US Television: Spot the Hollyoaks cast

It turns out that Hollyoaks is the perfect launch pad for someone wanting to succeed in America, specifically Amercan television.

I love playing the game ‘spot the Hollyoaks cast’ because it is too fun remembering who they played on the Channel 4 soap.

First up Roxanne McKee aka Louise Summers:

Roxanne McKee in Game of Thrones

Roxanne McKee in Game of Thrones

Roxanne joined the cast of Hollyoaks after an open casting call back in 2005, forgive me if I can’t remember all of her storylines but she was involved in a fair few major ones including getting married to bad boy Warren (Jamie Lomas) and him killing her on their wedding day.

I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone when I say she wasn’t the best actress, but apparently she has a great American agent who managed to land her a role as Doreah in season one of the super popular Game of Thrones on HBO. She starred as a handmaiden to Daenerys Targaryen, after she was married off to Khal Drogo. She has appeared in several episodes, and although not yet to appear in season three of GoT I don’t think she’s been killed off just yet.

Next up Barry Sloane aka killer Niall Rafferty:

Barry Sloane as Aiden Mathis in Revenge

Barry Sloane as Aiden Mathis in Revenge

I have to admit Niall Rafferty was a great character, I suppose mysterious killers in soapland always are. He joined Hollyoaks in 2007 and was found out to be the secret – and abandoned – son of Myra McQueen, he definitely had some anger issues and ended up kidnapping the whole family and blowing up a church killing Tina McQueen. He was even inadvertantly responsible for killing stalwart of the show Max Cunningham, which was so sad (at the time).

Now Barry Sloane can be seen starring in a recurring role on ABC’s Revenge as Aiden Mathis. He knows Emily’s secret and was with her when she trained with Takaeda her revenge master, she helped him find his sister and he is helping her in her quest for revenge against those who put her father on the path to being murdered. Definitely the most successful out of this lot, and he better not be getting killed off Revenge anytime soon I love my weekly dose of Bazza!

Finally Nathalie Emmanuel aka Sasha Valentine:

Nathalie Emmanuel in Game of Thrones

Nathalie Emmanuel in Game of Thrones

Now do we think Roxanne McKee put in a good word for Nathalie Emmanuel? As the first episode of the new season of Game of Thrones saw Daenerys Targaryen barter for some kind of crazy soldiers call the Unsullied that happen to feel no pain to build up her army, Nathalie Emmanuel plays the translator for the slave trader.

Nathalie Emmanuel was cast as Sasha Valentine and appeared in the soap back in 2006, alongside the ever handsome Ricky Whittle (who just so happens to be trying to crack America, shame your TV sister and a TV killer beat you to it) playing her brother Calvin Valentine. She had plenty of storylines, all along the lines of tried drugs, became a heroin addict, became a prostitute, slept with the aforementioned Warren, and I can’t remember what happened but I think her contract just ended and she left the show.

Just announced, Emma Rigby as The Red Queen in Once Upon a Time In Wonderland, aka Hannah Ashworth

Emma Rigby has joined the cast of new ABC show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Emma Rigby has joined the cast of new ABC show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Emma Rigby joined Hollyoaks back in 2005 and left the soap after five years. Her most recognisable storyline was that of her suffering from an eating disorder triggered by the break down of her relationship with the gay character John Paul McQueen. It was powerful stuff for a soap and the death of one of Hannah Ashworth’s friends directly linked to anorexia was a first for any British soap. As well as suffering through the death-by-parachute of Sarah Barnes and her half-sister Beth Clement who was having an incestual relationship with her brother Rhys, she also had a relationship with Justin Barton who rescued her from a fire that killed Warren.

Emma will hopefully be on screen later this year playing the Red Queen in the new spinoff show Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. The show will centre on Wonderland pre-curse and post-curse that has been played out in original drama Once Upon a Time. The cast will be filming a teaser and pilot after OUaT wraps up its current series, set to revolve around Alice (played by Sophie Lowe) who ‘has a big heart but carries the scars of a long hard life’ we will see Emma playing the Red Queen who is known to cut off people’s heads.

UPDATED – Wonderland has been cancelled although apparently it was always scheduled for just one season. Emma Rigby has already had bit parts in Endless Love alongside Alex Pettyfer and The Counselor with Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, maybe we’ll see her on television in the near future.

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San Diego Comic Con 2012

It’s my favourite annual event, and it’s the one that realistically I could never afford to go to, not unless my Master Plan succeeds…

San Diego Comic Con is so popular amongst bloggers, reporters, film buffs, fanboys, actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers etc etc because it is seemingly one of the only events where the line is crossed between fans and those we are fans of.

Twitter was alive last weekend with stars of (mostly US) television shows excited to get to Comic Con and meet the fans, because as the majority always say its the fans that keep their shows going, its the fans that buy the movie tickets and keep cinema alive and this is the reward.

Teasers, trailers, spoilers and the fun factor make Comic Con an amazing event. I mostly followed The Hollywood Reporter’s Comic Con coverage this year, as well as Michael Ausiello at TV|Line, plus #SDCC on Twitter proved a great point of reference for those bloggers and writers for websites there and in the action.

Fringe

The cast of Fringe take a bow (image via fringebloggers.com)

It was a bittersweet panel for Fringe in the massive Hall H, as it was the show’s final appearance. Due to start filming the final season soon the cast, Josh Jackson, Anna Torv, John Noble, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole and show runner Joel Wyman, had a pretty emotional time during their panel. The Season 5 trailer was shown before the panel sat down, released by Joel on Twitter afterwards, and it satisfied fans questions about whether this final season would be set in the same future as shown in episode 19 in Season 4 with Joel confirming shortly after.

The funniest moment of the panel happened aside from the Mighty Ducks reference, when answering the question what have you most learnt from your characters and Anna Torv replies: “What I’ve learnt is to come…” cue pause, cue absolute guffaws of laughter from Josh Jackson and the rest of the cast as Anna realises what she has said.

Most emotional moment is when the cast are asked by the moderator, TVGuide’s Damien Holbrook, about their favourite moving scenes that they are not in, Jasika Nicole starts off the waterworks as she describes her favourite with Anna Torv and Lance Reddick following suit with the tears.

It really will be sad to see this unique and original show go, and I’m thankful that Fox gave Fringe those 13 final episodes to close the story. The plight from the fans was too much to ignore and I think there would have been huge disappointment if it had not been renewed so late in the game. There is a lot to come in the final season, which obviously will be fantastic if the previous four seasons have been anything to go by.

Once Upon a Time

I think this show ended up being a surprise hit during it’s first season, well for me anyway. The shortened version of what it’s about is a bunch of the most well-known fairy tale (and more familiarly as Disney) characters live in a small town by the name of Storybrooke who have no clue who they really are due to a spell they are under cast by the Evil Queen/Mayor Regina. She cast the spell to rid Snow White, her step daughter, of her true love Prince Charming.

There is only one person who believes (or knows the truth) they are fairy tale characters and that is the adopted son of the mayor, Henry, who happens to be the biological son of Emma Swan the ‘saviour’, she is the only one who can break the curse and save the people of Storybrooke and restore them to their true selves by simply believing.

The show continually played between the two worlds, showing the audience how the stories in the fairy tale world impacted on the characters in the ‘real’ world.

As Season 1 came to a close it was very clear that (SPOILER) the curse was broken, and the each character now knew who they were. What do we now expect of Season 2 now that the people of Storybrooke have been ‘rescued’, what will they do once they know they have spent many years as normal people with their true lives abandoned?

The show producers at the Comic Con panel said that in the first season the two worlds were “kind of touching” and now we will see how that affects whether they will merge together. Henry’s father will be revealed, this could be a major factor or a nonentity but the fact it’s taken so long to be revealed it must be the former. Other teasers include the introduction of several new characters including the big tease of Hook in the footage that was released. Other characters include Mulan, already cast and will be played by Jamie Chung, Sleeping Beauty played by Sarah Bolger, as well as Jack of the Beanstalk fame.

This really is a show that could go on for the long run and the writers obviously have a lot of source material to work from!

The Vampire Diaries

It was time for Elena to change in the final episode of TVD last season, and by change I obviously mean into a vampire. Her character has been through enough scrapes and it was about time that she actually died. Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec made the right decision, if it had been delayed again I think the show would definitely have suffered, even though the delay was the fantastically brilliant Joseph Morgan playing a deranged original vampire by the name of Klaus.

Nina Dobrev, joined by cast members Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Zach Roerig, Steven R. McQueen, Michael Trevino and executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, spoke about how it’s going to be a challenge making vampire Elena different from doppelganger vampire Katherine: “It’s always been fun to make Elena and Katherine different… How do you make Elena the vampire version of herself and different from Katherine? That’s [going to be a challenge for season four]. I think that’ll be defined from her experiences.”

We know Elena never wanted to be a vampire, it was never an option she would chose (the stand out difference from Twilight may I add) so now she has to deal with being made one against her will and the teaser trailer for Season 5 suggests that she will refuse to feed which means her transition will not be complete and she will truly die.

Dexter

Two minute sneak peek at Season 7 of Dexter, super exciting if you are a fan of the show:

Elysium

Elysium

Onto movies, Elysium is Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9 starring Matt Damon. THR’s report said it was “arguably the most impressive thing screened in Hall H so far”. Rough footage was shown exclusively to the Comic Con audience, so I haven’t seen anything yet but the hype is already there especially when it involves people living in space.

Superman

Superman

A teaser clip has been released (thank god because I was annoyed my Cineworld screening of TDKR didn’t show it!) today of Zack Snyder’s Superman, and I must say it looks suitably dark and gritty. The main pull for me to this film is the Nolan name attached as a producer, his input is easily clear from the clip and that is a good thing if the ending to the Dark Knight Trilogy is anything to go by!

Pacific Rim

I wasn’t familiar with Pacific Rim, but by the sounds of it’s big $200m budget and Guillermo del Toro at the helm it promises to be more than just a Michael Bay robot versus alien movie. Well I hope so anyway. Robots and aliens have been done again and again but Guillermo del Toro says that all the aliens in Pacific Rim are completely original: “There will be sea monsters, flying monsters — we got monsters up the wazzu”.

Other tidbits:

  • Joe Mangienello pretty much confirmed there would be a Magic Mike sequel. Saying if the first one makes money there will be a sequel.
  • Even though I don’t watch the show (contemplating starting) Breaking Bad was a massive hit at Comic Con, with the two stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul turning up in their show hazmat suits.
  • DC had a Batmobile display outside the grounds of the San Diego convention centre showing every version of the vehicle right up until Nolan’s most recent Tumbler.
  • Robert Downey Jr made an unscheduled appearance at the Marvel Studios panel upon announcing Iron Man 3 with John Favreau not returning to direct. The titles for the next lot of Marvel movies were revealed; Thor 2: The Dark World, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3 and still very much in production Ant-Man.
  • Godzilla is coming back in 2014.
  • At the Big Bang Theory panel an audience member won a TRIP TO SPACE. Yes you read that right.
  • I predict the CW’s new show Arrow will get cancelled. I’ll see the pilot but I doubt it will be any good. Cult however, will be great.
  • Stars of two of my favourite shows shared birthday celebrations over the Comic Con weekend; Steven R. McQueen and Colton Haynes of Teen Wolf. Teen Wolf has just had a Season 3 pick up with a mahoosive 24 episode count.

Colton Haynes and Steven R. McQueen

It’s September already?

Those are the words falling miserably out of mouths up and down the country, and really we shouldn’t be surprised. It happens nearly every year, we sit on the edges of our seats waiting for that moment when the sun will burst through the seemingly never ending run of clouds so we can spend more than a mere minute outside with our loving friend vitamin D.

It never happens and September rolls around with us feeling even more glum than the beginning of the year when we promised we’d give up that thing we LOVE to make us lose weight or to pretend we feel better about ourselves (just remember that time is coming again soon, 17 weeks, don’t hate on me for pointing this out I loathe that time of the year).

BUT, what comes with September, is the start of the television season. You may think I’m crazy but autumn (or fall) is when the country is supposed to retire in front of the box snuggled up on the couch with no sun to distract them, no more balmy evenings but cold and rain to keep them inside to watch the latest offerings on the tele.

And as I’ve mentioned countless times before US television is what matters, although as the cold months draw in UK television is good, one show I’m looking forward to is the Body Farm a spinoff from the very greatly missed Waking the Dead. And all the other thriller, killer drama’s that appear lovingly on my screen.

Every year there are double the amount of programmes on US tv, brand new shows competing with veteran shows, those that win over audiences are the successors some with devoted fans prevail others never last beyond their second or third episode after when viewing figures fail to ignite.

I happen to have a tough schedule this year, with 30* shows currently on my timetable I don’t know how I’m going to manage. My fellow US tv lover has 40, and has just discovered the wonders of a livestreaming channel, and the joy of no sleep whilst watching The Lying Game at 2am in the morning (I do not have the fortune of being able to stay awake until 2am I have to rise at 7am to get ready for work, he currently works from home on his own hours).

Here’s a run down of my list, what I will without a doubt not be missing, what I will be giving a try, and what I think will fall at the first hurdle even though it has made it to my list.

Wouldn’t miss if my life depended on it:

  • Fringe (Fox) – my love of Josh Jackson would never waver (I love you Pacey).
  • Supernatural (CW) – J-squared always have a place in my heart.
  • Vampire Diaries (CW) – Ian Somerhalder, those eyes, that body (Sorry you always play a dead guy).

Must-watch:

  • Gossip Girl (CW)
  • Nikita (CW)
  • Family Guy
  • Dexter (Showtime)
  • America’s Next Top Model (CW)
  • Glee (Fox)
  • Game of Thrones (HBO)
  • Desperate Housewives (ABC) – this is the final series (thank god).
  • One Tree Hill (CW) – just getting back into this show after ditching it when Lucas and Peyton did…

New picks:

  • Apartment 23 (Fox) – it has James van der Beek in it, as himself. Nuff said.
  • Hart of Dixie (CW) – Summer is back, sorry Rachel Bilson.
  • New Girl (Fox) – I love Zooey Deschanel.
  • Ringer (CW)- Sarah Michelle Gellar on my screen again, and with a really great show.
  • The Secret Circle (CW) – From the same author of Vampire Diaries LJ Smith, and the man behind both tv shows Kevin Williamson (Dawson’s Creek, Scream)
  • *Terra Nova (Fox) – Forgot that this finally had an air date after being pushed back a few times, big CGI production, dinasours and produced by The Speilberg, I have to give it a try at least. (Sounds a little Primeval)
  • *2 Broke Girls (CBS) – I missed this when making the list, noticed it had Kat Dennings starring who I LOVED in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
  • *Pan Am – I don’t know why I forgot to put this show on the list, an original series following the Mad Men lead it’s set in the “Jet Age”. My only worry is I’ve never watched Mad Men because it didn’t appeal to me so I may lose interest…
  • Revenge (ABC) – the lead returns to the town she grew up in but noone recognises her… no big names. (REALLY GOOD)

    The Ringer

Could fall at the first hurdle:

  • Alcatraz (Fox) – only thing attracting me to this show its from the creators of Lost and has Hurley in it.
  • Charlie’s Angels 2011 (ABC) – I loved the originals, the movies were ho-hum, I’m not sure the gloss and glamour will work in the noughties without making it tacky but I am prepared to be swayed. AWFUL
  • Grimm (NBC) – great idea but is it strong enough to hold up for more than one season when there’s already a show like Supernatural that covers the ‘grimm’ aspects. A possible replacement if SN finishes after season 7?
  • Once Upon a Time (ABC) – same idea using fairytales, but the look of the show could be a let down.
  • Revenge (ABC) – the lead returns to the town she grew up in but noone recognises her… no big names.
  • The Finder (Fox) – this is a latecomer to my list so I’ll be applying last to join first to go if it fails to impress me.
  • Awake (NBC) – another one that I could let go, I just like the premise of living a life while you dream.

On hiatus:

  • Falling Skies (TNT)
  • Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
  • Teen Wolf (MTV)
  • True Blood (HBO)

If there are any other shows that you will be watching that I haven’t listed and think it would fit into my schedule then let me know. I like having US tv buddies, discussing the ins and outs of the shows are much fun and can make you go crazy (PLL ha).

*Most recent additions