Clean ice, dirty cops and a ‘Mad Men’ dystopia

The series begins on YES Oh on May 14 at 10 p.m. and is already running on YES London and YES VOD.

Hot and Yes (photo credit: PR)
Hot and Yes
(photo credit: PR)
A distraught man tells two young policewomen that he has run someone over with his snowplow and killed him.
“Has he been drinking?” one policewoman asks.
“Everybody’s been drinking,” answers the other.
We’re back in Fortitude, a small international settlement in Arctic Norway, and in Season Two of Fortitude, an unclassifiable TV series that mixes mystery, horror, science fiction and dark comedy.
The series begins on YES Oh on May 14 at 10 p.m. and is already running on YES London and YES VOD.
Like the first season, this one opens with some bizarre murders. There’s even a headless frozen corpse. The snowplow victim turns out to have been dead already when he was struck.
And, also like last season, it’s long on atmosphere, with many characters and a plot that will leave you with a few questions, even if you are paying attention.
Stanley Tucci, the police inspector who was the previous season’s highprofile star, is gone. He is replaced by Dennis Quaid as a king-crab fisherman with some unethical ways of locating his prey, with Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones) as his dying wife.
Sofie Grabol is back as Hildur, who has the unenviable job of governor of this bleak but beautiful town, which this season is illuminated by Aurora Borealis.
It’s a bit like Fargo on ice, with a little Stephen King thrown in.
HOT Prime is featuring movies about corrupt cops every night from May 12 to 20 at 10 p.m., and there have been some terrific ones. On May 12, the channel airing The French Connection, the gritty drama about drug dealing that made Gene Hackman a star.
L.A. Confidential, the brilliant neonoir movie set in 1950s Hollywood, is airing on May 19. It stars Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce and Danny DeVito, with Kim Basinger as the femme fatale.
It’s All One Big Show: The golden age of television we are now enjoying comes with a wonderful repertory company of actors who move from role to role. In this new feature, I’ll trace the connections between actors and the parts they’ve played.
The Handmaid’s Tale, which is airing on HOT VOD and HOT HBO, the skillfully done adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian fable about the oppression of women, stars Elisabeth Moss. Mad Men fans remember Moss fondly for her portrayal of Peggy, the secretary who breaks free of the women’swork ghetto to become a highly paid copywriter. In the first episode of Mad Men, Joan (Christina Hendricks), the office manager, shows Peggy around and explains, “He [your boss] may act like he wants a secretary, but most of the time they’re looking for something between a mother and a waitress. And the rest of the time, well . ..”
And now, in The Handmaid’s Tale, Moss is back under the thumb of oppressive men: She’s forced to bear strangers’ children, wear a red outfit that looks like something from The Flying Nun, spout upbeat platitudes she doesn’t believe in and watch her friends get tortured. Will her Handmaid’s Tale character break free of her shackles by writing brilliant copy for a lipstick ad as Peggy did? I think not.
Also on hand in Handmaid’s is Samira Wiley, best known as Poussey Washington, an adorable, wise-cracking lesbian fighting to maintain her humanity under inhumane conditions in Orange Is the New Black. In Handmaid’s, she plays an adorable wise-cracking lesbian fighting to maintain her humanity under inhumane conditions. She seems to have found her niche.
Moss’s character has another friend, a quiet but secretly rebellious young woman played by Alexis Bledel, who got her big break as the quiet but secretly rebellious Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. Let’s hope things go better for her here than they did for the character Bledel portrayed on Mad Men, a married woman who fell in love with Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) — the father of Peggy’s baby — and then had her memory destroyed by electro-shock therapy. Bledel and Kartheiser are now married in real life and have a child together, so something good came out of their ill-fated fictional relationship.
Tune in for the next episode to see whether Moss’s Handmaid’s character will ever be able to channel her inner Peggy Olson.