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Movies and TV

Eyewitness This

Amanda Brugel as Sita Petronelli in EYEWITNESS episode 101 (Photo by: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network)

EYEWITNESS Episode 101 “Buffalo ’07” Pictured: Amanda Brugel as Sita Petronelli (Photo by: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network)

I’ve spent the last year of my life writing and producing this television series, which debuts tonight at 10 p.m. on USA Network. Because I know you care (and because I know you’ll downright love it), here is a sneak peek at the first 12 minutes of the show. So much sweat, blood, and tears have gone into these 12 minutes, and the story, cast, and crew you’ll get a taste of here are so damn fabulous that they even inspired me to relocate to Canada for five months. I apologize in advance for the way they’re going to get you hooked. If you want a little reading to tide you over before the episode airs tonight, I highly recommend sinking your teeth into The Advocate’s review of EYEWITNESS, which not only reminds me of everything we were aspiring to do with the show but has made me fall in love with what I thought was the lost art form of critical review essays. Enjoy…

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Movies and TV

Shades of Lately

 

Tonight is a pretty big night. A TV show that I’ve been working on intensely for the past few years premieres tonight — yes, tonight — nationally for all to see. Maybe you’ve heard of it, it’s this small show called Shades of Blue starring Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta… It has been such an amazing experience to be with this show from inception to production, and I hope you enjoy the finished product. (Shades airs Thursday January 7th 2016 at 10 p.m. on NBC. Yay!)

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Movies and TV

Makers

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded Ms. Magazine in 1971 and are just a few of the women who've made America what it is today

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded Ms. Magazine in 1971 and are just a few of the women who’ve made America what it is today

Have you seen this fascinating documentary yet? It’s a three-part series titled “Makers: Women Who Make America” and, even though I first discovered it this past winter, I’ve found myself thinking about the amazing women it introduced me to a lot lately. When I first watched the documentary I was amazed (and admittedly a little embarrassed) by some of the things I never knew about the women’s movement in the United States, and the series left me feeling truly inspired to make the world better — to continue the work of the women who have given me the chances I have now, and to improve the chances for women and other minorities of future generations. PBS’s editing keeps the pace of the documentary energetic, entertaining, and often humorous, and Meryl Streep’s narration lends the piece the kind of comforting, smooth patter that allows you to forget you’re actually learning a ton while watching…

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Movies and TV

Better Than Bromance

A still from “Supporting Characters” (2012), shot by Richard P. Ulivella

I spent the weekend attending screenings at the United Film Festival in Los Angeles, and although I expected these past few days to feel like just another long string of artsy flicks and forced conversations I ended up being really impressed by the lineup and even seeing one movie that downright inspired me. This inspiring film is called “Supporting Characters,” and it’s a lovelorn comedy about two movie editors who are grappling to make sense of their own dating lives while working to finish a seemingly straightforward romance flick. The film’s two stars (Alex Karpovsky and Tarik Lowe) have a rare brand of chemistry with each other, and their discussions of love, sex, and friendship keep the audience laughing out loud at a fast clip. Not only does the charismatic acting and flawlessly paced editing of the film make it thoroughly entertaining, but the movie possesses a quality that I haven’t seen in a comedy (romantic, bromantic, or otherwise) in quite a few years: it has major heart…This is all to say, there is something so genuine about the characters’ quests for love and their missteps in the name of lust that makes the film oh-so refreshing, human, and real.

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Movies and TV

Girl Power and Popcorn

Rosie O’Donnell and Meg Ryan indulging in popcorn and old movies in “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993), courtesy of TriStar Pictures; mind you, this flick doesn’t make my list of girl-power classics

Do you ever need help psyching yourself up to conquer the world or just make it through the workday? I know I sure do, and this is one of those weeks when I’d really love to feel as though my life is set to an upbeat soundtrack not to mention feel my to-do lists are capable of being tackled in montage form. Although I have nary a spare second (between plotting a cross-country move, planning a marriage and searching for jobs), my psyche is demanding that I carve out a few hours to indulge in empowering, Motown-pulsing movies tonight. Making the time almost seems like the easy part, however, because very few films of this ilk are actually geared toward my demographic (a.k.a., that pesky 49.76% of the population that is female). While there are thousands of go-get-’em-tiger movies for men (such as, every single “Rocky,” sports movie or war flick), it’s hard to find films about women that get the “you can do it” attitude just right. The few movies led by females often focus too heavily on the romantic stories or don’t pay love interests any attention at all. I used to think the latter was what it took to make a good girl-power movie, but I’ve since changed my mind; negotiating the waters of sexual politics is key to any female’s coming of age, and learning to love yourself with or without a man is a crucial part of becoming a woman. With this in mind, here are my top movie picks for when you want a little girl power in your life…

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Movies and TV

Not Your Grandma’s Christmas Movies

Gina Davis and Yvonne Zima in “The Long Kiss Goodnight” (1996), courtesy of New Line Cinema

Now that December is upon us, Christmas movies are flitting across our TV screens in rapid succession. Considering the first night of Hanukkah was yesterday, however, I’m inclined to shout at the television to rein in its reindeer, but this is only half an inclination…After I get all the shouting out of my system, I guiltily proceed to let the holiday-themed marathons play in the background for hours. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Christmas carols and nostalgia. And, few things conjure up vivid childhood memories quite like the sounds of holiday classics. It’s these sounds I crave, though – not the elves, talking snowmen and religious platitudes – so if I were to program a holiday marathon of my own it would look a lot different from the typical classics. Because I like this idea of playing movie emcee so much, I’ve decided to compile a list of flicks that will fill you with holiday nostalgia while entertaining you with compelling stories (sans claymation, miracles and any characters named Santa). Up, up and away we go…

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