News Worthy: Catching Up

I started my News Worthy posts back in February, and posted weekly updates pretty consistently until April, when I finished school. The posts were a great way to talk about any and every thing I found interesting from that week, and it was a guaranteed addition to my blog.

Working full time this summer swept up any ambition I had to maintain News Worthy, but with the start of the school year in sight, I’m going to try to post weekly posts again. For now, I’m highlighting some recent-ish news / tidbits that was exciting to me!

Theater

I’ve spoken a lot about my love for The Last Five Years, from the original cast album to the film adaptation, so the announcement that Cynthia Erivo and Joshua Henry are starring in a TLFY  benefit made my life. Like the rest of America, I’ve basically become obsessed with Cynthia Erivo through her lead role in The Color Purple revival. Joshua Henry has done several Broadway shows and will be playing Burr in the Chicago production of Hamilton this fall.

Henry has been posting acoustic remixes of Hamilton songs on his Instagram – his “Dear Theodosia” cover may have made  me fall a little in love with him. And the best thing I found out about him? We’re birthday buddies! The amount of celebrities I share my birthday with has always been a little underwhelming, so this news forever sealed me as a Joshua Henry fan.

Playbill also accompanied the news of the concert with a video of Cynthia Erivo singing “I Can Do Better Than That.” Watching it spurred on my prayers that this benefit will be filmed.

TV

Is it just me, or do ABC’s new fall dramas look exceptionally good this year? Admittedly, I’m usually not a fan of crime or legal/political shows (I gave How to Get Away With Murder maybe two weeks before giving up), but I’m so interested in Designated Survivor and Notorious.

Designated Survivor looks like a brilliant “what-if” story. My high school history teachers always seemed to emphasize how one Cabinet member doesn’t attend the State of Union address, and I’m almost surprised it took this long for a story surrounding that detail to materialize. Kiefer Sutherland starring will definitely attract a lot of viewership, but I think the plot will also appeal to a lot of people who are indifferent about him.

I have a minor in Broadcast Journalism, so I have a great interest in news anchors’ dynamics with both their staff and their interviewees. The concept in Notorious that a lawyer and a news producer team up to drive legal procedures a certain way is fascinating to me. Also, Kevin Zegers seems to be one of the show’s bad guys, so the childhood Air Bud fan in me will have to give at least one episode a try.

I finished my internship on August 19, giving me about two weeks of free time before going back to school. So, unless I’m going out with friends, this equates to binge-watching old YouTube videos and catching random things on TV. The other day, MTV Classic aired a marathon of The Real World: San Francisco, which originally aired in 1994. The Real World was an occasional guilty pleasure for me back in high school as it was making its transition into arguably trashier content (I watched the Cancun season solely because a girl on it was also on Endurance, one of my favorite childhood shows). I jumped at the chance to watch an older season because social interaction was just so different back then. Maybe it was just because the people were new to me, but I found it a lot more interesting and real than the seasons I used to watch (Cancun and DC were the only ones I really kept up with as they aired).

The San Francisco contestant Judd Winick was so charming to me, especially in that ’90s starving artist way. Pam Ling, the understanding doctor in training, was so sweet when she sat with Judd as he worked on material for a TV deal involving his comics. I think any reality show viewer, even one in today’s reality-heavy society, would find that cutaway to Judd’s interview about how great Pam is as cute and hinting at something more between the two.

After watching a few episodes, I looked up the season online because I wanted to read more about the legacy of AIDS victim Pedro Zamora, who used his time on the show to educate others about the disease. He ultimately died just as the season finale aired towards the end of 1994. However, researching the show revealed that Judd and Pam started dating while looking after Pedro post-filming, got married in 2001, and had two kids. And Judd is actually somewhat famous?! He’s now a successful comic book artist and writer, and even appeared on Seth Meyers to promote his book, but he also spoke about meeting his wife on Real World. You can watch the interview clip here.

How adorable is that?! I know I’m 15-20 years behind on this, but “co-star” real-life romance stories are my weakness. Nowadays, any relationship formed on a reality show would be viewed so cynically (any couple from the Bachelor franchise), but this story is just so genuine and heartfelt.

Film

Autumn means award season films for me, and I’ve been getting so excited about the new trailers for the next few months’ films. Southside with You, chronicling the Obamas’ first date, was recently released and may miss the glory of mainstream awards because of its summer premiere, but I really adore the trailer. I love “when-they-were-young” stories that explore new relationships, and it is a little odd to see such contemporary figures immortalized in film already, but it really looks like it could become a classic.

A film I definitely hope is recognized in awards season is A United Kingdom, which tells the true story of Botswana’s first president / prime minister and his Caucasian wife. Amma Asante, who also directed Belle, a movie I’ve been dying to see, directs this film, and Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo, both of whom I love, star as the couple. The obscure historical story hooked me in as I watched the trailer, and I then found out that some filming took place at Imperial College, which I lived near when in London.

News

Is it weird that I felt celebratory when London finally organized its Night Tube system? My program staff had talked about how a 24-hour tube was supposed to have started when we were there (fall 2015), but, understandably, it took TfL awhile to sort itself out. I’m still in such a mourning state for my semester abroad that the first thing I thought upon the news was, “Oh, Central and Victoria lines – that wouldn’t have gotten me home.” The Jubilee, Piccadilly, and Northern Lines will be added to the system in the fall, so that only created more fantasies of me taking the ordinarily horrid Piccadilly line home on a late night. I was only out late enough to miss the last train once – two of my roommates and I first attempted to take the bus back, but it finished its route in a different spot than we expected and we ended up getting an Uber. Call me a nerd, but the Tube is one of the things I miss most about London.

So, this was quite the long catch-up, but it made me incredibly excited to start writing News Worthy posts again!

What about you? What pop culture news has gotten you excited recently?

 

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