Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: Television

‘Saturday Night Live’ Takes on the N.F.L.’s Jon Gruden Scandal

‘Saturday Night Live’ Takes on the N.F.L.’s Jon Gruden Scandal

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You know an N.F.L. scandal has wide-reaching implications when it makes it as far as a “Saturday Night Live” opening sketch.This week, in an episode hosted by Rami Malek and featuring the musical guest Young Thug, “S.N.L.” led off with a segment about Jon Gruden, the former coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, who stepped down on Monday. A New York Times report had detailed emails from Gruden that contained misogynist and homophobic remarks, following the disclosure of another email from him in which he used a racist stereotype to describe a Black union leader.The “S.N.L.” sketch made use of several members of the show’s cast — even Colin Jost, who’s rarely seen away from the Weekend Update desk, and who played the N.F.L. commissioner Roger Goodell.Speaking as Goodell, Jost said, “When you see ...
Dave Chappelle Isn’t Canceled. He Just Likes to Talk About It.

Dave Chappelle Isn’t Canceled. He Just Likes to Talk About It.

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The first time Dave Chappelle wanted to quit a TV show, he didn’t do it. After shooting the pilot of his soon-to-be-forgotten 1996 ABC sitcom, “Buddies,” an amiable comedy about an interracial friendship, the network fired his co-star Jim Breuer, which led Chappelle to tell his manager he wanted to quit.He was talked out of it, and the show got poor reviews and was canceled after five episodes. When I interviewed one of the co-creators, Matt Williams, several years ago for an e-book about Chappelle, he told me he wished he had built more conflict between the leads. “Then you could capitalize on the charisma of Chappelle,” he said. “But he was different then. He was impish. He was playful, innocent. No danger.”As controversy boils over Chappelle’s latest special, “The Closer,” I have been t...
‘Insecure’ Broke Ground by Embracing Imperfection

‘Insecure’ Broke Ground by Embracing Imperfection

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PENNY: Issa said in the writers’ room at one point: “When you’re white, racism is a period. Like, ‘This is wrong, this needs to stop, period.’ But when you’re Black, it’s a comma.” It’s like, this racist thing happened to me, but I still have to go pay bills, still have to drive and go home and see my kids. Yes, this thing happened, but how are you going to deal with it?In 2016, “Insecure” and “Atlanta” broke new ground as comedies about Black millennials. Did any of you ever feel pressure to speak for your generation?MELINA MATSOUKAS: I never felt the burden of having to speak for an entire generation of people. The task we felt was to show these characters and this environment authentically. That meant actually shooting in the neighborhoods these characters are from, speaking to and inco...

Paulina Alexis, an Indigenous Canadian Actress, Is Breaking Barriers

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Name: Paulina AlexisAge: 21Hometown: Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation Reserve, Alberta, CanadaCurrently Lives: A one-bedroom apartment in Edmonton, while her family home on the reservation is being renovated.Claim to Fame: Ms. Alexis is an Indigenous Canadian actress whose portrayal of Willie Jack on the FX dark comedy “Reservation Dogs” has garnered praise, including from Hollywood power players like Barry Jenkins. Created by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo, “Reservation Dogs” is the first television series to boast an all-Indigenous writers’ room and roster of directors. “I always wanted to be an actor, but I felt embarrassed to tell anyone my dream,” Ms. Alexis said. “There was no representation on TV. I didn’t think I would make it.”Big Break: Ms. Alexis comes from a family of filmmakers and...

‘Succession’ Returns, With No Real People Involved

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As Logan musters his defense, he leans on the show’s fictional American president, an unseen Republican he derisively calls “the raisin.” In the end, raisins are grapes, and grapes are meant to be stomped. Or cultivated, when the old ones stop giving juice.With an election looming, Logan — who owns a Fox-like cable news network with conservative king-making power — begins auditioning candidates, including a slick quasi-fascist played by Justin Kirk. To Logan, the leader of the free world is, as he puts it in Season 1, basically an “intern.” This may explain his contempt for the presidential ambitions of his oldest son, Connor (Alan Ruck): Connor’s dream isn’t just absurd, it’s slumming.Is there anyone good in all of this? Shiv, once a political consultant of modest principle, has ideals sh...

Many ‘Star Trek’ Fans Are Eager to See William Shatner Go to Space

Technology
The voyages of Captain James T. Kirk and the starship Enterprise in the 1960s created a fandom that has expanded exponentially over the decades, much like the cute but deadly tribbles of the original “Star Trek” television series. Now many “Trek” fans are excited as William Shatner, the man who embodies that role, readies himself to venture into space — for real.“I think this is fantastic for the ‘Star Trek’ mythos, to have the guy who really started it all to go into space,” said Russ Haslage, who co-founded the fan organization The Federation, also known as the International Federation of Trekkers, with Gene Roddenberry, the creator of “Star Trek,” in the 1980s.Through the lens of “Star Trek,” human space travel has typically had a rosy tint. Much of the show’s universe takes place hundr...
Suspension is lifted for Netflix employee who criticized Dave Chappelle’s comedy special.

Suspension is lifted for Netflix employee who criticized Dave Chappelle’s comedy special.

Business
A transgender Netflix employee who was suspended after she criticized a new Dave Chappelle stand-up special said late Tuesday that she was being reinstated.“At the very least, I feel vindicated,” the employee, Terra Field, wrote on Twitter.In all, Netflix reportedly suspended three employees after they attended a virtual business meeting of top company executives without being invited. Netflix said in an earlier statement that Ms. Field had not been suspended because of the tweets critical of Mr. Chappelle’s show.Mr. Chappelle’s comedy special, “The Closer,” made its debut on Netflix on Oct. 5, and was quickly criticized by several organizations, including GLAAD, for “ridiculing trans people.”Ms. Field, a software engineer at Netflix, tweeted last week that the special “attacks the trans c...
Haven’t Watched ‘Squid Game’? Here’s What You’re Not Missing.

Haven’t Watched ‘Squid Game’? Here’s What You’re Not Missing.

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The game players — an unemployed autoworker, a North Korean refugee, a fraudulent investor — are all debtors, brought down by circumstance and weakness and sufficiently desperate to take part in the kill-or-be-killed scenarios devised by the games’ unseen but presumably autocratic creators. (The potential payoff, accumulating in a glass sphere as contestants are eliminated, is in the tens of millions of dollars.) The setup is a commentary on the rigid class stratification of South Korea, and a pretty obvious allegory: Losers in the rigged game of the Korean economy, the players have a chance to win in the (supposedly) more merit-based, egalitarian arena of the squid game, but at the risk of almost certain death.But there’s a difference between making reference to something and actually ill...
Mayim Bialik Wants the ‘Jeopardy!’ Job. Is She ‘Neutral’ Enough?

Mayim Bialik Wants the ‘Jeopardy!’ Job. Is She ‘Neutral’ Enough?

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After the succession debacle at “Jeopardy!” turned one of television’s most respected game shows into a punchline on late-night talk shows and at the Emmy Awards, Mayim Bialik took over as a temporary host this season with a simple goal: not to draw too much attention to herself.Her job, as she sees it, is to simply deliver the clues, and she has been favoring subdued colors like navy blue over the electric-pink she wore last season. “I didn’t want to be distracting — like, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s that lady!’” Bialik said in a recent interview. “I think a lot about ‘Jeopardy!’ just needs to be very neutral to pleasant.”Neutral to pleasant: It’s a fitting phrase for “Jeopardy!,” a staid television staple. But the show’s efforts to find a successor to Alex Trebek, the beloved host who died last...
Kim Kardashian West Takes Aim at Herself in ‘S.N.L.’ Monologue

Kim Kardashian West Takes Aim at Herself in ‘S.N.L.’ Monologue

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When it was first announced that Kim Kardashian West would be hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, the feedback was mixed — based on the reaction from some corners, you’d think they had invited Elon Musk or something.But Kardashian West, the reality TV star, entrepreneur, influencer and advocate, gamely poked fun at her own image in a self-mocking “S.N.L.” monologue that also took satirical potshots at her other famous family members and her divorce from the rapper Kanye West.And, as Kardashian West admitted in the routine, she was as surprised as anyone to find herself hosting the show.As she recounted in the monologue: “When they asked, I was like, you want me to host? Why? I haven’t had a movie premiere in a really long time. I mean, I actually I only had that one movie come out ...