’15 Addictions, One Offs and Shout Outs

This year’s eclectic list includes shout outs to some of the talent who make it happen off screen as well as on screen, whether discovered as new, rediscovered or simply appreciated in 2015. It was a good year for nostalgia. So, in no particular order…

Stretch and Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives – Shout out to DJ Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito for taking us on their nostalgia trip, back to my home town, NY and nineties hip hop. The LA premiere, in September, had that feel good vibe that I remember when I first got to LA in ’93… Good times. And as far as DJ’s go, Stretch has not only been a tastemaker on radio, but hands down, my favorite club DJ. If you loved nineties hip hop, see it and if you lived it, definitely see it!

Stretch and Bobbito_THE ANGEL COLLAGE

River – Huge shout out to creator/writer Abi Morgan. I can’t imagine anyone else evoking the pathos that Stellan Skarsgård does, as River. He is exceptional opposite Nicola Walker, Adeel Akhtar and Eddie Marsan.

River_Stellan Skarsgard_Nicola Walker2

The Game – Shout out to Toby Whithouse (creator of another favorite, Being Human) and the cast led by Tom Hughes and Brian Cox. Excellent production design begs a shout out to Michael Howells for this enigmatic drama set in 1972.
The Game_Tom Hughes_Brian Cox

Bessie – Shout out to co-writer/director Dee Rees, Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Khandi Alexander, Michael K. Williams and a team that wouldn’t quit to get this film made. At the Q&A they said it took twenty years… And in that time, Latifah’s profile grew to a place where this finally became possible. Yes!

Bessie_Queen Latifah

Bessie_Dee Rees_Queen Latifah_Elvis Mitchell

Mr. Robot – Shout out to USA network for giving creator/writer, Sam Esmail and pilot director, Niels Arden Oplev the space to do something original, dark and “out there” with a cast led by Rami Malek.
Mr Robot

Babylon – Shout out to director, Danny Boyle. This show has the freshest tone I’ve come across in years; with its uniquely British blend of dark comedy and serious drama. It’s laced with rapid-fire, clever dialogue that also begs a shout out to the writers, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain. Great cast led by Brit Marling and James Nesbitt…
Babylon-Brit Marling_James Nesbitt

Deutschland 83 – Shout out to the creators, Anna Winger and Jörg Winger and the cast led by Jonas Nay for taking us back to 1983 with Cold War tensions peaking between East and West Germany.
Deutschland 83_Jonas Nay_Ludwig Trepte

Straight Outta Compton – Shout out to F. Gary Gray, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr., Marlon Yates Jr., R. Marcos Taylor. This took me back…

Straight Outta Compton 2

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee – Shout out to Crackle for having the vision to run with Jerry Seinfeld’s simple, but clever idea… because it led to Seinfeld and POTUS “cruisin’ down the street” in a ’63 Chevy Corvette.

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee_Seinfeld_POTUS

Vikings – This series is an addiction, therefore a supreme shout out to creator and sole writer, Michael Hirst is due… The writing, casting and crafting of this show is unparalleled. I didn’t think it was possible, but every season tops the last one.Vikings_Travis Fimmel_Clive Standenvikings_Katheryn Winnick

House of Cards – Shout out to director, James Foley and writer, Melissa James Gibson for chapter 32. Robin Wright owns this episode.

House of Cards_Robin Wright_Kevin Spacey

ARRAY – Shout out to director, writer, colleague and inspirational woman, Ava DuVernay. In a year where diversity has been publicly discussed and high profile women have used their voices to be heard about equal opportunity and equal pay, ARRAY shines, as it gives distribution to films from a diverse worldwide pool of filmmakers. I’m proud to be a member and to support Ava’s brainchild AFFRM, as it has evolved into ARRAY…

Rectify – Shout out to director, Bill Gierhart and writer, Coleman Herbert for “Sown With Salt”. Going from strength to strength, this series continues to be a great character study led by Aden Young and Abigail Spencer.

Rectify_Aden Young

Mad Men – A one off event to say a final farewell…

Farewell To Madmen_1

—————ON AUTO-REPEAT—————

“Knowledge” – Lady Chann ft Flowdan

Lady Chan ft Flowdan Knowledge Artwork

“Sound The Alarm” – Navigator ft Skarra Mucci

Navigator - Sound The Alarm ft Skarra Mucci

“Squarewave Shuffle” – Impey

Impey - Squarewave Shuffle Art

“Police officer (Vital Techniques & Mikey B remix)” – Squarewave & Doctor

Squarewave & Doctor - Police officer Artwork

“Passing Me By (Redo)” Marti Nikko & DJ Drez

Marti Nikko & DJ Drez - Passing Me By (Redo) - Artwork

“Humble Yourself” – Emeterians

Emeterians - Humble Yourself - Artwork

“Trick Or Treat” EP – 6Blocc

6Blocc - Trick or Treat EP - Artwork

“The Apprentice, The Elder & Me” – Jhelisa

Jhelisa_The Apprentice, The elder & Me

Thanks to my friend and spiritual sister, Jhelisa, this is how we meditate out the old year and bring in the new… Happy 2016!

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