Tag: Kurt Sutter (Page 2 of 3)

Sons of Anarchy: Season Three Preview

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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:

TCA Press Tour, Summer 2010: Day 8

Much as the CBS family of networks split their efforts into two days worth of panels – one for CBS, the other for Showtime and The CW – so did Fox give us some breathing room by placing their presentations for FX’s slate of new programming on a separate day. (I wish to God NBC / Universal would take a cue from their peers. I’m so sick of being rushed through a mishmosh of NBC, USA, Bravo, and SyFy series in one long can’t-stop-won’t-stop day.)

Executive Session

Your personal mileage may vary, but for my money, John Landgraf is one of the nicest network heads currently in the game. He’s very low-key, but he’s always ready to give you a quote when you’re looking for one. Today, he offered up the following bits and pieces about the future of FX.

* “Louie” has been renewed for a second season of 13 episodes.

* Ben Garant and Tom Lennon, late of “Reno 911!,” are going to do a pilot for FX called “The USS Alabama.” It’s another partially-scripted, partially-improvised series, and, according to Landgraf, “It takes place in space on the USS Alabama with a crew of spacefarers who might not be too much brighter than the cops in ‘Reno 911!’”

* There are two other pilots in the works as well, the first being “Outlaw Country,” which will star Mary Steenburgen. “Some really talented young actors have joined that cast,” said Landgraf. “That goes into production in, I think, six weeks. It’s a fantastic script. Something we’re really, really excited about.” The other is “Wilfred,” a comedy pilot based on an Australian comedy series, which completed principal photography last week.

* The “Damages” deal done with DirecTV is different from the one that was done with “Friday Night Lights” in that FX will not be offering up the episodes after they’ve run on DirecTV. “The season that has aired, which was the third season of ‘Damages,’ is the last season it will air on FX,” said Landgraf. “For us, we’re also producers on ‘Damages.’ We’ve been co-owners and co-producers through FX Productions, and DirectTV felt very strongly. They were willing to underwrite it, and to a very substantial amount financially, they enabled it to move forward. That was the deal that Sony worked on very aggressively, but they wanted it exclusively, so this was really the best and only way for ‘Damages’ to move forward. So we stepped aside as a network entity, and we’re still involved as a production entity.”

Sons of Anarchy

I don’t know that there’s any series currently on the air that I feel worse about not watching than “Sons of Anarchy.” Everyone tells me it’s fantastic, I have every reason to believe that those people are right, and yet I just haven’t had the time to go back and revisit the show’s first two seasons. But that won’t stop me from bringing you the info that creator Kurt Sutter and his cast provided to us during the show’s panel, of course.

As far as the “big bad” for Season 3, as it were, Sutter says, “We have a couple dual storylines going in Charming and as well as in Belfast, but I guess if you had to pin it down to one specific adversary, I would say that it’s probably the Titus Welliver character, Jimmy O.”

What of the theme of the new season? “I don’t know if there’s one specific overriding theme,” said Sutter. “I think the theme is always about family and Jax sort of defining his role as a father and as a partner and as a son and as a member of this club, and the Abel storyline drives us through pretty much the entire season, and…I don’t want to give anything away in terms of what that means and where that takes us, but, you know, the thing is our seasons, the actual span of time within our seasons is very short. It’s potentially a couple, two or three weeks. So there isn’t a lot of time that passes where you can have a lot of things unfold organically. So it is a very concentrated period of time which I think helps feed, I think, the sense of urgency for the tasks that they have at hand this season.”

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2009: A Year’s Worth of Interviews – The Top 100 Quotes

Some people think that the life of a work-at-home entertainment writer is one of the most lax jobs out there, since the perception is generally is that all you do is sit around and watch DVDs, occasionally venture out of the house to see movies or concerts, and then sit in front of the computer and write about them. Okay, it’s a fair cop. But when you throw interviews into the mix, there’s a bit more work involved. First, you’ve got to get the interview (they aren’t always handed to you on a silver platter), then you’ve got to do the research to make sure that you can ask some halfway knowledgeable questions, and after you conduct the interview, let’s not forget that you’ve got to transcribe it, too. In other words, yes, there really is work involved…and when I went back and discovered that I’d done well over 130 interviews during the course of 2009, I suddenly realized why I’m so tired all the time.

For your reading enjoyment, I’ve pulled together a list of 100 of my favorite quotes from the various interviews I conducted for Premium Hollywood, Bullz-Eye, Popdose, and The Virginian-Pilot this year, along with the links to the original pieces where available. As you can see, I had some extremely interesting conversations in 2009. Let us all keep our fingers crossed that I’m able to chat with just as many fascinating individuals in 2010…

1. Pamela Adlon: “In the first season (of ‘Californication’), when we had the threesome with the nipple clamps, I was, like, ‘I don’t get this, I don’t know how you’re gonna do it.’ And then, all of a sudden, there’s a crane with a camera hanging over our heads, and you’re, like, ‘Okayyyyyyy. But how are you gonna sell this? How are you gonna make it work?’ And they ended up shooting it brilliantly, cutting it together, and it just all ended up working without me having to compromise my own personal morals.”

2. Jonathan Ames: “After my first novel, my mother said to me, ‘Why don’t you make your writing more funny? You’re so funny in person.’ Because my first novel was rather dark. And I don’t know, but something about what she said was true. ‘Yes, why don’t I?’ Maybe I was afraid to be funny in the writing. But since then, seven books later, almost everything I’ve done has a comedic edge to it.”

3. Ed Asner: “I loved journalism until the day my journalism teacher, a man I revered, came by my desk and said, ‘Are you planning on going into journalism?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I wouldn’t.’ I said, ‘Well, why not?’ He said, ‘You can’t make a living.’”

4. Sean Astin: “When somebody brings up a movie (of mine) that I haven’t heard about in a long time, I feel like a 70-year-old pitcher at a bar somewhere, and somebody walks in and says, ‘Oh, my God, I was in St. Louis and I saw you. You pitched a shutout.’ It’s real. I really did do that, because someone today remembers it.”

5. Darryl Bell: “The legend of ‘Homeboys in Outer Space’ has become much more incendiary than the actual show. It’s funny how I usually challenge most people who talk about how much they disliked ‘Homeboys’ to name me five episodes. Most of them can’t, because they just bought into the ‘oh, it’s awful, just the title. Oh, it’s terrible.’ What’s interesting is that I had a great conversation with Chi McBride, who was doing ‘The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer,’ which, if you want to talk about in terms of the imagery of what was wrong, that show was much more infamous than ‘Homeboys.’ Yet it’s not remembered in the same way because the title didn’t grab you in the same way. I remember Chi pulled me aside and he was, like, ‘Look, everyone who is criticizing what you’re doing would take your job from you in two seconds. All of them. So all I can tell you is that this is one blip on both of our careers, and we are moving on.’”

6. Adam Campbell: “For some reason, people always pick on the British sensibility, and we always come across as stupid, but remember: we used to run this country!”

7. Nestor Carbonell: “Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not wear make-up, and I do not wear eye-liner. This is something I’ve had to deal with my whole life. I remember I was in college in Boston, I had a commercial agent, and they sent me out for some print commercial stuff. And they called me into the office and said, ‘Look, we called you in to talk to you because we just want you to know that…well, we don’t think you need to wear eyeliner.’ And I’m, like, ‘What?’ ‘Yeah, it’s okay, you don’t have to wear it for print ads.’ ‘No, I’m not wearing eyeliner!’ And I kept dabbing my eyes and saying, ‘Look! No eyeliner! I’m not wearing any!’”

8. Elaine Cassidy: “The last two days of shooting (‘Harper’s Island’) was probably the most hardcore, the coldest anyone has ever been. It was like your head was freezing, and my motivation for most scenes was, ‘The minute this scene is over, I’m heading straight over to that heater to get warm.’”

9. Chris Cornell: “I started as a drummer, so I sort of took on singing duties by default. I had sung backgrounds and some lead vocals from behind the drums in different bands that I’d been in, and I’d gotten great responses for the songs I would sing. I really started pursuing the possibility of being a lead singer based on the fact that I was working a full-time restaurant job and then playing gigs at night, hauling drums around. One day, it just dawned on me that, ‘Hey, I could be in a band and be the singer, and it would be a lot easier!’”

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Sons of Anarchy 2.13 – Na Triobloidi

If you didn’t know Kurt Sutter worked on “The Shield” prior to last night’s episode, you probably figured it out by the time it was over. All I have to say is that Shawn Ryan taught him well, because the season finale was just as heart-wrenchingly upsetting as any hour of television Ryan produced in the past. Let me explain. I don’t mean it was upsetting in the sense that I didn’t enjoy it, but rather that when it ended, all I could think about was the fact that I’d have to wait nine long months for its conclusion. Many critics have argued in the past that shorter TV seasons improve the quality of the show (and I agree), but if there’s any downside to that model, it’s that you have to wait even longer for their return.

Though the season finale left quite a few cliffhangers for fans to dwell on during the winter months, there was at least some feeling of completion with the death of AJ Weston. After the sheriff’s department was forced to let him go because Chucky’s testimony didn’t hold up, Weston is warned to get the hell out Charming as fast as he can. Before he leaves, however, Weston convinces Hale to set up a supervised visit with his kid, and when Jax catches wind of the news, he intercepts him to deliver his revenge. At least Weston took it like a man, because the same can’t be said of Ethan Zobelle. Of course, that’s because Zobelle is a different kind of monster completely. In fact, it turns out he’s an FBI snitch, which forces Hale to cut him loose as well, only for Zobelle to go run to the Mayans for protection.

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While the Sons wait out a seemingly inevitable showdown with the Mayans in the middle of town, Zobelle plans his getaway to Budapest. His daughter wants to say her goodbyes to Edmond first, though, and it turns out to be an unwise decision, because Gemma follows her there and shoots her dead. What Gemma doesn’t realize is that Agent Stahl is also in the house – still trying to get her shit together after she killed Edmond during an attempted escape – and now Stahl has framed her for both murders. She’s nice enough to give Gemma a head start, but that doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. After all, regardless of when he gets caught, it’s going to be pretty difficult to prove her innocence when the only other witness in the room is not only the real murderer, but a federal agent as well. Getting the Sons out of those gun charges is one thing, but how are they going to get Gemma out of this mess? You’ve got me, but for the time being, Wayne seems content with the idea of running away with her.

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Sons of Anarchy 2.12 – Culling

If there’s one complaint that I had about last year’s season finale, it’s that most of the good stuff happened the week before. That wasn’t the case last night, however, despite the fact that it sure seemed like it was headed that way. Instead, we got a good tease as to what might just happen when the Sons finally get a little alone time with Ethan Zobelle and AJ Weston. They’ve already started planning for it by gathering everyone’s families and friends at the clubhouse to provide protection, while Sons from all over the state are riding in to help end this thing once and for all. Most noteworthy is Kenny Johnson (late of “The Shield”) as the head (?) of the Tacoma chapter. Though we don’t even know his name yet, we do know that he and Tig have some kind of beef between them. And if our recent interview with Kurt Sutter is any indication, his character will play role in next season as well. (Hell, I’d love it if they brought him on full time).

Before I get any further into my discussion about SAMCRO, however, I need to address a few quick things. First, Chucky is alive and well, and he’s returned to the clubhouse after days of no one hearing from him with news about who burned down Caracara. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is probably, “What the hell happened to him and Darby?,” but since word on the block is that the scene was cut from a previous episode for time, we might never know. That certainly leaves Darby’s fate up in the air, but now that he’s been screwed by Zobelle twice, I have a feeling he’s going to owe the Sons big time whenever he resurfaces.

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The other major non-SAMCRO talking point was undoubtedly Tara’s face-off with that nosy hospital administrator who seems to have it out for her. After weeks of being treated like shit, Tara finally snapped and put her in a choke hold. When the lady cried “assault,” Tara made the most of it by punching her in the face and then threatening her family if she doesn’t drop the bogus claim. It was certainly a cheer-worthy moment for those wondering just how much more abuse Tara would take from the lady, and though it probably wasn’t the best way to handle things, it was the only way she was ever going to get that lady off her back. After all, Tara’s just trying to her job, and her personal life shouldn’t affect that.

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