Tag: AMC

Zombies are the New Vampires

With the glut of vampire-centric entertainment found on television in the past decade, it’s refreshing (pun intended) to see that the next big thing on the horizon is a tale of zombies – The Walking Dead. The six-part first season of the series based on the graphic novel of the same name will fittingly premiere on Halloween, and its pedigree impresses before seeing one frame – coming from the award-winning powerhouses of AMC and acclaimed producer-director Frank Darabont.

While zombies have had their day in cinema, this TV addict can’t recollect a time that they have been the subject of serialized storytelling and it’s long overdue as there is a wealth of metaphor in what they can represent and address – class, addiction, apathy, disease, consumption – but usually the base of all zombie stories is the human struggle to survive. AMC’s The Walking Dead tells the story of the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse and follows a small group of survivors traveling across the United States in search of a new home away from the hordes of zombies. As their situation grows more and more grim, the group’s desperation to survive pushes them to do almost anything to stay alive.

In anticipation of the premiere a recent fan-made video was released depicting his personal vision of the show’s opening credits. Truly a staggering and impressive creation it has caught the eye of several industry notables working in the sci-fi/fantasy genre including Lost honcho Damon Lindelof.

Breaking Bad – Getting Away With it Since 2008

Today I would like to celebrate the programming prowess of AMC – it’s so much more than a channel showing classic american movies.

If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of entertainment buzz you should already know of, and be avidly watching, AMC’s first breakout original progam Mad Men. I would like to now boldly declare that cool cat Don Draper isn’t the only compelling character ruling the airwaves – he’s got stiff competition in the form of  an Albuquerque  high school chemistry teacher. “Wha, wha, what?” you may be asking yourself. Stay with me, there’s more to the story. This particular teacher shaping young minds by day has a moonlighting gig: cooking and dealing crystal meth. Meet the shades-of-grey “hero” of Breaking Bad, Walter White.

Bryan Cranston imbues Walter with the same kind of intense, nuanced bad guy gravitas that James Gandolfini brought to Tony Soprano which has netted him two well-deserved Emmys in the process and deftly made Breaking Bad a show worthy of taking up The Sopranos mantle. The crux of the series is not only following but ultimately feeling for someone introduced as an innocent everyman who chooses to navigate down a conscience-corrosive road of crime all the while maintaining a deluded end-justifies-the-means attitude.

Amazing character development plus the high stakes inherant in dealing with the dangerous underbelly of drug trafficking makes for a series that cannot be missed. Take six minutes to watch a recap of the last two years bringing the uninitiated viewer up-to-speed for tonight’s explosive season three premiere.

2009 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Winners

61st Primetime Emmy(R) AwardsOh, awards shows. You and I need to have a serious discussion because I can’t stand being the submissive in this kinky little relationship of ours anymore. Finding myself continually coming back to you each time with a deluded excitement that maybe this will be the year you surprise and thrill me, and after half an hour I cannot stay glued to my seat. Yet I stick with you to the bitter end, bad taste in my mouth with a sense of “meh” and “well, I could’ve just checked the IMDb live winner update feed.”

While this seems a backlash of a post, please read as a request for awards telecasts to step up the entertainment and for the various academies to change up the voting habits – not that I don’t love my 30 Rock or Mad Men (congrats to wins not only for best show in their respective categories, but writing too!) – because sitting through 3 hours of “announce list of nominees, open envelope, read winner, not-amusing-nor-poignant acceptance speech, rinse, repeat” gets a little taxing and I think more of us would welcome some upsets, blunders and outbursts once in awhile.

Tonight’s major category winners:

Drama Series: “Mad Men,” AMC

Comedy Series: “30 Rock,” NBC

Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” AMC

Actress, Drama Series: Glenn Close, “Damages,” FX Networks

Actor, Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock,” NBC

Actress, Comedy Series: Toni Collette, “United States of Tara,” Showtime

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Michael Emerson, “Lost,” ABC.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Cherry Jones, “24,” Fox.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men,” CBS.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies,” ABC.

Miniseries: “Little Dorrit” PBS.

Made-for-TV Movie: “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Brendan Gleeson, “Into the Storm,” HBO.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Ken Howard, “Grey Gardens,” HBO.

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Shohreh Aghdashloo, “House of Saddam,” HBO.

Directing for a Comedy Series: “The Office: Stress Relief,” Jeff Blitz, NBC.

Directing for a Drama Series: “ER: And in the End,” Rod Holcomb, NBC.

Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “American Idol: Show 833 (The Final Three),” Bruce Gowers, Fox.

Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit: Part 1,” Dearbhla Walsh, PBS.

Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.

Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS.

Writing for a Comedy Series: “30 Rock: Reunion,” Matt Hubbard, NBC.

Writing for a Drama Series: “Mad Men: Meditations in an Emergency,” Kater Gordon and Matthew Weiner, AMC.

Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Series: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central.

Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special: “Little Dorrit,” Andrew Davies, PBS.

Host, Reality or Reality-Competition Program: Jeff Probst, “Survivor,” CBS.

Original Music and Lyrics: “81st Annual Academy Awards: Song Title: Hugh Jackman Opening Number,” ABC.

The ‘Mad’ness Continues

 Mad Men on AMC

Don Draper is pouring a celebratory mid-day drink and lighting up a Lucky Strike after the news earlier today that AMC has renewed Mad Men for a fourth year after only three episodes into its third season. Showing ratings increase from its second season, healthy media exposure, continued critical acclaim and a slew of Emmy awards (its freshman year took home Best Drama, and is a front-runner to repeat this year) it was a no-brainer that the cabler would extend our time in the world of Sterling Cooper.

Last season, over 30 million viewers watched Mad Men on-air, on video-on-demand as well as on iTunes. The series continues to deliver the strongest concentration of upscale adults 25-54, more than any other original drama series on basic cable, and consistently ranks at the top of the iTunes TV charts.