Tag Archives: Showtime

Winter TV Landscape Full This Month

Coming on the heels of the end of season two of Showtime’s Homeland, I’m relieved and excited that there’s so much great television commencing this month. It is a new year and winter after all, a time for hibernation and of course television watching, not that I need any other motivation than my own viewing pleasure. Still, the new and returning shows are as welcome as a rich cup of hot chocolate.

After watching episodes of season two of Downton Abbey, I’m more than ready for the beginning of seven weeks of new episodes as season three kicks off this Sunday at 9:00 p.m. on PBS. There’s so many story lines to explore and there’s also the addition of Shirley MacLaine to the amazing cast of characters…a shout out to Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith.

Already enjoyed a new episode of Parenthood on New Year’s Day and ABC’s Nashville returns with new episodes on Wednesday. ABC re-aired the pilot of the show last night and CMT hosts a marathon of the drama on Sunday, January 6 at 2 p.m. ET/PT. My sense is that the show’s ratings have gone down since the pilot and I have lost a bit of my initial passion for the show but I’m going to hang in there because I love the city of Nashville and for the music and for the amazing performances of the two leads — Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.

One of the promising new pilots, Deception, finally makes NBC’s airwaves on  Monday  and the highly anticipated drama The Following comes to Fox on January 21. Showtime’s Californication is back on January 13.

On the Case with Paula Zahn already began its new season on Discovery ID and True Crime with Aphrodite Jones begins on Monday at 10:00 p.m. The fourth season of Justified begins on FX on Tuesday, January 8. Timothy Olyphant, what more do I need to say? Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). I totally missed season three so would prefer to catch up before I tune in to the new season, which will feature Patton Oswalt and Ron Eldard.

What more could you want?

 

 

 

 

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HOMELAND SEASON FINALE LITERALLY EXPLODED WITH POSSIBILITIES AND ACTION

Okay…I was lulled into a false sense of security on Showtime’s Homeland…as if the ongoing terrorist threat was lessened to such a degree that it no longer mattered. Brody (Damian Lewis) and Carrie (Claire Daines)  together, that’s what mattered. And then…POW! There it was the explosion the carnage and chaos. And only Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Carrie are left to investigate…oh and the highly watchable Quinn (Rupert Friend) !!! I don’t believe that Brody is responsible for the bomb but is being set up by Nazir’s “people” to be the scapegoat, and a very believable one at that. A third season is already ordered so Carrie will work to clear Brody’s name…with Saul, I guess. But if the show had ended, I would have been satisfied with Carrie and Brody walking off in the sunset. But since that isn’t the way it’s going to be…YET, I can see future storylines examining who the hell is Saul…REALLY! Could there be any sparks between Quinn and Carrie…hey, I’m just thinking. He respects her CIA abilities and I think he likes and trusts her, too, And what will Brody be doing in Canada, investigating on his own?

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HOMELAND Second Season Is Soooo GOOD and a Third Season is Secure

One of my favorite new shows last season, Showtimes’ Homeland just keeps getting better and better! Not only does it pick up where it left off, but within the first two episodes Carrie (Claire Daines) is redeemed and all her colleagues know she was right all along!!! Of course we knew it, too, and the season finale last year was well done but very hard to take for those of us who had to watch her meltdown and unfair treatment while still knowing she knew what was going on with Brody (Damian Lewis). Now finally Brody is brought in for questioning and it’s his life that seems to be unraveling both professionally and personally. This is GREAT television, a compelling and suspenseful drama and a show I look forward to watching. If you haven’t watched it yet…rent the first season DVD and get on board. It doesn’t get a lot better than this! It’s a much grittier, darker drama than USA’s Covert Affairs…and Carrie is such a complex, layered character and one we can all root for to succeed.

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See First Season of Homeland, The Emmy Winner for Outstanding Drama Series

As Homeland gears up for its second season, which begins on Sunday, September 30, Showtime will air the entire first season on Saturday, September 29. I watched the first season marathon style over a weekend but even if you don’t have that kind of time, definitely tape it and watch it when you can because it’s a powerful, gripping drama.

This past Sunday Homeland won big at the Emmy Awards, with honors to lead actors Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, the writers and the big one — Outstanding Drama series. All well deserved and definitely the show to finally knock Mad Men off its long standing lock on this category. Don’t get me wrong. I love Mad Men and last season was one of its strongest. I also really hoped that Jon Hamm would win the best acting honor that has eluded him…. but he didn’t and now he’ll have to wait another year. I’m glad that if it didn’t go to Hamm that it went to Lewis who’s great in the role. It’s also great to see Showtime in this category, too. I’ve watched the network for years with The Tudors, Dexter, The Big C andEpisodes, and they’ve definitely made inroads into HBO’s monoply on dramas and comdies being nominated for an Emmy, as host Jimmy Kimmel noted.

 

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Odds-n-Ends — Big Love, Californication and The Good Wife.

Ok…first off I have been very sick for a long time…but I’ve also been a couch potato too and watching lots of television. Let me say that watching the Sex in the City reruns, even on E, which butchers them and bleeps the curse words out…that show still holds up…is so well written and was always about the relationship between friends.

Speaking of sisterhood. I’m still reeling from the series finale of HBO’s Big Love. While I kept thinking that Bill (Bill Paxton) was definitely going to be punished for his hubris but more for trying to make his lifestyle accepted in the state, to say it was a shock that he was killed by his neighbor is an understatement. But he paid the ultimate price for his faith…like Jesus dying on the cross? I don’t know if that symbolism was present for the writers or more of the suppressed anger and rage so many people have these days that they try to solve with a bullet. 

As much as I loved the show, it was inevitable that Bill would have to be brought down as much for his wanting to go public with their lifestyle as for trying to destroy the compound. What always interested me more though and what the show was really about was the relationship between the sister wives. And that’s what the creators left us with.three very different, and often flawed women who still love each other and will keep the family together.  Was it a satisfying payoff…I am still not sure but when the show ends with the wives together with their children in a send off to Margene (Gennifer Godwin), it seemed right that the “little girl” who has grown up went out to explore the world, while Barb (Jeanne Triplehorn became a  priest holder and the empowered woman she has always been and Nicki (Chole Sevigny, who will continue to act out and represent the wounds of the radical polygamist agenda. What she said to her daughter still haunts me and it’s that part of Nicki that is very hard for me to reconcile…in an era where sister wives are on a reality show and some appeared on Oprah polgamy has gone a bit more mainstream. And that’s what the show really pulled off was that as much as that lifestyle seems so strange to me, I was always drawn to the relationships between the women…how they dealt with marriage, sex while trying to grow and develop in their own right. That they definitely did…much more I think than Bill who ended up seeming much more naive and clinging to a way of life that no longer made as much sense to the members of his own family.

On to Showtime’s Californication’s season finale last night. As I’ve grown a little sick of Hank…even though he was afraid of the prospect of going to jail (funny that both he and Bill on Big Love were facing time for statutory rape)  it seems to have made no impact on him. Or maybe it will next season. But I am really tiring of the rampant sex…and him making the same mistakes over and over. Is it realistic, yes to some degree as we humans seem to do that…but as a writer I guess I assumed that he would be more reflective.

While Rob Lowe’s character has been hilarious…and the whole movie industry and Hollywood satirized to extreme…I am sick of sex being the way the characters communicate. Hank’s relationship with his daughter is the most rewarding to watch…always has been but it would seem that he would do anything to redeem himself in her eyes.  If he’s going after them as he drives into the sunset, the question I have is why is he always chasing them but when he has them in his grasp he always messes it up. It’s time for some tough love Hank and for you to grow up.

 The Good Wife revealed a zinger, too.  Of course I’m talking about Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). Early on in the CBS drama, I suspected that she knew something about Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), that there was some secret they shared but definitely didn’t suspect it was a sexual encounter. Guess a tryst should have crossed my mind since Kalinda uses her sexuality just like she uses people so what she really wants or who she really is has always been a bit up for grabs. But now maybe we will see the real Kalinda stand up and deal with Alicia (Julianna Margulies), someone who she seems to respect. So now we wait…hopefully not too long and please creators don’t make Alicia finding out part of the cliff hanger! But please do let her see another side of Will Gardner (Josh Charles) that may give her pause and fuel her realization that he may not be that different from her husband, after all. In the end, perhaps Alicia will let both go and just be on her own…the good wife no more.

 Looking forward to watching the new episode on Tuesday.

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Cali-fornication is Back with a BANG and more HANKY PANKY

Two episodes in and Showtime’s Californication feels fresh and is hitting its stride in its fourth season out as Hank Moody (David Duchovny) finds himself dealing with the ramifications of his secret (having sex with a 16 year old Mia) being out of the bag. He’s already in handcuffs, not for some naughty sex play but for him being arrested for statutory rape. Enter his lawyer, the always sexy Carla Gugino, who goes to bed, I mean to bat for him. Meanwhile homeless Hank who shacks up with Charlie (Evan Handler) and his now ex-wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon)  is asked to write the screenplay of the movie from the book that he actually wrote but Mia passed off as her own until the end of last season. 

So far, Hank’s already had sex with the actress (Addison Timlin) who wants to play Mia in the movie…and yes she does have some “nice boobies” and she does punch Hank in the face during the act as part of her Method acting approach… and Rob Lowe was featured in a hilarious spoof of an actor who’s handsome having to take on a grungy role to get some respect.  Yet through all this hanky panky, Hanky still pines for the love of his life Karen (Natascha McElhone) and their daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin). But even his attempt to buy Becca a wicked guitar goes awry as his credit card is declined. How much worse can his life get?

No matter what storylines executive producer and creator Tom Kapinos comes up with….and how raunchy the sexual content is…I love this show. Duchovny, during a panel at the recent winter TCA press tour, offered this reason for the appeal of his character of Hank Moody.

“I think there is a lot of, ‘will Hank will be Hank’ from both Karen and Becca.  I don’t think there’s any kind of moral outrage in our show.  I can’t think of any character that has ever evidenced any kind of moral outrage in our show it’s just not the world that we’re dealing in.  But in terms of likeability, that’s also something that I don’t think about as an actor when I approach a role.  But I’ve always thought, and I’ve talked about this with Tom from the beginning, that if this guy is likeable, what makes him likeable is that he’s honest, that he does not ‑‑ that he’s only had one secret the whole time and that’s the thing that happened with Mia that we deal with this year.  And other than that, he will speak the truth to his own detriment, and I think the wish-fulfillmentalso of the show, is that you can go through life and actually speak your mind and do it in an articulate fashion and with a really intelligent point of view.  So if he’s likeable, I think it’s because he is who he is in every situation that you find him in.”

The wicked skewering of Hollywood is always right on target and it’s great to see all the locations as the show is shot in Southern California.

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Golden Globes FUELED BY “Girl” Power In TV Noms

The Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Series, Drama included four of my favorite shows — The Good Wife, Dexter, Mad Men and The Walking Dead and also Boardwalk Empire.  The Big C and Nurse Jackie receiving nods in Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy was sticky sweet icing on the cake.  These two comedies along with The Good Wife feature strong female leads that are allowed to be real flesh and blood women with major flaws. And Juliana Margulies should definitely win the Golden Globe, as she should have won the Emmy.  That’s no bashing Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer or the other nominees but Margulies is doing some of the best work, if not the best, of her career on this smartly written CBS hit, one of the few shows that my mom and I both enjoy.  And Laura Linney, without a doubt, should win Best Actress for The Big C…her performance literally hit the bullseye and delivered on material that could have been less powerful in the wrong hands. The Big C is my pick for best comedy, too.

While Mad Men was a bit uneven this season, it’s still so compelling and moving and that’s due in large part to Jon Hamm’s performance. Even though Don Draper is man who I wouldn’t want to date, I still can’t take my eyes off Hamm and that’s not just because of his looks (or that we both have roots in St. Louis and the University of Missouri) but because he’s a great actor who can also dance and sing. What’s not to like? And Thomas Jane should also win for HBO’s Hung, as he gives one of the best performances with blue-collar grit of a true Midwestern man who’s sexy yet  rough around the edges. 

Idris Elba should definitely win for his work on the BBC America’s Luther but I was a bit surprised that Timothy Olyphant was shut out as I love his work on Justified, which I am eagerly awaiting the drama’s second season on FX.  Love Chris Noth so if he wins for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture for The Good Wife I’ll sleep ok, but Scott Caan is one of the best parts of Hawaii Five-O so if he wins that’s fine.

Julia Stiles is excellent on Dexter and although no one could be as provocative as John Lithgow was last season Dexter’s foil, her character has added a new and welcome layer for the drama.

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