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Season 7 to End HBO’s True Blood

September 3, 2013
Photo courtesy of HBO.

Photo courtesy of HBO.

In shocking, but not-so-shocking news, HBO announced today that the upcoming seventh season of True Blood will be its last. Once red-hot, the show dipped in rating during its sixth season. Interestingly enough, the fifth season was the least-exciting creatively. The sixth seemed to recapture a lot of the fun of the original season.

True Blood has been nothing short of a defining show for HBO,”  said HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo in a statement. “Alan Ball took the books by Charlaine Harris, assembled a brilliant cast led by the magnificent Anna Paquin in the role of Sookie Stackhouse, and crafted a show that has taken its many devoted fans on an unforgettable journey. Alan passed the baton to Brian Buckner, who led our fantastic writers and crew in crafting a spectacular sixth season, and he will lead us through the seventh and final season of this amazing show. Together with its legions of fans, it will be hard to say goodbye to the residents of Bon Temps, but I look forward to what promises to be a fantastic final chapter of this incredible show.”

True Blood‘s 10-episode farewell season will premiere in summer 2014.

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

First Look: Homeland, Season 3

August 9, 2013

the-first-teaser-trailer-for-homeland-season-3-is-just-a-confusing-black-screen

Showtime’s reigning KIng is back. Homeland, season 3 returns Sunday, September 29th at 9PM EST. They just released a moody trailer with very few words, save for, “I am so sorry,” from Saul (Emmy nominee Mandy Patinkin). We see the devastation left over from the bombing that took place in last season’s finale, which looks like it’s being treated similar to 9/11. Emmy nominee Claire Danes gets in at least one good ugly cry at the end, Emmy nominee Morena Baccarin will be dealing with her family imploding (again) and Morgan Saylor (Dana) will be taking naughty pictures of herself and praying on her dad’s prayer rug. Oh, and Brady (Emmy nominee Damian Lewis) himself, appears a couple of times, a beaten and broken man, with a shaved head no less. Looks like we have another winner on our hands.

 

First Look: Full Trailer for The Walking Dead, Season 4

July 19, 2013
Photo courtesy of AMC.

Photo courtesy of AMC.

Thank you Comic Con. AMC and The Walking Dead came with a full-on attack – no teasing – with a 4+ minute trailer for season 4. What do we get? Lot of walkers. Hundreds of them. Hershel (Scott Wilson) speaking wisdom, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) being sane again, Tyrese (Chad Coleman) going through some things, plenty of zombies attacking from all sides and so much more. The new 16-episode season debuts on October 13 for eight episodes and then returns in February for the remainder. I. Can’t. Wait.

 

 

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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First Look: Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela

July 18, 2013
Elba as Mandela. Photo courtesy of TWC.

Elba as Mandela. Photo courtesy of TWC.

Today, in celebration of Nelson Mandela‘s 95th birthday, The Weinstein Company released the first full-length trailer for Idris Elba‘s Oscar hopeful, Madela: Long Walk to Freedom. The take-aways:

- He may not look like Nelson Mandela, but Elba is a strong actor finally getting a chance at a meaty theatrical role.

- As the US continues to struggle with race relations – and the clear division perceptions about race can cause – it is good to remind us of how race has dominated headline around the world for decades.

- The Weinstein Company has a lot of contenders for this year’s Oscar race. Elba just officially threw his hat into the ring as well.

The film opens in the US on November 29.

 

 

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

Emmys 2013: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

June 25, 2013
Clockwise from top left: Carly Chaikin, Toks Olagundoye, Cheryl Hines, Casey WIlson, Ana Gasteyer, Elisha Cuthbert, Allie Grant, Eliza Coupe

Clockwise from top left: Carly Chaikin, Toks Olagundoye, Cheryl Hines, Casey WIlson, Ana Gasteyer, Elisha Cuthbert, Allie Grant, Eliza Coupe

Ahhh, Emmy season is here. And as a fan of the medium of television, I get excited. I normally create extended lists, with viable candidates for each award and my picks for the top six. But, this year, I am going a different route. I have clear-cut favorites in multiple categories, so I am going to go ahead and tell you who should win. Now, if you have ever read any of my TV-related posts, you know that I tend to like shows that America doesn’t. So, most of these people will have to work to even get a nomination, much less a win. But that’s on them. I’m bestowing the sofa award on them. It doesn’t provide as significant a career boost, nor come with a trophy for their mantle, but recipients know it comes from love.

Up next, the sofa award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

I immediately thought of the Community girls: Alison Brie Yvette Nicole Brown and Gillian Jacobs. Truth be told, they pretty much cancel each other out. All superb, all integral parts of the delicate Community collective. Then I thought about other ensembles, like The Big Bang Theory, and realized that while Mayim Bialik picked up a nomination last year, we shouldn’t be holding our breaths for the academy to decide that Big Bang is the kind of show that generates multiple award nominees, even if Melissa Rauch and Kaley Cuoco do good work. Let’s see… who else? Anna Chlumsky or Sufe Bradshaw from Veep? Anna Deveare Smith from Nurse Jackie? Her co-star (and last year nominee/sofa icon Merritt Wever? I don’t watch Girls or Modern Family, so sorry; they weren’t even in consideration. Jane Krakowski (30 Rock) was, but I don’t think she will win. Neither will Julie White (the best thing about Go On). Nor Busy Philipps (Cougar Town).

Who does that leave? The supporting cast of Suburgatory, which is superb. Carly Chaiken is hilarious week after week with her deadpan delivery of every line. Laugh out loud funny, I’m telling you. Ana Gasteyer, Cheryl Hines, Allie Grant – they’re all fabulous. Seriously, one of the funniest shows on TV. But then there’s the cast of the dearly departed Happy Endings. Elisha Cuthbert, Eliza Coupe and Casey Wilson make up the funniest trifecta on TV since Rachel, Monica and Phoebe. Hands down. And then, there’s the dark horse. Toks Olagundoye from The Neighbors, who I have repeatedly told you, scored the absolute funniest moment of the past year when she donned that gold lamé dress and adopted a Jersey accent for dinner out with her new (human) neighbor and her Jersey housewife friends. It was one of those career-starting episodes that should trigger a switch with every studio head in Hollywood to start sending comedy scripts Olagundoye’s way. Wow, that’s eight options right there. And while each and every one made me stand up and take notice, it was Olagundoye who really stood out. Seriously, if she submits the “Things Just Got Real” episode and voters pay attention and ABC makes a concerted effort, it could work. She’s the one. Congratulations.

As an afterthought: I would be incorrect to imply that Olagundoye was only good in that one episode. She was strong all season.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

Emmys 2013: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

June 21, 2013
Clockwise from top left: Bellamy Young (Scandal), Monica Potter (Parenthood), Jessica Capshaw & Sara Ramirez (Grey's Anatomy), Chandra Wilson & Sandra OH (Grey's Anatomy), Melissa Leo (Treme), Kim Dickens (Treme)

Clockwise from top left: Bellamy Young (Scandal), Monica Potter (Parenthood), Jessica Capshaw & Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy), Chandra Wilson & Sandra OH (Grey’s Anatomy), Melissa Leo (Treme), Kim Dickens (Treme)

Ahhh, Emmy season is here. And as a fan of the medium of television, I get excited. I normally create extended lists, with viable candidates for each award and my picks for the top six. But, this year, I am going a different route. I have clear-cut favorites in multiple categories, so I am going to go ahead and tell you who should win. Now, if you have ever read any of my TV-related posts, you know that I tend to like shows that America doesn’t. So, most of these people will have to work to even get a nomination, much less a win. But that’s on them. I’m bestowing the sofa award on them. It doesn’t provide as significant a career boost, nor come with a trophy for their mantle, but recipients know it comes from love.

Up next, the sofa award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.

This one is a no-brainer. In their abbreviated fourth season, the writers of Parenthood gave us a story that pulled the on-the-brink-of-cancellation family drama off the bubble and placed it in a face off against the red-hot Scandal next season. What happened? Monica Potter is what happened. After giving her character – the stiff, often hard, Kristina Braverman – cancer, the writers wrote the right words and Potter more than brought the emotion. Sometimes entertainment can hit too close to home and unnerve viewers. In this instance, Potter’s portrayal hit so close to home that cancer survivors and their families watched with Kleenex boxes at the ready. Each scene was rawer than the last and Potter peeled back layer after layer, leaving Kristina one of the most complicated characters on television. The steeliness that had turned away viewers before? Her mother didn’t even come to check on her, leaving her daughter to deal with this tragedy without her family. Yes, she had mother-in-law Camille, but when you’re sick you want your mom. The super mom who fights so valiantly for her children (especially the Asperger syndrome-affected Max) had to use that fight for herself, and it came across, when she found herself barely able to crawl out of the bathroom, covered in vomit and sweat, looking every bit the cancer patient. It was powerful. Potter laid it on the line and deserves not only a nomination, but a win and standing ovation when she does.

(I’ve posted this one before, but it’s the best representation Youtube has of what Potter did this season; someone needs to put together a highlight reel of the storyline.)

Because the category gets six nominations, others who should be considered include: the great Dame Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), my beloved Regina King (Southland), Hayden Panettiere (Nashville), Rose Byrne (Damages), Mae Whitman (Parenthood), Erika Christensen (Parenthood), Morena Baccarin (Homeland), Annet Mahendru (The Americans), Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy), Bellamy Young (Scandal), Jessica Capshaw (Grey’s Anatomy), Kim Dickens (Treme), Melissa Leo (Treme), Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy), Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy)

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

Emmys 2013: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

June 20, 2013
Clockwise from top: Daman Wayans, Jr., Danny Pudi & Donald Glover, Adam Pally, Timothy Simmons & Tony Hale. Photos courtesy f ABC, NBC and BHB

Clockwise from top: Daman Wayans, Jr., Danny Pudi & Donald Glover, Adam Pally, Timothy Simmons & Tony Hale. Photos courtesy of ABC, NBC and HBO

Ahhh, Emmy season is here. And as a fan of the medium of television, I get excited. I normally create extended lists, with viable candidates for each award and my picks for the top six. But, this year, I am going a different route. I have clear-cut favorites in multiple categories, so I am going to go ahead and tell you who should win. Now, if you have ever read any of my TV-related posts, you know that I tend to like shows that America doesn’t. So, most of these people will have to work to even get a nomination, much less a win. But that’s on them. I’m bestowing the sofa award on them. It doesn’t provide as significant a career boost, nor come with a trophy for their mantle, but recipients know it comes from love.

Up first, the sofa award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

Well, the Emmys will reserve four of the slots for the guys in the Modern Family cast. Since I am not a fan, I didn’t consider any of them. Nor did I consider the guy from Girls, who seems to be getting decent traction. I hate the show. Sorry. I do love Veep and considered both Tony Hale (Gary) and Timothy Simmons (Jonah), but couldn’t really say either of them did a better job than Matt Walsh (Mike) or Reid Scott (Dan). That cast is pretty evenly-keeled (and quite good, let’s all acknowledge). So then I turned back to network TV. Parks & Recreation‘s Nick Offerman (Ron) is always a viable candidate who doesn’t get a nomination, but this year, while strong, wasn’t as strong as years he’s been ignored. Last year’s nominee, Max Greenfield (Schmidt), from New Girl? He’s strong; would be on my ballot, but I think, for me, it comes down to the ensemble casts from Happy Endings or Community.

Community had a weaker year than usual, with the removal of creator and showrunner Dan Harmon. Happy Ending was canceled. The Freaky Friday episode of Community, where Danny Pudi and Donald Glover changed places was spot-on. Both gave strong performances. But who can tell me Adam Pally and Damon Wayans, Jr. as a fake-gay-interracial couple weren’t hilarious? Hmmm… who to pick? Who to pick? A true challenge. Glover. Pally. Glover? Pally? Glover-as-Pudi was pretty impressive. Plus, he raps. And has a nice chest. Pally breaks every stereotype about a gay man on TV ever. He’s the slobbiest, hottest mess out there. [hahaha you see how I'm making up my mind in real time?] Well, neither will get a nomination. But, I am going to go with…

Adam Pally. I think I tipped in his favor because he had more moments to shine this season than Glover. The tennis match. The Mr. Gay Gay Chicago Pageant. The food truck war. The aforementioned gay wedding expo. Max was front and center in those. Good job, Adam Pally. Your show was cancelled, but you will live on in infamy.

[Ed. note: To be fair, I could have used this clip for Wayans as well. Or Eliza Coupe or Elisha Cuthbert. Hilarious. This show will be missed.]

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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