Monday May 8, 2017

I watched season 3 of Amazon's Catastrophe.  Do NOT expect to laugh very much as this season is quite dark and depressing.

I'm really struggling to get through Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale.  I've made it through three of the 4 episodes so far, barely.

Steer clear of Jeff Garlin's new Netflix movie Handsome.  It's a tough watch.

Five things you might not have known about Katherine Langford.

Tonight may mark the last episode of CBS' The Great Indoors.

Winners from last night's MTV Awards, in the event they mean anything to you.

"The first season of Master of None followed aspiring actor Dev (Aziz Ansari) as he journeyed around New York, looking for love, discussing the meaning of it all with his friends and eating the best food the city had to offer. It shouldn’t be revolutionary content for a sitcom, but the show, from co-creators Ansari and Alan Yang, was far more ambitious than the basic description would suggest, with structural experimentation, deep dives into what it means to be Indian in America, and a questioning, earnest heart beneath it all.  THR talked to Yang about the unique challenges in making season two, the Italian influences on the forthcoming episodes and putting Dev 'through the wringer.''"

Veep's Dan Egan is coming to CBS This Morning, for real.

John Oliver's message last night looks like it was heard.  The FCC site to which he linked was flooded to a point where it was shut down.  His rant about those with too much time on their hands was priceless.

"Rumors have swirled since Chris Rock revealed in a comedy routine he cheated on his ex-wife with three different women, including a big star. And sources tell Page Six the famous fling was with Scandal star Kerry Washington.  A new Rolling Stone cover story reported Rock saying in a routine, 'I was a piece of s–t,' of his marriage to ex-wife Malaak Compton-Rock. The mag adds that Rock 'segues into his infidelities and gets disarmingly specific, describing three women: one famous, one semifamous and one a member of the retail class.' A source told Page Six: 'He was cheating on his wife with Kerry when they were filming [I Think I Love My Wife] about him, ironically, having fantasies of cheating on his wife. That went on for a while, for like six months, and she found out. There’s no gray area.'”

A look back at The Gauntlet 3.

No, Tarek and Chrsitina have not gotten back together.

Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to purchase Tribune Media for $3.9B.

"A veteran of the party scene was aghast at how the stars of Comedy Central’s Broad City, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, spoke to photographers at the Creative Time Gala. 'When one of the fotogs wanted to show them the photo he had just taken, Ilana snapped at him, "I don’t want to see a photo of myself,"' said the shocked onlooker. 'They completely shut down another photographer who asked to get a photo of them in a really nasty way. The unfortunate thing is the fotogs were all fans of the show, and this incident left them with a less-than-stellar impression.'"

Per Deadline, "[i]t’s now official – 13 Reasons Why, Netflix’s adaption of the bestselling 2007 YA book by Jay Asher, has been renewed for a 13-episode second season to premiere in 2018. Season 2 will pick up in the aftermath of Hannah Baker’s death and the start of the characters’ complicated journeys toward healing and recovery.

"Executive produced by Selena Gomez, 13 Reasons Why has been a breakout. It was well received by critics and has gotten a lot of attention on social media. Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Yorkey, who wrote the adaptation and serves as an executive producer on the series, will take the reins as showrunner in Season 2. He succeeds in the role Diana Son, who was executive producer/showrunner on the drama’s first season.

"Season 1 follows teenager Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) as he returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker (newcomer Katherine Langford) —his classmate and crush—who tragically committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Kate Walsh, Brian D’Arcy James, Derek Luke, Brandon Flynn, Justin Prentice, Alisha Boe, Christian Navarro and Tommy Dorfman also star.

"The [show,] which deals with teen suicide, bullying, drunk driving and rape in graphic detail, has been the subject of active discussion, drawing criticism by some mental health experts who say the show could pose health risks for certain young people, especially those with suicidal thoughts. In response, Netflix amped up its content warnings.

"13 Reasons Why is directed by Oscar Winner Tom McCarthy, written by Yorkey, and executive produced by Gomez, Joy Gorman, Michael Sugar, Steve Golin and Brian Yorkey from Anonymous Content, Kristel Laiblin and Mandy Teefey.  The series is produced for Netflix by Paramount Television."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[t]here appears to be a victor in the multiple-network competition for American Idol.

"ABC has emerged as the likely home for the revival of the reality competition series, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Sources caution that a deal is not in place yet, and ABC and producers FremantleMedia and Core Media Group all declined comment.

"ABC emerged as the frontrunner to land Idol earlier this week, though Fox — the show's home for 15 seasons — was said to still be in the mix. NBC, which also put in an offer for the show earlier this year, was out of the bidding. Sources note that, while ABC does not have a signed deal, the Disney-owned network has established the 'framework for a deal' for the show. A formal announcement is expected to come at the network's May 16 upfront presentation to ad buyers.

"Should the Idol deal close, it's unclear which, if any, judges will return or if Ryan Seacrest — who recently relocated to New York to co-host ABC's Live — would continue on with the reality hit.

"Few in reality thought American Idol was gone for good when Fox shut it down after 15 seasons in 2016, but a broadcast return this soon seemed unlikely. Still, Fremantle has been aggressive in trying to find a new home for the once-global franchise.

"The return of American Idol back on the Big Four is a bit of a head-scratcher [ya think?????]. It was a shell of its former self when it finally wrapped up, averaging a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 11 million viewers in its final season. Those numbers, which include time-shifting, are actually pretty good by most standards — though not by the ones the show was held up against. American Idol came with an incredible price tag for Fox, which had to pay astronomical salaries to talent — most notably to Seacrest and judge Jennifer Lopez."

"Kris Jenner is trying to become Ryan Seacrest, because we've learned she's producing a new show about flipping houses starring the estranged baby daddy of her daughter.

"Scott Disick is the star, with a supporting cast ... it will also feature Scott's business partner, the Kardashian's go-to realtor, Tomer Fridman, and a contractor named Mickey.  

"Here's the way it goes. Tomer shows Scott and his partner homes, they plunk down money, Mickey fixes them up and Tomer sells the crib for a hefty profit.

"The show is called Royally Flipped, a takeoff on Royally F**ked

"We're told they're already shooting the pilot at 2 homes ... one in Malibu and another in the San Fernando Valley. E! has the first right of refusal.

"Here's what's crazy. We're told Scott and Kourtney are fighting these days ... not getting along at all. Yet Kris will be the Executive Producer of a show starring her daughters at-the-moment nemesis."

Crappy American Idol reboot > Royally Flipped.

"Bravo Media takes viewers past the antebellum walls for an inside look into the posh society of Savannah, Georgia, with its new series Southern Charm Savannah, premiering Monday, May 8 at 10pm ET/PT. This hauntingly romantic city is filled with heirs and socialites who learned to operate boats before cars and whose ball gowns and white dinner jackets never collect dust. The series will follow six lifelong friends as they set out to make their mark in this world, all while navigating their legacies, love lives, and personal relationships. 

"Beneath Savannah’s beautiful oak trees draped in Spanish moss is an exclusive world that will seduce viewers with mystery, blue-blood refinement and deep history. From bridge club parties to oyster roasts, the Savannah social calendar is always full for the elite individuals who make the list.

"This close-knit group includes Ashley Borders, a fashionista who spent years traveling the world before realizing that there really is no place like home; Catherine Cooper, a modern Southern Belle on a quest for independence; Daniel Eichholz, a Jewish businessman by day and ladies’ man by night who was forced to grow up after a scandal nearly destroyed his family business; Hannah Pearson, who relocated from Atlanta and found love but learned quickly that in Savannah, 'mama’s boy' takes on a whole new meaning; Louis Oswald, Hannah’s fun-loving boyfriend who recently resigned from his corporate banking job to become a full-time entrepreneur; and Lyle Mackenzie, a man on a mission who moved back to Savannah hoping to make an honest woman out of his high school sweetheart. Additional charming characters set to make an appearance include Happy McCullough, who is bucking old-school Southern traditions by marrying her Muslim boyfriend; and comeback kid Nelson Lewis III, who made headlines in Washington D.C. with his wild behavior."

Not sure how you top Shep and Thomas Ravenel, but good luck!

Max Greenfield "has joined Versace: American Crime Story. Creator Ryan Murphy revealed Greenfield's casting on social media. However, it is not yet known who he is playing.

"Greenfield joins a cast that includes Oscar winner Penelope Cruz in her regular TV role, Ricky Martin, Darren Criss and Edgar Ramirez.

"This marks the latest collaboration between Greenfield and Murphy. The actor previously appeared in American Horror Story: Hotel. ACS hails from Fox 21 and FX productions, the sister studios of 20th Television, which produces New Girl.

"The gig comes as Greenfield and the rest of the New Girl cast await word on the fate of the Fox comedy, which wrapped its sixth season last month.

"Series creator Liz Meriwether spoke to THR about the season six, and possible series, finale. 'We decided to create a finale that we would be happy with either way — and just hope for a season seven. It's tricky. We wanted to end the show in a way that made sense for the fans and us, but also leave the door open for another season.'”

Per Variety, "[m]ore than two years ago, Orange Is The New Black actress Samira Wiley sent a cryptic text message to two of her then co-stars (and real-life best friends), Danielle Brooks and Uzo Aduba. 'We need to sit down over a glass of wine,' the text message read.

"The message, it turned out, was the precursor for Wiley’s impending 'goodbye' — spurred by the forthcoming death of her beloved OITNB character, Poussey. And, while Brooks and Aduba were somewhat blindsided by the news, Wiley had been privy to it for months already.

“'It was heavy,' Brooks remembered, of filming the chilling — and, startlingly relevant — scene in which Wiley’s character (a black female inmate) is senselessly strangled by a white male correctional officer.'It was hea-vy.'

"Mostly, though, the women grieved the loss of Wiley herself. In addition to co-workers, the women of OITNB are, firstly, a family. 'Selfishly, I was sad and upset,' Aduba said, gesturing to Wiley. 'She’s pure love.'

"Poussey’s death, as well as its implications, was a focal point of Netflix’s screening and panel event Friday evening at North Hollywood’s Saban Media Center. The sit-down featured a moderated conversation between Variety‘s Debra Birnbaum and the leading women of “Orange Is The New Black” — Laverne CoxTaylor Schilling, Taryn Manning, and Blair Brown, in addition to Wiley, Brooks, and Aduba — ahead of OITNB Season 5.

"Birnbaum addressed Wiley first to kick off the discussion. “We’re happy to see you alive and well,' Birnbaum joked. 'I’m happy to be alive,' quipped Wiley, the 30-year-old actress who has already begun to establish her artistic prowess outside of Orange with her comparably resonant supporting role in Hulu’s screen adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale.

"The panelists laughed. But Poussey’s death, and the incalculable real-world deaths it’s meant to represent, are anything but blithe. And, in the wake of Trump’s political regime, the stakes feel particularly high.

“'Our show seems relevant now more than ever,' Cox said. 'There’s a resistance that’s happening at Litchfield right now, and there’s a resistance that’s happening in the country.' 'It’s our responsibility as artists to reflect the time that we’re living in,' Wiley echoed. 'It’s an incredible responsibility that we have.'

"But despite the scope of OITNB‘s socio-political reach, the actors try not to feel too encumbered by it. 'I don’t think the action is to be an activist,' Aduba agreed. 'But it forces the audience to be responsible. You’re forced to see [the characters’] humanity.' And that humanness — the relatability of it — she says, makes all the difference.

"And it’s true; in so many ways, the incisive, quick-witted authenticity with which OITNB gives voice to narratives not-oft showcased in mainstream TV is something of a revelation. It is a show that, from its onset, has unapologetically built its narrative clout on the three-dimensional, thoroughly-developed, and acutely heartrending stories of female inmates — many of whom are women of color, hold LGBTQ+ identities, grapple with mental illness, and struggle with substance abuse.

"In mirroring the evolving socio-political zeitgeist throughout its four-season lifespan, “OITNB” has tackled a conveyor belt of nightmarish real-world issues, including (but certainly not limited to): prison privatization, police brutality, and Black Lives Matter. And, in doing that, it has catalyzed a wider series of dialogues and a heightened awareness of those issues and how they manifest outside of the show.

“'Just by being honest, there’s a ripple effect,' Schilling said, reiterating writer/creator Jenji Kohan’s mantra that 'the personal is universal.' Schilling, however, tries to focus predominantly on her role as a storyteller first, advocate second. 'Crossing those lines is a political act,' Schilling said, 'But that’s not the genesis of it.'

"In just a 30-minute timespan, the panelists also managed to touch on a medley of topics, both practical and theoretical, including the philosophies behind Netflix’s push toward innovative TV and 'the osmosis of character' (Aduba’s delightfully thoughtful — albeit, roundabout — response to the question 'If you could play any character besides your own, who would it be?').

“'My cast is smart,' Brooks cut in, finally articulating the sentiment that had been hanging in the air for the duration of the evening. 'That’s all I have to say. Intelligent women.'"

Season 5 of Orange Is The New Black will be available on Netflix June 9.