Downton Abbeymay be ending, but Maggie Smith is as busy as ever. And her latest film, The Lady in the Van, is a far cry from her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Here, Smith portrays the real-life character of Mary Shepherd, an elderly homeless woman who lives in a van. The screenwriter, Alan Bennett, recounts the story of getting to know Bennett, whose vehicular abode was parked at the end of his driveway in the Camden Town section of London. Over time, he learns of her remarkable past as a gifted pianist who ran into a string of misfortunes. Formerly an acclaimed West End play, the story has been adapted into a film, which is in theaters this weekend.
READ: The Legend of Wonder Woman
The first issue of the new digital-first nine-issue miniseries The Legend of Wonder Woman has dropped from DC Comics and should lasso the top spot on the must-read list of any fan of the Amazing Amazon. Written and pencilled by Renae De Liz (The Last Unicorn), the new series is a modern origin story starting with Diana’s life on Themyscira long before she arrived in man’s world.
WHERQ!: Agent Carter
Marvel’s plucky Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) stole our hearts last year dodging bullets and chauvinistic coworkers while secretly saving the world. Now Agent Carter returns with a new adventure set in the post-World War II 1940s, which takes Miss Carter to the sunny streets of Los Angeles as she sets out to save Southern California from going to “hell in a handbasket.” The season opener airs Tuesday on ABC.
GO: Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano at the Colosseum
The music legend is taking the stage by storm once again with his current show, The Million Dollar Piano, at the Colosseum in Las Vegas. The Elton extravaganza features a blend of classic tracks and new songs from his upcoming album which drops on February 5, Wonderful Crazy Night. Tickets are now available for performances taking place January 19–April 3, so grab yours to see the rocket man himself soaring higher than ever, and check out his touching tribute to David Bowie at a recent performance in Los Angeles in the video below.
READ: Pope Francis: The Name of God Is Mercy
Pope Francis has explained and expanded upon his famous “Who am I to judge?” comment in a new book, The Name of God Is Mercy, which has been welcomed by some LGBT Catholics and their supporters. In interview sessions with Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli, the pope reveals his vision of God’s mercy, which includes conversations on LGBT issues. “People should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love,” he stated. Read more in the book, which is the first published in his position as the Catholic Church's leader.
YAAAAS!: Hit The Floor
VH1’s scripted drama took a turn for the hotter last season when sexually fluid basketball stud Zero (Adam Senn) began having a secret affair with gay sports agent Jude Kinkade (Brent Antone) and said those three little words in the season finale: “I love you.” The upcoming third season leaves little doubt this athlete is going to be a star player on the court — and in the dating pool. Catch the premiere Monday on VH1.
GEEK OUT: Legends of Tomorrow
The current superhero shows from DC Entertainment are all moving the needle forward for diversity on TV faster than a speeding bullet. From the female-centered series like Supergirl and iZombie to the diverse cast and numerous LGBT characters appearing on The Flash and Arrow, each show is blazing a trail in its own way. Legends of Tomorrow — a spin-off series set in the same universe as Arrow and Flash — offers plenty for LGBT viewers. The team of superheroes (and villains) not only features the bisexual Sara Lance/White Canary (played by Caity Lotz); out actors Victor Garber and Wentworth Miller as Dr. Martin Stein and Captain Cold (respectively) are front and center as well. It premieres Thursday on the CW.