Friday, September 23, 2022

Survivor S43E01: LIVIN


Survivor starts a new season by showcasing a new cast of interesting players.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The 43rd season of Survivor starts off with the episode “LIVIN” which is a reference to bro salesperson Cody’s butt tattoo -- honestly that’s a pretty funny choice. We get three tribes to start with as per usual, Vesi (red), Baka (yellow), and Coco (blue). At the end of things, poor Morriah gets voted out and we must quickly ask: Why?


The actual immunity challenge was fairly close when it came down to it, with it all about that last puzzle, so any pointing out little minor issues along the way isn’t really fair, but that first vote out, people are searching for anything to make someone else a target. Sami has made a bunch of showy moves, solving the brainteaser and making fire, but he’s also a physical competitor -- that’s more of a threat for the midgame.

Gabler throws himself on the mercy of his tribe because he’s so paranoid about being the oldest member on his tribe, but one of our primary narrators in this episode, Elie, tells us that he’s too useful around the camp. Elie makes an interesting play here, talking about her sad tragedy of her sister overdosing and getting hugs from Jeanine and Morriah -- and instantly connecting the three of them.

But Elie also does the classic early game Survivor consideration of strength trumping over other bonds, which puts poor Morriah in the crosshairs. We don’t get too much from Jeanine so far, other than she’s thinking later game issues about men vs women if they vote out Morriah, but she’s clearly a strategic thinker. We definitely hear from Owen about his own strategic perspective, and Sami notices it out loud to us -- could set up a conflict between the two later on.


In the end everyone votes for Morriah, but we don’t quite see how the alliances are connected just yet. I’m sure there will be people who comment on the optics of the first person voted out, but you can’t argue that Survivor is as diverse as it’s ever been. On Coco, for example, Geo and Karla vibe about not being gay and married, but Latinx as well, she from Mexico and he from Peru -- that’s quite an interesting matchup.

On Vesi, the big personality is bro salesperson Cody, who lies about his sales job so he can target fellow salesperson Justine -- the one who finally manages to make fire. She is allied so far with Noelle, and we see that former gang member and current PhD holder Jesse feels in the middle of potential alliances. There’s not much else from the rest of the tribe we get so far, other than Dwight is a younger superfan and loses his vote after the slightly modified Risk/No Risk challenge.


We get even less from Coco, with a bit of a focus on Ryan who learned to walk after having mild cerebral palsy as a child, and seemingly an alliance between the women and James, the former chess champion. On the other hand, they won the immunity challenge first so the winners often get shown less early on.

It was a pretty fun episode overall, with a visually interesting immunity challenge where the contestants get messy with mud, wood chips, and sand (and I think Jeanine might have hurt her jaw). Just like the last two seasons, we have a pretty fun cast of characters for our tribes, and a lot of potential intrigue and contrasting personalities. They’ve said that the annoying hourglass twist is not on this season, which is great -- but I’m looking forward to the potential twists and turns our contestants create along the way.

Next time on Survivor, things are shaking up further and Cody is a madman.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law S01E04: Is This Not Real Magic?

© Disney+

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law combines fun and frustrating storylines in a still mostly entertaining episode.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The latest episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is called “Is This Not Real Magic?” and it marks when we must officially realize that logic is no longer relevant for this show. In the end of the last episode, Wong is informed he’s broken US law and immediately runs away, in what was admittedly a funny beat. Here though he tries to sue someone entirely in a civil court, but there’s no real continuity other than the fact that Wong is simply aware that Jen is a lawyer.

We start here with a seemingly “normal” stage magician named Donny Blaze (Rhys Coiro) who has a classic low effort magic act, even referencing “the great Billy Shakes” which I thought was a funny line to make him look worse. But then in the twist, Donny actually does know how to use magic and creates a portal that sends drunken party girl Madisynn (a pitch perfect Patty Guggenheim) into a demonic hellscape.

Madisynn’s lubricated matter-of-fact slurring is one of the main consistent sorts of comedy this episode, like asking what happened to the goblins or referencing a demon named Jake. I can imagine that her shouting out “Wongers” in glee or spoiling The Sopranos (are we past the point of no spoilers now 15 years after it ended?) will rub some people the wrong way (or the Wong way if I’m getting into the spirit of the humor of this show) but I thought she was the first broadly written character so far on the show that didn’t annoy me.

The idea of Wong suing to prevent unlicensed people from using magic is an interesting idea, certainly, although this show is so ridiculously light that it doesn’t really think about it past the just minimal surface level. Jen is correct with her fourth wall break that I do look more fondly on the show when Wong is in it.

I also enjoyed Donny’s hype man friend, who didn’t really have much else to do but be funny in that way. The action scene later with She-Hulk and Wong fighting off demons is fun enough for what it was, but nothing particularly amazing.

© Disney+

However what really frustrated me was the entire dating subplot -- it starts with Jen somehow getting no matches on her dating app which really strains credulity. Then we only see a cliched bad date that I’m sure has happened to many people before, but it’s nothing new in pop culture so it mainly feels like hammering the point home.

The idea of Jen trying dating as She-Hulk feels like something that should’ve had a little more thought, like maybe if she had had a lot of bad dates or bad matches, or maybe if the dudes kept referencing her superhero form. Instead we get a few additionally cliched bad dates, which again, I’m sure have happened to many women, but then we get the even more cliched “good guy” date.

This pediatric oncologist (helping kid cancer patients, of course) drops the “I don’t want to talk about myself, let’s talk about you” line. It really did feel like a line and a manipulation that Jen (or the show) should be able to understand. Instead it lightly again touches on the idea that the dude is playing a game when he immediately leaves in the morning upon seeing the regular Jen (which should imply that it was all an act, but the show doesn’t bother to think about it that deeply).

It’s overall a mixed episode to me because of these different storylines, with both pretty silly, but one that I at least found sometimes funny and mostly entertaining. The dating stuff was more broad than I’d prefer to see or at least less nuanced than I think the show should be capable of -- in fact I’d prefer more fourth wall breaks, because that at least keeps shaking things up. A real mixed bag of a season so far.

Get it on Apple TV

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law S01E03: The People v. Emil Blonsky

© Disney+

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law brings us all back to the Wong Cinematic Universe.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The latest episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law essentially continues from where the last one left off, with Blonsky telling Jen that he only ended up in that Shang-Chi fighting arena because Wong forced him to. This is one of the parts of the episode that absolutely made no sense given Wong’s characterization thus far.

During the later trial, Wong says he let Blonsky out because as the Sorcerer Supreme he needs to practice against challenging opponents and even offered the dude asylum. None of this fits with his no-nonsense, pragmatic and competent persona we’ve seen thus far, and why would he offer the Abomination asylum anyway? It really makes no sense. The only part I was even a little okay with is him immediately portaling away after the parole board tells him he just admitted to a bunch of criminal activities. I was wondering if that meant he’d be let off the hook, and he so far completely has been.

In the realm of “oh you’re doing this now?” we get a tiny look at a colleague played by Renée Elise Goldsberry, who I sure hope they got for more than the three seconds they used her for in this episode. There’s also a subplot of Cliché Sexist Dude getting catfished by an Asgardian shapeshifter pretending to be Megan Thee Stallion, who appears as herself and then “twerks” with Jen at the end of the episode in a moment of extreme cringe.

© Disney+

The actual trial is a bit silly, with the elf Runa actually pretending to be the judge, which easily could put her in prison but they brush it aside, and then getting someone on the stand to say that Dennis truly is deluded enough to think Megan Thee Stallion would be dating him. All that stuff and especially the “Hollywood Hookups” moment is a little broad, honestly, a kind of comedy that didn’t really work for me even if the idea of prosecuting a shapeshifter is kind of an intriguing idea for a legal show.

The parole board hearing is fun enough, with Tim Roth really putting some relish into his absurd role and his love of his seven soulmates. The fourth wall breaks continue here to a lesser extent, with Jen calling out the “cameo every week” nature of it by saying it actually isn’t that at all. The only “action” part here is the mysterious strangers trying to steal Jen’s blood, a classic overarching mystery that I think could be interesting.

I am a neverending fan of Wong played by the “real Benedict” Benedict Wong, and his performance is always a lot of fun, I just felt like they gave him really illogical motivations here. But I know there’s still more to be done with his character and I don’t mind him getting more a center stage here even if that also serves to minimize the rest of the characters.

I was hoping that the parole hearing would be a little bit more complex than mostly “Wong will be here soon, I hope” because this is theoretically a lawyer show. I guess I’m just still kinda disappointed by how this show has gone so far, which hasn’t really gone past “okay” for me yet.

I’m entertained by it just fine, I just know that the Marvel folks are capable of more than that.

Get it on Apple TV

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Dancing With the Stars Announces Season 31 Cast - Disney+

Disney+ announced the Dancing with the Stars Season 31 celebrity cast and their professional dancing partners, while live in studio on ABC's Good Morning America (video below). The series, hosted by supermodel and businesswoman Tyra Banks and new co-host, actor and television personality Alfonso Ribeiro, returns to the ballroom with a lineup of celebrities including a platinum recording artist, a Real Housewife, a Bachelorette and a drag queen superstar, to name a few. The cast joins Charli and Heidi D'Amelio for Season 31, both of whom were previously announced live on Good Morning America. The new celebrity cast will learn some new twists, tricks and kicks as the live show begins Monday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. EDT / 5 p.m. PDT, only on Disney+.

Fan-favorite pro dancing partners Mark Ballas and Louis van Amstel make a long-awaited return to the ballroom.

The celebrities and professional dancers heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are as follows: 

  • Fitness model and actor Joseph Baena with partner Daniella Karagach
  • Movie star Selma Blair with partner Sasha Farber
  • Comedian, actor and singer Wayne Brady with partner Witney Carson
  • Good Morning America contributor and WABC-TV New York's weather anchor Sam Champion, with partner Cheryl Burke
  • TikTok star Charli D'Amelio with partner Mark Ballas
  • Heidi D'Amelio with partner Artem Chigvintsev
  • Country star Jessie James Decker with partner Alan Bersten
  • TV star Trevor Donovan with partner Emma Slater
  • Daniel Durant (CODA) with partner Britt Stewart
  • Teresa Giudice (The Real Housewives of New Jersey) with partner Pasha Pashkov
  • Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore) with partner Koko Iwasaki
  • Charlie's Angels star Cheryl Ladd with partner Louis Van Amstel
  • Jason Lewis (Sex and the City) with partner Peta Murgatroyd
  • Drag queen superstar Shangela with partner Gleb Savchenko
  • Platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks with partner Brandon Armstrong
  • Gabby Windey (The Bachelorette) with partner Val Chmerkovskiy

The pairs will be judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, including Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough.

After an impressive 30 seasons on ABC, Dancing with the Stars moves to its new home on Disney+, premiering exclusively in the U.S. and Canada this fall, and making Dancing with the Stars the first live series to debut on the streaming service.

JOSEPH BAENA - A native of Los Angeles, California, Joseph Baena is a fitness model and actor. He is known for his film work in "Called To Duty: The Last Airshow," "Terminator 2 remake with Joseph Baena: Bad to the Bone," "Encounters" and "Bully High."

SELMA BLAIR - Throughout her diverse career, Selma Blair has been one of the most versatile and exciting actresses on screen. Blair's film career began with her comedic roles in pop-culture classics "Cruel Intentions" and "Legally Blonde"  and has since worked with an array of esteemed directors, including Guillermo del Toro and Todd Solodnz. In 2017, she was named one of Time Magazine's People of The Year as one of their Silence Breakers. Recently, Blair released her first memoir to critical acclaim, The New York Times Bestseller, "Mean Baby." Over the course of the beautiful and, at times, devastating memoir, she lays bare her addiction to alcohol, her devotion to her brilliant and complicated mother, and the moments she flirted with death. There is brutal violence, passionate love, true friendship, the gift of motherhood, and, finally, the surprising salvation of a multiple sclerosis diagnosis.  Blair was most recently seen on screen as the subject of the documentary, " Introducing, Selma Blair," which premiered to rave reviews at the 2021 SXSW Festival, where the feature won the Special Jury Recognition for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling. The film also won the New York Women in Film & Television Documentary Award at the Hamptons Film Festival and received three Critics Choice Documentary Award nominations, including Best Documentary Feature and Blair won for Most Compelling Subject of a Documentary.  The Hollywood Reporter "Raising Our Voices" awarded the film with the Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking. The film, which chronicles Blair's intimate and raw journey with multiple sclerosis and her stem cell transplant is currently streaming on the Discovery+ after its initial theatrical run.  In 1999, Blair played the role of Cecile Caldwell, opposite Reese Witherspoon and Sarah Michelle Gellar, in "Cruel Intentions" for director Roger Kumble. She then reunited with the director for " The Sweetest Thing," opposite Cameron Diaz and Christina Applegate. On television, Blair was recently seen co-starring as Kris Jenner in FX's "The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story"  for Ryan Murphy. Blair recently entered the beauty space as chief creative officer of Guide Beauty, a multi-award-winning cosmetics company that is expanding the culture of inclusion in the beauty industry by using Universal Design to create tools and products that make the application of makeup easier and more accessible to all. For her advocacy, Blair was honored with the Equity in Entertainment award by The Hollywood Reporter.

WAYNE BRADY - Multiple Emmy Award-winning and Grammy Award- nominated Wayne Brady has made his mark on stage and screen as an actor, producer, singer, dancer, songwriter, and television personality. A true multi-hyphenate, Brady's career path and personal life journey, has helped him see the world in a unique way. His aspirations have always gone beyond solely starring in various entertainment projects, and under his Makin' It Up Productions banner, he's set out to create new content across different platforms that showcase innovation and inclusivity in fun and powerful ways. A five-time Emmy winner (the first to win Daytime and Primetime awards in two consecutive years), Brady has an impressive TV resume including Whose Line Is It Anyway? The Masked Singer, Black Lighting, The Good Fight and the upcoming American Gigolo- each spotlighting different aspects of his immense talent. In addition to being a force in front of the camera, Brady is heavily active behind the scenes wearing the hats of host & executive producer for Let's Make A Deal, Game of Talents and Comedy IQ, which he also co-created. All of this following on the heels of the success of his award-winning daytime talk show The Wayne Brady Show. Long an accomplished singer and performer, Brady's musical acumen has always been a personal passion and he used that as fuel to help win the second season of The Masked Singer. Off his victory, Brady dropped a brand-new original single, entitled "Flirtin' w/ Forever," which quickly climbed the streaming charts, as well as an accompanying music video. Brady has also triumphed on-stage started with his Broadway debut starring as legal showman 'Billy Flynn' in the long-running hit musical, "Chicago." Soon after Brady starred as the ground-breaking character 'Lola' in "Kinky Boots," Broadway's Tony Award- winning Best Musical, with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein. Brady would later assume his biggest theatrical role to date headlining as 'Aaron Burr' in the Chicago production of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award- winning juggernaut "Hamilton." Recently Brady returned to Broadway as part of Freestyle Love Supreme working with the production team of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, and Anthony Veneziale. The unique show combines the fusion of hip hop, improv, and comedy which won it a special Tony Award for its innovation and contributions to the world of theater. Earlier this year he announced he will again partner with the Freestyle Love Supreme team as well as Speechless to create "FLS+," a new company committed to making improv globally accessible.

SAM CHAMPION - Sam Champion started at Eyewitness News in 1988 as the weekend and 5 p.m. weather anchor, eventually becoming the main weather anchor for the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. In 2006, he became the weather anchor for "Good Morning America." In his capacity as weather editor, he also built ABC News' Weather, Climate and Environment Unit, and oversaw all weather, climate and environmental coverage and content on all ABC platforms. In 2012, Champion became the managing editor of the Weather Channel, where he created and hosted AMHQ, a four-hour morning show, and 23.5, a climate and science interview program in primetime. He received a Peabody Award for his "Sandy Coverage" and has won four Emmys. Champion returned home to WABC in 2019, when he became the weather anchor for Eyewitness News "This Morning."

CHARLI D'AMELIO - Charli D'Amelio is a digital superstar, crowned "the reigning queen of TikTok," by The New York Times. She was the first on the platform to hit 100 million followers and is the current leading female TikTok creator. Charli was named one of YouTube's Top 10 Breakout Creators of 2020. Her influence on social media has earned her coveted spots on lists such as Forbes 30 Under 30, Fortune's 40 under 40, AdWeek's 2020 Young Influentials and Variety's Power of Young Hollywood Impact List in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Charli and her bubbly personality, combined with her impeccable dance skills and social media sensibility, have catapulted her to stardom by captivating the screens of teens and adults worldwide. Now, she is one of the most recognizable faces online, in print and on screen with her family's new Hulu docuseries, "The D'Amelio Show." A proud voice of her generation, who continues to use her platforms to create positive change, Charli is an advocate against cyberbullying and has partnered with organizations such as UNICEF to raise awareness on the negative effects cyberbullying can have on young adults. She added author to her resume when she released her first book, "Essentially Charli," her official guide to staying positive and navigating social media. In May 2021, Charli and Dixie launched their own clothing brand, Social Tourist. She also has partnered with luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Prada. Charli can also be found on her new snapchat series, "Charli vs. Dixie," where they go head-to-head in different competitions. Most recently, Charli launched her first-ever fragrance venture, Born Dreamer, available in ULTA.

HEIDI D'AMELIO - Heidi D'Amelio, maybe best known as mom to Dixie and Charli - two of the most popular names in social media today, but there is a lot more to juggling being a wife and mom than meets the eye. Heidi started her professional career as a model and fitness trainer, but when she met her husband, Marc, in NYC, she knew her dream of always wanting to be a mom was the path she wanted to take. The couple married, moved to Connecticut, and started their family where teaching her children about values, reputation and giving back to others became a central conversation for all four members even before the family skyrocketed to fame. Utilizing her love for dance and a decade of practice, Heidi's youngest daughter, Charli, started posting dances on the popular app TikTok and literally overnight became the most followed name on the platform. The family soon joined in and currently have a combined following of over 200 million. Heidi's dedication to being a present but not overbearing mom has launched her own following of over 10 million and growing. On top of being a full-time mom and overseeing her family's demanding schedules, Heidi continues to pursue her passions which include health and wellness, fitness and philanthropy. Balancing personal and work life, and ensuring the internet is a safe place not only for her daughters but for other teens, is always her main priority. Heidi stars in the family's docuseries, "The D'Amelio Show" (on which she serves as an executive producer), available on Hulu. Heidi has also made it a point to use her and her family's platforms for good, raising awareness and donations for COVID-19, childhood cancer causes and natural disasters such as the hurricanes in her hometown of Louisiana.

JESSIE JAMES DECKER - Singer, songwriter, TV personality, fashion designer, beauty and lifestyle influencer/entrepreneur and two-time New York Times bestselling author, Jessie James Decker has emerged as a multiplatform juggernaut juggling fashion brands like her personally designed Kittenish line with three retail stores and growing, along with her television hosting duties. Signed to Warner Music Nashville, Decker's passion for music has made the multitalented artist one of music's true breakout firebrands. The singer's authentic style immediately captivated listeners everywhere on her 2009 self-titled debut. She continued to keep it real with her second studio album, 2017's "Southern Girl City Lights," which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. Now it's onto a new musical chapter of growth and empowerment with "The Woman I've Become" EP, out now. Decker lives with her husband, retired NFL player Eric Decker, and their three children in Nashville, Tennessee.

TREVOR DONOVAN - Born in Mammoth Lakes, California, Trevor Donovan grew up skiing and snowboarding, and was on the U.S. teen ski team as a teenager. He is most known for his work as, fan-favorite Teddy Montgomery on the global pop-culture phenom "90210," the show's first and only LGBTQ+ character that was a series regular. Donovan also starred in History Channel's epic miniseries "Texas Rising," opposite Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Donovan's upcoming projects include the movie "Reagan," as well as "Wolfhound," "Aloha with Love," "The Engagement Plot'' and "Hot Water." His TV credits include recurring roles on "Sun Records," "The Client List," "Melissa & Joey," "Awkward," "NCIS" and "Lucifer." As a leading man in romantic comedies, Donovan has starred in the following titles: "Strawberry Summer," "Love on a Limb," "Marry Me at Christmas," "Snowcoming," "Nostalgic Christmas," "Love, Fall & Order," "USS Christmas," "Two For The Win," "Nantucket Noel," "Jingle Bell Princess," "Aloha with Love," "The Engagement Plot," "Love Finds You in Charm," "Runaway Romance," "Prescription for Love" and "Love, Lost & Found." Donovan is also an author and has written three children's books: "Love Always, Dogbert & Tito" and "Love Always, Dogbert's Journey." The third book is called "Love Always, Chance the Courageous." Donovan's "Love Always" series is inspired by real-life everyday experiences that have been shared with millions of devoted fans around the world via his social media channels. Donovan is a true renaissance man, aside from being proficient at most sports; he can play guitar, sing, earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design, is an active ambassador for Habitat for Humanity and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, a canine advocate, and started a nationwide anti-bullying program called Team Upstanders. Donovan resides in both Mammoth and Los Angeles, California.

DANIEL DURANT - Daniel Durant is best known for his starring role as Leo Rossi in "CODA," a film that garnered three Oscars, including the top prize of Best Picture. Durant received numerous accolades for his role, including a Screen Actor's Guild Award (Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture), Sundance Award (Best Ensemble), HCA Spotlight Award and the AFI Award for Best Ensemble. "CODA" was purchased by Apple TV for a record sum and showed both in theaters and on Apple TV+. Durant has received numerous awards and recognition, including the 2016 Theatre Award (Outstanding 2016 Broadway Debut Performance),'s Top 10 Show-Stopping Performances of the 2015-2016 Broadway Season, Huffington Post's Top 10 Best Theatrical Performances of 2015,'s 12 Best Broadway Debuts of 2015 and a 2014 Robby Award nomination for Excellence in Theatre. He was also the 2014 Deaf Awareness Month Honoree for the City of Los Angeles, honoring his outstanding contributions to the arts and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities of Los Angeles.

TERESA GIUDICE - A graduate of Berkeley College with a degree in fashion marketing and management, Teresa Giudice is an inspirational working mom. In addition to being on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," she is a self-made entrepreneur who has launched her own line of bottled bellinis, Fabellini, and is a four-time New York Times bestselling author. "Standing Strong," her second memoir, Guidice chronicles her life since her release from prison and what it's been like to weather difficult times as a single mother. With unparalleled honesty and courage, she opens up in "Standing Strong" in ways she never has before, showing her fans what it truly means to be a survivor. In her explosive and ultimately uplifting first-ever memoir, "Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again," she offers a behind-the-scenes look at her marriage, rise to fame, the importance of her family, and the reality TV franchise that made her a household name. She is a dynamic business woman who has showcased her business savvy by starring on NBC's hit show "Celebrity Apprentice," where she raised $70,000 for the charity NephCure. Most recently, Guidice has met and married her soulmate Luis "Louie" Ruelas. The two have bought a beautiful new home together,

VINNY GUADAGNINO - Vinny Guadagnino is one of the most recognized lifestyle personalities and digital influencers. He first rose to fame in 2009 on the MTV series "Jersey Shore," which over its six-season run became the highest-rated series in the history of the network and a cultural phenomenon. During his time away from the shore, Guadagnino starred in series including "Guadagnino & Ma Eat America" on Food Network and "Joking Off" on MTV2. In 2018, the franchise returned as "Jersey Shore: Family Vacation" and immediately recaptured the zeitgeist, breaking viewership records along the way. The reboot has become a huge hit and is currently airing its fifth season. In addition, Guadagnino has starred in MTV's "Double Shot at Love" and "Revenge Prank," with Pauly D. Guadagnino has a residency at the world-famous Chippendales Las Vegas, where he serves as the celebrity guest host throughout the year. Off-screen, Guadagnino is a two-time bestselling author. His most recent book, "The Keto Guido Cookbook: Delicious Recipes to Get Healthy and Look Great," led to Guadagnino becoming one of the most known personalities in the Keto/Health and Wellness and fitness communities.

CHERYL LADD - Since her big break as one of the beloved "Charlie's Angels," Cheryl Ladd has enjoyed a career that has traversed television, film, Broadway and beyond. Cheryl currently stars in "A Cowgirl's Song," a new movie from Samuel Goldwyn Films. Cheryl was seen in the Lifetime Christmas movie "Christmas Unwrapped" as part of their It's A Wonderful Lifetime event. She also guest starred on HBO's "Ballers" and Showtime's "Ray Donovan," where she played a fouled mouth version of Vanna White. Next, she starred in FX's "American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson" playing Linell Shapiro, the wife of Simpson's defense attorney Robert Shapiro portrayed by John Travolta. Ladd has also starred in the Hallmark Channel movie "Garage Sale Mysteries: The Wedding Dress" and the faith-based film "The Perfect Wave," opposite Scott Eastwood. Her other credits include Ladd singing and dancing as 'Mrs. Claus' in the Disney musical "The Search For Santa Paws: Santa Pups 2," as well as starring as an unhinged love interest to medical examiner 'Ducky' (David McCallum) on television's #1 rated drama, "NCIS." Ladd starred in the Warner Bros. feature film "Unforgettable" opposite Katherine Heigl, and in the indie feature "Camera Store" opposite John Larroquette and John Rhys-Davies. Moving effortlessly between mediums has always been second nature for Ladd, and the seasoned performer demonstrated such versatility when she starred as 'Annie Oakley' in "Annie Get Your Gun!" on Broadway, realizing a lifelong dream.

JASON LEWIS - Jason Lewis has been entertaining audiences on stage and screen for over 20 years. He is recognized globally for his iconic role as Smith Jerrod, Samantha's (Kim Cattrall) lovable, kind boyfriend on HBO's groundbreaking comedy series "Sex and the City." He reprised his role in both feature films, "Sex and the City" and "Sex and the City 2," directed by Michael Patrick King. Since his breakout role, Lewis has successfully parlayed his stardom into a series of quality film and television roles. Most recently, he starred for two seasons on NBC's supernatural drama series "Midnight, Texas." Some of his television work includes recurring and guest star roles on ABC's family drama series "Brothers & Sisters," "House M.D.," "Animal Kingdom," "The Evidence," "Six Degrees," "CSI," "CSI: Miami," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Charmed." In 2018, Lewis starred in the independent features "Half Magic" with Heather Graham and Angela Kinsey, and the western "Running Wild with Sharon Stone." Other feature work includes psychological thriller "Mr. Brooks," "The Jacket," "The Death and Life of Bobby Z," ''The Attic" and "The Pardon." He also starred as the lead in Kenneth Lonergan's world-renowned stage play "This Is Our Youth" for director Woody Harrelson. Lewis was born and raised in Southern California, and his first major break in entertainment was in fashion as a model. He quickly became one of the top male models and modeled in campaigns and on runways worldwide for some of the most luxurious houses, including Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and GUESS. In addition to acting, he is a passionate philanthropist and has supported many charities over the years. Currently, he is very active with nonprofit organization Best Buddies and has also previously worked with Habitat for Humanity.

SHANGELA - Currently the star of "We're Here" on HBO (which just got picked up for a third season), Shangela is perhaps best known as one of the All Stars from "RuPaul's Drag Race." She was the first person to walk the carpet in drag at the Oscars for her supporting role in "A Star Is Born" and was recently ranked second on Vulture's list of "America's Most Powerful Drag Queens." Other recent acting credits include shows such as "Lovecraft Country," "Station 19," "Katy Keene," "2 Broke Girls," etc.

JORDIN SPARKS - Jordin Sparks is a GRAMMY-nominated, multiplatinum singer/songwriter and actress who won season six of "American Idol" during one of the show's highest-rated seasons. She garnered worldwide attention as the youngest winner, just 17 years old. Her self-titled debut went platinum, selling over 2 million copies worldwide. The first three singles of "Jordin Sparks" went top five, and the album's second single, "No Air," sold four million digital downloads. "No Air" has the distinction of being the third highest-selling single by any "American Idol" contestant and is listed No. 27 in Billboard's Top 40 Biggest Duets of All Time. Sparks' second release, "Battlefield," debuted on the Billboard Album chart at No. 7. Cumulatively, Sparks' popular singles have sold over 10 million digital tracks in the U.S. Today, when she is not hard at work on her next album (slated for release this year), she enjoys spending time with her family, husband Dana Isaiah and their son, DJ.

GABBY WINDEY - Gabby Windey is an American television personality who most recently appeared on ABC's "The Bachelorette" alongside Rachel Recchia as one-half of the series' first-ever co-lead season! Prior to that, she appeared on season 26 of ABC's "The Bachelor." Windey is much more than meets the eye. Not only is she beautiful, but she also has a quick wit, substance, emotional depth and a wealth of lived experiences. Windey worked throughout the pandemic as an ICU nurse at the University of Colorado Hospital, and before that she was a cheerleader for the Denver Broncos. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her beloved goldendoodle, Leonardo.

Friday, August 26, 2022

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law S01E02: Superhuman Law

© Marvel

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law shows us the sort of show it’s really trying to be in its second episode.

by Jeremy Fogelman

At this point it is somewhat widely known that the first episode “flashback” was actually intended to air later in the season, but creative decisions moved it to the beginning to lessen confusion. Now we’re back for She-Hulk Episode 2 where things continue from the hints it started with and the beginning of the sort of potential “superhuman case of the week” conceit the series has the potential for.

Things start off with Titania being called a “Superpowered Influencer” (which honestly is a great idea that should be unpacked further) but that’s all we see of the character for this episode and entirely off-screen. The “She-Hulk” moniker comes from a random sort of person calling Jen that, as per usual -- the Marvel movies do this sort of joke a lot, Bruce mentioned this the last episode the same way about being called “Smart Hulk”.

The new setup is that Jen is fired for being too famous and a distraction -- a liability for the DA’s office who are trying to prosecute criminals. Instead Jen struggles with finding something where people don't care about a superpowered lawyer, but it’s slow going. We get a cute and slightly sweet scene where Jen visits her family and gets some classic family jokey lines from them, like her mom Elaine (Tess Walis Kincaid) wanting Jen to talk to a family friend about being a superhero or her dad Morris (Mark Linn-Baker) asking an Internet nitpick question about what happens to Hawkeye’s arrows.

But this new world is perfect for Jen to get approached by what I suppose is one of the big evil law firms in the MCU, and gets an offer from the former opposing lawyer Holliway (Steve Coulter) to be the face of their new “Superhuman Law Division”. Potentially decent guy and potential love interest “Pug” (Josh Segarra) shows up to be the mild comparison to our old friend Dennis the Sexist from Episode 1, but not much otherwise from the new characters.

© Marvel

Instead we get reintroduced to Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), last seen as the CGI Abomination in Shang-Chi and as himself way back in the second MCU movie The Incredible Hulk. Our new mission is for Jen to get Emil paroled despite having destroyed much of Harlem and likely hurt or killed people. Tim Roth is clearly having a fun time in this ridiculous role, talking about his seven soulmates through the prison pen pal program (seven times fast), and seeming to convince Jen that she might actually be able to defend the guy.

As for the other characters from the episode, Mr. Cliché Dennis continues to be the overly awful dude while Nikki also remains Jen’s “spunky best friend” in those diminutive ways. I liked the family people for the most part, despite the cliched writing, because there was a realness to those performances. It was sweet to see Jen helping out around the house in the end credits too, a decent callback.

We do get a little cameo again from Bruce, who offers some nice words before getting flown away on a spaceship (a setup for a new movie, perhaps?). But the episode does feel pretty thin in general with a sort of “setting things up” vibe after the first episode which did the same thing in a different way. For now it’s breezy enough and Tatiana Masliany is an appealing enough performer to keep my attention, but it’s not really as substantial as a lot of the other MCU shows so far.

I’m more interested in the potential parole case to come than the little setup here, but I suppose that’s a good way to keep some interest for the next episode, assuming they don’t keep slowing things down too much.

Get it on Apple TV

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Warner Bros. & HBO Max Reveal New Movie Release Dates

© Warner Bros. Pictures

While things have been looking dire at Warner Bros. and HBO Max since the merger with Discovery and the complete trashing of Batgirl and the Scoob! sequel, things are starting to look a little less bleak when it come to movies, both theatrical and for the streaming service.

Warner Bros. Pictures has shifted the release dates of several films including two A-list DC Comics films. Needing more time in post-production, the studio is shifting Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom from March 17, 2023 to December 25, 2023 which now brings it in line with the first movie which also opened during the Christmas holiday season. To fill the March 17 spot, Shazam: Fury of the Gods is vacating its December 21, 2022 spot. This takes it out of the way of Avatar: The Way of Water in December, and also gives it the opportunity to play on IMAX screens which would have otherwise been occupied.

In a surprise move, WBD head David Zaslav has revealed some HBO Max films aren't as dead as they first seemed. Case in point - the House Party reboot, which had been pulled from the streamer for which everyone assumed was a Batgirl-like tax write off, will now get a theatrical release on December 9 of this year. In addition, Evil Dead Rise has been dated for April 21, 2023. Warner Bros. has also returned to the Labor Day weekend for a big horror release, setting September 8, 2023 for The Nun 2. The big screen version of Stephen King's Salem's Lot is moving off of April 2023 to a date to be determined.

On the HBO Max side, the streamer has set dates for four holiday films. A Christmas Story Christmas, with original star Peter Billingsley, will drop on November 17, followed by Holiday Harmony and A Christmas Mystery on November 24, and A Hollywood Christmas on December 1.

There is also some interesting movement on the Batgirl front. Multiple sources have confirmed a special screening of the workprint of the film -- which includes temp music and unfinished visual effects, essentially the version that was screened for a test audience to decent results -- will be held on the studio lot this weekend for invited cast and crew so they can at least see a version of their hard work on the big screen. Could a very positive reaction to the screening ultimately make Zaslav change his mind? Will they also screen the Scoob! sequel which was nearly finished, and also recorded the film's score after it was cancelled because the musicians and studio had already been paid for? Probably not, but it would be nice to see.

Friday, August 19, 2022

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law S01E01: A Normal Amount of Rage

© Marvel

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law starts off in a fun if pretty messy way for the first Marvel sitcom.

by Jeremy Fogelman

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law starts with the episode called “A Normal Amount of Rage” and includes constant fourth wall breaking and meta-commentary by the main character Jennifer Walkers (Tatiana Maslany), who literally talks to the camera about being in a TV show and the nature of the genre. The first episode starts where it begins, a typical sort of wrapping narrative conceit.

We first hear words about the obligation of those with power and the nature of consequences if you have it. After that we are introduced to two supporting players, fellow lawyer and clichéd awful chauvinist Dennis (Drew Matthews) and paralegal and Jen’s best friend Nikki (Ginger Gonzaga). Neither of these characters gets much other than the thinnest of characterization, as Dennis is the classic “A women lawyer? Please” type who assuredly exists in real life, while Nikki is the classic “best friend” character and that is entirely it for her character -- except that Ginger Gonzaga is a great comedic performer and thus is severely underutilized here.

The mini-arc of this premiere is how Jen is starting to realize that perhaps she and her new Hulk side (with the on-set She-Hulk reference played by 6’5" Malia Arrayah) must coexist in a way. We find out that the origin of her new Hulk powers is a pure accident -- she was on a road trip with cousin Bruce and his blood accidentally gets “mixed up” with hers. He is bleeding due to a powers inhibitor and apparently she gets Hulkified due to the mysterious powers of this blood, I suppose.

© Marvel

After that they have a series of scenes about Bruce helping Jen get more acclimated, but she’s already different, not for any reason that they know about, but it’s true that their exposure happened quite differently. She doesn’t have the alter ego of the Hulk at all and is easily acclimating to the new powers, but she doesn’t really want to stay that way. Bruce’s perspective is the whole “great power, great responsibility” angle that they have to help protect the world, but Jen prefers her legal approach to it (smaller scale, less chance of breaking buildings, I would imagine).

This leads to a pretty quick escalation to a fight between them which is fun if oddly rushed, both in how it started and how it ends. There are a few unsubtle lines about her being different because she’s a woman, and a few “your mileage may vary” lines about Bing Bong, and Captain America being a virgin. That part is tied into the end tag, where Bruce, annoyed, corrects his cousin that Steve did indeed lose his virginity during his USO tour, which makes perfect sense and has long been suspected and debated upon.

It doesn’t really bother me one way or another, but I was a little annoyed by the weird, blatant Cheetos inclusion. The rapport between Bruce and Jen is mostly decent, at least at an actor level, but there was definitely a lot of unfunny lines and there was a weird thing I noticed where Mark Ruffalo’s dubbed Hulk voice sounded a bit off. He didn’t have that issue as a human, nor does Tatiana Masliany as her Hulk form, so perhaps it’ll be fixed in the release version.

© Marvel

After all that, we arrive back in the courtroom where human Jen prepares to deliver a “lawyer show” to us with another fourth wall break. Then suddenly someone attacks -- we later find out it’s Titania, played by Jameela Jamil without a British accent for some reason (I can’t imagine why, but maybe it’ll be explained later). After a quick, awkwardly filmed fight scene, we close to credits and get that “amusing if not funny” end tag.

It’s all a very setup heavy sort of episode, and it’s fun if not particularly great. I was able to see the first four episodes in advance, so I do have some thoughts about the upcoming ones that I can’t speak on yet, but I can say I found them mixed too. But comedy is pretty subjective and Tatiana Maslany is a winning personality, so I wouldn’t be surprised if other people liked this episode more than I did. Not like I hated it, just a little underwhelmed.

Get it on Apple TV

HOTCHKA Daily News - August 18, 2022


★Hulu's Ramy will return for its ten-episode third season on September 30.

★Kirby Howell-Baptiste will star opposite Colin Farrell in the upcoming Apple TV+ series Sugar. Details of the plot and characters are tightly under wraps.

★Netflix will be reviving the much loved competition series The Mole, which aired for five seasons on ABC between 2001 and 2008 and featured Anderson Cooper as one of its early hosts. The 10-episode season will launch in the Fall.

★The Sarah Paulson/Annaleigh Ashford horror thriller Dust has added The Bear's Ebon Moss-Bachrach to the cast. The film will stream on Hulu in the US, with additional global release plans to be announced.

★Paramount+ will stream a live Taylor Hopkins Tribute Concert September 3 from Wembley Stadium in London beginning at 11:30 AM. Pluto TV will stream the event internationally, and MTV's YouTube channel will stream globally. The full concert will then be available On Demand worldwide on Paramount+ September 3, and on Pluto TV and MTV VOD the week of September 5. In addition, CBS will air highlights from the concert on September 3 at 10:00 PM. The one-hour special will also broadcast on MTV around the world on September 3 starting in Latin America followed by other international territories on September 4. An extended two-hour compilation will then air worldwide in September. Hopkins was the Foo Fighters drummer who died in March at age 50.

★Roku Originals will serve up another iteration of The Great American Baking Show based on the classic UK series. UK judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will be in the famed tent with hosts Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry. Production is currently underway in the UK, with six one-hour episodes set to stream in 2023.

Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn will not be appearing in the sixth or seventh seasons of the Netflix series. She missed the Season 5 reunion episode claiming she had COVID, and Andy Cohen pressed her on Watch What Happens Live about rumors that she faked her illness, as she was seen two days later shooting a campaign. Quinn clarified she had 'tested positive' to do the shoot, as in negative for COVID. Quinn said she is now focused on her new business RealOpen.

★Paramount+ will honor Nichelle Nichols during the annual Star Trek Day with a special video presentation to 'honor the impact and influence' of Nichols. Star Trek Day will stream live beginning at Noon Pacific Time on Thursday, September 8.

★Oscar winner Ariana DeBose will star in the Blumhouse psychological thriller House of Spoils for Amazon Prime Video. DeBose will play an ambitious chef who opens her first restaurant, a farm-to-table affair on a remote estate. She soon battles kitchen chaos, a dubious investor, crushing self doubts and the powerful spirit of the estate’s previous owner threatening to sabotage her at every turn.


★Kelly Thiebaud will be reprising the role of Eva Vasquez as she returns to ABC's Station 19 for the sixth season. Thiebaud last appeared during the show's third season.

Obi-Wan Kenobi's Simone Kessell will be joining the second season of Showtime's Yellowjackets as the adult Lottie Matthews. The teen version of the character was played by Courtney Eaton, who has been promoted to a series regular.

★Gwyneth Paltrow will appear as a guest Shark on ABC's Shark Tank, which is entering its 14th season. The season premiere will air live on September 23.

★The second season of Ryan Murphy's Feud, which will tell the tale of how Truman Capote's circle of friends turned on him after he published excerpts from his unfinished novel Answered Prayer, is adding Tom Hollander, Diane Lane and Calista Flockhart to the already announced Naomi Watts and Chloë Sevigny. Hollander will take on the role of Capote.

★HLN's How It Really Happened with Jesse L. Martin returns for its seventh season on Sunday, August 28 at 9:00 PM with a special two-hour episode that looks at the baffling case of The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The season will include another two-hour episode that explores the tragic death of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant.

★Discovery Channel's Tales from the Explorers Club hosted by Josh Gates will premiere Wednesday, August 31 at 9:00 PM. Each uniquely themed episode will focus on historic Explorers Club members whose daring accomplishments changed the world. Episodes will also stream on Discovery+.

The Voice has announced the new season's team of Battle Advisors. Team Legend's advisor is Jazmine Sullivan. Working with Team Camila Cabello is Charlie Puth. Team Blake will have Jimmie Allen, and Team Gwen will have Sean Paul. The season premieres Monday, September 19 at 8:00 PM.

★Mattel's Pictionary game show will premiere in Syndication nationally on Monday, September 12. Check local listings for time and channel. Jerry O'Connell will host, with an all-star line-up of celebrity guest captains on each show including Amanda Seales, Loni Love, Cristela Alonzo, Ross Mathews, Amanda Kloots, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Natalie Morales, and more.


★Ving Rhames, Nicholas Hoult, Hannah Waddingham & Cecily Strong have joined the cast of the new Garfield movie with Chris Pratt and Samuel L. Jackson.

★Patricia Arquette's feature directorial debut, Gonzo Girl, in which she will star along with Camila Morrone and Willem Dafoe, has added Ray Nicholson, Elizabeth Lail, Leila George & Rick Springfield to the cast.


★The Tony Award-winning revival of Take Me Out will be getting a revival at the Schoenfeld Theatre beginning October 27. The first revival's stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jesse Williams will return to their roles, with further casting to be announced.


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THE MIGHTY ONES | Season 3 Trailer


Abbott Elementary Returns Wednesday Sept 21!


Out of Office | Official Trailer


Kiddie Kai | Official Trailer | discovery+


Buy My House | Official Trailer | Netflix


A Friend of The Family | Official Teaser | Peacock Original


Heartbreak High | Official Trailer | Netflix


Secret Origins of the Batwheels Official Trailer | Batwheels | HBO Max Family

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

HOTCHKA Daily News Late Edition - August 16, 2022


★Peacock's The Rich Eisen Show is making the jump to Roku in September. Beginning August 22, the show will be available on Eisen's YouTube channel.

★Romantic comedy Meet Cute, starring Kaley Cuoco and Pete Davidson, will make its exclusive streaming debut on Peacock Wednesday, September 21. The story of Sheila (Cuoco) and Gary (Davidson). When they meet, it’s love at first sight – until we realize their magical date wasn’t fate at all. Sheila’s got a time machine, and they’ve been falling in love over and over again.

★Action-comedy The Family Plan, starring Mark Wahlberg, has landed at Apple. The Family Plan tells the story of a suburban dad who must take his family on the run when his past catches up to him.

★Amazon's new baking competition Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge has found a host, Tamara Mowry-Housley. Pastry chef Clarice Lam and cake designer/pastry chef Joshua John Russell are also joining the series as judges. Some of America’s best bakers to step into the world of Dr. Seuss. Throughout the show, contestants will be tasked with making amazing confectionary creations tied to beloved Seuss characters like The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch and more. In each episode, bakers will be given a challenge based on Seuss characters and stories. Their creations will then be judged based on taste, creativity, and storytelling.

★Netflix released a first look at the Addams Family from its upcoming Tim Burton series Wednesday, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jenna Ortega, Luis Guzmán, and Isaac Ordonez. The series is a sleuthing, supernaturally infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years as a student at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday’s attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart a monstrous killing spree that has terrorized the local town, and solve the supernatural mystery that embroiled her parents 25 years ago — all while navigating her new and very tangled relationships at Nevermore. Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday in two live-action Addams Family films, will appear in the series in an as yet undisclosed role.




★Jeremy Paxman, longtime presenter of BBC's quiz show University Challenge is stepping down after 29 years. Paxman will tape his last episode this Autumn, with his final series airing from August until next Summer.

★Former Dancing With the Stars co-host Samantha Harris will host the second season of GSN's Tug of Words, which will return this Fall. Harris replaces first season host Ahmad Rashad.

★Showtime will air Alan Cumming's comedy special Club Cumming Presents A Queer Comedy Extravaganza Friday, September 2 at 10:00 PM. Cumming hosts this cabaret-style gathering featuring seven up-and-coming queer comedians that represent not only the diversity of the queer spectrum, but also of comedy styling - from stand-up to characters to musical performances. The 75-minute special features Joe Castle Baker, Julia Shiplett, duo Zach Teague & Drew Lausch, Nori Reed, Pat Regan, and Larry Owens.


★Robert De Niro is set to star in Barry Levinson's mob drama Wise Guys for Warner Brothers. Wise Guys is a period piece tells the story of Vito Genovese and Frank Costello, a pair of Italian Americans running two separate crime families during the mid-20th century. Genovese tried and failed to assassinate Costello in 1957, though the latter wound up taking his leave from the mob after being injured during the attempt on his life. Sources are saying De Niro will be playing both roles.

★With the Fall movie schedule being a bit sparse this year, Disney is moving David O. Russell's Amsterdam from November 4 to October 7. Disney is also moving the film out of the way of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which opens November 11. Amsterdam stars Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, Robert De Niro, John David Washington, Chris Rock, Alessandro Nivola, Andrea Riseborough, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Rock, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Shannon, Mike Myers, Taylor Swift, Zoe Saldaña and Rami Malek, and follows three friends who witness a murder, become suspects themselves, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history.


★Director Wolfgang Petersen died August 16 at the age of 81. He had been battling pancreatic cancer. Peterson began his career in Germany in 1965 with short films, TV movies and documentaries to his credit, but he broke though to global audiences with 1981's Das Boot, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. In 1985 he reworked the film into a three-part TV mini-series, but the success of the film had Hollywood calling. In 1984 he directed what has become a fantasy cult favorite, The NeverEnding Story, which was followed by another cult film, the sci-fi drama Enemy Mine. Petersen went on to direct several action film hits including In the Line of Fire, Outbreak, Air Force One, The Perfect Storm, Troy and Poseidon. His last credit is 2016's Vier gegen die Bank, his first German language film since Das Boot.


War On The Diamond - Official Trailer


Call Jane | Official Trailer | In Theaters October 28


Sidney — Official Trailer | Apple TV+


World of Firebuds | Trailer | Firebuds | @Disney Junior


Last Light | Official Trailer | Peacock Original


Your Honor Season 2 (2022) First Look | SHOWTIME


Preview: What Really Happened To Richard Simmons | TMZ INVESTIGATES

Monday, August 15, 2022

HOTCHKA Daily News - August 15, 2022


★More familiar faces have been added to the Natasha Lyonne Peacock series Poker Face. Joining the previously announced extensive cast are Ron Perlman, Nick Nolte, Charles Melton (Riverdale) and Tim Blake Nelson.

★Shudder has inked a new deal with The Boulet Brothers to expand the Dragula franchise with a new season of the competition series, a spin-off series, and a special to air next year. The first project is a full-season spinoff series based on their reality competition series The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula that has already finished principal filming and will debut this fall. The series’ format, content and cast are still being kept under wraps.


★Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures are going into production on a new Saw movie which is scheduled to hit theaters on October 27, 2023. Plot details are currently under wraps and no cast announcements have been made as of yet.

★Viola Davis will be joining the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes as Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the head gamemaker of the 10th annual Hunger Games.

black-ish creator Kenya Barris will write and direct a modern day reimagining of The Wizard of Oz for Warner Brothers. Creative details about the project are being kept under wraps for now.

★Neal McDonough and Casey Cott will star in football drama Black Spartans, which explores the explosive era of the mid-1960s where social upheaval paved the way for a new order in college football. Jones’ first feature tells the story of the first fully integrated college football team, inspired by the Michigan State Spartans team, coached by Duffy Daugherty, which forever changed the face of the sport. Studio and release plans are not known at this time. Production will begin this Fall in Atlanta.


★Robyn Griggs, best known for her roles on soaps Another World and One Life To Live, died August 13 at the age of 49. Griggs had been battling cervical cancer. Griggs appeared on six episodes of One Life To Live in 1991, and then moved to Another World in 1993 for two years. Prior to her soap roles she appeared on the Nickelodeon program Rated K, which featured young people reviewing films. Her post soap credits include mostly low budget/indie films including Zombiegeddon, Severe Injuries, Dead Clowns, Final Curtain, 2020: An American Nightmare, The Absence of Light, Slashers Gone Wild!, Shadows in the Woods,October Moon 2: November Son, Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation, Hellweek and Joey Hollywood's Movie Night 2.

★Denise Dowse died August 13 at the age of 64. Dowse earlier in the week had been in a coma after contracting meningitis. Dowse had a long television career, making her debut in the 1989 series Almost There!. Other TV credits include ALF, Jake and the Fatman, Roc, Full House, California Dreams, Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, Touched by an Angel, Men Behaving Badly, Tracey Takes On, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Built to Last, Chicago Hope, NewsRadio, Step by Step, ER, Sister, Sister, Moesha, The West Wing, Becker, The Practice, The Drew Carey Show, Judging Amy, Without a Trace, Dragnet, Girlfriends, The Guardian, Everwood, Threshold, The Bernie Mac Show, Charmed, All of Us, Law & Order, Shark, Monk, House, Bones, Criminal Minds, Rizzoli & Isles, Secrets and Lies, Castle, Murder in the First, The X-Files, Imposters, Mr. Mercedes, 9-1-1, Good Trouble, New Amsterdam, The Resident, Grey's Anatomy, Stumptown, and Snowfall. Her best remembered roles were Vice Principal Yvonne Teasley on Beverly Hills 90210 and Dr. Rhonda Pine on Insecure.

Dowse will make her feature film directorial debut with Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, which is currently in post-production. The film will star Ledisi, Keith David, Corbin Bleu, Vanessa Williams and Janet Hubert. Dowse made her film acting debut in 1990's Coldfire. Other credits include Sneakers, Out for Blood, Merchant of Evil, Bio-Dome, Theodore Rex, Starship Troopers, Pleasantville, A Civil Action, Requiem for a Dream, Dr. Doolittle 2, Killer Rats, The Seat Filler, Ray, Coach Carter, Guess Who, Reign Over Me, Fly Away, The Call, Please Stand By, A Stone Cold Christmas, Loners, Fatale, and A Cloud So High.


Life By Ella — Official Trailer | Apple TV+


The Class - Official Trailer (2022)


Anikulapo | Official Trailer | Netflix


I Used to be Famous | Official Trailer | Netflix


Bananaland Teaser | ESPN+ original series


END OF THE ROAD | Official Trailer | Netflix