Tribeca TV: Day Two Recap

Posted by Justin D Williams

The stars descended on the 2018 Tribeca TV Festival for day two at Spring Studios in New York City.  Spirits were high as longtime friends Meryl Streep and Tracey Ullman, star and Executive Producer of HBO’s Tracey Ullman’s Show,  posed for photographers, then joined by Tracey’s pregnant daughter Mabel on the red carpet. Bradley Whitford, Lamorne Morris, and Steve Zahn were on hand to celebrate the world premiere of their new buzzed-about series Valley of the Boom from National Geographic.  The cast of Sony Crackle’s StartUp, including Adam BrodyEdi Gathegi, Mira Sorvino, and Ron Perlman, reunited on the red carpet as well.  

Friday also saw the Midnight Episodics screenings of three late-night pilots, including Shudder’s Deadwax, created by/Executive Produced by Graham Reznick and EP Peter PhokPagan Peak, created by Cyrill Boss and Philipp Stennert; and Blackpills’ Patricia Moore, created by Blake Fraser and produced by Chris Thompson.

Tracey Ullman’s Show (HBO)

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Celebrated British actress/comedian Tracey Ullman joined the indelible Meryl Streep on stage to discuss Tracey’s career and success, her interest in people and their accents, her favorite characters to play, the transformation of her show Tracey Ullman Show from then till now, and more. Meryl opened the conversation speaking about her and Tracey’s longtime friendship. “I met you when I was 32 and I said to my husband ‘I think I’ve made a new friend’ and it was very hard to make a new friend. We are so simpatico. Then I found out she was 21! You were a baby.” The audience laughed and Tracey responded with “I was singing pop songs with my hairbrush at that age.”

Meryl continued the discussion by talking about Tracey’s heritage and her background. “Who are you? You’re such a mystery and you are so close, you’re family,” said Meryl. She continued, “You have such an interest and curiosity and such a deep empathy for people that are not like you. A lot of people are not that curious. I think your skin is permeable and that you absorb people. I’ve seen you do impressions of people and it’s all there and coming from the inside out. I want to know really when you first wondered about other people and what it felt like to be them,” Meryl said. Tracey responded with “Maybe I’m an old soul. This is what I’ve been doing my whole life. My dad died when I was six and I wanted to show my mom off. I would get all her clothes and put on her negligee backwards, and I would do a show. I was fascinated by accents. You know in England, as soon as you open your mouth, the classism kicks in. You know where people are from and I became obsessed with that. I used to do voices all the time.”

 “You are the first British woman to have her own sketch comedy show to air in the UK and the US,” Meryl continued, “and another fun fact from Wikipedia, is that you are… wait I have to read this… you are the richest of female comedians and actors in England. And I’m taking YOU out to dinner? Why?” The audience roared with laughter.

Meryl closed with, “We are so lucky that you have such an incredible imagination, desire, heart, soul and you put it all out there and marry it with politics. You need to run for president.” As they hugged on stage, Tracey closed with “I love you Meryl. You’re my great, great friend.” The audience screamed and applauded for them both.

 StartUp (Sony Crackle)

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During the panel with creator/writer/director Ben Ketai and stars Adam Brody, Mira Sorvino, Ron Perlman, Edi Gathegi, and Otmara Marrero from Sony Crackle’s StartUp, an audience member asked about technology in society.  Adam Brody said, ““It can’t just be boundless; there have to be some regulations, safe guards, something because it has too big of a reach.”  

Ron Perlman followed with, “we can’t even figure out if the Supreme Court nominee is a scumbag because of the false information we’re getting. If we can’t answer that how can I answer your question.”  The audience laughed in response.

As Mira Sorvino snapped pictures on her phone of her fellow castmates on stage, Ron Perlman said he’s not a very tech savvy person.  After Otmara Marrero joked that she uses iOS5, Ron said, “I don’t even know what an iOS is.”

 Valley of the Boom (National Geographic)

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Breanne Heldman from People moderated a panel with creator Matthew Carnahan, cast members Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn, Lamorne Morris, and real-life subject Stephan Paternot, founder of TheGlobe.com.

When asked what drew the cast to the series, Bradley Whitford answered that he wanted to work with Matthew Carnahan.  “I wanted to do an origins story,” he said.  “The world we live in has been transformed.”

Steve Zahn said that his character is insanely amazing--he was blown away by the script but, “I was petrified to take on the role.  I had to just dive in,” he confessed.

Stephan Paternot, founder of TheGlobe.com, said, “We've come so far with the internet. The show shows that in detail from the beginning to where we are now...the future of the internet and what's next is here.”