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Pilot season, Netflix takes on the indie film industry, and clear your calendar for April.

Thursday, March 9th 2017

People Talking About TV

“Though Silence’s failure was very specific, it seems to have scared Paramount off. According to Thompson, an industry source put it this way: “Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants.” There’s no better indicator of how much the film industry is changing than the fact that a Scorsese gangster film starring De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci seems risky, and Netflix is the safe haven to make the big-budget picture of your dreams.” You really know the industry is shifting when The Irishman, a gangster movie about Jimmy Hoffa directed by Scorsese with DeNiro, Pesci, Pacino and Harvey Keitel attached has landed at Netflix. 

The Expanse also gives viewers a taste of more subtle effects of growing up in a low-gravity environment, touching on how the Belters have “brittle bones” and poor musculature development. For instance, in the very first episode of The Expanse, “Dulcinea,” a Belter is tortured by UN officials, who use Earth’s higher gravity against him.” Space nerds love arguing over how space could change humans, so obviously The Expanse has touched on this a lot. (Season two is airing right now, BTW.)


The Business

Ryan Murphy says the second season of Feud will be about Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Would watch. Scratch that, I would definitely watch the hell out of that.

Amazon has rescued the second season of creepy Arctic murder mystery Fortitude after Pivot, its original home, was shuttered.

The Gilmore Girls revival might be revived once again. Reportedly Netflix is in talks to do more episodes.

There are of pilots in the works, so Casting is super long this week. 
Casting: Patricia Clarkson will play Amy Adams’ mother in HBO’s Sharp Objects, and after reading the book, I have to say that this is spot on casting. Matthew Broderick will play FEMA director Michael D. Brown (who did “a heck of a job”) in Katrina: American Horror Story. Anne Bening will play Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco. As usual with Ryan Murphy, this cast is already amazing. Benedict Cumberbatch will star in Melrose, a limited series for Showtime. Jason Isaacs will play the newest captain on Star Trek: Discovery. Alan Dale will play the butler on The CW’s Dynasty reboot. Lauren Graham will star in FOX’s comedy Linda from HR, about an HR employee who makes a bad decision that upends her life. Unsolved, USA’s Tupac and Biggie Smalls murder investigation pilot, has booked Bokeem Woodbine, Josh Duhamel and Jimmi Simpson. Would watch. Laverne Cox has rebounded quickly from Doubt’s cancellation, with The Trustee, a much better sounding pilot. Leah Remini will play the psychotherapist in NBC’s What About Barb? the gender-swapped version of the movie What About Bob? (That I can’t stand BTW.) Jenna Fischer will play the lead in Splitting Up Together, as one half of a couple that get back together after getting a divorce. Craig T. Nelson will play the grandfather character on Raised By Wolves, Diablo Cody’s ABC pilot. Damon Wayans will star in FOX’s Singularity, the pilot about AI from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Ken Leung, who I will always love thanks to his character on Lost, will play Karnak on ABC’s InhumansAnson Mount has also joined Inhumans as Black Bolt. Matt Czuchry will play the co-lead in The Resident FOX’s latest medical drama pilot. Noah Wyle will play the lead in CBS’s NSA/law firm drama Perfect CitizenShannon Purser, Barb from Stranger Things, will play one of the students on NBC’s Drama High pilot. Jeremy Piven will play a tech inventor in SF in CBS’s drama Wisdom of the Crowd, which sounds a bit like Person of Interest, but not as good. Freddie Highmore will play the lead in ABC’s The Good Doctor, a pilot about a surgeon with autism. Amy Acker will play the female lead in Matt Nix’s Marvel show for FOX. Cress Williams, who to me will always be Wallace’s dad on Veronica Mars, will headline The CW’s adaptation of Black Lightning.

Renewals: I for one am excited that Riverdale got a second season. Netflix renewed One Day at a Time for a second season. Tom Hardy’s Taboo also got a second season. Amazingly, the extra weird Baskets will return for a third season. Unsurprisingly Showtime picked up a third season of Billions.

Cancelled: PBS will not be bringing back Mercy Street for a third season.


What To Watch

First of all, Game of Thrones will finally return on July 16th. 

If you think there’s a lot of good TV on right now, you obviously haven’t looked ahead to April. If you’ve been meaning to catch up on something, do it now. So what’s coming back? Just a couple of little shows called Better Call Saul, Fargo, Veep, Silicon Valley, Archer, and Catastrophe. Add in premieres for American Gods, Handmaid’s Tale and The Son. This is a partial list, BTW. I likely forgot to include a bunch of your returning favorites.

This week is the 20th anniversary of Buffy’s premiere, so you should head on over to Hulu to watch the best episodes, or if you haven’t watched it at all, you should get on that right away. If you need a good laugh, you should check out the Twitter feed that’s documenting the truly terrible fashion from the show. Oh Willow, where did you ever find sweaters that ugly?

Really you (and me!) just need to get caught up on The Americans, because it returned this week, and the reviews are super positive, as always.

I also still need to get caught up on Girls, and I started Big Little Lies, which if it doesn’t get Reese Witherspoon an Emmy, I’m not sure what will.

Thanks to TV trends, you can add Making History and Time after Time to your list of time travel TV. Both started this Sunday, but which one should you watch? Time after Time has a hot and often shirtless version of both H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper, which sounds really stupidThis review of both suggests watching...both. Oh dear. Io9 is also no help, and suggests that Time After Time might be your new bad TV obsessionUnfortunately, I watched both, and actually enjoyed both. Sigh. Too much TV.

New TV: Ryan Murphy’s Feud arrived on FX this week, and Tom and Lorenzo are recapping the clothing. The Arrangement, the show that is definitely not based on Tom Cruise’s dating history, arrived on E! This weekend. I’ve read several surprisingly positive reviews for Amazon’s Patriot, so I guess I need to check this one out.

Returning TV: If you want something escapist, this week offers both new episodes of Bob’s Burgers, and the Shondaland drama The Catch, which returns for a second season tonight. Love, a show I can’t stand about people I can’t stand, returns to Netflix for a second season tomorrow. Also on Friday is the series finale of The Vampire Diaries, a show I’ve proudly used as TV comfort food for many years. Samurai Jack returns with new episodes to Adult Swim on Saturday. WGN's Underground returned on Wednesday. The third season of American Crime, always excellent, returns to ABC on Sunday.

Scarlett Johansson will join the five timers club on SNL this week, with Lorde as the musical guest.

Netflix’s Iron Fist, which arrives on the 17th,  is apparently the first of the Marvel shows to miss the mark, and judging by the bad reviews, it REALLY missed the mark. They really could have done something interesting with this one, but nope, another white guy billionaire with a tragic backstory who learns how to fight on an extended trip to Asia.


Odds and Ends

Usually these Buzzfeed quizzes are pretty easy, but not this one for Game of Thrones. No multiple choice answers here! Unfortunately it forced me to remember the names of the Sand Snakes. Ugh. They are the worst.

If you are enjoying Big Little Lies, you might enjoy Vulture’s list of murder theories. As a book reader, (don’t judge me, it was a great plane read,) I am amused by these.

Also amusing is this list of the top 10 sci-fi curse words. I swear all the time, and even I find “frak” helpful. Thanks Battlestar Galactica.

I love the look of the new Twin Peaks posters. There’s also finally a premiere date, May 28th on Showtime. Excited!

I am also into the look of the poster for American Gods. I am really quite excited about this one.

Trailers: Someone isn’t a fan of Christmas in this teaser for Fargo season 3. And in this longer teaser, Ewan McGregor looks like crap. I am both excited by Netflix’s Five Came Back doc because of the subject, and also that it means I don’t need to finish reading the book. (It’s great. But slow going.)

If you love the music from Bob’s Burgers, mark your calendar for May 12th, because that’s the release date for the double album. 107 songs!

There’s no better way to end this than by letting you know that those amazing G.I. Joe PSA’s are in HD now, and just as funny as they were when you watched them the first time. Pork chop sandwiches!

That's a wrap for this week. Sorry about the sporadic service, but I've been working on some other things that keep getting in the way. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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