Tempting Television: Two New Hard-To-Resist Shows

spoilerAlert

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

Join me in indulging my Daryl Dixon addiction

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When you love entertainment as much as I do, you sometimes get to a point where you want to drown yourself in it. That sounds hyperbolic, but it’s also sort of true. I get that way around award season or after a particularly explosive season/series finale—case in point, last month’s horrific Walking Dead cliffhanger. I got sucked down a vortex of theory discussions and YouTube clips, which led me to watching one too many supercuts of Norman Reedus being absolutely hilarious (and adorable) when not in character as our favorite crossbow-wielding badass. (Does this sound tempting to you? Enjoy.) Needless to say, my crush on Norman came bubbling to the surface once again, knocking the other boys out of the playground for a while.

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You’d think that was how I stumbled across this upcoming event showcasing said badass, but it was actually a happy coincidence that came as the result of a job application and some brief research. I won’t bore you with details, but it was some very random luck indeed that led me to the announcement of Norman’s appearance at the 5th annual Montclair Film Festival. My only concerns were what day  of the week it was (Saturday) and how much tickets cost (next to nothing). Talk about lucky. After determining that the place was within driving distance—TAKE MY MONEY. In fact, I did something I’ve never done before: whipped out my credit card and immediately bought two tickets, with no hesitation or thought as to who might go with me. Continue reading

“No Sanctuary” on The Walking Dead

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As I write this, I’m still reeling from the bloodbath that was Sunday night’s season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead, aptly titled “No Sanctuary.” I think I broke the replay button on my TiVo remote. Instead of wildly gushing about the whole thing (tempting), I’ll just break it down into the five moments that had me bouncing up and down on my couch.

[SPOILER ALERT]

… for any Dead fans who aren’t caught up—but seriously, get on it. Continue reading

I finally broke Bad … bitch!

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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