Shonda Rhimes is definitely a woman in demand. President Barack Obama announced he’s appointing the creator of ABC hits “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice” and “Scandal” to the Kennedy Center’s board of trustees. The 43-year-old Chicago native has earned a Golden Globe Award and three Emmy Award nominations. This is more good news for Rhimes who last week announced via Twitter the arrival of her third daughter (She adopted a daughter in 2002 and another in 2012). “Scandal” star Kerry Washington, who stumped hard for Obama during both elections, may not have won an Emmy this year but the publicity she’s garnered around the possibility has probably gained more interest in the show. To help facilitate that curiosity ABC recently released the catch-up video “Scandal” 101, which thoroughly explains the first two seasons. Everything from Washington, D.C. fixer Olivia Pope’s back-and-forth romance with the married President Fitzgerald Grant to her team of perfectly imperfect gladiators questionable tactics to how Pope and other high-profilers including Grant’s chief of staff, Cyrus Beene and First Lady Mellie Grant committed voter fraud him elected and the mysterious B-613 program head Rowan who turns out to be Pope’s father is explained in the 6 minute and 45 second video. Whew! It’s a bit soapy, no doubt. But isn’t that why people love it? Watch “Scandal” 101.
Happy Belated, Mr. Smith!: Can you believe The Fresh Prince is nearly 50 years old? Where has the time gone? Actor-producer-rapper Will Smith celebrated his 45th birthday Wednesday and to pay tribute I’ve selected five movies to watch starring the blockbuster movie star. See how his career blossomed post-“The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” You’ll even see his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and daughter Willow Smith in a couple. Yep, he’s definitely grown up.
Men in Black 3: I’ve seen the first two “Men in Black” films but have yet to watch this one. I’m sure it’ll be just as entertaining. Apparently Will Smith’s Agent J time travels to 1969 in order to prevent a destructive occurrence and is reunited with his partner Agent K’s younger self (This, of course, explains Josh Brolin’s role). It stars Tommy Lee Jones as the older K and Brolin, as I pointed out, as the younger one. “Men in Black 3″ is available to watch online or on XFINITY On Demand. [Watch here]
“Independence Day”: This sci-fi action movie was one of the biggest blockbusters of the 1990s and launched Smith’s career into the stratosphere. Even though it’s been years since it’s release, I’ll occasionally check it out. Been under a rock for the last 17 years? OK, “Independence Day’s” about Smith as a Marine Corps pilot who helps save the planet from a catastrophic alien invasion. Plus it stars Vivica A. Fox as his kind-hearted stripper girlfriend-turned fiancee who kicks butt, too. This also put her on the map as well. It’s on XFINITY On Demand. [Watch here]
“I Am Legend”: I saw this at the movies and thought it was good. This post-apocalyptic flick stars Smith as a virologist who is the last man standing after a cancer vaccine turns into a zombie-creating virus. Smith is pretty much the only person carrying the movie and does so well. “I Am Legend” is also the first time we see his daughter, Willow Smith, on the screen. It also stars Salli Richardson as his wife. It’s available on XFINITY On Demand. [Watch here]
“I, Robot”: I’ve only seen bits of this movie but did say one day I’d sit down and watch it fully. Given that it’s on XFINITY, I can watch it on my computer. Set in in the year 2035 where anthropomorphic robots are as common as iPhones are now, “I, Robot” stars Smith as a Chicago detective who has a strong disdain for robots and technology. Believing robots are menaces, he basically strives to prove his point. OK, there’s more to it than that, but there’s the movie in a nutshell. It is available to watch online. [Watch here]
“Ali”: Smith’s best actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of “the greatest” Muhammad Ali was well-deserved. He really did a descent job as Ali. The biopic spans the fighter’s life from 1964 to 1974, focusing on his boxing career, his love life and political interests. It also stars Jamie Foxx, Nona Gaye and Jada Pinkett Smith. It’s available to watch online and on XFINITY On Demand [Watch here]
“Shark Tale”: This is a good one for the whole family. I admit I haven’t watched it but if I find myself in the company of little ones this weekend, I will turn it on. Smith voices a small fish who lies about offing the son of a shark mob boss to improve his standing with the boss’ enemies. Oh, gee. Robert De Niro and Angelina Jolie also lend their voices to this animated feature. It’s available on XFINITY On Demand. [Watch here]
Chaka Khan celebrates birthday on “Sweetie Pie’s”: On an upcoming episode of OWN’s “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” legendeary vocalist Chaka Khan visted Sweetie Pies restairamt for her 60th birthday (This episode was taped in March). Khan is a friend of Ms. Robbie, a former Ikette who operates the popular St. Louis eatery and is the show’s star. I’ve seen more clips than episodes of “Sweetie Pie’s” but may check in for this episode. I’ve interviewed Ms. Robbie, 73, and her family on the red carpet two years ago and they were very sweet. Plus I love Chaka! [Watch here]
On my watchlist this weekend? I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand with…
“I, Robot”: Why not take my own advice and watch the entire movie? [Watch here]
ABC’s “Modern Family”: My plan was to catch up on the two available shows last night but I turned in early. [Watch here]
“Men in Black 3″: As you can see, all of this Will Smith talk has piqued my interest in a few of his movies. I’ll add this one to the list. [Watch here]
The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: The Atlanta couple who decided to donate their food to 200 homeless people after calling off their wedding. (Very considered to the homeless and themselves).
NOT: This Twitter feud between Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel (Just grow up already!)
HOT: A Florida appellate court granting Marissa Alexander a new trial (This whole case just made me SMH).
NOT: The looming government shutdown (This. Again?).
HOT: “The Best Man Holiday’s” first poster (We loved the first movie so much and have been waiting for the sequel, like, F.O.R.E.V.E.R.).
NOT: The possibility that Gmail is wiretapping users’ communications (Really, Google?!).
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.