By: G. H. Harding

Damien Lewis

GOOD NIGHT --- Sunday’s Homeland (“Good Night”) was just riveting; Damien Lewis, who has been missing for most of the season, is back and firing on all cylinders. It’s just remarkable how much Lewis’ presence energizes this show; his absence proved that irrefutable fact.

The critics have repeatedly lambasted this season as slow and confusing, but, with Lewis back in the last two and the final three has re-calibrated this show into what it was in season 1. Lewis, now behind enemy lines is queuing up one last major play that could well turn his character’s morale totally around and give him the honor of redemption he's always wanted ... and, deserved.

There are some pundits calling and hoping for the demise of Lewis’ character Brody … but, I don’t see how the show could proceed without him. He is Homeland. Must see TV for sure.

Joan Jett And Dayme

MACYS ON PARADE --- For my entire life, I would rise on Thanksgiving and turn on the Macy’s Day Parade.  Last week I did the same thing (their 78th such event) and several things jumped out at me during the parade: First: the appearance of Joan Jett? Not the first person I’d expect to see. But, it was a welcome surprise… and, even better, seeing life-long manager Kenny Laguna standing not three feet away. I’m sure the crowd thought he was security… and, he is.

Second, The Goo Goo Dolls. Great band … but, I could not make out what they were singing … or, promoting. Johnny Rzeznik and band were terrific.

Third: Sharon Jones singing Ain’t no chimneys in the projects… just brilliant. Fourth Richard Simmons.

Also in the parade, were: Ariana Grande, Jack Hannah, Megan Hilty, Sandra Lee, Cher Lloyd ... well done all.

SON OF PARK RIDGE --- As a teenager, James Gandolfini would hang out with friends on Friday nights at the Ridge Diner in Brooklyn, on Park Avenue between his house and his high school. Many years later, the man known to millions as Tony Soprano, brought his son there and told him tales of his childhood. On Sunday, the busy intersection by the diner was closed off to dedicate a stretch of Park Avenue to Gandolfini, the son of Park Ridge Brooklyn, as the mayor called him.

He died in June of a heart attack. Various Park Ridge residents remembered Gandolfini as the skinny kid who would perform at the Little Theater at Park Ridge High School and who later became a humble star who remained devoted to his family. Gandolfini has also appeared in numerous films, including the current hit, Enough Said.

Joining Gandolfini’s wife, Deborah Lin, and son, Michael Gandolfini on Sunday were Sopranos director Timothy Van Patten and cast members Steve Schirripa, Vincent Curatola, Tony Sirico, Dominic Chianese, Vincent Pastore and John Ventimiglia. Several town, county and state politicians also showed up. We miss you Jimmy!

CLOSING NOTES --- How about weather maven Sam Champion leaving Good Morning America and heading to the Weather Channel? With GMA’s rise in the ratings last year; that’s been the show everyone wants to get on. I've known Sam for quite some time and though he doesn't suffer fools gladly, he’s the real deal. All the best Mr. Champion…

Paul Walker’s passing is just plain sad. I wasn't a devotee of the 2.4 billion Fast And Furious franchise, but clearly I was in the minority. From all accounts, Walker was a standout individual, running his own charity and appearing at many, many charitable events. Sad. RIP Paul …

Phil Collins never officially retired. There was originally his book on The Alamo, there were statements about wanting to spend more time with his family and reports of nerve damage to his hands and back problems that meant he had to tape the drum sticks to his hands.

All of that may now be in the past as he has told the German paper Bild am Sonntag that he is considering coming back to music. His two boys have moved to Miami with his ex-wife, who has remarried and Collins has taken a small apartment in New York to be a bit closer to them.

More importantly to the music world, he has begun to write again and is thinking about performing. "I have started thinking about doing new stuff. Maybe playing some shows again, even with Genesis. Everything is possible. We could tour in Australia and South America. We haven't been there yet." Sounds like a plan! …

15 years of Kent Kotal's Forgotten Hits... amazing. Kent's encyclopedic-like knowledge of legacy bands and artists is beyond reproach. The daily sheet is chick full of information and his very, in-depth interview with Burton Cummings of The Guess Who, was stunning. Check them out here: www.Forgottenhits.com. Good luck Kent!