Monthly Archives: January 2016

First Look at Vixen

Yes we have seen her before on the animated series on CW Seed, but today we get a first look at Megalyn Echikunwoke as the live action version of Vixen, and she looks pretty awesome.

Her costume looks similar to the cartoon’s but is even more detailed and visually interesting. BONUS: unlike a lot of female super hero costumes, she looks like she can actually fight crime without any nip slips. No silly keyhole cut outs, no stilettos, no plunging necklines. I do have give credit to the DC TV team on that, all their women wear practical BAMF clothing.

‘America’s Next Top Model’ Could Find New Home

americas-next-top-model

I haven’t watched America’s Next Top Model since the Eva Marcille and Yaya Dacosta days, so I was surprised at first that it was still on the air after all these years and then surprised again that the CW had decided to cancel it after 22 cycles.

But fear not!  The show is being shopped around to other networks and streaming services, so there’s a chance it could live on.

America’s Next Top Model’s current 22nd cycle may not be its final runway bow. While the reality veteran is ending its run on the CW with a series finale on Dec. 4, I hear there is a possibility for a 23rd cycle elsewhere. I’ve learned that a new Top Model installment is currently being pitched to cable and streaming outlets. It is being shepherded by Top Model executive producer/showrunner Ken Mok. I hear the potential reboot is being done with co-creator/star Tyra Banks’ support. She is expected to continue as an executive producer, should Top Model find a new home. Her potential on-screen involvement is unclear at this time. (“I truly believe it’s time,” she wrote in reaction to the announcement of the show’s end on the CW last month.) [Deadline]

Are you ready for a WOC Nancy Drew?

It’s pilot season, and they’re off and running. CBS has officially picked up the pilot for the proposed new Nancy Drew series, the oh so imaginatively titled Drew.

You are probably wondering why I would discuss a series based on probably the whitest detective in young adult fiction on a site devoted to WOC. Whelp, looks like ol’ Nancy is getting a makeover. CBS called this version of the iconic character “diverse.” Their word, not mine. We will clue them into the fact that a single person is not “diverse” later; you’ll have to forgive CBS, they’re new to this diversity thing. Glenn Geller, the newly minted president of CBS did confirm that Nancy would not be white, but we don’t know at this time what ethnicity she will be.

Say good bye to the white strawberry blonde, Nancy’s going ethnic!

This isn’t the only the change, Nancy will move from her upper-middle class white suburb to NYC, she will be in her thirties instead of late teens, and she will work for the NYPD as a detective. Makes you wonder why they even bothered to name her Nancy Drew, doesn’t it?

I’m taking a wait and see attitude on this one. I welcome another WOC lead, but taking a iconic white character and messing with her ethnicity could be a disaster. Can they really make white bread Nancy Drew a real WOC?

PBS hops on the “Hamilton” bandwagon, is set to air documentary on making the musical

PBS’s has announced that their Great Performances anthology series will air RadicalMedia’s Hamilton’s America this fall. The documentary is a behind-the-scenes look at making the Broadway smash. It follows creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda and his team as they went about bringing Hamilton to the masses. Apparently it will also show scenes from the impossible-to-get-tickets-to play.

Lin-Manuel had this to say:

“On behalf of the entire ‘Hamilton’ cast and creative team, many of whom are ‘In The Heights’ alumni, we are overjoyed to be returning to PBS in partnership with RadicalMedia with this project. We invited filmmaker Alex Horwitz into ‘the room where it happened’ a few years ago, and he’s captured parts of this journey no one has seen. We can’t wait to share it, thanks to PBS.”

In my real life (yes I have one) my hubby has a degree in theater, so needless to say we have a lot of theater nerd friends. I have never in all the years I have hanging out with this bunch seen more excitement over a play than I have for Hamilton. I feel I must acknowledge that not everyone is a fan, a lot of people feel Lin-Manuel would be better off putting his talents to work on a story that is about POC, and not sticking POC in as place holders for white slave owners. But with that said, Hamilton has really helped to diversify Broadway and I’m excited to see it get even more attention and more audience.

“Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee”

I am so sorry I did not see this item over the weekend, and I hope it’s not too late!

credit: NBC News

Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis’s grandson Muta’Ali Muhammad has filmed a documentary on his famous grandma. Titled Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee, Muta’Ali spent long hours chatting with Ruby on her values and pearls of wisdom. It is structured in three sections, love, art and activism. Muta’Ali reports that Ruby resisted the idea of a documentary until he floated the concept of a grandmother passing along her ideals and values to her grandson’s generation. “She really latched on to that because family is so important to her and she felt like a story like that can really strengthen the bonds in any family. Anyone who watched it might be inspired to connect and talk with their elders.”

The film also includes appearances by Alan Alda, Angela Bassett, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Hill Harper, Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee, S. Epatha Merkerson, Phylicia Rashad, Glynn Turman, Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez and Malik Yoba. That’s quite a line up!

The documentary premiered January 17th on Centric TV, (I don’t know if they will play it again) and will then be released February 1st on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

Shonda Rhimes & Norman Lear team up for “America Divided”

Shonda Rhimes is moving forward with her plot for world domination by teaming up the legendary producer Norma Lear for the documentary series America Divided.

The series will premier on Epix in the fall. Every episode will focus on a different social issue and each documentary will be hosted by different people. For example, America Ferrera take a look at the issues around access to the ballot and healthcare for poor women in Texas while Common will look at disparities in the criminal justice system.

According to Shonda’s statement:

“The promise of the American dream was a united country where everyone is treated equal. That promise has clearly been broken; all you have to do is look around to see that our reality has been built on the back of inequality. It’s my hope that this series will inspire audiences to be part of a change that leads us into a stronger, more equal future.”

Sounds intriguing. I have a feeling Trump supporters won’t be fans.

Scholastic pulls Happy Slave book from distribution. But who thought this was a good idea?

Warning: This post will probably make you all ragey. Fangirluprising.com is not responsible for any rooms you may trash as a result.

Scholastic publishing house, the people who gave us Harry Potter and too-many-to-count school book fairs have been forced to pull the book A Birthday Cake for George Washington from distribution because of the uproar over the book’s depiction of slaves happily serving their master.

“…we believe that, without more historical background on the evils of slavery than this book for younger children can provide, the book may give a false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves and therefore should be withdrawn.”

Continue reading Scholastic pulls Happy Slave book from distribution. But who thought this was a good idea?

America Ferrera: Superstore wasn’t cast diverse for diversity’s sake

In a recent interview with NPR, America Ferrera, star and executive producer for NBC’s new comedy Superstore, explained that they didn’t cast a diverse group of actors just for the sake of diversity.

“We all come from such different experiences of life, and what that does — it’s not just about diversity for the sake of diversity, This diversity gives us the opportunity to approach topics like race from a place of experience. Not just from a place of intellectualism and having conversations, but about [being able to say,] ‘Hey, this is my experience, and it’s messed up. And no one’s right and no one’s wrong.’”

I like this, because it points out the diversity isn’t about just having different skin colors on the screen, it about bringing new stories and perspectives to the table. This is why shows like black-ish and Empire are kicking ass on TV, because they’re fresh and new. Notice how the Dallas revival didn’t last long, it was old and tired. We saw it all back in the 80’s.

Bringing these new stories to TV is paying off big time. Superstore ratings are solid so far, and we all know that Empire‘s ratings are the envy of just about every other show on TV that doesn’t include chasing a football around. Someone send the memo to the movie studios, please.

Here is the complete interview with America.

“Empire” renewed for Season 3

It’s been said that there are only two things in life that are certain, Death and Taxes. I think we can add a third thing to the list, Empire gets renewed.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, FOX has announced that the Lyon family gets another season to mess with each other. At this point we don’t know how many episodes they will get, Empire had twelve episodes in S1 and eighteen in S2, which is still running. There has been some discussion in the fandom as to whether or not eighteen episodes was a good idea, as the show had some problems with pacing this season. I’m hoping they will cut back to more like fifteen to keep the quality up.

The other big issue with the show has been the never ending stream of guest stars and how they have taken the focus off the Lyons. Note to Lee Daniels: Honey I know it’s hard to turn down that long line of famous faces scratching at your door begging for a role, but find your spine, OK? We are there for one reason and one reason only, Cookie and the rest of the Lyons. Let me put it in pictures for you: Continue reading “Empire” renewed for Season 3

“Pitch” makes it to home plate, gets pilot order

FOX has ordered a pilot for the new hour long drama Pitch. The show centers on young woman who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball. Kylie Bunbury (Under the Dome, Tut) has been cast as the first female MLBer.

Prolific producer Dan Fogelman (Grandfathered, Galavant) and Rick Singer (Younger, American Dad!) will write the script and be executive producers.