Doux News: November 23, 2014

This group probably looks weird if you never watched
Highlander, but trust me, it was from a pretty cool episode.
This week: Highlander lives forever -- Bad news first -- And the good news -- This week in casts -- This week in cats

Who wants to live forever? The Highlander producers, obviously

According to The Wrap, the never ending attempts to revive the Highlander franchise might include some serious star power if they can talk and/or bribe Tom Cruise into joining a reboot of the original 1986 movie. Cruise wouldn't be the lead; he'd be playing MacLeod's mentor, the Juan Ramirez role previously played by Sean Connery.

Every time there is Highlander news, I become exasperated because I seem to have a love/hate relationship with the franchise. I reviewed all six seasons of the television series, which started poorly but eventually became pretty darned good, and all of the movies, most of which were truly awful. I keep ranting about the Highlander franchise because it seems obvious to me that the producers have never understood what worked about their own property. Highlander the series was best when it was about the complicated and unusual lives and personalities of the immortals. What didn't work on Highlander was centering episodes and movies around mindless action/adventure and sword fights. And the thing is, the focus of nearly all of the movies has been mindless action/adventure and sword fights.

Let me add that there's nothing wrong with action/adventure and sword fights when they're done well and are complemented by a good story. The original 1986 movie was a lot of fun, mostly because it heavily featured Clancy Brown as a completely over the top immortal villain.

But if these reboots continue to shortchange us in the story department, they're going to keep failing in their attempts to revive the franchise. And I'm done now. At least until the next news story about a Highlander reboot comes out.

Bad news first

-- Noted director Mike Nichols has died. He is probably best known for the movies The Graduate, The Birdcage, Silkwood and Working Girl.

-- Taryn Manning, who plays Pennsatucky on Orange is the New Black, was arrested for threatening a friend. Really, life doesn't have to imitate art.

-- Still no freaking word on the renewal or cancellation of Continuum. I just know the news, when we finally get it, is going to be bad. I still have seven episodes of season two to review, and I'm losing heart.

-- After more women have come forward with accusations against Bill Cosby for rapes and assaults that occurred in the sixties, seventies and eighties, NBC has decided against launching Cosby's brand new show, Netflix has postponed a Cosby special they were going to air this month, and TV Land just pulled reruns of The Cosby Show. (This Daily Beast article has a bio of Cosby and a history of the charges.) Discovering this level of darkness behind a beloved television icon is disgusting and sad. It's even sadder that allegations by women against Cosby were ignored, suppressed and bought off for decades.

And the good news

-- Early this week, it was announced that there would be an American adaptation of Luther on Fox with Idris Elba on board, but only as a producer. And everyone went, come on. Luther without Idris Elba, when he's the reason we watch? So yay for news later this week that there will be a fourth season of the original Luther with the original Idris Elba.

-- Justified returns for its final season on Tuesday, January 20. TV Line has an exclusive glimpse.

-- Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel, will premiere on Sunday, February 8, 2015 and will be followed by a second episode the following Monday night. I loved Breaking Bad from beginning to end, but I'm not sure how I feel about Better Call Saul. Maybe it'll be wonderful. Guess we'll see.

-- So I just thought this was interesting: The Walking Dead was the most searched TV show on Google during the month of October. Wouldn't it be nice if some of those searches brought people here to Doux Reviews?

This week in casts

-- Sean Bean will star as a detective in a six-part television drama, The Frankenstein Chronicles, for ITV. It starts filming in January.

-- Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) will produce and star in a sci-fi movie called Convergence, which doesn't appear to have anything to do with the trilogy of books entitled Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant.

-- Yusuf Gatewood, who is currently playing the continuing role of Finn Mikaelson/Vincent in The Originals, has just been promoted to cast member.

-- Merrin Dungey from Alias has been cast as Ursula on Once Upon a Time.

-- William Shatner will have a guest arc on Haven's fifth season. That's... fascinating.

This week in cats

Did you know that there are 200 or so feral cats who live at Disneyland? Cats have lived there since it opened back in the fifties, doing their job of keeping the rodent population down. These cats keep a low profile and mostly hide from the tourists, but they have their own web site and Instagram account. Of course, The Mouse itself is not affiliated with either account. What would you expect from a mouse? Although it's lovely that they've been doing the trap-neuter-release thing with these cats for so many years.

And finally, a very helpful cat who does not live at Disneyland, helping his human rake autumn leaves.

Billie Doux is the founder of Doux Reviews and has been reviewing her favorite shows for a ridiculously long time. More Billie Doux.


sunbunny said...

You're not a *true* Disneyland aficionado until you've seen a cat. Mine was on Storybook Land (this little boat ride that takes you through a miniature fairy tale land) and there was a large, very fluffy (and strangely clean) orange tabby asleep in the "fields" looking very much like a cat monster come to crush the homes of innocent and tiny storybook folk. (Obviously, he needed a nap before he got to the crushing)

mazephoenix said...

Yay for more Luther. They should never do it without Idris Elba. He is the show.

ChrisB said...

The video made me laugh out loud. I spent part of yesterday trying to rake leaves with some help from my canine brother, Buddy. I would get them into a pile; he would scatter them to the wind. Eventually, I decided that it was more fun to watch him than to get the job done. Our mutual mother was, shall we say, less than pleased that the only chore I had been given was not done before I left for work...


Jess Lynde said...

For those who don't click on the embedded links: The Americans will also be returning to FX in January, on Wednesday 1/28 at 10:00. Yea!

Also, the night that Better Call Saul premieres is the same night The Walking Dead returns from its winter hiatus. Sandwiching it between the TWD return and The Talking Dead should get a good-sized audience to check it out. I'm not sure I'm down for this prequel series, but since Jonathan Banks will be returning as Mike, I'll at least give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mythos! One of the most interesting characters in genre TV, wasn't he? And the show was fun, especially in SS 3-4. Actually, I don't mind a coupla swordfights now and then. The biggest problem with the plot is that immortality stays unexplained, probably can't be explained (newborn babies appearing out of nowhere and so on). Still I'd be happy to meet old friend Highlander on TV again.

Gavrielle said...

I was completely enchanted by the video and also by the Disney cats' website - I had no idea! I will be looking out for them on my next visit in Feb. Although I doubt I'll be as lucky as sunbunny and see one in Storybook Land, which has got to be the most hilarious cat setting in the park:).

nancy namaste said...

The cat video is adorable. Ad for Highlander, I will cherish my memories of the good episodes METHOS but have no hope for anything more. The last series before they turned it into the "Girl of the Week" in their futile search for a female Highlander was the best. Valentine Pelka and the 4 horsemen and METHOS...The answer to continuing Highlander was staring the producers right in the face and I will never understand why they didn't continue the series with Peter Wingfield and his 5000 years of adventures. Let Adrian Paul go off and be beautiful somewhere else. Wingfield brought such quirky, interesting fun to his character that it could have carried the series for a couple more years. The pathetic excuse with Liz Gracen was just that - lifeless and pathetic. I won't go see any movie that Tom Cruise is in so ...that's a wash for me.

Anonymous said...

In reply to nancy namaste
Fully agree with you (about the producers having made a huge mistake), and thanks for correction - can't believe it myself, but I forgot how my favourite character's name was spellt! Memory's going ...

Anonymous said...

The Cosby allegations are reminiscent of the Jimmy Saville case in England; except that Saville.was a.child predictor. Years and years of victims not being believed, nor the rapist being curtailed in anyway.