We’re friends, so I’m not going to pull a Kelly Ripa or Meghan McCain on you and lie about where I am while I am writing this. A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided that we were sick to death of our house and that we could just as easily do our jobs from a cabin in the woods, and made plans to escape Houston for a bit. We rented the place before weeks before Houston became one of the country’s worst COVID-19 hotspots, and left town literally on the day when our idiot governor looked around and realized he’d really shit the bed on this one and tried to pull back his reopen orders — sorta. Kinda. But not entirely, and certainly not enough.
So I am writing this from a place of admitted relief for my own family’s safety but ABSOLUTE RAGE at my state and country’s complete lack of leadership on this. After managing to avoid an outbreak through shut-down orders and mask mandates, our state leadership flipped the table Teresa Giudice-style, opening everything back up — restaurants, bars, tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, EVERYTHING — and blocking local leadership from issuing mask orders. And now here we are.
(AND DO NOT COME AT ME ABOUT THE PROTESTS BEING THE CAUSE OF OUR SPIKE: there were protests all over the country, but it is the states where the governors reopened too quickly that are seeing the increase of cases, maybe because they allowed masses of people to congregate in air-conditioned spaces without masks. IT IS NOT HARD TO UNDERSTAND.)
As a result, I’m a little salty about what’s going on around the country and all these dumbasses who announced that they were going to reopen movie theaters and theme parks and concerts. So, you know, pardon my tone. OR DON’T. I DON’T CARE. JUST WEAR A MASK.
ALSO, OUR PRESIDENT IS A TRAITOR WHO IS LOOKING THE OTHER WAY WHILE RUSSIA PUTS BOUNTIES ON OUR SOLDIERS HEADS AND SOMEHOW WE ARE NOT STRINGING HIM UP BY HIS TOES ALREADY EXCUSE ME I AM GOING TO GO SCREAM IN THE WOODS FOR A BIT.
Oh, the July 17 reopening of Disneyland has been postponed? GEE, WHY? Now, what about that July 11 reopening of Disney World seeing that Florida’s COVID numbers have risen FIVE FOLD in two weeks? Hmm? Any thoughts?
Let me get this straight: Las Vegas and Reno reopened their indoor, air-conditioned casinos that are designed to hold hundreds of thousands, and where people are constantly touching cards, chips and slot machines and Nevada DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A MASK ORDER IN PLACE UNTIL NOW?
Oh, but don’t worry, British movie-goers, you won’t have to wear masks, and why should you?
Herd Immunity Fest — yes, that was the actual name of an actual music festival in Wisconsin — has decided to rebrand for some reason. But they’re still planning on holding it, so I guess the people in charge remain stupid.
The NFL has canceled the Pro Football Hall of Fame game. They swear that the rest of the season will proceed normally. We’ll see.
The Kentucky Derby will happen on September 1-5 with fans under “strict social distancing” orders. We’ll see.
Hey, remember that country singer, Chase Rice, that one of the Bachelor contestants had to admit she had dated after the show sent her and the Bachelor on a date to his concert? Yeah, he just had a totally packed concert in Tennessee this weekend. Another singer, someone named Chris Janson, had an outdoor concert in Idaho where no one was wearing masks. Great job, everyone.
Quibi is making a remake of The Princess Bride featuring a bunch of stars filming from home including: Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, Common and Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, and Chris Pine and Annabelle Wallis, along with Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Garner, Elijah Wood, Jon Hamm, Beanie Feldstein, Lucas Hedges, Jenna Ortega, Jack Black, David Oyelowo, Keegan-Michael Key, Patton Oswalt, Josh Gad, Andy Serkis, Diego Luna, Taika Waititi and Zazie Beetz and more.
But it’s not a straight-forward remake — it’s going to be broken up into short bits (or “quick bites” if you will), roles will be gender-reversed, LEGOs might be involved — it’s a loving homage more than a “remake,” so everyone can CALM DOWN ALREADY. Also, it’s raising money for José Andrés’ charity World Central Kitchen so it’s for a good cause.
The Bachelorette is going to start filming “soon” in a quarantined location. GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!
Showtime has picked up We Hunt Together, a BBC drama to help fill its virus-hit schedule.
Martha Stewart is making a new show for HGTV called Martha Knows Best, where she wanders around her farm and does chores during the shutdown.
And Jaime Oliver’s Channel 4 show, Jamie: Keep Cooking And Carry On, is coming to Hulu.
Pinewood Studios, a studio in Atlanta, has come up with their production safety plan for when filming begins again in Georgia.
That said, resuming production is going to be a hard, expensive proposition. Good luck, everyone!
Here’s the Fleabag/Normal People crossover/fundraiser you didn’t know you needed:
DONATE PLEASE. (I’m screaming because I’m excited) https://t.co/ubcBei5KPC
— Paul Mescal (@mescal_paul) June 26, 2020
Catchphrase will be ITV’s first show to be filmed following lockdown.
The Democrats are scaling back their convention in Milwaukee, putting it in a smaller venue and adding many more virtual events.
Black is King will debut on Disney+ on July 31. Beyoncé is donating proceeds from the songs on the visual album to her BeyGOOD initiative to help Black-owned businesses hit hard in Houston during the COVID-19 outbreak. She is my queen.
Black Lives Matter
While I was traveling across the country, a bunch of shows made some changes:
- Kristen Bell has stepped down from voicing a biracial character on Apple TV+’s Central Park.
- Jenny Slate left Big Mouth and apologized for Black erasure.
- The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice characters of color.
- Family Guy will recast the character of Cleveland (and Wendell Pierce has volunteered to take over the role).
- Scrubs pulled an episode that featured blackface.
- The Golden Girls pulled an episode that featured blackface.
- Community pulled an episode that featured blackface.
- A scene from an episode of The Office has been pulled that featured blackface.
- South Park has pulled five episodes over depictions of the prophet Muhammed.
- Gone With the Wind returned to HBO Max but with a four-minute introduction by TCM’s Jacqueline Stewart who contextualizes the debate around the film and explains the concerns about the depiction of slavery.
- Alison Brie apologized for voicing a Vietnamese character on BoJack Horseman (but the show has already ended, so it’s a done deal).
You’ll be shocked to learn that people are SO MAD about some of these changes. Oh well, too bad.
Wait, you’re telling me a middle-aged white lady has some anti-Black Lives Matter feelings? (I’m not dismissing people’s anger over this, just expressing my complete lack of surprise.)
Oprah is hosting OWN Spotlight: Oprah and 100 Black Fathers on OWN tomorrow night.
Wait, wait, WAIT. Van Jones — “radical” Van Jones who was chased out of his Obama administration job for being too liberal — has been working with Jared “Haunted Doll” Kushner on the White House’s weak-ass Executive Order on police reform all along and then COMMENTING on his own work on CNN as if he had nothing to do with it? Of course, I don’t know why I’m surprised. This is the same idiot who declared after President Turdburger’s first State of the Union address that, “He became President of the United States in that moment, period.” So, in retrospect, this all makes perfect sense.
All Other TV News
Hamilton is going to be available on Disney+ later this week. Here’s a very interesting piece about how it was made and why it is coming to streaming at this moment in time (because COVID-19).
The Lord of the Rings series has put out a casting call for actors who have “facial burns, long skinny limbs, acne scars, deep cheekbones, a bulbous or interesting nose, ears that stick out, facial lines, missing bones, large eyes, skinny faces, and more.” They are also looking for “androgynous men and women, hairy people of all ages and ethnicities, circus performers who can juggle, stocky mean-looking bikers, and red heads of all ages, shapes, and sizes.”
Variety is hosting a virtual Better Call Saul cast conversation if you want to sit in on it.
Wait, Philip Seymour Hoffman was offered the role of Michael on The Office? AS WAS PAUL GIAMATTI? Listen. Look. Both men are (were) great actors, but absolutely not.
FuboTV just signed a deal with Disney to offer EPSN on its streaming services, making it a decent service for sports fans.
But hey, at least NASA is doing something awesome and renaming their headquarters in D.C. after Mary W. Jackson.
- Twenties has been renewed at BET for a second season.
- Chrissy’s Court has been renewed for a second season at Quibi.
- Jersey Shore Family Vacation has been renewed for a third season at MTV.
- Gangs of London has been renewed for a second season. It is set to be on AMC here in the States
- Council of Dads has been canceled at NBC after one season.
- Vagrant Queen has been canceled at Syfy after one season.
- Escape the Night has been canceled at YouTube.
- The Afterparty, a murder-mystery comedy from Chris Miller and Phil Lord, has been ordered at Apple TV+.
- Conversations with Friends, another novel by Sally Rooney, is being adapted at Hulu after the success of Normal People.
- Disco Elysium is being adapted into a TV series.
- In Memoriam, a sci-fi drama, is being developed at HBO Max.
- Baby Shark is being turned into an animated series at Nickelodeon. I’m so sorry, parents.
- Dirty Lines has been ordered at Netflix.
- Love Lindsey, Forever is being developed at Quibi.
- The Hills Have Eyes For You has been acquired by Netflix.
- Disruptors with Jemele Hill and Cari Champion has been ordered at Vice TV.
- Book of Marlon has been greenlit at HBO Max. Marlon Wayans has also signed an overall deal with HBO Max.
- Kevin Jordan has signed an overall deal with MACRO Television Studios.
- Luke Evans has joined the cast of Nine Perfect Strangers on Hulu.
- Rob Benedict will appear in Lucifer on Netflix.
- Jade Pettyjohn is joining the cast of Big Sky on ABC.
Mark Your Calendar
- The Handmaid’s Tale will return on Hulu sometime in 2021.
- Little Voice will premiere on Apple TV+ on July 10.
- Muppets Now will debut on Disney+ on July 31.
- Expecting Amy will debut on HBO Max on July 9.
- Stateless will debut on Netflix on July 8.
- Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist will return on NBC in 2021.
- Books of Blood will air on Hulu in October.
- World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji will premiere on Amazon on August 14.
- The Wrong Wedding Planner will debut on LMN on July 17 and The Wrong Stepfather will debut on July 31.
- The Comey Rule has been moved to September 27 and September 28 on Showtime.
- The Good Lord Bird has been pushed back to October 4 on Showtime.
- We Are Love Freestyle Supreme will now debut on Hulu on July 17.
- AMC is going to air a Better Call Saul marathon on July 9, and release a digital short-form series The Broken and the Bad on the same day.
Lee Crystal, Executive Producer of PBS NewsHour
Linda Cristal, Actress on The High Chaparral and General Hospital among others
Stuart Cornfeld, Producer of Zoolander and Tropic Thunder
Kelly Asbury, Director of Shrek 2 and Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimmaron
Charles Webb, Author of The Graduate
Milton Glaser, Designer, creator of the iconic I ♥ NY logo among others
Kids, Race and Unity: A Nick News Special: Alicia Keys hosts this special that will feature the Black Lives Matters leaders answering kids questions from real kids, and offer constructive ideas for families on how to have conversations about race and inclusivity. 6 p.m., NIckelodeon
Cannonball: I don’t know, it’s some sort of “water competition” hosted by The Miz — who I remember best from The Real World, but who apparently became a wrestler? Anyway, it is going to be on USA, but NBC is desperate for content ANY CONTENT and is debuting it here. 9 p.m., NBC
Steel Magnolias: DRINK YOUR JUICE, SHELBY! 8 p.m., LMN
|ABC||The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart
|Bob Hearts Abishola
|CW||Whose Line is it Anyway?
|Whose Line is it Anyway?
|Penn & Teller: Fool Us
|9-1-1: Lone Star
|NBC||The Titan Games