Philly is all over the box this Thanksgiving. Here is a shortlist of where and when you can watch.
The recently screened Rocky V Re-dux aside, it’s been a quiet autumn for seeing and hearing Philly hard represented in a big way on television, in film and via streaming. Once the 6ABC Dunkin’ Philly Thanksgiving Day Parade airs, however, all hell breaks loose and Philadelphia busts out all over the place.
Here’s a brief look as to where to find the new us…
The King of Cool on TCM
Before its first airing on November 19 on TCM, dosage MAGAZINE and I discussed the importance of the brand new, first ever documentary on the life and work of Dean Martin, his image, and the deceptively quiet manner in which he clung to family over the flashbulbs of fame. What’s so local about this? Philly’s own Jerry Blavat, a one-time assistant to Don Rickles, a friend to the Sinatra family and Sammy Davis Jr., and a pal of Martin and all things Rat Pack-y is one of The King of Cool’s director Tom Donahue’s principal go-to interviewees (alongside RZA from Wu-Tang Clan) throughout the documentary, the one with up-close-and-personal, swinging sage wisdom to set the record straight.The king of Cool airs again on TCM on November 26.
Tick… Tick… BOOM! on Netflix
There’s a double dose of Philadelphia in director Lin-Manuel Miranda’s NETFLIX film of the late, great playwright Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical Tick… Tick … BOOM! found both during the film, and as part of its end credits. Based on the life and sudden early death of the man who wrote Broadway’s game-changing Rent, and un-produced works such as Superbia (on which he worked for eight years), the film’s music supervisor Steven Gizicki and soundtrack producer Kurt Crowley spoke with me about working with The Roots’ Tariq Trotter and Jazmine Sullivan on TTB!. Trotter, a producer on Miranda’s Hamilton soundtrack, was brought in to film Larson’s rap, “Play Game,” about how exists within modern theater. “Lin’s Rolodex is extensive,” said Gizicki. As for including Philly’s Jazmine Sullivan singing Larson’s “Come to Your Senses” in the film’s “End Credit Version,” Crowley said that the production team was looking for someone that could make a hit single of a Larson song, “But took it to a whole other realm – and within two days.”
A double dose of Bradley Cooper in theaters
Not seen on screen since his directorial debut in 2018’s A Star is Born, Philly’s Bradley Cooper has two roles in two upcoming mega-flicks this holiday season: one as old timey and ambitious carny with a talent for manipulation in director-writer Guillermo del Toro’s latest spook-fest Nightmare Alley, and the other as Batman producer/Barbra Streisand’s beau/playboy/hairdresser Jon Peters in writer-director’s Paul Thomas Anderson coming of age 70s’ comedy, Licorice Pizza. Both films are due in live cinemas, and not streamers, December 17.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s upcoming new season on FXX
There’s not that much truly Philly left about the FXX Network’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” cringe comedy anymore. Certainly, the production team and its Philly-raised star/co-creator Rob McElhenney haven’t done their usual filming on Ninth Street thing in a minute. Still, the black comedy is raucously funny, and after a two-years plus wait for new episodes, the Sunny show’s 15th season will premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 10 p.m. with eight fresh follies to follow. The now longest-running live-action, comedy series in American television history apparently filmed chunks of season 15 in Ireland, as opposed to South Philly, so why not?
Kevin Hart’s True Story on Netflix
Perhaps one of the reasons that Hart has been hanging around Philly in the last two weeks has something to do with breathing in the aftereffects of his new, locally-themed drama for Netflix, True Story, where he plays (not a far stretch) a beloved comedian who gets caught up in a world of murderous gangsters after connecting with his crime-minded brother during a tour stop in Philadelphia. Drama? Hart? A definite maybe.