Senior Legal Correspondent for ABC News and former prosecutor Sunny Hostin is seeking for truth and justice in the Investigation Discovery series Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin. After showing rough-cut footage of Hostin investigating a murder, she was joined on the TCA stage by Executive Producers Hilary Estey McLoughlin and Terence Noonan.
During the session, Hostin, who also serves as an Executive Producer, shared a story about how her uncle was dating a married woman and how one day when she was with them, her husband came home and he pulled out a butcher knife and tried to stab her uncle to death. She said that he lived but he was never the same after that.
“I mentioned to my dad recently that experience colored my life. His response was, ‘You remembered that?'” said the former co-host of The View. “We never spoke about it. That’s how victims of crime deal with it.”
As a result, the man was never charged or arrested. “There was no justice,” she said. “I remember feeling that was wrong and that made me become a prosecutor.” And in turn, that led to this immersive series.
For the series, Noonan said they opted to not investigate murders in big metropolitan areas. “We chose stories in small towns where Sunny could speak to the victims,” he said. “We looked at stories where it could have been your neighbor.”
“We look for cases where people don’t have voices,” Hostin added. “I wanted to give a voice to the voiceless.”
Although Hostin approaches each story as a journalist and prosecutor, she also has the point of view as a person who has been victimized. “We’re human, too,” she said, adding that lowering walls allows you to empathize. “The show is different because of that. It’s unlike anything on TV today. It celebrates justice and survival in many respects.”
In the show, she said looks to show how difficult it is to solve these cases. She speaks to detectives, first responders, family and friends of the victims and the community — gropus that are often missed in similar shows. “When there is a crime like murder, the communities are terrorized,” she said. “We explore it from crime to conviction.”
Truth About Murder is executive produced by Hostin, McLoughlin and Noonan for Lincoln Square Productions and Mike Sheridan and Joe Venafro for First Watch Productions. For Investigation Discovery, Liz Massie is senior executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Winona Meringolo is senior vice president of development, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Destination America, and American Heroes Channel.
Dave Chappelle once said that Chappelle’s Show was “ruining my life” during a stand-up performance in 2004, when his set was interrupted by people in the audience yelling, “I’m Rick James, bitch!” No wonder he didn’t want to make more episodes. Catchphrases are tricky things: everyone wants a quote that sticks think “you got it, dude” or “live long and prosper” or, shudder, “bazinga”, but if I were, for instance, Matt LeBlanc, I would not want to smile politely and seethe internally after hearing “how you doin’?” for the 27th time that day.
Rick and Morty co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon are no strangers to popular quotes “I’M PICKLE RICK,” something about Szechuan sauce, etc., and while they’re happy the Adult Swim series is so popular, there’s also one catchphrase that the former is tired of hearing. “It would be the ‘wubba lubba dub dub’ catchphrase,” Roiland told Entertainment Weekly. “Only because we were making fun of the idea of stupid catchphrases. [At first] it wasn’t at all that and then it was funny because it was a dumb catchphrase, and then we subverted it by making it mean something really depressing. The hardcore fans get the irony behind it.” But that irony is lost on the casual viewers, which is why “I don’t want to bum anybody out,” Roiland added. “I don’t want somebody to be like, ‘I love that!’ And then for them to read that Justin hates it. I don’t hate it…”
As for Harmon, he said that “it always bums me out when somebody uses a meme of a quote for the show and it’s being used by somebody who isn’t the greatest specimen. I hate it when a line from our show is being used by the meanest person in a conversation online,” which is, unfortunately, quite often.
Rick and Morty returns later this year, when victory shall be Roiland and Harmon’s. See? Catchphrases are fun! Except in this case:
The ambiguous ending of Stranger Things 3 left us with many questions. Some were existential: What happens to Hawkins? Where do we go from here? Will we ever be able to erase The Neverending Story jingle from our collective mind? Some were decidedly less so, like the questions related to a specific character and his ongoing role within the show. No, I’m not talking about Sheriff Hopper, I’m talking about the eldest Byers brother, and I’m posing a simple query … What good is Jonathan Byers?
No really, if someone can give a logical answer to this question, please stop me now. Over the course of the show’s three seasons, we’ve seen the teenage Byers suffer some pretty debilitating trauma. His brother went missing and was presumed dead, his mom began to lose her mind, he had to take on Demogorgons and corrupt governments to protect his family, he pined for Nancy Wheeler. The dude has been through it. In many ways, his commitment to his friends and his enduring love for his brother has been admirable, heart-warming, it’s made us all soft to watch.
And then the Jonathan Byers of season three came along. It should’ve been obvious from the first scene when Jonathan failed to remember to set the alarm after the power went out in Hawkins, then acted hopelessly confused as to why Nancy wouldn’t want to be late to work, that Jonathan Byers was going to be messy this year. He’s never been the brightest bulb in the box, or the bravest little toaster, but Jonathan has had his part to play in Stranger Things as the emotionally intuitive guy, the sensitive bro who wants to help, the woke kid just trying to make a difference in the world. But this season of the show made Jonathan something he’s never been before: selfish and obtuse.
The biggest struggle for the character this season came in the form of his relationship with Nancy and the stress their shared professional environment put on their romance. Both teens scored jobs – yes jobs, not internships, take a second to let that sink in – at the local paper after high school. Jonathan, being a young man with the ability to operate a camera, got to spend most of his time developing film in dark rooms and wondering why Nancy was complaining all the time. Well, Jonathan, Nancy was complaining all the time because she was suffering in a misogynistic workplace with male superiors that openly mocked her and teased her because of her age and gender. In some ways, that atmosphere seeped into Jonathan’s own treatment of Nancy as he constantly questioned her instincts, blamed her for his failures, and refused to risk his own neck to pursue a story that turned out to be deadly, for the town and his family.
But Jonathan wasn’t just a crap boyfriend this season, he was also useless when it came to fighting Mind Flayers, babysitting his brother, and preventing the destruction of the Star Court Mall. Once Nancy was able to drag the eldest Byers away from his photo lab and convince him that there were more important things than his need to kiss the butts of his superiors, Jonathan found himself face-to-face with a new kind of Mind Flayer, one made flesh with the guts and goo of melded rats and leftover human body parts. After getting his butt kicked by a pair of Flayed baddies, he spends most of episode five and six futilely banging on locked doors, getting pummeled with metal surgical tables, and waiting for Eleven to save his girlfriend from the glob of rat guts that’s trying to kill her.
Steve Harrington, this dude is not.
By the end of season three, when Jonathan’s finally remembered he has a brother and he might need to check on him now that the creature who once possessed his body is back and creating his own army of Hawkins minions, he’s even more insignificant in the fight against the Upside Down. While Steve and Robin are relaying vital information to Hopper and Joyce as they try to destroy the machine and close the gate, effectively cutting off the head of the monster, Jonathan is, well, struggling to start a car. His inability to hotwire a getaway vehicle might’ve proved deadly for the group if Nancy hadn’t shot up Billy’s corvette before Steve crashed into it with a Cadillac convertible.
And look, we’re not bashing Jonathan Byers because he’s not as handy with a gun as his girlfriend, as fearless as Hopper, or as savvy as his mother, but this season of Stranger Things really failed to give the character an arc of substance. In fact, in many ways, Jonathan Byers spent season three reverting back to his former self, isolating those he cared about, unable to contribute to the fight, and unsure of his direction in life. For a season filled with secondary characters coming into their own, gaining autonomy, taking the reins in their own storylines, Jonathan’s presence didn’t just feel like a waste of space on screen, but a direct foil to characters like Nancy and Steve and Robin, fellow teens finding a sense of empowerment and purpose in their roles in the fight against the Mind Flayer.
We doubt Jonathan Byers will ever be the hero on Stranger Things, but if the show gets a fourth season, it’d be nice to see him as something other than inconsequential.
One of the best directors on social media is hands down Christopher McQuarrie. The “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” filmmaker often uses Twitter to share screenwriting tips, provide director’s commentary to his films or movies he’s watching, and offer up his honest thoughts on the industry. A recent McQuarrie Twitter thread found the director musing on logic and explanations in films with otherworldly elements.
“‘Ghostbusters’ understands that logic is overrated,” McQuarrie wrote. “They knew exactly what needed explaining and what didn’t. Most importantly, the protagonists are just trying to make a living. They only become traditional heroes in the final act.”
McQuarrie had hoped to be just as limited on explanations when it came to his 2014 science-fiction action movie “Edge of Tomorrow,” starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. McQuarrie adapted Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s Japanese novel “All You Need Is Kill” for the Doug Liman-directed movie. The writer shared with his Twitter followers that the scene in the film in which the invading alien race’s intentions are explained was not something he was personally keen on.
“The worst scene in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is an attempt to understand the alien’s intention. Compliments of the studio. They are invaders. They invade. As humans, we should not have to have this explained.”
Fellow writer and director James Mangold “Logan,” the upcoming “Ford v. Ferrari” joined in on the conversation. Whereas Warner Bros. apparently forced McQuarrie to include a scene explaining the aliens’ intention, Fox did no such thing when it came to the aliens in “Alien.” Mangold argued that the aliens in “Alien” are all the more effective without explanation.
“The Alien in ‘Alien’ did not feel generic cause it had character and personality, predominantly defined by its ruthless killing efficiency. It didn't need explanation,” Mangold wrote. “We understood it and it did not feel generic. It was a shatteringly original creature in its purity of purpose.”
McQuarrie reiterated his less-explanation-is-better stance by turning his attention to the depiction of time travel at the movies. “I do not care how one travels through time,” he wrote. “I want to travel through time. I want to see what time travel does to characters I care about because I cannot travel through time. This is why I go to movies.”
News broke earlier this year that Warner Bros. would be moving forward on the long-awaited “Edge of Tomorrow” sequel. Cruise and Blunt are expected to reprise their roles from the original. McQuarrie is currently at work on the next two “Mission: Impossible” movies.
The worst scene in Edge of Tomorrow is an attempt to understand the alien’s intention. Compliments of the studio.
They are invaders. They invade.
As humans, we should not have to have this explained.
— Christopher McQuarrie @chrismcquarrie July 7, 2019
The Alien in “Alien” did not feel generic cause it had character and personality, predominantly defined by its ruthless killing efficiency. It didn't need explanation. We understood it & it did not feel generic. It was a shatteringly original creature in its purity of purpose.
— Mangold @mang0ld July 7, 2019
I do not care how one travels through time. I want to travel through time. I want to see what time travel does to characters I care about because I cannot travel through time. This is why I go to movies. Have a child. When they turn two you will never want to hear WHY again. https://t.co/f1AS3iPRsc
— Christopher McQuarrie @chrismcquarrie July 7, 2019
Is Forky is the most important character in cinematic history?
I haven’t actually seen Toy Story 4 yet, but yes, yes he is. It’s an anxious talking spork who wants nothing more than to feel the sweet embrace of death — what’s not to love? Also, he’s voiced by Tony Hale and, as Veep and Arrested Development viewers are well aware, Tony Hale makes everything better. It sounds like the higher-ups at Pixar are fans of his work, too, considering they used clips from both shows to convince Hale to join the fourth Toy Story film.
“I was so astonished that I was even there,” Hale told CinemaBlend about visiting Pixar for the first time. “I don’t really remember that first meeting. I remember talking through Forky and I also remember they took clips from Arrested Development and clips from Veep and put it in animated Forky just to kind of see how he would react.” Much has been made about Keanu Reeves “striking poses” while auditioning to voice Canadian daredevil Duke Caboom, which someone was hopefully filming, but I would also love to see the Pixar edit of Forky screaming “I’M A MONSTER” as Buster. Maybe Forky wouldn’t be so quick to jump into garbage cans if he knew there was unlimited juice.
“Black Mirror” Season 5 has debuted on Netflix to some of the franchise’s worst reviews, with particular scorn being given to the Miley Cyrus-starring episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too.” The episode finds Cyrus riffing on her own industry experiences by starring as Ashley O, a global pop star coming undone because of the pressures to keep up her uber-positive pop persona. While Cyrus has drawn strong notices for pulling off the role, the episode as a whole has been criticized for going “wildly off-the-rails without bringing any depth.”
“This is a mess,” IndieWire critic Ben Travers writes in his C- review of the episode, making it IndieWire’s worst-reviewed installment of Season 5. “This overly cutesy entry feels like the biggest punt of them all. Somewhere buried within the 67-minute episode is a discussion about replacing pop stars with holograms and mining their memories for new marketable material, but the whole thing is so cartoonish it's impossible to take any aspect seriously.”
Variety critic Daniel D’Addario was even more outraged, calling the episode “the most majestically wrongheaded installment not merely of ‘Black Mirror's’ run but, too, of at least the past year in prestige television.” Kathryn VanArendonk of Vulture criticized the episode as “muddled and pointless” and wrote that it “ends without any of the punchiness or sharp insight that characterize ‘Black Mirror’s’ best stories.” VanArendonk goes on to call the entire season “exquisitely dumb.”
Many critics have noted “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” pales in comparison to the franchise’s second season premiere, “Be Right Back,” which featured a similar storyline involving a female character questioning the effects of a new piece of technology. Cyrus’ character wonders if a digital robot made in her image could provide the chance for her to leave pop stardom behind and save her soul, while “Be Right Back” protagonist Martha Harley Atwell agrees to try a new AI system that could remove her grief by projecting an image of her dead husband.
TV Line critic Dave Nemetz agrees Cyrus’ episode is the season’s weakest link. “It's a mediocre disillusioned-pop-star story fused with a mediocre awkward-teen story,” he writes in a C- review. “It gestures in the direction of some interesting points about exploiting a celebrity's likeness, but most of its insights are ultimately trite, and the final act takes some truly ridiculous turns that feel very un-‘Black Mirror.'”
IndieWire ranked “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” the fifth worst episode in the franchise’s history. In fact, none of the new season’s three episodes managed to break into the top 10 on IndieWire’s ranking of best “Black Mirror” episodes. The Independent also ranked the episode as the worst of the new bunch, writing it “unfolds at a strangely plodding pace, failing to make good use of its concept and its stars.”
“Black Mirror” Season 5 is now streaming on Netflix.