May 23, 2017

News: Joss Whedon's Justice League; Chicago Justice cancelled; + more

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May 22, 2017

Review: Downward Dog 1x1 (US: ABC)

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Downward Dog

In the US: Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC

Downward Dog feels like an also-ran. When I was commenting last week how I was sure there were more new TV shows due our way soon, I was recalling from my write-up of last year's Upfronts that the show existed and was a mid-season replacement, and as mid-season was running out, surely Downward Dog had to be on on our screens soon (whither Still Star-Crossed?). 

More so, I wrote it up as "A dog comments on a woman's life", in part because of Imaginary Mary, which I wrote up as "An imaginary friend comments on a woman's life". It was clearly not just a second tier show, but a second tier show following in the wake of a near identical second tier show on the exact same network, but without even the benefit of Imaginary Mary's Jenna Elfman, making it probably a fifth tier show at best. 

Or so I thought. 

Based on a web series of the same name, Downward Dog sees Fargo's Allison Tolman playing some sort of creative in advertising. She puts together presentations for ad campaigns anyway. Whatever it is she does, it doesn't make her happy, in part because her boss Barry Rothbart (The Wolf of Wall Street) thinks he's a feminist but is really a mansplainer who'll go for any ad campaign containing French words and nudity.

Her personal life? Even less happy, since she's broken up from her boyfriend Lucas Neff (Raising Hope) and spends most of her nights in, crying to herself and drinking red wine.

Which cheers up her dog no end. That's quality time, he says. Because the conceit of Downward Dog is that her dog talks to camera, except rather than simply saying "Bunnies… food… meat… hugs… sleep" in continuous cycles, he talks to the camera like an emotionally hyperaware man talking to his therapist. He's still a dog, so doesn't understand that when Tolman drives off every morning, she's driving to work, not just having fun by herself. He doesn't think they're in a relationship either (thankfully), although they clearly have a relationship, and so 'Ned' spends most of his time dryly discussing what Tolman is doing wrong and how it affects him, his loneliness when she's out and so on. Oh yes, and the fact the neighbourhood cat (Lady Dynamite's Maria Bamford) is clearly a sociopath who wishes to destroy him emotionally.

So the show is of two halves. The workplace half is pretty ordinary stuff, with the standard Working Girl approach to work, with Tolman discovering her inner strength with the help of both Ned and gal pal Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Love), after being kept down by her boss. The far more interesting half is Ned and his commentary - perhaps unsurprisingly, as that's the core of the web series. At times, that's genuinely funny, although it's not until the dream sequence at the end that there was a real, life-out-loud moment. 

It's gentle, but human stuff that dog owners will probably find funnier than the pet-less will. It's smart, although not so much that you'll hear dozens of philosophical nuggets you'll have never heard of before. Downward Dog is nothing hugely remarkable, but for a fifth-tier, Jenna Elfman-less, mid-season ABC replacement, it's a lot better than it should be.

News: Nick Frost is Captain Pugwash; Germany/Austria's own Bridge; Trial & Error renewed; + more

Posted yesterday at 06:18 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Film casting

European TV

Scandinavian TV

New UK TV show casting

  • Hugh Grant to star in BBC One's A Very English Scandal

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

  • Freeform's black-ish spin-off to be called college-ish

May 19, 2017

When's that show you mentioned starting again, TMINE? Including The Handmaid's Tale and The Kennedys: Decline and Fall

Posted 3 days ago at 16:29 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Every Friday, I let you know the latest announcements about when new, imported TV shows will finally be arriving on UK screens - assuming anyone's bought anything, of course.

No new acquisitions, this week, I'm afraid. But we do have a couple of premiere dates.

The Handmaid's Tale (US: Hulu; UK: AmazonChannel 4)
Sunday, May 28, 9pm
Episode reviews: 1-3, 4, 5

The Kennedys: Decline and Fall (US: Reelz; UK: Channel 5)
Monday, May 29, 9pm

Trailer for FX's Snowfall

Posted 4 days ago at 07:11 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

FX had its upfronts ages ago. Obviously unwilling to be left out of all of this week's fun, though, it's just released a trailer for its new drama Snowfall, which airs in July. Created by John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood), Snowfall's set in Los Angeles in 1983 and focuses on the city's first crack epidemic and the impact on the city's culture.

The CW's trailers for the Fall 2017-8 season

Posted 4 days ago at 06:55 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's the end of Upfronts week proper and although it's been an untraditional time, we end traditionally with The CW. Home to no fewer than four superhero shows and programming aimed at young women, don't be too surprised that the network's doubling down on those viewers. But it looks like it's also trying to branch out by jumping on this year's biggest trend: military shows. Although with its own twist.

After the jump then:

  • Life Sentence: Lucy Hale's told she's going to die, acts like she's going to die… then doesn't. So, then she has to live with the consequences of her actions.
  • Dynasty: Reboot of the 80s soap
  • Valor: Special ops mission goes wrong, and the CIA is tasked with investigating. But is there more going on than that?
  • Black Lightning: Retired superhero returns to the fight

Continue reading "The CW's trailers for the Fall 2017-8 season"

News: Diana & I; Ronny Chieng, The Dark Crystal prequel trailers; + more

Posted 4 days ago at 06:22 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Amber Heard as Mera in Aquaman

Internet TV

  • Teaser for Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

International TV

  • Richard Madden, Holiday Grainger and Anneika Rose join Channel 4 (UK)/Amazon's Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams

Australian TV

  • Trailer for ABC's Ronny Chieng: International Student

New UK TV shows

  • BBC Two green lights: Princess Diana death drama Diana & I, with Tamsin Greig, Neil Morrissey, John Gordon Sinclair et al

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

  • Diandra Lyle to recur on Paramount Network's American Woman

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May 18, 2017

CBS's trailers for the Fall 2017-8 season

Posted 5 days ago at 13:31 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Despite not being the one-ton gorilla, clobbering the other networks in the ratings with ease, that it was a decade ago, CBS is still punching away. Its secret? Despite the occasional dalliance with diversity and youth programming, it's still the home of shows beloved by white old people: multi-cam comedies and conservative procedurals about white men.

Have a guess what it's got for you this year.

  • 9JKL - family living next door to each other
  • Young SheldonBig Bang Theory prequel
  • Me, Myself and I - one man's life examined over a 50-year span
  • Seal Team - Navy SEALs doing sealy things
  • SWAT - reboot of the 70s TV series about cops with very big guns
  • Wisdom of the Crowd - tech innovator creates a crowdsourcing hub to solve his own daughter's murder

Americans - there are lovely trailers for all them awaiting you after the jump. Everyone else: some of those videos won't work for you, so you'll have to make do with this for the rest.

Continue reading "CBS's trailers for the Fall 2017-8 season"

CBS All Access's trailer for Star Trek: Discovery

Posted 5 days ago at 13:19 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

CBS All Access is a slight oddity, being a network in its own right making its own exclusive programming yet still being an adjunct of an existing broadcast network, CBS. So it doesn't get a separate upfronts presentation from CBS proper, yet does have its own programmes - but is too small to do much better than TNT and other smaller networks. 

Which is basically my way of saying I'll do CBS programmes in a bit but you can have this shiny trailer for CBS All Access's one new, but highly anticipated programme. International viewers (including the UK) will be able to watch it on Netflix.

Star Trek: Discovery
A prequel to the voyages of Star Trek's USS Enterprise, in which Commander Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) gets her own command of the Discovery. Also features Doug Jones, Jason Isaac and Michelle Yeoh as Burnham’s mentor.

The series will premiere on CBS, with all subsequent episodes available on CBS All Access. It is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout, Bryan Fuller’s Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. EPs are Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Heather Kadin, Gretchen J Berg & Aaron Harberts, Akiva Goldsman, Rod Roddenberry and Trevor Roth.

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TNT's trailer for The Alienist

Posted 5 days ago at 13:13 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

As is traditional with the minor networks, TNT's Upfronts presentation this week was a pretty sparse affair, largely about announcements for future shows, rather than shows already in production. In fact, I covered virtually all the bones of it in this morning's news.

However, TNT did have one new scripted programme to show off.

The Alienist
Psychological thriller based on the Anthony Award-winning bestseller by Caleb Carr. Set in 1896 amidst the vast wealth, extreme poverty and technological innovation of New York during the Gilded Age, the series follows the hunt for a serial killer responsible for the gruesome murders of boy prostitutes. Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning and Brian Geraghty star. 

Currently shooting in Budapest, the series is helmed by BAFTA-nominated director Jakob Verbruggen (Black Mirror). Douglas Smith, Matthew Shear, Matt Lintz, Robert Wisdom and Q’orianka Kilcher also star.

The series is is a co-production of Paramount Television and Turner’s Studio T, with Verbruggen, Cary Fukunaga, Eric Roth, Hossein Amini, E. Max Frye and Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Rosal ie Swedlin serving as executive producers, and Marshall Persinger and Jamie Payne as co-executive producers.

Stephen Amell: American Ninja Warrior

Posted 5 days ago at 11:11 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Although he doesn't do the 'salmon ladder' every episode any more, Arrow's Stephen Amell still quite fit and does a lot of his own stunts. So much so, he's wanted to take part in American Ninja Warrior for ages.

Well, he's finally getting his chance on the US version of Red Nose Day, and it seems like he's actually quite good at it…

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News: Arrested Development, Rosehaven renewed; Training Day, Pure Genius cancelled; + more

Posted 5 days ago at 06:21 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Internet TV

International TV

Australian TV

UK TV

  • Martin Compston to guest on ITV's Victoria
  • Sky green lights: Florida trailer park comedy Living The Dream with Philip Glenister, Lesley Sharp and Paula Wilcox

US TV

New US TV shows

New US TV shows casting

May 17, 2017

Weekly Wonder Woman: Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 #12, Wonder Woman #22

Posted 6 days ago at 16:16 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Justice League banner

With just a couple of weeks until the movie is released, it's full steam ahead for the Wonder Woman tie-ins and advertising. There's a new banner poster (above) that also ties in with the Justice League movie coming later this year. Times Square in New York has also been pretty comprehensively taken over by Wonder Woman billboards:

Times Square Wonder Woman billboards

In terms of merchandise, there's a new HeroClix set, a new flavour of ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery, a Dr Pepper tie-in, and a special Her Universe fashion line.

To coincide with Mother's Day last Sunday in the US, some new images and featurettes were released. As June 3 is also 'Wonder Woman day', a whole bunch of celebrations have been announced as well, including a whole week of activities leading up to that.

Since China's obviously a big market for movies these days, don't be surprised that there's some Chinese-specific advertising, including a new anime-style poster and a trailer that contains a big hint about… something.

Wonder Woman Chinese Poster

Meanwhile, back in the world of comics, it's business as usual. In our now-traditional DC rewrite of continuity, Dan Jurgens has made it clear that all those bits in the nu52 where Superman and Wonder Woman were a couple - you know, like Superman/Wonder Woman - have been erased from the Rebirth universe and never happened. Even the bits that everyone in the Rebirth universe still remembered happening just a few issues ago. Like Superman/Wonder Woman.

As for actual comics you could read, two titles from last week to look at that featured our Diana: the concluding (?) issue of Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 and Wonder Woman #22, in which Diana goes on a date with Veronica Cale. For money. More on that after the jump.

Continue reading "Weekly Wonder Woman: Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 #12, Wonder Woman #22"

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ABC trailers for the Fall 2017-18 season

Posted 6 days ago at 07:05 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

We've had the teaser trailers for ABC's fall season already. But if that's not put you into a frenzy of excitement, imagine what full trailers for the new shows will do!

Imagine no more, because they're after the jump. As well as the shows featured on Monday, though, we've also got a trailer for Alex, Inc., in which Zach Braff starts his own business, and a teaser for the newly announced Roseanne reboot. You can watch that now, because it's basically just clips from the old series.

Continue reading "ABC trailers for the Fall 2017-18 season"

News: The New Pope; Channel 4 acquires The Handmaid's Tale; a Roseanne revival; + more

Posted 6 days ago at 06:21 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Film

International TV

UK TV

New UK TV show casting

  • Lara Pulver and David Morrissey to star in BBC Two adaptation of China Miéville's The City and The City

US TV

New US TV shows

May 16, 2017

What have you been watching? Including American Gods, Master of None, Lucifer and The Americans

Posted 6 days ago at 18:11 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently and your chance to recommend anything you've been watching.

That flood of new shows I was expected? Hasn't shown up. Hmmm. Wonder why. Anyway, we're still on a Tuesday because Sunday is still quite full, plus Upfronts week coverage took a bit of work to put together yesterday.

That means it's time to look at the regulars, including the latest episodes of American Gods, The Americans, Doctor Who, The Flash, Great News, The Handmaid's Tale, Lucifer and Silicon Valley. Netflix also released season two of Master of None on Friday and I've watched… an episode of it. So I can talk about that, at least, after the jump. See you in a mo. 

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including American Gods, Master of None, Lucifer and The Americans"

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More Fox trailers for the Fall 2017-8 season

Posted 7 days ago at 08:10 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Upfronts week continues and slightly uncharacteristically, the networks are releasing trailers for their new shows before as well as after their presentations. Yesterday, we looked at Fox's trailer for The Gifted, but now it's released a whole bunch more. 

So after the jump, take a gander at:

  • The Orville - Seth McFarlane's comedy Star Trek
  • The Resident Training Day with doctors
  • LA to Vegas - office comedy set on planes
  • Ghosted - comedy The X-Files

Continue reading "More Fox trailers for the Fall 2017-8 season"

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