16 items from 2014
Some television shows feel like they're going to be smash hits before anyone's seen a frame of footage; usually because of the writers working on it, the network's reputation with its genre, or the popularity of the actors involved.
Other programmes even feel like they're simply too big to fail; such as HBO's Game of Thrones and AMC's The Walking Dead, which also benefit from having rich source material to mine and a ready-made, evangelical audience.
But what about the TV shows that felt like bad ideas before they'd aired - or even during their debut season - yet managed to overcome widespread uncertainties and grow into well-regarded programmes it's hard to imagine we were ever unsure about?
Let's take a look at some recent examples of popular TV shows that didn't initially feel like they'd work, but proved the doubters wrong...
Expectation: A modernisation of a literary character »
Peter Webber ("Girl with a Pearl Earring," "Hannibal Rising") has signed on to direct a film adaptation of Daniel Mason's acclaimed historical novel "The Piano Tuner". Pre-production begins later this year.
Set in 1886 at the height of the British Empire, it follows a piano tuner who receives a strange request by the British War Office to deliver a rare grand piano to a legendary British Officer in the remote jungles of northeast Burma.
Source: Screen »
- Garth Franklin
This week, Bryan Fuller won two Saturn Awards from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. His current television series, Hannibal, tied for Best Network Television Series with Revolution, and Fuller himself won the Dan Curtis Legacy Award. When Fuller came back into the press room to pose with his awards, Shock Till You Drop landed a one on one with him to talk about Hannibal. I’ve been into the first two seasons of the Red Dragon prequel, and Fuller has said publicly that the third season will incorporate the books Hannibal and Hannibal Rising into its storylines. Since we’re still pre-Francis Dolarhyde, that changes things up a bit.
- Ryan Turek
How great is NBC's "Hannibal"? Here's one way of measuring it. I've spent the three weeks since its second-season finale rereading the Thomas Harris books on which it's based, including the ones I disliked the first time, just for the pleasure of sussing out how showrunner Bryan Fuller reworked and occasionally subverted them. (The way Fuller treats the grossly homophobic character of Margot Verger is a master class in how you can revere a source without being beholden to it.)"Hannibal" shares its title with the third book in Harris' series -- which is also the last one I intend to reread; I love "Hannibal," but I don't "Hannibal Rising"-love "Hannibal" -- but it's set before the first. Should the show get so far, Fuller has said its fourth season will cover the events of 1981's "Red Dragon," which have already been filmed twice, by Michael Mann in 1986, as "Manhunter, »
- Sam Adams
As previously reported, TV Line delivered their newest spoiler chat session and revealed new teaser spoilers for the upcoming "Hannibal" season 3, via producer Fuller. It turns out that some major focus on Will's quest to capture Dr. Lector will be featured. Hannibal's origin story will get served up, and more. In their spoiler chat reveal, they explained: "Fuller promises a “very ambitious” slate of episodes that will focus on Will Graham’s quest to find and capture Dr. Lecter, a quest that will begin with Hugh Dancy’s addled profiler “getting to the roots of what makes this cannibal who he is.” Expect some plot points to be drawn from Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Rising origin story — or at least some ” impressions of who Hannibal was before he began to interact with] any of the show's characters,” Fuller adds. That said, just because the sociopath is out of the bag »
(Cbr) Did you watch the "Hannibal" Season 2 finale yet? If not, turn away now: Major spoilers lie ahead. In the final episode of the NBC horror show’s second season, the titular cannibal emerged victorious from a bloody showdown against the likes of Will Graham, Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom. Indeed, all three of those opponents were left with their lives in the balance, some closer to death than others. It’s entirely unclear how "Hannibal" will shake out moving forward, now that almost all of the cast members are either dead or dying. But Bryan Fuller, creator and show runner, has a plan. In an interview with TV Guide, he promises that Season 3 will feature Lecter on the run, with an emphasis on his history as a serial killer. “Season 2 is going to be a lot of fun,” says Fuller, “because it’s going to be taking a lot »
- Josh Wigler, Comic Book Resources
What an extraordinary week for television these past seven days have been. Not only did we get that spectacular mid-season finale for Mad Men, but also a brilliant season two finale for The Americans and then, of course, the shocking, violent conclusion to Hannibal season two. Despite airing on network television, the latter series has been one of the most consistently twisted and challenging shows on all of TV, and this was especially true of last Friday’s season two finale. The events of the episode will no doubt have drastic effects on the show’s third season, and creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller recently spoke quite candidly about his plans for season three, adding that it will pull story elements from the Thomas Harris novels Hannibal and Hannibal Rising. He even teased a fan-favorite character promotion and discussed the first episode of season three—which he dubs a “new pilot”—in detail. »
- Adam Chitwood
Warning: contains spoilers for the Hannibal season 2 finale.
In a revealing and spoiler-filled postmortem interview with TV Guide, Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller not only dissected what was going on in the minds of Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy's characters during Friday's season two finale, but also pointed tantalisingly to a new direction for the show's forthcoming third run.
According to Fuller, the first episode of season three will "essentially function as a new pilot for a new series because everything's different". The plan for the third season is to take "a lot of disparate elements from the novel Hannibal Rising and the novel Hannibal and mashing them up together as part of the thrust of the season. It's going to be fun to bastardise two novels into one sort of Frankenstein season. »
The long holiday weekend is almost coming to a close and I think some of us are still devastated by the events of Hannibal's season 2 finale. Now, from this point forward, we're talking spoilers here so turn back now if you don't want to know what happened or what showrunner Bryan Fuller has to say about season 3.
- Ryan Turek
Now that a little time has passed and we've come to terms with the Season 2 finale of "Hannibal," we've begun to ponder what's ahead in Season 3. Fortunately, series creator Bryan Fuller chatted with TV Guide following Friday night's episode and provided a few juicy teasers for us all...
The article contains a lot of explanation and expansion of what we saw in Episode 2.13, "Mizumono," so be sure to hit the link at the bottom of the page for the full interview. What we have here are just the highlights of what's upcoming.
Is this truly the end of Will and Hannibal's relationship? Will does see the stag die...
Fuller: The stag always represented the connection between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. He started seeing the stag after he was first exposed to Hannibal's murder of Cassie Boyle impaled on the stag head in the field. It felt like, »
- Debi Moore
The phrase "serial killer" is most often attributed to the late FBI agent Robert Ressler, who coined the term along with fellow agent John Douglas as they began profiling and researching murder cases in the 1970s. His work led him to have direct contact with serial killers, with Ressler apparently receiving a painting from killer John Wayne Gacy with an inscription that apparently read: "Dear Bob Ressler, you cannot hope to enjoy the harvest without first laboring in the fields. Best wishes and good luck. Sincerely, John Wayne Gacy, June 1988."
The inscription sounds like it came out of a movie, which perhaps isn't so surprising since Hollywood has been making movies about serial killers since the silent era. Sometimes these movies are about real-life killers, other times they are based on real-life killers or events, or, and perhaps even more disturbing, they are based on nothing but imagination. Either way, »
- Ryan Gowland
Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up: the second of four French entries: Bertrand Bonello's "Saint Laurent." The director: Bertrand Bonello (French, 45 years old). Born in Nice and now based in Paris and Montreal, Bonello began his career as a classical musician -- a background that makes sense, given the stately refinement and sensory elevation of his filmmaking. (He still serves as his own composer.) Which is not to say his work is soft, testing as it does formal and erotic boundaries: scholars of contemporary French cinema tend to group him with the likes of Gaspar Noé in the bracket of New French Extremism. »
- Guy Lodge
No round up last week because we were a bit busy, so this week is Mega Jammed With Costume Goodness.
Puttin’ on the Glitz
We teamed up with Amber Jane Butchart and The British Library to talk jazz age fashion and dandy gangsters. Further coverage to follow…
Costume Test Images
Business of Fashion
Costume designers, fashion designers, studios, brands, and a business venture 100 years in the making. Thanks to Ajb for putting this thought provoking article under our nose.
Birds Eye View Film Festival – Fashion and Film
Curated by Kathryn Ferguson, who will hold Q&A’s with some of the directors featured. »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Kaiseki: a type of multicourse Japanese meal offering small dishes; a Japanese tasting menu
Wisely, Bryan Fuller, who co-scripted the premiere, leaves Will in lockup as the season begins (forced to be picked apart by antagonistic Frederick Chilton), and truly haunted by the things he’s seen, working very briefly on the case that gets introduced in the premiere. But, and again, masterstroke, they have him unequivocally calling out to the rafters that Hannibal is guilty of framing him the Shrike’s deeds (to no one’s avail), and the acting between the two men in the hospital, with each men on the wrong side of the bars is great, it’s like two gunslingers headed for a showdown. It’s all sweat and grime and desperation as it should be. I said it in my advance »
- Nathan Smith
Bon appétit! It is the chef, or the cook if you will, that makes all the magic happen with the food we eat. The right chef can take your ordinary meal and make it extraordinary… or is that Hamburger Helper? Anyway, here are the Top 9 Sinister Chefs in horror.
With the release of Serving Up Richard (review), we decided to dig down deep and remember some of our favorite chefs and cooks throughout the history of horror.
Whether they be chefs of the gourmet variety, or they just threw something (like a boiling bunny) on the stove, the following list of ne'er-do-wells all know their way around a kitchen. And that's one of the reasons why we love them.
As always, we'll give you a few honorable mentions to get things going. Glenn Close's previously referenced character, Alex Forrest, was perhaps not a true chef, but she sure knew »
- Scott Hallam
When it was announced the legendary Hannibal Lecter was to be taken on by another actor and transported through our TV screens, there was a shrill silence of uncertainty. How could anyone beat Anthony Hopkins in his unforgettable role? Just, how could they? Then, when it was revealed that it would take place before the events of Thomas Harris’s book ‘Red Dragon’ – that we would actually see Hannibal in action – there was a slight excitement but it was leveled with caution. After the terrible ‘Hannibal Rising’ – telling us too much and making Hannibal sympathetic – we were not too keen on the idea of the TV show doing this. And then we checked into Bryan Fuller’s vision, we watched Mads Mikkelsen in his three-piece suits, we were swept up in the dialogue and realized what fools we had been to ever doubt.
Yes, Bryan Fuller’s re-imagining of »
- Thomas Stewart
16 items from 2014
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