"What happens when fans of Joss Whedon grow up and start working in television and movies? Netflix’s remake of Cowboy Bebop," says Gita Jackson. "I can’t say for sure if the writers and showrunners on Bebop were, like I once was, huge fans of Buffy or Angel, the two shows that put Whedon on the map. Based on the way the characters speak, it sure sounds like it, though. Over the years, I’ve begun to notice more and more 'Whedonspeak,' as the phenomenon used to be called, in mainstream television and movies. Describing the qualities that make dialogue sound Whedonesque is now difficult though, because those qualities are ubiquitous." Jackson adds: "It’s difficult to overstate how influential that show has been, not just in terms of its portrayal of women in science fiction, but also because of the particular quirks of Whedon’s dialogue. Characters in Whedon’s shows talk a lot, and they talk in very particular ways. Characters are often imprecise in their language, letting sentences trail off as they struggle to articulate themselves. They turn nouns into verbs and vice versa. They say 'thing' or 'thingy' or 'stuff' in place of more descriptive terms. Often these characters metatextually comment on their surroundings or the environments they’re in, usually in a sarcastic or snarky way. The tone of this is pretty 'wink wink, nudge nudge,' as if the writers are speaking through the characters to the audience, rather than the characters commenting on the situation they are in...This is fine in Buffy, which is a show about teenagers in a heightened universe where vampires are real. When this style of dialogue shows up elsewhere, it’s not just incongruous, it feels lazy. The characters in Netflix’s remake of Cowboy Bebop talk in this way. It isn’t that the universe is more grim, it’s that the tone of the show, the actions of the characters, and the way that they all talk to each other don’t jive. Whedonspeak is all over Cowboy Bebop, especially whenever Faye Valentine talks. In particular, the scene when Faye is handcuffed to the Bebop’s toilet in its opening episode has that particular veneer of insincerity that is endemic to this style of dialogue, especially when it’s done badly. The characters aren’t talking to each other—they’re speaking in quips and asides, lines meant to make the audience laugh more than they’re meant to convey who these characters are."
In 2016, the Cowboy Bebop star was envisioned as the leading man in big movie roles in the 2016 viral hashtag movement called #StarringJohnCho. "His filmography isn’t a particularly dense one, in part because of what Hollywood has (or more importantly, hasn’t) sent his way, and his own choosy discretion in participating," says Eddie Kim. "All of this is strange because Cho has proven, again and again, his talent and versatility in everything from American Pie to 2018’s excellent Searching, in which Cho carries the film as the hurt, obsessive father of a missing teenage girl. Three years later, Cho is back in his newest leading role, as mercurial bounty hunter Spike Spiegel in the live-action adaptation of the beloved anime series Cowboy Bebop. The series’ debut on Netflix has been met with very mixed reviews, much of it critical of the shift in mood and tone from the original animation. But people are glowing about Cho’s performance, which melds whip-smart violence with a sardonic weariness that informs Spike’s worldview. There’s a gravity to his gravitas that helps pull together the story and his partners-in-crime, Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda). In one sense, I’m not surprised by the lukewarm reception — live-action adaptations of beloved anime properties have failed over and over again, including the 2017 flop Ghost in the Shell. But more importantly, it feels like another 'what if' moment for Cho, who has been let down in his career by machinations that are out of his control. Consider the cancellation of Selfie, the well-received rom-com in which he starred alongside Karen Gillan. The underrated show allowed Cho to stretch his dramedy skills while also being the rare Asian man love interest, but was chopped short right as it was hitting its stride. Then there’s his exit from Alan Yang’s critically acclaimed 2020 indie drama Tigertail — an unfortunate consequence of editing out an entire timeline in the movie, despite Cho’s allegedly beautiful performance. Meanwhile, there are all the roles that Cho simply didn’t get, in an industry in which merely being Asian can relegate you to diversity hires...What’s become clear to me, as a fan of Cho, is that he is ready for the next generation of Hollywood — an industry that, when it comes to representation, will have evolved beyond the dichotomy of whether or not to write an Asian role for an Asian guy. It’s a kind of post-race utopia that seems yet impossible to attain, but it’s clear Cho craves it."
"The organization behind the Grammy Awards decided at a meeting on Monday — just 24 hours before this year’s nominees were announced — that the top categories should expand to 10 nominees from eight, a last-minute move that added stars like Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Abba and Lil Nas X to the existing slate of potential winners," reports The New York Times' Ben Sisario and Joe Coscarelli. "When the nominations were revealed on a live webcast the next morning, Harvey Mason Jr., the chief executive of Recording Academy, hailed the surprise shift as a way 'to make room for more music, more artists and more genres, and to embrace the spirit of inclusion.' But among the added names were some of pop’s biggest stars and people who were already on the ballot elsewhere. For album of the year, the two contenders added to the ballot were Swift’s Evermore and West’s Donda,”joining titles by Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Doja Cat, H.E.R., Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X and Jon Batiste."
"There is Insecure the art work, and Insecure the phenomenon," says Doreen St. Felix. "The show benefitted from the chatter in the late twenty-tens about television undergoing a 'Black Renaissance.' It was true, for a time, that (Issa) Rae was the only Black woman with a premium-cable series. But that statistical fact obscured what made Insecure compelling: its sense of history and community and genre. The series has always been a sitcom about sitcoms, television about television. It was not radical; it liked tradition. There’s no Insecure without Girlfriends. Rae employed a retinue of primarily Black writers and directors who gave the show a house style. And every season, except for this last one, contained a satirical show within a show. References were made to Living Single, Martin, Scandal. These gags clarified the ambition of this suave experiment: to gussy up the familiar with the aesthetics of the new. At the end of the fourth season, there was a 'twist' that many viewers found intolerable. It was soapy, critics argued, to tease another reunion of Issa and Lawrence, and then to introduce an unplanned pregnancy. Fair, but Insecure never promised realism. It was a risk, and an admirable one, to refurbish the tropes of romantic comedy. Still, Insecure could surprise. Some of the best episodes were references to Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy: long, meandering dates, with L.A. glittering behind the lovers. Insecure” filled the hunger we had for a low-key Black comedy of errors. It could have remained comfort food, but as the seasons went along the storytelling matured. The characters changed; aspirations to Black excellence were refreshingly disavowed. The shenanigans alternately vexed or tantalized you. Were you Team Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) or Team Lawrence? Was Molly ridiculous for shunning a lover because he had once hooked up with a man? (She was.) You became dedicated to Insecure as you might become attached to a sport. The theme of this final season is growth. The episodes I’ve seen are funny, melancholic, and not too ambitious plot-wise. The gentle momentum suggests that the series will give us an old-school, satisfying closure."
"The problem is Christine has neither the gravitas nor strength to be a believable villain or a victim. And this is where the season falls flat," says Morgan Jerkins. "There is no one to root for, no one to hate, but everyone is undoubtedly exhausting." Jerkins adds: "If you are going to be a villain, you have to be committed. Kristin Cavallari. Nene Leakes. Tiffany 'New York' Pollard. We may not have liked them at certain points of their reality TV show careers but they were memorable because they committed to an archetype. Even when they were wrong, they stood in that wrongness, no matter what. Christine flounders: one minute, she facetiously aspires to dictate to her colleagues what they should wear on certain days (a nod to Mean Girls); the next, she runs away from even the slightest bit of confrontation, sniffling with not a single tear to show for it. She’s too wishy-washy to be a villain and too polished to be a victim. What we are left with is a replication of high school politics without an ounce of grit, or, dare I say, true meanness with a purpose. What made season three of Selling Sunset so memorable was that alongside the drama, there were other subplots that kept viewers on their toes: Mary and Romain’s relationship, Chrishell’s divorce, Heather’s desire to get married. This season has none of that and in turn, everyone is cheapened. It would’ve been nice to see how Christine is managing new motherhood after experiencing a traumatic birth, how Romain is forging his independence from his older, much more established wife or how even Davina is learning more about dynamics and boundaries since her mouth got her in trouble last time. But no. All we get is a bunch of finger-pointing with no one really being able to see it through with words, which makes one ask: are they afraid of each other? And if they were, wouldn’t it be enlightening, or at the very least entertaining, to see where that fear might lead?"
McArdle had been cast to play First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the NBC live TV musical airing next week.
“So I felt there was no harm, no foul in going back to finish what I helped start," says Roman, who revisits the David Edwards blanket incident on the Paramount+ series. Roman, 51, had previously retired from reality after appearing on Celebrity Wife Swap, Marriage Boot Camp and Basketball Wives. Roman says Season 2 of The Real World was, like Season 1, ahead of its time. “We did delve back into race,” Roman says. “We did delve back into the abortion situation. We did delve back into the issues with #MeToo and that particular incident with David. A lot of people saw me get my mouth wired and deal with bulimia, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders. We talked about all that this time around. But with a more respectful eye.”
"The enthusiasms of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives can sometimes read, in that way, as elegiac. Many restaurants—the sites of first dates and fiftieth, of meetings and reunions—closed during the pandemic," says Megan Garber. "Triple D is a reminder of what’s lost when they go away. But it is a reminder, too, of how much life there is in the local. The show’s 14th year coincides with a moment when Americans are finding small ways to reclaim a sense of place. The pandemic has alienated people from one another; it has also brought local communities together. New TV shows (Mare of Easttown, Dopesick, and many others) are exploring, with rich specificity, how their locations shape their characters. Nonprofit journalism initiatives are attempting to bolster regional media coverage to ensure that people have news that speaks to, and convenes, local communities. Triple D anticipated some of those efforts. It celebrates what it means to be situated in a given place. The spots the show visits are not simply settings or backdrops or pin-drops on a map. They’re home." Garber adds: "I love that Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives isn’t actually about the food. It’s a travel show, an exploration of individual places, as seen through some of the restaurants that nourish the people who live there. Diners have long doubled as symbols of thrift, of simplicity, of community. Triple D takes the symbolism one step further. It explores what the art critic Lucy Lippard called 'the lure of the local,' the notion that locations on the map have depth as well as width, functioning not just as places in the world but also as ways of giving the world its meaning. In a moment when many Americans are renegotiating their relationship with their local community, Triple D is a wistful kind of paradox: It is a national show that celebrates local life. The series spotlights the quirks—the accidents of geography and history and culture—that make one area of the country just a little bit different from every other."
"It’s hard not to watch and wonder, over and over, who it’s for," says Lisa Weidenfeld of the Peacock revival series. "Is it for aging millennials with fond memories of watching the original in reruns as a kid? Or is it for the teens of today, who are possibly less invested in what happened to Joss Whedon, whose travails are mentioned? These questions are a sign of how much this SBTB functions as a show with earnest teen-oriented plots run through a machine of ’90s and early ’00s references. By far, the characters that suffer most from this framing are the returning members of the original show. The actors are endearingly game, but the show leans on them too much in the second season, and they’re the most likely to be stranded with overly sincere plotlines. Worse, they’re stuck with the impossible juggling act of landing storylines about what it’s like to be middle-aged and still obsessed with your high school years, while simultaneously apologizing for the shortcomings of the original series and being semi-cognizant that they lived in a sitcom. It’s an emotional spectrum that often proves shaky territory, although it does offer the hilarity of A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez), incredibly disturbed, trying to piece together whether or not he had a mom, since the original show only ever mentioned his dad. But too often it means the wacky hijinks get stopped to build a slow-burn reunion romance between Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley Lauren) and Slater. It’s hard to get invested in storylines like this when it means time away from Mac’s ability to bend space and time, or from a sweet exploration of one character’s first same-sex romance." ALSO: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren calls the Showgirls shout-out "a sort of healing, because comedy can help you reclaim a narrative of sorts.”
"With 'How To Cook the Perfect Risotto,' the sixth episode of its first season, HBO’s How To with John Wilson made a transition from quirky, affectionate oddity to one of 2020’s best TV shows," says Daniel Fienberg. "Plenty have tried, but no installment of TV has so poignantly and amusingly captured the discordant jumble of communal alienation that emerged in the earliest days of the COVID pandemic. That episode and its effectiveness came organically from documentarian Wilson’s particular brand of meandering inquisitiveness, but I don’t think anybody, including Wilson himself, would tell you that it was reproducible. That makes it not a criticism, but an accepted inevitability, that the second season of How To with John Wilson doesn’t feature an episode intended to be or capable of being the new version of 'Risotto.' And once you accept — yes, this is sounding a little like John Wilson-style narration — that How To with John Wilson hasn’t miraculously cracked the code to making the year’s best TV episode every single week, it’s easy to still appreciate that the show’s second season is generally smoother and more confident in its storytelling approach than the first; it’s less an unexpected treasure, but still capable of surprising."
"FX on Hulu regarded Reservation Dogs as 'the first show on cable television in which all the writers, directors and regular characters on the series are Indigenous,'" says Ruth Etiesit Samuel. "However, Black Native viewers felt excluded from the series, spurring conversation across social media regarding anti-Blackness in Native American communities and the complexity of Indigenous identity. With Season 2 on the way, many Black Natives are hoping to see their lives accurately represented on-screen and their voices heard in the writers room."
"Based on some early promotional art for the show, Marvel fans are theorizing that Disney+ will reboot Kamala Khan’s superpowers," explains Gavia Baker-Whitelaw. "Instead of being able to shapeshift and change the size of her body (a power that falls somewhere between Ant-Man’s technology and Mr. Fantastic’s stretchiness), it looks like she’ll have energy-construct powers like DC’s Green Lantern. So far, two pieces of leaked Ms. Marvel art depict this new MCU power...To most viewers, this probably doesn’t seem like a major change. It just means that Ms. Marvel’s giant fists will be a CGI energy weapon instead of 'embiggened' parts of her actual body. The problem is, Kamala’s superpowers aren’t just about punching. Her origin story ties into the comic’s exploration of race and identity."
"I don't know what it says about us, enjoying watching people be savage, whether it's in the form of a suit and tie, or whether it's life-or-death games of red light, green light," The Hot Zone: Anthrax star tells Cnet's I'm So Obsessed podcast.
Apparently, according to Gabrielle Bruney, the "easiest, most direct way to communicate that Rogen and Offerman are playing a couple guys from the morally questionable side of the ‘90s is to slap some mullets on them."
Hulu's Helstrom is the worst, according to The A.V. Club, while Disney+'s Loki and WandaVision are the best.
“I keep seeing these ads for that zombie show on TV. It’s awful,” one character says in the trailer for the new A24 movie. Yeun says he raised concerns that "this is kind of weird" with the director, but eventually to go with it. But he had no idea it would be part of the trailer.
Actors such as Rob Yang and Judy Reyes come and go on the HBO series.
Bob's Burgers and Friends had some great Thanksgiving Day episodes.
The actress tells TVLine there have been no conversations to reprise her Melanie Barnett-Davis role, noting that's been busy with other work. “I don’t feel like there is much else for Melanie to do and say," Mowry-Hardrict adds. "She’s had such an incredible story… Everything I do has a beginning and an end, and once that chapter is over with, it’s time to start a new one.”
Hyungrok Kim, a CG supervisor on the show from Gulliver Studios, posted a video showing just how much CGI was used to bring the South Korean hit to life.
“He’s obviously horrendous in many ways, but also at the same time has such a vitality and weird wit," says the actor behind Peter III of Russia. Hoult knows that his character, who spent an alarming amount of time in Season 1 trying to kill his wife, could easily become “an all-out villain.” He credits The Great creator Tony McNamara for creating something more complicated. He also credits having Elle Fanning as his co-star, whose Catherine is just as complex. “It’s so beautifully balanced, what she does with the character,” Hoult said of his co-star. “It’s fun to be there on set, but then also getting to watch it back afterwards," he says. "I’m always blown away by the work she’s done.”
"So why has BTAS eschewed this cycle?" asks Daniel Dockery. "Aside from the fact that it is, as anyone who’s seen it will attest, a really good show, it’s also the series that would blend the macabre Art Deco Gotham City of the recent Burton films with a film noir-ish sensibility, making it look unlike any other show on TV at the time. After the 1980s, a decade when most cartoons mainly served as extended commercials for corresponding toy lines, Batman’s adventures were pulse-pounding and iconic. Heck, it’s the series that made Mr. Freeze interesting, and the one that birthed the character of Harley Quinn, who shot up the ranks of identifiable DC Comics characters in a way not seen since the 1940s."
"The massive, 1,024-page book is built on interviews of dozens and dozens of key players in HBO’s past," Bradley Babendir says of Miller's Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit Of New Frontiers. "There’s Edie Falco and Laura Dern. Davids Chase, Simon, and Larry. There’s executive after executive after executive. Miller did an exceptional job getting important people on the record and at length. That, unfortunately, is only half the job, and often the better you are at it, the harder the other half of the job—putting the book together in a cohesive way—gets. There is so much ground to cover, from 1971 to the present day. Organizing it all so that it flows well and gives readers the context they need is a gargantuan task, and Tinderbox doesn’t come close to fulfilling it. There are a number of amusing stories for fans of HBO’s biggest hits. A standout is J.B. Smoove’s account of his Curb Your Enthusiasm audition. He recalls walking in and saying, 'Okay, Larry, let’s do this baby, and since this is improv, I might f*ck around and slap you in the face.' But that story is quickly followed by a section that exemplifies the book’s flaws. Less than a page later, there’s a quote from John McEnroe about his appearance on the show. 'When I saw the outline, I thought, "How the hell can somebody even come up with this? This guy’s out of his mind."' That is immediately followed by bolded, italicized transitional text about a former executive returning to the HBO building because they were naming a theater after him. If you’ve never seen Curb or perhaps don’t remember the plot of a television episode that came out 14 years ago, Miller won’t help you. He never explains it. This quick gloss is not in exchange for depth in other areas. Little in this book rises above the level of trivia."
"I do not think the last few seasons of GBBO have been great," says Roxana Hadadi. "There was the very young season, in which the baby contestants did not know what lemon curd was; get out of here with that. Come back to me when you can whisk egg yolks and citrus juice together into something tart and viscous and magnificent and not curdled! And then there was the first COVID-19 season, which suffered from both really goofily elaborate challenges (remember the caged tart?) and what I perceived as very inconsistent judging. I didn’t agree with the winner last year, which felt like a course correction for the preceding year rather than a genuinely judged final, and basically what I’m saying is: The casting has been up and down lately, and Prue and Paul have been a sometimes strange duo. It feels like the show is editing out portions of judging, so people are baking more elements than we see the judges actually tasting, and the Noel and Matt pairing continues to wound me. Like, what the hell is this, man? These sketches are AWFUL. BUT. BUT. BUT. This season has been so good from the very beginning, and it finally feels like things have clicked. Like Paul and Prue are complementing each other as judges, rather than constantly going back on things they’ve said or contradicting each other. Matt has calmed down a fair amount since last season."
"What the first season of Tiger King had to offer its pandemic-afflicted viewers was a queasy but colorful cornucopia of grifters, sleaze balls, blowhards, dirtbags, idiots, and narcissists," says Laura Miller. "So it’s no surprise that the documentary series’ second installment—despite much more limited airtime for its incarcerated central character, one-time animal-park owner Joe Exotic—dishes out more of the same, at least if you can stomach it. This mess has attracted plenty of flies, and Tiger King 2 continues to document the never-ending squabbles of a bunch of shady low-life animal collectors and the unfortunate dupes who come into their orbit, while also examining the parasites drawn by the attention the first season brought."
Four entrepreneurs who filed suit in 2018, alleging the NBC reality show suckered them into joining a multi-level marketing scheme, will finally be able to see MGM's closely guarded unaired Celebrity Apprentice footage.
Golden Buzzer winner Jane “Nightbirde” Marczewski had to drop out of the NBC reality competition in August because of her cancer treatments. “It’s happening slow little by little, day by day. I’m getting a little better,” she told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. “I did get a scan result back and a bunch of stuff that was there disappeared. A bunch of the big stuff has gone down in size so we’re on the way.”
The former Desperate Housewives star, who will appear on Showtime's Even More Funny Women of a Certain Age, has been honing her comedy act by telling funny stories at small shows for the past five years. At one show years ago, she met Goldstein. “I had come from the gynecologist’s office and I don’t know why, standing and talking to Brett Goldstein — who is this lovely man but I didn’t know who he is because it was years ago — I start telling him the story about how I hadn’t had sex a long time and how I was potentially meeting this guy who maybe I was going to get to be having sex with but I hadn’t had sex in such a long time I wasn’t sure if it all worked down there,” Hatcher recalls with a laugh. “I went to the gynecologist with that in mind and I didn’t really know how to ask the gynecologist that question and I finally just said to him, ‘Does it look like a guy would have a good time in there?’ I really said that and he really backed away from me and he went, ‘Teri, you have a totally average vagina.’ Brett fell out laughing and said, ‘That should be the title of your one-woman show.'” The idea led Hatcher to try longer form material.
Alena Smith cites Vera Chytilová’s 1966 film Daisies as one of her favorites for being "feminine and disruptive at the same time." As for Mad Men, Smith says: “It felt like the new frontier of what TV could be. There were so many different characters who all had their own point of view and perspective, and you could attach yourself to any of them. It really felt like a literary world populated with characters.”
The Amazon action drama, whose third and final season is now available to stream, set itself apart from the 2011 movie it is based on with "its ability to sit with what happens to everyone who gets caught in a thorny thicket of high-level assassins," says Steve Greene. "Even at the show’s outset, when Hanna (Esmé Creed-Miles) was deep into the training that swallowed her entire childhood, the goal was more than survival. Season 2 of Hanna was the show’s greatest magic trick, giving Hanna the high school experience she never had at the secluded facility The Meadows, even if her classmates were all elite killers-in-the-making like she was. Season 3 aims for a similar kind of subversion as Hanna and fellow rogue Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) try to protect the targets on a secret list of potential subversives. With the Utrax program still operational (despite the dent the two managed to put into it at the close of Season 2), the collective power harnessed and fostered at The Meadows is still capable of ending many lives and ruining many more."
Netflix may have another South Korean hit on its hands with Hellbound. "The wrath of God has been rendered, cinematically speaking, in many shapes and sizes," says Nick Allen. "Sometimes it’s a perfect storm; sometimes it’s Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules striking great vengeance down upon thee with furious anger in Pulp Fiction. “Hellbound, an ambitious new Netflix series from Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho based on a webtoon (The Hellbound), imagines the wrath of God as three smoky gray, towering Hulk-like beasts that appear out of nowhere and proceed to throw slam people into cars, walls, anything really, as if they were chew toys. They splatter a human being's blood everywhere, trashing the environment around them, and then torch said target to a crisp. We later learn that this first (known) victim was given a decree by a floating face in the sky, who told this poor guy exactly when he was going to die and be sent to hell. But in one of the show’s many exciting intellectual ideas, this highly bingeable series is not about the terror of the monsters, but what would happen next—how so many people would lose their minds and sense of self, especially if such a literal force of wrath were rationalized as vengeance for our sins. The terror here is people, the opportunists, cult leaders, and blind believers who follow fear to the point of shaming others, hating others, destroying each other for the goal of earning God's mercy. Yeon’s series mixes this grounded horror with thoughtful discussions about how we define a sin, and what we as human beings are deserving of from such a God."
"After tackling the Ebola crisis in its first season, Nat Geo’s anthology drama The Hot Zone returns to reexamine the investigation behind 2001’s Anthrax mailings, which killed five people and infected several more," says Saloni Gajjar. "The six-parter offers a cut-and-dried look at the heinous crimes which took place in the weeks following 9/11. But the narrow approach is drawn out and dull, despite captivating performances from lead duo Daniel Dae Kim and Tony Goldwyn. The Hot Zone: Anthrax makes an effort to touch on a monumental incident that usually gets overshadowed in 9/11 coverage, but it still doesn’t offer a lot of new information. This is a linear retelling of the case through the eyes of FBI agent Matthew Ryker (Kim), an amalgamation of the agents who actually investigated the letters. No time is spent fleshing out the lead character beyond his passion for finding the culprit. Dressed only in sharp suits and a perpetual furrowed brow, Kim can only do so much to save a relatively one-note script."
"Netflix’s limited series True Story is a departure for star Kevin Hart in his television drama debut, as he wrestles with material that’s darker than his usual schtick," says Tambay Obenson. "It’s a commendable risk on his part that doesn’t fully exploit its potential to be the thoroughly engrossing episodic with a profound message that it probably thinks it is. While Hart and co-star Wesley Snipes, in their first onscreen matchup, make for a high-octane duo, the script betrays that effort with uninspired writing from series creator, writer, and showrunner Eric Newman (Narcos: Mexico) that doesn’t quite make darkness its ally, and leans too much on plot conveniences and a predictability that mutes suspense." Obenson adds: "There’s a sharper series hiding in True Story’s script that assumes its audience is just as sharp, and would relish a puzzle, with a message about humbly facing the consequences of the choices we make; or a take that waxes economic on what unchecked capitalism breeds in a world in which each character is driven almost entirely by greed. But the desired message conveyed seems to be that celebrity isn’t easy. Or, to quote a Notorious B.I.G. single that’s surprisingly not included as a needle drop in this very on-the-nose series, 'Mo Money Mo Problems.'"
"This may sound harsh, but Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, was never the most exciting Avenger in the Marvel films," says Shirley Li. "Next to near-invincible heroes such as Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk, he just looked ill-equipped, wielding a bow and arrow against monstrous aliens and killer robots. One of the original six protagonists in 2012’s Avengers, the master archer (played by Jeremy Renner) gradually became an afterthought, not even appearing in 2018’s Infinity War. But Hawkeye, the new Disney+ series, frees him from the pressure of appearing alongside his flashier colleagues—and, more important, frees his narrative from Marvel’s universe-expanding ambitions. Set in New York City the week before Christmas, the show, which starts streaming tomorrow, follows Clint as he teams up with a young archer named Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld); together they try to solve a crime connected to his stint as Ronin, the katana-wielding, vigilante alter ego he adopted in Avengers: Endgame. Since that film was released, the franchise’s scope has exploded, exploring new realities and dimensions in projects such as Loki and Eternals. Yet in Hawkeye, there is no bending of space-time or pruning of multiverses. Nor is there any wrestling with the legacy of a fallen hero, as in Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Black Widow. This show, at least in the two episodes screened for critics, seems to be squarely about Clint and Kate, and how these two regular people with impeccable aim can untangle a local conspiracy in time to unwrap their presents. Hawkeye’s story is small-scale in focus, but not in ambition."
Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and Jon Huertas each sought pay raises last summer ahead of filming the sixth and final season, reports Deadline. "The request, based on the series’ success, was initially met with resistance by 20th Television and NBC," reports Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. "Original cast members Ventimiglia, Moore, Brown, Metz, Hartley, Watson and Sullivan previously negotiated big raises after Season 2 when the actors, who had started at different compensation levels, all went up to $250,000 an episode. They have maintained parity ever since. I hear This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman stepped in to back the actors in their quest for more money. 20th TV and NBC ultimately agreed to a $2 million cash bonus for each of the seven original cast members and a $1 million bonus for fellow series regular Huertas, who started as a recurring in Season 1 before being promoted to a regular in Season 2. I hear that the original cast members joined Huertas in requesting parity for him, lobbying with the studio and network for his bonus to match theirs. The effort was unsuccessful. Accounts of what happened next differ but I hear that at least some — and possibly all — of the Original 7 offered to pool together a portion of their own bonuses and give it to Huertas so he could achieve parity with them." Andreeva reports that Huertas ultimately declined the offer.
Radio Free Asia reports that a man who smuggled and sold copies of the hit South Korean Netflix series after authorities caught seven high school students watching the Korean-language global hit show. The smuggler, who will likely face a firing squad, was accused of selling USB flash drives containing all nine episodes.
Up until last week, Discovery fans could watch the Paramount+ show on Netflix. But ViacomCBS opted to make all episodes, including Season 4, available only on Paramount+, a streaming service that has launched in a small number of countries. To appease Discovery fans, ViacomCBS will make the new episodes available in many countries on Pluto TV and on select on-demand platforms. “To all of the international Star Trek: Discovery fans: we hear you. We love this series too,” a new statement released on the Star Trek official website and the franchise’s official social media channels this morning. “We love it for the incredible cast, the hardworking crew, the imaginative storytelling, the groundbreaking, diverse characters who bring the show to life and what it represents to so many people around the world. Star Trek has always put its fans first. We want to do the same.”
The record-breaking South Korean boy band returned as guests on last night's Late Late Show, two months after Corden made jokes at their fans' expense. "You've been in some hot water with ARMY, are you alright?" RM asked Corden. After resting his head on his arm for a while, Corden responded: "We did two jokes, that I didn't think were in any way offensive to anybody, where we said that we thought that it was unusual that you were kicking off the U.N. Summit with a performance, and we said — and this is where I think it was wrong — we said that your fans were 15-year-old girls. Which of course isn't true, because I'm 43 years old and I consider myself to be one of the biggest BTS fans on planet Earth."
The Season 2 opener featured Elizabeth Berkley Lauren's Jessie Spano, Mario Lopez's A.C. Slater, Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Zack Morris, Tiffani Thiessen's Kelly Kapowski and Lark Voorhies' Lisa Turtle gathered around their usual booth at The Max, where they recalled their favorite Screech memories. Diamond died in February of lung cancer at age 44. “He was so funny,” Jessie says before Zack leads a group toast by adding, “To Screech.” The episode then played a montage of Screech's most memorable moments. ALSO: Season 2 found a surprisingly organic way to reference Elizabeth Berkley Lauren's Showgirls past.
The voice of college basketball returned to ESPN last night amid his chemotherapy treatments. "I didn’t want to cry," he said. "I can’t believe I’m sitting here. It’s really a big thrill for me. I want to thank all of you people that sent me so many great messages."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Mehmet Oz "is said to be close to entering the contest and has been hiring high-level staff." TMZ reported earlier this month that Oz "has his home state of Pennsylvania in his sights" for a U.S. Senate campaign, and that he would run as a Republican.
The multi-camera comedy based on the life of real-life professional bowler Tom Smallwood will now be called How We Roll with a slight adjustment to its episode order. "The series was originally handed a pilot plus 12 episode order but this has now been adjusted to a pilot plus 10 ep order," explains Deadline's Peter White. "It’s believed that this decision was made for scheduling reasons rather than creative ones. The comedy, which has not yet been dated, is expected to launch in midseason and given that CBS has a full slate of comedies, it only had room for 11 episodes."
Texas lawyer Matt King ended last night's episode with -$6,400 in his bank.
The U2 frontman presented Hager with the sounds of the Susan E. Wagner High School band during what she thought was a routine interview that aired this morning. The former first daughter and her twin sister Barbara Bush actually turn 40 on Thanksgiving Day.
About 1.575 million watched Peyton and Eli Manning on Monday watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' blowout of the New York Giants, a slight increase from last week and about 13% of the MNF total audience of 12 million. The ManningCast has yet to surpass 2 million viewers after hitting a high on Nov. 1 of 1.956 million. "Although the Peyton and Eli show has been well received by the media, it’s still not taking much of a chunk out of the primary broadcast," says Mike Florio of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk. "The simulcast is very entertaining; however, the game becomes an afterthought at times, especially when they have guests join the conversation. Here’s the real question. Does the cost justify the benefit? To know that, we’d need to know how much they’re paying the Mannings. Our guess? Plenty. Given that most if not all of the 1.575 million who watched ESPN2 last night would have been watching the game on ESPN, it’s fair to wonder whether the bean counters think that the beans going out outweigh the beans coming in."
From, which unravels the mystery of a nightmarish town in middle America that traps all those who enter with Perrineau playing the town sheriff, premieres Feb. 20.
Amazon Studios is nearing a deal to develop a Mass Effect series based on the bestselling action sci-fi video game franchise from Electronic Arts. The news comes from Amazon head Jennifer Salke, who tells Deadline: "You will see us continuing to invest in fantasy genre of all kinds, we have a genre-focused team on the ground in Studios who work tirelessly with our creative partners on those slates, and you can look forward to more." Launched in 2007 and developed by Canadian video game developer BioWare along with parent company Electronic Arts, Mass Effect is an action role-playing game taking place within the Milky Way galaxy in the year 2183. Players assume the role of Systems Alliance Navy vet Commander Shepard, who must fight against an ancient machine race that looks to invade the Milky Way.
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke wouldn't divulge specific numbers of the Robert Jordan fantasy series adaptation, but she did say it was big in the United States, India, Brazil, Canada, France and Germany. Salke added that The Wheel of Time had some of the highest completion rates of any Amazon series.
Zuleikha Robinson, Louis Ozawa, Derek Cecil and Nancy Lenehan have also been cast in recurring roles on the Amazon political action thriller series.
Emmy Award-winning producer Ilene Landress -- whose HBO credits Mildred Pierce, The Sopranos, The Nevers, Succession and Girls -- recalled Manson's bad behavior during a visit to the set of the 2011 miniseries. “I would believe every single thing Evan has said about Marilyn Manson, because we were there,” Landress says in James Andrew Miller's new HBO oral history book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, according to The Daily Beast. “He came to visit once, and I remember the vodka bottle flying out of the trailer. She would come to work in bad shape. She would come to work like the train had run her over… Pretty much every morning if I saw Evan Rachel Wood, the first question would be, ‘Where’s the medic?’ She was in a rough place.” But, Landress added, what was going on in Wood’s personal life “never compromised her performance” on the show. “She would just fall asleep in the makeup chair, pop out of the makeup chair, and do her thing."
CK and Manson's Grammy nominations today raised eyebrows because they've been consumed by sexual misconduct scandals. “We won’t restrict the people who can submit their material for consideration," says Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. in an interview with The Wrap. "We won’t look back at people’s history, we won’t look at their criminal record, we won’t look at anything other than the legality within our rules of, is this recording for this work eligible based on date and other criteria. If it is, they can submit for consideration." He added: “What we will control is our stages, our shows, our events, our red carpets. We’ll take a look at anyone who is asking to be a part of that, asking to be in attendance, and we’ll make our decisions at that point. But we’re not going to be in the business of restricting people from submitting their work for our voters to decide on.”
The Joseph Gordon-Levitt-led anthology series from the Billions creators premieres on Feb. 27.
In ITV's Nolly, the Oscar-nominated actress will play British TV legend Noele Gordon, who was a mainstay on long-running ITV soap opera Crossroads for 18 years until she was unceremoniously fired in 1983. “What’s extraordinary is that this woman was at the absolute peak of the powers — and this was the biggest show in the country — and she was fired without any kind of explanation, and without any kind of right to respond,” says Nolly producer Nicola Shindler of Gordon, who died two years after her firing in 1985. "In a post-#MeToo world, it’s fantastic to look at the theories and to examine what she (went through) at the time, and the way that she was treated, and how that was acceptable."
Each of their specials, airing Dec. 18, will look at how two premier chefs and food stars craft their own workplace, following them both on every step of their journey as the road to completion zigs, zags and periodically gets extended due to delays beyond their control.
In the 19th century-set series, Ernest Kingsley Jr. will play George Washington “Wash” Black, an 11-year-old boy on a Barbados sugar plantation who must flee after a shocking death threatens to upend his life. Wash is the protégé of Brown's character. Also joining the cast is Iola Evans as a young British woman of means “passing” as white but secretly born of a Melanesian mother on the Solomon Islands.
Shumpert last night became the first former NBA player to not only reach the finals, but to win the Mirrorball Trophy. Many pro athletes have won Dancing before, but ABC executives didn't expect the 6-foot-5 Shumpert to go far. "When we were casting this season, we thought Iman was too tall to make it past the first few weeks but he would be so fun," tweeted ABC reality boss Robert Mills. "He’s proved me totally wrong." Shumpert, a non-dancer, also had tough competition in Jojo Siwa, a former star of Dance Moms. "However, the momentum started to slowly shift around the sixth week, when Shumpert and (partner Daniella) Karagach let loose with a jaw-dropping contemporary dance inspired by Jordan Peele’s horror film Us," says Emily Yahr. "The pair earned their first perfect score as the judges called it 'brilliant' and 'a masterpiece,' and the routine went viral on social media. Their notable height difference, with Shumpert standing at 6 feet 5 inches and Karagach nearly a foot shorter, meant they could accomplish many difficult lifts...After that, the judges warmed up to the pair even more, though they still weren’t the favorites. But it didn’t really matter: Fan votes count for a lot on Dancing With the Stars, and Shumpert and Karagach were so well-liked that they were never in the bottom two, so they were safe from the possibility of elimination. During last week’s semifinals, producers made sure to note Shumpert was the first former basketball player to make it that far in the competition."
Black-ish star Anderson will reprise his Detective Kevin Bernard from Seasons 18-20, becoming the first original Law & Order star to join the revival that is being called "Season 21" of the Dick Wolf series. The role marks Anderson's follow-up to Black-ish, which ends next year. Former Hannibal star Dancy returns to NBC as an L&O assistant district attorney. Both actors will be series regulars.
“I wanted you to hear it from me personally.” he said in an Instagram video, before launching into anti-vaccine rhetoric. “Unfortunately, ‘General Hospital’ has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied. Which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me.” ALSO: How General Hospital wrote out Ingo Rademacher's character after the actor was dropped for failing to comply with the show's COVID vaccine mandate.
In This Fool, Estrada plays a self-described “punk a** bitch” who works at a gang-rehabilitation nonprofit. The Sopranos alum Imperioli will play Minister Leonard Payne, the founder of the gang rehab facility Hugs Not Thugs. "He is fatherly, has a bit of a hair-trigger temper, insightful and pragmatic," according to Deadline. "A former mortgage broker who specialized in foreclosures, Payne had a breakdown that started him on the road to his current non-profit, but he learned one thing along the way, which he imparts to Julio (Estrada): 'I have a bad habit of focusing on other people’s problems so I don’t have to deal with my own.'"
Cameras will follow the former Bachelor star as he comes out to his friends and family and deals with the controversy surrounding him coming out. Coming Out Colton premieres Dec. 3.
The disgraced comedian earned a nomination for Best Comedy Album for Louis CK: Sincerely, his first standup special and album since multiple women accused him of sexual harassment in November 2017.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader scored a near-record 11 nominations months after winning an Academy Award for best original score earlier this year. ALSO: Grammys' Best Spoken Word Album category will pit Barack Obama vs. LeVar Burton vs. Dave Chappelle.
In the upcoming book The 30 Rock Book: Inside the Iconic Show, from Blerg to EGOT, author Mike Roe reports that director Adam Bernstein angered Baldwin during filming of Season 1 simply by holding his thumbs up to frame a shot. “According to (editor Doug) Abel, Alec turned to (Bernstein) and said that if he did that one more time, he was going to assault him. And he didn’t say it with a smile on his face,” writes Roe in the book, which will be released on Nov. 30. Abel believes the animosity led Bernstein, who shared an Emmy for his work on 30 Rock Season 1, to leave the show after only six episodes. Bernstein, the husband of Friends alum Jessica Hecht, went on to direct Fargo and eight episodes of Breaking Bad.
"In less than three weeks on Dec. 9, I will be blasting off in the next Blue Origin Space launch! I’m going to space," Strahan told Good Morning America viewers this morning. "I have been preparing for this." Strahan will become the third celebrity to visit space aboard a Blue Origin rocket after Bezos and William Shatner. Strahan will be joined by Laura Shepard Churchley, the oldest daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard, as well as four other passengers, including the first ever parent-child pair to go to space together.
Viewership fell 22% from the previous week, when The Wendy Williams Show hit a season high with other guest-hosts. ALSO: Sherri Shepherd will return as guest-host the week of Dec. 13-17.
Carlson's sitdown Monday with the teen who was acquitted last week of fatally shooting two men in Kenosha, Wisconsin "was a sickening display of how far we’ve fallen as a nation — media maniacs like Carlson conflating anarchy with patriotism, and the right embracing deadly violence as they once did conservative values," says Lorraine Ali. During the interview, says Ali, "Carlson also cued up Rittenhouse to deny accusations that he’s a white supremacist who was drawn to the protest by his opposing beliefs. Yet Tucker Carlson Tonight — which showed footage from the protests that worked in Rittenhouse’s favor — somehow failed to produce the widely circulated photo of Rittenhouse in a bar with two Proud Boys, wearing a 'Free as F—' shirt and flashing what appeared to be a 'white power' hand gesture. Instead, the show spent much of the hour reiterating the same victim/hero/blameless child lines. Rittenhouse revealed an immense amount of entitlement — and some of the same hubris he displayed on his face during the trial — when recalling how bad his first round of attorneys were for his case. They were not there in his best interest, he maintained, but rather were using him to further their own cause. Carlson nodded." Ali adds: "Next up from America’s most widely watched right-wing ideologue, a documentary about Rittenhouse due out next month, woven from material shot by a film crew embedded with Rittenhouse throughout the trial — despite Rittenhouse’s defense attorney saying he 'didn’t approve' of the production. And Fox should have never approved of this softball interview, either, where a vigilante was coddled by a madman, and humanity was forsaken for ratings. ALSO: Fox News has provided 13 times the coverage of Kyle Rittenhouse than that of the Ahmaud Arbery trial.
Baier was asked on Fox News colleague Brian Kilmeade's radio show about an NPR report that Baier and Chris Wallace objected to the Tucker Carlson Originals Fox Nation docuseries to higher-ups at Fox News. “Brian, I don’t want to go down this road,” Baier responded. “You know, I mean, there were concerns about it definitely… I think that the news division did what we do we do when we covered the story.”
New and eligible returning customers can sign up for Hulu's ad-supported plan and pay $12 for the next year. The offer is available through Monday.
Time's film and TV production division, Time Studios, is partnering with artist Pablo Stanley to turn his Robotos NFT collection of 10,000 randomly-generated droids made up of more than 170 different characteristics into a children's TV series. “There is so much incredible IP being developed within the NFT space,” says Time president Keith Grossman. “As the ecosystem continues to develop and achieve mainstream adoption, we are proud of the role Time can play by providing these creators with our platform and access to alternative mediums, including film and broadcast.”
Hulu renewed the Kat Dennings-led comedy in January 2020. But because of the pandemic, shooting on Season 2 began in July 2021. Hulu announced that all 10 Season 2 episodes -- with a "post-pandemic" setting -- will drop on Feb. 11, 2022.
In a deleted scene from Australia's celebrity Big Brother, Jenner discussed her feud with Ellen DeGeneres, saying she considered calling Kris Jenner to have her ban "any of the kids" from visiting Ellen. But, Jenner added, “I thought, ‘I don’t want to get involved in that. Let them do their thing.'"
Straczynski, who is already developing a Babylon 5 reboot for The CW, is set to write the pilot for the John Matherson series, described as an emotionally poignant and terrifyingly real story of America’s immediate and devastating return to a pre-technological dark age in the wake of a terrorist attack. The potential series is being developed for MPI Original Films.
Cutell is best known for his role as Dr. Howard Cooperman on the 1995 "The Fusilli Jerry" episode of Seinfeld, but he also had guest roles on Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother and Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he played Leo Funkhouser.
Watch Zendaya sing Frank Sinatra's "Call Me Irresponsible" in the first look at Season 2, premiering Jan. 9.
The brief video shows Jabari Banks' Will taking over Smith's throne underwater.
Premiering Dec. 13, Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street delves into the most impactful children’s program in television history.
In Close to Me, premiering Dec. 16 on Sundance Now and AMC+, Nielsen plays a woman who loses all memory after a catastrophic injury. But after having flashbacks, she begins to question whether her husband, played by Eccleston, had a role in her injury.