People Talking About TV
“Networks have different names for the new never-ending marketing. AMC talks about “Live plus 365,” playing off Nielsen’s various ratings measurement windows; Shapiro and her USA colleagues call it “the always-on phenomenon.” Whatever the terminology, the consensus in the TV industry is, with apologies to David Mamet, that networks should Always Be Marketing.” From Mr. Robot to Angie Tribeca and UnREAL, Josef Adalian at Vulture looks at the different ways networks are marketing their shows year-round, which sounds exhausting.
“The series seems so aware of itself as fodder for think pieces and cultural conversation—that it’s prioritized commentary over quality, and politics over art. Future episodes may well bring redemption for a series that started so strongly, and with such literary nuance; at this point, though, UnREAL is uncomfortably dromedarian—a show that seems to have been, like the messy culture it is reflecting, designed by committee.” I am still watching the show, but yeah, they’ve kind of bitten off more than they can chew this season. I am hopeful that they can pull it together for season 3.
“A fashion note you're going to see again and again is corduroy, especially in coats. EVERYONE in Indiana had a corduroy coat back then -- half the kids were in Future Farmers of America, which meant blue cord coats, and seed companies gave out heavier, lined ones that bore their logos to their customers.” Previously TV’s Eve Batey was 12 in 1983, and is from Indiana, and therefore is the perfect person to ask if Stranger Things looks right. More thoughts on Brutalist architecture, wood paneling, and unlikely Evil Dead posters inside.
Because this is how the TV business works, there’s two separate shows in development about body-builders on Venice’s Muscle Beach. The Rock is developing Muscle Beach at USA, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is developing Pump, and 8 episode drama at CBS Television Studios.
MacNicol was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy for Veep, but since the guidelines say he was actually in too many episodes, they’ve taken it back. The totally deserving Scolari will take his place for his role as Hannah's dad on Girls. I approve.
The BBC and The Weinstein Company will adapt Les Misérables for TV. It will be based on the novel, not the musical, and Andrew Davies, who you know if you've ever watched anything on TV featuring corsets, will write it.
Casting: Jennifer Hudson, who is better than this, will play Adam Sandler’s love interest (ugh) in Sandy Wexler, his next movie for Netflix. Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs will play Rainbow’s brother Johan on the next season of Black-ish. T.R. Knight is playing a top secret character on The Catch next season. Dexter’s Luna Vélez will play the president of the university on How to Get Away With Murder. Chris Wood, who played a great villain on The Vampire Diaries a while back, has been cast as a surprise DC comics character on Supergirl. Nicole Richie will play a host of a cable news show on Great News, a pilot at NBC. Hakeem has a new rival, as Kid Cudi will play a rapper named Gram on the next season of Empire.
Renewals: Unsurprisingly, based on the season premiere’s numbers, Starz has renewed Power for two more seasons. Logo renewed RuPaul’s Drag Race for a ninth season. Starz also renewed Black Sails for a 10 episode fourth and final season.
Coming soon?: The producers of Hamilton bought the TV rights to Neil Gaiman’s Interworld, and people are all excited. The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman will produce a TV version of Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, and it’s already getting comparisons to Game of Thrones. Paramount is developing John Le Carré’s Cold War classic The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, which I am totally on board for. More excellent spy stuff, please. Also right on schedule, a team is working on an anthology of 16 of H.P. Lovecraft’s best-known stories. Would watch.
What To Watch
BoJack Horseman returns to Netflix tomorrow, and The A.V.Club gave it an A-, and called it “as gut-wrenching and gut-busting as ever.” Alan Sepinwall calls it “one of the very best shows on television,” if you’ve been meaning to watch it but haven’t, that’s a pretty good endorsement.
I still haven’t forgiven HBO for cancelling Looking, but this Saturday’s wrap-up movie might at least give me some closure. Though by the B that Entertainment Weekly gave it, I’m expecting that it will stick to being an episode of Looking, and as usual, not really give us what we want. But that’s OK too.
Last Week Tonight returns from summer break this week, thank god. John Oliver was also the guest on this week’s episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, if you want to see him without a tie and a checked shirt. You can watch the episode here.
Are you enjoying HBO’s The NIght Of? Then you might be interested to know that Criminal Justice, the original British series it’s based on is now available on Hulu. It stars Ben Whishaw, who is in everything, and Preacher’s Ruth Negga.
Here’s everything new arriving on Amazon prime for August. Lots of good movies on that list.
Besides the shows listed above, I will be catching up this weekend with Stranger Things, which I've been saving so my husband and I can watch it. I am also very close to finishing Top of the Lake, which I started ages ago and then abandoned. It’s really good, which I already knew by the critical response. If you are stuck in the heat dome and want something gloomy and overcast, it’s a good match for Marcella, (or Luther.) which I finished watching earlier this week. Though I’d advise occasionally taking a break for something more upbeat, like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or Master of None, so you don’t decide that people are terrible.
Odds and Ends
Idris Elba visited The Tonight Show and showed off his dance moves, and told a story about living through every DJ’s nightmare.
Supergirl’s Laura Benati got a Tina Fey as Sarah Palin style boost from The Late Show thanks to her Melania Trump impression. She’s got the Blue Steel down cold. Also, why did Fox’s Bret Baier fill a water bottle with mustard? You see, the condiment station cam came through after all!
Trailers: Ooh, Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey’s drama Queen Sugar– about a big family in the South and their sugar cane farm– looks good. Like really good. Now that Penny Dreadful is over, Salem is your best bet for period costumed and British accented witch stuff. The newest trailer for Ash vs. Evil Dead was actually deemed too bloody for Comic-Con. Halt and Catch Fire has a pretty terrible new trailer from AMC. Netflix released a trailer for the new season of Narcos. I am still side-eyeing FOX's Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has a new trailer, but Penny Dreadful's Reeve Carney is perfectly cast as Riff Raff.
Here’s a list of all of the times that Star Trek has messed with the timeline, from the movies and the various shows.
I’ve got an idea, let’s end this week with Michelle Obama doing Carpool Karaoke with the Late Late Show’s James Corden and special guest Missy Elliot.
That’s a wrap for this week, but I will return with more on Tuesday. Thanks for reading!
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