So, Robert Pattinson turns into Hal Holbrook, but before he does, Reese Witherspoon must choose between him and a ringmaster/animal trainer played by Christoph Waltz and, I guess, an elephant. Since, as per Brad Brevet, Waltz is a nasty paranoid schizophrenic here, I guess I’d have to recommend the elephant.
But, seriously, even though the dialogue in this trailer sounds pretty trite, this might turn out to be a pretty cool old-fashioned romantic melodrama. I don’t know anything about the novel this is based on by Sara Gruen, but scripter Richard LaGravenese has written some superb screenplays, particularly his own hugely underrated “Living Out Loud,” which he directed, and “The Fisher King” with Terry Gilliam. The director is Francis Lawrence of “I Am Legend.”
Anyone who watches “Sons of Anarchy” is well aware of the path of destruction that creator Kurt Sutter left behind at the end of last season, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Season Three begins with the characters picking themselves up off the ground. Only a few days have passed since that disastrous chain of events, and Gemma is still on the lam after being set up by Agent Stahl for the death of Edmond Hayes. But now that Unser has returned to his duties Charming, Tig and a few of the Oregon-based Sons have taken Gemma to a rundown motel to hide out.
Clay has smartly refrained from telling her about Abel’s kidnapping, and it’s a good thing that he has or otherwise, she’d probably come racing back to help with the search. Of course, between trying to hotwire a car and stabbing its owner in the groin with a pocket knife, Gemma has already proved quite a handful for Tig, so he finally concedes to her request to visit her father (Hal Holbrook) when she reads that her mother has recently passed away in the newspaper. I’ll be curious to see where this particular storyline goes, because it doesn’t look like Gemma will be coming back to Charming anytime soon, and quite frankly, she’s already missed.
Tara is doing a pretty good job of filling in, however, and there was a really sweet moment between her and Clay where he told her that she was the best thing to happen to Jax. Though it’s possible that he was just being nice so she would cooperate and not name the Sons during her testimony to the FBI, Clay has always placed family first, and Tara is now a part of that family. And if you didn’t think that Tara was fully committed to Jax and the club before tonight, then she pretty much confirmed it by refusing to leave Charming despite Jax’s request, summing it up perfectly towards the end of the episode with the following speech: “We don’t know who we are until we’re connect to someone else. We’re just better human beings when we’re with the people we’re supposed to be with… I belong here.”
Tara even stood up to Stahl after being accused of lying during her testimony, calling her out at as a despicable human being and more or less threatening her to stay away from her family. But while Stahl didn’t seem too affected by Tara’s best Gemma impression, she looked positively terrified after Clay delivered a message of his own: “Anything happens to my grandson, I promise you, I’m going to shove a gun barrel up that bony ass of yours and I’m gonna blow your black heart out.” You have to hand it to him, though, because he’s right. While the Sons don’t exactly adhere the highest moral standards, Stahl’s web of lies has led to the deaths of several innocents and the kidnapping of baby Abel. Eventually, that’s all going to catch up to her, whether she ultimately confesses from a guilty conscience or someone else pulls the trigger. I’m betting on the latter.
Anyone that’s read my “Sons of Anarchy” blog or followed our bi-annual TV Power Rankings on Bullz-Eye knows that I’m a massive fan of the FX biker drama, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I’m beyond excited for the start of the new season. Last December, creator Kurt Sutter delivered a heart-wrenching finale that resulted in the death of several characters (including one of the Sons’ own), and found Ethan Zobelle getting away scot-free, Gemma on the lam for murder, and Jax’s son kidnapped by IRA gunrunner Cameron Hayes.
Season Three picks up only a few days later, with SAMCRO still reeling over Abel’s kidnapping and Gemma finding refuge with her father, played by Academy Award nominee Hal Holbrook, who might just be the show’s golden ticket to the Emmys next year. Holbrook isn’t the only new actor joining the cast, either, as the Sons’ will be heading to Ireland in search of Abel, placing them smack dab in the middle of IRA country. Among the new faces include “Deadwood” alum Paula Malcomson as the old lady to a member of the Belfast charter and cousin of Cameron Hayes, and James Cosmo (“Braveheart”) as her priestly brother. Kenny Johnson, who briefly appeared last season as a nameless member of the Tacoma charter, will also have a recurring role this season (and now with a name, Kozik), which means we’ll probably learn more about his mysterious history with Tig.
While flipping through the Season Three press kit that FX provided critics, I also found it a bit suspicious that Tayler Sheridan, the actor who plays Deputy Chief David Hale, was missing from the cast and crew bio section, despite the inclusion of much smaller supporting characters. Although it’s pretty much a given that Hale will be taking over the role of Chief now that Unser has left Charming with Gemma, I’ve heard rumors over the last few weeks that the first episode features a bombshell of a surprise involving his character. I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but I’ll be blogging the season as it progresses, so be sure to come back on Tuesday nights to read my recaps and join the conversation. To help tide you over until then, check out this sneak peek of the new season courtesy of FX:
When you work for a web magazine which has trumpeted itself as “The Guys’ Portal to the Web,” you have to learn that, despite your best intentions of covering a diverse amount of TV-DVD releases, your bosses aren’t always going to be as enthusiastic about your review picks as you are. After having suffered through a slight chastising over my decision to praise “Blossom: Seasons 1 and 2” on Bullz-Eye, it seemed like a wise move to avoid an argument and just do my review of “Designing Women: The Complete Series” over on Premium Hollywood instead. This is, after all, practically the antithesis of what the average Bullz-Eye reader would be watching…and given how many times the episodes have been rerun on the Lifetime Network over the years, one wonders if even the show’s fans really need to own it on DVD. (That’s a joke, of course: “Designing Women” fans have been clamoring for the show to come to DVD for years, so you can only imagine their excitement.)
The back of the box boldly declares that the cast members of “Designing Women” – Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, and Jean Smart – “brought a new kind of Southern spirit to American television. Smart, ambitious, and outspoken, they embodied the ‘new’ Southern woman.” That’s as may be, but it doesn’t feel terribly groundbreaking…and if you check your ’80s sitcom timeline, it’s pretty obvious that CBS’s interest in picking up the show stemmed from a desire to entice some of the women who were watching NBC’s “The Golden Girls.” To be fair, however, creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason devised the show mostly because she wanted to see the four actresses, each of whom had worked with her in the past, teamed up in a show together.
“Designing Women: The Complete First Season” might as well cause estrogen to come billowing forth from your DVD player, so much is it geared toward the fairer sex. Not that that isn’t to be expected from a show with a title like that, but it really needs to be underlined, lest any guys find their girlfriends or wives asking them if they’d like to check out the set with them. God help you if you end up in such a position, but if you do, then you can at least request that you watch the following episodes, which have solid guest stars: “Design House” (Stephen Tobolowsky), “Grand Slam, Thank You, Ma’am” (Gregg Henry), “I Do, I Don’t” and “Reese’s Friend” (you can never go wrong when Hal Holbrook turns up), and the two-parter entitled “Old Spouses Never Die,” which features Michael Jeter and Scott Bakula. There’s also the occasional saving grace of Meshach Taylor, who pops up as ex-con Anthony Bouvier once in awhile, but he’s not a regular in this season, so he’s certainly not around every episode.
Lastly, if you are a fan of the show but you can’t imagine any need to actually own the set (seriously, every episode must’ve been aired on Lifetime at least a thousand times), you might be swayed into a purchase by “Designing Women: A Reunion,” a 36-minute retrospective of the show which took place at the Paley Center for Media in 2006. Taylor is conspicuous in his absence, but it’s nice to see Burke, Carter, Potts, and Smart together again, along with Bloodworth-Thomason, as they discuss the legacy of the show.