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BuzzFeed: "The Affair Advances Hollywood’s Heated War-Between-The-Sexes Conversation"

The new Showtime drama joins movies Gone Girl and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby in its exploration of gender wars, a topic that’s currently heating up the pop culture landscape. Warning: Minor spoilers for both films and the series ahead. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Affair Advances Hollywood’s Heated War-Between-The-Sexes Conversation," in which I review Showtime's The Affair and examine it in the context of the similarly themed battle-of-the-sexes dramas Gone Girl and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby . While we can attempt to empathize, it’s impossible to truly ever know every crevice of someone’s psyche, whether it’s the stranger you pass in the street or your own spouse. Other people are innately unknowable. Gone Girl, whose gender politics have been hotly debated, takes this notion to an operatic and hyper-intense place as the audience is forced to contend with the unreliability of two narrators — Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), the

BuzzFeed: "Twin Peaks Co-Creator Mark Frost On The Series’ Return To Television"

Damn fine news: After 25 years, Twin Peaks is headed to Showtime with a nine-episode limited series. BuzzFeed News spoke to Frost about the revival and what fans can expect. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " Twin Peaks Co-Creator Mark Frost On The Series’ Return To Television," in which I talk to Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost about the series' resurrection as a limited series on Showtime in 2016. Earlier this summer, deleted and extended scenes from the Twin Peaks follow-up film Fire Walk With Me were unearthed for the series’ complete Blu-ray release. But that was nothing compared to what happened on Oct. 6, as the impossible suddenly became a reality: Co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost announced that Twin Peaks would be returning to television 25 years after it went off the air, its resolution as hazy and unclear as a fever dream. Nine episodes of a Twin Peaks revival series will air on Showtime in 2016 as a limited series, one that promise

BuzzFeed: "Where Can Homeland Go From Here?"

Showtime’s espionage thriller wrapped up its third season and much of its overall narrative. So where can the show possibly go in Season 4? WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, "Where Can Homeland Go From Here?" in which I look at the third season finale of Showtime's Homeland and where the show could possibly go from here. (Answer: wherever it does, I likely won't be watching as I'm fatigued with this show at this point.) With Sunday’s season finale of Homeland (“The Star”), Showtime’s espionage thriller seemed to fold inwards upon itself, offering up a 20-minute epilogue that felt very much like a conclusion for the series, an alternately intelligent and deeply frustrating drama, depending where in its overall narrative you were at any given time. (It was, however, renewed for a fourth season earlier this year.) In its often maddening and meandering third season, Homeland found Carrie (Claire Danes) pretending to be on

The Daily Beast: "Ray Donovan: Is the Liev Schreiber–Led Showtime Drama The Next Sopranos?"

I review Showtime’s fixer drama Ray Donovan , which begins Sunday night and stars Liev Schreiber as a Hollywood fixer whose South Boston past creates present-day troubles. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Ray Donovan : Is the Liev Schreiber–Led Showtime Drama The Next Sopranos ?" in which I review Showtime's fantastic new drama Ray Donovan , which premieres on Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The specter of HBO’s still-mourned organized crime family drama The Sopranos, which arguably kicked off the latest golden age of television, can be glimpsed in the foundations of nearly every cable drama that has come since, ushering in an era of the male antihero that has permeated the popular culture. The Sopranos’s mischievous, malevolent spirit flits through Showtime’s outstanding new drama Ray Donovan, which premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. Starring Liev Schreiber as the titular character, the show—created by Ann Biderman, who also created the gripping

The Daily Beast: "Is This The Real Carrie Mathison?"

Who is the real Carrie Mathison? I explore the thematic overlaps between two female spies now stealing our collective attention: Claire Danes’s character on Homeland and Jessica Chastain’s Maya in Zero Dark Thirty . WARNING: the following contains plot details from the latest episode of Homeland . If you are not up to date, read at your own peril. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Is This The Real Carrie Mathison?," in which I compare the similarities and thematic overlaps between Homeland 's Carrie (Claire Danes) and Jessica Chastain's pseudonymous CIA agent "Maya" in Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming Osama bin Laden manhunt film Zero Dark Thirty , out December 19th in New York and Los Angeles. “We fight with what we have.” On the most recent episode of Showtime’s byzantine terrorism thriller Homeland, Carrie Mathison, the damaged, disgraced, bipolar CIA analyst played by Emmy-winner Claire Danes, finally came face-to-face with

The Daily Beast: "Review: Season 2 of Homeland and Season 4 of The Good Wife"

Set your DVRs! I review Season Two of Showtime’s Homeland and Season Four of CBS’s The Good Wife , finding common ground in their deft and subtle explorations of identity. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TV's Kick-Ass Women Return," in which I review Season Two of Homeland and Season Four of The Good Wife , tracing the way that both shows explore their characters' shifting identities. In the season opener of Homeland, which airs on Sunday, Claire Danes’s Carrie Mathison smiles. If you’ve been watching Showtime’s Homeland, the newly crowned winner of the Emmy Award for Best Drama, this seems entirely contrary to her character, a bipolar and deeply disgraced CIA officer who underwent electroconvulsive therapy in the first season finale. Carrie isn’t prone to happiness: she has been misunderstood, mocked, and kicked out of the intelligence community. For all of that, Carrie was also right that Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Emmy Award winner Damia

The Daily Beast: "Homeland Sweeps the Emmys: Why Showtime’s Thriller Exploded"

Mad Men is triumphant no more. I examine Showtime’s superlative terrorist thriller Homeland , which took home the Emmy for best drama Sunday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Homeland Sweeps the Emmys: Why Showtime’s Thriller Exploded," in which I take a look at Homeland 's victory at the Primetime Emmy Awards last night and look at why the premium cable drama toppled Mad Men . Not only did Mad Men not win the Emmy Award for best drama, the AMC period drama went home empty-handed Sunday, leaving the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards with not a single statuette in its possession. In the weeks leading up to the awards telecast, Mad Men seemed very much like a sure thing: it had won four of the four times it was eligible for Best Drama, and the odds seemed very much in its favor once more. In fact, Showtime’s Homeland—the taut psychological drama that also nabbed best-actor and -actress awards for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes—had cooled in

The Daily Beast: "Best Drama Race: Will Mad Men Make History?"

The race for the Emmy Awards’ top drama prize is fierce (hello, Downton !). Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Best Drama Race: Will Mad Men Make History?" in which I assess the field to see whether Mad Men will make history with a fifth win. Can Mad Men could do the impossible on Sunday and win a fifth Emmy Award for Best Drama? After walking away with the statuette four years in a row, all eyes are on AMC’s Emmy darling, which could make history with a five-time win. Currently, Mad Men shares the record for most Best Drama wins with such notable programs as Hill Street Blues, The West Wing, and L.A. Law, all of which were crowned victors four times. But a win at Sunday’s 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards would make Mad Men the undisputed drama record-holder, no small feat for a show that is about to go into its sixth season—reportedly the show’s penultimate—and whose loyal viewers are considerably dwarfed by HBO’s and Showtime’s entries. Ma

The Daily Beast: "TV Tackles Bipolar Disorder"

With Showtime’s recent dramas Homeland and Shameless , characters with bipolar disorder on television are no longer on the fringes. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "TV Tackles Bipolar Disorder," in which I explore the portrayals of Carrie Mathison and Monica Gallagher, played by Claire Danes and Chloe Webb, as individuals with bipolar disorder and how those realistic and nuanced portrayals both shape their respective series but also help to remove the stigma associated with mental illness. I talk to Homeland co-creator Alex Gansa about Carrie's illness and how her decision to turn to ECT will affect Season Two (beginning in September) and with Shameless writer/producer Etan Frankel about the handling of Monica and how her condition has molded the Gallagher family. On Homeland, Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison is a brilliant and ambitious CIA analyst, gifted with a beautiful mind that sees connections and hidden patterns that others around her

Our Own Worst Enemy is Ourselves: Quick Thoughts on the Homeland Season Finale

I'm puzzled by how polarizing the season finale ("Marine One") of Showtime's Homeland ended up being, with viewers on one side or the other about just how effective--and believable--the climax of the espionage drama was last night. Personally, I thought it was powerful, heartbreaking, and superlative, filled with emotional resonance and an aura of tragedy hovering uneasily over everyone, particularly the now-tragic figure of Cassandra-like Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), whose portents of doom fell onto deaf ears. It's Carrie who saves the lives of the Vice President and his cabinet as well as that of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), but her instability is used as a weapon against her. In essence, she saves the world, but is denied the knowledge that she's done so. Her breakdown in the final third of the episode isn't just a mental one, but that of communication as well as self-worth. Carrie's entire persona is based on a laser-like precision of the

The Daily Beast: "Showtime's Homeland: The Best New Show of the Season

There is no room for argument: Showtime’s provocative and gut-wrenching psychological thriller Homeland is the best new show of the season. Revolving around two very unreliable narrators engaged in a series of riveting mind games, Homeland explores an America 10 years after 9/11, surveying the damage done to both the national psyche and the central protagonists. Claire Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA operative with both a mental illness and a troubling sense of personal guilt that she missed crucial intelligence prior to the Sept. 11 attacks; Damian Lewis (Life) plays soldier Nicholas Brody, a prisoner of war who returns home to a family that long thought him dead, and who may or may not have been turned into an enemy of the state during his eight-year captivity in Iraq. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "Showtime's Homeland : The Best New Show of the Season," in which I talk to the show's co-creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gor

Heart of Gold/Heart of Glass: An Advance Review of Season Four of Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Over the course of the last three seasons, we've gotten to know the, uh, intimate secrets and details of the double life of Hannah/Belle (Billie Piper), the working girl attempting to life her life and figure out just what she wants out of it. Tonight marks the launch of the fourth and final season of the frothy and fun Secret Diary of a Call Girl and we see Belle standing at the edge of a precipice: Will she allow herself the chance to be happy with Ben (Iddo Goldberg)? Can she ever be happy or hope to settle down, given her line of work? Will she choose between personal fulfillment, professional success, or something that blends the two? As Season Four--which launches tonight on Showtime--begins, Belle finds herself grappling with a series of transformative changes in her life. She's back in London after a luxurious gig that took her far away from her life and from Ben, of whom she's still sure of what the future holds. Returning to the city, she's now a proud home

The Saints' Guide to Bottoming Out: An Advance Review of Season Three of Nurse Jackie

It's always rewarding--and exceedingly rare--to see a show have such a sense of itself right out of the gate and to continue to mine its central premise and its characters for new depths (and highs) as the seasons pass by. Showtime's dark and hysterical dramedy Nurse Jackie returns tonight for a sensational third season with its sense of self firmly intact. Revolving around in-denial drug addict Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco), her family, and her memorably offbeat emergency room co-workers, the show is a winning blend of emotional highs and lows. Jackie still can't function without the assistance of prescription painkillers, but the walls have closed in on her after the intervention at the end of last season, thrown on her by husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) and best friend Dr. Eleanor O'Hara (Eve Best). But rather than get the help we all know she needs, Jackie lashes out at those who would help her; there's a lesson inherent within her reaction that we can only help

British Invasion: Brief Reviews of Showtime's Shameless and Episodes

The irony of airing a series based on a hit British series ( Shameless ) back-to-back with a comedy that satirizes that very process ( Episodes ) isn't lost on Showtime's president of entertainment David Nevins . But that juxtaposition is part of the charm of seeing these two series launch on Sunday evening. While tonally dissimilar, there's an anarchistic quality to both Shameless and Episodes . While both are enjoyable series in their own right, it's Shameless that is the true breakout hit for the network, a remarkable translation of Paul Abbott's hit C4 drama, which deposits the rough-scrabble Gallagher family to the mean street of Chicago. Overseen by ER 's John Wells, Shameless is gripping and absorbing television that's instantly ranks as the best of 2011. At turns hilarious, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and sexy, Shameless upholds the high quality of the British original (along with borrowing some plot points in the first few episodes as wel

The Daily Beast: "Showtime's New Mastermind, David Nevins"

Former producer David Nevins stunned many Hollywood insiders when he announced that he was stepping down from his role at Imagine Television and taking the top job at Showtime, recently vacated by Robert Greenblatt. Now five months into his term at Showtime, I sit down with Nevins over lunch in a new feature at The Daily Beast, entitled "Showtime's New Mastermind, David Nevins," in which he tells me about his “girly taste in television,” and why it’s “fun to be naughty” as a programmer. We also discuss what's coming up for the network, what's in development (Damian Lewis/Claire Danes psychological drama Homeland, House of Lies , starring Don Cheadle), the challenges and opportunities facing Showtime, which is on a growth trend, and, um, selling Time Life books over the phone.

Life Serial: Dexter Gets Sixth Season

Not exactly a shocker: Showtime has officially renewed its top-rated drama Dexter for a sixth season. The current season will wrap up its run on Sunday, while Season Six of Dexter will go into production in Los Angeles in the spring. No word on when the next season will launch on the pay cabler, but another fall launch--such as the one for the current season--is more than likely. “ Dexter is the best suspense drama on television,” said Showtime President of Entertainment David Nevins. “To grow its audience so significantly in its fifth season is an enormous accomplishment by this amazing cast and crew. This is the easiest decision I’ve made since I got to Showtime.” The full press release from Showtime can be found below. SHOWTIME SLICES INTO A SIXTH SEASON OF DEXTER Network’s Top-Rated Drama Series Renewed DEXTER On Pace To Post Its Highest- Rated Season Ever LOS ANGELES, CA — (December 6, 2010) — As season five of SHOWTIME’s top-rated drama series DEXTER, starring Emmy®-n

The Daily Beast: "Idris Elba: The Next Denzel"

Idris Elba is everywhere, from The Big C to next summer’s Thor to playing Alex Cross in the rebooted James Patterson franchise. His BBC America mystery, Luther , begins Sunday. Over at The Daily Beast, I talk to the former star of HBO's The Wire about his career and about his new BBC show Luther in my latest feature, "The Next Denzel," in which we discuss everything from Luther to The Big C and The Office and his role in James Patterson's Alex Cross franchise, a role he takes over from Morgan Freeman. Personally, I had a blast chatting with Idris, who has an immense amount of charm and charisma... as well as a way with colorful turns of phrases. Luther begins Sunday night at 10 pm ET/PT on BBC America.

Channel Surfing: Incredible Hulk to Smash ABC, Wentworth Miller Spies Spartacus, HBO Eyes Tea Leoni, Weeds' Shane, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Hulk smash... TV? The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd and Brys Kit are reporting that ABC and Marvel are developing a television series based on comic "The Incredible Hulk," which was previously a 1978-82 television series that starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. Hulk is one of two projects, along with Cloak and Dagger (which is said to be in development at ABC Family), that Marvel Studios has in development, though the company is also said to be looking at other properties to develop as series, including Heroes for Hire, The Eternals, Agents of Atlas, Alter Ego, Moon Knight, The Hood, Ka-Zar, Daughters of the Dragon, and The Punisher , the latter of which is said to also be high on Marvel's radar, possibly as a cable series. [Editor: The story, however, fails to discern between several properties, which it has erroneously merged into single entities.] ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Entertainme

The Daily Beast: "TV's Pop Art Boom"

Law & Order: SVU valentines, anyone? Over at The Daily Beast today, I offer a look at "TV's Pop Art Boom." In my latest feature , I talk to graphic artists Dyna Moe and Ty Mattson about their Mad Men -, Lost -, and Dexter -inspired artwork, which has redefined the term "fan art" and taken it to an entirely different level, where television-inspired pieces are challenging the way that we look at the medium and offering a new perspective to the atmosphere, characters, setting, and tone of some of our favorite series. Plus, I offer a gallery of television-inspired pieces of art from Dyna Moe, Ty Mattson, Brandon Bird, and others, including some must-see Law & Order -inspired pieces.

Channel Surfing: Gwyneth Paltrow Tackles Glee, V lands Jay Karnes, NBC Lands Legends, Showtime Renews Weeds, The Big C, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos is reporting that Gwyneth Paltrow is in talks to join the cast of FOX's Glee in a two-episode story arc in which she would play a potential love interest for Matthew Morrison's Will Schuester. "According to rock-solid Glee sources, Gwyneth would play a substitute teacher in two episodes airing in November," writes Dos Santos. "Mr. Schuester gets sick, so Gwyneth's character steps in and takes over the glee club. The kids love her, and Will starts to fall for her... complicating his relationship with Emma (Jayma Mays)... I'm told Glee creator/executive producer/creative badass Ryan Murphy wrote this role expressly for Gwyneth, as the two are friends. If it all comes together, Ryan will be directing her first episode, which begins shooting in two weeks." Should the deal close, Paltrow would appear in two episodes slated to air in November. ( E! Online's Watc