GAME OF THRONES: Season 5 to Contain First-Ever Flashbacks

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Last month, we learned Bran and Hodor won’t be in Game of Thrones season 5, but now we know something that will be in the new season: flashbacks.  For four seasons, the show has steered clear of the storytelling device, but they will finally be used in the upcoming fifth season.  During a Q&A with film students in Span where the show is currently shooting some of its scenes, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss explained, “By making the first season, we set a rule: No prophecies, dreams or flashbacks. We failed the first two and this season the third. So yes, this season will finally have flashbacks.”

EW also reports that the fifth season will begin with a flashback, although that could change in the editing process.  I’m sure fans of the books have plenty of theories of what kind of flashback we’ll see, but since I only watch the show, I’m at a loss.  Feel free to sound off in the comments section with speculation.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW Recap: “Massacres and Matinees”

by     Posted 5 days ago


The premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show had the benefit of the shock and awe that comes with introducing viewers to a new vibrant location and fresh crop of curious characters, but now that the initial thrill is long gone, the question is, can Freak Show hold up?  Thanks to the highly intriguing character layers and fascinatingly bizarre scenarios introduced in the season’s second episode, “Massacres and Matinees,” the answer is a resounding yes.  Hit the jump for more on the wealth of mind-blowing oddities in my American Horror Story: Freak Show recap.

ARROW Recap: “Sara”

by     Posted 5 days ago


Warner Bros. went a little crazy with the movie news today, but nary a word was heard on Green Arrow’s appearance on the big screen.  That’s fine.  We’ll continue to join the Emerald Archer on The CW’s Arrow.  The action takes a bit of a backseat to the drama in this week’s episode, which makes sense considering the shocking conclusion of their season three premiere.  That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of fighting, feuding, and flying out of buildings to be found, because if it’s one thing Arrow does better than most it’s balancing heroic action beats with strong character dynamics, even when the team is bidding farewell to one of their own.

Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.

Neil Patrick Harris to Host the 2015 Oscars

by     Posted 5 days ago


The host for the 2015 Oscars has been chosen, and it’s a mighty fine choice.  Neil Patrick Harris has been tapped to host the 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015, ensuring that there will likely be at least one highly enjoyable musical number during the telecast.  Harris has plenty of experience hosting these kinds of ceremonies, having hosted the Tony Awards numerous times and the Emmy Awards this past year.  Ellen Degeneres hosted this past Oscar ceremony to positive results, but apparently she was apprehensive about accepting the gig and didn’t want to return for the 2015 Oscars.

Harris is a fantastic showman and so I’m very pleased by this news.  Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are returning to produce for the third time in a row (sigh), but they’ve found themselves an excellent frontman.  Harris is extremely charismatic and funny, and he also might find himself appearing in one of the Best Picture nominees if Gone Girl takes off with the Academy.  Check out NPH’s video confirmation of the news after the jump.

Tuesday TV Ratings: MARRY ME Starts Strong; THE FLASH and AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Dip

by     Posted 5 days ago


TV ratings for Tuesday, October 14th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • NBC aired one of the best new comedies of the season, Marry Me, which premiered to a strong 2.3 rating in the 18-49 demo and scored 7.76 million viewers.  Elsewhere on the network, About a Boy premiered to a 1.8 rating and 6.16 million viewers, and Chicago Fire was down 5% to a 2.0 rating and 7.18 million viewers.
  • Over on ABC, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (read Evan Valentine’s recap here) continued its streak of hitting new lows, as last night’s episode fell 6% to a series low 1.6 rating and scored 4.62 million viewers.  Selfie was down 17% to a 1.0 rating and 3.52 million viewers, Manhattan Love Story matched alst week’s 0.9 rating and scored 2.96 million viewers, and Forever fell 15% to a 1.1 rating and 4.68 million viewers.
  • The CW’s The Flash (read Dave’s recap here) dipped 16% from last week’s premiere to a 1.6 rating and 4.12 million viewers, which is still solid for the network.  Supernatural was down 9% to a 1.0 rating and 2.2 million viewers.
  • Fox’s New Girl (which was actually really good last night) dropped 14% to a 1.2 rating and 2.26 million viewers while The Mindy Project matched last week’s 1.0 rating and scored 2.21 million viewers.
  • CBS’ NCIS was down 4% to a 2.5 rating and 17.09 million viewers, NCIS: New Orleans was down 4% to a 2.2 rating and 15.9 million viewers, and Person of Interest fell to a series low 1.5 rating and 9.73 million viewers.

Every Episode of FRIENDS Coming to Netflix Starting January 1, 2015

by     Posted 5 days ago


You’ll be in good company while nursing your hangover this coming New Year’s Day.  Netflix announced today that starting on January 1, 2015, every episode of the NBC sitcom Friends will be available to stream in the US and Canada.  In addition to Seinfeld, I count Friends as one of the very best sitcoms of all time and certainly one of the most influential pieces of pop culture from the 1990s.  That cast is phenomenal, and even though the tenth and final season was disappointing in spots, the charm always shined through and made the show a joy to watch.  Moreover, Friends is highly, highly rewatchable.  I own every season on DVD, but I’m sure laze will take over as I find “The One with Chandler in a Box” or “The One Where Ross Got High” are available at the touch of a button starting January 1st.

In announcing Friends coming to Netflix, the streaming service released a cutesy video that reunites The Rembrandts (remember them?) and features a cameo from Central Perk’s most loyal employee, Gunther.  Take a look after the jump.

HBO to Offer Stand-Alone Streaming Service in 2015

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And now there could be yet another reason to cut the cord.  Today, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced at an investor meeting that the network will offer an online-only streaming service starting next year.  “That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped,” Plepler said. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO. So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States.”  The distribution models haven’t been solidified, but Plepler ran down the possibilities of working through broadband services (e.g. Time Warner, Comcast), new partners (e.g. Amazon, Google), or go straight to consumers like Netflix.

Hit the jump for more.

Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: “Face My Enemy”

by     Posted 6 days ago


Welcome back, true believers!  We join our heroes, after having been shown that Simmons is in fact deep undercover in the depths of Hydra, as Coulson and Agent May must go undercover themselves by cutting the dance floor.  This episode promises to uncover some of the secrets that “Coulson has been looking for”.  Will Coulson find the answers that he’s looking for?  Will Hydra put a stop to his search?  Will Civil War really take place in the Marvel cinematic universe?  Two of these questions will be answered as you hit the jump for our Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap.

SONS OF ANARCHY Recap: “Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em”

by     Posted 6 days ago


While SAMCRO cleans up one murder scene, then stages another one, and plot threads become more twisted than Tig’s sexual fantasies, the thing that is distinguishing this final season of Sons of Anarchy is the suspense over what exactly is going to happen with Juice and with Gemma.  Though there can be assumptions made about how each of their stories may end, there’s absolutely no sense of timeline, or how the truth will out.  “Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em” had a continued sense of dread throughout its hour that escalated until its final moments.  It’s also the most interesting and compelling storytelling the show has done in a long time.  Hit the jump if you knew that Kiki offered a mint-flavored blowjob.

THE FLASH Recap: “Fastest Man Alive”

by     Posted 6 days ago


The Flash got off to a great start in last week’s premiere, but time will tell if it has the legs to go the distance.  If you doubted Grant Gustin’s ability to portray Barry Allen, or the new-found powers that give the title hero his meta-human status, then you fell into lock-step with this episode’s central theme.  Yes, it seems that doubt is currently The Flash’s biggest foe, since Barry is rather green when it comes to fighting other super-powered foes. He’s just beginning to learn the limits of his powers, but The Flash is quickly establishing its own identity; there’s no doubt about that.

Hit the jump for The Flash recap.

WGN America Renews MANHATTAN for Season 2

by     Posted 6 days ago


WGN America has picked up the drama series Manhattan for a second season.  Created by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) and directed by Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), the story takes place in 1940s Los Alamos, New Mexico and revolves around the men working secretly on the Manhattan Project as well as the toll it takes on their lives and family.  I haven’t seen the show myself but I’ve heard good things, and the Manhattan Project is certainly creatively rich material.  The first season finale of the show airs this coming Sunday, October 19th, on WGN America.  Read the full press release regarding the season two renewal after the jump.

TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT Poster Teases Pixar’s Upcoming Holiday Special

by     Posted 6 days ago


While many thought that Toy Story 3 might mark the last time we’d see the loveable Pixar characters that started it all, the studio has done a swell job of keeping Woody, Buzz, and Co. alive by way of some seriously funny short films and TV specials.  The first TV special, Toy Story of Terror!, premiered last Halloween, and now Pixar has a new Toy Story special, Toy Story That Time Forgot, poised to debut on ABC during the upcoming holiday season.  The first Toy Story That Time Forgot poster has debuted online, giving us a sneak peek at what’s in store for our tiny heroes.  The story of the special revolves around the Toy Story gang stumbling upon uncharted territory after a Christmas play date, where they come across a set of dinosaur action figures that turn out to be dangerously delusional.

Hit the jump to take a look at the Toy Story That Time Forgot poster, and be sure to check out our extended interview with director Steve Purcell and producer Gayln Susman about the special from this summer’s Comic-Con.  The TV special features the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Kristen Schaal, Kevin McKidd, Wallace Shawn, Timothy Dalton, Don Rickles, and Joan CusackToy Story That Time Forgot debuts on ABC on Tuesday, December 2nd at 8pm ET/PT.


by     Posted 6 days ago


TV ratings are on for Monday, October 13th, though The CW’s preliminary numbers were affected by football overrun and thus not usable.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • NBC’s The Blacklist was up 8% from last week’s 2.6 rating, hitting a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demo and scoring 9.83 million viewers.
  • Over on Fox, an Arkham Asylum-infused episode of Gotham (read Dave’s recap here) notched a 2.4 rating and scored 6.24 million viewers, which is down 4% from last week’s 2.5 rating.  Sleepy Hollow was even with a 1.7 rating and 4.84 million viewers.
  • CBS’ The Big Bang Theory was up 2% with a 4.6 rating and 15.63 million viewers, though the numbers may be slightly inflated due to a preemption in San Francisco.  Scorpion was down 4% to a 2.4 rating and 11.47 million viewers, and NCIS: Los Angeles matched last week’s series low 1.6 rating and scored 9.09 million viewers.
  • ABC’s Castle was even with last week’s 2.0 rating and scored 9.30 million viewers.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to Develop Sci-Fi Espionage Series INCORPORATED for Syfy

by     Posted 6 days ago


Even though Matt Damon and Ben Affleck aren’t usually associated with science fiction—Damon has a small role in The Zero Theorem and Affleck has Paycheck—the duo will be developing the sci-fi espionage thriller Incorporated for Syfy.  Per the press release, the show is “set in a world where corporations have seemingly unlimited power. This will be the story of one man’s efforts to beat the system.”  A world where corporations have seemingly unlimited power?  That’s preposterous!  I don’t know if anyone can buy a series that’s set in a world that sounds exactly like our world.

David and Alex Pastor (The Last Days) will write the pilot. Ted Humphrey (The Good Wife) will serve as executive producer/showrunner, with Damon, Affleck and Jennifer Todd also executive producing.  Pearl Street Film’s Margaret Chernin will serve as associate producer.  Hit the jump for the press release.

Bill Murray to Sing Christmas Carols in Christmas Special Directed by Sofia Coppola

by     Posted One week ago


I fear this is a joke, but I sure hope it’s true: Bill Murray and Lost in Translation director Sofia Coppola are planning a Christmas special in which Murray will croon Christmas carols.  Murray elaborated:

“It’s not going to be live.  We’re going to do it like a little movie.  It won’t have a format, but it’s going to have music.  It will have texture.  It will have threads through it that are writing.  There will be prose… It will have a patina style and wit to it.  It will be nice.”

More on what little we know about the Christmas special after the jump.

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