‘Homeland,’ hits and Hitchcock

It’s a sad fact that there are no longer any classic movie channels available here, even though so many of us love them.

Claire Danes stars in the hit series 'Homeland.' (photo credit: Courtesy)
Claire Danes stars in the hit series 'Homeland.'
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Season Seven of Homeland will air on February 12 at 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. on YES Edge. It will be the second-to-last season of the show. Based on the promos, the series is still struggling with its decision to bring Carrie (Claire Danes) back to Washington. The tense female president character, Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel), is so colorless compared with the actual occupant of the Oval Office that the decision to focus the plot on Carrie’s relationship with her limits how enjoyable the series can be. It’s supposed to be larger than life, not smaller than life. Let’s hope that the show’s creators have a few tricks up their sleeves this season.
Two big movie hits of the past year are coming to the small screen. Blade Runner 2049 is now available on HOT VOD Movies. It stars Ryan Gosling as a young blade runner who stumbles on a big secret. I spent most of the movie waiting for Harrison Ford, the hero of the original movie, to show up, but even Ford couldn’t save this ponderous sci-fi. Some may enjoy the visual effects.
On February 3 at 10 p.m., YES 3 will air Logan, the story of the Hugh Jackman character from the X-Men franchise. Logan received an unexpected Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
It’s a sad fact that there are no longer any classic movie channels available here, even though so many of us love them. But YES 3 is making up for that a bit during February with a series of movie classics. These start with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 movie Lifeboat, airing on February 4 at 10 p.m.
The film is not typical Hitchcock, but it’s all the more interesting for that. It’s a psychological thriller about a group of survivors of a torpedoed ship who end up in the same lifeboat with one of the Germans who sank the ship. The movie is set completely on that boat. At first, this may seem like a distracting gimmick, but soon you forget about it and become absorbed in the movie. It has a wonderful cast, including Tallulah Bankhead as a high-society journalist who manages to bring her typewriter on board; John Hodiak as a tough, macho working-class guy who, of course, falls for Tallulah; William Bendix as the schlub from Brooklyn who longs for his girl Rosie and hopes that his wounded leg won’t have to be amputated; Hume Cronyn as the ship’s radio navigator; and Henry Hull as a wealthy industrialist whose money can’t help him anymore. The twist is that the only competent sailor on board is the German (Walter Slezak), but no one is sure if they can trust him. The tension-filled screenplay is by John Steinbeck, one of the few original scripts he wrote.
Coming up late in the month, on February 25 at 10 p.m., is the Humphrey Bogart classic The Maltese Falcon.
YES 4’s latest birthday celebration is Daniel Craig’s 50th. To mark the event, the channel is airing his four outings as James Bond, starting on February 3 in the afternoon: Casino Royale; The Quantum of Solace; Skyfall; and Spectre. Craig may be the best Bond since Connery, but the franchise has become curiously lifeless of late.
Alan Ball’s new series Here and Now, which stars Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins in a story of a multiracial family whose members begin seeing strange visions of the future, will air on HOT and YES starting February 12. The series looks like an innovative blend of social commentary, comedy and sci-fi.
In honor of this new series and to mark HOT VOD’s turning 13, HOT VOD is releasing all the seasons of Ball’s best-known previous series, True Blood and Six Feet Under. The first seasons of the vampire series True Blood were truly a pleasure – sexy, funny and over the top. Six Feet Under, the story of a family that runs a funeral parlor, has a very devoted following.
HOT VOD is also featuring Desperate Housewives; the third season of The Americans; and the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.