Thursday, December 11, 2014

Golden Globe Nominations

 

Right on the heels of yesterday's announcement of the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, we are presented with those for the Golden Globes. This list has some similarities to the SAGs but also some differences.  Nice to finally have the CW break into the race in an acting category (Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin) - long overdue ... Supernatural's Jensen Ackles should have been nominated years ago.  There are some new contenders, like Showtime's The Affair, FX's Fargo, and Amazon's TransparentAmerican Horror Story: Freak Show only scored two nomination (Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates).  But where are deserving candidates like Bellamy Young from ABC's Scandal, Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany or pretty much anyone from NBC's Parenthood or USA's Suits?  No noms for The Walking Dead, Justified or Sons of Anarchy either.  But hey, who'd have thought ABC's Modern Family would ever fail to make a list? And really, is anyone watching Showtime's Nurse Jackie ... Edie Falco never fails to get nominated, ever, yet I never see or hear anything about the series!

Anyhoo, here are the TV nominations:

BEST TELEVISION SERIES - DRAMA
The Affair (Showtime)
Downton Abbey (PBS)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Wife (CBS)
House of Cards (Netflix)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES - DRAMA
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Ruth Wilson, The Affair
Robin Wright, House of Cards

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TV SERIES - DRAMA
Clive Owen, The Knick
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
James Spader, The Blacklist
Dominic West, The Affair

BEST TELEVISION SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Girls (HBO)
Jane the Virgin (CW)
Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon Studios INSTANT VIDEO)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TV SERIES - COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Louis CK, Louis
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

BEST MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TV
Fargo (FX)
The Missing (Starz)
The Normal Heart (HBO)
Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
True Detective (HBO)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TV
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge
Frances O'Connot, The Missing
Allison Tolman, Fargo

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TV
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TV
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Freak Show
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Allison Janney, Mom
Michelle Monaghan, True Detective

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TV
Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Colin Hanks, Fargo
Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SAG Award Nominations

 

Seasons Greetings, TV Tourists, and welcome to award season!

Wish I could say, as I always do, that there would be new additions to the roster of new TV nominees for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, but aside from Tatiana Maslany's well-deserved nom for her many roles in BBC America's Orphan Black and Viola Davis' on ABC's How to Get Away With Murder, it's pretty much same-old-same-old, which makes for a rather mundane celebration (but yay HBO's Game of Thrones, The Big Bang Theory and Orange is the New Black!).  Maybe someday things will change, but until then, here are the (usual for the most part) nominees:

DRAMA ENSEMBLE
Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
House of Cards

COMEDY ENSEMBLE
The Big Bang Theory
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Modern Family
Orange is the New Black
Veep

DRAMA ACTOR
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

DRAMA ACTRESS
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
 Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Robin Wright, House of Cards

COMEDY ACTOR
Ty Burell, Modern Family
Louis CK, Louie
William Macy, Shameless
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

COMEDY ACTRESS
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES - MALE ACTOR
Adrien Brody, Houdini
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES - FEMALE ACTOR
Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman
Frances McDorman, Olive Kitteridge
Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

STUNT TEAM
24:  Live Another Day
Boardwalk Empire
Game of Thrones
Homeland
Sons of Anarchy
The Walking Dead

The Screen Actors Guild Awards air Sunday, Jan. 25 on TNT and TBS.

Monday, November 17, 2014

TV Storytime!

 

Greetings, TV Tourists!

I had a little time on my hands the other day and decided to write a story incorporating most of the current TV show titles in it as possible.  Enjoy!

ONCE UPON A TIME there were 2 BROKE GIRLS, Callie and Sally, who lived modestly - no SUITS to their name - in a little SLEEPY HOLLOW in the woods.  Life had not been easy for them; actually, it had been a veritable SHARK TANK, but rather than seek REVENGE against their misfortune - which would feel like an ARROW to their hearts - they dreamed about being happy, singing on the moon, DANCING WITH THE STARS and living in a CASTLE in the sky.

One day they decided to expand their horizons and go on an adventure.  They traveled from GOTHAM to NASHVILLE (though it was a little too HOT IN CLEVELAND for their liking).  But a STALKER following them separated them (as the actions of CRIMINAL MINDS will often do).

Callie got help from a DOCTOR WHO brought her to THE RED BAND SOCIETY, who taught her how to be a SURVIVOR.

Sally set out on a series of COVERT AFFAIRS, eventually meeting a FAMILY GUY who she married.  Alas, PARENTHOOD eluded them for years.  Not even reading GREY's ANATOMY cover to cover gave them a medical explanation.  They pursued a SUPERNATURAL method after finding a series of VAMPIRE DIARIES in an occult bookstore, but THE FLASH of dark magic they encountered - it felt like a SCORPION bite - had them reconsidering that course of action before it became a public SCANDAL.  Besides, they'd rather run through life than join THE WALKING DEAD!

So they posted a SELFIE of them content as a happy couple online.  Callie saw it and ran an AMAZING RACE to reunite with her.

When they saw each other at last, they couldn't believe how good they looked - either could be AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL!  But they came to the conclusion that would put THE BIG BANG THEORY to shame:

If they ever set out on a journey again, they would have one of MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD as an escort and have HAWAII FIVE-0 on speed dial!

(Those last two were challenging to work in. MADAM SECRETARY was too much of a stretch!)  :)

As always, Happy Viewing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Congrats on #200 Supernatural ... and Thanks


Supernatural's 200th episode aired tonight, and, as it has been called for months, it truly was a love letter to the fans.  And it was awesome!

This show loves to go meta, and has done so numerous times with hilarious results, and tonight definitely earned its place on that mantle.


An all-girls high school produced a musical stage version based on the Supernatural books, written by Carver Edlund, as introduced in the Season 4 episode "The Monster at the End of This Book."  (For those out of the know, Chuck Shirley (the aforementioned Carver, his pen name, played by Rob Benedict), a prophet of the Lord, was the author of the Winchester chronicles - aka Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean's (Jensen Ackles) lives - which were published as a series of books which have a massive cult following - another nod to Supernatural's dedicated, passionate fan base).

Turns out the goddess Calliope is a fan of Supernatural as well, and has come to enjoy the show and, after the curtain falls, eat the author (guest star Katie Sarife).  She's the Monster of the Week, but second fiddle to all the in-jokes, easter eggs and overall nods to the long-running series.

There are some wonderful brotherly moments - reminders of why we the fans love the show - some true belly-deep LOL moments and a great jaw-dropping surprise at the end.

Thanks to the PTBs at Supernatrual for a truly terrific 200th ep.  And congrats to the cast and crew for an amazing run.  Here's to the next 200!


Supernatural airs Tuesdays at 9pm on the CW.

BTW, also celebrating 10 seasons this year are CBS' Criminal Minds and ABC's Grey's Anatomy.  2005 was a hell of a year for new TV!



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thoughts - Supernatural Season 10 So Far

 

After last season's incredible, shocking finale - Dean (Jensen Ackles) becomes a demon after he dies thanks to the Mark of Cain - I couldn't wait to see what happens this season.  It was a long summer waiting, relieved by a little sneak peak at Comic-con in July.  I was thrilled Ackles would be directing another episode, in this case the episode where Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean have a major confrontation after being initially separated at the season's start.

Brief catch-up:  Sam brought Dean's body back to their bunker and was determined to find a way to bring him back (they do it a lot, so there was no reason to doubt), starting with Crowley (Mark A. Sheppard).  But Crowley was a step ahead, talking to Dean about his new life as a demon, and our last shot is of Dean's new demon black eyes. 

 

Cut to the premiere, which brings us weeks later.  Dean had taken off with new BFF Crowley for a life of drinking, karaoke and general debauchery. 


 

All he left Sam was a note telling his bro to let him go (yeah right).  Sam began a dark journey to find Dean and bring him home to cure him (yep, they learned how to cure demons at the end of season 8).  Crowley really came to Dean to establish the perfect Hell (he's the King of it) but Dean was happy just being his new freely evil self.  Crowley soon realized he couldn't contain Dean and went to give him back to Sam, who managed to capture his rogue brother, bring him home and begin the treatment.

 

Cut to last night.  The big confrontation.  It was a rather tense hour and Dean said things to Sam that may have repercussions later.  But unfortunately what I was hoping would happen when the season started - that the writers would find a way to keep Demon Dean around and have him still be the good Dean we've come to know and love - some kind of balance - didn't.  Instead Sam managed to cure Dean by the end of the hour.  Only episode 3 and we've brought everything pretty much back to normal.

It's too quick, too easy a fix for me, and too soon.  I was hoping for more.  They have hinted of future complications, being that Dean still carries the Mark, and they introduced who is to be the likely Big Bad for the season, but I just wished we could have stayed on the other path for longer.  But you know I love me some Dean-and-Sam-back-in-action-together ... action, and the season is still very young, but that's just my thoughts on last night's developments.

Supernatural airs Tuesdays at 9pm on the CW.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The New TV Season So Far

Greetings, TV Tourists!

So we are several weeks into the new TV season and most of the new shows have premiered and are at least a couple of episodes in.  I've been able to watch most of the pilots and first eps and surprisingly I'm actually sticking with a great deal of them as they continue to draw me into their onscreen families and storylines.

Stand-outs for me include:

 

Also still-worth-coming-back-to:


 

Then there's one losing ground with me:


 

Had high hopes, but when I'm writing or doing other stuff while it's on, it's never a good sign.

And I've dropped:


 

Not that it's not good, and I am a big Shonda Rhimes fan, but with all I'm watching, something had to go, and this was the first one I felt no pangs over missing.

Of course, I still have all the shows that have returned!  Just a few include:



 

And more.
Yeah.
I watch a LOT of TV.
But hey, at least I get to share it with you!

Happy continued viewing, Tourists!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review - American Horror Story: Freak Show

 

Just in time for Halloween, the latest incarnation of FX's American Horror Story saga has premiered, and man, whoever thinks this anthology series can get any more twisted, cross any more lines of insane freakiness or just get any more f**ked up doesn't know this show's pedigree ... or penchant for addictive viewing.


THE LOWDOWN


Like its predecessors,  American Horror Story: Freak Show focuses on a specific group of people in a particular place and time (well, actually Asylum covered two time period, but some of the same characters in each, but I digress).  Here it's 1952 in the sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida.  We're taken into the world of a small time carnival, run by Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) and its assorted attraction of "curiosities", including a two-headed woman (Sarah Paulson), a three-breasted woman (Angela Bassett), a bearded lady (Kathy Bates), a strong man (Michael Chiklis, The Shield, No Ordinary Family), and others.  Their arrival in town coincides with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike, embarking them on a desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience. 


With each of the AHS series, one thing I've always loved - and envied - is that the same actors get to return each time to play entirely new characters.  It's an actors dream, like a nationally televised community theatre troupe.  And those actors are among some of the best, embracing full force whatever is thrown at them.  I mean, do you think Paulson would ever have imagined she'd play a woman with two heads?  But I have no doubt these folks are having a blast.  This season is rumored to be Lange's last, but how can she walk away from a show that allows her to be such a broad array of characters - it's seriously never the same show twice ... except in its aforementioned twisted sicky goodness.

Additionally returning for another round are AHS first string players Evan Peters, Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) and Emma Roberts, with others who could pop up unexpectedly.  

 

And joining the Freak Show cast - appropriately so - is 20-year-old Indian actress Jyoti Amge, who is the world's shortest woman, standing a mere 2'6" tall.  

From moment one Paulson's dual-headed character says it all:

"Dear Diary:  it was a Saturday, the third of September that the world as I had known was forever doomed.  The shadows that had sheltered me were banished by the blinding light of scrutiny.  I knew I was about to enter the gates of Hell, but like the inescapable pull of gravity, there was nothing I could do about it." 

*insert shudder here* 

I really liked the original AHS, didn't care for the second, Asylum, and my favorite was the last, Coven.  I both know what and what not to expect from the series, and so far I'm intrigued by Freak Show, especially watching the actors embrace their respective oddities, which so far are created masterfully by both make-up and CGI.   The cinematography is very Kubrick-esque, which definitely works for the genre.  I particularly like how a split-screen is used to differentiate which Paulson sister we're focusing on, and Paulson's brilliance at making them so distinct in their differing personalities (but it looks like it was rather uncomfortable for her, having to slant her head to the side much to accommodate the addition of a second head ... even writing that is so WTF!)  

As always, you can count on the opening title sequence to be unsettling, and this gets that job done in spades.  The score is equally chilling and includes a lot of maddening, taunting versions of carnival music.  And naturally you have to have a killer clown.  A creepy, dirty, horrifying, disturbing, frightening, did I mention creepy? clown.  I hate clowns, and now I really, REALLY hate them.  This guy is terrifying and I am so very very glad he's not chasing me (though he might be tonight in my nightmares).

*insert really big shudder here*

I'm not going to say more ... this show definitely can speak for itself and frankly, I don't have the words.  All I can say is, it's wicked creepy good viewing - with the lights completely on!

BOTTOM LINEBe afraid, be very afraid ... of missing this show!


 American Horror Story: Freak Show airs Wednesdays at 10pm on FX.