Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Review of True Blood's 7x06: "Karma"

Written And Directed by Angela Robinson

Amber (to Sarah): “You can’t just dye your hair and blow a guru and absolve yourself of all the horrific shit that you have done in your life.”

So, can we keep Amber as a character? I know it’s only been two episodes but if her snarky charm can actually warm Pam’s non-existent heart and she’s able to call Sarah out of her delusional bullshit so eloquently, doesn’t that mean she deserves some place in the last few episodes of the show?

After all, Sarah did at least one decent thing by actually curing her sister, which led to another thing – Sarah drank the antidote? I’d almost say this was a smart thing to do but given that both the Yakuza/Gus Jr and Eric/Pam are after her, then clearly she’s a bigger idiot than previously thought of really.

I’m not entirely surprised that there was going to be a cure for the Hep V virus and I’m actually impressed the writers decided not to make Sookie the cure. However at the same time, I also feel that will be used just so that either only Bill or Eric might make it out of the series alive rather than both of them. The only question will remain as to which one gets to live and which one has to die.

The Hep V virus seems to have hit Bill a lot worse than Eric in this episode. Not only was Sookie an accidental carrier and therefore responsible for Bill’s current predicament but the infection managed to spread even quicker for Bill and his attempts of trying to get his legal affairs in order were a disaster too. It also probably didn’t help that Bill killed the mean lawyer lady who unwisely tried to extort 10 million out of him as well.

As for Jessica – while she may be Bill’s progeny but somehow not recognised as a next of kin legally for his estate, I did like that she reached out to Sookie (though Jason) and even chose not to blame her when the latter admitted that she was a carrier after all. Of course, potentially losing her maker isn’t the only problem that Jessica will have to deal with fairly soon either.

While she and Jason didn’t exactly talk about their night of brief passion, Violet already started making inroads for her revenge scheme against. Thrashing her cubbyhole wasn’t the most effective thing but I’m sure using Adylin and Wade as bait to lure Jason and Jessica for a potential smackdown will be though. I’m not sure what to make of this woman scorned plot with Violet. I guess for now, it’s a damn sight more interesting than other plots we’ve had this season.

As for the weaker storylines this week – did anyone really care about Andy and Holly nearly coming to blows over their kids nearly having sex? I mean Arlene was funny and astute in her peacemaker role but aside from that, it just wasn’t that interesting to watch, though I suppose both Andy and Holly made some fairly good points but either way, I just didn’t care enough for it as a story.

Last but not least – the Tara plot. Where exactly is this going and can it get there a little quicker? I guess if Lafayette is also seeing Tara while on vampire blood, there must be something behind it and Lettie Mae isn’t completely off her rocker after all. Maybe Tara isn’t actually dead or maybe she can be revived. Either way, I don’t want this plotline dragged out any longer than necessary.

Also in “Karma”

Mr Gus Jr might be our antagonist for the remainder of the season. He grudgingly teamed up with Eric and Pam to find and take out Sarah.

Eric (to Pam): “Our first sunrise together.”

I liked seeing Sookie and Jason talk about love but it really shouldn’t have taken the latter this long to realise that he doesn’t even like Violet.

Pam (to Mr Gus Jr): “Don’t you think the machete is a little overkill?”

Nicole (to Sam): “This town is fucking crazy and you are the mayor of crazy.”

Nicole basically wants to leave Bon Temps and Sam seems to be digging in his heels about it. I think I’m on Nicole’s side here.

Arlene: “Well, shit happens, Holly. You clean it up.”

Lafayette: “How many times have you seen God?”
Reverend Daniels: “God doesn’t show himself. You know that.”

James only got one scene in this episode, Willa and Ginger were no shows and Bellefleur Bar & Grill was still a mess until Arlene and Holly cleaned it up.

Holly (to Andy): “I don’t even believe in the word ‘slut’. It shames female sexuality and I’m against that one hundred percent.”

Sookie (to Jason): “We don’t know how much time we’ve got left. It doesn’t seem worth it to spend it with someone you don’t love.”

Standout music: The Lady Band’s “Karma”.

Sarah: “I’m literally a new person.”
Amber: “Your capacity for self denial never ceases to amaze me.”

Chronology: From where the previous episode left off.

A delightful episode, even though the HIV/Hep V parallels are getting a little too on the nose at times. Still though, it does really feel like this final season has actually turned a corner and with four episodes left to go, I’ll be true to the end.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Sense8 Comes To Netflix

Netflix are certainly building up their reputation as a serious distributor of some excellent television. Whether it's the likes House Of Cards, Hemlock Grove or Orange Is The New Black or even dabbling into Marvel territory with the upcoming Daredevil series, they've now turned their attention to something a little more ambitious too.

Sense8, a ten part series by Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix trilogy) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) has been described as a "gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted" and will be written in the style that audiences of Straczynski are familiar with. With a cast of fourteen members, the show will also be filmed in various locations around the world. Among the cast is former Doctor Who companion, Freema Agyeman in one of the many roles that have not been disclosed yet.

Joining Agyeman are Brian J. Smith (Stargate Universe), Darryl Hannah (Kill Bill Vols 1 & 2, Splash), Naveen Andrews (Lost, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland). The rest of the cast are made of Tuppence Middleton, Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Max Riemelt, Alfonso Herrera and Erendira Ibarra as well as Jamie Clayton, Miguel Silvestre and Terrence Mann to name a few. None of the characters roles have actually been disclosed as of now.

The series came about as both Andy and Lana Wachowski had a late night discussion about how technology unites and divides people and out of that paradox, the series Sense8 was seemingly created. Straczynski meanwhile has confirmed that he hopes the show will run for at least four or five seasons. Filming back in June 2014 with locations such as Chicago, San Francisco, London, Mumbai, Berlin, Iceland, Seoul, Mexico City and Nairobi being earmarked for locations.

It certainly sounds like an extremely ambitious project and with a wealth of talent on this, I will be surprised if Sense8 isn't one of the most talked about new shows within the next year. Having characters mentally linked to each other is certainly an interesting selling point as well, considering the locations that are being used for the series. This definitely seems like a series I can see myself getting into next year.

Press Release:

Sense8 will be available on Netflix in 2015.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Back For Janus

And a look at some of the shows I've recently been watching ...

24: Live Another Day: It's been a great half-season return for Kiefer Sutherland's career defining series and while nearly all the baddies were taken out rather quickly, the finale shocker of Audrey being killed off packed something of a punch and with the ending we got for Live Another Day, there's no way FOX can't bring it back for another twelve episode run. The show definitely cannot end on that cliffhanger after all. Plus, it has been some kind of a rating success again for the station and no doubt the DVD set for this will sell immensely.

Devious Maids: The last few episodes have been pretty interesting. It's nice to see that Rosie managed to get Reggie out of Kenny' house and reunited that family, Zoila's love life and friendship with Genevieve continuing to be a highlight and I can certainly sympathise with Carmen not being a kid person but the stuff with Marisol/Nick/Opal, even with the latter blowing her brains out has still dragged out a bit too long and I'm at a point now where I want to see Spence's annoying nephew go away now. Thankfully there's only one more episode to go now.

Orange Is The New Black: This show literally became this year's Breaking Bad, didn't it? It's a good job I was watching it this year because the hype/ads for it was inescapable. As for the remaining six episodes of the second season - some of the best television I've seen with Red and Vee's fight for supremacy intensifying with every episode, some great flashbacks for characters like Rosa and Sister Ingalls (along with the ones for Piper, Alex, Red and Vee), the downfall of Natalie, some great moments with Pennsatucky/Healey, Morello turning a corner, Nicky being awesome, Taystee wising up, the pregnancy plot with Pornstache/Daya/Bennett getting messier, Caputo improving as a character. The only bore of the second half of the season was the Larry/Polly scenes but we might be getting less of them next season if we're lucky.

The Vampire Diaries: I've watched a lot of episodes since my last TV jumble in relation to this series. Because of that, I've seen the fallout of the whole Tessa/Silas/Amara triangle, Bonnie becoming a link to two world, Katherine having to suck up to the fact that she's dying (though she has been a help to Stefan and his PTSD) as well as Damon filling Elena in on his past with the Augustine crowd and the introduction of the seemingly interesting, Enzo for good measure. It's certainly been a busy bunch of episodes. I think I'm enjoying this season a little more than the previous one though Caroline needs a little more to do given that her relationship with Jesse went nowhere and Tyler can't be arsed to even attend college.

Utopia: Possibly one of the craziest things to air on UK television at the moment is back for it's second run of episodes and while two thirds of it's second series has run, it's been interesting yet again. Okay, I still find Ian, Becky and Grant somewhat tedious at times as characters but the 1970s flashback opening episode with Rose Leslie playing a younger version of Millner has been one of the best episodes of television this year and in the current day, Millner has still been her delightfully ruthless self, corrupting Wilson all the more as she pushes for the virus to be released. Of course, Jessica similarly has been a delight too with her escape from captivity and her standoff with Millner in the latest episode. With ratings being terrible though, it'll be a miracle if this show gets a third run of episodes but here's hoping Channel 4 are feeling generous though.

- Claire Holt has joined the cast of NBC mini-series, Aquarius as a series regular. She'll play Officer Charmaine Tully.
- Elena Satine will play the slightly unhinged Louise in the upcoming fourth season of Revenge.
- Simon Kassianides will play right hand Bakshi, Reed Diamond will play Daniel Whitehall, Nick Blood will play Lance Hunter while Lucy Lawless will be playing Isabel Hartley in Agents Of SHIELD.
- Kyra Sedgwick will be appearing in the second season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Deputy Chief Madeline Wuntch.
- Kelly Frye will play Plastique in The Flash while JR Ramirez will be playing Ted 'Wildcat' Grant in parent series, Arrow.
- John Rhys-Davies and Tyler Jacob Moore will be appearing in Once Upon A Time, taking on the roles of Pabbie and Prince Hans respectively.
- Blair Brown will be appearing in the third season of Orange Is The New Black. Her role has not yet been disclosed.
- Lea Michele will be appearing in the final season of Sons Of Anarchy. Her character will be a single mother/waitress named Gertie.
- Fargo's second season will air for UK viewers again on Channel 4 in 2015.
- Gillian Anderson may become a regular for Hannibal's third season. A contract is rumoured to be negotiated for the actress.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

True Blood - Comic-Con 2014

It's been a staple at Comic-Con since it's debut in 2008 but after seven years/seasons, the cast and crew of True Blood descended on San Diego one last time to reveal what else is left for the series with it's final five episodes. Well, technically four as Karma has just aired and I'll watch/review it later in the week.

- According to showrunner, Brian Buckner this season had to be about Sookie/Bill and this will factor big time into the final episodes.
- It was tough to kill off big characters such as Alcide and Tara.
- There will be a bit more focus on romance and the characters will be landed in a place where Buckner hopes viewers will be okay with not getting them anymore.
- Kristin Bauer Van Straten admitted she cried '96 times' when filming her last scene with Alexander Skarsgard.

- While Tara was the first major death of the final season, we still have not seen Rutina Wesley's final scene yet.
-Sarah Palin actually turned down a guest spot for the show, which Bauer addressed. There's something of a history with those two it seems.
- Anna Camp's Sarah Newlin/Crabtree will have a major part to play with the Hep V plotline as the recent trailer for the second half of the final season revealed.
- Paquin admitted that she thought Charlaine Harris's ending for her character in the books made sense, in terms of whom Sookie ended up with. Buckner then joked about having to do a rewrite.

Comic-Con Spoilers:
Comic-Con Trailer:

True Blood's seventh and final season continues to air on HBO Sundays at 9pm and FOXUK Mondays at 9pm.

American Horror Story - Comic-Con 2014

Continuing with the Comic-Con themed posts, the cast and crew of American Horror Story showed up at the San Diego event over the weekend and spoilers for the upcoming season were finally revealed.

Spoilers that included a few confirmations from the call sheet that was leaked a week ago ...

- Jessica Lange will be playing German ex-pat/freak show head, Elsa Mars while Kathy Bates will be Ethel Darling along with Evan Peters as her son, Jimmy and Sarah Paulson as conjoined twins, Bette and Dot.
- However, it seems that Michael Chiklis will be playing a strongman named Wendell dell Toledo with Angela Bassett as his wife, Desiree Dupree. His character is also the estranged husband of Kathy Bates's character as well.
- Emma Roberts however will be playing a character named Maggie. Denis O'Hare is also back too.
- The action will be set in 1950's Jupiter, Florida.

- Finn Wittrock (All My Children) has been cast but his role has not been disclosed yet.
- However, John Carroll Lynch will be playing the core villain of the piece, who will scare the shit out of people according to producer/writer, Tim Minear. He'll be playing a twisted clown.
- Tim Minear has described the tone of Freak Show as “Douglas Sirk meets Zodiac.”

It's not a huge amount of information but it's certainly something to go on and with the series due to return in the next two months, be prepared for the usual onslaught of cryptic teasers and promos in the weeks leading up to this particular Freak Show.

Comic-Con Spoilers:

American Horror Story: Freak Show will air on FX and FOXUK from October.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gotham/Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice - Comic-Con 2014

I decided to merge both Gotham and Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice together as their panels revealed some rather interesting stuff over the weekend.

First of all, let's talk about Gotham. For it's panel seven of the main cast members showed up along with Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon to divulge more on the upcoming series, including a screening for the pilot episode, which went down a storm with attendant on Saturday.

- When asked about combining the show with Constantine, Heller replied with a 'never say never' answer.
- Robin Lord Taylor admitting that he was "stepping into something amazing" in relation to playing Oswald Cobblepot.
- Jada Pinkett Smith enthused about working with Danny Cannon in order to create her character, Fish Mooney.
- Heller talked about the DC origin stories being his favourite thing about the universe, notably the death of the Waynes.

- Geoff Johns described Camren Bicondova as a "little Michelle Pfeiffer". To be fair, who hasn't over the last several months.
- Johns also said of Robin Lord Taylor that he "has the most brilliant interpretation of the Penguin".
- Another trailer for the series aired during the panel with clips for the second episode clearly added into the mix.
- Watch out for mentions of another famous city gangster and Arkham Asylum in the trailer.

Meanwhile when it comes to Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice ...

Prior to Comic-Con a clearer image of Ben Affleck in his Batman costume was released and I have to admit, it looks a damn sight better than what we got back in May. Of course, this wasn't the only reveal for the upcoming movie that we got during the weekend.

After months of waiting, we also finally got to see Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman costume and to be fair, it's a nice costume. It also however looks like she's channelling Xena: Warrior Princess, which isn't strictly a bad thing as such either. Along with several cast members at the event during the weekend, a trailer for Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice was released exclusive to attendant there. It will be a while before we get to see it no doubt.

Gotham Comic-Con Spoilers:
Gotham Movie Trailer:

Gotham airs Mondays 8pm on FOX from September 22nd with a UK broadcaster yet to be announced while Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be released in cinemas from May 6th 2016.

The Flash - Comic Con 2014

I've decided that there will be a few more of these Comic-Con themed blogs to post and this one will focus on upcoming Arrow spin-off, The Flash.

With the cast in attendance and the panel on the Saturday of the weekend event, some interesting spoilers (including a viewing of the first episode, which went down a storm) emerged. These included ...

- Discussion of The Flash/Arrow crossover event due to air later in the year. This does genuinely sound exciting. One of the crossover episodes will be called Flash Vs. Arrow.
- Grodd will be seen. The cage wasn't there by mistake, according to producers.
- There's a reason to why Mark Mardon isn't the Weather Wizard in the opening episode. He is of course, Clyde but the producers teased that it would be a spoiler as to why.
- This will be a lighter show than parent series, Arrow.

- Two gay characters will be appearing in the series on a recurring basis. The first one has been revealed to be David Singh, who will be played by Patrick Sabongui. The second one will appear later in the season.
- Gustin mentioned the Rogues - Captain Cold and Reverse Flash appearing in the series but didn't say anything we didn't already know.
- Felicity will be showing up in Central City.
- Grant Gustin said of Barry, “He’s a very genuine character that I love playing. He’s easy to relate to because he’s so genuine.”

To be honest we didn't get a whole lot of spoilers from the panel but the reception for the series does seem promising and I personally cannot wait for the crossover event with both Arrow and The Flash as well.

Comic-Con Trailer:
Comic-Con Spoilers:

The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8pm on the CW from October 8th. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Arrow - Comic-Con 2014

I was going to merge Arrow with The Flash but it seems that the latter hasn't had their panel yet, so for now here are the highlights of what we can all expect for the upcoming third season on the CW.

From the panel, attended by cast and crew we learned the following things ...

- Arrow is the CW's most watched show for a second year in a row. Hardly surprising when you think about it, considering it's the channel's best show at the moment.
- Fans of Olicity will be delighted to know that the third season will be dealing with the character's feelings for each other, including a date scene with the two of them.
- Sarah will be reappearing in Starling City and Ray Palmer/The Atom will be looking into buying into Oliver's company as well. Ras Al Ghul will also be coming to Starling City as well.
- The flashback action this season will be in Hong Kong and viewers can expect to see Tommy Merlyn to return in the second season during one of the flashbacks.
- Malcolm Merlyn, according to John Barrowman will be going for the emotional side in order to try and control Thea.
- The season will also explore the price of Oliver's victory as well.

- Entertainment Weekly released a cast shot of Colton Haynes's Roy Harper in his full Arsenal gear, which is something we also see in the trailer released during the panel.
- Expect a lot of dramatic tension for Diggle according to David Ramsay. Both Diggle and Oliver are seen at odds with each other in the trailer.
- Season 3 will eventually show us what happened after Thea got into the limo with Malcolm in the second season finale. Thea will be backpacking in Europe for a bit in the new season.
- Expect an episode called Oracle in the new season, which may delve into Felicity's backstory.
- Going from the new trailer, Oliver and Laurel may be business partners this season as well.
- Episode 8 of both Arrow and The Flash's current seasons will be a two hour event.

Arrow Comic-Con Spoilers:
Season 3 Trailer:

Arrow's third season airs Wednesdays 8pm from October 8th on the CW and will return to Sky1 shortly afterwards.

Game Of Thrones - Comic-Con 2014

I won't be doing as many of these Comic-Con themed blogs this year (though expect ones for American Horror Story, True Blood, Arrow/The Flash and Gotham/Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice over the next few days) but when it comes to Game Of Thrones, well once again, it was a panel where plenty happened, including the announcement of several new cast members for the upcoming fifth season.

On the hour long panel with the majority of the cast, along with writer George RR Martin and executive producers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the highlights were ...

- Benioff talked about wanting to do a 13 episode series (something which Martin had been recently vocal about) but due to the schedules, this was impossible.
- Maisie Williams admitted that Arya sees herself as "no-one" when asked about her character changing her identity.
- Sophie Turner admitted it was devastating to see both Sansa and Tyrion seperated as they had a genuine bond and looked out for each other. She also seemed delighted with being able to show Sansa's more manipulative side during the fourth season as well.
- The issue of seeing more male nudity was brought up with the cast agreeing that there should be more for equality. Hopefully the next season delivers on that then.
- Natalie Dormer talked about Margaery not needing weapons and appreciating the violence of the series. She described it as naturalistic and disturbing.
- The show sometimes has run into trouble with locations due to conservative opposition, including losing one by someone who didn't want their land to be associated with "Porn of Thrones'.

However the highlight of the panel was a certain announcement ...

With Dorne set to be a big factor into Season 5 and Spain being used as a filming location for the place, the panel announced the casting (and recasting with one character) of nine major players for the next season. These are ...

- Jonathan Pryce as High Sparrow with Alexander Siddig as Doran.
- Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara, Jessica Henwick as Nymeria, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand.
- Toby Sebastian as Trystane, Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella, DeObia Oparei as Areo, and Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan.

Now let's see how many of these newcomers survive the fifth season and make it into the sixth season, shall we?

And a look of the cover for the fourth season on DVD ...

Game Of Thrones Comic Con Panel Rundown:

Game Of Thrones fifth season is currently being filmed in various locations and will air on HBO and SkyAtlantic in Spring 2015. Season 4 will be released on DVD from February 17th 2015.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 41-45 Reviews

My ninth blog covering this series and with the selection of episodes I'm highlighting here, there's the debut of three Rogue gallery members, a rather subversive-ish adventure for a certain Clown Prince as well as a follow up to one of my less favourite stories.

Episode 41: If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?

I'm actually impressed it took almost halfway through the series lifespan to actually introduce Edward Nygma/the Riddler and with the excellent John Glover (Lionel Luther from Smallville/Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin) voicing him as a former employee out for revenge on scheming boss, Daniel Mockridge with a series of life and death puzzles in a maze, this was certainly a memorable debut for the character. What I liked about this episode is that while the Riddler didn't actually succeed in killing his former boss, his actions certain put the frighteners on him and it was a great episode for displaying both Batman and Robin's ingenuity as they embarked on the Minotaur game. 9/10

Episode 42: Joker's Wild

The idea of the Joker as a patsy was a plotline I didn't actually expect this series to attempt but with scheming casino boss Cameron Kaiser setting up a certain business venture as an affront to the Clown Prince of crime, we got to see an interesting side to the Joker here. I really enjoyed him trying to find another way of dealing with Kaiser before his escape from Arkham became short lived once again. Speaking of Arkham, even for the Joker that was a ridiculously easy escape. At this rate, I'm actually surprised anyone is still there given how lousy security seems to be there. Also as a last point, I love the rivalry set up here between the Joker and Poison Ivy at the beginning and end of this episode along with two other Rogue cameos. 8/10

Episode 43: His Silicon Soul

I mentioned in my last review that I wasn't particularly fond of two parter, Heart Of Steel, so I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit for a follow up on that story but this one was actually okay enough. Having a robotic Batman trying to accomplish HARDAC's goals from the previous story while at the same time being bound by a moral compass was fairly gripping and there was some nice fight scenes with the real Batman and his robot imposter and I quite liked the final scene. Better than expected really. 7/10

Episode 44: Off Balance

This episode must be something of a record. On one hand we got the introduction of Vertigo (soon to be seen on Arrow), voiced by Michael York and then on the other hand we were introduced to Talia Al Ghul (Helen Slater) and briefly her father, Ras Al Ghul (David Warner) while dealing with a sonic device from Wayne Enterprises with devastating consequences. The cat and mouse antics with Batman and Talia were fun to watch and the set up for a future encounter with the deadly father/daughter is something that cannot come soon enough. I also love that the most of the episode was also out of Gotham as well and there was some lovely trippy sequences, courtesy of Vertigo's abilities. 9/10

Episode 45: What Is Reality?

Maybe it's just the order of the episode transmitted but it's a pleasant surprise to get a follow up adventure from the Riddler rather quickly. This episode (despite being a little garish with the red at times) saw Nygma trapping Gordon inside a computer game with Batman competing through a series of challenges to rescue the Commissioner. The games themselves were well thought out and I did enjoy the battle of wits between Batman and the Riddler. I also enjoyed that contrary to the previous episode, this time around the Riddler's wits actually got the better of him with his own virtual reality causing his downfall. 8/10

Next blog I'll focus on The Laughing Fish, Harley & Ivy, The Mechanic, The Man Who Killed Batman and Zatanna.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Review of True Blood's 7x05: "Lost Cause"

Written by Craig Chester
Directed by Howard Deutch

Lafayette (to Jessica): “Did it ever fucking occur to you that maybe I want a piece of happiness too?”

I think the sad answer was that before Lafayette even realised it, it was a case of ‘probably not’ during his argument with Jessica. However there’s no escaping the fact that while he was right to point out to Jessica to let James go if she didn’t love him, Lafayette also had sex with James while he was still with Jessica.

I’m not sorry to see Jessica and James actually break up. It has been overdue for Lafayette to get some happiness and while I’m not excusing his actions, I do think James could be better suited to Lafayette than Jessica at the moment. Also in order to further prove that maybe Jessica’s heart wasn’t that into James, she did end up having sex with Jason too as Violet overhead the whole thing.

That led to another point – Violet. Of all the new vampires carried over from the previous season, she hasn’t always been the most likeable but I actually felt like she was making a genuine effort in this episode – consoling Sookie over Alcide, making sure that Sam and Nicole got home safely and actually not acting like a jealous girlfriend when Jason wanted to comfort Jessica. Too bad now it looks like she’s going to end up doing something rash to get back at Jessica though.

The theme of this episode seemed to be ‘fuck death’. By that it meant having Lafayette, James, Jackson and Jenny throwing a party to celebrating the lives the recently deceased had led rather than mourning their loss. Essentially it was actually a nice gesture with the most successful integration of vampires and humans so far in the series but on the other hand, I sort of got where Nicole was coming from.

She didn’t exactly approve of the idea of the party and made that clear after a desperate Lettie Mae stabbed Willa for more vampire blood/Tara hallucinations. That doesn’t mean that I agree with Nicole but given how nondescript she’s been so far this season (and arguably in general), at least she finally got to have a moment where she stood out for once as a character.

Getting back to the grief – remember I said that I didn’t buy Sookie and Arlene as friends in the past? Well, this episode again made me eat my words. Arlene’s comforting advice to Sookie was actually the very thing the latter needed and it made me appreciate the former a lot more as a character. Also, Arlene can actually be a fun drunk too, which I also didn’t expect.

As for Sookie – I liked the last scene where she got to wear Alcide’s jacket as solace and I quite her scenes with Bill at the party too. I think the scenes they’ve had in the last few episodes have been the best ones they’ve had since the first two seasons. It’s too bad now that Bill also seems to have gotten Hep V. At this rate, will any vampire be immune from it?

Keeping with the Hep V plot – Eric and Pam’s trip to Dallas was a hoot. From the garish Republican outfits (Eric’s especially) to meeting Sarah’s vampire/infected sister, Amber (an enjoyable guest character) to the whole Yakuza showing up and killing Sarah's parents at a George Bush party, I really could’ve done with some more of their scenes together. Eric even got close to taking out Sarah but it seems the newly converted Buddhist has the lives of a cat given that she just about managed to escape with her life here. Still there are five more episodes for Eric to take her out though.

Also in “Lost Cause”

I was actually surprised that we didn’t get to see Hoyt in this episode but given that Maxine and Alcide have yet to be buried, maybe that’s not so shocking after all.

Willa (to Pam, re Eric): “He may be my maker but he sure as fuck didn’t raise me. Tara did. She was the one who taught me how to feed and how to control my impulses. He left me and you left her when we needed you the most.”

Eric actually released Willa upon her request and seemed to take it well when she refused to help kill Sarah. However, he wasn’t keen on having sex with Ginger.

Ginger: “Do you know what a sex slave is without the sex?”
Pam: “A slave.”

Jenny: “I know what you’re probably thinking honey but death doesn’t have to be a sad thing.”
Sookie: “Actually it does. Death is inherently sad.”

We got some more flashbacks with Bill, highlighting a deserter’s past but to be honest, they were some of the dreariest ones we’ve had with him.

Amber (re Sarah): “Are you gonna kill her?”
Eric: “There’s a real good chance that’s what’s gonna go down.”
Amber: “Then you can count me in.”
Pam: “I like her. I like you.”

Arlene (re Alcide): “You miss him?”
Sookie: “How can I miss someone I don’t believe is dead?”

Andy’s proposal to Holly was actually pretty sweet, Jason tried to stop Adylin and Wade from having sex, Eric has Stage 2 Hep V and Keith was flirting with Arlene in this episode.

Pam (to Eric): “Oh my God. I’m a Republicunt.”

Standout music: Beck’s “Lost Cause”.

Sarah: “I’m not a monster. I’m a Buddhist.”

Chronology: From where “Death Is Not The End” left off.

“Lost Cause” was another solid return to form. It was nice actually see a community that went from irrational blaming Sookie for their supernatural woes to actually accepting her as one of them while the whole Yakuza is a lot better than the Hep V vampires or Vince from the first four episodes of the season. Basically, the show has improved for now.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

American Horror Story: Freak Show - Latest Spoilers

It might not be back for another three months but filming has began for American Horror Story: Freak Show and over the last few weeks (and last week's Television Critics Association panel).

Sarah Paulson has played some of the best roles in Murder House, Asylum and Coven but for Freak Show, she will be playing a dual role of two headed, Bette and Dot Tattler. The actress tweeted a picture back in June to reveal her role(s) in the upcoming series and Ryan Murphy confirmed it a week ago by tweeting the above picture. Also if it's believed to be true, it seems that a list of character names for everyone else has been leaked. Next picture folks ...

There we seem to have the names of characters for Jessica Lange (Elsa Mars), Evan Peters (Jimmy Darling), Kathy Bates (Ethel Darling), Frances Conroy (Matilda Hapschatt) as well as a slew of new characters. I'm just wondering if Naomi Grossman's character Pepper is the same one from Asylum, assuming this leaked call sheet is the genuine article. It's also rumoured that Michael Chiklis's character will be Kathy Bates's Ethel Darling's ex husband and Angela Bassett's Donna Macree's current husband with Gabourey Sidibe playing, Donna's daughter, Patricia while Jamie Brewer is rumoured to be playing a character named Katie and Emma Roberts playing a performer named Lily Morgan. No confirmation for Denis O'Hare though some of his recent tweets did seem to imply he may be involved this season.

However something that has definitely been confirmed is that Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games) will be appearing in the upcoming season for a multi-episode arc, starting with a two parter Halloween episode. Bentley will play the role of Eddie, a dark tormentor from Kathy Bates’ past who is hell-bent on revenge. The producers have also mentioned that Freak Show will be something of a mash up tonally from the previous two season as well, which should be interesting to see play out.

Meanwhile there's also rumours circulating that former How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris may be popping up on Freak Show. The actor recently expressed his desire through a letter to get involved in American Horror Story (who can blame him, right?) and it seems that Ryan Murphy himself might even have a part for Harris should he manage to get in on the action this season. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to seeing Neil on the show (while Murphy's at it, can he get Matt Bomer too?). Go on, Ryan - you know you want.

AHS: Freak Show Spoilers:

American Horror Story: Freak Show will air on both FX and FOXUK from October.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cucumber/Banana/Tofu - More Casting News

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

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

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

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

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

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

Casting News:
Tofu News:
Tofu Interviews:

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gotham - FOX Summer TCA Spoilers

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

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

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

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

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

The Good The Evil The Beginning Trailer:
TCA Spoilers:

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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Constantine/Daredevil/The Flash - Casting Bits/Spoilers

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

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

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

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

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

Constantine Spoilers:
The Flash:

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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Batman: The Animated Series - Episodes 36-40 Reviews

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

Episode 36: Moon Of The Wolf

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

Episode 37: Terror In The Sky

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

Episode 38: Christmas With The Joker

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

Episodes 39 & 40: Heart Of Steel

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

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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gracepoint - Picked Up By ITV/US Airdate Confirmed

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

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

More BTS Features/Airdate Confirmation:

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