My Freelance Work

  • 5 things to know about caring for your American flag — and how to retire it

    Today.com7/03/18

    The Fourth of July means a lot of things for Americans: A day off work, a hot grill, the beach, and fireworks when night falls.

    But the holiday is, at heart, the celebration of our independence — and makes us think all over again about our American flag.

    Still, while many people know to salute the flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance, not nearly as many know just how to care for their flags — including how to handle them when it comes to “retirement.” For one thing, it is actually OK to burn your flag when its time comes.

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  • Inside the office — and psyche? — of ‘Late Night’s’ Seth Meyers

    L.A. Times Envelope6/19/18

    “Late Night” host Seth Meyers may have exited his home of nearly 13 years, “Saturday Night Live,” four years ago, but a quick peep into his office proves that he’s brought a lot of memories of those years with him. Meyers’ modest corner space on 30 Rock’s eighth floor is rife with show props and co-workers’ farewell gifts, but a deeper look reveals signs that he’s also moving forward (an action figure from his “The Awesomes” animated Hulu series; his wife Alexi Ashe’s district attorney’s office badge on a plaque). Meyers invited The Envelope into his inner sanctum to talk about personal space, making room for the future and what’s up with that giant spoon in the corner.

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  • Two decades later, ‘Waco’ serves as a ‘cautionary tale’ of the disenfranchised

    L.A. Times Envelope6/19/18

    It would be easy to dismiss Paramount Network’s “Waco” miniseries as old news: After all, what could a 1993 standoff between FBI agents and religious leader David Koresh tell us about today? Turns out, quite a lot, particularly with Michael Shannon (as FBI negotiator Gary Noesner) and Taylor Kitsch (Koresh) starring. The Envelope sat down with both actors to revisit the scene of the crime, talk about the concept of “bad guys” and consider who would win in a battle between General Zod and one of the X-Men.

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  • Michelle Dockery puts Lady Mary behind her to wield a gun on the western ‘Godless’

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/19/18

    It’s been three years since “Downton Abbey” signed off and Michelle Dockery went from being Lady Mary to an actress who needed her next gig. Fortunately, two came along in short order: TNT’s “Good Behavior,” which wrapped its second season in December with no word yet as to a third, and Netflix’s 2017 limited series “Godless.” In both, she’s played pretty much the opposite of upright Mary: a con artist finding love and a Western widow, respectively. But don’t think she’s left her “Downton” days behind – as Dockery tells The Envelope, she’ll only be concerned about that series trailing her when people stop bringing it up.

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  • Emmys 2018: Late-Night Contenders Make the Political Personal

    Variety - 6/18/18

    Flipping channels during TV’s after-hours used to have a familiar coziness: Joke-filled monologues with toothless political barbs, followed by a sketch, followed by interviews in which guests hawked their latest projects. But that’s old school.

    Today, amid fierce competition for eyeballs and viral video segments, late-night broadcast hosts and their cable brethren, most of whom pack a guest-free half-hour once a week with headlines and humor, have been using authenticity and deeply personal stories to turn their shows into must-see television.

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  • ‘The Fosters,’ ‘Riverdale,’ ‘Runaways’ Reach Beyond Youth Programming

    Variety - 6/14/18

    Creating content that works on multi-generational levels is, in some sense, nothing new: “family” programming has been around since television began. But the concept of telling smart — not sappy — stories about young people and their parents, with both generations portrayed as complex and sympathetic characters, and therefore drawing audiences across demographics, is somewhat fresher.

    “Steven Universe,” which is among Cartoon Network’s top five programs with its key demo of kids 6-11, but also ranks high among adults, is animated, but it’s in good company among popular live-action series “Grown-ish,” “Marvel’s Runaways,” “The Fosters” and “Riverdale” — all ostensibly young adult shows that have attracted and retained strong adult audiences, too.

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  • The performers of Easter’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ had their own hallelujah moments

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/14/18

    NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” which broadcast the 1970 rock opera musical by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber from the Armory theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Easter Sunday, was by all rights a success.

    Visually ambitious (if sometimes audio-challenged, thanks to an overenthusiastic audience of 1,200), the rock ‘n’ religion revival drew 9.4 million TV viewers who watched such superstars as John Legend playing Jesus Christ and Alice Cooper as King Herod. And producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan couldn’t be more proud.

    “It was a big breakthrough for us,” says Meron. “It was a true test to see if audiences would stick with it and respond to it – and for us, that’s a great achievement. We really weren’t expecting the absolutely remarkable response from the audience, which was a little overwhelming.”

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  • ‘Sinner,’ ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Writers Go Off Book For Sophomore Seasons

    Variety - 6/12/18

    When Netflix’s “The Sinner” wrapped its limited series run last September, the story seemed over, having followed its source material — Petra Hammesfahr’s novel by the same name — to its end.
    Then in March, “Sinner” got a second season. Now what?

    “It’s liberating, and it’s also terrifying,” says “Sinner” showrunner Derek Simonds. “We don’t even have goalposts we might have to incorporate from a book. Sure, it’s been very freeing, but the possibilities can be paralyzing. There are so many more roads to explore.”

    Books are common enough for small-screen adaptations, traditionally ending up as one-off movies or, at best, miniseries. But as TV storytelling has pushed past those expected boundaries, showrunners and networks have realized that there’s no reason to abandon a whole world and characters just because the book concluded. Shows such as “Queen Sugar” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” have sailed into additional seasons that have gone away from, if are still inspired by, their books. “The Sinner” and “Altered Carbon” will follow suit.

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  • With ‘Ozark’ and a one-woman show, Laura Linney is still learning and loving it

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/08/18

    Laura Linney is a talented actress who may have gone a bit too far. She costars in Netflix’s “Ozark,” she’s rehearsing for a one-woman show on the London stage (“My Name Is Lucy Barton”) and is producing Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City,” in which she will reprise the role that put her on the map 25 years ago. “I am stretched a little too thin at the moment,” the 54-year-old four-time Emmy winner admits, dimples flashing. But sitting down with The Envelope at her Brooklyn rehearsal studio, the truth was clear: Linney loves all of it.

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  • You might not know Anton Lesser’s name, but with three current series, you surely know his face

    L.A. Times Envelope - 6/07/18

    Anton Lesser has pulled off a fairly neat trick: Despite having supporting roles on no fewer than three current shows (Qyburn on “Game of Thrones,” Harold Macmillan on “The Crown,” and Superintendent Bright on “Endeavor”), he’s never actually shot a project in the U.S. in his nearly 40 years in the business. But you can rest assured when he’s on screen that any project he’s in is in good hands, thanks to his ability to play complex men who exist in sometimes extreme gray areas. The Envelope spoke with him from his home in London about Shakespeare, his “Breaking Bad” fandom and that lady at the delicatessen.

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