TIME celebrity

Watch Brian Williams Pull The Ultimate Dad Move When Announcing His Daughter’s Peter Pan Casting

Adorable. Embarrassing.

Brian Williams: News anchor, amateur rapper, embarrassing dad.

Wednesday night, Williams reported his daughter, Allison Williams, was cast in NBC’s Peter Pan, the network’s first live musical since the ratings-pulling Sound of Music.

“The actress and singer is currently in the cast of Girls on HBO,” Williams said, unable to stop himself from putting an image of a young Allison in a Peter Pan costume on screen, adding, “Family members confirm she has been rehearsing for this role since the age of three, and they look forward to seeing her fly.”

Embarrassing. Adorable. If only he had made the announcement while rapping.

TIME 10 Questions

Maggie Gyllenhaal: “I Relate to Panic”

She also understands (a bit) actresses who don't embrace feminism

In Maggie Gyllenhaal’s crackling new series, The Honorable Woman, she plays a high profile business executive with dealings in Israel and Gaza. So…..pretty topical. Her character, Nessa Stein, sleeps in an ultra secure fingerprint-operated panic room. Gyllenhaal doesn’t have one of those but says she understands panic.

“The panic comes when you think you’re supposed to be someone you can’t possibly be,” Gyllenhaal, 36, said during an interview with Time for the 10 Questions page. Just as her character goes from someone who’s “expected to be extraordinary and remarkable all the time” but comes unglued as the series progresses, she feels pressure to perform herself, to be what others expect her to be.

“I feel like so much of my 30s has been that performance not working any more,” she says. Gyllenhaal also talked about what she doesn’t want to talk about: who’s right and who’s wrong in the Israeli-Gaza conflict and her disappointment in President Obama. She also shared her nuanced feelings about feminism. “I do sometimes take issue and have almost all my adult life with the kind of old-school feminism that cuts out the complicated gray areas,” she says, like when people are considered “difficult” instead of as “creative.”

The Honorable Woman airs Thursday nights on Sundance. Gyllenhaal’s interview can be read in full by subscribers in this week’s issue of Time.





TIME Television

REVIEW: The Honorable Woman

Maggie Gyllenhaal - in the SundanceTV original series "The Honorable Woman" - Photo Credit: Des Willie

Maggie Gyllenhaal is captivating in a twisty Middle East espionage thriller with timely--and timeless--themes.

They say that timing is everything in comedy. Turns it out it matters in drama as well.

Premiering July 31 on Sundance TV, The Honorable Woman would be an absorbing espionage thriller any time it aired. But given the current headlines, it’s hard not to notice the subject matter: a story of crime and betrayal rooted in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s not eerily prescient or ripped from the headlines: rather, its themes of suspicion, deceit and frustrated good intentions allow it to tell a story that’s both topical and eternal.

The title character is Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal), the British daughter of an Anglo-Jewish family whose father–a businessman who dealt weapons to Israel–was murdered before her eyes when she was a little girl. She’s grown to inherit the family business, but despite or because of her history of loss (much of her family died in the Holocaust), she’s turned its efforts toward peace–specifically, bringing fiber-optic wiring to Gaza to promote economic growth and fight the poverty in which terrorism thrives. As the miniseries begin, she has been rewarded for her efforts by being named a baroness, with a seat in the House of Lords.

A noblewoman, with noble intentions. But it becomes clear that it’s hard to carry them out without compromise, and being compromised; the process of cutting deals means alienating powerful people in the region and working against–and with–untrustworthy characters. Very quickly, she finds herself enmeshed in blowback: the suspect death of a business associate sets off a twisty plot, involving MI5 (Stephen Rea and Janet McTeer are excellent as agents and antagonists), suggesting threats lurking in every shadow, and revealing that Nessa herself hides secrets that make her deeply vulnerable.

Though the deliberate pace and cool tone recall classic British spy fiction (the series is a coproduction with the BBC), Honorable Woman is also very much in the mold of modern paranoid TV thrillers, where twists and reversals are interlaced like patterns in a carpet. But it prefers tension to explosions. Writer-director Hugo Blick deals out story relentlessly but makes time for conversations and silences that allow the excellent cast to reveal that their characters are more than they seem at first. Gyllenhaal is remarkable, playing Nessa as both person and persona, an accomplished woman who’s learned to keep a room-temperature face even when she’s melting down internally; only gradually do we learn how much of herself she’s lost in the interest of her cause. But the show has a vast bench: Igal Naor as a wily family counsel; Andrew Buchan as Nephra’s brother Ephra, hiding his own secrets; Lubna Azabal as Nessa’s nanny and friend, who shares crucial history with her.

Though the lavish production jumps between settings and countries (and the script skips nimbly through time), this is still a Middle Eastern story told from a distinctly British standpoint. But this remove ultimately helps it. What works about The Honorable Woman is how well its particular story and larger themes echo each other: trust and mistrust, hope and disappointment, resentment and revenge, repeating for generations.

I’m being cagey about the particulars of this story–who does what to whom and for what reasons–because this is a thriller, and discovering that is the thrill. But what makes The Honorable Woman more than a yarn is how, through these surprises, it tells you what you unfortunately already know, and are reminded whenever you turn on the news. In the first episode, an interviewer sparring with Nessa about her peace efforts on a radio show cuts down her lofty goals thus: “When it comes to the history of the Middle East, it never ends well for idealists, does it?” Timing, my friends, timing.

TIME Television

Sharknado 2: The Best and Worst Moments

Gory deaths, celebrity cameos, groan-inducing one-liners — The Second One had it all

Syfy’s Sharknado 2 never aspired to be high art, but its titular plot device — massive tornadoes that cause sharks to rain down from the sky, which made last year’s original a viral hit — did all it could to get people tuning in and talking with one campy, ridiculous OMG! moment after another. Below, reactions from TIME’s television critic James Poniewozik and reporter Nolan Feeney.


  • Best Death (human): I’ve got to call an upset here and give this to a *non-shark* killing: the head of the Statue of Liberty flies across New York Harbor and takes out Shark Tank‘s Daymond John, Cloverfield-style. You gonna take that, sharks?
  • Best Death (shark): “This is for you, pops!” If you had “Richard Kind uses a souvenir baseball bat to knock a shark into the Citi Field scoreboard a la The Natural” in your Sharknado 2 pool, congratulations!
  • Best Celebrity Cameo: Far too many to choose from — maybe far too many, period — but my pilot’s hat is off to Sharknado 2 for saluting the mother of all disaster comedies, Airplane!, by putting Robert Hays in the cockpit.
  • Best Zinger: “Are we still live? Thank you for watching the Today show!” [Continues killing shark]
  • Best Emotional Moment: If I could be eaten by a shark so that the protagonist of a movie could tear the ring off my severed hand and use it to propose to the love of his life, I would know that my time on this Earth had not been wasted.
  • Best Improvised Weapon: Tara Reid. Has a rotary saw. Where her hand used to be. That is all.
  • Best New York City Moment: In the climactic scene, the citizens gathered in Times Square are able to fight back against the shark storm, because of course — fuggedaboutit! — everyone has a weapon in their car trunk.
  • Worst Cross-promotion: We get it, NBC Universal — you own a lot of other TV properties! I’ll give you the admittedly funny payoff of Al Roker and Matt Lauer stabbing a shark to death with an umbrella. But the repeated, shill-y placements for the Weather Channel? If you’re not going to give us Jim Cantore getting eaten by a hammerhead during a live shot, don’t even bother.
  • Worst Distortion of Reality: I will accept that this is a movie about killer flying fish. I will accept the convenient fiction that, in a city of eight million people, you can easily fetch the same cab driver later in the day because he gave you his card. Hell, I’ll even accept that, for some reason, the New York Mets are playing a game at like 9 in the morning. But the idea that all those New Yorkers in the final battle would have found nearby convenient street parking in Midtown? You lost me.
  • Worst NYC Geography: Moments after Lady Liberty smooshes Daymond John, somewhere in lower Manhattan, we’re in an entirely different, industrial neighborhood — Greenpoint, Brooklyn, from the street signs — and here comes the same head rolling down the street! (Actually, maybe the Liberty head is sentient and can fly about the city, killing at will? I smell a sequel — Libertynado!)
  • CGI: It looks like Syfy few a threw more pennies into the production this time out, but that doesn’t stop us getting images like the “hospital” that looks, pretty much, like a parking entrance superimposed on a row of brownstones.
  • Worst Pun: “But the next time you offer to lend a hand, don’t be so literal about it.” Ouch! Hey, if you can’t laugh when your soon-to-be-fiance has had her hand bitten off on an airplane by a flying shark, when can you laugh?


  • Best Death (shark): Marvel at the chainsaws all you like, there’s something charming about the way Skye (Vivica A. Fox) kills flying sharks the old-fashioned way — with a sword.
  • Best Death (human): I’m sure that, for at least one actor in this movie, watching gossip blogger Perez Hilton get killed by shark while he waits for a subway train is a dream come true.
  • Best Celebrity Cameo: Andy Dick dismissing Fin’s overly dramatic storm speech with a sarcastic “Okay, I can see you’re upset” is probably the greatest thing Andy Dick has ever done.
  • Best Timely Cultural Reference: Selfies, which Mora (Courtney Baxter) takes a lot of while visiting Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. (Sadly, she does not take one with a shark.)
  • Best Improvised Weapon: Tara Reid’s saw-hand trumps all, obviously, but it’s only a matter of time before Matt Lauer stabbing a shark with an umbrella becomes the GIF of the week.
  • Best Unexplained, Improbable Science: In a movie about a shark tornado, why not have the hero ride a shark like a surfboard through the air after getting blown off the Empire State Building?
  • Best Inappropriate Public Display of Affection: “I forgot to give you something the last I saw you,” Skye tells Fin before — bam! — giving him a big ol’ smooch. Too bad he’s in the middle of reconciling with his ex-wife.
  • Best Pun: After Fin pulls an American Ninja Warrior over the sharks swimming in the flooded streets of New York, Martin (Mark McGrath) tells him, “You know what you did, don’t you? You jumped the shark.”
  • Worst Missed Opportunity: As the Sharknado hits Manhattan, strange weather patterns also bring freezing temperatures and threats of snow. The two meteorological phenomena don’t exactly clash, though, so viewers are unfortunately deprived of Sharksnowdo. (Perhaps the writers are just saving material for another movie.)
  • Worst Inappropriate Public Display of Affection: Skye gives Vaughn an unusually passionate good-luck kiss on the cheek before they swing to safety. It seems like an odd thing to do when, oh, I don’t know, she’s still trying to make out with his dad.
  • Worst Unexplained, Improbable Science: A weather reports notes that sharks are falling from the sky at a rate of two inches per hour. How do you even measure that?!
  • Worst Social Media Coordination: While the broadcast instructed viewers to use #Sharknado2, the Sharknado Twitter account was promoting #Sharknado2TheSecondOne. That’s going to be an awkward marketing meeting.
  • Worst Timely Cultural Reference: If you’re going to make joke about hipsters in New York City, you better at least show flying sharks ripping off the faces of mustache-sporting jort-wearing artisan-pickle-selling Williamsburg residents.
TIME Television

HBO Slated to Run 6-Hour David Simon Miniseries

Creator and executive producer David Simon attends the "Treme" New York Premiere at The Museum of Modern Art on April 21, 2011 in New York City.
Creator and executive producer David Simon attends the premier of Treme in New York City on April 21, 2011 John W. Ferguson—Getty Images

The six-hour miniseries will be based on the 1999 book Show Me a Hero by Lisa Belkin

HBO will reportedly air another production from the man behind Treme and The Wire.

The Hollywood Reporter says David Simon will write and produce a miniseries called Show Me a Hero, based on the 1999 book by former New York Times reporter Lisa Belkin.

Show Me A Hero will center on a late-’80s public-housing battle in Yonkers, N.Y. — clearly touching on common themes to Simon’s television work: race, government, class and community.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Oscar Isaac of Inside Llewyn Davis and Catherine Keener of 40-Year-Old Virgin and Captain Phillips will star. The show is slated to run for six hours on the premium cable network.


Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser