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Who is Maurissa Tancharoen? She's an executive producer (along with writing partner-cum-husband, Jed Whedon) on ABC's Avengers spin-off, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Long story short? She's awesome, and here's why:
5. She played Kilo, the spitfire active on Dollhouse. She only made a few brief cameo appearances, but they were all extremely memorable – in one episode, she tells off Fran Kranz's Topher Brink, saying, "How do you wanna straight up lie to my face, white boy? You told me you were takin' me on a treatment; I ain't got time for no nerd convention." She's got sass to spare, that's for sure.
4. In her youth, she was part of an early '90s multicultural girls' R&B group called "Pretty in Pink." Enough said.
3. If you like her music, you'll love her rendition of "Sigh No More" (music by Joss Whedon, lyrics by William Shakespeare) which she sings along with husband Jed Whedon in my favorite film of the year, Much Ado About Nothing.
2. She co-wrote and appeared in nerd masterpiece Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. She played a Captain Hammer groupie, with this memorable lyric about Penny, Captain Hammer's altruistic girlfriend: "they say she works with the homeless, and doesn't eat meat – we have a problem with her." Yeah, I'd have a problem with her, too.
1. As if being a co-creator of Dr. Horrible wasn't enough, she also wrote this awesome commentary on the lack of Asian roles in film and TV. "Nobody's Asian in the Movies" unpacks difficult (and oft-unspoken) issues of racism and tokenization. It's especially interesting when you look at Joss Whedon's not-so-stellar diversity track record – before Tancharoen came along, he produced 12 episodes of a series based largely off of Chinese culture without featuring even one Asian character. I love Firefly, but dude: not cool. In contrast to Firefly's issues (heresy, I know), it's nice to see Tancharoen ushering in Asian and Asian-American actors to primetime TV.
Look on the television: it’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s just another superero TV show. While the track record of superhero TV is spotty (for every one Smallville there are twoBirds of Prey), networks keep piling on to make new shows about earth’s mightest heroes.
The box office success of superhero films might have a thing or two to do with this small screen revolution. Still, if superheroes are your thing you’ll soon have plenty of viewing options during the week. (Unless your thing is female superheroes, and then you’re still screwed.)
The Current Shows:
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Coming on the heels of the box office-busting The Avengers, this drama by Joss and Jed Whedon has already resulted in huge ratings for ABC. Coulson lives!
ArrowThis CW drama about the Green Arrow filled the Smallville-sized hole in the network’s superhero programming. It was also one of the best dramas of last season and introduced us all to Stephen Amell.
The Upcoming Shows:
Gotham: The TV ShowBefore Batman came on the scene the only one fighting crime in Gotham city was police commissioner Gordon. This upcoming show on FOX will take a look at Gordon’s early years, pre-Bat, and introduce some of the most famous villains in Batman mythology.
The Flash: The ShowSince Arrow is doing so well, it only makes sense that the CW network would want to capture a little more of that lighting in a bottle. Enter (speedily) The Flash. Based on the superhero with more than Olympic speed, the show will be helmed by the same showrunners who already found superhero success with Arrow.
ConstantinePerhaps a less-known property, John Constantine is still a long-running DC universe character. Now NBC is looking to develop a show around the Hellblazer character with Dark Knight scribe David Goyer at the helm. Will Constantine have enough name reconigition to give NBC the hit they so deperately need?
What do you think? Which show are you looking forward to the most? Share in the comments!
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Joss Whedon's forthcoming ABC pilot everyone hopes becomes a series, is starting to shape assemble itself a cast! Deadline is reporting that Whedon has recruited ER alum Ming-Na Wen as a lead for Marvel's drama TV pilot, S.H.I.E.L.D.
Whedon is co-writing and directing the project, based on the peacekeeping group featured in this year's The Avengers, as well as the comic books. Wen is slated to play Agent Melinda May, a soulful-if-slightly-damaged pilot, weapons expert, and soldier. Her combat experience—though damaging—have made her the best in the business. The pilot’s original casting breakdown had the character named Agent Althea Rice, aka The Calvary. Wen will be joining Clark Gregg, reprising his part of Agent Phil Coulson from Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers.
Whedon is co-writing the pilot with his brother Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Ming-Na Wen also performed on Syfy’s Eureka and Stargate Universe.
What do you think about the casting choice? Are you excited for S.H.I.E.L.D.? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: DailyCeleb]
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A billionaire TV producer (Robert Mammone) has a great idea for a reality show that he wants to put on the Internet and his goal is to beat the 40 million Super Bowl audience. He has compiled a crack team of young hip and immoral tech geeks directed by Goldman (Rick Hoffman) and puts cameras throughout a remote island where former prisoners are going to kill each other while audiences watch after shelling out the pay-per-view fee. The location is done on a remote secret island and the death row prisoners are bought from prisons around the world with the promise that the survivor gets to walk free. Among the contestants are a rogue Aussie named McStarley (Vinnie Jones) a martial arts expert (Masa Yamaguchi) a husband-and-wife team (Manu Bennett and Dasi Ruz) a monstrous killer who doesn't do much more than grunt (Nathan Jones) and others known only as The Italian The German and other monikers quickly forgotten. Enter the sole American Jack Conrad (Steve Austin) who's in a South American prison for some obscure reason and is recognized on TV by his wife (Madeleine West) who tries to save him. However it looks like Conrad is pretty good at helping himself. Don't expect the acting to be much more evolved than what could be seen among the World Wrestling Entertainment superstars especially since many of them were plucked from the ring to star in this morality tale. But Austin (who had in a strong cameo in Adam Sandler's Longest Yard) proves he has a sense of humor as well as strength. Vinnie Jones is ridiculously over-the-top as the Aussie who's the hand-picked winner of this game shown setting up alliances Survivor style only to turn on them later. The supporting cast are refreshingly entertaining but one-note caricatures both in the contest and running the contest. It's obvious that they aren't going to be around long but the actors do milk their tiny roles for every bit of attention they can get. Rick Hoffman as the brilliant camera mastermind of the project is both whiny sniveling and mean-spirited so when he joins some of the rest of the crew and suddenly develops a backbone and a conscience he ends up stealing the movie with his acerbic humor. But it's the understated American hero Conrad who holds a mirror up to the people who like to watch this stuff. Director Scott Wiper who co-wrote this story has also acted in similar movies like this (A Better Way to Die). It’s obvious he knows what he’s doing with The Condemned and develops a sense of voyeuristic angst like those of us who can't keep our eyes off a train wreck. Like the darkly subversive Belgian film Man Bites Dog the camera crew remains safely distant and remote until the reality directly involves them. Then the crew wonders "What the hell are we doing?" while the audience might be thinking "What the hell are we watching?" Much like Series 7: The Contenders Rollerball and other movies which show a dark and bloody near future this kind of reality doesn't seem too far away and maybe proves that movies which provide this type of gladiator spectacle target a certain segment of the human population who need to blow off steam.
Wild Tigers quickly brings us into the ambivalent mind-set of Logan (Malcolm Stumpf) a dreamy 13 year-old in the midst of a powerful sexual awakening. Told through static voice-overs done in a muffled style and an unabashed realism 23-year-old director Cam Archer holds nothing back while telling this brutally honest coming-of-age tale. Logan is a daydreamer who drifts about in a constant state of melancholy passively accepting the regular slings and arrows that come his way. He eventually finds and befriends Rodeo (Patrick White) a popular kid equally somber whom he follows around by day and dreams about by night. Thus Rodeo--Logan’s first real crush--becomes the catalyst of change as Logan faces certain transformation and the harsh prejudices that follow. Everything in Logan’s world is bleak—from the school bullies who hate him because he is different to his struggling young mother (Fairuza Balk) who lacks the capacity to understand him to the hopeless school faculty unable to offer any guidance. He’s a true fish out of water but marches on through each exhaustive moment hoping to someday understand the nature of his feelings. Stumpf’s androgynous looks cast him perfectly as the pouting Logan. He’s hunched often shirtless with a thatch of hair dangling over his brooding eyes and never strays from the sullen tone delivering his soft monosyllabic lines flawlessly. As the equally lost Rodeo the handsome young White captures the essence of today’s often disillusioned and often apathetic youth dead on. While Balk although still a tad too young-looking to play the working mother of a teenage boy brings an added realism to the supporting cast with her skill and signature gravely voice. TV actor Tom Gilroy shines in his small yet substantial part as the idealistic school principal constantly calling school assemblies in a fruitless attempt to send some type of moral message to his checked-out students. An obvious student of director Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse) Larry Clark (Kids Bully) and even Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy Elephant) who executive produced Wild Tigers I Have Known first-timer Cam Archer still explores filmmaking his way. Despite film-student-meets-MTV moments his sensibilities come through clearly and honestly patiently delivered as if we are watching a slideshow of vacation shots—except this flipbook attempts to illuminated a knotted mind. Archer truly has a keen eye for beauty. His dreamy scenes are often majestic loaded with colorful symbols creating video art rather than traditional narrative. But to its detriment the art tends to take over the story more often than not. Sadly there is nothing in Wild Tigers that will surprise any devotee of Solondz Van Sant or Clark but it is clear why so many have taken an interest in the talented young Archer who fortunately has many more years to hone his craft.