Sunday, January 11, 2015

Congratulations, Golden Globe Winners for TV

 

Congratulations to all of tonight's winners in the TV categories at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards!

Drama Series: The Affair (Showtime)
Comedy SeriesTransparent (Amazon Originals)
Actor, DramaKevin Spacey, House of Cards (Netflix)
Actress, DramaRuth Wilson, The Affair (Showtime)
Actor, Comedy Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon Originals)
Actress, Comedy Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin (The CW)
Actor, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TVBilly Bob Thornton, Fargo (FX)
Actress, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TVMaggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman (Sundance TV)
Supporting Actor:  Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart (HBO)
Supporting ActressJoanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey (PBS)


On a side note, kudos to The CW not only for their first win (go, Gina!) but also for the early renewals of Supernatural, The Flash, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries and Jane the Virgin (also Reign and The 100)!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review - MARVEL's Agent Carter


On the big screen, Marvel can seemingly do no wrong.  On the small screen, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gained momentum and seems to finally be coming into its own with stronger, more exciting storylines and action.

Now, during S.H.I.E.L.D's winter hiatus, ABC is re-introducing us to Peggy Carter, the beautiful-but-tough-as-nails S.H.I.E.L.D. agent we first met in Captain America: The First Avenger in Marvel's Agent Carter.  I love me a strong female character who kicks ass in any capacity, so how does Peggy measure up?

THE LOWDOWN
It’s 1946, and post WWII peace has dealt Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized into a desk job when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve),  Peggy must maintain a tripe life, balancing mundane administrative work, her phone company operator cover story for those in her personal life, including roommate olleen (Ashley Hinshaw (True Blood), and action-packed secret missions for her boss Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper). Also co-stars Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire), Lyndsy Forseca (Nikita), Kyle Bornheimer (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Meagen Fay (Malcolm in the Middle), and Bridget Regan (Jane the Virgin).

 

The great thing about Marvel owning their own stuff is that they can use it in any way they see fit, so I loved seeing the footage of Captain America in various scenes from The First Avenger in a nifty opening montage, showing Peggy's life then and now and how she's coped (or not?) with the loss of her (potentially) great love Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who (SPOILER ALERT!) seemingly died at the end of the film (Of course he was found frozen in ice decades later, awakened and later reunited with Peggy and shared a sweet relationship with her in her final, elderly years).

Before Agent Carter, there was another spy series that centered around a formidable woman, Alias, starring Jennifer Garner, which, at least in its first couple of seasons, was awesome (and recommended by me for binge-watching), with terrific action sequences, lots of costume changes, bits of humor and wit, and of course tension as Garner's Sydney Bristow tackled with not getting caught in her double life.

 

Agent Carter has many of these same elements, and Atwell is good in the role.  She wears the style of the 40s well, red lips and all.  The character definitely fights an uphill battle daily against most of her male colleagues as they demean and degrade her importance and relevance, and you feel for her and root for her to stay strong, which she does.  I like that we get to meet the man who inspired Howard's son Tony Stark's (played by Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man and The Avengers) computer attache Jarvis - here he's Howard's butler Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy, Broadchurch), who is a bit of a prim-and-proper comic sidekick for Peggy.

I wish I could say I loved the pilot, but I didn't have as much fun or get pulled in as much as I'd hoped to.  Admittedly, while I acknowledge this is still within a comic book-esque universe, the supernatural elements thrown in kind of seemed out of place here.  And honestly, though the character of Peggy Carter is one to admire as a strong woman in a very-much man's world and one that makes sense to have a series created around, I just don't think she works well as the lead focus of a series, but rather as she was originally established - the companion, the supporting character ... in the case of the Marvel Universe, as Steve Rogers' femme fatale.  I can name other female spy series that work better, at least for me - the aforementioned Alias, the CW's Nikita, and USA's recently cancelled Covert Affairs.

Since this is a short-lived series, and because it may set up important information within the Marvel Universe films and on S.H.I.E.L.D., I'll watch it in its entirety and hope that I get into it more.  But it falls short of being a winner and must-see draw for me.


Marvel's Agent Carter airs Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC.

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.