GO FOR SEASON 3 — For All Mankind is getting another early renewal. Apple TV+ has ordered a third season of the alt-history Space Race drama from Ronald D. Moore and Sony. The renewal comes more than two months before the series’ Season 2 global premiere on February 19, 2021. Production on the new season is slated to begin next spring.
For All Mankind‘s second season was picked up ahead of the show’s November 2019 series debut. It recently wrapped production, which had been interrupted by the pandemic. The sci-fi drama had two episodes left to shoot from its ten-episode Season 2 order when filming shut down industry wide in mid-March. For All Mankind was among the first scripted series to resume production in August.
This is the third Apple TV+ original series to receive an early Season 3 renewal, joining Dickinson and Ted Lasso.
For All Mankind explores what would have happened if the global space race had never ended. The series presents an inspirational world where NASA astronauts, engineers and their families find themselves in the center of extraordinary events seen through the prism of an alternate history timeline — a world in which the USSR beats the US to the moon. It also featured Ted Kennedy as the President … after Richard Nixon. And, the voices of each are pretty spot-on.
Season 2 picks up a decade later in 1983. It’s the height of the Cold War, and tensions between the United States and the USSR are at their peak. Ronald Reagan is president, and the greater ambitions of science and space exploration are at threat of being squandered as the Americans and Soviets go head-to-head to control sites rich in resources on the moon.
The Department of Defense has moved into Mission Control, and the militarization of NASA becomes central to several characters’ stories: Some fight it, some use it as an opportunity to advance their own interests, and some find themselves at the height of a conflict that may lead to nuclear war.
For All Mankind stars Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, Sarah Jones, Shantel VanSanten, Wrenn Schmidt, Jodi Balfour, Krys Marshall and Sonya Walger. They are joined in Season 2 by new cast additions Cynthy Wu as ‘Kelly,’ an astronaut’s daughter; Coral Peña as adult ‘Aleida Rosales,’ whom we met in Season 1; and Casey W. Johnson as ‘Danny Stevens,’ the son of astronauts Gordo (Dorman) and Tracy (Jones).
I just recently got into this show and totally love it. Jodi Balfour is absolutely amazing … such poise and grace. Very impressed. I just finished Season 1. The writing spot-on and the production values super top-notch.
There has been an increase of late of shows about the space. I loved Netflix’s Away, but it was unceremoniously cancelled. Steve Carrel’s Space Force and and Fred Armisen’s Moonbase 8, comedies for sure, are also on.
I must admit watching For All Mankind re-kindled my memories of that race to space, which seems now like eons ago. When there was a launch, it was almost church-like in watching it. Nothing like that exists anymore; in fact, I don’t even know if there is a space race anymore … just Elon Musk, who is a complete mystery to me.
Mankind’s characters are well-written, Sarah Jones, Balfour and Joel Kinnaman just outstanding.
Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve watched since Apple’s The Morning Show.
GATHER ROUND THE CAMPFIRE — In CW Hanes’ remarkable new book Grandfather’s Journal-In Search Of (Yorkshire Publishing), he lays out a captivating tale that seems based on a story one would hear whilst gathered round a simmering campfire.
The book is filled with mystery and intrigue and entranced me right from the start. The characters, Jacob, Catharine, Arthur, Cherry and White Eagle are equally compelling. It’s chock-full of American values with a realistic take on American Indian history.
Hanes’ style is magnetic; he makes the reader feel like you’re right there. Also, a song he composed “You Reached the Unreachable” is also included with the music as well – a first, at least for me!
The book originally came out in late-June, but has clearly not received the media attention it should.
Check out its Amazon link right here and you will NOT be disappointed – a diamond for sure: https://www.amazon.com/Grandfathers-Journal-Search-C-W-Hanes/dp/1950034984/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=grandfather%27s+journal+cw+hanes&qid=1607616761&sr=8-1
OPEN RAO’S — (via Thrillist) On a quiet corner of an East Harlem block, a dining institution founded over a century ago is one of NYC’s oldest restaurants and also the city’s hardest-to-book reservation
At Rao’s (ray-OHs), the legendary eatery serving home-style Southern Italian cuisine, it’s not about who you are, but instead, who you know. And it’s a good thing the current owners know exactly who to ask on the occasions they want to accommodate guests of their own: the regulars of Rao’s who possess all of the “table rights.”
However, Rao’s notorious booking system hasn’t always been a part of its operations. The spot debuted nearly 125 years ago, in an era when local breweries would set up taverns in various NYC neighborhoods in order to sell their beer. Charles Rao, an immigrant from Southern Italy, purchased an already existing, single-room tavern on 114th Street and Pleasant Avenue in 1896 from George Ehret Brewery, and established it as Rao’s. It wasn’t until the late 1950’s, with the addition of dishes from family recipes originating from Italy added to its offerings, that the watering hole transitioned into a restaurant.
And by the mid-1970’s, a network of loyal customers began to occupy the six booths and four tables that comprise the small menu-less dining room, enjoying items like the signature meatballs in a space reminiscent of a family gathering night after night.
Rao’s transformation into a culinary urban legend came in 1977, when a three-star review from New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton lauded the “simple, honest, and completely delicious Italian food,” where other than the marinara sauce, “there is no precooking at all.” Putting Rao’s on the radar of food enthusiasts everywhere, the restaurant was inundated with bookings and reservation requests. “It changed overnight,” co-owner Ron Straci and grandson of founder Charles Rao, tells Thrillist, “and became a place everyone wanted to go to.” As a way of looking out for their regulars, Rao’s implemented a special system where those who had been devotees before the review would still be able to eat there without difficulty.”
With the start of “table rights,” regulars were bestowed a standing reservation that could be passed down to their family throughout generations, making availability rare and it nearly impossible for the average person to just snag a table. On evenings when regulars weren’t able to use their weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly, standing reservation, they could invite guests to take advantage of it instead, creating a time-honored NYC tradition of only being able to eat at Rao’s by knowing someone (who knows someone who knows someone) who was a regular. And for the owners of Rao’s, they too have to inquire with regulars to see if they’d be able to relinquish any tables on a given night.
Until COVID-19 hit earlier this year, this was how Rao’s operated for more than four decades: as a mythical dining destination few have experienced, but countless have fantasized about. However, like so many businesses since the spring, adapting during the pandemic has been vital, and after NYC restaurants were first forced to cease their indoor services this March, Rao’s closed for a single day and then pivoted to takeout—a first in its 124-year history—in addition to donating meals to frontline works and first responders in the city.
“Everyone is happy we’re doing it,” says Straci, “We’ve got someone almost every day that says ‘I’ve heard about y\your restaurant and tried to dine in it but haven’t been able to—I’m so happy I can now try your food.’”
When asked if this is the opportune time for non-regulars of Rao’s to get a taste of their East Harlem kitchen’s cuisine, Straci agrees and quickly responds with: “They should do it now.”
SHORT TAKES — Great remembrance of John Lennon from legendary-scribe Roy Trakin. A must read for sure: https://variety.com/2020/music/news/john-lennon-yoko-ono-new-york-encounters-1234848312/?fbclid=IwAR3hz6TliLJKqNoY0o7pm3MnwVTmSPTzzFwHFY3ekJ832nfUTVRQ8qXPOss …
Tuesday’s episode of CBS’ FBI (Liar’s Poker) was just superb. Simply sensational; I actually may have to become a Dick Wolf-fan all over again … A recent Kathie Lee Gifford article in People didn’t reference her movie with Craig Ferguson (The Came You) either. Guess it was clearly not a hit. In the piece she says she’s working on another movie. Good luck … Julianna Margulies joins Season 2 of The Morning Show … now shooting in LA …Happy Bday Jim Kerr and RIP Dale Sheets!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Lush Ice; Jacqueline Boyd; Scott Mervis; Mitch Kanner; Roy Trakin; Rao’s; Chris Gilman; Larry Bryant; Dan Tana’s; Melissa Davis; Anthony Pomes; Tony King; David Furnish; Jane Ayer; and, CHIP!