Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Separate

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Separate (photo)

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All right, let’s get all the lame jokes out of the way first. No, they might not be back. Yes, we can consider that a divorce. Jeez, I thought that Sad Arnold site was just a clever goof. Did the guy who built it have some insider info or something?

The Los Angeles Times reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have separated after 25 years of marriage. In a statement the coupled provided to The Times, they said:

“This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us. After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship. We are continuing to parent our four children together. They are the light and the center of both of our lives. We consider this a private matter and neither we nor any of our friends or family will have further comment. We ask for compassion and respect from the media and the public.”

Normally, I wouldn’t post something about a story like this, even with my well-established obsession with all things Arnold. But this is a major development in Schwarzenegger’s dramatic return to Hollywood. After the couple married in 1986, Schwarzenegger credited Shriver with helping him broaden his acting choices beyond the so-called “genocide-flicks” that were his bread and butter through the mid-1980s. In 1990, right around the time Shriver’s influence was becoming evident in movies like “Kindergarten Cop,” Schwarzenegger told Time‘s Richard Corliss, “Maria has very good instincts. She reads fast, she analyzes and — boom! — she has notes. Like an agent.” In fact, the “Kindergaten Cop” script was a Shriver discovery. According to Schwarzenegger on the film’s press tour, “[Maria] is instrumental in everything that I do… the script came to my home when I was in Mexico filming “Total Recall.” She told me that she loved it and that it would be the perfect family film for me to make. I agreed.”

Schwarzenegger’s marriage to Shriver, and the birth of their first daughter Katherine in 1989, had a major impact on his career. All of the action films he made before that time were about men separated from their families, a reflection of a personal filmmaking ethos that Schwarzenegger summed up in Playboy in 1988 by saying “In most action movies, women are in the way.” So Schwarzenegger played guys like “Raw Deal”‘s Mark Kaminsky, who fakes his death to get away from his drunken wife and go undercover in the mob, or “Commando”‘s John Matrix, who only goes on a kill spree after his daughter is kidnapped. Sometimes his characters had no private lives whatsoever, and their films were set far away from so-called civilized society in jungles, private islands, and futuristic prisons (where women couldn’t get in the way, you see).

After one last bachelor’s hurrah with “Total Recall” — a sci-fi fantasy in which a man remembers a past life as a secret agent, saves the world, and kills his wife so he can live happily ever after with a foxy prostitute — things changed quickly. “Kindergarten Cop,” “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” “Last Action Hero,” and “True Lies” all came between 1990 and 1994. Now the guy who once said “I have a love interest in every one of my films: a gun,” was playing opposite stronger female leads like Penelope Ann Miller, a newly buff Linda Hamilton, and especially Jamie Lee Curtis in “True Lies.” These women weren’t in the way: they were kicking ass right alongside their man.

These movies were mainstream entertainments, but for Schwarzenegger they were also deeply personal and oftentimes ambivalent reflections on his transition from killing machine to family man. The physical and emotional transformation Schwarzenegger’s John Kimble undergoes in “Kindergarten Cop,” from gun fetishizing supercop to warmhearted kindergarten teacher, was essentially the same transformation the star was undergoing in his private life. The fact that the transition wasn’t always easy — in many ways “True Lies” is a film about guy who is reluctant to let women in the homosocial world of superspies — is a big part of what made those movies so interesting.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver’s separation suggests that crucial voice guiding his choices and expanding his horizons is gone, at least for now. Does that mean he’ll go back to “genocide-flicks?” Maybe, although his first confirmed movie, “Cry Macho,” sounds like a project Shriver would have approved. Today’s news is an unfortunate development for the couple and their family, and a fascinating one for the actor’s fans. Because Schwarzenegger will be back in Hollywood. But the question still remains how exactly he’ll do it.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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