1. Woody Allen’s Show is a Risky Bet. Woody Allen is going to make a series with Amazon, but it doesn’t sound like a sure bet for success, and not just because of the controversy regarding Dylan Farrow. David Sims of The Atlantic explains:
The even bigger question is whether Allen will produce anything remotely watchable. He won an Oscar just three years ago for writing the breezy “Midnight in Paris,” and within the past decade “Blue Jasmine” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona” have both won high praise for their performers. But Allen’s output has been undoubtedly scattershot since the mid-‘90s, with a series of duds usually surrounding every mild-to-moderate hit. Read more.
2. How “Transparent’s” Jill Soloway Is Bending Hollywood. “Transparent” isn’t just an acclaimed show, but a way to fight the patriarchy. Elle’s Jada Yuan talked to creator Jill Soloway about how the show is bending Hollywood.
Soloway’s hope for the next season of “Transparent,” which begins filming in June, is to be a little less maternal, to give the writers more control and step back and just be the visionary. At times while shooting season one, Soloway says, “I felt like I was possessed by the Pfeffermans. I was dreaming them. Like the Pfeffermans were these souls out in the world who wanted this audience of America and of the globe, and I was their medium. It was kind of annoying— I couldn’t think about anything else.” Plus, she’s got her own family to come home to and tries to limit the number of 14- or 18-hour days. “This industry was created for men to be like, ‘Sorry, honey, I’m working on a movie. Sorry, not going to make it home.’ There’s this illusion that you’ve got to work long, crazy hours, and it’s really hard. But it’s really not.” Read more.
3. Entertainment’s Bamboo Ceiling. Eddie Huang’s memoir “Fresh Off the Boat” was picked up to be turned into a sitcom and Huang a symbol of opportunity in America. Huang hated that, and he wrote about the experience in Vulture.
I didn’t understand how network television, the one-size fits-all antithesis to Fresh Off the Boat, was going to house the voice of a futuristic chinkstronaut. I began to regret ever selling the book, because “Fresh Off the Boat” was a very specific narrative about SPECIFIC moments in my life, such as kneeling in a driveway holding buckets of rice overhead or seeing pink nipples for the first time. The network’s approach was to tell a universal, ambiguous, cornstarch story about Asian-Americans resembling moo goo gai pan written by a Persian-American who cut her teeth on race relations writing for Seth MacFarlane. But who is that show written for? Read more.
4. How Michael Mann Got Hackers Right in “Blackhat.” Michael Mann is known for his meticulously researched and detailed films, and “Blackhat” is no different. Angela Watercutter of Wire spoke with Mann about how he got hacking right.
Did you go back and look at any other movies about hacking, for the visual style?
Watching people type is boring. And I didn’t want to represent the inside of a chip as being a guy on a motorcycle on a bridge. I wanted to represent, as realistically as possible, the idea that a data packet is going in with an address that says, “I’m OK, let me through your firewall,” but hidden within it is a tool that can open up a back door. The sequence goes inside the computer and uses the actual shape of a transistor: one piece of conductive metal that has a surplus of electrons, and one with no electrons. The one license we took is we made them be two different colors. Read more.
5. Why Colbert’s Talk Show Shouldn’t Be Original. “The Colbert Report” became one of the most original satires of the past several years, so should Colbert’s version of “Late Show” be the talk show equivalent? Time’s James Poniewozik thinks that there’s a case for it just being a normal talk show.
I believe Colbert may be the biggest talent in late night since the guy he’s replacing, and if he comes up with some scheme to rethink the post-evening-news hour, I will be eager to see what it is. If Colbert wants to blow up the desk, give the man as much dynamite as he needs. But I wouldn’t underestimate the difference Colbert could make just by being himself. Read more.
Tweet of the Day:
Woody Allen said he has “no ideas” for the show Amazon gave him, which is I guess is the only pitch you need as a powerful man in Hollywood.
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) January 13, 2015