Pacino goes deep in portrayal of HBO’s Paterno

Getting under somebody else’s skin is nothing new for Al Pacino. He did it in “Serpico,” and several times in HBO projects, including searing portrayals of Jack Kevorkian and Phil Spector. He plays another controversial and complex real life character this month on HBO and HBO Canada in Paterno. This is, of course, a movie about… Read on



REVIEW: The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling

Here’s what really surprised me about The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. It’s too long. Judd Apatow’s new documentary about his close friend and mentor, the late, great comedian Garry Shandling, premieres over two nights Monday March 26 and Tuesday 27 on HBO and HBO Canada. Eat early and set a long evening aside if you… Read on


Witherspoon in “Smurfette” heaven on Big Little Lies

“For 25 years, I have been the only woman on set, so I had no other women to talk to,” Big Little Lies star Reese Witherspoon told reporters last month in Pasadena. Being the only woman on the set is a phenomenon known as “Smurfette Syndrome,” she added. That’s where there are “100 Smurts around, but… Read on


Jon Dore got his comedy chops by conquering “Everest”

“Bill,” said Jon Dore — right into the mic on my digital recorder so I would hear it many months later– “when you are listening to this back, put ‘The Story of Everest’ into  YouTube. It changes everything.” Dore, who is back Friday nights on HBO Canada with new episodes of Funny as Hell, was… Read on



Remembering Pearl Harbor on 75th anniversary

My mother, Margaret, turns 92 Wednesday. Her birthday is December 7 — as my dad and FDR used to say, “A day that will live in infamy.” Roosevelt, of course, was referring to another momentous and far less joyous occasion: the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. The dawn raid that drew the United States… Read on


Silicon Valley pair back for more laughs

Sunday marks the 3rd season premiere of one of TV’s funniest comedies–Silicon Valley (10 p.m. ET, HBO and HBO Canada). Some other show comes back right before that, Game of Something or other. Veep is also returning, but as Hugh Hefner used to say, let’s stick with Silicon. I had fun interviewing leads Thomas Middleditch… Read on


Bobby Cannavale finds his groove in HBO’s Vinyl

According to showrunner and writer Terry Winter, Vinyl bad boy Richie Finestra is “a pretty accurate amalgam of a lot of different record executives.” Finistra is the character at the centre of the set-in-the-’70s drama. A lot happens to Finestra in the first two hours–he even has a building fall on him. The series premieres Feb. 14… Read on


John Oliver is back with more Last Week Tonight

John Oliver sees the endless U.S. election coverage as the gift that keeps on giving. The host of Last Week T0night with John Oliver also says the Trump and Cruz circuses and all the other primary concerns bring their own unique challenges for a TV satirist. “Sometimes it’s hard to joke a joke,” says Oliver. “If people are… Read on