When mankind lives on another planet -- and it is a matter of when, not if -- will the essential characteristics of humans evolve? Probably not, as suggested by National Geographic’s Mars, beginning its second season Monday, Nov. 12. The new season picks up in 2042, five years after we last saw the astronauts. The action has transitioned from a multicultural mission, an arduous trip of getting to the red planet, to a multicultural colony, and the challenges of living there. The space pioneers have endured deaths, loneliness and misgivings while their physical and mental capabilities were strained to the breaking point. Yet, they adjusted and survived.
Dashing Hallmark actor Sean Faris continues his long association with Hallmark Movies & Mysteries this weekend in the network's A Veteran’s Christmas, part of its annual Miracles of Christmas programming event. It’s a relationship that began with the 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame Valentine’s Day presentation Lost Valentine, one followed by Christmas with Holly. Faris (pictured at top right) is thrilled to return to Movies & Mysteries (following last year’s An Uncommon Grace) -- but it is still his first-ever Hallmark outing that holds a special place in his heart. “I became a member of the Hallmark family when I got to work with my favorite actor of all time and in the whole wide world -- Betty White -- on Lost Valentine,” he raved during an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. “I love Betty White! Hands down she is my most favorite actor I have ever worked with. I’ve worked with some pretty dope people, but she takes the cake and runs away with it. I mean no one even gets a chance to look at the cake, much less get a bite.
As a 10-year-old, actress Mary-Margaret Humes would sell homemade Christmas wreaths in her neighborhood to raise money to buy holiday presents. It's a talent the ever-youthful actress found handy while filming her latest Hallmark project, Christmas in Love, premiering Sunday as a part of the network’s Countdown to Christmas programming event. In the movie Humes, best known as the title character’s mom in the teen-angst classic Dawson’s Creek, plays Grace Hartman, a gift shop owner in picturesque White Deer, Missouri, whose husband Richard (David Keeley) and daughter Ellie (Brooke D’Orsay) are integral parts of the local Carlingson Bakery -- famous for its Christmas Kringle pastries.
To borrow from the title of a high-profile new NBC sitcom that few people have heard of and even fewer have watched, I feel bad. Also sad. Maybe mad. I have complained about other fall seasons, but this one is somehow worse. Most of the new shows simply are not good – at best they are nothing special -- and while I know this isn’t true across the board, it’s as if the networks just don’t care. Many very important people appear to be confused and incapable of making smart choices. Repeat after me, broadcast TV: Disconnect bad. Disruption good. Disruption, as it happens, is currently one of the most overused terms in the media industry. But it is not without value.
A growing trend in series reboots is changing the ethnicities of the main characters in an easy effort to expand on diverse storytelling and inclusivity. In the recent reboot of CBS’ Magnum P.I., which previously starred Tom Selleck, the iconic role has been taken over by Jay Hernandez, an American actor of Latinx descent. On Netflix, the seventies sitcom One Day at a Time was reworked with a Latinx cast. A reboot of the classic Bewitched with an African American cast is in the works. The CW’s Charmed, a reboot of the popular WB series, is retelling the story with a trio of Latinx sisters on a journey of self-discovery after learning they have supernatural abilities. In keeping with The CW’s slogan “Dare to Defy,” Charmed is unafraid to tackle modern social issues such as misogyny, patriarchy and sexism, and focuses heavily on diversity and inclusivity. The decision to retell the story with Latinx characters is indeed a bold choice and one that I am sure will resonate with my community, as it is among the many traditionally under-represented communities in television programming.
CBS’ The Neighborhood is covering that touchy topic we’ve all been dying to see tackled on television again: Race. I know, I know … I’m just as excited as you are, but just like the vitamins I slip into my kids’ food, it’s all about the presentation. Armed with household names like Cedric the Entertainer (The Last O.G.) and Max Greenfield (New Girl) -- both of whom are supported by top-notch talent like Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris) and Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls) -– it seems as if CBS agrees with that sentiment, and seeks to wrap its healthy cultural commentary in a sugary layer of classic laugh-track levity. This interracial fish-out-of-water story wants to show us all that we’re not so different, you and I. Will it actually work, though? Maybe. Let’s start with all the things that do work in favor of Schmidt Meets Black People -- I mean, The Neighborhood.
Gilbert Smith is a writer who lives in New Mexico where ...