Pastor Joel Osteen will welcome Kanye West to his Houston megachurch Sunday morning. Strange as their collaboration may seem, West and Osteen “are friends,” a Lakewood Church representative told the Houston Chronicle, having long ago set aside ideological differences over helping people during hurricanes to find common ground in their Christian faith. West recently recommitted his life to God and/or released an album, Jesus Is King, whose songs preach of the Lord’s awesome power to deliver you from the temptation of Instagram likes, and lead you toward finer, more expensive things. This is the precisely the kind of down-home prosperity gospel that’s music to Osteen’s ears, of course, which should make their planned conversation about “Kanye’s journey to faith” an illuminating one—at least until West inevitably goes off on a tangent about Drake, or how God called upon him to make weird algae shoes. God’s humble servant (who’s currently mulling a name change to “Christian Genius Billionaire Kanye West”) will return to perform at 7 p.m. with his traveling choir, stars of the weekly Sunday Service events that many regard as Kanye’s practice run for a megachurch of his own. You can become an early convert by tuning in via TV, SiriusXM, or Lakewood’s website, or simply following the aghast live-tweets.
Post Malone Tops the Charts
Kanye may have God on his side, but Dallas sort-of-rapper Post Malone currently has more disciples on Spotify. Malone’s third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, returned to the No. 1 spot this week after briefly yielding to Kanye, earning Post Malone his fifth nonconsecutive week at the top of the Billboard 200. He’s the first artist to nab that (somewhat amended) honor since Drake released Scorpion, adding to a year that’s also seen him earning 2019’s largest one-week streaming total, and starring in that meme where he’s flashed by an audience member, an image I’ve now seen on social media a record-breaking 10,000 times.
SNL Star in Joe Exotic Series
Variety reports that Saturday Night Live clutch player Kate McKinnon will star in and executive produce a series about Joe Exotic, the flashy, self-proclaimed “Tiger King,” whose private zoo empire unraveled over his attempts to murder a rival. Although McKinnon has had plenty of experience with cat-wrangling and playing weird dudes, she won’t be starring as Joe. She’s been cast as Carole Baskin, the owner of a big-cat sanctuary who successfully sued Joe Exotic for $1 million over his unethical treatment of animals, earning his bitter enmity—and eventually driving him to death threats and, finally, attempts to hire a hitman to kill her. Their story was recently told in Texas Monthly, as well as on the true-crime podcast Over My Dead Body. It’s the latter that will form the basis of McKinnon’s show. Incidentally, this marks McKinnon’s second podcast adaptation about a Texas-bred megalomaniac, after she agreed to star as Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in a series for Hulu.
No More Veronica Mars
While Hulu will give us McKinnon’s Elizabeth Holmes impression, it will also take away Veronica Mars: The show’s Texan creator Rob Thomas told TV Line this week that there are currently no plans for a fifth season of the Kristen Bell-starring series, although he would not rule out another return sometime in the future. The cult show premiered its eight-episode fourth season back in July, garnering mostly positive reviews for the way it brought Bell’s wiseass teen detective into deeply flawed adulthood. But it also angered more than a few fans with its season finale—a shocking plot twist that was explicitly designed, Thomas said, to close the door on Veronica Mars’ teen drama past and evolve into more of a dark, neo-noir mystery. Unfortunately, like Veronica Mars herself, the show now seems to have learned its own harsh truth about growing up. But, hey, maybe in another thirteen years fans will finally be ready to check in with Veronica again and find out which of her other loved ones have died.
But More Lizzie McGuire
Unless Disney has been completely corrupted by its newfound streaming powers, time has assuredly been kinder to Lizzie McGuire, the erstwhile teen klutz played by Houston’s Hilary Duff, who recently returned to production on a new Lizzie McGuire series for Disney+. Duff recently sat down with E! News to share some details about the forthcoming sequel/reboot and the role she admits, with admirable grace, that she “never thought she’d be returning to.” According to Duff, the new series will open with Lizzie celebrating her thirtieth birthday in New York, where she’s been living and presumably dwelling way too much on junior high for the past decade or so. There’s not much else to go on just yet, other than that Duff’s cartoon inner voice may or may not still be depicted as a twelve-year-old—thus illustrating the permanently arrested adolescence so many of us live in and only occasionally become famous for.
Sandra Returns to Netflix
Sometimes-Austin resident Sandra Bullock is also sticking with what works, following her buzzed-about thriller Bird Box by teaming up with Netflix again for the new feature Unforgiven. Decidedly not a film in which Bullock plays a grizzled gunfighter who’s roused from her peaceful pig farmer life to settle one last score—because Hollywood is filled with cowards—Unforgiven is instead based on the 2009 British miniseries of the same title. Bullock will play a woman who has just been released from a fifteen-year prison sentence for a violent crime and tries reuniting with her estranged younger sister. It marks the second big streaming project for Bullock in recent months, after it was announced that she was developing an Amazon musical series loosely based on her eighties college years, about an independent young woman making her way through the Deep South. Hang in there, young Sandra Bullock! If you survive, your future holds so many great content opportunities.
First Look at New Selena
Finally, Netflix released its first look at Selena: The Series, which launches in 2020 with a six-episode “Part 1” chronicling the rise of the iconic Tejano singer. The clip offers your first glimpse of The Walking Dead’s Christian Serratos as the young Selena Quintanilla-Perez—or really, it’s your first glimpse of Serratos as Serratos as Selena, as this thoroughly meta teaser finds Serratos reading the Selena script, trying on a signature Selena outfit, rehearsing a few dance moves, then heading to a soundstage, where she lip-synchs, somewhat convincingly, before a voice calls out, “All right, Christian, we’re ready to shoot!” (An unfortunate choice of words, considering.) Will this tentative introduction be enough to forestall the inevitable chorus of “but Jennifer Lopez”? Judging by the replies, no. But it is a clever way to delay anyone weighing in on Serratos’s actual performance, at least for a little while.
Get your first look at Christian Serratos, who will play Selena Quintanilla in a coming of age story chronicling the iconic singer's rise.
Selena: The Series — Part 1 premieres in 2020. pic.twitter.com/3U7hBrxLHi
— Netflix US (@netflix) November 12, 2019
This Week in Matthew McConaughey
While filming The Tonight Show at the University of Texas, host Jimmy Fallon dropped in on McConaughey’s newly minted “Script and Screen” class. The school’s esteemed minister of culture also offered sage words about Austin’s “cowboy code,” sang a duet on “The Eyes of Texas,” and took a selfie with the Bass Concert Hall audience for his just-launched Instagram account.
While that would certainly be enough for an average week of Matthew McConaughey, he didn’t stop there, also sharing a Veterans Day photo of himself surrounded by uniformed soldiers (while McConaughey is clearly wearing a promotional hat for the 2005 film Sahara). Finally, he waxed unexpectedly lyrical about Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, tweeting, “You give @PeteCaroll a glass of water he turns it into a lake and goes skiing on it.” We’re not sure what that means, exactly, but it probably makes more sense coming out of Matthew McConaughey.