By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special to TRT–
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin: better together?
It’s official: both Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin have canceled talk shows. And while both also have other career irons in the fire – it’s reported that NBC is courting him to move into Matt Lauer’s Today spot and if stand-up tours were an Olympic event she’d have medaled several times over – there’s still a cool rumor going around. Allegedly (to use a favorite adjective of Ms. Griffin) the pair, whose on-camera chemistry is already a solid ratings and controversy-based hit every New Year’s Eve for CNN, are moving in the direction of hosting a show together. They recently taped something resembling a pilot for CNN and word is that the news network is looking for a way to use them as a team more regularly in an effort to beef up the place’s mainstream entertainment factor. Obviously this could all turn into nothing. Or it could become the weirdest thing on mainstream television. And that would be awesome.
The Wachowskis enter The Netflix
OK, so nobody went to see the extravagantly goofy, heartfelt, sci-fi WTF that was Cloud Atlas. Bummer, because it really was an underrated – and amazingly transgender-powered – gem of 2012 moviemaking. Undaunted, Andy and Lana Wachowski soldier on to series television for at least a ten-episode arc of Sense8, a sci-fi drama the siblings are developing for Netflix, home of David Fincher’s nervy House of Cards. What’s it about? Well, the description floating around the Hollywood matrix is “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted.” This could mean just about anything, naturally, and unless you’re one of those production news addicts who live for pre-spoilers then you’ll have to wait until the last half of 2014 to find out more. But come on, have these people bored you yet? Even when they go out on a crazy limb (frequently) and fail (sometimes) you can’t call them hacks. We’re going to go click “Save” on our Netflix queue right now.
Black Nativity to brighten up the holidays
You’d be forgiven for thinking that, right now, African-American film output in Hollywood consists entirely of Tyler Perry, Tyler Perry and Tyler Perry. But you’d be forgetting Kasi Lemmons. Though not as prolific as the one-man-in-drag media juggernaut, Lemmons is the acclaimed director of 1997’s Eve’s Bayou and, coming to theaters in late November of this year, the woman behind Black Nativity. From a libretto by Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes – who, based on his life and work, is widely regarded by literary historians to have been a closeted gay man – Lemmons’ screenplay concerns a young boy who dreams an all-black Nativity story. The filmmaker has also assembled an A-list cast in Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Tyrese Gibson and rapper Nas. Now all we need to know is if Hudson and Blige sing at some point during the running time. Together or solo, we’re not picky. They can even just hum something; we’ll take what we can get.
Logo’s newest puppet show
Take a bit of Avenue Q, the ghost of the fondly remembered, Lego-based sitcom Rick & Steve The Happiest Gay Couple in All The World, the parts of The Sopranos where Tony sat complaining in his psychiatrist’s office and whatever humor existed in Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage and that’s Felt. It’s a new series coming very soon from Logo. And it stars puppets. Puppets who enact real audio recordings of couples – both gay and straight – in relationship therapy. It premieres May 6. Considering every non-competition reality show that network ever aired was already like a bizarre puppet show (Note to Logo: we’d also watch old reruns of The A List if they were re-enacted by puppets. Or costumed chimps. Or fresh produce with animated mouths.) we can say with assurance that we’ll be watching. As Logo Ambassador to The Entire Planet RuPaul might say, “Don’t f*@# it up.” You’ve already got one 1 Girl 5 Gays.
*Romeo San Vicente has responded to spring by taking off his shirt. You’re welcome. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.