Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Heroes: Reborn - Airdate/Trailer/Cast Pictures Released

It won't be another three months but after months of small teasing and casting announcements, NBC are now powering ahead with the promotion for Heroes: Reborn.

First of all, the official press release for the upcoming miniseries ....

A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives.

Two such vigilantes include Luke (Zachary Levi, Chuck) and Joanne (Judith Shekoni, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2), who are seeking to avenge a tragic loss.

Noah Bennet, aka H.R.G. (Jack Coleman, Heroes), has gone off the grid but conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski, A to Z) finds him and opens his eyes to the truth behind the Odessa tragedy.

While in hiding, some are discovering their newfound skills. Awkward teen Tommy (Robbie Kay, Once Upon a Time) just wants to be normal and win the girl of his dreams, Emily (Gatlin Green, Criminal Minds), but normalcy is virtually impossible after learning of a new ability that terrifies him. Coming from a very sheltered upbringing, a bold and ethereal teenager, Malina (Danika Yarosh, Shameless), has been told she is destined for greatness. In Tokyo, a quiet and unique young woman, Miko (Kiki Sukezane, Death Yankee 3), is trying to track down her missing father while hiding an extraordinary secret that will make her a force to be reckoned with. Elsewhere, a different type of hero is emerging through former soldier Carlos (Ryan Guzman, The Boy Next Door).

Meanwhile, Erica (Rya Kihlstedt, Masters of Sex), the head of the highly successful tech conglomerate Renautas, has an agenda of her own.

For better or for worse, some are fated to cross paths with assorted heroes of the past, including Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), among others. Yet, together, their ultimate destiny is nothing less than saving the world and mankind.

Joining Kring are executive producers James Middleton (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Peter Elkoff (Sons of Anarchy). Heroes:Reborn is produced by Imperative Entertainment, in association with Universal Television.

Having watched the minute long trailer that NBC have released for the upcoming series, I have to admit I'm actually cautiously optimistic for this miniseries. I absolutely loved the first season like many did but the second, third and fourth season lost their way and struggled to maintain the interest, leading to the show's cancellation in 2010. With a mixture of some old faces and a slew of new people and a different threat, the show stands a very good chance of possibly recapturing it's original glory. I'm also hoping that with the diversity of cast members that maybe this time there might be an LGBT hero in the midst as well. If Sense8 can pull it off with less cast members, no reason this show but most importantly, I just there's more focus and cohesion to Reborn as well.

Press Release/Trailer: http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/06/heroes-reborn-new-1-minute-promo.html

Heroes: Reborn will air Thursdays at 8pm on NBC from September 24th. A UK broadcaster has yet to be confirmed.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Selfie Culture

With some shows yet to return and others I'm doing more extensive reviews for, here's another look at some of the other series I'm watching at the moment.

Humans: For US viewers, they got the first episodes of this on AMC but on Channel 4 for UK and Irish viewers, we're nearing the halfway point and it's picking up rather nicely. While I still don't greatly like Laura or Matilda as characters, I do like that through their own methods, both are attempting to learn more about Anita and Synths going off script in general. I'm also liking the more volatile Niska, the continued partnership of Max and Leo as well as George doing his best to keep Odi while having to tolerate the rather strict Vera. Some things don't quite work though - mainly the sour faced detective and his personal life but overall, the series has continued to impress so far.

Orange Is The New Black: With the usual Netflix binging of sorts, I've now watched as far as episode six of the third season. At this point, I've seen Piper and Alex reconnect, Red use her charms on Healy to get her kitchen back, Nikki get transferred to another prison, an interesting aptitude test scene as well as backstories for Big Boo, Flaca and Chang and of course, the rather brief introduction of Stella. I'll admit this season isn't as great as the previous two have been but it's still making for some rather enjoyable television nonetheless.

Selfie: This show might have been dropped after thirteen episodes courtesy of ABC, but it found a home for Irish viewers on RTE2 this month. Now I love Karen Gillan as much as the next person and while her and John Cho have an excellent rapport in the series, it's not a surprise this show got cancelled. Not only was the premise somewhat restrictive for a long term sitcom but a lot of the writing in the first two episodes alone is genuinely horrible I'm afraid. No matter how good Gillan/Cho are with each other, neither of them can elevate the pure dreck of this show. I've heard from some people that the show gets better and there's at least one episode where Gillan gets to showcase her vocal talents but I'm not sure I want to continue to watch to find out really.

True Detective: I enjoyed the first season of this show quite a lot, though at times the Breaking Bad style hype it generated was a little tiresome. On the plus side, the complete cast/location/story change for the show's second season so far has worked. I've only seen the first episode but already I'm enjoying Rachel McAdams hard bitten Ani and Taylor Kitsch's sheriff, Paul while both Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn (especially the latter) have been a pleasant surprise too. Unlike the first season, I think there's going to be less supernatural/occult elements to it but with a striking new theme tune, great cast and a nice sense of California Noir, I'll be sticking with this.

- Charisma Carpenter and Roger Bart will be playing the parents of Ariana Grande's character in Scream Queens.
- Emma Roberts will be returning for the last few episodes of American Horror Story: Hotel.
- Hannibal has been cancelled by NBC after three seasons.
- John Barrowman will be back as Malcolm Merlyn for Arrow's fourth season.
- Contrary to recent rumours there won't be a Hawkgirl TV series. The character however will be a regular on Legends Of Tomorrow though.
- Aisha Tyler has joined Criminal Minds for it's 11th season.
- Penny Dreadful has been renewed for a third season of nine episodes.
- Sinqua Walls is returning as Lancelot for Once Upon A Time's fifth season.
- Aquarius has been renewed for a second season.
- Chris Rock will play an inmate as well as a person from Lucious' past in the second season of Empire.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Gotham - Season 2 Airdate Confirmed/New Villains Announced & Cast

While it won't be until September before viewers can catch up with the second season of Batman prequel series, Gotham on FOX, filming has already begun and a lot of casting announcements have also been made too.

First of all, Morena Baccarin (Leslie Thompkins), Nicholas D'Agosto (Harvey Dent) and Chris Chalk (Lucius Fox) have all been made regulars, following the departures of Jada Pinkett Smith, David Zayas and possibly John Donam. Meanwhile, Erin Richards will still be a regular for the show's second season and in a press release, it seems that Barbara is now being categorized in the villain segment, mentioned alongside Selina, Edward and Oswald as Barbara will become increasingly unstable. The idea of Barbara as a villain is actually pretty appealing to be honest. The upcoming season will also explore the origins of both the Joker and Mr Freeze as well - the former pretty early in the new season.

Of course the Clown Prince of crime and a certain chilly customer aren't the only ones for GCPD to be worried about as well. James Frain, recently seen in Orphan Black and True Detective will also be a regular this upcoming season. Frain will be taking on the role of villainous billionaire, Theo Galavan. He will appear to be heroic and sexy to the citizens of Gotham before taking extreme measures to his sister, Tabitha in order to bleed the city. Speaking of his sister ....

The role in question will be playing by Jessica Lucas, best known for the movie Cloverfield. Lucas's character, Tabitha is not only the sister to Frain's Theo but she is also the supervillainess known as the Tigress. Described as sexy and violent — and toting a bullwhip! — she’s the opposite of her cold and calculating brother, deriving a sensual pleasure from the mayhem she’s tasked with making. After Fish Mooney, it's nice that we're going to have another main female antagonist for the upcoming season.

Last but not least (for the time being), Dustin Ybarra (The Goldbergs) has been cast in a recurring role of Arkham resident/cannibal Robert Greenwood. His character is described to having eaten over a dozen women as well as the apt description of "his appetite for murder is only surpassed by, well, his appetite."

So that's a former love interest taking a dark path, a sexy but dangerous brother/sister act and a cannibal. After the plethora of mob related plots for the first season, this seems like a welcome step into making Gotham a lot closer to the comic world than the Nolan movies ever did. Along with the planned origins for Joker and Freeze (and probably others in the second half of the season), it really looks like the show is seriously going to hit it's stride with it's second year.

Season 2 Spoilers: http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/Gotham

Gotham's second season will air Mondays 8pm from September 21st on FOX. A UK airdate has yet to be confirmed.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sense8 - Art Is Like Religion/Demons

Now we're at the halfway point of this gripping Netflix series and things have certainly began to heat up immensely (including one very memorable scene as well) with our Sensates.

Nomi Marks: She's out of the hospital and when she wasn't interacting with Will for a second time (when he also wasn't rallying to her defence against her mother), Nomi got involved in the most talked about scene from the entire series so far. Well, Nomi and five other characters but more on that later. Other than that, we also had Nomi and Amanita hide out in the latter's mother's place where an interesting discussion as to whether or not Nomi can actually control her other selves as well. It's an interesting discussion and it's nice that Nomi now has someone along with Amanita who believes her as well.

Lito Rodriguez: Also involved in that infamous scene, the last two episodes have been some of my favourites for Lito. Not only do we continue to get a better understanding of him and Hernando together but the bearding storyline with Daniela is still working beautifully. However the highlights of these two episode were his interactions with Sun at the strangest of times as well as briefly meeting Will during the filming of an action scene from his movie too. And that other scene of course.

Will Gorski: Okay, no more crypticness - that scene. That unbelievably hot as hell orgy sequence involving Will, Lito, Nomi, Wolfgang and to a slight lesser extent, Amanita and Hernando as well. That scene had the potential to come across as sleazy and exploitative but instead it was carefully filmed and genuinely oozed of sensuality as well as sexiness as well. If there's a vote for best sex scene on telly, then this one is the clear winner. Not even a competition. As for the rest of the Will - I liked his interactions with Nomi, Lito and Riley in these episodes. Similarly with Kala and Wolfgang, you can tell that a romance is being shaped up with Will and Riley.

Riley Blue: Still not my favourite character (she isn't doing anything wrong, just the others are more compelling), I do however have to admit that these last two episodes have been good for her. Sure there was a few brooding scenes but there was also scenes where Riley nearly got killed by that creepy guy from the opening episode and her scenes with both Capheus and Sun were both exceptional stuff. The romance of sorts with Will seems a little predictable but the connection (given the premise of this show) at least works.

Kala Dandekar: Well, these two episodes were interesting for Kala. We had her hen party of sort and the wedding almost took place until the sight of a completely naked Wolfgang had her fainting and causing the whole ceremony to be put on hold. I do like that Kala has a supportive family and that her husband to be isn't being portrayed as an ogre either. As for her scenes with Wolfgang, I'm definitely enjoying them more than I thought I would. There's definitely a good connection with those two.

Wolfgang Bogdanov: Orgy scene aside (and yes, that scene is still stuck in my head), the last two episodes have gone to great lengths to make sure that Wolfgang remained nude as much as possible. And mainly for this nudity to be witnessed by Kala as well. Much as I enjoy his scenes with Felix and the whole heist subplot with his uncle, I think the scenes where he's interacted with Kala have certainly made him more likeable as a character, though I do want to see more interactions with the other Sensates too. Orgy scene aside of course.

Sun Bak: Oh dear, these two episodes were just not Sun's week. On the plus side, her scenes with Lito, Capheus and Riley were genuinely delightful to watch. In particular, both her and Capheus bonded over responsibilities for their families, her and Lito vented their rages and frustrations and her and Riley connected over suffering for other people's crimes. Having Sun take the rap for her feckless brother was horrible but I do like that she got to meet Angel at the end of the episode though.

Capheus: Well, he got some great scenes with both Sun and Riley where he offered some good advice and revelled in the amazement of being in London and Seoul. The subplot with him working for a crime boss isn't the most exciting but it has put him in a very compromising situation in order to help his mother get better. I did like his scene with the child of his new boss though. Some good writing in that scene to help explain Capheus's love of all things Van Damn too.

Next week, I'll recap/talk about the episodes W. W. N. Double D? and We Will All Be Judged By The Courage Of Our Hearts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 2x08: Memento Mori

And here's a first for everyone. For one episode only, both Vanessa and Ethan are a no show but don't worry, they're mentioned enough times while this episode knocks it out of the ballpark and truly amazes in places.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Kari Skogland

Woman With A Plan: I think we've all been waiting for two seasons now for Billie Piper to give an outstanding performance as Brona/Lily and with this episode, it's exactly what we got and then some. Not only did the episode open with Lily discussing the Peter Pan with her victim from the previous episode but when Caliban tried to project his entitlement issues onto her, Lily turned the tables and ended up putting the guy in his place as she gave a rather intense commentary on the female role and her plans for Victor. Put it this way, Victor should probably be making plans to get out of London and fairly soon now.

Spell Undone: In another surprising moment of this episode (and thanks to Sembene), Evelyn's hold on Malcolm spectacularly broke this week, which not only resulted in Hecate openly challenging her but also led to both Evelyn and Malcolm having a rather interesting conversation about loved ones - in particular daughters. While Evelyn's comments about Malcolm and Vanessa's relationship were hardly new, they were well played out with the former being left in a rather unfortunate predicament as well.

Successor Vying: If Malcolm had a bad week with Evelyn, then poor Lyle had an even worse one with both Evelyn (that awful forced kiss) and then of course there was a little moment with Hecate as well. Every week that Lyle makes it out of an episode alive is a good one but a terrible omen that he will probably die horribly fairly soon. As for Hecate - I like that she's going up against her mother but her chances of actually besting Evelyn don't seem that high though.

Love Me For Who I Am: While Lily's bloodlust was an oddly pleasant (but dark) surprise, a part of me was almost disappointed to see Dorian's in this one. I get why he had to kill Angelique in this episode but it certainly stung as well though. On the plus side, at least we finally got to see that infamous painting and going by the previews for next week, it does look like Dorian will in over his head in relation to his growing fascination with Lily.

The Hunt Still Remains: Ethan might have been absent in this episode but Rusk's pursuit of him certainly didn't take a break this week. In one scene alone he was able to realise that Malcolm had a connection to Ethan when he wasn't working out that Malcolm had the circumstances of Mina's death covered up and that the door is made of steel. In some ways this feels like a distraction from the main plot with Evelyn and her Master but Rusk has certainly proved to be quite relentless though.

Next week, the gang band together, Lily sinks her claws into Dorian and Vanessa and Evelyn face off.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Return To Oz (1985)

Written by Gill Dennis And Walter Murch
Directed by Walter Murch

Ozma: "Why did they bring you here, Dorothy?"
Dorothy: "Because I can't sleep, and I talk about a place that I've been to, but nobody believes that it exists."

I'm going to start this review with a potentially controversial statement - Return To Oz is not only as good as The Wizard Of Oz but it's actually better. There I said and yes, I absolutely mean it. I absolutely cannot get enough of this movie for various reasons. One it's just turned 30 years old (as I have recently) and two - it's bloody fantastic.

A sort of sequel to The Wizard Of Oz, six months have passed and Dorothy's wonderful adventures aren't being believed by her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry (the latter whose taking his time to fix up the new house), so the former decides to have her spent the night at a creepy asylum headed up by Dr Worley (Nicol Williamson) and the similarly not nice  Head Nurse Wilson (Jean Marsh). That is, until Dorothy meets a mysterious girl (Emma Ridley), prompts escapes from the asylum on a stormy night and then ends up back in Oz with her chicken, Billina. Sadly Toto got a bit of demotion for this movie but Billina's pretty great though.

Once in Oz again, Dorothy realises that everyone has been turned into stone and the place is being ruled by Princess Mombi (also Marsh) - a head changing witch and the rather fearsome Nome King (also Williamson). Like in the first movie, Dorothy isn't soon making other friends - metal soldier Tik Tok, the sweet but somewhat dim Jack Straw and the newly created for escape purposes, Gump.

With this gang, it isn't long before Dorothy isn't watching her step, facing off against the Wheelers (how scary were they as a child watching this?) before her rather volatile encounter with the head changing Mombi and final confrontation with the Nome King in his underground lair.

Much as I loved the Wicked Witch of the West, I actually think both Mombi and Nome King are a little better drawn out as antagonists and the respective downfalls they suffer at the hands of Dorothy and her motley crew are pretty effective. Whether it's being poisoned by eggs (Billina, you badass) or being stripped off magic (miserable creature indeed), the comeuppances both Mombi and the Nome King receive are truly brilliant.

Of course, brilliance is something this movie has in spades. It might have been unimaginable for anyone other than Judy Garland to give an iconic portrayal of Dorothy Gale but Fairuza Balk (who would later appear in The Craft and Almost Famous) is a revelation in the role. I'd actually go as far as to say that she's even better than Garland throughout the whole movie.

As for the denouement, a part of me had wished that Dorothy had stayed in Oz (Billina had the right idea) but her reunions with Toto/Em/Henry were beautifully handled as was her goodbyes to both sets of friends she made in both movies along with her freeing of Ozma (also Ridley) as well.

As a movie, it's a truly incredible piece of cinema. A sort of sequel that (in my opinion) is actually better than the original, a children's movie that is both genuinely heartfelt and a little scary at times and an adventure definitely worth getting immersed into. One of my all time favourites.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

Written by Noel Langley And Florence Ryerson And Edgar Allan Woolf
Directed by Victor Fleming

Dorothy: "There's no place like home."

Now this was something I should've reviewed last year during the movie's 75th anniversary but seeing as we're another two months before it turns 76, I'm still kind of within the confines of an anniversary year, right?

It's hard to almost know what to say about this movie as virtually everything that has been said about it has been at this point but here goes - I really enjoy this movie. Now, I'm not going to say it's my all time favourite movie (that honour belongs to a certain Caped Crusader movie) but as an onscreen adaptation of Frank L. Baum's classic story, The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, it's really not hard to see why it's actually stood the test of time.

Granted, even in 1939, Judy Garland looked a little too old for the role of Dorothy Gale but at the same time, you really couldn't imagine anyone else in the role at the time. She slips into the role (and the ruby slippers) with such an effortlessness, it's truly something to behold and the formatting in which the story is played out for the audience is one of it's many triumphs to be honest.

I love that the movie begins in sepia with Dorothy on the verge of losing her dog, Toto to the horrible Miss Almira Gulch (Margaret Hamilton) while swiftly introducing both Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, their farm hands, the Wizard himself in another guise and of course that infamous hurricane that pretty much took both Dorothy and Toto over the rainbow and to the land of Oz itself.

It's from there onwards, that all the familiar elements really do slot into place - singing Munchkins, the selectively helpful Glinda (I might have issues with her), a rather Wicked Witch of the West (Hamilton again) and of course, Dorothy in possession of the ruby slippers and a band of friends - the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), Tin Man (Jack Haley) and the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), whom she needs in order to defeat old Westy and get home as well upon the request of the Wizard (Frank Morgan).

If the Lord Of The Rings movies and prequels pride themselves on the journey aspect, then this movie really set the precedent for that motif. The way Dorothy met each of her new friends, the various obstacles it took to actually get to Oz and then the final confrontation with the Wicked Witch of the West herself are some of the best moments from the whole thing along with Dorothy eventually getting home herself.

It's one of those movies that's constantly aired and even if you're one of the rare people who've never seen it or even seen it in full, it's impact is still embedded somewhere in your subconscious. The ending isn't the strongest but it's still a satisfying way of ending the movie nonetheless and with the plethora of sequels (live action and animated), TV movies and even a certain arc on Once Upon A Time, this movie remains the most definitive take on Dorothy Gale of all time. However, only one other for me usurps it. That I will reveal tomorrow.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Friday, June 19, 2015

American Horror Story: Hotel - More Returns/Comic Con Panel News

It's been a while since I've posted any news on American Horror Story: Hotel, mainly because I wanted enough items to be revealed before discussing them all, so here's another blog.

Keeping with the female returns, not only will we have the wonderful Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates along with Chloe Sevigny and Lady Gaga but Angela Bassett will also be a regular this upcoming season. According to Ryan Murphy, it looks like Bassett may be playing a rival singer for Gaga's character as well. Should be interesting.

As for male returns, along with Evan Peters, Wes Bentley, Cheyenne Jackson and Matt Bomer, the villain of Freak Show (well, one of them), Finn Wittrock will also be a regular in Hotel. Wittrock's character will be involved in a love triangle with both Gaga and Bomer's characters in the upcoming season. Is there any chance this triangle could involve both Bomer and Gaga wanting Wittrock's character rather than Wittrock and Bomer pursuing Gaga? It would be a lot more interesting to be honest. I said it before but I'm going to say it again - I want at least one likeable/sympathetic gay character this season who's integral to proceedings like we had with Lana Winters before.

Also returning to the fold will be Denis O'Hare, meaning that Asylum will still be the only season not to have featured him. No details on how Denis will factor into Hotel but Murphy has revealed that both Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will be playing villains for the upcoming season and while both Jessica Lange and Emma Roberts are not regulars this year, there's always a chance they may resurface in later episodes. He's also stated that all the main parts are very big this year but that it's also a different tone than previous seasons.

In terms of guest actors, Max Greenfield has also confirmed to be making an appearance this season. The actor best known for his roles on Veronica Mars and New Girl will be checking into Hotel but not checking out. I'm guessing one of the first casualties for the show. Either way, he's another addition to the slew of hunky men that Ryan Murphy is adding to the upcoming season. Meanwhile the series will be sharing a panel with Murphy's other horror anthology series, Scream Queens at Comic-Con next month. Heading up the panel for both shows will be Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Skyler Samuels, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Matt Bomer.

Spoilers: http://www.spoilertv.com/search/label/American%20Horror%20Story

American Horror Story: Hotel will air on FX and FOXUK from October. The Comic Con with Scream Queens panel takes places July 12th at 12.30pm.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sense8 - Smart Money Is On The Skinny Bitch/What's Going On?

As you can tell, I'm sticking with the format of watching two episodes a week (though I am aware of spoilers for all the season) and recapping/reviewing each of those two episodes in one blog. Here are thoughts on episodes three and four then.

Nomi Marks: I swear these two episodes were almost dedicated in how to make poor Nomi suffer as much as possible. Largely seperated from Amanita, Nomi was trapped in the hospital, forced by her awful mother and the sinister Dr Metzger to have an operation against her will. Speaking of Will, his lock picking skills came in the nick of time for Nomi to free herself and then for Amanita to get them the hell out of there via taxi cab. Although she had less screentime in these two episodes compared to the first, Nomi's storyline was still riveting and sad to watch.

Lito Rodriguez: These episodes were great for the character. We got see his insight as an actor with his filming his action movie. More to the point, I really like the relationship with him and Hernando and even the bearded thing he's got going on with Daniela is actually a lot better done than I thought it would. I'm still expecting something to go wrong at some point with the arrangement (namely Daniela's possessive estranged boyfriend) but for the time being, it's a storyline that's working better than expected.

Will Gorski: Right now while we're still getting moments where each of the sensates are somewhat interacting with each other, harnessing each other's skills and the like, it's only Will that seems to be slightly aware of the bigger picture. When he was inadvertently rescuing Nomi and tapping into Sun's skills, he also caught up with Jonas again who gave him more of a heads up of the wider picture. Will is definitely being portrayed as the more archetypical hero of the eight to an extent.

Riley Blue: Out of all the characters, Riley had the least interesting stuff to do during the third and fourth episodes. In episode three, she caught up with an old friend and his tactless Aussie girlfriend and brooded and in episode four, she was mainly by herself, listening to a voice message from her father and then listening to music. Riley's meant to be a bit of a mysterious/enigmatic type, at least that's what I'm sensing the show is trying to do with her but I found her scenes the weakest during these particular episodes unfortunately.

Kala Dandekar: Like Riley, a lot of Kala's scenes weren't as interesting as the ones she had in the first two episodes but then she sang along with Wolfgang (episode four had a genius use of a certain Four Non Blondes song connecting all the sensates) and it was the first time she came alive as a character. Something which even her sister seemed to notice and something she hasn't shown since her arranged marriage as well. Speaking of Wolfgang ....

Wolfgang Bogdanow: I have to admit I like him a lot more in the fourth episode than I did in the first two. I just felt that this episode drew a bit more sympathy for him as we saw glimmers of his past (Kala aside, it seems all of the sensates have terrible family members) while also seeing his savvy when it came to dealing with a dealer for the diamonds he had stolen. I also got a kick out of his shoe shopping scene with Felix and the karaoke moment that connected all the sensates as well.

Sun Bak: A difference two episodes can make for a character. In my last blog, I admitted that Sun didn't particularly grab me as a character but with episodes three and four, she certainly did. Yes, we got some fairly predictable flashbacks with her sick mother dying and both her father and brother treat her pretty shoddily but the underground boxing storyline was a nice twist (especially when it also connected with Capheus and Will too) and I'm hoping she ends up not taking the fall for her brother's embezzling antics as well.

Capheus: Keeping with the great stuff, I also found that Capheus got a little more interesting in the last two episodes as well. Aside from the brief connection with Sun in the third episode and a wonderful conversation about being a Zebra (bonkers but inspired that scene), Capheus is definitely one of the show's more lighter and caring characters, in spite of the dangerous situations he seems to be getting himself into.

Next week, I'll recap/talk about the episodes Art Is Like Religion and Demons.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Recap/Review: Penny Dreadful's 2x07: Little Scorpion

This week was a little return to the Moors, the absence of the witches and a moment that might have soured any future relationship with Ethan and Vanessa to boot.

Written by John Logan
Directed by Brian Kirk

Monsters & Demons: This episode was mainly set in the moors where both Ethan and Vanessa decided to regroup at the Cut Wife's house, following the attack the latter suffered during Dorian's ball in the previous episode. During this episode, both Ethan and Vanessa learned more about each other, came close to getting physical with each other but at the end, were seperated when Vanessa resorted to dark magic to get back at the landowner responsible for her former mentor's death. While Ethan certainly had good reason to lay out the consequence of Vanessa's actions, he wasn't exactly that honest about the true extent of his own demons either. Speaking of ...

Revelations: While Ethan and Vanessa may have indulged in dancing and gunplay before things went south for them, I did like that not only was Ethan honest to Sembene about his true identity but the latter seemed genuinely sympathetic towards Ethan's plight and wanted to help him. Aside from Sembene now knowing about Ethan's true identity, no other progress was made with the guy that Ethan nearly killed or Detective Rusk in this episode.

Awakening The Monster: Keeping with the revelations of this episode, Victor's attempts of sheltering Lily are thankfully beginning to wane. In this episode alone, Lily/Brona enjoyed a night out on the town with Dorian (who may or may not soon remember who she really is) and then the episode ended with Lily picking up an older gentlemen, having sex with him and then murdering him in the bed. I guess it was inevitable that we saw some killer tendencies with Lily. I don't envy Victor or Caliban when her memories inevitably resurface in the next three episodes.

Ticking Things Over: This episode didn't really make any progress at all with the main plots whatsoever. While Ethan and Vanessa's stay in the moors was good for character stuff, unlike The Nightcomers, there was no appearances from Evelyn, Hecate or any of the witches and aside from Lyle subtle way of trying to protect Vanessa from an enchanted Malcolm and a nice little scene with him and Victor working on a puzzle together, nothing else really happened away from the Moors and Lily scenes this week.

A Man Possessed: He might have had little to do in this episode but even without Evelyn around, her influence was certainly felt on Malcolm. Malcolm was pretty enraged with the idea of Vanessa and Ethan going somewhere without him knowing where and it did seem like other people outside of Vanessa were picking up on his strange behaviour too. Hopefully someone is able to break Evelyn's hold on him within the next three episodes.

Next week, Malcolm and Sembene clash, Dorian's secret is revealed to Angelique and Lily goes on the rampage.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The X Factor - Rita Ora/Nick Grimshaw Are The New Judges

What? It's not the first time I've blogged about The X Factor and the news has been breaking enough for me to discuss it here.

Following the now confirmed departures of Melanie B and Louis Walsh (I'm still shocked with that one), ITV have confirmed that singer Rita Ora and radio DJ Nick Grimshaw will joining both Simon Cowell and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini on the panel for The X Factor's upcoming 12th series. Earlier this year, Ora was a part of the fourth series of BBC1 rival The Voice and has also appeared in the first season finale of Empire and in 50 Shades Of Grey. I have to admit, Ora is a good choice for the panel and it's not the first time Cowell has swiped a judge from a rival show (Alesha Dixon, anyone?) but Grimshaw seems more of a divisive choice. I don't mind him as a DJ but I'm not sure he's going to appeal to an older crowd though.

As for Simon and Cheryl, I think the new additions could help the pair of them up their game. Cheryl in particular in the last series (as with 2010) seemed like she was sleepwalking through the whole thing and it'll be interesting to see how Simon is able to bounce off Grimshaw as well and if he can replicate the previous successes he's had with both Louis Walsh and David Walliams on Britain's Got Talent.

Keeping with the replacements, following the departure of Dermot O' Leary as presenter, the role this year will be shared by both Caroline Flack and Olly Murs. The duo, who previously hosted two series of The Xtra Factor together will now have the task of hosting the main show. While I do think this show's best days are probably behind it and that it's unlikely to create a massive superstar, this clearing out of the decks may help to revitalise the series a bit. I still think it'll be neck in neck between this and Strictly Come Dancing though.

Press Release: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/s103/the-x-factor/news/a653097/nick-grimshaw-and-rita-ora-are-officially-joining-the-x-factor-judging-panel.html#~pfM68wwjY0W3fU

The X Factor returns to ITV from late August.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Walk Of Atonement

Summer television is a little slow but with some shows ending, others have started up to fill the void though.

Game Of Thrones: I think it's safe to say that while the fifth season has not been the show's best season, it has definitely been as discussion worthy and controversial as the previous four have been though. Cersei's downfall was something that had been coming for a long time and it only made sense that her attempts of getting rid of Margaery would also backfire on her. The much talked about walk of shame scene was dealt with pretty well and it'll be interesting to see how she'll come back from that next season. Also interesting will be to see if Jon will be a part of the next season considering what happened to him here along with the various cliffhangers surrounding Daenerys, Sansa/Theon, Arya. This might not have been the show's strongest but it was still an interesting ten weeks nonetheless.

Humans: The remake of the popular Swedish sci-fi drama has finally aired on Channel 4 (soon for AMC viewers) and things got off to an interesting start with the Synths proving to be both helpful and potentially dangerous in equal measures. Most of the first episode focused on the eerie Anita and Laura being openly suspicious of her while we also saw a rather touching father/son relationship between widower George and his broken Synth Odi - something I hope we get more in later episodes as well. The subplot with Leo and his Synth Max was a nice way of setting up the wider storyline too. All in all, let's hope this show doesn't end up having the same fate that Utopia did not so long ago.

Orange Is The New Black: It's been an interesting week (or so) for Netflix what with both Sense8 and the return of this show and both have been great to catch up with. Granted, I've only seen the first two episodes of both shows current seasons and keeping with Litchfield, things are as crazy as ever. I loved the opening episode focusing on various Mother's Day flashbacks (even Healey was awarded one) and the focus on Bennett in the second episode when Alex wasn't learning of Piper's role in her current predicament was also good. Along with the unlikely friendship with Big Boo and Doggett, this is a great start to the third season.

Scandal: SkyLiving caught up in relative time to air the final episode of this show's current season and in some ways, it felt like a bit of a clearing of the decks. B613 seems to be effectively done with now that Rowan's in jail as Eli (very clever that), Jake stepped aside so that Olivia and Fitz could get closer and both Mellie and Cyrus got booted out the White House as well for good measure. Now whether or not all of these things stick when the show returns in September, I don't know but it would be nice to see some of them stick so the show can properly move forward though.

- Sean Maguire and Rebecca Mader have been upgraded to regulars for Once Upon A Time's fifth season. Casting calls are also being made for Merlin, Arthur and Guinevere too.
- Supergirl will now air on October 26th. The Pilot will also air at Comic Con next month as well.
- Rumours are circulating that The X Files will be doing a sequel to a popular story when it comes back in January.
- Barry will get a new love interest for Season 2 of The Flash.
- Andrew Gower will be one of many several new actors viewers can expect to see in the second season of Outlander.
- Empire will have a recurring female rapper to be mentored by Jamal.
- Fame is getting a reboot on Lifetime.
- Cristine Rose will be reprising her role as Angela Petrelli in Heroes: Reborn.
- Homer and Marge will split up and Sideshow Bob will get to kill Bart in The Simpsons.
- Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman are considering a reboot of Queer As Folk US.