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Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

‘Daily Show’ Announces New Host

posted by jtotey
Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

Michele Ganeless, president of Comedy Central, announced today that the decision on who should replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show has been finalized. Trevor Noah, who began working on the show as a contributor in 2014 has been awarded the coveted spot.

Born in South Africa, Noah was first featured on American television on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman in 2012. He was the first South African stand-up comedian to do so on either of those shows. While Noah is not a household name yet in America, he is one of Africa’s top comedians and even hosted his own late-night show there, Tonight with Trevor Noah. He was also the subject of David Paul Meyer’s documentary, You Laugh but it’s True.

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“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny,” said Ganeless in today’s press release. “For the next host of The Daily Show, we set out to find a fresh voice who can speak to our audience with a keen take on the events of the day, and we found that in Trevor. He has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America, and we are thrilled to have him join Comedy Central.”

“It’s an honor to follow Jon Stewart. He and the team at The Daily Show have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world,” said Noah. “In my brief time with the show they’ve made me feel so welcome. I’m excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people.”

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Said Jon Stewart: “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with…In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!” It’s hard to know if Stewart is kidding or not. Having him pop up from time to time as a corespondent just might a be genuis idea.

The Daily Show airs at 11:00 pm on Comedy Central Mondays-Thursdays. The date on when Noah will begin has not been decided at this time.

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TV: There’s Nothing New Under the Sun

posted by jtotey
(IMDB)

(IMDB)

What may be new on TV this fall you’ve already seen. Sort of. It’s deja vu all over again in TV land. Just this week, NBC announced that it had greenlit a 13-episode order of Coach, a new sitcom based on the old one but still starring Craig T. Nelson. The original show ran on ABC from 1989 to 1997 and also starred Jerry Van Dyke, Shelly Fabares,Bill Fagerbakke and Clare Carey. Although, no other cast members have been announced as of yet, the new show will pick up 18 years later with Coach Hayden Fox now serving as an assistant coach for his grandson. Original show creator, Barry Kemp, will also write for the new series.

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(Titan Magazine)

(Titan Magazine)

Re-boots of favorite TV shows are nothing new of course, but rarely do they do well. Ironside, The Bionic Woman, Night Rider, The Munsters and even the current The Odd Couple with Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon have failed to connect with viewers while the new version of Hawaii Five-O has done quite well.

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(Epic Buzz)

(Epic Buzz)

However, the renewed series of Coach is part of an ongoing trend that is having some relative success. TV isn’t just wanting to put a new spin on an old series. It wants to bring back the old series with its original stars. TNT brought back Dallas (which ended in 1991) with original cast members and an extended family in 2012, Fox brought back Kieffer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day last year, Arrested Development with its entire cast, came back for a season on Netflix and Disney Channel’s revival of ABC’s Boy Meets World, now dubbed, Girl Meets World, is shooting its second season.

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TV4

(TV Shows on DVD)

In addition to Coach, be on the look out for three other fan favorites making a return. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson will return for new episodes of The X-Files, Kyle MacLachlan is set to return to Twin Peaks for a short visit for Showtime and NBC’s Heroes will come back as Heroes Reborn with at least Jack Coleman and Masi Oka returning as well.

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However, even this new trend isn’t really new. The original cast of Leave it Beaver (1957–1963) returned for Still the Beaver (1983–1989). The Brady Bunch (1969–1974) came back as The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981) and The Bradys (1990). Finally, who can forget the three Gilligan’s Island reunion movies? Yup, what’s old is new again…and again.

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Andrea Logan White is No Mean Girl

posted by jtotey
Andrea Logan White (Pure Flix)

Andrea Logan White (Pure Flix)

Last fall I was treated to an on-site visit for the production of Do You Believe in Michigan. While there, I got a chance to speak to Andrea Logan White about her role in the film, her marriage and life as an acting family.

Like last year’s hit, God’s Not Dead, Believe tells of multiple storylines of everyday people whose lives come crashing together one fateful night. Andrea plays the role of…Andrea, but the woman I met with is a lot friendlier and happier than the one in the film. “ I don’t even know if that name is even mentioned on camera,” she tells me, “but she is a lawyer – and is cynical and questioning and hopeful and really wanting to believe that Christians are who they say they are.” She explains that this fictional Andrea is a lawyer with a hard shell because she feels that she can prove her point by proving others are wrong. “I think that she is a fighter but that is just a shell for being brokenhearted. She wants a relationship with the Lord but doesn’t know how to get there because of some bad experiences in her life.”

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(Pure Flix)

(Pure Flix)

And how was it playing the mean girl? “She is very fun to play. I love playing mean people,” says White. “Comedy is actually harder to play believe it or not. [My character] is in a relationship with Dr. Farrell (played by Sean Astin) who is an atheist, so it is kind of a relationship where she likes the fact that he’s very strong and very opinionated. They both live in their egos. They are very strong-willed, controlling, self-obsessed and kind of narcissistic, so it is very fun to play but very sad in the sense that they are searching more than anybody.”

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In addition to appearing in this new film, last year’s Mother’s Day comedy, Mom’s Night Out, and many others she is also married to David A.R. White, fellow actor and producer of those faith-based films – 32 since 1998. I asked her what it’s like to be married to dreamer. Is your life chaotic at home?

“You know…Yes. I mean, our life doesn’t stop. My husband and I are polar opposites. He is doing a million things at once and I think I would be do well living in the ’70’s. It’s chaotic, but we are very specific in making sure that our family comes first. For us, that is a priority. We never want to be doing things for God but forget about what he blessed with first and foremost and that’s our children and our marriage. So, it is crazy, especially after God’s Not Dead came out, I mean the traveling and everything has been really busy, but we are very prayerful about it. I am pretty specific on the types of projects that I take on. This is the first project that I’ve taken on where I’ve been away from my kids more than four days. We always say that if we don’t have peace about something than that’s like a sign from the Lord to not take anything more on.”

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YouTube Preview ImageWhile on set, everyone tells me how great the people of Pure Flix are work with. However, I know that if can’t be this wonderful for everyone working in Hollywood. I ask Andrea what advice she would give others actors and actresses working in L.A.

“You know, I’m thankful because I have a husband who grew up as a Christian and I feel like both of us lift each other up when we’re down. We’re stronger – we have each other. Not everybody has that privilege, so I think the biggest thing, and I tell this when I speak to a lot of women, is to keep God first. In Matthew it says ‘seek first the kingdom of God and all things shall be added.’”

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She encourages those who believe that God has given them a desire in their heart to perform as a actor and to glorify any gifts and talents to the Lord, to be free and trust in that. However, you must keep God first. “Don’t think that you can get any further by compromising or pursuing your career and putting Him on the back burner. I feel like the Lord never really blessed me and my path until I made an active decision to be a Christian and profess that He is my Savior and…it’s hard.”

This is where Andrea chooses her words carefully, not wanting to sound high and mighty. “David and I always say that we’re called to love and not judge. We’re going to make mistakes…all of us make mistakes especially when your flooded with bad influences in L.A.. Keep praying about every situation. If there is a project that comes about – you will know by your peace whether or not you should do it. We all believe that we have the Lord and the Holy Spirit. We can trust that the Lord will give us peace and lead us out of that, but, I think that is the most important thing. Sure, we’re not going to be perfect and we’re easily persuaded to kind of glorify ourselves and forget about that. It’s a walk. That’s why God calls it a walk because we fall down and get back up. I think, getting involved in a good church – that truly preaches the word of God is #1 and surround yourself with like-minded believer, actors and singers and performers. That’s a pretty good start.”

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‘Insurgent’ Carries on the Story with no Point

posted by jtotey
Tris (Shailene Woodley) continues her journey with Four (Theo James) and bad haircut in "Insurgent."

Tris (Shailene Woodley) continues her journey with Four (Theo James) and bad haircut in “Insurgent.” (Summit Entertainment)

I have never read the Divergent series of books by Veronica Roth, but I have been told that the third book in the series, “Alliegiant” is very disappointing. After seeing Divergent the movie and now Insurgent, I think I can understand why. The premise in the first film had an intriguing premise. The world as we know had been reduced to the city of Chicago where all the residents were divided up into five factions: Abnegation, Amity, Dauntless, Candor and Erudite. The second movie, Insurgent, takes place right after Divergent and about 200 years after the formation of the five factions. The world people live in is a contrast of super high-tech and extreme poverty almost in the same space and a civil war is about to emerge. A giant massacre has occurred between on faction and another. Clearly, this way of doing business is not working.

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This story begins with our heroes Tris (Shailene Woodley), Caleb (Ansel Elgort), Four (Theo James) and few others hiding in plain site within the boundaries of peace-loving Amity faction led by Johanna (Octavia Spencer). They are living in relative harmony but itching to get out. Understandably bitter due to the deaths of her parents, Tris becomes extremely edgy and frankly, unlikeable. The girl you were rooting for in the first film is now kinda annoying. Soon, the group is on the run due to when Jeanine (Kate Winslet), leader of the Erudites, discovers a mysterious box that only a Divergent can open. She doesn’t know what’s inside, but feels strongly that it holds the key to her happiness…or something. It’s just not clear what she hopes this big box will do for her. Knowing that Tris is at least partially Divergent in nature, Jeanine has her army hunt her down. However, not before Tris, Caleb and Four have a short visit with his mother, whom he told everyone was dead. She is a leader herself wanting peace, but Four doesn’t trust her.

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Believe it or not, there isn’t much more to the story. A large portion of the film is dedicated to more high-tech special effects where Tris is once again put through enormous hurdles through a device that ushers in bad dreams and amazing fantasy landscapes. Somehow by going through these virtual nightmares, the mystery box will open up. How the two go together is never explained – you’re just supposed to go with it. And finally when the truth is revealed, it leaves you with another “is that all there is” moment.

Insurgent isn’t a bad movie. It should keep your attention the whole time, but it fails in the same way as the first story did. You see how this society doesn’t work, but you are never given a glimpse of what it should or could be. Some characters want to strip Jeanine of her power, but someone else wisely questions the wisdom as another horrid leader will just take her place. The other issue I had with the story was the change of character’s motives and actions from the first movie. One character goes from “good” to “bad” and back to “good” again by the time the film is over. Tris is harsh and bossy while Four, who was so tough in the first movie, is now just trying to keep the peace and avoid his mother.

The movie ends on a much better note that the first film, but the joy you feel is fleeting as you wonder, “Is that all there is?” It is like telling a morality play that has no moral to learn at the end. But the special effects are pretty neat though.

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