‘Mo’ is the first show that really gets Houston and its strip mall heart.

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Butterfly and Penguins from FunnyAnimals

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.)

MO. Mo Amer as Mo in episode 101 of MO. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
MO. (L to R) Teresa Ruiz as Maria, Mo Amer as Mo, Tobe Nwigwe as Nick in episode 101 of MO. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
MO. Mo Amer as Mo in episode 106 of MO. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

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:


Did She-Hulk just hint at a future Hulk project? Possibly!

The creator of Andor explains that he wanted to create a story in the Star Wars universe that was about “real people” and how this revolution is affecting their lives, too.

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.

My GOD, Nick Cannon, learn what contraception is already.


In Development

Casting News

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.

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.


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+

Late Night:

  • 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
THUR 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Press Your Luck
Generation Gap
The Con
CBS Young Sheldon
Big Brother
CSI: Vegas
CW Bump
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Great Chocolate Showdown
FOX NFL Preseason Football
NBC Law & Order
Law & Order: SVU
Law & Order: Organized Crime

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