Thanks to the success of Veep, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Orange Is the New Black and the like, female-driven comedies are no longer the red-headed stepchild of television. Case in point: upcoming Fox pilot Dead Boss, adaptation of a British comedy of the same name. Its cast? So far, almost identical to the guest list to your dream funny lady dinner party.
Jane Krakowski stars in her first post-30 Rock lead role as Helen, a woman falsely accused of murdering her awful boss. Strangers with Candy comedienne and unlikely heir to Martha Stewart's lifestyle queendom Amy Sedaris will play the convict's nosy coworker; and Deadline reports that Saturday Night Live alum Rachel Dratch just signed on as Helen's cellmate, "a sunny but emotionally needy arsonist." Still to be cast is Helen's "trainwreck" sister, her only hope of clearing her name. With how stacked this ensemble is so far, we can only expect another killer name. Is it too early to buy a season pass?
Dead Boss already has serious girl comic pedigree. The original U.K. series was created by Sharon Horgan (Pulling, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret) and stand-up sensation Holly Walsh; it starred Horgan and AbFab legend Jennifer Saunders. So far, the source material is only one six-episode season old. So the impetus is on the U.S. creative team (which includes Suburgatory producer Patricia Breen) to turn the concept into a viable sitcom in an American network structure.
But with Krakowski bringing a touch of Jenna Maroney's high-minded disdain, Sedaris full-on conniving, and Dratch turning up the crazy, we can't help but be hopeful. Are you looking forward to Dead Boss? Let us know in the comments.
If all you know of The Inbetweeners is the failed U.S. remake, it's time to get schooled. The Inbetweeners 2, the sequel to the British comedy series' first feature-length incarnation, hits U.K. theaters on Aug. 6. (No U.S. release date yet.) Three beloved seasons, a massively successful film, and another one the way? Yes, you've definitely been missing something.
The Inbetweeners follows the coming-of-age escapades of four friends, as well as all the crippling embarrassment that comes with all that. Neil, Simon, Will, and Jay aren't at the top of the social ladder, but they aren't complete outcasts either. They land where most of us did in high school: somewhere in the middle, blindly grasping for some sense of dignity in a mental and emotional hellscape. Parents who mortify, girls who unknowingly emasculate, exams that test the very limits of one's sanity — we've seen it all before, but hardly ever without a glossy CW sheen.
Everything about The Inbetweeners is painfully real, from its blank and ugly school buildings, to the love interests who look like the prettiest girls in 11th grade rather than page 57 of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, to the sometimes combative and sometimes supportive relationships among the four lads. They live by the high school boy's creed: take the piss before the piss gets taken out of you. Yet they can still count on each other for help dealing with casually cruel dads and sadistic teachers.
The boys fittingly made the jump to the big screen as their high school days came to a close. The first Inbetweeners film gave us the gross-out comedy and secret gooey center we'd come to expect. Behind every hangover, pubes joke, and pantsing is an "end of an era" wistfulness.
Thanks to the movie's blockbuster debut however, we don't have to say goodbye to these morons just yet. Precious little has been revealed about the sequel's plot, though we wager it will involve a new level of cringe-comedy that surpasses everything that's come before. In the meantime, you can catch up with the series and the first film on Netflix.
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We hate to break it to you, but The Grand Budapest Hotel is actually an early 20th century German department store. But don't let that bit of fictionalization kill the dream of a vacation inspired by your favorite film. These real-life accommodations set the stage for movie murder, plotting, and romance, and are a must for a cinephile's perfect getaway.
Mountain Lake Lodge — Dirty Dancing
Pembroke, Virginia's Mountain Lake Lodge played the role of Catskills resort Kellerman's in the '80s classic. Guests can even choose to book a special Dirty Dancing weekend with dance lessons, a trivia contest, and a scene-specific tour of the grounds. Transformational first love not guaranteed.
Safari Inn — True Romance
When you're in Los Angeles, follow in the footsteps of Clarence and Alabama and hole up in the '50s-fabulous Safari Inn. The motel and its famous neon sign have also appeared in movies like Apollo 13, as well as on TV in Six Feet Under, Monk, and more.
Beverly Wilshire Hotel — Pretty Woman
Those with deep pockets (or "uncles" with deep pockets) can relive Vivian's fairy tale in the extravagant Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire. The famous shops of Rodeo Drive are handy for any necessary revenge shopping sprees.
Timberline Lodge — The Shining
Guests at the Timberline Lodge in Oregon don't usually lose their minds during their stay; they prefer to hit the slopes. The exterior we know as the creepy Overlook Hotel is actually a National Historic Landmark and famous ski destination that was built during the '30s as a part of the Works Projects Administration.
The Stanley Hotel — Dumb and Dumber
If you've got a briefcase full of cash and a best friend who's as clueless as you are, Colorado's Stanley Hotel is the place for you. Stumble up the magnificent staircase or have a drink in the hotel bar where Lloyd Christmas first realizes that we made it to the moon. Bonus movie cred: Stephen King conceived the idea for The Shining when staying at The Stanley, which is considered by many to be haunted. It took over the part of the Overlook in the TV miniseries adaptation.
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Tom: "What is wrong with you today? Did they cancel Game of Thrones?"Ben: "Nothing is wrong, just do your job... And they would never cancel Game of Thrones. It's a crossover hit. It's not just for fantasy enthusiasts, they're telling human stories in a fantasy world."
Parks and Recreation's Ben Wyatt loves Game of Thrones like Leslie Knope loves Pawnee. He calls his wife "Khaleesi" when she needs a pep talk. He bids online as "TallTyrionLannister." He quite nearly loses his mind when presented with a full-scale replica of the Iron Throne. In other words, Game of Thrones fans: he is us.
With Ben's fanboying over the show and Donna's appreciation of its sexy cast as a running Parks joke, it's only a matter of time before someone from the Seven Kingdoms hitches a dragon ride over to City Hall. Think of the possibilities: Emilia Clarke as an Eagletonian post-debutante who becomes the target of Tom's finest pick-up lines? Jack Gleeson as a hoodlum friend of that monster Greg Pikitis? Even better, how about Kit Harington and Richard Madden as strapping suitors bickering over Donna "You Can Get It" Meagle?
Whatever mountains have to be moved to make this happen will be worth it when the writers' room that brought you video store owner Dennis Lerpiss and talk radio host Derry Murbles get to come up with Parks names for these guys. What's Hodor in Pawneean, we wonder?
Now that the sitcom is for sure returning for a seventh season, hopefully some backstage dealings are happening between these unlikely sister shows. And maybe, for Thrones characters who meet their violent end, a Parks guest spot can at least soften the blow.
Which Game of Thrones actors would you like to meet Leslie and company? Tell us in the comments!
Fans of football, Americana, and quality TV in general were rewarded for their good taste when Friday Night Lights and Parenthood crossed over in a very special web series, Friday Night at the Luncheonette. Dillon meets Berkeley when Amber (Mae Whitman) opens the studio one night to the best band in Christian speed metal, the Landry Clarke (Jesse Plemons) -fronted Crucifictorious, and an accompanying rager led by perpetual maker of bad decisions, Billy Riggins (Derek Phillips). Parenthood creator Jason Katims has found plenty of work around the Braverman clan for his FNL actors, casting Minka Kelly, Michael B. Jordan, and Phillips (whose wedding guest character must have been an identical cousin of Billy) in the family drama. But this is the first time the two tear-jerking shows have been confirmed to exist within the same universe. And that means that crossover can happen again! Obviously, we want more. Here are a few suggestions on how these characters can cross paths in the future.
1. Crucifictorius rolls through town again.
And Landry takes Amber on a date. Those two totally worked!
2. Kristina attends a special education conference out east.
She makes friends with a smart and warm Texan principal named Tami Taylor and they share a couple of bottles of wine in the hotel bar.
3. Matt and Julie open a gallery next door to Hank's studio.
And Sarah's photos are shown in their very first exhibit.
4. Eric goes out to visit Matt and Julie and is confused by the Berkeley-ness of it all.
"What do you mean these people don't care about football? Where can I get a damn steak?"
5. Tyra comes to UC Berkeley for her first year of teaching.
Drew falls madly in love with her.
6. Tim Riggins.
Whenever, wherever. Zero reasons needed.
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Forget the judges' scores and medal counts, because Johnny Weir was the overall winner of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The former world-class competitive skater may have been maligned by the stodgy establishment of his sport while he was still in the game, but he and his right-hand lady Tara Lipinski ruled the rink from their commentator chairs in Sochi. His outfits were fabulous, his knowledge of the sport and rapport with the skaters added substance to the commentary, and his shade was high-quality and expertly (and sparingly) thrown. He and Tara were such a hit, especially with their coordinating headbands, that they were invited to take the Oscar red carpet together a few days later.
When Johnny's was a name known only in skating circles, he was the subject of a feature-length documentary Pop Star on Ice, which was then adapted into a reality series for the Sundance Channel. Its subject has never shied away from a camera. And in the first season of Be Good, Johnny Weir, he shared his entire life, from his supportive Pennsylvania family to the monk-like existence of training to his struggles with the United States Figure Skating Association. All, of course, with a heavy dose of style and sarcasm. The second season moved to Logo, where the episodes were clearly more structured and scripted. And as his fans know, Johnny Weir thrives sans script.
Now that Johnny is a household name, any network would be wise to harness his big personality and bigger closet to host his own daytime talk show. We want Johnny to interview our favorite stars, dole out some wisdom, and inject a little irreverence into the chat show landscape. Perhaps his Russian alter-ego Viacheslav Romanov could make some appearances on his show — ideally in a bathtub — to dole out in advice to celebrities.
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At a recent convention for the show, a fan asked Doctor Who queen Billie Piper which American series she'd love to guest on. Her answer, without hesitation, was Girls.
Make this happen, Lena Dunham! We can totally see Piper hanging out with the ladies in Brooklyn. Maybe she's a cool, cosmopolitan friend from Jessa's travels, an actress co-starring with Adam in a short film who rubs Hannah the wrong way, or a TA who befriends Shoshanna. Hell, we'd even take her in a cameo as an impossible-to-please coffee shop patron. Though she deserves a multi-episode arc, at the very least.
For one, the effortless beauty could teach the girls something or two about boho-chic fashion. Rompers, slouchy maxi dresses, high-waisted jeans. She would rock them all. And since Billie is a survivor of teen pop and the scrutiny that comes with it, she and Lena can bond over the ludicrous amount of attention paid to everything Dunham wears or doesn't. Thanks to her lead role in Secret Diary of a Call Girl, we know Piper can handle Girls and its frank sex scenes. But it's Billie's range and choices that set her apart from the ingénue set. While "Belle du Jour" was an uber-fab Cher Horowitz of the sex industry, Piper de-glammed in the 100% improvised 2012 miniseries True Love to play a teacher who starts a relationship with a female student. As is required of all British actresses, she has taken her turn in a Jane Austen adaptation. But — unlike some of her contemporaries — Piper is just as comfortable in modern or period pieces. Must be all that time she spent traveling through time and space with the Doctor.
We'll see Piper next in the upcoming Showtime thriller Penny Dreadful. And after that, perhaps a party in a Greenpoint warehouse? Time will tell.
NBC has called "do-over" on its ill-fated superhero drama Heroes. The series, which started strong in 2006 and then fizzled out over four seasons, is returning as a miniseries. And while we're doing some head scratching over why the network would return so soon to this particular well, we're also intrigued. Can creator Tim Kring identify just where the first incarnation of his baby went wrong and correct those mistakes? As inspiration, we suggest that Kring turn to British dramedy Misfits.
Misfits deals with similar subject matter: regular people — in this case, juvenile delinquents — develop super powers and have to learn to live with them. Where Heroes lost its way, Misfits had a largely consistent five-season run. Here's what we hope the upcoming Heroes miniseries will steal from the other comic book-inspired show:
1. Keep a tight focus on a few characters at a time.
Misfits features a relatively small main ensemble at any given moment. Each character has their story told and when a story is finished, that character cycles off. It means we eventually have to lose a few of our favorites — we miss you, Nathan! — but at least we're not drowning in an ever-expanding sea of vaguely developed "superheroes."
2. Don't be afraid of a little snark.
Heroes did dark and did it well. We have terrifying serial killer Sylar to thank for launching the career of Zachary Quinto, let's not forget. But the series was just so painfully earnest. Misfits delivers action and adventure with a heavy dose of cheek. Heroes could stand to loosen up a bit.
3. Create a world, but create a world that we recognize.
Misfits used gritty South East London as the backdrop for its unlikely heroes, grounding even the most insane plot twists (a villain who can control lactose?) in familiarity. Heroes always looked like it was firmly based on a soundstage, upping the cheese factor that eventually brought the show down.
Hopefully NBC's second go at the superhero series can take a few of these lessons.
Long-running medical comedy Scrubs may be getting a new life soon — this time on stage. Creator Bill Lawrence is working on developing the show into a musical. We're absolutely on board, especially if The World's Most Giant Doctor is involved. Here's why:
1. Theater nerds are in charge.
Lawrence and star Zach Braff — who will most likely be somehow involved creatively — are self-professed drama dorks. Braff, in fact, is about to start his own Broadway run in the musical version of the Woody Allen backstage comedy Bullets Over Broadway. Lawrence told Entertainment Weekly that he's in the process of choosing the show's composer, and "looking at everything from the singer-songwriter hip version that you can say they did with Spring Awakening to the type of sardonic Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson-type stuff." See? He knows shows! Good ones!
2. The structure is perfect.
What are Broadway musical numbers if not miniature fantasy sequences? And those fantasy and flashback sequences are the guts of Scrubs. J.D.'s inner monologue is just begging to be converted into a series of flashy production numbers. There are also plenty of "real life" musical moments to mine — how about a Greek chorus role for Ted's barbershop quartet?
3. They're going to cast the hell out of it.
Lawrence also confirmed for EW that we won't be seeing Braff, Donald Faison, or Sarah Chalke taking their Sacred Heart characters to the stage. He wants to cast "Broadway musical stars" instead. We love the original team to pieces, but that's no excuse not to stack the Broadway ensemble with some serious belters. "The reason that I cast Skylar Astin in Ground Floor was to have him close to me," Lawrence said. If Braff will be succeeded by the Pitch Perfect star (and Broadway vet), we're fine with it.
4. It already has!
In its sixth season, Scrubs produced a musical episode with songs by the Tony-winning composers of Avenue Q. We love them all, but there's just something about a guy love between two guys.
Universal via Everett Collection
Jason Bateman's feature directorial debut Bad Words was a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival and opens wide in theaters on March 28. The man who brought us good son Michael Bluth took to Reddit yesterday to respond to fan questions about the new film, his banjo prowess, and hairless werewolves, plus a constant stream of Arrested Development quotes. Read on for highlights and check out all of Bateman's answers here.
On the tactile pleasures of Michael Cera's hair:"Curly, yet manageable. The hair on his head is pretty soft too."
On his biggest fear:"Bees." (Not beads)
On whether or not he was really playing the banjo in that Mumford & Sons video:"All lies, and I was surprised by how much those metal strings hurt my fat little fingers."
On his dream boyfriend, if he were gay:"I'd like to continue dating Will Arnett."
On lying about the status of the Arrested Development movie:"I know exactly the same as you do. Zip."
On if he's "that former child star that's now a nut-case fundamentalist":"Yes, and I'll see you in hell."
On feeling guilty for corrupting his young Bad Words costar, Rohan Chand:"No, I figured his parents were cool with it since they read the script and drove him to the audition. Plus we erased his memory with the Men in Black gun."
On returning to his werewolf roots on MTV's Teen Wolf:"Sure, only if I can play one with alopecia."
On being annoyingly meta:"This reminds me of my worst Halloween costume ever. I wore a hockey goalie mask and a fish net with lures attached to it over my shoulders and went as Jason Bateman. What an a-hole."