Must Watch TV Dramas

Shameless – This US adaptation by John Wells (E.R., Third Watch, The West Wing, Animal Kingdom) of the popular UK version is superb viewing. The writing, the acting, the direction, this is family drama at it’s best. The Gallagher clan are trying to survive and stay together, their parents are addicts and the kids are in charge. Think Party of Five in a poorer neighbourhood and on crack,  their sense of family is inspiring. Funny and dramatic, this show certainly delivers entertainment. With a cast featuring Emmy Rossum and William H Macy who won a Screen Actors Guild award for his performance of the drunk patriarch Frank and Joan Cusak who has won an Emmy for her guest starring role as the lovable agoraphobic Sheila, Shameless is a must watch. As a side note it also has one of my all time favourite TV couples nicknamed Gallavich, and Noel Fisher is incredible in this show.

Mr.Robot – The brainchild of Sam Esmail (who just so happens to be engaged to Emmy Rossum of Shameless), is about a young man’s Elliot’s struggles with himself and the struggle to keep our live private from big corporations. Elliot and his band of hackers try to take down Evil Corp, yet it’s all the pieces in the middle of the puzzle that make this show one of the most intriguing on television. Rami Malek and Christian Slater are phenomenal in their roles with Malek scoring an Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Slater nabbing the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture made for Television at the Golden Globes. The Show also won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series – Drama. Carly Chaikin and Portia Doubleday are also stand outs with Chaikin’s character of Darlene as one of my favourites on the show. Who is Mr Robot ?

The Affair – A story focusing on two couples marriages and The Affair between two respective parties, this show is chock-full of drama, suspense and mystery. This was so much more than what I thought it was going to be and it never disappoints. I love the split parts in each episode. It’s great to see the different perspective each character has, I haven’t seen this since the show Boomtown. Golden Globe  wins for Ruth Wilson , Maura Tierney and the show as a whole, this a must watch for Drama fans. I may be a little biased as I’ve been a fan of his since I saw him in The Mighty Ducks but Joshua Jackson is amazing in his role of Cole Lockhart.

The Walking Dead – If you don’t know what this cult show is, where the hell have you been?! This doesn’t need too much explanation but I’ll do a quick synopsis anyway. Former sheriff wakes up to a world gone to hell. There are zombies (walkers) roaming everywhere, he has to find his family and then try to survive in this post apocalyptic world where the humans are actually more terrifying than the zombies. Robert Kirkman created the Graphic Novels and this intricate universe where nobody is safe and humanity is tested, do yourself a favour and check out The Walking Dead however if you are squeamish, be cautious as it is quite violent. Wins for Special effects and makeup.

Kingdom – Created by Bryan Balasco, this riveting drama follows former MMA fighter Alvey Kulina (played remarkably by Frank Grillo who is a fighter in his own right) and his sons who are now the MMA stars on the rise. This has fast become one of my all time favourite dramas. Jonathan Tucker does an insanely superb job of playing the seemingly misguided Jay Kulina, but beneath the rough exterior is a man who wants to help his family anyway he can. Jonathan Tucker deserves more recognition for this role, he deserves nominations for SAG, Critics Choice, Emmy and Golden Globes. As does the show as a whole. If you love drama do yourself a favour, run to find http://kingdom.directv.com/ and start watching it now!! Also Kiele Sanchez had one of the best performances and storyline in season 2, I wont give it away but it was extremely personal to her and she was a complete and utter superstar for how she handled it, that performance alone deserves an Emmy nomination.

This Is Us – A new show that has only just begun is This Is Us. It is hard to describe this show without giving away spoilers. Family drama, interweaving storylines, you will need tissues pretty much every episode. That’s all I will say. I am a huge Milo Ventimiglia fan as I am a Mandy Moore fan and their work in this show blows me away. This show really does deserve all the praise it gets. I also am loving that Sterlinh K Brown is in this, yes everyone loves him from The People v. O.J. Simopson: American Crime Story  but I am a Supernatural girl and he was great as bad guy Gordon Walker. http://www.nbc.com/this-is-us?nbc=1

On my list of shows to watch:

Bloodline – This family drama looks intense. It’s a bit hard to figure out from the trailer but it has the one I live in a family drama, mystery. With a cast including Ben Mendhelsohn and Linda Cardellini I am all in for this. Made for Netflix.

Animal Kingdom  – Based on the  extremely successful Australian movie of the same name this show follows the drama of a family involved in crime. Again a stellar cast with Ellen Barkin, Scottt Speedman and Shawn Hatosy, this is going to be excellent viewing. Made for Netflix.

 

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The Vow – Movie Review

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Scott Speedman, Sam Neil, Jessica Lange, Jessica McNamee, Tatiana Maslany & Wendy Crewson.

Screenplay By: Michael Sucsy, Marc Silverstein, Abby Kohn & Jason Katims.

Story By: Stuart Sender

Directed By: Michael Sucsy

Based on the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.

Newlyweds Paige (McAdams) and Leo (Tatum) were madly in love and loving life, until one day their world is turned upside down. After a horrible car accident leaves Paige with memory loss for the last 4 years of her life – in which she met and married husband Leo- he has to try and win her love all over again. This doesn’t go as smoothly as he would like as he has to compete with her absent family (Neil and Lange playing her parents) back in her life and her old fiance Jeremy (Speedman) back on the scene. Who Paige still remembers being engaged to.

Will Paige and Leo find love together again?

I have been waiting to see this movie since the trailer was released early last year. I went on Friday with my grlfriends ready to have a tearjerking experience. But alas I did not. While I am a fan of McAdams and Tatum, I am a big fan of Speedman (thanks to his Felicity loving Ben Covington days). Even though I figured (knew) what the ending would turn out like, I was secretly hoping that Paige would choose her ex Jeremy. I wanted more Speedman on the screen damnit!

In any event, I am normally a sucker for a romantic movie. I am pretty much like Kristen Bell in the way that my emotional scale is usually between two certain points. If it’s remotely sad I’m crying and if it’s really happy I’m crying. However I don’t like crying in front of people so I try to supress it. But this movie didn’t actually make me cry which is very odd. I got a hint of tears in my eyes when Jessica Lange was talking about the affair. That was it. To me that was the most moving part.

I personally didn’t see much chemistry between McAdams and Tatum. Not like a married couple. More like siblings. So it didn’t really get me. I actually thought McAdams and Speedman had really great chemistry (and it’s not just because I like him. I know how to be objective and professional thank-you very much), and would love to see them do another movie together as love interests. Contrary to what others are saying I didn’t find his character so awful. He loved this girl so of course he would think of trying to win her back. And I thought their scene towards the end was gracious and sweet. Not douchie at all.

I liked the movie but felt it was lacking that chemistry for me. My friend said she liked that Tatum always seems to play the same type of characters and so that must be what he is like in real life. Ok fair enough, but it would be nice to see him play someone different and a little rougher.

I read articles about the real couple Kim and Krickitt Carpenter and was more moved by their story than the movie version. What a remarkable couple.

I don’t like when you know so much about an actor, because then it starts to take away from their performance. You are not watching a movie about Paige and Leo finding love, you are watching a movie about McAdams and Leo pretending to be Paige and Leo fall in love. Personally I blame the paparazzi and tabloids for this. They have ruined the mystique of the story telling experience.

I like to be objective when I go sit to watch a movie. I’ve been watching movies and tv and all the award shows since I was a baby. While I am no paid expert and currently don’t work in film/tv apart from this blog, I do know as an avid movie/tv viewer what an audience needs and what they don’t. At least for me I do. A movie, like a song is a personal experience. We all interpret them differently and apply it to ourselves differently.

While I liked this movie, I did not love it. I would probably still buy it on DVD but compared to other romances of the past few years it was average. The Notebook is still the ultimate sweeping romance. That movie is perfection. It was written, directed and acted beautifully. Dear John I am not a huge fan of. It was ok, but not one of my favourites and I wouldn’t buy it on DVD. Remember Me was heartbreakingly beautiful. Tragic yet beautiful.

In closing I would like to say that I am dissapointed that I didn’t feel the urge to cry during this movie, and McAdams and Speedman need to make another movie together this instant. AND someone PLEASE give Scott Speedman a lead in a movie! The guy is brilliant!
What did you all think? Write your thoughts in the comment section.

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Felicity

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I have recently started re-watching one of my favourite shows from when I was a teenager. That show is ‘Felicity’.

This show centered around Felicity Porter (played brilliantly by Keri Russell) who decides to go to college in New York after she finds out her high school crush Ben Covington (the adorable Scott Speedman) is going there. Stalker much. You see he wrote something very sweet in her yearbook and she decided they were destined. We’ve all been there.
Of course things don’t go as planned and she finds herself getting romantic attention from Her dorms Resident Advisor Noel Crane (sweet Scott Foley).
Ben is getting and giving attention to Felicity’s college bestie Julie Emeick (Pink Power Ranger Amy Jo Johnson).
Thus creating the dynamic for the show. Not love triangle but love square!
And it’s fantastic!
Also along for the ride is Elena (Tangi Miller) Felicity’s new fellow med student friend, Sean (Greg Grunberg) Ben’s very enthusiastic entrepreneur roommate, Meaghan (Amanda Foreman) Felicity’s creepy roommate & Richard (Robert Patrick Kennedy) the annoying form room guy, Javier (Ian Gomez) as Felicity & Ben’s boss at Dean & Deluca (brilliant btw).
Not too mention guest stars like Jennifer Garner, Alexandra Wentworth, Dash Mihok, Chris Sarandon & John Ritter to name just a few.
The ultimate question is who will Felicity end up with (don’t worry I won’t write spoilers) but I was ALWAYS a Ben supporter! I mean come on! From the jump you can see he likes Felicity.
And will Felicity choose Medicine or Art to study.
Fantastic show. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it!
If you like shows like Dawson’s Creek for example you will love Felicity.

Did I mention that it was created by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Alias) & Matt Reeves & produces by Ron Howard (if you don’t know who that is shame on you) & Brian Grazer.
Need I say more.

Trivia: When Keri Russell chopped off her trademark hair without telling the studio it was a big controversy.
Keri Russell & Scott Speedman dated during the show.
Scott Foley & Jennifer Garner were once married.
Many Felicity stars (including and of course Garner) were on J.J Abrams other show Alias.
Was on the same network as Buffy, Dawson’s Creek, Charmed, Gilmore Girls, Roswell, 7th Heaven.
The girls of the wb even did a photo shoot. Posted below.
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