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The Killing, The Quest, Sharknado 2 and Hell on Wheels; TV’s must-sees for the week of July 27

- July 27th, 2014

Sharknado 2

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of July 27:

1) The Killing
Debut of fourth and final season: Sarah (Mireille Enos) made a really questionable decision at the end of season three. She always has been really tough, but is she tough enough to live with what she did?
When: Friday on Netflix

2) Sharknado 2: The Second One
Debut: It’s fin-tastic. See it with a chum. More bite for your buck. Something to chew on. Give it a hand. Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are back to battle double shark storms headed for New York City.
When: Wednesday on Space

3) Hell on Wheels
Fourth-season debut: Awaiting the birth of his baby, Cullen (Anson Mount) toils under the thumb of The Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl), while Durant (Colm Meaney) feels the chill after an icy miscalculation.
When: Saturday on AMC

4) The Quest
Debut: This sounds like a reality-competition series for Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings geeks, as 12 contestants are transported into an imaginative realm, with ogres and dragons and a dark lord.
When: Thursday on ABC, City

5) Running Wild With Bear Grylls
Debut: Bear leads actor Zac Efron on a survival journey into the Northeast Appalachian mountain range. But then Zac dances his way out of it, dammit! Take that, danger! East High forever!
When: Monday on NBC, Global

6) The Bridge
Marco (Demian Bichir) gains a new ally while discovering that cartel leader Fausto (Ramon Franco) has a wider reach than anticipated. Meanwhile, a disruption at a local bank provides new intel.
When: Wednesday on FX Canada

7) The Leftovers
A hate crime tests the resolve of Laurie (Amy Brenneman), while Kevin (Justin Theroux) turns down an offer of assistance and Matt (Christopher Eccleston) brings his pulpit to the street.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

8) Masters of Sex
When Bill (Michael Sheen) delivers a baby with ambiguous genitalia, he encourages the parents not to surgically assign a gender. Meanwhile, Virginia (Lizzy Caplan) learns about Bill’s troubled childhood.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Movie Central

9) Under the Dome
After a bad plan by Big Jim (Dean Norris) and Rebecca (Karla Crome) leaves the town divided, Julia (Rachelle Lefevre) takes over as leader of Chester’s Mill. But that’s not actually a paid position any more.
When: Monday on CBS, Global

10) Masters of Illusion
Debut: Hosted by Dean Cain, this series features illusionists performing everything from sleight-of-hand to great escapes, all in front of a live studio audience. I watched it. Or did I?
When: Friday on CW

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 

Liev and let die; Schreiber lets his actions do the talking in gritty drama Ray Donovan

- July 26th, 2014

Capture liev blog

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – When Liev Schreiber talks about Ray Donovan – both the show and his title character – it’s an exercise in both reticence and eloquence.

Schreiber’s responses sometimes can be clipped. He seems to prefer answering questions that way. For example, here are some of the exchanges that occurred during a recent scrum with several reporters at the Television Critics Association event:

Q: Has the success of Ray Donovan changed how the entertainment industry perceives you?
Schreiber: “I don’t know. Probably.”

Q: This character seems very different than you are in real life. How do you get into it?
Schreiber: “I put on the clothes.”

Q: Does the darkness of this series affect you sometimes?
Schreiber: “Yes. Yes.”

Q: How do you get over that?
Schreiber: “I stop. When the season is over, I get to go home.”

Q: But then is it hard when a new season begins for those character traits to re-emerge?
Schreiber: “Well, they have to. For my job.”

All-righty then.

But the funny thing about Schreiber – whose series currently is airing its second season, Sundays on The Movie Network and Movie Central in Canada, and on channel-of-origin Showtime in the U.S. – is that when you do happen to catch him with a question that piques his interest, he can be very engaging.

The drama series Ray Donovan tells the story of Ray, whose job is to make problems disappear for the rich and famous in Los Angeles. But the biggest complication of all for Ray is his dangerous wildcard of a father, Mickey, played by Jon Voight, whose re-emergence continues to shake the Donovan family to its core.

I asked Schreiber, “Is there an avenue out of this life for Ray? Do you see an avenue for him to get out?”

“I hope he has an avenue out,” Schreiber said. He paused. Then he added, “And I hope it’s not fatal.

“But he’s deep in. He clearly is a really, really damaged, really, really hurt character. That kind of pain is hard to recover from. It’s a lifetime of pain.

“I, as much as anyone else, wonder how you unravel something like that. And I think that’s sort of at the heart of what this show is. How do you unravel your pain? How do you open yourself back up to the world?”

With a lot of difficulty and violence and misdirected anger and acting out, if the series is any indication.

“I have some things in common with Ray,” said the 46-year-old Schreiber, an acclaimed stage and screen actor whose television exposure was comparatively very limited prior to Ray Donovan. “I love my kids. I’d do anything for them. I just think that Ray is put in slightly more extreme situations than I am.

“I’m not a violent person and I think Ray is a violent person. I’m not a hyper-sexual person and I think Ray is a hyper-sexual person.

“But he looks like me.”

There we are, back to the one-line quips.

Notably, it sounds as if Schreiber exhibits much the same personality with his cast-mates. Schreiber directed one of the upcoming episodes in season two of Ray Donovan, and the way he described the endeavor, it turned out to be something of a “getting to know you” project.

“The outstanding experience of (directing the episode) was the way in which the cast and the crew came to my rescue,” Schreiber said. “I never felt so supported, so appreciated, and so lucky as I did during that week and a half working with this cast and crew.

“I’m sort of a quiet person at work. When I’m playing a character, I stay kind of in the boundaries of the character, and I don’t talk a lot. So you don’t get to know people.

“But when you direct, you really get to know people. You really know where they’re coming from, and I was very moved by the support of my peers on this one. It was a very special feeling, because I could tell immediately that they all wanted me to succeed.”

Success comes in many forms, and actions speak louder than words. Both cliches, yes. But all things considered, wherever the middle is between reticent and eloquent, that’s where Liev Schreiber of Ray Donovan resides.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 

Meet the new ‘Game of Thrones’ cast members

- July 25th, 2014

Oh good, more characters for Game of Thrones fans to get attached to before they’re killed off.

HBO announced at the official San Diego Comic Con Game of Thrones panel on Friday the show was getting nine more important characters for the upcoming fifth season.

The network played a two minute introductory video for Hall H attendees, allowing each actor to state the name of the character they would be playing and giving the world a ten second glimpse at the person they’ll come to either love or hate.

The biggest casting announcement was long time British actor Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean) as the High Sparrow. He’s described as, “a devious and pious man,” and ventured down to King’s Landing to serve the poor and the unwell. After his arrival in the city, he quickly garnered a large following of desperate city folk, leading to a potential anarchical system.

The other actors my be lesser known, but are equally excited to start filming the newest season of the show.

Alexander Siddig (Da Vinci’s Demons) will be playing Doran Martell, the older brother to the late Prince Oberyn Martell. He’s described as, “even tempered and deliberate,” a stark opposite to his passionate and fiery younger sibling.

Toby Sebastian (The Hollow Crown) will play Trystane Martell, son of Prince Doran and heir to the throne.

Nell Tiger Free (Broken) will take on the role of Myrcella Baratheon. Fans might recall Myrcella as the eldest child of Cersei Lannister and the late King Robert Baratheon (although we all know her true father is her Uncle Jamie).  We learn in the new season she has been a ward of the Doran’s for quite some time, betrothed to Trystane Martell, and is now in a difficult predicament considering the death of her fiance’s father.

DeObia Oparei (Doom) will play Aero Hotah. Not much is known about his character other than he is the, “long serving captain of Doran Martell’s palace guard, renowned for his loyalty and his longaxe.”

Enzo Cilenti (Next) will portray Yezzan, a wealthy slave trader who will be featured, for the most part, in Daenerys Targaryen’s story line.

Jessica Henwick (Silk) will take on Nymeria Sand. Like Jon Snow, Nymeria Sand is a bastard, daughter of Prince Oberyn.

Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (The Family) will play Nymeria Sand’s half sister, Tyene Sand. Also a bastard daughter of Prince Oberyn, she was the last of his bastard children before settling down with his wife.

Lastly, Keisha Castle-Hughes (Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) will play Obara San, the eldest bastard child of Prince Oberyn.

Game of Thrones fifth season will premiere sometime in January of 2015.

Sam Raimi working on ‘Evil Dead’ TV series

- July 25th, 2014

Sam Raimi, you’re a groovy guy.

The legendary director (who admittedly lost some cool points for Spiderman 3) non-nonchalantly revealed at Comic-Con on Friday that he and his brother were working on a television series based on Raimi’s cult classic horror film, Evil Dead.

It was toward the end of Sony and Naughty Dog’s Last of Us panel that Raimi slipped the announcement in for fans, io9 reported.

The only other detail Raimi would give on the project? Bruce Campbell is definitely involved.

Although there are no further details on the project, we’re already excited for the bloodbath and (hopefully) cartoonish gore Raimi, his brother, and Campbell have planned.

Groovy indeed.