Tuesday August 28, 2018

All of the Breaking Bad characters who have appeared in Better Call Saul.

On that note, Jonathan Banks is a fantastic actor.

 A new season of Ink Master kicks off tonight on Paramount Network.

"Joel McHale spoke about the recent cancellation of his Netflix talk show during a guest appearance on the Jim Norton and Sam Roberts show on SiriusXM. The reason Netflix pulled the plug? “I don’t think they liked my sweaters,” McHale joked. 'Obviously Netflix has trained their audience to binge watch, and we actually tried that, as well. But so far people aren’t watching Netflix that way.' The cancellation came just months into the run of The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale’s, following only 19 episodes. On the talk show, the former The Soup host featured celebrity guests and discussed comical moments from television, internet videos and the entertainment world at large. Now that the show is canceled, McHale, said he no longer has to watch some of the nonsense television that he normally covered such as the Real Housewives television series. Instead, he can spend time getting back into his Dostoyevsky books, he joked."

A first look at the upcoming and final season of House of Cards.

What was the point of Who Is America? Damn good question.

I don't care what you want to call it, these fashion implants are weird as hell.

"It’s fitting that, with The Sons of Anarchy spin-off The Mayans debuting on FX next week that probably the most beloved star of Sons of Anarchy is also landing a new gig on cable’s highest-rated show, The Walking Dead. Ryan Hurst, who played Opie on Sons, has been cast in as Beta, a pivotal role in the upcoming Whisperers War arc on The Walking Dead. Beta plays the right-hand man to the major villain, Alpha (who will be played by Oscar nominee Samantha Morton), while Alpha’s daughter, Lydia, was cast over the weekend. The Whisperers are a community comprised of people who wear the skins of zombies in order to roam among the undead."

Some love for Sarah Chalke.

"ABC is developing a drama series with Regina King attached to direct and executive produceVariety has learned exclusively. Currently titled Warriors, the one-hour project hails from Michael Narducci. It takes place in a Midwestern community where two friends–a semi-retired NFL player and an idealistic high school principal–will attempt to overcome their conflicting styles of teaching as they mentor a new generation and confront the long buried sins of their past. Narducci would executive produce in addition to writing, with Michael J. McDonald also attached to executive produce along with King. Former pro football player Wade Davis will co-executive produce. ABC Studios will produce along with King’s Royal Ties and McDonald’s Stearns Castle. Narducci, McDonald, and King are all under overall deals with ABC Studios."

Everything we know about season 4 of Preacher.

"Louis C.K. made an unannounced appearance at the Comedy Cellar on Sunday night, according to the club’s owner, performing for apparently the first time since he admitted last year to sexual misconduct with women in the comedy world. He appeared around 11 p.m., said Noam Dworman, the owner of the Cellar, the Greenwich Village club with a long tradition of surprise appearances by famous comedians. Dressed in a black V-neck T-shirt and gray pants, he did a 15-minute set that touched on what Mr. Dworman called 'typical Louis C.K. stuff' — racism, waitresses’ tips, parades. 'It sounded just like he was trying to work out some new material, almost like any time of the last 10 years he would come in at the beginning of a new act.' Mo Amer, another comic who was on the bill Sunday, said that for the crowd, 'it was like a wow moment.' He, too, said he had no idea that Louis C.K. would return that night but that his material was 'like, classic Louis, really really good.'"

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From The Hollywood Reporter: "Netflix is adding an international best-selling author to its roster.

"Author Harlan Coben has signed a multiple-year overall deal with the streaming giant. Under the terms of the pact, Coben will adapt 14 of his existing 30 titles as well as future projects, including his upcoming novel Run Away, into English- and foreign-language series and films for Netflix's worldwide platforms. Coben will serve as an exec producer on all of his projects.

"The deal extends Coben's relationship with Netflix after Michael C. Hall starrer Safe, which the author created and exec produced. The series, a co-production with Canal Plus and Netflix, launched in May to mixed reviews.

"'Harlan’s page-turning crime novels are beloved by readers around the world,' said Erik Barmack, vp international originals at Netflix. 'We are excited to continue our partnership with him and develop his suspenseful thrillers into global Netflix originals.'

"Coben has written more than 30 novels, including Fool Me Once, Tell No One, Don't Let Go and the Myron Bolitar and Mickey Bolitar series for young adults. His forthcoming novel Run Away is due in March 2019. His work has been published in 43 languages around the globe with more than 75 million books in print. He is the first author to win all three mystery/thriller book awards — the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony awards.

"'I loved working with the Netflix team on Safe, and seeing the fantastic audience response around the world,' says Coben. 'I'm thrilled to continue our relationship to create more original films and series with them on a global scale.'"

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Per Deadline, "John Goodman did not go into detail but confirmed to The Sunday Times that Roseanne Barr’s character will be killed off this fall in the upcoming The Conners spinoff on ABC.

"When talking about the new iteration of the series and his character Dan, the drywall contractor and Roseanne’s husband in the original series and revival, told the publication, 'It’s an unknown. I guess he’ll be mopey and sad because his wife’s dead.'

"ABC has not confirmed how Barr would be written off the show, which the network abruptly canceled after Barr’s racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. ABC described Barr’s comment as 'abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values' and axed the series as it was going into production on its second season.

"Barr has no financial or creative involvement in the new series after reaching a settlement with series producer Tom Werner.

"ABC has described Barr’s exit only as 'a sudden turn of events': On the new show, after a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family – Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. – grapple with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.

"The Conners will feature the rest of the Roseanne revival cast. Along with Goodman as Dan, Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Michael Fishman (D.J.) will reprise their characters."

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Per Deadline, "[r]ecent weeks of Better Call Saul have seen Michael Mando's Nacho tearing himself apart, metaphorically and literally.

"Last episode, Nacho took two bullets, the second precariously close to several internal organs, as part of an elaborate cover-up in the death of a cohort and then subsequently survived an anesthetic-free back alley surgery. Then, on Monday's episode, he found himself mostly on the outside of a motel massacre orchestrated by The Cousins, though he got some blood on his hands in the process.

"Nacho, who has slipped under Gus Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) thumb this season, ended the episode slumped deple"ted in a chair urging his father, perhaps the only innocent man in the Better Call Saul universe, not to call 911.

"When Mando talked with The Hollywood Reporter back in the second season, he referred to Nacho as 'like a peasant who wanted to be king,' a man looking to elevate himself. Two seasons down the line, he now speaks of Nacho's need for redemption and the character's desire to keep his father safe above all else.

"In this new THR interview, Mando discusses Nacho's bloody few weeks, why it was a personal challenge to simulate being shot and the best advice veteran actor Jonathan Banks has given him:

Between all of the plotting against Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) last season and this season's dealings with Gus, it feels like Nacho has been stressed or backed into a corner for a long time. Do you even remember when this guy was last comfortable?

I think what we're doing and what we've done, especially in episode four, is we're really approaching that iconic moment of the darkest night of the soul. I feel like we've been edging towards it more and more and more, and in episode three and episode four, he has to basically do the ultimate sacrifice, where in order to redeem himself, he has to lose himself. He has to lose everything he's ever worked for in order to chase this greater ideal that is the love for his father. So we've been cranking up to that moment.

So, by that standard, with Nacho waiting for his father in this episode, is it rock bottom?

I think that's the emptiness of his demons. He's gone through the fire in order to save his dad. I haven't seen the episode, so I'm not sure how they cut it, but to me that's the moment where the lover reveals to his partner that he's actually a vampire, where the partner sees him as the monster that he is, and the tragedy is that it's the love that he has for his father that turns him into the monster. His father finally realizes what that love has transformed his child into. The reason why Nacho does what he does, the reason he gets shot twice in the desert, the only thing that keeps him alive in desert heat, during the operation without any anesthetic, when he goes through this incredible bloodbath in the hotel and when he deals with Gus and psychologically finds the strength in order to go back to his father, it's all in order to redeem himself. It's not self-love, it's selfless love, and that lesson transforms him into the very thing that he's fighting and that's the tragedy of it.

I remember talking to you back in the second season, and at the time, you were looking at his arc as one of a peasant becoming king within this world of crime. When did you begin to look at the arc, instead, as something tragic like this?

I think the seed was planted in the second season when Mike (Jonathan Banks) visits Nacho at his father's upholstery shop. To me, that was like a subconscious scene where I realized how much he loved his father. The love that Nacho has for his father is almost like an adoration of a saint. In the eyes of Nacho, his father is the purest, most humble and down-to-earth person in the whole Breaking Bad universe. Here's a man who would not up-sell Mike for profit. Here's a man who would turn down Hector Salamanca, of all people, in order to maintain his integrity. I think that really crystalized to me in season three when I realized that here Nacho is sitting literally on top of a bag of money, he's got everything he's ever wanted, and he doesn't care about any of it and is willing to risk his life with the pills and then eventually with the attempted assassination with the gun in order to save his father and basically leave everything he's ever worked for behind. I think that's when that storyline really crystalized at the end of season three.

How much control do you see Nacho as having over his own fate and his own redemption? Or is control kind of out of his control at this point?

I don't think he's out of control at all. I think if he were out of control, he would have died a long time ago. I think when you're surrounded by predators, I think the ultimate lesson is that if you make yourself a sheep, you will be eaten by the wolves. Nacho realized, I think very early on, that there is no time for reactionary, ego-driven attitude. I think that's the one thing that he despises most about the Salamancas is that they think with ego, they're always thinking of power and greed and there is no sense of morality to them at all. It's very hard to think of Nacho without thinking of his upbringing, and his upbringing really is his father. He's being pulled apart by two forces. One of them is the ruthless education of the cartel and the other is the moral compass of his father. These two forces have created a very interesting character who lives sorta in between the light and the darkness and has been asked to make a choice. This choice is obviously the light and, tragically, in order to get to the light, he has to go deeper into the dark.

If that's true, the guy he kills in the hotel massacre — can Nacho come back to the light after that?

That's the big question, and there's definitely going to be a transformation through the horrible things he's gone through in episodes three and four. I think that in a way, it's almost worse than death. [Showrunner] Peter Gould told me that what he saw in episodes three and four and what Nacho goes through is worse than what you would do to a character if you just killed him. He faced the extreme of psychological, emotional and physical pain, and he understands that this is something that can happen to him again. Or, more importantly, he understands that this something that can happen to a father. When a bone like that cracks in you and it heals, and you give it time to heal, it heals much stronger and it heals a little bit differently. I'm really curious to see how Nacho recovers from all this and what kind of a person he'll be. To me, the most important thing is that I hope he never loses his objective, which is truly to redeem himself and assure safe passage to his father and get the hell out of the cartel.

Going back to the third episode and the very elaborate body-disposal plan that starts the episode, Nacho obviously expected the first gunshot, but I couldn't tell on the second. Was it entirely a surprise, and what was he actually expecting?

He definitely knew that they were going to shoot him in the shoulder. He was expecting that. He turns his head, puts his hand to his face. He particularly gives his right shoulder in a very specific way, and that tells the audience that he knows exactly where he's gonna get shot, he's protecting his face and he's ready for it. Him turning around is the cue. The second one is a complete surprise, because he asks to make the call, and as he's turning around to take the phone, he surprisingly gets shot. He was expecting that he would make the call.

I can tell you that that was some of the most excruciating stuff that I've gone through as an actor, because I've been shot in real life. When we were doing those scenes, they were using full caps, so it's as loud as it can get. We were in the desert by ourselves, and those gunshots would echo like thunder. I had a very strong squib on my stomach that I hadn't tested yet, that we hadn't tested in rehearsal or anything like that. They're usually perfectly safe. I was so anxious at that moment that I had dug my earplugs really deep into my skull and then as we rehearsed, I realized that I couldn't find my earplugs anymore and had the medic pull them out. I had them in my fist. I was walking around the desert in character, they yell action, the scene starts, I'm walking around, and at the moment where I ask if I can make the call and I turn around, I realized that I still have the earplugs in my hands. When that gunshot goes off, my ears just shot off.

I can't hear a single thing, and I'm thinking back on that moment where I was shot myself, and the squib hits me so hard and you see the blood all over for the first time and I fall to the ground, and there's a part of me that's thinking, "We should cut," because I feel like something went horribly wrong. (Laughs.) But then there's the sort of actor part of me that's thinking, "No, no, no. You've gotta use this. This is as good as it can ever get." We ended up using that take.

That sounds terrifying, but you had that little laugh at the end. When you get done with that take, how long does it take for you to get past the harrowing side of it to find your ability to laugh about it?

I can tell you this: For the rest of the day, I could barely hear what anybody was saying, because my ears were shut up from the gunshots, and I realized that when you can't hear what anybody says, you become a very good listener and people start talking to you more and more. That was a really interesting day for me. Those past few episodes feel to me like a dream that I was fortunate enough to wake up from, and I cherish those memories very much.

The hotel massacre in this fourth episode, it's just almost entirely from Nacho's perspective as he's reacting and as The Cousins go through decimating everybody. On the set, what were you actually responding to? What did they give you to work off of?

Everything that was shot in the car, most of the close-ups, I was reacting to nothing. It was all literally happening in my mind. That was a challenge at first, but then I realized quickly that this whole journey is a psychological journey. I realized that what Nacho was really fighting off is his worst fears. He's a guy who has always looked outside of himself for approval, especially when he left the safety of his father. He's looked to Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk), who called the cops on him. He looked to Tuco (Raymond Cruz), who's someone that you can't reason with. He's looked to Mike, who went behind his back and killed a cartel member and put his life in jeopardy. He looked to Hector, who's a dead-end, and even to Gus, who you'd think has something in common with Nacho and would have a conversation with him. All these characters have, at least from Nacho's perspective, closed the door on him. In the past few episodes, he's alone with his demons and he has to find a way to stand on his own two feet and become his own man at the price of his own life. So I thought it was very adequate that it was all taking place in his mind.

That's an interesting thing that you mention, because Nacho has been passed along from character to character and you've been passed along from steady scene partner to steady scene partner, from Bob Odenkirk to Jonathan Banks to more with Giancarlo Esposito this season. How has that steady transitioning been for you as an actor?

I love all those guys very, very much. They're all much older than I am. Jonathan Banks has been acting for longer than I've been alive. I think it's the same thing with Giancarlo. I think Bob Odenkirk has been at least writing comedy for as long as I've been alive. Same thing with Mark Margolis, with Hector. So these guys are much, much more experienced than I am, and to sit there in the ring with them and to go toe-to-toe is very, very humbling. I come at it with full-force, but at the same time I come at it with a lot of humility knowing that these are masters that I'm dealing with. I can tell you that I've learned an incredible lesson from each one of them.

Any of them particularly stand out?

What I've learned from Jonathan Banks — we were in season two and we were shooting a scene and he was watching me from afar. After the scene he said, "Come here, I wanna talk to you, kid." He said, "Listen, I'm gonna tell you something…" He doesn't like throwing compliments around, but he said, "I know you're good and everybody in the crew knows you're good, but you don't know that you're good, and I bet you that you can't sleep at night." He said, "Until you believe in yourself, it doesn't matter what the whole world will tell you, you'll always have a sleepless night." Surely he was right. That really made me understand the importance of self-confidence. I felt like he had gone through it himself and he doesn't wish it upon me, that torment of always aiming for that perfection, without ever the fulfillment of feeling whole. That was a wonderful lesson from Jonathan Banks.

I'll tell you another and it's from Raymond Cruz, who plays Tuco. We were out in the desert. It was my first time shooting, and we had to close the set because there was a sandstorm. I asked Raymond, I said, "What's your advice? You went through Breaking Bad. Do you have any advice for me?" He sorta paused, looked around, and he said, "You see all these people around you here? You see how hard they're working? You have somebody taking care of your costume. If a button falls, someone sews it back on. If there's too much sun, someone brings you an umbrella. If you're thirsty, someone runs and brings you a water bottle. Do you know why? Because their livelihood depends on how good you are in front of that camera. So when they yell action, on those days where you're thinking that you're really, really tired, remember that you're not just doing it for yourself. You've got hundreds of people whose job security depends on what you do. You have a huge responsibility not only to yourself and your family, but to all these people and all these people's families. You make sure that, being that last line of defense, that you're working at least as hard as the hardest working person on that crew. And you should be working even harder."

At this point, knowing what you know about Breaking Bad and given what you've mentioned about Nacho's redemption arc, do you see any way that he survives this story? Do you think he deserves to survive it?

I don't think Nacho has ever seen himself as a bad guy, especially not in the universe that we're in. If Nacho's a bad guy, then who's the good guy? Walter White is not a good guy. Jesse Pinkman is not a good guy. They've all killed innocent people and buried them and sold meth to children. There are no good guys in this world, and Nacho, I think, has never seen himself as a bad guy. But the line between morality and justice have always been very much at war within himself, because he's always asking himself if what he's doing is right. I believe that he has crossed that line where he has walked away from himself and already sacrificed himself in the pursuit of a greater ideal, which sorta makes him like those samurai heroes back in the day … in the Japanese films that led to the Western iconic anti-heroes of the spaghetti Westerns. Those characters, just like Nacho, they're very quiet. They don't speak a lot. They're very much like a samurai without a master, who have lived a life of crime and at some point get a calling where they have to make a moral decision and then sacrifice themselves for that cause.

I believe that Nacho is going to stay in that vein. I think to him what's more important than surviving is seeing through his sense of moral justice, which is that his father and his family deserve to survive because they're innocent. They deserve to be safe, and if it's at the cost of his own life, then so be it."

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"Southern Charm star Ashley Jacobs is single — and she’s not mingling with a married man.

"Thomas Ravenel’s ex-girlfriend was recently spotted with a kept man whose wife is pregnant, but a source close to Jacobs insisted to Page Six that she and the man aren’t involved in a relationship.

"The source told us that Jacobs was at the Belmond Hotel in Charleston, S.C. to discuss a business opportunity with a female companion when they were informed by their server that a gentleman across the room had taken care of their tab.

"The guy then came over to introduce himself as a friend of Southern Charm star Shep Rose, and said that his wife is from Jacobs’ native Santa Barbara, Calif. They began talking — and he joined Jacobs and her female friend at the table where the telling picture of them was snapped. The insider said that Jacobs had met the man in passing at one of Rose’s parties — which she attended with Ravenel.

"The source also denied rumors that she’s in a relationship with another man, former soccer player Ryan Trout, telling us that Jacobs 'isn’t looking for a rebound' and 'isn’t ready to jump into something else. She has a lot of things that she needs to work on before getting into a relationship.'

"Still, the two are friends, with the source telling us that 'she went on his boat the other day to hang out with a bunch of people her age and actually have fun.'

"Ravenel, 56, and Jacobs, 33, split earlier this summer after a year of dating. Jacobs blocked Ravenel after the photo of her and the married man surfaced, and the father of two then insinuated that she cheated.

"Jacobs denied cheating allegations to Page Six, saying: 'He’s hurting and he knew that would be the only way to get to me. I just laughed at it. I just laughed at it like, "Oh, God. So dramatic!”'"

Trash. And someone get her a meal.

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From Delish: "As part of Netflix's apparent mission to become a forerunner of food television, the streaming service has added yet another culinary show called The Final Table to its fall lineup. This comes in the wake of Netflix's longstanding docuseries Chef's Table and newer hits, like Nailed It! and the upcoming Great British Baking Show. So, what do we know about this new show? Well, thanks for asking — we're spilling deets below:

Netflix is calling it a 'global culinary competition.'

That's a fancy way of saying that it's a cooking competition involving chefs from around the world. Chefs will be in pairs — 24 people total — and in each episode they'll cook the national dishes of different countries.

If you like Italian food, you're going to love this show.

Actually, you'll love the show if you like a whole bunch of different international cuisines. The highlighted countries that episodes will center on include Italy, Mexico, Spain, England, Brazil, France, Japan, the U.S., and India.

The title has a double meaning.

In the final episode, one of the competing chefs will be dubbed the winner, earning the 10th spot at The Final Table — a table that already seats each of the show's nine VIP judges.

It's coming ... soon?

In Netflix's official announcement, execs said the show would start streaming later this year, but the site reads 2019.

Every episode will have a guest judge.

Celebrity ambassadors and food critics will appear in every episode, plus a VIP from the celebrated country. Those VIPs are what The Final Table has deemed the world's best chefs — "legendary culinary icons," if you will. They include: Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Andoni Aduriz (Spain), Clare Smyth (UK), Helena Rizzo (Brazil), Vineet Bhatia (India), Grant Achatz (US), Carlo Cracco (Italy), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Japan) and Anne-Sophie Pic (France).

There will be around 9 episodes.

Alright, we could be wrong, but here's our theory. Every episode centers on a specific country, and there are only nine countries listed in Netflix's announcement. That said, there are 12 teams, and they're eliminated every episode until the finale. So it's possible the finale includes a few teams, doesn't center around one of the listed countries, and is a 10th episode. We'll find out soon.

The show is from the masterminds behind MasterChef.

The creators and executive producers are Robin Ashbrook and Yasmin Shackleton, the people who produced MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. Alas, Gordon Ramsay isn't involved in this new project — or rather, we haven't been told he is."