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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – TV

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back tomorrow for our top 2014 movie picks!

True Detective

Airs January 12, 2014 on HBO

True Detective is a new HBO drama about Louisiana State Police Detectives Martin Hart and and Rust Cohle.  In 2012, they are brought in for separate interrogations about a murder case they solved in 1995.  As they narrate their story, each detective is pulled back into the case as questions begin to arise about the outcome of the peculiar murder.

Reasons to Watch: Reason #1 = The cast.  The detectives are portrayed by Matthew McConaughey (Cohle) and Woody Harrelson (Hart). Enough said.  Michelle Monaghan also stars as Maggie, Detective Hart’s wife.  By the looks of the trailer, they all put on riveting and gut-wrenching performances.  Reason #2 = The writing.  True Detective was written and created entirely by Nic Pizzolatto.  Pizzolatto is best known for writing two episodes of AMC’s cop-drama The Killing, including Season 1’s shock-filled finale.  The Killing is one of my favorite television shows (and one of the most underrated IMO) so I was thrilled to learn of this connection.  After conducting a little research, I discovered that Pizzolatto actually quit working for the series because he didn’t like “serving someone else’s vision.”  With True Detective being his first major solo project, I’m thrilled to see what this young and innovative writer has to offer.

Klondike

Airs January 20, 2014 on Discovery Channel

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Klondike is an upcoming historical mini-series by the Discovery Channel.  The six episode long series is the network’s first-ever scripted drama.  It follows two childhood best friends, Bill (Game of Throne‘s Richard Madden) and Epstein (Augustus Prew), in the late 1890s as they flee west in pursuit of gold.  Their journey leads to a land full of undiscovered wealth, but surrounded by unpredictable weather and dangerous characters, including greedy businessmen and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their land.

Reasons to Watch:  Richard Madden, hello!  Also, the production details of the series hint at great action scenes.  For example, over the course of 55 days, the actors faced severe conditions.  From freezing temperatures, to high altitudes; Madden and Prew literally hung off the side of a mountain for 16 hours straight for one scene.  That’s dedication.

Orphan Black  – Season 2

Airs April 19, 2014 on BBC America

Season 1 was a whirlwind.  At the season’s end, all of our favorite clones were forced to choose sides after meeting Rachel, their fellow clone and child of Neolution. Cosima discovered that the clones are property, owned by Neolution leading to Sarah’s decision to ignore Rachel’s threats in the greatest diss of all time, “Up your’s ProClone!” Cosima followed suit, but her illness will be front and center in Season 2. Allison, on the other hand, agreed to cooperate with Neolution.  What does this mean for her relationship with the other clones? Viewers can look forward to getting to know Rachel and the world of Neolution, as she takes the place of Season’s 2 “Big Bad.”  Suit’s Patrick J. Adams will be joining the cast in a very secretive guest spot, as well as Nashville’s bad boy (and the new Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones) Michiel Huisman.

Reasons to Watch: More clones!  We’ve already seen Tatiana Maslany play seven (YES, SEVEN) clones and the creators promise there will be more.  Also, I’m going through Felix withdrawals.

Penny Dreadful

Airs Spring 2014 on Showtime

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Penny Dreadful is an upcoming pyschosexual horror series that will weave together the origin of literary horror characters, including Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster, Dorian Gray, and Count Dracula, in Victorian London.

Reasons to Watch: Y’all, I have a confession to make. I used to be IN LOVE with Josh Hartnett. I remember seeing Pearl Harbor and The Faculty and thinking he was going to be my first kiss. Like seriously. So naturally with Hartnett cast as the lead in Penny Dreadful and perfectly positioned for a career comeback, I’m all in!

Masters of Sex – Season 2

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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We know that Masters of Sex Season 1 just finished wrapping up, but we can’t help but be excited for the shows sophomore season. In the season finale, Dr. Master’s entire professional and personal life begins to unravel and the only person he wants to turn to is Virginia (Lizzy Caplan). After a few drinks, Master’s show up at Virginia’s door soaked from the rain and finally lays his feelings on the line.

“I have nothing to offer you except maybe the truth: I finally realized that there is one thing that I can’t live without — it’s you. You.”

Reasons to Watch: In its freshman season, Masters of Sex racked up 2 Golden Globe nominations. One for best drama, and the second going to Michael Sheen for Best Actor in a Drama Series category. I’m still rolling my eyes at the fact that Lizzy Caplan got shafted (ha-ha) for her portrayal of Virginia Johnson in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category. Between the story, the acting, the costumes and that ending…that ending is enough to leave us yearning for more.

Homeland – Season 4

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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I have a confession, my confession is I jumped onto the Homeland wagon a little late. In fact, I didn’t binge watch Season 1&2 until right before the Season 3 premiere. The worst part is, it’s literally filmed out behind my apartment. I mean, I could probably start my own “Homeland” set tour company at this point.

After binge watching of Season 1&2, my feelings towards all the characters were pretty cemented. I wanted Carrie and Brody to be together, to have that happy ending, but as Season 3 started up I realized thats not what needed to happen, this show is not about happy endings. The show is at its best when the storyline sticks to Carrie and her obsessive need for the chase with the CIA, which is what I hope Season 4 is going to set up for us. If you haven’t watched the season finale of Season 3, shame on you, I’m going to ruin it for you.

  • BRODY DIES
  • CARRIE IS MEGA PREGGO & MEGA DEPRESSED
  • SAUL IS MIA IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (NOT WITH THE CIA) EATING BAGUETTES
  • CARRIE IS MOVING TO ISTANBUL (MAYBE) WITH BRODY’S SOON TO BE GINGER BABY
  • QUINN IS STILL HOT
  • CARRIE HAS WICKED STAR DRAWING SKILLZ

Reasons to Watch: For obvious reasons, what Homeland needs in Season 4 is a Renaissance. With Carrie moving to Istanbul as a station leader, Quinn, Max and Virgil are sure to be in tow. Of course a big piece of the puzzle that will be missing in said gang will be Saul. Mandy Patinkin is a phenomenal actor and outside of Quinn (hot), my favorite part of the show. I do hope the writers find a way to incorporate him into show in a way that makes sense next year….or possibly just bring him back into the fold of the CIA. So why should we watch? No more Brody, no more complications. During the season finale, it became pretty clear that they are going back to the basics. Carrie and the gang, doing what they are good at, catching the bad guys.

Turn

Airs 2014 on AMC

“Turn” tells the story of Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a New York farmer who bands together with a circle of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring,  George Washington’s ring of American spies who ultimately help America defeat the British in the Revolutionary War.  The show is based on the true story told in “Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose.

Reasons to Watch: Since my focus in college was Colonial America, I’m thrilled about the storyline and historical content.  But I’m also intrigued to see how non-history loving audiences will receive the show.  As much as I want it to be great, Turn has potential to be a train wreck.  It doesn’t help that the story is based on a war of which the outcome is already known.  So why should you watch?  It’s on AMC.  It’s potential to be bad is just as great as it’s potential to be phenomenal, considering the channel’s recent track record (i.e. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Hell on Wheels).  And who knows, you might even enjoy getting a fun history lesson because, let’s admit it, you don’t remember learning about The Culper Ring in elementary school.

Honorable Mentions

House of Cards Season 2, Netflix available February 14th

Orange is the New Black Season 2, Netflix available TBD

Looking Season 1, HBO airing January 19 at 10:30pm

Boardwalk Empire Season 5, HBO airing Fall 2014

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Season 1, BBC America premieres January 19 at 10:00pm

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Top 12 Worst TV Deaths Countdown

If you don’t already know, we here at RPW really enjoy a good countdown.  After discussing an entertaining evening of television on Sunday, and freaking out about the possible untimely and fiery death of Eric Northman during the True Blood finale, the idea for this list hit us.  We are counting down the 12 worst deaths in television history.  By “worst deaths,” we don’t mean the ones that made us sad because we loved the character or the ones that were heartbreaking to watch.  We mean the downright disappointing ones.  The ones that make you question the sanity of the writing team,  the ones that make you say, “Oh my gosh, are they really dead?  Did that seriously just happen?  They can’t be dead?  They deserve a much better death!”  If a major character is going to depart a show, the death should be gut-wrenching, appalling, and downright difficult to watch but it also needs to make sense.  And so our list begins:

12. Charlie Harper, Two and a Half Men

So we all knew the death of Charlie was inevitable after Charlie Sheen’s sudden departure from the show.  But being hit by a subway car?  Really?  Wouldn’t it have made more sense for Charlie to die surrounded by prostitutes?  We guess It was a nod from the creator that Charlie Sheen would never, ever return.

11. Russell Edgington, True Blood

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For being one of True Blood’s biggest and baddest villains, his death was shockingly boring.  He was killed by Eric Northman in the opening scene of Episode 5×12 but his death was ultimately way overshadowed by the death and rebirth of Bilith.  They really should’ve stepped up their game and given Edgington a more fitting True Death.

10. Jimmy Darmody, Boardwalk Empire

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Jimmy Darmody’s death still sparks debates among critics and RPW writers alike, so it wasn’t a complete disappointment.  But there is one thing that everyone can agree on – the ultimate success of this show was hurt by the death of Jimmy.  Michael Pitt was a stellar actor and his Jimmy was beloved by many.  It was too soon for the show to say good bye to the second lead character, and the third season was noticeably weak without him.  It also felt unfair to see Jimmy die at the hands of Nucky, his make-shift father, as Nucky’s other enemies (Eli and Manny, just to name a few) escaped with their lives.  The argument can be made that Nucky finally became a full gangster, but did he really?  Did he murder Jimmy and walk away without guilt?  Did he take out all of his enemies, or just the one that was easiest to target?

9. Matthew Crawley, Downton Abbey

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Many argue that Matthew’s death was unavoidable after Dan Stevens decided not to return to Downton Abbey, but it doesn’t make his death feel any less bogus.  After two seasons of waiting for him and Mary to get together, they finally get their happy ending…only for him to die almost right after.  #Disappointing.

8. Andrea, The Walking Dead

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No one was more pleased to see Andrea die on the season finale of The Wakling Dead than me.  But come on writers, there wasn’t a better way to do it?  In a horrendously stupid scene, where Andrea has to fight for her life against Milton using her (perfectly manicured) toes and a pair of pliers, Andrea finally comes up short and is bitten by a walker.  She then has all the time in the world to sit and bleed out and wait for Rick and Co. to show up and mercy-kill her.  It would have been 1000x better to see Rick & Co. arrive to find zombie-Andrea munching on someone.

7. Bill Henrickson, Big Love

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We have one giant complaint about the way Bill was shot.  After all the enemies he made through the years, it’s the neighbor that offs him?!

6. Robert McCallister, Brothers and Sisters 

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HE HAD JUST SURVIVED CANCER!… only to die in a car crash.  Everything about it felt SO WRONG.

5. John Locke, LOST 

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Our biggest complaint isn’t the fact that John Locke, the biggest believer in the magic of the island and most obvious replacement for Jacob, died before the series finale.  No, we can deal with that.  Our biggest complaint is the way Locke died!   The scene in which Ben pretends to want to help Locke and then suddenly turns on him to kill him was so sudden and so forced that it was almost unbelievable.  And it especially threw off the audience when Locke’s body was suddenly alive and well and perusing the Island.  In a series that posed more questions than it answered, this curveball was unnecessary and hurt the storyline more than it advanced it.

4. George O’Malley, Grey’s Anatomy

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He got hit by a bus and spent majority of the episode as an unrecognizable John Doe surrounded by his best friends as they half-assed operated to save his life.  When they realized that the John Doe was George it was too late and his actual death got wrapped up in Izzie’s almost-death.

Watch the clip below but be warned, you’ll probably feel annoyed just reliving it.

 

3. Lady Sybil, Downton Abbey

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Probably one of the most unexpected characters to be killed off on TV, Lady Sybil was a cast favorite.  Revolting against her families wishes and expectations, Sybil set out to form her own life.  After a difficult childbirth, the audience knew Sybil made it out alive, however toxemia claimed the best of her post-pregnancy, leaving TV viewers reeling the death of a beloved character.  Once word spread of the sudden, unexpected death of Lady Sybil, the ratings of Downton spiked, bringing in many new viewers just in time for them to be let down by the (expected) unexpected death of Matthew Crawley.

Watch the heartbreaking scene unfold below.

 

2. Rita Morgan, Dexter

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We get that the death of Rita was inevitable (she’s married to a seriel killer!).  And the shock factor for this death was definitely there.  No one, Dexter included, thought that Trinity would break his cycle and go after Rita.  All of that aside, I have some major beef with this death.  My biggest complaint is that the audience didn’t see it happen.  Rita was such a big part of the show and it felt unfair that we didn’t get to see her live her final scenes.  I get the shock factor wouldn’t have been there, but couldn’t the writers throw in a flashback somewhere?  Or even a flash of memory from Harrison?  Because we didn’t get to see the interaction between Rita and Trinity, we will never know if Rita died knowing the truth about Dexter.  #ThingsThatKeepMeUpAtNight

Watch the [disturbing] clip of Dexter finding Rita below.

 

1. Ned Stark, Game of Thrones

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Ned Stark’s death could be viewed as the best death ever on TV (I mean, who can argue it’s epicness?) or the worst death.  For our purposes, we think it was the worst.  Why?  Because Ned’s death meant that the Lannisters (AKA the dad guys) won.  Ned’s death was such a shock because it directly defied everything that viewers come to expect from a drama – the hero faces trials and tribulations, the hero suffers, the hero finds a way out, the hero is victorious.  Game of Thrones took the opposite route.  They killed off the main character and protaganist in the first season, throwing everyone for a major loop.  Not only that, but Ned’s death meant Joffrey won and who the hell wants that to happen?

Watch the chilling scene unfold below.