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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Nim (Abigail Breslin) and her dad Jack (Gerard Butler) have been tucked away on their own private tropical island since Nim's mom died. They live in a tricked-out treehouse hang out with sea lions and marine iguanas and only communicate with the rest of the world via email and satellite phone. It's all sunshine and blue waters until Jack heads out for a short research expedition and gets stranded by a nasty tropical storm leaving Nim to fend for herself. At first she takes it in stride but eventually worried and lonely she confesses some of her fears to her cyber pen pal/favorite writer adventure novelist Alex Rover--never guessing that the intrepid hero she's imagined is really a neurotic scaredy-cat woman (Jodie Foster). When tourists threaten the island Nim asks Alex for help challenging the writer to overcome her fears and become "the hero of her own story." Nim's Island is the first lighthearted movie Foster has made in quite awhile and her first family film in decades. Watching her warm funny accessible performance you have to hope that she's got more of both on tap. She makes Alex--whose quirks are markedly more exaggerated here than in the book--endearingly idiosyncratic rather than creepily irrational. She tackles both physical humor and dramatic moments with gusto and the scenes in which she bickers with Butler (who does double duty as Jack and "Alex Rover"--the physical embodiment of the Indiana Jones-like hero of Alex's books) are charming. Breslin is as ever an appealing expressive kid; alone on the island she spends many of her scenes interacting only with Nim's animal pals and/or the computer and she keeps the energy level up nicely. Wild-haired and sun-kissed she seems like a real girl not a starlet in training. When your movie takes place in a tropical paradise that comes complete with the coolest jungle abode this side of Swiss Family Robinson beautiful beaches and even a slightly rumbly volcano you don't need to do too much except point the camera at the action. Directors Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett do a fine job on that front turning Nim and her sanctuary into something out of a kid's wildest imagination. That makes some of the movie's weaknesses--predictable bits like the scene in which Nim and her animal pals dance around the fire Jack's frequently cheesy dialogue Alex's unrealistically quick transformation from agoraphobic to trailblazer--forgivable. Bottom line? In an era when so many kids' movies rely on special effects and flashy animation to grab an audience's attention an old-fashioned adventure like Nim's Island is a refreshing island breeze
October 01, 2004 10:40am EST
As Ladder 49 opens Baltimore firefighter Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) gets trapped inside a blazing warehouse while rescuing a trapped civilian. With his escape routes either caved in or burned down Jack has to keep his wits as he waits for Fire Chief Mike Kennedy (John Travolta) and his fellow firefighters to rescue him. Lying in a bed of rubble Jack has rather vivid and detailed flashbacks of pivotal moments in his life including his first day at the firehouse the day he met his wife-to-be at the supermarket their wedding day the birth of their daughter and so on. While these flashbacks provide neat chronological accounts of his life they do very little to shape or build Jack's character because they are focused on his heroic antics rather than the man underneath the uniform. The film also works feverishly to showcase the brotherly bond between the men but doesn't extend beyond silly firehouse pranks including putting a goose in someone's locker or tossing a lit newspaper into an occupied toilette stall. The only thing missing from these tawdry sitcom-like moments is a laugh track. Third Watch the NBC drama following New York City police paramedics and firefighters on the 3-11 p.m. shift offers more character development and intrigue in a one-hour episode than this feature film dishes out in two hours.
Phoenix is both sweet and awkward in the role of Jack a rookie firefighter who can't hide his enthusiasm about his line of work. Jack's charming side is demonstrated in his relationship with his wife particularly in the intensely loving way Phoenix looks at his co-star Jacinda Barrett whether they're at a crowded birthday bash or riding on the back of the fire truck following their humble small-town nuptials. Phoenix's Jack also has a slightly dim-witted side which comes through in the "Aw shucks" way he reacts to being the butt of many firehouse pranks. But there's a third sadly missing dimension missing to Jack: He's a hero with no fire in his belly. Travolta on the other hand just isn't convincing in this blue-collar role of fire chief. Perhaps it's just that these characters are too damn perfect. Post 9/11 firefighters have become more than rescuers they are in the eyes of many Americans heroes and Ladder 49 adopts the biased notion that they are also faultless.
Director Jay Russell (Tuck Everlasting) visually captures the essence of this working class Baltimore neighborhood and its firehouse from Jack's cluttered wood-paneled home to Mike's utilitarian firehouse office. Production designer Tony Burrough paid meticulous attention to set details particularly in how the backdrops age over a decade; Jack's house becomes junkier and his gear gets dingier. The controlled fires on the set look incredibly real and feel equally oppressive--and this is where Russell's direction really shines. A scene in which Jack enters his first burning building for example adds to the film's authenticity: The probie (firefighter lingo for a new guy) runs up the stairs too fast and doesn't aim the hose high enough. These small details remind moviegoers what an exact line of work this really is. But while Ladder 49 effectively demonstrates the risky and altruistic work firefighters do it doesn't delve any deeper than its spectacular rescues. Throughout the film Jack is asked what motivates him to run into a burning building when everyone else is running out--a question scribe Lewis Colick never lets Ladder 49's characters answer.