I can’t believe that the TV season is already coming to a close! It feels like just a few weeks ago we were eagerly anticipating all of our favorite shows to return to the magical boxes in our living rooms, and now we have to endure the long months of summer before we see our favorite primetime hits again. But while we prepare to bid adieu to some of our favorites — yes, I’m looking at you Suburgatory — we also get to say hello to some new deliciously dark dramas.
This week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List has a lovely selection of five fantastic shows from all over the TV spectrum. Ready to know about this week’s killer prom on The Vampire Diaires? Read on for all the details on the gorgeous gowns and dangerous decisions. I chatted with the always wonderful Emilie de Ravin about Belle’s darker alter ego in this week’s all-new Once Upon a Time and caught up with the star of Awkward to bring you scoop on this season’s drastic character changes. Hannibal’s leading man Mads Mikkelsen reveals Dr. Lecter’s taste in women and I watched the world’s most perfect season finale on Suburgatory. Oh, and did I mention there's a lightning round?
1. The Vampire Diaries: Prom Problems
It's finally prom time for our favorite Mystic Falls seniors on The Vampire Diaries, but it's a bittersweet occasion considering at least half of everybody's friends and family are dead. Plus, there's that pesky business of Elena having turned her humanity off. The show returns Thursday at 8PM on The CW for "Pictures of You," the first of five brand-new episodes leading up to the Season 4 finale on May 16.
Since this is The Vampire Diaries we're talking about, there's a lot I can't tell you about what happens. But here's what I can reveal: Early in the episode, Caroline deems this year's prom a "friend dance." It's the perfect name, considering there are some lovely bonding moments between all of the seniors (except the friends Elena has shunned since her No Humanity thing). And shippers, take note: There's Klaroline, Steroline, (all of the -olines, basically), Delena, Stelena, and other coupled-up moments galore. Squee!
Let's see, what else can I tell you? Rebekah, the poor, dance-deprived Original, finally gets to a school dance. For real! And she looks great. Meanwhile, Bonnie learns some very important things about her magic (yes, they're Silas-related), and a prom king and queen are crowned — yes, we know them. Finally, just to get you ultra-excited for the episode, I'll leave you with this: You will see some familiar faces you might not expect. Yes, that was purposefully cryptic. No, I can't tell you any more!
2. Suburgatory: What a Perfect Finale Looks Like
There are many reasons why I completely adore ABC’s quirky comedy Suburgatory. In addition to the giggle-worthy characters and the amazing one-liners I also love their theme song — It’s so catchy! So you can imagine my delight when I was watching tonight’s season finale (Airing at 8PM!) and I heard a beautiful rendidtion of “Pleasant Nightmare,” song by the incredibly hunky Jeremy Sisto — like father like daughter, right?! I can’t reveal when or why George is gracing us with a song, but I can tell you that I definitely got a little misty-eyed. (Okay fine I was totally crying!)
I hate the fact that after tonight’s special two episode season finale, I will have to endure many Suburgatory-free months until next season. (Fingers crossed!) But luckily, the powers that be in Chatswin are sending fans off with one ass-kicking, truth-revealing, game-changing season finale. Be prepared for a change of scenery — and I hope you like leather!
Since so many amazing things are going to happen tonight, I’m going to give you a lightening round of spoilers: Noah is going to get his revenge on Dr. Bob and it is terrifyingly creative. Tessa and Dalia have the best girl on girl TV fight that I have seen in a long time. (Think Kill Bill but with the return of the “lesbian boots” from the pilot!) Ryan Shay will take your breath away with his silent sexiness, and let’s just say I’m curious about bathroom floors now. Lastly we’ll see a familiar face return to Chatswin just in time, and learn a shocking secret about one of our favorite couples.
3. Once Upon a Time: Racy Lacey
It’s finally almost here! After weeks and weeks of magic-free TV, Once Upon a Time finally returns to our lives this Sunday with a brand-new spellbinding episode. On Friday, I’ll be giving Once fans a more in depth article on what to expect from “Lacey,” but for now — to get you all as excited as I am — I just got off the phone with the incredibly sweet Emilie de Ravin to find out all the details on Belle’s new alterego, and just have to spill some secrets!
As all Rumbelle fans know, when we last saw Belle she was wearing a hospital gown, completely stripped of her memories. Luckily, in this Sunday’s episode her memories are restored — but unfortunately, they aren’t Belle’s memories. “Regina gave [Belle] this false memory to once again mess with Mr. Gold, and take away the one thing he loves," de Ravin explains. So, everyone, — let’s say hello to Lacey! De Ravin explains that Lacey is the complete opposite of the Disney princess we’ve all come to know and love.
“Compared to Belle she’s very free-spirited," she says. "She a smart girl, but she doesn’t want adventure and she doesn’t care about books. She’d rather hang out at the Rabbit Hole and drink and play pool." I also made sure to clarify an important distinction — we’ve seen in the past that Belle is very much about book smarts, so is it safe to assume that Lacey is more partial to street smarts?
“Ooh completely!" de Ravin says. "That’s a very good analogy. Belle will have a cup of tea, Lacey will have a double Jack on the rocks. Maybe three.” Oh, I can’t wait to meet her!
For more details on Rumple’s plan to restore Belle’s rightful memory and scoop on the fairytale flashbacks, check back to Hollywood.com Friday morning!
4. Awkward: More Mother/Daughter Bonding
How crazy was the Season 3 premiere of Awkward on Tuesday?! Not only is Ricky Schwartz no longer going to be ruining lives at PHHS, but we survived a almost-pregnancy-scare with Jenna, too! Thanks to Jake’s big mouth, things are now rocky between Matty — who now knows the truth —and Jenna. I caught up with the Awkward cast last week, and star Ashley Rickards told me that Jenna is not mad that the secret came out. “I don’t think that it was even a thought-out decision that she turned to Jake," she says. "I think that he was just there, and it just came out because she trusted him and their relationship."
Despite the fact that Jake might be regretting his “Jenna 4 Eva” tattoo right about now, there are bigger problems heading to our quirky heroine. Rickards told me that fans are going to see Jenna going to a much darker place this season. “I think she has spent two seasons trying to get where she is in life," she says. “There comes a point ... where she’s forced to wonder if this person is who she is — the person she wants to be. It’s sort of the first time she’s going to make some decisions that don’t turn out in her best interest.” Yikes!
At least we know that Jenna’s relationship with her mother is finally in a much better place, and Rickards teases that this relationship is really going to become important to Jenna’s dark days this season. “Between the letter and everything, what tore them apart also brings them closer," she explains. "They’re going to lean on each other — and subsequently Jenna is going to be leaning on Lacey’s fake boobs — a lot more this season.” Aww. Well, true to the show’s theme, that sounds awkwardly nice.
5. Hannibal: Deliciously Dark
If you're not watching NBC's smart, sick new drama Hannibal, you're totally missing out. Not only does it feature jaw-dropping performances from the likes of Hugh Dancy (swoon!) and Laurence Fishburne, but its lead Mads Mikkelsen offers a unique perspective on a well-tread serial killer that will have you both disgusted and mesmerized at the same time.
Although he's a horrible murderer, Hannibal's relationship with the other leads is quite fascinating — and when Jack Crawford (Fishburne)'s wife (Gina Torres) shows up as a patient in Dr. Lecter's practice who is dealing with cancer, we'll find out just how empathetic he can be. "[The cancer is] something that touches Hannibal," Mikkelsen tells Hollywood.com. "He likes to see emotions. He likes to see when people have emotions for certain things. He does have empathy — even though it is an act, a lot of it, he also… believes that this is sad. And his advice is sometimes very useful. It's not all a spin."
But despite his sympathy and compassion for Jack's wife, don't count on Hannibal getting a romantic lead of his own anytime soon — for very good reason! (Ahem, he eats people). Though the movie iteration of the character was drawn to Jodie Foster, it's more of a je ne sais quoi in women's personalities than a sexual attraction, Mikkelsen explains. "He finds them delicious," the actor says of women with a laugh. "I'm not sure [being in a relationship is] something he misses, but it's all very complicated. I think that we'll see more of [his relationship with women] — it's there in the first season, but we'll see more of it [down the line]." Eeek! Run away ladies!
Are you excited to see our favorite vampires at their senior prom? Intrigued to meet Lacey this week on Once Upon a Time? Sad to see Surburgatory go? Tell me everything in the comments below!
—Additional Reporting by Jean Bentley and Shaunna Murphy
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She's a hip-hoppin' be-boppin' mean ol' nanny who whips a mean stew and your butt for not doing your homework—and now she's back! Alas we don't speak of the Mrs. Doubtfire sequel but rather that of Big Momma a.k.a. FBI Agent Malcolm Turner (Martin Lawrence). Agent Warner has cut ties with the FBI at the behest of Sherry (Nia Long)—who as you no doubt recall is the granddaughter of the real Big Momma—since she's pregnant with Malcolm's baby. But wouldn't you know that he gets sucked back in after a former colleague is killed. Posing as Big Momma he's hired as a nanny to a suburban family the deadbeat dad of which is involved in the murder and a crime plot. She does it all—cooks cleans dances and even runs down bad guys but it's a race against time to stop the potential national security crisis. That is a race against the film's (mercifully) short running time. Although Lawrence's resume includes some of the dregs of comedy it's hard to argue that he is truly blessed when it comes to physical comedy and comedic timing. He continues both trends here this time without the help of the breakthrough actors of the past two years Paul Giamatti and Terrence Howard who yes both starred in the first Big Momma's House. That means Lawrence's urban mania is truly on its own and absurd and juvenile as the film may be even film snobs can't hold back a few laughs at his Big Momma outlandishness. Longreturns for no more than a select few scenes and to provide a minor conflict in the story. The notable newcomer is CSI's Emily Procter as the sterile mother who hires Big Momma. She does a serviceable job as a suburban Petite Momma. Might she be the next Giamatti or Howard to bolt to bigger and better things in time for the next sequel? No.
Big Momma's House 2 is right up director John Whitesell's alley. He's the guy behind such misses—though not necessarily financially—as Malibu's Most Wanted and See Spot Run and he's right at home here. Whitesell doesn't hold back in (literally and figuratively) pulling the robe off Big Momma but he clearly knows that nothing is to interrupt Lawrence's antics not even the thin story line. Aside from that he knows quite well how to execute thinly veiled rip-offs of the aforementioned Mrs. Doubtfire as well as countless other hidden-motive comedies (i.e. Kindergarten Cop Houseguest et al). Because while the main guise is the Big Momma fat suit Whitesell parades the film about as a feel-good/family flick.
Loosely based on the (rather lame) 1960 Rat Pack film dashing understated-but-cool thief Danny Ocean (George Clooney) orchestrates the most sophisticated elaborate casino heist in history less than 24 hours after being released from jail. In one night Danny's handpicked 11-man crew of specialists--including an ace card sharp (Brad Pitt) a young-but-masterful pickpocket (Matt Damon) and a demolition genius (Don Cheadle)--will attempt to steal over $150 million from three Las Vegas casinos owned by Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) the elegant ruthless entrepreneur who just happens to be dating Danny's ex-wife Tess (Julia Roberts). To score the cash Danny will have to risk his life and risk his chance of ever reconciling with Tess. But if all goes according to his intricate nearly impossible plan Danny won't have to choose between his stake in the heist and his high-stakes reunion with Tess. Or will he?
The star wattage in this movie could solve all of California's electricity problems in one fell swoop. George Clooney easily passes himself off as suave mastermind Danny Ocean playing the role with understated class and elegance. Brad Pitt takes a similar arc as Rusty though he's slightly more dispassionate and professional than Clooney's visionary Ocean. Matt Damon is convincing as the inexperienced-but-talented pickpocket who's essential to getting in the vault. And Julia is simply Julia--glamorous and charming a smart cookie who is being wooed by the evil ruthless (and anal-retentive) casino mogul so elegantly portrayed by Andy Garcia. Affecting a Cockney accent and attitude Don Cheadle's portrayal of the demolition expert is a tour de force. Carl Reiner is absolutely hilarious as Saul Bloom an aging old-timer who comes out of retirement to infiltrate the casino as a debonair arms dealer. Elliott Gould Bernie Mac Scott Caan and Casey Affleck round out the cast nicely with inspired performances especially Gould's and Mac's.
Soderbergh cemented his reputation last year as a director of serious weight when both Traffic and Erin Brockovich were nominated for the Best Film Academy Award and garnered him two Best Director nominations---an unprecedented feat. Ocean's Eleven marks Soderbergh's departure from the serious to the seriously fun. This is one of the most stylish most elegantly filmed movies I have ever seen. Not only are all the actors beautiful but so are the locations clothes and shot selections. The speed and pacing of the flick belie the movie's length; Soderbergh clearly had fun making this movie. He shot this film very intimately often allowing the camera to stay close on the actors a tad longer than expected which lets their personas shine through--thus their personalities draw you into the movie as much as the caper itself. It's not often you see a movie where the direction has as much wit and cleverness as the plot itself. Ocean's Eleven makes no pretense to be something other than a jaunty cheeky exhilarating heist movie. So while the plot's not too deep all is forgiven considering the level of acting and direction.