Unless you've been living through your own personal blackout these past eight years, you're at least tangentially familiar with the show Lost. Sprawling ensemble drama set on a mysterious island populated by out-of-place polar bears and a UN coalition of sad sacks? Some of whom time-traveled? There were episodes (there were half-seasons) where the cliff-hanging wackadoo mysteries threatened to sink the human drama of it all. But that never really happened — straight through its (polarizing) final episode, Lost never truly sacrificed character at the altar of DID YOU SEE THAT?!
The many shows looking to ape Lost's formula and popular appeal did and today they're… well, still available for Netflix streaming. But definitely not on the air! In trying so desperately hard to be THE show, neither The Event nor FlashForward nor… I don't know, The Nine ever found their foothold with viewers. Near-instantaneous resentment met each one, no matter how hard producers cried that they "knew what they were doing." To know that their shows knew what they were doing — that was never the issue with audiences. Maybe what the people wanted wasn't the Rubik's Cube complications of Lost (at least not yet). Maybe what they wanted was Lost without the metaphysics… but with the same assembly of hot, ambiguously ethnic models… but with more and more overt Star Wars references… all wrapped in a package that says "I'm here to party, but I also like to think about stuff, you know?"
Welcome to Revolution, TV fans!
Last night's episode, "Chained Heat," continued the adventures of Charlie, her uncle Han Solo, British Chick, and Hurley as they formulated a plan to retrieve Charlie's brother, Danny Boy, from the clutches of Gus Fring. First things first: What show is Giancarlo Esposito acting in? The intermittent southern accent, the utter sincerity with which he discusses his militia dedication, the recollections of his wife's cooking — it's like a Ken Burns documentary he's stumbled into. It's weird! But it's also an acting choice he has made.
As in Lost, a flashback quickly illuminates what will be the central theme of the episode: killing in the name of protecting one's family. Charlie orders her uncle not to murder a militia member who threatens their lives in the first few minutes. Sure enough, this backfires when the man, who they'd taken prisoner, tracks them down to the Mos Eisley cantina (Pontiac, Ill.). It's no big deal — Miles, we've seen, is more than capable of taking down 30 guys at a time with room for banter — but hey, ammunition for Miles against his niece's "killing is wrong" appeals. As we'll learn, killing can definitely be alright!
Did I mention that Miles et al embarked on their Pontiac side quest in search of a woman, Nora, who Miles claims will help them take on Monroe's army? They did. Of course she's nowhere to be found and the group just has to deal, but each little bit of world-expanding can only be good for the show. The British Chick's iPhone rants can't hold our attention forever!
Interesting that so many of the commercials pegged to Revolution should be so… techy, up to and including a new iPhone spot. Didn't the British Chick just call that stupid, even in its Jonathan Adler case?! If I were Revolution's advertising arm, I'd be connecting with survivalist gear-makers and canned good manufacturers trying to promote a green, post-Apocalyptic lifestyle. There is NO ROOM for smart phones in this scenario.
What there is room for is a structure lifted almost entirely from Star Wars — if not an overt copy of the first movie, then at least enough of it to bolster some " …really?" accusations. To wit:
—Charlie/Luke Skywalker leaving home. First to find her uncle (HAN SOLO), who might help her track down her younger brother. There's a wisecracking computer nerd (Zak Orth/R2D2) who seems to be paired up with a blonde, cranky British robot (British chick/C3PO). They love to bicker.
—"YOU JOINED THE REBELS?!?" Han Solo/Uncle Miles asks possible rebel Nora. "CAN WE EVEN SAY THAT WITHOUT PAYING GEORGE LUCAS?!"
—The lingering "you shot first" tension between Esposito's character and Danny, which of course has sustained Greedo fans and detractors for 35+ years. And that's okay! Revolution isn't here to offer deep ruminations on the "state of things" or bask in the glory of its own overcomplicated mystery plotting. Rather, the show feels perfectly content to be simple; to not put on airs. The Taken 2 trailer tells me NBC has got its target audience pretty well figured out! Two big developments this week: One, of course, is the return of Elizabeth Mitchell, whose Rachel is NOT dead like her children think, but very much alive, living like a bird in a gilded cage with Monroe (or so it seems). Second is the introduction of Nora, played by Carlotta from Friday Night Lights. Is it any surprise that she'd be stuck in a post-Apocalyptic nightmare after ditching Dillon's preeminent nice guy, Matt Saracen? (We all know the answer to that one.) The former's role and motivations are still up in the air; Nora, on the other hand, is by the end of the episode revealed to be a freedom fighter. And a total babe, but we knew that from the get-go. The woman who housed then betrayed Danny (then typed on a COMPUTER) last week is back, this time confronted by some awful guy named Randall. He's got a TAZER. An ELECTRIC ONE. Wouldn't it be amazing if every episode ended on some kind of electricity cliffhanger? "Where did you guys find these awesome light fixtures?!" "Does anyone remember how to do the ELECTRIC SLIDE? They're going to kill us if we don't!" "How have you never seen The Wire?" Etc. Other things of note: —Kate, I MEAN Katniss, I MEAN Charlie is quite the tracker and bow hunter. Could she destroy that helicopter everyone was dragging through the jungle with one well-placed arrow? I have to believe. —Not once but twice is the expression "sonuvabitch!" offered during the episode, each time in appropriate reference to someone who's totally been a sonuvabitch. —The University of Chicago, so known for its well-structured and definite undergraduate academic requirements, would be the first or second institution to fall in the New World Order. Who cares about your rules now?!? —The only thing Uncle Miles loves more than himself, and probably Nora (we've all seen TV before, right?), is SARCASM. If you replaced hot dogs with sarcasm at the 4th of July Nathan's hot dog contest, Miles would crush everyone because dude EATS IT UP. All for this latest episode! Next week we'll attempt some actual recapping and organization. I look forward to being your eager partner in Revolution! [Image Credit: NBC] More: Revolution Really Needs to Rally the Troops Revolution Baddie Giancarlo Esposito On Life as a Post-Apocalyptic Villain TCA 2012: Revolution Stars on Creating Villains and a Brave New World
"I can't bear people sulking and making a bad atmosphere. I get cross when I feel let down by people or when I think they're being dense... I like working at top speed and get frustrated by anyone with a laid-back attitude." Model/actress Elizabeth Hurley on her pet hates.
The Bedazzled star praised the chain for casting four-year-old Seb White in its new Christmas catalogue after his mother complained about the lack of diversity in mainstream advertising campaigns.
The actress is president of The Hop, Skip & Jump Foundation, a charity which aims to provide day care facilities for children with learning disabilities.
In a post on Twitter.com, she writes, "As president of the Hop Skip & Jump Foundation, I applaud M&S (Marks & Spencer) for using an adorable child who has Down's Syndrome in their Xmas (sic) catalogue."
Over the next few months, we’ll see new series soar, old series sour, and so much Jersey Shore madness, we’ll want to shower. Let’s face it: The Fall TV season is intimidating. With dozens of new and returning shows hitting our small screens, we know we have some big choices to make. So, to help you determine what to watch, we’re digging deep into the most notable series premiering this season. Where did each show leave off? Where is it headed? And who should you watch it with? Next up is NBC's bit new mystery show Revolution. The Beatles told us you wanted it, so here it is.
New Series: Revolution
Premiere Date: Monday, September 17, at 10 PM on NBC
Tag Line: "What happens when all the lights go out?" In the first scene, some crazy event happens that knocks out all forms of electricity on the planet Earth. Planes crash, cars die, and society goes absolutely berserk. There is only one scientist who knows what happens. Cut to 15 years after "the event," and the country has been divided into tiny hamlets that are ruled by regional warlords. One of them kills the one scientist, who sends his daughter Charlie off on a quest to find his brother and, hopefully, turn the power back on.
Famous Pedigree: JJ Abrams is a producer.
Failed Advertising Slogans: "Revolution is electrifying." "When there is no power there is still great responsibility." "It keeps going and going and going..."
You’d Like It If…: You think that Terra Nova was cancelled too soon, that Lost was the best show ever on television, that the only problem with The Walking Dead is all the zombies, and that the Unabomber actually had some good points.
You’ll Hate It If…: You like all your questions answered at the end of the hour, happy endings, and doing your hair with a curling iron.
Hollywood Trend Watch: Just like Katniss Everdeen, the Avenger Hawkeye, and Daryl on The Walking Dead, everyone uses bows and arrows. Apparently guns use electricity. Really? Are you sure?
Character to Love: Giancarlo Esposito, who chilled hearts as drug lord Gus Fring on Breaking Bad isn't breaking his bad reputation. He plays Capt. Tom Neville, a militia leader with a mean streak and a few secrets.
Character to Hate: It's a tie between Graham Rogers' Danny, a ne'er-do-well son of the famous scientist who seems like he's going to be getting into a lot of silly Kim Bauer-from-24 scrapes. Cue the mountain lion. His rival is Zak Orth's Aaron, who is like Hurley from Lost, an overweight billionaire who is just along to provide the necessary comic relief and inspirational aphorisms at key moments. Get a real character, Dude.
Character That Will Most Remind You of a Twilight Character: I don't know if it's the buff body or the simmering stares, but JD Pardo's Nate is basically Taylor Lautner's Jacob with a, you guessed it, bow and arrow.
Famous Faces: Elizabeth Mitchell, from Lost, joins the cast in episode two when she was recast to play the famous scientist's second wife and Danny's and his bratty sister Charlie's (yes, that's a girl) evil stepmother. Well, at least that's what they think.
Setting: It starts off in a small town, but soon the action travels to Chicago, which is still a big city, but one that looks more like Deadwood than Tron. Also, there are trees growing on all the buildings. That's how you know the power is still out. Danny also ends up on a farm. Maybe if we're lucky, he'll buy it. Oh, and it's in the future. Did I mention that?
What You're Most Like to Yell at the Screen: "Why aren't you using guns?! Guns don't use electricity!"
DIY Revolution: It's pretty easy to recreate this show in your very own home. Just go into the basement, shut off the power, and then sit in the darkness. For added effect, you can get your neighbors to chase you around while shooting arrows.
High Point: The surprising ending. No, I'm not going to tell you what happens. This isn't the spoiler page.
Low Point: The groan-worthy death scene of our famous scientist. It's like the cartoon version of a gasping man dying in the street with just one more secret he needs to get out before he expires.
If You Love This Show, You'll Love...: Ashrams, Mennonites, archery.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: NBC]
First Look at 'Revolution' From Star Tracy Spiridakos
'Revolution' Gives a Supercharged Story with Half-Powered Characters
NBC's 'Revolution': Could This Epic Fill the ‘LOST’ Void?
The Bedazzled star has been accused of sexualising kids with her two-piece designs, which are modelled by young girls on her website.
The range includes an leopard-print Mini Cha Cha Bikini, as well as the Collette Bikini, for eight to 13 year olds, which is described as being "great for girls who want to look grown up".
Hurley has attracted criticism from customers as well as officials at British child protection charity Kidscape.
The organisation's director Claude Knights tells Britain's Daily Mail, "It is very disturbing to see some inappropriate items in this swimwear range. The pieces that are very adult and which contribute to the sexualisation of young girls - especially in the poses portrayed - do not take account of the child protection concerns that have been well-aired."
A spokesperson for Hurley was quick to hit back, insisting, "Our collections sell extremely well in (U.K. luxury retailer) Harrods and in numerous stores across America and the Middle East. Most of our customers are repeat customers who report that their kids adore the designs."
Hurley isn't the only star to land in hot water with Kidscape bosses this month (Sep12) - singer Jessica Simpson was also criticised for showing off a picture of her four-month-old daughter Maxwell in a "totally inappropriate" yellow bikini.
The actress/model, who is engaged to Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne, told her Twitter.com fans on Thursday (30Aug12) that 10-year-old Damian was excited about a trip to the set of the hit series in Melbourne, and she later revealed her joy at learning her son would be the star of the show.
In a post, she writes, "My son in heaven - he got to be an extra in Neighbours today."
Scott passed away at the age of 68 in an apparent suicide, with the Los Angeles coroner stating he jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge near Long Beach, California. His body was found in the water four hours later.
After hearing the sad news, an array of Hollywood stars took to Twitter.com to pay tribute to the filmmaker.
Fellow director and producer Ron Howard writes, "No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day", and actor Elijah Wood adds, "Awful news about Tony Scott. Rest in peace."
The Good Wife star Josh Charles writes, "I'm deeply shocked and saddened by the news of Tony Scott's death and my thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight."
The Lord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan quoted Scott's movie Beverly Hills Cop II, writing, "'I didn't... understand what you said' - my favorite moment from Beverly Hills Cop", and actress/model Elizabeth Hurley adds, "What unbelievably sad news about Tony Scott. Such a talented film maker. I went rock climbing with him once & he was enormous fun. RIP."
Scott was the brother of fellow director Ridley Scott and helmed a string of hit action movies including Enemy of the State, Days of Thunder, and True Romance.
Gratuitous nudity and sci-fi/action flicks tend to go hand in hand. Or, in the case of Total Recall, hand in hand in hand. In the original Total Recall, actress Lycia Naff made for one of the most memorable nude scenes in movie history playing Mary, the Three-Breasted Alien Prostitute.
In the 2012 reboot, which arrives in theaters today, relative newcomer Kaitlyn Leeb (pictured) follows in Naff's footsteps by playing, well, a three-breasted woman. (And they say Hollywood has run out of original ideas!) Of course, Total Recall is hardly the only movie to get creative with nudity. From the helic***ter in Jackass 3D to the whipped cream bikini in Varsity Blues, there's been a variety of way characters have shown off (or in the case of Austin Powers, not show off) their naughty bits. Plural.
Click Here to Launch Our Gallery!
[Photo credit: Splash News] More:
An Ode to the Three-Breasted Woman of Total Recall
The Three-Breasted Woman in Total Recall and Other Pop Culture Twos Gone Awry
The Ladies of Total Recall and the Best Female Badasses in Movies
The sportsman's ex Simone Callaghan criticised the British beauty in the Australian press last year (11) after it emerged her kids have dubbed Hurley "M2".
Warne has now defended his wife-to-be, insisting it's just a nickname and Callaghan should "let it go".
In an interview on Australian TV show Eddie McGuire Tonight, he says, "This was something fun between my children and Elizabeth. It's a pet name, we all have nicknames and to me that is acceptance. I thought it was out of order to say it was disrespectful for the children to call Elizabeth M2. She didn't ask them to call her M2, it's just something that came up.
"She (Callahan) moved on and I had moved on a long time ago. I think, for me, that side of things is just, 'let it go', don't come out and do paid interviews and do 14-15 of them and keep saying it's disrespectful and having a go. Just move on with your own life."