Saturday, January 31, 2015

A.K.A Jessica Jones - Tennant/Taylor Cast In Major Roles

It's been an interesting week with the casting for Netflix's upcoming superhero series, Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones as two new members have been added to the show.

David Tennant, best known for Doctor Who and Broadchurch (and it's shortlived US version, Gracepoint) has bagged the role of villainous character, Zebediah Killgrave - also known as the Purple Man. The character is responsible for leading star Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) retiring from the superhero lifestyle and his reappearance will send shockwaves through her world. However whether or not Tennant will literally be purple onscreen for the role remains to be seen though.

Meanwhile Rachael Taylor (Grey's Anatomy) has also joined the cast as Patricia 'Trish' Walker, the close friend of Ritter's character and also a character who first appeared in the comics back in 1944. Comic fans will also know that Walker is also the superhero known as Hellcat, who I'm sure we'll see onscreen in the upcoming series.


AKA Jessica Jones begins filming soon and will air on Netflix later in 2015.

Recap/Review: How To Get Away With Murder's 1x10: Hello, Raskolnikov

I was going to leave the remaining six episodes of this first season to Universal but impatience got the better of me and here's a recap for the mid-season premiere I guess.

Written by Marcus Dalzine
Directed by Michael Offer

The Mastermind: Never underestimate Annalise Keating. Back in the opening episode she talked about how to get away with murder to her eager and impressionable students and this episode, she put that to the test. Is it wrong that I was both impressed and a tiny bit scared in which the lengths that Annalise was willing to go in order to protect herself and make it look like Sam went missing? Probably but at least we had Wendy Parks to return and be openly disgusted and sceptical about Sam's actions and Annalise's general stance while everyone else did exactly as Annalise wanted them to, whether they knew it or not. That being said ...

Sister Trouble: Let's be honest, didn't we all assume that when Marcia Gay Harden's casting was announced back in November that she would be Sam's first wife? It wasn't a wrong assumption of sorts but Nowalk and company nicely wrong footed and instead Hannah is actually Sam's sister and she doesn't believe for a second that her brother is a murderer (making her and Wendy have something in common then). The show has been calling out for a proper threat for Annalise and it seems like for the remainder of this season anyways that Hannah might just fit that bill. Works for me.

Band Together Or Fall Apart: It seems that killing and disposing of your professor's husband can be something of a trying experience for anyone. The one thing I loved about this episode is that both Connor and Michaela had very human reactions to what they helped do to Sam and the fact that both of them wanted to go to the police before anyone else could turn them in was something to be commended. Of course, Wes, Laurel and Annalise banded together and managed to stop Connor and Michaela in their tracks though. As for Connor, he really does seem to be falling to pieces and even Oliver is seeming less convinced by the drug addict line Connor fed him in the last episode.

Quiet Ones Are The Worst: This episode continued to be something of an eye opener for me in relation to Laurel. If anyone could give Annalise a run in the manipulation stakes, it just might be her. The cool way she told Connor in no uncertain terms that she'd throw him under the bus if he blabbed to the cops and the way she got Wes and Annalise to stop both Connor and Michaela from turning themselves in. Not to mention that little stunt she pulled at the cop shop as well. No wonder Frank (and even Khan to a degree) were so pissed off with her this week. By the way, how much did Annalise let Frank in on? Clearly enough for him to be annoyed with Laurel anyways.

The Innocent Ones: Which at this point in time, both Asher and Bonnie are. The latter might not have been thrilled the former blabbed to the police that they had sex but right now, they're the only two characters more in the dark about what really happened with Sam, though I suspect that won't be the case in the remaining five episodes and especially now that Hannah will undoubtedly pose quite the thorn to Annalise's side. Oh and the case of the week involved proving that Sam had motive for killing Lila by forcing her to go to an abortion clinic, which also managed to ensure that publicly Rebecca is no longer a suspect in Lila's death. That being said though, I still don't believe for a second that Sam killed Lila either. Oh and Annalise keeping Sam's ring will probably be her undoing as well later in the season.

The show returns to Universal in the Spring. The next episode takes in parts of Christmas and of course Hannah making her presence very much known to Annalise and the Keating Five.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cucumber/Banana/Tofu - Episode 2 Recap/Review

It's the second week of this triple treat and things are certainly ticking over nicely with all three shows continuing to produce some surprising moments.

Cucumber: This was certainly an eye opening episode, more so than the first episode. Thanks to a rather hurt Lance, pretty much everyone knows that Henry doesn't like to get fucked or fuck in general. I do like that while Adam and his mate took the piss, Cleo was actually more sympathetic and even did some research on her brother being a 'side'. Actually, I think the female characters on this show (Cleo and Scotty specifically) are coming across as more likeable than some of the male characters. I don't know if that's deliberate or anything though.

I like that while Henry and Lance did somewhat break up in this episode, there were some great back and forth moments with the two of them as they both had their sexual history discussed with and by both Cleo and Daniel but at the same time, I think both of them are in for a rough time ahead, considering their midlife crushes/delusions.

Lance had no problem telling Henry that he had no chance with Freddie (who also relayed that message twice in this episode in a rather egotistical way) but Lance himself looks set to make a fool of himself with straight guy Daniel (who I really find annoying) and maybe even more than Henry at the moment. As for the subplot with the dead co-worker, that took an unpleasant turn that saw Henry getting suspended from his job but it's still a weak plot though. I also got a laugh out of Henry's little phone test as well.

Banana: Somewhat better than it's parent show this week, if I'm being honest. This show might be seriously influenced by Skins (mainly due to every episode focusing on a different character per week) but it's an utter joy to watch and Scotty (or Vivienne Scott) has easily become my favourite on either show so far. The one thing both shows are going to be known for will be their discoveries of fresh new talents and Letitia Wright is an absolute revelation as the hopelessly in love girl with multiple jobs.

While Scotty stalking and inadvertently scaring the married Yvonne wasn't the wisest of moves, it was nice that this episode took various and genuinely surprising twists and turns. Scotty's profession of love for Yvonne and calling her beautiful spurred the married woman into changing her life for the better and she was even kind enough to give the good natured Scotty some sound advice too. The one thing I really loved about the episode was the support system Scotty had - the friends at the party who wanted her to find love, her mother who gave her sage advice and the co-workers at the call centre who leapt to Scotty's defence at the end of the episode. An utterly fantastic episode from start to finish and one that nearly brought a tear to my eye.

Tofu: Only ten minutes this week but again, I'm finding this little side order/appetiser both highly amusing, insightful and a little cringey in place (not a criticism with the latter). This week was discussing about our attitudes towards sex, the different ways in which men and women talk about it and also had an amusing sketch with three different generations of men discussing their own prowess while adult star Jake Bass also made some interesting comments on his own preferences too.

Next week, someone from Freddie's past rocks up and we get to know both Violet and Sian.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Virtuoso - HBO Commission Alan Ball/Elton John Musical Drama

With Glee coming to an end, Empire (which I will cover shortly) becoming an overnight success and Nashville kind of bubbling along nicely, it seems HBO are getting in on the musical act too.

Virtuoso, an 18th century musical drama set in the volatile backdrop of Vienna has received a pilot order from HBO and will focus on a class of young musical prodigies from all over Europe at the prestigious Academy of Musical Excellence. Created by Alan Ball and cast in the role of Salieri, an accomplished composer and conductor who is appointed by the dying Emperor Joseph I to start the university to honor Joseph's legacy is Peter Macdissi, the real life partner of Ball and who has also appeared in both Six Feet Under and True Blood. Macdissi will also serve as an executive producer on the show along with both Ball and Elton John, David Furnish and Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton-Shaw. Ball will write and direct the pilot episode for the show.

Further casting announced includes Nico Mirallegro (My Mad Fat Diary) as self taught violin prodigy who comes from nothing; and Alex Lawther will portray Battista, a Castrato prodigy who comes from a poor farming family in Florence but has had free education thanks to his singing ability. Also included are Lindsay Farris will play Heinrich, an Austrian piano prodigy, Iva Babic will play Leonid, a Russian cello prodigy and Francois Civil will portray Isidoro, a guitar and flute prodigy who was brought up in a rural beach town in Spain with no formal music training.

I have to admit this does sound genuinely interesting as a show and personally I can definitely see myself watching this one. I might not have really gotten into Banshee (currently in it's third season) but I loved both Six Feet Under and True Blood and I love the fact that TV project wise, Ball has a tendency to tackle something different each time and the cast are interesting enough too. I also have no doubt that given his past record on his other shows that Ball will definitely have a gay character also added into the mix as well.

Press Release:

The pilot for Virtuoso begins filming in Budapest in the Spring and the series should air at some point in 2015 on HBO.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Review of Revenge's 4x14: "Kindred"

Written by Nancy Kiu
Directed by Colin Bucksey

Mystery Caller (to Victoria): “There’s been a death in the family.”

Okay then. The show needed a solid cliff hanger of sorts and this episode provided at least two of them. Aside from Daniel and Conrad, who else in Victoria’s family has now become a dead person? Charlotte? Patrick? Her mother perhaps? I’m kind of hoping for the latter as having Victoria lose two children in a short space of time might be a bit too much for her.

Keeping with Victoria, this was a very interesting episode for her. Not only did she firmly remind Margaux again to let go of her vendetta against Emily (she really has changed), but she also got some nice closure with David of sorts and a fabulous new rival in the shape of Natalie Waters.

Casting Gina Torres was a smart move for this show and in four scenes alone, I already find Natalie a fascinating character. I loved how she seemed to be slightly a step ahead of Victoria during their encounters and even unmoved by Victoria’s threats to discover her secrets as well. Now that Emily no longer poses a threat to Victoria, it looks like Natalie may fill that void and I cannot wait to see both ladies going head to head again. I just hope Natalie gets more episodes than Malcolm Black did.

Speaking of ladies going head to head – Margaux fought poorly with the reports insinuating that Emily and David were lovers (really did not want that image in my head) and I liked that Emily made it clear she could crush Margaux’s little empire as well. I also liked that when Margaux finally did get some genuine ammunition against Emily, it also happened to involve Jack and because of that, we got some conflict to Margaux’s overall plan. Points given to at least making this plotline more interesting than it initially was but I’m still hoping Margaux comes to her senses and lets it go.

As for Jack – I really could’ve done without his moping in this episode. While David seemed to enable it, Ben at least seemed slightly exasperated by it but at the same time, at least Jack finally left the force. I hated Jack being a cop because it made no sense but I do find it amusing that as he was about to try to get together with Emily, she had already moved on to Ben. I wouldn’t worry – Emily and Ben probably won’t last.

As for the rest of the episode – when Emily wasn’t toying with the idea of taking back her real name (thanks to David, who was actually pretty great this week), I liked that both her and Nolan finally helped Louise to expose her mother for the murderer she was. I’m glad Louise doesn’t have blood on her hands and even more delighted that she managed to cut both Penelope and Lyman off as well. While I’d rather her and Nolan didn’t consummate their marriage, this whole ‘sham marriage’ storyline has been more enjoyable than expected.

Also in “Kindred”

Nolan checking out one of his staff members while taking about his marriage to Emily cracked me up.

Nolan: “The marriage may be fake in it’s spirit but it’s real on paper. Nolan Ross is off the market.”
Emily: “And the world weeps.”

Emily or shall I say Amanda Clarke was born on June 11th 1984. Of course she had to be a Gemini and as one myself, I’m pretty stoked about it.

Victoria (to Margaux): “I told you that if you go to war with Emily, no good can come of it.”

Emily: “Is that a threat?”
Margaux: “Simply the world you’ve chosen to live in.”

I’m surprised when Emily wasn’t trying to crack Louise’s memories that she didn’t go for the same method that had been used on her by Takeda and Aiden.

Ben: “Don’t make me do that.”
Emily: “What?”
Ben: “Imagine a world without Emily Thorne.”

Natalie (to Victoria): “It’s not easy being queen if you believe your history.”

It was a bit funny that Penelope and Judge Miller kept the murder weapon for all those years and in public display too.

Victoria (to her socialites): “A friend is like a business. Investing in the wrong one always proves costly.”

Standout music: Lia Ices “Magick”.

Louise: “How could Nolan have such faith in me when I don’t have faith in myself?”
Emily: “Cos that’s who Nolan.”

Chronology: A few days from where “Abduction” left off.

“Kindred” was a nice episode. Not as action packed as the previous one but again, some loose ends were tied up, some plots took an interesting twist and hopefully there’s enough sustainable for the remaining eight episodes when the show returns in March.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Review of Gotham's 1x13: "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon"

Written by Megan Mostyn-Brown
Directed by Wendey Stanzler

Gordon: “And what do I owe you in return?”
Oswald: “Friends don’t owe friends, silly. They just do favours because they want to. Because they’re friends.”

So, this week, Oswald got Gordon in the palm of his little flipper and Gordon found his morality slightly compromised upon having to team up with the Penguin in order to take down a corrupt cop.

I liked that this episode didn’t waste time in portraying Arnold Flass as a horrible so and so, who had no problem killing innocent janitors and running his own little drug empire with easily persuaded lackeys like Delaware in the mix. I even liked the fact that after going on and on about police corruption for the millionth time that Gordon played a little dirty to get Flass, even if he went further than he intended to.

Having Oswald as a friend certainly paid off this week but now he’s going to be the very friend that Gordon will have a famously hard time shaking off. Just ask Fish. Even with her best attempts and Butch at her side, she can’t seem to shake Oswald off and now he has her club to lord it over her as well.

I wasn’t expecting Fish to actually die in this episode but I did think that her ‘torture’ session with Bob would last a bit longer than a few scenes. Butch came through for her twice in this episode – first by getting her away from Bob and then from Victor Zsasz and his 1980s female cronies as well. Clearly, this is one Fish who won’t be scaled any time soon, that’s for sure.

As for Butch – I assume for now that he still lives, even if he’s getting tortured rightly by Zsasz but I do love the fact that even in hiding, Fish was determined to do right by her right hand man. Over the last few episodes Fish and Butch’s rapport has been fun to watch and it’s nice that she does actually have his back too.

I also liked the fact that when she wasn’t vowing to kill Penguin multiple times over (good luck with that one) that we got a tiny glimpse into her and Bullock’s dynamic as well. Was I surprised that the two of them share a romantic/sexual history? Of course not, but again, there’s an interesting dynamic with the two of them. That being said, Fish still desperately needs a back-story and preferably soon as well.

Keeping with relationships, while Fish’s ones with Bullock and Butch deepened a little, Bruce and Selina’s ultimately hit the skids in a big way. I can actually see why Selina rejected Bruce as harshly as she did, given that she was nearly killed by assassins the last time but I still couldn’t help feeling bad for the kid either. I guess it’s back to the drawing board for Bruce in terms of trying to find his parents killer though.

Also in “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon”

Fish’s name was revealed as Maria Mercedes Mooney in this episode. It only took thirteen episodes but at least we have that mystery resolved.

Fish (to Bob): “Only my friends call me Fish, darling, and you and I, we’re not friends, yet.”

Ivy managed to creep out both Bruce and Alfred this week with one little scene. She also got 20 bucks for relaying a message to Selina. Intentional nod to Batman Returns this week?

Ivy: “Look who it is, billionaire Bruce Wayne. Who are you, his bodyguard?”
Alfred: “If needs be, miss, yes.”

Bullock: “You’re making some statement?”
Gordon: “Damn right I am.”

Nygma seemed to make a little progress with Kringle this week over a less creepy greetings card. He also seems to hate onions in his takeout – I totally get that one.

Nygma: “This is for you.”
Kringle: “Doesn’t say anything weird, does it?”

Fish (to Oswald): “Not bad. I do believe you  need to project more, create a bit more excitement for the audience. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Fish Mooney’s. Like that.”

Oswald had a bit of a rock star moment in this episode when he wasn’t showing off to his mother and fawning over Gordon as well.

Selina: “You’re beginning to bug me.”
Bruce: “I thought we were friends.”

No signs of Barbara, Falcone, Maroni, Montoya or Allen this week and it’s been ages since we’ve seen the Mayor or Harvey Dent, hasn’t it?

Victor (re Butch): “What do you think girls? Shall we kill him or take him home to play with?”

Chronology: From where “What The Little Bird Told Him” left off I think.

I liked this one. “Welcome Back, Jim Gordon” wasn’t perfect but it had so many little moments I couldn’t help enjoying and I also liked that Gordon did get a little dirty to take out a corrupt cop (along with Essen eventually having his back). However, I’m more excited about the next two episodes and the villain that’s going to be a big focus in them.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Monday, January 26, 2015

Atlantis & In The Flesh: Does Their Cancellations Mean Something Regarding BBC?

Inspired by a thread on GallifreyBase, the cancellation of both shows was merely a week apart but it does make me wonder that aside from Doctor Who if we're in slight danger of getting less genre television from the BBC?

Atlantis seems poised to step in from where Merlin had left off and with the same crew manning the show, surely it should've been as successful as the magical series had been for five series? It seems not as last week, BBC1 announced that Atlantis wouldn't be returning for a third series, so the remaining seven episodes of Series 2 (which have yet to air) would serve as a final run for the show. I wish I could say that Atlantis's cancellation was a shock to me but if I'm being honest, I was more shocked when it got a second series in the first place. I knew it wouldn't get a third one and I think many people did and while the show has had some good moments (I quite liked the mid-series finale back in December), it just lacked the spark and instant connection that Merlin (even with it's fair share of dire episodes and characters acting like idiots for cheap laughs at times) had with viewers. It's a shame because if the writing had been better, Atlantis could've easily been as great if not better than it's predecessor. I will watch/recap/review the remaining episodes from the second series as I'm interested in the return of Medusa, arrival of Icarus and inevitable shitstorm when Jason finally learns that Pasiphae is his mother.

Then there was BBC3's In The Flesh, whose cancellation was announced a week prior to Atlantis's and not as surprising but personally, one I found a lot more disappointing. Mainly because we'll never have the cliffhanger regarding Amy resolved (unless the show is lucky and someone like NetFlix steps in) but also because unlike Atlantis, at least In The Flesh was doing something different within it's genre. It wasn't simply coasting on the successes of other zombie led dramas such as The Walking Dead and Les Revenants/The Returned, it had it's own unique take and storylines and let's be honest, not only was it one of BBC3's better programmes (far superior to it's increasing low brow comedies and utterly dreadful entertainment documentary shows) but it was a show that actually gave audiences a prominent LGBT lead character with Kieren Walker (Luke Newberry). Personally, despite the low ratings for the show, I really do think BBC3 could've at least commissioned a special or something to tie up loose ends but with both In The Flesh and Atlantis getting cancelled and Wizards Vs. Aliens being put on some kind of hiatus, could it mean less genre television on the BBC?

Perhaps not. The reason why both Atlantis and In The Flesh were cancelled were down to ratings and the BBC speak of wanting space for newer dramas (which would make sense if either show had run longer than two series) and there's a slight chance at some point that Wizards Vs. Aliens could return for a fourth run (even if it wasn't entirely a rating juggernaut for CBBC) but with the exception of Doctor Who, Wolfblood and the upcoming series, Tatau for BBC3, I do wonder if we're getting a slight cooling off period of genre television on BBC and it's other channels or if perhaps, I'm just overlooking things and within the next few months/years, more genre shows will emerge. It's certainly time for a female led supernatural show or even a female hero centred show as well, either with a historical figure or a brand new character altogether. ITV2 got close enough with Switch back in 2012, but the show only lasted one series and their upcoming Jekyll & Hyde will probably be more male centred than female as well.

Come on, BBC. There's only so many costume dramas, one-offs, detective and procedural dramas that audiences can take. Don't let the cancellations of of In The Flesh, Wizards Vs. Aliens and Atlantis be the start of a death knell for genre television on your channels. Test out some new writers, adapt other less known genre material and generally step out of your comfort zones. Shows like Doctor Who, Merlin and Being Human have proved beyond doubt if the material is good, audiences will embrace it and watch for multiple series. You just need to pull your finger out here.

And if we're going to compare to US television, you could try your own version of American Horror Story. Now British television in general needs to try and produce a show with a similar level of whimsy and crazy like that one.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Supergirl - Melissa Benoist Cast In Titular Role

We've waited a few weeks and have speculated and now we have our Supergirl ....

Melissa Benoist, best known for her role as Marley Rose in the fourth and fifth seasons of Glee and recently as Nicole in the hit movie, Whiplash has bagged the role for the upcoming CBS superhero drama. Benoist will take on the dual role of Kara Zor-el/Linda Danvers/Supergirl in the series. The official synopsis for the show reads like this ...

The show is believed to pick up with Kara in her mid-twenties, living a non-heroic life and lacking in confidence. Naturally, something bad happens, she uses her powers to save people and begins a journey to becoming a true hero, eventually.

Other casting for the series has yet to be confirmed but while I wasn't a big fan of Benoist's character on Glee (didn't love her, didn't hate her, just fairly found Marley a bit meh), I do find her casting for the show rather intriguing and it'll be interesting to see who else will be involved in the show.

It's also interesting that Glee has seemingly become a breeding ground for superheroes. After all, Grant Gustin is currently playing the role of Barry Allen in The Flash and Supergirl is being made by the same producers of that show and parent series, Arrow. In terms of crossovers, it looks like we won't be getting any in the near future but here's hoping this series can truly soar though.

Press Release:

Supergirl begins filming in the Spring for an autumn 2015 launch for CBS.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cucumber/Banana/Tofu - Episode 1 Recap/Review

Yup, I'm going to tackle all three shows in one blog, usually every Friday or Saturday for the time being, so here's a short look at what happened in the three shows last night.

Cucumber: The main series and one that kicked off with a bang as the explanation behind the titles for all three shows (plus the peeled banana) were deftly explained for those not in the know. The main action centred on a date night between insurance worker Henry (Vincent Franklin) and his long term boyfriend, Lance (Cyril Nri) where the latter's attempt of proposing marriage was met with derision by Henry and a threeway with the rather stoned Francesco (Peter Caulfield) resulted in the ten year relationship coming apart at the seams and one of the strangest domestic callouts any policeman would've had to deal with, probably ever.

There were so many gems throughout this opening episode - the strained dynamic of both Henry and Lance's sex life (or slight lack of one), the introduction of both men's various family, friends and co-workers as well as a neighbouring having to point out one of the lads masturbation habits and that scene where Henry, Lance and a group of older men were not only checking out a hot waiter (supersoaker anyone?), the scene where they speculated on certain male celebrities being gay as well as a rather interesting way that the song Your Disco Needs You was used as well. I've also seen Boney M in a brand new light as well.

As an opening episode, this was a riot from start to finish. The subplot with a plagiarising co-worker didn't quite work and I would've liked to have seen more of Henry's sister but other than that, it's great to have Russell T. Davies back on television.

Banana: The first of two spin off shows and the one that aired on E4. From the looks of it, while Cucumber's primary focus is on Henry and Lance, Banana is clearly going down the Skins route by having an episode focus on a particular character a week. For the first episode, the focus was on 19 year old office boy Dean (Fisayo Akinade), whom we actually met in Cucumber as he works with Henry spent most of this episode, either trying to hook up - first with a Geordie businessman, played by Andrew Hayden-Smith and then with another bloke at the end of the episode and failing to pay his half of the rent, until a solution literally came knocking at the very end.

It's a funny half-hour with Akinade proving to be quite a find as Dean came up with every excuse going to his beleaguered flatmate and man about town Freddie (Freddie Fox) about not having the rent money while lying to his friends, including the rather sweet Scotty (Letitia Wright) about his parents, which was something I found rather annoying, considering that there are plenty of kids out there who have to deal with homophobia in their family. Overall though, I did like the opening episode but the parent show had the stronger hook for me if I'm being candid here.

Tofu: A companion piece to both shows, hosted by Benjamin Cook and one that lasts about 12 minutes too, which is probably a good thing. If you're expecting this to be a Confidential of sorts to each episode of Cucumber and Banana, you'd be off base. Sure, there's definitely contributions from actors of both shows, but mainly this focuses on the real life sexuality with a fictional minisode also thrown into the mix - turns out that hunky businessman Dan isn't quite the hit with the ladies that he likes to think he is as he learned quite harshly that manscaping doesn't impress so much.

Along with that, there were some discussion from a mother and son, an older woman on her sexual partners, a man who uses high class escorts and doesn't care what people and even some contributions from adult star Jake Bass and teenagers themselves being quite frankly on what they like sexually. I'm not sure what subsequent editions of this will add into the mix but I liked this little companion piece though.

So which did you prefer - Cucumber, Banana or Tofu?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Curtain Call

Well, we've had better finales (or worse ones) but after 13 weeks of pure madness, it's time for this particular Freak Show to close up for good.

Written by John J. Gray
Directed by Bradley Buecker

The Elsa Mars Show: All season long, Elsa has been going on and on about wanting to be famous and in this episode, she managed to get her wish, but only because she met her future husband at the right moment. Elsa getting her fame and fortune in spite of all the horrible things she's done just seemed a little messed up, so the threat of her past coming back to take away her fame led to an interesting way of finally doing the character in.

Time To Die: Despite her previous misgivings about never performing on Halloween, Elsa knew that her career was about to crash big time decided to give her last performance (a version of We Could Be Heroes no less) and both Mordrake and Twisty the Clown decided to show up and take her soul away. However, even in death, Elsa seemed to get lucky with her soul being sent back to her freak show and reunited with her friends such as Ma Petite and Ethel. For a character who hasn't behaved that well, it seemed rather eerie that Elsa literally got the opposite fate that Lange's character, Fiona got at the end of Coven. This was an intentional callback, yes?

You May Now Kiss The Brides: If Elsa's fate left a bitter taste in your mouth, then the good news is that Dandy didn't get off so easily. Sure he upped the body count by murdering most of his staff but his hopes of living a married life with Bette and Dot came crashing down when the twins, Jimmy and Desiree banded together to take Dandy out. Let's just say that aside from being an amateur Cole Porter, Dandy is also a rather lousy Houdini as well. Drowning Dandy seemed a bit merciful compared to the horrors he's subjected various people to throughout the season but at least the show killed off the psychotic brat once and for all.

Happier Times: Thankfully Elsa wasn't the only person to get a happy ending in this finale. It seems that after bumping off Dandy, Desiree got married to her beau from a few episodes ago and had two children while Jimmy and the twins as expectant parents also settled into domestic bliss. Yes, it was a little syrupy but I am glad those four characters actually made it out of the season alive, given that so many other likeable characters were taken out.

Massacres: Dandy getting trigger happy and killing the likes of Paul, Penny, Legless Suzy and Amazon Eve was sad to see. I guess the show needed more of a body count but having the lot of them slaughtered by Dandy annoyed me more than Elsa's sudden (and somewhat implausible) rise to fame. On the plus side, at least Dandy finally died. That made up for a lot in this episode.

I'll be back to review/recap the fifth season and possibly it's network equivalent in Scream Queens during the autumn.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Review of Revenge's 4x13: "Abduction"

Written by Christopher Fife
Directed by John Scott

Victoria (to Margaux): “Emily’s not worth your time. Besides, revenge is a dangerous game.”

Have we finally turned a corner with Victoria? Maybe. She did spend most of this episode in captivity with Emily and when she wasn’t sniping at her former daughter in law, she even went out of her way to try and save her from Malcolm Black. In some ways, I’m actually wondering if hell has officially frozen over.

Having Victoria and Emily forced into working together to survive Malcolm’s captivity might have been an obvious move but it was also a rewarding too. Even an episode ago, these two would’ve happily trampled on the other just for the fun of it but here they had bigger fish to fry and while Jack, David and Ben did their bit to save them, it was mostly the ladies own smarts that kept them alive.

I have to admit though, I am surprised about Malcolm. For all the hype he was given as a baddie, he didn’t even last three episodes and despite almost incinerating Emily, he didn’t particularly feel that threatening as a baddie. Mainly, I blame the accent but also the writing to a point.

I will also admit though that Malcolm’s death was the funniest we’ve had since Pascal’s in the previous season. Getting shot by David and then incinerated himself should’ve been horrifying but instead, it was actually fairly comical. Now how the hell the remaining nine episodes are going to work without him as a lingering threat, I don’t know but I will be intrigued to find out.

Surely the writers don’t think Margaux’s revenge mission against Emily is going to grip viewers for the remainder of the season? Margaux’s vendetta is even more misplaced than Victoria’s was at the start of the season and even if the latter is telling you to let it go, then perhaps it’s advice Margaux should take on board.

The problem is that even though I generally like Margaux as a character, this is not an interesting storyline to go with the character. I know the writers probably wanted to give her something to do other than be pregnant but this isn’t the best idea either. If Emily could outfox the Graysons for most of this show’s run, then Margaux hasn’t a hope in hell of taking Emily down. I’m hoping this plot is done with fast and not bled out for the remaining nine episodes of the season.

Speaking of plots – Nolan and Louise married? I didn’t see that coming but seeing as it was a ploy to ensure Louise could get her inheritance away from her awful mother Penelope (who actually appeared properly on the show), I can live with it. As for Penelope, it’s amazing how they managed to make her more of a credible threat in this episode than Malcolm was for the last two. As for the bombshell of Louise killing her father – the actual truth or more manipulation from Mommy Dearest? It’s kind of hard to tell really.

As for the rest of the episode – I liked that Victoria and David broke up and I even found Ben okay during this episode as well. He was mostly useful (except for the bit where he was bound and gagged by one of Malcolm’s thugs) but at the same time, I’m not exactly in love with the idea of a pairing with him and Emily. I still don’t really think they have any chemistry to be honest.

Also in “Abduction”

Ed Quinn is a good bit of casting for this show. I just hope he’s not wasted in his role as Margaux’s lackey though.

Emily: “It’s not about us. It’s about everyone whose going to suffer if we don’t get out of here alive, including my father.”
Victoria: “”Your words hold no meaning for me anymore.”

If someone with all the media connections, it really shouldn’t be that hard for Margaux to find other ways to ruin Emily without her hired help, right?

Penelope: “You need those pills to stay sane.”
Louise: “Those pills you tricked me into taking had horrible side effect, including seeing more of you than I wanted to.”

Victoria: “Love is complicated.”
Emily: “He doesn’t love you.”

I wonder if Courtney Ford got any payment for a voice credit for this episode, given that Jack, David and Ben tried to trick Malcolm into thinking Kate was alive.

Victoria (to Malcolm, re Kate): “”I killed her. She murdered my son and I shot the bitch in cold blood. You know the best part? I loved it!”

Standout music: “Grizzly Bear” by Angus & Julia Stone.

Louise: “Guess who got married?”
Penelope: “You did what?”
Nolan: “And that makes me her conservator now which means that Louise is finally free of you.”

Chronology: Actually a year and a half since the events of “Truth” but also from where “Madness” left off.

With some tweaking, “Abduction” really could’ve been a series finale. Malcolm Black is dead, Victoria and Emily have buried the hatchet and Victoria and David have broken up and I’m not sure if the other subplots are enough to keep the remaining episodes going but I’ll keep an open mind though.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Review of Gotham's 1x12: "What The Little Bird Told Him"

Written by Ben Edlund
Directed by Eagle Egilsson

Falcone (to Fish): “I can forgive all kinds of betrayal and dishonesty but my mother? How dare you use my sainted mother against me? That’s wrong. You’ll suffer for that.”

The good news is that things finally happened in this episode with Fish and Falcone that went beyond their passive aggressive and veiled threats dynamic. The not so good news was that the former made her move too soon and blew everything that she had been working for over the last twelve episodes.

The funny thing was that she had nearly succeeded with getting Fish to sign over his power to her and retire in the country with Liza but Oswald had to go and ruin things for her. I was a little sad to see Liza die – she didn’t deserve that but as soon as Falcone realised that Oswald was telling the truth about her, I knew her days were done for. Watching Falcone strangle the girl though was horrible but probably not as bad as what he’s going to do to both Fish and Butch now.

That leads me to another thing – how the hell can Fish get out of this one alive? If Falcone shows her mercy, it’ll just go against everything he said about her using his mother against him but at the same time, I don’t want to lose the character just yet either. Perhaps Falcone will be the one to die instead.

As for Oswald, he probably shouldn’t gloat too much. While Fish was dumb enough to reveal her hand too quickly and got taken down for it, Oswald also slipped up about working for Falcone to Maroni when he got electrocuted by Gruber. I don’t believe for a second that Maroni bought his lies either, so it’s quite likely that Oswald could be in for a similarly rough time like Fish and Butch are probably experiencing off screen as well.

As for the rest of the episode – you have to hand it to Gordon – the man managed to get his job back pretty sharpish. I actually thought we were going to have a few more weeks of him in Arkham but he managed to take out Gruber pretty quickly and even managed to threaten Loeb after getting his job back as well. I think I might like this slightly edgier version of Gordon for the time being.

Then there’s Leslie Thompkins as well. It’s like the show didn’t even bother wasting time and just decided to hook both her and Gordon up after some flirty banter. I don’t mind it as such but I am hoping it doesn’t fizzle out quicker than Gruber’s plot to kill Maroni did in this episode though.

Also in “What The Little Bird Told Him”

Barbara decided to stay with her frosty parents in this episode. It’s going to take more than that to get audiences to feel for her. It’s a start though.

Loeb: “Why are you here?”
Gordon: “I have a bigger question – why are you here, commissioner?”

I know Nygma is meant to be a bit socially awkward but even he should’ve guessed that a cupcake with a bullet in it was going to creep out Kringle.

Bullock (to Gordon): “You’re like a human rollercoaster, except you go down.”
Nygma: “Wouldn’t that make him more like an elevator?”

Fish (re Falcone): “Liza, you can like him all you want but you can never tell him the truth.”
Liza: “I know that.”

I noticed in this episode that Oswald’s walk has gotten even worse than before. Also no Bruce, Alfred, Selina or Montoya or Allen this week. I did like Victor Zsasz somewhat needling Falcone too in this episode.

Gordon (to Gruber): “You know what? I do hate to lose.”

Standout music: Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”.

Gordon (to Loeb): “Next man who tries to take away my shield, one way or another, I’m gonna make him eat it.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Rogues Gallery” left off.

Something of a mixed episode but definitely enjoyable. I do like that “What The Little Bird Told Him” genuinely shifted some gears with the whole Fish, Falcone, Oswald and Maroni dynamics but at the same time, the Gruber plot was hastily done away with too quickly and it did feel like Gordon got his job back a bit too easily as well. Other than that, really enjoyed this one.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, January 19, 2015

Scream Queens - More Cast Members Announced

You gotta love that Television Critics Association. When various shows weren't being announced for renewals, we also found out some more casting for Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan's upcoming series, Scream Queens.

Joining both Emma Roberts (American Horror Story) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween) in yet undisclosed roles are Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Keke Palmer (True Jackson), Joe Manganiello (True Blood) and Lea Michele (Glee). The four of them will make up the regular cast along with both Roberts and Curtis, though I'm sure more will be confirmed when the pilot episode begins filming.

Also joining the cast of the horror comedy series will be popstar Ariana Grande, whose previous acting credits include Victorious (never saw it). Grande will appear some of the fifteen episodes from the show's first season, so chances are she probably will meet a grisly demise early on as she's only on recurring status. The show will focus on a killing spree at a college campus for it's first season. Like American Horror Story, the theme and settings will be different for subsequent seasons.

And it seems we have another recurring cast member too. Nick Jonas will be recurring in an undisclosed role in the first season of Scream Queens. Jonas, currently also starring in martial arts drama, Kingdom was announced recently, which means that there will be at least one other prominent male on the show aside from Manganiello. Though how many episodes he'll appear in remains to be seen.

Press Release:

Scream Queens will begin filming it's pilot in the Spring and will premiere on FOX during the autumn of 2015.

Away From The Beach

It's the middle of January and while some shows have yet to return from hiatus, there are a few that are back and covered briefly here.

Broadchurch: The most hyped about drama from ITV that isn't Downton Abbey is back for it's second run of episodes and I have to admit, it's been a mixed bag so far. I think Chibnall's decision to add more twists into the Latimer case wasn't a wise decision and it feels like it's now become an overextended story. It's a shame because there's already another mystery with Claire and Lee Ashworth that should be taking precedent and coming up with new ways to keep Danny's death a focal point of the show probably isn't the wisest of ideas. On the other hand, the new characters are all interesting and the rapport between Tennant and Colman is impeccable.

Girls: TV's most polarising actress is back on television with the fourth season of her hit show. Okay, I'll keep the Lena Dunham stuff to a minimum because while I find the whole 'voice of a generation' accolade awarded to this show completely undeserved, I will admit that this opening episode wasn't actually all that bad really. Being in Iowa has managed to make Hannah a little less annoying and I don't remember the likes of Jessa, Marnie or Shoshanna saying or doing anything too objectionable either. Maybe I'm softening towards this show.

Glee: Season Six may be the last season but it's nice that some life has been breathed into the show after the rather stagnant previous season. This episode, using music from both Alanis Morrissette and Carole King was pretty inspired and also rather a good one for Brittana fans and fans of Santana's acid tongue as well (even if Kurt was the recipient of it). The newbies are still settling in well enough but on the negative side - this episode had way too much Becky for my liking, it was hard to care about Blaine and Karofsky as a couple (which I get is intentional but even still) and the Beiste storyline while beautifully acted by Dot Marie Jones really could've done with some foreshadowing I think.

Mrs Browns Boys: I really enjoyed the Christmas special but the New Year's one was so much better. The plot with the alarm system courtesy of Buster was pretty hilarious and totally obvious from the start as was the outcome of the poker between Agnes and Hilary but Cathy's subplot proved yet again that the show can produce some rather solid bits of character drama as well. With the show guaranteed specials until 2020 by the BBC, I really do hope another full series is in it's future too.

Scandal: Good on SkyLiving for getting their act together and airing this as quickly as possible. The first two episodes of this political drama's fourth season have been superb to watch. I'll never be that fussed as to whether or not Olivia ends up with Fitz or Jake but I do like the exploration of Fitz and Mellie's grief for their son, the gang burying Harrison, Eli being his usual scheming self, the cases of the week and the arrival of Portia DeRossi's Lizzie Bear who wants to take down Cyrus if the ending for the second episode was anything to go by. Great start to the season.

- Gotham has been renewed for a second season. Rob Gorrie will also appear in episode 16 playing John Grayson while episode 14 will introduce the Scarecrow.
- CW shows Arrow, The Flash, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Supernatural to name a few have all been renewed for further seasons.
- A reinvention for American Horror Story's fifth season has been promised by creator Ryan Murphy.
- American Crime Story: The People V. OJ Simpson will premiere in 2016.
- Rumours are circulating that either The X Files or Prison Break could be revived by FOX.
- Zachary Levi has bagged a leading role in the upcoming Heroes: Reborn.
- Richard Armitage will play Francis Dolarhyde in the latter half of Hannibal's third season. Expect a time jump in the series as NBC will air it during the summer months.
- In The Flesh has been cancelled by BBC3. Wizards Vs. Aliens future is also uncertain at the moment.
- Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook and Sherilyn Fenn are returning for Twin Peaks.
- NBC have ordered a pilot from Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta called The Curse of the Fuentes Women.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Review of Cyberbully

Written by Ben Chanan and David Lobatto
Directed by Ben Chanan

Hacker: "You're not the victim, Casey. You're the cyberbully."

When Channel 4 aren't airing some of their more barrel scraping documentaries or copious amounts of Come Dine With Me repeats, they do actually produce some great dramas and this one-off docu-drama is easily one of the best things they've done in a while.

Starring Game Of Thrones actress, Maisie Williams, this one-off special explored the realms of Cyberbullying in quite an authentic manner as teenage girl Casey started the evening plotting revenge with her friends on an ex-boyfriend but ended up getting one hell of a reality check when a mysterious hacker began a campaign of terror on the girl during the special.

What I really enjoyed about this whole movie was it's lack of preachiness. A lot of these types of movies have great intentions but sometimes become inadvertently patronising and when that happens, it somewhat dilutes the message that they're trying to convey. Cyberbully managed to avoid that trope, even though at times, there was an element of horror movie thrown into the mix to ramp up the tension.

I loved that the movie went from initially portraying Casey as a victim with the hacker threatening to upload plenty of intimate videos and pictures to her social media accounts to actually revealing that Casey herself was indirectly responsible for a young girl committing suicide over some of her more mean spirited anonymous comments.

As a movie, it was certain an eye opener and with many recent reports of younger people taking their lives over being systematically abused and humiliated online by peers, it was certainly on point as Casey went from trying to justify her behaviour to getting an insight into what Jenny Li must have felt.

However while the movie gave a good duality into Casey's online behaviour (and plenty of teenagers and people in general like her), it also highlighted the destructive side of certain people taking the vigilante approach and exacting justice as well.

We never knew if the hacker's whole helping victims of cyberbullying was actually sincere or more an excuse to target certain individuals in order to get their own thrills. Their own treatment of Casey went from trying to give her a glimpse into her former actions into something far more vindictive than some of Casey's own malicious online comments as well.

Another strength of the movie, along with a truly sterling performance from Williams herself and Haruka Abe as Jennifer Li was it's length. Having it last an hour and having the whole thing play out in real time added to the intensity of the whole idea and even I have to admit to being creeped out by Wilson Haagens performance as the unseen hacker as well.

As for the movie never revealing who the hacker was - I think that actually suited the whole point, didn't it? Oftentimes people who are terrorised online never know who the other person and while we could all guess who the person might have been (at one point, I thought it might have actually been one of Casey's friends), it was wise not to reveal the identity of the person that was terrorising Casey during this whole story.

A fantastic, creepy one-off drama that I think could be shown into school in order to help further educate teenagers on the dangers of social media and trolling as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, January 16, 2015

Russell T. Davies To Write The Boys For Channel 4

If the upcoming (only six days to go now) Cucumber/Banana/Tofu shows weren't enough LGBT content from Russell T. Davies and Channel 4, then you can add another show to the roster.

The Boys, a six part drama, penned by Davies will closely focus on the lives and deaths in the 1980s of young men from AIDS, and be less about the history of the virus or the politics of fighting the disease. According to Davies, “It’s called The Boys because it is about the boys. The stories of the boys has not been told because they are not here. They didn’t leave any children, their deaths were very quiet." The drama is in it's early stages of writing and will be produced through Red Production Company. Given the passion that Davies is speaking about this upcoming project, it's going to be very interesting to see who he will cast in this six parter.

Meanwhile both Attitude and Gay Times magazines have put the cast and crew of both Cucumber and Banana on the covers of their recent magazines and last night saw the press launch of the shows, with the reception being pretty positive for both shows. It might be less than a week to go for both shows and Tofu, but I really do think the three of them are going to end up being some of the best new shows in 2015 and I even think they might end up eclipsing RTD's previous classic, Queer As Folk as well. I'll be covering the shows in some capacity on this site every Friday/Saturday.

Cucumber/Banana/Tofu air on Channel 4/E4/4OD from 9pm/10pm/10.30pm respectively from January 22nd. The Boys will air on Channel 4 in 2016.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Recap/Review: American Horror Story: Freak Show - Show Stoppers

And that's how you do a penultimate episode but then again, the show usually tends to have them down and this was another excellent one to boot.

Written by Jessica Sharzer
Directed by Loni Peristere

A Well Deserved Comeuppance: All season long I've wanted Stanley to pay for his crimes in as grisly a manner as possible and this episode actually didn't let me down. Okay, he didn't die but given what Elsa and her band of freaks subjected him to, I bet he wish they had killed him off. Oh, a request for the fifth season - if Denis O'Hare does return, any chance he can play a character who's interesting enough without being a deplorable creep. Just this once, please?

She Had It Coming: Well, yes and no, I think. Maggie deserved some kind of consequence for her helping Stanley but I'm not sure being sawn in half by a crazed Chester was the way to do things though. It did seem like prior to her death, Maggie was sincere in her attempts to make amends with the gang and had she lived, just maybe them and Jimmy would've forgiven her. On the other hand, this episode ended Chester's ownership of the freak show as he turned himself in - for Marjorie's 'death' rather than Maggie. It's a shame but here's hoping the show gets Neil Patrick Harris next season for a bigger role though.

Lemonade In A Paper Cup: Look at that - two episodes in a row where Dandy didn't murder someone but he did however manage to become owner of the freak show due to a desperate Elsa having to scarper from the joint. The idea of Dandy owning the freaks (as well as his continued obsession with Bette and Dot) can't end well, especially if the preview for the finale is anything to go by. His reaction upon seeing what happened to Stanley was amusing but it should serve as a warning too. Perhaps owning Desiree and company will become his literal undoing. I can only hope so.

One Of Us: This was arguably the best episode for the freaks this week. They banded together to give Stanley the most fitting of punishments and upon realising that Elsa actually did murder Ethel, they decided to take her out too. If only Bette and Dot hadn't given Elsa the heads up, they probably would've succeeded as well but hey, they can always band together and annihilate Dandy when the latter makes his psychotic tendencies known to them. For their own sake, they're going to have to.

Thank You: Another episode where Jimmy spent most of it moping and endlessly feeling sorry for himself, though on the plus side, Elsa introduced him to Massimo - the guy who gave her wooden legs and the same guy who also Jimmy some new hands at the end of this episode (all the better to take out Dandy with, yes?). Also during this episode we got to see Ethel in one of Jimmy's flashbacks and another link to Asylum as it turned out that Massimo had a history with a certain character as well.

Next week it's the finale and it looks like another bloodbath is in store.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Doctor Who - Series 9 First Block Information/Torchwood Sort Of Returns

You wait for ages for some news from the upcoming series of Doctor Who and then all of a sudden, you've given a lot. Better yet, it's good news.

First of all, after an absence from Peter Capaldi's debut series, it has been revealed that Toby Whithouse will be involved in writing for the ninth series. The better news is that Whithouse has been given a two parter - episodes three and four, which will also be directed by fellow Being Human alumni Daniel O'Hara. While details on the actual story are light for now (though it's being described as 'creepy'), the casting for it is certainly impressive enough.

The cast for this two parter will include Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones), playing the role of Prentis as well as Arsher Ali (The Missing), Colin McFarlane (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Torchwood), Morven Christie (Grantchester) Steven Robertson (Being Human - anyone sensing a theme here?), Zaqi Ismali (Conflict), Sophie Stone (Woman Of Flowers) and Neil Fingleton (Jupiter Ascending) - the latter being the tallest British man at 7ft 7.56in. That's an impressive and diverse cast and it'll be interesting to see what Whithouse can come up with as well.

Meanwhile for those of you craving some more Torchwood, it seems the show is coming back - in the form of radio plays for the BBC. John Barrowman recently confirmed that the whole gang would be returning in at least three or four plays (which have yet to be recorded) - one featuring the whole team and the others will be character based. Barrowman also confirmed that both Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner will be involved with them as well. Maybe one day this might also mean a brief television return too, right?

Doctor Who - Series 9 News:
Torchwood News:

Series 9 of Doctor Who is currently being filmed and will air on BBC1 and BBCAmerica from August 2015.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Review of Revenge's 4x12: "Madness"

Written by Sallie Patrick
Directed by Matt Shakman

Mrs Ellis (to Louise): “You can see it in their eyes, can’t you? What I have known since you were born, that you’re a waste of life.”

And I thought Victoria was a terrible mother! I know an episode heavily focusing on Louise’s back-story isn’t the very thing that some fans might want to see but I’m actually glad we got one, especially as this episode cleared up a few things while adding a little more mystery into the mix.

I have to admit that I was surprised it turned out that Louise was getting Larium in her Xanax (which was meant to explain her violent outbursts and hallucinations) but at the same time, the bigger question remained – was Lyman responsible for his sister’s drugging? Nolan seemed pretty convinced he was and this episode didn’t exactly make it clear as to whether he was guilty or not.

Lyman, in general played by some Southern charm from Sebastian Piggott seemed a little enigmatic too, character wise. I genuinely cannot figure out if his concern for Louise’s well being is sincere or part of an elaborate scheme to control her inheritance. It’s fairly clear that Mama Ellis is certainly doing her best to drive her daughter over the edge but whether or not Lyman is party to that, I don’t know.

Another thing I really liked about the Louise storyline this week was Emily’s involvement. Emily was sensible in being wary of Louise’s previous history but I like that she kept an open mind, gave Nolan sensible advice and then helped clear things up after a distressed Louise slapped Nolan. Another thing I liked was the fact that Louise’s favour to Victoria became knowledge to Emily and Nolan.

Even after her son’s death, Victoria still won’t accept the fact that her own stupidity led to Daniel being killed by Kate. Emily calling her out on it didn’t seem to sway her either but their confrontation at the lighthouse got caught short by a slippery Malcolm Black knocking out and kidnapping the two with his goons.

Ah yes, Malcolm Black – I’m trying to keep an open mind here but between his comedy Irish accent and those tedious flashbacks detailing his history with David, I’m just not convinced he’s such the big bad this show is trying to portray him as. Now Conrad I easily believed in from the very first episode as a baddie but Malcolm, not so much. Hopefully the next episode will change my mind on this but somehow I doubt it though.

Also in “Madness”

David’s scheme to kill Victoria was back on this week. Is it wrong that I now want him to fail?

Lyman: “Every penny counts.”
Nolan: “That it does.”

Reading the Backlot’s review for this episode, I too was disappointed that Nolan and Lyman didn’t get familiar in another way but maybe it could still happen. Assuming Nolan doesn’t get paired up with Louise.

Emily (to David): “Death for Victoria would be merciful. She has nothing left. Now is the time to let her suffer.”

Nolan: “What’s the world coming to? You spare Victoria’s life again?”
Emily: “As many times I’ve considered it, you know that death was never my intention. Too much blood has been shed, Daniel’s included.”

I liked that Victoria actually told Margaux about Daniel saving Emily and that the latter was really Amanda. Ben overhearing the conversation I didn’t expect though.

Louise (to Emily): “It’s just that everyone has two faces, some more than others. I mean you of all people should know that.”

David (to Jack): “Conrad ruined my life but Malcolm has damned my soul to hell.”

Standout music: Massimo Salvagnin Quartet’s “Cari Ragazzi”.

Malcolm (to Emily): “Nighty night.”

Chronology: A few days since “Epitaph”.

“Madness” certainly had it’s moments of chaos but I do wonder if Louise’s subplot with her family is more interesting than Malcolm’s antics, is that kind of a bad thing too? Still though, episode wise, I did very much enjoy this one though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Monday, January 12, 2015

ITV's Jekyll & Hyde - Cast Confirmed

Yup and it's a pretty interesting and familiar cast for Charlie Higson's 10 part supernatural drama, starting with the lead himself ...

Tom Bateman best known for his roles in both DaVinci's Demons and The Tunnel has bagged the role of Robert Jekyll, the grandson of Jekyll and also afflicted with the same curse as well. Set in 1930s London, this version of Jekyll is also a mild mannered doctor who upon transforming into his other persona then becomes something of a risk taker and hedonist as a secret organisation is after the source of Hyde's power while Jekyll's foster father, Dr Vishal Najaran, is controlling his condition with medication.

Elsewhere, Natalie Gumede best known for her role in Coronation Street and recent appearances in both Doctor Who and Death In Paradise has been cast in the role of Bella - a woman caught in a love triangle with Jekyll himself and presumably Hyde as well. Hopefully Gumede's role does extend beyond love interest for the series though.

Meanwhile Richard E. Grant, who has also had recent guest roles in Doctor Who, Girls and Downton Abbey will also appear in the series, taking on the role of Sir Roger Bulstrode who heads the secret government department M10 known as ‘The Invisible Men’. Other confirmed cast members include Stephanie Hyam (Murdered By My Boyfriend), Donald Sumpter (Game Of Thrones, Being Human), Amit Shah (The Smoke, Hustle), Phil McKee (Ripper Street, Dracula),
Christian McKay (Rush, Theory of Everything), Ruby Bentall (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise), Enzo Cilenti (Game of Thrones), Lolita Chakrabarti (The Smoke, Death In Paradise), Michael Karim (Inspector Lewis) and Ace Bhatti (Silk, Eastenders).

The series itself will have episodes directed by Colin Teague and will feature a variety of monsters such as ghosts, zombies, vampires and werewolves to name a few. Here's hoping it's a good series, given ITV's less than stellar history with this particular genre.

Press Release

Jekyll & Hyde is currently filming in Sri Lanka and will air on ITV later in 2015.