Watch This: The Fosters Summer Premier Preview

The Fosters starts up for the summer on June 16. There will be new babies, new drama, new hair. Here’s a teaser for the premier episode.

I love that sigh Teri Polo makes over Mariana’s hair – it is the perfect mom of a teen sigh.

Review: Orphan Black, Governed By Sound Reason and True Religion

Episode 2 of season 2 of Orphan Black, “Governed by Sound Reason and True Religion,” launches a brand new day, to quote the new character Henrik. New plot lines, new characters, and new developments everywhere you look. I’m going to mention a few key points.

Mrs. S definitely knows how to use that gun
Mrs. S definitely knows how to use a gun

One of the more interesting developments in this episode is the expansion of Mrs. S’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) character. I’ve been eager to learn more about the mysterious Mrs. S, partly because Maria Doyle Kennedy is such a strong actor with a very strong persona and we haven’t seen behind the curtain on her very much. In this episode, we learn she can be a stone-cold killer and that she will do just about anything to protect Kira (Skyler Wexler). It’s also looking a bit like Mrs. S. might be Sarah’s monitor and that she has known about Sarah since her birth.

Skyler Wexler is a terrific choice as Sarah’s daughter. Physically she and Tatiana Maslany look enough alike to be convincing as mother and daughter. Skyler Wexler is as precocious as an actor as Kira is as a character. There’s something special about Kira, we don’t know what yet, but she has an unusual ability to see things and understand things.

The religious group called Prolethians seem in on the clone secret as well. Peter Outerbridge joins the cast as Henrik Johanssen, the leader of the Prolethians. Religious leadership aside, he’s also a stone-cold killer. Helena is snatched from her hospital bed and taken to the farm where the group lives. As she’s recovering from her wounds, we learn that the reason she survived the gunshot is that she is a mirror – all her organs are on the reverse side from that of her twin Sarah. Helena’s heart is on her right side, not her left.

Cosima joins Dyad where she gets her own lab. As she’s setting it up, she meets the clone Rachel for the first time. Rachel wants her to figure out why Sarah is different from the rest of the clones – meaning why Sarah can have children. Rachel seemed surprised to learn that Cosima is a lesbian. Her reaction to catching Cosima and Delphine in a kiss felt a bit off to me. She should have known already because she knows that Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) is Cosima’s monitor and how Delphine managed to get close to Cosima. This is one of the first off moments I’ve noticed in the writing of this series, unless it’s foreshadowing something about the clones that Rachel knows but none of the rest of us know.

Donnie, you shouldn't let your wife near your phone
Donnie, you shouldn’t let your wife near your phone

Allison finds out at Aynsley’s (Natalie Lisinska) funeral that her husband Donnie (Kristian Bruun) has been her monitor all along because she reads his text messages. This means she let Aynsley die a gruesome death by garbage disposal for no reason. Neither of these pieces of information are sitting well with Allison who is popping pills and downing drinks in a paroxysm of guilt. Methinks Donnie better be careful, too – like maybe he shouldn’t wear a scarf in the kitchen.

We learn about a program called Project Leda in this episode, which may be where all the clones originated. Sarah knows about it and apparently so does Mrs. S.

With Project Leda, the Prolethians, and the neolutionists from the Dyad Institute, we have three potential sources of danger for the clones. Are they all bad guys?

Let's get out of town
Let’s get out of town

Much of the episode is about Sarah’s search for Kira. By the end of the episode, Sarah manages to get Kira back, collect Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and make ready to run.

An interesting side note on the title of this episode. According to Entertainment Weekly, the title is a quote from Francis Bacon’s book The New Organon: Or, True Directions Concerning the Interpretation of Nature. The book, written in 1620, is an early reflection on nature, science and religion.

Cosmos: Pickerings Computers from “Sisters of the Sun”

The “Sisters of the Sun” episode of Cosmos featured stories about female scientists who helped us understand the composition and classification of stars.

Here’s a snippet to whet your interest.

The two women scientists are Cecilia Payne and Annie Jump Cannon. They are given voice in the full section of the episode by Kirsten Dunst and Marlee Matlin.

According to Wikipedia,

Cecilia Helena Payne-Gaposchkin was a British-American astronomer and astrophysicist who, in 1925, proposed in her Ph.D. thesis an explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium.

. . .

Annie Jump Cannon was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of contemporary stellar classification.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s delivery is so nonjudgemental on this series, but those raised eyebrows when he says, “Wonder why,” do speak loudly.

In case you have not been watching this marvelous series, you can see past episodes on cosmosontv.com.

The Brain Dump: Random Short Thoughts

A brain dump is one of those things I do when I have just a thought to share on something. It’s a random mess.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is so genial and agreeable on Cosmos. He states the science in the friendliest possible way. But, underneath his low-key style is the knowledge that he’s showing all the misguided fools who don’t believe in science the truth. It’s very effective.

The Bletchley Circle
The Bletchley Circle image © World Productions 2013

The Bletchley Circle from PBS is brilliant. I wish there were more than 4 episodes to a season. It captures the time and place with perfect clarity and the women are smart and courageous.

Divergent was good. Not as good as The Hunger Games, but good enough to create a new young female heroine and to guarantee that the next movie in the series will be well attended. Going out to see it was my birthday present to myself, and it was the perfect gift. It felt too long, but that was mostly because there were at least 30 minutes of previews of coming attractions before the film started. THAT was definitely too much.

20 Feet From Stardom is an absolute delight! Wonderful music, fascinating women with so much talent and who are so under appreciated. You must watch it.

Pink: The Truth About Love Tour – Live from Melbourne. Spectacular film! I’m glad I wasn’t there with all the yelling and screaming. I completely enjoyed seeeing it on film, however. A concert for elders via the TV! What a performance and what brilliant stunts and athletic feats. And, hey, I’d just watched 20 Feet From Stardom so I gotta tell you that I looked up Pink’s backup singers and learned their names.

Last night’s live concert in Nashville from the cast of Nashville was fabulous. Missed Connie Britton, but it was great to see these actors just sing. So much musical talent.

It’s my week for music, because I also watched The Punk Singer, a film about Kathleen Hanna. I’d heard of her but didn’t know much more than that she was associated with a women’s movement and made music. The film was my education into both Kathleen Hanna and the Riot Grrl movement. An inspiring woman and a great leader. I wish her well and hope her health continues to improve.

 

Joss Whedon Announces Direct Distribution to Viewers of In Your Eyes

Joss Whedon announced that the film In Your Eyes will be available to everyone worldwide for $5 via Vimeo. No waiting, no big bucks at the multiplex. Just watch the film whenever you want. When you rent the film, you get to use it for 72 hours.

The times, they are a changin’.

This is the announcement.

Watch the preview for the film.

See also: Vimeo Tries Out a New Video On Demand Idea.

Review: Orphan Black: Nature Under Constraint and Vexed

Season 2 of Orphan Black begins with “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed.” It’s a rip-roaring beginning to the new season. Every moment of the opening show was exciting, dangerous, tense, high-stakes, fast paced drama.

Watch a preview of the first episode.

I’m not going to recap the episode, just offer a few remarks. Spoilers ahead.

Tatiana Maslany has honed her performance to a more focused and nuanced rendition of each of her characters. Each of them is a distinct and unique woman.  She’s sharpened them and made them more themselves. Tatiana Maslany is amazing as these clones, simply amazing.

Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany
Tatiana Maslany and Tatiana Maslany

The monitors for the clones, particularly Cosima’s monitor Delphine (Evelyne Brochu) and Sarah’s former monitor Paul (Dylan Bruce) are walking double edged swords. Both seem to be cooperating with the enemy while trying to help their clones.

And who is the enemy? Is it Dr. Aldous Leekie (Matt Frewer) and his bioengineering firm? Or is it the clone Rachel Duncan – who gives orders to Dr. Leeki and everyone else? Or is it the religious group of Prolethians behind Helena who may be the ones who stole young Kira (Skyler Wexler) away?

And speaking of Helena, she makes a dramatic entrance in the last few seconds of the episode, trailing blood as she walks into a hospital and announces that her sister shot her. I’m really glad Helena is still around; she is fascinating and feral and vulnerable and terrifying.

Other interesting points in this episode include Sarah giving a measure of trust to Detective Art Bell (Kevin Hanchard), who is trying to help and protect her – maybe. Her decision to be honest with him will have future consequences. Felix (Jordan Gavaris) is still Sarah’s mainstay, even when he’s high and dressed in nothing but chaps. Alison is doing community theater and we see her in a song and dance routine. We don’t see anything of Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy) in this episode. Too bad, because she adds a degree of mystery to the plot. Making up for the missing Mrs. S, we do get a lot of Detective Angela Deangelis (Inga Cadranel) as compensation.

A powerful start for season 2. Every moment is electric.

Alison and Her Musical Muse

Enjoy this photo from Orphan Black, which refers to Alison’s community theater performance as well as to Felix’s 4 AM visit to Allison’s place in search of a gun for Sarah.

Polyamory and Lost Girl

Did you watch Half Pint: Emerald City Comic Con 2014 Report at Drinks at the Dal? In this interview, Zoie Palmer and Kris Holden-Ried from Lost Girl were on stage for about an hour answering questions. In response to one of the questions, Kris Holden-Ried commented that he liked the idea of polyamory for the characters.

The Wikipedia definition of polyamory is, “Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.”

The current state of polyamory on Lost Girl

Knowledge and consent are keywords in that definition as it relates to Lost Girl. From the first episode, Bo (Anna Silk) has had more than one intimate relationship, but it wasn’t always with the consent of everyone involved. For Lauren’s sake, Bo tried monogamy. When Bo couldn’t make it work, and Lauren couldn’t keep up the pace Bo needed, Lauren was forced to grant grudging consent to Bo having sex with others. At that time, Lauren put the caveat of “no wolf” on her consent.

Even that didn’t work. Lauren broke it off with Bo. Since then there has been some kissing and potential reunion between the two, but no actual sex. Lauren announces frequently that she loves Bo, even though they haven’t been a couple for a while. There’s was also some kissing with Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) but no actual sex. Meanwhile, Bo and Dyson have been going at it, as well as Bo and Rainer.

Early on, Dyson struggled with the idea of sharing/servicing Bo, but recently Dyson has been happy to be used by Bo for sex for any reason at all. And he doesn’t seem to mind the idea of Lauren doing the same thing.

Bo told Lauren and Dyson that she loves them both and cannot decide between them. Dyson has indicated an interest in Lauren – saying he would have trouble deciding, too – but Lauren is very clear about only being interested in Bo.

Polyamory in season 5

My prediction for season 5 is that Bo and Lauren will have some sex scenes again. Sex with Dyson will continue in season 5 as well.

But will there be a threesome with Bo, Lauren and Dyson? A lot of people are talking about this. When people mention polyamory and Lost Girl, they actually mean they want to see this threesome. If a cast member like Kris Holden-Ried mentions it at a comic con, you know there’s been discussion about it among the Lost Girl cast and creators.

Here’s what I’d like to see. I’d like for Bo to keep her relationships with Lauren and Dyson separate. She loves them both, she should be free to love them both in her unique succubus style. That’s okay. But individually.

Dyson and Lauren are emotionally important to her, they are not just sex partners. They bring different things to her, she gives different things to them. She should have them both, but not at the same time. This fits her personality and it would work better for Lauren as well. Dyson might be interested in a threesome, but I don’t think it would be good for Lauren. However, I think both Lauren and Dyson are at the point where consent for Bo to have them both makes sense to them, too. They are willing.

Okay, so back to the idea of threesomes or group sex. Not polyamorous relationships, but group sex.

We’ve seen Bo involved in threesomes – one with Ryan and the blonde hostess from the restaurant and one with a couple Bo picked up at the Dal. But we’ve never seen Bo in scenes of group sex where key cast members like Lauren or Dyson are involved.

I just said I don’t think there should be any of Bo, Lauren and Dyson together. But if we’re talking about principal cast members, I think Bo, Dyson and Tamsin would work. Tamsin and Dyson have been together recently, even as Tamsin was looking for excuses to plant big lip locks on Bo. These three might be okay together, and it could be made to serve the story.

I’m less sure about combinations like Bo, Lauren, and Tamsin, or even Bo, Lauren and Evony. Those groupings could get messy. The emotional ramifications might be a problem. The main drawback is how it might work for Lauren. A huge question for sexual combinations like these is how would it serve the the story and bring us closer to getting some of the answers we’re looking for in season 5.

I’m not against the idea of more group sex. It’s in keeping with who Bo is. In terms of what it might do to the story, I think putting Bo in situations where there is group sex should involve random characters in for just an episode or two. Leave the love, commitment, and emotion for Lauren and Dyson, bring on outsiders just for sex.

With Hale gone, I think there may be a new male regular added to the cast. If this happens, it could change everything.

Does it serve the story?

All that opinion about polyamory being spoken, do we really need further proof that this is what Bo is, what she needs? Don’t we already know? Does further evidence serve the story? We still have lingering questions from season 4 about Kenzi, about Bo’s father, about Bo as a the potential queen of the Fae. To me, the main question regarding Bo’s sex life is will it be Lauren, Dyson, or both?

What’s your opinion on polyamory in Lost Girl?

Watch This: Season 2 Trailer for OITNB

This makes me so happy! I love these people, I love these faces. “You an’ me, we goin’ be friends.”

Here’s the new season in 3 words from the cast.

The Baby Bump

Everyone has something to say about the way Scandal has tried to hide Kerry Washington’s pregancy. Here are a few of the articles on the topic:

There are more articles like that. That is one interesting baby bump. As you can see, the pundits have found many examples of ways the baby gets hidden.

The technique I’ve noticed on Scandal is the abundant use of close up head shots of Kerry Washington. In fact, there was a sex scene with Olivia and Jake (Scott Foley) a week or two back that was all head shots. I found it one of the more intimate and downright sexy sex scenes ever. Forget the rest of the anatomy, the future of sex is above the neck!

What's behind that file, Olivia?
What’s behind that file, Olivia?

Actually, Shonda Rhimes, there are more ideas you could use. As a public service, I wanted to point out a few ideas to you. These worked for Jennifer Beals on The L Word.

  • Carry two large paper grocery bags everywhere you go.
  • Spend time in the snow so large bulky coats are required.
  • Stand behind everyone else in the scene and peer through their heads at the action.
  • Stay behind the kitchen counter.
  • Put a pillow on your lap when you’re sitting down.
  • Prop yourself up in bed with a ton of pillows and bedding around you.
  • Stand with your back to the camera.

Here’s to all the future babies whose growth is hidden in creative ways from the television cameras. Here’s to the moms. May you all be healthy and happy.

Enjoy Every Second of Warehouse 13

I’ve loved Warehouse 13 since first I spied the steampunk version of a facetime phone that Artie uses to communicate. Every gadget and artifact in Warehouse 13 continues to enamor me. The premise of the show is that artifacts from the past – say Lewis Carroll’s looking glass or Alfred Hitchcock’s shower head – contain supernatural powers and must be stored in a warehouse for safekeeping. The artifacts are based on a shared cultural reality, but they cause effects that are twisted and bent. The cast runs all over the world trying to find and safeguard artifacts.

I love the creativity that goes into dreaming up what each artifact is and what it does – it’s sci fi at its very best. I’m fond of a lot of shows on the SyFy channel, but Warehouse 13 is a delight and will remain a favorite long after it departs.

It is in the process of departing. The final season of Warehouse 13 just got underway with six episodes. A long goodbye, or a short goodbye, depending on how you look at it. The final season features the regular cast battling a villain played by Anthony Steward Head. Could anything beat that?

Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelley and Allison Scagliotti
Four key cast members: Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly and Allison Scagliotti

The regulars in the cast include Eddie McClintock as Pete, Saul Rubinek as Artie, Joanne Kelly as Myka, Allison Scagliotti as Claudia, Aaron Ashmore as Steve, and CCH Pounder as Mrs. Frederic. Add to this core cast an imposing array of talented guest stars including Jaime Murray, Kate Mulgrew, Lindsay Wagner, James Marsters, Jeri Ryan, Judd Hirsch, Joe Morton, Dee Wallace and more and you have reached a level of sci fi nirvana. In fact, if someone has been on another sci fi show anywhere in the universe, they might show up in Warehouse 13.

Warehouse 13 is funny, especially Pete, but everyone gets in some good lines. The special effects are both awesome and delightful. The plots are always just a bit off. H.G. Wells, for instance, is a time traveler who shows up from time to time. But on this show H.G. Wells is played by a woman, the gorgeous Jamie Murray. Everything has a creative twist to it.

I plan to cherish these last few episodes and when it’s all over I’ll probably go back and watch all 5 seasons again. So, to the cast and crew and creative geniuses behind of Warehouse 13, I say thanks for the delight, thanks for the entertainment, thanks for the characters. Thanks for that goofy computer with a keyboard from an old typewriter. You made me laugh.