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‘American Horror Story: Freakshow’ gets freaky with teasers

- August 29th, 2014

American Horror Story: Freakshow may be the exact ingredient needed in keeping the genre pushing series afloat.

FX released five teasers in subsequent for their upcoming fourth season last week, with each one being freakier than the last.

After last season’s venture into campy horror grounds, exhibiting the life of teenage witches not nearly as clever or sincere as Buffy and Sabrina, the show could use a traumatizing season dedicated to dysfunctional bodies and strange characters.

1.) Fallen Angel

The first time audiences are introduced to the elusive woman with wings. Although she may appear angelic, it’s becomes apparent pretty quickly this is a devil in a world run by members of the innermost center of hell.

2.) Lick

Lick is the exact type of teaser American Horror Story fans were hoping to see after last season’s underwhelming scenes. It promises physical grotesqueness, akin to superb standout scenes from both the first (Violet’s body being found) and second season (Santa Clause). It’s not particularly gory, but it’s just creepy enough to elicit a small disturbing shiver out of their most veteran fans.

3.) Spotlight

Spotlight plays heavily with the ideas of shadows, the idea of what potential horror could be lurking around the dark corner. Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities of the endless horrors the cast will have to face on camp grounds this fourth season.

4.) Caged

A mysterious, probably sadistic ring leader holding his troupe and his audience captive is just one theme showrunner Ryan Murphy and his writing team are bound to run wild with, but the possibility of an actual woman with wings sounds simply irresistible for any horror fan.

5.) Head to Toe

Three legs! Attractive woman! A snippet of the eerie American Horror Story music playing in the background!

6.) Admit One

Like the spliced tongue, the unclenching claw or disfigured hand is precisely the right amount of creepy crawly undertones the show needed to rebound. It manages to pull off being both subtle and direct in pointing out just how intense this season may get.

I’m sure in the next couple of weeks more teasers may drop, and I’ll be sure to add them to this collection of all things weird produced by Ryan Murphy’s mind. For now, may these images haunt your dreams and spark your nightmares.

That was Murphy’s goal, right?

American Horror Story: Freakshow premieres October 8 on FX.

Jonah from Tonga finds Partners and Mistresses at The Knick; TV must-sees for the week of Aug. 3

- August 3rd, 2014

The Knick cast, with Eve Hewson as Lucy Elkins, centre rear

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Aug. 3

1 The Knick
Debut: Set at a New York hospital in 1900, Dr. John Thackery (Clive Owen) becomes chief surgeon but quickly is pressured by benefactors to hire a black assistant, Dr. Algernon Edwards (Andre Holland).
When: Friday on HBO Canada

2 Partners
Canadian debut with back-to-back episodes: On a bad day for both of them, community lawyer Marcus Jackson (Martin Lawrence) meets unscrupulous corporate reject Allen Braddock (Kelsey Grammer). An unexpected alliance forms.
When: Thursday on Global

3 Jonah from Tonga
Canadian debut with back-to-back episodes: Chris Lilley revisits one of his characters from Summer Heights High, but this update caused a lot of controversy in Lilley’s native Australia earlier this year.
When: Friday on HBO Canada

4 Bachelor in Paradise
Debut: Twenty-five of the franchise’s most controversial contestants, both men and women, are back again, still looking for love. It all begins in an isolated romantic paradise in Mexico. Hey, what doesn’t?
When: Monday on ABC, City

5 The Strain
A secret autopsy demonstrates the bizarre progression of the mysterious virus, while Ephraim (Corey Stoll) and Nora (Mia Maestro) race to find the father of the youngest victim of the plane tragedy.
When: Sunday on FX Canada

6 Halt and Catch Fire
First-season finale: Gordon (Scoot McNairy) and Joe (Lee Pace) prepare to transport the Giant, but a suspicious defect threatens the partnership and Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) takes control of her future.
When: Sunday on AMC

7 Perception
When an FBI agent is found dead, Pierce (Eric McCormack) must face the one case he never solved. It could mess him up mentally, but he agrees to help Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) anyway. What a guy.
When: Tuesday on Bravo

8 True Blood
As Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) close in on Sarah (Anna Camp), Adilyn (Bailey Noble) finds refuge with Violet (Karolina Wydra). Um, don’t trust her.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

9 Unforgettable
Al (Dylan Walsh) becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a parolee he helped put in jail, forcing Carrie (Poppy Montgomery) to conduct an off-the-books investigation to prove his innocence to Internal Affairs.
When: Sunday on CBS, CTV

10 Mistresses
April (Rochelle Aytes) worries her past is coming back to haunt her after receiving a shocking phone call, while Savi (Alyssa Milano) reaches out to her long-absent dad. Hey, could it be Tony Danza?
When: Monday on ABC, CTV

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

‘Simpsons World’ is an unlimited pass into Springfield

- July 21st, 2014

UPDATE: FX has confirmed the Simpsons World app will only be available for U.S. subscribers. There are currently no plans to bring the app to Canada or other countries around the world at this time.

Homer Simpson once profoundly asked, “What’s the point in going out? We’re just going to end up back here anyways.”

I agree with you Homer, and it looks like FX does too.

During the TCA’s on Monday, an annual gathering of television critics and industry professionals in Los Angeles, FX president Chuck Saftler announced the creation of Simpsons World, a heaven for all Simpsons fanatics.

The multi-platform app will not only allow viewers to watch every episode of the series made to date, but will also give them ample access to trivia, character biographies, and an “ultimate” episode guide with actual scripts embedded into each episode summary.

Saftler confirmed the episodes would be partnered with commercials and in order to use the app, you must be an FX subscriber.

If that’s not a good enough reason to purchase cable, though, you probably won’t find one.

The Wrap also reported that subsequent to Simpsons World is a tool called Simpsons TV. Within Simpsons TV, users can bookmark their progress through a season, or personalize a viewing playlist based on specific characters or themes.

In order to prep for the launch of Simpsons World, FX will be carrying out a marathon of all 552 episodes –an event that will take a week a half of around the clock broadcasting. The marathon will kick off on Aug. 21 and run through Sept 1.

Personally, I think they’re missing the boat by not coordinating it to run over the Labour Day long weekend, but I’m not an executive at FX.

The Simpsons World app will be launching on all Apple and Android devices, as well as Xbox One and Xbox 360 platforms in late October.

Fargo renewed by FX with new characters and cast, return to Alberta likely but not finalized; Louie is back, too

- July 21st, 2014

fargo blood snow

BEVERLY HILLS., Calif. – FX clearly has a thing for loners and lonely landscapes, as Fargo and Louie have been renewed for second and fifth seasons, respectively.

FX announced on Monday that executive producer and writer Noah Hawley is moving forward with a second installment of  Fargo. This new chapter of the Fargo story will feature all new characters, all new actors, a new time frame (1979), new locations (Sioux Falls, S.D., and Laverne, Minn.) and a new “true crime” story that will unfold over 10 episodes.

The first season of Fargo was shot near Calgary, and while FX CEO John Landgraf said he would “like” to shoot season two there as well, it has not been finalized yet. Later in the day, Hawley and co-EP Warren Littlefield implied it is their intention to be back in Alberta. Production likely will span the winter and spring of 2015, but the story may not take place entirely in a winter climate. The earliest the second season of Fargo will air is in the fall of 2015.

The first season of Fargo – which starred Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Alison Tolman, Colin Hanks and Keith Carradine, among others – aired on FXX in Canada. It has not yet been determined if the second season will air on FX Canada or FXX Canada, both of which are owned by Rogers.

A younger version of Carradine’s Lou Solverson character will be part of the second season of Fargo.

“We could not be more proud of Fargo,” Landgraf said. “Noah’s audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favoruite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations – the most for a single program in our history. Fargo was nothing short of breathtaking and we look forward to the next installment.”

Meanwhile, Louis C.K.’s multi-award-winning Louie will be back on FX and FX Canada with new episodes – the official release said seven, Landgraf said “seven or eight” – in the spring of 2015.

“Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking – sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, always thought-provoking,” Landgraf said. “The show went to narrative and cinematic places no comedy has gone before and we look forward to seeing what Louis comes up with next.”

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 

Ryan Murphy casts Neil Patrick Harris in ‘American Horror Story’ on Twitter

- July 18th, 2014

Who needs backdoor deals in Hollywood when you can just connect with talent over Twitter?

It didn’t take long after Neil Patrick Harris told Entertainment Weekly’s Mario Correa he’s always wanted to appear on Ryan Murphy’s Emmy award winning anthology series American Horror Story for the showrunner to eagerly respond.

 

The quick nod of approval from Murphy must have come as a major relief to Harris who admitted he even wrote the co-creator asking for a position on the show and never heard back.

“I wrote a letter to Ryan asking if I could be in it, even though I wasn’t even available to be in it, but he never responded,” Harris admitted to Correa. “I love those series so much, and to do one that involves any kind of freak circus nonsense is going to be so unsettling to watch. “

Harris may be in luck, after all, considering the theme of American Horror Story’s upcoming fourth season – a sadistic, murderous freak show.

“I love crazy random freak show stuff, like that’s just what I love. I’ve always been drawn to it.”


He’s also proven that he’s not averse to getting grimy for a role, winning a Tony just this year for his portrayal of the transgender punk singer Hedwig in Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

The question of whether an official deal been made still remains. Although there hasn’t been confirmation from either camp, with Harris’ show finally ending and Murphy clearly on board to work with the actor, American Horror Story fans should already be excited.