‘Daredevil’ Original Series Casts Karen Page

dawddTRUE BLOOD actress Deborah Ann Woll will play Karen Page, the female lead in Marvel Television and Netflix’s upcoming Daredevil series. Karen is the longtime love interest of Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and appeared in the very first issue of the comic book, back in 1964.

Karen was killed in the comics in 1999, but Woll’s character will be a new, cinematic version.

Daredevil stars Charlie Cox (BOARDWALK EMPIRE) as Matt Murdock/Daredevil; Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1) as Foggy Nelson; Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket) as Kingpin, and Rosario Dawson (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) in an undisclosed role (Elektra?).


TRUE BLOOD 5.10: “Gone, Gone, Gone”

I knew this was going to be a nutty episode when Mike Spencer (John Billingsley), the coroner, showed up randomly on Sookie’s (Anna Paquin) doorstep having been transformed into a vampire during the week’s span since last episode and tried to eat her, only to be staked by the conveniently handy chopsticks from Sookie’s takeout dinner.

And things went downhill from there, picking up with the seemingly unnecessary execution of Molly (Tina Majorino) by Bill (Stephen Moyer), who seems really into this Sanguinista stuff, even though he’d never heard of them until a few weeks ago. If he’s faking, he owes Molly an apology. Oh, well, at least her true death proved her iStake contraption actually worked — which I suppose would have been ironic if it weren’t so on the nose (or rather, in the heart).
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TRUE BLOOD 5.9: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

Based on the total lameness on display and the alacrity with which the Dragon/Let’s Shoot Shifters plotline was dispatched, and the ifrit story dragging on longer than the occupation of Iraq, it’s clear that exec producer Alan Ball and his scribes are bored with their own show, so why should we watch?

The Dragon in charge of the yokels shootin’ up shifters turned out to not be former sheriff Bud Dearborn (played by the slumming William Sanderson, who deserves better), but… someone else, some tubby crazy lady whose sexual prowess apparently had Bud by the short-and-curlies to such a degree that he was convinced he was saving the world by wearing a rubber mask and shooting at puppies. Nobody in the viewing audience knows who she is or cares, so let’s get rid of her, forthwith. Enter St. Sookie (Anna Paquin) of the Mm-Mm-Good Blood, who was looking for more info on her dead parents, and she accidentally brings down the whole “Obamas” operation — which she knew nothing about.
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TRUE BLOOD 5.8: “Somebody That I Used to Know”

In Joel and Ethan Coen‘s comedy classic Raising Arizona, repeat offending small-time criminal H.I. McDonnough (Nicolas Cage) goes before the parole board.

Parole Board Chairman: They’ve got a name for people like you, H.I. That name is called “recidivism.”… Not a pretty name is it, H.I.?

H.I.: No, sir. That’s one bonehead name.

Well, this week’s episode proved that TRUE BLOOD is a recidivist. And it wasn’t pretty. It was downright boneheaded. And boring.
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TRUE BLOOD 5.7: “In the Beginning”

I cannot tell you all how happy I am that Denis O’Hare has taken control of TRUE BLOOD in the form of Russell Edgington. I have been suffering through this season, watching multiple storylines drag along like the shuffling undead, the Authority storyline twisting randomly and doubling back on itself just to kill time.

But the time has come! Russell has returned, and he is large and in charge! Long live the king! Long Live Russell Edgington!
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TRUE BLOOD: Truly Middling

Damn, TRUE BLOOD had to go and disappoint me by letting Tara live. Deep down, I figured she would, but you can’t blame a fella for hoping, right? It seems this show now exists to annoy me. I’m bored to tears with everyone on the show taking turns manifesting new powers. Now Bon Temps is weirdo central, populated only by the supernatural. And now the only storyline I’m enjoying — the Authority clamping down — is being dragged out by confusing internal politics, false confessions and needless delay of the Russell Edginton reveal.

It wasn’t enough that Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) saved Tara (Rutina Wesley) from charbroiling herself in a tanning booth — she had to go and forbid her from ever trying to cook herself again. That’s doubly disappointing, because I was kind of hoping that if Tara failed to achieve the true death this week, she could spend the rest of the season trying to off herself in increasingly hilarious ways. Alas, Pam has precluded that. Unless… yeah, she compelled Tara not to try to kill herself again in a tanning bed! She should be able to try something else.
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TRUE BLOOD’s Tru Problem

Please! Oh, please — by the Vampire Bible, let Tara roast herself to (true) death! Please don’t let Pam rescue her at the beginning of next week’s TRUE BLOOD. The town of Bon Temps — and the show — would be so much better without Tara stomping through scenes, trying to suck up all the attention like an obstreperous child.

I absolutely despise the way the show has been emphasizing the most venomous, hate-spewing, unlikeable, nasty, contentious, repulsive and just plain mean character on TV. From the moment she appeared back in the first season, Tara has been begging to be staked — even if she only became a vamp this season. She may be a true bloodsucker now, but she’s always been a psychic and emotional vampire, draining her friends and family (and, I suspect, people she passes in the street), no matter how much they try to help her. Why is Sookie still friends with this walking train-wreck? (Even her name — Thornton, implies what a pain she is!)
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Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 11/17/08

This was the week for the usually stomach-churning food competition on THE AMAZING RACE. The racers found themselves in Kazakhstan (the world’s largest landlocked country), and I don’t know if this was due to Kazakhstan’s litigious nature ever since the Borat movie, or the presence of the gyrating belly-dancers, but the grotesqueness of the meal (at least to coddled American palates) was strangely downplayed. The local…er, delicacy would be described as the fat from the hindquarters of a sheep. The twist here was that the eating challenge was a Fast Forward, so not everyone had to play. And not everyone did — vegetarian Terence was horrified to discover the challenge involved eating meat. He hadn’t touched the stuff in 15 years, and couldn’t bring himself to eat a plate — even for a shot at $1 million. But I couldn’t help wondering why he even bothered to eat a couple of forkfuls. I mean, doesn’t that ruin all those years of sacrifice? And I didn’t see Terence ask, but surely RACE producers would have allowed for an alternate “local delicacy?” Meanwhile, other racers had to search a chicken farm for golden eggs and don a two-part cow costume and drink milk. (Apparently there were no problems with lactose intolerance.) Only Toni and Dallas really had any fun with the pantomime cow costume (dancing and merrily mooing along), and the outfit was almost, but not quite, the undoing of Ken and Tina. (Darn!) Terence and Sarah could not overcome the loss of time from having to abandon the Fast Forward, and found themselves bounced.

For some reason, I cannot completely bounce on TRUE BLOOD. It’s just barely interesting enough to keep me coming back — although I know folks who absolutelylove it. This week I enjoyed seeing the process of turning someone into a vampire (which the vamps themselves don’t even understand) when Bill had to turn Jessica. The episode was titled “To Love is to Bury,” and that’s because tyro vamp and maker have to be buried to make the switch. Formerly repressed Jessica came out of the ground eager to cuss, kill and strip. But drink TrueBlood? Not so much. And why is BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s Admiral Cain trolling the local drunk tank?

Continuing back in time (and on a supernatural bent)… Having Melinda’s husband Jim die on GHOST WHISPERER could have been just another jump-the-shark gimmick (and, truth to tell, it still may become one), but so far it has been interesting. Jim flatly refuses to cross over despite Melinda’s pleas, so he’s becoming something of an otherworldly stalker. The show examines Jim’s death by having Melinda help the daughter of the trigger-happy cop who capped Jim. Turned out Detective Neely was consumed with guilt over the death of his daughter from anorexia. Ladle on Jim’s tormenting his wife out of love, and we get the following theme: “We always hurt the ones we love.” Jim ended the episode with a desperate gamble: He possessed the body of a recently killed man with just one side effect: The “revivified” Jim doesn’t remember/recognize Melinda. Methinks it ain’t just “soap amnesia.”

From the “I remember you” file, GENERAL HOSPITAL’s own Giselle, Tamlyn Tomita, returned to the STARGATE universe when manipulative IOC operative Shen Xiaoyi paid her first visit to the Pegasus Galaxy on this week’s STARGATE: ATLANTIS. Tomita makes for a nicely oily bureaucrat. And her self-serving character contrasts with her former role as the upstanding Laurel Takashima in the BABYLON 5 universe.

Character names can so often be dull, but one of the things I really like aboutSUPERNATURAL is the careful thought that goes into naming even incidental characters. It’s fun to identify the source of the fake names Sam and Dean use each week — are they shout-outs to bands or movies? This week the boys met a young woman who can hear the conversations of angels, and she was named Anna Milton, an obvious reference to poet John Milton, whose 1667 epic Paradise Lost dealt with the fall of Lucifer — the Big Bad whom Lillith is trying to free. Couple that with all the references to the Book of Revelations, and viewers come away with quite a reading list. (BTW, the 12-part Paradise Lost is really worth the effort.)

Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 9/15/08

To be blunt, this week’s installment of TRUE BLOOD kinda sucked (pun intended). Jason did not kill Maudette, but I really don’t care who did because I never knew who Maudette was, beyond being a “fang-banger.” Bill saved Sookie from her life-threatening injuries by allowing her to drink his blood (or “V juice”), but when she awoke he was licking blood from her head wound. I thought about that, and to a vampire, wouldn’t taking blood without permission be something like rape? Anyway, the V juice in Sookie’s system gave her enhanced sense and linked her to…yadda, yadda, yadda. Tara remains the scariest thing on this series (her animosity toward everyone except Jason is frightening), although she did express an actual human emotion. I’m figuring the show is setting her up as such a monster in order to eventually contrast her with the inhuman vampires who will then appear more “human.” (Though the vamps have presumably killed three people in just one episode.) Next week promises more vamp action (and more of GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Graham Shiels (Cody) as the “Tattooed Vampire,” so maybe Sookie is worth one more look-see.

Vince spent this week’s ENTOURAGE in “movie jail,” meaning nobody wanted to hire him because, in Ari’s words, Medellin was bad and Vince was bad in it. But, true to form, Vince did manage to find a comely cellmate to pass some time: pop tart Justine Chapin (played by the sublime Leighton Meester, who has became a star in her own right as GOSSIP GIRL’s Blair Waldorf since last appearing in 2004). Executive producer Mark Wahlberg (the original inspiration for ENTOURAGE) made a cameo as himself, while Giovanni Ribisi and Lukas Haas played novice screenwriters/gun nuts and Carla Gugino returned as Vince’s old agent, Amanda Daniels. What will Ari think of E bringing her a script Ari rejected? I was surprised that Ari was honest enough to not lie to Vince about being a good actor. He said Vince’s talent “remains to be seen.” But to Vince’s credit, he realized he has to play the Hollywood game if he wants to work. And he realized he wants to make a go of it with Justine. And I realized I might get to see Leighton twice a week for a while. Nothing wrong with that.

But there was plenty wrong with MAD MEN — in the storyline, I mean; the show itself is in excellent shape. Colin Hanks returned as Father Gill, and oh, lordy, he was still trying to get Peggy to confess to having a child out of wedlock. She almost did —Elizabeth Moss looked so pained as her eyes filled with tears, but Peggy held it together. Christina Hendricks‘ Joan had a very similar scene, when Harry informed her that the job she had been helping him with (vetting TV scripts for advertisers) was being filled — by a man. Hendricks had to convey Joan’s pain and disappointment while simultaneously hiding her feelings from Harry and the new guy. It was a fascinating example of grace under pressure. The same could not be said for Betty, who tried to work out her rage with a furious horse ride and smashing a dining-room chair to bits. But she finally unraveled completely after she thought Don further made a fool out of her in front of his buddies at a dinner party she arranged. She refused to remove her party dress, and spent the entire next day looking for proof of Don’s infidelity. To her chagrin, all she found were cocktail napkins with “stupid” advertising slogans on them — but aren’t they the “truth”? There is no “Don Draper” — he’s just smoke and mirrors, as fake as any product jingle. Only Betty doesn’t realize it. I like that she noted his reputation is that he’s supposed to be able to talk her into anything. She’s brushing up against the truth without realizing it. She thinks she’s on to him, but she really has no idea.

No doubt you chuckled at the multiple mentions of LOVE OF LIFE and AS THE WORLD TURNS thanks to Joan’s storyline. She asked her fiancé about a “special summer storyline,” and if someone could awaken from a coma with no memories of the past. This really intrigued her, because she told an advertiser ATWT “is about to become unmissable.”

One last question: How come the episode was called “A Night to Remember” instead of “When Duck Met Crab…”? I mean, you have all these animal nicknames…

Speaking of animals, anyone who tuned in to Cartoon Network’s ROBOT CHICKEN at 11:30 capped off the evening with a quick HEROES parody that saw Sylar accidentally absorb a guy’s “power” of “explosive diarrhea.” That oughta teach him not to go around impulsively eating brains…

Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 9/8/08

I am willing to admit that a huge part of my problem with TRUE BLOOD is that, just like heroine Sookie, I cannot get past the lead vampire being named “Bill.” Now, I have nothing against guys named Bill, it’s just not a very vampirish name (which could actually be a compliment, depending on your disposition toward undead blood-suckers).”William” would be much more suitable, I believe. Besides an imposing moniker, the other thing it would be nice for the lead in a drama to have is…a personality. Bill was sadly lacking in the premiere — a sneer is no substitute. (If I were being mean, I could suggest that Stephen Moyer add another facial expression to his repertoire, but Bill was supposed to be unapproachable, and then mad that somebody tried to drain his blood, so he was probably directed to emphasize that attitude.) I have to admit that draining the vampire’s blood was a nice twist on the idea of vamps draining the blood of their victims, but the show needed something more.

What it could have used a lot less of was the heavy-headed rights-for-minority-of-your-choice motif. There is such a thing as not crushing your story under the weight of metaphor. Creator Alan Ball‘s SIX FEET UNDER was not always subtle, but I don’t recall the anvils falling this fast and furiously. Trying to distract viewers with nudity and an intriguing opening-credit sequence (okay, and great music) wasn’t enough. And could Tara be any more nasty and off-putting? I am willing to check out next week’s episode to see if things get any better — but somehow I don’t think that attitude is what HBO had in mind for its trademark Sunday-at-9 slot.

HBO’s current signature series, ENTOURAGE, took the summer off, and it turned out Vince spent it living a life of wine-women-and-song decadence for”$79 a day” on a beach in Mexico. While I can understand his reluctance to return to Hollywood after the unholy bomb that was Medellin, isn’t the entire point of this series the idea that Vince can score all the fabulous babes he wants and live like a Roman emperor in Los Angeles (or anywhere)? Why get so hung up on these particular beach bunnies, unless the actual point is that he’s hiding? Besides, nobody can live without a weekly dose of Ari Gold. The priceless Jeremy Piven was in volcanic midseason form just moments into the premiere. Vince was back in circulation by the end of the episode, which was good thing, because I was not going to tune in to any series called BEACH COMBER. (Beside, NBC has something called CRUSOE that should cover that demographic.)

MAD MEN covers the”people who want cool shows” demo, and last night was no exception. Ken got a slice of the spotlight due to his fledgling writing career, which attracted a lot of attention from Salvatore and his wife Kitty (played by Sarah Drew, whom it took me a while to place as Hannah from the late, lamented EVERWOOD).

Another soap veteran, AS THE WORLD TURNS’ former Lucy, Peyton List, got a chance to flesh out Jane as a little more just a hottie vacuum-packed into form-fitting outfits. Turns out she has moxie and a no-nonsense attitude. She dismissed the Rothko painting as”smudgy squares” — which it is. (The artwork may make a viewer think, but there’s no denying its simplistic composition.) It was clever of her to sashay by Roger’s office to enlist his help saving her job from Joan’s jealousy. And that job is working for Don, who recalled another job he once held: used-car salesman. While pondering buying a new Cadillac, Don flashed back to a mystery woman confronting a not-so-Brylcreemed version of himself on the car lot where he worked and accusing him on not being”Don Draper.” Hmmm, obviously she knew DD, so what are the chances of that woman showing up again?

Speaking of things that come back to haunt us, we now know whom to blame for the odious practice of product placement: Bobbie Barrett (at least according to this universe). Bobbie allegedly came up with the scheme for her obnoxious hubby Jimmy’s show. One last bit of”repeating”: Betty puking in the car! After Don obsessed so much over keeping it immaculate (to the point of refusing sex and then later inspecting the kids’ hands), Jimmy’s accusations made Betty sick to her stomach. You can bet that will also come back to haunt Don.

I hope you come back for the next installment of Night Shift