News, TV, TV News

ABC and the Producers of Lost Bring Fairy Tales to Life this Fall in “Once Upon a Time”

One of ABC’s big debuts on the fall tv show lineup is Once Upon a Time, where the lines between fantasy and reality seem to blur so much you can’t tell where one starts and the other ends. Here’s the official release for the show:

Once Upon a Time
(Sundays this Fall, 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET)

From the inventive minds of “Lost” executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis comes a bold new imagining of the world, where fairy tales and the modern-day are about to collide.

And they all lived happily ever after – or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bonds collector who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when the son she gave up years ago finds her, everything starts to change. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world and is Snow White and Prince Charming’s missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s curse, which trapped the fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world. Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for Henry, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten, but is still powerfully close… where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were. The epic battle for the future of all worlds is beginning, but for good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.

“Once Upon a Time” stars Ginnifer Goodwin (“Big Love”) as Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison (“House MD”) as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle (“The Full Monty,” “Trainspotting,” “SGU Stargate Universe”) as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jamie Dornan as Sheriff Graham, Jared Gilmore (“Mad Men”) as Henry, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie. “Once Upon a Time” was written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, who are also executive producers, along with Steve Pearlman (ABC’s “V”). The pilot is directed and executive-produced by Mark Mylod (“Entourage”). “Once Upon a Time” is from ABC Studios.

And the Trailer:

I LOVE Jennifer Morrison from her days on House, and this looks like a great role for her. My only concern with this is that it won’t seem believable, if a lot of time is spent in the fairy world. I’m extremely curious to see how they translate the fairy tales into the modern world (apple cider, anyone?). I definitely think this will be worth a look-see this fall. With the all-star cast and crew, it has the potential to be a serious contender!


News, TV, TV News

New True Blood Trailer Shows More Witches

Those of you, like me, who are eagerly awaiting the start of True Blood season four on June 26th, know there are a lot of amazing things worth waiting for. A new trailer has been released, adding to the suspense, and this time it shows a lot more of the new trouble on the block: the witches.

I know the show deviates slightly from the books, but overall, a lot of the main points are still there. From what I’ve seen of the released footage so far, it is going to have a lot of similar plot ideas, which is fantastic, as this book, in my opinion, is the hottest in the series.

P.S.- anyone else digging Bill’s new (even more) goth look?

Book News, Books, News, TV, TV News

Gaiman’s American Gods coming to HBO?

There have been a lot of books-to-shows/movies lately, even more than usual. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is the newest addition to that list (what’s this book about? Check out the Lytherus review of it here). Playtone production company, made up of partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, recently approached HBO with the project. Cinematographer Robert Richardson (known for Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds, and Shutter Island) brought it to their attention, and the plan right now is for him to write the screenplay with Gaiman (at least the pilot episode, anyway).

I am truly excited about this one. HBO has been amazing with its shows, and with all the hype around the upcoming Game of Thrones, they are only securing in viewers’ minds their ability for authenticity. Playtone is no lightweight either: they have such credits to their name as Big Love, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, and John Adams, all of which are sensational in their own way, so we can only hope that American Gods will fall into the same category.

Things are only in the beginning stages of talks, so it will be some time before we know more, but we’ll be sure to bring it to you as soon as it’s out there!


News, TV, TV News

Even More ‘A Game of Thrones’ Goodness: Behind-the-Scenes Footage

HBO released today a whopping 24 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage of their upcoming show A Game of Thrones, set to release on Sunday, April 17th. There are interviews with the cast and crew about the making of the show, and also with superstar author George R. R. Martin, the creator of the book the show is based off of. I hope you enjoy it, and I personally can’t wait to indulge (I’ve only allowed myself bits and pieces at this point, as I’m finishing the book and don’t want anything spoiled for me!).


News, TV, TV News

The First 14 Minutes of Game of Thrones is Out!

Game of Thrones, the highly anticipated series coming out on April 17th at 9pm from HBO is based off of George R. R. Martin’s best-selling book.

This is a video I have been really excited to watch, and I am so happy that we are getting a little teaser of the show a few weeks early. I can’t wait to see how the story on the TV screen lives up to the book. That accuracy is definitely going to make or break this show, thanks to the millions of loyal fans of the original story.

Having said that though, it does look pretty epic, and I am interested to see how the story progresses visually. The show is warned to have lots of violence, sexual content, and general mature stuff, but they kept this sampler pretty clean.

What do you think? does it fit with the feel of the book and live up to the expectations? If you haven’t read the book, does it seem like an interesting enough show that you’d watch it, even without the back-story?

Reviews, TV, TV Reviews

Dual Review: “Being Human”

North American Version

Lytherus is happy to bring you our first dual review, of the US version of BBC’s popular Being Human. To help you see if this show might be worth your time, we discuss it as a stand-alone, and then compare it to the original. We hope it assists you in deciding whether the show is something you want to add to your repertoire. In case you want a little more, we’ve included the trailer for the US version at the end.

Lauren’s Point of View:

Being Human: Potential Winner

There is something appealing about the idea of a vampire, werewolf, and ghost living in the same house together. Maybe it is because most of the stories out there pit these creatures against each other, so the fact that they could choose to live under the same roof is intriguing. This core idea is what drew me to watch the pilot episode of Being Human, a new series on the Syfy Channel.

This series at its heart is about the struggles of life that people go through. Yes, they are supernatural people, so there was a large part of their efforts that involved watching them try and fit in. Even so, the characters were so human in their core desires and fears that I could still relate to them.

The foundation of the story revolves around Aiden, Josh, and Sally. Aiden, the vampire, played by Sam Witwer, is trying to fight the nature of who he is. He used to live the violent vampire life, but after a change of heart, he got away and is trying to live his life as normally as possible.  He works with Josh, the werewolf, played by Sam Huntington, and suggests that they get a house together, so they can look after each other.  His desire is to live as “a more dignified monster.”

Josh initially resists, but you see him struggling with his own issues, and even though all three characters were represented in the episode, Josh’s struggles felt the most real to me and seemed the strongest. His life’s a hot mess. He hasn’t seen his family in over two years, due to the fact that he disappeared when he was changed, leaving only a small note telling them not to worry. His love life is nonexistent, and he hates the daily stress of just trying to function, let alone be happy.

They decide to get a house, and on their first evening they meet Sally, the ghost, played by Meaghan Rath. She was living there with her fiancé and went to bed one evening to wake up as a spirit, having no idea how she died. She thinks she’s trapped in the house, but she’s also scared to try and leave; she doesn’t know if she’ll blow away into nothing with a small gust of wind, negating her entire current existence, tenuous as it is.

This first episode basically placed the groundwork for the characters, which will surely develop as the series continues. I thought they did a great job. Aiden, looks and mannerisms-wise, was a distinct cross between Vampire Bill and Edward. But it works for him—he definitely looked the part of the brooding undead. Sally was surprisingly refreshing and sweet, which was a nice contrast to the others. This didn’t take away from her personal struggles though– I definitely felt them. Of the three characters, however, my favorite by far was Josh. The actor played him in such a way that made him incredibly endearing, even though he changed into a mindless killer once a month. They were three completely different characters in their own right, well-written, and their diverse dynamics blended to create the unique balance that I believe will make this show enjoyable to watch.

I know this show was based off of a BBC show of the same name. I haven’t seen any episodes from that version, so I can’t compare, but I know that I really liked this version, especially the character development, the human aspect if you will, and I’m curious enough about where the story is going to watch future episodes.

Mike’s Point of View:

BBC Version

Being Human: Disappointed is an Understatement

I’ll skip reviewing the show itself and stick entirely to comparing it to its original version, the British Being Human. I’m sure I would have enjoyed the new Being Human if I had never seen the original show – the acting isn’t bad, the story has potential, and the idea is interesting. It’s the adaptation that bothers me.

It appears that Syfy licensed Being Human for its name and character “types”, but nothing more. The differences between the original (and better) UK version and the new North Americanized version outnumber the similarities. Some of the changes are infuriating, others baffling, and very few are understandable. But hey, what have we come to expect from “adaptations”?

I immediately took issue with the show after realizing that the three main characters’ names had been changed. Why? What drove the show’s producers to desire such a ridiculous change? I soon discovered that changes such as these ran rampant; changes were made to the very core of the show, altering the values and quirks I loved most about the original series. I cannot fathom why many of these changes were made.

Having watched the episode twice, I am content saying that the adaptation of Josh’s character (known as George in the original) disappointed me the most. George/Josh was originally a nerdy, awkward, but loveable self-loathing werewolf, whose struggle with self-acceptance, nerdiness, and relationships was one of the most enjoyable plotlines in the series. The first episode of the adaptation was almost entirely devoid of this plotline, weaving a new (and less likeable) path for the character. His human version – his raw emotions, who he is at the core – no longer deeply contrast with who he is during a full moon.

The original series revolved around the lack of families for each character, focusing instead on the family-like relationship built between the three flatmates as the series progresses. They are each others’ very odd and quirky family. They sacrificed their relationship with their true families when they were “changed” and instead learned to confide in and love each other. Throwing this relationship — one I believe to be central to the original series – out the window on day one seems irresponsible. George’s family is never introduced, mentioned, or involved in the original series. It should have remained that way in the “re-make” to ensure the proper relationship between Aidan, Josh, and Sally. Introducing Josh’s sister in the first episode causes irreparable damage to the relationship that should be growing between the three.

We haven’t seen much of Sally (originally known as Annie), but from what I was able to gleam, the character remains similar to her remake. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Another major let-down was the handling of their apartment. In the original series, the trio’s flat was a character in and of its own. A large majority of the show’s scenes and storylines were focused in and around the house. The house was the group’s sanctuary, their one true harbor and the only place they could ever call home. In the reboot, the apartment is treated as a run-down pigsty that was in three scenes with no relevance other than it being where they meet Sally.

My last point may be argued as nitpicking but I couldn’t write an “I’m disappointed” review without mentioning the vampire’s coven. In the original series, the coven is located in a very stereotypical funeral parlor. The vampires act as tenants of the parlor, which is a front for their downstairs coven. It adds a fun cheesiness to the vampires and their home, one that I can’t seem to find in the abandoned warehouse they’re now located in. A bummer for sure, but definitely not a game-breaker.

In the end I feel that the producers of the North American adaptation cut the relationship between the characters from the show – a feature that made the original series lovable and enjoyable. I’m sure they have their own plans for their now-loose adaptation, but I can’t say I have any interest in watching to see where those plans lead.

News, TV, TV News

“Spartacus” Prequel Premiers Tonight on Starz

Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which ran January through April of last year, became a surprising hit on Starz. Now the station is following up by stepping back, premiering a 6-episode prequel titled Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. The series begins tonight, Friday January 21st, at 10 PM ET/PT. Check out the trailer:

Andy Whitfield, who was cast in the title role for season one, has stepped down due to reoccurring issues with cancer, so the role has been filled by actor Liam McIntyre.

To learn more about this, check out a recent article in the New York Times where McIntyre discusses the change.

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena airs Fridays at 10PM ET/PT on Starz


News, TV, TV News

Trailer for Starz’s “Camelot” Released

The new trailer for Starz’s upcoming show Camelot came out today. This new series premieres on April 1st. There is a lot of speculation on how this show will compare to the highly anticipated Game of Thrones, HBO’s newest series, also premiering in April, on the 17th.

Here’s what had to say:

“Camelot” certainly has a lot going for it. It’s being produced by “Torchwood’s” Chris Chibnall. The series has an astounding list of actors attached to the project, including Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, Jamie Campbell Bower, Tamsin Egerton, Peter Mooney, and Clive Standen. While “Game of Thrones” pulls its material straight from the epic novels penned by George R.R. Martin, “Camelot” intends to reinterpret and demystify the legend of King Arthur, giving it the gritty makeover treatment everybody loves these days. As of right now, it seems like a bit of a toss-up.

I’m betting it will be interesting following the stats of these two similar, awesome-sounding shows to see which one ultimately pulls ahead. And just a warning, there are a few explicit glances, so watch at your own discretion.