If you enjoy pomp, ceremony, pageantry, fashion and glimpses of august English institutions doing what they do best, Friday's wedding was wonderfully satisfying. The perfectly polished horse-drawn carriages on the Mall, the sweet outfits of the pageboys and bridesmaids, Kate's classy gown, the trumpet fanfares, the grandeur of the tree-lined Westminster Abbey -- it was all heavenly for this Anglophile.
Even people who don't normally go for that sort of thing were grudgingly impressed. "Nicely done, monarchy!" Time's James Poniewozik tweeted.
Grab your fezzes and Jammie Dodgers; The Doctor is back for more mind-boggling, timey-wimey fun!
It's been four months since we last saw Amy, Rory, and our beloved Doctor zipping through time and space and bending our little nerd brains with perplexing plots and paradoxes. And judging by the first half of the Season 6 premiere, 'Doctor Who' is making up for lost time by cranking the drama (and the complexity level) up to eleven.
It was a challenge, but not a chore, trying to keep up with all the tricky time–travel tidbits built into this incredibly compelling season opener. The tone of the episode grew gloomier and the characters grew more desperate as the minutes ticked on. But, luckily, 'The Impossible Astronaut' delivered a lively and joyous opening sequence before leading us down a very dark and strange path.
A lot of shocking and memorable stuff happened before the hour was over, but the opening sequence was one of my favorite parts of the premiere. It was funny and fast-paced, and the expert cinematography established an epic and cinematic tone, look and feel that, as far as I could tell, is new to 'Who.'
According to CBS, Biebs will reprise his Jason McCann role this February. In the episode, 'Targets of Obsession,' Bieber's character calls Nick (George Eads) to tell him he's in grave danger. The episode is set to air Thurs., Feb. 17.
In addition to his 'CSI' appearance, one (or many, depends on who you believe) of Bieber's songs will be sung by the cast of 'Glee' this February.
In other TV news ...
• It's official: Mary Murphy will be screeching on this season of 'So You Think You Can Dance.' Murphy's return to the dance series had been rumored for months, but Fox officially announced Murphy's return to the judges table at TCA. [TVLine]
• 'Glee' nail polish is heading to stores. Yes, 'Glee' nail polish. The colors from Sephora include 'Slushied' and 'Sue vs. Schue.' [Entertainment Weekly]
• Frank Darabont, Martin Scorsese and Beth McCarthy Miller are among the nominees for Directors Guild of America Awards. Another nominees include Ryan Murphy, Jack Bender and Steve Levitan. [Deadline Hollywood]
The two-hour finale and one-hour live reunion show for 'Survivor: Nicaragua' finally roll around after what has felt like a very long season. I'm still a fan of 'Survivor' but this latest batch of castaways certainly tested my patience. It's like they purposefully self-selected down to the most boring players. Maybe that's what watching 20 seasons of 'Survivor' does to people: convinces them to vote off strong personalities early. Note to Mark Burnett: fix this.
The judge went ahead and revealed it for them. Well done, judgey-wudgey. I can't wait to see how he handles next week's ax murder case. Something tells me I'd better whip out the ponchos left over from that Gallagher concert.
The judge refused to import an injunction against HarperCollins that would have prevented them from publishing a book that reveals The Stig's true identity in great detail. Upon hearing the judge's decision, HarperCollins issued a press release that definitively reveals his identity.
A strong word of warning: if you prefer to continue enjoying the mystery of The Stig's, er, mysteriousness, I strongly recommend that you do not read the rest of this story after the jump. All complaints about spoilers will be met with scorn and/or ridicule (possibly in that order, depending on how much energy we have at the time).
The series documents the lives of very young girls who are taking part in beauty pageants. And so we follow along in a world where -- for example -- nine-year-olds get fake tans. The amount of makeup and hairspray and glitter that is poured upon these girls surely defines comprehension. Which means that we have to ask this question ... is this a good thing?
Well, no. No; it probably isn't a good thing. And at least one mom seems to have an issue with all of this.
Claire -- the mother of contestant Sasha -- is a bit worried. "It's just more makeup than I've seen anyone wear before in my life," she says. She expresses a concern that these contests are "exploiting" the little girls, and really, it's pretty easy to agree with her.
On the current episode of the series, choir leader Gareth Malone reconnects with his students after a long absence, and gets to learn about how they are doing now. The kids seem to have been changed by their year-long experience in the singing group. "It was tough, hard, fun, sad," said one pupil. " ... If you just blow out different emotions that pop into your head -- probably every single one happened at some point, to someone in that choir."
During the reunion special, the students sing 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' by Simon and Garfunkel. These are some of the lyrics: "When you're weary/ Feeling small/ When tears are in your eyes /I will dry them all." It's a good message, and a message of friendship -- and also words that are entirely appropriate, considering the theme of the show.
The miniseries, starring 'Atonement's Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and 'The Office (UK)' vet Martin Freeman as Watson, transports Arthur Conan Doyle's classic characters to contemporary London, where they'll search for a clever killer who makes his murders look like suicides.
Head after the jump for the BBC's slick new promo to get an early taste of the new Holmes in action.
And who can blame them? First of all, this is NBC we're talking about, a network that would pull a show off-the air five minutes into its premiere episode if the ratings didn't please "Darth Zucker." Plus, 'Top Gear' isn't just an institution to gear junkies and "petrolheads." It's one of the most accessible and hilarious shows on television. Even if you drive a used 2001 Pontiac Sunfire and subsequently know nothing about good cars, you can still enjoy it just as much as the octane-brain who takes a brand new Gumpert Apollo to work.
Now The History Channel is taking a crack at rebuilding the show's stalled engine from scratch. I say give it a chance. Anything has the potential to be good if its heart is in the right place. But before you tell me to do something that would get your mouth washed out with soap and a Brillo pad by your mother, don't take my word for it. Take it from one of the show's upcoming stars.
This episode could best be called a new beginning for our favorite pepperpots. In typical indirect and obscure fashion, they try to perpetuate their race and destroy the universe, in that order. And for once, they even claim a victory over our favorite Time Lord.
A few years back, a bold co-production initiative was launched with Canada. So far, it's produced underwhelming ratings performers like 'Mental' and 'Defying Gravity.' Meanwhile, thanks to BBC America, US fans are falling in love with new UK shows, only to find ourselves frustrated when the powers-that-Beeb pull the plug. It's a lot like foreign fans of US material must feel when we cancel shows on them: powerless.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Most recently, BBC America finished running the first and second series of the BBC post-apocalyptic drama 'Survivors,' back-to-back. Before it finished, the BBC announced that they weren't going to commission any more episodes, due to slipping ratings in the UK. 'Survivors' wasn't failing miserably, but BBC programming doesn't get advertising revenue like shows in the US, so expectations are different.
I don't know if US ratings were considered for the show, but I know it was one of the more popular series on BBC America and that it has a pretty loyal and faithful following on both sides of the pond. Could US support have saved it?
Amy and the Doctor meet when Amy is just a child, and then several years later, after she has mythologized him for years, and felt disappointment that he has been gone for so long. Immediately, they are on strange footing. When she leaves with the Doctor, we see the wedding dress she left behind. This week, we'll get to see a it more of Amy, as she and the Doctor take the TARDIS for its first spin. We'll also get to see "Starship U.K." and some new villains, the "Smilers."
Matt Smith has only just taken the reigns of the title role in 'Doctor Who' and he is already slated to make a guest-appearance on the spin-off series 'The Sarah Jane Adventures,' according to the BBC Press Office. For those unaware, the spin-off follows the adventures of former 'Doctor Who' companion Sarah Jane Smith as played by Elisabeth Sladen.
Also joining them in the same episode is former 'Doctor Who' companion Jo Grant. She'll be played by Katy Manning, who is stepping into the role for the first time since 1973.
And to round out the news trifecta, the episode will be written by the creator of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' and the man responsible for bringing 'Doctor Who' back to television, Russell T. Davies. This would mark Davies' first time writing for the character of the Doctor since he left the series (and it could be argued that it's his first time writing for Smith's Doctor).
Mind you, Davies writing was never particularly impressive on the series in terms of science fiction. Davies' strength tends to be writing about relationships, and having the Doctor in a room with two of his ex-companions (which for the Doctor would be the equivalent of ex-girlfriends) is enough reason to tune in.
That said, the version of 'Hamlet' airing April 28 on PBS's 'Great Performances' (and appearing on DVD May 4) is not the good Doctor as Danish prince. There are flashes of that, especially in Hamlet's early scenes with Polonius (a masterful Oliver Ford Davies) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. That's where Tennant plays with a pitch-perfect blend of humor and cunning, spinning just short of out of control. And there is a beautiful sense of irony when Hamlet looks into the camera and says that time is out of join and it's his job to fix it.
Eleventh Hour. Eleventh Doctor. Ha ha. We get it.
Matt Smith comes out of the gate running. Literally. In his new regeneration, the Doctor doesn't even get time to catch his breath since he's dealing with his new companion Amy Pond as well as yet another alien that wants to destroy the Earth.
This was one of the best introductions to the Doctor ever and a strong start for the newest version of the program. I liked how Steven Moffat didn't use the old trope of post-regenerative trauma (which was used in the last regeneration to David Tennant) and simply presented Matt Smith's Doctor as a bit of a scatterbrain.
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