The Volkskrant TV selection for Sunday 1 January

Image from ‘Early Man’ by Nick Park.

alright thanks

NPO 3, at 10.03

At the age of 12, shy Jamie moves to a boarding school for the deaf. Together with her cheeky classmate Imane, she takes a trip to Paris, but when things don’t go as planned, the two end up in an unexpected adventure. The telefilm alright thanks by Nicole van Kilsdonk (Ventoux) is a combination of coming-of-age drama and road movie. All the deaf characters in the film are deaf in real life, making their interactions realistic and believable.

Early man

BBC1, at 11 a.m

(Animation, Nick Park, 2018) Early man from puppet animation master Nick Park is set between the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. A group of fuzzy primeval humans, led by the caveman Dug, are pitted against a group of Bronze Age humans in a football match. The thick-browed cavemen with pig noses stand in beautiful contrast to the long-haired, overpaid football stars. Early man follows the laws of the loser-in-the-sports movie so neatly that the intricacies are quite predictable, but then another monster duck appears with teeth, a mammoth in ridiculously lavish bronze armor, or some strange black-and-white caterpillar that later doubles as a football boot. And then this Aardman production is craftsmanship to love.

Pete’s Dragon

BBC1, 12.20

(Fantasy, David Lowery, 2016) After a car accident, young Pete ends up in a forest where he spends the next few years with a bright green dragon he calls Elliot. Director David Lowery, a rather idiosyncratic filmmaker who received much praise for his sultry western Aren’t they Bodies Saintsconcocted an entirely new story, only distantly reminiscent of Disney’s original Peter and the dragon from 1977. Hans Pete’s Dragon is a pleasantly old-fashioned, thought-provoking drama, rich in atmosphere and realistic details.

Oakes Fegley in David Lowery's 'Pete's Dragon'.  Picture

Oakes Fegley in David Lowery’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’.

The progenitor

NPO 1, 21.28

When he becomes a father, journalist Alexander Münninghoff decides to confront his family past. The story of the dysfunctional Münninghoff family is dominated by World War II, a wealthy, domineering grandfather, and a father who was in the SS. The 8-part drama series Forfaderen is based on Münninghoff’s book. In the series directed by Diederik van Rooijen (Penoza), he is played by Matthijs van de Sande Bakhuyzen.

The cats together one more time

NPO 2, 21.49

The Ålelyd tradition can be traced back to The Cats. The pop group from Volendam scored some hits from the mid-sixties, but the big success came when Piet Veerman became the lead singer. In The Cats together, Jan Slagter is remembered once again with all living band members. The tradition of The Cats is continued by the Tribute to The Cats Band. At 17.10, Omroep Max presents the concert on the occasion of the cover band’s 20th anniversary.

Happy Valley

BBC1 at 10 p.m

After seven years, there is the sequel to the popular British crime series Happy Valley. Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) is still working for the West Yorkshire Police and discovers the remains of a gang war victim. The trail leads back to Tommy Lee Royce (Edward Norton), Catherine’s daughter’s rapist. Catherine refuses to recognize the criminal as her granddaughter’s father, but the now 16-year-old Ryan has his own ideas about that.

Long shot

BBC1, 12.45pm

(Comedy, Jonathan Levine, 2019) Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen) is recruited into the presidential campaign of his former neighbor/teen crush Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron). Her chances of getting the job are slim, as are the chances of his feelings for her ever being reciprocated, but in this feel-good universe, the outcome is anyone’s guess. Stronger is the political satire that the creators commit and the amusing way in which traditional gender patterns are dissected: the convoluted way in which a woman with presidential ambitions must navigate the public debate is served with plenty of humor.

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in Jonathan Levine's 'Long Shot'.  Picture

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in Jonathan Levine’s ‘Long Shot’.

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