12 monkeys – season 2

In less than two weeks, one of my favorite shows returns. April 18 marks the return of 12 Monkeys on Syfy.That’s a Monday night, of course. It seems like a lot of my favorite shows are on Mondays (Better Call Saul, Gotham, and Scorpion). It’s looking like somebody’s gonna have to get bumped and streamed at a later date. I know, First World problems, right?

The trailer for season 2 looks promising.

Tom Noonan – bringing the awesome

PallidMan

Tonight at 9, I’ll be where I’ve been every Friday night for the last couple months: glued to my TV watching 12 Monkeys on Syfy. Rumor has it that Tom Noonan will be returning tonight as a villain referred to as the Pallid Man. You can’t have a good show without a good villain, and Noonan can really rock the villainous roles. I’ve been a fan of his since he played serial killer Francis Dollarhyde in Michael Mann’s Manhunter.

Fans of Hell on Wheels will recognize Noonan as Nathaniel Cole, the preacher with a dark past. Cole tries to make peace between the local Native American tribes and the railroad workers who are encroaching on their territory. He also tried to steer series protagonist Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) away from his quest to avenge the deaths of his wife and son. When Bohannon is finally willing to listen to what the preacher has to say, he’s just a bit too late. You see, the Reverend Cole has been thwarted in his efforts to prevent a war between the whites and Native Americans. Certain elements in the Army have decided it’s going to happen regardless. So Cole reacts the way he would have before he found God: with violence. Enter Cullen Bohannon, seeking guidance only moments after Cole has gone off the rails (see what I did there, a little railroad humor for you) and decapitated one of the Army officers. Check out this scene:

Damn, that scene blows me away every time I see it. Tom Noonan is amazing. And Anson Mount really kicks ass in this scene too. His expression is priceless. Definitely some amazing acting.

If you haven’t been watching 12 Monkeys, there are three episodes left in the season. There’s still time to get caught up by watching the previous episodes on the Syfy website, or Syfy On-Demand. And Hell on Wheels is also worth seeing. The first two seasons are available for streaming on Netflix. As for me, I still have to get caught up on FX’s The Americans, I’m three episodes behind on that. Too much TV, too little time.

review: 12 monkeys – the series

12Monkeys

[Warning: Contains spoilers for the 1995 movie 12 Monkeys] Last fall, I wrote a post about the Syfy TV series based on the movie 12 Monkeys. After seeing the trailer, I was cautiously optimistic. Well, a couple weeks back, I binge-watched the first few episodes on Syfy On Demand. Six episodes in, I’ve been pretty happy with this show.

Turning a movie into a weekly series is always problematic, especially when the movie ends like 12 Monkeys. I mean, the main antagonist turns out to be a red herring, the protagonist dies, and the biological apocalypse he was trying to prevent happens as scheduled. Not much room to continue the story next week.

Fortunately, the writers have managed to find an interesting way to stretch out the story line by beefing up the mystery that Cole (played by Aaron Stanford in the series, Bruce Willis in the movie) has to solve in order to prevent the plague that will kill most of the world’s population. They’re also playing some with alternate timelines, which is cool. As long as they don’t cross the line into Bill and Ted territory.

One reservation I had about the show involved the casting of my favorite character from the movie. As I wrote previously:

I noticed that Brad Pitt’s character — my favorite in the movie — has been changed into a female. Having a raving paranoid-schizophrenic character portrayed by a gal who looks like a fashion model isn’t promising.

Well pass the hot sauce. The ketchup. Maybe some mustard (the spicy brown stuff, not the yellow). Time to eat my words. Jennifer Goines (Pitt’s character in the movie was named Jeffrey) is easily the most interesting character in 12 Monkeys. Actress Emily Hampshire manages to give Jennifer the right mix of vulnerability and unpredictable menace that I’m still not sure whether she is victim or villain. Or maybe a combination of both.

EmilyHampshire

The rest of the cast is pretty solid too. Aaron Stanford plays the time-traveling Cole. Amanda Schull plays the present-day virologist assisting Cole in his mission to avert the plague. Kirk Acevedo plays Ramse, Cole’s buddy in 2043. He acts as the moral compass of the group, being the only one to ask if they really have any business messing with history. The principal antagonist is played by the great character actor Tom Noonan. Fans of AMC’s Hell on Wheels will remember his as Reverend Nathaniel Cole, the preacher with a dark past.

All in all, 12 Monkeys is an entertaining show. I’m hoping Syfy will give it a chance to find an audience. The cable networks are usually a little better about that than their broadcast counterparts, so I guess there is always hope for a season 2.

12 Monkeys airs at 9 PM on the Syfy network. You can check out the show’s official website here.

Cast members on Twitter:

Aaron Stanford

Amanda Schull

Emily Hampshire

Kirk Acevedo

12 monkeys – the series

In the comments from last week’s Friday Movie Quote, my friend Mike informed me that the movie 12 Monkeys is being adapted into a TV series for SyFy. As always, I’m really skeptical about remakes, reboots, and “re-imaginings.” I checked into the show. Most of the cast is unfamiliar, which is okay. But I noticed that Brad Pitt’s character — my favorite in the movie — has been changed into a female. Having a raving paranoid-schizophrenic character portrayed by a gal who looks like a fashion model isn’t promising. But, based on the trailer, that character doesn’t look to fill the same role in the series as in the movie. This makes sense, considering the way things turned out in the movie. And speaking of trailers, this one makes the show look like it has serious potential. I’ll definitely be giving it a go when it hits the airwaves.