Tag Archives: Netflix

My thoughts on Netflix’s summer surprise, ‘Stranger Things’

Well that completely came out of nowhere.

Every now and then, a show comes along that reaches out and grips you with its claws and never lets go. Enter STRANGER THINGS, a new Netflix sci-fi drama. After scrubbing through a trailer last month, I quickly dismissed it and I wouldn’t have given it a chance if it weren’t for two of my friends reaching out and demanding I tune in. Word of mouth can be a powerful thing.

STRANGER THINGS is a true amalgamation of every genre I love. When people ask me to describe it, I gush like this: It’s an adrenaline rush of pure adventure, a tale told from the innocent, wide-eyed perspective of a ragtag team of kids. It’s an edge-of-your-seat thriller with nuanced scares that make your imagination do most of the work. There’s conspiracy theories and weird science to wrap your brain around. And it’s all set in an eerie town where nothing is exactly what it seems.

In a nutshell: THE GOONIES + THE X-FILES/FRINGE + TWIN PEAKS = STRANGER THINGS

And let’s throw CLOVERFIELD in the mix for good measure; there’s a Monster here that would make J.J. Abrams and even Guillermo del Toro proud.

Holding this all together is a thick coat of nostalgia. From the neon bright opening credits to an original electronic soundtrack pulsing with 80s flair, STRANGER THINGS is intrinsically a warm, inviting series that draws you in with its recognizable throwbacks. (I mean, look at this poster!) What’ll hook you, though, is the utterly unexpected places it will take you. Well, that and the unbelievably talented cast of unknown kids. They will make you laugh, they will make you cry, they will leave you begging for more.

Now go enjoy this eight hour movie. Happy binging!

Summertime renewals: ‘Preacher’ & ‘Bloodline’ will return

AMC’s Preacher premiered in late May, just as the traditional TV season winded down, and it quickly proved to be wildly entertaining summer fare. Producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, along with Breaking Bad producer Sam Catlin, took the popular comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon and adapted it for the small screen without missing a beat. The darkly comedic drama twists the supernatural genre on its head, weaving a wild tale about good vs. evil featuring a talented cast of misfits including Dominic Cooper’s entitiy-empowered Jesse Custer, Ruth Negga’s bad-ass Tulip, Joseph Gilgun’s hysterical portrayal of an Irish vampire named Cassidy. The already mythos-heavy story will continue when an expanded 13-episode second season arrives next year. Preacher currently airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC.

“‘Preacher’ is a special television program and we’re eager to share with fans the rest of this wild first season and, now, an expanded second season,” said AMC head Charlie Collier. “What Sam, Seth, Evan and the entire creative team have achieved in bringing Garth Ennis’ graphic novel to the screen is extraordinary. We look forward to more time with these unforgettable characters be it in Heaven, Hell, Texas or beyond.”

Netflix’s Bloodline is an interesting beast. In its debut season, the dark family drama told an incredibly compelling story about what happens when lies and deception bubble to the surface amidst a tight-knit family. It utilized tantalizing voice-overs and layered flashbacks to uncover the mysteries hiding behind all-too-believable characters embodied by an all-star cast including Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Norbert Leo Butz, and Sissy Spacek. By the end of the season–spoiler alert–Mendelsohn’s scene-stealing Danny Rayburn perished and I wasn’t so sure the show could go on without his menacing presence. Season 2 picks up right where things left off, and Danny does return in flashbacks (as expected), and perhaps more surprisingly he haunts the Rayburns in the present when his son, Nolan, crashes on the scene. The second run worked, sure, but I did not find it to be as compellingly stirring and engaging as before. Without Danny as a living, breathing antagonist to the rest of the Rayburn family, I felt the plot to be meandering and lost at times. Even still, the Rayburns without Danny are still an interesting bunch to follow, and with that said, there’s apparently more story to tell now that Netflix has officially greenlit a third season.

“Todd [Kessler], Daniel [Zelman], and Glenn [Kessler] have created a riveting family saga featuring one of the most talented ensembles in the history of television,” said Cindy Holland, VP Original Content at Netflix. “We can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for the all-too-human Rayburns.”

Stick it here for more summer renewal news. READ MORE Summertime renewals: ‘Preacher’ & ‘Bloodline’ will return

What to watch this summer: ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Mr. Robot,’ ‘You’re the Worst’ & more

School’s out and to celebrate this fine occasion, I’ll be recommending a handful of quality TV shows to keep you busy in front of the boob tube over the long, dog days of summer. The months of June, July, and August play host to many of your favorite returning series including Orange is the New BlackMr. Robot, and You’re the Worst. Haven’t heard of them? Stop playing neighbors with Patrick Star and get with the programs! Release dates, times, and trailers are posted after the break. READ MORE What to watch this summer: ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Mr. Robot,’ ‘You’re the Worst’ & more

What to watch this month: ‘Person of Interest,’ ‘Preacher,’ ‘Bloodline’ & more

We’ve nearly reached the official “end” of the network TV season, seeing as we’ve entered the month of May. But, as we know from recent years past, that no longer means there’s nothing to watch until September. CBS sat on Person of Interest for far too long, and now we’re finally privy to the final season. AMC aims to impress with its adaptation of the cult comic book franchise Preacher. Netflix’s captivating family drama Bloodline is back and ready to peel more layers off the Rayburns. What else? Fox hopes to strike gold again by resuming its mystery thriller Wayward Pines, and Chelsea Handler debuts Netflix’s first talk show. Find posters and trailers and premiere dates after the break! READ MORE What to watch this month: ‘Person of Interest,’ ‘Preacher,’ ‘Bloodline’ & more

Netflix orders ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ sequel, summer of ’91 reunion gets real!

“Hey, lets all promise that ten years from today, we’ll meet again, and we’ll see what kind of people we have blossomed into.”

That’s a line that Bradley Cooper’s Ben says at the end of the 2001 cult comedy film Wet Hot American Summer. When Netflix announced that it was bringing Wet Hot back as an episodic TV series, fans were pleasantly surprised to find out that it would a prequel taking place during the first day of camp in the summer of 1981 (as opposed to the last day of camp as featured in the movie). For those of you still yearning for a true sequel, your prayers have been answered. Taking a cue from Cooper’s Ben, Netflix confirms Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later is on its way!

Wet Hot writers Michael Showalter and David Wain are returning to pen the 8-episode sequel series, and Wain will direct the installments again. The cast hasn’t been solidified yet, but by teasing the new season with the clip from the movie embedded above, you have to imagine that the entire gang is game to reprise their memorable characters.

Wondering what the crop of raunchy characters will be up to in the summer of 1991? Perhaps the “10 Years Later” tag at the very end of the Wet Hot movie provides clues; revisit it here.

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later is set to debut on Netflix in 2017.

What to watch this month: ‘Orphan Black,’ ‘Kimmy Schmidt,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ & more

Winter is coming to television this month. That’s right–Game of Thrones makes its long-awaited return and the world will know the fate of beloved character Jon Snow. With Thrones also comes one-two comedic punch from HBO, Silicon Valley and Veep. Elsewhere, the Walking Dead spinoff takes the high seas, Orphan Black journeys further down the rabbit hole, Kimmy Schmidt begs to be binged, AMC is preparing a miniseries starring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie. It’s a jam-packed month for new TV. Jump after the break for premiere dates, posters, and previews. READ MORE What to watch this month: ‘Orphan Black,’ ‘Kimmy Schmidt,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ & more

Status update #7 on your favorite new and returning shows

The fun never stops in TV land. Here’s our seventh status update on the fate of your favorite new and returning shows. ABC dominates the scene here having renewed the majority of its lineup in one fell swoop. Get your fix below.

ABC is feeling extremely confident about the bulk of its primetime lineup. To prove it, the Alphabet network has handed early renewals to 15 of its current drama and comedy series. Fairy tale drama Once Upon A Time will return for a sixth season next fall, and so will its Sunday night companion, freshman FBI drama QuanticoMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t going anywhere, having secured a fourth season under its belt. Sitcom Fresh off the Boat, another Tuesday night entry, will continue for a third season. ABC’s Wednesday night lineup remains in tact; The Middle (season 8), The Goldbergs (s4), Modern Family (s8), and black-ish (s3) are all coming back next season. The same can be said for Shonda Rhimes’ “TGIT” Thursday night lineup that includes Grey’s Anatomy (s13), Scandal (s6), and How to Get Away with Murder (s3). Elsewhere, reality veterans Dancing with the StarsThe BachelorShark Tank, and America’s Funniest Home Videos are staying put on the network. ABC has yet to seal the fates for the following series: CastleNashvilleThe MuppetsLast Man StandingDr. Ken and midseason entries American CrimeGalavant, and Agent Carter.

Jump after the break to discover what else has been greenlit recently for another go-around! READ MORE Status update #7 on your favorite new and returning shows

What to watch this month: ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Daredevil,’ ‘Bates Motel,’ ‘The Americans’ & more

Spring is fast approaching as we enter the month of March and typically this would mean that most shows begin their sprint to the May sweeps and then hibernate until fall. That’s still true, but today we live in a different TV landscape where networks are prone to promote and debut new and returning series throughout the year, not just in September and midseason. Throw in streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and this March all of a sudden is the new September in TV land. Preview the many must-see shows premiering this month after the break. READ MORE What to watch this month: ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Daredevil,’ ‘Bates Motel,’ ‘The Americans’ & more

Status update #6 on your favorite new and returning shows

It’s time for the sixth status update in regards to the fate of your favorite new and returning series of the 2015-16 TV season. It’s renewals all around, that is, if you’re not including the swift removal of a low-rated CBS sitcom and the formal announcement of the end of a long-running CBS drama. More, below.

After airing only five episodes, CBS pulled the Jane Lynch (Glee) and Maggie Lawson (Back in the Game) sitcom Angel from Hell from its primetime schedule. Replacing the single-cam comedy on Thursday nights at 9:30pm is multi-cam comedy 2 Broke Girls which is currently airing its fifth season. Elsewhere, in addition to letting go of veteran sitcom Mike & Molly, the Eye is also saying goodbye to its critically acclaimed drama The Good Wife. During the Super Bowl, CBS aired a commercial formally announcing that the Julianna Margulies political drama’s current seventh season will be its last.

NBC is staying in business with Dick Wolf, the creator of the Law & Order and Chicago franchises. Law & Order: SVU and Chicago Med have been renewed for 18th and 2nd seasons, respectively. Previously, the Peacock had upped SVU‘s current season episode count from 22 to 23 and gave ChiMed a five-episode back orderChicago Fire and Chicago P.D. have already been renewed for fifth and fourth seasons, respectively. Elsewhere, Jennifer Lopez crime drama Shades of Blue will return for a second season.

Showtime was quick to renew its sizzling Wall Street drama Billions; the season 2 announcement was made after only two episodes had aired. Starring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti, Billions is off to a creatively strong start with slick dramatic turns and smartly utilized humor.

Last let’s turn to the streaming services. House of Cards will continue on to see a fifth season set to bow in 2017 on Netflix without its creator and showrunner, Beau Willimon. He’s amicably parting ways with the show, and Netflix hasn’t announced who’ll take over his position yet. HoC‘s fourth season debuts next month. Netflix has also renewed Orange is the New Black for three more seasons. Season 4 streams this summer, with seasons 5, 6, and 7 in the wings to be spearheaded by series creator and showrunner Jenji Kohan. Over on Amazon, Golden Globe winner Mozart in the Jungle (whose second season hasn’t even aired yet) has been renewed for a third run.

10 premieres to look out for this month: ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘American Crime Story,’ ‘Fuller House’ & more

It may be a mild winter for east coasters, but that’s not stopping the incoming storm of highly anticipation programming from hitting the airwaves this month. There are a whopping five series premieres you cannot miss (including FX’s American Crime Story and Netflix’s Fuller House), plus the sophomore runs of AMC’s Better Call Saul and HBO’s Togetherness, among others. Jump after the break for the full rundown. READ MORE 10 premieres to look out for this month: ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘American Crime Story,’ ‘Fuller House’ & more

Status update #5 on your favorite new and returning shows

New year, more status updates coming your way in the TV department. If you’re keeping count, this is our fifth look at the current status on your favorite new and returning TV shows this season. This next batch is nominated by renewals, but some of you might want to brace yourself as there are some cancellations in the mix.

CBS is ready to say goodbye to Chuck Lorre’s sitcom Mike & Molly. Its sixth season, which currently airs Wednesday nights, will be its last. The show served as a strong comedic vehicle for Melissa McCarthy who has gone on to become a mega movie star. The Bridesmaids and Spy star can next be seen in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters.

NBC cancelled Heroes. Then it came back as a limited “event” series dubbed Heroes Reborn. And now it’s bidding farewell to the world once more. Peacock head Robert Greenblatt elaborated at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Reborn was always envisioned to be a one-and-done “event.” Though the upcoming 13th episode of Reborn will likely serve as the series finale for the comeback franchise, Greenblatt isn’t calling time of death just yet. He’s leaving that up to creator Tim Kring’s discretion; if Kring comes up with a new idea worthy of resurrecting the series for a second time, NBC will hear him out, reports TVLine.

For more, jump after the break. READ MORE Status update #5 on your favorite new and returning shows

Netflix shares a ‘Daredevil’ tapestry as season 2 secures a launch date

The Netflix/Marvel marriage has already proven fruitful with engrossingly dark and dramatic tales introducing Daredevil and Jessica Jones. The next superhero origin story coming to the streaming service is Luke Cage, but before we get there, the next chapter in the story of Matt Murdock aka The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen will be told.

Season 2 of Daredevil introduces new villain The Punisher (played by The Walking Dead‘s Jon Bernthal) and Elektra Natchios (Elodie Yung). Here’s the official logline:

Just when Matt thinks he is bringing order back to the city, new forces are rising in Hell’s Kitchen. Now the Man Without Fear must take on a new adversary in Frank Castle and face an old flame – Elektra Natchios. Bigger problems emerge when Frank Castle, a man looking for vengeance, is reborn as The Punisher, a man who takes justice into his own hands in Matt’s neighborhood. Meanwhile, Matt must balance his duty to his community as a lawyer and his dangerous life as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, facing a life-altering choice that forces him to truly understand what it means to be a hero.

The first teaser is embedded above, and while it doesn’t contain new footage, it artfully summarizes the major story beats that unfolded last year. Its direction borrows from a certain philosophical HBO series, does it not? Peek into the photo gallery for season 2 first looks at Murdock (Charlie Cox) suited up, his pals Karen and Foggy (Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson), The Punisher and Elektra. The character-filled season 2 poster is in there, too.

Daredevil returns Friday, March 18.

READ MORE Netflix shares a ‘Daredevil’ tapestry as season 2 secures a launch date