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Why one little Oscar means so much to so many

Not since "Moonlight's" win in 2017 have I been more delighted or shocked by a Best Picture Oscar than when "Parasite" won last week. When the film's name was called, my social media lit up with excitement, joy and pride.

With only one person of color nominated in an acting category and no women nominated for best director, 2020 promised to be ...Read more

'Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist': Jane Levy shines in musical series

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Jane Levy, the San Anselmo native who stars in "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," doesn't have a musical theater background. Nor is she a trained singer or dancer.

She's not even a big Broadway nerd.

No matter. Levy is the leading lady of NBC's offbeat new musical drama series and she's having an absolute blast.

"Sometimes ...Read more

A TV musical remade a Beatles classic — with 'Help!' from San Francisco, 70 singers

"Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist" centers on an emotionally contained coder who's shaken up after an earthquake occurs during her MRI. Upon turning a street corner, she sees a middle-aged man in a disheveled suit, immovable among the bustling sidewalk traffic.

"Help, I need somebody," he seems to sing. "Help, not just anybody. Help, you know I ...Read more

Josh Thomas brings unique storytelling voice to 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay'

PASADENA, Calif. -- Actor, writer and producer Josh Thomas was only 17 when he first tried doing stand-up comedy in his native Australia. He did it, he says, because he was a socially inept.

"You do crazy things when you're 17," he says. "You drive too fast, you do weird drugs or whatever. Instead I was doing stand-up ... I wanted the attention...Read more

Box office: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' breaks record for video game adaptation

LOS ANGELES -- In a weekend bookended by two holidays -- Valentine's Day on Friday and Monday's Presidents Day -- the box office enjoyed an increasingly rare slate of three (out of four) new releases landing among the top five.

Paramount's "Sonic the Hedgehog" premiered in first place with $57 million and a projected $68 million through the ...Read more

In the midst of public assault trial, former UK 'Love Island' host Caroline Flack found dead

Caroline Flack, the longtime host of the U.K. reality show "Love Island," died Saturday at the age of 40.

In a statement to PA Media, a U.K. and Irish news agency, Flack's family confirmed her death and requested that "the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time."

No cause of death was given.

Flack was in the midst...Read more

Lynda Hirsh Soap Opera Summaries For This Week

"THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL": Thomas and everyone at Forrester Creations throw Zoe a surprise birthday party. Katie shares Sally's confidential medical diagnosis. Carter offers Zoe a special gift. Vinny calls Thomas out for how his plan is affecting Douglas. Katie makes Wyatt promise to keep the Sally's terminal illness to himself. Brooke finds ...Read more

Lynda Hirsh On This Week's TV Gossip

As a teen, I was mesmerized by the show "Rat Patrol." Well, it wasn't so much the show as much an actor who portrayed the German commandant Hans Dietrich. Eric Braeden accumulated many TV and film credits during his first two decades in America, and he had 120 guest-starring roles. His earliest credits were all under his birth name, Hans ...Read more

Sting: 'It's probably the most difficult thing I've ever tackled'

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Sting has recorded massive albums, mounted major tours and starred in big-budget movies.

And all of that was a piece of cake compared to the effort it took to create "The Last Ship," Sting's original musical that has its Northern California premiere, Feb. 20-March 22, at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco.

"It's ...Read more

David Zurawik: Edie Falco brings premium cable talent and class to network drama in 'Tommy'

I tuned into the new CBS drama "Tommy" for one reason: Edie Falco.

My contempt for network drama as compared to premium cable and streamed productions reached the point in recent years where I would ask anyone defending the genre to name one series besides NBC's "This Is Us" that they regularly went out of their way to see. The answer was ...Read more

New album, new house and new supergroup keep country's William Clark Green busy

Between releasing a new live album, forming a Texas country supergroup and rehabbing a newly purchased house, forgive William Clark Green if he sounds a little busy these days.

It's because he is.

Speaking to this reporter in January, the 33-year-old Green was bound for the hardware store. (The dinging seat belt bell in his truck was a ...Read more

Taylor Swift and the cost of speaking out on politics, or staying silent, in 'Miss Americana'

Early on in "Miss Americana," the new Taylor Swift documentary, the then-16-year-old singer takes a moment to celebrate "Tim McGraw," the 2006 hit that made her the youngest artist ever to write a No. 1 country song that she also performed.

"I give myself, like, five seconds a day to say, 'Yes, this is happening!'" the curly-haired, whip-smart ...Read more

Harry and Meghan's secret visit to Stanford raises lots of questions

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle secretly jetted into the Bay Area Tuesday to attend "a brainstorming session" with professors at Stanford University, apparently as part of their efforts to launch their new Sussex Royal charitable organization after stepping away from royal life.

Of course, their visit wasn't so secret because...Read more

With 'The Photograph,' Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield revive the black romantic drama

The '90s and early aughts were a golden era for black cinema, in particular the black romantic drama.

With the release of films like "Brown Sugar" (2002), "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" (1998), "Deliver Us From Eva" (2003), "Two Can Play That Game" (2001) and "The Best Man" (1999), representation for varying shades of black love was at an all...Read more

Singer R. Kelly hit with new indictment in Chicago federal court

CHICAGO -- Embattled singer R. Kelly has been hit with new federal charges in Chicago adding allegations that he sexually abused another minor victim for four years starting in 1997.

A superseding indictment made public Friday alleged that Kelly sexually abused a girl identified in the charges only as "Minor 6."

The charges also seek for the ...Read more

Gay rights documentary 'Visible: Out on Television' deserves to be seen

Decades before Anderson Cooper became a CNN fixture, openly gay men had to be creative about getting time behind the anchor desk. Sometimes it meant breaking the law. Footage of activist Mark Segal storming the set of "The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite" on Dec. 11, 1973 -- and the surprising aftermath of his live protest -- is just one ...Read more

Review: In reality, remake of late '70s TV 'Fantasy Island' is a chore

Retooling the late '70s/early '80s ABC prime-time staple "Fantasy Island" as a sinister gotcha! outing isn't a bad idea.

That's the wheel. The spokes are everything else, and most everything else about the new horror movie, from the Blumhouse crew and director Jeff Wadlow, is not good. Four intertwining fantasies, four stories' worth of lame ...Read more

Hollis Wong-Wear's debut solo EP is a departure from her work with The Flavr Blue

Songwriter, musician, speaker, poet. These are just a few of the roles Hollis Wong-Wear has taken on in her life and career. Recently, she added yet another -- solo artist.

Even as a self-proclaimed "compulsive collaborator," Wong-Wear always had it in the back of her mind that she wanted to release a solo project. She said she let herself walk...Read more

Hopper is back in Netflix's 'Stranger Things' Season 4 teaser. This is not a drill

There's a sheriff in the fourth season of "Stranger Things." But he's not new or in town.

Friday's teaser trailer for the next chapter of Netflix's hit sci-fi series features appears to feature police Chief Jim Hopper, despite David Harbour's fan-favorite character's apparent death in the third season. But it appears we're not in Hawkins, Ind.,...Read more

Why Blumhouse flipped the '70s TV classic 'Fantasy Island' into a modern thriller

Sooner or later, everything old is new again. Especially when you're in Hollywood.

Across television and film, remakes, reboots and revivals have dominated popular culture over the last decade, most noticeably across the horror genre. The latest reimagining (but surely not the last) is Blumhouse's "Fantasy Island," a PG-13 thriller that ...Read more