"American Masters -- Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth” A lovely and lyrical tribute to the great American novelist, poet, essayist and activist airs just two days before she turns 70 and helps kick off
Obviously, it shouldn't require an African American-themed event to warrant a tribute to Walker, and "Beauty in Truth" reminds us how singular and extraordinary Walker's life and work remain.
Best known for her
Made by Walker's friend and colleague Pratibha Parmar, "Beauty in Truth" follows this remarkable life from sharecropper childhood to American icon, aided by in-depth interviews with Walker and a range of luminaries including Howard Zinn, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Danny Glover and Sapphire.
Although more tribute than biography, "Beauty in Truth" offers an important reminder of how much America has changed in the course of this woman's lifetime, in part because of her efforts.
Other rumors include the return of a "major" character (we hope it's Melissa McBride's Carol, though perhaps she hasn't been gone long enough for her return to warrant a rumor), new "pets" for Michonne (Danai Gurira) and an increasing emphasis on Carl (Chandler Riggs).
Plagued by a built-in "ante issue" -- when zombies become commonplace, how do the writers continually up the ante? -- "The Walking Dead" needs to take a breath and allow its characters to do the same. But I wouldn't expect that to happen in the midseason premiere, or until we find out what happened to Judith.
"Transparent." Up for voting by the Prime subscribers, one of Amazon's first comedy pilots comes from
Firmly set in Los Angeles, "Transparent" follows a family already broken by divorce -- Judith Light is "Mom" -- and the narcissistic nature of the three children, played by Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass.
The pilot is, as many pilots are, a little anxious and over-thought, but there are far more moments of grace than contrivance, Tambor is amazing and, by gosh, it's good to see Los Angeles evoked by someone who actually knows it. Amazon Prime, whenever.
Opening big with episodes directed by David Fincher, it faltered a bit in later episodes, but remains ambitious, entertaining and at times (we're talking about you, Ms. Wright) even breathtaking. Watch this space for thoughts on Season 2. Netflix, any old time you want.