The Best of TCA’s 2019 Winter Press Tour

Variety | 2/13/2019 | Variety Staff
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The Television Critics Association’s winter press tour wrapped Wednesday in Pasadena, Calif. The 16-day junket featured its usual share of dull panels, bizarre questions, and awkward silences. But there were also moments that stood out for the right reasons. Among the highlights:

The streaming service’s presence at the tour was genuinely impressive, with a series of shows whose teams — from “Catch-22” director George Clooney to “Shrill” executive producer Elizabeth Banks and actor Aidy Bryant to “The Act’s” Patricia Arquette and castmates to documentary subject Dr. Ruth Westheimer — provided not merely star power but real insight. Major talent at TCA is nothing new, but the all-killer, no-filler nature of Hulu’s fast-moving of panels, along with the fact that the stars came with strong ideas and points to make indicated that a scrappy Hulu’s ambition, at least, is on par with its more dominant peers in the streaming space.

Veep

“Veep”

Appearing at TCA via satellite from Austria on a break from filming feature film “Downhill,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus kept the 300-odd already punchy journalists laughing but also thinking politically during the final panel for her HBO political comedy “Veep.” On Donald Trump she said, “I think he’s a pretend president. I’m not a fan,” and when asked how the show can push boundaries in the current political climate, Louis-Dreyfus reminded that she plays a character who was in office as a female president of the United States, which is a boundary not yet pushed in the real world. Although she admitted she didn’t yet know who she was going to support in the presidential race in 2020, she noted “it will be a Democrat, and that’s for goddamn sure.”

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