Friday October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th.

Baseball playoffs have completely consumed all of my television viewing so I have loads to catch up.  When that happens is anyone's guess.

Season 2 of Good Behavior premieres on TNT on Sunday night.

Showtime debuts its new series White Famous on Sunday as well.

Sexual harassment scandals are running through Amazon as well.

"NBC is preparing to make a splash with a reboot of Blue Crush. The network is developing a drama series from Universal Television and Imagine Television that is based on the 2002 surfing film. Blue Crush will focus on a surfer in Hawaii’s North Shore who aims to revive her career and unite the local community following a tragic accident. Hannah Schneider (Reign) writes and executive produces. Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo also executive produce, while Imagine’s Jillian Kugler oversees. Director John Stockwell’s 2002 film starred Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez."

SEAL Team has receive a full season order from CBS.  Never seen an episode, nor will I ever watch one, but congrats.

Breaking down the season 3 premiere of Mr. Robot.

Layoffs at ABC/Disney have begun.  How about trimming some of that fat up top?

"Netflix dropped the second and final trailer for Stranger Things 2, on Friday the 13th, no less.

“'These aren’t nightmares,' says the sheriff.. 'It’s happening.' (That might be nod to a bit of dialogue from the classic Rosemary’s Baby. Or maybe not – one never knows with Stranger Things.)

"Rosemary’s Baby isn’t the only inspiration here. The trailer, perhaps because of the time of year, seems to wink at any number of classic Hollywood chillers –  a little Exorcist here, a bit of Halloween there, with a dash of Ghostbusters and even Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Maybe some Goonies? The Shining?

"The Netflix original series returns globally October 27, just in time for Halloween."


This continues to unravel at a rapid pace: "The dumpster fire that is the Harvey Weinstein scandal will continue to burn awhile longer, as victims and outraged industry members weigh in with statements of outrage over the sickening allegations of sexual harassment and rape. Yet, already the industry has turned to the discussion of the dire future prospects of The Weinstein Company, even after it gets a new name and Harvey Weinstein is scrubbed from the credits of films and TV projects.

"Late last week, the town seemed willing to hang in with the production company if Weinstein was fired, giving co-chairman Bob Weinstein and COO David Glasser the chance to keep the company moving forward on its TV and movie projects, and keep the 190 staffers from heading to the exits. This was after the first New York Timesarticle. But there has been one devastating blow after the other in the days following that have eroded much of that good will for a post-Weinstein rebound. The first serious wound came with Ronan Farrow’s The New Yorker article, with descriptions of rapes that were more than sickening; they were terrifying. Two days after the board of directors issued a statement that its members had no idea of the allegations of abuse by Weinstein, TNY today quoted board member Lance Maerov admitting he had heard of multiple settlements. Even though he added he believed they were for consensual affairs and the desire to eliminate legal liability (and some believe his admission got mangled in translation, because at least two of the matters were investigated by TWC’s HR department, several major agents today said they had lost faith in the company’s mixed messaging).

"Agents did not want to be on record, but reactions ranged from not wanting to risk the wrath of clients in the event of more fallout by putting them into TWC projects, and others said that if there was evidence of Weinstein benefiting directly or indirectly in projects, the agencies wanted no part of it. They felt even a re-branded company will carry a tarnish, and hoped that projects would be sold off. This wasn’t unanimous; at least one said that if Bob Weinstein and Glasser could change the messaging, and make it clear that Harvey Weinstein’s indiscretions were not in fact covered up, forgiveness could come over time.

"But with a splintered board of directors and financiers that were already upset that a TV sale to ITV got derailed in the wake of that NYPD investigation that focused on Harvey Weinstein but didn’t yield charges, with another live sale prospectus possibly harmed by these latest allegations, does TWC have that time? We have heard that some financiers are already poring over the list of plum projects they might pry loose. And agents are looking for outs for their clients on projects that are percolating.

"That includes In The Heights book writer Quiara Alegria Hudes and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda. Hudes today Tweeted a desire to see the musical extricated from TWC, and Miranda re-tweeted it. Truth be told, that long gestating project will revert back to its authors in a few months, but they are hardly the only talent in town turning in a vote of no confidence in the wake of the staggering events of the last week.

"All of this will make it very difficult for the Weinstein Co.’s depleted board of directors, and Bob Weinstein and Glasser to re-brand the company and keep it afloat. Weinstein’s fall from grace is comparable to the nose dive that Tiger Woods took when his wife allegedly chased him with a golf club and a litany of mistresses were soon revealed. One would have to harken back to Fatty Arbuckle to find as sudden and precipitous a fall in Hollywood as what is happening to Weinstein, and numerous agents and executives at studios believe it will be next to impossible to detoxify the remnants of a company that hasn’t even weathered the litigation that is expected to follow Weinstein’s exit from the company he formed with his brother and used as his platform for decades.

"Among the unanswered questions rearing up: what will happen to TWC releases including The Current War and The Upside? In Cannes last spring, TWC announced Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore’s sequel to the all-time highest grossing documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11. The new film, about the election of Donald Trump, was expected to open next month. A theatrical release was possible, but at a buyers screening at Cannes, HBO and Amazon were among the outlets mulling a combination of a limited theatrical and an event broadcast window. Just as important is Quentin Tarantino’s movie on the Charles Manson murders. Tarantino has made his movies with Harvey and Bob Weinstein through his career. With the brothers in a bitter feud, who does he side with, or does he bypass the feud and make the movie elsewhere?  TWC has long been a bi-coastal company, mainly because Harvey Weinstein chose to live in New York. The Weinsteins became anchor tenants when Bob De Niro and Jane Rosenthal opened the Tribeca Film Center. How much longer will the company keep that space?

"Numerous sources both inside and outside the company paint a dire picture of a business in extreme limbo, as Bob Weinstein and Glasser struggled doggedly to keep things together and prevent a flood of pink slips. While litigation is certain to dictate the specifics of the company’s future, the immediate tasks of operating a company–developing scripts, booking theaters, creating marketing materials–are increasingly fraught.

"The financial and production communities are following the fast-moving developments with a mix of shock, dismay and bafflement. Clarity is definitely in short supply. 'Waiting to see what the future is going to look like over there,' said one producer who is in business with TWC. 'We don’t know yet who knew what when and I assume that’s going to impact everything.'

"An employee of TWC reached by Deadline would not speak on the record, but described an office environment where already flagging morale has curdled into anger at Weinstein for acting without a thought to the consequences for the many troops charged with executing his vision. The growing consensus is that job security is tenuous at best.

"TWC did not return calls for comment. Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein’s personal spokesperson, has repeatedly issued the same statement in response to the mounting number of sexual allegations. It reads, 'Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.'

"A second chance seems highly unlikely, at least in any version of the company that has existed over the past 12 years. One high-level media executive likens the situation to 'a run on the bank.' The person expounded to Deadline, 'Banks aren’t going to continue to lend to them. You have agencies saying they will not allow talent to appear in their movies even if they re-brand. The equity is likely to get wiped out.'

"Investors, either from the private-equity world or other media companies, could make offers for individual assets such as the valuable Project Runway TV franchise, but the entire company is too toxic to be acquired, several knowledgeable sources told Deadline. The widely held expectation is that the company’s equity will get largely wiped out, with any proceeds from asset sales going to repay creditors and a legal mess to determine how current projects get unwound.

"Nell Minow, an attorney who specializes in corporate governance and shareholder rights (and whose father, Newt Minow, once led the FCC and delivered the famous 'vast wasteland' speech), is among many predicting a 'fire sale' for the remaining Weinstein assets. Investors had bought into the creative instincts, connections and Oscar-winning knack of Harvey Weinstein, she said. 'And when the primary asset of a company is one individual, they now have to prove they are a going concern. That primary asset is now their primary liability.'

"Of course, even before the scandal hit full force late last week, the financial state of TWC was not great. Initially capitalized in 2005 with more than $1 billion from a Goldman Sachs-led consortium riding high in the bull market, a series of strategic errors, overreach and then the financial crisis hobbled the company. The company invested in home video brand Genius, which went bankrupt, as well as faded fashion brand Halston and A Small World, a social network aimed at the 1%.

"After the post-Disney iteration of Miramax was eventually sold to the Qatar’s beIN Media Group, which outmaneuvered the Weinsteins’ own bid, Goldman Sachs also sold its equity in the library to AMC Networks in 2015. The Weinstein Co. was to have a shot at regaining library rights down the road. Around the same time, there were reports of TWC selling its TV division to ITV, but those talks collapsed. Last year it arranged a $400 million credit facility to keep the pipeline active.

"As a private entity, TWC’s finances remain fairly opaque as it does not need to serve shareholders or make disclosures to the SEC, as public companies do. A premium service from Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, lists the company’s total annual revenue as of 2016 as $37.9 million. While that figure appears low, it reflects a down year in 2016 at the box office, when $41 million of Hateful Eight‘s domestic cume of $54.1 million was the main bright spot. grosses from Lion and Wind River have helped in 2017, pushing the company to $123 million for the year, but the overall tally is still down from earlier years this decade.

"The company’s coming slate, includes Amityville: The Awakening, from Bob Weinstein’s Dimension label, opening in limited release Oct. 28. Just one more title is on the 2017 docket: Polaroid at Thanksgiving. Titles dated in 2018 include Paddington 2The War With Grandpa; Mary Magdalene and The Upside. Undated but slated for 2019 is a reboot of The Six Billion Dollar ManThe Current War, initially slated for Nov. 24, has come off the release schedule and its status is to be determined.

"The development slate on the film side includes Ends of the Earth (from producers Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal); Edgardo Mortara (Julia Chasman); Speck in the Sea (Jason Blum, Rachel Horovitz); Ink and Bone (DIM) (Lee Clay); Knight Rider(Glen Larsen, Jimmy Miller, Dylan Sellers); Untitled Richard Pryor Biopic (Jennifer Lee Pryor, Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang-Bongiovi, Bruce Cohen); Get Happy (Bruce Cohen); and The Boys in the Boat (Larry Gordon).

"In TV, the company’s development slate includes Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffsand an untitled David O. Russell project.

"Harvey Weinstein had estimated the company’s valuation at $700 million as of 2016, but it is likely a fraction of that now, according to dozens of people contacted by Deadline this week. Looking ahead at its next few weeks, even the quotidian rituals of the movie business like premieres and tastemaker screenings–especially for award hopefuls like Wind River–seem inconceivable. As with everything else related to TWC, those plans are completely up in the air."


Per Yahoo!, "TNT’s Good Behavior, one of TV’s best-kept secrets, returns Sunday night for a second season that finds recovering addict/thief Letty (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery) and hit man Javier (Juan Diego Botto) trying to give Letty’s son, Jacob (Nyles Steele), a 'normal life.' As you see in the sneak peek above, it’s not going well.

“'They’ve said they’re going to do things right now, but immediately when their backs are to each other, Javier’s still a hit man, and she’s still stealing things, and because they’re both so perceptive, they can’t really hide it from each other for all that long,' creator Chad Hodge says. 'Within 20 minutes of the first episode, they find out the truth about each other, which leads to that big argument in the garage toward the end of the [hour], which is them confronting the reality of their situation versus pretending it’s something else. Letty and Javier have a very hard time changing themselves. The question of the show — in Season 1 and Season 2, but Season 2 in a bigger way — is should they change themselves? What is good and what is normal is different for everybody, and they face a lot of judgment from everybody around them, but they really understand each other, which is why I think it’s such a great love story.'

"Of course that romance is also complicated now because Letty had to sell out Javier to get custody of Jacob, and though she warned him in time to ruin the FBI’s bust in the Season 1 finale, agent Rhonda Lashever (The Handmaid’s TaleEmmy winner Ann Dowd) still wants to find Javier. The good news: That means we get to see more of Dowd. 'I would put Ann Dowd in every episode if I could, and, actually, she is in eight episodes of the 10 this year, so she’s basically a series regular,' Hodge says. The role became larger than originally conceived in Season 1 because, he says, agent Lashever is 'so specifically good and bad. Even though she’s an FBI agent, she sort of has a criminal streak in her. She does her own thing. Instead of the FBI vehicle they give her, she drives her own Mercedes Sprinter, and decks it out, customizes it to a T.'

"He also credits Dowd’s performance. 'As we’ve seen in all the amazing things she’s done — Leftovers and Handmaid’s Tale — she’s strong, and threatening, and scary, and then she makes these characters really specific and tries a million things. With agent Lashever, there’s a lot of humor we write into it, and she just goes for it. She’s told me this is the hardest role she’s ever had to play because of the humor, and that she’s never sure where exactly to land things, but, of course, she always does it brilliantly,' Hodge says. 'And the chemistry between her and Terry Kinney [Letty’s former parole officer, Christian] is just fantastic. You’ll be seeing a lot of them in Season 2.'

"Also returning for Season 2, of course, are Letty’s mom, Estelle (Lusia Strus), and Estelle’s new husband, Rob (Joey Kern). 'Rob is a good example of most of the characters on Good Behavior where you might start out thinking like, "Oh, Rob’s an idiot" or "Rob’s dumb" or whatever, and then you end up falling in love with him over the course of episodes. It’s the same with Estelle, and the same with, well, anyone, really, in the show — there’s no totally bad or totally good character,' Hodge says. 'I just love their energy. They’re so funny. And, you know, Rob loves Letty and Rob loves Javier, and he has the biggest heart of any character in the show, and is the only one with a real job, except for Lashever. It’s always a struggle, because Estelle is worried about Letty and worried about her grandson, Jacob, and Rob wants to give Letty every chance in the world. So that’s the conflict they’re dealing with.'"

American_Vandal_Horizontal-Main_RGB 8.29.04 AM.jpg

From Uproxx, "American Vandal, Netflix’s hit true crime mockumentary series inspired by Serial and Making A Murderer, roped viewers in with the hilarious premise of teen filmmakers trying to get to the bottom of who spray-painted dicks on 27 cars in the teacher’s parking lot at Hanover High School, but then kept them hooked with the actual mystery of who did do the dicks. It’s now been about a month since American Vandal was released and since many viewers seem to be finishing up with the series now, it seems as good a time as any for a post-finale discussion.

"Surprisingly, the series ended on a relatively depressing note. Although Dylan was finally exonerated for drawing the dicks (albeit by hard evidence that revealed his girlfriend Mackenzie had been cheating on him), he still:

  • Failed to secure a sincere apology from Ms. Shapiro, who had implicated him
  • Didn’t get into Boulder
  • Got dumped by Mackenzie
  • And perhaps worst of all, realized by watching the finished documentary at a post-prom bash that he wasn’t actually a hero among his fellow students but a laughingstock they all looked down on

"The series ends with Dylan’s fate hanging in the balance after he’s caught on surveillance cameras spray painting a giant dick, much like the ones in the center of the case (which is to say, sans ball hairs and with a detailed mushroom head) on Ms. Shapiro’s driveway.

"But aside from Dylan’s future, which is uncertain at the conclusion of the story, the other big, obvious question remains: who did the dang dicks? Anyone who expected American Vandal to wrap up with an ironclad resolution to the story (myself included) should have probably known better. The type of crime docuseries the series spoofs typically do not end with a neat bow, instead presenting all of the information to viewers and letting them process the facts, evidence, and testimony for themselves — which adds to the social appeal of being able to debate with other fans.

"So without knowing exactly whodunit, here are the top seven suspects, presented in no particular order:

Christa Carlyle

Christa is the most obvious culprit here. She had the motive (whatever went down between her and Coach Rafferty that led to her declining to join the football team and filing a student complaint), she had the access (keys to the media room), and she had the alibi (her boyfriend, Van Delorey). In fact, without saying it in so many words, it seems as if the series expects viewers to walk away assuming Christa did the dicks.

If nothing else, her inability to perform CPR despite CPR training being her alibi seems like the smoking gun — not to mention the fact that she literally stood up at the assembly about the dicks and said, “I drew the dicks.” But by not implicating Christa, the door is left open just enough to speculate that someone else could be responsible for the dicks, such as…

Dylan Maxwell

Sure, Mackenzie’s video seemed to exonerate him, except… what if it didn’t? What if it was still possible for Dylan to go from Lucas Wiley’s house, to Mackenzie’s house, then to the school and back? Sure, Dylan was steadfast in denying that he didn’t do the dicks, but he also lied when initially presented with the “I heart boobs” license plate prank and the driveway dick. What if the driveway dick wasn’t a copycat, but Dylan was clever enough to draw a different dick style and access the FTP site the entire time? It seems unlikely, but not impossible.

Ming Zhang

And speaking of unlikely, there’s Ming Zhang, who was described as being the “nicest kid in school” but the only one without an alibi. As The Usual Suspectstaught us, “the greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Did Ming Zhang pull a frigging Keyser Söze on American Vandal? You have to wonder why a so-called “nice kid” from Toronto would go hog wild all of a sudden and try to beer bong a whole six pack. (Side note: I fully expected drunk Ming Zhang to confess to the dicks.)

Mr. Kraz

And then we have Mr. Kraz, who seems like if Dylan went and got his teaching degree from a state school with a high acceptance rate, and managed to graduate and get his teaching license by the skin of his teeth. Kraz, like Dylan, seems to be too dumb to pull something like this off, but he has the motive (disdain for the other teachers and staff at the school, wanting to look cool in front of the kids, general dumbassery), and possibly access? While Kraz wasn’t one of the select few with a key to the media room, it’s not inconceivable that there wasn’t some way for him to get a hold of one.

On the other hand, Kraz’s Jeep Wrangler was one of the vehicles targeted, although that’s something a guilty person would do to throw others off his scent.

Pat Micklewaite

Can’t rule him out.

Alex Trimboli

As noted in the series, if a guy is willing to lie about a hand job, what else is he willing to lie about? Sure, Alex is a little weasel and most likely just wanted to get senior lunch back, but what if the reality was that he panicked after having drawn the dicks and wanted to make sure that no shadow of a doubt was cast that it was Dylan who did the dicks. For this theory to work, of course, Alex would have needed an accomplice “on the inside” of the Morning Show 9, which could have been nearly any of them.

Peter Maldonado & Sam Ecklund

The filmmakers behind the documentary seemed to have no problem with the collateral damage that resulted from their project, in unveiling hurtful and embarrassing secrets about the fellow students, their families, and school staff. So would it be that much of a stretch for them to have set up the whole vandalism crime, with the assumption that they would pin the whole thing on Dylan, clear his name, and then walk away with praise and accolades? Well, probably. But I still don’t totally trust them, either.

When it comes down to it, we’ll probably never know who did the dicks. But if nothing else, if a series about someone doing a bunch of dicks makes us think a little bit and flex our brain muscles, I don’t see how anyone can say that’s a bad thing."