Thursday, May 31, 2012

Soap Discussion - May 2012

And my last blog for the month and it's a soap one.

Coronation Street: I may not condone Kirsty's actions towards Tyrone, even with the knowledge that she used to be abused by her father but right about now, she's the best thing about this show at the moment. A fascinating character, brought nicely to life by Natalie Gumede. However, it's amazing that both Karl and Eva continue to bore as characters and when it's not lame affairs (both real and imaginary), neither remotely compel as characters and the less said about that god awful plot with Eileen/Paul/Lesley the better really.

EastEnders: With so many characters taking a leave of absence from this show, I'm beginning to see why the writers might be so keen now to humanise Derek a little. The addition of Alice is a nice touch along with him helping out the perennially bland pairing of Whitney and Tyler but threatening Tanya was just a nice reminder that Derek will never be a nice guy though. As for Ian's reaction to Ben's confession of murder and the exit of Mandy - it really hasn't been his month, has it? And Michael conning Jean as well just proves that he too will never be nice either.

Emmerdale: I shouldn't feel sorry for Ashley after his behaviour over the last few months but he certainly is paying for it now though, isn't it? Most of the village hate his guts, his marriage is in tatters, his own child is scared of him and he's been defrocked and forced to work in a burger bar with two idiots lording it over him. Still, it's a better plot that Cameron and Chas's dull affair or the not so shocking discovery that Megan had a child she gave up for adoption. At least some of the scenes with Zac and Cain have also been interesting to watch this month.

Hollyoaks: And now, Doug is struggling with his sexuality/has fallen in love with Ste/but also slept with Texas/admitted he was gay. Only in soapland would you get this level of character whiplash but I'd rather see Ste with someone like Doug than Brendan any day of the week and it was better than the subplot of Bart landing his family in it with the authorities again. One of the show's more quiet of months but the trailer for the next few weeks certainly looks interesting.

Doctor Who - Series 7 Companion Spoilers

And we've finally gotten some interesting spoilers to mull over after a few weeks of nothing to go on about really.

It was rumoured a while back but according to more recent set reports, it seems that Jenna-Louise Coleman's character will be called Clara. While a BBC press release has yet to properly confirm it, it is a rather nice name and perhaps a possible tribute/nice coincidence in relation to Elisabeth Sladen, whose middle name was Clara. I wonder what her surname will be but going by the clothes, she looks like a present day companion. Then again, she could be a period one who later dresses in more modern attire.

The episode in question being filmed is apparently the 11th episode, or the sixth one that will feature Clara. The episode is written by Spooks/Luther scribe Neil Cross and is directed by Jamie Payne, who has helmed for shows such as Call The Midwife and The Hour. It looks like a Victorian episode and 11's new jacket is pretty lovely as well, isn't it? Jenna's first episode, the Christmas special will be filmed later in the run.

With the first half of Series 7 comprising of episodes from Steven Moffat (Episodes 1, 5 and 6), Chris Chibnall (Episodes 2 and 4) and Toby Whithouse (Episode 3), apart from Neil Cross (Episode 11), Mark Gatiss has been confirmed to be penning an episode for the second half of the season.

Filming Pictures:

Series 7 of Doctor Who is due for BBC1 in the Autumn.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Bridge - Season 1 Review

God damn it, BBC4 - that was fun. Yes, I know you've aired the originals of both Borgen and The Killing but when it comes to a Danish drama (or more accurately a Danish/Swedish co-production), even I think The Bridge was light years ahead of both shows I've mentioned.

For those who haven't been following, The Bridge is a ten part series, focusing on the body of a female politician discovered in the middle of the Oresund Bridge, which connects both Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmo (Sweden), except that half the body was of a Danish prostitute but it's enough to interest both countries police, in particular our leading detective characters of Saga Noren (Sofia Helin) from Malmo and Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia) from Copenhagen.

Of course, the series takes an interesting turn with a killer named The Truth Teller begins a viral campaign by kidnapping people and torturing them online in an attempt to highlight certain social problems and while that could've just came across as gratuitous torture porn, the show was wise enough to keep toned as possible whilst having the desired effect as later episodes reveal that the killer in question is connected to one of our main characters with a not so honourable past, resulting in a trail of revenge that would even make Emily Thorne blush.

I'm not the greatest of cop show fans and while far too many of the new US ones are becoming increasingly poor, slick and over polished versions of the tiring CSI franchise, this show was something of a breath of fresh air. The Truth Teller was a genuine scary and (oddly) sympathetic villain to a large degree, the slew of recurring guest characters were fantastic to watch (especially that samurai sword wielding guy early in the series), the clues and misdirections were fun to watch but more importantly - the partnership between Saga and Martin was utterly compelling and believable from start to finish and the core element in this series success too.

Saga in particular, might be one of my favourite new characters to emerge on television as well. I loved how this show never condescended or went overboard in explaining to us that she had Aspergers. It was moments like her inability to lie (even during a crucial moment in the finale) to her colleagues, her attitudes towards men and sex that highlighted it nicely. As for Martin - I found him a wonderfully complex man, haunted by his past misdeeds and suffering the consequences for them as well with his fragile relationships with his son, August and second wife, Mette. If I had only one gripe with this series is why did BBC4 air it in double bills? It almost felt like it barely on television at all despite producing ten excellent episodes. At least we have a second series to look forward to next year.

The Bridge Series 1 is currently available to buy on DVD.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lip Service - Season 2 Review

And with the second series of the BBC3 drama just completed it's run on the channel, I have a look back at what the last six weeks have been like for viewers of the show.

Episode 1: It's been a new beginning of sorts with the addition of Sadie as a regular and the arrival of Australian doctor, Lexy while Frankie and Cat continued their affair and Tess became involved in a production of Uncle Vanya with some interesting-ish co-stars.

Episode 2: The big episode with the big character death, having something of a massive ripple effect for all our main players as well. This was also the episode which kind of saw Cat finally make a decision where her heart truly belonged to and also saw the exit of Jay as well.

Episode 3: After nine episodes, Frankie headed back to New York and Sadie moved in with both Tess and Lexy when she wasn't starting an affair with magazine editor, Lauren. It's also the episode that would foreshadow that Lexy's friends with benefits thing with Bea would blow up in her face.

Episode 4: Ed's dating the obnoxious Nora, Lexy's getting creepy calls while wine tasting and helping Sam with her panic attacks, while Sam learned about Cat and Frankie, Sadie met Lauren's wife and there was an interesting moment with Sam and Lexy as well at the end of the episode.

Episode 5: Ed's book launch thing where he dumped Nora and the writers teased a triangle of sorts with Tess/Lexy/Sam while Sadie and Lauren's relationship seemed to deepen a little. Oh and there were more sarky comments from Declan and the resolution to the stalker storyline.

Episode 6: Despite Nora and Hugh's interferences, it was amazing to actually see Tess generate the applause she deserved during her performance in Uncle Vanya but too bad the episode teased a possibility with her and Lexy, only to go down the Lexy/Sam. Also, I was a little disappointed that Sadie went back to her old ways when Lauren dumped her.

Overall, a solid second series with some good new characters added in the mix but the finale could've been better and the distances between series probably didn't do it much favours. I suspect also moving it to a Friday timeslot didn't help either.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Play's The Thing

Actually, there's more shows I want to discuss in the next few days, so um, look forward to a blog dedicated to The Bridge and another on some of the comedies airing on UK TV at the moment. For now though, a look at the stuff I've been watching in the last week or so.

Desperate Housewives: Before anyone spoilers it, I already know how the series ends but with two episodes left to go, the build up has been entertaining to watch. Of course Bree would develop feelings for trip, considering that he's stepped into the role of her white knight but it's a fun enough pairing, so I don't mind. I do however mind that none of the housewives are making any actual effort to really help Bree though, instead turning on each or making plans (Susan offering to help raise her grandchild, Lynette's scheming to get Tom, Gabby being her usual self) but overall, looking forward to the last two episodes.

Game Of Thrones: This has certainly been a wordier season than the last one with not much in the way of actual action happening. Cersei seems to realise that she's created a monster in Joffrey and while one minute, she's being sympathetic with Sansa, the next she's threatening Tyrion (whose confession to Varys of enjoying the game is a little worrying). Even Daenerys herself seems to be in perpetual entitled mode rather than being the more assertive self I would like to see but I do find her scenes pretty interesting to watch. And then there's the events of Blackwater, which I will definitely be watching later on today.

Glee: Okay, the prom episode was fun and the finale had it's moments but ultimately was a pretty unsatisfying experience (why couldn't both Kurt/Rachel go to NYADA instead of one of them?), though Gloria Estafan as Santana's mother was worth it alone. It's the middle episodes that were more interesting - Tina's body swap dream was a good source of comedy and partial insight and it was about bloody time the kids actually won at Nationals for once. I really do hope the 'show within a show' concept mapped out for the fourth season does work in the show's favour though.

Hit & Miss: I talked about this a while ago on my blog and thankfully SkyAtlantic are generous with the repeats because it took their third airing for me to catch up with this show. Chloe Sevigny as transgendered assassin Mia is utterly brilliant and having Mia father a son named Ryan and look after the kid and his siblings now that their mother Wendy is dead is a workable touch to the series. I hope the premise can be sustained for the next five episodes but I think it will. Definitely a hit more than a miss. I know, terrible pun, don't shoot me.

Lip Service: I liked the finale but it could've been better, couldn't it? I didn't mind the fact that Sam finally admitted that she was losing it and I didn't mind that both her and Lexy did the deed but at the same time, I kind of wish they hadn't intensified Tess's feelings for Lexy in the process either. Still, at least Tess got to pull a brilliant performance on her opening night in spite of Hugh and Nora being massive hindrances and Sadie proved yet again that a leopard doesn't change it's spots when Lauren dumped as well. If this show comes back for a third run, I will be pleased but surprised, considering how bad the ratings have been.

The Vampire Diaries: Warning: I might have two episodes left to watch but I already know what's gonna happen in the finale but don't spoil it in the comments though. Alaric's fate just made me realise that people really do drop like flies on this show and while Esther has a similarly fanatical bent that her annoying son, Klaus (please, can we get rid of him, already?) has, I actually do prefer her, even if she is possessing the likes of Rebekah and Bonnie to carry out her own acts of genocide. As for the usual Stefan/Elena/Damon stuff, where's Katherine when you need her?

- Kate Hudson will be appearing in six episodes of Glee's fourth season as Rachel's mentor in New York. Sarah Jessica Parker will be in one episode as Kurt's.
- American Horror Story's second season will be set in the 1960s with Evan Peters character being the hero of the bunch and Chloe Sevigny playing an antagonist for Jessica Lange's character.
- A prequel series for Silence Of The Lambs called Clarice is in the works for Lifetime.
- Touch will get an online spin-off named Daybreak, starring Ryan McPartlin.
- Vanessa Ray will be playing a mentor of the late Allison in the new season of Pretty Little Liars.
- Jaime Cepero, Raza Jaffrey, Brian D'Arcy James and Will Chase will all not be returning for the second season of Smash.
- Mark Hudis has been named as Alan Ball's successor for True Blood if the show gets a sixth run.
- Seth Gabel will not be a regular for the final season of Fringe.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Review of Deadlocked

Written by Charlaine Harris
Released in 2012

Sam: “Sookie. You have to tell me what the cluviel dor is all about. How you made it work.”
Sookie: “Sure, Sam. Another day.”

I have to admit that the last few books have been a bit of letdown and while this one isn’t exactly as compulsive as earlier books have been, it does have a nice sense of resolving some ongoing plotlines that I think most can appreciate.

I’ve never been a Sookie/Eric shipper, so the dissolution of their relationship in this book is neither here nor there for me. I knew there would be consequences for the death of Eric’s maker and with the presence of King Felipe and Oklahoma Queen Freyda wanting to make a marriage with Eric; it seemed an interesting enough way of tearing the Viking and the telepathic waitress apart.

The book seemed to go to some lengths to actually point out that whatever love may be between Sookie and Eric, it’s obviously not enough for either of them to get the latter out of his arranged marriage with Freyda. Even Eric’s attempts to manipulate Sookie into using the cluviel dor don’t pan out for either of them.

Speaking of the cluviel dor, it’s not entirely amazing that its potency is only felt when Sam wound up being killed and Sookie had to bring him back to life. It might not be a popular opinion but I like the idea of Sam being the endgame for Sookie instead of Bill, Eric, Alcide or Quinn (who makes a brief appearance in this one). Over the last few books their relationship has deepened and become more believable, so it makes a lot of sense for Harris to actually go there with the characters.

In terms of the mystery, this one was an improvement as well. Kym Rowe’s death as part of the power games between Claude and Jannalyn meant that both of them got exactly what they deserved towards the end of this instalment as well and it served its other part in contributing to Sookie and Eric’s split and Sookie and Sam getting close to each other as well for good measure.

As for the return of Niall, I did feel this book could’ve explored that element a little more. While I enjoyed Sookie’s interaction with most of her fairy kin and Claude’s true intentions being revealed, it did seem a little rushed in resolving itself and I guess I’m going to miss Dermot as a character too.

- In terms of the mundane, Sookie became a third owner of Merlottes and turned 28, Tara had a boy and a girl (Robert and Sara), JB was a stripper at Hooligans and Jason/Michele got engaged.
- I’m hoping we get to see a bit more of detective Ambroselli in the next book. She was a decent enough foil for Sookie.
- Mr Cataliades helped Sookie dispose of the furniture shop owner that wanted the cluviel dor as well. Another death in the kitchen, folks.
- The next book will be this series last, according to Charlaine Harris.

“Deadlocked” was certainly a better read than the last two books but with the sense of winding down and the TV series itself becoming slightly less dependant on the books, it probably is time to call it a day. Still, this one is a decent read but not a classic.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

First Look: True Love

It's been ages since we've seen the lovely Billie Piper in something and along with David Tennant, David Morrissey, Ashley Walters and Jane Horrocks, we can see her in the five part BBC drama, True Love next month.

The five part drama, due to air nightly in mid-June focuses on five different takes on the nature of love. The first episode focuses on David Tennant's character Nick who is reunited with his first love, played by Vicky McClure while the third episode focuses on Billie Piper's character Holly, a schoolteacher who becomes involved with a student, played by Skins actress Kaya Scodelario.

I have to admit, apart from Billie's episode, this doesn't seem overly compelling but it's got an excellent cast, so I'll definitely be watching all five installments of the series but like I said, Billie's does look the most interesting of the bunch.

Press Release: 

True Love airs Sunday-Thursday on BBC1 at 10.25pm from June 17th.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Review of Doctor Who's: "Good As Gold"

Written by the Children of Ashdene School
Directed by Richard Senior

Olympic Torch Bearer: "Good as gold you are, Doctor. Bye."

With at least another three months before we get the first five episodes of Series 7, it's nice that a competition from a group of kids could give us something to go on. With the Olympics due for summer, how timely was it that both the Doctor and Amy would land in the middle of a running track?

Of course the torch bearer who would step into the TARDIS would also have to bring in a Weeping Angel intent on stealing the flame but the Angel disposed of and the torch bearer thanking both the Doctor and Amy, it it nicely resolved itself at the end. Well, until that last little moment that is.

Oh and coupled with the fact that this mini-adventure seemed to slightly retcon the widely unpopular Fear Her and we know that Matt Smith is going to do some real life torch bearing, the timing for this episode couldn't have been more perfect.

- This seems to be set after Amy's first encounter with the Weeping Angels and she's wearing the same outfit she did in The Doctor's Wife.
- Rory is both unseen and mentioned in this one sadly.
- Apparently all good time travellers have an adventure once a week.
- Liked the torch bearer giving the Doctor his medal, though he didn't need to.

A fun, diverting little episode. Good As Gold was certainly that alright and it's nice to see that these Script To Screen episodes can still be a good amount of fun. I hope the next one we get is with Jenna-Louise Coleman's character though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 1x22: "Reckoning"

Written by Mike Kelley And Mark B. Perry
Directed by Sanford Bookstaver

Emily (re Nolan): “He’s not the one you want, I am.”
White Haired Man: “And who are you?”
Emily: “Amanda Clarke. You murdered my father. You and I have unfinished business.”

Now, this is how to do a finale and before anyone moans about cliff hangers, the show is coming for a second run, so I think it’s allowed to end the season with setting up some plotlines that will be explored next season, don’t you?

First of all, I loved every bit of Emily’s confrontation with the White Haired Man in this episode. She let herself be kidnapped by him and then tricked him with where she hid the evidence against the Graysons before freeing Nolan and giving WHM one hell of a smackdown. Now there’s the Emily Thorne I know and love.

Although it might have seemed a little trite, I sort of get Emily’s reluctance to kill WHM as well. All of her actions have been driven by the need to avenge her father and at the last minute she stopped herself from becoming a killer by sparing him and taking her leave. Of course, the fact that WHM has now become a valuable character also helps matters.

Conrad warned Victoria not to board that plane with Lydia in order to hand over all of the evidence and needless to say, White Haired Man made sure the bloody thing crashed, therefore bollixing up Emily’s crafty plans yet again. Now the question is – is Victoria really a dead woman?

Somehow I doubt it. Lydia is definitely no longer with us but I wouldn’t be surprised if Victoria is rotting in a cell somewhere like Nolan had been for the first half of this episode. She’s too valuable a character to kill off and thanks to a conversation that Nolan managed to get from the hard drive he had the sense to back up, we definitely know there’s more to David Clarke’s death/frame up than the Graysons as well.

I’m intrigued by the idea of Kara Wilkins actually being alive, even if the moment did seem a little similar to the first season ender of Alias but at the same time, I’m also wondering where Kara has been all these years as well. Is she working for the Initiative (Buffy says hi by the way) along with WHM as well? Either way, both Emily and Nolan looked suitably shocked when uncovering that piece of information.

Speaking of shocks – did this show really just go there with Amanda returning with Jack’s baby? I can’t help but think the timing was more than a little suspect and that she’s either faking the pregnancy or the baby might be Takeda or someone else’s. Either way, it’s the roadblock I guess I should’ve seen coming when it came to Emily and Jack.

After all, if Emily had the sense to break things off with Daniel (thanks to Ashley and her blabbermouth), then clearly something else would’ve gotten in the way to make sure her and Jack didn’t get together for now. I’m glad Emily broke things off with Daniel in this episode. It’s just too bad that Daniel seems to be spiralling more and more and with Ashley around, it isn’t a good thing.

As for Charlotte and Declan in this episode – poor Jamie. Jamie did not deserve that malicious act of vengeance from Charlotte and while the latter might have needed Declan after hearing about the plane crash, I’m actually glad that Declan rejected her. I was pretty sympathetic with Charlotte for most of this season but the last few episodes she has been annoying and here she really excelled her. I also don’t believe for a second that she’s dead either, despite the fact that we saw her overdose in this one.

Also in “Reckoning”

Loved Emily at the start of the episode faking a break in after she stole the evidence of Daniel.

Emily (to WHM): “Actually he doesn’t concern me.”
Nolan: “Gee, don’t sugar coat it, Ems.”

From the way WHM was talking about Kara, they must have been working together. Emily should’ve questioned that when she had the axe to his throat.

Emily (to Nolan): “If I don’t make it out of this, tell Jack I love him.”

White Haired Man: “You and I have more in common than we realise. My employers are now planning to make the Graysons take the fall for Flight 197, not your father.”
Emily: “I’m not here because my father was framed. I’m here because of how he died.”

You don’t have to be a genius to tell that Ashley is going to try it on with Daniel pretty soon. It also looked like Conrad was trying to save Victoria whilst damning Lydia in some of their exchanges.

Emily (to WHM): “Look at me. I want to be the last thing you see before you die.”

Victoria: “Your father had David Clarke murdered.”
Daniel: “Well, he must have had a damn good reason.”

Jamie’s scandalous past was that she was sleeping with a former teacher. I’m surprised Charlotte didn’t plant drugs on Jamie while she was at it.

Nolan: “That just leaves Jack. What are you gonna tell him?”
Emily: “Everything.”

Victoria (to Emily): “You see even long before the engagement party, I knew your future with Daniel was as empty as that box. Now best of luck with your next endeavour.”

Victoria giving Emily an empty box as an engagement present was stylishly cold. I bet Emily is even gladder she called things off with Daniel now.

Emily: “Oh my God.”
Amanda: “I know, right? Jack and I are gonna have a baby.”
Emily: “Congratulations.”

Charlotte: “Is getting retribution ever made you feel better about yourself?”
Victoria: “Yes, when the other party deserved it.”
Charlotte: “And if they didn’t?”
Victoria: “Then you forgive yourself and move on. The quicker the better.”

Standout music: “Seven Devils” by Florence And The Machine. It’s one of my favourites as well.

Conrad: “If you board that plane, it could be the last thing you ever do.”
Victoria: “Then I guess I’ll see you in hell.”

Emily (re Victoria): “What is she saying? That they killed my mother too?”
Nolan: “No. What she’s saying is that your mother’s alive.”

Chronology: From where “Grief” left off.

Well, that was one hell of a rollercoaster ride but as a first season ender to an intensely brilliant, “Reckoning” may not have resolved a lot but it certainly succeeded in leaving me wanting more. An excellent end to a wonderful first year.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bedlam - Series 2 Preview

Gone are the likes of Theo James and Will Young and in are the likes of Lacey Turner and Jack Roth. Why, it can only be the second series of SkyLiving's supernatural drama, Bedlam of course. I have to admit, I found the first run far too repetitive for it's own good. Literally the same scenario cropped in six episodes with little in the way of variation. I hope that the second series of this show doesn't suffer from that level of formulaic.

Lacey Turner is the driving force behind the second run, playing an ambulance worker named Ellie Marx who can see dead people and with a supporting cast of Gemma Chan as Kiera, Jack Roth as Max and Nikesh Patel as Dan as well as well as Hugo Speer reprising his role as the slippery Warren Bettany, this does seem to be continuing some plot strands from the first run while taking the show in a new direction.

And this isn't the first supernatural thing we have to look forward to with Lacey Turner this year as she's currently filming an ITV2 show called Switch, which I'll be discussing in later weeks. The trailer alone though for Bedlam does seem to make the show look a lot better than it's first run.

Trailer/Cast Shots:

Series 2 of Bedlam airs Wednesdays at 10pm on SkyLiving from June 6th.

Monday, May 21, 2012

First Look: 666 Park Avenue

Okay, continuing with my first looks, the next show to pique my interest is this promising little gem from ABC. Dave Annable (Brothers and Sisters) and Rachael Taylor (Grey's Anatomy) play mid western couple Henry Martin and Jane Van Veer who wind up taking a job in the titular building ran in Manhattan's Upper East Side by the mysterious Gavin and Olivia Doran, played by Terry O'Quinn (Lost) and Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) and it's a place with an assorted range of people.

It's not the spookiest looking of shows but it's certainly interesting enough with both the Dorans tightening their hold on Henry and Jane as well as the fact that some unfortunate people seem to be getting sucked into the walls and thrown about the place as well. It could be a fun, diverting romp and the fact that ABC are pairing it with the second seasons of both Once Upon A Time and Revenge could benefit it rather nicely as well. I'll be giving this one a go too. This is also based on a book series by Gabriella Pierce.


666 Park Avenue airs Sundays at 10pm on ABC from September.

First Look: Arrow

You got to hand it to the CW - they at least waited nearly a year after Smallville's end until deciding to go down the path of giving the Green Arrow his own show with Arrow and if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like I'll be getting over my disappointment that Justin Hartley is not playing the role.

Instead it's Stephen Amell who's donning the role of rich playboy Oliver Queen and his more heroic alter ego, Green Arrow as the man returns to the city in a story that's more about the character's origins than we saw on Smallville. Katie Cassidy (Supernatural) will be playing Queen's love interest, Dinah Lance as well as Dresden Files actor Paul Blackthorne as a cop and with the rather gritty-ish feel to it, this definitely looks like it could be a sweeping success for the CW.


Arrow airs on the CW from September 26th 2012.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sinbad Comes To Sky1 In July

And it's about time too. Seriously, I've heard about this months ago and now we're getting closer to it.

A 12 part series, Sinbad sees newcomer Elliot Knight taking on the lead role as the titular character flees home and heads out to the seas with a crew towards a voyage of discovery but things don't go that well when Sinbad makes an enemy of Lord Akbari, played by former Lost actor Naveen Andrews. Other members in the cast include Estella Daniels as aristocrat Nala, Elliot Cowan as Norwegian sailor Gunnar, Dimitri Leonidas as the ship's doctor, Anwar, Marama Corletta as jewel-thief Rina as well as Sophie Okenedo as Razia, Queen of the Water-Thieves and Orla Brady as the villainess Taryn.

From the looks of this, there's certainly been a fair amount of money spent on making this show look as lavish as possible and with the likes of Doctor Who and Merlin months away, this definitely looks worth getting into. Sky1 have been pretty good with their epic fantasy productions over the last few years and with a superb cast, this definitely looks like one to watch out for.

Trailer/More Details:

Sinbad airs on Sky1 from July. Times and dates to be confirmed.

Friday, May 18, 2012

First Look: Partners

Well, I did talk about The New Normal the other day so that other new sitcom with a leading gay character is also worth mentioning. Airing on CBS and from the creators of Will & Grace, you've got two best friends - gay Louis (Michael Urie, Ugly Betty) and straight Joe (David Krumholtz, Numbers) who work together as architects and have a friendship that's lasted longer than most of their relationships. Except now, Louis's got a boyfriend named Wyatt (Brandon Rooth, Superman) and Joe has a new girlfriend named Ali (Sophia Bush, One Tree Hill) and both of their significant others have to deal with Joe and Louis's all encompassing friendship.

To be honest, this really does feel like Will & Grace Mark 2 if the latter was a straight man instead of a woman. I don't actually mean that in a bad way because it does actually look like a lot of fun and there's certainly a delightful banter between Urie and Krumholtz as well. I can easily see this winding up on E4's increasingly comedy centred Thursday night schedule next year as well. I'll definitely be watching this one.


Partners airs Mondays at 8.30pm on CBS from the fall.

First Look: Elementary

Okay, I kept an open mind and I sat through the three minute trailer that CBS pushed out for Elementary and while I intend to at least watch some of the series to judge it fairly, that trailer did not impress me in the slightest. And I'm saying this in spite of the fact that there's a good rapport between Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson alike.

It just felt a tad too Mentalist for my liking and not in the same fun way that particular show is and I guess, even as an American myself, it just feels wrong/weird to see an Americanised take on this (and yes, I know it's not a first on that score). Still, CBS clearly have enough confidence in it because they've commissioned a full season of it and it doesn't seem like it's ripping off Moffat and Gatiss's version of Sherlock either but overall, it's going to need to do more to stand out for me.


Elementary airs Thursdays at 10pm on CBS from the fall.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Review of Revenge's 1x21: "Grief"

Written by Mark Fish And Joe Fazzio
Directed by Randy Zisk

Jack (to Emily, re Sammy): “Every day has been a gift. I was starting to think he was gonna live forever. I can’t do it. I don’t know if I have it in me to say goodbye to him.”

Oh, Revenge, I bloody hate you now. Seriously, if this had been a human character, I would’ve been sad to see them go (more than others) but Sammy, really? That just felt like too cruel a trick to play on this viewer alone.

I know there might have been some plausibility issues with how long Sammy has lived for but I definitely couldn’t have been the only one who cried when the poor dog died. Both Jack and Emily were in buckets and while it could’ve been a saccharine step too far, both Emily Van Camp and Nick Wechsler actually managed to make it a very real show of grief.

I’ve lost a family dog before, so the way both Jack and Emily reacted was totally believable. Your pets really are like another member of your family and for Emily and Jack, Sammy was a strong link between them. When Jack said he wished Amanda was here to help him bury Sammy, I did find myself wanting to shout, “she is there” at the screen but I refrained from doing so.

Seeing Emily’s reaction to Sammy’s passing and the flashbacks of her playing with him, Jack and David as a child were fantastic. Sammy’s death made Emily evaluate whether or not she wanted to kill the White Haired Man who bumped off her father more than Nolan and Carole’s attempts of trying to get her to see straight.

Of course the moment Emily got that moment of clarity was the same one where Nolan got attacked by our mystery assassin as well. For the record, I don’t believe that Nolan is dead despite the ending of this particular but once again, I do believe that Emily has gotten herself into a sticky situation by underestimating her latest object in her quest for vengeance. For that record so did Nolan when his cable man disguise obviously signalled his doom here.

Speaking of underestimation – how convenient was it that Ashley managed to see Emily and Jack kiss as well? Actually, I’m not really worried how Emily is going to spin that one to Daniel because the way he’s been acting, he kind of deserves to lose her as well. Although I can understand Daniel becoming more like Conrad, I don’t necessarily like it though.

The way both him and Ashley were steamrolling Emily into making their wedding into a PR job for the Grayson family reputation annoyed me just as his attempts to buy Jack off with a cheque and guilt trip Victoria into handing over her evidence on Conrad was similarly off putting but I think that’s because a) I actually want Daniel to be decent and b) he doesn’t pull it off as well as either of his parents.

As for Conrad and Victoria, the sparring between the two of them in this episode was my favourite thing ever. I loved the family therapy session where instead of trying to be supportive to Charlotte, they used it as an opportunity to shame each other yet and I also loved that Lydia was caught in the middle as well.

Like Ashley, Lydia seems to think she’s a tough cookie but the truth of the matter is that Victoria doesn’t have to do a whole lot to actually take her down. If I were Lydia, I’d probably be collecting as much cash as I could find and hightail it out of the Hamptons before becoming a casualty in Conrad and Victoria’s war with each other. Of course I’m smart, which unfortunately is a quality that Lydia seems to lack in this situation.

Speaking of lacking, my patience for Charlotte is at an all time low now. She treats Declan like dirt for weeks (and yes, I know he’s not innocent) and then gets into a strop with his mate from Yonkers, who was actually a lot of fun in her few scenes. Oh and buying harder drugs is clearly a smart move, Charlotte, bravo dear.

Also in “Grief”

Classic misdirection at the start of the episode with Emily digging a grave which later turned out to be for Sammy, not White Haired Man.

Emily: “For most, the final stage of grief is acceptance but for me, grief is a life sentence without clemency. I will never accept and I will never forgive, not even after the man who killed my father lies dead at my feet.”

Nolan’s clearly as subtle in his disguises as Emily is with Burt Simmons not being the most convincing of cable men.

Jack: “Do you think I don’t see right through this?”
Daniel: “See through what, Porter? It’s a cheque, not a shoe bomb.”

Victoria: “You look good, Conrad.”
Conrad: “And you look like a demonic succubus.”

Conrad using Dominik’s naff painting as a means to hide vital evidence wasn’t a smart move given how easily Victoria managed to find it.

Nolan (to Emily): “You may be a lot of things – a black belt in karate, impeccable dresser and a certified sociopath but you’re not a killer.”

Victoria: “We used to be such good friends, what happened?”
Lydia: “You held me hostage at Grayson manor after your attack dog threw me off the roof of my own apartment.”
Victoria: “Well, you certainly have a knack for landing on your feet, don’t you?”

I should’ve mentioned in my last review but the show has been renewed for a second season and will be airing in a Sunday timeslot from now on.

Emily: “Trust me, Daniel, I couldn’t forget your family if I tried.”

Charlotte: “Mom, what have you done?”
Victoria: “Nothing I wouldn’t do again.”

Standout music: Gabriel & The Hounds “The World Unfolds”.

Emily: “They said grief occurs in five stages. First there’s denial, followed by anger, then comes bargaining, depression and acceptance but grief is a merciless master. Just when you think you’re free, you realise you never stood a chance.”

Chronology: Presumably around January 2012 or a few days since the end scene of “Legacy”.

Now this was a wonderful episode. Sammy was probably the unsung hero of this entire show and his departure in “Grief” definitely provoked the right reaction as well as some wonderful character moments from Emily and Jack. I loved this one.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First Look: The New Normal

What is it about having so many fingers in so many pies? When you're Ryan Murphy, you've got a fourth season of Glee to prepare for FOX (though the third one is yet to finish airing) and then there's the second season of American Horror Story as well for FX and then there's this show ...

The New Normal, scheduled to air on NBC this autumn/fall stars both Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells as a gay couple, Bryan and David trying to have a child, via a surrogate named Goldie played by Georgia King (best known for her roles in the likes of Merlin and Tormented). The surrogate in question also has a child and rather nasty bigot for a mother, played by Ellen Barkin. Add Nene Leakes into the mix and this cast is set.

Premise wise, it seems interesting enough. It's nice that this will be one of two new shows (the other being CBS series Partners) that have a gay couple as the leading men and if the preview clip that NBC have released is anything to go by, it definitely seems like a more gentle of shows compared to Murphy's other efforts. I'll definitely be giving it a go.

Justin Bartha Interview:

The New Normal airs Tuesdays on NBC in the autumn.

Monday, May 14, 2012

True Blood - Season 5 Newest Trailer

Oh boy, now that's how to get your audience excited for Season 5 and with me planning to buy Season 4 this week on DVD and do a rewatch, HBO have given us another gorgeous trailer for True Blood's fifth season.

Could the show's nicest man be on the path of destruction? Hoyt seems to be embracing his inner goth and letting male vampires dine on his neck in this promo. Damn, that's probably not the best way to get over Jessica, is it?

Speaking of Jessica, I am loving her and Steve Newlin duking it out. Steve isn't impressed with Bill as the King and his comments that Bill might not be King for long seems to be apt with the Authority looming about the place.

Pam and Eric in bed with each other? I wasn't expecting that but hey, works for me. Eric will also be kissing Nora at some point during the season as well but if this means things between Eric and Pam are about to improve, I'm pleased. I'm also looking forward to Pam's flashback this season as well. Eric looks especially dapper in them.

I can't tell if that's either Nora or Salome in that picture with Roman because both of them look so freakishly alike, it's gonna cause confusion for me this season. I think it's Nora though. Anyways, it looks more and more that the Authority are the actual Big Bad this year with Roman being the face for it. Looks amazing, doesn't it?

And he's definitely back now. Russell looks a lot better than the last time we saw him and Bill and Eric better watch themselves. It'll be interesting to see if Roman can control Russell or not as well. Expect to see Russell in the second half of the season though.

Sam's tied up in a barn and presumably it's because he's about to face some fallout from Marcus's death. We also saw Luna looking especially worried in the trailer as well too.

Sookie and Alcide finally look like they're going to get closer but there's still the issue of Debbie's death, Lafayette giving Sookie an appropriate moniker, Sookie's fairy abilities, Terry and Patrick's toxic friendship, both Jason and Andy vowing to stop vampires/investigating some murders and whether or not Tara is still with us. This looks like it's gonna be another crazy season.

Season 5 Trailer:

True Blood Season 5 airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO from June 10th.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ringer Axed, Revenge Renewed

Well, there's no subtle way of putting it but after one season, it seems that the CW have decided to call time on the show, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as twins Bridget Kelly and Siobhan Martin. I think I speak for enough people when I say I saw this coming. Ringer had a ropey start and coupled with a two month hiatus, decline in ratings and not fleshing out the rest of the characters aside from Bridget, this show unfortunately created it's own disaster. I just hope that the wonderful Miss Gellar gets another TV project that fares better for her.

Other shows that have been terminated as well include The Secret Circle, GCB and Awake to name a few. I tried the former show but haven't watched the other two, so none of these cancellations mean anything to me.

Elsewhere the similarly soapy antics of Revenge will resume as the show has been picked up for a second run and while the ratings have been hit and miss since the show's return last month, it seems that ABC were content enough to pick this up for a second season along with Happy Endings, Grey's Anatomy and Once Upon A Time as well.

I'm so pleased this show has been picked up. Apart from American Horror Story and Homeland, it's been the best new show on the block and hopefully during the summer, both Irish and UK viewers will clock onto that as well when RTE2 and E4 begin to air it.

Ringer Report:
Revenge Report:

Friday, May 11, 2012

True Blood - Season 5 Character Posters 2

And here's the second part of these character pics, though why aren't there ones of Nora and Salome?

Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis): He's involved in helping Sookie dispose of Debbie's body and of course, there's also the thorny issue of Tara as well.

Roman (Chris Meloni): One of the leading members of the Authority and also due to be a major thorn in the side for both Bill and Eric. Also connected with Nora and Salome as well.

Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare): And he's back ... in the second half of the season apparently. I can't wait to see what manner of hell Russell is going to unleash on everyone.

Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell): Both him and Alcide have to deal with a pack following Marcus's death and then there's his future with Luna as well.

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin): We're getting a childhood flashback with her and hopefully more on her fae origins as well with the arrival of Claude in Bon Temps. Also, hopefully minimal Bill/Eric pining.

Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley): Is she alive or dead? Human or vampire? We're about to find out very soon.

True Blood Season 5 airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO from June 10th.

True Blood - Season 5 Character Posters 1

Well, I'm sure there'll be another Waiting Sucks or a trailer during the weekend but for now, we've got twelve character posters to look at it.

Alcide Heaveux (Joe Manganiello): He's going to be a lot of trouble this year with the packs of Shreveport and there's a flashback to him and Debbie as kids in an episode.

Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer): Expect him and Eric to be a little Bromance like this season as they both have to deal with Russell's return and the Authority.

Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard): He's got a 'sister' in the shape of Nora to deal with as well as his deteriorating relationship with Pam to fix as well as the Authority.

Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten): Both him and Jessica are sort of playing the field this season but you can also expect Jason to be reunited with a former teacher of his and to be dealing with Steve Newlin as well.

Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll): She's playing the field and she's also about to make an interesting new friend in Claude as well.

Pamela Swinford de Beaufort (Kristin Bauer Van Straten): Expect a flashback scene to how and when Eric made her into a vampire in the second episode of the new season.

True Blood Season 5 airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO from June 10th.