‘The Exorcist’ is must see Fall TV for horror fans and non-horror fans alike

While many first think of “American Horror Story” when they think of a great current horror series, the best horror show to be found is actually quietly airing every Friday night on network television.

“The Exorcist,” based off the film and book of the same name, is providing some of the best horror content television has ever had yet only seems to have the attention of a small but dedicated fanbase.

Centered on excommunicated priest Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) and his protégé come best friend (and some other subtext we won’t get into) Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera), the Fox series isn’t held back in any way by the censorship of a 9 o’clock network timeslot. Much in the way that any great horror film gives you glimpses of fear and provides a false sense of security early on the series does the same with its first few episodes. And then all glorious horror hell breaks loose.

Personally I found my way into the series in its second season when it was announced John Cho was joining the cast as Andy Kim, I’d watch anything Cho is in, but after the first episode I found myself so enthralled with the entire plot and the core priests that I went back and binged the first season before episode two had even aired.

The beauty of it is that I chose to watch season one but really didn’t have to, jumping into season two was as easy as paying attention to the ‘last season on’ opener. However, the content was so good, so smartly scary that I wanted to go back and see if for myself anyway.

While the first season heavily used character and reference from the book and film, season two has breached all new territory. They’ve introduced us to more twists and deception within the Vatican and a new diverse family who’s become befallen to a whole different kind of evil.

It’s scary, gory and well written. As the first season focused on mostly one major plotline, season two is slowly bringing our characters together in interesting and subtle ways that make you pay full attention to every detail. The characters are written in such a way that you want them all to be okay, even though you know they’re probably not going to be. You root for Marcus and Tomas at every turn, you fall in love with Andy and his foster kids instantly and god do you ever hope Father Bennet makes it out of Rome alive.

It does horror the way it should be done. It’s scary, but thought provoking and it does something that not enough modern horror does in my opinion: it doesn’t show all and pour everything in blood.  Sure there’s blood and gore, but the series doesn’t rely on the gross factor to be the thing that scares you. The fear comes from the quieter moments, the whispers and the subtleties. It’s scary in the way that it feels real, not some unimaginable spewing of guts. Admittedly some of that might come from the fact they air on network television, but it’s working for them ridiculously well.

Horror fans should definitely be jumping on this show, and non-horror fans can find a thrill in the characters as well. Season two has really only just begun, so there’s plenty of time to catch up and jump in on this underrated horror gem.

“The Exorcist” airs Friday’s at 9pm on Fox.

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Emmy picks 2017: the limited series and TV movie contenders

Much like nearly every year this category gets dominated by one or two popular mini-series that come around and grasps everyone’s attention. This year the big fight will come down between HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan.”

 

Limited Series

Should Win: “The Night Of”

Will Win: “Big Little Lies”

“Big Little Lies” took a popular story and adapted it in a smart way that held the audience’s attention. Between its audience popularity and critical acclaim it will win this Emmy, that doesn’t mean however I won’t stop fighting for the captivating brilliance that was “The Night Of” just as I did with Golden Globes. Bear in mind the awards shows love Ryan Murphy though so “Feud” always has a shot.

 

TV Movie

Should Win & Will Win: “Black Mirror: San Junipero”

I’m possibly going out on a limb here saying “San Junipero” will win, but I don’t care because it absolutely deserves to. Aside from simply being another fantastic installment for the “Black Mirror” saga, it was also a smart piece of television that portrayed a healthy interracial same sex relationship between two women where no ‘bury your gays’ trope occurred. That alone deserves an Emmy.

 

Lead Actor

Should Win & Will Win: Riz Ahmed, “The Night Of”

Again I’m probably going out on a limb here, but I want it so bad I don’t care if I get this prediction wrong. I’ve said everything you can say about how damn good Riz Ahmed is in “The Night Of” and I still believe every single bit of it. If he doesn’t win this for his impeccable performance the Emmy’s really need to rethink themseslves.

 

Lead Actress

Should Win: Carrie Coon, “Fargo”

Will Win: Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”

Carrie Coon should also be nominated for her astounding work on “The Leftovers” but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t win for “Fargo” as well. However, this battles going to come down between the ladies of “Big Little Lies” and “Feud.” Really Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon all have a pretty equal shot at this award, but Kidman has a standout edge over the rest.

 

Supporting Actor

Should Win & Will Win: Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”

I never thought I’d say that Eric from “True Blood” was out there giving commanding Emmy award worthy performances, but here we are. While the women of “Big Little Lies” are obviously the selling point Alexander Skarsgard is the one man of the series who truly shines, even if his character is a terrible person.

 

Supporting Actress

Should Win: Regina King, “American Crime”

Will Win: Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”

“Big Little Lies” will dominate a great deal of these categories, this one is no different. However Regina King is always amazing in the very low-key “American Crime” and she has snuck in and won this category before.

Find out who wins on Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS.

Emmy picks 2017: the comedy contenders

Television in my opinion might be living in a golden age of comedy right now. There’s so many incredible nominees and yet still so many snubs because the content out there is so good. But who’s good enough to win?

Comedy Series

Should Win & Will Win: “Atlanta”

“Atlanta” has been deservingly killing it in the awards world since its beginning due its unique and diverse storytelling and humor and it’s likely to continue its reign with an Emmy.

 

Lead Actor

Should Win: Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”

Will Win: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

There’s not really any should or will here truth be told. If these two were to tie that would actually be ideal. Both actors are incredible, funny and honest in their shows, but when it comes down to this statue Donald Glover is going to be the one with a bit of an edge.

 

Lead Actress

Should Win: Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”

Will Win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

Tracee Ellis Ross finally won a Golden Globe earlier this year, but she was robbed of the Emmy last year. I wish I could say that won’t happen again, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus has just continually been unstoppable in this category over the years. And with the current US political climate making the show even more satirical and relatable than it was before her win feels almost like a guarantee.

 

Supporting Actor

Should Win: Titus Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Will Win: Tony Hale, “Veep”

Titus Burgess has the ability to shine more brightly than anyone else in a unique and wildly ridiculous series. One day he better win an Emmy, but much for the same reason Julia Louis-Dreyfus is likely to win Tony Hale is definitely the frontrunner in this category.

 

Supporting Actress

Should Win: Leslie Jones, “Saturday Night Live”

Will Win: Judith Light, “Transparent”

Watch me get this category unbelievably wrong. Part of me thinks Judith Light has the best chances, but at the same time any of the ladies of SNL could sneak in and take this one. Leslie Jones has proved to be not only a comedic force for the times, but also a saving grace for “SNL” so I’d love to see her take home the statue.

 

Other Comedy Notes

The snubs in comedy are so endless it seems but most notably the lack of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Fresh off the Boat” stand out. Also if “Master of None’s” brilliant and important episode ‘Thanksgiving’ doesn’t win for writing it will be a legitimate crime.

Find out who wins Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS.

 

 

 

 

Emmy picks 2017: the drama contenders

This year’s Drama categories were left a little more wide open with powerhouse “Game of Thrones” being left ineligible. This made for some new shows to make their way into the nominations, but can those new shows prevail?

Drama Series

Should Win & Will Win: “The Handmaids Tale”

This one is actually fairly difficult to choose. There are a lot of smart shows in the category and while “This Is Us” is making a comeback for network television, the highly political and poignant “Handmaids Tale” has a strong chance of walking home with the win.

 

Lead Actor

Should Win: Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”

Will Win: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”

Sterling K. Brown is incredible in the NBC hit “This Is Us” his inevitable win is absolutely deserved. He’s emotional, honest and real every week and the fact that this talented man is finally getting his due recognition makes me very happy. That being said I will not rest until “The Americans” receives its due recognition as well.

 

Lead Actress

Should Win: Keri Russel, “The Americans”

Will Win: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaids Tale”

If you thought Elisabeth Moss was good in “Mad Men” she eclipses all of that with her brilliant performance in “The Handmaids Tale.” That being said as I’ll always remind people Keri Russel is so fantastic and underrated in “The Americans” and no one should rest until she has an Emmy for the work she’s doing.

 

Supporting Actor

Should Win & Will Win: Ron Cephas Jones, “This Is Us”

This category is loaded with some impressive talent, but none are more impressive that Ron Cephas Jones. His arc and journey on “This Is Us” was the most captivating part of the season his portrayal of a changed man trying to be the father he never was managed to tug at your heart strings every single week. This Emmy has to be his.

 

Supporting Actress

Should Win: Thandie Newton, “West World”

Will Win: Samira Wiley, “The Handmaids Tale”

Much like supporting actor this category is loaded with talent. Thandie Newton steals the show every single episode, but Samira Wiley having an Emmy in her hands is long overdue.

Find out who wins Sunday, Sept. 17 on CBS.

‘Shadowhunters’ season three wish-list

Well, we made it. We survived the emotional roller coaster that was season two and now we have to buckle in for a long hiatus till early January filled with theorizing, most of which will end up wrong, and dreaming. The finale definitely set up some things to come for Luke, Simon, Jace, Magnus and Alec and Jonathan. Plus with Alisha Wainwright officially becoming a series regular, we’re sure to have more Maia coming our way.

We’ve all got dream scenes, moments and character introductions we desire, so here are some of the things I hope we all get to see come to life this year.

Keep up the damn good work with Malec: Emotionally Magnus and Alec have always been respectfully and properly developed, intimacy is where the show hit a snag, but that was beyond remedied in the latter half of the season. The final left them in a good place, acknowledging the struggles they’re still bound to face and talking it out. In season three all I can hope is this all continues. They’re embarking on a new, defining chapter of their relationship placing them in the most stable and honest place they’ve been to date. Essentially my season three dream is that they simply keep up the beauty and respect this couple deserves with superb emotional development, intimacy and domesticity all around.

Luke/Maryse rise up baby!: This is pretty simple, there is absolutely a connection and chemistry there that needs to be explored. Luke deserves some love, Maryse deserves some love so let them find it together. Plus the Lightwood kids deserve a cool new dad who respects them.

Catarina and Madzie: It’s already been confirmed they’ll be back and I can’t wait for that. A dream scenario for their return has to be a dinner gathering of some sort with Magnus and Alec.

Maryse and Magnus interaction: I know I never thought I’d be asking for this, but here we are. Her development has been lovely to watch, and she clearly has grown a respect for the man her son is in love with. I want to see them interact next season in a way they never have before, as people who still have their bad blood, but also are essentially family now.

Simon solo storylines: Simon is a fantastic character and the last five episodes of the season showed he can carry his own without the chains of a love triangle. The cliffhanger definitely left a nice window for a solo Simon arc that’s bound to get interesting.

Independent Izzy storylines: It looks like they mostly have, but it’s time to drop the Raphael/Izzy arc for good. Had it not started in such a messy manner it could have been something great, but alas. Izzy was fantastic in 2B so keeping up the trend of her being on her own for a while is the best choice for her.

Politics me to death please: Things are better, but obviously nowhere near perfect between the Shadowhunters and Downworlders. The politics this season were so intriguing to watch play out and I hope to see that continue.

Flashbacks: I’m talking Maia pre-Luke flashbacks and Magnus, Ragnor (BRING HIM BACK) and Catarina old adventures flashbacks. Maybe even some hints to Magnus’ parentage could come around with all this Edom talk. Also if they ever can find some excuse to bring in a flashback to that Malec Tokyo date you’ll never hear a complaint from me.

Alliance Rune: Please god let me have this. Let me have battle couple Malec and Luke/Maryse with an Alliance Rune. Also imagine with me for a moment, Izzy and Maia alliance rune.

ONSCREEN PARABATRI DAMMIT: Much in the way that this all Harry Shum Jr, Matthew Daddario and Isaiah Mustafa dream of I too spend my days hoping for that beautiful onscreen parabatri. We got a small taste of it this season in the cabinet meetings and in getting to see Luke interact with Alec and Magnus individually, so the next only natural step is putting them all together for scenes.

Jonathan: Don’t stop framing him to be the villainous, irredeemable bastard he is, Will Tudor is so good at it and I hope they won’t waste it.

Overall I hope the show just continues the fantastic storytelling, balance and pacing that the second half of season two especially established.

Tune in this January on Freeform for what’s bound to be an epic third season!

‘Shadowhunters’ 2×20 review: death, love and everything in between

Here we are, we made it, we survived all 20 emotionally gripping and satisfying episodes of season two. A lot happened tonight, and a lot was set up for next season. So let’s talk ‘Beside Still Water.’

It was all hands on deck (minus Raphael yet again weirdly missing) as the battle to end Valentine came to a close. In the Seelie court, Maia was held captive by a vengeful and betraying queen. I’ve said it all season long, and I’ll say all next season as well when she becomes a series regular, Alisha Wainwright has been an incredible addition to this cast. She was tough in her talk with the queen, but also soft and caring in her moments with Simon and Luke.

Luke also has finally been getting his dues of late, and with Ollie wandering into the shadow world that’s bound to continue next season, he was strong and resilient in his distrust of the queen and in his search for his beta wolf. Isaiah Mustafa absolutely nails it when he’s given the material to work with and this episode yet again proved that.

While the wolfpack and Simon took on the queen Izzy, Alec and Magnus faced down demons in the streets of New York. I’m always a sucker for the return of archer Alec and watching him and his sister fight side by side is always amazing. But of course Malec managed to take center stage for me as they tend to. Separately, Alec was halfway towards giving up and knowing it was because of mistake he made, while Magnus was being the leader and high warlock he has to be. When they’re together it’s always incredible and they’ve gotten to show a different side of them recently, a side that Matthew Daddario and Harry Shum Jr have done absolute justice to. Bitter, somewhat salty, boyfriends who can barely deem to make eye contact is tough to watch but also realistic to the situation. Magnus is trying to do right by his people, so avoiding Alec is what he feels he has to do. It also speaks volumes that Alec went to first warn Magnus about the Seelie Queen betraying them, he’s clearly determined to never lie to Magnus again no matter what the status of their relationship may be.

Then there’s the beach scene. Anyone who’s ever heard me talk about this show knows the thing I want most from it is battle couple. And tonight we got the first true taste of it and it was glorious. Magnus asserting his power and ability as high warlock while archer Alec worried for him was perfect. All that raw power and emotional worry mixed with a kick ass dragon was a highlight of the episode. They can both feign indifference as much as they like but in the moments where either was in danger that indifference cracked. You could tell from the second they stepped on that beach that well, as Magnus said ‘you can’t get rid of me that easily.’ These two were gonna be okay.

And okay they were. Placing their final scene in the alleyway behind the bar where they had their first date was oddly symbolic. That night in Hunter’s Moon back in 2×06 was the start of their relationship in an official capacity and this conversation was the start of new chapter in their relationship. The moment was perfect, laced with a little timidness, but mostly just pure undeniable love. The way they both admitted they can’t do this without each other; can’t live without each other. It’s beautiful and loving and it’s one of the million reasons I love them so much. Sometimes they’re messy, but they always find a way back to each other. They’re going to fight together, side by side for as long as there is a fight and beyond. There are many hurdles and conversations they are both bound to face in the future and those things are these beautiful and tough moments we have to look forward to in the next season and beyond.

I’d also like to give huge credit to the writers for not once in dialogue referring to the separation Magnus and Alec had as a ‘break-up.’ Something about that just felt right, because that’s truly not what it was. It was a difficult separation caused by an even more difficult situation.

Finally there was Idris. First let me say the forest areas they found in Toronto to film all these Idris scenes are gorgeous. Then let me say Dominic Sherwood and Kat McNamara were genuinely heartbreaking in these scenes. I expected to not feel the emotional impact of Jace’s “death” all that much simply because I knew it wouldn’t last more than ten minutes. That was surprisingly not the case, both of them managed to sell the moment well enough that for a second I actually thought he might not be coming back. Alan Van Sprang was also fantastic in these scenes. It is a damn shame to see him go from a performance perspective. He’s brought a lot to the table and he’s played the villain he was tasked with bringing to life so very well every week. Valentine couldn’t last forever, but I’m glad we got Van Sprang to play him while he did.

Clary just brutally stabbing Valentine much in the way that she straight up stabbed Jonathan a few episodes back just shows how damn done that girl is with her blood related family and I’m proud of her for that.

Big shout out to the show using the talented voice of Anthony Stewart Head as Raziel; he’s got a voice that commands respect and the presence of an angel, it was such a good casting choice.

Overall the entire episode just looked good. I’ll be honest I’ve never been overwhelmingly impressed with Matt Hastings directing before tonight. It was never bad, just nothing epically stood out. Tonight though there were moments where everything just looked right. Malec’s alleyway scene lit up by neon lights, the battle scenes, Valentine’s final menacing moments and that soft dark glow that the Seelie Court maintains were all pleasant to the eye. It was also fantastic that it seemed the show had held out a nice portion of the VFX budge till the finale which was absolutely worth it.

Other bits to love: Tipsy ‘I want to hug everyone’ Luke is a damn delight, kinda obsessed with the fact that moments after his parabatai “died” Alec was quick to ensure Magnus’ safety (he’d lost a brother and he sure as hell wasn’t losing the man he loves as well), Izzy is a sneaky keeper of Malec, and do Valentine’s sons come back from the dead because of all the spaghetti he fed them?

All in all this was a nice cap off to a season that got shaky in the middle but came back in 2b with 10 incredibly strong episodes. So that’s all for reviews this year, though I’ll be back later in the week with a little season three wishlist to look out for. See you all in January!

NEXT SEASON: Lilith has arrived, Jace and Jonathan may very well be tethered together and god what did Simon do?

Ladies it’s time to stop sleeping on ‘The Bold Type’

Summer’s best show for women is barely scraping by in the ratings and it’s because for someone unknown reason every woman in her 20’s, and hell maybe just every woman out there in general, isn’t tuning in. “The Bold Type” follows the lives of three young women living in New York City working at the women’s interest publication Scarlet.

At first glance “The Bold Type” is another cheesy, girly show. I know I was guilty of taking this assumption at first, but it’s so much more than that. The series leaves every female centric show you’ve ever seen that felt overdramatized (“Sex and the City”) or just plain un-relatable and unlikable (“Girls”) in the dust.

“The Bold Type” feels real, relatable and honest in every sense of the words for many reasons. It should be essential viewing for any woman looking for a show about women that feels like the life they’re living and here are some reasons why:

  1. Women supporting women

So very often with female-centric shows the leading ladies end up being in competition or consistently catty towards one another despite supposedly being BFF’s. This is absolutely not the case with this series. Jane, Kat and Sutton are true best friends who no matter what the situation is, be it related to careers, love lives or anything in between, support the hell out of one another. Even when they do have a disagreement they solve it like adults and genuinely apologize instead of making snide, sarcastic remarks that an audience is supposed to just accept as reconciliation.

  1. No ‘bitch boss’ stereotype

The Editor-in-Chief of Scarlet magazine, Jacqueline, is at first glance another copy of Meryl Steep’s “Devil Wears Prada” character. Quickly though it’s proven she’s not just some powerful, non-feeling boss who terrorizes her employees. Jacqueline is understanding and compassionate while also being a powerful, in-charge force of nature that takes no shit. She supports the women who work for her, even when they mess up, and cares about their well-being because she was once just like them. She’s not afraid to call someone out, but she’s also going to stop and lend a helping hand if she can.

  1. LGBT+ rep (that also happens to be interracial)

The show unexpectedly threw in a lovely, and so far nicely handled, coming out storylines of sorts. Kat, who is African American, meets Adena, who is a Muslin lesbian, and an attraction is sparked between the two. Kat, up until this point has always considered herself straight, but when she realizes that maybe she isn’t so straight and tells her friends there’s no weirdness between them. Just because Kat has now expressed an attraction towards a woman her friends don’t start treating her differently, she’s not suddenly oversexualized nor do her friends suddenly feel uncomfortable being just as freely open about their bodies and compliments towards one another around her as before. Kat and Adena’s relationship is discussed just as normally as the other two girls, but also tackles interesting subjects like being in an interracial relationship and what it’s like for a Muslim woman to be out and proud in America.

  1. Accurate and honest depiction of women’s issues and topics

“The Bold Type” doesn’t skirt around women’s issues that are serious, it’s not all love triangles and bad hair days here. So far they’ve tackled sexuality, the inability to have an orgasm, the BRCA breast cancer gene and women’s underappreciated position in many workplaces. Truth be told that’s not even all of it and we’re only six episodes in. They don’t just look at these issues though; they take them seriously and look at them in modern and intelligent ways that both make them accessible and informative.

  1. Male characters who aren’t dicks

The women of this show aren’t the only thing to admire; the male characters are actually quite interesting as well. We aren’t handed male characters that need to be ‘fixed’ or who behave like jackasses and are instantly forgiven. We’re given genuinely good guys, especially the possibly perfect human man Alex. Even Jane’s love interest, Pinstripe, who at first seems like a brash dude-bro is quite understanding and far more than meets the eye.

  1. Realistic romances

Kat and Adena are complicated and real to a striking degree. Jane and Pinstripe are very uncomplicated to a perfect point. Sutton and Richard seem like a perfect, pretty couple, but as we’re now seeing might not actually be so suited for one another with a love triangle that’s actually not nonsensical or about bitter jealousy rising up with Alex being thrown into the mix. The romances don’t feel forced or overdramatized they just feel like real romances you’ve either seen or experienced yourself before.

 

All in all “The Bold Type” is the incredibly bold, pun intended, relatable show that women deserve to have in their lives and need to be watching, men could probably stand to learn a thing or two by watching it as well. Ladies let’s not let this show that finally seems to understand the realities of being a woman in the modern age slip through our fingers.

“The Bold Type” airs Tuesdays @ 9/8c on Freeform and is available on iTunes & Hulu the next day.