My Freelance Work

  • You’ve heard of the Emmy Awards, now take in our top moments with the Envy Awards

    L.A. Times Envelope8/22/19

    However long an Emmy ceremony is, it’s impossible to honor all the great moments our ever-expanding universe of TV hands us each year. (Nor can we find enough time to razz the more questionable happenings.) Fortunately, there’s plenty of space right here to point out the best, brightest and plain oddest moments from the past year of television. We give you the Envy Awards!

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  • ‘Pose,’ ‘Succession,’ ‘This Is Us’: Plan out a story arc or just go with the flow?

    L.A. Times Envelope8/22/19

    When Dan Fogelman originally sat down with NBC executives to discuss what would become “This Is Us,” he came prepared. Walking them through the first few seasons of the show, he even suggested that a major character’s death could time out as a post-Super Bowl episode. (It did.) And if you ask him today if he knows where his hit series is headed, his answer is a resounding yes. He’s even got 35 pages of the final episode — some three seasons away — written out.

    But that makes him a rare beast on broadcast TV. “I’ve made a lot of two-year shows,” he says. “The odds of being able to stay on the air long enough to execute a long-term plan are so slim, it feels like a fool’s errand.”

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  • Major Nominees Prove Emmy Success Relies on Across-the-Board Quality

    Variety8/03/19

    No show is created in a vacuum, and that’s never more clear than when you look at the artisans and the programs that scored the most noms in major Creative Arts categories. That most of these shows also scored major noms in the more visible acting, writing and directing categories proves that depth counts and that the most honored programs draw on the widest collection of talent. The profiles that follow appraise aspects of these shows and the creative people whose work the Emmys have recognized with nominations.

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  • ‘Skin’ Makeup Artist Stretches the Limits of Tattoo Design

    Variety - 7/24/19

    “If the audience didn’t believe in the tattoos, we were dead before we even began,” says director Guy Nattiv of “Skin,” a reality-based drama about white supremacist Bryon Widner, who renounced those beliefs and his body-covering markings. 

    So Nattiv tapped Emmy-winning makeup maestro Stephen Bettles for the job — a massive project that Bettles says required 14 face and 39 body tattoos just for actor Jamie Bell, who stars as Widner. Working on an indie budget, Bettles created 175 hand-drawn designs that often had to be reapplied daily on a cast that included Bell, 12 other principals and up to 165 additional characters.

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  • Lucie Arnaz reveals tidbits from 5 of her mom’s classic ‘I Love Lucy’ episodes

    Today.com - 7/10/19

    “Oh Luuuuucy!”

    Beginning in the 1950s, that cry from “I Love Lucy’s” Ricky Ricardo signaled something hilarious was happening on TV. Fans of the early classic black-and-white sitcom followed the antics of stars Lucille Ball (as Lucy Ricardo) and Desi Arnaz (as Ricky) as they got into one scrape after the other, setting the standard for television sitcoms for decades to come.

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  • Neil Gaiman promised a dying friend he’d carry ‘Good Omens’ forward

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/28/19

    Neil Gaiman has thrived for decades on entertainment’s fringe, crafting novels (“American Gods”), comics (“The Sandman”) and YA books (“Coraline”) about gods, monsters and parents with button eyes. But as he stood in Times Square recently, promoting Amazon Prime’s adaptation of “Good Omens” (co-written with the late Terry Pratchett), it seemed a tectonic shift had occurred. There he was, surrounded by satanic nuns singing Queen songs (watch “Omens” for context) and massive billboards promoting the show, wondering just how all this happened.

    The Envelope chatted with the tousled, black-clad, 58-year-old in charge of one of TV’s more creatively quirky endeavors to help puzzle it all out.

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  • Christopher Abbott brings an old-school vibe to his ‘Catch-22′ hero

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/19/19

    If Christopher Abbott looks like he’s acting, then he’s not doing it right. At least, according to Abbott.

    “Peter Falk is someone I could watch for hours on end, because watching him is electric,” says the Brooklyn-based star of Hulu’s new adaptation of “Catch-22.” “A certain kind of filmmaking that was being done in the ’70s with John Cassavetes and Falk and Gena Rowlands — it doesn’t feel like acting. I’m drawn to that. As an audience, it’s scary to watch because of how real it feels, and that’s always the goal.”

    This article was published alongside Catch-22 co-star Kyle Chandler’s Q&A, here.

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  • Q&A: For Kyle Chandler and ‘Catch-22,’ it’s about finding humanity in the absurdity

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/19/19

    Know why executive producer George Clooney wanted Kyle Chandler to play the obsessive Col. Cathcart in Hulu’s remake of “Catch-22”? Simple: “Kyle is Jimmy Stewart in everything he does,” says Clooney. “There’s not a moment that you feel like he’s not telling you the truth.”

    Hard to argue: Chandler has charmed audiences for more than 30 years in “Early Edition” and “Friday Night Lights,” often as the Everyman protagonist. But as Cathcart, he’s not the guy to root for — as much as the 53-year-old actor may want you to. The Envelope spoke to Chandler — who conducted the interview straddled across a flipped-around chair, affably leaning on the backrest — about finding humanity in absurdity and how “The Graduate” literally drove him toward acting.

    This article was published alongside his Catch-22 co-star Christopher Abbott’s profile, here.

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  • Moral quandaries on TV reflect a real-world interest in doing the right thing

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/19/19

    Of all the topics TV series may cover, philosophy doesn’t get a whole lot of traction. The reason for this might seem obvious: Big-picture concepts of morality or ethics can seem like the opposite of entertainment. Then there’s Mike Schur’s “The Good Place,” which not only addresses both head on but is a hit heading into its fourth season on NBC.

    “When I pitched the show, I said, ‘This is a big part of it — we have an ethics professor and he’s going to be talking about ethics,’” recalls Schur.

    To its credit, NBC kept listening.

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  • Ruth Wilson relives her grandmother’s shocking discovery for Masterpiece

    - 6/19/19

    American audiences know Ruth Wilson through her ongoing role on TV shows like “Luther” and “The Affair,” but her latest project, Masterpiece’s “Mrs. Wilson,” sheds a new light on the 37-year-old actress. In it, she plays her own paternal grandmother, who in the 1940s discovered after her husband’s death that he had not only been a British spy but also a bigamist.

    The day after receiving her second Tony nomination, Wilson spoke with The Envelope about family ties — and how playing Alison Wilson taught her about who she was.

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