Thursday, July 18, 2013

My TV marathon recommendations for summer 2013

My TV-marathon recommendations for summer 2013
Whether you're getting them on your TV channels, streaming videos online, or buying DVDs, here's a list of what to watch this summer... 
(NOTE: SOME SPOILERS ARE MENTIONED so don't hate me if you haven't watched these yet):

The White Queen (BBC/Starz)
BBC One's publicity still for The White Queen
Starz' more sultry (and inaccurate--never once does Elizabeth appear in red lipstick) still for The White Queen

Pros: Fast paced, fun adaptation of Philippa Gregory's trilogy on the Plantaganets (The White Queen, The Red Queen, The Kingmaker's Daughter) shot at stunning locations in Flanders. Keep in mind that for once, the BBC version is less raunchy than it's US counterpart (since it'll be broadcast on Starz, a cable channel). Featuring Jeremy Iron's dashing young son, Max Irons, as King Edward IV, and likable newbie Rebecca Ferguson as Elizabeth Woodville (Edward's queen).
Rebecca Ferguson (Elizabeth) and Max Irons (Edward IV)

Cons: Historical inaccuracy but hey, that's not what Gregory's known for (remember The Other Boleyn Girl?). Check out the BBC's documentary on The 'Real' White Queen:
Philippa Gregory (in orange) with the cast

Annoying element/s: Margaret Beaufort, the 'Red' queen. This actress (Amanda Hale) is irritating in everything she plays, from Ripper Street to The Crimson Petal and the White. Hale specializes in sucking in her lip, jutting out her chin, and acting psychotic.

It's unnervingly easy for Pakistanis to understand the character of Margaret Beaufort. She's a fundo who is obsessed with her son. 

The Americans (FX)

Pros: Gray protagonists in a catchy storyline about two KGB spies posing as an all-American couple, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, in the Reagan era. Keri Russell brings sleek style to 80s fashion and, despite her many wigs and guises, never once repeats her Felicity curls/perm. 
Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings

Rocking an 80s jumpsuit

Glam suburban mom/KGB spy

Cons: Russians spies never speaking Russian. Not even a cuss word. Listed here too:

Annoying element/s: Most of the people that Philip and Elizabeth hookup with during espionage are pretty unattractive. Super-needy Martha is one of them--and actress Alison Wright also happens to be a Cherie Blair lookalike.
Philip (Matthew Rhys) seducing Martha (Alison Wright)

Mistresses (ABC)

Pros: Catchy, air-headed soapy drama to fill that void left after the demise of Desperate Housewives. More at:
Refreshing to see Alyssa Milano (as Savi, a married attorney) take on a mature character which doesn't require her to be 'cute.' The other members of the foursome include Savi's younger sister, Jocelyn (played by Jes Macallan), psychiatrist Karen (Yunjin Kim), and single mom April (Rochelle Yates). 
Adapted from a British show; actor/producer Milano remarked that they used its first season's storylines for  just their pilot episode

Cons: Savi's chemistry with Dominic (Jason George, who plays Bailey's nurse-husband in Gray's Anatomy) is hardly sizzling. Jocelyn, the nymphomaniacal realtor seems inspired by SATC's Samantha but lacks her glam and wit. Karen's accent is a little distracting, though her beautiful zen-like home makes up for it. April is stunningly beautiful but infuriatingly naive. 

The cast at a panel discussion

Annoying element/s: Karen's ex's dorky son, Sam (Erik Stocklin). He should be bumped off the story. Like yesterday. 
(That's him sitting alone on the couch)

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