The kaleidoscope of colors on display as the leaves change and the return of some delectable seasonal foods and drinks are among the many reasons why I enjoy the autumn. However, what I truly look forward to most is fall television. At long last, our favorite shows return to resolve the cliffhangers we were left to ponder all summer, and the new shows we have been hearing about for months will finally air. This coming week has more fall premieres than any other, with one highly-anticipated show featuring a very talented former resident of Chautauqua County. Get out your calendars and prepare to mark them accordingly I have the full scoop for you.
Fredonia Native Has 'The X Factor'
Cheer on Fredonia native Toni Dolce as she belts it out on “The X Factor,” to premiere on Fox Sept. 21.
Toni Dolce grew up in Fredonia and moved to New York City with the dream of becoming a successful singer. She will now be on one of this fall's hottest shows, "The X Factor," which premieres next Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. on Fox. She has one powerful voice and tons of tenacity, and if she doesn't have "the X factor," I don't know who does. Since the complete details on Dolce's "X Factor" experience can't be released until after the show airs, my story on her will be in the OBSERVER on Sunday, Sept. 25. Fans of the show (which is a huge hit in the UK) and Simon Cowell won't want to miss it.
Other New Shows
I won't be listing them all, but here's a dossier of what's worth dedicating some space to on your DVR:
If you watch TV, chances are one of your shows will be back this week. Rejoice! Here are some hot shows with season premieres in the next seven days with miscellaneous commentary for some:
- "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," 10 p.m. tonight, FX If you've seen any of the commercials that have aired in the past month or so, you know that "Always Sunny" is bigger and (hopefully) better this season and by that, I mean Mac got super-fat. Star Rob McElhenney packed on 50 pounds to play "Big Mac" for season seven. I'm worried the fat jokes will get old quick, but I have faith in my "Always Sunny," one of the most consistently hilarious and irreverent shows on television.
TV's Biggest Night
The 63rd annual Primetime Emmys will be on Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC, hosted by Jane Lynch of "Glee." Perhaps that means it will actually be entertaining this year. Of course, the best part is the red carpet, and the coverage starts at 5 p.m. on E!
Hypochondriacs and germaphobes beware. "Contagion," directed by Steven Soderbergh with a star-studded ensemble cast, will make anyone think twice before sharing a drink, shaking hands or touching anything on a public transportation vehicle, and might send viewers racing to stock up on hand sanitizer. It's a smart, effective thriller about a new flu that quickly becomes an epidemic a disaster fantasy that could easily become a reality. The disease in the film is based on a the nipah virus, which actually lead to an epidemic in pigs and human fatalities as well. It's no wonder that after seeing it, I started to feel like I was coming down with something.
"Contagion" is one of those movies with so many subplots and characters just like Soderbergh's "Traffic" -- it's difficult to feel particularly attached or moved by any one of them. It was interesting to explore all aspects of an epidemic the sick, the medical community, the journalists, the politics involved but I know that I'm not completely satisfied with or affected by a film when I leave the theater without remembering a single character's name. Of course, anytime I started to become interested in one of them, they were stricken ill and quickly dead.
Movies that are overloaded with A-list actors with several interwoven storylines have become trendy, but some are more engaging than others. "Contagion" was somewhat successful, but would have benefited from focusing on one story and developing it further. Performances from Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Gwenyth Paltrow, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard and Laurence Fishburne just to name a few were all fine, but with so much going on, there wasn't much time for anyone to shine.
"Contagion" is a film worth seeing and may be the most unnerving horror movie I've seen in some time, but in a so-far outstanding cinematic year, it simply doesn't stand out.
"Contagion" is now showing at the Dunkirk Movieplex.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments and events to firstname.lastname@example.org