TV Reviews? You Got It.

Like Jonas on "Dark," take a deep dive into Eclectic Pop's past with an assortment of TV reviews. Click on the pic to travel through the wormhole!

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TV Rundown: Week of Jan 17 | 'Pretty Little Liars' Reveals More, 'Blacklist' Twists & 'Reign' Bids a Winter Farewell

Pretty Little Liars continued to pull back the curtain on the current state of the girls’ lives post-5 year jump and for one Liar in particular, the answers continue to get worse and worse. That Liar is Emily, who added a possible cancer diagnosis to her growing list of heartbreaking misfortunes. Will she ever catch a break?

Out of all the Liars, Emily has lived the most tortured existence and her happiness always tends to be a short-lived phenomenon. The best thing she can do for herself is avoid Ali, who tried to reel her back into their toxic dynamic.

TV Rundown: Week of Jan 10 | 'Reign' Holds Court & 'The Blacklist' Amazes - Plus, Thoughts on 'Teen Wolf' S6B

Reign kept the plates of intrigue spinning with another dazzling installment. English and French court shared the hour and each location was entertaining in its own right. First up: English court, where Queen Elizabeth ruthlessly schemed to finally unite herself and Robert Dudley in matrimony following a shocking discovery; only to be thwarted by Dudley’s crazed wife, Amy.

Hopefully she delivered the death blow to this coupling. There is just nothing to root for where Elizabeth and Dudley are concerned. If they wanted to be together, he should’ve been patient and never married another.

Winter 2016's Best New TV Bets: 'War & Peace,' 'Legends of Tomorrow'

With 2016 in full swing, TV is back in action and Eclectic Pop has highlighted the two best new bets from the winter line-up. First up is the American broadcast of BBC's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace."

"War and Peace"

The latest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s much beloved novel is this BBC produced mini-series, which features an all-star ensemble of international talent. The cast is led by “Cinderella” star Lily James, acclaimed “Love and Mercy” actor Paul Dano, and rounded out by cult favorite Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”, “The Fall”).

They are not the only big names starring in this adaptation. “War and Peace” features just about every actor who’s already made a mark or is primed to.  Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, Oscar nominee Stephen Rae, revered thespian Brian Cox, rising British talent James Norton and fan fave “White Queen” actor Aneurin Barnard, also star.

For those unfamiliar with the plotline, Tolstoy’s epic tome follows the tangled lives of five (5) aristocratic Russian families as they face the life-altering tides of war and home-born conflict. The series will be broken up into four (4) parts, each running two (2) hours. Every piece will be simulcast on three (3) networks: A and E, History Channel and Lifetime. The premiere installment debuted this week and it was a compelling watch.

The digital cinematography and ambitious camera work takes some getting used to. While the blinding lighting is much more difficult to get past, as it constantly overpowers the color palette of every scene with a snowy wash that drains every ounce of warmth that tries to emerge. The lack of authentic Russian accents being utilized is another distraction one must overlook.

The opening hour mainly focused on Dano’s Pierre and James Norton’s Andrei. Dano’s casting is pitch perfect, as he captures the newly appointed Count’s bustling intellect, awkward social graces and tender heart, to magnificent effect. An impressive early breakout among the high-profile cast is Tuppence Middleton, whose flashy role as the scandalous Helene oozes all of the requisite dark charm and vixen-y cunning, one would hope to see exuded in such a portrayal.

Hers is a scene stealing role and she plays it for all its worth. After showing great promise with her roles in the movies: “Tormented”, “Chatroom” and “Trap for Cinderella”; it’s nice to see her getting the chance to command such a character.

For anyone wondering how the mini-series compares to King Vidor’s sweeping 1956 adaptation starring Audrey Hepburn as the vivacious Natasha and Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer as Pierre and Andrei, respectively; the answer is it’s too soon to tell. Vidor’s had all of the hallmarks of a grandiose classic, though the miscasting of Fonda is too glaring to ignore, as it cut into the film’s quality exponentially.

Viewers have yet to see much of Lily James’ Natasha so there’s much more in store to see before making a firm comparison. So far 2016’s “War & Peace” can be credited for imbuing a modern stylistic edge to its classical foundation. That said, the long shadow cast by 2015’s banner showcase of costume dramas has given it a strong comparative context to overcome.

When to Watch: Mondays at 9/8c

Let's Discuss: 'Pretty Little Liars' And the 5 Year Time Jump

"Pretty Little Liars" took its much anticipated 5 year leap forward, during the premiere of season 6B. Just as “One Tree Hill” did before, “Pretty Little Liars” decided to skip over those awkwardly redundant college years and the strange year of “self searching” that follows by cushioning an extra year into the timeline.

 If you missed the “5 Years Forward” special, it was easy to get a little lost in some of the off-screen happenings that occurred post-leap. Thank goodness for online recaps. So where are the Liars now? Well, most of them are exactly where you’d expect them to be professionally and exactly where you wouldn’t anticipate on a personal level.

TV Rundown: Week of Jan 3 | 'Reign' & 'The Blacklist' Make Their Winter Returns

Reign returned from its plot packed fall finale with even more twists and turns. Catherine and Mary banded together to prove the former’s innocence after last year’s cliffhanger found the Queen Mother falsely accused of poisoning the fallen Francis. Narcisse arose as the hour’s major power player, conniving his way to a personal pinnacle before falling to his greatest low.

By the end of the episode, his carefully crafted manipulations were catching up with him and by the time “Our Undoing” came to a close; Narcisse had lost his wife, (presumably) his position, killed an innocent man to futile ends and earned the eternal wrath of Catherine. The way fates swings on “Reign”, one shouldn’t be surprised to find him dusting himself off and regaining his handle on things rather quickly. How quickly he can find redemption (if ever) is another story.

With Lola set to transition from French court into English, Mary has lost her last lady. While it’s true Greer is still in the vicinity, she isn’t a part of court anymore. Speaking of the blonde madam, what exactly is going on with her baby drama? Who is the father and why is she keeping everything a secret? Yes, she’s in a precarious position given the time period.

However, she’s also away from the watchful eyes of court and that independence should allow her more personal freedom than the average woman of her day. It’s a tad confusing. Unless, you consider that Leith may be the father of her baby, which would mean she is keeping it a secret to either keep the baby to herself so she can maintain her autonomy and prevent Leith from proposing marriage. Or she could be taking Leith’s blossoming relationship with Claude into consideration, not wanting to rock their boat. Only time will tell on this front.

The show continues to grow, branching out into unexpected directions, the court exit of Lola being the most surprising. We know Mary’s days at French court are also numbered and that means the end of her incredible relationship with Catherine on a direct level. Yet again, their magical bond impressed as the hour showcased their canny partnership via Adelaide Kane and Megan Fellows’ impeccable chemistry. “Reign” has had many line in the sand moments over the course of its three seasons but the saddest of all, will be when these two amazing women have to part ways. It will be a tough transition, that’s for sure.

Top 20 Most-Read Posts of 2015

Eclectic Pop completes its look back at the popular content of 2015 with the reveal of its Top 20 most read articles of the year. Movies, music and television converge for a final tally that yields intriguing results. So which topic came out on top?

Top 10 Most-Read Television Posts of 2015

When it came to Eclectic Pop’s television coverage in 2015,  interest was spread all over the place. ABC Family’s (now Freeform) cult drama “Pretty Little Liars”, HBO’s “True Detective” and The CW’s overall line-up (“The Flash”, “Arrow”, “Vampire Diaries”) proved enduringly popular with readers.

Top 10 Most-Read Movie Reviews of 2015

2015 has come and gone, so it’s time to look back, unveil and analyze the year’s most popular content on Eclectic Pop. We begin our journey with movie reviews.

When it came to the most read reviews of 2015, only two 2015 titles made it into the Top 10 (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Jurassic World”). While 2014 Oscar nominees comprised half of the list (“Wild,” “American Sniper,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Into the Woods,” “Nightcrawler”).