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Tag Archives: HBO

Getting a Divorce with Sarah Jessica Parker: Watch the First Long Tease

23 Jun

Middle fingers are raised in the first long teaser for Sarah Jessica Parker’s new HBO show Divorce and I’m looking forward to this for a number of reasons. Catastrophe star and co-creator Sharon Horgan is the creative force behind this new SJP venture; this alone makes this a highly anticipated project as Catastrophe has taken the relationship comedy and exploration of parenting to new heights. SJP and costuming is another box ticker and forget the mess that was the Sex and the City movies as the show is iconic when it comes to fashion on TV.

Divorce looks like it was shot over winter and this means coats, glorious coats and the first image HBO released does look like it could be a still from SATC.SJPSwitching out New York for the countryside, dating for divorce and brunch for dinner parties and the new Divorce teaser is here to set aside some of the SATC comparisons. Plus it looks like there will be teens and tweens if this other promo photo is anything to go by (and more coats).Divorce

Watch the teaser below and be warned there are mustache opinions.

Divorce premieres in the fall.

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Music Monday – Girls Season 5 Closing Credits Playlist

14 Mar

For any Music Monday regulars you will know already how much I appreciate the variety of end credit music on shows like GirlsYou’re the Worst (which took the Best of 2015 crown) and TogethernessMad Men crushed end credit music selections week in week out and Orange is the New BlackDeutschland 83 and The Leftovers are also strong contenders in this field. With this in mind and for this season Girls instead of producing a playlist at the end of the season I will be adding to the closing credits playlist on weekly basis.

Starting on episode 4 makes it an EP of sorts and one of my favorite things about the music on Girls is that even if the episode has been kinda shitty for the characters there tends to be a hopeful edge to the song choices. The last few moments of “Old Loves” showcases the after of the bad/awkward sex encounters we have just witnessed with Elijah wondering around Dill’s fancy apartment in his underwear and Jessa watches a sleeping Adam before laying her head down on his bare chest. Hannah and Fran are dealing with non-sex related issues this week and this is the most fractured environment.Girls season 5Thankfully we are spared Desi and Marnie post-coital bliss or tears or whatever because if Desi can’t even get his top off properly I’m not sure I want to see that. The song that plays over these moments and the credits is “iT” by Christine and the Queens.Girls season 5There is a whole lot of coming together in “Old Loves” but as the title suggests there is a lot from the past bubbling beneath the surface and like those old celebrity couples has time run its course on a friendship like Hannah and Jessa’s? The argument in the rice pudding place (which I really want to go to because I love rice pudding) would suggest this and perhaps this is Jessa’s way of self sabotaging her friendship because of Adam. And also because Hannah and Jessa have always had this contentious thing that doesn’t quite match up with the best in best friends.

PS I love Old Loves and now I share this with Marnie I’m not entirely sure how I feel because as Abbi pointed out in the Broad City season 3 premiere with Charlotte from SATC – who Marnie clearly is the closest equivalent of* – even if you can identify that way you’re reluctant to admit it as she’s really annoying at times. I also have love/hate feelings towards her silver pants and they are the perfect clothing representation of my relationship with Marnie.  

*Updated because it just occurred to me that her apartment/wall situation made me think of Aidan renovating Carrie’s apartment and there is also something Carrie about Marnie. Aidan is no Desi thankfully. 

Here is the start of the Girls season 5 closing credits playlist.

 

Check back every week as the playlist gets longer and becomes album length.

Update! The “Life on Mars” AURORA performed cover of the incredible David Bowie song is not available on Spotify (it is on iTunes) so instead I have opted to switch it out for my favorite non-Bowie version of this song. This one comes from another soundtrack (The Life Aquatic) with Seu Jorge singing this track. The original version also appears on this soundtrack.

Leftovers Season 2 Artwork and New Trailer: Begin Again

10 Sep

Moving to a town which did not lose any of its inhabitants on October 14 seems like a great way to start again for Kevin Garvey on The Leftovers with his new makeshift family in tow and yet it doesn’t take long for the undercurrent of fear to take hold. As with the first trailer everything starts off well and then it all goes to hell as this new location holds as many secrets as Mapletown. Coincidence or conspiracy that all goes to shit just as they arrive bringing all their baggage (literal and figurative) with them?

Expanding on who the new characters are with Regina King providing the voiceover as Erika explains how special Jarden, Texas is – “The Jarden of Eden” – and we see how many people are flocking to this town. One thing remains the same is how no one really wants Matt to talk about what happened and he is of course going to do it regardless; suffering the consequences of his refusal to be quiet. The Guilty Remnant haven’t been consumed by the fire at the end of last season and Patty despite being dead is here to torture Kevin some more. Some ghosts are just assholes.

The Leftovers Season 2The Nora/Kevin relationship takes center stage both in the new trailer and artwork with Nora appearing as this force of light and good while Kevin is tied down. Definitely picturing Patty holding on to the rope.

This relationship offered a semblance of hope for the characters and the audience; their losses were of very different kinds but their shared fuckedupness made them an ideal couple with a hint of trouble ahead. Plus Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux have great chemistry and it will be interesting to see how their relationship grows and evolves in this new location. Even if I am full on expecting Kevin to fuck it all up somehow and the trailer hints there will plenty of obstacles for them to navigate their way through. I am fully expecting to get some use out of this other Carrie Coon role gif:

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For all its season 1 messiness it was still one of my favorite shows of 2014 and it is definitely on the most anticipated list for fall.

The Leftovers returns Sunday, October 4.

The Leftovers Season 2 Promo: No Miracle in Miracle

6 Aug

Throwing an extra component into the mystery and a change of location could be what The Leftovers needs as the town of Mapleton was starting to feel claustrophobic as the weight of the missing threatened to suffocate those left behind. Season 2 is doing just this and taking what looks like most of the Garvey clan, Nora, her brother Matt and his wife Mary to a town in Texas where none of the population disappeared on October 14. A town that happens to be called Miracle where all is not as it seems (dun dun dun).

This promo introduces us to Kevin and Nora’s – they are still together much to my delight – friendly new neighbors played by Regina King and Kevin Carroll with an invitation to a birthday dinner . Starting fresh doesn’t mean the slate is wiped clean as things go from idyllic porch hugs to disappearances, fights and people who are dead appearing in the background. But it will be nice to see Kevin and Nora happy for a few moments before it all goes to hell again and I’m really excited about this second season. Very much feeling Nora’s new summery look (will write more on this) with a whole lot of red and white attire; I can’t wait to have Carrie Coon back acting the shit out of everything on TV once again.

The Leftovers returns Sunday, October 4.

First Look at Oscar Isaac, Winona Ryder and Catherine Keener in Show Me a Hero

13 Jul

Between all the Comic-Con Star Wars and X-Men: Apocalypse coverage, today has involved a lot of Oscar Isaac related discussions and gifs on Tumblr. Now HBO has released the first trailer for the new David Simon miniseries Show Me a Hero and we might as well call this Oscar Isaac Day. This is an excellent way to start the week. *insert dancing gif here*

In the six-part miniseries Isaac’s plays real-life Yonkers, New York mayor Nick Wasicsko who was elected in 1987 and immediately faced a huge social issue after a federal court ordered low-income housing to be built in the wealthy part of town. This was met with much opposition and Isaac’s Wasicsko is the man caught in the middle.

Check out the trailer below including Isaac’s ‘tache, Winona Ryder asking “what you going to do?” and Catherine Keener’s rather large spectacles. Catch parts one and two on Sunday, August 16.

 

The Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Motion” Cannes Conversations

25 May

Before we get to my favorite time of the year (Emmy roundtables!) The Hollywood Reporter has served up an interesting conversation starter with their “Women in Motion” series at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The first one is between Salma Hayek and Matthias Schoenaerts followed by Frances McDormand. They are both fascinating chats about women on screen and the current climate talking about limitations and how they circumvent those with the projects they choose.

The chat with Salma Hayek is one I referenced when discussing Maggie Gyllenhaal’s remarks last week regarding her age (this story is both a total “of course” moment and shocking all at once). Hayek mentions some equally ‘holy shit’ and sadly not surprising comments she has received about her accent and appearance. She also discusses how she got Ugly Betty picked up in her role as producer and what her theory is to get executives to pay attention (the short answer is money but you should watch the whole thing to get Hayek’s take on it all).

Becoming a producer is also one route Frances McDormand has taken with the incredible HBO mini-series Olive Kitteridge (which she also played the titular role in) as her first producing credit. McDormand talks about this process and one thing they tried to get her character Olive to do. Money is also a big topic of discussion here too and for McDormand she has found that cable networks are where these kinds of projects are getting made.

If you have the time to watch both in full then it is totally worth it for so many reasons. But especially if you like hearing smart women talking candidly about their experiences in the entertainment industry. McDormand also dives into the box office debate regarding Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road which is also excellent. Just picture me drawing hearts around Salma Hayek and Frances McDormand.

For more from The Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Motion” series head here.

The Rise of Sansa Stark: A New Cape and Purpose for Season 5 of Game of Thrones

3 Feb

The Game of Thrones season 5 promotional juggernaut switched gears from teasers to a full blown trailer and a whole batch of promo photos. There is a lot to unpack from the two minutes of new footage and 19 brand new shots, but I want to focus on one character who appears very briefly and that is Sansa Stark.

Sansa and LittlefingerFirst a disclaimer – I haven’t read the books so everything that follows is pure speculation as I have no idea where the story is going to take this character. And now some background with my feelings towards this character; when Sansa is first introduced she is a social climbing brat who at the first glimpse of Joffrey’s proclivity to picking the harshest punishment possible doesn’t run in the opposite direction. This seems dumb and therefore everything that follows could be seen as Sansa’s fault for wanting to marry the boy who would become king. But hold up, as age is a factor that should be considered and despite how fresh faced Sophie Turner looks during the first season it is easy to forget how young Sansa is meant to be. Later on when Tyrion asks how old she is, her reply of “fourteen” is incredibly shocking.

In any other show her actions would result in the usual teen punishments and the consequences would be less severe; in this world she has to witness the very brutal death of her father and then she is subject to various emotional and physical torments all at the hands of the boy she naively thought would be ‘the one.’ This is no fairy tale and the would-be queen sure doesn’t get her happy ending.

Cut to the last time we saw Sansa in “The Mountain and the Viper” and while this character has cried plenty in the past (and I’m sure there will be tears in the future) she responds to her current situation with all the knowledge and lessons from the women she has been surrounded by. Sansa has spent time with those who have all learned how to use what strength and skills they have to survive in a world where women don’t tend to have a lot of power; Catelyn, Cersei and Margaery are all very different of course but each has imbued valuable lessons. Margaery is on the surface the kindest of the three, but she is also using manipulation to stay ahead and this will be an important tool when it comes to Sansa’s current companion, Littlefinger. To me Sansa is the Blair Waldorf of Westeros (a theory I will expand upon one day) and I’m hoping season 5 will see her reaching the levels of scheming that would make Blair proud.

Littlefinger was in love with Sansa’s mother and there is definitely an element of transference here. What happens when the master manipulator is confronted by a vision of the woman he loved? And Sansa’s new steely darker look makes her resemblance to her mother even more uncanny giving her an advantage over Littlefinger. He really doesn’t have a lot of weak points but the Stark women – remember he didn’t sell Arya out to Tywin – have a way of reaching into the dark depths of Littlefinger and finding what little compassion he possesses.

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Okay let’s talk about one of the costuming highlights of season four as Sansa switched up her floral muted pastel color frocks for the Goth feathered approach, complete with new pointy jewelry (to mirror her sister’s sword). Most teens have a moment where they dramatically change their look but this is not a moment of rebellion, instead it is a visual battle cry to show Sansa as far more than a victim. This is her taking charge of her fate and if she has to align herself with the super slimy Littlefinger then so be it. The way he looks at her with thirst in his eyes is of course incredibly creepy and I am hoping she doesn’t have to compromise herself too much to stay in favor.

A new cape and a style that mirrors Littlefinger’s dark attire keeps up the appearance that they are in this together; maybe Sansa will go all Stockholm Syndrome on us and Littlefinger’s hold over her will go from necessary survival tactic to something deeper. This is a scenario I want Sansa to avoid and if she can keep a piece of herself free from his clutches then this will be a small victory. In the promo (which you can see below) he puts his hands on her face imploring her to “avenge them” in the promo and he should add his name to the long list of Stark wrongdoers as he kick-started the whole thing; there is so much blood on Littlefinger’s hands you can’t even see his actual fingers.

The Stark children keep missing each other for reasons which include death and other missions they are taking part in; one of the most heartbreaking is how close Arya and Sansa were to seeing each other again. Now there is a sea between them and my hopes for an Arya/Sansa team-up have been dashed. So much has happened to both of them and if they could put aside previous grievances I think they would be a formidable team. Alas, now they have to go it alone and while they are better equipped to deal with the harsh realities of this world it would be much better if they were together.

And here is the very exciting and action packed season 5 trailer with plenty of conflict and a very beardy Tyrion.

Hello, Hello, Hello: The Comeback 2.08 “Valerie Gets What She Really Wants” Discussion

19 Jan

The Comeback aired its season finale over the holiday break and there was no way we were going to let it get lost in the end of year shuffle. So while this is a little later than normal I am joined once again by Kerensa Cadenas to discuss all things Valerie Cherish, whether we want another season and how neither of us could keep it together for the final 15 minutes.

the Comeback 2.08 ValEmma: For a finale that included shit pouring out over Valerie’s driveway I don’t think there has been a sweeter or more hopeful episode of The Comeback and after fearing that something dark and awful would befall Valerie this was the ending I really wanted but wasn’t sure we would get. There is still no word on whether there will be a season 3 and even though I would LOVE to see more Comeback episodes I would also be okay with leaving the show here because it really is a perfect way to close out the series.

Valerie chose Mickey over the Emmys and all season they had been hinting at how much Val would do for both fame and recognition appearing on a show that annihilated her career and personality. Relationships have been strained and it didn’t appear like there was any way back for Valerie and Mark after their parking lot blow up but it turns out people can surprise you. As we’ve discussed before Valerie is not mean or cruel, she’s just a bit oblivious to how some of her actions might impact those around her and she is very driven when it comes to her career, but on the biggest night of her career and her crowning glory it is the man who has been by her side for 24 years who she runs to.

I don’t know how much Valerie has changed since this success because to me she’s still pretty much the same Valerie and this is apparent when she doesn’t realize that people are applauding her when she walks into Juna’s party. I think maybe she’s still the same but other people are responding to her differently, except Mickey and this is another reason why it is important that she leaves the Emmys for Mickey and not Mark. Juna’s long concerned hug encapsulates this and she can’t understand why she did Seeing Red in the first place, which is a pretty normal reaction because who would submit themselves to Paulie G and that portrayal? This is all part of the “everything is fine” big wide smile mantra she has perfected and it is why those moments of real concern for Mickey really stick with me. They are the OTP of this show and I can’t tell you how glad I am that they didn’t kill him off.

Do you think Valerie has changed?

the comeback 2.08 Juna hugKerensa: I’m not sure Valerie will ever entirely change but I do think that things personally for her got shitty enough where she had to realize what she was doing. If you think about it in the first season, yes, professionally things were a wreck for her, but at the time personally things weren’t bad. Maybe got a little strained because of the reality show but it wasn’t a complete utter rock bottom situation like this was with Mark leaving her and Mickey’s illness. She was crushing it professionally but kinda had to turn a blind eye to everything else until it was wayyyy past the point in which she could continue to do so.

I think that’s what made such a hugely emotional impact on me as well, for Valerie to go to Mickey during the Emmys, a time where she was finally going to shine is what’s important. Whether or not she entirely changes, for me isn’t the point, and I honestly don’t expect her to fully.

Do you think so?

the comeback 2.08 kitchen speechEmma: This is the night Valerie has been working/hoping for which is why it means so much that she leaves especially as everyone keeps telling her that she is going to win. I did wonder at one point that if she stayed then she wouldn’t win, but I’m so glad they went with the alternative. When Valerie gets the Mark text about Mickey collapsing she is initially unsure about what she should do with Jane telling her she has to stay because she is going to win. This is the perfect end for Jane’s documentary if Valerie does win and while I think we were both worried about the finished product (which we of course don’t get to see) Jane misses out on the perfect ending when Valerie leaves without her usual camera crew trailing behind her.

The big filming style switch threw me for a moment but it was jarring in the most magnificent way as the documentary format fell away and left us looking at Valerie in a completely new way. It is the perfect way to shoot this moment because Valerie is no longer starring in her own reality show and it was simply stunning. This is Valerie stripped down not trying to be the most liked best person and this is the most likable best version of her and those cameras aren’t there to capture it. And how beautiful does she look in that gown with the red umbrella?! From the awkward Uber pickup to Mark’s face when he sees her sitting in the hospital room. I’m getting teary just thinking about it.

And when she wins and her speech is so perfect; the kitchen speech prep calling back to the pilot was devastating in its loneliness whereas this is all love (well except for the unseen/unhappy other patient). It made me SO happy and I really was expecting this finale to be so dark whereas it was a big huge win for Val and us watching her. What did you make of the camera style switch and the way she won?

The Comeback 2.08 camera switchKerensa: I loved the camera switch. I thought it was such an interesting parallel that Valerie’s day to day is stunningly beautiful while the reality TV version of her life isn’t. I sobbed through those final 15 minutes and then when she actually won, I think my heart stopped for a minute. I think the way she won was perfect though, she got to share the moment with the people who really mattered to her, the people who’ve been rooting for her for years, not all the camera crews and all that.

Although, her practice speeches while eating in the kitchen would have been GREAT to see onstage.

Emma: Watching last night’s Golden Globes and with all the chat about rain earlier in the day made it hard to not think of Valerie Cherish.

The kitchen scene really works in a similar way to the no reality show cameras in the hospital scenes as it seems like she’s really forgotten they are there, mostly because I can’t imagine her eating this much on camera on purpose. This bit where she gets out the frozen cake (that’s what it is right?) is the perfect representation of those times where you do just want comfort food.

The crack in the wall and the torrent of shit that followed was very on the nose in how it mirrors what’s going on in Valerie’s life and it also gave one very disgusting (and hilarious) sight gag when Brad brings the dress over. This is followed by one of my favorite shots of the season as she is carried to the car by Billy and a shirtless Brad. What did you make of the whole getting ready stuff and especially Jane’s territorial attitude?

The Comeback 2.08Kerensa: Oh the getting ready stuff was incredibly uncomfortable especially when Valerie goes and begs her neighbor to let her get ready in his home. And all his points about Valerie being incredibly selfish were so on point.

Jane’s territorial attitude has been very apparent in the last several episodes and I’m not super surprised? I think she has that attitude a little bit about Valerie, who she does care about, but I think it’s grown more because this HBO project for her is a big deal. She’s making a documentary about women, that’s funded and that would eventually be on HBO–and show what we can assume will be Jane’s vision about women in Hollywood.

What do you think?

The Comeback 2.08 JaneEmma: You’re comments about Jane’s vision are spot on and really I would love to see a Jane spinoff show that runs parallel with this one to see her side of it all. I also think she cares about Valerie, but that she also wants to have an impact on both how Hollywood is run and with her documentary work. I don’t think she’s that bothered about accolades considering her Oscar is a doorstop and she is also aware that an award doesn’t necessarily equate to better work after. She obviously didn’t want Valerie to leave as it takes away from her documentary but in a way this empty chair is a much bigger moment for her to use in her doc. I also love that Paulie G goes up to accept the award and he is essentially shooed away.

We see some returning faces from season one including Jimmy who emphasizes that this is only one night and while it is important, it is not as important as the relationships in your life. I do wonder if this was the extra push Valerie needed when choosing Mickey over the Emmys. The other Room and Bored face making their first appearance this season is Chris and I was surprised (and skeezed) by the brief attraction I felt towards Kellan Lutz. I loved everything about these scenes from the girls following him around cell phone in hand in a zombified state to the fact he only had eyes for Val. In our last chat you wondered if Val was going to sleep with Chris and while she could have done she chose not to so were you happy with how this played out?

the Comeback 2.08 KLutzKerensa: For one, I think this is arguably Kellan Lutz’s BEST work. He’s really great actually. And I agree with you, I was weirdly attracted to him too? But for me, that attraction might not be brief 😦

I loved Val’s whole interaction with Chris. Mainly because that is a DREAM LADY SCENARIO. I mean, in every stage of life, haven’t you always wanted someone from your past irregardless if you were into them or not, to learn of their long yearning feelings for you, trying to get it in and then massively rejecting them?! I have had SO many of these (all dream unfortunately). I never thought she was going to sleep with him though. I mean it was obviously fun to be flirted with and when he swept her into the bathroom (!) But Val’s never wavered–at least–from what we’ve seen about Mark, so I never expected her to go there with Chris. Did you?

Emma: It’s so good and I love that she points out how good it has made her feel. That’s all she needs from this encounter is a self-esteem boost because even though she’s getting all these plaudits and praise nothing can beat a more personal moment like this. And we know Valerie cares what people think and to have a young, hot guy like Chris see her as a sexual being is definitely not what she was expecting. And like you I didn’t really expect to see her fall for his charms other than taking a ride home and the compliments as in her eyes she is still very much a married woman and I cheating doesn’t seem like a Val thing to do.

So the season ended in this really happy and inspiring way, which could be the perfect way to wrap up the Valerie Cherish story but I also want more. I want to see how Val reacts to this new found appreciation of her work and if her marriage can be salvaged as the end of the episode suggests it can. Do you want a season 3?

The Comeback 2.08 Emmy winnerKerensa: I don’t want a season 3. Valerie is very important to both of us and obviously an iconic character but I feel like that finale was the perfect ending for her.

I’d rather leave Val on a happy note than have to see her suffer again. Do you want a season 3?

Emma: I feel how I do about the end of Friday Night Lights in that I would LOVE to spend more time with these characters but both endings are perfect. The slight difference is with how few episodes there are in The Comeback’s run I think there is still a lot more story to tell, so if they announced a third season then I would resist. Seeing Valerie get the happy ending does make me reluctant for them to make more, but I wouldn’t say no to more Val.

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is an Editor for Snakkle. She also writes for Women and HollywoodThe WeekThis Was TelevisionForever Young Adult, and Bitch magazine. You can follow her on Twitter to read her thoughts on teen TV, snacks and terrible pop music.

Hello, Hello, Hello: The Comeback 2.07 “Valerie Faces the Critics” Discussion

28 Dec

Before tonight’s season 2 finale of The Comeback I am joined by Kerensa Cadenas to discuss the penultimate episode, which featured one of the most devastating scenes of the season and once again Lisa Kudrow knocks it out of the park and slays us in the process. Plus we ponder Jane’s motives and talk about what we think could happen in tonight’s episode.

The Comeback 2.07 dinnerEmma: Valerie gets more than one professional win and everything in her personal life crumbles around her. First off I want to note once again – I don’t think it can be said enough – the incredible and devastating performance Lisa Kudrow is delivering. Valerie has been nominated for an Emmy for Seeing Red and I hope Lisa Kudrow will be getting one for playing Valerie because she is doing so many different things in any given moment.

In the last two episodes Valerie has seen her marriage disintegrate around her and we’ve been talking about the stability and support Mark provides; now I have a lot of conflicted feelings towards Mark and his reaction to Valerie’s career reboot. Mark and Val have been together for 14 years and so he has only been there for the least successful part of her career as this is after “I’m It!” and of course during the disastrous Room & Bored period. Now that Valerie is getting great reviews and award nominations things have shifted. The argument in the car park was pure attack mode from both Mark and Val and it is both mesmerizing and so hard to watch (The Comeback’s go to position) as both have a lot of painful shit they want to say to each other. We are so used to seeing Val in ‘everything is all great’ mode that when she does snap like this it is 100% unfiltered Val and it is like she forgets the cameras are there for this brief moment. In the same way she lost her shit with Ron last week yelling “Where were you?” as she gets berated for not being on the super hot set, Mark doesn’t get let off easy.

While he complains that he has always been there for her, she rightly points out that she has been his champion whether it is some golf tournament he has won or how she made sure his daughter Francesca ate something after he had long left the dinner table. Marriage (or really any relationship) is about give and take; both Mark and Val feel like they have not been served well by the other. What really kills me in this scene is when Valerie reacts to Mark’s suggestion that he was the only person that believed in her and I kid you not that me typing “I believed in me” just made me a little teary (I guess this is where I am right now) and that’s the thing I love about Val as no matter how much others don’t see what she is worth she still believes that something good will come for her. Some of this might be considered delusional, but I think to persevere for as long as she has done she has needed this self-belief. This brings me back to the idea that because Mark has only been there for the years that have not really included any professional success he isn’t equipped for when Valerie is receiving all this praise. I am conflicted when it comes to Mark for the simple reason that having these cameras filming their every moment and using the house as a set has been incredibly disruptive and it is entirely self-serving for Valerie. She is not entirely blameless, but Mark has not been entirely supportive either.

What do you make of the Valerie/Mark relationship breakdown over the last two episodes?

The Comeback 2.07 wedding photoKerensa: As we’ve talked about before, Mark has really seemed like Valerie’s rock so seeing the slow crawl of their marriage falling apart is so hard to watch. The thing I love so much about The Comeback, and especially in this season, is how we learn all these small off-camera things about Mark and Valerie (that abortion!) through their conversations. They have been through so much together but it seems like neither is entirely blameless in this marriage falling apart. I mean, I love Valerie, but could you imagine being married to her? I couldn’t. This scene when Mark and Valerie are tearing each other apart in the parking lot is incredibly rough to watch and they both crush it.

I’m hoping that they work it out but I wouldn’t blame Mark especially after the way Valerie asks him to go to the Emmys with her. I mean, it seems like things are too far gone for both of them at this point.

Do you think they’d reconcile? It’s also so upsetting to see Valerie get what she’s wanted but at the expense of other portions of her life.

The Comeback 2.07 MarkEmma: What I find really brutal about the whole thing is that Valerie has such good intentions when it comes to this secret date, but she just can’t say no to Jane when she paints it as this big love story aspect. She doesn’t have to wear the mic or get filmed but she can’t turn down the opportunity to give this documentary that extra something. Valerie is very easy to convince when she is painted a grand story. And she also doesn’t want something that could be painted in a negative way to come up hence why she tries to cover the mic when Mark says the word abortion. It reminded me of their chat about doing coke in season 1, but far more personal.

I also don’t think Valerie can see this whole set up going this wrong when Jane pitches it to her, even though she must now that Mark will go ballistic (which he does) when he cottons on to the mic and the film crew.

At this point I can’t see them reconciling, maybe they can in the future but not with one episode left. It’s gone too far for Mark and he really doesn’t recognise her, I’m not sure what she can do to convince she is still in there. To me she’s still the same Val but as you mention she must be a tough person to be married to. And oof when she asks him to the Emmys. What a misjudged moment. And in terms of the standard ‘can she have it all’ debate it sucks that for Val is experiencing a professional high while her marriage is such a mess.

The Comeback 2.07 JaneKerensa: Totally agree with all of that. Speaking of Jane, I’m supremely nervous about this documentary that she’s making. One thing that I noticed in this episode was how heavily Jane was pressuring Valerie to do things i.e. this whole Mark conversation that she didn’t want to do. Maybe I’m not remembering correctly, but I do not remember Jane ever pressuring Valerie like this.

Do you think Jane’s going to screw Valerie over with this documentary?

The Comeback 2.07 Seeing RedEmma: I’m worried too because she also kinda fucked her over in the first season and she’s pushing a lot more with this one, plus like you I can’t remember when she has been this insistent on Valerie doing something she initially didn’t want to do. For Jane this project is a means to an end; this isn’t what she wanted to do and she got coerced into it by Valerie’s persistence. I don’t think Jane is a bad person but everyone has an ego and I think there’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff with her and the HBO executives about the direction of the doc that we’re not seeing (so we’re as oblivious as Val) that is pushing the narrative in a certain direction.

Everyone is using someone for something and now I am totally bummed out.

What do you make of all the Mickey stuff? I was worried (and Val definitely was even though she attempted to cover her fears up). He’s super ill, but at least he’s getting laid. Oh and dong on HBO alert. Mickey’s apartment is beyond perfect for this character.

And do you think Valerie will win the Emmy in the finale? And if Lisa Kudrow doesn’t get a nomination for this I will add to my ever growing list of Emmy omission disappointments. You’ll be in good company Lisa (as someone pointed out to me on Twitter she did get nominated for S1).

One other quick Jane point is the title of the documentary – “The Assassination of Valerie Cherish” – which could means so many different things and yet it also makes me nervous about what is to come in the finale in regards to this doc.

The Comeback 2.07 MickeyKerensa: I was super worried about Mickey too, but yeah at least he’s getting laid? Also, hilarious that the first dick I’ve remembered seeing in some time on HBO is on THE COMEBACK.

I’m still kinda worried about Mickey, but I was so convinced for legitimately the last three episodes that he was going to die that maybe they won’t go there? It’s too obvious. I did feel sad when he said to Val that why are you here? You haven’t been here since ’94 or something. Valerie needs to check herself I think.

I could see Valerie winning the Emmy but something awful happening because of it. I can also see the complete opposite happening–not winning the Emmy and something awful happening because of it. I’m just fully expecting something awful to happen to her whether it’s losing Mickey or Marc or something deeply upsetting happening with Paulie G. Or maybe I’m completely wrong and I dunno Valerie will win the Emmy and bone Kellan Lutz’s character (he says in the preview he has always had a crush on Val). What do you think?

The Comeback 2.07 Val drivingEmma: The only reason I think Mickey might be okay is because I can’t imagine The Comeback without Mickey. But then again if there was going to be a third season – and I’ve heard Lisa Kudrow talk about wanting to do more, plus the cost of making it must be super cheap – it would be a challenge for Valerie if she was without her emotional crutches. I will be devastated if he does die.

I also think that something awful is going to happen because this show tends to tread in very dark waters. And I could see them coupling a huge professional high with something truly horrible. I am nervous and excited with what’s to come in the finale, particularly when it comes to Juna’s party. I want all the good things for Val but as you mention she does need to start thinking beyond herself. Her intentions are never malicious she’s just so narrow sighted so she misses a lot of what’s going on around her.

Kerensa Cadenas is a writer living in Los Angeles. She is an Editor for Snakkle. She also writes for Women and HollywoodThe WeekThis Was TelevisionForever Young Adult, and Bitch magazine. You can follow her on Twitter to read her thoughts on teen TV, snacks and terrible pop music.

 

HBO’s Best of 2014/What’s to Come in 2015 Video Includes New Game of Thrones Shots

23 Dec

HBO has said goodbye to two longstanding staples, welcomed back one from long ago, delivered top notch episodes from both new and old shows and they’re set to do it all again in 2015. This video celebrates the best of 2014 while also revealing what is coming in the new year.

These moments are brief and if you want to go straight to the “Coming in 2015” portion skip to 1.37 where you will see a variety of pensive looking Game of Thrones characters including Cersei and Tyrion. Also on the returning shows ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ new footage list are VeepLooking and GirlsTrue Detective gets a title card and The Leftovers is a shot of Justin Theroux in aviators, which is the best placeholder for a show with no new material as of yet. Queen Latifah is going down the biopic route playing iconic blues singer Bessie Smith in Bessie, Dwayne Johnson will star in the half-hour dramedy Ballers and the Duplass brothers are bringing Togetherness.

It has been a very good year for HBO with Boardwalk Empire going out on a creative high, True Detective delivering two of the performances of the year, producing one of my favorite episodes of the 2014 with Looking’s “Looking for the Future,” outrage and laughter in equal measure with a side order of shirt approval while watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, bringing back Valerie Cherish and introducing Carrie Coon to the non-theatre world.

Here is a look at all of that and more:

For more promos previewing HBO’s 2015 offerings head here and here.

 

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