Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cucumber/Banana/Tofu - More Casting News

With filming currently underway on Russell T. Davies upcoming Channel 4/E4/online dramas, Cucumber, Banana and Tofu, more casting news has been unveiled.

Luke Newberry - best known for his recent role as Kieren Walker on BBC3 drama In The Flesh has been cast in the role of law student Josh for Banana. Described as a young man who finds the past hard to escape, when he has to go home and face his old friend from school. Also appearing in the E4 program is Dino Fetscher taking on the role of Aiden - a handsome, confident young man, who unexpectedly finds himself stuck with the lovelorn Frank for the day. But Frank will challenge everything Aiden thinks about gay life, right to the core. Viewers can see both Josh and Aiden in Cucumber first before their stories are continued into the younger series.

Comedian Rufus Hound on the other hand will guest in an upcoming episode of Channel 4's Cucumber, playing the role of Rupert - a man who is in hot pursuit of Vincent Franklin's character, Henry while Father Ted's Ardal O'Hanlan will play the role of Brian, a man who goes out on a date with Cleo, only to find the evening unravelling into old secrets and long-buried truths. Elsewhere Doctor Who's Adjoa Andoh will play the role of Marie, the sister of Cyril Nye's character, Lance. Other since confirmed cast members include Andrew Hayden-Smith, James Murray and Caellach Spellman.

Meanwhile for online spin-off series, Tofu will be looking for people to share their real sexual experiences as a companion piece to both Cucumber and Banana. The online series will be fronted by Doctor Who Magazine writer and YouTube blogger, Benjamin Cook who has previously worked with Russell T. Davies on the 2008 (and 2010 updated version) book, The Writer's Tale. Cook  has been quoted to say about the online series interviews ...

“Men, women, every gender – all the pronouns! – trans or cis, straight or gay, bi, curious, maybe you’re sex-obsessed or take-it-or-leave-it, or maybe you’ve – whisper the words – never had sex and aren’t afraid to say so. We want to hear from you. No subject and no individual is off limits. We can’t wait to hear your stories.”

If you're over 18 and want to be interviewed, you can look at the official site for Tofu, which I'm linking here. This is certainly shaping up as a project, isn't it?

Casting News: http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/rufus-hound-joins-russell-t-davies-new-drama-series
Tofu News: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/07/21/new-russell-t-davies-online-series-seeks-real-gay-sex-stories/
Tofu Interviews: https://redproductioncompany.com/upload-your-video

Cucumber/Banana/Tofu will air on Channel 4/E4/online in 2015.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gotham - FOX Summer TCA Spoilers

It's the most hotly anticipated new series and with it's debut still another two months to, FOX have continued to push the boat out for upcoming prequel series, Gotham with the cast and crew appearing at a panel for the Television Critics Association during the weekend and some interesting spoilers were revealed.

Executive producer, Bruno Heller had a lot of interesting things to tell audiences about the upcoming series. These included ...

- We will not be seeing Batman any time soon but considering where this show is set in Bruce Wayne's life that's hardly a surprise.
- The show will play around with the possibility of the Joker being there, but don't expect it every week though.
- Ivy Pepper will be seen as a nice, relatively undamaged young girl whose father has died and whose mother is sick. Ivy herself will also be heading to an orphanage prior to being adopted and perhaps having her name changed.
- Oswald Cobblepot will have a 'titanic struggle' with boss, Fish Mooney as the first season will focus on his rise to power.
- The show also promises not to break any canonical iron truths, which should be a good thing but at the same time, expect changes to certain aspects of storylines at times.
- Robin Lord Taylor talked about watching Batman Returns 500 times (awesome) and Camren Bicondova mentioned that Selina doesn't know she's going to become Catwoman, only that she likes cats.

- Getting back to Oswald, it seems that he will be full fledged but other Rogue Gallery members (presumably Selina, Edward and Ivy) will be slower to emerge.
- Jada Pinkett Smith took on the role of Fish Mooney as it was a challenge and she finds female villains interesting and a challenge. Fish will also have history with Donal Logue's Detective Harvey Bullock as well.
- There will be elements of 'hope and struggle' with Gordon's attempts to clean up the streets of Gotham throughout the series. Gordon will also be seen as a 'moral lynchpin' as well in the series.
- Expect a timeless feel to the city of Gotham in the series. Basically, something similar to what Batman: The Animated Series did with the city.
- While not every villain will be appearing at once, it has been confirmed that Harvey Dent (who'll be Gordon's age) and Hugo Strange could be showing up sooner than expected, especially as the latter will be connected to Arkham Asylum's creation.
Gotham is focused on the decline of the city. The show needs to get to the point of despair that Batman becomes needed.

Meanwhile a new trailer has been released focusing on The Good. The Evil. The Beginning tagline, which I'm linking below and if you pay close attention to the trailer, a certain villain is nicely hinted too, in a brief moment.

The Good The Evil The Beginning Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2kFn-FPgLM
Tweets/Spoilers: https://twitter.com/GothamTVPodcast/with_replies
TCA Spoilers: http://ie.ign.com/articles/2014/07/20/gotham-producer-and-cast-on-their-noir-approach

Gotham airs Mondays 8pm on FOX from September 22nd. A UK broadcaster has not been confirmed yet.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Constantine/Daredevil/The Flash - Casting Bits/Spoilers

Well, it's certainly an interesting time for shows about superheroes nowadays, isn't it? If it isn't Gotham releasing a new trailer/behind the scenes clip on a nicely regular basis or more details about the upcoming Heroes: Reborn, then these three other upcoming series have unleashed newsworthy items.

Constantine has yet to make the airwaves and already the series has seen the departure of leading actress, Lucy Griffiths from the show. The UK actress, best known for her roles in both Robin Hood and True Blood has departed the series. However it now seems that the female lead will be Angelica Celaya, cast in the role of Zed. It has also been confirmed that the character of Constantine will not be a smoker on the series or that his bisexuality (explored in the comics briefly) will be a major part of the series. Considering that David S. Goyer previously annoyed viewers by pulling a similar thing with DaVinci's Demons, it seems he's not learned his lesson there.

Elsewhere with the end in sight for True Blood, it seems that Deborah Ann Woll herself has bagged her first post Bon Temps project by signing up for Netflix's Daredevil. Woll has been cast in the role as love interest, Karen Page while Peter Shinkoda will play Hachiro for the 13 part show, which has now begun filming. I have to admit the casting for the particular show has gotten more and more exciting but it'll be interesting to see if the series allows Woll to explore the darker aspects of Page as a character too.

Meanwhile over to the CW and it seems that both Arrow and The Flash will have plenty to excite viewers over the next few months. Brandon Routh (from Superman Returns) has been cast as Ray Palmer/The Atom for parent series Arrow while Stephen Amell's cousin, Robbie Amell (The Tomorrow People) will be heading to Central City in the role of Ronnie Raymond/Firestorm, the fiance of Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) while William Sadler has been cast in the role of Simon Stagg.

Keeping with the great casting, Prison Break's Wentworth Miller will also be appearing in The Flash. The actor will be taking on the character of Captain Cold and will appear in the fourth episode. The same episode will also see Emily Bett Rickards Felicity Smoak also appear in the series and a two hour crossover event with parent series, Arrow will happen during the eighth episode of both shows and it seems that a bigger event one will happen later in the TV season for both shows.

Constantine Spoilers: http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/Constantine
Daredevil: http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/Daredevil
The Flash: http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/The%20Flash

The Flash airs Tuesdays 8pm from October 7th, Constantine airs Fridays 10pm on NBC from October 24th and Daredevil will premiere on Netflix in 2015.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 36-40 Reviews

Another interesting selection of episodes with an update on a few Rogues, a Christmas episode and the foreshadowing of another hero(ine) in the midst as well.

Episode 36: Moon Of The Wolf

With the existence of a character like ManBat and the events of Tyger, Tyger, seeing people being turned into animals has been something that works in this series and seeing athlete Anthony Romulus becoming a werewolf for hire at the hands of the nasty scientist Milo (from Cat Scratch Fever) wasn't that particularly shocking but unlike some transformations, Romulus didn't end up getting the cure he desperately needed, which added a rather tragic twist to something of a cautionary tale as well for good measure. 7/10

Episode 37: Terror In The Sky

A follow up for the episode, On Leather Wings as it appeared initially that Kirk Langstrom decided to go back and become ManBat with both Batman and Francine doubting his protests of innocence. The reveal that it was actually Francine who inadvertently became infected and the creature, due to her father reckless actions was a solid twist and the imagery in the last ten minutes with a plane certainly added to the episode. It's not as good as the first episode but it's definitely an original follow up and that's what counts. 7/10

Episode 38: Christmas With The Joker

Another gem of an episode for The Joker, though I wish we had seen Harley in this one. It would take the Joker to host the Christmas show from hell with Gordon, Bullock and Summer Gleeson as hostages while Batman and Robin had to get through the city of traps in order to save the day. Everything about this episode is just wonderful to watch - the Joker's escape from Arkham while putting an interesting slant on Jingle Bells, Robin trying to get Batman into watching It's A Wonderful Life while the confrontation the Dynamic Duo had with the Clown Prince was also great fun. Overall an episode that is impossible not to love. 9/10

Episodes 39 & 40: Heart Of Steel

I have to be honest - out of all the two parters this series produced, this was the only one that didn't really feel like it merited being one. It's not a bad story as such. In general it deserves points for the foreshadowing of Barbara Gordon's future as Batgirl and HARDAC is a decent enough antagonist but it's not as engaging as a story that spanned over two episodes. There are some nice moments with things such as briefcases and bins being used as robots but overall, not a favourite of mine. 5/10

Next blog I'll be focusing on If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?, Joker's Wild, His Silicon Soul, Off Balance and What Is Reality?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gracepoint - Picked Up By ITV/US Airdate Confirmed

With David Tennant currently filming the second series of Broadchurch for ITV, it's US equivalent, Gracepoint will also air on the channel at some point in 2014. Recently confirmed for it's UK pickup, the 10 part mystery drama, also starring Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn should debut for UK viewers shortly after it's US debut on FOX in October.

I've been watching some of the more recent promos for the show and while it's not exactly wowing me, I will give it a chance and it's nice that ITV are going to air it as well. It should provide a nice way of bridging the gap until the second series of Broadchurch airs next year.

Source:  http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/s218/broadchurch/news/a582740/broadchurch-us-remake-gracepoint-to-air-on-itv.html#~oKhqlajoAwNQ9I
More BTS Features/Airdate Confirmation: http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/Gracepoint

Gracepoint airs Thursdays 9pm on FOX from October 2nd and should premiere on ITV shortly after. Series 2 of Broadchurch is currently being filmed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Review of True Blood's 7x04: "Death Is Not The End"

Written by Daniel Kenneth
Directed by Gregg Fienberg

Eric (re stealing Ginger’s idea): “Such a bitch.”
Pam: “But you still love me.”
Eric: “Always.”

For diehard fans of Eric and Pam, this episode must have been your dreams come true. For the rest of us hoping that the show’s quality would return, this was also a dream come true. Finally a genuine standout episode of the season.

Dealing with the Eric and Pam stuff first – I loved the trip down memory lane. While I can understand that last week’s introduction of Sylvie didn’t sit well with fans, this episode surely had to. We got to see the Magister again (still an unpleasant individual) and we learned about the origins of Eric and Pam’s arrival in Shreveport.

I was genuinely surprised that Eric being made into a Sherriff was actually designed as a punishment more than a reward but given his carefree antics in France, it did make somewhat more sense. More surprising was the fact that both him and Pam were running a video store with an underground porn section rather than the nightclub we know and love too.

The late eighties and nineties flashbacks were a delight with both maker and progeny having to settle for the not so glamorous world of selling poor vampire cinema and assumingly dealing with idiot customers before both of them became acquaintances and eventual employers of Ginger.

Ginger’s not always been one of my favourite characters but she has been funny at the right moments and her unwavering loyalty to both Eric and Pam (despite their not so great treatment of her at times) certainly endeared her to audiences but it’s actually rather sad that she was the whole mastermind of setting up Fangtasia and yet Pam glamoured her into forgetting everything. I liked seeing the more savvy Ginger and it’s rather tragic that over the years being made to forget things had affected her intelligence.

However, while Ginger was relegated to flashbacks this week, Eric decided to delay his hunt for Sarah Newlin by popping back to Bon Temps to get Willa and end up saving the day with the Hep V vampires holding everyone prisoner in Fangtasia as well. I liked that Eric actually seemed to listen a bit when Willa made it clear that she was pissed off at him for abandoning her and I also liked his scenes with Sookie and Bill in this episode as well.

The best part of this episode however was finally killing off those annoying Hep V vampires and freeing everyone else. I don’t think I could’ve taken another episode of Arlene and company in the basement and it was nice that the rescue mission boasted some pretty cool fight sequences while also doing viewers a favour and getting rid of that annoying Vince for a start too.

As for Arlene – I’ve never really bought her and Sookie as friends to be honest. For some reason it’s never rang true in the way that Arlene’s friendship with Holly did or Sookie’s with Tara but this episode did help make me believe a little though. First with Sookie promising Coby and Lisa to get their mother back, then clearing Holly’s memories and then by actually staying with Arlene until newcomer Keith managed to give her some blood and bring her back from the brink of death.

Speaking of death – I liked that the opening scene of this episode dealt with Alcide and Maxine’s in particular. Sookie had to call Jackson to tell him about his son’s death while discussing it later with Eric and Jason also had to tell Hoyt about his mother passing away. Both scenes intercut with each other well and were beautifully handled to near perfection.

Also in “Death Is Not The End”

Keeping with the deaths, Jason and Sam also told Rosie about Kevin being killed and I think Kendra also died during the Fangtasia fight.

Jackson (re Alcide): “He loved the fuck out of you, Sookie.”
Sookie: “I loved him too.”

We got a rather nice hallucination of Terry when Arlene came close to death in this episode.

Eric (to Pam): “I don’t care if she hates me. I’m sorry about Tara but Willa is my progeny and she’s still alive. I need to see her before I die.”

The Magister: “Let’s go downstairs.”
Pam: “Oh good, there’s more.”

Jessica has been deliberately not feeding out of guilt for several months. It took both Sookie and Lafayette to get her to snap out of it here.

Sookie: “You can eat off of me.”
Jessica: “You’re a fairy.”
Sookie: “I trust you.”
Jessica: You shouldn’t.”

Jessica: “Have you killed people?”
Lafayette: “I killed the man I love.”
Jessica: “How did you forgive yourself?”
Lafayette: “Still haven’t.”

We didn’t see the mysterious Japanese organisation or their assassins here (also missing was Lettie Mae and Sarah) but they were mentioned again.

Jason: “History’s a bitch.”

Standout music: Death Is Not The End by Bob Dylan and #1 Crush by Garbage.

Bill (to Eric): “See? Not an asshole anymore.”

Chronology: A few hours after “Fire In The Hole” left off.

After a really shaky start, it’s great to see the show back on form. “Death Is Not The End” was a reminder of how brilliant this show can merge several plots, pull off some great twists and provide some emotionally powerful scenes and if the remaining episode retain this quality, this show could go out brilliantly.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Looking - Season 2 Spoilers

While filming for the second season of HBO's drama, Looking has yet to begin filming, spoilers have finally started to emerge about what viewers can expect for Patrick, Agustin and Dom.

So here's a breakdown of what to expect (so far) for year two of the series ....

- Season 2 will comprise of 10 episodes.
- Lauren Weedman (Doris) has become a full time cast member along with Russell Tovey (Kevin) and Raul Castillo (Richie).
- The show will be adding more diversity to the cast as well with new characters such as Malik, an African-American staffer in the mayor’s office; Sammie, a trans man who lives at the shelter where Agustin gets a job; and Brady, Richie’s new redhead boyfriend.
- Casting for these characters have yet to be announced though.

While these are only some rather tiny spoilers, they are at least something to go on. It also seems that the producers took on board the criticisms over a lack of diversity in the cast (though in fairness, Looking's first season did marginally better there compared to three seasons of Girls) and the cast themselves did reveal some tiny tidbits at the recent Outfest panel - Inside Looking about the upcoming season. I know the show's first season was more solid/okay than amazing but I am enthused for the second season having read these spoilers.

Outfest Panel Interviews: http://www.thebacklot.com/looking-at-outfest-jonathan-groff-gang-give-season-2-scoop/07/2014/
Season 2 Info: http://www.newnownext.com/looking-gets-new-cast-members-adds-diversity-for-season-2/07/2014/

Filming for Looking's second season will begin later in the year with transmission due on HBO and SkyAtlantic in early 2015.