Analysis: ‘The Staircase’ adds drama to true crime

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‘The Staircase’

(Center, from left) Toni Collette and Colin Firth star as the Petersons in

When Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of the staircase in the North Carolina home she shared with her husband, Michael Peterson, in 2001, it kicked off a mystery that two decades later people are still talking about.

HBO Max is now entering the conversation with an eight-episode drama. “The Staircase” shares the same title as the 2004 documentary that followed both the case and the trial of Michael Peterson, who became the top suspect in his wife’s death.
Colin Firth and Toni Collette star as the couple. It’s worth it just to see if they cover the owl theory.

The first three episodes are streaming now on HBO Max (which is owned by CNN’s parent company).

‘The Big Conn’

The Apple TV+ Original

Sticking with the theme, “The Big Conn” tells the true story of attorney Eric C. Conn and one of the biggest Social Security fraud cases in history — more than half a billion dollars big.

The series caused quite a stir during the world premiere in March at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. As an added bonus, there is a companion podcast with more interviews and behind-the-scenes information.

The show started streaming Friday on Apple TV+.

‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’

(From left) Rebecca Romijn stars as Una Chin-Riley and Melissa Navia as Erica Ortegas in

The Star Trek franchise loves a good prequel, and now there’s a new one.

“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” gives us more of Captain Christopher Pike, Number One and Spock, played respectively by Anson Mount, Rebecca Romijn and Ethan Peck.
The spin-off of “Star Trek: Discovery” already has a built-in fan base, but that hasn’t dampened the excitement for it.

The new show is streaming on Paramount+.

Two things to listen to

Jack Harlow performs onstage during the Revolve Festival at the Merv Griffin Estate on April 17 in La Quinta, California.

Jack Harlow is bringing a few friends along for his sophomore album.

Drake, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and Lil Wayne all appear on tracks on “Come Home the Kids Miss You.”

Not too shabby.

But, then again, Harlow has been clear that he wants to work with the best and be the best.

“We need more people in my generation that are trying to be the best, and you can’t do that with just ear candy, vibe records,” he told Rolling Stone. “You got to come out swinging sometimes.”

The new album dropped Friday.

Sharon Van Etten performs at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival's

“We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong,” the latest from Sharon Van Etten, is the album we probably need right now.

“I wanted to approach this release differently, to engage my fans in an intentional way, in an effort to present the album as a whole body of work,” Van Etten said. “These ten songs are designed to be listened to in order, at once, so that a much larger story of hope, loss, longing and resilience can be told.”

This is the sixth album for the singer-songwriter, and it’s out now.

One thing to talk about

Hello, Norma Jeane.

Marilyn Monroe, aka Norma Jeane Mortenson, is back in our consciousness for two reasons.

One is the fact that Kim Kardashian attended the Met Gala donned in the dress Monroe had worn when she famously sang “Happy Birthday” to then President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
The other is the documentary “The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes,” which examines the icon’s mysterious death. It’s streaming on Netflix and taps into the enduring fascination with Monroe and her sudden demise of her in 1962 from a reported drug overdose.

Investigative journalist Anthony Summers shared his collection of 650 audiotapes from interviewing 1,000 people about Monroe.

History in and of itself is interesting, but Hollywood history is even more compelling — especially when it comes to Monroe.

Something to sip on

(From left) Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson arrive for the 2022 Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2 in New York City.

Speaking of the Met Gala and history, reminder that Kim Kardashian and boyfriend Pete Davidson actually met for the first time at the Met Gala last year.

During an appearance on the podcast “Not Skinny But Not Fat,” Kardashian explained that Davidson first approached her at the fashion event in 2021.

She was estranged from husband Kanye West, and Davidson was single at the time.

“He knew I was hosting ‘SNL’ but it wasn’t announced yet,” Kardashian recalled. “So he came up to me and we were talking about ‘SNL.'”

She said Davidson asked for her number, but being encumbered by gloves she couldn’t get into her phone. When she told the “SNL” cast member that, he said “Cool” and walked off.

That wasn’t the end of their story, of course. They reconnected when she appeared on his show, kissed during a skit, and the rest is, as they say… see above.

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