Interviews with HULU stars at 2021 TCA Summer Press Tour

TV Interview!

Michael Keaton and Rosario Dawson of "Dopesick" on HULU

HULU’s Summer 2021 TCA Press Tour by Suzanne 8/6/21

Last week, HULU hosted their TCA Press Tour for three new shows, and one returning show.

First was “Dopesick,” a new drama about the opioid crisis. Based on a book by Beth Macy, the story follows a few different groups involved in the crisis. Legendary actor Michael Keaton is a small town Virginia doctor, Dr. Finnix, who is told by a young drug sales man, Billy (Will Poulter), that this new opioid Oxycontin is not addictive, so he starts prescribing it to his patients (and eventually to himself). Many of his patients are miners, including young Betsy (Kaitlyn Dever).  Rosario Dawson (“The Mandalorian”) plays a tough DEA agent who starts noticing how many people are addicted to opioids and committing crimes in towns where there previously was no crime. Billy and the other salespeople are lied to by the company, PurduePharma, that the drug isn’t addictive, and they’re given many strategies with which to win over the doctors, as well as pitted against each other to make more sales and be more aggressive. PurduePharma, run by the Sackler Family (especially ambitious Richard Sackler, played by Michael Stuhlbarg), uses everything they can to get sales up, thinking that this drug is going to cure pain (and lying about it in the process). Meanwhile, local law enforcement try to investigate and build a case against PurduePharma. It’s a gripping and sad story but also educational

The story was developed by Danny Strong (“Empire”). Strong and Keaton are executive producers on the show. The panel we saw had Strong and many of the cast: Keaton, Poulter, Dawson, Dever, Stuhlbarg, Peter Sarsgaard and John Hoogenakker. Many of the cast members knew people affected by the opioid crisis. Hoogenakker grew up in North Carolina – one of the places hit hard. Keaton grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania.

Dawson read the original book as well as several others to get a feel for the crisis and how it worked. Strong talked about how the story had so much information, particular with regards to the “lying, manipulation and influence peddling,” and as Hoogenakker added, “the lengths that the company went to to stigmatize the people dealing with the addiction that they created.”

Everyone connected to the production clearly took the subject matter and the story seriously and felt a great responsibility to do by it. Having watched a few of the episodes, I believe they did.

One thing I really loved, being a fan of Michael Keaton in “Batman” (and his many other movies, of course), was when Rosario Dawson referred to him as “my forever Batman!”  That was great – especially since she’s been in so many Marvel and DC movies and shows. Make sure you check out this 8-part miniseries when it premieres October 13, 2021. I watched the first half of it and it’s really compelling.

“Only Murders In the Building” is the best of the HULU shows that were covered, and you can find that one here.

"Nine Perfect Strangers" on HULU

This is a weird drama with some comedy in it. Of course, with cast members like Melissa McCarthy and Bobby Cannavale, it’s hardly going to be completely serious.  The show is about a group of messed-up people that go to an exclusive resort called Tranquillum. They soon learn that the resort’s hostess/owner, Masha (Nicole Kidman), has picked each of them carefully to fit in with her ideas for the resort.

I don’t want to give too much away about the show or its characters. Masha, has her own dark past that sometimes haunts her. Melissa McCarthy’s Francis is a romance novelist whose latest book has been rejected. Tony (Cannavale) abuses pain killers because of a knee injury. Lars (Luke Evans) is a gay journalist who wants to investigate the resort.  One character is recovering from a divorce; another one from a breakup; a family is recovering from a teen death. A couple no longer has sex and wonders if they should stay together.

Masha gives them special diets and therapy, but she also does other things without telling them, which is what makes the show interesting. Each of them has a secret that we learn as the show progresses.  Some shocking things happen. It’s very interesting. Some may find it self-indulgent because it involves mostly rich people with problems. I think it’s compelling. It’s never boring.

Our panel boasted Kidman, McCarthy, Connavale, Regina Hall, writer/creator David E. Kelley, and executive producers Bruna Papandrea, Per Saari and Jonathan Levine. Various press members asked them questions about the characters and this “wellness” retreat. The actors related that even though they were acting, the questions they were asked in the show and the therapies they went through did make them think a little bit more about their places in the world – particularly one where they all had to lie down in a shallow “grave.”

Kidman and McCarthy were asked about their experiences doing both movies and TV shows. Neither actress felt that they were all that different. TV is just longer and gives you more opportunity to develop the character.  There was a lot of joking around between the actors and producers.

When filming the show, the actors all flew out to Australia and were quarantined there last year. They filmed at a beautiful place called Byron Bay for six months. They said that nature frequently interfered with filming, such as ants, birds and koalas. Hall shared that many Australian koalas have chlamydia (this is true).

Nicole Kidman kept talking about how the show is “trippy and crazy” and it’s hard to define exactly what it is. Well, It is a bit trippy, but I’ve seen much stranger shows. The show is a drama, for sure, but the characters do some unexpected things. It has elements of a thriller. She was asked about creating her character, who is German and American (and speaks seven languages). Her accent in the show is very different from her native Australian accent.

If you like a good drama that’s also fun, weird, and has unexpected surprises, check this one out.

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult in "The Great"

“The Great” is returning for season 2 Friday, November 19. I haven’t watched it yet, but it looks funny. It’s apparently a comedy-drama loosely based on the life of Empress Catherine II (AKA “Catherine The Great”), played by Elle Fanning, who wed Emperor Peter III (played by Nicholas Hoult). Season One was where we learned about them and how they got married. He had a mistress, and Catherine tried to kill him, but that didn’t work out. In Season Two, Peter and Catherine get more deeply involved, and she gets pregnant. More Info

Fanning, Hoult and executive producers Tony McNamara and Marian Macgowan were in attendance at our panel. McNamara created the show.  When asked about how the show is created with historical characters, MacGowan replied that they really have three aspects of the show: “a bit of history, a bit of what’s fun to do and a bit of the characters themselves and the stories.”  However, they did see humor in the characters because Catherine (the real person) was funny and had a lot of fun at parties.

Another reporter asked McNamara how many seasons he thinks the show should last, but he doesn’t really think about it that way. He just takes it from one season to the next.  Fanning and Hoult revealed that they do a lot of laughing on the show while filming because it’s so funny.  They were asked about costuming. Fanning’s character is pregnant for a lot of this season, so she discussed her fake “baby bump, ” which was “hot at times.” Both actors love the costumes and find them very fun to wear. Hoult said, “I found that costume-wise … very liberating in many ways and what Sharon designed were really fun costumes, my favorite being what Peter has designed for the baby shower that he throws, kind of a surprise baby shower party, which you mentioned earlier is all kind of shades of baby pink, and blue, and yellow with plumes of feathers and a nice little dress.  So that’s something to look forward to this season.”

They were also asked about how they use the F word so much (mostly for humor) and whether COVID stopped them from doing intimated scenes. They do a lot of testing, so that wasn’t a factor. I enjoyed the press call. I will watch the show one day. I tried to watch the screener they had set up for us, but unfortunately, I had trouble understanding it because of their accents. There’s no closed-captioning on the screeners. I’m not deaf, but sometimes I have trouble hearing the words through accents.

MORE INFO:

The new HULU shows

Hulu Presents Upcoming Original Series ‘Dopesick,’ ‘The Great’ Season Two, ‘Only Murders In The Building’ And ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ At The 2021 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour

Company Greenlights Comedy Series ‘This Fool’ Created By and Starring Comedian Chris Estrada and Expands Unscripted True Crime Collection With New Documentary ‘Dead Asleep’  and Docuseries ‘Captive Audience’

Premiere Dates Revealed for ‘Dopesick,’ Second Seasons of ‘The Great’ and ‘Animaniacs,’ as well as the Fall Foodie Lineup of Unscripted Series—Including ‘Baker’s Dozen,’ ‘The Next Thing You Eat’  and a Special Holiday Edition of the Award-Winning ‘Taste The Nation,’ Debuting Thursdays

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2021) — Today, during the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour, Hulu presented the company’s lineup of upcoming original programming, including the highly anticipated new drama series “Dopesick,” starring Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg and Rosario Dawson; the second season of acclaimed, Emmy®-nominated comedy series “The Great,” starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult; new comedy series “Only Murders in the Building,” starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez; and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” the latest limited series from executive producer David E. Kelley and starring and executive produced by Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy—all of which join the company’s collection of premium original content.

The company also announced a series order for the new Hulu Original comedy series “This Fool,” inspired by the life of up-and-coming comedian Chris Estrada, in which he will also write, star and executive produce. Additionally, the highly successful Hulu Originals true-crime collection expands with two new titles announced today—documentary “Dead Asleep” from award-winning director Skye Borgman and “Captive Audience,” a docuseries which explores the evolution of true-crime storytelling through the lens of one family’s journey.

“Breaking out new and distinct voices continues to be a hallmark of Hulu Original programming, and we are incredibly excited to add Chris Estrada to our roster of multihyphenate creators and to bring ‘This Fool’ to our viewers,” said Craig Erwich, president Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment.

Adding, “Looking ahead, we could not be more proud of the lineup of event series coming to Hulu through the end of the year and beyond. Led by the debut of ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ from the brilliant David E. Kelley and a truly all-star cast, and ‘Only Murders in the Building,’ which marks a return to television for Selena Gomez and two comedic giants—Steve Martin and Martin Short—as well as the incredibly timely ‘Dopesick,’ the return of acclaimed comedy series ‘The Great,’ and a rapidly expanding slate of conversation-worthy unscripted series and documentaries, Hulu viewers will have access to many of the best shows coming to television this fall.”

With 41.6 million total subscribers across live and SVOD as of April 3, 2021, Hulu has gained remarkable momentum over the past year, with the streamer recently earning 25 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Comedy Series, 10 Golden Globe® nominations across five titles, four SAG Award nominations, six WGA Award nominations and seven NAACP Image Award nominations.

Hulu Greenlights Comedy Series “This Fool”

“This Fool” centers on Julio Lopez, a self-described “punk-ass bitch” who still lives at home and goes out of his way to help everyone but himself. Inspired by the life and stand-up comedy of star and co-creator Chris Estrada, this cinematic half-hour comedy explores Julio’s work at a gang-rehabilitation non-profit and his quest to overcome his codependency issues with his family as he navigates working-class life in South Central Los Angeles.

“This Fool” is written and executive produced by Chris Estrada, Pat Bishop, Jake Weisman and Matt Ingebretson. Jonathan Groff and Fred Armisen also serve as executive producers on the series. The series is produced by ABC Signature.

Hulu Expands Unscripted True Crime Collection With New Documentary “Dead Asleep” and Docuseries “Captive Audience”

“Dead Asleep”

In a ground-breaking new spin on the true-crime genre, the documentary film “Dead Asleep,” produced in association with Sky Crime, flips the traditional thriller narrative to explore a deeper and more troubling mystery: Did a remorseful Randy Herman Jr. really commit a brutal murder in his sleep, or was it a convenient cover story? Pulse Films has secured exclusive access to Herman and his family, the defense and prosecution attorneys, journalists who covered the case, forensic psychiatrists and world experts in violent parasomnia (sleep-walking) to give viewers an inside look at the shocking twists and turns of the controversial crime.

A Pulse Films production, “Dead Asleep” is directed by award-winner Skye Borgman, who is also behind the critically acclaimed documentary “Abducted In Plain Sight” and recently worked with Pulse Films on their Oxygen special “The Case Died With Her.” For Pulse Films, executive producers include Marisa Clifford, Nelesh Dhand and Sunshine Jackson. For Sky U.K., Jack Oliver and Poppy Dixon will also serve as executive producers.

“Captive Audience”

In 1972, 7-year-old Steven Stayner mysteriously vanished on his way home from school. Nearly a decade later, his dramatic return to his family sparked ‘80s-era “stranger danger” warnings, legal reforms and one iconic Made-For-TV-Movie2, in which the family’s ordeal was transformed into a prime-time miniseries watched by 70 million Americans. When the credits rolled and the movie ended, it closed one tragic chapter of the family’s life but opened another.

This limited documentary series explores the evolution of true-crime storytelling through the lens of one family’s 50-year journey and two brothers; one deemed a villain and the other a hero. It’s about how truth becomes story and story becomes truth—on TV, in the justice system and in our minds.

“Captive Audience” is directed by Jessica Dimmock (Netflix’s “Flint Town” and “Unsolved Mysteries”) and produced by Wonderburst and High Five Content. It is executive produced by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Jen Casey and Andrew Jacobs, along with Mike Larocca, Todd Makurath, Nick Gilhool and Peter Rieveschl.

Hulu Reveals Premiere Dates for “Dopesick,” Second Seasons of “The Great” and “Animaniacs,” and a Collection of New Series Fare For Foodies—“Baker’s Dozen,” “The Next Thing You Eat” and “Taste The Nation: Holiday Edition”—to Debut Thursdays This Fall

“Dopesick” – Series Premiere, Wednesday, Oct. 13

From executive producer Danny Strong and starring and executive produced by Michael Keaton, “Dopesick” examines how one company triggered the worst drug epidemic in American history. The series takes viewers to the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction, from the boardrooms of Big Pharma to a distressed Virginia mining community to the hallways of the DEA. Defying all the odds, heroes will emerge in an intense and thrilling ride to take down the craven corporate forces behind this national crisis and their allies. The limited series is inspired by the New York Times bestselling book by Beth Macy.

The eight-episode series stars Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Will Poulter, John Hoogenakker, with Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson. Guest stars include Phillipa Soo and Jake McDorman.

“Dopesick” is written by Emmy-winner Danny Strong (“Empire,” “Recount,” “Game Change”) and directed by Oscar®-winner Barry Levinson (“Paterno,” “Rain Man”). Executive producers for “Dopesick” include Strong, John Goldwyn (“Dexter”), Keaton, Levinson, Warren Littlefield (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Fargo,” “The Old Man”), Beth Macy (“Dopesick”) and Karen Rosenfelt (“Twilight”).

“The Great” – Season Two Premiere, Friday, Nov. 19

In season two of “The Great,” Catherine finally takes the Russian throne for her own—but if she thought coup-ing her husband was difficult, it’s nothing compared to the realities of liberating a country that doesn’t want to be. She’ll battle her court, her team, even her own mother (played by guest star Gillian Anderson) in a bid to bring the Enlightenment to Russia. Meanwhile, she’ll also battle her heart as Peter slowly transitions from a much-hated husband to a prisoner? Ally? Lover? Ultimately, Catherine will learn that to change a country, you must let it change you, that there is a fine line between idealism and delusion, and that becoming “Great” will ask more of her than she could have imagined.

The series stars Elle Fanning as Catherine, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Adam Godley, Gwilym Lee, Charity Wakefield, Douglas Hodge, Sacha Dhawan, Bayo Gbadamosi and Belinda Bromilow.

“The Great” is created, written and executive produced by Tony McNamara and executive produced by Marian Macgowan, Mark Winemaker, Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Echo Lake’s Brittany Kahan Ward, Doug Mankoff and Andrew Spaulding, Thruline’s Josh Kesselman and Ron West, and Matt Shakman. The project is produced by Civic Center Media in association with MRC Television.

“Animaniacs” – Season Two Premiere, Friday, Nov. 5

Hellloooo, season two! Hulu, Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation have joined forces once again to bring you “Animaniacs.” This Emmy Award-winning animated series—and one of Hulu’s all-time most talked-about shows on social media—returns with 13 brand new episodes on Friday, Nov. 5.

Yakko, Wakko and Dot return for an all-new season of this iconic, family-friendly series with something for everyone: pop culture parodies, musical showstoppers, takedowns of historical baddies and even some important safety tips. Join the Warners and Pinky and the Brain as they wreak havoc everywhere they go, from the Warner Bros. lot to an international beauty pageant, even all the way into outer space. Keep an eye out for season one favorites Starbox and Cindy, as well as some rejected Animaniacs characters that were left on the cutting room floor.

Steven Spielberg returns as executive producer of the series, with Sam Register, president, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios. Amblin Television co-presidents, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, also serve as executive producers. Wellesley Wild serves as showrunner and executive producer. Gabe Swarr serves as co-executive producer. “Animaniacs” is produced by Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Animation.

“Baker’s Dozen” – Series Premiere, Thursday, Oct. 7

Passionate amateur bakers will go head-to-head with seasoned professionals in each episode of “Baker’s Dozen.” Join hosts Tamera Mowry-Housley (Emmy-award winning host of “The Real,” FOX’s “The Masked Singer” and Hallmark’s “Christmas Comes Twice”) and Bill Yosses (author and former White House Pastry Chef) for this fast-paced competition series that will determine the best baker of all! Which of the 13 bakers has what it takes to create the next viral baking sensation, win the golden rolling pin and take home the cash prize?

“Baker’s Dozen” is executive produced by Sandy Varo Jarrell, Suzanne Rauscher, Justin Rae Barnes, Tara Seiner and Scott Mlodzinski for Bright Spot Content, an All3Media America company.

“The Next Thing You Eat” – Series Premiere, Thursday, Oct. 21

From chef David Chang and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville, “The Next Thing You Eat” is a six-episode docuseries that explores the seismic changes happening all around us and what they mean for the way we’ll eat in the future. Chang and a diverse cast of characters dive headfirst into what lies ahead, including everything from robots, to lab-grown fish, to insect farms, to artificial intelligence calling all the shots.

Executive produced by the creators of the Emmy®-nominated “Ugly Delicious,” with showrunner Dominic Musacchio

“Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition” – Season Premiere, Thursday, Nov. 4

In “Taste the Nation,” award-winning host, executive producer and cookbook author Padma Lakshmi, who recently received her third Emmy nomination, takes audiences on a journey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups and seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today. From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals, Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history—ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.

“Taste the Nation” returns this fall for a special four-part “Holiday Edition,” where each episode will highlight unique traditions through the lens of different immigrant cultures and cities, like Korean New Year in Los Angeles and Cuban Christmas in Miami.

“Taste the Nation: Holiday Edition” is executive produced by Padma Lakshmi along with Part2 Pictures’ David Shadrack Smith.

ABOUT HULU

Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale and The Act; Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody-winning series Ramy; and Emmy Award-nominated series Pen15alongside hit series Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Normal PeopleThe Great, Hillary and Solar Opposites; Oscar® and Emmy nominated documentary film Minding the Gap, Golden Globe-Award winning and Oscar-nominated The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, and critically acclaimed Hulu Original films Palm Springs, Run and Happiest Season. The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 20th Television, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – available all in one place. Upcoming Original releases include true-crime-inspired comedy Only Murders in the Building starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez and the book-to-screen adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.

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Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

The major stars in our HULU TCA Summer Press Tour

Interview with “Only Murders in the Building” stars

TV Interview!

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in "Only Murders in the Building"

Interview with actors from “Only Murders in the Building” on HULU by Suzanne 8/6/21

HULU invited me to their Summer TCA Press Tour. I really enjoyed all five panels I attended, but this one was my favorite because it was the best show of the bunch.  I really loved it — It’s funny and has an intriguing mystery drama as well as an excellent cast.

I grew up watching Steve Martin (“Father of the Bride” and “Pink Panther” movies) and Martin Short (“Schmigadoon!”) on TV and in the movies (especially on “Saturday Night Live” and “SCTV” while I was in high school). It was quite an honor to see them via Zoom and to be able to speak with them (albeit briefly). Singing sensation/actress Selena Gomez is also a huge star. Even I’ve heard of  her, and I’m not in the key demographics of her fans. They all do a wonderful job on this show.

“Only Murders In the Building” is about a murder that happens in a large New York City building where these three (and many others) live. They start trying to solve the murder and make a podcast out of it. Steve Martin plays a quiet, former TV actor, Charlie.  Martin Short plays a chatty, washed-up Broadway director, Oliver.  Selena Gomez plays a young woman, Mabel, who’s renovating her aunt’s apartment. None of them have a lot of friends, but of course they do have a lot of secrets, which makes things even more interesting.

Other members of the cast include Nathan Lane, Sting, Aaron Dominguez, and Amy Ryan.

Unfortunately, they didn’t let us record the interview, so I can’t share it with you. It’s a shame because Martin and Short were really hilarious (as you might expect). The panel included actors and executive producers Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, along with executive producers John Hoffman and Dan Fogelman. Steve Martin is also credited as co-creator and wrote one of the episodes. Dan Fogelman created “This Is Us” and writes that show as well.

In the show, Nathan Lane and Martin Short have many funny exchanges. In one of them, Oliver is trying to convince Lane’s character that he should invest in their podcast. Oliver says something about how he was young the last time he lost his money, so Lane’s character retorts, “You were 58!” and then a little bit later, Oliver says again that he was young, and Lane’s character points out, “You were pushing 60!”  Now, I laughed at that, even though I’m turning 60 later this year. So, when they let me ask my question of the panel, I told them that I forgive them for making 60 seem old… I was very pleased when they laughed at my joke. I’ve made two amazing, legendary comedians laugh, so now I can die. There’s probably nothing in my life that will top that! 😉

I also asked Gomez about acting in the show, which is her first adult TV series. I asked her to compare this one with her old Disney shows, such as “Hannah Montana” and “The Wizards of Waverly Place.” She said that she couldn’t compare them because back then, she was just so young and had no idea what she was doing. Now she just tries to soak up as much as she can from these great actors, like a sponge.

I was going to make a joke about how we had two of the “Three Amigos!” together again, but someone else mentioned that movie, so I didn’t bother.

Steve Martin revealed that he is a fan of “true crime” shows, and that’s part of how the show was created. Martin Short said that he enjoyed how different the three of them were. They had “different energies” because he generally plays it very broadly, and Steve Martin is very understated, and Selena Gomez has a very dry delivery. They were very excited to get the many stars they have, such as Sting, Amy Ryan and Nathan Lane. Martin Short also disclosed that Sting did some ad-libbing in his scenes in the elevator with Short’s character, Oliver.

On a serious note, Martin and Short complimented each other when answering the question about how they work so well together after all these years. They said that neither one is neurotic, and they’re not competitive with each other. Gomez praised their type of comedy, which is not very dark or or crass (like a lot of humor today). She also admitted that she’s not sure if she’s a very good actor, saying “I have to be honest, I don’t know if I’m a good actor. I just do my job. And I just really hope that I can live up to, you know, these incredible people.”  Steve Martin disagreed with her on that: “When Selena’s on screen, the show is suddenly elevated. It’s more mysterious, it’s more interesting. There’s an old cliché, the camera loves her. And I would say the camera likes me, and it’s fine with Marty.”

Martin and Short have been together for a long time as friends and co-workers. They have a comedy tour and were thinking of doing another movie when this project came up. They’re thrilled to be doing it again. Short called it, “A delightful surprise.”  It definitely is that for those of us watching this great show.

MORE INFO:

ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING
Premiere Date: August 31, 2021 
(weekly release)
Date Announcement Teaser: HERE

Synopsis: From the minds of Steve Martin, Dan Fogelman and John Hoffman comes a comedic murder-mystery series for the ages. “Only Murders in the Building” follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. As they record a podcast of their own to document the case, the three unravel the complex secrets of the building which stretch back years. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living amongst them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late.

Cast: The series stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Aaron Dominguez and Amy Ryan.

Credits: “Only Murders in the Building” hails from co-creators and writers Steve Martin and John Hoffman (“Grace & Frankie,” “Looking”). Martin and Hoffman will executive produce along with Martin Short, Selena Gomez, Jamie Babbitt, “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman and Jess Rosenthal.

HULU PRESENTS UPCOMING ORIGINAL SERIES ‘DOPESICK,’ ‘THE GREAT’ SEASON TWO, ‘ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING’ AND ‘NINE PERFECT STRANGERS’ AT THE 2021 TELEVISION CRITICS ASSOCIATION SUMMER PRESS TOUR

Company Greenlights Comedy Series ‘This Fool’ Created By and Starring Comedian Chris Estrada and Expands Unscripted True Crime Collection With New Documentary ‘Dead Asleep’  and Docuseries ‘Captive Audience’

Premiere Dates Revealed for ‘Dopesick,’ Second Seasons of ‘The Great’ and ‘Animaniacs,’ as well as the Fall Foodie Lineup of Unscripted Series—Including ‘Baker’s Dozen,’ ‘The Next Thing You Eat’  and a Special Holiday Edition of the Award-Winning ‘Taste The Nation,’ Debuting Thursdays 

 SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2021) — Today, during the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour, Hulu presented the company’s lineup of upcoming original programming, including the highly anticipated new drama series “Dopesick,” starring Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg and Rosario Dawson; the second season of acclaimed, Emmy®-nominated comedy series “The Great,” starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult; new comedy series “Only Murders in the Building,” starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez; and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” the latest limited series from executive producer David E. Kelley and starring and executive produced by Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy—all of which join the company’s collection of premium original content.

The company also announced a series order for the new Hulu Original comedy series “This Fool,” inspired by the life of up-and-coming comedian Chris Estrada, in which he will also write, star and executive produce. Additionally, the highly successful Hulu Originals true-crime collection expands with two new titles announced today—documentary “Dead Asleep” from award-winning director Skye Borgman and “Captive Audience,” a docuseries which explores the evolution of true-crime storytelling through the lens of one family’s journey.

“Breaking out new and distinct voices continues to be a hallmark of Hulu Original programming, and we are incredibly excited to add Chris Estrada to our roster of multihyphenate creators and to bring ‘This Fool’ to our viewers,” said Craig Erwich, president Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment.

Adding, “Looking ahead, we could not be more proud of the lineup of event series coming to Hulu through the end of the year and beyond. Led by the debut of ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ from the brilliant David E. Kelly and a truly all-star cast, and ‘Only Murders in the Building,’ which marks a return to television for Selena Gomez and two comedic giants—Steve Martin and Martin Short—as well as the incredibly timely ‘Dopesick,’ the return of acclaimed comedy series ‘The Great,’ and a rapidly expanding slate of conversation-worthy unscripted series and documentaries, Hulu viewers will have access to many of the best shows coming to television this fall.”

With 41.6 million total subscribers across live and SVOD as of April 3, 2021, Hulu has gained remarkable momentum over the past year, with the streamer recently earning 25 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Comedy Series, 10 Golden Globe® nominations across five titles, four SAG Award nominations, six WGA Award nominations and seven NAACP Image Award nominations.

ABOUT HULU

Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Taleand The Act; Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody-winning series Ramy; and Emmy Award-nominated series Pen15 alongside hit series Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Normal PeopleThe Great, Hillary and Solar Opposites; Oscar® and Emmy nominated documentary film Minding the Gap, Golden Globe-Award winning and Oscar-nominated The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, and critically acclaimed Hulu Original films Palm Springs, Run and Happiest Season. The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 20th Television, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – available all in one place. Upcoming Original releases include true-crime-inspired comedy Only Murders in the Building starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez and the book-to-screen adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.

Interviews with HULU stars at 2021 TCA Summer Press Tour

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Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in "Only Murders in the Building"

Interview with Casey Deidrick

TV Interview!

Casey Deidrick of "Into the Dark: Tentacles" on HULU

Interview with Casey Deidrick of “Into the Dark: Tentacles” on HULU by Suzanne 2/22/21

It was a blast interviewing Casey! As I said in the video, I’ve followed him ever since he played Chad DiMera on “Days of Our Lives” 2009-2013, and I love him as Max on “In the Dark” on The CW.  The interview was for the latest installment of the HULU anthology horror series “Into the Dark” (funny coincidence) called “Tentacles.”

You can see the video and transcript of our EXCLUSIVE Zoom chat at SciFiVision! Thank you to Jamie for getting me this interview.

MORE INFO:

About Hulu’s INTO THE DARK: In partnership with Blumhouse Television, Into The Dark is a monthly horror event series from prolific, award-winning producer, Jason Blum’s independent TV studio. Each feature-length installment is inspired by a holiday and features Blumhouse’s signature genre/thriller spin on the story. The series has explored nearly every facet of the horror genre, and with the latest installment presents a twist on gender roles in modern horror.

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Casey Deidrick of "Into the Dark: Tentacles" on HULU

Interview with Dana Drori

TV Interview!

Dana Drori, Alexandra Pechman, and Clara Aranovich of "Tentacles" on HULU

Interview with Dana Drori, Alexandra Pechman, and Clara Aranovich of “Into the Dark: Tentacles” on HULU by Suzanne 2/18/21

This was a fun Zoom interview with these three women: the star, writer and director of this show. I was a bit nervous, and I think it’s because I’ve only done 3 Zoom interviews so far, and with the previous 2, I couldn’t see my face. It was set up differently. They were all very nice and patient with me, though. I really enjoyed speaking with these women. I hope you can watch this HULU show because it’s a good horror story.

Thank you to SciFiVision for letting us do this EXCLUSIVE interview!

Here is the audio version of it.

Read the whole interview and see the video at SciFiVision.

MORE INFO:

About Hulu’s INTO THE DARK: In partnership with Blumhouse Television, Into The Dark is a monthly horror event series from prolific, award-winning producer, Jason Blum’s independent TV studio. Each feature-length installment is inspired by a holiday and features Blumhouse’s signature genre/thriller spin on the story. The series has explored nearly every facet of the horror genre, and with the latest installment presents a twist on gender roles in modern horror.

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Casey Deidrich and Dana Drori of "Into the Dark: Tentacles" on HULU

Primetime TV Review of “Jann”

TV Review!

"Jann" on HULU

“Jann” on HULU Review by Suzanne 2/5/21

Canadian singer/songwriter Jann Arden stars in this series, which she also helped create. It’s about a middle-aged singer/songwriter who had some hits back in the 90’s, but now she’s having trouble booking gigs. She’s “washed up,” according to the rest of the world. She has a manager, Todd (Jason Blicker) who’s not very good; an ex-girlfriend, Cynthia (Sharon Taylor) that she still pines for – who ditched her for a younger woman; a mom, Nora (Deborah Grover) with memory problems: and a married sister, Max (The wonderful Zoie Palmer), who keeps getting pregnant and isn’t happy about it. Jann even has to rent out her home to celebrities when they visit her town. One of the best characters on the show is Cale (Elena Juatco), who is not too polite but later helps Jann out. The series is a wry commentary on family, the entertainment world and fame.

It’s a pretty funny show, but I felt that the second episode dragged a bit. It picks up later. This was a hit in Canada, where they’ve aired the first two seasons. HULU has picked it up now. The 3rd season will be filming soon. Since Jann is a real-life person, with real hit songs, they play those in the series, and we do hear her perform as well.

The show is only semi-autobiographical, according to Arden. Just sit back and enjoy the laughs and the music. Check out our interview with Jann Arden below.

Read My Interview with Jann Arden!

MORE INFORMATION:

CTV Original Comedy JANN to Exclusively Stream in The U.S. on Hulu

− Premium streaming service to become U.S. home to Seasons 1 and 2 of hit comedy from Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films –

− Co-created by series star Jann Arden, with Leah Gauthier and Jennica Harper, new episodes of Season 2 of JANN continue Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV –

− The critically acclaimed series was the most-watched new Canadian comedy series of the 2018-19 broadcast season −

“JANN blew everyone out of the water, establishing Jann Arden as a comic force on television.” – TV, eh?

“JANN is the real deal: a funny, biting satire about the entertainment industry that isn’t afraid to make fun of its star.” – NOW Magazine

“Arden aces it. She is fearless, a born comedienne, as in on the joke as a Second City veteran.” – Bill Brioux

“Jann Arden’s narcissistic alter ego shines in CTV’s JANN… Arden, with her sheer force of personality, breezy blunt speak and take-no-prisoners delivery, manages to showcase remarkable comic chops.” – Toronto Star

TORONTO (October 21, 2020) – CTV, Project 10 Productions, and SEVEN24 Films announced today that hit CTV Original comedy JANN has been acquired by streaming platform Hulu. In a deal executed by Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films, Hulu secures exclusive U.S. rights for the first two seasons of the Canadian Screen Award-nominated series. The half-hour comedy, which was the most-watched new Canadian comedy series of the 2018/19 season, was co-developed by Bell Media and Project 10 Productions and is produced by Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films in association with CTV. The first season, consisting of six episodes, and the eight episode second season of JANN will stream in the U.S. exclusively on Hulu early next year.

“Jann has done such an incredible job bringing this character to life, and the series is enjoyed by viewers across Canada,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “Along with our partners at Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films, we’re absolutely thrilled to introduce JANN, and the hilarious and heartwarming world they’ve created, to U.S. audiences through this sale to Hulu.”

“JANN is quickly becoming an iconic comedy sensation in Canada, and launching on Hulu is the first step in sharing this series with the rest of the world,” said Andrew Barnsley of Project 10 Productions and Jordy Randall of SEVEN24 Films in a shared statement.

“I cannot even begin to express my excitement and sincere gratitude to be partnered with the incredible people at Hulu,” said Jann Arden, co-creator, star, and executive producer. “We look forward to having JANN join their lineup of world class programming and we can’t wait to launch south of the border.”

JANN is created by multi-platinum award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter, broadcaster, and author Jann Arden, who is also an Executive Producer alongside co-creators Leah Gauthier and Jennica Harper, who also serves as Showrunner. In JANN, Arden plays a fictionalized, self-deprecating version of herself: a singer songwriter of a “certain age” in severe denial of the harsh reality that her former music career is slowly (okay rapidly) fading away. But it’s not just Jann’s career that’s on life support – she’s newly single (don’t remind her), her sister may disown her, and her mother may be showing early signs of memory loss. Jann’s personal life is in shambles and she’s convinced that the cure-all is to enlist a new manager to help rebrand her image. Jann is at the crossroads between who she was and who she wants to be. Can Jann stage a comeback, reclaim fame… and be there for the people who love her?

Starring alongside Arden in JANN are Zoie Palmer (PURE, DARK MATTER) as Jann’s sister Max; Deborah Grover (ANNE WITH AN “E”) as Jann’s mom Nora; Patrick Gilmore (TRAVELERS; YOU, ME, HER) as Jann’s brother-in-law Dave; Elena Juatco (OPEN HEART, SCHITT’S CREEK) as Jann’s new manager Cale; Jason Blicker (F/X: THE SERIES, STATE OF GRACE) as Jann’s long-time manager Todd; Sharon Taylor (BAD BLOOD) as Jann’s ex-girlfriend Cynthia; Alexa Rose Steele (DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION) as Jann’s eldest niece Charley; Ceilidh MacDonald as Jann’s niece Sammie; and Keaira Pliva (TIN STAR) as Jann’s niece Frankie.

Guest stars in the inaugural season of JANN include Canadian indie pop singer-songwriter and guitarist Leslie Feist, Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist Kiesza, and TV personality Rick Mercer. Guest stars for Season 2 include singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan as herself; Canadian singer-songwriter k.d. lang as herself; actress Elisha Cuthbert (THE RANCH, HAPPY ENDINGS); singer, host, and actress Keshia Chanté (SOUL, PRIVATE EYES); and more.

Season 2 of JANN airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, with episodes from both seasons streaming on CTV.ca, the CTV app, and Crave.

JANN is executive produced by Andrew Barnsley and Ben Murray for Project 10 Productions, Tom Cox and Jordy Randall for SEVEN24 Films, and Randy Lennox for Bell Media. Jann Arden, Leah Gauthier, and Jennica Harper created the series and also serve as Executive Producers with Jennica Harper showrunning. For Bell Media, Chris Kelley is Production Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Director, Comedy Original Programming; Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, Programming, CTV and Specialty. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.

Source: Numeris, Broadcast Season 2018-19 (Sept. 24, 2018 – May 26, 2019). Final data.

Social Media links @CTV_PR @CTV @TheLede_ca @JannArden @ZoiePalmer @PatrickGilmore @ElenaJuatco @AlexaSteele @SharonCTaylor Facebook.com/CTV @CTV_PR @CTV @TheLede_ca @JannArden @Zoiepalmerzeeeps @PatrickGilmore @ElenaJuatco @JasonBlicker @AlexaSteele @Sharontwashere

About Project 10 Productions

Project 10 is a global television production company with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles specializing in scripted comedy. The company works closely with high-profile talent to develop and produce compelling content for the worldwide marketplace. The principal executives for Project 10 Productions Inc. are Andrew Barnsley, Ben Murray (Toronto) and Andrew Moncrief (Los Angeles). Leveraging their considerable strengths and decades of experience with those of partner and three-time MLB All-Star Vernon Wells, Project 10 has established itself as a go-to partner for domestic and international creators, broadcasters and distributors alike.

About SEVEN24 Films

SEVEN24 Films is an independent film and television production company whose work has spanned over two decades. Executive Producers Tom Cox and Jordy Randall have produced dramatic series, mini-series, television movies and feature films garnering over one hundred industry awards and nominations. Their focus on integration of scripted programming with interactive content and social media has helped make Heartland and Wynonna Earp two of the most dynamic scripted television projects in the digital space.

In addition to the People’s Choice Award winning series, Wynonna Earp, current projects include: Family Law, a one-hour legal series for Global, JANN, the #1 new Comedy on CTV, and the hit family series Heartland, the longest running one-hour series in Canadian history, now in its fourteenth season for CBC and UPtv.

Previous projects include Fortunate Son, a political thriller for CBC and NBCU International, Dark Cargo, a noir thriller for YouTube Premium, Young Drunk Punk for Rogers and CBC, the Canadian Screen Award winner Borealis, the Gemini Award winning movie Mayerthorpe and Gemini Award winning Mini-Series Burn Up. Tom Cox and Jordy Randall were also co-producers on numerous high-profile feature films including the Academy Award nominated Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Resurrecting the Champ and are both recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of their contribution to the arts.

About Bell Media Original Productions

Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include #1 Canadian drama TRANSPLANT; record-breaking Canadian formats THE AMAZING RACE CANADA and MASTERCHEF CANADA; #1 new Canadian comedy series JANN; culinary series MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH; and CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS. Upcoming new series include CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING from the producers of LETTERKENNY and the inspirational lifestyle series HOLMES FAMILY EFFECT starring Mike Holmes, his son Michael, and daughter Sherry. Among the original series on Bell Media specialty and streaming platforms are CTV Sci-Fi Channel’s WYNONNA EARP and upcoming THE SURREALTOR; CTV Drama Channel’s mystery dramedy CARTER; and CTV Comedy Channel’s CORNER GAS ANIMATED. Crave Originals include hit comedy LETTERKENNY and much-anticipated CANADA’S DRAG RACE; dozens of original stand-up specials; original feature documentaries THE NEW CORPORATION and INCONVENIENT INDIAN, and more. Discovery is home to Bell Media’s hit factual series and franchises HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, and DISASTERS AT SEA, in addition to upcoming docu-series MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS and THE LAST OF THE GIANTS, and others. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. Learn more at www.BellMedia.ca.

About CTV

CTV is Canada’s #1 television brand. CTV provides unparalleled entertainment programming across two broadcast television networks; a powerful suite of specialty channels including CTV Comedy Channel, CTV Drama Channel, CTV Life Channel, and CTV Sci-Fi Channel; and digital channels CTV Throwback and CTV Movies, streaming on demand from CTV.ca and the CTV app. CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 19 years in a row and features a wide range of sports and information programming, including CTV News, Canada’s highest-rated national and local newscasts. CTV’s parent company is Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and out-of-home advertising.

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Jann and her mom, Nora (Deborah Grover)

Primetime TV Review of “The Sister”

TV Review!

"The Sister" on HULU

“The Sister” on HULU Review by Suzanne 1/25/21

This is a really good mystery/suspense/thriller. It grabs you from the beginning of the first episode and doesn’t let go.  Russell Tovey plays Nathan, who seems like a regular guy. He’s harboring a big secret, though.  Someone from his past, Bob (Bertie Carvel), appears, threatening his normal life.  Nathan gets more and more spun out of control as things happen.  This would be a good enough show, especially with these actors and the wonderful writing. However, it’s also a ghost story.

In the first episode, we learn that a woman died that Nathan had a crush on, and he and Bob had something to do with it.  In the meantime, Bob, who’s an expert on the supernatural, gives Nathan evidence that the woman is a ghost and haunting them. Nathan doesn’t want to believe it. Not only that, but he’s now married to the woman’s sister.

This is very well done. You should watch it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

MORE INFORMATION:

How far would you go to keep a secret? One rainy evening, Nathan is surprised by an unwelcome face from the past. Nathan has never been able to forget the worst night of his life: a party that led to the sudden, shocking death of a young woman. Only he and Bob, an eccentric old acquaintance, know what really happened… and they’ve resolved to keep it that way. But years later, Bob appears at Nathan’s door with terrifying news that threatens to tear Nathan’s world apart. Because Nathan has his own secrets now. Secrets that could destroy everything he has desperately fought to build for himself and his family.

The four-part series is written by Neil Cross and is inspired by the novel Burial, also written by Neil Cross (Luther, Hard Sun, Mama). Executive Producers are Euston Films Managing Director Kate Harwood (Dublin Murders, Hard Sun, Baghdad Central), alongside Executive Producer for Euston Films, Noemi Spanos (Dublin Murders), and Neil Cross. The series is directed by Niall MacCormick (The Victim, The Durrells, Doctor Thorne) and produced by Jonathan Curling (Tin Star, Baghdad Central). The Sister is a Euston Films (a Fremantle company) production for ITV and is distributed internationally by Fremantle. The series was commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill.

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"The Sister" on HULU

Primetime TV Review: “Everyone Is Doing Great”

TV Review!

"Everyone Is Doing Great" on HULU

“Everyone Is Doing Great” on HULU Review by Suzanne 1/15/21

I didn’t find this “comedy” to be funny at all, and the characters are bland and unlikable. Also, it has too many awkward scenes. I hate that type of humor. The last thing I want to see is someone being or looking awkward for a half an hour or more. That’s not funny. It’s hard to watch. You have to have funny jokes and/or situations in a comedy. Being weird or awkward is just not enough.

The series is loosely based on the lives of “One Tree Hill” co-stars Stephen Colletti (Seth) and James Lafferty (Jeremy), who also created and wrote the series as well as star in it. In the series, they’re both former actors from a hit vampire TV series called “Eternal,” but now, 5 years later, they can’t find work. We’re supposed to feel sorry for them, I guess, in their mansions with all the drugs and booze they want.

The characters just seem pathetic and whiny to me. I wouldn’t care so much about that, if it were funny, but it’s not. In one scene, Seth has sex with a pillow during an audition. Jeremy, who seems worse than Seth, has trouble having sex with his wife or even masturbating by himself. At the end of the series, he throws up after getting some bad news. Somehow I can’t see any of the actors from “True Blood,” “Vampire Diaries” or “The Originals” acting this way. Part of the problem is that they’ve made it so that Seth and Jeremy were on their shows straight out of college, so they don’t have much experience beyond “Eternal.”  It’s very rare for anyone to cast a newbie as the star of a primetime series, so this premise didn’t work for me.

The actors crowd-funded most of the episodes. They must have some really great fans. Chalk this show up to yet another unfunny HULU show.

MORE INFORMATION:

Seth and Jeremy enjoyed the success of ‘Eternal,’ a hit television vampire drama. Five years after their show has ended, they lean on each other as they awkwardly navigate the perils of life and love in a late coming-of-age.

Trailer

PRINCIPAL CAST INFORMATION:
· James Lafferty as Jeremy
· Stephen Colletti as Seth

CREW INFORMATION:
· Eshom Nelms as EP
· Ian Nelms as EP
· James Lafferty as CRTR/EP
· Johnny Derango as EP
· Michelle Lang as EP
· Ngoc Nguyen as PROD
· Rocque Trem as EP
· Stephen Colletti as CRTR/EP
· Stuart Lafferty as CO-PROD

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Stephen Colletti (Seth) and James Lafferty (Jeremy) in "Everyone Is Doing Great" on HULU