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Category Archives: Television

The Batman Has Left Us

For those old enough to recall the 1966-68, television series, Batman played by Adam West, it was the last time any of us recall a lighter, more humorous version of Batman & Robin.

When Michael Keaton reprised the role of Batman, sans Robin in the 1980’s, it was a much darker more serious view of the comic book hero.

Gone were the camp, tongue firmly in cheek remarks, as well as the graphical sound effects punches, such as THWACK-BOFF-KAPOW-BONK-ZAP & BAM.

《-Batman Fight Scene Clips-》

As that era of mega-guest stars welcomed to the small screen on a weekly schedule ended, so too has its lead star. Adam West has passed, fighting the last good fight for his life with Lukemia. He was 88 years old.

Adam West Gallery


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 Guest Cameos on the Bat climb (14 in all)

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Posted by on 11/06/2017 in Actors, Comics, Crime Drama, Deaths, Entertainment, Hollywood, Humor, Movies, Popular Culture, Television

 

How to End a Long Running Series

Well, here we are. The next to the last episode of Castle EPISODE 8×21 HELL TO PAY was broadcast in the U.S. last night.

Beckett_Castle_on_swings_discussing_futureMany fans have already given up on the series when it was announced on April 18th, Stana Katic as Captain Kate Beckett, and Tamala Jones as Medical examiner, Lanie Parish, will not be coming back, should there be a season 9. The official announcement stated it was for budgetary reasons. There have been numerous unofficial rumors which claim co-stars, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, have an acrimonious relationship off-screen, making it difficult for them to be on set together.

Whether this is true or not doesn’t take away from the most significant point of the series. Castle was always a fantasy show. The idea that a crime/ mystery fiction writer would have a long-term professional relationship with the NYPD, as a consultant, is in itself a work of fiction. It’s not Jessica Fletcher, in Murder She Wrote, or Sherlock Holmes, but has become more like Hart to Hart or Remington Steele. Each of these comparisons, have their limits, but from the beginning, the Monday night drama, comedy, crime procedural, has and is about the initial meeting, opposites attract, relationship development, and eventual marriage between a female detective and a novelist.

Castle_looking_disgruntledSince it’s public knowledge the Kate Beckett story ends in the last episode of season 8, fans are left to speculate what the ending episode might be. How will they write the story to which millions of devoted fans have been tuning in each week to see, ending their on-screen relationship? Will there be a post-Beckett season 9? Many fans, myself included have looked at season 8 as a less than stellar collection of stories which initially separated Richard Castle from his wife, Captain Beckett, due to some evil drug & murder cartel, called LokSat. The other stories in season 8 have less on-screen together time of the superb ensemble cast, a couple of new roles with new people, with little interaction between Castle and Beckett.

If Nathan Fillion wanted more screen time and less of Stana Katic, according to rumors, his wishes were granted, however at a price. His role has been more of a dolt, an immature simpleton who manages to arrive at reasonable crime solutions, mostly through dumb luck or the able-bodied assistance of his new assistant, Toks Olagundoye as Haley Shipton. Both Toks Olagundoye and Molly Quinn (Alexis), have been taking a lot of heat as fans have taken to Twitter, using it as a platform to vent their anger toward any of the possible season 9 survivors.

The Season 8 finale airing this May 16, is entitled Crossfire in which a twist in Rick and Kate’s final pursuit of LokSat, accordingly “puts their case, and their lives, in jeopardy.”

Now that the hook has been baited, we’ll wait to see what kind of closure they can bring to this much beloved series. No official announcements from ABC indicate their commitment to a season 9, even though some contracts have been signed by the cast. The latest numbers for season 8 episode 21 are up slightly from previous weeks, and I suspect, despite all of the clamor to end the series at 8, and the requests by some to quit watching it, so there won’t be a season 9, the ending season 8 episode will probably be watched by more viewers.

All we can hope, is the last episode of Kate Beckett, will end in dignity. The premise of the show hasn’t been based on one person, it’s been about relationships, the strongest of which was that between NYPD officer Kate Beckett and writer Richard Castle. It’s difficult to conceive how this relationship can end without serious repercussions in the real world. There has been a large informal collective of fans disgruntled with the dismissal of Katic after a disappointingly written season 8. The viewership has declined, many fans attributed that to less screen time between these two actors and the “bogey-man in the corner, LokSat”, which is supposed to bring every season plot point to a dramatic end.

Show runners, Terence Paul Winter and Alexi Hawley haven’t speculated on the renewal or cancellation of Castle for Season 9. According to interviews, they have shot two different endings for season 8 depending on whether ABC renews or cancels the show, determines which of them is broadcast.

Castle_Beckett_posedWill it end with the death of Captain Beckett? Will it end with both Castle & Beckett deciding to take a lengthy vacation, postponed honeymoon together? We shall see, however if there’s a sad ending to this series, I suspect the viewership will drastically fall off and DVD sales of season 8 to be abysmal.

The Castle finale airs Monday, May 16 at 10/9c on ABC.

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Beckett_even_on_the_worst_days

 

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Once More Into the Breech…

Not since the time when the MDA fired Jerry Lewis and killed the Labor Day Telethon, have we seen the golden goose so badly drawn & quartered. This is what ABC Television has done to Castle, a much beloved by fans series, now in its eighth season.castle_finale_2

The episodic romance between Richard & Kate, kept people watching Castle. The perpetual watching, waiting, hoping, they will finally understand the chemistry between each other, kept viewers coming back to a clever, well acted dramedy. It took a crisis before Kate realized what was valuable in her life. The relationship needed to progress or they needed to end it. This is exactly where we are today in Season 8.

castle_beckett_better_days

By now the relationship, according to the way things were written in Season 7, should be moving toward the expansion of her public reputation, leading to possible political overtures, and maybe their first pregnancy. There was a direction and a place to increase the fan base with this story base-line already in motion. Instead, the wheels came off the chariot, and we’re left with the repetitive story of a secret criminal element, even more powerful than what drove her to find her mother’s killer(s). LokSat, seems almost a code for the writers; we’ve LOCKED our key characters into a GOING NOWHERE PLOT, and sat this one out, leaving the fan base in confusion. This announcement will require some type of drama, which many fans are concerned that it means they will kill off Kate, if there is to be a season 9.

Now, comes the backhand slap announcement before this season ends, to all of the fans of this masterfully created television program. The ABC executives declared, ‘THE SHOW MUST NOT GO ON!’ Too many people were enjoying it for at least the first 7 seasons. We haven’t quite killed it yet, so we’ll eliminate the leading co-star and important support character actors, (Stana & Tamala). The official story is, we’re letting them go, because we can’t afford to keep the most popular people in our show. Please stay tuned however, until we get our collective heads out of our lower alimentary tract and decide if we end ‘Castle’ at season 8, or limp on into season 9, with a modified version of Castle. We may keep some of the actors, but why tell them at this juncture whether they’re going to be included?

You couldn’t write a worse way to destroy a popular TV series. It was hemorrhaging fans during season 8, but now it’s almost as though it’s committing TV suicide. If this is what constitutes thoughtful executive deliberation, than they truly deserve being left with mindless comedies and reality TV entertainment with the resultant loss of a huge segment of viewers.

castle-season-rick-kate-gone

Castle on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright) Nathan Fillion

Choosing to call the series Castle was in name only. This isn’t Batman & Robin. If anything, Kate is Batman and Rick is Robin. Detective Kate Beckett (now Captain) was not just a co-star, she was integral to the entire premise of the series as was originally described by ABC.

After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard “Rick” Castle receives permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett, and her investigation team, for research purposes.

This description has been rewritten so as to appear as if her role wasn’t as important as his. This is another huge miscalculation by ABC.

The really clever writing will now be, how to properly write Kate Beckett (Stana Katic & Tamala Jones), out of the end of Season 8, and transition / position for a Season 9.

REFERENCE LINKS

 
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Posted by on 24/04/2016 in Actors, Choice, Comedy, Crime Drama, Entertainment, Humor, Plot, Rom-com, Romance, Stories, Television, Writing

 

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Biting the Hand That Feeds You

STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION

The announcement from ABC TV yesterday sent fans of the TV show, Castle, into hyperventilation. The TV crime, drama, romance, comedy series is in it’s 8th season and has enjoyed strong viewership until this season’s challenging plot miscues.

Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series ‘Castle’ for the past eight years. We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship,” read a statement from the network. “Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of ‘Castle.

The start of season 8 created a big stir among loyal fans who strongly objected to the separate on screen presence of either Nathan Fillion (Richard Castle) or Stana Katic (Capt. Kate Beckett). The official explanation is the story developers wanted to shake things up a bit, rather than pursue repetitious patterns. Behind the scenes rumors suggested it was due to the off camera rift between Fillion & Katic, whose only chemistry was on screen.

castle_lead_terminated

** RELEASED STATEMENTS **

In a statement, Stana Katic said: “Rather then distract from what was an amazing experience, I would just like to say that I’m very grateful to ABC for giving me the opportunity to be a part of a much beloved show.”

E Online states –
“Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past 8 years. We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series and we hope to continue our relationship. Tamala Jones has also been an integral part of the series and we are grateful she was a part of Castle,” ABC said in a statement.

Deadline TV –
Nathan Fillion is expected to return as Richard Castle for a shortened ninth season, Deadline reports. Fillion and Katic previously signed one-year contracts for the eighth season. According to Deadline, it was ABC’s decision not to have Katic and Jones return for season nine.

Castle has yet to be renewed, but sagging ratings and contract negotiations made it a long shot for renewal. ABC declined to comment on the prospect of a shorter season since the show has yet to officially be renewed.

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SpoilerTV –
While the studio started making overtures to Fillion for a new deal months ago and has been in on- and off- talks with him since the beginning of the year, I hear Katic was never approached to re-up her contract and was not offered an opportunity to continue on the show. Instead, I hear she, as well as Jones, were informed late last week that for budgetary reasons, they won’t be asked to come back for Season 9.

—–
Molly Quinn –

Early Tuesday, the actress took to Twitter to lament the departure of Stana Katic as well as fellow co-star Tamala Jones. “Yesterday was a horrible day,” she conceded. “I work[ed] with [Stana and Tamala] for 8 yrs. I love them. I’m heartbroken.”

—–
Nathan Fillion –

“Stana has been my partner all this time, and I thank her for creating the character of Beckett,” the actor shared in a message posted to Twitter. “I wish her well, and have no doubt she will succeed in everything she pursues. She will be missed.”

—–
Tamala Jones –

“I’ve had so much fun playing the wonderful and unfiltered ‘Lanie’ over the past eight seasons. I will greatly miss the cast and crew — it’s been a privilege getting to work with this incredibly hard working group of people. Thank you to ABC for this opportunity and to the fans for their unwavering support. It’s been an incredible journey and I can’t wait for what lies ahead!”


Castle_Becket_promo_pix_abc_network_b

Stana_Katic_not_being_asked_back_ABC

Castle_Becket_promo_pix_abc_network

“Castle” stars Nathan Fillion as a mystery novelist who teams up with NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett, played by Katic, to solve crimes. It premiered in 2009. The show has not yet been renewed for a ninth season.

 


Castle loses its better half

Heloise Appourchaux, TV Blogger

Monday doesn’t taste the same today for the Castle fandom. While the fans were going to enjoy a new episode tonight of the (former) hit-show, the show was a trending topic for a very sad reason….

 
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Posted by on 19/04/2016 in Actors, Choice, Crime Drama, Entertainment, Plot, Rom-com, Television, Writing

 

Last Evening Television

So many of us now have better image and audio in our homes than what you can experience in a theatre. This has pushed the envelope for better set & sound design as well as image quality. Clearly each of us has our own opinion on what we find interesting or entertaining. spotlights right

Lets review last nights Oscars. What did you like about the show?

Did the issues about diversity get addressed, or is this an attempt by the pampered elite to stay culturally relevant? How do they make sure the right films or people get recognized based on a proportional contribution?

How do you think Chris Rock did in hosting the Oscars? Did he also fall into the stereotype of racial slur?

Oscar_statue_sml.jpgHighest paid actors of 2105.

What did you think about the environmental message Leonardo DiCaprio gave in his acceptance speech?

Actor Mark Ruffalo has declared certain questions off limits to the media, regarding the sincerity of the actors who advocate a low carbon footprint. Ruffalo was asked in a one-on-one interview with Climate Depot if celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, who boasts that he will fly around the world to fight global warming and former VP Al Gore, are the best spokesmen for global warming, given their huge carbon footprints.

Last nights Oscars amassed a 15-block-radius of limos; “.. chauffers are captains of a sleek, passing fleet of more than 1,200 cars and SUVs that will navigate police perimeters, barricades, bomb squads, helicopter searchlights, hundreds, maybe thousands of fans and probably a few stalkers lingering beyond the paparazzi flash.”

Lady_Gaga_thumbnailMany attendees were moved by Lady Gagas song from Spotlight. After her musical presentation, many former victims stood hand in hand with the entertainers, but in light of all the revelations about actors, producers, directors and agents who have been accused of numerous sexual abuse crimes, do you think this was another of Hollywood’s attempt to be perceived on the right side of this issue?

High profile Hollywood power players accused of being paedophiles, include Bryan Singer.

Stephen Collins’ Wife Calls Him a ‘Pedophile’.

Molestation Scandal: Hollywood’s Child Sex Abuse Coverup.

Bill Cosby’s accusers tell their stories.

In a recent (2016) movie role, “Dirty Grandpa“, Robert De Niro plays a lecherous former Army Lieutenant-Colonel, a despicable grandfather, for comedic effect. Quite a different message than that of the Academy award winner, Spotlight.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


I Am Not What Happened to Me. I Am What I Choose to Become ~ Carl Jung

 

 

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It’s 2016 – Time to Find

It’s 2016 – Time to Find

It’s 2016 and I have a lot to look forward to, including writing my book. The other looming and more significant entertainment item….magnifying-glass

Sherlock is back! Tonight! Yea!!!

Tonight at 9PM – Sherlock special on BBC OneThe Abominable Bride
The one-off episode will see Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in their original Victorian setting.

Star_Wars_promo_1Probably the biggest 2015 buzz was the release of the latest Star WarsThe Force Awakens. There are already thousands of commentaries and critiques written about this latest film. I will wait a little longer before I post mine. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it but are intending to watch it soon.

I can unequivocally say I enjoyed this film. There were some areas which require closer examination and criticism, but the film was very entertaining. I observed a few people in the theater were actually poised on the edge of their seat for a good portion of the film.

Meanwhile, may I suggest you take a look at the Curnblog – Three Notes on Why The Force Awakens So Successfully

nw_coastI was very disappointed with this movie.. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015) I’m probably in the minority opinion. It seemed to take forever for the credits to roll. They were the best part of this draggingly long story.

Despite the seasoned cast, the acting was stilted, most battle sequences staged like a video game, and long segments of dialog which didn’t help tell the story. The movie could have been edited to no more than 90 minutes and contain all the necessary components to the story.

A sad note to begin the year.

We just lost two entertainment icons.
Natalie Cole, singer & daughter of Nat King Cole – gone at 65
and Wayne Rogers played Trapper John on MASH, dies at 82..

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Posted by on 01/01/2016 in Actors, Deaths, Entertainment, Television, Writing

 

The Perils in Episodic TV

Rick Castle 1st season episode 1

Rick Castle 1st season episode 1 – click for video

The line “quit killing my buzz“, describes a phenomenon in popular culture at a time when prior happiness or contentment, is no longer forth coming. Somewhat analogous to “bursting your bubble”. This is starting to happen for many that have been devoted fans of the TV dramedy, Castle.

Allow me to step back for a moment. I want to make sure those who read this understand, I’m a fan of the TV show, Castle. I don’t want to pretend I can write better scripts or that I know better than the combined efforts of this very talented ensemble. Contrary to that, I’m writing this as one of the loyal followers of this series, commenting with what I think and perhaps share with other fans.

Season 1 Castle & Beckett work a homicide together

Season 1 – Castle & Beckett work a homicide together – click for video

Castle returned to its much anticipated 8th season with the first two episodes primarily involving Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). Suddenly thrust into peril upon receiving a call from someone connected with her past working for the Federal government. She then faces a dilemma, a dangerous covert criminal organization who killed all of her peers who she worked with at the U.S. Attorney General’s office, might now go after anyone in her personal life. She decides the only way to protect Castle, is to separate, and act as though she’s no longer married to him

The dilemma the faithful Castle follower now has to face, how long can the complicated sub-plot, be woven into the season? It took 7 seasons, of on and off relationships with other people, before the writers led us to where Rick and Kate get married. It took 81 episodes, the end of the 4th season where the two of them could unleash their full passion for each other. Now they ask us to set aside all that momentum, all of those episodes where Kate learns Rick is much more than a writer or a serial womanizer, learned to trust his offbeat methods to arrive at case closure. Now, we have to set all that aside to allow time for the writers to bring them back together.

Rick Castle & Kate Beckett tie the knot in the 7th season.

Rick Castle & Kate Beckett tie the knot in season 7 – click for video.

Perhaps, in the end, we’ll be grateful for these plot twists and turns and be ever so happy they didn’t follow a somewhat more predictable arc. Right now, it feels disingenuous, contrived and we’re left to wonder, is this truly a way of creating a freshness to the series or the beginning of the end? Here’s where I’m ponderng how effective this is if you want a full 8th season or perhaps a 9th?

This is how I believe a series gets started and perhaps too, where it jumps the shark. A series like Castle, comes along very rarely, where the cast and crew seem to be making lightning in a bottle. They gather an audience with clever scripts, good acting and consistency. This gains a market share, but knowing how fickle an audience can be, the writers and the cast want to play with it, adjust it, derive different story arcs and either maintain or perhaps grow an audience. This isn’t easy to do, if it were, there would be a lot more successful TV shows.

I think Castle found it’s target audience, attempted to maintain it, but plateaued. Castle and Beckett have been the central focus and their relationship, ie. clever banter between each other, gave this series a spice that differs from most other procedurals. The Mentalist, a crime procedural series featuring two co-stars, struggled through relationship issues, also lost it’s footing for awhile, and ended last year.

Stana Katic may have been the surprise in this ensemble. Clearly she has a major role, promoted to Captain. Many of us are not all that impressed with her lack of screen time.  After the 1st season season of Castle, the fans found out, this lady can act, and is perfect opposite Nathan Fillion!

Castle & Beckett disarming a bomb in NY together

Castle & Beckett disarming a bomb in NY together – click for video

Kate Beckett starts out as a woman driven by the murder of her mother, motivating her to switch from an interest in law school to becoming a police detective. Nathan Fillion proved prior to this series, he was a leading man, but who knew he had this great comic timing and have great on screen chemistry with his co-star, Stana Katic? Over time, their story of meeting and working together, he as a gifted crime novelist, she as a police New York homicide detective, really worked. The who done it elements of the show were incidental to their clever interactions. The serial story of her coming out of her morose shell, and his toning down his playboy image to fall in love with each other, was what the fans liked, and couldn’t get enough.

BAM came the eighth season! There are ups and downs in any type of relationship, but this season changed things from what was previously successful. Gone were those magic moments of interaction between Castle & Beckett. Beckett’s total screen time has been greatly reduced, without any real interactions with her personal friend, Dr. Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones). We also lost a strong character from prior seasons 4-7, Captain Victoria Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald). Stana’s screen time, and Penny’s absence have now been replaced by a couple of new people. They have yet to click with me as solid replacements, and the Beckett & Castle romantic drift apart, have left me as well as others wondering, when or how will these two get back together?

Castle lined up with 12th Precinct detectives Ryan, Esposito, & Beckett.

Castle lined up with 12th Precinct detectives Ryan, Esposito, & Beckett.

I’ve noticed Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion have producer credits, which suggests a strong buy in from these two actors.

I just hope they can also re-bottle the magic before the series loses out in the ratings race.

Castle series to adopt extended winter break plan. Last episode will air Nov. 23 & resume early February 2016.

Related Links

Where did this show jump the shark? This awkward writing phase began at the end of season 6. Beckett and Castle had to find the spouse of Beckett to obtain a consensual divorce, with whom she got married as a lark many years before in Las Vegas. Then the CIA crashed Castle’s car on his wedding day, to bring him to Thailand to help calm a jittery old prep school acquaintance. Supposedly he could only trust Castle, with whom he would work to “save the world from a major terrorist plot”. The CIA did something to give Castle amnesia, but before he acquires a greater degree of ineptitude and childish behavior, as later in season 8, he successfully pieces his memory fragments back together, sufficient to help take down one of the terrorist conspirators.

Rick Castle 8th seasonSeason 8, requires more suspended reality when Beckett leaves Castle to take down a drug lord who caused the deaths of an AG team, where she had a very brief tenure. We have to believe there isn’t a federal agency with sufficient capability to do this and that only our intrepid NYC police captain can go after and bring these gangsters to justice? (This causes a rip in the space time continuum ~ well it seems this far fetched). She finds her only way to protect Rick & family is to create distance both physical and emotional.

We must assume Beckett can’t work with other federal or local law enforcement to capture or kill these criminals. This means her promotion to a leader of the 12th precinct as Captain was premature at best and somehow, through superhuman efforts, she will finish the job, and return to Castle. Then again, perhaps not, because the new show runners want to keep us in suspense by having place holder scripts, with Rick Castle behaving almost like a team member of the Bowery Boys. Maybe to end the season, they will kill Beckett, who knows? How many fans will be around by then?

 
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Posted by on 10/11/2015 in Comedy, Crime Drama, Entertainment, Plot, Television

 
 
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