Friday February 15, 2019

Check out the season 2 trailer for Killing Eve. The show returns on April 7.

I watched a few episodes of Dating Around on Netflix last night. Several thoughts:

-Very cool production — 5 dates and each takes place at the same exact place (with the couple seated at the exact same table each time), and the person who goes out on 5 dates wears the exact same thing on each date . . . and the conversations are intertwined such that a joke told on one date continues as they cut to another date. Maybe I didn’t explain that perfectly, but watch 10 minutes of one episode and you’ll understand.
-Horrible lack of follow up — the premise is that one person goes on 5 first dates but only 1 second date; each episode cuts off just as the 2nd date is about to start without any sort of check back to see if the couple ever went out again, etc. I think this was an epic fail.
-Great variety — the suitors are a 20 something year old white guy, 20 something white woman, Asian gay male, African-American gay female and a 60 something year old widower.

Katie Perry and Orlando Bloom are engaged.

Frye 2.0?

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver returns on Sunday!

E! has opted not to proceed with Juicy Stories, its hourlong dramedy pilot inspired by Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, from Sex and the City alums Michael Patrick King and Amy B. Harris, Warner Horizon Scripted TV and UCP.” And for a brief moment, the world is a better place.

The Umbrella Academy is now available to stream on Netflix. More below.

Unfortunately NBC has renewed American Ninja Warrior. I say “unfortunately” because of the production company behind this show. No need to call them out by name.

Transparent creator Jill Soloway has big plans for the show’s upcoming evolution into a musical. Soloway revealed on Wednesday that the show’s musical movie finale would also be released with an original soundtrack album — and they’ve got an eye toward ultimately taking Transparent to Broadway. The Transparent movie will premiere later this year — too late for Emmy consideration, but in the mix for Golden Globes contention. Amazon is still mulling how to roll out the 2-hour project, including potentially a theatrical release. We want to have everybody have that ‘wow’ moment when they see the movie for the first time,” Soloway told Variety on Wednesday after Amazon’s day at the Television Critics Association press tour. ‘We take so many risks.’”

Kelsey Grammer already knows where he’d like to see a Frasier revival end up, in the event that he manages to reunite the Crane brothers and the women who love them. During an appearance on SiriusXM’s Jim Norton & Sam Roberts show Thursday, Grammer said Netflix would be the obvious home — especially since reruns of the NBC comedy continue to attract viewers on the platform. ‘Cause they’ve got it,’ Grammer said of Netflix. ‘You know, Frasier is still, is in like the top 10 on Netflix, in and out, and you just think, “Wow, that’s amazing.” And so it’s likely that that’s kind of where its new home would be.’”

The U.S. Copyright Office is skeptical about Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro's ownership claim over the signature ‘Carlton Dance,’ which became famous after a 1991 episode of the Will Smith series. In correspondence last month that was surfaced on Wednesday in California federal court, Saskia Florence, a supervisory registration specialist in the Office's Performing Arts Division, told Ribeiro's attorney that registration must be refused because his claimed ‘choreographic work’ was a ‘simple dance routine.’"

Six degrees of Netflix series/movie separation?

Per Bustle, “‘[i]n October 1989, 43 women around the world gave birth,’ The Umbrella Academytrailer explains. Even more bizarre, none of these new mothers had been pregnant when the day started. The new Netflix show, based on Gerard Way's comics of the same name, follows six of these ‘miracle babies,’ all of whom were adopted by a strange man named Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore). And although the show hops around chronologically, we can reasonably assume that The Umbrella Academy takes place in present day.

“After Hargreeves adopts these six children (well, seven, but one of them has died), he sequesters them away in a creepy mansion and proceeds to train them as superheroes for the next several years. Luther (Tom Hopper) is super strong (those arms may have tipped you off), while Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) — or, The Rumor — can alter ‘reality through suggestion,’ per The Hollywood Reporter. Diego (David Castañeda), aka The Kraken, is great with a knife and can hold his breath "indefinitely," and Number Five can travel through time. Klaus (Robert Sheehan) can speak to the dead and is called The Séance, and though Vanya (Ellen Page) doesn't appear to have any powers, it's hinted that there's more to the story: she's known as the White Violin.

“However, an unknown event splits the kids apart when they're teenagers, and the series picks up 17 years later, just after their adopted father has passed away. The now-30-somethings reunite to to grieve their adopted father and figure out how he died. That said, it seems like they weren't too fond of their old man. ‘He was a monster,’ Diego comments bitterly in the trailer, as Luther scatters Mr. Hargreeves' ashes onto the ground.

“The family's baseline reality appears to takes place in present day, but there also seem to be various flashbacks to when they were teenagers. Based on the math, that would have been in the early aughts. Plus, the show also leaps into the not-so-distant future: Number Five comments that when he jumped forward in time, he witnessed the aftermath of an apocalypse, which isn't as far away as they all might like to hope. He reveals that the world is going to end in a mere eight days. So whether or not the series features much of a look at the future, their impending doom is a constant threat — if they're not able to stop it, that is.

“Who are the people intent on ending the world? Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha Cha (Mary J. Blige) are assassins determined to make sure this mysterious event takes place, which causes the Umbrella Academy to band together to try and save humanity. Furthermore, it seems like these two villains are time travelers, as well, so Number Five may have his work cut out for him.

“But while The Umbrella Academy may jump between the past, present, and future, the monkey butler and robot mom should alert viewers that it isn't exactly our version of 2019.”

Per The Verge, “‘[s]entient Dairy Products, Rogue Werewolf Soldiers, Robots Gone Wild, Sexy Cyborgs, Alien Spiders And Blood-thirsty Demons From Hell Converge In An 185-minute Genre Orgy Of Stories Not Suitable For The Mainstream…’ reads the tagline for David Fincher and Tim Miller’s short-film anthology Love, Death & Robots. (It’s apparently also an orgy of unwarranted capitalization.)

“The first trailer for the Netflix project has arrived, and it’s a blur of rapid cuts between startling images, from a full-frame close-up staring up the bulbous ass of a running anthropomorphic fox-creature to a POV shot of someone’s leg getting sawn open. This trailer seems like it was designed for the frame-by-frame analysis obsessives who proliferate on YouTube: as it ramps up the pace, it ramps up the violence and intensity, until practically every second is a startling new shot in a new style.

“Netflix’s press release explains that Love, Death & Robots is a collection of 18 short films, made by animators and filmmakers around the globe, as the result of an international call for contributions. “The full roster of stories will cover a variety of adult topics including racism, government, war, free will, and human nature,” the press release says. ‘The anthology collection spans the science fiction, fantasy, horror and comedy genres and each short has a unique animation style: from traditional 2D to photo-real 3D CGI … The series draws inspiration from the eclectic and provocative comic book material from the 1970’s that influenced both Miller’s and Fincher’s formative interests in storytelling.’ Visually and thematically, the anthology is also reminiscent of The Animatrix, the 2003 anthology of animated shorts tied into the Wachowskis’ film The Matrix.

“Love, Death & Robots will premiere on Netflix on March 15th, 2019.”

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Per The Hollywood Reporter, “Netflix is headed to Cybertron.

“The streaming behemoth has partnered with Hasbro for a new Transformers animated series, War for Cybertron, that will tell an origin story set in the universe of Autobots and Decepticons. It's set to premiere in 2020.

“Digital studio Rooster Teeth (RWBY) will produce the series, with Polygon Pictures (Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Star Wars Resistance) serving as the animation studio. The show will feature a new animation style unseen in any previous Transformers animated series.

"‘In this Transformers origin story, we will explore the expansive universe of Cybertron in a way that audiences have never seen before — to the delight of both existing fans and those coming to the franchise for the first time,’ said John Derderian, director of anime for Netflix. ‘The Transformers brand is a global phenomenon, and we are thrilled to partner with Hasbro, Rooster Teeth and Polygon to bring this exciting new anime series to our members around the world on Netflix.’

“Franchise veteran FJ DeSanto (Transformers: Titans Return, Transformers: Power of the Primes) will serve as showrunner. Contributing writers include George Krstic, Gavin Hignight and Brandon Easton.

"‘We're thrilled to work with Rooster Teeth's new premium studio division to bring an all-new Transformers fan-oriented series to Netflix,’ said Tom Warner, senior vp for the Transformers franchise at Hasbro. ‘Transformershas a rich history of great storytelling, and War for Cybertron is an exciting new chapter in the Transformers universe.’

“War for Cybertron is the latest entry in Netflix's expanding animation library. The company is launching its own in-house animation studio and has signed Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch to a rich overall deal while continuing to acquire shows aimed at both kids and adults.

“Netflix also made a huge deal with the family of late author Roald Dahl in November to produce "animated event series" based on a number of Dahl's works. It has acquired cult anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, picked up a World War II-set series from A+E Studios and renewed Matt Groening's Disenchantment for two seasons. Animated anthology Love, Death & Robots, from David Fincher Deadpool's Tim Miller, is due to premiere in March.”

Maybe if any other network had anything remotely interesting to report this wouldn’t feel so heavy handed on Netflix news.

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Per TheWrap, “Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is gone, but she’s not dead. The fifth episode of season 9 of The Walking Dead”revealed that she left the Hilltop with the mysterious Georgie during the big time jump that came at the end of Rick Grimes’ final episode.

“And it turns out that may have also been Maggie’s final episode ever. Clearly, the creatives on the show and the folks at AMC are hedging their bets by not killing her off. But it’s entirely possible she’ll never appear on The Walking Dead ever again.

“We had heard rumblings of Cohan’s exit from the series all year, following stories of a contentious contract dispute in which Cohan wanted equal pay with other longtime series regulars Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus. After signing on to ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier, which will debut mid-season, Cohan did say she would be able to come back to The Walking Dead”for at least part of Season 9.

“But that part of the season is now over, as TWD showrunner Angela Kang has confirmed that they don’t have plans for her to appear again in Season 9. And on the episode of Talking Dead after the season 9 mid-season finale, Chris Hardwicke read a statement from the producers which re-confirmed that Cohan won’t be back this season but that ‘Maggie’s story is not done’ and that they ‘hope to have her back’ at some point in the future.

“Lauren Cohan addressed the situation again recently in similarly ambiguous terms, saying that ‘there may have been some conversations’ about her return to The Walking Dead but that we’ll have have to wait and ‘see what happens.’

“That all probably felt like it was coming totally out of left field, considering how Maggie did not get any kind of real sendoff. Her final (as far as we know) episode also being Rick’s last didn’t help, since the episode basically functioned as Rick’s death episode.

“But what AMC is doing with Rick may also be the path for wrapping up Maggie’s story. Two weeks ago, at the end of their final episode, Rick ended up being airlifted by helicopter away from Virginia, and what happens to him wherever he ends up will be the subject of a series of movies.

“Meanwhile, it’s long been theorized that the helicopter belongs to the same group that Georgie hails from — the Commonwealth, an actual large city of people in Ohio. If that theory pans out, and Georgie’s people are also the helicopter’s people, then there’s plenty of reason for Rick and Maggie to cross paths in this new corner of the Walking Dead universe.

“But everything remains shrouded in mystery, and it sounds like nobody involved actually knows at this time what Maggie’s fate will end up being. If Georgie actually is with the Commonwealth, then the subject of Maggie is going to have to come up again sooner or later — the Commonwealth is the next big storyline in the comics after the Whisperer War that is about to begin on the show.

“So, at least, you probably shouldn’t expect a Heath (Corey Hawkins) situation — remember how he went out scavenging with Tara and then just never came back, his fate still undetermined? Maggie is so important that her fate will have to be dealt with at some point in the next couple seasons of The Walking Dead, even if Lauren Cohan never comes back.

“Just don’t expect closure any time soon.”