Actress Lea Thompson has become the latest celebrity to be booted off U.S. reality show Dancing With The Stars. The star impressed judges with her sexy samba and paso doble with professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev on Monday (10Nov14), but it was not enough to save them from the axe, despite placing higher than stoner icon Tommy Chong on the night's final scoreboard.
Speaking after the elimination, the 53-year-old actress said, "I just feel really great. I feel strong and I'm anxious to get back to my day job on (TV drama series) Switched at Birth."
Comedian Chong remains among the five contestants heading into the semi-finals next week (begs17Nov14), alongside Pretty Little Liars actress Janel Parrish and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro, who is one of the favourites to win the mirrorball trophy.
Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett has been booted from U.S. reality show Dancing With The Stars. He became the fifth contestant to exit the latest series after failing to impress with his jazz number with professional dance partner Allison Holker during Monday night's (20Oct14) show. Comedian Tommy Chong and actors Alfonso Ribeiro, Lea Thompson and Antonio Sabato, Jr. are still in the running for the mirrorball trophy.
The Expendables star Randy Couture has become the third ballroom wannabe to be voted off U.S. TV show Dancing With The Stars. The ultimate fighting champion (UFC)-turned-Hollywood action man and his professional partner Karina Smirnoff scored 26 out of 40 to land at the bottom of the list and exit the show on Monday night (29Sep14).
Couture admitted he had enjoyed his time on the show, stating, "It's been a great experience, putting myself out there and trying something new."
Tommy Chong, Alfonso Ribeiro, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Lea Thompson and designer Betsey Johnson are still in the competition.
Back To The Future's Lea Thompson and The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro are among the famous faces who will be taking part in the new season of Dancing With The Stars. Thompson, who played Marty McFly's mother in the sci-fi trilogy, will be showing off her fancy footwork alongside Will Smith's former TV sidekick Ribeiro and Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett.
Other stars taking part in the 19th season of the show include Cheech & Chong's Tommy Chong, General Hospital actor Antonio Sabato, Jr., and fashion designer Betsey Johnson.
The new series, which features the show's former dance professional Julianne Hough as a new judge, returns to screens in the U.S. later this month (Sep14).
Former The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air producer Jeff Pollack has died, aged 54. Pollack was found dead on a running trail in Hermosa Beach, California on Monday (23Dec13), according to Us Weekly.
Police official Tommy Thompson tells EasyReaderNews.com that a woman found the producer's body in an area known as Greenbelt. The reason behind his death has not been confirmed.
Pollack is best known for producing and writing for hit U.S. TV comedy The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996.
He also directed the 1997 film Booty Call, Above the Rim in 1994, and Lost & Found in 1999.
Pollack also won acclaim for forming the production company Medina/Pollack Entertainment with Benny Medina. The company later became known as Handprint Entertainment.
It's difficult to cram so many characters into Boardwalk Empire's episodes. The show features a large ensemble cast, so many times characters are absent for entire episodes.
Here are five important characters that either left us wanting more or were completely ignored. Warning: spoilers are definitely ahead.
This half-masked man (Jack Huston) was hit or miss this season. At the end of season three, Richard went on a tear, dispatching numerous henchmen to rescue youngster Tommy Darmody. Where was he in season four? Wasting time on a farm. Getting married to a random woman. To be fair, Richard once again played a major role in the season finale. This almost made up for his absence. Except for the fact that he’s now dead and we won't get to see the war veteran in future episodes.
Nelson Van Alden
The one-time government agent is now firmly entrenched in Al Capone's gang. Nelson (Michael Shannon) is a curious character; Al likes him for his muscle, yet Nelson cowers in his presence. Shannon's lack of screentime might be attributed to him filming Man of Steel. Regardless, Nelson's face when upset is straight-up crazed. When will the government catch up to him?
It's like she took the season off. Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) is Nucky Thompson's estranged wife and her only effort in season four was meeting with Nucky once and providing inside information to Arnold Rothstein about a stock price. She was a major character, so it's odd that she was tossed aside.
Everybody's heard of Al Capone (Stephen Graham) so why not utilize him more? His crime schemes have only grown larger and now that he has Nelson and presumably, Eli Thompson on board, the Chicago boss should be stealing scenes from Nucky's New Jersey. Graham always gives outstanding performances, somehow he needs to be more connected to the grand scheme of Boardwalk Empire.
Where were the mega deals? The blood lust? Bailing out Nucky or trying to swallow up entire operations? Sure, Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) was around in season four, but he didn't have a large enough impact at all. He simply made token appearances here and there, nothing to affect the wheelings and dealings of Nucky.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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As Boardwalk Empire is imbued with a larger population than most Asian countries, it's always helpful to take a step back and give some thought to where each of the HBO drama's characters are setting up to go at the beginning of every new chapter. The Season 4 premiere set a number of familiar faces on their courses for the next set of episodes…
Nucky ThompsonNow a bachelor, standing knee-deep in that same narcissistic lust for troubled showgirls that has plagued him since the Lucy days, Nucky takes an interest in Eddie Cantor's new onstage sidekick, using his ominous reputation as a tool to entice her (and scare detractors like Cantor). Meanwhile, Nucky manages a peace treaty with kingpins Masseria and Rothstein, albeit one that feels oh so fragile.
Al CaponeEternally affixed on his public image, Capone goes nuts when a local newspaper runs reports of his and Johnny Torrio's malfeasances but with his name misspelled as "Caponi." We see Al's childlike rage build as he yearns for notoriety and respect.
Chalky WhiteA businessman on the rise, Chalky institutes a deal with a talent agent… one who faces a nasty end when Chalky's right hand man, Dunn Purnsley, finds himself in one severely twisted love triangle.
Eli and Will ThompsonPutting his best foot forward in the fathering game, Eli is really riding his oldest son Will to stay studious, healthy, and righteous. Will, on the other hand, wants in on the family business. And, of course, he will probably get involved pretty soon.
Gillian DarmodyPoor Gillian. Poor, pathetic, corrosive, evil Gillian. With a legion of prostitutes over whom to loom no longer, Gillian has taken to turning tricks herself, roping in big bucks for her encounters with deep-pocketed businessmen. Her latest client, played by Ron Livingston, seems like the sort we'll be seeing quite a bit this season. Additionally, we find Gillian on the villainous side of a heated legal battle for custody of Tommy Darmody — also fighting to adopt the child: Richard's flame Julia and her father, Mr. Sagorsky. Which brings us to…
RichardStill pretty glued to the whole "killing people" thing, we see Richard take down three nameless cads over the course of the episode, but a far more surprising conclusion faces our favorite character: he goes home. Back to the farm, where he reunited at long last with his twin sister. So does this mean he can finally be happy? Maybe? Please?
Where will the season take these characters? And which old favorites are we looking forward to seeing pop up next week?
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There was a lot of death and destruction in the Season 1 finale of Arrow, "Sacrifice," but no one paid a bigger price than Tommy (Colin Donnell). Fans everywhere screamed at their TVs as they watched Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) best friend save Laurel’s life only to get trapped in a collapsing building. Oliver arrived just in time to trade tearful goodbyes as Tommy bled out, and with his final breath, Arrow Season 1 ended.
"It was really tough," Amell tells us of learning Tommy's fate. "When [Donnell] found out, I was the next person to find out. We went for coffee." Sounds like their bromance carries over into real life!
Tommy’s demise was the death no one saw coming. "I’m very gratified and happy because it is so hard in today’s Internet world to actually surprise an audience. We managed to surprise a fair chunk of people," executive producer Marc Guggenheim says. "As far as why Tommy, we wanted Oliver to face a crisis in the last episode and basically face defeat and a loss ... [Tommy's death] is the one loss that affects all the characters. It affects Oliver and Laurel, obviously, but it even affects Thea — and it affects Moira because now she’s partially responsible for the death of Oliver’s best friend. Tommy’s death sends a ripple effect throughout the entire cast."
Tommy's death thwarted most fans' hypothesis that Tommy would take up his father’s Dark Archer cause. "The ancillary effect is that everyone expected us to pull a Sam Raimi Spider-man thing where Tommy tries to avenge his father’s death, or because of the love triangle with Oliver and Laurel, so it paid the dividend of surprising people to go this route," Guggenheim says. "But at the end of the day, it’s not about just surprising people, it’s about the creative map. When you make the decision to kill off a character, you don’t undertake that lightly. You want to make sure that killing off a character has a greater creative benefit than keeping the character on the show."
What does Tommy’s death mean for Season 2, especially amid all the destruction The Undertaking earthquake caused in The Glades? "We’re back in the writers room on Season 2 already and one of the things that we are very committed to is that Tommy is a specter throughout Season 2," Guggenheim reveals. "His death has had repercussions and will continue to have repercussions, mostly on Oliver and Laurel ... It’s going to drive how Laurel feels about the Arrow, it’s going to drive how Oliver feels about himself as the Arrow, it’s going to drive how Thea has reacted to The Undertaking and the earthquake that her mom was involved with."
Amell says of Tommy's death, "Purely from a creative standpoint, if I just view it in a vacuum, it’s really exciting because people were worrying that we’re burning through story because a lot happened this year, but everything is reset ... There are so many new opportunities between me and Susanna [Thompson], between me and Willa [Holland], between me and Laurel. We’re going to need to Oliver Queen in the real world because of everything that happened with the Queen family. It’s not all pancakes and roses — pancakes and roses, is that even a thing?"
Rest assured, Arrow fans, this might not be the last time we see Tommy Merlyn on the show. "I’ll tell you what I told Colin. I was up on set for Colin’s last scene and his performance was so amazing, so I said to him, ''I'm really glad the show does flashbacks,'" Guggenheim teases. "I wasn’t even saying it to console Colin, I was saying it to console myself ... We’re not limited to flashing back only to Oliver on the island — there’s every possibility that we’ll see Colin Donnell on the show again."
What Can We Expect From Season 2?
And as for the other major cliffhangers in the finale, we saw Oliver, Shado, and Slade successfully stop Fyers on the island, so what’s next on the island? "Oh my God, things are just starting on the Island," Amell teases. "We’re going to continue to carry that story line all the way through to where we found Oliver in the pilot, so clearly a lot more has to happen."
Now that The Undertaking occurred and The Glades have been destroyed via a man-made earthquake, will we pick up right away after the disaster in Season 2? "I think we’re looking at a time jump," newly promoted series regular Colton Haynes (Roy) reveals. "I think it’s going to be really interesting for the fans because they’re going to want it right where we left off, but they’re going to get so many answers and more right from the beginning. Also, since the devastation of The Glades, I think they’re going to be assembling a little team to help out Starling City, so you can possibly draw your conclusions. You know the DC universe is very big so there might be a lot more characters coming."
Emily Bett Rickards, the fan-favorite Felicity, agrees, "I think a time jump would be smart, but also if we started off back in earthquake disaster I think it would work as well. There’s so many directions the show can go and our creative team is so smart and fast. I mean, that’s why the show is so action-packed and doing so well, they can do anything."
We’re excited to see what the Arrow team thinks up for Season 2, but in the meantime, we’ll be mourning Tommy by re-watching the entire first season.
Additional reporting by Kelsea Stahler
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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All the pieces are in place for an explosive final two episodes of Arrow. Oliver (Stephen Amell) knows his mother Moira (Susanna Thompson) is up to something nefarious with Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Laurel (Katie Cassidy) knows that Oliver still loves her after Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) dumped her and told her the truth, and Thea (Willa Holland) agreed to help Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) find the vigilante. Plus, The Undertaking is finally upon us!
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim knows that he and the rest of the Arrow showrunners have a lot of balls up in the air when the penultimate episode, "Darkness On the Edge of Town," airs on Wednesday night, and he couldn’t be more excited for fans to watch them fall.
"It’s insane. The story line I’m most excited for fans to see play out is the resolution of the Oliver/Laurel/Tommy love triangle," Guggenheim tells Hollywood.com. "I think that’s the character story line that gets the most exciting in the final two episodes."
Now that Laurel knows that Oliver still loves her, expect the drama to heat up again between the exes. "I think that she had always thought that Oliver had moved on. That whether he loved her or not, once you sleep with someone’s sister, you’re not getting back together anytime soon or ever," Guggenheim says. "She thought, at the very least, that whether Oliver had feelings for her or not it was very much a moot point. Obviously she was shocked to discover in 21 that it is very much not a moot point. That’s the quandary she finds herself in at the top of 22."
Will Laurel choose get back together with Oliver now that she knows the truth? "Well, the world as she understood it has changed. It’s been upended," Guggenheim explains. "She never thought that Oliver would try to get back together with her or acknowledge feelings that would open that door. It’s a development that she certainly didn’t expect and thus is trying to wrap her brain around it when 22 begins."
While Laurel struggles with her romantic relationships, Oliver will have his hands full with his familial relationships… specifically, with his mother Moira. "He hasn’t even learned the complete truth about her yet. He’s learned that she’s been lying, that she’s been working with Malcolm Merlyn, but he doesn’t know that they plan to destroy the city," Guggenheim reveals. "And he doesn’t know the connection that his father had to this whole Undertaking. So there’s still a lot of bombs left to explode, and we’re actually going to blow them all up in Episode 22."
One of those bombs is the result of Thea and Roy’s search for the vigilante. "22 features the first time that Oliver and Roy meet, and it’s a fun moment," Guggenheim reveals. "It’s a big moment in the life of our series and it will have pretty big repercussions for the Roy/Thea relationship."
Another shocking, upcoming moment has already been teased thanks to some spoiler-filled finale photos The CW released. We already know Malcolm will somehow capture the vigilante, tie him up and de-hood him. But how will Oliver get into that situation? "It’s certainly a spoiler for sure. I don’t want to spoil it even further by saying how he specifically got there but there will be no doubt by the end of Episode 22 how he got there," Guggenheim teases. "There are so many spoiler-worthy moments in these last two episodes that we decided that we could afford to spin one. And even with that spoiler out there, there’s still plenty in the last two hours of the show to be shocked by."
That’s quite the understatement, and according to Guggenheim, fans of Oliver/Felicity relationship should definitely not miss Wednesday’s episode – as if any Arrow fan would ever miss an episode! "Episode 22 features a moment between the two of them where I think it will only pour gasoline on the fire because the chemistry between them is so palpable," Guggenheim reveals. "I think 22 will increase the number of people shipping Oliver and Felicity."
Guggenheim himself has been feeding the flames of "Olicity" shippers in the past month since he has been tweeting out lines of dialogue between Felicity and Oliver that could only be described as incredibly flirtatious and teasing. "I love doing it. When I did the very first one it was this lark, and then it started this mini Twitter fire storm," Guggenheim says. "What I really love, and quite frankly am appreciative of, is the fact that everyone is in on the game. They know it’s a tease, they know that we all share a love of Felicity, and I love the fact that people are shipping Oliver and Felicity and coining the term 'Olicity.' It makes me really happy."
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 PM ET/PT on The CW.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
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