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Showing posts from November, 2012

The Daily Beast: "Ben Whishaw, The Hour's British Invader"

Q in Skyfall goes back in time to the 1950s newsroom in Season Two of The Hour , beginning tonight. I explore the range and appeal of talented British actor Ben Whishaw. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " The Hour 's British Invader," in which I write about the astonishing range of 32-year-old British actor Ben Whishaw, who held his own against Bond as Q in Skyfall and returns to television tonight with Season Two of BBC America's The Hour . You know Ben Whishaw. Or rather, you should know precisely who the British actor is, even if he isn’t yet a household name. You may have seen him as doomed poet John Keats in 2009’s Bright Star or as doomed playboy Sebastian Flyte in the remake of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. In this autumn’s Cloud Atlas, he plays five distinct roles, from a classical composer and a record-store clerk to a cabin boy and even a woman. And you definitely saw him in the most recent James Bond flick, Skyfall, i

The Daily Beast: "Dallas Loses Its Schemer: Larry Hagman Dies at 81"

Larry Hagman, best known as the dastardly J.R. Ewing, died Friday at age 81. I explore the indelible mark Hagman left on television and popular culture. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Dallas Loses Its Schemer," in which I offer an obituary and appreciation for the late Dallas actor Larry Hagman, who passed away on Friday at the age of 81. Actor Larry Hagman, best known for his role as Dallas’s Machiavellian oil baron J.R. Ewing, died Friday at age 81, after complications from cancer. Hagman’s career spanned over 60 years, and included not only Dallas and its revival series, which launched earlier this year on TNT, but also the seminal 1960s comedy series I Dream of Jeannie, where he played Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson opposite Barbara Eden’s titular character. Hagman had, according to The Hollywood Reporter, filmed six of the new Dallas’s 15 episodes at the time of his death, with the second season scheduled to start on January 28. How the show

The Daily Beast: "Borgen, The Thick of It, Bond: What to Watch During the Thanksgiving Weekend"

Clear the table, do the dishes, hit the couch—TV is ready for you, with a slew of marathons, miniseries and specials, from Borgen to Bond, from Sherlock to Louie . I offer my take on what to watch on TV and online this weekend. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Borgen, The Thick of It , Bond: What to Watch During the Thanksgiving Weekend," in which I round up some notable television marathons ( Borgen ! Bond!) as well as selections from Hulu, Netflix, and on linear television, to keep you occupied (or offer you an escape) this holiday weekend. Thanksgiving isn’t just about gorging yourself on turkey and pumpkin pie--it’s also about getting prostrate on the couch after stuffing yourself … or getting away from your family for a few hours in front of the television. Fortunately, the television networks have realized that everyone during the long Thanksgiving weekend is in search of escape of some kind, and have gone out of their way to offer a

The Daily Beast: "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen"

Sofie Gråbøl may not be a household name in the U.S., but around the globe she’s now legendary for her performance as Sarah Lund in the Danish television drama Forbrydelsen . At The Daily Beast, I explore Lund’s appeal and the sensational third season of the original The Killing , which premieres on BBC Four in the U.K. on Saturday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Denmark's Leading Export: Sofie Gråbøl, Star of Forbrydelsen, " in which I explore both Sofie Gråbøl and Sarah Lund’s appeal and the gripping tension of Forbrydelsen III . It is tragic that American viewers have been denied the chance to become obsessed with Forbrydelsen and with the show’s magnetic star, Sofie Gråbøl. The Danish detective drama exemplifies the power of the provocative and globally significant Nordic noir genre, and the show's lead delivers one of television's most haunting performances of the past decade. Gråbøl, 44, has achieved cult status in Britain and

The Daily Beast: "Why Is No One Watching ABC’s Critically Acclaimed Drama Nashville?"

Nashville is one of the fall season’s few critical sensations. So why is no one watching? I explore the reasons why ABC’s country music drama isn’t a ratings success—yet. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why Is No One Watching ABC’s Critically Acclaimed Drama Nashville ?" in which I offer praise of ABC's Nashville , and ponder why more viewers aren't watching this fantastic drama. The fall television season has been largely disappointing. Few new shows have captured the passion or imagination of viewers, and the war of comedies on the broadcast networks—with no less than three separate comedy blocks on Tuesday nights!—has turned out to be little more than a minor skirmish. So it’s all the more disheartening that one of the few bright spots on the fall schedule, ABC’s Nashville—which was picked up for a full season earlier this week—seems to be suffering as much hardship as a heroine in a country song. Despite overwhelming critical p

The Daily Beast: "Top Chef: Seattle Shows Signs of Returning the Culinary Series to Its Strengths"

I review Bravo’s latest culinary iteration, Top Chef: Seattle , which shows signs of improvement after the franchise’s recent rock-bottom season. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Top Chef: Seattle Shows Signs of Returning the Culinary Series to Its Strengths," in which I offer a re-evaluation of Bravo's Top Chef , which returns tonight with a Seattle edition and which shows major improvements from last season. I was almost done with Top Chef earlier this year, after a season of Texas-sized gimmicks and faux drama that left me nearly reaching for a knife of my own. (Or the remote, at the very least.) Bravo’s cooking-competition franchise had tumbled sharply from its previous high, following on the heels of an All-Stars season that focused on the culinary know-how of some innately gifted professional chefs, rather than on drunken shenanigans or behavior more worthy of a high-school clique. But last season, which found a group of chefs trave