Aug 092012
 
Perry Laura Benanti and Matthew Perry in NBC's "Go On"

“…seriously? We were given the same time slot as “New Girl” and “Happy Endings”?”

After the final curtain at iconic show “Friends” Matthew Perry had not much luck on silver screen. Nothing was wrong with any of the scripts he picked. Sorkin’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” was good and smart, with brilliant cast and solid story lines, but barely survived just one season. “Mr. Sunshine”, which Perry co-created with Marc Firek and Alex Barnow was not bad either, but between super badly picked title and niche quirkiness of the premise it failed to capture wider audience and sunk with 4 out of 13 episodes unaired. This year Perry comes back to the roots and stars as lead in NBC’s comedy “Go On”, a show created by “Friends” writer Scott Silveri. Silveri had his fair share of silver screen bad luck himself. Having co-created one stinker of a “Friends” spin-off show based on Matt LeBlanc’s character Joey Tribbiani he then tried the  3 girls vs 3 boys carbon copy setup with short-lived “Perfect Couples”  which failed after 11 episodes despite what seemed like unsinkable and well selected cast.

 

In “Go On” Silveri sends Matthew Perry into slightly different direction. A sports radio show host who recently lost his wife to unfortunate road accident tries to move on with his life by jumping back into what he loves the most – his  work. Suspected of being in state of denial he is forced by overprotective boss to attend mandatory sessions with “life transitions” support group before he can return back to studio. The addition of an up beat character ends up having profound therapeutic impact on the group. And eventually seemingly random life events also convince the protagonist himself that remaining within the group beyond minimum requirement set by his workplace, actually does help him to move on as well. Continue reading »Matthew Perry’s “Go On” – pilot review «

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 Posted by at 17:32
Aug 012012
 
Sacrificial Engineer in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus"

“..hey guys, this black goo thing seems to be doing different things every time, how do you know my hair will grow back if I drink it?”

Not really a surprise to anyone who saw the movie, but last week Twentieth Century Fox has officially confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter  that the studio is going ahead with “Prometheus” sequel. And this time around most of the pieces of the puzzle seem to be in the right place – Ridley Scott is actively developing the follow-up, Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace are already contracted to return. But most importantly, the article hinted that “new writers are being approached for this next installment because Prometheus co-writer Damon Lindelof may not be available.” So there we have it – here is to the hope that the studio will absolutely make sure Lindelof is otherwise engaged and the man responsible for turning the plot of an absolute visual masterpiece into complete drivel has nothing to do with Alien adjacent universe ever again. I’ll drink to that!

I’m rather happy Fassbender is returning in the sequel as the Peter O’Toole admiring artificial intelligence, although the cheeky part of me still wants to ask – if you had any say in what the sequel was about – what would you rather want Vickers miraculously survive the whole comical croissant straight line outrun attempt, and now face Deacon on LV-426 in a classic female protagonist vs evil  xenomorph alone-in-enclosed-spaces horror slasher, or would you rather spend three hours following Dr. Shaw with droid’s head in a bag sobbing every few minutes in all distant  corners of the universe while looking for opportunity to ask Mala’kaks her eternal vagina monologues question – “why do you hate me?”)

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 Posted by at 21:21
Jul 272012
 

Lupe OntiverosLupe Ontiveros. known for her many film and TV roles (“Desperate Housewives”, most recently Rob Schneider’s “Rob!”) died on July 26, 2012, after a battle with liver cancer, at age of 69.

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 Posted by at 23:55
Jul 272012
 

Here’s my list of most interesting film premieres still to open in cinemas across English speaking countries in August 2012. Few titles to see with your mates, few titles to see with your dates. List is completely subjective and skewed by my personal likes and dislikes and if you think something should be included, just use comments form to submit full description of films you think should be on this list and justification for your submission and I’ll happily add it and you’ll be fully credited on the page.

Poster for "Total Recall"

No memory at all. Total Recall remake. Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel

Total Recall

Plot: Remake of the 1990ies film with Arnold Schwarzenegger losely based on novel by Philip K. Dick.

Why watch: Anything and everything based on Philip K. Dick novels is always worth checking.

Genre: Sci-Fi

Production: USA $200 million

Director: Len Wiseman

Script: Mark Bomback, Kurt Wimmer, Philip K. Dick (novel)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Ethan Hawke, John Cho, Bill Nightly

United States Canada Cinemas: Friday August 3, 2012

United Kingdom Premiere: Thursday 16th August 2012 Cinemas: Wednesday 29th August 2012

Australia Cinemas: Thursday 6th September 2012

 

 

 

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in "Hope Springs"

She was Iron Lady, he was Man In Black. It was love from the first sight.

Hope Springs

Plot: After 30 years of marriage, Kay and Arnold Soames attend intense marriage counseling.

Why watch: Solid cast. I wouldn’t expect Oscars though.

Notes: Blatant ignorance to the movie starring Colin Firth, Heather Graham and Minnie Driver of the same title just 9 years ago.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Production: USA $30 million

Director: David Frankel

Script: Vanessa Taylor

Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Elisabeth Shue, Mimi Rogers

United States Cinemas: Friday August 10, 2012

Australia Cinemas: Thursday 23rd August 2012

United Kingdom Cinemas: Friday 13th September 2012

 

 

Continue reading »Cinema movies to see in August 2012 «

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 Posted by at 01:40
Jul 252012
 
Chad Everett dies aged 76

R.I.P. Chad Everett

Chad Everett, “Golden Globe” nominated star of 1970ies “Medical Center”, known from appearances in  “Airplane II”, “Mulholland Dr.,” and Gus Van Sant’s remake of “Psycho” and most recently from guest roles in “Castle” and starring as aged version of Dean Winchester in “Supernatural” died on Tuesday, July 24  aged 76 after battle with lung cancer.

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 Posted by at 04:58
Jul 252012
 
Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney in NBC's "Chicago Fire"

“.. and you will get your crew to go online, watch ‘Chicago Fire’ and press 5 stars…”

In unprecedented move NBC announced on Tuesday that pilots for most of their upcoming TV shows will be made available online for sampling purposes. The shows will be available through cable, satellite and telco on-demand service providers, NBC.com, several NBC owned local affiliate TV station websites, Hulu, Hulu Plus, iTunes, Amazon and Xbox. Samplers for the following show selection are expected:

“Go On” – Sampling starts Wednesday  August 9, show expected to premiere on  Tuesday  September 11 at 9:00/8:00c
“The New Normal” – Sampling starts Wednesday August 29 – Show expected to Premiere Tuesday September 11 at 9:30/8:30c (keep in mind it remains highly unlikely for any comedy shows  to premiere on 9/11 anniversary)
“RevolutiON” Sampling starts Tuesday  September 4, show premieres Monday  September 17 at 10:00/9:00c
“Guys With Kids”  Sampling starts Thursday September 13, show premieres Wednesday  September 26 at 8:30/7:30c
“Animal Practice” Sampling starts Monday August 13, show premieres Wednesday September 26 at 8:00/7:00c
 “Chicago Fire” Sampling starts Thursday September 27, show premieres Wednesday  October 10 at 10:00/9:00c

NBC is set to provide a full-episode and commercial-free network preview of the new comedies during London Olympics coverage – “Go On” pilot will air on August 8 and “Animal Practice” on August 12. NBC will also  air six-minute teaser for “RevolutiON” on Saturday, August 4 at approximately 10:54 p.m.

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 Posted by at 00:29
Jul 192012
 

Nominations to  64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards for the best television programming between June  2011 and June 2012 were announced earlier today. Shows and artists will be awarded during ceremony  hosted by  Jimmy Kimmel  in L.A on  September 23, 2012 and televised live by ABC. Nominations as usual have several baffling classifications, for example the cast of “Nurse Jackie”  is nominated in “comedy series” groups (Ef me sideways, that’s a drama, if I ever saw one!), entire series “Sherlock” received nomination for seemingly just the first episode of season two while “Luther” currently in pre-production of 3rd season and regular  13 piece TV series “American Horror Story” currently awaiting second season have been nominated as “mini series”. HBO leads the list with 81 nominations in total, followed by CBS with 60 nominees and PBS, listed 58 times. Among series, “American Horror Story” and “Mad Men” stay up top with 17 nominations each, closely trailed by “Downton Abbey” and “Hatfields & Mccoys” both with 16 nominations and “Hemingway & Gellhorn” with 15.

The nominees in main categories are (little flags indicate mainly British productions or actors):

Nominated to Emmys 2012 "Breaking Bad"

Playing chicken. Giancarlo Esposito as Gus vs Bryan Cranston as Walter in AMC’s “Breaking Bad”

 

Outstanding Drama Series
HBO Boardwalk Empire
AMC Breaking Bad
PBS Downton Abbey United Kingdom
HBO Game of Thrones
Showtime Homeland
AMC Mad Men

 

 

 

HBO's "Veep" - main cast

All the vice-president’s men. The cast of HBO’s “Veep”

 

Outstanding Comedy Series
NBC 30 Rock
CBS The Big Bang Theory
HBO Curb Your Enthusiasm
HBO Girls
ABC Modern Family
HBO Veep

 

 

Continue reading »64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2012 nominations… «

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 Posted by at 20:24
Jul 172012
 
Cameron, Miliband, Sigourney Weaver

Secretary Of State Elaine Barrish with Tweedledum and Twiddledumber

USA’s “Political Animals” is the only large profile, big names, known faces, high budget TV series to be premiered on American TV this summer. And it’s packaged in self-contained, mini format, six installment package.
Meet Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver), former First Lady and Democratic presidential hopeful who lost her primary bid to become party nominee. To the guy who later offered her position of Secretary Of State in his new office. Elaine recently divorced Bud Hammond (Ireland’s own Ciarán Hinds), ex governor, former President  Of US of A, self-appointed “most popular Democrat since Kennedy had his brain splattered against Dallas concrete” and a man known by the whole world as inappropriate womanizer with long record of extramarital affairs. If you are still not getting the hint who the writers pointed their pen at don’t worry, it won’t be more than 10 minutes before Bud will spell it out for you and introduce himself as “42nd President of USA”. This however, is as far as the authors of “Political Animals” venture into “based on true facts” territory.

Continue reading »“Political Animals” – more “Dynasty” than “West… «

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 Posted by at 12:31
Jul 152012
 

During San Diego Comic Con show on Saturday Marvel announced few more sequels and full set of brand new characters to be introduced to cinema screens in the near future. Codenamed “Phase Two” the plan includes two new movies based on comic book characters and three sequels to already existing franchises. Movies with new characters are:

Logo of the Marvel's upcoming Ant-Man movie

Ant-Man logo from San Diego Comic Con

The character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and is alter ago of Henry Pym, a brilliant scientist who invented a substance that allowed him to change his size. This announcement is no surprise, Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz”, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) has been courting Marvel for at least five years to direct Ant-Man and Marvel finally decided to green light it.

Continue reading »Marvel movie universe expands «

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 Posted by at 21:59
Jul 142012
 
"Serenity" crew armed and dangerous

“Hey guys, let’s back away slowly before they make us sign anything”

A notorious gossip started by Kate Kotler in a “Bleeding Cool” article (based on a random one liner during comic con 10th anniversary press conference) has it that Joss Whedon and The Science Channel’s Debbie Myers are planning to reboot “Firefly” (with original cast at that) in the near future.  I decided that instead of spending 10 minutes on sending my linguistic abilities into overdrive (if you read any of the previous rants of mine you probably quickly discovered I’m a foreigner myself, and as such English is not my first language) on disparaging investigative skills of the Bleeding Cool columnist without making swear word filter in google search engine blush tomato red, I’d rather explore the actual possibility of such reboot happening.

Firefly is one of the best examples of an internet spawned post-mortem legend. When the original broadcast started on Fox in September 2002, everything that could go wrong, had go wrong. It was given the “Friday night death slot”, which is traditionally impossible to defend in ratings. It then aired with a different pilot than writers intended (“The Train Job” instead of two hour “Serenity”). The Pilot was a bit of a train wreck in ratings, Nielsen given it 4.1/8. Which to all of us outside of US newspeak means that only approximately 4.3 million viewers out of 105.5 million households that owned TV in US at the time had their sets tuned to Firefly premiere. And at the time it had absolutely nothing to compete with. The series broadcasted on Fox at 8:00/07:00c before “John Doe” . The only scheduled scripted programming in its time slot was Providence and Sabrina The Teenage Witch. “John Doe”, a show with Dominic Purcell (“Prison Break”) which noone remembers now, had at least 2 million plus more viewers every time (which also means 2 million people simply didn’t bother turning their TV on to Fox an hour before favorite show in 9 o clock slot on Friday, circa autumn 2002) while “Providence” would regularly attract twice as many viewers as “Firefly”  ever reached. Continue reading »“Firefly” reboot gossip spreads across interwebs like… «

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 Posted by at 19:04
Jul 132012
 
Unsinkable "Falling Skies"

“I have it on good authority that we’ll have to stay on this dilapidated parking lot for at least another season”

Following what has got to be the slowest season start in history of Sci Fi TV shows, Steven Spielberg’s exec produced “Falling Skies” reportedly received full order of 10 episode season 3 of the series. This is, of course good news, Sci Fi TV series are dying breed and as rare as hens teeth these days, especially in summer slot, but I absolutely love a good whinge about this particular show because it serves as a prime example of just how odd viewer rating and ordering system of US television series is. Where less that 6 million viewers is enough to secure another year worth of lifeline to this quite expensive to produce show, we could stay all night long reading out loud long list of titles that had their plug pulled often with twice the viewer numbers and fraction of the budget.

“Falling Skies” is rumored to cost absolute fortune in production ($2.5mil+ budget per episode if you are to believe blogosphere), considering the beating and slagging it regularly receives on forums and in blog,  just how low budget it looks in some episodes (last years season finale battle, you could almost literally count the same two handful of extras running around in circles behind camera to create skirmish crowd around barricade made of few classroom desks and pile of milk crates) plus a story arc that sometimes slows down and flat lines so much it’s feels even slower than pace of recovery from Greek recession, you would imagine it would be taken off air in a heartbeat. But against all odds, this show so far remains absolutely unsinkable.

Thank you TNT I’m looking forward to complaining about this show next summer.

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 Posted by at 01:52
Jul 102012
 
Will and not Grace in TNT's "Perception"

Watching George W. lie. Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce and Rachel Leigh Cook as Special Agent Kate Moretti in TNT’s “Perception”

The idea of a cop/agent/detective bouncing their investigative skills off some unusually skilled, genius, specialist “consultant” with troubled past, impaired social skills, substance abuse or highly awkward persona in order to wrap up any crime investigation under 40 minutes flat is nothing new in the world of prime time television. One would imagine that after decades of Monks, Bones, Lightmans, Houses, Psychs, Castles, Numb3rs and other Mentalists helping to save lives or put bad people behind bars on our screens on weekly basis, the pool of diplomaed specialists and fringe science doctorate holders overlooked by crime story tv scribes could be counted on one hand. But while by now most of the series and characters mentioned above either byte the dust or struggle to keep viewers awake, TNT decided it’s better late than never and last night decided to roll out their own investigator plus eccentric sidekick extraordinaire summer series – “Perception”.

The series focus on a recently demoted FBI Special Agent Kate Moretti portrayed by Canadian teen romcom actress of yesteryear Rachael Leigh Cook (“She’s All That”, “Josie and the Pussycats”), returning to enlist help of her ex. teacher, a neuroscientist, university professor and avid crossword enthusiast Dr. Daniel Pierce, played by a fellow Canadian Eric McCormack (“Will  & Grace”). Within minutes we discover Dr. Pierce is a  brilliant scholar, author of countless volumes of acclaimed reading material in his field, with cognitive skills of a compulsive apopheniac and large enough portfolio of real life cases ready and waiting in nearby neurological ward to just pull them out of his sleeve for illustrative purposes on per case basis. Continue reading »“Perception” series premiere «

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 Posted by at 20:12
Jul 092012
 
Ernest Borgnine in Escape from New York

Ernest Borgnine with Kurt Russel in Escape from New York

1955 Academy Award winner Ernest Borgnine (“Marty”, “Airwolf”, “Escape from New York”), died on Sunday July 8 of renal failure surrounded by friends and family. He was 95.

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 Posted by at 09:38
Jul 062012
 
Ridley Scott points at the guy who lost half the "Prometheus" script

“I know the script doesn’t make sense Noomi, but this Lindelof guy over there says we are going to have 22 episodes to bridge it with the original Alien”

Blu-Ray.com reports preliminary details about French triple disc “Prometheus” BluRay release planned for October 3rd. The list of extras includes 18 minutes of viral videos, 120 minute long “Making of” collection and 15 minutes (yes, just 15 minutes) of deleted and alternate scenes. Link to page and details – http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=9076

Our own exclusive, unofficial info hints that the US version will include 4th disk with recorded audio message from script writer Damon Lindelof repeatedly asking Alien fans for forgiveness in form of “Lost” distress radio call, every minute until media runs out of space.

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 Posted by at 01:25
Jul 032012
 
HBO renews "The Newsroom" for second season

..”and in other news, HBO renewed our show for second season…”

In surprising decision on July 2nd HBO renewed Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” (with Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer) for the second season despite falling viewer numbers in US.

At the moment the show enjoys very good reception and unprecedented broadcast syndication abroad. It airs simultaneously on HBO Canada, with just one day delay on HBO Hungary and HBO Poland as well as pay per view Sky Go in Germany and Austria. The show also premiered in Israel on June 30th and last night on July 2nd on HBO Netherlands. Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom and Ireland will begin broadcasting on July 10, 2012.

It’s good to know to know we are going to enjoy at least 20 episodes even if viewer numbers in US don’t give it justice. Thumbs up HBO.

Click here for my mini review of the pilot from last week.

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 Posted by at 12:22
Jun 292012
 
"Anger Management" Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen. The winner takes it all…

Last night FX shown double opening bill of Charlie Sheen’s new sitcom “Anger Management”, loosely based on movie of the same title with Jack Nicholson. 46 years old and earning considerably smaller salary than his last TV endeavour Sheen and producers of the show have managed to secure quite interesting  Debmar-Mercury syndication deal for this project guaranteeing them order of 90 episodes from FX if the show’s first 10 episodes is successful enough.

The series opening scene attempts brave bridge between the script and real life events of Sheen’s angry tirade against his “Two And A Half Men” producer Chuck Lorre and consequent raving meltdown in front of  media that spawned well known wave of internet memes and countless autotune remixes of his infamous “winning” interviews. The bridging itself was done quite well and raised a chuckle, but what followed for the rest of both episodes can only be described as very average test tape outtake material barely glued together by both leading actors.

Charlie plays Charlie (yes, again), Dr. Charlie. predictably an anger management therapist sidekicked in private life by his girlfriend, a psychologist, played competently by Selma Blair (“Cruel Intentions”, “Hellboy”) and professionally invested in a sofa full of stereotypical characters with mild anger issues, probably developed because they fail badly at comedy acting. Sheen’s safely scripted role and with Blair as second chair, the series is probably safe enough to run through all of the 10 ordered episodes, but there isn’t much going for it otherwise. This time around Charlie doesn’t have anyone to bounce his “cool kid” routine off, he looks incredibly tired and does his role on autopilot. But the sofa of highly predictable, high strung, miserable, megalomaniac, douche and bigoted patients delivered with the kind of skill and talent you would expect to find at the back of American Idol first auditions queue is an anchor to this boat. This format and topic almost immediately asks for one off celebrity guests and enough interaction between secondary characters to create secondary mini plots. None of which is delivered. Repeating the same jokes about narcissist, gay, voyeur and an old bigot,  just doesn’t make for good comedy these days and becomes very repetitive after 15 minutes. It’s not for me. I don’t think this series will survive season one without major cast reshuffle, but I wish Mr. Sheen the best at securing full 90 episode run.

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 Posted by at 12:17
Jun 282012
 

The following is the list of completely new TV series premieres on US networks still to come this summer. Scripted stuff only – reality shows, kids programmes and game shows excluded:

Tonight, June 28 FXAnger Management” Charlie Sheen returns to screens as anger management therapist. With: Charlie Sheen, Selma Blair. FX 9:00/8:00c
United Kingdom In UK the show was picked by Comedy Central Canada In Canada broadcast was secured by CTV Australia 9 Network /Go acquired rights for Australia Germany Vox will broadcast the series in Germany All international premiere dates to be announced

July 9, Monday TNTPerception”  Neuroscientist assists the FBI on some of their most complex cases. With: Eric McCormack, Rachael Leigh Cook, Arjay Smith, Kelly Rowan. TNT 10:00/9:00c

July 15, Sunday USA “Political Animals” Miniseries following former First Lady in active duty as Secretary of State and her family. High profile cast. With: Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino, Ciarán Hinds, James Wolk, Sebastian Stan, Ellen Burstyn, Brittany Ishibashi USA 10:00/9:00c

The cast of "Political Animals"

Political Animals. From left to right:
James Wolk as Douglas Hammond, Sebastian Stan as T. J. Hammond, Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish, Carla Gugino as Susan Berg and Ciarán Hinds as Bud Hammond

July 19, Thursday TBS “Sullivan & Son” Sitcom about corporate lawyer who takes over a bar in Pittsburgh owned by his father. With: Steve Byrne, Dan Lauria, Jodi Long, Owen Benjamin, TBS 10:00/09:00c

Aug 13, Monday TNT “Major Crimes” Spin off of “The Closer” with half the cast. With: Mary McDonnell, G. W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz TNT 9:00/8:00c

Aug 19, Sunday BBC AmericaCopper” Keeping the peace in the Five Points neighborhood in 1860s New York City. With: Tom Weston-Jones, Kyle Schmid, Anastasia Griffith, Franka Potente. BBC America 09:00/08:00c 
Canada In Canada, the series will premiere on August 26, 2012 on Showcase.

Aug 20, Monday MTVThe Inbetweeners” US remake of the cult British comedy series about four dysfunctional teens. With: Joey Pollari, Bubba Lewis, Mark L. Young, Zack Pearlman, Alex Frnka, Brett Gelman. MTV Monday 10:30/09:30c Starts August 20, 2012

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 Posted by at 18:19
Jun 252012
 
HBO's "The Newsroom" poster

Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” on Sundays on HBO

On Sunday, 24th of June HBO aired 74 minute pilot episode of Aaron Sorkin’s new drama “The Newsroom”. Similar to last decade “Sports Night” and recent “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” it’s a tv show about tv show, an area of almost speciality for Sorkin, which usually guarantees superbly developed stories and very entertaining viewing. Unfortunately it usually also guarantees that the show will go with a loud “woosh” high over the heads of standard polled US TV audience and their attention span, which in terms means shorter lifespan for TV series then we would like here in Europe (“Sports Night” managed just two season and “Studio 60” survived single season despite both being highly acclaimed, internationally syndicated, incredibly well written shows, if not the best in their broadcast years).

I am happy to confirm that “The Newsroom” is no exception to the rule and lives up to expectations. The pilot focusing solely on introduction of the new production team to an hour long news commentary program at the brink of one of the biggest news stories of 2010, is smart and witty, with bitter punchlines and excellent dialogue full of typical Sorkin machine gun fire banter between characters. Similar to early West Wing, the pilot script is right from the start openly obvious about its political stance and doesn’t wait more than 10 minutes to deliver preachy and condescending faux pass left hook right on the nose of  the star spangled flag waving, empty head saluting, middle American red state elephantism, which makes for entertaining viewing to anyone outside of U.S. but is guaranteed to create wave of negative press and slating reviews for the series on its own soil.

Where the pilot script defends itself with musketeerial flair and finesse, things are somewhat different when it comes to casting. It’s no secret that the casting in Sorkin series always ends up with unusual set of female leads and supports. Although Sorkin’s female leads almost never lack the talent, the way characters are usually presented to us, viewers, is quite a different story. Throughout most of his previous series we were treated to one of the two character types – either “looking too old for her age” dry, agressive, almost manly, raging “forever alone” or “easy on the eye, borderline psychotic complete basket case” female leads. And although in nearly all cases the female roles in most of Sorkin’s TV series were delivered brilliantly (who can forget C.J. from West Wing) very often though this pool of repetitive character types appears to be then slightly mis-casted, as if the part was written for someone else and given to another actress at the last minute. The talent is there, but it’s the character that doesn’t fit. As a result, quite often the script later force the characters rather unachievable tasks. Like Felicity Huffman vs Peter Krause in “Sports Night” for example. As Casey’s love interest Dana was out of her depth, out of her league and on top she looked at least a decade his senior. But the script made her behave as if her role was written for Amanda Peet vs Matthew Perry. , it was due to those constraints, that very often supporting female cast  of his series are much easier to warm up to than the leads. And “The Newsroom” is no exception. Continue reading »Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” – Stands Out… «

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Jun 182012
 
Season 2 of "Falling Skies"

The cast of “Falling Skies” trying to shoot they way out of the set.

Last night second season of Steven Spielberg produced sci fi post apocalyptic series “Falling Skies” returned to the US TV screens with double bill of two separate episodes broadcasted back to back. Most of us can agree the first season of “Falling Skies” was a bit of a car crash even compared to previous low budget attempts at the subject such as Jeremiah or Jericho. And most of us were surprised when the network announced season two, especially when many of the much better produced and received series that year were canned. I didn’t set my hopes high for season two, but against all odds decided to take a peek at what it has to offer.

The good news is – the budget probably improved. Or special effects got cheaper. One of the two. The new season looks better visually. While Moon Bloodgood (“Terminator Salvation”, “Day Break”) and Noah Wyle (“E.R”, “E.R” and, probably “E.R.”) look less like they were in a queue to jobcenter and more like they are leading characters. So that’s improvement. The bad news however, is, that the pace, feel and script is still shocking bad. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but let me just reveal this: Double bill season premiere. 50% of which (and 10% of the entire season effectively) is spent on two handful of extras and a bus, crossing a bridge. Of course I am exaggerating slightly, there is a tad more to the plot than that. But it’s not far off. It’s bad enough that most of the time you have to watch the same group of people moving in front of camera over and over to create crowd.  One bridge. One bus. One handful of extras. One episode. Continue reading »“Falling Skies” returns for second season, no… «

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