daddys-home-2-mark

Why “Daddy’s Home 2” Won’t Be Funny

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This holiday season, the producers of “Daddy’s Home 2” are hoping that movie audiences will once again clamor to see the humorous antics and witty dialogue of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in a comic story of dad vs. stepdad. However, while the original was a breath of fresh air in 2015, this new sequel already seems dated with very little new to say. There are already a number of warning signs of why “Daddy’s Home 2” won’t be funny.

“Daddy’s Home 2” is entering a tough season for Hollywood comedies

2017 has not been a good year for comedies. The only comedic hit of the year thus far has been “Girls Trip,” the summer comedy starring Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Jada Pinkett Smith. That film raked in $115 million. However, look at all the other comedic flops of the year – “Baywatch,” “Rough Night” and “The House.” Movie audiences just aren’t into comedies this year.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that “Daddy’s Home 2” equals the box office take of “Girls Trip.” Well, that would still represent a huge cut from the original (“Daddy’s Home”), which brought in an astounding $150 million. You can see the problem here – no matter how well “Daddy’s Home 2” does at the box office, it’s going to have an almost impossible time doing as well as the original.

Complicating matters even further is the fact that two other potential comedy hits – “Pitch Perfect 3” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” – are also due out around the 2017 holiday season. That’s a lot of extra competition for the attention of movie audiences.

And here’s one more wrinkle – “Father Figures” (another “dad comedy”) is also coming out around the holidays. This film stars the comic duo Owen Wilson and Ed Helms (of “The Hangover” fame), and looks to be far funnier. In this film, Owen Wilson and Ed Helms must try to track down their real dad on a “paternity quest.”

“Daddy’s Home 2” is messing with the comedic formula that worked so well

The fundamental premise of “Daddy’s Home” was that stepdad Brad Whitaker (played by Will Ferrell) had to compete for the affection of his kids with real dad Dusty Mayron (played by Mark Wahlberg). One was a gentle, unassuming wimp and the other was a macho cool guy. That was a very simple storyline – and one that movie audiences immediately “got.” It was funny seeing Brad trying to become the new “cool guy” – riding motorcycles, doing stunts on the roof of his house, and hanging out at NBA games with his kids. This was a comedic formula that worked: wimp vs. cool guy.

But now look what director Sean Anders is doing with “Daddy’s Home 2” – he’s trying to “double the fun” by bringing in Mel Gibson and John Lithgow to play the daddies of the daddies. Oh, and we’re also going to have John Cena as another dad – the real biological father. Whoa, this is already confusing. You’re now going to have dad vs. dad, granddad vs. granddad, and dad-granddad duo vs. dad-granddad duo.

You can see the problem faced by Anders – he couldn’t just repackage and recycle all the jokes from “Daddy’s Home” and call it a sequel. So he’s trying to convince audiences that things will be even funnier when he adds in Gibson and Lithgow. He’s literally trying to “double the fun.”

But this might actually backfire with audiences. Lithgow will play a kind, gentle, doting father while Gibson will play a tough-talking, macho and swaggering dad. So Anders is essentially doubling down on the narrative arc of the first movie – now we will have two swaggering macho dads and two weak, wimpy dads. It’s hard to see how this new comedic formula is really going to double anyone’s fun.

“Daddy’s Home 2” won’t be funny because of Mel Gibson

At one time, Mel Gibson was one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood. He was an action hero, then a romantic lead, and then a budding comic actor. But then came his arrest for a DUI in 2006 and a lot of controversy surrounding his anti-Semitic remarks. He basically became radioactive for Hollywood studios. Consider that the last studio comedy that Mel Gibson appeared in was back in 2000 with “What Women Want.”

It has literally been 17 years since Gibson has been in a comedy, and there’s no guarantee that the black cloud that has been following him during that time has fully lifted. Yes, he had a big breakthrough with “Hacksaw Ridge” back in 2016, but are movie audiences finally ready to welcome him back?

If “Daddy’s Home 2” were coming out during the summer, it might be a completely different story. Movie audiences might be more forgiving then. But this is being marketed as a holiday movie that will bring families closer together! Probably the last person you’d want to have in a movie is someone like Mel Gibson, who carries so much extra baggage with him.

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“Daddy’s Home 2” was a sequel that never should have been made

There are some sequels that get made for legitimate purposes – there was some plot detail that needed to be resolved from the original, or there was some future event in the original that was hinted at, but never developed. However, most sequels are made for just one reason: the potential money involved. And, unfortunately, “Daddy’s Home 2” seems more like the latter the former.

Even the trailer for “Daddy’s Home 2” doesn’t seem very convincing. If anything, adding John Lithgow and Mel Gibson to the mix just makes things more confusing. Adding these two as new dads detracts from the original comic premise – wimpy dad vs. cool dad – that made the first film so much fun to watch.

In contrast, “Daddy’s Home 2” seems like a film that was made by a committee. The decision to make the film “PG-13” rather than “R” was a calculated bid to make this a “family movie” for the holidays. The inclusion of Lithgow and Gibson – big-time Hollywood names from a generation ago – are meant to bring in older moviegoers, who are notoriously hard to attract to the movie cinema. The final takeaway, unfortunately, is that “Daddy’s Home 2” won’t be funny. Movie audiences, you have been warned.


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mindhunter

TV Review: Netflix’s “Mindhunter”

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Netflix’s new crime drama TV series “Mindhunter” offers a riveting look inside the FBI’s efforts to track down the worst serial killers of our generation. The action takes place in 1977, at a time when legendary killers such as John Wayne Gacey and Charles Manson were already household names. What makes this David Fincher-directed Netflix Original so gripping is that it is based on real-life events inside the FBI’s elite serial crime unit.

“Mindhunter” will remind you of “Hannibal” and “Silence of the Lambs”

The main protagonist in the Netflix show is FBI agent Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff), who is based on real-life FBI agent John E. Douglas. It was Douglas, back in the mid-1970s, who helped to set up the FBI’s serial crime unit and who came up with the idea of interviewing incarcerated serial killers to find out more about their methodology and way of thinking.

While many viewers might not recognize the name John E. Douglas, it was exactly this legendary FBI crime fighter who became the inspiration for Jack Crawford in “Hannibal” and Will Graham in “Red Dragon” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” Thus, if you’re a “Silence of the Lambs” fan, it’s hard not to be drawn into the world of Netflix’s “Mindhunter.” This is a real psychological thriller.

“Mindhunter” is based on real-life serial killers

Set in 1977, this Netflix show starts with the “Summer of Sam,” when the serial murderer Son of Sam was out on the loose in New York City and captivating the nation. And, from there, the show goes on to reference or detail a number of the nation’s worst-ever serial killers in recent memory, including John Wayne Gacey, Charles Manson, Ed Kemper and Richard Speck. Another legendary serial killer, the BTK “Bind Torture Kill” killer (who becomes a subject of the final episode of the first season), is mentioned and alluded to throughout.

It is Ed Kemper – the so-called “Co-Ed Killer” – who is much of the focus of “Mindhunter.” The character Holden Ford must go toe-to-toe with Ed Kemper, trying to figure out what would activate him to abduct and kill young girls and then have sex with them once they are dead. Ford must go into all the grisly and unseemly details of these horrendous crimes in order to find out how these criminals think. He tries to find out their habits, the ways they try to cover up murders, and how they choose their victims.

“Mindhunter” peers into America’s obsession with serial killers

For over 40 years, America has been fascinated with these real-life serial killers. Who hasn’t heard of Charles Manson or John Wayne Gacey? These are names and identities that routinely made their way onto the front pages of tabloid

newspapers everywhere. What “Mindhunter” does is peer inside this dark obsession, trying to figure out not just how these killers think, but why they are objects of such dark fascination for Americans. It is, perhaps, because we see a dark, twisted piece of ourselves in them.

If you think about recent TV shows and movies about serial killers – including “Hannibal” and “Dexter” – they have sought to portray serial killers as being complicated antiheroes. They usually have some dark motive to justify their actions, and they are often incredibly intelligent. In the case of “Hannibal,” here was a legendary criminal who was more than the intellectual equal of any police investigator. Unlike typical killers, he had very urbane, refined tastes.

“Mindhunter” explores the psychological dimensions of serial murderers

From the perspective of criminal investigation, there are a number of very important issues raised by “Mindhunter,” such as, “Are serial murderers formed or born?” The scary thought is that they might be more people capable of carrying out these grisly murders than we might suppose. As Ed Kemper taunts FBI agent Holden Ford, “You know, there are a lot like me” out there.

And that’s what makes this Netflix show so fascinating: it delves deep into the psychological motivations of these killers – and show us how police investigators are more similar to them than we want to admit. As Holden Ford tells his skeptical peers at the FBI when he tells them of his plan to create a brand-new unit dedicated to finding these serial killers, “You want truffles? … You got to get in the dirt with the pigs.”

Netflix’s “Mindhunter” shows us the formation of an elite FBI unit

Another main character in “Mindhunter” is FBI agent Bill Tench (played by Holt McCallany), who is based on another real-life FBI agent, Robert Ressler, who coined the term “serial killer” to describe these psychotic killers who are out on the loose with plans to murder victim after victim. And there is also Dr. Wendy Carr (played by Anna Torv) who helps the serial crime unit in order to help investigate these criminals.

With these dynamic, well-developed characters, director David Fincher is able to show us the origin story of the FBI’s elite serial crime unit. We see how it was formed, why it was formed, and the types of issues that it had to confront at the outset. Back in the mid-1970s, the concept of the “serial killer” was still very new. To give the show even more veracity, Fincher based the dialogue, in large part, directly on prison interviews involving Ford and Tench. Thus, we are hearing the exact words spoken from 40 years ago.

mindhunter-netflix

Netflix’s “Mindhunter” takes us even deeper into David Fincher’s twisted world

All of us probably have a favorite David Fincher movie (such as “Fight Club” or “Seven”), and here we see the master filmmaker at work. It starts with a bleak color palette and a washed-out look for a dreary looking 1970s. From there, he steadily adds elements of a very violent imagination, and then supports it all with the little rituals and patterns that are part of this dark, corrupted world. The show is most fascinating when we sense Ford and Tench giving themselves over to this dark world, unable to resist the dark and demented details their subjects provide.

All in all, Netflix’s “Mindhunter” is imminently binge-worthy material. Just as “Hannibal” left you wanting to know more about Hannibal Lecter, “Mindhunter” will leave you wanting to know more about this generation’s most legendary serial killers. With the skillful cinematic direction of David Fincher, it’s easy to why “Mindhunter” has a 96% freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes. This is not just a great Netflix Original – it is also compelling TV perfect for your next Netflix binge.


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geostorm-gerard-butler

Gerard Butler Shines in “Geostorm”

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The arrival of “Geostorm” in movie theaters on October 20 couldn’t be more timely – the past few months have been filled with hurricanes, out-of-control wildfires and scenes of epic destruction wrought by Mother Nature. It is almost as if the basic plotline of “Geostorm” – a worldwide storm capable of wiping out the entire planet – was taking place before our very eyes. And the actor at the center of all that is the Scottish-born heartthrob Gerard Butler, whose job it is to save the world.

Gerard Butler is the shining star of this gripping disaster movie

In “Geostorm,” Gerard Butler plays Jake Lawson, a scientist and astronaut who helped to design the innovative satellite system known as Dutch Boy. The role of Dutch Boy is to protect the earth from extreme weather events, but it soon begins to malfunction, and cities like New York, Dubai, Moscow and Tokyo must contemplate the onslaught of cataclysmic storms. Soon, the entire world will have to confront these end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it storms.

So just about the only person who can stop these storms from happening is Gerard Butler. His character is soon sent to outer space to fix the malfunctioning problems of Dutch Boy, and so he becomes the central figure in this movie. He is the perfect mix of brawn and brains who has a commanding presence anywhere he goes.

He is almost a bigger-than-life hero, but like any hero, he has a few weaknesses that makes him vulnerable. As the movie progresses, we see how Jake’s arrogance, impatience and cockiness have landed him in trouble, again and again. When he is first approached about going back up to space, in fact, he’s living in Florida and obviously doesn’t want to be bothered. He’s lost his house and his marriage, and is sharing the custody of his daughter Hannah with his estranged wife.

But this is exactly what makes Gerard Butler so believable as an action hero – we understand what makes him tick, and what his vulnerabilities are. Yes, he might be a super-star satellite designer and fearless astronaut, but he’s also just like us in so many important ways. He wants to be a hero for his daughter as much as for humanity. To be certain, Gerard Butler is the shining star of this gripping disaster movie.

Gerard Butler shines amidst an all-star cast in “Geostorm”

To be sure, what gives “Geostorm” so much sparkle and shine is the all-star cast. It is not just Gerard Butler who must hold together this epic natural disaster movie. He is joined by some real all-star talent, such as Andy Garcia, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess.

It is the interactions between Gerard Butler and Sturgess (who plays Jake’s younger brother Max) that really help to give “Geostorm” so much emotional and dramatic resonance. Some parts of the movie play out with a dual plot line – in one, Gerard Butler is up in space, trying to fix the satellite system; in the other, Jim Sturgess is down on Earth, trying to unravel a potential conspiracy that leads all the way to the White House.

Gerard Butler is perfect in his race-against-the-clock role in “Geostorm”

What makes the action in “Geostorm” so compelling is that Gerard Butler as Jake Lawson must race against the clock. He is very much aware that if he does not fix the malfunctioning satellite in time, then it could mean the destruction of the Earth. This is where Gerard Butler is at his very best, showing the sense of urgency and nearly superhuman skill needed to avert this catastrophe. Audience members will be kept on the very edges of their seats, unable to divert their eyes from the screen. Gerard Butler is the type of larger-than-life screen presence that we all want from our heroes.

“Geostorm” presents Gerard Butler like you’ve never seen him before

This movie could become the breakout star vehicle that Gerard Butler deserves. Most fans probably got to know him as King Leonidas from “300” (released in 2006). Since then, he’s been a share of romantic comedies (like “The Ugly Truth” in 2009) and dramatic action movies, like “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013). But “Geostorm” is the kind of mega-blockbuster movie that we’ve been waiting for, where we can see Gerard Butler achieve his full potential as a Hollywood actor.

It’s clear why Dean Devlin, the director of “Geostorm” who is making his feature film debut, chose Butler. He wanted a character who could be believable in his heroic role as someone capable of saving planet Earth from a serious of inexplicable climate disasters. He needed a big-time action hero for his first movie.

Amidst all the natural disaster chaos in “Geostorm,” Gerard Butler stands out

Part of what makes “Geostorm” so dramatic, of course, are all the CGI-generated climate disasters. From the frozen villages in Afghanistan to the tidal waves engulfing cities to the collapsing buildings around the world, it is a scene of unrelenting chaos.

And that’s why Gerard Butler stands out so much in this disaster flick. He helps to ground the film in a sense of reality – even while he’s up in outer space – while the rest of the world seems to be imploding on itself. His larger-than-life screen personality, his cockiness under pressure, and his ability to look just as good in a corporate suit as an astronaut suit is what makes him the real star of this movie. If you need someone to go up to outer space and save the world, then Gerard Butler is your man.

Gerard Butler in “Geostorm” is going to create a new genre of blockbuster

One big theme that runs through most reviews of “Geostorm” is how this movie is helping to position climate change as the ultimate super-villain. At one time, it was German bad guys, Russian bad guys, or Arab-speaking bad guys in movies who were the real threat to the world. Now it’s climate change. This movie will change your view of climate change and global warming, and you can thank Gerard Butler for that.

Butler, in fact, is the star of a film that could herald a new genre of blockbuster in Hollywood. Given how natural storm disasters of epic proportion have been on cable TV wall-to-wall for the past few months, it’s easy to see how this is the film that we need in movie theaters today. Through all the chaos, all the disaster, it is Gerard Butler as the hero Jake Lawson who really shines.

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the-foreigner

Does Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner” Meet Expectations?

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It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Jackie Chan in a true action-adventure movie. Back in 2012, Chan famously stated that he’d never do another stunt or martial arts movie again. But here we are in 2017, and his new action film “The Foreigner” is being hailed as the best new Jackie Chan movies in years. But does this film meet expectations?

“The Foreigner” needs more Jackie Chan, not less Jackie Chan

For die-hard Jackie Chan fans, “The Foreigner” has more than met expectations. Remember – the last big U.S. release of a Jackie Chan film was the 2010 movie “The Karate Kid.” Prior to that, he was mostly doing cameos, appearing in comedies or starring in movies that were as campy as they were action-filled.

From that perspective, then, “The Foreigner” is a welcome return to the “old” Jackie Chan: plenty of fights, stunts and action. Some of the best scenes in the movie feature Jackie Chan, alone in the woods and dressed in camouflage, preparing to take out the bad guys in epic fashion.

But here’s the thing – Jackie Chan appears in only roughly half the movie. In fact, “The Foreigner” is really a movie with two very different plots, which both come together with dramatic intensity.

On the one hand, you have the story of a broken old man who has lost everything (Jackie Chan, as the London restaurant owner Quan Ngoc Minh) and who wants to get final revenge on the terrorists who blew up his daughter in a violent attack.

On the other hand, you have the story of British Deputy Prime Minister Liam Hennessy (played by Pierce Brosnan), who has a long, dark back story as a former IRA terrorist. He’s now trying to effect change from inside the halls of power in London, but now his past is catching up to him.

So that leads to a bit of confusion – the movie is clearly billed as a Jackie Chan movie, but it is really a Pierce Brosnan film as well. The reason for this seeming confusion is simple: the movie is based on a 1992 book called “The Chinaman.” 25 years ago, the terrorist threat facing London involved the IRA and not radical Muslim extremists. So the movie does its best trying to stay true to this story, while also showcasing the remarkable Jackie Chan. As a result, we get less Jackie Chan than we wanted.

“The Foreigner” is the classic revenge tale with the ultimate protagonist

In “The Foreigner,” we see Jackie Chan in a new way. Yes, he is still an action badass, but he seems to be filled with more sorrow and more remorse than we can remember. As we find out during the movie, he already lost his wife and two of his daughters years earlier, and now he loses his third daughter. At one point, Chan reflects back on this tragic past and says, “I failed them.” The pain on his face is almost palpable, and it hurts too much when we see him holding his bloodied daughter, wracked by grief.

And it is exactly that grief that sets into motion the action of the movie. Jackie Chan’s character is convinced that Liam Hennessy knows far more about the terrorist attack and motives than he’s letting on, and thus begins a cat-and-mouse game that plays out between Pierce Brosnan, Jackie Chan and the various terrorists of the IRA. The biggest scene, of course, takes place when Jackie Chan decides to mount an attack on the IRA stronghold and wipe out the men responsible for his daughter’s death.

Some have compared “The Foreigner” to “Taken” – they both involve the desperate search by an older man for the evil men who have taken away a beloved family member. But here’s the thing: Jackie Chan is a lot more believable as a man driven by revenge. He is almost taciturn, speaking little and letting his actions speak for themselves. He is the ultimate fighting machine, even if he is now in his 60s. And that’s why Jackie Chan fans are lining up to see this legendary hero – there is nothing better in the movies than seeing a vengeful father seek out justice and retribution.

“The Foreigner” also marks the welcome return of Martin Campbell

At one time, Martin Campbell was one of the hottest directing talents in Hollywood – he had two James Bond films to his credit (“Golden Eye” and “Casino Royale”), as well as “The Mask of Zorro.” But then along came “Green Lantern” in 2011, and his career pretty much stalled out.

So, in many ways, “The Foreigner” marks the return of director Martin Campbell as much as it does the return of Jackie Chan. Campbell has created a worthy new action-adventure flick, and it’s clear why Jackie Chan trusted him so much, even when he had earlier said that he would never do a similar type of movie.

the-foreigner-jackie-chan

Why “The Foreigner” is getting such mixed reviews

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to love “The Foreigner” – all the great action sequences, a tightly-scripted revenge narrative, and, of course, the return of Jackie Chan. From that perspective, the film has more than met expectations.

However, reviews have decidedly been mixed. The movie scores a 7.4/10.0 on IMDB, but only 58% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. For every Jackie Chan fan that has loved the movie, you have a film critic site like RogerEbert.com that gives the film a solitary lone star. So what gives?

The answer to the mixed reviews starts with the confusing narrative of the film. Mixing together the IRA plot line with the Jackie Chan plot line makes the movie seem more jumbled than it really is. Moreover, the fact that the movie is based on the 1990s view of terrorism and not the modern-day 2017 version of terrorism also makes the film feel, well, a bit dated.

However, it’s hard to deny the star power of both Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. Both screen legends might be in the twilight of their careers, but they are both scene-stealers anytime you see them. “The Foreigner” is far better than many first thought would be possible, and it’s clear that this new film has more than met expectations.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on Does Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner” Meet Expectations?
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The Very Best Sex Scenes From “Game of Thrones”

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When it comes to depictions of sex on “Game of Thrones,” things are never simple. There’s almost never a vanilla bedroom scene between two happily married, consenting adults: there’s always some kink involved, something that just isn’t quite right (incestuous sex between brother and sister surely qualifies here). With that in mind, here are the best sex scenes from “Game of Thrones” that will blow your mind.

#1: The love scene between Jon Snow and Daenerys

Let’s start with Season 7, featuring the highly anticipated sex scene between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. At this point in “Game of Thrones,” it’s clear that this is what audiences want to see: a love scene involving two of the most attractive and eligible characters of the show. In many ways, the scene doesn’t disappoint – there’s a sexy boat cruise, plenty of candles, and a nice, comfortable bed. But then, in a voiceover, we’re told that Jon Snow is actually a Targaryen and not a bastard child after all. Which means… Wait, he just made love to his aunt! (See, there’s always some kink involved when it comes to sex scenes in “Game of Thrones.”)

game-of-thrones-talisa

#2: The love scene between Robb and Talisa

Before the tragic events of the Red Wedding, we’re shown the deep, romantic love that seems to exist between Robb Stark and Talisa. There’s a long story that Talisa tells him about how she turned from a “proper little lady” into something very different. And it’s at that moment that they turn into sex-starved lovers, pawing at each other, desperately trying to do the deed. And, unlike many “Game of Thrones” sex scenes, it’s purely consensual – no taking from behind, no cries of pain, and no sobs. In fact, if you listen carefully, you can hear a little giggle from Talisa – she’s clearly enjoying this.

#3: Daenerys learns how to seduce and pleasure a man

In Season 1, we see how Daenerys enters into an arranged marriage with the savage warrior Khal Drogo. Even though he violently takes her from behind in the open air on their wedding night, she learns to love him and care passionately about him. So much so, in fact, that she gets a prostitute to show her the art of seducing and pleasuring a man. There’s some girl-on-girl action as Daenerys learns how good it feels to be on top and in control. And then, of course, comes the money scene – Khal Drogo emerges, completely naked, and Daenerys begins to make love to him in a completely new way.

#4: Any sex scene involving Tyrion Lannister

There’s something almost – almost – likeable about that impish little Tyrion Lannister. He’s constantly getting into trouble, and he seems to have an insatiable appetite for beautiful women. Of course, the best scenes are the ones involving the prostitute Shae. Too bad Tyrion ends up murdering her for having sex with his father.

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#5: Jon Snow has sex with a wildling in a cave

If you haven’t seen it yet, check YouTube for the clips featuring Ygritte, the exotic redheaded wildling from the north who ends up bedding (well, if you count the floor of a cave as a bed) Jon Snow. Just search for: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” This wildling promises to teach Jon Snow how to have sex, but Jon Snow answers (somewhat unsure of himself): “But I know how to do it.” To which Ygritte answers, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” What makes their love scene even hotter is that Ygritte (played by Rose Leslie) is actually the real-life girlfriend of Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington)!

#6: Daenerys seduces Daario

If you’re a fan of the insanely hot Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke), it’s surely good news when she finds a new lover after the demise of the hunky Khal Drogo. She falls in love with the warrior Daario. In one scene, Daenerys is very much in control, sitting down in an elegant chair while Daario is standing, professing his loyalty to her and telling her how he will do whatever she tells him. To which Daenerys answers, “Very well, do what you do best… take off your clothes.” He disrobes, and she stares straight ahead at his body while he’s completely naked, seeming to smile. And then comes the fun part…

game-of-thrones-daario

#7: Oberyn’s orgy scene with Ellaria

There are orgy scenes, and then there are orgy scenes. The best one features Oberyn Martell, who is lying in bed with Ellaria, a group of girls and a naked young boy (Olyvar). He then starts making love to all of them, while explaining why he’s bisexual, and how much he enjoys making love and having sex. There’s even “the slap” – when Oberyn playfully slaps the naked boy’s bottom, telling him how he belongs to him. In the background, girls are making out with girls. Does it get any hotter than this?

#8: Podrick and the three prostitutes

A Lannister always repays a debt. And in one memorable scene, Tyrion Lannister repays a debt to the young Podrick by arranging for the virgin boy to make love to three beautiful prostitutes at one time. Tyrion goes into details about the special skills of each of the prostitutes, and it’s the third one who will really blow your mind. She’s some kind of circus acrobat, who starts to seduce Podrick by bending over backwards on all fours, and inviting him to penetrate her while she’s upside down. The funny part about all this is that Podrick is so good that the prostitutes end up returning all of Tyrion’s money. (Even Tyrion is amazed, “We’re going to need details… Copious details…”)

**

When it comes to hot, graphic sex scenes, “Game of Thrones” is the gift that keeps on giving. For seven seasons, we’ve had some of the hottest sex scenes ever on TV – in addition to plenty of titillating nudity and spicy erotica. Even though Season 7 seemed to dial back some of the sexiness, there was at least that one blockbuster sex scene between Daenerys and Jon Snow to blow our minds. Let’s hope that Season 8 offers a few scenes to top them all.

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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on The Very Best Sex Scenes From “Game of Thrones”
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The Most Brutal and Gruesome Deaths Ever on “Game of Thrones”

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As a rule of thumb, the bloodier and more gruesome a death on “Game of Thrones,” the better. That’s especially true if you are avenging the death of a family member or defending the honor of your kingdom. As a result, we’ve seen more than our fair share of torture scenes, bloody combat scenes, and executions on “Game of Thrones.” Here are some of the most brutal and gruesome of them all.

#1: Viserys wears the crown of molten gold

In Season 1, Episode 6, we get an early taste of the cruel and unusual punishments that are on the way for anyone who dares to cross the brutal Dothraki, led by Khal Drogo and his new wife, Daenerys Targaryen. For the first five episodes of Season 1, we see Viserys constantly fondling and threatening his sister Daenerys, until she finally agrees to be married off to the brutal Khal Drogo. The goal of Viserys, of course, is not her happiness, but rather the warriors and horses that he will receive to take over the Iron Throne in King’s Landing.

But Viserys pushes things too far – he starts to demand a golden crown and some respect from Khal Drogo. He wanders in to a party drunk one night, and threatens Daenerys, Khal Drogo and their unborn son. Khal Drogo, in a feat of silent rage, decides to give Viserys a golden crown – but one made of molten gold. He pours the molten gold on his head, instantly killing him and sending a warning to any others who threaten him or the young khaleesi.

#2: The bloody carnage of the Red Wedding

Perhaps one of the most famous – and most gruesome – scenes of “Game of Thrones” was the Red Wedding scene in Season 3, Episode 9. The Internet had a collective freak-out after the episode aired, mostly because it was so dastardly. Here’s what went down: Robb Stark and his pregnant wife Talisa, accompanied by their mother Catelyn, are invited to a wedding of Lord Walder Frey. The whole invitation is a bit sketchy, especially since Robb Stark had previously turned down the marriage with Roslin in favor of Talisa, but this was supposed to be a way of making amends and bringing peace between the two families.

At one point during the wedding, though, the doors to the wedding hall are locked and sealed shut. Then the musical tune “Rains of Castamere” begins to play – it’s a sure tip-off because the song is a Lannister family song, and the agreement between the Freys and the Starks was that they would unite against the House of Lannister.  Then Catelyn Stark notices that one of the men next to her is wearing a hidden suit made of chain mail… at a wedding? But it’s too late – assassins appear out of nowhere, arrows rain down on the Northmen in attendance, and a particularly dastardly assassin repeatedly stabs Talisa in her pregnant belly. But that’s not all – Catelyn Stark is brought down by an arrow, and then a man comes behind her and slits her throat as blood spills out. The camera, of course, lingers on her face so that you can witness the full horror of the scene.

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#3: Arya Stark slits the throat of Walder Frey

Later, though, we witness the full revenge of Arya Stark, who has to bear the fact that her mother and brother were brutally killed at the Red Wedding. She arranges for Lord Walder Frey to eat a pie with his sons baked into it – and then she slits his throat. Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold. And there’s no colder dish than a cold pie with your dead kids baked into it!

#4: The boy-king Joffrey sadistically murders the prostitute Ros

We know from the very outset that the boy-king Joffrey, himself the evil incestuous spawn of Jaime and Cersei, is up to no good. At one point, he contemplates murdering his bride-to-be, Sansa Stark, with a crossbow. People are noticeably concerned, and decide to allay his appetite for sick and sadistic pleasure by giving him two prostitutes – Ros and Daisy – to toy with. When they arrive, Joffrey instructs Ros to start beating Daisy with a whip while he looks on contented. Then he gets bored and decides to have Ros start beating Daisy with a huge club.

Later, we learn that Joffrey is thinking of something “new and daring.” Yes, this time, he is ready to follow through on his crossbow idea, but this time with the prostitute Ros. Her days were already numbered because she had been trading secret information to the spymaster Littlefinger – and now she’s about to pay the ultimate price. Once she’s given over to Joffrey, he ties her to the bedpost of his bed and begins to use her as target practice. Yes, he fires arrows from his crossbow, thereby pinning her to his bed as a bloody trophy. The lesson we learn in Season 3, Episode 6, is that “Chaos is not a pit, it’s a ladder.” And that’s what Joffrey is about to do – he is going to try to climb that ladder of chaos.

game-of-thrones-joffrey

#5: The head of the Red Viper explodes

Some of the bloodiest scenes involve mortal combat, and one of the most memorable of these came from Season 4, Episode 8. There’s been a long-standing feud between “the Red Viper” (i.e. Oberyn Martell) and “The Mountain” (Gregor Clegane) and they decide to settle things on the battlefield. The Red Viper wants full vengeance for the brutal rape and murder of his sister. So we witness a trial by combat. At one point, the Red Viper thinks he has won, and has The Mountain pinned to the ground. He looks up to the crowd, and thinks that vengeance is finally his. But wait a minute! The Mountain picks himself up off the ground, grabs the Red Viper, punches him in the mouth, and then proceeds to gouge his eyes out. And he does it so hard and with so much force that the head of the Red Viper literally explodes. OMG.

This, too, is a tale of revenge gone horribly, horribly wrong. Theon Greyjoy has been tortured and castrated, and there’s nothing more that he wants than to plunder and pillage Winterfell and punish the House of Stark. When he finally gets his chance, he decides to behead the Master-of-Arms of Winterfell, Ser Rodrick Cassel. But Theon Greyjoy needs to brush up on his medieval execution techniques! He needs four clumsy thwacks of the sword to sever the head of the House of Stark ally, and even then, he needs a final shove of his boot to dislodge the head, where it then rolls along the ground. It’s hard and painful to watch.

#7: A villager is eaten alive by rats

Punishments and torture scenes seem to get more original and more creative as the series moves along. In Season 2, Episode 4, we get a particularly brutal execution scene. Gregor (“The Mountain”) Clegane is in search of the Brotherhood and their treasure, and so he asks his henchman Tickler to interrogate the local villagers to find out their location.

Tickler and Weasel pick one villager out of the crowd and strap him down so that he can’t move. They proceed to ask him questions about the Brotherhood, but he won’t give them an answer. So Weasel straps a bucket full of rats to the man’s chest. He still won’t give up any answers, but he’s looking understandably panicked. So Weasel heats up the bucket with a torch. The heat and flame cause the rats to start burrowing into the chest cavity of the man – as you might imagine, the fright and pain sends the villager into a state of shock. And, the whole time, the other prisoners are forced to watch this act of barbarity.

Of course, these seven scenes are not the only scenes of brutality and depravity that have occurred during the seven seasons of “Game of Thrones.” What about the time (Season 5, Episode 10) when Arya gouges a man’s eye out and then stabs him? Or the time when Ramsay Snow is murdered by a pack of ravenous dogs (Season 6, Episode 9)? Or the time when Khal Drogo of the Dothraki rips out the threat of his rival Mago who dares to challenge him (Season 1, Episode 10)?

And, of course, there’s the scene at the end of Season 5 where Jon Snow is stabbed to death by all the members of the Night’s Watch. That might have been a hard-to-stomach scene, but as we know now, he somehow miraculously comes back to life in Season 6, and now seems to be the odds-on favorite to win the Iron Throne. So maybe a little death and chaos is good for the career after all!

One thing is certain – the scale and scope of the death and violence in “Game of Thrones” is truly staggering. When a villager being eaten alive by rats barely cracks the Top 10 list of scenes, you know that there’s been some pretty epic violence along the way.

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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on The Most Brutal and Gruesome Deaths Ever on “Game of Thrones”
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Top 10 Horror Flicks to Kick Off October

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The horror genre has certainly matured over the years: directors are no longer slaves to jump-scares, torture, gore, or scary makeup to terrify their audiences. Even as early as the 1960s, directors began to employ creative techniques to scare the hell out of audiences in untraditional ways. Some of these horror movies have become so iconic over the years that they serve as role models for the next generation of directors. Now, the younger generation of directors take inspiration from the previous crop of directors, and routinely deliver some excellent quality horror movies. The following are our top picks of horror movies to kick of the Halloween season.

The Shining

horror-movies-the-shining

Stanley Kubrick’s take on Stephen King’s novel by the same name, “The Shining,” is probably the most unnerving horror movie in this list: it’s one of those masterpieces that are impossibly difficult to outclass. But then again, that can be said about anything with Stanley Kubrick’s name on it.

The Shining follows the events at an empty hotel where a writer, Jack (Jack Nicholson), facing writer’s block is working as an off-season caretaker with his wife and son. His son begins to get psychic premonitions, and a mysterious supernatural power’s presence forces Jack to attack his own family. The scene where Jack hacks at the bathroom door and screams, “Here’s Johnny!” will give you chills, even if you’ve seen it one hundred times.

The Ring

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“The Ring” is essentially a product of Hollywood’s obsession with Japanese horror movies. The American remake has now become an integral part of American culture, and you will hear references to the film in countless other movies and TV shows. If you haven’t already watched it, then be warned: do not watch it alone! It will give you creeps like nothing you’ve ever felt. The movie is a result of sweet love between Gore Verbinski’s directorial skills and Han Zimmer’s masterful music. The plot revolves around a VHS tape that leads to a viewer’s death in seven days if watched. The climax will be etched in your memory.

The Blair Witch Project

horror-movies-blair-witch-project

“The Blair Witch Project” is sheer talent at work. This movie was made by independent filmmakers who had no money, no acting experience, and certainly no limit of imagination. The ultra-low budget movie turned out to be a massive blockbuster, and brought into vogue an entire sub-genre of found-footage horror movies. The movie follows a group of friends who go into the woods researching the story of a witch who was executed centuries ago. There, they witness blood-curdling horrors that will scare the hell out of you.

The Exorcist

horror-movies-the-exorcist

Ask any horror buff: they will swear by “The Exorcist” as one of the scariest movies of all time. The movie used the classic possessed-by-evil-spirit theme, but its execution was masterful. It was released in 1973, yet it is still unwatchable for many weak hearted people among us. The story of a 12 year old possessed by a demonic spirit might sound typical, but nothing about this movie is typical. When it initially premiered, many theaters provided barf bags for the audience to throw up in during the movie. The head turning scene, the scene where the possessed child walks on all fours the wrong way, and other iconic scenes are classic. If you plan to watch this movie alone in a dark room, make sure you have enough bank balance for a couple years of therapy sessions.

The Conjuring

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“The Conjuring” is the story of a family who buys and moves into an older home in the country: unsurprisingly, the family begins to experience the presence of a supernatural power in the house. Eventually, the mother becomes possessed by an evil spirit who is forcing her to kill her own children. A husband/wife couple, who are basically ghost hunters, have to perform an exorcism to save the family. The story may sound run-of-the-mill, but here is the real kicker: the movie is based on true events. That little fact will have you thinking about the movie for weeks.

The Evil Dead

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This movie is another gem of a watch in the horror genre. It was made by completely untested filmmakers, and yet, they delivered a horror experience that is widely regarded as one of the best of all time. Despite being made over 35 years ago, this movie’s special effects and scary makeup are guaranteed to send chills down your spine. Make sure you see the original and not the 2013 remake.

The Mist

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“The Mist” is director Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. The movie is based in a small New England town that gets shrouded in a mysterious mist that appears to emerge from a nearby military base. It soon transpires that the mist is full of dangerous creatures from a totally different dimension. The cast does not include any big names, but the performance was spectacular across the board. Forget those beasts from the mist: the most frightening thing in the movie is Marcia Gay’s religious zealot!

The Babadook

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This movie focuses on a widow and her son; the son begins to act strange, which the widow promptly labels as behavioral problems. However, as the time progresses, she realizes that her son is being possessed by a supernatural spirit; it soon possesses her too. This movie ups the creepy levels of the horror genre. While most movies generally show spirits possessing one member of the family and use them to attack the others, or kill the possessed person, this movie shows both the mother and the son being haunted by the spirit. If you believe in the supernatural, then you are left with the question – what are you going to do if such a spirit targets you or your loved one?

Halloween

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The very title of the movie demands a watch during its namesake holiday. The movie made the careers of many people involved, including Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter. The movie features a mentally disturbed man, Michael Myers, who murdered his elder sister some 15 years ago, and has now escaped a psychiatric institution. This time, he aims to kill his younger sister. This movie spawned an entire sub-genre of slasher-horror feature films.

Alien

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This legendary original movie began a cultural movement that resulted in multiple sequels, prequels, video games, home videos, comics, and novels. “Alien” follows the events that occur after a distress signal is released from an unknown planet’s spaceship. When the crew members go to investigate, an alien face-hugging creature attacks a crew member; later, a far worse creature emerges out of the victim’s chest by breaking his ribs. This creature promptly tries to kill all the humans, and as the chances of their survival dwindle, you will be on the edge of your seat. This movie has been consistently ranked among the top horror movies of all time. To check out these flicks during the spooky Halloween season, all you need is a reliable satellite TV connection.


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Can Truth Be Told Become the New Friends?

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There was a time when NBC used to be a giant in the field of comedy. It used to have a huge lineup of comedy shows that were actually laughable. Remember Friends, Seinfeld, The Golden Girls, Frasier, The Cosby Show, and many others? That was the golden age of comedy on NBC. But, that was long ago. In the recent times, NBC has been struggling hard with little success to bring back the magic that they used to wield in the 90s and 2000s. Over the past decade or so, they have not been able to replicate the success with comedy that they previously enjoyed. Now, Truth Be Told premiered in late 2015, and NBC expected it to be one of its crown jewels of the 2015-16 lineup. However, the response to the show has been dismal. For a network that is among the big four, this can be disastrous. However, some people are comparing Truth Be Told to Friends and are hoping that Truth Be Told will also become an equally big hit. Let’s have a closer look at the two shows.

Unsatisfactory Early Beginning

When Friends premiered in 1994, it is true that the show was not met with an immediate success. In fact, the response was average or mixed. There was both good and bad said about the show. One critic wrote that the show was trying to imitate the hanging-out style of Seinfeld, but fails completely. Another critic commented that it is another Seinfeld wannabe, but will never be as funny as Seinfeld. But, all said and done, the show went on to become one of the most successful shows ever in the entire television history.

Fans of Truth Be Told are drawing similarities between its dismal beginnings and that of Friends. But, this is not exactly a fair comparison. First of all, every show that performs badly in the first season need not necessarily become a huge success like Friends. Second, Friends registered mixed reviews. While it was not immediately liked by everyone, there were many takers for the show. Some people liked the show and supported it. In case of Truth Be Told, the response has been largely negative. Any support for the show is insignificant for a big network like NBC, who wants a hugely popular comedy show.

The crew gets into trouble all the time in 'Truth Be Told'
The crew gets into trouble all the time in ‘Truth Be Told’

Great Characters

David Crane and Marta Kauffman were onto something when they created Friends. They really knew their characters well. The idea for the series came to them, when they were thinking about the time when they had finished college and had just started living in New York. Thus, they created the characters, who were in their 20s something, and did not have much clue about where to go from there. The future was a big question mark for them. This is something that everyone has gone through. The characters themselves were easily recognizable. The ensemble consisted of a nerd, another was a playboy, one successful executive, an eccentric, a perfectionist, and a fashion enthusiast. All of these characters are very identifiable because such characters are present in real life too. Be it the situational comedy, or Chandler’s sarcastic comments, everything was hilarious. The characters of Truth Be Told were miserable in comparison. The two couples live next door to each other, and there is some situational comedy. But, the characters themselves have hardly anything to make memorable.

Excellent Material

Friends had some really amazing material to begin with. So much so that the show became a cultural icon. Who can forget Joey’s “How you doin’?”, or Chandler’s “I’m not so good with the advice… Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”. Or perhaps, the best of all “We were on a break!” by Ross. Many a real world couple have broken up arguing the validity of this Ross’s statement. That show was pure gold. It had great content, which was delivered by a great cast.

Bresha Webb and Tone Bell both star in the series 'Truth be Told'
Bresha Webb and Tone Bell both star in the series ‘Truth be Told’

In comparison, Truth be Told falls flat on its face. Any comedy that the show tries to make feels forced, and utterly not laughable. Take that scene where Mitch creates drama outside a Chinese restaurant, just because the valet thought he owns the Porsche. Mitch accuses him of thinking that he owns it because he is white, while it actually belong to his friend, Russel. What was that? This is not an outlier. This is actually the theme of this entire show. To make a mountain out of a mole and expect the audience to laugh. It is nothing like Friends.

Risk Averse

It would be not wrong to say that Truth Be told brings nothing new to the table. The whole two couples living next door to each other, which results in misunderstandings and situational comedies, has been overused too many times. That is basically any sitcom show. Showmakers simply can’t milk this cow anymore now.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Vanessa Lachey are the two other stars in the show
Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Vanessa Lachey are the two other stars in the show

What makes matters worse for NBC is that there are many, much better competitor shows in the market. Television programming has gotten much better since Friends, when it was among the few shows that actually provided great TV time. Today, the competition is more severe, and if a show does not offer anything new to the audience, they don’t have to hesitate to change the channels.

There is another aspect to this that says more about NBC than about the show itself. The show’s lead men are Mitch and Russel, one white and the other black respectively. On the face of it, this might look like a well-balanced show racially, but the truth is that NBC has gotten too much self-conscious about their shows. To avoid any controversies, the producers and the network are not taking any big risks. When you start avoiding risk, you end up mediocre shows that won’t make a mark in any way. Sure, they will not court controversies, but they will not court any audiences either. This is what makes shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, as great as they are. The success formula, which worked for Friends worked well at that time because the ideas were fresh. Now, too many replicates have left nothing more to experiment with such premises.


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Angel from hell logo

Angel from Hell was cancelled, but this is what you didn’t know

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Angel from Hell is an American TV show that premiered on January 7, 2016. The single-camera sitcom is presently broadcasting its first season. The show is created by Tad Quill for CBS network. It stars Jane Lynch, Maggie Lawson, Kevin Pollak, and Kyle Bornheimer. Tad Quill is also the executive producer of the show along with Don Scardino.

Allison's best friend gets engaged again
Allison’s best friend gets engaged again

Premise

The show revolves around the life an Allison Fuller, who is a practicing dermatologist in her father’s clinic. She is a multitasker, perfectionist, smart and ambitious. While she and her father have been quite successful as doctors, her brother is inexplicably quite a mess in himself and lives above her garage. There are not many ups or downs in Allison’s life, which is another way of saying that she leads quite a monotonous life. In this life of hers enters Amy. Amy is a constantly inebriated nut, who claims to be the guardian angel of Fuller. To prove her story, she shares a couple of secrets of Allison’s life that nobody else could know – facts like where Allison got her first period, or that she farted when she got her first orgasm. This catches Allison’s attention, but she is not completely convinced of this either.

As Amy begins to start appearing (stalking?) in front of Allison time and again, she slowly starts letting Amy into her life. Amy claims that because of her shabby work as Allison’s guardian angel so far, she has been given one last chance to rectify it. Allison doesn’t completely believe her, but she is need of that “weird friend”, who is honest, caring and outspoken about her views on what Allison should and should not do.

Cast

Not even the performance of Jane Lynch saved the show
Not even the performance of Jane Lynch saved the show

Jane Lynch plays the role of the eccentric Amy with an absolutely unbelievable background story. She claims to be an angel, when everything about her demeanor suggests otherwise. However, her predictions inexplicably turn out to come true always. Jane is one of the most loved television actors and has to her credits shows such as Glee, and Role Models. She even appeared as a child psychiatrist in the CBS show, Two and a Half Men, in which she also occasionally treated Charlie. Her very presence in the show brings a bevy of her fans as the audience.

The role of Allison Fuller is played by Maggie Lawson, who has to her credits Psych, Inside Schwartz, It’s All Relative, and others. She is a successful dermatologist and leads an overall pleasant, if not monotonous, life. She has a brother, Brad Fuller (played by Kyle Bornheimer), and a father, Marv Fuller (Kevin Pollak). Her father is also her boss and a dermatologist himself.

Production

Tad Quill got the idea for the show when he was thinking about another show, Bewitched. He was wondering what it would be like if a real guardian angel would come into someone’s life in the twenty first century. He felt that the angel would be taken for crazy. Yet, people would have some hope in them that the angel was real. To make things funnier, Tad made the angel quite eccentric as well, to make her less believable to the person she meets. In fact, Tad even took the audience on a ride making them wonder whether Amy really is an angel or not. The show brings together Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson again. They had previously worked together in Psych.

Response

Before its airing, the show had managed to capture the attention of many a people. The very presence of Jane Lynch and Maggie Lawson as the cast of the show had made it quite a hit among their fans. Over the years, Jane has delivered some pretty amazing performances and it was quite natural to expect quality humor from Angel from Hell too. However, the cast of the show remains the only highlight of the show. Since the show has premiered, it has steadily lost its viewership and it is not difficult to see why.

The show’s humor is quite bland, and it leaves the cast working hard, really hard, to bring some smiles on the faces of the audience. In fact, the cast does an excellent job of breathing some life and liveliness into this fantasy drama. Thanks to Jane’s voice and timing, the absolutely unfunny jokes tend to get some semblance of jokes. Moreover, Kyle Bornheimer and Kevin Pollack, who have also managed to give excellent performances, hardly have much screen time. The show fails to realize the potential of the cast too.

Maggie Lawson as Allison
Maggie Lawson as Allison

However, the biggest issue with the show is that it fails to give a good enough reason for Amy’s presence in Allison’s life. The much touted “boring” life that she is supposedly leading hardly makes the case for Amy’s sudden arrival. In fact, Allison has been quite a successful person, and leads a pretty happy life. Sure, she is not married, Big Deal! But that doesn’t mean that she is in need of any saving. She is a doctor, has an outstanding support system in her father and brother, and even supports her brother. She may say an angry thing or two to her friends occasionally, but who doesn’t! Granted, her taste in boyfriend recently isn’t something that deserves any praise, but if everyone starts needing a guardian angel for these silly problems, then there would be more angels walking this earth than the people themselves.

Conclusion

This is undoubtedly a Jane Lynch show. Yet, the rest of the cast has managed to make their mark felt too. So, in a nutshell the performances of the people involved have been great, but the showmakers should make it their urgent priority to improve the humor and plot of the show. Moreover, there are many gaping plot holes, which need to be fixed by the team.
It should also be noted that the show courted some controversy from organizations such as One Million Moms and Parents Television Council for its vulgar language. But, that is only expected from a show that was designed to replace Two and a Half Men. In fact, compared to it, Angel from Hell has been a very watered down affair.

 


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on Angel from Hell was cancelled, but this is what you didn’t know
The Muppets on ABC

The Muppets Address These Real Life Issues Better Than Ever!

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The Muppets have gone adult! That’s a statement most of us didn’t think we would hear in our lifetime. But the fact is that the latest premiere of The Muppets has the, well, Muppets playing adult roles. They are people, just like us, who are working on their own late night show. To go along with their adult personality, they also do a lot of adult-ish things. Okay, adult is not exactly the correct use of the word here, but there is none better than it. That’s because the Muppets have been discussing various issues that grownups face. Some of these issues can be considered by many parents crass for their children. But, the truth is that Muppets has never been a kids’ show. It has always been a family show. It appealed to the grownup part of the kids, and the child in grownups hearts. By successfully catering to both these audiences, the show has stayed relevant for well over half a century of television programming. Now, they are doing what they do even better, which is addressing the issues that actually matter. Here’s how the latest The Muppets is discussing things that you should as well.

Expression of Emotions

While women experience gender bias in many walks of life, there has been some monumental shift in the recent years in how women are treated in the workplace, politics, or at home. However, it is the men who have become the forgotten gender. They have it beaten out of them from the childhood not to express their feelings, and to bottle it all up. They are expected to always be like a rock to provide for their family, to support them, and never show an ounce of weakness. Even among men, expressing emotions is seen as a sign of weakness.
Kermit the frog, has never let society dictate who he is and how he should behave. He has always been able to express his emotions clearly and confidently, especially to Miss Piggy. Being open about one’s emotions gets rid of the mind reading and passive aggressive statements between any couple. Muppets have been able to show this to the families really well.

The muppets from the 'Never Seen Before Episode'
The muppets from the ‘Never Seen Before Episode’

Celebrity Gossip

Before the latest Muppets show premiered, Kermit and Piggy took to twitter and announced their breakup. Later, it was also revealed that Kermit was dating someone new, who is also a pig. Kermit then goes on to state that he and his alleged new love interest, Denise, are just friends. Each of these tweets was met with celebrity level gossip, with people discussing what could be the reason for their breakup, what would happen next, and so on. Although the showmakers might have intended to only take advantage of the marketing milestones this would achieve, it did more than that.

The Muppets 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
The Muppets ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The teens and many adults today fill up their minds, and spend their precious energies in following garbage about things that hardly matter to them. Which celebrity broke up, with whom, and why – these things are given more importance than their very own career prospects or their children’s. This blind celebrity following culture is so strong that the fact that Kermit and Piggy are fictional characters did not even stop them from gossiping or reading about them. Who better to show this to us than the Muppets!

Diversity

Every character of the Muppets gang is different. There is a frog, pig, bear, dog, rat, king prawn, and what not. Despite all the differences, everyone is friends and are close together like a family. There is never any discussion about how different they are. The only thing that matters to them is how they behave towards each other. All the differences between them, including their unique ways of thinking and acting, are celebrated. This is something that everyone needs to learn more in the country. Xenophobia, Muslim persecution resulting from terrorism, hatred towards Mexican immigrants, racial judgements against the blacks, and a host of other issues are hell bent on taking this country into the dark ages. America, as a country, was built on the efforts, ingenuity, and hard work of a variety of people. Whether they are first generation Americans, or an nth generation American, whose ancestors came to this country, along with Columbus, contributions from everyone is what made America great. Muppets show us how we can look past our differences and achieve greatness together.

Maturity at Workplace

The Muppets are grown up, and their problems will be of the same gauge.
The Muppets are grown up, and their problems will be of the same gauge.

Kermit and Piggy have recently divorced. But, that doesn’t mean that they are going to not talk to each other. They are working together on a new late night show together. In fact, Piggy is hosting the show, which is being executive produced by Kermit. This is a typical problem that many people face in their everyday life. No matter how much we try, workplace relationships are not easy to avoid. When they do happen, they can be outright disastrous for some people. People changing jobs, and cities, or requesting their superiors to transfer them to a different department, just because they couldn’t work with their ex anymore, is not unheard of. Muppets tackles this in high spirit. Both Kermit and Piggy work together, regardless of their long relationship, and they are comfortable with it.

Feminism

The Muppets are back with celebrities making appearances in every episode
The Muppets are back with celebrities making appearances in every episode

Right from the start, the show has never been apologetic about its cast of characters. Sure, the number of men has always been higher than women. But, Piggy more than makes up for all of that. The writers have always given Piggy a powerful personality. She has never been shown to be subservient, or helpless. No matter what the situation, she can hold her fort. Now, Piggy has separated from Kermit. But, when they were together too, Kermit was never intimidated by her stature. Whatever she wanted to try, he always championed her, and helped her in any way that he can. This is a lesson for many men out there, who would not be comfortable with her aspirations. Piggy has not let her separation from Kermit become an impediment to her in any way, be it the career or life, which is something that women can take a leaf out of.
Now that the Muppets are adults, they are seen by viewers as responsible people, with maturity. So, whatever they say and do will have a subtle impact on the viewers’ character. By addressing these and many such issues, the Muppets are spreading awareness about them better than anyone on television right now.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on The Muppets Address These Real Life Issues Better Than Ever!