Ahad, 15 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Golden Globes dump old TV darlings for new and edgy


Decision comes as voters seek out TV's next big thing.

TELEVISION favourites of seasons past such as Mad Men and Homeland lost out to new, edgy shows like Masters Of Sex and House Of Cards in the Golden Globes nominations announced on Thursday, as voters seek out TV's next big thing.

In the category of best TV dramas, Netflix's political thriller House Of Cards and Showtime's racy sex history series Masters Of Sex will take on AMC's gritty drug drama Breaking Bad, PBS' British period series Downton Abbey and CBS' law and corruption yarn The Good Wife.

Michael Sheen (as Dr William Masters) with Lizzy Caplan, as Virginia Johnson (left), and Caitlin Fitzgerald (Libby Masters) in Masters Of Sex.

Showtime's domestic terror drama Homeland, which won Golden Globes for best TV drama for the past two years, failed to garner a single nomination on Thursday. Other past favourites such as AMC's advertising drama Mad Men and HBO's epic fantasy Game Of Thrones were also pushed aside for new shows.

"It's the job of the people in the industry to try and prepare people for the next generation of shows, and make sure something strong is on the upwards escalator, so I welcome the new shows in the category," Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes said in an interview.

Past comedy favourites including NBC shows The Office and 30 Rock, both of which concluded this year, also failed to win any nods on Thursday.

In this year's nominations for best comedy/musical TV series, new Fox cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine will compete against CBS' The Big Bang Theory, ABC's Modern Family, HBO's Girls and NBC's Parks And Recreation.

The Golden Globes, voted for by the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are one of Hollywood's top honours for film and television, and winners will be announced at a televised ceremony in Beverly Hills on Jan 12.

Online streaming platform Netflix barged in this year with its first forays into original programming: House Of Cards snagged four nominations, while female prison drama Orange Is The New Black and comedy Arrested Development picked up a nomination each.

A surprise entry into the mix was premium cable channel Starz, which had two shows vying for honours in the TV mini-series/movie categories, landing a network record of six nominations.

Starz received nominations for Dancing On The Edge, a BBC drama about a black jazz band in 1930s London, and The White Queen, a medieval period piece co-produced by the BBC and Starz. They will challenge HBO's Liberace biopic Behind The Candelabra, Sundance Channel's New Zealand thriller Top Of The Lake and FX Networks' American Horror Story: Coven for best mini-series/movie.

"The wealth is spread around more than it was before. Starz's significant nominations are clearly a reflection of the network's desire to support and produce quality drama," said Colin Callender, executive producer of Dancing On The Edge and The White Queen.

New roles and new talent

Newcomers and new roles also shook up the acting categories in the TV race on Thursday. Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany, Orange Is The New Black lead actress Taylor Schilling, Scandal actress Kerry Washington and House Of Cards actress Robin Wright will compete in the best TV drama actress category alongside previous Globe winner Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife. This is the fifth time Margulies has been nominated in the category for her role as a wife and litigator in the CBS show.

Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black.

"The Globes have always done a great job of honouring people first. They always look out for new shows, and if not new talent, then talent in new roles," James Hibberd, senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, said.

In the race for best actor in a TV drama, the only returning nominee is Bryan Cranston for his role as school teacher-turned-meth dealer Walter White in AMC's Breaking Bad, which concluded after five seasons amid great hype in September.

Bryan Cranston, the only returnee in the best TV drama actor category, for his role as Walter White in the hit series Breaking Bad.

Cranston, a favourite to win the category, will be up against Liev Schreiber for Showtime's Ray Donovan, Michael Sheen for Masters Of Sex, Kevin Spacey for House Of Cards and James Spader for NBC's The Blacklist.

New roles also feature in the best comedy TV actor race, as Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg, Michael J. Fox from The Michael J. Fox Show and Jason Bateman from Arrested Development, take on previous Globe winners, Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory and House Of Lies star Don Cheadle.

Amy Poehler is a nominee (best comedy TV actress; Parks And Recreation) and co-host of the 71st Golden Globes.

The best comedy TV actress race comprises previous nominees and winners, with Zooey Deschanel from New Girl battling Lena Dunham from Girls, Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco, Veep actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Amy Poehler from Parks And Recreation.

Poehler will host the Jan 12 awards ceremony with Tina Fey for the second year in a row. – Reuters

* For a full list of the 2014 Golden Globe nominations, go to www.goldenglobes.com/nominees.

Related story:
No Golden Globe film nods for heavyweights

Liev Schreiber tackles PR disasters


Liev Schreiber takes on seamy side of celebrity in Ray Donovan.

LIEV Schreiber exudes a cool, unstudied masculinity. Tall and thoughtful with stubble on a strong jaw, he breaks for a cigarette and coffee on the set of his new show, Ray Donovan.

The 45-year-old actor plays the titular character – a Hollywood "fixer" called upon to cover up, deflect or mediate public relations disasters for the rich and famous.

"Our obsession with celebrities, who are really, at the end of the day, just employees in the entertainment industry, is worth taking a look at," says Schreiber, sitting on a bench in a fake foyer at Sony Studios in Culver City, California in the United States. "They are fallible, sensitive people, just like us."

In the neo-noir landscape of sprawling Los Angeles, the gritty drama, which was created by Southland's Ann Biderman, does not shy away from the ugly side of celebrity. Masturbatory stalkers lurk in the shadows of sunny beaches, famous actors display pedophilia tendencies, and dead bodies are treated not as career-enders but as inconveniences to be dealt with.

"A lot of people have to collude for people to get away with the **** they get away with," says Biderman, who often peppers her speech with curse words. "To create a Michael Jackson scenario, a lot of people have to keep saying 'yes.' And the more that happens, the more you're living outside of permissible boundaries. I find that fascinating."

Boundaries are non-existent to Schreiber's Ray, for whom no door is ever really locked and whose use of a baseball bat is more Al Capone, less Derek Jeter. And although he's a pro at making the problems of others disappear, he can't quite do the same thing when it comes to his complicated family.

His wife doesn't understand him, his kids are growing up too fast and his brothers, who work at the family's boxing club, have been left emotionally stunted by the psychological abuse of the family patriarch, Mickey.

Mickey, played with menace by veteran Jon Voight, is a crass low-life who recently got out of jail after serving 20 years for murder. Ray framed him to put him there.

Needless to say, it's a series dominated by anti-heroes. Voight's Mickey is sneering and manipulative. He feeds his addict son Bunchy cocaine, smokes weed with prostitutes and insinuates himself into Ray's family with a sly stealth.

"We've got wonderful actors playing delicious parts," says Voight on set. The premium cable channel, Showtime, has high hopes for the hard-nosed drama whose complex and ambiguous moral themes mesh neatly with many of their other series such as Emmy-winning Homeland, Dexter and Nurse Jackie.

Biderman says she was lucky when she pitched the show because the network was looking for "a big, juicy macho show."

"I think you can only do true male psychology on premium cable," says Showtime's President of entertainment David Nevins. "That was one of the things The Sopranos had going for it. It was clear that Ann had unique insight into the male psyche – she knows what drives men."

Schreiber agrees, saying he was unprepared for Biderman when he first met her.

"I was expecting to meet Raymond Chandler, and here comes this small, delicate woman who has the mouth of a prize fighter," he says. "She writes men better than anyone in the business, at the heart of this toughness is a tremendous sensitivity."

Ray is, indeed, the embodiment of the strong, silent type. The man who tucks his daughter into bed; makes sure his wife has a stack of cash for a new dress for date night; and is tempted by lithe, young starlets. The man who would also make bloody work of anyone who would hurt any of them.

Biderman has always been fascinated by the cause-and-effect patterns of bad behaviour.

"I was a freaky kid, I've had a long obsession with crime," she says, curled in an office chair, her hair in a messy upsweep. "Other girls would be watching Gigi, and I'd be watching Detective Story' with Kirk Douglas."

Many of the show's episodic scenarios seem based on non-fictional Hollywood problems and characters. To say which ones would be to spoil important plotlines, but viewers will know them when they see them thanks to the tabloid frenzies they caused.

So that raises the question: Is there a real-life Ray Donovan?

Biderman is coy about that – a fixer wouldn't be a fixer if he were in the limelight. But the truth is that the character is likely an amalgamation of a variety of people who grease the gears of Hollywood's vast moneymaking machine.

Showtime hopes to have another hit on its hands. And if it emerges as one, Schreiber, who says he is "not a first-choice guy, I'm a clean-up guy" when it comes to casting, is poised to become a bona-fide leading man.

"This role is the perfect vehicle for him," says Voight of Schreiber. "With all its danger, charm and sex appeal."

With that, Voight joins Schreiber on the boxing club set in the chilly, cavernous sound stage. Spotlights roar to life, and the two men shift into character: foes in opposite corners of the ring. – Los Angeles Times/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

* Ray Donovan airs every Sunday at 11.45pm on FOX Movies Premium (Astro Ch 413).

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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