An ATX Tradition: Breakfast with Phil Rosenthal
We originally came across Phil Rosenthal by accident. The first year we attended ATX, the festival honored mega-producer James L. Brooks with a lifetime achievement award. Phil hosted a Q&A panel with James, so we looked up his credentials. Oh, he’s just the guy that came up with a little show called Everybody Loves Raymond. We found him very charming during his interview with Brooks. So charming, in fact, that we attended his panel the following year in which he spoke about his food and travel show on PBS, I’ll Have What Phil’s Having. Food and travel shows don’t hold our usual interest, but listening to Phil talk for an hour on any subject is a pleasure.
This year’s panel featured an episode of Phil’s new Netflix show, Somebody Feed Phil. Although the suicide of Anthony Bourdain that same morning deeply affected Phil, who modeled his show after Bourdain’s, the show went on. Phil dedicated his panel and his entire show to Bourdain, for whom he felt great admiration and respect.
Following an episode from his upcoming season in which he visits Venice, Italy, Phil took questions. Even with the morning’s bad news, Phil didn’t disappoint. He charmed the audience and practically guaranteed that we’d be back next year, no matter what he was talking about.
Castle Rock Preview
For Daley Review, and for as much as we love to see Phil, Castle Rock‘s panel was our big event of the day. The new show, which streams on Hulu July 25, features a mash-up of several books and characters from Stephen King’s mind. While some casting details had been released prior to the panel, the show creators, Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason, decided to keep a few secrets for the panel’s reveal.
Although they couldn’t show us an entire episode, they could show us the first four minutes of the series. In the never-before-released clip, the audience around us sat quietly and in awe at what looks to be your new favorite dark-themed show. Imagery of the kinds of bad things Castle Rock was known for, like a lady killing her husband with car exhaust or the high school mascot jumping off the roof during a football game shocked some. When LOST’s Terry O’Quinn came on screen, we heard audible gasps and celebrations across the theater. Although not shown in our four minute preview, the showrunners let it slip that Fargo’s Allison Tolman would also join the cast.
As for the show itself, expect dark themes and psychological thrills. Both showrunners stated a flat dislike for hack-and-slash horror, but we’d still count on some death in the show. After all, this is Stephen King’s playground. As for format, they told us that each ten episode season would revolve around a single story. When the season changed, so would the story. Some characters will move from season to season, but their importance may change.
If enthusiasm, great casting, lots of experience, and a huge amount of knowledge and respect for King’s work don’t add up to a great series, we’re not sure what would. This one looks like a winner.
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