Top Gear Season 27 Premiere Review | ScreenRant

Since the departures of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, Top Gear has been in a state of flux, as the BBC and the show’s producers have brought in various hosts in an attempt to reproduce the unique onscreen alchemy of the opinionated, sometimes controversial, and typically very funny gearheads, who’ve since found a new home at Amazon with The Grand Tour. Needless to say, it’s been something of a bumpy road for the series, as the past few years have seen Chris Evans (not “America’s ass” Chris Evans, but rather the British TV presenter and DJ), Eddie Jordan, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmidt, and perhaps most famously, former Friends star Matt LeBlanc step up to fill the shoes of the show’s departed frontmen. 

At the start season 27, Top Gear once again has new hosts to introduce, in the form of comedian and TV host Paddy McGuinness and former cricket star and TV presenter Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, who have joined returning co-host and motoring journalist Chris Harris for the show’s latest new look. To the series’ credit, as well as the new hosts’, Top Gear addresses the change outright, having Flintoff compare the revolving door of presenters to Doctor Who’s frequent casting changes via the character’s regeneration. But while the show itself, as well as McGuinness and Flintoff, are quick to acknowledge the way in which their newness will take some getting used to, the season premiere makes the wise decision to settle into a comfortable Top Gear-like routine, as a way of assuaging viewers’ concerns. 

More: Stranger Things 3 Review: A Wildly Fun Season Delivers On Its ‘80s Blockbuster Ambitions

More than that, however, the season 27 premiere ingratiates the new hosts to the show’s sizable (and presumably still devoted) audience by adhering to the comedy-meets-earnest-admiration-for-foreign-locales format popularized by the guys whose names are still synonymous with Top Gear.

It works, for the most part. Season 27 is deliberate in its efforts to get the hosts out into the world where their team spirit can perhaps flower into the kind of bromance that will sustain the series for another few years. It’s a smart move, as Flintoff in particular appears more at ease when he’s actively engaged in driving around, waxing nostalgic about a Porsche Boxster, or competing in one of the episode-specific challenges meant to determine which host chose the best car (or rather, which host’s personal history dictated the best car) for the trek through Ethiopia and into the Danakil Depression. 

The premise of the trip is simple, and it affords the trio a chance to engage in a seemingly organic “getting to know you” exercise, in which each presenter must purchase the type of car that was the first car they ever owned. This leads to some interesting driving situations, with Harris tooling around in a Mini Cooper, while McGuinness is behind the wheel of a Ford Escort, and Flintoff — being a professional cricket player at a very young age — drives the aforementioned Boxster. It all makes for a necessary surface-level introduction for audiences who might not be familiar with McGuinness’s past work and especially those in the States whose exposure to the sport of cricket is likely extremely limited, to say the least. But as the journey through Ethiopia is more about finding out how the personalities of these three men will result in some entertaining (and limitedly informational) situations, it turns out to be exactly what the show needs. 

There’s a performative aspect to Top Gear (and The Grand Tour), wherein the audience is asked to suspend disbelief and allow that many of the situations and competitions are the result of spontaneity and the hosts being “on the road,” and the season 27 premiere certainly takes advantage of that. This results in a collection of challenges that are entertaining enough (particularly one where Paddy, Freddie, and Chris must drive on an airstrip blindfolded and try to get as close as possible to a stationary target), but as is sometimes the case with Top Gear, (and, again, The Grand Tour) they have little to do with the episode’s chosen locale. While the hosts do get out of their cars long enough to play some foosball with a few locals, the episode itself spends too little time with people from the region, much less making exploring what life is like there outside of commenting on its stunning scenery. 

It’s easy enough to say that Top Gear isn’t really a travel show and therefore isn’t beholden to the kinds of cultural explorations one might expect from similar series, but the arm’s length at which the show often holds its chosen setting does feel especially glaring when a second segment compares two supercars (a McLaren 600LT and a Ferrari 488 Pista) with price tags equivalent to a modest single family home. Nevertheless, given the changes the show has undergone in recent years, it’s easy to see why producers would be eager to keep its content as familiar to the audience as possible, maximizing the car-centric shenanigans and focusing on the burgeoning and believable camaraderie of its new hosts. 

That “steady as it goes” approach proves useful in the series premiere and many of the new season’s episodes that follow, as McGuinness, Flintoff, and Harris’s various personalities and areas of expertise begin to gel, and their interactions feel more natural and consistent. For now, it’s the beginning of a new era of Top Gear, one that will hopefully last long enough for the series to feel as distinct and entertaining as it has in the past. 

Next: Apollo: Missions To The Moon Review: Captivating Space Doc Retells The Race To The Moon

Top Gear continues next Sunday @8pm on BBC America.

2019-07-14 02:07:31

Kevin Yeoman

American Horror Story Season 9 Full Cast & Premiere Date Revealed

The full cast of American Horror Story: 1984 has finally been revealed by Ryan Murphy, teasing the usual blend of new and familiar faces. Created by Murphy and Brad Fulchuk, American Horror Story is an anthology series where each season featuring a new – though sometimes overlapping – story and collection of characters. Across the already-aired eight seasons, the show has tackled such settings as an asylum, a freak show, and most recently, an apocalypse. Garnering a number of awards for its varied cast members – including a Golden Globe for Lady Gaga – American Horror Story have already been renewed through season 10.

Though the overall plot tends to be a closely-guarded secret in the run-up to the premiere, it was previously announced that American Horror Story season 9 would be officially subtitled ‘1984’ and have a slasher theme. Since then, details regarding the ever-shifting cast has emerged. AHS stalwart Emma Roberts was the first to be confirmed as returning. The actress made her AHS debut in American Horror Story: Coven, before returning for Freak Show, Cult, and last season’s Apocalypse. It was also revealed, for the first time in the show’s history, that Evan Peters would not be starring.  Equally, Sarah Paulson will not return. Instead, it was announced that Angelica Ross had been cast. Ross is currently the star of another Murphy production: FX’s Pose.

Related: American Horror Story: 1984 Needs A Slasher Scream Queen – Who Could It Be?

Posting on his personal Instagram, Murphy opted to celebrate the first day of filming with an official cast announcement. He then proceeded to post a series of videos that, in true American Horror Story fashion, eschewed the usual tradition of such announcements. Instead, each snippet was done as though part of a camera test, blending the equal parts ominous and campy tones with which the show has become synonymous. Alongside Roberts, the returning cast also includes Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, and Cody Fern. John Carroll Lynch, who played Twisty the Clown in American Horror Story season 4, also makes a return. Check out the videos – in all their hilariously 80’s glory – below:

The new faces joining the cast (and donning their short shorts) include DeRon Horton, Zach Villa, and Glee’s Matthew Morrison. This isn’t the only project Murphy has in the works. The super-producer recently signed a deal with Netflix. As part of that deal, he is producing a film adaptation of The Prom, starring Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. He will also re-team with Paulson on a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel series, Ratched.

In terms of American Horror Story: 1984, the video doesn’t reveal the characters’ names. It does, however, convey each of their defining characteristics – right down to a recurring penis gag for one. Ross’ character, meanwhile, can be seen with a stethoscope, clearly setting her up as the camp’s resident medic. Equally, Lynch’s character looks every bit as intense and creepy as Twisty himself was. It also has a very Friday the 13th vibe, living up to its retro-slasher film intentions. And potentially having even more 80s homages than Stranger Things.

For each detail revealed by the videos, however, they pose an equal amount of questions that are sure to fuel much speculation from fans. Most notably, is the style of the videos. Could it be that what audiences will see later this year will actually be a film within a series, with the confirmed actors themselves playing actors on the set of a horror production?  It would be certainly in keeping with such previously meta seasons as American Horror Story: Roanoke. Whatever the case, fans will find out for sure when the series finally airs.

More: What to Expect from American Horror Story Season 9

American Horror Story: 1984 premieres Sept. 18 on FX.

Source: Ryan Murphy/Instagram

2019-07-13 09:07:11

John Atkinson

Designated Survivor Season 3 Premiere Date Set At Netflix

Netflix has confirmed a premiere date for Designated Survivor season 3. The political thriller drama series, starring Kiefer Sutherland, was resurrected by the streaming giant after being canceled after two seasons on ABC.

Designated Survivor follows Tom Kirkman (Sutherland), a low-level cabinet member who’s thrust into the presidency after a terrorist attack during the State of the Union wipes out all predecessors for the office. Created by David Guggenheim, the series also stars Natascha McElhone (Kirkman’s wife for the first two seasons), Mckenna Grace, Adan Canto, Italia Ricci, Tanner Buchanan, Maggie Q, and Kal Penn. A-list guest talent has also graced the show, with recurring roles by Virginia Madsen, Kim Raver, and Michael J. Fox. After the fast-paced first two seasons following Kirkman on his professional and personal struggles trying to restore order to the country, ABC axed the show. Designated Survivor was rescued by Netflix last September. Now, anxious fans finally have a date to put on their calendars.

Related: Netflix: The Best TV Shows & Movies This Weekend 

According to Deadline, fans can expect to plunge back into the show on June 7, 2019. Netflix has also tacked on the first two seasons for streaming. Along with a new venue, fans can expect a slew of changes. Instead of the usual tally of episodes per season – 21 and 22 episodes in season 1 and season 2 – season 3 will only consist of 10 episodes. Designated Survivor is now in the creative hands of showrunner Neal Baer (ER, Law & Order: SVU) – the fifth showrunner the show has had since its conception. Netflix has released a recap of the first two seasons of Designated Survivor, driving further anticipation for season 3. See the video below:

In season 3, President Kirkman (Sutherland) will face the inevitable task every POTUS-centered show must face – a presidential campaign. The new season will dive into the cutthroat world of campaigning and tackle today’s issues of what that entails. After an emotionally tumultuous season 2, Kirkman is now tested with smear tactics, debates, “fake news” and campaign finances – all while keeping the face of democracy clean. Along with Canto, Ricci, Penn, and Maggie Q, series regulars will include, Anthony Edwards, Lorraine Zimmer, Dontae Edwards, and Isabel Pardo.

Designated Survivor is an example of how revival by a different network can breath new life into a series. Last Man Standing, Brooklyn-Nine Nine and Nashville found different homes after their cancellations and thrived. Along with Netflix’s reputation and Sutherland’s star power, Designated Survivor may find longevity with its new plotline. Political shows such as The West Wing, Veep and House Of Cards have tackled what the POTUS faces during a campaign – and it always raises the stakes. Only being slated for a 10-episode run, the action-packed show may leave fans desiring more, and lead to a possible renewal for season 4 of Designated Survivor.  

Next: What to Expect from Designated Survivor Season 3

Source: Deadline

2019-04-24 06:04:23

Bethany Guerrero

Game of Thrones: Every Character Reunion in The Season 8 Premiere

Warning! SPOILERS ahead for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 1.

Game of Thrones season 8’s premiere, “Winterfell” brings together much of the HBO series’ huge cast, reuniting characters who have been apart from one another for years. Everyone is gathering at the northern castle ahead of the upcoming battle against the Night King and his army of the dead, which – depending on how that battle unfolds – may turn a few of these reunions into goodbyes.

Game of Thrones season 8 is the final season of HBO’s epic fantasy series, wrapping up its sprawling story in just six weeks time. The forthcoming Battle of Winterfell is the largest battle ever filmed for the series, befitting the heightened stakes of a fight against death itself. Those high stakes are likely to also translate into a high death toll, though, and at least a few major characters aren’t likely to survive. However, whether the heroes gathered at Winterfell defeat the White Walkers or not, there’s still Cersei to deal with – and her forces have just been bolstered by the arrival of The Golden Company.

Related: 14 Unanswered Questions After The Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere

Yet, before the fighting really breaks out, the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere allows its characters a few moments of calm, providing ample opportunity for old friends to be reunited. The first of these reunions is that between Jon Snow and Bran Stark. It’s a touching scene as Jon embraces his brother, having previously said his goodbyes to a then still-unconscious Bran in season 1. Things take a turn for the weird, though, once Jon realizes Bran isn’t really Bran anymore but the Three-Eyed Raven. Still, Jon isn’t one to let a little mysticism ruin a family reunion.

The next major reunion between long-separated characters is that of Sansa Stark and Tyrion Lannister, and the former husband and wife share a short but not entirely unfriendly reunion. Though, what the scene best illustrates is the change in dynamics between the two. Sansa is now the one who keenly understands how to play the game while Tyrion is at a bit of loss, especially among the stubborn northern lords. Arya Stark and Jon Snow are the next to be reunited, embracing in the godswood after seeing each other for the first time since Game of Thrones‘ season 1 premiere. It’s easily the most heartwarming of all the many reunions in the season 8 premiere since Ayra and Jon are especially close, but even their reunion is laced with a little tension over Jon’s decision to bend the knee to Daenerys.

Theon and Yara Greyjoy are also reunited in the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, with Theon coming to rescue his sister from their uncle Euron’s ship. The two siblings haven’t seen each other since Theon abandoned Yara following Euron’s attack on their fleet in season 6, but all appears forgiven (that is, once Yara headbutts Theon for leaving her in the first place). Back at Winterfell, another two reunions come in quick succession – Arya and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, followed by Arya and Gendry. The first is a terse exchange that hides the mutual respect the two former traveling companions actually share, while the second is a sweet, flirtatious exchange, potentially even hinting at a little romance later in the season.

The next two characters Game of Thrones season 8 reunites only met for the first time in season 7 – Samwell Tarly and Jorah Mormont – but their familiarity with one another is an interesting connection between two previously far flung characters. Of course, the reunion of Sam and Jorah is what leads Daenerys to reveal that she executed Sam’s father and brother – news that hopefully won’t create an awkward rift between him and Jorah, but definitely gives Sam a negative opinion of the dragon queen. More importantly, though, that meeting paves the way for another, much more anticipated reunion between Sam and Jon, two brothers-in-arms who have been apart since the Game of Thrones season 5 finale. In this scene, Sam shares with Jon the truth of his parentage, laying out how he is actually Aegon Targaryen and the true heir to the Iron Throne.

Before “Winterfell” wraps up there are two more reunions that occur. The first is a hilarious encounter between Tormund Giantsbane and Edd Tollet (“Stay back, he’s got blue eyes!“, “I’ve always had blue eyes!“) that brings together the wildling and Night’s Watchman for the first time since Game of Thrones season 6. However, it’s the final reunion of the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere that is most exciting – Jaime Lannister and Bran Stark. It’s a scene which perfectly mirrors the final moments of the Game of Thrones season 1 premiere where Jaime pushes Bran out the window, as the now older and wiser Bran waits for his “old friend” in Winterfell’s courtyard. Once he arrives, that look between Jaime and Bran is laced with so much meaning, reminding us how it is Game of Thrones first began as well as highlighting a few matters which will still need to be addressed before it’s all over.

Next: Game of Thrones: Every Season 1 Callback in The Season 8 Premiere

Game of Thrones season 8 continues Sunday, April 21 at 9:00pm on HBO.

2019-04-21 04:04:36

Sarah Moran

Leslie Jones Breaks Down Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere In Funny Video

Leslie Jones hilariously breaks down the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones in a brand new clip. HBO’s smash series is back for its final outing, and while there wasn’t any shocking deaths of major characters in the premiere, there’s still a lot that happened. With no shortage of great moments to talk about, the comedian had a field day dissecting the new episode of the fantasy series.

Game of Thrones season 8 episode 1 (aptly titled “Winterfell”) opened with the arrival of Jon (Kit Harington) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) at the northern castle, marking the reunion of the former with his (supposed) siblings. While the Starks’ warmly welcomed him, Sansa (Sophie Turner) wasn’t exactly thrilled with the Khaleesi’s presence despite being diplomatic with her. Later in the episode, Sam (John Bradley) also drops the bombshell on Jon about his true lineage. Whether or not he’s the one to deliver the news to Daenerys remains to be seen, but the couple seems to still be head-over-heels in love with each other. The episode ends with the much-anticipated reunion of Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) after their encounter all the way back in season 1 where the Kingslayer shoved the young boy out a window, crippling him.

Related: Game of Thrones: Every Season 1 Callback in The Season 8 Premiere

With so much to discuss, Jones sat down with Late Night with Seth Meyer host, Seth Meyer for the segment, Game of Jones, where they both watched the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones. The actress/comedian didn’t disappoint with her reaction as she is voracious and animated all throughout. Apparently, the HBO show is the first nerdy content she’s really been obsessed with, explaining her enthusiasm to almost everything happening on the screen. Watch the full video below:

This is not the first time that Jones has done this, sitting down with Meyers for different episodes of Game of Thrones over the last couple of seasons and providing simultaneous commentary to what they’re watching. At one point during an earlier video, Lord Varys actor Conleth Hill surprised her and joined the screening. During that session, she confronted him with where his real loyalty lies despite the fact that he’s stuck it out with Daenerys. While Game of Thrones is the only nerd content that Jones provides commentary at this level, she’s also live-tweeted her viewing of Avengers: Infinity War to the delight of people reading her tweets – even the cast of the movie.

From the sound of it, Jones and Meyer will be doing this as a weekly thing throughout the final season of Game of Thrones. As the tension is amplified in the final five episodes of the HBO series, watching this segment is a great way to put a fun spin on it without disrespecting the seriousness of the narrative. If anything, Game of Jones somehow provides a communal experience for fans who may not have anyone to share the experience of seeing how the story for one of the best shows on TV pans out.

More: Game of Thrones Star Explains Jamie Lannister’s Reaction to Seeing [Spoiler]

Game of Thrones continues Sunday, April 21 at 9pm on HBO.

Source: Late Night with Seth Meyers

2019-04-20 09:04:10

Ana Dumaraog

Game of Thrones: Every Season 1 Callback in The Season 8 Premiere

Warning! SPOILERS ahead for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 1.

Game of Thrones season 8 is here, premiering with an episode that makes several references to the season 1 premiere of Game of Thrones. Season 8 will in total only have six episodes, which isn’t a lot of time for how much story is in need of resolving before the finale. Still, it’s hard to knock the series too hard for taking a little time to reflect on what came before.

Of course, making callbacks to the season 1 premiere isn’t all that happens in Game of Thrones season 8’s premiere, “Winterfell”. The episode is primarily tasked with bringing much of the series’ enormous cast to one location, and in the process reuniting characters who haven’t seen each other for years. There’s also some setup for the coming battle with the Night King and his army of the dead, as well as Jon discovering what it’s like on the back of dragon in a greatly anticipated scene.

Related: Here’s How Much Time Has Passed Since Game of Thrones Season 1

The moments in the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere that do make reference to season 1’s premiere, however, aren’t there simply to stoke fan’s nostalgia, but to highlight just how far the series and its character have come. Here’s every season 1 premiere callback we found in the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones.

  • This Page: The Queen’s Arrival & The Godswood
  • Page 2: Lovers, Brothels, & White Walkers
  • Page 3: The Winterfell Crypts & Old Friends

The Queen’s Arrival

The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere begins with some very strong ties to the season 1 premiere, “Winter is Coming”, heavily referencing King Robert’s arrival at Winterfell with that of Daenerys’. Even the music accompanying the scene – the season 1 track “The King’s Arrival”, which later becomes the musical theme for House Baratheon – is the very same. Both monarchs are coming with a large retinue, and in both episodes, a young boy is shown watching the massive column of people make their way to the castle. In season 1 it’s Bran, running along the parapets of Winterfell to get a better view; in season 8, it’s a young boy from the winter town.

Daenerys’ arrival also includes Arya watching the procession, which is something she did as a child when Robert came to Winterfell. In the season 1 premiere, Arya takes special note of The Hound, marveling at his fearsome dog head helm. In the season 8 premiere, Arya takes note of more people than just The Hound, but she does certainly notice that Sandor Clegane is alive and among the procession. Finally, once Daenerys makes her way within the castle and dismounts, she’s greeted by the assembled Starks in much the same manner as Robert was in season 1. Sansa even says to her, “Winterfell is yours, your grace,” just as her father did to Robert all those years ago.

The Godswood

Later on in “Winterfell”, there’s a scene set in the godswood (a wooded area found within the castle walls that’s home to a weirwood tree) that occurs at almost exactly the same moment in the episode’s runtime as the godswood scene from the season 1 premiere. That in itself is an uncanny similarity between the plot structure of the two premieres (and it’s not the only one), but the substance of the scenes are somewhat similar, too.

Related: What HBO Will Do After Game of Thrones Ends

In the season 1 premiere, Catelyn comes to Ned in the godswood to inform him that his mentor and Hand of the King, Jon Arryn has died, and now the King is on his way to Winterfell to ask Ned to become his new Hand. The godswood scene in the season 8 premiere is that of the reunion between Jon and Arya, but it also has them discussing their latest monarch and what it is she might want. Just as Catelyn counseled Ned by telling him he could refuse the King’s request, Arya similarly reminds Jon that he can, if necessary, still choose his family over his queen.

Page 2 of 3: Lovers, Brothels, & White Walkers

Family & Lovers

Speaking of Jon’s family and his new queen, in the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, he finally learns that they are one in the same. That reveal doesn’t come until late in the episode, leaving Jon and Daenerys to continue their courtship through much of “Winterfell” without knowing they are really nephew and aunt. In the season 8 premiere, Jon and Daenerys aren’t yet aware of the incestuousness nature of their relationship, but in the season 1 premiere, another incestual couple arriving at Winterfell absolutely are – Jaime and Cersei.

This isn’t the only parallel Jon and Daenerys’ relationship shares, either, because when they take their dragon ride, it somewhat mirrors the horseback ride Daenerys first took with her husband, Khal Drogo in the season 1 premiere. Thankfully, this magical dragon ride ends with only some PG-rated kissing and not implied rape. However, Jon and Daenerys do find themselves being watched during their tryst just as Jaime and Cersei were being watched by Bran, but hopefully, Jon doesn’t have any plans of pushing Drogon out a window.

Related: Game Of Thrones Totally Teased An Arya/Gendry Romance (But Will It Happen?)

Brothel Scene Interruptus

At another point during the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, the action moves away from Winterfell to a brothel in King’s Landing. There, the sellsword Bronn is hoping to enjoy some of the establishment’s finest women when Qyburn, disgraced maester and Hand of the Queen, interrupts the proceedings with a request from Cersei. In the season 1 premiere, Tyrion finds himself similarly interrupted while enjoying the company of a Ros at brothel in the winter town when Jaime comes to hurry his brother along and get him to Winterfell – again at Cersei’s request.

The request Cersei has in the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere does also involve her two brothers. But rather than sending Bronn to merely fetch them, Cersei has asked Bronn to kill both Jaime and Tyrion – and with the crossbow Tyrion used to kill their father no less. Only the remainder of season 8 will reveal what Bronn chooses to do, but the different tones and potential outcomes of these scenes are telling of just how broken the Lannister family has become in seven seasons.

White Walker Spirals

Interestingly, the final season premiere of Game of Thrones does not have a cold open as every season (with the exception of season 2) has done before. And yet, the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere does still reference the cold open from season 1, drawing a direct connection between the first appearance of the White Walkers and the Night King’s march south.

Related: What The White Walker Spiral Means

In that first episode, “Winter is Coming”, it begins with a scene of three Night’s Watch men going north of The Wall where they discover a spiral arrangement of dead and mutilated bodies. Another of the dead bodies, a young girl, is nailed to a nearby tree. It’s an ominous and disturbing scene which, along with the White Walker attack that follows soon after, sets up the White Walkers as the menacing evil they’ve been throughout all of Game of Thrones. Now that menace is on the march, and when Tormund, Beric Dondarrian, and Eddison Tollet come upon Last Hearth after the Night King’s army attacked, they too find the mangled dead bodies of House Umber displayed in a strange spiral. There’s even again a young child nailed up – this time the young lord, Ned Umber – who then awakens and further terrifies those present.

Page 3 of 3: The Winterfell Crypts & Old Friends

The Winterfell Crypts

No visit to Winterfell is really complete without a trip to the crypts below, where (almost) every Stark, from the old Kings in the North to the recently deceased, are entombed. In the season 1 premiere, King Robert makes visiting the crypts his first stop after arriving in Winterfell, wanting to visit the grave of his former love, Lyanna Stark. Ned joins him and the scene becomes one of old memories and grief but also duty as Robert uses the moment to ask Ned to become his new Hand.

In the season 8 premiere, aptly named “Winterfell”, the scene in the crypts arises from different though not entirely unrelated reasons. In this episode, Jon is visiting Ned’s tomb, the man he believes is his father, only for Sam to enter moments later and explain that Ned isn’t his father but actually his uncle. Jon’s mother is Lyanna and his father Rhaegar Targaryen, a lineage which makes him the true heir to the Iron Throne. This bombshell hearkens right back to that season 1 scene  not only in its direct connection to Robert’s mourning of the women he loved and lost, Jon’s mother, but in the conflicting emotions it brings out in Jon. Not to mention, the revelatory moment takes place directly in front of Lyanna’s statue.

Related: Why Jon Snow Is The Rightful Ruler Of Westeros, Not Dany

Old Friends

The ending to the Game of Thrones season 1 premiere, “Winter is Coming”, is without a doubt one of the most iconic moments in the entire series. Jaime pushing Bran out of the broken tower’s window after he’s caught the Lannister twins in a rather amorous embrace is just as much of a starting point for the series as the death of Jon Arryn. Not only does it ramp up the tensions already brewing between Starks and Lannisters, paving the way for the War of the Five Kings, but it puts Bran on the path towards becoming the Three-Eyed Raven.

The final season of Game of Thrones may not have the available screen time to address every lingering plot point or thread from the last seven seasons, but addressing that scene between Jaime and Bran is an absolute must. No one understands this better than Bran, who now, as the eerie and omniscient Three-Eyed Raven, makes sure he’s there when Jaime finally arrives at Winterfell. (In fact, Jaime’s arrival itself cleverly references the season 1 premiere where Jaime removed his helmet upon arriving at Winterfell and shook out his golden locks. Only now, he simply pulls back his hood and reveals an older, more weary looking Jaime.)

As the final scene of the episode, Jaime locking eyes with Three-Eyed Bran across the courtyard recalls that season 1 premiere cliffhanger perfectly, bringing to surface all that these two characters have gone through since they were last together. It’s an encapsulation of the entire Game of Thrones season 8 premiere, reminding its characters (and therefor the audience) of where this series has been and where it still has to go.

Next: 14 Unanswered Questions After The Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere

Game of Thrones season 8 continues Sunday, April 21 at 9:00pm on HBO.

2019-04-19 05:04:58

Sarah Moran

Netflix’s The Witcher TV Show Will Premiere In Late 2019

In an exciting announcement from Netflix, The Witcher is set to premiere on the streaming service later this year. The show is based on the Polish novels of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski and stars Henry Cavill in the lead role as Geralt of Rivia. According to Sapkowski, who has been working on the series as a creative consultant, the series will be staying true to the source material and themes in his novels instead of diving into the narratives from The Witcher video game series.

The announcement of the Netflix series hit back in 2017, with casting news making the rounds in Fall 2018. A couple of casting choices managed to rile up fans of the fantasy series, including an ad that surfaced on the internet in regard to the casting of Ciri, but Cavill’s casting was one that was met with a slew of mixed reactions. In a short clip of The Witcher test footage released on Twitter, Cavill stepped out in a wig of long, white hair with a clean-shaven face, and orange cat-like eyes. It appeared to many that the series would be keeping Cavill’s likeness similar to Geralt’s appearance in the novels, not the video games. There wasn’t much to take away from the footage, and even though it wasn’t what many were expecting, it was a sign that at least the ball was rolling on the TV series.

Related: Henry Cavill as The Witcher: Why The Haters Are Wrong

Now, Witcher fans can rejoice in the news that the series will be coming later this year instead of in 2020, when many were expecting a release date to be. According to Deadline, Netflix sent a letter to investors after receiving its first-quarter financial results and stated that they are, “looking forward to a strong slate of global content in the second half of the year.The Witcher was included in the announcement alongside the third season of The Crown, Stranger Things, and multiple other shows and movies. Although there was no specific date announced, Netflix revealed that The Witcher will be coming, “in the last three months of the year.”

Currently, the series is still in production filming in Hungary, but is set to launch in Netflix’s fourth quarter. Showrunner Lauren Hissrich, who also wrote and executive produced Daredevil and The Defenders, has stated that the series will have an eight episode run in its first season. The plot will follow Geralt, a monster hunter, as he battles literal and figurative demons alongside his allies, Yennefer and Ciri, played by Anya Chalotra and Freya Allen respectively.

The Witcher has the opportunity to become Netflix’s Game of Thrones, if done correctly. Adapting from the epic fantasy novels with the help of the series’ original author is an excellent way to assure Witcher fans that the story will be entertaining and investing. Not only that, but shooting has taken place in multiple locations across eastern Europe, making for an immersive experience that will fit the setting and tone of the show. The Witcher has potential to become a major hit for Netflix, maybe even a perfect filler for Game of Thrones fans after that series meets its end in May.

Next: Every The Witcher TV Show Update You Need To Know

The Witcher will premiere on Netflix in late 2019.

Source: Deadline

2019-04-17 10:04:11

Hannah Hoolihan

Archer Season 10 Trailer Confirms May Premiere Date For Archer: 1999

FXX delivers the first trailer for Archer: 1999, the latest re-imagining of the long-running animated series from creator Adam Reed. The past few seasons have seen the one-time super spy Sterling Archer in a number of wildly different scenarios, like Archer: Dreamland, a noir-inspired detective story, and last season’s disappointing Archer: Danger Island, which, for better or worse, put the show’s characters in the midst of a classic adventure serial. The changes have all been predicated on the cliffhanger ending of season 7, which left Archer comatose, following a near-fatal gunshot wound. 

Though this is not the first time Archer has been re-imagined — Archer Vice came about in season 5, while Archer season 7 was essentially an homage to Magnum P.I. — these most recent excursions from the series’ usual drunken spycraft shenanigans have the luxury of eschewing series continuity since they’re taking place inside the mind of one man. That freedom has allowed the series to not only re-imagine the circumstances of the series, but also many of the characters. And this time it looks as though Pam and Krieger will yet again be the recipients of the most radical changes. 

More: Warrior Creator Jonathan Tropper On Staying True To Bruce Lee’s Original Ideas

The first trailer for Archer: 1999 follows through with the reveal at the end of Danger Island that sent the characters into outer space. What looked like a solid riff on the Alien franchise has now expanded to a full-fledged space opera, complete with a variety of extraterrestrial life forms, space battles, and a gladiatorial grudge match that leaves Krieger half the man he used to be. Check out the trailer and a character breakdown below: 

“The series features the voices of H. Jon Benjamin as the hard-drinking Captain, ‘Sterling Archer;’ Aisha Tyler as Archer’s Co-Captain and short-tempered ex-wife, ‘Lana Kane;’ Jessica Walter as Archer’s mother and ball of energy, ‘Malory Archer;’ Judy Greer as the eagle-eye fighter pilot, ‘Cheryl/Carol Tunt;’ Chris Parnell as the attention-seeking First Mate, ‘Cyril Figgis;’ Amber Nash as the crew’s rock monster muscle, ‘Pam Poovey;’ Adam Reed as the out-of-place-in-space courtesan, ‘Ray Gillette;’ and Lucky Yates as the synthetic human with questionable morals, ‘Algernop Krieger.’”

Unlike the plot of Danger Island, the sci-fi scenario of 1999 brings plenty of material for the series to lampoon, as the 90 or so seconds of the trailer riffs on everything from the aforementioned Alien movies to Predator, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and more. What’s more, the series’ irreverent sense of humor seems to have benefitted from a trip to space as well, as there are several laugh-out-loud moments in the trailer alone. With any luck, heading to space will put Archer back on top. 

Next: Game Of Thrones Season 8 Review: Reunions & Introductions Raise The Series’ Stakes

Archer: 1999 premieres Wednesday, May 29 @10pm on FXX.

2019-04-15 10:04:46

Kevin Yeoman

HBO Confirms Westworld Season 3 Won’t Premiere Until 2020

Westworld season 3 won’t premiere until 2020, HBO has now confirmed. Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and based (very) loosely on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, Westworld was a huge hit for HBO following its premiere in 2016. Largely set within a futuristic, Wild West-themed amusement park populated by androids known as “hosts,” Westworld follows a select group of the park’s guests and staff as they gradually come to realize that the hosts’ intelligence is far more advanced than it should be.

While Westworld season 1 was certainly well-received, its complex narrative and multiple time frames compelled viewers to pay close attention for fear of getting lost within the show’s literal and figurative mazes. Season 2 doubled-down on this approach, introducing more real-world scenes, multiple timelines, different versions of characters and several brand new parks. The complexity of Westworld‘s second season didn’t draw as much favor as its debut outing however, and many accused the series of being abstract for the sake of it, rather than to serve the story. Westworld‘s showrunners have since suggested a different approach will be taken in season 3, and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul has also been cast in a major role.

Related: Westworld Season 3 Adds Lena Waithe In Mystery Role

However, fans will have to wait a while longer before seeing the continuation of the Westworld story, as HBO has now confirmed (via Deadline) that the show’s third season won’t premiere until 2020. While that’s a long break between seasons, it won’t be the first such lengthy break Westworld fans have had to endure.

Given that there was approximately a 16-month wait between Westworld seasons 1 and 2, its perhaps fair to assume that most viewers weren’t expecting a quick turnaround with season 3. That said, the confirmation of a 2020 premiere means that the gap will be even longer this time, with fans looking at an 18-month hiatus at least between the season 2 finale and season 3 premiere. It’s perhaps somewhat strange that this additional gap comes despite previous reports that season 3 would actually feature less episodes.

The size and scale of Westworld perhaps explain why such an extended production period is necessary. The series is one of the most visually impressive TV properties in recent memory and between the characters, music, story and location, Westworld‘s attention to detail is second to none. On the other hand, it could be argued that the long breaks between seasons contribute to the criticism that Westworld can be overly-complicated. Often, Westworld relies on viewers remembering small moments from previous episodes, or indeed previous seasons, and long periods offscreen are a huge hindrance in remembering these key elements. If a pre-return catch-up binge wasn’t a necessity ahead of season 2, it certainly will be when season 3 finally arrives.

More: Westworld Showrunners Promise Season 3 Will Be A “Radical Shift”

Westworld season 3 premieres in 2020 on HBO.

Source: Deadline

2019-04-15 03:04:56

Craig Elvy

Game of Thrones Season 8 Premiere Sets New Ratings & Streaming Records

Game of Thrones remained as popular as ever in its season 8 premiere, which set new ratings and streaming records for the series and HBO alike. Last night’s episode marked the beginning of the end for the network’s mega-popular adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels. The show, which has run for seven seasons thus far, kicked off its final half-dozen episodes with a chapter that slowed things down as members of the Stark family reunited, Danerys Targaryen made her way to Winterfell, and the North at large readied themselves for the impending arrival of the Night King and his army of White Walkers.

Suffice it to say, the season 8 premiere was a major TV event unto itself, and hinted at even bigger developments to come in the remaining five episodes. Of course, Game of Thrones premieres have been pop cultural “events” for some time now, and managed to earn increasingly large ratings (and, in more recent years, streaming numbers) with each passing installment. Unsurprisingly, that continued to be the case with the show’s final season opener.

Related: Game of Thrones Season 8: Returning Cast & Characters Guide

In an official press release, HBO announced that the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere was watched by a record 17.4 million viewers on Sunday night, exceeding the previous series’ high (16.9 million) set by the season 7 finale. Those numbers include the viewers who watched the show live on HBO, as well as those who checked it out through the HBOGo and HBO Now streaming platforms. The rest of HBO’s Sunday evening programming (like the comedy series Barry and Veep, as well as the late night show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) enjoyed a visible boost from Game of Thrones, and succeeded in attracting some of their highest viewership numbers in some time (years even, in the case of Veep and Last Week Tonight).

While those numbers are pretty dang impressive, they’re not even remotely unexpected. There was an extended two-year break between Game of Thrones season 7 and 8, in order to give the latter season the extra time it needed for shooting and post-production. As a result, demand for the show only had more room to grow between seasons, especially as more people decided to finally take the dive and start watching (or, rather, catching up on) Thrones during the prolonged intermission. Meanwhile, HBO’s refusal to reveal anything but the bare minimum of images and footage from season 8 ahead of time sent fans into theory-making overdrive. Indeed, by this point, there’s a reasonable chance that someone out there has all but figured out how the series will end for real and posted the “spoilers” online.

Then again, coming up with elaborate theories and playing the guessing game is all part of the fun of Game of Thrones. The series has spent years now trying and frequently succeeding at pulling the rug out from audiences’ feet, be it by revealing the game-changing truth about Jon Snow’s heritage, delivering shocking character deaths, or leaving everyone to wonder what the heck a Three-Eyed Raven is, anyway. It’s a big part of the reason why the TV show’s become so popular, and why the masses are eagerly tuning in to find out how the fight between the living and the dead (not to mention, the battle for the Iron Throne) ultimately pans out.

NEXT: Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Preview

Game of Thrones continues next Sunday, April 21 @9pm on HBO.

Source: HBO

2019-04-15 02:04:16

Sandy Schaefer