The ABC's of television

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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:49 pm

Wallander (2008-2016)

Wallander is the great BBC TV series (made up of 12 90-minute episodes to date, so basically made-for-TV movies) based on Henning Mankell's series of detective novels. The main character, Wallander, is played by Kenneth Branagh. I watched this series on Netflix in Canada and I'm guessing it's still available on the streaming service around the world. It's great because it's set in Sweden, the original names of the characters have been kept but the characters are played by British actors. If you think that might be jarring, it really isn't. Check it out. The stories are really quite intriguing and engaging.

Tristan LeMay, author
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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:39 pm

X- The X-Files (1993-2002, 2016-)

The X-Files was a very popular American science fiction TV series created by Chris Carter. It aired originally for 9 seasons on Fox, from 1993 to 2002. A total of 202 episodes. Series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson became mega international stars and went on to star in other series and movies, Californication and Aquarius for Duchovny and The Fall and Sex Education in the UK for Anderson, among others. In 2016, a six-episode tenth season reunited the duo and garnered amazing ratings success. That prompted Fox to order a 10-episode eleventh season which aired in 2018. You can bet there will be a 12th season. We just don't know yet when it will air. Also, The X-Files spawned two feature films, one in 1998 and one, ten years later, in 2008. The first five seasons of the series were filmed and produced in Vancouver, Canada, and the production then moved back to Los Angeles so that Duchovny wouldn't leave the show. The X-Files is one of the most popular science fiction franchises ever and Duchovny and Anderson's on-screen chemistry was reminiscent of Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard on Moonlighting and so many more 'will-they-won't-they' duos throughout TV history.

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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:48 pm

YOU (2018- )

In 2018, Netflix launched a new 'stalker' social media nightmare series called YOU about a smart bookstore manager who uses his internet savvy to make the woman of his dreams fall in love with him. The 20-episode first series has garnered a fair amount of interest and a second season is in the works. Based on a book by Caroline Kepnes, the series was developed by Greg Barlanti (Fred! Move your head! - remember that at the end of so many shows you watch/watched like 'Riverdale', 'Brothers and Sisters', 'Everwood', 'Eli Stone' and more recently 'The Flash', 'Arrow' and 'Supergirl') and Sera Gamble , and stars Penn Badgley and Ambyr Childers (some of you might remember her from 'Aquarius' where she played Sadie, 'Ray Donavan' where she played Ashley or 'All My Children' where she was Colby Chandler for a few seasons). By the way, if you are a soap fan, you might like to know that Daniel Cosgrove (Billy Lewis III on Guilding Light, Scott Chandler on All My Children, Aiden Jennings on Days of Our Lives and Chris Hugues on As the World Turns and Matt Durning on Beverly Hills, 90210), John Stamos (remember Blackie on General Hospital who went on to 'Full House' and 'ER' fame) and Michael Park (Jack Snyder on As the World Turns) also have parts in 'YOU'.

Although some people might feel 'YOU' is pretty cheesy or over-the-top, it's good heart-racing fare so... check it out!

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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:35 am

Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous (2013)

Although this comedy serious only lasted 12 episodes, it was pretty funny. It was created by a really funny guy called Bo Burnham who also starred in it. It's premise was so real and so with its time. A guy who graduates high school and decides to pursue the new American Dream: To become famous without having any gift or talent. Yeah. Like that hasn't happened A LOT. Hehe!

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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:55 pm

ALLY McBEAL (1997-2002)

Created by David E. Kelley (one of my TV writing idols), Ally McBeal was a quirky, original, strange comedy that I absolutely loved. It starred Calista Flockhart, Broadway triple-threat Jane Krakowski, Greg Germann, Peter MacNicol, Portia De Rossi, Lisa Nicole Carson, Lucy Liu, Gil Bellows and Courtney Thorne-Smith among other amazing actors. Not everybody got the humour of Ally MacBeal but it is one of my favorite shows of all time. Many of its actors went on to other great TV series, comedies and dramas. Calista Flockhart was Kitty on the ensemble cast series 'Brothers and Sisters' with Sally Field playing her mom and was more recently on 'Supergirl'. Jane Krakowski went on to '30 Rock' and 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt', Greg Germann is on 'Friends from College' and 'Grey's Anatomy'... Lucy Liu was the star of 'Elementary' and Courtney Thorne-Smith went on to 'According to Jim' (another A title!) and 'Two and a Half Men'. ALLY McBEAL was just amazing television and is very hard to find on DVD or otherwise - apparently - because of complicated rights to music played on the show. It did have an insane amount of songs played and covers done, especially by the lounge singer in the bar played by Vonda Shepard. By the way, let's remember that Robert Downey Jr., James Marsden, Dyan Cannon and Renée Elyse Goldsberry were also on this amazing show!
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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:22 pm

THE BIG BANG THEORY (2007-2019)

After twelve amazing seasons on CBS, this terrific Chuck Lorre-Billy Prady created comedy went off the air this Spring. Some say it was mainly because Jim Parsons (Sheldon) had had enough and wanted to move on. That does make sense because he has been starring in other things and producing stuff as well. As a matter of fact, he is the Executive Producer and co-creator of the BIG BAND THEORY spinoff 'Young Sheldon'. But I digress. This great sitcom starring a bunch of nerdy scientists and college professors was NOT the usual comedic fodder network television had gotten us used to. It became a surprise hit because nobody really expected it to take off like it did. But of course, who could have said no to Chuck Lorre after his success in the sitcom biz. THE BIG BANG THEORY will be in reruns for years and years and if you haven't had the chance to check it out yet, please do. It really is smart comedy... and it ages very well. The first seasons are just as cool and funny as the last episodes.
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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:01 am

CHICAGO HOPE (1994-2000)

I know you guys will probably say I'm totally obsessed with David E. Kelley who created Chicago Hope (and so many other of my favorite series of all time, including MANY I've already included in this list - Picket Fences, L.A. Law, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Boston Legal, The Practice...) but you know what? I'm fine with that. The guy was an amazing creator and writer and really still is one of my ultimate role models. CHICAGO HOPE was a medical drama with a twist... à la David E. Kelley. It started Broadway legend Mandy Patinkin (who went on to star on HOMELAND), Adam Arkin, Hector Elizondo (who later played Callie's dad on Grey's Anatomy), Roxane Hart, Peter Berg (who went on to adapt FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS for TV), Christine Lahti, Mark Harmon (you might know him from a little show called NCIS) and so many other amazing actors... not to mention all the guest players. This show was so well written, so relevant and ground-breaking. I just loved it. I don't know if it's on anywhere anymore but it certainly deserves to be seen. I'm not even sure if it was ever released on DVD.
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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:53 am

Dynasty (ABC, 1981-1989) and Dynasty (CW/Netflix, 2017- )

The original Dynasty series, ABC's reply to CBS' mega-successful 'Dallas', was a huge success. Created by husband and wife duo Esther Shapiro and Richard Alan Shapiro, it lasted 217 episodes over 9 seasons. It starred John Foresythe (hot off being the voice of Charlie on 'Charlie's Angels), Linda Evans and Joan Collins as Blake, Krystal and Alexis. it was famous for its over-the-top riches, its catfights and beautiful people. It was so popular that, like its rival show Dallas with Knots Landing, it sprung a spin-off called The Colbys, which was less successful but still did well. Almost 30 years later, a highly criticized yet surprisingly popular (as a guilty pleasure especially) reboot will soon be airing its third season on the CW. The episodes then land on Netflix a few days after their original broadcast. In this new, modernised version of the rivalry between the Carringtons and the Colbys, the level of acting is generally way under par. Some actors even seem to be abandonning ship for some reason or another, creating some very odd, unabashadly soapy storylines (like Nicolette Sheridan's Alexis having her face being pushed in a burning fireplace and having to spend a few episodes with her face covered in bandages before undergoing plastic surgery and 'coming back' with her daughter Fallon's face (Elizabeth Giles) - I know, right?) Anyway, if you like soapy, over-the-top drama and male and female eye candy, you might want to check it out. If not, move along. You'll find something else, I'm sure. ;)
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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:39 pm

EASTSIDERS (2012 - )

Eastsiders started out as a crowdfunded webseries (and it still is but... it's grown) in 2012. It was created by actor and director Kit Williamson (whom you might remember from his role as Ed on 'Mad Men'). After two seasons, the show was picked up by Netflix so you can now watch the 21 first episodes (3 seasons) on that platform. The series stars Williamson as Cal and Van Hansis (who played gay teen and young adult Luke Snyder on As the World Turns) as his boyfriend. This series is very, very gay! It is made with very little money but well acted and produced by very resourceful creators. You should give it a look ... if you're into stuff like that. ;-)

I personally can't wait for Netflix to give us season 4.

Tristan LeMay, author xx
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Re: The ABC's of television

Postby Tristan LeMay » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:21 pm

FIVE CAME BACK (2019, Netflix)

This weekend, I finally got around to watching the amazing documentary series (3 episodes of approximately 1 hour each) FIVE CAME BACK about the five famous movie directors who 'enlisted' in the armed forces to go overseas during World War II and became documentary filmmakers. Co-produced by Steven Spielberg, this truly fascinating piece of must-see TV is for all people who are passionate about moviemaking, history, World War II - any or all of the above. Who knew that Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life), John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath), George Stevens (The Diary of Anne Frank), William Wyler (Ben-Hur) and John Huston (Moby Dick) were in the trenches making war documentaries throughout World War II? Listen to Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Greengrass, Francis Ford Coppola and Guillermo del Toro tell you these amazing stories. I promise you will be as happy about seeing it as I was. So much great stuff you'll want to see AFTER the documentary as well. I can't wait to see if some of you will comment.
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