August 2014

Category:Drama

Revisiting ‘The Paradise’: Series 1, Episode 3

Welcome to the next installment in our recap series that takes us back through the first season of The Paradise before Series 2 begins this Fall!

Previously, on The Paradise: The most boring episode in the world happens. The Paradise hosts a contest to name “Miss Paradise Pink” as a gimmick to get people in the store. We meet Katherine’s boring friend Jocelyn who, in the course of one episode manages to falsely accuse shop assistant Sam of assault, confess that she’s left her husband, and spend a lot of money on credit in the store. This all comes to nothing when her bill is settle, Sam is vindicated and Jocelyn is apparently sent back home to her oafish husband so I’m glad we wasted an hour on that. Anyway, Denise and Moray also stare at each other some more, and have another scene where they talk whilst standing exceptionally close together. Denise also gets to show off her business sense by figuring out exactly how the Paradise Pink competition should work.       

In short: There’s nowhere to go but up in this episode right? Let’s get to it

Category:Drama

WATCH: First Trailer for 'Downton Abbey' Series 5

Joyous day! The moment we have all been waiting has arrived – the first official trailer for Downton Abbey Series 5 is here!

And it looks amazing!

Jam-packed with all our favorite characters, and lots of implied drama, the new promo certainly seems to promise a much more drama-filled season than last year’s effort, which was predominantly focused around Mary’s romantic entanglements. It seems obvious that’s also going to be a prominent feature of this series, but there seems to be plenty of other things going on.

Plus, you’ll catch a few glimpses of two major new guest stars Anna Chancellor and Richard E. Grant. It’s all very exciting!

So, take a deep breath, then watch for yourselves below.  

Benedict Cumberbatch About to Become a Waxwork at Madame Tussauds

What’s cooler – the fact that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch recently picked up his first Emmy for playing the great detective, or the fact that he’s about to get his very own wax replica at the world famous Madame Tussauds waxwork gallery in London?

Pretty cool, right? The news that the world was getting a wax version of Cumberbatch was announced by Tussaud’s earlier this summer, and the actor has been visiting the waxwork museum to keep tabs on the progress of his figure, provide vital measurements to the team crafting the statue and, it would appear, poke his virtual self in the ear.

Thankfully, the Tussaud’s team was there to document this important occasion on film. 

Category:Drama

‘Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden to Star with ‘The Borgias’ Holliday Grainger in ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’

The King in the North returns! Well, sort of. Game of Thrones star Richard Madden has signed on for his next big post-Westeros project, and will be starring opposite The Borgias Holliday Grainger in a splashy new BBC adaptation of classic novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Granger, who played the infamous Lucretzia Borgia in Showtime’s The Borgias, will play Lady Constance Chatterley, a young woman whose handsome, upper-class husband has been paralyzed from the waist down due to a war injury. Faced with emotional as well as physical neglect, Constance’s frustration leads her into an affair with gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, played by Madden in what will surely be a significant shift from his recent role as a real-life Prince Charming in Disney’s forthcoming live-action Cinderella (in which he stars opposite Downton Abbey’s Lily James).  James Norton – who recently appeared in Death Comes to Pemberley and Happy Valley – plays Constance’s husband, Sir Clifford Chatterley. 

Category:Culture

‘Sherlock’ Waves the Flag for British Telly at 2014 Primetime Emmys

With over two dozen British actors, writers, directors and productions nominated for Emmys this year, less than a handful brought home the gold earlier this week during the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. A disappointing result for an telly addict like me to be sure, but with the rising popularity of UK television in the States you’d expect a little bit better showing from our talented performers across the pond.

Well, with one notable exception, anyway. Read on for a full report and highlights of how our favorite nominated Brits did this year. 

Category:Drama

‘Sherlock’ Series 4 Will Be “Devastating”, According to Steven Moffat

A happy announcement: everyone’s favorite crime drama Sherlock absolutely slayed it at the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards, taking home a total of seven statues for Series 3 installment His Last Vow. Yeah, that means Sherlock won more awards than critical darling Breaking Bad. For real.

Sadly neither Benedict Cumberbatch nor Martin Freeman – who collected trophies for Best Lead and Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for their performances as Sherlock and John – were present at the ceremony, being busy with filming commitments and a stage play, respectively. Creator Steven Moffat was, however, and after he celebrated collecting a trophy for Outstanding Writing in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special, he dropped a few hints about what we can expect to see in the highly anticipated fourth season

Category:Drama

Five Reasons ‘Happy Valley’ Is Worth Watching

This past spring all my social media feeds and the British entertainment websites I frequent were overflowing with praise for the BBC crime drama Happy Valley. I was intrigued and wondered when or if this word-of-mouth hit would reach our shores. Last week Netflix brought the most talked about British drama of the year to American audiences and I’m here to tell you it’s lived up to the hype.

Before we get started let me clarify that the title of the series is deceptive. Happy Valley is not a quaint and pleasant dale nor are many of its inhabitants very cheerful.  In fact, it’s named for the area’s rampant drug problem. Happy Valley is not a cozy mystery program and can be graphically violent at times.

That being said let’s get on with the reasons you should want to give this series a go. 

Category:Drama

Revisiting ‘The Paradise’: Series 1, Episode 2

Previously, on The Paradise: Country girl Denise arrives in…some town that I don’t think they’ve named to seek fortune and a better life in the big city (or possibly a medium or small city - it’s unclear as they seem to only have this one street on the show). She gets a job at a posh department store modestly named The Paradise catches the eye of its owner, a dreamy, slightly smarmy dude named Moray who has A Big Vision for the future of the store. Moray also has some deep dark secret about his dead wife, a fairly horrible girlfriend (Katherine) and a staff bursting with the inept (Pauline), the forgettable (STILL don’t know his right-hand assistant’s name), the cruel (Clara) and the downright creepy (Jonas). How will she survive? 

Let's find out, shall we?

Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Smith and a Slew of Other Brits Take the Ice Bucket Challenge for Charity

As you’ve no doubt seen on some form of social media at some time over the last week, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a viral online campaign which encourages people to dump ice water over themselves to raise money and awareness for organizations supporting research into and treatment of the neurodegenerative disease ALS is the biggest thing going on the internet right now. (FYI, ALS is also known as Motor Neurone disease in Britain.) The idea is that you face down the bucket of ice water then nominate three friends to do the same within 24 hours and make a donation.

Pretty much every famous person you can think of has done this – from President George W. Bush to Oprah Winfrey to Bill Gates to Chris Pratt. And, of course, everyone’s favorite Brit of the moment, Benedict Cumberbatch. Who, quite frankly, may have done the most epic take on the challenge yet. 

Category:Drama

All-Star Cast Joins Benedict Cumberbatch for 'The Hollow Crown' Sequel 'Wars of the Roses'

Rejoice, there’s finally some official news about the upcoming sequel to award-winning Shakespeare mini-series The Hollow Crown!

The original four-part series adapted four of Shakespeare’s history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Part One, Henry IV Part Two and Henry V – into a single chronological narrative, used the bulk of the same actors for the same roles across all the relevant plays, and starred Ben Whishaw, Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons as three kings of England. The sequel is set to be subtitled War of the Roses and will adapt Shakespeare’s Henry VI (in two parts rather than three) and Richard III, the four plays that tell the story of the rise of the Tudor dynasty and the fall of the Plantagenets.

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has already been announced to play the ill-fated King Richard III across all three plays (though his character doesn’t appear much in the Henry VI trilogy to be honest), He will be joined by a star-studded ensemble, led by none other than the great Dame Judi Dench (yes, really) as Richard’s mother Cecily, the Duchess of York, Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville as Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Keeley Hawes as Queen Elizabeth and Tom Sturridge as King Henry VI. Sophie Okonedo was previously named to play Margaret of Anjou.

Um, wow. Wow. 

Category:Sci-Fi

Rumor Has It: Is Jenna Coleman Set to Leave ‘Doctor Who’?

Just as iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who is set to begin a new era with the arrival of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, rumor has it that more change may soon be in store for the megahit show: We might be in for a new companion by the end of the year.

The internet is buzzing with reports that current companion Jenna Coleman has decided to officially exit the TARDIS by the end of the year. 

Category:Movies

Back to School: The Memorable Teachers of British Film

As students everywhere return to the classroom, it seems only proper to examine the world of British academia. Last year I highlighted some humorously deficient sitcom teachers. This time around I thought I’d focus on the more serious educators, those erudite and inspirational mentors that light the fires of scholarship.

So if all the recent back to school activity has made you nostalgic for the noble pursuit of knowledge, you might want to take a look at these big screen professors and instructors. And if so inclined, you can find any of these films on Netflix DVD or Amazon Instant Video streaming.

Category:Drama

Revisiting ‘The Paradise’: Series 1, Episode 1

Now that we know US viewers are finally going to get to see the second season of the popular, lavish period drama The Paradise for themselves – and we know that so many of YOU all out there love it – it’ll be joining the recap lineup here at Telly Visions later this Fall.

However, that would also be about the time that I realized that if I’m going to recap the new season, I need a refresher on the old one. And I bet some of you do too! So, welcome to another installment of our Retrospective Recap Series – because we’re gonna do Series 1 of The Paradise here on the blog over the next few weeks. I hope some of you out there love it (or me?) enough to stick around and chat about it. If you too need a refresher, or would like to watch along with me, the entire first season can be streamed online via both Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (though, sadly, not the Prime service).

On with the show, shall we? Let’s get to chatting about The Paradise Season 1, Episode 1. Enjoy! 

Category:Drama

The State of ‘Poirot’ for American Viewers: When Will We See the Final Episodes?

As many of you are almost certainly aware, actor David Suchet recently wrapped up his role as the titular Belgian supersleuth in Agatha Christie’s Poirot, having successfully filmed every Hercule Poirot story that Christie ever wrote over the course of his twenty-five year run in the role.

These final five episodes originally aired over the course of 2013 in the UK, with the last installment, titled simply Curtain, transmitting late last year. Ever since, American fans have anxiously awaited their chance to watch Suchet’s last bow as the character. However, we’re all going to get to see all of these episodes, we just have to be patient a bit longer.

As most (all?) of you already know, two of these episodes – Dead Man’s Folly and The Big Four – aired as part of this summer’s run of mysteries on PBS’s Mastrerpiece. But what of the other three? In short: Don’t worry, they’re coming.

No, really, they are.  Have a gander at my Burning Questions Poirot Fans Need to Know primer below.

Category:Drama

PHOTOS: Get Your First Look at 'Downton Abbey' Series 5

We’re ever so slowly inching toward that joyous day when the highly anticipated fifth season of Downton Abbey will arrive, and, as that’s the case we’re finally starting to see bits and pieces of information emerge about what Series 5 is going to look like.

In short: It’s okay to start getting excited now!

A full spread of delightful new images has been released by ITV and Masterpiece, giving us our first look at the new season key art (it’s even a little bit different this time around), as well as snaps featuring almost all of our favorite characters and a glimpse at the suddenly aged but perfectly adorable Crawley children.

Click through and take a look for yourselves! 

Category:Movies

The Trailer for ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ is Here

The sequel to heartwarming British film – and surprise box office hit – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has been highly anticipated since production was confirmed last Fall, and now fans everywhere can rejoice, because a trailer is finally here!

Creatively titled The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the film will continue to follow the story of a group of British retirees making a home for themselves in a second-rate Indian retirement hotel. The main cast from the original – comprised  of such British acting royalty as Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Celia Imrie and more – are all back for the sequel, which will take place eight months later, as ambitious hotel owner-manager Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) attempts to open a second business.

The gang of Marigold Hotel regulars will be joined by several new faces, including characters played by Richard Gere, David Straithairn and Tamsin Greig

Category:Drama

PBS Releases New Trailer for 'Death Comes to Pemberley,' Which Debuts This October

Pride and Prejudice sequel Death Comes to Pemberley – based on the popular novel of the same name by P.D. James – will officially premiere on Masterpiece in the US beginning October 26.

The lavish period drama imagines the lives of everyone’s favorite literary couple – Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy – six years into their marriage.  As the couple prepares for a ball at their magnificent Pemberley home, Elizabeth’s wayward sister Lydia returns, and brings a murder mystery along with her.

PBS has just released the first American trailer for the drama, which seems to assume (probably fairly correctly) that many of us haven’t read the novel and might need a little more backstory on this particular drama. It’s a pretty good overview of what the drama will look like, and features footage we didn’t see in the original UK trailer!

Category:Movies

Get Your First Look at ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Dan Stevens in ‘Night at the Museum 3’

Here’s the deal: We’re all never going to get over Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey. It’s just not happening. We’re going to miss Dan Stevens around the Highclere Castle grounds forever, no matter how much we end up enjoying Lord Tony or Evelyn Napier whoever else shows up next season. So, it’s totally okay that we’re all obsessively tracking his post-Downton career with a zeal we don’t even dedicate to keeping apprised of the lives of actual family members. It’s fine.

Luckily, Stevens has been doing his best to keep busy since departing the 1920s. He’s made several movies over the past year and a half, playing everything from a swoony romantic lead (again), to a troubled drug dealer (yikes) to what appears to be a complete psychopath (oh dear). Happily, his role in franchise sequel Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb looks though it’s going to be a bit more as familiar.

Steven joins the third installment of the family-friendly franchise, starring Ben Stiller and Robin Williams, that follows the story of a nighttime security guard who discovers that all the exhibits in the museum come to life after the building shuts down, with the help of a magical Egyptian tablet. (It’s cute, just go with it.) Secret of the Tomb finds our heroes headed to London to solve a mystery at the British Museum and meeting a bunch of new museum figures who are secretly alive.

Stevens plays Lancelot – yes that Lancelot – and as you can see from the trailer below, looks rather perfect for the part, even if he is sporting some rather deplorable facial hair. 

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Jar Jar Binks Impression Will Definitely Improve Your Day

Apparently, even being at Comic Con this year, I missed a lot of Comic Con! There’s simply so much going on at the world’s biggest festival of all things geek that it can seriously take you a week or more after the event concludes just to dig through all the gems – clips, interviews, trailers, whatever – that come out of that four day span. It’s the best kind of crazy.

My latest and best find involves Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who made his first appearance at San Diego’s annual convention this year, supporting his upcoming films The Penguins of Madagascar and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Part of this involves not just appearing on panels for those films, but doing a positive truckload of press, whilst so many entertainment journalists are all in one place. Cumberbatch, like everyone else, did the rounds, speaking to folks from all the major outlets.

He sat down with MTV’s Joshua Horowitz – one of my favorite entertainment writers and, quite frankly, one of the best folks at doing celebrity interviews – and the resultant chat is, to put it mildly, fairly epic, particularly when the two get to discuss nerdy topics, as one does because it’s Comic Con. The two end up discussing Star Wars whether or not the presence of the floppy-eared nightmare known as Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menance can be justified and proceedings devolve into the two doing rather freakishly accurate impressions of the character.

Just watch it. Trust me. It’s the best thing you’ll see today. 

James Corden Named the New Host of CBS’ 'Late Late Show'

Depending on which source you read, it is “reportedly”, “likely” and “confirmed by sources” that Tony-winning English actor, writer and presenter James Corden "has been named” Craig Ferguson’s successor as host of CBS’ Late Late Show. Did you get all that?

This apparently surprising development has prompted media outlets around the US to throw together introductory bios quite quickly; however, around this time last year I wrote a British Actors You Should Know profile on Corden so I won’t bother rehashing that post.

An all-around entertainer, James has a variety of skills and past work experience that would transfer well to his new position. Therefore, what I’d like to focus on are the strengths that I believe make Mr. Corden a good choice for this particular gig. As you might expect, I have compiled video proof to back it up.

Category:Culture

A Field of Poppies Marks the Anniversary of WWI at the Tower of London

A gorgeous new installation opened today (August 5) at the Tower of London, to make the centenary anniversary of the start of World War I.

Called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the display by ceramic artist Paul Cummins will feature hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies – the ceremonial flower traditionally used to remember war veterans in Britain – arranged in and around the Tower’s moat.

The official Twitter account for the Historic Royal Palaces – the charity that oversees locations such as the Tower, Hampton Court, Kensington Palace and others – has been sharing photos of the event this week, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at how such a massive undertaking will be completed. Take a look at some of the most impressive below.

Category:Drama

'Last Tango in Halifax' Recap: How the Second Half of Series 2 Went

Can you believe Last Tango in Halifax Series 2 is over already? I guess it’s true what they say -time flies when you’re engrossed in a proper family drama. Since we last talked, quite a lot of time has passed and life for the newlywed Buttershaws and their kin has been eventful to say the least. While estrangement was rife earlier in the series, by the finale, reconciliation abounded. Loss was tempered with the promise of new life and love definitely trumped angst in the end.

Let’s get on with the recap, shall we? 

Category:Drama

‘The Paradise’ Season 2 Comes to America This September

So…there’s some good news and bad news for fans of period drama The Paradise.

I’m pretty sure that the number one question I get asked on the blog – regularly, repeatedly, and almost a year after Series 1 concluded in the US – is about The Paradise. When is Series 2 airing? How can we find it? Will there be a Series 3? What’s going on with all that?

Well, I can’t answer everything, but there is finally some news to share about the show’s US airdates and future prospects. Rejoice! 

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