A PRETTY GOOD MOVIE ABOUT A BAD MOVIE
The Disaster Artist depicts the meeting and early friendship of Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau, the actors behind the 2003 cult film The Room, often hailed as the Citizen Kane of bad movies. Disaster follows the troubled making of The Room and Sestero and Wiseau’s respective careers after the surprising success of the film.
James Franco, 39, directed Artist and he plays Wiseau. His brother, Dave Franco, 32, plays Sestero. Appearing in major supporting roles are Seth Rogen, 35, Alison Brie (Dave Franco’s real-life wife), 34, and Ari Graynor (HBO’s I’m Dying Up Here), 34. Advance reviews are mostly very positive. However, it is a quirky film about a quirky film so it’s not for everybody.
THE GOLDBERGS’ CHANUKAH EPISODE; WEBER ON MOM; APATOW ON NETFLIX
The title family of The Goldbergs TV show didn’t “come out” as Jewish until a Chanukah episode in 2015 (the 57th episode). It was a quite well-written show which explored the problems of being Jewish during the Christmas season deluge. Chanukah is again at the center of the episode airing on Wednesday, Dec. 13 (8 p.m., ABC). Plot: A competition arises as to who will throw the best Chanukah party. There’s a sub-plot involving Pops (George Segal, 83) advising his grandson to become popular by entering a school talent show and then realizing the boy can’t sing.
Steven Weber, 56, is still best known as the younger of the two pilot brothers on Wings, a ’90s hit sitcom, but he seems to never stop working, mostly on TV. Most recently, he was the school principal in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and the mayor of New Orleans in NCIS: New Orleans. He began guest starring in an arc of episodes on Mom on Nov. 30 (new shows Thursdays on CBS at 8 p.m.). He plays Patrick, brother of Adam (Wm. Fichtner), the boyfriend of Bonnie, the mom (Allison Janney). Patrick makes waves when he takes an interest in Bonnie’s much-younger daughter (Anna Faris). Weber was cast, he says, because he greatly resembles Fichtner.
On Tuesday, Dec. 12, Netflix will begin streaming a new comedy special titled Judd Apatow: The Return. The special marks Judd Apatow’s first return to stand-up performance in 25 years. He will be riffing on living with his wife and two daughters as well as recounting amusing career moments.
Apatow was a relative failure as a stand-up back in the ’80s, but his stand-up work did directly lead to a career writing TV comedy. His big breakthrough came when he directed and wrote The 40-Year Old Virgin in 2004.
Go to YouTube and watch the incredibly exciting final game of this year’s Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. Austin “Buzzy” Cohen, 32, won, coming from way behind in the second half of the show. Cohen is a fun guy, as were the other two players. I just learned that Cohen, who helps run a company that writes music for ad jingles, has a huge fan in his father-in-law, a prominent Conservative rabbi in San Francisco. Enter in search box: “Jeopardy 11/17/17: Tournament of Champions Day 10 (Finale) Episode.”