Tuesday April 18, 2017

Bloodline returns to Netflix on May 26.  Here's the trailer.

Bravo has renewed imposters for a 2nd season.  I need to get caught up on season 1.

What's next for Gus Fring on Better Call Saul?

Al Madrigal has a new standup special premiering next month, titled Al Madrigal: Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy. The one-hour special was directed by Neal Brennan and premieres on Showtime on May 5th at 9:00pm. In addition, Showtime will also debut standup specials from Andrew Santino (Home Field Advantage, June 2nd) and Erik Griffin (The Ugly Truth, July 7th); all three comedians have starring roles in the Jim Carrey-produced series I’m Dying Up Here, which premieres Sunday, June 4th on Showtime.

Alison Sweeney is returning to Days of Our Lives if that matters to you at all.

The Ringer looks at the 100 best episodes of The Simpsons.

A review of Netflix's Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On. "Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On, a six-part anthology series, the filmmakers — namely producers Rashida Jones, Jill Bauer, and Ronna Gradus — have clearly heard that criticism. While the film may have treated its few teen subjects as representative of an entire culture, the docuseries instead uses each installment to paint a portrait of those who have close relationships to digital love. The expanded format allows the team to make fewer statements, good or bad, about the intersection of romance and tech, and to simply sit back and tell six stories.  These six stories are more thought-provoking than titillating — and that’s a good thing. Each follows one or two individuals who operate in a specific area of modern digital romance (i.e. amateur porn, dating apps, video-chatting, etc.) as they demonstrate what it is they do and tell a story that leaves the judgment to the viewer. It’s like the New York Times‘ Modern Love columns, but captured, deftly and often beautifully, on camera."

This is Carrie Coon's husband, FYI.

Play is this from Veep or something the government actually said?

Carmelo and La La Anthony hae separated.  This is seemingly the beginning of the end for Melo.

Why you should watch Terrace House on Netflix.  "The Japanese reality show Terrace House, which ran for eight seasons in Japan on Fuji Television before it was rebooted as a Netflix/Fuji co-production in 2015, has a premise that’s similar to that of The Real World in that it involves filming the interactions of six young adults who live together in a sleek, modern house in Tokyo (Netflix’s new Hawaii-set spinoff Terrace House: Aloha State is equally charming, though we recommend starting with the original, Terrace House: Boys and Girls in the City). But that’s where the similarities end. The show’s mission statement, which is read at the beginning of every episode, declares that we will “observe” how these six strangers interact. And it takes that observing part very seriously: This is a show that is more about dissecting mostly mundane interactions between normal people than it is about explosive fights or scandalous hookups."

Was last night the end for 2 Broke Girls?

Kevin Smith's directorial wishlist.

Former Baywatch star Jeremy Jackson is going to prison.

In advance of tomorrow's season premiere, "Fargo is back — same as it never was. As always, FX’s finely crafted anthology series features an entirely new cast, this one headed by Ewan McGregor as two brothers on strikingly different career paths. Season 3 also features a new villain (David Thewlis), a new deadpan police chief (The Leftovers‘ Carrie Coons) — and a new decade: 2010. Only one thing remains the same about the Emmy-winning drama, says creator and resident mastermind Noah Hawley: 'At its core, Fargo is about the things that people do for money.'

"This season focuses on the rivalry between the Stussy brothers, Ray (McGregor in a fat suit) and Emmit (McGregor in Spanx), siblings who have drawn drastically different straws in life. Brown-eyed Emmit, the Parking Lot King of Minnesota, is rich. He lives in a mansion with an 8-foot-high stuffed bear in the foyer and walls decorated with framed newspaper articles heralding his many community achievements. Blue-eyed Ray, meanwhile, is paunchy, sports a bad mullet (which may or may not have been inspired by wrestler Jesse Ventura) and lives in a dark, narrow, windowless apartment. Everything that could have gone wrong for Ray has — until one day, when into his life comes Nikki Swango (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a parolee with a talent for competitive bridge who loves Ray and has a plan to help him get back a valuable stamp that Emmit may have tricked Ray into giving him years ago.

“'It’s an amazing challenge,' says McGregor, during a break from shooting on the show’s Calgary, Alberta, set. 'I felt like the challenge of playing two people and trying to make them believable would be hard — and it has been.' Fargo EP Warren Littlefield jokes, 'We just have no ability to do something simple. We always find a crazy mountain to climb every year and so [Ewan’s double roles are] this year’s mountain.' The double gig requires lengthy stays in the makeup trailer (two hours to become Ray, an hour to become Emmit), double the shooting time (McGregor acts with a stand-in during scenes between the brothers), and mastering two different Midwestern accents. 'Every region has its white collar sound and its blue collar sound,' explains McGregor’s vocal coach, Tony Alcantar.

"The actor underwent a real-life physical transformation as well: For Ray’s bathtub scene in Episode 1, McGregor acquired an actual paunch by eating like a normal Minnesotan from October to January (think: french fries with just about everything). He didn’t keep count of the extra pounds but added three inches to his jean size — then slipped into Spanx to play the notably trimmer Emmit in the same episode. He’s since lost Ray’s Episode 1 weight — he now wears a fat suit — but stuck to the Spanx for Emmit. 'The Spanx started out as a way to compress my fat stomach,' explains the actor, 'but then I just kept [wearing] it, because it feels like Emmit now.'

"McGregor’s 'inherent charm' was key to making both brothers likable, says Hawley, especially as viewers are never really supposed to know which one of them is in the right. 'I’m not trying to say one brother is good and the other’s bad,' says Hawley. 'No one is 100 percent right, no one is 100 percent wrong — but it helps, over time, to really humanize the really successful brother, and Ewan is perfect for that. He has a kind of natural quality of someone who doesn’t give up.'

"Ray’s mission to get back the possibly purloined stamp will eventually lead him to cross paths with Eden Valley’s unflappable police chief Gloria Burgle, played by Carrie Coon. The actress grew up in small-town Ohio, so she didn’t have to look far to find inspiration for her level-headed character. 'My parents are the epitome of Midwest practicality, in a wonderful way,' she says. 'My people are stoic. They don’t indulge in complaint or their own problems. A lot of these [emotional] limitations that Gloria has, I relate to,' adds the actress. 'And her observations about her community at large and how technology is impacting that connectivity is something I can totally relate to, very personally.'

"As Hawley began writing Season 3 in 2016, his plan was to 'deconstruct' the (false) disclaimer that appeared at the beginning of the movie and now every episode of the series: This is a true story. 'It’s a lie, of course,' Hawley says. 'The movie wasn’t a true story and the show isn’t a true story. It’s all made up. Just that phrase, true story, is interesting to me,” he continues, “because obviously a story is a story and the truth is the truth — at least it used to be.” Yes, along came the 2016 election cycle, and fake news, and suddenly no one could agree on what was true anymore. 'I started writing without really knowing it was going to end up being such a Zeitgeist [election] topic,' says Hawley. 'Once I realized [it was], that there was nothing I could do but continue to explore events that happen in the show and the way people talk about them.'

"In the meantime, fans can enjoy plenty of Fargo‘s trademark idiosyncrasies — for example, a subplot that takes a deep dive into the world of competitive bridge. 'I wanted something Nikki and Ray were trying to accomplish,' Hawley says. 'I didn’t want them to just be trying to steal the stamp. I thought, we want to root for them. The more I looked at bridge, the more it seemed perfect, because it really is this strategist’s game. At the same time, it feels like the game your grandmother plays.' The actors did some research to get bridge strategy right. 'People spend their life trying to perfect bridge — and we tried doing it in two one-hour lessons,' notes McGregor, who likes that Nikki and Ray have this 'very interesting thing that bonds them. They love bridge — or, she loves bridge and he does his best.'”

"The Walking Dead's universe continues its annual repopulation.

"Following a seventh season that parted ways with four series regulars, the AMC zombie drama has promoted Steven Ogg (Simon), Katelyn Nacon (Enid) and Pollyanna McIntosh (Jadis) to full-time roles.

"All told, the list of series regulars for season eight now stands at 19, with the trio joining Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Chandler Riggs (Carl), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride (Carol), Lennie James (Morgan), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Christian Serratos (Rosita), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Tom Payne (Jesus), Xander Berkeley (Gregory) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan).

"Season seven featured the largest cast of series regulars with 20 and killed off four central characters: Steven Yeun's Glenn, Michael Cudlitz's Abraham, Spencer (Austin Nichols) and Sonequa Martin-Green's Sasha, the latter of whom was written out in the finale."

Per Deadline, "Fox is returning to the iconic Harlem theater. The network said today it has ordered Showtime At The Apollo as a weekly series to premiere during the 2017-2018 season. Steve Harvey, who led Fox’s Apollo specials that launched in December and launched his career at the storied hall, will return as host.

"The series will feature elements from the Apollo’s legendary Amateur Night, the live talent competition now in its 82nd year that provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to perform in front of an audience famous as one of entertainment’s most boisterous and brutally honest. Those amateurs who don’t win them over must endure the wrath of the notorious crowd.

“'We all had such a blast on the two specials that aired earlier this season that we thought it really deserved being a weekly event,' Harvey said. 'But our mission is a little different this time around: Instead of just putting on a great show, we’re going to do that and find the next great comic and the next big music star. That’s what the Apollo is all about. My roots are on that stage, and I can’t wait to be there every week, looking for great talent. Who said you can’t go back home again?'

"When Fox announced its Showtime At The Apollo specials in October, it didn’t mention it as a potential series. But competition series are on the rise again, and now Fox – whose signature singing show American Idol wrapped last season – is back in the game."

How can we remove Steve Harvey from our lives?

Per Delish.com, "[b]y now, we have our routine for watching HGTV's Fixer Upper down to a science: First, we gather friends who are equally as obsessed with Joanna Gaines's designs. Then, we whip up a batch of sweet strawberry cupcakes, pretending they're fresh from the oven at The Bakery at the Silos. Finally, we never sit down without our handy design notebook for jotting down ideas throughout the show—Joanna never fails to inspire us.

"But now that we've watched every episode from all three seasons of Fixer Upper, we have to admit, our notebooks are filling up with questions as well. How did this couple get on the show? What about the rest of the rooms in the house? What are Chip and Joanna like in real life? Do the homeowners get to keep the furniture? After all, there are a whole lot of camera men hiding behind those shiplap walls.

"We recently chatted with Rachel Whyte, a Waco-based photographer and mom of two who appeared on Fixer Upper season 3, about what really happened behind the scenes as Chip and Joanna renovated her home.

"Rachel and her husband Luke, who both originally moved to Waco to attend Baylor University before marrying in 2012, have known of Chip and Joanna Gaines since before they became a household name.

"In fact, the first time Rachel walked onto the set of the HGTV show, it wasn't to see her own house: Rachel was one of Magnolia's early employees. She worked as the company's photographer during seasons 2 and 3 of Fixer Upper, snapping photos of all the homes Joanna renovated.

"Asked what it was like to get to know the Gaineses, Rachel explains that their personalities are pretty similar to what you see on the show. 'Joanna can be more reserved when she's in work mode, while Chip is pretty much always extroverted and down to chat with anyone he's around,' she says.

"You know how Joanna often gets 'in the zone' as she puts the finishing touches on her latest project? Rachel got to witness the farmhouse design guru up close and personal during those moments while working as the Magnolia photographer. Back then, their relationship was mainly professional, two people quietly working side-by-side.

"On reveal days, Rachel says Joanna is particularly calm and focused—just like you see on TV. 'Something I think is cute is when it's early in the morning on reveal days before all the chaos has started, Joanna will be in the house making sure everything is perfectly in its place, and Chip will sometimes bring her coffee and make her sit down to eat a breakfast taco,' says Rachel. 'I think it's sweet that he's concerned about her and wants her to be fueled for the day.'

"If you're wondering if you need an 'in' to be on the show yourself, Rachel and Luke—who first considered applying for Fixer Upper before its pilot episode— say the application process is surprisingly speedy.

"Rachel and Luke began to consider being on Fixer Upper in early 2015. 'We knew that the house we were in at the time wasn't our long-term home, and we were trying to decide whether or not to move before or after baby number two,' she explains. 'We started looking at houses online and we found a few fixer uppers that were options. I knew I did not want to buy a fixer upper unless we could get Magnolia to do it. I wasn't interested in renovating anything ourselves.'

"After (yes, 'after' — more on that later!finding their dream fixer upper, Rachel and Luke applied to be on the show in March and were officially accepted by the end of April. Filming began in May.

'We were unique in that we lived in the home for five weeks before renovations began, so that was interesting,' says Rachel. 'And we basically lived as nomads for the entire time the house was being renovated. We slept in 17 different beds in four months. It was an adventure!'

"The weirdest thing about filming HGTV's Fixer Upper is something we can all relate to: 'It was uncomfortable at times because we, like most people, aren't used to having cameras around us,' explains Rachel. 'But what happens really is real. The producers might have you repeat things a few times, and they might film things multiple times from different angles, but the reactions and conversations are real. The hard thing is remembering what you said before when asked to repeat it.'

"To prepare for the episode, Rachel and Luke were asked to come up with a budget for their home, based on the amount of renovations it would need. 'You have to sign off on your budget at the beginning and we actually didn't have any surprises come up during filming,' says Rachel. 'The budget goes towards your wish list, but the design team will also make decisions about what they think the home needs to be a TV-worthy renovation.'

"Joanna also asks her clients to make a Pinterest board so she can get a sense of their style before renovating begins. 'I put a white house with grey shutters on my Pinterest board and they really [went with] that concept,' says Rachel. 'We were also unique in that Luke and I both created Pinterest boards, so she had the challenge of making us both happy.'

"Rachel made different Pinterest boards to show Joanna what she wanted in her master bedroom, kitchen, living room, and exterior.

"During the renovations, Rachel says she and Luke only met with Joanna in person twice—on real estate day and during their design meeting—but she called and texted them several times during the process.

"'Overall, we were pretty hands off and fully trusted them,' explains Rachel. 'Our only real desires were that the exterior of the house be painted white, that the kitchen was light and airy, and that there was some element of mountain ruggedness to satisfy Luke. They gave us all that and more!'

"If you've watched more than one episode of Fixer Upper, you know the show follows a strict format: There's real estate day, then the homeowners meet with Joanna for design day, then demo day happens, which is followed by the renovation process, and finally, the big reveal.

"But how does the whole process work in real life? Take a peek at the application for Fixer Upper and you'll see the producers hinting that you should already have a home under contract before coming on the show:

"The 68-question-long application then goes into specifics, asking details about square footage and what year the home was built. Homeowners are also asked to upload photos of different rooms that need renovations. (If you're interested, the show is already casting for its fifth season! See the full application here.)

"So, yes, sometimes when you see Chip and Joanna taking clients around to view houses, it's possible those homeowners already know which one they're going to choose.

"'We were pretty set on the house we now live in, but they did show us two other homes like you see on the show, and we considered the other options that were shown to us,' explains Rachel. 'Even though I had seen our home before our official tour with Chip and Jo, my negative reaction to how it looked was genuine. I was seriously hesitant that they would be able to make the house look good!'

"Rachel and her husband chose their house because they liked the bones of it, but not the exterior. She knew Chip and Joanna could change out the gross carpeting, weird color scheme, and paint the brick, but Rachel loved that the house was already two stories, had a big master bath, and a master balcony.

"Meanwhile, Rachel tell us that design day was actually really exciting for her. Homeowners are given a blueprint sketch when they sign the contract to be on Fixer Upper, but the reactions you see on the show as Joanna reveals her ideas to the clients are real.

"'You've heard about the ideas, but [design day is] when you see a visual representation of what they have in store for your home,' says Rachel.

"From that point until reveal day, the fate of Rachel's home was left entirely in Joanna's hands—homeowners are asked not to go by their house while renovations are taking place. Rachel was obviously curious to see what was happening, but she knew her husband, who loves surprises, would be especially mad if she drove by.

"While we often see surprise expenses pop up during renovations (cue Chip trying to avoid calling the clients!), the Whytes weren't in for any costly surprises.

"'Joanna actually called us along the way to ask if we would like an iron railing on the staircase, which was normal wood at the time,' says Rachel. 'It was essentially an upgrade, because [Chip and Joanna] decided they wanted to try something different.'

"For reveal day, Rachel and Luke were asked to meet Chip and Joanna at a location near their house. Then, they got into Chip and Joanna's Chevy Suburban, and were driven to the home—just like we see on the show. Homeowners are always instructed to close their eyes when they're nearby, says Rachel. 'But I snuck a peek to see if the house was white and I was able to see that it was, so I could rest easy and the rest would be smooth sailing,' she admits.

"Chip and Joanna then pulled back the giant canvas poster to allow Rachel and Luke to finally see their new home. 'How it happens on TV is how it happens in real life!' says Rachel.

"After Rachel and Luke entered their new home, they were escorted into the different rooms as their reactions were caught on camera, a process Rachel describes as 'sensory overload.' Of course, since it's still a TV show working to put together a story for viewers at home, Rachel and Luke were asked to go into the rooms and react to each one by one, which Rachel admits was tricky since most of Joanna's designs are open concept.

"'They film you walking into each room, then they have you talk about your first reaction, and they might film you walking into the room again,' said Rachel. 'Having to focus on one room at a time is hard because you want to just see it all!' Rachel admits that she tried to rehearse acting surprised because she's sometimes slow to process things. 'Wall color, trim on door, fireplace, doors, [there's] so much to see at once—it is exciting but also stressful because you're on TV,' she says."

"The entire reveal lasted from 10 a.m. to around 1 p.m. 'Magnolia only renovated the parts of our house that were seen on the show, as well as one additional bedroom,' Rachel explains. 'We did the other two bedrooms and bathrooms ourselves after moving in, in an effort to save money. In hindsight, we should have had Chip and Joanna do it all. Remodeling a house you live in is not very fun!'"