18 items from 2015
The 18th century's most famous womanizer is getting his own show on Amazon. The Americans writer Stu Zicherman and Electus founder Ben Silverman are planning Casanova, a period drama that will focus on the titular ladies' man.
Before his name ever became synonymous with lotharios worldwide, Casanova was a Venetian libertine who was exiled from his home city after his adventures anger the local inquisitors. The series begins as Casanova arrives in Paris on a mission to reconstruct his life. “I thought the whole idea of Casanova living in exile in Paris was great,” said Silverman.
Silverman, whose TV credits include The Office and Ugly Betty, is also one of the executive producers for Netflix's Marco Polo, which was recently picked up for a second season. Casanova, with its historical lens, its sexy premise, and its focus on a notable Venetian, seems to share a lot in common with the Netflix epic. »
- Sam Gutelle
"The Americans" has always been a show about questions. In the spy genre, questions arise all the time. Who's lying? Who's telling the truth? Why? For what purpose? But creator Joseph Weisberg has also been quite adept at allowing each of his first two seasons to be summed up by a central, thematic question — and then answering them through the most trying of circumstances. The first season of Weisberg's "marital drama through spies' eyes" focused on the not-so-basic concept of how two Kgb agents ordered to live together, work together and pretend to love one another (and have kids together) could actually fall in love by traditional romantic standards — in other words, how could such a marriage work? Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys) built a sexual tension comparable to the risks taken in the field, vetting the positives of falling in love versus the dangers it could bring »
- Ben Travers
In the season three premiere of FX's "The Americans," Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) goes to church with her teenage daughter, Paige (Holly Taylor). They fold flyers advocating for nuclear disarmament and Paige exchanges furtive glances with her latest crush, but the most potent image may be that of Elizabeth, committed atheist, joining in a hymn. "O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear," the lyrics caution, as though to acknowledge the series' heightened stakes. Combining white-knuckle suspense and family drama, "The Americans" is, now more than ever, a brilliant chronicle of the Cold War at home. As Elizabeth and her husband, Philip (Matthew Rhys), Soviet spies posing as an American couple in the environs of Washington, D.C., confront the dilemma of their handlers' latest command -- to recruit Paige as a "second-generation illegal" -- the first four episodes of season three see their potential for causing collateral. »
- Matt Brennan
This article is based on the first two episodes of season three, which were provided to us for review.
There’s a scene in episode two of The Americans’ third season, premiering this Wednesday, that’s a nice road marker for where the show has come from, what it is now, and where it feels like this is all heading. What impresses is how the scene – featuring nothing more than two spies, a low-lit backalley, and a gun – can look like a throwback, yet feel like something bracingly immediate. The secret is in the details: the gunman holds the pistol close to his waist, ready to thread some lead through his target’s trench coat. A few words are exchanged, and in a flash, the would-be shooter’s stance changes from a pose worthy of Raymond Chandler to something out of a 21st century action movie. In one motion, The Americans »
- Sam Woolf
“The Americans” picks up pretty deftly from where last season’s cliffhanger left off, while advancing that storyline at a relatively slow pace. Mixing the micro and the macro, the FX series grapples with questions surrounding the central couple’s daughter, while finding the Soviets in near-panic mode over the Vietnam-like quagmire that Afghanistan threatens to become for them. Throw in the arrival of Frank Langella in a supporting role, and it’s a solid start to a show that, despite its flaws, has quickly grasped the mantle of being perhaps the network’s most-heralded series.
At the close of season two (and Spoiler Alert if you’re not caught up), the two Soviet spies operating in the U.S. as a married couple, Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell), were presented an unsettling proposition, or really ultimatum, from their handlers: Begin training their 14-year-old daughter, Paige (Holly Taylor »
- Brian Lowry
Ten years after graduating from Yale University, New Yorker Noah Emmerich began mapping his route to the big screen. Unlike many others, whose sights are set on being a leading man in Hollywood, Emmerich found his voice in character roles such as friend and traitor, Marlon in Peter Weir’s, The Truman Show, or the compulsive yet merciful ex-cop, Larry Hedges, in the drama Little Children; all of which have earned him both respect and admiration from peers and audiences alike and a reputation as the actor to call on for nuanced layered performances.
But it is Emmerich’s commanding portrayal of troubled FBI agent, Stan Beeman, in FX’s hit spy thriller The Americans, which is earning the actor the biggest accolades and fanbase of his career. Rarely does a character evoke such contrasting emotions; as audiences are compelled »
- Gary Collinson
The Americans is a TV Show unlike many others out there and returns for its third season at the end of this month, so it’s doing pretty well so well, as we follow the lives of two Soviet intelligence agents posing as a married couple to spy on the American government. It’s fun stuff.
Today, to celebrate the release of Season 2 on DVD, we’ve got some exclusive bits to share with you that include an awesome featurette and an interview with producer Joel Fields, enjoy:
- Dan Bullock
When The Americans' Keri Russell stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Fallon decided that the appropriate game to play with a spy would be flip cup ... with a twist. They would be playing while wearing large inflatable suits. After a quick dance break—Russell was really loving the suit—the two of them went head to head, as though they were back in (an inflatable?) college. The result: Fallon seems to win, though someone could probably argue for a tie. »
- Samantha Highfill
If you're like us and value your sleep, you probably nodded off into your Ambien dreamland before the party started on post-prime time TV. Don't worry; we've got you covered. Here's the best of what happened last night on late night.
"Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet and "Arrow" star Stephen Amell were on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Tuesday night, and they competed in a fun game called "Name That Thing." Spoiler alert! Eric won, but he admitted in one of his individual videos that Stephen probably should've won because the final round was to name a bunch of U.S. Presidents and Stephen is Canadian. Eric said Stephen knows more about the U.S. than Eric does about Canada, so it wasn't quite fair. Eric also talked about pranking his "Modern Family" co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and shared his latest torture, sending him a sex toy in the mail. He's a big football fan, »
- Gina Carbone
The following contains spoilers from Tuesday’s Justified season premiere.
As FX’s Justified opened its final season with a tense hour that pitted Raylan against a federale, had Ava on edge and saw Boyd pull off a brazen bank heist, almost everyone made it out alive.
Because in the course of the aforementioned heist, Dewey Crowe was used as a distraction, to draw Raylan and Tim off Boyd’s scent. After Dewey grumbled some about his fate as bait, and with Boyd wary of the parolee’s trustworthiness, he received as recompense a bullet in the back of his head, »
After five-and-a-half seasons of busting zombie skulls, Rick Grimes sounds more pragmatic than ever when it comes to the survival of his rag-tag gang. "We do what we need to do and then we get to live," Grimes says in the new trailer for the second half of The Walking Dead's Season Five. "I know we'll be ok," he adds, "because this is how we survive."
Though only 30 seconds long, the new clip teases some of the outrageous action to come as Rick clocks one zombie with a machete »
With AMC's upcoming "The Walking Dead" spin-off series expected to go back in time to the early days of the epidemic, it does open the story up to include a character appearance or two that serves as a connection to the original series. One obvious possibility is Noah Emmerich's Edwin Jenner, the Cdc scientist who appeared (and died) during the first season's finale.
Emmerich appeared at the TCA winter press tour for FX's "The Americans" this past weekend and was asked whether he would have any interest in reprising his role as Jenner. He says: "Sure, I think he's a fascinating character. There's definitely a lot more to find out about Dr. Jenner. I have no idea, I haven't talked with them about anything. I don't know [if he could come back]. I have no idea, but it's an interesting question."
- Garth Franklin
Justified has one final round left in the chamber. And you can bet that it will hit the bull’s-eye.
This Tuesday at 10/9c, the FX drama opens its sixth and final season, picking up right where things left off with Raylan (played by Timothy Olyphant) recruiting Ava (Joelle Carter) as a C.I. to take down her estranged fiance Boyd (Walton Goggins) on Rico charges. When all is said and done, will Raylan get his man, once and for all? Will anyone in Harlan find a happy ending?
Showrunner Graham Yost spoke with TVLine about the final season’s themes, »
The Americans star Keri Russell is sticking up for her onscreen alter ego when it comes to Elizabeth and Philip’s conflict over daughter Paige’s future and whether she should become part of the second-generation legals program.
While Philip is staunchly against the idea, Season 3 (premiering Jan. 28 on FX) finds Elizabeth spending more time with Paige at her church in order to get closer to her.
“I don’t look at it like I’m recruiting this teenager to do what I »
My string of three consecutive afternoon live-blogs concludes with FX's "The Americans." There's the off-chance that I may be distracted by the Patriots-Colts game, which is also happening on my computer, but follow along to see what "The Americans" creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields, plus stars Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys and Noah Emmerich had to say about Season 3 at the Television Critics Association press tour. Note that we've seen four episodes for the new season. If anything spoiler-y is asked, I won't live-blog those answers. 3:58 p.m. Another shout-out for the HitFix Critics' Poll, which featured "The Americans." Woot! 3:59 p.m. Oh and I'm totally possibly maybe watching football in the background. Kinda. But I'm also totally paying attention to these clips from Season 3. 4:01 p.m. Touchdown! And by that, I mean that the "Americans" stars and producers have arrived on the stage. 4:02 p.m. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Us drama The Americans has been dropped by ITV.
A spokesperson for the channel has confirmed to Digital Spy that it will not be acquiring the spy thriller's third season.
ITV aired the first two seasons of the Emmy-nominated series between June 2013 and May 2014.
Us network FX has renewed the show for a third season of 15 episodes, which will launch in America on January 28.
Scorpion: ITV2 to air Us tech thriller in the UK
Broadchurch Us remake Gracepoint to air on ITV »
There are plenty of interesting new series to be on the lookout for, but many TV fans will be most excited about the return of some of television’s best offerings. Here are Chief TV Editor Kate Kulzick and Managing TV Editor Deepayan Sengupta’s picks for the most exciting (currently scheduled) midseason returns of 2015.
Banshee Season 3
Airs Fridays at 10pm (Et) on Cinemax
Premieres Jan. 9th, 2015
While The Knick established Cinemax as a new contender in the arena of high-quality television, it wasn’t the first show to give the channel that reputation, as the Alan Ball-produced Banshee has been steadily garnering attention for itself, and Cinemax by extension, over the course of its two seasons. The tale of a small Pennsylvania town, and the tensions that simmer underneath the surface, has used strong character work, well-plotted storylines, and memorable fight »
Having had one of the most troubled productions in recent memory – with director Lynne Ramsay quitting, Michael Fassbender, Jude Law and Bradley Cooper all pulling out, and The Weinstein Company pushing back the release on two occasions – we now have our first look at the upcoming western Jane Got a Gun courtesy of a selection of images featuring Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods and Kings)…
Young and pretty with a soul of pure steel, Jane Hammond is a good girl married to one of the worst baddies in town. When her husband Bill turns against his own gang, the vicious Bishop Boys, and returns home barely alive with eight bullets in his back, Jane knows it’s time to ditch the dress for a pair of pants and strap on her own gun. As the relentless leader John Bishop gears up for revenge, Jane’s best »
- Gary Collinson
18 items from 2015
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