On Netflix



This Spanish melodrama has a little bit of everything – intrigue, a love story, sex, violence, history, politics and the “upstairs/downstairs” relationships between the wealthy and their servants.

The series has too many characters to keep track of and sometimes it is difficult to determine who are the villains and who are the heroes.

If you like love stories, the one that develops between the cook of the title and the lord of the manor is a good one.

Diego has lost his wife to an accident that turns out not to be so accidental. His mother wants him to remarry and brings a questionable woman into his life. Meanwhile, he becomes infatuated with the pretty young cook, who prepares fabulous meals.

Diego has an adopted Black brother, unheard of in those times.

The cook has a blind father who is doomed to be hung for a murder he did not commit. The servants all have interesting pasts that are slowly revealed. The king is an idiot.

The main theme is that the past always comes back to haunt you, but goodness will prevail.

While the series is a bit heavy handed, it will hold your interest as you root for the cook.


Like the Turner Classic Movies network, Netflix occasionally brings back classic movies.

This 1976 Western starring Clint Eastwood has it all – action, adventure, compassion, love, revenge and humor.

Josey watches renegades from the Union army murder his family. The southern militia are invited to surrender to the Union army as the war ends, but are then annihilated.

Josey escapes after a bloody battle and is doggedly pursued with a big bounty on his head. He avoids capture, picking up strays along the way. An aged Indian chief, a frightened young soldier, an abused Indian woman, a dog, and an entire family end up following him to what they hope will be a paradise-like homestead.

They are attacked by Mexican Comancheros before they reach their destination, where they make piece with the Comanche tribe, only to face the final showdown with the law.

One of the best westerns ever made.


At the Warwick Showcase



We first encountered this brash, articulate chef/writer/TV host/world traveler when he gave a lecture at PPAC.

Unaware at the time of his rise from dishwasher to sought-after chef to author of “Kitchen Confidential” to world famous TV star, we were impressed with his talk and Q&A session.

We started watching his TV adventures as he followed the food around the world. His mantra was to be a traveler, not a tourist.

Bourdain took us to countries like France and Spain, dining at world-renowned restaurants. Then he was back introducing us to African and Asian cuisine in small villages.

The documentary is a compelling story of his life, with all of its ups and downs, using his writings and recording thoughts (we later learn that his voice was duplicated at times through an artificial intelligence technique).

His story is told through the eyes of his closest friends and two wives, learning much about his highs and lows as he suffered with manic depression.

Shots of his many trips around the world brought back many of the TV shows that appeared almost nightly on CNN.

Send the young ones to watch LeBron James and cartoon characters in “Space Jam” or teens to watch the gruesome “Escape Plan.”


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