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TV Q&A: Royal interest in whether 'Victoria' will return

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Jenna Coleman in "Victoria"

Q • There was a “Masterpiece” series on PBS called “Victoria.” I believe there was to be another season as we were left hanging regarding Prince Albert. Will this series be back?

A • The death of Queen Elizabeth II has reignited interest in British royalty. Netflix’s “The Crown,” about the complex personal side of Elizabeth’s reign, reportedly saw a surge in viewing after the Queen died. (And there will be fifth and sixth seasons of that series.) “Victoria” starred Jenna Coleman as the earlier monarch (and, before Elizabeth, the longest ruling one in Britain) in her younger years. (“The Crown” has had several actors playing Elizabeth at different ages.) “Victoria” aired for three seasons from 2016 to 2019, but there have been no announced plans for a fourth season so far. Still, you can see Coleman in a different role currently in the Netflix drama “The Sandman.”

Q • When did streaming shows become pornography? I am not a prude, but it seems like most of the new series concentrate more on sex than the plot. A perfect example is the series “Industry.” After the first or second episode you get lost from the plot, and it becomes a porn series.

A • I find myself recalling an answer I used to give to the more general questions about why is so much TV (a) bad, (b) junk or © dirty. The answer, simply, is that it depends on what you like and where you look. Recent Emmy winners such as “Abbott Elementary,” “Ted Lasso” and “Succession” are all quality shows — one broadcast, one streaming and one cable, by the way — and “Succession” is the only one that’s sexually provocative. Sure, there are shows with eyebrow-raising scenes out there. But if you venture across the streaming world, you can find also find series like “Sweet Magnolias,” “Ms. Marvel,” “Schmigadoon!,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “Leverage: Redemption” and “Virgin River,” which appeal to a variety of tastes with relatively inoffensive content. And those shows do find their fans, as the next letter demonstrates.

Q • I stumbled onto a Netflix series called “Virgin River” and quickly became a fan. I watched all four seasons, but the last episode left many questions unanswered. Is a fifth season planned?

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A • The serialized drama based on the novels by Robyn Carr is what one critic called “comfort viewing,” and enough people have been comforted that a fifth season is on the way. I have not seen an air date.

Q • I was wondering if the character actor Paul Smith is still alive. He was on many 1960s sitcoms, including “The Doris Day Show” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” He would be in his 90s now.

A • Sometimes billed as A. Paul Smith or A.P. Smith (apparently to avoid confusion with another actor named Paul Smith), the actor you remember died in 2006 at age 77, according to IMDb. In about 30 years of screen roles, he amassed dozens of credits, among them the shows you mentioned along with “Bewitched,” “Batman,” “McHale’s Navy” and more.

Q • Having watched episodes of “Blue Bloods,” on occasion I have noticed a strong resemblance between Marisa Ramirez, who plays Detective Baez, and Deborah Van Valkenburgh, from the 1979 movie “The Warriors.” Are they related?

A • No. By the way, some viewers may know Van Valkenburgh for many TV roles, including on the sitcom “Too Close for Comfort.”

By Rich Heldenfels, Tribune News Service

Send questions to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or brenfels@gmail.com.

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