Monday, September 30, 2013

NEWS: BREAKING BAD Ends; REVENGE, ONCE UPON A TIME, HOMELAND Showrunners Talk Return; Bryan Dattilo; Colin Egglesfield; Chris Carmack; James Pickens Jr.; Avoiding Spoilers

Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC
BREAKING BAD, the AMC saga of a meth lord, ends strongly by tying up its loose ends and drawing from its main character an admission that sets the series free
Not only did Vince Gilligan's five-season, hyper-violent prose poem to midlife male frustration tie up virtually every loose end in sight, it contained the Holy Grail of all storytelling: an Actual Moment of Truth. And not just this particular story's truth, but one that extended to the beloved and bloated genre Gilligan both elevated and mocked.

"I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really ... I was alive."


In the end, BREAKING BAD was a bit of a cheat. The strongest moments of the final season came as Walt realized that great truism so often underscored in stories like his: Once you introduce evil into your life, you cannot control it. In the end, though, Walter White was triumphant. His money would go to his children, his enemies were dead, his foster son freed.

But the only things he was allowed to touch in farewell were his infant daughter and the equipment in his lab. And as he finally surrendered to his choices and himself, it was easy to tell which he loved more.

And that he died knowing it.

Vince Gilligan explains BREAKING BAD's final scene and reveals the rejected alternatives
"We didn’t feel an absolute need for Walt to expire at the end of the show. Our gut told us it was right. As the writers and I worked through all these different possibilities, it felt right, but I don’t think it was a necessity for us. There was a version we kicked around where Walt is the only one who survives, and he’s standing among the wreckage and his whole family is destroyed. That would be a very powerful ending but very much a kick-in-the-teeth kind of ending for the viewers. We talked about a version where Jesse kills Walt. We talked about a version where Walt more or less gets away with it. There’s no right or wrong way to do this job — it’s just a matter of: You get as many smart people around you as possible in the writers room, and I was very lucky to have that."

Sorry, You Can’t Avoid Spoilers Anymore
The major problem with avoiding spoilers in 2013: A lot of the audience isn't trying to. For all of the talk about DVRs and segmented viewing and death of the monoculture, we still really enjoy a Television Event. Everyone wants a viewing community, with hundreds of recaps and GIFs and witty jokes to make us feel like we're not alone on the couch. So when an opportunity like the Breaking Bad finale presents itself, the community goes hog-wild. That is not going to change anytime soon, and unless you're one of the sad souls stuck on season three, it's actually kind of fun. So just think of television finales like the Super Bowl: You're either going to watch with everyone, or you're going to hear about it all week from everyone else. Acceptance is the first step to not being so angry all the time.

REVENGE Reset: New Showrunner Sunil Nayar On Going Back to Basics With Season 3 Premiere
"Last season’s was so moody and almost ethereal. The audience knew something was going to happen, but they weren’t sure what. We wanted show them exactly happens to Emily Thorne and for it to be something that feels very definitive. You still don't know who it is that pulled the trigger and why it happens – so those are the more fun questions to answer."

HOMELAND EP Alex Gansa Talks Season 3, Benghazi and Demedicating Carrie -- Again
"We spend a lot of time at the beginning of this season thinking about what would actually happen to our characters if they were really CIA agents or CIA officers and if an attack was perpetrated on the agency itself and they had some measure of blame in it. Ultimately, all institutions and bureaucracies look for scapegoats and we tried to figure out an interesting way in which Carrie could play that role and how Saul might have to be drawn into that endeavor. And also it’s nice to mix up the relationship a little bit. Saul and Carrie have come into conflict in the past, and clearly he is her mentor, but she is erratic and he is trying to teach her certain things. We just felt it in this particular instance it was a nice stop to drive a wedge between two characters and give them something new to play."

ONCE UP A TIME EPs Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis Talk Peter Pan's Villainous Ways, Robin Hood and What's Next
"Our characters are all looking for a happy ending. They're all looking for love. It's just what choices you use to get them," Kitsis said. "Some people are OK playing hard ball, some people want to do it the right way. Peter Pan is an interesting story." Horowitz reiterated a series mantra: "Evil isn't born it's made. That applies to all the villains, including Peter Pan." For the producers, Peter Pan's desire to stay a child was fascinating. "Someone who refuses to grow up has to have a lot of problems," Kitsis said, crediting Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" as key inspiration.

ALL MY CHILDREN Colin Egglesfield works up a lather
“Soap actors are some of the hardest working actors in the business,” Egglesfield says. “On an average movie, the crew films maybe three to five pages a day; on a TV show, maybe 10 to 12 pages; on a soap opera, they shoot 60 to 80 pages a day! So the amount of material they have to memorise and regurgitate – there’s a lot of work.”

DAYS OF OUR LIVES actors visit Des Peres to promote new book
"Ours is like American pie. It's like a staple of the nation, and I think DAYS is different from other soaps in the way people perceive it," Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) said.

"They (fans) love what we do, they believe who we are, believe our lives, and love to fall into an alternate reality once a day and get away from whatever is on their minds," he said.

DirecTV Makes $40M VOD Deal With A24
The goal is to help DirecTV distinguish itself from rivals including cable companies and Dish Network. But the films that debut on VOD likely will only be able to move on to theaters that specialize in indie films.

Trapped By EASTENDERS: Rapist Hiding In Hawaii Faces Justice 23 Years Later
Salvador Orozco, 49, has been sentenced to nine years at Newcastle Crown Court, after being convicted of a rape which took place in 1990.

Following the assault, the woman ensured she preserved DNA evidence on her body and made detailed notes, inspired by an episode of the BBC soap where character Kathy Beale was raped by bar owner James Willmott-Brown.

Hit soap saved British star Kyle Pryor
For Kyle Pryor, landing a role on HOME AND AWAY wasn't just another job to add to his resume - it saved him. After moving to New Zealand in 2006, the English actor later sold everything he owned on a whim and traveled to Sydney to explore opportunities in Australia, staying on his friend's floor and walking to auditions. But just before finding out he had scored a part on the hit Seven soap, Pryor had been ready to give up on his dreams of stardom.

"It got to that point where I was doing a lot of auditions and not much work was coming in," he explains to Access All Areas. I was about to book a flight back to the UK and that was when I got saved by Home and Away. It was like it was meant to be."

GREY'S ANATOMY Postmortem: James Pickens Jr. Speaks Out on Webber's Fate
"This is a man who is very proud. This is a man who led people. He was a mentor, he was an administrator. When he walked by, folks hustled. When he barked, they listened. Now, he's a man who is in a bed and dependent on others. His physical presence is no longer what it was. He doesn't deal with it well."

Scott Wolf to guest star in four episodes of NBC medical drama THE NIGHT SHIFT
Wolf will play Scott Collins, a day-shift trauma surgeon who’s engaged to interim chief Dr. Jordan Alexander (Jill Flint).

NASHVILLE's Chris Carmack on being out of the closet as a country music singer
"People I’ve spoken to say that at a certain level it’d be career suicide for somebody to come out of the closet. That’s a terrible kind of fame. I don’t think executives would give Will the time of day. That’s a damn shame, but in country music there’s a stigma that’s insurmountable."

GLEE's Heather Morris Gives Birth to Baby Boy Elijah
This is the first child for Morris and her longtime love, Taylor Hubbell, whom she met in high school.

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