Watch This: Orange is the New Black Interviews from the Elle Photoshoot

Elle Magazine did a photoshoot with women from Orange is the New Black dressed in beautiful clothing and looking nothing like prisoners.

In addition to taking photos, the good folks from Elle Magazine created a video. It isn’t a video about the photoshoot – it’s about talking with the cast members. Love the cast of this show.

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TV Extends its Reach

Yesterday there was an announcement in The Hollywood Reporter that the series The Fosters has an order for a 5 part web series that will focus on the group home where the character Callie is currently living.

Lost Girl used 4 webisodes to bridge the gap between season 3 and season 4.

Defiance has a full-fledged video game to complement its TV show. Some shows have less complex games that run as apps on a smart phone rather than as multiplayer games on a gaming device.

Many networks have apps that give you exclusive information on your phone or tablet that you watch while watching the show on your TV.

Most TV shows have Facebook pages where photos and video clips are posted regularly.

The show and the actors in a show may be expected to use Twitter and Instagram to communicate with fans while a show is on the air.

Orange is the New Black quote posted on Pinterest.
Orange is the New Black quote posted on Pinterest.

Some shows, Orange is the New Black for example, make extensive use of images that can be shared on Pinterest.

From the prospective of the TV show, this is all marketing, PR, outreach: the essentials of success. From the perspective of a fan, it’s a bit overwhelming. There’s so much you have to keep track of if you want to know all about your favorite show or your favorite actor. Add to that all the Tumblr blogs, or blogs like this one, that bring you even more about your favorite shows.

How much time do you spend on a 2nd screen – your computer or tablet – exploring all the media surrounding your favorite TV shows?

And, thanks for reading. I know there’s a lot out there to choose from. I appreciate your attention.

Amy Poehler and Natasha Lyonne and Old People: I’m Excited

The news is that Amy Poehler received the go ahead for a new comedy on NBC, tentatively called Old Soul. The series will star Orange is the New Black sensation Natasha Lyonne as a young woman working as an aide to a group of old people.

According to this report in Deadline,

 “This show, hopefully, will blow up some of the cliches we think about old people,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said.

I don’t want this show to take Natasha Lyonne away from OITNB, because she’s wonderful there and needed there. Please let the scheduling gods be with her on this so that she can do both.

Lyonne’s droll brand of melancholy seems perfect for a story about a younger woman dealing with an opinionated bunch of wise-ass elders.

Image @Rob Kim/Getty Images North America
Image @Rob Kim/Getty Images North America

Anything Amy Poehler touches will be funny – you know that in advance. But the really important thing about this whole project to me is that I think the elders in this series will be treated with respect. I’m hoping it will be like Golden Girls or Hot in Cleveland, where elders are funny but not made fun of. For that reason alone, I’m excited about the potential of Old Soul, or whatever it ends up being called.

Amy Poehler image: Jason Merritt/WireImage

Hit the Lights, Lost Girl

Can you see K.C. Collins in the screen shot above? He’s there, down at the end of the line, next to Ksenia Solo, who is also hard to see.

Outside light
Outside light

Here’s another image with K.C. Collins that presumably involves outside light. Still hard to see, isn’t he?

Maybe it’s because of budget issues, as mehlsbells suggests, but Lost Girl is generally dark. I don’t mean only in story line, I mean in terms of actual light. Things are hidden away in shadows most of the time. Screen shots that I use from Lost Girl in my recaps have to be run though Photoshop and brightened considerably or they would look like nothing more than a dark blur on a web page.

That means that K.C. Collins is often so badly lit that you can’t even see him.

He’s in the cast, he’s an important character, he deserves to be seen. Let us see him! Light him with a spotlight or something so that he pops out of the shadows. There has to be a way.

I know filming for season 4 is finished, but I’m hoping there will be a season 5. And, in season 5, I’m hoping that K.C. Collins will be visible when he’s in a shot.

orange is the new black screen shot
Orange is the New Black screen shot

Look at the contrasting dark and light skinned faces in this shot from Orange is the New Black. Granted OITNB isn’t using darkness and shadow like Lost Girl. OITNB is in a brightly lit prison. However, every face is equally visible, no matter the skin tone.

That’s all I want. I want K.C. Collins to be equally visible in scenes he’s in.

Come on Showcase, come on Emily Andras, come on Jay Firestone – do something about the lighting on K.C. Collins.

Review: August: Osage County

There are many films that can make you feel as if you’ve been assaulted by life, by pain, by damage and abuse, by hurt. August: Osage County is one of these. It peers into the way abuse and pain carries down, almost intact, from one generation to the next. In this particular story, the damage is inflicted by the women.

The drive to the funeral in August: Osage County
The drive to the funeral in August: Osage County

The story begins with a father’s death. Sam Shepard as the Oklahoma poet Beverly Weston dies. The family gathers. Meryl Streep plays Violet Weston, the not-exactly-grieving widow and mother to Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, and Juliette Lewis.

Violet Weston has cancer of the mouth, both physically and metaphorically. She’s addicted to about 11 different prescription drugs, which she pops with malicious intensity. The drugs do not have pleasant effect on her behavior.

Julianne Nicholson as Ivy is the daughter who stayed in Oklahoma, near her parents. Julianne Nicholson’s performance in this part is quiet and nuanced and complete perfection, especially when contrasted with the overblown emotionalism of some of the other characters. Okay, not some of the other characters; Meryl Streep’s character. She seemed too big somehow, too much.

I’m sure Meryl Streep intended her to be too big and too much. The woman doesn’t make mistakes. Violet Weston was too big and too much on purpose, I’m guessing.

Eating on the porch
Eating on the porch

Julia Roberts drives in with her husband, played by Ewan McGregor, a buttoned down kind of man, and her 14 year old daughter, played by Abigail Breslin. Her marriage is breaking up. Julia Roberts is simply wonderful in this part. She’s the eldest daughter – strong and bitter and angry. She’s the wronged wife with a cheating husband. She’s the protective mother whose 14 year old daughter attracts the attentions of her sister’s smarmy fiancé, played by Dermot Mulroney. She’s a wounded lioness, just like her mother, with sharp teeth and powerful claws.

Juliette Lewis has her own coping mechanisms for dealing with her family. Get as far away as possible, pin all sorts of unrealistic hopes and wishful thinking on a man, and pretend the realities of her upbringing never happened.

Add to this menagerie of family Violet’s sister, Mattie Fae, played expertly by Margo Martindale. She’s married to Chris Cooper. Like Violet’s husband, Mattie Fae’s husband is a kind and tender man. How did these two sisters manage to find such good men to marry? They have a mother-whipped cowering mess of a son played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Bring all these characters together for a funeral, make them stay together for several days, and all hell breaks loose.

I want to give a particular mention to Misty Upham, who plays a Native American woman hired by Beverly to cook and clean just before he goes missing. (Perhaps you remember her from Frozen River, where she had a bigger part.) Misty Upham needs to be pulled out of the Native American niche and put into other roles. She’s terrific and should be given parts that aren’t so bound by ethnicity. Hey, Jinji Kohan, how about giving her a part in Orange is the New Black where actresses are judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their characters?

This story is brilliant in its specificity. It’s filled with outstanding performances. Any awards that go to August: Osage County are deserved. Like a lot of movies that deal with harsh reality, it’s hard to watch at times, even though it has moments of redemption and beauty.

I recommend August: Osage County wholeheartedly. It’s not the kind of movie you want to watch more than once, but it is the kind of movie that should be watched.

Recap: Lost Girl S4, E7 La Fae Époque

In this episode of Lost Girl, we are through worrying about Bo’s memory for a while. In “La Fae Époque,” Bo goes into Dyson’s memory.

We begin with a frantic Bo (Anna Silk) and Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) dragging a monk into the police station for Hale (K.C. Collins) to interrogate because Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) is lost.

You read that right. Now Dyson is lost. Well, technically, the Una Mens have him.

Bo tries charming the monk into spilling, but there’s no glow. Must be a eunuch. She wants to know why the Una Mens only took Dyson when they were both breaking Fae laws by consorting with each other while naked. Hale nails him with a siren song. The monk caves immediately and tells them Dyson will be executed for treason for killing both Fae and human in 1899. Bo says, nope, that doesn’t sound like Dyson at all.

The monk utters some Latin and dies, giving Kenzi a chance to quip about dead languages.

The Una Mens with their one speaking character, The Keeper (Christine Horne) mutter some Latin themselves, which results in a gagantic knife being plunged into a woman in a cell; the Scavenger is no more.

Chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain

Behind the cell, Dyson is chained to the ceiling. Naked. (No full monty, sorry. That damn gargoyle is in the way.)

Lauren (Zoie Palmer) and Bo talk about how much time they have to save Dyson. Lauren is rigging up Bo with electrodes. Lauren wants to know how they got Dyson and Bo says, “They caught us while we were . . . um.” Lauren gets what um is. The look on her face makes Bo say, “So, you and The Morrigan are getting close.”

Bo’s not jealous, she merely wants to use all that dark Fae equipment to save Dyson. Lauren claims she doesn’t ask – she just takes: Think dark to be dark.

Lauren continues sticking electrodes on Bo, finally putting one near her heart. Bo says, “Oh, hello,” and smiles. Lauren is sorry for the cleavage contact – so she claims – but Bo tells her not to be.

The science with subtext is interrupted by Cassie (Vanessa Matsui), the Oracle we met a couple of seasons ago, who waits impatiently. She’s rigged up with electrodes, too.

Get me into Dyson's memory
Get me into Dyson’s memory

Cassie has to get Bo into Dyson’s memory so Bo can prove he’s innocent. Cassie says, “I thought you were going to ask me to look inside the gaping black hole in your memory.”  Bo looks at her like, hey, could you? Cassie says, “Impossible, even for me.”

Cassie is disappointed with Bo. When she read her years ago, she thought Bo was the one who would lead the Fae into a new era.

The red string of fate
The red string of fate

Bo gets warned that even though she’ll be inside Dyson’s memory, she’s going to see things from her own perspective, too. Lauren steps up with a red string. Cassie says, “The red string of fate. You might as well lobotomize Bo right now.” Lauren insists it’s the only way. She wraps one around Cassie’s ankle and one around Bo’s ankle so it can secure Cassie’s connection to Bo and Bo’s connection to Dyson.

You could go insane from this
You could go insane from this

Cassie warns Bo that she could be in a straight jacket when she comes out of this but Bo is sure, and would, in fact, do the same for Lauren.

May I scrub you down?
Not looking, promise.

Dyson meanwhile is undergoing some kind of ritual cleansing that involves scrubbing down his bare body. Kenzi disguised herself and  joined the Una Mens long enough to help with the scrubbing. Kenzi is carefully behind him or she might have been the one who got the full monty. Anyhoo, it gives her a chance to tie a red string to his ankle.

As soon as Kenzi gets the red string on Dyson, everything goes a little crazy.

Bo’s inside Dyson’s head. Most of the time we see Bo acting out Dyson’s life, unless Bo looks in a mirror, in which case we see Dyson.

Here's Dyson
Here’s Dyson

Dyson/Bo is in bed with two lovelies. Their father enters in a rage and Dyson/Bo flees by shifting. We see a wolf in the street, who shifts into Bo’s form. Dyson/Bo steals some clothing – some badly fitting clothing – and heads off, stopping only to admire how ruggedly handsome she is in a shop window.

Dyson/Bo grabs a newspaper and sees an ad for Cabaret du Ceil starring Flora Blooms. Two guys start chasing her. Turns out it’s the mad papa.

My precious daughters
My precious daughters

They battle in an alleyway and Trick appears, beaning them both with a stick.

A bo staff
A bowstaff

“A bowstaff,” says Dyson/Bo. She doesn’t know who he is, but he says, “Follow me if you want sanctuary.”

Yoda?
Yoda?

Trick sits Yoda-like in his sanctuary and tells Dyson/Bo, “You’re capable of more. Of good.”

Dyson/Bo goes, but Trick/Yoda calls him back with, “The helskór. The ancient hell shoes sought after by the most powerful Fae, including the one who wanders.”

Dyson/Bo says he’s heard of them. They can only be worn by “a worthy hero.”

A prince has them and is selling them to the highest bidder. Trick wants Dyson/Bo to get them. Trick introduces himself to Dyson/Bo with his full name, and Dyson/Bo calls him Trick instead. The birth of a nickname.

Back in the reality of the bedroom where Bo and Cassie are wired up, Bo mutters things like shoes, boobs. Lauren is glad Dyson was an intellectual. Then Bo mutters hell shoes, bowstaff, trick. Lauren thinks its a non sequitur party and they’re all invited. She tries talking to Bo, which is silly because Bo is off in Dysonland. Bo says he who wanders and Lauren gets excited but Bo smiles and goes back to muttering boobs.

Dyson/Bo enters Cabaret du Ceil. Kenzi, speaking with a French accent and dressed up in a skimpy outfit, blonde curls, and white wings, greets her at the door. In the Bo version of Dyson’s memory, Kenzi’s the bartender, Angel. She serves Dyson/Bo a drink.

Mai oui
Mai oui, cheri.

Bartender/Kenzi flirts with Dyson/Bo. It’s a world outside of time where dreams come true. Dyson/Bo spots a familiar dude in the cabaret.

What a prince of a guy
What a prince of a guy

Yes, it’s Vex (Paul Amos), who just for tonight gets to be a prince. Dyson/Bo also spots a man in modern garb – a red nylon windbreaker and baseball cap – who will appear and reappear several times in the next few scenes.

Bartender/Kenzi reveals in her flirtatious French accent that the main attraction doesn’t attract the crowds she used to. Bartender/Kenzi then mounts the bar, strolls across it with her Betty Grable legs, and announces the evening’s entertainment, Mademoiselle Flora Blooms.

Mademoiselle Flora Blooms
Mademoiselle Flora Blooms

Mademoiselle Flora Blooms sings a french tune, works the audience, tickles the prince’s beard. To Bo-as-Dyson, this charmer is Lauren.

Zoie Palmer is singing. In French. She’s got a little of that Edith Piaf vibrato going. It’s fabulous, I tell you, fabulous. Television can never be more fabulous than this.

Dyson’s wang apparently likes it, too, because we get to laugh at Bo dealing with her first ever hard-on. Then Dyson/Bo walks out, sideways, as if propelled by an outside force, complaining all the while that Lauren/Flora isn’t done singing yet. In French.

Caged Fae
Caged Fae

Dyson, the real Dyson, is clean now and dressed in white. He’s in a cage. Hale pleads for his release saying that Dyson is innocent. The Una Mens says he’s guilty and won’t consider Hale’s arguments. Kenzi’s phone rings and her disguise is blown. The Keeper is not happy to discover a human lurking about and says that Kenzi will be executed with the wolf.

In Lauren/Flora’s dressing room, Dyson/Bo enters. There’s a kind of crazy ballet next. First Lauren/Flora threatens Dyson/Bo with a knife. Then she kisses her. Then she slaps her.

Lauren/Flora complains that it’s been weeks. Dyson/Bo says, “You care?” Lauren/Flora answers that she does not and he needs to leave. Dyson/Bo kisses Lauren/Flora again.

Let’s talk about Zoie Palmer’s voice for this character. It’s pitched about 2 octaves above her normal speaking voice into French coquette territory. It’s hilarious.

the little coquette
The little coquette

Dyson/Bo talks about the prince and the helskór. Lauren/Flora wants to sell them for a fortune. She talks about what she could do with all that loot if they get the shoes. Lauren/Flora is willing to share a perk with Dyson/Bo for the tip.

Back to the French ballet.

A perk
How’d she get Dolly Parton’s wig?

There’s kissing.

back to the ballet
Come closer. No, go away.

There’s dancing.

A look in the mirror
There’s sex in the mirror

There’s sex, which we see from both Bo’s head, and – in a mirror – from Dyson’s head. Even in the mirror, Bo sees Lauren and not Flora – confusing, but go with it. In case you wanted to see Lauren and Dyson together, there it is. And if you were longing for a threesome with Bo, Lauren and Dyson, this is almost it. Almost. If the idea of Lauren with Dyson makes you cringe, I apologize for this screen shot and hope you can erase it from your mind forever with an image of Lauren with Bo.

Bo likes her super stud self as she thrusts away. She watches in the mirror and says, “So this is happening. For investigative purposes, right?”

Then the most confusing part of the entire scene happens. The camera turns away from the mirror, so according to the rules set up so far in this plotline, we should see Bo and Lauren. But we don’t. We still see Dyson and Lauren. What the hell did the writers mean by that?

In the real bedroom where Bo is wired to electrodes, Lauren watches and wonders what Bo is seeing in there. Bo says Lauren and moans out an orgasm. Lauren smiles and says, “Even in Dyson’s subconscious you’re thinking of me. Score one for the doctor.” Then she looks grossed out and horrified and says, “Unless that’s Dyson talking.”

Cassie begins counting backwards from 100, which can’t be good.

A knock on Lauren/Flora’s door interrupts the love fest. It is the prince.

Where have we seen walls like that before
Where have we seen walls like that before?

Lauren/Flora scoots Dyson/Bo out the back way.

It is the prince.
It is the prince.

In comes the prince with a shoebox, which Lauren/Flora quickly relieves him of. His accent is execrable! To be honest, Lauren and Kenzi aren’t doing too well with the accents either, but I think this one from Vex/Prince is more deliberate.

She kisses him. Blindfolds him. Does things with her mouth to his neck and ears while digging in the box for the hell shoes. They are ugly woven flats – hell must refer their style. They are not red, which they really should be, because, as we learn in a bit, once you get them on you cannot get them off.

Vex/Prince gets upset when he realizes she’s after the shoes. Dyson/Bo took the intervening time to get dressed and comes in to punch out poor Vex/Prince with a right hook.

Perfect fit. Cinderella much?
Perfect fit. Cinderella much?

Dyson/Bo puts the shoes on Lauren/Flora. Lauren/Flora immediately gets crazy eyes. (Apologies to Orange is the New Black, but she does get crazy eyes.) She says she’s been denied, the shoes are not intended for her. Dyson/Bo tries to get them off but cannot. A kick in the face for Dyson/Bo and off glides Lauren/Flora.

In the clink
In the clink

With Dyson and Kenzi in the clink, Dyson says he’s impressed Kenzi got in there. He wants to start training her as soon as they get out. He can feel Bo in his memory. Kenzi asks if he really murdered someone. He says, “It’s a long story and it starts with a pair of shoes.”

Back in memoryland, Dyson/Bo follows a trail of dead people that Lauren/Flora left in her wake as she ran off. She says, “Flora did all this, why is Dyson being blamed?”

It stinks here
Cut the red string. Cut the red string.

Cassie appears in the dreamland where Bo is Dyson. She tells Bo to cut the string. The modern guy in the red windbreaker walks past them. Cassie says Bo has lasted longer in someone’s memory than she’s ever seen, but she needs to get out now. Cassie says, “You’re brave. And something else. Something new.” She pulls off her red string and backs away counting down from 10.

When Cassie gets to 1, she wakes up, unhooks herself from all the electrodes, and tells Lauren to get the straight jacket ready for Bo because she stayed behind. She mentions shoes. Lauren says, “What shoes.” Bo mutters so much blood.

I can't stop
I can’t stop

Dyson/Bo catches up with Lauren/Flora, who is kneeling over a kill. She has Freddie Kruger knuckes and says she can’t stop killing. Lauren/Flora attacks Dyson/Bo and we get to savor a lot of kick ass pushing, kicking, hitting and struggling between Bo and Lauren.

The wolf
The wolf

Dyson/Bo goes wolf on her.

I ain't scared of no wolf
I ain’t scared of no wolf

Lauren/Flora maintains her French accent and Betty Boop voice throughout this entire fight scene. Finally Lauren/Flora comes back to herself a bit, says, “What have I done?”

Dyson/Bo tells her its the shoes and tries again to get them off. Dyson/Bo says, “I’ll fix it.” Typical Dyson.

Dyson/Bo says, “I love you.” Lauren/Flora says, “No, your love hasn’t come yet. And when she does, she will . . . ” This sentence doesn’t get finished, because someone shoots Lauren/Flora in the back. Was the prophecy from Flora to Dyson, or is it from Lauren to Bo? It could be either.

In the real world, Lauren tries to get Bo to wake up. She almost removes Bo’s red string. Instead she puts a red string on herself and says, “I’m coming in.”

Back in Dyson’s memory land, the shoes are off. The dude who shot Lauren/Flora tosses his pistol on top of them.

They will think it was you.
They will think it was you.

They will think you killed all these people, he tells Dyson/Bo. He wants the shoes. He tells Dyson/Bo to run like he’s always done. Calls him a waste of flesh. Tells him it’s all his fault.

Back in their cage, Dyson explains to Kenzi that he felt guilty because he was the one who made Flora put on the shoes and he almost did run. Finally, however, just as he told the guy he’d have to fight him for the shoes, Trick knocks him out with his bow broomstick.

That’s twice Trick saved Dyson in one day. Not to mention that Lauren and Bo are in the process of saving him once again in the real world outside memoryland.

Trick doesn’t want the shoes. He wants a second for the new world – a Fae colony that will live in peace. He invites Dyson to his prayer room before dawn to talk about it.

I seek a second
I seek a second

Dyson and Kenzi talk about how they thought they would die.

She always saves the day
She always saves the day.

Kenzi has faith that Bo will show up in time to save them. The Una Mens walks in spouting Latin and says, speak your last words. Kenzi says, “Oh, god. Oh, god,” which the Una Mens consider Dyson’s last words. Oops.

Dyson tells them he will give them the hell shoes if they release the human. He has one in his possession and will give them the location of the second as soon as they release her.

Back in dreamland, Dyson/Bo has buried Flora. Lauren enters the scene and Dyson/Bo says, “It’s not you.” Lauren tells her she’s getting confused. The guy in the red windbreaker shows up with a huge version of Dyson’s champion belt. Lauren tells her to cut the red string, that Dyson needs her.

Cut the red string, Bo
Cut the red string, Bo

She looks down and has the belt in her hands. She figures out the message. She removes the red string.

Back in reality now, Bo jerks up on the bed. Lauren is still off in memoryland. Bo sees Don’t cut the red string written on the mirror in lipstick. How will she get Lauren out of there?

With a kiss, of course. True love’s kiss. Solves all sorts of sleeping disorders. Lauren comes out of it.

I know how to save Dyson
I know how to save Dyson

There’s another kiss just to say hello, and Bo smiles. She knows what to do.

Lookie Here
Lookie here

Bo shows up with one of the helskór. It was inside Dyson’s framed championship belt, wrapped in a jock strap.

A guy in a mask says the magic Latin. Bo says, “You,” and removes the mask. It’s the guy who shot Lauren/Flora in the back. Which means the Una Mens knew all along that Dyson was innocent because they sent mask-face to get the shoes years ago.

The Keeper says, “She is more than we expected.”

“I’m glad you finally got the memo,” Bo answers.

The gang's all here
The gang’s all here

Bo, Lauren, Kenzi, Hale and Dyson plant themselves at the bar in the Dal. They are eating hot dogs and happy to be all together again.

Even though Lauren is sitting right there, Dyson says, “That was intimate. You in me for once.” Bo says their minds work well together. I’m not sure if all their meaningful glances made Lauren uncomfortable, but I got a little nervous myself.

Bo mentions that she felt the red string tied her, Lauren and Dyson all together, although Lauren points out that it was meant to tie only two people together. Maybe a bit of foreshadowing that the not-quite-a-threesome scene might be something Bo actually wants to make real?

Kenzi asks what Dyson did after he buried Flora.

Fealty to the blood king
Fealty to the blood king

Dyson says he went to Trick’s prayer room and pledged fealty to the Blood King. Dyson thinks Trick is the true savior.

Bo disagrees. He’s done nothing for her lately. Dyson says, “He doesn’t know about the mark on your chest.” Lauren wants to know about this mark but Bo dismisses her question for now. “He is the Blood King. He is my grandfather. Why hasn’t he helped me figure out who took me?”

I’m with Bo on this. Trick’s secrets have been a serious impediment to her and I don’t blame her for being unhappy with him.

Bo says, “I need to find The Wanderer. Find out why he took me. Why I’m dark.”

Lauren asks how. Bo says, “Something he wants. Something he has always wanted.” She asks Dyson where the second shoe is. He gave it to Angel, the bartender, who is hiding it until the true hero comes for it.

Here comes the true hero
Here comes the true hero

Bo says, “We’re all done waiting. Cause here I come.”

Personal Thoughts

  • In case you aren’t familiar with the fairy tale about the red shoes, here’s the Wikipedia article. For more on the red string of fate or the red string of destiny, Wikipedia has the info once again.
  • Helskór, also know as hel-shoes, were put on the dead so they could go to Valhalla, according to Wikipedia.
  • Fairy tale references littered this episode. Myths, fairy tales, what’s the diff, eh? There were a couple of movie shout outs as well. Acknowledge your genre and it’s forebearers and fans everywhere will embrace your efforts.
  • We’ve now seen every possible sexual exchange (of at least kissing) among the characters available. Well, Tamsin and Hale still have a couple of available options. Will they ever stop and let anyone settle down to a single partner. I really doubt it.
  • Tamsin is gone more than here. Come on, people. We want the full cast in action in each episode.
  • Here’s a little present from Ksenia Solo:

     

New TV season shows I can’t wait to see

The summer shows are fun and I love quite a few of them, but I’m eager for the new seasons of some old favorites. Here’s what I’m looking forward to. What about you?

Lost Girl

Season 4 can’t get here soon enough for me. It airs first in Canada on Showcase beginning in November. Then there’s an agonizing wait for the U.S. showings on SyFy. At the end of season 3, Bo was off somewhere unknown meeting her father – maybe. Dyson and Tamsin disappeared in a puff of black smoke when their truck went over a cliff. Lauren was in a science lab creating Fae from humans and nobody knew where she went after everyone else escaped. Kenzi was driving a hot car with Bruce beside her. Trick had gone to Scotland with his lady love. And where the heck was Hale? Obviously the beginning of season 4 requires explaining where everyone has been and how they all get back together.

Guest stars that have been mentioned for season 4 include George Takei (from Star Trek), Mia Kirshner (from The L Word), and Ali Liebert (from Bomb Girls). If the guest stars are any indication, things should be fun on Lost Girl.

Here’s a bit of a teaser for season 4. Lost Girl season 4 is currently filming in Toronto.

House of Cards

House of Cards was Netflix first attempt at original programming and it was superb! (I can’t wait for season 2 of Netflix’s other great series, Orange is the New Black, either.) House of Cards won’t show up until sometime in the spring of 2014, but it is definitely worth the wait if it maintains the quality it had in season 1.

This political drama felt completely real. Or if not real, at least valid and true. Stars Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Kate Mara were especially good, but the cast was large and there were many compelling performances.

Netflix released this trailer for season 2, which is currently filming in the Baltimore area.

Nashville

Nashville season 2 begins in September 25 on ABC, less than a month away. I love anything with singing (Glee, Smash, Nashville – I’ll watch ’em all.) People we don’t normally think of as musicians are leading the cast of this show and doing a really fine job as Nashville singing stars: Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, and Charles Esten in particular. Clare Bowen is my favorite in terms of singing. She plays Scarlett, a folky type who reminds me of Emmy Lou Harris.

A theme of the show has been the conflict between young and old country music, personified by Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton. They get forced together in ways they don’t want and are very different. Both have confused personal lives and troubled love lives. A troubled love life leads to the finale of season 1, which was a disastrous car wreck.

I don’t know if you were a fan of Friday Night Lights (if you weren’t, you should have been) but there is just something completely wonderful about Connie Britton. She’s fabulous. I’m so glad we get to see her in another great series – with SINGING.

Here’s a teaser for season 2.

Grey’s Anatomy

Season 10. Can you believe it? We’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy since Shonda Rhimes only had one show on TV. They announced recently that Sandra Oh is leaving the show. What will Meredith do without her person?

The new season begins in September with a 2 part opening episode. At the end of season 9, Arizona and Callie were in danger of breaking up, Richard was possibly electrocuted, Meredith was pregnant – the usual Grey’s drama. Over the years Grey’s has had its wins and losses, people have come and gone, story lines have succeeded and failed. But it’s always been engaging and I keep going back.

I couldn’t find an actual preview video for season 10, but three of the cast members do talk about season 10 in this video.

The Good Wife

I say that I want to see the new season of The Good Wife with some trepidation. Season 4 wasn’t good. They lost their way a bit. There were fabulous guest stars, but those guest stars got too much of the screen time, there were too many court room scenes, Kalinda’s (Archie Panjabi) story was just dropped, and Alicia (Julianna Margulies) can’t figure out what the holy hell she’s doing. I think Alicia is fascinating in her own guarded and self-contained way. However, the queen of self-contained and guarded is Kalinda. She is the most interesting character in The Good Wife. If we don’t see more of her in season 5, I think it’s going to be the end for me and The Good Wife.

When season 4 ended, Alicia was leaving Lockhart Gardner to start a new firm with Cary. That will add some drama to the relationships we already have going on the show. We don’t know where Kalinda will end up – I sincerely hope it’s with Alicia and Cary, but there haven’t been any clues.

The new season starts in September. Here’s a teaser. It seems to acknowledge that the show went off the rails a bit in season 4 with its claims to be back.

Scandal

Scandal, like House of Cards, has a ring of truth about politics and Washington that makes it fascinating. This Shonda Rhimes series begins in September with season 3.

I could talk about Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn and the other excellent cast members. They deserve the attention. Instead, I want to make a big fuss over Guillermo Díaz.

Guillermo Díaz has been around a while. You may remember him from Mercy or Weeds. There are currently 78 titles on his filmography page at IMDB, so I know you’ve seen him before in more than one thing. But the job he’s doing as Huck on Scandal is phenomenally outstanding. He should have had an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor, but he didn’t get one. As a defender of justice I’m here to announce that Guillermo Díaz is doing amazing work on Scandal and he should get a million awards for acting.

Now that I’m finished with my Guillermo Díaz rant, I can get back to the bigger picture on Scandal, which is the steely and powerful Olivia Pope and her Machiavellian schemes to control situations for people in Washington who screw up, including the President. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.

This promo video is more about Kerry Washington’s Emmy nom than season 3, but it’s the only thing available right now.

I haven’t even mentioned The Walking Dead or How I Met Your Mother, which is on its last season, or Elementary, or Castle or a whole lot of other good shows. Which of your favorites are you most eager to see?

Guillermo Diaz image from The Jasmine Brand.

Entertainment is a gift, hating on entertainers isn’t

We have a serious problem with our entertainment. We think we own it. We think we own the stories, the characters, the actors. We think it’s ours to dictate and control. If it isn’t the way we want it to be, we get vicious.

Entertainment is a gift to us, created and conceived for our enjoyment by someone else. We don’t know or own that someone else.

It’s the Internet. It’s Twitter. It’s message boards. You can say whatever lame-brained thing you want and send it out into the world. It’s so easy, even I can do it.

That doesn’t make it right.

Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston
Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad

Actress Anna Gunn from Breaking Bad wrote this op-ed piece: Breaking Bad star Anna Gunn: I have a character issue. She made several good points in her post, including this one.

At some point on the message boards, the character of Skyler seemed to drop out of the conversation, and people transferred their negative feelings directly to me. The already harsh online comments became outright personal attacks. One such post read: “Could somebody tell me where I can find Anna Gunn so I can kill her?” Besides being frightened (and taking steps to ensure my safety), I was also astonished: how had disliking a character spiraled into homicidal rage at the actress playing her?

Before I started this blog, I was putting an occasional pop culture post on one of my other blogs. That’s where you’ll find Dear Lesbian Bloggers, Isn’t it Time to Forgive? The post is about the resentment many directed toward The L Word. In that post, I stated,

I surfed around among many lesbian writers, sampling what they had to say about The L Word. I was surprised when I discovered a plethora of complaints, vilifications, and shaming. Nobody liked Ilene Chaiken. Nobody was satisfied with the plot. The characters were all too pretty. It wasn’t realistic. Everyone was mad because Dana died. Everyone hated Jenny. And on, an on, and on.

On the blog Dorothy Surrenders the other day, I saw On Faith and Fandom. She was talking about the attacks on two actresses because of their personal beliefs.

Which leads me to the recent heated fandom debates – to put it very mildly; you should see the email folder I’ve made for all the messages – over Rachel Skarsten of “Lost Girl” and most recently Laura Prepon of “Orange Is the New Black.” Both have been tied to churches that are reportedly anti-gay.

Fans argued that it was okay to hate a character and the person who plays her because of a religious belief. Even though before they knew this one personal thing about the person, they loved the character and the actor playing her. Nothing about the show or the character changed.

Love a show? Then watch it.

Is there some show you love? Breaking Bad or Orange is the New Black, perhaps. Yea! Then watch it for your entertainment pleasure. It’s a gift to you from a network and a creator and a producer and a huge crew and a lot of actors who work for months to bring you said entertainment. If the show you love has a message or a larger cultural meaning about good and evil or visibility for LGBT people or some other topic dear to your heart, good for it! You can support the show on that basis.

If the show you love has a character you like or don’t like (because every drama has to have a protagonists AND an antagonist or nothing dramatic happens) then good for the show’s creators for giving you characters that make you care.

The thing is, it’s fiction. It’s story. It’s made up. The actors are not the characters. And neither the actors or the characters belong to you. You don’t get to judge entertainment based on the actor’s personal lives. You don’t get to hate them when the characters they play don’t do exactly what you want. Just because you feel invested in a story or character, it’s still mass entertainment and not your personal possession.

Here’s how Shonda Rhimes (Gray’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal) put it on Twitter:

Advice from Uncle Bill

When I was a kid, my Uncle Bill was a theater manager. That was back in the day when Elizabeth Taylor was a huge star. She was on her 5th or 6th marriage, and I commented to Uncle Bill about not wanting to see her latest movie because she got married all the time. He said, “Look at her her acting. Look at the work. That’s all that matters.”

Look at the work. A lot of people did a lot of work to tell you a story. Watch it with pleasure or don’t watch it at all. But don’t threaten to harm the people telling you the stories.

Breaking Bad image ©AMC

Do the Tastee Twist with Danielle Brooks

tastee twist

You have four days to make your video and get it up on Instagram to enter this brilliant Orange is the New Black dance contest. Danielle Brooks, Tastee herself, is going to judge and pick some favorites.

Start dancing!

Images ©Netflix.

Season 2 Casting News for Orange is the New Black – Updated

The latest from Netflix about season 2 of Orange is the New Black is that Lorraine Toussaint was added to the cast as a prisoner named Vee. Lorraine Toussaint was a regular on Body of Proof, Friday Night Lights and Saving Grace, but I love her most of all from Any Day Now. Any Day Now was set in 1960’s Birmingham, Alabama during the height of the civil rights movement. If you haven’t seen it you should look it up and watch it.

Danielle Brooks

Netflix also announced that Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee will be a regular. Danielle Brooks is fresh out of Julliard. Her career is off to a solid gold start with OITNB and Taystee.

Taryn Manning

Taryn Manning is promoted to being a cast regular as well. The announcement is a bit of a spoiler alert, since it means that Piper didn’t do as much damage to Pennsatucky at the end of Season 1 as we might have thought.

Update 2/1/2014

The news about casting for season 2 announced recently is that Lori Petty from Tank Girl has a part in Orange is the New Black. The name of her character and what part she’ll play in the show isn’t explained yet.