Friday June 23, 2017

Some disappointing news: "Freeform isn't going back to college after all. The cable channel has scrapped plans for a Greek reunion movie, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. First announced in April, Greek: The Reunion was supposed to pick up five years after the end of the series, with the original cast reuniting at the five-year reunion for the fictional Cypress-Rhodes University. The series wrapped in 2011, which would have put the five-year milestone at 2016. The movie was set to be timed to the holidays — likely as part of Freeform's annual 25 Days of Christmas programming block — but a formal premiere date was never announced."

GLOW is streaming on Netflix.

Five things to know before you dig in on GLOW.

And an interview with Alison Brie, just for good measure.

Silicon Valley wraps up a great season on Sunday.

Here's what life after Ehrlich Bachman might look like.

A Making A Murderer update.

The Carmichael Show is one that you should really be watching.  It's funny and actually tries to make a point on some pretty taboo issues.  

A deep dive into Japanese reality show Terrace House.

Some more Better Call Saul season 3 post-mortem.  More below.

Season 3 of USA's Playing House premieres tonight.  More below.

"The sky is falling for Still Star-Crossed: ABC is shipping the Shondaland period drama off to Saturday nights… which means it’s as good as cancelled. Star-Crossed will make the move to Saturdays starting July 8 . . . after airing just three episodes in the post-Bachelorette slot on Monday nights. A sequel to Shakespeare’s Romeo and JulietStar-Crossed stars Lashana Lynch as Rosaline Capulet and Wade Briggs as Benvolio Montague, who are being forced to marry each other to defuse the raging feud between their families."

From TheWrap: "Aziz Ansari likens his Netflix comedy Master of None to Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, in that it doesn’t fit into the traditional cycle of broadcast seasons. For example: More than a year went by between the Season 1 release in November of 2015 and Season 2’s May 2017 bow.

“'I was hesitant to even do a second season, because I feel like I never want the show to become something where we’re cranking out meat and there’s like a template for the show,' Ansari told TheWrap of the long gap between seasons.

“'Time really helped us come up with ideas. And even when we weren’t working, we would text each other. Alan [Yang] and I would talk regularly and come up with ideas here and there. Like, I told him about something that happened with me and my parents and the pork and we were like, "Oh, that would be a cool idea to do an episode.”'

"But Ansari thinks Season 2 was worth the wait. 'With Season 1, Alan and I look back and we see the episodes that really hit were Parents, Mornings and Indians on TV, which were really big swings,' he said.

“'So for Season 2, we said, "Let’s make every episode a big swing, something people can talk about." The first episode is in Italy and it’s in black and white. The second episode is still in Italy. The third episode is about religion. There’s the one with the first-date conceit [where Ansari’s character, Dev, is seen on several first dates intercut together]. Episode 6, I’m not even in it. Episode 8 spans 30 years… So yeah, we just wanted to be really ambitious.'

"The new season also gave Ansari, who co-created, co-showruns, writes, directs and stars on the show, more to do. 'I directed two episodes last season, and this season I directed four, one of which was a double episode,' he said. 'To direct and act is my favorite thing I get to do on the show, but it’s really challenging. Doing that double episode was really hard. It’s a hard show to do, but I have a great support team to make sure I survive.'

"The comedian also sang the praises of Netflix and all the creative freedom he’s been given with Master of None, and cringed at the idea of returning to broadcast television, like he did when he was a star on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. 'Oh, God, no — that would be a hellish experience,' Ansari said of going back to broadcast. 'I know what that experience is, [and with] the freedom we have here, it would be impossible for me to go back.
I wouldn’t do it. I would just do stand-up or something. I’m getting scared just having this conversation!'

"Now that Season 2 is done, he and Netflix are perfectly content that he takes his time with a potential Season 3. 'If we do one, it will have to be after a while,' he said. 'I can’t write any more stuff right now about that guy being single in New York or whatever. I get sick of it. I’d have to be pretty inspired, and right now I don’t have it.'”

Per Deadline, "YouTube Red is expanding its comedy lineup, adding two new scripted series to its slate, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television, starring Veronica Mars and Party Down alum Ryan Hansen with Kristen Bell, Joel McHale & Jon Cryer to guest star; and Do You Want To See A Dead Body? from Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital, Transparent) who stars and executive produces. Both are set for a fall debut.

"Hansen stars as himself in Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes On Television. The eight-episode, half hour comedy procedural from veteran comedy director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence, We’re the Millers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) is about an LAPD task force that partners actors with homicide detectives so they can use their 'actor skills' to help solve murders. Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale, Orange is the New Black) guest stars as his no-nonsense partner Detective Mathers. The series features a who’s who of stars playing bizarro versions of themselves including, McHale, Cryer and Bell. The series is executive produced by Thurber, Scott Stuber, Beau Bauman, Krysia Plonka and Tracey Baird.

"Do You Want To See A Dead Body? is an eight-episode comedy series that follows comedian Rob Huebel and his celebrity friends who begrudgingly join him on adventures that see them frolicking at the beach, getting tacos, …oh…and seeing a dead body. Celebrity guest stars include Adam Scott, Judy Greer, Terry Crews, Craig Robinson, and John Cho, among others. Huebel, Owen Burke, Nick Jasenovec, and Jonathan Stern serve as executive producers. The series is being produced by Abominable Pictures and Funny or Die."

Per The Hollywood Reporter, "[s]ix weeks after roundly kicking breast cancer's ass, I began the writers room — with my best friend and co-showrunner Lennon Parham — for season three of USA's Playing House. My hair that I had lost during treatment (I had kept about half by freezing my scalp) was growing in and I looked alarmingly like Dog the Bounty Hunter, which may have given me an air of authority in the room. But other than that, you would have had no idea I had just been through the most terrifying and exhausting seven months of my life. Words could not describe how happy I was to be back. 

"We began the room as we always do, by sharing stories of what's happened to us the past year to our six writers, all of whom are dear friends. Tears were shed. A tremendous amount of Trader Joe’s chocolate chip dunkers were eaten. Lennon and I had not yet decided whether we were going to bring what we had been through into the show. That past year, when I wasn't busy Googling 'What did Debra Winger die of in Terms of Endearment,' I had kept a mental list of all the moments, both funny and sad, that we could potentially write about. There was no more high-stakes story we could tell to show the fierce way women show up for each other. I have always turned to TV for comfort (Gilmore Girls got me through a rough patch in my 20s — so much so that I cried when I stumbled upon the Stars Hollow set on the Warner Bros. lot), and I wanted to show women coming behind me that they could get through something as harrowing as cancer with the help of their friends and even emerge happier than they were before.

"Lennon was less convinced we should do it: Yes, very funny and insane things had happened — and she felt each one like a sommelier would and then announced 'It's Number 2' like she was dropping the mic — the fear of losing your best friend and seeing her go through the most treacherous journey of her life was not something either of us felt like reliving. Not to mention we had spent so much time carefully building the charming and joyful world that Maggie and Emma lived in, complete with their Pinterest-worthy, cozy home and the lovable weirdos that surround them. If cancer came to Pinebrook, would it shatter the beautiful world that we knew our fans had come to love? But we were raised as comedians at the Upright Citizens Brigade, where the motto is 'Don't think,' which always has meant: If you're afraid, you must do it. So after careful deliberation, and with the blessing of our head writer, Anthony King, we took each other's hands and jumped off the cliff, Thelma & Louise-style. Man, why are women always biting it in every movie we love?!

"It was truly surreal to see index cards on the board that had scenes like 'Maggie chooses Emma's boobs' or 'Surgery is a success!' We decided to have Emma get diagnosed middle of the way through the season, so that we could have a couple episodes to enjoy the girls being up to their old tricks before the big C shows up. In the episode when Emma gets diagnosed, it comes out of nowhere, much like it does in life. And just like in life, even when you're dealing with serious stuff, there are always funny moments. Strangely enough, I think that the episode where Emma finds out she has cancer is both one of our funniest and most heartbreaking. The one thing we decided not to show was Emma in chemo because, let's face it, chemo just plain sucks.

"In order to capture the real way Lennon and I talk to each other, we've developed a unique way of writing scripts in which we improvise every scene, playing all the parts and recording ourselves. Those transcripts are used as the basis for the first draft. What that meant this season, however, is that we had to re-enact traumatic scenes from real life, and that was … not fun. One of Lennon's superpowers is that she is able to mimic people, down to the cadence of their voices. So when it came time to improvise the scenes with my doctors, Lennon was able to re-create almost word for word what they said and how they said it. I have never understood what a true flashback is until that moment. When Lennon transformed into my doctor, I found myself right back in that exam room, experiencing all the same emotions. The scenes you see in the show (my surgeons are played by the incredible Laurie Metcalf and Michaela Watkins) are pretty much word for word what happened in real life, just with better hair. In the middle of writing the surgery scene, we stopped and held hands and just sobbed. It was in that moment we knew that if, at the end of the day, nobody saw it, it would still be worth it for us to be able to process these emotions and move through them. Whenever things got too intense, we took a break to watch a clip of Channing Tatum doing the pony dance in Magic Mike. We watched that dance a lot.

"At the ATX Television Festival, a woman shared that she was caring for her ailing mother and that her best friend's husband has stage IV cancer. When it all gets to be too much, they pile on her bed for a Playing House marathon. Of course, Lennon and I burst into tears and looked at each other. Jumping off that cliff was worth it, and look, we survived."

Per People, "[f]alling into a coma and waking up with a loving boyfriend by your side sounds like the perfect fantastical romantic comedy — except it actually happened.

"At the start of their relationship, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V. Gordon had no idea they’d be married eight months later. But everything changed when Gordon fell inexplicably sick and was put into a medically induced coma. After being diagnosed with Still’s disease, a rare systemic autoinflammatory disorder that can shut down major organs if left untreated, Gordon woke up — and Nanjiani was ready to marry her.

"Ten years later, the hilarious duo is bringing their hard to believe love story to the big screen in The Big Sick — a Judd Apatow produced romantic comedy starring the Silicon Valley actor as a version of himself, with Zoe Kazan as Gordon and Ray Romano and Holly Hunter as her parents.

"While the two were in step throughout most of the writing, they told People at the New York premiere of the film that they differed on one thing — Gordon was much more concerned about putting their private love story out for the world to see.

“'I’m maybe a bit more private than Kumail so I was definitely like, "Oh s—, if all this goes great, I’m gonna be on a red carpet being like, and yes, I was in a coma!"' Gordon joked. 'That’s kind of a weird thing but hopefully the benefits of it can outweigh the weirdness of it — cause it definitely is weird.'

"Nanjiani, 39, on the other hand, admits that Gordon, 38, was right and he 'should’ve been' concerned, but the politically outspoken actor is glad that a movie about two different worlds coming together peacefully is premiering in such heightened times. 'It is a version of showing that people from different backgrounds can get along,' he told People. 'I’m glad that it’s coming out now.'

"Nanjiani and Gordon first met in Chicago in 2006 when Gordon heckled Nanjiani’s stand-up set and later refused to go out with him. Though she eventually texted him to casually meet up, the couple started seeing each other more often and dealt with the pressures of Nanjiani’s family without visualizing a future together.

"The Pakistani-born Nanjiani’s parents wanted him to enter into an arranged marriage, meaning they wouldn’t approve of Gordon and the two struggled as Gordon respected his family’s traditions. They continued dating in secret until eight months into their relationship when Gordon ended up in the emergency room needing to be put in an induced coma to stabilize her symptoms.

"That’s when their relationship went into overdrive. Unlike the movie, the two didn’t break up before Gordon’s coma and Nanjiani was by her side through the scary eight-day ordeal — along with her parents who he had only briefly met once.

"But Gordon being in a coma put things into perspective for the stand-up comedian and he realized it was time to tell his parents about his girlfriend. Luckily for him, they couldn’t be too angry while Gordon was still in a life-threatening situation.

“'They were very concerned about Emily’s health,' Nanjiani told USA Today. 'When she got better, they were like, "Why did you do this to us?!"'

"Their relationship took off from there and the two were married just two months after Gordon woke up in a secret ceremony at Chicago’s City Hall. Gordon finally met the entire Nanjiani clan shortly after when the couple had a traditional Pakistani-style wedding with his whole family — proving that the therapist-turned-writer was here to stay.

"Years later, after several conversations, the two decided to bring their love story to the screen and started workshopping the idea in 2012.

"As for Gordon’s battle with Still’s disease, the couple admitted that they have gotten really good with prevention of flare ups and subsequent treatments. The couple said they manage it by doing things like planning around Gordon’s travel and knowing that she would need a couple days rest after they came back.

"Gordon explained that the best way to treat it has been to take it seriously and give herself time to get better when she starts feeling sick.

“'It’s fevers — it’s a very intense kind of just awful feeling,' she recently told People about the symptoms. 'And then if I don’t stop everything I’m doing then I can get much more sick.  So, then if it’s more then I just have to kind of stop and let it leave.'

"But after years of living with the condition, Gordon has gotten better at handling it — and is feeling great.

“'Over ten years, I’ve kind of gotten the good sense of how to deal with it,' she said. 'But then I just started this new treatment about four months ago that’s kind of been amazing.  It’s been really good for the press for this movie too because now I have the ability to do everything.'”

Per Uproxx, "[t]here wasn’t much to laugh about in the dark third season finale of Better Call Saul, but behind the scenes, there was on particular scene that inspired an incredibly funny observation from Bob Odenkirk in this week’s Better Call Saul Insider Podcast.

"The scene comes near the end of the episode, and is not that memorable by itself. In it, Kim Wexler is deciding whether to watch To Kill a Mockingbird for the second time that day while sharing her Doritos with Jimmy, who she suggests should dip the Doritos into the nacho cheese sauce. 'It’s cheese on cheese,' Kim says to a reluctant Jimmy.

"What’s funny about that scene is that it’s the first time Bob Odenkirk had eaten a Dorito in 30 years. 'They’re loaded with chemicals. That’s all they are — a few kernels of corn that are blasted with chemicals,' Odenkirk said. 'So, I was like, ‘I don’t want to put this weird chemical in my mouth.'

"That changed, however, the second those chemical-blasted kernels of corn hit his taste buds.

"‘Oh my God!' he exclaimed, to the laughter of Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, and Co. 'I couldn’t frigging believe it. And not just one. I had, like, 20 of them. Every single one of them blew my brain receptors out. Just completely. It’s insane what they’ve done.'

"As anyone who has listened to them in interviews, the creative team behind Saul are always giving credit where credit is due.

“'It’s a testament to the chemical efforts of the chemists who make Doritos,' Odenkirk said. 'The people in the labs who make Doritos, they’re good at what they do. And they lit up parts of my brain!'

“'This is why science matters,' the episode writer Gennifer Hutchison joked.

"Odenkirk added that the flavor sensation didn’t end after the first chip, either. Even after multiple chips, the Doritos continued to excite parts of his 'brain and tongue that have never been touched.'

"As a favor to Odenkirk, showrunner Peter Gould finally suggested that Jimmy may be eating some more Doritos next season."