Hot days, a little A/C and teevee.

God, it’s been a week, and it will continue to be a week for another day or two. So in the meantime, a TV recommendation, at least for those of you with premium cable – “Years and Years,” now playing on HBO, via the BBC.

It’s a near-future sci-fi series about the journey of a northern England family, the Lyons – four adult children, one grandmother, a dead mother and an absent father. In the opening episode, one of the adult children, Rosie, is having her second out-of-wedlock child, with which everyone is totally cool. This is a modern family. One son is gay, one’s in an interracial marriage, a daughter is a globe-trotting do-gooder and the second daughter is the one having the baby, little Lincoln Lyons. As the first episode ends, the gay brother holds the baby in his arms and wonders what life will be like for him.

Answer: Not good.

We’re only on episode three, and the action has moved forward about seven years. (It starts in 2019.) And so far, we’ve seen a nuclear strike on one of those man-made Chinese islands, a global financial crisis, the rise of a Trump-like (but far, far smarter) British politician and a movement toward “trans humanism,” wherein young people seek to upload their consciousness to “the cloud” and “recycle” their bodies. All of this is interspersed with the stuff of ordinary human life — birthday parties, Christmases, commuting to work, etc.

I remember, during the financial crisis, reading the daily stories of financial mayhem, closing my laptop and looking out at the street. Why weren’t people rioting, fighting over bags of rice? Because even in extremely stressful times, children need to be fed, showers taken, birthdays celebrated. “Years and Years” strikes that balance of the mundane details of human life and the grand movements of human history.

It runs on Monday nights. I think I need to save it for the weekend, because it scares the ever-loving shit out of me.

Emma Thompson plays the politician. Very well.

Trust me, it’s worth your time.

What else is happening today? Epstein, etc. I can’t keep up. Been very busy.

I’ll be back before week’s end.

Posted at 9:38 pm in Television |

30 responses to “Hot days, a little A/C and teevee.”

  1. Bitter Scribe said on July 10, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Stuff like this makes me think about subscribing to HBO. But I probably spend too much for cable already.

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  2. basset said on July 10, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Been watching the PBS moon landing series the last few nights, still recall seeing the first walk live… summer between 8th and 9th grade for me. Quite a few years later I was in TV news in Wichita and Neil Armstrong came into the the newsroom for an interview, he was in the middle of a group conversation and I wiggled myself in there, didn’t hear a word he said. All I could think of was “this man walked on the moon. On the goddamn MOON!” He left after awhile, but I will never forget it.

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  3. Sherri said on July 10, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    I second the recommendation for Years and Years. Emma Thompson is great, Rory Kinnear is the Lyons son in the interracial marriage, and Anne Reid is fabulous as the Lyons grandmother.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on July 10, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    My proposal to heal the world would send everyone to NYC for a week or two to see shows like Come From Away, visit the Met, and finish their day by singing show tunes at a gay bar. With terrific food, natch. I’m not gonna want to go home.

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  5. basset said on July 11, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Julie, no offense or anything but that, along with street crime and general obnoxiousness and aggressiveness, provides several of the main reasons why I never want to go near NYC again. And I’ve only been there once, for a plane change on the way back from London. Philistine, provincial, flyover person, I’ll cop to most of those and I honestly don’t believe I could sit through an entire Broadway show, gay, straight, or otherwise.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2019 at 12:19 am

    No offense taken. You haven’t seen the right show yet.

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  7. beb said on July 11, 2019 at 12:22 am

    One theory for where Epstein got his money was blackmail from the billionaires he was procuring for. The suggestion is that once he had evidence of their pedophilia he would encourage them to invest a few tens of millions of dollars into his investment fund. He must have been pimping a lot of people to become a billionaire himself.

    I didn’t see civilization lasting another century.

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  8. Suzanne said on July 11, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Oooh, ooh, ooh beb! I had not thought of that scenario but it makes sense, especially in light of rumors that Epstein brought in an industrial strength shredder not that long ago, when things started to heat up.
    It’s amazing to me that there are that many creeper guys out there, but the last couple of years have shown me that there are way more than I ever imagined. And it scares the heck out of me.

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  9. basset said on July 11, 2019 at 6:42 am

    So much of our world does seem difficult to believe these days.

    Meanwhile, Mrs B and I made an offer on a house yesterday & it was accepted,so the next few weeks are going to be particularly interesting… only the second house we’ve ever bought and the first in just short of thirty years.

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  10. Alan Stamm said on July 11, 2019 at 7:39 am

    “Some days you just want to sigh and talk a lot about women’s soccer.” — Gail Collins, NYT today

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  11. Joe Kobiela said on July 11, 2019 at 7:44 am

    How close to John Toon or BNA?
    Pilot Joe

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 11, 2019 at 8:18 am

    I’m in Sioux Falls SD heading for Wall Drug, at a Hampton Inn, catching up a bit so this is from yesterday — but Columbus area media is stone cold silent from my seat about Epstein having been close to Les Wexner. Thank you for the heads up on that one, Nancy. Do you realize how much signage will have to be changed if he’s implicated with this case? Les and Abigail have their names on stuff from one side of Franklin County to the other, and branded on more than a few hides of the great and the good.

    If Wall Drug is a disappointment, a childhood dream will be crushed. Okay, another childhood dream. I should be used to it by now.

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  13. Icarus said on July 11, 2019 at 9:20 am

    a movement toward “trans humanism,” wherein young people seek to upload their consciousness to “the cloud” and “recycle’ their bodies.

    This is becoming a more prevalent theme/trope, whatever you’d call it, in sci-fi these days. Altered Carbon, The 100 is doing it this season. The basic gist is you download your conscience, memories, etc and then upload into a new body. The underlying ethical, moral conflict in the series has bee/n how one obtains that new body.

    So are they all just copying each other or is something afoot lol

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  14. Connie said on July 11, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Jeff, Wall Drug is exactly what is says it is. Plus Free Water!

    The conscience upload thing is also the theme of Neal Stephenson’s new book Fall or Dodge in hell.

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  15. Dorothy said on July 11, 2019 at 10:27 am

    I’m glad you brought up HBO. I was enraptured by Gentleman Jack. I recorded the 8 episodes and just finished them up last weekend. Did anyone else enjoy it as much as I did?? Suranne Jones is my new favorite actress. I’m going to start striding about the world like her character Anne Lister did. Her smile is mood-changing.

    We had a NYC discussion a few months ago and I remember basset’s feelings. It gives me a sad. I wish I could afford to whisk you and Mrs. Basset away for a weekend there and show you it’s possible to really enjoy your time there. We saw Come From Away in December along with The Ferryman (the Tony winner of Best Play last month!) and The Lifespan of a Fact. All were excellent and I can’t wait to go back soon. Have I mentioned we have a big two week trip to Ireland and Scotland coming up in a few months? It’s our 40th anniversary celebration trip and I hope it’s going to be as tremendous as we are hoping it will be.

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  16. Sherri said on July 11, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Congrats, basset! What direction did you end up?

    Transhumanism seems like the next iteration of the Singularity, aka the Rapture for Nerds. Silicon Valley tech bros wanting to live forever.

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  17. Deborah said on July 11, 2019 at 10:36 am

    Another day in the So. of F, this morning we went to L’isle Sur Lasorgue, mainly to go to the market. I bought 2 more scarves (I bought 2 yesterday as well) because a woman can’t have too many scarves when you’re my age, especially when you’re in France. These are all summer scarves, cotton, very guazy, bright colors. I bought a few gifts too. Now I have to figure out how to pack everything. I might have to mail a package.

    We’re taking the afternoon off, this evening there’s a musical performance on the lawn of the place we’re staying.

    It’s still hot here.

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  18. JodiP said on July 11, 2019 at 10:47 am

    The HBO show sounds like one I would love. Stuff eventually shows up at the library, but this isn’t there yet. However, I did find this book, written by a woman, Elizabeth Keckley, who bought her freedom from slavery and ended up being the dressmaker and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln. Brian S., had you ever come across this?

    Bassett, very exciting news! I hope the inspection goes well.

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  19. Deborah said on July 11, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Jeff tmmo, I’ve been to Wall Drugs twice, it’s… interesting. We like the badlands.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2019 at 11:08 am

    I read that book last year, Jodi, and found much I didn’t know.

    Our son shared his HBO password, but we rarely have time to watch. I’ve seen commercials for Gentleman Jack and it looks intriguing.

    The trip is to celebrate our 40th anniversary, so Dorothy we were married the same year.

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  21. Jenine said on July 11, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Congrats to the Bassets! I hope it goes as smoothly as possible. If you qualify as ‘new homebuyers’ after that much time, check to see if there are any grants in your state. We just bought a house and our mortgage agent knew to ask about that. We got our closing costs covered by the grant which was delightful. He said that the fund runs out of money during the year so it’s never a sure thing.

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  22. basset said on July 11, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Thanks for the kind comments… we’re going to Burns, a little further out on the west side. Further from Tune and BNA, but mere minutes from Dickson County International or whatever they call it.
    Dorothy, appreciate the offer but I just can’t relate to Broadway shows and I can’t imagine how going to this one or that one would change anything. Maybe I’d come to NYC if I could go straight to the Dakota and the photo district in an armored bus with someone else driving.

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  23. Heather said on July 11, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Jeff tmmo, I’ve also been to Wall Drug, on a road trip 27 years ago, and my main memory is of a grotesque, moth-eaten, animatronic gorilla. My friend and I still laugh about it. So there’s that.

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  24. Scout said on July 11, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Dorothy, I am a huge fan of Suranne Jones too. We watched all 6 seasons of Scott and Bailey (I think on Amazon Prime, but maybe it was Acorn) and wished there were more. The series was binge-able and we loved it for all the strong, take no shit lady cops. Suranne plays DCI Bailey, and it is set in Manchester.

    Years and Years sounds fascinating and terrifyingly dystopian. I will keep an eye out for it to hit Netflix, Amazon or Acorn eventually.

    Congrats, basset! How exciting. I am one of those rare people who actually loves to move house, and I’m getting the itch. In our current house we are prepping for a major bathroom remodel, plus repainting the whole interior including kitchen cabinets. After that is done we will decide whether to ‘Love It or List It’. I am the one in the list it camp. We have a huge yard and I’m over taking care of all of it.

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  25. basset said on July 11, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    We’d planned to get a little further out once I retired, take equity out of the house and do some traveling… if we can just keep Mrs B healthy for awhile, it could still happen.

    Moving is no fun but at least it’ll be a chance to declutter.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on July 11, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Scout, our large yard and runway of a driveway were wonderful when the kids were at home, but we’re also over all the work. We’ve put down a deposit on a senior apartment where my mom lives for our last two years in town. Have been decluttering like mad, still a long way to go.

    Saw Ellis Island this morning, very humbling. Don’t know how many ancestors came through, surely some.

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  27. Icarus said on July 11, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    we are in a Love it or list it, but pretty much list it phase ourselves. Two years ago I selfishly thought that if I could just improve our house, we could stay. But after pouring money into it and discovering more and more problems, I’m ready to move to a better house.

    The issue with picking a place to move is that our Decision Tree contradicts itself. We need a place with a good school system. We also would like a better house. We cannot afford a better house and have a good school system in the city. We also want to move to a place that has a lower cost of living so that we can retire earlier, which pretty much means a Red State, like where Nightingale’s parent’s live (either Memphis, Tennessee or nearby Mississippi).
    There is an outside chance moving to St Louis could help my career but 1) it is more of a rumor/long shot than factual at this point and 2) we don’t have any true connections there.

    I should point out that our local elementary school isn’t horrible by most standards, it just isn’t the best available. And since this house has some warts anyway, it does make sense to move.

    I love the neighborhood though. The walkability is good and only getting better. I would miss my Polish deli’s if we moved to the South.

    Every time we take a trip to Grosse Pointe to see Nightingale’s sister, she thinks she could live there as long as we hang out with the people who put their kids in public school and not the trust fund kids my BIL is trying to hang out with.

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  28. David C. said on July 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Yeah, upload my consciousness to AWS so Bezos can charge me rent for myself. I’d rather be dead.

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  29. Sherri said on July 11, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    If this weren’t happening way out on the fringe, it might be making national news, but Alaska is self-immolating.

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  30. LAMary said on July 14, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    Julie, next NYC trip let me know and I’ll connect you with my friends the twins. Both working Broadway actors, both gay and they have contributed family photos and documents to Ellis Island that are part of the permanent exhibit. They’re both very nice guys, too. We’ve been friends since ninth grade. If you want to see shows and sing along in gay bars, these are your people.

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