Monday November 20, 2017

That HBO autism benefit was a tough watch.  I made it halfway through Chris Rock's bit and then deleted it.  Don't waste your time, just donate.

Ok Walking Dead, let's pick up the pace already.

Yes, it was a great Negan episode and the Rick / Darryl slugfest was fun, but let's get to it!

There are people out there calling for Bethenny Frankel to run for President?

"In the first episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s 12th season, Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Mac (Rob McElhenney) question how bad black people in America really have it. They probably don’t have it that bad, Mac concludes, since 'we did have a black president before the orange one.' But had Hillary Clinton taken the presidency, like the show’s writers believed she would, that line would’ve been different. Still insulting, just different. 'What’s funny is when we shot that episode, he was not president,' Howerton said at Vulture Festival L.A. on Sunday. Kaitlin Olson chimed in, 'We just assumed it would be Hillary. We made a Clinton reference and were like, "We should just get one [for him] just in case it’s Trump.”' Mac’s line intended for the show was, 'We had a black president before we had the shrill one,' referring to Clinton, though, they shot an alternate take of McElhenney saying 'the orange one' for safety. It came in handy. 'We edited the ‘shrill’ one in, and then he became president, and we were like, "Oh my god,”' Howerton said. 'We had to go back and change it.' In hindsight, Charlie Day thinks the line could’ve had even more bite. He added, 'We knew so little about him. We could’ve said, "Before we had the rape-y one.”'" This show cannot return soon enough.

It's still TBD as to whether Dennis will be back.

Jeffrey Tambor has bowed out of Transparent amid the sexual allegations that have been made against him.

Michael Rapaport is on Tambor's side.  If only that counted for anything.

David Cassidy is in critical condition, sadly.

Behind the scenes of the NFL's Mexico City game from yesterday.

"When the first trailer for the Netflix series American Vandal came out, it posed one central question: Who drew the dicks? But after four hours spent exploring the great caper of Hanover High, many felt the answer — or lack thereof — didn’t provide a sufficient amount of resolution. Some viewers still wonder: Who drew the dicks? But when asked at Vulture Festival L.A. on Sunday about whether or not Vandal fans should know who the culprit truly is, showrunner Dan Lagana declared: 'Absolutely! It’s so funny how that drove us crazy. People were like, "You’re not gonna tell us who did it?" We feel like we told you exactly who did it, and then just had Peter (Tyler Alvarez) have a moral compass at the end, saying, "If I didn’t have hard evidence, me definitively saying who did it on camera in my doc would make me no better than the school system — but I have my theory!" It’s like, that’s his theory! That’s who did it!'”

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"In its first three episodes, Frankie Shaw's rookie Showtime comedy SMILF has tackled the struggles of single parenthood, eating disorders and now sexual assault. In the final moments of the Sunday's installment, single mom Bridgette Bird is groped by her date — a man she met via Craigslist ad — prompting her to punch him in the face.

"Creator, exec producer and star Shaw spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about Bridgette's reaction, the increasing awareness about sexual harassment in Hollywood and the online (and studio) support to bring back Good Girls Revolt, the canceled Amazon series on which Shaw starred before SMILF:

Was Bridgette's response to the man's actions a reflex or was it wish fulfillment, in a way?

I think a lot of times the normal response to assault and trauma is either to freeze or dissociate, or tell yourself it's not happening. I wrote a few different versions of the ending, one of them being that she just breaks down crying. So it is what you would think one would do, and wish fulfillment being that you're standing up to yourself in a very specific, intelligible way, and getting a little bit of revenge. So yes, I would say that it was just, in a way, what everyone wants to do. I remember being on the subway in New York City and some man grabbed me, grabbed my genitals, and I froze up, and then just got off on the next stop. And I wish I'd just clocked his face.

It's shocking for somebody to violate your body, and that's what it is. We just happen to be in a time where now people are understanding it. We've just lived with it as something that could potentially happen without consequence forever. I was talking to someone recently [and said] 'What if we walk around in a world in which we are not in danger of being victimized?' Only now have I actually thought, 'Oh, do people think there'll be consequences?' I mean at least in this part of the world.

What do you think about the fact that, especially in Hollywood, people are finally being called out on their behavior and this episode is airing right in the middle of it?

This whole show, there's undertones of — in the first episode Bridgette says she's sexually abused, and now we're talking about sexual harassment and the finale deals with her father. It's definitely one of the themes of the show, and it always was. This was written before the current explosion of the #MeToo. I remember during the pilot testing, you go to the Valley and you watch these random people turn the dials when they like something and when they don't. I was so nervous in the pilot when Bridgette says, 'Oh, I was sexually abused by my Dad.' I was like, 'Oh, we're going to lose everyone. This is where people are going to tap out.' And they didn't. It stayed up. And I said, 'Oh, OK, interesting.'

The thing about this subject for so long, especially child [abuse] ... it's the darkest parts of our society and hard to face. We shove it under the rug, because ... what does it say about humanity when people can do this? In terms of the timing, it's pretty incredible. All of these people are coming together and sharing their stories. So, rather than the show existing as an anomaly [and addressing] it, now it's just in a culture that's ready and willing to talk about these things.

The other thing about it that I was interested in is how — and you see it in these people that are coming out and trying to apologize — is that for so long there's a cognitive dissonance between objectifying women and men, and, like, being a man in the world. It's sort of part of the culture, an accepted part. People who would cross the line wouldn't really know it was wrong, maybe. I'm not sure. That's what it seems by some of the behavior, you would think. What I wanted to show in this episode, too, is that this is just a nice, normal guy behaving the way in which culture said is OK to behave, and was OK for so long without consequences for men — but it's really not. And also the duality of the idea of prostitution and how you can have like, 'I have this fantasy of it,' [like in the episode where Bridgette fantasizes about people worshiping her vagina], but in reality, your humanity is taken away with any type of selling yourself as commodity.

It's also juxtaposed in the episode where Bridgette's friend is also selling herself to men by eating for them on a website, but not sexually, and she feels very empowered by what she's doing.

I think it's a false idea to be empowered within systemic sexism. I guess the system of the patriarchy — I hate using that word, but I don't know what else to say — so, it's like she's existing in this society that will objectify her for money, but she doesn't actually have to cross the line of sex. I guess my point was we're all complicit. We're making the most of it.

Like, 'If it's going to be here and bring us down, we might as well see how we could use it to our advantage.'

I think that's the old argument. There's still plenty of women surviving off of men objectifying them, and that's the best they think they can do, and there's no judging that. I do feel like it's false empowerment, and real empowerment is to not partake. What can you say about how the repercussions of this whole incident will have on Bridgette moving forward? It's sort of sad because in the next episode she's really down and out and looks for a way to deal. And there's not really a way to deal except for talking about it in the community and not trying to go into the darker ways you can deal with assault, which is self-abuse. We're sort of building toward an end of the season line where she has the courage to approach her dad. And so perhaps this experience, enough is enough, she's willing to call out names.

The episode also shows Nelson (Samara Weaving), Bridgette's ex's new girlfriend, also being verbally assaulted by this athlete she's trying to interview. Is that something you're going to explore more as well?

That was taken from the Cam Newton interview. It's a heightened reality where these three characters are using their body, or getting used, to make money. It was like sort of like her [being] discredited. Like, her worth is only based on her looks in the scene. It is something we do [touch on] for a little bit and will in the future. Her character was like a journalist that I was reading about in Chicago who sold herself as a date for the Super Bowl, and that was her break as a journalist. And then she sort of had an awakening of how she used her body to get ahead and now she's not anymore, and so that's her going to be an essential part of Nelson's storyline, for sure. Brandin Cooks, wide receiver for the New England Patriots, is in the cold open. He was totally game and excited to make fun of Cam Newton.

One really unique aspect of the show is the very respectful relationship between Bridgette, her ex, Rafi, and his new girlfriend, Nelson. Why was it important to build the relationship in that way?

That's sort of reflective of my relationship with my son's dad. But it was really important to show the complexities of raising a child in two households, when you both want the best for your kid but you might not always share the same values. It was really important there was no catty jealousy with the new girlfriend, and that it was deeper than that. Really, it's hard to raise a child even when you are with the person. But then there's so much that goes into control, and you really have to let go of that when your kid is also going to someone else's house.

Aside from Bridgette confronting her father, what else can you say about what's coming up?

Episode four is a really fun gender-bender episode. What would it be like to be a guy? Or, really, what would it be like to have a penis? Five is total departure from our world. There's a German movie called Run, Lola, Runthat I love and that we did our own version of. That was about forgiveness and sort of a Sliding Doors-type episode using the structure of Run, Lola, Run. And then we go into Bridgette following her basketball dreams in six, which — it was fun just to write about sports and explore that theme. I sort of took her out of being an actress and followed more of her basketball aspirations.

Changing subjects, have you seen the movement of fans of Good Girls Revolt trying to get Amazon to pick it back up or find a new home for the show?

I've heard that. I've been talking to Dana Calvo, the creator, and there seems to be a really strong desire from the fans. There's been a big 'bring back Good Girls Revolt' hashtag movement. It would be so incredible. I mean, Dana and [exec producer] Darlene [Hunt] poured their hearts into that show. It would be so amazing to come back. I feel like that show was a casualty of Roy Price's misogyny."

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Per TheWrap, "Rev. Run is taking his family shenanigans to Netflix.

"The streaming service has given a 10-episode pickup to a new scripted comedy series starring the Run-D.M.C. co-founder and vocalist.

"The untitled show from ABC Studios and Amblin Television stars Rev. Run (real name: Joseph Simmons) as a rap legend whose wife decides to live out her own dreams, thus interrupting his plans for relaxing. The rapper’s wife will be played by Rev. Run’s real-life wife, Justine.

"Jeremy Bronson (The Mayor) wrote the script. Andrew Reich (Friends) serves as showrunner, with production beginning in January.

"ABC gave a script commitment to the project last fall but opted not to pick up the show.

"Rev. Run is a practicing minister and starred with his family for six seasons on the unscripted series Run’s House.”

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On that note, per the Los Angeles Times, "Keri Claussen Khalighi was a 17-year-old fashion model from a farm town in Nebraska when she met Brett Ratner and Russell Simmons at a casting call.

"Ratner was an up-and-coming music video director and a protege of Simmons, the Def Jam Recordings mogul. They took Khalighi to dinner one night in 1991 at Mr. Chow in New York, and then back to Simmons’ apartment to show her a music video they’d been working on.

"Quickly, Simmons began making aggressive sexual advances, yanking off her clothes, Khalighi said.

“'I looked over at Brett and said "help me" and I'll never forget the look on his face,' she recalled. 'In that moment, the realization fell on me that they were in it together.'

"Khalighi said that Simmons, who was then about twice her age, tried to force her to have intercourse. 'I fought it wildly,' she said. He eventually relented and coerced her to perform oral sex, she alleged. 'I guess I just acquiesced.'

"Ratner, meanwhile, 'just sat there and watched,' she said.

"Feeling 'disgusting,' Khalighi said she went to take a shower. Minutes later, she alleged, Simmons walked up behind her in the shower and briefly penetrated her without her consent. She said she jerked away, then he left. 'It hurt so much.'

"In a statement, Simmons, 60, strongly disputed her account. 'Everything that occurred between Keri and me occurred with her full consent and participation,' he said. Much of the two days and one night he spent with her, he said, was with other people, or in public. Ratner had 'no recollection' of Khalighi asking him for help and denied witnessing her 'protest,' his attorney Martin Singer said.

"Ratner has also disputed the accounts of four other women who accused him of sexual misconduct in this story and a previous report by The Times that included the claims of six others, among them actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

"Since that Nov. 1 report, which detailed allegations of harassment, groping and forced oral sex, additional women contacted The Times about Ratner, who has directed, produced or financed successful films including Rush Hour, The Revenant and Horrible Bosses.

"In several of the accounts, the women said that Ratner, 48, surrounded himself with powerful friends, including Simmons and filmmaker James Toback, who, while sharing Ratner’s playboy lifestyle, have also been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct. Those friendships, some women said, enabled inappropriate behavior within the group, sometimes by active participation and in other cases by simply providing venues for incidents to take place.

"These men and other older, controversial Hollywood friends — including producer Robert Evans and filmmaker Roman Polanski — have served as father figures to Ratner, who had a distant relationship with his late dad. Evans, the former Paramount Pictures production chief who was convicted of trafficking cocaine, explained his relationship with Ratner in a 2007 Vanity Fair story: 'I was his Hollywood father. I don't know whether I should be proud of that or not.'"

You should not be.  This story has been condensed.

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Per Variety, "Dwyane Wade is bringing a docu-series to Facebook’s Watch video platform that will provide a look at the Cleveland Cavaliers star’s life off the court.

T"he series, BackCourt: Wade, premieres Monday, Nov. 20, on Facebook, with new episodes to follow each Monday. The five-episode series was funded by Facebook and produced by Bob Metelus Studio.

"The show is an extension of Wade’s presence on Facebook, where he shares content and connects with his community of more than 11 million fans.

“'I’ve enjoyed partnering with Facebook to share some of my off-the-court moments in this five part series,' Wade said in a statement. 'I hope by sharing some of these candid moments that it helps inspire others to follow their dreams, take risks, challenge yourself to get through life’s obstacles, and take the time to appreciate and enjoy the life you work so hard to build.'

"For Facebook, the show represents the social giant’s latest attempt to push users toward Watch to consume longer-form video (and see TV-style advertising) — and in this case, it’s banking on the star power of Wade to draw a crowd.

"The launch of Wade’s show comes after Facebook has seen traction with Ball in the Family, following the family of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, from Bunim-Murray Productions. There’s also original series No Script, featuring NFL running back Marshawn Lynch,from Turner’s Bleacher Report.

"Other Facebook-funded entertainment projects include unscripted show“Bill Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray’s Extra Innings and drama series Five Points with Scandal star Kerry Washington on board as executive producer.

BackCourt: Wade (available at facebook.com/backcourt) follows the three-time NBA champ  as he travels to Paris and Milan for Men’s Fashion Week and takes up new hobbies (like golf and taking care of his new dog, Tre). Other episodes cover his mindset going into his 15th season in the NBA and provide an inside look at his business ventures, including his Way of Wade brand and Wade Wine labels."

I'm gonna say that it sure appears like Facebook is missing the mark.  The aforementioned shows all sound incredibly awful and not anything that I see people actually watching. Yes, Facebook can play with the numbers to show views, but I'm calling BS on it from the jump.