Tribune News Service

Entertainment Budget for Friday, October 16, 2020


Updated at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 UTC).



^David Byrne reveals 'how the trick is done' in HBO's 'American Utopia'<

^MOVIE-AMERICAN-UTOPIA-BYRNE:LA_<In at least one way, David Byrne was well prepared for quarantine.

From last October to this past February, the former Talking Heads frontman performed six nights a week on Broadway as the star of "American Utopia," a theatricalized version of a touring concert he'd taken on the road behind his 2018 album of the same name.

Which meant that for about four months this longtime habitue of New York's cultural scene essentially had no nightlife.

"Actors in shows can't meet people for dinner, they can't go out and see other shows or see music," he said the other day. "You go to work at 6 o'clock, you come back home. Your life really changes."

So when "American Utopia" closed in February (with plans to return to Broadway in the fall), Byrne, 68, was looking forward to reconnecting with the city and with his friends.

Then the coronavirus shut down every place he might've met them.

Yet the joy of togetherness undeniably suffuses a filmed rendition of "American Utopia" that premieres Saturday on HBO.

1850 by Mikael Wood. MOVED


^For its former members, leaving the NXIVM cult left lasting scars. Literally<

^TV-VOW:LA_<If you've watched "The Vow," the HBO docuseries following disaffected members of NXIVM, as they extricate themselves from the alleged cult and speak out against its leader, Keith Raniere, then you might be wondering how seemingly intelligent people got involved in such a dubious operation.

Weren't they freaked out by the color-coded sashes that members wore to denote their rank? What about the outlandish claims about Raniere's supposed intelligence or the midnight volleyball games he insisted on playing? Was anything really worth moving to the suburbs of Albany, New York, where the group was based?

Sarah Edmondson and Mark Vicente, two of the primary subjects of "The Vow," which concludes its run on HBO Sunday, say they never planned to join a cult.

1550 by Meredith Blake. MOVED


^The pandemic hit working moms hard. In her new TV role, Danielle Brooks records the toll<

^VID-SOCIAL-DISTANCE-BROOKS:LA_<Danielle Brooks wanted to find a way to stay creative during quarantine. So she's starring in a TV show about it.

Set in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, "Social Distance" is an eight-part anthology series _ focusing on one person or family each episode _ about navigating the uncertainty and unexpected circumstances of this singular moment in history. In the third installment, the former "Orange Is the New Black" star plays Imani, a working single mom trying to figure out how to care for her daughter while also keeping her job.

Now streaming on Netflix, "Social Distance" was shot remotely under various stay-at-home orders designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus. That meant Brooks, a new mom to daughter Freeya, filmed her episode from her parents' home in South Carolina _ and shared the screen with her mother Larita Brooks, who plays a patient with ALS that Brooks cares for at a nursing home.

2350 by Yvonne Villarreal. MOVED


^'Euphoria' actor Jacob Elordi talks heartbreaking and heartwarming '2 Hearts'<

^MOVIE-2-HEARTS-ELORDI:OS_<A new movie out now where theaters are open tells the uplifting and heart-wrenching stories of two couples. "2 Hearts" follows the timelines of two men, one is a college student who falls for his classmate and the other a Cuban exile who woos a flight attendant.

"It's a movie about people and strangers and how you never really know how your path is going to intersect with other people," said "Euphoria" actor Jacob Elordi, who plays Christopher Gregory in the film. "It's a real human story."

450 by Kathleen Christiansen. MOVED


^Tarana Burke's next move with #MeToo is a digital call to action: 'There is no movement if people are not actively engaged in it'<

^METOO-ACTIVISM-BURKE:TB_<It's been three years since #MeToo went viral and those two words changed how we talk about sexual violence.

Tarana Burke, the civil rights activist and founder of the global #MeToo movement, is continuing her decadeslong global fight for survivor justice during COVID-19 and amid ongoing social injustices. Her latest project is the digital platform me too. act too., a campaign that gives survivors, advocates and allies tools to work toward a world free of sexual violence. The crowd-sourced entity enables anyone, anywhere to get active in the fight to end sexual violence.

1300 by Darcel Rockett. (Moved as a lifestyle story.) MOVED


^Georgia man charged with killing actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd, star of many Spike Lee movies<

^BYRD-KILLING:NY_<A man has been charged in the shooting death of Thomas Jefferson Byrd, a popular actor who was gunned down near his home in Atlanta earlier this month.

The 70-year-old victim, who worked with director Spike Lee on multiple films, was found with several gunshot wounds to his back on the morning of Oct. 3, authorities said.

250 by Nelson Oliveira. (Moved as a national story.) MOVED


^Tyler Perry aims to get over 250,000 Black Florida residents voting in new election effort<

ELECTION-FLA-PERRY:MI _ As Election Day comes closer and more initiatives are popping up to get as many voters to the polls as possible, Tyler Perry is throwing his hat in the ring with a new campaign that is aiming to get hundreds of thousands of Black Florida residents voting.

Tyler Perry and the Equal Ground Education Fund have teamed up to launch "Souls to the Polls", a socially distanced voting campaign that aims to educate and increase turnout of Black voters in Florida.

400 by Devoun Cetoute in Miami. MOVED



^^Review: Ready or not, 'S_<house' reminds you how hard it is to be 19<

^SHOUSE-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA_<At a time when many young adults are trapped living at home with their parents _ as lovely as that may be _ a movie about the opposite, that moment when you've left the nest but aren't sure you can fly, seems particularly poignant.

^The low-budget indie "S_<house," writer-director-star Cooper Raiff's feature debut that took the top prize at this year's virtual SXSW film festival, thoroughly mines that niche. The film might best be classified as "crumblecore," for crumbling is exactly what its beleaguered protagonist Alex is on the verge of doing.

700 by Kevin Crust. MOVED


^Review: Aaron Sorkin makes 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' a very Sorkin-y showcase for actors<

^TRIAL-CHICAGO-7-MOVIE-REVIEW:MS_<"The Trial of the Chicago 7" isn't good, but I'd recommend it anyway.

The somewhat factual movie is so visually incoherent that it's sometimes hard to tell who's speaking, and writer/director Aaron Sorkin concludes it with a manufactured "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" moment I suspect every real person involved would hate. But the dramatization of the trial of activists Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman and others for conspiracy to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention gives its cast enough opportunity for acting fireworks to fill an entire best-supporting-actor race.

550 by Chris Hewitt. MOVED


^The Chicago 7: A timeline of the protests, the clashes, the trial and the fallout<

^MOVIE-TRIAL-CHICAGO-7-TIMELINE:TB_<The Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago in August 1968, in the summer of a tumultuous year. The events of that month, and a subsequent court case, are the subject of the new Aaron Sorkin movie "The Trial of the Chicago 7." Here is a timeline of the protests and subsequent trial that the film explores.

650 by Doug George. MOVED


^Review: Armie Hammer and Lily James can't give Netflix's disappointing 'Rebecca' a soul<

^REBECCA-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA_<One of the lessons of Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" is that we should be wary of impostor syndrome, specifically the impulse to compare ourselves too anxiously with a beloved predecessor. The second Mrs. de Winter learns this the hard way: Her whirlwind romance and fairy-tale marriage are soon overshadowed by the memory of her husband's late first wife, Rebecca, a formidable rival who, like many ghosts, is not entirely what she appears to be. Chances are you know the story _ and if you don't, its intricate secrets are well worth preserving _ from having read the justly popular novel or seen one of its many screen versions, none more highly regarded than Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 Oscar winner.

1050 by Justin Chang. MOVED


^Review: 'American Utopia' is a once-in-a-lifetime adaptation of David Byrne's Broadway show<


Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

You may find yourself living in a unchanging space. And you may find yourself hanging by a thread. And you may find yourself watching "David Byrne's American Utopia." And you may ask yourself, "Well how can I watch this on a continuous loop?"

700 by Glenn Whipp. MOVED


^Review: 'Honest Thief' isn't truthful enough, despite Liam Neeson<

^HONEST-THIEF-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA_<The new Liam Neeson crime movie "Honest Thief" doesn't feel honest.

Neeson plays Tom, a successful bank robber whose extremely precise pattern is somehow not decoded by the FBI over years. Riding a long unbeaten streak, Tom meets Annie (Kate Walsh, in a thankless role) and decides he should retire. We're told she's smart and funny and all that stuff, but we don't really witness it. Nevertheless, to be with her, Tom tries to turn himself in and return the stolen millions in to the FBI in exchange for a favorable sentence. Through a difficult-to-swallow sequence of events, Tom ends up on the run from dirty Feds and spends the rest of the movie trying to clear his name for a murder he didn't commit while protecting Annie.

500 by Michael Ordo a. MOVED


^Review: Don't be fooled by the title _ 'The Kid Detective' is a clever genre-bender for grown-ups<

^KID-DETECTIVE-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA_<"The Kid Detective" is an unexpected mix of disparate elements that in the wrong hands could have resulted in lumpy parody but, fortunately, pours out as something smooth, funny, dark and potent.

Imagine if an Encyclopedia Brown-like boy sleuth had cruised along, catching school cash-box thieves and the like, winning admiration from all _ until he ran into an actual life-or-death crime and wasn't up to the task. And it involved another kid. Flash-forward a couple of decades, and the young gumshoe (Abe Applebaum, now played by Adam Brody) has never gotten over that failure.

550 by Michael Ordo a. MOVED



^How 24kGoldn went from USC freshman to Spotify-topping hip-hop star<

^MUS-24KGOLDN:LA_<There's an argument to be made _ and 24kGoldn and his team will eagerly make it _ that this 19-year-old rapper's "Mood" is the biggest song on the planet right now.

A yelping, guitar-driven number about playing "games of love to avoid the depression," "Mood" doesn't sit atop Billboard's industry-standard Hot 100, where it trails Cardi B's "WAP," BTS' "Dynamite" and the international pile-up "Savage Love (Laxed _ Siren Beat)" by Jason Derulo, BTS and New Zealand's Jawsh 685. But since late September the tune has led Spotify's Global Top 50 chart _ a coveted perch at a moment when streaming largely drives the pop-music conversation.

When "Mood" came out in July, 24kGoldn said the other day, "I thought, if this gets 300 million streams in the span of a year, I'm happy as f _ ." He grinned. "In three months it's gotten more than 300 million on Spotify alone." Tens of millions more have come from YouTube and Apple Music.

1100 by Mikael Wood in Los Angeles. MOVED




^MUS-BLUEGRASS:OW_<Not moving this week.


^Review: 'The West Wing' reunion brings the fight to Trump. And it doesn't even name him<

^VID-WESTWING-SPECIAL-REVIEW:LA_<Even before the election entered the home stretch, the streaming screen has been alive with reunions, by videoconference and other means _ "The Good Place," "The Real World Boston," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "High School Musical" and many more. Many had a charity aspect _ way back in April "A Parks and Recreation Special" offered an actual new episode, within a quarantine frame, to benefit Meals on Wheels _ some were just for the fun of it, and others have been specific in their political support. On Tuesday, stars of various "Star Trek" series, including Brent Spiner, Alison Pill, Jonathan Frakes, Wil Wheaton and Kate Mulgrew, along with Democratic trekkies Stacey Abrams, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg came together for "Trek the Vote" in support of the Biden Victory Fund.

The "West Wing" special is something different: a quasi-theatrical, "word-for-word," fully enacted adaptation of the third season episode "Hartsfield's Landing," produced "under strict COVID-19 protocols" and shot on the stage of an empty Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

1750 by Robert Lloyd. MOVED


^Biden's audience on ABC tops NBC's Trump event in the duel of town halls<

^TV-CAMPAIGN-TOWNHALLS-RATINGS:LA_<Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden edged out President Donald Trump in the duel of the network town halls on Thursday.

Nielsen data showed that Biden's event on ABC, running from 8 to 10 p.m EDT, averaged 13.9 million viewers. Trump, whose event aired from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern, attracted an average of 13.06 million viewers across the NBC broadcast network and cable channels MSNBC and CNBC. In the hour where the two candidates were head to head, Biden led Trump as well with 14.1 million viewers.

The numbers are not likely to please Trump, who often touts his ability to draw large TV audiences.

550 by Stephen Battaglio. MOVED


^Jimmy Kimmel blasts Trump's town hall and NBC's 'sneaky move'<

^TV-CAMPAIGN-TOWNHALLS-KIMMEL:LA_<NBC faced a backlash before, during and after airing a town hall Thursday with President Donald Trump, which Jimmy Kimmel swiftly skewered on his late-night program.

On Thursday's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the comedian slammed his rival network for pulling "a very sneaky move after Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate" and Joe Biden scheduled a town hall with ABC, which broadcasts Kimmel's talk show.

500 by Christi Carras. MOVED


^Karla Peterson: New Netflix series takes a sweet and stressful look at life during lockdown<

^VID-PETERSON-COLUMN:SD_<The Villareal family is trying to memorialize their father over Zoom. Ike is trying to stay sober with the help of online meetings and FaceTime calls. Single working mom Imani is letting her in-home camera be her babysitter, because her daughter's school is closed and what other choice does she have?

These may sound like people you know, but they are not. Ike, Imani and the beleaguered Villareals are characters in "Social Distance," a new Netflix anthology series that takes a fictional look at the lockdown lives we have been living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This may sound like a series you would not want to watch now or ever, but humor me when I say that it could be.

1000 by Karla Peterson. MOVED


^Justina Machado's taking it one day _ and one step _ at a time on 'Dancing with the Stars'<

^TV-MACHADO:TB_<One of the reasons Justina Machado agreed to do "Dancing with the Stars" this season was because it gave her the opportunity to talk about her show "One Day at a Time," the fourth season of which is currently airing on CBS.

A reboot of the Norman Lear original, it's been one of the most consistently funny comedies on TV _ and one of the only to feature a Latinx family at its center. The show began at Netflix, which wasn't able (or perhaps willing) to give the show the kind of high-profile promotion it needed. When Netflix pulled the plug, Pop TV stepped in and greenlit a fourth season _ shot this past spring _ which was truncated because of the pandemic.

Which leaves the show's fate up in the air. How well it does during this run on CBS will determine if it has a future.

1600 by Nina Metz. MOVED




^TV-QUESTIONS:MCT_<Television Q&A: Viewers unhappy with Tyra Banks on 'Dancing with the Stars'

800 by Rich Heldenfels. MOVED



^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT_<New on DVD: Elle Fanning reigns in 'The Great'

600 by Katie Foran-McHale. MOVED



^TV-REMOTE-ADV18:CC_<Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for Oct. 18-24

600 by Chuck Barney. MOVED


^Commentary: The Tony Award nominations are out. Talk about bad timing<

^STAGE-TONYS-COMMENTARY:LA_<Leave it to Broadway to put on a beauty contest in the middle of a famine.

Shuttered since March, Broadway theaters won't be reopening before June 2021, an unprecedented interruption that has left artists wholly dependent on unemployment insurance and the kindness of strangers.

Undeterred by the scale of the crisis, the American Theatre Wing announced Tony nominations for the abridged 2019-20 season on Thursday. In theater, timing is everything, and the timing of these nominations is just plain embarrassing.

1100 by Charles McNulty. MOVED


^Aaron Tveit is the sole nominee in his Tony category. But he can still lose<

^STAGE-TONYS-TVEIT:LA_<Aaron Tveit was named the sole contender for best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical when the Tony Awards nominations were announced Thursday.

Tveit's turn _ as the lovelorn writer of "Moulin Rouge!" played by Ewan McGregor in the 2001 movie _ is the category's lone nominee due to the season's abbreviated eligibility window after Broadway shut down seven months ago to curb the spread of COVID-19.

So should Tveit, also of Fox's live "Grease" musical and the 2012 movie "Les Miserables," start celebrating his big win? Well, the awards' rules state that if the nominating committee has determined only one nominee in a category, that nominee must still collect 60% of Tony voters' total ballots.

400 by Ashley Lee. MOVED




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