In this edition of TV Bits:Netflix has already canceled Spinning Out. Benjamin Bratt joins the cast of HBO Max’s DMZ. Power gets three spin-offs at Starz. BBC Studios is making a TV series with Greta Thunberg. Billions is back, baby! Watch a trailer for Mrs. America… …And a trailer for Little Fires Everywhere.
I have no idea what Spinning Out is, and apparently I’m not alone, because the Netflix series has already been canceled after one season. The series, which featured Crawl‘s Kaya Scodelario as a figure skater, just premiered in January. But there was apparently not enough buzz to keep it going any longer, as Deadline says Netflix has pulled the plug. Sorry, Spinning Out stans. You’ll have to watch one of the other 4,000 Netflix originals instead.
HBO Max’s DMZ, based on the DC Comics series of the same name, is adding Benjamin Bratt to its cast, according to Deadline. He joins Rosario Dawson in the series, which is being directed by Ava DuVernay. The show “is set in the near future where America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattan a demilitarized zone, destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. DMZ chronicles the harrowing journey of fierce medic Alma Ortega Dawson, who saves lives while desperately searching for her lost son. As she contends with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords who control this lawless no man’s land, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone has lost: hope.” Bratt plays “Parco Delgado, the popular — and deadly — leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ.”
The Starz series Power may have come to an end, but it’s the series will live on with four spin-offs. One spin-off – Power Book II: Ghost – was already announced, and you can even watch a teaser for it here. And now Variety says three others, Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Power Book IV: Influence, and Power Book V: Force, are coming as well. Here are some details:
“Raising Kanan” is a prequel set in the ‘90s during the early years of “Power” character Kanan Stark. “Influence” will follow Rashad Tate in his pursuit of political power. “Force” centers on Tommy Egan after he cuts ties and puts New York in his rearview mirror for good. Larenz Tate will reprise his role as Rashad Tate in “Influence,” while Joseph Sikora will return as Tommy for “Force.”
Climate activist Greta Thunberg will be the subject of a new BBC Studios TV series, according to Deadline. The show will follow Thunberg’s “global climate crusade, it will feature a chorus of experts laying out the science behind her mission. It also promises to share some ‘quiet moments’ as Thunberg prepares her speeches and reflects on her life as a...
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:
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...