Meryl Streep joins a rockstar cast in latestApple TV+ anthology series, Mindy Kaling’s juicy new show, andAmerica’s favorite father/son comedy duo is back in action

By Susan Hornick

CHIU’S WILD RIDE
Filming ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and Netflix’s Bling Empire concurrently has been a fun challenge for Christine Chiu. “DWTS is in its 30th season, which means everything is perfectly organized and runs impeccably without any surprises or hiccups,” she told South China Morning Post. “It is supported by hundreds of production crew members, many of whom have been with the show since the very beginning.”

On the other hand, being on Bling resembles a more chaotic, “wild child” relationship for the reality star. “Exciting – but also nerve-wracking and moody – full of surprises, and you really never know what you are going to see, find, get, experience.

Hundreds of hours are filmed, but only 45 minutes are shown in each of the eight episodes.” Chiu also noted that the dynamics among the cast are “ever-changing” and never predictable. “While the overall energy on DWTS is positive and encouraging, the vibe on Bling is exciting, complex, and keeps me on the edge of my seat.”

UP NEXT FOR MERYL
Meryl Streep is heading back to television for Extrapolations, a new Apple Original climate change anthology series from writer, director, and executive producer Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, An Inconvenient Truth). This is her first series since HBO’s explosive hit Big Little Lies.

Also co-starring Matthew Rhys, Kit Harrington, Sienna Miller, Gemma Chan, Daveed Diggs, and David Schwimmer, the star-studded series will showcase “intimate, unanticipated stories of how the upcoming changes to our planet will affect love, faith, work, and family on a personal and human scale.”

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“The only thing we know for sure about the future is that we are all going there together, and we’re taking with us our hopes, our fears, our appetites, our creativity, our capacity for love, and our predilection to cause pain,” said Burns. “These are the same tools that storytellers have been using since the beginning of time. Our show is just using them to keep time from running out.”

OH SCHITT!
If you’re missing Schitt’s Creek, INDUSTRY has the tea for you! The adored Emmy winning father-and-son duo Dan and Eugene Levy will be back on your television set shortly, hosting and executive producing two new series. Dan Levy’s The Big Brunch is a new HBO Max cooking competition series, where chefs share their stories and business aspirations while competing for a prize.

“Everybody has a friend, a family member, or a co-worker that is extraordinary at what they do; they just need a leg up so that their talents can be appreciated on a larger scale,” Levy said. “I’ve been lucky enough to come across many of those people in the culinary world…those special humans who create communities around their cooking, hoping to take their skills to the next level. I created this show for them, the local culinary heroes of America who deserve a spotlight.”

Eugene Levy’s new travel project is the Apple TV+ series The Reluctant Traveler, where he will be visiting some of the world’s most intriguing hotels, immersing himself in the surrounding culture.

SCHOOL IS IN SESSION
One of the most amusing new series this season is from Emmy nominated writer/producer Mindy Kaling. The Sex Lives of College Girls follows four college roommates as they arrive at New England’s prestigious Essex College, which premiered on November 18 on HBO Max.

“The series is inspired by my experiences in college [at Dartmouth],” said Kaling at the Television Critics Press Tour. “We had a college comedy newspaper called the Jack-O-Lantern, and there were themes of exclusivity and the type of person that was in that.”

She continued: “One thing that a lot of my shows and projects have in common are young women who have big personalities and big ambitions.”

She continued: “And more than just on a regular show you might watch, there might be one character like that. And I wanted to show four young women who come in with a really strong point of view. None of them are demure, standing in the shadows.”

WHITAKER LEAVES HIS MARK
2022 is already shaping up to be a milestone year for Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker Forest Whitaker. His latest project, Passing, based on the 1929 novel by Nella Larsen about a black woman attempting to pass as white for her husband, is already producing tremendous Oscar buzz.

Whitaker will also be honored at the 2022 International Peace Honors in January to celebrate his humanitarian efforts. It was his Oscar-winning role in the 2007 film The Last King of Scotland that truly had an immense impact on him. Whitaker met with former child soldiers while working in Uganda and continued to focus on conflict resolution with children and young adults from areas dealing with violence. He also initiated youth programs in South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Mexico, and the United States.

“I have witnessed change in the most unlikely places and have seen communities healing and transforming together,” he said. “Change for the better is possible even in the most difficult times and in the face of the greatest obstacles. I am hopeful and optimistic for the future and will continue to promote education, peace, and reconciliation.”