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September 2019

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Television!

Wu-Tang

Wu-Tang: An American Saga begins streaming Sept 4 on Hulu

Wu-Tang

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of Hulu

Most aspects of pop culture — primarily music, film, and art — are heavily influenced by the world those artists were living in. As far must goes, the hip-hop genre has always been a personal genre of music. When it was popped up in the late 1970s, it was used to describe the hardships that the artists, lower income African-Americans, dealt with on a daily basis. That theme has remained consistent throughout the near 40 years that the genre has been active.

Perhaps the most influential and popular hip-hop acts is the Wu-Tang Clan, whose history and formation has been given the television treatment on Hulu. Wu-Tang: An American Saga, is a fictionalized account if the group’s formation, developed and produced by its founding members, RZA and Alex Tse. While fictional, the miniseries is set in New York City during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1990s. The narrative adopts the initial vision that RZA (born Bobby Briggs) had when he formed the group: to unite the fractured youths who were torn between a passion and knack for music and a life fueled by the drug epidemic.

Briggs and Tse produced the series, alongside seasoned film and television producer, Brian Grazer (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights). Other founding members of the group, including Ghostface Killa, GZA, Method Man, and the estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, were consulting producers.

Wu-Tang: An American Saga” begins streaming Sept 4 on Hulu.

EMERGENCE

Emergence premieres Sept 24 on ABC (Starring Allison Tolman and Alexa Swinton)

EMERGENCE

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of ABC

Show creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas are amping up their newest character-driven thriller Emergence with some science fiction intrigue.

Flickering lamps. Electromagnetic disturbances. And impossible northern lights taunting the coastal community of Southold. Then in the dead of night, a plane mysteriously crashes down on the local beach. Called to the scene is police chief Jo Evans, played by the endearing Allison Tolman (Good Girls), where she encounters a scared little girl, presumably the lone survivor of the wreckage and oddly left without a scratch — or a memory. When the kid’s parents turn up at the police station to claim her, Jo grows suspicious of their intentions and vows instead to take in the girl and protect her, a child who manifests inexplicable abilities and sits at the center of a sinister conspiracy. ABC has uncovered an absolute gem in Tolman whose engrossing and touching performance gives the show its beating heart.

With a stellar cast that also features Alexa Swinton (Billions), Owain Yeoman (Turn), Ashley Aufderheide (Preacher), Robert Bailey Jr. (The Night Shift), Zabryna Guevara (New Amsterdam), Clancy Brown (Billions), and Donald Faison (Ray Donovan), Emergence promises to blow your mind. Paired with the equally action-packed crime drama Stumptown, starring Cobie Smulders (Friends From College) and Michael Ealy (The Intruder), ABC kicks off an impressive fall season with double the fun.

 Emergence” premieres Sept 24 on ABC.

ON BECOMING A GOD…

Showtime’s On Becoming A God in Central Florida (Starring Kirsten Dunst)

ON BECOMING A GOD…

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Showtime delivers a new dramedy called On Becoming a God in Central Florida, and boy, does Kirsten Dunst (Fargo) live up to its title. Creators Robert Funke and Matt Lusky delve into the underbelly of the multi-level marketing schemes of the 1990s, holding up a black mirror to the country’s capitalist leviathan now devouring its own tail if anyone bothers to look.

 Dunst fully embodies the role of Krystal Stubbs, a wife and mother stuck in a dead-end job at a water park. Her husband Travis falls hook, line, and sinker for the canned platitudes of Obie Garbeau, marketing guru behind Founders American Merchandise peddling pathetic ways to get rich quick. When Travis drowns the family in debt, Krystal must fight through those delusions of American grandeur and claw her way up this patriarchal pyramid scheme. Dunst is at her best in roles where her sweetness falls victim to her baser instincts, and she infuses the character with such dastardly charm and signature quirk that keep audiences hungry for more.

 With an outstanding cast that includes Théodore Pellerin (The OA), Mel Rodriguez (The Last Man on Earth), Beth Ditto (Nocturnal Animals), Ted Levine (The Alienist), Usman Ally (Suits), Eric Allan Kramer (Lodge 49), Cooper Jack Rubin (Cold Moon), Mary Steenburgen (Book Club), and Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies), this series has struck gold.

 On Becoming a God in Central Florida” airs on Showtime.

Why Women Kill

CBS Access’ Why Women Kill (Starring Lucy Lui)

Why Women Kill

  • By Dennis Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of CBS

From CBS and the creators of Desperate Housewives, Why Women Kill is a cross-generational look at women, marriage, gender roles and infidelity. Part drama and all entertainment, this revenge porn series for a digitally aged audience stars a triad of femme fatales: Lucy Liu (Elementary, Kill Bill, Charlie’s Angels), Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love, Walk The Line, A Single Man) and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Good Place, Barry, Killing Eve). But how similar can these three women spanning a 60-year chasm be?

A 1950s picture-perfect, Susie homemaker housewife unwittingly discovers her husband is being unfaithful with a much younger version of herself. Shocker. A 1980s powerhouse channeling socialite realness suspects — not without warrant — that her husband may actually be playing for the other team. Scandalous. And a modern-day mover and shaker who may have bitten off more than she can chew when she and her husband open their relationship to bring in a third. No surprises here, but none this ends well. But it’s the journey us viewers are after!

There’s more to Why Women Kill than just three seemingly very different storylines with a similar ghastly punctuation of death. For starters, while it may not seem it at first, the women inhabit the same Pasadena, California, mansion in each period, the house dressed radically different. And with CBS looking to capture audience from the likes of American Horror Story, Fargo and the likes, Why Women Kill may turn out to be one of our new fall favorites.

Why Women Kills” is now streaming on CBS All Access.

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