Day: August 30, 2019

Country concert: A great night on PBS

Before the new season starts, there’s already encouraging news
.Yes, TV – the regular kind that you don’t pay extra for – is occasionally capable of greatness. Fresh proof arrives Sunday (Sept. 8), wih a country concert on PBS
.I’ve already babbled that “Country Music,” the eight-night documentary that starts Sept. 15, is one of the best shows ever. But that shouldn’t surprise us: It’s directed by Ken Burns, written by Dayton Duncan, with compelling stories to tell; that’s a quick route to greatness.
But the concert is a bonus, packing some of country’s best moments into two hours. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 1: Poor Mrs. Wilson is back

1) “Mrs. Wilson,” 8-11 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Ruth Wilson (shown here) has been terrific in lots of fictional tales, including “Luther” and “The Affair.” But she also found this true story in her own family: Alexander Wilson, her grandfather, wrote 24 spy novels and more. He was a professor, a porter and an officer in the MI6 spy service. But when he died, his widow found multiple wives, children, identities and lies. It’s a fascinating story, rerunning here, with Wilson subtly perfect as her stunned grandmother. Read more…

Week’s best-bets for Sept. 2: A country triumph

1) “Country Music: Live at the Ryman,” 8-10 p.m. Sunday, PBS. Some of country’s best songs are done superbly. Many are high-octane, with great instrumentalists – Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, an awesome band that includes Vince Gill. But there are also ballads, sung with heartbreaking passion – a Johnny Cash one by his daughter Roseanne, a Hank Williams one by his granddaughter Holly (shown here at left, with Ketch Secor, Larry Gatlin, Kathy Mattea and Riders in the Sky). The night’s (and year’s) highlight has Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” sung by Rhiannon Giddens in the style of Patsy Cline. Read more…

“Mayans” lures all outsiders … even non-violent ones

Few of us have ever been in a Latino motorcycle club, it seems.
Fewer have shot a person, much less dismembered one. Even fewer have killed with our bare hands.
Then why is it that we easily relate to “Mayans M.C.,” which starts its second season Tuesday?
It’s all about “the things we didn’t get,” said Kurt Sutter, the show’s co-creator, “whether it’s love, camaraderie or brotherhood or justice.” Read more…