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Best of 2015 – TV Characters

It’s been an impressive and varied landscape of television this year that saw the end of Mad Men, the cancellation of Hannibal, the surprise death of Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy and the reveal of Pretty Little Liars’ Big A.

From a small-time suburban drug dealer to a former down-trodden housewife fighting a zombie apocalypse, a Queen who has fallen from glory to a formerly pussy-whipped husband and a mother willing to do anything to get what she wants….these are just some of the defining characters that made a huge impact this year on our TV screens.

Either love them or hate them (or love to hate them), check out my list of the 12 best characters that graced our screens in 2015

12: Charlotte King (Erika Heynatz) – Home and Away

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Not since the introduction of ‘The River Boys’ to Home and Away‘s Summer Bay has a single character impacted both the residents of the bay and viewers alike.  Charlotte King’s (Erika Heynatz) main goal of reuniting with her former love Zach (Charlie Clausen) had become skewed over time resulting in this small town teacher resorting to lying, sex with a student, black mail, theft and a double murder.  This, of course, led to her murder yet Charlotte’s web was so wide and tangled with victims that there is an unlimited amount of suspects as to who killed her.

11: Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) – The Walking Dead

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The second half of season five and the first episode of season 6 were quiet ones for Carol.  The woman who’s proficient with the use of sniper rifles and small blades seemed to have found peace within the walls of Alexandria embracing the safety and familiarity of what life was before….until episode “JSS” – 6×02 when rogue survivor group The Wolves brutally attacked Alexandria and went on a murdering spree, sending Carol into a ninja mode like we’ve never seen her in before.  Her will to protect her kin outweighed the moral right Morgan was trying to enforce which resulted in a bare-knuckles slam down fight between the two.  Look out Michonne, there’s a new slayer in town!

10: Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner)- Wentworth

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Finding the balance between professional and personal was a very wobbly tightrope for Wentworth Prison’s new psychologist.  The openly gay Bridget found herself the target of inmate Frankie Doyle’s (Nicole Da Silva) affection to which, it turned out, the feelings were mutual.  Working closely with Frankie to help her earn freedom and bring down the tyrannical Governor, Bridget flitted between the lines of right and wrong within professional misconduct which eventually saw her unemployed but happily in love with the recently released Frankie.

9: Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) – Game of Thrones

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Oh how the mighty have fallen!  Cersei’s greedy need to remain in power and her dislike for the Tyrell’s ultimately saw her downfall from Queen to Queen mother to filthy peasant rotting away in a cell.  A stark contrast from the sharp tongued powerhouse, Cersei’s confronting walk of atonement through the streets of Kings Landing remains one of the most astonishing falls from grace seen this year.

8: Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil)- How to get Away With Murder

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Got murder on the mind?  Bonnie (Liza Weil) did during this season of HTGAWM when we learnt the formerly mousy legal aid to the big and brassy Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) was behind the murder (via way suffocation mind you) of bad girl Rebecca.  Throw in a relationship with student Asher (Matt McGorry) and the revelation Bonnie had been sexually abused as a child and suddenly the quiet Bonnie became a force to be reckoned with – covering up multiple murders and even going toe to toe with Annalise.

7: Donnie Hendrix (Kristian Bruun) – Orphan Black

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Of the myriad of clones, government organizations, montiors and love interests that swamp the very excellent Orphan Black, this year saw one stand out more than usual.  Soccer mom clone Alison Hendrix’s hapless husband Donnie actually shined this year, stepping out from his wife’s overbearing shadow and going head first into Alison’s brand new drugs-for-bored-moms business.  The underwear bed dance with Alison while they ‘made it rain’ was just the start of this brand new Donnie.

6: Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry) – How to get Away with Murder

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Of all of Annalise Keating’s minions, Asher seemed to lean more towards that of being somewhat leveled headed.  While having no involvement with Sam’s murder and subsequent cover up, the overtly loud and confident Asher had his dark past exposed revealing his involvement in the gang rape of a student in his residence years earlier.  For Asher, this revelation sadly led to blackmail, the suicide of his father, the dissolution of his relationship with his mother and eventually the murder of D.A Emily Sinclair throwing Asher right into the mix of murder cover ups that plague his friends.

5: Emma (Jessica St.Clair) and Maggie (Lenard Parham) – Playing House

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There’s no splitting these two best friends up which is why it was an easy decision to keep them together for this list.  Emma and Maggie showed this year that no man, no baby, no sex-with-an-ex and no Kenny Loggins could ever screw with their friendship.  They continuously present us with a humorously authentic look at the relationship between two best friends who like to cross dress, make bird houses and smash the dance floor with body rolls.

4: Ce Ce Drake/Charlotte DiLaurentis/Charlies DiLaurentis (Vanessa Ray) – Pretty Little Liars

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Pretty Little Liars offered up the mind fuck of the season by not only revealing that Ce Ce Drake (Vanessa Ray) was Big A, but that Ce Ce was also a DiLaurentis – Charles DiLaurentis in fact, now known as Charlotte. It was her parents – Jessica and Kenneth’s issues with her gender identity crisis that set off the whole Big A scandal when they shipped him off to Radley Institution.  Throw in the murder of Toby’s mother along with sisterly jealousy vibes  and Ce Ce became one of the biggest players in the series.

3: Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts) – Scream Queens

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The sassy, fashion obsessed and utterly evil Kappa Kappa Tau sorority president Chanel Oberlin could be considered to be quite despicable with her treatment of fellow Chanel’s and those less fortunate than her, but every now and then, a small glimmer of human slithers through Chanel’s frosty well dressed exterior.  Her zippy one liners and god-awful on-again-off-again relationship with equally transparent Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) made for great viewing.

2: Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) – UnREAL

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Heartless, greedy, bitch, thoughtful, loving, woman.  Just some of the words one could easily use to describe the woman behind the Bachelor inspired love at first sight TV series Everlasting.  Quinn had the ability to carelessly destroy (emotionally and physically) her fellow woman and it was all for ratings and professional growth.  She was after all the puppet master who controlled the romantic life of numerous women.   While her circle of those who meant most to her was quite small, Quinn showed she would do anything to protect them even if it ended in heartache and utter hatred.  Yet when you tear down the brutal hardness and moral corruptness of Quinn’s exterior, underneath there was a woman who oddly enough was looking for stability and romance……but would only accept it if she was also winning at everything else.

1: Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) – Homeland

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A new member to the Homeland family, Berlin Station Chief Allison Carr has the ability to talk herself into and way out of everything from putting Carrie’s (Claire Danes) name on an assassins hit list to roaming the halls of the CIA moments after being arrested for treason and cover up a double homicide while allowing a terrorist attack to take place – all while divulging USA secrets to the Russians.  It’s all for a good cause though as Allison has literally millions of dollars waiting for her once her task with the Russians are complete.  Unlike many ‘bad guys’ there’s no redeemable qualities to Allison and she’s riding front and centre on the karma train.

So there you have it!  My 12 best TV characters for 2015.  Who made you list or do you agree with mine?  Sound off in the coments below!

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GoT Season 5 Will Not Feature Bran Stark and Hodor

Kristian Nairn as Hodor in Game of Thrones
Kristian Nairn as Hodor in Game of Thrones

In a bit of rather interesting news from the world of Game of Thrones, it seems Bran Stark and loyal follower Hodor will be absent in the upcoming fifth season.

Speaking to Yahoo, Kristian Nairn who plays Hodor revealled neither he nor partner in crime Isaac Hemptead-Wright (who plays Bran Stark) will be seen in GoT’s season 5.  “We have a season off and we have a year’s hiatus, solely because I imagine our storyline is up to the end of the books,” he said. “So, I get my year off now to do Rave of Thrones and gallivant all over the world.

Bran and Hodor’s travels to beyond the wall played a significant part in season 4’s story to which we were left with them meeting the mysterious ‘children’ at the Weirwood tree beyond the wall with the three eyed crow who revealed more about Bran’s greensight ability.  

Game of Thrones returns soon on HBO

Michelle Fairley Reveals Game of Thrones Lady Stoneheart Absence

Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark
Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark

Fans of the “A Song of Fire and Ice” books (which is the source material for Game of Thrones) might have felt they missed something quite pivotal when the season four finale of GoT came and passed.

 Where the heck is Lady Stoneheart?

It was a question that rang out after the season four finale when Lady Stoneheart didn’t show up, as she did in the epilogue of “A Storm Of Swords” and now fans of the book and television series are wanting to know where she is.

Alex Graves, who directed the final episode, revealed that there were no plans whatsoever to include the pivotal character during that time, though it didn’t necessarily mean that we would not see Lady Stoneheart in the future.

Is this good news?  It was until actress Michelle Fairley spoke with EW recently.  “The character’s dead,” Michelle told EW. “She’s dead.” EW revealed that Michelle was told it would likely never happen, and when asked about a preference — Lady Stoneheart or no Lady Stoneheart — Michelle said, “I knew the arc, and that was it. They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. It’s impossible— they only have 10 hours per season.

“They have got to keep it dramatic and exciting, and extraneous stuff along the way gets lost in order to maintain the quality of brilliant show.”

For those not familiar with the books and are sitting there wondering who the heck is Lady Stoneheart and why does it involve actress Michelle Fairley…well, Lady Stoneheart is Catelyn Stark’s reanimated corpse and of course, Catelyn Stark was played by Michelle Fairley.

After her throat was slit at the Red Wedding, Catelyn was thrown into a river and left to float there for three days before she was pulled out by Lord Beric Dondarrion (who you will know as the leader of the Brotherhood without Banners) and who resurrected Catelyn by giving his life for hers.

The somewhat-brought-back-to-life Catelyn then adopted the name Lady Stoneheart as she joined the Brotherhood Without Banners to lead them in mercilessly executing all traitors – with special attention paid to the Lannisters and Freys, and anyone who associates with them.

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The purposeful cutting of Lady Stoneheart has left many people wondering how this will affect the story-arcs for certain characters including Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth for the shows fifth season as all three characters feature quite heavily in season five’s source material “A Feast of Crows”.

Says Alex Graves “”No, they didn’t do it. It was never on the docket to do this season — ever.”

Game of Thrones returns in 2015.

Foxtel on Lannisters, Pirates and Game of Thrones

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Foxtel’s head of corporate affairs, Bruce Meagher has been a busy little bee of of late.  He’s been tucked away in his neat little corner typing away an open letter to you, to me, to everyone in Australia in fact, about how disgusted he is with our incessant need to illegally download Foxtels exclusive Game of Thrones here in Australia.

Clearly he’s been working on this little piece ever since Foxtel signed on the HBO dotted line cutting out iTunes and Google Play from also offering Game of Thrones to fans who were not Foxtel subscribers.

Titled “Piracy: At least the Lannisters Pay their debts” (in which, the title alone makes you feel like we should be indebted to Foxtel for even providing us with Game of Thrones in the first place) Meagher literally compares illegal downloading of Game of Thrones to “stealing a  Ferrari on the basis that the waiting list is too long or the price is too high.”

He pleads and begs with us to “think of the actors, extras, writers, camera crew, make up artists, editors, special effects teams and the many others who make Game of Thrones” before we hit that torrent download button and had Meagher continued down this ‘look, illegal downloading is wrong’ line then I’m sure I wouldn’t have scoffed at the letter as a whole.

See, after calling torrent downloaders car thieves and uninformed pirates, Meagher then proceeds to turn his open letter about a television provider dealing with rife downloading of a highly popular television show into a written piece of extended advertising for Foxtel, it’s Foxtel Go and Play services and how awesome it is when compared along side to iTunes and “similar services”

Cripes.

You know what, in the end, you’ll get more out his Meagher’s open letter by the time you hit the comments section.  It’s an absolute gem to which Meagher originally attempts to rebut before he stops responding.

While I don’t condone the practice of torrenting shows, when push comes to shove and someone decides to monopolise a product that was once available to us through other avenues…..

“The Lannisters may not be a pleasant lot, but they, at least, always pay their debts.” – way to keep it cool Bruce.

 

Game of Thrones Returns Tonight for Season 4

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It’s being billed as the biggest season yet and cost more than $100 million dollars to make.  It’s cult TV at it’s best with it’s fan base akin to that of The Walking Dead.  Game of Thrones returns tonight for Season 4.

Coming in at the midway point in the planned seven-season adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s still unfinished series of novels, A Saga Of Fire and Ice, season 4 is mostly taken from the second half of the third novel and was subsequently filmed in ten parts.  Picking up right after where we left off last season, the warring families of Westeros, the Lannisters, the Tyrells and the Baratheons are still reeling from the aftermath of the gruesome ‘Red Wedding’, which saw the slaughter of King of the North Rob Stark, his mother Catelyn, his wife and unborn child.

The Wildlings are on the march south as are the mysterious un-dead White Walkers and somewhere in the east Daenerys is continuing her quest to reclaim the throne with an army of freed slaves and three dragons at her side.

There’s a new faction in town to look out for with the arrival of the charming (and somewhat dangerous) Oberyn Martell, from the kingdom of Dorne, who is also hell bent on revenge for past Lannister murders and a tribe of heavily-scarred cannibals  from beyond the Wall called the Thenn who  have formed an uneasy alliance with Mance Rayder and the so-called wildlings advancing on Castle Black and are threatening death and destruction on all who cross their path.

There’s bloodlust, sex, greed and revenge to keep most fans salivating for more.

Game of Thrones returns tonight, 7:30pm on Showcase via FOXTEL.

Extended Preview of Game Of Thrones Season 4

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The new season of Game of Thrones is fast approaching, and to whet the appetite of very patient fans, HBO have released an extended 15 minute trailer for the shows up coming fourth season.

The trailer – Game of Thrones Ice and Fire: A Foreshadowing includes on-camera interviews with cast members including Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) and Natalie Dormer (Margaery).

Want to know more about season four?  Read about it here!

The fourth season it slated to begin, here in Australia on April 7th on SHOWCASE for FOXTEL subscribers, though in a deal made with HBO, it means Game of Thrones will be an exclusive to SHOWCASE virtually blocking iTunes and Quickflix from fast-tracking the show to non FOXTEL subscribers.

The news gets even worse for those wanting to legally download the series.  The deal between the two networks also means that iTunes and Quickflix cannot offer ANY episode of season 4 until FOXTEL have aired every single episode of the season.

Any people wonder why illegal downloading (especially of Game of Thrones) is so rife in Australia.

For fans not wanting to pay a minimum of $75 per month for the premium channel on FOXTEL, those with FOXTEL PLAY online subscriptions (which is a little bit cheaper) will be able to access the new episodes.

Game of Thrones, Season 4, begins April 7th on SHOWTIME for FOXTEL subscribers.

Game of Thrones Season 4 Date Set

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HBO have finally and officially released the date for the highly anticipated start of the fourth season of Game of Thrones  based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin.  HBO have penned in Sunday April 6th with Australian viewers with access to Showcase via Foxtel will have it fast tracked for a Monday April 7th start.

So while we have an official start date, fans are still hanging to get a glimpse of what is coming up as no trailers have been released.  To give a fans a little taste, HBO shared four video clips via their official vine account – all taken from the season 4 trailer which is due to drop on Sunday Jan 12th.  Check out all four vine clips below!

The end of series three left viewers reeling after its bloody ‘Red Wedding’ episode saw the demise of a few key characters and remains one of the most talked about episodes to date.  Filling the gap will be a host of new faces, including Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss who joins the cast as Tycho Nestoris from the Iron Bank of Bravos, and Torchwood star Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand. Season four is expected to look at the second half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in George R.R. Martin’s ongoing A Song of Fire and Ice series. The first half of the book formed the show’s third season, which came to a head with the murder of three main characters in that brutal and shocking “Red Wedding” episode.

And while on Game of Thrones, the show took out the (somewhat) coveted title of being the most illegally downloaded show of 2013 beating out Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.  According to TorrentFreak, the three shows all made the top three spots but the spoils of Game Of Thrones was too hard to beat for a second year in a row – the Red Wedding episode was downloaded more than 5.9 million times!

Game of Thrones season 4 trailer drops Jan 12th with season 4 to premiere April 7th on Showcase.