Monday December 4, 2017

Tough weekend here as I moved and DirecTV screwed up my order.  I've been without TV since Friday.  I'm starting to shake.

That said, I did watch most of season 2 of Easy on Netflix.  Meh.  It made me a bit uncomfortable at times.  I didn't love it.

Netflix has canceled Haters Back Off to the dismay of exactly 3 people.

In the least surprising news of the weekend, Netflix officially renewed Stranger Things for a 3rd season.

I also watched some of There's... Johnny on Hulu.  Meh as well.  Not worth your time.  The show was written and created by Paul Reiser, but that's not enough to make it entertaining.

Vanderpump Rules returns tonight followed by the series premiere of RelationShep.

TBS premieres Tarantula tonight.  "Set at the Tierra Chula Resident Hotel, Tarantula centers on Echo Johnson, a respected but uncertified tattoo artist. Echo’s poetic ramblings tell tales of misadventures with the other residents as they partake in party crashing, dumpster diving and other socially dubious acts of mischief." You can actually binge the first season online now. Maybe while I wait for DirecTV tomorrow . . . .

A guy named John Hockenberry (NPR) has been accused of sexual harassment.  ((yawn))

The Great Christmas Light Fight starts an astounding 5th season tonight.

Beyonce changes her email address on a weekly basis?!?

No severance pay is forthcoming for Matt Lauer.  Shocker.

Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote his latest film, The Big Sick, with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, based on their courtship. But Nanjiani revealed that when he had the idea for the movie, Gordon had her agent call his to say that Gordon would work on it with him. 'I thought that was really weird,' Nanjiani mused at a reception for the film at the Lambs Club. Meanwhile, director Michael Showalter showed up 40 minutes late to the event thanks to subway delays, with other inconvenienced guests."

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According to TheWrap, "CBS unveiled its winter schedule on Friday, including the dates set for the debut of Big Brother celebrity edition, the return of The Amazing Race and Survivor, and the series premieres of Living Biblically and Instinct.

"The first celebrity edition of Big Brother is coming at viewers on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. The special winter edition will feature multiple episodes per week during a concentrated run, and include the series’ signature Head of Household and Power of Veto competitions and live evictions, as previously announced. Julie Chen is returning as host.

"The network is setting up the show, usually a summer series, as counter programming against NBC’s 2018 Winter Olympics.

"Before Big Brother and Survivor land, reality TV fans can get a hit off the 30th season of The Amazing Race, which premieres on Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. Special two-hour episodes will air on Wednesday Jan. 24 from 8- 10 p.m. and Feb. 7, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21 from 9-11 p.m.

Survivor is headed to Fiji this season with a special two-hour premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. after the conclusions of Big Brother and The Amazing Race. The show will move over to its regular Wednesday night slot at 8 p.m. on March 7."

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "Larry David thought he was a free man, but Sunday's season finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm showed that a fatwa is forever.

"David's comeback season of the HBO comedy launched with a death sentence placed on the TV character Larry David. After insulting the Ayatollah while pitching his fatwa-themed musical on live television, the season premiere sent Larry off running from a threat on his life, courting women attracted to the danger of the fatwa (including those played by Elizabeth Banks and Lauren Graham) and avoiding any mysterious man who might be following him around.

"Though the threat appeared to be over after Larry appeased a panel of Muftis in the eighth episode, the final moment of Curb's ninth season finale saw Larry once again running for his life from a man who didn't get the memo that the fatwa had been revoked. The episode faded to black with Larry screaming as the man chased him, 'Fatwa's over! Didn't they tell you? Don't shoot! They called it off!'

"The nearly 50-minute season ender also capped a two-episode story heralded by guest star Lin-Manuel Miranda, as the Hamilton star was the only actor the Muftis would allow Larry to cast in his show, Fatwa! The Musical, if it were to go on. Viewers were treated to several musical numbers from Miranda for the Fatwa!musical, as he was joined by the likes of F. Murray Abraham, who was name-checked in the episode prior, This Is Us star Chris Sullivan and Nick Offerman.

"Larry and Lin, who have sparred since their first meeting, continued to disagree creatively and ended up dueling it out, Hamilton-style, in a paintball match. When Larry mistakenly shoots Lin in the mouth, Lin likens him to Aaron Burr and calls off the musical. Larry's friends are now all out money after investing in the musical, including Jeff and Susie Greene (Jeff Garlin and Susie Essman), but happy-go-lucky Larry still walked away skipping, while singing Mary Poppins' A Spoonful Of Sugar, despite the misfortune. That is, until the fatwa again reared its head.

"David, and HBO, have yet to announce any official news on a tenth season. The tight-lipped creator, however, did imply ahead of the season that more of his TV character's shenanigans could be in the future — meaning the cliffhanging assassination attempt on Larry's life likely won't be the end.

"'If I do another season, I’m not going to wait five years — that I can tell you,' David told The Hollywood Reporter at the season premiere, with a smile. That sentiment was something David's right-hand man echoed shortly after. 'If it ended here, it would be a cool ending. But it doesn’t have to end here,' he told THR.

"In weekly season-long chats since then, Schaffer, Curb's executive producer, has long warned that Sunday's season finale — an episode that he had teased as 'one of the most ambitious things we’ve ever tried' — would also be doubling as a series finale, should that be the case. After last week's penultimate episode, Schaffer said, 'The end of next week's episode could easily be the final Curb ever — or not. It's built that it could go either way.'

"Elaborating, 'In Curb-land, season finales are usually series finales in Larry's mind. How could he ever do another episode? Where are those ideas going to come from? Larry is the only one who doubts he'll ever have another good story for the show. So when we wrote this season finale, our goal was to come up with a good ending that could easily be the final Curb scene ever ... or not. It will all depend on what Larry wants to do.'

"Still, he offered this ray of hope: 'But I personally wouldn't bet on him running out of ideas. Documenting the indiscretions of the selfish and the petty is an evergreen business.'"

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"Netflix is charting its own path to Archie Comics.

"The streaming giant has handed out a sizable two-season, 20-episode straight-to-series order for an untitled Sabrina drama based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, picking up the intended Riverdale companion series from The CW.

"Sabrina was put in development at younger-skewing broadcaster The CW in September. A casting search to play the reimagined teenage witch began almost immediately. Sources note that The CW and producers Warner Bros. Television had a list of actresses they eyed for the role. That is being revisited given the large commitment and move to Netflix. 

"Sabrina reimagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age tale that traffics in horror, the occult and witchcraft. It's described as in the vein of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist and finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while fighting the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.

"Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who also serves as chief creative officer of Archie Comics, penned the script. Sabrina was originally eyed as a potential companion series for Riverdale to air in the 2018-19 TV broadcast season. Aguirre-Sacasa will direct, and executive produce alongside Riverdale collaborators Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater and Lee Toland Krieger. The drama hails from Warner Bros. Television-based Berlanti Productions.

"Sources say the Sabrina order is for two, 10-episode seasons that would shoot back to back with the first batch filming from February to June and second from June to October. The writers room opens Monday. A premiere date has not been determined and it's unclear how the 20 episodes will be divided in terms of rollout.

"That Netflix would invest so heavily in Sabrina should come as little surprise. The streaming giant has SVOD rights to Riverdale, the noir teen drama about Archie (K.J. Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes), and began streaming all 13 episodes of the first season after their run on The CW. Riverdale — which was originally developed for Fox before moving to The CW — became a summer breakout for Netflix, which in turn helped to boost the sophomore season of the show in the fall. Riverdale's Oct. 11 season two debut grew a whopping 60 percent from its midseason series debut nine months prior, adding to the evidence of the impact SVOD deals have on linear viewership."

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Per Yahoo!, "[g]loomy caves, dead birds falling from the sky, people trapped in a room and forced to listen to bad 1980s dance music — all the portents of misery are present in Dark, a German series [that] premiered on Netflix on Friday. Set in a German town bordered by an old nuclear power plant and an even older forest, this supernatural thriller piles on the ominousness. Early on, a 15-year-old boy disappears; whether he’s a runaway or a kidnap victim or a murder victim, no one knows. What they do know is that in this village — the small town of Winden — 33 years ago, a child disappeared under similar circumstances. Are these two events connected?

"This is the question posed by Dark, which has been much-hyped here and abroad as Germany’s breakthrough into the cool-kid marketplace of ambitious, arch, ambivalent, arty drama — this is Germany’s opportunity to come up with its own Twin Peaks, its own Stranger Things. To that end, co-creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese populate Winden with many poker-faced troubled souls. It takes a couple of episodes to figure out which guy is related to which woman, which upright citizen is having an affair with another. In the hope of attracting the teen Netflix-subscriber base, care has been taken to cast a number of handsome adolescents who look good while standing in the rain staring meaningfully at each other. No expense was spared in creating a soundtrack with a nonstop pulse of throbbing synthesizer spookiness — the effect is to make even the most banal breakfast conversation carry a threat of menace over buttered toast.

"I know the Germans are said to be a serious lot, but the nonstop grimness of Darkstrains both credulity and interest. Over the course of the three episodes I watched, Dark became both more complex and easier to disengage from. One test as to whether you’ll be drawn in may be to read these lines of sample dialogue. If you find them profound mind-blowers, Dark is for you: 'The past doesn’t just influence the future — the future also influences the past.' 'The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning.' 'Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are not consecutive; they are connected in a never-ending circle.' At about the time that 'never-ending circle' thing was uttered, I found myself overcome with a powerful urge to switch over to another Netflix show, Godless, and have some fun rewatching Jeff Daniels chew the frontier scenery.

"Dark is streaming now on Netflix."

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Per Deadline, "Randy Quaid, the next senator from the Great State of Vermont? We’ll pause a moment while that concept sinks in.

The veteran actor tweeted a threat/warning Thursday claiming that reps from a superPAC have approached him about running against Bernie Sanders for his U.S. Senate seat next year. And a reality show pitch about that potentially wacky race is making its way around town. Public Spectacle Media is planning an unscripted series that would follow Quaid’s long-shot bid to become the junior senator from the Green Mountain State:

Some very powerful people representing a super pac have approached me about running against Bernie Sanders for senator. 100%

— Randy Quaid (@RandyRRQuaid) November 30, 2017

"Amid the Donald Trump era of reality TV’s convergence with politics, the proposed docu-sitcom is in development at Public Spectacle Media. The show would follow Quaid — and likely his wife, Evi, who grew up in Vermont — as he 'takes on' one of the most high-profile politicians in the country. Bradford Broyles and Lenny Britton of Public Spectacle and Amanda Raymond are the producers.

"While the odds don’t exactly favor Quaid unseating the lefty darling who gave Hillary Clinton a run for her big money last year, it could be a hoot to witness. Quaid, of course, has been out of the Hollywood spotlight for the past decade or so — but he’s been in the news. Two years ago, he and Evi were held by U.S. Customs in Vermont on charges of skipping the country to dodge a 2010 case involving breaking into and vandalizing their former home in Santa Barbara, CA. The couple had fled to Vancouver and were detained at the Canadian border in October 2015 while trying to re-enter the U.S. after officials from the Great White North granted Evi Quaid citizenship but denied Randy permanent residence and said he would be deported. The actor was released days later and allowed to stay in Vermont.

"Quaid’s credits include Brokeback Mountain, a Golden Globe-winning turn in LBJ: The Early Years, comedy classics Kingpin and Vacation and his Oscar-nominated early-career role opposite Jack Nicholson in The Last Detail."