|STEPHEN KINGTHE OUTSIDERREVIEWHBO|
Stephen King is now using The Stand to issue warnings about the coronavirus. The author originally did not like when social media started making comparisons between his 1978 novel and COVID-19, but that was before the CDC deemed it a worldwide pandemic. King is not being alarmist in his tweets, he is simply trying to get people to pay attention and practice social distancing. To prove his point, he posted a passage from The Stand.
At the beginning of March, Stephen King tweeted, 'No, coronavirus is NOT like The Stand. It's not anywhere near as serious. It's eminently survivable. Keep calm and take all reasonable precautions.' This tweet is a lot different from what he posted over the weekend, though he again downplayed the severity of coronavirus when compared to his book.
When posting Chapter 8 of The Stand, he said, 'This is how it works. Heed. But remember COVID-19 is not as lethal as the super flu.' He then tweeted out a very simple and clear message: 'Keep your distance.' You can read the passage from the novel below.'Joe-Bob felt fine. Dying was the last thing on his mind. Nevertheless, he was already a sick man. He had gotten more than gas at Bill Hanscombe's Texaco. And he gave Harry Trent more than a speeding summons. Harry, a gregarious man who liked his job, passed the sickness to more than 40 people during that day and the next. How many those 40 passed it to is impossible to say - you might as well ask how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
If you were to make a conservative estimate of five a piece, you'd have 200. Using the same conservative formula, one could say those 200 went on to infect a thousand, the thousand five-thousand, the five-thousand twenty-five-thousand. Under the California desert and subsidized by the tax payers' money, someone had finally invented a chain letter that really worked.'
As you can read in the passage above, Stephen King is illustrating just how easy something like the coronavirus can spread. Most of the world has been practicing social distancing and remaining indoors, but in Southern California and Vancouver over the weekend, where the weather was nice, there were droves of people out in the sun, clearly not practicing social distancing. Parks and beaches will likely be the next things to get shut down.
In The Stand, Stephen King writes about 'Project Blue,' the intense superbug. That strain of influenza was weaponized by the American government and then accidentally released by a soldier who flees the lab where it was developed. After he escapes, he starts to spread the disease until it ultimately kills of 99% of humanity. So yes, coronavirus is bad, but it is not 'Project Blue,' so one can understand why King wanted to keep his distance from that comparison.
The Stand is fiction and a form of entertainment, though it might not be the best thing to read or watch at this very moment. There are plenty of other Stephen King...
HBO’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Outsider turned out to be a ratings hit for the premium cable network. So, it’s a wise move that they engineered a wide open door for season two, with Holly Gibney’s fate left ambiguous and another possible El Cuco host in the mix. These wrinkles arrived courtesy of screenwriter Richard Price, who not only engineered a damn watchable take on a complex novel to adapt, but he also pointed the story beyond King’s original vision and chain of events.
Jason Bateman, who directed the first two episodes and sporadically appeared as accused murderer Terry Maitland, recently spoke with Collider and confirmed that HBO’s definitely considering a second swing at El Cuco. Furthermore, Price is exploring some steps to get the story running again. Finally, some good news:
“I know that they’re talking about it and Richard Price is playing with some ideas and taking some first steps as to what that second year might and feel like. Obviously, it’s a complete free-ball because the first season exhausted 100% of [Stephen King’s] book, the IP. So, it’s really all up to him. I never like to step on the lawn of the writers. It’s something that I’ve always stuck with on Ozark. I leave Chris Mundy completely alone and I do my job as a director once I get the script. I chime in every once in a while and offer my opinion, but it’s always for the writer to take if they want and discard if they want.”
Hell yeah, that sounds like a promising update, even if there’s no actual confirmation from HBO yet. I think it will happen! Even horror icon Robert Englund couldn’t stop raving about this show, and the ratings eclipsed that of Watchmen and True Detective, so the public demands it. Of course, the public also wants to make sure that a followup is just as good as the first round, but if Price is in charge of the story, it’s in solid hands.
We probably shouldn’t expect Bateman to be too involved, however. Following the stunning ending to Ozark‘s third season, he’ll surely be in the thick of starring in and directing a fourth season of the Netflix show soon. He told Collider that he’d have loved to direct more of The Outsider, but it’s just impossible to do it all on both shows. Clearly, his work on the HBO show made for one heck of a launch, and the rest of the team took it from there.
As for Price, he previously suggested to IndieWire that HBO was open to a sophomore run: “There’s no such thing as a series that, if it does well, they’re not going to want a second season.” Again, this sounds like they’re inching toward an announcement, eventually, although things are obviously on hold in many places with the world’s current situation. Fingers crossed.
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...
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: