Tag Archives: FOXTEL

Same Same but Different for Cycle 24 of America’s Next Top Model.

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Cycle 3 winner Eva Pigford and Nigel Barker return this season of Top Model

Tyra is back ya’ll!  The face and name associated with America’s Next Model has snatched back the hosting gig out of the lingering grasp of last years host Rita Ora and is making a change (but not really a change) to the modeling competition reality show she has hosted for all but one of the 24 cycles.

Now onto cycle 24 (yes 24!!) Tyra is back and smizier than ever, joined by Paper Magazine editor Drew Roach , model Ashley Graham and celebrity stylist Law Roach as judges.

Kicking Rita Ora to the curb, Tyra set out to put together the ‘most diverse group of models ever seen on Top Model’, taking it back to an all female casting call, removing the age limit of 27, bringing in more than one plus-sized contestant and throwing in the ability for any girl to be cut at any time seen fit by Tyra and her co-judges.

From here, we’re back to the usual Top Model fare with the annual ‘casting session’ where a random selection of girls are trotted out, interviewed and are then to present the judges with one of their own photos from their over-filtered Instagram or a previous photo shoot.

Cut to an actual photo shoot on the grounds of Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles featuring some elaborate couture outfits where we get a quick glimpse at some of the girls who straight-up outshine the others, a quick cut of some of the girls who struggled and a runway walk to determine the 14 finalists making their way into the model mansion.

Once inside the mansion, our models true colors start to shine and the ‘normal’ girls are identified and hushed away while the cray cray ones are singled out for ‘editing purposes’ such as 19 year old Idaho native Liberty could have been our front contender for the ‘unstable one’ classification as the gushes about her political support for Trump, but it’s loose cannon Liz and sapsorrow Brendi who get singled out as the troubled ones in the season – and..as you will quickly see….rightfully so.

This cycle 24 offers a few ‘Flashback Friday’ feels to it with former judge Nigel Barker coming back for a shoot along with cycle three winner Eva Marcille (Pigford) returning to recreate one of her most memorable shoots from her cycle.  There’s also contestant Erin, who at 42 years of age looks flawless and brings all her 90’s model glam to each and every of her shoots.

In reality though, there is never going to be anything new within the world of Top Model.  We’ll pick our favorites, they’ll do some photo shoots, they may or may not make it to the finale, we’ll watch with glee as some of the girls literally meltdown right in front of our eyes and the group will segregate themselves into ‘bitchy’ and ‘not that bitchy’ groups.  There’s tears, tantrums, walkouts and Tyra – but did we ever really need anything more from Top Model for it to be classed as our guilty pleasure?!

And as always, the make-over episode is the one to watch!  It comes pretty early on this season too and will see one girl literately loose all her hair – and still look stunning.

America’s Next Top Model begins June 26th, 8.30pm on Fox8.

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Review : The Assassination of Gianni Versace

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Ray Mickshaw/FX

Taking the what-if around this murder as gospel, the follow up to The People Vs OJ Simpson is more flash than facts but is still a good watch.

I’m putting it out there front and center – the actual murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace is only a fraction of what is featured within the world of Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace so much so, the show would have been better titled The Delusional Life of Andrew Cunanan as Assassination delves into the world of Versace’s killer (played by Glee’s Darren Criss) more than Versace’s terrible fate as the title would suggest.

Opening with soaring operatic music and a flowing visual tour of Versace’s gaudy Miami mansion, Versace is dead even before the title credits.  However, the aim for Murphy wasn’t for us to follow those trying to solve this murder (hence the title) but in fact send us back in time and follow Cunanan and how he ended up with a gun in his hands aimed at the famed fashion designer.  Yes, Versace’s untimely death at the hands of Cunanan plays as the pilot episode’s main premise but that’s more to do with Versace’s celebrity status over Cunanan’s four other victims, who also get a look in during the shows eight other episodes in the form of time jumps.

Based off the book Vulgar Favors: The Hunt for Andrew Cunanan, the Man Who Killed Gianni Versace by author Maureen Orth, Assassination is spread among three different lines – Cunanan and his victims, Versace’s loved ones (including Ricky Martin as Versace’s long-time partner Antonio D’Amico) dealing with the fashion empire pre and post murder and the bumbling FBI who can’t seem to get to grips with the ‘gay’ aspect surrounding the murders (it was the 90’s).

The source material also happens to blur the lines between truth and made-up and Assassination quickly becomes a show that will have you asking “did that really happen?” while trying to decide what is fact and what is fiction considering to this day, there is still no actual proof that Versace and Cunanan had even met prior to the murder.

Gianni’s sister Donatella (played with startling verbal similarity by Penelope Cruz) has claimed the series as “a work of fiction” while the programme itself carries the disclaimer: “Some events are combined or imagined for dramatic and interpretative purposes. Dialogue is imagined to be consistent with these events” and that’s because the main players within this world are….well, dead.

Cunanan’s prior interactions (or lack thereof) with his victims – Versace (Édgar Ramírez), Jeffrey Trail (Finn Wittrock), David Madson (Cody Fern), Lee Miglin (Mike Farrell) and William Reece (Gregg Lawrence) – is somewhat pure speculation so while the work is based off fact, it is done so with much “let’s assume this is what happened“.

That aside, the character study of Andrew Cunanan is a rather intriguing one and is explored heavily within the series.  Cunanan’s ability to seamlessly morph into any given situation or social standing and flee when his lies have all been revealed is quite remarkable though giving so much focus on his life, his lies and his troubled youth feels like we’re being forced into empathizing with Cunanan in light of the fact he is/was a notorious serial killer.

Part of this comes down to how star Darren Criss brings the killer to life, playing Cunanan as mysterious yet suave with an air of charm, a believer in his own lies and the false world around him that he has created while trying to decide just how much of his true self he needs to reveal.  One could only presume by the middle of this series, much more freedom for Criss was enabled with Cunanan as this is where most of the fact/fiction lines become very blurred.

Perhaps the biggest problem with Assassination is the glaring fact that unlike season one’s OJ Simpson story, there is no real hero to root for.  While we all knew the end result, Sarah Paulson’s Marcia Clark still had us backing her to go and get hers in a male dominated environment yet in Assassination, that task is less male dominated environment and more gay acceptance.

That job is pretty much left vacant even though it may feel like we’re being forced into believing it should be Cunanan who, while never ashamed of his sexuality, understands how being gay can be perceived by those less educated on the topic.

The missing hero however is through no fault of anyone’s as there just was never one in this story to begin with.  It could never have been Cunanan (regardless of his childhood), the FBI, as it’s shown, were a bunch of bumbling bigots who couldn’t have cared any less about Cunanan’s victims and others such as Versace or even Lee Miglin’s wife Marilyn (played wonderfully by Judith Light) were so far removed from the central story line it would have meant stretching the truth even further to find that hero.

On the whole, this tale of Andrew Cunanan is a worthy watch and while lacking in the suspense and law and order that drove American Crime Story’s first season of The People Vs OJ Simpson there is still enough substance to dig in and make your own mind up about how much truth is actually found within this series.

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace begins Thursday May 24th at 8:30pm AEST, on Foxtel’s showcase.

 

Tales of Freedom and Revenge in Wentworth’s Season 5 Finale

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Did Ferguson get her comeuppance?  images credit: Foxtel

There are no words to describe just how shocking the season five closer episode of Wentworth was!

NO WORDS!

That said, my last post – “Eight Wentworth Season Five Endgame Suspicions” once again proved that either i’m a) terrible at reading the set ups and misjudged quite a few things or b) at the whims of the talented team behind the show who masterfully created one of the best finales this show has seen to date and threw every viewer for a six.

My score card from that last post was a measly 3.5 out of 8…same as last season so let’s look back at that finale and how my predictions played out.

SPOILERS BELOW!!  Do not continue if you have NOT watched the season FIVE finale!

1: Franky and Allie make their escape /// Taking this as a point from not only the escape plan itself (which we all knew about) but also down to Franky (Nicole da Silva) being the only one who successfully escaped inside one of the Greenwall Project boxes.  With Allie (Kate Jenkinson) busted by Jake (Bernard Curry), Franky made her successful escape and made a touching and fleeting reunion with Bridget (Libby Tanner) before fleeing off into the open darkness!

2: Sonia steps up for ‘top dog’ status ///  Well, that one is clearly a no!  With Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) recovering from her wounds, top dog status went immediately back into the hands of Kaz (Tammy Macintosh).  As it turned out, Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) did not even make an attempt to claim a throne that should clearly have been hers!

3: Liz winds up all alone inside Wentworth ///  Errrrrm.  Another missed point here. Utterly freaked with the knowledge that Sonia had set her up all along and worried for her safety, Liz (Celia Ireland) approaches Franky for protection but after Allie informs her of the escape plans, Liz makes her boldest move to date to protect herself and doses Sonia’s tea with a whole vial of drugs found inside a shipment of mulch causing a very critical overdose.

4: Kaz and Allie team up against Ferguson ///  Gave myself half a point for this one as Allie pleads with Kaz to steer clear of Ferguson while Kaz abandons her ‘no violence’ stance to finally take Ferguson out for good but, another plan that was in the works stops Kaz from getting to her.

5: Ferguson makes a plan to escape ///  Tick!  While I had envisioned Ferguson using Jake’s knowledge of Franky’s escape plan help her get out, it seems when Jake busted Allie, she revealed all to him allowing a plan to be set in motion that saw several people including Allie giving up her escape route, to get Ferguson out of Wentworth for good.

6: Vera sets her sights on Channing and Jake ///  Total miss here.  Not a single shred of evidence to show that Vera (Kate Atkinson) even planned to tackle Channing (Martin Sacks) though Vera’s “I’m a big girl, fuck you” speech to Jake in the staff meeting room was not only utterly vicious but so so so so good!

7: New inmates arrive to shake things up ///  Another miss here.  With so many inmates gone this season, there seems to be a vast wasteland of empty beds and tables in the cafeteria – even the head count towards the end of the episode showed just how few prisoners are currently left inside some of the living quarters, and yet not a single new face was presented.

8: Bea Smith returns to Wentworth /// Biting my tongue here as not only was this another miss, this could have made for a killer final scene reveal had it not been for another even more stellar final reveal.  BEA SMITH DID NOT RISE FROM THE DEAD.

That final reveal – yes, Allie teamed with Jake to get Ferguson out of the prison using the Greenwall Project box and before Franky could get out of her box, Ferguson’s was taken away by a mysterious person.  By the time Vera realized she was gone, Ferguson was BEING BURIED ALIVE in her wooden case of freedom (looking at a drawing of Bea Smith done by Allie mine you) BY WILL JACKSON (Robbie Magasiva)

So what does season six (currently in production and slated for 2018) hold for us?  Will Sonia survive her overdose?  Will she discover it was Liz that did it to her?  Will Jake and Will make amends while bonding over BURYING SOMEONE ALIVE?  Will Franky find the evidence she needs to clear her name of double homicide?  Will Vera reclaim the position of Governor?  Will Kaz finally take control of Wentworth with her reclaimed top dog role?  Will the Greenwall Project continue to operate?

Will Ferguson pull a Richard Hart (Patrick Muldoon) from Melrose Place and….

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So many questions and such a long wait!  Sound off in the comments section!

 

 

EIGHT WENTWORTH SEASON FIVE ENDGAME SUSPICIONS…

Another season of the fantastic Wentworth is almost upon us which means it’s time for that annual “Wentworth Endgame Suspicions” that I have been doing for the past few seasons.

Season five took Wentworth into new territory by confirming the death of Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) and bringing fan favorite Fanky Doyle (Nicole da Silva) back behind bars while we also said goodbye to Maxine (Socratis Otto) who left for cancer treatment Juice (Sally-Anne Upton) who copped the unkindest cut of all and Doreen (Shareena Clanton) who finally made parole.

The battle for Top Dog status saw Kaz (Tammy Macintosh) loose out to Ferguson only for her to be stripped of the title when all her past murderous indiscretions come to light while Jake’s (Bernard Curry) troubled dealings were finally revealed to Vera (Kate Atkinson) but her dealings with allowing Bea to escape at last seasons end be held against her from taking action against him.

So here we go, my eight season five end game suspicions and as per the norm, none of this is confirmed! – POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THOSE NOT UP-TO-DATE!

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Prison Break?  images copyright – Foxtel/Showcase

1: Franky and Allie make their escape /// Franky’s bid for freedom has, this season, hinged on her need to escape and find the evidence to prove she did not kill Mike Pennisi (Felix Williamson).  Along the way, she has managed to bring Allie into the plan but with the revelation that Iman (Zahra Newman) was not only his killer, but his lover too, Franky’s bid to escape is more dire than ever.

Franky and Allie make their escape plan but only one makes it outside the walls of Wentworth.

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New Top Dog?  images copyright – Foxtel/Showcase

2: Sonia steps up for ‘top dog’ status /// She’s garnered the praise of her fellow inmates with the Green Wall Project, has managed to get Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) on total trust levels and is not partial to a bit of causal murder.

With the status of ‘Top Dog’ currently vacant, Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) will take the opportunity to nab the position with the full backing of the inmates.

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All alone within the walls of Wentworth.  images copyright – Foxtel/Showcase

3: Liz winds up all alone inside Wentworth ///  After her meeting with an investigator into her perjury and mistrial, Liz (Celia Ireland) discovers that Kaplan (Steve Bastoni) and Sonia had in-fact targeted her all along to be ‘witness X’ in Sonia’s murder trial.

With Bea dead, Doreen and Maxine both gone, Boomer struggling to contain her wrath at Liz’s ‘lagging’ and Sonia out for revenge, Liz suddenly finds herself without any support within Wentworth but she has the knowledge that Sonia set her up from the get-go, but what will she do with that information?

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Red Right Hand.  images copyright – Foxtel/Showcase

4: Kaz and Allie team up against Ferguson /// A strong champion of a violence free prison, Kaz has often resorted to the use words as her weapon of choice, a move that earned her ‘top dog’ status but also saw it as the reason for it being taken from her.  Allie is still desperate for revenge against the woman who murdered her one true love.

With Ferguson surviving her surprise lynch mob hanging and the fear of retribution, Kaz will abandon her no violence stance to team up with Allie in an attempt to take Ferguson out once and for all.

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Prison Break Part Two? images copyright – Foxtel/Showcase

5: Ferguson makes a plan to escape /// With thanks to Vera, she survived the hanging from the inmates but now Ferguson finds herself vulnerable prey and with no protection from acting governor Channing (Martin Sacks).

Getting wind of Franky and Allie’s escape plan, Ferguson uses Jake to help her with her own plan to get out that involves revealing Franky and Allie’s plans to the guards and using the ensuing fracas to make her escape with Jake and his swipe card.  But will she make it out?

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Cleaning up the trash.  images credit Foxtel/Showcase

6: Vera sets her sights on Channing and Jake ///  Stripped of her role of governor (thanks to Channing), Vera finds herself in precarious waters struggling to maintain a grip on her life which has become even harder after discovering her entire relationship with Jake was a fabrication created by Ferguson to bring her down.

While Jake knows Vera was the one who allowed Bea to escape in season four’s finale, Vera will take aim at bringing him down along with Channing so as to reclaim her role as Governor.

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images credit – Foxtel/Showcase

7: New inmates arrive to shake things up ///  There were some major cast adjustments this season with Bea Smith, Maxine, Iman, Juice and Doreen all leaving Wentworth, leaving it a lot emptier than it has ever been.

New inmates will arrive to Wentworth to fill those empty beds but will any of them bring a familiar face to some of the current inmates?

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Back from the dead?  Images credit – Foxtel

8: Bea Smith returns to Wentworth ///  It’s been a suspicion all season long that Bea did not die at the hands on Ferguson but was gravely injured and put into protective custody for her own safety.  Could the season five finale reveal this to be true and bring Bea back into Wentworth?

The move could be the driving force for season six with Allie beginning to show feelings for Franky, Ferguson now at her weakest and the position of top dog up for grabs.

So there we have it!  From escape plans to attempts to reclaim the throne to a surprise return, these are my season 5 endgame suspicions.  Agree, disagree or have I missed something?  Sound off in the comments!

 

How Wentworth Survived After Killing Its Queen Bea.

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It’s a risky move for a television show with such a staunch world wide fan base to kill off one of its main characters in an attempt to shake things up and introduce fresh blood and fresh stories yet oddly enough, despite the hark from fans claiming they’ll never watch again, the bold move usually works.  Homeland, House of Cards, Grey’s Anatomy, M*A*S*H and 24 are just some of success stories where killing off main cast have worked in their favor.

Wentworth, is the most recent entry into this world with the murder of main player Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) at the end of the shows fourth season and questions quickly began to flit about how this show could survive without the driving force that Wentworth sprouted itself from.

The tour de force that was Bea Smith and the story around her propelled the show from a generic Prisoner remake into a modern day drama-come-love-story with an incredibly dedicated fan base, devastated their “Queen Bea” had been mercilessly slaughtered at the hands of series villain Joan “The Freak” Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) leaving her girlfriend Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) to pick up the pieces and exact her revenge.

This death, so surprising and utterly shocking, risked putting Wentworth fans off-side with the belief the show was supposed to be a telling of Bea’s entrance into prison and her rise to ‘top dog’ status and while, in point, we did get that tale, the killing off of a main character is still none the less a gusty move for any show.

What we didn’t notice however was the growing importance and build-up of the other characters within the show, each getting story lines that played quietly along the Bea Smith/Joan Ferguson/Allie Novak main story arc, all ready to take effect when the time was needed.

These stories involving Vera’s (Kate Atkinson) battle to maintain control of her governor position, Franky Doyle (Nicole da Silva) struggling to develop a healthy life outside of the Wentworth with girlfriend Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner), the buddy buddy snitch snitch relationship between Sonia Stevens (Sigrid Thornton) and Liz Birdsworth (Celia Ireland) and current top dog Kaz Proctor (Tammy MacIntosh) feeling her grip loosen on her top dog status were all slowly bubbling along and came to flourish and hit the ground with both guns blazing when the time was right.

This move not only forced us to move on after Bea’s death but implemented a newer relationship with these characters on the back of strong writing and even stronger acting from the cast, allowing the show to thrive in a time of viewer devastation.  The fact that this death wasn’t used as a way to end an ugly love triangle or to move on a story arc that just wan’t working is even more testament to the writing on the show.

Bea’s death was personal but it was also a propeller, not just for the show but for each an every character within the world of Wentworth.  Killing off a Queen Bea can be dangerous but when done right, breathes new life into an already fascinating and intense show.

Wentworth continues Tuesday nights on Showcase and will see production begin this month on season six.

First Look Review: The Exorcist

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Alan Ruck and Geena Davis in THE EXORCIST. (c)2016 Fox Broadcasting/Jean Whiteside

A dark an eerie take on the timeless cult horror flick pits Geena Davis against a demonic force that has set its eyes on her family.

Joining the ranks of the ‘reboot’ fad, The Exorcist has a more tender ground to tread on than others within the field thanks to its cult fandom background.  Considered to be one of the scariest films of all time, the 1973 movie of the same name produced an iconic film filled with memorable quotes and scenes (a 360 degree head turn anyone?) that have been done and redone so many times that this new incarnation has to be very careful of not to try and out-do or recreate what has been done and done well.

Thankfully, in this new outing for The Exorcist, it leaves little opportunity open for fans and viewers to mock or gripe.

Taking the lead (and bringing in some worthy star power) Geena Davis plays Angela Rance, a religious upper class working mother who is concerned that the noises and strange occurrences happening in her home might be more than just your everyday easy to explain happenings.  Her husband Henry (Alan Ricks) is a former version of himself due to a workplace accident, her eldest daughter Kat (Brianne Howey) is dark and depressed after a tragic accident that killed her best friend while youngest daughter Casey (Hannah Kasulka) is a care-free and easy going young woman with the world at her feet.

Concerned that troubled Kat may be ‘under the influence of a demon’, Angela asks local priest Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) to do a cleansing of her house though Tomas’ spiritual demons find him playing cat and mouse between a concerned mother worried her daughter is possessed and another priest, Father Marcus (Ben Daniels) who has very close ties to the world of exorcisms.

What ensues is a stylish and slick tale about religion in the modern day versus the barriers provided by old-school religion.

At an hour long, the first episode doesn’t feel rushed or have too much crammed into it though there lies a problem in that you begin to question how Angela is so convinced there is a demon in her house when we are not actually privy to any demonic activity (the only real signs is through her telling Father Tomas about cupboards and chairs in the kitchen moving about) and the scene where Father Tomas and Father Marcus meet – via demonic children filled dreams is semi-sketchy to say the least but one could say it’s divine intervention from a higher power to bring the two together.

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We do catch a glimpse of this demonic force, though it’s not until the end of the episode and provides one of the best surprise plot twists presented in a pilot in some time and it’s not the series only card up their sleeve.  The big reveal comes towards the end of episode five that will have those who know the movie literally gagging with excitement about what’s to come.

The Exorcist  begins Sunday December 4, 8.30pm on Showcase.

Pilot score: 4.5/5

Did Looking: The Movie, Offer a Fitting Farewell?

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Melissa Moseley/HBO 2016

There’s always a trepidation when coming into a ‘farewell movie’ of a series that one has grown to love but was cut short on us.  We find ourselves asking “Will we get the answers we want?  Will it give us a feeling of a proper conclusion?  Will we be happy with how we have to say goodbye?”  Even in Looking’s two season short life span, those questions begged to be asked and required answers.  Thankfully not only did we get our some answers but most fans should be able to say a final goodbye to a pack of characters we quickly grew to love.

Looking back, It’s been well over 12 months since Looking’s untimely demise.  Patrick (Jonathan Groff) ended his tumultuous relationship with Kevin (Russell Tovey) and had all but destroyed any chance of any kind of relationship with his ex Ritchie (Raul Castillo). Dom (Murray Bartlett) rekindled his long standing friendship with Doris (Lauren Weedman)  and was about to start a new professional journey while Augustine (Frankie J Alvarez) and HIV positive Eddie (Daniel Franzese) were on the cusp of starting a brand new relationship together.

The 90 minute farewell movie attempts to answer those looming questions but still leave enough open to assume that while Looking may in fact be over, Patrick, Dom and Augustine are still living their lives and making life changing choices even if it’s not visible to us.

Oddly enough while the series was about three gay men living life in San Francisco, this finale movie sees most of the narrative hinging on Patrick’s love life – or in fact, where he left off and what’s in store when he returns to San Francisco after a 9 month hiatus living and working in Denver.  Granted the Ritchie/Patrick/Kevin triangle played one of the major arcs in Looking’s second season, but the force of pushing this right into the main story for the movie sadly left Dom and Augustine relegated to side characters that only either offered a reason for Patrick to even be back in SF or give him a reason to question his own motives.

It’s a odd move by writers Michael Lannan and Andrew Haigh who seemed to assume viewers were only invested in Patrick and his life and not that of Dom and Augustine’s. It’s a shame really as of the three, Augustine was shown to be the one that had grown the most from the pilot episode to the second season closer.

Yes, we’re offered answers and you know what, while not everyone will be satisfied, we should be happy with them even if certain elements are not clear cut in stone.  There’s enough there for us to make up our own minds as to which way the story ends for Patrick. Perhaps that was the intention all along?  Give us the equation, hint at a resolution but allow us to find the answer that sits the best with us.

I for one am happy we got one last outing with Looking even if it was a bit too much focused on Patrick at the expense of the other players.

 Looking: The Movie is currently screening on Showcase via Foxtel.

Pilot Review: Shades of Blue

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Liotta and Lopez struggle with right and wrong on Shades of Blue. (c) NBC 2016

Premiering Tuesday, August 2 at 8.30pm on Universal Channel is a brand new police crime series that sees all-rounder Jennifer Lopez go toe-to-toe with screen veteran Ray Liotta.  Titled Shades of Blue, the series delves into the corruptness within a Brooklyn police department led by Liotta’s Lieutenant Matt Wozniak.

What starts out as a cover up involving a skittish rookie with a touchy trigger finger and a drug dealer playing video games quickly evolves into an all-out undercover operation involving Lopez’s cash strapped Harlee Santos against her tight-knit crew of officers.

Harlee must find the line between protecting those she works with, her own family and giving the FBI what they need.  It’s not an easy task for Harlee as Wozniak is quick on the mark to note a mole within his crew.

As a whole, Shades of Blue doesn’t really bring anything new to the police procedurals that have flooded our screens over the years involving crooked cops but there is enough twisty plot moments within the first handful of episodes that actually keep the show slightly riveting.  Especially with the question of how much information on her crew Harlee keeps to herself and how much she hands out to the FBI while Wozniak is on the hunt for the mole in his crew.  Sadly though, once you’re past episode three, the series begins to stray away from its main story and offer up filler weekly cases and a somewhat unnecessary look into Harlee’s home life and her unruly teenage daughter.

Liotta, playing crooked cop dedicated to his team, is in his element here.  He tears through every scene he appears in, ready to lay some smack down and dole out some tough talking. While it works for Liotta, he is easily outshone by star Lopez…but not in a good way.

The ‘real’ problem with Shades of Blue is in fact Lopez herself.  It’s not that she is a bad actress or over-acts or anything like that because actually Lopez does hold her own against Liotta and fast talking Drea de Matteo (as officer Tess Nazario).  It’s that..well…it’s Jennifer Lopez.  Curves in all the right places, her perfectly tousled bob flowing effortlessly in the breeze as she totes her gun and flashes her badge in gritty and grungy NYC.  If anything, Lopez is basically one big distraction through no real fault of her own.

You’ll like it if: You enjoy serialized cop dramas with a gritty feel and some interesting plot twists.

You’ll hate it if: You enjoy heavily fleshed out police/crime dramas that delve deeply into character development while maintaining a steady pace to the main story line.

Shades of Blue begins  Tuesday, August 2 at 8.30pm on Universal Channel .

Literal Blood, Sweat & Tears for Wentworth’s Season 4 Finale

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Lady be crazy!  (c) Fremantle Media/SoHoTV

WHAT A FINALE!!

Why is everyone so shocked?!  I mean really come on, this is Wentworth people!  The team creating this show have always set the bar high for compelling television and continue to raise that bar with each and every season finale!

My last post, I offered up some season 4 end game theories which came off from not having previewed the episode but from reading what Wentworth had offered up during the season.  My score card?  Not the greatest…i’m giving myself a 3.5 out of 8….so not even 50% but let’s look back at that finale and how my I went in my predictions.

SPOILERS BELOW!!  Do not continue if you have NOT watched the season 4 finale!

1: Ferguson Becomes a Free Woman (sort of right) /// I was partially right on this one!  Joan did in fact find freedom after raking in Jake (Bernard Curry) to kill star witness Nils Jesper (Tony Nikolakopoulos).  It was a bold move on Ferguson’s behalf but that final scene proved that her freedom will be certainly short lived.

2: Sonia reveals her true freak (right) /// Sonia (Sigrid Thornton) kept us guessing for most of the season as to her guilt or innocence and as I called it, we would discover that Sonia in fact is a cold hearted murderer but in the way we found out was nothing short of chilling.  After a meeting with Det. Don Kaplan (Steve Bastoni) Liz (Celia Ireland) discovers that the body of Sonia’s missing friend had been found with a shaved head.  It was an odd mention to reveal and after seeing Sonia’s devastated response to her friends death, Liz believed Sonia to be innocent.  It’s not until Sonia offers to be the one to shave Maxine’s head as she goes through chemotherapy that Sonia, so calm and gentle mind you, mentions the power one has when shaving someone’s head and that it’s a symbol of rebirth.  It’s the first reveal of Sonia’s inner freak that Liz or us viewers have ever seen.

3: There Will be no Top Dog (wrong) /// Karen (Tammy Macintosh) says early on in this final episode that she doesn’t want the job…”let someone else take charge”.  It’s after a brutal fight between herself and Bea in which Bea believed Kaz to be the one to give Allie (Kate Jenkison) a ‘hot shot’ that she overdosed on.  It’s not until she’s ‘drafted’ by the other imates that she accepts the job of prison top dog.

4: Boomer Does not Fall Pregnant (right) /// It was only a short scene, a very quiet mention in which Boomer (Katrina Milosevic) reveals to Liz that the pregnancy didn’t take.  While only a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene, it was another touching moment for Booms this season.

5: Vera Will Discover Jake’s Past Offences (wrong) /// Jake managed to not only keep his secrets hidden from Vera, he left his co-worker Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) exposed as he kept his tracks hidden when Vera (Kate Atkinson) demanded an officer wide drug test to try and find who helped smuggle the drugs in that somehow ended up in Allie’s veins.

6: An Inmate Will Die (sort of wrong) /// To be clear, Allie woke up from her coma and Bea…well they can’t kill Bea right?!  Wentworth played a sneaky game on us by making us believe Allie would not wake from her induced coma thanks to the overdose provided to her by Joan.  In the meantime, we all believed that Bea would finally get her final revenge on Joan for those actions but when the tables turned on Bea, she, like us, all believed there was no hope for Allie and literally surrendered herself to the brutality of a stabbing with a screwdriver.

7: Doreen’s Sentence is Extended/Reduced (sort of right) /// While there was no mention of Doreen’s (Shareena Clanton) current sentence being altered, it was revealed she “doesn’t have that much time left” and that it should play well for her if she were to request a transfer to Perth where Nash (Luke McKenzie) is currently holed up with their son Joshua.  There wasn’t much more for Doreen this episode but it looks like this decision will play heavily into her story line for season 5.

8: Franky Distances Herself from Wentworth (wrong) ///  Can I just say though, was I the only one thinking the worst when Franky (Nicole da Silva) put the gun she took from Shayne (Hunter Page-Lochard) into her pants outside the court where Joan’s trial was taking place?!  While that scene decided to go no where, it seems like Franky has no desire to remove herself from the ladies inside Wentworth and that was shown in a touching scene between herself and Bea in the visitors room where the two talked love and life.

So there you have it.  Another wonderful season, another spine tingling season finale!  Will Bea survive her attack?  Will Allie make a full recovery?  What will happen to Ferguson? Will Jake keep his secrets close? Will Doreen make the transfer to Perth?  Will Franky and Bridget live happily ever after?  Sound off in the comments above!

Wentworth Fourth Season Premiere Date Announced

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Mark your diaries people – Wentworth’s fourth season premiere has finally been announced and it’s coming to SoHo on Tuesday, May 10th!  I’ll just start with the reveal trailer….

 

Season four will see Bea and the inmates return to Cell Block H after the destructive fire that tore through the prison in the third season finale but not all is as it seems with another inmate looking to take Bea’s top dog position within the jail.  There’s also a confirmation that Frankie Doyle (Nicole da Silva) and Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) will be back with Frankie now free from Wentworth trying to adjust to life outside the walls of Wentworth and ‘the freak’ aka Joan Ferguson is still around, albeit spending some time wrapped cozily in a stylish white jacket!

New faces to this season includes Sigrid Thornton as Sonia Stevens, a wealthy cosmetics entrepreneur, recent entrant into Wentworth and murder suspect.  Bernard Curry as Corrections Officer Jake Stewart and Kate Jenkinson as another new inmate Allie Novak.

So once again, remember, Season four begins Tuesday, May 10th on the SoHo channel on Foxtel!