Friday, 09 June 2023

Arts & Life

A winning strategy for a television network is to assert a ratings victory for the 2021-2022 season even if at the time of such declaration the season hadn’t reached the finish line.

CBS is claiming to be the number one network for the past 14 straight seasons, winning 19 of the past 20 seasons. Airing the Super Bowl and the NFL’s AFC Championship game this year proved to be a ratings boost.

“CBS had another incredible season. In addition to repeating as America’s most-watched network, we launched several breakout hits, not to mention winning and improving many time periods across our schedule,” said Kelly Kahl, the network’s president of Entertainment.

Thursday night’s time slot of 8 to 9 p.m. will be branded as the “power hour” for comedy with the return of “Young Sheldon” and breakout hit “Ghosts.” When does “Young Sheldon” become “Old Sheldon?” Just asking, because at some point the kid has to become Jim Parsons.

The “power hour” will be followed by witty new drama “So Help Me Todd,” starring Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin as razor-sharp, meticulous attorney Margaret Wright and Todd, her talented but scruffy, aimless son whom she hires as her law firm’s in-house investigator.

As the black sheep of the well-heeled Wright family, Todd is a laid-back, quick-thinking, excellent former private detective who fell on hard times after his flexible interpretation of the law got his license revoked.

Margaret’s penchant for strict adherence to the law is at complete odds with Todd’s scrappy methods of finding his way through sticky situations by the seat of his wrinkled pants.

However, Todd proves his crafty ability to sleuth out information with his charm and wide-ranging tech savvy. As a result, Margaret asks her son to join her firm, and Todd agrees since it means getting his license reinstated.

Will mother and son working together mend their fragile dysfunctional relationship? Will they accept others for who they are? Tune in to “So Help Me Todd” on Thursday nights to find out.

Considering what happens too frequently in California, “Fire Country” will be a topical new drama series, starring Max Thieriot as Bode Donovan, a young convict seeking redemption and a shortened prison sentence by joining a prison release firefighting program.

In Northern California, Bode and other inmates are partnered with elite firefighters to extinguish massive, unpredictable wildfires across the region. It’s a high-risk assignment.

The heat is turned up when Bode is assigned to the program in his rural hometown, where he was once an all-American son until his troubles began. Now he’s back with a criminal rap sheet and the audacity to believe in a chance for redemption with Cal Fire.

“Fire Country,” inspired by series star Max Thieriot’s experiences growing up in Northern California fire county, will air on Friday nights.

From executive producers of “NYPD Blue,” new drama “East New York” stars Amanda Warren as Deputy Inspector Regina Haywood, the newly promoted boss of the 74th Precinct in East New York, a working-class neighborhood on the edge of Brooklyn in the midst of social upheaval.

With family ties to the area, Haywood is determined to deploy creative methods to protect her beloved community with the help of her officers and detectives.

But first, she has the daunting task of getting them on board, as some are skeptical of her promotion, and others resist changes she is desperate to make.

Her team includes her mentor, shrewd veteran two-star Chief John Suarez (Jimmy Smits); Marvin Sandeford (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), a highly respected training officer and expert on the neighborhood; Tommy Killian (Kevin Rankin), a detective with some old-school approaches to policing.

Captain Stan Yenko (Richard Kind) is Haywood’s gregarious and efficient right hand. Also on board is Crystal Morales (Elizabeth Rodriguez), an intuitive detective, and Andre Bentley (Lavel Schley), a trainee from an upper middle-class background.

Ambitious patrol officer Brandy Quinlan (Olivia Luccardi) is the sole volunteer to live in a local housing project as part of Haywood’s plan to bridge the gap between police and community.

Deputy Inspector Haywood has a vision that she and the squad of the 74th Precinct will not only serve their community – they’ll also become part of it. “East New York” will air on Sunday nights.

The long-running scripted series “The Love Boat” that aired on the ABC network was arguably a cultural phenomenon, and now it’s the inspiration for new reality romance adventure “The Real Love Boat” scheduled to air on Wednesday nights.

“The Real Love Boat” brings singles together to travel the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise ship while looking for love. Destination dates, challenges and surprise singles will test the couples’ compatibility and chemistry.

Indispensable crew members, including “captain” and “cruise director,” selected from actual Princess Cruises staff, will play pivotal roles in the matchmaking and navigation of the romantic waters ahead.

After almost a month at sea, only one winning couple will make it to the final port and take home a cash prize plus a once-in-a-lifetime trip courtesy of Princess Cruises.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

There is a clever impli­ca­tion to the title of Lau­ren Win­ches­ter​’s poem ​“Eat­ing the Glac­i­er.”

The poet is seduced by the thought of eat­ing some­thing as ancient as glac­i­er ice which can be, I am told, thou­sands of years old.

This is a work of hum­bling envi­ron­men­tal­ism, the desire to achieve a cer­tain immor­tal­i­ty by con­nect­ing to the ele­ments: ​“I gaze at the ice, thirsty for its light,” she says.

But the most human, trag­ic-com­ic, moment fol­lows, when ​“the ice turns its back” or her hubris.

Eat­ing the Glac­i­er
By Lau­ren Win­ches­ter​

The guide chips off a piece
to taste. The water in me
is the body of the glacier.
When I breathe with my lungs,
I breathe with the glacier's
lungs. Breathing—though made
from all our kind's rough materials
(marrow and membrane, fluid
and flesh)—I am fathomless.
I gaze at the ice, thirsty for its light,
and the ice turns its back
on my looking.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Lauren Winchester, “Eating the Glacier” from Cream City Review, 45.1 Spring/Summer 2021. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Georgina Marie reading from the “Restore” book at EcoArts Opening in 2019. Photo by Gemini Garcia.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – The Middletown Art Center presents “Indigenous Poetics,” a poetry reading event hosted by Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie Guardado on Saturday, June 4, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The public is invited to join Guardado and guests at the MAC or on Zoom.

This event will celebrate Indigenous voices in conjunction with MAC’s current project “Weaving: Weaving Baskets, Weaving Bridges,” a year-long project designed collaboratively by Pomo culture bearers and MAC team members.

Guardado has curated this reading, inviting a monumental group of readers who collectively are from Lakota, Dakota, Cherokee, Passamaquoddy, Amazonian, Koyungkowi, Mojave, Peruvian and Mexican Indigenous backgrounds.

Lake County poet Mia Ruiz and Ukiah poet, also Ukiah Poet Laureate Emerita, Linda Noel will read from their body of work, along with Bay Area poets Alison Hart and Nanette Deetz, both compelling and influential poets who are pillars in their communities.

Seating at MAC is limited so reserve your spot in advance at

Zoom participants are also asked to register in advance so that the MAC staff can adjust technology accordingly. A suggested donation of $10 is requested however no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Weaving is supported in part by the California Arts Council, or CAC, and the generosity of local Indigenous and non-indigenous community members. To learn more about how the CAC supports arts engagement throughout California visit

Middletown Art Center is located at 21456 State Highway 175 at the junction of Highway 29.

To find out more about MAC events, programs, opportunities, and ways to support the MAC’s work weaving the arts into the fabric of life in Lake County visit or Like/Follow Middletown Art Center (@mtownartcenter) on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with what’s happening at MAC.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — In 2021, Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie Guardado 2020-2024 was selected as one of 23 poets laureate across the United States to receive a Poets Laureate Fellowship with the Academy of American Poets.

The academy was founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their careers and to foster the appreciation of contemporary poetry.

The fellowship entailed a financial award sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Poets Laureate in their work, as well as support public poetry programs in their respective communities.

Over the last year, Guardado has installed poetry boxes and little free poetry libraries in select locations countywide, accessible to the general public.

To commemorate the end of her project year and celebrate the literary arts in Lake County, Guardado is hosting a poetry tour of free poetry workshops and readings around the county.

All are welcome to attend and all levels of writers are welcome, including beginners.

Events are free to attend and no advance registration is required.

Participants attending any of the writing workshops are encouraged to bring pen, paper and water to keep hydrated on hotter days.

Participants attending poetry readings are invited to bring original work to share.

The Poetry Tour schedule is as follows:

• Friday, June 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Lower Lake Schoolhouse Museum, poetry workshop.
• Sunday, June 12, 7 to 8 p.m.: Clear Lake Campgrounds, Sunset poetry reading and open mic.
• Monday, June 13, 5 to 7 p.m.: Main Street Gallery, Lakeport, poetry workshop.
• Thursday, June 16, 5 to 7 p.m.: Main Street Gallery, Lakeport, poetry reading and open mic.
• Sunday, June 26, 2 to 4 p.m.: Middletown Art Center, poetry reading and open mic.
• Friday, July 8, 4 to 6 p.m.: Tallman Hotel, Riffe's Meeting House, Upper Lake, poetry workshop.
• Saturday, July 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Middletown Library, poetry workshop and reading.
• Sunday, July 10, 2 to 4 p.m.: Clear Lake Campgrounds, poetry workshop.

For any questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To learn more about her fellowship project including a map of all poetry displays, visit her website at

Let’s waste no time getting to the point. Better than its 1986 source material, “Top Gun: Maverick” fires on all cylinders to deliver an adrenaline-charged, suspenseful entertainment that demands to be seen on the large screen.

Several names are attached to this film in the producer capacity, but the only name that really matters is Jerry Bruckheimer, the creative force behind the “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and “Bad Boys.”

With a track record of incredible success and having produced “Top Gun,” Bruckheimer, reunited with Tom Cruise after being the actor’s mentor more than three decades ago, is an essential factor putting the pieces in place for electrifying action.

Once a hotshot Navy pilot, Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell has only ascended to the rank of Captain and is content to remain one of the Navy’s top aviators because any advancement in rank would ground him.

Like all of his fellow pilots, Captain Mitchell goes by his own aviator call sign of “Maverick,” which is a most fitting nickname given his propensity for skirting the rules if not outright being insubordinate.

Based in the Navy’s equivalent of Siberia in the Mojave Desert, Maverick runs afoul of Rear Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain (a grizzly Ed Harris) with an unauthorized test of the speed limit of an advanced fighter jet.

Rear Admiral Cain tells Maverick that “the future is coming, and you’re not in it.” Even though he’s ruffled more than a few feathers during his time in the Navy, Maverick still has friends in high places to save his bacon.

After all, it’s only the beginning of the story, so we know Maverick is not headed to the unemployment line. And it may not be the last time he’ll disobey a command or bend the regulations.

His former nemesis from the old days, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) is now a 4-star Admiral who knows that Maverick is the only pilot with the expertise and daring needed to train a special detachment to complete a crucial mission.

The operation is so dangerous that only the most elite pilots could be recruited for the job, and yet this new generation of aviators doesn’t have the proficiency required to have a chance at returning home safely.

As a result, Maverick is shipped off to the Miramar Naval Base in San Diego, the place where it all began for him 36 years ago, with the assignment to teach a dozen aviators the logistics and tactics for a daring excursion into a foreign country.

Teaching is not exactly what Maverick had in mind, and his new commanding officer, Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm) is another by-the-book stiff who on at least one occasion threatens to have Maverick court-martialed and dishonorably discharged.

Given his old-school manner, Maverick finds it challenging to connect with the young pilots in the Top Gun program, one of them being the supremely arrogant and brash Lt. Jake “Hangman” Seresin (Glen Powell).

But the more troubling relationship for Maverick is the fact that Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller) is the son of his former wingman Lt. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, who was killed in a training accident.

At the heart of this new story is the conflict between Maverick and Rooster, as their history runs deep to the time that Maverick and Goose had to eject from their F-14 Tomcat and the fact that Goose did not survive is a cross that Maverick has had to bear.

Another part of Maverick’s past is a reunion with Penny Benjamin, a character only mentioned in the original movie, now brought to life by Jennifer Connelly, who’s the owner of The Hard Deck bar, the hangout for the Navy aviators.

Penny and Maverick had a brief romance and rekindled the relationship over the years, and while their breakups were amicable, now the sparks start to fly again so that the aging hotshot pilot might actually settle down for a change.

In any case, whether the pilots are bonding over touch football on the beach or enjoying a raucous time at their seaside hideaway, the quest for a sneak attack on a nuclear installation deep in enemy territory is what matters most.

The stakes are extremely high as the pilots must navigate narrow canyons flying at low altitude to evade radar detection. It’s impossible to watch the daring flights and not feel the tension deep in your heart and soul.

There is a majesty and beauty to the sophistication of the aerial sequences of F-18 fighter jets engaged in dogfights or rousing evasive maneuvers. The visceral delight of muscular aerial heroics on display is simply mind-blowing.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” steeped in old-fashioned nostalgia celebrating America’s military might, does not disappoint.

The F-18 jets soaring in the sky and dodging enemy fire are truly breathtaking and unnerving, and the excitement of the airborne thrills cannot be overstated.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

LAKEPORT, Calif. — The Lakeport Senior Center will hold auditions for a comedy called “Mother May I “ written by one of our own local playwrights, UCLA graduate Marcello Bice.

No theater experience is necessary to try out.

The show is a fundraiser sponsored by the Lake Family Resource Center and will feature dinner and dessert.

If you are interested in any aspect of the production, you are invited to the senior center on Friday, June 3, or Saturday, June 4, at 6 p.m.

The Lakeport Senior Center is located at 527 Konocti Ave.

Upcoming Calendar

06.09.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Crafters group
06.10.2023 8:30 am - 10:30 am
Guided nature walk
06.10.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Crafters group
06.10.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
06.10.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
Lakeport Senior Center
Flag Day
06.15.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
06.17.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile

Mini Calendar



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