New Fall TV 2015: The Darkhorses

The Bastard Executionerimgres-1

Premieres September 15th, on FX

Wilkin Brattle, played by Lee Jones, is a 14h century English soldier and under the charge of Edward the First. After the horrors of war follow him home and revenge is directed towards his loved ones, Brattle retires from being a warrior. The first season will revolve around Brattle’s forced return to the English court, as he claims the executioner title. He exchanges one blood-splattered sword for another; past burdens of guilt for new ones; and finds himself to be a different type of merciless weapon within this medieval political system.imgres

Beloved Sons of Anarchy show runner Kurt Sutter is the man behind this new period drama. He understands the early comparisons between his newest creation and HBO’s Game of Thrones. The 14th century English court system politics and Brattle’s newfound faith in the catholic religion will root this series in the history books. While characters like Annora of the Alders, played by Katey Sagal, is a mysterious healer who will entangle Brattle’s story with medieval mysticism. Much like it’s predecessor the Bastard Executioner’s first season will consist of ten episodes.

FX’s The Bastard Executioner trailer click here

Flesh & Bone

Premieres November 8th, on Starzimgres-2

An eight-episode miniseries structured as a look inside the lives of ballerinas and written in the vain of the critically acclaimed film Black Swan. The series tells the tortured tale of Claire (Sarah Hay), a talented ballerina who is running from a dark past and finds herself joining a New York City company. The trailer promises that this will be a brutally honest look at both Claire’s and her fellow ballerinas struggle for perfection. Filled with eating disorders, rigorous training schedules that result in self-mutilating practices and the self-esteem shattering competitiveness found in this chosen profession.

The most haunting image from the trailer is of a padlocked bedroom door. We don’timages see the intruder’s face from behind the door, but we hear his voice as he demands that Claire let him inside. This indicates that Claire is potentially running from an abusive childhood and was sexually assaulted by her stepfather (maybe). Therefore, Claire could possibly be suffering from PTSD as she joins this ballet company. Former Breaking Bad executive producer and writer, Moria Walley-Beckett is the series’ creator. Knowing that Walley-Beckett is directing the ship dispels my belief that the series could potentially fall more in step with the film Center Stage, than Black Swan.

Starz Flesh & Bone trailer click here

Into the Badlands

imgres-3Premieres November 15th, on AMC

Welcome to the Badlands. A six-episode series that combines the stylized-western
aesthetic of Django Unchained with, the graceful violence found in Kill Bill. This martial arts series is based on the Chinese tale Journey To The West. A fierce enslaved warrior (known as a clipper in the show) named Sunny, played by executive-producer Daniel Wu, stumbles across a young boy named M.K., played by Aramis Knight. They develop a mentor/protégé relationship as they journey together across the dangerous land run by feudal barons.

The most intriguing aspect of the series stems from the villainess named the Widow, portrayed by Emily Beecham.   We are introduced to her as the one behind images-1the attempted capture of M.K., for unknown reasons.  Throughout the Comic-Con trailer we see her deviously wonder the Badlands, as she seeks to claim power by overthrowing the mighty Badland baron, Quinn. Then in a stunning sequence we watch the petite baroness turn into a lethal weapon, as she takes on a slough of assassins in a western burlesque bar.  Much like how The Walking Dead brought new life to the zombie genre, Into the Badlands shows promise in resurrecting the Kung-Fu martial arts genre.  Plus, this maybe the closest thing we will ever have to a Quentin Tarantino television series.

AMC Into the Badlands trailer click here

By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont

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To Fear the Walking Dead, or Not

imgresThe Walking Dead phenomenon continues as AMC premiered Fear the Walking Dead last Sunday night.  The first season is set to consist of six one hour long episodes that will build up to the season six premiere date of The Walking Dead, on October 11th, 2015.  

Kim Dickens and Cliff Curtis play Madison Clark and Travis Manawa respectively; the heads of a blended Los Angeles family.  The first episode is a slow burn into an apocalyptic world, through the lens of an already dysfunctional family.  Madison Clark is the mother to Nick, an early twenty something year old drug addict, and Alicia “the perfect child” who wants nothing more but to leave.  “I don’t want to be crazy,” explains Nick to Travis, while in the hospital.   The first scene introduces us to Nick waking up in a drug den and encountering a walker for the very first time.  Since, he is a drug addict the writers use his unreliability to make both Madison and Travis hesitate in believing Nick.  Throughout the rest of the episode both characters begin to nimagesotice more oddities in the world around them.  For example Madison stares out the window on the way home and sees what appears to be a homeless man standing on the outskirts of a playground filled with children.  The longer she stares, the more peculiar the scene becomes.  Madison, Travis, and Nick all begin to truly believe in the final scene of the first episode, as Nick makes the first walker kill in self defense.  Frank Dillane brings Nick’s fear to life as he desperately cries out to his mother to back away from the walker.  Now that Travis and Madison believe that the threat is real, the following episode is an attempt to run away, together, as one complete blended family.

images-2“Things will fall apart now. No satellites, no internet, no cell phones. Communications will fail because no one’s there to manage the servers. The electrical grid will collapse for the same reason. It’s all gonna go to hell, and that’s what they don’t get. When civilization ends, it ends fast.”-Tobias (episode 2)

After Nick discovers the walker in the first episode, he runs out into the middle of the busy Los Angeles highway screaming.  His fear is cut off by the abrupt, harsh, eclectic sounds of every day life.  In contrast episode two begins with two slow motion shots, the worlimages-1d feels and sounds a lot quieter, which in turn adds tension on screen. Madison has another moment while looking out the car window as she sees two children in the back seat of a car passing by.  Both kids are wearing breathing masks with monster smiles drawn on them.  The situation’s horror combined with our innate inability to comprehend such a reality is clearly drawn throughout the second episode.

In a great sequence, referential to the LA riots, Travis’ son finds himself in the midst of a protest against the police.  As, chaos erupts around them Travis, Liza, and Chris find shelter with a mexican shop keeper animages-3d his family.  They peek out the storefront’s boarded windows as if they are caged animals.  Meanwhile Alicia and Madison witness their neighbors kill one another across the street, both unable to do anything.   As much as the first episode established Madison and Travis as a united front, the second one split them further apart.  Now stuck in different parts of LA, it would seem that the next four episodes would revolve around Travis’ family making his way back to Madison and her family.

Do not be afraid to watch Fear the Walking Dead, because at the very least we are not in Georgia anymore.

By Sarah Belmont
Featured Writer
@sjbelmont

2.24 – Stories from Comic Con

Talk to us at SceneNNerd@gmail.com or @SceneNNerd on Twitter to have your questions or comments read on the show! Today Pete and Matt are back while Casey is out on vacation. The guys are joined by Rose Moore ofMoviepilot.com, Lauren Galloway from Assembly of Geeks, The Flash Podcast and EW Community and Lily Miranda from @WardsWarriors to share all their crazy stories from Comic Con. They also share their thoughts on the latest trailers from Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad and talk about how X-Men: Age of Apocalypse is shaping up. They’re back, they’re nerdy and they’re trying very hard to get over those post Comic Con blues. This is Scene N Nerd!