This week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List is filled to the brim with six sensational shows, so I’m not going hold you back from the TV goodness with a long-winded intro. Here’s basically what I was going to say: I still love TV. I still love writing about TV. And I love you all for reading this right now. Sweet, now that I’ve shared my feelings, let’s get to it!
I’ve got all the scandalous details on what’s coming up for New Girl’s kinda, sorta couple, Supernatural scoop for our favorite evil-fighting brothers, and chatted with Revenge’s Madeline Stowe to learn about the future Hampton-based drama. Plus, find out what’s next for House of Lies, Community, and Smash! Read on for all the upcoming TV craziness…
1. New Girl: Oh. My. GOD!
For those of you who have not seen last night’s New Girl avert your eyes right now! No seriously, I’m about to gush over something amazing and wonderful and jaw-dropping. Did you look away? Okay good: Nick and Jess! Nick and Jess! NICK AND JESS!!! Afte a year and a half of back and forth quirky flirtations, they finally kissed and hot dayum it was perfection! Say it with me now: Squee! There’s only one little problem: Jess kinda, sorta, definitely still has a boyfriend. But I’ve got some great news for all you Nick/Jess shippers: Sam’s time is almost up!
Last week, I caught up with the oh-so handsome David Walton on the red carpet for his ABC and Hallmark movie The Makeover, and while he was pretty tight-lipped about his exact future with Jess, he did tease the kiss. "Something big is about to happen,” Walton teased. “I can’t tell you, but it’s awfully exciting. It’s going to rock the New Girl world." You are correct sir! Have y’all checked Tumblr this morning? Wow!
As much as I’ve adored Jess’s adorable pediatrician beau, I’m ready for him to scoot his cute butt out of the loft for good so that our new couple can add the benefits part to their friendship. Luckily, Walton told me that his time is almost up: "I’ve shot seven episodes and six have aired. So I’ll be on one more.” Ooh I’m beyond curious to see how Jess and Sam part ways. Does she tell him the truth? Will Nick be the one to break the news? When can we finally learn the rules of True American?! One thing I do know for sure is the fact that Walton is a Nick/Jess shipper too! The actor revealed, “I mean, Nick and Jess are kind of perfectly bad for each other in a perfect way, so I don’t want to get in the way.” That’s good love, bow our gracefully now before the shippers tear you apart.
2. Revenge: Back to Season 1 Roots
Wanna know what’s delightful? Chatting with Revenge’s manipulative matriarch Madeline Stowe. Wanna know what’s terrifying? Asking the actress to unleash her icy bitch-face on you. I’m still having nightmares! But before I was paralyzed with fear, I had the opportunity to get plenty of details about our favorite Hamptonites. Now that Emily and Victoria have reached a clandestine understanding, does this mean that our two revenge-loving ladies will finally be — gasp! — friends?
Stowe was quick to shut down any hope for a Vimily friendship. “Unless [Creator] Mike Kelley changes his mind you will not see that happening and in fact it’s going to get worse and worse,” she says. “[Kelley] is now resetting the relationship back to what it was in the first season where there’s this antagonism and suspicion and they’re going to try and destroy each other.” The unbelievably gorgeous actress says that there will be a huge change of events that will put The Initiative on the back burner. (ugh, finally!) “They’re not going to be a central thrust and what’s happening is it’s going to make Emily focus back on Victoria as the enemy and she does some pretty terrible things.” Bring back the red sharpie!
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And as for Mr. and Mrs. Grayson? Stowe told me that never wants an absolutely peachy relationship for those two. The actress says with a laugh, “I hope Victoria cheats on him like crazy! The great dynamic of the relationship is that we’re always going at it, there’s always a conflict. In fact, in the episode that we’re about the shoot, she’s trying to get out of the marriage because that renewal of the vows was just an issue of convenience, but he tries to keep her in.” Think she’ll be able to slither her way out of this one? Sound off in the comments!
3. Community: Troy and Britta... In The Bedroom?
You read that correctly right Community fans! — the Hollywood.com team screened two episodes (one and three), and I can confirm that things have definitely progressed for these two like-birds. The formerly virginal Troy now has to hide his affair from his bromantical partner Abed. Secrets don’t make friends! (Did anyone else’s teacher tell them that? No? Just me? Okay then!) Unfortunately things will heat up when Abed does find out, right in time for the whole gang's trip to an Inspector Spacetime convention!
Not only will Abed passive-agressively maneuver the convention to break Troy's poor little heart, but Jeff will do some cunning maneuvering of his own. When a female convention-ee (Battlestar Galactica's smokin' Tricia Helfer, natch) mistakes Jeff for a popular character on the series we get the chance to hear what may be the worst English accent of all time. (Editor’s Note: Pshh, Doctor Who fans — this would never happen. Like we wouldn't know a David Tennant from a Jeff Winger...) So whose hearts will break? And which couples will come back together? Make sure to sure to watch Community, Greendale Human Beings!
4. Supernatural: Confused Angel
So here’s what you need to know: tonight’s Supernatural is good — and by good I mean freakin’ fanstastic! Although our favorite conflicted angel Castiel won’t be in tonight’s episode, “As Time Goes By” (making that two episodes in a row he's been absent! Boo.) executive producer Bob Singer told me in a Q&A tuesday that he’ll be back in a big way very soon. “He’s really crucial to the tablet story,” Singer revealed. “He’s going through a trial of his own that’s personal. Naomi is very unhappy with him and Crowley is very unhappy with him, and he’s a confused angel right now.” We don’t blame him. Poor Cas, having to deal with those pesky repressed memories of an angel lobotomy!
Let’s talk tablets: Just in case you were worried that the Winchester brothers are going to be dealt another wild card tablet like the newly discovered angel one, you SPN lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. “We have the demon tablet and the angel tablet and the leviathan tablet,” Singer said. “That’s about all the tablets we could handle.” Thank goodness, those boys have enough on their plates as is!
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Bonus Casting Scoop! For those of you who enjoyed last week’s LARP-themed episode as much as we did (come on, how could you not?), get excited for another round with lesbian hacker Charlie Bradbury! “Felicia is going to be coming back in an episode,” Singer revealed. “We love Felicia. We’re just breaking the story now. She basically brings them a case.” Not gonna lie, I totally have a girl crush on Felicia. I just can’t get enough of her, and neither can Sam and Dean, clearly!
5. Smash: Meet Your New Favorite Couple!
It’s no secret that I la la love NBC’s Broadway based drama Smash. And with less than a week from the Season 2 premiere I want you to get just as excited as I am for all the amazing new characters and incredible musical numbers. Let me introduce you to my newest fangirl obsession crush: Jeremy Jordan. He’s the newest soonworthy fella that Karen will encounter in her quest for fame, but he’s not just a pretty face — the man can sing! Jordan plays Jimmy, a sarcastically snarky bartender and songwriter who is currently working on a new musical called Hit List.
A few weeks ago, I introduced myself to Jordan at an NBC party and although I tried to play it cool, it was painfully obvious that I was a huge fan. Luckily Jordan was the sweetest of the sweets and was quick to give me plenty of spoilers on what’s coming up for Karen and Jimmy. (Should we call them Kimmy? That’s pretty cute!) Jordan warned that this is not your typical fairytale couple. “It’s going to get pretty volatile,” he said. “There’s a little bit of trouble that gets in the way but eventually they come together and of course you know just as things get good they get really bad and then they get worse.” Sheesh!
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Jordan explains that even though this couple clashes, they have a strong bond that will keep them together this season. ”There’s that energy and there’s that unspoken connection that undeniable thing between them that keeps drawing them together even though they’re so bad for each other. They really are.” Well it’s like the Bombshell song says: “Let’s Be Bad.”
6. House of Lies: Baby Maybe?
By now you've heard that Don Cheadle's Ocean's 11 buddy Matt Damon will guest star on the Golden Globe winner's Showtime comedy, House of Lies, this season. (And if you didn’t well then… surprise!) But when I caught up with Cheadle to chat about Season 2 — he pretended to be oh-so shocked at his friend's appearance. "Matt Damon does the show? That's really bad news. That dude owes me so much money," he joked. "No, wait — that's good news. I'll get to see him."
Along with Damon's appearance, Cheadle said viewers of the newly renewed show can look forward to a juicy arc with Gallweather Stern's new owner, played by Bess Armstrong, along with a meaty storyline involving the pod's current client, a casino owner. "That kind of takes up a large part [of the season] because he's a huge client," he said. Generally, Cheadle said Season 2 focuses more on the gang's personal lives. "It's just all getting more and more intertwined, especially with our relationships. It's going further and further."
Speaking of relationships, what about Marty and Jeannie? My new favorite will they/won’t they couple have been slowly piecing together what happened on that fateful drunken night, but when will they discover what really happened? "I don't know that they ever know. They put away two or three bottles of tequila so they think they know at some point, but it's never been confirmed. Then, of course, the baby shows up," Cheadle joked, referring to costar Kristen Bell's impending new arrival, which may or may not actually be written into the series. "Watch the show, you'll see," he teased. All I know is that Kristen Bell is perfection and it’s been a little over a week since I’ve seen the sloth video we all should watch it again!
How are feeling about Nick and Jess’s New Girl kiss? Counting down the days, hours, and minutes until Community returns? Excited for Revenge to return to its Season 1 roots? Tell me everything in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
—Additional Reporting by Sydney Bucksbaum, Jean Bentley, and Shaunna Murphy
[Photo Credit: FOX; ABC; NBC (2); Showtime; The CW]
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In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
When a strong-willed business woman is suddenly told she might lose her job and be deported to her native Canada she impulsively forces her ever-loyal executive assistant into a shotgun engagement in order to get a green card and stay in the country. The plan gets complicated when the mismatched twosome must go to meet his family in Alaska and convince everyone including a pesky government investigator that their impending marriage is the real thing.
WHO’S IN IT?
Sandra Bullock has never been more appealing in the kind of “tough boss” role normally associated with male actors. The Proposal turns the usual romantic comedy tables around giving Bullock lots to play with — and she certainly makes the most of it painting a hilarious picture of an attractive and surprisingly vulnerable business exec caught in a situation spiraling out of control. Ryan Reynolds’ sitcom expertise is put to good use in the role of her willingly unwilling assistant who must join her charade or risk losing his job. This is Reynolds’ best outing as a rom-com lead yet and he shows he could own the genre if provided the right material. Stealing the movie from both of them however is the irrepressible Betty White who plays Reynolds’ saucy Grammy. Once again the Golden Girls alum proves she has comic timing second to none.
Knowing the standard romantic comedy setup just isn’t going to cut it anymore director Anne Fletcher (Step Up 27 Dresses) turns The Proposal into more of a screwball farce letting the laughs fly without forcing them on us. She’s helped by two game lead players who really know their way around this well-worn genre and provide just the right balance to keep this merry soufflé from falling apart. The breathtaking remote locations (Massachusetts oddly enough substitutes for Alaska) don’t hurt.
No matter how inventive the script it’s pretty obvious where things are going to wind up in any romantic comedy. But The Proposal despite following the standard blueprint still manages to keep us guessing until the very end and that accounts for most of the fun.
A scene in which Bullock and Reynolds accidentally run into each other sans clothing is hilarious worthy of the best farceurs. A close second is a sequence involving a little dog a menacing eagle and a cell phone. Classic stuff.
BEST REASON TO PLOP DOWN 10 BUCKS?
After 60 — count ‘em 60 — years in show business with six Emmys and numerous TV series to show for it Betty White at age 87 still proves there can be second third and even fourth acts in life. She gives a movie star turn here that shows everyone how it’s done.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
As an alternative to big summer action flicks and gross-out comedies The Proposal is definitely the date movie du jour.
As the real-life 1950's pin-up girl Bettie Page actress Gretchen Mol shakes her moneymaker in this true-American-story drama. Page a Tennessee-raised religious cutie moves to New York in 1949 for a new life when college dreams don't materialize. She's a trusting soul who loves to pose for strangers' cameras and naturally falls into modeling. In no time she's wearing suggestive lingerie and trading spankings with other models. To Bettie the bondage get-ups are silly not prurient. But despite efforts to expand herself and learn acting she remains a pin-up girl. In Bettie's most famous picture she's posing nude in a Santa hat in a 1955 Playboy magazine. After testifying at Congress amid the sexual Puritanism of the '50s Bettie realizes her "notorious" reputation. She quits the biz for her religious beliefs and disappears from the public eye for good. Mol's performance is described in press materials as "incandescent." It is brave to say the least. The actress’ movie career has needed a jolt since she was labeled the next “It” girl in the late ‘90s after starring with Matt Damon in the 1998 Rounders. Her last film was Neil LaBute’s 2003 The Shape of Things. But Mol finds her niche in Notorious. She plays Bettie as she was--a simple-minded and free-spirited character which can be a dangerous combination. The actress doesn't add impresario nuances to the pliable young woman beyond the Southern accents but it is an incandescent performance nonetheless. Lili Taylor (I Shot Andy Warhol) brings her rough features to Paula Klaw Bettie's tough-minded manager transitioning from the Emmy-nominated success of HBO’s Six Feet Under. Mol and Taylor play off each other very well. Recent Oscar-nominee David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) also sneaks in there as a Southern senator calling for pornography investigations. In the hands of director/writer Mary Harron and writer Guinevere Turner Notorious snaps along like an old crime noir quick like a paperback on the beach. It is ironic and biting smoldering with sexuality but the melodramatic intentions are obvious. The dialogue lapses into clunky spots occasionally but they seem deliberate. The script's potency should not be understated. It's a statement about government's role in bedroom matters and the side effects of an American society prudish about its sexuality. Harron seems a sharp-edged journalist a chronicler of 20th century America and recruited Oscar-nominated researcher Sam Green (The Weather Undergound) to strengthen the movie's veracity such as recreating '50s-era Times Square. Bygone technical methods such as Super 8 cameras are used to match the classy black-and-white photography. Notorious is a little rough but fairly successful in its mission.