HBO has only teased the third season of The Newsroom in brief glimpses, offering little actual footage so far. But those wondering about the future of Will McAvoy and his team at News Night need wait no longer, as HBO has debuted the first real look at the show’s final season.
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An act of retaliation is under way. That’s nothing new for Sons of Anarchy, the FX show famous for doling out death sentences to beloved characters—except this bit of revenge is happening in between takes. It’s a September morning at Stevenson Ranch in California’s Santa Clarita Valley, and Charlie Hunnam is shooting a scene in which his character, Jax Teller, dodges gunfire from an angry redneck. After a break in the action, Hunnam delivers a quick and dirty punch to the arm of his costar Tommy Flanagan—payback for an earlier prank where Flanagan left a band of bruises on Hunnam’s bicep for fun. Hunnam runs for cover behind a gun-laden cart a few feet away from where EW stands. “I will find you!” Flanagan bellows. For a moment, there’s a temptation to rat him out. But as any Sons fan knows, you never, EVER rat.
When Sons of Anarchy debuted in 2008, the adrenalized drama was quickly dubbed “Sopranos on wheels,” thanks to its darkly complex portrait of the gunrunning club known as Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original (SAMCRO). But over the course of six seasons, fans began using “Hamlet on Harleys” to describe the Shakespearean drama of creator Kurt Sutter’s story about a son (Hunnam) who rises to lead his late father’s motorcycle club but can’t escape the grasp of his manipulative mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal). Now, as the show barrels toward its Dec. 9 finale, it’s earned the right to stand on its own. Sons may well go down as one of the most savage—and addictive—family dramas, even if the family is bonded by honor instead of blood. After all, in addition to TV’s fiercest matriarch, it features the most moving man-hugs (fan and onetime guest star Stephen King has crowned it the “best bro show ever”); the most brutal-but-beautiful montages (“ballets of death,” executive producer Paris Barclay likes to call them); and the only leading man with both the looks to land a Calvin Klein fragrance ad and the street cred to get props from tattooed fans in East L.A. (“You keep the hood safe on Tuesday nights,” one recently told him.)
That strange, special mix draws an average of 8.1 million viewers a week—an audience as loyal to the series as the members of SAMCRO are to their outlaw brothers. Blockbuster ratings and profitable merchandising (from branded bikinis to cigars) have made the show not just FX’s biggest hit but also its most valuable one. All eyes are now on the Men of Mayhem and Queen Gemma, with fans anxiously awaiting the answers to two looming questions: What’s going to happen when Jax finds out it was his mother who killed his wife with a carving fork to the head in one of the most gruesome deaths in TV history? And how will Sutter drive his series into the sunset? “I know how I want it to end,” says the showrunner. “I think the legacy is already out there: People have embraced the world. They love that they can have fun watching it, yet the next scene they can be bawling. If we can continue to do that, that’s really what I’ll be most proud of.” READ FULL STORY
A to Z lays out its hand in the opening minutes of the pilot. Narrator Katey Sagal explains that lead characters Andrew and Zelda “will date for 8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 1 hour. This television program is the comprehensive account of their relationship, from A to Z.” The show has an endgame in mind from the start and seems overly aware of its existence as a romantic comedy—those frequent (500) Days of Summer comparisons in recent months are more than apt.
While the show can’t quite live up to its predecessors in the initial outing, the first episode, “A is for Acquaintances,” is an incredible example of how the chemistry between two leads can carry a show that stumbles more often than not.
The pilot to Bad Judge feels off. That’s not unexpected for a show that’s already had two showrunners, a heavily revised first episode, and major cast alterations before the pilot has even premiered. Out of all of the behind-the-scenes calamity, though, comes a pilot that looks more like Frankenstein’s Monster than a half-hour comedy. It’s an episode that stitches together parts of completely different concepts in the hopes of making something cohesive, but instead delivers an episode nothing short of erratic.
In the patchwork of a pilot, Bad Judge is missing just about every key ingredient—coherent plotting, concrete characterization, and, most importantly, actual jokes.
Star Wars Rebels will offer fans of a galaxy far, far away the first glimpse into the future of the franchise. And Disney has enough confidence in the animated venture to renew the show before it has even premiered.
While Agent Grant Ward has only appeared briefly in the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., new casting indicates audiences haven’t seen the last of the S.H.I.E.L.D.-turned-Hydra agent. In fact, the show will be offering more insight into Ward’s troubled family history later this season.
American Horror Story mastermind Ryan Murphy delivered a surprise for fans today: He debuted the Freak Show main titles on his Twitter feed. Different from previous years, the credits are all stop-motion animation and give the AHS theme music a slight circus twist. They’re stunning—somewhat reminiscent of A Nightmare Before Christmas. The elaborate opener is not surprising given that Murphy has said that this is AHS‘ biggest year yet. READ FULL STORY
Venus Van Dam (Justified‘s Walton Goggins) has become a dear friend to Tig (Kim Coates) on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, and their relationship took another step in the Sept. 30 episode. “He’s got that twisted, twisted deal in his head, but that’s pure care and love for her in that sort of protective way,” Coates says of the characters’ first kiss. Goggins tells EW about the emotional return—and teases Venus’ next appearance in the final season’s tenth episode. READ FULL STORY
The opening act of a TV show needs to grab the audience, give them a reason to stay after the opening credits roll. Even more so with a pilot, the first scene can set the tone for the entire show—and help a viewer decide whether a show is right or wrong.
Manhattan Love Story’s first scene is disappointing—on the verge of offensive—as it introduces two leads who will likely fall in love, and who the show hopes viewers will fall in love with, too. The problem is from minute one, the familiar Love Story makes it a chore to feel anything but disgust or pity for the two leads.
In our fall TV preview, we broke down each day into what to watch live and what to DVR. Here’s your Fall Sunday night game plan:
- Lily Rabe's 'AHS: Asylum' nun in 'Freak Show'
- 'Survivor' eliminated contestant is...
- Suge Knight, Katt Williams arrested
- Kyra Sedgwick in HBO comedy about ex-nun
- Metallica residency on 'Late Late Show'
- Netflix: See what's new for November
- Kurt Sutter back at 'SOA,' minus appendix
- 'Avengers,' 'Black Panther': Marvel 'Phase 3'
- 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' peek on 'SHIELD'
- 'Agent Carter' gets its first teaser