Posts tagged with "Inventing Anna"

Luverne Cox illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit Jami Kandel (Vision PR)) for 360 Magazine

Laverne Cox × Live From E! Host

E! NAMES LAVERNE COX HOST OF NETWORK’S SIGNATURE RED CARPET FRANCHISE “LIVE FROM E!” BEGINNING JANUARY 2022 

Actor and Advocate Will Also Headline a Series of Celebrity Interview-Based Specials to Air Throughout Next Year  

E!, the global, multi-platform brand for all things pop culture, announced today that Emmy-nominated actor, Emmy-winning producer, advocate and style star Laverne Cox will lead the network’s signature red carpet coverage beginning with the 2022 award season. Laverne’s passion for advocacy, fashion and fun aligns with E!’s commitment to build out a modern, inclusive and interactive experience for celebrities and their fans.  

Additionally, she will host a series of celebrity-based interview specials spotlighting trendsetters, tastemakers and those making an impact in the Hollywood community and airing throughout next year.  

“Laverne Cox is a risktaker, groundbreaking pioneer and a fashion tour de force,” said Jen Neal, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Live Events, Specials and E! News, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming. “As we continue to evolve the way we cover Hollywood’s biggest nights, Laverne’s passion for, and extensive knowledge of, the fashion community resonates with our audience and we look forward to seeing her shine on the other side of the velvet rope.”    

“I’m so excited and deeply humbled to be hosting E!’s iconic red-carpet coverage. For many years I would wake up early on awards show days, get my snacks in place and watch E!’s coverage all day long,” said Cox. “I dreamed of walking red carpets. Now, not only have I had several fun and amazing personal red-carpet moments, I also get to be a red carpet guide for E!’s discerning audience and chat with my colleagues and folks I deeply admire for these very special events in their lives.  I can’t wait to get started while hopefully serving up fashion fantasies for the ages honey.”

About Laverne Cox  
With various ‘firsts’ in her already impressive career, Laverne Cox is a four-time Emmy-nominated actress, Emmy winning producer and a prominent equal rights advocate and public speaker. Cox is best known for her groundbreaking role of Sophia Burset in the critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Orange is The New Black.” This role helped Cox become the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for a Primetime acting Emmy and made her the first Trans woman of color to have a leading role on a mainstream scripted television series. Cox can currently be seen in the Oscar-winning film “Promising Young Woman.” She is the host of “The Laverne Cox Show” podcast for Shondaland Audio and iHeart and recently wrapped production on Shonda Rimes’ limited series “Inventing Anna” for Netflix.  She is also the Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed documentary Disclosure, which was just nominated for a Peabody Award and is currently streaming on Netflix.   

About E! Entertainment   
E! is the only global, multi-platform brand for all things pop culture, and airs some of the most sought-after reality series on TV, including “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “The Bradshaw Bunch,” “Botched” “Overserved with Lisa Vanderpump” and “E! True Hollywood Story.” “E! News” is the leading multi-platform publisher delivering breaking entertainment news and pop culture coverage 24/7 across EOnline and all digital and social media. The brand’s programming slate includes “Daily Pop,” “Nightly Pop” on linear and “E! News’ The Rundown” on Snapchat. “Live from E!” covers signature red carpet events, keeping fans connected to their favorite stars on pop culture’s biggest nights and the “E! People’s Choice Awards” celebrates the best in pop culture and is the only award show for the people, by the people. E! is part of the NBCUniversal Television and Streaming portfolio, which includes NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms: NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock. For more information, visit EOnline

Netflix's Bridgerton illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Bridgerton, Netflix’s Take on a Period Piece

By Dana Feeney

“Bridgerton,” a dramatic and sexually charged period piece, is the first show of Shonda Rhimes‘ highly anticipated slate of content from her $150 million deal with Netflix. The showrunner Chris Van Dusen‘s adaptation of Julia Quinn’s “Bridgerton” novels takes classic period piece tropes and turns them on their head. The show maintains the formality of 1800s Regency age England with courtship, elegant, bejeweled costuming, and a heavy emphasis on the value of a young woman’s modesty while contrasting it with sexual tension so thick one could cut it with a knife. The eight-episode series premiered on Netflix on December 25, 2020, and has remained in the Top 10 in the United States, currently at number two.

The first season focuses on the love story of Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page. The characters spend their season enduring taunts from the anonymous Lady Whistledown, voiced by Julie Andrews, who reports the scathingly hot tea on anyone who slips up. Due to her brother’s actions, her competition, and Lady Whitstledown’s rumor mill, Daphne finds herself alone and without any viable options for an amicable marriage. These circumstances lead to the juiciest part of the story– Daphne and the Duke. The pair conspire to fake courtship and trick Lady Whistledown into reporting their love so Daphne can find a husband and the Duke can avoid all of the mothers trying to arrange his marriage with their daughters. What starts as a mutually advantageous deal for both quickly grows into a torrid love affair.

Unlike most period pieces, the producers chose to honor talent and diversity over historical accuracy. The series portrays many people of color in high places of authority, as well as mixed into the Royal Court and as tradespeople, despite the white-washed reality of 1800s British royalty. Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel, was of mixed descent, the daughter of an African woman and Alphonso III of Portugal. In this story, her union with King George III leads to the inclusion of other races in proper London society. Other notable characters of color are the Lady Danbury, played by Adjoa Andoh, a widowed woman of high social status, the Duke of Hastings, one of the most eligible bachelors despite being unwilling to marry, and Marina Thompson, played by Ruby Barker, who’s beauty rivals that of the main character.

Shonda Rhimes has become one of the most successful showrunners in the game and uses this position to celebrate diversity and interracial relationships on television. Her older content approaches race in a far more color-blind fashion, unlike her more recent work with both ABC and Netflix. “Bridgerton” comes with the recognition that the characters’ social standings come with their racial identities, instead of creating a theoretically color-blind world.

Shondaland, as a production company, has a deep portfolio when it comes to diversity and inclusion. More specifically, they highlight black women across all of their content; including Miranda Bailey, Maggie Pierce, and Catherine Fox in “Grey’s Anatomy,” Annalise Keating, and Michaela Pratt in “How to Get Away with Murder,” Victoria Hughes in “Station 19,” and Olivia Pope in “Scandal.” “Bridgerton” is no different as three black women are prominent characters: The Queen, Lady Danbury, and Marina Thompson.

At first, their love story seems predictable, but in true Shonda Rhimes fashion, every obstacle that could stand in the way of a character’s happiness absolutely will. As with the other shows she has helmed, Shonda Rhimes pulls every heartstring she can find while giving the audience just enough of what they want to keep them on the edge of their seats. Throughout the series, Lady Danbury carefully plays matchmaker to help bring Simon and Daphne together again and again throughout the ups and downs of their relationship.

Simon also receives counsel from his close friend Will Mondrich, a black boxer, played by Martins Imhangbe, and his wife Alice Mondrich, played by Emma Naomi. As a couple, they are the antithesis of the Duke because they are poor and lack class status but are rich in love and family. In the eight episodes, Van Dusen and Rhimes create three-dimensional characters whose conflicts span complex issues such as love versus duty, race, class, sexuality, and childhood trauma. At times the flashbacks used to force character development feel rushed, but overall, it does create a deeper understanding of the characters’ inner worlds.

“Bridgerton” dives wholeheartedly into the social, emotional, and sexual lives of its characters. Any viewer familiar with other Shondaland shows knows they do not shy away from passionate scenes or sensitive topics, but all of their prior content was limited by network television decency standards. The genre tends to be chaste and formal, but this series allows its characters drugs, alcohol, passionate sex, explosive arguments, and an attempted rape scene. Instead of maintaining eloquent composure shown in shows like “The Crown” (another Netflix Original), the flirtation and frustration between characters are all too familiar to real life as not even the Queen is above gossip, manipulation, and meddling.

The soundtrack and editing lend heavily to the tension development in scenes that will make your heart ache throughout the series. The soundtrack is another well done modern inclusion that defies the period piece genre with instrumental versions of songs by Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and more. The eloquent juxtaposition of the classic string instruments and modern pop songs creates a familiarity that draws the viewer deeper into the world.The ballroom scene scored with a Vitamin String Quartet cover of Shawn Mendes’ song “In My Blood” hits every musical and emotional beat as the camera cuts closer and closer, the background blurs, and the music swells. Expertly, tension builds with inside jokes, the brush of hands, and the change of attention from the world around to only seeing each other.

For anyone seeking binge-worthy entertainment during these quarantine days, “Bridgerton” is on Netflix here, and its soundtrack is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and iTunes, find it here. The next season is not yet confirmed by Netflix, but it is rumored to be in development according to What’s On Netflix. Shondaland’s next project with Netflix is a documentary drama series called “Inventing Anna,” which is set to release early 2021.