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The Crowded Room…Is It Worth A Watch?

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The Crowded Room, Apple TV series has notoriously been trending on socials for multiple reasons whether it is divided opinions between the critics and the fandom, Tom Holland’s resilience promoting the show and finally, the most recent viral scene that was trending.

Did you know that James Cameron, the mastermind behind Avatar, was originally set to write and direct The Crowded Room? However, it turns out that the screenplay was actually written by Todd Graff (The Abyss). You can easily find the script online, as it’s been plastered all over the internet. Cameron actually acquired the rights to adapt The Minds of Billy Milligan written by Daniel Keyes. The initial story revolves around a serial rapist who has an extreme case of multiple personality disorder, set in the 1970s. Cameron even met with Billy Milligan himself and the two became friends. The talented John Cusack (Say Anything) was set to play the lead role, but unfortunately, the project fell through when Milligan filed a lawsuit and tried to change the storyline. Since then, many people have tried to revive the project, including David Fincher with Leonardo DiCaprio as the main lead.

The Crowded Room [credit: Apple TV+]

In April 2021, Akiva Goldsman, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for A Beautiful Mind, announced that he will adapt The Crowded Room as a TV series instead of a film. The show will focus on the complex issue of mental health and how it affects young men who have experienced trauma. Goldsman was drawn to this theme and hopes to explore the impact of trauma on the brain of an adolescent. This was reported in an article by the Hollywood Reporter.

The Apple TV series revolves around Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland) who gets arrested due to his participation in a shooting incident that took place in New York City in 1979. In the series, curious psychologist Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfriend) conducts a series of interviews with Danny, which reveal his mysterious past that influenced him and led him to a life-changing realisation.

The Crowded Room’s opening credits are a work of art, with mesmerising colours and drawings that become a part of the story. The cinematography of the first episode is also outstanding. The lighting and set locations are spectacular and leave you in awe. One set location, a barn filled with broken scaffolding, is particularly impressive. The camera work allows the audience to see from a subjective point of view.

Critics and audiences have questioned the pacing of the show, wondering if it should have had fewer episodes or if it dragged on for too long. Some have also discussed whether the storyline should have grabbed the audience’s attention sooner. However, the slow pacing at the start allows viewers to take the time to understand each character presented on screen, which is similar to a great TV series. Although it may seem slow at first, it may ultimately enhance the viewing experience.

Previously, Goldman wrote for the film, which has a different structure compared to TV series. This particular show requires patience from the audience, as they need to pay attention to the timeline of Rya and Danny’s interview. That’s why weekly episodes give the audience time to process and enjoy each episode. Otherwise, watching the entire series in one sitting could be mentally taxing.

The Crowded Room [credit: Apple TV+]

The talented Tom Holland not only played the lead role in the show but also served as an executive producer. He displayed his impressive acting skills by utilising his dialect, body language, and delivery to convey every emotion experienced by his character, Danny. The final episode, which includes the challenging courtroom scene, has now been released. According to Holland, this was the most difficult scene he has ever filmed in his career. In a previous interview, he mentioned that he listened to his friend Stormzy’s song “Mel Made Me Do It” to help him get into character and stay focused mentally.

It is important to recognise not only Holland’s acting skills but also Amanda Seyfried’s notable performance. During that time, women in psychology were often dismissed, but Seyfried’s portrayal of a caring and compassionate psychologist truly embodies the essence of the profession – to genuinely care for others.

The series displays a deep understanding of the complexity of each mental health illness, and this is not solely due to the excellent acting performances, but also the editing work of the crew. The transitions of the stunt work and the emotional aspects of the plot provide a layer of empathy that Goldman aimed to achieve.

For those who have not started the series, there may be confusion about whether to bother. The final episodes of The Crowded Room have left the audience, including myself, emotionally enthralled, staring into the abyss each time. With the series coming to an end, Holland’s best performance to date stands out, given the toughest script that physically and mentally drained the actor.

The entire cast and crew deserve appreciation for coming together to bring forth this storytelling with compassion and empathy. The show does an excellent job of focusing not only on one character’s mental health but also on multiple characters and how they handle their mental health.

Have you checked out The Crowded Room? If so leave a comment below on what you thought about the series!

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Currently, a freelance writer and a entertainment news reporter for Coastal House Media. Bubbling with energy to watch variety of movies and share my thoughts with you!

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Apple TV+

Fly Me To The Moon | Official Trailer – Apple TV+

Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis’s already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as back-up.

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Genre:

Comedy, Romance

Release Date:

July 12, 2024

Director:

Greg Berlanti

Cast:

Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Woody Harrelson

Plot Summary:

Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis’s already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as back-up.

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Apple TV+

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock Season 2 | Let’s Radish and Roll

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This review was made possible by screeners for Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock Season Two which releases on Apple TV+ Friday, March 29th

Are you ready to Radish… Let’s all put on our Strawberry hats and dance the cares away, as Jim Henson’s fun-loving, musical Fraggles are back for season two. Join Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey, Boober, and POGEY! Alongside new Fraggle friends on hilarious, epic adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world.

The highly-anticipated second season of the beloved classic series reunites these characters and unearths them once again for Season 2 streaming on Apple TV+ on Friday, March 29, 2024. The second season of Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock by The Jim Henson Company consists of 13 incredible and entertaining brand-new episodes that are fun and educational for the whole family alike, as each episode features an important lesson that the Fraggle Five learn and ultimately accept. Important topics covered in these episodes are about facing your fears, the importance of change and adapting to it, anxiety and distraction, differences of opinion, using the right words, and self-expression. Such as embracing your uniqueness, and showing that there is nothing wrong with who you are. as well as how to treat others no matter their size, Of course, all of this is combined with catchy music and dance numbers, as singing and dancing are what a Fraggle does best. Fraggles explore their feelings, work through problems, and grow their minds and bodies through music so when a song comes on they celebrate. Parents will be able to show their kids how to clap, walk and move to the beat and ultimately learn the rhythm. 

AppleTV+

Jim Henson’s fun-loving and musical Fraggles—Gobo, Red, Boober, Mokey, Wembley, and Uncle Travelling Matt, appearing alongside new Fraggles and Doozers voiced by special guest stars, including Ariana DeBose (Mezzo), Brett Goldstein (Pryce), Catherine O’Hara (Leader), Daveed Diggs returning as Jamdolin, Adam Lambert (The Great Glitterini), and K-pop group Aespa—are back with more epic, fun, and zany adventures, this time with big changes affecting the Rock. The Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs are forced to confront their past and celebrate their interdependence as they move through challenges together with hope, silliness, and brand-new songs, all while dancing their cares away down at Fraggle Rock.

The addition of new Fraggle friends and special guest stars like the ones I’ve mentioned, such as Ariana DeBose, Brett Goldstein, and Catherine O’Hara, injects fresh energy into the series, adding new dimensions to the characters and their interactions. The voice talents shine through, breathing life into the colourful and vibrant world of Fraggle Rock.

All through the world of Fraggle Rock and the characters who inhabit the lands, ultimately, Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock tells viewers that no two paths are the same, that we are not defined by our mistakes, and that if we all work together, no matter our differences, we can change the world.

Throughout season two of “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock”, each of the Fraggle Five characters goes through personal growth and development, thanks to the talented puppeteers who bring them to life. Gobo Fraggle, portrayed by John Tartaglia, continues to lead the group but struggles with the balance of leadership and power. Red Fraggle, portrayed by Karen Prell, learns the value of humility and teamwork. Mokey, portrayed by Donna Kimball, must confront her fears of letting go. Wembley, portrayed by Jordan Lockheart, discovers the importance of self-expression and self-identity. Boober, voiced by Dave Goelz and puppeteered by Frank Meschkuleit, must learn to embrace change and recognize the power of words. The fantastic puppeteers truly embody these characters and provide a deep connection that enhances the viewer’s experience.

AppleTV+

In season two, Uncle Traveling Matt’s return is highly anticipated as the Fraggles eagerly await his latest postcards and tales from his adventures in Outer Space. As each episode unfolds, we are entertained by Matt’s quirky observations and interactions with the strange beings he encounters. His use of Fraggle vocabulary adds a fun and playful element to his storytelling, making the audience laugh and appreciate the oddities of the Human world through Uncle Travelling Matt’s eyes. Matt’s return in season two brings a sense of excitement and wonder to the show, as we get to experience the unique perspective of this adventurous explorer and his amusing encounters with the unfamiliar.

We also get to see more from the Doozers who live amongst the Fraggles building and creating their infrastructure. Most Doozers are construction workers, while others are architects and miners. But I love that Cotterpin takes front and centre in this season providing such knowledge and insight that help the Fraggles confront the challenges they face. 

I’m also happy to say that we also get to spend more time with the family of Gorgs who live above Fraggle Rock. Junior Gorg (Voice and face by Dan Garza- body by Ben Durocher) is the son of Pa (voice and face by Frank Meschkuleit-body by Andy Hayward) and Ma Gorg (Voice and Face by Aymee Garcia-body by Ingrid Hansen), the self-acclaimed king, and queen. 

We also get to spend time again with Sprocket and Lili Cooper’s Doc whose messages and problem-solving especially what’s important to them mirror that of the Fraggles, whether that is climate change or food insecurity.

My belief is in the power of community and collective action. The Fraggles’ resilience and determination in the face of challenges struck a chord with me, reminding me that even in the darkest of times, there is always a way forward if we come together and work towards a common goal. Watching season 2 of “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock” gave me hope and renewed my commitment to making positive change in the world. It reminded me that we are never truly alone, as long as we have each other to lean on and support us.

Jim Henson’s spirit and what he stood for truly shine throughout each of the thirteen episodes. Fraggle Rock wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the amazing puppeteers who have poured their heart and soul into creating this loveable series for the second time that will ultimately create a path for a new generation of dreamers. 

Puppetry especially the style Henson created has always held a special place in my heart. From the earliest memories of watching Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal and The Muppets, The skill and artistry involved in bringing puppets to life truly is awe-inspiring, and I’ve always been amazed by the way puppeteers can imbue these characters with so much personality and emotion. Watching John Tartaglia, Karen Prell, Donna Kimball, Jordan Lockhart, Frank Meschkuleit, and Dave Goelz alongside the many other incredible puppeteers who have my utmost respect bring the Fraggle Five and their friends to life is a truly magical experience, and I believe that the timeless appeal of puppetry is something that will never fade. Special mention must go to Kanja Chen who has made me fall in love with Pogey! 

Speaking of Tartaglia, As a long-time fan I couldn’t be more excited about his recent joining the Jim Henson Company in an official capacity as Creative Supervisor on Fraggle Rock. Tartaglia’s passion for Fraggle Rock and his deep understanding of what makes it special truly make him the perfect person to spearhead its evolution into a new frontier. His connection to the show, and the role it played in his childhood, gives him a unique perspective that will undoubtedly inform his vision for its future. 

AppleTV+

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock” is executive produced by The Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson, Halle Stanford and John Tartaglia, along with Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson. Co-executive producers are Dave Goelz and Karen Prell, and the executive music producer is Harvey Mason Jr. The new season is produced by Chris Plourde and co-produced by Tim O’Brien. The series is produced in association with New Regency with Arnon Milchan and Yariv Milchan executive producing.

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock Season 2 premieres on AppleTV+ on Friday, March 29th.

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Apple TV+

The Changeling | Official Trailer – Apple TV +

When Apollo Kagwa’s father disappeared, he left his son a box of books and strange recurring dreams. Now Apollo is a father himself–and as he and his wife, Emma, settle into their new lives as parents, exhaustion and anxiety start to take their toll. Apollo’s old dreams return and Emma begins acting odd. At first Emma seems to be exhibiting signs of postpartum depression. But before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act and vanishes. Thus begins Apollo’s quest to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His odyssey takes him to a forgotten island, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever.

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Genre:

Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Release Date:

September 8, 2023

Streaming:

Apple TV+

Cast:

LaKeith Stanfield, Amirah Vann,

Plot Summary:

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