Maria Doyle Kennedy: Singer

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to Maria Doyle Kennedy sing. Maria Doyle Kennedy has been a singer longer than she’s been acting. I looked up her music because I love her face – it’s full of character and strength. Continue reading “Maria Doyle Kennedy: Singer”

Random Thoughts from a Teeming TV Filled Brain

The TV is brewing a brain full of random ideas in me this week. It’s a mish-mash.

  • The Americans season 2 started last night on FX and it’s extra good. Don’t ask me why I care so much about Russian spies, but Kari Russell and Matthew Rhys make me care. The stakes are so high in this show, the situations so tense, and the drama so tight. I can’t tell from the first episode if Margo Martindale will be back in season 2, but they were talking about her as if she won’t. She’s off on another show now, and I’ll miss her here.
  • With so many shows, I have to record a bunch of them. When I play them back I fast forward through the ads. I really appreciate the shows that have a second or two of something recognizable before each new segment starts. That brief cue lets me stop in time to get the beginning of the action. For example, Person of Interest often shows cityscapes and camera locations just before the action starts. Could all shows please do something like this? Thank you.
  • Why do actresses decide to have a baby while they are on a hit show? Jennifer Beals and Lauren Holloman both did it on The L Word. Anna Silk did it on Lost Girl. Kerry Washington is having a baby soon with Scandal in the middle of astronomical popularity. There has to be some logic to this, but what is it?
  • Wow! Did Naya Rivera ever knock “Don’t Rain on My Parade” out off the ballpark on Glee this week! The Barbara Streisand franchise on Glee up to now belonged to Lea Michelle – as well it should, she’s got it locked – but Naya can belt, too. Indeed.
  • Can you tell Lady Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) two suitors apart on Downton Abbey? Me either.

Image Credit: Still from The Americans by Craig Blankenhorn via IMDB

Your Reactions to Downton Abbey?

There was some football game or other on TV yesterday. Must have been big because the streets were void of traffic. It didn’t affect PBS, however. You could watch last week’s Downton Abbey and this week’s Downton Abbey in one session. How could television get better than that?

So what do you think about what’s happening on Downton Abbey this season? Will Anna and Mr. Bates make it through their crisis? Will the very conservative Mr. Carson and the equally conservative Earl of Grantham transition into the modern age with grace or by fighting all the way? What’s going on with Lady Sybil – what if she’s pregnant? Will Thomas Barrow’s evil machinations ever be caught out?

And how about Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton? Don’t those two have the most delicious parts and lines and arguments?

PBS Announces Dates for Season 2 of Last Tango in Halifax and I’m Not Happy – Updated

PBS announced that the second season of Last Tango in Halifax will air on PBS beginning Sunday June 29, 2014.

You read that right: June 29. Five months from now.

As far as I’m concerned here at Old Ain’t Dead, that’s a unacceptable delay and wait.

Blimey

Okay, I am pretty upset with PBS. And I was trying to stage a revolt against the 5 month wait on my  little blog. Then I heard from Tony Gardner, who plays John on Last Tango in Halifax.

So here’s the thing. Last Tango in Halifax

  1. is pretty much the best show on earth
  2. is home to great actors and I don’t want to stuff any of them

So I’ve decided not to encourage you to violate any intellectual property laws in an effort to override the inertia of PBS. I’ve also decided to wait to publish my recaps until PBS actually airs the show in June.

I Hate This

I hate the fact that in an Internet-connected world where there is no place, no geography, any longer,  we are bound by geographic restrictions on content.

I hate PBS taking its sweet time to air something that is out in the ether in a million other ways. Why are they so slow? What’s the purpose of the delay? Why not simulcast it like Doctor Who? Why not show it shortly after the British version has shown like Downton Abbey?

Is it about money? Doesn’t the show have good enough ratings?

Yes, I’ve seen season 2 on the BBC. It isn’t that I’m dying of curiosity because I haven’t seen it yet. But – and this is a big but, I will watch the whole series AGAIN when it comes out on PBS. It isn’t that knowing season 2 is going to prevent me from seeing it on PBS. I’ll watch it on PBS. Whatever I contribute to PBS in ratings when the show airs is still coming their way.

Here’s the real point for me: PBS is taking too freaking long to bring the show to America. Too freaking long.

I may rant about this until June.

 

Downton Abbey season 4: Comments are Open

Downton Abbey returned to PBS for season 4 last night. I’m not going to recap it here, but I did want to open up this post to reader comments about season 4. As the weeks go by, please feel free to use the comments here to share your thoughts with me and other readers.

The first comment shall be mine. It was lovely to see everyone back again doing the things we love them for much for doing. Hurrah!

Much of the first episode was about grief. My other comment is that it’s a little simplified to think that grief can be overcome in such ways as those demonstrated here, but it’s also a bit exaggerated to think that grief can be so overwhelming that life stops.

What are your thoughts?

Teaser for Downton Abbey’s Christmas Show

Downton Abbey begins airing in the U.S. on January 5. The 2 hour Christmas special will air at the end of the season.

In the UK, this episode will air on Christmas day.

Small spoilers in the trailer reveal that Shirley MacLaine will be back and that Paul Giamatti will be about (playing Cora’s brother).

Say hi in the comments if you are a Downton Abbey fan.

A Downton Abbey Season 4 Preview (Video)

Downton Abbey fans, I found a tiny tidbit about season 4 to help tide you over. Hope it helps with the pain of waiting.

Season 3 of Downton Abbey ended with Lady Mary Crawley giving birth to a son as his father accidentally smashed his car into a tree and died.

Season 4 doesn’t begin on PBS until January, but people in the UK can watch it starting soon. A season 4 teaser video lets us see the problems Lady Mary is having dealing with the loss of her husband and her new role as a parent.

The 2013 Emmy Nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress

The 2013 Emmy Nominations were announced. The noms I most care about were in the Outstanding Lead Actress category.  Here are the nominees.

  • Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates in Bates Motel
  • Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
  • Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland
  • Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in House of Cards
  • Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men
  • Connie Britton as Rayna James in Nashville
  • Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope in Scandal

What a great list. I love all these actresses and all these performances and all these shows.

Well, I can’t stand Mad Men. I lived through the 50s once – I don’t need to suffer all that patriarchy again. But I loved Elizabeth Moss in Top of the Lake so I’m happy she was nominated for that, too.

Claire Danes, Connie Britton, Kerry Washington – I lurve them to bits. And a big Hurrah for Kerry Washington for letting herself be filmed with wet hair in the shower with Tony Goldwin and for being the first African American woman nominated in this category in years. I hope she wins.

tatiana maslany
Tatiana Maslany

But, really TV academy people, Emmy nomination people, where the hell is Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black? She really should be on that list. She doesn’t have to win, but cripes, she should have been nominated.

She really should.

Like REALLY should.

Are you happy with the Emmy nominations? What’s your particular favorite category of nominees?

If you’d like to see a complete list of all the women nominated in every category, check out Looking at the 2013 Emmy Nominated Women at Women and Hollywood.

Connie Britton Photo credit: EyesOnFire89 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA