Game of Thrones: This week’s installment jammed two sets of characters together for the first time, while taking a shocking turn from George R.R. Martin’s novels. Grade: A-. The Good Wife: Another weak episode. Alicia likes Diane, Alicia hates Diane, Alicia likes Diane. And will they please whack Kalinda already? Grade: C. Mad Men: The most drawn-out farewell season since the demise of Anna Russell continued last night. Biggest plot point: Sterling Cooper and Partners got a new name! Grade: B-. Wolf Hall: The series’ slandering (if you’re Catholic) or truth-telling (if you’re not) of St. Thomas More continued in this episode, as the author of “Utopia” was further exposed as a torture-condoning hypocrite. Grade: B+.
No, the miniseries adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s bestseller “The Casual Vacancy” unfolds in a deceptively cozy British village thrown into an uproar by the sudden death of the Parish Councillor. And it will air not on PBS, the American home to all things twee, but on HBO, this Wednesday and Thursday. The Great Gambon (Sir Michael, to you plebes) stars with Keeley Hawes and Abigail Lawrie. Jonny Campbell directed from a script by Sarah Phelps. The adaptation of the “Harry Potter” author’s first novel for adults was produced by Rowling.
A lot of people are talking about this singer’s self-titled new album. The Guardian: ‘Though the Lewisham-UK-raised Eska will be a new name to many, she has spent a decade working as a session singer for the likes of Tony Allen, Matthew Herbert and Grace Jones. Her debut album, five years in the making, attests to the Londoner’s versatility, drawing on everything from psychedelic soul to folk infused with the spirit of Kate Bush. The hypnotic opener, “This Is How a Garden Grows,” moves at its own leisurely pace through history, evoking a half-cut Erykah Badu. Unsurprisingly, not every song’s that good – “To Be Remembered” is particularly forgettable – but, at its best, Eska is a mind-bending gem.
In this interview to promote her new novel, “God Help The Child,” Toni Morrison explains why she welcomes the label “black writer”: ‘“I’m writing for black people,” she says, “in the same way that Tolstoy was not writing for me, a 14-year-old colored girl from Lorain, Ohio. I don’t have to apologize or consider myself limited because I don’t [write about white people] – which is not absolutely true, there are lots of white people in my books. The point is not having the white critic sit on your shoulder and approve it” – she refers to the writer James Baldwin talking about “a little white man deep inside of all of us”. Did she exorcise hers? “Well, I never really had it.”’
Ludovic Hunter-Tilney looks at Metallica‘s “Enter Sandman”: ‘“Enter Sandman” is about a boy suffering nightmares after being visited by a macabre Sandman, bringer of dreams in European folklore. The song opens with an ominous acoustic guitar melody, a dark lullaby summoning sleep…“Enter Sandman” has entered US popular culture as surely as any American Songbook standard. It has been covered repeatedly — by acts from Motörhead to Björn Again — is regularly played at sports events and was even blasted out as intro music to a 2013 speech by Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul.’
Movies: “The Age of Adaline” stars Blake Lively and Harrison Ford. Hmm. “The Water Diviner” was directed by Russell Crowe. More hmm. Television: Bruce Jenner is interviewed on Friday by Diane Sawyer. “The Good Wife” begins the season’s final batch of episodes on Sunday. Music: Josh Groban’s fans skew older, which is why his new album, “Stages,” is in a top spot on the charts: the kids get his music for free. Books: Do you really want to read a book called “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich”? Me, neither. Sports: One of the many things that’s making my spring happy: The success of the New York Mets! Finally: The calla lilies are in bloom again: the cherry blossoms, too.
Images from the world’s biggest photography competition are to go on show at Somerset House in London following the announcement of this year’s winner. The 2015 competition has received the highest number of entries in its eight year history, totalling 173,444 images in 171 countries. The exhibition will include winners of the awards’ 13 categories taken by professional photographers, and shortlisted and winning photographs from the awards’ amateur categories. The photographs on show will include commended images taken on mobile phones, and pictures entered by young amateur photographers under the age of 19.