Thursday, March 31, 2011

What You All Should Be Watching This Weekend

That's right -- ALL of you. The entire Internet!

Well those of you with subscriptions to the top premium cable channels, that is. I've already discussed here on numerous occasions the show I'm anticipating the most: HBO's Game of Thrones. But unfortunately this won't air for another two weeks. In the meantime I'd like to introduce you all to two other very HOT and SEXY new drama shows premiering over this very weekend on the Starz and Showtime networks.

First up to bat tomorrow night (April 1st) on Starz is Camelot, a reworking of the much familiar legend of King Arthur. Based loosely on Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Camelot will be a graphic, bloody and explicit version of the tale as only paid cable television can bring to you. Have I mentioned yet how much I love my subscriptions to these three premium networks? Camelot stars relative newcomer Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur Pendragon, and veteran actors Joseph Fiennes and Eva Green as Arthur's mentor, Merlin, and wicked half-sister, Morgan le Fay, respectively.

I actually got a sneak peak at the pilot episode of this show back on Feb. 25th, after the finale of another Starz show, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. I went into it not expecting much I must admit. But, whoa! I was impressed. What little I saw was very promising, and I can now safely say that this is one of my more anticipated shows this year. I can't say, however, that I care too much for the dude playing Arthur. He might take some getting used to. And I'm actually not a big fan of Joseph Fiennes, although his alternate take on the legendary wizard and advisor, Merlin, here is somewhat intriguing.

Who I'm truly impressed with, however, is Eva Green as Morgan (aka, Morgana to some of you). I've had a HUGE crush on this French-British actress ever since her role as Vesper Lynd in the Bond flick Casino Royale several years back. She also stole my heart again in Ridley Scott's epic film on the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven -- the director's cut of which has become one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. Keep an eye out for her in this show. I predict she's going to steal it!

Next, airing this Sunday at 9 pm on Showtime, is yet another brand new and potentially awesome drama series: The Borgias. To my fellow historical buffs out there, I'm sure I don't have to explain who these people are or their notorious place in the annals of history. But for those of you not familiar with the name, the Borgias were a Spanish family headed by Rodrigo Borgia (portrayed in this show by the brilliant actor, Jeremy Irons) who, through shrewed intelligence, guile, bullying--not to mention various other deceitful and often illegal means--bribed and cajoled his way to the highest appointment in all the Roman Catholic hierarchy -- the Papal seat itself! The wicked rise and fall of this powerfully influential family in Italy is the stuff of many, many sordid books and movies. In fact, the true history is so made-for-drama perfect that it was a huge influence on Mario Puzo when he set out to write this little book you may have heard of called The Godfather. Yes, that book. It's not by accident, then, that the Borgias are known as "the original crime family." In many ways, their story is very much similar to the story of the major crime families that would someday make up the notorious collective we call today "The Mob."

I swear, the month of April could not be made up of any more WIN if it tried!

So, as I wait for Game of Thrones to air, this is what I will be keeping busy with, tv-wise. If you would like a glimpse into these two new series, simply check out the trailers below:

Even from this quick footage alone of what the season will bring on both shows, I think it becomes clear just what kind of quality drama we're getting here. You know, I used to always scoff at Showtime and Starz as being "wannabe" HBOs. But lately both networks have been stepping up their respective games in the original drama department.

Color me suitably impressed.


getyourselfconnected said...

Hmmm... I do have the channel, I will take a look but I have Game of Thrones circled on my calendar. Besides, I may have torn an intercostal muscle coughing so anything sexy will just make me annoyed LOL.

Thanks for the discussion last post, you are the man.

David Batista said...

Good man! If you could only watch one, I'd rather you watch GoT. I'm excited about these other two shows, too, don't get me wrong. But Thrones is where it will all be at! :)

HBO is still the undisputed king of premium cable television.

Yvonne said...

I'm super excited about The Borgais!!!! I love Jeremy Irons! A friend of mine is the one who told me about this show a while back. Can't wait!!!

Jennifer Hillier said...

You're my TV twin because I'm so looking forward to all of these! I seriously can't wait.

David Batista said...

Awesome! I'm so glad I'm not the only one eagerly anticipating these shows. I only watch a handful at a time, so for there to be three premiering in the same month like this -- it feels like an extravagance of riches for me.

Rodney said...

I've already seen the first hour of Camelot (Starz put it up for viewing On Demand) and it's interesting. I am DEFINITELY looking forward to seeing the full 2hr premier. But, for me, that show will rise and fall on the portrayal of Merlin. I don't know why, but Merlin has always been the ONE point of interest for me in the Arthurian saga. So far, Joseph Fiennes is giving a decent job. I'm also hoping for some real magic in this show.

I too, share a deep residing love for Eva Green, David. And she does NOT disappoint in Camelot. You're going to LOVE her performance as Morgan!

I only just heard about the Borgias and I'm looking forward to seeing it just to see Jeremy Irons as a villain again! All the rest that I saw in the trailer is a bonus!

David Batista said...

You seem to be implying that I did not, also, see the preview episode like you. I did, back on Feb 25th as I mentioned. It was the entire first episode. What we're getting tonight is a re-airing of the first episode, along with the second right after it. And so, also like you, I already know that Eva Green won't disappoint. :)

In an interview, Joseph Fiennes revealed that magic in the world of Camelot is a tortuous and very draining process. That those who practice it only do so with extreme caution and not without first understanding that it will take an immense physical and emotional toll on the wielder. This is not unlike the way magic was utilized in the 1981 John Boorman movie, Excalibur, but I think Fiennes is trying to say that we shouldn't expect huge, FX-laden extravaganzas when it comes to the displays of magic on this show. I think magic will be more in the background. Which, seeing as I'm not such a big fan of the sorcery side of fantasy, is just fine with me. I like movies/books where true magic is damn tough to do and done only very rarely. Like in The Lord of the Rings.

That one shot in the trailer of Merlin walking very slowly across the lake was pretty damn cool, tho!

getyourselfconnected said...

WOW David! Great comment, dang!

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