Happy May Day, TV lovers! My mother told me that on the first of May you’re supposed to send flowers to the ones you love. If I could I’d send each of you a thousand yellow daisies (name that TV show reference!), but instead I’ve created this finale-filled list of TV spoilers. Hopefully this will be a fun, less allergy-inducing alternative.
There are five brilliant shows featured in this week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List and while some are coming to the end of their seasons, others are just beginning! The cast of Arrested Development shared as many Bluth family secrets as they could about their upcoming season on Netflix, and I chatted with the enchanted creators of Once Upon a Time to bring you spellbinding insights from the two-part finale.
Jim O’Heir teased if Jerry is really gone from the Parks and Rec office for good, and Happy Endings boss man David Caspe told me exclusive (and hilarious) information about Megan Mullally’s return. Finally, get ready to loose your appetite because the next new episode of Hannibal is going to be deliciously dangerous for the one and only My Girl star Anna Chlumsky. Enjoy your bouquet of TV scoop!
1. Once Upon a Time: The Magic Within
To put it lightly, this season has been a complete whirlwind of magical mayhem for Emma. It’s crazy to think that in the Season 2 premiere she was just coming to terms with the fact that her parents are the infamous Snow White and Prince Charming and now, 20 episodes later, she not only believes in magic, but she has the ability to do it!
Earlier this week I had breakfast with Once Upon a Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, and they told me that in these last two episode fans will get more of an insight into how Emma feels about all of these changes — especially the idea of moving back to The Enchanted Forest. Kistsis reveals, “I think we’re definitely going to explore he magic inside her, but I think there's a part of Emma that is still reeling from all this. I don't think she cares for it. ['The Evil Queen'] was the first time she starts to question it.”
He continues: “Last year was about believing. Now she believes, but it’s not what she really wanted. This year she's really embraced being a mother; she’s really put Henry first and she's really coming to grips with it. In the finale, it's going to set up for her next year to say, 'I have a new purpose, and maybe it's time I commit either one way or the other.'” Do you think Emma would be happy living in the Enchanted Forest or should she take Henry and Neal and move to NYC?
2. Arrested Development: So Many Secrets!
The Arrested Development gang has been sworn to secrecy over the Netflix-reincarnated fourth season of their bizarre, wonderful, and delightfully weird comedy. But lucky for all you Bluth family fans, Hollywood.com hit up the orange carpet premiere of the new season on Monday night, where we squeezed out a tiny bit of scoop from some cast members. Also worth noting: there was an Ostrich on the carpet. That’s right, an Ostrich! I don’t know what that means, but it was awkwardly amazing.
Stan Sitwell, who was interested in buying the Bluth family's shares in the Bluth Company during the show's series finale, will have some business dealings with the Bluth patriarch in the new season. Well, maybe. Says Ed Begley, who plays the follically challenged Stan, "I can’t give away any secrets but there is a scuffle between me and Jeffrey Tambor. That much I’ll tell you. There is a physical scuffle, and they decided to capture it on film. We were actually fighting, he and I, because there’s a lot of bitterness."
That can't possibly be true! Maybe we'll have better luck with new cast member Terry Crews, who's playing a weaselly politician. "He’s very despicable, but in this family, there’s levels of that. So I might even end up being a good guy," Crews says with a laugh. "You never know!"
Told you the Arrested Development gang were taking top secret to a whole ‘nother level! This is how hush-hush creator Mitch Hurwitz and co. were about the whole thing: Crews, who is actually in the show, didn't know anything about storylines other than his own until he sat down to watch the premiere. "I can’t wait to see it," he spilled before heading inside to catch the very first screening. "This is my first time even getting near what the story is, so I can’t wait to see this tonight." May 26 — so close, yet too far away to touch. (No touching!)
3. Happy Endings: A Baby Maybe?
In my opinion Megan Mullally is one of those actresses who can do no wrong. She captured my heart on Will and Grace and the day I found out she was going to play Penny’s mom on Happy Endings — one of my all-time favorite shows — well, let’s just say there was a lot of jumping up and down. So you can imagine my delight when Happy Endings creator David Caspe told me that she would be making her grand return this week.
During the first episode of this week's glorious TGIF hour, “Deuce Babylove 2: Electric Babydeuce” (Best episode title ever, bee tee dubs), Capse explains that both Dana Hartz and Big Dave are returning — and they have some life-changing news. “Michael McKeen and Megan Mullally come back as Dave’s dad and Penny’s mom and they’re still dating, which is great,” Caspe explains. “But they’re actually thinking of adopting a baby, which throws Penny and Dave into a crazy breakdown spiral.” Just imagining Penny and Dave’s shocked faces is making me all giddy.
Of course, since this is Happy Endings, ABC’s best comedy you need to be watching, everything is over the top and their solution to the problem is amahzing. Caspe reveals that Penny and Dave will go to drastic measures to change their parents’ minds. “That news results in them kidnapping a baby themselves in order to teach [their parents] a lesson,” he says. Classic Penny Blossom move!
But while Penny and Dave are committing crimes, where is the rest of the gang? Well dear reader, I will tell you the answer right now. Brad and Jane are desperate to have a little alone time together so they decide that an exclusive tennis club is the perfect way to get their cardio on — and by cardio I mean they’re probably going to do it in the tennis courts because Brad and Jane are awesome like that. Because Max and Alex hate to be excluded from things, hilarity ensues as they try to track the couple down. Don’t miss “Deuce Babylove 2: Electric Babydeuce” this Friday at 8 PM, followed by the Happy Endings season finale at 8:30 PM! Seriously, don’t miss it. I’ll be pretty peeved if you do.
4. Parks and Recreation: The End of Jerry?
I’ve already watched Thursday’s Season Finale of Parks and Rec and it’s definitely not an episode you wanna miss — mainly because I choked on one of my gummy bears from laughter at episode’s best line. Should I reveal it? Hmm… okay! “I’m bored. Let’s go have sex in a tree. He’ll be back in eight minutes.” Mona Lisa shines in this episode, and this is my official campaign to make her a regular next season! Fun fact: Jean-Ralphio is also in the finale and yes, he’s just as amazing as always.
It’s Founders Week in Pawnee and Leslie is celebrating her first year of being on the City Council. It’s been an amazing year for our waffle-loving Knope, but unfortunately not everyone in Pawnee agrees that things are better off with Leslie in office. While Leslie and Ben are dealing with the always-stubborn citizens, Andy’s crime-solving alter ego Bert Macklin is back in town to solve the mystery of the positive pregnancy test. The suspects are: Leslie, Donna, April, Mona Lisa, and Ann, but trust me when I say the answer is going to absolutely shock you.
We saw a few episodes ago that Jerry retired, but Jim O’Heir says that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of the person everyone loves to hate. “It’s a bit of secret. I’m not supposed to reveal too much, what’s happening with Jerry, because as we saw, he retired and then he came back and he might be back for a couple of hours here and there,” he tells Hollywood.com.
O’Heir teases there will be clues dropped in the finale for Jerry’s future plans. “I think it’s kind of obvious what’s about to happen, just in the way they opened the door for me to come back but I can’t officially say either way. But to me, people should be able to figure it out,” he says. The Parks and Rec actor also says fans definitely don’t want to miss the final scene of Thursday’s episode. “There’s a really sweet cliffhanger in the finale. I can’t reveal it now, but believe me, Jerry would be officially retired if I revealed it.” I can second that! Don’t miss it!
5. Hannibal: Don’t Eat My Girl!
Things for Will Graham and the FBI team on NBC's new series Hannibal are about to be ripped to shreds. Literally. Guest stars Eddie Izzard, Anna Chlumsky, and Raul Esparza join in on the horror show on Thursday night's episode (dubbed "Entreé" Oh la la!) and this brand new hour may just open up a bit more into the psyche of our main characters.
Agent Jack Crawford has always pushed Will Graham hard when it comes to finding serial killers — nearly to the break of Graham's own mental well-being. It's a slippery slope, but after watching the episode, it’s safe to say that Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter aren't the only ones bringing their own baggage into this series.
Izzard shines in his creepy best as a suspect in the Chesapeake Ripper murders, and fans of the Thomas Harris series of novels will be happy to meet Dr. Frederick Chilton. Esparza's Chilton seems to crave recognition and accolades for his work — whether he deserves them or not — and has taken a special interest in one of our main characters as a potential case study. Only time will tell if Dr. Chilton ends up getting the attention he seems hell-bent on receiving, but his introduction is an eye-opening one.
My Girl’s Chlumsky joins the team as Miriam Lass, a young FBI trainee under the tutelage of Jack Crawford — and let's just say fresh meat is the perfect way to describe this character. If you thought watching Thomas J. getting attacked by bees was traumatizing, you might want to watch the second half of Thursday night’s episode from the cracks between your fingers. Oh, and you’ll also feel a little bit nostalgic for the days when you’d rather die than let go of your Blackberry. #TeamiPhone.
Are you excited to see the new season of Arrested Development? How do you think Jerry will stay close to the Parks and Rec team? Eager to see Anna Chlumsky’s tasty appearance on Hannibal? Tell me everything in the comments below!
—Additional Reporting by Jean Bentley, Alicia Lutes and Kelsea Stahler.
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Saturday Night Live is closing out its 38th season in a big, big way. First, on May 4, they've got The Hangover Part III star Zach Galifianakis paired with Icelandic folk rockers Of Monsters and Men. But then on May 11, SNL is setting the stage for a reunion anyone with a funny bone wants to see: Kristen Wiig is returning to Studio 8H! The Bridesmaids star and all-around comedy mogul will come full circle from her departure as a cast member by hosting the May 11 installment, with Vampire Weekend performing.
You know what this means? Expect the returns of Gilly, the Target Lady, and Dooneese! Because SNL hasn't had nearly enough parodies of The Lawrence Welk Show/plastic baby arms attached to human women lately.
Then, for the finale on May 18, host Ben Affleck will join one of the most exclusive societies in showbiz: the Five Timers Club. For the fifth time he'll host SNL, though we're sad that this time he probably won't pull out his amazing Keith Olbermann impersonation because Keith Olbermann has basically vanished from all media. Kanye West, as the musical guest, will have to provide hotheaded indignation and outrageous bravado instead.
Which of these host/musical guest combos has you most excited?
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Parodies are a dying art. I hate to say it — because I love them so much — but over the last few years the unrelenting hacks known as Friedberg and Seltzer have systematically killed the art form with their brainless pop culture-stroking disguised as commentary. I remember the good ole’ days of Abrams and Zucker (prior to their Scary Movie entanglements) when parodies where funny precisely because they established their own voice and didn’t use the material they were lampooning as a crutch. Airplane! mercilessly mocked the bizarre run of airport disaster movies in the '70s but it also transcended easy jokes and script aping. Today thanks to inexplicable box office validation an entire generation now thinks that the “Random celebrity what are you doing here?” gag is the appropriate formula for parody.
Kick-Ass is going to put a giant boot in the face of that mentality. It is a pitch-perfect send-up of everything that is characteristic of superhero films. It is versed enough to cite convention but clever enough to find the humor in the genre’s absurdity. And the biggest advantage Kick-Ass has in the parody department is that it is unrelentingly entertaining. It seems that in the last few years terrible parodies have made undeserved fortunes at the box office while better-crafted entries have gone largely unseen. Kick-Ass on the other hand has all the necessary components to clean up at the box office and be well deserving of its success.
The performances in the film are all top notch. Nicolas Cage showcases yet again how he can make his personal lunacy work very effectively under the right conditions. The overly Leave It To Beaver dialogue he and his daughter exchange prior to assuming their crime-fighting alter egos is charmingly silly and if you don’t get a kick out of his channeling of Adam West from the 60’s Batman series when he is in the suit I highly suggest a humor implant immediately. Aaron Johnson in the title role plays the lovable loser to perfection. He brings a lot of heart to the character that drives the emotional crux of the film. And as much as Christopher Mintz-Plasse is the most recognizable young actor in the film it’s Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl who totally McLovins the film; stealing every scene she’s in. The personality comedic timing and ruthlessness that she brings to this character demonstrate a talent level well in advance of her age.
In terms of the treatment of the teenaged characters in the film this script is tantamount to something written by the late great John Hughes in so much as the teens are allowed to speak honestly and in their own limited vocabulary without the pretense of wit. I think teen comedies are improving dramatically of late but the obsession with making teens pithy wordsmiths baffles me to no end and I’m glad they were allowed to just be vulgar. And my God this thing is vulgar…and violent to boot. We get to watch an 11 year-old drop f-bombs and stab thugs in the forebrain. I mean come on the movie is called Kick-Ass for a reason and while it is a comedy the action sequences are unstoppably exhilarating.
A smart somewhat genre subversive parody Kick-Ass is also action-packed and entertaining enough to stand on its own two legs as a film and not just a lampoon. The costumes the music the fight choreography all work in harmony to bring us a blockbuster superhero film that is legitimately humorous in both its homages and honest characterizations. Do not miss this film.
After surviving a devastating car accident following her first college party freshman Cassie (Melissa Sagemiller) falls into a coma and steps into a nightmare of otherworldly visitations. Haunted by a grim reaper of a far different kind her only hope is to cling to chance encounters with her lost love Sean (Casey Affleck) and the aid of a mysterious young priest named Father Jude (Luke Wilson). Cassie's malicious friends Matt (Wes Bentley) Annabel (Eliza Dushku) and the morose Raven (Angela Featherstone) seem intent on drawing her to the dark side but the spirit of her soul mate Sean guides her back to the world of the living.
Sagemiller (Get Over It) may be a fine actress but this film--her second full-length feature--isn't the one to prove it. Not that Sagemiller does a poor job but like most dull and stale horror movies the female lead isn't asked to do much other than look frightened and scream--a lot. Affleck (Good Will Hunting) Bentley (American Beauty) and Dushku (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) are among the more talented actors of their generation but are completely wasted especially Affleck in his one-dimensional role. Wilson as Father Jude is the only character with an interesting part but unfortunately the good Father's development is stunted and incomplete leaving Wilson little to work with.
Steve Carpenter's first turn as a director leaves much to be desired. Of course Carpenter wrote the formulaic script so why shouldn't he be the one to helm it? One major flaw (and there are plenty to choose from) is that nearly half the movie is shot tight on the characters giving the audience a very myopic view. Even if that was intentional it certainly did nothing to heighten the tension (what little of it there was) in the movie. The flick's tagline "The World of the Dead and the World of the Living... are About to Collide" conveys the message of an epic struggle between the forces of evil and the forces of good--a struggle that never materializes. And the film's final message that love conquers all is the boring hackneyed truism that breaks the cliché camel's back.