ET Obsessions: ‘Black Panther,’ ‘White Houses’ and More!
By ETonline Staff
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Getty Images / HBO / Charlie Korman
Here at ET, we’re obsessed with a lot of things -- and here are a few we’re most excited about this week:
Why We’re Obsessed With ‘Black Panther’
Perhaps the most anticipated film -- well of 2018, at least -- Black Panther has a lot of hype to live up to as it promises to make history and break records. And luckily, we can report it exceeds all expectations. The new Marvel superhero installment focuses T’Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman), who Avengers fans first met in Captain America: Civil War, as he goes to battle with the villainous Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and his evil cohort, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). Director Ryan Coogler, who previously worked with Jordan on Fruitvale Station and Creed, masterfully balances “the action with humor, the comic book icon with the black touchstone, futurism and cultural relevance,” Angelique Jackson writes in her review of the film. “He knows what he wants to say with the film and knows what a big opportunity this is to say it, especially for a black filmmaker.” And while the cast is packed full of stars -- Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Sterling K. Brown and Oscar nominee Daniel Kaluuya -- it’s Letitia Wright, as gadget wiz Shuri and kid sister to T’Challa, who runs away with the film. “[Chad’s] a soulful brother, so I felt like it came easy for me to connect with him. I actually have a genuine love and appreciation for him as my big brother,” Wright told ET about working with the Panther himself.
In a fair and just slightly nerdier world, Americans would be as obsessed with the detailed comings and goings of the Roosevelts as much as we are of the mid-century British royals of The Crown. Amy Bloom's excellent, evocative White Houses is chock-full of all the drama necessary to fuel at least four seasons of a binge-able series -- one for each of the four-year terms that FDR spent in D.C. with his friends and family crashing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue like it was a boarding house. The best -- and least-told of these true stories, at least until now -- is first lady Eleanor Roosevelt's decades-long relationship with a tall, tough-talking reporter named Lorena Hickok, a pioneering female journalist. Where many historians have stubbornly glossed over the grand love affair between the two ladies despite considerable evidence, Bloom allows her storytelling, steeped in meticulous research, to rekindle a rich tale of what is ultimately a sweet, epic romance. "My interest is more in truth than facts," Bloom told ET, "although if you like that kind of thing, there are a lot of facts in there." Calling PBS: make this great American mini-series next, please.
Why We’re Obsessed With Ramon Bishop on ‘Here and Now’
TV writer and producer Alan Ball -- the man behind Six Feet Under and True Blood -- is back on HBO with the new family drama Here and Now. But as the creator stresses, it’s not the typical family experience so often seen onscreen. “I was trying to figure out how to make it more interesting and one of the ways was to have so many adopted kids from so many different places,” Ball told ET, referring to the Bishop family, which is comprised of Ashley (Jerrika Hinton) from Liberia, Duc (Raymond Lee) from Vietnam and Ramon (Daniel Zovatto) from Colombia, as well as Audrey and Greg’s (Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins) only biological daughter, Kristen (Sosie Bacon). “One of the other ways was to add the mystical elements of Ramon's visions.” Yes, there is an unexplained mystery that includes the prominence of 11:11. While show attempts to balance a lot of elements, the reason to watch is the relationship between Ramon and Henry (Andy Bean), who quickly fall in love in the first four episodes. A far cry from Six Feet Under, with David Fisher’s tormented coming out story, Here and Now moves the gay narrative forward, focusing instead on sex and romance. “And it’s more exciting to watch,” conceded Peter Macdissi, who produces and co-stars on the HBO series.
Why We’re Obsessed With ‘Options’ by Charlie Korman
Newcomer Charlie Korman has landed on our radar with the song “Options,” a kiss-off to a former flame who wasn’t treating him right even though he was giving his everything, produced by Grammy-nominated, Kosine & Toro. It’s over three minutes of pure smooth pop-R&B that seems to be making a comeback on the charts. The Chicago, Illinois, native shows some promise, with his mix of Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, and we certainly wouldn’t mind hearing more.