Tag Archives: Homeland

Best of 2015 – TV Shows

One could say that there is too much TV these days.  Between network TV, cable, premium cable and now streaming, the choice is endless for what to watch and when to watch it.

This, of course, makes trying to pick 12 shows that stood out among the rest an almost impossible task.  That said, of the myriad of ‘best of’ lists floating around, this one doesn’t contain Mad Men, Fargo or The Americans…all of which are worthy shows, but not for me.

Check out MY picks for the 12 best shows of 2015.

12: Orphan Black Season Three

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From male clones to Dyad, neolutionists to Topside, there’s a whole lot of heck going on in Orphan Black.  But….when you sit back and really take in what is actually happening and to whom and why, Orphan Black becomes a very clear cut twisted cat and mouse game of survival.

While some of the steam that pushed season one and two has gone, season three’s closer involving Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) connecting with original clone, Kendall Malone (Alison Steadman) finally placed all the puzzle pieces together.

11: Scream Queens Season One

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Of the two serial-killer-on-campus shows that graced our screens this year FOX’s Scream Queens basically shit all over MTV’s Scream.  Put it down to creator Ryan Murphy’s knack of being able to mix witty humor and dark gore, some sharp writing that created some of the nastiest characters to ever come to life and the casting of Emma Roberts and perennial scream queen Jamie-Lee Curtis in lead roles.

The red devil killer mystery was even hidden well enough to keep most viewers guessing until the final surprising reveal which gave Lea Michelle one of the best monologues to spew out this year.

10: Grace and Frankie Season One

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There was always going to be a whiff of interest floating around Grace and Frankie when it dropped on Netflix earlier this year – legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin playing two ‘frenemies’ forced to put aside their personality and lifestyle differences to unite in the face of their crumbling marriages.

While the uptight wasp and the free thinking hippy aren’t major acting stretches for Fonda and Tomlin, watching the two actresses bounce off one another when sharing a scene is when the magic really happens.

9: Code Black Season One

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We all love a good medical drama don’t we?  From ER to Chicago Hope, Private Practice to Grey’s Anatomy, the medical drama is a staple on network TV but none have ever been presented to us in such an unglamorous kind of way that Code Black does.  The gritty and hurried life within Angels Memorial Hospital in L.A features blood soaked floors, swamped ER’s and not a single sexual relationship between doctors.

 It’s a fresh change for the genre that has been swamped with doctors thinking the emergency room is the swimming pool from Melrose Place.

Our damaged-doctor-with-a-tragic-past, Dr. Leanne Rorish (Marcia Gay Harden) doesn’t overplay her past tragedy but will use it when rules need to be bent in order to save a life.

8: Pretty Little Liars Season 5

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Over 5 seasons of waiting, we finally got the answer to the question of who is Big A.  This bitchy, gossip girl-esque baddie who hides under masks and black hoodies was revealed to be none other than CeCe Drake (Vanessa Ray).  Most were surprised, some were annoyed, I was just finally happy to have an answer.

Snaps to the team behind the scenes for keeping such a massive secret hidden until reveal day.

7: Wentworth Season Three

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Pamela Rabe’s deranged Governor Ferguson continued to be an absolute cracker for this prison drama’s third season and that’s no easy task when paired with an incredible female driven cast.  Danielle Cormack’s Bea Smith took a back seat to allow Frankie’s (Nicole da Silva) emerging relationship with prison psychologist Bridget (Libby Tanner) to take center stage and a battle for baby Joshua revealed just how cray cray Jess (Georgia Chara) really is.

6: Looking Season Two

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Even though Looking has officially been canned by HBO, it’s second season showed that no matter how bad your opener was, there’s always a chance to go up – and Looking did just that.  Introducing Patrick (Jonathan Groff) into a messed up love triangle that involved his boss Kevin (Russell Tovey) and his ex boyfriend Ritchie (Raul Castillo) and pairing Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) with HIV Positive Eddie (Daniel Franzese) allowed Looking to have more of a dramatic edge than the realistic one they were aiming for in season one.

Shame the show was eventually cancelled but at least 2016 will see a Looking feature on HBO that will give fans the closure desperately needed.

5: Playing House Season Two

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I’ve expressed my love for this show on many occasions (see here and here) and the love for this show and it’s stars is utterly deserved.  Just like Fonda and Tomlin in Grace and Frankie, Playing House is at it’s brightest when leads Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair are allowed to vibe off each other – whether that being making bird houses or breaking into houses or sneaking into Kenny Loggin’s dressing room.

BFF’s have never been portrayed so true or so funny!

P.S – Can we please have a season three?!

4: How to get Away with Murder Season Two

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Was it possible for Shonda Rhimes’ powerhouse HTGAWM to reach the same highs as season one?  The answer was a resounding YES!  Starting off with main player Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) lying in a pool of blood, season two jumped back in time giving us a ‘whodunit’ vibe – the complete opposite of season one’s main feature.

And while it seemed everyone including the neighbors dog wanted to put a bullet into Annalise, her past lies and cover-ups revolving around Rebecca’s (Katie Findlay) murder ultimately saw her number one student Wes (Alfred Enoch) pull the trigger.

3: Cougar Town Season Six

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Awwww, my Cul-De-Sac Crew!  A bitter sweet end to my favorite comedy for the past five years, Cougar Town never really got the love it deserved and that’s just down to it’s silly title.  Cougar Town’s final season though continued to be incredibly funny and grounded in it’s roots of family and friendship and even with the absence of Bobby Cobb (Brian Van Holt), the final season remained strong and true to itself.

2: UnReal Season One

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What’s this?  A Lifetime show sitting at number two?!  You betcha!  When shit’s this good you gotta respect it.  Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby, a take on the Bachelor TV franchise, sex, suicide, drama, back-stabbing, lies, tears, moral corruptness…there was a lot packed into this first season but thanks to the strength of the writing and the leads of Zimmer and Appleby, UnReal never felt…farcical or over-the-top yet had the ability to deliciously keep us glued.

Plus the way our feelings were toyed with….we love Rachel, we hate Quinn, we love Quinn, we hate Rachel…it was as if we were puppets just like the women competing on Everlasting.  UnReal is a true testament to Lifetime’s ability to actually support quality programming that NEEDS to be watched.

1: Homeland Season Five

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If Homeland has shown us anything, it’s that yes, you can kill off your main character, remove any trace of his family (mostly) and still maintain one hell of a show.  Granted, the killing off of Brody was so two seasons ago though the show never really felt any backlash from it and continues to grace us with incredible seasons such as the current fifth season.  While Carrie (Claire Danes) had moved on from the CIA, she’s never far away from trouble or a murder hit-list and with Saul (Mandy Patinkin) fighting for leadership and recognition while trying to recover stolen CIA documents, it’s the story line involving former Berlin Station Chief Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) and her secretly working with the Russians (for copious amount of dollars) that’s really pushed this season along.

Watching veterans Carrie and Saul traverse around the quick thinking and villainous Allsion while she was always a step ahead has been a pure highlight though her death, while imminent, seemed cheap.

 

 

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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!

Best TV Characters of 2014

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Zombie killers, jaded actresses, prison wardens, freaks, loud mouth-know-it-all’s, CIA agents, lawyers, mothers, detectives, therapists…whatever the ‘profession’, the range and scale of characters scattered throughout the television year has been wide and varied.

To celebrate the year that was, here’s my list of the 23 best television characters of 2014

23: Beth Davis – “Stalker”

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A stalking victim turned head of the stalker unit with the L.A.P.D turned stalking victim.  It’s no wonder Beth Davis (Maggie Q) keeps her cards close to her chest.  There’s something mysterious about Beth, but that’s probably because we’re only just starting to unravel the trauma she suffered many many years ago.

22: Ellie Torres – “Cougar Town”

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Ellie (Krista Miller) is the best friend you want to have but probably couldn’t deal with her in-your-face bluntness.  And while she’s begun to warm up-to others around her, you just know Ellie always does what’s best for Ellie.

21: Will – “Friends With Better Lives”

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Will was the externally confident but internally, was incredibly insecure.  The single guy in his group of loved-up friends, no romantic challenge was off limits, even if it included an almost three-way with one of his friends.

20: Gina Spinks – “Web Therapy”

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Gina, Gina, Gina.  The only woman in the world to take horrible advice from her therapist and turn it into a positive…with that positive being becoming a sex toy party host.  The great thing about Gina is, she literally does not see the mean coming from those around her.

19: Dr. Betty Rogers – “Motive”

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Handling dead bodies never looked so sexy!  Betty’s (Lauren Holly) take-no-prisoners attitude towards her job isn’t even covering some deep seeded need to be taken seriously, it’s just Betty.  Plus the fact she’ll rock up-to a crime scene in full nightclub attire without any explanation as to why or where she’s been just shows Betty is deadly serious about her work.

18: Haley Duphy – “Modern Family”

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Being one of three Dunphy children makes it hard for one to stand out, but this year saw Haley (Sarah Hyland) bump herself up with some incredibly funny scenes involving her finally taking a leap forward with her career post community college drop out.  Gone is the self obsessed, younger sister dissing ditz, replaced with the self obsessed, younger sister dissing career woman.

17: Bedelia Du Maurier – “Hannibal”

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Has Bedelia (Gillian Anderson) fooled us all along?  Her almost whispered tones confessing her beliefs of Hannibal’s guilt this year made us all believe not only does she believe Hannibal is the Chesapeake Ripper, but she’s also quite fearful of her life…that was until that final scene of season two.

16: Connor Walsh – “How To Get Away With Murder”

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Connor (Jack Falahee) proves it’s not always the girls who can use sex as a way to get what they want as he bed-hopped his way around obtaining key pieces of evidence and information to ensure he stays in favor with his mentor.  His bitchy, snarky and manipulative demeanor is a perfect throwback to the days of Melrose Place and Amanda Woodward.

15: Peter Quinn – “Homeland”

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Quinn (Rupert Friend) sure is a damaged and broken man.  He’s hell bent on trying to make right (still living with the demons he pick-up after accidentally killing a young boy) while also dealing with emerging romantic feelings for his boss.  Copious amounts of booze and random acts of sex with his landlord didn’t seem to help, nor his attempt to express his feelings for said boss.

14: Laura Diamond – “The Mysteries of Laura”

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Sure Laura (Debra Messing) really displaced me on our first meeting but over time, Detective Diamond has proven herself to be a head-strong and smart woman who happens to not give two hoots about she presents herself to the world.  She’s a mother first and a career woman first too who also happens to carry around a bag akin to that of Mary Poppins.

13: Nicky Nichols – “Orange is the New Black”

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It was rather interesting getting to see a second side to Nicky (Natasha Lyonne) this year that didn’t involve sex with other inmates.  While it was there and is part of the Nicky we love, her battle with overcoming her heroin addiction and also dealing with the fall from grace of her mother-figure Red (Kate Mulgrew) showed that there is a mature and responsible woman underneath all that red hair.

12: Shoshanna Shapiro – “Girls”

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Part of the reason why Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is on this list is purely down to her awesome “go fuck yourself” speech she spewed out to Hannah (Lena Dunham) while in the ‘fake Hamptons’.  It’s a fantastic piece of dialogue that is what all Girls viewers have been wanting to say to Hannah since day one.  “I’m talking about the fact that you’re a fucking narcissist.  Seriously, I’ve never met anyone else who thinks their own life is so fucking fascinating.  I wanted to fall asleep in my own vomit all day listening to you talk about how you bruise more easily than other people.”

11: Beverly Goldberg – “The Goldbergs”

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There’s no smother (smothering mother) like her!  Whether Beverly (Wendy McLendon-Covey) is trying to stay hip and relevant with her daughter or ego stroke her wannabe rapper-come-kickboxer-come-basketball superstar son, Beverly is there.  Actually, she’s there watching them sleep, eat, at school…she’s everywhere.

10: Annalise Keating – “How to get Away With Murder”

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You get confronted with this ballsy and upfront woman right from the go.  Annalise (Viola Davis) is all business and for the most part – keeps up a good front but this woman also struggling with a cheating husband, a dead cheerleader and a whole bunch of lies and betrayal so it’s no wonder that underneath the wig, the makeup and the power suits, there’s a very uncertain and sad woman trying to decipher what’s personal and what’s business.

9: Bette and Dot Tattler – “American Horror Story Freak Show”

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Looking at Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson) it’s hard to tell the two apart but when you get up close and personal, the conjoined twins could not be more identifiable.  We love that Bette takes what’s in front of her as black and white.  She dreams of stardom and seeing the world for what it has to offer while Dot, the complete opposite.  She knows the world has an extending shade of grey area not to be trusted and yearns for a life that doesn’t involve her sister attached to her 24-7.

8: Alison Hendrix – “Orphan Black”

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She’s a mom who drinks, kills, has numerous clone sisters and enjoys time performing in local stage productions.  Clearly Alison (Tatiana Maslany) has her priorities right, but has trouble keeping them all in check.  One of the more colorful clones, we’ve seen Alison grow from a suburban stepford wife to an ass-kicking alcoholic while still managing to have dinner on the table for her kids (you know, while she’s not in forced rehab).

7: Ashley Marin – “Pretty Little Liars”

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The Ashley Marin (Laura Leighton) that is so accustomed to ensuring people perceive her and her daughter to have a perfect life had no choice but to show things are not a peachy keen as they appeared. Accused of murder and shipped off to prison, Ashley had no choice but to let the walls down and ask for help from those she’s been trying to dupe for all these years.  Mix that with Leighton’s compelling performance as a completely distraught mother uncertain of her daughter’s safety and well-being while not having the ability to control what’s happening outside those prison walls makes Ashley Marin a standout.

6: Dr. Fiona Wallice – “Web Therapy”

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What’s best for Fiona (Lisa Kudrow) clearly isn’t what’s best for everyone else and in true Web Therapy form, Fiona never really learns from her mistakes or errors in judgement.  She continuously looks for the monetary advantage and boost in social standing in those she’s entrusted to help yet is shocked when she’s either double crossed or left holding together what shred of professional credibility she actually has.  Of course, thanks to Kudrow’s impeccable performance, we still root for Fiona to come out on top.

5: Joan ‘The freak’ Ferguson – “Wentworth”

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Governor Joan Ferguson (Pamela Rabe) is one demented woman haunted by personal tragedy.  She set out her plan for revenge many many years ago that was finally coming to see the light of day and no prisoner or guard within the walls of Wentworth were going to spoil her scheme, even if it meant there would be blood on her hands.  To me, Pamela Rabe was the most genius and perfect casting of any character for 2014.

4: Daryl Dixon – “The Walking Dead”

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Daryl (Norman Reedus) has always been at the forefront of The Walking Dead but throughout the show, he has (mostly) managed to keep his heart and emotions well and truly hidden.  But it was this year that brought forth a softer side to Daryl – reunited with trusted companion Carol and faced with the death of Beth, the hardened and dirtied exteriors began to fall showing a multi-layered character we all kind of knew was there all along.

3: Carrie Mathison – “Homeland”

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It’s a reinvigorated Homeland that proved killing off a main character can be beneficial to bringing back a show to it’s best and with Brody now dead, we got back a Carrie (Claire Danes) that was no longer split between work and love (well…there’s now a baby…but you get where I’m coming from) now with her eyes firmly on homeland security.

2: Selina Meyers – “VEEP”

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You’d have to imagine just what America would be like if Selina Meyer were actually the president.  She’s completely out-of-touch with modern society, curses like a drunken sailor, is blatantly disrespectful to pretty much everyone and yet, we all cheered when she suddenly became the President of the United States.  Put it down to that hilarious scene between Selina and right hand man Gary in the bathroom when she finds out the big news.

1: Valerie Cherish – “The Comeback”

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All this woman really wants is to stay afloat in an industry where hot one day is cold the next and while Valerie (Lisa Kudrow) knows this first hand, she can’t keep herself away, even if it means playing a fictionalized version of herself in a HBO show written by a man who literally hates her.  And while Valerie and all her irksome habits have a way of pushing you aside, the vulnerability she lets seep out from time to time ultimately pull you back in.

Golden Globes 2015 Snubs, Surprises and Nominations

Scandal's Kerry Washington once again misses out on a nomination.
Scandal’s Kerry Washington once again misses out on a nomination.

There’s a whole lot of WTF floating around social media and Hollywood at the moment and it’s all aimed around the recent Golden Globe nominations announced today.  The general consensus is that is a mix of “did they finally get it right?” and “Did [insert name here] really miss out again?”.

This years nominations brought fourth a change in what to expect for nominees.  No Modern Family (gasp) nominations, new shows such as How to get away with Murder and Transparent finding themselves with big time nods, Game of Thrones’s Peter Dinklage mysteriously absent from the list and a small show about virgins getting everyone talking thanks to two serious nominations.

Along with Modern Family’s surprise omission, Scandal and star Kerry Washington were both amiss along with favorite Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and even Park’s and Recreation lead (and Globes host- AND last years winner for best actress in a comedy) Amy Poehler missed out.

Other notable omissions include Big Bang’s Jim Parsons (nominated three times with one win) and HBO’s Veep which only landed a nom for lead Julia Louis-Dreyfus and just like last years best actress comedy winner Poehler, last years best actor comedy winner – Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine Nine) is also missing from the list.

Perhaps (to me) the biggest omission is any mention of Lisa Kudrow and The Comeback.  How is it possible that Kudrow, who has the inane ability to play both hysterical and utterly tragic, not even get a look in for her work as the completely jaded Valerie Cherish?

Moving along from the snubs, perhaps the biggest surprise this year is the inclusion on the CW’s Jane The Virgin.  The show picked up two nominations (best lead actress comedy and best comedy) and is the first time the network has ever received a nomination. While I’m yet to indulge in the world of Jane and her virginity, the general feeling around these nominations is one of good and much deserved – perhaps I may need to binge this over the Xmas break!

Check out the full list of nominee’s below. (I’ve underlined my suggested wins)

Best TV Series, Drama
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
The Affair
Game Of Thrones
House of Cards
Good Wife, The
Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Viola Davis
(How to Get Away With Murder)
Claire Danes
(Homeland)
Julianna Margulies
(The Good Wife)
Robin Wright
(House of Cards)
Ruth Wilson
(The Affair)
Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Kevin Spacey
(House of Cards)
Clive Owen
(The Knick)
James Spader
(The Blacklist)
Dominic West
(The Affair)
Liev Schreiber
(Ray Donovan)
Best TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Orange is the New Black
Girls
Jane The Virgin
Transparent
Silicon Valley
Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
(Veep)
Edie Falco
(Nurse Jackie)
Gina Rodriguez
(Jane The Virgin)
Lena Dunham
(Girls)
Taylor Schilling
(Orange is the New Black)
Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle
(House of Lies)
William H. Macy
(Shameless)
Ricky Gervais
(Derek)
Jeffrey Tambor
(Transparent)
Louie C.K.
(Louie)
Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie
Jessica Lange
(American Horror Story: Freak Show)
Maggie Gyllenhaal
(The Honorable Woman)
Frances McDormand
(Olive Kitteridge)
Allison Tolman
(Fargo)
Frances O’Connor
(The Missing)
Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie
Martin Freeman
(Fargo)
Matthew McConaughey
(True Detective)
Woody Harrelson
(True Detective)
Billy Bob Thornton
(Fargo)
Mark Ruffalo
(The Normal Heart)
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Kathy Bates
(American Horror Story: Freak Show)
Uzo Aduba
(Orange is the New Black)
Joanne Froggatt
(Downton Abbey)
Michelle Monaghan
(True Detective)
Allison Janney
(Mom)
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Bill Murray
(Olive Kitteridge)
Jon Voight
(Ray Donovan)
Matt Bomer
(The Normal Heart)
Alan Cumming
(The Good Wife)
Colin Hanks
(Fargo)

The Golden Globes will be handed out on Sunday Jan 11th 2015.

HBO Lead SAG Award Nominations

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HBO has once again taken lead with the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations among all networks with the cable channel walking away with 14 nominations thanks to standouts like The Normal Heart, Veep and Game of Thrones.

ABC’s Modern Family will try for a record breaking fifth win in the best ensemble comedy category while first time nominee’s include the often over-looked Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and surprise entry for How to get away with murder‘s Viola Davis.

Check out the full list of the TV nominations below. (I’ve underlined my picks for the win)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
ADRIEN BRODY / Harry Houdini – “HOUDINI” (History)
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / Sherlock Holmes – “SHERLOCK: HIS LAST VOW” (PBS)
RICHARD JENKINS / Henry Kitteridge – “OLIVE KITTERIDGE” (HBO)
MARK RUFFALO / Ned Weeks – “THE NORMAL HEART” (HBO)
BILLY BOB THORNTON / Lorne Malvo – “FARGO” (FX)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
ELLEN BURSTYN / Olivia Foxworth – “FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC” (Lifetime)
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL / Nessa Stein – “THE HONORABLE WOMAN” (Sundance TV)
FRANCES McDORMAND / Olive Kitteridge – “OLIVE KITTERIDGE” (HBO)
JULIA ROBERTS / Dr. Emma Brookner – “THE NORMAL HEART” (HBO)
CICELY TYSON / Carrie Watts – “THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL” (Lifetime)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
STEVE BUSCEMI / Enoch “Nucky” Thompson – “BOARDWALK EMPIRE” (HBO)
PETER DINKLAGE / Tyrion Lannister – “GAME OF THRONES” (HBO)
WOODY HARRELSON / Martin Hart – “TRUE DETECTIVE” (HBO)
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY / Rust Cohle – “TRUE DETECTIVE” (HBO)
KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (6 nominees)
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison – “HOMELAND” (Showtime)
VIOLA DAVIS / Annalise Keating – “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” (ABC)
JULIANNA MARGULIES / Alicia Florrick – “THE GOOD WIFE” (CBS)
TATIANA MASLANY / Sarah/Cosima/Alison/Rachel/Helena/Tony/Jennifer and Various Others – “ORPHAN BLACK” (BBC America)
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham – “DOWNTON ABBEY” (PBS)
ROBIN WRIGHT / Claire Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
TY BURRELL / Phil Dunphy – “MODERN FAMILY ” (ABC)
LOUIS C.K. / Louie – “LOUIE” (FX)
WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank Gallagher – “SHAMELESS” (Showtime)
JIM PARSONS / Sheldon Cooper – “THE BIG BANG THEORY” (CBS)
ERIC STONESTREET / Cameron Tucker – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren – “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” (Netflix)
JULIE BOWEN / Claire Dunphy – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton – “NURSE JACKIE” (Showtime)
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS / Vice President Selina Meyer – “VEEP” (HBO)
AMY POEHLER / Leslie Knope – “PARKS AND RECREATION” (NBC)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
BOARDWALK EMPIRE (HBO)
DOWNTON ABBEY (PBS)                                                                           GAME OF THRONES (HBO)                                                               HOMELAND (Showtime)                                                                HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

THE BIG BANG THEORY (CBS)                                                        BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (FOX)                                                   MODERN FAMILY (ABC)                                                           ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK (Netflix)                                          VEEP (HBO)

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Screen Actors Guild 51st Annual Life Achievement Award
DEBBIE REYNOLDS

The SAG Awards hill be handed out on Sunday Jan 25th, 2015.

Homeland S04xE10 ’13 Hours in Islamabad’ Explosive Episode

Mark Moses as Denis Boyd
Mark Moses as Denis Boyd

Dana Brody, it’s time to take off your crown as Homeland’s most hated character and give it to the sniveling and meek and rage inspiring Dennis Boyd. Thanks to Dennis’s fine work stealing secrets and trading information with I.S.I double agent Tasneem (Nimrat Kaur), Homeland’s ninth episode of series four left us all wondering who survived the R.P.G attack on the convoy bringing Saul back to the C.I.A headquarters.

Carrie (Claire Danes), Redmond (Michael O’Keefe) and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) were all in the convoy attacked by the blasts while Quinn (Rupert Friend), Ambassador Martha Boyd (Laila Robins) and secret trading husband Denis were all inside the C.I.A – which had just been breached by Haqqini (Numan Acar) and his men….All thanks to Denis.

So, are Carrie, Saul and Redmond alive?  Did they survive the attack?  The New York Daily News published some photos from the filming showing a bloodied Carrie and Saul surrounded by bomb damaged black vans.

In both pictures (published Nov 3rd) Carrie and Saul are wounded though there is no sign of Redmond who was travelling with the two at the time of the attack.

The official synopsis for the episode: “The security breach at the Embassy has far reaching consequences.”

Homeland continues Sunday December 7th on Showtime (USA) and Monday Dec 8th on Network 10 (AUS)

First Look: Homeland Season 4 Trailer

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Carrie (Claire Danes) is minus the baby bump when Showtimes Homeland resumes in October. Source: Provided

 Showtime has just dropped the the first look trailer for Homeland’s eagerly awaited fourth season and judging by the promo, it looks like things are starting to get back to the Homeland we knew and loved.

Well sort of.

Let’s not forget now that shocking season three finale which saw Brody (Damian Lewis) hanged while Carrie (Claire Danes) looked on in horror, unable to save the man she loves, so obviously, there’ll be no Brody this time round!

 Check out the trailer below.

As you can see, Carrie is back at work with the CIA but you’re also probably wondering about her being pregnant and all right?

Showrunner Alex Gansa revealed to Entertainment Weekly recently that Season 4 picks up six months after we left off. Carrie has had the baby, but they’d “rather not give away where the kid is, but … one of the reasons [Carrie has] found herself in Afghanistan and Pakistan is it’s a place where you’re disallowed from bringing a dependent.”

One can only assume Carrie’s sister may have taken to looking after the baby while Carrie is off in Afghanistan doing what she does best.

Are you excited about Homeland’s return?  Will it be the same without Brody and his relationship with Carrie?  Sound off in the comments below!

Homeland Season 4 premieres October 5 on Showtime with Channel 10 expected to fast-track shortly thereafter!

Homeland: Where To Go From Here

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Didier Baverel/Showtime

Feeling more like a series end rather than a season end, espionage thriller Homeland closed out it’s season three with a rather emotional and sometimes difficult to watch finale that is diving viewers right down the middle.

In an often frustrating to watch season three, Homeland saw Carrie (Claire Danes) pretending to be on bad grounds with the CIA while actually on a secret covert operation under the very watchful eye of Saul (Mandy Patinkin).  Saul, meanwhile, had hatched a plan of grandeur that involved inserting a high-level asset (Javadi) into the Iranian government and to bring Body (Damien Lewis) back into the United States.  Brody himself, was under suspicion as being the CIA bomber that killed over 100 CIA agents and after his innocence was proven, was tasked to return to the marines in order to assassinate the current Iranian high ranking officer, allowing Javadi to take over.

Somewhere in the middle of all that, there is Quinn (Rupert Friend) dealing with his demons after the accidental shooting of an innocent child and Brody’s family – Jessica (Morena Baccarin) and Dana (Morgan Saylor) dealing with the aftermath of Dana’s suicide attempt.

IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE FINALE THEN STOP READING!

I’m pretty sure, even as it was starting to begin, I was hoping that something would happen to stop Brody’s death.  A bomb, a military attack, the crane used to hang Brody breaks down, but in the end, we, the viewers, actually felt as hopeless as Carrie did, watching Brody being executed for his assassination on General Akbari.  All their work together, hers with Saul and with Brody, was all in vain as it ultimately led to Brody’s death.  Did Javadi need Brody to ensure his election into the Iranian Government?  Yes.  Was Dar Adal (F.Murray Abraham) right to go against Saul’s original command to extract Brody and Carrie and inform Javadi of their whereabouts?  Yes.

So where does Homeland go from here?  Saul has moved from the CIA to the public sector and he and Mira (Sarita Choudhury) have moved to New York while a heavily pregnant Carrie has been offered station chief in Istanbul and wants to give the baby up for adoption.  It’s already been confirmed that both Morena Baccarin (Jessica Brody) and Morgan Saylor (Dana Brody) are not returning for the new season (though their contracts remain open for guest appearances) as the show moves away from the Brody story line and should focus more on Carrie’s new position as station chief in Istanbul and I’d also expect her to bring Quinn along with her.  As for Saul, Dar Adal did hint that Saul may return to the CIA if Senator Lockwood (Tracy Letts) came begging and I would be surprised if that situation did not reveal itself in season 4.

Homeland returns for season 4 in mid 2014.

Top OMG TV Moments of 2013

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

RICK SENDS CAROL PACKING: The Walking Dead

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

TRAVIS AND LAURIE KISS: Cougar Town

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

THE BIG TWIST: Homeland

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

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

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

THAT TAMPON SANDWICH: Orange Is The New Black

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

DEBRA MORGAN DIES: Dexter

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

RAYMOND DENIES BEING LIZ’S FATHER: The Blacklist

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

THE BOMB: Home and Away

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

HELENA CUTS OFF OLIVER’S TAIL: Orphan Black

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

TULLY CHEATS ON HER GIRLFRIEND: Big Brother

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

MATT AND KIM’S FIRST ROOM REVEAL: The Block

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

THE RED WEDDING: Game Of Thrones

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

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.