Snowed In? Here’s What to Watch; Read; or Listen To.
By The New York Times
Arts Beat Staff - Jan. 26, 2015
It’s too cold to go out. Your remote is working, but forget flipping though the channels: let us guide you. Your stereo is searching for something better than what you’re listening to now? You need a new book? We hear you. Here are our recommendations for what’s streaming on TV, what should be rocking your apartment and great reads to curl up with.
By Mike Hale, Neil Genzlinger, Kathryn Shattuck and Kaly Soto
You want to be a detective:
Long before David Tennant in “Broadchurch” or Matthew McConaughey in “True Detective,” Robbie Coltrane was perfecting the damaged crime solver as the criminal psychologist Fitz Fitzgerald in this mid-1990s British series. All 25 episodes are available at Acorn TV and Amazon.
The second season of this dark British crime drama, set in Northern Ireland and starring Gillian Anderson, recently went up exclusively on Netflix. The two seasons represent a perfect one-day, 11-episode binge.
The first three seasons of this Scandinavian-esque thriller, formerly broadcast on AMC, followed the detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) into the underbelly of murky Seattle. The fourth and final season finds the detectives writhing amid the fallout from their reckless behavior at the end of the last case and ready to dive into a new one: the massacre of a picture-perfect family survived only by a son, who was shot in the head. Joan Allen portrays Col. Margaret Rayne, the headmistress of an all-boys military academy. (netflix.com)
Scully and Mulder may be getting ready to reunite, so catch up on this classic 1990s series. The crimes are mostly of the fashion and supernatural sort. You know you want to believe. (netflix.com and amazon instant video)
If you’ve never seen David Lynch and Mark Frost’s truly groundbreaking 1990 mystery series, watch it now before the new third season (directed by Mr. Lynch) arrives on Showtime. All 30 episodes of the first two seasons are at cbs.com and various streaming sites; if you’re pressed for time, just watch the first 15.
You Want to Lose Yourself for a Few Hours:
Now’s the time to catch up on what’s looking like the season’s best new network television show, while it’s still only three hours old. Lee Daniels and Danny Strong’s music-industry melodrama, featuring the wonderful Taraji P. Henson, is available at fox.com, streaming sites and on-demand from your cable provider.
A comedy about online fame that was boldly, or bizarrely, modeled on “My Fair Lady,” it wasn’t last fall’s worst new show but it was one of the first to be canceled. All 13 episodes, including six that weren’t broadcast, are available at abc.com and Hulu.
THE GILMORE GIRLS:
Will Lorelai ever find true love? Will Rory ever work for The New York Times? You might not be out on the road, but you very well might be lonely and so cold. So grab some Pop-Tarts and hang out in Stars Hollow for a while.
This won’t eat up a lot of time, and it’s dramatic value is debatable, but it’s definitely new: a silent-movie-style series playing out in Chaplinesque 15-second Instagram videos, complete with antique-looking title cards. Twenty episodes have been posted.
GORTIMER GIBBON’S LIFE ON NORMAL STREET
Amid all the fuss over “Transparent” and its Golden Globe, this quiet, charming show, Amazon’s first live-action series for children, hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Six episodes are up at Amazon Instant Video.
BIRTH OF A BEAUTY
Picking a Korean soap opera is like casting your line into the vastness of the Pacific, but this recently concluded stemwinder — a Cinderella story about an overweight wife who comes back from the dead with a full-body makeover to gain revenge on her husband’s family — is a good introduction to the genre and the country. All 21 episodes are on DramaFever and other streaming sites.
This network is always good for some storm-day rerun comfort food; its daytime lineup for Tuesday includes blocks of “American Dad,” “The King of Queens” and “Friends.” Among the “Friends” episodes on the schedule, at 4 p.m., is one from Season 3 called “The One Without the Ski Trip,” in which Lisa Kudrow’s character, Phoebe, gives some advice to the just-split-up Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Ross (David Schwimmer) that might be useful to any snowbound household full of restless children or cranky adults or both. “You don’t have to love each other,” she says. “You don’t even have to like each other much right now. But please — you have to figure out a way to be around each other.”
HOARDING: BURIED ALIVE
What better storm-day viewing than a show subtitled “Buried Alive”? The burial here isn’t by precipitation, however. The show in question is TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” a somewhat lurid look at that compulsion. Actually, maybe this is a show you specifically DON’T want to watch when snowed in. The episode scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. is a repeat called “The Stench Is Amazing.”
You’re Looking for a Classic:
DIRECTED BY LUIS BUÑUEL
This five-film tribute to Buñuel (1900-1983), called the father of Surrealists cinema, begins with “Belle de Jour” (1968), starring Catherine Deneuve as a frigid young housewife able to achieve sexual satisfaction only after becoming a prostitute. Then moves into “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” (1972), an Oscar-winner for best foreign film, six upwardly mobile friends try to have dinner together — but find they can’t. The lineup continues with “Diary of a Chambermaid” (1964), an adaptation of the novel by Octave Mirbeau about the foibles and hypocrisy of the landed gentry as seen through the eyes of a worldly domestic (Jeanne Moreau); “Viridiana” (1962), in which a young nun (Silvia Pinal) tries to help the poor after inheriting a fortune; and “The Exterminating Angel” (1962), where guests at a lavish dinner party in an elegant home in Mexico City find themselves unable to leave the parlor for several days, during which the social order begins to break down. Begins Monday at 8 p.m. on TCM.
You’re a History Buff:
50 CHILDREN: THE RESCUE MISSION OF MR. AND MRS. KRAUS (2013)
In spring 1939 Gilbert Kraus, a lawyer in Philadelphia, bid farewell to his wife, Eleanor, and their son and daughter and set sail for Nazi Germany. His plan: to save 50 Jewish children on the eve of the Holocaust by bringing them back home for safekeeping — the largest kindertransport to the United States. Tuesday at 11 a.m. on HBO Signature.
Whether you’ll be able to watch anything at all during the storm will depend on that marvelous convenience that we tend to take for granted, one summed up inadvertently in Joni Mitchell’s lyric, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” It’s electric power, and Tuesday night’s episode of “American Experience” on PBS is about the guy who is largely responsible for putting it in our homes, Thomas A. Edison. It’s a thorough look at the life of one of the most influential people of the last 200 years.
You only Watch YouTube:
Five Great Snow-Related Videos:
5. A fox diving headfirst into the snow to catch food.
3. How to shovel off your roof.
2. A collage of “Star Trek” clips assembled into the wintery song “Let It Snow.”
1. A jogger proven wrong about the wonders of running in the snow.
By Joe Coscarelli
You must know what the coolest thing is right now:
Björk, “Vulnicura” (One Little Indian) An ill-timed leak, followed by an early release, turned out to be fortuitous for snowbound listeners: Björk’s self-described “complete heartbreak album” is austere and biting – an emotional ice storm. (iTunes)
Natalie Prass, “Natalie Prass” (Spacebomb) Leaning softly on horn and string arrangements, this emerging Nashville-based singer-songwriter is from the Dusty Springfield school of soulful folk and tenderness. (Stream at Pitchfork)
Mount Eerie, “Sauna” (P.W. Elverum & Sun) Don’t be fooled by the name – the new album by the brooding singer-songwriter Phil Elverum is chilly and largely whispered, beginning with a lyrically appropriate 10-minute title track: “I don’t think the world still exists/ Only this room in the snow,” Elverum sings. (Stream at NPR)
Sleater-Kinney, “No Cities to Love” (Sub Pop) For warmth, there’s the kinetic energy of Sleater-Kinney’s return to rock. Jon Pareles called the comeback album “10 hurtling, bristling, densely packed, white-knuckled songs that are all taut construction and raw nerve.” (iTunes, Popcast)
You Want to Know What the Kids are Listening to:
Meghan Trainor, “Title” (Epic) For those playing catch-up with the kids, the current No. 1 album in the country comes from a surprise pop star schooled in all types of songwriting, but with a bias toward breezy, summertime vibes and lush throwback harmonies. (iTunes, Popcast)
By Dwight Garner
If he could be any animal, John Updike said, he’d be a turtle, because he liked the sound of rain on a roof. I like that sound, too, and even more the muffled kind of anti-sound that snow wraps around you. One thing I’d like to have on my blanketed lap today is the new issue of The Paris Review. That journal has found its mojo, in a big way, in recent issues, under the editorship of Lorin Stein. The new one has among other things a warm and wise interview with the memoirist and essayist Vivian Gornick that’s worth the price of admission alone. Here’s an excerpt, about envy:
INTERVIEWER: Were there specific parties you wanted to be at but weren’t?
GORNICK: The uptown parties, the New York Review parties, that sort of thing. I wanted recognition in those quarters. I was often envious of those seemed to have a central position in what was indisputably New York literary life, people who were always saying, “At dinner the other night with Charles Simic …” It would make me feel bad about myself. And then I’d have to recover from that nonsense and forget about it – really forget about it. And I did – over and over again.
All this was never as big as I’m making it sound – really, it wasn’t. I mean, it often seems as though everyone under the sun suffers from not being where they want to be or think they should be “in the world.” I reviewed Alfred Kazin’s “Journals,” and Alfred Kazin was such a neurotic that he wrote in his journals, after fifty years of a celebrated life, “I can never lose the feeling that there is some great party going on to which I have not been invited.” And I’m sitting there, saying to myself, You, Alfred? You have the nerve to tell me you’re never invited to the right parties? What about me, Alfred, me!
I’d also like to marinate in a good old dowdy cookbook today, something like Ronald Johnson’s “The American Table” (1984). I love this book, in part because it was recommended to me by the late, great Eden Lipson, former children’s book editor of The Times, and in part because its solid (it has never done me wrong) yet has its share of whimsy. For example this book has a breakfast recipe simply called “Thing,” named by the poet Jonathan Williams. What is “Thing”? Fried potatoes topped with cottage cheese and snipped-up green onions. Not quite my kind of deal. But still.
Finally, there’s a book I’ve been aching to return to: “With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa,” by E.B. Sledge (1981). This is a poweful memoir of World War II, told simply. I discovered it in a reissued edition, with an introduction by Paul Fussell.