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The Characters We Love: Andrea “Andy” Herrera from ABC’s Station 19

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For every project that is touched by the legendary Shonda Rhimes, there’s a very good chance it will be a huge success. Just take a look at Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. ABC really hit the jackpot with these iconic television series. Station 19 is one of the newest shows on Rhimes’ résumé that is also airing on ABC. While she did not create the show herself (that credit goes to Stacy McKee), Rhimes is playing her part – and playing it well – as the executive producer of the show. As a spin-off to Grey’s Anatomy, and also set in Seattle, the series centers on the lives of the men and women at Seattle Fire Station 19. Only in its second season, the ensemble stars Jason George, Grey Damon, Barett Doss, and Jay Hayden, among others. However, at the helm is Jaina Lee Ortiz, who portrays Andrea Herrera, or simply: Andy. A firefighter, as well as a qualified EMT, Andy is confident, independent, and badass, and that’s why we love her!

There is no Station 19 without Andy Herrera, and Ortiz portrays her with authenticity and power. She lost her mother at the young age of 9, and her father (and former Captain) practically raised her at the station. Saving lives and making a difference is all she ever knew and wanted to do. She’s resourceful, often finding herself in the toughest of situations, but knowing just what to do to get out of them. In almost every episode, her friends, colleagues, and even potential lovers all look to her for guidance simply because she’s seen it all from such an early age.

Jaina Lee Ortiz in uniform, and on the scene, as firefighter Andy Herrera.

Jaina Lee Ortiz can relate to her character greatly. Born Jessica Ortiz in California and raised in the Bronx, her father, Joe Ortiz, is an NYPD 1st Grade Detective. Because of this, she got accustomed to hearing crazy stories nearly every day growing up. In addition, Ortiz is one of the very few Latina leads on television, something she had to learn to embrace. “When I got my first headshots, I felt like I needed to blend in,” Ortiz said on a 2018 episode of The View. “I felt like I needed to dye my hair a lighter blonde and I considered sticking some blue contacts in my eyes. It’s sad that I didn’t feel accepted and included. Women and minorities are really underrepresented in the media. So just to be a part of knowing that Shonda Rhimes has created this environment where women get to be their own heroes and their own stories, it’s refreshing and empowering.”

Station 19 airs Thursday nights on ABC. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all things Jaina Lee Ortiz, check out both her Instagram and Twitter.

 

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The Characters We Love: Andrea “Andy” Herrera from ABC’s Station 19: Featured Image Credit: abc.com

Why You Should be Watching The Bay on Amazon Prime

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There was a time when daytime television in the United States was appointment television for so many people, especially for stay-at-home moms and housewives. It flourished with countless talk shows and soap operas such as All My Children and One Life to Live. Fast-forward to 2019, where there are now just four daytime soap operas to watch. But even so, we are also living in a time when traditional television viewing is declining, and more people are turning to streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime as alternatives to catch their favorite shows.

In 2010, director, producer, and writer Gregori J. Martin began production for a new digital drama series called The Bay. The show stars a number of well-known actors in the daytime soap opera world, such as Days of Our Lives star Mary Beth Evans, as well as a number of prime time stars and even several newcomers, like Karrueche Tran (pictured below). It takes place in the very posh seaside town of Bay City, where “the privileged residents find themselves entangled in a series of dilemmas involving rape, blackmail, sordid lovers, and vindictive arch rivals. Their lives riddled with forbidden love, malicious lies, and never-ending scandals, the town’s privileged tangle with those who confuse obsession for love, vengeance for justice, and power for success.” Starting in the Summer of 2016, the show moved to Amazon Prime, after initially being shown on the now-defunct Blip.tv. It is now in its fourth season.

A scene from The Bay, featuring Karrueche Tran as Vivian Johnson along with costar, Kristos Andrews as Peter Garrett

The show has been critically acclaimed for its acting, visuals, production values, writing, directing, and storytelling, In 2015, Entertainment Weekly named the show “one of the 4 best soap operas on the web.” Because of this, the show has won over 20 awards, including several Daytime Emmy Awards. The show is also known for its large, interconnected, racially diverse cast. It feels like an actual community, leaning on each other during times of need. If you loved Dynasty, Melrose Place, and Desperate Housewives, you will most likely enjoy binge watching The Bay. It has everything you ever need and want in a good, juicy, compelling drama. A murder mystery, a dramatic court case, and all the twist and turns you could possibly imagine. Need I say more?

Click here to watch The Bay on Amazon Prime

 

Read more Entertainment articles at Cliché Magazine.

Why You Should Be Watching The Bay on Amazon Prime: Featured Image Credit: thebaytheseries.com

’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Is A Pointless Follow Up

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When 13 Reasons Why was first streamed on Netflix last year, it felt like a show like no other and made a huge splash. Now, a season 2 just got underway. But why? To be honest, it’s not even necessary.

Season 1 followed the journey of Hannah as she introduced people at her school—who were either partially or directly—responsible for her suicide and explained the reasons why. However, the season left viewers with some lingering questions. For example, would Hannah’s parents sue the school for their negligence or would they reach a settlement? Most importantly, though, who is responsible for Hannah’s suicide? This new season veers away from those untouched questions. What for?

Season 2 shifts its focus to the students on the tapes, and we start to realize there was more to Hannah’s story than just the tapes. Really? So, season 2 is not a continuation of the previous one. Rather it feels just like a reboot. In other words, both seasons are very similar. But, instead of building on the interest built by the first season, it makes a buzzing show become a dying show.

I must say, there is one difference between both seasons, though not a big one. In season 2, our central mystery is not what drove Hannah to kill herself, but rather who’s sending threatening notes to her classmates in order to prevent them from speaking out about those events. Interesting? Sure.

I’ll leave it at this: This new season just rehashes past events and proves to be more problematic than the previous one. So ask yourself, “Is it really worth my time to watch this second season? Or could I be doing something much more productive with my life?” I know what I would say.

 

Read more Entertainment articles at ClicheMag.com
’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2 Is A Pointless Follow Up. Featured Image Credit: Netflix

‘The Grinder’ Star Hana Hayes Proves She is One to Watch

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If you’re a fan of FOX’s hit Tuesday comedy lineup, you are well aware of the show The Grinder. Sure, there are famous names such as Rob Lowe and Fred Savage, but the real stars are the names you need to know now. We’re talking about names like actress Hana Hayes, who plays the daughter of Fred Savage and Mary Elizabeth Ellis. We got a chance to chat with the rising star to learn more about how she got the role, her advice to younger actresses, and her upcoming fashion line.

Cliché: The Grinder is lined up next to some of the biggest shows on TV (ex: New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Going back to the beginning, how did you learn about the role of Lizzie and book the part?
Hana Hayes: Well, when I first received the audition for Lizzie, the character description sounded nothing like me, so I was almost going to pass on auditioning for the part. Boy, am I glad I didn’t. When I found out that I booked the role, I was over the moon. It was the first series regular role that I had ever gotten.
What’s been the absolute best thing working on set?
Honestly, I can’t just pick one thing. Being on the show has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love all of the people that I work with. I have the same feeling when I’m going to work as when I’m going to meet a group of my close friends. Everyone is so kind and supportive and constantly making each other laugh.
What is it like working next to Fred Savage, Rob Lowe, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and William Devane?
They are all extremely talented actors, and I love watching their process. I picked up a lot just from watching them do what they do, and I feel privileged to be able to do so.
The Grinder is a clever comedy show. However, what other genres would you love to explore and land a role in?
Up until this show, I was mainly a dramatic actress. I love dramatic roles and that is a genre I definitely look forward to exploring more of in the future.
I read in a previous interview that you used to put on your own plays. What kind of plays could we see you doing?
I would love to do musicals. I definitely have to continue my vocal training if it’s something I plan on seriously pursuing, but I think it would be really fun.
You’re one of the Instagram queens of our day. It’s true! What do you think is the best thing about social media?
I love getting to connect with my followers. I feel like Instagram (and other social media platforms) are such great ways to communicate with people all over the world.
You and your mom plan on launching a fashion line together, correct? Can you tell us a little about that?
Well, we are definitely in the very beginning stages, but I would work on the street wear and my mom would do evening wear.
For younger girls looking up to you, what advice would you give to an aspiring actress?
Well, I know it’s said constantly, but you really can’t give up. This industry is extremely difficult, and rejection is prevalent. You have to be persistent. I promise you it will pay off. I would also say that during those times when you are not working to take as many classes as you can. It is extremely important to learn as much about your craft as possible.
Looking ahead into the future, where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?
In five or ten years, I would love to still be working in the film industry. If not in front of the camera, behind it.
Read more Entertainment Interviews on ClicheMag.com
‘The Grinder’ Star Hana Hayes Proves She is One to Watch: Photographed by Nikko Lamere

Why Constantine is Worth Watching

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With Constantine well into its run, it seems to be struggling to gain its footing. There are so many different types of supernatural based televisions shows, such as Sleepy Hollow, Lost Girl, and Supernatural, that it may be getting lost in the shuffle. It’s a real shame because the show has a chance change things up. So, here’s why Constantine is worth watching.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

Constantine, the titular hero of the series, is a bit of a bastard. He has a dark past, that he knows he’s going to Hell for, and hates himself for it — but he owns up to it. He’s a selfish hero, in that he wouldn’t offer up his body or soul if it meant saving a life. Unlike Supernatural, where the brothers have each other, Constantine, on the other hand, is a loner. Although, he does have one friend; but everyone still else hates him. Constantine is consistently unchanging as a hero, he doesn’t make excuses for who he is and treats life, people, and all things under the sun as a chore. He’s got this whole, “I guess I have to help these people, but don’t ask me to enjoy myself or care” and “why do I even bother” thing down pat. It’s no wonder that pretty much everyone under the sun can’t stand him. Even the humans, demons, dark spirits and angels, who fight each other, can all agree on their hatred of Constantine. He’s rude, full of himself, and pisses everyone off. Everyone he’s ever called a friend is either dead, wants to kill him, or begs him to leave them alone. He deserves to be punched in the face, thrown across the room, and anything else he gets.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine and Michael James Shaw as Papa Midnite

Matt Ryan as John Constantine and Michael James Shaw as Papa Midnite

While many shows focus on people and helping others by fighting evil, Constantine fights the things that go bump in the night, because he’s there and he can. There’s no great purpose, no nobility to him, and that makes him very human which is a big bonus. Constantine doesn’t wrap things up with a pretty bow. People are left to die. Issues aren’t cleared up fully and life goes on. Grief, pain, and loneliness aren’t things that are fixed in an episode. Constantine may save lives and spot darkness, but that doesn’t mean he fixes things. Yeah, things may improve for those that he saves, but they aren’t the focus of what he does. He’s the teacher, not the student. He understands what’s going on  pretty quick and knows what he’s doing, most of the time. It’s a welcome change from watching a hero stumble about.

Harold Perrineau as Manny The Angel

Harold Perrineau as Manny The Angel

Oh, let’s not forgot one last thing. Constantine is based off of the DC comics. That means the series can highlight the normal supernatural side of the famed Comic universe. The series already did a nod to Dr. Fate. There are many creatures DC has hidden within its pages. This supernatural series is the perfect chances to flesh out some of the lesser known beings. There’s far more to DC than capes and tights. That’s why Constantine‘s worth watching.

Read more Reviews on ClicheMag.com

All images are courtesy of NBC

Justified’s Erica Tazel Interview

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Beautiful, strong, and more than a match for any foe, Erica Tazel is a great role model. She works hard, takes chances, and helps children and their families find homes. Taking time from her busy life, she opens up to Cliché about her path to becoming an actress, her work on Justified, and her plans for the future.
Cliché: In life, we face many different crossroads. One crossroad that you faced was whether or not to go into medicine or follow your heart and take up acting. How did you decide which path to take and what would you tell someone facing a similar problem in their life?
Erica Tazel: The fork in the road between being a physical therapist vs. an actor was more of a surprise to me than a problem. It really was. Although I had gotten the beginnings of extensive theater training at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, I sincerely was not aware of or present to a desire to tell stories for a living. I initially auditioned for Booker T. as an option to not have to attend the school in whose district I lived in. I did not think I would fit in at that school and who wants to spend four years like that? I heard about Booker T. at lunch from a friend in 8th grade and it sounded like the movie FAME which was very exciting to me. Would we really have jam sessions in the lunch room and would the dancers really walk around all day in leotards? That sounded like a cool alternative!So I went for it and it was a glorious time for me creatively. When I entered Spelman College as a Biology Pre-Med major, I honestly had every intention of completing that coursework and going on to medical school with a focus in physical therapy. However, during the first semester of my sophomore year in college, a friend invited me to see a show the Theatre and Dance department was putting on. It may sound crazy, but when I walked into the theater, I unexpectedly began to cry. I felt like I had come home. I knew in that very moment that I had to change courses. If this decision presented a “problem,” it was the fact of telling my parents. I value my life very much and I was sure this decision was not going to go over well. Luckily I was 900 miles away from home! So in many ways, I feel like acting chose me. Although I had no clue how to pursue a career in acting, I had tremendous peace about taking that path. I just “knew,” so I jumped and I have yet to regret that leap. I do not take for granted that for other artists it was not, and in some case, still not that clear. So my advice, if I can call it that, is to sit very quietly with your dreams, with what you really want, and be very honest about that. If at the end of the day, you feel like you MUST do such and such, then go for it. There is no rule book for a career in acting, so it is also a faith journey of monumental proportions!
20131025 ERICA TAZEL 1342

Because you chose to follow your heart, you have been in television shows, movies, and theater productions. Have you found that you enjoy working in one of these areas more than the other?
The mediums give me very different things that I appreciate very much. Theater has offered me the most diverse and challenging opportunities. I enjoy being a part of an ensemble that I get to play with eight shows a week. I love the process of rehearsal and the live audience/in the moment aspect of theater.  There is usually at least a four-week rehearsal period before a theater run begins. In TV, there may be four minutes of rehearsal especially if there is a last minute rewrite, so the homework is much more condensed. I love this medium because there is no time for me to get in my head about the work. My imagination is exercised in a very different way in television. Unlike theater, in TV I may only get to have that conversation three times! I am looking forward to my first film opportunities to see what I learn and experience there. I aspire to be comfortable and compelling telling story in all three mediums.

20131025 ERICA TAZEL 2404With Justified in its fifth season, what do you think about the evolution of your character from season one until now? Has she surprised you in anyway?
While I have always imagined Rachel to be an ambitious woman who cares deeply about her work, it has been delightful to see her permit herself to have fun at the same time. That’s been a nice point in her evolution. She’s very serious and by the book, so I love when she allows herself to cut up a bit. To that point, I was surprised and thrilled, on some level, that in episode five, I believe, of this season, Rachel decides to go down to Harlan with Raylan to look for Danny Crowe, not so much to “babysit,” but to get a piece of the action.

Who do you want to work with more before the show reaches its end in season six?
I am very pleased with the work Jacob Pitts and I did towards the end of this season. We work well together and I would love to do more with him. I had my first conversation with Boyd Crowder which seems to potentially set up more interaction for the final season which would be great! I would love to be on camera with Walton more before this ends. Joelle Carter and I have only passed each other on screen so I would also like to spend some time with her as well. Then that would pretty much cover all of the series regulars, at least.

Do you have any ideas on where your character will be at the end of the series?
The great thing about Rachel is there are so many avenues the writers can take her in the final season. So many great opportunities there. My only wish is that the audience has an opportunity to finally see why Art says Rachel is his best Marshal.

You’ve been with Justified since season one. How does it feel knowing that it’s coming to an end? Do you have any ideas on what you want to do next?
It feels like we just shot the pilot yesterday so it feels odd that this time next year it will be over. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been a part of this show. First pilot, first series; it has been a roller coaster ride. I have a Peabody Award! That’s crazy. I’m sure I will be a hot mess when it’s all over, but I suspect I will be very nervous and excited about my next chapter. What that is? I’m still looking for my first film. I want to stay open as there is still so much I want to explore. I would not be opposed to another series especially if the character and story present interesting challenges and multi-dimensionality. Being a theater kid, Broadway is still on my heart as well.

20131025 ERICA TAZEL 2207Outside of being an actress, you do charity work. What are some of the programs that you work with and what about those programs called to you?
I just came back from South Africa. I was there with Habitat for Humanity working on a housing project in an area called PeliKan Park in Capetown. Not only will families who have been waiting for homes 20 and 30 years be blessed with home ownership, this community will have blacks, whites, coloreds, and Indians living together which is huge in that country. This was my third time in South Africa. I initially went in 2009 to visit the Rainbow Sparrow Village, which is an AIDS/Hospice and Orphanage run by a wonderful woman named Corinne McClintock. I spent time there during this trip as well. Very special place to me. On the way back home after my first visit there in 2009, I knew it would be a year and half before I would get back to Sparrow.
In the meantime, I wanted to find a way to work with children at home. I began partnering with Get on the Bus five years ago whose mission is to reunite children with their incarcerated parent for Mother’s and Father’s Day. I am a Bus Coordinator for one of the Father’s Day buses that goes to Soledad, CA. It is six months of planning to get the families on the bus and I was drawn to the hands on aspect of the project. I really get to know the people. It is also a pretty transformative experience for the kids and volunteers. It has certainly changed my life. Each year is so different, but oh so special.

Justified’s Erica Tazel Interview “Razzel Tazel” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Apirl/May Issue.

Marvel on TV

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x700For superhero fanatics, especially for fans of Marvel/The Avengers, ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D could have been one the best or worst things to happen in the superhero universe.

If Tuesday’s premiere is any indication, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is filled with endless possibilities to become one a great asset to the Marvel universe.

The show picks up after The Avengers have saved New York from aliens, and the world has been exposed to the other universes that exist.

With the return of Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson (which had me squealing like a little girl), S.H.I.E.L.D is back in action and is looking to protect the world from people who abuse and misuse special powers.

Although the show introduces new characters and technologies, such as the scientific duo of Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and their robotic Quadcopters, some parts of the show are familiar i.e. Colbie Smulders as Maria Hill from The Avengers and the use of Extremis from Iron Man 3.

The rest of the new cast includes the mysterious and brilliant (just watch her fight scene!) agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), the very talented but extremely mysterious computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet), and the arrogant but charming agent Ward (Brett Dalton).

All of the characters have massive potential, and I think they will all shine once the show has time to grow. With Joss Whedon’s brilliance and wit behind the genius (which is why I laughed out loud multiple times), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is well on its way to an incredible season.
Photo and featured image: ABC/Bob D’Amico