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Fall

SEPTEMBER 2016

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VOL. 25, NO. 2 FREE

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FESTIVALS North Georgia State Fair • Taste Of Kennesaw Heritage Sandy Springs • Atlanta Greek Festival Avondale Autumnfest • Brookhaven Arts Festival Taste of Smyrna • East Atlanta Strut Duluth Fall Festival • Decatur Craft Beer & MANY MORE!


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CONTENTS • SEPTEMBER 2016 • VOLUME 25, NO. 2

CELEB

R AT I N G

25 YEARS!

Atlanta’s

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS 17 Chrisley Knows Best 19 Eddie Griffin 20 Rachael Yamagata 21 Logan Lynn 21 Pansy Division 21 toyGuitar

With Special Guest,

14

17

FEATURES 08 Dime Restaurants 10 Fall Festivals 14 Fall TV Preview 22 NFL Preview

COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 09 18 20

Josh Ritter

Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights New Releases Movie Reviews Album Reviews

Saturday, September 24 8:00pm • Fox Theatre ON SALE NOW AT FOXTHEATRE.ORG

19

ATLANTA’S FIRST URBAN WINERY, INTIMATE MUSIC VENUE, RESTAURANT, AND PRIVATE EVENT SPACE

20

insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller steve@insiteatlanta.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton nick@insiteatlanta.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith lee@insiteatlanta.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller marci@insiteatlanta.com Sports Editor DeMarco Williams demarco@insiteatlanta.com

Music Editor John Moore john@insiteatlanta.com Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • ads@insiteatlanta.com Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. No content, Fall TV Shows NFL Preview i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from publisher.

Fall

SEPTEMBER 2016

INSITEATLANTA.COM

VOL. 25, NO. 2 FREE

S! TING 25 YEAR CELEBRA

Follow us on the web!

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Check out our Fall Festival Guide on page 10!

FESTIVALS North Georgia State Fair • Taste Heritage Sandy Springs • Atlanta Of Kennesaw Avondale Autumnfest • Brookhav Greek Festival en Arts Festival Taste of Smyrna • East Atlanta Strut Duluth Fall Festival • Decatur Craft Beer & MANY MORE!

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Around Town MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

Events and Performances taking place this Month

The Rialto Center

College Kick-Off Party City Winery Atlanta

City Winery, the recently opened restaurant, urban winery and concert venue, invites college football fans to join them for the ultimate college football showdown. The game day festivities begin at 6 p.m. with live musical performances by Oxford native Charlie Mars and FSU alum and founding member of the Zac Brown Band, John Driskell Hopkins. Upon kick-off at 8 p.m. City Winery’s 12-foot screens and state of the art sound system ensure that fans won’t miss a beat. Visit citywinery.com.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 MJCCA Book Festival

MJCCA Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody

College football’s colorful, endearing, and successful pioneer Steve Spurrier shares his story of a life in football for his book signing of Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football, Doing It Differently-and Winning. From growing up in Tennessee to winning the Heisman Trophy to playing and coaching in the pros to leading the Florida Gators to six SEC Championships and a National Championship to elevating the South Carolina program to new heights, the Head Ball Coach is one of a kind. atlantajcc.org

SEPTEMBER 8 - 18 In The Heights

Atlanta audiences are invited to sway along to the salsa rhythms and rich melodies of New York’s vibrant Washington Heights community, a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries the pulse of three generations of music through the Manhattan streets. “In the Heights is the West Side Story for a new generation,” hails Time Magazine. Visit theatricaloutfit.org.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

Star Wars and More: The Music of John Williams Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Come join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre as Principal POPS Conductor Michael Krajewski leads a special performance featuring the very best of John Williams’ legendary film scores, including pieces from Hook, Harry Potter and the Star Wars series. Plan your dinner in advance with a themed picnic basket. Visit vzwamp.com.

South City Kitchen and more. Visit mrwatlanta.com.

SEPTEMBER 15 - 17 The Wholehearted

Dull Theatre at Ferst Center for the Arts

Arts@Tech presents The Wholehearted by Stein | Holum Projects. Dee Crosby is a world champion boxer taken down in her prime by her own husband, and determined for redemption - no matter the cost. This is theater with the impact of a prize fight, a ruthless look at violence in sports - and in the name of love. Spectators sit ringside, spellbound by Suli Holum as Dee Crosby in this spectacular performance. Each evening features a post-show talk. Visit arts.gatech.edu or call 404-8949600 for more info.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 & 18 Sesame Street Live The Fox Theatre

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 Atlanta Wing Fest

The Foundry at Puritan Mill

Come out to the inaugural Springer Mountain Farms' Atlanta Wing Fest at The Foundry at Puritan Mill on Sunday, September 25. For one day only, this festive "Party With A Purpose" event will provide wings, beer, Southern spirits and local music to benefit Atlanta-based charities Angel Flight Soars and Second Helpings Atlanta. General admission tickets include entry to the event, wing tastes from 25 great local and Southeastern restaurants, eat and greet with the chefs, live entertainment from Davin McCoy and Francisco Vidal, and cash bar. Atlantawingfest.net

SEPTEMBER 29 - OCTOBER 6 Out on Film

SEPTEMBER 10 - 18

Landmark Midtown Art Cinema

Midtown Restaurant Week Various Restaurants

Enjoy signature menus at Midtown’s best restaurants, exclusively priced at $15, $25 and $35. Restaurants include City Winery, Einstein’s, Escorpion, Rosa Mexicano,

stage to share their love of music in Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music.” Jenny, an enthusiastic new music teacher, arrives on Sesame Street only to discover that her instruments are missing. Jenny’s new Muppet friends quickly come to the rescue and discover ‘instruments’ they never knew existed…rubber duckies, trash can lids and even cookie jars. Elmo, Abby Cadabby and friends teach children that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together.

Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and all their Sesame Street friends are taking to the

Atlanta’s LGBT Film Festival is an 8-Day cinematic journey of our lives, our culture, and our identity. The festivals goal is to bring as many filmmakers, actors, and writers together for the 8-day celebration of the LGBT experience. Visit OutonFilm.org

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On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA

September 2 - 5: Downtown Atlanta

DRAGON CON

Celebrating their 30th year, Dragon Con returns this Labor Day weekend. Dragon Con is the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film in the world. Dragon Con boasts close to 40 fan-based tracks, a film festival, parade, art show, comics, pop art exhibits and displays, nightly concerts and parties. Visit DragonCon.org for more details.

September 10: Aaron’s Amphitheatre

ONE MUSIC FEST

is music festival celebrates Hip Hop, EDM, Reggae, Funk, Trap, House, Classics, Alternative Rock and Soul. It takes place on Saturday, September 10th at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood. Artists appearing this year include: Ice Cube, Erykah Badu, Dungeon Family, Big Boi, Killer Mike, Cee Lo, Goodie Mob, Andra Day and Busta Rhymes. ere will be plenty of food trucks and a VIP Lounge. OneMusicFest.com

September 17 & 18: Piedmont Park

MUSIC MIDTOWN

Music Midtown Festival is back in Piedmont Park on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18. is year’s festival will be a treat for all music lovers with headliners e Killers, Twenty Øne Piløts, Beck and deadmau5 as well as performances by chart-toppers e Lumineers, G-Eazy, Alabama Shakes, ColleGrove (Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz), Band of Horses and more. Visit MusicMidtown.com

34th Annual

Downtown Duluth Saturday, September 24

• All Day Entertainment • 9am-7pm: Booths • 10am: Parade • 11:30am: Opening Ceremony

Sunday, September 25

• All Day Entertainment • 8am: Road Race • 9am-5pm: Booths • 10am: Worship in the Park

Fullscale Carnival Thursday–Sunday! Coupons on Website! Free Free duluthfallfestival.org Admission! Shuttles!

September 24: The Fox Theatre

JASON ISBELL

Jason Isbell comes to e Fox eatre on his national tour for the recent release of Something More an Free, his highly anticipated fifth album which won the Grammy Award for Best Americana Album, and includes the song “24 Frames”, the Grammy winner for Best American Roots Song. Isbell will be touring with his five piece band e 400 Unit. To purchase tickets visit Foxeatre.org

September 30: Philips Arena

COMEDY GET DOWN

Numerous motion picture appearances, countless television shows, sitcoms and standup specials, a talk show, three radio shows, and three books. Cedric ‘e Entertainer,’ Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy have been breaking ground comedy and bringing the laughs for decades. See five members of comedy royalty come for the comedy event of the year. Tickets at PhilipsArena.com

October 5 - 9: Philips Arena

DISNEY ON ICE

Follow your heart straight to adventure at Disney On Ice! Just keep swimming with Dory and new pal Hank from Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory as they set out to find her parents. Cheer with the Emotions from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out. Venture to wintery Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite Anna and Elsa and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart. Ticketmaster.com insiteatlanta.com • September 2016 • PG 5


EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA

Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller

Friday, September 2 - Sunday, Sep 4 Saturday, September 17

DECATUR BOOK FESTIVAL Free; Decatur Square decaturbookfestival.com

e AJC Decatur Book Festival is the largest independent book festival in the country. e festival features lectures and signings from more than 600 national and local authors, including award-winners, best-sellers, and some just getting started. Cassandra King Conroy and family will gather to pay a tribute to bestselling author Pat Conroy as the Keynote event.

Saturday, Sept 3 - Monday, Sept 5

MARIETTA ART IN THE PARK

Free; Marietta Square; 10am - 5pm artparkmarietta.com

e 30th Annual Marietta Art in the Park will showcase 175 top-notch fine artists and plenty of entertainment for the entire family Labor Day Weekend, September 35 in historic Marietta Square. It all takes place amid a variety of dining options and historic sites. Admission is free. is three-day festival draws more than 45,000 attendees. e Chalk Spot a street chalk art display for children of all ages is scheduled for Saturday, September 3.

EAST COBBER PARADE & FESTIVAL

Free; Johnson Ferry Baptist Church eastcobber.com/parade

e East Cobb Parade begins at 10am at Mount Bethel Elementary School parking lot then travels south on Johnson Ferry Road. It’s often referred to as the candy parade, as nearly all floats toss candy to the crowd. e parade includes over two thousand participants and more than eighty groups in floats, marching bands, classic cars, and more. After the parade, you can enjoy live entertainment, arts and crafts, food and drinks, and carnival games in the parking lot of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.

local singers and dance companies begins daily at noon. Children’s paintings, sand art, balloon animals and other activities are also available. e festival offers a variety of food trucks on site.

Saturday, September 17

FALL FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL

Free to members; Atlanta History Center; atlantahistorycenter.com Celebrate all things Southern at the Atlanta History Center’s Fall Folklife Festival. e Smith Family Farm provides the ideal backdrop for exploring our Southern foodways traditions with chef demos and discussions in our open hearth kitchens. Hands-on demonstrations explore Southern crafts such as basket weaving, woodworking, pottery, food preservation and candle dipping. Sip local brews while listening to the sounds of Georgia folk musicians, visiting with regional folk artists and exploring signature exhibitions and the fall foliage in our Goizueta Gardens.

Saturday, September 24

FREE PARK DAYS

Free at public parks nationwide nps.gov/national-park-week National Park Week is America’s largest celebration of national heritage. It’s about exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations and enhancing the national parks. e fee-free days provide a great opportunity to visit our parks without an entrance fee.

Sunday, September 25

ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE Free; Eastside Neighborhoods atlantastreetsalive.com

Located in the Eastside neighborhoods on North Highland, Highland Ave, and Boulevard. e event kicks off at 2 pm with a bicycle parade, and it continues until 6 pm. Enjoy biking, skating, walking and rolling down the streets and take part in this fun, free, family-friendly event! Atlanta Streets Alive Sunday, September 25 atlantastreetsalive.com

Saturday & Sunday,September 17 & 18

ROSWELL ARTS FESTIVAL

Free; Historic Town Square in Roswell roswellartsfestival.com Each year, the Roswell Arts Festival is held on the third weekend in September at the Historic Town Square in Roswell, Georgia. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Entertainment featuring

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PG 6 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com


Theater

Under The Lights

THE PROM

FREED SPIRITS

Now Through September 25 Alliance Theatre 404.733.5000 AllianceTheatre.org/theprom THE PROM is the story of Emma, who becomes an instant outcast and a national headline when her high school cancels the prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend. Sensing a chance to correct an injustice, and maybe get some good publicity along the way, a group of fading celebrities takes up the cause, and invades Emma's small Indiana town. But their bumbling attempts at social activism make the situation far worse than they or Emma could have ever imagined. Cultures clash and the town erupts in chaos. The community's reputation, Emma's future, and the actors' careers all hang in the balance, until a true hero emerges to save the day. Uproarious and ultimately uplifting, this new musical proves that standing up for yourself and inspiring others to accept their differences can make you the star you were always meant to be. Directed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, director of Tuck Everlasting and co-director of The Book of Mormon.

September 23 - October 30 Horizon Theatre 404.584.7450 HorizonTheatre.com In FREED SPIRITS Oakland cemetery has a ghost. A freak tornado cuts a swath through Atlanta’s historic graveyard, exposing buried clues and evoking eerie sightings. Tour guide Susan and steampunk survivalist MJ unite with a geeky spirit photographer and a retired pathologist to solve the mystery. This band of urban misfits races through the monuments and headstones while the line between past and present blurs in Atlanta’s most spectacular spooky setting. Playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio premieres this mystery-comedy under the direction of Lisa Adler. “This play IS Atlanta,” says Adler. “It’s written by an award-winning Atlanta playwright, about an Atlanta landmark, with a stellar Atlanta cast. It’s a fun, upbeat ghostly comedy about a cadre of quirky urban misfits solving a mystery in the midst of the gardens and tombs Oakland. It’s the perfect comedy for this fall and Halloween season in Atlanta, celebrating the unique Atlanta intown haunt.”

UGLY LIES THE BONE

September 27 - October 2 The Fox Theatre 855.285.8499 FoxTheatre.org/illusionists

September 25 - October 9 Alliance Hertz Stage 404.733.5000 AllianceTheatre.org/uglyliesthebone This month the Alliance Theatre brings UGLY LIES THE BONE, a beautifully written drama about postwar recovery by Lindsey Ferrentino. Newly discharged soldier Jess has finally returned to her Florida hometown. She brings with her not only vivid memories of Afghanistan, but painful burns that have left her physically and emotionally scarred. Jess soon realizes that things at home have changed even more than she has. Through the use of virtual reality therapy, she builds a breathtaking new world where she can escape her pain. As Jess advances farther in the treatment, she begins to restore her relationships, her life and, slowly, herself.

THE ILLUSIONISTS

THE ILLUSIONISTS is full of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder. The show dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of outrageoius and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticed magic of unprecendented proportions. The Illusionists has shattered box office records worldwide with a mind-blowing spectacular, showcasing the jaw-dropping talents of seven of the most incredible illusionists on earth. It is produced by Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and MagicSpace Entertainment.

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HOME THEATER

NEW RELEASES THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore

WEINER (IFC Films) You’ve got to wonder what in the hell Anthony Weiner was thinking when he agreed to let a documentary film crew follow him around as he tried to redeem his reputation and run for the mayor of New York… then again, a lot of Weiner’s decisions have been met with the question, “what in the hell was he thinking?”. The eponymous film takes an unflinching look at Weiner’s sexting past as he tries to prove it was a one-off mistake and that he’s the right person to fight for New Yorkers. The only person you really feel sorry for is his wife, Huma Abedin, who is clearly uncomfortable being asked to act as her husband’s surrogate on the campaign trail. Easily one of the most entertaining political docs in years, Weiner is honest, compelling and just as big a train wreck as you’d expect. THE AFFAIR – SEASON TWO (CBS Video) Season two of the surprise Showtime hit, The Affair, continues to be just as consistently satisfying as the first go round. Fresh of its Golden Globe win for best TV drama, the show picks up with writer Noah (Dominick West) back at his home

in New York, to pick up his things after having destroyed his marriage. The second season spends more time focusing on the other characters affected by the infidelity, like Noah’s wife, Helen (Maura Tierney) and the husband of the woman Noah had his affair with. The investigation into the death of Cole is still a major theme, but the drama around the affair and its aftermath is just as interesting. RAIDERS!: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE (MVD) This documentary about a group of Mississippi kids who set out to make a scene-by-scene remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark is far more interesting that one can imagine. Picking up decades after the kids (all around 11 at the time of their first shoot began), the guys and one girl are all now grownups with adult commitments like jobs and children of their own, but have come together to film the only scene they never got around to finishing: a special effectspacked shoot featuring a plane exploding on screen. Told via interviews, old footage of their movie and present-day filming, Raiders! is a love letter to movies, Steven Spielberg and the extraordinary imagination and devotion of kids.

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F

Fall Festivals

all is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor festivals in Atlanta. The hot humid days of August are behind us and the weather feels invigorating. If you thought the spring was a busy time for festivals in Atlanta, wait until you see our Fall Festival Guide! It is chock full of events happening throughout the metro area. Stop by any of the ones listed below and you are sure to see packed crowds filled with people of all ages and backgrounds. Many of these festivals have a similar theme: food, music, kid's area, local performers, arts and crafts, vendors and more. Many have free admission or a small admission fee. Check the individual websites for more details.

SEPTEMBER FESTIVALS YELLOW DAISY FESTIVAL

September 8 & 9 10am - 6pm Stone Mountain Park stonemountainpark.com It's that time of year again when the yellow daisy blooms with its rare beauty. Nowhere is it more abundant than the granite outcroppings near Stone Mountain Park. Come on out to the 48th annual Yellow Daisy Festival. An estimated 200,000 shopping enthusiasts are expected

this year to peruse booths from 425 artists. Featuring daily live entertainment, Children's Corner activities, crafter demonstrations throughout the event and fabulous festival foods. Festival takes place once again at Stone Mountain Park’s Special Events Meadow.

bles. Parking will be available throughout the downtown area as well as Adams Park and First Baptist Church of Kennesaw.

SANDY SPRINGS FESTIVAL

TASTE OF SMYRNA

Sat. Sept 17 and Sun. Sept 18 sandyspringsfestival.com

TASTE OF KENNESAW

September 10 11am - 8pm Downtown Kennesaw kennesawbusiness.org Bring your family out to Taste of K e n n e s a w S a t u r d a y September 10 to sample over 30 local restaurants from the Kennesaw and Cobb County area. Admission is free and samples are just $1 - $4. Grab a cold beverage from the beer garden, sample delicious food, and sit back and listen to great music. The Main Street entertainment stage will have local entertainment all day and culminate with a concert at 6:00 p.m. The Taste of Kennesaw California Dreaming beer garden will feature acoustic sounds of Scott Thompson from 11am – 5pm. There will be an enormous Kids Zone with interactive inflata-

non-profit organization dedicated to promoting history, stewarding a community park, and enhancing the cultural identity of Sandy Springs.

Heritage Sandy Springs presents the 31st Annual Sandy Springs Festival on Saturday, September 17 9:00 - 6:00 and Sunday, September 18 10:00 - 5:00. Since 1984, the Festival has grown from a small picnic to a major event featuring arts, culture, education, entertainment, and more. The 2016 festival honors beloved traditions like the Sandy Springs Lightning 10k/5k and Pet Parade, hosted this year by Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. Festivalgoers will enjoy a streamlined footprint with an online map, an enhanced entertainment schedule with local favorites like Banks & Shane and Zach Seabaugh; and a new area just for guys – the Man Cave! Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for youth, free for kids 5 and under, and free for HSS Members. Two-day passes are available. Tickets sold only at Festival gates. The Sandy Springs Festival is the primary fundraiser for Heritage Sandy Springs, a

  

September 17 11am - 8pm Downtown Smyrna smyrnacity.com The Taste of Smyrna is food, fun and music all day long! Nibble and nosh your way around the Village Green on Sat., Sept. 17. Admission is free and samples can be purchased from $1 up to $4. Plan to sample from over 30 restaurants and listen to acoustic music on the beautiful Village Green and the Market Village. Scott Thompson provides acoustic music from 11am – 3pm adjacent to the Veteran’s Memorial. The kids will have a blast at the Kids Zone on the Quad Bungee, 24’ Rockwall, 33’ inflatable Shark Slide, bounces, 120’ roller coaster obstacle course and more!

MARIETTA STREET FEST

September 17 - 18 Glover Park Historic Marietta Square mariettahistory.org

Free Admission Kids Zone Acoustic Music All Day

...on the beautiful Village Green and Market Village in downtown Smyrna…info 770-423-1330 PG 10 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com


insiteatlanta.com • September 2016 • PG 11


The 25th annual Marietta StreetFest takes place Saturday Sept. 17 from 9am - 9pm and Sunday Sept. 18 from 11am - 5pm. The festival offers many free activities including arts & crafts booths, the Hubcaps and History Classic Car Show, a kidfriendly activity zone, the Toy Box Trot fun run and the Marietta Grassroots Music Festival. The Kids Korner features “make and take” art stations, interactive games, inflatable slides and bounce houses. Young attendees can purchase a $5 wristband for unlimited play on the inflatables. Each year, the festival draws more than 20,000 people to the Marietta Square, amid a variety of local shops, dining options and historic sites.

on Thursday, September 29; Colt Ford on Friday, September 30; Jana Kramer on Saturday, October 1. All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and are free with fair admission. There are also games and rides on the Great James H. Drew Exposition midway. New rides include The Clown House- a clown-themed glass house that will take patrons through the glass mirror maze by entering the mouth of the clown. Admission to the fair is $7.00; Children 10 and under are free. Ride tickets are $1.25 each with packages available. Discounted fair tickets are available thru Sept. 23 at metro Atlanta Walgreens stores.

ATLANTA GREEK FESTIVAL September 23 - 25 Greek Orthodox Cathedral atlantagreekfestival.org

NORTH GEORGIA STATE FAIR

September 22 - October 2 Jim Miller Park Marietta northgeorgiastatefair.com As the largest fair in metro Atlanta, the North Georgia State Fair attracts nearly 300,000 people every year from North Georgia and neighboring states. The fair features live music, free attractions and shows, farm animals, flower shows, blue ribbon competitions, local entertainment, and delicious fair foods. Headlining the Georgia Lottery Concert Series this year are: Audio Adrenaline, with 7eventh Time Down on Friday, September 23; Granger Smith on Saturday, September 24; Scotty McCreery with Zach Seabaugh on Wednesday, September 28; Frankie Ballard

Enjoy food, fun and "Opa" at the Atlanta Greek Festival! This popular festival brings all the aromas, sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to your doorstep. Enjoy authentic Greek food and pastries (including a festival drive thru for those short on time), cooking demonstrations, church tours, music, and dancing with special audience participation. Festival takes place Friday September 23rd from 5pm - 11pm; Saturday 11am - 11pm; and Sunday from 11am - 7pm. Drive-Thru available Thursday - Saturday 11am - 8pm and Sunday 11am - 6pm. The Greek Orthodox Cathedral is located on Clairmont Rd. between Briarcliff Rd. and LaVista Rd. in Atlanta. Admission for adults is $5 and children 12 & under are admitted free. Go online, for special pro-

motions and to purchase tickets. Free Parking and Shuttle buses from Century Center Office Park.

EAST ATLANTA STRUT

September 24 11am - 9pm East Atlanta Village eastatlantastrut.com Celebrating its 19th year, the East Atlanta Strut is a free one-day extravaganza that showcases the city’s hottest in-town neighborhood. East Atlanta is the place to eat, drink, shop and play. Enjoy live local music, an artist’s market and game areas for both kids and adults that feature supersized games (human foosball, anyone?). Watch or join the beard contest, and be sure to check out the parade at 2pm. Dine at an array of food trucks and East Atlanta’s own terrific restaurants. Alcohol is available for purchase for those with valid 21 or older photo ID. All festival proceeds go back into the neighborhood and its community outreach. Leave the car at home. Parking will be limited to neighborhood streets, so take public transport or ride a bike.

DULUTH FALL FESTIVAL

September 24 & 25 Downtown Duluth duluthfallfestival.org

kicks off the Festival on Saturday morning at 10am followed by the Opening Ceremony. Then entertainment takes over on two stages where more than 20 acts will perform a variety of music and dance. Sunday starts with a 5K race at 8am followed by Worship on the Green and more entertainment. The Gold Medal Carnival is back. Go to Festival website to print off a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ Carnival coupon for Thursday and Friday nights. Website also lists pick-up locations for FREE shuttle buses.

OCTOBER FESTIVALS AVONDALE AUTUMNFEST

Saturday October 1, 10am – 5pm Avondale Estates autumnfestavondale.com Experience AutumnFest in Avondale Estates Saturday October 1st. This familyfriendly festival offers an Artist Market, Kid Zone, Live Music, Food and from Avondale's favorite restaurants. Explore the work of more than 90 regional artists representing a diversity of styles and media. See favorites such as the Southeastern Snake Encounter’s Reptile Wagon and live music by In the Wheelhouse, The Ain't Sisters, Braxton & the Renditions, and The Gold Standard Band. AutumnEats returns with local chefs preparing delicious tastings with local farmed and sourced ingredients.

CANDLER PARK FALL FEST Come on out to the 34th annual Duluth Fall Festival. There will be 375 plus Arts & Crafts, Food and Sponsor booths with many exciting new vendors. A huge parade

October 1st and 2nd Candler Park candlerparkfallfest.com Atlanta’s Candler Park arts and music festival takes place Saturday, October 1 from 12pm - 10pm and Sunday, October 2nd Artist Market

Performances by

In the Wheelhouse

MUSIC ART

The Ain’t Sisters

FOOD

Kid Zone Live Music

Braxton & The Renditions

Food from Avondale’s favorite restaurants

The Gold Standard Band

Saturday, Oct. 1st 10am-5pm IN HISTORIC AVONDALE ESTATES

autumnfestavondale.com

TASTE OF KENNESAW

Saturday

September 10

on the square

Oct. 15 Noon to 5 ticketS ON SaLe

DOWNTOWN KENNESAW

Sept. 15 at noon

online

decaturbeerfestival.org decaturga PG 12 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

downtowndecatur

Decatur-insite-beer festival-2016-fnl.indd 1

decaturga

visitdecaturga.com 8/31/16 12:03 PM


from 12pm - 9pm. With a challenging 5K, Tour of Homes, live music, local food, funfilled Kids Zone, and over 110 artist booths this free festival is not to be missed. The 5K kicks things off at 9am on Saturday. Be sure to check out the tasty offerings of local restaurants and Atlanta Food Trucks while enjoying an astonishing total 10 bands over the two days. The Bowie tribute band Pinups headlines Saturday night with Bumpin the Mango on Sunday.

NORCROSS ART SPLASH October 1 & 2 Downtown Norcross norcrossartfest.splashfestivals.com

This popular Art Fest makes its home on the charming streets of historic downtown Norcross. The festivities begin October 1 from 10am to 6pm and October 2 from 11am to 5pm. Artisans from across the country exhibit their imaginative artwork amidst the enchanting shops, eateries and boutiques. In addition to the artist market, the Kidz Zone awaits children of all ages with the free children’s art pavilion, face painting, inflatables and energetic rides. Entertainment provided on Thrasher Park’s intimate stage while food row always draws hungry shoppers with its large variety of tasty treats.

the country. This year the event takes place on Turner Field. Watch college football on the big TV’s, plus fun and games at Scout’s Alley and around the event. Advance Tickets are $40 and go up to $45 after Sept. 29. $55 Day of the event.

ATLANTA PRIDE FESTIVAL

October 8 & 9 Piedmont Park atlantapride.org

up a notch with the purchase of a $90 VIP ticket for the ultimate beer festival experience. Don’t delay as tickets sell out fast. All tickets are sold online through Ticket Alternative. No tickets are available for purchase at the gate. You must be 21 or older to attend and no animals allowed at the festival.

BROOKHAVEN ARTS FESTIVAL

enjoying the art on display and the historic gardens. This is a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the vision and legacy of one of America's most celebrated landscape architects, Fredrick Olmsted, Sr.

TASTE OF ATLANTA

September 21 - 23 Midtown tasteofatlanta.com Taste of Atlanta, the city's original food festival, celebrates its 15th year! Experience delicious tastes from more than 90 of Atlanta's favorite restaurants. Sample exceptional food, wine, beer, and cocktail tastings and participate in seminars and food pairings and relaxing music cafes. Feast on Taste of Atlanta's fantastic programming in five different live demo areas. Watch chefs go head to head on the Home Plate Main Cooking stage or go Inside the Food Studio where Atlanta's top foodies will teach you about Atlanta's food history and current trends.

October 15 & 16 Brookhaven MARTA brookhavenartsfestival.com On Saturday & Sunday October 15 & 16 Brookhaven will host the 2nd Annual Brookhaven Arts Festival through the Brookhaven Community Foundation. More than 125 participating artists will feature works of fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and more. Musical performances will take place over the two days with featured performers. On Sunday tofrom 6:00 p.m.) 1 – 4PM there will be a car show with children’s activities and food trucks DECATUR CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL throughout the weekend. It’s a great time SMYRNA FALL JONQUIL FESTIVAL Saturday October 15, Noon Featuring over- 5PM 75+ restaurants and amateur for individuals and families to take in the October 22 & 23 Downtown Decatur Square beauty of fall while enjoying terrific food, smyrnacity.com cooking teams all competing decaturbeerfestival.com music and art.for Thebragging festival is located on The Fall Jonquil Festival is located on the 4047 Peachtree Road behind the beautiful Village Green in downtown Come and enjoy an rights, plaques, medals, cash and prizes Brookhaven MARTA station on the Apple Smyrna. The afternoon of beer Valley Road side. totaling over $2,500! tasting on the festival takes Decatur square. place Saturday, FESTIVAL ON PONCE October 22 More than 100 of the Oct. include, 15 & 16 Olmsted Linear Park Other activities from 10 am - 6 finest local, festivalonponce.com pm and Sunday, Americana and kidinterzone area, corn-hole and great food from October 23 national beers are The Festival on Ponce is a 2-Day local artsPhoto by RSVPatl Atlanta and food showcased at this annualsome event sponsored event held at the Olmsted Linear from 12 pm - 5 pm. Featuring hand-made craftstrucks. by area distributors and Decatur's restau- Park. The Artist's Market features arts and arts & crafts booths, local non-profit rants and pubs. Enjoy live music and food handmade crafts. There is a Children's booths, puppet shows, live music, plenty of from local restaurants available for sale. Park, local food and beverage concessions festival foods, a local entertainment stage Admission is $45 per person and includes and live acoustic entertainment. and all types of children's activities. a commemorative tasting glass. Or take it Attendance is free. Stroll the event while Admission is free.

The 46th Annual Atlanta Pride Festival is the largest event in the United States to coincide with National Coming Out Day. The Official Kickoff Party returns to the Georgia Aquarium on Friday, October 7 from 7pm - 11:30pm. This event has become a tradition for many and launches the Southeast’s largest Pride Festival. The Parade begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday from the Civic Center and enters the Piedmont Park through the Charles Allen entrance. (12:30 p.m.

Join the Fun in Brookhaven

GREAT ATLANTA BEER FEST

October 8 1 - 6pm Turner Field greatatlantabeerfest.com The Great Atlanta Beer Fest returns to Turner Field on Saturday, October 8th. Enjoy over 200 beers, wines and ciders from across

Cook, Compete or Just Come to Eat

Saturday, October 8th

Brookhaven Park 2660 Osborne Road, Brookhaven, GA 30319 www.BrookhavenChiliCookOff.com

Saturday, October 15th (10 am-6 pm)

Sunday, October 16th (12 pm-5 pm)

• • • • • • •

Over 125 Artists Painters, Photographers Sculptors, Jewelers Live Music Car Show - SUN (1 to 4 pm) Children’s Activity Area Food Trucks

Free Entry | Plenty of Free Parking OR Ride MARTA

Apple Valley Road (Behind the Brookhaven MARTA Station) 4047 Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, GA 30319 www.BrookhavenArtsFestival.com 1-866-633-5252 DiscoverBrookhaven.com

Convention & Visitors Bureau

insiteatlanta.com • September 2016 • PG 13


TV

BY BRET LOVE

FALL TV Preview

The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly of This Year’s Class

I

N RECENT YEARS THE TV landscape has been changing faster than Sos & Victoria Petrosyan on America’s Got Talent. And as streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu continue to deliver increasingly impressive original content that rivals Emmy stalwarts like AMC and HBO, the future isn’t looking great for the major broadcast networks. Still, autumn eternally brings with it the hope and promise of a fertile harvest. This year is no exception, with nearly 30 new shows coming soon. Here’s a look at the good, the bad and the downright ugly of this year’s class… 8:30 PM

SUNDAY

SON OF ZORN (FOX)

The Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Cheryl Hines, Johnny Pemberton, Tim Meadows The Scoop: This live-action/animated hybrid comedy features Sudeikis voicing the title character– a He-Man-style warrior from a faraway island called Zephyr, where everything is animated. When Zorn returns to suburban Orange County for the first time in 10 years to reconnect with his human son (Johnny Pemberton of 21 Jump Street) and ex-wife (Cheryl Hines of Curb Your Enthusiasm), hilarity ensues. The Skinny: The left-of-center fish-out-ofwater comedy is executive produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie), whose Last Man on Earth has proven an infectious oddball hit. We’ll be watching!

SON OF ZORN

WESTWORLD (HBO)

The Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton The Scoop: HBO’s eagerly-anticipated series (based on the 1973 film starring Yul Brynner) takes place in an adult-oriented Wild West theme park in the dystopian future. Populated by both real people and artificial beings, the park offers immersive fantasy experiences that range from graphic sexual acts to brutal violence, posing the philosophical question: “If you could do anything you wanted without fear of consequences, how would you act?” The Skinny: With an impeccable A-list cast and Christopher Nolan’s bro Jonathan steering the ship, HBO’s betting on this one to make their fantasies of another Game of Thrones-style hit a reality. 10:00 PM

CHICAGO JUSTICE

APB (FOX)

8:00 PM

MONDAY

24: LEGACY (FOX)

The Stars: Corey Hawkins, Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits The Scoop: The real-time espionage action thriller is back, but Jack Bauer is not. This reboot stars Hawkins (The Walking Dead, Straight Outta Compton) as former Army Ranger Eric Carter, part of the squad that killed a Yemeni terrorist 6 months ago. Now he’s turned to CTU to help thwart attacks on his team and their families, enlisting the help of former CTU Director Rebecca Ingram (Otto, of Homeland). The Skinny: With fears of terrorism attacks currently at an all-time high and most of the original creative team on board (including Brian Grazer, Manny Coto, Evan Katz and Kiefer Sutherland as producers), how can it possibly fail? We’ll watch anything Hawkins is in!

KEVIN CAN WAIT (CBS)

9:00 PM

CHICAGO JUSTICE (NBC)

The Stars: Philip Winchester, Carl Weathers, Nazneen Contractor, Joelle Carter, Ryan-James Hatanaka The Scoop: Is there any aspect of public service in Chicago Dick Wolf won’t turn into a TV show? His fourth series set in the Windy City, spun off from a Chicago P.D. episode, focuses on the State’s Attorney’s Office investigators as they navigate the bureaucracy of city politics, media hoopla, and power struggles. The Skinny: Between his 3 Chicago shows and the Law & Order franchise, Wolf clearly knows what viewers want. But with 5 shows currently on the air, how much more Wolf can people really be hungry for? PG 14 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

The Stars: Kevin James, Erinn Hayes, Taylor Spreitler, Mary-Charles Jones The Scoop: Nine years after King of Queens ended, James returns to CBS to play a retired cop looking forward to having more time to spend with his wife and three kids. But he quickly realizes that home life can be much more difficult than life out on the streets. The Skinny: I have 3 issues with this one. 1) Is anybody dying for another show from the star of Paul Blart: Mall Cop? 2) If your family is more difficult than life as a cop, this entire show should take place in a therapist’s office. 3) Did I mention Paul Blart: Mall Cop?

DIVORCE (HBO)

The Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon, Tracy Letts The Scoop: This comedy set in NYC marks Parker’s return to TV after 12 years of movies and motherhood. Don’t expect Sex & the City redux: Here she plays a woman who’s reassessing her life while locked in a long, bitter divorce battle with her husband (Church). The Skinny: The show was created by writer/actress Sharon Horgan, who won two BAFTA Awards for the BBC’s Pulling. It promises to dive into the myriad complexities of love and marriage, but how will Carrie Bradshaw fans respond to a less fun and flirty character who’s struggling to make a fresh start?  

8:30 PM

MAN WITH A PLAN (CBS)

The Stars: Matt LeBlanc, Jessica Chaffin, Matt Cook, Grace Kaufman, The Scoop: LeBlanc stars in this sitcom about a building contractor who becomes a stay-at-home dad after his wife returns to work. But he quickly realizes that home life can be much more difficult than life out on the streets. Sound familiar? The Skinny: I’m not sure what’s up with the back-to-back “Parenting is hard” shows starring lovable doofuses. I wouldn’t bet on this one to help LeBlanc break the Friends curse, but dumb comedy did keep Two and a Half Man on the air MUCH longer than expected. 9:00 PM

The Stars: Justin Kirk, Natalie Martinez, Eric Winter, Ernie Hudson, Taylor Handley The Scoop: Kirk (Tyrant, Weeds) stars as Gideon Reeves, a tech billionaire who starts a technologically-advanced private police force in Chicago as a means to track down whoever killed his friend in an armed robbery-gonebad. Along the way, they battle surging crime waves, rampant cover-ups and corruption, and officer-involved shootings. The Skinny: Like 24 before it, APB has the opportunity to tap into today’s headlines to create stirring topical drama. Whether producer/director Len Wiseman (Lucifer) and producer/writer Matt Nix (Burn Notice) can find the right voice for doing so remains to be seen. 10:00 PM

CONVICTION (ABC)

The Stars: Hayley Atwell, Eddie Cahill, Shawn Ashmore, Merrin Dungey, Emily Kinney The Scoop: Attwell (Agent Carter) stars as a black sheep former First Daughter who’s blackmailed into working for the Conviction Integrity Unit started by the NY District Attorney (Cahill). The flawed heroine leads a crack team of expert lawyers and investigators, working as a fixer on wrongful conviction cases. The Skinny: Co-created and written by Liz Friedman (Jessica Jones) and somewhat similar to an existing ABC hit (Scandal), this one has the potential to reach beyond the limitations of your typical procedural drama. We’re rooting for Attwell to have a hit after her Marvel show’s untimely demise.

TIMELESS (NBC)

The Stars: Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic The Scoop: This action-adventure show follows a trio of time travelers– a soldier, a scientist and a history professor– who go back in time (cue the Huey Lewis hit) to track down a mysterious ne’er-do-well hellbent on destroying America’s future by radically altering its past. The Skinny: From Dr Who to Quantum Leap, we love the ethical and scientific quandaries time travel brings to the table. Here’s hoping the creative team of Eric Kripke (Supernatural), Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and the producers of NBC’s impressive The Blacklist don’t screw it up.

8:30 PM

TUESDAY

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE (ABC)

The Stars: Katie Mixon, Diedrich Bader, Ali Wong The Scoop: Perennial sidekick Mixon (Mike & Molly, Eastbound & Down) finally gets the lead in this sitcom about a sassy mom of 3 whose dysfunctional family relocates to Westport, Connecticut, where she and her husband (Bader) must navigate their new life in a judge-y town. The Skinny: Originally titled The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport, this show from Sarah Dunn (Murphy Brown, Spin City)


addresses the difficulty of being “plump” in a place that prides itself on perfection. Doing so with depth and humor could make this a new hit for middle America. 9:00 PM

BULL (CBS)

The Stars: Michael Weatherly, Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva Carr, Chris Jackson The Scoop: Michael Weatherly steps out of his NCIS supporting role to star as “brash, brilliant and charming” Dr. Bull, whose character is based on Dr. Phil McGraw (who co-produces alongside his son Jay and Steven Spielberg). The story tracks McGraw’s early career as a trial consultant, using a mixture of psychology, intuition and technology to figure out what makes people in the criminal justice system tick. The Skinny: Let’s be blunt here– I am not at all CBS’ target demo. But Weatherly is cool and charismatic and the 60 Minutes audience seems to eat this kinda stuff up with a spoon.

The Scoop: In this TV adaptation of the beloved Mel Gibson/Danny Glover film franchise, Wayans (In Living Color) plays put-upon LAPD veteran Roger Murtaugh, while Crawford (NCIS: New Orleans) plays mad man Martin Riggs, a former Navy SEAL relocating to Texas after losing his wife and child. The Skinny: On the downside, it’s an adaptation of a beloved film franchise. Remember the Rush Hour TV show? Yeah, neither do we. On the upside, it’s produced/ written by Matthew Miller, whose Chuck offered an excellent blend of humor and action. We’ll give it a chance… 8:30 PM

SPEECHLESS (ABC)

The Stars: Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Mason Cook, Micah Fowler, Cedric Yarbrough, Kyla Kennedy The Scoop: Driver (About A Boy) returns to TV as a type-A mom whose family– husband (Bowie), non-nonsense daughter (Kennedy),

THIS IS US

PURE

THE GREAT INDOORS the emotional gravitas that made the film so touching. Problem #3, it’s on the CW network.

STAR (FOX)

The Stars: Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny, Brittany O’Grady The Scoop: Created/produced by Lee Daniels, this musical drama tells the story of a talented trio of young singers (Demorest, Destiny and O’Grady) trying to break into the music business in Atlanta. Bratt plays their manager, while Queen Latifah is the surrogate mom who disapproves of their career aspirations. The Skinny: Though it’s not an Empire spin-off, Daniels is clearly trying to recreate that breakout hit’s soapy hip-hopera magic. The question is, do any of his unknown leads have the sheer talent and charisma of Jussie Smollett? 10:00 PM

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR (ABC)

THIS IS US (NBC)

The Stars: Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz The Scoop: This ensemble dramedy follows a group of people–including Moore, Ventimiglia (Heroes, Gilmore Girls) and Brown (a breakout as Chris Darden on American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson)– who share the same birthday and whose lives intersect in various ways. The Skinny: Created by writer Dan Fogelman (Tangled, Cars) and the directors of his 2011 Steve Carell film Crazy, Stupid, Love, the show has plenty of talent behind it. But we’re not really feeling any sort of buzz around it, which is rarely a good sign. 10:00 PM

ATLANTA (FX)

The Stars: Donald Glover, Paul Simms and Dianne McGunigle The Scoop: Mr. Childish Gambino himself created and stars in this autobiographical show about two cousins trying to get their big break in the ATL hip-hop scene in order to improve the lives of themselves and their families. Glover describes it as “Twin Peaks with rappers.” The Skinny: From Community and standup comedy to his Childish Gambino raps, Glover is real, raw and completely unafraid of taking creative chances. Alongside Westworld and Netflix’s Luke Cage, this ranks among my most eagerly anticipated shows of the season. WEDNESDAY 8:00 PM

LETHAL WEAPON (FOX)

The Stars: Damon Wayans Sr., Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster, Kevin Rahm

brainy middle child (Cook), and cerebral palsy-afflicted son (Fowler)– move to a more upscale town in search of a better life. The Skinny: ABC’s Wednesday night comedy lineup kicks ass, with The Goldbergs, Modern Family and black-ish all favorites in our family. Tackling the challenges faced by families with special needs kids is a bold move, but we like its chances. 9:00 PM

FREQUENCY (CW)

The Stars: Peyton List, Riley Smith, Mekhi Phifer, Lenny Jacobson, Anthony Ruivivar The Scoop: List (Disney Channel’s Jessie) stars in this TV adaption of the 2000 film starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel, playing a young detective who realizes that she can speak to her estranged father (Smith) using a CB radio… despite the fact that he passed away in 1996. The two cops work together to solve a cold case that has a “butterfly effect” on the present. The Skinny: Problem #1, film-to-TV adaptations usually suck (Fargo being a rare exception). Problem #2, List is 18 years old, and I question her ability to convey

The Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Natascha McElhone, Maggie Q, Kal Penn, Adan Canto The Scoop: Sutherland stars as Jack Bau… er, I mean, “Tom Kirkman,” the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who finds himself thrust into the role of President after an attack during the State of the Union address kills everyone above him in the line of succession. Maggie Q (Nikita) co-stars as an FBI agent who believes there are more attacks to come. The Skinny: Three reasons I think this show will success: 1) It’s an election year and political fear-mongering is hot right now; 2) it’s produced by Simon Kinberg (The X-Men franchise, Sherlock Holmes); and 3) Sutherland. THURSDAY 8:30 PM

THE GOOD PLACE (NBC)

The Stars: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper, Manny Jacinto, D’Arcy Carden The Scoop: Bell plays against type as a crappy New Jersey woman who gets a chance to start fresh and improve herself thanks

to a guardian angel played by Ted Danson. PITCH (F The only catch? She’s literally in Heaven due The Sta to a case of mistaken identity, and she has Gosselaar to decide whether to stay or try to get back Lauria, B down to Earth. The Sco The Skinny: If you saw Bell’s sloth video and ever offic don’t adore her, you have no heart. Danson Baseball, was exceptional on last year’s Fargo. And Fogelman the show was created/produced by the team Twisted) behind The Office, Parks & Recreation and first wom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Yes, please! when she Diego Pad THE GREAT INDOORS (CBS) The Ski The Stars: Joel McHale, Stephen Fry, Bunbury Chris Williams, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, ranked 1 Christine Ko, Susannah Fielding play. But The Scoop: Community’s McHale stars that focus as a reporter at an Outside-style magazine pitcher? T tasked with managing the millennial staff of its rapidly-growing digital department, 10:00 PM which includes Mintz-Plasse (best know as McLovin’). The always-wry Fry plays the PURE GE publication’s tough-nosed founder. The Sta The Skinny: The show’s got a solid lead-in Mulroney (The Big Bang Theory) and a charismatic The Sco star in McHale. But does creator Mike young Sil Gibbons (Tosh.0) have what it takes to a veteran create a cohesive sitcom? Based on his track past (Mul record, I’d say this one’s chances of a second hospital t season are iffy at best. groundbr procedur 9:00 PM incurable The Ski BETTER THINGS (FX) Katims’ tr The Stars: Pamela Adlon, Celia Imrie, wrote and Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, Lights an Olivia Edward Emmy fav The Scoop: Co-created by Pamela Adlon not usual (Californication, Louie) and longtime give Pure creative partner Louis C.K., this semihis involv autobiographical series stars Adlon as an overworked, divorced actress raising three kids solo, watching out for her elderly mother (Imrie), and trying to have a life MARVEL amidst all the chaos and dysfunction. The Sta The Skinny: Adlon run as Louie’s love Alfre Wo interest was stellar, and word has it this new Whaley, T show gives her the leading role she’s always The Sco deserved. Deadline even suggests it will be continues one of the best things on TV this season, so con Cage you can bet we’ll be watching. strength, emotions NOTORIOUS (ABC) The Stars: Piper Perabo, Daniel Sunjata, Ryan Guzman, Kevin Zegers, Aimee Teegarden The Scoop: Inspired by the real-life friendship between criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos (Daniel Sunjata of Graceland) and cable news producer Wendy Walker (Piper Perabo of Covert Affairs), this drama takes a look at the interplay between the legal system and the media. Geragos and Walker also serve as executive producers. The Skinny: Nothing about this one– not the cast, the story, or the elevator pitch– interests me in the least. I predict it will be among the season’s first cancellation casualties.

THE

insiteatlanta.com • September 2016 • PG 15


PURE GENIUS

PITCH (FOX)

The Stars: Kylie Bunbury, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos, Dan Lauria, Bob Balaban, Mo McRae The Scoop: The first scripted TV program ever officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball, this drama created by Dan Fogelman stars Bunbury (ABC Family’s Twisted) as Ginny Baker, who becomes the first woman contracted to play in the MLB when she becomes a pitcher for the San Diego Padres. The Skinny: The premise is promising, Bunbury is likable, and 22 MLB teams are ranked 1 in primetime on the nights they play. But will men tune in to watch a show that focuses on the sport’s first female pitcher? The jury’s still out on this one. 10:00 PM

PURE GENIUS (CBS)

The Stars: Augustus Prew, Dermot Mulroney, Brenda Song, Reshma Sheets The Scoop: British actor Prew plays a young Silicon Valley billionaire who hires a veteran surgeon with a controversial past (Mulroney) to head up a cutting-edge hospital that uses high-tech devices for groundbreaking (but potentially high-rick) procedures to treat rare and seemingly incurable diseases. The Skinny: Creator/producer Jason Katims’ track record is impressive, as he wrote and executive produced Friday Night Lights and Parenthood both of which were Emmy faves). Other than The Knick, I’m not usually into hospital dramas. But I’ll give Pure Genius a chance based solely on his involvement.

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FRIDAY

MARVEL’S LUKE CAGE (Netflix)

The Stars: Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Simone Missick, Frank Whaley, Theo Rossi The Scoop: The Marvel Universe continues to expand with this tale of excon Cage (Colter), whose superhuman strength, unbreakable skin and conflicted emotions made him a breakout character

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PG 16 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

THE EXORCIST

of last year’s Jessica Jones. Now he’s back in Harlem, confronting his past and fighting to protect his city from villains like Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Ali, of House of Cards). The Skinny: Darker, grittier and more nuanced than most titles in the Marvel Universe, Cage is the African-American superhero America needs right now. With an excellent supporting cast featuring the legendary Woodard, Ali and Rossi (Sons of Anarchy), this is arguably the season’s safest bet to be a hit. 8:00 PM

MACGYVER (CBS)

The Stars: Lucas Till, George Eads, Justin Hires, Sandrine Holt, Tristin Mays The Scoop: In this prequel of sorts to the ‘80s classic, Till (Havoc in The X-Men series) stars as a young Angus “Mac” MacGyver. Here, the unconventional problem-solver is a 20-something just starting out in the business of world-saving, forming a secret organization to stop disasters before they happen. The Skinny: The entire pilot was scrapped in June, and only Till and Eads (CSI) survived the cast firings. You do the math. 9:00 PM

THE EXORCIST (FOX)

The Stars: Geena Davis, Alfonso Herrera, Brianne Howey, Alan Ruck, Ben Daniels, Hannah Kasulka The Scoop: Yet another remake, with Davis taking on Ellen Burstyn’s role from the 1973 horror classic and Howey and Kasulka as her two daughters, one of whom is possessed. The story focuses on Daniels and Herrera as the two different, strongwilled priests struggling to cast out the demon and save the girl’s soul. The Skinny: There’s a dearth of horror on network TV right now, and FOX did a decent job last year with its cutting, campy Scream Queens. With the eagerly awaited return of Geena Davis and very little Friday night competition, we’ll be watching with high hopes and very low expectations.


TV

GROWING UP CHRISLEY

Former Atlanta-based Reality Series Still “Knows Best” as it Begins Fourth Season

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

J

UMP-STARTING THE FALL TV season, decidedly quirky reality series Chrisley Knows Best began its fourth season late last month on the USA Network. Formerly shot in and around Alpharetta and Roswell, the popular show is now Nashville-based but it continues to feature the outrageous antics of the titular family. Patriarch/businessman/snark-machine Todd Chrisley tries to keep a straight-face amid the family’s eccentric adventures, dishing out life-lessons with a heapin’ helpin’ of southernfriend flamboyance. As the show was in production of the last few installments of the current 26-episode season, he took some time off to speak with the press about the pressures of parenting the rambunctious flock of Chrisleys.

you know what, their recovery is getting quicker. [The viewers have] been watching us since Chase and Savannah were 14 and 15. But now Chase is trying to pursue a career in real estate. Listen, he has forgotten more than I’ve ever known! So I think that what you’re going to see coming up is kids in transition. You’re going to see parents doing the same thing that so many parents across this country are doing when their kids leave home, which is us trying to still micromanage them to a certain degree. But how much can we micromanage?

As Chase reaches the age where he’ll have a serious girlfriend soon, what advice will you offer him when it comes to choosing a soulmate? What can you draw from your relationship with your wife Julie that’ll help him? Well let’s just put it this way. There are As the fourth season begins, how do you keep very few Julies left in this world. I was very your show relevant – especially considering lucky. I don’t think that any of us know at today’s glut of programming choices? 20 that we’re going to find our soulmate - or I feel like we’re so blessed to have someone even what you need to be doing. But I have tune in and watch our show. Just like you said, taught Chase his entire life to be respectful there is so much content out there so I feel and to always remember that such an obligation to make sure the girl he’s looking to date is that we’re being honest and I DON’T SUGAR someone else’s daughter, sister, sincere. Maybe viewers won’t niece, or best friend COAT IT, I DON’T grandchild, make some of the mistakes and that he should treat them that we’ve made or they’ll take HIDE IT, I LET YOU with respect. Even before the something that works for us to show, I’ve always tried to tell SEE THE GOOD, prevent them from making the my children to try to find same mistake. The best way for THE BAD, THE all someone that they were evenly me to ask anyone to watch our yoked with, that comes from show is just by me being who I UGLY, THE HAPPY, same core value system, truly am. THE PAIN - ALL the that they have similarities with, that they find comfort in OF THAT.” Parenting is stressful under sharing their darkest day with. any circumstance, but So I just tell Chase every day to parenting on a reality series must be an make sure he keeps it clean, that he respects exceptional challenge. someone else’s child, and that he does not do I’m having to learn that sometimes I need anything he would be ashamed for his mother to take a beat for a minute. I need to sit still to find out. because raising children is certainly not for the faint of heart. I would rather be dealing Your mom is a very popular character in with high school kids than I would raising the series. young adults. You send your kids out into the Let me tell you somethin.’ There are so many world, they get into college, [but] when you good women in this world that have raised have elementary school and middle school great children and I firmly believe that I have and high school kids, you could control the been blessed with one of the finest mothers environment that they were being placed in. that has ever walked! She is just a good, Now when they leave for college you have to decent, honest, caring, hardworking woman trust that what you have instilled will carry that has always placed her children first and them through. And I’m a fixer. I want to make then her grandchildren. She has reached the sure that everything’s always right and that point in her life at 71 to where she literally my kids are good and no one’s complaining told me two days ago, “You need to find a life about them doing or saying the wrong thing. and get out of mine.” I said, “Mama, you don’t I do take it personal when one of my kids say that to your child!” She said, “Well, Todd, falls or when they make a mistake, I truly you’ve aggravated the living hell out of me.” carry that. But I’m having to learn that if it’s And she says, “I’m going to the casino and I’m someone else’s issue, I don’t necessarily have not going to listen to this no more, so you can to drive by and pick it up. get mad if you want to. By the time I get back you’ll be over it.” In the span of four seasons, the kids are literally growing up on the show. Everyone has a relative like that, maybe Well, Chase is always keeping me on my not a mom, but definitely someone at the toes. Savannah has gotten to where she is Thanksgiving table. at 19 - and she is all, “I am woman, hear Exactly, what you just said! It makes our me roar.” I’d say she is the child that Gloria hearts overflow with joy that we have people Steinem forgot to have! I think that you’re who truly feel like they could come and sit going to see a lot of moving parts in these down at our table and have dinner. I think upcoming episodes and there’s things that that the reason for that is because we try to we’re filming right now, some of it’s great and give you 110% reality of what’s going on in some of it’s frustrating as a parent. Some of our lives. I don’t sugar coat it, I don’t hide it has caused us to shed some tears. You’re it, I let you see the good, the bad, the ugly, going to see a lot of change in these episodes. the happy, the pain - all of that. That is what You’re going to see the kids growing up, makes each of us who we are. For us to be you’re going to see them make mistakes but, able to go out into a mall or go out to dinner

and people come up and tell me what’s going on with their children or what’s going on with a spouse, you know, or an ailing parent or what have you. It just truly verifies to me that this is where God wants me to be at this point in my life.

the course of the past four seasons? I think the show has been very liberating, not only for myself but for my family as a whole. It has brought us closer together and it’s caused us to have less concern about someone else’s opinion of us.

As you watch your family grow up, what do you think you’ve learned about yourself over

Chrisley Knows Best airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.

Choose Atlanta’s Best!

Voting Currently taking place Online Ends midnight Sunday October, 9th Winners featured in November Issue

insiteatlanta.com/bestofatlanta insiteatlanta.com • September 2016 • PG 17


MOVIES

Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN

AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY (R)

 My mistake was watching Author: The JT LeRoy Story right after Mr. Robot. Having already had my mind blown, I felt like it was being blown in a different direction. Author is the true (or trueish?) story of a fiction writer who was himself a work of fiction. In the 1990s Laura Albert, a woman with multiple personalities, created another one to author her books: JT LeRoy, an androgynous teenage hustler whose mother was a truck stop prostitute. Albert was shy about public appearances because she’d been bullied and called “Fat Albert” in school, and was still fat. Rockstars and such lined up to read from JT’s books so “he” wouldn’t have to. Albert had gastric reduction surgery five years later but by then she’d created this fantasy world in which her sister-in-law posed as JT while Albert’s persona was her/his friend and manager “Speedie.” There are so many real and fictional personas floating around that a scorecard won’t help, especially since director Jeff Feuerzeig keeps flashing back to Laura’s childhood and otherwise jumping around in time. Apparently the only people Albert came out to before she was exposed by New York magazine and the New York Times were rocker Billy Corgan and Deadwood creator David Milch. The “hoax” Albert had perpetrated (Wasn’t she part of a literary tradition going back at least to George Sand?) became a major scandal. The availability of so many home movies that survived her unhappy childhood and cassettes of what seem like every phone conversation she ever had, made me wonder if I was being Joaquin Phoenixed by yet another layer of deception; but true or not it’s one hell of an entertaining story. –Steve Warren

COMPLETE UNKNOWN (R)

 You won’t hear the Bob Dylan song the title suggests in Complete Unknown, but it turns out that the main character, Alice (Rachel Weisz) is like a rolling stone. The film begins with what looks like Weisz’ demo reel, showing her at apparently different ages in different professions - surgical nurse, magician’s assistant, etc. It’s far too long until that makes sense when the plot kicks in. Directed and co-written by Joshua Marston, who made the far superior Maria Full of Grace, Complete Unknown is built around two romantic notions: a couple who haven’t seen each other in 15 years might get back together, even though he’s married and she’s (to put it mildly) unreliable; and in this computer age, it’s possible for a person to completely change

DEMON

their identity every year or two, including name, passport, location, credit cards, profession and accompanying skillset. The latter is what Alice has done nine times since leaving family, friends and Tom (Michael Shannon) without notice. Now she’s back and stalking Tom, who leaves his wife and friends at his birthday party to follow her. There are some nice moments but it’s frustrating because everyone acts like a movie character, not a person, so none of it is believable. If reinvention were so easy, everyone would do it. Alice will be resented by viewers who have enough trouble finding jobs in one career field. –Steve Warren

DEMON (R)

1/2 How do you recognize a Jewish wedding in Poland? By the priest. If you think that’s a bad Polish joke you haven’t seen Demon. Not that you should. Some subtleties may be lost in translation but a lot of basics are missing from the script. It’s hard to tell what was intentionally left to your imagination and what was sloppily left out. Piotr (Itay Tiran) arrives from London to marry Zaneta (Agnieszka Zulewska) in the country house she’s inheriting. Her brother, who introduced them, is the only guest Piotr knows. Has he no family or friends to invite? He finds bones buried in the yard and is swallowed up by a sinkhole on the eve of the wedding. He’s already started seeing Hana, a woman who disappeared from the area decades ago; and after the wedding she inhabits his body, sending him into convulsions. The priest attempts an exorcism and an old Jewish professor relates folklore about the dybbuk, one Jewish mother of a monster. Presumably that explains Hana, but is she the source of the buried bones? Is that why Zaneta’s father is so concerned about everything? Or if you’re more practical-minded, how does Zaneta stand in the rain getting her wedding dress soaked, then walk into the reception bone dry? Demon gives you a lot to wonder about but not a lot to like. Incidentally, the US trailer cherrypicks English dialogue but about 90 percent of the film is in Polish. I call foul! –Steve Warren

DON’T BREATHE (R)

1/2 The fact that more movie tickets are sold to young adults than blind veterans determines where audience sympathy is directed in Fede Alvarez’ thriller, even though three teenagers are robbing a blind veteran’s (Stephen Lang) home. Alex (Dylan Minnette) gets information from his dad’s home security company to help his friends Rocky (Jane Levy) and Money (Daniel Zovatto)

EQUITY burglarize local homes. When they hear a man has a million in cash hidden in the last inhabited house in a rundown neighborhood of Grosse Pointe, they decide this big score will allow them to retire and move to California. They have kind of a romantic triangle problem but that’s soon resolved when their victim proves to be blind but far from helpless. So then there are two – unless you count the prisoner in the basement. The trailer gives away a lot of twists but they’re just a drop in the bucket; plenty of surprises still await you, some involving the meanest dog since Cujo. At one point the blind man cuts the power to level the playing field with his intruders, but the lights eventually come on again without explanation. And while the young burglars are quiet-ish, they make all kinds of sounds a blind person would have no trouble hearing, but he only hears them when it’s convenient for the script. So Don’t Breathe isn’t perfect, but it should give its target viewers all the thrills they can handle. –Steve Warren

EQUITY (R)

 If you’ve been wondering when Anna Gunn would do a worthy follow-up to her breakthrough role in Breaking Bad, she emerges as Glenn Close 2.0 – and yet uniquely herself – in this feminancial drama that shows women can be as tough and ruthless as men where big money is concerned. Written and directed by women, Equity is not afraid to show that women can treat each other as badly as men treat them. Naomi Bishop (Gunn) is the She-Wolf of Wall Street, a high-ranking officer at “the largest investment bank in the world,” but she hits a glass ceiling when her boss announces his retirement. Meanwhile she treats her right-hand woman, Erin (Sarah Megan Thomas), like a gofer. Naomi takes care of her sexual needs with Michael (James Purefoy), a big shot in another area of the bank that’s legally forbidden to interact with hers. He’s connected to someone who’s being investigated by Samantha (Alysia Reiner) at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who happens to be a long lost old friend of Naomi’s. Most of the story revolves around the IPO of a Silicon Valley firm that provides security for social media. Unlike The Big Short, which made my head explode, this one keeps the financial details simple enough for an idiot like me, who can’t make change for a quarter, to understand, but without sounding dumbed down. My favorite line refers to Internet security: “Half the world is paranoid and the other half’s password is “password.” –Steve Warren

HANDS OF STONE (R)

1/2 I don’t like boxing but I can enjoy a good boxing movie. I enjoyed Hands of Stone, the Roberto Durán story, because it’s not a good boxing PG 18 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

movie. The boxing scenes are the film’s least well executed, but there’s a lot more going on. We get a brief history of how boxing was centered in New York and run by the Mafia (represented by John Turturro) until the 1950s, when television spread it worldwide. The mob blamed Ray Arcel (Robert De Niro) and would have whacked him if he hadn’t sworn never to make money from boxing again. We also get some history of the conflict between the U.S. and Panama over the Canal Zone. The Panamanian Durán is 12 when he sees protestors confront American soldiers in his hometown. He becomes a boxer and at 19 (Edgar Ramirez) is discovered by Arcel, who offers to train him to a world championship pro bono. At this time Durán courts a schoolgirl, Felicidad (Ana de Armas), the only blonde in Panama, who he later marries. This part is creepy because the 40-year-old Ramirez, while a good actor, can’t convincingly play half his age and looks like a dirty old man. Durán would eventually win world championships in four different weight classes but the film highlights his taking the welterweight title from Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond), then quitting in the middle of their rematch, though he would fight off and on for two more decades. With his antiAmerican attitude and a bigger mouth than Ali, Durán is hardly a sympathetic hero and the script doesn’t always make his motivations clear. After narrating throughout, Arcel deserves the last word but doesn’t get it. –Steve Warren

HELL OR HIGH WATER (R)

 Hell or High Water is a hell of a movie and a high water mark for many of those involved. Graffiti in the opening shot reveal its sentiments: The people of West Texas are starving while the banks have all their money and many of their homes. Two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster), are trying to make a dent in that. They rob small amounts from a series of branches of Texas Midlands Bank. As we get to know them we learn straitlaced Toby has sought the help of his brother, recently released from prison, to pay off the debt on their late mother’s farm. Toby wants to leave it to his sons, even though their mother (Marin Ireland), his ex-wife, is less than appreciative. Meanwhile Marcus (Jeff Bridges), a Texas Ranger, is on the verge of mandatory retirement and thinks this might be a good case to end his career on. He engages in a lot of politically incorrect but good-natured banter with his Mexican/Native American partner (Gil Birmingham). Though a lot of serious stuff is going on here and many will die before it’s over, director David Mackenzie and screenwriter Taylor Sheridan keep the mood generally light and often downright funny. The humor may be wasted on you if you think it’s right that banks flourish while people perish, but


COMEDY

“IT AIN’T EGO-IT’S “WE” GO!” Eddie Griffin Comes to Town to Get Down with His Funny Friends

What initially caused you to get up on stage? And how did it feel once you were in the moment? Well, there was a $50 bet to do it, and being broke, you know what I mean? I did it and it just felt good. Felt like, “This is where I belong.”

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

LITTLE MEN if you have some sympathy for the working poor, you’ll find this great entertainment. –Steve Warren

THE HOLLARS (PG-13)

1/2 The Hollars have as many problems as any American family, but crammed into less than 90 minutes they can seem a bit contrived. Fortunately there’s enough humor in their lives that we don’t find their problems as oppressive as they do. The point of John Krasinski’s second film as director is that family can overcome anything, and he’s assembled a first-class family of actors to overcome any weaknesses in the script. Marvelous Margo Martindale has never been better – and that’s saying a lot – as the wife of Richard Jenkins and mother of John (Krasinski) and Ron (Sharlto Copley). John comes back to Ohio from New York, leaving behind a very pregnant girlfriend (Anna Kendrick), when his mother is diagnosed with a brain tumor. At home his ex, Gwen (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is married to Jason (Charlie Day), who happens to be Mom’s nurse. Gwen regrets having married Jason. Ron regrets having divorced Stacey (Ashley Dyke), who is now married to Rev. Dan (Josh Groban). Mom sometimes regrets having married Dad, who regrets just about everything now that his plumbing and heating business is going bankrupt. When everyone stops talking about what they’re sorry about for a minute, Josh Ritter’s folked-up songs blare on the soundtrack. Though troubled and imperfect, John is the white knight of the family, while Ron competes with Jason for the A-hole of the Year award. This cast could probably have made Suicide Squad work, so they have no problem with a film that’s far less flawed; and Martindale raises the whole endeavor on her broad shoulders. –Steve Warren

IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE (R)

 Discussions of welfare and immigration may echo current American political debates, but In Order of Disappearance will also remind you of Fargo, Se7en, Reservoir Dogs, Death Wish and other films. There’s humor too, but it’s so dry, dark and subtle – or Norwegian - it makes a Tarantino film look like Ghostbusters. Nils Dickman (Stellan Skarsgård) is named Citizen of the Year in his small Norwegian town because he drives the snowplow that keeps them connected to the rest of the world. When his innocent son is murdered by drug dealers and the police won’t help because it looks like a routine overdose, Nils goes all Liam Neeson on their ass and starts killing his way up the food chain toward the kingpin known as the Count (Pål Sverre Hagen), who suspects his Serbian rivals (he calls then Albanians), leading to a gang war. Things get bloodier and more complicated as they go along, never slowing down but letting director Hans Petter Moland show off his great visual sense along the way. Some of the humor comes from the moment of silence following each killing, and the gangsters’ nicknames – a Japanese man is known as “the Chinaman” and Nils’ older brother picked “Wingman” from Top Gun, illustrating the positive influence of American culture on the world. In Order of Disappearance shows the Norwegians equaling us at our own game. –Steve Warren

LITTLE MEN (PG)

1/2 One of my least favorite genres is the slice-of-life drama, the kind that makes going to the movies pointless because you can see real people in real situations anywhere. So while Little Men is technically another fine piece of work by director and co-writer Ira Sachs (Love Is Strange), I’m far less enthusiastic than I was about Michel Gondry’s Microbe and Gasoline, a recent film about friendship between two adolescent boys. These little men are a year younger, 13, and live in Brooklyn. Jake (Theo Taplitz) just moved there after his grandfather died and left Jake’s father (Greg Kinnear) his home. The streetlevel storefront is leased to Tony’s (Michael Barbieri) mother, Leonor (Paulina Garcia), at a rate that’s ridiculously cheap in this gentrifying neighborhood. Jake’s mother (Jennifer Ehle) basically supports the family with her income as a psychotherapist. If Grandpa was as close to Leonor as she claims, he should have provided for her in his will, because his son has to make a profit on the space and she can’t afford to pay what it’s worth. This puts a strain on the new but intense friendship between shy Jake, a budding artist, and outgoing Tony, a wannabe actor. There’s hardly a moment that doesn’t ring true – too true for me when I want to be entertained, but you may well feel otherwise. –Steve Warren

SOUTHSIDE WTH YOU (PG-13)

 How can a sweet little movie raise so many questions? 1. Should you see it on a first date because it’s about a first date? No, because yours will pale by comparison. It’s about the 1989 first date between Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and the then Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter), who would go on to become America’s hottest First Couple since the Kennedys. Putting yours against it would be like watching the Olympics opening ceremony at the “grand opening” of a used car lot. 2. Would the movie work as well if it were about fictional characters? No, except maybe Clark Kent and Lois Lane or Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Like a real first date, a movie first date involves a lot of exposition, of learning about each other; and we’re more interested in learning trivia about the Obamas than a random couple we’ve never heard of. 3. Do they have problems? Of course! Michelle is reluctant to call it a date because Barack’s a Harvard Law student working a summer job at the corporate law firm that employs her. He wears her down by taking her to an Afrocentric art exhibit and a neighborhood meeting of the community he used to organize, where he’s still admired and respected. 4. Does it get political? No more than their lives have since. 5. Does he show her his birth certificate? Well, don’t you always carry your birth certificate on a date? 6. Are they recognizable? Sawyers looks and acts like a slightly younger version of the charming, intelligent man who became president two decades later. With a severe hairstyle and attitude to match (though black women may appreciate the latter), Sumpter is less like the Michelle we know today. 7. Does it end happily? No spoilers here. Use your imagination. - Steve Warren

O

N-STAGE, COMEDIAN AND actor Eddie Griffin has no limits or internal filters. His stand-up blends the timing of Redd Foxx with the cutting-edge social commentary of Richard Pryor. No word, religion or taboo is forbidden and he gleefully offends the Is it true they barred you from the club after PC police. that first show? Film audiences remember him from the Deuce Yes, that’s true. They said I was too “blue” for Bigalow: Male Gigolo movies with Rob Schneider their taste, but I didn’t even know what “blue” and Undercover Brother. TV fans know him as meant. Years later, I found out they just didn’t like half of the titular “Malcolm & Eddie,” the sitcom my use of the vernacular. he shared with Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Lately he’s getting back to back to his early live comedy Can you tell us a bit about creating your own roots with a six-year stand at the Rio in Las Vegas comedy scene after that? and on tour with The Comedy Get Down. I just started going to local bars and clubs to see The rat pack of popular comics also includes what their scene was like, and then I started my his friends and fellow comics George Lopez, D.L. own comedy night. Hughley, Charlie Murphy and Cedric The Entertainer. You went from the small The same cast is also at work venues to the big arenas on a new series for BET. This really fast, touring with month, after a quick trip to Andrew Dice Clay. Was it SEPTEMBER 30 Abu Dhabi with Murphy a culture shock to go from, Philips Arena for a casino gig, he returns say, the Comedy Store to to Atlanta where he shot his comedygetdowntour.com Madison Square Garden hilarious and decidedly ribald in the span of a couple of Freedom Of Speech special a months? few years ago. No. Because I have always expected to play The raspy-voiced comic is wildly verbose on those rooms and venues. stage, but quiet and thoughtful in conversation. Griffin spoke with INsite during a break from Do you enjoy playing the big halls? Can you shooting the Comedy Get Down show. connect with a crowd of 15,000 or 20,000 the same way you’d work a 200 seat club? How do Can you tell us a little about the Comedy Get the two differ - and how are they the same? Down television show? Is it a documentary of I really do enjoy the big shows. I think the main the tour or a reality show based on the lives of thing is the energy. The energy that it takes to the cast? And when is it scheduled to air? project and convey what you’re saying or doing Well, I don’t know when it’s scheduled to air but to the person sitting in last row of seats. You it’s based on our lives on this tour. Of course, it’s a gotta reach the m---f---s in the cheap seats! lot fun when you’re working with your friends.

THE COMEDY GET DOWN TOUR

Let’s talk about the live show. How did you become involved with the project? Did George Lopez approach you? Yes, George Lopez did approach me and then we just took it from there. Started as one show but now we’re still doin’ it. Any of the artists on the tour could headline, but it looks like you’re having a blast with some old friends. Exactly. That’s it.

There’s so much talk today about the whole P.C. debate. What is your take on the “politically correct” issue? Should comics abide by the same social guidelines as average citizens? Or should humor - and the people who create it - get a pass? It’s like this. The court jester always got a pass from the King. Because the King could always find out what was going on in his kingdom and with his subjects from the jester. And citizens don’t need a pass to exercise their constitutional right of Freedom of Speech. So, in other words: f--k P.C.

D.L. Hughley says the live show is like a “comedy buffet.” Does being on the same bill force you to raise the bar every night? Do you have a little friendly competition going, of who can crush each other on any given night? We are all pros, we do that on our own every night. So really it’s no competition. Team Work makes the Dream Work, you know what I’m saying? It ain’t ego - it’s “We”-go! The original show was a one-off fundraiser for a Richard Pryor statue. Was Pryor your greatest influence? When and how did you become aware of him? Yes he was. First time I heard him was when I was a child in the basement, listening to my mother’s comedy albums. I’ve heard your first set was at a place called Sanford and Son’s, is that right? That’s right, in Kansas City. insiteatlanta.com • September 2016 • PG 19


MUSIC

Album Reviews

REVIEWS BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH AND JOHN B. MOORE

Heart

Beautiful Broken

(Concord Records) These days every classic rock act imaginable is looking back on some sort of 20, 30, 40 or even 50-year anniversary. Longevity is certainly worthy of celebration and usually the campaign involves a tour, deluxe editions of their iconic catalog and branded merchandise for mass-market or even niche consumption. The Beatles’ prosperous empire is the best example of this process of course, but many acts have followed suit. In the case of Canadian-bred Heart, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the US release of their still-enthralling debut Dreamboat Annie. In anticipation of their current summer tour, they delved into a bit of career reflection. The unique result is a collection that includes seven remakes of some older, decidedly lesserknown songs - issued not as a merch-table cash-grab, but supposedly for purely artistic purposes. Due to their dissatisfaction with some aspect of the originals, founders and principle songwriters Ann and Nancy Wilson decided to reimagine some of their favorite misses, mostly from the early ’80s. The band’s signature sound remains an instantly-recognizable, female-powered bluesfolk amalgamation. Here, they revisit “Down

on Me” from 1980’s Bebe le Strange as a threequarter-time potboiler. It’s nicely bookended by a trippy new composition, “Heaven, a brooding hymn featuring a droning sitar. But the true gem of the album - and what would probably have been a massive hit in the late ‘70s - is the album’s title track. Surprisingly as rock-solid as some of their heaviest FM-radio staples, “Beautiful Broken” is a raw and raging duet between Ann Wilson and Metallica‘s James Hetfield. Heart - with Cheap Trick and Joan Jett play Chastain Park on September 17. –Lee Valentine Smith

Becoming the Beach Boys:

The Complete Hite & Dorinda Morgan Sessions

(Omnivore Recordings) The Beach Boys are one of a handful of bands with a following so fervent and obsessive they must every minute of every aspect of their considerable body of work. In the old days, that meant trading homemade tapes and buying wildly overpriced, crudely produced bootleg vinyl. But within the past 20 years, major labels finally realized the profit potential and jumped into the archival fray. One of the first exhaustive collections centered on the

Beach Boys’ highly influential Pet Sounds album from 1966. Now the obsessive music fans who helm Omnivore, arguably the world’s best label for reissues, have gathered the very first recordings by the Beach Boys. The result is an exhaustive 63-track collection that focuses on the band’s first nine songs. Beginning with an endearingly nervous false start, the package includes every available audio snippet of mistakes, on-the-fly revisions and finally the more-polished final takes. The influences of vocal groups, especially The Four Freshmen, is readily evident and it’s a rare treat to hear the teen-aged Wilson brothers, Al Jardine and their cousin Mike Love as they struggled to find their now-legendary musical identities. It’s an absolutely essential piece of Beach Boys history and as such collectors will surely snap it up. But for anyone interested in songwriting, performance, pop culture history or the creative process in general need to listen to this incredible document. As Brian Wilson crosses the country with his Pet Sounds 50th anniversary show, it’s especially interesting to realize that these initial studio attempts occurred just five years before the soaring creative peak he continues to celebrate five decades later. Brian Wilson Celebrates Pet Sounds’ 50 Anniversary – featuring Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin surfs into the Fox Theater for a 7 p.m. show on Friday, September 9. –Lee Valentine Smith

Cotton Mather

Death of the Cool

(Star Apple Kingdom) After a 15-yearabsnece, Austin’s brilliant and brilliantly underrated power pop band Cotton Mather has reunited and decided to give it another try. And their comeback, “Death of the Cool,” proves to it was well worth the wait. Members of Oasis were so enamored with the band in the late ‘90s that they took the group on tour and their 1998 single “My Before and After” even managed to snag a little love from radio. But, like too many other great bands before them, the masses failed to realize just how special this band was and they ended up calling it a day in 2003. Thankfully, Cotton Mather decided to give it another shot. On “Death of Cool,” they channel everyone from Big Star and The Raspberries to Elvis Costello for a timeless collection of sweet melodies and satisfying guitar-driven pop songs. It’s useless to call out specific songs as there is not a bad one on the entire 11-track record. Though time will tell if this one holds up as well as the band’s much-beloved 1997 record, “Kontiki,” “Death of the Cool” is still a fantastic album on its own. –John B. Moore More reviews at insiteatlanta.com

MUSIC

WALKING THE TIGHTROPE Rachael Yamagata is Multitasking – and Loving It years - to get it all done. I really became involved in every aspect of it. I converted my house into a studio basically, so I was recording and booking and everything right here.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

F

OR SOMEONE OFTEN DESCRIBED as a “Troubadour of Heartache,” the engaging Rachael Yamagata comes across the crackling cell connection as a lighthearted spiral of energy. A two-year project is a long time by your Tightrope Walker, her latest collection usual standards. is scheduled for release on September 23 It is, but it was a little bit of a different which also happens to be her birthday. The process this time. I became so immersed emotive record is a kaleidoscope of moody, in it, getting it all together confessional compositions. An and setting up everything. impressively prolific composer That was a lot to think about. who often begins her projects Then I had to actually do the with as many as 200 songs, album! And in the middle of Yamagata is also in-demand it all, I was touring, booking SEPTEMBER 20 as a collaborator. Her stellar shows and all that goes with roster of alliances includes Ryan Vinyl it. I was booking this tour for Adams, Ray LaMontagne and the album - for an album that Duncan Sheik. wasn’t even finished yet. Between frequent laughs and self-effacing asides, she recently spoke Did you write this album while out on your with INsite about the album, her myriad of last tour? behind-the-scenes responsibilities and her I can’t write on the road. I just can’t. So I unconscious penchant for sharing often have to do that when I’m more settled in. deeply personal moments in her songs.

RACHAEL YAMAGATA

You’ve been associated with major and independent labels, but this new album is the most independent thing you’ve done since the very beginning of your career. You’ve taken indie to a new level. Yes, this time I knew I wanted to go this route and use PledgeMusic again, but it’s been quite a long journey - around two PG 20 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

Are you a dedicated writer? Do you devote time to it every day? I should and that’s really the best way to do it, but I don’t. I just write as it comes along - on napkins, on separate pieces of paper, it’s just all over the place. Then I take the ideas and work with them. Usually I have a lot of songs in different stages. On this one, when I had the 15, I really

focused on them and those finally became the album. This is definitely your most eclectic work to date, with the myriad of styles and moods. Was that something you planned in advance or was that just how it unfolded as it took shape. Well I liked the theme of the tightrope walker, and all that can mean, so I took that as the core. So many possibilities opened up it just became the story in terms of lyrical ideas. But songwriting in itself isn’t a struggle for you, is it? On some records I was fascinated by heartbreak and things in relationships and that’s just what I wrote about. Not that I was ever truly depressed. But I think people associate you with your work. It’s just that way. I’m fascinated by things like, ‘Why is this so painful?’ You know, those are kind of really big questions, when you look back at them. I’ve always been more interested in sort of darker things as subjects but try to convey them in a lighter tone for my songs. It’s just a natural process. It is. A few years ago, a song called “Saturday Morning” was one of those. There was something to it that felt really easy and natural and not complicated, and yet still had a reference to a relationship that was obviously going through something. It’s about not focusing on all we’ve gone

through. It’s like, “Let’s just get back to why we’re in love.” It’s the same with this album, but the recording was very different. At the end I’m always glad to look at it and go, “You know, I think I can actually stand behind this.” In many ways, it’s a much more positive record than your previous releases. But in writing it, I’m not sure I considered that actually. I’ve certainly been through many rounds of the business of saying, “Ok, write a happy song.” Or, “Let’s try some faster tempo here,” or “Bring in some new people.” But they’ve never really felt like ‘me.’ I wasn’t sure if the optimistic part was even able to come out.


MUSIC

LOGAN LYNN Strikes New Chord BY JOHN B. MOORE

I

TOYGUITAR

my life. I experienced a very serious mental health crisis which I somehow managed to capture the seeds of the songs on this album during. My producer Gino Mari wrote all of the music on ADIEU and I wrote all of the lyrics and vocal melodies, as well as most of the strange samples. When people ask me about our collaboration, I say these songs belong to both Gino Mari and I. Neither of us could have made this record happen without the other, and that’s our sweet spot. It’s got staying power.

T’S BEEN 4 YEARS SINCE PORTLAND’S Logan Lynn last put out a full length. And despite coming out with a wildly popular Miley Cyrus cover in 2013, his latest record is aligned much closer to 1990s college radio rock and classic theatrical rock (think more Queen and less Yes) , than a contemporary party album. “I think strong ‘90s college rock vibes are probably there by way of the strong ‘90s college rock vibes I loved and was raised on, and then intentionally nodding Is there a general theme to the songs on to on ADIEU,” says Lynn, referring to this record? the new LP. “But I Other than jazz think Gino (Mari, hands mental health his collaborator/ crisis? (laughs) The producer) and I both broad themes are love, had pretty serious loss, wanting to give musical theater up and then holding vibes happening as a on, but I think that constant throughout. pretty well sums it There are moments up. I hope people can on this record that hear that, while it is feel really jaunty and definitely about my bratty and as we were own ongoing struggle recording them I tried with depression and to keep this mental suicidal ideation, image of myself with a it’s actually about dancing cane, clicking resilience and love my heels in the rain being stronger than and moving through anything else. these very serious THIS RECORD HAS BEEN AN themes with a spring ABSOLUTE DEPARTURE FROM MY What can you tell in my step, front and me your role in the USUAL CREATIVE PROCESS. center. The whole thing upcoming movie “Last is very jazz hands mental Meal”? How did you get involved? health crisis, frankly.” All I am allowed to say at this point is that So, yeah, it’s a bit different. ADIEU is it’s a new show by Writer/Director Jonathan being self-released on released September Firstman and the talented folks at Penguin 23rd. Productions and it will be out this fall. I’m dying to tell you...but I can’t. Musically, did you consciously set out for a different sound with Adieu? What’s next for you? This record has been an absolute Well, I am still full in with the Keep departure from my usual creative process. Oregon Well campaign and my band is In the last 18 years of releasing songs, I have busy putting together our new live show in rarely...potentially never...written them first support of ADIEU and we will be playing a as complete A Cappella arrangements and bunch of shows all over the place beginning then taken them into the studio from there. in September, when the record also comes On ADIEU, I ended up distilling over 500 out. We have a new video coming out next voice note recordings which were captured month, too. This year is so intense and over a six-month- period of great turmoil in wonderful; I feel really grateful.

PANSY DIVISION 25 Years and Still Going BY JOHN B. MOORE

T

HE WORLD HAS CHANGED A LOT SINCE PANSY Division first got together in 1991. Music trends have come and long since been forgotten, labels have started, thrived and imploded and all the while Pansy Division has continued to churn out some of the wittiest, strongest political pop punk the genre has offered. Asked if he imagined that the band – one of the most successful queercore groups in history - would still be making music two-anda-half decades after Pansy Division was founded, singer/guitarist Jon Ginoli answers emphatically: “No!” “I was too young then to imagine life that far ahead into the future,” he says. “Back in the mid-to- late ‘00s I wrote my memoir, Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division, and Chris (Freeman, bassist and band co-founder) helped put together the documentary film Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band because a lot of time had passed and we weren’t sure how much longer we’d keep going, but here we are!”

Plays On

BY JOHN B. MOORE

P

RIOR TO LAUNCHING TOYGUITAR, Jack Dalrymple had already built up a fair amount of punk rock credibility thanks to his time with One Man Army, The Re-Volts and Dead To Me. Adding in guitarist Miles Peck (Swingin’ Utters), bassist Paul Oxborrow and drummer Rosie Gonce, there was more than a little attention being played to the band’s 2015 debut LP, In This Mess. The response was impressive, with the album popping up on year end ‘Best Of’ lists and the band managing to convert fans across the globe – thanks in part to spending much of that year on tour. So just how nervous was the band heading into the studio to work on the follow up? “Nah, definitely not nervous. I think all of us were excited actually,” says Dalrymple. “To be in this position, to be able to play music and make records, is everything. We are super appreciative.” On September 2, Fat Wreck Chords will put out toyGuitar’s Move Like a Ghost. The 6-song EP still boasts all new songs with the band’s impressive blend of ‘70s garage rock with hard-to-resist melodic pop and punk rock. Oxborrow is no longer with the band, but their sound is still impressively strong. When did you start working on the songs from this EP? We started going through songs and parts in October 2015. I just looked through the photos on my phone, and found a bunch of vid snippets of these new songs from then. Looks like we had everything done and in its final form in February 2016. You obviously have been together longer as

Many were wondering if the band had finally called it a day, considering it’s been seven long years since they last put out an album, but the wait is over. Quite Contrary, the band’s ninth album, comes out September 9 on Alternative Tentacles. What has the band been up to for the past 7 years? Living in different parts of the country getting on with our lives. We’re in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, and I’m in San Francisco. We have always played at least a handful of shows each year, but being so dispersed geographically means not too many. We’ve been in this situation since 2008; we still wanted to play but didn’t want to organize our lives around the band anymore. Did the band intend to be away for so long? We didn’t really have a plan; when making our previous album That’s So Gay, which was released in 2009, we were all still living in California, but we had scattered by the time it came out. We were playing it by ear after that. The Republican Party just adopted the most anti-LGBTQ agenda in recent history. One of the first songs I thought of when I heard that was “Political Asshole.” Do you consider yourselves a political band at all? Yes, but with a small “p”. I’m a political person but I don’t like being preached to, so I try not to do so in my songs. I’d rather tell a

a band when you recorded the EP vs. the full length. Did you change anything about how you write or recorded the songs for this one? I think everyone just kinda knows what to expect from each other. There’s this sort of intuition thing that happens when people play together for a bit. Miles, Rosie and I send songs back and forth. Sometimes Miles and I go and work stuff out with him on drums. He plays everything! You name it, he can play it. The three of us get lines together, drum ideas, then start jammin. Vocals usually come in towards the end. It’s been that same process since we started. What can you tell me about the new songs you pulled together for this one? Oh, that’s a tough one for me. I think that the songs on the EP sound different than the ones on In This Mess vocally speaking as I sang them different. All that falsetto business. It’s my favorite stuff I’ve ever done. I have never had any lessons or anything so being able to do things with my voice I wouldn’t have thought possible, is motivating for me. You’ve had a pretty long year and a half since the record came out, including the tours of Japan, the Fat Wreck Chords anniversary shows, etc. What were some of the highlights? It went by soooo fast! Rosie got married! Miles got married! Those Japan shows were super amazing! FAT25 felt like a super awesome, traveling family tour. It also gave us the opportunity to get out east which is sometimes hard for us. That whole tour was a highlight! We played Heavy Montreal, which was super rad, but kinda weird because it was mostly bands like Slipknot, Korn and Eskimo Call Boy, or some shit. Wait.. that’s not true. Iggy Pop played. But we missed him.

story, even an opinionated one, and let the listener decide. We do break the rule occasionally, like on “Political Asshole,” but not too often. “Blame the Bible” is a fantastic song. Was there a specific incident you were thinking about in writing that one? Chris wrote the bulk of it, and I think it reflects a mountain of crappy, irritating incidents rather than one specific incident. It felt like an important song to do this year, but I think (sadly) it will remain relevant beyond 2016. Any big plans to celebrate your 25th anniversary? New album and a tour! The best way! When we played in Chicago in May, I met a guy who said he’d been listening to us for over 20 years but had never had the chance to see us, and was thrilled to see us play and meet us. I hope people who want to see us will be able to get to a show this year, cause I don’t know when we’ll be able to have this much time for the band again going forward. insiteatlanta.com • September 2016 • PG 21


SPORTS

2016 NFL FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY DEMARCO WILLIAMS

Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell

11. KANSAS CITY

Until Jamaal Charles fully recovers from his ACL injury, the almost-there Chiefs won’t be in a position to make a serious run for the ’16 AFC West title.

12. MIAMI

13. BUFFALO

10. MINNESOTA

The upstart Jaguars have answers on offense (Blake Bortles, Allen Robinson) and an awful lot of questions on defense (five of the team’s first seven 2016 draft picks were defensive players).

15. CLEVELAND

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, the Steelers have but one home game. By then, though, the well-rested Le’Veon Bell (threegame suspension) should be feasting on defensive lines.

2. NEW ENGLAND

Patriots fan just hope there are enough stops from the D (10th in points in ’15) and go routes from the tight ends (Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett) to keep the team afloat until Tom Brady returns from his Deflategate punishment.

With a sudden winning air hovering around Lake Erie — Go Cavs! Go Indians! — these Robert Griffin III-led Browns should start... err, who are we kidding?

16. TENNESSEE

In a move to get their running game into gear, the Titans brought in one-time NFL stud DeMarco Murray and one-time Alabama star Derrick Henry. Nobody’s in a rush to talk about the rest of the roster.

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: PITTSBURGH OVER HOUSTON, 31-21

NFC

3. CINCINNATI

Marvin Lewis is the NFL’s second-longest tenured coach (Pats’ Bill Belichick is first), but we’re not sure how much more the man can take if his team keeps stumbling under the national lights.

4. HOUSTON

This could be a sneaky playoff bunch if new QB Brock Osweiler makes good decisions, free-agent RB Lamar Miller makes linebackers miss and WR DeAndre Hopkins makes it through the season without injury.

5. INDIANAPOLIS

It doesn’t matter how many weapons Andrew Luck has (T.Y. Hilton, Frank Gore, Donte Moncrief), if the hole-filled offensive line can’t protect its franchise QB, the Colts won’t have much of a shot.

6. OAKLAND

If this is the Raiders’ last year in the Bay Area (whispers about a franchise move to Las Vegas are louder than ever), the talented squad (Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Khalil Mack) will go out with a bang.

7. DENVER

We’re guessing the front office’s plan is to keep the defensive side of the ball (Aqib Talib, DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward) so formidable that no one notices how forgettable things are on much of the other side.

8. NEW YORK JETS

The acquisition of running back Matt Forte is one of the NFL offseason’s more underrated moves. The question mark at quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith) is one of the league’s biggest head-scratchers.

9. SAN DIEGO

Now that rookie defensive end Joey Bosa’s holdout drama is behind them, Chargers fans can focus on the comedy that is opposing Ds stumbling over themselves trying to tackle the elusive Melvin Gordon.

10. BALTIMORE

Is it just us or did we barely hear Joey Flacco’s name a season ago? Might have something to do with the fact that the Ravens QB didn’t toss for 3,000 yards or 15 TDs for the first time since his 2008 rookie campaign. PG 22 • September 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

9. ATLANTA

If QB Matt Ryan had the same confidence in the red zone as WR Julio Jones and CB Desmond Trufant do everywhere on the field, these Falcons would glide into the postseason.

14. JACKSONVILLE

AFC

Back in Southern California after a 21-year break in St. Louis, the Rams are anxious to show fans that they’ve matured into a hardhitting (Robert Quinn), harder-running (Todd Gurley) force in the NFC West.

To get over the 7-9 mark the Dolphins seem to annually hover around, they need inconsistent QB Ryan Tannehill, oft-injured RB Arian Foster and sometimes-spectacular WR Jarvis Landry to put up big numbers. We think the Tyrod-Taylor-to-Sammy-Watkins connection has serious potential for the offense. Sadly, most of the potential on defense (Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland) appears to be limping.

1. PITTSBURGH

8. LOS ANGELES

1. GREEN BAY

There’s a healthy chance that Aaron Rodgers could knock down some passing records if his top two receivers, Randall Cobb (lungs) and Jordy Nelson (ACL), feel good enough to catch his 40-yard bombs.

2. SEATTLE

As much fuss as folks make about the fearsome Seahawks D — the Richard Sherman-sparked side allowed an NFL-low 17.3 points per contest — it’s WRs Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin who’ll be truly scary this year.

3. ARIZONA

We certainly understand why so many preseason polls are high on the Cardinals (Larry Fitzgerald! John Brown! David Johnson!), but we also understand that Carson Palmer has four fumbles and seven INTs in his last three playoff starts.

News of QB Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending injury is heartbreaking. Adrian Peterson, Laquon Treadwell and Stefon Diggs will do their best to fill emotional (and literal) holes with their dynamic play.

11. TAMPA BAY

We’re not sure what’s more frightening, the strength in Jameis Winston’s arms or the reach of his two 6’ 5” receiving targets, Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.

12. NEW ORLEANS

Drew Brees may be 37, but his core of youthful receivers (Brandin Cooks, Coby Fleener, Willie Snead) should help keep that spring in his arm (NFL-leading 310 passing yard per game in ’15).

13. PHILADELPHIA

The Eagles look like an explosive offensive team everywhere (Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz) except the quarterback position, where Sam Bradford is pretending to be the starter.

14. WASHINGTON

We aren’t the biggest Kirk Cousins fans in the world, but we whole-heartedly agree with the man’s decision to look in future star tight end Jordan Reed’s direction on out routes.

15. DETROIT

We don’t care who you draft (OT Taylor Decker), sign in free agency (WR Anquan Boldin) or give more responsibility (RB Ameer Abdullah), it’s going to take a few seasons to properly fill the void left by now-retired stud Calvin Johnson.

16. SAN FRANCISCO

While Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem captures headlines, it’s his and (fellow QB Blaine Gabbert’s) inability to stand out under center that should have the 49ers most worried.

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP:

GREEN BAY OVER SEATTLE, 38-34

SUPER BOWL LI:

PITTSBURGH OVER GREEN BAY, 27-24

4. CAROLINA

Though questions remain about Cam Newton’s leadership skills (see: Super Bowl 50’s post-game press conference and GQ’s September 2016 cover story), his ability to carry an entire squad to the end zone is not one of them.

5. DALLAS

The Tony Romo injury will surely hurt the Cowboys’ playoff chances, but Dak Prescott’s solid camp and a superb running back stable (Ezekiel Elliott, Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris) has a way of speeding up the healing process.

6. NEW YORK GIANTS

For any kind of sustained momentum, Giants wideouts Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard need to at least be the Superboy and Steel to Odell Beckham Jr.’s Superman.

7. CHICAGO

On paper, there’s a lot of potential on the Bears’ offensive side: Alshon Jeffery, Jeremy Langford and Zach Miller. But in reality, that offense only averaged 9.6 points over its first three preseason games.

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers


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