Tempting Television: Two New Hard-To-Resist Shows

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FOR THE FOLLOWING SHOWS

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They had me at Tom Hiddleston. When I first started seeing previews for this show during Walking Dead viewings, I knew I’d have to give it a shot. Hiddles has been one of my biggest celebrity crushes ever since my MARVEL crash course (“The Avengers”) when Loki became one of the best villains I’ve ever seen grace the silver screen. He’s incredibly charming, charismatic, and cuuuute.

More and more movie stars are recognizing television’s slow evolution as a great opportunity to dive more in-depth into a story and a character, giving themselves over the nuance and intricacy that a long-term commitment allows. Tom disappeared completely into his role of Jonathan Pine (who, in turn, disappeared completely into his role of Andrew Birch). Would I have enjoyed the show as much had a different actor played the part? Probably not.

The Night Manager mini-series—six episodes—was layer upon layer of mystery and deceit. However, I think it lost its footing while establishing too much of a backstory and not enough of a climax. Richard Roper, played with enigmatic ambiguity by Hugh Laurie, was described as being “the worst man in the world” and I think the hype made the reality fall incredibly flat. He never seemed particularly dangerous. He just watched bad things happen and had other people do his dirty work. What real threat did he pose, in the grand scheme of things? And his ultimate downfall seemed far too convenient and, despite some impressive fireballs, not nearly explosive enough. The victory somehow just didn’t taste as sweet as the characters made it out to be. (Or maybe I’ve just become far too critical of TV shows lately.)

I’d still recommend it, particularly for anyone who is a fan of either of the leads or enjoys a good spy story. This series aired exclusively on AMC Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. from April 19 to May 24. You can catch up on AMC.com. Continue reading

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Best Bad Boys of TV | Vol. 2

Just in case you missed my last PSA, let’s refresh:

You gotta love a good bad boy. That quintessential television character always seems two-dimensional on the page until they get fleshed out into living, breathing, brooding boys who don’t want your heart but you’re still compelled to yank it from your chest and give it to them anyway. It’s up to the actors who play them to let their softer side show through just enough to make you love/hate them and look forward to the next time they grace your screen. I shuffled through my long list of favorite shows in my head and realized that almost every single one had one of those leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding, look-me-in-the-eyes-and-swoon kind of guys. So this topic is going to be broken into segments and we’re going to explore it over the next couple PSAs. (Because I said so.)

Last time, I covered characters from AMC’s megahit The Walking Dead, as well as ‘90s classic Boy Meets World and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.

Next up:

Jesse Pinkman | Breaking Bad
Played by
Aaron Paul

Jesse

Jesse broke bad alright, the very instant he decided to let Walter White sweep him up in a blue haze of thug deals and crystal meth production. A drug-dealing addict, Jesse was kind of a low life to begin with and Walt didn’t exactly help matters much—instead, he turned him into a murderer. While his literal partner-in-crime had next to no redeeming qualities by the end of AMC’s smash hit series, at least Jesse had the decency to show remorse and a desire to leave the biz in his rearview mirror—leaving me cheering when he finally did. Continue reading

I finally broke Bad … bitch!

BreakingBad

Let me preface this by saying: I binged. I binged hard. I devoured five seasons, all 62 episodes, in precisely 10 days—and that’s with a full-time job, mind you. (I ❤ Netflix.)

Today is Monday, September 29, 2014. It just so happens that Sunday, September 29, 2013 was the day that the kingpin of cable dramas, “Breaking Bad,” drew to a final close. Writing about my experience with the show feels particularly poetic today.

For those of you who have not yet dabbled in Walter White’s descent into the seedy underworld of crystal meth production, please go directly to your nearest Netflix. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $2M.  Continue reading

65th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations

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Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and this year’s host, Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), did the honors of announcing who would be in the running for television glory in the wee morning hours—5:40 a.m. to be exact—today. And the (acting) nominees are… Continue reading