Robin Thede Breaks Record with ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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After seeing the trailer, I fell in love and was laughing out loud. This is comedy genius. When Robin Thede’s show was cancelled on BET she didn’t wallow and sit around feeling sorry for herself, she rose up like a BOSS and created something great, something we didn’t even know that we needed until we saw it in action. It’s the first series of its kind, and representation is important. Bringing a group of talented, hilarious and smart Black women together for this series.

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A sketch comedy show starring, written by and directed primarily by black women, including the first Black woman sketch director. Produced by Issa Rae, provides a showcase for the four comedians who make up its core cast: creator Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Quinta Brunson and Gabrielle Dennis. This show hosts a slew of amazing guest stars within the far to few episodes that makes me tear up.

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Premieres on HBO on Aug 2 at 8 pm.

‘OTHERHOOD’ The Phase after Motherhood

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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I had the opportunity to see Otherhood a few weeks ago and this movie brings all the feels. It’s charming, funny and warm. It will have you pondering whether or not you are being a good daughter or son.

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Listening to Cindy Chupack and Cathy Schulman speak about their journey during the Q&A after just makes you love this even more. From losing their first production deal, to securing Angela Bassett, to losing their director it was indeed a journey. A journey that I believe everyone will enjoy once they watch it. Losing their director turned into good luck for Cindy Chupack who makes her film directorial debut with Otherhood. This film also gained the Women In Film stamp by producing this with an all-female crew.

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Otherhood stars Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and felicity Huffman. Feeling forgotten on Mother’s Day, three best friends leave upstate New York for a road trip to New York City to surprise their sons and try to weave themselves into their adult lives. I have to say I was impressed on how they equally balanced out the storylines with all of the characters. As a person of color, it was refreshing to see a mother son relationship that was told in great way. When I tell you that Queen Angela bursts on the screen and dominates it…chile, you not ready.

otherhood-1014x570Yes, you’re probably wondering Mother’s Day in August, someone made a mistake. But, in actuality it was a mistake made on Felicity Huffman’s part that pushed the movie back. In the wake of Felicity Huffman pleading guilty to the College Admissions Scandal earlier this year the decision was made to push it back. Huffman was one of the 50 people indicted. Now that the dust has settled some, Netflix is releasing the feature this Friday.

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Otherhood: Life Beyond Motherhood, or the next phase as I see it. Premiering on August 2nd on Netflix and in select theatres.

DEADLY DISPATCH

DEADLY DISPATCH stars Tamala Jones, DomiNque Perry, and Rapper, Bone Crusher. The film chronicles the tragic murder of Shawn, a well-liked owner of a struggling car service company. Tiffany (Jones) is a local salon owner and Shawn’s longtime, high-school best friend who becomes intertwined in the complex circumstances surrounding his death. Unsatisfied with the police’s classification of the case being a “robbery gone wrong,” Tiffany becomes suspicious of Shawn’s grieving widow Amber (Perry). Motivated to find out what really happened to her friend that fateful day, Tiffany embarks on a quest that will not only endanger her marriage, but her life as well. Will she be able to come to terms with a deep secret shared between her and Shawn while seeking justice?

Deadly Dispatch is a part of TV One’s true crime series month of Love, Lies and Murder.

DEADLY DISPATCH PREMIERES SUNDAY, JULY 28 AT 8 PM ON TV ONE!

QUEEN SUGAR IS BACK!

Queen Sugar is Back! Premiering on June 12th on OWN. The trailer has me excited and knows this will definitely be a great season.

The drama series is back for the fourth year, following the Bordelon family as they discover Nova (Rutina Wesley) is publishing her memoir which divulges long-held family secrets. Tension festers at home as Nova embarks on a book tour and unexpectedly encounters significant relationships from her past along the way. Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) remains in the thick the tension in both her personal and professional life as she continues to battle the Landry family while also trying to ensure the safety and future of her teenage son Micah (Nicholas Ashe). Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is managing fatherhood and his complicated relationship with ex-girlfriend Darla (Bianca Lawson) after learning he is not the biological father of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison), is encouraged by an old friend to create opportunities for formerly incarcerated men.

“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by Forward Movement and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Anthony Sparks. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile.

QUEEN SUGAR PREMIERES JUNE 12 AT 9 PM ON OWN!

PODCASTS WE LOVE!

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Podcasts are nothing new but they have recently exploded on the scene. There are currently 540,000 podcasts and inceases about 2,000 each week. Think of podcasts as old school talk radio from back in the day, or informative/comedy in your ears. I have learned so much from podcasts, from writing, to therapy, to just basic comedy, my ears perk up at each listen. You can always click on your search bar however you find podcasts and search by subjects. There is something for everyone.

Below are my favorites that I listen to.

COMEDY

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Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
After 25 years at the Late Night desk, Conan realized that the only people at his holiday party are the men and women who work for him. So he has set out to change that. This podcast is a weekly opportunity for Conan to hang out and talk to people that has been on his show and hopefully find some real relationships along the way.

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Yo, Is This Racist?
Hosted by Andrew Ti and Tawny Newsome. They attempt to solve racism on a weekly basis. With the help of their comedy guests they answer questions from submitted voicemails about whether or not something in fact is actually racist. I must warn for a lot of cursing.

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The Read
Bloggers Kid Fury and Crissie cover hip-hop and pop-culture stars and their lives. They take turns throwing shade and spilling the tea with a humorous attitude. No one is safe from their scurinity except for Beyonce’ and Blue Ivy. I don’t always agree with their views but a good time. I must warn for a lot of cursing.

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How Did This Get Made?
This podcast explores the question of how bad movies can sometimes be amazing. Hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas. They watch bad movies and report back on the results. They say everything and anything about the movie and don’t hold back. A hilarious good time.

ON WRITING

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Hilliard Guess’ Screenwriter’s Rant Room
Host Hilliard Guess, a member of the WGAW, and award-winning writer and his co-hosts Lisa Bolekaja and Chris Derrick. They drop invaluable industry knowledge in an unfiltered manner. It is real talk from real working writers. I have learned more about the industry than I did in my years of schooling. Comedy mixed with knowledge. In my top five of favorite podcasts.

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Paper Team
A great podcast about television writing and how to launch your career in the industry. They have guests that give invaluable information, from showrunners, writers, fellowship directors, to how to network properly. It is a great resource and I learn each time.

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3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast
The official podcast of the Writers Guild of America West. They give updates on the Guild and interviews with screenwriters about screenwriting, movies, television and the business.

GENERAL

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Boss Up Moms
Moms who are also entreprenuers often find themselves in need of balance and community. Boss Up Moms are a group of women that meet weekly to discuss their success, failures and inspiration on balancing motherhood, family, and their businesses. While I am not a mother, it is very informative and great to hear how they juggle it all.

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OD Podcast
OD stands for Open Discussion and that is exactly what they do. Funny thing is they always are touching on subjects that I am currently going through. They get me and I love it. It is an unfiltered conversation about things that matter and some things that don’t matter but still great all in the same. Hosted by Alicia and Drvco who made in Atlanta and don’t let you forget it.

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Jesus and Jollof
This podcast is definitely in my top 5. They get to the core of adulting. While I may not be ready to hear everything that they say I always tuck it in the back of my head for future reference. They get me too and I love it. Hosted by Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji, two proud Nigerian women who are cut up at every turn but they talk about things they love, their life and how they have overcame to help us navigate life. They drop some major gems.

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Rants and Randomness
Host Luvvie Ajayi talks about things that she is loving and things that she is side-eyeing. She rants on everything from society to pop culture. Her guests from her tribe stay dropping gems. A great podcast overall.

These are just a few to get started. Subscribe and start listening to greatness.

The 12th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic Cinco de Mayo Party

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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On May 5, George Lopez hosted a Cinco de Mayo party for his 12th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic for his Foundation.

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George Lopez created the foundation after in 2005 when he himself needed a transplant which was graciously given by his wife. The mission for the foundation is to create positive, permanent change for underprivileged children, adults and military families confronting challenges in education and health, as well as increasing community awareness about kidney disease and organ donation.

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“I am thankful for the kidney transplant I received in 2005, which has allowed me to pursue my two passions – playing golf and giving back to others less fortunate.” – George Lopez

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Each year his family and friends come together for the Celebrity Golf Classic to help raise awareness for kidney disease. Such a great fun event that brings awareness to a disease that affects some many people.

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In June, the foundation hosts a camp for children affected by kidney disease. Within this camp the children will experience a week-long summer session at a medical specialty camp for children that will learn new strategies of medical self-care, increase their self-confidence, and build supportive friendships with peers who have the same medical conditions.

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Everyone has someone in their life that has been affected by this disease, I know that I do. If you want to donate to this great organization you can via their website georgelopezfoundation.org.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN TAKES COP TO A NEW LEVEL IN ’21 BRIDGES’

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

Chadick Boseman follows up his iconic role in Black Panther with 21 Bridges, an action thriller where he plays a New York cop in search for justice after 8 cops were killed in a  robbery heist gone wrong.

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21 Bridges shows the lengths that a cop will go to to in order to find the killers. He shuts down all 21 bridges into Manhattan, stops trains, and cuts off the island from the rest of the world as he oversees a massive citywide manhunt. It’s personal for him, who had to deal with the trauma of having his police officer father murdered when he was a child.

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This is going to be one hell of a ride and excited to see Chadwick in this new role.

Check out the trailer below. 21 Bridges opens nationwide on July 12.

‘WHEN THEY SEE US’ Drops Official Trailer

 BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

30 years ago, today a woman was raped in Central Park and five teenagers of color were framed for it.

Netflix has just release the full trailer for Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” a four-part series about the wrongly convicted Central Park Five.

Based on the true case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit, the show follows the young men (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise) in the spring of 1989 when they are first questioned about the brutal assault of a Caucasian female jogger in New York’s Central Park. The later part of the series will also see them as men, spanning 25 years and highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement they reached with the city of New York in 2014.

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The series stars Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood, Christopher Jackson, Joshua Jackson, Omar J. Dorsey, Adepero Oduye, Famke Janssen, Aurora Perrineau, William Sadler, Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Dascha Polanco, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Ethan Herisse, Caleel Harris, Marquis Rodriguez and Asante Blackk.

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“When They See Us” launches on Netflix on May 31.

TRACY OLIVER TALKS ‘LITTLE’ AT WGA SCREENING.

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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Monday night, WGAW Speaker Series: In Her Words held a screening of LITTLE with writer Tracy Oliver. After the movie a conversation and Q&A with Tracy Oliver shed light on the film, what it’s like having a 14-year old Marsai Martin as her boss, and her overall writing process. A great informative conversation.

Tracy also stayed after to speak with everyone, gave amazing advice and insight, and take pictures. Her future projects include a play on the film, First Wives Club and Clueless. Excited to see what else she has up her sleeve.

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If you haven’t seen LITTLE yet, run and go see it. I have seen it twice and it was just as good the second time.

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The 30th Anniversary Screening of ‘Do The Right Thing’

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

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At the TCM Film Festival, I had the opportunity to attend the 30th Anniversary of Do The Right Thing at the TCL Theater in Hollywood. It was the World Premiere screening of the newly remastered version of the film. A conversation before the film included Academy Award Winning Costume Designer, Ruth E. Carter, Legendary Casting Director Robi Reed, and Spike Lee’s sister, Joie Lee.

Rewatching the film 30 years later was amazing and to see the all the of the actors whose careers started from this film. Such a great thing for Spike Lee to give so many people their first gig. This was Robi Reed’s first time casting. Robin Harris, Martin Lawrence, Joie Lee was their big acting break. Also, while watching it, it was a sign of things to coming. Da Mayor kept referring to Ruth and the kids had Black Panther comic books. 30 years later Ruth E. Carter wins an Oscar of Black Panther.

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Rest in Peace to Bill Nunn, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis.