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11 March 2013

Which Love Story Would Leave You More Gutted on MR. SELFRIDGE?

For the most part, I enjoy watching the first series of Mr. Selfridge because, as someone who's guilty about loving shopping, it's fun to follow what goes on behind a fashion empire's rise to the top.

I'm not sure how much of this series is patterned after real life. All I know is that Selfridge still exists in London as a high-end department store. And if ever its beginnings and history has been romanticized for the sake of TV, I don't care much for that. I'm just glad it's been a good series so far.

Part of the appeal of this show for me is the characters' backstories, beginning with Mr. Selfridge's wandering eye...

You have to watch all 10 episodes to get where this scene is coming from. But this happened during the series finale, which aired this week. (Spoiler alert!) This was when Mr. Selfridge's wife, Rose, declared she and the kids were leaving him.

I was crying my heart out watching this unfold:

Rose Selfridge: When I saw Rosalie, tonight in the play, I just wanted to sink to the floor. I felt so guilty and ashamed of myself.
Harry Selfridge: Even the children are everything to me, I'm lost without you.
Rose: You always say that, Harry.
Harry: So, where does it stand between you and me?
Rose: I don't know.
Harry: Are you gonna leave me? I'm gonna go to the store tomorrow and face all those people at 9 am. And I don't think that I could do it, if I didn't know that I was coming home to you.
Rose: Then why do you have other women?
Harry: I don't...I'm just...I'm just a damn fool. That's all and that's the truth.
Rose: I'm sorry Harry, we're leaving for Chicago...


Not a pretty portrait at the Selfridge's mansion

I though they were gonna make it! There was a brief moment in Episode 7 or 8 where they went through something and supported each other as man & wife. I really thought that was a turning point!

 Now, my favorite character on the show is Ms. Mardle, the head of the accessories department. (That I really love accessories has something to do with my love for her, too!) Ms. Mardle has been keeping her relationship with Selfridge's chief-of-staff, Mr. Grove, a secret since it's forbidden at work. 

A couple of episodes back, Mr. Grove, a widower without any heir, experienced a personal crisis and decided to break it off with Ms. Mardle...only to marry a younger shopkeeper, Doris Miller, not long after. Ms. Mardle remained a supportive friend to Mr. Grove, but I guess this scene was the last straw. 

I also couldn't stop crying watching this:

Mr. Grove: I was struck by this terrible sense of my own mortality. With dying, without leaving something of myself behind.
Ms. Mardle: I would have gladly bore your child.
Mr. Grove: I always thought you were wedded to your work.
Ms. Mardle: A little human will show what we women really long for. But now of course it's too late for me. Miss Miller on the other hand... 
Mr. Grove: She has a true kind heart and she wants nothing more in life than to be someone's wife and mother. And Doris can save me from the terror of dying without leaving any trace of me behind.
Ms. Mardle: I hope you will be a good husband to her, Roger.
Mr. Grove: She will never know I loved another far, far more.
Ms. Mardle: And did you, truly?
Mr. Grove: I did. I do. You're the love of my life.
Ms. Mardle: Thank you for saying that. Whether it's true or not, I shall always remember it.


Ms. Mardle's got the sads...

Mr. Grove: It need not end like this.
Ms. Mardle: I don't understand.
Mr. Grove: We can still have our precious Tuesday evenings together. Doris would never know, I would never hurt her unnecessarily. I could tell her I spend one night a week in my club, as I've always have. We need to see each other after all.
Ms. Mardle: But it seems so wrong.
Mr. Grove: It is not wrong in our hearts.
Ms. Mardle: To me it is. I could never do that to Doris...I want you to leave now, please, Roger.


Coz you, Mr. Grove, are an arse...

Gutted. Gutted. Gutted.

I don't know where I cried harder, for Miss Mardle or for Rose Selfridge.

I did not expect to love this show so much. The finale was....to borrow the famous word: PERFECTION.

The other thing I love about Mr. Selfridge? The women's clothes! Particularly Rose Selfridge's who wore a lot of laces.

I am so digging the granny look! 
She wore other prettier lacey dresses, I just can't find the photos of it. 

Anyway, have you caught this British series? This will work if you're missing your Downton Abbey fix, I promise you. Refer to Mr.  Selfridge on IMDb for show info.

P.S.

Site concerns: I seem to have lost my page rank and I'm still trying to figure out why this site is no longer indexing in the search engines. I may have to suspend posting the news link for now and observe what is happening.

Thank you for watching with me, as always!

Marnie Covers Kanye on GIRLS

It was so awkward listening to Marnie make a fool of herself on Girls tonight. Why is she still throwing herself over Charlie?? I honestly believe she's weakest, in the psychological sense, of all the characters. I've been hatin' her guts since last season. I mean, GET A GRIP GIRL and HAVE SELF-RESPECT! Watching Marnie stresses me out!

Anyway, this is the song. Is it even original to Girls? I am not sure, I Googled and didn't come up with any good hits about the song. But I've transcribed this by ear, so some lyrics are probably not accurate. You can help me correct this by making a comment below. Thanks!
Work it, make it, do it, makes us harder, better faster stronger.
That, that don't kill me,
Can only make me stronger.
I need you to hurry up now
Coz I can't wait much longer.
Let's get lost tonight,
You can be my white (Kate Moss) tonight.
Play secretary, you're the boss tonight.
And you don't give a fuck what they all say, right?
Bow in the presence of greatness
Coz right now, thou has forsaken us
You should be honored by my lateness,
That I would even show up to this fake-shit
So, go ahead, go nuts, go ape-shit.
Specially my pastels and my babe-shit.
I know I got to be right now.
Coz I can't get much wrong-er
Man, I've been waiting all night now.
That's how long I've been on you.....



Update: (8PM) Apparently, this song is originally Kanye's. Which I didn't know. Coz I am too dorky for Kanye's music. Haha.

Here's the actual trainwreck that was....Marnie!

10 March 2013

Oh, TV! How You Disappoint Me So!

I wanted to initially start this entry by saying, "I'm sorry I haven't been blogging often," but apologizing should mean I won't be making the same mistake again. And that's something I cannot promise.

So, instead I'll just start off by saying --- I've had a helluva week! Not complaining, just stating a fact.

Which is why I couldn't keep with the summary of news updates I started doing last month. I know some of you come to this site for that (like, 3 of you haha --- so I apologize to the 3 of you!). But I still do up-to-the-minute updates on my Twitter, so you can still get your fix there.

Anyway...

Trying to relax by watching TV isn't helping right now because, as much as I try to stay glued to all the shows I'm following...this Winter TV Season run? Sucks balls! I don't know if someone out there gets what I'm trying to say (Oh, there was at least one on Twitter! Hi, Monica!) but as this article --- "Why new shows are a turn-off?" --- puts it, there are 6 reasons why this is so.

I'm on board Theory #2.
It's the show, stupid. Or put another way, most people don't want to watch boring, derivative TV anymore. [snipped] "At the end of the day if you make something people want to see, they will come, and I think this has been a year where there has not been a lot of compelling new shows on broadcast TV."
Derivative is the right word to use for it. The similarities in concepts? It's making American network television,  well......bland. (American cable TV, not so much. Saving grace, I know!)

Which is probably why, I tend to look for other shows to watch outside US more and more these days. Among the ones I can recommend: The Spa, Mr. Selfridge, Ripper Street and Broadchurch, which just started this week.

The women of Mr. Selfridge and their lace-y gowns
are two reasons why I'm loving this show!

I can remember a time when Winter TV season used to have shows that ended up surprising a lot of viewers because, not only were they entertaining, they had quality. They were potential gems. Grey's Anatomy premiered during Winter season (aka mid-season). So did The Office. In their *earlier* years (stress on earlier), these shows were really in their own league.

No show is quite like these two this season.  No gems this time, it seems. Haven't been so for...probably two-three years now, in fact. For someone who breathes TV, realizing that bums me out big time.

I tend to have high expectations during pilot development season. When development was happening last year, I was hopeful TV 2012-2013 was going to be fantastic. Look where it is now. I'm close to abandoning a lot of shows this year, especially from the freshies. And I still question why Emily Owens, M.D. was cancelled!!!

Anyway...this is a list of shows in development for TV 2013-2014, which we shall begin watching by September. And because I'm not getting along with American TV so well these days, I'm trying not to be excited about this list.

I'm not getting my hopes up. Coz, just maybe, that will help me appreciate TV next season, huh?

What about you? Disapponted by TV lately?

04 March 2013

TV News: Enlightened, Keifer Sutherland, Pilot Casting Updates & More

I haven't done this round of TV news the last couple of weeks since 1) I lost good internet speed the week before; and 2) I lost my sanity and energy the week after. And how have you been?

They're doing the Paley Fest for TV in New York this weekend. Going to this event is something I have on my bucket list...if I kept a bucket list. Wait, are bucket lists supposed to also mean "wishlist", which then means "it's never gonna happen"?

I caught up with some TV since I wasn't able to watch any during my downtimes and two of the most fun I've had during those times were watching CASTLE and PERSON OF INTEREST. Castle's two-part episode involved the kidnapping of Alexis, where she ended up in Paris. It's cool to see Alexis' instincts coming to play and then watching Castle at his most vulnerable? A first for the show. I didn't know Nathan Fillion could do drama like that. It was quite good!

Person of Interest had Sarah Shahi playing the female version of John Reese's character and she was pretty badass. I am hoping they get her as a regular cast member.

It's interesting how I favor watching procedurals now over serialized shows and their mythologies, when several years ago, during the era of LOST, I got so tired of the repetitiveness of procedurals. These days, there are only a handful of serialized shows I can appreciate and most of them are cable programs (and that one from Netflix --- HOUSE OF CARDS --- so good!).

Anyway, the news I've gathered from the last two weeks:

FX orders season two of THE AMERICANS |  via TV Media Insights. I thought this show started out with so much promise, but the 2nd and 3rd episode didn't pick up. The last episode did though and I hope it really turns around because I love the people in it!

Finally! Nielsen will adjust its TV ratings system | via Huffington Post.

"ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ Recasts Mad Hatter Role With An Eye Toward Spinoff" | via Deadline. Milking cow. Hate it.

"James Van Der Beek cast as gynecologist in CBS comedy pilot" | via Entertainment Weekly. The only one left without a new show from the cast of DON'T TRUST THE BITCH in APT 23 is Dreama Walker.

"Community’s Ken Jeong Joins ABC Comedy Pilot Spy" |  via Deadline. He's either leaving COMMUNITY next season or there's no more Community next season.

"Shaq To Guest Star On Southland" | via Access Hollywood.

"Smash's Jack Davenport joins ITV's Breathless" | via TV Rage.

TV Trend: "The Decline of Snark and the Return of Sweetness" | via Harvard Business Review.

Helen Hunt is directing an episode of REVENGE. Her episode will air Mar 10th | via TV Guide. Speaking of, I saw the actress in the movie THE SESSIONS...and it was uncomfortable to watch her.

Gillian Anderson joins this NBC pilot along with Rachael Taylor | via TV Line. I think fandom geeks on the internet broke the internet for a day with this news.

Jamie Bell signs up for this period drama for AMC. The actor is best known for the movie BILLY ELLIOT | via TV Line. I still think of Jamie Bell as that young kid in that movie so sometimes, I'm not convinced he's that grown up dude I keep seeing.

"The producers of ABC’s BODY OF PROOF had a choice: Change the series or get cancelled" | via Slate. I didn't like changes made on BODY OF PROOF at all. Liked the old team just fine. Now? Show's become much, much more generic/formulaic.

"ENLIGHTENED is TV’s best show right now—and it needs more viewers" | via AV Club. "Part of the problem may be how hard it is to describe Enlightened." That's exactly my problem, too! If you were to ask why I love ENLIGHTENED, I won't be able to find the exact words. Every time an episode ends I'm just in awe. The show's really simple. The characters aren't extra-ordinary. The acting is tops. Just dunno what makes me like it so much.

What women like to watch: Gory, Raunchy and Bro-Filled TV Series Are a Hit With Women | via AdWeek.

I truly love this. They had the simplest wedding. Ben & Leslie's Wedding Album from PARKS AND RECREATION | via Pinterest.

Alicia Silverstone to star in the TV drama series "HR" (as in Human Resources) | via Deadline.

Don't go hatin' on Andrea so much. The actress playing her wants changes to her character, too (THE WALKING DEAD) | via Huffington Post.

WOW! "American Horror Story Season 3 Pits Jessica Lange Against… Kathy Bates!" | via TV Line.

NBC wants Keifer Sutherland in a show that's like THE FOLLOWING | via Entertainment Weekly. He's being tapped to play the bad guy. This probably means his other show TOUCH is going to be cancelled. I have lots of issues with Touch, the same way I had issues with HEROES. Both shows are from the same creator.

NEW GIRL's weakest link: Cece? | via Glamour. But her character was the only thing that kept me watching Season 1. This season (2nd)? Not so much.

Why Dana Delany passed on playing Carrie Bradshaw | via Huffington Post.

18 of the worst-dressed characters on TV. Who's the biggest offender? | via TV Guide.

Have these 24 shows worn out their welcome on your TV? | via TV Guide.

I started a new project last Monday and it's taking up most of my morning's work load. Which means that the daily news round up is going to be delayed to the later part of the day. But I still would like to manage doing this, if not daily, at least pretty regularly, while I'm still trying to get adjusted to new schedules. Please bear with me. :)

01 March 2013

Meeting TV's Mike Ross and Spencer Hastings & Nursing a Fever After

So, here's the thing...

I made a career out of watching TV. That's my excuse for being a junkie/couch potato.

Writing about it? Never considered it as my job. Couldn't claim I'm part of the press. Always felt like I'm such a poser when I do that.

But...

"AIR QUOTES" hehe. 
I've written for US TV fan sites under someone else's name or for an outfit several times. I have "interviewed" TV people --- such as that late night TV host who announced he was retiring, but really didn't; and that adorable TV actress who was, back then, about to begin a comedy series that only recently fired the showrunner/creator (and the show's not the same now, booo!)

I put "interviewed" in "quotes" because...I never really got to meet them.

How it worked was, someone from the team/s I write for would tell me to prepare the questions, which they would then email to the publicist/agents/reps. I'd wait a couple of days to receive an email back with all the questions answered, so that I could do a piece about it.

That was how far my experience of being close to TV stars went. And that went on for several years. From where I sit, it was more than I could ask. #grateful

So, when this happened a few days back, things got real:

PRESS! I was part of it for a day!
What I said when I checked-in on my Facebook account.

How It Happened

My friend KV (mwaaah!) alerted me on Facebook about Patrick J. Adams (PJA) coming to Manila.  When I saw that it was going to be a JackTV event, I knew I could do something about it.

Since 2008, I've been writing for the local TV Guide from Atlas Publishing (as seen on the press ID). The mag is a little known publication, but it has been around for over a decade. You can buy the magazine at National Bookstore! (Exclamation point, talaga. Sapilitan. Bumili naman kayo! Hehe.) I've talked about it a few times on this blog, too.

The mag's primary focus is on putting correct cable and network show schedules on print. The ex-pats love this, we were told. The articles that I (and a pool of writers) submit are only secondary contents.

Cable outfits, like JackTV, have a good relationship with the mag I contribute for. So, knowing what I know about PJA's arrival, I frantically sent out a text message to my Managing Editor. I've NEVER done this before, despite the magazine getting invites fairly often. I didn't even know if I was actually gonna get it, but few days prior to the arrival, my editor confirmed to me that the assignment was mine. (Thank you so much, Marnelle and Ma'am Mel!!!)

And that was that.

The Press Conference Experience

I kept saying on Facebook that I didn't know what I was doing at the event. It sounded ma-drama...but given my press "credentials", I was voicing my honest feelings --- I really had zero clue. I haven't even registered and introduced myself to the JackTV people and I was already shaking.

The great thing was that the people behind this event were nice professionals. And the whole thing? It was organized. It was on time. Everything was planned well and I was impressed. If I were two decades younger, I would so love to do their job! (Big thanks, by the way, to Ed Uy, Angela Robinson and Miss Tessa!)

It was also a good thing that I'm online friends with one of the more experienced press people who was also there to cover the event. I met her in person for the first time that day. (Hi, Dinna! Thank you for reeling me in your table!)

And Then Patrick Arrived...

When he walked in, time stopped. I'm such a big fan of Suits that seeing one of its stars in the flesh was --- as you would've guessed --- so surreal. He started talking and I just sat there...frozen. It took me awhile to gather my bearing and did what I came to do. I took photos and notes. But once in a while, I'd fall back into this dream-like state. Ganun pala yun. Ang jologs ko lang. :P

I've already posted some photos on my Instagram/Facebook accounts. But here are a few more....

PATRICK J. ADAMS 
Mike Ross on SUITS

This guy has the gift of gab...
He was candid, smart & insightful.
I can understand the attraction between him and Troian.
#SameWavelength
 Conversant and sensible, almost like a real lawyer.
I forgot what he was talking about here. Season 2?
I was fixated on his arm band. I wonder what that piece is to him?
Never got to ask, there wasn't enough time.
The cake his fans gave him, which he posted on his Instagram as well.
"I'm watching you..." he says to the bouncer/security who took
his cake from him, so that he could join his fans for the picture-taking.
What a cutie pie. Hehe. Look at that smile!
Would've been better if I got it at the right angle.

She's Gorgeous, She's Tall and She's Honest 
#NotAPrettyLittleLiar

After PJA, Troian's presscon came next. (Well, technically, lunch first hehe.)

I no longer watch Pretty Little Liars. I do not have any more patience for all the ruse, to be honest (Sorry, T!) But from the beginning, I've already loved Troian's Spencer Hastings. (Aria comes in at second place).

Troian, as expected, was gracious, endearing and smart.

TROIAN BELLISARIO 
Spencer Hastings on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

Troian channeling Spencer Hastings with that look on her face. Hehe.
She did say something about going on Spencer mode while doing the interview.
Adorable and super nice. Like her boyfriend, she also spoke really well.
Gorgeous.  She was wearing heels as long as that mic she's holding. Haha.
Seriously, it was so high, I was worried she would trip. 
Hug. Hug. Such an emotional moment with her fans.
See?  #tears
Like a kid receiving gifts from Santa!

You can check the Instagram photos I have here:

Bits and Pieces

The press people? They asked really good questions, I got a feeling Patrick and Troian were impressed by it, too. Patrick did remark, "That's a really good question!" three or four times.

Troian got to taste Durian and said, "It's like the cheese of fruits!" No one in the audience liked Durian. The question they asked was: Who here does not like Durian? If they asked the opposite, I would be raising my hand. :)

Troian likes Donna on Suits. "She's so sexy." Yeah-uh!

Troian said that if she were on Suits, she could never play the role of Rachel, who is played by Megan Markle. The relationship between Mike and Rachel on the show is tense; there's always that push and pull...and Troian said something like, "But he's so adorable, I know I could never pull back."

Patrick doesn't get jealous over the men Troian has to do love scenes with. But if he didn't understand the nature of their work, he would've beaten up Keegan Allen, Troian's TV partner, already. Haha.

He also said that if he had a photographic memory in real life (like his character, Mike Ross), he would use it to his great advantage as an actor; to memorize his lines and every other script. Clever!

Patrick said that he was partly responsible for choosing the theme song for Suits. If you're watching the show, then you know that cool opening theme by heart by now. The song is "Greenback Boogie" by Ima Robot :


In Conclusion

That night after the press event, I began to develop FEVER. Haaay.

I don't know if it was a combination of:
  • having woken up really early, since we live far from the venue and I had to avoid traffic, thus I got no ample rest.
  • that nauseating feeling when you're doing something for the first time. Okay, wait.  Technically it's the second time, coz I covered a National Geographic event for the magazine back in 2011.
  • the thrill of experiencing something for the first/second time.
  • the joy of being a fan.
  • having eaten nearly nothing. I couldn't eat. I had soup and bread and some of the cold cuts at the hotel banquet, but that was it. (And I didn't eat partly because --- I DIDN'T WANT MY LIPSTICK RUINED WHEN I FACE MIKE ROSS!!! HAHAHAH, ang arte! By the way, not that anyone cares I know, but I was wearing Lip Bloom from Updated Trends with NYX Lip Butter from Digital Traincase. I would like to thank them for my make-up!)
  • the airconditioning that was blasting at the back.  The cold air cut right through my bones, my body currently feels like it's been hit by a truck. #defensesDown
I'm still recovering from my fever as I prepare this blog.

I haven't watched any of the other TV shows for two days now. #SaddestDaysEver #OA

How do those TVpress people in the States do what they do fairly regularly with all the FanCons, Upfronts, TCA and stuff... and still get to watch everything?? I only went to ONE TV event and I've been sidetracked! 

But...

I'd love to this again, that's for sure. Yet like I've said a few times already --- please, please US TV stars, don't come to Manila often. It's bad for my physical and emotional well-being!!!

P. S.

My coverage of this on Atlas TV Guide comes out in the April 2013 issue, since the coming March issue has been put to bed early Feb. That's the way it is in this particular publication. Other facets of that interview, which I have not shared here, are in the articles.

On Philippine cable TV, Suits airs on Jack TV, while Pretty Little Liars is on ETC.