Monday, April 29, 2013

All My Children - It's not your mother's or grandmother's soap... It's THAT and MUCH MUCH MORE!

What can I say?   Prospect Park's reboot of All My Children today has been a long time coming.  

For me watching the show started many years ago.  My mother and grandmother both watched the show and it was my first experience to the world of daytime soaps.  When ABC announced that it was canceling the show I remember distinctively feeling as if I had lost my grandmother - who had died years prior - all over again.  It was the one last thing that I had that to remind me of the times I had spent with her making cookies over the stove as she babysat me.  Cookies mind you that we would then eat while we watched, as she called them "her stories..." 

After some set backs, today Prospect Park has given soap fans back a daily staple that ABC failed to see for the crown jewels that they were.  The new 30-minute episodes launched this morning on Hulu and will post new episodes every weekday starting at 5 AM ET/2AM PT.  Just in time for yours truly to watch them on the train ride to work.  Another juicy gem is that should ABC cancel General Hospital, Prospect Park already has the rights to that soap as well.  

Right out the gate, All My Children sets its tone.  With new opening credits, new actors playing aged up characters, and much spicier scenes, the retooled online version of All My Children is saying one thing and that is they’re not your mother’s soaps but are just enough of what she remembers that she will want to watch too.   It's that and much much more!  The opener gives the signature All My Children red journal and introduces the new theme song “We are the love we give.” As we all know, soap opera fans are the most loyal and I think the powers-that-be over at Prospect Park know that if they mistreat either of these shows, the fans will have their heads.
In short, All My Children picks up five years after the cliffhanger finale in 2011. Devoted fans will recall that ended with a gun pointed at a room full Pine Valley’s elite and a shot ringing out.   In the opening minutes of the new show, we see Brooke (Julia Barr) awakening from a fuzzy nightmare of the events.  A smart move and a key benefits here is AMC's reestablishing familiar characters Brooke (Julia Barr) and Adam (David Canary), which makes it feel like home to  longtime viewers. 
Within moments we are introduced to a teenage AJ (Eric Nelsen) and Bianca’s now-teen daughter Miranda (Denyse Tontz).  While the language in this episode "Chapter 1,  Part 1" stayed pretty PG, the lack of broadcast constraints was obvious with one of the most provocative and steamy (dream) scene between David Hayward (Vincent Irizarry) and Cara Castillo (Lindsay Hartley).  This isn't something you'd find on say HBO's True Blood, but it definitely showed more skin and had more sexual innuendos as fan favorites Angie (Debbi Morgan) and Jesse (Darnell Williams) playfully spoke amongst one another.  
The show as with One Life to Live is filmed in Connecticut and I immediately recognized the exterior shots and their actual locales.  The visuals are sharp indeed.  And the pace seems more primetime driven for a newer younger generation.  
As to the characters dynamics, David, Cara, Griffin, Opal, Jessie, Dixie, Angie, Adam and Brooke all sound like the characters we've come to know and love.   We don't know the full story of what happened 5 years ago but we pick up with enough references and allusions to what actually happened to make you think you know but keep you guessing.
I'm not going to lie, the one thing I am missing is Erica Kane.  Susan Lucci was the heart and soul of the original AMC and I'm hoping that in some way we'll get to see her once again play Erica Kane or find out what happened to her.
So on day one it's hats off to All My Children for once again making Pine Valley feel like home.

The cast of the show is as follows;

All My Children
Julia Barr as Brooke English
Ryan Bittle as JR Chandler
David Canary as Adam Chandler
Lindsay Hartley as Cara Martin
Vincent Irizarry as Dr. David Hayward
Francesca James as Evelyn Johnson
Thorsten Kaye as Zach Slater
Jordan Lane Price as Celia Fitzgerald
Jill Larson as Opal Cortlandt
Ray MacDonnell as Dr. Joe Martin
Cady McClain as Dixie Cooney
Debbi Morgan as Dr. Angela Hubbard
Eric Nelson as AJ Chandler
Eden Riegel as Bianca Montgomery
Heather Roop as Jane McIntyre
Sal Stowers as Cassandra Foster
Denyse Tontz as Miranda Montgomery
Jordi Vilasuso as Griffin Castillo
Darnell Williams as Jesse Hubbard
Robert (Rob) Scott Wilson as Pete “Petey” Cortlandt

Saturday, October 13, 2012


One of the most anticipated season premieres of the Fall TV season, AMC’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s beloved comic book series The Walking Dead was showcased in a panel on Saturday at New York Comic-Con at the Jacob Javits Center. The third season debuts tonight at 9pm, and for fans of the apocalyptic zombies at large program, it is sure to be worth the wait and then some. Attendees of the panel at the packed IGN Theater got a sneak peak of the first few minutes of Season 3 Episode 1, which you can read about at the end of this article.

Moderated by the always witty Chris Hardwick, who hosts the Talking Deadshow on AMC, the cast and crew came out to earth-shattering applause and a standing ovation after the wild and intense clip from the season premiere was shown. The panel consisted of producer Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman (producer and creator of the comic book series), along with actorsAndrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey, Michael Rooker, and Norman Reedus.

Michael Rooker, who plays the badass redneck Merle, got the loudest applause. Hardwick said it best, when he told Rooker “the crowd is bathing you in their love.” “I’m a tough asshole,” Rooker said of Merle. The crowd seemed eager to see Merle back on the series and their passion for this show is unprecedented. His on-screen brother Norman Reedus received an overabundance of love from the audience (and no wonder – he along with Lincoln stayed at the end to sign autographs for the frenzied crowd).

Kirkman spoke about picking up where they left off in the second season, keeping the non-stop momentum fully intact. A tidbit revealed about this first episode of season 3 was that there are more zombie kills in this one episode than there were in all of season 1. The footage debuted, which finds the group many months after the end of Season 2, showed that Carl has grown up a lot since we last saw him. One of the running jokes among fans of the series is to ask “Where’s Carl?,” alluding to the fact that the boy’s parents never seem to know where he is and are always asking this question. (During the audience Q&A, a fan was wearing a shirt that read “Where’s Carl?” and Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl, laughed that he hated that shirt, even though he’s actually worn one himself!) Hurd says now when people ask “Where’s Carl?”, you can say “He’s in the house, shooting zombies.”

The child actor Chandler Riggs, who’s been making appearances at conventions for the series since it began in 2010, has truly come into his own and dominated the panel, not only with this commentary, but also with his maturity. Riggs had said last year that his character Carl would eventually have to grow up fast and become a man well before he was meant to thanks to the harsh zombie-infested world he now lives in. But this time around, Riggs had a confidence and swagger not often seen in child actors, and even teased that he might get a love interest after an audience member asked him if Sophia on the show had been his girlfriend. The audience let out a loud collective “woo” when Riggs said, “Beth is 17, so you might see a little bit of that… maybe.”

Speaking of children, snother noteworthy aspect of this panel was the large amount of children – little children actually – who came up to the mic to ask a question during the audience Q&A session. As moderator Hardwick pointed out, each child that came up was younger than the last (he then jokingly asked if there were any fetuses or embryos in the audience who wanted to ask a question). After answering one of the children’s questions about whether there would be a raid at the prison like in the comic and “will all the crazy stuff happen?” (Kirkman says a lot of crazy stuff will happen), Kirkman added, “Also, you shouldn’t be watching this show.”

An even younger child asked the cast what would be there second weapon of choice: Lincoln said a flamethrower; Riggs said a lancer, a machine gun with chainsaw from the Gears of War video games; Reedus said a bazooka, something loud, or Lucy Liu; Guirira said she can’t think of a better one than what she already has (a katana sword); Rooker said an apparatus that goes on the arm like a World War II bazooka or a rocket launcher.

The cast talked about where the new season would be going and the evolution of the young Chandler Riggs, who spoke about how much fun and what amazing actors he works with, and promised that this season would be the best yet. The crowd then serenaded Norman Reedus’ son Mingus, who turned 13 years old that day and was seated in the front of the room, with a rousing Happy Birthday. Of his character Darryl and why he hasn’t really hooked up with any of the ladies on the show, Reedus – who was constantly being complimented by female audience members – said, “Darryl has no game, at all.” He also said that while Darryl and Merle “love each other in a messed up way,” to Darryl Rick is becoming the brother he lost. Also, Darryl, who comes from a background of abuse and neglect, finally feels like he has a purpose, that he is of value to the group, as he’s a protector to them.

Danai Gurira, who plays new cast member, the alpha female Michonne, talked about joining the cast and what a “thrill ride” it was and brutal joy to be part of the show. Of her character, the actress said, “She’s an intense chick” and how smart and badass Michonne since she found a way to use the zombies to her advantage by essentially turning them into pack mules.
Every shot of an actor from the show, every word uttered by them, was met with applause and cheers typically seen done by overzealous fans at soccer matches. Flashbulbs from digital cameras went off like shooting stars throughout the tenure of the panel. The cast really pumped everyone up for tonight’s season premiere, which is sure to be a good one.

Season 3 Episode 1 Footage Description

The footage opens on a close up of a zombie’s infected eye. As the camera pulls away, we see two zombies in a house when the familiar faces of Rick Grimes and his group barge into through the door and kill the walkers. Each member of the group walks in – Rick, Darryl, T-Dog, Glen, Maggie, Carol, Beth, a very pregnant Laurie, a gun-toting Carl wearing his father Rick’s sheriff hat, and a bearded Hershel. Several members of the group, including Carl, go through through the house, weapons in hand, searching for more walkers. Carl finds one and shoots it in the head. Darryl happens upon an owl upstairs and shoots it, while Carl discovers two cans of dog food in the kitchen. When all seems clear, the obviously exhausted group settles in to rest. Carl brandishes a can opener, seemingly ready to divy up his find for the obviously starving group, but a frustrated Rick grabs the can and tosses it, as if he’s not yet ready to let his people consume dog food. Near by, Darryl quickly defeathers his kill for what he surely thinks will be a meal. Looking quite defeated, the group sits in silence until they see out of the window walkers approaching the house, so they run out to their vehicles, escaping their undead attackers.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Guillermo del Toro is heading to New York Comic Con 2012! This Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist and Designer will be speaking on the Legendary Comics panel on Friday, October 12 presenting a behind-the-scenes look at the group’s upcoming projects! With credits including Pan’s LabyrinthThe Devil’s BackboneHellboy and Hellboy II and Blade II Del Toro’s appearance at NYCC will be one for the record books!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Well gang, it's that time AGAIN!
New York Comic Con (NYCC) officials have confirmed that a high profile panel focusing on season three of AMC’s hit television series The Walking Dead will take place at this year’s pop culture extravaganza. Cast members including Andrew Lincoln will be joined by showrunner and executive producer Glenn Mazzara as well as executive producers Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd. Moderated by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick, The Walking Dead panel, which will take place in the IGN Theater on Saturday, October 13, 5:00pm - 6:00pm, will include an exclusive clip from the premiere episode of season three.
In addition to Andrew Lincoln, additional cast members participating in the panel include Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, David Morrissey and Michael Rooker. There will also be a limited signing for 50 fans and tickets for the signing will be given away on a first served basis on Saturday morning (10/13). Further details about the signing will be announced soon. The Walking Dead, which returns to AMC on October 14 at 9:00pm (EST)/8:00pm (CST), was originally a comic book series created by writer Robert Kirkman in 2003. It won the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series and the television series premiered to enormous attention and acclaim on October 31, 2010.

New York Comic Con, which will take place October 11 - 14, 2012 at NYC's Javits Center, is one of New York’s largest annual events, last year attracting over 100,000 attendees. The pop culture convention draws a wide cross section of fans eager to meet and greet the creators, actors, writers, musicians and artists. The show includes top talent from the worlds of comics, film, television, music, books and gaming.
“The Walking Dead is a huge attraction for our fans and I am enormously grateful to AMC for making this possible,” notes Lance Fensterman Show Manager for NYCC and Group Vice President for ReedPOP. “This is a star-studded line up of panelists and I know that we will have thousands of fans who will want to be on hand to hear these creators, producers and stars talk about their contribution to this incredible show. I can’t thank these guests enough for giving their time and talent to New York Comic Con.”

Friday, August 31, 2012


Ian McDiarmid, known to millions as Senator, Chancellor and eventually Emperor Palpatine –and alternately Darth Sidious – in Star Wars Episodes I, II, III, and VI (he was later added in to Episode V to replace the original Emperor). Now he’s heading to the New York Comic Con, which will be held October 11-14, 2012 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

McDiarmid also has been known for a wide range of movie projects including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and appearances in the British TV series Touching Evil and City of Vice and the American series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Comic Con 2012 - Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie'

Frankenweenie centers on Victor (Charlie Tahan) and his pet dog Sparky. When his beloved pooch is killed, Victor is heartbroken but decides to bring him back to life through science. Unfortunately for Victor, not everybody in the neighborhood is happy to see his dog back from the grave.

Comic-Con attendees can check out the sketches, merchandise and actual sets from Tim Burton’s latest stop-motion animated feature. 

Frankenweenie is out in theaters everywhere on October 5th. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Comic Con - CW's 'Beauty & The Beast'

The screening and panel will take on Thursday, July 12 at 3:30-4:35 PM in Ballroom 20.
Kristin Kreuk ("Smallville") and Jay Ryan ("Terra Nova") along with Executive Producers Jennifer Levin ("Without a Trace"), Sherri Cooper ("Brothers & Sisters"), Brian Peterson ("Smallville") and Kelly Souders ("Smallville") discuss the new CW fall series, a modern adaptation of a beloved fairy tale. Centering on Catherine Chandler (Kreuk), a tough-minded NYPD homicide detective who is haunted by witnessing her mother's murder nine years ago - as well as the murderer's quick demise at what she perceived to be the hands of a beast. After years of searching, Catherine finally discovers the beast is Vincent Keller (Ryan), a survivor of a military experiment that went disastrously wrong and left him to lead a secret life in hiding. Join the cast and producers for an exclusive viewing of the first episode, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dalton Ross (Assistant Managing Editor, Entertainment Weekly).
Kreuk, Ryan and the show executive producers will participate in an exclusive autograph signing following the panel at the CW/CBS Booth at 5:00-6:15 PM on the convention floor.
More in-depth summary: 

Detective Catherine Chandler is a smart, no-nonsense homicide detective. When she was a teenager, Catherine witnessed the murder of her mother at the hands of two gunmen. Catherine would have been killed too, but someone – or something – saved her. No one has ever believed her, but she knows it wasn't an animal that attacked the assassins…it was human. Years have passed, and Catherine is a strong, confident, capable police officer, working alongside her equally talented partner, Tess. 

While investigating a murder, Catherine discovers a clue that leads her to a handsome doctor named Vincent Keller, who was reportedly killed by enemy fire while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. Catherine learns that Vincent is actually still alive and that it was he who saved her many years before. For mysterious reasons that have forced him to live outside of traditional society, Vincent has been in hiding for the past 10 years to guard his secret – when he is enraged, he becomes a terrifying beast, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses. Catherine agrees to protect his identity in return for any insight he may have into her mother's murder. Thus begins a complex relationship between Catherine and Vincent, who are powerfully drawn to each other yet understand that their connection is extremely dangerous for both of them.
The series stars Kristin Kreuk ("Smallville," "Chuck") as Catherine, Jay Ryan ("Terra Nova") as Vincent, Max Brown ("The Tudors," "MI-5") as Evan, Nina Lisandrello ("Nurse Jackie") as Tess, Nicole Gale Anderson ("Make It or Break It") as Heather, Austin Basis ("Life Unexpected") as J.T., and Brian White ("The Shield," "The Cabin in the Woods") as Joe.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Jennifer Levin ("Without A Trace," "Felicity"), Sherri Cooper ("Brothers and Sisters"), Bill Haber ("Rizzoli & Isles," "Thurgood"), Paul J. Witt ("A Better Life") & Tony Thomas ("A Better Life"), Ron Koslow ("Moonlight") and Gary Fleder ("Life Unexpected").