Members of the Tribe on the screen and on the field

Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg star in “Palm Springs.”

By Nate Bloom, Special to the Jewish Light

The Peacock spreads its wings

The new Peacock network, an offshoot of NBC, premiered for wide audiences on July 15. Certain cable company customers were already getting Peacock with their subscription. Now everyone can see some of the shows (with ads) if they have an internet connection and are willing to pay $5 per month.  Peacock’s original series include “The Capture,” “Brave New World” and “Intelligence.”  “Capture” is a six-episode British series that aired in the United Kingdom last fall and got great reviews. It focuses on a British veteran of the Afghan War who is the suspect in a horrible domestic crime. RON PERLMAN, 70, has a supporting role.

 “Brave New World” stars ALDEN EHRENREICH, 30. It’s based on the famous 1932 dystopian novel by Aldous Huxley. Ehrenreich was discovered by STEVEN SPIELBERG, who by chance saw him in a funny bat mitzvah video. Ehrenreich is talented, but he’s had the misfortune to star in three big-budget films that flopped (“Beautiful Creatures,” “Rules Don’t Apply” and “Han Solo: A Stars Wars Story”).You can see him at his best, I think, in “Hail, Caesar,” a film by JOEL and ETHAN COEN, which was a critical and box-office hit.

 Finally, there’s “Intelligence,” a six-episode British sit-com set in the U.K. DAVID SCHWIMMER, 53, co-stars as Jerry Bernstein, an American National Security Agency employee who acts as a liaison to a British cyber-crime unit. The first season aired in Britain last February and a second season has been ordered. Schwimmer’s ex-wife, ZOE BUCKMAN, 35, is British, and they have a 9-year-old daughter.

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Samberg’s stuck in time

“Palm Springs,” a comedy starring ANDY SAMBERG, 41, got great reviews at the 2020 Sundance Festival. Hulu bought the rights to air it after a theater opening. But COVID-19 intervened, and it began streaming on Hulu on July 10. Basic “Groundhog Day”-esque plot: Nyles (Samberg) and Sarah (Christin Milioti) meet at a wedding and hit it off. The downside is that they are trapped in a time loop and have to live the day of the wedding over and over.  Oscar-nominee JUNE SQUIBB, 90, has a small role as a grandma attending the wedding.

 At HBO, the documentary “Showbiz Kids” premiered on Tuesday, July 14. According to the publicity: “[It] peels back Hollywood’s velvet curtain, shining a spotlight on the glamour and allure of working in the entertainment industry, while also affording a sobering window on the tolls that early success can take on young professionals.” Interviewees include MARA WILSON, 32, and EVAN RACHEL WOOD, 32. Both are children of Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers, and both were raised Jewish. Wilson’s first big role was in “Mrs. Doubtfire.” (She was 6.) She also starred in “Matilda.” Wood’s breakthrough role was in the film “Thirteen.” She was 15 when it opened.

The director is ALEX WINTER, 54, who was born in the U.K. but moved as child to St. Louis, where his father, Ross Winter, ran Mid-America Dance Company while his mother, MARGARET “GREGG” MAYER taught at Washington University. His parents divorced when Alex was in grade school. 

He began as a child actor and is best remembered as Bill in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures” (1990) and its 1991 sequel. As an adult, he’s had more success as a documentary maker than as an actor. However, he’ll hit the big screen again this August when a third “Bill and Ted” film adventure is released. Original co-star Keanu Reeves reprises his “Ted” role.

Playing the field 

The special 60-game baseball season begins on July 23. Here are the Jewish players that almost certainly will be with a Major League Baseball club on opening day: RICHARD BLEIER, 32, relief pitcher, Baltimore Orioles; RYAN BRAUN, 36, right fielder, Milwaukee Brewers; ALEX BREGMAN, 26, third baseman, Houston Astros; MAX FRIED, 26, starting pitcher, Atlanta Braves; KEVIN PILLAR, 31, right fielder, Boston Red Sox; and ROWDY TELLEZ, 25, designated hitter, Toronto Blue Jays.

 Several 2019 major league players aren’t on a roster for the special season: JOC PEDERSON, 27, a hard-hitting Dodgers’ outfielder, is still recovering from a hip injury; ROBERT STOCK, 30, a Phillies pitcher, had a bad year in 2019; and GARRETT STUBBS, 27, a 2019 Astros’ rookie catcher whose services aren’t needed as a back-up catcher during a very short season. Also worth noting: GABE KAPLER, 44, once a pretty good player, begins his first season managing San Francisco. Philadelphia fired him after he managed them for 2 seasons (2018-2019). Kapler was let go even though the Phillies played .500 ball in 2019 (their best season since 2012).