HBO Developing Series Based on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

22 04 2011

The series based on Gaiman’s 2001 novel would showcase his new pantheon of deities based on American culture.

 The details are scarce, but HBO is currently in talks to write and film a pilot for a new fantasy series. Interestingly, the series would be produced by Playtone – the outfit of Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman who made Big Love and Band of Brothers. Gaiman first gained notoriety as a comic book writer with his Sandman series in the late eighties but he’s since branched into writing novels, short stories and movies (Beowulf). Gaiman’s works are no stranger to adaptation as his novella Coraline become the 2009 animated film and his Graveyard Book is also tapped to be a feature film. No one knows who would write the script for American Gods or when production would begin, but it seems that HBO is becoming more interested in genre content with the success of True Blood and the imminent Game of Thrones.

The main character in American Gods is an ex-convict called Shadow, who starts working as a bodyguard for a mysterious con-man named Mr. Wednesday. As Wednesday travels across the United States meeting with strange people, Shadow eventually figures out that his employer is an incarnation of the Norse god Odin and that he is recruiting other mythological figures whose power has diminished to fight a war against new American “deities” such as the Internet, media, and mass transportation.

Typically I don’t watch a lot of telly but I really have to take my hat off to HBO who in recent years have pumped out some absolute crackers;  Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and Six Feet Under to name a few.

Having watched the first episode twice so far it seems that Game of Thrones is set to be another classic and if they do even half as good a job with American Gods it will be outstanding.

Original source Hollywood Reporter

Louis Theroux: America’s Most Hated Family In Crisis

3 04 2011

America’s Most Hated Family In Crisis is a follow-up to his acclaimed 2007 documentary The Most Hated Family In America, and sees Theroux return to Topeka, Kansas for a second visit to the Westboro Baptist Church.

A fire-and-brimstone Christian group, made up of 80 members of the Phelps family, has garnered worldwide notoriety thanks to their funeral picketing of soldiers killed in action.

Believing they were killed as God’s punishment for America’s toleration of homosexuality, the family wield anti-gay placards while singing their own disturbing lyrics to Lady Gaga tunes.

In the four years since Theroux’s first documentary, a series of defections of family members has shaken up the church. They’ve also been at the centre of a landmark supreme court case (the court ruled that vicious anti-gay rhetoric was constitutionally protected) and their beliefs have become increasingly bizarre.

For Theroux the story has moved on, which is partly why he wanted to return. That and the fact he admits he’s “fascinated” by the Phelps family.

“It sounds really odd to say this but there are aspects of them that are quite nice, given how hateful they and the pickets are,” he says, adding he found his attitude towards them “modulated”.

“When you’re on the pickets you find yourself shocked and sometimes upset by what they’re doing, and then at other times you see them as normal people. The challenge is to try and manage your reaction,” he explains.

“I mean we’re human beings, they’re human beings, in some way you have to guard against demonising them too much, and against becoming desensitised by being around them.”

The documentary is being broadcast tonight at 9pm on BBC2 – make sure you tune in.

Jamie’s 30 minute meals

20 10 2010

I rarely watch television these days but when I do I quite often find myself gravitating towards the cooking shows, sometimes the American shows like Iron Chef America or Chopped etc but more often than not I end up watching programmes with British or European cooks/chefs such as Nigella Lawson, The Hairy Bikers, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and of course Jamie Oliver.

I never use to have much time for Jamie Oliver a few years back, in my eyes he was a mockney who was playing up on a laddish image to gain popularity. I can’t have been the only one as nowadays we see a much calmer more down to Earth Jamie and what comes across more then the moped, the band and all the other extraneous garbage is that he really loves food.

It’s more than that though it comes across that not only does he care about and love food but he seems very genuine in his desire to improve the eating habits of all of us.

His new show and book fit into this ethos well; by focusing on meals that can be prepared and cooked in a short period of time he is showing people that no matter how busy your life might seem there is always time to eat properly and well.

I know he isn’t the first to go down this route and I’m sure that he won’t be the last but he does do it a lot better then some.

I was particularly taken with his recipe for a very quick, tasty and refreshing lemon pickle which he showed alongside a rogan josh and a carrot salad.

So here it is, if you want to find Jamie’s recipe for rogan josh and the carrot salad then click here

Jamie Oliver’s Lemon Pickle

• 1 lemon
• 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
• 1 level teaspoon turmeric
• ¼ of a fresh red chilli
• 1 small dried chilli

Cut the lemon into eighths, then deseed and finely slice.

Finely slice the red chilli quarter. Put a small pan on to a medium to high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan

Add the mustard seeds, turmeric and the sliced chilli. Crumble int he dried chilli.

When everything starts to sizzle, add the sliced lemon and a pinch of salt, count to ten, then take off the heat and put in a bowl to cool.

*I personally liked this with a whole chilli as opposed to just the quarter*


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