Friday August 16, 2019

Season 2 of Mindhunter is now streaming on Netflix.

Season 1 of Diagnosis is also available on Netflix. “Dr. Lisa Sanders crowdsources diagnoses for mysterious and rare medical conditions in a documentary series based on her New York Times Magazine column.”

Jim Gaffigan’s new stand up special is now available on Amazon Prime. This will be my first stop.

Ronda Rousey will recur on season 3 of Fox’s 9-1-1.

Taylor Swift announced that she has partnered with YouTube Originals to livestream the debut performance of a song from her upcoming album Lover, talk details about her new fashion line with designer Stella McCartney and conduct a fan Q&A on YouTube on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 5:00 pm. ET. During the livestream fans can submit questions in the comment section and Swift will select a few to answer. The music video for “Lover” will premiere on YouTube following the livestream at 5:30 pm ET. Swift will release the title track of “Lover,” the fourth single from the album, tomorrow. Swift’s album Lover will drop the day after the livestream on Friday, Aug. 23. She will ‘exclusively perform stripped down versions of songs’ on SiriusXM Hits 1 on release day at 5 pm ET. She will then participate in a Q&A with select subscribers.”

HGTV has picked up 13 new episodes of docuseries Christina on the Coast.

The Kominsky Method will return for Season 2 on Netflix on October 25.

“E! has given the greenlight to a new sitcom. The series, titled Meet the Frasers, follows Rhode Island local celebrity couple Matt Fraser, a 28-year-old psychic medium and Alexa Papigiotis, his 21-year-old pageant queen girlfriend. Meet the Frasers will showcase the duo’s lives, careers, and their highly involved extended families. The half-hour sitcom is produced by MGM’s Evolution Media and is set to premiere in 2020. ‘This series offers a hilarious look inside a loving, dynamic and always outspoken family,’ said Amy Introcaso-Davis, executive vice president of development and production at E!. ‘Matt and Alexa are homegrown celebrities on the rise, with personalities big enough to take over the small city of Cranston, Rhode Island and beyond.’ According to E!, the duo is recognized everywhere from they go in Cranston, at least partly because they’re often seen in an SUV branded with Fraser’s face and name. The twosome is climbing their way to the top, with the biggest challenge being the opinionated loved ones who want to have a say in everything they do.”

Bam Margera is back in rehab.

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Per Variety, “Drew Barrymore is eyeing a move into the daytime talk show arena.

“The actress, who recently wrapped three seasons of the Netflix comedy Santa Clarita Diet, is shooting a pilot this week in New York for CBS Television Distribution.

“Details of the hourlong show are still sketchy. Barrymore is among the executive producers of the pilot, likely through her Flower Films banner. Sources said there is no showrunner formally attached as of yet.

“Barrymore circled a talk show deal with Warner Bros.’ Telepictures in 2016, but a pilot never came to fruition, in part because of a lukewarm response from prospective station groups at the time. The new regime at CBS’ syndication arm is said to have high hopes for the show and faith in Barrymore’s appeal as a daytime TV personality.

“After a few thin years of new entries, the first-run syndication market is getting a jolt this fall with the launch of three new strips with notable names.

“Former Today anchor Tamron Hall is hosting a talker for Disney/ABC that bows next month. Kelly Clarkson is taking up the talk-variety mantle for NBCUniversal and Meredith Vieira will front game show 25 Words or Less for Fox Television Stations. Jerry Springer is also back, this time in a court show dubbed Judge Jerry for NBCUniversal.

“CBS Television Distribution has stayed on the sidelines for the past few years with no first-run launches other than projects it distributed for production partners such as Jay McGraw (Daily Mail) and Judith Sheindlin (Hot Bench).

“Barrymore has become active as a TV producer and personality in recent years. In addition to Santa Clarita Diet, she was a judge on CBS’ reality show The World’s Best and she provided the voice-over for NBC unscripted dating show First Dates. Through her Flower Films she was an exec producer on unscripted series including TLC’s Rattled and VH1’s Tough Love.

“CBS Television Distribution declined to comment.”

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Per The Ringer, “[i]t takes exactly 30 seconds for Gordon Ramsay to utter his first ‘Bloody hell!’ in his new National Geographic TV show, Uncharted. The goal of the series, ostensibly, is to show viewers how to colonize non-Anglocentric cultures around the world in just one week. Each episode follows a road map: Ramsay is dropped into a remote part of the planet where he meets a rising chef who serves as an ambassador for the region’s cuisine; at the end of the week, Ramsay will prepare a meal for locals with the chosen chef, but not before getting a firsthand education on the ingredients that define the culture, which often involves him making a complete fool of himself; Ramsay, soon armed with a wealth of new experiences and ingredients, will then find a way to cook what is essentially steak and potatoes.

“From the very first episode, set in Peru, it’s clear how and why this show was green-lit. ‘This is Peru’s Sacred Valley. At towering heights of up to three miles above sea level, it is a unique Andean ecosystem whose staggering biodiversity once fed the mighty Incan Empire,’ Ramsay begins the show’s first introductory monologue. ‘And now it’s going to feed a British chef with a motorbike.’ The elevator pitch: No Reservations meets Man vs. Wild meets Bizarre Foods, with the most recognizable food television personality on the planet. Cynicism may be at the moral heart of the entertainment industry, but even in an inglorious age of unimaginative reboots and retellings, the space that Uncharted occupies feels particularly fraught.

“In the most recent episode, set in Hawaii’s Hana coast, the land’s multifaceted foodways are mentioned in terms of the cultural “trade winds” that have passed through the islands’ shores over time, a vague encapsulation of the centuries of occupation and colonization that have continuously redefined Hawaiian culture, for both good and bad. It was time, Ramsay decreed in the episode, to impart some of his Scottish influence on the land. ‘If I’m going to add a pinch of my Scottish heritage to this Hawaiian banquet,’ he said, ‘I’ve got to come up with something better than haggis on a pineapple ring.’ So he made a shepherd’s pie, with meat from an axis deer, an invasive species that first arrived as a gift in the 1800s and consequently imported in hopes of stimulating the island’s environment. The axis deer have done exactly that, in a sense: They’ve wrought havoc by literally eating away at Hawaii’s natural landscape, which has no natural defenses against imported wild animals. Ramsay’s shepherd’s pie, which was met with bemusement by Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon, was a stodgy proverb reheated in a cast-iron pan: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

“In a recent Hollywood Reporter cover story on the monumental growth of food television, it seemed as though the industry was still honoring the void that Anthony Bourdain left after his death last year. ‘There’s trepidation to try and fill those shoes and a real nervousness to developing a show that even feels like his,’ Top Chef cocreator Jane Lipsitz told THR. Ramsay’s new show suggests not only that the fear of filling those shoes will be short-lived, but also that the TV industry hasn’t yet latched onto the most prescient wisdoms Bourdain imparted in his decades around the world and behind cameras.

“From A Cook’s Tour, his first series, through Parts Unknown, one of the most fulfilling elements of the Bourdain experience was the broadening of his expanded universe. Occasionally, guides became friends, who then became recurring guests and trusted confidants. They would grow comfortable sharing stories of their culture, and revealing its idiosyncrasies in the way most relationships do over time. Bourdain had all the charm and snark in the world, but his shows were often at their best when he receded to the background. While I don’t doubt the sincerity of Uncharted’s attempts at engaging with cultures unfamiliar to Ramsay, the show’s format is cast as a sort of Ramsay accessory: Farmers, hunters, and restaurant owners load up his artillery with local ingredients, techniques, and specialties, and by the end of the episode, Ramsay unloads a full clip back at them and tensely waits to see whether those eating his creations will inflate his ego or knock him down a peg. While chefs and locals all get a chance to poke fun at the obscenely rich British white man metaphorically (and sometimes almost literally) showing his ass on television, Ramsay’s ego—lightly bruised, hardly broken—is what takes center stage, not the cultures the show is trying to highlight. If finding the next Anthony Bourdain is even feasible, it sure as hell does not look like Gordon Ramsay.

“Of course, Uncharted is not the first post-Bourdain foray into culinary exploration. After losing out on the rights to Food Network’s stable of cooking shows in 2016, Netflix aggressively hauled in foodcentric series of varying scope, spearheaded by David Gelb’s Chef’s Table series and David Chang’s Ugly DeliciousLast year’s excellentSalt Fat Acid Heat established new benchmarks for serialized culinary escapism in a post-Bourdain landscape and showcased how to champion underrepresented narratives.

“This year, I found myself charmed by three Netflix series in particular. Flavorful Origins is a celebration of Chaoshan (or Chiuchow) cuisine by way of 20 artful, bite-size episodes highlighting various ingredients and delicacies that define the specific region of China’s Guangdong province that it originates from. David Gelb’s Street Food takes the self-seriousness of Chef’s Table out of the hands of the show’s typical subject (at least in its early years)—a male fine-dining veteran who often exemplified the hackneyed bad-boy-makes-good narrative—and applies that reverence to some of the most notable street food purveyors in Asia.

Taco Chronicles literally gives voice to the voiceless: Each episode is oddly, compellingly narrated by a sentient taco, capturing its own significance to Mexican life with the kind of lurid prose you’d find in the most orgiastic of Bourdain voice-overs. Each of the six episodes focuses on a different iconic taco variety in Mexico, and the proud cooks, chefs, and common taco enthusiasts who have contributed to the lore. Almost all of these shows are devoid of English, save for subtitles. If food is indeed a common language shared by all, then this is the moment to prove it. These are narratives that don’t necessarily require an established star at the center. It’s a novel idea, and Netflix, as a centralized streaming service, might have a leg up in realizing that as a viable paradigm. A traditional network, especially one without an entire stable of related food content, might require a recognizable personality to provide structure to a show conceit that is most likely siloed from the rest of its programming. The constellation of food television on Netflix feels bound only by the general sense of exploration that the shows all engender.

“Lost in the desire to find the next Anthony Bourdain is the sense that food TV no longer requires that kind of archetypal figure, that the gatekeepers of culture we see on the screen should be the ones actively participating in its nuances, not a tourist tabbed as a universal authority. In the first episode of Uncharted, Ramsay playfully crafts an adversarial relationship with Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez; when Martínez suggests cooking together to feed some of the farmers and gatherers of Peru’s Sacred Valley, Ramsay immediately deems it a cookoff. Before the viewer even gets a sense of the show, its parameters were already turned on its side. I couldn’t help but think about how much Bourdain would have loathed that competitive element of the episode (among other things about it). ‘I don’t need to be number one,’ Bourdain told Maria Bustillos last year. ‘I don’t need to beat the fuck out of somebody. I don’t need to be ahead. I just want to still be here at the end of the fuckin’ day, doing what I’m doing, without anybody hassling me.’

“There is nothing altruistic about television. There are always executives to curry favor with, sponsors to appease. The act of filming and interviewing, of gathering narratives and insights from others, is intrinsically transactional. Bourdain wasn’t exempt, but the ways in which he and the show producers helped frame the way viewers saw other parts of the world felt as if it was born of a warmer, empathetic calling. That is lacking in a show like Uncharted, which was renewed for a second season before it even premiered; there is cynicism baked into every scene of the show, and it distracts from the legitimately gorgeous portrayals of civilian life in different parts of the world. These days, the best food television dives deeper, thoughtfully putting a magnifying glass to what can seem like second nature in certain cultures—the need to craft an overarching narrative might not be necessary. The stories tell themselves.”

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From Decider: “Southern Charm Season 6 was different. There’s no denying that. And while the show doesn’t need Thomas Ravenel, it does need to address there’s been a change.

“To say it wasn’t a good season wouldn’t be accurate, but saying it was the best one yet wouldn’t be either. Some might describe this season as a rebuilding year for the Bravo series, but it actually didn’t rebuild enough. The show has thrived off salacious drama, especially that centered around Thomas and the mother of his two young children, Kathryn Dennis. Through their pregnancies, relationship up and downs, and Season 5’s insanity that introduced the world to the erratic Ashley Jacobs, this couple has always made for good TV. So now that they’re apart for good, and with both Thomas and the pair’s ugly custody battle far away from the cameras, the reliability for shocking moments isn’t as strong. And that’s okay for this show, whether Southern Charm knows that yet or not. And according to this season, the answer is a ‘not’.

“It’s not that Southern Charm should scrap the drama completely (lol yeah right, have you met this bunch?), but perhaps lifting a foot off that pedal and pressing down harder on the consistent comedy this show generates would breathe some fresh life into the program. Austen Kroll and Madison LeCroy’s relationship is Drama City, though that might not be a place where viewers want to buy property. There was that crazy chlamydia bomb she dropped during the Colorado trip, and we can’t forget, literally if we tried, that his YouTube video appeared in nearly every episode. But like, was there any other evidence of them, you know, actually getting along? Their rekindling in CO and romantic date back in Charleston, however ill-advised, was the stuff of rom-com dreams. Showing some of that might help viewers, I don’t know, root for them? Or at the very least understand why this relationship matters so much to them. And to Shep.

“Unfortunately, Shep Rose came off as bitter and angry and cynical this season, and not so much the goofy, fun-loving, laid back bro we’ve gotten to know over the years. While he’s closest in age to Thomas, he’s the furthest in mindset. Trying to jam that square peg into the previously established yet now empty round hole simply wasn’t a fit. Seeing his (mis)adventures as a dog dad felt ripe for exploring, yet was likely left on the cutting room floor.

“Ultimately, Southern Charm shouldn’t be afraid to tip the scales towards the comedy it is able to achieve. Austen and Craig Conover having a Frozen marathon? Let’s see it! Patricia Altschul and her butler Michael indulging in the finer things… on the McDonald’s menu? We want more! Never-ending drunken (slash high) shenanigans? We can’t get enough! Somewhere exists literally days of footage of (most of) these people high off their asses — that’s fun! It wouldn’t have hurt the season to draw out that trip rather than the girls’ treehouse troubles. Kathryn not texting back for days is a storyline we’ve seen already, and likely a personality issue she has no plans to change. But like all adults, their problems and priorities have changed over the years, and acknowledging that fact could help move this show in a slightly new direction. Trying to recapture the unique insanity of what this show provided in earlier seasons is not too likely: after all, Southern Charm has collected some lucky lightning in a bottle many times before. So now let’s see what dependably highly entertaining fresh hell this group can conjure up moving forward.

“What did feel like a positive shift came from giving the women space to share their struggles with adulthood. Danni Baird finally got a talking head interview this season, and while an STD claim wasn’t a highlight for her, seeing her contemplate freezing her eggs was super relatable. Chelsea Meissner’s home renovation deserved the Million Dollar Listing treatment and was one of the more interesting things she contributed to the show this season. Because no, it wasn’t her convos with Austen about him being a doofus. We all wanted to see Naomie Olindo navigating her new relationship, and Cameran Eubanks getting through the first year as a mom was also good stuff. Not that either was overly dramatic, though they did have humorous moments, but both of those mattered in a big way when it comes to viewers being invested in these people’s lives.

“Eliza Limehouse got a rough go of it at first, but she did bring back the Charleston roots to this show. Who the heck knew what a foxhunt entailed? Had that episode been about the silly hayride portion or whatever that yucky beverage was, it would’ve served up a lot more laughs than it did eye rolls once Ashley stepped on the scene.

“The drama on Southern Charm has shifted in a big way. These days, it’s Craig having a breakdown in an airport because…oh, who can even remember. But if you look around during that scene, everyone is laughing. Put goofy music behind it and admit it’s ridiculous. We’ll still watch in shock, but with more LOLs and less AWKs. This is a group isn’t afraid to look stupid — and we want to see that.

“In a lot of ways, Southern Charm did what it does best, and that’s making sure this group is hanging around, preferably at a fancy dinner party, and either getting drunk or gossiping like teens: and in the best-case scenario, both. That works. It’s intriguing without having to be appalling (bye, Ashley). The drama in this show is different now and so it’s ok for the tone to be too. Allowing this group to have some fun, and us to see that fun, would help recapture the charm of Southern Charm.”

Just get Ashley to the reunion, please!

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Per Cinelinx, “[r]umors of an Obi-Wan Kenobi related project have been circulating since Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2013. While it seemed to have started life as a standalone film, recent reports are that we’ll see Obi-Wan come back as a Disney+ series…Which is what I’ve heard as well.

“So what’s new? According to two separate sources, I’ve heard that Ewan McGregor has actually put pen to paper and inked a contract to return as the iconic Jedi Master. I heard word of this recently, but I was sitting on it until, out of the blue, a second source reached out to me (I hadn’t gone digging on this one) saying the exact same thing.

“Again, this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how open McGregor has been in his desire to return to the Star Wars franchise. What’s interesting to me, however, is the timing. While development on the Obi-Wan project has been in the early stages since the beginning of this year (according to StarWarsNewsNet), locking in a contract means they’re really moving forward on it.

“D23 is just a week away, with Disney already promising a more in depth look at their future live-action slate and more Disney+ information. It may not be outside the realm of possibility they were eager to get the contract signed now in order to make some sort of announcement for the show (much like how Marvel signed up Simu Liu for Shang Chi just before SDCC).

“That’s speculation on my part, based on the timing of this, and something at least one of my sources seems to feel as well. So don’t take a D23 announcement as gospel at this point. The news here is that Ewan McGregor has signed a new Star Wars contract with LFL, and we’ll be seeing him back as Kenobi at some point!”