TV and related doings
I hope it works out, in some cosmic sense, for Andi Dorfman, 29, the titular star of the 10th season of “The Bachelorette.” She and contestant Josh Murray, 30, announced their engagement during the July 28 season finale. As I see it, the couple faces two possible big problems: Although his mother is Jewish, Murray and his siblings were raised in their father’s Catholic faith and the groom-to-be is said to be a devout Catholic. Also, Dorfman reportedly has given up her job as an Atlanta-area assistant district attorney in favor of seeing where her celebrity will take her. This is a risky strategy. The producers of “The Bachelorette” didn’t think she was a very hot TV ratings commodity. Reports say she was paid “only” $50,000 for her time on the show. Some past “Bachelorette” stars have been paid as much as $200,000. Still, they are a very good-looking and charming couple, and I think they have a reasonable shot of landing lucrative TV jobs on one or more of the 500-plus cable TV channels.
The next season of the hit HBO series “Girls” will include guest appearances by Maude Apatow, 15, and Natasha Lyonne, 35. Apatow is the daughter of producer-director Judd Apatow, 47, and the teen got very good reviews for her supporting performance in her father’s 2012 film “This Is 40.” Lyonne has really come back from problems with mental illness and drugs that almost killed her a decade ago. Her sobriety led to being cast in a lot of TV guest shots, and she hit gold in 2013 as a guest star (Nicky Nichols) in the first season of the hit Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” She was promoted to a series regular for the second season.
Meanwhile, rock musician Jack Antonoff, 30, the live-in boyfriend of “Girls” star and co-creator Lena Dunham, 28, is having a hot summer. He had a big single and CD hit with his band “Fun” in 2012, and his solo project under the band name Bleachers is a critical and sales smash (CD was released last month). A Jewish day school grad, Antonoff recently told the website Vulture that he can pull off “the vaguely Nazi look” that his haircut gives him because his face is “so Jewish.”
Movies: new and upcoming
“Alive Inside” is a Sundance-winning documentary featuring social worker and tech expert Dan Cohen, 62, who hit upon the idea of helping dementia and Alzheimer’s patients using music tailored to each patient and contained on a laptop or iPod. The treatment has been very helpful, and the film has been praised as very moving. It opens in San Francisco and Berkeley on Friday, Aug. 8.
Looking ahead to Aug. 22: Maggie Gyllenhaal, 36, currently starring in the Mideast-themed miniseries “The Honorable Woman,” co-stars in the movie “Frank,” a British-Irish co-production. It’s a comedy-drama about a European rock band hoping to escape obscurity. Michael Fassbender stars as the title character, a real eccentric, with Gyllenhaal playing his wacko/aggressive sidekick. The director is Lenny Abrahamson, 47. He’s an Irish Jew, born and raised in Dublin, the son of Polish immigrants. An honors degree in philosophy from Ireland’s Trinity University led him to a graduate scholarship from Stanford, but Abrahamson decided not to finish his grad studies and instead returned to Ireland to make films.
Warner Bros. has hired a screenwriter to adapt a scholarly book on the creation of the Apollo spacesuits. The project has the temporary working title “Bras in Space.” Spacesuits made out of stiff materials proved to be a dismal failure. What did work beautifully was the suit made by the Playtex Co., made up of many gossamer-thin layers of material and constructed much like a bra. During the ’60s, Playtex was headed by company founder Abram N. Spanel (1901-1988), a brilliant inventor born in Odessa who was known for treating his mostly female workforce very well, as well as supporting medical and Jewish charities.
Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.