Analysis: It’s a messy history week with ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ and ‘The Crown’

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Oh historical fiction, how do I love you? Let me count the possibilities – because thanks to some newly streamed shows this week, there are at least two.

I live for this genre, as you all know, and especially when the re-enactments are hot and scandalous. Can’t wait to dive in? I also!

‘Dangerous romances’

From left: Alice Englert and Nicholas Denton in a scene from

I love, love, love a good origin story—especially one that ties into one of my favorite movies.

I’m a big fan of the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons, starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich and based on the novel and play of the same name.

And with his new series of the same name, Starz offers a new take on the classic tale of intrigue and seduction set in Ancien Régime France, The focus is on how Camille (played by Alice Englert) and the Vicomte de Valmont (played by Nicholas Denton) became lovers while also taking other lovers with him.

Having watched the first few episodes of the show, I can tell you this: There’s a reason Starz greenlit a second season before the first even debuted, because it’s lush period drama.

Dangerous Liaisons is streaming now.

“The Crown” Season 5

(From left) Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in a scene from

This new season of The Crown takes a different turn after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Imelda Staunton slips into the royal lead and the action begins in 1992 as she deals with her “annus horribilis”.

That (terrible) year included a devastating fire at Windsor Castle, the dissolution of the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, a major book on Princess Diana and some in the public eye questioning the relevance of the royal family.

We know, of course, that The Crown is a dramatization, not a documentary, but it’s still entertaining to imagine that at least some of what the show depicts actually happening in real life.

The Crown is now streaming on Netflix.

“Say hello, Willie Mays!”

Baseball legend Willie Mays in a scene from

With the boys of summer gone, we have a new documentary about one of the best baseball players to ever play the game.

“Say Hello, Willie Mays!” explores the life and sporting legacy of the black athlete who was widely recognized for his skills on the diamond but was criticized for not speaking out more on civil rights.

Mays participates in the project – and when the subject speaks for itself instead of others talking about it, the narrative is really enriched.

It’s available now on HBO and HBO Max, both owned by CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.

Bruce Springsteen performs during the annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit event at Alice Tully Hall on November 8, 2021 in New York City.

Bruce Springsteen is far from slowing down.

The boss rocker released a new album this week, and this time the famous songwriter takes on other people’s material.

Only the Strong Survive features his renditions of classic songs, including The Four Tops’ 1981 hit “When She Was My Girl” and The Temptations “I Wish It Would Rain.”

“In my own memoir, I give my voice a little short by saying I don’t think I get much out of it,” Springsteen said in a video about the new album. “But when I started this project, after listening to some of the stuff we cut, I was like, ‘My voice is badass!'”

The album is out now.

Louis Tomlinson performs during the z100 All Access Lounge at Pier 36 on December 13, 2019 in New York City.

One Direction is a gift that passes on.

All former members have launched successful careers since the group broke up, with the latest solo release coming from Louis Tomlinson.

Tomlinson has been teasing for a while that he’s back in the studio working on new music. “Having lived with this album for a while, I can’t wait for you all to hear it.” he tweeted in August. “Thank you for allowing me to make the music I want to make.”

“Believe in the Future” is out now too.

Cher and Alexander Edwards on November 2 in Los Angeles.

See you Cher!

The singer, Oscar-winner and all-round queen sparked a lot of interest when she was recently snapped holding hands with rapper and music executive Alexander “AE” Edwards.

Since Cher is Cher, she responded to some of her Twitter followers who had questions about her and Edward’s 40-year age difference. (Edwards is 36 and Cher is a whopping 76. Not that it’s anyone’s business.)

Now seems like a good time to remind you that older men dating younger women never cause as much of a stir as when the roles are reversed.

Doesn’t matter. If you “believe” in life. and Love after 70, raise your hand and join me in celebrating Cher for doing what she wants and how she wants it.

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda in one scene

The world may not be ready for the emotional journey that is the Black Panther sequel.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever marks the loss of Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 at the age of 43 after a private battle with colon cancer.

At the time of his death, I was writing about how Boseman left us at a time when we most needed a superhero. That hasn’t changed, and the new film finds Wakanda in a time of crisis much like how many of us feel the world finds itself right now. But life and art move on, and that’s one of the reasons we mourn so deeply while also celebrating how lucky we were to have those we lost – if only for a short time.

So as the lights dim down in theaters around the world this weekend, I’d like to remember Boseman to be there at every new Black Panther screening, applauding the cast he loved – and from whom he was born In return was loved as family.

Wakanda forever.


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