Make Canoe my Homepage

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

 

‘Walking Dead’ season five gets trailer, premiere date

- July 25th, 2014

Calling all undead, get your first glimpse at The Walking Dead’s upcoming fifth season.

AMC premiered the trailer at Comic Con on Friday, which situates Rick, Daryl, and their team of misfit miscreant survivors in yet another dangerous predicament with unabashed sociopaths, has just enough drama and gore to keep all deprived fans going for the next couple of months.

“…season five is without a question the most ambitious and satisfying season this amazing team has ever crafted,” Charlie Collier, AMC president, said in a press release.

The show picks up where the last season ended, with the troupe en route to Washington in an attempt to cure the unknown illness that has caused the zombie apocalypse to break out.

Unfortunately, before they can reach their destination, they’re kidnapped by a group of blood lust filled strangers.

It all works out (kind of) for Rick and his odd family, however, when one of the strangers announces he wants to come with them to Washington and receive the cure, too.

“When we get to Washington we will let the dead die and the living will have this world again,” Sgt. Ford says at one point.

It’s obvious that getting to D.C. will be the main storyline audiences will see transpire on screen this season, but there’s a healthy dose of drama between the two leaders to keep the series fresh and engaging.

“These people are my family. If you hurt them in anyway, I will kill you,” Rick utters menacingly to the newcomer.

Most importantly, however, is the ratio of living people to the undead.

Fans of the show will be impressed with the amount of carnage being tossed around in the trailer, and it appears AMC is amping up for their goriest season yet.

It’s like Rick says to Carl toward the end of the trailer, “No matter what anyone tells you, you’re not safe.”

The Walking Dead season five premieres on Oct. 12 at 9 p.m.

McConaughey “True” winner at 30th annual TCA awards

- July 19th, 2014

Capture MM blog
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Matthew McConaughey’s aim was “True.” The critics say so.

Both personally for his portrayal of Rust Cohle and collectively for his dark TV series True Detective, McConaughey was one of the biggest winners at the 30th annual Television Critics Association awards, which took place late Saturday at the Beverly Hilton.

McConaughey won the TCA award for individual achievement in drama for his work on True Detective (HBO). The TCA award for outstanding achievement in movies, mini-series and specials also went to True Detective.

“People ask me, ‘Why did you go do True Detective, why did you go do TV?’ ” McConaughey said. “And I’ve said it before: Quality.”

After thanking his True Detective co-star Woody Harrelson, McConaughey added, “I want to say thank you to another guy I came to love and respect, and that’s Mr. Rustin Cohle we’re talking about here. Thank you Rustin for having a bull—t meter of zero. Thank you Rustin for giving more of a damn about the truth than yourself. I do hope one day that Rustin Cohle takes it easy on himself, but I doubt that’s gonna happen. And if it doesn’t, I say Rustin, give ‘em hell. But either way, I’m gonna miss that guy. I’m gonna miss Rustin Cohle.”

Outstanding achievement in drama (series) went to The Good Wife (CBS).

Individual achievement in comedy went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Veep (HBO).

“I’d like to thank the television critics, all of them, and I’ll tell you why,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “I love being criticized – positively. And I guess that’s what this is.

“And I think it’s pretty groovy to be in a co-ed group (the TCA categories don’t separate actors and actresses). It’s kind of like having that co-ed bathroom in your dorm. At first it’s shocking, but then you get used to it.”

Outstanding achievement in comedy (series) was a tie between Veep (HBO) and Louie (FX).

Program of the year went to Breaking Bad (AMC), for the second consecutive year.

“Thank you to all the TCA members, because in the beginning, we had these big yellow signs in Albuquerque saying, ‘Parking for Breaking Bad this way,’ and nobody cared,” said Bryan Cranston, who played lead character Walter White. “We were a little show in the desert making this story about a man who contracts cancer who decides to cook crystal meth. That’s such a bad idea, I don’t blame HBO for saying no. But we’re very thankful to AMC, who was desperate.

“This group has been fantastic to work with,” added Cranston, who was joined on stage by co-star Aaron Paul, creator Vince Gilligan and others. “And this is the last time we will be seeing you up here. Without you getting the word out about our little show, we’re not up here, we’re not on any stage, we’re nowhere. It’s a little sad saying goodbye, but this is it, thank you so much.”

Outstanding new program went to Orange is the New Black (Netflix).

Outstanding achievement in news and information went to Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey (Fox).

Outstanding achievement in reality programming went to RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo).

Outstanding achievement in youth programming went to The Fosters (ABC Family).

The career achievement award went to legendary series creator and director James Burrows, who consistently has worked on the biggest comedies in television dating back to the 1970s.

The heritage award was given to Saturday Night Live (NBC) for its long-running cultural and social impact.

The TCA awards were hosted by actor and comedian Terry Crews from the Fox series Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

OLYMPIC MYSTERY

Special Olympics athlete Kevin James and several other Special Olympics basketball players will showcase their skills on the court in a new episode of The Listener airing Monday on CTV. James, who is from Oakville, Ont., has a speaking role in the episode.

The main plot centres on a Special Olympics hoops coach named Emma (Rayisa Kondracki) whose father is killed during a home invasion. As Toby (Craig Olejnik) and Michelle (Lauren Lee Smith) investigate, they discover that Emma’s dad led a double life, and now Emma herself could be in imminent danger.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 

AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire not to be taken literally

- June 1st, 2014

1399398183000-06-refelction-0783-RET-AS-V1

Usually you don’t want to hear the term “catch fire” when talking about computers. They actually used to do that with more frequency than they do now.

But in this case the smoke isn’t coming from a frayed wire, but rather from the new series Halt and Catch Fire, which debuts Sunday, June 1 on AMC.

In the modern world where computers seem to be magic, it’s easy for us to forget that they actually are made of physical things that had to be invented and designed and manufactured by human beings. Halt and Catch Fire is a fictional drama set in the early 1980s, approximately one year after IBM has all but cornered the fledgling personal-computer market with the release of the IBM PC. But inadvertently, IBM has left open a technological crack that theoretically might allow other bold entrepreneurs into the increasingly lucrative game.

A young and outwardly slick former IBM executive named Joe MacMillan (played by Lee Pace, pictured above right) has an ambitious plan to reverse-engineer the IBM PC. He not only wants to create a better product, but also force his current company, the Texas-based Cardiff Electric, into the personal-computer race.

MacMillan enlists the help of Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy, above left), a beaten-down but once-great engineer who still has deeply buried dreams of creating a revolutionary product, and Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis, above centre), a smart-ass student prodigy who puts her future in jeopardy to join this rogue PC project.

Of course, they’re all putting their futures in jeopardy, since it’s open to interpretation how legal or moral any of this is.

The first episode of Halt and Catch Fire didn’t really catch fire for me. It’s a David-versus-Goliath tale, but at first blush the three “Davids” aren’t particularly likeable. I was kind of cheering for IBM through some of it, which I can’t imagine is the goal.

By the way, the title Halt and Catch Fire does not refer to actual flame, but rather to a machine code instruction that could cause a computer’s central processing unit to cease functioning.

But hey, either literally or figuratively, we’ve all been burned by computers at one time or another, am I right?

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Maslany, McConaughey, Margulies earn nominations for 2014 TCA awards

- May 27th, 2014

TCA_Logo_FINAL_LARGE

Orange and True.

That would be one way to describe the list of nominees for the 30th annual Television Critics Association Awards, which were announced Tuesday.

Two new shows – Orange is the New Black (Netflix) and True Detective (HBO, HBO Canada) – were included among the five nominees for the prestigious program-of-the-year award. The others were Game of Thrones (HBO, HBO Canada), The Good Wife (CBS, Global) and defending champion Breaking Bad (AMC).

As logic would dictate (although you never can be too sure with critics), Orange is the New Black and True Detective also were nominated in the outstanding-new-program category, alongside Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, City), Fargo (FX, FXX Canada) and Sleepy Hollow (Fox, Global).

Nominees for individual achievement in comedy were defending champ Louis C.K. (Louie), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation).

Nods for individual achievement in drama went to defending champ Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Matthew McConaughey (True Detective) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans).

The eligibility period for the 2014 TCA awards was from May 15, 2013 to May 15, 2014. The awards will be handed out on July 19 at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv