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taken

The small screen adaptation of Taken will debut on NBC on February 27 at 10 PM.

The series follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen from Vikings) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world. As he fights to overcome the trauma of the incident and exact revenge, Mills is pulled into a career as a deadly CIA operative, a job that awakens his very particular, and very dangerous, set of skills. In 30 years, this character is destined to become the Bryan Mills that we’ve come to love from the “Taken” films.

The cast includes Brooklyn Sudano (My Wife and Kids), Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights and Aquarius), Jennifer Beals (Flashdance), Jose Pablo Cantillo (The Walking Dead), Michael Irby (The Unit) and Monique Curnen (The Following).

Here is a trailer for Taken:

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Outlander 2014

Sorry Outlander fans, but the third season of the show won’t be returning until September.

Yep, I said September!

This delay isn’t because Starz doesn’t want to air it any earlier (considering it started in April last season), but because the show needs time to get full production of the season done.

In fact, filming is expected to wrap in June.

NOTE: Outlander is the first TV show to confirm attendance at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con where they will be “offering fans a chance to experience more of this beloved series in person.” [Source: SDCC Blog]

Sony Pictures TV Executive Vice President Steve Kent had this to say about the September premiere, “With the scope of the production and all of the intricate details that go into the Emmy-nominated sets and costumes, we had to make sure everything is kept to the high standard of the previous seasons and [author] Diana Gabaldon’s beautiful story. We’re so proud of the incredible work that Ron [Moore] and the Outlander team have done.”

The 13-episode third season is based on the third book “Voyager” in the Outlander book franchise. The new season picks up right after Claire (series lead Caitriona Balfe) travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948, where she gives birth to Jamie’s (series lead Sam Heughan) daughter Brianna and resumes her marriage to her first husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). Back in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire.

Mark your calendars, Outlander fans, for September!

[Source: Entertainment Weekly]

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the-crown

This TV season brought not one, but two series about famous monarchs and as both featured two of the three British Queens, it’s nearly impossible not to compare both shows from the start. The Crown and Victoria, tackling Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria (respectively), have similar starting places – young queens with dozens of men surrounding them trying to influence policy – and even have some of the same cast: actor Alex Jennings is both David, Duke of Windsor (in The Crown), and King Leopold of Belgium (in Victoria) – but the focus of each show is different.

The Crown is taking a longer look at the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from the early days of her rule (as seen in the first season) and progressing through more current times. During the shows run, multiple actresses will play the Queen through the years, and hopefully the two or three other women will do just as well as Claire Foy has done so far. In the first season, Elizabeth’s advisors constantly try to govern for her, be it Churchill, Prince Philip, or her private secretary. She simply follows so much of what these men tell her as if it is status quo that it is hard to find her power and strength amid all the other voices.

With Victoria, Jenna Coleman plays the young Victoria, who ultimately shaped modern Britain that we still see today. She too, follows along with some of what her Prime Minister says (though with the added hint of a sexual attraction), but after she is married to Prince Albert, Albert does his best to guide his wife and monarch.

victoria

However, given that both women are strong rulers, who are equally defiant in their roles as monarch, it’s hard not to compare both shows.

The Crown has the money behind it to really make the life of Queen Elizabeth shine, but it does not focus as much on what Elizabeth might want, whereas Victoria gives the audience a strong sense of what Victoria wants and how she goes about getting it.

Though we all know the history behind both rulers, Victoria seems more willing to bend the truth for the sake of drama (the flirting Victoria does with Lord Melbourne and how she wasn’t already smitten with Albert as the two shining examples of inaccuracies), but if anything The Crown wants Elizabeth’s story to be as real as possible.

Of course, the rationale behind both shows is different and at the heart of each, there is a different purpose and a different audience (with different reactions; it’s much easier to glorify the past rather than the current) but in the end, each show is about a woman ruling Britain, and that is where any comparisons should end.

Is it hard to do just that? Yes, at least for me. But, the next seasons of each show may make it easier to separate them as being of the same cloth.

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The Un-Cancelled

hayley-atwell-conviction

This year few shows have been officially cancelled by ABC, despite two shows being given either shorter seasons or no-back nine. But, the two shows that fit into this “not cancelled but cancelled” model also featured strong women. I can’t tell what about either show didn’t work, however.

Conviction featured Hayley Atwell, on another ABC show after Agent Carter was cancelled, and Notorious starred Piper Perabo who has seen previous success.

Both shows had premises that should have captured audiences (Conviction took on a case of the week in a way that mirrored Castle and Notorious did a job of setting up a case of the week and the draw of celebrity culture), but neither gathered much support.

Is the reason that these two shows failed something that can be the fault of the structure (Conviction is possibly a little too how the sausage gets made for fans of Castle) or is it just that shows with strong women seem to be trouble for ABC?

piper-perabo-notorious

Fans loved Atwell’s Agent Carter, but it always floundered in the ratings. This time around for Atwell, her character, Hayes Morrison, is rather tough to take, being the sort of unlikeable character that can be charming or disheartening. The same could be said for Perabo’s Julia George, or it could be the premise that rubbed everyone the wrong way.

As we have seen in politics, what was expected is not always what happens, and perhaps in a year where Hillary Clinton was belittled for her strong positions, both Hayes Morrison and Julia George were caught in the backlash?

I doubt we’ll know what the real reason for why both of these shows were essentially cancelled, but to see strong women leading shows and to see those shows not succeed is difficult to take for this woman.

I pride myself on being strong and taking what I want and so did Hayes and Julia. Too bad we won’t see more of their stories, especially if it means I need to watch my own attitude in public.

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Outlander Fans!!

Two more casting announcements have been made for the much-anticipated season 3 of the Starz drama based on the Diana Gabaldon series of books.

New Zealand actor Gary Young will play Mr. Willoughby, a Chinese man with a deep knowledge of Eastern medicine is a talented poet in exile, with an even deeper love of women. He is a confidante of Jamie Fraser (series lead Sam Heughan), speaks English well, but hides it when it suits him. He is even more of an outsider than Claire in 18th century Scotland.

Newcomer Charlie Hiett will portray British Captain Thomas Leonard, the inexperienced, by-the-book de facto captain of the Artemis. Promoted quickly due to the untimely deaths of his commanding officers, Leonard takes his job very seriously, though it weighs heavily on his young shoulders. A third lieutenant, he never thought he would be the captain of a man-of-war ship. Above all, he wants to do what is right by the British Navy — whether or not it is right by his own personal morals.

An official airdate has yet to be announced for the third season of Outlander by Starz.

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Based on information provided by the Box Office Mojo and some internet research, here are just some of the movies you can expect to see in the movie theatres in February:

The Comedian
Opens: February 3

Jackie (Robert DeNiro) is a comic icon, attempting to reinvent himself despite his audience only wanting to know him as a television character he played earlier in his career. After accosting an audience member, Jackie is sentenced to community service where he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann). The film also stars Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Cloris Leachman, Patti LuPone, Harvey Keitel and Billy Crystal.

The Space Between Us
Opens: February 3

In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot (Asa Butterfield) – an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa (Britt Robertson). When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars – from the most simple to the extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team of scientists and joins with Tulsa on a race against time to unravel the mysteries of how he came to be, and where he belongs in the universe. The cast includes Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, B.D. Wong and Janet Montgomery.

A United Kingdom
Opens: February 10

The film, based on a true story, focuses on Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), who is the Prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana). In 1948 he meets and falls in love with London office worker Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). But their interracial relationship is not approved of by either of their families, nor by the British and South African governments. Seretse and Ruth must defy family, apartheid and the British Empire to return from an imposed exile to their African kingdom, and assume power after independence. The cast includes Jack Davenport, Tom Felton and Laura Carmichael.

John Wick, Chapter 2
Opens: February 10

Legendary hitman John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome, where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers. The cast includes Common, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Bridget Moynahan, Lance Reddick and Thomas Sadoski.

The Lego Batman Movie
Opens: February 10

Batman (voiced by Will Arnett) goes on a personal journey to find himself and learn the importance of teamwork and friendship in hopes to save Gotham City from a hostile takeover set by The Joker (voice by Zach Galifianakis). Other voices will be provided by Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Mariah Carey and Jenny Slate.

Patient Zero
Opens: February 17

After a pandemic outbreak, a mutated form of rabies results in most humans being turned into a highly intelligent new species known as “The Infected”: a human survivor, Morgan (Matt Smith), with the ability to talk with the “infected,” investigates these species and pursues “Patient Zero” to find an antidote to save humanity, including his infected wife. Aiding Morgan on the mission to find Patient Zero is CDC virologist Dr. Gina Rose (Natalie Dormer), leading the scientific research efforts, while Colonel Knox (Clive Standen) is in charge of the military front. The film also stars Stanely Tucci.

Bitter Harvest
Opens: February 24

The film follows two lovers (Max Irons and Samantha Barks) struggling to survive the Holodomor Soviet regime forced famine with their Cossack grain farmer families. The cast also includes Barry Pepper.

Rock Dog
Opens: February 24

In this animated film, Bodi, a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff (voice by Luke Wilson), is expected to become the next village guard to a group of fun-loving, country-side sheep, but fears he doesn’t have the passion to assume the role from his dad, Khampa (voiced by J.K. Simmons). Everything changes when a radio literally falls out of the sky and Bodi hears a song by rock legend Angus Scattergood (voiced by Eddie Izzard), opening his heart to a musical world he must explore. Leaving home to chase his destiny in the big city, Bodi attracts the attention of Khampa’s nemesis, Linnux (voiced by Lewis Black). Leader of a hungry wolf pack, Linnux believes that Bodi is his ticket back into the village and closer to delicious sheep. It is up to Bodi to save his family and friends from harm without giving up his newfound dream. Other voices will be provided by Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon and Sam Elliott.

Tulip Fever
Opens: February 24

Set in the Netherlands in the early 17th century, during the period of the tulip mania, an artist (Dane DeHaan) falls for a married young woman (Alicia Vikander) while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait by her husband (Christoph Waltz). The two invest in the risky tulip market in hopes to build a future together. The film also stars Dame Judi Dench, Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger, Matthew Morrison, Cara Delevingne, Tom Hollander, Kevin McKidd and Davie Harewood.

Movies coming out in March will be posted at the end of February.

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frontier

The 6-episode streaming series Frontier will debut online on January 20 at Netflix.

This is an action-packed adventure drama that follows the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade in the late 18th century.

The cast includes Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones and The Red Road), Landon Liboiron (Hemlock Grove), Zoe Boyle (Downton Abbey) and Greg Bryk (Bitten).

Here is a trailer for Frontier:

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