A radio comedy featuring the voice of British star Benedict Cumberbatch has scored two nominations for the 2014 BBC Audio Drama Awards. Cabin Pressure will compete for the titles of Best Scripted Comedy and Best Scripted Comedy (Studio Audience) at the third annual London prizegiving on 26 January (14).
Other highlights among the nominees include Doctor Who: Dark Eyes, which is shortlisted for Best Online or Non-Broadcast Audio drama, and Simon Russell Beale, who has landed a nod for Best Actor in an Audio Drama for his work in Copenhagen.
The veteran thespian will be up against Lee Ross (King David) and Joseph Millson (The Real George Orwell: Jura), while Carly Bawden (The Color of Milk), Christine Bottomley (My Boy) and Marcia Warren (Tony and Rose) will fight for the Best Actress trophy.
Among the nominees for the Best Supporting Actor categories are Shaun Dooley (The Gothic Imagination: Frankenstein), Geoffrey Bretton (Imaginary Boys) and Eastenders soap star Lacey Turner (The One About the Social Worker).
Considering The New Normal is about a gay guy named Bryan who runs a show called Sing, Glee creator Ryan Murphy gets most of the credit for putting stories from his real life on the NBC comedy. But don't forget about co-creator Ali Adler (formerly of Glee and Chuck) who does just as much of the heavily lifting, especially considering Murphy is spread as thin as Jennifer Hudson in her Weight Watchers commercial. "It's a true partnership," Adler says, adding that the show may seem to be crafted from Murphy's home life, but she is a mother raising children with another mother, so her normal is pretty new to most people too. "I think less than same gender parents, [the show is] about all parents. Every story is about everyone's story and the struggle to have a family."
So far the struggle to find a family — at least for Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha), their surrogate Goldie (Georgia King), her daughter Shania (Bebe Wood), her grandmother June (Ellen Barkin), and Bryan's assistant Rocky (NeNe Leakes) — has been a hit with viewers, and after tonight's "mid-season finale" (God, I hate that term) the show has been picked up for a full first season for NBC. So, what can we expect from tonight, the show's first Christmas — I'm sorry — holiday episode?
"When you start having children, all the traditions you've come to expect shift a little bit," Adler says. "So it's about when you bring a baby into a home while preparing for the holidays, and dealing with the loss of the things in the past you might not get to do in the future. But then there are all the wonderful things that come along with having a child."
But speaking of holiday episodes, because of Hurricane Sandy, NBC preempted The New Normal, and we never got to see the show's Halloween episode and all of the elaborate costumes that went along with it. "That was so sad for our crew and our makeup team," Adler says. "The actors were in the chairs for hours getting all these prosthetics done. We'll figure out a way to bring it to people in the future. Shania was Honey Boo Boo." (Between Honey Boo Boo, Little Edie Beale, and Cher, is there a gay icon that Shania hasn't dressed as?) "It's such a special episode. What the audience missed is the resolution about the custody of Shania. Her father came down from Ohio and saw what an amazing mom Goldie is, and what an amazing family they are building in LA, and decided to stay and in his own way become another parent. Instead of pulling the family apart he became a part of this new family."
But we don't really want to hear about the episodes we missed — we want to hear about what to expect in the future. "We're going to get a visit from Matt Bomer, who is an amazing actor and hilarious. He plays Bryan's ex-boyfriend," Adler says about the openly gay Magic Mike actor's first openly gay role. "We're talking about all the stages of being pregnant and baby showers and a wedding for these guys. There should be some big surprises in there." But what about the biggest surprise of them all: the baby? Adler is coy about whether or not Bryan and David's son will be born by the season finale in May.
Adler says there won't be any more Real Housewives joining Miss Leakes on the show, but we'll see more of Sing, and Bryan and Rocky's work life. Adler hopes that they'll get to show off their cast for years. "I hope even more people start to watch the show," she says. "We're excited to bring fresh characters and a new perspective to the comedy genre. We have so many stories to tell, and it's hard because we have this limited number of episodes. Hopefully we'll have a lot of episodes in the future to tell all these stories. We're so excited to figure out ways to showcase our talent." And that talent is much more than just Mr. Ryan Murphy.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Neil Jacobs/NBC; Trae Patton/NBC]
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Millions of people around the globe tuned in to watch Boyle's $43.2 million (£27 million) spectacular this summer (12), which featured appearances from The Queen, Daniel Craig, Sir Kenneth Branagh and David Beckham and officially kicked off the 2012 London Games.
As well as Boyle, Dame Judi Dench was a big winner, being presented with the Moscow Art Theatre's Golden Seagull award for her contribution to world theatre.
Simon Russell Beale received the Best Actor award for Collaborators while Hattie Morahan picked up Best Actress for her performance in A Doll's House.
Sir Nicholas Hytner was presented with the Best Director award for Timon of Athens and the Lebedev Special award for his dynamic directorship of the National Theatre.
Constellations was named Best Play.
British funnyman James Corden hosted the star-studded event at the Savoy Hotel in the U.K. capital.
It was the trickle of pee heard around the world. Cannes attendees were aghast and/or amused an infamous scene from The Paperboy that shows Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron; this is apparently a great salve for jellyfish burns which were covering our Ken Doll-like protagonist. (In fact the term protagonist should be used very loosely for Efron's character Jack who is mostly acted upon than active throughout.)
Lurid! Sexy! Perverse! Trashy! Whether or not it's actually effective is overshadowed by all the hubbub that's attached itself to the movie for better or worse. In fact the movie is all of these things — but that's actually not a compliment. What could have become somethingmemorable is jaw-droppingly bad (when it's not hilarious). Director Lee Daniels uses a few different visual styles throughout from a stark black and white palette for a crime scene recreation at the beginning to a '70s porno aesthetic that oscillates between psychedelic and straight-up sweaty with an emphasis on Efron's tighty-whiteys. This only enhances the sloppiness of the script which uses lines like narrator/housekeeper/nanny Anita's (Macy Gray) "You ain't tired enough to be retired " to conjure up the down-home wisdom of the South. Despite Gray's musical talents she is not a good choice for a narrator or an actor for that matter. In a way — insofar as they're perhaps the only female characters given a chunk of screen time — her foil is Charlotte Bless Nicole Kidman's character. Anita is the mother figure who wears as we see in an early scene control-top pantyhose whereas Charlotte is all clam diggers and Barbie doll make-up. Or as Anita puts it "an oversexed Barbie doll."
The slapdash plot is that Jack's older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to town with his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a death row criminal named Hillary Van Wetter. Yardley is black and British which seems to confuse many of the people he meets in this backwoods town. Hillary (John Cusack) hidden under a mop of greasy black hair) is a slack-jawed yokel who could care less if he's going to be killed for a crime he might or might not have committed. He is way more interested in his bride-to-be Charlotte who has fallen in love with him through letters — this is her thing apparently writing letters and falling in love with inmates — and has rushed to help Ward and Yardley free her man. In the meantime we're subjected to at least one simulated sex scene that will haunt your dreams forever. Besides Hillary's shortcomings as a character that could rustle up any sort of empathy the case itself is so boring it begs the question why a respected journalist would be interested enough to pursue it.
The rest of the movie is filled with longing an attempt to place any the story in some sort of social context via class and race even more Zac Efron's underwear sexual violence alligator innards swamp people in comically ramshackle homes and a glimpse of one glistening McConaughey 'tock. Harmony Korine called and he wants his Gummo back.
It's probably tantalizing for this cast to take on "serious" "edgy" work by an Oscar-nominated director. Cusack ditched his boombox blasting "In Your Eyes" long ago and Efron's been trying to shed his squeaky clean image for so long that he finally dropped a condom on the red carpet for The Lorax so we'd know he's not smooth like a Ken doll despite how he was filmed by Daniels. On the other hand Nicole Kidman has been making interesting and varied career choices for years so it's confounding why she'd be interested in a one-dimensional character like Charlotte. McConaughey's on a roll and like the rest of the cast he's got plenty of interesting projects worth watching so this probably won't slow him down. Even Daniels is already shooting a new film The Butler as we can see from Oprah's dazzling Instagram feed. It's as if they all want to put The Paperboy behind them as soon as possible. It's hard to blame them.
The Little Britain comic teamed up with Sir Michael Gambon in 2008 to tackle Harold Pinter's No Man's Land and Walliams is keen to take to the stage once again.
He tells London's Evening Standard newspaper, "I got a real kick out of working with Michael Gambon in the West End.
"Harold Pinter died during the time we were running. It was an incredible interlude in my life, where I was performing with one of the world's greatest actors who I've admired since I was a child, and meeting the world's greatest living (at the time) playwright. So it was like, 'How did that happen?' I'd love to do a play again and learn."
And Walliams already has his dream co-stars in mind: "I went to see Simon Russell Beale the other night in Death Trap. If I got the chance to work with someone like him or Derek Jacobi or Judi Dench or Maggie Smith..."