Drama

‘Sweetbitter’: Stephanie Danler’s Coming-of-Age Book Becomes a Sensual Series on Starz

Like a well curated menu, Starz’s new dramedy Sweetbitter has something scrumptious for all tastes. Foodies and wine lovers will swoon over luscious images and discussions of eat and drink. The mighty legions that serve us when we dine out at long last have a scripted restaurant show that honors them. Scenesters get the New York that only New Yorkers know. And everyone can relive our own brink-of-adulthood reckoning via the show’s 22-year-old heroine Tess, winningly played by Churchill’s Ella Purnell. Tess — the not-quite alter ego of Sweetbitter screenwriter Stephanie Danler, who also penned the bestseller on which the […]

Drama

‘Vida’ on Starz: Home Is Where Your Secrets Are

Though she’s worked on high-profile series with diverse casts and bold storytelling, writer/producer Tanya Saracho knew something was still missing in the modern TV landscape: a series that reflected her own life and lineage. So Saracho, who proudly identifies as queer and prefers the gender-neutral term Latinx over Latina/Latino, created Vida, a gutsy dramedy about estranged Los Angeles sisters whose return home forces them to confront myriad truths about their mother, their past and their own self-images as Americans of Mexican heritage. “Most of our department heads are female,” said Saracho of the show’s proudly female and inclusive pedigree, at […]

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Drama

‘Howards End’ on Starz: Hayley Atwell Talks the Schlegel Sisters’ Bond

In 1992, famed filmmakers James Ivory (a 2018 Oscar winner for Call Me by Your Name) and Ismail Merchant and their trusted screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala debuted a lush film adaptation of the E.M. Forster masterpiece Howards End. Beautifully rendered and perfectly cast — Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter and Vanessa Redgrave starred — the tale of economic class, family bonds and social conventions in turn-of-the-century England became an instant classic, earning Oscars for Thompson and Jhabvala. Twenty-five years later, the BBC revisited the epic as a four-part miniseries, which makes its American debut this month on Starz. […]

Drama

NBC’s New “Rise” Pits Football Against Theater

Fans of Parenthood and Friday Night Lights will appreciate producer and showrunner Jason Katims applying what he does best — creating heartfelt family-fueled dramas — to his latest project Rise (Tuesdays at 10/9c). With hints of FNL, Smash and Glee (Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller is also involved), Katims introduces us to a working-class town where football rules and the theater program is simply an afterthought, if a thought at all. Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) stars as a dedicated American lit teacher and family man who re-energizes his life when he asks to take on the high school’s […]