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Here are 2023’s Best In Film & Television

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Top TV Shows and Top Rated Movies 2023

TORONTO, January 4, 2024 – In a year brimming with exceptional storytelling and unparalleled entertainment, the realms of network television, streaming services, and cinema converged to deliver a diverse array of unparalleled content. From gripping narratives that unfolded week after week on network television to the binge-worthy sagas offered by streaming platforms, and the cinematic spectacles that graced the silver screen, 2023 has been a remarkable journey for enthusiasts of visual storytelling.

As the curtain drops on the year, we find ourselves reflecting on the mastery displayed across genres, be it the ingenious plot twists of network TV, the immersive narratives of streaming originals, or the blockbuster brilliance of cinematic creations. Each medium, in its own right, has left an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape, offering audiences an extraordinary tapestry of emotions, suspense, and sheer cinematic excellence.

Top Watched Shows on Network TV in America

In the ever-evolving landscape of television, certain shows manage to capture the hearts and minds of viewers across the nation. As we delve into the top-watched shows on network TV in America, a diverse array of genres and storylines emerges, showcasing the rich tapestry of television entertainment.

Survivor Season 45, By CBS – Screenshot, Fair use,

Survivor:

“Survivor” stands as an enduring powerhouse in the reality television genre. Stranding contestants in remote locations, the show’s unique blend of strategic gameplay and survival challenges has maintained its popularity over multiple seasons.

Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med:

The “Chicago” franchise has created a television empire, with “Chicago PD,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Chicago Med” offering viewers a gripping trifecta of drama centered around the city’s police, fire, and medical services.

“9-1-1” and its spinoff, “9-1-1: Lone Star,” plunge into the high-stakes world of emergency responders. These shows masterfully balance intense rescue scenarios with the personal lives of the characters, creating a heart-pounding viewing experience that resonates with audiences.

Ghosts:

With a touch of the supernatural, “Ghosts” has captivated audiences with its comedic take on life after death. The show explores the challenges faced by a couple who inherits a haunted mansion, weaving humor into the supernatural occurrences that disrupt their everyday lives.

Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime:

The “Law & Order” franchise continues to dominate the legal drama landscape with “SVU” and “Organized Crime.” Tackling sensitive issues, the shows provide a thought-provoking exploration of the criminal justice system, with compelling storylines and complex characters.

The Masked Singer and American Idol:

In the realm of reality singing competitions, “The Masked Singer” offers a visually dazzling experience, with celebrities performing in elaborate costumes. Meanwhile, “American Idol” remains a classic talent showcase, launching the careers of aspiring musicians and maintaining its status as a television institution.

Next Level Chef:

“Next Level Chef” introduces a fresh take on culinary competitions. With innovative challenges and a focus on culinary excellence, the show elevates the cooking competition genre, appealing to food enthusiasts and casual viewers alike.

Young Sheldon:

A spinoff of the beloved “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” provides a heartwarming and comedic look at the early life of the genius Sheldon Cooper. The show’s nostalgic charm and clever writing have resonated with audiences of all ages.

Grey’s Anatomy:

“Grey’s Anatomy” has become a cultural phenomenon since its debut, chronicling the lives of doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. The show, now in its second decade, combines medical crises with intricate character relationships.

The Voice:

“The Voice” has revolutionized the reality singing competition genre by emphasizing blind auditions, focusing solely on vocal talent. With its engaging format and superstar coaches, the show has been a consistent favorite.

Abbot Elementary:

“Abbot Elementary” is a relative newcomer, making waves with its comedic take on the challenges faced by a group of dedicated teachers at a public school. With its fresh perspective on education and humor, the show has quickly garnered attention, resonating with audiences who appreciate its relatable and light-hearted approach.

The Bachelor:

“The Bachelor” has been a reality TV mainstay for over two decades, captivating audiences with its exploration of love and romance. The show follows a single bachelor as they navigate a pool of eligible contestants, leading to dramatic moments, emotional revelations, and the pursuit of lasting love.

The Bachelor In Paradise:

A spinoff of “The Bachelor,” “Bachelor in Paradise” offers a tropical setting where former contestants explore new romantic connections. The show’s success lies in its mix of drama, unexpected twists, and the continuation of romantic storylines from previous seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”

FBI:

“FBI” follows the elite agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as they tackle various criminal cases in New York City. With its gripping storytelling and character development, the show has become a favorite among fans of crime dramas.

Top Watched Show By Canadian Viewers


Survivor

(described previously)

The Amazing Race Canada, By CTV – Screenshot, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75167940

The Amazing Race Canada:

A reality competition where teams race across various Canadian locations, completing challenges and facing elimination at each pit stop. The show showcases the diverse landscapes of Canada, fostering national pride among viewers.

The Masked Singer

(described previously)

Big Brother

(described previously)

The Amazing Race

(described previously)

Magnum, P.I.

A modern-day reboot of the classic series, following Thomas Magnum, a private investigator solving cases in Hawaii.

Kitchen Nightmares

Hosted by chef Gordon Ramsay, this reality series focuses on turning around failing restaurants. Canadians appreciate Ramsay’s straightforward approach and the intriguing transformations of struggling establishments.

The Traitors Canada

The show’s premise involves contestants working undercover in a high-stakes espionage competition.

Hell’s Kitchen

Chef Gordon Ramsay returns to host this cooking competition, putting aspiring chefs through rigorous challenges. The intense culinary battles and Ramsay’s fiery personality contribute to the show’s popularity.

Saturday Night Live

A long-running award-winning sketch comedy show known for its satirical humour, musical performances and celebrity guest hosts.

Murdoch Mysteries

A historical detective drama set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, following Detective William Murdoch as he solves crimes using innovative forensic techniques.

Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test

A reality competition showcasing elite military training exercises from around the world. The physical and mental challenges appeal to viewers’ fascination with extraordinary feats of strength and endurance.

The layout of the Jeopardy! game board since November 26, 2001, showing the dollar values used in the first round (in the second round, the values are doubled). Categories at the top of the board vary between each round and episode.

Layout of the game board for the first round of the U.S. version of the television game show Jeopardy! The categories are taken from episode #6597, aired April 30, 2013. Dimensions, colors, and typefaces are approximated. The image is self-created, and it is presumed that the layout is ineligible for copyright protection under U.S. laws. The image is intended to be a more accurate and efficient replacement for the raster image 

Jeopardy! game board, Kinu Panda – Own work CC BY-SA 4.0

Jeopardy!

The classic quiz show where contestants answer in the form of a question, testing their knowledge across various categories.

Hudson & Rex

A crime procedural drama featuring a detective and his K-9 partner solving crimes in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Snake Oil

A comedic game show where contestants pitch ridiculous products to celebrity judges.

Hockey Night in Canada

A Canadian institution, this iconic show broadcasts NHL games, fostering a deep connection between Canadians and their beloved sport of hockey. The cultural significance of hockey makes this show a staple in Canadian households.


The Streaming Revolution: A Paradigm Shift in Television Entertainment

In recent years, the landscape of television entertainment has undergone a seismic shift, with streaming platforms emerging as the vanguard of innovative and compelling content. The allure of on-demand access to a vast library of shows has led to the ascent of streaming services, revolutionizing how audiences consume entertainment. This transformation has not only introduced a new era of convenience but has also paved the way for a wave of top-tier streaming shows that serve as a captivating alternative to traditional network television.

Dead Ringers

One notable example of this streaming renaissance is the critically acclaimed series, “Dead Ringers” (Amazon Prime). Its departure from the conventional television format allows for a narrative depth and complexity that might be challenging to achieve within the constraints of network TV. The show, featuring the mesmerizing performance of Rachel Weisz, delves into the realm of doppelgänger duplicity, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and character development.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

The advent of platforms like Amazon Prime, Paramount+ have also given rise to the expansion of beloved franchises, such as with “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” This series showcases how streaming services facilitate the resurrection of iconic franchises, providing a fresh take while preserving the nostalgic elements that fans cherish. The episodic structure and soulful cast breathe new life into the Star Trek universe, offering an engaging alternative to the more formulaic network TV programming.

Gen V

Streaming not only fosters creativity but also encourages the exploration of darker and more subversive themes, exemplified by “GEN V” (Amazon Prime). This series builds upon the success of its origin series, “The Boys,”(Amazon Prime) by pushing the envelope of what is traditionally deemed acceptable on network television.

Succession

The pinnacle of streaming success is perhaps epitomized by the final season of “Succession” (Crave), Its uncompromising brilliance and colorfully profane storytelling underline the creative liberty streaming platforms offer. The saga of the backbiting Roy family is meticulously crafted, unburdened by the constraints that network television often imposes, making it a must-watch for those seeking a sophisticated and unfiltered viewing experience.

The Last of Us

As viewers seek content that resonates with their preferences and schedules, streaming services provide a haven for diverse storytelling and unparalleled creative expression. One of the most remarkable examples is the adaptation of the acclaimed video game, “The Last of Us”(Crave). Its success lies not just in the faithful portrayal of the source material but in the ability to delve deeper into the narrative, creating a binge-worthy TV experience that stands among the greatest video game adaptations of all time.

Yellowjackets

“Yellowjackets,” (Paramount+) with its startling first impression and mesmeric ambience, proves that streaming platforms are not just about convenience but about cultivating an immersive and long-lasting connection with the audience. The second season prepares for a more extended journey, showcasing the commitment to storytelling that transcends the traditional episodic structure.

Ashoka review out now on Disney+

Star Wars: Ahsoka

Beyond fictional narratives, streaming platforms have become the go-to destination for franchise expansions.Star Wars: Ahsoka (Disney+) leverages the streaming medium to offer a balanced blend of old and new elements, creating a must-watch experience for fans of the iconic saga.

Ted Lasso, Apple TV

Ted Lasso and Loki

“Ted Lasso Season 3” on Apple TV and “Loki Season 2” on Disney+ illustrate the enduring appeal of streaming. These shows, although taking time to find their footing, benefit from the patience of viewers who appreciate the flexibility streaming provides in terms of character development and plot arcs.

Bupkis

Lastly, “Bupkis Season 1” (Peacock, Showcase in Canada) exemplifies the potential of streaming in experimenting with formats. Pete Davidson’s second venture into playing a fictionalized version of himself may feel faintly recycled, but the show’s depth and supporting cast ensure that it adds up to more than just Bupkis.

Cinematic Gems of 2023: A Spotlight on the Year’s Most Important Films

Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret

In the cinematic tapestry of 2023, certain films stand out as true artistic achievements, transcending mere entertainment to make a lasting impact on audiences. Among these gems, “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret” emerges as a poignant exploration of the trials of puberty. The critics’ consensus describes it as effervescent and refreshingly frank, doing full justice to Judy Blume’s seminal novel. Led by a stellar cast including Rachel McAdams, Abby Ryder Fortson, Elle Graham, and Benny Safdie, the film, directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, resonates with authenticity and captures the essence of a classic work that has influenced generations for over fifty years.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” continues the Oscar-winning Spider-Verse saga, thrilling audiences from start to cliffhanger conclusion. The visually dazzling and action-packed sequel stars Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac, and Jake Johnson, with direction by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson. Critics laud the film’s ability to captivate audiences and build upon the success of its predecessor.

John Wick: Chapter 4

“John Wick: Chapter 4” piles on more of everything, proving that there can never be too much of Keanu Reeves dispatching enemies in lethally balletic style. The film’s synopsis promises an epic journey as John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table, with a star-studded cast including Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, and Laurence Fishburne. Directed by Chad Stahelski, the film continues to establish itself as a thrilling and stylish action franchise.

Oppenheimer movie review

Oppenheimer

“Oppenheimer” represents another engrossing achievement from Christopher Nolan, benefitting from Murphy’s tour-de-force performance and stunning visuals. The film delves into the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, featuring a stellar cast including Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., and Matt Damon. Christopher Nolan’s direction ensures a captivating exploration of historical events with a contemporary lens.

AIR

“AIR” dramatizes events that changed the sports world forever, revealing the game-changing partnership between rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball. Directed by Ben Affleck and starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, and Viola Davis, the fact-based drama hits almost nothing but net. The film offers a unique perspective on a pivotal moment in sports history.

Poor Things

“Poor Things” is a bizarre, brilliant tour de force directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Emma Stone. The film takes audiences on an imaginative and exhilarating journey, celebrating the incredible tale and fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter. The cast, also featuring Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, and Christopher Abbott, contributes to the film’s wild and captivating narrative.

May December

“May December” presents a seductively discomfiting watch, swaddling its difficult fact-based story in a blanket of campy humor. Directed by Todd Haynes, the film follows the notorious tabloid romance of Gracie Atherton-Yu and her husband Joe, portrayed by Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Cory Michael Smith, and Charles Melton.

Barbie

Barbieemerges as a visually dazzling comedy with smartly complemented meta humour and subversive storytelling. Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, and Kate McKinnon, the film offers a unique perspective on perfection and societal expectations.

Fair Play

“Fair Play” combines belly-busting humour with delightfully over-the-top gore, offering a feast for grindhouse fans. The film juxtaposes premarital disharmony with greed and gender politics in the cutthroat finance world. Directed by Chloe Domont and starring Phoebe Dynevor, Alden Ehrenreich, Eddie Marsan, and Rich Sommer, “Fair Play” stands out as a thrilling addition to the genre.

Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving” promises a feast of belly-busting humor and over-the-top gore, captivating grindhouse fans. Directed by Eli Roth and featuring a cast including Patrick Dempsey, Ty Olsson, Gina Gershon, and Lynne Griffin, the film explores the terror unleashed by a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Priscilla

“Priscilla” sees Sofia Coppola taking a tender yet clear-eyed look at the toxic blend created by mixing first love and fame. Cailee Spaeny’s performance in the title role leads the way, supported by Jacob Elordi, Dagmara Domińczyk, and Raine Monroe Boland. The film explores the meeting between teenage Priscilla and Elvis Presley.

by Myles Shane

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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