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‘The Office’s Angela Kinsey Admits The Dunder Mifflin Staff Would Be A ‘Hot Mess’ Working From Home

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Angela Kinsey chatted EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about her thoughts on how ‘The Office’ would handle WFH, her inspiring partnership with Staples, and how she wants to show ‘gratitude for our teachers.’

Angela Kinsey is one busy (office) lady! Not only is the actress constantly picking up new jobs in binge-worthy shows like Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, hosting the Office Ladies podcast with her BFF and former Office co-star Jenna Fisher, she’s also using her platform for something truly impactful and inspiring. Kinsey recently chatted EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about her new partnership with Staples and the Thank A Teacher Contest.

Like so many, Angela is taking care of business from the safety of her home. Which made us wonder, how would the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin handle the work from home lifestyle change? “I think Angela Martin would be incredibly efficient,” the actress said of her character, whom she played for nine seasons and over 130 episodes between 2005-2013.

angela Kinsey
Angela Kinsey partners with Staples to #ThankATeacher, inviting parents and students to nominate a deserving teacher for a chance to win $5,000 in supplies for the upcoming school year, whether remote, in school or a hybrid [Courtesy of Staples].

“She would probably also really enjoy the extra time with her cats; she has a lot of cats! And I think she would love that. I think Kevin would be a hot mess,” she confessed of Angela Martin’s accounting department counterpart, played by Brian Baumgartner. As for other fan-favorite characters, Kinsey pondered how fun it would be to see where everyone lives — especially Creed Bratton — and what “comedy show” shenanigans Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) would get up to on a Zoom call! Fortunately, Kinsey has had no such distractions while working on her partnership with Staples.

It’s the second year that the office supplies chain — and, for fans of The Office, the major Dunder Mifflin rival — is investing in the initiative. Across the nation, students, friends, and family can nominate a teacher that has inspired them and impacted their life for the better. At the end of the contest, 20 worthy educators will be selected to earn a $5,000 gift card to Staples to stock up on supplies for a school year that will be unlike any other, as millions of teachers still await confirmation if they will be teaching curriculum virtually, or in the classroom.

angela kinsey
Angela Kinsey rallies nominations for Staples’ #ThankATeacher contest, which will award 20 deserving teachers with $5,000 to stock up on essentials for the upcoming school year, whether remote, in school or a hybrid [Courtesy of Staples].

For Kinsey, this initiative hits close to home. “My sister Janet is an amazing school teacher, she is going on her 28th year of teaching,” the actress candidly shared with HL. Kinsey described how her sister will always go “out of pocket to make her classroom extra special.” And Kinsey’s sister isn’t alone. During the school year straddling 2014 and 2015, roughly 94% of public school educators used their own finances for classroom supplies and didn’t receive reimbursement, according to a New York Times article, which cited a Federal Department of Education survey.

With her personal experience and knowledge, Kinsey knows that the Staples’ Thank A Teacher Contest is a perfect way to continue a “healthy conversation about gratitude for our teachers, showing them support when they need it so much. It’s a collective way that we can all say thank you. I’m so appreciative to Staples for inspiring that conversation and I hope it’s a conversation other families have, especially as you can nominate.”

angela kinsey
Angela Kinsey partners with Staples to #ThankATeacher, inviting parents and students to nominate a deserving teacher for a chance to win $5,000 in supplies for the upcoming school year, whether remote, in school or a hybrid [Courtesy of Staples].

Naturally, Kinsey would choose her sister if she could nominate anyone. “Always my sister,” she told us. But whether it was hearing how her own children — daughter Isabel and step-sons Cade and Jack — light up when talking about their favorite teachers, or Kinsey’s own fond memories of Mrs. Campbell, it’s evident how much these teachers, mentors, and educators mean to her. The actress even let slip to HL that Mrs. Campbell was the one for whom she would gladly stand on a desk and cry “O Captain, My Captain,” a la Dead Poet’s Society, because her impact on the actress was so significant.

“She was my high school English teacher and she really was the person that made me believe in myself as a storyteller. And she would say, ‘Everyone has a story to tell and everyone’s story is important.’ And it just stuck with me, and she built up my self-esteem and my confidence.” The Thank A Teacher Contest is a special, essential way to give back to teachers, and you can do so by nominating a deserving educator on the companies’ official site.

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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