Central Valley · Entertainment · Media

Monday musings: On ‘Fences,’ Chris Berman and ‘Girl Meets World’


Prepped for Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards by catching a matinee showing of “Fences” and was blown away by the acting of the small but incredible cast as well as the lightning-quick dialogue. Wasn’t sure what to expect having never seen the play by August Wilson, but so glad we took the time to catch it in the theater.

While Viola Davis was a deserving best supporting actress honoree at the Golden Globes – her performance is the glue of the film — it was surprising to see Washington lose out to Casey Affleck (I’m sure Affleck is terrific, but I can’t bring myself to catch his movie, which sounds awfully depressing).

Washington turns in another brilliant performance as Troy Maxson and also directs the movie, which includes a stellar supporting cast, including Stephen McKinley Henderson as Bono. Washington is one of those actors I could watch in any role — Richard Schiff from “The West Wing” is another — and he doesn’t disappoint here.

“La La Land” will likely continue to storm through the award season — in a previous post, we wrote about how it was terrific in parts but hardly a slam-dunk best picture candidate — but “Fences” was equally impressive in many ways. Here’s hoping it gets the attention it deserves.

Other Monday musings: Saw where ESPN’s Chris Berman is leaving his longtime job as the face of the network’s NFL studio programming but will take on a more limited role moving forward. Berman has always been a polarizing figure at the network – he has more critics than ever now — but he was nothing but gracious with me and a few friends during a chance encounter nearly 30 years ago.

We were walking by the ESPN truck after a Padres game in San Diego and asked an assistant if Chris Berman was inside. Berman heard us and immediately came out to talk with us and couldn’t have been nicer. We get that his shtick can get old and he’s lost a few ticks off his fastball, but for those of us who grew up watching ESPN, Berman is an institution. That said, it’s good for everyone that he’s moving into a more limited role. The time is right. (And if we’re being truthful, it probably should’ve happened a few years ago.)

The Disney Channel cancelled another show last week, which ordinarily wouldn’t fall on our radar. So much of their programming is pure dreck — “Zack and Cody,” anyone? — but “Girl Meets World” was actually an intelligent, well-acted sitcom. So, of course, it’s going away after three seasons.

Not sure why at all, but there is talk online that it could return on Netflix or Hulu, which would be great. But it really belongs on Disney Channel, where it could continue to speak to the many pre-teens who benefit from such a smart show. Here’s hoping something can be worked out.

Lastly, a few links from the blog over the past few weeks in case you missed them:






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