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Showing posts with the label HBO

The Daily Beast: "Jack Huston: Boardwalk Empire's Scene-Stealer"

HBO’s Boardwalk Empire revolves around mob feuds, illegal bootlegging, and the corruption and venality that accompanied Prohibition. But beneath the surface, the show is about grasping at the American dream. That quest for happiness has never been more vivid—nor more painfully realized—than in Boardwalk Empire ’s Richard Harrow, a Great War sniper who now kills for profit, wearing a tin half-mask. Jack Huston, the grandson of legendary director John Huston (and nephew to Anjelica and Danny Huston), is stealing nearly every scene of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire , where he plays disfigured sniper turned hitman Richard Harrow. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Boardwalk Empire 's Scene-Stealer," in which I talk to Huston about this week’s episode, wearing the mask, and whether Richard still has a soul.

The Daily Beast: "A Gifted Man's Leading Lady: Jennifer Ehle"

Jennifer Ehle, best known for playing Elizabeth Bennet in BBC’s Pride & Prejudice , co-stars in a new CBS drama, A Gifted Man . Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " A Gifted Man 's Leading Lady," in which I sit down with Jennifer Ehle to discuss ghost sex, Game of Thrones, A Gifted Man, Pride & Prejudice , attachment parenting, Mr. Darcy, and more. A Gifted Man begins tonight at 8 pm ET/PT on CBS.

The Daily Beast: "The Fall TV Season Begins!"

Time to head back to the couch, America. The fall TV season is here and all of your favorite shows—from The Walking Dead and The Good Wife to Dexter and Boardwalk Empire —and a slew of new ones are soon heading to a TV set near you. Will you find Ringer to be the second coming of Sarah Michelle Gellar… or is it the second coming of Silk Stalkings ? Time will tell, but at least your TV favorites are back with brand new seasons, and lots of plot twists. To refresh your memory after the long summer, over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "The Fall TV Season Begins!," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I round up a guide to the good and bad times of last season--or in this case, 23 cliffhangers--and offer a peek into what’s coming next this fall.

Day of the Dead: Thoughts on the Season Finale of HBO's True Blood

"I'll always be with you." I've been quiet about the last few episodes of True Blood , partly because I've had a massive amount of deadlines at work and am in the process of moving house (and taking time off as a result), but also because my enthusiasm for the series has waned considerably during the final few installments of Season Four. After a series of strong episodes, I felt the quality drop considerably out of the final third of the season. I will say, however, that I did quite enjoy the season finale ("And When I Die"), written by Raelle Tucker and directed by Scott Winant, which is a head-scratcher as I typically don't love the True Blood season finales as a rule, as they tend to be more about setting up the next season than wrapping up storylines. (I tend to think of them more as epilogues or codas than anything else.) Given how little I've liked the rally massacre/standoff at Moon Goddess storylines, I was surprised by how much ple

The Daily Beast: "Game of Thrones' Creative Gurus:" (Interview with Dan Weiss and David Benioff)

Hungry for some Game of Thrones scoop? (I know I am.) Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Game of Thrones ' Creative Gurus," in which I catch up with Game of Thrones writer/executive producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff to discuss the show's numerous Emmy nominations (and Emilia Clarke's snub), the casting of Carice van Houten and Hannah Murray (as Melisandre and Gilly, respectively), "sexposition," and what's to come in Season Two of the HBO fantasy drama. All together now: "HODOR!" Season Two of Game of Thrones will launch in 2012.

The Daily Beast: "Becoming Chloë Sevigny"

Oscar nominee Chloë Sevigny may be the former star of Big Love on TV – but online, she’s developed a viral following at the hand of her drag-queen impersonator, Drew Droege. Over at The Daily Beast, Droege writes about his muse and inspiration, and how the two came face to face, in the hilarious first-person piece "Becoming Chloë Sevigny." (Complete with video from Droege's mordant and biting viral video series Chloe .)

True Blood's Downward Turn (Or Why I'm Not Writing a Typical Review This Week)

Confession: I couldn't bring myself to rewatch last night's episode of True Blood . This hasn't happened to date. Typically, I watch the series via press screener a few weeks ahead of broadcast and then sit down on Sunday night to rewatch the week's latest installment in order to have it fresh in my mind so I can write my review. This was not what happened this week. In fact, I was so turned off by Sunday's episode ("Let's Get Out of Here"), written by Brian Buckner and directed by Romeo Tirone, that I couldn't actually force myself to sit through it again. Which is saying something, I think. Perhaps it was the overabundance of Emma (shudder), the hostage standoff/ Ghost Whisperer plot of Lafayette (double shudder), Sookie's intensely unerotic dream, or the irritating showdown at the Vampire Rights rally (yawn), this episode just got under my skin in the worst possible way. I've been able to rationalize a lot with True Blood and fin

Shot Through the Heart: Spellbound on True Blood

"She has a warrior's heart." - Eric Upfront: I haven't read the Sookie Stackhouse novels, so I approach HBO's True Blood from a very different vantage point than I do, say, Game of Thrones , where I'm familiar with the novels, the characters, and where the story is going several seasons down the road. Not so with True Blood , which means that I'm not approaching the material with any degree of anticipation of future events, seminal moments, or the infamous shower scene, which--as promised by yours truly several weeks ago--did play out this week, albeit in a vastly different fashion than many of Charlaine Harris' fans expected. They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but the reverse is also true: familiarity can breed passionate love, particularly where adaptation is involved. Knowledge of the source material can color one's perceptions of an adaptation, especially one which strays from the established for the new. I say this with no judgmen

Bright Light, Dark Star: Fun in the Sun on True Blood

Enter the daylight. Vampires, as we all know (or at least within the world of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and True Blood ), are denied the warmth of the sun and forced to spend their existence in the cold darkness of night. Sookie Stackhouse's faerie blood allows the user to daywalk, granting limited exposure to the sunlight for the vampire in question. But this is just a taste of the sun's light; it's far from permanent and it often leaves the user even more vulnerably cast back into the shadows. Sunlight, then, is deadly: the rays of the sun bring the one true death, a crispy, sizzling, burning one as a vampire is consumed from within, their blood boiling and their skin smoldering in the heat. It is not a pleasant demise by any stretch, which must be why vengeful spirit Antonia finds it so deliciously simpatico with her needs: bring the vampires into the one thing they all crave but cannot survive. Quite a lot happens in this week's episode of True Blood (&quo

Howling at the Moon: The Price of Being Special on True Blood

"There ain't no such thing as normal." As I said on Twitter last night, I thought that this week's episode of True Blood was the strongest installment the series has had in quite some time. Beautiful and emotionally resonant (as well as overflowing with plot), this week's thought-provoking episode ("I Wish I Was the Moon"), written by Raelle Tucker and directed by Jeremy Podeswa, revolved around the full moon over Bon Temps and found the sleepy (and yet supes-teeming) town coming to terms with themselves and their true natures. This thematically made quite a lot of sense with the use of the full moon--planted several episodes ago--bringing out the "special" in quite a few of the supernatural denizens of Bon Temps. But it was the sequence between Ryan Kwanten's Jason Stackhouse and Deborah Ann Woll's Jessica that stood out as the heart of the episode, as the two lay on their backs in the woods staring up at the moon. Would Jason t

The Daily Beast: "True Blood’s Scene-Stealer"

As Pam, True Blood 's resident bitchy vampire, Kristin Bauer van Straten has walked off with the drama’s best lines and many of its scenes. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " True Blood ’s Scene-Stealer," in which I sit down with Kristin Bauer van Straten to talk about Pam, Eric, and Alexander Skarsgard, as well as her background and why she nearly quit acting. (Plus, Seinfeld 's "Man Hands!") True Blood airs Sunday evenings at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO.

Chains: Capture and Release on True Blood

"There's a light in you, it's beautiful. I couldn't bear it if I snuffed it out." - Eric Northman Imprisonment, both literal and figurative, seemed to be one of the underlying themes of this week's episode of True Blood ("Me and the Devil"), written by Mark Hudis and directed by Daniel Minahan, which found the various characters encountering their worst fears and darkest truths about their natures. Tommy Mickens began the episode wrapped up in chains, ensnared by his no-good mercenary parents, but his storyline in this week's episode closed out with Tommy victorious over them, though his sense of guilt caged him anew. (In literature, there is nothing worse than a kinslayer, a grievous sin that one of the worst that anyone can perpetrate. There are cosmic consequences that come from spilling one's own blood, after all.) Tara found that she had trapped herself by the lies she's constructed about her identity; Eric by the unexpected sh

No Such Thing as Forever: HBO Unveils Comic-Con Sizzle Reel for Season Four of True Blood

"There ain't no such thing as normal." Missed yesterday's Comic-Con panel for HBO's True Blood ? Fret not, we've got the gorgeous and atmospheric trailer that HBO debuted yesterday right now. Be warned: it contains many, many spoilers for Season Four (past even the next few episodes that I've already seen), but for those desperate for a Blood -related fix, this might be just the thing to tide your appetite over until tomorrow night... Some more words to tempt your hunger: Silver chains, hot pink outfits, wooden bullets, sunlight, blood splatter, Sookie's stomach, and, well... Just watch and see. Season Four of True Blood airs Sundays at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO.

Dispatches from San Diego: Comic-Con 2011 Game of Thrones Panel (Photos)

I'm not in San Diego for this year's Comic-Con (marking the first year in about six that I haven't traveled south for the annual pop culture confab) for a number of reasons. Not surprisingly, the one session I'm most upset about missing out on this year is HBO's session for Game of Thrones , moderated by George R.R. Martin, given my slavish devotion to the show and Martin's novels. However, Televisionary correspondent Lissette Lira was on the scene to offer some photos from Thursday's Game of Thrones session. [Panel report tk later.] * * * [Photos from the session follow after the jump...]

The Way of All Flesh: Corruption and Decay on True Blood

"I'd never harm you." - Eric Northman In the world of True Blood , vampires may be a part of nature, but they also exist in their own unique sphere of the natural world. After all, their status quo is vastly different than anything else on the planet: they shun the light and their bodies retain their youthful looks after centuries--or even millennia--upon this earth. There's an unnaturalness to their very naturalness, even in Charlaine Harris' and Alan Ball's vision of the world. Which might explain why the vampires are so concerned about necromancy: it represents a real threat to the very balance of their existence. Vampires are dead, after all, and necromancers have an uncanny knack for controlling the dead. Which means that their very autonomy is at threat, and as we saw this week, necromancers like Marnie have the ability to remind the vampires that they are in fact the walking dead. On this week's episode of True Blood ("I'm Alive and

A Doll's House: Games People Play on True Blood

As often happens in Bon Temps, people don't seem to be falling together, but rather falling apart. Case in point: star-crossed lovers Jessica and Hoyt, who have embarked on a life of domesticity together, only to find that playing house isn't as easy as it looks from the outside. Over the last few weeks, we've seen these two engage in all manner of domestic sparring, as insignificant squabbles blow into something bigger and more indefinable about their relationship: an argument over dinner turns into a raw-egg-eating contest, a trip for Advil becomes a case of Jessica feeding on another man, and a confession turns into something brutal and heart-breaking here. On this week's episode of True Blood ("If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyinʼ?"), written by Alan Ball and directed by David Petrarca, the widening chasm between Jessica and Hoyt looked all the more vast and empty, as something terrible came between the two young lovers on opposite sides of the vampire-huma