The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Lennie James (“Low Winter Sun”)

Lennie James is a familiar face to fans of cult and comic-book-inspired TV series, having been a regular in “Jericho” and guesting on “Human Target” and “The Walking Dead,” but now he’s trying his hand at an American cop drama, starring in AMC’s “Low Winter Sun.” James’s career has also featured several notable film roles as well, and he was kind enough to chat about a few of those, too, most notably reflecting on the passing of his “Snatch” co-star Dennis Farina. First, though, we dove into discussion about how he came by his current gig, the difference between how his character’s written and how he plays the part, and his fondness for AMC’s way with surprises.

8c51989d-3178-743c-4d64-ee0b2a5ae05d_Joe2

Bullz-Eye: So were you actively looking for a series gig, or did “Low Winter Sun” just kind of fall into your lap?

Lennie James: Um…I’m trying to remember how it went around! I think it was… I’d gone home to Britain to do a television series over there, and then when I got back, “Low Winter Sun” was… [Hesitates.] Oh, that’s actually what happened. I was just about to lie to you. I’ll tell you the truth now.

BE: The truth is always preferable when I can get it.

LJ: Yeah! Well, I shot a pilot that didn’t go, and the script for “Low Winter Sun” kind of came in, and…it was very conventional: I read it, I liked it, and then went and met on it, and it happened.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

The Light from the TV Shows: 11 Series (give or take) That Should’ve Survived 2011

As 2011 rapidly winds to a close, it’s easy to fall back on lists as a way to fill columns – indeed, as a TV critic, it’s my God-given right – but HBO’s announcement this week that it was cleaning house and cancelling “Hung,” “Bored to Death,” and “How to Make It in America” served to convince me that I needed to discuss a number of now-defunct series that lost their bid for continued existence during the course of this year. I’m not talking about shows like “Friday Night Lights,” which had an end-game in sight and wrapped on their own terms. I’m talking about series that effectively had the rug ripped out from under their feet. Believe me, there were a bunch…and I’m still kind of pissed about quite a few of them.

11. Medium (CBS)


After seven seasons on the air and surviving a switch between networks (from NBC to CBS), it’s hard to say that “Medium” didn’t live a good, long life. With that said, however, the show had continued to find new ways to keep things interesting, and with the trio of DuBois daughters growing up and getting their own storylines almost as often as their mom. As such, Allison, Joe, and the gang could’ve easily kept going for another few seasons without any complaints from me.

10. Outsourced (NBC)


Am I going to try to defend my enjoyment of this show? No, I am not, because there’s no point in wasting your time or mine. You may not have thought it was very funny, and if you didn’t, that would be your right. I, however, did. And I still miss it.

9. Law & Order: Los Angeles (NBC)


There’s nothing I dislike more than a series that doesn’t know when to leave good enough alone, and for my part, I don’t know why they felt the need to change the formula and kick Skeet Ulrich‘s character to the curb. Sorry, did I say “curb”? I meant “grave,” of course. Not that there’s anything wrong with giving an actor of Alfred Molina’s caliber a more substantial role, but to do so in midseason can’t have pleased the existing viewership very much. Truth be told, I’d rather they’d just kept the original “Law & Order” around, but in its absence, this was a nice substitute, and it sucks that it never had a chance to really spread its wings.

8. The Event (NBC) / V (ABC)


When it comes to casualties in the alien-invasion field, I can accept the cancellation of “V” a bit more than that of “The Event,” if only because it was a minor surprise that it made it to a second season in the first place. And if I’m to be honest, I’m not really surprised that NBC couldn’t be bothered to give “The Event” a shot at a sophomore year, since they probably figured it’d only let them down the way “Heroes” did. But whereas “Heroes” really dropped the ball in its second year, I felt like “The Event” had a better chance of upping the ante. Guess I’ll never know for sure.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

The Light from the TV Shows: “Hung” is still worth hanging onto

“Hung” is a series that, not unlike a particular physical attribute of its lead character, caught my eye immediately. The reason it did so, however, was less because of the apparent anaconda residing in the trousers of Ray Drecker, played by Thomas Jane, and more because of the people behind the scenes.

Now in its third season on HBO, “Hung” was created by Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson. I was well familiar with Lipkin’s name from his previous small-screen creation, “The Riches,” which lasted for an all-too-short two seasons on FX. As such, I would’ve followed him anywhere his next project might have taken him…and when I discovered that it revolved around a well-endowed high school baseball coach who turns to prostitution as a way of making ends meet, I’d have to say that I wasn’t entirely surprised that it took him to a premium cable network.

Alas, as is often the case in the life of a TV critic, there never seem to be enough hours in the day to keep up with every series you’d like to watch, and although I was decidedly curious to see how a concept such as this might play as a series, I wasn’t really able to give it a good look until Season 1 made its DVD debut. Unsurprisingly, those first ten episodes proved highly entertaining, making it easy as pie to dole out a four-star review while musing on the conceptual (if not necessarily tonal) similarities between “Hung” and “Breaking Bad,” both focusing on what a father is willing to do to make ends meet for his family. Sadly, though, I wasn’t nearly as charmed by the goings-on in Season 2, and by the end of those ten episodes, I’d reached a point where I was left wondering whether or not it was going to worth the time and effort to follow the series into its third season.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts