|CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASMSEASON 1JON HAMMTRAILER|
Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Series: Curb Your Enthusiasm
Where You Can Stream It: HBO Go/HBO Now
The Pitch: Television writer Larry David, playing a fictionalized version of himself, bumbles his way through modern day Los Angeles, hanging out with his wife Cheryl Hines and manager Jeff Garlin and often letting his bristling personality get him into ludicrous and hilarious situations. It’s basically HBO’s version of Seinfeld, but about a real-life George Costanza. Oh, and there’s a seemingly endless parade of recognizable faces a young Melissa McCarthy! Ted Danson! Martin Scorsese! and most of the dialogue is improv’d within a loose outline for each episode.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: I’m incredibly late to the party on this show – twenty years late, in fact. Curb is currently in its 10th season it took some long breaks between seasons, but my wife and I have just started to catch up with it over the past couple of months and have found that, at least in the early seasons, it’s been an incredibly helpful distraction from [flails arms, Larry David-style] all of this.
Seinfeld is a perennial favorite, a familiar classic which we’ll almost always watch if we’re mindlessly flipping through the channels. Don’t be surprised to see that series show up in a future edition of this column. So it feels like a true gift that A a spiritual sibling to Seinfeld exists, and B there are so many seasons of it for us to savor before we’re all caught up. We don’t binge-watch Curb: we watch one or two episodes at a time, and almost always put a few days between viewings. I’m not arguing against binging in all cases across the board – it’s definitely beneficial for certain shows – but for something like this, which has loose seasonal arcs but mostly self-contained episodes, I prefer to take small bites instead of inhaling it all in one sitting.
There’s an old-school feeling to the structure of the episodes as they check familiar boxes: set-ups, payoffs, and callbacks abound. There’s a circular nature to the plotting, where everything is connected and it all seems to overlap; you can usually predict how an episode is going to end a few minutes before it happens. But that’s not a knock against it – paradoxically, it often makes the ending work even better.
The show isn’t particularly deep or nuanced, and it doesn’t even have any particularly intelligent statements to make: it’s just plain funny, and I need as much laughter as I can get right now. And since practically every episode is about Larry becoming frustrated or flustered by some...
SPOILER ALERT: This post contains details of tonight's The Walking Dead penultimate episode of Season 10, which is the de facto finale for the next little while thanks to the coronavirus crisis.
“You got a whole lot of family,” The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon Norman Reedus tells the now parentless Judith Grimes Cailey Fleming in tonight's penultimate episode of Season 10, that marks the end of the current run, for now.
With AMC having to hit the pause button on the latest season of the zombie apocalypse series due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, “The Tower” may be the last we know of the TWD universe for a while. Still, coming off the departure of sorts of Danai Gurira and her beloved Michonne character just a few weeks ago and now the premature end of the season, TWD tonight wasn't going out without a few surprises.
As a trio of Survivors venture into an empty Pittsburgh that looks like most of the world's big cities right now, the Princess character from the Robert Kirkman-created comics made her unique debut, for better and worse. Also, as Judith comes to terms with losing both her father Rick Grimes Andrew Lincoln and Michonne over the past two seasons, script flipping once villain Negan Jeffrey Dean Morgan tries to find a new role for himself with the daughter of Whisperers leader Alpha, who he killed in March 15's “Walk with Us” episode. And then there's the little matter of Alpha's murderous right-hand man Beta Ryan Hurst hearing his dead leader's voice and stewarding a herd of ravenous walkers to our heroes hiding out in an abandoned hospital - with the added “strange” injection, to quote showrunner Angela Kang, that suddenly the world of TWD seems eerily familiar to our own and its health crisis.
Working on Season 11 remotely, Kang chatted with me about the quicker than expected end to TWD‘s Season 10, why there will be no episode 16 for a while, what's coming next year and some urban tales.
DEADLINE: AMC announced on March 24 that next week's proper season finale will not be airing for the time being, where are things at now?
KANG: Obviously, we think everybody did an amazing job on episode 15. Hopefully, it serves a satisfying interim pause to it all, but you know, we were working really, really hard on 16 and cranking away.
DEADLINE: So why aren't we seeing the real finale next week?
For big episodes like that, to deliver them, it's basically about two weeks before air. It takes that long to get all of the post-production effects done and all the final finishing. So, we were about a week and a half out by the time the California governor called a shutdown to stuff because of...
Steven Soderbergh is gearing up for his next project – Kill Switch, a 1950s crime drama written by Ed Solomon, writer of the Bill and Ted movies and Men in Black. Don Cheadle and Sebastian Stan are already attached to star, and now word comes that Jon Hamm is in talks to join the cast as well. While there’s no distributor for Soderbergh’s latest yet, there’s a very good chance it’ll head to HBO Max, since the filmmaker recently signed a big deal with them.
Collider has the scoop on Jon Hamm potentially joining the Kill Switch cast. Hamm would be taking on a role that Josh Brolin was previously circling, but Brolin had to drop out due to his commitment to the upcoming Amazon series Outer Range. Cedric the Entertainer, who turned in a pretty strong dramatic performance in First Reformed, is also in talks to join the cast.
Kill Switch is “a 1950s crime drama set in Detroit about a trio of criminals who carry out a home invasion, only to wonder if they’ve been double-crossed when the job goes sideways.” Hamm would play a cop chasing after the trio of criminals.
Soderbergh briefly retired a few years ago, and by “retired” I mean he stopped making movies to film an entire TV series, The Knick. Then he came back and has been working steadily ever since, delivering quirky, weird flicks like Logan Lucky and Unsane, and two Netflix titles – High Flying Bird, which was great, and The Laundromat, which I haven’t seen, but I’ve heard is…not so great.
But any new Soderbergh movie is a cause for celebration. There’s no filmmaker out there right now who works like he does, and the prospect of him making a period crime drama is very cool. I look forward to seeing whatever he comes up with here. Soderbergh also has Let Them All Talk coming up next, a film that reunites him with The Laundromat‘s Meryl Streep. That’s due out sometime this year.
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: