Thursday, September 24, 2020

Henry Golding is Actually British

 


You can be one of the most accomplished and talented actors in the world and some people will still judge you by your looks and make generalizations about your race:

Everyone thinks they know who Henry Golding is: handsome, plummy Home Counties accent, clean-cut star of Crazy Rich Asians, Last Christmas and Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen. But ask the Malaysian-British actor how he sees himself, and you’ll get a foggier image.

“Being half Malaysian and half British, it’s like, what really are you classified as?” he says via Zoom from his lockdown home in Los Angeles. “People don’t see you as fully British for sure; but when I go back to Malaysia, I can’t speak the language and nobody over there feels as though I’m Malaysian, so we’re kind of in this limbo.”

There are so many levels of racism at work in the world that it would be impossible to list all of them here. I think what Golding has done is redefine who you can be and what you can do in terms of acting and choosing roles in films. It would be a shame if we didn't appreciate his ability to expand our definition of what it takes to be a movie star.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Idris Elba is Allergic to Horses


I had no idea people could be allergic to horses:

Idris Elba trained to ride horses to get into character as an estranged father in Concrete Cowboys — despite being allergic to the animals.

 "In defense, I'm allergic to horses, OK. I couldn't see what I was doing, I couldn't breathe," Elba said as fellow cast members ribbed him about his horseback skills during a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday.

Elba and Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin star in writer-director Ricky Staub's drama Concrete Cowboy, which has its world premiere on Sunday night in Toronto and is produced by Lee Daniels.

The father and son drama, set in North Philadelphia, portrays a troubled teen, played by McLaughlin, torn between a life of crime and the urban-cowboy lifestyle of his estranged father (Elba).

While hardly a horse whisperer, The Suicide Squad star said he learned to ride horseback to ensure realism for his role as an urban cowboy. "It goes beyond just learning how to ride a horse. Very quickly, you have to have a bond with the horse," Elba recalled.

I mean, it makes sense because of the hair and all that, but I didn't know people could be allergic to larger animals like horses. I've never heard of having a horse allergy, so many that's what surprised me about this.

Idris Elba is one of those artists who is going to work his way through a problem, whether it's the accent, the dialogue, or whatever gets thrown in his way. There's a reason why he's so good at what he does and it comes down to a work ethic that is second to none.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Susan Sarandon is Voting for Joe Biden


Here's all you need to know:

The energy used to shame people should be put into phone banking & whatever else will build enthusiasm for Biden’s presidency. I will be voting for Biden as a vote against fascism

There you have it. Susan Sarandon is finally going to do the right thing and vote like an adult. Good for her. Now, we can all safely go back to ignoring everything she has to say.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Don't Wear This to Go Hiking


This is everything that is wrong with celebrity endorsements and all that.

If you go hiking, carry water, carry supplies, wear loose clothing that can protect you, and don't wear a spandex onesie.

That is all.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Keep Your Kids Away From Jerry and Becki Falwell


These people are freaky and should not be around anyone's kids:
A former Liberty University student says Becki Falwell, the wife of the university’s then-President Jerry Falwell Jr., jumped into bed with him and performed oral sex on him while he stayed over at the Falwell home after a band practice with her eldest son in 2008.
The student was 22 at the time of the encounter, near the start of Liberty’s fall semester. He said she initiated the act, and he went along with it. But despite his rejection of further advances, he said, Falwell continued pursuing him, offering him gifts and engaging in banter through Facebook messages.
“She was the aggressor,” he said.
The messages, screenshots of which were provided by the former student to POLITICO, suggest a flirtatious relationship that went beyond what might be expected of a mother communicating with her son’s bandmate.

Life in the Falwell household seems like one of the bad sequels to American Pie but with worse hair, more sex and fewer ethical quandaries. How is it that these people are still able to hold onto all of the money they took from the university that Jerry Falwell senior founded as a way of indoctrinating the youth of America into his bizarre version of a religious and righteous America?

I have to admit that I've always been immune to being shamed by someone else's grasp of "family values." I remember when that was a thing in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was as if hypocrites were running things and it turns out they were.

Nobody should let the Falwells hang around with their adult children. This is something out of a bad novel full of horny cougars and shame-based men.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

This Week in Out of Control Penises


Why the hangdog face, sport?
Late last year, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy wrote President Donald Trump asking for a favor on behalf of his appointed attorney general, Kevin Clarkson.
In a Dec. 2 letter, the governor asked Trump to help Clarkson’s wife and stepson overcome immigration obstacles in order to leave Colombia and join him in Alaska.
“Over the past year, I have found Attorney General Clarkson to be a wise and trusted legal advisor, a man of exceptional character, and a devoted husband and father,” the governor told Trump. Before being appointed in late 2018, Clarkson had been a champion of Christian conservative views on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.
Forget all that bullshit about Jerry Falwell Jr. Our man in Alaska is the horniest dude in practically all of Republican state politics that we know about right this very moment:
Over a 27-day span, the attorney general asked the woman to come to his house at least 18 times, often punctuating the messages with kiss emoji and comments about the much-younger woman’s beauty.
The attorney general texted the woman at all hours of the day and evening, sometimes from his state office, until she sent him a message in early April asking him to respect professional boundaries and saying she doesn’t accept late-night calls on her personal phone.
On March 16, Clarkson wrote to the state employee: “You’re beautiful ... sweet dreams. 😘 Sorry to bother you.” The day after that he texted, “So what are you doing sweet lady?” And the day after that: “Always nice to see you beautiful lady ... You have to find a way to say yes and come over and let me cook for you.”

Damn, that's horny. And pathetic. Oh, and hypocritical as well because no one should condemn others for their "lack of family values" when they're trying to screw around on the side.

Mr. Clarkson probably lives in that version of our society where the magical communications that go into and out of that little black mirror on his lap are not saved, recorded, archived and databased according to who sent them and when they were sent. He probably felt like the young woman to whom he was not married to would "be cool" about all of this and "give in eventually."

Well, instead of that fantasy, she sought assistance with her problem and now the State of Alaska is probably going to need a new horny Republican to run things in the AG office. They're probably lining up right now as they frantically delete everything on their phone.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

She Drives Republicans Crazy


Chances are, you live in a part of the country where Alyssa Milano has brought her efforts to find social justice. She is a celebrity activist of the highest order, and she makes Republicans absolutely batshit crazy:
The real reason the right-wing activists seemingly have a case of Milano-derangement syndrome is because she does what they fear the most. She learns about issues, hugs and wrestles with ideas until she forms her own opinions that are untethered to dogma, and then she confidently speaks her mind. She doesn’t shy away from her power, but she does not avoid being vulnerable. Most of all, Milano grounds her arguments in facts and insight rather than conspiracy theories and innuendo. Alyssa Milano is the kind of citizen-activist who embraces the complexity of not only the “what” part of our political debates, but also the “why” behind them.
The fact is, Milano frustrates her critics because, despite her celebrity status, she is real. Like much of America, she is sometimes angry. Other times she is optimistic. She is on a quest to learn how to change the world for the better, and then she takes her best shot at making it happen. Her detractors might lament the so called “fake news,” but as hard as they try to paint her as a fraud, there is nothing fake about Alysa Milano. She is real, she is ready, and she is relentless. And to those who constantly attack her, that’s not a lie.
I think there is more to this than simply being real. To have a substantive impact on issues, you have to advocate for them in a relentless manner in this day and age. It's not enough to Tweet a few times at a problem and Milano usually does more than just parachute in and adopt a cause. She will put her feet on the ground.

It was a shock, not too long ago, to have her in San Antonio, for example. There was no real compelling reason for her to be at the Greyhound bus station and no celebrity project to promote. She showed up there in order to take up the plight of the thousands of people being dumped at the bus station by the Trump regime. They were handing detained immigrants a ticket and they were unloading them onto the kindness and generosity of the people of San Antonio. This, in turn, overwhelmed the social services and charities that were trying to assist immigrants on their journey to legal status.
"Just went to St. Mary's Greyhound Station in San Antonio," she shared with her fans and followers on Dec. 11. "This is where ICE drops off asylum seekers when they're released from detention. @RAICESTEXAS volunteers help 60 families a day to make sure they have the ability to get to their destination."
Milano showed up and did what she could to help. That lack of hypocrisy is what animates the right wing. They know they are the real hypocrites and when they see a high profile person who does not have that same level of conflict of interest, they know they have to tear them down.

Good luck with that.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Dolly Parton For the Win


It's always refreshing to see someone act like an informed adult in public:
On the topic of BLM, the 74-year-old proved that she’s definitely aligned with the times and fully onboard with the protests that have carried on since George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police. “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” said Parton. “And of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” The Queen of Nashville has officially spoken.
Parton also engaged in a discussion about how racist monuments and other antiquated Confederacy statues have been taken down in the last few months. The iconic artist actually did something similar in 2018, when she renamed her “Dixie Stampede” Civil War-themed attraction to “Dolly Parton’s Stampede”. Although she was clearly ahead of her time — The Dixie Chicks only changed their name this past June — Parton admitted that she was guilty of “innocent ignorance” back then.
She spoke further on her decision to rename the attraction:
"When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it The Stampede.’ As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
Elsewhere in the sprawling profile, Parton makes it clear she has no plans to slow down or exit the entertainment industry anytime soon. (In fact, earlier today she announced a new Christmas album featuring contributions from Miley Cyrus, Willie Nelson, Michael Bublé, Jimmy Fallon, and more.) Even so, Parton said she still wants to get her estate and her will in order just in case tragedy strikes — mostly to ease the burden on her family.
“I would not want to leave that mess to somebody else,” commented Parton. “A word to all the other artists out there: If you haven’t made those provisions, do that. You don’t want to leave that mess to your family for people to have to fight over. You need to take care of that yourself, even if it’s a pain in the ass — and it is.” As anyone that’s followed the music industry knows, an artist’s death can often lead to plenty of squabbles over ownership and rights.
There is no compelling reason for her to stick her neck out like this. The Dollywood amusement park  relies on a clientele that is mostly Southern and probably sympathetic to Trump and to right wing politics. Where it sits makes it a destination for a significant number of visitors and it employs a vast number of people who would be hard pressed to find comparable work. These people are being taken care of because of Dolly's generosity and entrepreneurial spirit.

For her to go out and speak her mind against her own business interests is brave, in and of itself. But here's the thing--Dolly is such an icon, she may be able to change a few hearts and minds over to the idea that we really do need to be decent and understanding of the feelings of others.

In this whole entire country right now, she might be one of a handful of people who could get people to moderate their views and come over to her way of thinking.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Kanye the Ratfucker

 

Kanye West is allowing himself to be used for the ratfucking of Joe Biden's campaign to restore democracy in America. We have normalized this sort of thing in the Trump era. Every dirty trick, every attempt to suppress the vote, and every possible tactic is being employed to steal the election. West is letting himself be dragged into this, although there have been indications that he is mentally ill and is being used as a pawn.

If he is being taken advantage of, then where is his family?

If he is serious about running for president, why now and why only in states that Trump needs to win in order to remain in office?

Does anyone think it will even work? 

This is what's happening with the paperwork being filed to get West on the ballot in Wisconsin:

Clearly, they're just making things up. This is Ratfucking 101 - falsify everything, get the spoiler on the ballot.

I mean, this is what appears to be happening. We need to acknowledge that if it wasn't West then it would be someone else. What a disgrace.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Ellen's Brand is Dead


Ellen DeGeneres is not going to get away with being mean to people anymore:
Actors Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson have joined the chorus of critics taking aim at Ellen DeGeneres and her show. Dozens of ex-staffers have come forward with allegations that the show was a hostile workplace—and now celebrities are chiming in. Garrett, best known for his role as brother Robert Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, tweeted out a Variety story about the scandal with the comment: “Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge.” Then Thompson, of Back to the Future and Caroline in the City, replied to a People magazine tweet about Garrett’s jab. “True story. It is,” she wrote. DeGeneres has apologized for the atmosphere behind the scenes of her show.
What used to keep people in line was fear, and celebrities are now being released from the possibility of being blacklisted from Ellen's show. This is a huge development because maintaining the viability of promoting various projects is the lifeblood of being an actor in Hollywood. If you can't appear on the crap shows that publicize As that fear subsides, you'll see a rush of stories from people who saw, firsthand, the abject cruelty of the environment around Ellen's long running "feel good" talk show.

It sounds like it was a shitshow of epic proportions. If these stories are true, then the toxic environment that surrounded Ellen is going to be one for the ages. We're talking law suits, career-ending legal settlements, and a cancellation that will send shockwaves through the industry. If anyone else is running their show like this, then they're next. Once you take out someone as big as Ellen, everyone else can be taken down as well.

The idea that DeGeneres is going to "salvage" something here is laughable. She could make a comeback. That's hard to do when you're sued by dozens of people who were horribly mistreated.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard


Hollywood is probably going to make three or four movies out of this debacle:
A lawyer for British tabloid The Sun said Monday that Johnny Depp abused Amber Heard during their relationship, committing acts of violence fueled by misogyny and unleashed by addiction to alcohol and drugs.
Attorney Sasha Wass was summing up at Depp’s libel case against the newspaper over an article alleging he physically abused ex-wife Heard — a high-stakes celebrity trial in which the reputations of both former spouses are at stake.
Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the newspaper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, at the High Court in London over an April 2018 article, which called him a “wife-beater.” He strongly denies being violent to Heard.
The case is due to end Tuesday, but judge Andrew Nicol is not expected to deliver his ruling for several weeks.
In closing arguments, Wass said the newspaper’s defense “is one of truth -- namely that Mr. Depp did indeed beat his wife.” Wass said there was “overwhelming evidence of domestic violence or wife-beating behavior, cataloged over a three-year period.”
This is one of those tragedies where you just don't want to spend any time dealing with any of the people involved. It's off putting, to say the least.

How does Depp still have a career after this? Well, he's been very successful in making Heard look bad. And how does she keep working? Well, she's managed to elevate her profile and has shared extensive evidence of abuse. Depending on who you're biased in favor of, she's either a demon or a saint.

I will I hadn't heard of either of them.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Legacy of John Wayne


Adjusting the legacy of John Wayne is probably overdue. I don't think we can remove him completely from the history of film, but I do think we need to take steps to put him and his controversial views in their proper context:
"Conversations about systemic racism in our cultural institutions along with the recent global, civil uprising by the Black Lives Matter Movement require that we consider the role our School can play as a change maker in promoting antiracist cultural values and experiences," Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Evan Hughes said in a Friday announcement to the film school community.

"Therefore, it has been decided that the Wayne Exhibit will be removed."

The exhibit will instead be moved to the Cinematic Arts Library, Hughes wrote, where it can be placed "within the proper archival and research context" for continued education on Wayne's role in film history.
While the statement did not directly address the controversy surrounding Wayne, his legacy has recently been re-examined, especially after a 1971 interview with Playboy resurfaced and went viral last year. In it, Wayne espoused derogatory views of African Americans, Native Americans and films with gay characters.
"I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility," the actor said. "I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people."
You could add his comments and his views to the exhibit as a way to put Wayne in the proper historical context as it relates to his place in American history. I think you have to include the fact that this was common to the entertainment industry. To me, that would help explain that he wasn't the only person who had these horrible views and opinions. There is ample evidence that he was no different than Ronald Reagan in terms of how he viewed minorities.

And while Wayne and Reagan had vastly different careers, they were part of a generation that had an enormous impact on the cultural history of the country. Providing context is probably the most helpful way of explaining who Wayne was and why it's important that we understand his contributions.

I don't have a problem changing the name of the airport, either. We could rename that and we could definitely rename Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Ed Henry Has Been Fired



Ed Henry was considered a "rising star" at Fox News which translates, loosely, into "a human being with hair who does not drool all over himself when lying to the audience." He has now been fired for sexual misconduct:

Fox News said Wednesday that Ed Henry, one of its top news anchors, has been fired after an investigation into an allegation was leveled by a former employee.

"On Thursday, June 25, we received a complaint about Ed Henry from a former employee's attorney involving willful sexual misconduct in the workplace years ago," Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace wrote in an internal memo.

The executives said that an outside law firm was immediately brought in to investigate the claims.
"‪Ed was suspended the same day and removed from his on-air responsibilities pending investigation," they said. "Based on investigative findings, Ed has been terminated."‬

Until last week, Henry was a rising star at Fox, responsible for co-anchoring three hours of morning news coverage on the network.
Henry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Fox News is probably budgeting thirty or forty million dollars in sexual harassment payouts per year right now, so this is proactive and defensive in nature.

How bad of a human being do you have to be to get fired by Fox News AFTER they cleaned house and fired a bunch of creeps in the aftermath of the whole Roger Ailes debacle? Henry had to have done something not just shocking but deviant in nature as well. Holy crap.

And yes, it is news when someone gets fired after working at an organization that was forced to pay out an untold amount of serious money because it tolerated a culture of rampant sexual misconduct. You would think that Henry would have dialed it back a bit but, no. Once an abuser, always an abuser.

The good news for Henry is that he can now join the Trump regime or its campaign and continue to do God's work on behalf of the conservative movement.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

30 Rock and Blackface


I support this, even if I don't completely understand it:
Four episodes of 30 Rock, including two featuring Jane Krakowski’s Jenna character in blackface, are being removed from subscription streaming services Hulu and Amazon Prime and have also been made unavailable for sale on purchase platforms such as iTunes and Google Play. The episodes, which will no longer air on traditional TV either, were pulled at the request of NBCUniversal executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. A source tells Vulture the four episodes, some of which have already vanished, should be gone by the end of this week.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” Fey wrote in a letter to the platforms that streamed or sold 30 Rock. “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request.”

You have to adapt to the times in which we live. I totally get that. I watched every episode of 30 Rock and I loved the show. When these episodes aired, there was no intention of advancing any kind of racist agenda. It was intended to mock anyone who thought going out and performing in blackface was acceptable or reasonable. It was always the intention of the show to highlight just how awful the "Jenna" character was in terms of being self-centered and delusional.

There was little, if any, outcry when these episodes aired, but that's not the standard that should apply. Those sentiments should not hurt people, and so I can understand why they're being pulled. I don't think this should extend to any kind of condemnation for the people who made this because I just don't see how they weren't advancing a hateful agenda when they made these episodes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Danny Masterson



Daniel Masterson was charged on Wednesday by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office with raping three women.

The alleged separate incidents occurred between 2001 and 2003, according to authorities.

The That '70s Show star was charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. The case was filed for warrant Tuesday, according to the district attorney's office. Masterson was arrested Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., according to jail records. His bond was set at $3.3 million. He bonded out at 2:44 p.m., according to jail records.

Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001. The actor is alleged to have raped a 28-year-old woman in April 2003. And, sometime between October and December of 2003, according to authorities, the actor is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman who he had invited to his Hollywood Hills home.

The district attorney's office noted it declined to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other investigations, one due to insufficient evidence and the other based on the statute of limitations for the crime alleged.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Masterson's lawyer said his client was innocent.

“We’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify," Tom Mesereau said. “Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out. The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”

Los Angeles police began investigating Masterson over sexual-assault claims in 2017.

There shouldn't even be a statute of limitations for rape, let alone a delay of this many years in getting to the truth. Masterson could have raped countless women in the time it took to get us from 2001 to today.

There was a lawsuit filed in 2019 and Masterson was accused of raping incapacitated or drugged women as well as repeatedly raping and abusing a former girlfriend. What stands out in this particular incident is that Masterson has been accused of being helped in his defense by the Church of Scientology.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Why Does Daniel Radcliffe Have to Say This?


Why does Daniel Radcliffe have to ride to the rescue of J.K. Rowling?
Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the "Harry Potter" franchise, on Monday responded to franchise creator J.K. Rowling's controversial tweets about gender identity, directly addressing fans who may have felt pain reading the author's comments, which some labeled as transphobic.
Rowling, who has often come under fire by the large Potter fandom for her social media posts, sparked backlash over the weekend after mocking a headline about "people who menstruate."
"'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," she tweeted on Saturday. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Shortly after, the author's name was trending on Twitter, with many accusing her of transphobia -- which she's been accused of before.
Rowling is a grown woman who has repeatedly taken shots at trans people.  She has some emotional need to share her distaste for trans people with a vast global audience. She's done this again and again, and it speaks to her state of mind that, when she does it, there is no real apology or acknowledgement of the pain she is causing others.

Radcliffe should not have to defend her or try to maintain the respectability of the Harry Potter franchise. It would probably be wiser for him to create some distance between himself and Rowling and do what he can behind the scenes to let her know that she needs to get help for her issues. Barring that, it's not his responsibility to cushion the blows that she rains down.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The French Dispatch


There are only a handful of films that I really wanted to see this year, and The French Dispatch is at the top of the list.
The message from the Cannes Film Festival is: Corona or not, the show must go on. The iconic French festival, which was as scheduled to run May 12-23 but was forced to cancel its physical event due to the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday unveiled its lineup for Cannes 2020, a selection of films that will carry the Cannes brand to screen at other events around the world.
The Cannes 2020 program includes many of the year's buzziest art house and indie titles — among them Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch, Naomi Kawase's True Mothers, François Ozon's Summer of '85, ADN aka DNA, directed by, and starring French filmmaker Maïwenn (Polisse) and Thomas Vinterberg’s pro-drinking drama Another Round. (Scroll down for the full line-up).

Don't take this to mean that it is the only thing I wanted to see. I suppose there are a few others, we don't get a Wes Anderson movie like this one often enough.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just delaying the release of movies that are already made but it is also delaying the filming and production of movies that had been planned. And we all know how things fall apart--funding, whatever and what have you dries up when there is a delay. Add to that the struggles of everyone who works on films and you have a perfect storm for when we might have to settle for re-releases and encore presentations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Put Lisa Guerrero on The View


I would love to see Lisa Guerrero take on anyone who disagrees with her on The View.


Monday, May 11, 2020

I Am Scottish Forever

Friday, May 1, 2020

Up in Horsey Heaven


The Parks and Recreation reunion episode was perfect, and they capped it off with one of the greatest songs ever written about a miniature horse.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Parks and Recreation


What's funny is that I never thought they would have a reunion on Parks and Recreation. either:
Parks and Recreation co-creator Mike Schur never wanted to do a revival, reboot or any sort of reunion for his beloved and star-studded former NBC comedy. Then the novel coronavirus shut down the world and changed everything.
"I didn't think Parks and Recreation would ever reunite; the show had a point to make and we made it and it ended and there was no compelling reason to do it — but this is as compelling a reason as there is," Schur told press, including The Hollywood Reporter, during a 45-minute conference call Tuesday, mere days before Amy Poehler's brilliantly optimistic Leslie Knope returns to the network in a special that doubles as a fundraiser for Feeding America.

Parks and Recreation, Schur recalled, was forged during the economic recession in 2007-08, when it was clear the government would have to play an active role in people's lives. That same need is true today, with people across the world turning to local and national governments to navigate the novel coronavirus and its economic fallout as many look for food assistance, financial aid to cover rent/mortgages and so on.
It was an amazing show. It was crippled by a couple of things early on and it always seemed that NBC was looking for a way to cancel it. Thirty episodes into the series, they wrote Paul Schneider off of the show and tried to bring in a new romantic lead. And then there was the writers strike, which hobbled numerous shows and shorted us a fair number of great episodes of TV.

I'll watch this. Really, what else is there to do?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Lisa Guerrero


Action shots like this demonstrate that Lisa Guerrero is the entertainment journalist that America needs during these dark times. Instead of feel good bullshit about someone's dog or drug habit, Guerrero is drawing attention to the very real problems of self-isolation, COVID-19, and alcoholism.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Samantha Bee is the Cure for What Ails You


This is more helpful than anything we're getting out of Trump's bumblefuck regime:
“I’m in the woods right now, both metaphorically and literally,” said Samantha Bee on a socially distanced episode of Full Frontal. “As surreal as it seems, the coronavirus pandemic has changed how most of us live our lives.”
“With millions in isolation and hundreds of thousands infected now is the time to put aside our differences and come together,” she continued, showing a clip of spring breakers defying social distance measures in Florida, “Well, not come together like these idiots.”

Bee also addressed the pandemic’s devastating impact on the economy – restaurants alone could lose $225bn in the next three months (for scale, “that’s four and a half Michael Bloombergs,” said Bee).
“Unfortunately, if your job isn’t considered essential or if you’re one of the 70% of people who can’t work remotely, there’s a good chance you’re not working at all. And if you are working remotely, there’s a 50% chance you’ve accidentally shown your co-workers what you look like on the toilet. Even if you can go back to the office eventually … you really shouldn’t.”

The economic impact of coronavirus has created a catch-22, said Bee: if you do have a job, you could be forced to work in dangerous conditions. For example, last week Amazon discovered a coronavirus case in one of its New York warehouses, and “while they’re being generous enough to offer a whole extra $2 an hour for working during a plague”, Bee deadpanned, they offered paid time off only if workers tested positive.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but those tests are kind of hard to come by right now,” Bee said. “You have to be, like, 25% famous to get tested. It’s the new getting verified on Twitter.”
If Samantha Bee isn't already on your radar, you should find a way to engage with what she's doing. They should have made her the host of the Daily Show, and someone will have to find a more prominent platform for her to work with. She is vastly better than the majority of mediocre white men who still have shows on television.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Duke of York


There was a time when Prince Andrew might have been a decent human being but those days are long gone:
The Duke of York has hired Britain’s most respected extradition lawyer to fend off an FBI inquiry into his friendship with the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Telegraph can reveal.
Prince Andrew is receiving legal advice from Clare Montgomery QC, the leading expert on extradition law, whose clients have included Augusto Pinochet, Chile’s former dictator and Nirav Modi, wanted for India’s biggest fraud. She has been described as “the most formidable member of the bar.”
Ms Montgomery is being briefed by Gary Bloxsome, a criminal defence solicitor who has defended British troops against war crime allegations and is understood to have been appointed directly by the Duke.
Of course, he could just admit what he did and receive his punishment but it would seem that's never going to happen. The public relations disaster that is Randy Andy's life right now couldn't come at a worse time for the Royal Family (except for all the other times). You have to wonder what is being done in order to firewall the Duke of York from his own relatives.

It's difficult to imagine how a person who defended Pinochet could still be practicing law, but there it is. This is an epic disaster.

Friday, March 6, 2020

The Kids in the Hall Are Back


This is somewhere around the seventh or eighth reunion of the Kids in the Hall, so don't call it a comeback:
Amazon Prime Video is making a new eight-episode continuation of the original 1989 sketch comedy series, and yes, all of the original Canadian cast members will return. Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson will be reprising some of their original fan-favorite characters as well as playing some brand new ones. 
The series will be executive produced by "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video. 
"Even after 30 years, 'The Kids in the Hall' has retained its brilliance and originality," said Michaels. "We are happy to be bringing back all of the original 'Kids' for the new series." 
"We've been investing in Canada for several years and are excited to add to that momentum by making The Kids in the Hall the first Canadian Amazon Original series," said James Farrell, vice president of international originals for Amazon Studios.
Lorne Michaels is a bloodsucking vampire, and I would have to imagine, since I don't know anything about show business, that he's keeping 90% of the money from this and that's wrong. If this thing makes Amazon a lot of money, I guess I'll keep Prime but, really, the porch pirate thing is out of control.

Let's say, for example, I order the DVD set that has all the episodes of the classic series. Yeah, I'll rifle through those if it makes it to my door, but what's more likely is that someone is going to drive up in one of those vans with the blue letters on the side and they're going to toss a padded envelope with the wrong goddamned version of Trailer Park Boys in it onto the front porch and drive away. I hate that shit. What's up with the guy with the fake glasses? Isn't there a law against portraying disabled people in a negative way?

While my bad attitude takes over, up from the darkness, a lone figure, a guy in sweatpants and a jean jacket, is going to wave his flashlight around my front yard, grab the package, and give his buddy Jake the signal to start the car so they can beat it out of here. I'm not getting involved in any of that shit. Take it, take it and go, you probably need the laughs more than me, jean jacket guy.

As a matter of fact, to hell with all this. I'm still smarting from something that went wrong years ago and I'm not about to get invested in something that allows Lorne to buy another house in the Hamptons, wherever that is, man.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

A Reckoning for Timothy Hutton


Every horrible thing that has been done eventually comes back around and hits you in the face.

Hutton took off his clothes, got on top of her, Johnston said, and thrust himself inside her. She started to beg: “Please, don’t do this. I can’t do it. I can’t.” Johnston said Hutton told her that she would like it — and that his friend was going to watch. 
“It hurt like hell,” Johnston said. “I mean, it was very painful. God. Yeah, it was extremely painful. Horrible, horrible, absolutely horrible.” At one point, she said, Hutton went to get Vaseline as a lubricant. 
She said Hutton’s friend, who was standing next to the bed, put his erect penis into her mouth. 
“He got it in a couple of times,” Johnston said. “And I said, ‘You have to tell him that he can’t!’” Her mouth was full of train-track braces and rubber bands, she said. She started to cry. 
Johnston said Hutton told his friend, “‘She doesn’t like that,’ or whatever. Meanwhile, he finished raping me.” 
I don't know how any person could read that and not be horrified.

Yes, we do need to treat each and every one of these cases with a degree of skepticism but I don't think that leads us to a place where we should not believe women when they tell these stories. There should be a way to ensure that something like this can't keep happening.
One way to accomplish this would be for cops to actually make it so women can report being raped without being made to feel like criminals. If we're talking the entertainment industry, underage performers, and everything else, there should be a system that allows them to be protected and never exploited like this. So, separate from what happened here, we still need to make reforms and address the fact that women are often ignored or intimidated into silence.
In the years since that night, Johnston told BuzzFeed, that what happened “has colored every area of my life.”
Besides Hutton’s statement, his camp also released a statement from his defamation counsel, Tom Clare, who said he has sent BuzzFeed a legal retraction demand. He claimed that BuzzFeed, “facing serious financial struggles and pressure to attract readers, has shamefully disregarded the facts and allowed itself to be used by Ms. Johnston,” and also said the site “ignored hard evidence that Ms. Johnston lied about participating in extortion attempts and turned a blind eye to critical inconsistencies in Ms. Johnston’s story. 
“We will be sending BuzzFeed a legal retraction demand. If BuzzFeed wrongfully refuses to retract the article, Tim is prepared to take any and all necessary steps, including the filing of a defamation lawsuit, to clear his name and to hold BuzzFeed and Ms. Johnston accountable for their reckless and self-serving efforts to destroy Tim’s reputation and career.”

A spokesperson for BuzzFeed said the outlet stands by the piece: “BuzzFeed News’ reporting on the alleged rape of a 14 year-old girl by Timothy Hutton is based on interviews with the alleged victim, the account of a woman who was with her that evening, and five separate people who were told of the assault at the time. BuzzFeed News stands unequivocally by our reporting.”
God, what a mess. Now, what you need to watch for is for anyone else to come forward with a similar story. If a pattern emerges, what should be done?

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Lori Loughlin Has Figured Out How to Get Away With It


If you give someone enough time to wriggle out of trouble, that's exactly what they're going to do:
Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, might have caught a big break in their college admissions bribery case. The two were first implicated when the scandal broke last year, alongside Felicity Huffman, and have been accused of bribing the University of Southern California with $500,000 to secure their daughters’ admission. (They pleaded not guilty.) But the couple’s defense claims that notes from the scam’s mastermind proves they believed the money they’d handed over was a legitimate donation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Loughlin’s defense team said in a legal filing that the prosecution had provided notes from college admissions consultant Rick Singer, who pleaded guilty last March to orchestrating the scheme.

“Singer’s notes indicate that FBI agents yelled at him and instructed him to lie by saying that he told his clients who participated in the alleged ‘side door’ scheme that their payments were bribes, rather than legitimate donations that went to the schools,” the filing says, per People.
The filing also quotes Singer writing, “They continue to ask me to tell a fib and not restate what I told my clients as to where there [sic] money was going—to the program not the coach and that it was a donation and they want it to be a payment.”
You have to give Loughlin, her husband, and their legal team props for figuring out how to escape accountability. Their peers are going to prison, their own freedom is in jeopardy, and they knew that all they needed was time.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Jesus Rolls


Everything about this film looks wonderful:
Riding Off Into the Sunset: The Jesus Rolls feels less like an update of Blier’s blithe style and more like the kind of comedic whatsits of Italian directors Dino Risi, Mario Monicelli, Pietro Germi, and Alberto Lattuada. But this isn’t the first time the Italian Turturro has dipped a toe in the sandbox of Italian film: His 2005 musical Romance and Cigarettes has sincere Germi-influenced anarchy in its DNA; his 2010 historical drama Passione is all about the songs and dances found in Naples; he’s adapted a play set in pre-industrial Rome (Illuminata); and he’s acted for Palme d’Or winning Italian director Nanni Moretti among others of his fellow countrymen. 
That cultural affection is all over this film. Turturro manages to make upstate New York look like the Italian countryside, the dance breaks and wine on every table are snagged from a midcentury Italian romp, and the film liberally breathes between the gags. Scenes of Turturro and Cannavale riding innumerable trains to flee police are downright soothing, as is an extended detour at a beach house. This is a movie all about the weird pleasures of hanging out with friends who never say no to sensation, and the only time the fun threatens to come to an end are when they get close to death, which, thanks to the sweet and mournful tone, feels almost welcome.
It may not be the film you want, and there might only be a handful of super heroes in it, but this is the film America needs right now.

Paranoia and Fear Grip the Entire World


Please do not take public health advice from this person.

You're welcome.

Monday, February 24, 2020

He's Not Having It


The In-Betweeners was one of those shows that I binge-watched when I discovered it, and I was always amazed that they were able to capture the pathos of being a teenager so effortlessly. The success of the show turned out to be a nightmare for Simon Bird:
Simon Bird has once again ruled out the possibility of a future reunion of The Inbetweeners.
The hugely popular sitcom ran for three seasons between 2008 and 2010 before two movies were released in 2011 and 2014.
The four primary castmembers reunited in January 2019 for the widely-derided non-scripted special Fwends Reunited, and Bird — who played Will MacKenzie in the series — later said that a future Inbetweeners reboot would “be a bit depressing for everyone”.
This is what kills good art. The negative reaction to their reunion special ought to be kept in mind by everyone who plans to watch the cast of Friends do roughly the exact same thing.

The Horror of This Man's Actions


I hope Harvey Weinstein is held accountable for every single heinous thing he ever did.
Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and a felony sex crime Monday, marking a climactic end to a high-profile case that in some ways serves as vindication of the #MeToo movement.
Those two counts were connected to individual allegations made by Mimi Haley, a former Weinstein Co. production assistant, and Jessica Mann, a once-aspiring actress. Weinstein was acquitted on the two most serious charges of predatory sexual assault, which each carried a potential life sentence.

Weinstein, 69, appeared to be staring ahead while a half-dozen court officers surrounded him just after the verdict was delivered. The movie producer struggled to get up from his seat as he was handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom.

Judge James Burke ordered Weinstein to be held in custody until his sentencing March 11.
It is a good thing that he is not free to live at home and continue out and about in public. As recently as October he was heckled at a comedy club. Now that he has had his due process, he should not be allowed in polite society ever again.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Community


This is great news:
The return of hit sitcom Community is looking much more likely now, as cast member Alison Brie has taken to Reddit to reveal discussions around a potential film are ongoing. 
Brie played Annie Edison in all six seasons of the NBC comedy, which told the story of an eclectic group of students at a community college in the fictional town of Greendale, Colorado. Now, five years after the final episodes aired, Brie has commented on continued fan speculation about a movie. 
Asked whether there was “any news about the Community movie” during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) Q&A session, Brie responded: “[I’ve] actually got an interesting call about it this week…stay tuned…”
I'm not a purist, but I want Dan Harmon to run this thing if it happens. I want Paget Brewster and Keith David to be a part of it, too. I will mourn Leonard, of course because Richard Erdman was pitch perfect every chance he got to deliver a line.

If, for some reason, it does not involve Chevy Chase, I am not going to be upset.

Monday, February 10, 2020

The Oscars


What the hell happened to the Oscars?
The US live TV audience for the Oscars fell to an all-time low on Sunday.Roughly 23.6 million viewers tuned into the awards ceremony, according to the US broadcaster ABC, citing Nielsen. 
The ratings fell sharply from last year when 29.5 million people watched, amid an industry-wide decline in linear TV viewing. 
South Korea's Parasite made history, becoming the first non-English language film to win best picture since the awards began 92 years ago. 
Renee Zellweger won best actress for playing Judy Garland in Judy. Joaquin Phoenix was named best actor for Joker. 
Despite the ratings slump, the Oscars, which had no host for the second year running, remains the most-watched awards show. 
In 2019 the ceremony managed to buck a four-year trend in declining viewers and increased its audience by 11% to 26.5 million.
Both of these things can be true:

1. The movies aren't as important as they once were, and you can certainly find great art on television in long form series and through streaming services that produce great content.

2. People are tired of an endless broadcast that kisses the asses of people who are ridiculously biased against certain types of performers and anyone who ever made a successful comedy.

Hollywood realizes it has a diversity problem. The answer is thus - "if we have to give awards to people of color, then they have to still be men." Hollywood is already very diverse, as long as you don't count the fact that they ignore women. You can't honestly say that Bong Joon-Ho would have won if he was a woman because there were five other women that made films that were just as good if not better than the one he made. There, I said it. Cancel me.

Beyond that, I thought the whole thing was a turgid mess. Without a host to explain things, the show lurched from one non-sequitur to another. They made a feeble attempt to keep everything in line, and they tried their best to get the technical awards over in a hurry, but they failed. If the thing were entirely limited to seven awards - best supporting actor and actress, best actor and actress, best film, best director, and a lifetime achievement award, then you could get the thing over in an hour. Want to see who wins all the other awards? Go watch it on cable tomorrow night.

No one cares what I think and why should they? This has been a problem since forever and they're never going to fix it. The power of "the academy" is such that there will not be meaningful change until someone wises up and realizes what needs to be done.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Parasite


The South Korean film Parasite is going to make a lot of heads explode. It is the work of a true auteur, depicts a culture that is entirely separate and unique, and it covers themes that are universal in size and scope. There is a version of this film that you could make in any language, any time, any culture.

Watching people go nuts because this film won multiple Oscars is worth the price of admission.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

James Corden is Right


James Corden is taking a stand against bias in Hollywood:
James Corden’s acting career was filled with major ups and downs — soap opera bit roles, hit British sitcoms and Broadway shows — but one constant he’s seen is a lack of quality parts for people his size. 
Corden now has a massive career as the host of The Late Late Show, but earlier in his acting days, despite starring in the hit play The History Boys, he struggled to get substantial roles while his costars earned major movie parts. 
“I was good for playing a bubbly judge in a courtroom, or I’d be the guy who drops off a TV to Hugh Grant in a movie,” he told The New Yorker. 
Corden said it’s a problem that stems from how society treats overweight people.
“If someone came from another planet and put on the television, you would think that people who are big or overweight don’t have sex,” he said. “They don’t fall in love.
 They’re friends of people who fall in love. They’re probably not that bright, but they’re a good time, and they’re not as valuable as people who are really good-looking.”
I'm glad he is speaking up because this bias is a very real thing. It goes against anyone who isn't perfect looking, and it skews heavily against older people as well. One of the best antidotes to this would be to see an actress like Rebel Wilson really make it in Hollywood. Another would be to see movies and TV shows that treat everyone the same damned way.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Annabella Sciorra Testifies


This is devastating testimony, no doubt it:
Actress Annabella Sciorra testified in court Thursday that Harvey Weinstein raped her more than 25 years ago during emotional, face-to-face testimony from one of the women who has accused the movie mogul of sexual assault. 
"The Sopranos" actress said Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted her at her Manhattan apartment in the winter of 1993-1994. She first publicly spoke about the attack in an October 2017 New Yorker story as part of a wave of accusations against him. 
During her testimony, she called Weinstein "the defendant," and rarely used his name. At one point, though, she was presented with a photo of herself that she said was taken for a play she was working on at the time of the rape. "Yes, (the photo) reminds me very much of being raped by Harvey Weinstein," she said. 
Sciorra's voice quivered at times during her testimony, and she became particularly emotional recounting the period after the alleged rape. Sciorra said she would cut her fingers and hands and smear the blood onto a wall she was painting "blood red." She said wherever she smeared the blood she would mark it with gold leaf. When the prosecution asked why, she let out a sob and said she didn't know. 
Her testimony came a day after prosecutors and defense attorneys gave their opening statements in Weinstein's trial. Prosecutors said the Hollywood movie tycoon raped and sexually assaulted young women and actresses, including Sciorra, over the course of decades.
Harvey Weinstein shouldn't even be free on bail, if the safety of the general public means anything anymore. It's difficult to overstate how abusive and violent he is alleged to have been with regards to these women. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Terry Jones 1942-2020


As John Cleese said today, two down, four to go.

The death of Terry Jones is not an unexpected thing, but it stings and hurts all the more because his final years were spent suffering from dementia. My thoughts are with his family and, no matter who you are, dealing with a loss like this is a difficult but ultimately human experience.

Jones was a very learned comedian, which meant that he did smart things for laughs. Oh, sure. He was naked a lot, but that was just part of his charm. He leaves behind a body of work that has few equals.

If you want some insight as to how brilliant he was, pick up one of his books. I have a book of scripts for Ripping Yarns, and it has always been a favorite, something I could never part with. And then there's his medieval research, Who Murdered Chaucer?