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In an HBO Max special, the main cast of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” joins each other at the recreated set to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the pilot episode’s first air and discuss how the show has shaped the world. The reunion was filmed Sept. 10, with most of the original cast present, including Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Allen Townes) and both Daphne Maxwell Reid and Janet Hubert who played Vivian Banks at different times during the series. The only notable absence is James Avery, who passed away in 2013.
New to Netflix early November was the inclusive musical film “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey,” created by playwright and director David E. Talbert. Released on the platform Nov. 6, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Jeronicus Jangle and features an all-star cast including Keegan Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad and Ricky Martin as well as newcomer Madelen Mills. The film follows the redemption arc of a disgraced inventor as he tries to reconnect with his estranged family and regain his creativity. Along the way, he finds he has more in common with his granddaughter than he might expect.
The creators and stars of the Showtime series “The Good Lord Bird” came together for a panel at the 2020 Virginia Film Festival on Friday. After an introduction from Virginia Film Office Director Andrew Edmunds, University Media Studies Professor William Little kicked off the panel as the moderator. The panelists included Ethan Hawke, actor, producer and co-creator of the show, child actor Joshua Caleb Johnson, James McBride — author of “The Good Lord Bird” novel — costume designer Amy Andrews Harrell and Mark Richard, executive producer and co-creator.
*This article contains spoilers
The new single “Make it Rain” by rappers Pop Smoke and Rowdy Rebel was released on June 12, 2020. Recorded before his death, “Make it Rain” is Pop Smoke’s tenth single as a lead artist, and is already making its way up the charts. It comes at the intersection of a global pandemic, economic crises and global protests against police brutality that followed the slaying of George Floyd.
“Uncorked,” a film written, produced and directed by Prentice Penny — whose writing and producing background includes iconic series like “Insecure” and “Girlfriends” — is something familiar yet fresh, which is just what the world of entertainment needs during a pandemic. The movie, which was released on Netflix March 27, exceeds expectations with its willingness to turn something recognizable into something never before seen. The transition and acknowledgement of what is old and what is new is a recurring theme throughout the film. Even the casting follows this trend as it mixes veteran actors, like Courtney Vance and Niecy Nash, with some newer faces. “Uncorked” is the boozy story of perseverance you need to get through the quarantine.
The School of Nursing’s McLeod Hall might not be a place associated with dance and performance, but that has all changed since the first annual dance competition took place there on Feb. 29, in which teams from various schools participated. Team Fever, the organizing entertainment entity in charge of the dance contest, has provided DJ services for many different student organizations here on Grounds, including the Organization of African Students. For them, this was an opportunity to try out a new type of event.
“Hunters,” the new Amazon Prime show which premiered Feb. 21 and was created by David Weil and produced by Jordan Peele, connects the familiar with the unfamiliar. Starring actors Logan Lerman and Al Pacino, the series has a carefully orchestrated cast — one that seems talented and deliberate. The titular hunters of the show are a ragtag team of people with one goal — to hunt the Nazis that infiltrated the United States after the end of the Holocaust.
*Spoilers for the HBO series “Watchmen” ahead*
The University’s resident hip-hop a cappella group ReMix gave their audience an ode to R&B and rap music in the Runk Green Room Friday night. As the only hip-hop a capella group on Grounds, ReMix used their fall concert to showcase their talent with songs from this year, old classics and some risque pieces. The 11 member ensemble created a cool, lively show for the audience. From the smiles on the performers’ faces to the dancing crowd, it was clear that this concert was a well-constructed masterpiece.
Based on the 2018 Broadway theater production of the same name, Netflix’s “American Son” tells the story of the forgotten outcome of racial violence — the story of the survivors. With a story shaped by one question — where is Jamal? — and filmed in a set confined to just a single room, actor and director Kenny Leon takes an artistic stance on hopelessness and what it means to be black in America. The ending diverges from that of the Broadway play as we find out what happens to Jamal — he is murdered by an officer when surrendering at a traffic stop with his hands on the hood of the car.
Netflix’s new science-fiction drama “Raising Dion” goes beyond fantasy to give the viewer something real. In the age of the easily accessible superhero genre, “Raising Dion” brings something different to the table. Based on the comic book series of the same name by creator Dennis Liu, the show tells the origin story of a mother balancing her own self interests while raising an exceptional child.