Sleeper Picks - January 2019
Our Chief Programming Officer, Jim Wiener, has his DVR set for these shows in January. Do you?
Doc Martin Season 8
Thursday 8pm (starts 1/3) on ThinkTV14
Only a year late on arrival, but it’s here at last. Martin is reunited with Caroline and their baby, James Henry. The dog is still a bit of an issue. Meanwhile customers are not exactly lining up to try Al’s bed & breakfast or Bert’s home distilled spirits. But Al can take consolation in the affections of Morwenna, Martin’s receptionist.
Seems like old times. But be advised that the 9th and final season of Doc Martin won’t arrive until January 2021.
Walking The Camino: Six Ways To Santiago
Saturday 3pm (1/5) on ThinkTV14
A great sleeper film from 2010, The Way, starred Dayton’s favorite son, Martin Sheen, and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez. Sheen played the aging father who took it upon himself to complete the trek his dead son started on a pilgrimage trail from France to Spain and suddenly, many people had the Camino de Santiago on their Bucket List. Today, well over a quarter million people annually walk the 500-mile trail from the French Alps to the coast of northwest Spain. Some revere the pilgrimage as part of their spiritual growth while others simply hike through a beautiful mix of country and quaint villages.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Saturday 8pm (starts 1/5) on CET
This ain’t your mother’s Miss Marple.
Phyrne Fisher is not a dowdy old spinster, but a glamorous young woman who makes the most of the Roaring ‘20’s that is Melbourne, Australia. She’s also a private detective who favors vulnerable clients in need of help. Miss Fisher does this out of an obligation to her younger sister who was murdered in their youth. Still, Miss Fisher manages to enjoy the nightlife, and business must be good since she has about 37 costume changes per show and each outfit is the height of fashion. Enjoy this syndicated series that is not available to most public stations.
Dick Cheney: A Heartbeat Away
Sunday 3pm (1/6) on ThinkTV16
With the release of the movie VEEP and Christian Bale playing former Vice-President Dick Cheney, enjoy this profile from Cheney’s home state of Wyoming. He has been regarded as the most powerful Vice President in U.S. history, and is just as much at home with a fly rod on the Firehole River as he was in intelligence briefings on the latest terrorist threat.
Wolf Hall on Masterpiece
Sundays 1pm (Starts 1/20) On CET
Wednesdays 8pm (Starts 1/23) On CET Arts
Jewel In The Crown
Sundays 2pm (Starts 1/6) On CET
Tuesdays 8pm (Starts 1/9) On CET Arts
Sundays 3pm (Starts 1/13) On CET
Tuesdays 9pm (Starts 1/15) On CET Arts
Sunday afternoons will find so many big sets in the house taken over for the NFL playoffs. But the second set can be a refuge from all the football with binge watching of classic dramas. JEWEL opens first with the British diplomatic corps and their families seeing their time occupying India coming to an end. Two other series feature a young Damian Lewis (Billions, Band Of Brothers): Forsyte Saga follows an upper-class British family from the late 19th to early 20th century. Wolf Hall has a top notch pairing of Lewis as King Henry VIII with Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies) as Thomas Cromwell. By the 20th, you’ll have three hours of first-rate drama each Sunday afternoon.
And Then There Were None
Saturday 9pm (1/12- 26) on ThinkTV16
A classic retelling of the Agatha Christie story where those invited to a party on a remote island discover 1) they don’t know each other, but 2) the host knows them, and wants them good and dead. With Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Gosford Park), Miranda Richardson, and our good friend, Aidan Turner, aka Captain Ross Poldark.
Independent Lens: My Country No More
Monday 10pm (1/7) on CET
Thursday 10pm (1/10) on ThinkTV16
A look at a North Dakota farm family who’s seen ‘em come, and seen ‘em go. They fought to preserve their way of life amidst the oil boom that brought in thousands of roughnecks and then watch their neighbors sell land to make a quick buck on the anticipated housing boom.
Wednesday 10pm (1/9- 2/13) on CET & ThinkTV16
So I was reading Letters to the Editor in a northeast Ohio newspaper from 1936, and stumbled upon one from a local reader talking up this great emerging leader in Europe. Pay attention to this guy. He has vision drive, etc. “Yes, I’m talking about Benito Mussolini!” Ouch.
Notorious 20th century dictators shared many tricks of the trade. To rule with an iron fist, they’d portray themselves as populists (“he made the trains run on time”), or unite everyone against some imagined external threat (protect our Somaliland colony from those Ethiopians!). Among those profiled are Kim Ill Sung (the current Kim’s grandfather), Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin and our old friend and up-and-comer, Il Duce!
Great Performances: The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration
Friday 9pm (1/11) on CET
Sunday 3pm (1/13) on ThinkTV 16
Growing up in Akron, the big field trip each year was getting bused up to the Cathedral of Tomorrow (the futuristic looking home of the original Televangelist, Rex Humbard) where over 5,000 kids could hear the Cleveland Orchestra perform one of their Children’s Concerts. It was a real education to hear selections from the Nutcracker or Beethoven’s Fifth. The sound seemed overwhelming, and for good reason. Under the direction of legendary conductor George Szell, we were hearing what was regarded then as one of the best orchestras in the world.
The Cleveland Orchestra is still going strong with world tours and recording. This concert marks their 100th anniversary and is performed with pianist Lang Lang in the magnificent Severance Hall, the orchestra’s home for 88 years this February.
Grand Tours Of Scotland’s Lochs
Monday 8pm (1/14- 28) on ThinkTV14
If Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, then Scotland is home to some 31,000 Lochs, which in turn are home to millions of salmon and millions of pounds of lox. Alas, Scotland isn’t a big producer of bagels, so they’ve missed out on that breakfast opportunity (sorry, I’m hungry).
But this three-part travel series is about Scotland’s lakes, or Lochs. Historian Paul Murton explores several iconic lochs and we meet many of the enchanting people who live on their shores, a few of whom felt the need to give us “Nessie” in order to drum up the tourist trade. The scenery is gorgeous as the filmmakers managed to use up Scotland’s annual allotment of sunny days.
INDEPENDENT LENS: Rodents of Unusual Size
Monday 10pm (1/14) on CET
Thursday 10pm (1/17) on ThinkTV16
The “rodents of unusual size” in Princess Bride have nothing on these big boys from the Louisiana swamps. For years, the locals let sleeping dogs lie, but when these 20+ lb. rats start devouring up so much of the coastal wetlands, it was time to get out there and cull the herd.
Big Burn: American Experience
Tuesday 9pm (1/22) on CET 48.1 & ThinkTV16
This episode from 2015 gets a timely replay in light of the Camp Fire that destroyed Paradise, California.
Big Burn covers a massive wildfire that swept across the Northern Rockies in 1910.
Where the recent Camp Fire burned over 150,000 acres, the 1910 fire consumed more than three million acres in just 36 hours.
Eero Saarinen: American Masters
Wednesday 9pm (1/23) on ThinkTV14
Profile of the architect/designer who gave us two iconic pieces that couldn’t be more different from one another. One was the Gateway Arch, which was as synonymous to St. Louis as the Empire State Building was to New York City or the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco. Saarinen’s other best remembered work was the “tulip chair” the modernist white plastic design that became a mainstay in home and office furniture in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s.
Saarinen’s family immigrated to the US when he was 13. He went to the Cranbook Academy of Art in Michigan where his father was dean, and befriended fellow students, Charles and Ray Eames, who also became legendary designers and the subject of another American Masters profile.
Perfect Crime: American Experience
Island Murder: American Experince
Sunday 9 & 10pm (1/27) on ThinkTV14
Real life crime night on 14. Should we get DATELINE’s Keith Morrison to host?
Perfect Crime recounts Leopold and Loeb, two college students who murdered a 14-year-old boy in 1924 just to see if they were smart enough to get away with it. Their families were wealthy enough to hire Clarence Darrow to defend them, but Darrow had them plead guilty in order to get a life sentence versus defending them in a trial that likely would have seen them get a death penalty.
Darrow also shows up in Island Murder, the story of the “Massie Affair,” a scandalous rape/murder case in 1931 involving a Navy wife, five non-white defendants and a vengeful mother. It brought to the surface ugly racial tensions on the island of Hawaii. Darrow defended the mother whose daughter’s rape charge was thrown out of court, and who sought revenge by having one of the defendants killed.