By: Romeo San Vicente*/Special to TRT—
Wes Bentley is wide Open
Is Ryan Murphy in some kind of private who-can-have-the-most-jobs competition with James Franco? Because that’s the only reason we can come up with to explain the Glee and American Horror Story creator’s sprawling proliferation of TV shows. And the Murphy wave just gets higher with Open, his new HBO pilot starring Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games). Co-written by Murphy with Lauren Gussis, Open follows the life of “handsome, arrogant” Evan Foster (Bentley), a man who thinks he knows all there is to know about human sexuality and who loves to hear himself spin theories about it all. We’re guessing he has a lot to learn and that, since it’s for HBO, there’ll be a lot of nudity while class is in session. Unless it turns into a bro-style Sex in the City. Then nobody will ever take off their clothes.
Kendrick and Jordan spend 5 Years together
Musicals, musicals, musicals, everywhere you look these days another musical is heading to the screen, either big or small. Of course, sometimes they get cancelled like Smash, but even when they dump your favorite low-rated, somewhat-dorky TV show about Broadway, you know you’ll see those folks somewhere soon again. Case in point: Jeremy Jordan, a Grammy- and Tony-nominated actor from that not-quite cult hit, will step out with Pitch Perfect‘s Anna Kendrick for the film version of The Last 5 Years. Richard LaGravenese, whose most recent project was the extremely gay Behind The Candelabra, will write and direct this adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical. The story revolves around the love affair between an actress and a novelist, with one character’s timeline moving backwards and the other’s moving forwards, meeting in the middle for that wedding duet. It’s shooting this summer in New York and you can expect this Scenes From An All-Singing, All-Dancing Marriage in theaters sometime in 2014. You won’t believe the choreography they’ve got ready for the pre-nup sequence.
Chozen will probably make you very happy or very angry
FX has a little brother network coming to basic cable this fall. Its name is FXX and its geared toward a younger demographic (because FX shows like Archer are for old people?), which means that it’s perfect to host Eastbound & Down star Danny McBride’s new animated series, Chozen. Chozen features the voices of Grant Dekernion (Eastbound Down), Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live), Michael Pena (Gangster Squad) and Method Man (The Sitter) and will revolve around the adventures of a gay white rapper who’s just been sprung from prison. Now, given that McBride’s most recent film is the wildly homoerotic apocalypse comedy This Is The End, one in which he winds up as what can only be called the “top” in an unusual relationship with Channing Tatum, no one should be surprised when this adult cartoon decides to go all the way with its subject matter. Its creators are comedy trailblazers, so it’s pretty much a given that nothing will be off limits and someone’s going to be offended at some point. Good.
Don’t sleep on Orange Is The New Black
Do you miss The L Word? Oz? Both? Sure you do; we all do. Well, by the time you get around to reading this you’ll probably already be late-coming to Orange Is The New Black, the comedy/drama that bubbled up quietly and mostly under the radar but now has a home at Netflix. Created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds) and based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, Orange is the true story of what happened to the WASPy Kerman when she found herself doing time for being involved in a reckless relationship with a hot lesbian drug lord. Unlike the seemingly unscathed Martha Stewart, Kerman’s 15-month sentence became a lesson in everything she never knew she needed to know, including which all-female gang to roll with on the inside. The show stars Taylor Schilling (Atlas Shrugged), Jason Biggs, Kate Mulgrew (!), Laura Prepon, Lea Delaria, Natasha Lyonne and Taryn Manning — in other words, everyone great you always wished would be on a TV show full of lesbians. Get that Netflix subscription now and do your time.
*Romeo San Vicente is the cutest jailbird you ever did see. He can be reached care of this publication or at DeepInsideHollywood@qsyndicate.com.