For most people, living a life of lies and deceit isn’t a lasting one but for John Meehan, he turns it into a house on the waterfront, access to copious amounts of money and a lifestyle he could only have ever dreamed of.
Taking shockingly brutal and unbelievably incredible tales of true crime and turning them into binge-worthy documentaries really is the flavor of the moment. From Making a Murderer to The Keepers, The Staircase and Evil Genius there seems to be a story for everything. And it’s only been recently where those stories have been glossed over for scripted television and and sometimes it’s good (The People vs OJ Simpson) and sometimes it’s not so good (The Assassination of Gianni Versace – unpopular opinion I know)
The next ‘glossed over for TV’ story is Netflix’s Dirty John (via a full season run on America’s Bravo channel) based off the hugely popular L.A Times Podcast of the same name that follows well-off but unlucky in love interior designer Debra Newell (played by Connie Britton and her fabulous hair) who, with four failed marriages to her name, decides to get back on the online dating train and after a slew of disastrous dates, John Meehan (Eric Bana) with his cargo shorts, sweet demeanor and good looks arrive at the perfect moment in her dwindling love life to sweep her off her feet.
Though red flags begin to appear by the end of the first date, that doesn’t stop Deb and we watch as she dives very quickly into a new relationship with the mysterious John and it’s not long before the people in her life, including her children, start to realize he may not be the perfect man he is making himself out to be resulting in a devastating attack that threatens to destroy the lives of everyone Deb loves.
Netflix, in either a cruel joke (or delight for those who hate the day) are dropping the entire eight episodes of Dirty John for us to binge on Valentine’s Day aka February 14th. Check out the trailer below.
The toy company that ruled the toy isle in the late 70’s with their lines of 8″ Star Trek and DC superheroes action figures along with their iconic 12″ dolls of Farrah Fawcett and Cher is making their way back into Australian stores this year after almost four decades.
Mego was one of the hottest toy companies way back when to the point that in 1976, their first release Cher doll became the highest selling doll that year beating out Mattel’s powerhouse Barbie, but all the glory came crashing down when the company passed on an offer to nab the licence to (a then unknown) Star Wars and followed that up with a shift towards electronic and robotic toys that saw the company sadly file for chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 1982.
In the years between, prices for vintage Mego items have soared with collectors forking out huge bucks to fill in the gaps of their Mego collection. Vintage boxed dolls of Charlie’s Angels star Jaclyn Smith can rise as high as $400aud while those 8″ DC Heroes, in mint boxed condition, can see prices rise into the high thousands.
But, jump forward to 2018 and Mego Corporation is alive and well with Marty Abrams back at the helm announcing an exclusive deal with Target US that would see Mego figures back on the shelves for the first time since the late 70’s with licences for classic pop culture favorites including an I Dream of Jeanie double pack, Charlie’s Angels, Charmed, Cheers, a Full House Stephanie and DJ Tanner double pack and various original series Star Trek characters along with releases of classic monsters such as Frankenstein and Dracula. Add to this a brand new 14″ line with DC hero action figures for Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman and Mego Corp are well and truly back in the market leaving fans of classic pop culture wanting more!
With the Target/Mego deal ending this year, it allows for Mego Corporation to begin looking for worldwide distributors with Mego confirming that they are in fact hammering out a deal with an Australian distributor meaning we will finally see Mego in Australia in 2019.
Their recently announced fourth wave of figures includes an 8″ ‘legends’ series that sees Muhammad Ali, Farrah Fawcett and Marilyn Monroe (among others) immortalized in plastic along with a retooling of their 14″ DC superheroes which will see Wonder Woman and Batman in alternate costumes.
There’s no official word of yet as to whom will be stocking Mego, when we will see them or the price point but watch this space as Mego hinted at a huge announcement coming Wednesday (Thursday our time) that may reveal more. Watch this space!
To kick this review off, I’ll just start off my saying Great News is…well…GREAT! Low-ball comedy here from me but Great News comes to us from trusted stock in the form of Tracey Wigfield, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock – all familiar names to those who knew and loved (and still love) 30 Rock.
The pedigree of those behind the scenes shines through in the cutting yet hilarious take on life behind the camera on The Breakdown, a nightly news program broadcast from New Jersey where executive producer Greg (Adam Campbell) has to deal with egotistical and old-school co-anchor Chuck Pierce (John-Michael Higgins) and his millenial co-host Portia (Nicole Richie) while news producer and lead character Katie Wendleson (Briga Heelan) is trying to vie for meatier stories to work on all the while dealing with her helicopter mom Carol (Andrea Martin) who has just been hired as an intern.
But don’t think that the mother-daughter relationship that plays between Katie who is dying to earn more respect and responsibilities at work and her overbearing mother Carol who has found her way into Katie’s work life as an intern is your usual sit-com fare as the snappy and quick witted script pushes this work place comedy into territory seen in Arrested Development (and of course 30 Rock) and the gone-too-soon Ground Floor and Cougar Town.
Martin’s Andrea, who has been out of the workforce for decades has been hired (out of spite by Greg) to be Chuck Pierce’s intern who, in similar age to Andrea, is struggling to keep relevant in a fast moving, technological era where news stories are delivered via Snap Chat and Facebook and becomes increasingly worried his age and lack of ability to keep up will be the end of his reporting career. And I quote “Like, who is Snapchat and is he one of the Minions? And are they all Pokémen?”
The biggest shame surrounding Great News is the fact it only survived two seasons before being cancelled by NBC only to find a new life in the world of on-demand television on Netflix.
Check out the trailer below:
Great News season one is now streaming on Netflix Australia
Tyra is back ya’ll! The face and name associated with America’s Next Model has snatched back the hosting gig out of the lingering grasp of last years host Rita Ora and is making a change (but not really a change) to the modeling competition reality show she has hosted for all but one of the 24 cycles.
Now onto cycle 24 (yes 24!!) Tyra is back and smizier than ever, joined by Paper Magazine editor Drew Roach , model Ashley Graham and celebrity stylist Law Roach as judges.
Kicking Rita Ora to the curb, Tyra set out to put together the ‘most diverse group of models ever seen on Top Model’, taking it back to an all female casting call, removing the age limit of 27, bringing in more than one plus-sized contestant and throwing in the ability for any girl to be cut at any time seen fit by Tyra and her co-judges.
From here, we’re back to the usual Top Model fare with the annual ‘casting session’ where a random selection of girls are trotted out, interviewed and are then to present the judges with one of their own photos from their over-filtered Instagram or a previous photo shoot.
Cut to an actual photo shoot on the grounds of Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles featuring some elaborate couture outfits where we get a quick glimpse at some of the girls who straight-up outshine the others, a quick cut of some of the girls who struggled and a runway walk to determine the 14 finalists making their way into the model mansion.
Once inside the mansion, our models true colors start to shine and the ‘normal’ girls are identified and hushed away while the cray cray ones are singled out for ‘editing purposes’ such as 19 year old Idaho native Liberty could have been our front contender for the ‘unstable one’ classification as the gushes about her political support for Trump, but it’s loose cannon Liz and sapsorrow Brendi who get singled out as the troubled ones in the season – and..as you will quickly see….rightfully so.
This cycle 24 offers a few ‘Flashback Friday’ feels to it with former judge Nigel Barker coming back for a shoot along with cycle three winner Eva Marcille (Pigford) returning to recreate one of her most memorable shoots from her cycle. There’s also contestant Erin, who at 42 years of age looks flawless and brings all her 90’s model glam to each and every of her shoots.
In reality though, there is never going to be anything new within the world of Top Model. We’ll pick our favorites, they’ll do some photo shoots, they may or may not make it to the finale, we’ll watch with glee as some of the girls literally meltdown right in front of our eyes and the group will segregate themselves into ‘bitchy’ and ‘not that bitchy’ groups. There’s tears, tantrums, walkouts and Tyra – but did we ever really need anything more from Top Model for it to be classed as our guilty pleasure?!
And as always, the make-over episode is the one to watch! It comes pretty early on this season too and will see one girl literately loose all her hair – and still look stunning.
America’s Next Top Model begins June 26th, 8.30pm on Fox8.
Taking the what-if around this murder as gospel, the follow up to The People Vs OJ Simpson is more flash than facts but is still a good watch.
I’m putting it out there front and center – the actual murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace is only a fraction of what is featured within the world of Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace so much so, the show would have been better titled The Delusional Life of Andrew Cunananas Assassination delves into the world of Versace’s killer (played by Glee’s Darren Criss) more than Versace’s terrible fate as the title would suggest.
Opening with soaring operatic music and a flowing visual tour of Versace’s gaudy Miami mansion, Versace is dead even before the title credits. However, the aim for Murphy wasn’t for us to follow those trying to solve this murder (hence the title) but in fact send us back in time and follow Cunanan and how he ended up with a gun in his hands aimed at the famed fashion designer. Yes, Versace’s untimely death at the hands of Cunanan plays as the pilot episode’s main premise but that’s more to do with Versace’s celebrity status over Cunanan’s four other victims, who also get a look in during the shows eight other episodes in the form of time jumps.
Based off the book Vulgar Favors: The Hunt for Andrew Cunanan, the Man Who Killed Gianni Versace by author Maureen Orth, Assassination is spread among three different lines – Cunanan and his victims, Versace’s loved ones (including Ricky Martin as Versace’s long-time partner Antonio D’Amico) dealing with the fashion empire pre and post murder and the bumbling FBI who can’t seem to get to grips with the ‘gay’ aspect surrounding the murders (it was the 90’s).
The source material also happens to blur the lines between truth and made-up and Assassination quickly becomes a show that will have you asking “did that really happen?” while trying to decide what is fact and what is fiction considering to this day, there is still no actual proof that Versace and Cunanan had even met prior to the murder.
Gianni’s sister Donatella (played with startling verbal similarity by Penelope Cruz) has claimed the series as “a work of fiction” while the programme itself carries the disclaimer: “Some events are combined or imagined for dramatic and interpretative purposes. Dialogue is imagined to be consistent with these events” and that’s because the main players within this world are….well, dead.
Cunanan’s prior interactions (or lack thereof) with his victims – Versace (Édgar Ramírez), Jeffrey Trail (Finn Wittrock), David Madson (Cody Fern), Lee Miglin (Mike Farrell) and William Reece (Gregg Lawrence) – is somewhat pure speculation so while the work is based off fact, it is done so with much “let’s assume this is what happened“.
That aside, the character study of Andrew Cunanan is a rather intriguing one and is explored heavily within the series. Cunanan’s ability to seamlessly morph into any given situation or social standing and flee when his lies have all been revealed is quite remarkable though giving so much focus on his life, his lies and his troubled youth feels like we’re being forced into empathizing with Cunanan in light of the fact he is/was a notorious serial killer.
Part of this comes down to how star Darren Criss brings the killer to life, playing Cunanan as mysterious yet suave with an air of charm, a believer in his own lies and the false world around him that he has created while trying to decide just how much of his true self he needs to reveal. One could only presume by the middle of this series, much more freedom for Criss was enabled with Cunanan as this is where most of the fact/fiction lines become very blurred.
Perhaps the biggest problem with Assassination is the glaring fact that unlike season one’s OJ Simpson story, there is no real hero to root for. While we all knew the end result, Sarah Paulson’s Marcia Clark still had us backing her to go and get hers in a male dominated environment yet in Assassination, that task is less male dominated environment and more gay acceptance.
That job is pretty much left vacant even though it may feel like we’re being forced into believing it should be Cunanan who, while never ashamed of his sexuality, understands how being gay can be perceived by those less educated on the topic.
The missing hero however is through no fault of anyone’s as there just was never one in this story to begin with. It could never have been Cunanan (regardless of his childhood), the FBI, as it’s shown, were a bunch of bumbling bigots who couldn’t have cared any less about Cunanan’s victims and others such as Versace or even Lee Miglin’s wife Marilyn (played wonderfully by Judith Light) were so far removed from the central story line it would have meant stretching the truth even further to find that hero.
On the whole, this tale of Andrew Cunanan is a worthy watch and while lacking in the suspense and law and order that drove American Crime Story’s first season of The People Vs OJ Simpson there is still enough substance to dig in and make your own mind up about how much truth is actually found within this series.
American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace begins Thursday May 24th at 8:30pm AEST, on Foxtel’s showcase.
In the era of modern technology and instant ‘moment sharing’, cooking failures in the kitchen are no longer restricted to shamefully tossing out the food abomination one has created. Pinterest Fails and #NailedIt hash tags allow us to poke a little fun at our kitchen disappointments and now, Netflix have gone one step further with a new fun filled baking show filled with ‘bakers’ just as inept at baking as most of us are.
‘Nailed it’, hosted by Nicole Byer, salutes all the wrongs we do in the kitchen by pitting three willing home chefs against each other in a two round bake-off where the aim is to re-create decadent and over-the-top baked goods (in what I feel is a very restricted amount of time), all for the chance to win $10,000 and the Nailed It trophy cup.
From kit kats in the microwave (when the recipe requires melted chocolate) to unflattering self portrait cookies to a President Donald Trump cake that looks like it has come directly out of your nightmares, Nailed It celebrates the fun in failing.
While the format is nothing really new and the contestant introductions feel like they’re on a daytime infomercial spruiking the latest in kitchen utensils, it is Nailed It’s judges that inject the life and festivity to the show. Host Byers along with renowned chef Jacques Torres and an episodic special guest judge play along with the frivolity of the show and aren’t afraid to laugh at the baking results so much so, I believe the title of the show should actually be “I don’t mean to laugh but – “
While there is laughter at our bakers and their skills, there is no nastiness whatsoever. Byers, Torres and the guest judge are encouraging and are even able to be called up to offer advice if one of the bakers press their allocated ‘panic’ button.
In the end, our bakers know they’re crap in the kitchen. There’s no egos, no arguments and no casting of the villain role (hello MKR). These bakers are here to have a good time, get some baking pointers and have a crack at possibly fluking a challenge to win the $10,000 prize.
Nailed It is currently streaming on Netflix Australia.
Since the news broke that NBC were two thumbs up for the Will & Grace revival, a slew of information has been streaming out about what to expect when the show returns for a brand new run in late September (Sept 29th on NBC to be precise). From how THAT original finale plays out into this series to who’s back, who’s missing and who’s stopping by I’ve put everything you need to know about the Will & Grace finale into one single fabulous post!
The Revival: Even before a single episode has aired of this new season, NBC have already confirmed the show will be back in 2018 for another 13 episode round. This new season (officially classed as season 9) has already been extended from its originally announced 13 episodes to 16 while at present, season 10 is sitting at 13.
This revival came about thanks to that hilarious election themed mini-reunion episode with NBC taking note of the huge response from fans old and new and went about ordering a 10 episode season revival.
How will the original finale play into this return?: The original finale that aired back in 2006 saw Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) parting ways for almost 20 years, with both characters married (Will to Vince played by Bobby Cannavale and Grace to Leo (Harry Connick, Jr) and each couple with a child. The last scenes in that finale saw Will & Grace eventually reunite after their college aged children ended up living across from each other at the campus dorm.
Even though this return will be classed as the show’s 9th season and takes place only 11 years after the finale, the entire dissolution of the friendship and each couples kids will be ‘erased’ from the Will & Grace history. Talking to EW, co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan said‘When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?” And if they have children, then it has to be about them being parents, ‘cause presumably it would be a priority in their lives. And if it wasn’t a priority in their lives, then they’re still parents, they’re just bad parents, right? We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace.”
The Core Cast: The revival will see Will and Grace living together as the two did for the bulk of the series’ run with Jack (Sean Hayes) living across from them and Karen (Megan Mullally) still a rich boozy socialite living in her mansion. Will is still working as a corporate lawyer, Grace remains an interior designer but with a bigger office and working with current day design technology along with ‘assistant’ Karen while Jack, who flitted from ‘acting’ to retail to student nurse to acting teacher during the shows original run will be back in his latter career teaching the ‘Jackting’ method of acting.
The Recurring Cast: Shelley Morrison who played Karen’s long suffering, viper tongued maid Rosario Salazar confirmed she won’t be back for the revival. Morrison has now retired from acting, with the exception of a small appearance in the 2016 Will & Grace political themed mini episode. Rosario won’t be forgotten on ignored with Mutchnick adding “The audience has come to know and love her — as we do — and we’re dealing with her as a character and we’re writing to it very specifically.”
Along with Rosario’s absence, the revival will touch on Grace’s mother Bobbi Adler played by the late Debbie Rynolds.
Confirmed to return are thee integral characters to the Will & Grace history – Harry Connick, Jr as Grace’s husband Leo, Bobby Cannavale as Will’s husband Vince and Minnie Driver as Karen’s British nemesis Lorraine Finster. Noting that the 2006 finale is being wiped, how Leo and Vince fit into this revival is yet to be seen considering Will and Grace will be back living together.
No word yet on Leslie Jordan as Karen’s best friend/enemy number one Beverly Leslie, Blythe Danner as Will’s widowed mother Marilyn Truman or Tom Gallop and Leigh-Allyn Baker as game night friends Rob and Ellen.
Update Sept 18th: Michael Angarano is a confirmation to return having filmed his scenes last week. Angarano played Jack’s son Elliot for 12 episodes during the original run and is currently tapped for a single episode in season 9.
The Guest Stars: From Madonna to Demi Moore, Cher and Britney Spears, the original series run never shied away from nabbing big named stars to appear on the show and this next season won’t be any different with the recent news that Glee’s Jane Lynch, Girls star Andrew Rannells and 2017 Tony Award winner Ben Platt have all signed on to guest star in season 9.
When and how to watch: Will & Grace season 9 begins Thursday September 28th as part of NBC’s must-see-TV lineup at 9/8c in the states while here in Australia, the series begins on Friday the 29th on streaming service STAN
This post will be updated as news comes about for the sew season.
There’s a sort of “you-know-what-you’re-getting” vibe when it comes to the world of Archie via the wildly popular classic comic strip with Archie and best friend Jughead continuously getting into mischief while Betty and Veronica bicker over the affections of the larrikin red head. When it comes to the world of Archie Andrews in the new drama series Riverdale, what we get is the complete opposite of what we would expect.
The quiet and quaint town of Riverdale goes into a complete meltdown after the mysterious disappearance of local high school student Jason Blossom which forces the dark hidden hands of the townsfolk to slowly emerge.
The best way to think of Riverdale is Archie meets Dawson’s Creek meets Pretty Little Liars and it is this mix of shows that gives viewers a lot to take in within Riverdale’s opening episode.
Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is struggling to find even ground for his promising football career and his wishful music career while trying to keep his woeful father Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) happy and his feelings for his music teacher Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel), with whom he had a summer fling with, hidden. His best friend Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) has romance in her eyes for her read headed best friend but her uppity mother Alice Cooper (Mädchen Amick) is trying to stop Betty from venturing out at any cost. Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) is a moody, brooding writer, taking notes about the mysterious disappearance that happened over the past summer while new girl in town Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) makes an impact right from her first meeting with the Riverdale gang before she locks lips with both Betty and Archie.
Splattered into this modern world of Archie, additional characters from the comic series including the flashy and gay Kevin Keller (Casey Cott), bitchy and privileged Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) and lead singer of high school band Josie and the Pussycats Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) all appear to shake things up in the once peaceful town.
This fresh take on Archie, made for the modern era teen, is a rather swell surprise that will fit easily into the viewing habits of those watching PLL or fans of Gossip Girl and even the failed Melrose Place remake. Secrets, lies, murder, scandals….it’s all going down in Riverdale.
Riverdale is currently streaming on Netflix Australia.
The very retro and very anticipated Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System hit Australia this morning but good luck finding one for retail price as they are already at a sold out status.
Target Australia’s website are directing customers Nintendo’s Facebook page for more info about the sold out status (where customers are complaining some stores only had 10 consoles in stock for sale) while BigW Australia’s website has crashed due to overwhelming demand.
Customers were able to place pre-orders for the classic console from as early as July this year.
So now it’s sold out, the question begs is there another shipment? The simple answer is YES but it’s a very open yes. Nintendo have confirmed another shipment is due our way “sometime in early December” and that’s it. No word on exactly when or how many units are coming our way or when we can start placing pre orders for the new console.
The retro inspired classic mini features 30 classic games from Bubble Bobble to Super Mario Brothers 1, 2 and 3 and Double Dragon 2 among a list full of fan favorites.
For those who can’t wait until the next shipment can always hit eBay where scalpers currently have their $99 classic console listed for as high as $1300!
UPDATE: Monday Nov 14th.
EB games Australia, it appears, are doing daily pre-order runs via their website for the insanely popular console. Today’s first run saw the ‘undisclosed’ amount sold out within minutes and crashing their website leaving many many customers frustrated with the lack of preparation by the company.
@EBGamesAus crashed while taking payment… stuck on a service unavailable page. You’re didn’t really prepare for this did you?
As of this post, EB’s website is noting another batch will be available for pre-order tomorrow from midday AEDT but as noted, there’s no disclosure about how many consoles are actually available for the pre-order. For those trying to find those elusive extra controllers, EB have noted that they are still awaiting news of another shipment and that they have none currently available in stock.
In response to the backlash, EB released a statement noting for today’s pre-order, they had increased their server space to account for 30,000 people – twice as much as the norm and for tomorrow, they’ll double that again for 60,000 people. The bottom of the statement reads “Stock for this item will be extremely limited”.
Mother Monster AKA Lady Gaga has joined forces with Mattel’s Monster High brand to create the newest member of the Monster High gang known as ‘Zomby Gaga’.
In a collaboration between Gaga, her sister Natali Germanotta and Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Zomby Gaga is the first ‘celebrity’ to join the fashion doll line and dons a tailored black suit with long flowing pink ponytail and ball of bubblegum as worn by the singer in her “born this way” video clip. An alternate outfit consisting of mesh tights and a sleeveless shirt is also included.
Speaking to InStyle Magazine, Germanotta says “For Gaga, the doll is all about inspiring “kindness, bravery, and acceptance.” Monster High has also donated to the Born This Way Organization to help support the foundations mission and is encouraging fans to pledge to spread kindness here.
Zomby Gaga is making her way to Australian shores as a BIG W online exclusive, with pre-orders opening on Tuesday October 18th via their official site. Please note that any pre-order links are not expected to go live until the day of pre-orders.