Danny Strong, Superstar
Buffy regular Danny Strong has yet another accomplishment to be proud of: just a few years after his Emmy win for the script of Game Change (the Sarah Palin movie starring Julianne Moore), Strong has a new film out: The Butler, starring Forest Whittaker as a man who butled in the White House for 34 years. The film was released in the US on August 16th, and has received positive reviews.
Scientists have discovered a new mammal in the order carnivora, genus adorabilis: the olinguito. The olinguito weighs about 2 pounds, is about 14 inches long, and has a long, cat-like tail. It lives in the cloud forests of Columbia and Ecuador, and is very excited to meet humanity, convert us to its Nietzschean doctrine of the über-olinguito, and eat more figs:
|Image Courtesy of the Smithsonian|
LA: Mob City
I’ve mentioned Frank Darabont’s upcoming series about Los Angeles in the late 1940s and 1950s before, and it’s back in the news this week. Originally called LA Noir (after the book by John Buntin on which it is based) and then Lost Angels (which is a silly pun), the show’s new title is Mob City, which sounds like a bad video game.
Darabont may be best known for his widely-publicized departure from The Walking Dead, but he has a long resume of excellent literary adaptations, from Frankenstein to The Shawshank Redemption. Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with post-World War II Los Angeles—just ask James Ellroy. The show will premiere on December 4th and will definitely get reviewed here.
Escape from Las Vegas
Arrow producer Greg Berlanti and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter author Seth Green Smith have been tapped to create a new series for NBC called Paradise. The show is set in late twenty-first-century Las Vegas, which has become a maximum-security prison. Here’s the blurb from Deadline, which nails the cheese factor perfectly: “Matthew Turner, M.D., is its newest inmate, convicted of a murder he didn’t commit. Desperate to get back to his family and prove his innocence, Matthew will have to find a strength he never knew he had, and stay alive long enough to do the one thing no inmate has ever done: escape.” Zing!
From Dusk Till Dawn, on TV
Robert Rodriguez will write, produce, and direct a TV adaptation of his 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn, about two brothers stuck with a bunch of vampires and Harvey Keitel. Although I have nothing but affection for the film (it’s got George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino!), I cannot imagine this series being any good, since “e-gads, vampires!” isn’t a plot but rather an excuse for grindhouse gore. But perhaps Rodriguez—who has done some awesome work and some truly silly work—will prove me wrong.
This Week in Casts
• Jim Beaver will guest-star on a mid-October episode of Revolution. That episode, “One Riot, One Ranger” will be written by Ben Edlund.
• The Parks and Rec showrunners have finally admitted that Tatiana Maslany plays the roles of Leslie Knope, Tom Haverford, and Ron Swanson. They will add a fourth role to Maslany’s responsibilities in two upcoming episodes; she will play a love interest for Tom.
• Stephen Moyer will play Captain von Trapp in NBC’s live holiday production of The Sound of Music.
• Natalie Dormer will play Cressida (part of the documentary crew) in the third installment of the Hunger Games movie trilogy, Mockingjay.
• Ben Affleck will be the new Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.
Everyone’s favorite dead guy has a starring role in a new series. TNT’s Legends, which will premiere in 2014, has something to do with going undercover and losing one’s identity. (Shades of the Bourne movies and The Departed?) No word yet on when Bean’s character will die, although we know it has to happen eventually. In the meantime, here’s a trailer that shows a few glimpses of Veronica Mars star Tina Majorino and her very cute short haircut:
This Week in Pandas
• Taiwanese panda cub Yuan Zai has been reunited with her mother. Adorable video here.
• Not to be outdone, American panda Mei Xiang, who lives at the National Zoo, gave birth to a cub this week. The spokesperson for the zoo said, “Our expansive panda team has worked tirelessly analyzing hormones and behavior since March, and as a result of their expertise and our collaboration with scientists from around the world we are celebrating this birth.” I want to be on a panda team.
Game of Thrones
Two news items of equal importance for Game of Thrones fans this week. First: Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) revealed in her local newspaper that she adopted the dog who played her direwolf Lady. Second, George R.R. Martin has released an excerpt of a story that is a prequel to Song of Ice and Fire. The story is set during the Targaryen Civil War.
After last week’s anti-Belize comments on Breaking Bad, the Belizean government has issued an invitation for an all-expenses-paid vacation to Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, creator Vince Gilligan, and six other stars of the show.
I would like to take this opportunity to insult Belize. Stupid Belize! May I have my vacation now, please?
Meanwhile, Anna Gunn has bigger problems than wondering which sarong to pack. The Breaking Bad star published an article in the New York Times this weekend discussing fan hatred for her character and how it sometimes spills into hatred for her—including a few online death threats. Read her ruminations on why people hate her so much here. I think she's right.
The Agents of D.O.U.X. not only read every comment posted on the site, we track the "Recent Comments" right-hand sidebar, which only gives the first 1-3 words of the comment to avoid spoilage. When we’re lucky, the result is “comment poetry”: short free-form verses that sometimes make a strange sort of e.e. cummings sense. Juliette found this ditty earlier this week:
Love this show.
We can stop.
This Week in Whedon
Joss Whedon, who is featured in this week's Entertainment Weekly, told the magazine that his new show SHIELD was inspired by the Buffy episode “The Zeppo”: "This is basically a TV series of ‘The Zeppo,’ which was a very deliberate deconstruction of a Buffy episode in order to star the person who mattered the least. The people who are ignored are the people I’ve been writing as my heroes from day one. There’s a world of superheroes and superstars, they’re celebrities, and that’s a complicated world — particularly complicated for people who don’t have the superpowers, the disenfranchised. Now obviously there’s going to be hijinks and hilarity and sex and gadgets and all the things that made people buy the comics. But that’s what the show really is about to me, and that’s what Clark Gregg embodies: the Everyman.”
Nonetheless, “The Zeppo” didn’t make Joss’s list of his Top Three Episodes. According to EW (which I guess I’ll just buy in hardcopy this week, since they’re being very parsimonious about posting this stuff online), “Once More With Feeling,” “The Body,” and Firefly’s series finale “Objects in Space” are his three favorites.
EW also has a clip from SHIELD. You have to have a Facebook account to “like” the post, and then you can watch it. Since I don’t have a Facebook account, I’m filled with impotent rage. Stupid Belize!