Allison’s Top 12 Returning TV Series of 2014

by     Posted 4 days ago

sherlock-game-of-thrones-mad-men

(Huge Understatement Warning): There’s a lot of great TV on right now.  And as yesterday’s list of the Best New Shows illustrated, there are always more being added to the pack.  To keep up with every year’s newest crop is a struggle, yet the shows listed here manage to do so with aplomb.  Many of these great returning series are old timers, bucking the trend of shows waning in their later years.  Others, though, are still relatively new, but have been able to avoid a sophomore slump by even improving upon their noteworthy first seasons.  It’s rare, and it’s also a wonderful thing for loyal fans.  Hit the jump for some unrestrained gushing.

New THE AMERICANS Trailer Unveils First Footage from Season 3

by     Posted 11 days ago

the-americans-season-3-trailer-slice

A week after getting the first trailer for The Americans season 3 and just two days after The American Film Institute dubbed the FX drama series one of the best TV programs of the year, we’ve got a brand new trailer to share.  Whereas the promo titled “Polygraph” was more of a head trip-style teaser, this new piece is a full-blown trailer featuring loads of footage from the new season perfectly paired with The Police’s “Every Breath You Take.”

Hit the jump to check out the new The Americans season 3 trailer for yourself.  The show returns to FX on Wednesday, January 28th at 10pm.

AFI Announces Top Films and TV Shows of the Year; Includes NIGHTCRAWLER, SELMA, and SILICON VALLEY

by     Posted 13 days ago

afi-awards-2014-winners

The American Film Institute has announced its official AFI Awards 2014 selections for the best films and TV programs of the year, and the results are a little surprising.  On the film side of things, AFI expanded its Top 10 to a Top 11, included some welcome additions like Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher alongside this year’s awards staples such as Boyhood and Birdman, but they also singled out Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which is frankly a not-so-great film (though AFI did name The Dark Knight Rises one of 2012’s finest, so their track record isn’t spotless).  And no love for Gone Girl, although they did recognize Into the Woods and Interstellar.  As for TV, the stellar The Americans and The Knick made the Top 10, as did Amazon’s critically hailed Transparent, HBO’s hilarious Silicon Valley, and ABC’s addictive How to Get Away with Murder.

Check out the full AFI Awards 2014 Top 11 Films and Top 10 TV Programs after the jump. 

Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys Take a Polygraph in First THE AMERICANS Season 3 Trailer

by     Posted 18 days ago

the-americans-season-3-trailer

The FX drama series The Americans is one that started off strong in its first season and then continued to improve in Season 2, eventually becoming one of the best dramas on television.  The 1980s-set show is technically a “spy series”, in which Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys play Soviet operatives who have been living deep undercover in American for years.  In actuality, though, The Americans is a portrait of a marriage, and it uses the spy thriller genre as a conduit through which to explore what it means to be married and what it means to have a family.  That’s not to say the spy aspect isn’t compelling (it very much is), and the very first The Americans Season 3 trailer is a wonderful blend of the show’s character-centric focus and spy thriller machinations.  It also promises to follow-up on that shocker of an ending that concluded Season 2.

Check out the first The Americans Season 3 trailer after the jump.  The series returns to FX on January 28th.

FX and FXX Announce January Premiere Dates for ARCHER, IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY, JUSTIFIED, THE AMERICANS, and New Series MAN SEEKING WOMAN

by     Posted 30 days ago

archer-season-6-premiere-date-justified

FX and FXX have announced a slew of January premiere dates for both returning and new series.  Briefly:

  • Archer Season 6 begins on Thursday, January 8th at 10pm ET/PT on FX.
  • The 10th season of  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia kicks off on Wednesday, January 14th at 10pm on FXX, followed by the comedy series premiere Man Seeking Woman at 10:30pm, starring Jay Baruchel.
  • Justified returns for its sixth and final season on Tuesday, January 20th at 10pm on FX.
  • The third season of the excellent drama series The Americans begins on Wednesday, January 28th on FX.
  • The final three episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show will also air in January on FX, culminating in the season finale on January 21st.

More on each series after the jump.

THE COLLISION: Episode 94 – GAME OF THRONES: Looking Back at Season 4

by     Posted 181 days ago

collision-podcast-slice

This week on The Collision, we’re joined by Allison Keene and Charles Judson to talk about the fourth season of Game of Thrones.  During our conversation, we talk about the season’s highs, lows, the benefits of departing from the book, what made “The Children” the best season finale thus far, the future of the series, and much more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

THE AMERICANS Recap: Season Two Finale, “Echo”

by     Posted 214 days ago

the americans season 2 keri russell matthew rhys slice

The Americans has had a fantastic second season, one that tied in its many plots together in emotional ways.  While the series was propelled by the gruesome murders of the Jennings’ fellow spies (and their daughter Amelia), as well as the roving wild card of Larrick, the season also never felt beholden to those things.  That’s what made “Echo” such an odd finale in many ways; it answered those questions (quickly), and then raised so many more.  Hit the jump for why “she belongs to the cause, and to the world.”

Matthew Rhys Talks THE AMERICANS and the Season 2 Finale, Approaching His Complex and Complicated Character, and Possibly Directing an Episode

by     Posted 214 days ago

matthew-rhys-the-americans-interview

The FX drama series The Americans follows the complex marriage of two KGB spies, Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell), posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C., shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President.  On the Season 2 finale, entitled “Echo” and airing on May 21st, no one is safe, as Philip and Elizabeth evacuate their children while trying to complete their mission.

During this recent interview to discuss how the events in the finale will affect things, going forward, actor Matthew Rhys talked about how what happens at the end of the finale is going to bring division between Philip and Elizabeth, what it’s been like to play the changing family dynamic, why Philip is a more lenient and forgiving parent, how he approaches such a complex and complicated character, the most challenging aspect of doing this show, and whether he might ever direct an episode.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers

THE AMERICANS Recap: “Operation Chronicle”

by     Posted 221 days ago

the americans recap operation chronicle

Can we just talk about how great The Americans has been this season?  If the first season was setup, the second season has been payoff.  Although, within this second season, there have been so many additional interesting layers and threads; from Leanne and Emmett’s murder to start things off, to high-concept arcs like those involving loyalty and betrayal, The Americans has unfolded over the last 12 weeks beautifully and with great effect.  And as a bonus, while most series introduce kids just to have them in the background, The Americans has also used Paige and Henry’s own stories to act as foils, or to augment their parents’ struggles.  Hit the jump for why I think you have a very bright future (now take my money and run).

THE AMERICANS Recap: “Stealth”

by     Posted 228 days ago

the americans recap stealth

In “Stealth,” The Americans got down to brass tacks.  The season’s biggest arcs are all coming together and, seemingly, coming to a close.  The stakes are actually starting to look a lot like those in Game of Thrones: you don’t just win or lose, you win or you die.  It’s easy to feel disconnected from that reality when watching The Americans, because the Jennings are not presumably going to suffer the same fate as Emmett and Leanne.  But that gruesome death, which set the tone for the season, also assured viewers that things are not going to be simple.  And at the very least, the amount of emotional carnage will be high.  Hit the jump, you young pioneer!

THE AMERICANS Recap: “Yousaf”

by     Posted 235 days ago

the americans recap keri russell matthew rhysThe Americans has been exceptional this season, but it’s at the point in this slate of episodes where things are beginning to slow down before the big turn towards the finale.  “Yousaf” had Philip and Elizabeth treading water, so to speak, while their foes moved against them.  Larrick has returned to the United States with murder on his mind, and a newly-returned-to-work Gaad helps Stan out with a clue that is bringing him exceptional close to the truth.  Everyone is out for the Jennings, and for once, they’re the ones in the dark.  “Mutually assured destruction, keeps the world spinning.”  Hit the jump for more.

Keri Russell and Gary Oldman Talk DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Filming in New Orleans, the TINKER TAILOR Sequel, and More

by     Posted 239 days ago

gary-oldman-keri-russell-dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes

Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted an enormous amount of coverage on director Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  We had our set visit (with 45 things to know about the movie), on set interviews with Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, and cinematographer Michael Seresin, new toy images, new movie images and posters, a TV spot, and more.  Based on everything I’ve seen and learned, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is going to be a great sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes and it’s going to show how motion capture technology has advanced over the past few years.  I really believe Reeves is going to hit a home-run with this film.

At last weekend’s WonderCon, I landed a great video interview with Keri Russell and Gary Oldman.  Unlike some interviews that are formal, I was their last interview of the day and they just wanted to have some fun.  You’ll understand as you watch the video.  They talked about how the film shows both the apes and humans perspectives, what it was like filming in New Orleans, working with Reeves while he was seriously ill with pneumonia, the morality of Oldman’s character, the performance capture technology and shooting in 3D, what happened with the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy sequel Smiley’s People, The Americans season 2 finale, and you can even watch Oldman talking with his son on the phone.  It’s a fun interview so check it out after the jump.

THE AMERICANS Recap: “Martial Eagle”

by     Posted 242 days ago

the americans season 2 keri russell matthew rhys slice

All season long, The Americans has addressed issues of loyalty and consequence.  What has made this season so powerful is the emotional connection Philip and Elizabeth have had to their work, and how deeply it has affected them.  Starting the season off with the gruesome deaths of their fellow spies set the stage and tone for what would follow, and the season’s tight focus on just a few stories (which are now connecting) have made for an incredible arc of episodes.  No hour has been so dedicated to consequence as “Martial Eagle” though, a dark and difficult walk with Philip as he goes through crisis.  Hit the jump for why “I know this is war.  It’s just easier for you.”

THE AMERICANS Recap: “New Car”

by     Posted 249 days ago

the-americans-recap-season-2-episode-8

The Americans continued to dissect its major theme of loyalty in “New Car.”  An early conversation between Martha and Philip/Clark set it all up: when she objects to continuing to spy on her co-workers, even though those were the circumstances under which they met, he replies, “don’t put me in a position of having to choose between the security of the country and you.”  But both Philip and Elizabeth have been dealing with these issues of loyalty and choice all season, not only in regards to their own family versus their job, but also within their job as well.  In “New Car,” they were confronted with difficult decisions that went against earlier choices, but all of which added to the complexity of the situation, and their emotional responses to it.  Hit the jump for why “it’s nicer, it’s easier; it’s not better.”

FX Renews THE AMERICANS for Season Three

by     Posted 249 days ago

the-americans-season-3-keri-russell-matthew-rhys

FX has ordered a 13-episode third season of its excellent drama series The Americans.  While I enjoyed but wasn’t over-the-moon about its first season, the current second season of the period spy drama has turned the show into one of the very best on TV—and in this current Golden Age of Television, that’s saying something.  Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys star as sleeper KGB agents living in America as a married couple with two kids during the Reagan-fueled early 1980s.  While on the surface the show is a thrilling spy series, at its heart The Americans is really a portrait of a marriage as told through the incredibly complicated lives of two individuals, with Russell and Rhys regularly turning in brilliantly nuanced performances.  Suffice it to say, I am very much looking forward to The Americans season 3.

Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to catch up on Allison’s recaps.  The Americans currently airs on FX Wednesdays at 10pm, with six episodes remaining in the second season.

Click Here