Jonathan Strage & Mr. Norrell

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Catch Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on Saturdays on BBC!

I am not an anglophile like Damsel Bruja. I find most popular British television marketed to American audiences incomprehensible, but Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is refreshing, compelling, and dare I say, exciting? The first two episodes aired on BBCAmerica so you can catch up if you start now. I think English viewers are already on episode six?

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is an alternate historical story set during the Napoleonic Wars. The main characters, Jonathan and Norrell are two very different magicians destined to make magic respectable in England again. No longer the stuff of parlor tricks, magic can be applied to aid the war effort. Norrell is nervous, introverted, and socially awkward where Jonathan is a likable idiot whose failed attempts to win over his lady friend are used for comic relief. I’ve never seen anything like this! (No, it’s nothing like Harry Potter–thank god) There’s necromancy, supernatural deities, prophecies, and an unusual wit about the whole thing.

Not a fan of BBC? That’s OK. Apparently Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is based on the bestselling book of the same title by British fantasy/specfic author, Susanna Clark. I’ve only watched the first episode, but my fondness for female sf/f/h/specfic authors will probably lead me to the library this week. Fun fact: it took Susaana Clark TEN YEARS to finish the novel and several failed attempts to get it published. She was told her book was “unmarketable.” Ha. Showed them, right? I love author success stories like these and I can’t wait to read the book.

It’s rare I come across a series with original, refreshing material, but THIS is it. And I’m excited to sink my teeth into Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Set your DVRs, run to your library and watch/read with me. Trailer below.

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Watch “Horror Hotel” episodes online!

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Horror Hotel is a 6 episode miniseries you can watch online.

Horror Hotel is an online anthology web series in the spirit of Alfred Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone. I knew nothing about the web series before sitting down to watch it. Luckily (thankfully?) the episodes are all under 20min and you can watch the entire first season in just an hour.

And the best part is it’s free! Take your pick on Hulu, Youtube, or  just watch them all HERE:

http://www.horrorhotelwebseries.com/

Best episode, “Guillotine:”

Some of the episodes are laughably bad, like “Bookworm,” which I wouldn’t recommend anyone watch. “Tesla’s Tooth” has a unique, premise about telepathy and inventions. “Guillotine” is about a cutthroat beauty queen (pun intended, har har har…I hate myself) who covets Marie Antoinette’s cursed beauty token. All the episodes are a little on the goofy side, but I’ve come to expect that from anthology horror films. The quality varies from episode to episode. If you’re bored and not opposed to campy acting or ugly wallpaper, give this web series a go.

I don’t know if I would watch season two unless there was absolutely nothing else on. Last night was such a night. I’ll probably watch season two with the same tired reluctance I brought with the first.

“Bookworm” is just 1omin. Because I’m a little sadistic, I’ll include it here. Fair warning, it’s terrible. But I do this for you, my minions…

Red Road returns tomorrow on Sundance!

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The Red Road returns for its second season on Sundance channel Thursday, April 2nd 10/9C

This is a heart pounding, nonstop action kinda series and not just cuz Jason Momoa is in it (although that helps, too, ha, ::blush::) I didn’t know what to expect going into the first season and I’m so happy I sat down and actually watched it. Red Road combines everything I want to see more of on TV (not just Jason Momoa ::blush::) like Native American issues and more people of color with prominent roles (Hello! FINALLY!), slick, suspenseful writing, and real world characters who aren’t just canned stereotypes.

Red Road is gritty, engaging, and keeps you guessing all the way through. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer! The first season was only 6 episodes, so you guys can catch up without much difficulty before season two’s premiere.

Trailer:

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

In a nutshell, the series is about a Native American criminal and the dangerous game he plays with a white cop who covers the accident of his schizophrenic wife and the Native boy she ran over with her car. It’s a cat-and-mouse murder mystery set on an Indian reservation where the “good” cop has to outsmart the “bad” guy. However what’s good becomes bad, and what seems bad in the beginning, is slowly revealed to be good. You’ve seen it before but not like this, I promise. The predominately Native American cast is a refreshing change of pace. If you like psychological cop stories with a lot of twists and turns, then Red Road is for you.

I’ll be tuning in tomorrow to watch season 2! Will you?

The Returned: Classy French Zombies

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Holy cow, I love this series! Zombies? Check. High-brow Drama? Check. French? Why not?! You have GOT to watch “The Returned!” I’m telling you, it’s a gem! I just fell in love with the story and I know you will, too. I promise this is not like any zombie thing you’ve ever seen. For one, the zombies look just like you and me, they talk, they fall in love, they question their existence… The characters are so beautifully written, you will empathize with each one. The episodes follow a bunch of loosely connected people and their journeys from life, death, to zombiehood. The setting takes place in a  small French town in the mountains. The characters’ individual stories fit like a jigsaw puzzle, slowly hinting how and why the zombies resurrected. There are only 9 episodes so you can watch the whole thing in one go.

Look how pretty the opening is. Look. LOOK, dammit!

The series leaves many unanswered questions. I happened to catch the series halfway through on IFC and wound up scouring the internet for more. Or you can buy it (as I plan to) HERE. The American version is called “The Resurrected” and will air on ABC sometime soon, I think. But you know how we, Americans, fuck everything up. So just watch the original French version and deal with the English subtitles. IT IS WORTH IT. I wouldn’t lie to you. If you like “The Walking Dead” on AMC then you will adore “The Returned.” It has smart writing. Smart acting. Smart directing. Just watch it. A++++ all the way! You’re welcome. Cannot wait for season 2!

“Dracula” is Bloody Sexy

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http://seriesnews.biz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Dracula-Season-1-Poster-3.jpg

Wow…Just wow! I swear the whole time I was drooling so hopefully I can keep it together long enough to write this.

NBC’s new take on the Dracula legend begins with the arrival of American Industrialist Alexander Grayson entering London society. But Mr. Grayson is actually Vlad the Impaler himself hoping to bring down The Order of the Dragon, the same Order that murdered his wife and condemned him to live as a vampire. How will he do it? By attacking their wealth and maybe tearing a few heads off along the way. But Dracula also faces a problem when he sees Mine and feels she’s the reincarnation of his wife. We see the same characters such as Mina, Lucy, Jonathan Harker, Professor Van Hellsing and are introduced to some new ones like Lady Jane(a vampire hunter, member of the Order of the Dragon, and Dracula’s fuck buddy).

I found the change in the original characters’ roles interesting. Normally such changes make me angry because they just seem out of the blue, but I found it believable in this Dracula universe. For example, Mina is a med student hoping to become Professor Van Hellsing’s new assistant, Jonathan Harker is a struggling new reporter, and Van Hellsing was the one who woke up Dracula. It seemed a little weird at first but I’m enjoying it.

One of the things that I really appreciated was that Dracula can’t walk in the sunlight. He burns if he tries so I was pleased with that, I also like how animalistic when he preys on people. You can see that he’s a monster and not some brooding punk who thinks being a vegetarian means drinking animal blood. I also liked the original vampire hunting techniques being used such as crucifixes, garlic, stakes to the heart and beheading. Great way to keep the original alive.

Anyway, I’m excited for this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Here’s a trailer: