Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gracepoint - First Cast Pictures

With filming nearly done for the 10 part US version of Broadchurch, titled Gracepoint near in completion, FOX have released two promo pictures of stars David Tennant and Anna Gunn.

David Tennant playing a similar role to the one he did in the UK version, only this time his character is being called Emmett Carver while Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn will be taking on the role of Ellie Miller as previously played by Olivia Colman in the UK version and the series will again look into the murder of a young boy, this time named Danny Lassiter with the setting being in a Californian town this time around.

With Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall writing the pilot episode and UK director James Hawes helming, this version will inevitably have it's similarities to the original source material but at the same time, Chibnall has mentioned that Gracepoint will also deviate from the original show as well. I have to admit it actually took me a while to get into Broadchurch and when I finally did, I got the fuss behind it. I'm still not entirely sure if Tennant is really needed for the US remake but I'll definitely give the series a go when it does air. As for a UK broadcaster, it might be nice to see ITV actually air it but I wouldn't be surprised if a digital channel ends up with it instead.

Gracepoint Pictures:

Gracepoint will premiere in the autumn on FOX.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 3x20: "Revolution"

Written by Sunil Nayar And Michael J. Cinquemani
Directed by Christine Moore

Emily: “I know we have had our differences but it seems like you’re actually getting what you deserve. Congratulation Victoria.”

There’s an exchange in the second season of Game Of Thrones between Tyrion and Cersei where he told the latter her joy would turn to ash (something which the fourth season has delivered on) and oddly enough during that brief moment between Emily and Victoria, the same thing happened here.

Victoria started this episode being elated at the idea of Pascal wanting to marry her and ended the episode having to deal with the fallout of his violently comical death. However just like a certain Queen Regent, it’s actually a little hard to sympathise with Victoria at the moment.

Her relationship with Pascal over the last five episodes has been tediously predictable to watch at almost every turn and given the lack of chemistry between the actors, it’s also been pretty implausible as well. The only good thing that Pascal actually did in this episode was to finally push Conrad into resorting to murdering him and being sliced by a helicopter was certainly a memorable way for an unmemorable character to otherwise depart.

Without being trying to be too snarky or horrible – Pascal serves a better purpose as a dead man than an alive one. Sure his death kind of messed up Emily’s scheme to finally get the Graysons behind back but with Pascal dead, Conrad can breath a sigh of relief, Victoria can get closer to uncovering Emily and Daniel can continue to work his slimy charms on Margaux. Basically if you’re a Grayson, Pascal’s death works out for you just fine.

As for Emily – at least this week she was actually working towards getting things back on tracks. I liked the Homeland Security/Rebecca Stone ruse she pulled on Pascal to try and snare Conrad and her final plan had better be something just as interesting if she isn’t responsible for Charlotte being kidnapped.

That leads to the other thing – who did kidnap Charlotte at the end of the episode? Emily and Aiden or that creepy guy who seems to be fixated on David Clarke? Either way, it’s the first time in a while that Charlotte has had something of a useful plot for the show. Too bad it had to be something as clich├ęd as being abducted though.

Also in “Revolution”

Jack and Margaux broke up in this episode. That can only mean that Daniel will be sleeping with her by the time we get to the finale if not next week then.

Emily (to Pascal): “This is where you tell me everything.”

Congrats to Nolan for finding a nice way of ruining Javier, Daniel and Margaux’s launch for the MyClone app.

Pascal: “I give you Conrad, no problem.”
Emily: “We need Victoria too.”
Pascal: “No.”

Daniel (to Conrad): “Besides there’s many upsides to getting rid of Pascal.”

I really hope this show isn’t going to pull a plot where either David Clarke is alive or that creepy stalker guy is his son/brother/some other relative or enemy.

Party Planner: “You’re not on the list.”
Nolan: “How about on the hardware?”

Standout music: Frankie Rose’s “Sorrow”.

Emily (re Conrad): “I need to take him down.”
Aiden: “Do you have a plan?”
Emily: “I think so.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Allegiance” left off.

“Revolution” might not have been the most stirring of episodes but it was certainly an improvement and it wins points for finally taking Pascal out of the question. Overall, it gives me some hope for the last two episodes.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 2x06: "The Rope Of The Dead"

Written by David S. Goyer And Matt Fraction
Directed by Jon Jones

Riario: “Know this, DaVinci. If we depart this place without the Book Of Leaves, I will kill you myself.”

And knowing Riario, you just know that he will give it a good try too, even if DaVinci managed to best him in the end. It’s not just a certain show on NBC that’s getting into the spirit of entwining two enemies together and forcing them to work together but on this show too, both DaVinci and Riario were rather dependant on each other’s survival courtesy of Ima and her people running the mother of all tests.

If it wasn’t for Riario being forced into sacrificing poor Zita, I actually would’ve thought that he fared the best in his trial in the cornfield. He was certainly battering the crap out of the various Incans that tried to kill him and he certainly was able to surprise them at various turns but then they got their own back and poor Zita died as a measure.

As much as I was sad to see Zita go (great character potential there), I did like that her death further illustrated Riario’s kinder side. He took zero pleasure in having to kill her and he certainly took no comfort when DaVinci told him that Zita forgave him as well. Even though DaVinci wasn’t responsible for Zita’s death, I can see why Riario might view him as though.

Speaking of DaVinci – when he wasn’t being struck by his archenemy, he was getting married of sorts to Ima, poisoned by a snake and then entering a rather trippy dream sequence with various dead people trying to tempt him with future knowledge as well as offering cryptic clues about the Book Of Leaves.

It’s kind of amazing that this show has only lightly shown anything really supernatural so for this episode to go almost all out (and not just with DaVinci) was actually a rather pleasant surprise. I enjoyed the scenes DaVinci had with his older self as well as the ones with Giuliano and Solomon that it was almost a shame they weren’t a little longer though. However they did seem to serve their purpose and that of course was the point of the whole episode.

Keeping with the supernatural stuff – it is right to possibly assume that Al Rahim might not actually be alive either? DaVinci saw him amongst the dead and even Lucrezia herself briefly met the man and her sister Amelia again while her assassin friend was drugged. I’m hoping we do get a definitive answer on whether Al Rahim is actually alive or not but either way, I will admit that I am continuing to enjoy Lucrezia a little more this season compared to the previous. I’m hoping her adventures in Constantinople will be interesting to watch as well.

As for Lorenzo – his anger of Giuliano’s death made a lot of sense given that he hadn’t really given time to grieve at all in the previous episodes, between nearly dying himself and having the Pazzis almost wipe out his family but I am glad that anger manifested (along with ghost Giuliano) into besting both Ferrante and Alfonso this week. I’m also hoping within the next four episodes that Lorenzo and Ippolita actually do take out the tyrant father and his tedious son as well. Ferrante is a sadist that needs putting down and Alfonso is an awful character who I can’t see getting interesting any time soon.

Also in “The Rope Of The Dead”

Ima, I’m pretty sure you didn’t need to drug DaVinci into having sex with you. Just saying is all.

DaVinci: “Is this a marriage proposal?”
Ima: “Are you destined to another?”
DaVinci: “No.”

DaVinci might not be ‘destined’ to anyone but he did have great reluctance in handing over Lucrezia’s ring to Ima though.

Zita (re Riario): “You will never understand him.”
Zoroaster: “There we agree.”

Ima (re DaVinci/Riario): “Both of your fates are entwined.”
Riario: “How very poetic.”

Solomon’s commentary on the Mona Lisa and DaVinci’s mother was pretty amusing to watch. Plus anyone who says that painting isn’t DaVinci’s best work – yeah, I’m inclined to agree with them.

Al Rahim (to Lucrezia): “As I said, Leonardo trusts me. Would you want to know why?”

Solomon (re Mona Lisa): “Not your best work in my opinion.”
DaVinci: “Who’s that woman?”

The Mona Lisa might not be DaVinci’s mother but I have a feeling that Ima and her tribe may be keeping her somewhere else though.

Older DaVinci: “I forgot how petulant I can be.”
DaVinci: “Apparently there’s one thing that doesn’t fade with age.”

No Sixtus, Clarice, Carlo, Vanessa or Andreas in this episode. Actually this was the first episode with nothing Florence related at all in it.

DaVinci: “Why are we in chains?”
Older DaVinci: “Because I failed.”

Giuliano: “No-one ever wants to say it but part of us hates the dead for leaving us.”
Lorenzo: “God damn you for dying.”

Chronology: Not long from where “The Sun And The Moon” left off.

It’s actually amazing to see what a difference a season can do to a show and within six episodes of this season, the show has gotten much better. “The Rope Of The Dead” was an engaging story, filled with some lovely characters beats, shocks, some fun at the expense of DaVinci’s expense and overall just bloody fantastic.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Snyder To Helm Justice League Movie

If you weren't apprehensive about Zach Snyder directing the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman movie, well here's another reason to be, er worried ...

He's also going to be directing a Justice League movie (who didn't see this one coming?) alongside working on Batman Vs. Superman. However, while cinema goes can see Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck as the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight in 2016, it will be longer before the Justice League hits the cinemas - possibly as long as 2017 for instance.

Already Snyder is generating some doubts from fans over merging two superheroes together for a movie so really would merging several more be any worse? I guess only time will tell really on this one.


Batman Vs. Superman will be in cinemas from May 6th 2016.

Friday, April 25, 2014

In The Flesh - Series 1 Review

With the imminent arrival of the second series on BBC3 of this absorbing zombie series next Sunday, I thought it was high time I actually had a look back at the first series of In The Flesh, the series created by Dominic Mitchell.

Airing back in March 2013, the week after Being Human had finished up for good on BBC3, In The Flesh's three episode series focused on a young man named Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry), a man who also came back to life as a zombie (or partially deceased syndrome/PDS sufferer or "rotters" for the less open minded of people) along with several thousand others after an event called 'The Rising'. The three episodes that formed this first series largely dealt with the aftermath of this as fictional village Roarton was the hot bed of those either welcoming their PDS loved ones back into the fold or struggling to deal with them whilst all fearing for a second Rising.

Episode 1: This episode opened up with an impressive sequence as we saw a rabid Kieren and Amy (Emily Bevan) attack a supermarket in their rabid states. This episode also demonstrated that PDS sufferers can keep their rabid tendencies at bay with some administered medication but the bigger problem was having Kieren return to his parents as well as younger sister, Jem (Harriet Cain) who's a member of a militia working against rotters/PDS sufferers, led by Bill Macey (Steve Evets).

Episode 2: This episode was significant for the introduction of soldier Ricky Macey (David Walmsley), who we learned was now a PDS sufferer (much to Bill's denial) and a former lover of Kieren's as the two of them try to reunite with each other while hunting down some rotters, but instead of killing them, Kieren wanted to hand them in. The episode also highlighted the contrasts between Kieren and Amy as the latter seemed more at peace with her fate. In fact, the scene where she joined Kieren and his family for dinner was probably one of the funniest moments for the whole mini-series.

Episode 3: Something of a gloomy finale with Rick being murdered by his own father, the exploration as to why Kieren originally killed himself and even Amy herself feeling rather defeated and leaving the village in search of The Undead Prophet while one of the villagers got their revenge on Bill Macey as well. In a lot of ways this episode certainly went to town in setting up plenty for a second season and it was a relief that BBC3 learned from their previous hastiness with The Fades and commissioned this series for a second run with six episodes.

Over the course of the three episode first series, In The Flesh proved to be a gripping series and like counterparts such as The Walking Dead and The Returned, it was the very human drama and compelling group of characters that made this show extremely watchable from start to finish. I certainly cannot wait to see where the upcoming second run of episodes will take the series.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 2x05: "The Sun And The Moon"

Written by Dan Hess And Corey Reed
Directed by Jon Jones

Ima (to DaVinci): “You are not the first of your kind to arrive.”

Not only that but DaVinci, Zoroaster and Amerigo were even beaten by Riario, Nico and Zita in terms of landing in the New World. I had been waiting for the show to finally get there and it seems like it’s going to be a rather interesting set of events with the Incas, their high priestess Ima and of course, the further plotlines about the Book Of Leaves.

In this episode alone we got some moments of wonder with DaVinci and the gang exploring a whole new world before getting captured by the Incas and nearly sacrificed until DaVinci managed to figure out at the last minute what their little test actually meant. He certainly took his time because Zoroaster came pretty close to being killed off in this episode, which almost wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

Getting to Zoroaster – I like the character for the most part and I certainly don’t have a problem with him questioning DaVinci’s pursuit of knowledge from time to time but while every other character has shown some flourishes of character development this season – he hasn’t.

In fact all Zoroaster really did in this episode was mostly whine and make some lewd comments and it grated for the first time in what was otherwise an interesting episode. Well, he also attacked Riario in Nico’s honour but his whining and risky attempts of escaping captivity just didn’t do the character any favours this week.

As for the Inca tribe – the power struggle between the masked Lord and Ima was certainly interesting to watch. It wasn’t too shocking that she was eager for DaVinci and his crew to survive and the fact that she has links to his mother was a satisfying enough twist as well. I’m quite intrigued to see where the writers are going to go with Ima and DaVinci and I’m certainly intrigued by the proposed alliance with DaVinci and Riario as well.

Speaking of alliances – I’m also enjoying the one with Clarice and Carlo as well for good measure. I liked that their scheming managed to sort out the Medici banking problem and current dissent for the time being but the fact that they began sleeping together was probably only a shocker because Vanessa witnessed it. Aside from that, it was fairly predictable but enjoyable stuff nonetheless and at least Clarice is having better luck than her husband at the moment.

If everyone else was making some progress this week, then Lorenzo and Piero were definitely on the opposite end of the scale. Along with Alfonso being a right prick to them by spiking their food, his father Ferrante is also a right sadist but at least he’s threatening in a way that Alfonso clearly isn’t. On the plus side, I get the feeling that Ippolita will end up helping both Lorenzo and Piero before her father in law can gut the pair of them.

Also in “The Sun And The Moon”

I did laugh at Amerigo deciding to name the New World “Vespuccia”. Come on, Amerigo, it’ll come to you.

Amerigo: “I’ll mourn you as I’m celebrated for discovering this land.”
Zoroaster: “Of course you’d take the credit cos you’re a buzzard’s conkasaurus.”

The marking on DaVinci’s key were seen in the trees and amongst the Incan tribe. The puzzle turned out to be about life – water, corn, the soil etc too.

Lorenzo: “Clarice has her virtues.”
Ippolita: “Do you read poetry together?”

Carlo: “You’re as clever as you are beautiful.”
Clarice: “Don’t waste your time flattering me.”

Given that Carlo and Clarice are now sleeping together, it won’t be too much of a shock to see Lorenzo and his ex, Ippolita do the same thing next week.

Ferrante (to Lorenzo): “You speak of fear. I will show you fear.”

DaVinci (re Ima): “Whatever’s about to happen, she’s not happy about it.”
Zoroaster: “Yeah, makes two of us.”

This episode didn’t feature Lucrezia or Pope Sixtus at all. I don’t even think the former was even mentioned really.

DaVinci: “Count.”
Riario: “Artiste.”

Chronology: Several weeks or even months since “The Ends Of The Earth” considering DaVinci’s new hairdo and Vanessa visibly show her pregnancy.

“The Sun And The Moon” might be the best episode of the season especially that every plot worked well and Wales has surprisingly been made to look convincing enough as the New World. I definitely can’t wait to see where the remainder of this season now goes after the interesting first half we’ve had.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Saturday, April 19, 2014

EastEnders - Who/What Killed Lucy Beale?

Last night's episode of EastEnders, interestingly aired on Good Friday saw the death of long term character, Lucy Beale and after weeks of knowing that the character wasn't long for the world, the episode ended with her body left in the Walford Common in mysterious circumstances.

The character played by several actresses over the 20 years she's been on the show and recently by Hetti Bywater has had something of a few interesting weeks in the time leading to her death. We've seen her this year going into some kind of business with best mate Lauren Branning while sleeping with both Max Branning and Lee Carter in the last month, coming to blows with her father, Ian Beale after young sister Cindy tipped him off about some of her past antics in Devon and her recent use of cocaine. But who or what actually done in Lucy Beale in last night's episode? Some suspects.

Cindy Williams (Mimi Keene): The younger sister jealous of Lucy and one of three people who left a voice message for her at the end of last night's episode. It's probably a long shot and as unlikely as Peter/Ian too but like Peter, Cindy was seen recently to be put out by the way Ian seems to prefer Lucy over the rest of the Beale kids. However with the teenage pregnancy plot, would they really make Cindy into a killer?

Danny Pennant (Gary Lucy): They were lovers and business partners but Lucy was also part of Danny's downfall and saw him exit the Square back in February. Perhaps he came back to get revenge on the aspiring businesswoman? Whoever bumped Lucy will be facing jail time and I can't see a major character being sent down, so Danny is a likelihood. As is Jake Stone (Jamie Lomas) and his creepy staring at Lucy in Thursday's episode when she was with Lee at the restaurant.

Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa): Okay, while I don't actually believe that it will be Lauren, I do believe that she's going to be one of many obvious suspects questioned/possibly framed or falsely arrested over the next few months and it's likely that she might have become privy to her best mate sleeping with her father and snapped. After all, someone knew about Lucy/Max and sent the latter a suggestive photo of them. Even Jossa herself wants to be the killer and it wouldn't be the first time Lauren has snapped in relation to her father's clandestine activities.

Lee Carter (Danny-Boy Hatchard): The recent love interest of Lucy and guaranteed to be one of the first people to be suspected of her death. Lee is only a character we've known for about a fortnight and there certainly seems to be more to him than meets the eye. Is he capable of murder? I rather hope not but you can never tell really, can you?

Max Branning (Jake Wood): Not only was his deeply annoyed when Lucy finally ended their rather implausible affair, but he certainly seemed to take great exception to the much needed dressing down she gave him as well (citing his desperation). Could Max have snapped and killed Lucy? There's blood in the car lot from her fall the other day and he's definitely going to be one of the main suspects but even I can't see Max capable of murder. I mean the guy has a skewered moral compass at times but murder would be extreme, even for him.

Then again, there is the possibility that Lucy wasn't killed by someone but instead something. The bump on her head, a reaction to some dodgy drugs or other unknown health problems perhaps? Either way, we will have to wait until February 2015 before it's properly revealed who or what caused Lucy's death and the next couple of months are going to have a ripple effect on the Beales and the Square as a whole. The trailer released by the BBC after last night's episode had a wonderful Twin Peaks vibe to it (with a great use of Lana Del Rey's Gods & Monsters) and it will be interesting to see if the various twists and turns and reveals about Lucy will be able to sustain the story organically until next year. So far though, this does look like a genuinely gripping storyline for the show which has improved over the last few months.

There's A Killer Among Them Trailer:

EastEnders continues to air Mondays/Fridays at 8pm and Tuesdays/Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC1.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Orange Is The New Black - Season 2 Trailer/Elle Photoshoot

In my opinion, Orange Is The New Black (the series based on the novel by Piper Kerman) was one of the best new shows of 2013 and with the release of the trailer for second season, it looks we're going to be getting another dozy of pure craziness as well, which will help to make it one of the continuing best shows of 2014 as well.

Taylor Schilling (Piper) and Laura Prepon (Alex) are amongst many of the cast members posing in some rather beautiful photos for the latest issue of Elle Magazine and while it's been mentioned for a while that Prepon's role in the second season will be shorter than it was in the first, the Jungle trailer released for the upcoming season does seem to imply that both Alex and Piper will be getting closer again, even if it's just for a short time.

However, it's not just Piper and Alex that are getting focus. This story might be largely told from Piper's point of view but it's biggest strength was that it is an ensemble series and that definitely seems to be maintained in this trailer with Red (Kate Mulgrew) getting a blast from the past and Daya (Dascha Polanco) being torn between her loyalty with her fellow inmates and lover, Benett (Matt McGory) as well as there being a new slew of characters also thrown into the mix.

As for the fate of the volatile Pennsatuckey (Taryn Manning) - well, she's back and as a regular for the upcoming season (though she virtually was in the first season anyways), so I can imagine there will be another confrontation with her and Piper to look forward to while Lorraine Toussaint's Vee will be a major character in the new season and there's also a non prison setting with two main characters to look forward to as well. This is going to be a great piece of summer television to watch.

Season 2 Trailer:

Season 2 of Orange Is The New Black will air from June 6th on Netflix.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Green With Envy, Purple With Death

Be prepared - there will be eight shows covered here and some major spoilers for one of them.

Arrow: I really have enjoyed this season immensely and while I'm two episodes behind with US viewers (still watching it at UK pace), the last few episodes have been great. It's been nice to see Slade out in the open in his vendetta with Oliver, the formation of the Suicide Squad and of course, the welcome return of Helena with her and Sara predictably butting heads as well. It's also been nice to see Diggle get some much needed attention as well too.

Game Of Thrones: The first two episodes of the fourth season have been two of the most talked about and trended episodes going and for good reason. In those episodes alone, we were introduced to the brilliant Oberyn Martell and his paramour Ellaria, we saw Arya getting her Needle back as she coldly bumped off Polliver and of course, there was also the Purple Wedding, which saw the much anticipated demise of Joffrey. And there's still eight episodes to go. Welcome back, show.

Girls: I actually enjoyed the last two episodes of this show, weirdly enough. The finale itself saw Hannah actually behave like a mature adult and seize on an opportunity for her career while Adam's opening night was a minor disaster for him and Shoshanna found out about Marnie and Ray (seriously, why would you care?). Jessa's plot with the elderly artist was a bit nuts and Elijah is still pretty okayish as a character but overall, a decent end to a decent enough run of episodes.

Glee: I hate to admit it but the last three episodes have been somewhat dull to watch. I mean, it's nice that we've seen some proper tension with Kurt and Blaine and I guess Sam and Mercedes are nice together as well but the topics of gay bashing and STDS (in seperate episodes) just weren't handled that well and there's that element of coasting as well that's becoming all too noticeable at this point. Plus for some odd reason, Rachel was a bit underused in this week's episode, though I do like her renewed friendship with Mercedes.

Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD: This show is definitely getting a little better. While I'm aware of a certain character reveal, keeping with UK pace, I am still intrigued to learn more about well, the Clairvoyant and yet again, any scenes with Coulson and May usually tend to be the best as well. The crossover episode with The Winter Soldier however was pretty great and having Bill Paxton join the show was another way of showing that this show can attract a pretty great guest cast as well.

Once Upon A Time: I've got to admit that while a lot of Zelena's plotting has generally been a bit too predictable, she has managed to be a rather enjoyable villain to watch. Her own centre piece episode certainly had an interesting spin on the usual stuff we'd expect from Oz and her present day battle with Regina has been entertaining enough. I'm still intrigued though as to what she exactly wants with Snow and Charming's baby and her fixation with the captive Gold is a bit off putting but overall, she's certainly a contributing factor into the second half of Season 3 being far more enjoyable than the first half.

The Musketeers: I haven't been greatly impressed with this show. Like Atlantis before, it's been entertaining but seriously lacking and the finale itself, whilst good, didn't exactly blow me away either. It had a chance to dispose of both Milady and Richelieu and oddly enough, chose not to. Hopefully the upcoming second season (which has started filming) will be a lot better.

True Detective: After eight episodes and knowing that next season will be a whole new story and cast, I have to admit that while this has been an engaging series, I'm just not entirely sure I would be quick to declare it as the best show ever as some critics have done (then again, I don't even feel that way about Breaking Bad or The Wire). The finale for this episode was solid and I will miss both Rust and Marty as a team but it was a great ending for an interesting series. I'll be intrigued to see what the hell HBO devise for the second season though.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 3x19: "Allegiance"

Written by Ted Sullivan
Directed by Jennifer Wilkinson

Victoria (to Pascal, re Emily): “All this time I thought she was waging war on our family but this goes much farther. It’s revenge for David.”

It’s been 63 episodes and Victoria finally susses out the very thing that she probably should’ve copped onto a long time ago. I guess this (finally) means that the finale will result in each Victoria realising that Emily Thorne is actually Amanda Clarke or she’ll have to be told but either way, it’s a small bit of progress in another episode that felt like coasting.

That’s not to say the episode didn’t have some good points though. Victoria’s whole contrivance with making sure Luke Gilliam and Emily became brief pals at least confirmed her suspicions and was probably more effective than Daniel’s piss poor attempts of getting at Emily by using Javier but at the same time, why did it really take Victoria this long to suss this out about Emily?

If she hadn’t wasted so much time judging Emily by her own social climbing/gold digging standards, she might have been better prepared for Emily but at least now we have something to get potentially excited about. How will Victoria actually react when she realises/is told that Emily is Amanda? Will she show some actual remorse for ruining the girl’s life and setting her on the revenge path? Dramatically there’s potential here the writers better explore to the hilt once it all comes out about Emily Thorne.

It’s also a damn sight more exciting than Victoria and Pascal’s dull as ditchwater relationship as well. Even Conrad trying to play them off each other wasn’t that amusing to watch but I do like that Conrad tried to enlist Aiden in order to take Pascal down. That was an interesting enough turn.

Speaking of Aiden – I enjoyed seeing him and Nolan teaming up to track down Oscar Chapman (or Brenda in disguise) but aside from revealing that Mathis Sr was murdered instead of killing himself, I did think that the character was disposed of by Pascal a little too quickly though. As for Pascal killing a man in cold blood – hardly that shocking but handy enough to further cement Emily and Conrad’s pet cause in taking him out of the equation though.

Getting back to take downs though – I actually enjoyed the fact that Emily and Victoria in their own ways took down Luke Gilliam the sharpie parallel at the end of the episode with the two of them was pretty amusing as well. As for Luke – aside from casting Tim DeKay, he was a pretty nondescript character but he served his purpose well enough though.

Last but not least – I love the idea of Nolan waging war on Daniel over Javier. I’ll however love it even more if Nolan actually delivers on his threat and actually manages to take Daniel down a notch or two as well. As for Javier himself – I hate to admit it but I am beginning to tire a little of him as a character so I’m not too concerned as to which side he ultimately chooses in the next episode or two.

Also in “Allegiance”

I suppose the scene at the races with Emily and Pascal was a way of reminding viewers of his gambling addiction.

Emily (to Pascal): “What do you know? I win.”

This wasn’t a great episode for Margaux, was it? She might have got her father’s business empire but she was insensitive with Jack and tried to snare Javier with Daniel. It does look like her and Jack might be over fairly soon.

Victoria (to Emily): “I’d love to stay and chat but I have less boring people to talk to.”

Jack: “I want in.”
Emily: “Let’s do this.”

Emily’s becoming quite the ‘pretty poisoner’ isn’t she? Last week it was Mason and this week it was Luke. Let it be Pascal in the next episode.

Charlotte (to Javier): “You can either be standing next to Nolan Ross or you can be the next Nolan Ross.”

Javier: “No-one plays me.”
Nolan: “Oh but you’ve been played.”

Standout music: Temples “Shelter Song”.

Nolan (to Daniel): “I just want you to understand this is war.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Blood” left off.

Another mixed bag of an episode with “Allegiance”. Aside from Victoria finally getting a clue about Emily and Nolan honing in on Daniel, not too much actually happened in the episode.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 2x04: "The Ends Of The Earth"

Written by Marco Ramirez
Directed by Charles Sturridge

Nico (to Riario): "Told you. We're all gonna die."

I'm beginning to wonder if last week's episode title was the one that should've been given to this one. DaVinci might have spent a while talking about the Earth being round and failing to get his newly acquired crew to trust him but it was really this episode in which the voyage really did feel like it was damned.

I don't think I can blame the crew for having their misgivings about DaVinci's credentials as an expert of the sea given that it took him until practically the end of the episode to actually figure out where they were actually going but at the same time, their mutiny put DaVinci in a pretty unenviable position. Zoroaster might have been right to be disgusted with his friends putting Yana and her company back in chains but given Amerigo's suggestions, it might have been the better of the two options here.

It's a shame that the mutinous crew ended up embarking on a suicide pact instead just as DaVinci had managed to reach out to them as well. If things are going this bad now, I can imagine what they will be like once DaVinci and company actually enter the New World. Well, that and the fact that we already have a certain scene from the opening episode to look forward to once again anyways.

As for Riario, things weren't exactly going well for him either. Nico managed to needle him about his beliefs (along with bedding Zita) and the storm at the end also proved that Nico had a point. That being said, this was another superb episode for Riario. When he wasn't trying to manipulate Nico, we also saw his tender side with Zita as well and then there was those flashbacks to behold too.

It's nice that we didn't have to wait too long to find out that Amelia was actually Lucrezia's younger sister and that Riario had tried to have the girl spared were it not for his homicidal uncle usurping Lucrezia's father for papacy. I think this is the first time we've had a real insight into Lucrezia's past and it managed to do a far better job outlining her motivations than most of last season did.

Lucrezia might still be a lukewarm character for me but she has gotten better in the last few episodes (keeping her away from DaVinci/Lorenzo seems to have done that for her) and her grudging alliance with Lupo while trying to grudgingly let her father orchestrate her uncle's downfall has managed to become rather interesting to watch. As for that sword she's managed to acquire - well, I am hoping that her trip to Constantinople will continue to see the character on the interesting path she's now been put on by the writers this season.

Last but not least - I quite enjoyed the Lorenzo and Piero scenes but them getting captured came as no shock at all. It was nice that between being attacked by one lot and then snared by another that Lorenzo managed to get Piero to open up about his volatile relationship with Leonardo, even if it didn't reveal anything we hadn't already known from back in "The Tower". Still, Lorenzo's attempts of getting to Naples has managed to hit an obvious snag so far. I wonder how both him and Piero will get out of this one?

Also in "The Ends Of The Earth"

Sixtus himself was mainly relegated to flashbacks in this episode. The way he snapped Amelia's neck though - that was pretty chilling.

DaVinci (re slaves): "I can show them the world is round. Teach them."
Amerigo: "You don't teach their sort."

I missed not seeing Clarice and Carlo in this episode. I was kind of hoping for at least one scene with the two, especially given how the latter was introduced last week. Also no Vanessa as well.

Zita: "There is goodness in you. There is piety. There is grace."
Riario: "No, no-one looks on me and sees that."
Zita: "I do."

Yana (to the crew, re DaVinci): "He sails us to our doom."

Riario's long hair in the flashbacks managed to make him look somewhat younger too. Overall those flashbacks were actually nicely shot too.

DaVinci: "I understand why they don't trust me but you should."
Zoroaster: "Because you're a great artist?"

Lucrezia (to her assassin): "We will endure this friend. I've endured worse."

Chronology: A few weeks since the events of "The Voyage Of The Damned"

Again, there's no denying that this show has improved this season. Maybe it's the less focus on the sex, maybe it's more of a concentration on better plots but "The Ends Of The Earth" certainly made for an interesting hour nonetheless. However I am glad that by next week, it does look like we'll finally be in the New World though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, April 11, 2014

Penny Dreadful - Character Posters/New Trailers

With exactly a month to go, Showtime and SkyAtlantic's joint venture, Penny Dreadful is certainly heating up and some rather interesting character posters have been released.

Vanessa Innes (Eva Green):  The mysterious lady certainly seems to be at the very centre of things in this series and has been the most prominent in all the promotion so far as well. She is also described as beautiful, composed and a force to be reckoned with.

Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett): He's described as a charming American sharp shooter, running away from his past. He's also been extremely featured in nearly all of the promotion for the series as well and seems to cross paths with Vanessa as well.

Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton): An African game hunter back in London, the former Bond actor, Dalton plays a man on a deeply personal quest.

Sembene (Danny Sapani): Sir Malcolm's long term sentry but is there more to Sembene than meets the eye? I ask because we've got very little to go on from the character description.

Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney): Like this guy needs an introduction, right? However the character biog does talk about his devil may care attitude and unnerving beauty.

Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway): The creator of an infamous monster, played by Rory Kinnear in this series, Victor is also described as a poet and surgeon fascinated by both life and death.

Brona Croft (Billie Piper): An Irish immigrant in London, Brona not only means 'sadness' in Gaelic as the character biog seems to be happy to point out but it's also revealed that Brona is suffering from consumption.

The titles for the first three episodes of the eight part series have the names of Night Work, Seance and Resurrection and both Showtime and SkyAtlantic have been airing more and more trailers for the upcoming series. It certainly looks like it's going to be a worthy series, especially given that True Blood's final season is also upon us and it's months before we can all settle down to see American Horror Story: Freak Show.

Season 1 Photos/Trailers:

Season 1 of Penny Dreadful will air Sundays 10pm on Showtime from May 11th and premiere on SkyAtlantic shortly afterwards.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 3x18: "Blood"

Written by Karin Gist
Directed by Wendey Stanzler

Aiden (to Emily): “Thinking about the past doesn’t make for restful sleep.”

Okay viewers, this was an Aiden episode and actually pretty decent one as well. I know I am partially biased given that I like the character but aside from the continuing flaws that have been apparent with recent episodes, this episode did have some good moments though.

First of all we got some more insight into the death of Aiden’s father and the self-isolation of his mother when Aiden and Emily decided to visit Mother Mathis in Jolly Old England for the duration of this episode.

Of course by doing that, Aiden was forced into finally admitting to his own mother what actually happened to Colleen while clarifying some stuff on his father and a mystery character named Oscar Chapman (connected to Pascal – of course).

I have to admit, I actually liked Aiden’s mother, though the actress playing her had a dodgy delivery of an English accent on a US production (and there are plenty of US shows guilty of that), which was distracting at times but overall, the character was engaging enough and I didn’t actually mind seeing Emily almost take a backseat in her own scheme to take down Pascal for some odd reason.

Thankfully though with some vital information handed over from Mason Treadwell, at least both Emily and Aiden are that one step closer to actually removing Pascal from the equation and royally sticking it to Victoria as well. That in itself was something of a minor victory for the episode.

Speaking of Mason – long time, no see. His scenes with Victoria and Stevie certainly had their biting moments but his fake out death with the face cream from hell was a surprising move. I kind of wish someone had let Stevie in on it though considering that she believed she was responsible for Mason’s demise and succumbed to the demon drink once again.

I really hope this isn’t the last time we see Stevie though. The character has actually worked over the last six episodes and I do want some more scenes with her and Victoria as well. I also like that Jack’s first instinct upon seeing his mother drunk was to help her rather than judge her but even when drunk, Stevie picked up on Jack’s not so hidden feelings for Emily.

Speaking of which – I get the impression that Jack and Margaux won’t be playing house anytime soon. Last week, she was jealous of him and Emily and this week, the roles reversed with him being jealous of her and Daniel. Daniel’s shameless sabotaging of Margaux’s relationship with Jack might be fuelled with his own personal desire to get back at Emily but it also seems like he does have some feelings for her too.

A lot of emphasis was seemingly put into Daniel and Margaux’s history in this episode, especially with him persuading Pascal to have more confidence in Margaux. In some ways, it did remind that Daniel had a sense of decency but at the same time, shooting Emily really did put him in a corner as a character and it’s hard to root for him, even if he does actually care about Margaux as a character.

Also in “Blood”

Aiden had his own little Dexter moment by seeing his father’s dead body in the garage when he was a child.

Daniel (to Charlotte, re Jack): “And what if you’re blindly defending the man whose helping Emily demolish this family? You’d never forgive yourself.”

Charlotte and Javier have both turned on Jack and Nolan and are aligning themselves with Daniel. I kind of expected it but it’s still rather annoying.

Victoria: “You look well, Mason.”
Mason: “And you still lie elegantly, Victoria.”

Margaux (to Jack): “Daniel and I are friends. I don’t like jealous men.”

The sooner Pascal goes, the sooner the show can drop the purely contrived romance with him and Victoria and Conrad’s sniping about it.

Mason (to Emily): “Tick-tock goes the clock.”

Emily: “We’ve always been there for each other.”
Aiden: “Missed you too.”

Standout music: Fitz & The Tantrums “Out Of My League”.

Nolan: “I never thought I would say this but it’s good to see you, Mason.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Addiction” left off.

A better episode than the previous one but “Blood” still gives off the feeling that the writers are kind of coasting a bit until the finale. Thankfully though, at least by next week’s episode, at least Emily will finally have taken Pascal out.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, April 07, 2014

My Review of DaVinci's Demons 2x03: "The Voyage Of The Damned"

Written by Brian Nelson
Directed by Peter Hoar

Alfonso: “Time to accept your fate, DaVinci.”
DaVinci: “I must confess I was distracted by the thought of your imminent defeat.”

When an episode of this show opens with a scene where DaVinci impersonates Count Riario in one of the most delightfully exaggerated performances, there are two things that will disappoint. One is the fact that the episode itself does not feature the fearsome count and the other would be that as a baddie, Ferrante’s son, Alfonso is somewhat lacking by comparison.

Granted I assume there are more appearances to come from Kieran Bew on the show but I have to admit that I wasn’t best impressed with Alfonso in this episode. He might have exposed DaVinci’s ploy and even defeated him in an opening sword battle by being ambidextrous as well but as a menace, I’m not really sure he’s menacing to be honest.

He also doesn’t seem to be particularly complex either and his presence somewhat made me miss Riario all the more because of that. His scenes where he terrorised slaves and threatened Yana did serve to prove that he was a nasty piece of work but one that was also rather easily bested in the end when DaVinci, Amerigo and Zoroaster invaded his ship and freed the slaves before getting rid of Alfonso for good measure.

Getting Alfonso’s ship in order to catch up with Riario did form a major part of this episode and the ‘invention’ of the submarine for this one was pretty daft but interesting nonetheless. While it did just about manage to work, I think it’s also something that DaVinci might want to develop a bit more. I know myself if I had been travelling in that thing I would’ve freaked out on a bigger scale than Zoroaster did when it sprang a leak.

Speaking of Zoroaster – I kind of liked Amerigo needling him about his friendship with Leonardo and in general, the banter with the two of them was rather fun to watch. This season has been hinting at some conflict with DaVinci and his friends and it does seem to be moving a subtle pace for the moment. Plus there’s also the issue of getting Nico back as well, which DaVinci almost seemed less focused on too.

As for the Medicis – this was something of a mixed bag for them. Pope Sixtus IV managed to get some kind of victory with the ex-communication tactic but it also seemed that Lorenzo and Clarice were mostly at loggerheads in this one too. I did like that she revealed Lucrezia’s role as a spy but I also think she could’ve handled things a lot better. As for Lorenzo’s plans to go to Naples – I’m not entirely sure how that one is going to pan out for him.

Last but not least – Lucrezia had storyline I actually enjoyed in this one. Not only did she manage to get her silent assassin to rough up Lupo a bit but she also managed to turn the idiot against the Pope when she revealed about a certain prisoner that the Pope was stashing away. I think this episode does actually prove that away from DaVinci and Lorenzo, Lucrezia can actually be a far better character to watch. I hope for more of this in the remaining episodes this season.

Also in “The Voyage Of The Damned”

I really hope now there’s a scene where Riario gets to impersonate DaVinci, even down to the clothing as well.

Alfonso: “Arrogant bastard, aren’t you?”
DaVinci: “Bastard, yes. It’s hardly arrogant to speak the truth.”

Remove one word and this episode is close to a title of a certain episode of Doctor Who – a series in which Tom Riley will also be making a guest appearance in this year.

Vanessa: “I think I should decide what’s best for my child. I think I am capable of that on my own.”
Clarice: “I don’t believe that.”

I have to admit that while I get it, I don’t enjoy seeing Clarice being horrible to Vanessa. I’m also intrigued by the sudden arrival of Carlo Medici as well.

Amerigo: “You must know you’re mad.”
DaVinci: “I’ve heard it said.”

Clarice: “You blame me for Giuliano’s death?”
Lorenzo: “I wasn’t making that exact point.”

DaVinci’s inspiration for the submarine seemed to come from a turtle, a lamprey and a trout. I can’t wait to see what he conjures up in the New World.

Lucrezia (to Lupo): “Now you have to choose – to serve the true Pope or a deceiver.”

Anyone notice that the music in the closing credits seems to have a darker tone? I quite like it myself.

DaVinci (to Al Rahim): “Everything I have achieved has been accomplished by fighting to exhaustion. I have no other way.”

Chronology: Not that long from where “The Blood Of Brothers” left off.

I think this season really has improved. “The Voyage Of The Damned”, while not as good as the previous episode certainly had it’s moments (DaVinci as Riario – stroke of genius) and overall the show has managed to make characters I previously didn’t care about (Pope Sixtus, Lupo) and those I’ve been hit and miss on (Lucrezia) a lot more engaging than last season. That itself is certainly a good sign.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Friday, April 04, 2014

True Blood - Season 7 First Trailer: Graveyard/Airdate Confirmed

It's only a little over two months until the seventh and final season of True Blood airs and while I haven't posted anything related to the show for a while, here's some of the vital bits I've read up on since.

First of all, HBO have released a concept trailer for the seventh season, titled Graveyard. The 35 second trailer shows a couple of graves (Adele, Jesus, Luna, Terry to name a few) before showing one for True Blood: 2008-2014. It's a dark, suitably creepy and atmospheric trailer and hopefully one of many concept trailers/clip trailers we should be expected over the next few weeks before the show's return in late June.

In terms of casting though - it's been revealed that Luke Grimes has left the show as sensitive vampire, James and has been replaced by General Hospital actor, Nathan Parsons, who will be a regular for the final season along with Amelia Rose Blaire (Willa), Karolina Wydra (Violet) and Tara Buck (Ginger). It's a shame we lost Grimes as James but I'm sure that Parsons will be fine in the role as James.

Meanwhile Riley Smith (90210) will have a recurring role in the season as a vampire named Keith, who'll be a love interest for Arlene as well as a drummer in James's band. I've been also reading up and there also seems to be a baddie in Mr. Gus, who according to sources is a Japan native who has fully embraced the "everything's bigger in Texas" way of living and then there are those zombie vampires who will play a role in the final run. As for Sookie/Bill/Eric/Alcide, we'll just have to see how that one plays out, won't we?

Season 7: Graveyard Trailer:

True Blood Season 7 will air Sundays at 9pm on HBO from June 22nd and shortly afterwards on FOX for UK viewers.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Doctor Who - Series 8 More Casting

A new block of episodes are being filmed for the upcoming eighth series of Doctor Who and thanks to both the BBC site and the latest issue of DWM, some casting has been confirmed.

Tom Riley best known for his role as Leonardo DaVinci in Starz production, DaVinci's Demons (currently airing it's second season) will appear in the new series third episode, penned by Mark Gatiss. Rumoured to be a Robin Hood themed episode, Riley's co-stars for the episode also include Trevor Cooper (Takis in Revelation Of The Daleks), Ian Hallard (An Adventure In Space And Time), David Benson, Sabrina Bartlett and Roger Ashton-Griffiths. The episode is one of two episodes rumoured to be written by Gatiss for the upcoming series as well.

Meanwhile the sixth episode, written by Gareth Roberts and set in the present day will not only see the return of Samuel Anderson as fellow Coal Hill teacher, Danny Pink but will also feature a guest cast that will include Nigel Betts (Emmerdale), Jimmy Vee (Voyage Of The Damned), Andy Gillies and Edward Harrison (Doctors). Not too much has been disclosed about this episode, except that it's being filmed first before Mark Gatiss's episode is then filmed. Both episodes are also directed by Paul Murphy.

Tom Riley's Casting:
More Casting News:

Series 8 of Doctor Who is currently being filmed with an Autumn date slated for BBC1.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Gotham - Another Villain Cast

But before I talk about the latest villain cast for Gotham's pilot episode, I should post that other cast picture that was released.

After I had posted the first four cast member photos, FOX only went and released one of Benjamin McKenzie as James Gordon. It's as moody and atmospheric as the previous ones and while many have commented on the lack of a beard, it does look good nonetheless. Now we just need some promo pictures of Barbara, Fish, Bruce and Essen.

As for the villain in question - it's Edward Nygma/The Riddler and he will be played by Cory Michael Smith (Olive Kitteridge). A guest character in the pilot episode with the potential to become a regular later on, Smith's take on the role will see Nygma working as a forensic scientist for Gotham PD. He's described as an eccentric and someone who is desperate to be liked as well. Can't wait to see him in action.

Casting News:

Filming for Gotham's pilot continues.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

My Review of Revenge's 3x17: "Addiction"

Written by Joe Fazzio
Directed by Tara Nicole Weyr

Victoria (re Emily): “For once, she wins legitimately.”

Who would’ve thought that an episode centred on a poker game with Emily and Victoria would be a bit dull? Probably everyone who has commented on it in the last two days but nonetheless, this was something of a non event, episode wise.

Emily orchestrated another convoluted plot in order to gain Pascal’s trust and quickly realised that the slippery Frenchman was testing her and that Victoria also allowed her to win at the table. So far, very predictable stuff.

I really didn’t like Pascal in the last episode and I found myself disliking him just that tiny bit more in this one as well. The only vaguely interesting thing that happened with the character was Margaux and Daniel forcing him to sign over Voulez to the former and that was just it really. Everything else was pretty boring.

Maybe I am being somewhat grouchy but I just don’t care about Victoria and Pascal as a couple. This isn’t the first time the show has done ‘the one that got away’ romance with Victoria (Dominik from the first season, anyone?) and the fact that both Madeleine Stowe and Oliver Martinez have no chemistry certainly doesn’t help the story either.

It’s also impossible to care about Victoria and Pascal when you just know it’ll be over in a few episodes time after both Emily and Aiden have crossed the latter of their revenge list as well. Having a link between Pascal and Aiden’s father (Trevor Warren Mathis) at least solved one mystery but the sooner Pascal is dealt with, the better in my book.

As for Victoria, I like that she’s at least attempting to be a bit cleverer in trying to take Emily. I am hoping with all this deducing she’s been making about her former daughter in law that it will lead to her finding out about Emily’s real identity because right now, something big really needs to happen. The second half of this season has felt like it’s been stalling for too long now.

Also keeping with the non revenging plots – I hated that Margaux let Daniel plant some doubt about her relationship with Jack, even if they do end up going their seperate ways at some point. In all fairness, Jack was actually pretty decent in this episode and it did make Margaux look foolish that she believed Daniel about Emily.

As for Stevie – she was foolish to hand over the deed to Grayson Manor back to Conrad but in spite of the manipulation on his part and near relapse on hers, I do think Stevie continues to be a great character. I honestly want her to stick around even for next season if the show can come up with a good motive (aside from getting to know her son and grandson). She might have let Conrad get the better of her this week but hopefully she’ll get her own back on him and Victoria later on.

Also in “Addiction”

Javier’s pursuit of Charlotte was both tactical and a little creepy. Charlotte should’ve been a tiny bit suspicious when he guessed her favourite movies.

Nolan: “Oh, I see it’s a program designed to inflate your ego.”
Javier: “It only speaks the truth.”

Keeping with Charlotte, I liked that she was pissed off when Daniel reneged on their agreement to leave Jack out of things.

Emily: “There are two sides to every story, Pascal as there are two sides to every coin.”

Victoria: “Did you ever really want to hear about your mother’s dating history?”
Daniel: “God no, but Pascal?”

That scene with Victoria and Daniel discussing the former’s love life felt a little similar to the ones we had with Victoria and Patrick earlier in the season.

Aiden: “Could you just admit you came to see me?”
Emily: “So I wanted to see you. I’m sorry I’ve come. I miss you.”

Javier: “Should I have said that?”
Charlotte: “No, I’m glad you did. Your honesty is refreshing.”
Javier: “As is your attitude towards ex-cons.”

Standout music: Karen Elson’s “Gold Dust Woman”.

Pascal (re Emily): “You’re tricking her?”
Victoria: “I’m hunting her.”

Chronology: A while since “Disgrace”.

Yeah, “Addiction” was something of a dull, non event, I’m afraid. A few choice scenes aside (and an interesting cameo from Morgan Fairchild), literally nothing happened in this episode at all. The final five really do need to pull the show out of the slump it seems to be in at the moment.

Rating: 6 out of 10