Tag Archives: Sarah Paulson

Bruce Greenwood Joins American Crime Cast!

Bruce Greenwood

Bruce Greenwood has played a lot of interesting characters over the course of his career, including JFK, the rebooted Star Trek’s Admiral Christopher Pike and the guy who got Joan to try cocaine on Mad Men.

Now he’s joined the cast of American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson as Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, the man who prosecuted O.J. Simpson.

The FX series is currently in production. For more, follow the jump.

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Angela Bassett Returns To American Horror Story!

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW -- Pictured: Angela Bassett as Deiree Dupree. CR: Frank Ockenfels/FX
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW — Pictured: Angela Bassett as Deiree Dupree. CR: Frank Ockenfels/FX

Angela Bassett is going for the natural horror hat trick. Bassett has signed up for her third straight stint on American Horror Story – joining Lady Gaga, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, Wes Bentley and Chloë Sevigny on American Horror Story: Hotel.

Follow the jump for details (such as they are with this show).

Continue reading Angela Bassett Returns To American Horror Story!

American Horror Story: Freak Show – Siamese Twins and Killer Clowns!

Freak Show Entrance - 10-07-14

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX, Wednesdays, 10/9C) is built around a once proud freak show that has settled into the community of Jupiter, Florida in hopes of building a destination attraction that can survive the inroads being made by television. Things are complicated by a series of gruesome murders that may, or may not, be connected with the show.

Continue reading American Horror Story: Freak Show – Siamese Twins and Killer Clowns!

Peek Behind The Curtain–The First Trailer for American Horror Story: Freak Show!

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW -- Pictured: Cast Art. CR: FX

While it certainly doesn’t give anything away plot-wise, the first official extended trailer for FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show certainly gives us a good look at many of the show’s characters. Does it look a wee bit freaky? Yes, yes it does.

Check it out after the jump. American Horror Story: Freak Show premieres on October 8th.

Continue reading Peek Behind The Curtain–The First Trailer for American Horror Story: Freak Show!

American Horror Story: Freak Show Premiere Date Announced!

AmericanHorrorStoryFreakShow

The latest iteration of American Horror Story – American Horror Story: Freak Show – will premiere on Wednesday, October 8th (10/9C).

The new season is set in a sleepy Florida  hamlet called Jupiter, in 1952. A traveling freak show has arrived in town – just as a strange, dark entity emerges that will threaten townsfolk and freaks alike. American Horror Story: Freak Show is the tale of the struggle for survival ‘amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.’

For more, follow the jump.

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TELEVISION: Cupid: The God of Love Is In The House!

Cupid [ABC, Tuesdays, 10/9C] has an odd history. Rob Thomas [Veronica Mars] had this prematurely cancelled series in 1998 about an exiled God of Love who was exiled to Earth until he could match one hundred couples – true love, mind you. Then, and only then, would he be allowed to return to Mount Olympus. The series was smart, witty, funny, and almost desperately romantic and quite possibly the best show of the year in the minds of many critics. It also put Jeremy Piven on the road to something akin to stardom. It lasted fifteen episodes. Ever since, Cupid fans have been clamouring for it’s release on DVD. Now, ABC and Mr. Thomas have resurrected the series and the good news is that it’s very good.

Cupid & Shrink

The set up is virtually identical: Cupid [Bobby Cannavale]is the love god who is exiled to Earth for his arrogance, and charged with matching one hundred couples – without the aid of magic – before he will be allowed to return home. As in the original, he is thought to be crazy [though there are brief moments that give the audience clues that he isn’t] and only released into the world under the supervision of psychologist Dr. Claire Allen [Sarah Paulson].

Dr. Allen specializes in love, too, but love built on a foundation of sensible and logical steps. She and Cupid – now going by Trevor Pierce – are at extreme ends of the spectrum in their beliefs and approaches to the subject. His first attempt is to help an Irish troubadour find the woman with whom he had a “transcendent moment” on her last day in Ireland. In the process of helping Dave [Sean McGuire], Trevor enlists the aid of a reporter named Madeline [Marguerite Moreau] – who falls in love with Dave!

The premiere episode of Cupid is almost as smart, witty, funny and romantic as the original, if a little less brash and little more dramatic. The interplay between Trevor and Claire is saucy and clever; the two are very much a match for each other in intelligence and wit. The supporting characters – Felix [Rick Gomez] and Lita [Camille Guaty] – are an improvement over their original series counterparts. Felix is the guy who takes in strays – which means he hires Trevor to work at his bar and gives him a place to live. Lita thinks Felix is crazy [there’s that word, again] for doing so.

The direction is precisely what the show needs – the pacing is up-tempo, but not too much to make it jarring when a shot requires a bit of lingering, but never holding onto a shot for too many beats. The entire production is good enough that I will be very disappointed if Cupid is, once again, too hip for the room. Really, the original show was ten years ahead of its time, stylistically and content-wise – which means we should be ready for it, now. And maybe, just maybe, we can get that DVD set of the original series.

Final Grade: B+

MOVIE REVIEW: The Spirit Made My Toes Curl – But I Kinda Liked It!

In a summer during the early-to-mid sixties, I surreptitiously acquired a copy of a specific issue of Playboy – not for the pictures, though those were nice, but for an essay on The Great Comic Book Heroes, by Jules Feiffer. It was about comic characters from the Golden Age of Comics [approximately 1939-1946 – your mileage may vary]. That led to my acquiring, with a hard-earned seven bucks, for Feiffer’s book of the same title on the subject. Included in the book was an eight-page, full-color Spirit story from the Philadelphia Record Sunday Comics Supplement, dated July 20, 1941. It was about a tale told to a tourist couple by an Egyptian beggar, twice in two days – first as a prophecy, and then as a fait accompli. It was incredible – it had action, wit, humor [even then I knew wit was not the same thing as humor] and amazing art. Well before the Kitchen Sink reprints of the seventies, I was hooked!

The Spirit's Women

In the summer of 1987, the ABC network broadcast the ninety-minute pilot for a projected series based on Will Eisner’s legendary masked hero, The Spirit. It was bright and colorful and really seemed, to me at least, to capture the peculiar mix of whimsy and drama that marked the comic as a unique and brilliant work. Eisner, on the other hand, said it was so bad that “it made my toes curl.”

Today, I saw Frank Miller’s movie adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit. As a critic, I realize that its thin story is told choppily [Frank, buddy, have you never heard of dissolves, transitions and such? And, really Frank! Plaster of Paris? What the hell were you thinking???] and the acting varies from poor to really poor. I get that it’s supposed to be a black comedy; I get that it’s Eisner’s characters and situations as filtered Miller’s sensibilities; I even get that The Octopus [Samuel L. Jackson] is supposed to an evil, human version of Wile E. Coyote/Yosemite Sam, while The Spirit is The Roadrunner/Bugs Bunny.

Somehow, though, I don’t think blending Sin City, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones was really the way to go here. The Spirit is not a character for whom bleached out colors [except, of course, for that blood red tie] really work. Neither should the character be set in such a static, blocky manner. The comics were always more fluid than all but the best films – and certainly more so than any of the comics of the period [and most of the best of today, as well]. And juking The Spirit’s origin in such a manner – turning a tough, determined man into a superhero, when he was really [to quote Douglas Adams, “Just this guy, y’know?”]. The spirit of The Spirit has been pretty much bleached out of the movie.

The Spirit is pretty much a disaster no matter how you look at it – and yet, I enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because of the hard edge Dan Lauria gives Commissioner Dolan, or the resignation Sarah Paulson gives Dr. Ellen Dolan, who knows she’ll never have The Spirit’s heart – at least not exclusively. Part of it is the cinematography. Miller may be a long way from being a film director, but he can compose a shot like nobody’s business! Also, the world of Central City may be CG but it has more heft than Sin City. Plus, there are moments when Eisner’s character peeks through the chaos […and this is for Muffin!”].

Even with the movie’s compositional beauty, a couple decent [not brilliant] performances [Sorry Mr. Gabriel Macht. I know The Spirit, and he’s not a monotoned refugee from a Philip Chandler novel] and amazing CG, I can understand how most critics will give The Spirit the equivalent of an ‘F’. I can’t do that. But tempering my love for the character with what little of that remains here – and combining that with an objective overview of everything that’s wrong with it – I can’t give The Spirit a positive grade [as much as it pains me].

Final Grade: D+

TELEVISION: ABC Greenlights Five New Series

For the fall season, ABC greenlighted only a handful of new shows: the drama Life on Mars [based on the British, series of the same name]; comedies Scrubs [moving from NBC] and The Goode Family; and two alternative [reality] shows, the Untitlted Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks and Opportunity Knocks.

Nathan Fillion

Now the network unveils five new shows: dramas Castle [starring Nathan Fillion, pictured], Cupid and The Unusuals, and comedies Better Off Ted and Single With Parents. Although the announcement of the five new shows comes a bit later than usual, Stephen McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment notes that, “It was worth taking the time to go through the pilot process to really do it right,” said McPherson. “We’re excited about these series and feel they’re perfect additions to our dominant core slate of shows. These are the initial pick-ups, but there are a number of other pilots we feel will also get the go ahead in some form moving forward.”

Details on the new series are as follows:

Dramas

“Castle” is a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who is bored with his own success. When a real-world copycat murderer starts staging scenes from Nick’s novels, Nick is teamed up with NYPD Detective Kate Beckett and the challenge gets his blood pumping as he steps in to help solve the crime. Nick and Beckett’s styles instantly clash and sparks begin to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance. Nick is kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother, quick-witted teenage daughter and his long-suffering ex-wife… who happens to be his editor. “Castle” stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.

“Cupid” is a romantic dramedy about Trevor, a larger than life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love, Cupid, sent to earth to bring couples together. As fate would have it, Trevor is under the care of famous psychologist and self-help author Dr. Claire Allen, who is also dedicated to helping lonely hearts find their soul mates. While she agrees with his cause, she questions whether he’s crazy or really is Cupid. “Cupid” stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita.

“The Unusuals” is a unique comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct. As a cop, it helps to have a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last. Just ask Casey Schraeger, who started her day as an NYPD vice detective before unexpectedly being transferred to the homicide division. She quickly realizes that, not only does everyone in her new department have a distinct sense of humor, but also their own dirty little secrets. “The Unusuals” stars Amber Tamblyn as Det. Casey Schraeger, Jeremy Renner as Det. Joe Walsh, Terry Kinney as Sgt. Harvey Brown, Kai Lennox as Det. Ed Alvarez, Harold Perrineau as Det. Leo Banks, Adam Goldberg as Det. Eric Delahoy, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont and Joshua Close as Henry Cole.

Comedies

“Better Off Ted” is a satirical office comedy featuring a successful but morally conscious man, Ted, who runs a research and development department at a morally questionable corporation, Veridian Technologies. No achievement is too far fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Need a suicidal turkey? Done. Need a metal that is hard as steel but bounces – and is edible? Done and done. Ted loves his seemingly perfect job; he loves his superhuman boss, Veronica, and colleagues Lem, Phil and Linda, but he’s starting to take a closer look at the company’s extremely questionable practices… especially when they try to cryogenically freeze one of Ted’s scientists for testing purposes. Starring Jay Harrington as Ted, Andrea Anders as Linda, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Jonathan Slavin as Phil and Malcolm Barrett as Lem,.

“Single with Parents” is a comedy about Lou, a woman in her mid-30s who is determined to have her own life despite her crazy blended family getting in the way. She’s thrilled that her divorced parents are leading exciting lives – really she is – except both of them rely on her way too much. Dad needs her as a surrogate parent and Mom counts on her 24/7 as a shrink and confidante. Lou has resolved to finally find a fulfilling life for herself. The series stars Alyssa Milano as Lou, Annie Potts as Elizabeth, Beau Bridges as Joe, Amanda Detmer as Sasha, Meagen Fay as Nancy and Eric Winter as Charlie.