THE LEFTOVERS Recap: “Gladys”

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In “Gladys,” The Leftovers shifted its focus to the Guilty Remnant (or “the GR,” as Kevin refers to them).  And yet, there’s not much more known about them now than there was before.  They’re into wearing white, aggressively smoking, and buying up real estate, but there hasn’t been a reason given for their methodology or beliefs.  Still, aside from a lot of wheel spinning, “Gladys” also showed, because of where its brutal opening scene ultimately led, there’s a lot going on in that wide world beyond Mapleton that might play into the overall mystery.  Hit the jump for why “we want them to remember something they want to forget.”

RAY DONOVAN Recap: “Gem & Loan”

by     Posted 6 hours ago

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In “Gem & Loan,” Ray Donovan explored partnerships and alliances.  It also created a partnership, for this hour at least, between two of its more disparate parts: the family drama and Ray as a fixer.  Ray Donovan is at its best when Ray’s job intersects with his family or other storylines that viewers are already invested in.  It also was a rare episode where everyone, by the end of it, was more or less content.  Hit the jump for why “you’re a real pisser.”

THE LAST OF US Comic-Con Panel Recap; Maisie Williams Being Eyed to Play Ellie

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Earlier this year, we reported that Screen Gems and Sam Raimi were set to produce a feature film adaptation of the acclaimed and best-selling game, The Last of Us.  Today at Comic-Con, the schedule had a “Sneak Peek” listed, and the peek was more details on this highly anticipated adaptation.  It was an exciting opportunity to tell fans that there was legitimate progress on this movie, and also for Raimi and the game’s creative director/screenwriter Neil Druckmann to gauge the audience’s reaction, especially on a piece of possible casting.

Hit the jump for my The Last of Us Comic-Con panel recap.

UNDER THE DOME Comic-Con Panel Recap: Rachelle Lefevre and the Cast Discuss Stephen King’s Involvement and the Rest of Season 2

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Although the cast and showrunner of CBS’s big summer sci-fi program Under the Dome, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, were there to promote their own show, stars Rachelle Lefevre and Alexander Koch got into the Comic-Con spirit by coming to their panel decked out in cosplays as characters from Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead respectively. Along with fellow actors Mike Vogel, Dean Norris, Eddie Cahill and Colin Ford and executive producer Neal Baer, Lefebvre and Koch discussed their characters, making the show, and teased the rest of the current season and what’s to come further down the line.

Hit the jump for our Under the Dome Comic-Con Panel recap.

TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Death Is Not The End”

by     Posted 15 days ago

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True Blood‘s long goodbye continued in “Dead Is Not The End,” this time allowing an extended look back at the origins of Fangtasia.  That reverie, unlike some of the others the show has had this year, actually had some bearing on the rest of the episode (at least, the part about the Underground Railroad).  But it also was a nice reward for fans who have been around since the beginning, because it showed how Pam and Eric ended up running the club in the first place, where so much of True Blood originally happened.  Hit the jump for why “almost every I’ve ever known or loved is dead. I don’t give a fuck about you or your problems.”

TRUE BLOOD Recap: “Fire In the Hole”

by     Posted 22 days ago

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In “Fire in the Hole,” True Blood made clear that in addition to seeing old faces and spending nostalgic time with the main characters, it also plans to kill off a bunch of people.  This house cleaning should have been done years ago — the show added villains just to kill them off each season, but meanwhile, also expanded its arsenal of supernaturals to unwieldy proportions.  It’s not that the sprucing is a bad idea, it’s just poorly timed.  Now, it just feels like a way to create some drama in a season that is ping-ponging around too much to create any depth on its own.  Will it turn out that the entire series is just LaFayette’s drug-induced dream?  It would make more sense.  Hit the jump for why “we can’t be biting, fucking and sucking in the moonlight.”

PENNY DREADFUL Season One Finale Recap: “Grand Guignol”

by     Posted 29 days ago

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What a wonderfully weird show Penny Dreadful turned out to be.  It wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who enjoyed it, it was a surprisingly delightful eight episodes of Victorian oddities.  The production was also never afraid to change pace or throw in a single-character episode here and there, and at the end of the season, there was a definite realization that very little happened in terms of plot.  And yet, the show was always rich and engaging because of its commitment to character.

“Grand Guignol” took its time as a finale, as the show did all season, allowing plenty of room for development and storytelling that helped enrich the final moments.  Yet, nothing was entirely satisfying, which set up plenty for a second season to capitalize on. Hit the jump for why we have to take the happiness we can.

THE LEFTOVERS Series Premiere Recap: “Pilot”

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Any series that starts off with a baby screaming and crying and a dog being shot is not one that seems will lend itself to levity; and indeed, The Leftovers is a very serious and very dour show.  In the deluge of reviews that landed this week about (it being based on a novel by Tom Perrotta, directed in part by Friday Night Lights Peter Berg and overseen by Lost‘s Damon Lindelof), the overwhelming feeling seemed to be that The Leftovers is a show whose crushing emotional weight will either draw you in, or repel you fully.  And, if you thought it might grow out of it, well, the unrelenting sadness goes on for at least the first half of the season (which is as far as has been made available to critics).  Hit the jump for a reheating of The Leftovers (a joke I promise to make only once … maybe).

PENNY DREADFUL Recap: “Possession”

by     Posted 36 days ago

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What Penny Dreadful‘s penultimate first season episode “Possession” taught us above all is that Sir Malcolm is essentially a Victorian Professor X.  (I’ll let you all fill in the blanks as to who that makes Ethan, Victor and Vanessa). The main thing is, what has saved Penny Dreadful again and again from swinging too far into camp (a la True Blood) is its commitment to the integrity of its characters, and a sense of them as family.  Hit the jump for why “fat mother wept!”

TRUE BLOOD Season 7 Premiere Recap: “Jesus Gonna Be Here”

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Oh, True Blood.  What would your season premieres be without unintelligible chaos that takes viewers until the opening credits to discern the who and the what? (But never the why).  Last year, the series seemed to be in free fall after creator Alan Ball left (which was also kind of a good thing), but then the new showrunner left, too.  Eventually, one stayed, and the show’s sixth season actually went far in righting the ship after Season Five’s disastrous Billith situation.  For this final run, viewers were promised a return to a focus on Bon Temps, and the humans (like Season One), but did “Jesus Gonna Be Here” deliver?  Hit the jump for more.

GAME OF THRONES Season 4 Finale Recap: “The Children”

by     Posted 43 days ago

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With “The Children,” Game of Thrones delivered one of its most cinematic and epic hours yet (and also spent a mint on their CGI budget for this episode, surely).  Unlike other premieres and finales, the show didn’t touch on every story line, and that was a very good thing.  When Game of Thrones restricts itself to just telling a few narratives well, it’s a much, much better show.  “The Children” also ran for a slightly extended length of time, which the series (and this episode in particular) desperately needed.  And for once, Game of Thrones chose to end its season in a place of contemplation, rather than shock and awe.  Hit the jump for more.

PENNY DREADFUL Recap: “What Death Can Join Together”

by     Posted 43 days ago

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Penny Dreadful has become one of those delightful shows that starts strong, and then just keeps getting stronger.  After the exceptional “Closer Than Sisters” last week, it was possible, even probable that “What Death Can Join Together” might hit a speed bump.  Though the plot didn’t really advance much in this hour, it showed that Penny Dreadful is so good with its character development that it doesn’t need to. Mina is still seen in glimpses, the Creature is still in emotional pain, Vanessa and Dorian spent scintillating time together, and Victor had some difficult lessons to learn.  And yet, the world-building in Penny Dreadful is so strong that it was still an incredible hour.  Hit the jump for some possible “chicanery!”

GAME OF THRONES Recap: “The Watchers on the Wall”

by     Posted 50 days ago

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Like in “Blackwater,” which chronicled the massive Battle of Blackwater Bay, Game of Thrones allowed “The Watchers on the Wall” (also directed by Neil Marshall) to exclusively focus on a battle.  It also topped “Blackwater” in terms of expense, but did the show do enough to build up the Night’s Watch’s story to make it resonate emotionally as well as visually?  Hit the jump for why “when you’re nothing at all, there’s no more reason to be afraid.”

PENNY DREADFUL Recap: “Closer Than Sisters”

by     Posted 50 days ago

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“Closer Than Sisters” was Penny Dreadful‘s strongest episode yet, and with the backstory of The Creature in play, that’s really saying something.  The show seems to be getting more into a pattern of “dreadful” episodic tales, or at least, taking the time to break each member of Sir Malcolm’s consortium off to explore their backstory.  The biggest question so far has been Vanessa — she doesn’t have a backstory we know from literature (as far as I’m aware), which made “Closer Than Sisters” the most intriguing hour thus far.  Hit the jump for why “I love you enough to kill you.”

GAME OF THRONES Recap: “The Mountain and the Viper”

by     Posted 57 days ago

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To quote Time‘s TV critic James Poniewozik, “said it before, but for all the spectacle, Game Of Thrones is never better than when it’s about one person talking to another.”  Amen.  The last ten minutes were brutal, and next week teases an epic battle between the Wildlings and the watchers on the Wall, but one thing that this season of Game of Thrones has done so well is bring the show down a notch, and return it to the essence of what makes the books so compelling: characters.  (And scheming, of course).  But by focusing on only a few stories each week, Game of Thrones has made things simple while keeping it twisted.  “The Mountain and the Viper’s” finale had a big impact, but perhaps even more shocking was the transformation of another character.  Hit the jump for more.

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