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Promising premieres, girl groups and aggravating academia

CM 01/09/2021


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September will feature the premieres of several high-profile series. Scenes from a Marriage, a remake of the famous Ingmar Bergman television series, which was created by Hagai Levi (who made BeTipul and The Affair), stars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac and will start running in Israel on September 13 on Cellcom TV, Yes VOD, Hot HBO, Hot VOD and Next TV, and on Yes TV Drama and Sting TV on October 5. HBO will not allow any reviews yet, but I can say that this version, which Levi created at the behest of the Bergman family, is very different from the Swedish miniseries that inspired it. 
The compulsively watchable American Crime Story series has tackled the O.J. Simpson case and the murder of Gianni Versace, and its third season, called “Impeachment,” will focus on the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton scandal. It will be shown here starting on September 29 at 9 p.m. on Yes TV Drama and on Yes VOD, although it will begin airing on September 7 in the US. Lewinsky herself was a producer on the series and it features Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky, Clive Owen as Bill Clinton and, in a particularly inspired piece of casting, Edie Falco, best known for playing Carmela Soprano, as Hillary Clinton. 
If you miss the mixture of silly and smart humor on 30 Rock – and who doesn’t? – you will want to check out Girls5eva, a new comedy series on which 30 Rock’s Tina Fey was one of the producers. It will be shown on Yes VOD starting on September 2 and Yes TV Comedy on September 4 at 7:05 p.m., and on Hot 3 at 10:15 p.m. from September 2 and on Hot VOD and Next TV. 

It is about four women who were in a girl group that had one hit decades ago and who reunite when that song is “sampled” (used in the background) by a hip-hop star. Most of the jokes are about how dumb the group was in its heyday and how much they have or have not changed since then.
They are played by Sara Bareilles, a real singer who has had more than one hit but who is best known for “Love Song”; Busy Philipps (Cougar Town); Paula Pell, a comedy writer who played Paula Hornberger on 30 Rock; and Renée Elise Goldberry, a Tony-Award winning Broadway actress and singer who played Geneva Pine, an aggressive prosecutor, on The Good Wife.
Philipps’s character, a materialistic airhead who auditions to be on a Real Housewives series, is a bit too easy a target to be funny, but Goldberry is the standout as Wickie, who barely makes a living but has an Instagram account that suggests that she is still living the high life and hanging out with celebrities such as the Dalai Lama. It makes fun of many aspects of pop music, as well as various trends and excesses of contemporary life, such as the phenomenon of precocious, lonely only children of older parents, and there are quite a few musical numbers in each episode. The characters are appealing and it’s fun. 
NETFLIX’S THE CHAIR, about Ji-Yoon Kim, a newly appointed chairperson of the English department at a small, liberal-arts college, stars Sandra Oh of Grey’s Anatomy in the lead role. A single mother who lives with her elderly Korean-speaking father, she has to pick up the pieces when her colleague and friend, Bill (Jay Duplass), goes on one bender after another following his wife’s death.
The personal stories are a little predictable, but the series has the most energy and passion when it is skewering both political correctness on campus and the entitlement of the traditional older professors. The old guard are pitted against their younger, trendier colleagues in a Darwinian struggle for dwindling resources, and Kim finds herself in the middle. Someone involved with writing the show has clearly spent a lot of time on campus recently and it has paid off in some really incisive humor about the absurdities of campus life. The excellent supporting cast features Bob Balaban (Gosford Park, Seinfeld), David Morse (Treme, 12 Monkeys) and Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men). 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

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