Rayna: Daughter Drama
Let’s go ahead and get Daphne out of the way: she’s on a “trip to D.C.” Sure. Okay. Anyway. Rayna drops Maddie off at Teddy’s office (or the other way around, whatever) and Maddie is mad stoked about the Big Music Festival that’s coming up. She’s got an all-access pass and everything! Deacon is also performing at the festival, and she would like to take a guitar lesson with him, please. Teddy Does Not Approve of this, and Rayna says that Deacon and Maddie have a “musical connection” that should be nurtured and Teddy is like “Don’t give me that DNA crap!” and it sounds like he should have been a defense lawyer instead of a politician. How about this: Maddie learns music and alcoholism from Deacon, and fundraising and embezzling from you? Everyone’s happy!
It has been almost eight decades since the violent deaths of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, and yet they remain icons of outlaw Americana. That owes less to their bloody deeds, which weren't romantic or stylish, than to Arthur Penn's landmark 1967 film Bonnie & Clyde, which was.
Enormously popular in its day, and just as controversial, it featured Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty at the peak of their Hollywood glamour. To be sure, the movie uses their star power somewhat ironically: Beautiful Bonnie is a psycho thrill-seeker, handsome Clyde is an impotent braggart, and together they're fools for their own myth-making. Nevertheless, they cemented the bank-robbing couple in the popular imagination as a combination of Robin Hood and Nick and Nora Charles — so indelibly that few have even tried to challenge their claim on the roles.
The first major attempt in many years arrives next weekend, when three cable networks join forces for the two-night production Bonnie & Clyde. It airs 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Dec. 8-9, simultaneously on A&E, Lifetime and the History Channel. Holliday Grainger and Emile Hirsch take the roles immortalized by Dunaway and Beatty in a presentation that is reportedly bolder than its predecessor in terms of setting the killer couple's record straight. Despite their folk-hero images, they were hardened criminals who didn't hesitate to mow down anyone who got in their way, especially near the end of their run.
William Hurt portrays the retired Texas Ranger who picks his guns back up to catch them, and Elizabeth Reaser is a reporter whose excesses mirror the worst behavior of 21st century tabloid types. It will be intriguing to see whether viewers far too young to have seen the '67 production will be attracted to this grittier work. Likewise, will fans of the original want to see a different, updated version?
History Channel has enjoyed great success with similiar productions (e.g., the Hatfields & McCoys miniseries) that use famous figures and incidents as a foundation, then enliven them with detailed scripts and top actors. The channel has equally high hopes for Bonnie & Clyde, while Lifetime and A&E would also like to see this two-night epic pump some firepower into their nightime lineups.
Southern Foodways Alliance has announced that a celebration of Egerton's life has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the downtown Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St. Those attending are asked to bring a printed remembrance of him. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that mourners contribute to any of a list of Egerton's favorite charities.
In addition, starting Monday, the long-running John Seigenthaler series A Word on Words will run a week of classic Egerton episodes on NPT2. More from Nashville Public Television:
To celebrate the life of John Egerton, who died unexpectedly last week, we will dedicate an entire week of A Word on Words on NPT2 to Mr. Egerton’s appearances. The shows will air at 3:30 p.m. on NPT2 from Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 6. In these episodes, Mr. Egerton and host John Seigenthaler discusses Egerton’s books Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent, Nashville: An American Self-Portrait and more.
NPT2 is available over-the-air on 8.2, on Comcast Channel 241 and Charter Cable channel 191.
Read also the Southern Foodways Alliance remembrance here.
CBS has ascended to top-dog status among broadcast networks through a careful strategy of maximizing predictable programs that earn critical scorn (at best) and viewer acclaim. From CSI and Criminal Minds to Survivor (whatever this year's emphasis might be) and Big Brother to The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, no one ever accused a CBS show of deviating from whatever formula works.
Which is why it's been stunning to see The Eye make bold moves with two cornerstone programs in midseason. During the same week CBS took huge, potentially unpopular steps with two highly popular shows, and one has already generated an online firestorm.
The death of Joss Carter (superbly played by Taraji P. Henson) on Person of Interest hasn't gone down well in some circles, notably among black viewers. Henson brought a mix of elegance, integrity and resourcefulness to her character, who was determined to expose the corrupt element within the NYPD known as "HR." Carter had already endured the loss of a close friend and lover, survived a demotion, and outwitted previous attempts at permanently silencing her.
But her death on the Nov. 19 episode, while a marvelous move in terms of plotting, hasn't been universally applauded. In fact, Henson has been doing some post-episode diplomatic work, explaining that she knew on the front end her character had two, at best three years within the story line — and that while she felt sad to see Carter killed, she loved working on the program and understood the creative necessity for taking that plot step.
That hasn't satisifed the legions of viewers who complain — rightly — that there's not exactly a surplus of strong, positive black female characters on network TV. And now here's CBS killing off one of them.
Still, that sets up an exceptional revenge finale to the three-part arc billed as "Endgame" on the Nov. 27 episode (WTVF-Channel 5, 9 p.m.). Reese (Jim Caviezel) will display a side of his personality that has always been present, but before has been muted by his efforts to help others. Now that he's on a vigilante crusade, all bets are off.
Whether the death of Carter ultimately helps or hurts Person of Interest, it is the type of shocker rarely seen on a show in mid-season. Usually, producers and writers either do it at year's end to propel interest for a new season, or at the start of a final season to provide a hook through the year.
Packing up a suitcase full of Target lingerie, Rayna is getting ready to head down to Tampa and join Luke Wheeler on tour for companionship/sex. Tandy is going to watch the kids (even though their father lives in town and is the mayor and should probably spend time with them) and asks Rayna to compare Luke to previous kind-of boyfriend, Liam. Rayna says that Liam was “fun and simple,” AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, is also going to be on Game of Thrones, a great program that prominently featured horse blood, the classiest of all mammal bloods.
As expected, both cable and broadcast networks plan a host of specials this week to note the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. On Thursday, Turner Classic Movies is offering a special night of vintage films charting Camelot from its optimistic origins to its abrupt and tragic end, most seldom seen in recent years. All were done by documentarian Robert Drew.
The night begins at 7 p.m. with Primary, a 1960 examination of the Wisconsin Democratic primary battle between Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. (New Yorker critic Richard Brody discusses it in the clip above.) Adventures on the New Frontier (1961) at 8:15 is taken from the ABC series Close-Up! and examines his early period in office. Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963) follows at 9:30, documenting the struggle Kennedy faced with then Alabama Gov. George Wallace over the integration of the University of Alabama. After those come Faces of November and Four Days in November (1964), somber portraits of the impact the assassination had on random Americans.
For those who only want to see at most one special, The Discovery Channel airs JFK: The Lost Tapes at 9 p.m. Friday. The show is culled from government tapes taken aboard Air Force One, featuring radio recordings from the Dallas Police Department that have never been heard before on any program.
If you want a sense of the desperation and anguish that wracked the country on one of its darkest days — recorded for posterity by television when it was still in its formative years — tune in.
Tonight at 7 p.m., HBO spotlights a figure who was never widely known outside the black community, and was rather controversial inside it. Jackie "Moms" Mabley was a comic genius light years ahead of her time. As a black lesbian in an era when entertainers like Liberace were still pretending to be straight, she did brilliant, profane routines on everything from racism to having sex with men 30 and 40 years younger.
That particular routine was a marvelous bit where it was obvious to those who knew her background exactly who and what she was talking about in her detailed, highly descriptive commentaries. She wasn't afraid to insert political elements into her standup, while alternating between pretending to be semi-literate and revealing exactly how smart she was.
Rayna, Teddy, and Maddie (Never Poor Daphne)
Rayna is on the phone with Luke Wheeler. They are wheeling (Wheeler-ing?) and dealing, but also flirting. Post-phone call, Rayna talks to Tandy about how all she cares about re: Luke is “Getting Scarlett’s papers signed,” like Scarlett is about to start kindergarten but needs her MMR first. Youngest daughter Daphne enters and says that Maddie doesn’t want to sing at their father’s sham wedding to a lying whore (she doesn’t explicitly say that but it’s implied). The adults are like “Okay we will deal with this” and it looked like Tandy flipped tiny Daphne the bird, but she actually just handed her a strawberry. I double-checked.
Whatever else one says about Mike Tyson — and there's plenty that can be inserted here — he was heavyweight boxing's last great showman. Can anyone outside of Russia actually claim they are fans of the Klitscho brothers or even know which one is champion of which division? Other than the mercurial Floyd Mayweather, these days most boxers are fighting on pay-per-view (at least those whose bouts even get to television) for small purses in front of even smaller crowds.
You certainly won't find any other boxers who would be the subject of a Broadway play. Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, which comes to HBO 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, proved one of the season's hits. It's directed by Spike Lee, and the one-man show features Tyson totally open about a host of things. The subjects range from his time in prison to various family events, his ongoing battle with drug and alcohol abuse (which he sadly seems to be losing), and many other items.
While he's hardly a candidate for most congenial or likable former champ, Tyson's still arguably the sport's biggest draw. Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is a chance to see him outside the ring, where he proves no less compelling than he was inside that arena.
The broadcast networks have seen their prestige and audience continually dissipate in the age of cable, YouTube and streaming video. Their primary audience continues aging, while the 18-49 crowd increasingly turns to Netflix and other alternatives for their programming.
So when they get anything remotely close to good news they celebrate it. As they head into the November sweeps, there are a handful of victories that the corporate broadcast types can celebrate. Things are far from perfect, but there's widespread consensus it's better than last season, at least so far. Here's a look at each network's good, bad and ugly for the first few weeks of the 2013-14 season.
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