Category Archives: Soap Opera

Show Watch: What to Keep an Eye Out For

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Tea’ Leoni in the new CBS drama Madam Secretary

Now that all of the main networks (CBS, NBC, FOX and ABC) and some cable networks (TBS) have given us their new pick-ups for the 2014 Fall season, I’ve trawled through all the trailers (that were available…come on CBS, pull your socks up!) and complied a list of what I think could be ratings hits (like last years The Blacklist) and what could be cult sleepers (Orphan Black anyone?)

Drama:

The Mysteries of Laura (NBC)

The question begs…is this a comedy or is it a drama?  I don’t think NBC really know either hence the somewhat confusing trailer offered up but that said, this Debra Messing led dramedy could have something going for it if you look at it like it could be ‘had Miss Congeniality had a husband and children’ type of way.

Secrets and Lies (ABC)

If you recently watched an Aussie show with the same title, then you’ll have an idea of what to expect.  This Secrets and Lies is based right off our very own production with Ryan Phillippe stepping into Martin Henderson’s shoes playing Ben, a man who finds the body of a little boy and suddenly becomes suspect number one.  Added bonus – a very toned down Juliette Lewis playing cop.

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

This will be the fourth major program by Shonda Rhimes to make it’s way to ABC – Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice plus How to get Away With Murder and the trailer already looks a whole lot more interesting than the 6 seasons of Private Practice that was given to us.  There’s sex, blackmail, murder and Viola Davis..it’s an easy win.

CSI: Cyber (CBS)

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There’s no trailer yet but for those who caught Patricia Arquette’s recent guest gig on CSI will have already gotten a taste of what to expect. Yes, it’s another CSI spin-off but this time, it’s all about cyber crime which is very current and ‘hip’ and we all like Patricia Arquette right?

Stalker (CBS)

Granted, I’ve never really been exposed to much of Maggie Q’s work and the premise of her character as being a sort of freelance anti-stalker specialist who knows some hand-to-hand combat skills is a little off but the trailer offered up by CBS actually adds suspense and intrigue of what’s to come.  Ignore Dylan McDermott here, he’s always annoying to begin with and usually takes some warming up to.

Madam Secretary (CBS)

Why CBS chose to give us a trailer that looks like it gives us the entire first episode in the space of five minutes I’ll never understand.  I was excited by this right from Tea’ Leoni’s addition to the cast and while it’s different to see her in such a serious light, the political theme is working well for shows like Scandal and The Good Wife.

State of Affairs (NBC)

I’m wondering if we’ve had enough time to actually like Katherine Heigl again?  I’m still in that mid-swing where i’m starting to come around again and if there are others like me, then hopefully this show will bring us competently back.  Apparently this will have a Blacklist-cum-Homeland-cum-Zero Dark Thirty feel to it (there’s the depiction of Middle Eastern descendants as terrorists – of course) and Alfre Woodward plays the President of the USA.

American Crime (ABC)

Desperate Housewives Alum Felicity Huffman makes her return to series television along with Timothy Hutton in this dark and racially charged legal drama that follows those involved and affected by a murder and ensuing murder trial.

Empire (FOX)

The last time FOX attempted a series based off a mogul and his ’empire’ they gave us SKIN (2003) which only lasted 3 episodes before being cancelled.  Here, instead of porn, Empire gives us music and what i could only assume to be a nod to Lil’ Kim and starring Terrence Howard.  Could Chris Lilley’s S’Mouse fit in here? Probably, but at least it looks better than Skin ever did.

Comedy:

Fresh off the Boat (ABC)

Yes, the title is a bit…..Cougar Town/Trophy Wife (and possibly racist though it depends who you ask) but Fresh Off the Boat looks like the funniest of the new stuff coming our way and while the show is a focus on a Taiwanese family making the adjustment to living the American Dream, clearly Constance Wu (as mum Jessica) is the one to watch for.

The Odd Couple (CBS)

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It’s been a tough run for Matthew Perry the last few years.  His last handful of projects (Studio 60, Mr. Sunshine and Go On) all tanked and the only thing people really watched him in recently was his guest gig on Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town but now, his fourth attempt at a show could be his lucky gig.  It’s a TV remake of the classic movies (Jack Lemon and Walter Matthou or Tony Randall and Jack Klugman) and see’s Perry teaming up with Thomas Lennon who we last saw in the terribly horrible Sean Saves the World.  I can only assume this will be better than Sean failing to save the world.

Mulaney (FOX)

It’s a little bit Seinfeld, it’s a little bit Friends, it’s a little bit of a 90’s comedy throwback.  Mulaney is an ensemble comedy about a stand-up comedian and the “friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around” including Martin Short.  Here’s hoping Short contains his zany like Robin Williams did in The Crazy Ones – but then again, that didn’t turn out so good for him.

Paranormal/Supernatural/Superhero:

The Whispers (ABC)

I was so enamored by Lily Rabe as the Stevie Nicks loving swamp witch Misty Day in AHS Coven that seeing her all professional and business suits is a little shocking but here is in this creepy new paranormal-esque show with creepy kids that clearly see something the adults can’t.

Constantine

Based off the DC Comics Hellblazer series, Constantine follows a supernatural detective who finds himself defending the world from dark and eerie forces.  It’s a little bit Supernatural meets True Blood meets Penny Dreadful.

The Flash (CW)

Spin-off from the cult-ish Arrow and another DC comics star, The Flash get’s his own show and judging by the trailer, die hard comic fans will be pleased with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance of legendary bad guy ‘Reverse Flash’ plus there’s the addition of The Flash’s alter-ego Barry Allen’s love interest Iris West.

Extant (CBS)

I’ve already talked about Halle’s new sci-fi drama but now Extant has officially been picked up to series by CBS, they’ve given us an extended trailer which also fills us in more on her creepy prophetic child.  A woman on a 13 month solo space mission returns to earth and finds she’s pregnant – impossible right?  Not in space!

So what takes your fancy?  Is there something you’ve seen which I’ve not added to the list – and if you mention the new shyte by TBS…I will shoot you.

Binge Worthy TV Shows

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I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about ‘binge TV viewing’ lately and it seems, every list, is as different from the other.  We all have our favorites, those we recommend to others and those we keep to ourselves as guilty pleasures.  With quite a few shows now on hiatus or heading into break, you may need something to keep your eyes on the screen so here’s my choice picks for ‘binge worthy television shows’.

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Breaking Bad: Without a doubt, Breaking Bad makes every binge worthy list.  It should.  It’s ridiculously good.  I never watched Walter White and Jesse Pinkman when Breaking Bad originally aired….yes I know that makes me a bad television blogger, but it was one of those shows I had to be talked into watching…and watch I did.  I binged on the entire series of Breaking Bad over the space of 2 months and am somewhat glad I was able to take in the entire story-line in one sitting.  Made me appreciate what was on offer and experience the build-up to that last season without beak.

Stars: Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn

Seasons 1-5 available on DVD

The Comeback: Season 1

The Comeback: Lisa Kudrow (post Friends) as a faded and jaded actress named Valerie Cherish who has allowed cameras follow her and her journey to reclaim her former spotlight.  A show that was well before it’s time and only really appreciated after it’s demise. Great to hear talk of a possible comeback for The Comeback!

Stars: Lisa Kudrow, Malin Ackerman and Kellan Lutz

Series one available on DVD

Melrose Place 2.0: Season 1. Bringing back the iconic apartment building with a handful of original tenants, Melrose Place 2.0 offers a rather guilty pleasure for binge viewing.  There's only 18 episodes in this single season that works around a whodunit murder of Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) where most of the tenants currently residing in Melrose Place, plus those from her past, Michael Mancini and Amanda Woodward, are all suspects.  Season One available to buy on DVD via Amazon or you should be able to find a copy floating around eBay.

Melrose Place 2.0: The beauty here is that fans of the original series like to claim this re-boot never happened but for those new to the series, we’ve got an 18 episode single season that follows a       who-dun-it murder mystery of Melrose’s junkie landlord Sydney Andrews. Everyone is a suspect and it’s great to watch while playing drinking games (that mostly involve guzzling your wine anytime Ashlee Simpson appears to act or whenever a character from the original series pops up!)

Stars: Laura Leighton, Katie Cassidy, Thomas Calabro and Ashlee Simpson.

Series One available on DVD (from Amazon or eBay)

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The Chicago Code:  Jennifer Beals post The L Word as tough as nails Teresa Colvin, Chicago’s first female police superintendent who plans to bring to light the mass of political corruption currently polluting the town.  There’s connections to the Irish Mob, undercover cops, and this accents all-round.

Stars: Jennifer Beals,  Jason Clarke and Matt Lauria

Availability:  None as yet  😦

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Tim Daly and Laura Leighton. Source Provided

EYES: Tim Daly as a smarmy and cocky Harlan Judd, who is the head of J.R Investigations, a risk management firm that will bend all aspects of the law to get results.  His company is in financial crisis, his competitor wants to buy him out, there’s a mole within the company, his staff have secrets of their own and his love interest is a do-good lawyer who has issues looking the other way.  ABC shamefully only ever aired 5 episodes of this 12 episode first series back in 2005.

Stars: Tim Daly, AJ Langer, Laura Leighton and Natalie Zea

Series One is not available on DVD but can be found on YouTube.

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ORPHAN BLACK:  Fast paced sci-fi thriller that looks into the world of human cloning and accelerated human evolution through the eyes of young mother Sarah who’s world comes crashing down when she discovers she’s not as unique as she originally thought. Edge of your seat stuff that keeps knocking out reveals and epic scenes.

Stars: Tatiana Maslany, Jordan Garvais and Dylan Bruce

Season one now available on DVD.

miranda_2433175bMiranda: Britt comedy at it’s best, Miranda Hart is an unlucky in love, bumbling and fumbling joke shop owner/operator who manages to give the crazy that goes on inside her head a life all it’s own and spreads it among those around her including her highly posh and overbearing mother, her vertically challenged best friend and co-worker and the man of her dreams who works down the road.

Stars: Miranda Hart and Tom Ellis

Seasons 1-3 available on DVD

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Dawson’s Creek: You can’t have a binge list that doesn’t include Dawson’s Creek.  It’s the mega 90’s teen drama that gave us James Van Der Beek, Joshua Jackson, Katie Holmes and Michelle Williams.  Joey has feelings for Dawson but Dawson is too interested in his movies to notice Joey, that is until new girl Jen Lindley comes along while Pacey is having secret meetings with his teacher.  Drama, ugly crying, teen sex…this has got it all.

Stars: James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson.

Seasons 1-6 available on DVD

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Nip/Tuck:  Christian loves drugs, money, women and sex.  His professional partner Sean McNamara loves his son, his wife and his professional career.  It’s the lives of two plastic surgeons trying to rule the roost, deal with their inner demons and still come out on top regardless of who they end up hurting.  One of the greats to come out of the 90’s/00’s period.

Stars: Julian McMahon, Dylan Walsh and Joely Richardson.

Seasons 1-6 Now available on DVD.

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Cougar Town:  Bad title, good comedy says it all.  Cougar Town feels very Scrubs with it’s humor (created by the same team) and as you watch through the seasons, you’ll see this great show evolve from it’s ‘cougar’ story line into a very tight and funny comedy around friends and family.  Don’t judge this show by it’s title!

Stars: Courteney Cox, Busy Phillipps, Christa Miller and Dan Byrd.

Seasons 1-4 now available on DVD.

Days Of Our Lives Back on Aussie TV Screens

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Jennifer Horton (Melissa Brennan Reeves) NBC

12 months after it was unceremoniously dumped by channel 9, iconic daytime soap opera Days of our Lives is finally returning to Australian screens thanks to a deal between FOXTEL and SONY.

FOXTEL will launch the soap on it’s Arena channel on Tuesday April 15th starting at 12:50pm with episodes fast tracked to our screens only hours after it’s airing in America.

Even better news for fans, Arena plan to air 10 catch-up episodes prior to the April 15th start, each introduced by cast members, to close the gap in story-lines between the soaps last airing in Australia to the current episodes to be screened.

Foxtel’s general manager of entertainment channels, Brendan Moo, described the show as a ‘‘truly iconic television series”.

‘‘[Days of our Lives] has amassed many generations of fans and we are delighted to be able to bring the series back to Australian television.  We’ve also made the decision to express episodes … which means Foxtel customers will be able to watch the show just hours after it airs in the US and take part in the global fan conversation online and via social networks to enhance their viewing experience.’’

Foxtel will also air a weekly ‘‘omnibus’’ of episodes on Sunday mornings on Arena and make the series available to Foxtel subscribers online through its On Demand service, on set-top boxes or the Foxtel Go iPad app.

Days’ Arena screening will be paired with another daytime soap which FOXTEL rescued from axing – The Young and the Restless, which began screening on Arena in 2007 after it’s axing from free-to-air television.

Nine axed Days of Our Lives last April after 45 years on Australian television before finally returning online via Crackle.com.

Days Of Our Lives Returns to Australian TV’s – SMH

FOXTEL to fast track Days of our Lives – TV Tonight

Top OMG TV Moments of 2013

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There’s no denying that there has been some shocking and incredible “OMG” moments this year on television.  From Game of Thrones to The Walking Dead and Pretty Little Liars, these moments immediatley incur bouts of crying, laughing, anger, yelling and everything in between.  Check out my list of my top OMG moments from 2013!

RICK SENDS CAROL PACKING: The Walking Dead

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After admitting to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that she was the one who killed Karen and Dave, Rick takes it upon himself to tell Carol (Melissa McBride), while out on a supply run, that she is no longer welcome to stay with the survivors within the camp grounds.   We’ve seen Carol, who has been a member of the group from the beginning, emerge as a strong player this season and Rick’s decision and her subsequent absence split fans right down the line.

TRAVIS AND LAURIE KISS: Cougar Town

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Travis (Dan Byrd) and Laurie (Busy Phillips) have always had a fun and flirty kind of relationship, but it’s always been that one where the guy likes the girl more than vice versa but when Laurie decides to explore her growing feelings for the teenage son of her best friend, it results in a rather awkward feeling kiss between the two.  We’d all been hanging for Travis to finally get his, but now it’s happened, most of us were wishing it didn’t.

THE BIG TWIST: Homeland

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Well were we all not played for fools!  Here we all are bitching and moaning about how bad Homeland had become.  We couldn’t figure out why or where such a great show had gone wrong.  Brody (Damien Lewis) was MIA and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) had Carrie (Claire Danes) committed to an asylum and we were getting too much focus on Dana only to have it all turn around and be revealed that Saul and Carrie were in fact working together all along in a bid to draw out a foe that could become an ally.

ASHLEY MARIN HITS DETECTIVE WILDEN WITH HER CAR: Pretty Little Liars

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Poor Ashley Marin (Laura Leighton) found herself on the receiving end of some unwanted harassment from an overly inquisitive Detective Wilden (Bryce Johnson) who demands that her daughter Hannah (Ashley Benson) keeps quiet about an indiscretion she witnessed involving him and a young lady.  never one to listen to demands, Ashley finds herself in a screaming match with Wilden before suddenly putting her foot to the pedal and throwing him over the bonnet of her car before speeding off!

THAT TAMPON SANDWICH: Orange Is The New Black

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New inmate Piper learnt the tough way not to piss off the lady who rules the prison kitchen!  When word get’s back to prison chef Red (Kate Mulgrew) that Piper (Taylor Schilling) has been less than impressed with the food on offer, Red takes it upon herself to ensure that Piper will never make comments like that again by serving her up a bloody tampon sandwich!  The scene itself was highly unsettling and intentionally confronting.

DEBRA MORGAN DIES: Dexter

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In the series finale, we knew someone was going to die.  Most of us expected it to be Dexter, or even Hannah, perhaps Quinn…it was never meant to be Dexter’s sister Deb.  After being involved in a shoot out with Oliver Saxon, Deb is wounded and is rushed to hospital.  The doctors all seems to think all should be ok but complications following the surgery lead Deb to have suffer a massive stroke leaving her in a permanent vegetative state.  It’s here Dexter lands the final blow, removing Deb off her life support effectively killing her.

RAYMOND DENIES BEING LIZ’S FATHER: The Blacklist

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It’s the theory that everyone seems to have – Raymond Reddington (James Spader) is actually Elizabeth Keen’s (Megan Boone’s) birth father.  It’s been hinted at right from the get go…his selecting her to be the only one he deals with, his wanting to know more about her life, his knowing certain things about her husband, but in the closing scenes of the final episode of the first series, Liz flat out asks Red over the phone “Are you my father?” to which Red replies “No.”

THE BOMB: Home and Away

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Known for it’s annual end of year shake-up, Home and Away offered up one heck of an explosion involving fan favourites and unexpected faces and leaving us not knowing who has survived.  After continuously butting heads with her boss Bianca (Lisa Gormley) and Bianca’s husband Heath (Dan Ewing) Jade (Tasma Walton) decides to get her revenge in the form of a bomb placed inside Bianca’s laptop bag.  We then spent the whole episode wondering when the bomb will go off as the bag changes hands numerous times before going off inside the hospital in which pregnant Ricky (Bonnie Sveen) is being treated.  Irene (Lynne Mcgranger), Bianca, Heath and Doctor Nate Cooper (Kyle Pryor) are also there when the bomb goes off.

HELENA CUTS OFF OLIVER’S TAIL: Orphan Black

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Things got a bit weird when it was revealed Neolution club owner and believer in self-directed evolution Oliver (David Richmond-Peck) was actually sporting a real life tail.  After coming to Sarah’s (Tatiana Maslany) aid while in a fight with Oliver, psychotic clone Helena wins the upper hand and swiftly chops Oliver’s tail off…then makes her way back to the dancefloor to partake in a rather ghastly dance with said tail still in her hands.

TULLY CHEATS ON HER GIRLFRIEND: Big Brother

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Fun and funky social media expert and lesbian Tully quickly turned into a sullen and sobbing mess after entering the Big Brother house.  She missed her girlfriend Tahlia but thankfully she had housemate Drew to lean on and talk to.  Quickly though that talking turned into sleeping in the same bed and sharing sneaky kisses when suddenly the two swapped secret “I love you” bombs leading to Tahlia to make a very public break-up via twitter.

MATT AND KIM’S FIRST ROOM REVEAL: The Block

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Not ones to be left hidden among the pack, West Australian couple Matt and Kim had planned to something controversial when it came to styling their first room – the guest bedroom.  Their inspiration?  Artist Jackson Pollock, he of the abstract expressionist movement (or paint splash era).  While the final result was clearly shocking, it was more ‘kids gone wild’ than Pollock admiration.

THE RED WEDDING: Game Of Thrones

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I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but even I found myself on YouTube watching the events that led to THAT video going viral showing fans reactions to the wedding as it aired.  While I may have no idea who was who or why everyone was being killed, but the red wedding sure stuck to it’s name after half the people in the room celebrating were slaughtered, including a very heavily pregnant woman!  “May the rivers run red with the blood of the non-believers.”

New Details Revealed on Schapelle Telemovie

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Krew Boylan will play convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby in the Channel 9 telemovie Schapelle. Picture: Channel 9 Source: Supplied

Earlier this year I wrote about Channel 9’s plans to bring to our televisions a telemovie based on the highly controversial story of convicted drug mule Schapelle Corby.  To date, it still remains one of the most read posts on TVNOW and the topic still brings out the divide between Corby’s supporters and non believers.  Now, new details have emerged on what we will be seeing when the telemovie airs next year.

Based on the arrest, trial and conviction of Schapelle Corby in 2004-2005. A 27-year-old beauty school drop-out from the Gold Coast, Schapelle, played by actress Krew Boylan, was arrested at Bali airport with 4.2kg of marijuana in a boogie board bag. At first, Schapelle’s arrest was barely noticed by the Australian media, but once photographs were published it sparked a media frenzy and attracted a cast of colourful characters who came to her aid, including sister Mercedes (Jacinta Stapleton), mother Ros (Denise Roberts), father Mick (Colin Friels), and her ‘white knights’ mobile phone mogul ‘Mad Ron’ Bakir (Les Chantery) and Gold Coast lawyer Robin Tampoe (Vince Colosimo). Also prominent in her story are Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (Francis Greenslade) and Australian Federal Police boss Mick Keelty (Michael Croaker). Schapelle avoided the death penalty but was sentenced to 20 years in Bali’s notorious Kerobokan Prison.

Schapelle is set to air on channel 9 in 2014.

Related articles

Dumped: Channel 9 Drops Days Of Our Lives

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Cast members of long-running soap Days Of Our Lives

Long-running daytime soap opera Days Of Our Lives, has, after 45 years, been dropped from the schedule on Channel 9.  A regular in the long list of daytime soaps aired, Days Of Our Lives (or DOOL for short) was dropped for ‘commercial reasons’ according to Channel 9.

It is anticipated the series, which is averaging 120,000 viewers a day and often wins its time slot, will be picked up by pay-TV.  Back in 2007, Channel 9 also dropped popular soap ‘The Young and the Restless‘ from it’s lineup only to have the show snapped up by Foxtel.

While the network may claim ‘commercial reasons’ for dumping the soap, it is believed that 9 dropped the show in a bid to re-vamp it’s daytime lineup after success with the networks ‘Mornings‘  show at 9am plus the addition of the steady stream of advertorial revenue available in breakfast and morning television is ripe for the return of local midday or afternoon programming.

DOOL will have it’s final airing on commercial television, Friday April 26th.  The NBC Network in America has commissioned the show to at least September 2014.

Update: Feb 2014 – Foxtel picks up Days Of Our Lives