8 items from 2016
Underground‘s Noah is off and running — though sooner and with different company than he originally planned.
On Wgn America’s slave drama (airing Wednesdays at 10/9c), the Macon Plantation blacksmith (played by Leverage alum Aldis Hodge) was painstakingly plotting a great escape, with a hand-picked assortment of peers. But when house slave Rosalee fended off, in a fatal manner, an assault by the overseer, Noah found his plan accelerated.
Or has it been? Here, Hodge teases the thriller’s twists to come and examines Underground‘s larger role in the depiction of America’s slavery saga.
RelatedDC Comics’ Scalped, »
Four episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
You wouldn’t think sex and scandal could ever mesh with slavery on a would-be legacy series. You wouldn’t be wrong, either, but because peak TV rewards risk, here’s giving credit where credit is due. To its credit, Underground, Wgn America’s newest breath into the original programming bubble, works hard to slip a sleek cable skin over everything ugly about America’s darkest chapter (if a chapter can last 250 years). Feats that big fall hard, though, and the difficult legacy the show shoulders means that every misstep it takes stands to cripple it.
The story Underground tells is familiar enough. Outside the lush white walls of the Macon plantation, men, women, and children toil in the Georgia summer steam, forced to carry King Cotton on their beaten backs. The slaves “owned” by Tom Macon live as best they can, which »
- Joe Incollingo
American slavery should be an impossible subject for an ongoing TV series to handle. Done right as a standalone movie like 12 Years A Slave, or a miniseries like the iconic Roots or Bet's more recent The Book of Negroes, it can create a difficult but incredibly cathartic short-term experience. But it's a lot to ask an audience to tune in week after week, season after season, to a story of degradation and unfathomable cruelty that any kind of serious treatment of this blight on our nation's history requires. Do it properly, and you chase away viewers in a hurry. Lighten things up, and you risk diminishing the subject to the point of offensiveness. Underground, Wgn America's latest period drama (it debuts Wednesday night at 10), finds a clever solution to that problem. It's set in the pre-Civil War South, and most of its characters are slaves on a Georgia cotton plantation, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Aldis Hodge became an actor because his older brother wanted to be “in the box” and his mother promised him some Batman toys. He’s been working tirelessly ever since — including a stint on TNT’s “Leverage” — but now he’s finally having a breakthrough moment. After appearing in “Straight Outta Compton” as Mc Ren, he’s starring in Wgn America’s new series “Underground” as Noah, who leads his fellow slaves in a daring escape on the Underground Railroad. (The 10-hour drama, which is exec produced by John Legend and creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, debuts March 9.)
Below, Hodge tells Variety about the role he calls one of the hardest of his career, how this series offers a new perspective on slavery, and the humble beginnings that taught him to appreciate the career he has now.
What drew you to this part? What made you want to take on this role? »
- Debra Birnbaum
Having previously plumbed the 17th-century and then the 1940s via Salem and Manhattan, Wgn America’s next period drama, Underground, aims to bring a modern sensibility to the senseless injustice of slavery in the United States circa 1857.
RelatedWgn’s Underground Thriller Gets March Premiere Date, Trailers
Specifically, as its title suggests, the 10-episode series — created by Misha Green (Sons of Anarchy) and Joe Pokaski (Heroes) and premiering Wednesday, March 9 at 10/9c) — offers an alternately gripping and illuminating look at the Underground Railroad system by which the bravest (and/or most desperate) of slaves sought to escape to the north, with the hope of living free. »
Twenty years ago this week - Feb. 9, 1996 - the romcom-dramedy Beautiful Girls first opened in theaters. The film centers around Willie (Timothy Hutton), who returns home for his high school reunion in a small Massachusetts town. It's funny, it's heartwarming, and it features one of the better ensemble casts of the 1990s. In honor of the film's 20th anniversary, we're pulling out the yearbook and looking up the film's cast to what they've been up to over the past 20 years. Timothy HuttonHutton won Best Supporting Actor in 1981 for Ordinary People when he was only 20. To this day he's the youngest-ever »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
RelatedJanuary Premieres, Returns, Finales and More: Save the 120+ Dates!
TVLine has learned exclusively that Glover will guest-star in this season’s 16th episode, titled “Derek,” as father to Shemar Moore’s character.
Of course, Derek Morgan’s dad is long-established as being dead. So…. Hmm.
“It’s an interesting role that he plays,” showrunner Erica Messer shares with TVLine. “The reason Derek needs to call on »
A still from American Crime Season 2.
American Crime will have its Australian television premiere this weekend exclusively on Presto.
The news comes on the heels of last month.s arrival of American Crime season 1, which has already become one of the most popular dramas streaming on Presto, and brings season 2 to Presto subscribers in line with Us weekly broadcasts.
Season 2 takes on issues of socio-economics and sexual orientation against the backdrop of two Midwestern high schools when a public high school student accuses several members of an elite private school's championship basketball team of drugging and assaulting him and then taking lurid photos of the incident and posting them on social media.
The victim and his family struggle for justice despite being publicly assailed by the private school.s wealthy families »
- Staff Writer
8 items from 2016
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