The Queen’s Gambit, a Netflix TV mini-series, is a fictional story (adapted from Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name) that follows Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), as she strives to become the world’s greatest chess player. Set in the mid-1950s through the 1960s, we start our journey with Beth at an orphanage, where, with the help of the janitor (Bill Camp), she discovers and develops her astonishing talent for chess. As her chess skills flourish, so does a growing dependency on the tranquilizers that are provided by the state to sedate the children. As a young adult, haunted by personal demons and grief, while burdened with the gift of genius, Beth navigates her social awkwardness amongst peers and her overconfident ego behind a chessboard. Fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, she evolves into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast, determined to conquer the traditional boundaries in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.
The Queen’s Gambit is the newest binge pleasure that has everyone shouting out praise. The New Yorker : “The Queen’s Gambit” Is the Most Satisfying Show on Television.” USA Today: ‘One of the Best Shows of 2020’ Indie Wire: ‘Beyond an Impeccable Anya Taylor-Joy, Netflix’s Tricky Ploy Pays Off’ Chicago Tribune: Irresistible coming-of-age drama
And it deserves all the accolades because The Queen’s Gambit is simply stunning: the set design, the costumes, the lighting, the superb acting, the masterful direction, the detail – all the thought and care that went into making this series culminates into a richly, layered, authentic tone that leaves us wanting more. As Nora Dominick from BuzzFeed wrote: “Basically, I wish there was some way for me to erase The Queen’s Gambit from my mind and watch it all again because I don’t want it to be over“. I one hundred percent agree. This series is a pleasure-thrill to watch.
The Queen’s Gambit explores not only addiction, unresolved grief, and emotional suffering but also gender parity and sexism. We’ve had woman-power movies before, but what is unusual here is that Beth Harmon is attractive to the audience for her brainpower. We’re not rooting for her because she’s hot, or because she is saving the world for us, no, we find ourselves mesmerized and impressed by her sharp-witted, super-charged, neuron-firing brain. Given how America is embracing this show, could it mean that audiences are hungry for more substantial stories? Are viewers growing weary of the dumbing-down of America? Could the response to The Queen’s Gambit be a sign that we want mainstream media to clever-up? Smart is sexy, always has been – let’s bring brainy back. I feel inspired. And quick side-note, chessboard sales have sky-rocketed since the debut of The Queen’s Gambit.
The series is directed by Scott Frank, who also created the series with Allan Scott. And loud shout out to Gabriele Binder for costume design and Uli Hanisch for set production. Stunning work. The cast also features Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram, Harry Melling, Marielle Heller, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, and Marcin Dorocinski.
The New Pope: Set design, art direction, costume design are all remarkable in this new HBO series.
As we all have a lot of time on our hands, here is my list of things to watch: The New Pope (and the old series, with Jude Law) If you love art, design, costumes, dialogue with flair, religion, pomp and ceremony with a lot of naked bodies, this is your series. Often over-the-top. this series by director Paolo Sorrentino (The Grand Beauty) is a series with a grand vision of things. In the New Pope, his theme appears to be a great concern for the lost amongst us—children with defects, the lost parents of those children, a dwarf nun, drugs, nudity, the politics of the church all get scrambled into one great nine-week series. You don’t need to back to the older series, just understand that Jude Law was the young Pope who had a stroke and has been in a coma, while laconic John Malkovich comes into the picture as Sir John Brannox, a man with a taste for great clothes while his politics run in the middle (the middle way) and his own unhappiness informs nearly all his decisions. There are gay priests, lesbians, drug addicts, werewolves and dancing nuns—it doesn’t get much better than this. The final episode, the Ninth Episode rises above the usual final series ambiguity—all the questions are answered, yet remain shrouded in mystery nonetheless: The last scene is Jude Law wearing a small white bathing suit heading into the ocean, he pauses, he winks at the camera. We are left with people in their rightful places, Cardinal Voiello has appropriately risen to a higher station, Sofia Dubois has taken a lover, the bad people are in jail, and a child has become a pain in the ass
The Prime Video, Hunters created by David Weil and produced by Jordan Peele plays games with some serious issues.
Hunters: a little hard to take seriously when in one scene you have the Nazis using Jews as a pawns in a very real game of chess in concentration camps and in the next, you are treated to a Marvel Comic portrayal of a group of Nazi hunters. This doesn’t happen often but then it does—as in the short game show sequence called “Hate the Jew” its last question is why we hate the Jews—the answer is, “because they’re Jewish.” Nonsensical and ridiculous it still never fails to compel further watching—and they may be its best promotion—it has audacity. It also has Al Pacino doing Al Pacino, but with a Yiddish accent. Logan Lerman, has and remains a fine actor as he heads into adulthood. Other standouts are Josh Radnor as Lonny Flash, Dylan Baker as Bif Simpson (a delicious if not completely absurd role) and a special nod to Greg Austin who plays Travis Leich, a very scary, threatening presence that seems right at home in the world of today. A very special award-winning performance is rendered by Carol Kane as Mindy Markowitz—rarely has loss been so sensitively portrayed. Needless to say, this show is about something that actually did happen in America, Operation Paperclip, and it answers that nagging question we all have had: where did the Nazi scientists go after the war?
The Hulu/FX Network show DEV: why is the daughter a statue? This and other existential questions are asked.
Screening recently is the compelling series, DEV, on Hulu and FX networks. Written and directed by show creator Alex Garland (of Ex Machina fame) this series takes us to a northern California quantum computer company called Amaya. Ponder this: a quantum computer company. Yes, this show gets heady, it gets complicated: it’s a love story, a murder mystery, a suspenseful corporate spy espionage story, a philosophical look into what is “determinism”, what is time, what is past and so on. So, it’s light stuff, and it moves, speaking of time, rather slowly. But it has a sensational Sonoya Mizuno (also in Ex Machina), Nick Offerman, Karl Glusman and the terrific Jin Ha, who played Annas in 2018’s live version of Jesus Christ Superstar on television.
This is show not without humor—for example, in one scene, we are treated to a blurry version of Arthur Miller screwing Marilyn Monroe and a short discussion on why progress in human nature always ends in porn. Fair enough. My own suspicion is that this about time travel, reality and not to give too much away, I think we will see the important events unfold in the golden room where all the quantum things take place.
The Great Expanse shows us that the future, everyone will be beautiful.
The Great Expanse: Hundreds of years in the future, things are different than what we are used to after humans have colonized the solar system and Mars has become an independent military power. Rising tensions between Earth and Mars have put them on the brink of war. Against this backdrop, a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain come together to investigate the case of a missing young woman. The investigation leads them on a race across the solar system that could expose the greatest conspiracy in human history. Starring Steve Strait—a beauty of an actor, tall, lean, loves to show his 12 pack, and like nearly every character on this show, has full lips. Can get a little confusing with so many story lines, there are a lot of characters, but as the series develops it gets better and better.
Off to a slow start, but we all await the “Paint it Black” moment in this unique series.
Westworld. A new season, a new setting, some new cast members and somewhat difficult to get into. Maybe for those us in Los Angeles, seeing that MacArthur Park and The MacArthur building as shooting locations takes us very far from the dystopian world of the West in the previous shows. It also begins to have a Blade Runnerish quality. It’s early, it’s too soon to know where it’s going, but we apparently have time, a lot of time to spend, catching up.
Hi everybody! It’s that time of year again, where I post all my favorite movies & TV shows on my Instagram (@sammydumb). If you’re thinking “Wow, that Sammy sure does watch a lot of movies and tv!”…you certainly right about that. Let me start by saying that this year’s TV Shows were VERY GOOD (imho) and I had a very hard time narrowing down this list – I’m still second guessing some of the shows that got left off. But at the end of the day, it’s just a dang list and who really cares? So in that spirit, let’s get to it! (Also, there are extra photos of these various TV shows that you can swipe to see on Instagram.)
Starting with number 10, we have the batshit-crazy and incredibly fun show: The Boys.
I laughed, I screamed (actually screamed), I gagged and what more could you really ask for from a show? Go look at the SPOILERS at my favorite section of IMDb, the “Parent’s Guide.” If they don’t convince you to watch it, I don’t know what will.
Coming in at number 9, we have the genius Pen15.
If you are a millennial woman and you haven’t watched this show – what are you even doing? Remember AIM? Remember fighting with your friends over who got to be what Spice Girl? Remember really panicking over a plan to hold hands with a boy while you watch a movie? It’s all there! Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle perfectly capture the true nightmare that was middle school, and the blessing of having a best friend at your side to help you survive it. Whether you’re a millennial woman or not, this show is wonderful. It is hilarious and sweet and nostalgic and heartfelt, and boy did I love every minute of it.
At number 8 we have Euphoria!
Man this show was so intense but so beautifully made. The acting! The cinematography! The music!! The EYE MAKEUP!!! Yes, some of it’s not hyper-realistic, but I feel like it’s not QUITE as unrealistic as maybe you wish it was. A tough-to-watch portrayal of addiction, mental illness, bullying, and all the self loathing and shame that comes with growing up. Not a feel good show! But good GOD, the eye makeup – seriously breathtaking work by @donni.davy
Number 7 is The Crown.
I cried in every single episode. Usually just an elegant single tear, but still. Olivia Colman is my own personal queen and I will watch and love everything she ever does…ever. I am also determined to be able to speak in this accent. I would basically repeat everything they said out loud so thank God I watched it alone. That’s my review of this show. All the things I did while watching it. Pretty cool. If anyone out there can give me accent lessons please let me know.
And at number 6, What We Do In The Shadows.
I may be in the minority here, but I think the show is … better than the movie. Natasia Demetriou is so damn perfect and hilarious and thank God we get another show with Matt Berry. Excellent cast. Excellent writing. Excellent accents (this one I can do). And episode 7: “The Trial”, is one of the best episodes of television overall this year. Watch it! On Hulu.
Getting into the TOP 5 now, and coming in at number 5 is I Think You Should Leave.
This show has broken my own personal record for most re-watches ever; partially because the entire season clocks in at a crisp 96 minutes, but mostly because it’s the funniest fucking show ever made. Tim Robinson’s humor is so delightfully weird. There are so many amazing sketches in this, but swipe to see my personal top 5 favorites
At number 4 we have a show that is VERY different from I Think You Should Leave – Chernobyl.
The creators of The Hangover really took a turn this year and brought us Joker (Todd Phillips) and THIS (Craig Mazin). Did you know Craig Mazin also wrote Scary Movie 3 & 4? Wild! Initially I didn’t like this show because it is so unpleasant to watch (radiation melting people from the inside? People shooting puppies? No thank you!) but it’s so flawlessly executed that I eventually had to admit that it’s one of the best shows ever made. The whole crew is phenomenal – the directing by Johan Renck, cinematography by Jakob Ihre, the SCORE by Hildur Gudnadottir, and the whole cast is amazing but you know I love my main man Jared Harris the most. Definitely not a fun watch, but an important reminder of the necessity of transparency and accountability in our governments and corporations; and of man’s ability to completely fuck up our whole planet in an instant. Terrifying.
At number 3 we have the excellent German-time-travel-thriller DARK.
It’s hard to talk about this show without spoiling anything, so I’ll just say that the writing, performances, cinematography, and music are all so so good, but the true feat in Dark is it’s CASTING. *I guess what I’m about to say is a slight spoiler so if you haven’t watched stop reading now* The show takes place in multiple timelines, so almost every character is played by multiple actors and…just wow. I watched all of season 2 without realizing that old Ulrich wasn’t just Oliver Masucci in makeup – proof that Simone Bär should win every casting award ever.
Pretty tough to put my number one boy at number two but here we are! Number 2 is Succession!
My first repeat from last years top ten and it has gone up 3 places! I don’t know how they did it but season two is somehow even better than season one. It’s so funny and so sad and everyone is so god damn good in it. And damn if that theme song isn’t playing in my head while I’m writing this. Also, Kendall Roy has really filled a Phillip Jennings shaped void in my life.
Number 1 is Fleabag and I don’t just think it’s the best season of tv this year, I think it’s the best season of TV…EVER. It is truly flawless just like PWB herself. Will be rewatching this show until the end of time. Wow, we did it. Lots of great tv this year and want to acknowledge some great shows that were on the list at some point… Watchmen, Bojack Horseman,Years and Years, Veep, Catastrophe, Barry, The Righteous Gemstones. Taking a little break before top ten movies cuz it’s gonna take me a long time to watch The Irishman. ttfn
Katie Nartonis is a 20th century design specialist, curator and filmmaker with over 20 years experience in the auction field. She is passionate about the work of the post-war California studio artists and craftsmen. She is currently co-authoring a book on the San Diego maker Jack Roger Hopkins. More info at at www.thenartonisproject.com.
The second season of YouTube RED’s critically acclaimed series, “Step Up: High Water” has officially launched and the cast gathered for a private screening event to kick off the newest serving of episodes. Actor, Terrence Green, who plays “Rigo” on the show partnered with streetwear brand, Popular Demand, to host the screening at their screen room facility in Burbank, CA.
Additional cast members in attendance included, Jeremy Copeland, Marcus Emanuel Mitchell, Jade Chynoweth, Kendra Oyesanya, & Carlito Olivero. Season 2 is available now for streaming on YouTube RED Here.
Additionally, Terrence Green premiered his first musical offering to this season’s soundtrack with the track “Take the Thrown” Check out the music video below:
Welcome to Sammy Smart’s Top Ten countdown list of TV shows for 2018 (Films will be coming shortly).
You may not agree with her, but it is fun to see what shows are proving popular. Sammy is not a TV/film critique but rather a TV/film enthusiast.
Number ten this year is The Rain. Not necessarily the most original show I’ve ever seen, but I don’t know anyone who watched it so I thought I’d show it some love. Reminded me a lot of The Walking Dead back when it was good. Great performances, I watched it all in a few days. If you’re into post-apocalyptic survival stories, give it a try.
Riverdale is a very ridiculous, very over the top show and I love every god damn second of it. Serial killers? Check. Cults? Check. Musical episodes? Check. Continuously shirtless everybody? Check check check. Nothing brings me as much joy as often as this show. It feels like it’s on more often than the bachelor and as Arie would say I LOVE THAT. I will not apologize for loving this show.
The Haunting of Hill House
At #8 we have The Haunting of Hill House which had such an effective jump scare I think I actually flew a few inches off the couch. Look how spooky this damn picture is! Never knew I needed a horror tv show. Shout out to all the ghosts hidden in the background.
The End of the F***king World
It’s wild to think that this show came out this year. It feels like a lifetime ago. But I guess it was just January. Anyways! These two are an absolute delight to watch. They run away from home together – she thinks they’re falling in love… he’ a psychopath planning how to murder her. You know, standard teenage rom com stuff.
Don’t worry fans I didn’t forget- and coming in at number 6 is Bojack Horseman. This season wasn’t my absolute favorite (I think maybe last season was- I still think about ‘Stupid Piece of Shit’ pretty much every day) but every time a new season comes out, I block out the next 3 days to sit on my couch and laugh and cry and think about life. That’s pretty special. This show is consistently very good, very dark, very funny and every season has at least one episode that floors me, this season was ‘Free Churro’ (pictured). Has this show won an Emmy? This show should win an Emmy.
Top 5 bay bay! This is where I start having extra strong opinions about things. I had pretty high expectations for this show and I was not let down. Jeremy Strong and Brian Cox are so fucking good. Everyone is good actually. Everything in this show is good. By the time you get to the finale you’re like “more of the same goodness I suppose” and then BAM it has an unexpected gut punch of a finale that took this from a show I liked to watch to one I couldn’t stop thinking about. Good job everybody involved.
Not technically a TV show, but it feels wrong not to include Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette on this list. Truly unlike any other comedy special I’ve ever seen, Nanette had me laughing/crying/holding my breath in equal parts. Is calling it life changing too much? Maybe! But I definitely felt…different after watching it. Angrier! More hopeful! Lots of things. Something like that doesn’t come around very often. Watch it.
Man oh man am I gonna miss this show, but what a perfect ending to one of the best TV dramas in the last…ever I would say. The writing, the directing, the acting, the always perfect soundtrack, the opening titles and THE WIGS!! No show does wigs like The Americans does wigs. Obviously Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are fantastic and yes I am personally invested in their on and off screen relationship and yes I sometimes have dreams that we are all friends and go out to dinners together. But this season I couldn’t get enough Noah Emmerich. And Oleg. And Paige. Wow I’m going to miss them all so much.
WHY ??AREN’T??MORE??PEOPLE??WATCHING??THIS??SHOW?? Spooky. Historical. Fiction. In the 1800’s two *real life* ships went missing while trying to find a route through the arctic. This is a creepy/supernatural reimagining of what happened to them. They stick to the truth of what they know happened as much as possible, so it had me going back and forth on my phone googling while I watched a la The Crown. And I liked it so god damn much that I’m now considering going to a Nautical museum in Connecticut to see some of what they’ve recovered from the two ships (which remained lost sea until 2014/2016). Also currently reading the book this is based on. I’m a dork but I swear this show fucking rules.
Well here it is, my favorite TV show of 2018 – Killing Eve. Sandra Oh is perfect in this and Jodie Comer as Villanelle is my favorite character in recent memory. If you’re interested in cat and mouse type thrillers where the cat and mouse have crazy sexual tension, watch this show. Phoebe Waller Bridge apparently can do no wrong! Perfect show 10/10 And I am very sorry to all the shows that were on the list at one point and then got bumped for one reason or another – Queer Eye, Big Mouth, Barry, Sharp Objects, Homecoming, and Maniac…just know that you were also loved. Or at least liked a lot. What were everyone else’s favorite TV shows? If you’d like to tell us, please email email@example.com
Sammy Smart loves TV and Film and started her career as an editor working at a trailer company, where she learned how to effectively tell a story, sometimes in as little as 15 seconds. After three years, she decided to branch out and has since gotten to work on a wide variety of projects and collaborate with some truly incredible people. Sammy worked on narrative films, documentaries, trailers, sizzle reels, branded content, docu-series, music videos and more. She has edited content for Netflix, ABC, Esquire Network, Seventeen Magazine, Comic-Con, Disney, Disney XD, Exxon Mobil, Fortive and the World Wildlife Fund.
When she is not editing, she enjoys getting away from her computer and getting out into nature, or making misshapen bowls on a pottery wheel. She also spends a good amount of time giving belly rubs to her two cats
The Hollywood Stars Gala Oscars® event was held on Sunday, March 4, inside the elegant ballroom of the newly completed Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Celebrities and guests filled the ballroom in support of the evening’s theme “Women in Entertainment.”
“It was so great to see so many celebrities, producers, music industry people, guest support this fabulous event, and especially gratifying to see everyone here stepping up to bring female filmmakers onto equal standing, as they should have always been” said Steven Nia, Chairman and CEO of Wardour Studios. “We here at Wardour Studios are committed to aggressively keep the movement going forward as the industry enters this new era.”
Tables in the ballroom were decorated with gorgeous floral arrangements by George Ortega, Creative Floral Director of “Square Root,” which matched the elegance of the evening only the Waldorf Astoria could provide.
During the hosted VIP Cocktail Reception guests were able to catch glimpses of the Oscars® red carpet arrivals at the Dolby Theater on the screens around the room. While waiting for the Oscars® ceremony to begin, guests had the chance to smile and pose for the camera in the Socal Mirror Photo Booth, creating a memory of the nights’ celebration for them to take home.
When the Academy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel started, those in attendance were invited to indulge in an exquisite dinner created by the Waldorf Astoria’s celebrity chef Jean-George, while watching the winners receive their Oscars® on large screens located around the ballroom.
Announced at the event was one of Wardour Studio’s newest Hollywood China co-productions, “Crossroads to Shaolin”. It is the story of a young American boxer who discovers how to be the true champion that he is at a Shaolin temple, helping him to go on to become world champion. Lee Baker is writing and directing the film, with Stephen Sobisky as visual effects supervisor, and Dan Katzman as producer.
“Steven and I are extremely grateful for all the wonderful participants, this evening, and we hope to be working with many of them soon”, said Angelina Leo, COO of Wardour Studios.
The London West Hollywood served as the venue to the Project Mc2 Part 5 Netflix Premiere, hosted by Jennie Garth along with her teenage daughter Lola, Tori Spelling and her daughter Stell, Jamie Lynn Sigler. Project Mc2 cast members Genneya Walton, Belle Shouse, Victoria Vida, Mika Abdalla, Ysa Panaerjo and girls from DIY Girls and Black Girls Code were also present to celebrate earlier this month.
Guests were treated to a private viewing of Project Mc2 Part 5 followed by a rooftop reception featuring interactive stations of the best-selling S.T.E.A.M. based product line for girls. Guests and girls from DIY Girls and Black Girls Code were able to create their own scents with the Project Mc2 Perfume Maker, apply Project Mc2 Experiment Dolls inspired Glue Tattoos, and play with the Project Mc2 Pixel Purse!
The Emmy nominated series’ theme of “Smart is the new cool” was further celebrated by a special choreographed dance performance powered by Itel SMART bracelets to recreate a fun scene from the Project Mc2 series.
Project Mc2 Part 5 is now available on Netflix. #Smartisthenewcool
Ely Anne Vedar
Fashion & Lifestyle Editor
While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills.
Nostalgia hit me heavy when I found out about the latest collaboration between Hybrid Apparel’s line, Love Tribe and Nickelodeon. This new collection is all about taking it back to Millennial childhood by making a nod to 90’s cartoon classics that so many of us grew up on, and personally, I’m loving every single piece! My favorite pieces include characters from hit shows like Rugrats, All That, and Hey Arnold!. You can also find pieces that feature quotes and characters from Clarissa Explains It All, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and SpongeBob SquarePants.
According to the Vice President of Sales for Specialty Retailers of Hybrid Apparel, Bonnie Dogan explained that the collection was actually in the works for a while now. She says,
“We have been partners with Nickelodeon for a long time, building an incredible relationship together. We love their creativity, and combining their vision with ours was the perfect recipe for an inspiring unique apparel line. There is nothing better then remembering the past, and the things we watched and loved while growing up.“
The Nickelodeon collection a retro style for fashionable millennial women. The garments possess a “throwback” feel, having been made with materials such as terry cloth and jersey, and include trendy slogans such as “Trust Me, I’m a Rugrat,” featuring Chucky Finster from Rugrats and “Haters Gonna Hate,” featuring Arnold from Hey Arnold!.
Love Tribe X Nickelodeon has officially launched this week in stores and online at Macys.com, but the line will officially kick off nationwide with a special event at Macy’s Herald Square in New York at 2:00 pm on August 26, 2017.
“In some ways, Empire is where The Get Down leads to— a corporate culture of rap music. Where The Get Down was about the rise of Rap Music, Empire is the capitalistic result.”
I was hooked. When “Books” Ezekiel Figuero read a poem with his emotionally-charged voice, it was poetry, rap and suddenly, I started to understand something about a culture that had evaded me. With the final episode now aired, we can speak to the merits and trials of this great experiment in television.
It was flawed, to be sure: A lot of storylines, a very weak gay tangent that was never realized, too much production, cartooning and cliches all spun on the head of a needle that could never decide where it wanted to go, but the ride was energetic, thrilling and if you were there, essentially the truth.
The last episode “Only From Exile Can We Come Home” was all the series wrapped into one big conclusion. but with such a delightful silliness ( imagine MX Justin Vivian Bond meets Jobriath tryout meets pop impresario, Robert Stigwood, at the Chelsea Hotel, of course!) that the show should conclude with one over-the-top last community rap, potential demise of our beloved little gay character, the bad guys turning good, it was all simply as Bette Davis once said: too much.
And it will be missed.
There are odd parallels to the other TV series, Empire, which in its third season has managed to stay afloat despite its deflated and contrived storylines — and a cast that feels exhausted. In some ways, Empire is where The Get Down leads to— a corporate culture of rap music. Where The Get Down was about the rise of Rap Music, Empire is the capitalistic result.
Empire lives while the Get Down, the most expensive Netflix series, $120 million to produce, goes to the place where great TV shows fade away.
In celebration of SCANDAL’s 100th episode, SoCal Magazine would like to highlight our coverage of this phenomenal series from last month’s PaleyFest Los Angeles. The entire cast of Shonda Rhimes’ hit show was in attendance and they all shared very unique stories from the set of Scandal along with their bonds off-screen and insight into what to expect from episode 100.
Bellamy Young and Kerry Washington both created emotional moments at Paley Fest when they spoke of the friendship that the cast mates have all built with one another.
“The 100th episode is insane, and you can think of it as the ‘What if…’ episode. It’s an altered reality if things hadn’t gone they way they went. It informs in a really unique way your understanding of all our characters.” – Tony Goldwyn
Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn shared one of their most memorable moments on Scandal was when they touched the Constitution the same night that Obama was re-elected into office.
SCANDAL airs Thursdays at 9|8c on ABC. Check out the gallery below.
Kerry Washington, “Olivia Pope”; Tony Goldwyn, “President Fitzgerald ‘Fitz’ Grant”; Scott Foley, “Jake Ballard”; Guillermo Diaz, “Huck”; Darby Stanchfield, “Abby Whelan”; Bellamy Young, “Mellie Grant”; Katie Lowes, “Quinn Perkins”; Joshua Malina, “David Rosen”; Jeff Perry, “Cyrus Beene”; Cornelius Smith Jr., “Marcus Walker”; Joe Morton, “Rowan Pope”; and George Newborn, “Charlie” celebrated 100 episodes of the hit ABC series. Good Morning America’s Jesse Palmer moderated the panel.
The second weekend of PaleyFest L.A. saw fans of the hit animated series, Bob’s Burgers, gather at The Dolby Theater in Hollywood to see exclusive clips and never before seen footage of upcoming episodes along with a live Q&A and table read with the cast and creators of the show.
There was no shortage of laughter in the theater that evening as most fans of Bob’s would come to expect from the comedic personalities that the fans have come to love.
Moderating the panel that evening was Bob’s Burgers creator, Loren Bouchard, who went on to explain that what makes the show so unique and captivating is that the core of the Belcher Family is optimism. The cast collectively agreed that optimism is certainly an underlying theme between the Belchers as that’s what ultimately glues the family together no matter what obstacles are thrown at them. “In terms of the show itself, a companion to optimism is acceptance and inclusiveness. This show is supportive of anyone and everyone and so non-judgmental and that’s in large part because of you (the fans).” – Executive Producer, Jim Dauterive.
Fans were treated to a sneak peek of the upcoming Easter episode that sees Bob and Linda get competitive over who hides their Easter eggs better. Things take a turn when the couple accidentally gets very drunk on a mysterious bottle of cheap wine. Loren also revealed the news that Bob’s Burgers will finally release a complete soundtrack album this year with the most memorable musical numbers that were written and produced for the show. The official release for the Bob’s Burgers musical album is May 12th, 2017. Fans also learned that a new character will be introduced before this season is over. The biggest reveal was right after the live table read when Loren confirmed that the first episode of the next season will be completely drawn by the fans. Bob’s Burgers has begun promoting a contest through their social media to get fans excited to submit work and be selected to create a full episode.
Make sure to tune in to Bob’s Burgers Sunday nights on FOX.
Panelists included: Jon Benjamin, “Bob Belcher”; John Roberts, “Linda Belcher”; Kristen Schaal, “Louise Belcher”; Eugene Mirman, “Gene Belcher”; Dan Mintz, “Tina Belcher”; Larry Murphy, “Uncle Teddy”; Loren Bouchard, Creator, Executive Producer, Writer; Jim Dauterive,Executive Producer; Paul F. Tompkins, Special Guest; John Early, Special Guest; Brian Gattas, Special Guest; Lindsey Stoddart, Special Guest; and Jennifer Smedley, Special Guest
The Shipley brothers’ ship has come in! Actually their ship was more like a plane, and it didn’t come in, it crash-landed with a mighty explosion on a beach in Puerto Rico. Meet brothers, Justin and Jordan Shipley, the writers and executive producers behind the new TBS TV series “Wrecked”.
Premiering on June 14th 2016 at 10pm, Wrecked is a comedy show that TBS describes as “a bunch of nobodies who get stranded on a desert island after their plane goes down and all hell breaks loose.”
Jordan and Justin Shipley
Hailing from Kansas, the Shipley brothers are polite, articulate, witty, and have a sweetness to them that is wholly endearing. Maybe it’s because they’re still unspoiled by Tinsel Town, this being their first show.
Jordan is the younger and more reserved brother, and confesses that he has been struggling to overcome his shyness. Working on the show has forced Jordan to step outside of his comfort zone. At first during big meetings, Jordan would whisper his ideas to Justin, who would then voice the ideas to the group. As the mouthpiece for the two, Justin, of course, got all the credit for the ideas. But, Justin is quick to add, he also had to take the fall for a few clunkers. Working on Wrecked has further taught the brothers to make rapid decisions. As Justin says: “We weren’t very decisive beforehand, but on set you have to make a million decisions. Now we settle things promptly.”
During the interview it comes to light that Justin and Jordan didn’t write Wrecked with the aim to sell it – they merely needed a writing sample to hopefully get them in the door to write for other TV shows. Their manager, Jesse Hara, suggested that they write something unproducible; something big and crazy. And along came Wrecked.
SoCal magazine sat done with the Shipley brothers for an interview:
Did you always know you wanted to write?
Justin: Yes, I did. I knew I wanted to write comedy for TV and film.
Jordan: (laughs) I still don’t know if I want to write. I did a degree in journalism, but I always knew I wanted to do something under the umbrella of comedy.
When did you two first write together – and what did you write?
Justin: I convinced Jordan to come and write with me.
Jordan: And Wrecked is the first thing we’ve written together.
(The brothers agree that having a writing partner is better because you have someone to bounce things off, and writing becomes active instead of being passive. Plus, there is someone to get angry at other than yourself.)
What has been the best experience while shooting Wrecked?
Jordan: Seeing our vision come to life… watching the plane crash on the beach, and things exploding- it was completely surreal.
Justin: Yes! Our manager had told us “don’t worry about production details or budget, just write”. We never thought our crazy ideas would actually be made, and even once we had the green light, we thought we’d have to tome down the action. But TBS was really supportive of the script. They let us crash a plane, light someone on fire, and crush a man.
What has been the worst experience?
Justin: The lack of sleep. During production, you work 7 days a week, 15 hours a day.
Jordan: And it was stressful. Being first time creators, we didn’t know anything. We were basically learning how to write a TV show while writing a TV show.
What was the most unexpected thing?
Jordan: How much the story changes through each phase, from script to production to post to finish. You think it’s done but then you rewrite in 3 different ways.
Justin: Also, we wrote a lot of animals into Season 1. For example, one of the stranded passengers befriends a little boar, and although the tiny pig was cute as anything, we didn’t realize what a headache that would be. Future seasons will have way fewer animals in. (They both laugh)
Which TV shows do you guys like to watch?
Justin & Jordan: Game of Thrones, Veep, Happy Valley, Catastrophe, Peep Show and Silicone Valley.
Is there a show/scene that you wish you had written?
Justin: There’s a scene in the 2010 film, MacGruber, where a van explodes (both brothers start laughing immediately). That scene is comedic gold. Also, South Park, Tropic Thunder and Team America.
Jordan: Or anything by writer/director Edgar Wright – Shaun of the Dead; Hot Fuzz.
Do you guys argue?
Jordan: Yes – a resounding yes! (Again, they both laugh immediately)
What have you found is the best method for writing together?
Justin: We have to be in the same room but with enough separation – so a big room. Jordan: We write every line together. We write on Google docs so we can see each other’s work instantly.
Do you call each other at odd times of the night with “ah-ha moments”?
Justin: We text each other all the time with thoughts and ideas. Like I’ll text Jordan at night; “Hey! I’ve cracked it, you can relax” – but in the morning it’s more like: “Uh…never mind”.
How has writing Wrecked changed your lives?
Justin: Our income improved, but for me it’s more about the validation. That’s huge – that we are good enough to be doing this.
Jordan: Before Wrecked I was working at Trader Joe’s and barely able to pay my rent. I was borrowing money from Justin every month. He had a better paying job than me.
Justin: We are very aware how fortunate and lucky we are. We know that it’s fairly unique to sell your first writings right off the bat.
Jordan: Yes, we may not have paid our dues – (he laughs) – but I paid Justin.
What does the future hold for the Shipley Brothers?
Justin: We’ve signed a first look deal with TBS, meaning any TV show we develop in the next 2 years, TBS has the option to make it.
Jordan: And hopefully there will be a Season 2 of Wrecked