Wednesday was the premier of season 3 of The Night Shift on NBC. Jennifer Beals, who now has a recurring role in the show, was out doing press interviews for the new season. She was all over the place like umpteen Orphan Black clones in a wild The Night Shift press frenzy. For those watching on the internet, it was all Jennifer Beals, all day. Continue reading “The Day Jennifer Beals Occupied the Internet”
Jennifer Beals joins the cast of The Night Shift for season 3. This ER centered drama has never been on my radar before, but I’ll take a look because of Jennifer Beals. The previews in the trailer look good, and jumping into season 3 shouldn’t be a problem. Continue reading “Watch This: Trailer for S3 of The Night Shift, now with Jennifer Beals”
Lucky for me I’m not a critic. It seems to me that the main job of a critic is to watch a fun and enjoyable movie or TV show and find things wrong with it so as to make it unenjoyable for anyone else to watch. Which leads to my point: Ricki and the Flash is fun and enjoyable. Lukewarm reviews be damned.
Spoilers ahead.Continue reading “Review: Ricki and the Flash”
I’ve been watching Proof. Episode 3 “Showdown” was on last week. Although I had no specific gripes with Proof, I wasn’t really hooked yet.
The cast is terrific. Joe Morton, Matthew Modine, Jennifer Beals – all pretty much wow. And there’s Dr. Tyler’s ex-husband played by David Sutcliffe, her intern played by Edi Gathegi and her daugher played by Annie Thurman – it’s all good. But that isn’t what hooked me.
Episode 3 hooked me. (There are spoilers ahead.)
These three guys show up in episode 3. On the right is Dr. Daniel Powell (David Chisum). The other two guys (Ryan Robbins & Josh Cooke) are undergoing a past life regression with him in this scene.
The episode opens with a battle during the Korean War. It’s being told as a past life regression story in a lecture being given by Dr. Powell. Dr. Carolyn (Cat) Tyler is there with her intern to “keep an open mind.” Dr. Tyler is skeptical of everything about the idea of finding proof of life after death, even though she agreed to investigate it. Past life regression is one of the things the billionaire played by Matthew Modine insists she investigate.
When the lecture ends, we learn that Cat and Dr. Powell went to med school together and have warm feelings for each other. As they exit the lecture venue, another man comes up and accuses the man who told the Korean War story of stealing it from him. Dr. Powell does more past life regressions with these two. We go back again and again to the battle scene, the two men, the explosions and wounds and soldiers falling. Finally, in a joint scene where the two are hypnotized together, we find out both of them were there in past lives, and they were in love. One said it out loud as he was dying, the other man couldn’t get the words out.
Hence, lingering emotional trauma for the past life regressions to dredge up. Dr. Tyler is watching all this and trying to keep an open mind, even though she thinks it is a crazy hallucination. Meanwhile, Cat and Daniel Powell have been reminiscing and flirting and talking a lot. They end up in a sex scene that was fascinating. Jennifer Beals made an L Word joke about it on Twitter, but I found it remarkable.
The scene opened looking over the surface of a still-made hotel room bed with sex happening on the floor on the other side of the bed. We see Jennifer Beals’ back as she raises up, some obviously sexual motions, the moving hands of the man under her and that’s it. No pounding music, no loud moaning, no heavy breathing. In fact, no kissing.
I hope other network shows look at this and think about what can be done with sexy scenes.Later we see them in the bed, talking, holding hands, touching. They are relaxed. This was not a sex scene for the male gaze (and this is from a male director, Alex Graves). I thought it was really sexy and hope other network shows look at this and think about what can be done with sexy scenes.
In this relaxed moment, the camera circles round and shoots them from above their heads, as if Dr. Tyler’s world is turned upside down. That’s when Daniel Powell convinces Cat Tyler to try hypnosis and regression herself.
The regression takes Cat Tyler to the day her son was killed in a car wreck. She was driving. She woke in the emergency room, frantic about her son. The whole memory is violent and chaotic and emotionally charged, with Jennifer Beals doing a stunning acting job.
In every episode so far, Cat Tyler catches a glimpse of a woman in a green scarf. It’s confused her because she knows rationally that the woman isn’t there. She’s there again in the ER in Cat’s memory of the day her son died. Cat asks Dr. Richmond (Morton) about brain processes that could create a vision of something that isn’t there are he gives her a rational explanation.
When Cat comes out of the hypnosis, she literally runs from the hotel room. Outside on the sidewalk, she is almost brought to her knees by the impact of what she re-experienced.
There is really no way to actually know if there is life after death. I like that Proof isn’t taking a position on it. But here’s this science-based skeptic of a physician who experienced near death herself and who has now done this regression exercise. Her intellect and her emotions are in conflict.
Everything about Jennifer Beals’ acting in this series has been outstanding. Her skepticism, her confidence as a doctor, her concern for her family, her grief over her son’s death, her own near death experience, even her talent as a flirt – all believable and masterfully done. Her performance in this episode goes beyond that excellence into a category deserving recognition. Awards, people, I’m talking awards. And shit if I’m not good and hooked on this show.
So, tell me. What’s your reaction to Proof?
UPDATE: In case you missed Proof when it was live you can buy it on Amazon Video [Proof]
All Images @TNT
Proof released an extended preview for the show which begins on TNT on June 16. We get a bit more of scenes with Jennifer Beals, Matthew Modine, and Joe Morton than the previous previews.
I’ve tried to identify faces in the trailer. There’s no need to explain who Jennifer Beals, Matthew Modine, and Joe Morton are. I think the young woman playing Dr. Russo’s daughter is Annie Thurman, if the character Sophie is Russo’s daughter. The youngish looking African American man is played by Edi Gathegi. Callum Blue is in the cast; I think he’s another doctor.
Three of the 7 producers on Proof are women, including Kyra Sedgewick. Alex Graves is director and Rob Bragin is the writer.
The new TNT series Proof will begin this summer, on the schedule right after Rizzoli and Isles. Series producer Kyra Sedgwick recently talked about casting Jennifer Beals as a thorasic surgeon, the lead character in Proof.
A couple of trailers for Proof have been released, which I didn’t post here yet. This seems like a perfect time to make up for that omission.
Joe Morton and Matthew Modine are other well-known actors in this series.
The following one you may want to click off at the end so further video from Yahoo doesn’t keep playing.
Proof, the new Jennifer Beals drama coming to TNT, released an official trailer. Looks like there’s going to be some action built into the this character’s story. I don’t know if you follow Jennifer Beals on Twitter, but she shows a strong interest in science in her Twitter life. I’m thinking this whip-smart scientist part is going to fit her perfectly.
Also starring in Proof are Matthew Modine and Joe Morton. Check out Matthew Modine in this preview. Why do men look so good with gray in their hair while women aren’t supposed to be gray? I hope Joe Morton has time to do this and still be Olivia Pope’s dad on Scandal because he is the essence of danger there.
The producer for this show is Kyra Sedgwick. In case you thought acting was her only gig, she’s been producing since 1996.
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?
Today I celebrate two intelligent, talented, and inspiring actresses who have starring roles in two new TNT pilots.
Jennifer Beals will be in Proof, which is described as a supernatural medical drama. Beals will play a surgeon. The executive producer is Kyra Sedgwick.
Julia Stiles will star in Guilt by Association. This story is based on a book by former prosecutor Marcia Clark. Stiles plays a Deputy DA in the LA County District Attorney’s office. Rose Rollins and Elisabeth Röhm are also in the cast.
I love this news from TNT. I love that new shows are developed that star such awesome women. I love that they are coming from a cable network. I can’t wait to see both of the pilots and hope the shows are picked up for many happy seasons with Jennifer Beals and Julia Stiles at the helm.
Doing the happy dance over the possibility of two more female lead dramas on my TV each week.