A24 has announced that former teen idol/vocal bible Brandy “Impossible Things Are Happening Every Day” Norwood will star in The Front Room, a psychological-horror film directed by The Eggers Brothers. Before I finished reading the press release, I had to open up my 400th tab to see if they were related to the “Spielberg of A24” and found out they are!
A lil rundown on the Brothers Eggers: Max and Sam are twins, and The Front Room is their directorial debut. They have pretty sparse IMDB pages, with a major credit a piece. (Sam co-wrote the 2018 doc Olympia — about Dukakis — and Max co-wrote The Lighthouse with older bro Robert Eggers.)
Adapted from a short story by Susan Hill, The Front Room follows a newly pregnant couple who invite their estranged ultra-religious grandmother to move into their home and are forced to deal with the consequences of this act of charity.
At the top of 2022, I proudly declared that I would not add another streaming platform to my roster. Four months later, I caved in after seeing a preview for a new Ben Whishaw medical series—think if House was a depressed, thirty-something British OBGYN working at a county hospital where both gut-wrenching and darkly funny shit happens. Unfortunately for me, the show was on a platform that wasn’t dinging my account on the reg. I made a compromise with myself and decided to sign up for the platform’s seven-day free trial—which would be more than enough time to watch the series before canceling my subscription before the first charge. Seconds after signing up I forgot about unsubscribing, as I am wont to do. Too lazy to go through the cancellation process, I figured I’d just see if there was anything worth watching.
The platform has a decent-ish amount of content, much of which is pretty good. Horror fans can watch every episode of The Walking Dead and its 4,000 spin-offs and post-shows and pre-shows and behind-the-scene shows. There’s also Mad Men, the Breaking Bad universe, a ton of BBC series including Killing Eve and The Watch, and original content like Kin (an Irish crime drama starring Mr. Daredevil himself) and classic American-action flicks like Young Guns.
So in an effort to turn lemons into lemonade, I have compiled a list of AMC Plus shows that you, too, should check out when you forget to unsubscribe. In no exact order:
The North Water
Starring Colin Farrell, Stephen Graham, Jack O’Donnell
5 episodes/about 50 to 60 min a pop
Whale hunting fucking sucks, or so is the case in this thriller miniseries starring a spectacularly scruffy and grumbly Farrell and a typically gruff Graham. The five-part series follows an ex-army surgeon who winds up joining a whaling expedition through the Arctic in the mid-1850s. The motley crew aboard the good ship is as ultra-violent as they come — they’d be right at home in a Westeros-like situation. Farrell turns in a Tom Hardy—inspired performance full of grunts and violence and stalking about, imposing their grown-man forged from steel attitudes on their prey.
Lil’ fun fact: The show was shot on location in The Arctic, which wound up helping the actors get deeper into character. “[It was a] very harsh environment indeed, it had to be,” O’Connell told Newsweek. “I don’t think any of the characters we’re playing have an easy time of it. So, for me it was an absolute pleasure to have that factor of the character already taken care of. Just being able to react to what we’re dealing with.”
This Is Going To Hurt
Starring Ben Whishaw, Ambika Mod, Michele Austin, Rory Fleck Byrne
7 episodes/about 45ish minutes a pop
Based on the Adam Kay’s 2017 book, This is Going to Hurt is a medical dramedy that follows the daily lives of junior doctors who work in a maternity ward at a National Health Service hospital. The equally hilarious and gut-wrenching series highlights the horrific working conditions that many health care professionals endure with little-to-no support.
Whishaw shared some insights about the role with Radio Times. “The thing that the show has done for me in terms of opening my eyes is just the sheer levels of exhaustion. It shouldn’t be shocking because it’s so obvious if you think about what these people are actually doing and dealing with every day. But I don’t think we’re encouraged to reflect on that. I think we take it for granted, actually.”
Watching the characters work never-ending shifts while dealing with actual matters of life or death is second-hand exhausting in a way but the humor throughout does a good job of giving us a break from the heaviness. The heart of the show lies in its two leads: Whishaw’s Adam and Ambika Mod’s breathtaking performance as Shruti, a student doctor that gets thrown into the deep-end. Nervous but dedicated to making her parents’ proud, Shruti is forced to learn on the job with little help from her wisecracking, disinterested mentor Adam. And thanks to Mod’s haunting and authentic portrayal, Shruti becomes the one that audiences root for—though Adam is the series’ hero.
Lil aside: Since Perfume, Ben Whishaw—affectionately known in the Bowie household as “Whishees”—has been my eye-acting king. He has a few signature eye quirks and looks that evoke so much empathy in me as a viewer. He’s also the only actor who consistently makes me want to give their character a hug. They’re often so stressed and lovelorn and well-intentioned! More rom-coms for Ben please. Some lighter fare for my tortured British thespian prince!
Stuff to Watch
AMC Plus, like Netflix and Prime, has a function that allows users to save the shows/movies they want to watch. It’s called My Stuff, and here’s a lil peek into mine:
Gangs of London
I love a good British gangster drama and this title card suggests that things are about to go down in jolly ol and the dude from Peaky Blinders is big stressed about it.
Spin Me Round
Allison Brie always chooses such interesting roles (justice for Glow!) and Spin Me Round may be no exception. To my complete delight, this trailer is a study in controlled chaos and then Aubrey Plaza shows up talking shit in Italian, so it’s a must-watch at this point.
This innovative sketch show centers on a fictional music variety hour – a la Soul Train – hosted by Sherman McDaniels, a Don Cornelius—type showman. Luckily for me and this AMC Plus subscription that I’ve allowed to stay on my bulging streaming roster, I get to check out the new season of Sherman’s Showcase when it debuts on the platform on October 26. According to Variety, a slew of guest stars are slated to appear in the new season: Issa Rae, Demi Adejuyigbe, Desi Banks, Laci Mosley, Dewayne Perkins, and Jay Pharoah.
Fans of Kenan’s “What Up With That” SNL sketch will likely love the hell out of this series. Catch the first season of Sherman’s Showcase on Hulu (unless they’ve pulled it by the time you read this. Them’s the digital breaks.)
*** As you may have guessed by the “quality” of this post, this is not an ad for AMC Plus — but man, my bank account would be happier if it was.
I’ve been a Chris Rock fan since I was a young teen. The scream cadence and repetition of his all-too-familiar voice has always brought me laughs. I can remember going to the theater to see “Head of State” and his other various films on the day of their release and tomorrow will be no different. My excitement has only increased after reading a string of press interviews Rock has done over the last 2 weeks.
Here are a few unforgettable and poignant Rock quotes:
“I’ve got artsy taste, which is great and not great at the same time. I’d rather work with Wes Anderson, but I don’t look like Owen Wilson. I’d love to work with Alexander Payne and Richard Linklater. But they don’t really do those movies with black people that much.” —Rolling Stone
“There are almost no black women in film. You can go to whole movies and not see one black woman. They’ll throw a black guy a bone. OK, here’s a black guy. But is there a single black woman in Interstellar? Or Gone Girl? Birdman? The Purge? Neighbors? … I go to the movies almost every week, and I can go a month and not see a black woman having an actual speaking part in a movie.” —The Hollywood Reporter
“I don’t want to [act] in anything that [takes place] before the Jackson 5. Anything before them is just black misery. Everything before the Jackson 5 is essentially slavery, or close to it. So as far as I’m concerned, Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie ended slavery.” —Rolling Stone
I wish he’d write another memoir or a political humor book, like Bill Maher. His last book, “Rock This!” was written in the late ’90s.I don’t always agree with everything he says but his thought process and the way he breaks down ideas is bar none. Warm it up, Chris!
“Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at.” -Detective Rust Cohle.
Matthew McConaughey is good at acting. The man knows how to deliver a line and a great Oscar speech. He also plays a mean bongo drum. Let us celebrate the birth of the man who gave us 12 months of tremendous performances in gems like Interstellar, True Detective, Dallas Buyers Club and the most parodied Lincoln car commercial in the history of car commercials. May the McConaugh-ssance continue for years to come.
It was a typical Sunday morning filled with Coco Puff wishes and dreams of the future. But this would prove to be anything but a typical Sunday because yesterday my world would be blessed with the trailer for Mad Max Fury Road.
In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear, my dear readers: I have an enormous para-social crush on Hollywood’s Tom Hardy. Now this isn’t some bandwagon, flavor of the day “I’ve loved him since he was Bane” type thing. I’ve been rolling hard for Tom since 2009. 5 solid years of Fan-demonium. I stan for him like others stan for Beyoncé.
All proclamations of undying love aside, I have been waiting to see this trailer since I heard my dearest Tommy had landed the role that would finally display his acting chops for the masses (sans facial mask and wacky voice).
This trailer did not disappoint. If this is what the near future looks like then I better start doing push-ups, invest in some charcoal colored makeup, and a nice Wilson’s leather coat.
Here’s the deal: I fought reading this book for the last 2 years. Every Lit Nerd I knew professed their undying love for the book and raved about how this text would bring light to the darkness that rested within our tortured earthly souls. The fans were that dramatic. But I was steadfast in my evasiveness. I ran like Usain Bolt from this book every chance I got, refusing to join the herd. Then last week, I couldn’t take it anymore. I saw the book propped up all high and mighty on the shelf at the front of the bookstore, heckling me. “I’ve been a bestseller for like 25 years. I demand to be read!” it taunted.
I offered a ubiquitous sigh to no one in particular and just like that, I gave in. I brought the book home and thought I’d page through a chapter or two and resign myself to the Chuck Palahniuk tomes that own my heart. But something strange happened; I liked the first chapter too much. John Green, the author, created protagonists that were very Dawson’s Creekish in intellect, in that they were way more intelligent than any real 16-year-old teen (or even 35-year-olds for that matter). Yet unlike Dawson and his crew, the characters remained very earnest and relatable. How could this be?!
Damn you, John Green. You’re the best. I wish I had you a decade ago when I was coming of age. This generation is too lucky. Your writing was delightful and unassuming and heartbreaking. Reading your words and references coming from Augustus Water’s mouth made me feel smarter and patient. The way Hazel Grace dealt with her parents. How her dad cried… Peter Van Houten, the brazen alcoholic. I had been had.
Three hours later, I finished the book and wept a small river into my pillow. I thought I had it all figured out from the cliched preview of the movie but like so many times in this life, I was wrong. How could you/thank you for doing it.
I look forward to inhaling The Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska as soon as humanly possible. I’ve already purchased my ticket to the Thursday night showing. All that’s left is to hit up my local CVS and buy $30 worth of Kleenex because tomorrow night’s forecast calls for a coming-of-age flick with a 100% chance of me crying like a baby in the back of an AMC theater.
I had to triple take IMDB this morning. Matt Camden from 7th Heaven—or Barry Watson as his parents named him— turned 39 today. Seriously, I used to get the (Teaching Mrs.) tingles watching this guy every Monday night as the bible thumping Matt Camden on 7th Heaven.
See kids, Barry Watson was the original Taylor Kitsch.
He was the first notable incarnation of John Carter——brooding, dark eyes, shoulder-length Vidal Sassoon-ed hair. Barry was a demi-god back in ’96. I’m not sure why his star did not continue to rise after 7th Heaven left the air, but he was the champion reason why I bought BOP! magazine back in the day. Wherever you are Barry, just know that Taylor Kitsch owes you a round of drinks and pair of sneakers because without your heart-throbbing success, he could’ve never battleshipped his way into America’s heart.
By now, I’ve come to recognize that due to bratty antics in and around Hollywood, my dearest Shia LaBeouf is an acquired taste— but I do enjoy his work.
In the latest casting news from The Hollywood Reporter, LaBeouf will team up on a project with Robert De Niro and his former Disturbia and Eagle Eye director, DJ Caruso. Titled Spy’s Kid, the film would cast De Niro as a real-life CIA veteran convicted of spying. LaBeouf would play his son, a depressed Army discharge who ends up following in his father’s footsteps, serving as a courier of information between an Oregon federal prison and Russia.
My favorite chip-on-his-shoulder young man will pair up with my favorite grumpy-looking, older man. Swoon!
After a crazy-long hiatus, I thought I’d get back to my grassroots: talking about movies and the hot boys that star in them. Prepare your beautiful eyes for some intense fan-girling. You’ve been warned.