Actor James Van Der Beek has been tapped to join the upcoming Csi spin-off series, Csi: Cyber.
The former Dawson's Creek star is returning to the small screen in a lead role opposite Patricia Arquette.
Inspired by the work of a real-life cyberpsychologist, the series centres on Special Agent Avery Ryan, played by Arquette, who heads the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI, while Van Der Beek plays Elijah Mundo, an expert in battlefield forensics.
It marks a return to the drama genre for Van Der Beek, who was most recently featured on two comedies, Friends with Better Lives and Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23, which were both cancelled after one season.
Former Ally McBeal star Peter MacNicol and Community actor Charley Koontz also feature in CSI: Cyber.
CBS announced its fall television lineup today, and the network seems to be charting very familiar territory. While the other broadcast players scramble for the next big thing, CBS is firmly in cruise control. It would be easy to say that the the channel is just going through the motions, but the folks at CBS know what works and know their audience even better, which is why they're still the reigning champs of broadcast television. This year, the channel that brought you NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles, brings you their next surefire hit, NCIS: Somewhere Else, plus another half dozen police procedurals and two new comedies... one of which is actually a really old comedy. In these hardscrabble times, it may be difficult to decide which NCIS to watch, so we've rounded up all the new shows in CBS's 2014-2015 lineup.
Scorpion What It Is: Drama.What's It About: Eccentric genius and his team of misfits battle against high tech threats of the modern age, but the socially awkward group needs a translator of sorts, to help them communicate to the world around them.Who's In It: Elyes Gabel, Robert Patrick, Katharine McPhee.What It Sounds Like: The Big Bang Theory meets Criminal Minds. How Good Will It Be: It looks like This show looks like it might try to mine the same kinds of humor as The Big Bang Theory, which often nosedives into silly stereotyping of nerd culture without being actually funny or insightful. This one isn’t looking good at all. How Long Will It Last: CBS might be trying to find a bridge between the faux-geeky comedy in Big Bang and the litany of cop procedurals on the network. Perhaps the network’s audience will pick up on that. Airs: Mondays at 10 PM this fall.
NCIS: New Orleans What It Is: Police procedural.What's It About: The local field office investigates criminal cases involving military personnel. Who's In It: Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan.What It Sounds Like: It’s going to be NCIS, but everyones going to be talking about gumbo. How Good Will It Be: As good as an NCIS spin-off can be. Scott Bakula is great, but we doubt he's going to flourish in this.How Long Will It Last: Forever.Airs: Tuesdays at 9 PM this fall.
Stalker What It Is: Police procedural. What's It About: Det. Jack Larsen and his new boss, Lt. Beth Davis, investigate dangerous stalker incidents. Who's In It: Maggie Q, Dylan McDermott.What It Sounds Like: The inevitable Catfish episode of Law and Order: SVU. How Good Will It Be: CBS already has about 90 other cop shows, and this one isn’t doing much to stand out. There’s a new wrinkle (hey, we’re only going after stalkers in this on) but that’s no enough to separate it from the herd. How Long Will It Last: McDermott’s last show on CBS, Hostages, was a big misfire for the network. Plus, there are already so many procedurals clogging up the network’s schedule. We’re thinking some cop drama fatigue might be creeping in. Airs: Wednesday at 10 PM this fall.
Madame Secretary What It Is: Political drama.What's It About: Elizabeth Cord, the newly appointed Secretary of State, balances work and family life while trying to serve the President. Who's In It: Téa Leoni, Bebe Neuwirth, Geoffrey Arend, Patina Miller.What It Sounds Like: House of Cards without all the murder by train.How Good Will It Be: It looks a little staid compared to the wilder political action available from other dramas of its ilk. Still, maybe a slower drama depicting Washington is a move in the right direction.How Long Will It Last: House of Cards and Scandal has shown that political shows can survive and thrive on TV as long as they’re soapy and ridiculous. Madame Secretary looks a bit tamer than those two efforts so thrillseekers might not be interested. We’ll give it a season or two. Airs: Sundays at 8 PM this fall.
The McCarthys What It Is: Multi-camera sitcom. What's It About: The gay son of a brash Boston family wants to leave the city, but decides to stay when his outspoken and politically incorrect father gives him a position as an assistant coach on the local basketball team. Who's In It: Laurie Metcalf, Tyler Ritter, Jack McGee. What It Sounds Like: That one episode of All in the Family where meathead comes out to Archie. How Good Will It Be: We’re excited to see Laurie Metcalf return to TV, but the story itself doesn’t sound all that original or exciting. How Long Will It Last: Since Fox’s Dads failed to deliver ratings, it seems that we might be a bit tired of the whole "outspoken fathers annoying their sons thing" on TV. This one might not get a back nine. Airs: Thursdays at 9:30 PM this fall.
CSI: CyberWhat It Is: Police procedural.What's It About: Special Agent Avery Ryan is in charge of the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI, a team that solves crimes centered on the Internet.Who's In It: Patricia Arquette.What It Sounds Like: CSI meets the Internet.How Good Will It Be: It depends which The Who song they chose for the theme song. How Long Will It Last: Forever, or at least a handful of years.Airs: Midseason.
Battle Creek What It Is: Police procedural.What's It About: Two bickering detectives with polar opposite world views work together to clean up the mean streets of Battle Creek, Michigan. Who's In It: Josh Duhmel, Dean Winters.What It Sounds Like: A more straightforward version of True Detective How Good Will It Be: Dean Winters is always great, and television heavyweights Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) and David Shore (House) are producing. This could be something special.How Long Will It Last: This series seems darker and grittier than the average CBS procedural, which might not click with regular viewers of CBS’ breezier cop dramas. We’ll be surprised if this gets a second year. Airs: Midseason.
The Odd Couple What It Is: Multi-camera sitcom. What's It About: Charming slob Oscar Madison and buttoned-up neat freak Felix Unger become unlikely roommates after the demise of their marriages. Who's In It: Matthew Perry, Thomas Lennon.What It Sounds Like: Well… The Odd Couple.How Good Will It Be: We can’t imagine what new spin this new show could put on the Odd Couple formula since every other sitcom is basically a pastiche of the Odd Couple anyway. Been there, done that. How Long Will It Last: Matthew Perry has been on a serious losing streak so he may be a bad omen for The Odd Couple. we'll give it a season.Airs: Midseason.
I remember being introduced to the story of Solomon Northrup — a free black New Yorker who was kidnapped in the 1840s and forced into slavery in the South — in middle school. Through passages from his 1853 memoir and its PBS movie adaptation starring Avery Brooks, I came to understand a new sense of dreadful injustice with the difficult subject matter. Hitting the big screen for the first time, inscrutably, the tale takes form in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, which has released its first trailer.
Those familiar with McQueen's work, notably his 2011 heavy-hitter Shame, might be surprised to see how densely animated 12 Years a Slave looks to be. While his previous picture was dauntingly internal, often stretching long, long scenes without a word or express action, McQueen's new adaptation looks to be riddled with all of the material elements of Northrup's experience, exacting a fairly traditional look at the heartbreaking story.
McQueen's Shame star Michael Fassbender takes a role of acidic villainy as a plantation owner who apprehends and tortures Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The film collects a handful of drama's best players, including Brad Pitt (who also stars opposite his Inglourious costar Fassbender in the upcoming The Counselor), Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Paul Dano, as well as some interesting choices in Scoot McNairy and Saturday Night Live's Taran Killam. Oh, and a casting bonus: Quvenzhane Wallis as Ejiofor's daughter. Check out the trailer for a look at McQueen's latest vision.
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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.
S4:E14 “I thought it was so weird when that guy came out, who was a girl, who looked like me!” – Sonja
So to cheer herself up because she doesn’t have $7 million to give her ex-husband to make him stop hassling her, Sonja decided to throw herself a burlesque party. But since she’s not creative enough to take all the Soviet hats that one of the James Bond video games inspired her to purchase and sew them together for a costume, she went to Patricia Fields’ store with Ramona and Ramona’s daughter, Avery. While Sonja pawing around the lopsided bows and the tutus and the dildos that doubled as lipsticks, a man who looked like a woman came over to her and gave her a ten minute spiel about false eyelashes and how they bring your eyes out, and how much better of a way it is to attract attention to yourself as opposed to wearing a hat that makes you look like you’re headed to the racetrack to face off against Mario and his competitive (but perpetual loser) brother, Luigi. Anyway, Sonja was completely confused as to whether or not the man was a man or whether or not it was just a woman who looked like a man, and so she made all these jokes about it as she looked at assless chaps. She also tried really hard to convince Avery to come to her party, but Avery just stood off to the side of the store in her Polo vest and Polo cable knit sweater and gray leggings and thought about how the “other plans” she had for that night consisted of playing pool with her pimpled guy friends and cutting her tongue on beer cans.
“That is so weird to me. You took French for 12 years and now you take a Spanish filmmaking course.” – Jill
Jill took a train to go see her daughter at college, and the first thing she did when her daughter met her at the station was start talking about what she’s been eating. Ali has always had trouble with her weight, and Jill has even sent her to numerous retreats and cleansing spas to try and help her get a handle on…her situation. Ali’s not even particularly overweight or unattractive, and so it must be hard for her to always have her mother criticizing what she eats. Anyway, Ali told Jill that she’d started eating chicken again, but that she was still a vegetarian. Jill tried to convince Ali that vegetarians don’t eat chicken, but Ali said that it was okay because she still didn’t eat fish. Whatever, Ali. I guess there’s no point in trying once you’re already situated in the highly educational place of BRONXVILLE. (I just Googled “colleges in Bronxville” and two colleges came up: Concordia College and Sarah Lawrence. Lets assume that because Ali’s Facebook profile picture probably has her eating a chicken wing with her Tiffany rings all covered in sauce (as a means of being ironic, because she’s rich, obviously) while her “about me” section says she’s a vegetarian, we’ll assume she’s at Concordia College). So Ali and Jill then went to lunch, where Jill then critiqued Ali’s classes. The main one she took issue with was a Spanish filmmaking one, and Jill couldn’t understand why Ali would take a class about Spain when she’d been speaking French for 12 years. Then Ali admitted that she was taking a sex class called “Sex is Not a Natural Act,” and told her mom that her dream job would be to be a photographer who writes a column about sex for a magazine. Jill graciously said she just wanted Ali to be happy, and then the two of them went shopping where Jill reminded Ali that she looks better in clothes that have a boxy fit. MOTHERS, DON’T EVER CHANGE YOUR PASSIVE AGGRESSION. IT’S NOT JUST FOR ELTON JOHN, YOU KNOW.
“I’ve determined that I’m home alone, all the time.” – Avery
After school, Avery met her mother Ramona at some restaurant for some kind of meal I guess, and as soon as Avery sat down and told her mom about how many tests she was going to have the next week, Ramona said she was going to have a crazy next week too and asked if Avery would mind if she made a few phone calls to try and get ahead on everything. Avery said she didn’t mind, and then she pointed out how she felt like she’s always home alone. And then she kept going about how frustrating it was when her parents don’t text her where they are or when they are coming home, and to me, this is a valid complaint. A kid should know when they’re parents are coming home so they can take the roaches from the joints they’ve been smoking that are lying around everywhere and dispose of them in a compactor room that’s on a different floor in the building and give the woman who has cancer her third strike with the co-op board. It’s true though. Kids should know when they’re parents are going to be home because they need to have enough time to make it look like they haven’t been doing the bad thing they’ve been doing. But then, Avery read Ramona the paper she had written about how she was her role model and even though Ramona cried, she was disappointed Avery had written how old she was.
“You sound cool.” – Music Producer
LuAnn went back to the studio where she recorded the cult classic, “Money Can’t Buy You Class,” to meet with her music producer about her newest song, “Chic, C’est La Vie.” As the newest cut was about to be played, Jill walked in and then after it was over, she told LuAnn that if she wanted it to be more clubby she had to change it so that it would be an 8 minute song. The music producer then interjected and said that the current cut was shorter because it was really the radio version and then Jill and LuAnn had a weird kind of staring thing. The producer broke the tension by saying LuAnn should make a music video to go along with the song. This got Jill very excited because she said she could introduce LuAnn to her jeweler, Jacob, and he could bring all the diamonds that they would need for the video. LuAnn was talked into it only because Jill assured her he wasn’t in trouble with the law anymore.
style="font-weight: bold;">“I don’t know why Simon still wants to talk to me.” – Jill
At Sonja’s burlesque party, Simon kept following Jill around and trying to corner her so he could talk to her about how her husband accused him of participating on a hate blog about her. Eventually, Jill and her husband sat down with Simon because Jill realized she didn’t want to be the reason the entire group was uncomfortable (as if the one throwing parties after she’s declared bankruptcy needs help fucking up the dynamic). Then Simon started to apologize without actually apologizing or telling Jill what he was apologizing for – he just said there was no point in apologizing (again, for maybe or maybe no participating on a hate blog that targeted Jill) and that it was better to just stop the behavior entirely. Jill decided to accept Simon’s apology even though it was unclear when she became aware of why he was apologizing, and then told the cameras that she only did it because she really wanted to show everyone how good of a character she is. But then the party really got started, and a Burlesque dancer came out and took off all her clothes quite elegantly and made all the women who came in booty shorts and had Swarovski crystals in the corners of their eyes look like fools. Ramona’s husband, Mario, was quite taken when the Burlesque dancer took her top off and revealed that she had pasties covering her nipples. Then it was time for Sonja’s act of some kind of chair dance that had to do with the black swan and the white swan, but it was mostly an excuse for Sonja to call out all her friends of being jealous of her while shaking her boobs and subtly referencing her bankruptcy. And don’t you just love it when someone tries to make you feel bad for not having something that you don’t even want?!