The Quick Take for September 27, 2013
Ming-Na Wen, Clark Gregg, Iain De Caestecker, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet and Elizabeth Henstridge in 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
Streaming This Week
There's action in every category on Netflix. If you're awaiting the new season of Sherlock, try temporarily filling that void with the two seasons of Copper. A new kids' movie—The Lost Medallion (based on a book written by Sherwood Pictures' Alex Kendrick)—was just added. If you're looking for some recent sci-fi action, try the miniseries CAT. 8. And if you've got a hankering for a good old fashioned Western, My Name is Nobody is now available, starring Henry Fonda.
Breaking Bad is still the biggest thing happening on TV—at least until its series finale this Sunday—but some notable new shows are vying for attention. Critics are generally pleased with Brooklyn Ninety-Nine, a show starring Andre Braugher and SNL's Andy Samberg, about mismatched cops. The show is already a handful of episodes in, and Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post says it "has a genial, pleasing loopiness and very solid work from an intelligently assembled cast." Although some critics were initially hesitant, Willa Paskin of Slate.com says the show "has potential," and that it "isn't uproarious yet, but . . . what [it] has, unlike many of the other new fall comedies, is intelligent design."
The much anticipated Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered this week, with a "polished, fast-moving and at least moderately entertaining" pilot (Mike Hale, The New York Times). The Avengers' Joss Whedon is at the helm, but the Avengers themselves aren't dropping in any time soon. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter voices the concern of other critics, questioning "whether or not people less versed in the Marvel world will A) be attracted to the show in the first place and B) find an entry point that's not confusing."
The controversial Masters of Sex opened to a predictably loud buzz. The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff called it "an experiment of its own, a test to see how much frank (but not salacious) depiction of sexuality its viewers might wish to see." Apparently there's plenty to be seen, but there's enough dynamic and depth that critics are already comparing it to another hit television series: "Just as Mad Men turned from the world of advertising to the personal lives of its characters over the course of that first season, the thematically similar Masters of Sex works better as it becomes about the people as much as the subject matter." (Brian Tallerico of Rogerebert.com).
Along with screenwriting for a new magical movie, J.K. Rowling will bring her latest book to TV. BBC just landed the rights to The Casual Vacancy and will make the novel into a miniseries or a traditional TV show by the time the deal is finalized. Read more here.
Abiding by the reboot-and-remake trend, Annie has commenced production in New York City and will be in theaters December 2014. In the spirit of the complete makeover, producers Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Will Smith will launch a cast including Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Cameron Diaz.
And in casting news: John Steinbeck's East of Eden will star the Hunger Games' Jennifer Lawrence, working once again with director Gary Ross. Bryce Dallas Howard is rumored to be in early talks to star in the newest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. Kurt Russell will be in Fast and Furious 7, and Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston will be playing the title character in Trumbo, a biopic about blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
Taylor Lindsay is a fall intern with Christianity Today Movies and an undergraduate at The King's College in New York City.