Monday November 6, 2017

If you are a fan of gross and perverted humor, run don't walk to watch Big Mouth on Netflix. I can't speak highly enough about this animated series from Nick Kroll.  Just remember, it's over the top lewd.

Is it me or does Aya Cash look awful on this season of You're The Worst?

It's a good thing this is the final season for Scandal.  That show no longer offers any entertainment value.

I'm still enjoying Showtime's White Famous.

American Idol returns on March 11.

Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge airs tonight on HBO.  Here's a review.

Predictions for the 3rd season of Stranger Things.

"Mila Kunis’ treatment of Vice President Mike Pence has left a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths — and they have no plans of washing that taste away with Jim Beam in the future. Critics of Kunis hit up Twitter to call for a boycott of Jim Beam, after actress and Jim Beam spokesperson Kunis told talk-show host Conan O’Brien that she donates to Planned Parenthood in Pence’s name a a protest of his political stances. 'I apologize if I’m offending anybody. It’s not so much a prank as much as I disagreed with some of the stuff that Pence was doing and was trying to do,' Kunis told O’Brien during Thursday’s episode of his talk show. 'And so as a reminder that there are women out there in the world that may or may not agree with his platform, I put him on a list of recurring donations that are made in his name to Planned Parenthood.'” It's sad that we still have to tell people not to be this stupid.  Think before you Tweet dip$hits.

Netflix has cut ALL ties with Kevin Spacey. More below.

A Lord Of The Rings television series is in the works with Amazon as a potential home.

Patton Oswalt has remarried.

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Per Variety, "[p]roducers are exploring several options for getting House of Cards back on track in the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations against star Kevin Spacey.

"One scenario being discussed is to kill off Spacey’s character, the villainous Frank Underwood, and have the show’s sixth and final season concentrate on his equally manipulative wife Claire, played by Robin Wright, according to insiders.

"The Netflix series is produced by Media Rights Capital. The producers worry that the allegations against Spacey make moving forward with the actor untenable. The likelihood he will continue to be involved dimmed this week after CNN published a report claiming that Spacey made the House of Cards set a “'toxic work environment,' one in which he groped and propositioned them.

"However, the producers are also cognizant of the fact that 300 cast and crew members are employed by the series and would be put out of work if the sixth season does not move forward. The feeling is that they did nothing wrong and should not be penalized for Spacey’s behavior. The show has just started filming, so the sense is that Spacey’s character could be safely written out without too many logistical hurdles.

"The idea to continue without Spacey may have picked up steam after actress Jessica Chastain tweeted 'Can #RobinWright just be the lead of @HouseofCards now? We’re ready for it.'

"The producers are currently poring over Spacey’s contract to see if they can legally move forward without him or if they are obligated to put him in the remaining episodes. Production on House of Cards season six was suspended on Tuesday, two days after actor Anthony Rapp alleged in an interview with Buzzfeed that Spacey had sexually assaulted him when the Star Trek: Discovery and Rent star was 14 years old. On Thursday, Spacey was dropped as a client by CAA and his publicist, Staci Wolfe. On Friday, Scotland Yard opened an investigation into Spacey in response to an allegation that he sexually assaulted a male actor in London.

"As they weigh their options for season six, Netflix and Media Rights Capital are also exploring a possible spinoff of House of Cards. As Variety reported Monday, the producer and the streaming service are developing multiple ideas for a new series taking place in the same narrative universe as House of Cards, including one concept revolving around Doug Stamper, the political aide-de-camp played by actor Michael Kelly, with Eric Roth set to write.

"Spokespeople for Netflix and Media Rights Capital declined to comment."

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Not trying to make this Kevin Spacey Monday, but you should read this . . . "In the five days since Anthony Rapp came forward on Oct. 29 with the first public sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Spacey, more allegations have surfaced spanning four decades and two continents.

"Now, three more men — including one who was a minor at the time — have told BuzzFeed News that they met Spacey in professional settings but soon became targets of inappropriate sexual conduct. Their stories and others’ reveal a pattern of behavior that goes back decades, suggesting a reckless disregard for personal and professional boundaries. They also share a core characteristic with the stories of men who are alleged to have sexually harassed and assaulted women, like Harvey WeinsteinBrett RatnerJames TobackBill O’ReillyRoger Ailes, and Bill Cosby — namely, a gross and persistent abuse of power.

"Whether as simply an older, admired actor taking advantage of a much younger one, or a star with significant clout on a set or elsewhere, Spacey is alleged to have consistently used his sexuality in a way that was unwanted and unwarranted, and often unrelenting. In Spacey’s case, these stories also demonstrate the complex effect the closet can have for men of any sexual orientation when talking about sexual misconduct by another man.

"Spacey appears to have discovered how to weaponize the closet, shielding his own behavior from scrutiny under the guise of merely protecting his privacy.

"To wit: On Monday, Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos said that Spacey made 'unpleasant' sexual advances on him and others at London’s Old Vic theater, where Spacey was artistic director from 2004 to 2015. On Tuesday, filmmaker Tony Montana told Radar that Spacey had groped him when they were at a bar in Los Angeles in 2003. On Wednesday, a man going by the pseudonym “John” said that when he was 17 years old, he woke up with Spacey lying on top of him in his underwear. On Thursday, eight current and former employees of House of Cards told CNN that Spacey would repeatedly sexually harass male crew members. Also on Thursday, an unnamed artist told New York magazine that Spacey pursued him for a sexual relationship that he said ended in attempted rape; like Rapp, the man was 14 years old when the relationship began. And Friday BuzzFeed reported that British police are investigating Spacey about an alleged sexual assault in 2008.

"Spacey’s attorney did not respond to detailed requests for comment on the new allegations. On Wednesday night, Spacey’s publicist revealed that Spacey 'is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.' The publicist and his agency, CAA, have since 'parted ways' with the actor.

"When Justin Dawes was 16 years old in 1988, he said, Spacey, then 29, invited him and a male friend over to watch Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. Instead, Dawes told BuzzFeed News, Spacey gave him a cocktail and played pornography.

"At the time, Dawes was a high school junior with an interest in acting. He was a volunteer usher at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, where his friend was also working as an assistant house manager. Dawes first met Spacey, then a relatively unknown theater actor, after a performance of the play National Anthems. Spacey invited Dawes and his friend over to watch the film.

"When Dawes and his friend arrived at Spacey’s home — a 'bare' apartment the actor had rented for the run of the play — they found no one else. Dawes told BuzzFeed News that Spacey then made them cocktails and was playing gay pornography on the television in his living room. (A high school friend said Dawes told him about the incident, including the pornography, later that year. Two other friends of Dawes’ told BuzzFeed News they recalled Dawes telling them about an awkward encounter with Spacey, but did not recall specific details. The friend who was present could not be reached for comment.)

"The 16-year-old felt like he 'should've realized' that Spacey wanted him to come over for reasons related to sex. 'Like maybe this was kind of a coded thing or something that I agreed to.'

“'We all had a drink, and we were kind of like, "Oh, no one else is coming?" And he’s like, "Oh, no one else decided to come," and he never mentioned that this porn was playing. It was really awkward,' Dawes told BuzzFeed News, describing the alleged encounter as 'cringey' but 'benign' compared to Rapp’s experience. Dawes, who is straight, also said it was evident he was a minor at the time of the encounter.

“'He knew that I was in high school,' he said. 'It was pretty clear. It's not like I was pretending to be an older, cooler person.'

"But while he found the situation 'sleazy and manipulative,' he said 'it was not … intimidating or pushy.' He even made jokes about what was playing on the television. 'I was a pretty confident 16-year-old … I didn't think I was going to be taken advantage of,' Dawes explained. In fact, he recalled feeling like he had given Spacey, who he’d heard was closeted, 'the wrong impression a little bit.' He continued: 'I think I had this weird kinda like, Oh gee. Oh man, I feel bad.'

"When he and his friend indicated to Spacey that they were going to leave, Dawes remembered the actor interjecting: 'He said, "Oh what? Really? I thought you guys were going to hang out." And we said, "No, no. We gotta go.”'

"Dawes never interacted with Spacey again after that night.

"In the early 2000s, a journalist, then in his early twenties, interviewed Kevin Spacey in London for a national magazine, he told BuzzFeed News. (He asked to remain anonymous to avoid risk to his career.)

"The interview, which took place at Spacey's office at the Old Vic theater, went fine. 'He was charming and doing impressions of Jack Lemmon and so on,' he said. Then Spacey invited him to go out with some friends for some drinks. Almost immediately after they arrived at the club, he said, Spacey began aggressively groping him.

"'He just kept reaching between my legs and, you know, just grabbing my dick,' he said. 'I would move his hand away, and say something that I thought was pretending was funny or whatever at first. And then I was starting to get annoyed by it, and that was pretty clear.'

"'I got up to leave at one point, and [Spacey] sort of grabbed me, and tried to make me stay,' he continued. 'I ended up sitting back down. He kept rubbing my leg. I moved seats. He came over and sat next to me again. I was trying not to make a big scene, because I had an assignment to write about him. So it wasn't clear to me that I should just, like, knock his teeth out, or something. I was in a weird dynamic of I wanted to be able to do my story.'

"In the course of the interview, he had told Spacey that he was in a 'serious, live-in relationship with a woman,' but, he said, that did not seem to deter Spacey. 'He had somehow convinced himself that this was a sexual liaison that we both wanted.'

"The journalist was also frustrated that the people who had joined them at the club did not appear to react to Spacey's behavior at all. 'They were deliberately not paying attention,' he said.

"Finally, the journalist said he'd had enough, and left the club. '[Spacey] came out after me and literally stood between me and the door,' he said. 'This man was screaming in my face outside of the main bar area, red-faced, spit flying out of his mouth, screaming at me with fury because I didn't want to fuck him. He was actually saying that I did want to and I was a coward. That was his tactic. It was unbelievable.'

"When the journalist returned home, he said he told his editor immediately about his encounter with Spacey. (The editor confirmed this account to BuzzFeed News.)

"'I was like, "I will give you my tapes for the interview, but I don't want to fucking deal with this at all,"' he said. He said that he was astonished by Spacey's behavior during the encounter because he was a journalist, and what 'he's not realizing is that I can fucking hang him.' But in the days that followed, the reporter was hit with another realization: Sharing his account would out Spacey as gay.

“'Being closeted has enabled him to use this privacy claim as a shield against anybody looking closely at his actual behavior.'

"'I consider that a pretty important principle: You don't out people,' he said. 'But it tied my hands. If I were to publish a story about Kevin Spacey sexually harassing me on the job … there's no way without making it quite clear that he likes guys.'

"The interview ended up running without the journalist's byline, and he has never had any further interaction with Spacey or his representatives. After Spacey came out following Rapp's allegation, however, the journalist felt like he could finally come forward to tell his story.

"'It has occurred to me since then that there's this weird way that Spacey had discovered that the closet would shield other things,' the journalist said. 'Being closeted has for him enabled him to use this privacy claim as a shield against anybody looking closely at his actual behavior. And then it may have served as this strange, protective mechanism, to say, "My whole sexual life is off limits because of my sexuality."'

"The closet also prevented Mark Ebenhoch from coming forward about Spacey’s inappropriate sexual behavior, although for a different reason. Ebenhoch was a blonde 35-year-old working on the set of 1995’s Outbreak. A military adviser, Ebenhoch said he was seldom approached by actors on sets, which he attributes to the fact that he always wore his uniform at work.

"Spacey was on set playing Lt. Col. Casey Schuler alongside the film’s star, Dustin Hoffman. Spacey had a group of young, male assistants who would hang out in his trailer, whom some on set referred to as his 'harem,' according to Ebenhoch.

"With about four weeks left of filming, Ebenhoch told BuzzFeed News, one of Spacey’s assistants approached him “out of the complete blue” one day after the crew’s lunch break, asking Ebenhoch come back to Spacey’s trailer, just 40 feet away. 'They asked flat out to engage in a sexual act. It was enough to stun me. It blew me away,' he said. Ebenhoch did not remember the exact words the assistant used, but recalled the offer was 'more than just "He’d like to meet you or get to know you."' Ebenhoch, who is now openly gay, immediately turned down the offer and feigned disgust, primarily out of fear of others on set learning his sexual orientation. (A representative for Warner Bros., the studio that released Outbreak, had no comment.)"

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This story made me nauseous: "There was no sleeping in this Sunday for Fixer Upper fans.

"Chip and Joanna Gaines‘ Hearth and Hand with Magnolia line arrived in Target stores, meaning those eager to get their hands on the collaboration were up bright and early.

"Even the creators were cruising the aisles of Target as soon as doors opened. Chip shared a photo on Twitter of himself laying in a tent set up in front of the store.

“'Being first in line for the launch of #HearthandHand with Magnolia is about to pay off big time. Only 10 more minutes.,' he captioned the post.

"Once inside, the couple had a bit of fun with Chip taking a ride in a shopping cart pushed by Joanna.

“'Today’s the day! Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is now available at Target stores and on their website!' Joanna captioned the silly Instagram video. 'We’ve had so much fun designing this line and can’t wait for you to see it.'

"Fans were just as excited to see the merchandise, with many tweeting about their late-night online shopping or previewing the collection.

“;It’s 11PM on a Saturday night and I’m legit only staying awake to buy #HearthandHand stuff online @Target,' wrote one shopper, adding the hashtags '#adulting' and '#wildnight.'

"Another wrote, 'Just spent my entire paycheck(s) on the new #HearthandHand collection @Target. I can sleep in peace now. #WalletForgiveMe'

"One Twitter user shared a screenshot of her phone, which had several alarms set up starting at 2:50 a.m. to ensure she was wide awake in time to shop.

"Just a few hours after the launch, items were already being re-sold on eBay for several times their list price.

"The collaboration includes over 300 items ranging from dishware to an adorable dollhouse.

“'I love everything about this collection and truly believe it embodies the spirit of Magnolia,' Joanna wrote in a post on Target’s website. Although the holiday products are ideal for anyone looking to add a little seasonal sparkle, it’s the everyday pieces that top the must-have list for the HGTV star, including woven table linens and ceramic pitchers."

Hey losers, get a life!!!!!

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I was saving this to watch over the holidays, but might have to push up the timeline: "In mid-October, Amazon released the third and final season of Red Oaks, the streaming platform’s most underrated original series. The ’80s-set coming-of-age show follows college student and wannabe filmmaker David Meyers (Craig Roberts) who gets a summer job working at a local country club as he tries to figure out his future. While working there, he meets and falls in love with Skye (Alexandra Socha), the daughter of the club president Doug Getty (Paul Reiser), a Wall Street crook with a heart of gold. Meanwhile, his parents (Richard Kind and Jennifer Grey) slowly drift apart and discover new things about themselves in middle age; his intelligent stoner friend Wheeler (Oliver Cooper) woos the out-of-his-league lifeguard Misty (Alexandra Turshen); and various forces constantly threaten the cherished Red Oaks club.

"On the surface, Red Oaks might seem like merely a fun trifle, but co-creators Gregory Jacobs (Magic Mike XXL) and Joe Gangemi never rested on the twin laurels of period nostalgia or superficial pleasures. Instead, they crafted a sweet, perceptive comedy-drama about trying to outrun time and circumstance, the terror of adapting to change, and the bone-deep fear of not living up to one’s potential. It went down like comfort food, but was ultimately more nutritious than advertised. If you missed out on Red Oaks— and you probably have — here are five reasons why it’s worth watching:

It Was So Much More Than an ’80s Homage

Though Red Oaks didn’t satirize or parody classic ’80s comedies, it certainly owes a debt to them. Its Caddyshack-esque premise, the notable appearance of Jennifer Grey in the main cast, and a pilot episode that basked in snobs versus slobs motif suggest a series that would never shift out of a retro gear. Yet Red Oaks never totally fit that mold, even when it indulged in cheap thrills. The way it broke down characters’ stereotypical images — high-school sweetheart, stoner friend, rich girl, repressed parents — neatly encapsulates the series’ belief in not judging a book by its cover.

There are too many examples to name, but a few standouts capture the show’s sensitive heart. Judy, David’s mother, begins the series as a nag, but after separating from her husband, embraces her financial independence as well as her queer identity. Meanwhile, David’s father, Sam, struggles to hold onto control and his antiquated beliefs, but by the end of the series, he adapts and takes his own risks in love and work. David’s high-school girlfriend Karen (Gage Golightly) initially comes across as a domestication-obsessed overplanner, but Jacobs and Gangemi treat her dreams of family and stability as equally valid as David’s filmmaking career. Skye abandons the shackles of her rebellious rich-girl identity, accepting failure and her own limitations in the process. Wheeler gets in touch with his sensitivity to win Misty’s heart rather than leveraging his drugs and boyish behavior. Red Oaks believed that identities are constantly in flux, and that it’s always important to give people an opportunity to showcase their true selves.

Its Truly Great Soundtrack

Obvious needle drops are a frequent problem for period pieces. It’s sometimes just too tempting to use well-known pop songs to signal a time period and to engender cheap nostalgia. From its first season, Red Oaksstood apart just by using ’80s-era music that never felt overly familiar. Music supervisors Gabe Hilfer and Devoe Yates packed the soundtrack with the likes of Blue Shoes, the English Beat, Love and Rockets, and Talk Talk. When they used songs by bigger names, like Roxy Music or New Order in the second season, the moments felt earned and avoided clichés.

The final season continued this trend, giving prominent placement to the Woodentops’ Give It Time in the first episode and opening the third with Knife by Aztec Camera. Hilfer and Yates even featured David Bowie’s underrated Day-In Day-Out, a song that had never appeared on a film or television soundtrack before. They ultimately closed out the series with two key songs: Ringo Starr’s Photograph and Lou Reed’s “New Sensation,” to capture the passing of a bygone era and the embrace of a new one. Sometimes good taste and an excellent ear can really make the difference.

It Had a Killer Lineup of Directors

Executive produced by Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky) and David Gordon Green (George Washington), Red Oaks has no shortage of talent behind the camera. The series made a point of collaborating with beloved, yet sadly underpraised directors who made their name in the ’80s and ’90s, such as Amy Heckerling (Clueless), Hal Hartley (Henry Fool), and Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation).

While television necessitates an overarching house style, these directors nevertheless managed to place their stamp on their episodes. Heckerling’s episodes either traffic in period immersion (Body Swap and After Hours) or romance, young and old (The Bris and Independence Day). In Hartley’s episodes, he brings spark to smaller two-person scenes, like David and Karen rekindling old feelings (Old Flames) and David and Skye’s disastrous fight (The Anniversary). Araki, meanwhile, tackles bigger comedic set pieces, like a hospital visit following a failed road trip (Lost and Found) and a rocky wedding reception (The Wedding).

It Was Made by Movie Lovers

Though his filmmaking talents are limited to filming bar mitzvahs and brises, David longs to be a director and see his name in a theater someday. In the meantime, he fashions himself a cinephile, weaned on watching movies with his father and making discoveries on his own. But Jacobs and Gangemi don’t phone in the details or the references: In one episode, David and Skye sneak off to the city and catch a showing of Eric Rohmer’s Claire’s Knee. In another, David meets Skye’s art-film friend who likens her work to Jonas Mekas and a less homoerotic Kenneth Anger. David’s New York apartment in the third season features posters of Dr. Strangelove and Taxi Driver alongside Francois Truffaut’s Day for Night and John Schlesinger’s Sunday Bloody Sunday. His passion for film feels rooted in specificity for its own sake, not to flatter or impress its audience.

It Believed in the Power of First Steps

Red Oaks always contained an existential bent. Whether in lonely suburban streets or dark New York nights, its characters fight to break out of their ruts, overcome the personal and financial obstacles that stand in their way (Red Oaks is perhaps one of the best shows about class struggle to come out this decade), and most of all, not let opportunities pass them by. At the same time, they’re desperately trying to hold onto the good times before they slip through their grasp, worrying that there aren’t that many left.

But the series also understand how a small leap of faith can lead to new beginnings. By the end of the series, David accepts that his parents are different people with their own flourishing lives, and that the friends and former lovers who dominated his young life will eventually drift away. It ends on David’s first major professional accomplishment: directing a dog food commercial, a major step up from his previous gigs. Hey, Francis Ford Coppola started out in soft-core, so maybe this is his break. Maybe it’s just another sidestep. Either way, it’s a step in the right direction, and Red Oaks never undersold its importance."