Elizabeth Smart
Magazine Archive

‘I Am Elizabeth Smart’: America’s Most Famous Kidnap Victim Reclaims Her Truth in Lifetime Biopic

November 10, 2017 Lori Acken 0

  Why didn’t she run? Why didn’t she scream? Why didn’t she tell puzzled bystanders or suspicious cops that she was, indeed, Elizabeth Smart? That Elizabeth Smart, the lovely, fairy-tale-obsessed 14-year-old who, in 2002, was snatched from her Utah home by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee and subjected to nine months of physical and psychological abuse fueled by Mitchell’s twisted God complex and sexual appetites. For 15 years, Smart has heard it all. From TV and radio talking heads. From lawyers and reporters and people on the street. From other kidnapping victims who reach out to her online and […]

Girlfriend Experience Season 2 Carmen Ejogo
Drama

‘The Girlfriend Experience’ Season 2: Starz’s Bold And Sensual Drama Tackles Two Separate Storylines

October 31, 2017 Lori Acken 0

The Girlfriend Experience, indie filmmakers Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan’s unflinching examination of the high-end sex trade, was proudly edgy right out of the gate. Produced by Steven Soderbergh, whose 2009 film of the same name inspired the anthology drama, the series prompted a spirited debate about whether it was prurient TV porn or a gutsy, woman-centric examination of sexual power, self-worth and capitalism. And though many of the show’s devoted fans hoped Season 2 would delve further into the dealings of Riley Keough’s student-slash-escort Christine Reade, they’re getting a whole new Experience instead. The 14-episode Season 2 features hourlong […]

Drama

National Geographic’s The Long Road Home: Cast Members Talk Real-Life Counterparts

October 30, 2017 Lori Acken 0

The Long Road Home Actors Talk Their Real-Life Counterparts Based on ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz’s 2008 bestseller, National Geographic’s The Long Road Home mines the human impact of war via a cadre of American soldiers, their Iraqi interpreter and their terrified families awaiting news during 2004’s “Black Sunday” ambush on a newly arrived 1st Cavalry Division platoon in Sadr City, Baghdad. •RELATED: The Long Road Home: We’re On Set As Martha Raddatz’s Moving Tale Of Military Sacrifice Comes To National Geographic An impressive nine-year effort, The Long Road Home filmed on Killeen, Texas’ Fort Hood military base, where writer/showrunner Mikko […]

Long Road Home National Geographic Jason Ritter
Drama

The Long Road Home: We’re On Set As Martha Raddatz’s Moving Tale Of Military Sacrifice Comes To National Geographic

October 30, 2017 Lori Acken 0

It’s 1am on a stifling, central Texas June night and a life-or-death battle is being waged in a remote area of the sprawling Fort Hood military base. Fifteen soldiers hunker down in an open-sided tactical vehicle that is no match for their assailants’ firepower. Some fire frantically into the hostile darkness. Others bellow from the pain of fresh wounds. And one, their leader, does his best to mitigate chaos. No, war hasn’t come stateside. Nor is this an elaborate training exercise. Instead, I’m in the midst of a rending, pivotal moment on the set of National Geographic’s event series The […]

At Home with Amy Sedaris
Comedy

‘At Home With Amy Sedaris’: The Funnywoman Gets Comically Crafty on truTV

October 24, 2017 Lori Acken 0

Amy Sedaris, a former member of Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy troupe, is best known from hilarious turns in cutting-edge laughers like Strangers With Candy and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and memorable guest turns on a roster of other comedies. But the North Carolina native is also proudly devoted to all things domestic, an obsession she’s chronicled in signature Sedaris fashion in a pair of comic tomes, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. Her new truTV series At Home With Amy Sedaris is a combo of both books’ kooky-meets-useful(ish) content and an homage to […]

flint lifetime brandt latifah ireland
Magazine Archive

Lifetime’s ‘Flint’: Famous Faces Tackle the Michigan City’s Ongoing Water Woes

October 10, 2017 Lori Acken 0

How often do you think about your tap water? As you hold a glass, a kettle, an apple under the faucet, is your mind on the menu, the bills … or maybe nothing at all? For some residents of Flint, Mich. — a downtrodden city an hour north of Detroit that once boasted General Motors’ largest plant — what filled their tubs and tumblers became a matter of economics. And then life and death. In 2014, state officials gave the go-ahead to use the notoriously polluted Flint River as a temporary water source, a cost-saving measure intended as a two-year […]

Michael Jackson's Halloween header
Magazine Archive

Michael Jackson’s Halloween: New CBS Special Is A Thriller For Jackson Fans

October 5, 2017 Lori Acken 0

Move over, Great Pumpkin. The late King of Pop has given rise to a brand-new, animated Halloween special called Michael Jackson’s Halloween, voiced by past and present CBS stars and featuring a roster of the icon’s greatest hits. Created by Optimum Productions, owned by the Michael Jackson estate, the hourlong animated feature follows Vincent (Lucas Till, MacGyver) and Victoria (Kiersey Clemons, Extant), who meet cute on Halloween night and, along with their furry friend Ichabod, wind up at This Place Hotel (named after Jackson’s rechristened 1980 tune), located at 777 Jackson St. — an homage to the Gary, Ind., road on […]

Story of Us With Morgan Freeman
Documentary

‘The Story Of Us With Morgan Freeman’: Nat Geo Expands Freeman’s “Story” Franchise From God to Man

October 3, 2017 Lori Acken 1

Several years ago, Morgan Freeman and his producing partners Lori McCreary and James Younger traveled the globe to explore the uniting power of faith for National Geographic’s smart and intensely moving The Story of God With Morgan Freeman, which bowed in 2016. Critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated, the series debuted a shorter second season last January, even as the group was already at work on another approach to spotlighting global unity in a time where we can’t even get along with our neighbors. “Story of God felt so eye-opening to all of us,” Younger explains. “Then we realized that religion is […]

Swim Team POV PBS
Documentary

Swim Team: Lara Stolman’s Insightful PBS Film Spotlights Autism, Athleticism and the Power Of Hope

October 2, 2017 Lori Acken 0

Michael “Mikey” McQuay Jr., Robert Justino and Kelvin Truong each have the lanky bodies and lean muscles that are hallmarks of champion swimmers. Star members of the Jersey Hammerheads swim team, the boys idolize Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, and are laser focused on the starting block and lightning fast in the water — earning medal upon medal in local, regional and statewide competitions near their New Jersey homes. All three are also on the autism spectrum — a challenge that could make achieving their full athletic potential improbable. But these guys and their dozen-plus teammates have a pair of […]

The Deuce - Franco and Gyllenhaal
Drama

The Deuce Begins on HBO

September 8, 2017 Lori Acken 0

What Was Times Square Really Like in 1970? Deuce Gives the Unflinching Details Emmy winner David Simon, who also teamed up with Deuce co-creator George Pelecanos on the acclaimed series The Wire and Treme, calls their newest unflinching drama — which begins Sunday, Sept. 10 at 9/8c — “a critique of market capitalism and the marginalization of the people who labor.” Which, in this case, are the pimps, hookers, bar workers, hamstrung cops and other seeking souls who populated Times Square (“the deuce” is local speak for 42nd Street) in the gritty early ’70s. James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who […]

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