The 2014 Cannes Film Festival was a festival of few highs and few disastrous lows. Which, to be quite honest, isn't a bad thing. Instead, the festival projected a steady diet of good or mediocre movies from the global film community. In fact, at times the press corps and critics seemed to be dying to find a movie to boo at (more on that from Guy Lodge later).
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[As is my recent tradition, over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. It also assumes that you/I only have a dual tuner DVR (plus occasional access to a Slingbox on ET. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments and the DVR Gridlock segments for 2012.]
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos"
CBS: "60 Minutes"
FOX: "The OT," "Bob's Burgers"
NBC: NFL Pre-Game
ABC: "Once Upon a Time"
CBS: "Madam Secretary"
FOX: "The Simpsons," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
CBS: "The Good Wife"
FOX: "Family Guy," "Mulaney"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
CBS: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"/"CSI: Cyber"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
If you read my interview with "Survivor: Cagayan" 4th Place finisher Spencer Bledsoe, you saw one approach to the "Survivor" experience. Spencer was circumspect, critical of his strategy and admitted that he would have voted for Tony, the season's winner, over himself.
Today's exit interview, with 3rd Place finisher Kassandra "Kass" McQuillen, takes a different approach. Kass thinks she played the same game as Tony only with a different gender, she thinks Spencer and the other losing castaways were arrogant and she thinks that the "Survivor" finale live vote suggesting Woo would have easily beaten her was "revisionist."
Kass thinks there's a double-standard when it comes to female "Survivor" players, particularly for moms, and she's confident that a male version of Kass would have won the season.
And I'm not saying that she's wrong. In fact, on much of it, she's probably right.
In our sometimes contentious exit interview, Kass discusses the performance of Man-Kass, takes exception to the use of the word "goat" and isn't especially pleased with the nickname "Chaos Kass" either. I got a bit bogged down in trying to point out things about her social game and I apologize for what was a much-too-long digression about her decision to flip off the departing Trish in front of the whole Jury.
Click through for the full Q&A...
While experiencing a rocky and often incoherent season, "Saturday Night Live" nonetheless produced many great sketches. Not every episode worked, but most contained at least one sketch that still lingers in the minds of its audience.
Funny, original, and often even moving, here are the twenty best segments the show had to offer in its thirty-ninth season.
Agree or disagree? Share your comments below.
One of the elements I love about "Orphan Black" is the dry, dark humor that bubbles to the surface in almost every episode, but is most present when Helena and Alison are around. This was one of those weeks, and I have to think everyone who once loathed Helena has come around by now. Who would have guessed that underneath the crazy (and there's a lot of crazy) there could be a Muppet-haired softy who just wants love?
The new teaser (tweeted by the BBC yesterday; see below) for Peter Capaldi's debut as the latest incarnation of the Time Lord with the mostest in "Doctor Who" shows us a few things. One, new episodes will debut in August (both in the U.S. and the U.K.). Two, Capaldi looks fab as the good Doctor, even in silhouette.
CANNES — Sometimes, the pre-festival buzz has it right. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's 196-minute conversational epic "Winter Sleep" entered the 2014 Cannes Film Festival as the sight-unseen frontrunner for the Palme d'Or, thanks to its heftiness of form and the Turkish auteur's perceived overdue status — any director with two Grand Prix wins and a Best Director prize behind him is bound to win the Palme at some point.
Fast National ratings for Friday, May 23, 2014.
The first Friday of the summer featured a tie among young viewers and nearly a three-way tie overall. The few notables included a tiny overall bump for the "Hannibal" finale, an OK premiere for ABC's "What Would You Do?" and "Blue Bloods" attracting the night's biggest audience
On the negative side, whatever small audience The CW miniseries "Labyrinth" had in its first part dwindled in its second and FOX's encores continued to barely even get a sampling on Fridays.
NOTE: It was a slow Friday and all Fridays will likely to continue to be slow until September. As a result, I won't be doing Friday Fast Nationals through the summer, which has been by general policy over the years. If anything notable airs on a Friday, I can always check in. Normally I would have stopped after last Friday, but I wanted to make sure I finished out the "Hannibal" season.
On to the numbers...
If you think that Christopher seems awfully grown up in the "Petals on the Wind," the sequel to the recent adaptation of V.C. Andrews' "Flowers in the Attic," you're not wrong. To cut the unwieldy book down to size, "Petals" (which premieres Mon. May 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET) tosses out the highly creepy storyline in which Cathy has an affair with the much older Dr. Paul and leaps forward ten years. The role of Christopher, which was played by Mason Dye in "Flowers," now features relative newcomer Wyatt Nash. I spoke to Nash briefly this week and found that he not only has those Dollanganger looks everyone gushes about in the books and movies, but he's taking this acting thing seriously -- not every thespian would have the commitment to find a meaningful and sympathetic take on a storyline that makes most people go ew.
CANNES - The sun is out, the films have screened, the rosé has almost run dry, and every conversation on the Croisette seems to begin with, "So, what's winning the Palme d'Or?" And the answer that almost inevitably follows is, "Oh, I don't know." Opinion varies this year as to whether it's been a very high-level Competition or a respectably disappointing one -- but either way, the upshot is that it's the most seemingly competitive one in several years, with a handful of well-received films on the awards shuffle-board.
[Prelude: This was a nutty, chaotic week and I really wasn't able to get on top of my seven "Amazing Race: All-Stars" and "Survivor: Cagayan" exit interviews. Apologies for the slowness, but it means a little extra content over the holiday weekend and whatnot. Starting tonight, I'll post my four "Survivor: Cagayan" exit interviews, one per day (give or take) starting with the season's fourth place finisher. Then I'll get to the three "Amazing Race: All-Stars" exit interviews, by which time you'll hopefully have forgotten how awful the finale was. Again, though, sorry for the delay.]
My first two "Survivor: Cagayan" finale exit interviews could hardly be more different.
Up first is Spencer Bledsoe, who made a disadvantageous alliance at the beginning with Garrett, an alliance that nearly led to his snuffing from the notoriously weak Brains tribe. Spencer came close to being in a power position after the Merge, but Kass' abrupt flip-flop had him scurrying for several weeks. Only a string of Immunity wins, aggressive scrambling and Tony's paranoia kept him from going home, but a tight Immunity loss to Kass at Final 4 ended his run.
In some cases finishing fourth is a disappointment, but given Spencer's early position, such a long run was so impressive that he earned a vocal apology and a sealed letter of apology from "Survivor" host Jeff Probst, who underestimated him initially.
Reflecting on his experience, super-fan Spencer is humble, introspective and self-deprecating, which runs counter to the Spencer we met at the start of the season. He's quick to point out his strategic flaws and fast to credit the season's winner, Tony, who he says he would have voted for over himself, had he somehow been both on the Jury and in the Final 2.
The next exit interview, posting tomorrow, is with Kass. Her hindsight perspective is a bit different.
Click through for my Q&A with Spencer, who candidly handicaps his Jury prospects had he made the Final 2 and explains the speech he made in Tony's favor at Final Tribal...
A review of the "Hannibal" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I move your punctuation mark...