TV Review: Nina Dobrev in CBS’ ‘Fam’
“Fam” — so named because, as per this CBS version of a 16 year-old, “no one says ‘family’ anymore” — doesn’t push much harder to find new angles beyond its setup. Clem and Jay are perfectly nice, vaguely dorky surrogate parents; Shannon makes countless jokes about smoking weed while stomping around in combat boots, as TV’s rebellious teens have for years. Every so often, Clem alludes to the fact that she, too, was a scowling teen who thought drugs and acting out were the answers to her bad family life. Those moments, when she can push back against Shannon by virtue of knowing her next moves better than Shannon herself, are by far the show’s least derivative.
As Jay’s bourgeois parents, the eminently capable Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sheryl Lee Ralph unfortunately don’t have much to do beyond make fond jokes around the margins. But they still do it well enough that it’s disappointing when Dobrev and Bell, enthusiastic though they are, can’t quite match them.
And that’s about the vibe for “Fam,” overall. In the early outset, the show feels like it cobbled together pieces of other shows — especially The WB’s “What I Like About You” — to become its own perfectly pleasant sitcom Frankenstein. Even when it doesn’t do much to distinguish itself, it’s just fine, and maybe that’s enough.
Comedy, 30 mins. Premieres Thursday, Jan. 10 at 9:30 pm EST.
Crew: Executive producers: Corinne Kingsbury, Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling, Dana Honor.
"It's very different. They're so different. The live audience aspect is one big one, the fact that it's a straight comedy, the fact that it's a lot broader, you have to be bigger on sitcoms. You have to enunciate and project for the people in the audience," Dobrev explained. "It's kind of like doing a mini play every single week and you get a new script every week that you have to memorize, and they change the lines every day up until—and ever during—the live taping. They'll come in and whisper a new line in your ear and you have to test it out in front of the audience for the first time."
Talk about a lot of pressure! "It is, but it also makes it fun and keeps you on your toes. You have to, sort of, be very sharp and focused. You can't really slack off in those environments, which is good, it's…a cancer for complacency," she said.
"Because it's live, so if you make a mistake people see it and I don't like making mistakes in front of people," she told E! News' Erin Lim.
"They've definitely had my back and helped me out a lot, as I am a baby in this world," she said.
Click play on the video above to hear more, including about when her Vampire Diaries costar surprised her in the audience of Fam.
Fam premieres Thursday, Jan. 10 at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.
Since “Surviving R. Kelly” aired on Lifetime none of his children have spoken out — until now. Buku Abi (it is unclear what her age is but she appears to be an adult) slammed her 52-year-old father on Instagram.
Abi, whose real name is Joann Kelly, posted on her Instagram stories, “Buku here. I just want to say a few things… Before I start I just want it to be known that I am speaking from the heart, nothing I say or do not say is to hurt ANY party reading this or affected by this.”
She continued, “To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently. I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father’s actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this.”
She shared, “However, It has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel. Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me throughout the years knows that I do not have a relationship with my father. Nor do I speak on him or on his behalf. I also am not fond of dealing with my personal issues or personal life through social media but, I feel things are starting to get out of hand.”
Abi revealed she or his singling have not spoken to him in years, “Unfortunately, for my own personal reasonings & for all my family has endured in regards to him, his life decisions and his last name, it has been years since my siblings and I have seen or have spoken to him,” she continued her message. “In regards to my mother [Andrea Lee], she for the same reasonings and more, has not seen or spoken to my father in years. My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life.”
Abi told her followers, “Going through all I have gone through in my life, I would never want anyone to feel the pain I have felt. Reminders of how terrible my father is, and how we should be speaking up against him, rude comments about my family, fabricating me, my siblings & our mothers ‘part’ etc. Does not help my family (Me, my sister, my brother, and my mother) in our healing process. Nor does it allow a safe space for other victims who are scared to speak up, speak up.”
She closed with, “I just want everyone to know that I do care and I love you all. This is a very difficult subject to speak on… again, I apologize if my words don’t come out right.”
Executive produced by Dream Hampton, the docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” detailed accounts from people in Kelly’s circle, including the singer’s brother, Bruce, who said Kelly had a “preference” for young women and singer Sparkle (the aunt of the 14-year-old in the sex tape) who testified against him in court.
In an Instagram story she says took her three days to write, R. Kelly’s daughter Buku Abi — whose real name is Joann Kelly — distanced herself and her family from the singer accused of sexually abusing several women and girls.
“Before I start I just want it to be known that I am speaking from the heart, nothing I say or do not say is to hurt ANY party reading this or affected by this,” Buku began.
“To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,” she wrote. “I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father's actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this."
The “everything” Abi refers to is the recent three-night Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” that delved into the singer’s history of alleged physical and emotional abuse of women.
The final episodes focused on Kelly’s alleged sex cult at his homes in two cities, including one in metro Atlanta.
"Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me throughout the years knows that I do not have a relationship with my father. Nor do I speak on him or on his behalf,” Abi continued.
"Unfortunately, for my own personal reasonings & for all my family has endured in regards to him, his life decisions and his last name, it has been years since my siblings and I have seen or have spoken to him. In regards to my mother, she for the same reasonings and more, has not seen or spoken to my father in years. My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life," she wrote.
"The same monster you all confronting me about is my father," Buku added. "I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind. My emotional state. And for MY healing. I have to do & move in a manner that is best for me. I pray anyone who reads this understands I put nothing but good intent behind each word.
"I just want everyone to know that I do care and I love you all," she continued. "This is a very difficult subject to speak on… again, I apologize if my words don't come out right.."
The Grammy winning singer has threatened to sue Lifetime over the series.
According to TMZ, Kelly’s lawyer Brian Nix sent the network a legal letter, accusing the company of making false allegations in the upcoming series. If the project isn’t axed, the attorney threatened to file a federal lawsuit, the site reported.
The singer’s attorney Steven Greenberg told ABC News and “Good Morning American” on Thursday: “We know what happened, and we know those things didn’t happen. The man was not operating a harem or a sex cult or holding people hostage or anything like that.”
Kelly has repeatedly denied the accusations of sexual and physical abuse.
LeMahieu will join the Yankees after seven impressive seasons with the Colorado Rockies that included two All-Star selections, three Gold Glove Awards and the 2016 National League batting title.
The 30-year-old ranked as one of the best defensive players in the National League in 2018 and led all major leaguers -- at any position -- in defensive regression analysis. Offensively, 6-foot-4 LeMahieu is known as a slap hitter who regularly goes to the opposite field, batting .276 with 15 home runs, 62 RBIs, 90 runs and 6 stolen bases last season.
The Yankees have been seeking infielders in the absence of shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is not expected back until the summer. The team signed former Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki last week and said he will be the starting shortstop. LeMahieu likely will see time at second, third and possibly even first.
While the Rockies wanted to keep their core group intact -- along with Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon -- the team has low-cost options coming up through the system with infielders Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers.
"DJ is the quintessential Rockie who never gets heard from," Blackmon said near the end of the regular season. "He's the guy you take for granted because he's always out there. Every ball that's hit to him is an out. He always has professional at-bats, and he's always doing the right thing."
Added Arenado: "He's the same guy every day, good or bad. ... He sets the standard for us. We go where he goes, really."
LeMahieu, a second-round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2009, has a .298 career batting average with 49 home runs, 349 RBIs, 501 runs scored and 75 stolen bases since entering the majors in 2011.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Yankees reportedly signing DJ LeMahieu could mean they're out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes
The Yankees and free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu reportedly agreed on a two-year deal
New York's plan for LeMahieu is to use him as a multi-positional asset, where he'll see time at second base, third base and even at first base, per Jack Curry of the YES Network.
It wasn't soon after their meeting that Machado sparked more rumors when. Then, there were reports of his wife .
Ultimately, it may not even be the crowded infield that's pushing the Yankees out of the Machado sweepstakes, it's more likely that it's Philadelphia and Chicago having more salary flexibility to offer the superstar infielder a mega-contract.
LeMahieu, a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, was one of the top second basemen available in a free agent market that was crowded at that position. Once Brian Dozier and Jed Lowrie went off the board, the second base market began to heat up and many teams (Rays, Giants, Brewers and Dodgers) were reportedly interested in LeMathieu. CBS Sports ranked LeMathieu No. 24 on our Free Agent Tracker.
She was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night and talked about getting to know Noah before the movie started, and how she felt an instant connection.
"We had just come back from a hot yoga class and went to his apartment and we ordered pizza. And it was kind of like, oh, hot yoga, pizza, what's happening? It was right before we shot the movie, just trying to get to know each other," she said. "And I felt something! I looked at him and I was like, 'Noah, it's not going to happen between us.'"
Lana, who has an IRL boyfriend, said that she felt like she and Noah needed to be "best friend professionals," but nothing more than that. They even made a little pact as co-stars, just like they did in the movie.
"And so I was like, 'It's just not gonna happen.' And he was like, 'Yeah it's not gonna happen.' And I was like, 'Great,'" she revealed. "So we kind of did what we did in To All the Boys movie. We kind of made a contract and set boundaries."
FYI, here's Lana and her mans. They're adorable.
Looking back, she's happy they did that because now they can work together again and have it not be awkward. There are no ~mixed feelings~ or anything, which is great, because the TATBILB sequel has officially been confirmed.
Not only do she and Noah still have "that spark," but they've already been on the phone talking about their plans for the sequel, FYI. Jimmy made a joke that maybe she and Noah will fall in love in the future, and Lana definitely didn't rule it out.
Watch the full clip here and prepare to freak out about all the cute sh*t Lana said.
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Lara Jean and Peter Kravinsky’s faux-dating ground rules led to epic love in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, and it turns out that actors Lana Condor and Noah Centineo made a similar contract before filming.
Before they shot the movie, Condor and Centineo went to a hot yoga class and then back to Centineo’s apartment for pizza while trying to get to know each other.
“And it was kind of like, ‘Oh, hot yoga, pizza, what’s happening?’ I felt something!” Condor recalled on Thursday’s Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon episode. “I looked at him and I was like, ‘Noah, it’s not going to happen between us.’
Despite their undeniable chemistry on and off-screen, Condor, 21, said that “for the movie to do well, we had to be best-friend-professionals.”
“And so I was like, ‘It’s just not gonna happen.’ And he was like, ‘Yeah it’s not gonna happen.’ And I was like, ‘Great,'” she said. “So we kind of did what we did in To All the Boys movie. We kind of made a contract and set boundaries.”
Now, about six months after the world fell in love with Lara Jean and Peter Kravisnky’s relationship, Condor is grateful for their no-romance ground rules as they prepare for a sequel.
But despite their decision to remain friends, there is still just as much chemistry between the two actors.
“We still have that spark. Absolutely,” Condor said. “We were just on the phone the other day just talking about the sequel.”
“Bring on the sequel, we are so excited,” Centineo said.