Posted Saturday 10/13/18 at 3:11AM EDT
The Conners does what the Roseanne revival did best, without the politics
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
ABC, which has been keeping a lid on the Roseanne spinoff in advance of Tuesday's premiere, screened two episodes for critics on Friday with the agreement that they "not discuss, imply or in any other way reveal what happens to the character of Roseanne Conner." According to Daniel Fienberg, "Roseanne's exit from the series is handled in a way that's far more dignified and honorable than Barr-the-producer's exit from the show." He adds: "What The Conners evolves into almost immediately is what it really was at its best last season and probably always was at its best: a blue-collar family sitcom that has become a blue-collar sitcom about an interestingly varied blue-collar family composed of several generations and a selection of exes and only-occasionally-present spouses all just trying to make the best of a messy situation in a midsize Illinois town. The idea that Roseanne was the only comedy on TV tackling blue-collar issues was already a ridiculous piece of myopia that ignored One Day at a Time, Shameless, Speechless, Superstore and several other great pieces of TV. This is but one blue-collar comedy on TV, and it's a decent one. The emphasis that Roseanne put on politics in several early episodes last season is basically gone, but everybody involved with the show last year tried to emphasize that Roseanne was not now, and never really was, a show about politics. It's absolutely still a show about ideology or world-view, but it's that without ever saying 'Trump' or 'Clinton' or 'Democrat' or 'Republican' once. The questions are about how you pay for medical bills or how you raise children or how you handle difference."
- The Conners is lackluster, mostly unfunny and rather draining to watch -- Roseanne Barr haunts the show like a laughing ghoul
- What The Conners lacks most of all is a bit of the crazy -- it's like Two and a Half Men without Charlie Sheen
- The Conners has a familiar look and pace, and it's better than might be expected after an emergency "star-ectomy"
- The Conners writers struck what felt like the perfect balance between darkness and light
- The Conners makes a solid case for itself, but there's no escaping Roseanne Conner or Roseanne Barr
- Without Barr, there is an ease and lightness to The Conners that harkens back to the original show's heyday
- John Goodman and his character Dan seem a little adrift in this new normal -- he has to adjust to no longer being Roseanne's backup
- The Conners is able to live up to the original series that was overshadowed by the Roseanne revival's Trump slant
- It's a low benchmark, but The Conners makes the case that it's the best new comedy -- if you can call it a "new comedy"
Claire Foy reveals she was "deeply hurt" by The Crown pay gap revelation because it was a "big, fat, dirty secret"
Source: Page Six
“I was deeply hurt by it,” she tells Net-a-Porter magazine, “because I’d been working on that show for two years. I loved everybody on it. And then I realized, there’s been a big, fat, dirty secret that nobody’s ever talked about.” She adds: “But then there was also that thing (of being) an inadvertent spokesperson. Why did it have to be me? I could have said nothing. And I think everyone would have preferred that. But I thought, if I do that, I will be cheating myself and all the other women I know.”
Jennifer Garner says she's "heard that there's an Alias reboot happening, but no one's talked to me about it"
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"I mean it would be totally different," she tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But if they didn't have me on as a guest, I would be very, very angry. But I can't imagine it being that serious yet because I haven't heard anything about it at all."
Melania Trump "seemed to shrink" on 20/20 in her first sitdown since becoming first lady
"Something about Melania Trump keeps people hopeful — insistently so, despite so much contrary evidence — that there’s a bigger story at work," says Daniel D'Addario. "In her first interview as First Lady... the wife of America’s reigning celebrity-in-chief seemed to shrink," he adds. "Her real cause was not historical preservation or childhood literacy (or, certainly, the Be Best movement) but a defense of her husband premised on the idea that he has her unconditional support. The most pronounced traits to have emerged through the hourlong interview were one quality Melania shares with her husband — a refusal to brook deep contemplation — and one she does not. Married to an endlessly prolix speaker, the First Lady has painfully little to say, or at least little that she is willing to say. A figure about who so much ink has been spilled emerged on 20/20 as someone who refused to reward our attentions with anything but a steady party line."
Fox orders two more Lethal Weapon episodes with Damon Wayans aboard
One week after Wayans shocked producers by saying he would leave the Fox series after he was done filming Lethal Weapon's 13-episode third season, Fox has picked up two additional episodes. Wayans will be part of Episodes 14 and 15.
TV has built a world where white males are the protagonists of the story, from CBS crime procedurals to antihero dramas
The fall of Les Moonves and the recent premiere of Lifetime's You -- which attempts to subvert the white male viewpoint -- have helped to hammer home the point that a lot of television has been told from the white male point of view. "Straight white men in America are taught that they are the protagonist of the story from birth. Their number includes me — I’ve always intuitively understood myself as the protagonist too," says Todd VanDerWerff. "And this mindset has only become more ingrained in the past 20 years. Under Moonves, CBS became America’s most powerful network, but also went from broadcasting shows like Murphy Brown and Designing Women to mostly being a place where women were corpses, whose murders were solved largely by steely, determined men, with occasional help from quippy female sidekicks." VanDerWerff adds that "over the past 20 years, no network has had a worse record of telling stories centered on characters who aren’t straight white men than CBS, a trend the network has only finally broken this fall. What does it say about a culture when by far its most popular television network is dominated by shows where women serve primarily as support systems, quirky comic relief, and victims?" Antihero shows like Mad Men, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and The Shield have also helped fuel the narrative that white males can take whatever they want. "The best antihero dramas of the early 2000s, like the best great films of the ’70s, were cautionary tales, deeply moral stories about how, in some ways, the men at the center of them stood in for an America — or at least a white male America — that couldn’t stop gobbling up everything it saw," says VanDerWerff. "The shows suggested, always, that even if their protagonists didn’t get their comeuppance onscreen, it was coming, unless they could change their ways. Only a handful of those protagonists, most notably Mad Men’s Don Draper, eventually came close to doing so. But even now, these shows leave open the question of just how we’re supposed to grapple with the idea that many viewers will always see them as instruction manuals, or as validation of dangerous ideals. What are the takeaways for an audience that doesn’t want to dig into the moral and ethical nuance of The Sopranos and just wants to see Tony whack more enemies, or that believes Skyler White is the true villain of Breaking Bad?"
Late-night hosts need to stop mocking Kanye West's mental health
Source: The Daily Beast
Jimmy Kimmel called West "an irrational madman" on Thursday night, while Trevor Noah described him as "a ranting lunatic." "West’s political about-face is confusing and frustrating for many—myself included—and in the age of Trump, it’s tough to know how far you can go," says Marlow Stern. "But no matter what you think of his politics, shaming West over his mental illness or bringing his late mother (or young children) into the equation is crossing the line. Y’all can—and should—do better."
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's final season "feels fun and joyful in a different way"
Source: Entertainment Weekly
Co-creator and showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna says of Season 4: "Last season we dealt with the diagnosis and the mental illness, and then in the second part of the season, she finally defeated the dragon, which was her id embodied by Trent. Now we’re writing a more enlightened, present, grounded person who’s in less pain. In a funny way, this is the (enlightened) person she was pretending to be (in season 1) — now she knows what her tendencies are.”
"The Problem with a Poo" continued South Park's distinct yet subtle subversion of expectations this season
This week's episode's "#CancelTheSimpsons" ending made it so that nobody could figure out which side South Park was advocating, and that's the point, says Jess Joho. "For the first time, South Park seems to be genuinely engaged with questioning its own place in the current cultural climate," she says. "The #CancelTheSimpsons was actually an extension of the season's #CancelSouthPark marketing campaign, a hashtag also playing into the show by appearing at the end credits of each episode so far. Many have been left wondering what this dare to 'cancel' South Park means. It could just be more typical fuck-you humor — or it could be indicative of a huge turning point for the animated TV legend. Arguably, both 'The Problem with a Poo' and #CancelSouthPark campaign is adding a meta layer of meaning to South Park's social commentary that's never been there before. And it's a gamble with a potential to pay off as much as its move to serialization did."
Former Bones star Tamara Taylor joins Netflix's October Faction
Taylor and Madam Secretary vet J.C. MacKenzie will play globetrotting monster hunters on the 10-episode sci-fi series.
Recalling Seth Meyers' best SNL moments
As the Late Night host returns to Studio 8H to host Saturday Night Live for the first time, Vulture looks back at Meyers' best writing and acting performances from his 2001-14 stint the NBC variety show. ALSO: Ranking every SNL movie from Coneheads to Wayne's World.
Tyra Banks reveals Life-Size 2 premiere date
Source: Entertainment Weekly
The long-awaited sequel to the 2000 movie Life-Size debuts on Freeform on Dec. 2.
A Washington state man proudly displays King of the Hill characters in his front yard
Source: South Whidbey Record
Full-size cutouts of Hank, Bill Dale and Boomhauer have been on display on Kelly Hatley's fence for two years. “It reminds me of where I came from," he says. "I like the down home thing of the close community. The hillbillies down south are different than the people here.”
HBO to air O.G., a film that Jeffrey Wright shot in a real-life in prison
The Westworld star and co-stars Theothus Carter and Prison Break alum William Fichtner shot O.G. on location at Indiana’s Pendleton Correctional. Wright will play the former head of a prominent prison gang who is in the final weeks of his 24-year sentence.
Insecure's "Asian Bae" hopes his role is groundbreaking for Asian guys
Alexander Hodge says of his love interest role on the HBO series: "I think it’s so important to see a confident, outspoken, man bun-sporting Asian man on screen saying, ‘I want what I want.’ We haven’t had that before."
Watch the trailer for HBO's Sally4Ever from Camping creator Julia Davis
Davis, whose British series Camping inspired Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner HBO remake, created and co-stars in the Sky-HBO comedy series about a woman who has a crisis and embarks on a wild affair with a woman (Davis) while cheating on her longtime boyfriend.
Seinfeld-style sneakers are suddenly all the rage
The plain white, chunky sneakers that Jerry Seinfeld used to wear on his sitcom are making a comeback.
How a "goth baker" Christine McConnell landed her own Netflix series, The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell
As Eater notes, the "Instagram-famous baker/model/designer/actress" McConnell shot to viral fame three years ago when she decorated her parents’ Los Angeles-area home for Halloween by adding massive, spooky eyes and fangs to its exterior. McConnell tells Eater around 300 production companies reached out to her in the aftermath of the video, "and they all wanted to do a reality-based show. And I don’t really watch that stuff mostly — I mean I have a few guilty pleasures — but I’m much more into scripted TV and storylines, and things like that.“ She ended up partnering with The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative, which created kooky talking puppets that steal the show.
Watch the trailer for Deutschland 86
The sequel to the Peabody-winning German TV series Deutschland 83, about a young communist operative who heads West, premieres on SundanceTV on Oct. 25.
Titans tries so hard to be cool that it fails
Source: Rolling Stone
Brenton Thwaites' "F*ck Batman" line as Dick Grayson (AKA Robin) received a lot of attention in promotions for the DC Universe series. "At the risk of dwelling on one incredibly stupid and childish line of dialogue, it’s the ethos of Titans in a nutshell," says Alan Sepinwall. Titans, he says, harkens back to the 1990s comic book industry trend of making stories with more sex, violence and death. "Great stories can be told in this mold, and have been," says Sepinwall. "....But a bit of the old ultraviolence doesn’t in and of itself make something good, or even cool. Many of these grimdark stories would prove just as embarrassing in their own way as a portion of the audience found Adam West, and in time the pop cultural pendulum would swing the other way. Superhero stories can be fun while also seeming legitimate, as most of the Marvel Studios films have proven."
Netflix's Spanish teen series Elite is trashy Euro cool fun
Source: The Daily Beast
"With Euro-cool style and compelling characters, Elite is trashy, diverting fun," says Natalia Winkelman. "It may lack the wry humor and female friendship element that glued watchers to Gossip Girl and The O.C., but it’s still a fresh, foreign update on a familiar brand of teen soap-thriller—the blueprint for which is more time-honored and established than even the oldest Spanish aristocratic lineage." ALSO: Elite is Riverdale, Gossip Girl and Big Little Lies rolled up into a murderous teen drama.
Charmed wears its woke heart on its sleeve
Source: Vanity Fair
From its Hillary Clinton-inspired "Stronger Together" slogan to its use of #MeToo posters to its "it's a reckoning" line, the Charmed reboot makes it very apparent that it's a woke and feminist series. "This hammering lack of subtlety isn’t necessarily a bad thing; the original Charmed was hardly understated, and its stars will be the first to say that it was plenty feminist as well," says Laura Bradley. "Still, it’s tough to know how seriously the CW version takes itself—and that’s a question it should try to answer, since the original Charmed worked largely because it was so unabashedly cheesy." She adds that Charmed boss Jennie Snyder Urman and her co-producers "have proven on Jane the Virgin that they know how to run a house filled with strong female characters—but that show’s earnestness feels incompatible with the world of Charmed, at least as the show was originally conceived. The premiere’s funniest, most memorable scenes largely come courtesy of (Rupert) Evans, who is clearly having a blast as the whitelighter—enough to make you wish the rest of the cast could lighten up a little. Especially in such a girl power-driven series, it’s a bit of a bummer to see the bulk of the show’s punch lines handed off to a guy. Then again, maybe the Vera sisters will have more jokes to make once they’ve had time to accept their mother’s death and enjoy their newly discovered powers."
- Charmed is plagued by issues both aesthetic and cultural -- the dialogue feels forced and the rhythm is jarring
- Charmed feels decidedly 2018: It's taking its duties as a feminist witch story for a new generation very, very seriously
- Charmed's goal seems to have the opposite problem of the original: It's trying to hit too many beats in 40 minutes
- Some of the effects are legitimately good, but some effects resemble the low-budget effects of the original series
- Charmed would stand a chance if it ditched the clunky humor
- Charmed has been branded as a Latina reboot, but only one of the actresses is actually Latina
- Why it's okay that Charmed's Latina characters aren't all played by Latina actresses
Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House is like a scary version of This Is Us
"I expected Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House to remind me of the Shirley Jackson novel on which it is based, or perhaps of other horror stories I’ve absorbed over the years," says Jen Chaney. "I did not expect it to remind me of This Is Us. Given the current TV landscape, maybe I should have." She adds that "the Netflix version is as much a family drama as a work of fright. Instead of casting Hill House as the center of a paranormal investigation like the book and its two subsequent movie adaptations, the series introduces us to the members of the Crain family, who move into the aging Massachusetts estate in the early 1990s with the intention of fixing it up and flipping it. But immediately, spirits start appearing and wreaking havoc on the five children, as well as their parents, Liv (Carla Gugino) and Hugh (Henry Thomas). More than two decades later, the kids are still reckoning with the effects of residing in that massive, creepy manor. Or, to put it in This Is Us terms: The haunted house is to the Crains as the Crockpot fire is to the Pearsons. But unlike the NBC weeper, The Haunting of Hill House isn’t interested in making its viewers cry. It would much rather scare them to death."
- The Haunting of Hill House is scary as hell, offering more grown-up chills without the escapism of Stranger Things
- Despite a slow start, The Haunting of Hill House ultimately comes together in a way that’s both scary and unexpectedly moving
- It builds characters so well that finding out their mysterious backstories is far more engrossing than watching them get freaked out
- The Haunting of Hill House manages to be both sprawling and terrifying at the same time
- Creator and director Mike Flanagan saw his version "was more about having a chance to riff on the characters, themes, and nuances" of the Shirley Jackson novel
- Flanagan tells how Lost was a major inspiration: "I loved the way that it put me in one specific character’s shoes for an episode and then handed off"
The Romanoffs tries and fails in creating Prestige TV in the form of self-contained movie-length episodes
Matthew Weiner's eight-episode Amazon anthology series, like its characters, "continuously puts its worst, least interesting foot forward, aristocratically expecting you’ll stick around to see the next step," says Willa Paskin. She adds: "It has become a cliché for the makers of TV shows to tout them as movies, as in: 'It’s really like a movie, stretched out over eight episodes.' The run time of each episode of The Romanoffs, all of which Weiner directed and wrote or co-wrote, suggests an ambitious corollary: 'It’s really like eight movies.' ... But despite running the length of a movie, The Romanoffs unfolds at the unhurried pace of a prestige TV drama, and this makes for an unhappy combination. A TV show is a long-term relationship: Plot holes, underdeveloped characters, fuzzy motivations are also potential rabbit holes, places for the story to go. But in a self-contained, 90-minute burst, in a story that you know is supposed to end relatively soon, this pacing is a kind of provocation: How long until you pull out your second screen?"
- The Romanoffs is proof that creativity without limits can be dangerous, even for someone as gifted as Matthew Weiner
- The Romanoffs episodes play together like a nice long weekend at an independent film festival in the mountains somewhere
- It's like a Black Mirror of relationships, privilege and ruling classes in decline
- The Romanoffs is a series with an uneasy relationship to plot in a format that thrives on it -- it favors character, but hasn’t the time to delve into it
- Matthew Weiner is trying too hard to escape Mad Men's shadow
- The show is probably the biggest blank check in TV history -- all of Amazon's money is up on screen
- The Romanoffs is very close to being something extraordinary, but Weiner indulges too much
- When the story lets the series down, the impeccable production value lifts it back up
- It's the ultimate vanity project: The Romanoffs somehow moves both too quickly and too slowly
- The Romanoffs satirizes the desperation of white privilege in decline
- Corey Stoll's wife is actually married to one of the Romanovs
- Matthew Weiner: The Romanoffs is a "wildest-dreams scenario"
HBO's Camping is an endurance test of a bad idea starring a miscast Jennifer Garner
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Unfortunately, nothing much on the Lena Dunham-Jenni Konner follow-up to Girls works, says Tim Goodman. And it starts with the miscast Garner. "Who takes Jennifer Garner and makes her a completely unlikable and joyless nag, annoying everyone around her?" asks Goodman. He adds: "The casting comes off like it was just Dunham and Konner picking friends to fill out roles, which results in an across-the-board lack of chemistry (or much interest) as the story unfolds. And while Camping is indeed supposed to be a story of misery (because none of these people seem like campers, which is probably the central joke of the original series), making Walt's birthday weekend a torturous affair doesn't work if the humor that it's supposed to generate doesn't materialize. Watching becomes as big a slog for the viewer as getting through that ill-advised camping trip is for the characters."
- Camping is a Lena Dunham series with Jennifer Garner in the Dunham role: "Garner gives unlikability her all, but it comes across as pretending"
- It's a deeply unpleasant viewing experience, led by the single most insufferable TV character in recent memory
- Camping isn’t fun to watch at all -- except to see a misfire take shape
- Garner makes sense for the lead role, making her downright odious character at least laughably maddening
- You'll love how much you'll hate Jennifer Garner's character
- Garner plays a profoundly difficult character, and she embraces it, though "her innate Jennifer Garner-hood" shines through
- Garner's character becomes exhausting to her "friends" and the audience
- Camping shows so little insight or movement that watching it becomes nearly as unpleasant as it is for the characters living through it
- Lena Dunham calls Camping "one giant bottle episode"
- Jennifer Garner and David Tennant discuss leaving their comfort zones
- The Conners does what the Roseanne revival did best, without the politics