I have always been interested in samurai. There is something about being able to wield a sword that is so satisfying to see. Of course, in today’s world carrying a sword looks more foolish than anything, but in feudal Japan, not only were swords a part of everyday life but they were taken seriously and a skillful sword-wielder was highly valued and for a time was looked up to.
Series like Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai Champloo show us the fascinating tales that samurai could have. Sure, it is not realistic, but it was fascinating to see the world and people interacting with each other in that era. A good samurai show has not come along in a while, so when I started watching Onihei, I thought about the possibilities of a series on the level of Rurouni Kenshin making a comeback. So is Onihei that show?
I might be jumping the gun a bit here, but I think it is important that I preface this review with this fact: I watched the pilot of this show four times because I fell asleep during it the first three times.
Mad Men is a period drama taking place in New York City in the 1960’s and is centered (mostly) around the life of adman, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) — an intelligent, creative and suave gentleman of many vices. While Don can be a prick, he’s probably the least offensive (male) of the ensemble cast comprised mostly of folks working for fictional ad company Sterling Cooper. The pilot introduces us to quite a few faces, but I’ll just be focusing on the ones that stood out.
In an effort to fill the chasm in my heart left by the Game of Thrones off-season, I took a journey back in time to pay a visit to its spiritual predecessor–HBO’s Rome. Rome proved to HBO that a show with a large ensemble cast of relatively unknown European actors could be successful with an American audience if you threw in enough sex, violence and political backstabbing. Rome also shares a casting director (Nina Gold, aka the Best Casting Director Ever) with Game of Thrones, which is significant since Gold loves to hire actors from previous projects — watch both shows and you’re bound to see a few familiar faces.
Now, about Rome‘s pilot!
Rome chronicles the lives of the powerful politicians of Rome (primarily Julius Caesar, Pompey Magnus and the people surrounding them) and two semi-fictional soldiers that had been mentioned in Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico and were fleshed out for the series. Rome‘s pilot, “The Stolen Eagle”, begins with the final battle of the Gallic War and establishes the rift in Caesar and Pompey’s relationship that will likely fuel the conflict in the first season.
Have you ever wanted to watch a western that isn’t actually a western (because it takes place in New York City), but shares the same time period and sort of kick-ass-and-take-names bravado that we expect from an Old West police (or Raylan Givens) so that it feels enough like a western that we can call it an almost western? If that eloquent and totally-not-confusing description didn’t work for you, how about Justified meets Gangs of New York?
Yeah? Me too.
Let’s talk about BBC America’s Copper.
Have you ever wanted to watch a spin-off of Game of Thrones that focused more on the strong, intelligent women in King’s Landing without all the gratuitous sex and violence?
Enter BBC One’s The White Queen.
The White Queen is based on British historical fiction author Philippa Gregory’s series “The Cousins’ War”—a series that primarily follows the women of the Houses of York & Lancaster during the War of the Roses period.