While it’s true that television is no longer limited to the September-May season, summer scrapes pretty thin on the TV offerings, what with The Bachelor: Swim-up Bar and Hell’s Kitchen: Taco Trucks.
In fact, this week offers but one première of note, but it is worth 10 times its weight in the Emmys it hopefully wins.
David Simon (Homicide: Life on the Street, The Wire, Treme) returns to HBO Sunday, Aug. 16 with Show Me a Hero.
It’s a six-hour, three-week miniseries based on the non-fiction book of the same name about Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasicsko, who complies with a federal court order in the late 1980s to build low-income housing in the city’s white suburbs. The resulting maelstrom paralyzes the government, nearly breaks the city and destroys the mayor, played by Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis). This ferocious study of home, race, community and best intentions also stars Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina, Winona Ryder, Bob Balaban and Jim Belushi. Paul Haggis (Crash, The Black Donnellys) directs.
Now, because one suggestion does not a TV column make, here are some television-inspired cocktail recipes and viewing suggestions to go along with them. I know. Genius.
Which Silicon Valley cocktail and/or character are you?
It’s a more complicated question than fans might think. When hobnobbing with the stars here in Montreal, right after their July 25 Just for Laughs Q&A session with fans, the invitation-only reception offered a cocktail named for each of the nerds from HBO’s tech-world comedy. Based on temperament and rum, I asked the elderly barman for a Gilfoyle, based on Martin Starr’s portrayal of Bertram Gilfoyle, hardware god and acid nemesis to love-starved code writer Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani). But what the barman handed me was a Dinesh. Not cool, barman, not cool. As consolation, I’m going to binge my way back through Season 2, on demand via HBO Canada and now on iTunes.
Which Silicon Valley cocktail are you?Here are all five Silicon Valley cocktails, minimalist though they are.
- The Gilfoyle: Dark rum and ginger.
- The Dinesh: Rye, grapefruit juice and grenadine.
- The Richard: Gin, lime juice, club soda.
- The Erlich: Jack Daniels and Coke with cherry bitters.
- The Jared: Vodka, cranberry juice and mint.
Pour Bollinger Champagne in your fancy flute, add one finger of Stolichnaya vodka (two if you’re seriously channelling Patsy) and type “Ab Fab” into your nearest device.
This drink was popularized by Patsy and Edina in Absolutely Fabulous, the early 1990s British sitcom about impossibly debauched fashion hangers-on. But this is not just a retro drinking exercise. Ab Fab is returning (fingers crossed) for a one-off. Jennifer Saunders (Eddie) has finally finished writing the script and vows it will be filmed before Christmas. Nearly everyone will be back, but especially Joanna Lumley, mistress of the withering though cross-eyed sneer. Now go Google some Ab Fab.
Chill a beer mug in the freezer for a half hour. Dip the rim into a saucer of lime juice and hot sauce, then into a saucer of salt. Pour in the better part of a Corona or any pale beer, follow with a couple of ounces of Clamato, a squeeze of lime and more hot sauce, then ice.
Serve that spicy Mexican cerveza preparada, a.k.a. beer cocktail, alongside Season 4 of Weeds on Netflix. That’s around when the widow drug dealer Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) gets cosy with Tijuana “mayor” and cartel boss Esteban (Demián Bichir). No need for background, or at least I didn’t miss it when I dipped in midway through this Showtime series(2005-12). Laugh out loud.
That’s it for me this week. Got a question? Spot an error? Find me, tell me. And as always, you would do well to check my daily Watchers picks on the Montreal Gazette’s smartphone app in the iTunes and PLAY stores. (It’s the blue one — the app, not the store.)