CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – Matt Walsh has been more visible lately, and it has much to do with his approach to character roles, beginning as Mike McLintock on the HBO series “Veep” and currently in the new film “Into the Storm.” For a Chicago native who began doing comedy improvisation here, he is moving on up.
CHICAGO – HBO finally broke through with their first major new comedy successes since “Entourage” this year with the amazing “Girls” and “Veep.” There were a few growing pains between the critical darlings however, a trio of shows that never quite took off like their breakthrough network hoped they would. And yet there are things to like about at least two of them and they probably have some loyal audiences who want to own them on Blu-ray. Now they can.
CHICAGO – HBO has such a limited amount of series and so many critical darlings that when they announce a renewal or a cancellation it carries more weight than most networks. They announced four today with no major surprises as we all expected that Golden Globe-nominated “Enlightened” would return for a second season and even fans of “Hung,” “Bored to Death,” and “How to Make It in America” could have guessed that those series were headed in the other direction.
CHICAGO – Not all HBO shows are created equal. While critics have devoted thousands of words to the brilliance of shows like “Boardwalk Empire,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Game of Thrones,” a few other offerings from the most important TV network of the last quarter-century have gone under the radar.
CHICAGO – In the heat of HBO summer broadcasting, currently in seasons of “True Blood” “Entourage” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the network has announced some important dates coming this fall. Most importantly, the hit crime drama “Boardwalk Empire” is set to make its season two debut on Sunday September 25.
CHICAGO – While we all eagerly await the return of our favorite shows and wonder if the networks can top last season’s remarkable freshman class, there are a number of programs currently airing that are definitely worth considering when the heat index breaks 100 or you don’t want to risk another summer thunderstorm.
CHICAGO – Male prostitute Ray Drecker (Thomas Jane) and his pimp Tanya Skagle (Jane Adams) are back in the second season premiere of “Hung,” a show that improved drastically over its first year (check out our Blu-ray review here) and seems primed for continued growth in its sophomore outing. Shows like “Hung” often fine-tune their characters and themes between the first and second year and this unusual comedy is primed for breakout success.
CHICAGO – HBO’s “Hung” doesn’t quite live up to the incredibly high standards of the best network on television but the sporadic writing on the show and very strong ensemble did produce enough interesting dramatic and comedic moments to warrant a look on the excellent Blu-ray release of the first season, timed to coincide with the premiere of season two on Sunday, June 27th, 2010.
CHICAGO – Pardon the obvious metaphors, but when you name a show “Hung” and feature a motivational speech about the lead character finding “his tool,” it’s damn-near impossible not to fall into the same pattern.