Firefly Lane explores the lifetime bond between two women who meet as middle school girls. The series on Netflix details 30 years of their lives and friendship.Continue Reading: Firefly Lane is the ultimate female friendship story
I’m watching the news about new TV shows for the upcoming season. A few have caught my eye as hopeful prospects. These series have women in leading roles, or women I like in supporting roles. These are the shows I’ll watch for sure. There may be others that I’ll watch as well, but these are my favorites so far. Continue Reading: My Favorite Prospects for the New TV Season
Jackie & Ryan is a warm-hearted romance that includes music. You can’t stay by the fire on a cold winter’s TV hiatus any better way than to watch a sweet love story with great songs in it, can you?
Jackie & Ryan features Katherine Heigl as Jackie. Jackie is a pop singer who returned from her high powered life to her home in Ogden, Utah. She’s divorcing her asshole, er, her husband, and taking care of her daughter Lia (Emily Alyn Lind). It turns out that Katherine Heigl can sing. Who knew?Continue Reading: Review: Jackie & Ryan
Jenny’s Wedding stars Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as a gay couple who decide to get married. But Jenny’s (Heigl) parents don’t know she’s gay.
Now that the Supreme Court has made it possible for gay people in all 50 states to marry, I suspect we will see a lot of these types of films: coming out to the family, planning a wedding.
This version of the story has a particularly good cast, with Tom Wilkinson as Jenny’s father, Linda Emond as her mother and Grace Gummer as her sister. The film was written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue, who also wrote Beaches, White Oleander and Veronica Guerin.
Despite all that pedigree, the trailer looks like a highly sanitized version of a story. There isn’t much chemistry between the two women who are supposed to be in love, is there? I want to like it – women in the lead, a female writer and director. Maybe I’m coming at it from the wrong perspective. The story seems to be more about the way Jenny’s family reacts than it is about Jenny and Kitty. I’m looking for sparks in the wrong places – it’s not about two people in love, it’s about family acceptance.
The film is scheduled for a July 31 release. I’d love comments on what you thought of it after you’ve had a chance to see it on the big screen.
A brain dump is little bits of this and that. Excess baggage from my brain. If you have thoughts on anything I mention, please feel free to dump your brain in the comments.
I’m happy to see that Stalker continues to mix it up between male and female stalkers and male and female victims. Beth Davis (Maggie Q) is finally going to open up about her own stalker and her own past. This aspect of the show gives Maggie Q a chance to show off some expanded acting skills, too.
State of Affairs and Madam Secretary
Wow! These two women – Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl) and Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) – can work miracles. They can do anything that needs doing anywhere in the world. What I’m saying is the plot lines in these shows are a little grandiose. Come on writers, you know plausibility is a virtue in a plot. However, I’m loving the characters. I’m still waiting for Alfre Woodard to get her name dropped during the promos, but I’m happy her role puts her in so many scenes.
What I’m liking about the female characters in Stalker, State of Affairs and Madam Secretary is that they are strong and powerful, but also completely female.
The Fosters Christmas Special
The Fosters Christmas special is available early if you watch using the ABC Family app instead of waiting for the show to air on network TV. I have to say it made a complete mess of me because I cried all the way through. I cried because Lena (Sherri Saum) and Stef (Teri Polo) were fighting, I cried about the wonderful way that Lena talked to Jude (Hayden Byerly) about being a half sibling. I cried when Stef got so mad at her mom (Annie Potts). I cried when Stef’s mom gave the kids college money for Christmas. All that crying made me very happy. Everything about The Fosters makes me happy. “Thank you for the tears I’ve cried.”
Switched at Birth Christmas Special
This show is also available early using the ABC Family app.
Switched at Birth pulled a Christmas miracle switch. Bay (Vanessa Marano) and Daphne (Katie Leclerc) were switched back to their right parents. Everything was different and wrong and a mess, but Bay and Daphne knew it. Of course, they switch it back to being with the wrong parents. A tired plot, but I love this show. Switching characters gives everyone a chance to make their persona completely different, which is entertaining for me. It reminds me that these people are acting.
No matter how much we love a character, it’s good to be reminded that the person playing the character is acting. Oh shit! That means Jennifer Beals isn’t really Bette Porter and Anna Silk isn’t really Bo Dennis. Damn!
Short thoughts on lots of unrelated media. That’s a brain dump.
In Elementary, I like Watson (Lucy Liu) being off in her own place with a hunky guy in her bed. I’m not sure I like the flirty little outfits she’s taken to wearing. The clothes aren’t quite serious enough. Maybe the whole clothing makeover and hunky guy in the bed routine have to do with the fact that Watson is so pissed off with Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller). Think she’ll ever forgive him for running off to London for 8 months?
Season 2 of The Fall is now showing in the UK. Netflix announced that it will stream season 2 for North American audiences beginning January 16, 2015. Thank you, Netflix for making the trip over the pond so speedy! This cerebral series stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. Here’s the official blurb about the new season.
Following Season 1’s gripping cliff-hanger and despite Gibson and Spector never actually meeting on screen, the chemistry between the two characters was electric and the escalating rivalry became the lynchpin of the first season and left the audience crying out for more. This critically-acclaimed series picks up immediately from where series one left off, with Gibson in pursuit of Spector. A personal link from Spector’s past opens up some clues for Gibson but provokes Spector in a way that threatens to jeopardize the whole investigation. Gibson is forced to take ever greater risks but the closer she comes to capturing him, the more Spector trespasses into her private world, delighting in taunting and provoking her. As the net gradually tightens around him he becomes psychologically ever more dangerous and destructive.
I’m planning to review season 2 after it’s been on Netflix for a few days and people have had time to watch it.
State of Affairs
State of Affairs has me all worked up and I haven’t seen the first episode yet. Why am I worked up? Because the ads show Katherine Heigl and Alfre Woodard working together, but when the ad is over the only name that gets mentioned is Katherine Heigl.
But let’s only mention the pretty blonde lady in the ads, okay? That seems really fair.
Just the other day I saw an interesting article at Business Insider saying the way Firefly was promoted basically ruined the show’s chances for success. It’s Amazing How Badly Fox Screwed Up Joss Whedon’s ‘Firefly.’ I hope State of Affairs isn’t doing the same thing.
Aggravation aside, I will be watching when State of Affairs begins tonight. Fingers crossed that the show is better than the promos for the show.
Alfre Woodard photo by Johnson C. Smith University
New TV series in the works with women in the lead or co-lead roles look very good. Some start as soon as summer, some are scheduled for fall.
Starting in June on TNT is Murder in the First, which stars Teye Diggs and Kathleen Robertson. Kathleen Robertson may not continue throughout the series as lead, because she’s only in 7 of the 9 episodes that comprise the first season, but it’s worth checking out. Murder in the First is a Steven Bochco production. Bochco has a long string of successful police dramas behind him, including NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, and LA Law.
Also coming to TNT, but not until fall or possibly 2015 is the new Jennifer Beals supernatural medical drama Proof. Proof also stars Matthew Modine and Joe Morton. The series is produced by Kyra Sedgwick. Of everything that’s coming, and a lot of it looks really good, I’m very excited about seeing Jennifer Beals back on my TV every week.
Jennifer seems excited about working with Matthew Modine.
— Jennifer Beals (@jenniferbeals) March 26, 2014
TNT announced casting Julia Stiles in a legal drama called Guilt by Association but I haven’t seen any follow up news about the pilot being picked up.
Red Band Society is a remake of a Spanish series. Octavia Spencer leads the cast of this tale about teenagers living in a pediatric wing of a hospital. It will be on Fox.
Fox also scheduled Empire starring Taraji P. Hanson and Terrance Howard. This series is about a family who runs a hip hop empire. The music is supposed to be excellent, if you’re a hip hop fan. The show is by Lee Daniels and features many well-known African American actors including Gabourey Sidibe.
Another new show with a woman of color in the lead is Shonda Rhimes new drama, How to Get Away with Murder. Viola Davis will star in this legal thriller as a criminal defense professor who gets tangled up in a murder plot. Anything Shonda Rhimes does is going to make a big impression. This one should be a hit for ABC for sure.
NBC brings us State of Affairs starring Katherine Heigl as a CIA Agent who reports to the U.S. President. The President is Alfre Woodard, who is one of my all-time favorites. These two should be fabulous together.
Another political drama on NBC is Odyssey. It stars Anna Friel as a soldier. Odyssey is described as a sprawling international conspiracy that ties together three very different characters – a female soldier, a corporate lawyer and a young political activist. The other two characters in this threesome are played by Peter Facinelli and Jake Robinson.
TV is where women are making a mark these days, and these upcoming shows are part of that trend. Do any of these shows look especially interesting to you? What are you planning to watch? Did I miss anything new with a female lead?
The other day I mentioned a couple of pilots on TNT that I’m super excited about that star Jennifer Beals and Julia Stiles. The big networks – NBC, CBS, ABC, CW, and FOX – all have a full slate of summer shows lined up. You can see the full list by following the links.
I want to mention the ones that look good to me, the ones that have a female in the leading role, and the ones I think might be worth watching. I’d love to hear what you think about the summer lineup, so speak up in the comments.
There are lots of comic book spinoffs, zombies, and aliens in the schedules. Lots of comedies and a few dramas.
A variation on the zombie craze, Babylon Fields will star Virginia Madsen, Meagan Good, Skeet Ulrich, Ritchie Coster, Yul Vazquez and Kyle Schmid.
Debra Messing will lead the cast in a police procedural called Mysteries of Laura. It’s based on a Spanish series. Messing and her husband solve crimes while dealing with their twin sons.
Odyssey has a female soldier at the helm, played by Anna Friel. The plot centers around an international mystery.
Katherine Heigl will join the CIA in State of Affairs. She’s counselor to the President. Maybe she’ll run into Olivia Pope in D.C.
NBC has a ton of new comedies. The most interesting one stars Natasha Lyonne and is called Old Soul. I’ve mentioned this one before.
Another comedy that looks promising is produced by Ellen DeGeneres. One Big Happy is about a gay woman (Elisha Cuthbert) and her straight best friend (Nick Zano), who decide to have a baby together.
Tea Leoni will be the Secretary of State in Madam Secretary. Morgan Freeman is producing this one. Tim Daly, Geoffrey Arend, Patina Miller, Erich Bergen and Katherine Herzer will also star.
Patricia Arquette will star in an as-yet-unnamed CSI spinoff. It sounds very high tech in concept, rather like the current show Intelligence because it involves a lot of cyber security. But I don’t think any of the FBI agents in this show have chips in their brains.
Jamie Lee Curtis is a hospital administrator whose four children – quadruplets – all work at the hospital. Oh, and the children grew up on a reality show. This show doesn’t have a name yet either.
Danish series have been adapted for American TV with great success. Jennifer Carpenter will be in Sea of Fire, another Danish adaptation. This one is an FBI story.
Warriors will be a medical drama. The cast includes Morena Baccarin, Don Hany, Courtney B. Vance, Justina Machado, Greg Grunberg, Steve Kazee, Hampton Fluker, Abbie Cobb and Eloise Mumford.
Cabot College is a comedy produced by Tina Fey. A show can’t get much more promising than that. Margaret Cho, Fortune Feimster, Bonnie Dennison, Ely Henry, Asif Ali, Jack Cutmore-Scott and Brandon Jones will star.
On the CW
I don’t see anything that tempts me on this network.
Again, you can see the full lineup of summer shows here: NBC, CBS, ABC, CW, and FOX. I’d love to hear what you think about the ones I consider hopeful, or if you see something else that didn’t catch my eye that looks really good to you.