Category Archives: Television

Review/Recap: Helstrom S1E3 “The One Who Got Away”

The previous episode of Helstrom left us with a very possessed, after being bitten by the skull, Chris. He kills the brother of the serial killer that Ana made commit suicide in the pilot when he comes looking for answers to his accomplice/sibling’s death. We also found out that mom really loves Ana, and the dark force that the siblings have been hunting from both ends is their father. Those big reveals and changes leave us with a lot to look forward to in Helstrom S1E3 “The One Who Got Away” and the build up was worth it because it gets you even more invested in the episodes that are going to follow.

Helstrom S1E3 "The One Who Got Away"

The One Who Got Away: The demon inhabiting mom’s body lets the siblings know that their Dad is back and he’s going after the one who got away. Ana is convinced that the one who got away is her and she’s scared. But, Gabriella’s research leads them to a victim of her fathers who got away. Her name is Zoe and it turns out that despite the horrible things that happened to her, including being burned alive, she managed to survive and has been living in secret at her sisters until Ana, Gabriella, and Daimon come to call. Zoe’s sister pretends to be her and sees this as a way to enact revenge on the little girl who led her sister into a trap, putting Ana in danger in the same way Ana put her sister in danger.

Helstrom S1E3 "The One Who Got Away"

Daddy’s Home: Zoe’s sister gets what she wants, sort of, when she leads Ana into an abandoned building but, she also gets something she didn’t expect. The person who is supposed to get her revenge for her sister is the person who did the horrible things to her sister in the first place, and when he turns on her and kills her, she dies not knowing the whole story. Ana goes toe to toe with dear old dad solo and jumps out of the building to get away from him because, this isn’t the dad she knew, he’s a suped-up version of him with a whole lot of new tricks and powers up his sleeve.

Helstrom S1E3 "The One Who Got Away"

Episode MVP: Ana! No question. Sydney Lemmon portrays her with such conviction, talent, grace, and heart that you forget she isn’t a “real” person. It’s impossible not to want to give her a hug and tell her it wasn’t her fault and that she was just a child and should let go of all that guilt. Her character went through the wringer this episode and you felt every moment of anguish, pain, and fear right along with her. If she was to win an Emmy based on this episode alone, I wouldn’t be mad at it. The way she fought her dad off with such ferocity through her fear and how she broke down in front of her brother almost immediately afterward is the stuff that true character development and amazing acting chops make legends of and I’m here for it.

Overall: Helstrom S1E3 “The One Who Got Away” doesn’t tell us what happened to Chris but, there was so much other awesomeness going on, I didn’t mind that loose end being left hanging, in fact, I kind of forgot about it. The writers seem to be very capable and I’m sure they will double back to that string at a later episode. This episode filled in a few more blanks about the siblings’ dad, their mom, the Caretaker, and Hastings. We learn about the things that Ana was forced to do, to survive, as a child under her dad’s murderous roof and we can see how it impacts her today. The story was very Ana and her trauma centered and I liked it. I also love learning about Hastings and Caretaker’s friendship and the private very human battle that Hastings has been fighting on her own. There was a lot of heart in Helstrom S1E3 “The One Who Got Away” and it aided in me becoming bonded and fully invested in the characters and the story. I can’t wait to see what happens next and make sure that Ana is okay.

Overall Rating: 9.7

Channing Dungey Named Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group

CHANNING DUNGEY

Channing Dungey has been named Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group starting her tenure at the Studio early next year. Dungey will report to Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group. Dungey will succeed Peter Roth who will be stepping down from his Studio responsibilities running the TV Group and its operating divisions in early 2021.

Warner Bros. Television Group is part of WarnerMedia’s new Studios and Networks Group which aligns the Company’s content-focused teams, bringing together the WB Pictures Group, HBO and HBO Max, WBTV, DC, kids/young adults/classics (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM, Cartoon Network Studios, WB Animation), TBS, TNT, TruTV, Wizarding World, consumer products, experiences, and gaming, and offers the unique opportunity for these divisions to work together across titles, brands and franchises. The Studios and Networks Group represents an unmatched collection of world-class brands and content creators.

Dungey most recently served as Vice President of Original Series at Netflix. During that time, she played a part in bringing David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to Netflix, as well as championing a number of new overall producing deals with talent, including Regina King, Mara Brock Akil, Bill Prady, Michael Green, and Gina Rodriguez.  She shepherded such high-profile series as Self Made: Inspired By The Life of Madam CJ Walker, starring Octavia Spencer, the Hilary Swank starrer Away, and two eagerly anticipated series from prolific Shonda Rhimes: the romantic period drama Bridgerton, and a yet-to-be-titled series inspired by the life of real-life conwoman Anna Delvey. She was also involved in the acquisition of Darren Starr’s series Emily In Paris, which recently debuted on the service. 

Prior to that, she served as president of ABC Entertainment, overseeing all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC primetime and late-night. During her tenure, she shepherded a wide variety of successful programming, including the hit drama The Good Doctor, and the successful return of American Idol. ABC was the most social network on air under her leadership, raising platforms for series such as black-ishHow to Get Away with Murder and The Goldbergs, and helping reinvigorate long-running series such as Grey’s Anatomy.

Dungey joined the network’s drama development department in June 2009, during which time she developed and launched such hit series as ScandalQuanticoMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., American Crime and Once Upon a Time. Prior to that, she oversaw development and acquisition of drama programming for ABC Studios, where her slate included Shondaland’s Private Practice, and CBS’s long-running drama Criminal Minds, among many others.

Dungey’s experience in entertainment spans both television and film. She partnered with Pamela Post, and formed Dexterity Pictures, a production partnership focused on making both studio and independent films, as well as developing television series. She also served as president of Material, a film production company with a first-look deal at Warner Bros. Prior to that, she served for five years as a Warner Bros. production executive, helping to develop and supervise a diverse range of commercially successful, critically acclaimed films.

Dungey, who graduated magna cum laude from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, has been a visiting professor at the school and serves on the school’s Executive Board. She is also a founding and current board member of Step Up, and a board member of Children’s Institute. Dungey is a Los Angeles member of BAFTA and serves on the Motion Picture Television Foundation Board of Governors.

Review/Recap: Helstrom S1E2 “Viaticum”

HELSTROM S1E2 “VIATICUM”

Helstrom S1E2 “Viaticum” starts off filling in a little bit more of the siblings’ backstory and gives some much-needed info on their family dynamic and shared family trauma. The family side of this dark supernatural drama is only part of the story in the show and in this episode. No sooner than the full family reunion kicks off we find ourselves drawn back into the mystery of the demon who’s inhabiting mom’s body and what it’s after.

HELSTROM S1E2 “VIATICUM”

Family Affair: After a decades-long absence Ana finally gets a one one one with her mom. In an attempt to “connect” she slaps her mother coaxing out a telekinetic attack that flings her and Dr. Hasting across the room. Daimon and Ana come to verbal blows and bring up a lot of family history after Ana’s visit with her mom and the slap that followed. There’s a lot of sibling bickering that seems realistic and rings true. There’s a lot of pain and jealousy and it’s nice to see the show showcase a real family dynamic with compassion and honesty.

The Big Bad: A man inhabited by the demon’s henchman gets picked up by a Good Samaritan who repays his kindness with a ruthless attack. Ana’s associate is trying to work out the provenance of an axe when he finds himself face to face with the skull that the demon sent his possessed acolytes to find. Of course, her partner lies to the Caretaker about being in possession of the skull, even though it was whispering in a wild old language when he was checking out the axe. I’m a fan of the way the show drops breadcrumbs in each episode about what the demon is up to, it builds suspense and keeps the viewer invested in what happens next.

HELSTROM S1E2 “VIATICUM”

Overall: So far the show isn’t perfect, it’s a slow burn on a long wick but, it’s pretty damn close. Helstrom S1E2 “Viaticum” builds on the tension and story from the last one. It’s well written like the pilot, beautifully shot, wonderfully acted and the directing is top-notch. I like the way the show highlights relationships between people and families, the ones you are bound to by blood, and the ones who choose you. We learned in the pilot that Daimon had Dr. Hastings. In this episode, we find out that Ana had the Caretaker when she got a little older. We also learn that there are two different factions who have been keeping the siblings apart for unknown reasons. There’s a lot of mystery going on in this show and while we don’t get a lot of supernatural power showcasing we do get a good story. The build-up to the full power blast that we are expecting to come at some point this season seems like a fun gamble that I hope is worth it. But, if I don’t get it, I won’t be too disappointed because the story is good enough so far that it’s still worth it to watch,

Review/Recap : Helstrom S1E1 “Mother’s Little Helpers”

Helstrom

Kicking off the first episode of Helstrom, n Portland, Oregon, Saint Teresa’s in under attack. In Salem, Oregon Sister Gabriella and Daimon have come to call on Mr. Cavallo and his wife who is dealing with an attack of their own from their demon-possessed child. After a few minutes alone with the kid, Damion realizes that the kid isn’t possessed just crying out for attention, and calls his bluff by showing him his power, setting the stage for a supernatural Marvel show that could possibly give us everything that New Mutants could never.

The Run Down: It’s 2020 so obviously I’m naturally afraid of anything that might bring back the murder hornet, so when the escaped Saint Teresa patients and the rogue guard make their way to a crypt in the City of the Dead and decide to open it up for the lolz, I get a little nervous. While Daimon is on the hunt for the escapees and wants to stop their plans, his sister Ana is working on things for the other end as she tries to find out why someone broke into the City of the Dead in the first place and what kind of demon they unleashed. Sister Gabriella is tired of being kept in the dark and her insistence on being kept in the loop she can report back to the Vatican might get her in more trouble than she can handle.

Helstrom

A Family Affair: Helstrom focuses on a family. This episode introduces some of the major players. Daimon, Ana, and their mother. In the first half of the episode, we get to meet them and see what each of them is bringing to the table. Ana has a side hustle where she hunts serial killers and uses her powers to kill them in a way that looks like natural causes, Daimon uses his power to fight demons, and mom is possessed by a demon who is up to something sinister. We are also introduced to Dr. Hastings who raised Daimon to fight demons on Earth but didn’t get to raise Ana, who still grew up to fight another kind of demon, the human kind who are mortal and still your everyday kind of normal monster.

Helstrom

Best Scene: The backstory montage complete with the tear-jerking follow up Ana and Daimon separation scene. It is well done, emotion-evoking, and done in a way that fills the viewer in on most of what they need to know to catch them up if they’ve never read or heard of the comics. We see the mother’s torment at the hands of the demon and her isolation, Sister Gabriella learning about the family history, Ana working on her side of the case, and Daimon trying to figure out what big bad is being set free and hoping to find a way to save her mother.

First Impressions: This was a well thought out, neatly packaged first episode that gave off a Dresden Files tv show vibe minus the campiness. There are touches of a procedural mixed with supernatural fun that gives you a story to follow and adds to the suspense. Every moment in the first episode builds up perfectly to the end scene where the siblings finally reunite and since everything fits together seamlessly you get the feeling like you’re about to embark on an epic journey with them. The show is dark in nature but, doesn’t take itself too seriously or lean into the campiness of the implausible situations that the characters find themselves in. The writers manage to find a happy medium where you get an otherworldly environment that feels based in reality. The show has just enough of the source material to keep the fans of the comic happy but, enough nuance and story arc to bring in people who have never heard of Helstrom. There is a hold back in the first episode that I hope they handle in future episodes, the reasons behind the sibling’s separation isn’t made clear in the first episode, nor is their paternal side fully brought up. I find it to be an interesting thing to tease by not go into because in some ways it adds more to the mystery. In other ways, it feels like a bit of a plot hole in a show that seems to have a huge story to tell and a lot to dig into. Overall I found the episode to be well crafted and enough of a taste to keep me around to see what happens next. I found myself invested in the story and the heart of it all, the characters were well written and the acting gave them enough life that they feel real.

Overall: 8.2

Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman Peter Roth to Step Down in Early 2021

Peter Roth

It was announced today that the Chairman of the Warner Bros. Television Group Peter Roth will be stepping down from his Studio responsibilities in early 2021. The announcement was made by Ann Sarnoff, Chair and CEO, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group.

The announcement comes as WarnerMedia charts a new direction for their production and distribution. The company has pivoted to be more direct to consumer opening up new and stronger digital distribution channels. The company has also realigned numerous divisions consolidating them or bringing them more aligned together. It’s likely these changes lead to the decision.

Warner Bros. Television Group is part of WarnerMedia’s new Studios and Networks Group which aligns the Company’s content-focused teams, bringing together the WB Pictures Group, HBO and HBO Max, WBTV, DC, kids/young adults/classics (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM, Cartoon Network Studios, WB Animation), TBS, TNT, TruTV, Wizarding World, consumer products, experiences, and gaming, and offers the unique opportunity for these divisions to work together across titles, brands and franchises. The Studios and Networks Group represents an unmatched collection of world-class brands and content creators.

Roth has been responsible for signing a number of landmark exclusive overall deals with key producers such as Chuck Lorre, Greg Berlanti, J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath’s Bad Robot Productions, Ava DuVernay, John Wells, Damon Lindelof, Mindy Kaling, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Elizabeth Banks, Bruno Heller, Michael Patrick King, Steve Molaro, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Bill Lawrence, Bryan Cranston, David Nutter, Rob Thomas, Matt Miller, and Robert Zemeckis, among others.

He joined the company in March 1999 as President, Warner Bros. Television. During his more than two decades atop the Studio’s television production business, 32 scripted primetime series developed under his leadership have successfully reached the coveted 100-episode milestone. Among them: The Big Bang Theory (279 episodes, the longest-running multicamera comedy in the history of television),Two and a Half MenThe West WingGilmore Girls, Smallville, Gossip Girl, Shameless, Nip/Tuck,  The Mentalist, Pretty Little Liars, Arrow, Mom, The Closer, Fringe, The Middle, George Lopez, The Flash, Mike & Molly, Person of Interest, Supernatural, Third Watch, The Vampire Diariesand One Tree Hill.

Roth came to Warner Bros. Television after having served as President, Fox Entertainment. While there, he was responsible for the development and programming of the Emmy® Award–winning Ally McBeal, That ’70s Show and Family Guy. Prior to working at the network, he served as  President of Production, Twentieth Network Television (currently 20th Century Fox Television Productions), where he oversaw the development and sales of The X FilesPicket Fences, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Practice and King of the Hill. 

Prior to joining Twentieth Television Corp., Roth was President of Stephen J. Cannell Productions, where, during a six-year tenure, he was involved with the creation and sale of such critically acclaimed series as 21 Jump Street and The Commish.

He previously spent 10 years at the ABC Television Network, where he began his television career in 1976 as Manager of Children’s Programs. He was promoted that same year to Director and was responsible for ABC’s number one-rated Saturday morning schedule. In June 1979, he was named Director of Current Primetime Programs and was promoted to Vice President, Current Primetime Series, in November 1981, overseeing such classic shows as Happy DaysLaverne & ShirleyMoonlighting and Dynasty.

Roth currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Peabody Awards, the Los Angeles Board of Governors of The Paley Center for Media, and the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for the Television Academy.

The Mane 6 are Back in My Little Pony: Pony Life

My: Little Pony: Pony Life

Good things come in small packages! The Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie – are back with an all-new series featuring brand-new adorable character designs inspired by Japanese Chibi-style animation in My: Little Pony: Pony Life, premiering Saturday, November 7 at 11:30/10:30c on Discovery Family. The eOne produced series will also stream live and on-demand on Discovery Family GO, the network’s TV Everywhere app.

Featuring the same iconic voice actors who made the Mane 6 famous in the mega-hit My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the new My: Little Pony: Pony Life series is a departure from the Equestria that viewers were introduced to in 2010. Featuring a more playful tone combined with completely reimagined characters, My: Little Pony: Pony Life explores the funny side of friendship set in Sugarcube Corner – the center of the world and home away from home for the ponies. Here, Pinkie Pie serves up frosted cupcakes to the best customers in the world –  her friends! Together, the Mane 6 run into all sorts of cupcake conundrums, delicious disasters, and magical mishaps. And thanks to a mysterious source of magical potions, everyday adventures are about to get really ridiculous!

Each 11-minute bite-sized episode of My: Little Pony: Pony Life features playful stories grounded in modern-kid dilemmas with over-the-top humor and tons of magic. Viewers should expect the unexpected with dialed-up personalities, energy, and tone. Plus, each pony now has a signature “adorability” power that boosts their personality in an outrageously wacky way! In the series premiere episodes titled “Princess Probz & The Best of the Worst,” the ponies help Pinkie Pie audition for a televised cooking competition called the Royal Jelly Juggernaut. But when the rest of the Mane 6 are caught in a sticky situation, Pinkie Pie has to audition all on her own. Later, Rainbow Dash’s competitive spirit is put to the test when a new pony challenges her to a contest unlike any other: being the best of the worst!

Marvel and Hulu’s MODOK Gets a First Look

Revealed via EW during New York Comic-Con’s Metaverse, the upcoming stop motion MODOK series has delivered a first look. The series is one of the surviving Hulu Marvel shows, the other being the upcoming Helstrom. MODOK stars Patton Oswalt who stars as the Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing and follows him during his off-hours.

The cast includes MODOK’s equally-giant-headed daughter, Melissa (voiced by Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Melissa Fumero), son Lou (Parks & Recreation‘s Ben Schwartz), and wife Jodie (Lucifer‘s Aimee Garcia). And what’s a show without a rival? That’d be Austin Van Der Sleet (Beck Bennett of SNL).

The show was created by Oswalt and Jordan Blum and animated by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the folks behind Robot Chicken.

MODOK was to be part of a series of four animated shows on Hulu. The others were Howard the Duck, Hit-Monkey, and Tigra, and Dazzler. They’d eventually come together into a group called The Offenders. Much of Marvel’s Hulu plans have been scrapped with MODOK being one of the few shows left standing.

Green Lantern Gets a Greenlight at HBO Max

Green Lantern Corps

It’s a bright night for Green Lantern as HBO Max has given the series an order Variety is reporting. That’s not surprising. The big news is who the show will be focused on as the cast of characters and those that wear the Green Lantern ring is varied and large.

The show will feature numerous Lanterns including Guy Gardner, Jessica Cruz, Simon Baz, and Alan Scott — Earth’s first Green Lantern, and many more. That’s a diverse cast as it features a white man, woman, Muslim man, and Gay man as the focus. The series will also feature other Lanterns like Kilowag and introduce new Lanterns to the Corps.

The series will feature 10 one-hour episodes. It will be co-written and executive produced by Seth Grahame-Smith and Marc Guggenheim, with Grahame-Smith serving as showrunner.

HBO Max is going heavy on DC properties. It not only has inherited the shows from the “defunct” DC Universe app but also has series spinning out of The Batman and The Suicide Squad in the works. Coming from DC Universe is Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn, and Titans. There’s also Strange Adventures and Justice League Dark somewhere in development.

Robert Kirkman and Skybound’s Invincible Gets its First Trailer

After a lot of anticipation, the first trailer for the animated Invincible series is here!

Based on the comic series created by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker, the series revolves around 17-year-old Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who’s just like every other guy his age — except his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). But as Mark develops powers of his own, he discovers his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems.

Invincible comes to Prime Video in 2021.

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