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I see a red door and I want it painted (Orphan) Black

- April 14th, 2014

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Orphan Black. Orange is the New Black. The Blacklist.

Are you sensing a theme here?

It seems as if the entire entertainment landscape has been painted black. Didn’t the Rolling Stones predict this in a song close to 50 years ago?

Regardless, the real subject at hand this week is Orphan Black, which returns for its second season Saturday, April 19 on Space in Canada and on BBC America in the United States.

Through its first season and in the subsequent months leading up to season two, Orphan Black has become one of those weird shows that retains its cool cult status, and yet everyone is talking about it.

Orphan Black exists as both a secret club and a mainstream media monster. It’s a niche show that everybody knows. Or at least, they know of it. With all the positive publicity, surely everyone involved with Orphan Black will be hoping for big ratings with the new campaign.

Orphan Black is a clone-based conspiracy thriller that stars Regina native Tatiana Maslany, who plays multiple roles. And more are coming. Sheesh, there must be some very long days on set where Maslany curses the modern filming technology that makes this all possible.

Maslany obviously was deserving of the accolades she received for season one. She won a TCA award, a Canadian Screen Award, a Critics’ Choice award, a Young Hollywood award and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a People’s Choice award (hey Emmys, do you think you missed something?).

In season two, while the bond remains strong between the core characters, they’ve all made choices that have dire consequences. That leaves main character Sarah (played by Maslany, or course) to navigate a dangerous world of new enemies and shifting allegiances.

Hmmm, sounds pretty dark. Black, even.

As Mick Jagger once sang, “No colours any more, I want them to turn black.” Orphan Black, that is.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Bryan Cranston helps kid get a prom date

- April 12th, 2014

Do you have a secret crush that you’d like to ask out on a date but are too scared he or she may say no?

Well then, maybe you need some help from a famous actor to give you a setup. That’s what high school student Stefan Montana did.

He cornered Bryan Cranston after a performance of All The Way on Broadway, where the actor is portraying Lyndon B. Johnson, Uproxx .com reports.

Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston winner of the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series award for his role in “Breaking Bad” poses for photo backstage at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, Jan. 18, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Montana asks the Breaking Bad star to record a brief message on his phone that’s a variation of one Walter White’s quotes from the final season.

Cranston reads into the phone: “Maddie, if you don’t go to the prom with Stefan, then maybe your best course of action would be to tread lightly.”

Then Montana takes the phone and asks: “Maddie, would you go to the prom with me?”

Montana posted the video on YouTube. (And there’s a longer version, which includes Montana’s request to Cranston.)

The gimmick seems cute at first, but it’s actually a little disturbing. The line Cranston referencesSPOILER ALERT – is actually a threat Walter White utters to his brother-in-law Hank Schrader when he realizes that Hank has discerned that he is Heisenberg.

But the gimmick apparently worked for Montana as he later tweeted to Cranston:

 

So maybe this Maddie girl really wanted to go to the prom with Montana. Or perhaps she was just afraid Cranston would slip ricin into her tea…

Charmed returns in comic book form for season 10

- April 11th, 2014

Charmed

Wiccan sisters Piper, Paige and Phoebe are back for a 10th season — as comic book characters.

Like many  nerd-favourite TV shows, Charmed continued its post-cancellation canon in comic-book form with Season 9 in 2010.

Zenescope Entertainment announced this week that it will be publishing a new arc, Season 10, which will debut at New York Comic Con on Oct. 9.

Zenescope editor-in-chief Ralph Tedesco explains:

“Charmed fans are an extremely rabid and loyal group. They write us all the time, asking about Season 10 since it’s been almost two years since the last issue was released. We’re happy to let them all know that it’s been worth the wait — we’re coming back with a brand new arc and a ton of surprises that we feel will absolutely satisfy hardcore Charmed fans, while also appealing to new readers.”

h/t i09

 

Disguised Drake gets insulted on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

- April 11th, 2014

There was more Canadian content on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, as Toronto rapper Drake donned a beard and wig for Kimmel’s Lie Witness News segment.

The Started From the Bottom hitmaker, 27, played reporter and hit the streets to ask pedestrians what they thought about him, and the job he did hosting the ESPYs (which doesn’t actually happen until July 16).

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The answers are hilarious. Watch below:

Mad Men and Orphan Black’s clones visit Fargo; must-sees for the week of April 13

- April 11th, 2014

Jon Hamm as Don Draper

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of April 13

1 Orphan Black
Season-two debut: Clone-based series sees Tatiana Maslany returning in her signature role as Sarah. And Rachel. And Cosima. And Alison. And on and on and on. I hope Maslany is getting paid accordingly.
When: Saturday on Space

2 Fargo
Debut: This is not a direct remake of the Academy Award-winning movie, but rather a new story, “inspired by” the original. Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo, a dangerous drifter with a cruel sense of humour.
When: Tuesday on FX Canada and FXX Canada

3 Mad Men
Seventh-season debut: This technically is the final “season” for this acclaimed series, but it’s airing over two years, just like Breaking Bad. Last we saw Don Draper (Jon Hamm, pictured above), he was out of a job. Poor ugly schmuck.
When: Sunday on AMC

4 MTV Movie Awards
Live: Conan O’Brien hosts yet another annual hardware handout. So does this officially bring an end to “awards season?” Regardless, scheduled presenters include Kate Upton and Mila Kunis, so count me in.
When: Sunday on MTV

5 Vegas Rat Rods
Debut: No, this isn’t about an infestation of rats in Sin City and the questionable methods used to control them. Rather, it focuses on a company called Welder Up, which specializes in crazy vehicles known as “rat rods.”
When: Thursday on Discovery

6 When Calls the Heart
Canadian debut: Family drama based on a book series by Janette Oke, this stars Erin Krakow as Elizabeth Thatcher, a 19th-century, high-society teacher suddenly living in a coal town. Also with Lori Loughlin.
When: Wednesday on Super Channel

7 Mom
First-season finale: Christy (Anna Faris) and Bonnie (Allison Janney) try to help an emotional Violet (Sadie Calvano) through labour. This series has been renewed, so time to buy some cutesy baby clothes.
When: Monday on CBS, City

8 Unusually Thicke
Debut with back-to-back episodes: This is a reality show with Alan Thicke, his young wife Tanya, and his three sons, including pop star Robin Thicke. I’ll bet Robin gets into more mischief than Kirk Cameron on Growing Pains.
When: Wednesday on Slice

9 Californication
Debut of seventh and final season: As usual, Hank (David Duchovny) is desperate to reunite with his eternal love Karen (Natascha McElhone), while Charlie (Evan Handler) is overcome by performance anxiety.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

10 Nurse Jackie
Sixth-season debut: Jackie (Edie Falco) is “using” again. And lo and behold, she is getting her drugs at the gym. You know, this show seemed a lot more daring and shocking before Rob Ford dulled our senses.
When: Sunday on The Movie Network, Monday on Movie Central

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv