Here Are The 70th Annual Emmy Winners!


To be honest, I didn’t actually watch the Emmys this year.  For one thing, I was upset that Twin Peaks was not nominated for Best Limited Series and I was even more upset that Kyle MacLachlan was totally overlooked.  It’s hard for me to take seriously an awards show that snubs Twin Peaks but honors Alec Baldwin’s uninspired Donald Trump impersonation.

However, I did kind of follow the ceremony on twitter.  I was happy, for instance, to learn that Bill Hader and Henry Winkler won for Barry and that Thandie Newton won for Westworld.  The Emmy that should have gone to Twin Peaks went to The Assassination of Gianni Verscace, which was good but uneven.  (The first five episodes were brilliant.  The final three felt somewhat superfluous.)  Ryan Murphy beat David Lynch for Best Director.  I mean, what the Hell?

Anyway, here’s the winners!

Best Comedy: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

Best Drama:“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

Best Limited Series: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)

Best Actress, Comedy: Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Best Actor, Comedy: Bill Hader, “Barry”

Best Actress, Drama: Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Best Actor, Drama: Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

Supporting Actress, Drama: Thandie Newton, “Westworld”

Supporting Actor, Drama: Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”

Supporting Actress, Comedy: Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Supporting Actor, Comedy: Henry Winkler, “Barry”

Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie: Regina King, “Seven Seconds”

Best Actor, Limited Series or TV Movie: Darren Criss, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or a Movie: Merritt Wever, “Godless”

Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie: Jeff Daniels, “Godless”

*Television Movie: “Black Mirror: USS Callister” (Netflix)

Variety Sketch Series: “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)

Variety Talk Series: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”(HBO)

Reality Competition Program: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)

*Reality Host: RuPaul, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

*Structured Reality Program: “Queer Eye” (Netflix)

*Unstructured Reality Program: “United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell” (CNN)

*Guest Actress, Drama: Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

*Guest Actor, Drama: Ron Cephas Jones, “This Is Us”

*Guest Actress, Comedy: Tiffany Haddish, “Saturday Night Live”

*Guest Actor, Comedy: Katt Williams, “Atlanta”

*Documentary or Nonfiction Series: “Wild Wild Country” (Netflix)

*Animated Program: “Rick And Morty” (Adult Swim)

Writing for a Comedy Series: Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Pilot)

Writing for a Drama Series: Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg, “The Americans” (“Start”)

Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama: William Bridges & Charlie Brooker, “Black Mirror: USS Callister”

Directing for a Comedy Series: Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Pilot)

Directing for a Drama Series: Stephen Daldry, “The Crown” (“Paterfamilias”)

Directing for a Limited Series: Ryan Murphy, “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (“The Man Who Would Be Vogue”)

*Directing for a Variety Series: Don Roy King, “Saturday Night Live” (Host: Donald Glover)

Writing for a Variety Special: John Mulaney, “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous At Radio City”

Directing for a Variety Special: Glenn Weiss, “The Oscars”

*Awards presented during the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony on Sept. 8-9.

Teaser Trailer: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

With each passing year since they decided to purchase and/or create original content for their streaming service, Netflix has continued to pump out more and more content to varying degrees of quality and success. For every Stranger Things or House of Cards, there would be 10 or so mediocre to just awful content, yet these are still content that the hundreds of millions of Netflix subscribers will watch.

Even now, shows that have been cancelled by the traditional networks have found a second life on Netflix to continue the series, albeit in a more streamlined version. There are no 20-24 episode seasons on Netflix. They prefer their series to be binge-able 10-13 episodes per season.

This October 26, just in time for Halloween, Netflix subscribers (plus those who borrow their friend’s account to watch Netflix) will see a new reinterpretation of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Just like CW Network’s Riverdale, this new Sabrina series on Netflix will have a much more darker take on the character that fans of the 1990’s series grew watching would be used to.

Kiernan Shipka of Mad Men will headline the series as the title character and if this teaser trailer is of any indication the series will definitely delve into much darker territory than the previous Sabrina series that aired on ABC.

I know one thing, I have a feeling that Lisa Marie will eat up this series, if just because of the last shot of the teaser trailer.

Jack Ryan (Season 1) Review by Case Wright


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There are two types of streaming television series: Get a sitter and watch in rapt silence with your SO and friends and Elliptical and/or Hangover Television.  Jack Ryan is in the latter category.  It’s a solid: NOT BAD.   Ok, it was a little weird seeing Jack Ryan (John Krasinski) put Osama Bin Laden’s AK-47 in a Jello Mold, but I thought it was a nice call back.  JK!

Jack Ryan has been a staple for nerds who like action for decades.  Jack Ryan is a data analyst badass who defeats terrorism and rogue commies, in other words, fictional.  He’s been in countless books, films, and video games.  The only other character that gets this much media has to use The Force.  In this iteration, Carlton Cuse of “Lost” fame takes a crack the characters.

Jack Ryan is a young Marine Vet turned CIA officer with PTSD.  He is teamed up with Greer who in the books and previous iterations was a tough talking Admiral with shitty dialogue; whereas, in this version, Greer’s a down and out muslim CIA officer whose career is in decline after killing a Pakistani asset.  They are on the hunt for the big bad: Sulieman.

Sulieman is the product of the American intervention in the Lebanese civil war in 1986, which…checks out.  He is hell bent on causing all kinds of mayhem in America and abroad.  They make a big show about how he was treated badly throughout his life-  Boo hoo.  I guess it was supposed to make him more human. I thought it made him really really whiny.  So what, you didn’t get your dream job that gives you the right to blow everybody up?!

The big question most of my readers have: Did John Krasinski – Jim- have a passable performance as a super spy?????  KINDA. He was pretty close at times, but was he held back by some purposely slowed down plot points.  I will get to the derpy derp moments later, but really the season should’ve been 6 episodes instead of 8 because there were too many contrivances, which inhibited John’s performance.  I have to write that he was in fact believable.   I did not know what to expect, but he delivered a good performance.

What they got right:

Sleepless nights with PTSD and drinking too much.  They portrayed that spot on.  I thought, I’ve had those late nights.  Ok, Pass!

The SEAL/Ranger team: I’ve known many Special Operators over the years and they are all real salt of the Earth types.  They played those matter of fact tough guys perfectly. Ok, Pass!

The inherent turpitude of civilian government officials: Very good, they’re all presumptive Dirtbaggus Americanus.  Ok, Pass!

The director building suspense? Yep, the direction was done quite well.  No complaints.

What was so very dumb?  NO F#@#!NG Way!!! NFW!!!! NFW!!!

1.  They portrayed Jack Ryan as dealing PTSD, giving him pause to shoot his weapon.  I get that, BUT he’s still a Marine.  There’s a scene where he makes the decision to shoot and misses by a mile just so they could have fight scene later.  This is just dumb.  Marines are ALL crackshots.  If you are in a Marine’s line of fire and he’s got a clear shot, you’re dust.  When you see it, you’ll roll your eyes.

2.  There’s a terrorist strike by Sulieman and he claims responsibility.  They show his face being plastered on all television networks. He’s on tv more than Anderson Cooper. Then, with no face disguise, he’s NEVER recognized.  We’re not talking just one time, but FIVE times at least.  His face would’ve been burned in everyone’s memory.  It was just dumb,  lazy, and contrived to keep the villain the in the action.

3.  A CIA Officer meets Sulieman’s wife and he just lets her walk away the same day as a major terror attack: NFW! Anyone who said that they knew an Osama equivalent would be sequestered and interrogated immediately, but it was obvious that they needed to pad the plot to squeeze three unnecessary episodes for story arc.

4.  There’s a duo who are drone pilots that are just sort of shoehorned into the story for no reason at all.  I couldn’t even figure out the message if drones were supposed to be good or bad.  I left thinking… Man, drones work really well.  Then, one of the drone pilots gets all guilty about a mistargeting incident and flies to Syria because ya know Active Duty Soldiers just get to go anywhere they like on leave…. NFW!!!!!!! Just think about it…we shouldn’t just get to go wherever we like.  It’s dangerous for us and could lead to a Soldier getting compromised.  NFW!

5.  There’s a plot point where a doctor becomes aware of a biological threat and just sends an email.  WHAAAA?!  She would be calling everyone and their brother to report that because she’s supposed to be smart.

Is it worth watching?

Yes, yes it is.  It’s got real problems in terms of story holes, but my hope is that Carlton Cuse learns from this.  He can DM me if he likes.  I’ll consult or script doctor for a very reasonable rate.  Jack Ryan is great for watching on the Elliptical at the gym or if you’re hungover or something.  It is NOT at this time get a babysitter and everyone be quiet television, but it is …. fun.

 

Weekly Trailer Round-Up: The Favourite, Wildlife, At Eternity’s Gate, Anna and the Apocalypse, House of Cards


The biggest trailer that was released this week was the trailer for the latest Halloween reboot.

Here’s the best of the rest:

From the director of The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite is a satirical portrait of intrigue and betrayal in the 18th century court of Queen Anne.  The Favourite will be released in the U.S. on November 23rd and in the UK on January 1st.

Actor Paul Dano makes his directorial debut with Wildlife.  This drama, which is based on a novel by Richard Ford, stars Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal and will be released on October 19th.

From director Julian Schnabel, At Eternity’s Gate features Willem DaFoe as the tragic and celebrated painter, Vincent Van Gogh.  At Eternity’s Gate will be released on November 16th.

Anna and the Apocalypse is a music holiday comedy about zombies.  Of course, it is.  Anna and the Apocalypse will be released on November 30th.

Finally, in this trailer for the sixth and final season of Netflix’s House of Cards, Claire Underwood says goodbye to Frank while the show says goodbye to Kevin Spacey.  The season drops on November 2nd.

Rest in Peace, Burt Reynolds


Earlier today, Burt Reynolds died of cardiac arrest at a Florida Hospital.  He was 82 years old.

How do you sum up a career as legendary as the career of Burt Reynolds?  It’s not easy.  Burt Reynolds always used to say that he couldn’t act but his fans knew better and the critics sometimes knew better too.  Burt Reynolds always said that most of his film were terrible but, for every Stick or Malone, there were movies like Sharky’s MachineThe Longest Yard, and White Lightning.  Burt always joked that he might never win an Oscar but he had plenty of People’s Choice Awards to make up for it.  Burt did deserve an Oscar nomination for Deliverance and he received one for Boogie Nights.  Reynolds lost to Robin Williams but it does no disservice to Williams’s performance in Good Will Hunting to say that the Oscar should have gone to Burt.

Despite having been born in Michigan, Burt Reynolds was often viewed as being the archetypical good ol’ boy.  He first found fame as a jock, playing football at Florida State University.  After injuries ended his college football career, Reynolds considered becoming a police officer but, at his father’s suggestion, instead transferred to Palm Beach Junior College.  That was where an English professor named Watson B. Duncan heard Reynolds reading Shakespeare in class and was so impressed that he pushed Reynolds into trying out for a play that he was producing.  Reynolds was cast in the lead role and soon had a new career.

As Reynolds would often recount, he didn’t become a star overnight.  He did a few plays in New York and he worked odd jobs.  He auditioned for a film called Sayonara and impressed director Joshua Logan.  Logan said he couldn’t cast him because he looked too much like the film’s star, Marlon Brando, but he still encouraged Reynolds to move out to Hollywood.  Still not feeling confident enough to attempt the transition into movies, Reynolds remained in New York and became a mainstay in TV westerns, including Gunsmoke, where he played Quint Asper.  He also appeared in an episode of The Twilight Zone, playing a pompous method actor who was clearly modeled on Marlon Brando.

Like his good friend Clint Eastwood, Burt used his television fame to secure low-budget film work in Europe.  He even starred in a Spaghetti western, playing the lead role in Navajo Joe.  Reynolds appeared in several forgettable B-movies before his performance in the Oscar-nominated Deliverance made him a star.  His performance as Lewis Medlock dominated the film.  When Lewis suffered a compound fracture while trying to navigate a raging river, audiences knew that if the river could take down Burt Reynolds, it could take down anyone.  Around the same time, Burt would earn lasting fame (or perhaps infamy) by appearing as the centerfold in an issue of Cosmopolitan.  Reynolds would later describe that as being his biggest mistake, saying that it made him a star but it also prevented him from being nominated for an Oscar but it also kept people from taking him seriously as an actor.

But if Burt never got the awards or the acclaim that he deserved, audiences loved him.  Smoky and the Bandit was his biggest hit.  The critics may have hated it but audiences love it to this day and they know that only Burt Reynolds could have played the Bandit.  When the Bandit looked straight at the camera after escaping police pursuit, that was a move that only Burt Reynolds could have pulled off.  Burt made it look easy.

Burt started off the 80s with one of his best films, Sharky’s Machine.  Unfortunately, the rest of decade saw his career in decline.  No longer getting good scripts and starting to show signs if the ill health that would plague him for the rest of his life, Reynolds became better known for his sometimes messy personal life than his films.  Reynolds eventually returned to television, winning an Emmy, in 1992, for starring in the sitcom Evening Shade.

In the 90s, Reynolds struggled to transition into character parts.  A new generation, including myself, first discovered him when he co-starred in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.  Reynolds gave one of his best performances as porn director, Jack Horner.  Reynolds invested Horner with what can only be called a wounded dignity.  When Dirk Diggler abandoned him, the betrayal felt as real as Horner’s angery when he was eventually reduced to filming sleazy limo ride hook-ups on video tape instead of his beloved film.  Reynolds received his first and only Oscar nomination for the role of Jack Horner.

Sadly, Reynolds’s poor health kept him from capitalizing on his comeback and he was soon back to appearing in small roles in films that weren’t worthy of his talents.  Quentin Tarantino cast him as George Spahn in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood but Reynolds passed away before filming his scenes.  His final film appearance was as the lead character in the fittingly titled The Last Movie Star.

Burt Reynolds may be gone but his films live on.  Burt may have said he wasn’t a good actor but we all know better.  The outpouring of grief at the news of his death is proof that Burt Reynolds was more than just a movie star.  He was an American icon.

Burt Reynolds, R.I.P.

TV Series Review: Ghoul


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Cast:

  • Radhika Apte as Nida Rahim
  • Manav Kaul as Colonel Sunil Dacunha
  • S. M. Zaheer as Shahnawaz Rahim
  • Ratnabali Bhattacharjee as Lieutenant Laxmi Das
  • Mahesh Balraj as Ali Saeed
  • Mallhar Goenka as Babloo
  • Rohit Pathak as Captain Lamba
  • Robin Das as Maulvi (Muslim Cleric)

Plot:

Based in the Arabic folklore of the ghoul, a monster who can eat the flesh of another and take on its likeness. Set in a dystopian future where everything taught against the ruling class is punishable by any means necessary, Nida’s (Apte) father (Zaheer) is captured for just those crimes. Sentenced to a prison where the only possible outcome is death. Years later, Nida, after being recruited by a special force, is sent as a new recruit to that same prison as a guard and interrogator, only to find it has much darker secrets.

 

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Quotes:

“Strike the deal with your blood….. and out of the smokeless fire…. The Ghul will come….”

“The near future. The country has changed. Sectarian violence has reached crisis point. Secret detention centers are established. A military clampdown is in effect.”

“You will not know its presence…. As it takes to your group…. Awake or asleep, The nightmares will begin…”

“Finish the task… Reveal their guilt… Eat their flesh…”

Review:

This, honestly, was one of the most intense, terrifying and horrific TV series I have ever watched. It seriously is not for the faint of heart. However, it also is one of the best written, acted and directed horror series I have seen in a long time. If you get a bit squeamish at intense horror, this might not be the series for you, but if you do love to be scared and on the edge of your seat for two and a half hours, this is the one for you.

Trailer:

Where can you watch?

The three part terrifying series is streaming on Netflix now.

 

Confessions of a TV Addict #10: Neil Simons’ Greatest Hit THE ODD COUPLE Will Endure


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When Neil Simon passed away this weekend at age 91, the world lost one of the 20th Century’s greatest comedy minds. Simon got his start writing for radio along with brother Danny Simon, and the pair soon moved into the then-new medium of television, hired by producer Max Leibman for the staff of YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, and Howard Morris. This seminal variety show ran from 1950-54 and featured the talented comedy minds of writers Mel Brooks , Selma Diamond, Mel Tolkin, and Reiner on its staff. The Simons siblings moved to Caesar’s next venture CAESAR’S HOUR (1954-56) along with most of the writing staff, joined by newcomers Larry Gelbart and Aaron Ruben .

The Simons joined the staff of THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW (1955-59) for its final season, chronicling the escapades of con artist Sgt. Bilko. During this time, Neil began working…

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