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Tribune News Service

Entertainment Budget for Thursday, October 15, 2020

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Updated at noon EDT (1600 UTC).

^TOP STORIES<

^Here's where to watch Halloween TV shows and movies<

^TV-HDY-HALLOWEEN-ROUNDUP:OS—<As Halloween creeps closer, you may find yourself craving creepy content, from episodes themed for the holiday to scary movies. Networks are offering special spooky programming and streaming services have curated Halloween-themed selections.

Here are a few viewing options.

600 by Kathleen Christiansen. MOVED

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^Netflix series 'Social Distance' hopes to capture the 'human stories' from 'this crazy period of time,' creator says<

^VID-SOCIAL-DISTANCE:NY—<Netflix's new anthology series, "Social Distance," unfolds chronologically, but aims to be a "time capsule" for the roller coaster reality of quarantine and unrest, its creator says.

"It's not about the pandemic per se," Hilary Weisman Graham said of the coronavirus-era show, which premiered Thursday. "It's about people experiencing life during social distancing just capturing human stories.

"It's a time capsule for when this crazy period of time is someday over, something right now (in which) people could see a piece of themselves," adds the "Orange is the New Black" writer and producer. "We all are experiencing so many emotions and so much intensity, the roller coaster that's happening on a daily basis."

700 by Kate Feldman. MOVED

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^How 'Social Distance' filmed an entire show in quarantine: 'Like making a student film'<

^VID-SOCIAL-DISTANCE-PRODUCTION:NY—<There were just seven months between the day Hilary Weisman Graham came up with the idea for "Social Distance" and the Netflix series' premiere Thursday.

Normally, the process to make a TV show takes years and includes inception, pitching, casting, shooting and editing.

"We wanted to get it out before the pandemic is over," the "Orange is the New Black" writer told the Daily News of the coronavirus era-set show.

Turns out, the pandemic isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but "Social Distance" lives entirely in shutdowns, filmed on FaceTime and Zoom and Nest.

650 by Kate Feldman. MOVED

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^This year's AFI Fest is virtual and open to all. Here's what you need to know<

^MOVIE-AFI-FEST:LA—<The AFI Fest has become a cornerstone of the Los Angeles moviegoing calendar, bringing audiences a mix of festival favorites from throughout the year, fresh discoveries and a dash of awards season hopefuls. But in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the entire festival ecosystem turned upside down, AFI Fest is going virtual.

As much as that might seem like a big change for an event that typically unfolds in Hollywood theaters including the TCL Chinese and the Egyptian, organizers hope that what defines the fest stays the same.

"We're still looking for the best stories, new voices, the things that we think are really interesting and that we think our audience will really enjoy," said Sarah Harris, in her first year as director of programming for AFI festivals. "That's still at the heart of it."

1800 by Mark Olsen in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^Commentary: 'Caliphate' let listeners hear what they wanted to hear about Muslims. And fear sells<

^PODCAST-CALIPHATE-COMMENTARY:LA—<I should have trusted my instincts about "Caliphate."

The New York Times' celebrated podcast promised listeners an insider perspective on the brutal, clandestine world of the Islamic State, or ISIS, over 10 wrenching and dramatic episodes: "In the war on terror, who is it that we're really fighting?," reads Apple's description of the series. "'Caliphate' follows Rukmini Callimachi, who covers terrorism for the New York Times, on her quest to understand ISIS."

Once a crown jewel in the Gray Lady's multimedia expansion, the award-winning production is now at the center of a scandal that pits profit and the race for more subscribers against journalistic integrity. The New York Times, like Hollywood and Washington, banked on Americans' fear of terrorism — and won.

At least it seemed that way when the podcast arrived in 2018.

1050 by Lorraine Ali. MOVED

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^MOVIES<

^7 best movies of birthday boy Joaquin Phoenix<

^MOVIE-ROUNDUP-PHOENIX:MS—<A couple of weeks ago, I was watching Jessica Fletcher on "Murder, She Wrote" help a boy fix his bicycle and thought, "Son of a gun, that wooden kid is going to become the greatest actor of his generation."

The kid was Joaquin Phoenix, back in 1984 (he turns 46 this month). Like most of the kids in his family, he was a child actor (his big brother, the late River Phoenix, preceded him, and his sister Summer was in that same "Murder, She Wrote" scene), but it took quite a while for him to reveal the breadth he was capable of.

1050 by Chris Hewitt. MOVED

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^'Rebecca' review: A series of flat tires, on the road to Manderley<

^REBECCA-MOVIE-REVIEW:TB—<Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again, and all you got was this lousy Netflix remake. The pretty, empty, emotionally frictionless and touch-free new "Rebecca" adaptation, starring Lily James and Armie Hammer, may suit the pandemic dictates for social distancing. But the drama fails to spark. It premieres Friday in a few theaters nationwide before landing, on a bed of exquisite throw pillows, in Netflix queues Oct. 21.

There it belongs in a sub-category we'll call "Lily's Big Adventures," alongside the trending phenom "Emily in Paris" starring Lily Collins. Truly these times begs for escapism; whether the new, airily wrong-headed "Rebecca" captures even a fraction of the "Emily in Paris" eyeballs is unlikely, however different they may be in theory.

800 by Michael Phillips. MOVED

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^Review: The Netflix animated film 'Over the Moon' aims high but doesn't stick the landing<

^MOVIE-OVER-MOON-REVIEW:LA—<Near the beginning of "Over the Moon," a strenuously bizarre animated riff on a classic Chinese myth, two characters discuss which ingredients to bake into their next batch of mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Twelve-year-old Fei Fei (voiced by Cathy Ang) insists on following her late mother's recipe and using melon seeds. Her father's new girlfriend, Mrs. Zhong (Sandra Oh), gently asks if they can use dates from her family's garden and is swiftly rebuffed. Fei Fei doesn't much like the woman who might be her future stepmom; if the young girl had it her way, there would be no dates of any kind in her dad's future.

850 by Justin Chang. MOVED

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^'Sound of Metal,' 'Collective' and five other films not to miss at AFI Fest<

^MOVIE-AFI-FEST-PICKS:LA—<Like most film festivals this year, AFI Fest has met the COVID-19 pandemic with an all-virtual program of screenings, panels and conversations. I've seen but a handful of the 54 features screening this week (through Oct. 22) and look forward to seeing many more, but here are seven personal favorites you shouldn't miss, listed in alphabetical order.

750 by Justin Chang in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^TV, DVD, STREAMING<

^My worst moment: 'Bob's Burgers' and 'Archer' star H. Jon Benjamin and the time he performed for an audience of one<

^TV-WORST-MOMENT-BENJAMIN:TB—<H. Jon Benjamin is in the unique position of voicing the title characters on not one but two animated shows: As the self-deprecating husband, father and short-order cook on Fox's "Bob's Burgers," and the overly confident knuckleheaded spy-plus on FXX's "Archer."

Only once has he recorded the shows on the same day and it didn't quite work out. He voiced Archer first, and the character's too-muchness might have bled into his performance of Bob later that day. Benjamin said he couldn't recall which episode it was, "but I wonder if maybe people might be able to find it, where it's like, 'Bob's a little aggressive!'"

When did Benjamin realize he had a unique facility for voice acting? "I still don't realize it," he said. "I think the fact that I wasn't very good at it is why I got cast in my first role. When I auditioned for 'Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist,' I really didn't know what I was doing — it was this awkward improvisation — and it just worked really well for the character (Dr. Katz's layabout son, Ben). So it was absolutely blind luck. But I got better."

1000 by Nina Metz. MOVED

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^TV-QUESTIONS:MCT—<Television Q&A: Viewers unhappy with Tyra Banks on 'Dancing with the Stars'

800 by Rich Heldenfels. MOVED

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^VID-NEWONDVD:MCT—<New on DVD: Elle Fanning reigns in 'The Great'

600 by Katie Foran-McHale. MOVED

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^TV-REMOTE-ADV18:CC—<Around the remote: Chuck Barney's TV and streaming picks for Oct. 18-24

600 by Chuck Barney. MOVED

^POKER COLUMN<

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^POKER-ADV:TB—<Sunday release—Poker column.

(EDITORS: Column sold separately; not included in your News Service subscription.)

900. (Moving later.)

^TCA VIDEO NETWORK <

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