ConStar Clicks

The 2015-16 TV season is fast approaching, and with that comes endless articles on various trends and the state of television today. This week’s ConStar Clicks features a few of those articles and a couple of older ones. Click away!

Over on NPR: Television 2015: Five Shows They Will Never Stop Making including: The Adventures Of Mr. Superabilities And Detective Ladyskeptic and Healing Dr. Chilly. 

Another NPR piece: Television 2015: Are We Done Hating Television? which discusses how movie stars are moving to TV, which used to be a shocking thing, as TV was what movie stars did when they couldn’t get movie roles. Now things are different.

Disdain for television is so old and so powerful that HBO used to try to repurpose it into something useful, like fuel made from old French-fry grease. That’s what “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” was.

Another great line:

Disdain for television is so old and so powerful that HBO used to try to repurpose it into something useful, like fuel made from old French-fry grease. That’s what “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.” was.

TV NOW: Are You Cheating On Your TV Shows? [Seat 42F] considers the sheer amount of television that is on the air today and the way social media and other factors force us to choose which shows to watch live and which to save for that DVR/Netflix binge

Total scripted television shows rose from 340 shows in 2013 to 371 shows in 2014 and now there will be over 400 shows at the end of 2015 — that is an increase of over 60 additional television shows in the past 2 years.

Also:

It became essential to triage which TV shows had to be watched immediately or LIVE or suffer the repercussions.

An important question is asked: Is TV Writing the Best Job Ever? [Huffington Post]

(and answered by TV writer Jane Espenson, who’s worked for some of the best SFF shows on TV, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time, and Battlestar Galactica.)

This piece on the BBC America Anglophenia blog wonderfully explores how Tatiana Maslany perfects the various accents and dialects she performs so flawlessly on Orphan Black:

In playing these diverse characters, the Canadian-born actress has the Herculean task of defining each individual through speech and behavior without tripping over into Saturday Night Live-level caricature. And that’s not even accounting for the performances in which a clone pretends to be another clone. Nuances are layered on nuances.

If you’ve ever watched Orphan Black, you know those nuances are serious! Also why hasn’t Tatiana hosted SNL yet?!

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It’s a tie for this week’s ‘Orphan Black’ Clone Club MVP: Krystal and Helena

This week’s Orphan Black MVP(s) are up! I cheated and picked two because I can do that.

It's a tie for this week's 'Orphan Black' Clone Club MVP

Twins are ‘creepy.’ Turns out, you’re pretty creepy, Krystal.

This week’s Orphan Black didn’t make picking an MVP very easy. There were so many good scenes and moments that it’s almost impossible to keep track, but let’s try. We loved everything Scott related! We loved Felix for being so kind and for his American accent! We loved the lovely Mexican diner owner who didn’t rat Sarah and Helena out to (a lightly toasted and fried) Doctor Coady! Basically we had such a hard time picking an MVP that we cheated and picked two. Sorry not sorry.

Our MVPs are Krystal and Helena. Krystal, for her heart and her sacrifice, and Helena for her humor and her awkward facial expressions.

Click through to find out why! It’s a tie for this week’s ‘Orphan Black’ Clone Club MVP.

Orphan Black Clone Club MVP Week 5: Mrs S Takes the Stage

Also known as that time Maria Doyle Kennedy replied to the MVP post!

Over on HelloGiggles, Mrs. S was this week’s Clone Club MVP!

Felix and Mrs S

Siobhan Sadler (aka Mrs. S) is not someone who is easy to trust. Even the pieces of backstory revealed in this week’s “Scarred by Many Past Frustrations” episode had me side-eyeing her, wary of the information. We’ve been groomed by her foster daughter Sarah to distrust Mrs. S, and with cause. However, Mrs. S’s genuine concern for Sarah’s absence proves her own claim that she’s always looked out for Sarah’s (and Felix and Kira’s) best interests. I love her complexity.

I say a lot more about Mrs. S’s complexity and why she is a template for how we should take newest flawed mother Dr. Virginia Coady (the Castor Clones’ mother figure). Clicky click to read more: Mrs. S is our ‘Orphan Black’ Clone Club MVP of the week.

THEN, the HelloGiggles Twitter account shared the post on their social media (I think that means they like me!):

Then someone added Mrs. S actress Maria Doyle Kennedy to a tweet:

and she responded:

I’m not under the impression she read the article, but she acknowledged my post and knows that I thought she was fantastic last week!

EDIT: Three Weeks Later.

I’ve learned that the Official Orphan Black Facebook Page shared this post! Seems like once you start talking about Mrs S, everyone wants to share! Sad I only learned this three weeks later though…

Click through to see the original post

Click through to see the official Orphan Black FB page post

‘Orphan Black’ Clone Club MVP Week 4: Helena and her teeth of steel

An angel of death is still an angel.

We were only about 10 minutes into this week’s Orphan Black episode and I already knew who the Clone Club MVP was going to be. While Sarah patches up Mark, Alison confronts an old boyfriend, and Cosima contemplates finding a new girlfriend, Helena is all alone with her imaginary scorpion and yet seems to have more control over her situation than any of the others.

Click through to read more of why I chose Helena this week. And check the previous MVPs for this season of Orphan Black so far over on HelloGiggles.

‘Orphan Black’ Clone Club MVP of the Week: Art; plus some thoughts on Beth Childs

This week’s Orphan Black Clone Club MVP was hard to pin down. When I started this series, I wanted to just focus on our Leda clones, our Tatiana Maslanys. But this season has expanded its storytelling past the ladies on to an ever-growing cast of characters spread out across this world, so it’s only fair that the MVP nominations extend to the entire cast. This week’s MVP was hard to choose—Gracie almost made the cut—but Art is truly one of Clone Club’s Most Valuable Players.

This week on Orphan Black, Art helps Sarah track down one of Johannsen’s (Gracie’s father who impregnated her and Helena) former allies, who might have information on the Castor and Leda originals.

Read more: ‘Orphan Black’ Clone Club MVP of the Week: Art.

And can I just say how interesting it is that they’re still including Beth in the story? She died three seasons ago and her presence is still felt throughout Clone Club. I would love a flashback episode or series of scenes that explore her life before she killed Maggie Chen, showing her partnership with Art. What drew him to her? Did she love him back? What did her early relationship with Cosima and Alison look like. And what were her final hours like, the decision to kill herself must have taken a lot, she already knew Helena was coming after them. Was she heading her off at the pass or was that not even in her mind? Ponder Beth with me and let’s appreciate Detective Arthur Bell.

Orphan Black Clone Club MVP Week 2: Seth

Week Two of Clone Club MVP is up on Hello Giggles! This has been a fun way to recap the episode. This week, I wasn’t expecting to pick the male clones… I wanted to focus on the girls. But they successfully drew me in to the Project Castor clones, so I had to give them the MVP for that. Click through to read more!

Each week, we’re recapping Orphan Black by choosing a Clone Club MVP. See past recaps here

This week’s story was once again very Sarah driven, but with the new Project Castor clones given more spotlight and personality. We saw four of our boy clone brothers: Seth (mustache) and Rudy (scar), Mark (who ran off with pregnant Grace), and the unnamed military brother who waterboarded Helena. I give Seth the Most Valuable Clone award for this week. May he rest in peace.

Read More: ‘Orphan Black’ Clone Club MVP of the Week: It’s Seth, hands down.

New Blog Series! Clone Club MVP: Orphan Black

ConStar Hello giggles ProileI started a new series on a new (for me) blog this week! My dear IRL and Twitter friend Sulagna connected me with the positive people with Hello Giggles!

For my first post/series, I wanted to talk about the clones of Orphan Black! We focus on the show as a whole or the amazing Tatiana Maslany a lot, and each clone gets tons of cosplay and fandom faves love, but I wanted to talk about each clone in each episode of season 3. So I started Clone Club MVP (or: #mostvaluableclone)!

I’m really excited to do something different and to do a different form of a Orphan Black recap. Those are plentiful across the internet. But each character brings something new to the show each week (as performed by Tatiana), so I wanted to praise one clone a week and talk about the each episode through that lens. So check out my first post on Orphan Black! I’ll have subsequent posts up on Sundays/Mondays now that I’ve been getting the hang of how posting works on HG.

Check it out and let’s discuss, #CloneClub!

Clone Club MVP: Orphan Black “The Weight of This Combination”

Who Are the Emmy Voters?

Another Tatiana Maslany Emmy Nomination Snub — Vulture

Emmy nominations came out today and they’re extremely frustrating. I’ve never claimed to watch the most popular or hit shows on television, if I do, it’s usually after they’ve ended or the hype has gone down. I watch oddball stuff, the low-rated critical darling comedies (on NBC lol) and sci-fi/fantasy/action stuff (I’m binging Arrow, and I’m really enjoying it so far!). The shows I watch are hardly ever nominated. It’s not like I’m expecting Sleepy Hollow to win all the awards, I’m not. But Emmy noms make me wonder who is voting for the shows that get picked. Is it a representative sample of television watchers? Or just a bunch of old white men (and probably some women, which is good but not great) like every other prestigious committee?

We don’t really know who they are for some obvious reasons, but are there demographics available? I am thinking women are decently represented, especially with Orange is the New Black‘s nominations, and there are plenty of action loving men if HBO’s record breaking nominations are any indication. I’ve lost count of how many Game of Thrones received–this I am pleased with–but a lot of the people I know who watch Game of Thrones, also watch Orphan Black. There is a reason Sci-fi/Fantasy are so often lumped together when people list categories–fans one of often like stuff from the other. (Obviously not always, you usually pick one over the other–I’m more Fantasy than sci-fi myself.)

So who is voting for Game of Thrones but has no interest in Orphan Black? Who is voting for fantastic women on Netflix but isn’t interested in one fantastic woman playing many fantastic women on BBC America?I get that there are many other considerations to voting, people’s personal interests and whatever the For Your Consideration choice was, but for a second year in a row, an amazing actress was overlooked. And that doesn’t count the mainstream snubs: I don’t even watch The Good Wife and I think it was snubbed for a best drama nomination.

I wish we knew more about these voters. Where are they coming from? What makes them decide the way they do? Do we need an upgrade of the entire system? Like many things, I kind of imagine they haven’t changed the way they do things, or include people, in ages. Have they widened their net of voters in this ever expanding age of television? They need more sci-fi watchers, more fantasy watchers, more young people, more people who will vote for Amy Poehler to finally win that comedy award she so achingly deserves (they’ve got this year and next to recognize. She might get another show immediately, but she deserves it for Parks so, so much). There’s more television happening than ever before and it’s not being looked at by the Emmy committee. There are more networks, more internet voices coming to play in the big leagues; have we included voters to represent those new voices that these new networks and new shows are trying to bring to the forefront? The Emmy pool just tells me that the efforts being made to bring diversity to the screen isn’t being made in the voting pool.

Maybe we need a category for science fiction, since it’s the most snubbed TV genre that I can think of. Maybe I am wrong or misinformed,  but the selections aren’t showing the true pool of talent on television and isn’t that what the Emmy’s are for*?

*The answer is probably actually all about money. So everything I said means nothing. Except, the Good Wife is a hit show on the “number one network,” you know some hefty money is involved there. Ok, I’m done rambling about Emmy snubs now.

Check out the full nomination list here: http://www.thewrap.com/emmy-awards-nominees-nominations-emmys/ 

Doctor Who Season 8 Diversity Casting News

Samuel Anderson

Doctor Who Season 8 has just cast Samuel Anderson as a recurring character! This is particularly exciting as he is the first major companion-status character of color cast during the Steven Moffat Doctor Who era. Since Moffat began his tenure as showrunner, he’s gotten a lot of flack for a lot of different things, but maybe he’s trying to turn some things around? Besides some stand alone characters (particularly Amara Karan in “The God Complex” and Nina Toussaint-White in “Let’s Kill Hitler), there haven’t been that many characters of color with character development at all during the last few seasons, so it’s nice to see one cast now. Is Moffat just responding to criticism or was Anderson the best suited for the role and race wasn’t an issue? I hope it’s a bit of both. Steven needs to really change some things about the show’s plot, character development, and casting in order to keep hold of his very tenuous hold on his position as showrunner–people have been getting more and more fatigued with someone they once loved. I personally have tried to ignore some of the faults of the show in favor of simply enjoying it, but I’ve certainly understood the complaints. Hopefully the is the start of a new era of racial inclusion, at the very least.

BBC One – Doctor Who.

EDIT: Thanks Brian Davison for pointing out who I’ve missed in the past few seasons: Angie and Artie Maitland (the children Clara was a nanny for), Queen Nefertiti, the Van Baalen brothers. I did indeed forget them. But it is nice to have a major recurring character of color.

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ConStar Watches Doctor Who “The Day of the Doctor”

Photo on 11-23-13 at 4.38 PM

That’s me celebrating a new episode of Doctor Who with my starry headband, star/crescent earrings, my TARDIS necklace and my sonic screwdriver. I’ve loved Doctor who for a few years now and I RUSHED home from work to watch it (turned the TV on just in the nick of time).

I haven’t watched any Classic Who, so some of the–I’m sure, wonderful–references were lost on me, but I got a lot just from being on Tumblr. I love Matt, but I’ve really missed David as the Doctor and it was great seeing him slip seamlessly back into the role. Watching his scenes, I was never like “oh, he’s rusty” or did I even remember he wasn’t the Doctor for the last three years. I was sad his hair was so sad though. I wish they’d spiked it up a bit. John Hurt did throw me as the Doctor, only because he is meant to. But he eased into it too, even getting into the catchphrase game they love to play by the end. I SQUEALED when Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows showed up at the end too. Some really great moments.

Some plot questions/notes/theories/thoughts:

-So this is during Ten’s 2009 specials farewell tour (and happens to be during Eleven’s as well, since he is concerned with his trip to Trenzalore). This could explain the hair. lol

-Loved the Elizabeth the 1st call back and the fact that she’s mad at him in The Shakespeare Code (and the 2009 Specials reference to him and her being together).

-I really, really missed Nine in this episode a lot. You can’t just go from War Doctor (and even get Paul McGann to play Eight again) to Ten and not have Nine! I really was disappointed he wasn’t there. But I suppose there are a myriad of reasons he wasn’t in it. I would say popularity but Eight had one movie, so it’s not like he’s super high on the list either (not to get in a battle about Doctor rankings–you know what I mean).

-So they changed history, Gallifrey is safe. Though I’m pretty sure the Time War was always Time Locked so either way, the War Doctor kind of never did it? The original plan, the one Nine, Ten, and Eleven thought was carried out, was to freeze the War out of Time and Space of it doesn’t affect anyone else, yes? But now, they’ve moved the planet and let the Daleks kill themselves and Gallifrey is off in some pocket universe, waiting to be found. I dont know how I feel about what this means for the angst that Doctor felt all this time. I suppose since he forgets, WD, Nine, etc assume they did the horrible deed until The Curator [Tom Baker (!!!)] tells him otherwise.

-This explains how Daleks exist at all (though other Time Lords don’t) even though we thought they all died in the war. Some escaped–not from the freezing as we originally thought, but because they can’t all kill themselves.

-I like what this means for the direction of the show and for Capaldi’s entrance. There is a new mission, rather than just impending doom (there has been impending doom on the Doctor’s life since season 6 I guess–season 5 yes, but the gloominess of the show for me has been since 6). I look forward to Twelve looking for Gallifrey and then we’d be able to meet Time Lords (perhaps even some Classic ones that they talk about on tumblr lol)! Let’s find Gallifrey!

-I am glad there was a Classic Doctor appearance in this episode. I wonder why only Tom Baker, but McGann got the minisode, Davison got a multidoctor minisode special a few years back, and who am I missing? Again, I wish Eccleston had been involved some how, but who knows the reasons why not… Or why no Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy. It indeed might have been too much, but some more minisodes might have been nice. =/

-I’m still underwhelmed by Clara as a companion. I suppose she’s the same idea as Rose, really; kind of the end all be all companion, but I dunno… So I wish there’d been room for other companions, but again, that would’ve been too much.

-All in all, I enjoyed the special. I’m sure people will be even more nitpicky than I am, but for the time given and the amount of things they already had to cram in (much less the things all the fans wanted to see), I think they did a great job. There were great moments of showing all the previous doctors, hidden companion clues, and three TARDISes! I wonder if they spoke to each other about their Doctor lol.

-I am ever so pleased BBC/BBC America simulcast it across the world. Even when you’re sitting alone in your room, it’s fun knowing millions of other people are doing the same thing you are.

Until the (assuredly heartwrenching) Christmas Special. (I really don’t want to think about Matt leaving. This will be my first live-regeneration (as I began watching the show  from “Rose” after Matt’s tenure had begun). I’m not ready!

ConStar Studies Orphan Black (And Dollhouse)

If you haven’t already, you should watch BBC America’s Orphan Black. I should probably post something about the writing (this being a lot of the point of this blog and all) but like most Orphan Black watchers, you should watch for it’s lead (and supporting and secondary and guest) actress Tatiana Maslany. She is nothing short of amazing in the way she portrays up to maybe 8 (i honestly have lost track) different characters and makes them each their own person.

Yes, the point of acting is to be able to embody different characters with ease and believability but Tatiana does it for the same production often in the same scene as as the picture above details (this gifset on tumblr is better), she portrays a character pretending to be a different character, which basically creates a new character. 

I’m a big Joss Whedon fan (have you caught on to that yet? No? It’ll become more evident I’m sure) and while I loved his short-lived show Dollhouse, I wasn’t a big fan of Eliza Dushku playing the lead role. [For those who dont know: Dollhouse had the idea that a human body could be “rented” out to other people, companies, etcwith the original owner’s mental personality removed. The “doll” became a blank slate and the Dollhouse could “imprint” a new personality as requested by the client. So it required being able to embody many different personality types, sometimes with amazing quick changes.] And she didn’t really exceed my expectations during the show’s two seasons. There were maybe a couple of moments where I was impressed. People like Eliza because she’s “hot” and is a “tough action girl” type character, but her acting isn’t all that impressive. Not for the purpose of that show especially. And her mediocre skills stood out in stark comparison to her co-stars (especially Enver Gjokaj who really could switch from one character to another and really make me believe that they were completely different people. 

So watching Orphan Black with Tatiana Maslany makes me wish she’d been discovered years ago and was the lead of that other show about one actress playing multiple characters. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do so. It’s got a great beginning story-wise (should lead to some interesting philosophical places) and great acting (most of it done by Tatiana Maslany).

Let me know if you watch!