ALL RISE – PRESS RELEASE FOR PILOT EPISODE 1×01

“ALL RISE,” A NEW COURTHOUSE DRAMA THAT FOLLOWS THE CHAOTIC, HOPEFUL AND SOMETIMES ABSURD LIVES OF THOSE WORKING TO GET JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES AMIDST A FLAWED LEGAL PROCESS, PREMIERES MONDAY SEPT. 23.

 

Credit: CBS

 

“Pilot” – ALL RISE, a new courthouse drama that follows the chaotic, hopeful and sometimes absurd lives of its judges, prosecutors and public defenders, as they work with bailiffs, clerks and cops to get justice for the people of Los Angeles amidst a flawed legal process, premieres Monday, Sept. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Simone Missick, Wilson Bethel, Marg Helgenberger, Jessica Camacho, J. Alex Brinson, Lindsay Mendez and Ruthie Ann Miles star.

Among those working within the court system is newly appointed Judge Lola Carmichael, a highly regarded and impressive deputy district attorney who doesn’t intend to sit back on the bench in her new role, but instead leans in, immediately pushing the boundaries and challenging the expectations of what a judge can be. Those offering Lola counsel are her roguish best friend and colleague, Mark Callan, a successful deputy district attorney who now must adjust to the shifting boundaries in their personal and professional relationship; Supervisory Judge Lisa Benner, an influential, powerful figure tasked with overseeing Lola’s transition into her new job; and Lola’s efficient, pragmatic judicial assistant, Sherri Kansky, who isn’t thrilled at the prospect of “training” a rookie judge. Also working in the courthouse are Emily Lopez, an empathetic and blunt public defender filled with fire and conviction; Luke Watkins, a court bailiff by day, law student by night; and Sara Castillo, a court reporter and reliable source of intel and advice.

REGULAR CAST:

Simone Missick  (Lola Carmichael)

Wilson Bethel (Mark Callan)

Marg Helgenberger  (Lisa Benner)

Jessica Camacho (Emily Lopez)

J. Alex Brinson  (Luke Watkins)

Lindsay Mendez  (Sara Castillo)

Ruthie Ann Miles  (Sherri Kansky)

 

GUEST CAST:

Paul McCrane  (Jonas Laski)

Beau Dremann  (Billy Smitt)

James C. Burns  (Rex Scully)

Mitch Silpa  (Clayton Berger)

Erin Cummings  (Detective Jackie Leyland)

Richard Brooks  (Asst. Chief Jack Healy)

Tony Denison  (Vic Callan)

Raquel Dominguez  (Daphne Rivas)

Onahoua Rodriguez  (Consuela Rivas)

George Basil  (Robbie Brooks)

Bill Lewis  (Elewyn White)

Martin Garcia  (Dev)

TBD  (Ria)

Ahmad Douglas  (Burly Deputy)

Autumn Teague  (Lawyer)

Jason Medwin  (Scar-Faced Prisoner)

Frank Alvarez  (Scary-Looking Prisoner)

 

WRITTEN BY: Greg Spottiswood

DIRECTED BY: Michael M. Robin

GENRE: Drama (Filmed in HD)

 

Source:  cbspressexpress.com

AAM FOR THE CURE FUNDRAISER FOR SU2C

As most of Marg’s fans know, the fight against cancer is very important to Marg for personal reasons, so much so that she has devoted much of her life to raising awareness, including serving as an ambassador for Stand Up to Cancer. Finding a cure for cancer is important to her fans as well since so many of us have either lost loved ones to cancer or even have loved ones who are currently battling the disease.

For these reasons and so many more, I am pleased to announce that this year All About Marg will be joining in the fight against cancer. As a way to celebrate Marg’s work in the fight and also as a way for fans to come together and stand with her and do our part, we are hosting an online fundraiser for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C).

 

Click Here to Donate.

Click Here to Donate.

 

Since today is All About Marg’s 13th anniversary (Happy Anniversary to us!), I’ve decided to start the fundraiser today and have it run through Marg’s birthday, November 16th. So, yes, our efforts in this fundraiser will be our gift to her this year. We’ve sent her many tokens of affection over the years telling her how much we adore her and how much she inspires us, and we’ve often celebrated her onscreen work, but I wanted to try to do something different this year – something that celebrates her offscreen work, something that truly shows her how much she inspires us all to be better people.

I’ve set our fundraising goal at $500, which I’m hoping we can meet and hopefully exceed. I know that money is an issue for some so I want to say up front that any and all donations are appreciated, no matter how big or small. I’m hoping that having the fundraiser run for 5 months will give people who want to participate ample time to budget for it. I also plan to send out periodic reminders to let people know how we’re doing with meeting our goal as well as shout outs to those who have donated.

Some questions you may have:

Q. I just visited your fundraising page on the SU2C site. Do I click ‘Join Team’ or ‘Donate’?

A. To donate, just click the red ‘DONATE NOW’ button.

Q. How do I know where my donation is going?

A. Our fundraising page is set up directly on the Stand Up to Cancer website so all of your donations will go directly to them. Donating through AAM’s page just puts your name on the list saying that you participated as a Marg fan to celebrate her work. The money does not actually pass through my hands at all. Per the Stand Up to Cancer website, 100% OF YOUR DONATION received by SU2C will support Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative cancer research programs.

Q. Can I donate if I am not from the United States?

A. Yes, I verified with Stand Up to Cancer that anyone can donate no matter where they are from.

Q. Am I allowed to donate more than once?

A. Yes. If you make an initial donation and then decide you are able to donate more later, you can always donate again.

Q. Will there be prizes?

A. As of right now, no. If that changes, I’ll let everyone know.

Q. How will you let Marg know who has participated?

A. I haven’t decided exactly what I’m doing yet, but it will definitely include a list of the donors and where they are from.
If you have additional questions that I haven’t addressed here, please contact me directly via email at suzanne@allaboutmarg.com.

Q. Do I have to show the amount I have donated?

A. No, not at all. When you fill out the donation form, there is a box you can check so that your donation amount remains private.

Thanks so much and I hope that you’ll all join AAM in our effort to stand with Marg in the fight against cancer. AAM for the Cure!

Click Here to Donate!

UNDER THE DOME 3.06 ‘CAGED’ EPISODE RECAP: BIG JIM VS. CHRISTINE

“Caged,” the sixth installment of Under the Dome’s third season, starts to shed some light onto what happened to bring the Dome down over Chester’s Mill and to give us a little more insight into what Alien Christine’s ultimate agenda is.

“Caged” opens with Marston showing Big Jim the video footage of exactly what transpired when Christine made contact with the egg: “Right there is where Christine Price became something else…On a cellular level, the person you know as Christine Price is not of this Earth.” Right there is also the moment that the dome came down over Chester’s Mill and the mini-dome came down over the egg itself. Marsten goes on to tell Big Jim that they’ve learned a lot about Christine but they still haven’t determined what she is or what she wants. Lucky Big Jim then learns that’s where he comes in as Marsten charges him with the task of pumping Christine for information about her agenda. Big Jim initially declines as he wants no contact with ‘that thing’, but ever the persuasive guy, Marsten tells Jim he has two choices: 1) help get the information from Christine that they need or 2) be injected with Christine’s inhuman blood to see what happens to him. Big Jim decides to be helpful.

Truth experiments

Much of Christine’s time in this episode is spent in a cage having some pretty candid conversation with Big Jim. She is honest with Big Jim from the start, showing him what I’ve speculated about for a few episodes now, that she is basically a chameleon — she can easily fake any emotion at the drop of a hat, depending on how she thinks the other person needs to see her. When Christine tells him that people will come for her, Big Jim mocks the idea of Junior as a knight in shining armor and tries to get information about who else she might have working for her. He tells Christine that if she’s relying on Barbie, her plan is flawed because Julia knows all about Christine and can’t wait to tell Barbie everything she knows. Is Christine getting a little worried at this point? It’s hard to say with certainty, but she does abruptly end the conversation by telling Big Jim that her human body is tired.

When Big Jim and Christine resume their conversation, it takes a turn for the philosophical with Christine extolling the virtues of the collective and telling Big Jim that the loneliness and emptiness he’s feeling is his ‘reward’ for only looking out for himself. Christine tells Big Jim that there’s no reason why her people and his can’t co-exist because they want the same thing. She says there’s no reason they should be enemies but that they will protect themselves. She goes on to defend her actions in stripping people of what makes them individuals: “Petty self-interest brought this community to the brink of destruction, but because of me, people are thinking about things other than themselves. Because of that, we have food. We have peace.” Big Jim balks at the idea of the collective and retorts that true progress comes from creativity and individual ingenuity: “The history of the world is made by leaders, not followers.” Christine inserts a reality check at this point: “Well, we come from very different worlds and from where I sit, you’re no leader. You’re just a very sad and lonely man.”

3 for post 4 for post

They are interrupted this time when Marston has one of his goons toss in a can of tear gas and then brings Big Jim out of the cage. Marston is not completely happy with Big Jim’s progress and instructs him to up his game, or else. When Christine next awakens, she has cuts down the side of her body. Over in his own cage, Big Jim is sporting a fresh busted lip and informs Christine that they must have escalated with their experiments. Big Jim decides to demonstrate to Christine what a little fight and a little ingenuity can do as he uses the tab off of a can to pick the lock on his cage. Clearly more concerned about the dangers of her current predicament, Christine begs Big Jim to take her with him, promising that she can get him out of the dome if he does. Stroking his arm and his face through the bars of her prison, Christine really pours on the charm and tries to coax Big Jim into helping her. Perhaps in response to his own passionate speech about the need for leaders and creativity, Christine makes a persuasive speech of her own that appears to be designed to seduce Big Jim over to her way of thinking: “Once out of the cocoons, the concepts of me, ego, and self were gone from my mind. Immediately I saw the world in a new light, a better light — a world where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…Jim, what we want is no different than any living organism – to survive, to flourish…Aww, come on. Let’s work together”

Big Jim isn’t buying into Christine’s manipulations, but manages to get her to say that bringing down the dome is her ultimate plan, which is what Marston has been waiting to hear. He charges into the room to say he can take it from there but then tries to stop Big Jim from leaving. Displaying a little more of that ingenuity he was praising earlier, Big Jim uses the can lid to cut Marston’s throat and make his escape from the Aktaion lab. Christine again begs him to take her with him, but he says “You know, I can handle good and I can handle evil. But what I can’t handle is desperate. You’re in a position to tell me whatever I want to hear, but I ain’t buying. No hard feelings.”

5 for post 6 for post

Although abandoned by Big Jim, Christine is ultimately rescued from the lab by Junior and Barbie, who have been trying to track her down for much of the episode. Once they rescue her, Barbie corners Christine for the truth about who she is. Christine confesses everything to him — that she was hired by Aktaion to find the egg, that Aktaion manipulated her into wanting to be a part of something great because the egg was supposed to be a new clean source of energy. She then tearfully tells Barbie that everything is her fault – she brought the dome down when she touched the egg and all of the lives lost and all of the families who were separated are because of her. Her emotional story, which matches the one Eva gave Barbie earlier, convinces Barbie who tells her it’s not her fault and when a gun-wielding Julia interrupts Christine’s confession and tries to tell Barbie the truth, Barbie’s not having any of it. Christine eggs Barbie on, telling him that Julia is the one who took her at gunpoint and gave her to Aktaion. That’s enough for Barbie and he calls Julia a monster and tells her that if she can’t get on board with the town’s new agenda, then she needs to just stay away.

Recovering quickly from her ordeal, Christine meets up with Eva for an update on what has happened while she was locked up and especially to get a report on Eva’s progress with Barbie. While not enough progress has been made on that front, Eva praises Christine for getting Barbie to finally trust her and Christine reveals the key to her success: “I became what he needed me to be, a victim for him to save.” Christine gives Eva her next set of marching orders: “The sooner you become his mate, the sooner he’ll be what I need him to be. Our protector.”

7 for post 8 for post

Although she had made great strides with getting Barbie to complete his journey, Christine faces more dissension within her ranks. Sam has figured out that Christine is responsible for Abby’s death. He goes to see her and actually beats Christine at her own game of manipulation by convincing her how sorry he is that he strayed and how grateful he is that she has gotten him back on the right track yet again. When she embraces him and tells him she only did what needed to be done because of how important he is to her and to the group, Sam stabs Christine and leaves her to die. Junior finds Christine, and at her urging, he carries her back down to the caves where she re-cocoons herself with one last order to Junior: “Bring me Sam.” I can’t imagine that meeting will go well for Sam. I’m going to take a not-so-wild guess and say that openly attacking the Queen is probably something that the collective would frown upon.

I think my favorite part of this episode, and perhaps my favorite moments of the season so far, were the scenes between Christine and Big Jim while they were caged. Marg and Dean Norris played off of each other so well. It was a pleasure to watch their characters go head to head and I hope that we’ll get more scenes like that this season.

Marg was especially thrilling to watch in the scene where Christine puts on the show for Big Jim — quickly passing through all of the emotions that she has in her arsenal of manipulation. Marg played that so beautifully and really just all around rocked this episode. I love how Christine constantly keeps me guessing. When Big Jim asked her if she could do ‘honesty,’ it really got me wondering about whether we’ve seen any true emotion from Christine up to this moment. I think the answer is no, perhaps with the exception of when she is trying to explain to Big Jim why she believes in the collective.

I really cannot wait to see what happens next. Those amethyst crystals were still flickering at the end of the episode, so Christine is still in a race against time to make this collective successful.

You can view some HD screencaptures of Marg from the episode HERE.

AAM RECAP OF UNDER THE DOME 3.01 ‘MOVE ON’ & 3.02 ‘BUT I’M NOT’

It’s finally time for AAM’s recap of the “Under the Dome” season 3 premiere. For those who have never read my recaps, while I do give a general summary of what takes place throughout the episode, most of my commentary is reserved for Marg’s character. Apologies in advance if I neglect your favorites.

For those new to the “Under the Dome” experience, Season 2 of the popular CBS summer series concluded with a cliffhanger as the mysterious dome which had encapsulated the town of Chester’s Mill and cut them off from the rest of the world suddenly began to contract rapidly. Fearing that they would be crushed to death, the residents of Chester’s Mill, led by Dale Barbara, evacuated into underground tunnels they hoped would lead them to safety. Once they all descend into the tunnels, they are met by Melanie who tells them to come with her because ‘we’re going home. It’s time to move on.’ Season 3 picks up exactly where Season 2 left off as the residents take a leap of faith and follow Melanie into a dream-like, misty white landscape and somehow emerge outside the dome. As the town residents stand there trying to take in what has just happened and realize that Melanie is no longer with them, those pink stars that have been falling in lines for the previous two seasons suddenly shoot up into the air like fireworks and seconds later, the dome shatters. Barbie discovers that Julia, Junior, and Big Jim, who were left behind, sadly are casualties of the dome collapse, but otherwise the town and its people are free. Sounds a little too easy, right? Especially for a show that is based on a novel by none other than Stephen King. A quick glance at the clock shows that we’re less than five minutes into the 2-hour episode. What is sure to be a wild ride has only just begun…

We next experience what appears to be a time jump. It is one year later and, for the most part, the residents of Chester’s Mill are attempting to move on with their lives. We see that Barbie and Hunter are now in the military, Norrie has gone off to college, and the town of Chester’s Mill seems to be back to its old self overall.

Or is it? At the same time we’re watching everyone move on, we’re also being shown scenes where Julia and Junior are still back in the tunnels attempting to follow the path that the other residents took when they evacuated. They then have a run-in with an even crazier than usual Big Jim. How is this possible if Barbie found all of their dead bodies when the dome came down? Ah ha, now we’re getting more Stephen King-like. It seems that those who followed the mysterious Melanie are now in some kind of alternate reality and that perhaps Julia, Junior, and Big Jim are still alive after all.

move on 01

It is in this alternate reality that we are finally introduced to Marg’s character, Christine Price. Christine tells everyone that she is a trauma specialist who has been sent in by FEMA to help facilitate the healing process in Chester’s Mill. She serves as a therapist to both Joe McAllister whose sister Angie was murdered while the dome, and ironically, to Sam Verdreaux, who was Angie’s killer. She is also organizing a memorial ceremony to honor all of the lives that were lost because of the dome. While Christine seems genuinely passionate about helping everyone to heal, there is still something suspect about her. For one, her methods seem a bit unorthodox for a therapist, a little too intimate. When we first meet her, she is actually in Joe’s bedroom waiting to talk to him. Christine is also literally very hands on — not only in the sense of trying to control everything that is going on in the town – calling Barbie to come to the hospital for his girlfriend when she sees he about to do something she doesn’t like, etc., but also in the sense that there is a lot of touching involved when she is talking to Joe, Sam, and Junior, among others. Perhaps it’s coincidence — it’s still too early to tell — but she also seems very focused on the men. I’m getting the vibe that the enigmatic Christine will probably be a character that fans either love or hate, that there won’t be any middle ground on that.

move on 02 move on 03

What also becomes apparent is that we are not the only ones watching the Chester’s Mill residents in their alternate reality. Melanie is also watching them, through some kind of strange purple crystal wall. When she realizes that Ben knows something is ‘off’ with the reality they’re living in and sends Barbie a message that he has proof that what they’re living in is not real, Melanie decides he must be stopped and kills him at the memorial ceremony. And here’s where it gets even stranger. She kills him by strangling him – not the Ben that is at the ceremony, but a version of Ben who is covered in slime and housed in a cocoon in the tunnels beneath the dome. And as Julia discovers as she is exploring the tunnels looking for Junior who has disappeared, that is just one of many cocoons that are in the tunnels. With purple glowing roots interconnecting them all to one larger cocoon that we can’t see into, this network of cocoons appears to house all of the Chester’s Mill residents that we originally thought had gotten out safely, including Junior who encountered Melanie when he got separated from Julia. Melanie tells him that he and his friends need to become what she needs them to be so that they can all survive – he just needs to be ‘fixed’ first. We see firsthand what happened to everyone as we watch Junior go through the same process. Once ‘fixed’, his name disappears from the memorial wall and he rides into town on his motorcycle as if he had been there all along. After she has dealt with Junior, Melanie turns her attention to Julia. She manipulates Julia into believing that they need to get the egg back in order to unlock the cocoons and free everyone and they set out to make this happen.

So Melanie is obviously a major player in this “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” experience that has taken over Chester’s Mill, but is she working alone? For the answer to that, I think we need to follow the purple — purple egg, purple roots connecting the cocoons, purple crystal wall to watch everyone through. And in our alternate reality, where do we see purple? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our friendly FEMA therapist is sporting a ring with a large purple rock in it and that she also has a large purple crystal prominently displayed in the room where she and Joe are meditating. The purple coupled with Christine’s ‘off’ behavior make a pretty compelling argument that she is not what she seems and is somehow in cahoots with Melanie and whatever her agenda is.

move on 06 move on 05

Things come to a head quickly once Big Jim enters the mix. Melanie retrieves the egg from her father, and of course kills him because what’s one more body at this point? With the help of his new canine companion, Big Jim discovers the body and follows the trail to Julia. The two of them have words as Big Jim tries to convince Julia that Melanie is evil and so is the dome. Julia tells him off and heads back to the tunnels. When she arrives, she sees that Melanie has placed the egg on top of the largest cocoon. The purple roots are now starting to pulse and something big is obviously about to happen. As she watches, Julia questions what is happening, the overall purpose of the dome, and Melanie’s motivation. Once she realizes Julia is a threat to the ‘process that has started’, Melanie attacks Julia but also promises that they can ‘fix’ her too. Big Jim enters at this point, says that he’s not letting whoever is responsible for all of this kill his son, and proceeds to smash the egg with the butt of his rifle. With the power source destroyed, the alternate reality disappears and all of the Chester’s Mill residents are able to break free from their cocoons, with Christine emerging from the largest cocoon and immediately reaching out for the hand of, interestingly enough, Barbie’s alternate reality love interest, Eva. Is Eva in on it as well? The final frames of the episode are focused on the two of them and their ‘Uh oh’ expressions.

move on 04 move on 07

The season opener was a very entertaining two hours of television. I especially loved the intensity level and the sense of mystery that surrounded everything and having that juxtaposed with Big Jim’s antics, his dark humor, and his interactions with the stray dog. I’m obviously eager to learn what exactly Christine’s role will be in all of it. Does being housed in the largest cocoon mean that she is somehow the leader or mastermind behind the dome? I think this is going to be a really fun character to watch Marg play because Christine obviously has a lot going on and so many different levels for us to delve through. I have a lot of questions about Christine at this point. What’s her motivation? Is she truly evil? Is she even human for that matter? If she is human, where did she come from? Has she been cocooned under the dome this entire time? Do any of the townspeople know her? The list goes on and on. I really can’t wait to see where the story picks up next week.

Screen captures of Marg from the season opener can be found HERE.

People: Marg Helgenberger