Tag Archives: ABC

Channel 7’s How to Get Away With Murder Pilot Review

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“Welcome to law 101 or as I like to call it, How to get away with murder”

In all it’s gravelly deepness, star Viola Davis manages to rip out the title of this show on no less than three occasions during the pilot and with each mention, she manages to make it sound more and more like she’s an emcee at a serial killer convention.

There’s no messing around with How to Get Away With Murder (or HTGAWM as the full title is a complete bitch to continuously write out) though.  4 college students furiously fighting in the dead of night, in the middle of nowhere, over a dead body.  It’s this hectic and fast-paced opener that introduces us to the world of criminal defense lawyer Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her entourage of college law students/murderers.

Through flashbacks, dating from three months ago to present day, HTGAWM gives us pieces to a very large puzzle where each piece brings us closer and closer to revealing the full events of the night in which our hapless students found themselves in the middle of the woods frantically bickering over a dead body.

Their teacher, Annalise Keating, is a tough as nails, take no bullshit criminal defense lawyer slash college professor who is admired and feared at the same time and like all of the female leads living within the Shondaland (Greys/Scandal/Private Practice) universe, it appears Annalise has it all. A hugely successful career with a resounding reputation, a kick ass selection of wigs and killer wardrobe, a loving husband and students who worship and want to be her, but behind closed doors, Annalise’s affair with local cop Nate (Billy Brown) and the dealings of her sketchy husband Sam (Tom Verica) begin to tear down the walls Annalise has so heavily fortified.

And while HTGAWM is mostly about Annalise and her behind-closed-doors-life-versus-her-public-one, her students also play a large part in what the show has to offer.

There’s good girl  Michaela Pratt (Aja Naomi King) who attains to be like Annalise one day, Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) who was accepted into class off a wait list and quickly falls behind the class, Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) he of no morals and who can slut it up with the best of them to get information to win a case, quiet Laurel Castillo (Karla Souza) who may not be as innocent as she puts out and Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry) the cocky loud mouth who misses out on all the murder action.

While this murder itself is the season long story-arc, HTGAWM also strings along side stories allowing Annalise to not only showcase her talents as a criminal defense lawyer but teach her handpicked interns just how exactly one can get away with murder.

HTGAWM is a gutsy effort that tops my list of new dramas for the 2014/15 season and rightfully so.  Even though there’s an entire roster of characters we are introduced to in the first episode, it’s not long before each and every one start to stand on their own and have you questioning their motives behind the predicament they have found themselves in.

While HTGAWM has attachments to Shonda Rhimes (Greys, Scandal and Private Practice) and her Shondaland production empire, Peter Nowalk, (Co exec producer of Scandal) is the mind behind this not so small legal turned murder mystery drama.

How to Get Away With Murder begins Tuesday, Feb 10th, 9pm on Channel 7.

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Reviewed: Karen Gillan’s ‘Selfie’

Karen Gillan in ABC's 'Selfie'
Karen Gillan in ABC’s ‘Selfie’

To be honest, when the networks announced the long lists of new shows they picked up for the upcoming Fall season, ABC’s comedy titled ‘Selfie’ and staring Karen Gillan did not even ping on my radar. I knew of it, but the premise and the early release trailer did nothing for me.  To me, it was being touted as a social media savvy and utterly vapid valley girl has humiliating moment and tries to go humble.

Well, that pretty much sums up what Selfie is all about, but after watching the pilot episode, I think i’m going to be a bit more nicer about the show than other reviews have been.

Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) is a pharmaceutical sales rep who relies more on what her online followers are doing, hash-tagging and liking via vine, instagram, twitter, Facebook etc etc etc than dealing with the actual real life people around her.  Attached to her phone like a drunk to a bottle of whiskey, she’s what I imagine Clueless’s Cher Horowitz to be like had she been created in this technologically advanced era.

Sashaying down the isle of an airplane, we’re first introduced to Eliza where every meme, lol, yolo, hashtag and Valencia filter is thrown at us to ensure that we know Eliza is a ‘millennial’ and that we shouldn’t really like her, plus she’s snagged herself an upgrade and she’s messing around with her co-worker – whom she finds out is married. It’s then the plot is switched up and we’re manipulated to feel sorry for her when she ends up covered in her own vomit (it’s a slow motion liquid mess of a scene that almost had me dry retching) and it’s captured on multiple cameras and subsequently uploaded to every form of social media available – including Google +.

Searching for help from her online cheer-squad, Eliza quickly learns that she doesn’t actually have any real friends.

Thankfully, there’s the non-sexual and non-threatening  co-worker and anti-any-form-of-technology Henry Higgings (John Cho) just around the corner willing to fix her and turn her into a respectable lady capable of migrating into society without the need to constantly take a selfie.  If you hadn’t worked it out by now, Selfie is an attempt at taking the classic My Fair Lady and throwing a Mayfair filter over it to make it accessible to a younger audience – sort of what Clueless did with Jane Austen’s Emma – but no where near as effective.

Not that Selfie is really that bad.  Sure, there were a mass of quotes spewed out of Eliza’s mouth (including and not restricted to  “BF BS. Got played like Flappy Bird. Mortified.com.” and “make like Elsa and let it go”) that were enough to make me a) glad I’m in my mid 30’s and will never have to speak like that and b) wonder how someone who actually talks like that finds themselves employed, but there were a few moments I let out a very hearty laugh – Henry Higgins “What makes you confused?” Eliza Dooley “Plus sized skinny jeans, I mean what the?!”

Check out a clip below

Selfie premiere’s on Sept 30th on ABC.

Please Like Me Season 2 Sneak Peek Plus Season 3 News!

Josh Thomas on set of Please Like Me's Second Season
Josh Thomas on set of Please Like Me’s Second Season. Source: Facebook

With the August 12th Australian premiere date looming ever so close, a new sneak peek look at the second season of Josh Thomas’ comedy Please Like Me has been released (finally!)

With the slew of behind the scenes photos being published via the shows official Facebook page, it’s nice to actually see a look at what to expect when the show returns next month.

Check it out below:

Tom (Thomas Ward) and Claire (Caitlin Stasey) are back along with Josh’s ex boyfriend Geoffrey (Wade Briggs) and a new housemate-slash-possible love interest in the form of Patrick (Charles Cottier – ex Dexter from Home and Away) is along for the ride!

Josh also used the Facebook Page to announce that not only will Please Like Me be starting on August 12th but that the show has already received a green light for a third season!  Not bad for a show that was delegated to ABC2’s digital channel and virtually left for dead after it’s first season.

The third season, consisting of a further ten episodes will begin production in 2015.

Please Like Me Season 2 begins August 8th on Pivot and August 12th on ABC2

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)

PILOT

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.

Upfronts: ABC Cancellations, Renewals and Pick-ups

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ABC’s cancelled Trophy Wife

It’s time of the year where I moan and groan about losing some of my ‘must watch’ shows while being thankful others on the list live to see another season.

Yes, the US Upfronts are here and already, I’ve suffered one serious tragedy.  ABC held their Upfronts yesterday and one notable standout on the cancelled list was freshman comedy Trophy Wife starring Malin Ackerman and Bradley Whitford.

Trophy Wife, like Cougar Town, suffered from ‘bad title’ syndrome which is great show, very funny, bad title and just like Cougar Town, ABC swept the comedy into the trash (perhaps TBS should pick this one up too?)

While ABC won’t officially unveil their new fall season until the 13th, what can we expect from the network with their pick-ups, renewals and cancellations so far?

Cancelled – Trophy Wife (noooooo!), Mixology, Super Fun Night, Suburgatory and The Neighbors.

Renewed – Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Castle, Marvel Agents of SHIELD, Modern Family, The Goldbergs and Resurrection.

New Pick-Ups –

How to get away with murder – New drama by Shonda Rhimes

American Crime – Starring Penelope Ann Miller and Felicity Huffman

Agent Carter – Captain America TV spin-off starring Hayley Atwell

The Whispers – Paranormal thriller starring Lily Rabe

Secrets and Lies – US remake of the Aussie drama starring Ryan Phillippe.

Resurrection Reviewed.

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What’s this now?  A show about people coming back from the dead and there’s not a single zombie in sight?  Well it’s true and it’s coming to Channel 7 Tuesday night.

The first episode (airing Tuesday 8:45pm on Channel 7) starts off with 8 year old Jacob (Landon Gimenez) waking up in a rice field in China not knowing how he got there – or that it’s been 32 years since he was last seen alive.  It turns out Jacob is from a small town called Arcadia, in Missouri, America – and according to his now elderly parents, he died 32 years earlier in an drowning accident along with his aunt.

How did he come back?  Where did he come from?  Are others  like him coming?  It’s these questions that are there to hook you in and will provide for the continuing storyline throughout the series, but the answers aren’t going to to come quickly.  I’m two episodes in already and I’m no closer to finding out anything about what’s happened to these resurrected souls – where they have been, how they came back or why.

Resurrections pilot episode offers very fertile ground for plot development.  It’s a an eerie and emotional mystery that has the potential to dip it’s feet in the government conspiracy/religious/paranormal ponds while offering up some realistic modern day-to-day consequences of a child coming back from the dead (when Jacob goes off to play soccer with some local boys, their parents quickly usher the boys away leaving Jacob to play by himself.) though, I must note that there are some glaring issues within Resurrection that are glossed over and are barely even given a mention.  8 year old Jacob dies 32 years ago, but when given a smart phone, immediately knows how to change apps and use the touch screen and Jacob only asks why his parents and best friend look so much older than when he last saw them in a passing “you look different” comment to his mother.

These issues aren’t much, but you will find yourself asking the same questions.

Resurrection was a decent watch and for the most part, held my interest though I was somewhat frustrated with the lack of information and reveals coming in, but then giving away too much at the start doesn’t leave much to show for by the end.  The cast including Omar Epps amd Devin Kelley were pleasing enough and Kurtwood Smith and Frances Fisher as Jacobs elderly parents always add impressive elements to any work they are attached to.

Even though after watching two episodes I was never drawn to ask “What happens next?” or say “I Can’t wait for the nest episode” I can recommend giving it a look in and check it out for yourself.  While it’s got nothing on it’s French counterpart The Returned, Resurrection should have enough to keep your eye interested to find out more.

Resurrection begins Tuesday night, 8:30pm on Channel 7

 

Please Like Me: Season 2 In The Works

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From l., Thomas Ward, Caitlin Stasey, Josh Thomas and Debra Lawrence in “Please Like Me”

As noted back in August last year, Josh Thomas and his quirky and awkward comedy Please Like Me, will be back for a second season all thanks to a partnership between the ABC and Pivot TV in America.

Working together with the ABC, Pivot TV announced that season two is expected to air in August this year – both in Australia and the US with 10 brand new half hour episodes.

In the first season, Josh was dumped by his girlfriend, gained and lost a boyfriend, came out to his parents, lost his eccentric great aunt, and moved back in to live with his bipolar mother after her suicide attempt. In season two, Josh tries to get through the day without upsetting anyone, while the new season also welcomes a new dog, a new rabbit and a new baby.

“We are so proud to be working with Josh and the incredibly talented team behind ‘Please Like Me’ and can’t wait to get started shooting the second season,” said Pivot Executive SVP, Scripted Programming Holly Hines back on Jan 11th. “His voice and experiences represent this generation like few others right now and we were thrilled to see how others fell in love with the first season just as much as we did.”

While season one was slow to find fans, the coming-of-age comedy has received critical acclaim in the U.S. and Australia and named one of the “Best TV Shows of 2013” by publications including Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and The Atlantic.
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Production of season two of Please Like Me began here in Australia last month.

TV News Roundup: Body of Proof, Homeland and More.

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Rebecca Gibney is Moving on From Rafters

Check out the bits and pieces of interesting news from the world of television below in my TV Roundup!

Renewed: USA network Showtime have renewed thriller Homeland (airing Monday nights on Channel 10) for a fourth season! It’s no surprise with the show creating some of the biggest character and story line talk this year (I’m talking about you Dana Brody) but will be interesting to see who comes back if the rumors that Damien Lewis has been attached to a new show are true or not.  Showtime also gave it’s newest drama Masters Of Sex (airing on SBS) an early second season pick-up.

I’m Back!: Jane Hall is coming back to Neighbors!  It may only be in a short guest stint and won’t be seen until next year, but we can only imagine why her character Rebecca is returning to Ramsay Street!  You’ll remember, she tried to kill her husband Paul Robinson when we saw her last! 

Actress Nadia Dajani confirmed with TVNOW this afternoon that she will be back for the second season of FOX8’s The Carrie Diaries as Tom Bradshaw’s girlfriend Deb and will be appearing in three episodes.

Also possibly back – Body Of Proof starring Dana Delaney.  The ABC network in America cancelled the medical/police drama earlier this year but may already be regretting it’s decision.  New shows Betrayal (which is god awful) and Once Upon a Time – two shows filling the old time-slot, have been rating extremely poorly (making up about half the audience Body Of Proof used to bring to the network).  There’s still no official word, or who will actually make the return.

New Aussie Drama: Channel 7 announced it’s 2014 line-up announcing that TV favorite Rebecca Gibney will be making her return to series television after the end of Packed to the Rafters.  In a show which feels very similar to that of UK drama The Fall and starring Gillian Anderson, Gibney will be seen in The Killing Field as the head of a special police task force sent to a small country town to investigate a shocking crime. The team must delve into the closed lives of a seemingly quaint hamlet in order to find and outwit a killer.

Channel 7 also announced it has picked up one of my favorite new comedies – The Goldberg’s set for airing next year!

Ratings Hit: It was a massive night for the ABC last night with The Gruen Planet nabbing over one million viewers while Ja’mie: Private School Girl grabbed 925k viewers.  Overall, last night showed lower than normal viewing numbers with only three shows hitting that all important one million viewer mark.

On the opposite scale, in America, Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D continues to drop in ratings with the latest episode hitting an all time low of 8.6 million viewers.

On Hold: NBC have put comedy Parks and Recreation on hiatus.  The show will still air four remaining episodes (in two lots of back-to-back runnings) in November and then returning in Jan 2014.  Season six will also see regulars Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe both depart the show.  Word has it, the hiatus was put in place to try and help bolster ratings for sinking comedy Sean Saves the World.

Spin-Off Mixed Results: ABC Family drama Pretty Little Liars’ annual Halloween episode once again drew remarkable ratings and topped as the number one viewed program in key demographics.  The episode also made way for the new spin-off Ravenswood which drew mixed reviews from fans.  While it rated well, fans took to social media giving mixed opinions of the new show.

Trophy Wife & The Goldbergs Earn Addition Script Orders

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Cast of ABC’s The Goldbergs

This news makes me both happy and hopeful!  Two of my favorite comedies to come out of the new fall season have been given an early gift of additional script orders this week.  ABC picked up an additional three scripts each for The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife showing the network has confidence in it’s two newest comedies.

The two comedies are part of the American networks all-new Tuesday night line-up along side Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D which is the only show on the ABC network currently given a full season order.

Of the two, The Goldbergs i’m finding much more funnier (A Wonder Years) type comedy set in the 80’s though Trophy Wife has a stellar cast and some very funny moments.  Both are now starting to find their feet now they are a few episodes in.

Please Like Me Back for Season Two!

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It’s the announcement fans have been waiting for – Josh Thomas and his self penned and created show, Please Like Me will be back for a second season – finally – and we can thank a new television network in America for this news. The Pivot Channel in America made the announcement of the second season before the August 1st USA premier date of Season 1.

Given little love by the ABC network in Australia (it was moved from ABC1 to the digital ABC2), Please Like Me and it’s stars including Thomas and Wade Briggs have garnered an impressive and well earned cult following – due largely to the word-of-mouth/social media attention the show received after it’s end in April this year.

It’s been announced that Pivot will co-produce (with ABC2) and source funds to bring a second season to our screens.

Speaking with FOX FM’s Fifi & Jules this afternoon, Thomas announced that Pivot plan to buck the trend of re-making the series, instead, opting to continue with the cast that featured in the shows original series and continue on with the storyline though how this may be achieved is still unsure as star Caitlin Stasey is busy filming American fantasy series Reign, and has signed on for Tomorrow When The War Began 2.

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Reviews in the states for the show have been positive, likening Thomas and his show to that of Girls star and creator Lena Dunham.  The Miami Herald writes “Please Like Me is the brainchild of Australian comic Josh Thomas, based on his own social awkwardness. Not a terribly new idea, but when it’s treated intelligently and enacted by a lovable sad sack named Josh Thomas, it can be irresistible.”

Zap2it.com “Though Thomas may rely on the painfully awkward moments he’s experienced while coming of age (and there are plenty in the first half-hour), he’s crafted a character who is inherently likable. The same can’t really be said for Girls Hannah Horvath — or anyone else in her world”

The best part about all of this?  Pivot plan to up the show run from 6 episodes to 10, hopefully allowing a more easy flow to the story and timeline – an issue I found with season one.

Please Like Me is currently airing on the Pivot network, Thursdays at 8pm, and is now available to own on DVD in Australia.

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