More Broadcast and Streaming Shows to Ease the Quarantine

“The Wrong Missy”, an original Netflix film, began streaming on May 13. Capsule plot: A man (David Spade) accidentally invites a crazy blind date from his past (Lauren Lapkus) who shares the same name as the woman of his dreams to his work retreat. "Missy" was made by ADAM SANDLER’s production company and Sandler’s wife, JACKIE SANDLER, 45, has a small role in the film. The director is TYLER SPINDEL, 30ish. A little research disclosed that Spindel is Sandler’s nephew. Sad to say, Spindel, a Harvard grad, doesn’t have a great track record as a director. Not long after graduating, he made a couple of short films that got some praise. He then went on to produce over 200 episodes of “Chelsea, Lately,” the talk show which starred CHELSEA HANDLER. The first feature film Spindel directed was the universally panned “Father of the Year,” a 2018 Netflix comedy (also starring David Spade and also produced by Sandler’s company). Spindel also directed “Deported”, a 2020 comedy that went straight-to-video. Here’s hoping he’ll make Uncle Adam proud with “Missy.”

“Seberg” is an Amazon Prime original film that had a short theater run in 2019. It received mixed reviews. It will begin streaming on Amazon Prime on May 15.  It stars Kristen Stewart as actress Jean Seberg (1938-1979). In 1957, director OTTO PREMINGER plucked her from obscurity (a small city Iowa girl) and cast her as Joan of Arc in the film “St. Joan.” She got bad reviews as Joan, but re-established her career in France, where she was praised for her film work, especially in the “New Wave” classic “Breathless” (1960). In 1962, she wed ROMAIN GARY (1914-80), a very important writer (novels, essays) who was also a WWII hero and a diplomat (he’s played by French Jewish actor/director YVAN ATTAL, 55). The film focuses on the well-documented campaign by the FBI (c.1970-75) to destroy Seberg's career because she supported African American organizations, including the Black Panthers.

ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox will “join hands” and broadcast a one-hour special program on May 16 (starts 8PM). It’s called “Graduate Together: America Honors the Class of 2020.” The Corvid-19 virus has forced the cancellation of most high school graduation ceremonies. This ad-free special will honor the new graduates. It will include videos from students and teachers as well as video greetings by many famous people (including Broadway and film star BEN PLATT, 26). President Obama will deliver a commencement message.

You’ll see a lot more of Platt in his Netflix special, “Ben Platt Live From Radio City Music Hall.” It was filmed last September and begins streaming on May 20. Platt, a Grammy, Emmy, and Tony winner, performs before a full orchestra. His guest stars include three actresses who can really sing: Anna Kendrick, who co-starred with Platt in the first two “Pitch Perfect” films, BEANIE FELDSTEIN, 26, and ZOEY DEUTCH, also 26.  Check out, on Youtube, Platt and Deutch singing, together, a “Yom Kippur theme song” that Platt wrote (James Corden show, 2019. Just search on Youtube for “Yom Kippur theme song”).

I didn’t know that Beanie Feldstein, the sister of JONAH HILL, 36, could sing until I saw her sing on a live special (Take Me to the World”) to honor the 90th birthday of composer STEPHEN SONDHEIM. I found out about the for-charity special too late to alert you to the live broadcast (April 26). But that may be a blessing. There were quite a few “glitches” in the live video uploads of those singing a Sondheim song. You can view the non-glitch version on broadwaycom, a Youtube channel. Sondheim has fans: over 2 million people have viewed the special on Youtube already. Jewish folks singing a Sondheim tune include Feldstein, JAKE GYLLENHAAL, 39, LINDA LAVIN, 82, MANDY PATINKIN, 67, BRANDON URANOWITZ, 33,  STEPHEN SCHWARTZ, 72 (he’s best known as the composer of many hit musicals, including “Wicked”) and CHIP ZIEN, 73. Famous non-Jews crooning a tune include Meryl Streep and Kristen Chenoweth.

Everybody’s cooking at home, so what better time than now to start watching “The Barefoot Contessa”?  The 18th season of the popular cooking show starts on May 16 (12:30PM) on the Food Network channel. INA ROSENBERG GARTEN, 72, is the host of the show and she’s the Barefoot Contessa. Both Ina, and her husband of 52 years, decorated Vietnam vet JEFFREY GARTEN, 73, began their professional careers in federal government jobs. He is now Dean Emeritus of the Yale School of Management.

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