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A Storm is Coming: Big Brother Australia 2014

Big Brother is back on 9 for 2014
Big Brother is back on 9 for 2014

 

Thursday saw channel 9 drop the new promo for Big Brother Australia 2014 and it’s got a lot of people talking about what to expect for the new season with a theme of Noah’s Ark and a massive storm used for this years advertising push.

Check out the new promo below:

As you can see, host Sonia Kruger is playing Noah while she directs the housemates (are they couples?) into the ark and just like the biblical story, they arrive, two by two, offering shelter and safety from the impending storm where, Sonia then explains: “A storm is brewing… on the inside,” and to top it off, last years winner Tim Dormer make an appearance right at the end of the clip, dressed in his trademark skeleton onesie.

Fans of the reality series are noting that this year, the series is starting much later than normal and how will it play into the networks lineup with The Block Glasshouse still airing.  It has been revealed that Channel 9 are planning on using the strong numbers for The Block as a lead in to this new series of Big Brother which will see the show pushed back to an 8:30pm timeslot while The Block is still airing (once The Block Glasshouse finishes, Big Brother is expected to move back to a 6:30pm/7:30pm timeslot)

This season will also see Big Brother have a  fully digital and integrated platform, allowing viewers more engagement and interaction than ever before. “Australia, this year it is power to the people. Your first chance to control what happens in my House starts before night one. You decide more than just who stays and who goes.”  Sonia Kruger says of the new series – “This is without a doubt going to be the most exciting series we’ve ever seen. From night one, Housemates will have to make immediate judgments which will have far reaching consequences into their Big Brother experience.

 “In this day and age, with the prevalence of social media, people are forced to make snap judgments on other people based on tiny bits of information. Our Housemates are going to have to make quick decisions based on first impressions. “I also hear our 2014 Housemates are the most opinionated and most controversial ever, and buttons will be pushed.”

The Daily Mail UK have revealed extensive renovations to the Big Brother compound with a larger pool, a new elevated living area, a tree house and possibly a second secluded pool while BehindBigBrother.com has revealed that the series will be the shortest in Australian Big Brother history – running only for 80 days and nights.

Big Brother Australia 2014 is scheduled to begin with a double night ‘housemate entry’ special on Monday September 8th on channel 9

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Winners and Losers Says Goodbye To…..

Rear Katherine Hicks as Sam, Virginia Gay as Frances Front Melissa Bergland as Jenny, Zoe Tuckwell-Smith as Bec, Melanie Vallejo as Sophie
Rear Katherine Hicks as Sam, Virginia Gay as Frances Front Melissa Bergland as Jenny, Zoe Tuckwell-Smith as Bec, Melanie Vallejo as Sophie.  Source: Provided

The massive cast changes in Winners and Losers that took place at the season three finale is about to add another name to the list of those who have left with Tuesday night’s episode seeing a main character joining those who have moved onto greener pastures.

The season three finale saw characters including Patrick (Jack Pearson), Jasmine (Pia-Grace Moon), Flynn (Tom Hobbs) and Jonathan (Damien Bodie) all exit the series along with Trish Gross (Denise Scott) taking an extended break in Switzerland and Bec (Zoe Tuckwell-Smith) moving to Singapore to be with Ryan (but let’s face it, she hasn’t really gone anywhere with the amount of time she’s spending back home in Melbourne!) is about to see a favorite cast member say goodbye.

Speaking with The Daily Edition yesterday, cast member Melanie Vallejo (Sophie) revealed that yes, a main cast member will be leaving the show!  So who is it that’s leaving?  I know….but i’m keeping quiet on this one, instead offering up some suggestions as to who it could be.

Is it Francis?:  Francis has had a tough time of late between Zach leaving, her surprise pregnancy and the departure of business partner Flynn and co-dependent Jonathan, Francis has found herself relying on the slightly airy Bridget, not only for emotional support but professional support too.  Has it all become too much for Francis to handle with her only option to be with Zach in Abu Dhabi?

Is it Jen?: While things haven’t been as tough for Jen as they have been for Francis, Jen’s still been on a very up and down ride that could see her throw it all in and leave for good.  With all her winnings now gone, Jen has had a tough time readjusting to life before money that included returning to her old job and suffering through a string of bad relationships.  Will new boyfriend Gabe be enough to keep Jen from leaving?

Is it Sophie?:  One could say “poor Sophie” if it wasn’t for all the naked fun she was having with Sam’s brother Luke.  While her ex Doug has moved on and married Carla and her struggles with revealing what happened to her while in Africa played heavily in the past few seasons, it’s her relationship with Luke that has really started to haunt Sophie.  Trying to deny she wants more from him that she currently has is a typical Sophie move, but can she deal with having her heart broken all over again?

Is it Bec?:  We’ve seen some very ‘out-of-character’ behavior from our widowed Bec of late. There was the hook up with bikie Jason (who was also dealing dope on the side) then becoming romantically involved with her therapist Ryan (who subsequently lost his job) which then led to her moving to Singapore to continue to be with Ryan and finally back into Jason’s arms, cheating on Ryan.  It’s all been very un-Bec like…could this behavior lead to her saying goodbye to it all and leaving?

Is it Sam?:  Just like the others, Sam has found herself in a situation she never thought she’d ever be in.  One day your working as a nurse, the next you’re marrying a patient dying from cancer and suddenly, you’ve inherited your dead husband’s son he abandoned years ago while his mother is off in Bangers living large with the payout from her ex’s death.  Sam somehow managed to get the raw end of the deal here and has found herself single and the legal guardian of a moody 14 year old.  How long can she deal with this?

So who leaves?  Find out tonight on an all new Winners and Losers, 8:30pm on Channel 7

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Wentworth Season 2 Finale

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Danielle Cormack as Bea Smith. Source: Provided

The conclusion to this fantastic second season of Aussie prison drama Wentworth hits our screens on Tuesday night.  Check out the season 2 finale preview below:

Will Bea find her target in Brayden Holt?  Will the Governor be able to keep her cool knowing her self-made prison top dog is now on the loose?  Will Frankie try and reclaim her head honcho status with Bea gone?

Find out Tuesday night, 8:30pm on SoHo/Foxtel!

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Gillian Anderson’s Crisis Comes to ONE on Wednesdays

Crisis stars Rachel Taylor and Gillian Anderson.  Source: Provided
Crisis stars Rachel Taylor and Gillian Anderson. Source: Provided

The Gillian Anderson/Rachel Taylor led political drama Crisis, has been given an Australian premiere date and channel move with Network Ten opting to air the drama on it’s digital channel ONE right after the Commonwealth Games has finished.

Crisis, set in Washington D.C, follows the students at Ballard High School which educates the children of the powerful – International diplomats, Elite CEOs and even the President’s son but disaster strikes when, on a field trip, the bus, teachers and children are taken hostage leaving the powerful and influential at the mercy of the kidnappers.

Like most, I’m a sucker for a great plot twist and Crisis offers up quite a few in the first episode – don’t worry, no spoilers here – and add that with a barreling pace and a cast full of familiar faces (Aussie darling Rachel Taylor, Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney – to name a few) and the handful of episodes available for preview to me, were enough to keep me somewhat intrigued to see more.

While Crisis’ take on the kidnapping/political genre is fresh, the ample amount of plot twists and and story pace seemed to negate any form of character development and character credibility that I found Crisis falling into the same trap that swallowed up similar shows such as Hostages – you find yourself at a point not being able to remember names, traits or even really care about them.  This could be why Crisis was pulled off air only half way through it’s premier season in America.

When it comes to the cast, while i’m still a fanboy from her X-Files days, as a corporate CEO negotiating a family crisis, Anderson’s ability to flawlessly elevate every single scene she’s in is still as strong as her days spent at Agent Dana Scully chasing little green men.  This doesn’t bode well for Rachel Taylor (playing an FBI Agent on the case to find the missing children) who is easily out-acted by the many scenes she shares with Anderson.

Who kidnapped these children?  What do they want with them? Will anyone die?  Catch the premiere episode of Crisis starting Wednesday, August 6th, 8:30pm on ONE.

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Pay Dispute Halts Big Bang Production

Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki in The Big Bang Theory, season 7 Photo: Warner Brothers
Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki in The Big Bang Theory, season 7 Photo: Warner Brothers

“How many repeats can Big Bang Theory fans really watch?” is the question of the moment as production on the shows eighth season has been halted due to a pay dispute between the main stars of the cast and Warner Bros Television.

In a move similar to that of the Friends cast, stars Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar are looking to move into the $1 million dollar an episode price range, up from the $325,000 per episode they are currently earning.

While the show has been greenlit for a further 3 seasons (taking the show into 2017), production on the eighth season failed to start with cast members not arriving for the seasons first table read (scheduled for yesterday 31st July) surprising the studio (Warner Bros) and halting production, which was first noted by The Hollywood Reporter.

Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are the only two cast members to have been secured into a new contract earning themselves a hefty pay increase.

The Big Bang Theory pulls in around 20 million viewers weekly in the US and here in Australia, new episodes can bring in over 1 million viewers.

Until the situation is resolved with both parties happy, production on season 8 will not go forth.  Guess it’s time to break out the repeats – again.

 

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Hotwives Brings the Hotness to Orlando

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The Hotwives from L-R: Kristen Schaal, Danielle Schneider, Casey Wilson, Tymberlee Hill and Angela Kinsey Source: Provided

What happens when you take the beast that is the Real Housewives franchise and tweak the characters, settings and story lines ever so slightly to push the final result from really ridiculous to hilariously ridiculous?

Why you get the Hotwives of Orlando of course!

If you’re like me then you have never watched a single episode of any of the Real Housewives series.  You know about these shows and know they exist, you may know of some of the people involved (NeNe Leakes is my limit here), what they do and know that in general, these Real Housewives shows are just a bag of flashy mess, so thankfully, Dannah Phirman and Danielle Schneider came along and created this incredibly funny, racy and wink wink parody for Hulu that means i’ll never have to watch a Real Housewives episode ever!

Taking notes (or basically whole pages) from the Real Housewives franchise, the Hotwives of Orlando follows the lives of a handful of fictional (and hopefully one day iconic) women whom, just like the Housewives series, “don’t want no drama”.  There’s trophy wife Tawny St. John (Casey Wilson) who is a loving (ahem) wife to her (somewhat) dying husband Phil while spending adult time with her personal trainer (oh hi Joey McIntyre!) and arranging ludicrous charity events such as Classy Canines which aims to see every dog in a pair of heels (only a pair?).  

Big time spender Shauna Maducci (Danielle Schneider) is unable to see her family’s forthcoming bankruptcy over the mounds of designer dresses lying about.  Her anger issues reach everyone from her husband Anthony to her on again-off again best friend Tawny.

There’s also finger in every pie Phenomenon “Phe Phe” Reed (Tymberlee Hill) who is constantly busy with being a lawyer, foot model and aspiring taxidermist (among a myriad of other pursuits) yet she is super supportive of her husband’s chosen career as a sports mascot and a show like this would not be complete without the British cougar in the form of (and winner of the best name ever) Veronica Von Vandervon (Andrea Savage) who relies on her sexually overt and vulgar sense of humor to nab herself younger men.

Rounding out the cast is Christian girl Crystal Simmons (Angela Kinsey) a local Orlando weather girl who while claims to be a devout Christian but has never read the bible because “it’s written in Jewish” and my personal favorite in Amanda Simmons (played by the wonderful Kristen Schaal) a former child star living off the fame that came with being the Florida prune juice girl who also happens to have a rather torrid affair with drugs and alcohol.

The brilliance surrounding Hotwives is that, with just the slightest tweaks from the source material, the absurdity that resides within the Housewives series becomes less jaw dropping “Is she for real?” to “This is fucking funny” for Hotwives and while some are calling the jokes lazy, I call it genius and that even though the jokes are more likely to be relevant to those familiar with the Housewives series, they are not lost on someone like me who refuses to watch the original.  

Schaal, Wilson, Schneider and the rest of the cast must be relishing being able to play these boisterous and brassy women that we’re allow us to laugh at without also feeling sad for.

The first three eps of The Hotwives of Orlando is now available on Hulu with more to come including including the necessary reunion special!

 

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Oh So Devious! Devious Maids Begins on Foxtel

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Anna Ortiz (center) stars in Devious Maids. Source provided

Did you know that it’s been two years since we last saw the ladies of Wisteria Lane?  Crazy right? Back then, Desperate Housewives (created by Marc Cherry) followed the (sometimes) classy and wealthy ladies of Wisteria Lane and now, Cherry is back and joining forces with Housewives actress Eva Longoria (who played Gabrielle Solis) to bring us a look at the other side of the rich and famous – or…those who clean up after them.

Devious Maids, created by Marc Cherry and co-produced by Longoria has Cherry back to his guilty-pleasure best (remember Desperate Housewives in it’s early years?) creating a world where those that work for the rich and famous are in fact, the ones with all the power with access to their employers dirty secrets, some small and others that could destroy lives.

There’s some familiar faces among the maids cast including Ugly Betty’s Ana Ortiz, Scrubs’ Judy Reyes and Melrose Place star Grant Show as popular soap star Spence Westmore.

Says Show about Devious Maids “It is sort of like Desperate Housewives 2.0.  It is a little racier and a little sexier. It is absolute pure fantasy. If you want real life, you can watch The Real Housewives of Orange County. If you want fun and fantasy, watch this show.”

Expect a little intrigue and mystery with these maids as the first episode opens up with what looks like and open and shut murder case (a maid is found stabbed to death) but not is all as what it looks!

Check out the trailer below

Devious Maids begins Thursday night 8:30pm on Universal Channel, Foxtel. 

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Anja Nissen Wins The Voice Australia

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Team Will’s Anja Nissen Wins The Voice Australia Series 3. Source: Provided

Yes, I was team Jackson Thomas all the way and right up until the end, was getting excited that he could actually take out the prize, but there beside him was the big voiced blonde Anja Nissen who in the end, took out The Voice Australia Season 3.

With rocker Frank Lakoudis and duo ZK bumped out (I blame ZK’s terrible ‘Don’t stop believing’ GLEE moment from last week) many were tipping Team Kylie’s sweet sounding Johnnie Rollins to win with SportsBet placing the 29-year-old at 1.5 odds to win but it wasn’t to be with Johnnie the next to be ousted leaving Jackson and Anja as the final two.

Anja who is the first pop artist to win, looks set to possibly break The Voice winners curse that has seen series one winner Karise Eden go into hiding while promising new music for the last two years and last years winner Harrison Craig, while doing well, pretty much aimed at the nan and pop demographic.  

Along with the win, Anja’s coach Will.I.Am announced his intentions to sign the 18 year old to his label (no more than 15 minutes after the announcement, it’s sitting on wiki)

The Voice Australia returns in 2015 for series four.

 

 

 

 

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Taking the Glitter Away from Vampires. The Strain Reviewed

Sean Astin as Jim Kent.  Souce: Supplied
Sean Astin as Jim Kent. Souce: Supplied

Without beating around the bush too much, The Strain (airing Wednesday July 30th on FOX8) resembles a horror movie that may have come out in the mid 1990’s – you know, the kind that went straight to DVD.  I’m not saying it like it’s a bad thing, just that, here, The Strain is purely for scares and gore while only slightly relying on a deeper story-line.

Now that deeper story-line is either about ancient vampires coming to New York or lead character Dr. Ephraim Goodweather’s failing marriage…i’m not to sure as to which as we’re drowned with too much personal information about Ephraim, his distant wife and their son right off the bat.

So just like FX’s creepy disease based Helix, The Strain (also from FX) brings us another biological catastrophe involving the CDC and those affected by a mysterious disease, but unlike Helix where all the action takes place in the isolated Arctic, The Strain takes place in heavily populated New York City.

According to FX, The Strain is about “a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism” and is based on the series of books from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (Guillermo del Toro is also credited as the creator, writer and director) where the central character of no-good is, well, he’s the ancient king of Vampires named The Master.

Now the vampires here in The Strain are nothing like you have ever seen before.  Gone are the tweenie glittery human loving creatures we’ve been saturated with of recent times and in their place, creepy hooded monsters that rely on blood seeking and sucking worms over fangs and del Toro (a master in the field of scares and gore) goes to lengths to create a dark and eerie visual that offers up some jump worthy scares.

The cast is pleasant enough to watch and while some of the acting is a bit kitsch and over the top, it fits perfectly into the theme of what we are being offered up….Lord of the Rings star (or Goonies star to me) Sean Astin is there along with Alias’s Mia Maestro and House of Cards actor Corey Stoll taking the lead as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather.

So in the end, Helix stands miles above what The Strain is, but as a show where you don’t really need to think too much and can get a few decent scares and some gross out gore then The Strain should sit nicely into your weekly viewing.

The Strain begins Wednesday July 30th on FOX8.

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Please Like Me Season 2 Sneak Peek Plus Season 3 News!

Josh Thomas on set of Please Like Me's Second Season
Josh Thomas on set of Please Like Me’s Second Season. Source: Facebook

With the August 12th Australian premiere date looming ever so close, a new sneak peek look at the second season of Josh Thomas’ comedy Please Like Me has been released (finally!)

With the slew of behind the scenes photos being published via the shows official Facebook page, it’s nice to actually see a look at what to expect when the show returns next month.

Check it out below:

Tom (Thomas Ward) and Claire (Caitlin Stasey) are back along with Josh’s ex boyfriend Geoffrey (Wade Briggs) and a new housemate-slash-possible love interest in the form of Patrick (Charles Cottier – ex Dexter from Home and Away) is along for the ride!

Josh also used the Facebook Page to announce that not only will Please Like Me be starting on August 12th but that the show has already received a green light for a third season!  Not bad for a show that was delegated to ABC2’s digital channel and virtually left for dead after it’s first season.

The third season, consisting of a further ten episodes will begin production in 2015.

Please Like Me Season 2 begins August 8th on Pivot and August 12th on ABC2

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