Past and present on the small screen

Meryl’s moment, two Carries and forgotten women.

January 12, 2017 17:20
3 minute read.
Claire Danes

Claire Danes. (photo credit: PR)

As usual, the Golden Globes were good TV, much more entertaining than the far more staid Oscar telecast. Host Jimmy Fallon opened the show with a lively comedy routine, spoofing the first scene of the movie La La Land (which won a record number of Golden Globes, including Best Movie, Musical or Comedy) – a traffic jam in which the drivers get out and dance on their cars.

There were few surprises in terms of winners or fashion faux pas, but the moment that had everyone talking the next day was the eloquent speech by Meryl Streep, who was awarded the Cecil B.

DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement. Generally, Lifetime Award speeches are mawkish and forgettable, but she chose to remind the audience of the moment when president-elect Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter on the campaign trail. “This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing,” she said.

“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

As the mother of a special-needs son, whom I have had to shield from bullying as best I could all his life, I can’t pretend to be objective, but her words brought tears to my eyes. Social media lit up with comments from people with disabilities and their families, thanking her.

The president-elect, naturally, took time out from making America great to respond to Streep via Twitter, calling her “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood,” probably the first time a soon-to-be occupant of the Oval Office has commented on the Globes.

Homeland will be back on January 16 on YES Oh at 5 a.m. (to correspond with the American broadcast) and again at 10 p.m. It will also be available on YES VOD.

America’s favorable bipolar former CIA agent, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), is back, and this time she’s in Brooklyn, after seasons in Berlin, Pakistan and Turkey. Living with her daughter, she rents a downstairs apartment on Airbnb and is starting a nonprofit, like so many young Brooklynites. But her foundation helps Muslims unfairly accused of supporting terrorism get legal help, which puts her right back in the eye of the storm.

A great deal of the plot revolves around the president-elect and the transfer of power. Although the character of the incoming president is a woman – as if the writers expected Hillary Clinton to win – the character, played by Elizabeth Marvel from House of Cards, is an outspoken junior senator with little patience for all the pesky details of intelligence briefings. Carrie’s former colleagues Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) and Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) have the thankless task of trying to get her attention.

It’s hard to say much more without revealing a few spoilers, but Homeland fans will want to tune in.

The documentary Bright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, which YES Docu aired last week to honor the memory of the mother-daughter actresses who recently passed away so suddenly, is funny, touching and very entertaining. It is playing throughout the month on YES VOD and it’s well worth seeing, with some great lines. At one point Carrie Fisher asks, “My question is: If you die when you’re fat, do you become a fat ghost or do you go back to a more flattering time?”

Ilan Peled and Yair Qedar have created a documentary series (the filmmakers call them mockumentaries), Vanished, which features portraits of women artists who were marginalized by conservative elements in Israeli society. Part one, Lilian, a portrait of poet Lilian Levi, which won the Best Israeli Documentary award at the Haifa International Film Festival, will air on January 14 at 10:30 p.m. on the YES Docu Channel and on YES VOD.

Upcoming installments will be about Bebe Goldberg (on January 18 at 10 p.m.), a transgender actress; and Yona (on January 25 at 10 p.m.), a dancer.

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