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The Oscars, The Walking Dead, and even more pilot casting news.

Tuesday March 1st 2016

The Watercooler

The Oscars were on Sunday, and it seems like people mostly thought Christ Rock did a decent job of hosting. If you missed it, here's the monologue, and everyone’s favorite, all the celebrity reaction GIFs it caused.

Here’s the night’s winners, and here they are, ranked from most to least unjust.

The Academy usually cuts people off, but they let DiCaprio talk about climate change for 2.7 times as long as the average speech.

Maybe they were afraid to make the bear from The Revenant mad?

Variety has the night’s snubs and surprises, Vulture has the highs and the lows, including a pretty tone deaf joke about Asians, and Vox has the winners and the losers.

“While industry observers touted Stallone’s comeback narrative as irresistible, I kept talking to actual Hollywood insiders who weren’t that enamored of Stallone as a person over his few decades in show business, and consequently withheld their vote. It’s a problem that afflicted other Oscar nominees like Mickey Rourke, Lauren Bacall, and Burt Reynolds, who learned that a comeback narrative can only take you so far: If the voters don’t actually want to see you on that stage, you won’t make it up those steps.” Vulture has an inside baseball take on how Spotlight won, and how Stallone lost.

Slate has the background on what Stacey Dash was doing there.

Sam Smith won the Oscar for best song, for the underwhelming (in my opinion, they should have gone with the Radiohead version instead.) song from Spectre, and then he stepped in it with his acceptance speech.

At least the clips packages this year were actually helpful in explaining what the category is, and why sound editing and sound mixing aren’t the same thing.

Anyway, here’s the stuff you came here for...the outfits! Tom and Lorenzo and Go Fug Yourself have good criticism, and tons of photos of the best and the worst of the night. The Cut has 102 outfits from the red carpet, and also the best, worst and sparkliest outfits from the night. Fusion has the best red carpet hairstyles.

I thought everyone looked fine, but not spectacular. My favorite is the gold dress Margot Robbie wore, though I also love Tina Fey’s ode to what you’d wear in an ‘80s evening soap when tossing a drink in a rival’s face.

E! thought Sandy Powell, who if you care about costume design, you should look her up, was Tilda Swinton. She isn't, but they should probably hang out, and invite me along. In other costume designer news, people were SHOCKED! that winner Jenny Beavan dressed like herself, and didn’t stuff herself into heels and a princess dress. She might be my new hereo.

Did the thank you ticker make the show better, or did it just make it look like CNN? People are probably going to have more fun with it next year, now that they know what it looks like.

The ratings were the lowest in 8 years, and IndieWire took a look at how a lack of diversity is probably to blame, and not just because of this year’s boycott.

Vulture has the EGOT watch for this year’s winners. Keep an eye out for Mark Rylance.



“Rick and the others’ minds are blown, as well they should be. Suddenly, they’re not just the only group of people who managed to survive this far, build a community, and not turn into sarcastic cannibals along the way. Discovering another town is huge enough, but Jesus is also presenting them an offer to work together, for two separate groups with their own interests to work together for the benefit of both. This is something akin to civilization, and I don’t think Rick and the others had ever even thought it was possible.” Io9 reviewed this week’s pivotal episode of The Walking Dead.

“Actually, I think we’re on to something here. Maybe they should just turn this into a half-hour show: same season length, more densely packed drama. Although now that I say that, AMC would probably lean more towards making half-hour episodes and having the thing just run all year long.” Over at The Verge the odds on quitting watching the show are at 35%, so up from last week, but still nowhere near 100%.

We are back to normal, as The A.V. Club gave this week’s outing a B+

Uproxx has this week’s questionsand all the times the show has foreshadowed who Negan is going to eventually kill. They really need to pull back on the winks to the readers on this one, or it’s going to backfire.


The Business

Fans are excited that Nicholas Meyer, the co-writer and director of Star Trek: the Wrath of Khan, has joined the writing staff of the new Star Trek.

House of Cards has two new showrunners, Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese, who were both senior writers on the show under Beau Willimon.

Casting: Vincent Kartheiser is joining the cast of Hulu’s Casual. He’s playing a venture capitalist, which is absolutely the job Pete Campbell would have in 2016. Jimmy Smits will play a U.S. senator on 24: Legacy. Vanessa Williams will star in VH1’s Satan’s Sisters, based on Star Jones’ book about her time on The View. Casey Wilson and Rita Moreno will both guest star on Grey’s Anatomy.

Pilot Casting: Sarah Shahi, who is great, will play Nancy Drew on CBS’s update of the book series. Bill Paxton will play the Denzel Washington role in CBS’s Training DayJudy Greer is finally playing the lead, and not the sister or best friend, in HR, a comedy pilot for FOX. Katey Sagal will star in an untitled comedy pilot for CBS about “an adopted woman named Bess who learns that she hails from a family of drag racers.” Casey Wilson will play the lead in ABC’s Hail Mary, about a woman who fakes a miracle.T. R. Knight is returning to TV in an unnamed pilot being produced by Reese Witherspoon. He will play the main character’s nemesis at work. Isiah Whitlock Jr., who is very familiar to fans of The Wire, has been cast in FOX’s Charity Case, opposite Courtney Cox. UnREAL’s Nathalie Kelley has joined NBC’s Cruel Intentions pilot as Kahryn’s right hand woman.

There might be a Departed TV series, and actually I’d be more interested in watching that than Vinyl, Scorsese’s current project.

Good news for parents everywhere, CBS has renewed NCIS for two more seasons.

Amazon apparently won’t be making more episodes of Mad Dogs, despite its popularity, because they couldn’t come to an agreement with Shawn Ryan about where future seasons would go.

People Talking About TV

“But as outlets like Amazon and Netflix have tried to lure ordinary viewers into binging, and as conventional networks have started to give critics more and more screeners in the hopes we’ll judge shows on more than just their pilots, I find myself growing increasingly averse to this particular pop culture manifestation of the sunk cost fallacy. Rather than submitting myself to something that I either don’t like or that I think lacks artistic merit in the hopes I might come around, I’m moving on more quickly to more genuinely entertaining things.” I agree 100% with this piece from Alyssa Rosenberg at The Washington Post. If you don’t enjoy what you are watching, it’s only a couple of clicks to watch something you DO like, so why are you wasting time?

“The issue isn't that this never happens in real life — Petraeus's biographer; Gael Greene and Elvis, and Clint Eastwood, and Burt Reynolds; we're all human — but that male reporters onscreen almost never have to resort to sex as a manipulation tactic. Quite the opposite, they're usually portrayed as pillars of morality and truth.” Scandal is just the latest TV show to add to the long, long list of shows and movies where a female journalist sleeps with her interview subject.

“I wish it happened in my life more. And of course, having Alec running around New York crying, "Happy Leap Day!" like it's the end of It's a Wonderful Life. It was one of those episodes full of moments where I was like… "I can't believe they're letting us do this. Someone's paying for this to happen.” Yesterday was Leap Day, so why not read about how the Leap Day episode of 30 Rock came about?

“It’s a long running joke in Pokémon that every Pokécenter is staffed by a Nurse Joy, or how every police department is made up of Officer Jennies—but never does anyone stop to question how there are so many of them running about. They can’t be identical twins, as there’s so many of them. Are they cloned creations from the original Joy and Jenny? Androids? Ordinary citizens who undergo plastic surgery to become the idealised poster child of their respective industries? No matter which way you slice it, the answer cannot be good.” I really love it when people overthink things, so a piece on how the Pokémon cartoons are one of the creepiest dystopian societies is right up my alley.

What To Watch

This week is pretty light on new TV, so now is your chance to catch up on everything you’ve missed. I’ve been catching up on The Returned, Better Call Saul, Join or Die and @midnight. I would recommend all by Join or Die, though that is just because I am still not sure about how well the concept works, so I'll give it another shot in a few weeks.

If the first time you ever heard the name Mark Rylance was when he ruined your Oscar pool, you should really watch him in Wolf Hall. Decider has a list of some of the other things he’s done, but that one is worth checking out, it’s like House of Cards, but set in Tudor England.

I watched the first episode of Michael Pollan’s Cooked, now on Netflix, and it was good, but since I am basically already a pretentious foodie, it felt like it was preaching to the choir. (Though it’s a great starting point for anyone who wants to become a pretentious foodie.) Decider talked to Pollan about how the project came about.

A ton of shows start this week on Viceland, the new Vice channel that Variety calls “Current TV on steroids.”

Uproxx has their list of the 15 best stand up specials that are available on Netflix, from Eddie Murphy to Louis C.K.

Here’s everything that’s leaving HBO Now in March, so now is your chance to finally watch best picture winner Birdman.

Odds and Ends

Someone edited together all the times Principal Skinner talked about his experiences in Vietnam on The Simpsons.

Trailers: The first trailer for the final season of Banshee looks about as you’d expect. Sex, punches, talking about “your past” and of course, flamethrowers. Ballers will return for a second season of boats and women in skimpy swimsuits. Naomi Campbell is back on Empire, stirring up trouble for Cookie.

If you need more backstory on Game of Thrones’ Targaryens or the Watchers on the Wall, then these two featurettes will be helpful.

TV news bloopers featuring kids? Sure, I have 15 minutes free to watch that.

Matt Damon has finally been on Jimmy Kimmel Live, after Ben Affleck smuggled him in under an overcoat. Uproxx has a history of “the feud,” which has been going for 10 years now.

You should probably watch Last Week Tonight’s piece on Donald Trump, if you haven’t already. I can’t wait until Trump decides to make John Oliver his next Megyn Kelly, because John Oliver, possibly even more than Jon Stewart before him, is a formidable opponent who doesn't give a shit.

That's all for today, but I will be back on Thursday with more. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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