Here are a bunch of penguins chasing a butterfly:
Here’s A BUNCH OF TV News
Mo Amer is out here representing Houston in his Netflix show Mo and it is wonderful. (And no, he does not really have a lean addiction.)
I watched the first few episodes yesterday, and I have never seen Houston so accurately, and lovingly, represented. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little verklempt during the opening sequence in the first episode which shows off my deeply unpredictable and weird hometown.
But more than the downtown skyline and our weird giant President sculptures and the 59 bridges, more than show off those very Houston locations, what Mo does that honors Houston is that it doesn’t shy away from our strip mall culture — instead, it embraces it. In fact, it’s this strip mall culture that is at the heart of both Mo and Houston itself. If you spend any time in Mo Amer’s Alief neighborhood, or in Bellaire’s Chinatown, or in Spring Branch, and you’ll find strip malls with Honduran restaurants next to Taiwanese markets next to hookah bars. Our strip malls might be unsightly to some, but it’s uniquely Houston, and uniquely diverse.
And I can’t tell you how many people don’t believe me when I tell them that Houston is our country’s most diverse city. People outside of Texas and the Gulf Coast have very strange notions of what kind of place Houston is; when some of my friends from New York came here for my wedding, they were shocked at how “green” it was, fully expecting a desert landscape with white cowboys riding around on horseback. And while we do have cowboys here, they are as likely to be Black or Hispanic as they are white. And sure, we’re famous for our barbecue in Texas, and some of the very best of it here in Houston is made by Vietnamese refugees. (You have to check out one of Khói Barebcue’s pop-ups as they prepare their brick-and-mortar restaurant.)
Mo does a wonderful job of shattering these false notions, and focusing on our strength: our diversity, the very engine that drives Houston, a place where literally everyone can find their community.
From the Variety piece linked above:
Centering this show on a Palestinian refugee, his family, and his Black, Latino and Asian friends makes it look very different than most projects set in Texas. And each episode is full of Houston touchstones. What was the process of developing the homebase for the series?
There’s never been a narrative sitcom filmed out of Houston. It’s the fourth largest city in America. The most diverse city in America. In the neighborhood we filmed out of, my beloved Alief, there 80 languages spoken. So I found it just astounding that that’s never happened. And the landscape of Houston is really fascinating to me. I always described [“Mo”] as wanting to film an urban western. The beautiful skies, the clouds, the sun. Cinematically, it imports itself for some really beautiful shots. It was so exciting just to do it right. I don’t feel like anybody does it right! Anybody that imagines Texas, they think … [Amer puts on an exaggerated Southern accent] “Just a bunch of people just hanging out, bein’ racist! Know what I mean? [He returns to his regular voice.] It’s nice to shift that cognitive frame and show people how diverse Houston is and how much it has to offer. I think “Reba” is the only show that took place in Houston, but they actually filmed it in a studio in Los Angeles. And “Reba’s” a classic three-camera network sitcom, versus a single-cam, theatrical, cinematic vibe. It’s never happened before.
(He’s wrong about Reba being the only show set in Houston, however. In terms of scripted shows, back in the 80s there was a cop show called Houston Knights; Also in the 80s was a legal drama Judd, For the Defense; Houston native Michael Strahan starred in a sitcom set in Houston called Brothers; The 90s family sitcom Thea was set in Houston; Chase was a crime drama set here; there was an insane-sounding time-traveling series called Outlaws in the 80s; And finally, there was an 80s soap opera creatively named Texas that was set here. None of these shows, admittedly, ran as long as Reba.)
Yes, there are two major fantasy series about to be on at the same time: House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. BUT TELEVISION IS NOT A ZERO-SUM GAME. People can watch both shows, at the same time! It’s possible! Now can we stop talking about this?
In today’s How is Warner Bros. Discovery Being a Dick Today? news roundup:
- They’ve been hosting Batgirl “funeral screenings” for people who worked on the film. Reportedly, the footage might be destroyed after this week.
- They fired 29 people at HBO Max in Europe including programming directors.
- They have shifted the release dates for some DC films.
Dear Mr. Zaslav,
I just read an article @THR about supposed ‘funeral screenings’ of #Batgirl and the possibility afterwards that the film footage would be destroyed.. if this is the case, as one of many who poured our hearts into the making of this
— Ivory Aquino (@MsIvoryAquino) August 25, 2022
The Walking Dead: Dead City is the new name for the previously titled Isle of the Dead. Alright.
Bravo has finally responded to the vicious attacks on Garcelle Beauvais’ kids by fans of RHOBH:
America’s Funniest Home Videos is increasing the prize pot and bringing live audiences back.
Being obsessed with the news is bad your health. YEAH, I AM PRETTY SURE EVERYONE WHO LIVED THROUGH 2016-2020 COULD TELL YOU THAT.
No one wants to broadcast your awards show. Probably because there are too many awards shows.
- The Umbrella Academy has been renewed for a fourth — and final — season on Netflix.
- Danger Force has been renewed for a third season on Nickelodeon.
- Man Like Mobeen has been renewed at BBC for a fourth season.
- A documentary about Louis C.K.’s fall from grace and — gross — his comeback is in the works at Paramount+. No one asked for this
- A Gentleman in Moscow starring Ewan McGregor has been set at Paramount+.
- Cleopatra and Frankenstein is being adapted into a TV series by Warner Bros. TV.
- Master of Light, an award-winning documentary, has been acquired by HBO.
- Horizon Zero Down is being developed into a series at Netflix.
- Rivals, an eight-part series, has been set at Disney+.
- Orbital, a drama set on the International Space Station, is being developed at Netflix.
- Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust is being developed into a limited series.
- A documentary about Robbie Williams is in the works at Netflix.
- Giants, a nature docuseries, has been ordered at Curiosity.
- BBC has ordered Queen of Oz, a comedy from Catherine Tate and Scottish drama Mayflies. Gladiators is being rebooted; and Blue Planet III has been ordered as well.
- The Gathering, a crime drama, has been set at Channel 4.
- Dana Honor has signed an overall deal with Universal Television.
- Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett have renewed their overall deal with MTV Entertainment Studios, and are making Heist 88 into a film.
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan is joining The Boys on Prime Video.
- Scott Caan will star in Alert on Fox.
- Simu Liu and Sterling K. Brown have joined the cast of Atlas on Netflix.
- Christian Slater will star in The Spiderwick Chronicles on Disney+. Lyon Daniels and Noah Cottrell are also joining the cast.
- Nicole Beharie has joined The Morning Show on Apple TV+.
- Alexa Mansour is joining Avalon on ABC.
- Charles Babalola will star in King Shaka on Showtime. Aïssa Maïga, Thando Dlomo, Thapelo Mokoena, and Warren Masemola have also been cast.
- Cleopatra Coleman has been cast as V. Stiviano in The Sterling Affair on FX.
- Joaquim de Almeida, Darren Barnet, Kevin Carroll, and JD Pardo are joining the cast of Road House on Prime Video.
- Craig Parkinson, Gurjeet Singh, and Naana Agyei-Ampadu have joined the cast of Mrs. Sidhu Investigates on AcornTV.
- Alexander Skarsgård, Dagmara Domińczyk, Arian Moayed, Juliana Canfield, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Hope Davis, Cherry Jones, Justin Kirk and Stephen Root are all set to return to Succession on HBO.
- Barbie Ferreira is leaving Euphoria on HBO.
- Kelli Giddish will leave Law & Order: SVU this season.
On the comments on her Instagram post above, new showrunner, David Graziano wrote: “You might take a moment to entertain the idea that things are more complex than they appear in a world of emojis and tweets. All I’ll say is Kelli has handled this with the most incredibly classy comportment. She is, without a doubt, one of the finest industry professionals I’ve come across in my 24 years of writing for television. I’m saddened by her looming exit. It’ll be my lucky day if I ever get to write for her again.” HMM.
And don’t worry, Ice-T is going nowhere.
FYI. People think I’m leaving SVU every time I do something else. Do they not understand I’ve got 20 Jobs! Simultaneously 💎
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) August 24, 2022
Mark Your Calendars
- Pinocchio premieres on Disney+ on September 8.
- The Handmaid’s Tale will return on Hulu on September 14.
- The Walking Dead returns on October 2.
- Los Espookys returns on HBO and HBO Max on September 16.
- Andor will debut on Disney+ on September 21.
- Out of Office will premiere on Comedy Central on September 5.
- White Noise will debut on Netflix later this year.
- My Best Friend’s Exorcism will premiere on Prime Video on September 30.
- Central Park returns on Apple TV on September 9.
- Best in Dough will premiere on Hulu on September 19.
- Wednesday premieres on Netflix this fall.
- Rogue Heroes premieres on EPIX this fall.
- Destination Paris will debut on Paramount+ on September 6.
- Stand will premiere on Showtime in early 2023.
- Athena will premiere on Netflix on September 23.
- Narco-Saints will premiere on Netflix on September 9.
- Batwheels premieres on HBO Max on September 17.
- A Christmas Story Christmas will premiere on HBO Max on November 17; Holiday Harmony and A Christmas Mystery on November 24; and A Hollywood Christmas on December 1.
- Outchef’d will premiere on Food Network on September 27.
- Discovery+, Travel Channel, and Food Network have released their “Ghostober” programming details.
- Shark Side of the Moon is a real movie that is currently streaming on Tubi.
Joe E. Tata, Actor best known as Nat on Beverly Hills, 90210
Gerald Potterton, Heavy Metal director and animator on Yellow Submarine
The End is Nye: Bill Nye dives into natural disasters and uses science to explain how we can survive, mitigate and even prevent them in the future. Spoiler alert: Climate Change is a sonofabitch. Series premiere. Peacock & 9 p.m., Syfy
House of Ho: Season two premiere of the reality series that follows the wealthy Ho family of Houston. HBO Max
Little Demon: Seventh grader Chrissy Feinberg discovers she’s the antichrist in this new animated series. Premiere. 9 p.m., FXX
See: Third and final season premiere. Apple TV+
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, a performance by the cast of “Moulin Rouge”
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Nikki Glaser, Danny DeVito, Jameela Jamil, and Ingrid Andress
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