April 1, 2011

Guy of Gisborne in Hunkess's Biggest Baddest Baddie Poll + Camelot Premiere Lures Largest Audience + Camelot Poll: His Choice? + Another Sweet Laugh + New Pix from Russian Fans...thank you!! Wibble...

Who was the best baddie ever...not counting the Borgias;)  Guy is in the lead with 194(57%) of 341 total votes:

For anyone who's interested in reading the GMM Martin series Song of Ice and Fire - Game of Thrones Vol 1 - a writer at the Enterntainment Weekly website has formed a SoIandF book club.  The HBO series will start in two weeks.  http://shelf-life.ew.com/2011/04/04/game-of-thrones-book-club-2/

Watch closely in the first few seconds to catch actor Peter Mooney playing Arthur‘s brother Kay. He gives the most compelling performance, as well as being the hottest thing in the the new series Camelot. He can be identified in following promo as the TDH delivering the line to his brother “going to battle - leading the land…it‘s what every man dreams of.”
Can't decide which is more adorable - the baby's infectious laughter or it's father's enjoyment of it..(thx to Laurette on Twitter)...


Discovered this week that the Borgias were Spanish - I'd assumed they were an Italian family. 
Thought it might be interesting to post websites for a couple of my favorite chefs. The first is an American of Italian extraction. She travels to a different region of her ancestral home for each show, then explains it’s unique cuisine and demonstrates a couple dishes for her viewers. Following pasta recipe is from the Calabria region of Italy. It’s unusual in that hard-boiled egg slices act as a layer beneath the breadcrumb topping.  Lydia explained that the casserole is meatless, therefore eggs were used as a protein substitute.

Next is a clever idea from Paula Deen (her expertise is southern dishes, y‘all : ) It’s a simple but tasty way to make those salad greens very tempting…

Caesar Salad with Parmesan Crisps (see salad directions at link below)
Directions for Parmesan Crisps:
Heat a dry nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and sprinkle the shredded parmesan, by the tablespoon, into the skillet. Cook slowly and carefully until lacy and slightly set; about 1 minute. Flip and cook until crisp, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Crumble cheese or break into pieces and sprinkle over top of salad immediately before serving.

Ratings UPDATE: Camelot is Ratings Champ for series premieres--1.1 Million viewers followed by additional 500,000 added for second airing.  It's considered an even more impressive number, because almost half the material was already provided a couple weeks prior to the 2ep opening:

Here's one reviewer's take on upcoming series Camelot and The Borgias.  He admits he's not the target audience for what he more or less called medieval soap operas.  hahaha 
Well, as RA has said - in order to make authentic history palatable for a large diverse audience, you must make it seem less like an academic lesson. (personal note: I still don't understand why there aren't more of us who read history textbooks as though they were novels.  IMO, life truly is often more interesting than fiction.  Just look around your neighborhood...oooh, the stories each residence provides;)  
Judging from the following review,  apparently the creators of these upcoming dramas have followed RA's direction and added additional zest to the classic recipes...
by Alan Sepinwall..[R: after 2 eps of Camelot, my comments]
"The Tudors" is dead, but its history-as-soap-opera style lives on with two new series debuting this weekend: Starz's "Camelot" (Friday at 10 p.m.) and Showtime's "The Borgias" (Sunday at 9 p.m.). "Camelot" borrows "The Tudors" creator, Michael Hirst, while "The Borgias" airs on "The Tudors" old channel, and both are very much in the same spirit, where history or mythology are largely excuses for whispered palace intrigue  [R: whispered intrigue such as Morgan vying with Arthur for control of Camelot...barely hanging by a thread to the essential plot*snicker*],  love triangles and as much nudity and simulated sex as pay cable will allow  [R: After observing DH's reaction during those scenes, he did perk up (hehe..another unintended pun..honest;)  and seemed very enthusiastic about the simulations:]  while still leaving time for a story.  [e.g.  the last frames of ep 2 - Morgan walks out into the dark woods..approaches a hilltop..clad in the same revealing dress she wore in an earlier, similar scene.  She drops her tunic, revealing all( not talking plot here;) -  a wolf becomes instantly visible.  DH blurted out "Whew! no wonder the devil finally appeared!"  Until I heard his remark, it never dawned on me that she was summoning the devil.  Won't know until ep 3 if that is indeed what the black wolf represents.]

There's definitely an audience for that approach, but lord did I find both of these shows tiresome.

"Camelot" is probably the better of the two, though it also has the handicap that there have been so many King Arthur-themed projects lately (including the BBC's "Merlin," which currently airs here on Syfy) that virtually none of it can possibly be new, or surprising.

Still, Jamie Campbell Bower (Caius from the "Twilight" films) isn't bad as the young king, whom we meet as he's having the crown thrust upon him by Merlin (Joseph Fiennes).  [R:  Jamie is fine as Arthur but my eyes keep drifting to what could've been a more compelling performance and better looking version (those two make for a powerful combination) to his brother played by Peter Mooney]  Hirst and co-creator Chris Chibnall ("Torchwood") have conceived of Arthur at this stage as a wide-eyed kid learning as he goes, and Bower sells both that and those brief moments where Arthur is able to dig deeper and inspire his new army of knights.

And Eva Green is quite good [R: we finally agree on something:] (and also frequently nude, this being a show on the same network as "Spartacus") as Arthur's treacherous, magic-wielding half-sister Morgan. Her character has to constantly shift back and forth between insanity and cunning, charm and anger, and Green makes it all work as a whole, demonstrating the charisma and screen presence she showed back in "Casino Royale."

Fiennes, unfortunately but unsurprisingly (if you've seen him in virtually anything he's done since "Shakespeare in Love," including ABC's "FlashForward"), is a blank, choosing the play the mysterious Merlin largely by growling. And the series as a whole seems much more interested in the love triangle involving Arthur, his bravest knight Leontes (Philip Winchester) and the beautiful Guinevere (Tamsin Egerton) than in actually showing the growth of a king. It doesn't help that parts of that story are bizarrely anachronistic, like a scene where Guinevere says of Leontes, "What if he isn't... the one?" (I presume a later episode will feature Merlin telling Leontes, "She's just not that into you.") [R: Don't believe he mentioned what I consider one of the best performances in eps 1&2 of Camelot - James Purefoy as King Lot.  Ooooh, he was drop-dead brutal - that is, until Morgan managed to convince him(in her chambers) that he should become more helpful in her quest.  After a short while her strong female character must've rubbed him(unintentional pun *giggle*) the wrong way, and he...err,,,can't say what he did without spoiling the plot for you]

Still, the ongoing identity crisis of "Camelot" is a tiny bit more entertaining than the more consistent tedium of "The Borgias," which tells the tale of the infamous 15th century Spanish family, whose patriarch Rodrigo became one of history's most controversial popes. That show has a more impressive pedigree - created by "The Crying Game" director Neil Jordan, and starring Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo - yet it would be hard to imagine a Hirst-penned version being any different, and Irons seems surprisingly bored by the whole project.

Irons briefly lights up on occasion when he's asked to deliver a joke, like his incredulous reaction when his wife (Joanne Whalley) suggests he will have to stick to a vow of poverty once he becomes pope. A black comedy version of this story, about an incredibly selfish and cruel man somehow ascending to the holiest job on the planet, would be a lot of fun, but those moments are few and far between. It's a very straightforward, sincere, dull accounting of all the trouble caused by Rodrigo, son Cesare (Francois Arnaud, frequently nude), daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) and company cause with their newfound power and station.

Of course, I felt exactly the same about "The Tudors," and that show ran four seasons. I'm not the target audience for either of these new series. But when I saw that Jordan and Irons were involved, I allowed myself a scintilla of hope for "The Borgias," only to be rewarded in much the same way the College of Cardinals was when they wound up anointing Rodrigo.

[R: THE BORGIAS Comments:      Just finished telling Mr Sepinwall on twitter, that he and I are in complete agreement on the boring The Borgias.  What a major disappointment ep 1 proved to be, despite the fact I'm definitely part of the target audience for historical drama. After finding the first two eps of CAMELOT to be excellent entertainment, tonight's new series was a major letdown both in the story itself and sadly the acting of many major players.  Not Holliday Grainger however, her performance as Lucrezia Borgia was charming - a refreshing change after listening to others in prominent roles mumble half their lines. 

Conversely, Camelot has fine writing, acting (including clear enunciation), costumes, beautiful landscapes -  only the gorgeous sets in The Borgias made an equally strong impression. After the first 40min of non-stop poisonings, stabbings and beddings, it was a relief when the ensuing boredom finally came to an end with the close of ep 1. 

Camelot followed the show biz adage to leave the audience hungry for more, while The Borgias sadly left this viewer with a slightly queezy feeling and not quite certain if it would be worth trying courses to come.  The displayed evil incarnate quickly became tiresome.  Granted that is what we expect from a production promising to visit that infamously corrupt family, but it would've been pleasant to also find some surprising creativity and plot twists that kept us yearning for more of the same.  Instead we wonder why we bothered to take the subscription to Showtime in the first place.  Fortunately, there is something to redeem the extra expense - The Footlocker is one of their current movies, and we're looking forward to seeing that Oscar winning film.] CORRECTION: *laughing uncontrollably*...teehee...the mistake just caught my eye.  The movie is The Hurtlocker not the footlocker:)  


BEG says she'll be watching Game of Thrones, as will we, on Apr 17.  Thought everyone including her would enjoy this shot of Geo Martin's imginative 700ft wall of ice  -  it protects Westeros from the creepy crawly who knows what beyond it...Booooo!:) Perhaps the Scots...teehee...his fantasy is supposed to be based on the War of Roses and of course the wall was inspired by Hadrian's.  The structure below was actually a quarry wall in Northern Irl...enhanced w/special effects...


Brown-eyed Girl said...

Oh, dear, those new pictures are just too much to my poor heart!!!

I absolutely love the one with the Lee shirt, with the collar out of place, I just want to take it off of him and GUUUUUUH!!!!

The baby video is hilarious! I remember when my daughter laughed like that :)

Have a nice weekend!

RiCrAr said...

Care to elaborate in more detail on the scintillating guhhhh comment BEG;)

Never mind, we're dribbling right along with you. Passing the drool bucket & mop to you. *winks*

Are you planning to watch Camelot, The Borgias or Game of Thrones in the next few weeks?

Laura said...

Oh, those new pics... THUD.

I have to tell you about this quick - i know you guys like cool stuff... I live in Iowa, and about an hour north of me, there is a pair of nesting Bald Eagles. The Raptor Resource Project has put a webcam above the nest, and you can watch the eagles day and night. There are three eggs that the pair is incubating, and one of those eggs started hatching this morning. It takes 10-48 hours for a baby eagle to fully hatch, so the next couple of days should be interesting, between this one that's started, and its siblings, which should begin their hatching by the end of next week. Here is the link: http://www.raptorresource.org/falcon_cams/index.html

And your question/musing about why people don't read history textbooks like they do novels? Because they're so deplorably written!! I know when I was in grade school and high school, I absolutely could not read the history books. The subject fascinated me, but the writing was so awful, I couldn't get through it. And I'm a lifelong lover of books! My parents used to yell at me to "get your nose out of that book!!"

My husband is constantly encouraging me to read Shelby Foote's accounts of the Civil War. He says that Foote writes the way I wish all history books were written.

Brown-eyed Girl said...

I'll definetely be watching Game of Thrones, I'm a huge fan of the books.

The other 2 shows, I'm not that curious...

As to elaborate on GUUUUUH!!!... let's just say that my thoughts are SO NOT appropriate to be shared in public :D

They always say the most powerful sexual organ is your brain... an mine just goes on full gear when I watch these photos! Is that elaborate enough for you, luv? LOOOL!

RiCrAr said...

Morning ladies :^) nice sunny one here.

Thx for the eagle-eggs link Laura. While hiking last week, around a nearby lake, the park ranger told us to keep an eye out for an eagle that he'd seen circling for a couple days. Unfortunately it didn't soar while we were there - would have truly been a thrill to see it.

History class was always my fav - more detailed the better. It no doubt helped that the teaching nuns knew how to keep it interesting - they were articulate and enjoyed mixing it up w/students in discussions.

BEG, every one of the new pix are delish but that first one--between the v-neck tshirt (the man knows how to tease us to distraction, doesn't he:) and brilliant blue eyes..*in meltdown mode already and it's not even 9:30am*

Last nights first 2 eps of Camelot were excellent. The reivewer above must have very little appreciation for historic legends to have been so negative in his comments.

The actor playing Arthur does a fine job but my eyes keep wandering to the one playing his brother. Find the latter not only a more compelling player - he's far better looking as well and (as we know) that's a heady combination:)

We've taken a new subscription to Showtime for the series, so DH was expressing surprise & appreciation for the more graphic boudoir scenes than can be found on the usual channels.

Eva Green's portrayal of Morgan is rivetting - she's strong and determined in her quest to win power while morphing into seductress mode whenever that can further her goal. As usual the fantasy aspect is tiresome - unfortunately it's so commonplace in today's dramas that I've almost learned to ignore it's presence.

Last few frames of ep2 DH remarked "it has promise." He's also looking forward to trying The Borgias tomorrow evening. Our medieval cup runneth over. As for the new subscriptions, we'll drop them asap as each series ends. The usual fare on even the premium channels is so boringly either vampires or gangster thugs - definitely not worth the extra expense. Perhaps there are many like us who were willing to pay extra for a couple mos in order to enjoy some quality entertainment - if so, that will encourage more of it.

Laura said...

RiCrAr... you should come visit me here in IA... I have an active eagle's nest about a mile from my house. They regularly hunt in the pastures and timber across the street from me. I never tire of watching them.

Oh, how I wish my history teachers were as into the subject as yours were! I had one, in HS, who loved the subject, but he was hung up on dates. We had to memorize more numbers than in Calculus!! And to this day, I remember very few of them. Had I had detailed stories and fewer numbers to remember, I think I'd have done better. So, now I play catch-up, and plan to introduce my son to the stories and eras, rather than simply the numbers.

RiCrAr said...

I know what you mean about memorizing important historical date, Laura. Found myself developing a trick to keep them straight in my mind for quizzes or final exams. I'd find an already memorized date - such as family members birthdays to trigger the date of an historical event. e.g. Columbus lands on American continent in 1492. One sister's birthday is Jan 21, 1972. It's close enough to trigger the exact 1492. Worked for me:)

IMO, the reason for memorizing landmark dates in history is in order to build a timeline in your mind that will give you a frame of reference for progress of the human race. Start with cave dwellers...enormous amounts of info on their primitive artwork found in caves all over Europe.

Jump ahead to early Christian history. Emperor Constantine in, I believe, 495AD(think that's in the ballpark..didn't assign anyone's b/d to it;) declared Christianity to be the religion of the Roman Empire.

Crusades...the consequences of which are being coped with in today's geopolitical arena. Most amazing aspect of it to me is that the Middle East almost stood still in it's development from those times. That should say something to thinking humans in that region of the world. It probably does speak volumes to them about their culture BUT they don't have the backbone to say it outloud. If they did, the current inhuman jihadists would quickly be defanged and today's world would become a much more peaceful place for all of human kind.

Sorry for the historical babble...your remark pushed that button;) Have you seen the latest poll? Which role do you feel Richard would choose for himself from among the major players in the legend of Camelot? Can't wait to see the results of that one.

Laura said...

I don't mind the tangents... they are what make a personal blog THAT much more fun and interesting!

As for the poll(which hasn't loaded yet, bless my slow countrified DSL that I love dearly because without it I'd have dial-up), my first knee-jerk reaction would be Lancelot, as he's supposed to be the handsome one. (and slightly treacherous, since he stole the Lady from the King, didn't he?)

But I haven't seen the current incarnation, and my Camelot Lore is rusty, so I'm going to have to do some research, and get back to you. Now where'd I leave my son's Magic Treehouse Research Book on Knights of the Roundtable?...

Musa said...

I would agree with Laura. I would pick Lancelot for RA.

Another tortured, passionate, and forbidden love and lover. Guilt and betrayal, abandoning all reason... yet a true love and a lover that returns his passion at the risk of death. Yes, Lancelot, RA would be perfect.

MsG68 said...

Mmm...Lancelot :P
Thought I'd show up in your top box just to surprise you, after lurking down in your long-forgotten comment boxes most of the time :)
We had Mother's Day yesterday here in Blighty and as a keep-ya-brain-active-mother entertainment I challenged her to a game of Scrabble....bare with me..
thought I was on to a nice score with a W on a triple letter and the rest of my letters running over a double-word score tile, spelling....wait for it...wibble!! "What's that?" my Mum said,"you can't have that it's not in my dictionary!" "But...but....it's...it's...a...Richard-ism!!" I said triumphantly.
I lost the game :(
Oo...while I'm here...
D'you remember I mentioned a while back about Richard Curtis (VoD, Four Weddings, Bridget etc) being interviewed on a BBC1 programme called The One Show mentioning he was writing a film "All about love, and time travel" and I mentioned that RA had said about doing something "all about love" in an interview? Well, I've also discovered it's about a bookshop owner and yesterday I came across an old interview on Radio 5 with Richard Curtis (after making VoD) where he said "I can't imagine ever doing a piece of work which doesn't have Richard Armitage in it again. He was so charming and so tough coming into a sitcom where everybody's known each other for, you know, a lifetime, and he couldn't have been sweeter."
He 'can't imagine ever doing a piece of work which doesn't have RA in it again'.....hmm.... let's hope he's penned him in for the bookshop owner starring role then eh?!! :)

MsG68 said...

mmm...re-reading that its sounds like Richard Curtis may be subtly giving a nod to his earlier work.
Notting Hill was about a bookshop owner...Dr Who episode he wrote for the Christmas special was about time travel...and Love Actually was all about love...hmmm.
Maybe just a coincidence then that RA mentioned doing something "all about love" then after all... :(

RiCrAr said...

Great feedback from everyone - what a nice way to be greeted on a Monday:)

Superb detective work on your part MsG. Isn't Richard Curtis sitting beside Richard during a VoD dvd extra? Both men look as though they're enjoying a great laugh together. Believe the word that describes the effect RA seems to have, even on his fellow professionals, is charismatic. We didn't stand a chance once caught in his charming web, did we;)

Interesting that all of you find Lancelot to be the best fit in Camelot for Richard. After only 2eps, I'm not certain that classic character will take his traditional form this time around. He hasn't appeared thus far, UNLESS a knight who is currently betrothed to Guinevere is considered to be a substitute for Lancelot. As the director promised in the above video, all the usual suspects of the Camelot legend will make an appearance in his production, but not necessarily in their usual form.

Will report back after ep 3 if there's any new development on that score. Sir Gwain is another character who hasn't yet appeared. He's played by RH3's Clive Standrish.

I wasn't familiar with James Purefoy before this new production - he has definitely made quite a strong impression as King Lot. Does anyone recommend his other work to date?

p.s. After hearing MsG's Richard Curtis quote that he can't imagine doing another project with RA in it, I'm reminded of a fellow RA fans recent remark that she'd enjoy almost any past British production if Richard was the star. If the powers that be ever realize that truth, our fav actor will be employed up to the final act.

RiCrAr said...

*obvious correction* Richard Curtis can't imagine doing a project WITHOUT RA in it...must need another cup of coffee;)

Musa said...


James Purefoy was also in an episode of Sharpe. Look for a much younger Purefoy in Sharpe's Sword.

Anonymous said...

I think RA might opt for Merlin. Merlin with a backstory/history. :)

Caught part of a 2004 film of King Arthur while waiting for The Borgias last night. Clive Owen and Keira Knightly. The more historical British (Welsh? Briton) Arturus of late Roman Britain.Boring script, plot driven by action. Not great roles for either leading actor. But wonderful cinematography. Nice try. But.

Only first ep of Borgias yet. Glimpses of some better substance to come. Great cast, for the most part. Yay Holliday - make the most of Lucrezia!


RiCrAr said...

Thx Musa, we've already watched the Sword ep but, as DH mentions every week, we'll return to the entire series again next Winter. He's said it's the best Christmas gift he's ever received. What a satisfactory feeling for me, BUT how will I ever find something else as meaningful this coming Xmas?;)

Hi fitzg, I agree w/your Merlin suggestion only because Richard tends to fight the pretty-boy image w/tooth and nail. The new Merlin seems a complex mix - we know how much he'd enjoy that challenge.

As for The Borgias, I'll give it another try this coming Sun with high hopes of something unpredictable happening.

Do you find Jeremy Irons credible in the sex scenes w/his mistress? To me, his heart doesn't convincingly seem to be in it. That's good news for his RL wife, Hannah Thornton;)..hehe(it's easier to spell) but not great for the credibility of the drama.

Sue said...

I must admit the new series of Game of Thrones with Sean Bean looks pretty good to me. Over here in England there are endless ads showing SB in the forthcoming series. Plenty of blood and gore that's what we want (with a little bit of luvvvvv thrown in for good measure).

RiCrAr said...

Sue, I've just added in latest post a video of the Game of Thrones costume designer where she explains her thought process for each character. It's fascinating.

I'm going to add a 15min introduction to GoT as well, however I'm hoping the drama won't be nearly as horror-movie-like as the beginning of this particular trailer. I've read Game of Thrones and it does not focus primarily on the fantasy aspects of the story - fingers crossed the upcoming series hasn't changed that perspective.

Did you vote in the poll asking which Camelot character Richard would prefer to play? Interesting that I've not yet had anyone so far say he'd choose Arthur(well, one vote in poll results so far). Lancelot's in the lead with Merlin coming up from behind;)

RiCrAr said...

Adding the second longer trailer which is supposed to be the opening scenes for the series. Hopefully they were only using the macabre first scene to catch everyone's attention, and will slide into the more realistic meat of the story majority of the time. I was never a fan of horror movies or pure fantasy films. If they're true to Martin's writing, ghost-like beings will stay in the background most of the time.

Sue said...

Actually thinking about it I think Richard would make a rather good King Arthur. He's too old really to play Lancelot now (well he is knocking on 40 now girls), and he's too young to play Merlin, so Arthur it is! Just think us fans would be shouting at the screen "Guinny, forget Lance, stick with Arthur" I mean why choose stewing beef when you've got a nice bit of rump steak at home!(And let's face it you can't get a tastier bit of prime rump than Richard's!)

RiCrAr said...

True, very true Sue :) Your beef(cake) study reminds me of a bro-in-law's fav remark to his spouse WHEN he finds himself in the doghouse, so to speak. He tells her he's planning to stay home most evenings because "why go out for hamburger when you've filet mignon at home."

Remember when an interviewer asked Richard if he felt like a piece of meat. hahaha His reaction was a hardy laugh...seemed very amused by her remark.