Saturday, August 31, 2013

Looking - New Gay Dramady For HBO

Taking in the fact that the majority of HBO's programming has always had a healthy influx of gay characters, it now looks like the cable station is going to give us a dramady purely centring around three gay men in San Francisco called Looking and at least two of the leading actors have been cast.

First of all is Jonathan Groff. The actor best known for his roles in Starz drama, Boss (which was recently cancelled by the station) and of course the recurring role he had in the first three seasons of Glee was the first castmember to be revealed a few weeks ago. He will be playing Patrick, a gay man with a successful career as a video game developer.

The second leading character to be cast is Russell Tovey. the actor best known for his roles in Being Human and Him & Her. Tovey will be playing Kevin, a fellow video game wunderkid and best friend to Groff's character, Patrick. The eight part series will also feature Scott Bakula as Lynn, Frankie J. Alvarez as Agustín and Murray Bartlett as Dom. The series was created by Michael Lannan (based on his 2011 film, Lorimer) and will be executive produced by former Brothers & Sisters showrunner David Marshall Grant as well as Sarah Condon and Andrew Haigh. It's kind of overdue for HBO to try their hand at a gay centred dramady and with an excellent cast with Groff and Tovey, I can honestly say that I am definitely looking forward to see how this show fares when it airs next year. I also hope a UK broadcaster nabs it soon too.

Press Release:

Filming for Looking will begin over the next few months with an airdate scheduled for 2014 on HBO.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Atlantis - Four Glimpses

It's due to air on BBC1 very soon and yesterday, we finally got four rather brief trailers of upcoming Saturday night fantasy drama, Atlantis. Here they are ...

Arrows: The first trailer show Jason (Jack Donnelly) dodging a row of arrow being shot at him. Something tells me he'll be dodging a lot worse than during the first series.

The Oracle: A glimpse of Juliet Stevenson's Oracle. She sees deadly visions it seems. I am hoping that because we have four main female characters that we'll see more trailers for them as well.

The Heroes: A nice one of Hercules (Mark Addy), Jason (Jack Donnelly) and Pythagoras (Robert Emms) strolling around defiantly. It looks better than the poster we saw of them a while ago, doesn't it?

Jason 2: Another trailer focusing on the hunky lead, this time entering a rather creepy tomb all by himself. I expect this will happen a fair amount on the show.

Overall, some nice little teasers there but with the show due to air within the next few weeks, perhaps it's time for something a little more substantial though. Either way, Atlantis really does look like it's going to be a very worthy successor to Merlin though.

Series 1 Trailers:

Atlantis will air Saturdays on BBC1 in the next few weeks.

Soap Discussion - August 2013

Coronation Street: A very strong month for this show. Trust David to take his vendetta towards Nick to extreme levels and put his brother in the hospital. It still made for some great drama as did Kylie giving birth during the week as well. Without a doubt the strongest storylines this month along with the bits we got with Hayley's condition and Karl's determination to keep Craig on side as well. Unfortunately we still had the race storyline with Paul and Lloyd, which was a complete dud to watch along with Anna vs. Sally as well. As soap rivalries go, it wasn't an interesting one to watch.

EastEnders: Um, a bit of a hit and miss month. Tyler's speedy exit, Lauren's speedy recovery, the brisk introductions of Jake, Sadie, Tara and Cindy Jr are all well and good but the Max/Kirsty/Carl scenes are enough to put audiences in a coma. Surely, the writers must realise by now that none of us care about these three individuals, right? Even the Janine/Michael/Danny stuff wasn't that particularly riveting this month and the camping trip with Lola, Peter (who had an interesting enough secret), Jay, Abi, Dexter and Cindy Jr has been a little hit and miss as well. At least next month looks more exciting.

Emmerdale: Rhona's addiction to prescription pills has definitely been the better handled compared to soap rivals Nancy Osbourne and Sharon Rickman but the subplot with her and Vanessa did seem a tad tacked on though, right? I'm all for Vanessa's sexuality being confirmed but I don't think I'm alone in wishing it had been done in far less dubious. Still the storyline was more enjoyable than the overextending of Cameron's murdering antics. Come on, show, it's time to expose him as the killer of Carl/Alex/Gennie and now. We've waited long enough at this rate.

Hollyoaks: What a crazy month. Even for this show, the twists kept coming a bit too fast, didn't they? We've had Browning trying and failing to kill both Myra and Cindy, Sienna successfully driving Nancy out of the Dog and into an institution, John Paul's boyfriend being Ste's dad (who also had to kill his mother), Trevor still being a general menace, Sandy bouncing between Dodger and Frazer, I'm surprised the writers haven't burned themselves out. Arguably too much happened this month and some of the plots have worked better than others but either the whole Six Weeks Of Summer has managed to mostly work in the show's favour for the time being.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Review of Dexter's 8x09: "Make Your Own Kind Of Music"

Written by Karen Campbell
Directed by John Dahl

Vogel: “I think you misunderstand my point. Straddling two worlds as you are, it’s dangerous. Killers cannot have a full, emotional life.”
Dexter: “I think you underestimate me.”

I think the other point that should be raised isn’t whether or not Dexter and Hannah can run off with Harrison to Argentina for a full, emotional life but more it should be whether or not they deserve to have that kind of happiness together.

Yes, they’ve killed some awful people between them but they’ve also killed some innocent people and their actions have had consequences on the ones they’ve loved as well. Do Dexter and Hannah deserve a happy ever after? I’m not actually sure, which is interesting.

One of the things I’ve noticed about this season is that Dexter has killed far less people and when he has killed, the exhilaration he’s usually felt hasn’t been quite their. Could it be that the events of the last few years – Rita’s death, raising Harrison, Deb learning about his identity and what it’s cost her morality, Vogel coming into his life, Zach as a short lived apprentice as well as his bonds with Lumen and mostly Hannah – have actually lessened his desire to kill?

More to the point, could Dexter actually live a life where he doesn’t kill? Hannah made it clear twice that she doesn’t derive pleasure from murder and even Dexter admitted to Vogel that killing the Brain Surgeon would be the last thing he’d do before leaving Miami. Maybe he meant that it would also be his last kill too. It’s a certain possibility at the very least.

Then there’s the Brain Surgeon himself. Having the identity revealed as Daniel Vogel (aka, Oliver Saxon), the song of Dr Vogel was hardly a shock. It was set up early in the season that there would be a connection between Vogel and the Brain Surgeon and the former had been evasive with her own interest in psychopaths as well. Now it all makes sense in the most obvious of storytelling methods.

That’s not actually a criticism because I actually do like the idea of conflict between Vogel, Dexter and Daniel here. How is Vogel going to be able to protect the son she’s failed (Daniel) against the ‘son’ she’s succeeded with (Dexter) and vice versa? With three episodes left, one of them will definitely die if not both of them but who it will be remains the question though.

I liked that this episode delved more into Vogel’s back-story and her past. The timing was right and it’s one of a few plots that are coming together nicely. Elway making it his business to bring down Hannah is another interesting plot too, especially given that Marshall Clayton poses a decent threat to Dexter’s plans of happy life outside Miami too.

I also liked that this episode saw Deb reconsidering becoming a detective again. Angel more or less welcomed her back to the force and she certainly came alive during her interrogation of Oliver with Quinn as well too. Even the totally predictable kiss between the pair of them didn’t seem to deter her either.

Also in “Make Your Own Kind Of Music”

Vogel had two children and we learned pretty fast that Daniel killed his younger brother and faked his death from a fire in the mental home he was sent to.

Dexter: “Actually I was gonna say I love you.”
Hannah: “I love you too.”

Arlene really did turn out to be a good friend for Hannah. She kept $500,000 hidden for her and pretended to be sleeping with Dexter to keep Clayton off the scent. Harrison also lied to Clayton as well.

Dexter: “No-one else knows Zach is dead.”
Deb: “Now I know. I don’t wanna know because I’m gonna have to explain how I know.”

Arlene: “Aren’t you the asshole that turned her in?”
Dexter: “That would be me.”
Hannah: “Long story. Can we come in?”

I really enjoyed the scene with Deb and Hannah eating dinner together. I think there’s a good idea for a spin-off there, Showtime.

Jamie (to Deb, re Oliver): “We should all have someone who worships us like that, right?”

Vogel (re Daniel): “He’s my son.”
Dexter: “There’s nothing you can do for him now.”

Standout music: Mama Cass’s “Make Your Own Kind Of Music”, played several times during the episode and used to expand on Vogel’s backstory with her son.

Deb: “I can’t believe I’m eating food you made.”
Hannah: “It’s not bad though, right?”

Dexter (to himself): “I’ll kill Saxon and then leave Miami forever.”

Chronology: A few days since “Are We There Yet?”

“Make Your Own Kind Of Music” certainly delivered with revealing the Brain Surgeon and overall it was an enjoyable episode. Some of the other subplots (anything involving Angel, Matthews and Jamie) weren’t as exciting but overall, a good one.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Movie News: Ben Affleck Is Batman

It's been four days since the casting was announced and while this isn't a movie blog generally, I did promise some Batman content and here goes nothing ...

By now we all know that Ben Affleck (Argo to name one of his many credits) has been cast in the upcoming sequel for Man Of Steel, rumoured to be titled Batman vs. Superman and it's nice to know that people have generally learned nothing from past experiences. I can understand perhaps a lack of enthusiasm for Affleck's casting but do people really think petitions site against the man are going to achieve anything? Personally I think Affleck is fine enough casting - he looks the part, is the right age for the characters of Batman/Bruce Wayne the story is rumoured to be telling (an older, wearier version of the characters) and he's a good actor. You know, the stuff that actually matters in the grand scheme of things. Of course, even if he doesn't compare to the likes of Michael Keaton and Christian Bale, I can't see him faring worse than either Val Kilmer (who has openly supported Affleck's casting) or George Clooney.

However like many people, I do have some reservations. Actually a few to be honest and none of them are a reflection on Ben Affleck himself. I am actually confident that I'll like his version of Batman but it's hard not to admit that the inclusion of the character into the second Henry Cavill as Superman movie seems a tad forced. It's not that long since The Dark Knight trilogy ended and with Christopher Nolan not having any involvement in the project, can Zach Snyder really deliver? His direction in Man Of Steel has certainly divided movie goers over the summer and with a Justice League movie not far off either, you could argue it might be better to leave Batman and Superman meeting until then and just focus on further establishing Cavill's take on Superman without having the Caped Crusader overshadowing him in his own franchise. I'm definitely in two minds of it myself at the moment.

Elsewhere after it being rumoured for ages, it now seems that Bryan Cranston will be a part of the upcoming sequel as well. The Breaking Bad actor will be playing Superman's nemesis, Lex Luthor, having signed a deal for six appearances in the DC universe. Well, this just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?

Press Release:
Bryan Cranston Casting:

Filming for the Man Of Steel sequel will begin in 2014 with a summer 2015 release scheduled. I'll provide more updates as they come.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Penny Dreadful - Casting Announced

It's been a while since Showtime have had a horror themed show and now it seems we've got with the announcement of Penny Dreadful.

Former Doctor Who and Secret Diary Of A Call Girl actress Billie Piper has been cast in the eight part anthology series in an undisclosed. The series created by created by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan (Hugo, The Aviator and Gladiator ). Logan will write and executive produce alongside Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris (Revolutionary Road). The series will examine the origins of characters such as Dorian Gray, Frankenstein's monster and Count Dracula to name a few.

Also in the cast include former 007 himself Timothy Dalton, who will also be appearing in the series along with Josh Hartnett (Black Hawk Down) Eva Green (Camelot) and Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong). Dalton will be playing Sir Malcolm, a hardened African explorer while Green will play enigmatic heroine Vanessa Ives and Hartnell will play Ethan Chandler, a complicated man of action unafraid of violence. Like Piper, the nature of Kinnear's role has not been disclosed. I've got to be honest while this show does sound intruging, it also reminds me of that ABC pilot Gothika that wasn't picked up either. Penny Dreadful at least will have a first season and hopefully it'll be a good one too.

Press Release:

Filming for Penny Dreadful is taking place in Dublin and Wicklow from October 2013 to March 2014. The series will air on Showtime at some point in 2014.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Doctor Who - Top 50 Companions: Part 10

It's my final blog of my Top 50 Companions of Doctor Who and here are the Top 5. Enjoy folks.

1: TARDIS (Suranne Jones/Various Props)

Remember back in Rose when Cliven told a certain Miss Tyler that the Doctor's constant companion was death? Yeah, well he was a bit wide off the mark, there. The Doctor's actual constant companion is the TARDIS. Type 40. The Blue Box. Sexy. Whatever you want to call her and while recent episodes such as The Doctor's Wife and Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS have given us more details, it's always been the Doctor and the bestest spaceship in the world as constant companion. Now whether they mutually stole each or Clara introduced them is totally up to you but either way, the TARDIS is the best companion ever.

2: Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen)

If it were not for a certain blue box, then everyone's favourite investigative journalist would've been the number one companion. Still in terms of human companions though, she is, so that's good right? Sarah Jane is everything you'd want in a best mate, a travelling buddy and a female heroic character in general. It might have taken over three decades but spin-off show The Sarah Jane Adventures more than demonstrated why she deserves to be seen as the most iconic companion the show has ever produced.

3: Ace McShane (Sophie Aldred)

Oh Ace- you really did live up to your name, didn't you? In some ways without this character, we might not have had future companions like Rose Tyler and Amy Pond (both of whom have some similarities to Ace) and without her around, the Seventh Doctor probably would've been done for many times over. A passionate, flighty teenage girl with a expertise in Nitro-9, the character was a joy to watch develop over the final years of the Classic Series.

4: Brigadier Sir Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)

Like Sarah Jane, the Brigadier not only has the fortune to have seen and worked with many versions of the Doctor but has worked brilliantly with nearly all of them, though his rapport with both the Second and Third Doctors have always been the most sublime to watch. A military man he might have been but not adverse to actually taking on some of the Doctor's more outlandish of ideas when the situation called for it, he's another deserved icon of the series. Five rounds rapid.

5: Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines)

The finest Scots person that ever surfaced on Doctor Who (though Amy is very close too). Jamie has appeared in the most amount episodes, proved that both historical and male companions worked with aplomb and it's really hard to imagine the Second Doctor without Jamie, isn't it? A wonderful companion who never gets dull to watch.

Doctor Who Proms is on Monday 4pm on BBC1 from August 26th.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Doctor Who - Top 50 Companions: Part 9

Penultimate blog of this impressive (haha) Top 50 list of Doctor Who companions. Last one is being put up tomorrow, folks.

6: Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)

Without a doubt, Jack is one of the most fascinating characters ever on telly, never mind within the realms of the Doctor Who universe and spin-off series, Torchwood. An omnisexual conman with two years of his memories missing and more disasters surrounding him, it's amazing how much of an impact the character has made over the last eight years in both television shows. Surely at some point, he might resurface again. I know John Barrowman will certainly reprise the role at the drop of a hat.

7: Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman)

The impossible girl with a knack for burning souffles (did she inspire a certain Carly Simon song during her many splinters?) and popping up everywhere. She's met and helped every version of the Doctor (mainly without him knowing it), with both the Eleventh and Twelfth ones being the ones she's gotten to know/will get to know. While we do need more insight into what makes Clara ticks as a person, it's hard not to warm to the character, wonderfully played by Coleman. Definitely one of Steven Moffat's most fascinating of characters.

8: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan)

Oh Amy. If there is one thing that can be said about this flame haired Scotswoman it's definitely that she leaves a lasting impression. The Eleventh Doctor lamented about her being in his hearts prior to Manhattan and we've seen Rory go through hell and back with her too. Personally, I've always liked Amy's spiky personality and wanderlust and while she might be polarising for some, I do think she is without a doubt one of the most memorable companions we'll ever have on the show. I certainly enjoyed the majority of the 33 episodes that featured her.

9: Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill)

Okay, you know the way lazy critics and certain fans bleat on about the female companions being screamers? Well back in 1963, a certain history teacher did a lot more than that. She was the companion who easily called the First Doctor out on his hostile attitude at times, the ones who was seen as an Aztec goddess and the one who was the much needed voice of reason in the TARDIS. Basically, Barbara Wright rules.

10: Ian Chesterton (William Russell)

Keeping up with the high standards of male companion, science teacher Ian really did set up a precedent, didn't he? Like Barbara, he was an audience surrogate into the chaotic world of the First Doctor and Susan and he was more than a match for the Doctor as well. He was also the first companion to be addressed by his surname, long before Vislor Turlough and Amy Pond ever travelled in the TARDIS.

Part 10 will be up tomorrow.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Review of Dexter's 8x08: "Are We There Yet?"

Written by Wendy West
Directed by Holly Dale

Zach (to Dexter/Hannah): “Are we there yet?”

Oh Zach – I finally got there and found myself enjoying you as a character (which helped when it was revealed that you didn’t kill Cassie) and then this episode had to end up with you losing some of your brain and Vogel getting another package in the mail. I should’ve known the moment I began to warm to Zach that was he was a dead man walking.

I liked so many things about this episode but Zach’s bond with Dexter and his following of Harry’s Code without actually realising it was interesting. I liked that he had done his research on Sean before killing him and that he had a kill room prepared even if he made the odd rookie mistake. More to the point, I liked the more genuine connection that he had with Dexter in this episode.

Dexter realised just in time that Zach was innocent and helped him dispose of Sean’s body. Along with Vogel and Hannah, they also realised that whoever really killed Cassie was trying to frame Zach as well. I think it might be a safe bet that Cassie’s killer was the Brain Surgeon and that leads to another thing.

Vogel has to be connected to the Brain Surgeon. If she’s not aiding them in some capacity then she is undoubtedly responsible for them in some other way. This isn’t even speculation anymore – it has to be a fact. We’ve had too many coincidences surrounding her and the Brain Surgeon for it to be otherwise. Also, now that we’re four episodes away from the big ending, can we please actually learn who the Brain Surgeon is now?

Getting back to Zach for a bit though – he still had some creepy moments (especially his post kill glee) but I did love his reactions to everything, especially the tension between Dexter, Hannah and Deb in this episode. I also really loved the dinner table scene with Dexter, Hannah, Zach and Vogel as well.

Vogel made some interesting points about Dexter and Hannah’s relationship. Both of them are good and bad together and this episode tried to highlight both as it swayed towards the good end of the scale. Deb let go of her anger towards Hannah and almost grudgingly gave Dexter her blessing but by then her snooping had been done and Elway decided to continue where she left off with Hannah being back in Miami.

As for Dexter and Hannah – there’s a load of issues you can raise about two killers getting a happy ever after but the possibility of them actually getting it does seem rather likely. Hannah was persuaded by Dexter to stay in Miami even after he went to the trouble of getting her fake papers to leave the country and more to the point, she took an interest in his methods as a killer and the impact that Vogel has had on him.

As for Deb, it wasn’t her best episode. It felt weird not seeing her at that dinner scene with Dexter and the gang and her decision to walk way from Elway’s business will more than likely backfire on her as well. Elway started off being a reasonable enough guy but it kind of seems like he’s got a nasty side to him as well. I wonder if he might end up being one of Dexter’s final kills before the show ends.

Also in “Are We There Yet?”

Masuka and Nikki dressing alike at Miami Metro was a little weird to watch. I wonder if Nikki will end up being killed off in later episodes.

Dexter: “Miami is not the place for you to be in right now. The sooner we get you out, the better.”
Hannah: “I completely agree.”

Vogel seemed deliberately evasive when Hannah asked her about her interest in psychopaths. Stating the obvious here but that has to mean something.

Dexter (re Cassie): “She’s dead because you talked me out of killing Zach in the first place.”
Vogel: “He showed real potential. You saw that. I thought you were having an impact on him.”

Deb (to Dexter, re Hannah): “Are you on top of it or on top of her?”

I’m surprised Quinn didn’t get suspicious when Dexter told him to back off with Zach. The plotlines with him and Jamie continue to bore though.

Hannah (re Zach): “So, he’s a terrible student?”
Dexter: “I wasn’t exactly a hands on teacher.”

Hannah: “So what brilliant turn of phrase have you come up with to describe me? The evil temptress? The passionate poisoner?”
Dexter: “Fiendish florist.”
Hannah: “No, really when you’re lying in bed at night and I happen to cross your mind, what do you call me?”
Dexter: “Hannah. You’re just Hannah.”

Jamie moved in with Angel in this episode, Hannah was given the passport of a Claire Thompson and was Oliver lying when he told Quinn he didn’t recognise Zach?

Dexter (re Zach): “He was following the code without even knowing it.”

Dexter (to Hannah/Deb): “You’re both still breathing. That’s a good sign.”

Standout music: Mama Cass’s “Make Your Own Kind Of Music”. Guess what the next episode is called folks.

Vogel (to Dexter/Hannah): “The truth is you make a good couple and probably a bad one too.”

Chronology: From where “Dress Code” more or less left off.

“Are We There Yet?” was certainly the best episode we’ve had this season. We’ve had road trip episodes before and this was another delightful one, especially for the family meal and last few minutes.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D & The Tomorrow People - Acquired by Channel 4 & E4

With both shows due to air on ABC and the CW respectively, it seems that UK broadcasters have swooped in early and nabbed both Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D and The Tomorrow People.

Channel 4 have confirmed that they have swooped up Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D and in probably a wise move, have also confirmed that they will air the show shortly after transmission on ABC. This isn't the first time the channel have aired a Joss Whedon show as they did air the first two seasons of Angel in the early 2000s. I just hope for this show's sake history doesn't repeat itself and it ends up in a crap timeslot with bad editing.

Elsewhere E4 have also bagged the rights to the US remake of The Tomorrow People and will be airing it in 2014. The show (like the ITV original) will focus on a group of young men and women with extraordinary abilities and stars both Robbie Amell and Luke Mitchell. I have to admit, I'm surprised both of these shows were gotten by Channel 4 and E4 respectively but I guess it does make a change from Sky bagging them. I just hope both shows fare well on their respective channels.

Marvels Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D:
The Tomorrow People:

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D airs Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC from September 24th and The Tomorrow People will air Wednesdays 9pm on the CW from October 9th.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Crazy About One Direction

"We're a part of a fandom that could kill you if we wanted to."

Never since the words "I'm your number one fan" from a certain Annie Wilkes in Misery has the idea of a fandom being scary become so apparent. Okay, I am going to be fair here because while I'm sure these selected girls are the more Crazy About One Direction and the majority of the lads fanbase is pretty harmless, it does get you thinking about the intensity of fans, especially given the rise in social media nowadays.

When I was their age, I was barely using the internet, never mind obsessively checking out for Twitter updates on my phone/laptop/tablet every five minutes for bands I've liked (and I'll admit my own taste in music can be all over the flipping place at times). These girls on the documentary that aired on Channel 4 last Thursday (talk about good time - given that a certain movie has been released this week) certainly proves that fandom can be a double edged sword.

It was these fangirls that propelled One Direction from another runner up on The X Factor back in 2010 to the most talked about boyband over the last few years. Musically, I don't think there's much that actually separates One Direction from their other predecessors and rivals and while they're not the only band with an intense fandom, it has been their fandom just of late that has generated a lot of negative press for the last while. This documentary did show that some of this negative press towards these particular set of fans wasn't entirely unjustified.

Throughout the hour I saw a group of teenage girls who weren't content with seeing the boys but took to levels of stalking them, fantasising about at least two of the members dating each other, viciously attacking their girlfriends through social media sites and even each other as well as well as even joking about cutting off their own limbs in order to be close to their idols. I know some will chalk it up to them just being kids and that they'll learn eventually but given the recent reports of more online cyber bullying (particularly from that site), this documentary was something of a depressing insight into how some people take their enjoyment of certain things to extreme levels and how vicious things can escalates over nothing either.

Now I know that not all fans of bands like One Direction behave this way (thank goodness) but the fact that there's even a vocal few who do (and realise their behaviour is a bit excessive and still do it) behave this way is worrying. After the Channel 4 documentary aired, some of them took to Twitter to express their anger in a way that was both laughable and worrying as well. In these girls defence, if social networking had been around during Beatlemania, we would probably see similar behaviour patterns but at the same time, I couldn't help thinking these girls should just get a grip and enjoy the lads music without behaving like lunatics over them. One Direction might be the hot boyband right now but I doubt it'll be that long before another one swoops in and take their title.

Crazy About One Direction can be watched again on 4OD.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Revenge - Season 3 Trailer/Spoilers

It's just a little over a month away from airing but ABC have started with the promotional material for the upcoming third season of Revenge.

The 30 second trailer for the third season has already revealed what will happen in the first few minutes of the season premiere, Fear. Emily gets shot, presumably after marrying Daniel for real this time and falls into the ocean. I think it's a safe assumption that Emily will actually survive this but who shot her and why? Has someone else rumbled that she's actually Amanda Clarke after all? Either way, it's a rather soapy way of opening up the new season.

As for Nolan - good news viewers, we'll be seeing him with a male love interest this season. According to The Backlot (formerly AfterElton) and producers Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg, the reveal of Nolan's new suitor will be delicious. I get the feeling it could be Patrick (Justin Hartley) but that might be wishful thinking on my part though. Other spoilers include a feistier version of Charlotte who returns from Europe and will be doing some revenge of her own this year. There's rumours she might be getting Daniel to wise up about Emily a little as well.

And here is the first promotional picture of Victoria and first born Patrick released as well. It also seems from more recent spoilers that Patrick will be something of a handful as well. I don't doubt that he'll rub both Daniel and Conrad up the wrong way and may provide some sort of an obstacle for Emily as well. The trailer for the new season also showed us that we'll be seeing Patrick shirtless as well, which will undoubtedly back up Gabriel Mann's comments about there being more skin shown this season with the cast.

Season 3 Trailer:
More News:

Season 3 of Revenge airs Sundays at 9pm on ABC from September 29th. Airdates for RTE2 and E4 have yet to be announced.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Review of True Blood's 6x10: "Radioactive"

Written by Kate Barnow
Directed by Scott Winant

Sookie: “Monster. What the fuck are you smiling at? Your intended just called you a monster.”
Warlow: “Good news. Night has fallen.”

Even better news for those who didn’t like Warlow – he didn’t survive this episode. Well, him not surviving was obvious but at least he finally showed his true colours before being tag team killed by both Jason and Niall (who finally appeared for a few seconds this week) and it was a rather quick death.

For a vampire-fairy hybrid Warlow managed to be even easier to kill than Russell was last season with Eric. However staking Warlow after he tried to use brute force in order to keep Sookie as his vampire bride did make sure that at least the Bilith and vampires walking in the sunlight plot was swiftly dealt with as well.

I said in my previous review that “Life Matters” felt more like a season finale and watching this episode, I stand by that opinion. This episode did what usual finales of the show have done – the first half tied up loose ends while the second half set up a whole load of plots waiting to be explored next season with a six month fast forward.

Sam as the new Mayor of Bon Temps and Bill the book author banding together to get humans and vampires to have consensual feeding/protection relationship against the Hep V infected vampires could go either way to be honest. Most people at the church seemed pissed off with the idea and Lettie Mae suddenly wanting Tara to feed off her seemed a little suspicious as well.

Of course the cliff hanger with a horde of infected vampires coming towards Bellefleur’s Bar & Grill (yes, Arlene bought Merlotte’s and changed the name) was a nice image even if it came in the middle of Bill sticking his oar into Sookie and Alcide’s relationship by trying to offer her some protection.

I can’t say I exactly blame Alcide for being pissed or Sookie for turning down Bill’s offer either on the matter. Bill might his old self again but him and Sookie really should not renew their relationship. Both of them keeping a respective distance from each other is probably the wisest thing they can do for each other. Also I actually like that Sookie and Alcide have ended up together, even if certain segments of fandom are less enamoured with this pairing.

The biggest about this episode however seemed to be whether or not Eric truly fried. We saw him starkers roasting when the fairy blood wore off but I just can’t see the writers killing Eric off in such an anticlimactic way. Besides, the episode did make a big deal about Pam wanting to go find Eric, so unless HBO confirm that Alexander Skarsgard has actually left the show, I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of a certain Viking vampire just yet.

As for Jessica, this was an interesting episode for her too. She got herself a lovely vampire boyfriend with James (who can actually sing quite well), told Bill to save Sookie and more to the point, she made genuine steps to atone for her actions with Andy by offering him her protection without wanting feeding in return. Andy has every right not to forgive Jessica but the fact that he didn’t kill her when she was reaching out to him was good. I got the impression though that was more for Adylin than Jessica.

Also in “Radioactive”

Violet is still around and she’s a sexually teasing relationship with Jason for the last 178 days. I did like that she helped with rescuing Sookie though. I didn’t however like the jealous strike she showed with Jessica though during the volleyball game.

Sookie: “Alcide, I’m a survivor too.”

I bet there were a lot of fans who were pausing their screens when Eric appeared in this episode. Famous Males Forums already has the pictures too.

Pam: “Sookie, I am actually happy to see you.”
Tara: “Back off bitch.”

Sookie: “Honestly, I’m asking if you’ll date me.”
Warlow: “Date you? As in drive in movies and bowling?”

The maypole ritual was a bit on the cheesy side and Warlow did seem to enjoy tying Sookie up a little too much here.

Pam: “Take care of Willa.”
Tara: “You guys are the worst fucking makers ever.”

Warlow: “Don’t you get it? No more Bilith. No more access.”

Was it me or did Lettie Mae seem to assume that Tara and Willa were actually involved with each other? Lafayette and Nicole also had no lines in this episode and Bill’s book was called And God Bled.

Lawrence: “So why the book at all?”
Bill: “To establish trust. To end all the secrets.”

Violet (to Jason): “I told you I wasn’t going to make it easy.”

Standout music: Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive”, which is one of my favourite songs at the moment.

Sookie (to Bill): “That’s the thing though. Even at your best, I could never really trust you.”

Chronology: Six month jump, which means we missed Christmas in Bon Temps and are back into the summer.

“Radioactive” might not be as great as previous finales but I seriously thought it was actually a decent way of ending the season. It tied up the right loose ends, gave a few interesting cliff hangers and some great set ups for next season. Sorry, Eric obsessives but I am not done with this show.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Orphan Is The New Black

It's summer and while there's a fair share of period dramas, hit and miss comedies and more reality fodder on telly, here are some of the other shows I've been watching lately.

Orange Is The New Black: Netflix have been streaming this since the second week of July and I decided to give in and see what the fuss was about. Having watched the first two episodes, I can easily say it's certainly a charming show. Taylor Schilling is pretty good as the put upon Piper coping with being in a prison with the same woman who caused her downfall (though they've barely interacted so far). The flashbacks detailing Piper's relationships with both Alex and Larry and volatile Russian cook's Red's own flashbacks have been fun to watch. It might not be one of the most innovative shows you'll ever see but it's certainly worth a gander.

Orphan Black: Another show that's been hyped for quite some time, I also decided to throw caution to the wind and watch the first two episodes. Truthfully, I am so glad I did because this show is every bit as good as people on my respective feeds have been saying it is. Tatiana Maslany is a revelation as Sarah and Alison and Katja and Beth and Cosima and probably every other clone she'll play in the remaining eight episodes of the first season. I'm seriously fighting the urge to gorge on the entire season in one sitting (instead I'll watch two episodes a week). It really is that good. If you haven't seen it, do. You won't regret it.

Skins: I've got to be honest - I've never been the biggest fan of Cook. In fact, I'd probably go as far to say that along with Freddie, he was my least favourite character from the second generation, so the idea of a two part story with him filled me with dread. However given that both Effy and Cassie's episodes were seriously lacking, I was impressed with how well Rise was by comparison. Granted, it was cliched to the hilt with Cook falling foul of an unconvincing drug dealer, Louis but it was better acted and quite atmospheric in parts. Perhaps not the most satisfying way of ending this series after seven years but certainly better than I expected it to be.

The Americans: I've said it in previous blogs but I'll say it one more time - I don't think this show belongs on ITV, especially not on a Saturday night. It's a shame really because every episode has gotten so much better, especially with the further examinations of what makes Elizabeth tick and the lengths Philip himself will go to keep Martha on side, along with both Jennings complicated feelings for each other too. It's a great show with some truly excellent writing, not just with Philip and Elizabeth but also with Claudia, who still manages to be a pain in the ass and Stan, who has become rather endearing as well as a character. Looking forward to the last two episodes but if ITV have picked up this show's second season, they need to give it a better timeslot and air it closer to US transmission like Channel 4 have done with Homeland.

The Returned: The most hyped about show over the summer period came to a conclusion with a strong episode in my opinion. I know some people were unsatisfied that not everything was resolved but given that we've had plenty set up for next series (various characters taken by the Horde, the water rising, Adele's pregnancy, etc), I'm more than happy not to know everything for a little bit longer. This show isn't likely to run for six seasons like Lost and personally, I'm not ready to see this show go just yet. I'm also glad that Channel 4's risk in airing this has paid off for them tremendously. It's been a superb series to watch for the last eight weeks.

- Sandra Oh will be departing Grey's Anatomy at the end of it's upcoming tenth season.
- Lindsay Lohan will be guest starring in Eastbound & Down.
- Lauren Bacall will kiss Peter Griffin in an episode of Family Guy.
- Dreama Walker will be playing a mean teacher nemesis for Jess in New Girl.
- Ian Hart has a recurring role as a scientist in Agents Of SHIELD.
- Nick Jonas will play a computer hacker on Hawaii Five-0.
- Marc Cherry's Devious Maids has been renewed for a second season by Lifetime.
- Sky1 will air Glee's fifth season within seven days of it's FOX transmission.
- Teryl Rothery will play The Atom's love interest in Arrow's second season.
- Doug Jones will play a killer named Barrow in a 2014 episode of Teen Wolf.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Doctor Who - Top 50 Companions: Part 8

Well, I'm two blogs from revealing my Top 10 Companions of Doctor Who and it was a toughie but until then, here is the eighth part of this list.

Warning: Contains a spoiler for a future Big Finish release.

11: Romana (Mary Tamm/Lalla Ward/Juliet Landau)

If ever there was a companion who needed to return to the actual show itself right about now, then surely it's Romana? Not only does the show desperately need to scrap the last of the Time Lord thing with the Doctor altogether, but Romana like Sarah Jane is another Classic Series companion I could easily envision going down a storm with a whole generation of new viewers, especially after the sterling work both Mary Tamm and Lalla Ward did with the character during the Fourth Doctor's era. In 2014, Juliet Landau (Drusilla from Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel) will be playing a future version of the character for the audio, Luna Romana and for me, that's brilliant but it only makes me want to see the character on screen that tiny bit more. Make it happen, Moffat.

12: Jo Grant (Katy Manning)

Or more to the point, Jo Jones as her appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures classic, Death Of The Doctor informed her. Jo might have her moments of dippiness here and there but she was a lot clever than people gave her credit for. One of her glorious moments was stopping the Master from hypnotizing her and her onscreen dynamic with the Third Doctor remains one of the strongest we've had in the show's fifty year history.

13: Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman)

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. I have actually ranked Martha higher than both Rose Tyler and Donna Noble and yes, I am being serious. Out of all of RTD's companions in the Tenth Doctor era, I felt that sometimes Martha got a bit of a rough deal from fans. The unrequited crush might not have worked in her favour (or the off screen marriage to Mickey) but Martha was a kind, capable, resourceful Doctor who managed to defeat the Master and leave the Doctor before things got too complicated. She might not be everyone's cup of tea but no way is this woman anywhere near as unpopular as some fans like to insist she is.

14: Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill)

Mr Pond. The Boy Who Waited. The Last Centurion. Rory has had a few nicknames and a good share of deaths over his two and a half year run with the Eleventh Doctor and while it might have been the Weeping Angels that took both him and Amy out last year, there's no denying his brilliance as a companion. Some might feel he was overshadowed by his own wife and daughter during his time in the TARDIS but honestly, I don't feel Rory was. He held his own in many ways and his spiky banter with the Eleventh Doctor never failed to be entertaining to watch. Don't we all want a Rory, folks?

15: Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)

Oh Rose - if ever there was a companion where fandom's obsession was ever evident, it would be with her. You've got fans incapable of moving on from her and others who view her as the worst thing to ever happen to the show (possibly). My own stance - I like her of course. Personally I think she's a good companion and deserves some of the acclaim she gets but at the same time, she's also a companion who in my own opinion worked better with the Ninth Doctor than the Tenth Doctor (Donna really was his companion). Still, I am looking forward to seeing her in the 50th anniversary episode in November though.

Parts 9 and 10 of this will be up next week.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Review of Dexter's 8x07: "Dress Code"

Written by Arika Lisanne Mittman
Directed by Alik Sakharov

Dexter: “It’s gonna be okay. I’ll take care of everything.”
Hannah: “I believe you.”

After that nice little cameo in last week’s episode, everyone’s favourite little poison expert is deservedly the main focus of this week’s episode. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Hannah return all season long and now that she’s here, it’s certainly a mixed bag for everyone involved.

First of all – did the writers really need to make Hannah into a victim of an abusive husband? It kind of felt like a tacked on way of generating sympathy for the character but at the same time, her arrangement with Miles was definitely something I didn’t want to see dragged out for several episodes, so thank goodness she bumped off in this episode.

Unlike previous victims, Hannah had some mixed feelings about killing Miles. Initially she wanted Dexter’s help in order to do but changed her mind because she’s still in love with him. I’m glad the writers addressed that one during her scenes with Dexter in this episode but can she be trusted though?

Miles was an abusive man she killed in self defence and while Hannah admitted that she doesn’t get off on killing people, she certainly has no problem with doing it to get rid of obstacles. Deb will certainly be an obstacle for Hannah and both Vogel and Zach have the potential to be ones too. Will Hannah try and kill either of them?

Deb already sussed in this episode that Dexter’s feelings for Hannah were still prominent and she didn’t hold back her disgust when she realised that Harrison had affection for the black widow as well. However, this episode did seem to give an impression that Hannah might be redeemable and Dexter himself certainly made no effort to take her out at all.

He was openly jealous about her marriage to Miles and kept questioning her motives for returning to Miami. More to the point, he also helped Hannah dispose of Miles’s body as well and begged her not to leave town. Needless to say, Dexter really is besotted with Hannah and that’s going to be a problem.

Hannah’s return took over his mentoring of Zach and the little psychopath responded by killing poor Cassie as well. I know Vogel seems annoyingly determined to champion Zach as another Dexter but in reality, he’s just another Brain Surgeon with too much information on her and Dexter. This is one time bomb Dexter might want to defuse sooner rather than later.

Also in “Dress Code”

Hannah was given the new name of Maggie Castner upon marrying Miles and seems to have gotten over her fear of water as well.

Deb (to Dexter, re Hannah): “I don’t want to deal with this. I want her gone.”

Quinn earned some pointers this week with his continued pursuit of Zach. I actually want him to succeed here. Still don’t care about his relationship with Jamie though.

Harry (re Hannah): “You think she wants to be found?”
Dexter: “I think she wants to destroy our lives. Mine and Debra’s.”

Dexter: “What are you doing back in Miami?”
Hannah: “I was about to enjoy a martini.”

Nikki was working as topless waitress while Masuka trying to get her as his lab assistant. I’m not really sure where they’re going with this plot to be honest. Elway’s attitude with Deb was a little annoying in this episode, even if she was snappy with him.

Dexter (re Hannah): “I found her. She’s married.”
Deb: “Well, there’s someone for everyone I guess. I hope he’s sleeping with one eye open.”

Dexter (re Miles): “Why did you marry him?”
Hannah: “Because he was there when you weren’t.”

Hannah became the third person this season to see Dexter’s full ritual. That probably means Zach will see it soon too if he’s not killed off next week.

Deb: “You don’t know who I am.”
Elway: “I just want a chance to find out.”

Deb (to Cassie): “Trust me, Dexter is not a mystery you want to solve.”

Chronology: From where “A Little Reflection” left off.

Definitely a better episode than the previous one. “Dress Code” nicely placed Hannah back into the mix of Dexter’s growing little family but like Zach, it’s too early to tell if she’s going to be a success or a failure for Dexter though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Homeland - Season 3 Trailer

The trailer was released a few days for the third season of Homeland and here are some of the highlights of what looks like another intense season ahead.

- First of all, the song being used in the trailer is called To Build A Home by Cinematic Orchestra.
- Can no-one do ugly crying like Claire Danes? Carrie seems to be crying a lot in this trailer.
- Quinn looks pretty trigger happy in this as well.
- Brody is on the run and sporting a massive reduction in hair as well.
- Meanwhile Jess, Dana and Chris seem to be falling apart in his absence.

- Nice scene with Carrie being comforted by Saul whilst another has her handcuffed to a hospital bed.
- Brody seems to have been injured as well in some of the shots in the trailer.
- Could Dana be taking up her father's other religion? Laying down the mat did seem to indicate it and she's taking pictures of herself.
- Jess seems to have moved onto someone new as well, judging by one moment in the trailer.
- There does look to be more location filming this series as well, especially with Brody's storyline.

Season 3 Trailer:

Season 3 of Homeland will air Sundays at 9pm on Showtime from September 29th and will air on Channel 4 and RTE2 in October.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Downton Abbey - Series 4: Three Dashing Gentlemen

Let's face it, Downton Abbey isn't exactly lacking when it comes to attractive men, even with the departure of Dan Stevens, but for Series 4 you can expect at least three new fellas thrown into the mix ...

Gary Carr will be playing American musician, Jack Ross. Earlier in the year, it was mentioned that the show would be introducing a black character and Carr's character is something of a celebrity and he's quite the charismatic character. Carr's previous credits have included BBC1 drama, Death In Paradise.

Julian Ovenden will be playing aristocratic character, Charles Blake. It's been reported that he will arrive at Downton along with recurring character, Evelyn Napier and he's probably hoping that he doesn't go the same that Pamuk did in the first series. Ovenden's previous credits include The Royal and Foyle's War.

Last but not least Tom Cullen will be playing the role of Lord Anthony, a friend of the Crawleys and also a potential love interest for the widowed, Mary Crwaley. Cullen's other credits include Black Mirror and Weekend.

And as a final note, the cast shot for the fourth series which isn't too radically different to what we've had in previous series. The photoshop does look a bit dodgy though.

More Details:

Downton Abbey's fourth series will air on ITV in the autumn.