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Fall 2015 Premieres and What to Watch

Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin, L) and new Sorority Pledges Grace (Skyler Samuels, C) and Zayday (Keke Palmer, R).

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: upfronts. This is like my draft day. It’s like Christmas. This is the week that all major networks release their fall line-ups; new trailers, new faces, and new schedules. After keeping a watchful eye on all the updates, I’m ready to tell you my favorites. Here are the shows I’m most excited about starting this fall.

Grandfathered, FOX

I laughed out loud. I gushed. I had goosebumps. And that was only from the trailer. John Stamos portrays Jimmy, a lifetime bachelor whose life is upended when he discovers he’s a father—and a grandfather. Josh Peck portrays his hopeless, mess of a son. Paget Brewster is his ex-girlfriend.

Reasons to watch: The chemistry between the actors seems to be perfect. John Stomas and Paget Brewster are natural together.

Cast: John Stamos, Josh Peck, Paget Brewster, Christina Milian, Kelly Jenrette, Ravi Patel

Scream Queens, FOX

If you combine Glee, American Horror Story, and Emma Roberts’ resting bitch face (all of my favorite things) you get Scream Queens. The plot hasn’t been fully explained yet and I think that’s why I like it. There’s a little bit of mystery. We know that it’s set on a college campus, there have been a series of murders, and it’s a comedy. I’m intrigued. And I’m not alone judging by the straight to series order.

Reasons to watch: That cast.

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Oliver Hudson, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Nick Jonas, Ariana Grande, Billie Lourd, Skyler Samuels, Lucien Laviscount, Niecy Nash, Diego Boneta, Glen Powell, Nasim Pedrad

Flesh and Bone, STARZ

This was the first trailer I watched that made me actually giddy with new television excitement. Can we just call it what it is? Center Stage: The Gritty Sequel. I mean, it even has Charlie from Center Stage. CHARLIE! And let’s be real. Center Stage is the BEST movie. It’s that go to movie that you watch to reminisce about how easy it was to be a teen in the early 2000s. I fondly remember days where it played on HBO after school while I pretended to do pirouettes in the kitchen before my parents got home from work.

Anyway, Flesh and Bone follows Claire, a young dancer with a distinctly troubled past as she enters into the American Ballet Company in New York. The eight-hour series has been described as gritty and complex as it navigates Claire’s self-destructive tendencies.

Reasons to watch: Hellooooooooo! Charlie (Sascha Radetsky) is back!

Cast: Sarah Hay as Claire. The cast includes 22 accomplished ballet dancers including former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko (Kiira), former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky (Ross), Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner (Daphne) and Boardwalk Empire’s Emily Tyra (Mia). Ethan Stiefel, former artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and a former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, served as consultant and choreographer. Other cast members include Josh Helman (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Damon Herriman (Justified), Tina Benko (The Good Wife), Ben Daniels (House Of Cards) and Tovah Feldshuh (The Walking Dead).

The Family, ABC

I could not look away while watching this trailer. Joan Allen plays a local politician whose son (The Way, Way Back’s Liam James) returns after being presumed dead following his disappearance a decade earlier. His return has a ripple effect on the rest of his family. And in probably the most interesting twist, is he who he really says he is?

Reasons to watch: The cast. In addition to Joan Allen and Liam James, Andrew McCarthy portrays the wrongly accused neighbor who has been rotting in prison. Zach Gilford (I’ll always love you Saracen!) is the alcoholic, eldest son. Alison Pill is the tightly wound daughter managing her mother’s campaign. That’s a pretty strong list of talent.

Cast: Zach Gilford, Liam James, Margot Bingham, Joan Allen, Alison Pill, Floriana Lima, Madeleine Arthur, Andrew McCarthy, Rarmian Newton, Rupert Graves

The Grinder, FOX

Rob Lowe stars as a beloved TV lawyer known as “The Grinder.” When his long-running hit series comes to an end he decides to return home and join his family’s real-life law firm—despite having no formal education, no bar certification, no license to practice and no experience in an actual courtroom. Fred Savage plays his hopeless brother.

Reasons to watch: Rob Lowe and his ability to deliver fantastic, ‘knock em outta the park’ speeches.

Cast: Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Natalie Morales, William Devane, Hana Hayes, Connor Kalopsis

Wicked City, ABC

It was really only a matter of time before the True Detective format made it’s way to cable. Each season, Wicked City will follow a different case set in an infamous era of L.A.’s history. For it’s debut, Wicked City is focusing on the Sunset Strip circa 1982. However, it seems this show will focus more on the criminals than the detectives as Erika Christensen’s and Ed Westwick’s Bonnie & Clyde-esque characters take center stage. I’m pretty sure Ed Westwick was destined to stab people in the back of the head.

Reasons to watch: It’ll be a character-driven, true-crime procedural that explores sex and pop culture in L.A. Need I say more?

Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Erika Christensen, Ed Westwick, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Karolina Wydra, Adam Rothenberg, Holley Fain, Anne Winters, Gabriel Luna

Supergirl, CBS

I dunno. I’m not totally sold on this. Even though I’m an avid comic book fan and movie buff, I’ve never been too excited about a comic book as a television series. I’ve passed on The Flash, Arrow, and The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but I’m not uninterested in Supergirl. Melissa Benoist plays Superman’s famous cousin who decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was destined to be. Jimmy Olsen makes an appearance, Jeremy Jordan is her trusty sidekick, and Calista Flockhart is her nasty boss.

Reasons to watch: Girl power?

Cast: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Calista Flockhart, Chyler Leigh, David Harewood, Laura Benanti, Dean Cain, Helen Slater, Jeremy Jordan, Malina Weissman

Blindspot, NBC

A woman (Jaimie Alexander) with no memories of her past is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Why? What happened? Who is she? And we’re off…

Reasons to watch: If you like developing theories, pouring over recaps, and searching for clues then this show is for you.

Cast: Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ashley Johnson, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza, Ukweli Roach


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True Detective Season 2 – Plot speculation and dream cast

With confirmation from creator Nic Pizzolatto on Tuesday, we now know that season two of HBO’s hit True Detective will center around three all new characters. It’s not yet confirmed, but rumors hint that the lead characters will be two males and a female. Season two will be set in California, “Not Los Angeles, but some of the much lesser-known venues of California. And we’re going to try to capture a certain psycho-sphere ambiance of the place, much like we did in season one.” Even more rumors say it’s present day Northern California. With all of this info, let the guessing games begin! What do you think will happen in season two? Who is your dream cast?

Ashley’s Guess

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The female lead (Rachel McAdams) grew up with a father who was a cop killed in the line of duty. His best friend (Jeff Bridges) is her chief and a younger male cop (Gael Garcia Bernal) is her partner. With the case of her father’s death unsolved the partners begin to tie new cases to old cases that led to her father’s death, and all connect back to the chief (aka he’s the killer).

Jenn’s Guess

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A strong female veteran detective (Zoe Saldana) is constantly at odds with her chief (Tim Robbins), not only because of her superior skills but also because the chief is constantly afraid of losing his position of power to a female detective and former partner. The pair are complemented by a new, young, determined male detective (Shia Labeouf) who is ready to learn the ropes of the force. His naivety threatens both his safety and the safety of his new partner when they discover a mass murderer is on the loose and the new partners figure out how to trust each other and solve the case.

Elizabeth’s Guess

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There’s a dark, twisted, damaged male detective (Rob Lowe). A veteran and skilled cop with a hefty drinking problem and a lot of secrets. He overthinks everything and often talks out loud as he tries to understand the twists and turns of the case. He’s gorgeous, an obvious and easy ladies man. His partner is a younger male cop who is naive, optimistic, but driven (Michael B. Jordan). The younger cop dislikes his partner because he often gets lost in his head and leaves the young cop out on his own. The young cop has quite a temper and is often quick on the trigger, because of that he has a dangerously dark past. After a grotesque murder, a task force is formed. New to the force, is a young, doe eyed female (Elizabeth Olsen) with a natural talent and naivety. She quickly finds herself pinned between these partners and their secrets (both on the job and romantically).


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Fall Premieres – What to Watch this Week (October 7)

American Horror Story: Coven, Wednesday at 10pm on FX

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For the last installment of ‘What to Watch this Week’ it was an easy choice.  The writers of RPW have been waiting patiently for the new AHS season since the end of Asylum and rumor has it Ryan Murphy has not disappointed loyal fans.  According to a review by Entertainment Weekly, Wednesday’s episode is the best first episode of all three seasons.  The episode feels lighter and funnier than previous seasons.  Many fans complained during Asylum that it was too “dark and grim and hard.”  I know that I often felt like there was too much.  What else could they throw at me on top of Nazis, the devil, aliens, mental illness, AND a serial killer?  Every episode felt like an exhausting whirlwind.  This season has more comedy and more romance (particularly between season 1 favorites Evan Peters and Taissa Farmiga).  Also, the season was shot on location in New Orleans rather than in a studio, so it feels a little less claustrophobic by comparison.

This season the plot follows Taissa Farmiga’s character, Zoe, a teenager who discovers she’s a witch and is sent by her mother to a very special New Orleans boarding school for witches, Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies.  The school is run by Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) who has recently reunited with her mother, Fiona (Jessica Lange).  Fiona has returned to New Orleans from LA after the murder of a young Salem witch.  Fiona is labeled a ‘Supreme’ for her magical abilities.  All in all, Fiona is witch royalty, descended from Salem spell casters.

The student body – and bloodline – at Miss Robichaux’s is dwindling.  The current students include troubled teen star Madison (Emma Roberts), tough girl Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), and enigmatic Nan (Jamie Brewer).  Additionally, the school faces several outside enemies including a voodoo clan and a Tulane frat (Evan Peters plays frat-boy, Kyle).  We are also introduced via flashback to Marie Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates), who’s based on a real-life socialite and serial killer who tortured black slaves in the early 1800s.

Will you be watching?

Premiering this Week

Sunday, October 6
7/6c
America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)

9/8c
Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime)

10/9c
Witches of East End (Lifetime)

Monday, October 7
8/7c
Hart of Dixie (CW)

9/8c
Beauty and the Beast (CW)

Tuesday, October 8
8/7c
The Biggest Loser (NBC)

9/8c
Supernatural (CW)

Wednesday, October 9
8/7c
Arrow (CW)

9/8c
The Tomorrow People (CW)

10/9c
American Horror Story: Coven (FX)

Thursday, October 10
8/7c
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC)

Sunday, October 13
9/8c
The Walking Dead (AMC)


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‘Homeland’ season 3 premiere – React to Saul’s big reveal and Quinn’s big mistake

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Y’all, that Homeland premiere.

Instead of recapping the entire episode, RPW is trying something a little different with Homeland.  We realize that Homeland is one of those shows you can’t help but watch and ask, “okay, where is this going? what can happen next?”  Each week, we will be discussing our theories, no matter how outlandish, and providing an in-depth look into the episode.  Now, with that out of the way, let’s dive in!  If you haven’t seen this week’s Homeland stop reading, SPOILER ALERT!

The episode was cleverly titled ‘Tin Man is Down’ and we eventually found out that Tin Man is the codename for Quinn’s target in Caracas.  Initially, Quinn did not pursue his target because there was a child present.  Quinn’s inaction means that Saul must act — should they continue with just five targets, or trust Quinn to take down his target so they have all six, or abort the mission all together?  In the days leading up to the op, we see Saul twiddling his thumbs, unsure of whether to pursue the mission.  To really drive the point home, Saul has several discussions with his wife about his constant indecisiveness.  Now, Saul is forced to make a decision under enormous amounts of pressure while Quinn waits patiently for his instructions.  It’s an interesting juxtaposition to see a man who has spent days emotionally deliberating over a decision, weighing all the pros and cons versus a man who acts without emotion or thought — a Tin Man, if you will — that needs his orders.

Saul ultimately decides to move ahead with the mission and sends Quinn into the home of the Tin Man to take him down.  After eliminating his target, Quinn is sweeping the office and at the sight of a flashlight, shoots the impending threat.  That threat was a child.  That’s right, Quinn shot and killed the child.  The wide-eyed horror on his face as he checked the boy’s corpse can only mean one thing, is Quinn really a Tin Man?  At the last minute, he communicates with Langley, “Tin Man is down.”   Literally, he’s referring to his target.  Figuratively, could he be referring to his armor?

Now, I’m a firm believer that Quinn loves Carrie.  In the past, he’s only deferred from his mission of “killing bad guys” once.  Quinn seems to have a soft spot, and that spot is Carrie.  With this tragedy, will the rest of his hardened shell start to fade?  How will it affect his relationship with Carrie?

Speaking of killing bad guys…

Earlier in the episode, Carrie was bombarded by the investigative committee with a leaked DOD memo.  Later, she wakes up to find the following the headline on the newspaper; “CIA officer linked to Langley bomber.”  What the heck?  Naturally, she accuses Dar Adal of planting the story.  Saul responds to her accusations coldly.

THEN, it is Saul’s turn in front of the committee.  Unlike Carrie’s session, his testimony is broadcasted and in front of an audience.  Saul swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God.  Then he updates the committee of the “successful” ops and accuses them of conducting a witch hunt to place blame on the CIA.  When Lockhart tells him the op did nothing to restore faith in the CIA, that they believe it was orchestrated, convenient, and cowardly, Saul plays his last card.  He tells the committee that the CIA agent tasked with Brody (Carrie) was “unstable,” bipolar, and had a sexual relationship with Brody.

BOOM!

What the heck guys?  This is Saul.  He’s the good guy.  He’s Carrie’s protector.  Now, he’s throwing her under a bus.  While it probably would have been impossible to stop Carrie, Saul didn’t really try.  He and Quinn, if anything, enabled her relationship with Brody.  And if anyone begs to differ, I’d like to remind them of the time they listened to their sexual encounter through a wire.  They let this happen.  They let it escalate.  It’s not right.

Quinn enabled the Carrie/Brody relationship because of his emotional connection to Carrie.  I think that deep down he wants to see her happy and saw the potential there with Brody.  What was Saul’s reasoning for enabling the relationship?  To protect America?  To further the mission?

So far, the show has set up the government as the enemy and Carrie/Brody as the protagonists.  After his testimony, I found myself questioning Saul’s allegiance (think back to those “Pledge Allegiance” ads) to Carrie and to the CIA.  Did Saul act to save the CIA?  Is Saul the mole out to destroy Carrie?  What are his motives and why would he do this?

So, killing bad guys.  I’d like to remind everyone that Quinn has stated he “kills the bad guys.”  His dislike for Estes was never a secret.  And he was conveniently not at the VP’s funeral, and therefore not killed by the blast.  Guess who else wasn’t at the funeral?  Saul.

At the time of the bomb, Saul was on a ship with Abu Nazir’s body to conduct a burial at sea.  For the record, I don’t trust Quinn as far as I can throw him.  But, as previously stated, Quinn doesn’t make decisions, he simply carries out orders.  Saul is the man making the decisions.  Is it possible that Saul orchestrated the entire thing and worked with Quinn to frame Brody?  Was the plan all along for Brody and Carrie to die in the explosion too?  Is that why Quinn let Brody live?  Did guilt about the upcoming plans cause him to have emotions toward Carrie?With that in mind, is Abu Nazir even dead?  I mean, if Saul is the mole or double-agent, he could have easily faked the death and provided another body for burial.  This may seem outlandish, but just consider it.  Regardless, we’d love to have your feedback.  Do you think Saul is the mole?  Do you think Quinn and Saul are working together as terrorists?  How will killing a child affect Quinn?

Also, did anyone miss Brody?  I didn’t.  Is the Homeland team stealing a note from the Shonda Rhimes playbook?  Whenever she intends to kill-off someone she diminishes their screen time so the viewer gets used to not seeing the character.  Are they preparing us for Brody’s inevitable death?  Would you like to see Brody die?  Let’s face it, Homeland is Carrie’s story.  And the character shines brightest when she is on a witch hunt and ugly crying.  It seems like they’re setting it up so she spends season 3 investigating Saul and finding Brody.  Homeland is a feel-bad show, not a feel-good one.  Brody and Carrie will never live happily ever after, he kind of has to die.

Alright, let’s hear it!  What did you think of the season 3 opener?


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Fall Premieres – What to Watch this Week (September 30)

Scandal, Thursday at 10pm on ABC

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The secret is out, now what?  The world officially knows that Olivia has been having an affair with the President.  What does this mean for Olivia?  What does this mean for Fitz’s reelection?  Rowan is Olivia’s father.  Was he trying to kill her or protect her?  We’re still not sure.  Scott Foley has been promoted to series regular (thank god!) but is his character, Jake Ballard, still in that hole?  More importantly, does he have real feelings for Olivia?  Quinn is batsh–t crazy, what is Huck going to do?  Lisa Kudrow is joining the cast as a politician, who is she?  AND Cyrus had a heart attack, is he going to be okay?  I’m biting my nails in anticipation, THERE’S JUST SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO!  Thankfully, Scandal returns this week to answer all of our questions at rapid speed.  Tune in Thursday to see what happens next.  In the meantime, check out the promo and a special sneak peek below.

Premiering this Week

Monday, September 30
8:30/7:30c
We Are Men (CBS)

Wednesday, October 2
9:30/8:30c
Super Fun Night (ABC)

10/9c
Ironside (NBC)
Top Chef (Bravo)

Thursday, October 3
8/7c
The Vampire Diaries (CW)
8:30/7:30c
The Millers (CBS)
Welcome to the Family (NBC)
9/8c
The Originals (CW)
Sean Saves the World (NBC)
10/9c
Scandal (ABC)


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Glee “Love Love Love” The Morning After

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Did anyone else feel really uncomfortable during this episode last night?

Last night, ‘Glee’ began its fifth season with the first half of a two-episode Beatles tribute that fell pretty flat.  The episode overall was very happy and bright and colorful, and I’m not just talking about Blaine’s proposal to Kurt.  I’m talking about the efforts to mask the big ol’ elephant in the choir room:  Cory Monteith is dead.  We will never see Finn Hudson again.  It felt weird.

I couldn’t enjoy the Beatles’ songs because when Rachel sang ‘Yesterday’ at the start of the hour all I could think about was Lea Michele missing Cory.  I couldn’t be happy during the proposal because I was too distracted thinking Finn should be there, next to Mercedes.  I don’t care about the high schoolers going to a carnival and being all happy-go-lucky in their bumper cars because, in reality, the actors are probably really sad and it just seemed kind of cruel.

And I wasn’t the only one, ‘Glee’ delivered a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating, which represents a significant decline from the 3.3 preliminary (and 3.1 final) rating for last season’s premiere. The hourlong telecast averaged 5.17 million viewers.

Next week, ‘Glee’ wraps up the Beatles tribute.  The third episode of the season will be about saying goodbye to Cory/Finn.  Ryan Murphy released the following photo via Twitter last night.

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That means we have to sit through another episode filled with tensions and unease.  The third episode airing October 10th is titled ‘The Quarterback’ and will address the death of Finn Hudson.  The episode will not focus on the exact details of Finn’s death, but instead of how his sudden departure affects the other characters through varying perspectives. “We’ve mourned Cory, but now we’re mourning Finn. So it’s kind of like two people in that one person,” says Matthew Morrison.  A series of public service announcements dealing with the topic of drug addiction will air during the episode.  Several recurring cast members will return to say goodbye to Finn Hudson including Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley), Noah “Puck” Puckerman (Mark Salling) and Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.), Finn’s mother Carole Hudson-Hummel (Romy Rosemont) and stepfather Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley), McKinley guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), and football coach Shannon Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones).

Other plot notes from ‘Love Love Love’

  • Artie and Kitty are a couple and it’s actually kind of sweet.  They also had my favorite performance of the night, a very literal “You’ve Got To Hide Your Life Away” duet.
  • Rachel hasn’t gotten the ‘Funny Girl’ role yet but Peter Facinelli plays the director.
  • Rachel and Santana now work at the Spotlight Diner (clearly an homage to Ellen’s Stardust Diner and their singing waitstaff).  To impress the director they performed a rendition of ‘Hard Day’s Night’ while he was dining with the male star.  For a second, I thought they might go for Santana instead of Rachel.  That would be awkward.
  • Kurt said ‘yes’ to Blaine.
  • Burt Hummel, you give the best advice.  Even though Finn hasn’t been addressed, his speech about not wasting a moment and spending every second with the one you love made me very emotional.
  • Blaine’s proposal:  “My soul knew something that my body and my mind didn’t know. It knew that our hands were meant to hold each other fearlessly and forever. Which is why it’s never really felt like I was getting to know you, it’s always felt like I was remembering you from something. As if in every lifetime you and I have ever lived we’ve chosen to come back and find each other and fall in love all over again, over and over again for all eternity. And I just feel so lucky that I’ve found you so soon in this lifetime because all I want to do, all I’ve ever wanted to do, is spend my life loving you. So, Kurt Hummel, my amazing friend, my one true love, Will you marry me?”  God, kill me now.
  • Best homage to the Beatles:  ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ performed by Ryder, Sam, Jake, and Blaine in black and white and fake British accents.
  • Worst performance:  ‘Drive My Car’ too awkward, no thanks.