Tag Archives: television

Time To Rethink A Certain Reindeer Story

santa rudolph reindeer rankin bass

It’s December and the ubiquitous holiday music – playing since mid-November – reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner.  I’ve always been troubled by one particular Christmas carol I first learned at the tender age of 4: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You know the story, right? Young buck born with funny nose. Ostracized and bullied for it. Naturally, an extenuating circumstance (“one foggy ...

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Garry Marshall – Cultural Titan and Family Man

garry marshall

If you are of a certain age, your cultural life was dominated by Garry Marshall’s touch.  The Odd Couple. Happy Days. Laverne & Shirley. Mork & Mindy. Pretty Woman. The Princess Diaries.  He helped Ron Howard get cast in his first film (George Lucas’ American Graffiti) and directed Jackie Gleason in his last (Nothing in Common  with Tom Hanks). And these are just a few ...

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The Bechdel Test and the Art of Politics

diversity bechdel scientist appearance

Have you heard of the Bechdel test?  It was developed to formalize an observation made by Virginia Woolf about the simplicity of women’s characters in literature.  A piece of fiction passes the test if, and only if, three conditions are met: The work has at least two women in it who talk to each other about something other than a man. Given the simplicity of ...

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Homogeneous Hollywood Losing Money?

On the heels of the recent diversity report from cross-town football rival, USC, today UCLA has released its study on the lack of diversity in Hollywood.  The 60-page scholarly report, created by the Bunche Center of African American Studies, is filled with numbers that are sadly familiar:  There can be no doubt that the entertainment industry is not a place of equal opportunity. This report ...

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Hollywood Diversity: Real-Life Stories

diversity hollywood discrimination footlights

The New York Times: The #OscarsSoWhite awareness continues with these stories from the field.  If there are more diverse roles, there would be more diverse Oscars.  Asian, Black, Latino, Female, Gay:  the story is always the same.  There appears to be a desire to use stereotypes to tell stories which only increases the awareness of the stereotype.  The present discussion may help break the feedback ...

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Diversity Stats in Hollywood: It’s Not Pretty

As the Oscars approach, we again are reminded that #OscarsSoWhite.  A scholarly report from USC entitled “Inclusion or Invisibility: Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment” yields some troubling statistics.  These include a 2:1 ratio of male:female speaking roles and that only 28.3% of all speaking characters were from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Not surprisingly, the report concludes, in part: The film industry still functions as ...

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Writing For LA Theatre-Land

footlights television tv

During a ’shoot from the hip’ L.A. theatre chat, TV writers (also producer & director respectively), David Castro (Married with Children, Bobby’s World, HBO) and Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls) opened up about what it’s been like writing for stage after having lengthy and successful careers in network television. For David, theatre has been a life-long passion since attending Broadway matinees as a ...

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How Can Actors Earn on TV?

unemployed actor no money footlights

Deadline Hollywood:  A sobering look at the “new normal” where roles once billed as “Guest Stars” are now day players.  If actors don’t have television to pay the bills, where will they make up the difference? “Hollywood has become like a third world country,” said veteran actor Kent McCord, SAG’s former first vice president and national recording secretary. “There are a few actors who are ...

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Leslie Uggams Drops Theater Role for Television Show

The New York Times:  Actress Leslie Uggams is doing in New York what often happens in Los Angeles: opting for a well-paying gig, a recurring role on television, over a theater role.  

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Video: Deaf West’s Spring Awakening Performance on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Marlee Matlin Late Night Spring Awakenings Footlights

Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakenings continues to gain national attention with their cast performance of “Touch Me” on Late Night with Seth Meyers, November 23, 2015.  Marlee Matlin, who is making her Broadway debut in the production, signs the introduction.  This show began its life in a small 99-seat theater before moving to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and ...

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