBS. POLLY, it seems, wants much more than a cracker. That's the takeaway from "Parrot Confidential," tonight's installment of PBS' "Nature," which makes a compelling case against breeding parrots for pets while offering fascinating glimpses of what it's like to live with highly intelligent creatures whose care can represent more than a lifetime's commitment. I'm no sucker for nature documentaries - I probably couldn't pick a wildebeest out of a lineup - but who doesn't love a talking bird?
August 18, 2013 |
There's every reason to expect that the latest PBS Masterpiece Mystery entry, The Lady Vanishes , which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m., would be a delightful, frothy mystery. It certainly can't measure up to Alfred Hitchcock's satirical suspenser from 1938. (Nothing possibly could.) But the 90-minute TV movie about international skulduggery, kidnapping, murder, and romance on a trans-European train is stocked with a terrific cast lead by the eminently charming, besotting English ingenue Tuppence Middleton and the always likable Tom Hughes as her love interest.
August 8, 2013 |
OCCASIONAL Philadelphian Terrence Howard is in hot water again after being slapped with a restraining order sought by his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent . TMZ.com reported that Michelle claims that Terrence beat her up in Costa Rica last week, and she showed up in court with a black eye to "prove" it. Terrence is now forbidden from coming within 100 yards of Michelle until the couple is back in court for another hearing later this month....
June 12, 2013 |
Seven years ago, Tukufu Zuberi, a professor of sociology and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania, decided to become a collector. The only question was, of what? He settled on images of the black body - specifically the black body in war - and went about acquiring a trove on his world travels. Zuberi's efforts have come together in a unique and compelling exhibition of posters portraying blacks in the military, from the Civil War through World War II and the African independence movements of the 1950s and '60s.