You’ve seen Shark Tank, so you know what a “pitch” is. No? OK, it’s when you’re a screenwriter and your agent gets you a meeting at a studio to tell somebody in a suit that you have an idea for a show and will they please give you money. It helps if you’re already famous and successful, such as Jane Lynch, who just won an Emmy for her semi-recurring “guest star” role on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And backstage at those awards she spilled the beans on a project she’s pitching around Hollywood with Cyndi Lauper for a sitcom that will be inspired by The Golden Girls. Now, attention-paying readers will feel a sense of déjà vu over that one, and with good reason: everybody wants to do some kind of Golden Girls-inspired show; this idea keeps getting pitched and then sometimes even announced as green-lit. But so far none of them have really gotten off the ground. Will this one work? We hope. We love Lynch and Lauper and we really want to see them convince Madonna to join the cast. They could even let her direct sometimes. It’s a good idea and you know it.
Did you see Fun Home? The stage musical based on Alison Bechdel’s award-winning graphic novel about her childhood growing up in a funeral home was one of the most innovative and moving queer theater experiences of the past decade. And that’s probably why the idea of a sitcom that has absolutely no connection to this material except for its setting and a somewhat appropriated title – in this case, simply Fun – seemed like such a cool idea to 2 Broke Girls co-creator Michael Patrick King and his co-producers Tracy Poust and Jon Kinnally. They’ll bring Fun to CBS with stars Michael Urie and Becki Newton, both so much fun themselves on Ugly Betty, and reunited here as a brother and sister who manage their family’s funeral home in Pennsylvania. It could be cute, and we’ll probably give it a chance when it finally hits the small screen. But we’ll always be wishing someone would break into “Ring of Keys.”
Laurent Bouzereau, the director of Netflix’s great Hollywood-meets-World War II documentary Five Came Back, as well as of the upcoming HBO doc Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, has a new project. He’ll be turning Dustin Lance Black’s memoir, Mama’s Boy: A Story From Our Americas, into a feature-length documentary. It’s Black’s story, but very much centered on his relationship with his mother, who grew up disabled but possessed a steadfast optimism and strong will. Beyond that we don’t know much, only that Black says that his relationship with her helped bridge unnamed political divides. If you can’t wait for the doc, the book is out now so you can read all the film’s spoilers – here’s one: Black won an Academy Award for writing Milk, so you could say his Mom raised a strong-willed person of her own – and if you can wait, then it’s scheduled to arrive sometime in late 2020.
Coming soon this fall to an arthouse theater near you: Gay Chorus Deep South, a moving documentary from filmmaker David Charles Rodrigues that’s been rolling through the queer film festival circuit, and now picked up by distributor MTV Documentary Films. It’s about the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and their 2016 tour of America’s southern states, places where anti-queer discrimination still runs the gamut from polite disapproval to openly and murderously hostile, with more than enough Republican legislators trying to turn back the tide of progress for the LGBTQ community. On this