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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


May 31, 2012

A roundtable with Claire Danes, Emmy Rossum, Kyra Sedgwick, Mireille Enos, Julianna Margulies and January Jones

Posted on May 31, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Hollywood Reporter drama actress roundtable

The Hollywood Reporter has some great roundtables with actors and actresses, and since they've finally worked out how to give people like me embed codes, let's take the opportunity to show off their latest roundtable with the Emmy-nominated Claire Danes (Homeland), Emmy Rossum (Shameless), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Mireille Enos (The Killing), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) and January Jones (Mad Men).

Yes, January Jones is up for an Emmy this year. No, don't ask me why.

Did you know that Kyra Sedgwick auditioned for Flashdance? No, me either. This, the full 50-minute interview and the answers to "What was your scariest moment as an actress?", "Nudity - when is it okay?", and "Who has influenced your career?" after the jump

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May 30, 2012

The Wednesday Play: Brimstone and Treacle (1976/1987)

Posted on May 30, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Brimstone and Treacle

It's Wednesday so guess what. Yes, that's right. It's time for The Wednesday Play, a chance to watch a classic British television play in its entirety. This week, the play we're going to be watching is Play For Today's Brimstone and Treacle, written by one of Britain's finest television playwrights Dennis Potter and starring Michael Kitchem Denholm Elliott, Patricia Lawrence and Michelle Newell.

Brimstone and Treacle caused something of a stir in its day because despite being made in 1976 and adapted into a movie starring Sting in 1982, it was never screened on television until 1987.

Why? Because of the subject matter. Brimstone and Treacle sees Kitchen, who is possibly the devil himself - certainly someone who can break the 'fourth wall' - come to visit an ordinary household in which the daughter has been severely injured in a hit-and-run accident and is apparently in a near vegetative state.

Let's just say that after that, bad things happen. But then so do good things. It's the combination of the two that caused offence. Alasdair Milne, then head of TV programmes at the BBC, decided to withdraw and ultimately ban it, on the grounds that the work was "brilliantly written and made, but nauseating".

Potter later said:

I had written Brimstone and Treacle in difficult personal circumstances. Years of acute psoriatic arthropathy—unpleasantly affecting skin and joints—had not only taken their toll in physical damage but had also, and perhaps inevitably, mediated my view of the world and the people in it. I recall writing (and the words now make me shudder) that the only meaningful sacrament left to human beings was for them to gather in the streets in order to be sick together, splashing vomit on the paving stones as the final and most eloquent plea to an apparently deaf, dumb and blind God. [...] I was engaged in an extremely severe struggle not so much against the dull grind of a painful and debilitating illness but with unresolved, almost unacknowledged, 'spiritual' questions.

So follow me after the break to one of British television's most controversial works. Watch it to the very end or you'll miss out on something important.

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May 30, 2012

Review: Continuum (Showcase) 1x1

Posted on May 30, 2012 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Continuum

In Canada: Sundays, 9pm ET/PT, Showcase

Canada seems to have had a thing for time travel for late. Maybe it's pining for a previous government or something, but following semi-hot on the heels of Being Erica, we have Continuum on Showcase - Canada's last best hope for original programming thanks to all the government cutbacks.

Continuum is doubly a show about time travel since you feel like you're going back in time when you watch it - it's essentially a remake of Time Trax, starring everyone who co-starred but didn't star in that series you used to watch: Rachel Nichols from Alias, Victor Webster from Mutant X, Lexa Doig from Andromeda, Roger R Cross from 24, and probably everyone who's been in any episode of Stargate ever (but not starred in it).

Here we have Nichols as a cop in a dystopia 65 years in our future in which the corporations have bailed out the failed governments and imposed their own not-always benign laws. When a bunch of incarcerated terrorists (or are they just rebels?) somehow manage to escape to 2012, Nichols gets accidentally dragged back with them and she has to round them up again before they can take over the world, prevent the future and kill lots of people in the process.

So far, so Time Trax. The big difference between Continuum and Time Trax, however, is that despite being a little mired in the police procedural genre, Continuum is actually pretty good, with some interesting attempts at world building, a couple of twists on the whole time travel thing, and some really halfway decent bits of futurology.

Plus it's got Rachel Nichols in a catsuit. That'll work.

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