Category Archives: Blog

Cinema du Fromage Season 3 movie list

Season 3 (2018 – 19)

18. Rollerball 1975
19. The Car 1977
20. Casino Royale 1967
21. Body Double 1984
22. The Towering Inferno 1974
23. Dawn of the Dead 1978

24. Deathrace 2000 1975
25. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death 1971
26. Halloween III: Season of the Witch 1982
27. Strange Brew 1983
28. The Dead Zone 1983
29. Plan 9 from Outer Space 1959
30. Cinema du Fromage Season 3 Finale The Show Down Episode



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Indy Radio Monthly Guide – February 2018

February 2, 2018

The Spotlight: 2017 Best TV Shows 243

Episode 243 we talk about 2017’s best TV programs 2/2/18

Hosts:
Hosts
Kinte @KinteF https://twitter.com/KinteF
J Corina Francis @FollowingBliss1 https://twitter.com/FollowingBliss1

Guests

February 9, 2018

Spotlight: The Top 5 Date Films of All Time Episode 244

Episode 244 we talk about The Top 5 Date Films of All Time plus National Pizza and Bagel day. 2/9/18

Hosts
Kinte @KinteF twitter.com/KinteF
J Corina Francis @FollowingBliss1 twitter.com/FollowingBliss1

Guests:

Locations of Site Visitors


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Indy Radio Monthly Guide – January 2018

January 26, 2018

Spotlight: William X Lee “6 Feet Bellow Hell” & The Last Jedi discussion Episode 242

On the Season 14 premiere of The Spotlight we welcome back to the show film maker William X Lee to talk about his new film “6 Feet Bellow Hell” 1/26/18 Episode 242

Hosts
Kinte @KinteF twitter.com/KinteF
J Corina Francis @FollowingBliss1 twitter.com/FollowingBliss1
Jacqueline Michelle Riviere

Guest
William X Lee @WILLIAMXLEE twitter.com/WILLIAMXLEE

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Top 25 Dramas of 2013-14 part 3 of 3

ScreenHunter_02 May. 07 19.31By Kinte

This is my final entry in my Top 25 Dramas of the 2013-14 television season blog series.  In this one we are going to talk about my top 5 list.  These shows were the best of the last season of television and represent my favorite shows to watch.

Here is how I decide what makes it to my list In no particular order.  1. Writing, 2. Acting 3. Directing 4. Originality.

 Part 1 25 – 16 Part 2 15 – 6 Part 3 5 – 1

5 – 1


5. Sons of Anarchy (Season 6) FX5. Sons of Anarchy (Season 6) FX

Synopsis:

Sons of Anarchy is an American television drama series created by Kurt Sutter about the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in California’s Central Valley. The show centers on protagonist Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the president of the club, who begins questioning the club and himself.

The sixth season aired from September 10 through December 10, 2013. The season finale was the second-most watched episode of the season and the most-watched finale in series history. Those involved in the production of the series imply that creator Kurt Sutter plans a seventh season.

My Thoughts:sons-anarchy

It’s no secret that I think the FX network has the best overall programing and their show Sons of Anarchy is the crown jewel.  Kurt Sutter (the show’s creator) is hands down one of Hollywood’s best talents.  This show is underrated and overlooked in my opinion.  I would have never thought that I would like a show about outlaw bikers but I do.  This show has so much depth and complexity about it.  The show borrows some of its biggest themes from Sha
kespeare giving it so much power.

 Season six might be the series best ever.  The reason so much happens during it.  Big characters are killed off in big ways.  The show protagonist Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam) takes his biggest leap in the show’s history.  Every episode is just so well written and leaves you wanting more.  The episodes are longer and pack a big punch.  The season finale was earth shattering and makes you salivate for season seven.  If you are a show runner and you want to know how to construct a season watch season six of Sons of Anarchy you might just learn something.

4. Game of Thrones (Season 3) HBO4. Game of Thrones (Season 3) HBO

Synopsis:

The third season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones premiered on March 31, 2013 on HBO. HBO renewed the series for a third season on April 10, 2012, nine days after the second season’s premiere. Production began in July 2012.

Like the other seasons, the third season consists of ten episodes. It is based roughly on the first half of A Storm of Swords (the third of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, of which the series is an adaptation)

My Thoughts:Game-of-Thrones-recap

Every once and a while a great show losses a little bit of its swagger and gets it back in a major way.  That could be said for season three of Game of Thrones.  Each season is based off a book in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Season 3 and now season 4 are based off of the third book in the series A Storm of Swords.  Breaking this great book into 2 10 episode seasons was a brilliant idea.  By doing this it made the third season much better.

This season does not lose any of what made the first two great. In fact it doubles down on all of that.  HBO has put a lot of money into this show and it has certainly paid off.  The great moment in this season is of course the great “Red Wedding” episode “The Rains of Castamere”.  After that moment it made the audience question all they thought of the series thus far.  This is what I want from a show.  A great show keeps you on your toes and throws the rule book out of the window.  Game of Thrones is one of the best shows on television and season three is one of the shows strongest.

3. True Detective (Season 1) HBO3. True Detective (Season 1) HBO

Synopsis:

True Detective is an American television crime drama series on HBO created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, with the first season directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Season one stars Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, and Tory Kittles, and uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives’ hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years. The series premiered on January 12, 2014, and consisted of eight episodes which concluded on March 9, 2014.

In April 2012, HBO picked up the series with an order of eight episodes. The series was created by Nic Pizzolatto, who wrote all the episodes, while all the first season episodes are directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga; both also serve as executive producers, with Pizzolatto as showrunner.[2] The series’ title is a reference to the “true detective” genre of pulp fiction, particularly the 20th-century magazine True Detective. Season one is set along the coastal plain of South Louisiana, where it was also filmed

The series was pitched as an anthology format, with each season featuring a different cast of characters and story.

My Thoughts:true-detective-3

HBO might be the leader in this television renaissance.  Some might say this golden age started with this premium cable channel.  HBO has a long history of making great compelling TV.  True Detective continues this tradition.  Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are just wonderful to watch on this show.  Every great show has to owe its success to the lead actors who portrayed their parts.  McConaughey is having a great year professionally wining the Academy Award for “Dallas Buyers Club” you have to put his performance as Detective Rustin Spencer “Rust” Cohle on his list of accomplishments for 2014.

Where do you start with this series?  The writing by Nic Pizzolatto is first rate. The directing by Cary Joji Fukunaga really sets the mood and pulls you in to the story line.  The supporting cast of Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts and Tory Kittles are all A+.  This show has it all, some might complain about the laid back pace of the series.  I think that is one of the show’s strong points.  The only thing sad about this show is that we won’t ever see Marty and Rust again because next season will be a whole new cast.  But after this first offering I am eager to see what Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Joji Fukunaga have in store for us all.

 

2. House of Cards (Season 2) Netflix2. House of Cards (Season 2) Netflix

Synopsis:

House of Cards is an American television drama series created by Beau Willimon for Netflix. The first season, based on the BBC miniseries of the same name and the series of books by Michael Dobbs, premiered exclusively via Netflix’s web streaming service on February 1, 2013.

Kevin Spacey stars as Representative Francis Underwood, the Majority Whip, who, after being passed up for the position of Secretary of State, devises a revenge plot against President Garrett Walker (Michael Gill). The first season also stars Robin Wright and Kate Mara.

The second season of the American television drama series House of Cards began filming a set of 13 episodes in April 2013. Netflix had ordered two seasons of 13 episodes when it made its original commitment to the series in 2011. Filming for the season commenced April 29, 2013 and concluded on November 8, occurring primarily in Baltimore. On December 4, 2013, Netflix announced that the season would be released in its entirety on February 14, 2014. Set in current day Washington DC, season 2 deals with topics such as entitlements, Chinese cyberespionage, anthrax scares, parliamentary procedure, and government shutdowns. It begins at the exact time that season 1 ended.

My Thoughts:hoc-trailer-season2

If I told you that there is a TV series starring actor Kevin Spacey I bet you would watch it.  Well I have good news for you there is.  Besides having Kevin Spacey going for it House of Cards might just be the best current show on television even though it’s technically not on TV.  I watch it on my TV so I am going to count it as a show on TV.

 

Season one was outstanding and had a great cliffhanger ending.  I am sure that people were thinking there is no way season 2 would be as good.  Well season 2 is not only as good as the first it’s better.  When this series was made available by Netflix on February 14, 2014, it took me only three days to get through all 13 episodes.  The episodes are like crack very addictive.

Season 2 begins with a bang and end with one.  Seeing Kevin Spacey go head to head with Gerald McRaney as Raymond Tusk was so much fun.  If you like great Drama with a little bit of Humor and intrigue you will love this show.  Season two was so much fun; I can’t wait to see what happens in season three. On February 4, 2014, Netflix announced it had renewed the House of Cards web television series for a third season of undisclosed length.

1. Breaking Bad (Season 5) AMC1. Breaking Bad (Season 5) AMC

Synopsis:

The fifth and final season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on July 15, 2012, and concluded on September 29, 2013 on AMC in the United States and Canada. The 16-episode season is split into two parts, each containing eight episodes.

A newly empowered and increasingly remorseless Walter White finds himself attempting to control a tenuous empire. But uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

My Thoughts:breaking-bad-bloody-money-heisenberg

Even in a golden age something’s are more golden then others.  In my opinion the greatest TV show of all time is HBO’s The Wire.  The second greatest TV show of all time is AMC’s Breaking Bad.  Some shows play chess while other’s play checkers.  Vince Gilligan’s tale of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman has become legendary and season five’s sendoff of this great series is nothing short of a masterpiece.  Each episode will have you wanting more.

breaking-bad-season-6-episode-1-09All of these stories lead you to one of the greatest series finales in television history.  I don’t know if the perfect ending could be accomplished.  If anyone has gotten close to that Breaking Bad may have come the closes.  With all of the buildup surrounding the shows final season Breaking Bad delivers in a major way.  Although you are sad that this great show is coming to an end they don’t let you (the audience) down.  One thing that all of these other great shows should be glad about is that they won’t have Breaking Bad to contend with anymore.

In April 2013, it was revealed that AMC and Sony were interested in a spin-off series that would focus on Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), with Gilligan and series writer Peter Gould developing the project. In September 2013, AMC and Sony Pictures Television officially ordered Better Call Saul, set as a prequel to Breaking Bad. The series will focus on Saul’s life before he became Walter’s lawyer, and is scheduled to premiere in November 2014.

Here is my complete list

25. Crisis (Season 1) NBC

24. Top of the Lake (Season 1) Sundance

23. The Killing (Season 3) AMC

22. Mob City (Season 1) TNT

21. Downton Abbey (Season 4) ITV

20. The Newsroom (Season 2) HBO

19. The Following (Season 2) Fox

18. Luther (Season 3) BBC

17. Homeland (Season 3) Showtime

16. Mad Men (Season 6) AMC

 

15. Black Sails (Season 1) (Starz)

14. The Bridge (Season 1) FX

13. Orange is the New Black (Season 1) Netflix

12. The Walking Dead (Season 4) AMC

11. Orphan Black (Season 1) BBC

10. Hell on Wheels (Season 3) AMC

9. The Americans (Season 2) FX

8. Justified (Season 5) FX

7. American Horror Story: The Coven (Season 3) FX

6. Boardwalk Empire (Season 4) HBO

 

5. Sons of Anarchy (Season 6) FX

4. Game of Thrones (Season 3) HBO

3. True Detective (Season 1) HBO

2. House of Cards (Season 2) Netflix

1. Breaking Bad (Season 5) AMC

 Part 1 25 – 16 Part 2 15 – 6 Part 3 5 – 1

Just a disclaimer: there are many programs I have not seen.  The Shows on my radar: The Blacklist (NBC), Suits (USA), Marvel’s Agents of Shield (ABC), Klondike (Discovery Channel) and much more.  If there are  shows that you recommend for me to watch please add them in the comment section.  All synopsis are gathered from Wikipedia. 

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Top 25 Dramas of 2013-14 part 2 of 3

pt 2

By Kinte

This is a golden age of television and I am here to run down my top 25 Dramas from the 2013-14 television season. In part one of this blog series we covered 25 – 16 and now we are going to unveil 15 – 6.

Here is how I decide what makes it to my list In no particular order.  1. Writing, 2. Acting 3. Directing 4. Originality.

 Part 1 25 – 16 Part 2 15 – 6 Part 3 5 – 1

15 – 6

15. Black Sails (Season 1) (Starz)15. Black Sails (Season 1) (Starz)

Synopsis:

Black Sails is an American dramatic adventure television series created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine for Starz that debuted on January 25, 2014. Steinberg is executive producer, alongside Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, while Michael Angeli, Doris Egan, and Levine are co-executive producers. Set on New Providence Island, it is written as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island.

During the Golden Age of Piracy, the feared Captain Flint brings on a younger crew member as they fight for the survival of New Providence Island. According to the first episode, “In 1715, West Indies, the pirates of New Providence Island threaten maritime trade in the region. The laws of every civilized nation declare them hostis humani generis; enemies of all mankind. In response, the pirates adhere to a doctrine of their own…war against the world.”

Real life pirates that are fictionalized in the show include Charles Vane, Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny and Benjamin Hornigold.

The plot focuses on the hunt of the Spanish treasure galleon Urca de Lima.

My Thoughts:black-sails-2014

This show had me at pirates.  Black Sails is a dark and gritty depiction of the pirate lifestyle.  The show often focuses on the day to day life of the pirates on land, rather than the seven seas.  Many people have complained about, but call me crazy I like that.

Some might be turned off by the sex and violence, but, I think those aspects are important to tell this story.   The season finale was very good, with a great cliffhanger ending that left the audience wondering what’s next.

14. The Bridge (Season 1) FX14. The Bridge (Season 1) FX

Synopsis:

The Bridge is an American drama television series developed by Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid, airing on the FX network, and based on the Danish/Swedish series Broen/Bron/The Bridge. Starring Mexican actor Demián Bichir and German actress Diane Kruger, the series’ 13-episode first season debuted on July 10, 2013. On September 24, 2013, FX renewed The Bridge for a 13-episode second season to air in summer 2014.

Based on the Danish/Swedish TV series of the same name, The Bridge follows two police detectives – one Mexican, one American – and their joint effort to investigate a serial killer menacing both nations along the Texas–Chihuahua border. Their investigation is complicated by the rampant corruption and general apathy among the Mexican authorities and the violence of the powerful borderland drug cartels. The show title refers to the Bridge of the Americas that serves as a border crossing between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, where the series is set

My Thoughts:the-bridge-destino

FX and AMC are in a battle of who can bring the best programming to television.   I have so much love for AMC, but I would have to give to FX right now.  The series that might just tip the scales in their favor is, The Bridge.  Starring Mexican actor, Demián Bichir, and German actress, Diane Kruger, this show was yet again another home run for FX.  The Bridge has it all; it looks great, the acting is top notch and the story is well written.  I can’t forget to mention, Ted Levine, as Lieutenant Hank Wade.  Levine as always is outstanding bringing a real gravity to his character and the series.

This show suffers from one glaring problem I am afraid. I personally did not care for how the killer reveal was done.  Generally I don’t recommend a show usually with a lackluster conclusion.  But the Bridge has so many great things working for it I am going to strongly recommend it.  Who knows you might like the ending better than I did.

13. Orange is the New Black (Season 1) Netflix13. Orange is the New Black (Season 1) Netflix

Synopsis:

Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and first released on Netflix on July 11, 2013.[2] The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television, is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, about her experiences in prison.[3] On June 27, 2013, Netflix renewed the show for a second season premiering on June 6, 2014.

The series revolves around Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a bisexual woman living in New York City who is sentenced to 15 months in a women’s federal prison for transporting a suitcase full of drug money to her former girlfriend, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), who is an international drug smuggler. The offense occurred ten years prior to the start of the series, and in that time Piper had moved on to a quiet, law-abiding life among New York’s upper middle class. While in prison, Piper is reunited with Alex, and they re-examine their relationship and deal with their fellow inmates.

My Thoughts:Orange_Is_The_New_Black_S01E13_WEBRip_1080p__KISSTHEMGOODBYE_NET_0930

The future is here; streaming media content that you can binge watch.  Netflix is giving you all the control in watching its original programming. Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds). With this show you have a mostly female cast that all reside in prison.  If you were a fan of the HBO series OZ don’t try to think of this show as its female counterpart because it is not.  This show is part Drama and part Comedy and all fun.

Every once and a while a series comes from nowhere and grabs you.  Orange is the New Black is that show. You think you know the characters, you will think I have seen these people before.  This series takes seemingly conventional characters and makes the Unconventional.  Each character is 3 dimensional and compelling in their own right.  You will find yourself rooting for people you would have never thought you would, while despising others you would normally pull for.  Kohan has shown that lightning can strike twice she has done it again with this program.

12. The Walking Dead (Season 4) AMC 12. The Walking Dead (Season 4) AMC

Synopsis:

The fourth season of AMC’s television series The Walking Dead consisted of 16 episodes; it premiered on October 13, 2013, and concluded on March 30, 2014.[2] The series is based on the series of comic books of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard; it was developed for television by Frank Darabont and is executive produced by Kirkman, David Alpert, Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse, and Gale Anne Hurd. Gimple assumed the role of showrunner after Glen Mazzara’s departure at the conclusion of the previous season

Season four introduces the notable comic characters Abraham Ford, Eugene Porter, Rosita Espinosa, Bob Stookey, and Lilly, as well as a modified version of the Chambler family from The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor tie-in novel. The season continues the story of former sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who relinquished his leadership in order to live a quiet life in contrast to his cold-hearted nature in the previous season.

Rick and his fellow survivors struggle to maintain their idealistic lifestyle in the prison in the face of threats, including the proliferation of walkers near the prison gates, the outbreak of a contagious and deadly flu-like infection within the prison population, and the spectre of The Governor, whose whereabouts and status are unknown and, unbeknownst to the prison community, is planning his revenge upon meeting a new family and rallying a new army. The second half of the season mainly focuses on the individual groups that escaped from the prison after its downfall, and their efforts to survive as they follow a line of railroad tracks to a supposed safe zone named Terminus.

 My Thoughts:760b45cfbd8a72fc7579723446e5fa7e

If we were talking about season three of The Walking Dead we might be talking about a top 10 show or maybe a little higher but we are talking about season 4.  In my opinion the worst season of the series.    There were good things about season four.  The wrapping up of the Governor saga was handled really well. The addition of Bob Stookey, and Abraham Ford was good.  The promise of what Terminus could be was interesting.  They had some great zombie gags during the season 4 as well.

The reason why I didn’t love The Walking Dead this year as much as the previous three seasons is because I found myself bored more weeks then I was excited.  The character development I found to be a little lame and late.  And I wanted to see a more compelling storylines.  The show had more than enough zombies that was not the problem.  It just didn’t grab me like seasons 1 -3 did. I like the season finale more and more as I re watched it which has me looking forward to season five.  I just want this show to return to being one of the best television shows out there.


11. Orphan Black (Season 1) BBC11. Orphan Black (Season 1) BBC

Synopsis:

Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series starring Tatiana Maslany as several clones. The show’s 10-episode first season premiered on March 30, 2013 on Space in Canada and on BBC America in the United States. On May 2, 2013, Orphan Black was renewed for a 10-episode second season, which premiered April 19, 2014.

The series begins with con-artist Sarah Manning witnessing the suicide of a woman identical to her. During the first season, Sarah discovers the existence of several identical clones and learns that someone is out to kill them. Alongside her foster brother Felix and fellow clones Alison and Cosima, Sarah tracks their origin back to a scientific movement called Neolution, based on the idea of pushing the limits of human evolution.

 My Thoughts:OrphanBlack_S1_E03_11_photo_web_t479

Tatiana Maslany has a very difficult job as an actress; she has to play multiple versions of herself in different and distinct ways.  For a show like this to be successful the lead actor has to do a great job.  Tatiana Maslany is endearing playing all of the different versions of herself.  This gag has been done a million times but this show does a very good job pulling it off.   

This show is a keeper and I am looking forward to finding out what happens in season two.  Although season 2 just began, this review covers the first season. The pace and mood of this series is nice and the supporting cast is very good. Orphan Black mixes Sci-fi, Drama, Action and a little Comedy.  It does all of these things very well.

10. Hell on Wheels (Season 3) AMC 10. Hell on Wheels (Season 3) AMC

Synopsis:

Hell on Wheels is an American Western television series about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States. The series, which features Colm Meaney, Common, and Dominique McElligott, follows the Union Pacific Railroad and its surveyors, laborers, prostitutes, mercenaries, and others who lived, worked and died in the mobile encampment called “Hell on Wheels” that followed the railhead west across the Great Plains.

In particular, the story focuses on a former Confederate soldier (played by Anson Mount) who, while working as foreman and chief engineer on the railroad, attempts to track down the Union soldiers who murdered his wife and young son during the American Civil War.

The third season of the AMC television series Hell on Wheels aired from August 10 through October 5, 2013, and consists of 10 episodes. The season follows Cullen Bohannon as he abandons seeking revenge for the deaths in his family in order to continue to drive the westward expansion of Union Pacific Railroad, while battling Thomas “Doc” Durant for control. The season’s tagline is: “Outlaw in Charge.”

My Thoughts:Hell-on-Wheels-renewed-for-season-4

There has been a lot of great television shows set in the old west. The last one I can think of is the HBO series, Deadwood. Hell on Wheels is a very good show. During season two, the show went through a host of issues, leading to a sometimes confusing and bipolar-like story telling.  Season three sets this series back on course.

Anson Mount, who plays the lead, Cullen Bohannon, gives another top notch performance and Common, who plays, Elam Ferguson, is great as well.  The combination of new and old characters makes season three very strong.  Christopher Heyerdahl as Thor Gundersen also known as “the Swede” has a turn in this season few if any could have seen coming.  Season three ends well with several big cliffhangers.  If you are in the mood for a good western check out Hell on Wheels you might just like it.

9. The Americans (Season 2) FX9. The Americans (Season 2) FX

Synopsis:

The Americans is an American television period drama series created and produced by former CIA officer Joe Weisberg. The series premiered in the United States on January 30, 2013 on the cable network FX and completed its first season on May 1, 2013. The second season premiered on February 26, 2014.

Set during the Cold War period in the 1980s, The Americans is the story of Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), two Soviet KGB officers posing as an American married couple living in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. with their unsuspecting children (Holly Taylor and Keidrich Sellati) and their neighbor, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI counterintelligence agent.

The series focuses on the personal and professional lives of the Jenningses, sometimes incorporating real-life events into the narrative. The show’s creator has described the series as being ultimately about a marriage. On April 16, 2014, FX renewed the series for a third season consisting of 13 episodes

Season 2: Elizabeth comes back from her injury and straight into what should have been a routine mission – but it goes awry, leaving her and Philip in fear not only for themselves but for their whole network… and family. Paige’s suspicions have only grown in her mother’s absence. Meanwhile, Stan continues to fall for the Russian agent who has started to play him.

My Thoughts:zap-the-americans-season-2-episode-4-a-little--002

Am I UN American because every week I pull for Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys), two Soviet KGB officers posing as an American married couple living in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.  Well this is what this series is all about.  The first season of the show was great, just FX producing another compelling television series but season two keeps the train going.  This might be the most underrated show on TV.

Russell and Rhys bring it every episode and Noah Emmerich and Richard Thomas balance out this cast. Season two does a great job of making every moment important.  And the complicated nature of the lead actor’s relationship makes for compelling drama.  If you have not watched the Americans you should this is a great TV show.

8. Justified (Season 5) FX 8. Justified (Season 5) FX

Synopsis:

The fifth season of the American television drama series Justified premiered on January 7, 2014, on FX, and concluded on April 8, 2014, consisting of 13 episodes. The series was developed by Graham Yost based on Elmore Leonard’s novels Pronto and Riding the Rap and his short story “Fire in the Hole”

Its main character is Raylan Givens, a deputy U.S. Marshal. Timothy Olyphant portrays Givens, a tough federal lawman, enforcing his own brand of justice in his Kentucky hometown. The series is set in the city of Lexington, Kentucky, and the hill country of eastern Kentucky, specifically in and around Harlan. The fifth season focuses on the gator-farming Crowe crime family, led by Darryl Crowe, Jr., played by Michael Rapaport.

My Thoughts: zap-justified-season-5-episode-9-wrong-roads-p-005

Some shows when they come back from a hiatus seem to fit like an old glove this would be the best way to describe the FX series Justified.  This is one of the most consistent shows out there. Timothy Olyphant and company do a great job each week of giving you great Action, Drama and Comedy.  This might have the best dialogue of any show on TV.

Season five introduces Michael Rapaport who plays by Darryl Crowe, Jr.   Despite his comical southern accent Rapport turns in an excellent performance UN like any I’ve seen from him before.  Season five has enough good twists and turns making it another great offering.  On January 14, 2014, it was announced that Justified was renewed for a sixth season, which is the final season based on a decision by executive producer Graham Yost and lead actor Timothy Olyphant.

7. American Horror Story The Coven (Season 3) FX7. American Horror Story: The Coven (Season 3) FX

Synopsis:

American Horror Story: Coven is the third season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. It premiered on October 9, 2013, and concluded on January 29, 2014.

Like its predecessors, Coven was met with both mostly positive reviews and strong ratings, with the premiere episode attracting a series high of 5.54 million viewers. As with the previous seasons

My Thoughts: American-Horror-Story-Coven-Season-Finale

A recurring theme on this list is that FX has great programing.  American Horror Story: Coven is the third season of the horror anthology television series.  I enjoyed the first 2 seasons of AHS and Coven could arguably be its best offering.  Who does not like witches?  And Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett playing these parts were great fun to watch. The great thing about this show is that each season has a beginning, middle and end.  So once the season is over you just move on to the next one.  Season four is titled Freak Show so I will be looking forward to watching it.

6. Boardwalk Empire (Season 4) HBO6. Boardwalk Empire (Season 4) HBO

Synopsis:

The fourth season of the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire premiered on September 8, 2013, and concluded on November 24, 2013, consisting of 12 episodes. The series was created by Terence Winter and based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson. Set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition era, the series stars Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (based on the historical Enoch L. Johnson),[2] a political figure who rose to prominence and controlled Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and early 1930s. The fourth season takes place in 1924.

My Thoughts: o-BOARDWALK-EMPIRE-SEASON-4-PHOTOS-facebook

The first season of Boardwalk Empire was great; season 2 was very good, season 3 was forgettable except for the performance of actor Bobby Cannavale.  So what about season 4?  This season was very good; Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Valentin Narcisse made the show must see TV every week.  Wright lit up the screen with his performance.  And the expanded role for Michael Kenneth Williams (Albert “Chalky” White) added a different layer to the program.  Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson is always outstanding and the show maintained all of the production quality that you got from the first three.

I thought the season started and ended well.  It was good to see some of our favorites evolve like Richard Harrow, Nelson Van Alden/George Mueller and Elias “Eli” Thompson. On September 26, 2013, HBO renewed Boardwalk Empire for a fifth season. On January 9, 2014, HBO announced it will be the final season.

 Part 1 25 – 16 Part 2 15 – 6 Part 3 5 – 1

Just a disclaimer: there are many programs I have not seen.  The Shows on my radar: The Blacklist (NBC), Suits (USA), Marvel’s Agents of Shield (ABC), Klondike (Discovery Channel) and much more.  If there are  shows that you recommend for me to watch please add them in the comment section.  All synopsis are gathered from Wikipedia.

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Top 25 Dramas of 2013-14 part 1 of 3

pt 1By Kinte

Some would say that we are in a golden age of television.  I would have to agree with emerging platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.  With the rise of cable television original programming today’s viewer have so many great options.  So I got the idea to come up with a list of my top 25 television programs of the 2013 – 2014 season. 

Here is how I decide what makes it to my list.  1. Writing, 2. Acting 3. Directing 4. Originality.

 Part 1 25 – 16 Part 2 15 – 6 Part 3 5 – 1

25 – 16

25. Crisis (Season 1)25. Crisis (Season 1) NBC

Synopsis:

Crisis is an American drama series that is broadcast as part of the 2013–14 United States network television schedule on NBC as a mid-season entry. The series was created by Rand Ravich for 20th Century Fox Television. The series stars Dermot Mulroney, Rachael Taylor, Lance Gross, James Lafferty, Max Martini, Michael Beach, Stevie Lynn Jones, Halston Sage, Max Schneider, Joshua Erenberg, and Gillian Anderson. Crisis premiered on March 16, 2014

During a school trip, students of the Ballard High School, attended by the children of Washington, D.C.’s elite, including the President’s son, are the victims of an ambush. A national crisis begins and Secret Service agent Marcus Finley finds himself at the center of it on his first day on the job. FBI agent Susie Dunn also discovers her niece, the daughter of CEO Meg Fitch, is among the kidnapped children.5bec4dd9ee794a5acaad09b009569dd9

My Thoughts:

As you will see on my list there are not many Network Television shows on this list. Crisis makes the cut because it is very entertaining.  Actors Lance Gross and Dermot Mulroney make the show very enjoyable even though the plot is at times silly.  The concept is very good and the episodes are well executed. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it certainly is mine.

 

24. Top of the Lake (Season 1)24. Top of the Lake (Season 1) Sundance

Synopsis:

Top of the Lake is a 2013 television miniseries written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee, and directed by Campion and Garth Davis. It marks Campion’s first work for television since An Angel at My Table in 1990. Filmed and set in New Zealand, the drama series follows a detective (Elisabeth Moss) investigating the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl. Top of the Lake was co-produced by BBC Two in the UK, UKTV in Australia/NZ, and Sundance Channel in the United States.

My Thoughts:DSC_2605.JPG

Top of the Lake was a pleasant surprise.  I only found about the show because the star of this show Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss did an interview on The Tavis Smiley show promoting it just before the premier.  I was glad that I caught it.  It is a very quirky story that was being hyped as kind of like Twin Peaks.  I wouldn’t compare the two shows.  I think the slowed down tone works, and I think Moss shines in her performance.  The ending of the season could have been much better but I would still recommend this show to watch.  This was only meant to be a one season show but who knows there could be more to come. Let’s hope so.

 

23. The Killing (Season 3) AMC23. The Killing (Season 3) AMC

Synopsis:

This season takes place one year after the conclusion of the Rosie Larsen case (the events of the first two seasons). Sarah Linden is brought back into her detective work when the investigation into a runaway girl leads Stephen Holder to discover a string of murders, which connect to a previous murder case Linden worked on.

My Thoughts:

This is a show that just won’t die. Based on the Danish series, Forbrydelsen (The Crime) The Killing has been a very good series.  It’s often criticized about its slow pace, but this show has always worked for me.  Season 3 added another solid chapter to the ongoing tale of detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder.  No longer dealing with the Larsen case, we find the two involved in another complicated case.  This season’s plot is very good and plays out nicely until the end.  I thought the ultimate killer reveal was corny but I think others may enjoy how this story line shakes out.Mireille-Enos-The-Killing-Season-3-Still1

The bright spots during the season are the additions to the cast. Peter Sarsgaard as Ray Seward, Bex Taylor-Klaus as Bullet (Rachel Olmstead), Nicholas Lea as Dale Daniel Shannon and Ryan Robbins as Joe Mills. They all add extra punch to a good season.

AMC originally announced that they had canceled the series in July 2012. However, in January 2013, they officially announced it would return for a third season, This would ultimately be the last to air on AMC. On November 15, 2013, Netflix announced it would produce a fourth and final season consisting of six episodes.

 

22. Mob City (Season 1) TNT22. Mob City (Season 1) TNT

Synopsis:

Mob City is a neo-noir American television series created by Frank Darabont for TNT. It is based on real-life accounts of the L.A.P.D. and gangsters in 1940s Los Angeles as chronicled in the book L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City by John Buntin. The series premiered on December 4, 2013. On February 10, 2014, Mob City was canceled

 

My Thoughts:LOST ANGELS

Mob City combines two of my favorite things and that is a Gangster/Mob story and Frank Darabont.  It’s good to see Darabont back after what happen to him with the Walking Dead.  The story of the LA Mafia has been told many times.  I have heard the stories of Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky and Mickey Cohen at least a dozen times.  To be honest when I realized that this is what this story was going to revolve around I was tempted not to watch.  But because I am such of fan of Frank Darabont I watched it and I was not disappointed.

This short lived series was outstanding. Jon Bernthal did a great job of heading the cast and Robert Knepper (from Prison Break) was a joy to watch.  I would have loved to see where the story would have went in season 2 but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

 

21. Downton Abbey (Season 4) ITV21. Downton Abbey (Season 4) ITV

Synopsis:

Season 4 of the international hit finds aristocrats coping with last season’s shocking finale. Change is in the air as three generations of the Crawley family have conflicting interests in the estate. Paul Giamatti makes an appearance alongside the beloved returning ensemble, including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, guest star Shirley MacLaine and a host of others.

My Thoughts:DA4 18189 (2).jpg

I came late to the Downton party but I am glad that I did.  I am not a big fan of soap opera type shows but this one drew me in.  Season 3 ends with such a great cliffhanger and season 4 picks up right where that one left off.  Now I would say season 4 is probably the worst of all but it is a good one.  There were some big moments that made it worthwhile. While I normally love Paul Giamatti, I didn’t love his character.  We had Gary Carr as Jack Ross an African American jazz singer and musician, the first black recurring character on the series.  I was worried about how he was going to figure in to the plot but I was pleasantly surprised that they did a good job with the part.  Abbey is a good series and season 4 did nothing to harm that standing.

 

Newsroom_S2_Poster.indd20. The Newsroom (Season 2) HBO

Synopsis:

The one-hour HBO drama series created by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and executive produced by Sorkin, Scott Rudin, and Alan Poul is back for a second season. Smart, topical, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining, The Newsroom takes a behind-the-scenes look at a high-rated cable-news program at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) Network, focusing on the on- and off-camera lives of its acerbic anchor (Jeff Daniels), executive producer (Emily Mortimer), their newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, and others), news-division boss (Sam Waterston), and parent-company CEO (Jane Fonda).

 

Season 2 takes place over a five-day period leading up to Election Day 2012, and encompasses numerous flashbacks to earlier events from 2011 and 2012. One of the season’s major story arcs involves a wrongful-termination lawsuit made by a staff member alleged to have doctored a report about a suspicious U.S. drone strike. As details about the suit’s origin and aftermath emerge, The Newsroom team continues its quixotic mission to “do the news well” in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles, and their personal entanglements.

My Thoughts:

newsroom-season-2-episode-4

Aaron Sorkin is a genius. He is one of the best talents in the business.  I want so much to love The Newsroom but I only like it.  At times the show can be outstanding but most of the time it’s just good.  The show is never bad, the acting is really good. Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston are terrific.  The supporting cast does a good job.  I don’t know what it is but there is something missing from this show to make it great.  With that said Season 2 of this series is very solid.  There are things that I like about this season versus last, but overall I would have to say that the show is just good.

The show is going into its third and final season.  I will be along for the ride but let’s hope that Sorkin’s next project will be at least as good as this one.

 

19. The Following (Season 2) Fox19. The Following (Season 2) Fox

Synopsis:

The second season of the Fox American television psychological thriller series The Following premiered on January 19, 2014 and concluded on April 28, 2014, with a total of 15 episodes.

 

The second season centers on former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and his niece Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup) and their attempts to find serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) following Joe’s faked death. After a new group, led by Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen) and her sons Mark and Luke (Sam Underwood), begins to develop and make public statements to lure Joe out of his hiding, Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) is re-recruited in order to find the new potential cult and teams with Ryan and Max to track down Joe and Lily.

Meanwhile Joe is back to his old ways as he, along with his right-hand Emma (Valorie Curry), begin to draw plans to turn a new group of followers to his will. Things take a turn when Joe’s ex-wife and the woman Ryan had an affair with, Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea), again enters the picture after Ryan and Joe believed her to be dead.

My Thoughts:

following_2-1

I called season one of Fox’s The Following: 24 with serial killers.  The dark and fast paced first season was quite a surprise.  This season is not as good as the last but was still entertaining.  There are plot lines in season two that are just laughable.  There are turns that will make you shout a loud WTF.  With all that said I still found myself tuning in each week.  Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy are great actors and fun to watch.  Much like other shows on this list the finale left a lot to be desired.  If you like serial killers and have the stomach for murder and mayhem you will want to give this show and season a try.

 

18. Luther (Season 3) BBC18. Luther (Season 3) BBC

Synopsis:

Idris Elba (The Wire) won a Golden Globe for his depiction of John Luther in this gripping, smart, and riveting psychological thriller from the BBC. In this new mini-series, a twisted fetishist is targeting young women in London. As Luther is called to another case, will the killer escape his grips?

Luther faces an even bigger threat as members of his own team will stop at nothing to bring him down. And as a vigilante killer takes justice into his own hands, Luther questions his own sense of morality. Can he continue to walk the thin line between right and wrong, or has he finally met his match?

My Thoughts:Idris Elba

The only thing keeping this show from being higher on my list is that it only has four episodes in season 3.  Luther is one of the best shows on television.  Idris Elba, who in my opinion should be in the top tier of performers working in Hollywood is terrific in this part.  Season 3 is yet another great chapter in the Luther Saga.  The great thing about the Luther character is he is always evolving.  He still continues to surprise you and is never boring.

Luther’s relationship with Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) is so different and refreshing it makes you yearn for more. Maybe only four episodes is part of the reason why the show is so good.  I would love to see a longer run. It has been confirmed by creator Neil Cross that Luther will not return for a fourth television series; although a feature film is in production.

 

17. Homeland (Season 3) Showtime17. Homeland (Season 3) Showtime

Synopsis:

The beginning of the season presents the aftermath of a terrorist attack committed by Abu Nazir’s people. Carrie is blamed for the CIA’s failings as Senator Lockhart grills Saul, now Acting Director of the CIA, in front of the Senate Committee. However it turned out to be part of a bigger plot, as Saul had Carrie seemingly disavowed by the CIA to lure a senior Iranian intelligence officer Majid Javadi (who financed the Langley bombing) into becoming a CIA asset. He later relayed the information to Carrie that the main perpetrator of the bombing was still in the US, and the CIA acted to bring the real bomber and the officer’s lawyers into questioning.

My Thoughts:

Episode 311

I know a lot of people said they did not like season 3 of Homeland. I just want to say I was not one of them.  I absolutely loved this season.  Yes it was a slow burn but that’s how this show plays out.  Real CIA work I am sure is very slow paced then it ramps up.  I just find the characters so compelling in this show. Mandy Patinkin, F. Murray Abraham, Damian Lewis and of course the show’s star Claire Danes.

The season 3 finale definitely takes the series in a new direction. I am not quite sure where it will go from there but I am looking forward to seeing it.

 

16. Mad Men (Season 6) AMC 16. Mad Men (Season 6) AMC

Synopsis:

The sixth season of the American television drama series Mad Men premiered on April 7, 2013, with a two-hour episode, and concluded on June 23, 2013. It consisted of thirteen episodes, each running for approximately 47 minutes in length. AMC broadcast the sixth season on Sundays at 10:00 pm (ET) in the United States. The season premiered in the UK on Sky Atlantic on April 10, 2013

Season 6 takes place between December 1967 and November 1968, with characters struggling to adjust to the changing office dynamics based on the ongoing counterculture movement around them.

January+Jones+Outerwear+Tweed+Coat+B1fZr7Q6-aglMy Thoughts:

Mad Men is often cited as one of the shows that headline this television renaissance we are in.  That could be said for the first four seasons of this series.  I think that in season five the show took a slight dive.  It was not bad just not as good.  Season six brought a little bit of the shows swagger back.  This season was much more enjoyable.  The characters we all know and love were presented much better and the story lines were much more interesting.

I wouldn’t say that season six brought the show back to the glory that it reached during the first four but it was a much better product then last. Season six’s finale was very good and it left you clamoring for season seven which will be the show’s final.

 Part 1 25 – 16 Part 2 15 – 6 Part 3 5 – 1

Just a disclaimer: there are many programs I have not seen.  The Shows on my radar: The Blacklist (NBC), Suits (USA), Marvel’s Agents of Shield (ABC), Klondike (Discovery Channel) and much more.  If there are  shows that you recommend for me to watch please add them in the comment section.  All synopsis are gathered from Wikipedia. 

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