Monthly Archives: February 2016

Maya Rudolph and Martin Short are getting a variety show

Apparently Maya Rudolph and Martin Short killed it on the SNL 40th Anniversary Special, they got a show out of it. Come May we will seeing Maya and Marty in Manhattan on our screens on NBC. I know this sounds like an odd pairing, I can see it working. Both of them are incredibly versatile.

Lorne Michaels, legendary SNL producer, will executive produce and the show will air live from NBC’s 30 Rock studios. While the exact format is still being worked out, according to Variety it’s expected to be a contemporary spin on The Carol Burnett Show, with musical numbers, comedy sketches and celebrity guests. If you recall The Maya Rudolph Show special that aired in 2014, that was supposed to be a trial run for this show.

Maya Rudolph and Martin Short at the SNL 40th Anniversary Special. credit: TVLine.com

Will you be watching? Personally I miss The Carol Burnett Show so I’m really hoping they do manage to recreate some that magic.

HBO releases the trailer for “Confirmation”

HBO has released the trailer for their movie Confirmation. The movie, which we have written about this movie before on this site, stars Karry Washington as Anita Hill, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. We all know how this ended, Thomas got the post and very undistinguished career on the court while Anita got beat up by a bunch of white guys in the confirmation hearing and in a nasty book (that was later repudiated by the author).

Here’s the trailer:

The hearing did, however, succeed in bringing sexual harassment into the national spotlight. Anita has risen above her shameful treatment by the right wing and has become a distinguished law professor. Success is the best revenge!

Confirmation premieres on April 16th.

#1000BlackGirlBooks Marley Dias represents on The Nightly Show

Remember how I wrote about Marley Dias, the young sister who got fed up with reading books about white guys and their dogs? She reached her goal to gather 1000 books with black girl protagonists and in celebration visited Larry Whilmore on The Nightly Show.

 

I have a feeling this will not the last time we write about this dynamic gal.

Audra McDonald and Leontyne Price are two of the first people to be inducted into Legends at Lincoln Center

Theater legend Audra McDonald and Opera Diva Leontyne Price have been named as two members of the inaugural class of inductees into Lincoln Center’s new hall of fame Legends at Lincoln Center. They will join producer-director Harold Prince, Jazz great Louis Armstrong, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and opera singer Placido Domingo as the first people to be honored.

credit: JOSEPH MARZULLO/WENN

Audra has won 6 Tony awards, 2 Grammys and an Emmy.  She’s currently slated to open in Shuffle Along on Broadway this spring. She has a long history with Lincoln Center; she trained at Lincoln Center’s Julliard school and received her first Tony for Carousel at Lincoln Center only one year after graduating. She hasn’t looked back since. You can read her biography on her web page.

Leontyne Price was the first African American to gain acclaim as a international opera star, and she did it in the 1950’s and 60’s era, a time when she could sing on the world’s greatest stages, but could not sit at the Woolworth’s lunch counter. Despite that, she had an amazing career, you can read more about her on her wiki page. She is currently retired and living in New York City.

Nasim Pedrad to play a 14 year old boy in series pilot. Really.

SNL alum Nasim Pedrad has scored a pilot order from Fox for her show about a 14 year-old Middle eastern boy who has to assume the duties of The Man of the House while negotiating his way through adolescence. Nasim will be playing the boy, and she co-wrote the script.

“I’m thrilled to be able to portray a Middle Eastern family not working for or against Jack Bauer on network TV,” remarked Nasim. “Also, a big thank you to Fox for understanding that my true essence is that of an awkward and misguided 14-year-old boy.”

Joking and gender bending aside, Variety points out that this show could be a huge step for diversity in TV.

In pitching the project, Pedrad, who is drawing upon her upbringing and heritage for the pilot, stressed her desire to portray a realistic Iranian American family living in the U.S., representing not only the Iranian American community, but also offering an authentic portrayal of the larger immigrant experience. Sources close to the show say the series aims to be relatable to all teenagers who experience struggles with fitting in.

When I first heard about this show I was all WTF? As I read more about, the idea is growing on me. I’ll take all the diversity I can get on my screen right now.

Taraji P Henson to star in film about women who helped win the space race

If you ever watched the movie Apollo 13, and I have many times, you would think that back then NASA was all nerdy white guys in skinny black ties. Turns out that’s not quite the case, there was a trio of brilliant Black women mathematicians in the back room performing critical calculations in the age before computers. Their mad math skills influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shuttle.

The women were Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson and now we get a movie about them. based on the book Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. The movie, titled Hidden Figures, will star none other than Taraji P Henson as Katherine Johnson.

Former NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson is seen after President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

You can read more about Katerine Johnson on the NASA site.  I did want to share this little tidbit though:

John Glenn requested that she personally recheck the calculations made by the new electronic computers before his flight aboard Friendship 7 – the mission on which he became the first American to orbit the Earth.

Isn’t that the coolest thing?

Hidden Figures is stated for release Jan. 13, 2017 to coincide with Dr. Martin Luther King day.

Misty Copeland does Degas

Edgar Degas was known for his impressionistic paintings of ballerinas. Misty Copeland is one of the greatest working ballerinas today. In a photo shoot that was nothing short of pure genius, Harper’s Bazaar brought them together and had Misty recreate some of Degas’s most famous works.

Head over to the link and check it all out, but give yourself plenty of time to stare at the beauty that is Misty/Degas. You’ll probably want to steal some of the pics for your desktop, the work is GORGEOUS. Just look at this:

My chin hit the desk when that popped up.

There’s plenty more where that came from. I’ll leave you with a behind the scenes video. You’re Welcome.

Angela Bassett for Star Trek captain? YASSSSSS!

You probably missed the fact that Brian Fuller was named as the new showrunner for CBS’s entry into the Star Trek universe. So you’re wondering why the heck you should care that yet another white dude got a job in Hollywood? Check out this bit from interview he gave in 2013:

I want Angela Bassett to be the captain, that’s who I would love to have, you know Captain Angela Bassett and First Officer Rosario Dawson. I would love to do that version of the show but that’s in the future to be told.

Brian, the future is NOW. You’ve been named the new showrunner, make it so! (Sorry, had to work that in)

The fans seem to the there for this casting the hashtag #CaptainAngelaBassett has sprung up since the announcement that Brian is the new boss.

Go forth and tweet, I need this in my life!

Rosario Dawson: Comic Book Icon

Rosario Dawson is turning into quite the comic book hero these days. She plays Night Nurse/Claire Temple in Netflix’s Daredevil. She will reprise the role in Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. She voiced Wonder Woman in Justice League:Throne of Atlantis. She played Gail in Sin City.

Rosario Dawson credit: THR

Now she is picking up another comic book role, Batgirl in The LEGO Batman Movie. According to to THR, she will join Will Arnett as Batman, and Michael Cera as Robin, and Zack Galifanakis as The Joker. The movie is set for release on February 10, 2017.

Comic books, were the girls are!

Imagine a world where there is a film with Lupita Nyong’o as the star and Ava DuVernay as the director

This could be our world!!!!!

Lupita Nyong’o is currently in talks to star in Intelligent Life. and SciFi thriller for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Rumor has it, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that Ava DuVernay will be offered the director’s chair.

The movie is about a UN worker in the department that would represent mankind in the event of alien contact. The worker falls in love with a mysterious woman – the part Lupita is currently interested in – who turns out to be an alien.

Ava is currently working her series Queen Sugar for OWN network, so she might not be available for the project, but I want this to happen so bad it hurts.

Also, Ava is apparently on the short list of directors being considered for Disney’s adaption of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Again I don’t know the timing yet for these projects, so she may have conflicts to work out before she can sign on the dotted line. I think a lot will depend on which projects fit best with Ava’s own creative vision; remember she did turn down the Black Panther directing gig that eventually went to Creed‘s Ryan Coogler because of creative differences. Whatever her choices are, I’m sure she will slay it.