- The 2023 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced this week. Kate Bush, my all-time favorite female artist, has been nominated for the fourth time in six years. Among the first-time nominees are Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Cyndi Lauper, George Michael, Willie Nelson, The White Stripes, and Warren Zevon. You can vote daily for your favorite artists here:
- Speaking of nominations, the Oscar class of 2022 has been announced. Everything Everywhere All at Once leads the pack with eleven nominations. Sixteen of the twenty acting nominees are first-timers, the most in history. The 95th Academy Awards will be held on March 12. Here is the complete list of nominees:
- Two of my childhood favorites – Laverne and Shirley‘s Cindy Williams and The Addams Family‘s Lisa Loring – passed away this week. A BAFTA nominee for Best Supporting Actress for her role in American Graffiti, Williams is best known for playing Shirley Feeney opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne DeFazio on ABC’s long-running Happy Days spinoff. Loring, the OG Wednesday Addams, began modeling at the age of three; she was just six years old when she won the role that would make her a television icon. She also portrayed Cricket Montgomery on As the World Turns in the early 1980s.
- The Last of Us is so. damn. good. This week’s exceptional episode, “Long, Long Time”, explores the relationship between Bill (Nick Offerman, who should absolutely be nominated for an Emmy for his performance) and Frank (Murray Bartlett, also terrific). No spoilers here, but if you haven’t checked out The Last of Us yet, I highly recommend you do so.
- I redeemed an offer for three free months of Apple TV just in time for Shrinking, the hilarious and poignant new series from Scrubs showrunner Bill Lawrence. Lawrence co-created the show with Ted Lasso‘s Brett Goldstein and star Jason Segel, who plays a therapist coping poorly with the death of his wife. The excellent supporting cast includes Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Michael Urie, and Christa Miller. I’m all in on this one.
- The Midnight Special premiered on NBC fifty years ago this week. The series, produced by Burt Sugarman, was known for featuring musical artists singing live (rather than lip-synching, which was the custom at the time).
- Sixty-four years ago today, a plane crashed in a cornfield near Clear Lake, Iowa. Along with pilot Roger Peterson, the crash killed J.P. Richardson (better known as “The Big Bopper”), Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens. Richardson, who was suffering from the flu, had asked Waylon Jennings, a member of Holly’s backing band, to give up his seat; Valens, just 17 at the time, “won” his seat on a coin toss. In 1971, singer-songwriter Don McLean coined the phrase “the day the music died” for his single, “American Pie”.
- Pixar, which began in 1979 as a division of Lucasfilm known as the Graphics Group, became an independent company on this day in 1986 (thanks to a $10 million investment from Steve Jobs). At the time, though they had produced short films (including Luxo Jr., the tiny desk lamp that serves as Pixar’s mascot), the technology was still too expensive for feature-length animation. While waiting for the tech to catch up, Pixar formed a working relationship with Disney, working on films like The Rescuers Down Under. Disney would ultimately agree to a three-picture deal with Pixar; that deal produced Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Toy Story 2. Since 2006, Pixar has been a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios; they’ve now produced 27 feature films, including this summer’s Elemental. Here are some of my personal favorites: