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Where Did They Go . . . And Why?

TV Scene

The fourth season of “Game of Thrones” is over, but HBO is already filling that Sunday-night void with a new show called “The Leftovers.”
Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, this series focuses on the residents of Mapleton, NY, after 2 percent of the world’s population suddenly vanishes without a trace. The first few minutes of the pilot are heartwrenching. A woman puts her crying baby in a car seat and looks away for a moment — when she turns back around, the infant is gone. Screams of panic echo through the streets as a boy looks for his father and cars crash into each other.

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Taking to the Stage, the TV Stage

TV Scene

Emily Soell may have spent her working life in advertising, but at 70-something she is spending a fair amount of time as an actor. Check out HBO’s latest entry into fantasyland and you will catch Soell in the first two episodes of “The Leftovers,” a tale about the disappearance of a lot of people in some kind of rapture and how the people left on earth, the leftovers, Soell’s character among them, take it.

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A gripping mystery, seen from both sides of the Atlantic

The TV Scene

It should come as no surprise to hear that a British television show is being remade for a U.S. audience. Remember “The Office”? The British version featured co-creator Ricky Gervais as the manager of a branch at a paper company, while the U.S. version gave that role to Steve Carell. Imagine how different the American show would have been if Gervais filled those shoes again.
That’s what’s happening with “Gracepoint,” the U.S. remake of the British crime drama, “Broadchurch.” David Tennant stars in both shows as a detective investigating the death of a young boy in a quiet seaside town.

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They Are Super . . . And They Have Moved Over to TV

The TV Scene
darrylg@lakevillejournal.com

Countless live action movies starring comic book characters have appeared in theaters worldwide. Between Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Superman and Batman, superheroes are dominating the silver screen — and now comic publishers are hoping to take over your television.

Let’s start with Marvel, the publisher that kicked off an impressive cinematic universe with the first “Iron Man” film in 2008, which led to Captain America, Thor and other heroes joining him to form “The Avengers” in 2012.

Clones, an Assassin, And, Yes, Conspiracy

The TV Scene

Imagine you’re at a train station and you see someone who looks exactly like you commit suicide by jumping in front of the oncoming train. What would you do? Go to Ancestry.com and start tracing your family tree?
Con artist Sarah Manning decides to impersonate her dead doppelganger in an attempt to drain her bank account, and quickly realizes she’s stolen the identity of a cop. That event kicks off “Orphan Black,” a conspiracy-filled television series that just entered its second season on BBC America.

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In the Mood for Laughs, And Getting Them

TV Scene: ‘Silicon Valley’

As a “Game of Thrones” fan, I was glued to my television on Sunday for the première of the fourth season. It was superb, as I expected.
Immediately following that dramatic episode, a new comedy debuted on HBO titled, “Silicon Valley.” I was in the mood for a laugh after all of the “Game of Thrones” murder and mayhem, so I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did, because it’s a hilarious look at the technology-centric culture of northern California.

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John Lennon, Revealed And Remembered An Remembered

I come from a generation comfortably acquainted with the “Give Peace a Chance” era of John Lennon, a perennial figure in any college dorm. For this reason, it came as a shock to watch the international beacon of peace curse his mother and ditch school regularly as a youth. Yet both these images surface in director Sam Taylor-Wood’s 2009 biopic “Nowhere Boy,” which chronicles the formative years of the young and troubled John Lennon.

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McConaughey Meets Midas, And Oscar, Too

TV Scene

Matthew McConaughey won the best actor Oscar on Sunday for his work in “Dallas Buyers Club,” proving that we are all living in the McConaissance. History books will tell of the age in which everything McConaughey touched turned to gold, including “Mud,” “Magic Mike,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “True Detective.”

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For Children From Memories

People: Lane Smith

Amusement parks have a special place for illustrator Lane Smith. While he studied at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, he paid his bills by working as a janitor at Disneyland. Each day after class, he put on the white suit and took his pan and broom and shot the breeze with the balloon vendor until the park closed. He swept the Haunted Mansion, dodging motion-activated spooks as he reached for soda bottles that had rolled beyond his reach. Smith thinks that the nights he spent alone in the park played a role in the formation of his otherworldly aesthetic.

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The 25 Days of Ho Ho Ho

The (Holiday) TV Scene

The holidays are just around the corner, which means festive films will soon be played at my house on a continuous loop. Frosty, Rudolph and their pals can probably be found on every channel from now until New Year’s Day, but my wife and I are usually drawn toward ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas, which starts on Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 25.

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