Ok, first off, what’s up with channel 7 pushing the double episodes of Winners and Losers on a Tuesday night? While i’m never one to scoff at a double dose of our Melbourne gals, it is starting to get some fans worried that episodes are just being pushed out so as to finish the show earlier than anticipated.
Well fear not as these double episodes look set to have ended as series four (yes, we’re still in the second half of the season!) draws to a close with the last of the double episodes gone and done with and the final three season four episodes being aired as singles cutting a fresh start for the shows fifth season. It’s a smart move as these last three episodes deserve to be on their own, especially with the amount that’s packed into each one!
While the Carla (Sibylla Budd) and Izzy (Laura Gordon) story line moves to more tepid ground with Izzy making a return from time out in Sydney and Carla learning to deal with the almost kiss between Izzy and Doug (Tom Wren), it’s the fractured friendship between Sophie (Melanie Vallejo) and Frances (Virginia Gay) that continues to dominate everyone’s lives and sets the course for a rekindled relationship for Frances and a possible overseas move for Sophie.
Though it’s not all dark and gloom, with Jenny (Melissa Berglund) and Gabe’s (Nick Russell) upcoming nuptials, which see’s the return of not one, not two but three familiar faces, one of which is the long awaited return of Gross family matriarch Trish Gross (Denise Scott) who has been off in Denmark with Deidre Gross. The other two faces you’ll have to watch to see!
Surprise returns, dream jobs, a wedding, a rekindled relationship, a move back the country – there’s a lot happening in the next few weeks of Winners and Losers!
Winners and Losers airs Tuesday nights, 8:30pm on Channel 7
Yesterday, Treyarch’s Black Ops 3 beta access opened to PlayStation 4 users worldwide (with an access code) offering players the chance to get their teeth into the bare bones of the game before it releases in full in early November. Upon first impressions, Black Ops 3 destroys the abomination that was Advanced Warfare and offers up a sturdy modern throwback to the ground based warfare we had come to love with the first person shooter series.
My first experience with this beta didn’t go off to a good start however with a corrupt install followed by an extra agonizing 7 hour wait for the 12gig file to download. Thankfully, past that, my issues with the game were relatively minor (paintshop refused to work, matchmaking/server issues) compared to others who have been experiencing full crashes.
As of writing this, I’ve spent just shy of about 5 hours with the game (though currently there are server issues meaning I’m sitting in a lobby unable to play), the three available maps, a handful of the game modes and four of the specialists (the other four are unlockable in the beta). Black Ops 3 honestly feels like a true Call of Duty game, one that has the right amount of modern elements without jumping into the ludicrous (AW anyone?) and exciting new features that makes this new COD game feel fresh.
So…the hits and misses so far:
*THE TOKEN UNLOCK SYSTEM: Treyarch have brought back their token unlock system and combine 10 which I personally have never been a fan of as trying to get a balance across a primary, a secondary, wildcards and perks with only 10 elements is proving to be tough. Advanced Warfare’s level unlock and combine 13 system felt more comfortable and more achievable than waiting for tokens to build up before unlocking items, though I do like and remember enjoying the gun level up system which is also back.
*SPAWNING: Bad spawning usually plagues the COD series early on in releases and BO3 is falling into the same trap with team spawn points reversing sides very very quickly throwing game play off somewhat. Quite a few times I’ve found myself having to turn back because the enemy has quickly begun to spawn behind me.
*SPARROW: Outrider’s ‘sparrow’ compound bow is a very sluggish weapon to use and as a fan of the crossbow from previous series, this compound bow – while powerful – becomes rather pointless when you factor in the slowness of use in fast game play modes. Fingers crossed a crossbow is available in the full release.
*MELEE: What happened to Melee?! I mean, it’s still there, but in a sort-of-drunken-punch kinda way that actually has little to no effect on the opponent. Being able to be quick on the R3 button in that moment of surprise is a skill that requires many attempts to master and now, the little girl punch we have feels lost and is sorely missed.
*SPECIALIST PERSONALIZATION: I know it’s coming in the full game, but I did believe we were going to get a taste of specialist customization in the beta. I’m being picky I know – I just HATE multiplayer games filled with clones of the same character!
*THE CHAIN BASED MOVEMENT SYSTEM: How refreshing is this new movement system?! The unlimited sprint mixed with a boost jump mixed with wall running mixed with a decent knee slide all whilst shooting and reloading is a great new element to the game. While wall running took a few attempts to nail (it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it) it’s a very cool addition to the game play that feels quite effortless and allows for some rather sneaky movement to place you behind the enemy team.
*GAME PLAY: I will say, I originally felt the game to be heavy and slow, but after a few plays, I realized that I had become so used to Advanced Warfare’s flight system and that in fact, BO3 was how it used to be – a brutal ground based war that relies on a mix of precision and stealth rather than speed.
*THE CARNAGE: The damage caused by Outrider’s ‘sparrow’ bow is quite gory and graphic with body parts flying about the place and on more than a few occasions, my characters was left without any legs after getting to close to a cooked frag!
*POST-GAME LOBBY: I love the post-game lobby showcasing the matches three top scorers. It really adds to player determination to do well and basically boast about how awesome they were in that match. Once specialist personaliztion comes in to effect, this new feature will look even more better!
*THE MAPS: In the beta, there are four maps available, and to me, are in the medium sized range. They’re not nuketown short and they’re not Stonehaven large but all four showcase the beautiful graphics and the possible game play involved, taking advantage of the new swimming and wall-running features. Of the four previewed in beta mode, ‘Combine’ was my favorite as it offered a great balance for both snipers and ground runners.
*PAINTSHOP: A fun new element within the series that allows for deeper personalization – of your weapons. I did have a quick play around with it, but when it comes to this type of stuff….i’m not that creative, but being able to blast around with a shotgun covered in pink flames does feel pretty cool!
*POWERFUL SILENCERS: I’m a runner/gunner player who mostly relies on catching the enemy team off guard and it’s proven difficult in past COD games with silences significantly reducing the damage effect of a weapon. In BO3, I found the silencers to have much more effect and damage which makes the way I play that much more effective.
I do have a lot of love for the Call of Duty series and it’s refreshing to see Treyarch taking note of what we hated about AW and offering us a true call-back to the series so many of us love. Black Ops 3 is THAT modern era ground based war that needed to happen to bring back the love to the series that forces players to use stealth and precision over speed and height. This beta has me excited to experience the full release from zombies to campaign to multiplayer.
PS4 Beta experience ends August 23rd and starts up for XBox August 26th.
To be fair, I, for the life of me, cannot remember the last cycle of America’s Next Top Model that I actually watched. I’m pretty sure the cycle number was in single digits, Twiggy/Janice Dickinson/Paulina Porizkova along with Miss Jay’s were judges, Mr. Jay was dealing with photoshoots and Nigel Barker was there too. I don’t know why I stopped watching, but it might have something to do with the shows constant failure to actually produce a next top model (unlike our Aussie version – Aussie Aussie Aussie!) So there, in my email sat the first two episodes for cycle 22 and I reluctantly pressed play…
So, to my shock horror, it turns out, Cycle 22 is waaaaaay different from the last thing I remember watching. I don’t know how long this change has been in effect ( I could Google but really….) but silver haired Mr.Jay is gone, no haired Nigel Barker is gone and what’s this? There’s men now in this competition?!
For the most part in cycle 22, there are men, and then there are those more determined to discover what happened to their crown…(just saying). So on the topic of men, it turns out a bloke won cycle 21 (who knew?) which is making these new bitches even more douchier thirstier than ever before to take home their very own ANTM crown, plus a NEXT Model Management contract, an editorial in Nylon magazine and a $100,000 deal with Zappos (here’s their site in case you have no clue like me)
If one thing is still the same, it’s the varied range of crazy models that end up on this show…some of which are of course purposely kept to get under our skin.
Of the ‘men’, there’s Devon who is an unusual creature and claims to be signed to “six agencies” at the time of his casting to the show…
There’s shy Mickey who relies on his hair and literally jumps into testosterone filled puberty by episode two..
There’s also Bryant…but i’ll let the following GIF do the talking about him –
Among the girls this cycle is Ava, your token Jesus lovin’, bible fearing gal
There’s Hadassah, a pageant girl looking to make the move into modelling cause’ she’s not here to make friends..
and we already got to meet Alexa and her twins right at the beginning of this post.
To say I was getting more of a ‘MTV’s REAL WORLD’ vibe from this show would be an understatement.
So the problem with me and these kinds of shows it that while I originally might be less than enthusiastic to watch, when I do, I become very invested, and very quickly and I always tend to root for the one that’s always in the background or the one that somehow manages to get to fifth place or the one where you ask ‘whats her name again?’ or “is she still even in the show?” like Gage, below, who has literally 20 seconds of screen time by end of episode 2 and who i’m pretty sure is still in the show…
You have to give it to Tyra and her model search empire though. 22 cycles in and this show, just like Tyra, is showing no signs of ageing or slowing down.
America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22 begins Thursday night, August 20th, 7:30pm on FOX8.
Entertainment Weekly have offered up the first exclusive look of the brand new Friends Funko Pop Vinyl line featuring all six characters from the beloved show, each with iconic character additions that will have Friends fans excited to own each and every one – me included!
With the addition of the Pop Television line, Funko have been able to delve into the television vault and offer up everything from the recent American Horror Story and Orange is the New Black Pops to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dr. Who and even Saved by the Bell Pops and while there are still a few glaring omissions to the upcoming release list (Sex and the City and Melrose Place – I want a Sydney Andrews Pop! hint hint) the long-awaited Friends Pops have finally been revealed.
“These figures are better when they’re crazy-looking,” Funko CEO Brian Mariotti told EW. “Everyone on [‘Friends’] is just really good-looking, so we needed to get the details just right. We had to add that extra level of ‘Friends’-ness. I know, that’s not even a word.” By extra level of ‘Friends-ness’ we’re talking some small but important additions to these Pops…
Ross Geller (played by David Schwimmer) comes with Marcel the monkey, Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) comes with ‘the duck’, Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) comes with ‘Yasmine the chick’, Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) sports her iconic ‘Rachel’ do and Central Perk uniform, Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) sports her guitar and adornment of rings while Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) comes in her chef whites.
Chandler Bing with ‘the chick’
Ross Geller with Marcel
Rachel Green with her iconic hairdo
Phoebe Buffay with her Smelly Cat guitar
Monica Geller in her chef whites
Joey Tribbiani with ‘the duck’
While all the Friends Pops are quite visual and identifiable, personally, I feel that Monica’s was somewhat off as it was not very often we saw Monica in her chef uniform…”We started Monica in just one of her more regular outfits that you would recognize, but if you take it out of context, it wasn’t as iconic,” says VP of Funko Creative Ben Butcher. “With Phoebe, we tried to get the guitar in there. With Joey and Chandler, they are two regular guys at first … and then we decided to bring the duck and the chick into it.”
As a dedicated long-time Friends fan, some suggestions for a series two – you know, if it was ever to go ahead..,
Spray Tan Ross Geller – Pink bunny suit Halloween Chandler Bing – Ceasers Palace Guard Joey Tribbiani – Alternate reality Merrill Lynch worker Phoebe Buffay – Wedding day Rachel Green and finally…..Fat Monica Geller!
The Friends Funko Pop’s are currently available for pre-order at your local Pop! retailer or through Entertainment Earth with a Feb 2016 release.
With less than 2 weeks to go until the Black Ops 3 beta opens for PS4 owners (who have pre ordered the game) more and more information is starting to come out regarding some of the inner workings of the game – more specifically (and what piques my interest) the customization within the game.
With the addition of basic player customization in COD: Ghosts through to the more expanded options in COD: Advanced Warfare, the ability to make your multiplayer character look and feel unique has added an extra layer to the already popular game and with BO3, Treyarch are taking the best of what’s already been offered and fine tuning it to produce a customization aspect that fits more visually with the game.
From the onset, players will chose one specialist class – Nomad, who can re-spawn from his death spot, Prophet, who has a penchant for guns with electricity shocks, Outrider, who’s bow and explosive arrows offer quick, one-shot kills, Reaper, a robot with a mini gun arm, Seraph, a quick footed powerhouse with a killer handgun, Ruin, who comes with a brutal melee attack and Battery, a tough girl who likes to play with touch exploding frag grenades. From there, players will have the option to customize their chosen specialist with a selection class locked items.
Taking away from COD:AW the load-outs, gloves, tops, boots, helmets, exos and all the separate customization options and in it’s place, a more appropriate set of customization’s that include head/helmets and full torsos (an exact list of all customization options are still yet to be revealed). The reason for the bigger/bulkier/restricted change –
@whalebait_99 It's our opinion that boots etc. are cool, but too subtle in how they modify look for custom characters like Specialists.
As someone who enjoyed the vast amount of options in AW, I can completely understand and support the reasoning behind the change when in reality, the only person really looking at my characters boots and gloves was probably me (though being able to properly check out each players decked out character in the gaming lobby was a cool touch) and during game play, those subtle items are virtually not visible to other players, though just how many options will be available (fingers crossed for more than 5 ugly head options for females that were offered in AW), an option to adjust item color (within reason) and the ability to obtain additional or rare gear (like AW’s exciting supply drops which Treyarch have confirmed are NOT part of Black Ops 3) have not been revealed.
Another change to the character customization is the female base figures. Where Ghosts and AW finally allowed female soldiers into the game, they were created with the same bulky and muscular body shape as the males….
While Advanced Warfare toned down (somewhat) the bulkiness of the female form, it was still quite visible to see no real difference between a male character and female character with the exception of the head. Treyarch have created a completely separate render, graphics and set of animations that, as Treyarch’s studio head Mark Lamia who spoke with playstationlifestyle states “It’s not just a female head on a male body. It’s like a different rig and a different set of animations that they did for the entire game”. it’s a smart new feature that will allow a form of visual difference to the character and game play without forcing ultimate femininity into the game.
This new gender visual plus customization options also now spill into campaign mode with BO3 becoming the first ever Call of Duty game to offer the ability to not only play the solo story as either a male or female, but also play with various options to fit them out with a unique look – but users must note, PS3 and Xbox users will miss out on the campaign mode as Treyarch are ditching the mode for last gen consoles.
From COD producer James Blundell (who also spoke to playstationlifestyle) “You can be male, and you can be female. And by the way, that means you’ve got a full female track for the whole thing as well. So male track, female track. Customize that character, change the outfit, weapons, paint job- err, Paintshop, you know, all that good stuff. Equipment that your putting on there. That is all represented in those third-person cameras and you are the hero of that moment.” – this also includes all cut scenes too.
In the end, what we end up with, is the possibility to not only invest time into personalizing our multi-player character, but our campaign character too. It’s a brand new feature that actually has me contemplating not jumping straight into multi-player for the first time ever and ignoring campaign more for 3 or so months.
Check out some brand new multi-player and campaign mode captures below!
Black Ops 3 Multiplayer
Black Ops 3 five-day beta hits PS4 users August 19th to August 23rd, PC/Xbox from August 26th to August 30th. Beta will provide access to 3 multiplayer maps, 7 game modes, 8 customizable specialists, weapon customization including paintshop, weapons, perks, equipment and score-streaks can be unlocked (but won’t transfer to the full game) and for those wanting to know more can check out this drool-worthy 10 minute multi-player clip below!
The Marauder Task Force Gaming Figures has to be one of the most successful action figure kickstarter campaigns to date. Their original goal of $30,000 to produce a line of articulated and customizable 3.75″ action figures was smashed with Marauder Gun-Runners reaching just shy of $255,000 for their campaign.
Wave two of the figures has been announced and has gone live on kickstarter featuring an all-female line called The Valkyries and they’ve already surpassed their funding goal of $34,000 (in less than 2 days) with 36 days (as of this post) left to go.
The first wave of figures were a hit with collectors (they fit in perfectly with GI.Joe) featuring great designs from Boss Fight Studio and a fun modular accessory dynamic that allows for near-total customization with interchangeable heads, protective gear and weapons.
This second wave is aiming to achieve the same effect with the removable headgear & vests having “modular” attachment points which provide the ability to “mix & match” the assorted modular equipment as desired. Also, there are “modular” accessory mounting points ON the actual figure. The figures and accessories will be available in assorted colors.
From the campaign: The Marauder Task Force Valkyries action figures feature articulation points at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, thighs, knees, and ankles. Rather than a “mid-chest” articulation point, the articulation point is in the waist. The swivel waist allows for greater movement and, most importantly, will not interfere with the modular vests when in use on the figures.
With Hasbro copping a whacking from the public over the lack of Black Widow/Scarlet Witch action figures, it’s great to see independent productions like Marauders getting into the female action figure game. While several earlier kickstarter campaigns featuring similar ideas have failed (Agent Annika – Humanoid Yvonne – Leigon XIV) Marauders previous and wildly successful outing has proved to be a winner.
Check out some of the base and stretch goal figures below:
Base lever Desert Ops Figure
Base level Night Ops Figure
Stretch Goal #2
Stretch Goal #8
As a big fan of the female GI. joe figures, I’ll be watching this kickstarter very closely. Check out and back this campaign here!
There’s some worry floating about the world of Pretty Little Liars as it leads up-to it’s massive summer finale being touted as THE episode to give us all the answers to all the questions we’ve been asking over the past five years.
The worry being “we’ve been down this road before” where we were all told we’d finally find out the identity of A – the faceless stalker harassing Spencer, Emily, Aria, Hanna, Alison and their parents – during the season five finale only to have some random named Charles thrown at us as an answer leaving many many many fans frustrated at once again having another question awaiting an answer.
In the past 6 seasons, the only major questions that have been answered include – Melissa was black swan, Alison was actually alive the whole time and Mona was the first of Big A’s helpers…it’s not much when you look back at 6 seasons worth of unknowing.
I must admit, I’ve been wavering with my dedication to the show backing up from the revelation A-is-Charles-but-who-the-heck-is-Charles storyline. Concerned with the amount of unanswered questions that continuously pop up, the finger pointing at possible secret identities only to have them washed away with the introduction of another secret identity…it’s only my loyalty to Laura Leighton (Ashley Marin) that had kept me continuing on with the show, but show creator I. Marlene King is telling us all to put aside our worries….
There you have it – It’s NO lie, answers are coming to questions that have been asked throughout the past 6 seasons of the show. “Who is Charles? Who killed Toby’s mom? Who hit Alison in the head with the rock the night she went missing? Who is Red Coat? Who killed Bethany? Who is the Black Widow? Why has ‘A/Charles’ been targeting the liars all this time?
And while the answers are coming, they too bring with them the possibility of disappointment – especially with something that has been built up so much and for so long. The identity of A/Charles has been the driving force behind the show and fans won’t accept some new character (like Sara, Rhys or Leslie) to be our main protagonist which begs the question….
“Who is Charles and who will make us happy to be revealed as Charles?”
As evidenced by the last episode (6×09) none of our main liars could be Charles, neither could Toby, Ezra or Caleb (they’re all at the prom) and our mom’s – Ashley, Ella, Pam and Veronica can be ruled out too (as they are currently locked in the DiLaurentis’ basement – and Charles is Alison and Jason’s sibling). Characters like Wren, Lucas, Mike, Jenna and Paige have all played along throughout the show but will we be satisfied with a secondary character claiming ownership of such a big part of the show?
Pretty Little Liars has a lot riding on this episode with literally millions of people worldwide investing 5 years into this show leading up-to this episode that is revealing ALL. I’m hopeful Marlene and the writers will produce some well thought out answers that not only work but also make sense.
For me – answer wise – I’m leaning towards Wren or Lucas being A/Charles, Jenna being redcoat and Ashley Marin as the Black Widow secretly working against A/Charles..
Tell me your thoughts and predictions for A/Charles, Red coat and Black Widow in the comments!
Pretty Little Liars Summer Finale airs
Tuesday night, August 11th at 8pm on ABC Family (USA)
Thursday night, August 13th, 7:30pm on Fox8 (Australia)
Can’t wait until then? Check out a sneak peek look at the first 2 minutes of the summer finale below!
To put it bluntly, the second season of The Bachelor Australia was a complete catastrophe – well once the season had ended actually. From “dirty street pies” to back-stabbing and enough tears to re-hydrate outback Australia, the season was actually well cast and well crafted but left ‘The Bachelor’ – Blake Garvey, walking out on his chosen woman Sam Frost, then igniting a relationship with a contestant booted off earlier in the season and finally being titled “the most hated man in Australia”.
Said Garvey in an interview with smh.com.au back in February, “What’s more likely, that I managed to somehow fool an army of producers, 31 women and continually kept fooling the most switched-on woman I’ve ever met, and her family, or was someone playing it up a bit?”
So was it? Was it scripted, was it spur of the moment decisions……
Which brings me to a little/amazing drama by Lifetime/A&E Networks (and currently airing on Stan in Australia) titled UnReal. A ‘fictitious’ and viscous look at the workings behind the scenes on a bachelor-esque show titled ‘Everlasting’ where camera ready women vie for the heart of a good-looking wealthy man – all with the help of some underhanded and (probably) unethical advice from back-end crew led by executive producer Quinn King (Constance Zimmer)
Drama between the women is created, controlled and contorted by Quinn’s crew of hard working and cash inspired producers including the mentally-unstable-but-sorta-self-healing Rachel (Shiri Appleby) who returns to the new season of Everlasting after a severe mental breakdown at the high rated season one finale – created by the demands of her job mixed with the self loathsome growing inside her regarding how good she is at manipulating the women and drama on the show (she’s really good at her job).
Rachel’s up-and-down emotional struggle is even more so visible when compared to Quinn who has virtually zero regard for any of the women and their mental well-being on the show – she’s all about what will being eyes to Everlasting, ensuring all the right strings are being pulled and that certain women (such as the villain or the MILF) are sent home at the right time, but she’s also dealing with personal issues surrounding a not-so-secret affair with Everlasting’s creator Chet (Craig Bierko) whom she’s waiting to start her life with, you know, once he leaves his current wife…..It’s actually quite amusing to watch Quinn be so emotionless when it comes to creating a show about finding true love when personally, she’s waiting for a marriage to dissolve to make herself happy.
All the focus however isn’t solely on Quinn and Rachel as we’re brought into the world of Everlasting and get to meet a handful of the women looking for love including the shy virgin Faith (Breeda Wool), battered single mother Mary (Ashley Scott) and nice-as-pie Anna (Johanna Braddy) who flit in and out of focus depending on just how visible Quinn wants them to be.
Of the leads, Constance Zimmer gives warmth to the stone cold Quinn we’re supposed to secretly hate. She’s quick off the mark with insults and threats yet behind closed doors there is a woman wanting to be loved. Imagine if you will a Miranda Priestly, but without the killer wardrobe. Shiri Appleby’s Rachel is channeling some form of a 90’s disheveled Laura San Giacomo with her tousled brown hair, denim jeans and zip-up hoodie. Rachel is clearly a woman torn between staying afloat financially at any cost vs feeling good about trying to get a good soundbite out of a distressed woman just booted off the show.
Of the four episodes I binged on Saturday, I can easily say, I’ve become quite taken with this show. The love for this show that had been flooding my twitter and Facebook feed forced me to give it a shot plus when Constance Zimmer tells me “I won’t regret” watching….I kinda had to.
It’s perfect timing for Stan to begin airing UnReal with the third season of The Bachelor Australia just starting. If you watch and are a fan of The Bachelor, give UnReal a shot and see how it affects how you watch the match-making show. If, like me, you don’t watch The Bachelor, watch UnReal for Constance, Shiri and the fact, this show is pretty darned cool!