Tag Archives: UnReal

Best of 2016: TV Characters

Standing out is hard to do in a television land that is as wide and varied as it is today.  In most cases, it’s the lead who takes front and center and other times, it’s those side characters who just pull you in and make you love them.

From an actress and a single mother trying to balance work and home life to a brassy best friend who tells it like it is to a family keeping many secrets to an actress blurring the lines between acting and reality, check out my list of the 12 best TV Characters for 2016.

12: Doris (Ali Wong) – American Housewife [New Entry]

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Playing on her ‘non threatening Asian diversity’ within the snooty town of Westport, Doris (Ali Wong) has been able to share the dismissive views of best friend Katie (Katy Mixon) while also being able to mingle with the popular green-smoothie-drinking fit moms, who Katie literally hates.  Doris has no qualms about pushing her take-no-prisoners, hands on approach to parenting (which involves lots of yelling and eating strange meats in broth) onto Katie’s children.

11: Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) – American Crime Story [New Entry]

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Finding herself playing in the big league with the OJ Simpson trial, Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson) found herself facing a giant brick wall right from the go.  From her personal dealings of a crumbling marriage and a nasty custody battle to how she dressed and did her hair for court, Clark, it seems was never going to win.  Thrust into the public eye, Paulson’s Clark offered up a deeper and thoughtful look into the most talked about woman of the time that was often overlooked for lesser, inessential topics.

10: The Morgans – Home and Away [New Entry]

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When Tori Morgan (Penny McNamee) first appeared in Summer Bay as the new doctor, none of us were prepared for the overloaded baggage she was hiding – her and her brothers (James Stewart, Jackson Heywood and Orpheus Pledger) were in witness protection.  Their parents killed by top dogs within a drug syndicate, their covers were blown, had no one they could trust and faced having to run again.  The Morgans added a major dash of drama to the bay that has been sorely missing since Charlotte’s (Erika Heynatz) murder last year.

9: Darryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) – The Walking Dead [Re-Entry from 2014]

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The confident, lone wolf we’ve all come to love has been through the wringer this season on The Walking Dead.  His lash out at Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) resulted in the death of good friend Glenn (Steven Yuen) and subsequently saw him taken into Negan’s custody, thrown into an isolation cell and tortured in an attempt to break him.  Holding onto the grief and guilt of Glenn’s death is the only thing keeping Darryl sane while being tortured.

8: Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) – Game of Thrones [New Entry]

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The pint sized warrior, the Lady of Bear Island Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) proved herself to be a formidable leader as she held the cards to back Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Sansa Starks’ (Sophie Turner) attack on Ramsey Bolton to reclaim Winterfell.  Her blistering speech to the bickering houses of Manderley, Glover and Cerwyn showed that while Jon may have finally killed Ramsey, Lyanna is the one who has become the people’s champ and a force to be reckoned with.

7: Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) – Wentworth [New Entry]

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With all focus this past season on Joan (Pamela Rabe) entering Wentworth as a prisoner, the side story arc to this season featuring the blossoming romance between Bea (Danielle Cormack) and Allie (Kate Jenkinson) showed a more open yet vulnerable side to the prison top dog.  While the relationship was used to expose Bea’s weaknesses to both Joan and Kaz (Tammy Macintosh), this relationship ultimately proved to be Bea’s strength, believing Joan had given Allie an overdose, she sacrificed herself to put Joan behind bars for a very long time.

6: Agnes Mary Winstead (Kathy Bates) – American Horror Story: Roanoke [New Entry]

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While the premise for this latest season of American Horror Story was fantastic, the second half of the season became a total mess with one shinning mark – that of Agnes Mary Winstead (Kathy Bates) AKA – The Butcher.  Agnes’ became a victim of her own sudden rise to fame after My Roanoke Nightmare became a massive television hit and earned herself a Saturn Award best actress nomination.  After delving right into the role of The Butcher, Agnes was diagnosed with  schizoaffective disorder, unable to distinguish between fact and fiction and wholly embodied the woman with a penchant for meat cleavers.

5: Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) – Game of Thrones [New Entry]

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Season 6 of GoT was one full of loss for Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as he mourned the death of his daughter Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) and was removed from his position in the Kingsguard by his own son Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) who, later on, also died taking his own life after his mother Cersei (Lena Headey) set alight half of Kings Landing.  Discovering that the woman he loves was responsible for the act that pushed Tommen to take his own life looks set to push Jamie into darker personal territory as he struggles with alliance next season.

4: Bonnie Winterbottom (Liza Weil) – How to get away with Murder [#8 in 2015]

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We’ve seen Bonnie (Liza Weil) fall back into old habits this past season of How to get Away With Murder as she continuously battled with boss Annalise (Viola Davis) over the treatment of Annalise’s former right hand man Frank (Charlie Weber) now on the run after his murderous past was fully revealed.  With Laurel (Lauren Velez) and Annalise trying to find Frank, Bonnie took it upon herself to track him down and try and coax him back after discovering he had killed her abusive father leading the two to spend a very intense and revealing night together.

3: Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon) – Better Things [New Entry]

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There’s no high glamour or Hollywood high life when it comes to Better Things‘ Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon).  She’s not a struggling actress but she’s also not readily recognized on the street by the everyday person.  She’s an actress and it’s her job and it’s this level of fame she attains while also a single mother to three girls, all of whom require a bulk of her attention to make it through each and every day, that makes Sam relatable.  Woman on the verge…..perhaps.  Woman trying to get a minute to have ‘dirty facetime’ with a recent hookup..seems to fit better when describing Sam Fox.

2: Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) – Stranger Things [New Entry]

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Joyce Byers (in a defining comeback role for Winona Ryder) is a single mother, relatively poor and wanting answers regarding her missing son Will (Noah Schnapp).  Her less than affluent standing within the small town of Hawkins, Indiana has the locals not believing her son has gone missing, but despite her lack of influence within the town, she challenges each and every person – right up-to the Police Chief.

When she discovers she can communicate with her missing son through lights, Joyce finds a confidence and a voice to believe in what she is doing is actually real despite the constant knock downs from those telling her, her son is dead.

1: Quinn King (Constance Zimmer) – UnReal [#2 in 2015]

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Walking into season two of UnReal (and the new season of Everlasting) shouting the motto “MONEY, DICK, POWER!!” and ready to hand over the reigns of Everlasting to Rachel (Shiri Appleby) Quinn (Constance Zimmer) found herself not ready to let go when former boss Chet (Craig Bierko) returned to the fray looking to take control back of ‘his’ show. Quinn’s battle to maintain a hold on the show all came to a head in the fourth episode when she learns her father has died and only able to internalize her pain for a short while, Quinn literally opens the biggest can of whoop-ass ever seen.  No one, not even the studio office was saved from her scathing breakdown that saw her literally throw monitors across the room.

But Quinn is a quick one to recover.  She’s a smart ballsy woman who has this inane ability to see the knife coming before it hits her back and has a counter-attack already in play by the time that knife is on it’s way down.  By the end of the season, Quinn retained control of Everlasting and her Money, Dick, Power relationship with Rachel was as strong as it started out at seasons start.

 

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Best of 2016: TV Shows

How does one pick just 12 TV shows to make a “best of” list without going insane?!  It’s a struggle I had last year and with an influx of impressive new shows, it doesn’t get any easier.  That said, I chained myself to my desk, a list was made, shows were culled and now here it is, my Best of 2016 TV Shows list.

12: American Crime Story Season 1 [New Entry]

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There was going to be no shock surprises with how this real life re-telling of the sensational OJ Simpson case ended yet somehow, we all watched with baited breath to see what was coming next.  What made this series so exciting to watch comes down to the genius casting and slick handling of how this story was told.  Sarah Paulson as lawyer Marcia Clark, Cuba Gooding Jnr as OJ Simpson and John Travolta as Robert Shapiro equaled perfect casting and played so well along the story telling that at times we flitted between feeling for Clark and her battle to win what should have been an open and shut case and Simpson who, while clearly guilty, was dealing with the possibility of losing everything his glorified sporting career had gotten him.  In the 90’s the OJ Simpson trial was must-watch TV and today, American Crime Story was also must-watch TV.

11: The Exorcist Season 1 [New Entry]

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It was a big effort for the supernatural show breathing new life into the timeless horror classic but with surprising plot twists, impressive special effects, strong story lines and the star power of Geena Davis, The Exorcist has managed to deliver a show worthy to sit among the Exorcist timeline.

10: Grace and Frankie Season 2 [#10 in 2015]

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It was a very strong and solid outing for the second season of this Netflix comedy starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin about two 60+ year old women facing life as singles after their husbands them them for each other..  Feeling much more confident in this outing, Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) deal with the fallout of Sol (Sam Waterston) and Roberts (Martin Sheen) relationship breakdown.  The topic of mortality was often seen throughout the season, especially towards the back end of the season in which a touching story line involving a long time friend suffering from terminal cancer decides to end things on her own terms.

9: American Housewife Season 1 [New Entry]

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This light-hearted comedy about a middle class family living a fish-out-of-water life in the rich Connecticut town of Westport hit many funny notes in its first outing.  A family based comedy at heart, topics of body image, fitting in and making the most out what life has handed to you featured heavily throughout the season all while never taking itself too seriously.  Katie Otto’s (Katy Mixon) friend time spent with  Doris (Ali Wong) make up a large portion of what makes this a great show to watch.

8: Australia’s Next Top Model Cycle 10 [New Entry]

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Celebrating 10 seasons, the model search reality show competition pulled out all stops from the addition of Megan Gale to the judging panel to an impressive line-up of worthy competitors to the guest list of world famous models (Elle McPherson and Miranda Kerr to name a few) that popped up along the way to offer some sound advice.  The photo shoots were more glamorous and the resulting photos even more stunning.   While the scoring system still remains the shows biggest downfall, this recent cycle proved why our version of this show remains one of the best in the world.

7: How to Get Away With Murder Season 3 [#4 in 2015]

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Another season, another murder, another set of flashbacks bringing us to a spine tingling revelation, surrounded by weekly court cases.  It’s a solid system that works for the legal/murder drama but season three changed things up by killing off one of the series main stars in a glorious and shocking mid season finale while tying in major events that had occurred throughout the first two seasons bringing everything together in one very neat package.

6: Wentworth Season 4 [#7 in 2015]

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Bringing Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson into the walls of Wentworth prison was not this season’s shining glory.  While it played out nicely over the season and created one heck of a finale, it was the Bea Smith (Danielle Cormack) and Allie Novak (Kate Jenkinson) romance that really spurred this season along.  The tender yet volatile relationship between the hard as nails ‘top dog’ and prison junkie was put to the test by both Joan and Kaz Proctor (Tammy Macintosh) that it ended up with such brutal heartache.

5: Better Things Season 1 [New Entry]

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Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon) is a working actress, mother to three daughters and a woman with not enough time on her hands.  Better Things had no big fanfare around it’s premiere, instead relying on very strong story telling revolving around the circle of motherhood and powerful performances from lead Adlon and her on-screen offspring (Hannah Alligood, Olivia Edward, and Mikey Madison).  There’s also a list of brilliant cameos from David Duchovny to Constance Zimmer to Julie Bowen and Lenny Kravitz.  If one needs to know more, just watch the season one finale titled “Only Women Bleed” where Sam comes across all kinds of obstacles just getting her three daughters dressed and ready for school before dealing with a very real and confronting personal situation involving her middle daughter Frankie.  It’s pretty much a perfect half hour of television.

4: The Walking Dead Season 7 [New Entry]

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Controversial choice considering the backlash from fans with the introduction of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the very graphic deaths of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yuen).  This season of TWD has once again split our survivors into multiple groups, each of which are discovering have all had the same dealings with the bat wielding pack leader.  From Ricks’ (Andrew Lincoln) submission to Negan to Darryl (Norman Reedus) playing prisoner to Carol (Melissa McBride) unsuccessfully going it on the road alone, the tension and raw emotion has never been higher.

3: Ink Master Season 8 – Peck Vs Nunez [New Entry]

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How to change up a slightly stale reality competition series without bringing back past fan favorite contestants over and over?  Do it the Ink Master way!  Pitting judges Oliver Peck and Chris Nunez against each other with hand picked teams of tattoo artists has breathed new life into this show, boasting a massive line up of contestants that were being eliminated from day dot.  The flash challenges have been more interesting, the tattooing more intense and the girl power all female alliance – never seen before on Ink Master – has proven to be one of the greatest alliances ever on the series and put two females (Ryan Ashley Malarkey and Kelly Doty) into the live finale.  Another season like this is highly recommended!

2: Stranger Things Season 1 [New Entry]

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Most of us were instantly drawn into this Netflix series just off the awesomely authentic 80’s synthesized opening theme.  It played so well into this tale of medical experiments, a missing child, a seriously creepy ‘underworld’ and a nameless little girl trying to survive – all set in the mid 1980’s.  The flash and meme worthy series (Barb anyone?!) offered up cover-ups and government conspiracies, utter scares and touching moments given by pretty much all over the main cast.

1: UnReal Season 2 [#2 in 2015]

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Always a sketchy move coming off a bumper first series but UnReal kept doing what it does best – offering up must-watch TV that is smartly written and skillfully acted.  Rachel (Shiri Appebey) goes fully fledged into girl power territory by becoming BFF’s with her boss Quinn (Constance Zimmer) after the breakup of her romance with season one bachelor Adam (Freddie Stroma) and makes the bold move to introduce Everlasting’s first ever black suitor in NFL quarterback Darius Beck (B.J Britt).  The perusing episodes throughout the season slam into us like a steamroller on steroids as Rachel and Quinn constantly butt heads and egos, both trying to take control of the show and climb up the Hollywood glass ladder.

 

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.

 

 

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!

UnReal Feels Very Real

Quinn (Constance Zimmer) tells it like it is.  Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime
                       Quinn (Constance Zimmer) tells it like it is. Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime

To put it bluntly, the second season of The Bachelor Australia was a complete catastrophe – well once the season had ended actually.  From “dirty street pies” to back-stabbing and enough tears to re-hydrate outback Australia, the season was actually well cast and well crafted but left ‘The Bachelor’ – Blake Garvey, walking out on his chosen woman Sam Frost, then igniting a relationship with a contestant booted off earlier in the season and finally being titled “the most hated man in Australia”.

Said Garvey in an interview with smh.com.au back in February, “What’s more likely, that I managed to somehow fool an army of producers, 31 women and continually kept fooling the most switched-on woman I’ve ever met, and her family, or was someone playing it up a bit?”

So was it?  Was it scripted, was it spur of the moment decisions……

Which brings me to a little/amazing drama by Lifetime/A&E Networks (and currently airing on Stan in Australia) titled UnReal. A ‘fictitious’ and viscous look at the workings behind the scenes on a bachelor-esque show titled ‘Everlasting’ where camera ready women vie for the heart of a good-looking wealthy man – all with the help of some underhanded and (probably) unethical advice from back-end crew led by executive producer Quinn King (Constance Zimmer)

Drama between the women is created, controlled and contorted by Quinn’s crew of hard working and cash inspired producers including the mentally-unstable-but-sorta-self-healing Rachel (Shiri Appleby) who returns to the new season of Everlasting after a severe mental breakdown at the high rated season one finale – created by the demands of her job mixed with the self loathsome growing inside her regarding how good she is at manipulating the women and drama on the show (she’s really good at her job).

An exclusive dinner with our prince charming leads to drama.  Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime
An exclusive dinner with our prince charming leads to drama. Photo: James Dittiger/Lifetime

Rachel’s up-and-down emotional struggle is even more so visible when compared to Quinn who has virtually zero regard for any of the women and their mental well-being on the show – she’s all about what will being eyes to Everlasting, ensuring all the right strings are being pulled and that certain women (such as the villain or the MILF) are sent home at the right time, but she’s also dealing with personal issues surrounding a not-so-secret affair with Everlasting’s creator Chet (Craig Bierko) whom she’s waiting to start her life with, you know, once he leaves his current wife…..It’s actually quite amusing to watch Quinn be so emotionless when it comes to creating a show about finding true love when personally, she’s waiting for a marriage to dissolve to make herself happy.

All the focus however isn’t solely on Quinn and Rachel as we’re brought into the world of Everlasting and get to meet a handful of the women looking for love including the shy virgin Faith (Breeda Wool), battered single mother Mary (Ashley Scott) and nice-as-pie Anna (Johanna Braddy) who flit in and out of focus depending on just how visible Quinn wants them to be.

Of the leads, Constance Zimmer gives warmth to the stone cold Quinn we’re supposed to secretly hate.  She’s quick off the mark with insults and threats yet behind closed doors there is a woman wanting to be loved.  Imagine if you will a Miranda Priestly, but without the killer wardrobe.  Shiri Appleby’s Rachel is channeling some form of a 90’s disheveled Laura San Giacomo with her tousled brown hair, denim jeans and zip-up hoodie.  Rachel is clearly a woman torn between staying afloat financially at any cost vs feeling good about trying to get a good soundbite out of a distressed woman just booted off the show.

Of the four episodes I binged on Saturday, I can easily say, I’ve become quite taken with this show.  The love for this show that had been flooding my twitter and Facebook feed forced me to give it a shot plus when Constance Zimmer tells me “I won’t regret” watching….I kinda had to.

It’s perfect timing for Stan to begin airing UnReal with the third season of The Bachelor Australia just starting.  If you watch and are a fan of The Bachelor, give UnReal a shot and see how it affects how you watch the match-making show.  If, like me, you don’t watch The Bachelor, watch UnReal for Constance, Shiri and the fact, this show is pretty darned cool!