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Why You Should Be Watching NBC’s The Village

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From This Is Us to A Million Little Things, it seems as though NBC has made it their mission to produce dramatic television shows that, if nothing else, pull on your heartstrings. The latest series to join that batch is one that you should be watching: The Village. Created by Mike Daniels, this ensemble drama follows a number of residents, all living in the same apartment building in Brooklyn, who have built a close-knit, family-like bond. They all deal with their own personal issues, but still find time to be there for each other.

Lorraine Toussaint (left) as Patricia Davis. Grace Van Dien as Katie Campbell.

The series stars a number of familiar faces, including Michaela McManus (of One Tree Hill and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fame), Lorraine Toussaint (The Fosters and Orange is the New Black), Frankie Faison (The Wire), and Dominic Chianese (The Sopranos and The Godfather Part II). The show also stars Daren Kagasoff, who is most recognized as bad boy, Ricky Underwood, on the ABC Family (now Freeform) series The Secret Life of the American Teenager

What makes The Village such a good show, aside from the fact that it will most definitely force you to shed a few tears, is the fact that the acting is very powerful. When you have three legendary performers such as Toussaint, Faison, and Chianese on one show, you know you’re in for a treat. In addition, the show deals with issues that anyone can relate to. From teen pregnancy, to an amputee war veteran dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to cancer, to immigration issues, to caring for the elderly, this show certainly has something for everyone. You care for these characters because you either see yourself – or someone you hold dear to your heart – in them. You relate to their struggles and celebrate their triumphs along with them.

Lorraine Toussaint (left) as Patricia Davis. Michaela McManus as Sarah Campbell.

Sure, the show may not pull the numbers that This Is Us has seen in its three seasons, but it does get better as it goes along. There’s also something very endearing about a group of people who aren’t blood-related, coming together to create a stronger family than those who are!

The Village airs Tuesday nights on NBC.

 

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Why You Should Be Watching NBC’s The Village: Featured Image Credit: Ice Cream Convos.

Why Hulu’s Upcoming ‘Ramy’ is an Important Show To Watch

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Comedian Ramy Youssef first made a splash appearing on The Late Show With Stephan Colbert when he performed 5 minutes of stand up that spoke about his Muslim identity in a witty way that had the crowd laughing 10 seconds in. It is no surprise that he is now executive producing and starring in his own Hulu show titled Ramy, which is set to premiere April 19th.  Early reviews of the show have been overwhelmingly positive, making it a show that will be a necessary watch. The series of this magnitude is long overdue and for that reason alone, its arrival is important.  

The show is also executive produced by Jerrod Carmichael, whose own series on NBC made waves as it tackled social issues ranging from race, gender, and even school shootings. In its three-season run, The Carmichael Show never shied away from uncomfortable topics, and from the Hulu trailer, Ramy seems to be following in its brave footsteps. The series has 10 episodes and each episode is rooted in Ramy’s real-life stand-up.

Much like his own life, Ramy follows a first-generation Arab-American Muslim living in New Jersey who is struggling to find himself. In the just-released trailer, you can see Ramy speaking with friends about being 30 years old and still grappling with the identity issues that arose from being caught between two cultural expectations. The culture clash emerges from a post-9/11 world that believes the term ‘Muslim-American’ is an oxymoron. In the previews, you also see him questioning whether he’s even a good enough Muslim to be accepted into his own community while dealing with explaining his beliefs to his non-Muslim friends.

What makes this new series so special is that it has never been done before. There has never been a show quite like Ramy that centers around the voices of young Arab-Americans like this. And as Ramy has said in his own interviews, Arabs have never had their ‘pop-culture’ moment. These truthful characters are finally taking the main stage, and the creators promise that they are going to have actual depth to them. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Ramy said his goal with this series is to not display his community as squeaky clean and polished people, nor is he playing into the harmful stereotypes we’re so used to seeing on screen. He’s simply showing his community as they are. “Meeting at our fault lines is much more interesting to me than meeting at shared values. I’m not trying to sell you something. If anything, I’m trying to show you where we are. There is nothing to hide.”

If a Hulu series isn’t enough, Ramy also has his first stand-up special set to premiere on HBO this summer. Between a stand-up special and this upcoming Hulu series, Ramy Youssef is making important strides for his community. Make sure you press play on April 19th to finally see Arab-Americans have their pop-culture moment!

 

Read more Entertainment News at Cliché Magazine.

Why Hulu’s Upcoming ‘Ramy’ is an Important Show To Watch: Featured Image Credit: @Hulu on Instagram.

Why NBC’s Good Girls Is A Show You Don’t Want To Miss Out On

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As March approaches, all of our favorite shows will be returning with new seasons that are highly anticipated. One return that you should be anticipating is NBC’s Good Girls! Season 2 of Good Girls is set to premiere on March 3rd! If you have never watched the show on television, chances are you’ve seen it promoted on Netflix. It appeared on Netflix over the summer and If you haven’t clicked play just yet, here’s why you should:

Good Girls is a sophisticated and funny show that centers around three strong women who each face a huge obstacle in their lives. At first glance, Good Girls may seem like just another show about three bored housewives unhappy with their lives, but after a successful first season, it proved why it’s different than the rest. Viewers fell in love with the main components of the show: the leading ladies. These three women are at a point of struggle in their lives and the only strong and stable force that is present is their friendship. The friendship and loyalty between the three women is refreshing to watch on screen even if they’re often committing crimes.

The show kicks off with Beth (Christina Hendricks) discovering that her longtime husband has been cheating on her and lying about what he’s been doing with their money. Beth’s younger sister Annie (Mae Whitman) is dealing with a nasty custody battle and could possibly lose her kid due to her not being the most responsible parent. And lastly, their longtime friend Ruby (Retta) is running out of money as she and her husband struggle to pay for the medical care of their ill daughter. Feeling wronged by the people in their life and victims of their own circumstance, they all come up with a crazy plan that they believe will solve their problems: Robbing a grocery store. The plan seems crazy and impossible…until they actually do it.

Beth soon leads the charge, as the three of them actually go through with robbing the grocery store Annie works at. Their dabble in crime is supposed to be just a one-off, except they soon find themselves being threatened by a mobster, Rio (Manny Montana) who informs them that the money they stole actually belongs to him. The show excels at finding humor in the midst of all the drama and sad realities.

When season one premiered, many feared that Good Girls would fall victim to an early cancellation. But the show proved it’s worth by scoring a second season and landing an international distribution deal with Netflix! With season two just around the corner, we’re sure to expect the unexpected.

The first season of Good Girls consisted of the women having one foot in their normal lives and the other foot in the life of crime. As the second season approaches, the teaser trailer suggests Beth, Ruby, and Annie might be all in with the life of crime. Check out the preview below:

 

Read more Entertainment News at Cliché Magazine.

Why Good Girls Is A Show You Don’t Want To Miss Out On: Featured Image Credit: @nbcgoodgirls on Instagram.

15 Years Later and ‘Wicked’ the Musical Is Still Going Strong

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Wicked’s success came 15 years ago in the year 2003, thrilling theater-goers with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a story based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The novel was a creative interpretation of the classic Frank L.Baum tale, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. And of course, who could forget the musical inspired by Baum’s novel, 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy. With such a solid foundation for a springboard, it’s no wonder that Wicked, the prequel to the original Oz story, was hugely successful and continues to be so.  

The ‘Wicked’ 15th Anniversary Special on NBC: ‘Wicked’ the Musical Is Still Going Strong

If it wasn’t obvious enough that Wicked is still an impactful Broadway musical, the Halloween special on NBC is a telling indication. The special premieres on Monday, October 29 at 10 p.m. Don’t miss A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years of Wicked if you’d like to join in the anniversary celebration. Who will host the special? The two original stars of the Broadway hit, Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. Can it get any better? The show will also be host to performances by Chenoweth, Menzel, and other stars.

What Do Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel Have to Say About ‘Wicked’ 15 Years Later?

The two Broadway actresses are not at all surprised at Wicked’s success, even after so much time has passed. Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel sat down for an interview with E! News recently to discuss the success of Wicked. “The themes are love and friendship and forgiveness and that’s what we look for in life,” Chenoweth said of the musical. “Sometimes it’s hardest to have forgiveness and love and all those themes with people you love the most, and I think that’s what Wicked does so well.”

Menzel gave her own thoughts on Wicked, stating, “It’s always been a powerful piece about two female characters at the center, at the heart of it, which was always really great and unique to begin with, which is even more relevant today. Even more important.”

Read the original article from E! News

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15 Years Later and ‘Wicked’ the Musical Is Still Going Strong. Featured Photo Credit: NBC

Amanda Payton Talks ‘Trial & Error’ and Her Love of TV

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With season 2 of Trial & Error on NBC soon airing on July 19th, actress Amanda Payton will be joining the comedic legal mockumentary as Nina Rudolph. Payton is making a name for herself on the small screen joining a coveted cast of actors, like the esteemed Kristin Chenoweth. “It is a blast. I’ve never had so much fun in my life,” Payton explains.

Nina Rudolph is a podcaster from New York who moves to the town of East Peck. Her podcast, M Town, centers around the season’s new convicted murderer Lavinia Peck-Foster played by Chenoweth. Payton explains that her character’s podcast is loosely based off of real-life investigative journalism podcasts S-Town and Serial. “It’s a broad comedy so everyone in the town is an outrageous character.  My character is, in a sense, the eyes and ears of the audience, asking the questions. I’m one of the few characters who can see the absurdity of the town,” Payton explains about Trial & Error being a mockumentary.

The role of Nina Rudolph could not be more perfect for Payton. She is a huge fan of podcasts, with S-Town and Serial being a couple of her favorites. On receiving the audition, she was thrilled and was able to re-listen to her favorite podcasts as research for her character. A week 

after booking the role, Payton was already in Canada for filming. “There was really no time to be scared or overthink. Just dive into the work, which truly was a blessing,” says Payton. Having been trained at LA County High School for the Arts and Carnegie Mellon, Payton knew how to dive into the work immediately.

Payton even had a few tricks up her sleeve when it came to memorizing her lines. A huge fan of writing down her lines, she’d set a timer for twenty minutes of writing then take a five minute break before setting another twenty

 minutes. After, she’d record herself and go on a run for a couple miles. Payton explains, “Running kind of gets you out of your brain. Just to get it into my body and not get into a pattern of how I’m gonna say it.” For Payton, it’s important to not get into a pattern as the cast “throws things at you that you don’t expect.”

What immediately hooked Payton to do Trial & Error was that she was already a huge fan of the first season. ”It’s laugh out loud funny, but it’s not light and there’s no dumb jokes,” explains Payton. For her, the writing of the show is brilliant because it’s geared towards the smartest person in the room. “It’s a show you have to pay attention to, it’s not background noise.” Payton especially loves the callback jokes. There can be a small moment in episode one that might appear in episode ten and po

ssibly be the crucial clue in the show.

“I love TV. I watch quite a lot of it,” admits Payton. Like most of us, she indulges in This Is Us and Big Little Lies. She was evena fan of Animal Kingdom before she did a few episodes for the show. A show she can binge watch over and over again is The Office. She’s even watched the British version. Like many, she has been watching Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning. She admits that the show is her ‘soap opera.’ “Watching Grey’s Anatomy, I realize this is so ridiculous but I’m into it.”

Being in shows she has admired and having the opportunity to act with actors she’s always loved is an out of body experience for Payton.

Payton admits that she is open to span all aspects of her career and realizes it’s important for her to explore every genre. “I would love to do a musical on Broadway at some point in my career. I’d also love to star in beautifully written indie films. More network TV in both comedy and drama. Any role that speaks to me of any genre.” She openly says television is changing and evolving and it’s an exciting time to be an actor.

 

Outside of Trial & Error, she has read a couple scripts that are drastically different from her current role. “If the character speaks to me and if it’s written truthfully, I’m in it. You can say important things in so many different ways,” says Payton. She explains that she would love to one day do a project that’s more gritty and raw.

The arts greatly influenced how Payton got involved with acting. For her, there is an emotional response when someone watches a film or a show, a power to emotionally change someone through art. “One of the reasons I got into acting is because of art. Whether it’s acting, music or visual art, you can show humanity itself in a different way and show people aspects of themselves in a way that explaining it to them can’t,” explains Payton. It’s the message and response that drives her art. “It’s one thing to realize something and it’s another to be emotionally moved by it.”

 

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Amanda Payton Talks ‘Trial & Error’ and Her Love of TV: Image Credit: Kenneth Dolin and  Katie Burton

Characters We Love: Jack Pearson of ‘This Is Us’

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There are times when we watch our favorite television shows and we find characters that embody all the qualities a person wants in an actual human being. The compassionate husband and father from This Is Us, Jack Pearson (played by Gilmore Girls and Heroes alum Milo Ventimiglia), is one of those characters that many of us just love and some are still trying to figure out. He possesses all the unique qualities that make women wish they could be with him and men wish they could be him.

I received the initial hype for This Is Us from my friends and family who were following the NBC drama and added it to my list of Must-Watch TV Shows for the Year. They did not give a significant amount of information about the show; instead, all they told me was that it focused on a special set of individuals whose lives intersect because of a shared birthday. But there is more to the story than one would have guessed. At the beginning, the audience is introduced to a husband named Jack and his pregnant wife, Rebecca; an actor named Kevin who faces some sort of existential crisis about what direction his life is going; a woman named Kate who has a goal of losing weight; and then there is Randall, a gifted husband and father of two that has a hard-to-explain job and who recently discovers the identity and the location of his biological father. After watching the first episode and being surprised by the intriguing twist that links the characters, I, like many other viewers, was then immediately taken on an emotional ride.

Every Tuesday night, I was always excited to see what story or what direction each episode was going to take, and after the first three episodes, it became very clear that my favorite character was Jack Pearson.

One reason to love Jack is his commitment to his wife, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and his family. He also knows what to say and do at the right time. There were many times when his wife or three children, Randall, Kate, and Kevin were facing extremely tough and tense situations. There is one scene where he addresses his adopted son Randall’s sense of isolation and insecurity by taking Randall to work for Take Your Son to Work Day and he says to Randall, “You are every part my son,” proving to Randall how much he means to him. Even though Randall is Jack’s adopted son, it is clear that he is still his son who has the same qualities and quirks of Jack.

When he is with Rebecca, he is committed to supporting, comforting, and loving her. Even when she feels down, confused, or misguided, Jack always finds some way to be committed to her happiness, either through pieces of memorabilia or abrupt bursts of energy or excitement with the family. Rebecca sees these different exhaustive efforts from Jack and understands the lengths and the risks he would go for her to bring her happiness. For this reason, Jack and his commitment to his family and others around him have inspired many viewers, and it makes them want to work harder to be a better spouse or parent.

Throughout the winding structure of the show’s timeline in the first season, it was never doubtful how hard Jack worked to overcome any obstacles he faced in his life. In this series, he does everything he can to find solutions to problems he faces with his children, job, wife, or self. He is able to seemingly energize his three triplet children by naming them “The Big Three” and focuses an equal amount of attention and care to each of them as much as possible.

This is especially seen during the “Three Sentences” episode where Jack and Rebecca decide to host three separate birthday parties for the triplets’ tenth birthday. Throughout the episode, he runs back and forth between parties, trying to ensure that each of the children’s events is equally entertaining.

Later in the season and further into his marriage, Jack tries to juggle his job at the construction company while also paying attention to his wife’s dream of being in a band and his children’s struggling teenage years. Jack’s time with Rebecca was beautiful and romantic and viewers can see that he put as much effort as he can into his relationship, especially when Rebecca tries to travel with her band on tour and Jack is left in full care of the children. Viewers can see that he is understanding with Rebecca and tries to be the support she needs.

The one thing that is not addressed as much during the show is Jack’s care of himself. Throughout the first season, Jack struggles with alcoholism and uses his hard work to stay sober for his wife and children. Unfortunately, he does stray a little around the later half of the season, but as the first season ends, viewers are left to wonder if Jack will rise from this downfall or if it will, inevitably, lead to his untimely death. It seems we’ll have to wait until season two to find out what becomes of everyone’s new favorite TV husband.

This Is Us returns to NBC on September 26.

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Characters We Love: Jack Pearson of ‘This Is Us’: Photograph courtesy of NBC

6 The Voice Contestants To Watch Out For This Season

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NBC’s The Voice is currently in its 12th season. While everyone that makes it past the blind auditions is a good singer, there are some that stand out more than others as the ones to watch. As seven of the previous 11 winners had all four judges turn their chairs around, that’s a good place to look for artists to watch. That’s no guarantee, but when Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Alicia Keys, and Gwen Stefani all want you on their team, you’re probably something special. Here are six The Voice contestants that we’re watching.

Courtesy of NBC


Casi Joy
Two other factors that may point to someone to watch are being a country artist (half of the previous winners were) and being on Blake’s team (an artist from his team has come in first or second in all but one season). But that’s not to say that Casi Joy isn’t a great singer in her own right. Her blind audition rendition of “Blue” showed what she can do with her voice, causing all the judges to turn their chairs. She did it again in her battle against Ashley Levin (funnily enough with another “blue” song, “How Blue”). If any country artist is going to win this year, there’s no reason it wouldn’t be her.

Courtesy of NBC


JChosen
Taking on a Marvin Gaye song is a big task for anyone, but JChosen proved he had what it takes with his take on “Sexual Healing,” also getting all four to turn. He chose to join Gwen’s team, leading to the battle round where JChosen proved himself again, taking on Stevie Wonder this time, performing, “I Was Made to Love Her.” You could tell the other judges were hoping he’d lose just so they’d get a chance to steal him onto their team.

Courtesy of NBC


Anatalia Villaranda
Villaranda came out strong in her blind audition with a power packed version of Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby.” Though it did seem at first that no judges would bite, her final few notes finally convinced them that she was the one to have. She chose to join Alicia’s team. She brought the energy again in her battle round performance of “Tightrope.” That energy and power could be what took her far.

Courtesy of NBC


Josh West
One more four-chair-turn artist, from our remaining coach, Adam’s team. West brought a nice soft rock edge to his blind audition performance of “Ordinary World.” While we didn’t get to see his whole battle performance, the snippet they showed reaffirmed his vocal chops on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

Courtesy of NBC


Ashley Levin
Not everyone gets a four-chair-turn, but that doesn’t matter since it only takes one. While Casi Joy seems to have the inside track on female country artist, including beating Levin in the battle round, Levin proved in her blind audition performance of “Let Him Fly” that she has the vocal ability to go far. The judges seem to agree since the other three all attempted to steal her after that close battle round.

Courtesy of NBC


Felicia Temple
Another genre well represented in The Voice winners is soul, and Temple showed she could hang with the best of them — literally when her eventual coach Alicia Keys went up on stage to sing with her. Unfortunately, Keys decided not to go with her in the battle round, even after a strong performance of “Titanium.” But she was stolen, by none other than the winningest The Voice coach, Blake Shelton. That could be a good sign for her future on the show.
 
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6 The Voice Contestants To Watch Out For This Season. Featured Image courtesy of NBC.

Behind the Mic with Akbar Gbajabiamila

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By now, the hit competition television series American Ninja Warrior has become a household name. For eight seasons, competitors have gone through the show with empowering stories along with jaw-dropping physical performances. There to witness it in real time is host Akbar Gbajabiamila, who signed on to co-host the show with Matt Iseman and Kristine Leahy back in 2014. Since then, he’s been a fan favorite—especially with his “Akbarisms,” a term coined by fans of the show who were touched by Akbar’s memorable one liners. We had a chance to chat with the host about his career prior to American Ninja Warrior, moments from the show he’ll never forget, and where he hopes to see himself in a few years.

Cliché: With multiple seasons of American Ninja Warrior under your belt, how do you keep your commentary fresh when you see so many competitors go through the course every year?
Akbar Gbajabiamila: The most challenging part of keeping the commentary fresh is the fact that you have so many competitors who are competing for the qualifying round. We have over 100 competitors who are competing and some of the best lines are used on competitors who may not necessarily make the final show cut. Not a wasted line because it’s appropriate for the time, but it just really is dependent on the time of day. Shooting from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m., I use the advantage of speaking under the influence of fatigue; when your brain goes, anything goes. That’s the secret for me to keeping things fresh—just letting the fatigue set in and letting it have its way.
When you were first approached with the idea of co-hosting American Ninja Warrior, what were your initial thoughts about the show? Did you ever expect it to grow such a massive following and evidently become a huge guilty pleasure?
I did not know that it was going to grow. Well, in the beginning when I was approached with American Ninja Warrior, I just knew it to be kind of a ritual thing because I’d seen it on G4 browsing through the channels and there was something that was captivating about it. Some of the commentary would be funny, and you can see these translations and how they do these kinds of things, but I did not know it was going to grow like this. A. Smith Production and NBC came together on this show and it really kind of morphed into telling a great story. The explosion also has to do with the athletes. The athletes are so hungry, so competitive, that they’ve elevated their game. There are ninja gyms up all over the place. You can go from the West Coast to the East Coast and Midwest and you’re going to find ninja gyms. That wasn’t the case three years ago, so this show has really grown to new heights. It’s better because of the athletic skills and [the competitors’] backstories.
There are so many impressive and memorable stories and moments on ANW, but is there one that sticks out to you the most that you’ll never forget?
For me, it was seeing the very first American Ninja Warrior, Isaac Caldiero. In my third season with the show, the one thing that everyone knew about ANW was that there was never going to be a winner. In fact, I did a radio show and I remember one guy said, “Well, I don’t know why they don’t just go ahead and make the prize a billion dollars, because no one is ever going to win it.” I thought, you know what, that is pretty good, I actually like that, I think you might be right! Being there to witness every year that we had done it prior, we thought we were never going to see ‘Stage 4.’ So you didn’t even have to prepare your notes for ‘Stage 4,’ or blink your eyes because it was just that difficult. And Isaac Caldiero changed everything when he decided that he was going to take his game to the next level.
The most memorable moment of that entire thing was the look on his face after he won the million dollars. That to me was the biggest thing. He looked over to me and said to me he had never had more than $5,000 in his account. And that to me was special because I could relate to him, having gone from the inner city, to San Diego State, and then to the NFL. I remembered getting my first paycheck, and I thought, “Wow, this is big money.” I just knew that look and that feeling, and I was genuinely happy for him. To see somebody start the process, go through it, and then end the process in a victorious fashion—that was special. Of course we had two ninja warriors, him and Geoff Britten, but Isaac Caldiero was the prize winner.
With so many competition series in the mix, why do you think American Ninja Warrior continues to be a show viewers will continue to watch every season?
In every person that watches the show, there’s the inner child that lives in him or her. Essentially, American Ninja Warrior is a sick and twisted version of some of your favorite childhood monkey bar experiences. You go to any park and you can see some sort of configuration that looks like an American Ninja Warrior obstacle. It just pokes at you and makes you ask the question, “Can I do that?” And then you start telling yourself, “I can do that.” And then the backstory, where you see and hear about a competitor who has overcome cancer, or who is working and competing with Parkinson’s, or the attorney who has been out of shape and just wanted a shot at the course. And when you see those types of success or even the failures, it really starts to have this cult-like following. I think it has really grown because everybody sees themselves in the competitors. You have ordinary people doing extraordinary things. These are not necessarily the LeBron James or Aaron Rodgers of the world; these aren’t your high-profile athletes. These are just ordinary athletes, competitors, and people coming out there to compete. We have some professional athletes who are out there competing; not all of them do well and most of them don’t do well on American Ninja Warrior. This is like the even playing ground for people, like, “This is my opportunity to show everyone that I could have been a professional athlete with the big lights and the big stage.”
Speaking of the best stories and moments…what is your “Akbarism” that would sum up this new season of ANW?
“Big-time, primetime, showtime, all-time, good time.” I usually reserve that one for a performance that is outside of this world.

To see somebody start the process, go through it, and then end the process in a victorious fashion—that was special.

Are Monday nights designated as an ANW night in your household?
Monday night is definitely an American Ninja Warrior night for the family. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with the kids. There are a lot of shows on TV that you can’t watch with your kids. I watch this with my 4-year-old twins, with my 7-year-old daughter, and my 15-year-old son. We all sit there together and we all equally enjoy it. As a parent, it’s not like I’m sitting there watching the same cartoons that we have seen a million times. We can enjoy this as a family, and it’s also a good break from some of the social media that consumes our kids and our family, myself included. You know it’s real when your 15-year-old son doesn’t want to watch the NBA championship, but he will watch American Ninja Warrior with you.
When you retired from the NFL in 2008, did you have a set career path you intended on pursuing afterwards?
Yes—broadcasting. I always knew that I wanted to get into broadcasting and hosting. It’s something I’ve felt since I was a kid. In fact, I went to San Diego State after receiving a scholarship out of Crenshaw High School. It’s very typical when you get a scholarship for a big program or a football program or whatever sports you play that they try to push you towards one of the more athletically friendly majors. And at San Diego State, it was criminal justice. I had no intention of going into criminal justice, and they tried to push me that way, and I fought and I fought. I said, “Look, I want to be in communications with a focus in media studies,” and I was able to get that. I was happy that I stuck with it because if I was going to get a degree, I wanted to get a degree in something I wanted to do, and that’s what I did.
After I retired from the NFL, I immediately pursued it. Knowing that I wasn’t a Hall of Fame player, I knew that I had to take more of a backdoor approach, and that backdoor approach for me was to go back to San Diego and start my career. C.S. Keyes, who was a local anchor at the time, offered me the first opportunity to get my feet wet in the industry. Then NBC, the local affiliate there, gave me the opportunity to co-host the weekly post-game show for the San Diego Chargers in 2006, and that was the leg up that propelled my career forward after football. That led to me doing college football games, hosting at the NFL network, and then hosting American Ninja Warrior, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.
What do you like to do whenever you get some time to relax?
Travel, which seems kind of crazy. Between spending time with my family, which is priority, traveling is one of the things I have always liked to do. Many guys like to golf or do whatever. You can find me doing three things in the form of relaxation: working out, traveling, and spending time with my family, my kids, and my wife. [That’s usually] what I’m doing when I’m not on NFL Network, American Ninja Warrior, and my spin-off show, Team Ninja Warrior. I have traveled to 40 countries and I’m trying to reach 60, all by the age of 40.
Becoming a television personality can be daunting for many. For you, how did you become so comfortable in front of the screen?
Well, the secret for me was taking acting classes. In person, without the camera, I’m just me. What I didn’t realize is that when cameras are on you, there’s the pressure to feel like you have to perform. So taking acting classes was one of the greatest tips I received. I used that to become more of me. And that’s what acting really is, just becoming more of you and letting you shine through whatever the character is. But this time I’m not portraying anybody, I’m just being me and this allowed me to relax and to be able to have a relationship with the camera in front of me. And a lot of times I don’t even notice the camera; I’m almost in my own world.
What are some goals that you wish to accomplish over the next few years?
Daytime TV would be the next step for me. I say that because I realize that I have a social responsibility to utilize my platform for positive efforts. What better way to influence culture than to be right at home sharing your thoughts on some of the hot topics going on in the world? You look at the climate of our country today, everything from race and law enforcement to politics, and sometimes you just need to hear a positive spin. We’re flooded and inundated with negative imagery and news, and daytime TV has always been the opportunity to give you a break from some of that, and if you have the right person up there, [you can get] a different outlook on it. I think daytime TV would be a good platform to me to promote positive change in the community.
Read more Celebrity Interviews at Clichemag.com
Photographed by Bobby Quillard

New Series Line Up

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It’s that time of year again where we get a sneak peek at the new shows that will be hitting our television sets. Some look good, some look awful, and some are ify. Here is a breakdown of some of the new series out this year.
First up to bat is the Muppet Show on ABC. Yes, we all knew that the show had been coming for some time. What we didn’t know was what kind of style it would be going for. Would it be like the old series? Would it be something different? Would it cater to children or be in the middle so that both adults and kids could watch the show? I don’t think anyone alive thought the series would feature a new pig girlfriend for our favorite frog while being a parody of reality TV. I’ll get my popcorn ready for the pig-on-pig throw-down that is sure to come out of this.

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Fox’s New series Scream Queen ad


Fox’s Scream Queens: The series that focuses on a sorority that is being killed off by a masked figure. The girls must look into their past to find out why this red devil is out for their blood. While there may be countless great horror queens in this show, it hardly seems interesting to me. I wasn’t a fan of Black Christmas, Sorority Row 1 and 2, and other slasher films based on sorority life. I doubt I’ll be a fan of this, but if you’re into that genre of horror clichés, this is the series for you.
NBC’s Blindspot centers on a tattooed woman being found in a bag in the middle of the street with no memories of who she is or where she came from. Her tattoos are clues needed to stop crimes from happening as she and the FBI agent working with her try to figure out who she is and why she was sent to him. Also, she’s like a female Jason Bourne. She reads/speaks different languages, and can fight Matrix-style if she wanted to.
 
Minority Report has been made into a TV series, and it looks amazing. It will be set about 10 years after the film. It will focus on a male precog, a being that could see elements of future crimes but never the whole picture, as he helps a female cop save lives with his visions. What makes this series worth watching is that it’s set in the same world as the movie, which offered great insight into its own unique criminal world. There was removal of eyes, interesting weapons, and so on. Minority Report will have all these great toys to use and chances to focus on criminals we haven’t even dreamed about for this new world. It will air on Fox, so if you like it, watch religiously, because Fox is known to cancel a good series (Firefly, Arrested Development…) before it even has a chance to gain a footing.
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CW’s new series Containment banner as seen on their official Facebook site.


For those that enjoy a good viral outbreak, there’s the CW’s Containment to look forward to. Not only is this a series about the struggle for survival, but it deals with a city on lock-down. Unlike Under the Dome, this series will look at both those inside the lock-down zone and outside of it as they struggle to deal with the virus that has no cure or survivors. Oh, and the virus seems to be passed by touch, something most humans do everyday without thinking. So, this is going to be one of those interesting shows that force you to rethink your life a bit.
NBC’s Heartbreaker focuses on a female heart surgeon, which is awesome, because there aren’t many female heart surgeons out there, both in fiction and real life. She’s strong, doesn’t take crap from anyone, and reminds me a bit of House. She’ll break the rules if needed to save lives, but she’s not a bitter, broken person. It promises to be a very powerful series. In fact, the trailer made me tear up at the end. This is a must-see for all those who love medical dramas.
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ABC’s new series the Catch Banner as seen on the official Facebook page


ABC’s The Catch comes from the same woman that gave us Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. The woman that chases down con artists and thieves finds out that the man she was going to marry has been conning her the whole time. He’s taken all her money and played her for a fool. Now this woman scorned is done playing nice and ready to get even.
NBC’s The Player  isn’t about a man sleeping with a bunch of women or any kind of rom-com. This is an action show about a guy that becomes part of a trio who gamble on crime. Wealthy people bet on if the “player,” played by Philip Winchester, can stop a given criminal. The “dealer” is tasked with aiding the player in his game. Bonus: Wesley Snipes will play the pit-boss and he looks as amazing as ever.
But if you’re looking for a comedy, NBC has People are Talking. This little comedy is about two couples from different backgrounds as they go through the struggles of life. In the opening episode, one couple hires a hot nanny who may or may not have been a porn star and deals with the awkwardness of that issue.
Fox’s Grandfathered features John Stamos as a playboy, restaurant owner who finds out he has a son (Josh Peck) and a granddaughter one day. This turns his whole life upside down, as he learns to be a father and grandfather and struggles to keep his old lifestyle, while helping his new family through life.
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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Banner as seen on the sites Facebook page.


CW’s new series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend pretty much speaks for itself. A woman (Rachel Bloom) sees Josh, the love of her life and her ex-boyfriend from a summer camp she went to 10 years prior, and packs up her things to move to another state, because that’s where he was moving. She has her heart set on winning him back, girlfriend or not, and has a habit of singing her thoughts/feelings. Score.
The Flash and Green Arrow create a team of superheroes to help save the world in CW’s DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow. Members of the team include, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, White Canary (formerly Black Canary), The Atom, Captain Cold and Heatwave (Yes, those bad guys are possible good guys now)  join forces to stop Savage with the help of a time traveling brit. They will travel through time, not space (this isn’t Doctor Who), to stop Savage’s evil throughout history.
For more News, Reviews, and Interviews, check out Clichemag.com
All photos courtesy of each show’s respective official Facebook page

The Voice Returns

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After spending time away these last two seasons to record new music (yay!) and expand her family, Christina Aguilera is back on The Voice for season eight. Aguilera, who will judge alongside other musical legends like Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Pharrell Williams, is said to be gunning for the trophy this season, which Shelton earned last year through his contestant Craig Wayne Boyd.
Shelton:BoydAs usual, this season kicks off with the blind auditions which, if you’re new the show, is when hopeful contestants perform for the judges, who are facing away from them. If the judges like what they hear, they can press the center button and turn to see who the person that is singing is – a creative way to ensure unbiased decisions by the judges. Depending on how many judges turn around, the contestant then has the power to choose which team he or she would like to be a part of for the duration of the competition. A nerve-wracking process for both competitor and audience alike.
Aside from my hopes that the infamous Levine and Aguilera feud gets re-ignited with the reunion of the two original judges, I also can not wait for the A-list mentors that are lined up for this season. Us Weekly reports that this season’s talent will get advice from chart toppers like Lionel Richie, Ellie Goulding, Nick Jonas, and Meghan Trainor.  While it will be a couple weeks until these famous faces make their debuts during the “battle round” of the competition, I can’t wait to hear what they have to say to the competitors.
If you can’t wait any longer, check out this first look at season eight which premieres Monday, February 23rd at 8/7c on NBC!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ja2sQfOE2KE
Read more Celebrity news on ClicheMag.com
The Voice Returns: Photographs courtesy of Trae Patton/NBC

Why Constantine is Worth Watching

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With Constantine well into its run, it seems to be struggling to gain its footing. There are so many different types of supernatural based televisions shows, such as Sleepy Hollow, Lost Girl, and Supernatural, that it may be getting lost in the shuffle. It’s a real shame because the show has a chance change things up. So, here’s why Constantine is worth watching.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

Matt Ryan as John Constantine

Constantine, the titular hero of the series, is a bit of a bastard. He has a dark past, that he knows he’s going to Hell for, and hates himself for it — but he owns up to it. He’s a selfish hero, in that he wouldn’t offer up his body or soul if it meant saving a life. Unlike Supernatural, where the brothers have each other, Constantine, on the other hand, is a loner. Although, he does have one friend; but everyone still else hates him. Constantine is consistently unchanging as a hero, he doesn’t make excuses for who he is and treats life, people, and all things under the sun as a chore. He’s got this whole, “I guess I have to help these people, but don’t ask me to enjoy myself or care” and “why do I even bother” thing down pat. It’s no wonder that pretty much everyone under the sun can’t stand him. Even the humans, demons, dark spirits and angels, who fight each other, can all agree on their hatred of Constantine. He’s rude, full of himself, and pisses everyone off. Everyone he’s ever called a friend is either dead, wants to kill him, or begs him to leave them alone. He deserves to be punched in the face, thrown across the room, and anything else he gets.

Matt Ryan as John Constantine and Michael James Shaw as Papa Midnite

Matt Ryan as John Constantine and Michael James Shaw as Papa Midnite

While many shows focus on people and helping others by fighting evil, Constantine fights the things that go bump in the night, because he’s there and he can. There’s no great purpose, no nobility to him, and that makes him very human which is a big bonus. Constantine doesn’t wrap things up with a pretty bow. People are left to die. Issues aren’t cleared up fully and life goes on. Grief, pain, and loneliness aren’t things that are fixed in an episode. Constantine may save lives and spot darkness, but that doesn’t mean he fixes things. Yeah, things may improve for those that he saves, but they aren’t the focus of what he does. He’s the teacher, not the student. He understands what’s going on  pretty quick and knows what he’s doing, most of the time. It’s a welcome change from watching a hero stumble about.

Harold Perrineau as Manny The Angel

Harold Perrineau as Manny The Angel

Oh, let’s not forgot one last thing. Constantine is based off of the DC comics. That means the series can highlight the normal supernatural side of the famed Comic universe. The series already did a nod to Dr. Fate. There are many creatures DC has hidden within its pages. This supernatural series is the perfect chances to flesh out some of the lesser known beings. There’s far more to DC than capes and tights. That’s why Constantine‘s worth watching.

Read more Reviews on ClicheMag.com

All images are courtesy of NBC

Behind Crisis: With Stevie Lynn Jones

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Crisis may not be airing until March on NBC, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait that long to get a peek at the new series that is sure to be a hit. Actress Stevie Lynn Jones talks with Cliché about her role on the show and how this series is sure to get on the edge of your seats.

Cliché: Can you tell us a little about the show Crisis on NBC?
Stevie Lynn Jones: I show is about high school preparatory kids in Washington. They are mostly children of the elite, like the President’s child. They were going on a field trip when they are kidnapped and held hostage. The show centers on the hostages taken in the hostage situation and the elite parents trying to get them back by using what they can with the power and money that they have, and the FBI and the federal agent investigating it.

What makes Crisis different from other shows that have dealt with hostage situations?It has a very ensemble cast. There is three different shows going on. So, I never interact with Rachael Taylor or Lance Gross. It’s completely different. There are so many different storylines going on. There are some different twist and turns. It’s very dramatic, very interesting, and relatable. Crisis covers such a broad demographic because there is so many different moving parts. It’s not just about the people in the hostage situation.

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How intense was the kidnapping scene? Are there a lot of tension filled moments to come?
The kidnapping scene was over intense. We had these men in masks running around, yelling at us and making us get into this truck. All of us are crying. All of us are freaking out. The director, Phillip Noyce, is amazing. He is so good at getting everyone, not just the group of ten core kids such as Halston Sage, Max Schneider, Joshua Erenberg, and Adam Mill. But in total we have twenty-four background characters and Phillip got them into character too which in turned helped us.

So, Phillip is screaming at us. He’s giving us lines, screaming, “You’re about to die! You’re about to die! What’s going on?” Freaking everyone out and we’re all coming outside, still freaking out, trying to get on this bus and we’re climbing this tiny ladder. He just created this environment where it was easy to get wrapped up into the world making it easier of us to create, and believe that we were in this situation. It made our job easier, but also in turn create much better performance.

To read the full article and hear more behind Crisis, check out our Feb/March 2014 issue.

Photographed by Ricky Middlesworth