Month: July 2014

#FargoFX

Fargo

THE CAST

Billy Bob Thronton is certainly pumping a look in this show. He is giving a next-level psychotic Lloyd Christmas effect. As bizarre as that sounds, I am into it.

Martin Freeman is a great actor. In this role, he seems to be drawing on his training from the Celine Dion School of Accents, because he sort of picks and chooses how “Minnesota” he’s going to be at any minute.

Allison Tolman is fantastic as the Frances McDormand style cop. She’s not really bringing the comedy the way Margie was, but her performance is top-notch.

Colin Hanks is the same reliable Colin Hanks… like a blunt instrument.

Bob Odenkirk is great as a small town sheriff who likes to take people at their word. Fool! When does Better Call Saul start?!

Gary Valentine is still a “big fat sack of garbage.”

THE PREMISE

It is loosely based on the film of the same name. Except now, the town of Bemidji, MN steps in for Brainerd; Lester Nygaard (Freeman) is an insurance salesman rather than a car salesman; and several plot points have been changed.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

Billy Bob Thornton and Allison Tolman.

Thornton’s menacing drifter, Lorne Malvo, is as icy as he is dangerous. Tolman’s cop, Molly Solverson, is the show’s moral compass. Nygaard is very reminiscent of William H. Macy’s Jerry Lundegaard. Timid, mousey. That’s all fine. The big difference here is the wife. In the film, she was also a mousey person whose dad was loaded. In the show, she is an emasculating nightmare of a harpy who gets what the fuck she has coming… in the most awesome way.

Kate Walsh shows up for no reason as the boozy wife of a local trucking kingpin that used to bully Lester in high school. He has two piece of shit sons that I would have put through a wood chipper the moment they were introduced. Kate used to be a stripper, and she is really drinking through the pain.

Agent Frank Lundy Keith Carradine plays Molly’s dad, who owns a greasy spoon and serves up sage advice.

So, the storyline here is that Malvo wanders into town and basically starts manipulating people. He has a chance encounter with Lester in the waiting room of the hospital (after Lester’s nose was broken during a run in with the aforementioned bully from high school). Malvo somehow talks Lester into, SPOILER ALERT, killing his wife. There is also a blackmail side plot going on with Oliver Platt’s grocery store magnate and Dennis Reynolds, an insurance side-plot involving Kate, and the investigation (or lack there of) of Lester’s wife’s death. There is kind of alot going on, but it is a treat to watch. Just don’t fall too hard for these characters because…

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T

Fargo is going to be an anthology series, like American Horror Story and True Detective. So season 2 (which is has been renewed for) will have all new characters and a new plot. But that reason is not compelling enough to for you to not watch the show. It is brilliant. But doesn’t it makes complete sense to basically reboot a new show… especially on the heels of being nominated for 18 Emmy awards?!

THE GRADE: A-

 

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#Extant

Extant

THE CAST

Halle Berry decides to take television by storm… with the help of Steven “How Much Money Do I Need” Spielberg.

Goran Visnjic isn’t as hot as we was when was on ER, and certainly isn’t as hot as we was in that Madonna video.

Hiroyuki Sanada knows Revenge is a dish best served cold, so he bounced off that shit show.

Pierce Gagnon is that little kid who screamed his way through his performance in Looper while destroying people at the sub-atomic level.

Grace Gummer is Meryl Streep’s daughter, who looks exactly like her sister Mamie Gummer (who kills it whenever she is on The Good Wife).

Camryn Manheim looking the bomb. I miss The Practice.

Brad Beyer was the straight roommate in Trick.

THE PREMISE

Halle Berry is an astronaut who recently returned from a 13-month solo mission in space and finds out she is pregnant.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

It’s Halle Berry! You know, the Academy Award-winning actress from such high brow titles as Movie 43, Catwoman, and B.A.P.S. No, she’s not the reason.

But here’s the thing. We need to discuss Movie 43 for a minute. First of all, I can’t believe she even did it. Have you seen it? There’s a TON of people in it (Dennis Quaid, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Seth MacFarlane, Common, Greg Kinnear, Naomi Watts, Liev Shrieber, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Jack McBrayer, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Bell, Leslie Bibb, Gerard Butler, Jonny Knoxville, Sean William Scott, Snooki, etc.). It is all a series of vignette’s, and Halle’s vignette is her and Steven Merchant locked in an escalating game of Truth or Dare (like GOB and Bride of GOB) that ends in plastic surgery. That is all that I will say, but the end result is fucking gold. Sorry for that… back to EXTANT.

The premise of the show is somewhat interesting. So THE PREMISE happened to Molly (Berry) . Her husband, John, is a robotics genius that has invented robot children called Humanics. Their son, Ethan (Gagnon), is a Humanic, because Molly is barren. While she’s on the space station, her only company is the talking computer HAL, MUTH-UR, Dreadnaught, BEN. At some point, the lights go out and [scary space stuff] then Molly’s ex appears. It wasn’t Gabriel Aubry, we could never get that lucky. Long story short, bitch is knocked up inexplicably (Molly’s ex hasn’t touched her from what we have seen). Basically, this is A.I.: Artificial Intelligence meets Weird Science via Sanctum. Here is the problem though…

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T

Halle Berry has no chemistry with her co-stars. NONE. The director asked her to bring her half of the chemistry, and she was like, “My half is ZERO.” She’s still not Dutch.

I feel like Halle shoots all of her scenes alone on green screen, while everyone else shoots on set then get added in post-production. I have never seen anything like it. It certainly brings a weird energy (or lack thereof) to almost every scene. It is almost distracting. Spielberg needs to explain to her that special effects cannot create on-screen chemistry. Just ask Jar-Jar. Hopefully, she is forced to come on set with everyone else. I mean, how long would you want to have a conversation with a tennis ball (or whatever is acting as her stand-in)? Halle, you didn’t get Gravity. Time to move the fuck on… to the set.

THE GRADE: B

#TyrantFX

tyrant

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE CAST

Adam Rayner is serving up sexy daddy realness. Those blue eyes are so dreamy.

Jennifer Finnigan looks like the poor man’s Jane Krakowski. She is the worst.

Ashraf Barhom looks like he could be the older, angrier brother of The Professional.

Noah Silver is ruhl cute.

Alice Krige will always be the Borg queen to me.

and Justin Kirk will always be Andy Botwin.

THE PREMISE

Barry Al Fayeed (Rayner) takes his family back to his home country to go to a wedding, his father dies, and he reluctantly stays in the country. His father is a dictator and his brother is basically Qusay & Uday Hussein rolled into one.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

Tyrant is very well acted (except for the wife), and very well written (except for the wife).

Here’s the thing. If my father ruled another country, you better believe I would be fucking be there abusing all of my privileges. ALL OF THEM. Dictator money spends like regular money. I would be buying blood diamonds all the time. I wouldn’t care how many people were dying behind the scenes, as long as the Prada, Gucci, and Ferragamo kept rolling in. Kill 10 citizens, then go get a new Benz? Done.

Barry Al Fayeed does not agree with me in any way whatsoever. He’s a pediatrician in Los Angeles. His wife is fucking terrible, and they have two kids, Sammy (who I am living for because he speaks fluent fag) and Emma (who is about as exciting as steamed cauliflower). The Borg queen is his mother, and Andy Botwin in a slimy guy from the US embassy. In any good drama, or comedy for that matter, there has to be a bitch. If there’s no bitch, I am not satisfied. The bitch on this show is Barry’s sister-in-law. Jamal’s (Barhom) wife, Leila, is a BITCH. Plus, she is stunning. I am pretty sure she would be best frenemies with Claire Underwood, and any friend of Claire’s is a friend of mine.

What will be interesting is watching Barry navigate all of the gray areas going on in his country. Jamal is ruthless, and has people killed at will. There is a resistance of sorts in the country trying to unseat the Al Fayeed’s. If you like watching internal struggles, then this is the show for you.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T

There is no reason, really. The ratings pretty solid for a basic cable network. The pilot reeled in 3.1 million viewers, of which 1.2 million were in the 18-49 demo. That is impressive. Do I expect Emmy love? No. Golden Globe love? Yes, Uncle Morty will be into it.

THE GRADE: B+

 

 

#AlmostRoyal

Almost Royal

THE CAST

Amy Hoggart is a fucking dream come true.

Ed Gamble gives me blond, Russell Brand realness.

THE PREMISE

Ed & Amy play Georgie & Poppy Carlton, Nth and Nth in line for the British throne, who are on a royal tour of America. Americans are dumb.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

“Texas” is really the only episode you should watch. The other places they visit (LA, NYC, Boston, Detroit, Nashville, DC) are not as amusing as Texas. Poppy has a rapier sharp wit and her delivery is spot on. I could take or leave Georgie, Poppy is the one. When they visit the two hotties working at the taxidermy place, Poppy really shines. I hope my DVR never breaks, because the Texas episode is permanently saved. Poppy has some great one-liners, and I will leave them for you to discover. Just know that cowboys don’t become cowboys because of Toy Story’s 2 & 3. Also, don’t ask a hipster/hippie barista in Brooklyn if she is good enough to work at Starbucks.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T

It is kind of Borat in its execution in a very harmless way. And as I mentioned, Texas is the one. The others are throwaways.

THE GRADE: Texas: A-; the rest: C+

 

#LadiesofLondon

Ladies of London

THESE HOS

Caroline Stanbury is the richest one, and she looks like a monster. Have you ever seen Krull? She looks like the Beast.

Annabelle Nielson was the muse of Alexander McQueen. She is bringing narcoleptic Emily Mortimer realness to the table.

Juliet Angus, much to my chagrin, is not an heiress to a beef fortune. She’s an American and kinda reminds me of Meg Tilly (remember her?!). She has partied with Lohan, so you know she is a fan of Lohan powder.

Noelle Reno, also an American, is at the nadir of her gold digging game and looks like a broke down Lindsay Bluth.

Marissa Hermer, also from the US, gives me Amber Tamblyn all day long.

Caprice is also from America, but has lived in London for 20 years or some shit. She is known by just her first name ( in a very Jordan kind of way).

THE PREMISE

A reality show that follows some American and British bitches navigating the British social scene.

WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING

Bravo’s mind control is strong. You can easily get sucked into a marathon of this, because watching these British bitches look down their noses and the American girls is super entertaining. It is all done so politely. It’s great. You’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting to see when Caprice’s face is going to collapse, if Annabelle is going to be thrown off a horse, and how wide Caroline can open her mouth when she unhinges her jaw to eat an assistant.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T

You won’t give two shits about any of these people.

THE GRADE: any day of the week: D; hungover on a Sunday: B

@SHO_Penny

pennydreadful

WHAT THE CAST IS GIVING

Reeve Carney is giving me the vapors. I need to get a mint julep and sit down on the porch.

Timothy Dalton gives me “The Most Interesting Man in the World” realness.

Eva Green is pumping a real annoying Alicia-Silverstone-I’m-talking-out-of-the-side-my-mouth effect, and I just can’t.

Josh Hartnett is working the hell out of his new My Little Pony mane, but it reeks of Ethan Hawke filthiness.

Rory Kinnear straight up looks like a monster.

Harry Treadaway is darling… in a I-just-created-a-monster kind of way.

THE PREMISE

I am not exactly sure. The show is very The Mummy meets The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. It sounds weird right? It is.

WHAT I AM LIVING FOR

Dorian Gray (Carney).

He is hot. He needs to get his hair did, but he’s hot.

WHY I WON’T BE WATCHING SEASON 2

Boredom.

This show is boring.

Dorian’s presence, along with Victor Frankenstein (Treadaway), Mina (who I assume could be Mina Harker), and Malcolm Gray (serving Alan Quartermaine-level love of Africa) is why I get LXG from this show. There is a mention of the Egyptian Book of the Dead… paging Amenhotep! Otherwise, I don’t know what the fuck is going on. Vanessa Ives (Green) is a steely bitch, who is up to some supernatural shit. When she first meets circus carnie Ethan Chandler (Hartnett), she reads him for filth and it is quite enjoyable. I thought I would love her. As the episodes have progressed, I like her less and less. She went to a séance, and hasn’t been right since. Everytime she turns around, she is possessed by something, which tells me she probably needs an MRI. She starts foaming at the mouth and getting bent all out of shape and shit. I’m sure there’s a pill.

There are vampires, but they look like Powder at the peak of a drug addiction coupled with a teeth sharpening fetish. But there is only like one main vampire at a time… think Lothos from Buffy (the film, not the TV show), or the Alien queen. They all live in basements in Diagon Alley. I’m not into it. I have seen 7 of the 8 season 1 episodes, so I have the finale left. If I don’t care for the show, it is rare that the finale will hook me into the next season (looking at you, Orange is the New Black). I thought Penny had me when, SPOILER ALERT, Dorian and Ethan have a little absinthe, then Ethan decides to have alot of Dorian. It is a hot scene and I was living. By that point, I was on board with Penny. But I have since disembarked.

THE GRADE: C-