For this generation of television audiences with short attention spans, HBO has made catching up on True Blood ahead of the season four premiere this Sunday, June 26th easy by releasing the cool little video below that provides a synopsis of the important stuff that’s been going on over the last three seasons. This has been approved by our, True Blood corespondent, Gamera who as we noted, will be featured prominently in season five.
Although we feel this series jumped the shark last season, we are compelled to present the latest trailer for the upcoming fourth season of HBO’s vampire sex and gore-fest, True Blood because despite our misgivings, you know we’ll be sucked into it again as we are invested now. Looks like they are adding witches and zombies this season. When pressed by The ‘Tastic as to who they will be adding as an adversary for the vampires of Bon Temps for season five, Alan Ball replied that they are seriously considering Godzilla arch-rival, Gamera, and casting Russell Brand as the witty, local giant turtle expert. Ball stated that if the audience will buy fairies as an integral part of a plot on a show revolving around vampires, there’s not a whole lot they won’t buy so they’ll just continue to do what’s worked in the past for them as far as the writing is concerned: smoke a lot of pot and go with the idea of the guy in the room who is the most wasted. Season four of TB premieres on HBO on June 26th. The top one is of better quality however, the bottom one is longer.
Today, NBC announced their new Fall Schedule, a day ahead of the Monday upfront advertising event. In case you’re wondering why you’re not seeing some of your favorite shows, it’s because they’ve been canceled as we noted in this post, here. After the dust settles, we’ll be sure to comment on all of these new and returning shows.
Folks, don’t forget that the major network up-front advertising events begin TOMORROW, Monday, May 16th and go on through Thursday. This is the week that we will find out the fates of all this season’s shows that haven’t already been decided and we’ll also find out what new shows will be on the schedules for the 2011 – 2012 season. You can find out the schedules for all of the events, here.
Vis Press Release:
WITH A COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION, STRATEGIC POSITIONING AND SEASON-LONG STRENGTH, NBC REVEALS ITS 2011-12 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
Fall and Mid-Season Lineups Feature New Dramas “Smash,” “Prime Suspect,” “The Playboy Club,” “Awake,” “Grimm” and “The Firm”
New Comedies Are “Up All Night,” “Whitney,” “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” “Free Agents,” “Best Friends Forever” and “Bent.”
NEW YORK CITY — May 15, 2011 — NBC has introduced its 2011-12 primetime schedule, showcasing six new dramas and six new comedies from a roster of renowned hit-makers that includes Steven Spielberg, Lorne Michaels, Brian Grazer, Tom Werner, John Grisham and Peter Berg, among many others.
The season’s new dramas are “Smash,” “Prime Suspect,” “The Playboy Club,” “Awake,” “Grimm” and “The Firm”; and the new comedies are “Up All Night,” “Whitney,” “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” “Free Agents,” “Best Friends Forever” and “Bent.”
Returning shows include “Parenthood,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Harry’s Law,” “Chuck” (for its fifth and final season of 13 episodes), “Community,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office,” “30 Rock” and “DatelineNBC.” Among next season’s returning alternative series are “The Voice,” “The Sing-Off,” “The Celebrity Apprentice” and “The Biggest Loser,” each in two-hour formats.
The new lineup combines schedule stability with strategic changes that position the network for future growth. Key facets of the schedule include a new hour of comedy with the Wednesday debuts of “Up All Night” (8-8:30 p.m. ET) and “Free Agents” (8:30-9 p.m. ET) and an update to NBC’s critically acclaimed Thursday lineup with the premieres this fall of the new comedy “Whitney” (9:30-10 p.m. ET) and the first-year drama “Prime Suspect” (10-11 p.m. ET). In addition, NBC has made a strong commitment to original scripted programming on Friday nights with the pairing of “Chuck” (8-9 p.m. ET) in its climactic season with the new drama “Grimm” (9-10 p.m. ET).
The #1 new series of the current season, “The Voice,” returns at mid-season on Monday nights (8-10 p.m. ET) and will serve as the lead-in to the new musical drama “Smash” (10-11 p.m. ET). In the fall on Mondays from 8-10 p.m. ET will be another growing NBC reality success, “The Sing-Off,” now in a weekly format following its strong December showings of the past two years.
Additional details unveiled in today’s announcement include a run of uninterrupted originals for “30 Rock” starting at mid-season and a post-football Sunday lineup of “Dateline NBC” (7-8 p.m. ET), “The Celebrity Apprentice” (8-10 p.m. ET) and the new drama “The Firm” (10-11 p.m. ET). Additional new series ready for mid-season include the drama “Awake” and the comedies “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” “Best Friends Forever” and “Bent.”
The announcements were made by Bob Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.
“Next season begins the rebuilding of the NBC primetime schedule, and our goal is to reinvigorate our audience with a line-up of appointment television that includes our best returning shows and a variety of innovative and attention-getting new series. We’ll be placing a great deal of emphasis on how we launch each one of our programs and on maximizing the network’s strengths throughout the fall and well into mid-season,” said Greenblatt. “Considering it’s only been three months since new management took over, I’m very pleased with what has resulted from a very strong pilot season. And with a powerful new asset like ‘The Voice’ already in hand, we go into the 2011-12 season with cautious but incredible optimism.”
NBC FALL 2011-12 SCHEDULE
*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
8-10 p.m. – “The Sing-Off”
10-11 p.m. – “THE PLAYBOY CLUB”
8-10 p.m. – “The Biggest Loser”
10-11 p.m. – “Parenthood”
8-8:30 p.m. – “UP ALL NIGHT”
8:30-9 p.m. – “FREE AGENTS”
9-10 p.m. — “Harry’s Law”
10-11 p.m. — “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”
8-8:30 p.m. – “Community”
8:30-9 p.m. — “Parks and Recreation”
9-9:30 p.m. – “The Office”
9:30-10 p.m. – “WHITNEY”
10-11 p.m. – “PRIME SUSPECT”
8-9 p.m. – “Chuck”
9-10 p.m. – “GRIMM”
10-11 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
7- 8:15 p.m. — “Football Night in America”
8:15-11:30 p.m. — “NBC Sunday Night Football”
NBC 2012 MID-SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)
7-8 p.m. – “Dateline NBC”
8-10 p.m. – “The Celebrity Apprentice”
10-11 p.m. – “THE FIRM”
8-10 p.m. – “The Voice”
10-11 p.m. – “SMASH”
2011-12 NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS
‘PRIME SUSPECT’ — Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, “Prime Suspect” has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (“Desperate Housewives,” “NYPD Blue”), director Peter Berg (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) — and stars Maria Bello (“A History of Violence”) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She’s an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys’ club. Timoney has her own vices too — with a questionable past — and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she’s also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. Also starring are Aidan Quinn (“Unknown”), Brian O’Byrne (“Flash Forward”), Tim Griffin (“Star Trek”), Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe”), Joe Nieves (“How I Met Your Mother”), Damon Gupton (“The Last Airbender”) and Peter Gerety (“Blue Bloods”). “Prime Suspect” is produced by Universal Media Studios, ITV and Film 44. Cunningham is the executive producer/writer along with executive producer/director Berg and executive producers Sarah Aubrey, Julie Meldal-Johnson, Paul Buccieri and Lynda LaPlante.
‘THE PLAYBOY CLUB’ — From Academy Award-winning executive producer Brian Grazer, “The Playboy Club” is a provocative new drama about a time and place that challenged the social mores, where a visionary entrepreneur created an empire and an icon changed American culture. It’s the early ‘60s, and the legendary Playboy Club in Chicago is the door to all of your fantasies — and the key is the most sought-after status symbol of its kind. Inside the seductive world of the bunny, the epitome of beauty and service, the clientele rubs shoulders with the decade’s biggest mobsters, politicos and entertainers. Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, “CSI: Miami”) is one of the city’s top attorneys and the ultimate playboy, rubbing elbows with everyone in the city’s power structure. With mysterious ties to the mob, Nick comes to the aid of Maureen (Amber Heard, “Zombieland”), the stunning and innocent new bunny who accidentally kills the leader of the Bianchi crime family. Dating Nick is Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti, “Take the Lead”), a bombshell and established star at the club who knows her days as a bunny are numbered and finds herself continually at odds with Billy (David Krumholtz, ”Numb3rs”), the club’s general manager. Adding to the charm of the Playboy club is Janie (Jenna Dewan Tatum, “American Virgin”), the carefree life of the party who is dating Max (Wes Ramsey, “CSI: Miami”), an overly protective bartender. Also starring are Naturi Naughton (“Fame”) and Leah Renee (“True Confessions of a Hollywood Starlet”). In addition to Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “American Gangster”), the executive producers on “The Playboy Club” include Chad Hodge (“Tru Calling”), Francie Calfo (“Scoundrels”), Jason Burns (“The House Bunny”) and Dick Rosenzweig (“Kendra”). Hodge also wrote the pilot, which was directed by Alan Taylor (“Mad Men,” “The Sopranos”). The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine Television.
‘SMASH’ — “Smash” is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire — to be a “Smash.” The series centers on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe — written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, “Legally Blonde: The Musical”) and Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, “Will & Grace”). Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit. A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty (Katharine McPhee, “American Idol”) — who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds — and stage veteran (Megan Hilty, “9 to 5: The Musical”), who’s determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. A tenacious producer Eileen (Oscar winner, Anjelica Huston, “Prizzi’s Honor”) discovers the “Marilyn” project and jumps on board with a brilliant director (Jack Davenport, “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) — whose talent is matched by his cunning and egocentric amorality. The series stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (“ER,” “Schindler’s List”). The pilot was written by acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck (“Mauritius,” “NYPD Blue”). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning “Chicago,” “Hairspray”) and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (“United States Of Tara,” “The Borgias”) will also serve as executive producers. Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray,” “Catch Me If You Can”), who also serve as executive producers. “Smash” is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with DreamWorks. The pilot was directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening,” “American Idiot”).
‘GRIMM’ — “Grimm” is a new drama series inspired by the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Remember the fairy tales your parents used to tell you before bedtime? Those weren’t stories — they were warnings. Nick Burkhardt (David Guintoli “Turn The Beat Around”) thought he prepared himself for the realities of working as a homicide detective until he started seeing things he couldn’t quite explain. When his ailing Aunt Marie (guest star Kate Burton, “Grey’s Anatomy”) arrives, Nick’s life turns upside down when she reveals they are descendants of an elite group of hunters, also known as “Grimms,” who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. As Nick digs deeper into her past, he realizes that he will have to shoulder the responsibility of his ancestors — and contend with a larger-than-life mythology of the Brothers Grimm that is now all too real. Russell Hornsby (“Lincoln Heights”), Bitsie Tulloch (“Quarterlife”), Silas Weir Mitchell (“Prison Break”), Reggie Lee (“Persons Unknown”) and Sasha Roiz (“Caprica”) also star. “Grimm” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Hazy Mills Productions. Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner (“Hot In Cleveland”) serve as executive producers, Jim Kouf (“National Treasure,” “Angel”) and David Greenwalt (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”) are the creators/executive producers and Marc Buckland (“My Name Is Earl”) is the director.
‘AWAKE’ — “Awake” is an intriguing drama about a detective (Jason Issacs, “Harry Potter,” “Brotherhood”) who finds he is leading an arduous double life that defies reality. When Detective Michael Britten (Issacs) regains consciousness following his family’s car accident, he is told that his wife Hannah (Laura Allen, “Terriers”) perished but that his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette, “Saving Grace”), has survived. As he tries to put the pieces of his life back together, he awakens again in a parallel reality in which his wife is very much alive — but his son Rex died in the accident. In order to keep both of his loved ones alive at one time, he begins living two dueling realities in parallel worlds, which churns up confusion — in one moment, Michael and his wife debate about having another child to replace their son, while in the other reality, he is attracted to his son’s tennis coach, Tara (Michaela McManus, “The Vampire Diaries”), to fill the void from the loss of his wife. Trying to regain some normalcy, Michael returns to police work and solves crimes in both worlds with the help of two different partners — Detective Isaiah “Bird” Freeman (Steve Harris, “The Practice”) and Detective Efrem Vega (Wilmer Valderrama, “That ’70s Show”). Also starring are Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (“24”) and BD Wong (NBC’s “Law & Order:Special Victims Unit”) as therapists in each respective world. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television. Kyle Killen (“Lone Star”) and Howard Gordon (“24”) are executive producers. David Slade (“Twilight: Eclipse,” “30 Days of Night”) also serves as executive producer and directed the pilot written by Killen.
‘THE FIRM’ — Based on the blockbuster feature film and best-selling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham (“The Pelican Brief,” “The Client”), “The Firm” continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel. As a young associate, McDeere brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob — and his life was never the same. After a difficult decade, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection program, Mitch and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future — only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere. “The Firm” is produced by Entertainment One in association with Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Pictures. The executive producers are Grisham, Lukas Reiter (“Law & Order,” “Boston Legal”), John Morayniss (“Haven,” “Hung”), Michael Rosenberg (“Hung,” “Skins”) and Noreen Halpern (“Rookie Blue,” “Hung”).
‘WHITNEY’ — A hilarious look at modern love, “Whitney” is a new multi-camera comedy series about Whitney (Whitney Cummings, “Chelsea Lately”) and Alex (Chris D’Elia, “Glory Daze”), a happily unmarried couple. Together for five years, the duo is in no rush to get hitched. However, after attending yet another one of their friends’ weddings, Whitney realizes that she and Alex are dangerously close to relationship boredom. Determined not to let that happen, Whitney consults her close circle of opinionated girlfriends — including Lily (Zoe Lister-Jones, “The Other Guys”) and Roxanne (Rhea Seehorn, “The Starter Wife”) — and then snaps into action. A few awkward sexy costumes and one botched seductive evening later, the couple ends up in the emergency room. Even so, Whitney and Alex realize that while their relationship might not be perfect on paper, they really do love each other — and that works for them. Also starring are Maulik Pancholy (NBC’s “30 Rock”) as Lily’s perfect boyfriend, and Dan O’Brien (“How I Met Your Mother”) as an eternal bachelor. “Whitney” is produced by Universal Media Studios and Scott Stuber Productions. Stuber (“The Break Up”), Quan Phung, Betsy Thomas (“My Boys”) and Barry Katz (“Last Comic Standing”) are executive producers. Cummings also serves as executive producer/writer. Andy Ackerman (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine”) is an executive producer and directed the pilot.
‘UP ALL NIGHT’ — From Emily Spivey (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”) and legendary Emmy Award-winning producer Lorne Michaels, comes “Up All Night,” a modern take on Parenthood that shows the challenges of balancing a career, marriage and a new baby. Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”) stars as Reagan, a successful public relations executive, and Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”) plays Chris, Reagan’s supportive, stay-at-home husband. The two have just become parents – a surprise that has set their lives on a new path as responsible adults — for the most part. Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” “Bridesmaids”) stars as Ava, Reagan’s outlandish boss and best friend, whose whirlwind social escapades serve as constant reminders of Reagan’s former carefree life. James Pumphrey (“High Road”) portrays Brian, Reagan’s socially awkward hipster assistant. “Up All Night” is a production of Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Spivey is the creator and serves as executive producer along with Michaels and Jon Pollack (NBC’s “30 Rock”).
‘FREE AGENTS’ – “Free Agents” is a crooked workplace/romantic new comedy from creator John Enbom (“Party Down”) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle”) based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, “The Simpsons,” “Huff”) is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, “Hung”) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex’s co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, “Love Bites,” “Modern Family”) and Gregg (Al Madrigal, “Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Gary, Unmarried”), and Stephen (Anthony Head, “Merlin,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started — in a casual, intimate and beautifully awkward relationship. Also starring is Joe Lo Truglio (“Backwash,” “Mad Love”) and Natasha Leggero (“Ugly Americans,” “’Til Death”). “Free Agents” is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions. Enbom is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Holland. Karey Burke (“Miss/Guided”) executive-produces, along with Big Talk Productions’ Kenton Allen (“Free Agents,” BBC Network) and Nira Park, as well as Chris Niel.
‘ARE YOU THERE VODKA? IT’S ME, CHELSEA’ — Inspired by the best-selling book from comedienne/talk show host Chelsea Handler (“Chelsea Lately”), the new comedy “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” follows the exploits of twentysomething bartender Chelsea (Laura Prepon, “That ’70s Show”) a strong-willed force of nature who is determined to live life to the fullest and make no apologies. Her friends are along for the ride but they all know it is Chelsea’s way or the highway. Mark (Jo Koy, “Chelsea Lately”) is a charming bartender whose wit makes him the perfect foil for Chelsea while Shoniqua (Angel Laketa Moore, “ER”) is a smart and sassy fellow waitress who looks out for Chelsea’s best interests. Close friend and fellow bartender Todd (Mark Povinelli, “Water for Elephants”) has a wry sense of humor that keeps her in check. Also starring are Natalie Morales (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”) as Ivory, Chelsea’s feisty best friend; Lauren Lapkus (“The Middle”) as Dee Dee, Chelsea’s sheltered, shy roommate, and Lenny Clarke (“Rescue Me”) as Chelsea’s dad, Melvin. Handler has a recurring role as Chelsea’s sister Sloan, a happily married new mom who has little in common with her carefree sister. “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” is a production of Warner Bros. Television in association with Werner Entertainment and Borderline Amazing Productions. Dottie Dartland Zicklin (“Dharma & Greg”) and Julie Larson (“The Drew Carey Show”) are creators and executive producers. Handler serves as executive producer along with Tom Werner (“That ’70s Show”), Mike Clements (“The Life & Times of Tim”) and Tom Brunelle (“Chelsea Lately”).
‘BEST FRIENDS FOREVER’ — “Best Friends Forever” is a single-camera comedy that takes a look at what happens when best friends promise to support each other — no matter what the cost or circumstances. When Jessica’s (Jessica St. Clair, “In the Motherhood”) husband files for divorce, she immediately seeks comfort and flies across the country to move back in with her best friend, Lennon (Lennon Parham, “Accidentally on Purpose”). Unfortunately, Lennon’s boyfriend, Joe (Adam Pally, “Happy Endings”), has just moved into the apartment and has turned Jessica’s old room into his perfect home office. As Lennon and Jessica fall into their old routines — beloved traditions, Steel Magnolia marathons and epic girl-talk sessions — Joe begins to feel as if he’s the odd man out. While Lennon struggles to find balance between her previous life with Jessica and her new life with Joe, Jessica’s reentry to single life is complicated by the unresolved feelings that an old friend, Rav (Stephen Schneider, “The Funniest Movie Ever…Just Kidding”), has for her and the fact that pleated khakis aren’t the most flattering single girl look. “Best Friends Forever” is produced by Universal Media Studios and American Work. St. Clair, Parham, Scot Armstrong (“Old School,” “The Hangover Part II”) and Ravi Nandan (“Off Duty”) are the executive producers. Fred Savage (“Party Down”) directed the pilot.
‘BENT‘ — “Bent” is a new romantic comedy about two people who suddenly find themselves attracted to the qualities that typically repel them. On the surface, Alex (Amanda Peet, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) and Pete (David Walton, “Perfect Couples”) could not be more different. The recently divorced Alex is a resilient and tough lawyer who now is raising her eight-year-old daughter, Charlie (Joey King, “Ramona and Beezus”), as a single mom. Unwilling to let anything get in her way, she downsizes into a smaller house, and she hires Pete, a recovering gambling addict and unapologetic womanizer, as the contractor to re-do her kitchen. The remodeling job is Pete’s last chance to prove that he is no longer a screw-up — but he doesn’t know what’s about to hit him when he encounters the force of nature that is Alex — nor does she realize that she’s met her match in Pete, a man unafraid to call out her flaws. Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) also stars as Pete’s father, Walt, an out-of-work actor, while Margo Harshman (“Sorority Row”) stars as Alex’s wild younger sister Screwsie. This romantic comedy from writer and executive producer Tad Quill (“Scrubs,” “Spin City”) and director Craig Zisk (“Nurse Jackie,” “Weeds”) will prove that these resilient characters are “bent, not broken.” The series is produced by Universal Media Studios.
Two-time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a researcher in the year 2019, in which an unknown plague has transformed the world’s population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race. – Lionsgate
60 out of 100
The immediate gut-reaction for a film like Daybreakers is, “Oh, great… yet another vampire film because that genre hasn’t been exploited enough over the past five years,” and to be honest, that was our reaction when we first saw trailers for this in late 2009. The problem for Daybreakers and most likely the reason for its miserable box-office numbers ($51 million gross, foreign and domestic) is that’s also exactly how the producers marketed the film in some misguided attempt to hop on the bandwagon of the sucesses of the other popular vampire franchises such as Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. That was a very bad marketing decision.
Daybreakers is a very original and unique twist on the vampire genre in that it’s not really a horror film at all. It’s a classic Science Fiction story that not only deals with science as a backdrop, it also deals with the many “what if” and “how would you react” scenarios about the questions of exploitation of others for your own immortality. How does a society preserve its humanity when mortality has been taken away? As far as vampire films go, there is surprisingly little graphic violence until the very end of the film because, frankly, it’s really not necessary to progress the story.
Where the film ultimately suffers is that it is very short coming in at 1 hour 37 minutes. For a science fiction story with such an original concept there is far too little exposition. It not only leaves a lot of questions unanswered but it’s so quick that the audience doesn’t really have an opportunity to become emotionally attached to the characters or the plot. The performances from DaFoe and Hawke and the rest of the cast are fine but you really don’t have any sense of a vested interest in any of these characters, and of course if the audience can’t relate to the characters they have no reason to really care about the story. Interestingly enough, this promotional clip (that was not shown in the film) gives more of a back story for the plot than the entire film does.
Daybreakers, albeit not the best film, is an enjoyable film and worth your time if you like a unique Sci Fi story. Netflix subscribers can watch it as part of their subscription through the Netflix streaming service.
Here’s the official Lionsgate trailer for Daybreakers. This is not the thirty-second TV spot that leads you to believe that it’s just a another vampire/horror film.
Being Human is a re-imagining of the acclaimed BBC original series that follows three 20-something roommates: A ghost, a vampire and a werewolf who are struggling to keep their dark secrets from the world, while also helping each other navigate the complexities of living double lives.
The series will star Sam Witwer (Smallville, Battlestar Galactica), Meaghan Rath (The Assistants), Sam Huntington (Cavemen, Superman Returns) and Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural). – Syfy
8 out of 10
After being thoroughly disappointed in season three of True Blood and having no interest in the teen-soap silliness of The Vampire Diaries, we approached Being Human skeptically to say the least. A ghost, a vampire and a werewolf live in an apartment together… yes, we know. It sounds like the beginning of a really bad joke or a sit-com on FOX, but believe it or not, after watching the first three episodes, we’re happy to say that it doesn’t suck… at all. Well, Aidan (Sam Witwer) the vampire sucks… but he’s working on that.
Since we mentioned our disappointment in True Blood, we’d like to take a moment to discuss why we’re so disappointed in that series and why Being Human is a breath of fresh air for the genre. As we see it, True Blood, like many-a-series on HBO, now tends to focus on excess for the sake of excess because… well, it’s premium cable and they can damned well do what they want short of porn and snuff films. Unfortunately, excessive sex, violence and profanity is replacing quality narratives and strong character development. Subtlety and nuance are virtually non-exist on True Blood, now, and what was once a compelling storyline has devolved into the arena of pure melodrama that it is completely unbelievable and inaccessible.
Matt Volke of The Movie Bros. was at Casa De ‘Tastic in May and just happened to stroll into the room for one five-minute segment of True Blood and he couldn’t stop laughing at the absolute absurdity of the show. Our immediate reaction was to make excuses for it and say words to the effect of, “Yes… that was ridiculous but it’s normally not like this.” The sad fact is that absurdity is now the norm on True Blood. For the record, this is not the first time this has happened to a show on HBO. The Sopranos, Rome and even Alan Ball’s other HBO hit, Six Feet Under, are all prime examples of once-great shows that ended up choosing shock-value in place of good story telling and style over substance.
This is why we like Being Human so much. Being Human does not have the crutch of excess to use in place of strong character development and compelling story lines. In other words, because it’s on basic cable, it can’t cheat. Now, don’t get us wrong, Being Human is quite dark at times and it does have its share of violence but the “horror” violence for the most part is simply alluded to and implied (the first bite of a vampire on a female victim, the aftermath of a werewolf attack on a deer, a flashback of the aftermath of an entire wedding reception being slaughtered by vampires, etc.) whereas on a show like True Blood, the same type of scenes of violence would be graphic and gory, leaving nothing to the imagination and a complete sense of detachment.
Despite its darkness, Being Human excels in levity with its three main characters who all interact with each other quite well and they all bring their own unique sense of humor associated with their own supernatural affliction but at the end of the day, they are all very relatable and – here’s that word, again – accessible to audiences. We truly love the storyline so far and Mark Pellegrino (Lost) is brilliantly cast as the shades-of-gray villainous vampire, Bishop, in this outstanding addition to SyFy’s lineup.
As a final word of warning, we would highly recommend that you ignore any critique of this show that compares it to its BBC predecessor. We’ve never seen the BBC version, which we are sure is great, but we believe it’s irresponsible to judge a series based upon another series and not on its own merits despite the fact that they are based on the same material.
Watch full episodes of Being Human, here.
“The Cape” is a one-hour drama series starring David Lyons (“ER”) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, “Life on Mars”) and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, “Flash Forward”). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Vince Faraday becomes “The Cape” – his son’s favorite comic book superhero – and takes the law into his own hands.
Rounding out the cast are James Frain (“The Tudors”) as billionaire Peter Fleming, The Cape’s nemesis who moonlights as the twisted killer Chess; Keith David (“Death at a Funeral”) as Max Milani, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape; Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City; Dorian Missick (“Six Degrees”) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday; Martin Klebba (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) as Rollo, member and unassuming muscle of the circus gang of bank robbers; and Vinnie Jones (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”) as Scales, resident thug and cohort of The Cape’s nemesis Chess. – NBC
7 out of 10
Let’s us start by saying that the relatively high rating that we’ve given The Cape of a “7” is a very qualified “7” and we kind of had to convince ourselves that it was worth the rating. The problem for us in reviewing The Cape is despite its glaring flaws and no matter how much we wanted to give it a rating of about a 5 or 6, we kept coming back to the fact that we really liked it. That being said, if it starts getting stupid, we reserve to take back that VERY generous rating.
Here’s the thing about The Cape: it’s exciting, it is literally a comic book come-to-life, and it’s very well-produced. The problem is that there is nothing original about it at all.
EVERYTHING is a conglomeration of other comic book/superhero and genre story lines and to make it worse, it rips-off elements from the more modern incarnations (see: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan’s Batman, Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, The Punisher, Robocop, Superman and, yes, even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… to name a few). Now, we’re not suggesting that they use these elements badly, but it’s such an obvious copy-and-paste that you can’t help but notice and cringe… a lot. Hell, they even ripped-off Heroes which would seem like a bad idea considering that NBC just canceled that show.
Now, that’s the biggest issue with The Cape. The other more irksome issue is the absolute ridiculousness of the action sequences and the visual effects. They are way over-the-top and go beyond the level of, “Well, we’ll just have to suspend our disbelief.” We are personally sick and tired of standard bullets from sub-machine guns and pistols causing fuel tanks explode. Has no one in Hollywood watched Mythbusters? The only way to make a fuel tank explode into a massive fireball is with with incendiary rounds…. and a FRAKKIN’ mini-gun.
Oh, and one more thing: a human being cannot survive a fall out of a 50 story building by using a car to break their fall. Do you now see why these sequences irk us?
Beyond those problems, though, we hate saying this but this show is a crap-load of fun and has a lot of potential to be one heck of a ride week after week if audiences are patient with it. The characters are pretty are well-developed and the performances are strong and believable and there’s enough complexities with them to flesh out some compelling story lines. It has more the feel of a summer blockbuster than it does a weekly prime-time drama.
What hurts The Cape is the aforementioned lack of originality. On its surface it doesn’t bring anything new to the table and this generation of audience is a fickle lot with genre in prime time. The Cape has a lot of potential to be a great show. Let’s just hope it becomes a great show that people want to tune in to.
Watch full episodes of The Cape, here.
After a long bout with prostate cancer, iconic American actor Dennis Hopper passed away on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at the age of 74 at his home in Venice Beach, California surrounded by friends and family. Hopper, best known for his roles in Apocalypse Now and the counter-culture classic Easy Rider, had a career that spanned more than 50 years in film and television dating back to such classics as 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause, 1956’s Giant and one of my personal favorites, 1967’s Cool Hand Luke. What made Hopper so unique in my opinion was the incredible amount of diversity in his roles and his ability consume each character as if the roles were written for him. Whether playing the drug-dealing outlaw biker Billy in Easy Rider (the landmark film that Hopper directed, starred and wrote which earned him a Best Writer Oscar nomination in 1970) or the basketball-loving town drunk Shooter in Hoosiers, (the role that earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination in 1987 and his only Oscar nomination for acting) or the psychopathic Balkan warlord, Victor Drazen on the first season of 24 or Colonel Eli McNulty on the short-lived Jerry Bruckheimer Special Ops Thriller series E-Ring on NBC from 2005 – 2006, there simply wasn’t a role that Hopper could not play.
Hopper was perhaps the world’s greatest character actor who just happened to be a superstar. I’m reminded of just how good Hopper was when I think of his performance in my favorite role of his, that of retired cop Clifford Worley, father to perpetual loser with-a-heart-of-gold, Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) in True Romance. In this 1993 cult-classic directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino, Hopper took what was in essence a cameo role and made it into the most memorable role in the film and single-handedly manufactured the most brilliant scene of the film. Every time I see this film I have to ask myself if Tarantino wrote this scene specifically with Hopper in mind because no one could have handled the scene between Clifford Worley and Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken) as masterfully as Hopper and I wonder if Tarantino knew that this little ten-minute scene was going upstage every other performance in what was one of the best films of the decade. Honestly, you almost forget how good this movie is overall because of the famous “interrogation” scene with Walken and Hopper.
Dennis Hopper was a legend who indelibly left his mark on film and screen and I feel blessed that I had the pleasure of experiencing his genius within my lifetime. Hopper left behind four children, including a seven year-old daughter named Galen, and two grandchildren, Violet Goldstone and Ella Brill.
For more information about the life and career of Dennis Hopper, visit IMDb.