14 November, 2012

Furycast 56 - Strahovski vs Torv

VladyGG and HGF talk about the most recent sex scandals; FRINGE; DEXTER, including Yvonne Strahovski's decision to not go nude; FIREFLY; STAR WARS; REVOLUTION; RED DAWN; C. Thomas Howell; TWILIGHT and Kristen Stewart's naked sex time in ON THE ROAD; and various other things and sub-discussions.

This could be the best podcast I've ever done... with VladyGG.

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  1. This was a great podcast, albeit very long! I listened to it attently, it was super interesting. You guys are funny. May I ask you what is the music that plays in the background while you are talking (not the song you played in the end but the music that went on in the background all along)?
    I like the way you analyze Anna Torv's and Yvonne Strahovsky's acting in Fringe and Dexter... I completely agree with everything you've said.
    At the moment, Yvonne is more constant/more stable actress; Anna really was great in season 3 on Fringe but at the moment her acting skills surprisingly plummeted... I don't know if that has to do with the script the writers hand out to the actors... I hope she'll get to do something soon or somehow move the plot forward. In the latest episode, luckily, she was the one who found the radio and there was that little fight with the Observer... Not bad... At least for a moment, she stopped just "tagging along" with the rest of the Fringe division.
    Josh on the other hand, is doing a solid job in season 5... He is not the A class actor but he is doing fine and I think he has improved his performance over the seasons... I have never seen Joshua Jackson in some other TV show, this is the first time I'm watching him on TV screen and I remember I didn't like his acting in S1 and S2... Later it became better... I can't really explain that...
    I love Fringe, I haven't missed and episode yet, but its "stalling" has started to irritate me... Since the end of season 3, they had like... 1 great episode and 4 meh episodes, then one OK episode, 3 bad episodes and so on... And every episode is like: 35-40 minutes of slow pacing and then a huge cliffhanger in the last 30 seconds that gets you all hyped for the next episode; but in the following episode the slow pace continues... I mean, there are only 7 episodes until the end! Will they wrap this up properly? :(
    I love Isaac Sirko on Dexter, I can't wait to see what happens next. Unlike Fringe which has had its ups and downs, Dexter has managed to maintain steady quality during 7 years... Each season is great and intriguing in its own way and it just leaves you wanting for more...

    1. The music up until we started talking about RED DAWN was all from season 3 of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. So, Bear McCreary's music. The track that starts the podcast is All Along the Watchtower with Brendan McCreary on vocals. Once we started talking about RED DAWN, I played music from the 80s movie by the same name.

      And I disagree with you about DEXTER. As disappointed as I've been with FRINGE the past season and some, I had quit DEXTER (until Yvonne joined the show) due to its terrible writing last season.

    2. Thanks, I'll search for that music!
      I liked all seasons of DEXTER so far! Sure, there've been some ups and downs during all seasons but not as many as in FRINGE last year... I wonder if they'll renew the show for eighth season...

    3. DEXTER was HORRIFIC last season... and not in a good way.


      DEXTER is done after next season. It's already been decided.

    4. Thanks for the info! I'll be sad when it's over. :(


  2. I have never been a fan of Anna Torv, not even in S3. Mind you, I'm not saying she was bad, because I agree that she was much better, when she played brainwashed Olivia. The thing is that I don't think it was completely due to her stepping up her game, but that the writing played up to her strengths: sadness, hurt and confusion. Those have been a constant throughout the series, when an episode has been dedicated to her childhood traumas, like Jacksonville, I found her good enough, because that was the moment she had to sell those emotions. For me it's not so much that she was good in S3 and not in other seasons, but that the writing and the acting came together for the character in that particular arc. Other than the first 15 or so episodes of S1, where she was downright terrible, she has always been adequate, not more.

    This season she has been letdown by the writing, because she has to be the one with a cool head, while the Bishops lose their minds. I think they've done more harm than good by making of her such an aloof mother. I can buy her lack of human emotion in her reaction to her daughter's death, because her relationship with adult Etta was rather distant and apparently she didn't enjoy little Etta that much either by her own admission. This is where the writers made a big mistake. Olivia has always been great with children, warm and loving. Why did she fail so much with her daughter? Why did she suffer more with the deaths of her boyfriend or Charlie?

    I don't like to judge too harshly by just one show, so I checked some of her other work. Still adequate and nothing more. To be honest, my biggest problem with her is not that she's more or less good, but how lifeless she is. At no point ever, be it Fringe or elsewhere, have I found anything exciting or passionate about the characters she plays. Exciting stuff happens to Olivia, which was one of the strengths of early S3, but she, as a character, is exceedingly bland.

    I haven't seen enough of Yvonne Strahovski to judge her better or worse than Torv acting-wise. I watched one or two episodes of Chuck way back when and a few assorted videos (Dexter) on Youtube. She's not bad at all, I like her subtleties and she has very expressive eyes. The thing that strikes me the most is her spark, how full of life she seems. I think maybe that's the main difference between her and Torv. She's also extremely hot and that never hurts.

    1. Also, when you see them in interviews, Yvonne is like the Energizer Bunny while Anna is like the sleepy-time bunny. That probably has something to do with general levels of energy at any time during the day. ;)

    2. Torv is nice, but out of the Fringe cast, she never has anything interesting to say. You can notice it at conventions or interviews. She's not a thinker, charismatic or funny as the rest of the cast or Yvonne can be. There is nothing wrong with that, but her wet blanket personality pours into her roles. I don't think she's good lead actress material. If she had been the sole main character, Fringe wouldn't have survived its first season.

      Thankfully the TPTB were smart and changed the focus to Walter, while they reworked the character of Olivia. If you compare Olivia in the first part of S1 and S2 onwards, it's like watching 2 completely different characters. S1 Olivia was more sexualized: she had an affair with her partner, she flirted with Peter, she almost had an affair with an ex, she was spunky or supposed to be, because Torv's acting said bratty and unpleasant instead. S2 changed that, they wrote Olivia as broken and sad. This makeover worked, because it played to Torv's strengths.

      I must have watched the worst episodes of Chuck, because I don't remember the plot and nobody left a durable impression on me, but holy hell, the clips I've seen of Yvonne in Dexter! That woman is electrifying!

    3. Okay, THIS sort of criticism of Torv is just... too much. She's more introverted than the rest of the cast. So what? I didn't realize introversion was a crime, or that it necessarily bleeds into roles you play. (If one's offscreen personality dictates how one acts, then John Noble must be a deeply damaged insane person? Huh?)

      I watch performers to see them perform. I don't watch them to see how clever or talky they are in interviews.

    4. I watch performs to see them perform as well... and it would be nice if Torv performed better recently.

  3. Anna Torv has been both forgettable and VERY good on Fringe. About Season 1, the less said the better - none of this "Oh, her character was supposed to be repressed" - no, she just sucked. But then, she got comfortable in the role. Her best stuff was during Season 2-3 when she could play both a tortured, confused Olivia and her cheerful counterpart, Bolivia. During Season 4, Bolivia was a lot more watchable than Olivia... but I couldn't help noticing that Torv's acting for both characters got very chirpy and just sort of annoying. I hate to say this but I don't think Torv is terribly comfortable acting alongside *anyone* except maybe John Noble. This season, Olivia does not get to go off on her own because it's a fight for freedom and all that and the team really does have to stay together and interact with each other. Olivia actually has to have dialogue with other characters about situations that involve them all (not just her).

    Her Bolivia is often a lovely creation... but Olivia has always been kind of a wet rag. Albeit, a wet rag put into compelling situations sometimes which Torv rose to the occasion nicely for.

    As for the whining about her not getting enough screen time this season (!) - oh, don't get me started. The only people whining about that are the Anna Torv groupies who think the show is all about Olivia (I've started to call them "Dunhamasses" because they are so annoying).

    This is her first major role and she's been asked to do a lot, even some things no actress should ever be asked to do (imitate Leonard Nimoy?? so unfair), and sometimes has done very very well. But, she isn't exactly the most outgoing screen presence. I suggest you track down the "College Humor" video (or was it Funny or Die? Can't remember) where she played a manipulative cop. Hilarious and engaging.

  4. I think Anna Torv is a decent actress most of the time. Not worthy of an Emmy but good enough for me. I can understand the flack she may receive for season 1, 2, 4 or 5 but she does deserve the credit for her work on season 3. Season 3 was just all kinds of awesome. I was agreeing a lot with your friend VladyGG when he was talking about season 5 (sadly).
    Yvonne Strahovski rocks. No doubt about that.

    Why would you watch the Twilight movies and that too for Kristen Stewart?

    1. I watched TWILIGHT first because I made an agreement with a former podcaster at the time where I would watch those movies and she would watch something else.

      Later, I watched them because the girl I was fucking liked them.

      But I have no such motivations now. :)

    2. She WAS worthy of an Emmy in Season 3.

      I think we are talking about "quality of material" vs. "quality of performance." For example, I love John Noble but don't think he's been Emmyworthy since Season 3, despite the fact his performance is always engaging and interesting. Simply because he just hasn't had great material since then.

      With Torv, her material may or may not be compelling now, but I am just... not understanding some of her choices lately. It has nothing to do with her "not being kickass enough" or whatever, it's just sometimes I feel like, "Why are you reading your lines in that singsong, forced way?" It just doesn't strike the right tone. And it was so jarring in that otherwise lovely scene where she and Peter watched Etta's hologram. The difference couldn't have been more stark, with Joshua Jackson pitch perfect in his grief and her... just... not.

      To be fair to Anna Torv, she is doing the whole thing in not her native accent. That's got to be tough.

    3. Well, we agree there, KJ. I just don't understand what the writers are doing with her character, nor why the actor is making many of the delivery choices she has.

      I don't buy the "not in her native accent" excuse. She is an actor. She trains for this. And she has been speaking in that accent for how many years now? Plus, she didn't have problems with it in season 3.

    4. I understand what the writers are doing with her character because I have some inside info on what's coming up. But her performance has just been hitting too many false notes for me lately.

    5. KJ, you'll have to explain to me what was wrong with Anna's delivery in that lovely scene watching Etta's hologram? Anna was just fine there.

  5. This season is showing Torv's/Olivia's fans true colors more than ever. At least some of them. I remember when fans wanted Peter to be part of the story, to be as front and center as Walter and Olivia and the response they got was "Shut up and enjoy the show!". Now that he's finally getting some of the spotlight and doing an amazing job, her fans are getting downright hostile against Joshua Jackson and the character he plays. It's sickening.

    Where is the writing for Olivia, her fans ask? Are you fucking kidding me? The second episode was almost completely devoted to her and her daughter, as was the third episode. Peter only got some of the spotlight last week and it was shared with Olivia. Today it was about Walter with a side of Peter and Olivia. She has been kicking ass since the season premiere, going out on missions and shooting baddies. She's as front and center as ever, just in a more reflective way.

    Read more tv spoilers at: http://www.tvfanatic.com/2012/11/fringe-review-havent-we-been-here-before/comments-2.html#ixzz2CEOoaIQT

    1. At this late stage, it isn't worth the effort to even laugh at such a distorted view of what the show is about (ie "all about Olivia"). Fringe fans seem to come in two flavors... either they're Olivia fanatics or they see the show as an ensemble show.

      I'm pleased Joshua Jackson is finally getting a juicy turn, and he's doing a great job. In many ways Season 5 has been awful, but the paradox is, this Peter turn is among the best and most well-judged storylines they've ever had on the series IMHO (at least, so far).

      The writers have now done right by all three of the main characters, as far as I'm concerned. I am content.

    2. I have always tried to see Noble, Jackson and Torv as a dynamic trio and I would always praise their different qualities, but Anna is very bad this season (or at least the writing is...) John Noble is probably the best of the three, and while Joshua Jackson has been just OK in S1 and S2, he became quite solid and fine actor in the season to follow. At the moment he is doing a very good job... Anna nailed S3 but she hasn't really convinced me since...
      Is it writing or something else, I can't quite put my finger on it...

    3. To me, it just seems like she isn't comfortable and natural any more. There is this weird tension/forcedness to her line deliveries that takes me outside of her scenes. I wish she would just relax.

      Anna was good long before Season 3; I'm thinking of that great scene at the end of Season 1 where she confronted Walter in the pastry shop.

  6. to AnonymousNovember 14, 2012 2:03 PM
    "Okay, THIS sort of criticism of Torv is just... too much"


    WTF, Are you fucking serious? Did you ever go to fringebloggers aka annatorvbloggers.
    Every fucking week they bash, insult, laugh at the peter character. They also insult Joshua Jackson on weekly basis.
    The moderator of that site is known as a big anna torv fan, so when you start to defend peter/joshua, he deletes your account!!


  7. My problem with Anna Torv is the "chemistry part".

    Joshua jackson has chemistry with EVERYBODY on Fringe. Gorgina Haig, John noble, Seth Gable,...even guest stars.

    Anna Torv: non! remember when they tryed to force/sell us the mother relationship past season with Nina? Yeah, me neither.

    Second, i dont like Anna Torv interviews. She is not that smart as Joshua or John. Her answers are always so vague and she giggles a lot in interviews like a dumb blonde, everytime she has difficulties with answering questions.

    I'm convinced that Anna is like her Olivia character in real life. Even Joshua Jackson said many times, that Anna is shy, quiet and serious.

    The show would have never survived, without John or Joshua.

    Unless, of course your uncle ownes Fox......

    1. Hmmmm... I've noticed the chemistry part too... Moreover, I got an impression that Josh and Anna don't get along in real life (I am not certain about this but at some Comic Cons they looked pretty distant and strange) so maybe this is why there are fewer Polivia scenes with them... Then again, maybe that has nothing to do with anything.
      Ana appears to have difficulty with showing strong emotions... She probably is quite introverted and reserved in her real life... Even though her character in real life is not so important for the show but her acting has become increasingly worse since the end of Season 3 (in which she rocked!).
      It's true that she doesn't answer her questions coherently... She speaks only briefly and it always seems that she doesn't know what to say when they ask her questions on Comic-cons or in interviews... I admit that she is strikingly beautiful but that's not nearly enough to be a female lead on the show...
      I hope the writers will give her better material as we are nearing the end of 5th season because I don't like the way her character is right now...

  8. A fan of the show that has watched a huge amount of filming, says that Josh and Anna get along very well. They both are polar opposite in personalities and I think that could have alot to do with it. I've found that their chemistry comes and goes. I could see it in the first part of season 3 with Peter and Bolivia. I thought their chemistry has been alot better in seasons 4 and 5. I loved scenes of them in season 1 too, especially when Peter is playing the piano and the card scene in the bar.

    I have a love/hate kind of relationship with Anna. At times like in season 3 I thought she was terrific and at the end of season 2 as well. Other times she drives me nuts. In some cases I think it is the material and I really believe it hurt her because she was asked to do too many different versions of Olivia/Bolvia, plus there was the William Bell thing as well.

    Love that Peter has an actual storyline that will play out for him and we get to see him reacting to it. Normally his storylines are about how Walter and Olivia react to him and we see their reactions and development and get no insights for him. So, a good change up finally for him this season 5.

    Lastly love Yvonne. I haven't seen alot of her but what I have seen always really enjoyed.

    1. That William Bell thing was ridiculous. I felt bad for her when she was required to do that. ("Hey, we can't actually get Leonard Nimoy back, so how about YOU impersonate him?")

      Not Fringe's finest hour.

  9. Yvonne Strahovski was absolutely BRILLIANT in Sunday night's episode and really impressed me. Obviously the crying scene was phenomenal, but I though her other scenes were just as impressive. She was flat out creepy and chilling during this episode. As for the Emmys, she is eligible to submit in the guest actress category, so she really only needs one good episode to get a nomination. But the Emmy's are usually more about name recognition than anything else (how else could Ellen Burstyn get nominated for a 14 second performance?)

    I've enjoyed the slow development of Hannah's character. In many ways, her arch has been very similar to Brian's (Rudy) in season 1. In his first few episodes, he was pretty underdeveloped and seemed like he was just going to be a simple love interest for Deb. His true colors didn't show up until the last few episodes of the season. Based on what the Dexter producers and Jennifer Carpenter have said, Yvonne is going to be brilliant during the remainder of the season. (Carpenter called Yvonne a "brilliant actress.")

    What has impressed me the most is how vastly different Yvonne is playing this role than she played Sarah Walker. Her expressions, mannerisms, line delivery, and even her walk are different in this role. Most actors are only capable of playing one role (or variations of one role). But Yvonne has been different in everything I've seen.

    I give Yvonne mad props for taking a risk with this role (as well as tackling a very challenging role in Broadway's Golden Boy). She could just coast on her great looks and get typecast as a hot action star, but she's taking risks. Good for her!

    1. I saw Yvonne last night on Broadway. She can do anything. The Golden Boy role is indeed challenging and she is on stage a LOT.

      The performance I saw was a preview and I don't know what kind of reviews it will get when it officially opens. Not everyone in the cast is as good as she is and they do have to work on some pacing issues to speed the play up. It was nearly three hours long including two 10-minute intermissions.

      Despite that, I would say it's worth seeing Yvonne perform live.

    2. That sounds great! I am seeing the play in December, so hopefully the pacing issues will be resolved by then. I'm a big fan of Tony Shalhoub too, so I can't wait to see this play.

      Yvonne's career moves post Chuck have been brilliant. Many Chuck fans want her to keep playing Sarah Walker type roles (campaigning for her to play Ms. Marvel in the Avengers 2, or hoping she's cast in Joss Whedon's S.H.I.E.L.D. series), but she's really branching out. It is very hard for someone with Yvonne's looks to avoid typecasting, but she's done it.

      I expect Yvonne to get some serious movie offers in the coming months.

    3. Tony Shalhoub is great too. There are some really fine performances in the large cast. I haven't been to many previews before. I usually go after the play opens officially. I know it's not fair to do a full review as if it's a completed production. They do previews for a reason.

      I know what you mean by fans wanting to see actors repeat the same kinds of roles. They do it for Zac, too. There was a nerd-like role in the S.H.I.E.L.D thing that some people were pushing him for.

    4. Ever since Yvonne replaced her management team, her career's been on the rise.

    5. Who was her previous manager and who's her new management team?

    6. I didn't know she replaced her management team. That's a good sign:D I think Yvonne has the potential to be a huge star. She has the looks, charisma and talent to go far. If she can get to #23 on the imdb from being on Dexter, imagine how popular she'd be if enough people actually saw her:D

    7. Out of curiosity, I checked Google trends for Yvonne's name and, according to them, search volume is the highest it has every been.

  10. On the podcast, you mentioned the Dexter fans who detest all of Dexter's "love interests" on the show. Outside the rabidly pro-Debster Dexter Daily and the usual goons on imdb, the reception to Yvonne has been overwhelmingly positive

    Some evidence to back up my claims:

    -Not one negative comment has been posted on Yvonne's imdb message board (Julia Stiles wasn't so lucky!)

    -I've been searching "Strahovski" on twitter the last 3 weeks, and the comments have been about 98% positive.

    -The ratings for You Tube videos with Hannah have been exceedingly high.

    There will always be that portion of the audience who believes Dexter shouldn't have ANY love interest and think he's no more than a cold hearted killer. But they obviously haven't been paying attention to his character development over the years.

    1. Also, I don't think Hannah's character should really be considered a true "love interest." She is more of an antagonist actually.

    2. I was sure I said "DEXTER fan sites".

      And I don't see how Hannah isn't a love interest. Dexter is even questioning whether he's in love.

    3. Okay, my bad on the Dexter fan sites thing. Dexter Daily seems to be a little out of the norm though, because I didn't think the Dexter fans were in favor of the Dexter/Deb romantic angle. I actually stopped going there after they slammed Jennifer Carpenter for not being pro Debster (there were over 300 replies to her comment).

      As for Hannah, she is shaping up the be a combination love interest and antagonist. I think Hannah will try to kill Deb before the season is over.

  11. Hey guys! Sorry it took me so long to respond. Im having some... “internet issues”, so I couldn't listen right away. But who gives a crap about my problems right. Lol. Anyway, the podcast.

    I don't watch Fringe. So I don't have an opinion on Anna Torv or anything about her or the show. But I am a big Chuck fan. As you know. So of course I'm an Yvonne fan. Shes been great on Dexter. I really enjoy her scenes. Especially in that one, the crying scene, great stuff. I'm also loving Ray Stevenson. Such a cool character and great portrayal. Between him and Yvonne, they are really making this season for me.

    Revolution was good this week. Some real progression happening. Its been up and down, but I'm looking forward to whats to come. And I agree with Vlad. Arrow is not that bad. So far anyway.

    “Wolverines!” ;)