It’s summer in Algonquin Bay, but there’s still a chill in the air on “Cardinal.”
The first season of the Canadian mystery series, which aired on Hulu last summer, was set in northern Ontario in the dead of winter. As emotionally tortured detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) investigated the death of a 13-year-old girl who went missing years earlier, her body found frozen in the ice. The harsh winter landscape evoked the blanket of secrets that Cardinal and his partner Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) were digging through for answers.
The second season of “Cardinal,” which premieres Friday on Hulu, is set in the middle of summer, and again the season plays a central role in the show. The forests are lush, the rivers are deep and flowing. But the flies are thick and oppressive, a reminder that in the midst of such life hides death and decay. No wonder that the Giles Blunt novel that Season 2 is adapting is called “Blackfly Season.”
This time, the case revolves around a young woman (Alex Paxton-Beesley) who shows up at a roadside bar with a bullet in her head and no memory of who she is or how she got there. “Lobotomy by gunshot,” another detective quips. Naturally, Cardinal and Delorme are intrigued, and try to help the victim recover her memory.
As the pair investigate, they discover the crime may be related to a local biker gang, and to a gruesome murder that appears to be part of some sort of ritual.
Like “The Fall” and “Broadchurch,” “Cardinal” will spend its six-episode season following this mystery. Campbell, who I’ll always think of as the square-jawed hero of Disney’s “The Rocketeer” back in 1990, is terrific as the soft-spoken Cardinal. And Vanasse is quietly fierce as Delorme, who began the series investigating Cardinal but has come to trust him.
A third season of “Cardinal” has been green-lit, and Blunt has at least six more Cardinal novels ripe for adaptation. Whatever season the next show is set in, it won’t be a peaceful one for Cardinal.
Also on streaming: “Everything Sucks!” has been described as “Stranger Things” set in the 1990s, with all the supernatural stuff taken out. The series, which premieres Friday on Netflix, follows the exploits of a group of misfit teenagers during the Clinton years. Expect lots of humor, poignancy and Spin Doctors references.
How much do you love the streaming film site Filmstruck, which features curated cinema from both the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies? Not as much as Madisonian Peter Putzel, who tweeted out that he’d love to marry the site if he wasn’t already married.
Filmstruck took him up on it in honor of Valentine’s Day, surprising him with a wedding ceremony at his place of business (my own offices at Capital Newspapers, as it turns out, where Putzel works as a night supervisor) that included a wedding cake from Lane’s Bakery and a bouquet from Felly’s Flowers. UW film professor Jeff Smith presided over the ceremony.
"It was pretty crazy, obviously," Putzel said. "I was surprised and embarrassed, but it was all worth it."
Filmstruck's hand in marriage came with a pretty handsome dowry for Peter — a lifetime subscription. For Putzel, who said he visits Filmstruck almost daily, it was a match made in heaven.
"A marriage is supposed to be for life, after all," Putzel said.