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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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‘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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New Promo Alert – Homeland Season 3

If we thought we were enjoying Christmas early this year with our 16 Top Fall TV Picks, now we know for sure that the holiday season is upon us.  The trailer for the new season of Showtime’s Award-winning drama Homeland dropped today.  Check out the emotionally-charged trailer and our breakdown below:

The Breakdown

– The trailer starts with the final scene from Season 2 between Brody and Carrie before diving into a series of (emotional) clips from upcoming episodes.

– Saul and Carrie are both subjected to official investigations (and seem to be put on trial) after the events of Season 2. Can we just talk about how excited we are to see these powerful scenes unfold??

– Carrie is a mess after losing her precious Brody and winds up in a mental institution (we think).  After she miraculously got her job back in Season 2, do you think it’s possible Carrie will ever be back in the CIA?

– Brody seems to be in the Middle East or another country (definitely not America) and he’s being hunted by the CIA Abu Nazir-style (cue maps with hundreds of lines, photos, and connections).  He is now bald, and recovering from a gun shot wound in a deteriorated building AKA not in too great of shape.

– Meanwhile, his family isn’t handling the whole situation very well.  Brody is now the infamous American Hero-Turned-Terrorist, making his family a target for paparazzi and news faccets.  In addition, Dana is now a Muslim (or trying to become one), and is sending nudie pics to someone. Boy, is it too much to ask that we focus on Chris this season instead of the annoying child?

– Rupert Friend is back.  Need we say more?

– What’s the song in the trailer that you just can’t get enough of?  We thought you might ask.  Listen to “To Build a Home” by the Cinematic Orchestra here.

There is a lot going on in the trailer and it definitely tugs at your heart-strings.  What part has you the most excited?  Do you think Season 3 can live up to the hysteria that surrounds the first two seasons of Homeland?  Can Season 3 make up for the lack-luster Season 2?  We here at RPW only know one thing – we literally can’t wait for the premiere.  Is it September 29th at 9pm yet?