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WE tv’s jaw-dropping series Beyond the Pole returns for an explosive season two set to premiere Thursday, June 3 at 10 PM ET. Friendships are tested, finances are strapped, but through the turmoil, laughter and tears, these ladies are the ultimate survivors and their stories prove there is never a dull moment in the hustle.
This season, Ms. Dime, Angel Kake, Empress, Lyric, Virgo, Gigi Maguire, Ya Ya, Treasure, and Milk Marie “Pinky” are dealing with a world that is changing along with their businesses. Everyone is feeling the stress of quarantine, staying masked-up, healthy, and keeping the bills paid in this new COVID reality. Now that the city of Atlanta has reopened, the women face these challenges as well as the pressure on their friendships, relationships and professional lives.
Always hustling, the women embark on their own individual journeys to transition from the club and establish new and better lives. However, with these changes come secrets and a web of lies the women have kept hidden from the world, and sometimes from themselves.
The brand-new series Too Large introduces viewers to cases of dire obesity with oversized personalities to match. Seven desperate hopefuls each weighing between 400-lbs and 800-lbs seek the help of renowned bariatric surgeon Dr. Charles Procter, as they attempt to lose weight and change their lives forever. Each episode will follow a new case, culminating in either the success or setback of their weight loss journey. Too Large premieres each week beginning Wednesday, June 2nd only on discovery+.
In a special two-hour premiere episode, viewers will meet best friends Meghan and Vanessa. Despite their fun-loving energy and wit, both women are plagued by health problems. Weighing in at 496-lbs, Meghan is tired of living her life connected to an oxygen tank and wants to inspire Vanessa to join her in having bariatric surgery. However, at 440-lbs, Vanessa is not convinced looking at the intense diet and exercise changes they need to make in order to meet Dr. Procter’s weight loss requirements prior to the surgery. In the end, it will take more than a positive attitude and a sense of humor to push these women to save their own lives.
Every fall a mind-numbing number of new shows hit the airwaves, and what people watch and why often has to do with expectations. People want to see a new show because it's written by someone familiar, because it stars some hunky actor or femme fatale hottie, or just because everything else that's on at the same time really sucks.
And it also has to do with the reviews, and the press and the way stories are spun. If you read enough glowing reviews of a new series, you'll watch it--at least once. But if you don't see much press about the show, or even worse, some bad stuff, you'll just blow it off. If it's still around in a couple of months when your favorites are in reruns, or if you start to hear a buzz about it, then you'll tune in. But oftentimes, why a person watches one show and not another is a mystery to even the most veteran of television folk.
Which is why people like Mike O'Malley get frustrated. Here's a guy who's plugging away, doing the show he thinks everyone would want to see, and he just can't catch a break.
Part of it has to with the press coverage surrounding his series--The Mike O'Malley Show. To be kind, the word of mouth from the tv critics has not exactly been glowing. While over-the-top productions such as Snoops garnered glowing reviews from everybody who could even spell David E. Kelley, Mr. O'Malley's Show has been receiving reviews along the lines of "well, it's not as lame as I thought it would be." Not exactly a vote of confidence.
According to O'Malley, the reaction from the TV critics have been more than a bit surprising. "I'm tremendously proud of the work we've done," he told me in a phone interview on Friday. "I don't know what the problem, but for whatever reason, it's just brought out this...anger. Maybe it's because the old pilot was floating around for a long time, maybe it's just people's perceptions. It's as if they wonder why I deserved to have my own show. Why does this guy who nobody knows have his own show?"
To be fair, it's not exactly as if no one knows him. Although most tv viewers probably recognize him from his ESPN spots, and from hosting Nickelodeon's Get The Picture. He's also had a series before, the WB's short-lived Life With Roger..
But what's frustrating for O'Malley is that, even when people think they know a bit about him, they're generally mistaken. "I read all these reviews that say, 'Why do we need another series starring a stand-up?' Which is wrong. #1, I've never been a stand-up. My background is playwriting. I don't know, maybe we shouldn't have put my name in the title. But part of the reason was because it was distinctive. I read this article in the L.A. Times about shows that had similar names..Now And Then, Then And Again, whatever. It wasn't an ego thing. We thought this made sense."
It certainly hasn't helped that most of what little press coverage the show has gotten has focused on behind the scenes machinations. If the press reports are to be believed, O'Malley ended up in an argument with Les Firestein, the show's runner about a "co-created by" credit. A disagreement which ultimately led to a decision by the Writer's Guild that the two would share the billing.
And then there was the matter of the memo. Apparently O'Malley sent a 19-page memo to his writing staff, laying out the direction he thought the show should take in the future. Unfortunately, the memo wasn't received with quite the expected reaction, and the thing was leaked to the press quicker than you can say, "Britany Spears has fake breasts." In fact, after I posted a review of the show last week, I was emailed hunks of the memo, along with a long, rambling note about O'Malley and his alleged horrific behavior.
O'Malley says that "this so-called 'memo,' was blown out of proportion. "I'm in charge of a multimillion dollar show, and you want to make sure you don't lose part of what got you there. Much of my writing involves a man questing for the right way to do things...in friendship..in love..what have you. And I want to make sure they understand that."
It's obvious that his method of expressing himself to the writing staff might have hurt his cause. And nothing can damage a show more than the public perception that it's a show in turmoil. O'Malley told me he's aware that can be an issue, but he hopes the audience will simply tune into the show and decide for themselves. "The show deserves a second look," said O'Malley. "The show does, the cast and crew...I hope I deserve one too. We've worked hard to get here and I'm just fighting for the chance to make this work."
Here is a rundown of all the new content available on The Roku Channel in May 2021:
Adams Family Values
A Girl Like Grace
An Hour Behind
An Officer And A Gentleman
Bleed For This
Cinderella And Four Knights
Down With Love
5 Minute Crafts
Good Luck Chuck
I Am Sam
Madea's Family Reunion
Message In A Bottle
Mythica: The Godslayer
Mythica: The Iron Crown
Rules Of Engagement
Sense & Sensibility
Something To Talk About
The Beautiful Beast
The Neverending Story
We Own The Night
What Women Want
Here is a rundown of the new titles coming to Peacock in May 2021:
SATURDAY, MAY 1ST, 2021:
Along Came Polly
An American Tail
Bates Motel Seasons 1-5
Crank: High Voltage
Dazed And Confused
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Kick Ass 2
King Kong (2005)
Lord Of War
Man On Fire
Morning Joe: The First 100 Days
National Lampoon's European Vacation
Nation Lampoon's Vacation
Sweet Home Alabama
The Bourne Trilogy
The Hobbit Trilogy
The World's End
White House Down
SUNDAY, MAY 2ND, 2021:
WWE Untold: Two Dudes With Attitudes
MONDAY, MAY 3RD, 2021:
THURSDAY, MAY 6TH, 2021:
Girls5Eva (A Peacock Original)
SATURDAY, MAY 8TH, 2021:
The Walker Cup
SUNDAY, MAY 9TH, 2021:
Detroit Muscle Season 8
Music City Trucks Season 1
WWE Chronicles: Damian Priest
MONDAY, MAY 10TH, 2021:
Z: Made For This
SUNDAY, MAY 16TH, 2021:
The Chronicles Of Riddick
WWE Icons: Rob Van Dam
TUESDAY, MAY 18TH, 2021:
The Best Of WWE: Rob Van Dam
THURSDAY, MAY 20TH, 2021:
Carmen Christopher: Street Special (A Peacock Original)
Def Comedy Jame Season 7
That's Funny Season 1
SUNDAY, MAY 23RD, 2021:
The Best Of WWE: Andre The Giant
THURSDAY, MAY 27TH, 2021:
Dreamworks Madagascar A Little Wild Season 3
On Monday, MTV Entertainment Studios released a trailer for the coming-of-age film Pink Skies Ahead from Stampede Ventures which will be airing commercial-free on Saturday, May 8th at 9:00PM ET/PT on MTV.
Written and directed by New York Times best-selling author Kelly Oxford, Pink Skies Ahead sheds light on anxiety disorder and stars Jessica Barden as lead with Henry Winkler, Lewis Pullman, Marcia Gay Harden, Mary J. Blige and Michael McKean.
Set in Los Angeles in 1998, it follows Winona (Barden) who, after dropping out of college and moving back home to live with her parents, is diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Skeptical of her doctor’s opinion — she hasn’t had a panic attack after all —Winona carries on with her wild lifestyle. Only when things begin to truly unravel around her, does she reluctantly decide to see a therapist and face her truths.
In the episode entitled "Off With A Bang," Jeanette continues to add fuel to the fire as her reckless behavior causes her friends and family to question her even more. The episode premieres Tuesday, April 27th, 2021.
Cruel Summer is a psychological thriller that follows two young women; Kate Wallis, the popular girl with a charmed life who one day goes missing, and Jeanette Turner, the nerdy wannabee who is accused of being connected to Kate’s disappearance. All signs point to Jeanette’s guilt, but is Kate really who she seems to be? Set over three summers and told through shifting points of view, the series challenges perception and follows how one girl can go from being a sweet outlier to the most despised person in America.
Here is a rundown of all the major new titles coming to IMDb TV in May 2021:
SATURDAY, MAY 1ST, 2021:
Dear White People
For Love Of The Game
In The Line Of Fire
Madea's Family Reunion
Madea's Witness Protection
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
My Name Is Earl Seasons 1-4
Road To Perdition
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
State of Play
The Best Of Me
The Day The Earth Stood Still
The Hot Chick
The Land Before Time
The Night Before
The November Man
The Tooth Fairy
Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family
What Happens In Vegas
SUNDAY, MAY 2ND, 2021:
TUESDAY, MAY 4TH, 2021:
The Lady In The Van
SATURDAY, MAY 8TH, 2021:
SATURDAY, MAY 15TH, 2021:
Here is a rundown of all the major new titles coming to Amazon Prime Video in May 2021:
SATURDAY, MAY 1ST, 2021:
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
How Stella Got Her Groove Back
Jumping the Broom
Nanny McPhee Returns
One Fine Day
Reign of Fire
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Scent Of A Woman
See No Evil, Hear No Evil
The Age of Adaline
The Dalton Girls
The Da Vinci Code
The French Connection
The Green Hornet
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
The Indian in the Cupboard
The Ladykillers (5/1)
The Men Who Stare At Goats
The Secret Life of Bees
The Sixth Sense
The Sweetest Thing
The Towering Inferno
Two For The Money
WEDNESDAY, MAY 5TH, 2021:
FRIDAY, MAY 7th, 2021:
The Boy From Medellín
SUNDAY, MAY 7TH, 2021:
Robot & Frank
THURSDAY, MAY 13TH, 2021:
FRIDAY, MAY 14TH, 2021:
The Underground Railroad
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19TH, 2021:
FRIDAY, MAY 21ST, 2021
P!nk: All I Know So Far
Solos Limited Series
FRIDAY, MAY 28TH, 2021:
Panic: Season One
High stakes, shocking twists, and a new adventure. Get a first look at the newest Apple Original series The Mosquito Coast, starring Justin Theroux and Melissa George and coming April 30th to Apple TV+
Discovery's iconic reality series Deadliest Catch begins its 17th season this week and it's fair to say that Sig Hansen has become the face of the show over its long run. As the captain of The Northwestern, he was the first captain highlighted in the 2005 series premiere. And while other captains and boats have moved on and off the series over the years, Hansen has been the show's emotional center. Viewers have watched him battle health problems, wrangle with his brother Edgar over the future direction of the Northwestern and in recent seasons, serve as a very tough mentor to his daughter Mandy. She has become a captain herself and like all Hansen's, this fifth-generation captain has a strong will and moderately scary drive to succeed.
The new season of the show finds the captains battling the effects of the pandemic and while quarantines and frequent medical checks are an expected part of the picture, what viewers might not expect is that the fleet was facing the prospect of a total shutdown in future years. The pandemic had prevented Alaska's Department of Fish & Game from conducting its annual survey of the crab population. So the season began without the expected information on where the crab population might be located. The department also had no idea of the size of the crab population when they determined the season's overall quota. And as Sig explained it to me in a recent phone call, that was a live-or-death problem for the entire fleet. "We had to catch the entire fleet quota." he explained. "If we didn't, by law the fishery has to shut down for one or two years to allow the crab population to recover. And that would meant the end of this fleet. A lot of these boats wouldn't be here in a year or two. So for me, the most important thing about this season was making sure the fleet caught the entire quota."
Sig's idea was to get all of the captains featured on the show together and convince them to work together for the good of the fleet. That meant sharing information on where the crab was located and that's an idea that was met with a lot of skepticism from Hansen's fellow captains. "We don't usually work together. Anf to be honest, the times I've tried to work together in that past haven't been all that successful," Hansen told me. "But we didn't have a choice. I even convinced a veteran captain to come out of retirement one last time to help us out because we needed it." I won't give away the identity of the returning captain, but I will say that his return has an impact on the other boats - and not always in a positive way.
As for cooperation, even Sig wasn't entirely honest with his fellow captains, although he says he did try. "I might not have given them every small detail of information I had," he laughingly admitted. "But I needed to make sure I caught my quota too. And besides, these captains are good. They didn't need me to hold their hand and guide them to the exact spot."
One captain who didn't quite agree with Sig's approach to sharing was daughter Mandy, who went against his wishes and gave another captain the exact location and depth where the Northwestern was finding crab. When Sig discovers she made that decision, he's mad but he is also uncharacteristically circumspect about her actions. When I asked him if there was more to their disagreement than is in the episode, he told me that it all blew over pretty quickly. "I was mad at the time," Sig explained. "But she is a good captain and in the end I have to respect her decision. It's not the one I would have made, but each captain has their own way of doing things. She didn't volunteer everything she was doing. And honestly, I kept a few things back from her as well."
I asked Sig about the what kind of impact the show had on his family and whether he thought seeing him on television had made it more likely that his daughter would become a captain. "It's hard to say. She grew up in a fishing family and she's been around it all of her life." He did admit that the show gave his family a more intimate look at what the day-to-day life was like during the crab season. "They were surprised by the extreme weather," he said. "You can talk about it, but when someone sees those big waves...it's tough." Hansen said that when Mandy was younger, after she saw the show she started looking up weather information and giving it to his wife to send to him. "Obviously, I already had plenty of weather information," he said. "But it was kinda sweet and I think it did build up her natural feelings about what she wanted to do with her life."
Sig is one of those captains who even in normal times isn't the most cooperative with his fellow captains and more than once has lied to them on the radio while he was on camera. I asked him if he ever worried about other captains getting mad once they saw the show and discovered the truth. "No, not really. In this industry, you learn to be skeptical of everyone, because they are protecting themselves and their livelihood. Well, sometimes people get mad, but so many months have passed that it's hard to hold a grudge that long."
As for the future of Alaska's fisheries, I asked Sig about the impact climate change is having on the season. I mentioned I had spoke with fellow Deadliest Catch captain Keith Colburn, who worried that rising temperatures in the Bering Sea could have an impact on the crag population. Sig admitted that it's a concern of his as well, and it's something he had noticed in recent seasons. "You see the crab in different places," he said. "They're going deeper in order to find colder water and while I think we'll be okay for now, I do worry about my daughter's future and the future of the fleet. But this business has never been easy and that is just another thing to worry about. We'll figure it out, we always do."
Speaking of the future, I asked him whether the show had in a way given him a more tangible legacy with his family. Reruns of Deadliest Catch are going to be around decades and it's possible that future Hansen generations will mostly know him from what they see on the show. "I've never really thought about it," Hansen admitted. "But yeah, that would be nice. To think that somewhere down the road someone would say 'Oh look, that's grandpa or great-grandpa Hansen.' Yeah, I'd be happy with that."
Season 17 of Deadliest Catch premiered Friday, March 19th on discovery+, ahead of the season premiere airing Tuesday, April 20th on Discovery.
Academy Award®- winning actress Kate Winslet executive produces and stars in this mysterious seven-part crime drama following small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan (Winslet) as she investigates a local murder at a time when her own life is crumbling around her.
Mare of Easttown is an exploration into the dark side of a close community and an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present. It also stars Julianne Nicholson (The Outsider) as Lori Ross, Mare’s best friend since childhood; three-time Emmy®-winner Jean Smart (Watchmen) as Helen, Mare's mother; Angourie Rice (Black Mirror) as Siobhan Sheehan, Mare’s teenaged daughter; Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as Detective Colin Zabel, the county detective called in to assist with Mare's investigation; Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce) as Richard Ryan, a local creative writing professor; Cailee Spaeny (Devs) as Erin McMenamin, an isolated teen living with her volatile father; David Denman (Outcast) as Frank Sheehan, Mare’s ex-husband; John Douglas Thompson (Let Them All Talk) as Chief Carter, Mare's boss at the Easttown Police Department; Patrick Murney (Seven Seconds) as Kenny McMenamin, Erin's father; James McArdle (Ammonite) as Deacon Mark Burton; Sosie Bacon (Here and Now) as Carrie Layden, Drew’s mother and Kevin’s ex-girlfriend; Joe Tippett (Rise) as John Ross, Lori's husband and high school sweetheart; and Neal Huff (The Wire) as Mare’s cousin, Father Dan Hastings.
Winslet also acts as executive producer for the series alongside creator and writer Brad Ingelsby (The Way Back), with all episodes directed by Craig Zobel (The Leftovers).
Mare Of Eastown premieres April 18th, 2021 on HBO Max.
The past year has changed just about everyone's jobs and personal lives in a myriad of unexpected ways. And as more and more Americans are getting vaccinated and we increasingly feel a bit more optimistic about the future, we are all beginning to take stock of how our lives have changed. And trying to figure out if those changes are temporary or a precursor to something more permanent.
CNN's Brian Stelter had an brief paragraph about how the pandemic had altered his television viewing habits in a recent edition of his "Reliable Sources" newsletter:
Finally, getting back to my opening question, think about what and how you watch. News and sports are still the only categories that are relatively unscathed by these changes, emphasis on the "relatively." Personally, my wife is in the middle of "The Crown" on Netflix. I'm on season five of "Superstore" on Hulu and hoping to finish my binge at the same time the series finale airs on NBC next week. But I'll still watch the finale on-demand on my own time. I really want to watch "Nomadland" next, in light of its Oscar noms, but I'll stream it instead of going to a theater. How about you?
While I can't say that my TV viewing habits have changed all that much since the advent of COVID-19, the pandemic has had a profound effect on my job as a TV critic. Unexpectedly, it's made some things much easier.
I live and work out of the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota, far away from either coastal media center. And while I can do a solid job of covering the media and entertainment world remotely, I do miss out on some things in normal times. I generally don't get to attend press events, premieres and junkets. Although I am able to make it to some set visits (have I mentioned how much I miss set visits? When you can, invite me again. I'm ready).
One irony of the pandemic is that it has moved a lot of junkets and press events online, into a mix of zoom calls and other video-centric presentations. And suddenly it doesn't matter as much where I'm based. It's as easy for me to do a Zoom interview as someone based in L.A. and as a result, I have probably done more press events and junkets in the past six months than I have in the past six years. Even more helpful, my increased presence in theses events has led to more opportunities and a better relationship with publicists I've never met in person.
When it comes to the business side of the pandemic for me, it was initially a mixed bag. As more people were stuck at home watching television, traffic to the site continued to rise. According to Google Analytics, AllYourScreens.com did just over a million unique visitors in March 2020. Based on the month so far, I'll probably end March 2021 within the margin of error of two million monthly visitors. And since - like Brian and his wife - people are watching a mix of older and newer shows, the site traffic has skewed more in the direction of older programs and more obscure international television.
And that increased interest in less mainstream programs has meshed well with the overall editorial philosophy of AllYourScreens. I think of myself as the streaming TV world's equivalent of the old iconic video store clerk who can help guide you to all of those great, quirky and overlooked programs that don't get all of the press buzz. "What do I watch next?" is an important question for anyone and the better I can answer that for readers, the more successful I will be.
The downside of the past year is that the first few months of the pandemic were pretty brutal financially. Like most news and entertainment web sites, my ad revenue dropped about 40%. It has since recovered to close to pre-pandemic rates, but it was an unsettling experience to make substantially less money while at the same time hitting new traffic high marks each month. I also launched a free daily M-F newsletter (you can subscribe here), but I've opted to not shift to a subscription model, in order to grow it as fast as possible. The upside is that I hit my one-year subscriber number in two months. The downside is that I'm not making any direct revenue from something which takes up an hour or two of every weekday.
Another unexpected consequence of the past year is that all of the turmoil has forced me to develop some clarity of what this site is and the best way to promote it. I've been reluctant in the past to tout the fact that AllYourScreens is essentially a one-person operation. I have the occasional bit of freelance help, but otherwise I am the only person working on the site. And given that, the fact that I'm squeezing nearly two million visitors a month out of my efforts is impressive (he says modestly).
In a year where close to 14,000 journalists lost their jobs and everyone in the industry in discussing the "creator economy" and whether journalists can "build their brand" with a newsletter, the fact that I can make a good living running my own little one-man media operation is a good story. Watching friends of mine struggling with unemployment in the midst of a pandemic has forced me to get out of my shell a bit and talk about my business. I've given a couple of virtual presentations in which I discuss my business model and the many complications. That's not something I would have been as comfortable doing in the past.
Being more upfront about the one-man nature of the site also helps me manage the challenges of a daily workflow when I'm also dealing with family conflicts and personal issues. It's easier for me to tell my readers "Hey, my teen son had a rough day doing virtual schoolwork today, so this is review/feature is running a bit late." It's a problem lots of people are dealing with as well and I believe admitting it honestly is better for everyone in the long run.
I can't speak for anyone else, but this past year has transformed my professional life in ways I could never have predicted. I think I'm a better writer and I am definitely more confident about telling my story.
I hope at least some of the zoom calls continue, but I look forward to seeing more of you in person in 2021.