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TV Review: House Of Cards 5.1 “Chapter 53”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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House of Cards Season 5 Logo

House of Cards
Season 5 Episode 1: “Chapter 53
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Written by Frank Pugliese
Created by Beau Willimon
Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Paul Sparks, Joel Kinnaman, Neve Campbell, Boris McGiver, Jayne Atkinson, Damian Young
Netflix
Air Date: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Somewhere over the past year the line between television drama and reality blurred. There is a President who talks down to people, commit heinous acts of violence and depravity, we have issues with the Russians, and we live in a perpetual state of fear from terrorist cells worldwide… quick, am I talking about America 2017 or Season 4 of House of Cards? A show that cuts this close to reality is not going to be shy with the current scope of American politics, and I expect this will be a unique and interesting season for Netflix’s award winning political thriller. I wait with baited breath to see how far the writers will push the boundaries.

Spoilers below.

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‘House Of Cards’ Season 5 Trailer: Frank Underwood Puts A Dark Twist On The Pledge Of Allegiance
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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House of Cards season 5

As much as I’d like to avoid being political on posts, it’s hard not to draw wild parallels between the 2016 Presidential campaigns and what’s going on with Netflix’s House Of Cards. A new trailer for the upcoming fifth season highly acclaimed Netflix original series just dropped, and despite it taking place in a fictional world, one has to imagine that there are at least some similarities to what happened in the months leading up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

There’s the charts, the maps, the scandals, and the terrifying notion that someone not only thinks lowly of the people of a nation, but also that he is planning to rule it for the foreseeable future. Check out the latest trailer for House Of Cards below. Oh, and of course minor spoilers will follow.

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Tom Hardy’s ‘Taboo’ Renewed For Season 2!
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo 106 Header

Yesterday as I sat watching TV, I felt a void. That void was left by Tom Hardy’s James Keziah Delaney, last seen sailing off with his League of the Damned towards the US on the season finale of Taboo. The FX series, a passion project for Hardy, was one of the best new shows on television in the early stages of 2017. The short 8-episode run ended February 28th. Good news for fans of the series though, as BBC One and FX have ordered a second season.

More below.

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TV Review: Taboo 1.8 “Episode 8” (Finale)
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo 108 Header

Taboo
Episode 1.8 “Episode 8”
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Anders Engstrom
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: February 28th, 2017

“I witnessed and participated in darkness you cannot perceive.”

Last week, on the penultimate episode of FX’s Taboo, James Delaney (Tom Hardy) saw his plans hit an apparent snag. All of his plans were divulged to the East India Company by Helga (Franke Potente) as revenge, since she believes he killed her daughter Winter (Ruby-May Martinwood). James made a plan involving Godfrey (Edward Hogg), his man inside the E.I.C. He’s finally captured by agents of the crown and tortured in all sorts of nasty ways. He will remain steadfast in silence unless he gets a face to face with Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce) of the Company. Strange was beside himself thinking he’s won, but it’s never over with James Delaney. Tonight was the explosive finale of Taboo, FX’s epic limited series.

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: Taboo 1.7 “Episode 7”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo 107 Header

Taboo
Episode 1.7 “Episode 7”
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Anders Engstrom
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: February 21st, 2017

Last week on FX’s Taboo, we went off the deep end. James Delaney (Tom Hardy) is trying desperately to get out of 1814 London with with a supply of gunpowder, so he can sail to Nootka Sound and trade with the Chinese. Standing in his way is greedy American Dumbarton (Michael Kelly), who blackmails him for his entire payload of powder. Add to this, what he truly desires more than anything is his half sister Zilpha (Oona Chaplin). She, in the best scene in the entire series, dispatched of her abusive husband Thorne (Jefferson Hall), and went to James only for him to nearly strangle her in a bizarre sexual encounter, that was interrupted by visions of his native mother. His visions take an even worse turn when a drunken stumbling Delaney wakes up next to the dead body of Winter (Ruby-May Martinwood), the daughter of Helga (Franka Potente) who was a member of his “League of the Damned” but now may prove his biggest threat. Helga, the East India Company, the Americans, and the Crown… all are after James Delaney as we enter the penultimate episode of Taboo.

Spoilers for this week’s episode of Taboo below:

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TV Review: Taboo 1.6 “Episode 6”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo 106 Header

Taboo
Episode 1.6 “Episode 6”
Written by Chips Hardy & Steven Knight
Directed by Anders Engstrom
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: February 14th, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

Last week on FX’s Taboo, everyone’s plans had a wrench thrown in them. James Delaney (Tom Hardy) had a chemist mixing gunpowder to use as a trade chip into China. But he is now being blackmailed by American doctor Dumbarton (Michael Kelly), and all the gunpowder must go to him. This required chemist Cholmondeley (Tom Hollander) to add an explosive chemical to the mixture, something he was not too keen on doing. Adding to this issue, was Delaney’s estranged young son helping to prepare the powder. At the same time the East India Company and their leader Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce) were having an inquiry opened into the sinking of a ship where over 200 slaves drown; a ship that Delaney may have been on. And perhaps the root of all Delaney’s unrest was Zilpha (Oona Chaplin), his half sister and beloved, who was brutally beaten and raped by her husband Thorne (Jefferson Hall) after he found out about their secret tryst.

Spoilers for this week’s episode of Taboo below:

...continue reading »
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TV Review: Taboo 1.5 “Episode 5”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo 105 Header

Taboo
Episode 1.5 “Episode 5”
Written by Steven Knight & Ben Hervey
Directed by Anders Engstrom
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: February 7th, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

Last week’s episode of Taboo on FX was the best of the season thus far. James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) continues his war against the East India Company by launching an assault on their stockpiles of raw materials. Since no one will sell Delaney gunpowder to use as trade goods with the Natives in America, he will make his own with the help of chemist Cholmondeley (Tom Hollander). Delaney was at a debaucherous gala at the time of the murderous robbery, trying to cut more and more backdoor deals, and woo his half sister Zilpha (Oona Chaplin) to run away with him. This doesn’t sit well with her husband Thorne (Jefferson Hall), who at last call challenged Delaney to a duel… to the death!

More below.

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TV Review: Taboo 1.4 “Episode 4”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo 104 Header1

Taboo
Episode 1.4 “Episode 4”
Written by Steven Knight & Emily Ballou
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: January 31st, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

Tom Hardy’s passion project, Taboo entered its 4th episode Tuesday night. Through its 1st three episodes, Taboo certainly created a unique world, a dark and dirty 1814 London full of interesting characters, sordid pasts, and intriguing and devious motivations. But while the show is rich with potential, there has been something missing. I’ve been reluctant to use the word “boring” in my review because as a history teacher by day, I am totally intrigued by the period and pacing. However I am not blinded to the reality of how slow paced and convoluted the intertwining plots are. After all, trade disputes between 19th century shipping companies is not everyone’s cup of tea. Add to that, that the show is very long, 80+ minutes an episode and has yet to live up to the name, “Taboo”, especially on the network (FX) known for crossing the line to the extremes in shows like American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy.

James Keziah Delaney escaped an assassination attempt, and ensured another will not happen. He has had papers drawn that give his bequeathed assets, namely Nootka Sound to the Americans if he perished; much to the dismay of the East India Company and Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce). He is caught between issues with his half sister, and former lover Zilpha (Oona Chaplin), and his father’s estranged new wife, actress Lorna Bow (Jessie Buckley).

Spoilers below.

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TV Review: Taboo 1.3 “Episode 3”
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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FX's Taboo Starring Tom Hardy

Taboo
Episode 1.3 “Episode 3”
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: January 24th, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) is at war with the British East India Company over a small piece of land between Canada and the United States. A trade war between competing shipping companies doesn’t seem like the most intense of topics for a show, especially on the FX network, noted for its risky hard-hitting series like American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy. But there is much more than meets the eye here. There are assassination attempts, love triangles, battles over inheritance, and the issue of Delaney’s mysterious past. He was thought dead, but is very much alive and full of visions from his journeys throughout Africa and maybe his Native American mother. We left Delaney off, having been wounded while surviving an attacker’s blade, while a strange actress showed up to contest his claims to his deceased father’s company.

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TV Review: Taboo 1.2
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Taboo Episode 1.2 FX TV series

Taboo
Episode 1.2
Written by Steven Knight
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, David Hayman, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce, Jefferson Hall, Franka Potente, David Hayman
FX
Air date: January 17, 2017

Spoilers below for the FX series Taboo:

Last week we were introduced to the latest bizarre series from FX, a series years in the making for star and co creator Tom Hardy called Taboo. Hardy plays James Keziah Delaney, who was thought dead, drowned en route to Africa. Unfortunately for those who look to profit from his father’s death, Delaney is very much alive and the sole inheritor of his father’s trading empire and possession of a crucial piece of land, Nootka Sound, located between British-controlled Canada and the United States. Being that this is 1814 and the War of 1812 is entering its final stretch, this land is important, especially to the British East India Company and its head, Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce), who tries unsuccessfully to buy the land from Delaney. Delaney has other ideas, some of which include finding out who poisoned his father, and also a possible rekindling of things with his half-sister Zilpha (Oona Chaplin).

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