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Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup: April 22

Weekly Roundup is a feature posted each weekend on I Wonder if You Wonder. It gives me a chance to react to the week’s industry news and to provide some quick thoughts about the films and TV shows I’ve been watching. (Plus it’ll give you some idea of the sheer amount of stuff I watch!) Let’s dive right in.

News:

Linda Wallem (left) and Liz Brixius in less complicated times.

Nurse Jackie Showrunners Departing: A bit of news that is both interesting and salacious. The two creators of HBO’s Nurse Jackie, Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius, are leaving the show after this season. In their statement to the press, they stated a desire to spend more time at home, since the show shoots in New York but the writers are based in L.A. None of this is particularly surprising in and of itself, but what is surprising is the rumored real reason for their departure: a bad break-up between Wallem and Brixius that allegedly made working on the show together extremely difficult. (Wallem is now in a relationship with Melissa Etheridge.)

Cannes Lineup: The lineup for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival was released this week, and given the big names involved, this year’s festival looks to be even more loaded than last year’s. Among the films in competition for the prestigious Palme d’Or are Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Michael Haneke’s Love, Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love, Ken Loach’s The Angel’s Share, Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills (Mungiu is the Romania director behind 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days), Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hung (Vinterberg founded the Dogme 95 movement with Lars von Trier), and 89-year-old nouvelle vague legend Alain Resnais’ You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet. The festival will take place between the 15th and 27th of May.

Director Picked for Catching Fire: There’s a new director on board for Catching Fire (the sequel to The Hunger Games): Francis Lawrence, director of such films as I Am Legend and Water for Elephants and, yes, the video for Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U”. He’s a bit of a surprise choice after several big names (Iñarritu, Cuaron, Cronenberg, Bennett Miller) were floated for the gig. While Water for Elephants was generally well-received, the rest of Lawrence’s resume is pretty thin. Here’s hoping he can duplicate Gary Ross’ success and use this opportunity to make the best film he’s ever made.

Viewings & Reactions:

TV:

The fabulously awkward Lena Dunham.

Girls: Gender differences aside, it’s downright scary how much of this show I can relate to. Lena Dunham’s show about twenty-somethings in New York City is another winner for HBO, as it manages to carve out its own niche and avoid treading on the same turf as Sex and the City. In fact, I’ve heard Dunham describe the characters on the show as people who came to New York expecting it to be like Sex and the City, only to be faced with the realities of the modern age: jobs are hard to come by and college degrees don’t mean what they used to. That’s a pretty excellent way to sum up an extremely promising new series.

Ringer: Ringer’s first season came to a close this past Tuesday, and from the looks of things it’s extremely unlikely that the show will survive for a second. The finale was, as usual, full of enormous plot holes and far too many storylines, which have become Ringer’s trademark. Most annoyingly, the show failed to resolve its two major story threads: the relationship between twins Bridget and Siobhan (both played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), and the tumultuous burgeoning family of Bridget, Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd), and Juliet (Zoey Deutch). The only explanation for the show’s lack of closure is that the producers must have massively overestimated its chances for renewal.

Community: There have been many divisive episodes of Community, but this week’s might have been the first one that was truly alienating, at least to anyone that isn’t a hardcore fan of the show. Virtually the entire episode took place in the show’s “Dreamatorium,” which is essentially a room that Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Donald Glover) use for make-believe, and it primarily focuses on the characters of Abed and Annie (Alison Brie). Most of the show’s action takes place in the character’s heads, with both Abed and Annie taking on the roles of various other members of the study group in a series of hilarious and confusing “what if?” scenarios. Needless to say, I loved the episode – I mean, really, how often do you get to see a scene in which Alison Brie plays opposite Alison Brie? – but it’s not for the casual fan.

Parks and Recreation: So glad to have the show back. We all need a little more Ron Swanson in our lives.

Coming Soon:

Previewing features and articles I’m working on for I Wonder if You Wonder, some of which will be posted this week, some in weeks ahead, and others that’ll be abandoned due to laziness or frustration. (Hey, at least I’m up front about it.)

  • More articles in the “30 Days of Alien” series!
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About A.J. Simpson

Creator and moderator of I Wonder if You Wonder.

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