Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall tv II : great casts,average shows

There is a trend among the new tv shows and it is called the great casting.

Almost every premiere I have seen had a great cast,some legends were back,some interesting acting talents switched shows and excellent newcomers refreshed the scene.But unfortunately the great work of casting directors was not rewarded with good shows,most of the new tv products are average to bad.And incomprehensibly,a few that are not, are getting axed.The best new drama is definitely "Masters of Sex",confirming the trend of great casting.

1."Lucky 7",a decent show on ABC, it has already been axed,after only 2 episodes.Based on British series,it had a very promising cast with the best newcomer on this season tv,Stephen Louis Grush.I hope to see him somewhere else and soon,pity for the unlucky acting ensemble.

Casting director : Sharon Bialy,great work.

2."Brooklyn Nine - Nine",even though I don't like the show I recognise the great work of the casting department.My favorite actors there are definitely  Terry Crews and Andre Braugher.

Casting director : Allison Jones.

3."The Blacklist", boring, Homeland wannabee action drama was a disappointment but still,good cast led by always brilliant James Spader,followed by very interesting Charles Baker,Diego Klattenhoff and a decent Megan Boone.One question though,couldn't the casting directors find some Serbian actors to play terrorists,there are many and they are good.

Casting director : Debbi Manviller,Richard Pagano and Jessica Kelly.

4."Hostages",also an average drama with decent cast led by fantastic actress Toni Colette.Always interesting Rhys Coiro and my beloved Bobby Donnell aka Dylan McDermott follow her painlessly,Tate Donovan not so much.I hope it stays because of the leading lady and McDermott but it doesn't look good.

Casting directors : Beth Bowling,Kim Miscia and Rona Kress.

5."Mom",I really wanted it to be funny,I am a big Chuck Lorre fan and always thought Anna Faris was excellent,not to mention Allison Janney.Unfortunately it is not,Anna is the weakest link in otherwise strong cast,with the great return of French Stewart and a very good Nate Corddry.Again,pity for the good cast.

Casting directors : Ken Miller,Nikki Valko

6."Trophy Wife",again a  sitcom with excellent casting,Malin Akerman was a great surprise here and all the actors are very good. Albert Tsai is by far the best discovery of the season,the kid is AMAZING!!!!The show is,well,maybe promising.

Casting directors : Anya Colloff,Michael V.Nicolo

7."Ironside",another average police drama with questionable future in spite of very good acting ensemble.Blair Underwood leads his  interesting co stars,Neil Bledsoe,The Wire's Pablo Schreiber and the lovely Spencer Grammer.

Casting directors : Bonnie Grisan,Mele Nagler.

8."The Crazy Ones",is my biggest disappointment.Great return,Sarah Michelle Gellar,mega star Robin Williams,a very very good Hamish Linklatter,nothing can make it even remotely funny.It's a shame.

Casting directors : Ken Miller,Nikki Valko

9."Welcome to the Family", a rather sweet sitcom with maybe the finest casting of the season : Kurt's dad meets Carlos,excellent and very funny Mike O'Malley and Ricardo Chavira are wonderful antagonists and all the rest of their co-stars are fitting beautifully into the group with  Ella Rae Peck,a nice comeback from the axed "Deception".Excellent cast,hope they'll stay. 

Casting directors : Gillian O'Neill,Yolanda Guillen,Alyson Silverberg,excellent work!

10."Super Fun Night", a not so funny sitcom where a multi talented Rebel Wilson and her excellent co-stars Liza Lapira and Lauren Nash try to be funny.Another great cast,not so great project and it's a pity since Rebel Wilson has a lot of potential.

Casting directors : Gillian O'Neill,Jill Anthony,Tim Payne,Lisa Ystrom,Julie Ashton.

11."Hello Ladies",a brave attempt from Stephen Merchant,good cast,disappointing result.Seriously un-funny and that is the worst verdict for a sitcom.Like Rebel Wilson,Merchant has also a lot of potential but not in this show.

Casting director : Allison Jones

12."Masters of Sex",the best drama of the season,perfect cast,important subject,great product.Reliably brilliant Michael Sheen has a flamboyant co-star,my favourite actress of this tv season,Lizzy Caplan.

I remember her from "The Class",the tragically brief excellent sitcom.She was beautiful,funny with a dry sense of humour and I thought then how she deserved a great role in an acclaimed project.
After to many years of waiting I am happy to confirm my excellent opinion of her.She is impeccable as Virginia Johnson,full of passion and engaged,effortless and charismatic,a true star.The rest of the cast is also excellent.

Casting directors : Risa Bramon Garcia,June Lowry- Johnson,Libby Goldstein and Bernard Telsey,fantastic work.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall tv : great returns

Fall season has started with so many shows that I can hardly keep track.

Premieres,new seasons,sitcoms,dramas,soaps,there is something for everyone.

First let me praise my favorites from previous seasons.

1."Boardwalk Empire" is back and it's as good as ever.Excellent cast,Steve Buscemi will follow Tony Soprano and Walter White,Michael Shannon and She Whigham are brilliant as well as Michael K.Williams and Jack Huston.
I am not that thrilled with Jeffrey Wright who is over playing it a bit but let's give him the benefit of the doubt.All in all excellent homogeneous cast and I hope I 'll see more interesting new faces this season.

Casting directors: Meredith Tucker,Ellen Lewis.

2."The Good Wife" had a very good premiere,tragic and intriguing story about death penalty.The cast is strong as always,Julianna Margulies getting better and better as well as  all of her co-stars,especially Christine Baranski and Alan Cumming.New faces would be welcome but not necessary.

Casting director : Mark Saks.

3."Revenge" is back with a vengeance,great prime time soap,my guilty pleasure.The old cast looks good,it seems Gabriel Mann has calmed down,Barry Sloane and Emily Van Camp are still the best and I like the newcomers Justin Hartley and Karine Vanasse. Good soap requires good looking cast,strong chemistry between romantic partners and convincing supporting actors.With the exit of Connor Paolo it seems that they follow those lines.

Casting directors : Elisabeth Barnes,Corbin Bronson and Lisa Soltau.

4."Homeland" one of the best shows on tv,Emmy awarded for great acting performances and praised by critics.The acting ensemble is very well rounded,excellent roles for Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, brilliant veteran  Mandy Patinkin and my personal favorite,the guy I never liked before,Rupert Friend.

Casting directors : Junie Lowry Johnson,Libby Goldstein,Judy Henderson,Craig and Lisa Mae Fincannon.

5."Nashville" is also back and the first episodes are very good.This show shows the real force of great cast,with talents like Connie Britton,Hayden Panettiere,Powers Boothe,Charles Esten and Ed Amatrudo. They pull the weight and save the story that sometimes lacks imagination.Sam Palladio is also good but Clare Bowen not so much.Oliver Hudson is a very welcome addition.

Casting director Jeanie Bacharach.

6."Hart of Dixie" is a shining example of how great cast can save an average show.They are an excellent group with enough quirky faces,handsome men and irritating characters.In a homogenous cast my favorites are Jaime King and Cress Williams.

Casting directors : Molly Lopata,Liz Martinez-Nelson,Erica Berger,great work.

7."Downton Abbey", last but certainly not the least,is one of those television products that every network in the world would like to have.The charm of British upper classes has sold all over the world,this highly refined soap is one of the best UK imports in recent years.The cast is almost flawless,the legends like Maggie Smith rubbing shoulders with exquisite supporting actors Kevin Doyle or Rob James Collier.The Downton cast is simply superb and they keep bringing  in great new faces,like the young Lily James.

All the opulence of British and Irish acting talents can be savoured indefinitely in this perfect tv product.

Casting directors : Jill Trevellick,Daniel Hubbard.