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Entries in TV (327)

Tuesday
Jun162015

YNMS: From Mt. Everest to Jarden, Texas (Pop: 9,261)

We've been falling behind with current trailers. So here are a few key future favorites (or not) that we missed talking about. Do these promos sell you on their movies / seasons respectively?

YNMS notes and trailers follow after the jump for the all-star thriller Everest, the action spy comedy The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the potential Oscar player Bridge of Spies and HBO's The Leftovers Season 2.

But let's start on the mountaintops with...EVEREST

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Monday
Jun152015

Review: Sense8, season 1

Tim here. We've had a little more than a week now to play around with the new Netflix series Sense8, which has hopefully been enough time for everybody to process it. For myself, I'm still working on that: it's a whole lot of show, frequently not to its benefit. But it dreams no little dreams.

The show is the brainchild of J. Michael Straczynski, whose Babylon 5 largely created the "pre-planned serialized television" in the 1990s, and siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski, of The Matrix and its many attempted follow-ups, all of which have been met with widespread derision and a small but freakishly adoring cult. In the interest of full disclosure, I should confess that I'm part of that cult. I even really liked Jupiter Ascending. So feel free to not trust anything I have to say about anything ever again.

Straczynski's achingly earnest liberal humanism blends seamlessly into with the pie-eyed optimism and sincerity of the Wachowskis' post-Matrix work, especially the swooning globalist poetics of Cloud Atlas. The result is a show that wears its politics and its sentiment right out in the open, with actors navigating big mouthfuls of dialogue that sound like an op-ed first, a stoned philosophy student's stream-of-consciousness second, and things that human beings would ever say out loud to other human beings third (another legacy of Babylon 5. I'm not even entirely sure I mean that as a complaint. Artlessness born out of sincere passion is a very different thing than a simple lack of talent. It's charming, albeit in a shaggy way.

More...

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Saturday
Jun132015

FYC: Amy Schumer for Best Actress, Comedy

Members of Team Experience were asked to share personal dream picks for this year's impending Emmy nominations. Here's Jose...

Amy Schumer often gets credit for her ingenious writing, larger than life personality and her lack of fear when it comes to addressing controversial topics like the media’s obsession with youth, the importance of the female orgasm and Bill Cosby. However, like most stand up comedians, she rarely is commended for her acting on the assumption that she’s playing herself. And yet, in just a handful of episodes during the third season of "Inside Amy Schumer "she has played everything from clueless spouses, to child beauty queens and even a black & white heroine.

She was recently rewarded with the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy, and if the Emmys dare to break out of their rut of picking perennial faves, they would do much good including her in a lineup with more established actresses:  her timing is as flawless as Julia Louis Dreyfuss’ Selina Meyer, her lack of vanity is akin to Lisa Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish, and her idealism (while slightly more infused with cynicism) makes her as strong a role model as Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope. For someone who’s always playing self conscious characters, it’s astonishing to see how self aware and controlled Schumer can be as a performer. And unless she has multiple personality disorder, she's not just playing herself.

Thursday
Jun112015

FYC: Ruth Wilson for Best Lead Actress, Drama

Each member of Team Experience was asked to celebrate a dream pick for the Emmys. Here's Jose...

At first, Ruth Wilson’s Alison Bailey in The Affair seems to be the kind of person you'd never really notice. And yet for some strange reason we, like the male lead (played by Dominic West) are immediately drawn to her, perhaps because of how she seems careless and worried at the same time, or perhaps because of her effortless beauty which she seems to carry with shame, as if she’s concealing something. Whatever the reason, Alison owes her appeal to the magic of Wilson who in less than a year had a two-punch breakout success with this show (for which she won the Golden Globe) and her Tony nominated Broadway turn in Constellations.

Wilson is a two time Olivier Award winner so her breathtaking ease onstage was no surprise to people who knew her work in the West End, audiences on our side of the pond however were given the opportunity to discover a fresh new face that Hollywood had been using for silly or underchallenging supporting roles in films like The Lone Ranger and Saving Mr Banks. What remains most surprising about Wilson is that without any physical transformation she makes you truly believe she is the two very different women she's playing in The Affair and Constellations.

The same is true even within The Affair, which often repeats events from two sides (a "he said/she said" kind of thing) so Wilson has to approach each scene in a two different ways. When the events are seen through Alison's perspective they carry an aura of both helplessness and tenacity in the face of adversity, but those same moments seen through the eys of her lover, sometimes practically turn her into a femme fatale.

Whichever version of events you believe, trust this: We are only starting to discover what Wilson can do.

Tuesday
Jun092015

Cara Seymour on Playing Sister Harriet in "The Knick"

Cara Seymour (Adaptation, American Psycho, The Savages) is Guest Blogging all day today! - Editor
 

-by Cara Seymour

Getting to work on "The Knick" has been one of the greatest experiences of my career. I screamed with joy when I got the part and I'm not a big screamer of joy.  Amazing director, talented and really fun cast and all round impeccable team of super talented people in every department.  I'm madly appreciative of this.

Michael Begler, Jack Amiel and Steve Katz wrote this extraordinary character of Sister Harriet - she leapt off the page. But I wanted to know more about nuns in 1900 when The Knick takes place, so I ordered nun books.

"Through the Narrow Gate,"  by Karen Armstrong was an unflinching account of her life as a nun in a convent pre Vatican II -- read every word of that!

Didn't read them all from cover to cover. Not quite that crazy!

(more on The Knick after the jump)

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Monday
Jun082015

FYC: "Jane the Virgin" For Best Comedy Series

Team Experience shares their preferred picks in top Emmy categories as voters ready their ballots. Here's Denny...

Jane the Virgin shouldn't work. But it does, in every way, in every episode. Based on a Venezuelan telenovela, the show tells the story of Jane (luminous Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez), a straight-A college student working at a posh Miami hotel as she completes her degree in Education, who gets accidentally artificially inseminated.

Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman pulled off a miracle with Jane's first season. There is not a single bad episode. NOT. ONE. And that feat is even more impressive when you consider what a high-wire act each episode of Jane is: Each episode juggles an ever-expanding cast of major characters, multiple flashbacks, in-show telenovelas, fantasy and/or dream sequences, one character (Jane's abuela Alba) who speaks exclusively in subtitled Spanish, and a third-person omniscent narrator who has become a character in his own right.

Oh yeah, and onscreen text, including the only onscreen twitter hashtags that are not only usable but laugh-loud funny. AND real-world issues that surround the show's beautifully-written Latina/o characters

All of this may sound like too much, but somehow it isn't. There's a lightness of touch here missing from most TV comedies - heck, most TV shows PERIOD. The show is able to earn copious amounts of tears while still remaining one of the funniest shows on TV, thanks in equal part to the remarkably assured writing, the tremendous performances (#emmyforrogelio), and the smart direction on display.

While it's true that Emmy hasn't noticed anything on The CW before, honoring Jane the Virgin with a nomination for Best Comedy Series would not only add diversity to the usually lily-white category, it would add credibility. It would show that Emmy voters not only care about quality, but that they don't care where they find it.

P.S. Two brilliant FYC ads if you haven't seen them after the jump...

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