June 6, 2023
Analysis: These old school Hollywood stars are having a moment, and it’s long overdue | CNN

Analysis: These old school Hollywood stars are having a moment, and it’s long overdue | CNN

A version of this story appeared in Pop Life Chronicles, CNN’s weekly entertainment newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.


Raise your hand if you are a late bloomer. (I have both hands and feet lifted.)

Consider this week’s Pop Life a celebration of those who have found their groove — or a renewed groovea little bit later in life, because it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.

Where there is life, there is hope.

Niecy Nash-Betts accepts the Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television award (for

Success delayed is still success — and sometimes it can be all the sweeter for it.

The widespread acclaim for stars like Sheryl Lee Ralph, Jennifer Coolidge and Brendan Fraser, among others, this awards season has reminded me that you can toil for decades at your craft before you start getting major recognition.

Take Niecy Nash-Betts, for example.

Though known for years for her comedic chops, it was arguably her role in the 2019 limited Netflix drama series “When They See Us” that made the industry sit up and take notice.

Nash-Betts recently won a Critics Choice Award for her role in another Netflix project, “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”

While accepting her award, she recalled asking her mother, “Momma, don’t you think I’m a good dramatic actress?” to which she said her mother responded, “Girl, I don’t.”

“She said, ‘But you can be! You find the best class in this town and I will work overtime to pay for it,’” Nash-Betts said. “Thank you, momma.”

Likewise, Ke Huy Quan, who won at the same awards show for his performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” has recalled struggling to book roles after breaking into show business as a child star.

His triumphant return to acting is the stuff Hollywood dreams are made of, and I found myself choking up at his emotional acceptance speech.

A scene from

“Glee” was my everything.

I so enjoyed the hit Fox series about a high school glee club; it had big musical numbers, emotional storylines, A-List cameos and more than enough camp to keep me tuning in week after week, season after season.

Now, though, a new three-part docuseries, “The Price of Glee,” looks at the drama and tragedies behind the scenes, and focuses on the deaths of three of its stars: Cory Monteith, Mark Salling and Naya Rivera.

Regular readers know I am team true crime all day, but this series from Investigation Discovery (which is owned by CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery) feels different.

Sometimes the dark side of fame can be so dark that it’s overwhelming.

Chris Harrison attends ABC Television's 2020 Winter Press Tour on January 8, 2020 in Pasadena, California.

Speaking of mixed emotions, there’s plenty when it comes to “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever… with Chris Harrison.”

It’s been a minute since Harrison announced he was “stepping aside” from “The Bachelor” franchise, following controversial remarks he made during an interview with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay.

Members of “Bachelor Nation” will tell you it’s not easy to quit it, so here we are. If anyone has “Bachelor” tea to spill, it’s Harrison — and we all know how I feel about tea. (The hotter the better.) Still, I suspect that not everyone is going to be a fan.

Let it be known I share content here knowing my fair readers may or may not appreciate it — I’m equal opportunity, even with the haters. So stream “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever” wherever podcasts are found, or don’t!

From left: Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in a promotional photo for

‘The Last of Us’

What is it with us and dystopian dramas?

HBO and HBO Max (which are also owned by CNN’s parent company) have a bonafide hit on their hands with “The Last of Us,” a new series taking place some 20 years after an apocalyptic event ended much of civilization as we know it.

“Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival,” according to HBO.

The show is based on the video game of the same name, so that means there’s sure to be plenty of action. “The Last of Us” episodes air Sunday night on HBO, and stream on HBO Max.

A scene from

‘That 90s Show’

Can you smell it? That’s a whiff of nostalgia, people!

This spin-off sitcom is centered around the teen daughter of “That 70s Show” characters Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon). It will also feature guest appearances from many of the original show’s characters, however, including the now-married Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. So let’s just not dwell on the fact that the 90s is the ‘new’ 70s?

“That 90s Show” is streaming on Netflix.

A scene from

‘Night Court’

Actually, let’s throw it back even further.

The original “Night Court” ran on NBC from 1984 to 1992, starring actor and magician Harry Anderson as a funny and unorthodox judge. Anderson died in 2018, so the show’s revival has brought in “Big Bang Theory” star Melissa Rauch as his daughter, who’s taking over his position as a criminal court judge on the late shift.

I love seeing Rauch in this starring role, especially as she gets to play opposite original cast member John Larroquette.

The new “Night Court” airs Tuesdays on NBC and is streaming on Peacock.

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