Thursday March 3rd 2016

People Talking About TV

“But what wasn’t necessarily predictable, when Bee and showrunner Jo Miller debuted their show last month, is just how far “Full Frontal” would push the envelope. Listening to the live audience react to “Full Frontal” is nearly as entertaining as watching Bee deftly turn out a segment. It’s not just laughter; it’s an engaged, focused enthusiasm, like the sounds people make on a roller coaster. The audience is often gasping with surprise, or whooping, as if they’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. It is the reaction of an audience who—even though they know Bee and know something about the show—are truly shocked at just how far “Full Frontal” is willing to take a joke.” Are you angry about politics right now? Are you watching Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal? Because it sounds like you should.

“Did you want to know about Kimmy Gibbler’s sex life? Stop screaming, we’re talking about this. Apparently, Kimmy Gibbler, who was a 13 year old child last time we saw her, is a Kama Sutra pro. I’m not even being cheeky with this one.” Besides everyone tweeting about Stephanie Tanner’s boobs, there are plenty of other things on Netflix’s Fuller House that will make you feel weird.

“But to say that the Simpson case was “about race,” as seemingly every commentator now does, also misses a certain nuance. Race was used and abused during the trial, without a doubt. But the phrase “about race” suggests a hidden meaning lying below the events waiting to be revealed by an intrepid cultural analyst. Race wasn’t the subtext of the plot, as much as the plot itself. Yes, the O.J. Simpson trial was about race, but it was also against, within, beyond, and through race.” More good writing about this week’s episode of The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. It’s great to get more context for what was happening outside of the trial, especially because I know a lot of people are watching this show who were born just a few years earlier. Marcia Clark only got one cigarette this week, and Vulture fact checked the episode.

The Business

HBO isn’t going to release any advance episodes of Game of Thrones to critics, which was bound to happen after last season’s leak, and the fact that this is the first season where the books can’t spoil the major plotlines. Though new cast member, and big mouth, Ian McShane is probably making them tear their hair out.

AMC wants their own anthology series, so they greenlit Ridley Scott’s The Terror, about a Royal Navy crew’s disastrous attempt (mysterious predators, etc) to find a northwest passage in 1847.

Disney is making a series out of Big Hero 6, and it will pick up right after the events of the movie.

Soderbergh, still unclear on what “retirement” means, is producing Godless for Netflix. It’s a western limited series set in New Mexico in 1884. I will watch that.

Luc Besson has created a show for TNT about an AI, called Artificial Intelligence, and it kind of sounds like Person of Interest. He’s considering directing the pilot too, so expect to hear more about this one.

Casting: Ian McShane has been cast as Mr. Wednesday in Starz’s adaptation of American Gods, and fans are kind of freaking out. (In a good way.) Gretchen Mol will play the female lead in Hulu’s Chance, a thriller about mistaken identity. Sarah Hyland will play Lisa, Baby’s older sister, in ABC’s remake of Dirty Dancing, and Billy Dee Williams will play Tito, the bandleader at the resort.

Pilot Casting: Kaitlin Olson will play a “hard-drinking, foul mouthed woman” forced to move to Connecticut to watch her sister’s kids in FOX’s The Mick. She will be playing a character named Mickey, which seems to be a trend. (Is Mickey the new Chuck?) Lenora Crichlow, last seen being terrorized by people with cellphones, will star in CBS’s comedy pilot from Greg Garcia.

Renewals: Pop has renewed Schitt’s Creek for a third season. People seemed to be watching, or at least tweeting about it, so Netflix renewed Fuller House for a second season. ABC has renewed Once Upon a Time for a sixth season of Disney cosplay.


What To Watch

California is about to get several days of rainy weather, which is convenient for me since House of Cards starts up again tomorrow on Netflix. Here’s the trailer. I can’t wait. 

Hap and Leonard, another early 1980s period piece, started last night on Sundance. But is it any good? Willa Paskin thinks it would actually work better as a movie, rather than a series. (It’s usually the reverse.) The A.V. Club gave it a B, agrees about the length, and gives the cast (Christina Hendricks, James Purefoy and Michael Kenneth Williams) praise. I am going to give the pilot a try this weekend.

Jonah Hill is hosting SNL again this week, so expect to see that sketch where he’s a precocious 12 year-old. Here’s this week’s promos.

Downton Abbey’s series finale, for those who didn’t watch it thanks to torrent networks on New Year’s day, is this Sunday. In honor of the end, let’s look back at the most despicable moments of backstabbing from the show’s six seasons.

The Family starts tonight on ABC and despite the cast, (Joan Allen! Matt Saracen!) it looks pretty bad, and the reviews agree with that knee-jerk reaction.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman and Daniel Feinberg liked, or really liked, all the new shows on Viceland, and this piece is helpful if you are having a hard time telling them all apart because they all have pretty terrible titles.

If you watch TV without actually watching the screen (I know a lot of people that do this) then maybe this list of the 10 shows with the best soundtracks will be helpful. (Though please don’t watch Breaking Bad or Fargo this way. Both are beautifully shot.)

Here’s the best movie and TV shows to watch this month on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and HBO Now. You could be watching Top Gun on Hulu right now! Or Dawson’s Creek.


Odds and Ends

The Tonight Show made Tina Fey and Rachel Maddow play Know It All, and they had to list types of dogs and cheeses.

Tituss Burgess has a new wine out, a pinot obviously, as any fan of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt could tell you.

I love the theory that Enterprise was just a holodeck simulation, run by Riker, of course. That makes way more sense.

It’s not a TV thing, but the newest version of Hell’s Club, featuring a ton of movie characters in one place, is just as epic as the first one.


That’s it for this week, but I will be back on Tuesday with lots on the Downton Abbey series finale, and whatever poor decisions get made on The Walking Dead. Until then, send new subscribers here, and thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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