When Ruth Wilson abruptly exited Showtime’s The Affair, I knew there was trouble. Joshua Jackson followed quickly behind, sending the show into an almost certain death. But since most shows need five seasons to be profitable, the powers that be decided to keep it moving, and they did their very best to make it appear as if the departures were more about the characters running their course and less about the alleged on-set sexual harassment. I don’t know the truth, but I do how television works, and Joshua Jackson and Ruth Wilson were both under contract. They had to be let out of that contract, and since they were so creatively essential to the series, I can only imagine something serious happened.
Now for season five. In short, it’s terrible. To quote one Twitter user, “it feels more like a spin off and not a very good one.” In place of Alison and Cole is the adult Joanie, played by Anna Paquin, who is doing the best she can with a bad role. Because she’s set in the future, what we get is some silly technological advances (including what your toilet might look like in 2020), and a preachy portrayal of an earth that has been ruined by humans. While I agree humans are ruining the planet, this is so far removed from the original tone of the show it feels cartoonish. Her scene partners also don’t help. Her on-screen husband has no depth, and when she’s met with a overly-chatty journalist (EJ) who has an unexplainable interest in her family, it feels more like a cheap excuse for plot explanation than an actual conversation. I’d have loved a far less on-the-nose Joanie. A sweet, loving Joanie who has empathy for her mother’s suicide and doesn’t want to confront the idea that she was murdered because she lives in a utopian bubble about humanity being decent. Instead, I get Alison x 50 minus all the nuance of Ruth Wilson’s acting chops. In defense of Anna Paquin, you can’t polish a turd.
As for Maura Tierney and Dominic West, they are laying brick. They are phenomonel actors who deserve credit for doing their best with a bad situation. Maura might have the only compelling storyline on season five, and she’s carrying the show. Dominic West is still great as Noah, but I simply don’t buy the realization that he wants his family back. While it can be done, the writing is far too one-dimensional and his character has always been extremely complex. Placing sex toys in Helen’s bedroom is so basic I wanted to throw something at the screen.
I realize this review sounds angry, and that’s because it is. I found it appalling when the show’s creator said that Ruth Wilson’s character had run its coarse, instead of praising what she had done with it thus far. She’s one of the best actresses I’ve seen in decades and without her, the show would not have succeeded. Show some respect. Furthermore, the idea that the series could have been ressurrected without its two leads reeks of arrogance. I know people have jobs to keep, but sometimes it’s time to close up shop.
It’s hard to believe the ladies of RHOBH think the show can survive sans Lisa Vanderpump, especially given that 80% of the season was about Lisa Vanderpump — even AFTER she quit the reality series. Fans of LVP have been quick to point out the leading ladies are hypocrities for attacking the WEHO Queen, a tactic used to deflect attention from their own personal lives — specifically the multi-million dollar lawsuits they’re facing. Those lawsuits are against the husbands of Erika Jayne, Kyle Richards, and Dorit Kemsley.
On last night’s reunion, Andy Cohen served the tea, and rightfully brought those lawsuits to light. The ladies conveniently all agred they should be kept private, with Kyle Richards leading the charge. Kyle insisted that the husbands are not fair game for the show, which is an interesting assertion given that Kyle uses the show to promote her husband’s business. In fact, she threw a party for his company ON THE SHOW. Furthermore, Kyle has consistenly brought up the actions of LVP’s husband, Ken Todd.
The lawsuits are fair game. If you sign up for a reality show, then that show should reflect the reality of your life. At the very least, you could use it to deny the accusations against you, instead of completely ignoring a monstrous life event. And besides, even if LVP leaked that story — who actually cares?
Can Pete Davidson catch a break? While I understand he invited a world of backlash when he publicly discussed his relationship with superstar Ariana Grande, the time has come to let it go. He’s been honest about his mental health issues, and the man is trying to move on with his life. During a recent standup comedy gig, Davidson bailed because the comedy club owner was allegedly under strict instructions from camp Pete not to mention Pete’s famous exes — and he went ahead and mentioned them anyhow.
If I learned anything from Robert Kelly’s interview with Gayle King, it’s that the art of the interview has been lost. Gone are the Barbara Walters days of truncated, tricky questions that illicit admissions, no matter how prepared and media trained the subject. Many are complimenting King’s composure during Kelly’s volcanic eruption, as she gently and effectively interrupted his useless rant and encouraged him to take his seat. While I also think King’s composure deserves praise, I question whether an interview can be deemed effective when the phrasing of a question causes such a rant in the first place.
An interview is not about accountability, despite the desires of social media. It’s about information gathering. And if you aren’t gathering any information and are instead just witnessing his temperament, we’ve gotten nowhere. If it were me, I’d say, “How would you describe your relationship with Jocelyn Savage?”
Though many have also suggested that R. Kelly does not deserve a platform, I’m fine with it. We’ve interviewed serial killers, pedophiles, etc., and I think those interviews are important — as information gathering. I draw exception when there is a pending criminal case that could influence the potential jury pool. Let investigators do their job before you put this man on television. In fact, interview R. Kelly from behind bars instead.
It’s now widely known that Kylie Jenner’s best friend, Jordyn Woods, hooked up with Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend/baby daddy, Tristan Thompson, at a house party. Woods has since been dragged on social media, and she will appear on Red Table Talk to share her side of the story. The truth-table series was launched by Jada Pinkett Smith, and it is the perfect platform for Woods. According to media sources, the Kardashians are livid with Woods — not only for the hookup, but for the decision to publicly discuss the story without their permission. More specifically, Woods signed a non-disclosure agreement, and this might violate it.
There are just some people who don’t get it, and Mo’Nique is one of them. Though I can’t speak to her personal life struggles, I can speak to the expectation that actors engage in a limited amount of publicity to promote their project, which is in their contract. When they choose to forgo that expectation, they risk being shunned by an industry who relies on it.
With Meredith and DeLuca trapped in an elevator, Teddy’s baby confession, and some complications with Maggie and Avery, season 15 of Grey’s Anatomy will likely be romance driven. This would be okay if any of those romances actually landed — and for me — they have not.
Giacomo Gianniotti (DeLuca) is a welcome addition the cast, but he simply has not had much to do. He had a somewhat interesting storyline with Dr. Jeanine Mason (Sam Bello), but it was too short to be fully explored. I also adore Chris Carmack (Atticus Lincoln), but much like Gianniotti, he has limited chemistry with Pompeo and a sub-par storyline. As for Kelly McCreary (Maggie) and Jesse Williams (Avery), these two need to cut their losses and find fresh blood. I loved the conflict between Sarah Drew (April) and Williams, and no such conflict has equally sparked my interest. And forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but the chemistry is ALSO lacking. I vote for the return of Scott Speedman, and judging by the twitter uproar, so does all the other Grey’s Anatomy fans. Chemistry is hard to come by and thus far, only Kim Raver (Teddy) and Kevin McKidd (Owen) seem to have it.
Forgive me for minimizing Kevin Hart’s Oscar debacle with a petty analogy, but the man reminds me of every guy I’ve ever dated who is allergic to apologizing. So allergic in fact that he says things like, “I’m sorry IF I offended you,” or “How many times are you going to mention the same thing. I’ve already apologized.” Lastly, “Can’t we just focus on the future, not the past?” When combined with fame, social media, and the a rightfully offended LGBTQ+ community, it gets even worse.
Jada Pinkett Smith launched the hugely popular Red Table Talk on Facebook as a vehicle for honest conversation. While many other talk shows present the same premise, this might be the most authentic of its kind. I knew it would take off while watching Jada reminisce with Will Smith’s first wife about the tumultuous start to their journey, followed by unconditional love for one another now. In fact, the power couple have long been pioneers of co-parenting, publicly insisting that it’s possible to get everyone in a room together for the holidays — on behalf of their children. So what could be negative about such a talk? Just ask the New York Post.
Jane Curtin is a badass. As an original cast member on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ she’s a pioneer who paved the way for many of the women who came after her, and by all accounts, she’s normal. If you ever read ‘Live From New York’ written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, you’d learn more about her legendary status, with one select quote from Rosie Shuster, a writer on the long-running series who later married Lorne Michaels.