ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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March 2017

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Television!

FASCINATING FEUD!

Feud airs on March 5th on FX (pictured Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon)

FASCINATING FEUD!

  • By KEN WERTHER
  • Photo Courtesy of FX NETWORK

It is considered to be one of the greatest Hollywood rivalries of all time. It has been written about and debated. It’s a seemingly bottomless well of juicy stories. We are talking about none other than the legendary Bette Davis and Joan Crawford! These two women were larger than life — famous for their outsized mannerisms (inspiring generations of drag queens!), unpredictable personalities, and historic achievements. Ryan Murphy’s new FX Anthology series FEUD: Bette and Joan lets us in on the details of this endlessly fascinating real life drama.

In FEUD, Davis is portrayed by Susan Sarandon and Crawford is played by Jessica Lange. With an emphasis on the making of the cult classic psychological thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), the eight episodes of FEUD examine these complicated and combative personalities. It was an open secret that Davis and Crawford loathed each other, and the filming of Baby Jane was contentious as their real-life hatred for one another spilled over into the production.

Along with Sarandon and Lange, Murphy’s FX series boasts quite an array of stars playing some of the biggest names in Hollywood history. Watch for Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sarah Paulson, Dominic Burgess, Alison Wright, Kiernan Shipka, Judy Davis, Jackie Hoffman, Kathy Bates, and more. This is going to be great television! Grab some popcorn and get ready!

FEUD” premieres March 5th on FX.

Iron Fist!

Marvel’s Iron Fist begins streaming on Netflix on March 17th (pictured: Finn Jones as Danny Rand)

Iron Fist!

  • By Adam Tyler Hughes
  • Photo Courtesy of NETFLIX

It started with Marvel’s Daredevil: the Netflix series that eventually led to Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Marvel’s Luke Cage. Each series focuses on a different member of a team called ‘The Defenders’. But up until now, the fourth member of that team has yet to be seen. That is, until now, as March marks the installment of Marvel’s Iron Fist.

Much like its predecessors, the power-driven story will drop its entire first season at the same time, offering the ability to binge on the edge of your seat. Game of Throne’s Finn Jones appears as the titular hero, Iron Fist/Danny Rand, a man once presumed dead, who returns to New York City to reclaim his family business. Despite his intentions, Rand is forced to choose between that and his duties as Iron Fist when danger is imminent. Rand gets his superhero name from the ability to concentrate his chi into his fist, which leads to immensely enhanced physical strength, among other things.

Brought to you by Scott Buck (Dexter, Six Feet Under), the series boasts episodes named after different kung-fu moves. Jessica Henwick (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), David Wenham (Lion), Jessica Stroup (The Following), and Tom Pelphrey (Banshee) round out the main cast. Not to mention, Rosario Dawson will return to reprise her role of Claire Temple from the previous shows in this franchise.

Marvel’s “Iron Fist” slams onto Netflix on March 17th.

SHADES RETURNS!

Shades of Blue returns March 5th on NBC (pictured: Ray Liotta, Jennifer Lopez, and Drea de Matteo)

SHADES RETURNS!

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of NBC

For the second season of Shades of Blue, Jennifer Lopez slips back into blue as Harlee Santos, a dirty detective whose style of street justice regularly includes sidestepping the law. Season one sets up Harlee as a corrupt cop turned FBI informant, forced to inform on her boss and long-time friend Lieutenant Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta). Torn between loyalty and the law, Harlee maneuvers around the FBI in an attempt to save her crew, a team that feels more like family. This “family” includes Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos), Dayo Okeniyi (Terminator: Genisys), Vincent Laresca (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), Hampton Fluker (The Blind Side), and Sarah Jeffery (Wayward Pines).

The season culminates when Wozniak kills one of their own as the wrongful mole, and Harlee finally turns on him, the finale ending with the FBI closing in. This dicey drama dethrones the male-dominated cop procedural as Lopez and her fellow females dominate instead, once again teaching Hollywood how devilishly fun it is to watch powerful women kick ass with the kind of pugnacity normally seen from their male counterparts.

Lopez will also star in NBC’s live musical event Bye Bye Birdie and is currently developing a drama thriller. With so much exciting work on the way, Jennifer Lopez is undoubtedly becoming the peacock’s latest darling.

Season two of “Shades of Blue” premieres March 5th.

Hulu’s Harlots!

Harlots begins streaming March 29th on Hulu (pictured: Jessica Brown Findlay)

Hulu’s Harlots!

  • By Rebekah Rejniak
  • Photo Courtesy of Hulu

Hulu’s ‘Harlots’ disrupts the male gaze as it chronicles the lives of the 18th-Century Georgian bourgeoisie through the prostitutes who entertained them. Brothel owner and mother, Margaret Wells, struggles as a competitive entrepreneur while managing her own daughter, Charlotte, who has become the cities most-desired lady-of-the-night. Wells, played by Samantha Morton (Fantastic Beasts, Rillington Place, The Last Panther, Minority Report) duels with rival brothel-owner Lydia Quigley, played by Lesley Manville (Mum, River, Maleficent), epitomizing just how scrappy these lady hustlers were.

Brothels have always been an integral part of historical fiction, but are never portrayed as anything more than a location for card games, boozing, and men misbehaving. Executive Producer Alison Owen gets it right when she says, “In 1760s London there were brothels on every corner run by women who were both enterprising and tenacious. History has largely ignored them, but their stories are in turn outrageous, brutal, humorous and real.”

Set in a time when ‘whoring’ was one of few means of employment for industrious young women, the show creators have largely mirrored the brothel’s infrastructure by staffing the production with big league female writers, directors, and producers. Writer and creator, Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre) found a home for the project with Oscar-nominated producers Alison Owen (Suffragette) and Debra Hayward (Les Miserables). Heading up the directorial team are Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful) and China Moo-Young (Thirteen).

Harlots premieres March 29th on Hulu.

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