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

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Oh historical fiction, how do I love you? Let me count the ways, because thanks to some shows that aired this week, there are at least two.

I live for this genre, as you all well know, and especially when the recreations are spicy and outrageous. Can’t wait to dive in? Me too!

‘Dangerous Links’

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

I love, love, love a good origin story, especially one tied to one of my favorite movies.

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

And with its new series of the same name, Starz offers a new take on the classic story of intrigue and seduction in the French ancien regime., focusing on how Camille (played by Alice Englert) and Viscount de Valmont (played by Nicholas Denton) became lovers while taking other lovers.

I’ve seen the first few episodes of the show, and I can tell you this: There’s a reason Starz greenlit a second season before the first season even aired, because it’s a delightful period drama.

“Dangerous Liaisons” is now playing.

‘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” comes in a different way after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Imelda Staunton takes the royal title role, and the action picks up in 1992 as she struggles with her ‘annus horribilis’.

That (awful) year included a devastating fire at Windsor Castle, the disintegration of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew’s marriages, a revealing book about Princess Diana and some audiences 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 at least some of what the show depicts in real life.

“The Crown” is now streaming on Netflix.

“Say hello, Willie Mays!”

Baseball legend Willie Mays in a scene from

After the boys of summer are gone, we have a new documentary about one of the greatest baseball players to ever play.

“Say hello, Willie Mays!” examines the life and sporting legacy of the black athlete, who was widely loved for his prowess on the diamond but was criticized for not speaking out more about civil rights.

Mays is involved in the project, and having the subject speak for itself, rather than others speaking about it, brings a real richness to the narrative.

It’s now available 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 at Alice Tully Hall on November 8, 2021 in New York City.

Bruce Springsteen is far from slowing down.

The Boss rocker has a new album out this week, and this time the famous songwriter is tackling other people’s material.

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

“In my own memoirs, I kind of give my voice a voice saying that I didn’t think I had much,” Springsteen said in a video about the new album. “But once I started on this project, after hearing some of the stuff we cut, I thought, ‘My voice is bad.'”

The album is out now.

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

One Direction is a gift that keeps on giving.

All of its former members have released successful careers since the group disbanded, with Louis Tomlinson’s latest solo release.

Tomlinson has long teased that he was getting back into the studio and working on new music. “After living 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.”

“Faith in the Future” is also available now.

Cher and Alexander Edwards pictured on November 2 in Los Angeles.

See you, Cher!

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

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

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

Do not care. If you “believe” in life i love after 70 raise your hand and celebrate with me Cher for doing what she wants and how she wants to do it.

Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda in a scene from

The world may not be ready for the emotional ride that is the “Black Panther” sequel.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is steeped in 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 wrote about how Boseman left us at a time when we needed a superhero the most. That hasn’t changed, and the new film finds Wakanda in a moment of crisis, as many of us feel the world is now. But life and art go on, which is one of the reasons we mourn so deeply while celebrating how lucky we were to have had those we’ve lost, if only for a short time.

So when the lights start going down in movie theaters around the world this weekend, I’d like to think that Boseman is there at every new screening of “Black Panther,” cheering on the cast he loved, and who in return loved him, like family.

Wakanda, forever.

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