Workaholic Woody Allen just can't stop making movies. The trailer for his latest effort, Magic in the Moonlight hit the web today, and the proceedings definitely feel like vintage Allen. It's charming, quick-witted, and effusive like you'd expect from a Woody Allen romance, but it also features another hallmark of the great director's filmography: the age discrepancy between the two leads is huge. In Magic, Colin Firth plays Stanley, the jazz age's answer to the Mythbusters, who travels to the French countryside to debunk a talented young spiritualist named Sophie, played by Emma Stone. As time passes, Stanley finds it hard to refute her powers, and even harder to resist her wiles.... her late teenage/early 20's wiles.
Since the real-life Colin Firth is 53 while Emma Stone is only 25, we can assume that the age difference between their two characters will be pretty significant as well. Significant enough that it's bordering on creepy. This wouldn't be the first time Hollywood has used such a large age gap between romantic leads in a film, but it is the first one in a while that gives us this much pause. We've decide to examine age gaps in different films to see exactly when things start to get a little creepy.
5 to 10 years: That's perfectly cool.Examples: Too numerous to count.
In this day and age, five to ten years is a drop in the bucket. So you like your wine a little aged? It's really no big deal and Hollywood knows it.
10 to 15 years: If it makes you happy… Examples: Silver Linings Playbook, Annie Hall, Her (Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix), Star Wars: Episodes I-III, just to name a few.
Now we're starting to get a teensy bit weird. It's still perfectly acceptable, but don't be surprised if you start getting sideways glances from people on the street. Your mom will also bring it up over dinner, but your mom brings everything up over dinner so it's really not that scandalous.
15 to 25 years: Dude, he/she might be your son/daughter.Examples: An Education, The Reader, Fish Tank, Taxi Driver, The Graduate, Don Jon, basically every James Bond film.Okay, now were venturing in full-fledged creep zone. Once you reach a level of age disparity where you could have biologically given birth to the person you're romantically involved with, you really need to think about the relationship.
25+years: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.Examples: Harold and Maude, Big (sorta), Manhattan, Lolita, Oldboy, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (again, sorta).
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
HBO's True Detective shocked the world this past winter with its depiction of a seedy Louisiana that was low on morals and high in corpses. It was all the things a detective drama should be: moody, atmospheric, gripping, darkly funny, sometimes all in the same scene. It's inaugural eight-episode season was really something special, mostly due to the stellar creative team running its engine. Being that it's an anthology series, True Detective wasn't a show that had the luxury of easing through a freshman slump, waiting to work out the kinks and really delivering something special, maybe next season. The show had to hit hard out of the gate, and it did. Creators Nic Pizzolatto and his director Cary Joji Fukunaga delivered a wunderkind of a show: a contained singular vision that felt immaculately crafted. Every shot, scene, and line of dialogue obsessed over and placed into action with the upmost care. Its a marvel of television engineering.
But even beyond Pizzolatto's scripts and Fukunaga's direction, it's the actors that really kept True Detective running at such a high level. Hearing Rust Cole wax poetic with misanthropic asides wouldn't be nearly as interesting if the words weren't coming out of Matthew McConaughey. And similarly, would we even care all that much about conflicted family man Marty Hart if his internal struggles weren't externalized by Woody Harrelson? This is a production that deserves great actors to bring it to life. This is a production that deserves the talents of someone like Jessica Chastain.
Following The Nerdist's reporting that Chastain had been offered a leading role in Season 2 of the series, we got the downer report from E! that she has turned down the gig. We're not surprised that she was offered the part; Chastain is easily in the same caliber of actors as the two leads from last season. She has a resume full of strong female characters, and easily has the magnetism needed to headline the next bizarre mystery the series will send us on. Her strong-willed character in Zero Dark Thirty would feel right at home on Pizzolatto's next crime beat. Her casting would also fix True Detective's biggest issue: its treatment of women. For all of its merits, True Detective is a deeply male-centric program, and the women in that show's version of Louisiana were often relegated to mistresses, strippers, prostitutes, and corpses, all in various states of undress. It's certainly a large blight on the first season, but Chastain headlining a second season more cognizant of its depiction of women is definitely the right move for the series.
The one and done nature of True Detective's anthology structure would also mean that appearing in the second season of the series wouldn't be a huge commitment for the actress. She wouldn't be stuck languishing in a series that went on too long past its time. She could do the season, and then leave to focus on film again. Taking part in the series could also be a huge boon to her career. Starring as a lead in the first season of the series was a huge step in Matthew McConaughey's "McConnaissance." It's only been a few months since we first met the character, and Rust Cohle has already become one of McConaughey's most recognizable roles. While the actress is already well known in the film world, a high profile role on television could change her into the household name. Just look at Bryan Cranston.
It's questionable gender issues aside, True Detective is fantastic. Without dragons, zombies, or whatever else, HBO managed to create event television — the kind you still crowd around the television set for every week — by virtue of simply being great. Now that the A-list of Hollywood is flocking to limited series on television, it only makes sense for Chastain to be a part of one of HBO's best efforts. So please, Ms. Chastain, will you be our next True Detective?
20th Century Fox Film
The Star Wars franchise has tons of fantastic moments, but none spike our adrenaline quite like the attack on the Death Star right at the climax of the original Star Wars. It was all so perfect: the perilous dogfights in the backdrop of a giant red planet Yavin, X-wings bursting into flames as the pilots thread their ships through the crowded ridges of the Death Star, looking for that tiny exhaust port to blow the Empire a new one. It's one clear example of why the original trilogy works where the prequel trilogy doesn't. The scenes felt weighty, both in a physical sense (those ships really did look like big metal chunks hurtling through space) and a dramatic one. The rebel squadron was fighting the battle of their lives, and this mission was a last ditch suicide run to take out the Empire's doomsday device. The space combat in the prequels never reached the same dizzying high points as the ones in the Original Trilogy did, since the franchise traded practical effects, character, and drama for a CGI light show. Nearly 40 years and five movies later, the Battle of Yavin and the other fights involving the Red Squadron remain some of the action highlights of the franchise. Now, It looks like the X-Wing team may fly once again.
According to Geek Tyrant, a German website named Star Wars Union attended a Hasbro event where the next six Star Wars films were mapped out to coincide with the company's toy releases. The schedule was reported as follows:
2014 - Star Wars: Rebels2015 - Star Wars: Episode VII2016 - Boba Fett2017 - Star Wars: Episode VIII2018 - Han Solo2019 - Star Wars: Episode IX2020 - Star Wars: Red Five
The schedule is mostly filled with the expected sequels and stand alone films — rumors about Boba Fett and Han Solo features have been rumbling around the web for ages at this point — but the one surprise on the list is the last project: Star Wars: Red Five. Since an annual deluge of Star Wars films has become an inevitable evil, one about the famous squadron of fighter pilots could be a nice way to break up the monotony once 2020 rolls around. We're already getting three proper "Episodes" in the mainline Star Wars series, plus two stand-alone films about roguish anti-heroes. A character-based film about rebel pilots using the classic call signs from the orginal movie could be an exciting move for the franchise. There are already a multitude of possibilities.
The call sign "Red Five" already has some famous forebears. Both Anakin and Luke Skywalker used it in previous instalments of the franchise. If this new story coincides with the upcoming J.J. Abrams trilogy, then we could be getting a new group of fighters with an all-new protagonist taking up the mantle of "Red Five," and what the Star Wars franchise desperately needs is new characters. If this new generation of movies really wants to flourish on its own merits, it needs to create its own stories within the universe. As fun as it will be to see prequel adventures for characters like Han and Boba Fett, it would be more fruitful for the series to create new characters and conflicts. Seeing a Star Wars feature that takes a step away from series standbys like The Force, the Jedi, midi-chlorians, and even, (gasp) lightsabers would be a refreshing change of pace. There's a wide and diverse galaxy out there, full of different planets, cultures, and outlooks on life. The old Star Wars canon should be used as a template; a foundation to expand and construct a richer universe in its wake. Creating a new class of pilots to take on the famous "Red" call signs would be a great way to do so. It would be recognizing and revering the franchise's roots while allowing it to leap into the future.
Also, when was the last time we were treated to a really good fighter pilot movie? Red Tails? Flyboys? Stealth? Pearl Harbor? No, those are all terrible, and it's a testament to how anemic the sub-genre of pilot movies is when the best offering in perhaps the last 25 years is Top Gun. Get to it, J.J., our culture's lasting image of fighter pilots can't be Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer playing shirtless volleyball. It just can't.
Walt Disney Co. via Everett Collection
We've somehow suffered 40 long years without a single big screen biopic chronicling the life of Jimi Hendrix, so it's only natural that the universe has decided to reward us with two. That's right, the life of the legendary guitar virtuoso is going to be chronicled in two very different films with very different actors in the central role. The first, All Is by My Side, features Outkast's Andre 3000 as Hendrix, while the other, simply titled Jimi, has just cast actor Anthony Mackie as the tragic artist. While both Anthony Mackie and Andre 3000 are both very talented individuals who each bring something unique to the table, we wonder which actor can bring more justice to the role. We've decided to compare the two performers over several categories to decide who will play the definitive version of Hendrix.
Acting AbilityActing ability should really be the category that carries the most weight on this list. These are films, not tribute albums after all, and Makie has proven himself to be a fine dramatic actor over the years. Mackie even has biopic experience, fitting himself quite nicely into the role of Tupac Shakur in Notorious. Andre 3000, on the other hand, is a decent actor with a handful of supporting roles under his belt, but we haven't seen any evidence to show that he can carry a whole film by himself. This one goes to Mackie very easily. It also helps that Jimi Hendrix's vocals were never the biggest draw to his music anyway.Advantage: Anthony Mackie
MusicialityThis one is no contest. Andre 3000 is an actual famous musician. He's one half of the hip-hop duo Outkast, who have been producing some of the most original and genre-bending hip hop for the past 20 years. Besides all that, the actor has actual on stage experience with the electric guitar, Jimi's instrument of choice. Three stacks would likely understand the creative process of being a musician more acutely than Mackie, even if he lacks the acting experience. Mackie could do his best to fake it, but Andre 3000's genuine passion for music would likely be more convincing.Advantage: Andre 3000
LooksFrom a height standpoint, it's a draw, with both men standing at 5'10'' while the real-life Hendrix was 5'11'', but the category slips into Andre's favor once you look at other physical characteristics. Andre has similar head shape and facial features to the late musician, and has even sports the same wiry afro Jimi frequently from time to time. Andre 300 is also pretty slender, which is a match for the lanky rocker. Mackie, on the other hand, is quite muscular, and is likely still shedding some mass from his roles as a murderous body builder in Pain and Gain and a soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier to play the artist.Advantage: Andre 3000
PersonalityHendrix is often described by those that knew him as a dreamer, a gentle free spirit who didn't take things to seriously. His personality fits right into the spacey vibes of his music. Similar things could be said about Andre 3000, who's often a bit soft-spoken in interviews. Conversely, Mackie is full of loud, boisterous charisma that doesn't quite mesh with Hendrix's persona. Mackie is an actor that all, and he could tone down his personality for the role, but Andre's temperment is a more natural fit.Advantage: Andre 3000
Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here has been rife with controversy ever since it was announced. After a troubled Kickstarter campaign that marred the project before it even started filming, Braff's latest has been receiving a lashing from critics (the film currently holds a meager 36% on Rotten Tomatoes), with film writers throwing out words like "phony" and "self-indulgent" to describe the movie. If you're not up for a Garden State reprise, complete with sounds of crooning indie rockers, purple wigs, and random space adventures, Wish I Was Here might be a bitter pill to swallow. Well, except for one little thing...
JD and Turk are back together. Donald Faison, Braff's real life bestie and former Sacred Heart colleague, pops into the trailer as a charming Aston Martin salesman who takes Braff's family out for a L.A. joy ride. The two actors memorably played best friends on the NBC sitcom Scrubs, which perfectly captured the intricacies of "guy love between two guys," as the song goes. Even in the tiny scene from the trailer, it's all right there: the knowing looks, the banter, all of the electric chemistry from Scrubs is back in full force. But is it worth paying full ticket price for what probably amounts to only a short reprise of the JD and Turk bromance, or would you be better off giving your old Scrubs DVDs another spin in your home theater?
It has begun. After what felt like an eternity of rumors, casting calls, blind hearsay, and yet even more rumors, Star Wars: Episode VII is finally finally filming. In the wee hours of the morning, Director J.J. Abrams signaled the start of filming with a tweet from the Bad Robot twitter account showing a picture of a production clapper bearing title of the sequel, along with the caption "#dayone." Like the pop of a marathon gun, the race to shoot a great Star Wars sequel is on, but now comes the hard part. Shooting a blockbuster, and especially shooting a Star Wars blockbuster, is not a task for the faint of heart, and series creator George Lucas struggled mightily to complete his epic space opera. The production of the original film was plagued with setbacks, and it's frankly a miracle that we're even celebrating the creation of a seventh Star Wars film given the barriers Lucas had to overcome to get his originall film made. Take a look at all the stumbles, issues, and setbacks involved with creating the first Star Wars.
The film was rejected twice before finding a distributorBack when the billion dollar franchise was just a few scrawled notes and a big idea, George Lucas approached United Artist with a pitch for a space opera called The Star Wars. The studio passed on the idea, and Lucas went on to make American Graffiti before returning to his Star Wars project two years later. After tinkering with the story, Lucas wrote a 13-page treatment for the project and presented it this time to Universal, who similarly rejected it, deeming it too strange and complaining that science fiction wasn't popular enough at the time to merit such an expensive film. The film was eventualy picked up by 20th Century Fox, and the rest was history.
Filming in Tunisia was a painLucas originally envisioned Tatooine as a lush jungle planet, but the idea of shooting on location in a jungle seemed more problematic than it was worth, so Lucas decided to change the home of the Skywalkers into a desert planet instead, and began filming in Tunisia. Unfortunately for Lucas, the switch in shooting locations wasn't without its own issues. Shooting fell behind schedule when the set was hit with a rare Tunisian rainstorm. The set was also plagued with electronic breakdowns and prop malfunctions, one of which injured C-3P0 actor Anthony Daniels.
And no one seemed to care about the project except for LucasBefore Star Wars began making actual dividends, the film had it's fair share of doubters, as any film would, but even the cast and crew had a hard time taking Lucas and his epic space opera seriously. Much of the crew laughed off the project as a kid's film and rarely put in their all into filming. Kenny Baker, who played R2D2, thought the film would be a massive failure. Even Harrison Ford had his doubts, remarking how weird some elements of the film were, including Princess Leia's buns and Chewbacca, who he claimed looked like a "giant in a monkey suit."
Lucasfilm Ltd. via Everett Collection
Lucas' own frustrations hampered the filmFacing a film that was grossly overbudget and well behind schedule, the enormity of blockbuster filmmaking became almost too much for Lucas. The director frequently clashed with his crew over creative differences and was largely dissatisfied with the look of costumes and sets, most of which failed to live up to his vision. He became visibly depressed and passed on his frustrations to his actors while providing little in the way of direction. Things got so bad that during post-production, the filmmaker was diagnosed with hypertension and exhaustion, and was warned to slow down by doctors.
The first cut was a complete disasterAfter struggling to get his film finished on time, Lucas was disappointed to learn that the first cut of the film was, in his eyes, a "complete disaster." The first edit by film editor John Jumpson was so bad, it is said that 30 to 40 percent of the footage didn't make it to the final version of the film. Lucas ended up switching his editing team, employing his wife, Paul Hirsch, and Richard Chew to finish the job right.
The greatest directors of the time weren't crazy about itIn 1977, Lucas screened a rough cut of the film for some of his directing buddies, a list that now reads like a who's who of legendary directors, including Steven Spielberg, Brian De Pama, and John Milius. The cut was the very definition of rough. James Earl Jones signature baritone wasn't the voice behind Darth Vader, paper arrows stood in for blaster beams, and instead of a space battle between the Millennium Falcon and TIE fighters, footage of WWII dogfights was spliced in. Reaction to this early cut of the film was lukewarm at best, with Spielberg being the only one of the directors who clearly enjoyed the film. On the other hand, the studio execs greatly enjoyed the early cut of the film, with producer Gareth Wigan saying, "This is the greatest film I've ever seen."
Warner Bros. Pictures
A number of major metropolises will once again have their skylines groomed by rampaging monsters once Godzilla hits theaters this friday. Of course, monsters destroying major cities is nothing new. It's a tradition of genre cinema that dates back to King Kong scaling the heights of the Empire State Building in 1933. Filmmakers have been gleefuly knocking down city blocks ever since, but some cities have been the subject of more monster attacks than others. Here are the five cities most frequently attacked by giant monsters in movies.
Films: Wasei Kingu Kongu; King Kong Appears in Edo; Godzilla (1954); Godzilla: King of the Monsters!; King Kong vs. Godzilla; Godzilla vs. Megalon; The Return of Godzilla; Godzilla (1985); Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah; Godzilla vs. Destoroyah; Godzilla 2000; Godzilla vs. Megaguirus; Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.; Godzilla: The Final Wars; Varan the Unbelievable; Mothra; Dogorat, the Space Monster; Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster; Gamera; The War of the Gargantuas;Daikyojū Gappa; Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla; Terror of Mechagodzilla; Godzilla vs. Mothra; Gamera: Guardian of the Universe; Godzilla vs. Megaguirus; Big Man Japan.
Even though Americans created the giant monster phenomenon with films like The Lost World and King Kong, the Japanese took the idea to new heights. Thanks to the nation's fascination with Kaiju, the Japanese capital of Tokyo has weathered the most giant monster attacks, and frankly, It wasn't even a competition. By our estimation, 27 live-action films have featured Tokyo's destruction at the hands of giant monsters, or Kaiju. Recognizable figures like Godzilla, Mothra, and Gamera have all wreaked havoc on Tokyo's skyline over the years
NEW YORK CITY: 16
Films: King Kong (1933); The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; The Giant Claw; Destroy All Monsters; Q; King Kong (1976); Mimic; Ghostbusters;Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack; Godzilla (1998); Godzilla: The Final Wars; Hellboy 2: The Golden Army; King Kong (2005); Cloverfield; The Incredible Hulk.With a steep drop off in the number of films, New York takes up second place. It's a tad surprising given New York's reputation for getting decimated on film, and if we were accounting for alien invasions, natural disasters, most superhero films, or all the other destructive tragedies that often befall New York, the city would likely take the top honor, but since we're specifically counting attacks by giant monsters, the Big Apple will have to settle for the silver medal. The city has been the home of three climatic ape-rampages via King Kong, a fight between the Hulk and the Abomination in The Incredible Hulk, and a handful of shake-ups in giant monster classics like The Giant Claw.
Films: The Strange World of Planet X; Destroy all Monsters; Behemoth: The Sea Monsters; Konga; Gorgo; Reign of Fire.In third place is London. The city has been the setting of several giant monster attacks, and just squeaks by other American and Japanese cities that almost made the list thanks to a handful of homegrown sci-fi films.
LOS ANGELES: 5
Films: Them!; War of the Colossal Beast; Mighty Joe Young; Yonggary (1999); Dragon Wars.
Like New York City before it, Los Angeles also seems like a city that has been the victim of more monster attacks, but the City of Angels has been a relative safe haven from monster attacks compared to Tokyo. Now, if we're talking about alien invasions, that's a different conversation entirely.
Films: Beginning of the End; Alligator; The Relic; Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Last but not least, Chicago rounds out the list, quietly beating cities like Osaka and San Francisco thanks to semi-forgotten monster flicks like The Relic and Alligator.
Another summer, another Transformers film. With Transformers: Age of Extinction, The series is embarking on new, LaBeouf-less territory. This time, a fresh, plucky group of humans have found the rusted remains of Optimus Prime in the heartland. American flags waft patriotically in the breeze, a shadowy organization wants to harvest the Autobots for their cool metal bodies, and there is consistent promise of city-smashing chaos. Yup, it sounds like a Transformers movie.
So it may look exactly like the last few Transformers movies, but at least this one has Dinobots... that's marginally interesting, right? In fact, there are plenty of marginally interesting things in this new footage! Here's our rundown of the 10 most passably acceptable things in the trailer:
10. Mark Whalberg’s arms are pretty big, huh?
9. That one Decpticon looks sorta like a dragon.
8. A boat exploaded. Boats don't usually explode in these movies; that's more of a car thing.
7. Stanley Tucci plays with a piece of floaty metal!
6. That one Transfomer’s face turns into a gun.
5. That one Transformer is munching on a cigar.
4. And he also has a beard made of... coils... or wires… wait, why would a robot even have a beard?
3. Optimus Prime is riding a Dinobot. It breathes fire.
2. That one guy gets hit in the face with a car.
1. Stanley Tucci screams “Oh my God.” Just like in your wildest nightmares.
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.
ABC Television Network
Mission BriefingIt's all comes down to this. Coulson and his team mount up for one last life or death mission to take out Garret and Ward, but as Coulson surely knows by now, nothing ever comes easy. Garrett has recently gotten a serious upgrade by way of GH-235, while Fitz and Simmons are still stranded at the bottom of the ocean. Can the team defeat a superpowered Garrett and save their missing tech team.
Mission FalloutAfter getting injected with GH-235, Garrett is looking particularly limber. The chemical compound has not only healed Garrett and made him stronger than ever, but the drug has also changed his brain chemistry, making Garrett prone to waxing on about "the truth" and scrawling odd diagrams on walls. Ward fears his mentor has become mentally unhinged, but Garrett's new outlook has given him newfound vision.
In Cuba, Coulson and his team have fought off the Cybertek soldiers, and managed to implant Skye's trojan horse into their system, which allows her to break into all of Cybertek's computer systems. The team is able to track down the bus thanks to Fitz/Simmons' tracker, but the two agents aren't answering the communications, and the team fears the worst. The agents mount up for a final strike on Garrett and Cybertek, and track him down to a Cybertek facility in New Mexico. The team breaks into the compound, and Skye reprograms the super-soldiers to lead them right to Garrett. Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons have devised a plan to escape their underwater prison, but the storage unit only has enough air for one person to survive the ascent to the surface. Fitz sacrifices himself by giving Simmons the last of his air, and The two make it to the surface, and into the waiting hands of Director Nick Fury. Fury reveals that he's been looking for Coulson, and heads to New Mexico.
Back at the Cybertek compound, May faces off against Ward while Coulson confronts Garrett and Deathlok. May is able to subdue Ward after some sexually charged fist-a-cuffs, and Fury (A.k.A Director deus ex machina) shows up just in time to give Coulson a much needed hand. Deathlok is about to incinerate Coulson and Fury, but gets a message in his system from Ace. Skye managed to save Mike's son, freeing him of Garrett's control. Mike changes his sights to Garrett and blasts a hole through his chest before stomping him seemingly out of existence. Mike ensures that his son is in safe hands before escaping, claiming that he needs to redeem himself before seeing his son again. With the day won, Coulson demands answers from Fury about project T.A.H.I.T.I., with the former director saying it was an emergency situation, and that he had to do what was necessary to revive his best agent. Fury gives Coulson a small box which he says will help Coulson rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. before making Coulson the new Director. Coulson follows coordinates found in Fury's box to a new, underground S.H.I.E.L.D. base run by agent Billy Koenig, an agent that looks exactly like the recently desceased Eric Koenig. They could be twins, but were betting Fury might have dabbled in cloning on his off hours.
Later, Rayna meets with a bloodied man and tells him that she knows where his daughter is before handing him a picture of Skye. Coulson wakes up in the middle of the night and begins scrawling the same cryptic diagrams that Garrett has been writing earlier. A likely side-effect of the GH-235 serum that they both ingested.
Most Valuable Agent AwardThe final award of the season goes to Deathlok for giving Garrett what he had coming to in. Hopefully, this isn't the last time we see Mike Peterson.
Mission Highlights and Other Observations- It's been rough ride, folks, and at times things looked bleak. But over the course of the season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has settled into a good hour of television. The season finale was a perfect synecdoche of all the things that work, and don't work, on the show. Good action is hampered by clunky dialogue, and ambitious setpieces are blunted by cheap looking sets and drab direction. Hopefully, S.H.I.E.L.D. can work on these things over the summer break and come back swinging in the fall.- While the finale was enjoyable, and did its due diligence in setting up some intriguing mysteries for the fall, we do wish we received a bit more in the way of answers. Yarns that have been stretched and teased throughout the entire season still haven't come close to being answered yet. We've learned precious little about who Skye is, and we still don't know the full details about project T.A.H.I.T.I. Did they forget about the big blue alien?- Ward: "Reminds me of the old days." / May: "You were never on top."- When was the last time anyone saw a tag-team wrestling match with four dead guys?"