Tag Archives: Breaking Bad

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.

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My Love/Hate Relationships With Flawed Characters.

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Dexter Morgan, Jackie Peyton and Walter White

Having only just recently finished watching the entire run of Breaking Bad, a friend asked me what my thoughts were on the show and in particular the finale.  My first immediate response was “I hated Walt”.  Apparently that was a pretty natural response as my friend replied “You’re supposed to by the end”.  It got me thinking how I could become so involved and enamored with a show in which you literally despise the lead character for all the bad he or she does.

That said, this does this not apply to every character that expresses dark behavior.   Take for instance Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall).  The guy is a serial killer (who only kills bad people) whose actions led to the death of his wife Rita (Julie Benz) and several other innocent people along the way (Doakes, his sister Deb and LaGuerta to name a few) yet we are rooting for him to evade the law and continue on his merry killing way while, watching Breaking Bad, all I wanted was for Hank to get his man and put Walter White (Bryan Cranston) away for good.

Nurse Jackie’s Jackie Peyton (Edie Falco) is another prime example of a love/hate relationship.  The pill popping superstar nurse all but ruined her marriage, her career and treated friends and co-workers like trash all while downing copious amounts of pills and having an illicit affair and all I wanted was for her to get what she had coming.  I disliked Jackie Peyton for all the horrible she brought to peoples lives.

Melrose Place's Sydney Andrews and Kimberly Shaw
Melrose Place’s Sydney Andrews and Kimberly Shaw

Yet going as far back as the 90’s with the Aaron Spelling soap Melrose Place.  Two of the show’s most devious characters Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) and Dr. Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross) both slept and blackmailed and even bombed their way through a decent run of the series, but in true form, all I wanted for these crazy ladies was to come out on top.

What I can’t get my head around is what is the difference between Walter White and Dexter Morgan and Jackie Peyton and Sydney Andrews? Each are flawed, each have done inexplicable acts and yet i’m divided as to who I root for and whom I want to receive their comeuppance.

Part of it, I think, is because we go into a show, say like Dexter, knowing he is a serial killer.  There’s no surprise shock act that makes us question our feelings towards him.  Same applied to Kimberly and Sydney on Melrose Place.  The two made a splash on their entrance, letting us all know they were here to cause trouble, while on the other hand, when we meet Walter White, he’s a married science teacher who’s discovered he has cancer.  We want to resonate with his less than perfect life situations and we do….but then we witness his actions of atrocity (including poisoning a little boy) and suddenly we begin to question.

It’s this tickle on our emotions that makes characters like Walter White and Jackie Peyton so different from those like the Melrose duo, Dexter Morgan even American Horror Story Coven’s Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) or Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and Mad Men’s Don Draper (Jon Hamm).

Emmy Awards 2013 – Winners and Losers

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Well you can’t say this year was a bag full of potatoes (as in, you know what your’e getting) as this years Emmy Awards were full of surprise wins and glaring oversights.  For the first time and a loooong tme, the usually strong Lead Actress Drama category has been at it’s weakest while Supporting Actress Comedy is still very strong.

So who won or should I say “graciously lost”?

Lead Actress Drama:

Who was expected to win?  Kerry Washington.  Who won?  Claire Danes.  Who did I want to win?  Claire Danes.

 I think most expected Kerry Washington to take the award for her role in Scandal.  It’s been a big season for her and with nominees including Connie Britton (Nashville), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel) and Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men) the category was weaker than it has been in years.  That said, Claire Danes who actually won for Homeland was well deserved.  While it’s been sometime since the show was on our screens, Danes’ portrayal of bi-polar Carrie Mathison is unforgettable.

Lead Actor Drama:

Who was expected to win?  Bryan Cranston.  Who won?  Jeff Daniels.  Who did I want to win?  Bryan Cranston.

Remarkably strong category.  Many expected Cranston to win.  He had a strong lead up (A Critics Choice Award and SAG Award win) and with Breaking Bad now over, it was a shock that Daniels’ ended up winning.  I don’t watch The Nerwsroom so I cant judge, but considering other strong nominees included Damien Lewis (Homeland) and Kevin Spacey (House Of Cards) Daniels’ win is certainly a surprise.

Supporting Actress Drama:

Who was excpected to win?  Christine Baranski.  Who won?  Anna Gunn.  Who did I want to win?  Christine Baranski

Ok, so yes, Christine Baranski was a favourite to win.  She has definitely shone this season of The Good Wife but I think she was right up there with Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn.  Both have been highly praised for their work this year, so no real surprise there.

Supporting Actor Drama:

Who was expected to win?  Aaron Paul.  Who won?  Bobby Cannavale.  Who did I want to win?  Aaron Paul.

Right.  Aaron Paul didn’t win.  I’m sad.  It was a really strong category this year.  Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale certainly wasn’t a contender.  Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) were all more likely to win.  Certainly sits in the surprise win category.

Drama Series:

What was expected to win?  Breaking Bad.  What won?  Breaking Bad.  What did I want to win?  Breaking Bad.

This one was all about Breaking Bad.  Homeland could have been considered a close contender, but with Breaking Bad’s final season, it was a shoe-in the shoe was going to win.  Strong seasons from both, makes me wonder if Breaking Bad would have beaten Homeland had it not been it’s swan song season.

Lead Actress Comedy:

Who was expected to win?  Too Close to call.  Who won?  Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  Who did I want to win?  Happy with anything!

Always a popular category and love all that were nominated.  Toni Colette and Sarah Jessica Parker had a strong hold in the early 2000’s but for the last few years since then, Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) Julia Louis-Dreyfus (VEEP), Tina Fey (30 Rock) Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) and Lena Dunham (Girls) have usually featured.  Laura Dern (Enlightened) was probably the least likely to win though all nominees have had a scorcher of a season.  I’d expect Julia Louis-Dreyfus to hold onto this category for a while.  She is crackers as Selina Meyer in VEEP! 

Lead Actor Comedy:

Who was expected to win?  Jim Parsons.  Who won?  Jim Parsons.  Who did I want to win?  Jason Bateman

Last years winner Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men) wasn’t nominated this year (rightly so) leaving way for 2011 winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) to reclaim his crown.  Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Matt Le Blanc (Episodes) would have been close favourites and I had wished there was a stronger Arrested Development presence too.  I’d expect to see a few new faces for next years nominations with 30 Rock and Arrested Development no longer on the air.

Supporting Actress Comedy:

Who was expected to win?  Julie Bowen.  Who won?  Merritt Wever.  Who did I want to win?  Merritt Wever.

YAY!  Super stoked that Nurse Jackie’s Merritt Wever finally took this one out  and against strong competition too. Nominee, Modern Family’s Julie Bowen has won twice and Glee’s Jane Lynch once, VEEP’s Anna Chlumsky, 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski and Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik all highly popular too.

Supporting Actor Comedy:

Who was expected to win?  Someone from Modern Family.  Who won?  Tony Hale.  Who did I want to win?  Tony Hale.

For a category that, for the past few years, has been dominated by Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler-Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet (who strangely wasn’t nominated this year) it was expected that Ferguson or co-stars Ty Burrell or Ed O’Neill would take it out.  Girls Adam Driver could have been a shock win for a very strong season.  Surprise win for VEEP’s Hale.  His character – Gary Walsh, could almost be that of his in Arrested Development just without the hook for a hand!

Comedy Series:

What was expected to win?  30 Rock.  What won?  Modern Family.  What did I want to win?  30 Rock/Girls

Yes, this has been Modern Family’s category for the last few years.  It’s a strong show that well written, acted and put together, but that said, 30 Rock and Girls have both had incredibly funny and interesting seasons (Girls though will never win as it’s like Desperate Housewives…more drama facets that comedy) and it would have been a nice way to say goodbye to 30 Rock.  Will be interesting to see what takes 30 Rock’s place next year.

Now for the bit I know you all want to know!  My best and worst dressed!!

Best Dressed:

 Carrie Preston at 2013 Emmysanna-faris-emmy-awards-2013

True Blood star Carrie Preston easily takes this one out.  She looked amazing!  Anna Farris (Soon to be seen in the new comedy Mom) takes a close second.

Worst Dressed:

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Girls actress Zosia Mamet was having all eyes on her for all the wrong reasons.  That said, her boobs were clearly the worst dressed.  Speaking of boobs, someone should introduce Claire Danes to the wonder of chicken fillets.  Just saying.

Walking Dead Season 4 News plus Spin-off News!

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You know I love me some Walking Dead news!  Season 4 is now less than a month away, and we (me included) are literally chomping at the bit to get our hands on as much information as possible as to what to expect for this exciting fourth season.

First off, we’re getting a new major character, and she’ll be played by a very familiar face!  Christian Serratos (Angela Weber from the Twilight series) is joining the show as Rosita Espinosa, a gorgeous woman who resorted to prostitution as a way to survive in the zombie apocalypse.  Rosita, who is also featured in the Walking Dead comic book series, may also be joined by her comic companions Eugene Porter and Abraham Ford though no word if that’s actually happening.  It’s been reported she’ll be a recurring character during season 4 with an option to become a regular character for season 5.

Now onto the big stuff!  AMC seem to be in the spin-off business (after announcing the Breaking Bad spin off Better Call Saul) AMC also announced a Walking Dead spin off is in the works too.   Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager, said, “Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer. We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters. It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.”

It’s been hinted at, that the spin off series will be more of a companion series and will be set in the same time and world as The Walking Dead but will feature a new cast of characters.

While we’re on the topic, to get you excited, check out this new teaser trailer for the season 4 première!

The Walking Dead returns Monday October 14th on FX!

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Emmy Nominations 2013

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus nominated for VEEP in lead actress comedy.

The nominations for this years Emmy awards are out, and like every year, there are a few surprise additions and a few shock misses.  This years nominees:

LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey, PBS

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad, AMC

Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom, HBO

Jon Hamm, Mad Men, AMC

Damian Lewis, Homeland, Showtime

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards, Netflix

LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Connie Britton, Nashville, ABC

Claire Danes, Homeland, Showtime

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey, PBS

Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel, A&E

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, AMC

Kerry Washington, Scandal, ABC

Robin Wright, House of Cards, Netflix

 

COMEDY SERIES:

The Big Bang Theory, CBS

Girls, HBO

Louie, FX

Modern Family, ABC

30 Rock, NBC

Veep, HBO

 

LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Jason Bateman, Arrested Development, Netflix

Louis C.K., Louie, FX

Don Cheadle, House of Lies, Showtime

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes, Showtime

Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory, CBS

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock, NBC

 

LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Lena Dunham, Girls, HBO

Laura Dern, Enlightened, HBO

Tiny Fey, 30 Rock, NBC

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, NBC

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie, Showtime

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Adam Driver, Girls, HBO

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family, ABC

Ed O’Neill, Modern Family, ABC

Ty Burrell, Modern Family, ABC

Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live, NBC

Tony Hale, Veep, HBO

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:

Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory, CBS

Jane Lynch, Glee, Fox

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family, ABC

Julie Bowen, Modern Family, ABC

Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie, Showtime

Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock, NBC

Anna Chlumsky, Veep, HBO

 

DRAMA SERIES:

Breaking Bad, AMC

Downton Abbey, PBS

Homeland, Showtime

Game of Thrones, HBO

House of Cards, Netflix

Mad Men, AMC

 

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire, HBO

Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad, AMC

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad, AMC

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey, PBS

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, HBO

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland, Showtime

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad, AMC

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, PBS

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones, HBO

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife, CBS

Morena Baccarin, Homeland, Showtime

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men, AMC

 

LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:

Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra, HBO

Matt Damon, Behind The Candelabra, HBO

Toby Jones, The Girl, HBO

Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End, HBO

Al Pacino, Phil Spector, HBO

 

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR MOVIE:

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story, FX

Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter, Showtime

Helen Mirren, Phil Spector, HBO

Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals, USA

Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel

 

MINISERIES OR MOVIE:

American Horror Story: Asylum, FX

Behind the Candelabra, HBO

Phil Spector, HBO

Political Animals, USA

The Bible, History

Top of the Lake, Sundance Channel

Personally, I’m quite surprised to see Arrested Development missing off most categories.  I was expecting to see it at least nominated in the comedy series category and perhaps see a nom for either Portia De Rossi (Supporting actress – Comedy) or Isla Fisher (Supporting actress – comedy).  At least Jason Bateman has been recognised for his work (Lead actor – Comedy).

A big shock snub was Tatiana Maslany for Lead actress – Drama for her role in “Orphan Black“.  Pretty much anyone who watched this intense high action series had noted down Maslany for an Emmy nom.  She is pretty phenomenal in the show (currently playing 7 different characters!)

I think the charm of New Girl is starting to wear off with the show and it’s stars missing out all-together on any nominations.  Other surprise snubs include Michael C Hall for Dexter, Parks and Recreation (comedy series), Busy Philipps for Cougar Town (Supporting Actress – comedy) and Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family.

Snubs aside, this years nominations created Emmy history for actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus who, with this years lead actress in a comedy nomination for VEEP, saw Louis-Dreyfus surpass comedy legend Lucille Ball’s 13 Emmy nominations.  Now on her 14th nomination, Louis-Dreyfus is also the only actress who has three wins for three separate comedy shows — “Veep,” “Seinfeld” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”