Monday August 21, 2017

I finished Atypical on Netflix and very much recommend it.  It's well done and I look forward to what should be a no-brainer green light for a 2nd season.

Rest in peace Jerry Lewis.

Happy eclipse day to those chasing that euphoric two and a half minutes.

I remain all in on Dice on Showtime.

More The Defenders.  I'm 4 episodes in and so far, so good.

"This Is Us is a ’70s show. And an ’80s, a ’90s show, and even a present-day show. So maybe it’s no surprise that the time-traveling NBC drama has signed one of the most popular stars of the long-running comedy That ’70s Show, Debra Jo Rupp, for its upcoming season. Rupp played matriarch Kitty Forman on the Fox sitcom for eight seasons, from 1998 to 2006, and she will now join This Is Us for Season 2, according to Entertainment Weekly. The That ’70s Show mom will play Linda, a social worker who assists Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) Pearson as they explore adopting a third child."

Here's more about season 2 from Mandy Moore.

Iron Fist's Ramon Rodriguez has signed on for season 4 of The Affair.

"On Reunion Road Trip: Return to the Jersey Shore, home gyms, spray tans, and laundry pickup was the new mantra of Paul 'DJ Pauly D' DelVecchio, who listed his improved habits. However, he still believes in 'that GTL lifestyle.' It’s been five years since the cast has gotten together. The reunion episode included Pauly D, Sammi 'Sweetheart' Giancola, Jenni 'JWoww' Farley, Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi. On the plus side, Mike has sobered up, but on the downside, he’s facing tax evasion charges. 'When Mike got audited, we all got audited. Do not f*** with the IRS,' said Snooki. Mike was regretful about his past choices: 'The last five years have not been cool, you know? I went through rehab. Or, actually, two rehabs. I got this court case. And then I realized that I destroyed the friendships that I thought would last forever.' Despite Mike’s looming possible jail time, the group still managed to remember the good times with him:  'You get tired of, like, that one night and the multiple women or the threesomes or the foursomes, or whatever.' They also recognized how things have changed: Everyone but Pauly D raised their hand at Snooki’s question of who had gotten Botox."

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Per Indiewire,"Narcos has never been a simple show to process, especially for someone not embedded in this universe — there are many players, many complications, speaking in many languages, operating decades ago.

"But it is one of the great examples of shows that have improved thanks to the opportunity to grow and evolve, and Season 3 continues that journey with an investment in human storytelling.

"The third season of the Netflix period drama, circling around the drug cartels that gave birth to an international addiction to cocaine and the American war on drugs that failed to prevent it, had a major challenge ahead of it. For two seasons, Narcos had Pedro Escobar, one of the most famous drug kingpins of all time, at its center. Escobar was a fascinating character, anchored by an award-nominated performance by Wagner Moura, but at the end of Season 2, Escobar’s journey on the show ended.

"Thus, Season 3 resets the chess board to a massive degree, refocusing the show on the members of the Cali Cartel, which is theoretically working towards a 'retirement plan' that will allow its principles to segue out of illegal activity with their livelihoods intact. But even as that’s going on, the DEA and other forces involved are still committed to, you know, stopping criminal activity surrounding drugs. Even if, as they learn over the course of the season, that is a hopeless case.

"As observed during Season 2, Pedro Pascal had true leading man potential for the show, and so bless “Narcos” for elevating his character of agent Javier Peña to the series lead — he even replaces former lead Boyd Holbrook (who left the show after Season 2) in doing Narcos' inescapable voice-over. Pascal, for the record, is a wonderfully authoritative voice.

"In Season 3, Peña has graduated to a supervisory position as the show fully descends into the ’90s, and the show doesn’t stumble one single beat in the transition, as Peña devotes himself and his team to trying to stop the drug trade between Colombia and the United States. Partners Chris Feistl (Michael Stahl-David) and Daniel Van Ness (Matt Whelan) now serve as the American in-roads to the action, which creates a compelling dynamic with Peña leading the way for them.

"Meanwhile, there’s a massive influx of new cast for the season, including Arturo Castro as David Rodriguez, who might technically be a familiar face as Ilana’s roommate on “Broad City,” but here proves to be truly terrifying in his ruthlessness. Miguel Angel Silvestre also appears as Franklin Jurado, a cartel accountant whose American wife Christina (Kerry Bishe) has some sparks with Peña. But the most notable scene-stealer, especially at the end of Episode 1, is Alberto Ammann as Pacho Herrera, an openly gay Cali cartel member who is perhaps its most ruthless.

"Outside of the overhanging threat of Pedro Escobar, Narcos proves its ability to excel as an ongoing drama by not just introducing new members of these syndicates, but giving them real, fleshed-out lives beyond basic confrontations. There’s a most intriguing conflict that arises when characters who see themselves as technically 'outside' the cartel — because they don’t carry drugs or actively sell drugs — are forced to accept that fallacy.

"The downside, though, might be a facet of that focus, as Season 3 does lack the level of female presence enjoyed by Season 2. Beyond the relatively brief reappearances of a woman reporter, the women of this story are all wives and mothers, only deeply engaged with the action because of how their husbands and sons are involved. But Narcos has never been a show where passing the Bechdel test was a priority.

"However, it is still a series that seeks to offer a unique perspective into an era many may not know about, a series grounded in enough humanity to elevate what might otherwise be easily stereotyped storytelling. The best moments of Narcos are when it shows that the men and women whose lives are entwined with these cartels don’t think of them as businesses. They think of them as families, institutions, governments, impossibly powerful. Which is why they might be loyal to them beyond all else, which brings their actions into such clarity on screen.

"Digging into just how accurately Narcos depicts the history it captures isn’t necessarily the point. The point comes down to a scene relatively early in the season’s run, which might count as a spoiler except that it just speaks to reality. 'The drug war? We lost it. You were there,' he says.

"That’s been the whole point of Narcos this whole time. Understanding why is why we keep watching this show, year after year."

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Per USA Today, "Matt LeBlanc was offered a lead role in ABC's hit Modern Family, but he turned it down, fearing it was a bad fit and had probably been written with someone else in mind. It was: Producers were set on Ty Burrell, who perfectly embodies rubber-faced real-estate broker Phil Dunphy but had met resistance from ABC brass. 

"In 2009, during a lengthy timeout following the flameout of Friends spinoff Joey, the Modern Family pilot script 'came across my desk with an offer to play Ty Burrell’s role,' LeBlanc told USA Today.  (Producer 20th Century Fox Television confirms this).  'I remember reading it thinking, this is a really good script, (but) I’m not the guy for this. I’d be doing the project an injustice to take this. I know what I can do, I know what I can’t do. Plus, I’m having too much fun laying on the couch.'

"LeBlanc could have reunited with Ed O'Neill, who plays family patriarch Jay Pritchett: One of LeBlanc's early roles was on Fox's short-lived spinoff Top of the Heap, after a guest role on Married ... With Children as Kelly Bundy's dim boyfriend, Vinnie Verducci. (Joseph Bologna, who died this week, played his dad).   

"But after he spurned the Family offer, Burrell prevailed, helped make Family ABC's biggest comedy hit in years, and the show begins its ninth season next month, with a 10th guaranteed.

"But LeBlanc did help out in another way: Before the cast staged a sickout and sued 20th Century Fox in a 2012 salary dispute, co-star Jesse Tyler Fergsuon called him for negotiating advice since the Friends cast had similarly banded together for negotiating leverage.

"He told Ferguson, who plays gay son Mitchell Pritchett: 'You have to walk out, or they won’t take you seriously,' LeBlanc recalls. 'If you stick together, you have power.'

"But he couldn't resist a delicious prank: On the day the cast huddled together after refusing to show up for work, LeBlanc texted him: 'I said, "Hey, I killed it as Mitch today at the table read, thanks for the opportunity!"'"

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Orange Is the New Black might indeed be getting a makeover when it returns for its sixth season.

"A cliffhanger finale left the fate of 10 fan-favorite characters up in the air, as well as the possibility that Litchfield Penitentiary would no longer serve as home to the prisoners on the Netflix dramedy. The fifth season told the story of a prison riot — stretching across all 13 episodes — incited by the murder of inmate Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley), that culminated in the prisoners losing their season-long standoff in devastating fashion. As riot police blew up a bunker holding the 10 prisoners in question, the rest of the inmates were bussed off to two undisclosed prisons — presumably taking the series to new locations and possibly without its entire lineup of core characters.

"'I'm always excited about every season and what's going to happen, but this season, I feel like it’s an amazing facelift,' Orange star Adrienne C. Moore said while stopping by The Hollywood Reporter's offices. Moore, who plays Black Cindy, is one of the 10 prisoners in the bunker.

"Filming on the sixth season began in late July, and though none of the characters in question knew what was in store when they spoke to THR about the finale, it was assumed that most of the characters, like Moore's Black Cindy, would be making it through to the next season. But they didn't know for sure until they received that first script.

"'Toward the end of season five, there were some people that were agreeing to stick together, and there were some people that were looking out for themselves,' explains Moore of the schism the riot created within the prison, with some women exploiting their newfound power while others opted to keep the peace. 'We’ll see the repercussions of those decisions in this next season.'

"The Jenji Kohan-created series always keeps its plot under lock and key, but with so many questions swirling around the sixth season — Orange has been renewed through seven — the stars are also being kept in the dark as they go episode to episode. 

"'They don’t want to tell us, and I asked them, "Well, don’t you guys want us to know so we can go into the episodes [knowing] what we’re snaking toward?"' says Moore. 'They said, "No, because part of it is your discovery as the episodes go. If we tell you everything upfront, then it might alter or shift or change how you might approach something if you didn’t know what was going happen. ... We want you guys to take the journey and see what you discover that we may not have thought about as we were writing it."'

"Moore's 'facelift' comment seems to support a theory previously proposed by THR that if Kohan does decide to split the cast into two new prisons — as one of the riot policemen all but assured in the finale — she could use the opportunity to lose some of the fringe characters and refocus the show onto the core group.

"A revisiting of the showrunner's track record helped shed light on her possible intentions for the future of Orange. Kohan, who created Showtime's Weeds, saw Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) burning her home and community to the ground in the third season. Though it took place earlier in the series (which ran for eight seasons), the move signaled a reboot of sorts.

"Kohan also told THR that the Orange timeline prevented her from infusing any of the current climate into the last season, but that she would be looking for ways to take on Trump with season six. Orange's world is only 10 months into Piper's 18-month sentence, setting the show in the past and before Trump's election. 'Do we just throw the timeline out the window?' Kohan asked, referencing frustrations with their slower world. 'Season five is season five, but for six, I don't think anyone can help but incorporate some of the feelings associated with what's going on and the divisions and all that stuff.'

"Moore said she is excited to see how Kohan will see that through, considering Orange has always blazed a trail when it comes to social issues.

"'I’m curious to see as the season develops how they will factor in some of the things that are going on in our culture, and maybe even our world,' Moore shares. 'And then also how we’re able to still make it relevant to today. So like I said, I’m still trying to figure out where it’s going.'

"When asked to describe the season in character, Moore as Cindy had this to say: 'Y’all, this next season gonna be lit. Take that however you want. Lit.'"

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"When Pamela Adlon found out she was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Lead in a Comedy category for her work on the critically acclaimed FX series Better Things, she could hardly believe it. 'I’ve been doing this for, like, 40 years!' the actor tells EW. “I think I’m still in shock.'

"We spoke to Adlon her show’s Emmy nomination, season 2 of Better Things, and her next big role in… a Transformers movie:

What was your reaction when you heard about your nomination?
When my manager told me, I was in shock. I think I’m still in shock. It’s just such a weird thing. Somebody at my recording session today said, “What was it that you were nominated for?” And I said, “I am currently, now, right this second, this year nominated for leading actress in a comedy.” It’s so weird!

Why is it so weird? The show got rave reviews!
[A nomination] was never on my radar at all. I just didn’t expect it. I know that my show’s good, but I’m just a working-class person, so I didn’t think that that kind of thing would ever happen to me. My show means everything for me, but being nominated for acting is an amazing thing, because that’s the thing I’ve been doing for, like, 40 years. So it’s a special moment in my life as a journeyman actor.

You actually have an Emmy for your voice work on King of the Hill from back in the day. Does this one feel different?
Well, they did it then like a juried award, so it was a jury of my peers that voted to give me the Emmy — which was an unbelievable feeling. That was big too, because a lot of celebrities were doing voice parts and getting Emmys. There’s a group of us actors [from voice-over circles], and we’ve been kicking around for years. So anytime something like this happens to me, I feel like it helps lurch this whole group forward and keeps us all alive and viable.

How is season 2 of Better Things coming along?
I shot 40 days, all on location, for 10 episodes — and I directed every episode. It was like doing Amazing Race and Survivor. It was hardcore. But it was easier than last season. It just feels so good, and it’s so rewarding — the material is just so rich. I can’t f—ing wait for people to see it.

Things are obviously going well for you, but what about your character Sam Fox — is her life getting better?
She’s just working hard. And she’s with her kids, which is also work, but she has a solid work ethic, let’s put it that way. Life s— happens, and there are some outside forces — both malevolent forces and kind forces — that happen as well.

You’re going to be in a Transformers spin-off movie called Bumblebee, which seems like a very different kind of project for you. How’s that been going?
It’s not what I’m used to! But it’s too early to tell. I did a table read this morning, so… we’ll see!

"Better Things season 2 premieres Thursday, Sept. 14 at 10 p.m. on FX. The 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live nationwide on CBS."

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From The Huffington Post: "The gang is getting back together ... eventually.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which recently celebrated 12 years on the air, ended its most recent season with a huge twist: Dennis (Glenn Howerton) would be leaving the group to go be a dad in North Dakota.

"With that revelation, and the news that Howerton’s pilot for AP Bio” was picked up by NBC, headlines like 'Howerton Almost Certainly Won’t Be Coming Back To Always Sunny' started to emerge. 

"Those were some dark times. But we’re talking Always Sunny, so Charlie Day is here to brighten our spirits. 

"When asked about the possibility of the show going on without Dennis, Day told HuffPost, 'We really never want to do the show without Dennis. There is a possibility that maybe we would have Dennis in part of a season, not a complete season. I think we would still do a great season. There is a possibility that we have Dennis for an entire season, which would be fantastic.'

"He continued, 'You know, we’ll see what happens with [Glenn’s] show, but I personally would not want to do the show without Dennis. And talking with Glenn, I know he still has a lot of love for the show and wants to do the show.'

“'I imagine we’ve not seen the last of Dennis Reynolds,' Day added.

"Day continued chatting with HuffPost about his new campaign for DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket, and finally addressed that rumor about a secret Game of Thrones cameo:

How’d you end up in the NFL Sunday Ticket campaign?
I was lucky. They offered me a position, and I saw Mark Wahlberg’s DirecTV ads, and I loved those. I saw that Andreas Nilsson was the director; he’s done probably one of my favorite commercials in the last 10 years. It’s a Volvo commercial with Jean-Claude Van Damme where he’s riding through two 18-wheelers, and the trucks get further apart, and he does the splits. So, I thought he was a good director to do the commercial with and seemed like a lot of fun.

So do you get DirecTV for life now?
I do get DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket now. However, I’m a longtime DirecTV user, so when they offered me the campaign, I had no problem slinging it. It wasn’t like trying to sell Vegemite and pretending that I love eating it.

You’re in one of the new DirecTV ads with Dak Prescott. Any message for Philly fans who might be perturbed since they’re Cowboy rivals?
That’s true. I apologize to anyone who’s under the delusion that I actually am my character from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. For anything I happen to do in my life that does not directly correlate with the behavior of that character that displeases the fans, I truly apologize; however, for anyone who is that delusional, I think, get over it. 

I hope you can clear up a rumor for us. Have you heard some Game of Thrones fans think they spotted you and Rob McElhenney standing beside Greyworm in an episode?
I love that people think that that was us. I’ve probably been trying to keep that mystery alive, but I feel like that takes away from the fine performances given by whoever those two people were in the masks, so I do not want to take credit for their work. That was, in fact, not us. I’m gonna be hard-pressed to stand in a hot mask and tight leather all day.

Any possibility of cameoing in the future?
If we’re able to speak on behalf of our [Always Sunny] director Matt Shakman, who’s directed the last two episodes — spoiler alert to the people who aren’t caught up with it, they’re pretty epic episodes— I do feel like we’ve gotten our It’s Always Sunny stamp on the show in some way just by getting him that gig. He’s an extremely talented director. He’s done a lot of work. But in terms of us being on the show … I don’t see it happening. That being said, I’m such a fan of the show. I’d rather just watch it than be in it."

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"Universal Music Group (UMG) has partnered with production company Grace/Beyond (GB) to develop three new music-based television series, Variety has learned exclusively.

"Grace/Beyond’s principal partners — Josh Wakely, Mikael Borglund and Trevor Roy — all serve as executive producers on the Netflix animated series Beat Bugs, which features re-imagined versions of Beatles’ classics by music superstars including P!nk, Sia, Eddie Vedder, Rod Stewart, and many others. Wakely also created the series.

“'I think there’s an extraordinary hunger with these iconic artists and emerging artists for music-based content,' Wakely told Variety. 'I think people are eager to experience music in all manner of ways and I got to experience and execute that with Beat Bugs. To have access to Universal Music’s catalog is like being a kid in a toy store. Every day I wake up with a new idea for another artist.'

"The first of the three new series is currently titled 27. It will explore the life circumstances behind a fictionalized variety of characters coming to a crossroads at the pivotal age of 27, an age at which artists like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Kurt Cobain all died. Viewers will be able to experience the series in a traditional linear format as well as engaging with it through interactive choice of storytelling. The live-action, scripted program features songs from artists spanning the UMG publishing catalogs.

Melody Island will be an animated series in which each episode features a story inspired by a classic UMG master or composition with an uplifting message and tropical island feeling. Live action segments hosted by luminaries from popular culture will teach children a project or craft they can do at home with their families or fellow students in the classroom.

"Finally, Mixtape is described as an episodic drama that mirrors the way a mixtape works – fast forwarding, pausing and rewinding on the pivotal moments that define the relationships, love and heartbreak of the stories’ characters. Each episode is based on and connected to an iconic song on that forms the 12-track season.

“'I had been developing these over a period of time but I really needed the access to Universal’s catalog,' Wakely said. 'And the people that run the company, they’re used to working with artists, so when they approached me I knew they had that experience. They would know how to curate these shows.'

"The companies are also collaborating on an untitled Motown project at Netflix that will feature newly recorded versions of Motown classics. Smokey Robinson is the series’ executive music producer and UMG is a primary investor in the series. The soundtrack will be released on UMG’s Motown/Capitol label through GB’s Melodia imprint, which previously released the “Beat Bugs” soundtrack through UMG’s Republic Records. As part of a new agreement between the companies, GB will also develop future projects based on UMG’s recorded music and publishing catalogs.

“'From my very first meeting with Josh, I was struck by his unique vision and innovative storytelling that holds music as the centerpiece of his film and TV projects,' said Michele Anthony, executive vice president of UMG. 'I’m so proud to expand our relationship with Josh, Mikael, Trevor and the incredibly talented team behind the Emmy Award-winning Beat Bugs and the forthcoming Motown show. At UMG, we support and work with great artists from every medium and I’m thrilled to be working closely with Grace/Beyond to bring original experiences to life based on our extensive catalog and artist rosters.'”