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From Alan Yang to Tanya Saracho, Showrunners Find New Rewards in Directing

  • Variety
From Alan Yang to Tanya Saracho, Showrunners Find New Rewards in Directing
Film is often referred to as a director’s medium, while in television the writer, or at least the showrunner, is the one with the most control. Some select few, though, give themselves the opportunity to be hybrids, not only crafting the story on the page but also stepping behind the camera to shape notable episodes of their shows visually.

Directing, says Alan Yang, “is really having a vision, having a specific tone and world and story in mind, and communicating that vision to a team of expert people who can execute that vision for you and with you. And that feels so much like the job of running a show as well, so they go hand-in-hand.”

Yang recently directed a handful of episodes of his Amazon comedy “Forever,” including the pivotal premiere and finale, as well as the stand-alone, multi-year-spanning “Andre and Sarah” episode. Yang was able to balance
See full article at Variety »

On the Set of 'Forever' as Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph Delve Into "Haunting" Roles

During THR's March 2018 visit to the set of Forever, creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard are toying with how much to divulge about their top-secret Amazon show. "Ok, we'll give up the ghost," says Hubbard after a few minutes of back-and-forth. "Literally," quips Yang.

That's just it about the pair's half-hour dramedy: Stars Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen are (spoiler alert!) actually dead for most of it. It's a crucial conceit that Yang and Hubbard are doing backflips to keep from leaking (they gave critics an exhaustive "Do Not Reveal"...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Women in Film Gala Recognizes Seismic Shift in Showbiz

  • Variety
Women in Film Gala Recognizes Seismic Shift in Showbiz
Each year, the Women in Film gala supports the org’s foundation, which advocates for gender parity for women throughout the entertainment industry, while also supporting various educational and philanthropic efforts in Los Angeles.

The 2019 edition, taking place June 12 at the Beverly Hilton, will honor Amy Poehler (Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award), Issa Rae (Emerging Entrepreneur Award), Elizabeth Debicki (Max Mara Face of the Future Award) and Cathy Schulman (Crystal Award for Advocacy in Entertainment Award). Xosha Roquemore (“The Mindy Project”) will serve as host at the event, which was formerly known as the Wif Crystal + Lucy Awards.

“In the last 18 months, there’s been a significant earthquake in the discussion of how men and women interact while working in the entertainment industry,” says Women in Film board president Amy Baer, who also serves as gala co-chair. “By re-naming the gala, we all felt strongly that it would promote a full
See full article at Variety »

Alan Yang on ‘pummeling you with surprises’ in his Amazon comedy ‘Forever’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

Alan Yang on ‘pummeling you with surprises’ in his Amazon comedy ‘Forever’ [Exclusive Video Interview]
“We wanted to be as exciting as a show like ‘Lost,'” explains co-creator, executive producer and Emmy winning writer Alan Yang about his Amazon comedy “Forever.” “They were just pummeling you with surprises yet it felt earned at the same time,” he says of how his show’s surprising twists and turns emulate the classic sci-fi drama’s crazy plot twists. Watch our exclusive video interview with Yang above.

Forever” stars “SNL” alums Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph as a loving married couple that have become stuck in a boring and predictable rut, whose lives are suddenly turned upside down. The show is equal part an hilarious observation of the routine minutiae of relationships and an existential and supernatural meditation on life, companionship and purpose. It is impossible to describe the show without spoiling the many surprises that are revealed in the first three episodes, and it is best
See full article at Gold Derby »

Natasha Lyonne and Maya Rudolph on Mortality — and the End of the World

  • Variety
Natasha Lyonne and Maya Rudolph on Mortality — and the End of the World
Natasha Lyonne and Maya Rudolph sat down for a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.

Natasha Lyonne and Maya Rudolph are two of TV’s funniest stars — and this year, both confronted mortality on-screen. In “Russian Doll,” co-created by Lyonne, the actress dies over and over again, trying with each reincarnation to finally overcome past trauma. Rudolph dies only once in “Forever,” but it’s hardly conclusive: She spends her afterlife thinking through what she really wants. Between them, the two made the comedy season darker, and vastly more thoughtful.

Maya Rudolph: This is going to be casual. Because I know everything about you that I need to know.

Natasha Lyonne: And I’ve been Googling you for six months straight. So I feel caught up. I would say that you safely know every single core thing about me, more importantly, even if some details are missing.
See full article at Variety »

Daniel Dae Kim Sets Amazon First-Look Deal

  • Variety
Daniel Dae Kim Sets Amazon First-Look Deal
Daniel Dae Kim has entered into business with Amazon.

The actor and producer, along with his 3Ad production label, has signed a new first-look deal with Amazon Studios. As part of the deal, Amazon will have first-look rights on projects developed by Kim and 3Ad. Any collaborations between the two parties will premiere exclusively on Amazon’s streaming platform.

Kim and his production company, who were previously under a first look deal with ITV Studios America, are best known for bringing the Korean format “The Good Doctor” to ABC. The series’ two seasons to date have been a ratings hit for the network. Kim serves as an executive producer on the show along with David Shore.

“Daniel Dae Kim has proven to be a creative force, with incredible success both in front of and behind the camera,” said Albert Cheng, COO and co-head of television at Amazon Studios. “Amazon Studios
See full article at Variety »

‘The Good Place’ deserves a breakthrough writing Emmy nomination for ‘Janet(s),’ dammit!

‘The Good Place’ deserves a breakthrough writing Emmy nomination for ‘Janet(s),’ dammit!
The best episode of the third season of “The Good Place” — and this is not up for debate — is “Janet(s),” the 10th installment that also served as the fall finale in December. That, of course, was the multiple Janets episode, in which D’Arcy Carden was tasked with playing all four humans after they enter Janet’s void, along with a new version of Janet, the deadpan Neutral Janet. It was a tremendous showcase for Carden’s skill and versatility — and would obviously be her submission if she makes the Best Comedy Supporting Actress Emmy cut — but she definitely should not be the only person recognized for the episode.

The entire gamble works not just because of Carden’s stunning ability to mimic her co-stars, but because of the writing. Penned by Josh Siegal and Dylan Morgan, “Janet(s)” used the neat party trick of multiple Janets as the
See full article at Gold Derby »

Maya Rudolph Talks Reuniting With Fred Armisen for 'Forever,' Brought Together by Natasha Lyonne

Maya Rudolph Talks Reuniting With Fred Armisen for 'Forever,' Brought Together by Natasha Lyonne
Audiences have Russian Doll actress Natasha Lyonne to thank for the team-up of comedy actors Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen for Amazon's Forever. "It was actually Natasha's idea. She said Fred and I should play a couple," Rudolph told The Hollywood Reporter's Comedy Actress Roundtable.

"They love each other so much," Lyonne, who has been dating Armisen since 2014, added.

Rudolph spoke about her love for Armisen, saying, "I'm genuinely just a fan of his. He makes me laugh, and he's no bullshit. There's no drama. He doesn't come and be ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Why Grace and Frankie Caused Jane Fonda to Have a "Nervous Breakdown"

Why Grace and Frankie Caused Jane Fonda to Have a
Jane Fonda has been working since the 1950s, and at 81 is showing no signs of slowing down. But with two Oscars, four Golden Globes, an Emmy and various other accolades, she still has career struggles, including her hit series Grace & Frankie. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter as part of the magazine's annual comedy roundtable, Fonda told Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Alex Borstein, Maya Rudolph and Phoebe Waller-Bridge about her struggles with the Netflix series she stars in opposite Lily Tomlin. "It took me a season to come to care for my character. I had to go back into therapy and start Prozac," Fonda said, noting she struggled to figure out her relationship with her character,...
See full article at E! Online »

‘Barry,’ ‘Good Place,’ ‘Kominsky Method’: How Death Became TV’s Laughing Matter (Column)

  • Variety
‘Barry,’ ‘Good Place,’ ‘Kominsky Method’: How Death Became TV’s Laughing Matter (Column)
There’s a common thread that ties together most of this year’s comedy actor contenders, and it’s pretty morbid. For a category that’s supposed to be all about chuckles, there sure is a lot of death.

On “Barry,” Bill Hader plays a hit man — and although he’s struggling to move past his murderous profession, he’s still haunted by the people he’s had to off. Michael Douglas’ character in “The Kominsky Method” has to comfort his best friend (Alan Arkin) after the loss of his wife (Susan Sullivan), and the specter of everyone’s advancing mortality is an ongoing theme. Ted Danson is a spirit in the afterlife who helps a group of deceased misfit humans try to get into “The Good Place.” Don Cheadle’s “Black Monday” starts and ends with a gruesome death on the day of the 1987 stock market crash. “Forever” follows
See full article at Variety »

12 Items Every Wine Lover Should Own

12 Items Every Wine Lover Should Own
We love these products, and we hope you do too. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!. "In vino veritas." —Pliny the Elder "Wine is the only artwork you can drink." —Luis Fernando Olaverri "Turtle Time." —Ramona Singer Happy National Wine Day! Whether you prefer relaxing with a good vintage like Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in Wine Country, chugging it at a sporting event like Sophie Turner, or using wine as a weapon à la Real Housewives (most recently New Jersey), there are a few items every good...
See full article at E! Online »

The Lonely Island’s ‘The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience’ is a Concept LP on Steroids

The Lonely Island’s ‘The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience’ is a Concept LP on Steroids
During the late Eighties and early Nineties, Oakland A’s sluggers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco shot a bunch of steroids and crushed a ton of homers and dubbed themselves the Bash Brothers as they embodied a new kind of mullet-bro excess in sports. The duo would go on to break sacred records (McGwire), date Madonna (Canseco) and generally play a huge role in signaling an unfortunate transition from baseball’s coked-up, free-wheeling New-York-Mets-trashing-a-plane era to the dark dawn of A Rod. And if you were a certain kind of
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Movie Review – Booksmart (2019)

Booksmart, 2019.

Directed by Olivia Wilde.

Starring Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Mason Gooding, Skyler Gisondo, Victoria Ruesga, Billie Lourd, Molly Gordon, Jason Sudeikis, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Mike O’Brien, Noah Galvin, Austin Crute, Diana Silvers, Eduardo Franco, Nico Hiraga, Jessica Williams, and Maya Rudolph.

Synopsis:

On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.

Booksmart assuredly has many raunchy teen comedy influences, but this directorial debut from Olivia Wilde actually had an effect on me that I haven’t really felt yet from any vulgar mainstream comedy, and I suspect it will have this same effect on certain audience members. Being a production composed of mostly women (that includes the four different writers on board), Booksmart
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Netflix Unveils Lonely Island Musical Tribute to Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

  • Variety
The Lonely Island comedy troupe has dropped a half-hour Netflix special featuring a musical tribute to baseball greats Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.

“The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience” features Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer as the former Oakland Athletics teammates who became known as “the Bash Brothers” for their prowess at hitting home runs. The special is timed to mark the 30th anniversary of the Oakland A’s 1989 championship season.

Lonely Island described the project as “a visual poem/love letter to their childhood heroes.” The special features guest appearances by from Haim, Maya Rudolph, Hannah Simone, Jenny Slate, Jim O’Heir and Sterling K Brown as Sia.

“The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience” is executive produced by Samberg, Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Becky Sloviter. The special was directed by Schaffer and Mike Diva.

Here’s a glimpse:
See full article at Variety »

Lonely Island's Bash Brothers Musical Special Is Available Now on Netflix

  • MovieWeb
Yesterday, The Lonely Island announced that they were dropping a big surprise on Netflix. At the time, no one was really sure what these pranksters had up their sleeve. Now we have an answer, and it probably wasn't what any of your were expecting, if you were expecting anything at all. Welcome to The Bash Brothers Experience.

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Oakland Athletics' 1989 championship season, The Lonely Island has allowed a greater power to speak through them and create a visual poem/ love letter to their childhood heroes: Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire Aka The Bash Brothers.

In a stunning act of artistry/ fandom, Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer (who were born to play Canseco and McGwire due to their equally muscular physiques), have gifted all of Netflix's 190 countries with a 27 minute musical poem experience honoring The Bash Brothers, the Oakland A's, and the game of baseball.
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Wine Country’ Review (Netflix)

  • Nerdly
Stars: Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey, Jay Larson, Tina Fey, Maya Erskine, Jason Schwartzman | Written by Liz Cackowski, Emily Spivey | Directed by Amy Poehler

Wine Country is famed comedienne Amy Poehler’s directorial debut and stars an all-star cast of female SNL alumni, both in front and behind the camera in the likes of Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey etc. The film follows a group of friends getting together in Southern California for a tour of good food and good wine for one member fiftieth birthday party. However, even with a terrific cast list, Poehler’s film is flat, unimaginative and quite frankly boring, with a screenplay that has no punch or comedic prowess and the narrative incredibly stiff with a snail pace running time.

Where Wine Country succeeds is in the small intimate moments of its character. Sequences that focuses purely on one
See full article at Nerdly »

Watch Lonely Island’s Baseball-Centric ‘Bash Brothers’ Special on Netflix

Comedic trio The Lonely Island have returned with a 27-minute Netflix special. Billed as a “visual poem,” The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience envisions a universe where baseball superstars Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire recorded a rap album in 1988.

Mike Diva and Akiva Schaffer directed the special, which stars Andy Samberg as Canseco and Schaffer as McGwire. Canseco and McGwire were known as the Bash Brothers during their seven-season run together playing for the Oakland Athletics. The nickname was inspired by their response to homeruns: bashing each other’s forearms. Years later,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Move Over, ‘Lemonade’! The Lonely Island Drop Surprise Visual Album ‘Bash Brothers’

Move Over, ‘Lemonade’! The Lonely Island Drop Surprise Visual Album ‘Bash Brothers’
The Lonely Island — the comedy rap trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone — dropped a surprise new album and an accompanying short film at Wednesday night.

And it’s not just any album, it’s basically their version of Beyonce’s “Lemonade.”

The Lonely Island’s latest album is “The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience,” in which Samberg and Schaffer play (for some reason) Oakland A’s sluggers Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire respectively in a goofy, ’80s-themed “visual poem.”

Also Read: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' First Couple Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero on Jake's 'Die Hard' Honeymoon Fantasy

“In 1988, Major League Baseball was set aflame by Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, a.k.a. The Bash Brothers,” the opening title card reads. “They were known for their towering home runs and mind-bending play, but what many don’t know… Is that they recorded an album… of raps.”

The
See full article at The Wrap »

Straight Outta Compton's Jason Mitchell Loses Multiple Projects Amid Misconduct Claims: Reports

Straight Outta Compton's Jason Mitchell Loses Multiple Projects Amid Misconduct Claims: Reports
Straight Outta Compton star Jason Mitchell has been fired from leading roles in Showtime’s The Chi and an upcoming Netflix comedy following allegations of misconduct, according to multiple reports.

The actor has also reportedly been dropped by his agency and management team.

Mitchell, 32, has starred in The Chi since its debut in 2018, but will not return for the upcoming third season after news of an “off-set incident” reached those involved with production, Deadline reports.

Showtime confirmed to People that Mitchell will not be a part of season three, but declined further comment.

The decision to fire Mitchell from the
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Variety, PBS SoCal Announce Lineup for Season 10 of ‘Variety Studio: Actors on Actors’

  • Variety
Variety and PBS SoCal have announced the actor lineup and schedule for Season 10 of “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.”

The first two episodes of the Emmy Award-winning series will premiere on PBS SoCal on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. with episodes three and four set to premiere on Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. All episodes will stream on the free PBS Video app following their premieres.

The conversations include Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”) with Patricia Arquette; Billy Porter (“Pose”) with Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”); Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) with Benicio Del Toro (“Escape at Dannemora”); Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) with Ellen Pompeo (“Grey’s Anatomy”); Richard Madden (“Bodyguard”) with Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”); Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story”) with Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”); Sacha Baron Cohen (“Who Is America?”) with Don Cheadle (“Black Monday”); Penn Badgley (“You”) with Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”); Robin Wright (“House of Cards
See full article at Variety »
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