Jack Thorne, the prolific British writer behind HBO and BBC drama His Dark Materials, has said that he is receiving treatment for what he believes to be coronavirus.
The writer, whose other credits include Channel 4’s The Virtues and feature film The Aeronauts, said he has suffered from a high temperature, cough and exhaustion, which has aggravated his asthma. Thorne has been given a course of steroids and said his health is improving, but he remains out of sorts.
“Seem to have Covid, which is not reacting great with my asthma. Amazing treatment from my GP over the phone, taking the time to give me all sorts of tests THEN consulting with a colleague before prescribing. Feel like I've been run over by an elephant but in total awe of the NHS,” he tweeted on Monday.
In an update today, Thorne said: “Feeling better after two days of steroids. Still v tired, but the elephant has been replaced by a mountain lion. Of course it could not be Covid wish we had Germany's resources in which case this is not reassuring to anyone. But, for me, at this moment, the drugs have worked.”
Thorne has not been tested because the UK’s testing regime is not as sophisticated as other countries, including Germany and South Korea, but said his doctor has been “amazing” throughout the process. His asthma means he is considered an “increased risk” individual by the health service. Thorne also suffers from a condition called cholinergic urticaria, which means he is allergic to heat and his own body movement. He calls it an “invisible disability.”
The writer has received hundreds of well-wishes on Twitter. “Sorry to hear this, Jack. Wishing you a rapid recovery,” said Bodyguard writer Jed Mercurio. Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon added: “Look after yourself and rest.” Good Omens scribe Neil Gaiman also commented: “Sending love and worried get well wishes by the bucketload.”
Thorne, who penned the Harry Potter And The Cursed Child play, has written Damien Chazelle's Netflix music drama The Eddy, the feature film Radioactive, starring Rosamund Pike as Marie Curie for Amazon and Studiocanal, and the Marc Munden-directed adaptation of The Secret Garden. He is currently adapting Charles Dickens' classic novel A Tale of Two Cities with Legendary Global.
It’s no secret that sex and Hollywood go hand in hand, but rarely do onscreen depictions of sex interrogate human sexuality in illuminating ways. As it began doing with “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos” when it launched the current heyday of peak TV two decades ago, HBO is still producing the most incisive shows about contemporary sexuality anywhere on television. Two of the year’s new offerings, “Mrs. Fletcher” and “Euphoria,” prove the premium network still lives up to its lofty slogan. It’s not TV if nothing else even comes close.
Premiering to major ratings and online buzz this summer, “Euphoria” followed Rue Zendaya, a jaded teen battling addiction and her extended social circle of sexually active and culturally literate high schoolers who behave like twentysomethings. Along her raw and arduous journey towards sobriety, Rue develops a crush along with everyone else on her best friend Jules Hunter Schafer. Ethereal, sensual, and desired by many of the major characters — the character of Jules was a major windfall for trans-femme representation.
In the show’s first episode, she arrives at a seedy motel for an assignation with an older man she met online. Though innocently excited beforehand, she is quickly disillusioned by the rough, transactional sex. Even for the most porn-literate, the scene is jarring, intentionally so. Seeing her impassive face shoved into a pillow by this grey-haired daddy Eric Dane is upsetting, not because of the act itself, but because of Jules’ vacant stare and single tear. Schaefer, in a star-making performance, is a revelation.
For some, however, shock value is not the only reason the scene made an impression; many viewers were likely seeing an all-too recognizable experience depicted onscreen for the first time. Where “Euphoria” stumbles, and where we are reminded that HBO actually is TV, is when the repercussions from this one disappointing hook-up follow Jules for the rest of the season. Jules is not personally traumatized — she moves on rather healthily by exploring connections with other girls — but it’s the men around her who can’t let it go. This choice maintains the character’s strength, but not her agency. She is still at the mercy of cis straight men, though this is, admittedly, an unfortunate reality for many women.
Which brings us to the way “Euphoria” depicts cis men’s sexuality. Nate Jacob Elordi is undoubtedly the villain of the show, though he is given ample screen time to be lusted over and many opportunities for sympathy. In Nate, we see creator Sam Levinson’s...
Right now, everyone is looking for some kind of reprieve from being locked up at home due to the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon, but The Office executive producers Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman think they’ve figured out a way to make light of the situation by crafting a new workplace comedy series inspired by the sudden rise in employees working from home due to the outbreak of coronavirus forcing people to practice social distancing.
Deadline was first to learn of the currently untitled coronavirus comedy series, though it’s not necessarily about the pandemic. Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman, better known to The Office fans as the frequently maligned Toby Flenderson and one of Jim’s business partners at their company Athlead, are creating the series that is said to focus on “wunderkind boss who, in an effort to ensure his staff’s connectedness and productivity, asks them all to virtually interact and work face-to-face all day.”
The series is in the works at Big Breakfast, the comedy production banner Silverman runs, where he’ll executive produce the series along with and Luke Kelly-Clyne College Humor and Kevin Healey Scare Tactics. They’ll also be working with Howard Owens’ Propagate Content, which will have Rodney Ferrell serving as an executive producer as well.
Silverman, who was also once an NBC executive, explained the inception of the series and his hope for what it will become:
“So many of us are jumping on daily Zoom meetings — for work and beyond. We are in a new normal and are personally navigating ways to remain connected and productive at work and in our home lives. With the brilliant Paul Lieberstein at the helm, we think we have a series that not only brings humor and comfort during this troubling time but will also be an inventive and enduring workplace comedy for years to come.”
While the prospect of trying to craft a series around the coronavirus outbreak sounds like a bad idea at this time, there’s no indication that the pandemic will actually play a part in the overall concept of the series. In fact, it would be easy to pull something like this off without introducing such a grim plot device.
What I’m envisioning with this series is a show with a format that echoes what we’ve seen accomplished with movies like Unfriended and Searching. Both of those films play out entirely on computer or mobile device screens and successfully tell a solid narrative. Modern Family did something similar with an episode that unfolded across the ensemble cast’s various screens, and it worked pretty well. But if that’s what this series will be like, can that concept be sustained for an entire series? Or will they need to take...