Weekly Web Series Review: Blue

Julia Stiles stars as the title character in “Blue,” a new web series produced by the YouTube channel Wigs, which is described as “a digital channel producing high-end, original, scripted dramatic series and short films about the lives of women.” “Blue” certainly fits this bill, as it has high, network-standard production values and explores the life of Francine, aka Blue (Stiles), a single mother who works in an office and moonlights as a prostitute. We are introduced to her in the middle of serving a client, Cooper (David Harbour), who turns out to be an old acquaintance from high school. Cooper has more than a simple professional interest in her, and there is speculation that he might be the father of her 13-year-old son, Josh (Uriah Shelton).

Josh is a precocious, A-student who is beginning to be curious about sex and who is too smart not to know that his mother is hiding something about herself from him, though he is not yet sure what. He befriends Cooper, seeming to need a father figure in his life to complement the good relationships he has with his mother and his grandmother, Jessica (Kathleen Quinlan), a sexy older woman prone to over-sharing about her love life. Meanwhile, beginning in the third episode, Blue has an oddly mentor-like relationship with her office co-worker, Lavinia (Sarah Paulson), who looks up to her, thinking Blue really has her life together. Lavinia seeks Blue’s advice about her relationship with her ex-husband, Walter (so far unseen), who seems to be using her for financial support due to his ailing health.

The series is created, written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia, who is known for his work on feature films like “Mother and Child” and last year’s “Albert Nobbs,” as well as television series such as HBO’s “The Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under,” the latter of which has a similarly soap opera feel to it. The first season runs 12 episodes, each around eight minutes long, which means the entire first season is roughly the length of a relatively short feature film, and each episode is basically a single long scene, or two shorter, connected ones. Some of these work better than others; while Blue and Josh have great chemistry and really good dialogue in the second episode, and a subplot involving Josh’s troubles at school in the tenth and eleventh episodes is especially interesting, I have to admit I have very little interest in the relationship between Blue and Lavinia. Paulson is a very good actor, but her character is sort of weak and whiny, and it remains to be seen if her subplot will garner more interest. On the other hand, the first season ends with an intriguing development involving an older man from Blue’s past, and fans of soapy drama will definitely want to tune in for new episodes once they become available.

  

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“Entourage” returns to HBO this Sunday

It may no longer be HBO’s flagship series, but “Entourage” remains one of the network’s most consistent performers. And after last year’s excellent sixth season helped to pull the series out of its creative lull, “Entourage” is gearing up for the return of Vincent Chase and Co. with ten new episodes starting June 27th following an all-new “True Blood” and the second season premiere of the criminally underrated “Hung.”

As rumors of a possible “Entourage” movie continue to make their way around Hollywood, both executive producer Mark Wahlberg and star Jeremy Piven have confirmed that there will probably only be one more season of the show after this year. That means that Season Seven is even more important than ever, as it’s guaranteed to play a major role in setting up whatever series finale the writers have in mind. For more on the upcoming season, read our preview over on Premium Hollywood, and then follow along on our Entourage Blog throughout the course of the season. And if that’s still not enough for you, be sure to visit our Entourage Fan Hub for more related content.

Sunday, June 27th at 10:30. Be there or Ari Gold will come looking for you.

  

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