Monday October 9, 2017

I am really enjoying this season of You're The Worst on FX.

Well done Jason Aldean.

A Fear The Walking Dead - The Walking Dead crossover?  Why?

A look at new Hulu drama Castle Rock.

Nathan Lane says Harvey Weinstein attacked him during a birthday party for Hillary Clinton 17 years ago.  More on the scumbag Weinstein below.

Meryl Streep isn't happy with Harvey either.

Harvey Fierstein is catching misguided flack too!

As always, John Oliver put it best.  "Oliver called out Weinstein for former executive’s 'infuriating' response to the claims. Said Weinstein last week in a statement to the New York Times, which published an exposé about Weinstein alleging 'decades' of sexual harassment, 'I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then. I have since learned it’s not an excuse.' Replied Oliver on Sunday, 'Yeah, you’re right: Your excuse isn’t an excuse. In fact, it isn’t even an excuse for that behavior in the ’60s: ‘Well, back then we had no idea that women didn’t want to be forced to look at dicks! That wasn’t discovered by scientists until 1998. It was a different time.' And new stories are now coming out, including an allegation from one local news reporter that Weinstein "trapped [her] in the hallway of the restaurant,’" tried to kiss her, and when she refused, he "proceeded to expose himself" before ejaculating quickly into a potted plant, Oliver said of the claim. 'So, step aside, Chocolat: You are no longer the most horrifying picture that Harvey Weinstein has ever produced.'”

Bravo has canceled Odd Mom Out.

"The same day Patton Oswalt’s Emmy-winning Netflix comedy special Talking for Clapping began streaming, his wife, true crime writer Michelle McNamara, passed away. The comedian paid tribute to her memory in numerous ways, and even discussed his grieving process publicly — at least once enough time had passed for him to do so comfortably. Despite remaining a fixture in American pop culture, however, Oswalt’s devastating loss begged the question: Would the stand-up be able, or even want, to return to comedy? With Patton Oswalt: Annihilation, the answer is an assured 'yes.' With professed definitions like 'complete destruction,' 'absolute killing' and 'nothing is safe,' Annihilation‘s first trailer presents Oswalt’s latest routine as another round of commentary addressing current events in America. (In other words, Donald Trump — otherwise referred to by the comedian as a 'racist scrotum dipped in Cheeto dust' — is discussed.) Yet this short preview doesn’t fully suggest the new hour’s magnitude since Oswalt doesn’t outright avoid McNamara. In fact, Annihilation won’t allow it by design as Oswalt and director Bobcat Goldthwait chose to film the special at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, where McNamara’s 'Irish brood' of a family resides. Laugh at Oswalt’s jabs at Trump, and cry along with his remembrances of McNamara, when Patton Oswalt: Annihilation streams Tuesday, October 17th on Netflix."

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Per Variety, "[n]avigating success after years as a working actor was a difficult part of the Mad Men experience for star Jon Hamm.

"The actor reflected on the landmark 2007-2015 series and his performance as Don Draper in a wide-ranging Q&A Saturday night held as part of the New Yorker Festival.

"Hamm told New Yorker articles editor Susan Morrison that the AMC drama was a transformational experience, personally and professionally.

“'To have that kind of omnibus experience is once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky,' he said during the session held at SIR Stage37. 'Navigating the success, what the show became. that was the trickiest part,' Hamm added.

"Now that the series has ended, Hamm told Morrison, he’s looking to branch out.

“'The fun of being an actor is getting to different things' after playing Don Draper for seven seasons. 'It wasn’t that I wanted to react against and play the opposite, but I definitely wanted to do different things,' he said.

"Morrison asked Hamm about his comedy chops, showing clips from Bridesmaids, Saturday Night Live, and 30 Rock. A self-described comedy geek, Hamm credited his creative journey from losing his mother at the age of 10 and eventually finding a nurturing environment in his 'wildly progressive' St. Louis high school, John Burroughs School.

“'We didn’t have cable TV,' he said. “'ou had to like, read books and listen to albums and cassette tapes.' Hamm cited Spy magazine, Monty Python, and comedians including Bob Newhart, George Carlin, and Richard Pryor as inspirations. He even liked Cheech and Chong, adding ruefully, 'My grandmother did not like that one. It literally had a car-sized joint on it.'

"Hamm was a jocular, appreciative interviewee, thanking each audience member for their questions and peppering his answers with little jokes. At some point, a weird emanated from somewhere in the audience. Hamm laughed. 'I’ve never not laughed at a fart sound. Never have, never will.' When the audience laughed with some embarrassment, he added, 'oh, I know it was the chair.'

"About Mad Men, Hamm said, 'There was nothing like our show.' He credits 'the advent of the iPhone, and blog culture, and recap culture' with aiding its success. 'Nobody watched it' — at least at first — 'but people loved to talk about it!'

“'The real appeal of the show is that people saw some version of themselves — their mom, their dad, their kids, their job, their journey, their family — in the story of this man who is not what he says he is, but has made this life,' he said. Hamm added that he happened to be uniquely suited for the role.

“'My dad had a similarity to Don Draper,' he said. 'Some quality that I took and used.'

"Hamm added, 'I was a fan of advertising. I was a fan of commercials as a kid. I watched a lot of TV. I could do jingles and i could do slogans,' he said. He realized how much he knew when he started meeting actual advertising executives while working on the show.

"Morrison asked him how he played the difference between Don and his alter-ego on the show, Dick Whitman. 'Don had a different way of carrying himself,' Hamm said. 'There was this performative aspect to Don, when he was in the office especially… that was very much a conscious decision.'

"In contrast, 'when (Dick) goes out to California and you see him with Anna — he’s not performative, he’s purely himself, and there’s a different physicality to it. That was on purpose.'

"Hamm connected that artifice, obliquely, to the current commander-in-chief. 'There are a few examples of people in current political culture who might have manufactured confidence… Oh, remember George W. Bush! Simpler days,' he said.

"At the end, Morrison asked him if he wanted to join the trend of superhero films because Hamm is a known to be comic-book fan. 'Never say never,' he said, adding that he’s glad the genre is finding its way away from darker narratives towards ones with a 'sense of humor.' Plus, he joked, 'they’re running out of dudes.' An audience member asked him what his favorite comic book series was, and his answer is a four-part series called Elektra: Assassin.”

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Per Vulture, "[n]early two decades after Seinfeld bowed out with an infamously divisive finale, Jerry Seinfeld still isn’t sure they made the right choice. 'I sometimes think we really shouldn’t have even done it,' he told the audience during a New Yorker Festival interview on Friday night. 'There was a lot of pressure on us at that time to do one big last show, but big is always bad in comedy.'

"Comedy should be 'small and cheap and quick,' he told New Yorker editor David Remnick, describing the finale as an 'impossible' episode. 'That’s why TV is always funnier than movies, because you don’t have that much time and that much money.'

"In Seinfeld’s opinion, the funniest moment in the sitcom’s famed, nine-year run came at the end of season five’s The Marine Biologist, when George discovers Kramer’s lost golf ball in a whale’s blowhole. 'The hardest thing in comedy is to have the biggest laugh at the end, and it’s the most satisfying thing,' he explained.

“'We got very lucky,' Seinfeld said of writing the joke. 'Larry [David] and I came up with it the night before we were shooting. We wrote it late at night, and Jason memorized the whole speech in one day.'”

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Per USA Today, "Harvey Weinstein has officially been ousted from his own company.

"In the wake of a blistering New York Times report that detailed nearly 30 years of his sexual misconduct, the embattled TV producer has been 'terminated, effective immediately' from The Weinstein Company.

"Weinstein Company representative Nicole Quenqua sent a statement Sunday to USA TODAY from The Weinstein Company's board of representatives: 'In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.'

"Weinstein began his "indefinite" leave of absence last Friday as The Weinstein Company board ran a 'thorough' investigation into the sexual allegations made against its co-founder.

"Right before the official announcement of Weinstein's firing, Hollywood was still reacting to news of the Times report. 

"Weinstein does know his 'way around an Oscar-winning lady or two, and whenever he would come up in conversation, there was always this "ick’" or "ugh" type of reaction,' American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy said Saturday at the New Yorker Festival, according to Vulture

"Murphy, who was in a conversation with New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum, said he didn't know about any 'personal abuse stories' about Weinstein, but noted that the film industry has 'changed radically just in the last two years.'

“'I see it every day — how men in the business used to behave and now how quickly you are slapped to the ground if you try that in a corporate environment.' 

"At the same festival, LBJ director Rob Reiner pointed out that Weinstein released a film about campus assaults: 'Harvey Weinstein funded the movie The Hunting Ground. How do you do that?! We have to create a safe atmosphere where women are able to tell their stories.'

“'He’s one schmuck who did what he did,' Reiner added, Deadline reports. 'But there are a lot of great people in Hollywood who don’t do stuff like that.'

"On Sunday, model and women's rights advocate Amber Rose took to Twitter to defend her 'dear friend' Lisa Bloom, the civil-rights attorney who resigned Saturday as Weinstein's adviser.

"Bloom 'was trying to give Harvey Weinstein a platform to right his wrongs, to educate him on his faults ... and in doing so teach other men to not do the same thing!' she tweeted. 'We can't constantly scream from the rooftops that we want equality ... and not be willing to help men be better people as well.'

"These recent responses follow those already made by stars including Amber Tamblyn, Rose McGowan, Brie Larson and America Ferrera."

From Yahoo!: "Mike Judge has given us Beavis & Butt-head, King of the Hill, Office Space, Silicon Valley, and arguably our current president with his prescient 2006 film Idiocracy, and his new series, Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus can stand with his best work. Presenting animated stories of country-music stars such as George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Paycheck, these half-hours, airing Fridays on Cinemax, are packed solid with great anecdotes and great music.

"The concept is simple. Judge, as host and narrator, interviewed a lot of people who knew these stars — backup musicians, relatives, managers, roadies, hangers-on. Judge then presents them in cartoon form, with periodic little bits of film showing the artists in performance. I knew I was going to love this show when the George Jones episode, airing on Friday, led off with my favorite clip of Jones doing a staggeringly beautiful solo version of Take Me. From there, it just got better, which is to say, funny and weird. The stories that Jones’s backup band tells of the singer’s drunken misadventures — complemented by the tales told by Tammy Wynette’s hairdresser sisters Janette and Nanette Smith — make for hilarious yet poignant stuff.

"Judge loves this genre of hardcore country music. He’s not out to ridicule his subjects, as worthy of mockery as some of the crazy stuff Jones, Paycheck, and Lewis did is. Judge elicits lots of fresh details in the interviews he conducts. The tale of Ronald Reagan’s infatuation with Tammy Wynette — an affection that was not returned by Tammy, who sided with a jealous Nancy Reagan — that was new to me. I had heard the one about Waylon Jennings tying Jones to a tree, but had not heard the reason why: because George insulted Waylon by calling him 'a Conway Twitty-singin’ sonofabitch,' which made me hoot with laughter.

"Even — or especially — if you don’t get the humor in that last one, the country-music knowledge being arrayed before you in Tales From the Tour Bus is sure to both enlighten and entertain you. Low-down and openhearted, Tour Bus exposes a wider audience to the sorts of lives we rarely see on television. The music is great, too."

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"In an interview with Deadline, Bellamy Young, who plays Mellie Grant, talks about that final scene between Olivia and Mellie, in which Olivia asserts her dominance, what’s ahead for their union and for Mellie as a woman in power and a single woman in the White House, will she ally with Jake, when Fritz will be back and more:

Let’s start from the end. It seemed that Mellie was starting to forge her own path, make her own decisions, and then she was dressed down by Olivia. Is this how her presidency will be? Will Mellie be able to do anything her way or everything will be dictated by Olivia?

I think it’s going to be an interesting season in terms of who has the power. Olivia, of course, has all the power for good because she’s a staff member in the White House, but also the power for evil because she’s got B613 under her control. But Mellie has great hopes and sees a future that they can build together and sees history, right there. They can touch it, the two of them, together.

But there is so much that Mellie does not know about what Olivia has done and what Olivia is doing, and so, as much as I know that Mellie wants them to be a team, I can only imagine that the road will become more, and more divided, and the stakes between them higher, and higher, because they’re sitting on a big tub of kerosene and it’s just like one match away from an absolutely incendiary situation.

Does Mellie want them to be a team? Absolutely. Does she want to go about that by giving Olivia her way all the time? Not at all. She’s a strong, empowered woman, and she wants to do what’s best for the country. But I also think she’ll come to trust Olivia less, and less, as we go along, and she finds out more and more about where Olivia’s morality is these days.

Were you surprised that, in the situation with the kidnapped CIA operative, Mellie was the one who proceeded to authorize a killing, and Olivia, who seems to be turning darker by the day, was the one who moved in to save him?

It’s nice to live in Shondaland where everything is gray, not black and white. I think Mellie definitely made that decision as counseled by Jake because she thought it was the best way to keep the Republic safe. Never with a light heart and never with ease, but thinking that, of course, time is of the essence, and that was the surest way to keep the most people safe.

I’m not sure that Olivia wouldn’t have gotten to that decision, but pushed and made her actually be a better person and find a better, higher road. I’m not sure that Mellie made an evil decision in that. It’s just one that makes me thankful every day that I am not in a position of power in that way, that I am not the president because I think those are calls you’re called upon to make.

Mellie conferred with Jake and followed his advice on the hostage situation. Are the two forging an alliance?

That I don’t know. It hasn’t happened yet.

What about the relationship between Mellie and her Vice President Cyrus? In the premiere, there was a loyalty test for him, which he passed. Are the two of them good, or will there be more friction  going forward?

If there’s one thing Mellie knows is that you can’t trust Cyrus. She also knows that there’s no one better at this game than he is. He’s a beast, he’s a monster, but he’s her monster. It’s that old adage, right, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. She will never underestimate Cyrus but will always be grateful for him being on the team, and will always be endeavoring to keep him on the team.

Will we see the ex-First Husband? Fitz was MIA in the premiere.

Yes. You’ll see him. It’s very soon, in fact, and you’ll get to spend a lot of time with our beautiful Fitz and see how he’s handling this transition, because it’s a big deal. He’s got to figure out who he is and where his life is going, and does that include Liv and/or Washington. So, you’ll get plenty of time to watch him on that journey very soon.

Being a single woman, will Mellie be dating? Is she still in a relationship with Marcus?

When Mellie dreamed about being a president she never imagined it would be this lonely, she definitely imagined Fitz would be at her side, he would have so much experience and they would be not only husband and wife but real partners. She finds herself lucky enough to be realizing her dream but realizing that she is alone. So often women in powerful positions intimidate men, so in addition to being alone, being divorced in the crucible that is the White House, how does she meet people, what’s proper when you are in that position?

It was very different when we saw Fitz having a revolving door there for awhile of girls coming and going from the White House that Abby had to oversee, that’s nothing a woman in power can pull off.

Definitely her connection to Marcus is still there, and I think when souls connect that deeply, it never goes away regardless of circumstances. I want to imagine that they will try and find a way to be companions again. Of course that relationship is thorny from every angle, race, age, position, It will be interesting to see who Mellie can find as a peer who can accept her in her power, and how she’ll find companionship in that lonely, lonely office.

What more can you tell us about the final season. How deep will it go into the Mellie Grant presidency? Will it cover the entire term?

I don’t know about that. What I can tell you, it’s a very existential season for Olivia. She is at a moral crossroads, and we are all just pawns on her chess board, and it has been interesting in the subsequent scripts that we’ve read and shot, to see how her heart moves, and where her mind goes, and for the rest of us to suffer the consequences, or triumphs thereof, and Mellie is doing her best.

She’s fully aware that as a woman in power so many little tiny details are assessed before the substance of her administration is noticed even. So she’s working twice as hard to be as wonderful a president as she can be because she knows the opportunity at hand, and she knows that all things are possible with Olivia by her side.

But it’s also a question of — she’s the first single female president, handling loneliness and power as a woman, and it’s Shondaland, so that will be explored. I feel like it’s a beautiful thing to get to see Shonda’s reaction to what’s going on in the world right now. I feel like every script that we get is a very timely response to life as we know it, and it’s been incredible to be on a ride where, we started the first season, it was operatic, it was great. The stakes were so high, and we were rather outrageous. To have been outpaced by life, and now to have become in seven seasons, some people’s sanctuary and haven, and what they go to, to sort of rest, and think, it’s almost nostalgic,  but we’re hoping to give people a little hope again. People who are not feeling it right now, and I just can’t personally, as a fan, I can’t wait to see where Shonda brings this ship into port.

You mentioned hope. The season started pretty dark. Will it get even darker or it will get a little bit more hopeful as it goes along?

I don’t know, and that, like I say, as a fan, is what I am interested to find out is where Shonda’s heart is. Does she believe that you can have love, and power, and be a decent human being? Will Olivia have to leave Washington to find her soul? Will she sacrifice her soul and stay in the game? I’m so curious and in as much as we shot so far, it could really go either way.

What about the current political realities, will we see any topics, like immigration, reflected on the show?

Well, definitely our writers are not going for anything ripped from the headlines. So there’s nothing one-to-one correlation, but there are just bigger themes about race, racial injustice, and gender politics. Things that sort of go unspoken in our daily lives, but are now getting a little light shone in their direction and Shonda, and our writers are taking this opportunity to contribute to the dialog, into the cultural discussion.

Almost every episode there’s a monologue that makes me really proud to be a part of the show. Something that really moves the conversation forward in a thoughtful, inclusive, loving way, and I know from my politics as a citizen, that’s a voice I’m looking for right now. I hear a lot of dark. I hear a lot of despair. I hear a lot of things that make me afraid, and I am looking for the person who’s giving me hope, who’s reminding us all to love and include each other, and so to be a part of a production that can keep that in mind, and hold space for that it makes me really proud, really proud. I’m so excited for everybody to see the season.

There were a lot of voters who wanted to see a woman in the White House. How does it feel playing the character of the first female U.S. president? Do you feel extra pressure?

Well, it’s an unbelievable honor, especially because the words and thoughts, and actions that come out of Mellie’s being are coming out of Shonda and our incredible writers. So they’re based in power, but coated with grace and always mindful, and flawed. She makes these horrible mistakes and then she recovers. She grows. She learns.

I remember how much it meant to me personally as a viewer to see Dennis Haysbert be president on 24. It’s just a part of acclimating our country to the sight of women in power, and this whole season with Olivia, and her moral quandary but having all power in all directions, with Quinn being in charge of OPA, being her husband’s boss, being a mother; Mellie being in the White House.

It’s really a year of a conversation about gender politics and a wonderfully enjoyable, passive indoctrination to hopefully getting Americans, if not the world, used to seeing the world with that, that’s been ahead of us for a long time. But used to seeing women in powerful positions, being complicated, bringing the full force of their being. Doing the best that they can, failing, succeeding, being human, but just being human first and being female second, you know, and not forgetting their femininity but also not being bound, or in any way pinned in by it.

I figure it’s a real season of transcendence in that regard, so I couldn’t be any more proud to get to be a soldier in that particular, you know, that little moment in history for this Shondaland."